IntroductionTeemo is a very fun and dynamic champion, fulfilling many useful roles. Teemo is often misunderstood, often played as a "DPS Carry" or an "AP Carry". Instead, Teemo is an AP Secondary, as I like to call it, weakening champs before fights and getting in some really nice shots when battles do take place. Teemo's ability to consistently and painfully blind makes him one of the strongest assets to a team without having to deal high damage, while his escapability and damage output force the enemy team to take notice. Nonetheless, he is fairly team-dependent (due to lack of hard-CC) and can't adequately carry without a fair amount of feed.
Teemo is niche, and that is how this guide will teach you to play him.
Usually the first thought for squishies is to get as many escapes as possible (i.e. run Ghost + Flash). Since Teemo has a built in low-cd Ghost, I find that Ghost is really unnecessary.
I take both Flash and Exhaust for escapability purposes and for offensive purposes:
- Flash lets you jump through walls, normally all you need to get out of a sticky situation since you also have your Move Quick (W)
- Flash lets you jump towards people, allowing you to get that last Q or autoattack in to kill them.
- Exhaust allows you to disable two people (or more) in fights, blinding their DPS carry/carries and exhausting normally squishy casters to reduce their nuking ability and take them down.
- Exhaust allows you to slow someone down enough to put a shroom in front (or behind them) to slow them down more / do more damage.
- Exhaust gives you the advantage in 1v1 fights since they are severely weakened (both spells and autoattacks since the exhaust modification), and if the fight goes badly, you can normally escape.
- Exhaust gives Teemo a consistent slow to use, rather than depending on shrooms. This greatly increases his utility, in general.
These are possible replacements for Exhaust only. I feel Flash is absolutely necessary, as Teemo, if caught in a gank, quickly becomes a dead Teemo. None of these spells will provide the same amount of utility.
Ignite can be utilised as an offensive tool to counter certain champions (e.g. Mundo) and is offensively powerful early game.
- Provides an additional Damage over Time (DoT) source for Teemo (with his poison)
- Can help get first blood
- Reduces healing (think health pots) so that that death is certain
I personally don't run Ignite because I find it reduces his late game effectiveness too much.
Teleport is used for swift movement to opposite sides of the map, usually in order to catch an enemy off-position or accomplish strategic objectives quickly.
- Teleport is a fun alternative since Teemo can teleport onto shrooms and go invisible, allowing baited ganks with the help of your team.
- Can buy and get back to lane quickly
- With the buff to minion waves, teleport became a more viable option as lane management became increasingly important (minions can push down towers in large waves very easily).
I find Exhaust to be a more potent offensive weapon with Teemo, which is why I use it instead. Additionally, Move Quick allows for quick movement between lanes and back to lanes, which means Teemo doesn't need Teleport very often.
I run standard 9/0/21 caster masteries for Teemo.
In the Offensive mastery tree, I take improved Exhaust and 15% magic penetration to augment my summoner spells and Teemo's AP nature. Extra AP per level from Archmage's Savvy is also useful for this reason.
In the Utility tree, I make sure to get improved Flash. Meditation provides some useful mana regen, and Quickness makes Teemo even faster. I also take Greed since it provides enough gold over the course of a game to buy two or three free wards. Increased buff duration is nice, since you might pick up blue buff sometime, and the CDR is nice to hold on to. Additional benefits of 21 in mastery also include reduced CD for summoner spells and increased XP (for getting to level 6 faster!)
Make sure to get the mastery for your summoner spell of choice! (with the possible exception of Ignite)
Magic penetration marks. These are the clear winner in this category as Magic penetration helps Teemo early game harass a lot (before they level and get MR). I can't think of anything I'd substitute here.
Magic Penetration: 8.55
Cost: 3690 IP
Mana regen per level. You're going to need mana regen, and your items won't provide enough of it. You will be using your blind a LOT. Get these runes. I guarantee they'll work.
Mana Regeneration: +0.585 mana regen / 5 sec. per level (+10.53 at level 18)
Cost: 1845 IP
I run CDR blues or alternatively mana regen per level blues. Both are extremely useful, and it honestly depends on the game.
I overall find CDR blues to be more useful. With the particular item build and mastery setup, running CDR blues brings you to right below the CDR hard cap of 40% (this build brings you to 39.85%!) CDR means you can spam your Blind more, Move Quick to escape/kill more, and most importantly SHROOM MORE!
In some games, you might find yourself spamming too much and running low on mana with other teammates needing blue buff. Yes, sometimes mana regen per level blues provide just enough to keep up with you, and they're useful on a variety of champs -- I get it. No harm in running them!
