Build Guide by 2Big2Fail
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Not Updated For Current Season
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VLADIMIR - THE DAYWALKER
Welcome to my extensive guide for Vladimir. This build is both for new inexperienced Vladimir players, and especially veteran ones. I will structure the guide so you can see what hints might be useful to you, depending on your skillset. Also, I know alot of beginners are afraid of going for stack items, but dont worry, you should not die with Vladimir, after all he is a vampire and he is allready dead!
1.1 Updated the Runes to make it more easily readable. Fixed some headers.
1.2 Added pictures because vladimir is a vampire!..eh, because it looks better.
1.3 Rewrote the intro/general section
1.4 User Baby_Man correctly pointed out that Haunting Guise is a weak Item in the late game, so I wrote solution in Items.
Vladimir is announced as Caster/Tank. However, if you dont pay close attention to battle, i dont think he is thaaaat tanky. You have to beware of what skills the enemy used and what their cooldowns likely are for the moment. His caster aspect is really nice as you can dish out a good ammount of 1on1 damage, but in teamfights is where you really shine and can nuke an entire team like you had Uranium in your blood. He is one of the most unique heroes ingame I would say. LoL is a pretty simple game on the surface level, if you master Tank/AD/AP builds you can pretty much just switch chars without changing the equipment, thats why vladimir is so awesome because he gives you a new challenge to master. What other mage is so powerful with HP? In my oppinion heroes like this make the game more interesting!
I put the more advanced build on here, but you can exchange your exhaust into heal if you are not comfortable with no plan B. Heal actually is a really nice spell in more advanced strategies that rely more on Tides of Blood, because you will need all the health you can get! Ignitestacks very nicely with your ulti, so it is a given, and you are not really such a heavyweight DPS that you can live without the bonus damage. You are a hybrid DPS/Tank, but try to think of hybrid in this case as super awesome, not Toyota Prius-Hybrid.
Runes and Passive
Crimson Pact: Vladimirs passive grants you life per AP, and AP per life, which in my mind makes it worth spamming as much of those 2 things into your Runebook and item slots as you can! Because AP runes are really baaaaad, and Vladimir is really gooood, we choose HP runes.
Marks: For marks we go with Magic Penetration, because they give you so much on this particular slot. I see no other viable choice here really, you could get extra health, but it is not even half as good as penetration.
Seals: I go with Health here, and I think its the best choice you can make. It really comes down to either 45 extra Health at start with the flat HP runes, which is about 1.5 AP in bonus from your passive, or almost 200 HP late game. Well, the per level level runes are allready better after 5 levels, and thats where the pwnage starts with vlad!
Glyphs:You could switch the glyphs to cooldown, but they dont do that much in the late game, the magic penetration is just too good to pass up on. However, here you could also go for Health per level, as the magic penetration is not as strong as in marks!
The non-per-level Quints are just waaay better than the per level ones, you get about 30 extra life at 18 with the per-level quints, its just not enough. If you do this build, you should have a nice AP and HP stat at start, to really overpower your enemy. More magic penetration? Naaah, were doing vampire-style!
Transfusion- This is the skill we want to max out first! Its not technically a vampire spell cause you dont bite them, but whatever! You deal damage to your target and heal yourself a bit. Its not enough however, to compensate you for the life you have to expend on the other spells. Transfusion doesnt cost anything and has a low cooldown in the late game, but early game its got about 10 sec so chose targets wisely and spam it!
Sanguine Pool - One of the best skills ingame, all classes. This is what makes you a tank. Draw the aggro, then avoid everything by popping this skill, giving you some regeneration and time to cool off ur spells. Truly amazing. If your skilled and feel like its 13:37 every time of the day, dive a tower with this ability and gank the enemy.
Tides of Blood - this one is Area of Effect (AoE). You hit the targets next to you, causing more damage each successive time its being cast. It costs ALOT of life early game, thats why I dont skill it early. However, if you got an advantage early, its worth to put one point in there because it gives you extra damage.
Hemoplague - Wow, this ulti makes you a great support hero, and also a 1on1 monster. When you cast it, your enemy takes more damage from attacks for 5 seconds, and after that it deals a certain amount of damage. Boom, just like that. In a teamfight, try to get at least 2 opponents with this spell, dont be too greedy and just get the first best target! You should make sure all your spells are ready before you cast it, so you can take advantage of the extra damage you deal, this is especially important in 1on1 fights.
Stacking is the optimum item way in LoL. It is hard but very manageable if you play smart. WHATEVER YOU DO, DONT GO FOR WARMOGS. It is not a good item at that price. You will not be able to get the most out of the bonus HP and Regen, because it takes 120+ creeps to get there. If you go Warmogs as first item, then mayyybeeee at 30 minutes you can reach the full effect...wow. They should give you a win for that instead. No but seriously, dont fall for it, it looks really nice but its just not plausible when Leviathan stacks are so much nicer.
We disregard HP regen in this build, because we dont spam Tides of Blood early on, so we dont need HP regen. Tides of Blood does not need your HP to refresh in the late game, you will be too juicy anyway!
