Heimerdinger Build Guide by Vynertje
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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.
WARNING: The builds I mention are the builds for SEASON 2. While they will remain largely the same, I do need to edit some stuff to fit in. Give me a break whilst I am working on this.
Welcome to my Heimerdinger guide. In this guide I hope to spread the goodwill of one of the least played champions of the League, and explain how you should play him. Heimerdinger is a really fun and unique champion, so let's get started!
Please be so kind to leave a comment before downvoting, so you give me a chance to explain my choices or perhaps make some edits if I agree with you. Even for upvoting goes: comments are more useful than votes. So please, leave a comment upon voting :)
Also please keep in mind that I am not a native English speaker. I tried my best to hide all major errors but I cannot guarantee my English to be flawless. Thanks :)
A short thanks to all the people who read this guide and voted:
This guide is currently the numer one build on mobafire for Heimerdinger and it belonged to the best of 30 days for some time. This off course wouldn't be this way without all your support and nice comments. These really motivate me to keep working on this guide.
This guide has undergone a major change since the introduction of the Athene's Unholy Grail, some old parts (including the old builds) have been hidden, but are still available with the use of spoilers. These parts aren't the main way I play Heimerdinger anymore, but are still very viable and they can give good information though.
Introduction to Heimerdinger: Legendary Heimerdinger (video)
This is an old video and somewhat outdated, I have become a way better player in the time between recording and now so I hope to get a better video on this soon.
Download link for the LoLReplay file here.
Pros / Cons
+ A very unique champion
+ Great pusher
+ His skills can result in epic moments
+ Great utility spells
+ Very rewarding combo's
+ His brain is larger than yours
- Hard to completely master
- Very squishy
- Relies on positioning heavily
- Doesn't have as great burst as e.g. Annie or Anivia
- Very mana hungry
- Fairly weak ap-ratio's
|For these you should take 9x Greater Mark of Magic Penetration. For any ap-carry this is a must, as it will lessen the need for rushing a void staff when the enemy builds magic resist.|
|greater seal of replenishment||I take 9x greater seal of replenishment because Heimerdinger can be very mana hungry. I do not recommend taking Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration, because from the moment you have your Athene's Unholy Grail mana won't be such a problem anymore. I really recommend taking these flat instead of scaling||greater seal of replenishment|
|My old choice would be flat ap runes, but after some recommendations by pro players I shifted to Greater Glyph of Magic Resist, this because it hels you trade more effectively in lane. 13 ability power does not do as much as 10% extra damage reduction.|
|Fairly self explanatory: 15 free ability power, and should be picked whenever you are in an offensive lane. When you need to play defensively, go for Greater Quintessence of Health.|
I will not go in too much depth, because this is fairly self-explanatory.
I go with 21-0-9 for the extra damage and sustain through mana and longer buff duration. Don't forget to take the extra movement speed, so you don't have to worry about that too much... Only go for defensive runes whenever you are afraid to get bursted by one combo of your lane opponent.
|Flash is a must to make up for Heimerdinger's low movement speed. This also helps you in kiting. Remember that Tryndamere from the video spinning to me, and I flash in the exact opposite direction, resulting in me living and he dying? That is the exact use for this spell on this champion.|
|Ignite is the standard ap-carry spell. This will help you finish off enemies who just managed to survive your burst. This spell also reduces healing, and you will need that against Dr. Mundo.|
|This is my main spell for solotop-heimerdinger. It helps you return to your lane quickly and can save turrets whenever needed.
You can also use this spell to help other lanes in pushing with your turrets.
|Don't use this. It is nice to have, but it is of no use to us as we're using mana regen seals and rushing a Chalice of Harmony. If you do not have mana(regen) runes and masteries, this might be a good idea though.|
The rest off the spells you can consider useless on Heimerdinger.
