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Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author SaveOurServer

Rammus the Carry

SaveOurServer Last updated on December 24, 2010
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 0

Rammus the Carry

Table of Contents

    Quick Guide
    Masteries - Two Possible Routes
    Summoner Spells
    Overview of Spells
    Items - An overview of starter, core, essential, and counter items for Rammus
    To Jungle or not to jungle?
    Laning Basics
    Team Fight Basics - "Hi, my name is Rammus and I'm an assist *****" "Hi Rammus"

Quick Guide

If you're in the loading screen and need a quick reference. Here you go:
AD Heavy Teams: Randuins, Frozen Heart, Thornmail, Sunfire Cape, Guardian Angel
Magic Heavy Teams: Merc Treads, Randuins, Banshee Veil, Guardian Angel, Sunfire Cape, Force of Nature
Mix: Merc Treads or Boots of Swiftness, Aegis of the Legion, Randuins, Sunfire Cape, Guardian Angel

Things to know:
    High CDR = Almost perma defensive ball curl and taunts
    You are the tank, you will die if the dps isn't kicking it out
    Make sure you're team is ready to jump in with you if you initiate.


This is my in-depth guide to Rammus. Although I call him Rammus the carry, the reality is that he is one of the best tanks in the game. He is highly valued in ranked matches due to his taunt, AoE, and survivability. My guide is mainly focussed on how to counter your opponents because as a tank, you need to be able to handle what is coming at you. If you ever read a build that only gives you one set of items to get, then that build is leading you in the wrong direction. Specializing each game to the opponents is crucial to the success of any build, even more so for Rammus since he is a tank. With this guide, you will be able to identify what the enemy has, who is performing the best (and consequently, who is the biggest threat that needs countering), and how you will be able to remove them from the team fights entirely.

Finally, I won't promise that you will never die, I won't promise that you will always win. I will promise that this guide will give you the knowledge you need to go into any situation and hero combination and utilize different items to compliment Rammus' skill set.


    Able to take a beating
    Enemies cannot simply ignore you
    Excels versus AD heavy teams
    Able to effectively remove one player minimum from every team fight
    Very quick
    Life saver for teammates

    Unable to kill alone
    Requires a competent team of dpsers
    May need to be sacrificed in team fights for the greater good of the team
    Weak early game unless laning with strong dps (i.e Pantheon)

Masteries - Two Possible Routes

I have two suggestions for Rammus' masteries. The first is a 9/21/0 build which gets Magic Pen from the offensive tree. The main reason for this is most of Rammus' damage dealt will be magical. Thus, getting your tremors to hit harder will greatly aid your team.

The other option is a 0/21/9 build that gets longer neutral buff duration. Obviously, if you plan on going this route, it is essential that you actually jungle. It will keep the buffs on you longer which means more powerballing, tremoring, etc.



Armor marks for 2 main reasons.
    Synergizes well with Rammus' passive
    It's a tank build!


Magic Resist because you are a tank and magic resist glyphs are great


Here I'd say you could go with either health or armor. I prefer health because it helps my early game survivability significantly. Also, if you are not swimming in IP, health quints are just generally a good investment.


I go with more Armor runes for the same reasons as listed above. However, health runes could also be very effective for the early game.
Why not dodge runes?

I have used dodge runes in the past and do well with them. There are two things to consider.
    Are people going to be attacking me frequently?
    Are those people doing physical damage?
    Are they high damage low attack speed? or low damage high attack speed?
    Is the damage I negate with dodge worth losing the damage I'd deal to them?

As I like to do. Let's look at the math.

Character 1:
100 Damage with a 1.00 attack speed = 100 dps

Character 2:
50 Damage with a 2.00 attack speed = 100 dps.

Rammus the Carry:
After taking MR into account, let's say you deal 30 damage every time you are hit to the enemy character with defensive ball curl.

Character 1:
Takes 30 damage per second from you.
Takes 300 damage per 10 seconds from you.
Dealt 1000 damage per 10 seconds to you.

Character 2:
Takes 60 damage per second from you.
600 damage per 10 seconds
Dealt 1000 damage per 10 seconds to you.

Now let's add 10% dodge (rounding up a little bit) from runes.

Character 1:
Takes 270 damage per 10 seconds from you.
Dealt 900 damage per 10 seconds to you.

