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Vladimir, Twisted Sustain [3v3 Build]
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My goal in creating this is to assemble a concise, detailed guide on the playstyle for Vladimir in the Twisted Treeline. I leave the general strategy of the Twisted Treeline to other resources on the internet, and focus instead on the most necessary information for playing a successful Vladimir in the interest of brevity.
This is my first guide, so if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for the build, let me know in the comments.
As Vladimir, you should always go top lane, and allow your off-tank and carry to farm in relative safety in bottom lane. This is advantageous due to Vladimir's ability to self-sustain, farm quickly and effectively, and dominate his lane. Played correctly, the enemy champion should be extremely underfarmed and unable to contribute highly to late-game teamfights.
Feel free to swap the AP/level glyphs for flat AP glyphs, it should bear almost no impact on your performance whatsoever.
However, remember that you're a tank first and a damage dealer second. This is why focusing on health items is more important than the late-game AP items, Will of the Ancients and Rabadon's Deathcap. These items are subcritical to your build, as you are your team's tank and should be focused more on absorbing burst than dealing it.
Using this item build, with a good farm advantage and a bit of snowball, it is easy for you to obtain 4000+ HP at level 15 and 400+ AP by the time the build is finished.
The only item I would suggest changing out is a very situation buy, dependent on the enemy being very cc (mainly stun) heavy. If you encounter this situation, swap Haunting Guise for a Moonflair Spellblade. This will soften the effects of cc enough to keep you alive and fighting in a teamfight situation, especially if you are the target of their focus.
Tides of Blood is another farming tool and harass skill. Use it liberally and repair the health cost with a transfusion.
Sanguine Pool is a delaying and escaping mechanism. Use this skill to delay a gank and turn it into a countergank as you sap HP from your opponents while waiting for your allies to trek through the jungle to aid you. Alternatively, this skill can be used to kite an enemy and avoid damage and crowd control effects. When retreating, using Ghost and Sanguine Pool will make you impossible to catch.
Hemoplague is the best skirmish/teamfight ultimate in the game right now. It is a breeze to drop this on a whole team when they clump together, and the increased damage output can turn a losing battle into a victory very quickly.
However, remember that while these Summoner Spells can be used as escapes, they can also be used offensively as well. Flashing over walls to engage on a lone target or ghosting to catch up with an enemy can turn a near-miss into a guaranteed kill. A particularly effective strategy for fleeing targets is to pop Ghost, catch up with the enemy, and Sanguine Pool underneath of them. The slow will allow your allied Sion to catch up and Cryptic Gaze for a kill.
The most important thing to do with Vladimir is harass, harass, harass. Every time the enemy champion comes in for a creep, throw Tides of Blood and Transfusion onto him and laugh as he nabs one cs for a quarter of his health. He'll think twice before coming back in for another.
Going In For the Kill
So, you've harassed and harassed, and you think you're ready to go in for the kill. Following these steps will greatly increase your chances of success.
- Check the minimap. Do you know where all of your enemies are? Yes? Good. Proceed to step 2.
- Get full stacks on Tides of Blood. This means four casts. Check that you have it, as it will increase your damage output and sustain from Transfusion more potent. Once you have full stacks, get ready, because you're about to drop the hammer on some poor sucker.
- Follow this skill order: R>E>Q>W>E>Q. That's all your going to have time for, so if you can't cinch the kill with that order of skills, don't bother going in!
Nocturne : AD carry. Combining Fear, insane damage potential, chasing ability, a spell shield, and a global ultimate into one champion is extremely strong in the Twisted Treeline.
Sion : AD Off-tank. Another huge damage dealer, Cryptic Gaze is our main cc in the Twisted Treeline, and his self-sustain is nearly unbelievable.
Vladimir : HP tank mage. Increased damage output and outrageous poke/harass combined with sustain effects. And obviously, the focus of this guide.
To put into perspective how insane the sustain is on Vladimir using this build set up, in a recent game of Twisted Treeline, I absorbed a total of 15000+ damage, and healed for 9000+. That means that only 6000 damage had to be restored via health regeneration items (a simple feat for Warmog's Armor).
If anyone would like to see a complete guide for our entire 3v3 team, upvote the guide and leave comments in its favor, and I will coordinate with my team to see what choices they make in champion composition.