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Build Guide by vladamir

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League of Legends Build Guide Author vladamir

Vladamir the Undying

vladamir Last updated on June 8, 2011
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Middle Lane
Ranked #43 in
Middle Lane
Win 51%
Get More Stats

Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 21

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Update 2 - 1/5/11
Changed the guide layout. Updated item build with the new items and got rid of the Zhonya's ring. Included the quiet nerf to Vlad's passive (now he only gets 1.8 hp per point of AP, down from 2 per 1). Moved exhaust up on the summoner's spell list as it's much more effective against many more champs then it used to be.

Update 1 - 10/7/10
Removed the pure tank Vlad build because its horribly ineffective late game.
Updated item build, removed Leviation from primary build.

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Hello! This build was originally adapted from SmartxAxBSH's Vladimir AP Nuke build; but with the nerf to transfusion, I've had to change things up quite a bit just to do the same things I used to easily. I still find it a great reference though, so you should check it out if you want to be more magey (most of the credits for tips and strategies should go to him). This build ,however, focuses on keeping Vlad alive while allowing more use of his buffed tides and still having (assuming you keep your SS stacks up) very good damage potential. Give it a shot, let me know what you think! +1 If you like it and it works for you! -1 If you think this build is supadumb.

REMEMBER THIS: Your main focus is to NOT DIE, however, unlike every other true mage, you literally have to be right on top of the enemy team for a full hadoken. This can and will lead to you being the *ahem* center of attention. As long as you are at least in the area of enemies that die, you should have no problem getting your SS stacks up, so don't go for the kill if its going to leave you exposed with none of your team around to bail you out. Map awareness is just as important for Vlad as it is for every other squishy.

Check the Skills section on tips and tricks on playing this character!

This is my first build :P! So be kind, working on it piece by piece and I hope you guys have a good time with it! LEAVE CRITICISM IF YOU HAVE IT! I appreciate any bit I can get.

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Runes + Masteries

I went with more late game runes than early game to assist with the "not dying with stacks up" effort.
I went with Magic Pen Marks as it serves Vlad well at all levels, followed by per level fortitude Seals for more health,per lvel AP Glyphs for more damage, and speed quintessences to hit-and-run more effectively.

You may have noticed and are wondering "Why the hell didn't you go down the defense tree if you're so worried about dying?". There are two reasons actually. The first is that this build focuses on keeping you alive while making life for your opponents a bloody hell, not just surviving while they laugh at your pitiful damage. This is much better accomplished without touching the defense tree. Second, this build leaves you with 39% CD reduction, just 1% under the cap. If you insist on being totally indestructible however, check out my alt build (don't let the AP it says fool you, extra health from the items directly gives Vladimir much more AP than it will state here).

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Summoner Spells

What You Should Get

Ignite: Best possible summoner's skill for Vlad. Stacks perfectly with Hemoplague and in combination with the rest of your abilities should help you snag some easy kills early in the game.

Ghost: Use it before popping your Sanguine Pool to make speedy escapes from enemies without being touched or to snag those silly champs recalling beside their turret and make a smooth getaway. Either way its a great defensive or offensive move for Vlad.

Flash: A chosen favorite of most, can let you make nifty getaways into the jungle or to pop in for a nice finishing blow on an escaping champ. Personally I prefer the long speed boost granted by ghost, but remember to modify your masteries accordingly if you go this route.
Exhaust: Pop this and laugh while destroying that Master Yi that came in for the gank or as an extra slow while escaping. The update to this makes it extra effective against assassins and somewhat effective against other mages for survival purposes, hence its move up the list of skills.

What You Might Get

Heal: Again, the point is to not die. An instant heal of a good bit of your health can and will sometimes make all the difference.
Cleanse: A wonderful skill and a must if you go with the alt build. Very effective versus champs that love to stun you at the worst times (looking at you veigar).

Clairvoyance: For team fights it can be the difference between getting ganked and or clearing out their entire team with a well planned counterattack. Great for premades, Not so much for randoms.

