This is my first guide, so I hope this is helpful.
Heimer to me, and the way I play him, is a very strong character that should be played very aggressively but should also be the crutch for defensive stands. When I play heimer, I rarely die, and I rarely leave lanes (and when I do I usually have a **** ton of gold.) Never the less, this guide is for if you want your team heimer to be more then just a pusher and more then just defensive player.
Like other guides have said, runes don't make/win games. I find them to be pretty helpful early game, but by mid game, their effects are practically unnoticeable. Viewing it this way, I tend to go for runes that are going to boost my aggressive play style. I stick will spell cool down (somewhere 4-7% is a good goal) and either increased health regen/mana regen or AP boost if you can make it count. But really, any runes will work, as it's really only effecting early game. If you're taking my advice, this will be pretty useless.
I know this is a cop out for this section, but really, the 9/0/21 build is the most effective build for Heimer. I haven't really tried other mastery builds but devotionx in his AP heimer build discusses another viable masteries build.
As an offensive player, I think the two obvious answers are Rally and Teleport. DO NOT CHOOSE HEAL. I'm sick of playing with players who choose heal over rally. Rally is vastly superior in the amount you heal (granted you're not being attacked) and it provides a crazy attack damage boost of 30%. How can you pass that up?
Teleport is absolutely necessary to this build. When I play heimer, I find that whenever I blue pill, enemy champions try to tank my turrets and sometimes will take out a few. Having teleport allows me to get back to pushing and killing faster. Sometimes, if you get it fast enough, you can teleport and stun them with your grenade and auto attack for a chance at an easy kill.
Rally can be replaced Exhaust of Ignite. Wait a minute, ignite? Yeah that's right. Ignite can work great on heimer, if used correctly. There have been too many times where an enemy will make it out with barely any health left, even after getting stunned and rocketed. Using ignite will eliminate these situations. Throw a nade when they're close to your turrets, ignite them, and then rocket them. Exhaust is for if you have a bunch of tanks trying to take down your turrets. Flash them when they're trying to attack them, and they're useless.
I hope I do this section justice.
The bread and butter of heimer. Without them, Heimer is practically useless. I wont get into turret placement now, but let's just say, this is probably you're most important skill.
This skill is also vital to heimers success. This skill is so versatile, it should really be nerfed, but I'm not complaining. You can throw this through jungle and grass to see if players are coming up on ganks. You can use this to take down towers with rapid speed (if you have the right cool down reduction) You can use this to farm minions )not that your turrets wont already be doing that.) You can also obviously use this to stun oblivious champions in front of your turrets. A lot of people under use this skill because of how slow this skill shot moves. If you take the time to practice, you can learn that these can be extremely effective. I find that when throwing this, heroes tend to run backward, or to the side if there are creeps in their way. I try and judge based on where they're standing and toss either a little bit behind them or to either side. It's got a pretty good hit radius so as long as you're close, you'll at least do damage. People also seem to miss the fact that this blinds targets for 1.5 seconds if it doesn't stun. This is perfect, because if you miss the stun, as long as you're behind your turrets, you should be smooth sailing.
This is going to be your main staple in killing champs. I cannot tell you how many kills I have gotten from champions who forget about heimers rockets. Their range is 1000, which is amazing. (it can be a useful tool if you keep an eye on it when you're in fanger of getting ganked or enemy hero's are MIA. If they come in range, the rocket skill will come on, sometimes before you can even see them, giving you at least some heads up.) A good amount of the time I can get a hero down to practically now health. They'll retreat to tower and hang there. I will run up til rockets are in range and BINGO, kill. This skill is effective even at just one level, as it can get you that early kill before they know what hit them.
This is a very useful Ult because after 1 level in it, it isn't really important to level quickly afterwards. What about the cool down reduction? if you're playing aggressively enough it will be practically a non issue.
Order of skills
1 - Turrets
2 - Concussion Grenade
3 - Turrets
4 - Concussion Grenade
5 - Turrets (or rockets depending on your lane situation)
6 - Upgrade
7 - Rockets
8 - Turrets
9 - Rockets
10 - Concussion Grenade
11 - Rockets
12 - Rockets
13 - Turrets
14 - Concussion Grenade
15 - Rockets
16 - Upgrade
17 - Concussion Grenade
18 - Upgrade
After level 4, it's pretty much up to you. As long as you adapt to who you're playing against, you'll be fine no matter what path you go. Generally after level 4, your priority should be turrets>Rockets>concussion>upgrade.
