Vladimir Build Guide

A Guide to Solo Top Vladimir

Updated 2 years ago
Skill Order
1 1 1 1
2 2 2 2
3 3 3 3
4 4 4 4
5 5 5 5
6 6 6 6
7 7 7 7
8 8 8 8
9 9 9 9
10 10 10 10
11 11 11 11
12 12 12 12
13 13 13 13
14 14 14 14
15 15 15 15
16 16 16 16
17 17 17 17
18 18 18 18

Hey guys, big update for the guide just released for season 5. Im still working on the matchups but I will have those updated soon. Keep an eye out for changes, i still plan to add content to this but now what is here is up to date and informative at least, the old info was really lacking. Sorry about that! Here are my ranking and Vladimir stats, to give some perspective on where these thoughts will be coming from. [img=http://i.imgur.com/bTFsJ62.jpg] And my Vladimir stats. [imgext=http://i.imgur.com/ESTtUOG.png]

After you've read through the guide, if you're interested in learning more or watching some specific gameplay examples, you can find my stream located at www.twitch.tv/marinerevenge - I have started streaming quite regularly so you can feel free to tune in, follow or watch my VoDs on both that site and some highlight clips on my 'MarineRevenge' youtube channel. Cheers!

6/4/2013 - Initial Guide content Completed. Releasing soon. 6/12/2013 - Guide released, submitted for featuring. 1/28/2015 - This guide has been so out of date for so long, i've gone through and overhauled the entire thing for Season 5.

A review of his pro's and con's. [imgext=http://i.imgur.com/uDu9784.png] [highlight]Pro's[/highlight] [.] Massively powerful late game. [.] Some of the best AoE in the game. [.] An ultimate that multiplies everything your team does to its targets. [.] Innate Sustain. [.] One of the best passives in the game. [.] Scales just as well with items as he does levels. [.] Anti-Tower dive/invulnerability mechanic. [highlight]Con's[/highlight] [.] Abysmal early game. [.] Lack of crowd control. [.] Kills himself to clear waves early. [.] Long cooldowns until he levels up. [.] Item dependant, specifically he's a zhonya's champion. [.] Not a lot of upfront burst so you can't panic burst someone down if you make a positioning mistake. [.] Requires high game sense to team fight effectively. [highlight]What's the main incentive in picking Vladimir?[/highlight] Vladimir is a great champion if you're okay with a weak lane phase in exchange for dominating mid and late game. Vlad has a lot of carry potential, although you may not rack up a ton of kills in fights (mostly due to your damage being in chunks rather than up front) it's not uncommon for Vladimir to deal the most damage to enemy champions in the course of every game just because nearly all of it is AOE. Vladimir is one of the best scaling mages in the game, and although he isn't particularly amazing in a 1v1 scenario, he makes up for it by being likely the best team fight late game mage in league.

[imgsmall=skills/vladimir/q.png] Level 1. [imgsmall=skills/vladimir/e.png] OR [imgsmall=skills/vladimir/w.png] level 2. [imgsmall=skills/vladimir/q.png] Level 3 [imgsmall=skills/vladimir/e.png] OR [imgsmall=skills/vladimir/w.png] take whichever you originally didn't at level 4. [imgsmall=skills/vladimir/r.png]>[imgsmall=skills/vladimir/q.png]>[imgsmall=skills/vladimir/e.png]>[imgsmall=skills/vladimir/w.png] for the rest of the game. Keep in mind your level 6 is fairly potent for an all in, but you usually can't 100-0 people. If someone's around 60% and you have everything up it's easy to Ult - E - Q - Ignite - W - E - Q and watch them explode. Keep in mind your Q is usually on a 6~ second cooldown at this stage however so you may not be able to Q the enemy twice, if your health is low I would avoid trying to all in. Your main power spike comes at level 9 where you can endlessly spam E-Q to clear waves and harass effectively.

