Build Guide by l2pwiz
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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.
Start with a Vampiric Scepter, it allows you stay in lane longer, and puts you that much closer to your Gunblade.
Some people like to take any Dorans as their first item. Don't. With Vamp scepter it allows you to harrass without worrying about having to go heal
Other options include Ruby Crystal/Long Sword and a potion for a Phage rush (although lacking the health regen will HURT against good players/heavy harass opponents. These are options more suited for TT).
AP/Hybrid: My personal favorite
1) Boots of Swiftness / Mercury's Treads
2) Hextech Gunblade
3) Guinsoo's rageblade
4) Trinity Force
5) Frozen Mallet
6) Banshee's Veil
Not many expect an AP Teemo in the first place, and the Gunblade + Ignite + Dart burst is very unsettling when compared to the expected damage an ordinary Teemo would do in a half-second. It's all about the mind games (the numbers are there, too, it's an expression!)
The item order greatly depends on the enemy team's composition. My standard order is Gunblade -> Rageblade -> Phage (Trinity Force) -> Banshees Veil (if you need the defense) -> finish. Sometimes the Phage rush is a better plan, then proceed as normal.
Item Choice Explanations
Doran's Shield versus Doran's Blade
120 Health, 8 Armor, 8 Hp5 versus 120 Health, 6 damage, 4% lifesteal
Shield wins. Same health given for both items. The armor helps a bit versus the all-popular AP runes that everyone takes. The 6 damage is a large bonus to start with considering the massive health bonus that comes with it. The real crux of the argument comes from the Health Regen versus lifesteal. There are two important factors that put the early Hp5 ahead of the lifesteal.
1) Harassment. A good player that can keep you off the line completely negates the (pitifully small) 4% lifesteal. Your 8 Hp5 is always going.
2) The regeneration comes from constantly attacking. 4% is tiny, and at your low damage and attack speed, this issue is magnified. This also pushes your lane faster and makes it harder to last hit (timing your animations/attack speed versus waiting for the last hits). This will also hamper your ability to farm, and NOT your opponents, as being under their tower is favorable to THEM, and not you. They can last hit as they please (certain types of minions take certain numbers of tower shots), and you cannot, as they can harass you to no end without retribution.
Long story short, 4% lifesteal is nothing. A good player is able to harass a 12% vampiric scepter player to the point of being worse off than a Doran's Shield player as well. 4% lifesteal and 120 HP or 12% lifesteal, either is easily harassable and only advisable against low-skilled opponents.
Berserker's Greaves is a common choice. I do NOT like them. Get your attack speed elsewhere. Get more beneficial effects from your boots, whether it be the increased speed of Boots of Swiftness, or the CC reduction and magic resist of Mercury's Treads. Even Sorcerer's Shoes (for AP Teemo) or Ninja Tabi are better. I don't really like Boots of Mobility either, but they're the boots that almost nobody takes, anyway.
Don't take Greaves.
Malady versus Stark's Fervor
Many people prefer Malady on a DPS Teemo, as it provides a good amount of lifesteal, a stacking damage effect, and a whopping 50% attack speed for fairly cheap. Malady is efficient (cheap) attack speed and lifesteal. These two stats being secondary in nature (to damage/AP) make it a poor choice for a first item. This being said, I feel most times Stark's is much better and only costs 660 more gold. Malady is a poor choice on almost every hero.
Stark's Fervor, is an excellent item with +20% Attack Speed PLUS a very powerful aura that gives allied Champions (which includes yourself) +20% Lifesteal, +25% Attack Speed, and +30 HP per 5 seconds. It also reduces the Armor of nearby enemy champions by 25.
Stark's gives 5% more lifesteal, 5% less attack speed, a ton of armor penetration and a nice 30 hp/5 thrown in on the side, and obviously lacks the damage debuff compared to Malady. Don't forget that nearby allied Champions get 20% Lifesteal, 20% Attack Speed, and 30 Hp5, as well as the 20 armor reduction aura benefit.
Breaking it down further:
Malady: 1890 gold (+50% attack speed, 15% lifesteal, and a damage component).
