How to Counter Teemo in Top Lane
Sat 19th Jan 2013 - 11:00pm
A lot of people are complaining about Teemo being OP and calling out good game once they see Teemo is being picked by the opponent. I agree, he is very strong and extremely annoying, but not unbeatable. In fact, the way to lane against Teemo is actually easier than you might think, so I'll explain my experience of dealing with Teemo.
The Counter: Irelia
When laning against Teemo at top, I usually go for a bruiser with life steal like Irelia. Because I actually use Irelia as a main counter to Teemo, I'm going to use her as example throughout the rest of this guide. In theory you could use any bruiser who has life steal or the ability to regenerate health quickly. You could also just stack up on 9 pots and use those for sustain, you'll need it.
What to do against Teemo
Farm, just farm. This is the only thing you need to worry about. Teemo will always blind and poison you once you try to last hit a minion, which is why most people have trouble against him. However, this is also his weak point, since Teemo players are often so fixated on harassing their opponent that they forget to last hit their own minions. This is where your lifesteal or health regen comes in; bait Teemo's harassment just before he's going to last hit a minion, make him miss that last hit. At the same time, try to get some last hits of your own.
On Irelia, use Hiten Style when you use Bladesurge to dash to minions. If Teemo is close, use Equilibrium Strike to stun him and then hit him once or twice as Hiten Style will regenerate your health and cancel out Teemo's poison. After this, just back away; you don't want to give Teemo another chance to take out a chunk of your health. The same goes when Teemo is out of range, just back away and continue to play extremely passive. Your objective during lane phase is to farm and stay alive, the kills will come during mid and late game, when you will stomp on Teemo's head.
Good Teemo players will harass a lot and your health regen might not be enough to keep up with his damage. This is where you must fall back and start farming under your turret.
Farming under turret
Irelia is a perfect champion to farm under turret with, if you use your Q well you will most likely not miss a single minion to the turret. When Teemo managed to get you below 50% of your HP, it is really important that you fall back and wait for his minion wave to be right under your turret, even if that means giving up a wave of minions by letting the lane push you. Teemo will have trouble harassing near your turret, although he will still be able to hit you if he stands behind his second minion line, so keep using Hiten Style to regenerate your health.
While you are farming under your turret, you can easily deny Teemo all farm by just attacking him once he tries to last hit a minion. He will need to choose, hit the the minion or hit you. As long as you survive the hit, letting him hit you is always the right choice. Be very careful when you are below 40% HP, since a Teemo skill combo and ignite might kill you during the early game.
Moving into mid game: Run Teemo, Run.
Lets assume you did what I just explained, you farmed and you played so smart and passively that Teemo didn't get a single kill. On top of that, he was so busy harassing you that despite your passive play you still have equal or more farm than he does. At this time you should probably have some attack item like Phage or some armor.
Also very important is to respond to your opponent's build: when you see a Teemo build AP on top (it happens), don't buy armor boots like you always do, buy MR boots instead. A lot of people have a set build and don't buy any situational items before they finish their base build.
Now this is where his harass shouldn't hurt you as much anymore, and now it is time to switch to an aggressive style. Wait until you are lower HP than Teemo, then Q towards him and stun, activating Hiten Style straight away. This should already put Teemo down quite a bit in HP, and your Hiten Style (which you should max first), will now be healing you significantly. Before you go any further, have a look at how much damage you did and how much HP you have. If you think you are strong enough to finish him off, you should commit to it and use Ignite and your ult to secure the kill. Teemo is fast and might run away but Irelia is a strong chaser; her Q and ult are perfect for chasing and most likely your Q will come off cooldown before Teemo is out of range. However, if Teemo has armor or did more damage to you than you expected, then back off and repeat this combo once it comes off cooldown and only if you regenerated your health by using Hiten Style to farm minions.
Better nerf Irelia
I feel that once you are passed the early game and you managed not to die, that Irelia and many other tanks naturally become very strong. Most Bruisers build a Guardian Angel or another tanky item very early on and once they have this Teemo's hits will do almost no damage. At this point you should roam and help out your team. You successfully survived laning against Teemo and he should no longer be a problem since you didn't give him any chance to snowball. I am usually a very aggressive player but against champions like Darius and Teemo you have no choice but to hug that Turret like your life depends on it, since it actually does.
My Irelia build
Just for the sake of making this complete, I'll quickly summarize how I build my Irelia. I max Hiten Style first, then Q and then E. I rush Philosopher Stone when playing against Teemo since I need the gold and the health regeneration. I then try to go Phage into Trinity force, followed by Guardian Angel. If at any moment I feel I am taking too much damage, I will buy some armor/magic resistence.
I hope this mini guide helped you, if you have any questions then let me know in the comments.