After playing a good number of matches on Heimerdinger (57 and counting), I can’t help but make a thread on the forums about why Heimerdinger isn't viable, and what needs to be done to make him even semi-viable.
A lot of people already realize that Heimerdinger is broken, and even more people will instantly queue dodge him whenever they see him, but what is it that makes him so bad?
Now, according to his champion information in-game, Heimerdinger is supposed to be very survivable. In fact, he’s supposed to be more survivable than Cho’Gath, Singed and Dr. Mundo. In fact, he’s supposed to be the single-most survivable character in-game, straight behind Alistar.
So he must be very survivable, right? Hard to kill? A tank, even?
So, what makes him so survivable? Is it his base health and armor?
Well, let’s take a look at that, then:
Alistar: 468 + (114/level) > 2,520 base health at level 18
Veigar: 355 (+82/level) > 1,831 base health at level 18
Heimerdinger: 350 (+75/level) > 1,700 base health at level 18
You can see where this is going. Heimerdinger’s base health, noted as being “Strong”, is actually lower than a mage listed to have “Weak” health. I assume they mistyped it, and meant “Super Weak”, instead of “Strong”. A forgiveable error, as they both start out with the letter “S”, after all. Or perhaps they did it on purpose, because a character listed to have “Weak” health, a “Weak” attack and “Average” spells (note that his spells are rated lower than Alistars as well) isn’t very attractive to play as.
It doesn’t help that Veigar has more armor (10,5 + 3,5 per level, or 73,5 base armor at level 18, as opposed to Heimer’s 61 base armor. Not to mention that his base movement speed is 10 levels higher than that of Heimer.
So yes, Veigar, a fragile mage, is, without even counting his spells, a lot more survivable than Heimerdinger, sporting 10 extra movement speed levels, 12 extra armor and 131 extra health at level 18. This is equivalent to roughly 2 “Greater Quintessence of Swiftness”, 7 “Greater Seal of Vitality”, 2 “Greater Seal of Defense” and 7 “Greater Mark of Resilience”. I’m not saying you should get these runes on Heimer (as these do not suit his playstyle at all), I’m saying that, in order to make up for the base defensive differences between Heimer and Veigar, who is supposed to be far more fragile, you will have to use nearly 2/3 of your rune slots.
Then, what is it that makes him so survivable? His spells?
H-28G Evolution Turret:His turret spell, now this can offer survivability if you have stacked 6 upgraded turrets that you can hide behind. But guess what, setting up 6 turrets takes 120 seconds, minimum. Yes, with full cooldown reduction, it takes 120 seconds to set up a full defense using turrets to make sure one champion doesn’t run up to you and kills you in mere seconds. And this limits your survivability to a single area with a small radius. What about when you’re moving around? Then they offer no survivability at all.
Now, say, for some bizarre reason you have setup 6 turrets somewhere over the course of two minutes (during which you weren’t helping your team at all), turrets don’t have all that much health. Upgraded turrets (green ones) have 692 health at level 18. Not all that much, no? But in order to kill them, they will have to at least take hits from your turrets, right?... Right?
Turrets have the smallest attack range imagineable, smaller than that of a lot of champions, in fact. Each of these champions can simply auto attack your turrets down without taking a single hit. And even if you aren’t one of the heroes with an attack range that can out range the towers, you can simply cast spells to destroy them. But how many spells are there that have an attack range longer than 500? (Answer: A ****load)
Here’s a list of all spells that outrange turrets, and therefore don’t require champions to even get hit by your turrets to kill them:
Alpha Strike, Bouncing Blade, Volley, Baleful Strike, Dark Matter, Primordial Burst, Flash Frost, Frostbite, Glacial Storm, Spell Flux, Rune Prison, Overload, etc.
I really can’t be bothered listing the other 50 or so spells that outrange turrets, but just as a base rule: Every ranged spell pretty much outranges turrets. Not to mention that most mages can pretty much kill all 6 of your turrets with a single AOE spell, or two if they aren’t semi-fed. God forbid that they have Janna, as she will not only destroy your turrets, she will **** up your entire formation while doing it.
