Rammus Build Guide by Trojan Rabbit
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.
IS THE BOSS
Rammus is an age-old tank. He has been played since the beginning of time as an indestructable ball of mitigation. There are many very good rammus guides out there which show you how to play and build rammus, but I offer this guide and playstyle as an alternative damage-dealing tank. The main difference between this guide and another one is the role that you will play in the game. Whereas other rammmi may focus on support and protection, you will focus on tearing the enemy limb from limb. You will still be the main tank, but you will also be able to engage most anybody by the end of the game.
I bought rammus a long time ago in a galexy far, far away, and since then I have tried a variety of builds. This one works the best, almost always. It makes you less team-dependant, which is often a good thing in normal games. It alows you to tank to almost the same degree as any other rammus, and often even longer, if the other team isn't well-coordinated.
What Rammus Does: Pros/Cons
- Incredible mobility. Can get from point A to point B in no time flat.
- Deals great physical damage due to Spiked Shell
- Initiates by charging headlong into the enemy REALLY REALLY FAST
- One of the best damage soaks in-game
- Longest taunt in game
- Knockup + Slow from powerball
- AOE magic damage- more than Amumu
- Backdoors like a boss
- Shuts down mele AD better than 10x Jax
- 75% more awesome than the next leading competitor!
- Needs a lot of farm. Lots and lots of farm.
- Can't build armor against mages, making him weaker
- Less CC than some other tanks
- Easy to shut-down his early game farm
- No gapcloser
- Prone to being kited without a teammate or gunblade active, since he relies on being fast to catch up to enemies
Spiked Shell - A decent passive that will help you out massively late-game and a wee-bit early game. His damage also increases when he uses his Defensive Ball Curl, so remember that it is easier to last-hit minions while in this form, and that you will do more damage with DBC on.
Powerball - An amazing mobility move. This move is a knockup, a slow, map-control, and an escape mechanism. Use this to get in, get out, get around, and disrupt everything in teamfights. It even does good damage. You can use it to last- hit a group of minions if you have blue buff or a full mana bar.
Defensive Ball Curl - This is an ability many tanks would love. +150 armor and magic resist, so you can absorb damage like no other. Whenever somebody hits you, they take damage. If they hit you really fast (like master yi), they take damage really fast. AND DIE.
Puncturing Taunt - This is one hell of an ability. Firstly, its a 2.5 second disable. Any stun that lasts that long is enough to make people rage. In addition, it allows you to take control of the enemy and move him wherever you want. Cool, huh? Well, it also lowers their armor, so both you and your caries are going to be eating your victim for breakfast. Oh yeah, and remember how they take damage if they attack you? well, now they don't have any say in the matter.
Tremors - Decent ultimate for an AoE tank, especially when built with an abyssal scepter and a wee bit of AP. This will allow you to take entire teams' health down very quickly. Arguably more importantly, it also effects turrets, making Rammus a scary backdoor candidate.
This spell is very useful. You have no gap-closer. Flash. Problem solved.
OH NO, creep wave in the way! Flash Problem solved.
You're about to die in the middle of the enemy team.... Flash, Powerball, problem solved.
Seriously, this spell is great on almost anybody, but its far easier to capitalize on its usefulness when you have no built-in flash, but you do have a built-in ghost, which complements flash amazingly
Nobody else will want to take this, and it can prevent towers from falling both early game, and later when you're dead. It allows you to taunt in tower range and cause the tower to do double dps. Finally, the extra damage on your early game auto-attacks will help you farm better.
Ignite -- great for ensuring a kill, but best left to somebody who needs early kills more.
Exhaust -- You can only taunt one person, so this might save the life of your carry.
Clairvoyance -- Great spell, and can save your team big money on wards. You need at least one on your team
Teleport -- Be everywhere at once! This allows you to split push very fast. More mobility = better. Also allows you to get back to your lane fast
Smite -- Required for jungle rammus
Ghost -- You already have one, only yours is better. Use this in Dominion to get to the top point fast, but other than that, forget it.
Heal -- Good for early-game 1v1 battles, but you should be trying to avoid those. You won't need this if you're playing right, and moreover, you can recall and be back in your lane faster than anybody else
Clarity -- Same goes here as for heal. You won't need this to stay in your lane, and it's not even that important that you stay there.
Cleanse -- You WANT them to throw their stuns at you. You welcome them with open arms.
Revive -- Is really a great spell, but ... 9-minute cooldown? That sours the idea consierably. It's useless when its not available for use.
Absolutely useless spells
Rally -- No. Never. Well, good for trolling.
