Teemo Top Lane Matchups: Laning Strategy Comprehensive Guide (Season 7 LoL)
Top Lane matchups for all of Teemo’s lane opponents for Season 7 League of Legends. A quick build and explanation is included for all match ups top lane in LoL. I will continue to update this guide with more champions and to reflect meta changes, so please bookmark and come back if you’re a Teemo top player! Quickly read about your matchup before your game starts to get an advantage!
These guides are intended for players in Gold and Platinum (or below.) I have mained Teemo for a couple of years, with hundreds of games from Gold to high Platinum in Solo Ranked Queue. Another super helpful resource is Twitch streamer ivan999 who is a Diamond and Master level Teemo player that streams on Twitch.
Bookmark this Guide! Regularly updated. Current as of Summer 2017.
More champions are being added and information is being tweaked on a regular basis. Please bookmark and come back often! A good way to use this guide is to quickly read about your opponent during champion select and the loading screen.
Section and Matchup Shortcuts for This Guide:
- General Build: Tanky Hybrid Teemo
- General Build: AP Teemo Build
- Overall Teemo Playstyle Tips & Lane Strategy
- General Champions Teemo Counters
- General Champions that Counter Teemo
Links to sections of the article. All champions will eventually be included, but for now see the table below. If there is a write-up for that matchup, a link will be active here.
A – I
J – P
R – Z
General Build for Hybrid Tanky Teemo AS / On-Hit
Runes: Attack Speed Red (Marks), Flat Armor Yellows, Scaling MR Blues, Attack Speed Quints
Masteries: 18-12-0 (Take Fervor Keystone and Greenfather’s Gift plus all damage / attack speed options)
Summoners: Flash + Teleport (OR Ghost sometimes)
Starting Items: Boots + Refillable Pot or Dorans Ring + Health Potions or Corrupting Potion
Default Build: Boots > Frozen Mallet > Swiftness Boots > Hextech Gunblade > Defense Item or Attack Speed Item
Offensive Items: Frozen Mallet, Hextech Gunblade, BOTRK, Hurricane, Guinsoo’s Rageblade
Defensive Items: Frozen Mallet, ZZRot, Zhonyas, Banshee’s Veil,
Runes: Magic Pen Reds (Marks), Flat Armor Yellows, Scaling MR Blues, Flat AP Quints
Masteries: Deathfire or (Warlords maybe?) or Thunderlords
Summoners: Flash + Teleport (Ghost is also an option)
Starting Items: Dorans Ring + HP Pots or Corrupting Potion
Core: Liandry’s Torment, Sorc Shoes, Morello’s (generally build first piece of liandry’s for health then sorc shoes)
Offensive: Doran’s (x1 or 2), Liandry’s Torment, Morellonomicon, Lich Bane, Hextech Gunblade, Nashor’s Tooth
Defensive: Zhonya’s, Abyssal Scepter, Banshee’s Veil, Rylai’s Crystal Scepter (meh)
- Weakness: Squishy, yet needs to be close to be effective
- Weakness: Doesn’t fit meta or team expectations – can’t protect mid or ADC at all
- Weakness: Enemies can easily get Oracles Trinket to heavily counter mushrooms
- Strength: Objective and map control with high damage shrooms
- Strength: Late game a single unexpected shroom can deal 50% damage to squishy enemies before a team fight even starts
The disadvantages far outweigh the advantages, largely because the red trinket is such an easy and effective counter currently. In most games I recommend playing as a Tanky Hybrid Teemo rather than AP.
- Poke Every Time the Enemy Last Hits: Always be poking whenever the enemy comes up to last hit a creep (especially vs melee)
- Remember to CS: Don’t forget to prioritize your own last hitting. With planning and practice you can CS and poke, but don’t lose CS because you are poking.
- In & Out of Bush: Run into bushes right after you poke to drop aggro from ranged creeps, plus proc your Greenfather’s mastery
- Save Your Blind (Sometimes): for when the enemy engages on you (right after they dash to you for example). While its tempting to poke with your AA + Blind + AA combo, in some situations you need to save your Blinding Dart cooldown.
