Heimerdinger - Basic Hand Guide - Arghanos

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Ver. 1.1 (updates as per responses!)
11/15/09

This is my very first, and possibly only guide - save a possible update or two. I haven't seen one written for Heimerdinger yet, so I wanted to start one (if I missed yours, sorry!). Also special thanks to Daesik and your Dr. Mundo guide, as:

(a) I used your build and enjoyed using it, and
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(b) I used the basic skeleton of your guide!

I think Heimerdinger has potential, and I have been playing him a lot lately - however be warned this is not a definitive guide. I only have logged around 120ish games total, with my last 10 or so using him (2 were only to gather info).

This guide will focus on the basics of his skills, suggested usage of the character along with items, and suggestions on how people can further experiment with Heimerdinger.


Intro to Heimerdinger


Heimerdinger definitely gets a bad rap. I am by no means a forum bug at all, and just read the few posts I need to get by. Regardless, I can still see he is considered underpowered by most, and in need of some patch treatment. I agree, to an extent. That being said, I think he is still viable, and can make for an enjoyable play experience (who doesn't love turrets, remember team fortress and engineers!). The build I have been experimenting with acknowledges that in order for Heimerdinger to be viable, he must

(a) Have sufficiently reduced cooldowns to spam ALL of his abilities
(b) Survivability to keep him in the lane, making gold/exp and keep him alive while his turrets/abilities wear you down (armor, MR, Health)
(c) Certainly he needs a large mana pool, and/or very good mana regen to continue to use his much needed abilities
(d) Also, he can benefit from AP, as this strengthens the abilities you will be relying on
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Abilities


Techmaturgical Repair Bots
Heimerdinger gives nearby allied Turrets and Champions 6 / 12 / 16 / 22 health regen per 5.

This is a nice passive. I suppose its even more useful as it obviously helps keep his turrets regaining health after taking damage. It is always a good thing when your turrets don't die!


Q: H-28G Evolution Turret
Heimerdinger constructs a Machine Gun Turret with (240 + 14 x Lvl) health and 20 / 26 / 32 / 38 / 44 (+25% of ability power) damage. Max Turrets: 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6.

Mana Cost: 125, 130, 135, 140, 145
Cooldown: 32s, 28, 24, 20, 16 (MINIMUM 9.6 seconds)
Attack Speed: 1.25 FLAT
Armor: 30 (Increases when UPGRADE!!! is used to 40, 50)
Magic Resist: 100
Range: ?
Max Turret Health: 492, 692, 892 (as per the upgrades and level 18)

This is your primary skill, and really should be your first skill. Your turrets help you farm, push a lane, and wear down/hold back enemy champions. This skill should take preference in selecting your skills as each level will allow you to build one more, and build them faster, greatly improving the usefulness of this skill. Later turrets can be upgraded improving health, damage, and adding "hit" type effects. The least important of these, generally, is the 10 damage increase, as turrets will gain 1 damage per 7 shots fired.

NOTE:
(a) I can foresee a build where this may not be your most "primary skill." Possibly, a more PURE AP type Heimerdinger would maybe emphasize W and E more (although any build will really be using W and E of course!).

(b) 
The turret's base health is dependent on your level when you build it. If you are level 1 and build a turret, then gain a level and build another, your second turret will have 14 more health! Although not generally uber significant, cases where you want to replace older turrets will occur. THE SAME is true for damage, although this is even less significant as the turret adds 1 damage per 7 shots fired (even AP damage, nothing retroactively affects older turrets).

(c) 
when you have reached your turret max, the OLDEST turret is always replaced. Keep this in mind with placement and upgrades of older turrets.

(d)
 You can put turrets in the "brush."


W: Hextech Micro-Rockets 
Heimerdinger fires 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 champion seeking Micro Rocket(s). Each rocket deals 80 (+20% ability power) magic damage.

Mana Cost: 105, 130, 155, 180
Cooldown: Flat 23 seconds (13.8 MINIMUM)

Another nice skill. You hit W, and rocket(s) seek enemies around you. I wish I knew the range, but as a rule of thumb, if they are on your screen they are either in, or very close to being in range. This is a great skill to finish someone running away off, or just as a general spam to wear down the enemy champion, forcing him to shop/relane. Note that while it gains only 20% AP as damage, at level 5 you fire 5x more rockets. Therefore, its more like 100% AP damage scaling (spread over the whole spell of course).

