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Vladimir/Strategy

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Champion Background Strategy Skins & Trivia


Skill usage

  • Level Transfusion.png Transfusion to level 5, as it is Vladimir's most constant single target damage ability, as well as his heal. Remember that the base healing component is a flat amount modified by additional ability power, so even if the target is not damaged (i.e. shielded, blocked by Banshee's Veil item.png Banshee's Veil, or blocked by KayleSquare.png Kayle's Intervention.png Intervention), you will still be healed by the ability.
  • Having at least 1 rank of Sanguine Pool.png Sanguine Pool can help you survive for much longer, as it resets aggro. A skilled player can use it to turret dive or to dodge abilities. However, it has a long cooldown and a short duration, so do not become too reliant on it for escapes.
  • It is wise to use Sanguine Pool.png Sanguine Pool to chase down an enemy or escaping from one. Using it as a damage skill could leave you extremely vulnerable if you can't kill the enemy.
  • Sanguine Pool.png Sanguine Pool is excellent during teamfights if you're waiting for cooldowns and don't have Zhonya's Hourglass item.png Zhonya's Hourglass.
  • Since patch 4.11 Vladimir can use summoners spells and items during Sanguine Pool.png Sanguine Pool.
  • During Sanguine Pool.png Sanguine Pool he becomes untargetable to both enemy and allied champions.
    • During Sanguine Pool.png Sanguine Pool, he will therefore not be healed by any ally Area of effect heals like Monsoon.png Monsoon.
    • Soraka's Wish.png Wish will still affect Vladimir in his Sanguine Pool.png Sanguine Pool.
    • While in Sanguine Pool.png Sanguine Pool Vladimir is not affected by any auras, including auras from items. While no ally or enemy aura will affect him, Vladimir can still take damage from DoT spells like FiddlesticksSquare.png Fiddlesticks's Drain.png Drain and SwainSquare.png Swain's Torment.png Torment, and due to the heavy cost of Sanguine Pool.png Sanguine Pool, using it to "escape" such spells can actually harm badly.
  • Using Sanguine Pool.png Sanguine Pool at the right moment can dodge projectiles or AoE abilities like Enchanted Crystal Arrow.png Enchanted Crystal Arrow, Trueshot Barrage.png Trueshot Barrage, Requiem.png Requiem, Absolute Zero.png Absolute Zero, Monsoon.png Monsoon, Death Lotus.png Death Lotus, Time Bomb.png Time Bomb, Dark Matter.png Dark Matter, Explosive Cask.png Explosive Cask and Ace in the Hole.png Ace in the Hole (and will also break the lock-on).
  • Tides of Blood.png Tides of Blood can be cast without having any enemy targets nearby. This can allow you to keep the buff constantly active or build stacks to prepare for an attack. It can also increase the effectiveness of a Health Potion item.png Health Potion if used prior to activating it. Additionally, using it when a stealthed enemy is nearby will allow you to detect them, they will not destealth, but you will be able to see the missiles flying into their direction. This also works if an enemy is concealed in brush nearby.
    • Gaining stacks of Tides of Blood.png Tides of Blood prior to a gank can result in devastatingly high nuking ability upon multiple enemies. For the same reason, Vladimir's damage output rises dramatically after about 10 seconds during team fights as his stacks increase very quickly, which can result in massive AoE damage when combined with Hemoplague.png Hemoplague.
  •  Hemoplague.png Hemoplague causes targets to take bonus damage, so it is advised to use it at the beginning of team fights to increase the overall damage your team can inflict upon your enemies. Mid to late game, Banshee's Veil item.png Banshee's Veil will negate both the increased damage debuff and the 5 second delayed damage component, make sure to spend as many of the opposing team's charges prior to activating.
  • Hemoplague.png Hemoplague can be used to finish off a target low on health. The range to the edge of the AoE is deceptively long; keep this in mind when deciding whether to pursue a target near death.
  • When using Hemoplague.png Hemoplague, be wary of champions who can counter the delayed damage, such as those with shields or heals. Do not depend on it to ensure your kill.
  • Casting Hemoplague.png Hemoplague will not deal any immediate damage, and therefore can be used to kill low health enemies under their turret, unless they can heal (e.g. NidaleeSquare.png Nidalee) or shield (e.g. OriannaSquare.png Orianna) themselves before the damage takes place.
  • Casting Hemoplague.png Hemoplague on ShacoSquare.png Shaco's or LeBlancSquare.png LeBlanc's clones will not affect them, so it shows clearly which twin is real.
  • Spellvamp will heal as soon as spell damage is inflicted on a target, so his Transfusion.png Transfusion will have a two part heal, one on damage and one as the particle reaches him. This healing goes for all of his spells as they deal damage. An unexpected heal may occur when his ultimate Hemoplague.png Hemoplague pops it's damage a small heal will affect Vladimir since AOE spells heal for a percentage less.

