Build Guide by tkspen
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 just a guide I made to give players an effective Rammus build, and play style. I have developed it over playing Rammus for a while, and by now almost all of my games played with Rammus end up with wins.
Rammus is actually a very flexible character, and your build varies a lot, depending on who you are up against. I hope that through my guide you can play Rammus as an effective tank (meaning he will be literally unkillable) and I hope that my build and play style works for you all as well.
*Note* There is nothing about jungling Rammus here. Rammus is certainly not a jungler and even in late game he is a slow jungler. And if you want to play Rammus as a player who gets lots of kills, this guide is not suitable for you as Rammus is a tank, and the purpose of a tank is to survive, and assist your team in killing enemy champions; meaning that you are going to end up with a lot of assists and not so many kills, and preferably not so many deaths as well. Some people say Rammus is a carry tank, and he can get many kills. I agree, however I only get the kills if it comes to me. I don't purposely try to aim for kills. Thats what your main DPS/AP carry should do.
In my opinion, your runes affect your gameplay in a very significant way. Some people give cooldown reduction runes, mana regen runes and armor/magic penetration runes, but I don't really like any of them. You are a tank, get tank runes.
Rammus' base armor is higher than magic resist. Therefore, I focus my Seal's on Armor, and focus my Glyph's on Magic Resist and split the Mark's into 3 Armor Marks and 6 Magic Resist Marks.
Greater Mark of Resilience
I get 3 of these, because it gives the slight armor boost.
Greater Mark of Warding
I finish off my Marks with these, since each one gives almost 1 more Magic Resist, and it gives a very large Magic Resist boost in the end.
Greater Seal of Resilience
All 9 of my Seal's are Seal's of Resilience, as I need the armor boost as well as focusing on increasing my magic resist.
Greater Glyph of Warding
I choose to have all my Glyph's as magic resist Glyph's as I need to compensate for the fact that my base armor is higher than my magic resist. Most enemies you play with deal magic damage, and it is essential to have magic resist as a tank, therefore grabbing magic resist runes to boost your base magic resist is an essential.
Greater Quintessence of Fortitude
I have flat health quintessences. Without these, Rammus is extremely squishy early game, and before I got these I always run low on health during early laning. After I got these Quintessences, and have a Doran's Shield my base health is greatly increased and even in early game I am very 'tankish'
Basic mastery selections for a tank. There really isn't much to explain. Do not waste points in Offense, you dont need that slight damage boost.
The thing that makes you most annoying is your Puncturing Taunt . At level 5, the taunted champion is useless for 3 seconds, and a lot can be done in a matter of 3 seconds. This is why your first aim is to max out your Puncturing Taunt.
Powerball and Defensive Ball Curl should be leveled up on par with each other, meaning 1 point on one and one point on the other. Sometimtes if you want more initial damage output, then you can upgrade your Powerball first, but if you want more survivability, you can level your Defensive Ball Curl first.
I personally choose Flash
Flash because it is an escape mechanism, chasing mechanism and an initiating mechanism. Rammus can utilize what I call "Flash Roll", which is an excellent surprise initiate technique. Flash can also be used to chase enemies down, or to escape.
Ghost because it gives that extra speed boost. It is excellent when you mix Ghost with Powerball. No enemies can escape, it's as simple as that. Ghost is also a good escaping spell when you are in the middle of everything and you feel as if you have done your job and/or almost dead.
Teleport People say it is a must for a tank. I say it isn't a must for Rammus. It is a spell that can be considered, if your teammates really insist on having a teleport. You can swap out Ghost for it.
Ignite You're not getting your kill, even if you get KSed by your teammate, it's okay. You can get fed on assists, let your AD carry get fed on their kills. Don't bother wasting a spell on ignite.
Exhaust You don't need to slow people. You can catch up to anybody with your powerball and your 3 second taunt is enough time for the enemy champion to get killed.
Cleanse You're a tank, you can take a few slows and stuns and silences. Why waste a spell like that?
Fortify It's a nice spell for a tank, if you really do feel the need of a Fortify, then get it instead of Ghost.
Clarity Some may say Rammus has mana problems, but if you dont use your spells stupidly you absolutely have no mana problems at all. You don't need to waste a spell like that, especially in late game where you have no mana problems at all, it will be a wasted spell.
