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Vladimir Build Guide by deathalo44

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League of Legends Build Guide Author deathalo44

Vladimir - God of Tank and Destruction

deathalo44 Last updated on July 16, 2011
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Team 1

LeagueSpy Logo
Middle Lane
Ranked #11 in
Middle Lane
Win 52%
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: 21

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

Utility: 0

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Change Log

15/6/11 - Updated based on new experience as Vlad
2/6/11 - Updated some minor errors
29/5/11 - Made Vladimir Guide

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General Info

Vladimir, the Tank/AP champion, who can easily survive and escape a gank and easily 1v1 practically any non-1v1 champs. It is one of the best champions for beginners (but is very expensive) as it can teach you how to last hit well, initiate and survive ganks.

Please read the whole guide before commenting, and give constructive feedback whenever possible.

Notes : The statistics for Vladimir is not counting his passive (read Skills)
: Build 1 is of the more offensive, aggressive, while Build 2 is the more docile, passive

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Pros and Cons

One of the only tanky AP-based champions
Can go for super high survivalbility even w/o tank items
Can go for decent AP w/o much AP items
Stays in lane the best among most champions (healing spell)
Great harrasser
Ulti is great in teamfights

Not so massive damage as compared to some AP Champs
Takes some time to get enough $$ for items

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Basically, there are 3 types of runes for all marks, seals, glyphs and quintessence for Vladimir, the best being :
Mark : Insight (Magic Pen)
Seal : Any (Magic Pen/Flat AP/AP over levels)
Glyphs : Force/Potency (AP over level/Flat AP)
Quints : Any

Vladimir isn't as suited as being a tank, despite having considerable tanking capabilities, as he got totally NO crowd control (cc) abilities besides his, which is better suited as escape.

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For Masteries, I take 9 21 0 for both, takingArchiac Knowledge Archiac Knowledge for the usual AP damagers as well as 21 in tank, for the best effects.

You may think 'Transfusion has a **** long cooldown before level 9! Sanguine Pool has a 10 second cooldown at max level!' Et cetra. Despite all the apparant needs in cooldown as well as the fact that 90% time for respawning is quite decent, the 21 is better suited at defence. From my experience of a Vladimir, I rarely require the need to Sanguine Pool unless I get ganked really badly, in which case, the cooldown is short enough to provide a good escape. At level 9, your transfusion will have a 3 second cooldown, a very good last hitting and harrassing skill.

No, the 21 is best suited at Defence.

You will barely suffer from great damage, the 4% AP boost is really useful and the 48hp from Veteran's scars is boosting your hp for early game survival as well as an extra ability point (explained later) and to cap it all, Tenacity will reduce their damage to obselute while you regen with your Transfusion.

Even as a lvl 29 without my Tenacity, it is still easy to survive - just transfusion and run, and you'll practically never die so long as they don't rush crazily.

Some notes on Masteries.
Never get the following masteries
1) Strength of Spirit
2) Expanded Mind
3) Meditation
4) Insight
These 4 are totally useless on Vlad, on the account that Vlad doesn't even HAVE mana.

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Summoner Spells

For Summoner Spells, I take Ignite and Flash or Ghost.
Ignite does damage over time, an ultimanium to killing after being unable to chase. As well as being able to stack with Vlad's ultimate, it is really good in defeating opponents who stray too far from safety.
Flash and Ghost are chasing and running skills, both being very useful in placing an ignite and a last skill upon the fleeing target. I prefer flash over ghost for the ability to pass through walls as well as the burst 'speed' that is much better than running fast.

Some other possible Summoner Spells
Exhaust is good in a 1v1, but it is really under preferred as ghost and flash can take out multiple enemies. One really good thing about Exhaust is that you get to reduce their damage, which increases your chance in a kill.
Teleport is to get to areas to gank well, better if there are wards around the area. However, it is not a chasing/running spell, nor is it a damaging spell, so it is under preferred.
Not really useful, but if you get into a series of severe Crowd Control Spells, this is really useful in getting away before you sanguine pool to safety.
Clairvoyance is useful in revealing possible ganks, as well as being shortest on cooldown (40 seconds), but if you noticed, tides of blood can hit invisible champions and reveal the area where a ward/mushroom is placed. Useful if you want a bigger area of view.
The least of the possible Vlad Summoner's Spell, Heal. It is practically useless in late game (too much HP to affect) and is not really useful besides drawing attention to getting you killed, saving your team. That is usually left to a better tanker, but this is still viable, but not good.