[imgsmall=items/cloth-armor.png][imgsmall=items/health-potion5.png] An optional start against AD lanes, might be useful if you think Boots wont allow you enough speed to avoid the enemies harass and damage. [imgsmall=items/boots-of-speed.png] Good starting item in general, i like this right now as my go-to start because move speed lets you escape early ganks and you can usually just stay out of range with boot speed. It also allows me to back at 675 gold for a super fast ionian boots. [imgsmall=items/ionian-boots-of-lucidity.png] Superior early game boot choice due to how well cdr increases the power of Vladimirs laning, i personally love the pressure these boots give you, allowing you to hit 25% cdr with my runes and masteries above as early as 6-7 minutes into the game making vlads mostly abysmal early game significantly more potent. [imgsmall=items/sorcerers-shoes.png] Great general boot choice, good for maximizing damage in general or when combined with other flat penetration items. [imgsmall=items/mercurys-treads.png] These are necessary against a few AP mages such as [imgsmall=champ/anivia.png][imgsmall=champ/veigar.png] who crush Vladimir. Luckily as top lane vlad you'll rarely see these types. [img=items/hextech-revolver.png][imgsmall=items/will-of-the-ancients.png] Core sustain/lane item. Leaving the item as a revolver until late game is ideal, since WOTA upgrade doesnt do much by itself and you'll have enough CDR from ionain boots, masteries and runes. [imgsmall=items/seekers-armguard.png][imgsmall=items/zhonyas-hourglass.png] One of the most common items on Vladimir, good synergy with this and Sanguine pool. I dont rush this currently because I think other items are just more appealing rush items, but it is good to have this sooner than later. [imgsmall=items/abyssal-scepter.png] Optional choice against magic damage heavy comps, not standard. [imgsmall=items/spirit-visage.png] Overrated vladimir item in my opinion, i basically never build this. The healing returns are small and the item doesnt do enough on its own to warrant choosing this over something else usually. [imgsmall=items/rabadons-deathcap.png] The holy grail of AP damage. You want this item to complement any other major investments you've made. This item is also good as a rush right after revolver and ionian boots, since all that CDR and spellvamp scales well with a big chunk of flat ability power, increasing your healing and DPS as well as health via passive by a nice chunk. I make this first most of the time these days. [imgsmall=items/void-staff.png] This item is necessary on vladimir at some stage of the game, you simply need magic penetration to fulfill your job. Build this when you're able as the enemy team starts itemizing magic resistance. [imgsmall=items/haunting-guise.png][imgsmall=items/liandrys-torment.png] Flat penetration is a great stat on vladimir since his base damages are relatively high and spammable. Works well combined with Rylai's, youll have to trade out a core item when using this though. [imgsmall=items/rylais-crystal-scepter.png] Since vlad has no CC, this items slow can be quite useful. It also proc's both of your passive stats. It's a little expensive for not having the same raw impact as an item like say Deathcap or Zhonya's, however the items is significantly more cost effective on vladimir than other champions due to his passive and the utility can't be overvalued. Works well if you need a more defensive first or second item. [imgsmall=items/warmogs-armor.png] Pretty weak item but its cheap and can be a filler item if you just want beef and regen. [imgsmall=items/randuins-omen.png] This is a good armor item if Zhonya's wasnt enough, consider it as a final slot item if you need alot of armor. [imgsmall=items/guardian-angel.png] Not ideal in my opinion as a defense item for vlad, but can be a good choice if you need both resistances.

Typically you want to back for core lane power spikes, these items are things such as [img=items/ionian-boots-of-lucidity.png][img=items/hextech-revolver.png][img=items/seekers-armguard.png] - things that when purchased fast and early will significantly bolster your early game power. I'll quickly breakdown which of these three should be your first purchase based on a few factors. If you started [img=items/boots-of-speed.png] then rushing into [img=items/ionian-boots-of-lucidity.png] is usually the cheapest and fastest power spike you can get, backing around 800~ gold will allow you to upgrade into them, pick up a ward and 2 potions. You can back as soon as you hit that threshold if youre struggling a lot in lane early, and be able to return to lane quickly with all the extra movespeed. If you started [img=items/cloth-armor.png] then rushing into [img=items/seekers-armguard.png] is usually a good choice. The combine cost will be low, again allowing you to back really early for a power spike, but I only recommend this against lanes like Renekton, Zed, Riven - champions that do lots of physical damage or that are directly countered by zhonyas active. If you dont like either of the above options then rushing [img=items/hextech-revolver.png] works well but comes at the cost of being the most expensive early power spike of the three, meaning if you get zoned out of lane early or are unable to CS, you will delay your spike for a long time and probably come out further behind. This works well as a rush if you can get first blood with a jungler gank, or manage to just overpowered your opponent and get a huge early lead somehow. The riskiest of the 3 early purchases since potions are cheap and do revolvers job just fine early.