Skills & Skill Sequence
This is Heimerdinger's main damage output and farming skill. This allows you to place a turret which damage ranges from 30 early game to 250 at the end of this build with an attack speed of 1.25.
You can place down a maximum of 2 turrets. It used to be 3, but he got nerved :(
The damage of these little things are heavily underestimated: early game you can get an extra 200 damage per second with these turrets. As long as you live, you will kill them. This is another reason why Zhonya's Hourglass is such an excellent item.
Why don't I rush this skill to level 5? Because all Heimerdinger's skills are crazy, and the benefit of getthing these at 5 is not worth the amount of harass you'll get by maxing your rockets or grenade first.
You can place turrets over walls if needed (with some precision). You can always use this to e.g. ward baron if your wards have been destroyed or securing buffs.
How to place down these turrets
Early game you do not want to play to aggressively, as you are very, very squishy and because the cooldown on them is fairly high. Place these near your caster minions, where they can't easily be hit by enemy minions or champions.
From the moment you are level 5 and your turrets are at level 3, you can start pushing a bit further. As you will have placed two turrets, you can fairly easily repel any ganks and perhaps even get some kills.
End game, you want to be very careful with your placement. You need to make sure the teamfight is happening within range of your turrets. This will require experience. A simple trick is to move the battlefield to you, for example with Skarner. Just have him pull the enemy's biggest treat to you for a guaranteed kill.
Finally you want to make sure they can't kill two turrets with one Area of Effect ability, make sure you keep some distance.
An important aspect when placing turrets is to keep in mind that turrets have increased attack speed in the first 6 seconds after placement.
A OFTEN MADE MISTAKE: TURRETS DO NOT WORK WITH SPELL PEN!
The most important thing you will need to learn that comes with these turrets, is how to kite enemies. Kiting an enemy means dragging him around the battlefield, while you or your team deals damage to him as he is chasing you. If you have ever played Nasus you will know what it is to have your target running from you, while you are taking massive damage by others. In the introduction video you will see me doing this twice and even killing Tryndamere.
This skill is your main harass skill early to mid game. You fire three (or 5 with UPGRADE!!!) rockets that lock-on to the three closest enemies/minions (or neutral monsters!) you have vision on. This makes it a fairly hard-to-use skill. When you are using this, always make sure that there are no more then 2 minions in between you or your target, or you'll end up wasting this. Do not overuse this skill and use it only to harass, because it's mana costs are very high.
One misconception is that it only fires one rocket if only one target is available, thus not firing three on a single target.
This is not your main damage output, because it's ap ratio's are fairly low (55%).
Thus I only max it when I need the harass, this is when I'm playing against a champion like Brand, who is very, very squishy and thus an easy target. If your enemy has lots of lane sustain or is a(n) (off-)tank, you want to max this last.
I'll go into more depth in the C-C-COMBO BREAKER page.
This is the most underestimated skill of Heimerdinger, and people tend to max it last. For an ap-carry build (as I'm building him) you really need this skill. Near the end of my introduction video you see me saving my own life with the massive 3 second blind.
A short piece of math: when an enemy ad-carry gets blinded, you can reduce his damage to 0, while he might've been able to put out 1000 damage per second, thus saving lives with this skill by simply using your blind. When you use this correctly, it's game changing.
A second aspect of this skill is it's stun. This is really, really hard to hit. You need to get direct-impact on your target in order to trigger this. In this video I only succeed once to land the stun. You can use your UPGRADE!!! to make this easier though.
The final aspect of this is to scout bushes and other unrevealed area's in the fog of war. In the video again, you see me doing this a few times and even once resulting in a kill on Tryndamere, while he spins away and I just manage to land a rocket on him.
I tend to max this first when solotopping (of course I always get level 3 turrets) or somewhere around level 12 when playing mid.
Heimerdinger's ult is mainly a utility spell. This does four things:
- Adds a slowing effect to your turrets and healing them
- Fire 5 rockets instead of 3.
