Rammus Build Guide by MajorLoL
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.
Mmhmm, Yea, Ok, Thanks for looking at my guide. This is my Rammus guide, here to showcase his power in many different situations, and ability to completely turn games around played right. He's super deadly even played as a tank, and can withstand beatings time and time again. He's one of my favorite tanks to play, especially because I've made many enemies mad in chat because Rammus is broken. Yea, Ok. Alright. Anyways, welcome to my guide! Here's his Champion Spotlight:
Pros / Cons
+ Excellent Tank Mid / Late Game
+ An exceptional Anti-Carry
+ Very good at securing kills
+ Can zone out the enemy very well
+ Can afford to be reckless at times
+ Sexy Voice
- Picked on early game laning
- VERY blue buff dependent when jungling
- Almost impossible to recover from counter-jungling
- Can get kited without Powerball
- Cant take on 5 people alone without dying (Sad, I know)
- Not many friends...
You typically never want to stray away from the 21 in defense. I play Rammus as a full tank, because he reaches his full capabilities this way. By this I mean every skill is used well as a tank, as he can set up kills for his team easily, providing most of the damage himself at times. He has to soak up the damage to do this, so getting as much defense as possible is necessary.
The choice for runes on a tank are obvious, but there are choices.
What I use:
Greater Mark of Armor Penetration
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Armor
Greater Quintessence of Health
Greater Quintessence of Armor Penetration
As for lane, there are choices:
As you can see, I like to go for a full defensive setup, except for Marks. This is because Marks are designed for damage, and Rammus has a nice mix of different sources for damage, resulting in faster jungle speed and just more damage brought to the table. With Seals, any amount of defense in there will do well, unless you're jungling. When jungling, Greater Seal of Armor is the best and fastest way to go. On someone like Rammus, Glyphs are totally optional, no matter what position you're playing. If AP Carries won't be a threat, CDR is always a fun choice. More Powerballs and more Puncturing Taunts means QQing enemies and fun times!
Quintessences are just as optional, as Rammus has a lot of different stats that can benefit him, even ability power! A preferred choice by many experienced tank players is movement speed quintessences, and those work well, too. You'll want to stay away from the more eccentric picks, like experience gaining quintessences.
Summoner Spells are totally situational. If there's so much CC that it will be unbearable, Flash may be a reasonable choice. If there's less, then hey! Go with Ghost instead. There's lots of combinations you can go with. Here's my take on these spells.
Flash: With such speed due to Powerball, Flash is always a good contender, especially while jungling. This is because you can always catch people off guard while ganking with a charged Powerball and a flash.
Ghost: Usually pick this or Flash, never both. It's a bit of an overkill to have two movement spells, when there's so much more to help you out. This is better for a team with less CC, and less movement abilities. This is because a small flash may not always be the best option to chase or escape. A lot of the time a long burst of speed is much more suited to catching a certain champion.
Heal: Good for the lane, as when you're in the bottom lane, you don't have any sustain for your carry like an Alistar or Taric would have. Instead, you're the front lines, and the power of the duo. Heal will help you out of sticky situations.
Smite: Just for jungling, no other reason, really.
Exhaust: Also for duo laning in the bottom lane. Good for escaping enemies while your abilities are on cooldown, or for greatly crippling the enemy AD Carry during a fight.
Ignite: Not really a choice for a tank, but can be used if it is severely required. An example of this would be something like a team with Dr. Mundo, Volibear, and a Vladimir.
Promote: A surprising choice I know, but it can be useful in a lane with exceptional pushing power. If you know you're going to dominate your lane, and that you'll inevitably push the lane, it can be good for tanking / killing the tower.
Teleport: Can be useful for laning and jungling. The uses for it are returning to a lane faster, getting somewhere else on the map where you're needed, or sneaky warded bush ganks. (You can Teleport to wards placed behind the victim and kill him like that)
Cleanse: While being CC'd can be annoying, you shouldn't waste an entire slot for something Quicksilver Sash can do.
Surge, Revive, Clarity: Don't see a need to explain this...Oh ok! You're not some type of attack speed ability power thing... What the hell is Revive... Frozen Heart provides ample mana.
Clairvoyance: COULD be acceptable in bottom lane, but there's just too many options that are more viable than it.
These are Rammus's abilities. They all make him a semi-bursty assassin-like tank. Most of them work together well with each other.
1/4 of Rammus's armor is converted to Attack Damage.
