Teemo Build Guide by WillametteValley
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
AP Teemo: DOT Nuker
Hello! Thank you for taking a look at my AP Teemo guide. I have experience playing both AP and AD Teemo, and after my personal experience, I very much ended up preferring AP. Why is that, you ask? I have three very good reasons. One, if I wanted to be an AD champ, there are many champs that scale better in AD than Teemo. Two, by taking AD over AP, you are essentially ignoring the facets of Teemo that make him uniquely Teemo: poison, mushroom, and blind. An AD Teemo's shrooms are negligible and are basically points of limited CC and warding (with very limited visibility). You also cannot build nearly as many shrooms as AP Teemo. If the shrooms don't scare the other team, then you are not doing your job as Teemo. Three, AP Teemo is more congruent with Teemo's squishiness and the need to increase survivalbility through the use of deadly mushrooms and nukes. With the blind/autoattack nuke with Lichbane, Teemo is not required to sit in one place and fight in order to do significant amounts of damage.
My rune setup is very simple. Even though I am striving to build an AP Teemo, I use a very one-sided DPS rune setup to make up for his terrible base attack speed. I use attack speed quints, marks, and seals. For the glyphs, I use CD reduction/lvl. This allows you to plant more mushrooms and be able to compete in the laning phase. With the increase attack speed, people will fear you more than usual, and you will also be able to farm much more effectively as your auto attack will be noticeably more responsive. Farming is important for most champs, and Teemo is no exception. Last hitting and being able to establish your position in lane from the start will determine your gold intake greatly. After all, LOL is about gold and towers when you consider all the other things to be equal.
I have also noticed that AD Teemo scales badly for end game and doesn't do any damage to the beefier champs. He basically becomes a specialist for very squishy AD champs who has almost no chance of surviving against a nuke. Madred's you say? With MR (which by the time you get Madreds, their tank(s) WILL have MR) Madreds is easily circumvented. Also, Madred's is really expensive and is not worth using against anyone with MR. Whereas an AP Teemo can fight every champ class and only gets stronger as the game progresses despite MR because his AP and AP will be so high.
Teemo's skill sequence is quite easy: toxic shot - blind - toxic shot - move quick - toxic shot - mushroom. From there, prioritize mushroom > toxic shot > blind > move quick. There is the argument that blind should be leveled before toxic shot. I think that is a valid argument since blind is the second most damaging ability that he has, but blind is a one single shot that uses up precious mana and poison is not. It is better to be dependent on toxic shot as you level up as it is the more reliable choice. In addition, when toxic shot is not leveled up, it becomes less and less important as the game progresses. It is important to keep toxic shot dangerous for those annoying harasses and killing champions that are running away.
After getting magic pen in the offensive masteries, I fill out the defensive masteries because Teemo is sooo squishy at the beginning. The extra HP and incoming dmg reduction takes away the angst of being killed too easily at the early levels. And since Teemo is a harasser with a short range on his autoattack, it is important to be able to survive the constant poking in and out of the opponent's range. The extra HP also gives you more flexibility in picking with item to start out with. Without the defensive masteries, you'd have to start Doran's every time just for the extra HP if you are intent on harassing the lane opponents, which as Teemo, you must. A teemo that doesn't harass is a liability and wast of space.
There are many ways to start out as Teemo. Some prefer boots, some prefer a tome and potion, and others prefer doran's blade. I usually go with doran's blade because it helps measurably for last hits; LAST HITTING IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. Additionally, it helps you to defend yourself and your teammate (if you are laning with a partner) from aggressive laning foes through a sturdier defense and increased damage capalbilities. The 3% lifesteal also doesn't hurt, either.
