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A Guide to Playing DPS Teemo

League of Legends Champion, Teemo

UPDATE 12.12.12: Many items were modified/added/removed in the pre-season 3 patch; for an updated guide, see my DPS Teemo build for Pre-season 3

I’ve received several hundred visitors per day in search for tips on playing League of Legends’ Teemo champion.  I’ve already introduced you to my Teemo build, so in this series of follow up posts I will walk you through a 5v5 Summoner’s Rift game using Teemo in each of the following roles: DPS Teemo, Support Teemo, and even Jungle Teemo.

In this post, I’ll be covering DPS (damage per second), or ADC (attack damage carry) Teemo.


In his DPS/Carry role, Teemo is usually paired in the bottom lane with a support champion such as Soraka, Lulu, Leona, Nunu, Nidalee, etc.  Teemo can also DPS from the top lane solo, or also paired in a lane. As a DPS/Carry role, your job will be to deal massive amounts of damage to enemy champions, preferably the enemy DPS champions first.  I keep itemization fairly normalized no matter which role I play, it’s just a matter of the order I build in.  I prefer an on-hit build and, while I understand each is entitled to their own opinions, I’ve tried many AP, AD, and Hybrid builds and none have the balance and consistency this build provides.  Primary on-hit items include Frozen Mallet, Wit’s End, Malady, and Madred’s Bloodrazor.

Laning Phase

Your number one goal early game is to farm gold by last-hitting minions.  Hopefully your support is doing their job by keeping the enemies away from you to do this with little distraction.  If you’re top lane, stay back and let the enemy push you to your tower so you do not put yourself in a position that is easily ganked.  Wait patiently for your jungler or mid laner to help with a gank and use your speed to rush in and snag a kill or assist when opportunity permits.

Ability sequence is Move Quick, Toxic Shot, Blinding Dart, maxing Toxic Shot first, then Move Quick, and Blinding Dart.  Max your Noxious Trap at each opportunity (levels 6, 11 and 16).  I choose Move Quick first because movement speed provides the best survivability early on when everyone else is slower than you.  For this reason, I also snag Boots 1 and 3 Health Potions to begin.  Toxic Shot then allows me to “poke” the enemy frequently – hitting them before running to safety and letting your poison continue to whittle enemies’ health down.

Once you farm up another 570 gold or more, return to base to buy your Berserker’s Greaves, or 750 gold for Mercury’s Treads depending on the enemy team makeup.  If they’re heavy AP (Ability Power) and CC (Crowd Control – movement impairing abilities such as stuns, slows, knockbacks, etc.) I purchase Mercury’s Treads; otherwise Berserker’s Greaves will suit you best.

If you have enough, I purchase a Ruby Crystal (475 gold), Amplifying Tome (435 gold), or Recurve Bow (1050 gold).  The Ruby Crystal is suited for survivability, Amplifying Tome for more potent pokes, and Recurve Bow for synergies with your 3 x 2% Life Steal Quintessences and DPS.


After another round of farming and lane fights, you should be able to build your first item.  Depending on your previous purchase, you’ll want to either continue building your first complete item, or, if the situation has changed, diversify with the beginnings of another item suited for your new opportunities or threats.

Wit’s End helps versus AP champions that may be beating on you and, similar with Malady, increases your farming capabilities with the increased attack speed.  Madred’s Razors give you some added defense versus AD champions and also helps your farming capabilities, although not via attack speed.

Continue working with your team to topple a few towers, keeping an eye on Dragon for the health 190 gold boost for you and your teammates.  Should you be playing against an aggressive Blitzcrank, Lee Sin, Hecarim, Fiddlesticks, Graves, Gragas, Tryndamere, or any other champion that can pass through walls frequently, be sure and pick up a few wards to help your team keep an eye on things in the jungle.


As you approach max level and find yourself starved for gold, split pushing lanes is one of Teemo’s strengths.  His movement ability and your Teleport Summoner Ability allows you to get around the map quickly.  Keep an eye on your minimap for inbound groups of enemy minions and push your lanes out to the median frequently.  By keeping Noxious Traps spread throughout the map, you can Teleport to any location quickly to pick off weak and unsuspecting enemy champions.  Teleport is also used to save a tower for collapsing to a large wave of enemy minions.

The game will continue into the end-game when all players are level 18 and finalizing their builds.  Take a moment to quickly study enemy builds and pick out those who pose the biggest threat.  This is usually an enemy AD or AP champion with high DPS; however, this could also be a tank with Thornmail or several disabling abilities (Leona, Alistar, etc.) that you want to avoid until most or all other enemies are eliminated.

Constantly review your build to ensure you’re built properly for the team you’re about to face.  Get your team together and form a strategy, identifying who you will each target, or “focus”, first in the fight.  Typically, your entire team will want to focus enemies in descending order of DPS, but circumstances sometime encourage dividing your efforts between multiple threats.

General Notes

Because each game is so dynamic, I realize it is hard to get a group of random teammates to coordinate an attack of this skill level, but the more successful you can be at doing so, the more you swing the odds in your favor.  Pay close attention at how each player on your team communicates and moves about in team fights.  If you have a timid player or team, adjust your strategy to be more defensive, fighting under towers and out in the open for easy visibility of all champions in a fight.  If your teammates are more aggressive and advanced, you might set up ambushes in the jungle to pick them off one-by-one.

The diversity is what makes League of Legends a game I can return to again and again.  No game is ever the same – EVER!  Players constantly tweak their Mastery Pages, Rune Pages, Build Orders, etc., trying to find the optimal champion and build that suits their play style.  I’ve just shared mine with you now.  It, too, will likely undergo a few changes over time, but consider this a beginner’s guide to playing DPS Teemo from an experienced player.  Start here, then tweak it to become your own DPS Teemo Build.

See my other guides to playing Teemo: Support Teemo, and Jungle Teemo.  Oh, and GLHF!

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