Real nice huh? At the end of this build,you'll have around 200 AD, turning a pure tank into a fighter. This is part of the 3 reasons that Rammus can be played as a tank anti-carry, while people kill themselves just by hitting you, you end up having a good attack. At points where you're doing well, you'll notice that you'll have more attack damage than the people that should have alot! In fact in later games, I've had more AD than a Nocturne, Xin Zhao, Graves, and much more. When Defensive Ball Curl is up, you're an unstoppable force, even in just an auto attack battle.
Rammus accelerates in a ball towards his enemies, dealing 100/150/200/250/300 (+1) magic damage and causing 28/36/44/52/60% reduced movement speed to nearby enemies on impact.
Cooldown - 10/10/10/10/10 seconds
Cost - 80/90/100/110/120 Mana
Range - 300
Probably your most important spell, because it's your initiation tool. It's insignificant if you don't hit a carry, unlike a spell like Maokai's ultimate which will just give your whole team defense sparking a fight, or an Amumu who starts the fight out strong with his ultimate. This is why strategy is important when using this. Swerve through teams until you get to that AD or AP carry. It is preferable to hit AD Carries, so you can taunt them and most likely kill them. The uses of this ability are almost endless: Return to the lane / jungle faster, chase enemies, escape enemies, knock people back, just deal some AoE damage, and of course, initiating fights.
Defensive Ball Curl
Rammus goes into a defensive formation for 6 seconds, increasing his armor and magic resistance by 50/75/100/125/150 and returning 26/32/38/44/50[(+0.10)*(armor)] magic damage to attackers.
Cooldown - 14/14/14/14/14 seconds
Cost - 50/50/50/50/50 Mana
Range - 300
What makes you a tank. This is the reason Rammus is so hard to even hurt. When fully built and having this active, you take nearly no damage. So why should you even build any defense? Because Rammus has very little defense when this is not active. It would only be used anywhere from 1-3 in a normal teamfight, meaning all that time you don't have it up, you'd be squishy. No tank is squishy, and if you're not a tank, I'd hope you're being l33t AD Carry Rammus. This is typically the skill that defines Rammus as a tank rather than some type of AD Offtank Disabler type deal. It synergizes well with your passive, adding a great deal of attack damage. The magic resist makes up for the low amount any Rammus builds, since you'll want to mainly focus on armor unless they have 2 or more AP carries that can prove troublesome.
Rammus taunts the unit into a reckless assault, reducing their armor by 10/15/20/25/30 and forcing them to attack Rammus for 1/1.5/2/2.5/3 second(s).
Cooldown - 12/12/12/12/12 seconds
Cost - 50/60/70/80/90 Mana
Range - 325
This is basically the thing that makes everyone on the enemy team hate you. Every good tank has some hard CC, and this is it for Rammus. A full 3 seconds of forcing someone to attack you. While not so important in the jungle to start, this becomes more and more useful as the game goes on. Combined with Defensive Ball Curl, this is what makes Rammus so amazing at anti-carrying and basically destroying AD Carries, especially ones with high attack speed. Always use this when you want to lock somebody up for a kill, or if you want someone to be occupied. Most Rammus players don't know this, but if your teammate is being targeted or just being hurt by a single person, you can stop it. In a way it's like anti-anti-carrying. Or in another sense just countering the job of an enemy, while still doing yours. It may sound confusing, but it's really not, just make sure your team is safe and that you're taking the hits.
Rammus creates tremors beneath him, dealing 65/130/195 (+0.3) magic damage per second to nearby units and structures.
Lasts 8 seconds.
Cooldown - 60 seconds
Cost - 120/120/120 Mana
Range - 300
While most tanks must use their ultimate to initiate, or to change the outcome of the fight (Ex: A good Nunu or Galio ultimate), Rammus has many different uses. Tremors is basically just a bursting type spell. Just AoE damage. Nothing else. Seems insignificant for a tank right?
This skill can be used for: Taking down turrets (Yes, it does that), dealing damage to a group of people, farming, taking down a single carry (If you are able to reach them), and dealing supporting damage in a teamfight.
The base source of all your health, and a nice little boost to your health regen.No matter what they're team is based on(AD or AP), you're going to need health. Because of Defensive Ball Curl, Rammus has room to build strait health in an item.
Tenacity is very important on any tank, because you need to be able to mess with the enemy as much as possible, instead of getting CC'd out of the fight. Here I'm not saying Mercury's Treads are the only boots to buy ever, but rather the Tenacity is pretty important.