They can destroy your entire fortress of turrets that you spend two minutes setting up, doing nothing else, with a single spell cast.
This is only assuming that you could’ve set up a fortress of turrets, however, because, what if, for some reason, an enemy walks into you during those two minutes (pretty likely if you’re setting it up in a lane or in a jungle they frequent). Your turrets aren’t completed yet, and odds are, if you’ve set up less than three, they will just run in and kill you in a few seconds before your turrets can even scratch them, instantly destroying all of your turrets.
Hextech Micro-Rockets : Simple damage spell, offers no survivability.
CH-1 Concussion Grenade: Amazing, this grenade stuns and blinds, how about that for survivability, right?
The stun part has to be the hardest stun to hit in game. Not only is Heimerdinger so weak that a snail will out-speed the grenade he throws, the grenade only stuns the center of the grenade’s explosion, which is abysmal. Basically, Heimerdinger can only stun people in melee range that are attacking him, and even then if Heimerdinger runs away while his grenade is in the air and the melee follows him he won’t even be stunned, but only blinded for a few seconds. Hardly enough to save Heimerdinger unless he’s already hugging a tower or in the middle of his tower formation. Hell, even if you manage to stun your attacker with the Grenade, Heimer’s limited mobility and slow movement speed will make catching up to you and killing you after the stun a breeze for most champions.
If we compare this with Veigar’s Event Horizon, it stuns for a longer time, is easier to hit people with and, even if you miss, creates a fence that enemies cannot move directly through, which is a lot more defensive than Heimerdinger’s abilities.
Upgrade!!!: Upgrades towers, necessary for using tower formations as defense, but does nothing extra for his survivability.
So, his spells do little for his survivability. They help him survive, but not on outstanding levels that outshine every other Champions’ defensive skills. Cho’Gath (who Heimer is supposed to out-survive) has a silence, a stun and he gains increased health from his ultimate (up to 900 at max level), these skills grant him a lot more survivability than Heimerdinger’s spells can ever hope to give him.
Now, if we ignore the tooltips that mention that Heimerdinger is supposed to have great survivability (they are probably outdated anyway), it’s not such a big deal that he doesn’t have that much survivability. Most mages have little survivability, and most are quite strong because they compensate with good burst, so the same can be true for Heimer.
The problem with Heimerdinger is that he only has 2 damage spells if we don’t count turrets (you really can’t count them in team fights, as they have such incredibly short range they will only be useful if they rush into your team, and even if they rush into your team the turrets will probably either bug out and not attack at all, or instead attack the Purple Caster Minions, which they think are a far bigger threat, or something).
As I have been comparing Heimerdinger with Veiger all game, I won’t stop now. If we assume both have 400 Ability Power late-game (this is very unlikely, as Veiger gains ability power both through his passive and through last hitting, but, whatever)
Hextech Micro-Rockets vs Baleful Strike
Hextech Micro-Rockets: 330 (+320) damage to up to three champions with a 20 second cooldown.
Baleful Strike: 260 (+240) damage to a single champion with an 8 second cooldown.
Heimerdingers spell does more damage and strikes more targets, so it’s better, no?
Well, in a way, sure. But what really counts in team fights is single target damage, as you will generally be nuking down a single target. Heimerdinger can deal a good amount of damage to three targets in a team fight once in that team fight, while Veigar can nuke down a single target three times in the same team fight to quickly take them out while they are being nuked. Not to mention that Heimerdinger’s missiles randomly strike targets, so they may not even strike the target that is being nuked. All in all though, this spell is really good. It deals great damage and hits multiple targets, aside from the long cooldown, what’s not to love?
CH-1 Concussion Grenade vs Dark Matter
CH-1 Concussion Grenade: 300 (+280) damage in an area.
Dark Matter: 360 (+400) damage in an area.