Spells like Rally, Clairvoyance, Revive, Smite and others I haven't mentioned are the ones I never will consider for Rammus. Those are the ones you should never even touch if you are playing Rammus.
As I mentioned earlier on in the guide, Rammus' item selection is extremely flexible and really depends on the enemy team buildup. The item selection I put on top is just a core build.
However, you should always start off with a Doran's Shield
Only ever against a full AP team should you start off with a Null-Magic Mantle and some Health Potions . If the enemy team is not full AP, just stick with your Doran's Shield. It gives health boost, armor and health regen. Once you get a little low, just tower hug and regen a bit and you'll be fine. The problem with the Null-Magic Mantle starting item is that once you run out of health pots, you need to go back to base if you run low on health, and you miss out on a lot of EXP.
For your boots, you have 2 choices. Either Mercury's Treads , or Ninja Tabi . If you feel like you need the armor, then go Ninja Tabi. If you need the slight Magic Resist boost and less duration on slows and stuns, go Mercury Treads. It is entirely up to you.
Below I will illustrate 3 different builds. One is an enemy team with a balance of DPS, AD and AP, the other one is an enemy team heavily based on DPS/AD and the last one is heavily AP based.
*Note* The items are listed in purchase order. For Magic Resist items, I usually get Negatron Cloak first, before anything else.
Balanced Enemy Team
*Sell Doran's Shield* Guardian Angel
DPS/AD Heavy Team
Aegis of the Legion
*Sell Doran's Shield* Guardian Angel
AP Heavy Team
Doran's Shield or Null-Magic Mantle
Force of Nature
Aegis of the Legion
*Sell Doran's Shield* Sunfire Cape
*Note* You can swap around the item order after your 4th item if you feel like you want to get Guardian Angel earlier on, it is entirely up to you. After your 4th item you should already be hard to kill, which gives you the freedom the purchase whatever you feel like.
Never get Warmog's Armor for Rammus. Yes I know it gives a huge health boost and you feel really good about yourself when you see so many bars on your health bar. But it is useless on Rammus. He is not a health tank. Rammus is unkillable because his armor and magic resist is super high. A fed enemy champion can shred down your Warmog's in no time if you have no armor or magic resist. Therefore it is pointless.
Something fun: If your team is really owning the opposition, and you are fed, and the enemy team cannot kill you anymore, and they are not surrendering, get a Rabadon's Deathcap . It is only for fun, your Tremors melts people down in seconds. But do not get it unless it is a definite win for you.
Gameplay (Early, Mid, Late)
When you start, take top or bottom lane. Press Q when your in the fountainn so you get Powerball and by the time you exit the fountain you already get your mana back, and you get a speed boost. This action should be performed everytime you exit the fountain.
Unless your laning partner has a skillshot he/she can send into the brush, you are going to have to Powerball in to 'facecheck'. If you do manage to hit someone, you and your partner should be doing everything you can to target the more frail enemy champion. As your Powerball is on cooldown, you can only auto-attack, and hope that you end up getting first blood. If you run into 2 rather intimidating champions, and you know that your laning partner cannot take first blood, then just back off back into your turret.
You should be aiming for minions with around 10-15% health left, and auto-attack them once to get the last hit. If you feel that there are a lot of minions gathering up in a small circle, you can go into the middle of them and Powerball, just to get a few last hits, and spread them out. Never in early game continuously use Defensive Ball Curl to get that extra damage to minions. It is a waste of mana, and there is no point in doing so. Wait till the creeps are low, and auto-attack it once.
In mid to late game, when you need to clear out a lane of a huge buildup of minions, it is alright to use Tremors and clear it. Tremors has a relatively low cooldown, therefore you can use it to clear minion waves if you must.
Early Game Gameplay
One important thing. Do not waste spells. Early game, Rammus' mana consumption is very high. Wasting your spells may mean that when you truly engage in combat, you might not have enough mana to use your combo, which may result in your and your teammates dying.
Powerball This is your main initiating offensive skill. You can use it to get a few last hits, or use it as an escape mechanism. Otherwise just don't use the spell for any other purpose.When you're on the verge of death, and clearly cannot overpower the opposition, just simply Powerball away. Rammus is sometimes an *******, since you can just roll away when you're low, and nobody will be able to catch you.
