Build Guide by Hyunion
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.
This is my first build, but because I main Rammus and won several hundreds of games with him, I'm confident I know what I'm talking about.
This is not a primary jungling guide, and I will only discuss jungling very briefly.
This guide is focused on using Puncturing Taunt and Powerball to the target to help your carries get that kill, and these two abilities are prioritized for the maximum amount of taunt and slow so your carries can kill, be fed, and destroy the enemy team. In most games, you will end up with some kills, few deaths, and tons of assists. I've had tons of games where my end score was 4/2/26.
I recommend laning with champions that can poke or nuke. You will do terrible against heroes like Ashe or Urgot who can poke very well, so you need someone who can nuke on your side. In best case scenario, you will lane with someone who can do both, like Anivia or Brand, and with their nuking abilities combined with your taunt and slow, you will make your enemies feel miserable.
Powerball is what defines rammus. Whenever you're in the summoning pool, powerball so you can get to your destination faster, and when you're ganking, maximize the speed boost from the ability by charging it up for few seconds before rolling at the enemy with top speed.
Make sure your team doesn't engage the enemy team without you. You are what turns the tide of team fights. Basic combo you want to be using it Powerball into the crowd of enemy champions, use Puncturing Taunt on the biggest threat target, and after they're taunted immediately put up your Defensive Ball Curl and Tremors.
You want to lane until you get to level 6. Help your teammate with Puncturing Taunt and Powerball if he's being targeted, and if enemy champions get too close to their tower, taunt them and watch them get decimated by the tower.
Once you hit level 6, you're free to start ganking. You have Teleport which can turn a losing battle for your teammate to a winning one, and you can hide in a nearby bush behind the enemy, charge up Powerball, run and Flash towards them so they can't escape and react in time, Puncturing Taunt them after they're slowed, and watch as you and your teammate decimate the enemy champion in seconds.
Whenever after getting thornmail when you're near a ghost jungling camp or wolf jungling camp, Powerball into it, and turn on Defensive Ball Curl for quick cash and exp. You should be doing this every time you can especially after you pick up Warmog's Armor as it will provide stacks for it.
When using your Puncturing Taunt in team fights, your main priorities are AD carries like Ashe, Master Yi, or Tryndamere as they will instantly be evaporated by attacking your Thornmail, or you can taunt AP champions so that they won't be nuking your teammates. In general, your skill sequence should be Q, then taunt the best target, turn on W for shield + damage, and R to start damaging everyone around you.
Also, don't forget that you can back door enemy towers as well. If you think you're safe from ganks and have flash ready, you can easily utilize Tremors to quickly take down the enemy tower. Don't forget Tremors do damage to enemy towers, but you should be careful if there's an enemy champion hugging the tower while you do so - the splash damage from the attack may hit the enemy champion and alert the tower to take shots at you.
Here I will explain the item choices and alternative items you might want to pick up.
You will see that I start with Null-Magic Mantle and two Health Potion, which eventually builds into mercury threads. The magic resist from this item is mainly to resist early poking spells you might be laning against, and it will let you survive against AP damage until you eventually pick up your Force of Nature. If you are fighting a team without much stuns and slows however, you can start out with Cloth Armor and get Boots of Swiftness instead.
Next item is Thornmail, the single best item for Rammus. Getting this item early will allow you to gank effectively, so make sure you make this the second item you get. With this item, your Puncturing Taunt be far more effective, and in team fights, taunt will cause your enemies to kill themselves.
After mercury threads and Thornmail, you have some choices. If you're doing very well, (at least 3-4 kills and no deaths), you're free to pick up Sunfire Cape to gain more health and more killing power. If you're having trouble with AD champions even after thornmail, you can pick up Warmog's Armor. However, in most likely scenario where there is a mix of AP and AD heroes, you will want to pick up Force of Nature, as it will allow you to move faster, gain incredible health regen, and most importantly, magic resist.
