Heimerdinger Build Guide by beltani
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.
Welcome to my Heimerdinger build for Dominion / The Crystal Scar! I started playing LoL after the introduction of this wonderful gametype. Everything I wanted from a hero arena game is here; faster games, faster leveling, more teamfights, and less creeping.
This guide includes two builds: one for high damage output, and the other which is my take on a "tankerdinger."
**PLEASE READ BEFORE CONTINUING**
With the new mode comes changed viability across the champion roster and a new metagame! While this guide is for new heimer players, you will still need a thorough understanding of the dominion gametype (and the new roles players must fill) before you read this guide.
If you don't know what I'm talking about, please refer to Zemiazas' guide here.
The secret to winning every game...
...is MAP AWARENESS. If you know where the enemy team is at all times, you will never get ganked and never miss an opportunity to neut or cap a tower! I can not stress enough how important this is. A 5-man team with voice communication who has good map awareness and talks often will almost never lose!
Know your role and shut your mouth!
Heimer was born to be an unstoppable force in dominion! Playing according to the current dominion metagame, he is one of the most viable champions for the "bottom lane" or bot role.
As the bottom lane player, you will be responsible for holding your team's bottom tower as well as pushing friendly creeps towards the enemy's bottom tower in an attempt to disrupt or capture it.
Let's take a closer look at how heimer's mechanics affect his role in the game!
Pros / Cons
Unparalleled tower defense.
Pushing ability on bottom is almost impossible to overcome.
Reduced need for autoattacks compared to other bottom laners with turrets and your 'W' ability.
You will very rarely need to initiate vs. other heroes.
Cannot tower dive or jump enemies, only lure or kite.
No chasing ability and no escapes.
Reliant on turrets for much of damage output.
To be effective on bottom, you have a limited selection of summoner spells that make sense.
Garrison is an absolute must for any player on bottom. With your turrets, auto-targeting missiles, and grenade, you should have no problem interrupting enemy captures; instead, save that extra regen for situations usually unique to the bottom lane. Use it to quickly gain momentum or stop your opponent's push.
-If you're pushing into their bottom tower with creeps, but your lane opponent is harassing from under his tower, pop your garrison! The reduced tower damage means with a big enough creep push you can neutralize or take it without even coming close. When you get the hang of it, you'll be able to push the creeps while keeping your lane opponent occupied and guessing.
-Enemy pushing you onto your tower with creeps? No matter how well you defend, you're going to die. And when you die, your opponent will take the opportunity to push towards your tower. If you end up on your tower with creeps coming in and no turrets up, pop the garrison for some relief. The tower can mop up the creep wave and allow you to focus on the 1v1, and place your turrets in a way that allows you to push back out without having to fully commit to defending the tower.
Promote is my personal second choice. More straightforward than garrison, but can still be used both offensively and defensively. The biggest drawback is its lack of scaling as the game progresses.
-Having problems early on against your lane opponent? Pop a promote to buy some time. Wait until the lead mob from your current wave is about to die, as he'll be healed back to full. Take the opportunity to push back, recall and buy, or call for help.
-Opponents leaving a tower next to one you control unoccupied? Quickly kill an enemy creep wave, and pop your promote. If their team isn't paying attention or is otherwise occupied, you can pick up a free neutralization.
Exhaust is a possible alternative to promote. You can use it to escape if your lane opponent tries to jump you early, or to escape an attempted gank from the middle. If you pick up exhaust, don't forget...
-Use it in conjunction with your grenade. The reduced movement speed will help you land your skill shot.
-Use it to help ensure a character with escapes receives the punishment they deserve if they try to jump you near your turrets or a tower. If multiple enemies are about to dive on you, grenade one target and exhaust another.
Flash is similar to exhaust in utility. Escape a gank, or use it to enhance your kiting skills.
Ghost is not for you. Now go back bottom and do your job!
