Heimerdinger Build Guide by Loke the Lion
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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.
Introduction - My philosphy (A strong start usually means strong finish!)
Hello everyone. This is my first guide. I am a fairly new player - just been playing for about two months (as of June '11), so I am, in no way, claiming to be a know-it-all. There are so many things that I just don't know about LoL yet. However, I have a great group of friends that have helped me along and have met, despite the hostile community, a good amount of very sensible players.
Since my days of WoW, Guild Wars, Maple Story, I have either fallen into the ranged- or support- player role. The resto-druid of WoW, the Ranger or both GW and MS. Heimerdinger, I feel, fits those roles AND I have assistance for a new player like me - Heim's turrets!
I know that Heimerdinger isn't the go-to champ at times, but he is a lot of fun to play with regardless. He is an incredible laning character and, if used correctly, will be a very useful support champion in team fights during mid-late game.
This build will cover Heimerdinger in the general sense (as in depth as I can), with a gameplay being built to rush turrets. In short, my gameplay style favors heavily on being strong during the laning phase as to allow your team that extra edge for them to fulfill their role from mid-game on.
- Teleport: More than likely, Heim will be going to the middle lane. Middle tower, as well as ANY tower for that matter, is very important. With Heim and his turrets, he's like a 2-in-1 champ that can push OR hold. Therefore, teleport serves to get Heim across the field when he needs to. This skill is also great mid-game. While Heim is mainly a support character, when team fights initiate, and your teammates are doing fine, use this opportunity to backdoor unattended turrets. Extra money, and it distracts the other team.
- Clarity: Because Heim's abilities aren't cheap, you do run out of mana quite often early game. Clarity allows you to lane longer, which transfers to more exp/gold, and allows you to push when/if you force your lane to recall. The ability loses much of its usefulness late game, BUT, do not forget it's 'second' use, and that is to help TEAMMATES replenish THEIR mana.
- Flash: Now, it is up to you if you take Flash or not. It is very much a useful spell, especially in games where teams have gankers or the like. You can replace Clarity with Flash if you so choose, or if you are great at controlling how much mana you use.
- Ghost: Another great spell, especially for Heim, whom isn't the fastest champ. I actually prefer this spell over flash, only because the CD is shorter, and if you need to, you can use this to rush to other turrets in a 'flash'.
- Clairvoyance: Again, this is to help with possible ganks at middle, but also useful the entire game. If no one else has it, and you're comfortable with your mana-control and not worried about the need to run away, grab this ability.
None of the other skills really fit my build, or Heim in general.
- Archmage's Savvy - because we want AP
- Deadliness - because we do use our auto-attack and we need to use up 1 point to move to the next level. I don't run Exhaust or Smite so those are moot.
- Sorcery - Heim isn't an AA-er, so all into cooldowns, since we harass
- Archaic Knowledge - and the end, for 15% MPen
- Perseverance: Some may disagree with putting 3 into this mastery, which is fine. At max, you get 4% increased mana regen. For level 2 and 3, you only get 1%. Others choose to put it into Good Hands, which is up to you, and I sometimes do it if I feel that I'm just having a bad day.
- Spatial Accuracy: Again, Teleport is a big Summoner Spell in my build, and anything to help it deserves some attention.
- Awareness: You want Heim to level up ASAP. The reason is, you want to get to his turrets as well as get your Ultimate, which has a GREAT passive of CDR!
- Expanded Mind: Another "if you want to". Any mana increase is welcomed (especially early game). Late game, you won't (or shouldn't be) running out of mana. Therefore, you can either put less into this (and into others) or not.
- Meditation: Again, Heim does sap away mana quite well (especially when you get your CDR maxed at 40% and start spamming those nades and missles).
- Quickness: Again, Heim isn't the fastest champ and any added movement is good.
- (Blink of an Eye: If you decide to run flash, take one point out of Expanded Mind and put it here)
- Intelligence + Presence of the Master: Here we are building towards our CDR
Runes - A work in progress
At the time of making this guide, I am still mid-teen level (1x level). I am waiting until I hit 20, so that I can buy Tier 3 runes. Therefore, I have not tested my choices but I do have my reasoning behind my choices.
Greater Glyph of Ability Power - Again, aside from quints, these give you the most AP.