Emblem of Valor + Recurve Bow: 1850 gold (+40% attack speed, an 18% lifesteal AND 10 Hp5 aura).
Add in the upgrade path (700 gold for 2% more lifesteal, plus an aura that gives your allies +20% attack speed, 30 Hp5, and 20% lifesteal; also reduces the armor of nearby enemies by 20). I think the choice is clear.
Armor Pen Items
Don't stack Last Whisper with a The Black Cleaver build. Changes to armor penetration make these two items not work very well with each other. Take one or the other, not both.
Poor Item Choices
Malady: because Stark's is so much better.
Berserker's Greaves: Yuck.
Phantom Dancer: Unless you have damage first (read:Inifinity Edge), the bonuses you will get from the dancer are weak.
Tiamat: Bunch of poor stats and weak effect.
Situational Item Choices/Filler Items
A list of non-core items that are situational. Take them when applicable.
Wit's End: Attack speed, magic resist, replaces Stark's Fervor on caster-heavy enemy teams. 42 damage (from the mana drained -> damage ability) is nothing to sneeze at.
Madred's Bloodrazor: Against the more and more popular all-chewy/tanky teams, this will help if inserted into your build.
The Bloodthirster: Pseudo-snowball effect when farmed (giving it a potential 100 Attack Damage and 25% lifesteal) Consider it when Stark's isn't too great of a choice (i.e. team comp, enemy team comp). Don't take lifesteal-based items or oriented builds with heavy CC flying around, though.
The Brutalizer: Want some quick, cheap damage. Not getting a Phage for some reason? Throw in a decent amount of CD recuction, and you have yourself a good item.
Phage/Frozen Mallet is a core item in most of my builds.
Banshee's Veil: Need some Magic Resist? Gives a large amount of health and mana as well. Great item BEFORE it's passive spell-blocking shield.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter: Tons of AP and Health, plus a slow on your blind and more slow for shrooms. Great for pure AP builds. Could replace Mallet on AP/Hybrid build, but I prefer the slow on the auto attacks, plus the increased health.
Suggested Summoner Spells
My Top Two
Ignite and Flash/Ghost. More debuffs and damage for Teemo, plus mobility for defense and offense. Since the Cleanse nerf, I've found cleanse to be EXTREMELY situational AT BEST, and pretty much not worth taking in 90% of matches.
Ignite/Exhaust - Very dangerous if heavy CC is present on other team. Augmented by your masteries, though, makes this combo extremely potent. Blind+Exhaust makes one-on-one fights nasty for most opponents, and the ignite packs a punch and brings additional utility. No escape aids here, though, which hurts squishy Teemo.
xxx/Teleport - With a hefty amount of mushrooms placed at strategic locations, controlling the map can lead to many gank opportunities. You can use teleport to teleport to a mushroom hidden in a bush for a silent ganking opportunity. In most cases, I do not find the added utility of teleport to be more useful than that of other combinations.
Spells I don't like:
Heal is a crutch that for MOST heroes (i.e. non-support/healing/randomness comps) isn't seen past summoner level 15.
Rally is wack, more suited for tank/support champs, if considered at all.
Fortify is meh as well, see above.
Clarity should not be ever needed.
Revive is never an option. Ever.
Laning with Teemo
Teemo's deceptive damage output can be the downfall of his enemies. With not much burst to speak of, many enemies can be lured into a false sense of security. Rushing Phage sets up situations in which, by the time your target realizes he needs to run, it is already too late. Players of Ashe will understand this effect. The enemy stops attacking Teemo and attempts to escape, but it is too late, being slowed and poisoned, the enemy has already lost. Utilizing enemy hesitation is key.