- For example always save your blind vs Renekton or Irelia because they can dash-engage -> CC you if its on cooldown.
- Drop a Shroom at the Start of a Fight: Drop a shroom right behind you or behind the enemy when they engage on you. This will slow them so you can run–or chase them for follow up damage.
- Kite, kite, kite! You must practice this or you will lose the majority of lanes. Frozen mallet’s slow makes Teemo deadly and super annoying as long as you know how to kite!
- Shroom Wards: Use shrooms as wards in the tri-brush and river areas. Also place shrooms along the path the enemy jungler will take toward you when coming out of the river. This will save you from ganks most of the time.
- Shroom Objectives: Remember to drop shrooms around Baron and Dragon mid to late game.
- Save Shrooms: Try to save up at least 2 shrooms before any fight. The shroom damage and slow will be key in turning the tide of any close fight.
- Shroom AoE Creep Trigger: Drop a shroom on nearby enemy minions to guarantee it will explode. Shrooms have a pretty big AoE effect so the damage and slow will still apply if the enemy player is nearby. This will ensure the enemy can’t walk around the shroom.
- Shroom Arming Delay: Remember that shrooms take about 1-2 seconds to arm, so if you drop it directly on an enemy champion they will usually have time to walk out of the way. Instead try dropping it behind them if you know they are going to try to disengage. Alternately drop it behind yourself if you know you will be running away.
- Pantheon – (his burst damage, poke, shield, stun etc are all big problems). Probably the worst matchup for Teemo. Ban Pantheon!
- Many ranged AP mages give Teemo a problem because he can’t out burst them or engage / disable them after they do their burst damage. Build tanky with frozen mallet + defense items so you can survive the burst and chase them down.
- Teemo counters most melee AD bruisers thanks to his ranged attack constant poke during CS’ing and his blind if they manage to get close and try to engage
- Darius (after level 7-9 or so)
AP Teemo should work okay too
Start: Dorans Ring + HP Pots or Corrupting Potion
Frozen Mallet (alternately for AP Teemo start Haunting Visage>Sorc Shoes)
Same as Mao pretty much, though you can definitely poke him out. Get health with frozen mallet, then get some MR from wits end, zzrot etc. You could also probably do AP teemo vs Ekko–Haunting Visage rush then sorc shoes and liandry’s. Then some tankiness+ap, maybe the new Banshee’s Veil or Abyssal Scepter.
Note: this was written for the “old” Maokai before his rework and new ultimate from around May 2017. May need updating.
Maokai has advantage in matchup.
Start: Corrupting Potion
Next Options: Wits End (if enemy team is AP heavy), BOTRK (if enemy team is tanky), otherwise Hextech Gunblade as the default. Wits End if Enemy Jungle/Mid is AP and you need MR. Otherwise Hextech Gunblade will allow you to sustain in lane and also increase shroom and burst damage.
Play passive, there is no way you can kill a Maokai of equal or greater skill early on. He would have to way over-commit while low or allow you to poke him way more than he should etc. Just farm on your side of the lane, ward and watch for ganks, don’t push. Try to freeze the creeps right outside of your tower range and last hit. Autoattack + blind him if he goes up for a creep near you, so he can’t free farm, but never commit to a fight. If you get a read that he is a poor player you can play aggressive and poke him away, but 90% of the time just farm until you have frozen mallet plus half of the next item (like Bilgewater Cutlass or roughtly level 10/11.) At that point you might be able to kill him 1v1 thanks to frozen mallet’s slow if he pushes to your tower and makes a mistake or stays too long.
Teemo slight advantage overall (Kled might have a minor advantage lvl 2-8 or so. Teemo should be able to 1v1 him reliably mid game after getting Frozen Mallet. Late game should be about even or Teemo advantage as long as Teemo hits blind before Kled’s W empowered auto-attacks.)
boots>pots>frozen mallet>hextech gunblade
other options: hurricane, zzrot, zhonyas, blade of the ruined king (botrk),
possibly some armor (randuins? or just cloth) if doing poorly early/mid
start refillable pot or boots + pots. play passive until you get at least half of frozen mallet (like lvl 4/5) then you should be able to fight him in in short bursts or especiall after he wastes his W cooldown or misses his Q hook. early game like lvl 1-3 you cant really fight him.
