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Vladimir Build Guide by FallenLegion
Vladimir - The Professional Mid and Top CarryBy FallenLegion | Updated on November 12, 2017
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The Introduction to the Hemodancer
Why Is Vladimir, Crimson Reaper Awesome?
- Has built in sustain and welcomes spell vamp with open arms
- Can endure for a long duration due to his skill set
- Great with other AoE champions greatly stacking together because of his ult
- Has great escape due to his pool
- Has short cooldowns with decent skill ratios(Meaning longer fights are a benefactor)
Changes to consider in Season 6
- Reaching max cooldown is less of a priority than it was in previous seasons due to the effectiveness is of Vlad is more centered around being more tank effective and prolonged fights
- Lucidity Boots are less optimal due to the point prior, hence Sorcerer shoes becoming the new standard, while also opening options to Merc shoes, without hindering too much damage potential later in the game.
- Tides of Blood can be blocked, requiring different positioning for farming and eqeuting giving more play arounds for enemy champtions, and protecting backline carries by standing infront of them.
- Spell vamp is no longer in the game, although 6 percent from Quints is possible and another 2% from masteries, yet the Flat Ability power and Movement Speed Quints take priority with their usefulness.
- Spirit Visage is a much better buy earlier on then Abyssal Scepter, although that doesn't stop you from an Abyssal Scepter against a very high magic team.
Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.
1. Why R-EQ in your skill combos when EQ-R-AA/W-EQ is more effective than R-EQ due to the post-cast delay on R?
2. What do you think of corrupting potion start as a way to bully the enemy laner and counter all-ins?
3. Sorcerers or Ionian boots
4. Do you still consider Zhonya's a core after its massive price hike, considering that Rylai's can be used as an alternative tank item, or is that not tanky enough?
5. Is there a reason why you still prefer teleport over ignite despite the teleport nerf? Do you feel Vlad's gank/split-pushing potential is strong enough, don't feel that Vlad is capable of laning well enough to utilize ignite, or etc.
6. Spirit Visage vs Abyssal Scepter
1. Cause you can cast E+Q combo twice in the span of you're ult's bonus damage duration.
1(b) Most important rule for Vladimir's skills is the moment when you press w, don't worry about getting the damage from W on them, but have a mentality to find a way to survive the 2 seconds after you come out of the pool. Basically on of three ways:
A - Trying entering a bush so that they focus of you is gone.
B- If in lane, positioning behind minions to avoid and blockable skillshots.
C- The enemy can AA and/or CC you faster then you can cast E or Q when coming out of pool, so flash or zhonays before you apear above ground if you're planning on doing so.
2. I would probably get this over amplyfying tome at level 1. For mid lane is a viable replacement if you don't want to start with boots. Sometimes having full health won't save you, when you have no resistance so in top lane I would still recommend cloth armor and doran's shield if you want to survive.
3. In laning phase, and while you're not that tanky to have bigger fights, Sorc shoes seem in many ways better early. Although Ionian are better are just better, espicially since there is not many ways to get to the 40% cap without getting them, and secondly. So basically what I'm saying is late game you can sell the Sorc shoes for Ionian.
Meeting the 40% cap is great with the Deathfire Torth(Season 6 mastery) and/or if you have rylais.
4. Zhonya's is always going to be a core on Vlad by the end of the game(Unless the enemy team literally have 4 mages, and negligible ad carry). The thing practically all the mage items became costlier, so in relation its rank of importance among other items has stayed about the same.
4(b). Rylais gives you health, which is great early game, but resistances are more important, when you will lose 20% of your health upon pressing W.
5. So seems the meta, is that top laners can take what they like for most games, and since Vlad doesn't have the grreatest gank potetial as it is with teleport, you might as well take ingite or ghost, although I would most of the time opt to take ghost. But then again, the free homeguards makes ganks with teleport after 20 minutes seem like a guaranteed kill for your team if used right.
6. Hardest question for me to give an answer to. Things to think about are:
A - Spirit Visage seems more of a luxury(450 gold difference) than a necessity. Longer teamfights.
B - Do you have little AP, which means little bonus health, but a lot of investment into armor without rylais. You would probably want some health to make that armor investment worth it, and can't decide between these options, then get Spirit Visage
C - You're team has a dedicated tank and you're not in a lot of danger, but the enemy team is mainly Magic oriented, I would recommend Abyssal.
- Great sustain
- Secondary tank in a regular team composition
- Amazing teamfight potential(meaning that having teleport off cooldown while split pushing top is highly recommended)
- 3 out of 4 Abilities are AoE
- Has a superior amount of health in comparison to other mages, even without any health items
- Range- Ranged auto-attacks and abilities which helps in laning, especially against melee champs
- Has an escape/invulnerability skill in his toolkit
- Doesn't have the best burst damage
- Has little built-in cc
- Depends on w being off cooldown to escape at tight situations
- Has a weak early game
- Not the best 1v1 champion(especially melee champions that out-rade you in the open)
- Starting the fight with proper positioning is key.