Teemo is a middling solo, but he shines with a good partner. I'll outline the pros and cons of both:
Teemo is a very good asset to have in a side lane. Poison distribution (which I will outline later) allows you to control the creep line. Poison also allows to to greatly harass enemy champions and **** with their farming. His poison in conjunction with exhaust and slows can allow for a quick early kill. His harassment utility can also keep enemy champions off of teammates that usually have difficulty farming (like Rammus)
-Creep line control, easy farming
-Harassment of enemy champions, protection of harassable allies
-Powerful lane presence
-Lack of stun/slow
-Might draw unfavorable (unharassable) matchups
-Squishy and slow (low base move speed, move quick unreliable with many creeps/champions throwing damage around)
Soloing middle (or any lane, if a jungler is present) is within Teemo's ability. Teemo is a decent harasser and farmer, and can keep certain carries suppressed during the laning/farming phase. You will SLAP people of average skill around, especially those who become timid after taking a few hits. Skilled players will give you MUCH more trouble, as they are probably playing heroes better suited to solo and/or beat a solo Teeemo, and they KNOW it.
-Creep line management
-Lane/Gank control (mushroom anti-hero zones, ganks through side-brush mushroom-wards)
-Harasser and farmer
-Suppress certain carries/common solos
-No good escape mechanisms
-No burst damage versus burst damage of other common solos (Annie, Ashe, Tristanna to name a few)
-Some solos just don't care about a harassing Teemo.
Casters are dangerous. They can unload on you at an instant if you're not careful, and your blind/exhaust does not slow them down much at all. Take care and choose your harassment shots carefully. Some casters, Annie for example, can hang around looking not very threatening, hit level 6, flash, unload, and kill you in under 2 seconds. This has only happened to me once, ever. Never again. Make this mistake- you will not again. Temmo. Hates. Casters.
Disablers are tough on Teemo. This style of Teemo relies on quick strikes and getting a lot of shots on target in a short span. Teemo's range allows him to hang with disablers and harass them a bit, but expect to be harassed back.
Healers are a pain, but do not pose much of a threat. They are nigh unharassable, but they don't pose much of a threat unless paired with an excellent pusher, since you have excellent control over the creep line yourself. Determine if you want to harass the healer or their lanemate, or not at all. You can make them burn heals and mana with harassment if you please, although most competent healers will be able to just shrug you poisons off.
Tanks and melee are usually the easiest to play against. Harass them to no end and push them like mad. Be careful around them and know their abilities, but take advantage of your range and poison abilities. Make them pay for every last hit or attack they land with a poison dart of your own!
Mobility champions like to eat Teemo as well. They can get right up in his face and burst him down even with his blind. They take his range out of the equation and prey on his weaknesses. Akali, Xin Zhao, Katarina fit this description. Jumpers like Jax and Pantheon also have the same kind of effect.
Make your enemies pay for every shot they take at you. Make them take more damage than you in every exchange. Make them wary of you. Make them think twice about harassing you. Make them afraid of you.
Simply put, prioritize your poison (E) and upgrade your Mushroom whenever possible. Grab one rank of Move Quick (W) at level 4. I will usually take poison first, but starting with Blinding Dart can help in early jungle grabs or level 1 teamfights.
After standing still for 3 seconds, you will cloak when you pop out you get a 40% attack speed buff or is it 30% i forget whatever. Simple enough.
Scouting your enemies: Before the creep waves have started, carefully rush out to a strategic position and cloak. This is particularly useful when soloing mid, as you can cloak just off-center and get an auto-attack off on your opponent unopposed. This starts the game with them taking the first damage, as well as setting the tone for the matchup that you are not one to be messed with. You also can act as a ward for your team/lanemate.
Some good zoning control can come from this early: Going invisible will deter enemies from wanting to get close, as the 40% attack speed buff will HURT early.
Useful things than can be done without breaking stealth:
Things that WILL break your stealth/ reveal you include the following:
-Skillshots (like Blitzcrank's Grab, Mundo's Cleaver)
-Twisted Fate's Ultimate
I have not tested if item behavior has remained the same.
Blinding Dart and Exhaust may seem redundant at first, but have great synergy when examined more closely.
In one-on-one situations, you can Blind, attack, Exhaust when Blind wears off, and maybe blind again to finish the fight while taking negligible damage.
In teamfights, you can shut down their carry using the same combo. Alternatively, you can hamper the efforts of two high-threat champions by using blind on one and exhaust on the other.
Got a highly desirable target with a Banshee's Veil and casters on your team? Pop the veil with your Blinding Dart and let your Morgana's shackle hit!