Early game - Meki pendant.
You're gonna need the mana regen, you wont be leacing your lane for awhile, and you should be moving your turrets every few minutes, so you're gonna need the mana. This could be coupled with either a Mana or a HP potion, though it shouldn't be necessary.
Mid Game - Fendix Codex/Sorcerers Boots/Rod of Ages
Build your meki into a fendix, and get yourself some boots. Sorc's obvious for magic penetration, but you could also go with mercury or boots of swiftness. Heimer is a pretty slow character, and if you happen to drift too far from your turrets and you get stunned, you'll want all the speed you can get. Rod of ages is important because of all the health, mana and AP boosts it gives. Overall great item, and definitely should be your first big purchase.
Late Game - Rylai's Scepter/Your Choice
Rylai's scepter is the next choice, again because of the health and AP, but also because of the slow on spell cast. That could be really useful for heimer when enemy champs are running away from his turrets. This leaves two empty slots. I suggest a few items given the situation. If you're dealing with a lot of tanks/life stealers/ turret huggers I suggest getting a frozen heart. The added armor and mana means you can stay in the lane even longer and can actually some what tank. (At level 18, with all these items you should already have just under 3000 life, so adding armor practically makes you a tank) This added armor means you can (HINT: getting this replaces fendix codex, leaving still 2 item slows open. Good considering if you might have a long game.) This item also makes for great suriviability and great offensive stats. Boosted AP and dmg, and cool down reduction. Soul shard/Force of nature are also good choices, but I prefer the aforementioned because of the added physical bonuses.
OK! Heimer can lane with anyone. That being said, you might want to make sure IF you lane with someone, that they wont mind the fact that you'll be last hitting pretty much every creep and you'll be stealing a lot of kills. It's these reasons I prefer to lane solo. Though I wont leave out partner strategy for all of you against soloing.
Soloing is perferred because of all the gold you'll get, and the fact that heimer is a one man demoliton team. Practically every game I play, I can take down the mid tower, completely solo in under 12 minutes. I'm always the first to 18, and I always have my end game items by 25 minutes in (if a game lasts that long) and here's how!
Buy and get to your lane quick. The faster you get there, the faster you can set up turrets. I generally tend to pick a side of the middle lane and place a turret just a little bit past the middle on that side. YOU MUST GET TWO TURRETS DOWN BEFORE MINIONS SPAWN. More times then I can count, heroes will try to harrass me before minions spawn. If the happens, there's no shame in throwing up your rally early to get that first blood or early kill. Once You're going to want to keep moving your turrets up, just by a little bit. I generally will move one up within range of my second one, until I can level turrets. Once you get three turrets, you shouldn't really be dying as long as you stick close to your turrets. You want to always play in range of your turrets unless you attempting to bait heroes into your turrets. Use concussion grenade to stun heroes or huge swarms of creeps in range of your turrets to help clear out waves faster so your creeps can do damage to their tower.
The best part about heimer, is that he can take down towers with out ever coming in range of one. As long as his turrets are outside of enemy turret range, and you keep clearing enemy waves, your creeps and concussion grenade will take care of the rest. Once you get your grenade, you want to start harassing. Use your nade to stun enemies from way down the lane and auto attack them or rocket them. Doing this a couple times every couple minutes will stop them from pushing and wanting to get close to your turrets. Once you get the first tower down, repeat. You shouldn't need to be doing much ganking for other lanes, so this should be done quickly. Stick close to your turrets because ganks can come in from anywhere. I prefer if a gank is coming to just stay on top of my towers, throw up a rally, and when heroes get on top of me, throw a nade and stun/blind them and let my turrets do the talking. When you see their health falling, when you think you can get a kill, cast your rockets. I've gotten triple kills from failed team gank attempts.
Try and keep an eye out for your team ganks. If an enemy hero looks to be getting away, try and cut them off and rocket it. You shoot 5 rockets, and they all do massive damage so chasing one hero and using this will guarantee you kills.