Teemo has the advantage, Teemo counters Darius with skilled play, especially mid-late game 1v1.
Start: Boots and Refillable Pot/HP Potions
Core Teemo vs Darius: Frozen Mallet > Swiftness Boots
Final Build Example: Swifty boots > Frozen Mallet > Hextech Gunblade > ZZrot or Dead Man’s Plate > Hurricane or Botrk
Offensive (after core): Hextech Gunblade, Hurricane, Guinsoo’s Rageblade,
Defensive options (after core): Zhonyas, ZZrot, Guardian Angel, Dead Man’s Plate
Teemo can 1v1 Darius after getting Frozen Mallet, but any single mistake or misclick in a fight can result in death. Mid and Late game Teemo should be able to 1v1 Darius with moderate ease.
Note: Watch out for Darius taking Ghost, this completely destroys your kiting strategy — as soon as Darius gets full hemmorage stacks on you, you will lose the fight and ghost lets him do this reliably almost every time, even with all your slows and dodging. (Its basically impossible to Dodge Darius’ E pull if he is ghosting for example.) If Darius takes Ghost I would consider him a moderate counter to Teemo. Ghost+Ignite on Darius vs Teemo is especially brutal.
Teemo Lane Strategy vs Darius: starting with boots is a must. You need the move speed to dodge Darius’ Q spin. It will also help you dodge his E pull a bit. It is very important to just poke at Darius. One autoattack>Q combo, then back up. Don’t let him trick you into overextending so he can pull you, slow you, then get his full bleed stacks on you. Also pay attention to his summoner spells — if Darius takes ignite or ghost instead of teleport, he is planning to be aggressive and you need to play super safe, at least until you get Frozen Mallet. No matter what, its best to never go past halfway in the lane until you get Frozen Mallet or have some other very clear advantage.
Once you have Frozen Mallet and Swiftness Boots it should be game over for Darius in a 1v1 situation vs Teemo. Any time he is past the half way point in lane you should be able to either kill him or take him down to about 20% health as he runs away. Remember to always be ready to dodge his Q and E however. Lastly, save your W active speed boost and at least 1 shroom in case Darius pulls you — use W after he hits you with his W (slow) and then drop a shroom along your retreat path. This should be plenty to escape along with the health from your Frozen Mallet.
Consider taking Warlords as your keystone. It might not be the best choice late game, but during early laning the movespeed bonus can be a game changer for poking, chasing, and running away from Darius. However after you get your first item Frozen Mallet, it loses quite a bit of its usefulness and Fervor would give you a lot more damage – so decide what you like best.
Malphite has a strong advantage vs Teemo Top Lane
This is a rough matchup for Teemo. Malphite is naturally super tanky, which moderately counters your poke. Most likely he will start Spectre’s Cowl which gives him a ton of HP regen and MR to deal with your poison. He can do a decent amount of damage and harass with his Q, while still surviving your blind+auto attack harass without too much issue. By level 6 Malphite will generally call for his jungler and even if you build full defense, one of Malphites ult+full combo + any decent jungler damage is going to kill you, even under your own tower, unless you have a spectacular flash dodge and counter play.
Assuming teams, lanes etc are equal, you will need to ask your jungler for help. Farm in front of your tower, let the lane push, and wait for a gank. Don’t go aggressive unless you have a huge advantage (unlikely unless the opponent Malphite is far less skilled.) Once you have Frozen Mallet you can assist ganks with a perma-slow.
In general, just build tanky and concentrate on farming and avoiding Malphite + enemy jungle ganks. Even if you have an advantage and more health than Malphite, remember that his lvl 6+ all in is extremely rough to deal with, so play defensively.