NOTE: Blinding Dart DOES NOT apply poison. You must get an auto-attack on target for it to apply.
Make sure that you always have Move Quick on. It greatly increases your mobility for a small up-front mana cost (it does not drain mana while it is active).
If you get hit while move quick is active, you get knocked out of it and it goes on a 6 second cooldown. If you need to escape from an enemy, wait for an opportunity in between their attacks to activate Move Quick.
Always activate move quick when you're running from fights, transitioning lanes, or were hit once and knocked out of it (whilst in a situation in which you will not be hit again.)
Move quick is not "cancelled" by recalling, so it will still be active after you return to base.
Do NOT apply move quick before rushing into a quick harassment/mini-engagement. You might need Move Quick to get back out, and the 6 second cooldown could spell the difference between life and death.
One of the reasons I put a fair amount of attack speed on Teemo is that of the poison distribution strategy. Spreading poisons within each creep wave controls the progression of the lane. That is, you can push the creep line quickly by attacking each creep once in a rapid fashion, thus "spreading the poison," or you can refrain from poisoning any creeps and focus on solely last hitting creeps to reel in the creep line closer to your tower. It is much more desirable to be closer to your tower than farther out near easy brush ganks. Ideally, you should ONLY be last hitting and harassing.
Weakening the entire creep line may spook the enemy into playing more defensively, allowing you to deny them xp and gold, as well as get a few shots into their collective backsides as they run when their creeps melt. Conversely, having a strong enemy creep line and only last hitting gives you more power to focus on champions and last hitting. Observe your opponent and choose your methods.
WARNING: An active poison dot (damage over time) effect on an enemy champion WILL draw tower aggro. Use caution when pushing enemy champions into their towers, as any poison-inducing shots you put into them will make their tower prioritize you over your own creeps.
An active poison DOT can also steal neutral rune buffs (Golem, Lizard) from allies that you were trying to help. Lay off attacking the creep a little earlier than you would usually in order to not take the buff from a teammate.
As mentioned before, the poison "first application" effect procs on the first hit, and every second afterward. This means that even with an attack speed of say, 2.0 (that's 2 attacks/second), you're not getting 2 attacks plus 2*(0.15*AP) every second from toxic shot's instant first application.
Noxious Trap (MUSHROOMS!)
MUSHROOMS! They are much, much more than simple "mines" that slow and DOT.
You can place mushrooms in many different kinds of ways. I will narrow each kind of mushroom into a few categories:
Recon mushrooms are like wards that explode. These function similar to, but are NOT wards. Their sight radius is tiny compared to them, but they can still give useful information. Recon shrooms are more akin to tripwires; when one goes off, something is there. Recon shrooms bring map awareness, whereas defensive shrooms (semantics) are defined differently in my book of a guide.
There are a few key places that you should recon' shroom as often as possible: Dragon, along the river (ends, exit/entry points of jungle), neutral rune creeps, common jungle paths and Baron (once leveling catches up to the point of feasibility of doing Baron).
Other good locations for recon shrooms are common gank pile bushes and high traffic areas.
Although I do not expressly desire to have these mushrooms detonate, the detonation is still a bonus and can allow for a quick gank attempt, but usually the mere detonation of the shroom is enough to send the tripee back to safety.
What's the difference between recon and defensive shrooms? In reality, I define defensive shrooms as ones that I intend to have detonated. These are the mushrooms that most often cover escapes and deter/slow ganks for myself and teammates.
Dropping mushrooms in side-brush is always needed to warn of ganks coming from other lanes. Be sure to shroom up brush you have pushed passed.
Offensive mushrooms do a few key things: eliminate creep waves, mess with enemy movement in your lane, and create obstacles during teamfights. You can drop a shroom near the ranged creeps in the line and it will explode a second later, heavily damaging the creeps or outright killing them. (This also applies to neutral creep camps). Try dropping mushrooms in the path that opposing creeps will use when they are pushing a lane. This kind of shrooming will stop/slow the advance of the lane whilst you deal with another lange (also great for mantaining some pressure when you need to fountain).