Vladimir's early game is all about surviving, your focus should be farming and harassing the opponent with E+Q and then immediately backing off if you get chances to do so without the opponent fighting back, such as when they're CS'ing. Keep in mind if you get forced to Q minions for sustain you lose ALL your lane pressure, so try to avoid blowing that ability on minions against opponents who are harassing you, if you let them do it for free you'll get zoned very quickly. If you play properly and poke/sustain down with good positioning, you can all in opponents quite easily at level 6 if they aren't at full health. Typically if a target is around 65-70% health you can kill them with this combo. Ultimate -> Tides of Blood -> Transfusion -> Ignite -> Sanguine pool beneath them -> Tides of blood and Transfusion again after your ability comes off cooldown, but that last Q may not always be applicable for either they've died or you couldn't wait the 3-4 seconds for it to come off cooldown safely to use it again. Many times this combo will net a kill however if you have 4 tides of blood stacks before hand. Without 4 stacks, it's usually inadvisable to try an all in if they arent below 45-50%.

Mid game is when vladimir hits level 9-11 and you have your core items finished or about finished. Vlad can clear waves and duel a lot of people at this stage quite easily. Generally I like to put tons of map pressure on the top lane and push down towers if possible, with the goal of getting as much farm and completing my core items as quickly as possible. Keep in mind that you can die to a 1v2 really easily because of your lack of mobility or crowd control, put down lots of wards and try to control scuttle crab if you plan to push. The sooner you can group the better, your team fight is amazing. Finish your core items and group!

Vladimir's team fight is one of the best things about him and it's also his late game in my eyes so there won't be a 'late game' titled chapter here, instead I have this. Generally in team fights you want to burn down the enemy team with your crazy AoE and supplement strong engages from your team with your ultimate. Landing you ultimate on as many people as possible is super key. You should also have Zhonya's hourglass at this stage pretty much no matter what. If a favorable team fight breaks out for your team, this is what I generally do. Move into a good position, making sure [imgsmall=skills/vladimir/e.png] is at 4 stacks. [imgsmall=skills/vladimir/r.png] A target area where i can hit at least 2-4 people with my ultimate, especially if I can hit prime targets. [imgsmall=skills/vladimir/e.png] the area and follow up with [imgsmall=skills/vladimir/q.png] Back up a little and wait for cooldowns, or try to dive close the enemy backline if its safe. Use [imgsmall=skills/vladimir/e.png] into [imgsmall=skills/vladimir/q.png] as they come off cooldown. Use [imgsmall=skills/vladimir/w.png] In an area underneath the enemy if you're going to get killed, or targeted by a big ability, you can use this to break many abilities and send them on cooldown without taking damage or being affected by CC so try to use that. [imgsmall=skills/vladimir/r.png] will pop, so use [imgsmall=skills/vladimir/e.png][imgsmall=skills/vladimir/q.png] again and then pop [imgsmall=items/zhonyas-hourglass.png]. [imgsmall=skills/vladimir/e.png][imgsmall=skills/vladimir/q.png] again when Zhonya's active is down or retreat to safety. In a perfect world this is how a teamfight would play out for you, you should mostly make sure your E stacks stack up, and that your ult is effective. Those are the two biggest things that have to be nailed down to see any success with vlad. Learning to use W in fights properly (and not just as soon as you EQ) is the next big step. As long as you E into Q (and not Q into E) then you'll do relevant damage so focus on the other things more. If our team gets engaged on, i'll typically use [imgsmall=skills/vladimir/e.png][imgsmall=skills/vladimir/q.png][imgsmall=items/zhonyas-hourglass.png] active right at the start to get out some quick damage and go invulerable to allow our team to use their tools to try and make the team fight a winning one. Next i'll [imgsmall=skills/vladimir/r.png][imgsmall=skills/vladimir/e.png][imgsmall=skills/vladimir/q.png][imgsmall=skills/vladimir/w.png] full combo and move into a favorable position, either closer to carrys to try and kill them if I landed my ult on them, or out of the fight to damage from a distance on safer targets. [imgsmall=skills/vladimir/e.png][imgsmall=skills/vladimir/q.png] then disengage or continue to stay on the outskirts of fights since i've blown my two safety tools. Repeat until pool comes off cooldown or the fight has ended. Clearly the first scenario is more favorable but you have to have a plan when your team gets engaged on. Otherwise at this stage, the late game is vlad's strongest so it's ideal to stay with your team as much as possible since your super super useful if a fight ever breaks out and your pushing power hasn't really increased and other champs can do it better and safer at this stage.

Thanks for taking a look at Vladimir guide. Vladimir is an oldschool champion with a lot of fun gameplay, hes a bit dated kit wise but still scales like a monster and does his job really well when giving the opportunity. Definitely check him out and see what you think!

Comments coming soon!
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