Category: Top Lane

Why the Best Teemo Build Doesn’t Exist


In past blog posts I’ve stated that Teemo is the most versatile champion in League of Legends; this brought up tons of differing opinions as to how Teemo should be played and built. However, due to Teemo’s overall kit, the most efficient way to play him differs from game to game, but why?


The main reason is Teemo can essentially build anything and still be competitive in the early game due to his Toxic Shot (E). ToxicShot When Teemo is level seven he has 40 on-hit magic damage, which is essentially a BF Sword excluding the poison damage over time. There’s no other champion in League of Legends that has the luxury of building Giant’s Belt as a first item while still having the ability to auto-attack the enemy laner to death. Teemo’s versatility in running different builds should be taken advantage of instead of building the same generic items every game.


Teemo is not a “set and forget” champion; he is not like an ADC who builds the same generic items while taking the same generic runes every game. It’s the reason why every high-elo Teemo main takes different runes and has different playstyles and preferences. High-elo Teemo players not only take into account their own playstyle and habits when building Teemo, but also their lane opponent.


A mistake that the majority of players make in low-elo is building the same items regardless of the matchup or the state of the game/lane. Why build the same items every game when the value of those items relating to Teemo differs from game to game?


For example, if you’re laning against Akali should you still build the same items as if you were laning against Swain? The answer is no. Although they both deal magic damage, their kits are different and the way their damage is output is different. Akali has AP burst damage, whereas Swain has AP poke and sustained magic damage; their playstyles and trading patterns are completely different. If you build Wit’s End as a first item versus a Swain, the lane swings in your favor. However, if you did same thing versus Akali, you don’t have the health pool to actually take Akali’s burst (a.k.a. you’re fucked).


I urge all Teemo mains who are trying to climb to play around with different builds and find the style that best fits their needs while still being about to transition and abuse other builds. Not only will you learn to abuse Teemo’s kit more effectively, but you will also learn how to be mindful in-game.


Why Grasp of the Undying is Teemo’s Core Keystone


Since the Keystone Rework back in the preseason of Season Eight, Aery has been the core keystone for Teemo, especially with Aery being particularly broken on Patch 7.22. Although Aery is still a great keystone on Teemo, with the new AP item rework a few patches ago, Grasp of the Undying has recently taken the spotlight by giving Teemo the ability to win matchups he would once lose. Top lane is the easiest to gank, camp, and counter-pick making it the most punishing lane. Therefore, the importance of poke, sustain, and survivability becomes magnified. This build gives Teemo, who is already an oppressive laner, more sustain, survivability, and ultimately more opportunities to harass with minuscule punishment from enemy minions.

About the Build

As far as I know, this build originated from xBlotter. However, after talking with him and discussing the pros and cons of the build, I’ve made a few changes that I feel have improved it.

Teemo’s Grasp of the Undying Rune Setup

Grasp of the Undying: Grasp grants you insane sustain in lane and gives you a huge advantage when going for all-ins and extended trades.

Bone Plating: Bone Plating is the best rune for fending off assassins; it mitigates any burst the enemy laner can potentially output.

Conditioning: Conditioning is the best option for this row. However, if you’re laning against a high amount of poke, then I’d recommend taking Second Wind.

Overgrowth: Every other option in this row is garbage.

Taste of Blood: Taste of Blood took over Feast’s role; it gives you a chunk of health back that makes a huge difference in the laning phase.

Ravenous Hunter: When fully stacked, Ravenous Hunter is too efficient to pass up. With Teemo’s Toxic Shot (E) technically being ability damage, you’re essentially life stealing off your auto-attack’s on-hit damage.

When to Use This Build

I highly recommend using this build when laning versus champions who can poke you out of lane and force you to back early. This build is essential when playing against champions who rely on winning all-ins. For example, champions like Camille and Jayce become ineffective and this build allows you to auto-win the lane.

Item Build

Core Item Build Listed in Order

Any standard build AP Teemo build can work with this rune setup. However, due to the runes being buffed by health items and AP items now granting a large amount of health, I prefer to build lots of health and damage, while still maintaining 40 percent CDR.


Have fun tilting others on the rift.

Why Top Lane is a Coin Flip

There have been many patches in the past two years that have slowly phased Top Lane into the least queued role.

Top Lane has a much smaller impact on the outcome of games when compared to any other role. The issue has grown over the past few years from three main sources:

  • Excessive wave clear from Mid Laners
  • Supports becoming overpowered
  • Importance of First Tower Gold

Excessive Wave Clear from Mid Laners

It’s no secret that champions like Taliyah, Ryze, Azir etc. have seen tons of priority as of late. Even back in Season Seven, the champions with more than 40 percent presence in competitive play were LeBlanc, Syndra, Orianna, and Taliyah.

Season 8 Competitive Mid Lane Champion Pool Including All Major Regions

Now what does mid lane have to do with top lane? “Four man dives” down bot lane are more common than ever. The reason Mid Laners rarely rotate top is because snowballing bot lane is vastly more advantageous.

Pulling off a four man dive bot lane leads to:

  • First Tower Gold bonus
  • First or Second Dragon
  • An ADC and Support who are now ahead of their counterparts
  • An ADC and Support who will now rotate top or mid to push their advantage

On the other hand, diving top lane and getting first tower does get your top laner ahead. However, if he continues to push to a tier 2 tower he is now overextended on the map and can very easily lose his lead. He also does not have the luxury to lane swap bot lane.

Supports Becoming Overpowered

Support items have been strong for a very long time, but were not over tuned until Patch 7.9. It’s the reason why you had Junglers taking Spelltheif’s Edge, ADCs starting with Targon’s Brace in the beginning of Season Eight, and Supports who were able to abuse Ancient Coin becoming over powered back in Season Seven (Fuck you Janna).

Support Items
Support items and their Starter Items in League of Legends


How do Supports impact Top Lane?

Supports have become Secondary carries. Their gold income per game is near that of actual carries, thus making their impact on the game much greater than before. Junglers and Mid Laners have a much bigger incentive to snowball two high-impact roles rather than just one.

Importance of First Tower Gold

Yes, First Tower Gold is a huge advantage for any player that has the luxury to receive it, but why is it more advantageous on a ADC rather than a Top Laner? Three words. Item. Power. Spikes.

For an ADC to reach their three item power spikes they need 8,800 Gold (Double Zeal Item/Infinity Edge). How much does a Top Laner need? 9,933 Gold. (Trinity Force/Titanic Hydra/Sterak’s Gage)

Giving an ADC first tower gold in much more beneficial because they two/three item power spike much quicker than Top Laners do and are overall much more effective in mid game team fights.

It’s no wonder no one wants to play top lane; even if you were to win top lane, the outcome of the game is in bot lane’s hands, where Jungle and Mid Lane are forced to spoon feed the ADC.