Build Guide by entropy2057
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.
EDIT: This guide is a bit out of date, I'll be updating it soon hopefully, please withhold from voting on it for now. Thanks!
Flash: Flash is a must for Rammus. It enables you to gank unexpectedly from the bushes and to pass through lines of creeps in order to land your powerball. There is never a good enough reason to not pick this spell.
Ghost: Similar to Flash in that the improved mobility it allows you makes powerball even more effective. It doesn't allow you to gank through walls or lines of creeps however so it is NOT a replacement for flash.
Smite: Rammus is an effective jungler if equipped with smite. Just switch it in instead of Ghost and get improved smite rather than improved ghost. This guide won't go into the details of jungling with Rammus however.
Other: I personally never use any other summoner spells with Rammus but depending on your team setup you may decide to switch out Ghost for something like Fortify or Clarity. Just remember that Flash is your best friend and Ghost is almost as good so do not switch it out for insufficient reason.
This setup focuses on Rammus's role as a tank.
A couple of notes:
I get reduced damage from minions in order to shrug off minion damage during early game ganks and to help with jungling.
I get reduced time dead because playing Rammus often calls for doing some pretty reckless stuff in order to save a pursued ally, finish off a runner, or initiate a team fight. You will most likely die a decent amount if facing a team of reasonable skill and being there to defend your squishies requires you to be alive.
Most of the damage Rammus deals is actually magic damage so magic penetration marks increase his effectiveness at ganking.
Rammus has less health than most tanks so health/level seals help keep him where he needs to be throughout the game.
Rammus's effectiveness is entirely reliant on his abilities and, inconveniently, he has lots of mana issues. In order to avoid having to include mana regen in my item build I get mana regen/level glyphs.
Rammus needs more health. Health quints give lots of health. Rammus needs lots of health quints.
Get Powerball first since it allows you to escape/pursue in case of early game ganks and it allows you to return to tower faster after going back.
Next, max taunt. Taunt is Rammus's most powerful skill by far. It combined with a quick entrance with powerball lets him gank like no other.
On the levels where you cannot put points in taunt put points first in Tremors if available and then alternate between powerball and curl until powerball is level 3. Then max curl followed by powerball.
Getting powerball to level 3 before maxing curl improves its slow and damage for better mid-game ganks. I choose not to level it past 3 for a while because the mana cost becomes burdensome and curl is more necessary for team fights.
If jungling go W-Q-W-E-E-R-E-E-E-Q-R-Q-W-W-W-R-Q-Q.
Grab cloth armor and FIVE health pots. Cloth armor increases Rammus's armor which improves his AD and curl along with the usual damage reduction. This will make you both more tanky and more dangerous. Spend the rest of your money on pots. This is true of whatever champion you play: always spend any excess money at start on pots, if the pot helps you stay in lane for one creep kill more it has already paid for itself.
Alternatively I sometimes get boots of speed and THREE health pots. I do this if I expect to lane against Garen, Singed, or anyone else who typically gets move speed at start. Since Rammus has no long ranged abilities he is easily defeated early game by faster opponents.
Build your cloth armor into heart of gold unless you are being heavily harassed by a faster opponent in which case build it into Ninja Tabi. If the enemy team is heavy on CC, especially stuns/snares (Morgana, Lux, Ryze, Udyr, etc.), get Mercury Treads instead of Ninja Tabi. Once you have heart of gold and one boots or the other start building a Sunfire cape. Even if the other team is very heavy on casters you need a Sunfire cape in order to let you farm effectively and collect gold for your other tanky items.
Once you have your core items the rest really depend on the circumstances of the game. Below are some items I often get:
Most useful against a team with balanced physical vs magical damage output. The revive is very nice for making the odd suicide mission into just a regular mission. I always get this if I'm going to be holding an Oracle.
If the other team is very heavy on physical damage and we need a bit of help in team fights I build my heart of gold into Randuin's. The area slow is very effective against melee carries and the CD reduction makes Rammus more effective.
If the other team is heavy on magical damage I always grab this right after Sunfire Cape.
Force of Nature-
If our team is doing well building Negatron Cloak into Force of Nature will help to enhance the pwnage.
If our team isn't doing quite so well building Negatron Cloak into Banshee's Veil will improve your survivability against caster carries. It is a must against a good Veigar, Morgana, or Lux.
I do not often get Thornmail but if a Master Yi or Miss Fortune is pounding you to rubble despite your massive armor then a Thornmail will at least guarantee that they are hurting as well.
If the other team is doing poorly get another Sunfire or two on top of a Force of Nature to really bring down the pain.
I've already written a lot. I may come back and fill in this section later but then again why give away all my secrets?
Basic summary: You gank, you tank, you make bank. Assist your carry during team fights while killing theirs and you will win. Never gank alone unless they suck.