- Using summoners like flash or ghost may seem like a waste just to start a teamfight, but if it provides you and your team with the proper initiate that your team can jump on and maybe make the turning point of the game, risk and reward.
- As mentioned earlier, a key moment is using Tides of Blood and then Transfusion, getting that extra percentage healing from e as well the cooldown on e being longer by half a second, coming off cooldown at the same time as Transfusion again.
Skill combo #1: All in Vladimir initiate
- This is a very aggressive initiate, involving using Ghost or Flash into their team putting you isolated a distance in front of your team. As the enemy team's response will be immediate to focus you, mashing their skill sets.
- Using your ultimate, in most cases you won't even have the chance to q or e without being cc'd or massively hurt, and you will have to use your pool wasting their skills on you as well as giving your team the perfect timing, slowing them with your sanguine pool from underneath. Meanwhile your team gets the perfect chance to apply damage combined with your ult on most of their team, creating the perfect initiate.
- Coming out of pool, use e and q on whoever you feel is the target that provides great danger to your team
- Use zhonas if you feel you are taking too much damage with pool being on cooldown
- After zhonays, your pool should be up shortly, and hopefully will you will still be alive after using q and e some more, having that pool to utilize as you wish
Skill combo #2: Poke method, into teamfight
Have you been in that position where the two teams just sit a distance away from each other, waiting for that perfect timing to go in? Well this is the scenario I'm talking :
- Poking at max range on your Q is essential to have your E at max stacks without loosing too much health, being to enter that fight with as much damage as possible
- The fight might begin with one of the tanks just rushing past everyone from either of the two teams or by simply by someone getting caught too close with some sort of cc. This may not be the key movement when to use ult
- Get the better positioning before using ultimate, and even if it means to wait 2-3 seconds while you wait on cooldowns, wait until the majority of their team is clumped up enough to get that perfect ultimate complementary with the rest of your team's abilities
- From this point onward just rely on your decisions skills using q and e, while preventing huge damage with the use of pool, and/or zhonyas if it has been purchased.
Skill combo #3: Fighting a 1 v 1
- Not going to talk too much about it, it will be self -explanatory:
- Use Hemoplague, as this amplifies all your damage afterwards
- Use e then q, as well as ignite if you have it
- If you can block majority of the damage or cc with pool then go ahead, and resort your q and e until afterwards.
- Your pool, having a multi-purpose usefulness, besides blocking damage, but to slow and apply damage to target if they are trying to get away keeping them close to you
- Chase and keep damaging them with the low cooldowns on Q and E
- Use Flash or ghost for that last E->Q combo if he/she is almost dead, if it seems reasonable for current the situation.
Skill combo #4: Fighting a 1 v 2
Those times early game when your winning the lane and you think you can 1v2 a weak composition, most common seen when the opposing jungler comes to gank or see an opportunity and decide to take it. The best of scenario of this situation is when you have either a lead whether it be in health, damage, better skill set and/or you are just a lot more fed.
- Make sure you are near full health, being sturdy enough to take at least a decent amount of their best burst
- Make sure to get that ult properly onto both of them
- Use e, and q on the champ with the lowest health
- If you have ignite, use it on the either the target that's lowest or if you know they are low enough to die from your ult, ignite the other guy
- Using W as soon as you use your main skills, can prevent the oncoming damage if you see it travelling or you are expecting it, in cases such as Annie Tibbers ability would be expected to land on you as soon as she has clear intention of your engage, in combination with stun passive.
Flash/Ignite: Provides with great short term movability, great for escaping over walls and just about every skill shot, meanwhile still having the extra true damage from ignite.
Flash/Ghost: Gives you the best chance of escape, but also lacks the damage without ignite. Being one of the most escapable champions in the game with these two summoners combined with you pool.
Ghost/Ignite: Provides with great long term movability, able to be a more offensive side of Vlad, ghost giving the ability to dive with w as well as come in and out in teamfights with ease, while still taking extra true damage with ignite equipped.
Recommended use of heal: After pool so you don't waste some of the health you got due to w working off of current max hp.
More Useful than others:
|Flash: Helps you have better positioning. Better escape. Helps you get that perfect ultimate on all 5 before they separate.|
|Ghost: Very useful for diving towers. Using W with ghost can give you a bigger distance advantage. Finish off or catch up to those stranglers.|
|Ignite: Procs with ultimate and Deathfire's grasp, doing more true damage. Helping you secure kills much easier. Overall adding more damage to your arsenal.|
|Teleport: Helps with map control can be used to gank with ultimate bottom lane for a nice pickup.|
|Heal: Can be used after (pool) which takes percentage health, giving you that extra health after pool to help you escape on the break of edge, keeping you in the fight or lane longer. The movement speed boost can be used effectively.|
|Barrier: Sure its great especially since you take a lot of damage in teamfights being focused quite hard on par with the tank, its's just there are others that are better.|
|Cleanse: Helps in some cases, really situational and has to be timed well. Very useful to clear any effects like slows before using pool, as slow effects still lasts throughout pool ability.|
|Exhaust: Helps against bursty targets if timed well. Helps to catching fighting a strong dps.|
Idk, just save it for dominion:
- A big part of rune difference in Vlad players are the seals, armor seals are a good pick, if you want to risk it, get the health per level investing into late game
- Playing Vladimir in mid is a lot more harder due to the champions that will be laning against you, because they often specialize in burst damage or/and consistent damage that is harder to lane against(Getting w at level 2 is often recommended) ex: Xerath, Zed, Lissadra
- One thing a lot of players tend to forget is to use the active on their items, I can't stress enough how many times I've seen people with hourglass die because they didn't press the button(This goes the same for Quicksilver Sash and using health pots early in the fight to gain a health advantage)
Thank you gyaoo and Kase009 for these extra notes.
