Who You Should Be Playing: Heimerdinger

Heimerdinger 0
(Photo: League of Legends)

Normally, WWG writers try to stick to a strict "no cancer" policy when it comes to champion recommendations. You'll never see a WWG writer recommend that you play Yasuo, despite the fact that even Phreak himself openly admits that he's broken. Today we have been forced to break that rule, however, as the overwhelmingly level of dominance of a certain technologically adept Yordle is too great to ignore.

Today, we're going to talk about top lane Heimerdinger.

The Heimerdinger rework is a month in the past, and it's pretty obvious to everyone that it's been an abject failure. The rework had two main goals: to mold Heimerdinger into a more "normal" control mage, and to address his overwhelming dominance against the vast majority of melee champions. Well, as you can tell by Heimerdinger's literally nonexistent pick rate in the mid lane, Riot didn't exactly succeed in their first objective. In fact, most Heimerdinger mains consider the champion worse in the mid lane now than he was previously for one reason: the changes to his turret. Specifically, the changes to how the turrets charge their laser attack completely destroyed mid lane Heimerdinger's ability to contest the minion wave early, since the turrets now only charge meaningfully when they're hitting champions, which isn't an easy situation to set up in the mid lane. There's no question that Heimerdinger's Hextech Rocket spam in the late game is the thing of nightmares, but he has to get there first, which he currently can't, at least in the mid lane.

Meanwhile, Riot managed to fail spectacularly at their second objective. The changes that were supposed to make Heimerdinger worse against melee champions actually managed to only make him worse at dealing with ranges champions. Melee champions often have no option but to walk into range of Heimerdinger's turrets or engage Heimerdinger directly, meaning that the most meaningful nerfs to Heimerdinger's turrets barely affect his performance against melee champions. To make matters worse, the scaling on turret damage was changed so that it's effectively a one-point wonder skill, so Heimerdinger gets to punish melee champions just as hard as he always did...without having to actually invest any skill points to do so.

Top lane Heimerdinger gets the best of both worlds. He still gets to scale into the aggravating missile bot that mid lane Heimerdinger eventually becomes, but he gets to do so while effectively shutting his lane opponent out of the game. That's a recipe for success that's hard to argue with, and top lane Heimerdinger's insane win rate proves that he's a force to be feared. When your worst matchup is a champion that's laughably useless once the game enters the mid game (Cho'Gath) and is usually picked solely for his amazing early game, you know you're in a good spot.

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If you're looking for a new champion to pick up in order to stomp solo queue, then give Heimerdinger a try. He's not easy to learn, as his missiles are one of the most difficult to learn skillshots in the game, but he's definitely worth the effort. It's not every day that a bona fide carry champion hits 55% win rate in the top lane, so this is an opportunity that's too good to pass on.