- Playing As
- instantly deals damage to the enemy before healing , making it one of the best last hitting tools in the game.
- Cast where it will affect the most units.
- pops incoming missiles, so it can be used to dodge disables.
- Playing Against
- Be wary of team fights while afflicted by .
- Making use at the start of a fight will maximize the health cost of the ability to him.
- Items that counter health stacking, such as and the , are very effective against .
- Ability Usage
to rank 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 , or blocked by ), you will still be healed by the ability.
- When using , you won't be healed until the particle returns to you.
- Having at least 1 rank of 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 to chase down an enemy or escaping from one, as there is a slight movespeed burst when becomes the pool. Using it as a damage skill could leave you extremely vulnerable if you can't kill the enemy.
- is excellent during teamfights if you're waiting for cooldowns and don't have .
- Vladimir can use summoners spells and items during .
he becomes untargetable to both enemy and allied champions.
- During , he will therefore not be healed by any ally Area of effect heals like .
- will still affect Vladimir in his .
- While in 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 and , and due to the heavy cost of , using it to "escape" such spells can actually harm badly.
at the right moment can dodge projectiles or AoE abilities like , , , , , , , , and (and will also break the lock-on).
- does not cancel leash spells such as , , or ; it will, anyway, prevent the stun from .
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 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 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 .
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, 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.
- This skill is best used when combined with other AoE ultimates, such as , , or . In particular, is capable of rooting everyone on the enemy team, making sure they are affected by . This can be combined with the other aforementioned ultimates for massive AoE damage.
- You don't necessarily have to combine it with AoE ultimates. Hemoplague also works well with any champion that packs a lot of AoE damage, such as , , and .
- AoE is deceptively long; keep this in mind when deciding whether to pursue a target near death. can be used to finish off a target low on health. The range to the edge of the
- When using , 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 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. ) or shield (e.g. ) themselves before the damage takes place.
- Casting on or 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 will have a two part heal, one on damage and one as the particle effects reach him. This healing goes for all of his abilities as they deal damage. An unexpected heal may occur when his ultimate pops its damage, however the heal will be smaller as AoE abilities heal for a percentage less than normal.
- Mastery and Rune Usage
- The two best keystones for Vladimir are
and . The former is good if you feel like you don't need any extra damage, and it allows Vladimir to become stickier and harder to kite thanks to the movement speed bost and the slow resist. With Vlad's limited mobility, this keystone helps a lot. It also allows him to take , allowing him to get up to 45% cooldown reduction, which benefits him heavily.
- Deathfire Touch, however, can work as a supplement to Vladimir's damage. He has an easy time procing it because not only is a single target, non-DoT spell (therefore it procs the strongest version of Deathfire's Touch), but Vlad has a lot of AoE damage in a low cooldown. Deathfire Touch's damage may not be noticeable early in the game, but can be quite noticeable later when he stacks enough AP. The DoT damage also helps when battling tanky targets.
- Other possible keystones that can be used are and , but they are far inferior to the aforementioned keystones. Thunderlord's Decree offers more burst and is potentially better during the early game than Deathfire Touch, and still allows Vladimir to take Intelligence. However, this keystone has a cooldown, unlike Deathfire Touch, and Vladimir can't proc it as easily as other champions. Windspeaker's Blessing allows Vladimir to have even more sustain, but he can't take full advantage of this keystone, as he can't offer heals or shields to allies, therefore he can't offer resistances to them. Vladimir usually has enough sustain with his kit alone, making Windspeaker's Blessing a subpar keystone at best.
- It is heavily recommended to use cooldown reduction glyphs, as they allow Vladimir to free up his slots for items that can benefit him but do not have cooldown reduction.
- Health per level seals are the best to use, since Vladimir scales very well with health thanks to his passive. However, armor seals can be used if you don't have IP to buy health per level seals, or if you are going against a hard AD machup, such as or .
- The most viable quintessences for Vladimir are movement speed quintessences, cooldown reduction per level quintessences, and AP quintessences.
- Movement speed quintessences are heavily recommended as Vladimir is naturally slow and he benefits from having more mobility.
- Cooldown reduction per level quintessences are also a viable choice. It can't be stressed enough how much Vladimir relies on cooldown reduction, so they help a lot.
- AP quintessences are also viable, but AP is a stat that you can usually get in high amounts from items, and the quintessences are better reserved for stats that you can't easily get with items, such as movement speed or cooldown reduction. The only time where AP quintessences are recommended is when you don't have enough IP to buy other, better quintessences.
- Item Usage
's passive, , 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.
