Rammus Build Guide by rrrrookie
Not Updated For Current Season
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A nice final build
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.
Intro & Brief Rammus History
[*] Good day to you kind sir.
About Me (rrrrookie) and my Guide
Rammus is by far my favorite champ to play. From season 1 through season 4 he has never gotten old. I played my very first LoL game as Rammus and my love for the guy has grown ever since. I have learned quite a few tricks and wish to share those and my Rammus experience with the world.
You are going to find out very quickly that this is not the flashiest guide (I am more of a statistics and content guy than a photoshopper / .jpger). I am going to lay down nothing but truths and reality on you. The focus is on making Rammus as effective as possible in ranked play, with little to no focus on alternate Rammus builds (support, AP, lane, etc).
History of Rammus
Season 1 and early season 2 Rammus was very OP. He combined great survivability Defensive Ball Curl with fantastic utility Powerball. He was one of the most common choices to ban. Of course that didn't stop me from playing Rammus every chance I got!
Season 2 Riot recognized the OP and slammed Rammus with the nerf hammer. They lowered the damage and ratio on Defensive Ball Curl. Jungling suddenly became very difficult. I could not survive for long in the jungle without going back to base. Counter jungling would throw my game all off. I am ashamed to say that I abandoned Rammus during these times. I am not proud of it.
Season 3 brought about new changes to jungling. The new items and revised stats on camp creeps made Rammus viable again! These changes are holding through the season 4 preseason. To make matters even better, he is rarely played or banned. This gives Rammus a little bit of what I like to call the 'galio factor', which means people struggle against him becuase they never see him and do not fully understand what he is capable of. We are free to play Rammus at will : )
Pros / Cons
- Excellent against AD heavy teams! Stack armor and health and let your passive work for you!
- Great escapability with powerball. Also makes Rammus a great chaser.
- Cool skins
- 'Galio factor' (see history of rammus above)
- Ultimate move has a short cooldown and can bring towers down quickly
- The other team will complain about the length of Rammus' taunt
- Vulnerable against teams with a lot of AP damage. Building magic resist rather than armor is moving away from his abilities which scale from armor and prevents the player from recognizing Rammus' full potential.
- Early counter jungling can set him back big time. When I am not effective with Rammus it is becuase I got behind early due to hard counter jungling.
- The other team will complain about the length of Rammus' taunt
Rammus should use the standard 0/21/9 set of masteries. The defense tree is crucial to tanking and jungling, and the 9 utility points get you up to Runic Affinity .
Recovery 3/3 - Good for early game jungle sustain
Enchanted Armor 2/2 - Stacking armor is important and MR doesn't hurt either
Tough Skin 2/2 - Taking Reduced damage from neutral monsters is very important. This is what keeps Rammus in the jungle and not back at base, especially in the early game
Bladed Armor 1/1 - Returning damage to neutrals is huge, especialy because it is doing aoe damage
Oppression 1/1 - the reason you play Rammus is to taunt; this helps you survive the taunt
Veteran Scars 3/3 - Health is crucial to tanking
Juggernaut 1/1 - Health is crucial to tanking
Hardiness 3/3 - 5 bonus armor is great for early game survivability and gives 1.25 AD with Spiked Shell
Perseverance 3/3 - bonus health regen good for jungle survivability
Reinforced Armor 1/1 - playing against heavy AD you are sure to be crit
Second Wind 1/1 - great mastery for close call situations
Legendary Guardian 1/1 - essential for tanking
Fleet of Foot 3/3 - better movement in the jungle; stacks with Powerball
Meditation 3/3 - Starting with the second I give all blues to the ap carry so this is essential
Strength of Spirit 1/1 - a little health regen is better than none
Alchemist 1/1 - longer potion duration is more healing from potions. Nuff said
Runic Affinity 1/1 - great for early game when you pick up both buffs. Absolutely essential
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Armor
I employ the Greater Mark of Attack Damage to hasten my early game jungle clearing. Combined with Spiked Shell passive I have a significant amount of early game AD. One alternative is Greater Mark of Attack Speed which could synergize with Hunter's Machete passive.