We go for Haunting Guise in this build, and its an incredible item in the early game, but fairly weak later on! If you have a full gear and its not GG yet, switch it for a second Zhonya or Rylais Scepter! Dont switch Haunting Guise before you sell your boots tho!
Ok so you start out with a Ruby Crystal. This will give you incredible health for a ranged caster at start. First skill has to be Transfusion. There is no way around it.
Advanced You can get an Amplifying Tome instead too, if you feel like the extra damage will get you and advantage. Its not a big deal, it just means you go mejais soulstealer first and have a bit more dps! Get a pot as well if you go AP. Also, put one point into Tides of Blood before you reach lvl 6. Dont really use it to farm unless you can afford the health, but its nice to have when you want to gank your lane-enemy.
Mid or not? I like mid with vladimir, the only character that is really hard to counter is Tristana with Life leech items, because she can counter your harass so easily. If you play her, forget harassing untill level 5 when you build up for your ulti to really get to her!
If no one else is in mid, just try to get last hit with normal attack and harrass enemy with Transfusion. The enemies will be looking for garlic and holy water and silverbullets and... you get the drift :D
If your in the lane, try to farm as much creeps as you can, while supporting your buddy if he gets attacked by simply popping Sanguine pool to slow attackers.
Advanced You can go for firstblood, oftentimes, the best idea is for you to go first into the fray because you have insane HP, pop your Transfusion and ignite, then back if you have to, otherwise keep auto-hitting. Your spell will be on cooldown very long, but with exhaust it will be ready again to pop it a 2nd time. But hey, if you have to do that, tell your ally to go play tetris!
You should head back depending on the situation. If you feel like you are going to get a kill, you can go back just to get one of the stacking items if you are in the mid. If you get low, go get the boots and a potion to help you be more assertive in the lane. The optimum case is of course that you dont have too and kick their turret before you back the first time but it rarely happens.
Ok, so you got a couple of items now, hopefully your turret is gone or you got enough lane controll to go around and get fancy.
Single ganking with vladimir is OK, but not very easy, especially without your ulti. It is not a straight forward combo of just 2-3 spells and auto hit. It may take some time and enemy help can arrive. Try to team up or get a low-HP target.
If you are mid Kicking the turret is hard cause vampires just dont fight with their hands and turrets dont have blood, but you will be FED from all the creeps. Help out your allies to get a gank in one of the lanes. It is not really worth it to go get a buff if you are mid, you make too much money in mid to slay a buff-creep.
If your not mid You and your ally should kick the turret, or you can help by ganking mid. It IS worthwile to grab one of the buffs, either for you or you ally. The golem is really nice on vladimir, go get him!
Advanced You put a point in Tides of Blood, so now is where its golden goose time (..?). Theres 2 ways to gank as far as i am concerned. Either you do Ulti first, or 2nd, depending on how you feel most comfortable. I prefer to save the ulti for 3rd or 4th spell on squishy targets as they will die from other spells anyway, so I use it just if they try to escape with low HP. Otherwise, 1st Transfusion/Tides of Blood depending on if your not really full hp at start, otherwise ToB first. 2nd Summoner Spells Exhaust Ignite 3rd Ulti and finish off with Transfusion and ToB.
Ok, with full stacking and all items, I had 5.3K HP and almost 800 HP when i sold my boots for 2nd Zhonya in a couple of games. Its ridiculous. "Hi, im Rammus, I cannot be killed" says the enemy tank, but you do Transfusion 1 time on him and 1/6 of his life is now yours. Nom Nom, or whatever Vampires say when they smell a kill. If they towerhug just tell your team you do your ulti on them at the tower and tell them to join you into the rush. It should be nasty. While no one complains about Vladimir as being OP like they do with Xin, this silent damage bonus is really insane. But people only notice damage if it comes straight from the DPSer himself it seems. Consider the following with Sion as mate: Stun about 600 dmg, shield 700 dmg= 1300dmg. With your ulti, it gives Sion an extra damage output of about 150dmg on just 2 spells. Nuff said.
What if they all focus on me? Well, in 70% of the games ive played with Vlad, i get the focus of the enemy teams chars in the late game. Even tho theres a lot of HP you still get seriously wounded and might end up loosing your stacks late game, or just not able to help ur team in the fights! So what to do? The best way is be active with sanguine pool, but also, tell your team to trap the enemies if they reach for you! Also, DONT FORGET YOUR ZHONYAS! It gives you invulnerability for 2 seconds, together with sanguine pool this gives you almost 5 seconds of invulnerability, your team should have downed the attackers considerably by then!
I hope you could take away something from this guide, I would like you to leave a comment in any case and tell me what you think and how you did with this build. For me, I normally play tanks and meele fighters, so I had to try a few games before I could even survive with Vladimir, but once i got more comfortable with the style it was really awesome. The huge thing for most Vladimir players is to really STOP playing with Warmogs and other HP items, and believe in your game enough to go for stack items! You can do it, says the banana(...?)