Cooldown Reduction: +5.85%
Cost: 7380 IP
Mana Regeneration: +0.495 mana regen / 5 sec. per level (+8.91 at level 18)
Cost: 1845 IP
I run flat health quints because, let's face it, a lot of people are. This gives you good early game advantage, and Teemo is just really squishy until midgame or so. The only viable alternatives in my mind are flat magic penetration quints because they'll make people hurt, or movespeed quints to make you even faster but I honestly don't find that I need them. Flat healths can be the differences between living with 10 hp and dying painfully.
Health: +78 HP
Cost: 6150 IP
Complete Rune Sets
Total Stats: +1.08 mana regen / 5 sec. per level (+19.44 at level 18), +78 HP, +8.55 MPen
Total Cost: 13530 IP
Total Stats: +0.585 mana regen / 5 sec. per level (+10.53 at level 18), +78 HP, +5.85% CDR, +8.55 MPen
Total Cost: 19065 IP
If Teemo stands still and takes no actions for 3 seconds, he becomes stealthed indefinitely. After leaving stealth, Teemo gains the Element of Surprise, increasing his attack speed by 40% for 3 seconds.
An interesting passive, one of the most effective. Use this for surprise ganks and for escaping ganks if you're surrounded. Early to mid-game when you still have your philo stone, if you're able to juke pursuers long enough to go invisible in a brush, you'll be able to heal enough in a short enough period of time to make a run for it.
The attack speed bonus can be useful, and jumping out at an enemy while surrounded by shrooms is a good tactic to bait them into a 1v1 where you have the upper hand.
IMPORTANT: You are NEVER invisible when you are b-ing. Make sure you always b in a SAFE place or when you have adequate time.
Q: Blinding Dart
Deals 80 / 125 / 170 / 215 / 260 (+80% of ability power) magic damage and causes the target to miss all of their attacks for 1.5 / 2 / 2.5 / 3 / 3.5 seconds.
Cooldown 12 seconds
Cost 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 mana
Use this and nail the DPS with it from a safe spot. Past midgame or so, this will likely do a huge chunk of damage to anybody, unless tanks are hardcore stacking MR. Blinding the DPS is probably your MOST IMPORTANT job. Doing that damage and blinding really demoralises the carry, causing them to move out of position and help your team win fights.
Secondary targets are squishy casters. After a shot of this and some autoattacks, they'll likely be half health and out of the fight.
Make sure to use this as a short-range poke since you have the mobility to do so. A 0.8 AP ratio here means PAIN. With enough AP and AS, they'll be afraid of just you, not just your shrooms.
Although even the *famed* The Rainman is correct in that Teemo gets focused hard naturally, AP Teemo playstyle means getting in the middle of fights. If you honestly can't find some way of safely avoiding stuns and nuking a squishy with a Q, I'd say you're doin' it wrong. Remember, you're not THE carry, so you -- sorta -- want to be focused (not as much as the tanks, clearly).
W: Move Quick
Passive: Teemo's movement speed is increased by 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30% until he is struck by an enemy champion or turret. Active: Teemo gains double his passive move speed for 4 seconds, this bonus is not lost on hit.
Cost 40 mana
The name says it all! You move FAST. Use this to run away! To catch fleeing enemies! To get places faster! Basically, just use it a lot, and remember, you're passively faster as well. Since the buff to this skill, it's gone from useless to fantastic! The mana cost is negligible, and you'll be doing things a lot faster. You'll be able to get some potshots in and retreat without taking damage. You'll be an excellent harasser. You'll be a SWIFT scout.
E: Toxic Shot
Teemo's basic attacks poison their target, dealing 8 / 14 / 21 / 28 / 35 (+14% of ability power) magical damage upon impact and again each second for 4 seconds.
This is how you make your autoattacks count. You get a pitiful AP ratio on this, but a free reappliable DoT isn't half bad. You can use this as a more effective way to harass in lane against healers and generally non-autoattacking champs, since your blind will be less useful then. Every hit of autoattack will always apply the impact damage of poison, so this skill permanently increases your damage.
For farming: Try to last hit low minions only once with an autoattack and allow poison to finish them off (if you can). This will allow you to farm more minions if you're careful about watching for last hits.
If you're trying to help someone with buffs, make sure to stop shooting the golem/lizard/whatever at least 4 seconds before it'll likely be killed so as to avoid buff stealing. Teemo's not the worst champ with buffs, but nothing's more annoying than being the ranged DPS and having a buff stolen by a sunfire or poison.
R: Noxious Trap
Places a trap which detonates if an enemy steps on it, poisoning nearby enemies. Poisoned enemies take 350 / 500 / 650 (+80% of ability power) magic damage and have their movement speed slowed by 30 / 40 / 50% for 4 seconds. Traps last 10 minutes.
Cooldown 20 seconds
Cost 75 / 100 / 125 mana
Ah, Teemo's trademark skill. You'll cause enemies to rage endlessly. You'll possibly steal kills. You'll definitely deal damage.
