Heimerdinger is one of the less popular champions in the game. However, this does not prevent him from being an infuriating champion to lane against. Heimerdinger relies on his turrets to create a safe zone for himself and make life miserable for any champion that tries to walk through it to reach him.
The most important part of laning against Heimerdinger is dodging his E so he can not combo you. Taking Doran’s Shield and Second Wind can help you heal most of the poke. Take down his turrets in the lane without sacrificing resources to prevent significant damage.
Heimerdinger isn’t seen a lot because his strengths are condensed into the laning phase, and he is very hard to execute outside of the lane. Heimerdinger is also very easy to kill if you have a way to deal with his turrets.
Also check out: Seraphine laning guide for League of Legends
Dodge The Grenade
The easiest way to avoid Heimerdinger’s burst damage is to avoid getting hit by his E. The Grenade not only deals damage and slows you if you are close to it, but it also gets even worse if you get directly hit by it. If the grenade lands on you, it will stun you. It will also grant his turrets will gain 100% charge and will fire a powerful beam at you.
As you can tell, Heimerdinger’s E connecting is one of the biggest conditions required for his turrets and W to burst you. If his E misses, he has no guaranteed way of hitting his W, and his turrets do not charge fast enough to threaten a burst. If your champion has any ability that offers enough mobility to dodge a skillshot, you should use it to dodge the E instead of the W.
Heimerdinger tends to set up three turrets immediately upon entering the lane. If possible, you should try to prevent him from doing so without sacrificing your HP or Mana for it. Once a turret has been placed, a new one starts charging. The early game cooldown is very high (20 seconds) so taking down turrets early will buy you a lot of time. Deploying a new turret always replaces the oldest one if 3 turrets are already present.
Movement Speed Near Turrets
Heimerdinger passive provides him with 20% bonus movement speed near allied turrets and the turrets placed by his Q. This is important because every bit of movement speed matters in the laning phase. If you try to chase a Heimerdinger, you will realize that he can run circles around his turrets and you will never be able to reach him.
You must keep in mind the fact that Heimerdinger can outrun you if he gets close to his turret when you are trying to all-in him. Turret diving under his tower is equally hard because of this reason. An easy solution to this is to take down his turrets in the lane (as described below). Abilities that either slow down the Heimerdinger or speed up your champion excel at countering his passive.
Take Down His Turrets
Heimerdinger’s identity is based on his turrets providing him various tools to deal with his lane opponent. The turrets fire small but continuous shots, allowing him to poke you down. The turrets also build up a small amount of charge over time, and fire a large beam once this charge reaches 100. His W and E provide a large amount of charge to the turrets if they connect to a champion.
As you can tell, Heimerdinger’s poke relies on his turrets, and his burst holds little to no value if he hits the rest of his abilities but has no turrets up. If you are playing a champion that can easily deal with turrets, then you should frequently take them down to make it easier for you to lane.
Level 6 PowerSpike
Level 6 is one of Heimerdinger’s biggest powerspike. This is because his ultimate grants him access to essentially 3 different abilities instead of 1. Heimerdinger’s ultimate has no cast time and can easily be used to catch an opponent off guard if they’re not expecting it. His upgraded turret deals a lot of damage in a short period and has a higher range.
His Rocket Swarm (W) is his biggest burst tool. If you are in lethal range, Heimerdinger will try to stun you with his E to guarantee his R+W combo, which shreds through most HP bars. His R+E is a great teamfight tool. It has double the radius of the normal grenade and bounces 3 times. It can stun multiple targets and instantly charges his turrets. When fighting Heimerdinger, you have to be aware of all these tools at his disposal to not get caught off guard.
Heimerdinger’s strength lies in his zone control abilities and the waveclear he gains through his Q and W. He does not have any tools to peel for himself and is a very squishy champion. Champions that excel at burst damage or close quarter combat can delete his health bar instantly if they get in range to do so.
This means that champions that can gap close without dying to his turrets will perform well against him in close combat. Warwick is a great example of such a champion since he can use his W to outrun Heimerdinger around his turrets and his attack speed increases the lower HP his target is. He can also Q the turrets to take them out, all while healing himself.
Natural Lane Push
Heimerdinger relies on his turrets to clear minion waves. He has no control over the turrets, which means that they will continue attacking any target that is in range. This will naturally push the wave towards his lane opponent. Thus, Heimerdinger will always push waves into your tower, and this fact can be used to your own advantage in two ways.
First, it allows you to farm the minion wave under your tower when it eventually crashes. You will not receive as much poke under your tower as you would in lane otherwise. If you are playing a scaling champion with a weak laning phase, this can allow you to CS safely and outscale the Heimerdinger.
Second, since Heimerdinger’s wave will be pushed into your tower, it will be much easier to gank him. If you are confident that you can shut him down with the help of your jungler, then feel free to let them know since Heimerdinger will probably position aggressively to poke you out of the lane.
Sustain The Poke
A lot of champions are designed to survive poke damage in the lane. This includes champions like Dr. Mundo and Cho’Gath that have sustain built into their kits and they can CS from a distance. Other champions, such as Sion, have shields that mitigate damage when they walk up to CS.
Outside of champion kits, there are runes and items that help you survive poke damage in the lane. Taking Second Wind and starting the lane with Doran’s Shield is one of the strongest counters to lanes that poke you for little (but consistent) damage. The damage from Heimerdinger’s turrets will constantly refresh Second Wind+Doran’s Shield, allowing you to heal up most of the damage taken.
Items that negate magic DPS are best at dealing with Heimerdinger’s turret damage. He does not have consistent burst damage in his kit if you dodge his E, since it sets up a deadly combo for him.
Doran’s Shield is an extremely efficient item against poke champions. The item provides you with health and health regeneration. On top of that, each time you take damage, it increases your health regeneration for a short while. If you continuously take damage, this item will negate so much of it by simply helping you heal over time.
Force of Nature
Force of Nature is an amazing item for dealing with continuous magic damage. While the Health and Magic Resist provides a good enough defense against burst damage as well, it is the passive that makes this item so great. After fully stacked, it provides movement speed and 25% damage reduction to all magic damage.
Maw Of Malmortius
Maw of Malmortius is a great item to counter burst damage if Heimerdinger decides to unload all his damage onto you using his ultimate. It allows you to keep increasing your AD while getting some Magic Resist and a hefty shield that can prevent lethal magic damage.
Wit’s End isn’t as defensive as the other two items listed above. It is, however, a very beneficial item for champions that tend to auto attack a lot. It provides AD, Attack Speed, Movement speed (on auto attacks), on-hit damage, and Magic Resistance all in one item.
Quicksilver Sash provides some Magic Resistance and the ability to escape the grenade stun if you get hit by it. It is a great item for squishy carry champions as it can save you from his E+R+W one-shot combo.
Heimerdinger is mainly seen in the mid lane but can also be played in the top lane. The options available in the mid lane have an easier time outscaling Heimerdinger or poke him before he pokes you out.
Heimerdinger can be a very annoying champion to deal with because of his constant turret poke. However, good itemization and rune choices can allow you to survive the poke. Champions that can dodge his E and all-in him tend to perform well against him.