Using Greater Seal of Armor is a no brainer. These give the most armor of any glyph, mark, or seal. Much better than Greater Seal of Scaling Armor as Rammus needs early jungle survivability.
While magic resist ordinarily is not essential to early game jungling, it can have great importance as the game progresses to team fights. That is why I perfer Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist to Greater Glyph of Magic Resist. If you will be ganking mid a lot or having high early stats makes you feel better, feel free to go with the strait up MR.
I love my Greater Quintessence of Armor x3 as I feel they are what makes me the beast I am even before level 6. Level 1 I have 57 total armor. That is 57 * .25 = 14.25 bonus AD from armor for those of you keeping track at home. While I have experimented around (no I did not kiss any guys) and perfer 3 armor quints, I believe the following options are viable for Rammus as well:
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed - excellent for moving through the jungle quickly. Good synergy with Ghost and Powerball
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage - high attack damage could assist in some early game counter jungling
Smite is obviously essential to jungling. I will use it for blue in the beginning, on the wraiths when it comes off cooldown, and a third time at red after I have killed the golem camp. From there on out you want to use it as much as you can for quicker jungling, but always try to keep it up if you anticipate either team trying for dragon or baron soon.
You know by now I perfer Ghost over Flash. In addition to having a shorter cooldown, ghost synergizes better with Rammus' other abilities. I can pop Ghost + Powerball and reach a skirmish quicker than any champ which doesn't have a global teleport. Also the combination is great for ganks. I mention in this guide several times that even if the river bushes are warded I can activate the Ghost + Powerball combination before I get into the vision of the ward and can be coming in so hot that they do not have time to retreat to their tower without avoiding a Puncturing Taunt.
Other Viable Spells
Flash can be a viable summoner spell for jungle Rammus and I perfer it over Ghost when playing the top lane. Obviously the spell is great for escapes and catching enemies by surprise. For laning, I perfer it over Ghost because it brings the element of surprise as well as the ability to avoid a gank.
I like to use Exhaust over Ignite when playing in the top lane. Just personal preference. Also a viable jungling spells. Use it while Puncturing Taunt is on cooldown, and your enemy will not be able to escape your Tremors and melee attacks.
Good pick for top lane, does not make much sense for jungler. Remember that Rammus carry does not win many games like a fed AP or AD carry can.
Heal maybe only defendable pick out of this group
Teleport okay actually this is a decent pick too. Usable top and jungle for the Rammus who enjoys making plays
Clarity pls no
My skill progression is fairly standard for jungle Rammus. The only time I will deviate from this order is if I am going for the level three gank, in which I will take
at level 3 rather than upgrade my Defensive Ball Curl.
No Spiked Shell does not mean that it is a shield that is spiked like a drink gets spiked at party (I guess we will just have to get laid the old fashioned way).
Spiked shell is one of my favorite passives. I think I get a little carried away stacking armor just becuase I enjoy seeing how much free attack damage I can get. With Seal of Armor Quintessence of Armor this passive provides some good attack damage which makes early jungle clearing quicker. Not to mention every level up gives scaling armor so you attack damage will be scaling even more.
No this is not the lottery powerball; this is even better! (and I really love gambling) Powerball is what makes Rammus very frustrating to play against, but it is also a move that separates the pros from the joes. Thus I will give some tips on how to make the most of each powerball:
- Jungling: Powerball is great for clearing the jungle quicly. I use powerball to get from one camp to the next. Try to time it so that you get to the camp near the end of powerball and hit all the creeps in the camp
- Ganking: Try to use it before you run by a known ward location. That way even if they see you coming they may not have time to get back quick enough. Knock them AWAY from the tower. This will allow you and your friends to get in a few extra shots.
