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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 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.
  • 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. It can be upgraded into Will of the Ancients item.png Will of the Ancients or Hextech Gunblade item.png Hextech Gunblade; the choice depends on the role Vladimir will play.
  • Void Staff item.png Void Staff can be used instead of Abyssal Scepter item.png Abyssal Scepter when focusing on killing a target quickly and magic resistance is not necessary.
  • 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.
    • It's generally advised to get Ionian Boots of Lucidity item.png Ionian Boots of Lucidity because Vladimir greatly benefits from CDR and has very limited options of CDR items as a manaless AP caster.
  • 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.
  • Deathfire Grasp item.png Deathfire Grasp can make Vladimir a very powerful assassin in combination with Hemoplague.png Hemoplague. Since the debuffs stack additively, the afflicted enemy will receive 32% increased magic damage. It is suggested, however, to wait at least 1 second after applying Hemoplague.png Hemoplague because the magic damage delay lasts 5 seconds, whereas Deathfire Grasp item.png Deathfire Grasp's debuff only lasts 4 seconds. 
  • 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.
  • Haunting Guise item.png Haunting Guise is best bought early game as it provides you with 15 magic penetration, 30 ability power, and 235 health thanks to his passive. This can be 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.
  • Guardian Angel item.png Guardian Angel is a good potential 5th or 6th item on a tanky build, as you will generally have a lot of health but lack resistances, and its passive will be affected by your Tides of Blood.png Tides of Blood stacks. With full stacks at max rank, you will gain 39.6% of your maximum health upon reviving instead of 30% (or 47.5% with full stacks plus Spirit Visage item.png Spirit Visage).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Due to Vladimir's passive, he can afford to buy defensive items that offer resistances instead of health.
    • 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.
    • Thornmail item.png Thornmail is also a option for a tank-focused build due to offering a lot of armor, and the fact that the lack of health is compensated by Vladimir's own passive. This item allows Vladimir to better duel auto-attack based champions.
      • Randuin's Omen item.png Randuin's Omen may be a better choice because it offers HP (thus, it offers AP) and reduces the enemy's attack speed, which is better against some champions than Thornmail.
      • Zhonya's Hourglass item.png Zhonya's Hourglass is the better choice if you are going for an AP focused build.
    • Frozen Heart item.png Frozen Heart may be a better choice due to the cooldown reduction, but be wary that the mana is completely wasted on Vladimir.
    • Be wary that all those items are only good options outside AP-focused builds. They are suggested if there is already another mage on your team, and your team instead requires a tank champion.

Recommended builds

Summoner's Rift
Starting Boots of Speed item Health Potion item4
Essential Doran's Shield item Sorcerer's Shoes item Will of the Ancients item
Offensive Rabadon's Deathcap item Zhonya's Hourglass item Liandry's Torment item
Defensive Abyssal Scepter item Rylai's Crystal Scepter item Spirit Visage 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 Ionian Boots of Lucidity item Spirit Visage item
Offensive Rabadon's Deathcap item Liandry's Torment item Void Staff item
Defensive Rylai's Crystal Scepter item Zhonya's Hourglass item Abyssal 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 Deathfire Grasp item Wooglet's Witchcap item Blackfire Torch 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 Deathfire Grasp item Wooglet's Witchcap item Blackfire Torch 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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