Example: 5x80= 400 + 160AP = 560 damage.
(not a nuke at all, but for an easily spam-able skill that require NO AIM AT ALL, its great to finish someone off!!!)

NOTE:
(a) when more than one champion is around, the rockets seem to randomly mix up and spread between the champions. It can be more useful, for the purpose of trying to finish someone off, to have them be the only champion near you (if at all possible!).


E: CH-1 Concussion Grenade 
Heimerdinger tosses a grenade, dealing 80 / 135 / 190 / 245 / 300 (+70% ability power) magic damage to enemy units and buildings, and blinds building/non-turrets for 1 / 1.5 / 2 / 2.5 / 3 seconds. Enemies who are directly hit are stunned for 1.5 seconds.

Mana Cost: 80, 90, 100, 100, 100 (Did I check wrong?)
Cooldown: 14, 13, 12, 11, 10 (Minimum 6)

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A great skill as you get better at using it. Learn how fast (more, how slow) the grenade moves. Use them to stun creeps who may kill a critical turret. Use it for farming. Use it to wear down turrets (a rare skill that can hurt turrets, though not too much). Most importantly, use it to stun champions. If you are being chased, especially by melee, you can usually stun them if you time well, and even catch one or more champions in one shot. If you miss (non direct hit), you may blind them!

In big battles, this can be used for AOE damage, AOE stun/blind. If a melee comes to close to you and your turrets, stun them and make them pay as the turrets wear them away. When they run away pop W.

Bottom line, when fully upgraded, its a decent 6 second cooldown stun with damage. When needed for VERY close range, the disadvantage of timing the throw is nearly gone.


R: UPGRADE!!! 
Passive: 10%, 15, 20 Cooldown reduction.

Active: Target an Evolution Turret to heal it, double its attack speed for 10 seconds, add 200 Health, 10 Damage, 10 Armor, and upgrade it to:

Lvl 2: Ur'Anium Rounds - Basic attacks reduce armor & magic resist by 1.

Lvl 3: Explosive Cartridges - Basic attacks deal AOE damage.

Mana Cost: 125
Cooldown: 54, 38.25, 24 (MINIMUM 18)
(The cooldown is inevitably affected by the skill itself. Base values after factoring in the passive)

Some needed notes on this ultimate:
(a) Remember the 40% cooldown reduction HARD CAP. This skill does not bypass that. Therefore, Heimerdinger only really needs 20% more cooldown reduction to reach the cap.
(b) Making an upgrade DOES NOT remove the passive, even temporarily.
(c) Upgraded abilites are cumulative. IE a level 3 turret will have both armor reducing AND explosive rounds.
(d) I do NOT know if the splash damage will proc the armor reduction (anyone know?)
(e) The armor reduction stacks 50 times. I'm guessing this is over all your turrets, based on the one skill. In other words, you will never reduce their armor by more than 50.
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Skill Build


1. H-28G Evolution Turret
2. CH-1 Concussion Grenade
3. H-28G Evolution Turret
4. Hextech Micro-Rockets
5. H-28G Evolution Turret
6. UPGRADE!!!
7. H-28G Evolution Turret
8. CH-1 Concussion Grenade
9. H-28G Evolution Turret
10. Hextech Micro-Rockets
11. UPGRADE!!!
12. CH-1 Concussion Grenade
13. Hextech Micro-Rockets
14. CH-1 Concussion Grenade
15. Hextech Micro-Rockets
16. UPGRADE!!!
17. CH-1 Concussion Grenade
18. Hextech Micro-Rockets

Clearly this can be mixed up a bit. I think most importantly from the perspective of this build is emphasize turrets, upgrade, and fill in concussion and the rockets as needed. I tend to like concussion more early on. I want the stun/blind, the aoe damage/farming helper/turret defender --- also the rockets become most viable at level 3-5 COMBINED WITH your turrets and concussion, and rushing to get them also means the other skills suffer. Again, a build that does not base so much off the turrets could look a lot different (but why are you playing Heimerdinger then!)

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Item Build

1a) Meki Pendant (starting item)
Mana is essential out the gate to build turrets. This will slowly be less apparent, but mana will haunt you to an extent for most the game as you spam your skills!.
1b) Chalice of Harmony
A cheap way to bump up mana regen. Also adds some magic resist! Can be replaced end game if desired.