- With blue buff use powerball constantly to fly around the map
- WHENEVER POSSIBLE KNOCK PEOPLE AWAY FROM WHERE THEY ARE TRYING TO GO. If you are unable to it is okay because the knock will still slow people down and you will have more than enough time to lay a taunt.
- Use with Ghost!!. The reason you picked ghost is so that you can use it with powerball. A lot of LoL is being in the right place at the right time and the Ghost + Powerball combination can get you there. Also you can blow by ward during the lane phase and catch people before they are able to react.
- Obviously the move has great chasing and escaping potential.
Defensive Ball Curl
- Jungling: Pop this move as soon as you start fighting a camp. I will focus melee attacks on the big creep and let Defensive Ball Curl take care of his little friends.
- Notice the Armor and Magic Resist buff on spiked shield. 40/60/80/100/120 Wow! Having some built in MR from Defensive Ball Curl could allow you to avoid building a MR item and stick to building the fun stuff (armor, health and armor).
- Remember that the armor bonus from this move will work with Spiked Shell so the offensive bonus from the move extends beyond the damage return.
- Great synergy with Puncturing Taunt. Pop this right before you taunt the enemy for maximum return on damage from their melee attacks.
Puncturing Taunt is what makes Rammus valuable in team fights. Puncturing Taunt allows Rammus to tie up the opposing ADC for several seconds while doing considerable damage with Defensive Ball Curl and Thornmail.
- Be sure to always activate Defensive Ball Curl before taunting an opponent to minimize damage received and maximize damage dealt.
- In a team fight Rammus can either taunt a carry to allow considerable damage to be done or to peel.
- I love to catch someone under my tower with Puncturing Taunt. If the turret isn't already shooting at them the taunt will cause them to draw agro. Even if they are not under the turret you can pull them under : )
- Very little is more rewarding than saving taunt until a Tryndamere uses its ult. You can waste almost the entire ult and protect your teamates from crits.
Like most of Rammus' moves, Tremors is very unique. It does AP aoe damage around Rammus for a period of time. Here are some tips for making the most of Tremors:
- The best part about Tremors is the damage it does to towers. Rank 3 tremors can take a tower down quite quickly. I have never attempted the feat myself, but I am confident a full build Rammus could solo a turret with his ult. ALWAYS activate when you are attacking a tower, the damage is like having another summoner attacking the tower with you! (be weary of enemy champions getting in your Tremors because the tower will begin to focus you)
- GANKING: For ganks I will pop Tremors before I get to my target. Using it will not break Powerball, so I will activate as soon as I get near my target. It is common that people will take unconventional angles to attempt to avoid being hit by Powerball, but Tremors can begin to deal damage as soon as you get near them.
- AP: The strong AP ratio makes AP items very tempting for some Rammus players. Lots of players like Rylai's Crystal Scepter or Abyssal Scepter because they provide some tankiness in addition to ap damage. I will go into AP rammus more later, but I usually perfer a Maw of Malmortius or Trinity Force if I am going to pick up a late game damage item.
- Relative to other champions, Tremors has a very short cooldown. If I am bringing down a blue or red buff and know I am going back to base immediately after, I will oftern use Tremors to quickly bring down the camp. With CDR from Spirit of the Ancient Golem, you should never hesitate to pop your ult.
My personal preference is to get Ninja Tabi, however, you cannot deny the utility of Boots of Mobility. If I am playing an AD heavy team and my teammates are holding their own in their lanes, Ninja Tabi is my preferred choice. The armor gives survivability and a small amount of AD which will allow for quicker jungle clearing.
If one or more of my lanes are struggling then I will pick Boots of Mobility. That way Rammus can provide support to lanes in need and still be able to get to some jungle camps. Many Rammus players swear by Boots of Mobility due to the excellent synergy with Powerball. The choice is yours, I don't think you can go wrong either way.
