Rammus Build Guide by ImAshes
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
My name is Ashes, and this is my first guide here on MOBAfire. Today, I will explain the ins and outs of Rammus, The Armordillo. I play Rammus solely as a Jungler, which allows him to take advantage of his natural strengths, (his damage, survivability, and ganking potential), while allowing him to get past his extremely weak laning. This will be an indepth guide, with all the knowledge you will need to become an expert Rammus.
In my opinion, the best runes for Rammus are Armor Penetration Reds, Flat Armor Yellows, Magic Resist per level Blues, and Armor Pen/Armor Quints. These make jungling as Rammus almost too easy, and provide excellent damage and suvivability throughout the game. As for why I use flat armor and scaling MR, I find that the relative lack of magical damage you will take before mid-late game to be unimportant, whereas almost all the damage you will take whilst jungling and ganking will be physical. (EX. At level 2, when I first gank, the enemy mage has at most 2 damaging spells, totaling appox. 150 Damage)
Masteries and Summoners
These are a guidline, and should be treated as such. I find that the damage output in the offensive tree is far more useful through the entire game than the pitiful masteries in the defensive tree. Items will already make you near impossible to kill, so the extra damage is great for ganking.
Summoners - Smite is non-negotiable, it allows you to down big monsters faster, gives you some nice gold on use, and allows you to steal enemy buffs, including Baron Nashor or Dragon.
- I choose Ghost on Rammus because it synergizes well with Powerball, and Flash is only really essential on Champions without escape mechanisms(not Rammus), that need to escape fights(not Rammus), or that need it to position abilities(not Rammus). It does facilitate buff stealing, but I find that the comes up far less often than having to get to a fight quickly, or chase down a runner.
Rammus is often overlooked as an easy champion to play, but I feel that the intricacies of his abilities seperate the good Rammus from the great.
First, and least involved, is Powerball. This is Rammus' signature ability. In essence, Rammus rolls up into a ball, gaining speed over time until the ability runs out. If he collides with an Enemy unit(Minion, Champion, Neutral Monster), the effect will end, knocking up any enemy in the area and dealing a modest amount of damage. This can be used both to escape and initiate fights, to chase down fleeing enemies, and to traverse the jungle at ridiculous speeds.
Second is his W, Defensive Ball Curl. Upon activation, Rammus curls into a ball, dramatically increasing his armor and MR for the duration, as well as returning a portion of the damage dealt to him back to the attacker as magic damage. This ability scales off armor, so buying armor items makes you into a ******* porcupine. Two important things to note about this ability is that it CANNOT be used at at the same time as Powerball, i.e., casting one will cancel the other, and two, the cooldown for it starts AFTER the effect wears off. This means that even after pressing W once, the ability will still appear unused. Do not click it again! This will deactivate the ability.
Third is Puncturing Taunt, which commands a target enemy to attack Rammus. This forces them to follow Rammus, use only basic attacks, and prevents them from using spells, including Summoners. Used properly, Puncturing Taunt can shut down an opposing team's carry, seperate a team, or guarantee kills. Proper use of Taunt is ESSENTIAL to mastering Rammus. If you taunt Alistar, you are a bad Rammus.
Finally, Rammus' ultimate, Tremors, makes him into an incredible nuisance to the enemy team. This ability causes damage each second in an area around Rammus, TO EVERYTHING. This will damage players, monsters, and most importantly, TURRETS! With this up, Rammus is one of the most formidable pushers in the game, with the ability to solo turrets with his high damage, his ability to shrug off turret hits, and constant high damage from Tremors. It also has a very short cooldown for an ultimate, allowing for maximum ganks and tower destroys.
Dear, Dear. Building a tank is by far the most difficult thing to explain, because it changes almost completely from game to game. The enemy team might have four AD carries, but if their Leblanc is 12-0, then MR will take priority over Armor. However, as a default, I start each and every game with Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potions. The armor, in addition to increasing your survivability, will also increase your damage output through your passive. At level 1, no character in the game hits harder than Rammus with basic attacks. Again, without fail, this cloth armor gets upgraded to a Wriggle's Lantern. In addition to the excellent Armor, Lifesteal, Attack Damage, and proc, this item saves you 75g every three minutes, thanks to it's free ward. This item is a must on any AD jungler. In between my Madred's Razors and finishing my lantern, I buy boots. After completing the Lantern, these boots will be finished, into either Mercury's Treads or a situational boot. Mercury's Treads are far and away the best boots in the game. The chunk of MR is nice, but the real signifigance that these boots contribute to your build is the Tenacity, lowering the duration of all CC effects upon you. I get these boots 95% of the time, unless the enemy team's Tryndamere is 4-0 by 15 minutes, in which case Ninja Tabi might be a better choice. From their on, the way you build is ENTIRELY SITUATIONAL. My biggest problem with any new tank is that they will tend to stick to either the recommended build, or a build that they read online, instead of building to suit the game that they are playing. In general however, their are four main situations. These are, in descending order of likeliness, are: Balanced Enemy Team, AD Heavy Enemy Team, AP Heavy Team, or *****tomping. These will be explained in different sections, to prevent this chapter from becoming a novel.
Balanced Tank Build.
Core - Wriggle's Lantern
- Mercury's Treads.
Midgame - Thornmail - I'm not usually a fan of Thornmail as an item, but at a measly 2k gold, this item gives you the highest single item boost of armor in the game, along with an excellent passive that synergizes with your Defensive Ball Curl.