What You Should Not Get

Clarity: You don't have a mana pool. You don't gain mana. You don't need this spell.

Teleport: Personally, I never use this spell on Vladamir. Sure its usefully for pretending you're Pantheon, but with your very limited necessity to return to your base and your position as always being on the front line, this just doesn't make much sense.

Fortify: Not that great, Save it for the tanks who might benefit from its passive.

Revive: The major point of Vlad is to not die! You will not be using this often enough for it to matter.

Rally: No. Let a melee get it, if anyone.

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Items - Primary

Note Before You Read: If You are not aware, Vladimir's passive gives him +1.8 Health for each AP, and +1 AP for every 25 Health! Leading me to each of these item choices.

Primary Build (good for every comp but especially if you mid against a caster)
Your starting items, make sure to grab a couple of health potions as you'll be needing them against a good opponent. I've found that the health pots will keep you in lane better than any other item before you get to level 9, and the boots provide you with the speed necessary for early game kills.
Building straight into these as soon as you can gives you all the MPen you'll need during the laning/ganking phases. Plus the speed never hurts.
As soon as you have the gold for it, you are going to want a Mejai's Soulstealer. The stacking effect will do nicely as you progress through, making you more powerful and making your Transfusion really start to hurt. With Vlad's natural escapability, you should rarely lose your stacks from early game gank attempts.
I chose to go for the Rylai's Crystal Scepter at this point because it fits so very nicely into this build as a whole. Extra health, AP, AND a slowing effect on all your spells? YES PLEASE!
Why I hardly see people with this item, I'll never know. It gives 70AP, which is never bad on any caster, but even more importantly, it gives a HUGE amount of Magic Resist reduction (20 Mag Reduc x 5 champs = 100 total reduction) and a good amount of Magic Resist to you. Magic resist reduction is factored before MPen, which means POSTIVE MAGIC DAMAGE on any character without any magic resist items.

NEW ITEM - Rabadon's Deathcap +155 AP UNIQUE Passive: Increases Ability Power by 30%. O...M...G. Zhonya's Ring was already nasty on Vlad, but then they broke out the most damaging portion of it and made it better stats. Singlehandedly the sorce of much of the current forum QQ regarding Vlad. Get this.

For the 6th item, you've got a few choices, but Lich Bane is always my preferred choice because:
Lich Bane, my personal favorite with this build for the sixth slot, converts your AP into AD for one attack basically every 3 seconds. Melt towers. Melt FACES. Yes, with this one little item, Vlad can melt anything! I'm sure you can come up with all kinds of fun applications on your own. Very expensive to build though.
Void Staff: +70 AP, which is always nice, but the real deal with this is the +40% magic pen that comes with it. This is ONLY a good idea if 2 are more people on the opposing team stack magic resist.
Will of the Ancients gives alot of AP and some spell vamp, but this is mostly a team oriented pick due to the aura. All in all it gives the most AP total when your teammates are nearby and is never a bad pick.

Don't forget that your Elixir of Brilliance can now be bought after your sixth slot is filled to add +65 AP and +130 HP though Vladimir's passive for 4 minutes!