Anti-Physical build (dealing magic damage)
Anti-Physical build (dealing physical damage)
As a lane Rammus, you often have enough armor, but not enough hp. Doran's Sheild -- solved.
As a lane Rammus, you often need to sit in lane long enough farm a lot. Doran's Sheild -- solved.
Extra armor? Yes please.
Mercury treads are good on almost anybody. The tenacity will not only save you but secure your team kills, whereas the magic resist will help you defend against mages in the early levels of the game. As rammus, these are really the best boots.
- Ninja Tabi- You have a lot of armor. A LOT OF ARMOR. this item won't make any difference. Besides, since when did autoattacks hurt you more than your enemy? Don't dodge them.
- Berserker's Greaves- Don't. The attack speed can be nice, but... there are better choices. Always.
- Sorcerer's Shoes- These are actually a good item on rammus, but you really can't afford to lose the stats merc treads give you. Get these boots if they have no cc, and are all DPS heros (in which case, you're rammus, so you'll win no matter what you build)
- Boots of Mobility - You want speed? You want map control? You want to be everywhere and nowhere? Get these.
- Boots of Swiftness - Can also be nice, but if you want speed, go for boots of mobility. You'd be much better off zooming accross the map to backdoor and farm than having 10 extra movespeed in the middle of a fight.
- Ionian Boots of Lucidity - CDR is always nice. I guess you could take these if you want to focus on maximizing your taunt time. But me, you can get more out of other boots.
A sunfire cape has many uses. Firstly, this is your first opportunity to bulk up your relatively puny hp pool. Secondly you get armor, which rammus always loves. But most important is the damage that this item does. With a sunfire cape around your rather bulbous middle, you will find yourself farming items faster, and killing champions a whole lot faster as well.
At this point in the game, you find yourself destroying every master yi you can find (with the possible exception of a hypothetical master yi on your team), but having a lot of trouble taking down the enemy casters. Looks like magic resist is in order. Here are the items worth looking at.
- Banshee's Veil - Wait, don't you want the enemy to be wasting their spells on you? aren't you the tank? Why would you scare them off like that? Besides, what are mercury treads good for anyway? You could use the MR it gives you, and the health/mana is a nice bonus.
- Quicksilver Sash - This item gives a decent chunk of Magic Resist combined with an decent passive at a decent price. Rating: Decent. Remember to sell this late game though, since other items will max your stats better.
- Force of Nature - For those in dire need of Magic Resist. When one abyssal scepter is not enough. When 250 Magic Resist in ball curl is not enough. A force of nature gives you a whopping chunk of MR and a ton of health regen.
- Increases Thornmail damage
- Increases Sunfire Cape damage
- Increases Tremors damage
- Increases Defensive Ball Curl damage
- Increases Powerball damage
- Even makes Wriggle's Lantern procs and Hextech Gunblade active do more damage.
- You will be in your enemie's face. You WILL be in rage for the aura. Your casters will appreciate this; they often like to melt people's faces off. faster.
At this point we have health. we have magic resist. We also have more armor than anybody else. But as rammus, there's no such thing as enough armor. This item will make the physical DPS cry even harder than they might have cried otherwise. This item will shut down enemy caries, hybrids and even people that survive off of the lich bane proc. Thornmail is Rammus' most iconic item. Say goodbye, yi, caitlyn, nocture, and all the rest.
Yes. Finally, we get to our big hp item. There is no such thing as a late-game tank with a measly 3k hp. With DBC up, you will have 430 armor and 250 magic resist. Each point of hp is now worth 5 points of HP. With 5000 HP, then, that makes 26000 effective hp against physical dps and 12500 hp against magical damage. The real purpose of a warmog is to protect against burst, especially true damage. More hp = better-rounded consistent tanking.
Wait, what? How did this item get in here? Isn't this only for jax and akali?
No, my dear friend, this item benefits as well. With 5000 HP and as much mitigation as you have, you will find that you have better use for an offensive item than more tankiness. Of course, it is always an alternative to go back and pick another defensive item, but I find this a powerful way to finish off a build, that allows me to accomplish more than the average rammus.
- Unique Active: Slow + 300 magic damage. Suppose you're speeding towards the enemy team when they begin to slow and kite you. They scatter. They don't want a scary rammus ball in their team. Too bad for them, because suddenly, you can do ranged damage! That's right boys and girls, rammus can slow from a distance. Pick out your target with the gunblade and ram into him or her as fast and hard as you can! I guarentee a hit or a wasted flash.
- AP. As I mentioned before, AP greatly improves Power Ball, as well as your tremors. You thought you did massive AoE damage before? Combined with your abyssal scepter, you do an unbelievable amount of damage. Extra AP helps.