Build usage

VladimirSquare.png Vladimir's Passive,  Crimson Pact.png Crimson Pact, allows him to be deceptively tanky while dealing high damage.  By building large amounts of AP, Vladimir can bypass Health and focus on damage and durability.

  • Hextech Revolver item.png Hextech Revolver is a core item on Vladimir due to the Spell Vamp component. Since Transfusion.png Transfusion has such a low cool down at later ranks, Vladimir can sustain himself fairly well with just Hextech Revolver item.png Hextech Revolver. When upgraded into Will of the Ancients item.png Will of the Ancients, it also offers much needed cooldown reduction.
    • With about 320 AP, Transfusion.png Transfusion alone can cover the cost of Tides of Blood.png Tides of Blood with max stacks, without having to buy any spellvamp items (100 AP is needed to cover the cost of Tides of Blood without any stack). This allows Vladimir to potentially forgo Hextech Revolver item.png Hextech Revolver in favor of items that offer other better stats, such as Haunting Guise item.png Haunting Guise. Keep in mind, however, that spellvamp will alow Vladimir to cover that cost much better early game, as well as allowing him to have an higher net health gain late-game. Thus, purchasing a Hextech Revolver is still heavily recommended.
  • Void Staff item.png Void Staff is needed if you wish to do significant damage late game.
  • Both Sorcerer's Shoes item.png Sorcerer's Shoes and Ionian Boots of Lucidity item.png Ionian Boots of Lucidity are good choices for Vladimir.
  • Rabadon's Deathcap item.png Rabadon's Deathcap is one of the most popular items on Mages. However, because of VladimirSquare.png Vladimir's Crimson Pact.png Crimson Pact, it also grants 210 health and the 30% bonus AP gained interacts with his passive, making it even more cost effective and powerful.
  • Spirit Visage item.png Spirit Visage is an extremely powerful item on Vlad, increasing all of the aforementioned healing by 20%, giving him 10 AP due to his passive and giving much needed 10% CDR. However, this item is ill-advised if Vladimir is ahead as it doesn't significantly increase his damage, and he already has massive sustain with just a Hextech Revolver.
  • Haunting Guise item.png Haunting Guise is a good item to buy thanks to Vladimir's high base damage. This item will provide Vladimir with 15 magic penetration, 30 ability power, and 235 health thanks to his passive. This can be sold later if the game goes really long for a better item or upgraded later into Liandry's Torment item.png Liandry's Torment giving 57 ability power and 370 health instead of 50 ability power and 300 health.
  • Rylai's Crystal Scepter item.png Rylai's Crystal Scepter is a great item for most casters, but VladimirSquare.png Vladimir will benefit even more from it due to his lack of CC and range as well as his passive: it will grant 540 health / 110 AP beyond the base 400 health / 100 AP. Additionally, the passive gives his spells constant slows. Due to Vladimir's low cooldowns, he can also stick easily to most champions, especially if he has movement speed quintessences.
  • A powerful defensive item is Zhonya's Hourglass item.png Zhonya's Hourglass, as it provides 168 bonus HP along with the 120 AP and 50 armor. This item also allows Vladimir to save his Sanguine Pool.png Sanguine Pool to escape on other situations.
  • 100 gold invested in ability power will grant you health worth about 17 gold. 100 gold invested in health will grant you ability power worth about 20.6 gold.
  • It is possible to build Vladimir as a tank or an AP bruiser. Be wary that without heavy AP, Vladimir's damage decreases drastically, especially since Vladimir gains way more HP by building AP than he gains AP by building HP. Therefore, this build is inferior for carrying games, but is viable if Vladimir is behind or if his team already has a mage and instead requires a tank champion.
    • Abyssal Scepter item.png Abyssal Scepter is extremely good on a more tank-focused build for Vladimir. Not only it increases his own damage, but it offers an aura that benefits at least Vladimir himself, while reducing the enemy's magic resistance (which itself already benefits Vladimir a lot). It also offers health due to Vladimir's passive.
    • If you don't want to rely on Hextech Revolver for sustain, a Warmog's Armor item.png Warmog's Armor will do the job very well, while providing Vladimir a good amount of AP due to his passive. Just be wary of opponents with abilities/items that do health-based damage, such as VayneSquare.png Vayne.
    • Randuin's Omen item.png Randuin's Omen, Thornmail item.png Thornmail and Sunfire Cape item.png Sunfire Cape are good armor items to use on a tanky build, with the latter having synergy with a Haunting Guise/Liandry's Torment item.png Liandry's Torment due to the magic penetration. Frozen Heart item.png Frozen Heart can also be used due to the cooldown reduction and aura, but be wary of the wasted mana.
  • Items to NOT get:
    • While Lich Bane item.png Lich Bane may seem to be a good item due to Vladimir's low cooldowns, they are so low that Vladimir will rarely be auto-attacking late-game. He doesn't need the extra power from Lich Bane's passive and the mana is wasted.
    • Rod of Ages item.png Rod of Ages offer health and AP, but the mana is useless. This item also offers nothing aside from AP and HP. Rylai's Crystal Scepter item.png Rylai's Crystal Scepter is a much better choice even though it offers less health, as it offers a passive that slows enemy champions.
    • Hextech Gunblade item.png Hextech Gunblade is a bad item to get simply because the AD is completely wasted. The lifesteal may seem like it will increase Vladimir's sustain, but health regained from lifesteal scales with how much damage Vladimir does with auto-attacks, and because he will not be purchasing any AD items, and he has low base attack damage (not to mention the enemy's armor), the health regained from lifesteal is very small. Not to mention this item is more expensive than Will of the Ancients item.png Will of the Ancients. The active from Hextech Revolver is actually useful, but Vladimir is better off purchasing a Rylai's Crystal Scepter item.png Rylai's Crystal Scepter.