- Your Concussion Grenade travels faster, thus allowing for an easier hit.
- You get 10/15/20% CDR (this is a passive, you do not need to activate this skill to get this)
The best way is always to combine the uses, but in some cases you can use them individually to get kills:
- This is useful when getting chased and in teamfights. Reducing the enemy mobility is a great way to increase your kiting ability and hindering the enemy's movement. This is the No.1 counter to ganks.
You can also use this to lure enemies into your turrets when you're gone, and when your turrets are about to die, heal them with this and perhaps get the kill.
- You see me do this once in the vid. I activate my ult just before firing my rockets, allowing me a guaranteed kill on my target ( Urgot). This again, is a very useful thing in teamfights, allowing you ~700 damage to all enemies in range.
- This is in my opinion the least useful way of using this ultimate. Just don't, as the blind isn't that hard to hit. Only do this if you are sure you will really need the stun.
- Again, as this is a passive, you do not need to activate this. Because of this passive, you do not need to buy any more CDR. In combination with blue buff this will nearly get you to the maximum of 40%.
Never use this skill to initiate teamfights, always use it in the midst of the battle.
This passive is an aura passive. It gives up to 25 health regen per second to nearby allies including yourself, your turrets and regular turrets.
You can decide to go tower hugging with this ability to save towers, but this is really slow and might not be a very great idea.
This does give you some great lane sustain though, giving you 40 health regen per 5 at level 18, instead of the standard 15.
Heimerdinger has got a few tricks up on his sleeve for you, they are not very complicated but they will require some experience with him.
The standard turret-ambush tactic. Wait somewhere the enemies come fairly often and stun him right near your two turrets. Use UPGRADE!!! to make sure they don't get away. The most important aspect in this is to hit your stun, so time correctly.
Another really fun combo to use: throw your concussion grenade to reveal a piece in the fog of war and hit W to fire your rockets. This is nice to finish off a champion who just flashed away.
This is the most rewarding thing you can do when playing heimerdinger. When you see you can't kill an enemy because there are others blocking your rockets, activate your ult so the 4th or 5th rocket can hit him and kill him. Warning: people will yell about your OP-range and you might LOL to hard to play anymore.
If you want a guaranteed kill, this is the ultimate way. Of course, you will need an allied Skarner. If you want to play Heimerdinger in ranked, this is the way!
From the moment skarner pulls your enemy to you, you have 1.75 seconds before he has to release him. When this ultimate ends, activate your ultimate and stun your helpless target. End game you are able to deal 1000 damage per second with your turrets this way, so that is 3000 damage at the end of this 'combo'. As long as Skarner doesn't grab their Rammus, you have a free kill.
In this guide you can see I use two builds, and in this chapter I will explain everything about them. So please read on.
This first build is centered around the Athene's Unholy Grail and Rod of Ages to give you lots of sustain early game, and lots of poke. The second build is meant to wreck havoc with your turrets with as much ap as possible.
This gives you your early game sustainability and some health to make sure you will not get killed as easily. You should make sure to get sorcerer's shoes within the first 15 minutes, or you will be slow as ****
Finish the Rod of Ages fast to make maximum use of the passive, grab a Zhonya's Hourglass for the damage and active and finish your Athene's Unholy Grail for extreme mana sustain.
Grab this item for the AP. If you are playing Heimerdinger as a mid champion, you just cannot leave this out.
You should pick an abyssal when the enemy has lots of magic damage, you are having multiple ap-champs or for the spellpen: this is the only item that reduces magic resist, and spellpen does not work on your turrets. Void staff should be used against very heavy magic resist, rylai's if you need the kiting ability and the guardian angel if you are carrying your team hard and one single death of yours can turn the game.
This build focuses on solving Heimerdinger's weaknesses in early game, and should be used whenever you are facing a very strong enemy, able to kill you very quickly, but usually as well very squishy with low sustain. Mid game you should be sustaining in fights, you usually will not get bursted down too fast with this build. The real damage comes only after finishing your Rabadon's Deathcap.
