Vladimir is one of the most effective top lane mages in League of Legends.
The champion offers a unique skill set with the ability to drain health from opponents and burst down enemies with an array of abilities.
As with all League champions, the ideal build for Vladimir should reflect the state of the match and which picks the opposing team chooses. Regardless of the situation, however, there are core items that will always work well with Vladimir’s kit.
Here’s the best build for Vladmir in League season 11.
Phase Rush: One of Vladimir’s weakest traits is his slow movement speed. For Vladimir to chase down enemy champions, he needs to increase this stat and can do so using the Phase Rush rune. This rune will grant Vladimir a movement speed increase after he’s hit an enemy champion with three abilities within four seconds. On top of this, he’ll also see a 75-percent reduction from slowing effects, allowing him to chase and take down fleeing enemies.
Nimbus Cloak: Vladimir often takes Teleport as a summoner spell to rotate around the map and help his team as needed. Nimbus Cloak allows him to gain movement speed relative to the cooldown times of his summoner spells—and having Teleport means this increase is going to be quite substantial. Nimbus Cloak will also allow Vladimir to pass through units after using a summoner spell, enabling him to chase down lanes without getting minion blocked regardless of which summoner spell he takes.
Transcendence: The most important stat for Vladimir is ability haste because he’s heavily ability-based and deals most of his damage in quick succession. Having sufficient ability haste will help him deal more damage and allow him to use his abilities to heal his health at an increased rate.
Gathering Storm: One of the most common runes for mage champions, Gathering Storm offers Vladimir incremental power increases as the game draws on. Taking this allows a Vlad player to have small power spikes over time without the need to purchase extra items.
Magical Footwear: Vladimir receives a pair of free boots, which values at 300 gold, early in the game by taking Magical Footwear. The Crimson Reaper will earn the boots even earlier for every kill onto an opponent that he’s a part of.
Cosmic Insight: Cosmic Insight gives you summoner spell haste and item haste. Both of these stats are good for Vladimir, making this a must-have rune.
Bonuses: +8 ability haste, +9 adaptive power, +6 armor
Doran’s Ring grants Vladimir 70 bonus health as well as 15 ability power. The item also offers slightly more damage with basic attacks against minions, making it easier for the mage to farm.
After purchasing Doran’s Ring, Vladimir will have an extra 10 gold, which can be spent for two health potions. This item will heal 150 health should Vladimir take damage from enemy champions or minions during the laning phase before he needs to return to base.
These are the perfect boots for Vladimir. The item will not only grant the champion the standard bonus mobility but also 18 magic penetration, making his spells deal more damage through the effects of magic resistance.
Likely the single most valuable item for Vladimir, Hextech Protobelt boasts many of the most important traits for the champion, including 250 health, 90 ability power, six magic penetration, and 15 ability haste. The item also has a unique active that allows Vladimir to dash forward, emitting a nova of fire bolts that will damage nearby enemies. This is useful for Vladimir to close gaps and get in range of enemies to use his abilities. Its Mythic passive of five magic penetration for each legendary item makes it a great pickup for Vladimir.
This is the best second item for Vlad that you should aim to complete in most of your games. It grants you amazing stats in 75 ability power, 200 health, 20 ability haste, and a powerful passive to grant you additional 20 ability haste and scaling movement speed if you have at least 160 ability power. With Hextech Protobelt in your inventory alongside Cosmic Drive, you’ll have the needed amount to activate the passive and make the item gold efficient.
The most well-known ability power item in the game, Rabadon’s Deathcap is an integral part of Vladimir’s build to maximize his damage output. The item will provide Vladimir with 120 bonus ability power. But the value of the item comes from its passive ability that will increase the champion’s overall ability power increase by 35 percent of its value. This is going to allow Vladimir to deal substantial damage with a combination of his abilities.
Another incredibly valuable item for Vladimir, Zhonya’s Hourglass offers the champion a substantial boost in power as well as a way to defend himself in skirmishes. Boasting stat increase of 65 ability power, 45 armor, and 10 ability haste, where this item really shines is through its active ability to set Vladimir in stasis, making him invulnerable for a short amount of time. For Vladimir, this can be partnered with his Sanguine Pool and Tides of Blood abilities to deal damage to surrounding enemies as he remains untouched.
Finally, to top off this build Void Staff is to be built as a tool to maximize damage output. The item does this not only from its 70 ability power increase but its unique passive ability to see Vladimir’s abilities ignore a whopping 40 percent of the enemy’s magic resistance. This is going to make a huge difference in a one-on-one dueling situation.
In rare situations where you’re facing a lot of AP champions, or those who have a lot of CC, getting Mercury’s Treads should be your priority. It will reduce the damage you take from them by quite a lot early on, while also diminishing CC received. In most scenarios, going for Sorcerer’s Shoes or Ionian Boots of Lucidity by default will be better. But if you’re feeling threatened by CC, it’s better to acquire these instead.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity
These are alternative offensive boots if you want to sacrifice the magic penetration for an additional 20 ability haste. If your enemies are stacking magic resist, going for these boots is better since you’ll most likely need Void Staff to go through all that magic resist your opponent is going to have.
This is one of the best snowballing AP items in the game. Mejai’s Soustealer costs 1,600 gold and has the potential to give you stats worth more than 3,000 gold when fully stacked. It’s one of the riskiest items in the game, but if you manage to get kills without dying, you can easily get to 25 stacks by the mid game and dominate teamfights due to the amount of raw AP you’ll have from it. If you started with Dark Seal, it’s going to cost you only 1,250 gold to upgrade to this.
This is one of the situational Vladimir items that you’ll want to get against tanky compositions due to how much time you’ll need to take them down. By using auto attacks in between abilities, you’ll be doing much more damage to them due to the Spellblade effect. While this item is quite strong, you shouldn’t get it against squishy compositions since it only gives you AP and movement speed as base stats, making it quite underwhelming when you could instead get ability haste or magic penetration.
This item is a great early-game pickup against an opponent who has a lot of innate healing via their kit or runes. For the cost of only 800 gold, you can constantly deliver a healing debuff and poke them down more than you would with pure AP items.
A late-game item after upgrading the 800-gold orb against healing compositions, Morellonomicon gives you 80 ability power, 250 health, and a Grievous Wounds effect to stop most of the enemy team’s healing as long as you deal damage with your abilities.
This is an alternative Mythic that you could go for if you don’t need the dash from Hextech Rocketbelt. One important reason to go for it is due to its passive of giving you ability haste for each legendary item in your inventory. If you’re facing a tanky composition, you could go for this item for the additional ability haste, which will feel much more impactful instead of the magic penetration.
Banshee’s is a situational item to pick up against champions who have a lot of pick potential. Even though you have your pool to negate most abilities, you can still get deleted in a second if you’re not careful in teamfights. As a result, you can pick up Banshee’s Veil to give you more room for error since it will absorb one spell before you get hit, giving you time to react to a possible engage.