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Vladimir Build Guide by Kaeyris

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Kaeyris

Vladimir (Top) - HIGH BURST BloodSucker

Kaeyris Last updated on October 7, 2014
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Top Lane
Ranked #18 in
Top Lane
Win 51%
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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.



Offense: 21

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

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Hello everyone, Kaeyris here, and welcome here on my Vladimir's Guide.
I'm not a High-Elo player at all, I only play this champion a lot for a long time, and I'm still trying my best to understand why that little Bloodsucker hasn't his place in more competitive games.
Of course, he lacks a lot of mechanis to be viable in a Season 4 teamfight, such as strong CrowdControl, or good Mobility. Please, take a look to other Vladimir Guides, there's no waste to do it, it will only grant you a better vision of that champion's potential (which I find REALLY strong in mid/late laning phase (from 8 minutes until the end of that phase)).

I MUST WARN YOU: this guide shows how I play Vladimir, not how he should be built in competitive games.

Let's make a mini-thread about how I got to that playstyle:

I want to make profit of EVERY Vladimir's gameplay mechanics such as Crimson Pact and the damage output of his spells: Transfusion, Sanguine Pool, Tides of Blood, and Hemoplague:

  • Crimson Pact: as one of the greatest early game buff passive (it grants about 40 Bonus HP thanks to Runes and around 2 AP with a Doran's Shield + Bonuses from Masteries at the beginning of the game), I think it HAS to be OVERUSED if you want to dominate your lane, by buying some HP/AP items such as Liandry's Torment, Rylai's Crystal Scepter, etc.
  • Because dealing magic damage ALWAYS depend on your Opponent's Magic Resistance, and because every top laners WILL buy Magic Resistance to counter your build to outdamage you, I find stupid to buy items such as Will of the Ancients, which only makes profit to your survavibility, and not your DOMINATION of the lane...
    Please, play like me: BUY MAGIC PENETRATION ( Sorcerer's Shoes and Liandry's Torment AND MR Reduction (Thank you Sir Void Staff).
    If you want to be a BEAST, don't be a "Fearful-Lifestealer", become a BLOOD LORD with my Guide!
  • Rylai's Crystal Scepter + Liandry's Torment COMBO: One of the greatest combo I found that have such an incredible Synergy with Vladimir. Just by pressing your Q-button, Transfusion will also apply a Slow AND a burst of 12% of the opponent's max HP.
    Have you ever dreamed of a better toolkit for a champion that NEEDS gap-closing to be really efficient?? I havn't, personnaly :D

Indeed, Vladimir has a lot of Pros, and Cons, let's talk a bit about that in the next Chapter ;)

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Pros / Cons


- Very good Sustain with Transfusion
- Tankier than most of Top Laner Mages with Crimson Pact as long as you have AP items
- Has an incredible teamfight potential when played smart
- Has great AoE damage with Sanguine Pool, Tides of Blood and Hemoplague
- Post-level 5, has the best Top-laner depush itemless
- Sanguine Pool also give a quick MoveSpeed buff and grants an Untargetable state, which can be used as a good escape/countergank tool.


- His late burst is not that high, the main thing to keep at mind is that you have to get your enemies low HP before bursting them to death (I'll show it with some maths)
- Can only rely on his slows in a chase, making him weak in this kind of situations
- His Sanguine Pool has a high CoolDown so it could get complicated to escape some ganks if your W is on CoolDown -> Do not waste it!!
- His Early game is sooooo weak :(
- Currently not a champion that accurate in the metagame, but he can fit in every team composition!

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First Ability sequence:

Here, it's all about survavibility. Choose it if you're under pressure and can't manage the early poke/trades/laning phase.
Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Second Ability sequence:

The exact same thing as the first sequence, except there's a switch at levels 2/3 between Sanguine Pool and Tides of Blood
Choose it if you wreck your opponent, or want to get extra early damage/Healing and a decrease in Transfusion's CoolDown, resulting into a 1.5s CoolDown Reduction
Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

One obvious thing is that depending on your Matchup, you will have to build up both your items and your abilities depending on many factors:

- the enemy picks ( for example, if there's a Shaco Jungle ahead, prefer to choose survavibility by getting your Sanguine Pool level 3.), and how you feel to that matchup. As an example, if you lane against an aggressive Riven, the main idea is to get Sanguine Pool when you reach level 3 to survive Crowd Control and damage, by slightly increasing your Movement Speed and by the Untargetable state given by that spell.

- your laning enemy's behaviour: does he play safe? Does he become aggressive everytime I try to get a creep? Does he let me farm, totally passive?
To all these questions, you have to adapt your early playstyle. Vladimir is a weak early champion, so please, do not even think you'd be able to kill somebody level 1 :(
That's really sad, but your Transfusion has such a high cooldown until rank 3 (10s/8.5s/7s) that the only interesting thing is to harrass and A-click to last hit minions.

- How much that $*#@& enemy Jungler babysits your lane and disables you to farm...