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Items - Alternate Build

Alternate Build (for when the opposing team comp calls for a tankier approach)
I thought it best to start out with a simple Amplifying Tome for the AP benefit early and a single health potion. Next, snag a simple pair of Boots of Speed as soon as you can afford it to help you get away from those nasty early ganks. (I urge you to get these boots before the rest of your items knowing that the next items are all fairly pricey)
As soon as you have the gold for it, you are going to want aMejai's Soulstealer and Leviathan. The stacking effect will do nicely as you progress through, Making you more powerful and unkillable as you gain AP as well as Health. With this build early on, you may end up getting a lot of assists, but again, the point here is to NOT DIE. Since you already know how to evade if you're going with this build, you shouldn't have any problems with that.
Now that you've got everything you need for your stacks, you're going to want the extra stun/disable/gank resist that comes with Mercury's Treads. Again, dying isn't good so don't do it!
Guardian Angel: No longer Resurrects you upon death with 40% Health (750 now >.< ), but is still effective with this build for keeping your stacks. Dispute your best efforts, eventually you're going to attract too much attention at the wrong time and die...or not, thanks to the do-over that this item gives! Keeping your SS and Leviathan stacks up is central to this build, so this makes having this and having it early a must!
Edit: After alot of testing, I've found this item to be a game changer during team fights. I've seen time and again the enemy team overcommit to nuke Vlad down with my whole team present only for Vlad to pop right back up and destroy the now very hurt opposition. Many, Many triple kills this way.
I chose to go for the Rylai's Crystal Scepter at this point because it fits so very nicely into this build as a whole. Extra health, AP, AND a slowing effect on all your spells? YES PLEASE!

For your final slot, you've got three choices (listed in order of personal preference).

Randuin's Omen: The relatively inexpensive item that does so very very much. +300 health, +90 armor, +25 hp regen, 15% cooldown reduction, 20% chance to slow attacker's movement and attack by 25% for 3 seconds...and that's just the passives!
NEW ITEM - Zhonya's Hourglass+100 AP +50 Armor
UNIQUE Active: Places your champion into stasis for 2 seconds, rendering you invulnerable and untargetable but unable to take any action. 90 sec cooldown! This item imo isn't as good as the old Zhonya's ring for this build, BUT at the same time this item fits better with the tanky Vlad due to the armor.
Void Staff: +70 AP, which is always nice, but the real deal with this is the +40% magic pen that comes with it. A must if you notice the opposing team stacking magic resist.

Don't forget that your Elixir of Brilliance can now be bought after your sixth slot is filled to add +65 AP and +130 HP though Vladimir's passive for 4 minutes!

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Skill Breakdown

1. Transfusion:

Damage: 70 / 115 / 160 / 205 / 250 (+60% ability power)
Cooldown: 12 / 10 / 8 / 6 / 3 seconds.
Range: 600

This is your primary move throughout the game, so it should be leveled to full ASAP. It has absolutely no cost so cast it every chance you get. Early game, use this to harass melee and short range champs, but BEWARE using this on champs with alto of range (ashe, janna, etc). Rinse and Repeat till you have the advantage. Ignite the enemy and finish them off with Ghost+Sanguine Pool as they run away.

2. Sanguine Pool:

Damage: 80 / 135 / 190 / 245 / 300 (+15% of BONUS Health)
Cooldown: 26 / 23 / 20 / 17 / 14 seconds.
Cost: 20% of CURRENT Health

Turns you into a puddle of blood dealing damage to enemies above you, damages for Skill lvl Damage+15% of BONUS hp and heals for 12.5% of the total damage dealt, and grants an instant +1 speed boost. Would be OP if it didn't also instantly consume 20% of your health! This move can be used for both Tower Diving and Escaping Ganks. Best used say if a nasty projectile is flying towards your face, pop it and dodge the move entirely and sneak away unharmed. Ex: Ashe's Ult, Sion's Stun, Blitz's Fist. Use it in conjunction with Ghost for an easy behind turret kill or to escape a near-death gank. DOES NOT STOP ENVIRONMENTAL STUNS! (ie: Veigar's stun). DOES NOT STOP CHANNELED EFFECTS (ie: Fiddlestick's Drain). REMEMBER THIS IS YOU DON'T WANT TO DIE HORRIBLY. Anyways, it should be the next skill you level up after Transfusion.

3. Tides of Blood:

Damage: 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 (+45% ability power)
Cost: 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 / 90 Health.
Range: 620
Each cast grants Empowered buff.

