Vladimir could and should have been played in pro – this buff was not needed

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Riot is doing that thing again where they buff something just to make pro players remember it exists.

Vladimir was already playable, and in many cases, very strong. Rocketbelt has given him a one item spike that he didn't need, and he still scales like a complete monster. 

Late game Vladimir is game over, I don't care what anyone says.

But why would the pros play him?

Don't know if you guys have noticed, but Ornn is running the patch right now.

Whichever team gets Ornn seems to just win the game. He gets and gives an absurd amount of free stats, has one of the best teamfighting ults in the game, and given split pushing is essentially worthless due to dragon souls, that ult becomes game winning.

Do you know who would appreciate the relatively free lane, scales into one of the best teamfighters in the game and gets an absurd amount of free stats?

Vlad is a well-known answer to Ornn - he's not going to solo-kill him like an Aatrox or a Vayne might do, but he gives you equal scaling, and after a certain point, doesn't give a solitary Fiddlesticks about the enemy comp.

Most the things that stop him 1v9ing, nobody plays anyway. There's no Kassadin, no Anivia, no Yorick or Nasus. 

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I'm not suggesting you blind pick him, or play him into Camille or Jayce. But when Ornn is becoming the blind pick top laner of choice, he's the perfect answer.

You can also flex him mid if the opponent tries to do something funky (Ornn to mid, Irelia top could really cause you problems), but generally you would want to pick him on R5.

There aren't many AP tops, either, so if you did want to play one of those AD mids for god knows what reason (please stop picking Lucian mid, it ruins my solo queue games), Vlad won't impinge on that.

Vladimir did not need this armor buff, and this is purely a poke at the pro top laners to pick him again. 

Just let me see BrokenBlade take it into T1, trust me bro.