[Guide] Statikk's Take on Vladimir, the Crimson Reaper
Hey LoL Community,
I've chosen to do this guide on Vladimir as he is one of my current favorites in the game. With the recent "nerfs" to him, he is no longer a perma-ban (and often not even a top pick) meaning we all have a good chance to play him again.
As always I always suggest readers to first familiarize themselves with my article "Know Your Role" and then continue on here to follow the logic.
Current Compendium of statikk's Guides:
Know Your Role: Runeterra or LoL Forums
Kassadin, the Voidwalker: Runeterra or LoL Forums
Udyr, the Animal Spirit: Runeterra or LoL Forums
Dr. Mundo, the Madman of Zaun: Runeterra or LoL Forums
Sona, the Maven of the Strings: Runeterra or LoL Forums
Vladimir, the Crimson Reaper: Runeterra or LoL Forums
Let me preface this by saying that these are only my personal suggestions and recommendations. Feel free to add your own spice to the mix as guides should not be treated as infallible rulebooks but rather should be taken as mental starting points that provoke analytical thought.
Vladimir, the Crimson Reaper
Sanguine Pool (W)
Tides of Blood (E)
Crimson Pact (Passive)
Suggested Role - Tank (Initiator) / Carry
It is painfully obvious (in the best way possible) that Vlad was designed to be a Caster-Tank. This is most apparent in his Passive Crimson Pact which pushes him towards primarily itemizing Health and Ability Power. Vladimir is neither the best Tank nor the best Magic Damage Dealer but he can excel pretty well at both aspects at the same time. This is what makes him quite unique in League of Legends and makes him one of my personal favorite champions to play.
Outside of his Passive, Vlad's Tanking potential really lies in Sanguine Pool as it his only innate form of crowd control via an AoE slow. It is a great initiating ability as it can keep the entire enemy in your team's sights while also dealing heavy damage (note that the damage also scales with Vlad's max Health). On top of this, Vlad's favorite and most obvious item choice is Rylai's Crystal Scepter (Health and Ability Power) which additionally gives all of his spells potential to further slow enemies. This really makes up for his lack of hard CC in terms of Tanking ability. Another great reason to want to be the Initiator of a team while playing Vladimir is that his ultimate Hemoplague applies a damage amplification debuff to all targets hit which is perfect to apply at the beginning of fights in order for your team to quickly take down enemies.
Vladimir's Carry potential lies in the fact that he has some of strongest sustained magic damage in the game with 2 low cooldown, spammy nukes in Transfusion and Tides of Blood as well as use of Hemoplague when needed. This is not to say that he doesn't have strong burst damage either because he does have a decent amount and could definitely be played more in the Ganker style, but Vladimir is extremely potent as a solo laner where he can pressure his opponent and get great farm. Once he has built up items, Vlad becomes both durable and a damage dealing force to be reckoned with.
When playing Vlad, it comes down to whether you want to emphasize his Tank side or his Magic Damage Carry side which should change depending on team compositions and gameflow. Vlad is very flexible and can fit almost any team setup which is another reason he is an attractive pick.
Marks of Insight (Magic Penetration)
Seals of Vitality (Health per level)
Glyphs of Force (Ability Power per level)
Quintessences of Fortitude (Health)
Magic penetration is an obvious choice as most of Vlad's damage output is magic. Health and Ability Power are especially strong stats for Vlad due to the synergy with his passive (and his spells). This setup allows you to be aggressive in the early game and still very much effective in the late game.
Ghost/Flash: increased mobility to help finish kills or escape sticky situations
Cleanse: for when the enemy just has too much disable to deal with
Ignite: for more offensive oriented play especially because of the synergy with Hemoplague
Heal: for more defensive oriented play as it has synergy with Tides of Blood and Spirit Visage (do beware of bringing this against a team with healing reductions such as Ignite)
My personal preferences are Ghost and Flash as I often find myself in dangerous situations especially when I use my Sanguine Pool offensively.
21 points in Defense (notable points: Veteran's Scars, Ardor, Tenacity)
9 points in Offense (notable points: Archmage's Savvy, Archaic Knowledge)
Vlad is strongest when he is in the middle of the fray. This is also the place of most danger and you are guaranteed to take a significant amounts of damage throughout the duration of a game. This makes the Defense Tree an ideal route to choose especially because you can pick up bonus health and Ability Power along the way. The leftover points go towards getting Archaic Knowledge in the offense tree since Vlad is so magic-centric which also allows him to pick up more Ability Power along the way.
