Heimerdinger Build Guide

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Machine Gun Heimerdinger - A build suggestion

written by DummyDummy

Heimerdinger Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    This is a build suggestion rather than a full-blown guide. If you want to know which tricks Heimerdinger can pull off, you have to look elsewhere.

    I give you the build in a compact form so that you can implement it during champion selection. Notes and explanations are further down. In the end, I provide a detailed break down of the build's strategy and give some reasons why it is superior to other builds.

    Enjoy Machine Gun Heimerdinger!

  • The Build

    Summoner Spells: Ghost and Teleport


    9 x Greater Mark of Insight (8.5 magic penetration)
    9 x Greater Seal of Clarity (16 MP/5 at 18)
    8 x Greater Glyph of Clarity (13 MP/5 at 18)
    1 x Greater Glyph of Celerity (0.9% CDR at 18)
    0-3 x Greater Quintessence of Fortitude (up to 97 HP)
    0-3 x Greater Quintessence of Clarity (up to 13 MP/5 at 18)

    Masteries: 9/0/21

    Focus on 15% magic penetration, CDR, improved summoner spells, xp, MP/5, and movespeed.


    Start: [item=Meki Pendant] + 2 x Health Potion
    First trip: Chalice of Harmony + Boots of Speed (850g)
    Optional: Mejai's Soulstealer (1235g)
    Shoes: Sorcerer's Shoes or Mercury's Treads
    Finish: [item=Zhonya's Ring] and Guardian Angel (in any order)

    Skills: Variable

  • Notes

    - Mix up Greater Quintessence of Fortitude and Greater Quintessence of Clarity to make your personal trade-off between early game survivability and late game spammability. Your choice might also depend on your lane partner, the enemy's team composition and other factors. If you have enough rune pages available, you can define different setups.

    - Another option is to use 3 x Greater Quintessence of Clarity and begin with Doran's Ring and Health Potion whenever you feel that you will need the extra HP early game. Your build will be delayed a bit, but not significantly so. You need 1240g for your first trip instead of 850g. If you ever run out of item slots, sell your Doran's Ring. Sight Ward is more important than Doran's Ring.

    - This build focuses on mana regeneration and cooldown reduction, so that we can spam our skills like crazy. With the help of your summoner spells, getting assists becomes pretty much unavoidable. Which means that even if you normally back away from snowball items, you should give it a try on Machine Gun Heimerdinger. Having that said: If you don't get into the game at all, wasting 1235g on 20 AP is the last thing you want to do.

    - Your shoes: Mercury's Treads are a very solid choice for most champions. Since our survivability comes from [item_text=Zhonya's Ring] and Guardian Angel, however, and since we usually grab Mejai's Soulstealer, Sorcerer's Shoes have a huge impact on your effectiveness. (Theorycrafting result without calculation: On an enemy with less than 70 magic resistance, 20 magic penetration act like 30-40 additional AP, 60-80 in end game, given Heimerdinger's AP ratios.)

    - If you decide to pick Summoner Spells other than Ghost and Teleport, Boots of Mobility become an additional option for your shoes.

    - Get [item_text=Zhonya's Ring] and Guardian Angel in any order, but finish one before you start the other. If you got Mejai's Soulstealer and already have some stacks, you might give higher priority to Guardian Angel. If you didn't get Mejai's Soulstealer, [item_text=Zhonya's Ring] will probably be the first thing to get after your shoes. If you plan to get Mercury's Treads, you might want to buy [item_text=Zhonya's Ring] after Boots of Speed and finish Mercury's Treads directly afterwards.

    - After you have either [item_text=Zhonya's Ring] or Guardian Angel, you have 2 seconds of unvulnerability. This is the time to start getting Elixir of Brilliance for additional AP and to cap your CDR at 39.90%. Golem can do the trick, too, but the mana regen would be wasted on you. If you have [item_text=Zhonya's Ring], Elixir of Brilliance becomes an even higher priority.

    - If you don't have any trouble staying alive at all, you might consider to skip Guardian Angel. While this may result in a faster victory, it will most probably not increase your chances of winning. In most cases, the best strategy is to secure your advantage rather than to try boosting it even further. This is particularly true if you have stacks on your soulstealer.

    - Never forget to buy Sight Ward and Vision Ward. You have the money, there is no excuse.

    - There are some items that are fun to buy after you finished your core build. If you manage to reach that situation in the game, I trust that you are also capable of chosing these last items yourself. (Remember these other guides telling you to get Void Staff in case the enemy team stacks magic resistance? You might want to give that a shot.)

  • The underlying strategy

    Part I: Making Heimerdinger Machine Gun Heimerdinger

    - We want to cap cooldown reduction (CDR) at 40%
    - We want enough mana regeneration per 5 seconds (MP/5) to spam our abilities

    We need four parts to achieve 40% CDR: Heimer's ult (20%), Masteries (9%), Runes (0.9%) and either Elixir of Brilliance or Golem buff.