Greater Seal of Replenishment - Theoretical, haven't tested, but even though the gain from this is about 4.5 Mp5, anything is something.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power - Any quint of any type will give it the most and we want AP, AP, AP!
Basically, the rush of flat AP runes will help for early game, which will give you great harassing ability as well as great farming ability. H-28G Evolution Turret, Hextech Micro-Rockets, CH-1 Concussion Grenade - all have +xx% damage to the already fixed damage. This allows you to buy your expensive gear early on and hopefully equates to keeping enemies constantly recalling or dead.
Now why don't I run any CDR (Focus) runes? Take into consideration you already have 24% CDR from your Masteries, then another 20% at Level three for your UPGRADE!!! ability, you already have hit your 40% max. Early game, having 40% CDR is great (via masteries + an item like Fiendish Codex), but you don't also have the mana to back it up. Later on, when you max UPGRADE!!!, you'll have enough mana to take advantage of the full 20% it offers.
Skill Sequence - Get to the CHOPPA!
Well, we aren't Corki, and we don't have helicopters, but our turrets are a type of support "gun"! Skills should go: R > Q > W > E
: The only ability in the game that can heal towers. A free aura for your teammates. Basically, a great ability to help you defend, aka support your team while they go in.
: I know what some of you are thinking, Heim no longer has 5/3 turrets like he used to. He no longer has to rush them. Which is what I thought too. But you have to remember, Heim is a SUPPORT character. Yes, we harass enemies, but we aren't necessarily going in for the kill. When you are laning, you want your minions to push push push. Your enemy team wants THEIR minions to reach your tower. At 3, you get 2 turrets. At 5, you get splash damage. Very effective for keeping those minions at bay. And with all that AP, they DO hurt, if the enemy isn't cautious enough. Enemy champs usually tend to discard the turrets - they don't have much health (easily burstable) and they don't do insane burst damage. That's not what the turrets are for. They are for farming and keeping the attention of towers and minions (with the occasional team-fight support).
: Your harassing skill. A lot more mana-cost effective than the grenade and it has a very good range. Only problem is that if there are too many minions, the missles will hit them, or anything closer to you, before hitting a champ. Thus, you want to go around and harass champs from the side. They'll be surprised when they see a big chunk of their health go down.
CH-1 Concussion Grenade: A great skill (shot), don't get me wrong. Depending on who you're facing, you might want to get grenade a little earlier than turrets. Meaning, if you are facing an auto-attacker, or someone who channels abilities, the stun/blind effect of the grenade will help you more than dealing damage. More of a defensive ability than offensive. However, do NOT forget 3 things that the grenade can do:
1) Your grenades DO damage towers! Albeit 50% damage, but damage nonetheless.
2) These grenades DO stun (if enemies are hit directly). Practice predicting enemy paths to hit them directly.
3) They reveal places that the Fog of War hides. Use your grenades to check grass areas, and possibly stun waiting champs!
: Not the best ultimate. You read it and you don't think, "Ooo, global ult!", or, "Trap!". Or is it...?
The passive for this ult is KEY. 10% -> 15% -> 20% CDR! This is why I don't run any CDR runes. CDR, enough said.
His active affects his turrets. So if you have a turret anywhere, using this will activate the turrets to heal-up and do frost (slow the enemy) damage. You can do this from anywhere in the map, technically making it global haha. And it can be a trap. On one occasion: I left two turrets at mid, and a Mord decided to just auto-attack them. Taking about 3 hits per, I had both an Ashe, and Eve waiting the brushes at mid. As he was AAing them, thinking he's in the clear, I turned on UPGRADE!!!, Ashe Ult'd him, and they just took him down. The slow-damage he took from my turrets mad it that much easier for Ashe to ult him. ANOTHER way to use this is say a teammate is running from being 3-man'd. Set a turret in the path of your teammate's escape route, and hit your UPGRADE!!!. As enemies approach, they are slowed down and allows your teammmate to escape.
I'll explain why I chose my 6 items, and this will 'generally' be the order I grab them in. I'll go more into depth about when to acquire these items in my 'Gaming Phase' section.
: Decent amount of +AP, HUGE +Mana, decent Mp5. The passive just adds more mana each time you use an ability (per 3 seconds) with a 1000 bonus cap. But the best part, 3% of your mana translates to AP! So even with just 3,000 mana, which is easily obtained mid game, that's a free 100AP. Not too expensive either. Pretty common in AP builds.
