This is how I play Vlad. It works well for me and I have done a lot of research and practice with it. I love playing vlad this way.
Vlad is a caster. Plain and simple, cast-er. Casterous Maximus. Casterooni.
Yes you can go tanky, have high health, be harder to kill, and have a decent amount of AP, but IMO you’re only as good as your ult when you build this way. Tanky builds are more forgiving to the noob in all of us, it lets you make a mistake and still get away. My build keeps you at ~ 3600 health, and ~ 540 AP with nearly 70 Magic Pen with all of your items / runes.
Transfusion (Q): Vladimir drains the lifeforce of his target, dealing 90 / 125 / 160 / 195 / 230 (+60% of ability power) magic damage and healing himself for 15 / 25 / 35 / 45 / 55 (+25% of ability power).
This is your harassment tool early, and your DPS late, keep it on cooldown all the time.
Sanguine Pool (W): Vladimir sinks into a pool of blood for 2 seconds, becoming untargetable and slowing enemies above him by 40% for 1 second.
Vladmir deals 20 / 33.75 / 47.5 / 61.25 / 75 (+3.75% of bonus health) magic damage every half second to them and heals himself for 12.5% of the damage done.
This is your escape mechanism. Very rarely will you start your rotation with this ability.
Tides of Blood (E): Vladimir unleashes a torrent of blood dealing 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 (+45% of ability power) magic damage to nearby enemies.
Each cast gives him an Empowered stack (max 4), increasing his healing and regeneration by 8% each. Additionally, his next Tides of Blood deals 25% more damage and costs 50% more Health per stack
This is your aoe, an excellent source of damage if you’re lucky enough to start a fight with several stacks, or if you live long enough to burn it a couple of times. This is also an excellent creep farming tool.
Hemoplague (R): Vladimir infects the target area with a virulent plague. Affected enemies take 14% increased damage for 5 seconds.
After 5 seconds, infected enemies take 150 / 250 / 350 (+70% of ability power) magic damage
This is your surprise lolownage skill. Instant cast, great damage and AP scaling, also an amazing tool for teamfights.
Crimson Pact (Passive): Every 40 points of bonus health gives Vladimir 1 ability power and every 1 point of ability power gives Vladimir 1.8 bonus health. This bonuses do not stack with themselves.
This is what lets us go pure AP.
Max transfusion. Get blood pool early, it will save your bacon. Use it to dodge skill shots and projectile stuns like Sion’s and Tarics. Avoid using pool for creeping early on in the game as the health cost is substantial.
Skills and comments:
If you’re already high health using Tides of Blood and then transfusion is recommended. You’ll regen the health cost of your tides back no problem.
When you’re low health from harassment, use Transfusion on minions to get back up to full. Watch for surprise ganks as your ability to get away is limited to your Sanguine Pool & ghost.
In a solo fight it’s going to depend on who you’re playing against. Most of these fights you should already know what to do, kiting Yi or Olaf instead of going head to head are prime examples. Play like a caster for best results.
Ghost: Vlad’s major weakness is that he doesn’t have anything to get away or close the gap. Ghost helps immensely here. This can be substituted for flash if desired.
Ignite: Works on all champs, and works even better against others. If you’re looking for more survivability you can go with flash, but I prefer the extra early damage, and turning off a healer.
I use a typical 9/0/21 setup. Pretty much everything that doesn’t have anything to do with mana here, and you can’t screw it up.
For this setup, this is what I recommend:
9x Magic pen reds
9x Flat health per level yellows
9x Ability power per level blues
3x Flat Ability power quints.
The magic pen reds are the best bang for your buck and will stack nicely with the item build I use.
