Vladimir Build Guide

[5.4] Vlad, king of teamfights

Uploader Glor
Updated 2 years ago
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I was searching for a good build on Vlad and theorycrafted it myself after thinking a lot about Vlad weaknesses and strenghts. I will explain as much a I can the thought process behind the guide, also please bare with me for i don't speak english as my native language. There are in essence 3 types of Vlad and approaches in this game for the champion : -tank Vlad -DPS Vlad -my Vlad The first question you should have in mind is : what is Vlad designed to do ? The answer needs reflexion and leads us to the conclusion Vlad is first and foremost a utility mage. He fits a unique role in the game because of his passive and his kit. His kit is essentially teamfight oriented : the pool, the E and ultimate lead to this direction. It means that Vlad is designed to do AOE damage and amplify damages from your mates. It makes him a team player. Now how does this statement make DPS Vlad and Tank Vlad less optimal ? DPS Vlad uses the passive pretty well, but builds too much penetration to last long enough. He builds pen (sorc shoes, void staff) at the expense of his own survivability (cdr boots, liandry). Tank Vlad on the other hand (spirit visage, abyssal, etc) deals way less damage and doesn't use his passive well (since HP into AP must only be sought four as a side effect). The result will be both mediocre from a damage perspective AND a tank perspective. Our Vlad, on the other hand, uses the fact that for a manaless champion, his CDS are pretty damn low (check below). In fact Vlad was designed as, for the lack of a better expression, a pain in the ass. This champion at 40% CDR can Q every 2.5 seconds for huge amount of healing, pool every 6.4 seconds (for 2 seconds), E every 2.7 seconds and ultimate every 72 seconds. The purpose of our build is to make him obnoxious as his kit defines him : he wants to exhaust his prey and kill it slow. This perspective will make your lane more versatile and help you survive early when you are weak, it will give you options that DPS Vlad doesn't have in teamfights. Now some of you might think that E is already on a low CD, and you will be right : but his entire kit justifies this approach even if the CD of E is pretty low from the start. The real issue with Vlad is essentially getting him out of laning phase with decent CS and without dying. One of the first weaknesses of Vlad in this meta is his inability to 1v1 vs most of all-in situations due to his manaless state. Basically, he has \"high\" CD on Q to prevent him to spam for free . So let's abuse that and make it free ! DISCLAIMER : obviously not the best build vs X champ since runes/items can be changed if needed in any MU, but with this one you can at least hold any MU enough to get you to let game providing you can lane seriously. Pros +best sustain of the game as a mage +amazing teamfight utility +godlike late game through his passive +manaless +amazing waveclear after level 7/9 +great outplay potential on skillshots with pool +really good damages Cons -weak early game (so, weak almost all laning phase) -poor 1v1 capability (all ins) -vulnerable to ganks -heavily vulnerable to ignite -pool costs -high CDs depending on the build -low range spells -no real CC The true nature of Vladimir is understanding the sustaining gameplay mechanics : it's all about exhausting the ennemy. It requires patience, tactics and macro thinking. Don't play Vlad if you can't deal with this approach.

From start to level 6. It's simple, farm as good as you can, don't miss any creep, and most of all, buy wards. Seriously buy them. IF you are well in your MU, try to freeze because you can't kill towers anyway and you will take HUGE jungle pressure for pushing hard as Vlad. Ghost can save you just one time. Your goal is both to NOT push (it gets you exposed) and to NOT being pushed into your tower (you will miss a lot of cs early as Vlad being pushed under tower). YOU ARE VULNERABLE TO IGNITE. Take care. People might want to dive you. If they do, explain to them how hard new towers hit with your ult. Suddenly they can't switch agro anymore, can they ? They can't because the more you can run while they tank tower under your ult, the more you laugh.

From level 6 to level 11 Farm. Profit. You have TP, you have ghost. Use them. Be super careful to how much you push since Vlad is vulnerable to ganks really hard. The laning phase should have ended at this point, you will start to teamfight, which is what you really want. According to what is the ennemy comp, take different items. The final build is the same. Be really cautious if you are ahead in creeps : the ennemy laner might have a better 1v1 capability than you. You never want to duel them till they are at least midlife or higher if you have ignite or if you are really fed.

From level 11 to level 16 and beyond You are basically god. If you ever reach 6 items + sorcery elixir, the ennemy team is done if you play it properly. At this point, you always want to engage second of your team after your jungler/support. You will take considerable amounts of damage from the ennemy carries but your build is there to save you (read below for teamfight part !).

That's the super rough part. Yeah, super rough. Here is what you have to do, IF you run my classical build. The problem of Vlad is that he has no engage. He can't do like TF and jump in with ultimate then zhonya, like Kassadin would for example. The best thing that can ever happen on Vlad is the following : your jungler engages the ennemy team while you press ghost. JUST after he went in, you go in. You R on the most valuable target(s) as soon as you can if you feel your team can follow up, if not, just wait for them to come (1 or 2 sec) while you tank the ennemy team with your supposedly tanky jungler. Try to wait the most you can for your ult to be really effective, but not so long either since you will lose damage amplification from your team mates. So, you R the ennemy team (a 3 man ult is good, a 4 man is excellent, a 5 man is a miracle. 2 is bad except if you hit the two carries, then it's good). You have OP MS at this point since the ghost is ticking and all targets of the ult are 15% slow (and are already trigering liandry). You reach the target you want that is possible to actually get to considering the ennemy reactions. Chose the most interesting one (usually, no tanks, no supp) and on top of ult,E, Q on her face while she is still CCed by rylai and while you can. Remember : always value closer targets and those who don't expose you too much. Since the ult has a \"hidden\" 0.5 seconds animation cast time, it's impossible to cycle 2 Qs in one Vladimir ult. This does not mean CDR is useless at all, but it does mean it's not important to rush your spell usage once you activated your ult. It doesn't mean either you can wait till the very end to use it, since at this point you will have wasted CDR after the ult goes off (because if you wait to much, the CD cost will hinder you just right after). So back to business. You R, then : -E/Q -pool (it sounds counter intuitive at first because of pool health cost) -E/Q -zhonya(you zhonya second because 1/ you want to pool on the ennemy while he is still there 2/it will give you time to get another last pool) -E/Q -pool again -E/Q -cycle till you die or disengage The interesting thing with this build is that someone has to tank something while you are on your invulnerability phase, and it makes your ennemy switch target which will help mitigate bursting and more importantly will confuse them. The tricky part is that...even if they kill you now, you already did the teamfight.

You can adapt this build depending on positions, but it gives general good directions for your Vlad. This guide is not perfect and does not pretend to be. Any further insights and/or corrections are well appreciated. This build and guide is meant for people that know how to lane with Vlad, if you can't, well, don't blame it on the build. As Vlad, you don't exist to E and Q everything. You exist to serve your team and to survive the longest possible time while also doing ridiculous damage.

Comments coming soon!
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