Build Guide by OfficerReeses
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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.
Vladimir - The Clot Thickens
Vladimir is arguably one of the best casters in the game right now. He has no mana pool so his skills are casted using his health. His cooldowns range from extremely to relatively short which makes him great for those who hate waiting to deal damage on a caster. Throughout this guide I will give you my thought process on why I put in what I did. I will attempt to give a quick rundown on how to play Vladimir in early game, middle game, and late game.
Who and What is this Guide for?
Who should use this guide?
This guide is for people like myself who generally search for a guide when looking for answers to questions such as "What do I buy?", "What skill do I level up first?", "What summoner spells are best?", etc. I don't consider myself an expert on the topic of League of Legends at all but I feel as though I know enough about the basics to share information such as this with others.
Why make a guide for Vladimir?
Vladimir is not a particularly difficult champion to play and is frequently talked about as overpowered. With this said, that doesn't mean Vladimir is impossible to fail on. I wrote this guide to hopefully help out some of the people who Vladimir does not come naturally to.
For my Vladimir build, I use the following runes:
Greater Mark of Insight x9 - These marks provide 8.55 Magic Penetration. You could go ahead and switch these over to ability power runes; however, you would already get a large amount of AP from your items so having a little more magic penetration is a great idea.
Greater Seal of Vitality x9 - These seals provide you with 175 health all together once you reach level 18. Since Vladimir's passive converts his health into ability power you will gain survivability and even a little AP.
Greater Glyph of Focus x9 - With these glyphs you gain 5.85% cooldown reduction. They are very expensive but well worth saving up IP over time. They are pretty much a staple in any casters's build.
Greater Quintessence of Fortitude x9 - These are probably the most useful Quintessences out there. The reason in getting these is pretty much the same as the reason for getting the Greater Seals of Vitality. Because hey, who likes having four bars of health at level one?
Masteries and Summoner Spells
This is one portion of the guide I wasn't so sure about. Contrary to the mastery page above, I use a 10/0/20 build putting one extra point into "Burning Embers" and removing the point from "Presence of the Master". Since I generally don't use my summoner spells RIGHT when they come back off cooldown I don't think much of that mastery and would rather have 10 extra AP when Ignite is on cooldown.
I left it as it is because I think most people would rather have a standard 9/0/21 build.
Since Vladimir requires no mana, remember not to put any points into "Expanded Mind" or "Meditation".
For my Summoner spells I use:
This spell combined with the temporary speed boost provided by Sanguine Pool makes chasing down enemies as easy as pie.
As mentioned, with the "Burning Embers", mastery ignite is a must on Vladimir. It can also be used to deal the killing blow to an enemy champion while your spells are low on cooldown early.
Other Good Options:
Always good against an enemy team with lots of CC.
Great to get out of a bind and a little more reliable[?] than Ghost.
Always helpful on a team to stop the enemy team from pushing too hard on your turrets. Also great for farming up.
Amplifying Tome + Health Potion
These are your starting items as Vladimir. I like to buy this because it grants a bit of health/AP and it will build into something later on. Some might buy Doran's Shield for a bit more life early on.
Always useful for a caster. Self explanatory. Only diverge from this if your opponents have heavy CC spells.
Will of the Ancients
Will of the Ancients is a somewhat underused item however it is an item that benefits the entire team. It allows Vladimir to spell vamp off of his 'e' and increases the amount of life granted when using his 'q'.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
Rylai's offers two things Vladimir MUST have to be effective in one item - health and ability power - as well as offering a mild slow that is very effective when combined with his Sanguine Pool.
Rabadon's Deathcap is a staple in the average caster's build and Vladimir is no exception. It is a must have.
NOTE: By this time the game will likely be decided as to which team is winning. Any items past this are just overkill :).
The Abyssal Scepter is great to add more survivability to this build and it goes will with the next item.
This is the item that will likely help you keep your lead in late team fights. If the game has last long enough and you are farmed enough to buy this, definitely do it. It's active combined with the armor it provides is great to help Vladimir live in team fights.
Crimson Pact (Passive)
Every 25 points of bonus health gives Vladimir 1 ability power and every 1 point of ability power gives Vladimir 1.8 bonus health (does not stack with itself).