After force of nature, Warmog's Armor is an obvious choice. With tons of health offered by warmogs and percent health regen from force of nature, it will allow you to push towers with your team virtually forever. After you get this item, you might want to farm creeps for health stacks (you need 100 creep kills or 10 champion kills to finish 450 health stack) - get near a creep push and use your Tremors for tons of money, exp, and stacks.
At this point you're virtually invincible, and to make the invincible rammus even more "invincibler," pick up a Guardian Angel. The armor and magic resist offered by the item helps as well.
For your last item, you have bunch of choices. If you're fighting a team that can initiate well (Blitz's grab, Malphite's ult), or team that is heavy AP, pick up a Banshee's Veil. If you're fighting a team that is heavy AD, pick up Randuin's Omen. If you're pretty confident that you won't die and you just want some more damage/health, pick up a Sunfire Cape.
It is also very important that you pick up Oracle's elixer if enemy team has an invisible hero. Usually I pick up the elixer after Thornmail if I'm doing very well and after Force of Nature if I'm doing average. Even if the enemy team has no invisible champion, you should pick up the elixer either after Guardian Angel so you can deny enemy wards. After you have all your items, you can stack the blue, red, green elixers to make you slightly stronger.
Why I don't get Heart of Gold
Before the patch I used to get the Heart of Gold pretty early on, but quick math shows that you pay off the price of the item (5 gold per 10 seconds) if you have it for 30 minutes, so supposing that you get your heart of gold 10 minutes into the game, it takes the entire game for Heart of Gold to pay off what it costs, and it's not like I get Randuin's Omen every game, so I don't find it very much worth it, especially now that heart of gold gives no armor.
Why do I need Thornmail against heavy AP team, or why do I need Force of Nature against a heavy AD team?
You don't. I'm generally assuming that the teams you're facing are half smart and have mix of AD and AP champions with at least one AD carry and one AP carry. If you are for some reason fighting a team that's entirely AP champions, you can skip Thornmail and get that quick Force of Nature and Banshee's Veil. If you're fighting a team that's entirely AD champions, you can skip Force of Nature and get Randuin's Omen earlier than normal. My build is intended for general use against teams that have mix of AD and AP champions, and this is why I give leeway for only my last item - by the end of the game you can clearly judge which enemy champions are fed and are doing the most damage, so counter that champion with the right item.
Teleport and Flash. You won't need any other summoner spells.
Teleport - It allows you to gank and it allows you to save towers. See the tower with tons of enemy creeps approaching it? teleport there and ult away for tons of gold and exp. See enemy heroes trying to dive towers to kill your friend? Q first, teleport to the tower, and a rolling rammus will appear out of nowhere, save your friend, and get taunted, ultimate'd, and die.
Flash - You know it's a good rammus when he has flash. When you gank, you can go into powerball, and flash past the enemy creeps and hit your target with the powerball. After that comes taunt and ultimate, to ensure you with that kill. Flash is also lot better than ghost for getting away since you have that powerball. Simply flash and then powerball away from the enemy champions when you need to get away from a gank.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed - I take movement quints as it is what allows me to chase up to my target and taunt them, very effective.
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction - More cooldown reduction means more taunts and powerballs during teamfights, also with cooldown reduction you get your ultimate about every minute, and you can decimate creep waves using your ultimate.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration - Take magic penetration. Believe it or not, even with Rammus' passive, Rammus deals lot more magic damage than physical damage. If you look at your stats after your game, you will realize you actually deal lot more magic damage. More damage means more kills, take magic pen marks.
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration - Mana regen seals work very well on Rammus. With terrible mana pool, each mana regen will be significant for Rammus. In early game, it will allow you to frequently harass or powerball creeps for the extra cash, and in late game, it will allow you to fight with your team for longer.
Play Rammus, make enemies kill themselves, win.
Ask me any questions at Hyunion@u.northwestern.edu