We like to take Gromp/Krugs at 1:55, it allows us to walk into lane level 2 without needing to use TP, and because of Heimer’s fairly high HP regen, we heal up the damage we took in no time.
Most of the time when you see Heimer win a 1v2 in the early game, it’s because a level 4 or 5 jungler ganked a level 6 Heimerdinger. He’s very susceptible to ganks 1 through 5.
When people think of Heimer counters, Syndra often comes to mind simply because of her ability to throw them around. While she’s not bad against him, Vladimir is the hardest counter in the game. Levels 1-8 are fairly even, leaning in the Heimer’s favor, but once Vlad is 9 and starts picking up his items, he is going to be able to sustain and shove against the Heimer the whole game. By the time team fighting starts, Vlad should have a sizable lead on the Heimer if he’s playing the lane correctly. Cho’gath is quite good as well.
We hate lane swaps. One of the main reasons you don’t see Heimer played in competitive play is because he is terrible in the 2v1. He is immobile, his turrets are easily taken out, and unlike a champion such as Rumble who can pick up Sorc Shoes/Haunting Guise and be relevant, Heimer needs gold.
We hate laning against ADC’s. While fairly uncommon, a top lane ADC is a great counter to Heimer. As a newly Master Heimer player, I fear Voyboy’s top lane Quinn. The handful of times I’ve had Heimer stolen away from me, I typically play AP Corki against it. It’s a very easy lane for Corki and a good counter to Heimer as your AP rockets can easily take out his turrets at all stages of the game.
We like to take 20 minute Barons, if you’ll let us. These three post game histories were three back to back games in which it was rather even, and Heimer got a 20 minute Baron that quickly snowballed into a win. Treat Heimer like you would a Nunu and respect the potential 20 minute Baron, which doesn’t even need his full team.
Nearly every champion in the game can lane against Heimer successfully. In my experience, the mistakes come from trying to kill him. Playing passive and farming can be pretty boring, but more often than not, enemy top laners will beat me by playing safe, getting farmed up and making plays with their Teleport. If you’re going to try and kill Heimer, be damned sure you’ll win the fight, dying to him will put him ahead the whole game.
In relation to the previous comment, be careful where you TP against Heimer. Even in Master elo, all too often I have enemies forgetting I have a stun and begin channeling their TP within range of it. Sometimes they will back off a bit, but I don’t mind using ult + grenade for the extended range and to put your TP on cooldown for 5 minutes.
Don’t ignore Heimer’s turrets. All too often I see enemies walk past them trying to chase the dong and taking half their health in free damage, sometimes even just straight up dying. In addition, Heimer’s turrets do not immediately deactivate after he dies. Don’t give him free kills walking back into range of them after he dies (This happens quite a bit, even at higher elo).
Some jungle champions are better than others for dealing with a Heimerdinger. The one I feared most was Fiddlesticks. If he manages to surprise you with his ult, the fear completely disables you while the 2v1 quickly melts you down, in addition, he has a large AoE that will kill Heimer’s turrets and decrease his DPS, making it very unlikely that he will pick up any kills in this fight. Rammus is good as well because of high mobility, innate tankyness, AoE, and taunt. Someone like Lee Sin is not particularly scary to Heimer as the Lee has to land skillshots, doesn’t have much AoE and there’s a lot of potential for outplay.
Heimer is a tempo based champion, if he falls behind, life becomes difficult for him. If he gets ahead, he will usually stay ahead. Playing out the first 10 minutes of the match correctly is hugely important.
Perhaps the biggest mistake I see is top laners building damage against Heimer as first items. Riven’s brutalizer, Irelia building parts of Trinity Force, etc. If your champion is one that can build Hexdrinker, rush it. Every time I’ve struggled in a 1v1 it’s because the enemy bruiser built Hexdrinker. It offers some damage, but the MR and shield it grants give them just enough to all-in Heimer in a 1v1 and, win and survive. If I see the enemy top laner building pure damage, Heimer is very likely to win barring any misplays or jungle intervention. An exception here is Tryndamere, he should be Tiamat first versus Heimer. The AoE and sustain allow him to do well in this lane.