Recently, in the current patch 8.9, there's been an increasingly more popular Vladimir build surfacing. The Crimson Reaper has always been a strong champion that will deal a lot of AoE damage, and sustain throughout, making it a difficult champion to kill if it manages to get the right engages. However, it has one big weakness in the sense that he can be kited easily and has no gap-closing abilities. This made Vladimir very reliant on either having another engage champion, or dependant on Flash.
But what if there was a way to mitigate this weakness, while still keeping all of his strengths? Introducing Faker's Vladimir Build.
The whole core of the build is centered around 3 main ingredients - The keystone Predator, Shurelya's Reverie and Hextech Protobelt-01. Both of these items are very cheap as well, making Vladimir have a pretty early power spike. While it does sacrifice some late game power, it gives Vladimir a whole different approach to the mid-game and turns the Hemomage into a very good engage champion.
First off, let's look at the Runes Vladimir has been taking. The key piece is Predator, which gives a bonus Movement Speed of 67.5% for 1.5 seconds (reduced to 45% for the next 13.5 seconds) and gives Vladimir a bonus 60-180 adaptive damage (+25% AP) boost on his next attack or damaging ability. To round out the Domination tree, we take Taste of Blood to synergize with all our healing, Eyeball Collection, and Ingenious Hunter. This last rune grants permanent Active Item CDR on Unique Takedowns so we can use our other active items more often.
On the secondary tree we take Sorcery, picking Celerity for even more Movement Speed and AP based on all the bonus MS we will be getting, as well as either Scorch or Gathering Storm, depending if we want to have a stronger laning phase or a stronger late game.
For our first item of choice, we have Shurelya's Reverie. Costing a very cheap 2100 gold, it gives +40 AP and +200 Health as well as 10% Cooldown Reduction and 8% Movement Speed. All of these stats synergize well with Vladimir, as both AP and HP give bonus stats to Vladimir, thanks to his passive, while CDR and Movement Speed are essential to this build. To add on top of that, Shurelya's also has an active ability that grants yourself and nearby allies 40% bonus movement speed for 3 seconds.
Lastly, we have Hextech Protobelt-01, which was already a core item on the old Vladimir build. Coming in at a pretty cheap 2500 gold, Protobelt grants +60 Ability Power, +300 Health and 10% Cooldown Reduction. This item also gives Vladimir a much-needed gap closer with it's active, as well as an extra 75-150 (+25% AP) magic damage.
All of these items, not only synergize with Vladimir's kit, giving him various extra stats that other champions would not get from the same build but also grant him various ways to reach the enemy team's backline and wreck havoc. The runes and items alone give Vladimir a bonus 115.5% movement speed on initial cast, plus a 40% MS buff to your allies as well. This makes Vladimir a very potent engage champion very early in the mid-game, as there is no way to stop him from engaging due to his W - Sanguine Pool, which allows him to avoid Crowd Control, while still allowing him to charge his E - Tides of Blood, dealing absurd Area of Effect damage along with his Ultimate - Hemoplague. Compound this with some survivability in Zhonya's Hourglass and all the healing he gets from his abilities, Vladimir can be a very potent champion with incredible late game scaling.