2)
 Boots
I like Mercury's Treads OR Ninja Tabi. By default, I like the treads - but this should be more based on the other team. Stacking attack, then go ninja. Stacking more AP and snare, go mercury.

I don't see swiftness as particularly useful for Heimer, as he is usually camping, and should not be chasing, and will usually die if hes running (more on running later).



3a)
 Glacial Shroud
You begin adding armor to Heimer, along with additinal mana, and 20% cooldown reduction, all important stats! This item alone with give him the 40% CR cap if upgrade is at level 3.

From here, you should have a nice "base" of mana, mana regen, armor, and MR. I think the build can certainly be adapted from here depending on your play style and needs, but here are some of the common item paths I've been taking:



4) 
Catalyst the Protector --> Banshee's Veil / Rod of Ages / Innervating Locket

Catalyst will beef up mana and health - and certainly we want to beef up at least HP at some point to reap the benefits of increased armor (each point of health is worth more with armor). For most games, I will build a Banshee's Veil, followed by a Rod of Ages (later). Banshee's Veil seems a better priority, as it can greatly enhance survivability (I like Banshee's for most characters!). Rod of ages will also boost health and mana, but can be a nice item to start building some AP. Huge amounts of AP aren't too key in this build, but up to 80AP is a nice start.

I haven't tried Innervating Locket (with any champion, actually), but I'm thinking it may help heal his turrets ----- anyone have an idea?

UPDATE: Innervating will heal turrets. Makes a much nicer choice!



3b)
 Frozen Heart

Finish this bad boy off for extra armor, and reducing champion attack speed. The extra 5% cooldown is not technically needed, unless upgrade is not maxed.



5)
 Catalyst the Protector --> Banshee's Veil / Rod of Ages / Innervating Locket
(see #4 above)



6)
 ---
This can be a wild card. If the game goes this far, you can either look at Guardian Angel for more survivability (haven't tried, not sure if your turrets die before you revive?), or even an Archangel's staff (more ap, Boost the turrets and your W, E). Lots of AP can be nasty, not because turrets will start with higher damage (which can be reached over time anyway), but because W and E are great skills to boost (although slightly higher ratios would be nice!!!!!). Heck, you can even throw on an extra Rod of Ages.

UPDATE: Guardian Angel revive will allow turrets to persist.
Also, Rylai's Sceptor, b/c of the proc, seems like a NICE item. Thanks to all the posters and your suggestions. It can be 3-5th item depending on your round and play style.


Final Summary
1- Chalice of Harmony (Very end game, you can swap this out - ideas?)
2- Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi
3- Frozen Heart
4- Rylai's Scepter
5- Banshee's Veil / Rod of Ages / Innervating Locket / Rylai's Scepter
6- Banshee's Veil / Rod of Ages / Innervating Locket / Archangel's / Guardian Angel

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Runes and Masteries


There are no runes for use in the game as of writing--
During the earlier beta days, I wasn't the most fantastic rune wielder either. I will leave this part to someone else to flesh out as the runes are rolled out, unless I feel motivated to update this.

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Summoner Skills

Heal – I like heal. Its a safe skill, heals your turrets, and is more effective point for point of health recovered in people with higher armor (this build reaches around 150-160 of each armor).

Teleport – Always a good skill to reduce time away from battle. You don't want to leave your turrets alone too long!

Rally – Bah. I haven't checked if this impacts the turrets. If it does, it may need to replace one of the other two.

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Early Game


Pick a lane. Most people do not like to share a lane with you, because turrets tend to hog the kills. I like to start with turrets either in the brush, or right in the center where creeps will clash - this way you can get last hit kills. Still, keeping your turrets back a tiny bit is good, as the enemy creeps tend to hit what they see first, and if a turret sticks out alone like a sore thumb, it will probably get killed.

Most important, play defensive. Gradually add your turrets, start throwing concussion grenades to kill creeps that may finish off a turret, or to freeze champions that stop to attack the turrets. Run when needed, and remember your life is more important than the turrets. Regardless, you usually can get a bit of a good push on an equal skill level player, unless they have good AOE (Morgana comes to mind). Try to move your turrets closer and closer, but don't get too over-zealous.

If you feel a gank coming, hopefully there are left-over "bunches" of turrets behind you. I like to build them in chunks of 2 or 3, and progress forward. Try your best to run back, hit them with a concussion, even pop W, and run. Dropping a turret on the way may help too. Your armor isn't high enough to survive most good ganks yet.