My first suggestion as a team player, is to lane with someone who wont mind you stealing kills/gold as it will most likely be frequently happening. As is the case, you'll probably lane with tankier characters, which is good. Anyone who has a slow/stun or fear is preferred, but really, anyone works. FIRST TELEPORT TO YOUR TOWER. Yup. I find this is the most effective way of getting your turrets up quick enough without running into problems. This is great, because as long as your lane mate gets there quick enough, the other team could run right into your turrets, and if you've got a good lane mate, that will usually turn into an early kill. Throw down rally and let you turrets and team mate do the rest. Heimer loves the grass in these area, but smart players will drive the battle away from the grass, stunting your creep slaughtering, and thus eliminating your effectiveness. The more swarms you eliminate faster, the faster you can get their tower down. I take towers down with a team mate usually under 9 minutes. Having that kind of lead that early can be a huge advantage. Other then this few things, you should play how I mentioned above as a solo player.
There are plenty of effective ways to lay down turrets. Generally guides suggest bunching them together or spreading them out. I have several other suggestions that might help you out.
A huge issue I run into with bunching my turrets is that characters like tristana or ashe or heimer (HA) can demolish towers out of their range, and this can be a problem, as it will cause you to have to keep rebuilding them. My idea is smaller grouped bunches, spaced out. the most effective way to do this, I feel, is to have 3 groups of 2 turrets, where there two turrets are practically on top of each other. There are three effective ways of doing this. We can call them offensive, defensive and neutral. The Neutral way would just be laying this out in a straight horizontal line each bunch just within range of the adjacent one. The defensive way would be to have wing posts on the left in right, just within range, and just a few steps back, in the middle between the two wings, another bunch of two. This will make a triangle facing you. This is good if you're laning against tanks or any offensive player who can penetrate your turrets. As long as you stay close or on top of your turrets in the back, no one will be able to touch you. The offensive way is the inverse of the defensive. This puts turrets in the front of the wings. I like this method, because it draws the attention of creeps at them, but all the fire attention is focused at those creeps attacking those towers. These front towers take priority on upgrades and heals. As long as you float in the area between the area of your turrets. All these methods work offensively, but they also keep you safe.
Another offensive tactic with turrets I don't see enough is placing turrets on openings into lanes from the forest. If you have a lane, and your pushing by yourself, you really don't need more then 4-5 towers at a time fighting creeps and keeping the lane clear. Throw a turret or two in lane openings behind/in front or next to you to help warn yourself of ganks. this will also get a few hits on your taget before you even know they're coming for you.
ALWAYS PROTECT NEW TURRETS YOU BUILD. I can't stress that enough. Most players dont expect heimer to be too offensive. So if you've just put up a turret, and a hero comes at you, stand up to them. If you concussion them and stun them, even with just one turret, you have the chance of getting a kill.
My favorite thing to do as heimer is to run behind enemies pushing our tower by themselves, set up a turret behind them and upgrade it immediately then start harassing them into chasing me. They wont be intimidated by one turret, but when I stun them, then hit them with 5 rockets, they're singing a different tune. All it takes from there is droppinng MAYBE another turret, or chasing until rockets are back up. (9 seconds at level 18)
Nothing too complicated here folks. bunch turrets in front/arround towers. Stun hero's in front of them, rocket, get the kill. Bait hero's just outside of turret/tower range into attacking you. Most people will jump at the chance to attack heimer away from his turrets. But with all the armor and health you have, you should make it out of just about anything.
-Push, push , push. The faster you get down the lane, the better. REMINDER: it's always smart to place towers behind your push, as opposed to in front. I know doesn't seem offensive, but it is. It gives heroes a safe place to come regen or blue pill and a place to tele back to. It's like having a second base. It's invaluable.
-Rockets are your best friend. Low health hero chilling by tower? rush in and get that kill. Hero seem like he's going to escape a gank? run and cut them off and shoot them with your rockes.
-Defend you turrets. Too many heimers run away at the first sign of trouble. You should be tanking for your turrets late game so they can do extra damage. Also your auto attack has a long range, so use that to last hit hero's/creeps.
-Keep building turrets. The only reason to stop is because you've won, or you're defending a push.
-DONT DIE. the less you die, the more time you have turrets up in your lane, the faster your pushing, and the faster you win the game.
Hope this is useful! sorry it's so long!
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