- Extra AD- your passive should be boosting you to about 250 AD with the help of DBC. This makes using your basic attacks necessary to maximize your potential. As long as you're attacking, a bit more damage couldn't hurt ;)
- Lifesteal - Now we're talking. 300AD rammus vamping health back? OH YEAH. get health back by attacking minions, or monsters, or even your enemies! it will make you a scary 1v1 machine.
- Spell vamp - This is the best part. Remember the part where you roll into the enemy team and do massive damage? Would you like to heal off of that? Your ult will heal you for every minion or champion hit. Your powerball will heal you as well. Guess what? So does your ball curl. How does the idea of healing whenever you get hit sound?
Alternative dps items for the icing on the cake:
- Atma's Impaler - I see a lot of rammi use this item. It gives you a good 80 or so damage when you have 4000 health, but 80 damage isn't really a whole lot compared with the 300 AD you'll have from your passive end-game. It also gives 13.5 damage from the minimal armor portion which is even easier to overlook. The best part about this item is the crit chance, which will make your 300 AD occasionally hit for 600.
- Rod of Ages - Less people use this, as they probably rightly should. Late game, you're not reallly mana-thirsty enough to need the crazy amount of mana it offers, you can get better hp and effective hp from other items, and 80 AP is good, not great. It'd need to have a more important stat to make it a good offensive buy
Other Items to consider
This item gives a great amount of armor and magic resist. The passive resurrection doesn't give you back a whole lot of your HP though as a tank, so that's one downside. Also, people will be less inclined to focus you when you boast the big "Not only am I invincible, but I also come back to life" sign, so it can be a double-edged sword of sorts.
I talked about most of the alternatives in the above discussion of items. However, here are a few more.
This is a great item for helping your team. It's incredibly cheap, and gives you the 3 essential tanking stats: health, armor, and magic resist. Get this item if you plan on fighting with two other people early game (i.e. you want to spend time ganking, or you expect ganks). It's great for supporting, but when late game comes, sell it for something stronger.
Cool item that gives a whole ton of AP and armor. Also, enemies will be really frustrated when you become invulnerable. However, sometimes it is better to tank and die for your team than to go invulnerable and live. Just be careful when you use the active.
Great health right out of the box, and includes AP. Your Tremors can slow, your Powerball can slow, and your Defensive Ball Curl will act as if you have the passive from Randuin's Omen
Yes, phantom dancer. Sell your boots for one late game, as the crit chance and attack speed complement his naturally ridiculous AD multiplicatively.
Items not to consider
Don't dodge those attacks! They hurt your enemies! Dodged attack = no thornmail damage and no DBC damage. You just wasted 10% of your taunt.
Yay armor! Yay cooldown reduction! Yay mana! well, sorta yay mana. Wait, slowing attack speed? What's wrong with you? Your ball curl scales off of two things: Your armor, and the enemy's attack speed. Every time they hit you, you do damage. Don't deny them the opportunity to kill themselves. This item removes more DBC dps than in adds from armor.
Let us suppose that there is a farmed
With a full build, everybody knows that these are scary.
Let's assume that she strikes critically on your shell for a whopping 1000 damage. By now, you have 450 armor with Defensive Ball Curl on.
So Thornmail returns 300 damage.
Defensive Ball Curl returns 95 damage.
Sunfire Cape does 40 damage.
Tremors deals 260 damage
Your auto-attack does 300 damage.
Abyssal Scepter lowers Magic Resist near 0, Puncturing Taunt lowers armor near 0
total: 1000 damage to Miss Fortune
But you only take (100/(450+100))*1000 = 182 damage, because of your armor
And you heal back 30 damage from Defensive Ball Curl when she attacked you.
Also, your autoattack healed you for 60 damage due to your life-steal.
total: 90 damage to Rammus
Even if she has 50% lifesteal (2 fully charged The Bloodthirster), she still will only heal off of the damage after your armor, so 90 damage.
New total to miss fortune: 920 damage
If you plan on jungling, grab a
You should get a leash (Somebody else draws the minion's attention so that you take less damage) on your first monster camp. You can start pretty much anywhere except for Red Buff with a leash.
When you get time, your first items should be
To help you jungle faster. Then continue with the normal build, starting with
Farming is very important in this game, especially with rammus, especially when you have a build that costs this much. This is not a cheap build by any means. You cannot afford to forego any minion kills if you want to finish this build. You need to farm, farm, farm.
