- 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 Usage
- 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.
is a core item on Vladimir due to the Spell Vamp component. Since has such a low cool down at later ranks, Vladimir can sustain himself fairly well with just . When upgraded into , it also offers much needed cooldown reduction.
- With about 320 AP, alone can cover the cost of with max stacks, without having to buy any Spell Vamp items (100 AP is needed to cover the cost of without any stack). This allows Vladimir to potentially forgo in favor of items that offer other better stats, such as . Keep in mind, however, that Spell Vamp will allow Vladimir to cover that cost much better early game, as well as allowing him to have a higher net health gain late-game. Thus, purchasing a is still heavily recommended.
- Another item that is almost a core for Vladimir is , as it provides bonus HP along with the AP and armor. 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. This gives Vladimir health, and as such, an amount of AP, a very small one however. But even better, this item provides health regeneration, which may be able to mitigate Vladimir's health costs to some extent during early game. It is a very good start against champions who auto-attack from a distance or have single-target spells that harass a lot, such as . Keep in mind that starting with a will only allow you to start with a single .
- + 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.
and are good choices for Vladimir.
- It's generally advised to get because Vladimir greatly benefits from magic penetration as all his abilities do magic damage. are good for earlier game but unless he has a , they are out-scaled by due to enemies building magic resistance.
- Other good boots of choice are and if Vladimir is losing the lane or building tanky. The latter is also good if Vladimir is being focused by enemy crowd control.
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. 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 .
- 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 a great item for most casters, but will benefit even more from it due to his lack of CC and range as well as his passive: it will grant health and AP beyond the item's bases. 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 a large amount of movement speed.
- 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.
- is extremely good on Vladimir. It increases damage, survivability, and cooldown reduction.
- If you don't want to rely on for sustain, a 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 's .
- , and are good armor items to use on a tanky build.
- 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 )