Like any other champion, heimer's masteries are often debated and often come down to preference and play style. I choose to drop a full 21 points into offense, with a splash into defense for armor and MR, and the rest into the utility tree's MP/level. I like the magic pen, extra AP, and CDR. Doing extra damage to low health targets is handy for bunkering down. I've included an alternative build for defensive-minded player who want more survivability. I'm not going to wall of text you here, go read a different chapter or something.
There are lots of options here for Heimer, so I'll try and keep it general and give you some choices.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration - This is the highest magic pen rune available. A solid choice.
Greater Seal of Armor - The armor/level rune does not surpass this until level 10, and I recommend this flat armor instead.
greater seal of vitality - Another solid choice, swapping one defensive stat for another. Can't really go wrong here either.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power - The AP is my favorite choice here. A nice damage boost, especially in the early game.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist - Is another excellent choice. Combined with the armor seal, you can get a juicy defensive boost early. The MR/level doesn't surpass this until level 10, so I'd stick with flat MR. You can still pick up AP from your quints if you want.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power - Almost 15 AP from 3 of these bad boys is hard to pass up.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed - The only alternative I like to passing up the extra AP. The movespeed will help you with tough matchups early game and to escape ganks, especially before you have boots. Worth your consideration, at least.
If you came here looking for a skill sequence, too bad! You should actually read the chapter instead! Go on, do it! Mwahahahahaha!
Heimer is a fairly simple character to play once you have a firm grasp of his mechanics. Your skills have a very simple leveling order, and most of the skill you'll need to develop lies in his skillshot CH-1 CONCUSSION GRENADE. Let's break down his skills first, and then we'll move into tactics.
H-28G Evolution Turret is your most important and effective skill. It will be the majority of your damage output, and allow you to bunker down on a turret and fight off multiple enemy champions. This is the skill that will separate the good heimers from the bad. Keep in mind that your turrets will not upgrade with your skill increases once placed, so distribute points before you drop your next turret. You can have a maximum of two up at a time, starting at skill level 2.
Hextech Micro-Rockets is a fantastic skill. Up to 3 missiles at a time, all auto-targeting and fast. A good heimer will always use their range to maximize the effect of this skill, making sure 3 rockets are always landing if there are 3 targets. Your rockets will consistently do solid damage as the game progresses.
ch-1 concussion grenade is your skillshot and the most difficult ability to use. Practice and patience will be required to be successful. The projectile has good range, but it is incredibly slow moving and requires a direct hit to proc the stun. Use of this ability is what separates great heimers from good ones. Don't forget that an indirect hit will still damage and blind the target!
A good strategy for new players is to focus on landing your grenades just as a melee initiates; try and drop it just in front of you or directly on you as they enter. Early game it's useful for AoE on creeps, and you can practice with it by poking on your lane opponent from a range.
UPGRADE!!! is your ult. Popping it will net you an upgrade to every one of your abilities, and will make you a juggernaut for the next 6 seconds. It has the following effects:
-Heals your turrets to full.
-Adds slowing frost damage that scales with the skill (20/25/30%).
-Gives you two extra missiles for your Hextech Micro-Rockets ability.
-Increases the missile speed of your ch-1 concussion grenade from 750 to 1000.
Your ult will be most effective when you're dug in, with 2 turrets up to maximize your damage output. Additionally, because it heals your turrets back to full, it can turn the tides in an emergency. If you're desperate to escape a gank, use the slow on the turrets to run. You can even drop another turret behind you as you run to ensure your escape, but this becomes less effective towards the middle game.
Like any other champion, heimer has a handful of "core items," as well as many useful items to counter-build with. I'm going to separate this chapter into three sections: starting items, core items, and defensive items.
The items you walk out the gate with are very important; it may be a while before you get relief or find an opening to recall. Core items are the things you should be building between defensive items, or when you're having zero problems with survivability. Defensive items are the hardest to catalog, as what you should be buying is incredibly situational; my goal here is to outline some items I think you should consider, my opinion about when and why you should buy them.