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Mid Game

If you are laning well, you should be noticing how the turrets can farm nicely, and your gold should be building. Stop in to shop and buy when needed. Unlike many other classes, you will usually pick a lane to go back to, and push it - you aren't hunting for champion kills. You add support to the lane, and if someone assaults you, hopefully you are getting to the point where you have 3-6 turrets around you - and your armor, HP can keep you alive while turrets, W, E finish them off. As your cooldowns/mana improve, you can begin to spam whoever is in your lane with W and E. Upgrade turrets that take damage to heal them whenever possible, and build forward whenever the cooldown for your turret is off.

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Late Game


Really, very similar to mid-game. I want to note, however, that playing Heimer requires a change of thinking late game. With most characters, you can run right up to the front lines of a lane and go. With Heimer, its best to stay farther back on the front, build up to your 6 turrets, and establish a "base." Slowly move this base closer, which is facilitated by having more champions to support you.

However, this base is usually subject to ganking, but as your armor/health pool builds, it gets increasingly difficult to kill Heimer as fast as one would like. Stunning enemies while your turrets attack them can be devestating, and if they change their mind and run, W can usually finish a job. Pop a heal to keep turrets health high, and keep upgrading and pushing as needed by the team. And of course, pick a front to push that has support! Don't go alone.

While I have been able to take down 1-2 unexperienced melee DPS that ran into me and my turrets, more experienced players - OR those with AOE, will obliterate your turrets if there isn't some other fodder to scare them away. Turrets will max around 900HP, with 50armor and 100MR (Assuming a full upgrade at level 18) - this is acceptable, but by no means impenetrable. Damage wise, they peak at 84 damage upon building, assuming 160AP, and no damage upgrades from taking 7 shots or more. This prevents anyone from running blindly into you - they WILL need to use some strategy to take you out, but as your base is non-moving and very predictable, enemy champions will figure out a way to end your fun. In that regard, I suggest keep the base moving forward, or occasionally switching lanes if you sense the whole team plans to gank you and ruin your turret outpost.

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Experimentation:

I can certainly see the possibility of a viable AP Heimer (the Heimer I laid out here isn't even completely viable!) - where the turrets serve much more as fodder due to your decreased survivability, so even though the turrets do more damage, no longer can you rely and soaking up damage to keep them alive with high armor --- and you attempt to spam W and E for very high damage. Being much more "glass cannon" like, minus the pure cannon abilities of say a Ryze, I can see the numbers working out "okay" for this build.

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Improvements:
Heimer can clearly use, if not a significant amount, a little love from an upcoming patch. I see two primary possibilities:

(1) His turrets should grow in more ways than they do now. Currently, stat wise:
(a)AP only increases damage
(b)Shots taken only increases damage
(c)Champion level only scales HP (892 FULL CAP WITH UPGRADE)
(d)UPGRADE!!! only adds 10 damage, 10 armor, and 200 Health (abilities aside)
I think more scaling is needed. In fact, the tooltip for the turret skill states that armor skills with level or shots fired (not sure), when in fact nothing but UPGRADE!!! will raise armor by a paltry 10 points.

Instead of a base 30/100 armor, maybe something lower that scales MUCH better. Heck, I'd take 30/30 if they scaled with shots, or char level, or something. Even time!

Health should also scale in more ways, and POSSIBLY attack speed.



(2) Design him so that his 20% cooldown of UPGRADE!!! does not impact the hardcap. This may seem less desirable as it messes with game mechanics, but a 60% reduction, whether built-in by this method or by actually reducing all of his cooldowns, would make him much more viable late game when building turrets - as it takes too much time amidst super powered/well scaled champions.

(turret = 9.6 cooldown LOWEST --> 48 seconds to build up all your turrets, not counting upgrade times)

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I certainly could have added a lot more, and fleshed this out better. My purpose was to get a BASIC guide out, and I think this serves that purpose. Hope this helps and gets people playing Heimer a bit more, and maybe we can investigate the best ways to play him/ buff him in an upcoming patch to help Riot out!

If you have things to add in places that I didn't know a detail (like turret range), let me know and we can edit the post! Also, add general strategy ideas, disagreements, etc. Love to see where this post goes, and what I can add.



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