Teemo's shrooms act as short range wards that deal lots of damage. Again, a 0.8 AP ratio means PAIN, with high base damage already in place. I will dedicate an entire section to shroom placement later.
Shrooms CAN be utilised in midbattle. Sticking one down in the middle of a teamfight can cause valuable AoE damage and slows to your opponents, killing them, or slowing them enough to allow your team escape. Again, The Rainman assumes you're always going to be top priority stun for the other team, but I believe that's more for an AD Teemo. As AP Teemo, your shrooms are more damaging AND it should be easier to get them down in battles. You'd be surprised what an AP Teemo can safely get away with.
(NOTE: Shrooms are NEVER a substitute for wards, especially since wards provide much much more sight. Make sure to always, always buy wards.
The initial skilling order that I adhere to is QEQW/QEWQ...etc. I find Q to do most damage in lane, thus allowing for strongest harrass. E allows you to use autoattacks for this purpose so as to conserve some mana and use the two interchangeably.
Starting with E is fine, since you'll still be able to level 1 harass. I find level 1 harass extremely important when playing Teemo as you can do a large amount of damage early that can psychologically damage your lane opponents. Level 1 W just makes it appear that you want to play a passive game.
(NOTE: If you're soloing against a skillshot dependent champion such as Urgot, I'd suggest EWEQ. Getting W a level earlier is really important to dodge some damaging skillshots. Blinds don't really affect these champions, so less important.)
Of course, make sure to level your R whenever possible.
I like to start with Regrowth Pendant to build in to Philosopher's Stone for a number of reasons:
- The regrowth pendant will allow you to stay in lane a lot longer. Knowing that you have increased health regeneration over your lane opponents will allow you to play more aggressively without fear of getting slowly harassed down.
- Once upgraded to philo stone, any mana regen issues you may have had should disappear.
- Philo stone provides you with a decent income source, allowing you to quickly leave lane to shroom key areas or assist your mid by shrooming their brush without worrying as much about CS.
I prefer Sorcerer's Shoes because early they really make your shrooms hurt. You should have ~29 magic penetration by this point (not to mention the 15% from masteries). Against CC heavy teams or in more competitive play, you may be compelled to buy Mercury Treads, which will be fine as well. Saving yourself is more important than doing more damage, so buy these if necessary.
The core item build I find to be somewhat unconventional. By that, I mean it tends to go against some "rules of thumb", such as "Rod of Ages before 15 (or 20) or not at all!" and "Malady is not useful." I respectfully disagree. I find myself getting my rod consistently from 25 to 30 minutes in (solo or duo laning), which should be easy if you're last hitting well. Nashor's might take another 10 minutes depending on kills, etc (and you SHOULD be getting a couple kills here and there). During midgame, you'll want to work on building attack speed, as well as start working towards max CDR.
Build only the Stinger component of Nashor's Tooth and proceed to start building Malady.
Malady will provide you with more valuable MR shredding, making your autoattacks and Q deal more and more damage.
Build your Rod of Ages. This will allow you to get enough AP to start doing some damage and a lot of very helpful HP to make you less squishy. You'll be much harder to kill after Rod, so play appropriately.
Now build Nashor's Tooth. The extra AP and AS boost should help you deal more damage, and the additional CDR will allow you to put down a lot of strong shrooms. (Shrooms only deal additional AP damage of the AP from the time at which they were placed).
Late Game Items:
The next two items are interchangeable. I find Rabadon's to be almost always the better option, as your AP will become much more threatening. If you find yourself still with survivability issues, either buy the Giant's Belt or outright build Rylai's first. Each one of these is fine. Make sure to sell your philo stone to help you buy one of these faster.
Stats for this build:
Extended Game / Fed Teemo
In the situation when you've found that the game is over 45 minutes long or so, I advocate selling Malady for Lich Bane. At this point in the game, the MR shredding won't be as important as pure AP. I choose to go Lich Bane for additional AP, some nice MR, then additional movespeed, but most importantly, for the passive. Most people will have built MR against you by this point. Perhaps a lot of MR. If your team is even slightly tilted toward the AP end, it's likely that the other team has largely neglected to buy armour items. Lich Bane will take the AP you have built up and ram them with physical damage that they're not building as much resist against. Your Q at this point will deal almost 850 magic damage (before MR) and your next autoattack will proc almost 600 physical damage + 116 impact poison + more poison damage. Also note that with this CDR, Q has a 6 second CD and W or R will also proc Lich Bane (useful for tower pushing, hitting people). This will wreck almost any endgame squishy, and it more than makes up for the slight AS drop.
Against AP/CC-Based Teams:
With this build, you'll be running a bit less on AP, but it'll be worth it. Remember, you're not the AP Carry, so if you can't afford to build glass cannon, don't. The MPen from Abyssal Scepter has its utility as well, so it slightly makes up for the reduced AP. Upon buying late game items, you'll want to sell Malady for either Rabadon's or Rylai's, most likely the latter if you need to run this alternate build.