Vladimir drains the lifeforce of his target, dealing magic damage and healing himself for 25% (+0.25 per ability power) of that amount.
Vladimir sinks into a pool of blood for 2 seconds, becoming untargetable and slowing enemies above him by 50% for 1.5 seconds, and deals magic damage over the duration plus heals himself for 12.5% of that amount. Sanguine Pool also gives Vladimir a slight speed boost for 0.5 seconds.
Tides of Blood
Vladimir unleashes a torrent of blood dealing magic damage to nearby enemies.
Each cast gives him an Empowered stack (max 4), increasing his healing and regeneration by 8% per stack for 10 seconds. Additionally, his next tides of Blood deals 25% more damage and costs 50% more health per stack.
Vladimir infects the target area with a virulent plague which increases the damage nearby enemies take from all sources by 14% for 5 seconds. After these 5 seconds, infected enemies take magic damage.
Transfusion is his main skill for early on in the game and even better late game. The damage it deals and the health it recovers for you is great for all phases of the game. Early on, however, it's cooldown is rather long. In the lane phase be sure to play patiently until this is about rank 4. Then you can start playing more aggressively.
Sanguine Pool is one of those skills you should put one point into early on, then max it later. This skill can get you out of a bind and even dodge things such as projectiles and global ultimates. Watch out though... A few spells cannot be dodged by this such as ignites and poisons you got put on you prior to activating, Morgana's bind, Fiddlestick's drain, and Amumu ultimate to name a few.
Tides of blood becomes really strong later on. It has a rather weak start as you cannot spam it as much as Transfusion because it costs a large amount of health. This skill combined with Will of the Ancients will help keep you alive in team fights by leaching enemy life more effectively.
Hemoplague, being his ultimate is obviously his strongest spell. When placed correctly in a team fight, the results can be devastating. The most difficult part about placing this skill is making sure the enemy is within enough health to die from it and watching for spell shields. As with any AoE spell it is smart to place it in an area where it will deal the most damage.
How to Play Throughout the Game
Early Game (2 minutes - 15 minutes)
As Vladimir, you are going to want a solo lane. Since it is so easy to regenerate life in a lane he is definitely more capable than others ate soloing top lane if your team has a jungler. If you are 1v2 you will want to hang back early. REMEMBER: You don't become very powerful until around level 7 so just make sure to last hit minions with your Q and autoattack by the tower and remember to be patient for the gank from your jungler. If you are middle you will probably want to follow this same strategy. Poke the enemy champion until either they have to go back or until you think you can get the killing blow. Shop when you can and try to get to at least Will of the Ancients/Sorcerer's boots by the 15 minute marker.
Middle Game (15 minutes - 35 minutes)
Middle game is a lot different from early game. This is when your abilities cooldowns are much shorter. At around the 15 minute mark is gank city. Try to push your enemy out of his lane to heal so that you can go gank a side lane. When the game gets past 25+ minutes you will begin to start team fighting at verious locations across the map. As vladimir, your job is to focus on anyone you can do the most damage to and whoever is dealing the most damage to your team (as any carry should). Be sure to cast your "Tides of Blood" as soon as possible so that it gains stacks and deals more damage towards the end of the fight. Wait to use your ultimate until you know you can do the most damage to the most champions. Push lanes when the enemy team is dead and try to steal dragon/enemy buffs.
End Game (35 minutes - Victory! - or Defeat! ):(
This is where Vladimir is strongest. By now you should at least have completed building all your items up to Rylai's and maybe even Rabadon's. Hopefully by now you have a small lead and are in a position to win the game. Continue to do what you were doing in mid game team fights and try to grab Baron buff whenever your team can. If your team is not winning, continue to defend. If the enemy team is caught doing something stupid, capitalize on it and ace them for the counter push.
This is my first guide that I have put up on the topic of League of Legends. I hope that it can answer some questions that people might have about Vladimir. I am also open to constructive criticism. If you don't like my item build/rune page/skill order, etc. feel free to leave a comment below. Also if you have an opinion on the 10/0/20 mastery build as opposed to 9/0/21 feel free to share them.
Vladimir is a powerful champion and is always a great pick for any team. Be sure to take a solo lane for maximum pwnage, build lots of AP/Health and try to make yourself a part of any and all team fights in order to win games.
I hope you liked it, and if you did please vote this guide up.