- Aegis of the Legion - This gives a nice, cheap boost to all your defensive stats, as well as a passive that makes all of your teammates nice and bulky. If you support doesn't grab this, this is a fantastic item.
- Banshee's Veil - This will give a nice health and magic resist boost, as well as a spellshield that can absorb the first nuke sent your way when you initiate.
Late Game - Guardian Angel - This is an expensive item, but the hybrid armor and MR that it gives you, as well as the free resurrection are an excellent item to have on a tank
- Randuin's Omen - This gives an excellent chunk of stats, and the active ability is a gamechanger in a team fight. This is your last buy, but keep in mind that you will almost never make it to this point. Most games will not make it to late game, what with surrenders and whatnot.
Situational Builds - AD/AP Heavy
In the case of an AD heavy build, nothing really changes except that the Banshee's Veil becomes worthless, and should be replaced with a Frozen Heart. The passive is one of the best anti-carry items in the game, even though it will lower your damage output since they won't be beating on you quite as quickly.
In an AP heavy situtation, simply trading out the Randuin's, and buying a Force of Nature after your Aegis will give you complete dominance over the enemy team. 76MR, as well as movement speed for initiations and Health regen, make this an excellent item. This can also replace Guardian's Angel in the Recommended build if you are short on cash.
If all goes well...
If you're 11-0 after 15 minutes, go ahead and have some fun with the enemy team. Building off the default boots and Wriggles, grab yourself a Frozen Mallet, Atma's Impaler, Wit's End, and a Phantom Dancer. This build actually leaves you reasonably tanky, and you put out an obscene amount of damage. Only for use against baddies, however.
Rammus is best used as a jungler, there's really no way around it. His presence in lane is nothing compared to the fear he strikes into the enemy when he Powerballs out from the jungle for a gank. However, it is easy to screw up jungling, and it relies heavily on teamwork, coordination, and experience. First of all, Blue is essential. Even though Rammus isn't as dependent on Blue as Amumu or Fiddle, the constant Powerballs and Defensive Ball Curls drastically increase your jungling speed and effectiveness. A typical path to take in the jungle would be : Start at Blue, preferably with a leash, then moving on to Wolves(Powerball into them and then Curl), Powerballing to Wraiths, Golems(Smite small golem) and then repeating. Red should be attempted once Madred's Razors have been aquired, otherwise you run the risk of dying or needing to go back. It is important to keep in mind the times in which camps respawn, so that you don't find yourself wandering the jungle, waiting for something to do. Red and Blue respawn every 5 minutes, while mini camps respawn about every 1 minute.
Rammus is without a doubt, the strongest ganker in the game. His incredible speed, combined with his tankiness and his CC, guarantee that the enemy will have to either blow their summoners, or risk dying. However, it is important to note that proper utilization of his skills is important. Powerball should always be charged up prior to entering the lane, to maximize your speed on entry. If you activate it then immediately enter, the chance of a successful gank is low. Either charge it up in the bush, or just outside it if you believe they have it warded. If it is warded, your speed will be such that even though they know you are coming, they will have no chance to get away. Secondly, Defensive Ball Curl should only be used once they begin to attack you, or after you have taunted them. Having this skill up to early will cause you to take more damage, while using it at the proper time can allow you to dive towers as early as level 2 or 3. Third, taunt the enemy as soon as possible. This allows you to prevent them from using their summoners to escape, causes them to take more damage, and sets up your teammates for CCs or damage of their own. Tremors should be used as soon as you get in range, or after they use their summoners if you have the means to catch up. Used properly, this sequence of skills can guarantee kills and farm for your laners, and leads to far better games for everyone. Keeping up a constant ganking presence will terrify your opponents, causing them to be overtly defensive and lose valuable farm.
Warding is a vital part of playing a jungler, and is non-negotiable for any good player. 100% of the time, you must have both sides of the river warded, in front of dragon or Baron, respectively. Optional wards include your Blue and Red, the enemies Buffs, and bushes near lanes. The more sight your team has, the more advantageous your position. Wards separate the good from the bad. Seriously, the difference between 1200 elo and 2200 is "I should ward my lane (good :D)" and "I NEED MONEYZ FOR LEET ITEMZ **** WARDS ILL JUST KILLEM WITHSIXBLOODTHIRSTERS****YOUAHAHAHA"
Needless to say, you need to ward. For all of us.
Denying the opposite team buffs and experience is incredibly important to any high level jungler. By warding the enemy Jungle, you make it possible to coordinate ganks on the enemy while he is low, or to steal their buffs when they are away (fun) or when they're doing them (super fun). The most basic form of counter-jungling is to invade the enemy team's jungle at the start of the game. This IS risky, but executed properly can lead to a massive early game advantage in gold and exp. The most important thing to do when invading is to stick together. One person even 5 feet ahead of the rest of the team can be instantly killed by an enemy team defending their jungler. On the opposite side, a simple clairvoyance can either set up or prevent a gank. If you are defending your jungler, simply CV blue at 1:30. If they're there, then they aren't ganking. If they are missing, then prepare for a fight. It all comes down to map awareness. Buy wards.
Rammus has a very neat trick to use in dominion. By starting out with Ghost, Boots of Mobility, and Powerball, you can cap the top point without any interference! This often nets your team a free win, with extra gold and exp for everyone.
Thanks for reading this guide, and please leave constructive criticism in the comments section. I will be updating this guide regularly, with fancy pictures once I learn how to do them. Anywho, Rammus is a ******* badass, and will literally carry a team if played correctly. Go ahead and win games with him.
And buy wards.