I’m sure that people will look at the blues/yellows and say "wtf nub" as these runes aren’t really used anywhere else. Vlad is a midgame pro, levels 6-9 is where he really shines. These runes will give the maximum AP & Health possible for your midgame run, and continue to be helpful at level 18. The common CDR blue runes setup only give 8.1% CDR @ lvl 18. This is only going to give you around 1 second from your sanguine pool and tides, 10 seconds from your ult, and about .16 seconds from your Transfusion at lvl 18 while the blue AP runes are going to give us 27.54 AP at lvl 18 That’s more AP than we get out of a hextech revolver, and over 50 HP to boot.
The flat health yellows are going to give us 174.96 health at level 18, which translates to nearly 7 AP. It’s not great however, and I have problems finding a solid alternative. You could go with AP/level however that’s only going to give us 16.2 AP and 32 health. The 144.96 health difference is what sells me on the flat health / level runes vs AP.
Many people prefer flat health quints for most of their chars, *cough* phreak *cough* however I don’t find the extra health buffer to be as effective as 13 AP and 26 health. That ends up being more than a doran’s ring in AP, and an early auto attack. Ultimately this is up to you, with his regen from Transfusion and fair range, enemy harassment shouldn’t be a problem. While the flat health quints give nearly 100 HP, it ends up only being 3 AP and the difference of 74 health isn’t enough to make a difference for me.
I dislike snowball items. Insert mejai’s wherever you please, if you use it.
I marked the CORE items with an asterisk.
*Sorc Boots / Merc Treads
*Will of the Ancients.
Starting Item: Doran's Shield. This item so far has been the most effective starting item. You can take heavy harass, the regen helps quite a bit, and if you're in a pinch you can hang back and just be careful to last hit with transfusion while you get health back. This is preference, and this is my favorite so far.
If I’m owning mid and getting a fair bit of ganks, I will rush Rylai’s. It gives us 100AP, a Snare, and a huge health bonus. After boots2 if I have a team with several casters I’ll go for will of ancients, if not then directly to Rabadon's.
If I’m in a sidelane I will rush the guise, then boots 2 along the way, the hextech revolver, and then the will of ancients. This gives us the most AP for our gold.
Extremely long games I’ll go for a deathfire grasp, and sell the guise. I think I’ve had this happen once, as getting all of these items is fairly expensive as it is.
Some people have mentioned that a void staff can bet very helpful as well. I like it a lot, but it is ONLY better than abyssal scepter if your opponents are stacking magic resists. If they're good players, they SHOULD be stacking them. Pay attention to the enemy build and build this as need requires. Note that you lose effectiveness if you have a guise and a scepter or sorc boots with this item.
I dislike throwing in a warmogs or a spirit visage in that mix. Yes it’s neat, Yes you have more health / regen / defense, but you’re not playing Verily Vlad to his full potential IMHO. A maxed warmogs is going to give about 50ap and 1200 health, but it costs as much as a zonyas. If I could spend 20k gold a game I think it might have more potential. I tailored the items to be the highest AP for the gold, excluding Mejai’s.
But no defenzive itemz?! WTF are you thinking??
This is my core build; if the enemy team is made of a bunch of one-hit-wonders I have no qualms with going for a banshee’s veil or similar defensive item like thornmail for their Yi / Ashe. Use your judgment here.
Harass, Harass, and then Harass some more. Don’t neglect your last hits, be a pro, get your last hits with auto-attacks / Tides and save your Transfusion for their face. You only need them at about 500 HP with no heals in order to kill a champ at lvl 6. To do so activate ghost, burn to them, tower or not, (I advise using caution if they’re dual stunning chars in a sidelane, Mid he’ll usually go back to try and "bait" you or get away) Tides of Blood, Transfusion, Ult, Ignite and use Sanguine Pool to gtfo and drop tower agro. When you’ve just been pecking away at them they aren’t going to expect a 600+ damage burst at lvl 6 (assuming no resists).
Make them qq with your Q. I usually work a champ down midgame with Transfusion and then use a similar strat in small fights mentioned earlier. Initiating with Sanguine Pool is usually a "nono" but when coming around the back of two low health champs from mid I will initiate with it for the slow so my team can get on them.