- Other things you'll soon discover as playing Vladimir

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Items to rush

Item Sequence

Sorcerer's Shoes - Homeguard

Liandry's Torment

Rylai's Crystal Scepter

Void Staff

Zhonya's Hourglass

Rabadon's Deathcap

  • Because my Vladimir's Guide is about building a Glasscannon Laning/Tank-Mage Beast, the main goal in that itemization is to dominate your lane, and put as much pressure as possible on your opponent. It still has a lot of importance in teamfights as long as you can deal a lot of AoE damage because of the stuff you builded ( Liandry's Torment + Rylai's Crystal Scepter is OverPowered! Why? Because 's passive deals 6% or your opponent's CURRENT HP, but as long as you have Rylai's crystal's Slow, 's passive deals 6%*2= 12% of your opponent's CURRENT HP )

    The main reason why I've chosen that Item is because it has a strong synergy with Rylai's Crystal Scepter and gives Bonus-HP and Ability Power, making your Crimson Pact even stronger. It also gives +15 Magic Penetration, forcing your opponent to buy Magic Resistance, or to get SO MUCH DAMAGE HE'LL BE WRECKED AFTER SOME TRADES.

    After your Sorcerer's Shoes, Haunting Guise, rush your Rylai's Crystal Scepter to get a little CC on your Transfusion and Tides of Blood. It'll help you to get closer to your enemies to secure your Tides of Blood or Transfusion, depending on which spell you casted first. As well as Liandry's Torment, this items gives AP, and HP. It's always PERFECT to get extra-HP/AP with Crimson Pact :DD

    As always, squishy champions will hate you. My theory about a game domination is simple: just force your enemies to get Magic Resistance and Armor. Because Damage always overcome Resistance (except for some champions, for example Jax and some others who can get extra-RM/Armor). So if you can nullify these Resistances with Magic Penetration and RM Reduction, you can get to True Damage PLUS your Spells AP Ratios...
    Void Staff becomes then such a strong item you HAVE to get ASAP.

    Well, I usually try to get Zhonya's Hourglass just for its passive, it's always a good thing to have one more Untargetable/Invincibility state (you already have one with Sanguine Pool)!! Still very efficient in teamfights, and always a good item to reduce ADC/Bruisers damage such as Riven, Nocturne, Jayce, etc.

    Still a situational item, but a great one. Crimson Pact will be give you a huge amount of Bonus Health, which is always enjoyable! By the way, the .6 ratio on Transfusion will be even stronger. Consider Rabadon's Deathcap the best 6th item to get if you desire to be really dominating of damage, but less in survavibility.

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Spells: Let's make a little of Maths

Indeed, League of Legends, as a Video Game, is all about digits.
The way to master a champion is also to know at an exact time how much damage you can deal, how much pressure you can make on an opponent or a team, without being overcomed by them become you overestimated yourself.

As a blind monk has once said "Master yourself, master the enemy."
Befonre mastering the enemy, there's still a lot of things you have to learn about Vladimir.
The way I'm going to introduce it to you is by showing some Excel Sheets.

I will just talk a little about them, you really have to learn them if you want to make it "HARDMODE THEORYCRAFTING" about our little BloodStealer friend.
Take it seriously, I put some efforts to make it realistic and deep enough.


Spoiler: Click to view

Let's talk a bit about Transfusion's and Tides of Blood's damage:

Spoiler: Click to view

Let me tell you a little story about a Vlad and a Jax:

Spoiler: Click to view

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Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

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Farming // Early game till End Game


You'll only unleash Vladimir's true potential in late game, but around level 5 to 8, it will get easier and easier to have your true place on the lane.
Until level 5, you'll stay weak, but you must not forget you are a ranged champion!!
Harrassing and Last-hitting with your Auto-Attacks is crucial. If you forget to do that, your lane will be soon pushed, and soon lost.
I can't learn you these game mechanics, you have to improve yourself on these points if you want to give your Vladimir a better chance to be strong in late game.
Depending on how well you managed to do that, your late game will be terrible to wonderful. Take a good advantage and no one will be able to stop you... except a 3v1 :)

You must adapt a little bit your playstyle to your opponent's:

  • If he is passive: easy win, just farm at early game, try to harrass him with Transfusion (if your confident enough to last hit with Auto-attacks. If you're not, secure 40g creeps with Transfusion, and harrass and farm with Auto-attacks). As the game will go by, try to get more and more aggressive, and do not hesitate to take risky trades and regen on the next creep wave. Keep at mind that as long as he has no Spell Vamp/Lifesteal, he won't regen that much -even Garen if you poke him everytime within 8s.
  • If he's aggressive: You will loose early trades. Don't waste your Transfusion because it has a high CoolDown (10s rank 1), be smart enough to not take lethal risks, Recall if needed, and don't hesitate to sacrifice a turret.
    If you're blue-side, pink-ward the bush before the Third Turret, if you're purple-side, Pink-ward the tribush (care, you have more risks to get it destroyed soon than blue-side).
  • If the enemy jungler babysits your lane: There's no way you can do a thing. Learn to farm under the turret, do not feed your enemy or you'll be useless the whole game. Farm, farm, countergank around level 5.6, there's no true piece of advice that might help you except beig careful about warding (buy Pink and Green Wards, it's priceless, even if a little expensive at the beginning)


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Questions & Answers about Vladimir


Btw, I also made a Reddit Discussion about him here!! (click it)
Feel free to participate, it's really important to be productive around that Community :)