As A Substitution
While I just said Tenacity is important, there's a lot of times where the other team lacks a good amount of CC, and if they have any at all, they won't use it on you. In this case, having more defense against all damage will help you more than reducing the effect of CC
Yes, Randuin's Omen is indeed an amazing item on Rammus, but the main part is that you use up the Heart of Gold's gold passive. Randuin's can be switched for something like Banshee's Veil if they have a lot of AP or CC.
Yes it may seem VERY wierd that I would choose this item as a core for every game. Any serious game will have an AD Carry and at least one other AD Champion. This item goes great where everyone says " Thornmail is my core item". We'll get into that later.
When Jungling But Merc Treads Are Required
The Ninja Tabi is JUST for early game jungling. After you get the Warmog's Armor, you can switch to the Mercury's Treads, because nothing in the jungle (Besides Baron of course) going to kill you when you have over 2500 health.
Be smart about item choices, if they have an all DPS team, don't build Banshee's Veil or Force of Nature. If they have an all Caster team, don't build Frozen Heart.
It's a little funny how well these things work. Rammus is based on chasing down runners and zooming in for initiations, and if you don't require Tenacity, armor, or are just feeling a little reckless, these two will give you an excellent burst of speed for chasing and initiations.
Getting this item isn't for the passive fully, while it is a nice addition. The amount of health you spawn back with can be insignificant, but has saved me. The main reason for this item is the stats it gives, a nice mix of both armor and magic resistance.
Both of these items are here for the same reason, but are to be used in different situations. When purchasing Force of Nature, make sure the enemy doesn't have any CC that would completely cripple you and completely stop you from doing what you need to do during teamfights. If they DO have alot of CC, Banshee's Veil is good to at least negate more of their damage / CC.
Another way to get out of sticky situations. Decisions, decisions... anyways you only need this, and I mean ONLY when the enemy is using their hard CC that is crippling to you in every fight on you. This doesn't happen often, because most people have enough common sense to use their hard CC on people that aren't as tanky, so you won't be buying this often. Still, it's always an option is Rammus' arsenal of tank items, due to it's good amount of magic resist.
Yes, I always take Heart of Gold, but this item is not completely mandatory! The main reason I don't take it is because I forget to use the active (but, seriously, it's because the mix of stats are a little insignificant, and the amount in each is not ALWAYS needed. I'd say take it most of the time, but in certain situations, you may not need the CDR or the health regen, or even the active. In that case you can just go with Sunfire Cape or Locket of the Iron Solari.
Many tanks prefer this item, and in the early game, I can see why. The aura is more of a behind the scenes kind of thing. Almost nobody notices nor acknowledges it, when sometimes it probably saved their lives. Having this will greatly help in the mid game, or early game if you rush it. It's nearly useless however in the late game. Then you can sell it for whatever is required.
I've seen many Rammus players take this item, reason being because Rammus snowballs in the opposite direction while jungling. He gets slower and slower (Unless you're building damage(You shouldn't be building damage)) as time goes on, because he depends on the monsters attacking him, and the good amount of AD he has early game evens out going into mid and late game. Some players like to maintain a good amount of speed in the jungle, at the expense of early speed and in turn better ganks. It can actually be good if all the lanes are being pushed, and are ungankable. This can happen very often, and getting these two items will make up for that. I wouldn't make this a part of your build that you get all the time as Rammus has better use of early movement speed, but there's crippling downside to buying it.
Despite popular belief, Rammus doesn't NEED this item to do well in the late game, as his ability to lock down opponents and gain a lot of kills and assists can usually support him throughout the game. If you are to buy this, and the support doesn't happen to be building shurelya's reverie, then you can always build this into that.
If you were forced to buy Philosopher's Stone (Due to lack of income or ganks) or just having a really hard time catching the carries, this item is absolutely perfect. It's good for making quick initiations, escaping easily, chasing even easier...ly..I guess, and even if you use it in a teamfight that has already unfolded, it gives your team dominant positioning where required. Keep in mind that many support champions will buy this, in which case you won't need to. Having more than one is very unnecessary in a team.
I've never been in a situation where I needed this item on Rammus, but I've seen many tanks actually buy this item. The reason is it gives you great sticking power, and will allow to secure kills for your team, hinder somebody's job during a teamfight, and to hold on to somebody that would normally just outrun you. Rammus is already good at these things, but if there was ever a situation where you just couldn't stay near the enemy, this is the item you'll need.
What you saw in the build above was a build facing a mixed team. This means that if they have a steady amount of both AD champions, and AP champions, your build should look something like that by the end of the game. These are sample builds for other team types:
Warning: The Epicosity of AD Rammus may be too much to handle for the common man.
