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I'm trying out Vladimir and wondering why I shouldn't be buying Life Steal gear rather than Attack Power or Health.

Most builds I've seen so far focus on:

  • Rylai's Crystal Scepter: 80 AP + 500 HP
  • Rabadon's DeathCap: 140 AP
  • Zhonya's Hourglass: 50 Armor, 100 AP
  • Lich Bane: 80 AP, 350 Mana, 7% Movement Speed

Wouldn't an item like The Bloodthirster (60 Attack Damage, 15% Life Steal) make Vlad's life stealing much more powerful? Or is the difference in that Vlad has no use of Attack Damage since he's a mage?

Or does it have to do with Vlad's Crimson Pact ability: Every 25 points of bonus health gives Vladimir 1 ability power and every 1 point of ability power gives Vladimir 2 bonus health? Which would make those two abilities scale better than Life Steal.

Can anyone explain why the other items are considered better for Vlad?

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Why would he use life steal? He's definitely not a vampire after all. –  Wipqozn Jul 31 '11 at 11:47
I'd imagine a 15% increase in the health you get is quite significant –  Ivo Flipse Jul 31 '11 at 12:02
Lifesteal gives a percentage of the damage you deal from regular attacks back as health, so it won't give him more health back from hitting enemies with his abilities. For your damage from abilities to return more health you want Spell Vamp, e.g. Hextech Revolver, Will of the Ancients. –  REDace0 Jul 31 '11 at 19:38
Thanks all for explaining the difference, it also makes the weapon choice for Ashe more logical :-) –  Ivo Flipse Aug 1 '11 at 9:00
For more information on Life Steal and Spell Vamp in general, check out this answer –  Grace Note Aug 5 '11 at 13:22

3 Answers 3

up vote 14 down vote accepted

You mustn't mix up life steal and spell vamp.

Life steal steals on physical damage (meaning auto-attack for vlad). In fights, you very rarely use your auto-attacks to deal big damage because you're a caster.

Spell vamp steals on magical damage (meaning all of his spells), this is want you want if your plan is to steal more life.

  • Zhonya's Hourglass is great because vlad's ult has low range but must be cast in battle engage to hit the most enemies and for the 15% extra magical damage. The two second invulnerability will allow you to stay alive in the heart of the battle if you get targeted.
  • I also very often use Hextech Revolver with Vlad, but you need some AP. It's no use having 50% Spell vamp if you don't deal any damage.

Vlad spells cost life, the good thing about more spell vamp is you can get your life back faster with transfusions minion lines and you can cast life costing spells (specially Tides of Blood that stacks) with less impact on your life.

EDIT : I went to have a quick look at all the different Vlad builds. All (or nearly all) of the descent builds have hextech revolver in them with its evolution to will of the ancients - give more AP, more spell vamp and an aura :-)

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Lifesteal/Spellvamp don't care about physical/magical damage - lifesteal applies to basic attacks and most on-next-hit abilities (Poppy and Morde are the exceptions I can think of atm, who both proc spellvamp with Q), spellvamp applies to other abilities. –  Jacob Raihle Jul 17 '12 at 15:47
  • Rylai's enable you to slow enemies and get the kills you deserve. Vlad is really a slow guy and once the enemy runs, fight is done.
  • Rabadon's better cause Vlad's damage are magical, mostly. Plus the passive is more rewarding for little AP increase than AD.
  • Zhonya's Hourglass is a real asset in battle. Usually, Vlad's the first target, the hourglass can give you the seconds you need to cast your ultimate and provide your team a huge chance to win.

I usually don't take life steal items because Vlad's main attacks are not physical damage, but spells. You would better profit a spell vamp item like the revolver or the will of the ancient.

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+1 for mentioning spell vamp –  nimcap Jul 31 '11 at 17:07
Physical damage is not the opposite of spells. Abilities can deal magic or physical damage, but they still use spell vamp. Normal attacks deal physical damage and can possibly deal magic damage on top of that. Your wording at the end is confusing the issue. –  StrixVaria Aug 1 '11 at 20:21

Rushing Hextech Revolver into Will of the Ancients early game is very useful in terms of spell vamp. You get more health from transfusion and the health loss from tides of blood is a lot less severe.

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