How can Rammus go wrong with boots? Easy. I believe Mercury's Treads are a poor pick for Rammus. The tenacity is useless because you will already get it from Spirit of the Ancient Golem. If the other team wants to focus Rammus with their CC moves then more power to them. Finally you generally do not need MR early in the game as a jungler.
While it certianly is not flashy, Spirit of the Ancient Golem is the most essential item for jungle rammus. It is typically my first finished item (excluding boots). The new gold bonus from killing the large critter at each camp makes it important to get this item as early as possible. 30% bonus damage to monsters syngergizes well with Defensive Ball Curl. I like cooldown reduction on rammus as it means more taunts and powerballs, and because Tremors has so many uses the more you can fit into a game the merrier.
Oh thronmail how do I count all the ways I love you.
- 100 armor = 25 attack damage thanks to Spiked Shell
- Passive works great with taunt. The thornmail passive stacks on top of Defensive Ball Curl and the armor scales with Defensive Ball Curl.
- Fairly cheap at 2200 gold. I usually get this item after Spirit of the Ancient Golem unless the opposing AP carry is getting out of control
As said above, I usually make this my second finished item behind Spirit of the Ancient Golem, which should provide enough health so that I can make it into midgame without getting other health items. Obviously lack of health in the early/midggame is the weakness with this apprach. If health is an issue I will pick up a Giant's Belt before I finish my Thornmail.
This item is fun. Period. I love finishing Sunfire Cape third. Build Giant's Belt first as total health will be a weakness after building Thornmail. The passive synergizes well with Puncturing Taunt (2.25 second taunt * 40 damage per second = 90 guarunteed damage but obviously it will be more than that). Not to mention the passive will stack with Tremors in aoe ap damage. Thats right, we can AOE em down Amumu style.
I know people like to build randuin's oden over Sunfire Cape for Rammus and I cannot understand why! Below I will get into items I do not like for Rammus and I will discuss more.
Great support item. I often will get this instead of sunfire cape. I think many will argue that a team player should get Locket of the Iron Solari over Sunfire Cape every time, but you should give the locket extra consideration if: You are having a strong start but your teamates are not (rammus will not carry a team to victory), or your support is not building a locket of its own.
Other fun items
The following items can be very useful in certain situations or just flat out fun to use!
Great health and health regin. Gives great sustainability. Combined with Thornmail and you will have the ultimate armor item and the ultimate health item. A great alternative to Sunfire Cape.
I have to mention Atma's Impaler at the same time as Warmog's Armor. The synergy is excellent! You get 1000 * 1.5% = 15 bonus AD from Warmog's Armor alone with Atma's Impaler (not to mention the 45 * 25% = 11.25 AD from the armor bonus). At 3k health Rammus will get 3000 * 1.5% = 45 bonus attack damage. This passive is awesome becuase items like Sunfire Cape will give Rammus bonus AD from its armor and health!
Fun item, great when you already have a strong base of health. I love items and moves that I know will agitate my opponents, and this is high on the list. It has, however, been made more expensive and perhaps lost some viability. I think Guardian Angel is best fit for ad carries.
Arguably the best damage item for Rammus. If you have amassed armor and health, Maw of Malmortius is a perfect compliment to your existing items. Magic resist to protect from the ap carry, and the AD can get me to almost 300 AD usually. The best part is the passive, which could cause your opponents to make themselves vulnerable.
With health and MR, this is a good tank item. The passive can protect you from spells. I like to use this when playing against a Teemo, as the passive will eat a mushroom.
The tri force is my guilty pleasure as a Rammus player. Almost all the stats help him in one way or another. I think the spellblade passive synergizes well with Rammus' play style, as a good player should be constantly using moves and attacking down an opponent. With Spiked Shell Rammus could have 300 AD so a lucky crit + spellblade could dish out a 1k melee hit.