    In order to be a true machine gun, Heimerdinger has to be able to

    1) spam rockets and grenades for 60 seconds and also build 2 turrets during that time
    2) regenerate all his mana in 60 seconds to be ready for another onslaught
    3) spam rockets plus an occasional grenade without interruption

    Let us quickly calculate how much MP/5 we need for that. Let us assume 20% CDR at level 9, 40% at level 18 and a standard skillset.

    1) At level 9, we need 1415 MP to build two turrets and spam rockets and grenades for 60 seconds. Given a mana pool of 840 MP, we need to regenerate 575 MP during that time, that is 48 MP/5. At level 18, the onslaught costs 3000 MP. Given a mana pool of 1410 MP, we need to regenerate 1590 MP during that time, that is 132 MP/5.

    2) At level 9, we need 70 MP/5 to regenerate our mana pool within one minute. At level 18, we need 117 MP/5.

    3) At level 9, we need 65 MP/5 to spam rockets plus 1 grenade every 30 seconds. At level 18, we need 140 MP/5.

    To summarize: At level 9, we need 70 MP/5 to be a true machine gun. At level 18, 120-140 MP/5 is needed. Where do we get this regeneration from?

    If measured by the amount of money that the respective effect would cost in items, MP/5 runes provide the best value. So it makes more sense to get MP/5 via runes than via items. Chalice of Harmony is a great tool to amplify this already magnificent regeneration depending on our current mana. If we assume that 30 magic resist cost 450g, 7.5 MP/5 and the amplifying effect come for approximately 440g.

    Our build gives us 50 (63) MP/5 at 18, up to 100 (127) MP/5 if we are low on mana. At level 9, we get 37 (44) MP/5, up to 74 (89) MP/5 if we are low on mana. (The numbers in brackets apply to a rune page with 3 x Greater Quintessence of Clarity.) True, we miss some MP/5 to meet our targets. We are still close enough to consider ourself a true machine gun, though!

    Part II: Making good use of Machine Gun Heimerdinger's abilities

    Machine Gun Heimerdinger can spam abilities like crazy. As a result, we get a lot of gold from creeps and neutrals alike, the ability to get assists easily as well as the ability to push lanes very hard. In order to make good use of these features, we follow the second list of criteria:

    - We want to travel around the map quickly. This will allow us to push two lanes at once if need be, defend towers in times of danger and be in most fights to get the assists
    - We want to buy Mejai's Soulstealer and get stacks for our assists. This will allow us to hit not only fast and often, but also hard.
    - We want to keep our stacks in a way that is both cost-effective and germane to our scientific nature

    Ghost and Teleport take care of our traveling issues.

    Our survivability takes the form of unvulnerability: [item_text=Zhonya's Ring]'s active and Guardian Angel's respawn time give us 2 seconds each. No other survivability item can grant your team -- and your turrets -- that much time to get rid of uncivilized aggressors.

  • The advantages of Machine Gun Heimer

    We solve our mana problems in a cost-efficient way

    Many guides recommend Rod of Ages, Archangel's Staff and other items that provide mana. If you follow these recommendations, you will pay 1.3g - 2g per mana point. With our off-the-scale mana regeneration, we don't need any additional mana. Because of the synergy between our runes, masteries (Perseverence and Meditation) and Chalice of Harmony, we solve our mana problems both cheaper and more effectively.

    We also don't have to pick Clarity as a Summoner Spell, as many guides recommend. This leaves room for teleport in addition to an escape spell. True, teleport does come for a price, namely the cost of the effects that we could have achieved with other runes. Here, we often find HP/level or AP(/level). At level 18, you can get 175 HP and 28 AP, which would cost you approximately 920g if purchased in items. Teleport is definitely worth 920g. (It only needs to be worth less, because even if you pick Clarity, you still have to spend some money on mana or MP/5 in items, which we don't have to, besides the 440g from the Chalice.)

    We achieve survivability in a cost-efficient way and
    We achieve great synergies with our survivability items

    Your best defense is to stay out of trouble, but that is rarely possible forever. As Heimerdinger, you will be focused. Many guides recommend health to solve that problem: Rod of Ages, [item_text=Rylai's Scepter] and Haunting Guise are just some examples. Will health help you survive? Yes, but not for long. Without resistances, any damage dealer will just lough at your big health bar. In a team fight, it will take 1 second longer, at most, to take you down. And once you died, your turrets are gone, too. For that effect, you spend approximately 2g per health point.

    Compare that with [item_text=Zhonya's Ring] and Guardian Angel: Both provide 2 seconds of unvulnerability. 4 seconds in total, and thus much more than we might have achieved with expensive health points. The first 2 seconds via [item_text=Zhonya's Ring] come as an extremely cheap bonus to a huge boost in AP. The second 2 seconds via Guardian Angel are a bit more expensive, but they are still combined with resistances rather than health, which, in terms of effective HP, is much more cost-effective than health points.

    The best point, however, is that while we are in stasis, our turrets keep firing at our agressors. Which means that we keep dealing significant damage for assists while we are being focused and unvulnerable. How nice is that?

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