Recommended builds

Summoner's Rift
Starting Boots of Speed item Health Potion item4
Essential Zhonya's Hourglass item Sorcerer's Shoes item Will of the Ancients item
Offensive Rabadon's Deathcap item Haunting Guise item
Defensive Spirit Visage item Rylai's Crystal Scepter item
Consumables Health Potion item Sight Ward item
The Howling Abyss
Starting Boots of Speed item Doran's Shield item Amplifying Tome item Health Potion item3
Essential Will of the Ancients item Sorcerer's Shoes item Zhonya's Hourglass item
Offensive Rabadon's Deathcap item Liandry's Torment item Void Staff item
Defensive Abyssal Scepter item Rylai's Crystal Scepter item
Consumables Health Potion item
The Crystal Scar
Starting Boots of Speed item Amplifying Tome item2 Health Potion item2
Essential Sorcerer's Shoes item Will of the Ancients item Rylai's Crystal Scepter item
Offensive Blackfire Torch item Wooglet's Witchcap item
Defensive Abyssal Scepter item Spirit Visage item
Consumables Health Potion item
The Twisted Treeline
Starting Boots of Speed item Doran's Shield item
Essential Sorcerer's Shoes item Will of the Ancients item Rylai's Crystal Scepter item
Offensive Blackfire Torch item Wooglet's Witchcap item
Defensive Abyssal Scepter item Spirit Visage item
Consumables Health Potion item