Iceborn Gauntlet may be an ever better alternative to Trinity Force. In addition to providing armor, it is slightly cheaper. The passive is even better for Rammus as well! After each time you use an ability his next attack will slow your opponenet. Finally, ability power and cooldown reduct are great for Tremors and Powerball. Every stat provided on this item will help make Rammus that much more effective.
With health and a good passive, this item can be an alternative to Sunfire Cape or Warmog's Armor. Between the passive on this item and Puncturing Taunt, no one will escape you.
Wit's End is both affordable and effective. The magic damage is nice, and the passive will work well with Tremors. Overall I perfer the Maw of Malmortius, which will provide more reliable tankiness from AP damage. If you are desperate then the low cost could allow you to buy a quick Wit's End while trading it for a Maw of Malmortius later.
Items to avoid
I am going to talk about Frozen Heart and Randuin's Omen together. Both are great tank items, with the ability to slow enemies and their attacks. I do not like them for Rammus. Lower enemy attack speed = less hits on Rammus = less damage returned from Thornmail and Defensive Ball Curl. Stick to your Sunfire Cape and Locket of the Iron Solari for health and armor needs.
In da jungle
In da jungle da mighty jungle the enemy better not sleep on rammus tonight.
Okay I don't think I need to baby your through each step of the jungling route with pictures and when to pop your health potions because I know you are a big boy now. If you need a refresher on the basics of jungling refer to this guide. My advice is just to stay above 75% health through the use of pots. Especially against a strong counter jungler champ such as Lee Sin or Xin Zhao.
1. Ancient Golem Always start blue. With the new, shortened cooldown on Smite there is no need to have a smiteless blue. I typically give my midlaner the remained of all blue buffs unless they are not mana reliant or I am struggling.
2. Wolf Camp Always go wolf camp second. As usual, Powerball into the camp
3. Wraiths Next you will want to go to the wraiths. Rammus can take down this camp very quickly with Defensive Ball Curl aoe damage.
4. Golems After wraiths go for the golems killing them should get you to level 3 (assuming your teamates didn't kill anything at blue buff). If you are worried about the enemy taking your red buff you may way to use your Warding Totem so you have eyes on the camp while killing golems. Now this is when things gets interesting:
5.a. If you see an opprotunity to gank the lane right next to the golem camp you just killed, take Puncturing Taunt and make your move. Sometimes if the lane is struggling I will gank just to help even the playing field. From there you can move back to Ancient Lizard red buff guy
5.b. If ganking is not a good option, take the second level of Defensive Ball Curl. The defense and damage return bonuses will make taking red buff easy, breazy & beautiful (like those Drew Barymore commercials SO MY GIRLFRIEND MAKES ME WATCH BRAVO WHAT IS IT TO YOU). Go strait to Ancient Lizard red buff guy.
6. With your red buff you will probably be one camp away from 4. If the Wraiths are not back yet then great! You are a quick jungler. Pat yourself on the back and go to the wraith camp anyway because they will be respawning within a few seconds.
From here I shall turn you loose. It is your responsibility to keep up with what is going on in each lane so that you can make the most of your precious time in the jungle. This is something that cannot be taught, but comes with experience in the jungle. Do not hesitate to temporarily abandon your jungle farm to help out a lane in need.
Teamwork makes the dream work. Nuff said.
JK more is to be said:
During lane phase always be watching what is happening in each lane. In addition to seeing ganking opportunities you must recognize players who are struggling. These are the lanes in which you should give extra attention to. Often I will attack a group of creeps, pop my shield, and while Rammus does his work I will do mine by checking in on each lane.
Team fights as Rammus are much fun! Rammus is most effective when he crashes in and causes as much havoc as possible. Pop your ult and run through everyone! Generally I will relentlessly pursue the opposing ADC until I can either taunt it or force them to run away from the battle. DO NOT keep chasing. If the adc has run away or is happy attacking you from a distance, let them do so and go after a different carry.