Now, it's important to get teleport if you have doran's as the lifesteal will not be enough to create a guaranteed lane sustainability and be able to control the wave at the same time. Teleport is a great spell because it allows you to not miss out on exp and gold in the early phase, and as Teemo, you will not be making up that deficit through consistently racking up early kills, like Akali or Poppy, because you need gold and items first in order to kill. Teleport also allows you to play more aggressively, setting back the opponent's position in gold and exp by forcing them back to their base earlier than planned, while you get to pop back to the nexus and teleport back after a well timed skirmish. Whenever teleport is up or close to being up, you can harass like a rabid yordle. This strategy works great at mid since if the mid leaves to go back to his base, the other team is missing out on precious exp and gold. If their jungler comes to babysit, harass him too because he will be, ideally, two lvls below you, giving you a big advantage no matter who the jungler is.
Now, after Doran's blade, you can choose between boots and ability power, starting with the codex or malady. The codex it has decent ability power, can be upgraded to Morello's, and has CD reduction which is so important for the laying of many mushrooms. Notice how every guide says put down mushrooms in all these spots, but if you don't have CD reduction, you just can't - the shrooms do not regenerate in time for you to cover all areas of the map in any significant manner without CD reduction or blue (and most likely, blue would be more proper for your nuker like Brand, an AD like Ashe, or support/tank like Soraka, Janna, and Ali). If you go the Malady route, you have a powerful laning phase weapon which allows you to push on command and defend yourself through a significant amount of ATTK SPD. How I decide whether to get boots or ability power first is dependent on how aggressive my opponent is, how fast they are, the likelihood of ganks, and do they have abilities that I need to dodge using my feet and positioning. If the above are not concerns and the lane is very vanilla, then I go ability power in hopes of getting a kill. Otherwise, I go boots first, at least lvl 1, to increase survivalbility. On another note, if you are fighting a champ that is harassing you better than you are harassing them, say a LeBlanc for instance, then do not be afraid to get a scepter so that you can stay in lane. A scepter in combination with your doran's is a noticeable increase in lifesteal, but at the same time, this should be a last resort - the scepter only increase lane sustainability and does not make you any more dangerous than before.
From there, finish the other choice (malady, if you went Morello, and Morello if you went Malady). Now, you are focusing on magic penetration through sorcerer's boots and haunting guise, CD reduction and ability power through Morello and Nashor's Tooth, pure AP through Rabadon's, and the creation of a nuke through Lichbane. Blind coupled with an autoattack with Lichbane is incredible especially on glass cannon carries. It's good to start LB early with Sheen so that your regular attacks have more power when coupled with a spell and have additional mana.
Two items that I did not show but are viable also are Rod of Ages and Deathfire Grasp. AP Teemo does suffer from mana issues, and if you consider having unlimited mana to be a top priority, then ROA is a great item for you. Also, the AP is great on it and helps survivability. The reason I usually don't get ROA is because it slows down the CD reduction significantly and the early shrooming will be hurt quite noticeably. The AP you can get with other items, and as I stated before, CD reduction is so important for effective shrooming.
The first item I end up selling is Doran's and then Malady. If it gets to the point of selling malady, you should move on to RCS or Hextech.
Note: The items after LB on my progression are suggestions for alternate builds. Deathfire for tanky teams. Hextech for balanced teams. MR teams - get void staff - it is the AP version of Last Whisper.
Teleport for the above reasons. Flash because it helps you catch up to running enemies, tower dive, and escape (whether it be solo or in a team fight). It is also the most creative spell as you can flash through walls for an escape that is frustrating to the opponent. Flash is also great for escaping an opponent that you know will kill you if he catches up and you have no walls to escape through. This is how: first, plant a shroom as you run. If he is too close to you to activate it, flash back in the direction you were running from to put the shroom between you and him. He will react quickly and run into the mushroom that you had just laid down without even thinking about it. This will either buy you time to run or allow you to kill him. But if you do this, make sure no one else is chasing you because then you'll be out of escapes.
Creeping / Jungling
LAST HITTING. If you can't last hit in a supreme manner, you will notice that you'll eventually fall off the map in terms of power. If the other guy is last hitting better than you, he will have a significant advantage in items and power. This is why you must focus hard on last hitting and keeping the other guy from last hitting. When a melee comes in to last hit, punish him with a poison, blind, poison. If you're ever playing a Nasus, this is doubly important so that you can keep his Q down. If you're playing a ranged character, harass them when you notice them getting too comfortable and moving closer to your creeps. If they stay back, always check the range on your blind to see when you can hit them. Even if they stay back, once my creeps are outnumbering the opponent's creeps, I push forward and harass to minimize creep damage to myself and to mitigate his own counter punch since my creeps will defend me on the way back after the harass.
