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Captain Teemo reporting for duty! Teemo is a very fun and satisfying hero to play. Easy to learn, harder to master, Teemo is a powerful ally and a dangerous foe. I prefer the DPS variation of Teemo as opposed to the AP variant, and this guide will reflect as such. AP Teemo is useful because his poison, blind, and mushrooms gain damage from AP, but I find DPS Teemo to be more disruptive, annoying, dangerous, and fun.
We can boil Teemo's build down to three key items (not including boots): Phage (which will be upgraded later), Stark's Fervor (amazing item), and Black Cleaver (much needed damage and an armor debuff). Other than these items, try to be fluid in your build, playing to the other team's champions.
Build order, simplified:
Start with Doran's Shield/Blade and a Health Potion.
1) Berserker Greaves
3) Emblem of Valor -> Recurve Bow -> Stark's Fervor
4) BF Sword - > Black Cleaver
5) Frozen Mallot
5) BF Sword -> Infinity Edge
6) Last Whisper/ Phantom Dancer (problems with tanks/ killing squishies, finish the game already!)
You should be able to buy at least your Berserker Greaves the first time you go back to base. Start the Phage if possible. Make sure you have the Phage before you start ganking. The little extra damage and health is nice, but the 25% chance to slow with your now moderate amount of attack speed will help greatly in your ganking endeavors.
Grab the Emblem of Valor next and kill Dragon at every possible chance. Finish Stark's Fervor quickly for teamfights. Ideally you don't want to be your team's primary source of physical dps at this point in the game, but you will do in a pinch. Farm/gank/dragon away to get your BF sword and have fun killing!
If the game goes on for an extraordinary amount of time, try selling your Berserker Greaves for either Boots of Mobility or Mercury's Treads, as the attack speed from the greaves will be overkill when stacked with the rest of your items (I'm mainly talking about after you grab Last Whisper/Phantom Dancer). These cases pop up few and far between, but it is something to keep in mind.
The DPS Teemo build focuses on distributing poison quickly (it does not stack like Twitch's poison) and getting shots on target. Due to his speed, stacking effects such as the one from the Black Cleaver can be applied quickly.
Black Cleaver + Stark's Fervor + high Attack Speed = shredding through your enemy's armor very quickly. Every one of your auto attacks drops the enemy's armor by 12. Stark's drops nearby enemy armor by 25.
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. I like the item, it's useful, it's cheap, but I feel most games Stark's is much better and only costs 660 more gold.
Starks Fervor, is an excellent item with +20% Attack Speed for yourself PLUS it gives nearby allied Champions (this includes yourself) 20% Lifesteal, 25% Attack Speed, and 30 HP per 5 seconds. It also reduces the Armor of nearby enemy champions by 25. It is superior in every stat except for 5% less attack speed (and the Malady debuff) compared to Malady.
Teemo's deceptive damage output can be the downfall of his enemies. With no 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. The enemy stops attacking Teemo and attempts to escape, but your rapid rate of fire keeps poisons on target, and your Phage will proc often.
Suggested Summoner Spells
Exhaust/Flash - My personal favorite. Exhaust for a second blind, as well as a slow to help get early kills/ganks. Flash is an excellent defensive AND offensive spell. Flash is great for diving a tower, getting one attack in and flashing out quickly to finish off a weak enemy.
Ignite/Heal - Perfect for baiting. While at low health, trick an enemy into attacking you. Blind and ignite them, and watch as your heal and lifesteal turns the tables.
Cleanse/Flash - The ultimate in survivability, this pairing will help you survive against ganks called in by people you have been harassing. Flash, once again, can be used offensively as well as defensively.
Ghost/Cleanse - Similar concept to the Clease/Flash pairing. While not as godlike as before the cleanse nerf, this allows for exreme mobility, allowing Teemo to escape quickly or dart in for a quick finishing poison.
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.
Laning with Teemo
Teemo is a very capable solo, but he is also very useful with a partner. I'll outline the pros and cons of both:
Teemo is a very good asset to have in a side lane. Poison spreading (which I outline later in this guide) allows you to control the creep line. Poison also allows to to greatly harass enemy champions and hamper 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 (i.e. Rammus)
-Creep line control
-Harassment of enemy champions
-Helps weaker farming-wise allies
-Very powerful lane presence
-Longer path to mushrooms
-Decreased map control, ganking opportunities
-Might draw unfavorable (unharassable) matchups
-Could hamper other teammate's farming
Soloing middle (or any lane, if a jungler is present) is well-within Teemo's ability. Teemo is an execllent harasser and farmer, and can keep certain carries suppressed during the laning/farming phase.
-Excellent creep line management
-Fast mushroom access
-Map control (can see ganks through side-brush mushrooms)
-Great harasser and farmer
-Able to solo versus two heroes if needed.
-Speed can be used for quick side-lane ganks
-Can spread poison to push back creeps after returning to lane.
-Suppress certain carries/ common soloers
-No good escape mechanisms
-Early deaths/recalls can hurt lane management if enemy can take advantage
-Susceptible to unforseen ganks
-Some solos just don't care about a harassing Teemo.
Teemo doesn't need to be shoehorned into one role or the other. He is a capable solo and can carry a team (although there are better carries), but his biggest role his that of a anti-carry shutdown and map control specialist.
