Build Guide by Servitorwang
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Not Updated For Current Season
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I have been playing Vladimir as my main for some time now. My enemies hate my survivability, and my friends don't wanna play against my Vlad. The key to playing Vladimir is spamming transfusion and knowing when to Sanguine Pool. I always try to go middle lane to start, or solo versus if there is a jungle on my team.
The ONLY champion I have had issues with laning against is Fiddlesticks, because of his Drain Health that will continue hitting through your Sanguine Pool.
Magic Penetration, Health, AP, and more AP. You can go Health for Quins, but I prefer starting with more AP for Transfusion nuking early game. Your passive allows slight trade-offs in either category, but I see the best results from more Ability Power.
I have tried 21-9-0 and 9-0-21, or combinations involving more damage output vs. CDR. The most consistent success with masteries in my opinion is 9-21-0. Get the 15% magic penetration with Archaic Knowledge(Offensive Tree), and Ardor for more AP(Defensive Tree). The 4% reduced damage from Tenacity is just icing on the cake.
I always get Ghost for catching champions so that I can Sanguine Pool when they start running, or for me to get away while pooling.
Ignite to get first blood. Hemoplague, ignite, transfusion, and pool. They aren't hitting you, they take reduced regen, extra damage, and are slowed. Pretty sweet combo if you ask me!
Other useful Spells for Vlad:
Clairvoyance(you're the carry, make a support get this if you need it)
Clarity(obvious reasons... you don't use mana)
This is the complicated part. I always start with Regrowth Pendant, and no potions. Between your Transfusion and this item, you should always be in decent shape. I try to rush a Warmogs if I can buy it with boots(Yes, I can usually self-sustain to that point in mid without having to return to base), or buy Boots of Swiftness, and then start piecing together Warmogs. Warmogs health, coupled with the beastly HP regen will keep you in those team fights and make enemy champions hate you oh so much while you keep alive.
I prefer Boots of Swiftness over other boots for keeping up with enemies and keeping my slow from Sanguine Pool on them.
Rylai's is essential on Vlad, not only for the AP and HP(which in turn gives you HP, and AP, respectably), but keeps enemies slowed when you Transfusion and go in for the kill.
After that is really up to you. Go crazy and get another Warmogs! I try for Rabaddon's next just for the AP boost, Zhonya's Hourglass if I get focused more than I like, or a Force of Nature if its a heavy AP team. Abyssal is also nice if you have other AP casters on your team, to help reduce enemy Magic Resist.
Items I try to avoid that I see other Vladimirs get:
Starting with amp tome and potion. I'm not fond of snowball items in general, and dont feel the Amplifying Tome helps your early game as much as a Regrowth Pendant.
Lich Bane. Nice item, but I feel other late game items are more useful to Vlad. If you're looking for MR + movespeed, get a Force of Nature. Coupled with your Warmogs gives you some really nice regen.
You can clear entire creep waves with 2 clicks. I'm usually the best farmer on my team, and by a lot. Always last hit minions in the beginning, and Transfusion when there is one you might miss because your auto attack is hitting another.
I often see Vladimirs get Tides of Blood early to help with farming. I feel this drains you too quickly of health(because of its health cost), and I would much rather have Sanguine Pool with a lower CD than do minimal damage with Tides.
Always max Transfusion first. At level 9, whoever you are laning against is going to hate you. Every few seconds you can nuke them for a pretty decent amount of damage, and you want to harass them as much as possible.
I usually rush into a battle with Hemoplague(try to hit not only champions, but creeps too), Transfusion, Sanguine Pool for slow, and Transfusion again. Try to refrain from opening with Sanguine Pool, because it takes away your getaway if they start targetting you, and it costs 20% of your health! If they are still alive and start running, keep Transfusion and Tides of Blood on them to slow until your Sanguine Pool comes up again.
(Also in FARMING chapter) I often see Vladimirs get Tides of Blood early to help with farming. I feel this drains you too quickly of health(because of its health cost), and I would much rather have Sanguine Pool with a lower CD than do minimal damage with Tides.
Not everyone can do well with Vladimir, but I hope this guide helps. The only champion I fear on the Field of Justice is another Vladimir. Always remember, time your Sanguine Pool correctly! I find that to be the difference between a Vladimir and a Badimir.