Defensive Ball Curl Yes this spell gives you increase stats and makes you hit a little harder, but wasting it on farming minions is pointless. Your combo really needs your Defensive Ball Curl, so there is no point wasting it early game. Don't panic when people harass you and suddenly spam W. You're a tank, you can take a few harasses, no problem. Activate it when you feel as if the enemy champion is about to kill you.
Puncturing Taunt Early game, this is your best spell. By level 5, your Taunt should already last for 2 seconds. If the enemy champion gets too close to your turret, taunt them. Get tower aggro on them and half their health bar will be gone. This is a nice harassing tool, as it only uses 1 spell, and does a lot of damage. Use your Taunt to save teammates as well, if your laning partner is getting chased down, Taunt the chaser to give time for your teammate to run away.
By Level 6, you would have your Ultimate, and hopefully so does your laning partner. The ideal situation, is that an enemy champion is at around 2/3 of its health and that your laning partner can deal high burst. What you do then is hide in a brush, wait for the enemy champion to overextend or check the brush. If he/she overextends, start rolling inside the brush. When your roll reaches about half of its speed start rolling out, and Flash into the opponent. This technique is what I call 'Flash Roll'. The enemy champion should be very surprised and scared by now, and all you do is Taunt, Ultimate, Defensive Ball Curl and let your laning partner do the remaining damage. Chase the champion down and he/she does not die. BUT towerdive only if you have 2/3 or more health. If the enemy champion checks your brush, your combo is similar but without the usage of Flash.
So your basic combo is
Powerball (+ Flash)---> Taunt ---> Tremors ---> Defensive Ball Curl
During Mid-Game, you can also take mid for a while if your mid champion needs to go back. You should be running up and down constantly to gank enemy champions. Your main purpose is to prevent the enemy champion from attacking your teams' main source of damage output.
Late Game Gameplay
During late game, you are the one that initiates the teamfights. You have 2 options. You can Powerball directly into the enemy team, with your team following you, or you can go around and hit them from the back, and at the same time your team initiates as well. Your combo is the same, but Taunt their main carry/main source of damage output. Or Taunt the enemy champions with channeled Ultimates i.e. Katarina, Nunu, Malzahar, Warwick, Urgot etc. This will then cancel their ultimate, and will cause your team to suffer from a lot less damage. If you are pushing very well, and the game looks very good for your team, don't be afraid to towerdive and Taunt an enemy champion out, giving your team another free kill. It is your job to make sure your team comes out of everything alive. You should be constantly aware of what's going on. If the team fight spreads out and individuals are fighting each other, you should help your teammate facing the most threatening enemy champion. If your team is pushing, and is suddenly chased by 3 or 4 enemy champions and you dont have enough firepower to kill them, tell your teammates to run away, and roll into the punch of enemy champions. That slows them, gives your teammates more time to escape, and Taunt one of the enemy champions so it does not follow your teammates. The chances are, you are so tank that even they cant kill you fast enough and you can Flash or Ghost away after you've bought your teammates some time.
Team work is essential for Rammus. There is no point running into a mob of 5 enemy champions when only 1 or 2 of your friendly ones follow. Make sure your team knows exactly what you are going to do and that they are going to help you. You must be at the centre of everything happening. Without a tank, your team's team fights are useless.
With regards to teamwork, there is something else I need to add. Your ultimate Tremors can be used to take down Towers, Inhibitors and the Nexus. If you have a relatively high amount of health (1500+), you can tell your main DPS teammate to come help you and you can tank the tower. By activating Defensive Ball Curl and activating your Ultimate, you and your DPS teammate can take down the tower in no time.
So there you have it, my way of playing Rammus. He's a very flexible character, and is really unkillable late game. If you're doing bad, it may take some time to get fed. But to be honest, if your main DPS/AP carry is fed as well as you are, your team has already won the game.
I would strongly not recommend jungling Rammus', as he is slow, and he serves a much better purpose when he is laning. But if you wish to jungle during Mid to Late game where nothing much is happening, simply roll into a Monster, and activate your Defensive Ball Curl and Taunt the Monster. It takes a relatively long time to get the stronger Monsters with buffs but things like Wraiths, Wolves and Small Golems will take you approximately 10 seconds.
So goodluck to all you people who read my guide, hope you know a bit more about how Rammus works and can play him better. A good Rammus is not supposed to die, not get a lot of kills and get hell lot of assists.
If you have any questions feel free to ask me, hopefully I will continue to update the guide to make it even better, and thankyou for taking your time to read through this.
Have fun rolling!