Teemo has significant advantage vs Camille
Start: Corrupting Potion
Frozen Mallet>Hextech Gunblade>
As long as you blind Camille when she engages on you, you should win this matchup pretty easily. Your move speed should also allow you to dodge most or all of her wall jump>stuns. Make sure you don’t try to use blinding dart right as she ults (which makes her untargettable). You need the blind effect to win fights and trades. If you can blind one or both of her Q procs you will do very well. Even if she gets and advantage, you should be able to escape fairly well just using W / move quick.
boots> Frozen Mallet> swift boots > botrk > zzrot
(once you have FM you can win fights with good kiting)
Feel free to poke with your AA – blind – aa combo whenever you want since you don’t need to save it to blind against melee attacks in this matchup. Keep your distance, keep in mind Singed Ult + Ghost + Slow pool and always have an escape plan while keeping those in mind. Early game if he flips you + poisons you, its definitely possible for Teemo to nearly die in just one combo. However if you position smartly this shouldn’t happen. Remember not to chase Singed around. Some Singed’s will try to farm between your towers, just ignore that until you get frozen mallet. Then when your jungle is nearby, kill him with the permaslow and jungle help, but don’t waste too much time chasing him even if he starts getting away.
Teemo has the advantage early and mid game. Late game Nasus will be stronger generally, though Teemo may still be able to 1v1 him Nasus will be more effective in general.
Start Corrupting Potion
Core: Frozen Mallet, Swiftness Boots > Hextech Gunblade
Strategy for Teemo vs Nasus: The most important thing is to use your q to blind Nasus’ initial Q auto attack. Also remember to be aware that Nasus’ W will slow you to a crawl for a decent amount of time, so don’t over extend. Like most fights vs melee champs, use your Q to blind them before their first auto attack against you (especially important vs Nasus’ empowered Q), then drop a shroom behind you and use your W to start kiting backwards. Once you get Frozen Mallet you’ll be able to punish any aggressive move against you as long as you blind against the initial damage and then kite well. Hextech Gunblade as a second item gives you extra sustain, damage, and an extra slow. Blade of the Ruined King would be a decent alternative to Gunblade if the enemy team has a lot of tankiness.
The new thing for Nasus to do is to max his E to poke during laning phase. This is why we take Corrupting Potion – that plus your teleport will allow you to survive the very early levels. Once you get Frozen Mallet you will have plenty of health. Its rarely worth it to build MR even against an E max Nasus, unless perhaps their jungler and mid lane are also both AP.
Overall, as long as you kite properly and blind Nasus before he hits his Q AA, you should win trades.
Teemo has advantage.
Start: Doran’s Shield or Doran’s Ring
Ap Teemo VS Gangplank Build:
Start: Doran’s Ring (Preferred), Corrupting Potion, or Doran’s Shield
Core: Haunting guise > liandry’s > sorc shoes
Defensive: Zhonya’s, ZZrot
Offensive: Nashor’s, Rabadon’s Deathcap
AD Teemo Vs Gangplank Build:
Build A little bit of health, boots, then Hextech Gunblade?
Needs more testing before I’m able to definitively talk about this matchup, but for now: AP Teemo should work well here. You can out poke GP as long as you continue to follow up with more damage after he Q’s you. Make sure you dodge / AA his barrels. Remember to keep in mind he will probably have barrels ready to set off in bushes. You can use shrooms for bush vision so you can AA the barrels. If your GP opponent is not skilled with GP and using his barrels you should do very well.
Even / skill based match depending on who gets early advantage.
Start Options: Doran’s Shield, Doran’s Ring, Ruby Crystal, Doran’s Blade
(start some sort of +HP item if Renekton takes ignite)
Unless Renekton’s Dash is down, stay out of his single dash reach. If not, he can generally dash > stun you before you can even get your blind off. Even if you are super quick about it, the blind probably won’t reliably hit until after Renekton gets his stun off. Wait to be aggressive until you get some health (at LEAST half of frozen mallet + boots).
Always keep an eye on Renekton’s rage meter. If its over half (red), he does way more damage on his next skill and will probably be looking to engage on you. If possible try to harass Renekton so he can’t freely autoattack creeps since that builds his rage up.