HP: 3352 (2852)
AP: 285 (468)
Against AD-Based Teams:
If they have just too much physical damage that you can't blind them out of, you'll want to probably run Ninja Tabi. The armour will be useful and dodge chance might save your life. Building health tends to be more effective than stacking armour, so running Rylai's is still a good choice. Building Zhonya's will give you a large armour boost and AP boost, so you won't be hurting for AP too much. When you get enough, you'll want to sell Malady for Rabadon's so that you can start dealing more damage.
Early GameFocus on last hitting. This may seem obvious, but Teemo autoattacks more readily than most champs for some reason (from my experience). With poison, remember that a few autoattacks can push the lane much harder than you want it to. Make sure to try to zone the enemy out of lane by taking advantage of bushes and invising whenever possible to get some autoattacks on them. You should b only when the wave is pushed and you're certain you can buy Philo Stone and Boots of Swiftness.
Upon reaching level 6, you should shroom brushes. If on the side lane, you should immediately put a shroom in the brush on the river. This will help prevent ganks if you're too far pushed. Also put a shroom at each end of the brushes against the wall. Try to help your solos by placing shrooms in their brush(es).
By the end of early game (laning phase), you should have bought level 2 boots and Stinger (or be almost done with Stinger).
Mid GameIn mid-game, there should be a fair amount of lane-switching occurring, and you should take full advantage of these opportunities to shroom the areas around dragon/baron as well as the enemy jungle.
Team fights may occur. If this happens, try to stay near the back of team fights, throwing in a Q or autoattack here or there. At this point, you are likely still fragile, unless you have already managed to farm out your Rod.
Make sure to lane manage, and sometimes put shrooms directly in the middle of lanes to automatically trigger pushes towards the enemy side. Lane management is more important than ever! Make sure to keep massive waves of minions from accumulating, and quickfarm them with a shroom placing directly on them.
By the middle of midgame, you should have your Rod, and you should be working to finish Nashor's Tooth. Nashor's will make you a shroom machine, remember. Always drop a shroom if you have 3 to take full advantage of the CDR. You should have Nashor's finished by the end of midgame.
Teamfights after you get a Rod will be much more involved. You'll likely have to manoeuvre about a lot to put shrooms down behind enemies as they try to escape and in order to put heavy pressure on their DPS carry / weak squishies. USE YOUR EXHAUST (if you ran it). An exhaust during a teamfight can be the difference between an even trade and an ace (or some similar comparison). Never underestimate the power of a good Exhaust.
Play very aggressively during these teamfights, and you'll likely find yourself with a few kills in your hand.
Late GameYou should be shrooming mid, baron, and dragon heavily, along with the enemy's jungle. You should be stealing buffs/helping your team steal buffs. Most importantly, you should be VERY powerful. Midgame will probably give you a gold + kill boost. Take full advantage of this and buy Rabadon's / Rylai's. By the time you've bought both of these items, the enemy will have an extremely difficult time with you.
Remember, shrooms provide sight, shrooms do damage. Shrooms get you kills, assists, ganks at Baron, dragon steals -- you name it! They are your most powerful tool, so use them generously.
You should have no trouble getting at least 1 kill during each teamfight at this point, and late game should generally be your team pushing down their towers.
Shroom PlacementShroom Locations:
Order of Priority:
Mid + Area around Mid
Entrances to Allied Jungle
If you decide to shroom up a lane (commonly mid while teams are dancing around) make sure to cover brushes and to zig zag just around the outside of the centre of the lane, with a couple of shrooms in centre to surprise.
A Note About Oracles:
Yes, they are annoying if you shroomed an open lane a lot, but a lot of your shrooms will be in the entrances to brushes, so champions WILL still hit many of your shrooms. Brushes are by far the best places to place shrooms. Oracles, being oracles, will eventually come off the person they're on (since they'll likely be focused), so try not to worry too much (and don't try to invis near them).
Final CommentsTeemo is a very strong character in lane and in teamfights, coming to peak after late mid-game. While somewhat item-dependent, Teemo gives your team strong map control and unparalleled DPS nullification. With this build, you should be able to dominate the map and the enemy team without having to build glass cannon, assisting your team in a variety of ways that will earn you the title of Most Valuable Yordle! Comments are welcomed -- now get out and play some Teemo!
- March 10: Guide Published
- March 11: Alternative Builds included in Item Builds. Increased Detail in item explanations. Summoner Spells section reformatted.
- March 12: Added Masteries section picture and small rune pictures. Clarified item build diagrams.
- April 12: Updated Shroom placement map with some new shrooms.
Laning difficulty against certain champions.
Patch 126.96.36.199 updates and guide changes