Grab the chalice of harmony and sorcerer's for sustain and evading ability, and then add a needlessly large rod for maximum damage early game.
When you are winning your lane hard you should grab the rabadon's, if this is even, you must go for the zhonya's to stop the enemy from killing you whenever it might be a close call. Add an athene's unholy grail because this item will be your only way of sustain.
Because this build focusses on turret damage, this is a very important thing to make sure you will sustain damage, even when the enemy has some magic resist
A void staff should be used when the enemy stacks heavy magic resist, the deathfire grasp when they stack health. The deathfire grasp is usually my closing item of choice, because it adds a nuking skill which Heimerdinger usually lacks.
This build focusses on maximum damage, and this should only be picked under a few circumstances:
- You know your team is able to tank you and has strong cc to keep your enemies off you
- Your solo top is an offtank
- You know you are the strongest in your lane
In-depth on some items (and its actives)
In this chapter I will compare some items and explain why I take these items or explain some tactics using these items.
These are the two most common early-game items for any ap-carry. Each of these items adds different stats:
An Archangel's Staff adds ~150 ap (depending on the amount of mana you get) and a very nice amount of mana (1.4k) and some mana regen.
A Rod of Ages adds only 80 ap and 725 mana. However, this item also gives 630 health and its passive gives greatly improved lane sustain.
An Athene's Unholy Grail gives you greatly improved manaregen with its passive and some good magic resist. Also it completely removes your need for blue buff end game, because you will have an great amount of mana and you hit the CDR cap at 40%.
So, when to pick which item?
I usually pick the Athene's Unholy Grail for the manaregen and the ability to spam hard, and grab the Rod of Ages for it's great health (sustain) and mana. With these two items you will not be in need of mana as often as usually. The Archangel's is only good when are 10-0 and just need to get more and more ap. It does not solve the squishyness and thus I leave it out, even though the ap it gives is unmatched.
Throughout this guide I name this item a must numerous times, and it really is. This item comes with 100 ap and 50 armor. However, what some people sometimes forget is it's passive. I hope to explain you here how to use this active.
This active on Heimerdinger is a two second invulnerability, however, you are not able to cast spells. This is no problem on Heimerdinger at all, because this does not influence your turrets.
Activate this when you have cooldowns and are taking (heavy) damage. The turrets will deal damage while you have some time to 'reset' your cooldowns and confusing the enemy team. They will shift their focus and after you're back in the game you laugh at them and finish them off using your rockets and grenade.
I have seen people not taking this item very often, so I decided to add a short note about this item:
When you are playing as ap-carry, this item is a MUST!!!
Without this item your damage output will be too low to carry the game. This item will nearly double your ap mid-game!
When solotopping, you can leave this item out, but I do not recommend this, unless you're going for the offtank path.
- Stockpile turrets before going in teamfights.
- Always buy sight wards. This little item, costing 75 gold, will save your life more often than you will realise, denying the enemy team 300+ gold.
- Make sure to make use of your CH-1 concussion grenade, always aim at the enemy ad-carry.
- Make sure your turrets won't be destroyed with only 1 AoE spell, keep some distance.
- Never initiate teamfights yourself, you're no tank! Stay behind as long as possible to reduce damage taken
Heimerdinger in ranked
After playing a ton of games in ranked myself, I'm too afraid to show you my stats with our little friend. Really, I am.
Heimerdinger is a champion that will require lots of teamplay. Therefore I do not recommend playing him in Solo Q. The main problem is that you and your team will have no communication (at least at low ELO games) while trying to initiate a teamfight.
A final problem I have encountered is that smart enemies will try to destroy your turrets before initiating.
If you insist on playing him in solo q, I can give you a few tips though:
- Place your turrets after the teamfight has been initiated. You will need to act fast though: every second matters.
