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Not Updated For Current Season
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Heyo! This is my Vladimir AP Nuke build. It can help you do insane damage while having an abundant amount of health, Probably topping out at around 3.5k-4.5k Health and 700-800 AP(Assuming you get your SS stacks up!). Give it a shot, let me know what you think! +1 If you like it and it works for you! -1 If you think I am a baddy.
REMEMBER THIS: You are a Mage first, and a tank second. With almost no armor or Magic resistance you won't last long against a group of enemy champions. But luckily if you engaged them with your own team as well, with Hemoplague they should be dead long before you ever even need to run away. Be careful though and play like a mage, a 'sturdy' mage.
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.
I went with Magic Pen Marks to buff your spells up early game!
Fortitude Seals and Quintessences to help out early game as well.
And AP Glyphs for the extra Health and Damage as the game progresses.
Thats it! A handful of easy to find runes you probably already have sitting around.
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.
What You Might Get
Cleanse: If you are having a hard time dealing with CC's. Ex: Snares,Slows,Stuns. This might be the way to go. Use it before or after popping Sanguine Pool to help you escape.
Clairvoyance: For teamfights 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
Heal: You heal yourself, Nuff said. Won't dent your 4.5k healthpool at end game.
Clarity: You don't have a mana pool. You don't gain mana. You don't need this spell.
Teleport: You shouldn't ever need this spell. With transfusion leveled early, if you get hurt you just need to pull back a few paces and suck your health back to full. The only time I find myself going back to base as Vlad is to buy new items or after a major enemy attack.
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.
Note Before You Read: If You are not aware, Vladimir's passive gives him +2 Health for each AP, and +1 AP for every 25 Health! Leading me to each of these item choices.
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)
I chose to go for the Rylai's Crystal Scepter as the first big item for obvious reasons. Mainly the hard stats which will provide additional passive bonuses to each other, but provided you know what you are doing, you should be able to spam transfusions and kite your enemies, keeping them slowed and slowly draining their health as they chase you.
After that, Your boots! Depending on team build it can of course be more beneficial to grab Mercury's Treads if the enemy is heavy on Disables. But for damage output purposes, I grabbed Sorcerer's Shoes.
From there on, If you think you are doing well enough with kills, grab a Mejai's Soulstealer. The stacking effect will do nicely as you progress through, Making you more powerful and unkillable as you gain AP as well as Health. The reason I recommend this item even with its risks is that between Sanguine Pool and Ghost, you should be able to escape nearly every situation. Which makes this item that much less of a gamble.
Zhonya's Ring! (This will probably be the hardest piece for you to get, Seeing as most champs should be a teeny bit more powerful than you at this point, but the deal is sealed as soon as you pick it up.) 120 AP, 25% Additional AP, Need I say more?
Will of the Ancients! 40 Base AP and 30 Additional AP as well as 15% Spell Vamp for you and your teamies! Get more healing from Transfusion as well as some return health from Tides of Blood. Nice solid item for a little extra healing on the side.
I didn't list a sixth item above because you have a few choices.
Guardian Angel: Resurrects you upon death with 40% Health. Always a solid choice for making a clean getaway, By the time you rez your Sanguine Pool should be off cooldown as well. (Grab this if you are having trouble staying alive, probably the best choice out of the four for your first few games)
Deathfire Grasp: Deals 35% of Enemy's Health as Magic Damage and an additional 3.5% per 100 AP as well as granting moderate cooldown reduction. Reduced Cooldowns are a plus, but the massive spike damage that this deals can really help out against tanks. Working off of percentages it can drop even a built Cho'gath a good 50%. (1 Minute Cooldown). (Grab this if the enemy has a strong tank carry)
Lich Bane: Increases movement speed by 8% and Deals 100% of your AP as additional physical attack damage on Spell Cast(3 Second Internal Cooldown). An extra 700 Damage per melee swing every three seconds can be a massive boost in dps. This is probably only a *good* choice if you have reached max stacks on your soulstealer or your enemy has started stacking magic penetration, allowing you to deal some physical damage instead. Adding an extra attack into your rotation lets you fill those empty spots inbetween all of your abilities and pick off champions faster. (Grab this if you just want to melt faces and are doing well already)
1. Transfusion:Sucks enemy health and heals you! Your main move, Should be leveled to full ASAP. It has absolutely no cost so cast it every chance you get. Early game, Dip in, Cast it, and get out. Rinse Repeat till you have the advantage. Ignite the enemy and finish them off with Ghost+Sanguine Pool as they run away.
2. Sanguine Pool:Turns you into a puddle of blood, Dealing damage to enemies above you as well as healing yourself. Cost 20% Current health to activate so use wisely! 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 neardeath gank. (DOES NOT STOP ENVIRONMENTAL STUNS! EX: Veigar's stun). Anyways! It should be the next skill you level up after Transfusion.
3. Tides of Blood:This move can be extremely powerful during teamfights but deadly to yourself early game. I chose to only put one rank in it early game for minion farming and maybe a little boosted damage during a fight but nothing more. Towards the end, when you become entrenched in team fights this move will begin to shine.. When mixed with Sanguine Pool and Hemoplague you will begin to do some REALLY NASTY AoE damage. The trick is to just watch yourself and only cast it when you have the health to waste.
4. Hemoplague:Your Ultimate, It has a long cooldown and I kind of skimped on CD reduction in the item builds! So pay attention and use it only when you can get the most out of it, Ex: 2 Champs early game, 3-4 Late Game in team fights. Preferably all five! Toss it on and follow it up with some Tides of Blood 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 is your big daddy and can easily break the other team during a team fight.
Tips & Tricks
Just a brief list of tips and tricks that you should use while playing Vladimir.
1. You can use Sanguine Pool to Permanently drop aggro from turrets EVEN AFTER damaging enemy champions, AS long as their is another target for the turret to fire upon. Ex: A friendly minion, pet, or even another champion.
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, Run in and 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 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. The slow from Rylai's will help you to keep your distance while allowing you to get your health up and maybe even get the advantage on your opponent.
You will want to take the Center lane and should have put your first level into Transfusion. Wait at your turret for minions to appear before running in. Depending on the enemy champ and their range/movement speed, you should be able to begin harassing them with Transfusion immediately. If they have gotten boots as their first item or a heavy health regen item such as a Regrowth Pendant or Vampiric Scepter, hold off on Transfuse harassing them until level 5. You should only be using Transfusion at this point to attack with, and saving your Sanguine Pool for escapes. Step only close enough to cast Transfusion and then step back away, returning to last hitting minions until the cooldown is back up again.
How To: Your First Kill
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(Pun Intended)
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.
When you and your team finally engage the enemy, make sure to let a more sturdy champion such as a tank 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's stacks do not fall for any reason. THE ONLY THING THAT CAN KILL YOU AS VLAD IS CARELESSNESS!
At the end, if for whatever reason your team is having trouble pushing the final turrets, I suggest grabbing the Lich Bane from the optional item list. Allowing you spike 800 damage hits on turrets every three seconds, YOU can push the turrets! Having around 4k Health and taking only minimal damage from cannon fire, YOU could even backdoor a turret without minions provided you are careful.
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.
So, Let me know how it works, and have fun! +1 If you like, And.. well -1 If you think it needs some changes, But criticism is welcome! So please leave comments. After all any positive changes I can make, I will.