Empowered Stack Buff
  • 1 Stack
    Base Damage: 75 / 112.5 / 150 / 187.5 / 225
    Cost: 45 / 67.5 / 90 / 112.5 / 135
  • 2 Stacks
    Base Damage: 90 / 135 / 180 / 225 / 270
    Cost: 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 / 180
  • 3 Stacks
    Base Damage: 105 / 157.5 / 210 / 262.5 / 315
    Cost: 75 / 112.5 / 150 / 187.5 / 225
  • 4 Stacks
    Base Damage: 120 / 180 / 240 / 180 / 360
    Cost: 90 / 135 / 180 / 225 / 270

As you can see, this move ramps up in health cost and damage very quicky, so much so in fact that casting this up to max stacks at lvl 1 will leave you with 100 Hp. Stacking empowered early game should be avoided like the plague; but towards the end, this move should be spammed as much as possible. When mixed with Sanguine Pool and Hemoplague you will begin to do some REALLY NASTY AoE damage, plus with its boosted range you'll be hitting most of the opposing team with it very often. With this build, you shouldn't have a problem with the health cost late game as long as you remember transfusion.

4. Hemoplague:

Duration: 5 seconds
Extra Damage Taken: 10% / 14% / 18%
Damage: 200 / 300 / 400 (+75% AP)
Cost: 15% of current Hp

An AoE ultimate that does massive damage at the end of its effect and increases all damage to champs it hits by 18% for 5 seconds! Early game, use this on your mid lane opponent for an easy kill or when switching lanes to gank. Late game save this for the team fights. Use this followed by Tides of Blood (you've got the buff up right?) and watch the enemies' healths melt away. It works well with Ignite to provide a really nasty 600+ damage finisher. Level it every chance you get, it'll often be the deciding factor in who walks away from a fight late game.

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Tips & Tricks

1. You can use Sanguine Pool to Permanently drop aggro from turrets EVEN AFTER damaging enemy champions. YOU ARE UNTARGETABLE DURING THE POOL SO THE TURRET WILL STOP FIRING AT YOU EVEN IF THERE ARE NO OTHER TARGETS. Do note though that untargetable /= invincible, there are QUITE a few champions who can make you a permanent pool of blood during this skill.

2. Your Ultimate(Hemoplague) has an excellent reach, See someone recalling too close to their turret but are low health? You can cast your ult on them from outside the turret's range as long as you hit them with just the outside edge of the spell.

3. Level 13+ Don't be afraid to turret dive (as long as your Guardian is up) and then run in to smack the enemy with a Transfusion or your Ultimate and then use Sanguine Pool for an easy escape. By level 13+ your Sanguine Pool cooldown should be low enough so that it will be up the next time you need it.

4. Never initiate with your Sanguine Pool, Save it for extra damage after your ultimate(Level 13+ So the cooldown is shorter) or during iffy battles to help with your (or a teammates) retreat.

5. Gank! Vladamir is an excellent ganker. If you are playing center, watch the top and bottom lanes constantly and work with your teammates to set up traps for the enemy champions who push a little too far into your territory. Try to get behind them and use your Sanguine Pool (If it is safe to do so) to slow them down for your friendly champs.

6. Average speed melee chasing you? Do you have Rylai's Crystal Scepter? If so, Cast Transfusion on every cooldown while running if they in range (you don't want to run backwards to get this off). Late game you'll want to replace it with Tides of Blood due to the fact you'll probably be chased by multiple people and you barely break stride while running away like you do with Transfusion.

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Gameplay Strategies

General Note: If you get our SS stacks up quickly, it is good to take your Tides of Blood buff up before engaging a champion. The extra range on it will now allow you to often last hit when you are out of range for Transfusion.

Early Game

Take mid, and stay by your turret until minions spawn. Once you see who you're fighting, you're going to want to do one of two things: Harass with Transfusion if they are melee OR last hit minions with Transfusion if they have range on you. With the nurf on Transfusions range, you will not want to make champs like Ashe start harassing you early. A nice trick with fighting ranged champions is to use transfusion on them while they are out of range and they are running in to use one of their skills on you in order to keep them from pulling ahead of you health wise.

