Early Game (Laning Phase) -- zoning, warding, shoving
Early game about Teemo is all about zoning.
Keep your distance from your enemy, poke and harass. Bush control
is also importantly against many matchups: namely Garen, Rengar, Nidalee. Lastly, warding
is paramount, as you are priority target for junglers to gank before you are Level 6 and have shrooms to start gaining lane control.
The strength of Teemo is how he can shove a lane very easily and deny his opponent gold. Abuse your range if you're against a melee champion and deny them CS, with your area warded for any possible ganks from their jungler.
Also important is stutter-stepping.
For StarCraft Terran players, it is the same technique used by marines to stim and kite. Because Teemo's AS at this point in the game is about less than 1.0, you can move, attack, move, attack, move, attack when engaging an enemy OR disengaging an enemy. Yes, it is a micro-intensive skill, but it is what separates the good Teemos from the great Teemos.
NB: Be careful when stutter-stepping against heroes with both gap closers AND stuns, such as Jax and Irelia. For these cases, it may be better to disengage completely to stay securely out of range.
Mid Game (Ganking Phase) -- shrooming, split-pushing, roaming
Mid game is where Teemo is dominant, where the focus is on taking down the enemy top tower (if it isn't down already), shrooming your perimeter (in addition to some wards), and extending to split-pushing or roaming.
Courtesy of MysticalZelda is an excellent guide on shroom placement throughout the map:
Examine the map carefully. Notice that shrooms are placed in all the important areas: where enemy champions are likely to cross, places where there are important reasons to be there, and places that are not redundant with wards.
Teemo is also an excellent champion to split-push a lane, because he has the following attributes:
- mobility and stealth
- a strong team presence (though not global like Shen)
- ability waves to clear quickly
Split-pushing a lane means that you are baiting a 2v1 gank at top, so your team can achieve team objectives without you (other towers, Dragon, buffs).
An excellent guide to split pushing can be found from Team Dignitas: http://www.team-dignitas.org/articles/blogs/League-of-Legends/1637/The-Essence-of-Split-Pushing/
Shrooms should be placed to prevent overextending past a 2v1 gank that you cannot escape or reverse double kill. The technique is to "layer" the shrooms
so that the jungler must go through several shrooms to get to you, allowing you time to escape. Always keep your shroom stock low.
You should never be full mana as a Teemo, ever. Make full use of your efficiency and timings.
Take advantage of shroom scalings at lvl 6, 11, and 16.
At these timings, clearing a wave with a shroom is very efficient and their damage comparative to champions' HP and MR scalings is favourable.
Alternatively to split-pushing, Teemo is also excellent at roaming and counter-jungling
. Once top lane is secured with shrooms and wards, and the lane is pushed, consider helping mid-lane out with a push, or counter-jungling within safe distance. Shrooming and giving vision to mid lane save them wards is also very helpful.
Teemo is not good at ganking because he lacks CC, but is amazing at shredding down other lane towers. If you must gank, try going from behind the enemy through the side bushes at mid or from the tower lane. No need to tower dive, either -- just scaring champions and forcing a flash can be immensely helpful.
Late Game (Team fight Phase) -- baiting, map control, ninja tactics
Late game Teemo is all about ensuring your team secures objectives
, and denying the enemy team from securing objectives. Objectives are: dragon, Baron, team/enemy blue/red buffs, and towers. Shrooms and wards should be placed in areas where they the enemy team is more likely to be together.
While split-pushing is viable, it should never be your focus of the game at this point, or your team will accuse you of being a solo one man team -- you are not Shen, and you do not have a global ult to teleport to your team. Always stay in close range to your team while securing map control through wards and shrooms
On the other hand, you can split-push, purposely overextend, and force the enemy to come to you. At that point, take use of the Camouflage passive while safe, hide away, and waste the enemy's time from baiting
. This is incredibly annoying to the enemy team as your team secures an objective, such as Dragon. Obviously, make sure there is no Oracle's active when doing this.
The danger zone for Teemo is when you are neither close to your team nor split-pushing -- this leads to situations when your team might engage 4v5, or get ganked 5v4. It is important to always have someone on the enemy team paying attention to you, to avoid poor team engagements. Likewise, it is important to pay attention to your own team, and not be passively farming minion waves at tower because that's not really a split push either.
Always continue placing shrooms wherever you go, both as a security measure in case you get turned on, and also in preparation for the team fights at this stage of the game.
AP Teemo team fights are a bit tricky, because you lack the health of bruiser Teemo to truly engage directly. The important thing is that if you ever are focused, to be completely decisive. Either trade with an enemy and take one down with you, or completely disengage.
There is little point to building DPS on Teemo if you are alive for only a few seconds in team fights, which defeats the concept of damage per second
. You need to stay alive for as long as possible to do as much damage as possible.
NEVER initiate team fights as AP Teemo
. You are weak, you cannot bait, and your AA range is incredibly low. You are best as a followup, to plant a shroom in the middle of the battleground, or to run past the team to dive the enemy ADC and take them down. Always use Teemo's W to escape, never to initiate or catch up in team fights.
This leaves it available to run away (if you lose the team fight) or to catch the remaining heroes (if you win the team fight).
Do not bait in team fights.
This is a completely different dynamic from laning phase and split-pushing. 5v1 is very different from 2v1 and 3v1.
Always blind the AD Carry
. It will force them to use Quicksilver Sash, Cleanse, or disengage from the fight, saving your team valuable seconds from tanking heavy ADC damage. Blinding the AD Carry is always better than blinding anyone else on the other team, even with the high DPS from Blind Shot with AP builds.
to start a "pincer attack" or an "ambush" behind your enemy team, after your team engages, is also incredibly effective. Again, make sure the enemy doesn't have Oracles to pull this off.
Always plant a shroom during the team fight.
DPS from a shroom onto your enemy team is huge. Likewise, ensure that a shroom is in stock
when you are going into a fight, and do not plant them all beforehand for scouting.
Leave kills for others.
It's very easy to KS as AP Teemo, his DPS can be very high. But at the same time, it is also much harder for you to hard carry a game. Let teammates share some gold and help get your team to victory.