Devil of the Jungle: Teemo

Feb 24, 2016

Every once in a while on reddit, we see the re-emergence of a high-elo Teemo jungle ask-me-anything (AMA). Most recently, the infamous Hikashikun reached masters in season 6, sharing his achievements in this thread. Despite the unique and seemingly cheesy nature of this champion, there are actually quite a few merits to playing him. Don’t be fooled; there’s a method to this madness. I’ll share my story about it, but first lets take a look at how this Hikashikun guy does it.


In his guide, he shows his AP build path, videos, and match histories. However, it is fairly incomplete and there’s quite a bit more to understand in terms of the dynamic nature of Teemo.

The first overt strength of Teemo that differentiates him from other champs is his flexibility. He is one of the few champions that can pursue more than 1 style of build. As a result, not only can his damage output differ, but his playstyle can too.

The AP build

AP Teemo JGEspecially with the addition of the new Runic Echoes, AP junglers have become even more prevalent in season 6. The build path that Hikashikun takes involves the core of Runic Echoes and Nashor’s Tooth, following with more ability power items and magic penetration boots. Attack Speed Marks are key to his early jungling, and the rest of the runes are covered with AP and Armor. The damage output from Teemo becomes increasingly more magic oriented with this build, ultimately reaching about 90% magic damage in the late game.

He personally emphasizes Teemo’s role has a vision controller. His ultimate, Noxious trap, allows him to place an infinite amount of mushrooms (cooldown withstanding) all over the map. Enemies who step on them, especially when this AP build is used, take a bunch of damage and are heavily slowed. This can be a great tool for controlling both Baron and Dragon areas, and can be used to bait enemies into disadvantageous teamfights.

Further, he uses mushrooms to defend his teammates during the laning phase, implementing them across the map as additional wards. Warding is at an all-time premium ever since the removal of Sight Wards from League of Legends. Vision denial against Teemo becomes unusually hard.

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My experience grinding to Master

I spent a good deal of time duoing with my friend Stoning, who generally mains Rengar. However, given how much he was banned last season, he had to find something else to play: Teemo. We ended up with a 75% winrate on our way to Master, using our top and jungle synergy to frustrate the enemy team.

His playstyle is very different, focusing on an attack speed oriented build, heavy farming, and controlling the other jungler.

The build itself builds around Devourer and Blade of the Ruined King as its core items. These items emphasize a more hybrid scaling of Teemo into the later stages of the game. His damage is heavily mixed with many on-hit effects, while being disgustingly powerful in 1v1 duels. His Blinding Dart is the most important ability in the early stages of this build, giving him the advantage over nearly every other jungler in duels. These include Xin, Lee, Nocturne, Shyvana, Kindred, Graves (the list goes on).

Rather than creating a lot of safe vision control, this playstyle involves 3 primary decisions: counter-jungling, counter-ganking, and speed farming. The use of mushrooms is very offensive here in the enemy jungle, since this Teemo build allows him to safely enter and duel enemy junglers. Despite Teemo’s relatively weak ganks with no crowd-control, his ability to countergank is nearly unparalleled. His high DPS, ability to mitigate enemy damage, and chasing ability enable him to react aptly to 2v2 situations.

Into the late-game, he becomes a split-pushing monster, reminiscent of the old Tryndamere and Master Yi’s that used to run rampant around Summoner’s Rift.

Which one is better?

In the current metagame, the AP build is probably slightly stronger. Runic Echoes definitely pushes the build over the edge, and the recent buff to Dragon rewards has made big objective control even more important. That being said, they both have different weaknesses. Against squishier champions, the AP build is better, while the on-hit build thrives against low damage bruisers.

How do you beat it?

In the early game, don’t be overaggressive in trying to counter jungle him. More often than not, he will be able to turn your aggression against you. Instead, you can look to gank away from him or power farm, depending on your champion’s playstyle.

Your laners can be a little more aggressive, since Teemo’s early ganks are very reliant on taking good angles. His lack of CC makes him a weak ganker, and some laners should really take advantage of this.

Ultimately, Teemo’s weakness in teamfighting needs to be exploited when you play against him. You want to force fights whenever your cooldowns are up. Don’t let Teemo setup his mushroom minefield, and you should be in a pretty good place.

Most importantly: don’t get frustrated. Teemo is a frustating champion to play against. His kit is REALLY annoying, and so many times he survives with just a sliver of health. It’s super important not to get discouraged, and always keep your head up! Remember that evil never wins, and there is no eviler champion in this game.

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Jungroan Lin
Jungroan "Jezie" Lin is a Challenger League of Legends player, former top lane player for Complexity Gaming, and former jungler for Team Green Forest. He spent 6 months of his life playing only Renekton, Shyvana, and Dr. Mundo while failing to qualify for the LCS. Jungroan is currently pursuing his M.A. in Political Science at UBC.
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