: Here's another 20 Magic Pen. Plus movement. Pretty self-explanatory. If you are getting harassed a lot, or CC'd, Mercury's Treads is another option.
: Again, self-explanatory. 155 AP!! Plus, 30% of your AP added on-top of the AP you already have.
: Slow the enemies, which is great for letting your team carry or anyone else get in for the kill, or help slow enemies from chasing you or your teammates. Your grenade is a skill shot, and even touching them will not only blind them, but slow them. Same with your missles, which have a BIG range, great as a means to slow enemies chasing you. In addition, 80AP + a small HP boost is greatly welcomed to Heim's low HP pool.
: Great item to start building Heim to take some (not a lot) hits. It won't really help if the other team is all AD. Aside from the added AP, I use it more for the aura. You'll usually be hanging around team fights as long as possible, and even if your entire team is AD built, that would hopefully translate to the enemy team building up armor, not magic resist. Bring them down even lower and let your missles do the talking!
: Just for good measures. Heim is a very squishy character and often focused on first. While your team should get in the way of being chased, give yourself that extra 2 seconds of invincibility to get away or let teammates get to you. Added armor plus more AP = welcomed. Another use with the active is to take down towers. Oh no, my minions have fell, I see the enemy team coming, I just need TWO MORE HITS! Activate this and get those last two hits in and jet on out.
Other Possible Items
The above list is the 'preferred' list and of course by no means the end-all item set you should be going. What you get in-game is hugely dictated by how the game goes. If the game isn't going so well, you won't be able to get Deathcap as the 3rd, or even 4th item. You may want to build more defensively, and so forth. Therefore, this is a list of some items that you may substitute into your purchases:
: It's passive becomes null once you hit 18 so not entirely a great item to buy late game. If you need that extra bump in survivability during early game, get this instead of Rylai's. As you level up during the laning stage, when your mana pool isn't high or you don't have the mana-regen, getting free HP/MP each level is a big help to staying in the lane.
: Heim is very squishy. Building him up for a little bit of survivability means to build him just enough to get out of team fights (via flash or grenade/turret-escape). Some defense for both AD/AP enemies. This also allows you a (albeit very small) second chance at escape, if you so die from a 2v1 or something of the like.
: A staple almost. Aside from Zhonya's Hourglass, this is the next best defensive item. While it only gives you defense against AP attacks, the ability to survive a stun or slow (once every 45 seconds) might mean life or death when retreating.
: If you aren't doing too well early game, and you're getting cc-ganked, grab these instead of Sorccer's. This will help just slightly with getting back to your lane tower.
I will break this up into the three main parts of any game: Early-game, Mid-game, and Late-game.
I believe generally, they refer to 20-minute incraments, but the way I see it is:
Early-game is up to when two towers are taken on either side.
Mid-game is pushing back to an enemy's base (destroying the 2 towers per-lane, and easily taking dragon).
Late-game is when you're pushing inhibitors and going for the nexus.
So grab your Sapphire Crystal and two HP pots. Reason why I don't take a Meki Pendant is that in my experience, it hardly made a noticable difference. With the crystal, I hopefully don't have to use my Clarity so soon.
Don't waste mana by placing new turrets when your old turret still has full health. Generally wait for your turrets to either die, or get to near death, before placing another one. Remember, Heim's passive heals both the lane turret and his own turrets. While you're waiting for minion waves to come (as well as your enenmy champ waiting for their's), stick near your turret and get it back up. Even 1/4 of a regen to a turret's help will help early game.
If your enemy is constantly aiming at your turrets, harass them with a rocket their way or just wrench them here and there. Your rockets, while not highly damaging early game, are still a great harass skill. Generally, as you walk torwards the enemy champ, they have to be wary that you make rocket them so they tend to back off. Use this habit and walk to them but don't always fire rockets needlessly.
As long as you don't have a jungler, wait until you have your lane enemy on the defensive. When that happens, swing around to golem to get the blue-buff. Ask a teammate for help if they have the time. This mana-buff will keep you full no matter what to spam those skills.