- Try to bait enemies into ambushes with pre placed turrets.
- As listed before, DO NOT go in a teamfight when you have no turrets stockpiled!
The best way remains playing him in Duo Que when your friend plays Skarner. Of course, that is no must. Blitzcrank works great too and champions like Cassiopeia can stun everyone in range of your turrets.
When playing Heimerdinger, whether this is mid or solotop, I always stick with two different tactics:
One thing I must have said, before telling you all about how to lane with him, is to always play very carefully in the first 5, perhaps even 9 levels. This depends on your playstyle. (Maxing Q or E first)
- The Push-dinger: this includes pushing very, very hard and destroying the enemy turret within the first 15 minutes (perhaps even 10).
+ You will destroy their turrets really fast, giving you 150 global gold.
+ Easy farming because you are placing your turrets close to the minions constantly
|- You are mana hungry and very vulnerable to (jungle) ganks|
- The defense-dinger: Here you will not be pushing very hard. You place your turrets just past the middle of the lane and not moving them, even if your minions are further.
+ You will be safe for jungle ganks, in fact: you can't die by them
+ You can conserve mana more, so your harass is stronger.
|- You are not using your turrets to the max; you are not destroying turrets as easy.
- You will have to last hit a lot with basic attacks, which can be hard.
1. The Push-dinger
This is the tactic I generally use in normal games. You also see me do this in the introduction video.
Place your turrets just past the river. Try to maintain this position, do not go any further (or you'll be a free kill for their jungler) and try to spam your rockets to harass your opponent out of his lane (when midding this is easier than when playing solotop). When you managed to force him into recalling: push as far as you can. Place your turrets just so, that they can hit the enemy tower. While their damage is reduced, they will do great damage on it.
- If you see the jungler coming, set up a 'base' of turrets, near each other so they can both hit your targets. Stun him when he approaches, and finish him. Make sure to use UPGRADE!!! just as he gets in range, so you can get maximum damage on him before he even reaches you.
- If you don't see him coming, you might be screwed. Try to kite them as much as possible, stay within a minion wave so he will have to walk around them to stop his advance even more. Make sure to use UPGRADE!!! early for even better kiting. When he starts attacking you, throw your ch-1 concussion grenade to blind him for a few seconds. If necessary, use Flash. Running back usually is no option, better try to kill one instead.
2. The defense-dinger
Place your turrets just past the middle of your lane so they are able to hit minions decently, but they might not be able to hit the caster minions in the back: you will have to last hit them with your basic attacks or Hextech Micro-Rockets. Keep spamming these rockets to harass, you will not really need your mana for anything else. In the end this tactic will end up being a bit passive.
This depends on how much health the jungler has: if he comes with full health, you might better run back. If he comes with half hp, go for the kill, as explained above.
So, decide which playstyle suits you and your team (perhaps even look at your enemy's team) best and read on.
So I've decided to make a special chapter for this, because this is where most Heimerdinger players fall off. You should hold on to a few key rules in order to make any use of your turrets in the fights.
- If you do not know where the teamfight is going to happen, never place your turrets until the fight has been initiated. If you do, you risk having no turrets at your disposal and that will render you, well... nearly useless. I cannot keep stressing this enough, this is key to your succesful games, on high level.
- If you do know were the teamfight happens, for example when your team is forcing baron or dragon, make sure to have them out of direct reach of any ranged poke, you can always place them more aggressively after the initiation. Use your ultimate whenever the fight has been initiated, and the enemy starts getting all their AoE spells out on you and your turrets.
- Make sure your allies never chase too far, because this is another reason why Heimerdinger falls off, he is slow, has no gap-closer whatsoever. You cannot follow. They must bring the fight to you, not you to them.