A tip for last hitting is watching which one of your minions is hitting which one of theirs. You can see the sorcerer minions' attacks, and count how many shots from them it is taking to take down one of their minions. If you can focus on that, you can anticipate better the moment of last hit. Beginners usually hit too early or too late. You need to be able to catch the rhythm of the damage coming from your own minions to theirs.
Even during all this, you must watch the map every few seconds. It only takes a quick glance to see if anyone is missing on the map. If you can't multitask to do that, then you are very vulnerable to ganking and the opponents will love you and your lack of anticipation. Map awareness also allows you to save your jungler, see an ally setting up a gank, or knowing when to switch lanes to help out. Without map awareness, you will often find yourself being in a place where you don't need to be and not being where you could've made a real big difference.
When you hit 6, making your lane safe as possible for you is priority. Mushroom ganking routes, pursuit routes, in places as closest to the creeps as possible without getting run over by them, and by your turret in case of turret diving which people love to do on Teemo. Without CD reduction, it will be mathematically impossible to cover all those areas of mushroom placement.
First off, you do not initiate. Once Teemo pokes his head out, he is at the mercy of CC's, nukes, and deadly auto attacks. So, if your team does not know how and when to initiate, then you are kind of screwed :) Teemo does best when his teammates know how to engage the enemy (and are aware of where they are) and can survive the initial salvo. If they all get burnt to a crisp in a second, then your chances of dying goes up significantly. If you only see squishy champs in que, I would usually recommend not to get Teemo unless there is a lot of CC.
What Teemo should do in a team fight is be cautious and seemingly insignificant until the right moment arises and then strike like a bee. Have they used up their CCs? Who is engaging who? Where are their tanks and their carrys? Do you need to flank them? Do you need to blind their AD carry immediately? Where is everyone positioned. In a teamfight, try to not get separated from your teammates. If you flank them and you're noticeably far from the rest of your team, their whole team will pounce on you. If you ARE separated, you need to be able to escape FAST. Drop a shroom before you enter battle (which you will be able to do with your CD reduction) and try to get as many worthwhile hits and attention as you can get. Run away through your shroom. Once someone hits your shrooms, they will be reluctant to chase you anymore and a significant part of their health is gone along with being slowed. Rinse and repeat. When their team has many low health heroes, get in there and auto attack like crazy. They just will not have enough time to think about you and counterpunch before they die.
With your shrooms, you can use them in many different ways. One is as a ward, not necessarily like the normal one since the vision of a mushroom is not huge by any means. But placing a mushroom at entrances and exits of the jungle, at dragon, and at Baron Nashor greatly helps your team in seeing enemy movement. This spreads your mushrooms out a lot, and most likely, won't kill anyone except for a hero running away from a fight, but it does allow your team to move around with great map awareness. The method I prefer is to place mushrooms in a line or grouping in certain key spots so that if anyone enters there, they will either die or have to go back to base. Hitting two mushrooms from an AP teemo can take a carry down below half health. In order to secure a respectable spot, you need to be able to anticipate where they are going to go. The buffs, dragon, and Nashor are all good ones. But if you happen to notice that the other team is using the tri bushes a lot or using a certain jungling lane over and over, create a minefield around those areas (which also happens to increase visibility through a shroom network) and sit as invisible teemo. When someone starts hitting multiple mushrooms, unstealth and unleash hell with your increased attack speed and blind. After the kill, RUN AWAY and plant a mushroom so that any pursuers will be slowed. Another way to use your fields or lines is to get the attention of the enmeny and have them chase you through your route of mushrooms. Soon enough, they will get sick of chasing you and it wastes valuable time for them to have to keep going back to base to heal. If they're stupid enough, they'll never stop chasing you through the field you set up and you can kill them. It is important that you never get hit or just a little because once you get CCed, your chances of survival go dramatically down. Be aware of who you are baiting into your field. Tryn and Yi are my favorites to take through the gauntlet. Even if Yi catches up to you through Highlander, he will be significantly weakened, and you can blind him to make him basically useless and kill him off with autoattacks. Tryn is a little harder because his mocking shout is a great CC. Make sure you do not stray to far from your mushroom if shadowing a Tryn.