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.
Disablers are tough on Teemo. This style of Teemo relies on quick strikes nd 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!
Q Blinding Dart: Obscures an enemy's vision with a powerful venom, dealing damage to the target unit and causing all attacks to miss for the duration.
Deals 90 / 140 / 190 / 240 / 300 (+.8 per ability power) magic damage and causes the target to miss all of their attacks for 1.6/2.2/2.8/3.4/4 seconds.
- 11 second cooldown
- 70 / 85 / 100 / 115 / 130 Mana
- Range 680 (a little out of your auto-attack range)
W Move Quick: Teemo scampers around, increasing his movement speed until he is struck by an enemy.
Toggle: Teemo's movement speed is increased by 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40%. Should Teemo be struck while Moving Quick, he gets knocked out of Move Quick.
- 6 second cooldown
- 40 mana
E Toxic Shot: Each of Teemo's attacks will poison the target, dealing damage each second for 5 seconds.
Teemo's basic attacks poison their target for 8 / 14 / 21 / 28 / 35 (+0.15 per ability power) magical damage each second for 5 seconds.
R Noxious Trap: Teemo places a explosive poisonous trap. If an enemy steps on the trap it will release a poisonous cloud, slowing enemies and damaging them over time.
Places a trap which detonates if an enemy steps on it, poisoning nearby enemies. Poisoned enemies take 350 / 500 / 650 (+0.8 per ability power) magic damage and have their movement speed slowed by 30 / 40 / 50% for 5 seconds. Maximum 15 traps. Traps last 10 minutes.
- 20 second cooldown
- 75 / 100 / 125 Mana
- 230 range (nearly melee range)
Passive Camouflage: If Teemo stands still for 4.5 seconds without taking damage, he becomes stealthed. (damage will break this effect). Moving or taking actions will break Teemo out of stealth.
Base Stats (gained per level)
Hit Points 383 (77)
Mana 200 (40)
Damage 45.7 (2.81)
Armor 14 (3.75)
Magic Resist 30 (0)
Critical Chance 2.85 (0.4)
Attack Speed 0.68 (3.2%)
Dodge 0.04 (0)
Movement Speed 300
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.
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 opponant 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.
Using summoner spells do not break your Camouflage. Things that WILL break your stealth include the following:
-Skillshots (like Blitzcrank's Grab, Mundo's Cleaver)
-Twisted Fate's Ult
A funny story about Teemo's passive. I was once soloing mid versus a Twisted Fate. My client crashed, but I was able to tell my team through voice chat what happened. I was informed that I stealthed somewhere in mid between the rivers, but the Twisted Fate was gunning for me. (for some reason, when I disconnected, I did not recall to base) Our Annie diverted mid to keep TF at bay. He was able to ult and try to kill me, but Annie thwarted him and I cloaked again. TF and Annie continued farming in the middle (we were around level 8 at this time). I reconnected, and me and Annie ganked Twisted Fate and went on to win the game. Camouflage for the win!
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.
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.
One of the reasons I put a fair amount of attack speed on Teemo is that of the poison spreading 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.
Weakening the entire creep line should 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.
CAREFUL: 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.
Noxious Trap (MUSHROOMS!)
MUSHROOMS! They are much, much more than simple "mines" that slow and DOT. They are an extremely useful commodity, and can even save your life in more than one way.
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. There are a few key places that you should 'shroom as often as possible: Dragon, river ends, neutral rune creeps, and Baron (when applicable, that is, whenever it gets to the point in the game where it is possible for the other team to kill it.)
Other places include the bushes on the sides of middle and the sides of your respective lanes, as well as common gank pile bushes.
Defensive mushrooms are best placed in bottlenecks in the jungle that enemy champions frequent often. These often warn teammates of attacks, delay ganks, scare enemy champions from attacking, or finish off weak retreating enemies.
Offensive mushrooms do a few key things: eliminate creep waves, hamper 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. Dropping a mushroom in your lane also alters how mobile the enemies in your lane can be. If they see your mushroom, and are any good, 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 "sheepdog: them into it or force them to retreat because they are stuck between you, a mushroom, a hard place (wall) and their base. If your enemy does not see you drop the mushroom, you can "sheepdog" 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 a no more better "KHAAAAAAAAAAAN!"-inspiring moment than dying to a mushroom that was dropped by a Teemo you had just killed.
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? You can! 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.
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? Finish that line off with a good poison 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 tread!
Special note to remember: Mushhrooms use the AP you have at the moment of detonation, not when you drop them.
TL;DR? Teemo is fun. Don't stack too much attack speed. Mushrooms are awesome!
Congratulations for finishing this guide (I know I will never finish it...). Keep coming back for more, as I will most likely be spewing out more thoughts on Teemo as the metagame evolves and I become a more skilled summoner.
Thanks to Friend and his Massive Teemo Guide for being a large inspiration on picking up Teemo, learning how to play Teemo on a higher level, and just having plain fun with the Swift Scout.
Thanks to summoner snorelacks, a "real life" :P friend, whose early Phage selection idea and proofreading, have proven to be much appreciated.
To everyone who has destroyed me in-game terribly, lost to me horribly, or been in a close game with me, for inspiring me to do better.
Remember, "Size doesn't mean everything!"
Last updated 15 Feb 2010