- Another stat that Vladimir should focus is cooldown reduction, as he is extremely reliant on his spells to survive and deal damage; Vladimir will want to max cooldown reduction for optimal usage of his spells, allowing him to heal the most and deal the most damage possible. Unfortunately, as a manaless AP mage, viable cooldown reduction options for Vladimir are extremely scarce, so it is recommended to supplement Vladimir with cooldown reduction runes if possible.
- is Vladimir's core item as he lacks CC and range as well as due to his passive: it will grant health and AP beyond the item's bases. 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 a large amount of movement speed.
- Another item that is almost a core for Vladimir is , as it provides bonus HP along with the AP, armor, and cooldown reduction. This item allows Vladimir to save his to escape on other situations. It also gives Vladimir much better teamfighting potential.
- In terms of start items,
is the best starting item, even though it offers mana. The increased healing from potions and the ability to take more than one potion compared to make it a superior starting option, and Vladimir's passive can easily make up for the fact that The Dark Seal does not offer any HP. Also, if Vladimir happens to kill enemies, he can gain even more AP. Never upgrade it to , as this item does not offer the stats that Vladimir needs, is extremely snowball reliant, and he has a harder time not dying due to his short range. Instead, sell it late game if you need the item slot.
- + 5 s is a better alternative against AD casters such as or , as they don't auto-attack frequently and the armor helps more against them. Also, they harass so constantly that the 5 s will outheal 's health regeneration during the early game.
- is needed if you wish to do significant damage late game.
- are easily the best boots for Vladimir. He is heavily reliant on cooldown reduction, and those boots help him waste less slots on other items with cooldown reduction. Other boots that could potentially benefit Vladimir such as (due to the magic penetration) or (due to the tenacity) could be used, but Ionian's Boots are usually non-negotiable, unless you can afford to get cooldown reduction from other sources.
is one of the most popular items on Mages. However, because of , it also grants health and the bonus AP gained interacts with his passive, making it even more cost effective and powerful.
- If you want to focus only on Vladimir's damage, though, it is better to leave for late game, and buy magic penetration items instead.
- is a powerful item on Vladimir, increasing all of the aforementioned healing by 20%, giving him AP due to his passive and giving much needed CDR. It can be used as Vladimir's primary magic resistance option. However, keep in mind that it offers less damage potential than .
is a good item to buy thanks to Vladimir's high base damage. This item will provide Vladimir with magic penetration, ability power, and health thanks to his passive. This can be sold later if the game goes really long for a better item, or upgraded later into giving more ability power and more health.
- is extremely good on Vladimir. It increases damage, survivability, and cooldown reduction.
- is a fairly good item on Vladimir, because it has cooldown reduction, HP, and AP, and the active helps with Vladimir's limited mobility. It also allows him to deal more damage.
- can be used for even more sustain. Its active also helps Vladimir dealing a lot of burst damage against a single target. It isn't recommended however, due to its awful build path, high price, wasted stats (Vladimir does not benefit from AD or lifesteal at all) and the fact that this item offers none of the stats that Vladimir wants, such as HP or cooldown reduction.
- With the recent rework, a tanky build got significantly more viable on Vladimir. His have a good health scaling, he still gains AP from building HP thanks to his passive, and he now gets even more healing with his kit alone, without having to rely on spellvamp.
- To zone him out of experience range you can use or when he has a high amount of stacks on as it is almost always a sign he is trying to restore his health with .
- Some champion abilities can reduce health regeneration such as .
- Early game, stay just out of range of his . If he uses it on a minion run forward to harass before his cools down.
- Vladimir lacks any hard crowd control to interrupt channeled abilities, but watch out as his allows him to avoid abilities that have effects while channeling (like ) or he can time it to avoid channels that have an effect at the end (like )
- 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 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 which doesn't deal much damage if not stacked and damages him
- Vladimir lane weakness declines by the time he gets his 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 .
- 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 late game, especially if fully stacked. Average late game Vladimir can dish out from 450 - 540 damage, pre mitigation, from 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 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 , so if you force him to use it, you've effectively won the trade.
- Even if Vladimir uses Crest of Cinders. he still takes damage from DoT spells such as , , , and
- Remember that doesn't heal until the particle returns to him, and because the animation is two-staged (impalement, then return), most single-target projectiles like , , and will generally hit him before he's healed. This is useful to remember should you be uncertain about last-hitting him.
- You can use to remove (which is usually paired with ) if he uses it on you. So buying it against Vladimir is a good and rather cheap counter.
- Due to he gains health as his spells grow more powerful, however this leaves him vulnerable to health percentage damage items and abilities (e.g. and )