What to do when they get an oracle
OK, so their tank or a squishy who is awfully pissed about your mushrooms and wards gets an oracle. Congratulations - you have just done a good job. You made them spend gold that they normally wouldn't want to invest in. That's a victory point for you. Now, since they made that investment, they will try to stay alive, so you won't be able to count on just killing them off again that easily. Your initial counter is to start putting down shrooms only in brushes. This way, even the oracle keeper can't see them too easily and might even run over them despite having oracle. In the bushes, place them around the spot where a person would ENTER the bush so that the oracle champ does not get a chance to react to the presence of the shroom. As long as oracle is up, you are limited, but not useless. Besides, the oracle champ can only be at one place at a time, and you can try to spread them out by pushing multiple lanes as a team. This will make them vulnerable to your shrooms again. Whether they buy oracle or not, it's a win win for you. They are wasting valuable gold or they don't see your shrooms.
The other two methods of using your shrooms occur less but are just as important. One is lane controlling with your shrooms. Laying a couple shrooms out on lanes where the creeps will run will allow you to leave that lane and not lose a turret to their creeps. This is a very passive turret push, but it works. Do not overdo this as one, it is a waste of mushrooms, and two, you will lose visibility of the map. Do this when your mushrooms are maxed out or you will not get any free gold from minion kills. The second method is laying down a shroom to help a teammate that is low on health and is escaping a battle. You have to judge for yourself if the champ is saveable. Ping where he should run to and place a shroom in the path of the opponents. They will either run through it and be slowed or have to run around them, which in essence, is a slow. This is hard to pull off if your teammate doesn't know what the hell you're trying to do and actually runs away from you, but ping and see what happens.
Another note with shrooms - make sure to space them correctly. The more leveled up your shrooms are, the closer they can be because the slow becomes more significant. But to be safe, do not put them too close together in order to get the full nuking effect of the mushrooms. Hitting another shroom only procs the poison and slow, not the initial hit, if hit too early. So, spread those babies out farther than you might originally think unless you are trying to create a net for anti-ganking.
Kamikaze shroom - this is if you really screwed up and are surrounded in a team fight or being dove on under a turret. If you know you're going to die, put a shroom down. It'll most likely hit more than one champion as they fight among themselves for the kill and give your remaining teammates a greater chance to win. Also, you can get some assists and kills even after death. Putting down a shroom by your tower will buy you and your tower a lot of time. If you know you're going to die because of a combination of low health and enemy CC and have flash up, run away from your tower towards your nexus as the turrets starts hitting the enemy champ. As he is about to leave the field of fire from the turret, flash back into the turret, set down a shroom, and run towards their turret while keeping the enemy still under your turret's range and the shroom between you and him. Yes, you will still die, but you will most likely take one of them with you.
As you teamfight, place shrooms down wherever you are standing. You never know when you'll have to juke a hungry opponent and can also catch fleeing opponents. Outside of that, blind and auto attack for your nuke. Be very aware of when your blind is up again. Keep scampering around and hitting their supports, carrys, and then tanks. You must balance dmg output and survivalbility. If their AD carry is out of control (like a fed Tryn, Yi, and Ashe, and so on), blind them first. You can make them useless for a very long time relative to a team fight's duration.
As you can see, I like being involved in teamfights. Too often, I see Teemo's in their own little worlds to only push a lane (Teemo isn't the best pusher. If you want a pusher get Sivir or Yi). As a Teemo, you have a big responsibility of constantly "warding" and also putting in as much as possible into team fights through well placed shrooms and well timed blinds/autoattacks. GL and hope that you can join the small group of people that are actually good with Teemo :)