Dropping mushrooms where creeps won't hit it is also a strong tactic. Dropping a mushroom in your lane also alters how mobile the enemies in your lane can be. If they see your mushroom, most likely they will try to avoid it (unless they want to purposely pop it and regenerate/lifesteal the health back). This creates a zone in which they will avoid, tightening your control of the lane. You can maneuver yourself and try to get the to run into it or force them to retreat because they are stuck between you, a mushroom, and their base. If your enemy does not see you drop the mushroom, you can or lure them into it, setting up a gank, or just dropping some more damage on them.
Don't be afraid to drop a mushroom during a teamfight. The extra damage and slow always helps, and it could possibly save a retreating ally or finish a running enemy after your unfortunate demise. There is nothing better than killing someone with a mushroom after they killed you.
Try anticipating where an imminent team fight will happen. Block some escape routes with mushrooms beforehand. Another thing mushrooms can do is reak havoc with Guardian Angel and Zilean ults. Good players will instantly recognize the effect and seal off the reviving player's escape routes. Try to help box out the reviving-retreating player with a mushroom.
Now, I bet you're wondering what else mushrooms could possibly used for after reading the previous few paragraphs! Wait, there's more! In all seriousness, there are a few more creative, but subtle tactics concerning mushrooms. I'll outline a few:
Backdooring: Forgetting the ethical arguments of backdooring, Teemo + a champion that has teleport and can backdoor = win. Drop a mushroom waaaay behind enemy lines in a spot unlikely to be trampled upon, and watch your Master Yi teleport far behind the creep lines to grab a tower.
Blocks: Mushrooms are the ultimate in personal defense. No kidding. Did you know that you could use a mushroom to block Blitzcrank's grab? How about Mundo's cleaver? Morgana's shackle? Ezreal's Q?! Quickly drop a mushroom and run behind it and watch as Morgana shackles your mushroom instead of you, allowing you to escape certain doom. Blocks are useful to give yourself some cover in open space; it is easier to dodge a skillshot than it is to see a skillshot coming and block it on the spot. I have also heard a that Teemo can block Tristana's ultimate with a mushroom, but this is untested and unconfirmed.
Towers: Towers also prioritize mushrooms over you; drop a mushroom and commence getting the last few hits in on the tower before it focuses you. (Towers prioritize hitting mushrooms before creeps and champions not currently damaging other champions).
Slows: Need to leave a lane, but the creep line is pushing too far? Throw out a good poision spread and drop a mushroom in the middle of the lane where creeps will path. It will severely damage the first few creeps as well as slow them, giving you time to heal, buy, and return. You can also use this technique while kiting creeps around a mushroom, thus leading the melee creeps around the mushroom, while pulling the ranged creeps into it.
Tips on mushroom placement:
The shortest path from Point A to Point B is a straight line, huh? In this game, champions always take the path of least resistance. That is,, champions will hug walls to shave fractions of a second off of their transit times automatically. Use this to your advantage. Place mushrooms along popular corners.
Be unpredictable. Don't put your mushroom in the same spot over and over. Keep the enemy guessing. A good concept stemming from this comes from the scouting mushrooms I place at the sides of the river while soloing middle. I start by placing them in spots that take advantage of champion pathing. I then switch it up to place them in spots where they WON'T hit enemy champions. Why? It gives the apparent ganker a false sense of security. Last time they tried to gank you, a shroom blew up in their face, and the Teemo ran. This time, no explosion. "Great! The Teemo has no idea I'm here!" the ganker thinks as Teemo calls in his own gank.
The two most important things to remember about shrooms: place often and be creative! If you don't know where to drop mushrooms, just drop it wherever you are. Most likely eight minutes down the road something will be bound to hit it. Be creative and unpredictable in your placement, and soon enemies will be afraid wherever they go.
Special note to remember: Mushrooms use the AP you have at the moment of detonation, not when you drop them. (Works both ways- AP modification by items like Guinsoo's Rageblade will not result in a higher damage mushroom after the buff is no longer active. Conversely, mushrooms placed before getting another AP item will scale up to your current AP).