When to pick Heimerdinger
As you can see, There is a big spoiler button on the bottom of this page. This is because I've decided to rework this page and give you a bit shorter, but clearer advise when to pick Heimerdinger and when not. If you do want to see how I think Heimerdinger performs against every individual mid champion (when they are often enough played, that is), you can click the button and then the list appears. Also there are some flaws in it, so I recommend using the 'regular' tips on this topic
When to pick Heimerdinger? Whenever you have the opportunity to counterpick (in draft/ranked) you should always do so, because it will give you an advantage over the enemy.
In Heimerdinger's case, you can easily use him to counterpick a few different champion types:
1. Not mobile, low sustain champions. These champions are slow, have no form of a gap closer and have very low sustain. An example of this would be Brand. While some people name this a counterpick in the other direction, brand cannot sustain in any way besides buying spellvamp and this makes him an easy target. Also he can only use flash to close gaps. In this case you max your rockets after 3 points in your turrets for maximum harass.
2. Melee champions. These tend to have a very hard time with sustaining through your turrets. Also, they are often snowball champions. Before they can get in range to hurt you, they will have to stand through a few seconds of uninterrupted turret-damage, usually this is enough to win you your lane. An example of this would be Fizz. While his gap closer is good, he stands no chance to win a straight fight in the range of your turrets. Especially when you throw a good stun on him. Max your turrets here.
However: Against melee champions you MUST play very carefully in the first 9 levels, when you get your turrets at 5 without feeding him any kills, your lane is practically won.
3. Channelled non-lockdown ultimates. For your mid champions you only have Katarina, but you counter her very hard. Katarina is a hard snowball champion which relies on her damage to come from her ultimate. At this moment she stands still and this makes her an easy target for your stun, and usually this locks her down in range of your turrets. Also here you should max your turrets.
When not to pick Heimerdinger:
You have two different possibilities here:
1. The enemy has a great mechanism to destroy your turrets. These champions are usually a pain-in-the-*** because they in fact ruin your farm while they generally farm very easily. Try to place your turrets very defensively in order to keep them alive.
2. The enemy can bring you from full to 0 with one burst, usually also has an click-stun.
The worst champion that I could come up with is Annie, whenever her flash is ready, she can just flash and then throw her pedobear in your face, killing you instantly. Make sure to get enough magic resist so they cannot kill you within that single burst, also get mercury's in order to survive that stun.
Jungle / Support Heimerdinger?
Let me just explain this quickly: Jungle Heimerdinger is only good when the enemy is too dumb to ward, and for support Heimerdinger there are just far better alternatives.
To conclude this build I hope you're all having a great time playing this awesome champion. If you have anything you might disagree with, please leave a comment, so I can edit it for other viewers if I agree with your point.
If you liked this guide, please check out my Anivia guide here :)
Also, I am not a native English speaker, I live in The Netherlands and I will have made some mistakes in my English from time to time. Please don't give me a hard time for this.
I'd like to give credit to jhoijhoi for the guide on how to make/improve your guide and a few of it's templates. You can find it HERE
Changelog and other notes
3rd of April 2012 - Build release
4th of April 2012 - Added a few new chapters (Ranked, Laning Tactics), also some minor edits to the general look of the guide.
6th of April 2012 - Removed an error I made: Activating your ultimate DOES NOT reset the 6 second attack speed buff! Pay attention to this!
17th of April 2012 - Heimerdinger is free this week, some other minor edits.
24th of May 2012 - Fixed a few minor visual errors.
2nd of June 2012 - Added a new build including Athene's Unholy Grail. Working on improving this build in the next couple of days/weeks.
5th of June 2012 - Heimerdinger is free again :)
23rd of June 2012 - Rewrote a part when to pick him and when not. Made a spoiler for the old part so you can still use it if you see fit.
28th of June 2012 - Actually added a part for the masteries and shortly explained my choice to go 21-0-9.
7th of July 2012 - Huge update on the guide, I have removed the old builds and everything included with it, added a new build and went in-depth on when to follow which.