So, You Want to Main Teemo?

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So, you want to main Teemo? There’s a few things to know before committing yourself to the most notorious champion in League of Legends.

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Unique Playstyle

Although it may sound cliché, there’s no other champion in League of Legends that’s quite like Teemo; his unique playstyle and overall gameplay experience allow his skillcap to be quite low, but difficult to master.

Teemo functions as a hybrid of an Attack Damage Carry (ADC), Assassin, and Bruiser.

ADC

Your positioning is key when playing Teemo; just like ADCs, you must have reliable Kiting mechanics and the ability Auto Space effectively. Although it was originally a meme, there are distinct differences between Auto Spacing and kiting. Auto Spacing is the ability to effectively keep your distance from enemy champions, whereas Kiting is the ability to move your character between auto-attacks.

Assassin

Teemo was thematically intended to play as an AP assassin. However, with different items being introduced to League of Legends over the years, people have adopted different playstyles like On-hit Teemo and Bruiser Teemo.

Bruiser

Even with the recent nerf of Frozen Mallet back in Patch 8.4, building Teemo as a Bruiser has been a viable option for years and, in certain matchups, more optimal than AP Teemo.

With these three playstyles intertwined, most of the mechanics and game knowledge you learn while playing Teemo can be carried over to other roles and vice versa.

Abilities

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No other champion in League of Legends has abilities similar to Teemo’s Toxic Shot (E) and Noxious Trap (R); they are the abilities that define Teemo as a champion and allow him to be the most versatile champion in League of Legends.

Hate in General

Be mentally prepared for the outlash that your teammates may exert when choosing Teemo in Champion Select. It’s no secret that Teemo isn’t the best teamfighter, but don’t let your teammates comment discourage or persuade you to stop playing Teemo. Any champion can be one-tricked to high-elo once they’re mastered.

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The official League of Legends Facebook page offering the community the chance to delete Teemo.

You will generally never escape the flame and blame from your teammates. Even as a high-elo Teemo main myself, I still get the occasional Teemo flame. Brush it off and, no matter what you do, don’t tilt.

A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles. 

– Christoper Reeve

Enjoy yourself and don’t the game too serious.

 

Split Pushing with Teemo: What to do When You’re Behind

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If you’re in the unfortunate situation of having fed the enemy top laner, there’s only one way to fix: Split Pushing. If you’re already useless in the current game state, it’s time to make an enemy laner useless.

Let’s look at what Split Pushing does.

Split Pushing

Split Pushing allows you to manipulate the map by forcing an enemy champion to respond to the pressure you’re placing; you inherently force the game to become a puzzle and if the enemy team fails to respond correctly, then the consequences can be catastrophic. The beauty of it all is pressure is powerful regardless if the champion you’re playing happens to not be.

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As stated before, if you’re already useless, the best thing you can do is force an enemy champion to respond to the pressure. The same logic can apply to dealing with tanks who are great at teamfighting (Ornn, Sion, Maokai, Cho’Gath etc.); don’t let them shine in teamfights and force them to match your split push.

Items and Teleport

So you’re feeding or your team simply isn’t meant to teamfight? Drop everything and immediately start building yourself a Runnan’s Hurricane. Runnan’s is amazing for Teemo as having an item built before Runnan’s isn’t required due to Teemo’s Toxic Shot (E). Also, you’re going to need Teleport for situational purposes like backdooring, getting to Baron or even getting back to lane in the early stages of the game.

Shrooms/Wards Providing Vision

Although you can still build AP, it’s better to go for an on-hit build as you’ll mostly be dueling and taking towers; this is why you’ll be using your Shrooms for vision purposes and not for damage. Shroom and Ward the immediate paths to where your split pushing. When safe, try to get deeper vision and use it to your advantage to bait enemy champions into wasting more time.

The Push Pull

The “Push Pull” relates to how lanes naturally push with minions; “push” is you pushing the lane, whereas the pull is the enemy team responding on the wave bouncing back towards you. Arcsecond gives a great in depth explanation of how it works.

Generally speaking, you don’t want to be pushing a lane if you don’t see 4 other enemy champions on the map. If you’re confident with your abilities, or simply fed, push when there’s 3 on the map. You can also just push if your team is applying a high amount of pressure somewhere else on the map; this is because if you happen to die, your team can get a fortune in objectives for the cost of one Teemo.

In Action

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The goal of the game above was to take Sion out of teamfighting situations, which is where he thrives. I immediately built Runnan’s Hurricane and forced him to join me in the split push. It’s important to note that this strategy was successfully executed in mid-diamond elo.

When playing this strategy, I like to take Grasp of the Undying as it will helps you duel champions more effectively than the other alternatives. It’s also a much safer option than Press the Attack or Aery.

Enjoy the free elo.

Teemo Starting Item Breakdown: How to Pick Your Poison

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Starting Items

Starting items are fluid when it comes to Teemo; With Toxic Shot (E) giving him 50 on-hit damage at level 9, Teemo has the pick of the litter. However, starting items are matchup dependent, so it’s important for you to both play to your strengths and counter the enemy laner.

Tier 1: Doran’s Shield and Doran’s Ring

In general, Doran’s Ring and Doran’s Shield are Teemo’s best starting items. For decent matchups that don’t involve a receiving ton of poke, I suggest grabbing yourself a Doran’s Ring. However, if you’re laning against champions that are poke heavy, I highly recommend taking Doran’s Shield as it will allow you to stay in lane for longer periods of time and eventually poke out the enemy laner. It’s important to take into account the trading patterns of the enemy laner when choosing your starting item. For champions that rely less on poking Teemo down and more on all-ins, Doran’s Ring is your best bet; not only will you have the health pool for the all-in, but it also allows you to effectively poke them out. However, for sustaining from poke, Doran’s Shield would be your best choice.

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Some champions are listed twice due to both options either being good or dependent on your playstyle/build (i.e. Comet Nasus).

For the brutal Pantheon matchup consider starting Doran’s Ring and maxing Blinding Dart (Q); Teemo’s Blind Dart outranges Pantheon’s Spear Shot (Q). For a more in-depth breakdown of the matchup, watch IcyPhoenix’s video analysis.

Tier 2: Cull

If you’re feeling frisky, then consider taking Cull; it’s extremely gold efficient and gives decent laning stats to help you last-hit effectively. Only opt into taking Cull for matchups where you would take Doran’s Ring. You never want to take Cull into punishing matchups where Doran’s Shield is needed; a Cull start is about safely getting away greed, not getting away with feed.

Tier 3: Null-Magic Mantle and Boots

In very specific matchups it’s sometimes beneficial to start with Null-Magic Mantle or Boots. You can be greedy and start Null-Magic Mantle if you intend on rushing Wit’s End against an AP laner that doesn’t poke you whatsoever (Nautilus, Maokai, Singed etc.) Starting Boots can also be an option versus Darius if you need to avoid getting pulled in, but it isn’t optimal.