The not so useful spells Lets just leave Smite to the junglers, Vlad gets easier kills via Ignite.
If you take this for Vlad, you have just wasted your time, unless you like healing your teammate's mana alot, but which is useless to you.
Did anyone actually use Rally to good effect? Its short and not really useful in a fight.
Fortify is meant for tankers who do not need much killing/running spells. Its usually only useful if your turrets are getting pwnt, but you only can save 1 wave of creeps tanking for the opponent champions. Otherwise, using this to kill isn't useful either - your opponent still can easily escape unless snared or stunned at your tower convieniently.
The cooldown is long. Nuff's said.

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Crimson Pact is a skill that gives 1.8 hp per every AP as well as 1 AP for every 40 hp (non-stackable). In the statistics, it is not shown, but in a decent game, it is easy to reach over 4k health, and if you get 20 stacks in the aggro build, you get 180 AP from mejai, 70 from Will of the Ancients, 80 from Rylai (and 500hp), 155 from Rabbadon, 80 AP from rabbadon, thats 577 (565 from direct, 12 from Crimson Pact) AP, not counting Rabbadon's unique passive(cannot stack) that gives 30% increased AP, thats 750.1 (734.5 without Rylai) AP! This gives back 1332.1 health, add up with 500 from Rylai, and a massive boost of 1832.1 health! Quite useful, isn't it?
Transfusion is a skill that gives you back health after you deciminate another's health. Take note that there is a delay between damaging and healing, so if you are low on health, proceed with caution. Don't be too greedy unless your whole team isn't present, and yet you have a chance of killing 2 or more. Late game, its use isn't as pronounced except against low health champions such as Veigar and Teemo, as well as some others who cannot take a beating.
However, at level 7 to 15, it is awesome at taking out a ton of health at a time, with a 3 second cooldown.
Sanguine Pool is your escape and rushing skill. Using it allows you to dodge some skills like Katarina's Death Lotus, which are basically target skills, but against AOE skills like Nunu's Absolute Zero, it doesn't stop the damage. In a gank, be it being you or your opponent, Sanguine Pool comes into play. As a ganker, Sanguine does an amazing effect on AOE damaging your opponent while lowering aggro from towers, as well as slowing them and preventing them from damaging you. As a ganked, you don't take damage and lifesteal back the 20% hp lost by activation, or even more!
Tides of Blood is your late game damage skill, as well as a good harrassment in early game (but it takes off some of your health and increases with each empowered stack). Each empowered stack gives you higher healing/regen powers, so your basic health regen is increased, as well as the amount you heal from Transfusion and gives Tides of Blood a higher damage, but requires more health. Also, Tides of Blood can detect invisible targets, such as wards, mushrooms and champions in the bush, while being able to hit champions that aren't in view. However, it is rarely useful in a sudden teamfight as you have practically no stacks and probably use it twice only. Try getting your teammates to lure enemies into an unsuspecting fight, that could easily lead into an ace
Hemoplague is a godly skill in surpise fights, especially if someone was nice enough to trap all opponents into a single, tight spot. It increases damage dealt by 14% as well as damage after 5 seconds which ends the effect. It causes havoc upon the opponent team if used well (over 2 targets) but it can easily be used to get first blood (mid lane) or double kill (side lane). At level 6, any Vladimir can easily trash the same level opponent with transfusion, ulti, transfusion, tides of blood and sanguine pool combo.

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For a start, I get

Amplifying tome and a potion (health seeing you got NO mp).

Good help, making your Tides of Blood not damaging you that much.

Sorcerer's shoes come next unless you are trashing them really badly or getting trashed, in which you get :

Rylai's crystal Sceptre

Rylai for survivalbility


Mejai for damage, followed by

Rabbadon's Deathcap Rabbadon, the greatest AP item ever created.

Lich Bane is also a useful item as you can chase and tank whatever in your way, as well as the AP damage boost is seriously good.

Last of all,

Will of the Ancients is the item for spellvamping back health lost from your 3 skills. You may regen more health than you actually use! This 5 items are your core and best hope in your game.

There are several other items that can boost you severally, besides the core items.

Abyssal Sceptre Abyssal Sceptre is really useful against high magic resistence champions such as Galio and other tanks, and will deal much better damage against weaker victims.

If you see your opponent having several tanks, this is the item for you! It does 30% of their current health as well as 3.5% for every 100 AP you have. Remember to get Kage Lucky Pick early on for the money boost!

Moonflair Spellblade is very useful if the opponent has lots of Crowd Controls, in which case the Tenacity boost is good as well as the AP.