This is BY NO MEANS a complete look at all the items you'll ever need on heimer. That would be impossible; this game is too subjective and every match is different. Item building is arguably the mechanic most suited to personal taste and playstyle, so take what I'm about to say with a grain of salt! Play enough and you'll have your own build for heimer that might be way better than what I've suggested here :)
Mana Potion will be important for the very beginning game. Buying 2-3 will ensure you have enough mana to do your job until you can buy some new items.
Fiendish Codex is my personal favorite out of the gate. A nice AP bonus, mana regen, and CDR, all of which benefit you early on. However, best of all, it upgrades to Morello's Evil Tome for paltry 1105G!
Chalice of Harmony and Boots of Speed can be an effective starting strategy as well. The passive will continue to give you scaling mana regen throughout the game, and you can almost always afford your Sorcerer's Shoes as soon as you have a chance to buy them. For me, however, the AP and CDR of the Fiendish Codex are still to hard to pass up. I would only recommend this build if you know you'll be facing an AP character on the bottom lane that will be able to jump you, or that you've struggled against in the past.
catalyst the protector might be a better decision if you want magic resist early. The extra health will help your survivability out of the gate, and there are two upgrade options once you have a chance to buy; Odyn's Veil for another 1390G will give you some serious MR, HP, and mana if you're still struggling against another AP; or, if you'd rather have some extra damage instead, pick up Rod of Ages for an additional 1710G.
Sorcerer's Shoes will be your preferred pair of footwear on heimer. A good item to finish 1st or 2nd, depending on how your mana pool is holding up.
Morello's Evil Tome is an item I've grown to love on my time as heimer. The two-stage build with the Fiendish Codex (meaning it's 1245G + 1105G or 2350G), excellent AP, CDR, much needed early mana regen...did I mention the price?
Rylai's Crystal Scepter is commonly referred to as the "caster's Frozen Mallet," and it's hard not to agree. This is a *critical* item for you, and I would recommend building it 3rd (after your Sorcerer's Shoes) if you're having no problems with survivability yet; or, if you're getting thumped on, pick up an appropriate defensive item first and build this 4th. The slow will not stack with your turrets, but that's okay! You still have missiles, grenades, and autoattacks to proc it, and when you have your UPGRADE!!! up - nobody is leaving your turret alive. Dun-dun-DUNNNNNNNN!
Rabadon's Deathcap is a pretty self-explanatory item. Lots of AP (140) and a scaling 30% AP bonus, this will make you hurty and angry. Mostly because of how expensive it is at 3600G. Don't build one until later in the game, maybe as your 4th item at the earliest.
Void Staff is a sexy little beast of an item, clocking in at a frighteningly reasonable 2295G. The 70AP is nice, but the magic penetration is what makes our little friend here irreplaceable. Building this is a great way to overcome the MR that your enemies have been building (thanks to your domination, I'm sure!) by the mid to late game. If the game lasts long enough, you should almost always end up with one.
Abyssal Scepter might look like a counter-build or defensive item at first glance with 57MR, but don't be fooled; the 70AP combined with a 20MR aura means there's more offense than defense present here. For only 2650G, this item can be incredible in the right circumstances. The price means you can grab one for your 3rd item without too much trouble, and if your lane opponent is AP or their team is AP heavy, this is a must have!
Odyn's Veil is one of the better MR items you have at your disposal. A moderate chunk of health and mana, 50MR, and best of all, a flat 10% reduction vs. magic damage. Use the active to dish out some extra punishment when you have a good charge going. Yours for 2715G.
Zhonya's Hourglass is considered a core item by many heimer players, but I beg to differ! While excellent against an AD in your lane or against an AD heavy team, the 3100G price tag and active effect make me hesitate. In the right situations, a Zhonya's can turn the tides for you; the 50 armor and 2 second invulnerability will give you massive survivability against AD, while the whopping 100AP means you're getting more damage output while increasing your lifespan. Just make sure you're not building this every game, only when you need to make the enemy AD sit up and pay attention.
Frozen Heart can also be a good defensive item for those pesky AD. Unlike Zhonya's, the Frozen Heart is almost exclusively defense focused; 99 armor, and an aura that reduces enemy attack speed by 20% within 1000 range. The extra 20% CDR and 500 mana are a nice bonus too, and the price is moderate at 2775G.