Character 2:
Takes 540 damage per 10 seconds from you.
Dealt 900 damage per 10 seconds to you.

When dodging higher attack speed hero, you nerf the damage you deal to them by double that of a lower attack speed hero. Thus, if fighting high attack speed hero, dodge is not a good choice.

Summoner Spells

My Favorites

Fortify - This is a great tank summoner spell because you can really save a tower with this combined with teleport. In ranked matches, I'd go as far as saying this is a must have for Rammus (or at least one member of your team)

Teleport - Another great one because you can teleport and save a tower. Even if there are a few heroes attacking it, you have the survivability to stay there and take it. Plus, if the enemy isn't paying attention, you can taunt one at the tower and the tower will focus on that hero. Try it on the lowest health character without an escape mechanism.

Other Great Ones:

Flash - Many people will try and keep a creep or two in between them and Rammus to avoid the powerball/taunt combo. However, with flash, you can blink OVER the creeps and get to the hero before they even know what is going on. This is a great way to set-up ganks and initiate team fights.

Exhaust - Be a team player. If you see only 1 person on the team with exhaust, it may be a good idea to pick this one up incase you are against a twitch or trynd. In ranked, you can see the enemy picks and can see if you will need exhaust ahead of time.

Heal - Not a huge fan of it because it is only good in the early game but if you are just starting out this can save your life.

Ghost - I see a lot of guides recommend this so I'll put it in there. I find powerball to be adequate movespeed but some people have a need for speed.

Rally - Help the team!

Overview of Spells

Spiked Shell (Passive): Rammus gains additional damage as his shell becomes reinforced, converting 25% of his armor into attack damage.

This is why Rammus excels against AD heavy teams. It allows him to get mainly armor items which means he ALSO hits you like a truck!

Powerball (Q): Rammus accelerates in a ball towards his enemies, dealing magic damage and slowing targets affected by the impact for 4 seconds.

Cooldown: 10 Seconds
Cost: 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 / 120 Mana
Magic Damage: 100 / 150 / 200 / 250 / 300 (+1 per Ability Power)
Slow: 28 / 36 / 44 / 52 / 60 %

I use this mainly for the interrupt and the slow. It does high damage at level 1 compared to other spells and is a great way to set-up a first blood bush gank. You will slowly gain speed overtime which is also why it might be a good idea to let the powerball charge up for a few seconds before racing off at people.

Defensive Ball Curl (W): Rammus goes into a defensive formation for 6 seconds, increasing his armor and magic resistance and returning magic damage to attackers.

Cost: 50 Mana
Cooldown: 14 seconds
Armor & Magic Resist: 50 / 75 / 100 / 125 / 150
Magic Damage: 22 / 26 / 32 / 38 / 46 (+10% of total armor)

Puncturing Taunt (E): Rammus taunts the unit into a reckless assault, reducing their armor and forcing them to attack Rammus for a few seconds.

Cooldown: 9 seconds
Range: 325
Cost: 50 / 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 Mana
Armor Reduction: 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30
Duration: 1 / 1.5 / 2 / 2.5 / 3 seconds

This coupled with powerball is how I get first blood so often. Lane with a high damage hero or another hero with a disable and ultimately you can keep a hero disabled for 3 seconds or so at level 2. With high CDR, you can bring the taunt cooldown to a little under 6 seconds meaning heroes are taunted almost as often as they not.

Tremors: Rammus creates tremors beneath him for 8 seconds, dealing magic damage per second to nearby units and structures.

Cost: 120 Mana
Cooldown: 60 seconds
Area of Effect: 300
Magic Damage: 65 / 130 / 195 (+0.3 per Ability Power)

This adds up to more than you would think in a big team fight and can make a big difference. It is also why Rammus can push like no other. His ultimate damages structures so use this every time you get close to a tower. But be careful, if there are enemy heroes at the tower and they are hit with tremors, the tower will begin to attack you!


Starting Items:

Doran's Shield - I love this item because it gives you great health, regen, and armor to keep you in a lane and do decent damage.

Cloth Armor + 5 Health Potions - Standard jungle set-up


Randuin's Omen - This is my favorite item for Rammus because it gives him a lot of armor so he hits harder and takes less damage. It gives him CDR (though it got nerfed down to 8% from 15%) so you can spam taunt and defensive ball curl. Finally, It can slow down the attackers move and attack speed which is crucial to chasing down heroes or slowing down a DPSer on the enemy team.