This is how it works:
- Find large minion wave
- Stand in the middle of minion wave
- Get minion wave to attack you
- Press Defensive Ball Curl
Don't be afraid to use your ultimate on large groups of minions- it has a lower cool-down than you think!
If you have blue buff and are trying to cover a large distance in a short amount of time, tap Powerball whenever its up. Also, always use Powerball while in the fountain to give you a powerful speed and mobility buff at the low low price of absolutely nothing whatsoever. You need to gauge whether it is worth the mana to get places faster, but more often than not, it is.
This job is made much easier if you are a jungle Rammus and picked up a Wriggle's Lantern.
Teleport also allows you to be a relentless protector of all towers, and quickly get to teamfights. Teleport combined with Powerball make Rammus very mobile. In addition, remember that you can teleport to those wards you placed, making it possible for a wild rammus to appear out of any bush. This should either net you some kills, or cause your enemies play farther back than they'd like.
Remember, too, that Powerball is not channelled, and so you can be in ball form while using your teleport. This means that when your teleport finishes, you can be already moving double your enemy's speed, making it easy to catch anybody who stuck around long enough to see you land.
Generally, you want to try to get out of the group of enemies first, then Powerball the hell out of there.
A Flashy Escape -- If you have flash up, simply flash in any old direction and spin away.
The Wall Flash -- You should also note that it is always better to flash over a wall if possible; you can put much more distance between yourself and your pursuers by putting a good wall distance between you right away.
The Bush Ball -- you want to use Defensive Ball Curl (if its not on cooldown) and walk towards the nearest bush. As soon as you hit the bush, use powerball while they can't see you, and, with any luck, you should be far enough away that they can't catch up to you and pop your powerball.
Ball Curl Waddle --Try to disinterest enemies by going into Defensive Ball Curl and hoping that they find pursuit useless since they suddenly do no damage to you. They may give up and think it better worth their time to kill the tower than chase the rammus.
Since you are quite the escape artist, You will sometimes find yourself in the situation where you need to draw attention away from a team mate before making your own escape. In this case, you should taunt the nearest enemy to get his attention, and continue doing damage until they begin to focus you. Then, pop Defensive Ball Curl and waddle in the opposite direction from one of your frinds. At the end of your DBC, pull one of the escapes mentioned above.
Working with your team
Your job is to force your opponent into a position they don't want to be in, then allow your team to capitalize on any missteps.
- Powerball into the enemy team, either from the front, or from behind. Use your Hextech Gunblade active to select your target for extermination.
- Smack into the target you selected and start your Tremors
team comes in here
- When the enemy team starts to attack you, turn on Defensive Ball Curl.
- Try to auto-attack a squishy target in range, but don't chase.
- Taunt the most dangerous enemy- This may not even be their carry.
- Try to interrupt any enemy channels or chasers with a second Powerball
You are THE MOST IMPORTANT member of your team. They cannot win a team-fight without you. You provide a decent portion of the AoE and sustained damage, Some of the better cc, and and probably the majority of your team's hit points. Team fight attendance is not optional.
That said, you have relatively little physical damage; that's your carry's job, and you have no burst damage; that's your mage's job. Therefore, YOU SHOULD NOT GO IN ALONE. This may seem like common sense, but sometimes we get impatient enough to forego common sense. We can take on that one Ashe alone, you think, but soon enough, they have all 5 team members there. As powerful as you are, you will get kited, then destroyed if you go in without help.
Towers do physical damage, so Rammus can Tank them for an eternity without losing much health. With your large health pool, you can tank them for longer, and you can even regain health via the spell vamp on Hextech Gunblade when minions walk by.
In addition, with Defensive Ball Curl up, you will also do upwards of 300 damage to the tower every hit.
That's pretty good dps already, but even more awesome is the fact that your ultimate will tear down towers as fast as you do. You also get to clean up the minions going buy passively as well while its on :D
Get behind the tower and before using Tremors, so you can maximize the amount of time that your ult is damaging the tower. Turn on Defensive Ball Curl for protection from enemy minions, as well as extra damage from your passive, combined with free farm from the damage reflection. Make sure enemy minions attack you, and not your minions, as this will speed up the pushing process considerably.
If the enemy team comes to collect their dues, pull one of the escapes mentioned above.
Rammus is a solid tank, that absorbs more damage than anything else under the sun. With this build, he also deals AoE damage superior to Amumu, has autoattacks better than some hybrids, and can heal off of both of these (when you have a gunblade). While rammus is, in my opinion, the strongest tank there is when fully farmed, he can take a while to get there, and he also is a lot weaker than other tanks against a full magic damage team. Rammus wreaks havok on caries and bruisers.