Peel. Rammus has great peel capabilities as well. Enemies may be taunted off of a carry. Additionally, powerball may be used to knock them in the opposite direction, buying your carries precious seconds. Rammus is as effective of a peeler as he is a crasher. It is up to you to recognize the situation and do what is best for your team.
How much armor is too much?????
LOL. No such thing as too much armor, right?!?! Wrong!
While armor is Rammus' primary stat, there is a limit to how much is useful. Below is a chart showing how much physical damage reduction you can get with a certain amount of armor. The X axis is total armor, and the Y axis is the decimal of how much incoming physical damage will be blocked by armor.
There is a 'loose' formula that can tell us our expected damage reduction for a given amount of armor. (NOTE: this formula does not take into consideration the 80% damage reduction cap thus it is 'loose')
Damage Reduction = Total Armor / (100 + Total Armor)
0 armor would give (0 / ( 100 + 0 )) = 0 % damage reduction
50 armor would give (50 / ( 100 + 50 )) = 33.33 % damage reduction
100 armor would give (100 / ( 100 + 100 )) = 50 % damage reduction
250 armor would give (250 / ( 100 + 250 )) = 71.43 % damage reduction
300 armor would give (300 / ( 100 + 300 )) = 75 % damage reduction
400 armor would give (400 / ( 100 + 400 )) = 80 % damage reduction (this number is incorrect due to 80% cap)
A few takeaways:
- Damage reduction caps at 80%. This tells us that there certainly is a point where we should stop building armor. But where?
- I say at around 300 armor. Damage reduction is going to be at 75%, and it isn't going to get much better. You will have 300 * .25 = 75 bonus damage from armor. That is more than Infinity Edge! You will be able to tank towers no problem, including the last two at once!
- 300 is easily obtainable. Rammus will have 85.4 base armor at level 18. Add in 100 from Thornmail, 25 from Ninja Tabi, 25.47 if you mimic my runes and masteries, and 45 from Sunfire Cape, and you will have 255.87 armor. The best part is that you still have 3 open item slots!
Obviously, it is up to you to decide where you will cap your armor. I just hope I have provided the tools to assist you in making an educated decision.
Alternate Rammus builds
Despite what you may think, lane Rammus is quite viable. I probably play lane Rammus in 10% of my my Rammus ranked games. I believe he is best used against AD champs that rely on using auto attacks, and may have a high attack speed. Examples include Tryndamere, Jax, Volibear, Darius, Master Yi, etc. While I am confident in my top rammus abilities, lets just say I am not going to pull it out of my hat in a promotion match, unless I am facing a Tryndamere.
For me, maintaining mana is the most difficult part of lanaing. Try not to use Powerball unless it is essential, as that is the most mana intensive move. Stick to your Defensive Ball Curl + Puncturing Taunt combination to try to win melee trade offs. Your goal is to get tanky enough so that you may win all tradeoffs and zone your opponent out.
If you have read the entire guide until now then you understand that I am not a huge fan of AP Rammus. **** it, if you really want to learn how to play AP then go read one of those other garbage-time rammus guides.
I hope the information above can make you a better player. This guide has been built on years of experience and LoL threorycraft. You may contact me here in mobafire or in game. My LoL name is rrrrookie.
I want to hear back from other Rammus players. If something in this guide really worked for you and made you a better player; I would love to hear about it! Also if you have a way I can improve my Rammus build please do not hesistate to let me know! League of Legends is a massive community, but when people help each other out it feels like we are all neighbors. Do not hesitate to contact me at the above info or leave a comment!
Lastly, if you liked my review or me and want to support me in getting drunk at bars, gambling, or buying teemo skins, do not hesitate to donate some bitcoin to my plight at the address below. If you are not familiar with cryptocurrencies currencies I recommend you check it out. Heck if you just want to talk about cryptocurrencies message me. Still waiting for you to begin accepting Bitcoin Riot : )