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Vladimir Build Guide by Ethereal Ezio

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Season 9 Top FRONT LINE Vladimir

By Ethereal Ezio | Updated on April 22, 2019
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Runes: Inspiration

1 2 3
Inspiration
Unsealed Spellbook
Perfect Timing
Minion Dematerializer
Cosmic Insight

Sorcery
Nullifying Orb
Transcendence
Bonus:

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor

Spells:

LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport

Teleport

LeagueSpy Logo
Middle Lane
Ranked #23 in
Middle Lane
Win 51%
Get More Stats

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies

Top Vladimir Build

I have been playing since Season 3 and found that Vladimir was my main from Season 4 on. I play a lot of different positions and champs frequently but can never let go of Vlad as one of my true mains. As Season 8 has continued there are several ways to play Vlad with different keystones and positions, but the style and items remain the same for the most part.

One main thing to note is that this build is focused on a tankier Vlad, usually in top lane. Right now there are several other goods build focusing on high damage and putting Vlad as a main early carry in roles focused on mid and adc. Aggro Vlad and those builds seem more effective right now, but this build and its tankiness is still effective and will be viable and trends and metas move on, and may even trip up opponents expecting to pop you.
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Farming and Auto-attacking

The difference between a good and amazing Vlad player is how you cs and how much you get. This is even more obvious since the Season 6 mid-season rework, with E now actually damaging you in a significant way. Get good at basic attacking minions for CS. It is a pain with Vlad, but the rework did add some AD to your basic attack to make it easier (unless you had it memorized before XD) The new changes to Doran's Sheild will help if you get that first buy. Your E will eventually one shot back line minions if you are pushing, and make sure you position yourself with your E to hit all minions. Vlad's E is now like Ashe's W, and doesn't hit everything in the range. You should always aim to have the most cs in the game as Vlad, through laning phase, available jungle camps, pushing out lanes, and defending.

On note to remember with the changes Riot made to autolock skills is that Vlad's Q on enemy champions procs minion aggro. Be careful as trading with Q is no longer free, and hover near the bush to lose aggro.
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Runes

For Keystone, in this early game meta Electrocute is a solid way to get ahead early, and is the best for gone lane match ups. If you are looking for roams and mid-late game however, Predator is a great pickup that I usually take.

Unsealed Spellbook to me was the best option, due to the summoner cooldown reduction and the fact that the other runes aren't quite suited for Vladimir, so it is still viable. However I have been going Domination as mentioned above.

If you go Domination, Sorcery or Inspiration secondary is recommended, and if you go Inspiration definitely go Sorcery secondary.

I prefer Taste of Blood in the Dom tree as the first rune, as more healing is always good. Cheap Shot is the alternative when combined with your E or Rylais. The warding runes are good if you want them, but I typically take Eyeball Collection. Finally any of the Hunter runes work, as out of combat MS, Ult CD, healing, and active CDs are all good on Vlad. Go on your preferences, the matchup, and your gut here, but I usually take Ravenous Hunter.

Perfect Timing is nice for early game and is a nice way to safe 600G, but Slightly Magical Boots help give that extra mobility Vlad craves. The only downside there though is that you can start boots early and have to wait until 8-10 minutes most games. Cosmic Insight is crucial for cooldown, and must be taken. If Inspiration is your secondary, ignore the second row of keystones. Out of Buyer's Market, Dematerializer, and Biscuit if it is your primary pick your favorite in that specific matchup; I usually take Biscuit.

For Sorcery secondary Transcendence is a must for cooldown, with Gathering Storm as my final rune in games hat go over 30 minutes. Otherwise Scorch, Nullifying Orb, and Nimbus Cloak are also good in certain situations.
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Items

I have always been a fan of Doran's sheild and pot start, and now with its recent buffs it is a good start again. Another option is boots, if you are worried about early ganks. For trinket always start Warding Totem, gotta spot those incoming ganks.