Start: tanky item – dorans shield or ruby crystal + HP pots? (need tankyness early to survive at all)
Core: Frozen Mallet, Swift boots, maybe armor (randuins or raptor cloak?), maybe executioners calling
Your blind can do some real work so always save it for when Aatrox engages or at least misses his jump cooldown. Watch out if the enemy Aatrox takes cleanse or ignite or ghost in addition to flash. In this matchup definitely stay near your tower, farm next to your tower — don’t push the lane if it can be avoided. It might be pointless to harass aatrox unless your jungler is ganking in a few seconds, because his healing is insane and it opens you up to Aatrox jumping on you.
Generally a fight Teemo vs Aaatrox will go like this: Teemo is harassing with autoattacks. If he gets a tad too close, Aatrox jumps on you, knocks you up, gets 1-2 autoattacks in and starts trying to walk behind you to block your retreat, then uses his wave to slow you. Then Teemo will blind him immediately after recovering from the knockup, hit W for move speed and run to create distance. If Teemo has enough life to continue the fight, Teemo will kite backwards and AA harass him as Aatrox has to retreat. Frozen Mallet and swift boots allow Teemo to do this escape/kite/chase. However, even if Teemo survives Aatrox’s engage, kites and gets good harass in, Aatrox only needs to autoattack a few creeps and he will regain most of his health while you’ll be chunked down. So the ideal way to play is to play safe, let aatrox push until your jungler is nearby, then you should be able to get a kill.
Level 1-2 you should be able to safely harass Aatrox, though its very shortlived. Once Aatrox has all 3 skills he can successfully engage and trade. If he has ignite or ghost plus flash he will likely be able to kill you pretty easily. Once Teemo gets Frozen Mallet, Swiftness Boots, and a little bit of armor and/or attack speed, Teemo should be able to survive and even get a kill if he uses blind, shrooms, and frozen mallet kiting perfectly (as long as Aatrox isn’t fed by that point.)
Don’t underestimate Aatrox’s damage or healing ability, even though you have blinding dart.
Yasuo counters Teemo significantly
Start: Doran’s Shield or Ruby Crystal, HP Potions
Core vs Yasuo: Health, Armor, Ninja Tabi… Frozen Mallet, Randuins? Zhonyas?
Yasuo’s wind wall can block ALL of Teemo’s damage. Blinding dart, AA’s and even shrooms will disappear into the wall. Yasuo’s high mobility (when near creeps), damage, etc are all problems for Teemo who wants to just slowly poke away at his lane opponent then chase them.
Try to avoid this matchup if possible, for example Nasus is a better option vs Yasuo top if you can counterpick. If you end up Teemo vs Yasuo, plan to build tanky and turtle under your tower. Avoid feeding Yasuo at all costs and remember that he has the abilities to outplay you no matter what you do. This is highly dependent on the Yasuo’s skill so if you see he is a weak player (either via op.gg stats or poor plays in game) you may be able to press an advantage. However, a skilled Yasuo is still going to be a problem no matter what you do. Around lvl 7 or 8 he can feasibly dive you under your tower and survive if the Yasuo knows what he’s doing. Just avoid being baited into any fight thats not under your tower and hope that your jungler can help you out (even some pressure to let you farm a wave for a few seconds can be helpful).
Teemo vs Vladimir Top Lane
Vladimir has moderate advantage vs Teemo
Start Options: Doran’s Shield, Doran’s Ring, Corrupting Potion
Core vs Vlad: Spectre’s Cowl, Swiftness Boots
Offense Options: Executioner’s Calling, Wits End, Frozen Mallet
Defense: Wits End,
Vlad can outheal and outpoke Teemo pretty easily so concentrate on last hitting instead of trying to fight Vlad. Even if you get an advantage, Vladimir will likely be able to escape and heal enough to run away unless you have jungle help. Mid game if you manage to get an advantage in gold/levels and get Frozen Mallet, you MAY be able to kill Vlad if his summoners are down and he doesn’t have ignite, but in general its best to just farm and play for the teamfights. Late game if things go well you could 1v1 Vlad with Wits End, Frozen Mallet, Hextech Gunblade, Swift boots, and solid play. But in general play cautious and farm in this matchup. Remember that when Vladimir’s red bar is filled up, he gets super-healed if he Q’s you, so always retreat and wait out the red bar, it drains quickly. You can also dodge Vlad’s E aoe charge-up by running away quickly. Vlad’s cooldowns are low enough that you can’t heavily punish him even if he misses or wastes his abilities unfortunately.