Spirit Visage increases your health gain from transfusion and sanguine pool, which means increased survivalbility. It is a moderate item, but useful in the context of a prelonged teamfight.

Using Thornmail and Warden's Mail is anti-carries and basically deciminates and slows all carries. Together with your skills, you will become undefeatable if you go for tankyness.

Warmog is for your desparate survival equipment, as well as a boost in the AP department. Having a single warmog and your core items make you practically invincible unless you get ganked by 5 without any backup.

Zhonya's Hourglass is really useful if you constantly being ganked before your Rylai and Rabbadon. With it, you can prevent enemies from chasing your teammates while giving a much needed time to regroup and hit back, while you take the brunt of the damage.

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Skill Sequence and use order

Transfusion is your bread and butter throughout the game. It is used both for harrassment and regen, which makes it such a good skill since its hard to constantly harrass you. At level 9, you are practically invincible in a 1v1 spellcaster fight - 3 seconds cooldown! This should be maxed 1st.
Sanguine Pool is your ultimate escape plan, you need to add it as soon as possible besides transfusion at least once. It takes 20% of your health and has a very long cooldown, so try not to use it until needed. In a gank, this will lead you to easily surviving the battle and escaping barely scratched. This or Tides of Blood can be maxed 2nd.
Tides of Blood is your invis detector, high damager and mass deciminator rolled into one. When your tides of blood hits a ward/mushroom, it will not damage, but however, will reveal it being at the spot it is planted (but its still invis). Against someone like Evelynn, your tides of blood may be vanishing into walls, making a possible gank on you probable. This can be not added, but preferably kept to level 1 before all your skills are maxed. When used, you are empowered, leading to more damaging tides of blood but at a greater HP cost.
Hemoplague is your massive damager. It gives 14% extra damage and it is used to ambush kill several enemy champions, stacked with empowered tides of blood and transfusion, no one can stand before your might. It also stacks with ignite, giving a much higher boost and lessening the chance of a potion healing your enemy to just enough for survival.

In a small fight (1v1 to 3v3)
1) Harrass a lot before it begins
2) Never use Sanguine Pool unless you have less than 10% hp, or if you get to mass kill several targets and chase while avoiding tower hits.
3) Use your ultimate at a good time where they mostly get hit, or if you get to kill one using its after effect while also damaging the rest.
4) Focus on a single target, and transfusion when your health requires it.
5) Look at your health before running. If you get ignited or some other Damage over Time skill, you may want to double back for a transfusion to prevent death.

In a big fight (4v4/5v5)
1) Harrassing isn't an option, it just gets you killed. Avoid.
2) Make sure someone is luring, or if you are luring, try not to use sanguine pool unless needed.
3) Hit ALL/MOST enemies, don't bother picking off a couple of them while not hitting the rest.
4) Tides of Blood must be empowered for added effect.
5) Don't transfusion that much unless you require the health, focus on Tides of Blood

When Outnumbered
1) Try staying within tower range or safety. Maxed level Sanguine Pool can lead to a chaser a long run around the tower, destroying his health in the process.
2) If you decide to run instead of waiting for teammates, try taking the safest route - don't cross your enemies while escaping.
3) Sanguine Pool takes off 20% of your current health. DO NOT USE UNLESS YOU ARE LOW.

When there are more of you
1) Tides of blood to check bushes before entering, it may be a bait.
2) Be high on Map Awareness
3) Do not check using sanguine pool
4) Safety 1st, killing 2nd. If you can kill but risk your health, let your teammate get the kill, or transfusion on the run.

Skill sequence X 2 or 3 X 2
And only if you can chase or if you can kill.

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As a laner, be it middle or side lanes, Vladimir excels.

~Mid Lane~
Vladimir is untouchable by melees who do not have a dashing skill such as Jax's Leap strike and Katarina's Shunpo. As for range carries, it takes quite a lot of hits to make a Vlad take actual damage without regening enough to close full. Spellcasters? They practically don't stand a chance at level 9, where killing is easy and your harrassing abilities rock.

~Side Lane~
As a side laner, your best choice is to constantly harrass your opponents. IF and ONLY IF you can kill without dying, rush in. Keep sanguine pool for escape and a ton of skills could be totally wasted. If in danger, try to avoid enemies while do constant damage by Transfusions.

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Vladimir happens to be the best champion for those who wants to try AP but hates the fragileness of Veigar, Karthus and such other champions. His tankyness from his passive and his godly damage on the field makes him one of the best survivors and killers of the game.

Please vote up and give constructive feedback whenever possible.

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Leave your suggestions below :)

Upcoming is : Jungle Vlad :D