I typically back when the other laner leaves or I reach around 1300 gold. There is no reason to back first with your sustain unless you know you'll die. If you are ahead and feeling good your first item should be Protobelt, so build a Hextech Revolver. Otherwise start building Spectre's Cowl for Spirit Visage if your vs. AP and if you're vs. AD grab a Seeker's Armguard to build into Zhoyna's. If you want to build SV or PB and want early cooldown, or only have 800 gold, Kindlegem isn't bad either. Honestly I have found that either Protobelt or Visage first item works versus AP champs, so go with your gut and gauge whether you are winning lane or not. In addition try to get Boots of speed if you haven't.
Spirit Visage is a must unless they have absolutely no AP damage. Zhoyna's is a great way to get extra damage and wait for cooldowns, and heal of your ultimate so unless they have no AD it should be picked up as well.

Spellbinder is great for movement, while Protobelt adds some movement utility and gives Vlad an extra pop when bursting champs initially, along with health, AP, and CD. Right now I like Merc Treads for that Tenacity, and even with Ninja Tabi being nerfed it is still a great buy against comps with more AD. I like Swifty Boots for that extra movement speed, but I rarely ever need it or buy it anymore, I would rather have Mercs. I used to always go Sorcerer's, but it just isn't necessary for Vlad to do damage.

For my fourth item I usually go Void Staff since they have accumulated enough MR at this point. The MP is very useful and you should be durable enough already. For the final item I have been between Ryali's and Liandry's, but I have found that Rylai's is only really good if you are really ahead early and falls off quick since your E is already a slow, so I have been picking up Liandry's. Liandry's is another great AP/Health item that also gives 15MP.
End game for trinkets I still prefer to keep the basic wards, since it it nice to have some stealthy wards with Mid and ADC typically getting blue trinket. In addition it helps set up teleports. Get Oracle Lens for specific champs like Vayne, Teemo, Akali, etc. For consumable you can either go Sorcery or Iron. Sorcery is nice for extra AP and turret damage, but the mana regeneration is wasted. Iron is great giving Vlad health, size increase, and tenacity which is stellar. In addition it increases ally movement speed, so I typically chose Iron. But again, game dependent.

Banshee's change seems great for Vlad, but you usually don't need anymore MR after Spirit Visage, and now that SV's passive gives #0% increased healing it is definitely a better option. Same could be argued for Abyssal Mask, so these two items are good pickups if you have a Heavy AP enemy team and they could replace Zhoyna's or Liandry's. Rylai's is good early as a first item when majorly ahead or mid game to catch up to mobile ADCs so it is situational. Deathcap is an alternative for your last item as well, or instead of Void Staff if they don't have much MR. For heavy enemy AD teams I have found that Randuin's Omen is a good buy, assuming they have Crit Chance. If not you can go Deadman's for some extra move-speed if you don't AA during fights. Thornmail's update is beneficial for Vlad due to the added health, and in addition adds grievous wounds. Would get this for a second armor item if they have lifesteal.
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Skill Sequence

In every game I always max Q first, as its a great last hit tool, it provides sustain, and what's the point of being a vampire if you don't take the enemies blood! Be careful last hitting minions with non-empowered Q's, as it is not as easy as before the mid-season change. I then max E, since your W is usually a way to escape or slow and is not reliant on its damage.
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Spellbook

When switching out summoners, you have a couple good options. Cleanse is a nice go to since CC is the worst vs. Vlad and this will let you survive long enough to heal. If you are having trouble escaping or catching Ghost is another good option. Ignite for aggro players or to counter healing comps is good as well.
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Note of Caution

With the new Morrel changes, and a cheap exe calling you must be wary of grievous wounds, which significantly hurts Vlad in any fight. Against Thornmail it isn't worth auto attacking n between as well. To try to avoid wounds on your ult, try comboing your R Q E then using w or Zhoyna's before the ult healing takes affect to try to run out the grievous wounds, but this doesn't work in all cases so be wary.
League of Legends Build Guide Author Ethereal Ezio
Ethereal Ezio Vladimir Guide
Season 9 Top FRONT LINE Vladimir