As a tank, Rammus doesn't have to make such a wide range of options. Most defensive items in the league are specified to counter a certain stat or attribute another champion would have. This makes his choices a little obvious just by looking at who you're facing in the loading screen.
Keep in mind these are just SAMPLE builds, and none should be strictly followed either.
While deemed one of the best items for Rammus and most tanks, I feel it necessary to tell you you're not getting all you can get with this item. Even though it synregizes well with his Defensive Ball Curl, it's nowhere near a good investment, especially with items l
Thornmail gives alot of armor for little to no cost and adds a good amount of extra damage to Defensive Ball Curl....awesome. Think about this way, Thornmail returns 30% of the damage taken as magic damage. This is fine and dandy, but you're a tank, and people won't attack you much anyway unless you taunt. The damage is still pretty good, but I wouldn't recommend it unless the other team is full AD, then you can switch Force of Nature for Thornmail. Yes, it synergizes really well with Rammus, but saying he needs it is like saying Kog'Maw can't be built without Madred's Bloodrazor, because the I've yet to see a pro use one while playing ranked.
On the topic of Frozen Heart being the main armor item and not Thornmail
Frozen Heart gives 1 less armor than Thornmail, which is not much of a difference.
So basically, when you choose Frozen Heart over Thornmail, you're getting 500 mana, 20% Cooldown Reduction, and an awesome aura that will mess with all the Auto-Attackers both when fighting them, and in teamfights for ONLY 775 MORE. That's pretty good if you ask me.
So yeah, Thornmail's a bad investment.
(Just remember it's not a bad investment if the other team consists of mostly AD.)
Overkill, extreme overkill. These two items combined will bring you over 400 with Defensive Ball Curl activated. It's like using an armor item slot just to get a good amount of damage from Thornmail. Keep in mind what I said. If you haven't taunted an AD Champion or Carry, if they have any sense, they just won't attack you... You should refer to this graph, it shows the value of the armor you're buying, and how little the use becomes when using a whole item slot for an extreme amount of armor.
Notice how straight it the line gets around 400 armor. It's near a point where you for 10 armor (A small amount), you get less than half a percent of damage reduction. The value for armor get's so low, it's almost meaningless. Altogether, unless they have 1 or no AD Champions, I think Frozen Heart is too valuable to be scrapped for something much less meaningless.
See this thing?
A Quick Reminder Regarding Building Rammus
You are a tank. This means you need whatever defenses are necessary to take as little damage as possible and tank for your team.
If the enemy team has all AP Mages for whatever reason, then you shouldn't be building Frozen Heart. Technically, there is no building a tank accordingly. The build shown is basically a scenario where the enemy team has an decent amount of both damage types, but not as much CC. The current meta calls for a good variety in the types of champs you'll be facing. Keep a note, when it comes to building, there's no way that's set in stone.
Think about the different ways you'll counter the enemy. Imagine seeing Nautilus in the jungle, and a Blitzcrank in the bottom lane, with a Swain in the mid lane. Obviously you'll need a counter to CC right? Banshee's Veil would be almost mandatory. Imagine the enemy is a troll team with 5 AD Carries. Then Randuin's Omen nice and early will do you some good. Always think about how you can benefit from what you're building, rather than mindlessly following the build I displayed.
It's a sample build, not law.
Gameplay in the Lane and on the Battlefield
Rammus is an awesome laner, able to support his teammate and do his best to keep them safe with taunt. With an early Ruby Crystal as I buy first in my build, he can easily tank damage early and he can afford to be a little reckless. This is why he can function there, rather than being confined to the jungle, and even top lane.
You should be able to pick up Heart of Gold and a pair of boots on your first trip back. This will greatly enhance both your survivability in lane and your gold gain. I can usually stay MUCH longer than this, but if your partner (or solo lane) is taken care of, it's much better to get this gold nice and early. It's nice to even opt for Philosopher's Stone if you were for some reason stealing creeps from your partner.(It's ok if you're solo lane)
Buy a good counter to your laning opponent whenever you go back (or die). Typically you'll want Glacial Shroud nice and early for the mana and sustainable amount of armor, but if you were against an AP Champion, starting, or rushing, Banshee's Veil is a pretty good choice as well.
Being in this lane means allowing your teammate to farm minions, and you zoning out the enemy. Zoning is an effective way of blocking out the enemy's experience and minion kills.
If you haven't seen this video yet, it should help you learn.
When sparking fights, just go and use everything on the squishier target, may it be the support or carry. Keep an eye on the health bar, and always make sure to signal retreat if things are going rough. If not, continue, and push for the kill unless it's not safe anymore. An example of this is they've retreated to their tower or you've been compromised by their jungler. You should make sure to be warding dragon, and certain access points as well.