Ryze has a moderate advantage vs Teemo
Start: Doran’s Shield, Corrupting Potion
Core: Frozen Mallet, Wits End, Hextech Gunblade, ZZrot
A good Ryze will max his E which you can’t dodge even behind minions. You also won’t be able to dodge his root, which he will be able to use whenever you get in autoattack range. Regardless, always keep friendly minions between you and Ryze so he can’t hit his Q, which helps to reset his other abilities. If he decides to chase you into a friendly minion wave, AND you have friendly minions between you and him, that is the only time you should fight him. That should rarely happen unless Ryze is clueless, so build HP, magic resist and sustain and plan for mid to late game. With a jungle gank help you should also be able to take him out easily once you get frozen mallet (or if the jungle has a reliable gap close and stun like Sejuani, Xin etc.)
Start: Doran’s Shield
Core: Frozen Mallet, ZZrot, Swiftness boots, Hextech Gunblade
Early game Jayce can out-trade you, and if he takes ignite he may even be able to surprise burst kill you if you get close enough for his melee set of skills. Poke him when he is about to last hit, but save your blind for if he engages on you. You probably won’t be able to poke him out of lane so concentrate primarily on farming until you get frozen mallet and at least cloth armor. Mid and late game you should be able to outplay and out kite him and chase him down or at least out of lane. Just make sure you don’t let him get ahead in the early game.
Teemo Counters Irelia Significantly
Start: Dorans Ring
Core vs Irelia: Frozen Mallet
Other Items to Consider: Hextech Gunblade, ZZrot, Hurricane, BotRK
Start Doran’s Ring for more blind and shroom damage, plus needed mana regen. Irelia will try to farm with her Q dash. Be quick about AA’ing her as soon as she gets in range. If she starts retreating you may consider AA>Q>AA combo, though if there is a chance she will turn after the blind ends then save your blind. Once you poke Irelia a bit and she is low and can’t engage, then you can feel free to AA>Q>AA combo at every possibility. You should be able to pretty easily 1v1 irelia at every point in the game except maybe super late. Early-mid game should be an easy win unless Irelia takes ignite and/or you somehow get low HP. Generally you should be able to blind her as she engages. Most irelias will Q on you (or to a creep near you), then try to stun you with E, then start AAing you. If you blind correctly, she should be blinded the whole time you are stunned. Then you can start kiting once you recover from the stun. Put a shroom either behind you or behind when you recover from the stun, depending on who is going to be running away (probably her.)
Pantheon counters Teemo hard. (Possibly Teemo’s worst matchup)
Start: Doran’s Shield or possibly Corrupting Potion
Core: HP+Armor (Dead man’s Plate?) Ninja Tabi or Merc Treads? Raptor’s Cloak
This is probably Teemo’s worst matchup. If you have the opportunity and the enemy top lane can counterpick you in champ select, consider banning Pantheon to avoid this. Pantheon will probably take ignite, so check his summoners and be aware. His burst damage is extremely high and is nearly unavoidable thanks to his stun. Pantheon’s AA shield will block a ton of your damage and is what makes him such a hard counter to Teemo.
Teemo counters Fiora signifincantly
Start: Doran’s Ring or Doran’s Blade
Core: Frozen Mallet, Swiftness Boots, Hextech Gunblade
This is a pretty good matchup for Teemo. You can pretty safely poke at Fiora, however save your blind until times when there is no chance Fiora will be engaging on you soon. Also, even when Fiora engages on you, don’t blind right away like you normally would. Try to bait out her parry so you can blind her afterward. Most Fiora’s will parry right after they engage on you so don’t blind instantly. Play it by ear and learn from what the Fiora does. As long as your blind isn’t parried while you’re engaging, it should be an easy trade/kill. Also, while she parries, you have free time to throw a shroom behind her. Shroom triggers are delayed so it will trigger after her parry ends. The onlty thing to keep in mind is watch out for Fiora’s ult and heals. Even if she’s down to 10% health, if she can hit her dashes on you she will keep healing up.