Vs single target - Provides with great early tankiness having an easier time, with health also giving you 2.5 extra AP, which isist much but still something. The main reason behind getting this is the great reduction from auto attackers as well as the armor going perfectly with this, being an excellent choice against a lot of tops that come into range to auto-attack you, not as useful against ad casters where you should refer to cloth armor instead.
Vs. AD SpellCasters or other None single target champions - Unlike doran's shield, this gives more armor and greater sustain due to number of health pots. Its more useful then doran's shield against ad casters since the doran's passive doesn't protect from casting ad spells and this gives you an alternative for that event.
Early damage - With 28 health and a more damage and sustain from Transfusion making it one of the most popular picks as first item.
Early Mobility - Great in mid lane or any lane where dodging would be the main factor to winning lane, with lane opponents like Xerath and Ahri this is quite a keen choice offering more than enough health pots, especially if you don't want to take teleport.
- Sorcerer's Shoes - With Vlad's ratios at 60% of AP on Q, and 45% on E, Sorcerers shoes do work in lane, being one of the best choice, reducing their magic resist giving that damage from your abilities shine through.
- Mercury's Treads - A nice choice for mid lane. Especially if you are having a very heavy time against someone like swain or a burst mage that you can't quite pool away from. The main reason is be able survive fights and being focused in teamfights having protection against a heavy cc team.
- Ninja Tabi - With hard hitting auto attack champions besides the ADC, like Xin Zhao, Master Yi, Jax, these boots offer great protection against champs like ADC and other ad carries that will wield you down, offering a slight edge of survivability. This is not a standard pick for boots but could be utilized by Vladimir.
- Ionian Boots of Lucidity - Being a decent choice in top where you are stranded on that island and you can spam that q against the more tankier champions. Provides w faster when you are relieing on it to be off cooldown as well as q and e which are already on a low enough cooldown.
- Boots of Swiftness - Effectively giving you the same movement speed as 3 Quints of movement speed. Giving you the greater mobility throughout the game dishing out damage while having mobility advantage for better positioning. Having a passive of slow effects being less effective, with slows being the best counter when going into pool, this helps out against that problem.
Knowing effective ward placement is key to moving up the ranking ladder and overall being a good teammate, with this said here's an image that someone clever has made for effective and usual ward placement:
- The yellow ward is you standard go to when lanning, later in the game when talk of baron might be aproaching, consider switching into farsight blue ward, or sweeping lens if the team doesn't have enough.
- The Farsight blue orbs are greatly useful for checking enemy presence in brushes, being a great buy on rnaged champions like Nidalee and Xerath due to their long range spells that are able to be cast outside of their regular vision range.
Wave Clearing combos:
Using E twice around level 13 should kill the back minions as well as leave the front bashing minions at a reasonable low hp if not dead depending on how well you are doing.
Farming with one E and and using pool is the fastest method of clearing. Start Tides of blood before entering into Sanguine pool.
1-6(Just survive): Taking W at level 3 after one point into E to get that upper hand of safety as early as possible. Try and poke as much as you can with Q. Avoid trading damage as your opponent will for the most part be able to punish you with more damage then you can apply this early.
6-9(Aggressive Expansion): Try and not use E too much if you're having problems with getting your health back to full. Your damage is decent enough but not at its full potential. With ult and ignite you may be strive to be more aggressive, and asking for help from the jungler to gank, can make for a good secure kill.
9-13(Action): The game can go anyway from here onward, with the amount of choices you have to act upon, being limited to your lane. If you're top, might as well farm another 100 minions, or do what you think is necessary at the situation. Mid has a bigger advantage to help with dragon and can successfully gank under towers with W, getting the turret aggro off of you when you can't take heavy subsequent damage.
13-18(War upon the field of justice): From here onward, it will just be the choice of the two teams how they want to play it out, having protective wars over dragons or rushing to the nexus. At this stage you will be depended on how both teams did prior and will have act accordingly.
- Lots of time and experience with the champion Vlad
- I was Platinium Season 4, Diamond Season 5.
- Have competed in multiple clans, 5v5 teams, as well occasional scrims
- Please leave comments, I will try to answer and modify any changes to this guide accordingly, especially with more on Season 5 changes.