Do not forget to grab upgraded summoner spells if possible.
Spell Build Order
Hemoplague > Transfusion > Sanguine Pool = Tides of Blood
Maxing Transfusion as soon as possible is key to succeeding with Vladimir as it scales so well especially in the early game. It is his harassing tool and his primary source of damage and sustainability. Leveling Hemoplague whenever possible is also an obvious choice as it is both an AoE nuke and amplifies all of his other (and his teammates') damage. Getting an early point in Sanguine Pool is important especially for escaping ganks. Getting an early point in Tides of Blood helps last hitting and can give you that little extra edge in early skirmishes. Prioritizing Sanguine Pool or Tides of Blood next is a tossup. Sanguine Pool is stronger when playing more of a Tank role while Tides of Blood gives you stronger damage output. This choice should be dependent on your intended role / playstyle in your team composition as well as the current flow of the game.
Vladimir by design is a tank-caster hybrid and his build choice eventually comes down to which side of that balance you choose to tilt more towards.
The first build tilts towards a Tank role focusing on Health, Armor, and Magic Resist while mixing in some Ability Power to remain a threat. This is a good build to use when your team lacks that Tank / Initiation factor and you know you will be focus fired early and often. Rylai's is a no-brainer for Vladimir as it gives him his 2 favorite stats, Ability Power and Health. Rylai's also gives him constant slowing potential which makes up for his lack of strong CC. In this build I would favor Sanguine Pool over Tides of Blood.
Doran's Shield - Mercury's Treads - Rylai's Crystal Scepter - Sunfire Cape - Abyssal Scepter - Zhonya's Ring
The second build tilts more towards Vladimir's caster side. This build focuses on getting an early Mejai's Soulstealer, getting early Magic Penetration, and then continuing massing Ability Power. Rylai's once again is a solid first big item for any Vlad build because of its strong synergy with his passive and his no-cost low CD spells. Zhonya's Ring allows even a caster-focused Vladimir to be overly aggressive and succeed. In this build I would favor Tides of Blood over Sanguine Pool.
Doran's Shield - Mejai's Soulstealer - Sorcerer's Shoes - Haunting Guise - Rylai's Crystal Scepter - Zhonya's Ring
One thing to never forget is to counter your enemies’ item choices and team composition. Sometimes it is necessary to veer from your intended build in order to perform at maximum potential. Void Staff is necessary to counter heavy magic resist teams for you to continue being a threat. Do not neglect item choices such as Ninja Tabi or Randuin's Omen against a physical-heavy team or a Spirit Visage or Force of Nature against a magic-heavy team. When in doubt especially late game, Guardian Angel is always a solid defensive pick up and can turn the tide of an entire team fight (and perhaps even the game).
Notable Situational Items:
Void Staff - Randuin's Omen - Ninja Tabi - Spirit Visage - Force of Nature - Guardian Angel
Note: Remember, be flexible and adapt. There's no need to strictly follow any set build. Mix and match in order to find something that suits both the situation as well as your playstyle.
Very nicely written and simple enough for new players to follow.
stop writing guides on champions that need nerfs! (Kassadin and Vlad!) Well vlad at least.
Aside from that, nice guide +1, I do like him AP focused as well.
Nice and simple guide. Hopefully this will still be around when the dreaded Free vlad week comes around again.
You could put in there how rylai's scepter is his best item for the gold.
Why does your ap build have mejai but your tank build not levithan?
Because Leviathan is bad? It is only cost efficiant at its 10th stack...
What's your take on Warmonger's Armor and/or Will of the Ancients on Vlad? Maybe it could work with max Tides of Blood?
Because if you're the team Tank you should be willing to die and thus lose stacks while if you're playing more as a DPS Caster you can be much more careful about putting yourself in danger. I do not agree with the principle of a snowballing Tank.
Warmog's and Will of the Ancients are conceptually good items for Vlad but their current values are just not worth the gold costs relatively to the other choices I mentioned.
i dislike the sunfire in tank builds. sunfire really isnt all that great if ur just using 1 of them.
my typical tank build:
regrowth pendant + pot
the last 3 are interchangeable in order depending on what u need.
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