Your role on the battlefield
Like I've said countless times before, Rammus can Anti-Carry while being tank, meaning he can take out the carry while his team takes out the lessers. When you initiate, obviously you'll be the one getting attacked, but when the rest of your team shows up, they will try to ignore you...don't let them. Taunt the carry, and if they're someone squishy, like Vayne, Ashe, Brand, or Veigar, you can usually secure a kill because of the sheer amount of damage Rammus can put out when he's:
- Attacking( Spiked Shell gives Rammus great DPS)
- Being attacked while in Defensive Ball Curl
- Has Tremors going
If a battle isn't going your way, and you nobody notices it, it's usually trouble for both you and the entire team. If the battle isn't going your way, and somebody that isn't you notices it, you're usually the one who's screwed. This is because everyone else has time to escape while the enemy just uses everything to kill you. If you're the one who notices it, you'll be able to pull out in time, hopefully warning your teammates in time as well. Summary of this paragraph is, keep a close eye on health bars
- Can't do **** in the jungle without blue
- Counter-Junglers are going to have fun with Rammus
- A bit slow to jungle later in the game, while others snowball
Bad stuff...but he has amazing qualities in the jungle in his own right. He has no problems clearing the jungle if hes allowed to run his initial route with no opposition. He's someone who actually wants to get hit, and his Powerball to Defensive Ball Curl combo is amazing(During his initial route, the wraiths die from one powerball and when they hit you 4 times while you have Defensive Ball Curl up. This means that where he goes slow in the jungle, is made up by the smaller camps.)
The staple of Rammus's jungling, is the Ganks. Unless they have some type of invulnerability or the ability to flash and run fast, Rammus's ganks are unescapeable, especially with the extra damage from Tremors.
The skill sequence is Powerball--> Puncturing Taunt--> Defensive Ball Curl
With the damage from your teammate, youve got a guaranteed kill on someone, unless they're a tank with early health or armor items.
There are different types of ganks you can perform when moving in on the enemy, and you should decide on this before you actually show yourself. The types of ganks are as follows:
Flashing, no nothing.
Alistar will have his ult up and cc you away, sometimes middle lane Lux can trap and slow you, ALL the time Gangplank will eat oranges and it's k. These are all examples of when you'll want to scare gank. Scare Ganks are when you want to make your presence known. Make the other team know you dont play around, or even when you fail a gank, you can make them think "This Rammus is harmless". The main goal is to make it so that the opponent alway has in the back of their mind that you may be there.
Just Kill'em Ganks
This ones the most obvious and most common one. During these ganks, you're giving your all. You're flashing to powerball in front of them, tower diving, going all out. You NEED the opponent to die, even if its at the cost of your own life. This is mainly to put the lane you ganked ahead of the opponent's. This is what you want to do the most, because it forces the enemy to waste their money on wards, messing up their chance to get what item they want on their first time back. If they dont ward, their loss, keep it up and they'll be feeling bad at life.
This video, by stonewall008, shows a standard day in the jungle for Rammus.
Keep in mind that he had no leash in this video, and if you have a leash, you can use less potions and complete a lot more jungle camps and ganking if you do recieve a leash. If all of the lanes are ungankable (Pushed or just way too weak), it's better to go back and buy whatever you feel like.
It is very important that you get protected from the team, because without blue you cannot jungle.
- Rammus can defeat wolves before starting Blue, so just start at them. Having teammates do damage to the wolves, but not killing them, will save you some health to do whatever.
-Blue Buff, pop a potion right before hitting the golem (Get protected from solotop and mid, or bottom and mid. Blue is important.)
- Powerball into the wraiths, Defensive Ball Curl, and pop another potion.
-Back to wolves
-Repeat this skill pattern with the Red Buff, then golems.
-Go back and clear wolves and wraiths, you can repeat the route-Wolves, Wraiths, Golems-until you can't jungle anymore AND/OR gank lanes.
-Always make sure you're doing something, don't wait for 2 minutes in brush for the enemy to get in position to gank them. Keep jungling, Keep roaming, Keep Ganking. Just dont stop.
-Use the opposite jungle to your will if there is no enemy jungler.If there is,ward your own. Warding the enemy jungle allows you to gank them with teammates however.
Thanks for reading my guide, and I hope you've learned something from seeing it (Unless of course you skimmed through it, or came for the build alone.) Either way, I worked hard on it, and I'm eager to hear your honest opinions!