In large team fights don’t be afraid to throw down Hemoplague near the beginning of a fight. I dislike initiating with Hemoplague as enemy champs will usually back off the moment they see it, or your team-mates might still be doing the one-two punch before going all out with all their abilities. I find it most effective when using Hemo during the middle of a fight. It’s also amazing when your team is made up of multiple AOE ults. Annie, Amumu, Blitz, Fiddle, & Vlad for some ulting shenanigans.
Late Game is where our team fights happen. It’s very tempting with your high health and AOE damage to run right in the middle of everyone and go to town. You must take care when doing this as although you have higher health than most casters / carries, you still go down pretty quick with no defenses to speak of. Go for their squishies, Hitting with Transfusion for 500+ makes most carries / other casters freak out, so just spam transfusion as much as possible while keeping some distance. When it’s obvious you’ll make the difference for the win, throw down Hemoplague, get in there and toss out tides, and sanguine pool. You can really make or break a fight when done correctly. Knowing when to go in to the fray takes practice and experience.
Most of the end-game strategies comes from a lot of MID-ELO experience solo queueing. When you're on an organized 5 man team, initiating with your Hemoplague is no problem, as your team knows to get in there and throw down.
Happy Vamping ;..;
This is my first guide and any feedback, trolling, or criticism would be welcome. :)
Anyone had an opportunity to try Verily Vlad? Let us know how you liked it.
i just go meji -> boots -> z.Ring -> rylais -> then stack what ever AP items you want + blue and red pots. I can get him easily over 700 ap with 4.5k life.
Your way to play Vlad is very similar to mine, even the items are the same, except the building order.
I usually have hard time getting HP back after cast tide in mid games, as the AP is not high enough. and I never tried getting will of ancient early in game. I will try it, and see how it works. Maybe it is just the item i need.
I believe I addressed the Mejai's question in the guide. Just having Mejai's would increase the total AP by nearly 200 if you have zRing, assuming 20 stacks, however I am not a believer in snowball items. As mentioned this is preference.
With hextech you come out ahead due to the spellvamp on both skills. If you don't have it at all you should have at least a Giant's Belt (building to Rylai's) to help with the buffer. After the patch the health cost is being reduced on tides.
You should note that keeping tides at lvl 1 cost gives you awesome regen and better life steal from q while only costing minimal hp. Low cd pool and max q is better than the losing life to farm skill anyways.
Maxing W second is mandatory imho. I can't even begin to understand how you can survive a decent mid game fight with SP level 1.
A good point to bring up Anansi.
I've tried the build in both directions, maxing pool before tides brings the cooldown a little, but it's not as game breaking as you insinuate. I like the damage I get out of tides over an additional 6 seconds from pool at lvl 11. (17sec cooldown instead of 23). And only 3 second difference at lvl 9, when you're Q is at it's max potential (and you should be rocking it up).
I feel that this is more a matter of preference than anything else, as I tend to play fairly conservative, using pool only when absolutely necessary midgame. Late game is when I like to have the pool more often.
IDK, I really think dropping plague-->transfusion--->ghost--->pool--->ignite/transfusion as it seems it is really effective if you build up SP earlier for those early lane phase kills and ganks. It doenst drain you HP near as much as spamming tides, and ghost with the mastery will still be up for several seconds after your done to allow a hasty retreat. Plague first also discourages a lanemate that would otherswise jump in to help, and if they make that mistake, luring them into a creep wave and blasting them with transfusion can sometimes get you a double kill after plague goes off.
Not really sure what you're trying to say as you can do that with just lvl 1 in the pool, and get more damage out by using tides as well. The major difference with levelling SP first is the decreased cooldown. The damage difference between levels is minimal.
As far as the rotation and throwing down hemo on some potential ganks, yes, by all means whatever it takes to make their screens to go grayscale.
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