How To: Your First Kill (copied wholesale from Smash's guide,can't say it any better)

Their health should be reaching about half around level 7 if they have not gone back to the store and you are properly harassing them with Transfusion on each cooldown. When their health is 500-600 you are ready to move in for the kill. Let them push your minions at least halfway through the center towards your turret and then slip out of view. While he cannot see you, pop Ghost(Summoner Spell) and then run after him. Toss your Ultimate(Hemoplague) on them and follow it up with your Transfusion and Ignite. If their health is lower than 250 at this point and they have no way to heal themselves, they will die from your Hemoplague and Ignite shortly. If their health is greater than 250 or they have a Healing spell or the Heal Summoner's Spell, continue chasing. Your Transfusion should come off of cooldown just quick enough to snag the finishing blow right behind their turret. Pop Sanguine Pool to drop the turrets aggro and get out of there. Congratulations, that is kill #1 of many in the game to come.

Farming and Ganking

Around level 9+ you should begin to gank. Keep a close eye on the enemy champions in the top and bottom lanes until you see a good opportunity to put yourself behind the enemies and sandwich them with your team without risking yourself. Ex: Their Health is halfway gone or they have no strong disables such as silences, stuns, and taunts. Sneak up behind them via the river in the middle of the map and wait inside the tall grass at either end until the moment comes. Pick a target and signal it to your team via a ping and then make your move, charge out of the grass until you are near melee range with the enemy champions. Cast Transfusion on your target and then pop your Sanguine Pool and path through the enemy Champions to your teammates, this will slow them down and allow you to rejoin up with your team. If your Ultimate is up and there is more than one enemy champion, use it to make sure that no one escapes even if they slip past you and your team.

After each gank, if your health is 40% of higher and you do not need to do any shopping, Just shift back to the middle lane and cast Transfusion till your health is full again allowing you more time gaining experience and money, and spending less time running. Alternate the center farming, single champion killing strategy from above, and ganking bottom or top until you enter the Team Fighting phase.

Team Fights: Your Moment to Sparkle

As the game progresses, your enemies and your own team will start to travel more closely together and attempt to gank loose teammates or push the remaining turrets. This generally happens at around level 13-15+. Watch yourself, making sure that you are never alone on your enemy's half of the field for more than brief moments. Even make sure that you are not alone on YOUR side of the field if all of the enemy champions are MIA.

At this point you should have nearly 4K health and a great deal of armor and magic defense, so you can feel free to initiate with your Ultimate if you are in a ranged heavy party. If not, let another (melee) champ initiate. When the enemy's team swarms around him to start their attack you should pop your Ultimate, ensuring that you reach as many of them as possible. Close the gap to the enemy, trying to stay tucked behind your tank or melee and use your Tides of Blood and Transfusion spells each on cooldown. (MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE HEALTH TO SPARE FOR TIDES OF BLOOD) Between your Ultimate and your teammates' damage, the enemy should be dead or staggering away while your team walks off with only scratches. Try to cut off the enemies as they run away with Ghost + Sanguine Pool, slowing them down as you cast Transfusion/Tides of Blood/Ignite to finish them off. BE SMART! If an enemy has gotten away, retreat! Don't be reckless! Your top priority is ensuring that your Soulstealer and Leviathan's stacks do not fall for any reason. THE ONLY THING THAT CAN KILL YOU AS VLAD IS CARELESSNESS!

Follow these strategies, tips, and tricks and you should rock the enemy team with no problem. If for any reason any part of these Strategies or any other part of this guide were not clear to you, Please leave me a comment! I will try to explain it in more depth as well as use your feedback to improve the wording of my guide! Thank you and enjoy.

That's it for my guide to the undying Vladimir, hope you like it and if you did, please +1 the vote! Debate is always welcome, so feel free to criticize if you think I can do better!

Credit given to SmartxAxBSH for the parts of his guide I used.