Aegis of the Legion - Not necessarily core, but SOMEBODY on the team should have this. It goes great with Rammus which is why I don't mind getting it. You get some health, some armor, some MR and and damage. The best part? It helps your team out!

Items for Rammus:

Here is a list of Items Rammus can get. I will briefly talk about why they work well for him and when is the best situation to get them at.

Frozen Heart: +99 Armor +500 Mana Passive UNIQUE: Reduces ability cooldowns by 25% and reduces the attack speed of nearby enemies by 20%
    2nd highest +armor in game (Thornmail has +1 more armor)
    Synergizes amazingly with Rammus' passive
    Gives highest amount of CDR in game which allows for more frequent taunts and defensive ball curls
    20% attack speed slow for enemies will decrease the utility of the enemy dps

Get this item against heroes such as Xin Zhao, Twitch, Tryndamere, Ashe, Warwick, etc. Note that slowing the enemies attack speed will also decrease the amount of damage you are doing to them from thornmail and defensive ball curl.

Guardian Angel: +68 Armor +38 Magic Resistance Passive UNIQUE - Revives your Champion upon death, restoring 750 Health and 375 Mana. This effect can only occur once every 5 minutes.

Guardian Angel is best used at the end of a build or in the beginning of a mixed team. Guardian Angel gives both armor AND magic resist which is why it is a great item for any tank. Of course, being able to save yourself from dying is always a plus as well! When deciding if Guardian Angel is going to be appropriate for you, it is best if you are the constant focus of every fight (thus doing your job effectively as a tank) and are taking damage from both physical and magical sources.

Sunfire Cape: +450 Health +45 Armor Passive UNIQUE: Deals 40 Magic Damage a second to nearby enemies.
    Health is great for any tank and useful against every source of damage
    The armor synergizes well with Rammus' passive
    Great counter to high AD heroes
    Be careful, stacking too much health against a hero with Madred's might end up costing you big time.
    The 40 damage per second AoE will always help you in a team fight.

Force of Nature: +76 Magic Resistance +40 HP Regen/5 sec. +8% Movement Speed Passive
UNIQUE - Restores 0.35% of your champions maximum health every second.
    Highest Magic Resist Item in the Game
    Great counter to casters
    Regen to keep you in fights longer.
    Not the best item for Rammus because he should be stacking armor, not health
    Wait until later in the build before grabbing this item

Banshee's Veil: +375 Health +375 Mana +50 Magic Resistance Passive UNIQUE - Blocks one negative spell every 30 seconds.
    High MR helps against casters
    1 Spell negation is useful against ALL kinds of champions: Veigar's stun, WW's ult, etc.
    The health and mana will definitely come in handy in those longer team fights.
    If fighting a heavy stun, caster, or AoE team, pick this up early to increase your survivability from those nukes.

Thornmail: +100 Armor Passive UNIQUE - On being hit by standard attacks, returns 30% of damage taken as magic damage. A minimum 15 damage must be received.

Believed by many to be Rammus' best item. I disagree and actually rarely get this item. It is ONLY great against AD heroes. Unlike other items which usually offer some other bonuses (MS slow, CDR, AoE Dps, HP, etc.), Thornmail only counters those phsyical heroes. If you are against a team with 2 or 3 AD heroes then yes, pick it up, but not until after you have already picked up Randuin's and Frozen Heart. Let's face it, you are not supposed to be the one with all of the damage. Your job is to disable a hero so your dps can remove them from the fight.

To Jungle or Not to Jungle?

Jungle Rammus is a terror on Summoner's Rift. He can powerball in before the enemy knows what is going on, lock them down with a taunt and help the dps do the killing. He is a strong player than can farm neutrals quickly and get to the next camp fast. However, I usually don't play jungle Rammus because I don't like giving one of my summoner spells for smite. Additionally, I find that Rammus can really help a weak early game dpser such as Tryndamere farm some early kills by laning with him. When I lane with my buddy who plays Pantheon, we usually get first blood by level 2 with a powerball, stun, heartseekers strike, taunt combo. Of course, there is nothing saying you can't still help your lanes with frequent ganks but I enjoy the laning Rammus versus the Jungle Rammus.