Lich Bane is a balanced way to pick up some MR. The biggest problem is the price tag at 3470G. AP, a little MR, mana, and movespeed are nice, but the best part of the item is (per usual) the unique effect: your physical attacks do 100% of your AP as damage once every two seconds! I wouldn't consider Lich Bane until you're mostly built out (i.e. as your 5th item) and looking for an interesting item to finish with.
Thornmail will give you a massive armor boost and 30% damage return, but you're paying 2000G for a single stat item, and enemies can negate the damage return with MR (yes, it's returned as magic damage, huhwat). Don't buy it unless you have no other options.
Guardian Angel is more viable for a tower-camping heimer than it is for most other heroes. Better to not die, but the extra life can prevent a tower cap or get the kill. And I say can, because most of the time it won't. Inconsistent at best, for 2600G this is basically an expensive way to troll people. You could build worse things, though.
Hopefully you're now familiar with heimer's skills and some basic strategies for them. Now it's time to move on to the metagame and your role as the team's bot. Wait, just kidding, I'm getting back on my soapbox!
MAP AWARENESS IS EVERYTHING. If you're going to avoid ganks, you must know where the enemy team is at all times! When they push mid, be careful and don't let them set up on you! If they go for your mid or top instead, resume business as usual. You will not be successful as an individual or a team without this.
THIS. Once you have a firm grasp of how to maximize your turrets' effectiveness, you can start dominating your lane. The beginning of the game is very important for you, much more critical than your team's success in the first teamfight at top. Let's take a look at how I like to do it!
When the game starts, make a break for your team's bottom tower. When the creep waves meet in the center of the map, pop your missiles and a grenade until you hit level 4 and can drop a second point into H-28G Evolution Turret. (Remember, once your turret is placed it will not upgrade as you put more points into the skill). Now it's time to place it! Drop it just to the north of where the creeps are battling. If you're getting pressured early, back off and play it safe or promote, and hang in there until you can get some assistance or turn the tides. Otherwise, try and position yourself to have free access to the health pack until you push through. Time for a visual aide!
When you start to push, place your next turret so that it will be in range of the enemy creeps as they come out of the spawn, and be able to hit any champions that come off their tower to poke you. Here's a visual aide.
Ready to have some fun? If you push hard and cap your enemy's bot, or they push you back and you find yourself needing to defend your tower, get ready to have some fun! Try and drop your turrets as close to the base as you can get them. This will stop them from being picked off without enemies engaging the tower itself. Now, become the master baiter you were born to be! Walk to the edge of the tower and path back again, launching your Hextech Micro-Rockets just after you turn around. Use your grenades to stun enemies trying to poke or harass you, or who get careless and try to hold it for their friends to jump. If you know the rush is coming, save the grenade for a stun under the tower. Use your ult when enemies have fully committed to ensure the slow keeps them in range. Kite them around the tower, spamming your missile when it's available and dropping stun grenades at their feet. Make sure none of them are clicking the tower to neutralize it, as it will provide DPS you desperately need. Here's where I usually drop mine:
"AHA!" you say, "but where are the creeps so I can have a better frame of reference?" Well fret not dear reader, for lo I present unto you, more screenshots! These will be more similar to what you'll see in game. Note that I have my CH-1 CONCUSSION GRENADE selected to give you an idea of how far away you can harass from.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my guide, or referencing it! This is my first guide, and I'm a relatively new player, so give me your feedback! I plan on keeping the guide as updated as it can be, so let me know how to do that!
See a mistake? Comment! Have a better alternative item/build/rune/etc.? Comment? Did I forget something? You get the idea :) Or just say hi!
Special thanks to Azch for helping me with the screenshots and for proofreading!
v0.8 - 12/28/2011
PS, I'm putting this in here ahead of time because I guarantee I'll get flamed for my Morello's Evil Tome and I wanted it on record that I saw it coming! :(