Countering

  • To zone him out of experience range you can use Ignite.png Ignite, Executioner's Calling item.png Executioner's Calling or Morellonomicon item.png Morellonomicon when he has a high amount of stacks on Tides of Blood.png Tides of Blood as it is almost always a sign he is trying to restore his health with Transfusion.png Transfusion.
  • Early game, stay just out of range of his Transfusion.png Transfusion. If he uses it on a minion run forward to harass before his Transfusion.png Transfusion cools down.
  • Vladimir lacks any hard crowd control to interrupt channeled abilities, but watch out as his Sanguine Pool.png Sanguine Pool allows him to avoid  abilities that have effects while channeling  (like Death Lotus.png Death Lotus) or he can time it to avoid channels that have an effect at the end  (like Absolute Zero.png Absolute Zero)
  • Vladimir is one of the most powerful champions at late game, as he becomes virtually unkillable, with overwhelming damage and can wreck past an AP mage's normal counters, fighters, if he is able to reach this point defeating him proves extremely difficult.
    • However his late game dominance has a cost, an awful laning phase, with Transfusion.png Transfusion having a long cooldown, low damage and healing until rank 3-4, step in to harass right after he uses the skill to farm, his only counter-harass will be Tides of Blood.png Tides of Blood which doesn't deal much damage if not stacked and damages him
    • Vladimir lane weakness declines by the time he gets his Hextech Revolver item.png Hextech Revolver as he will be able to heal every attack launched against him, if he is not able to farm properly this item will become delayed and he will remain weak for teamfights
  • Focusing Vladimir in a teamfight is not a very good idea - he is very tanky due to his passive, he can restore his health quickly and lose all focus with Sanguine Pool.png Sanguine Pool.
  • Trying to kill him takes a long time if he is properly positioned and can distract your team from other key enemy targets such as the ADC and assassins.
  • If you fail to kill Vladimir late game and he escapes he will be able to fully restore his health with minions and jungle monsters without going to back to base.
  • Do not underestimate Tides of Blood.png Tides of Blood late game, especially if fully stacked. Average late game Vladimir can dish out from 450 - 540 damage, pre mitigation, from Tides of Blood.png Tides of Blood to all surrounding enemies. With some cool down reduction, he can spam this spell continuously and easily wreak havoc if left unchecked. 
  • Try to harass Vladimir into using his Sanguine Pool.png Sanguine Pool early in a fight so he takes more damage from it and cannot use it to escape focus fire. Vladimir will use 20% of his current health whenever he uses Sanguine Pool.png Sanguine Pool, so if you force him to use it, you've effectively won the trade.
  • Even if Vladimir uses Sanguine Pool.png Sanguine Pool he still takes damage from DoT spells such as Ignite.png Ignite, Blaze.png Blaze, Malefic Visions.png Malefic Visions, Noxious Trap.png Noxious Trap and Blessing of the Lizard Elder.png Blessing of the Lizard Elder.
  • Remember that Transfusion.png Transfusion doesn't heal VladimirSquare.png Vlad until the particle returns to him, and because the animation is two-staged (impalement, then return), most single-target projectiles like Two-Shiv Poison.png Two-Shiv Poison, Vorpal Blade.png Vorpal Blade, and Null Sphere.png Null Sphere will generally hit him before he's healed. This is useful to remember should you be uncertain about last-hitting him.
  • You can use Quicksilver Sash item.png Quicksilver Sash to remove Hemoplague.png Hemoplague (which is usually paired with Ignite.png Ignite) if he uses it on you. So buying it against Vladimir is a good and rather cheap counter.
  • Due to his passive, he gains health as his spells grow more powerful, however this leaves him vulnerable to health percentage damage items and abilities (e.g. Null Zone.png Null Zone and Blade of the Ruined King item.png Blade of the Ruined King).

Champion spotlight

Vladimir Champion Spotlight04:58

Vladimir Champion Spotlight

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