Laning Basics

I described above a nice combo play that I do with Pantheon and that works very effectively. My play style with Rammus is an all or nothing style. By that, I mean that I cannot harrass with Rammus so if I commit to a fight, I'm committing for the kill, not to get them low on health to set-up for a different time. Thought the enemy might flash, ghost, or heal the objective is still clear. Win the fight at all costs. By backing the enemy off (or killing them) it allows Rammus and his partner to start last hitting creeps. Last hits are fairly easy for Rammus because of his high attack damage (thanks to his passive) and if you have fortify, an extra 10 damage to minions.

Before going in for a gank on a hero, activate powerball in the tall grass. Let it run for 3 - 5 seconds depending on how close they are to you. Then burst out at the champion. By waiting a few seconds before initiating, you will have a higher movespeed when you come out which gives the enemy less time to react to your initiation. The element of surprise is crucial. After powerballing the enemy use your taunt and activate defensive ball curl (in that order). If your teammate has a stun or exhaust, let your teammate know you are going to immediately taunt and that they should save their disable for after taunt wheres off. If they are a hero like pantheon that needs to use their stun early, let them use their stun and then use taunt after it wears off.

Another fun trick is to use taunt when the enemy is attacking your tower. By doing this, the enemy will be forced to attack you which will then cause your tower to begin attacking the enemy hero. Once taunt wheres off, you should follow up with a point blank powerball. This will stop them for a brief second as well as slow them for another 4 allowing the tower to get a few more hits on the hero. It is best to taunt a hero that is melee because they will be closest to the tower AND they have to run up to you to hit you. If you taunt a ranged champion and then back into your tower, the champion will not follow you because they can hit you from a distance. It is also best to target low health heroes for obvious reasons. Thus, heroes like Master Yi are your favorite targets for situations like these.

Team Fight Basics - "Hi, my name is Rammus and I'm an assist *****" "Hi Rammus"
For a team fight, make sure your team knows you are going to initiate. Rammus' goal going into a team fight is to pick a highly volatile, weak champion to remove from the game. Examples of targets are:
    Master Yi

Rammus needs to get up to these heroes as fast as possible with powerball and then taunt the target. Keep in mind that Rammus needs to remain close to his team so that once he taunts his target, his dps can focus it down. Once activating taunt, defensive ball curl and Tremors should immediately used. If you are near their other DPS then remember to activate Randuin's. If not, then save the Randuin's for when the enemies are trying to escape or if your team needs to escape. If your CDR is high enough, the target should be able to be taunted twice. Hopefully that won't be necessary and the dps on your team will have finished the target before the first powerball taunt combo is over. In that case, move to the next largest threat in the team fight. This could mean helping a teammate who is being focused by the enemy team, or simply moving onto another weak opponent. With maxed out CDR, there is only a two second delay between defensive ball curl ending and it back off of cooldown. This means that it should be used constantly in order to keep the armor/MR up.

To summarize the main points:
    Pick a high threat champion (i.e. the "first target")
    Powerball into the fight
    Taunt, defensive ball curl, Tremors
    Use Randuin's if necessary (or save for a chase/escape)
    Keep Defensive Ball Curl and Taunt going.


In conclusion Rammus is one of the most powerful tanks in the game due to his ability to move very quickly to position himself for a fight, lock down targets almost indefinitely, incredible survivability, and AoE that also effects towers making him a great pusher as well. By utilizing the tank items to customize your Rammus for each match, you will be unstoppable and a valuable asset to your team. However, don't expect to go Legendary in your matches. In fact, many games might not even end positive. This is because if your team losses a team fight, you will die as well because the reality is you are going to be way past the dps taking out their support. However, in the fights that go better, you can expect a lot of assists and maybe a lucky kill or two here and there. With Rammus, it isn't about getting the kills, it is about locking down the enemies so that your teammates can farm gold and increase their effectiveness.

Many builds are going to guarantee success and that you will always own. Let's be honest for a moment, if a build always works well in every situation, then that hero needs a nerf. Rammus' biggest flaw is that he relies on his teammates for his success. If his dps isn't contributing, then Rammus will not do well.

With that I hope that you enjoy your time playing Rammus the Carry!