Essentially, by about 10 minutes, you shouldn't have had to go back, unless you've been ganked or being counter-pushed pretty hard. By this time, you should have enough money to at least buy the Tear of the Goddess and Boots of Speed. Teleport back to your lane and continue farming.
Eventually, you'll hit level 3 for your turrets and this is when you can really start pushing. Now, some tips on turret placement:
- Don't place turrets right next to each other. Enemies with AoE attacks, like Anivia's frost circle, or "jumping" attacks like Katarina's daggers, will damage pair turrents and in turn those pair turrets will die together. And if they both die at the same time, you're scrambling to place more turrets, sometimes turrets you don't have waiting, and wasting valuable mana. Solution: Place them on "top" and "bottom". Not just a strategy with two turrets, it still applies when you only have one turret. Placing a turret above/below minion waves avoids them from being the center of minion focus AND just increases your playable field. You can run to the side of your turret to swing around and harass with your missles. Last benefit of placing top/low, is for possible ganks.
- Don't make your turrets hold your lane without backup. There WILL be times when your turrets can hold the lane until minions get there, but that's generally when you hit level 5, which gives your turrets splash damage. Early game, you don't want to be using your turrets like that, unless your enemy is a wuss and can't handle being pushed. Solution: Instead, always place turrets behind minion waves. If your minions are about to die, fall back to your lane turret and set up your turret along the way.
- Get into the habit of relying on ONE turret. Why? Because you can use that SECOND turret as a type of ward to use in tall grass areas. Also, if you aren't using turrets for that, you can farm around your jungle (IF you don't have a jungler) and earn some free exp and gold. This by no means is a required use of the turrets, but just keep in mind having your turrets is like having a support champ with you.
Another thing with early game, if you have an Ashe, or some other auto-attacker, you MIGHT want to get at least one into your grenade before hitting level 6. This will be another form of harass, and it blinds them. But use it VERY sparingly. It has a higher mana cost and will drain you faster.
By this time, you've hopefully pushed your lane's turret or at least have defended yours to have no damage (or healed it back up to full health). At this time, your're probably around level 10-12, and your team is about 6-8. At this time, make your way back and pick up your Archangel's Staff. This should be easily obtained if you grabbed a few jungle farms as well. If you have the extra money, get those Sorcerer's Shoes.
So now this is where the fun begins. You can deal a pretty good amount of harass damage, and even get a kill in team fights if you play it right. This is when you can start farming the enemy's jungle since one rocket plus one turret will finish off any non-buff jungle farm.
This is where you also start building things according to how the game is going. If things are going your way, continue on for your Deathcap. If not, grab either Rylai's or even Abyssal Scepter. There isn't too much strategy for mid-game other than continue to farm, farm, and FARM!!
There are two things to pay attention for. The first are team fights. While farming, pay attention to where your teammates are going. Be there for when fights break out. You have a form of CC, your grenade; a form of damage, your rockets; lastly, you give your teammates a route of escape. Set your turrets up on the outsides of a team fight. When teammates start retreating, hit your ultimate and have your teammates run past your turrets. The turrets will fire on the enemy champs and slow them, allowing your teammates to retreat with less pressure.
The second thing to pay attention for: team fights. "Wait a minute, you just said...?" Yep. I did. But this time you won't be joining team fights. Why? Say your team is doing ok without you. You need to look out for two other things while team fights are taking place: a) Are enemy minions pushing our tower?, or, b) are our minions pushing the enemy tower? If yes to either answer, teleport to wherever needed and push or defend. With your turrets, you'll clear pushing minions with ease, or take down enemy turrets with easy. Pushing while team fights are taking place is called back-dooring. Your team may ask you to do as such, so now you know what they mean.
A lot of unranked games don't even get this far. But even so, your strategy as Heimerdinger doesn't change all too much. However, by now, you should be quite buffed with AP damage. We're talking at least 1/2 to 3/4 health off a decent squishy like Ashe. Your grenades do decent damage to towers, and your ultimate is maxed. Keep farming since it will only take you just a second now. Toss those nades to check around blind spots in the Fog-of-War and just push with your team.
Summary - zat is all!
Well I hope you enjoyed my guide. It's fairly standard, but I'd like to think I go a little bit more indepth than most, and I aim this torwards players who want to try Heimerdinger out and have some reasoning behind things. Feel free to critique and I'll gladly take any and all suggestions into consideration!