Both deal a good amount of damage in an area and have a large delay before hitting. The main difference between the two is that Dark Matter deals more damage, whereas the grenade blinds the targets hit.
Primordial Burst vs …Nothing?
Primordial burst: 400 (+480) + 25% of the targets maximum mana (anywhere from 0 to 1000)
This is the big separation between Veigar and Heimerdinger. Veigar has consistent burst that he can use throughout combat, so does Heimerdinger (though less consistent as he has extremely long cooldowns), the difference is that Veigar has a huge nuke that he can use to quickly drop any opponent. While “Upgrade” does provide your turrets with increased burst damage (10 seconds of +100% attack speed), it lacks targeting and has too little range to be useful in team fights.
First off, Heimerdinger’s turrets need increased survivability. Namely, they need increased range (to 700~) and they need to either have increased magic resistance so spells will not instantly kill them, or they need to be immune to spells altogether.
Dropping turrets also has to be less costly and time consuming. My suggestion would be that instead of the oldest and least upgraded turret disappearing whenever he passes his maximum amount of turrets, the oldest turret will simply disappear and his new turret will have the same upgrades as the oldest turret had. This will allow Heimerdinger to easily construct new upgraded turrets in new locations, and will make it less of a pain to get rid of Red Turrets put in inconvenient places, as you will currently have to upgrade all of your new turrets to red to get rid of it. (and god forbid you place 6 red turrets somewhere, as the only reasonable way of creating a new stack of turrets is by dieing, which is pretty ridiculous).
While any buff to turret survivability, range or damage will increase Heimerdinger’s turtle ability (which would be quite overkill), I suggest that Heimerdinger’s turrets emit an aura (called “Turret Cluster”, or something) that reduces the damage of nearby turrets (250~ range) by 5% which stacks.
This means that a single turret will deal full (100%) damage, two turrets will both deal 95% damage (190% total), 3 turrets will deal 90% damage (270% total), 4 turrets will deal 85% damage (340% total), 5 turrets will deal 80% damage (400% total) and 6 turrets will deal 75% damage (450% total). So the damage of a turret cluster will be reduced from 100%/200%/300%/400%/500%/600% to 100%/180%/270%/340%/400%/450%, decreasing the damage of multiple turrets stacked together exponentially and thus reducing the effectiveness of stacking turrets close together (to compensate for the increased effectiveness of stacking close together that comes paired with turrets taking reduced magic damage, as area of effect spells will be less effective against turrets then).
And please, for the love of god, make turrets prioritize the Champions over minions (preferably the lowest health champion in range), and make the rockets prioritize the lowest health champions. Nothing is more annoying than to get ganked in the middle of your turrets, while your turrets are shooting at minions mindlessly, or to be capable of killing somebody using your rockets, only to have it shoot at the full health champion next to the guy that is on 5% health. I don't think any other champion abilities rely on random targeting, and to be fair, none should rely on it.
Furthermore, Heimerdinger desperately needs an increase in his base health, armor and movement speed. He is just too vulnerable as right now, and when he is caught alone without his turrets (even by only a single other champion), he will typically be dispensed of with amazing speed. I suggest increasing his base health by at least 15%, increasing his armor by about 20% and increasing his movement speed to 310.
Heimerdinger’s grenade desperately needs either an increased stun radius or increased speed as well, as it is incredibly difficult to hit people that aren’t in melee range or disabled with the grenade, and it is near impossible to actually stun them with it, making the stun portion of his grenade nearly meaningless.
The goal of these buffs is to simply increase Heimerdinger's effectiveness in team battles and to increase his survivability while away from his turrets, without increasing his ability to turtle and defend. I personally think these buffs will make Heimerdinger a lot more useful in team battles and a more viable choice as opposed to other heroes. I really enjoy playing Heimerdinger, but he is also one of the most frustrating champions to play as because of either Turrets not targeting the right units, not attacking units at all and not being able to get rid of groups of upgraded turrets, not to mention the fact that you are severely gimping your team by picking Heimer instead of another champion.
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