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How To Counter Vladimir With Malzahar

How to counter Vladimir as Malzahar in one easy step: All in.

Okay, it’s not that easy, but it’s not that hard either. Vlad can be painful to play against. His sustain is ridiculous, and he’s a bruiser who hits like a truck in the late game. Vlad is a popular champion. It’s worth it to know how to play against him. You’ll find Malzahar to be one of the better options to take out boisterous Vladimirs. You can understand why through an explanation of the laning phase, build and late game.

This is how to counter Vladimir as Malzahar in many easy steps.

Vladimir isn’t fun to lane against if you don’t know how to. For starters, make sure you know how this ol’ vampire’s abilities work. Check them out here .

Laning

Working around the Q

It’s time to get into the nitty gritty. Trading with Vlad is tricky. He will heal up for the damage you can get on to him with his Q, while leaving you with lower and lower health. It’s better to save your health and mana for an all in. The only time you should trade is when Vlad doesn’t have Q, which you can see on his resource bar. When his resource bar is charging up, his Q is on cooldown. Vlad needs time to heal up. If you take away his time, you take away his healing.

You need to understand the mechanics of Vlad’s Q. Vlad doesn’t have mana. Instead, his resource bar shows when his next empowered Q will come. When it’s full, he gains a short bonus of movement speed and extra damage and healing on his next Q. Every third Q is an empowered Q. You don’t want to be hit by it. It will hurt.

Opportunities

Your passive is going to come in handy in two situations when playing against Vlad. One, for dodging an empowered Q at the beginning of a fight. If you can dodge an empowered Q you’ve put yourself a step ahead of Vlad. He’s wasted the extra damage and healing if it gets blocked. The second situation will be if Vlad ults you while you have your passive on. Not having the effect of Vlad’s ult on you will give you a huge advantage in a fight after level 6. A competent Vlad won’t make the mistake of putting himself in the above situations, but the advantage given to you by these mistakes is so great that you have to make use of these opportunities when they arise.

Jungler gank pls?

You don’t have the damage to all in Vlad before level 6.  You can get away with harassing him if you manage to not be hit by his Q.  Once you’re level 6, if your jungler comes around you can make short work of Vlad with an all in. Pop all your abilities on top of your jungler’s damage and Vlad won’t last long. He can’t turn into a pool while he is being ulted. He can prevent damage from your voidlings by pooling, which he will use against you in fights where you don’t have ult. Unless you’re far ahead, don’t fight him without ult.  He will heal up and you won’t have the damage to make it a quick fight. 

Pushing in

Wave management is another way you can use Malzahar’s strengths to counter Vlad. Once you start to have enough mana, shove lanes through to Vlad’s tower. You can prevent him from healing and deny a bit of farm. Vlad doesn’t have the wave clear to match you so you shouldn’t have trouble doing this.

Don’t let Vlad have trade or have long fights which drag on with you. He has too much healing for that. Take advantage of your wave clear and your all in potential. If you don’t make any hard mistakes, you should come out of this lane victorious.

Vlad vs Malz: Runes and items

Ignite or Teleport

Run ignite in this match-up. It will help you with all ins and allow you to prevent Vlad’s healing when necessary. It’s going to be your only source of grievous wounds, because Morellonomicon isn’t a viable option on Malzahar. If you aren’t worried about his healing, but you are worried about your mana problems, take TP instead.

Summon Aery

For runes, run Summon Aery. Aery is great for lane harass, and it will help you poke Vlad down in the early game. Vlad’s sustain becomes a real problem when he picks up some items, but before then it’s worth trying to poke him. You’re stronger in lane than he is.

The good stuff

After Luden’s for wave clear, grab Liandry’s for poke. Liandry’s will help you deal more damage to Vlad in the late game, because he gains a lot of max health from his passive. Liandry’s deals % Max HP damage. It does even more of that when you pick up Rylais, so don’t forget that either.

Late game

The longer a game lasts, the bigger the problem Vlad starts to become. Use any lead gained in the early game to help the rest of your team to catch a lead. If late game comes, using your ult against Vlad in teamfight situations won’t be a waste. Vlad has to get close to deal damage, so the opportunity will arise. Take it. Vlad can be tanky in the late game, but he won’t survive an ult from you and some damage from your teammates.

Final thoughts

Make use of Vlad’s weak laning phase to gain an early lead. Use this lead to help your teammates. Build as you normally would. Ult Vlad in teamfights. Follow these tips and you will counter Vladimir as Malzahar.

Want to cook some fried Yasuo for your voidlings? Have a look at How To Counter Yasuo With Malzahar.

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