Build Guide by Schweppes7T4
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.
6/9/11: Guide published. Enjoy.
Hi, my name is Schweppes, and this is my Complete Guide on how to play Amumu in pretty much every role he can take: Main tank, off-tank/AP, and Jungle tank.
So Why Amumu, and why three different builds?
Because Amumu is the most enjoyable tank I've played. He is very versatile and often underestimated. This is a huge advantage.
I will say two things first, this guide is very long, and this guide is not oriented toward ranked play, but there's no reason I can see why it shouldn't be completely viable in such a situation. You should read through it at least once. I cover a lot of concepts in this.
3 builds?? In one guide??
Yes. Picking Amumu allows you to fill in roles that are often missing. By picking him at the selection screen and NOT LOCKING IN IMMEDIATELY (because no team oriented player should ever do this) you allow your team to see what you're intending to play. This allows them to pick accordingly, and gives you a chance to change your build/champion if need be.
If you have a well balanced team that has an AD carry, an AP carry, a support, and an off-tank/fighter/jungler, then going main tank is a good idea. If you have a very meaty team already and don't need to really worry about tanking, then going AP off-tank can be very rewarding. Also, you should very strongly consider jungling if no one else is. The benefit of the experience boost from having basically three solo lanes is so much greater than going main tank. Amumu isn't an amazing ganker, but he can clear the jungle very quickly and easily, especially once he hits level 4.
So why 3 builds in one guide? Because each role that Amumu can fill is covered in one guide... it's your one stop shop for everything Amumu.
The first thing I want to address is the function Amumu plays. If you don't already know, Amumu is a tank. This means that, like other tanks, his primary role is take damage, initiate team fights, and use crowd control (CC) to protect your team mates and stop the other team from doing what they want. This translates into two very important points about your k/d/a ratio that makes a lot of players rage at tanks: you won't (and shouldn't) have very many kills, though you should (and hopefully will) have a lot of assists, and that you WILL DIE...
Now obviously dying is bad no matter what, but it's important that if anyone is dying, it's you... meaning that in a "good game" your deaths should be greater than your AD and AP carries combined, who should be dying as little as possible. This does not mean dive into a 1v5 fight and sacrifice yourself for no reason. If someone is playing stupidly, you dying isn't worth it because the odds are the person you tried to rescue will die to, making your death pointless.
One more thing to know about playing a tank: good players/team will not focus the tank. If you're not taking damage, you're not doing half of your job in team fights. Unfortunately, Amumu doesn't have a taunt like Rammus, Galio, or Shen. The best way to make the other team to attack you in this case is to PUT YOURSELF IN FRONT. The tank should NEVER be behind anyone else (except maybe the off-tank in certain situations). The other method is doing enough damage to be dangerous, something Amumu does very well.
This is your innate. This is your only real reason to auto-attack. At max level, 35 magic pen will basically eliminate a champs MR if they haven't added any.
This is your main initiation move and a great chase/interception move. It's a skill shot, so it'll tag the first thing it collides with. Has a slightly longer reach than the graphic shows. Deals some damage, but more importantly it pulls you toward what you hit and stuns them for a second. Great for stopping someone from running or chasing a team mate, also puts you right in the middle of a fight to get it to start.
This spell has a couple of awesome features. Know that it's a toggle spell, so being silenced while it's active will prevent you from turning it off, and certain stuns will also turn it off. Deals flat damage plus a percentage of the victim's total HP. Basically, it works like an AoE Madred's Bloodrazor. Drains mana while it's active, but you should have it on whenever there's an enemy nearby. Also, it is the spell the allows you to jungle, so get it first if you are.
This is your main damage dealer beyond Despair. Being hit by physical attacks reduces the cooldown, so there's your motivation to be hit. Also has a passive damage reduction.
Your ultimate. This move is AWESOME. It deals AoE damage, but not too much. The best part is that it has a decent radius and LOCKSDOWN all enemies in the area, preventing them from moving or attacking for 2.5 seconds at max rank. Nunu or Fiddlesticks having a hard time hitting a very mobile team? Lure them in and lock them down. The other team may know it's coming, but there's nothing they can do to stop it (except CC you to death). In my personal experience, my team rarely loses team fights in which I hit the whole team. Allows your team to focus their carry effectively and go from there. Try to hit the majority of their team when used, though don't feel too bad if you blow it chasing someone or stopping a gank. It is, in my opinion, one of the best abilities in the entire game.
The two runes in common are Greater Mark of Magic Penetration and Greater Quintessence of Health. You primarily deal magic damage, so Magic Pen is the easiest way to increase your damage output. Also flat HP Quints give you an awesome HP boost early game.
Greater Seal of Armor: Flat Armor. Helpful early game, helpful all around. You're a tank and more armor is better.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: MR/level. Though MR is important, you don't need it as much until around level 6, which is when it starts evening out with the flat MR.
Greater Seal of Scaling Ability Power: AP/level. You're building AP, much better than flat AP since you aren't going to get early ganks anyway.
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction: Flat CDR. CDR/level only get an extra 2% CDR at level 18, and having more CDR sooner (doesn't even out until 14) is much more useful.
See Greater Seal of Armor and Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction above.
This summoner spell is just all around too useful. Getting out of ganks, chasing, positioning for your ultimate... This is, in my opinion the absolute best spell you can choose and should take it for ANY champion.
The team's tank should ALWAYS take this spell if they can. Combined with the mastery in the Defense tree, this spell will save you from losing a tower to a big creep push or after an ace. The passive creep damage bonus also helps early game to let you get the few last hits you'll actually take.
This spell should really go to the support champ, but if no one else takes it, you can consider it. Very low cooldown and extremely useful for checking baron/dragon late game, or for scanning the area ahead of where you're chasing so you don't lose sight or run into a gank.
This build is centered around dealing damage, and this is the best spell for that.
Clairvoyance is also viable in this build.
This is THE summoner spell to get. Allows you to actually be able to jungle effectively, and later lets you get free minion kills and possibly steal Dragon/Baron.
Main Tank: 9/21/0
This one should be pretty obvious. The "best" of the defense tree (since it kind of sucks to be honest). Also goes to the magic pen in offense since there aren't any decent utility masteries that you can get for 9.
AP Off-tank: 9/0/21
The offense tree is really more oriented toward physical damage, so this instead tries to build up your CDR. Having a 3 second cooldown on your bandage toss at 18 makes it impossible to get away from you and your constant Tantrum.
Jungle Tank: 9/0/21
Slightly tweaked version of the AP build that takes the mastery for Smite and adds the Jungle buff time extension.
Main Tank Items
This is the only item I consider a "core" item on Amumu since it's the only item I get every game. The armor and health are great, but the reason it is so awesome on this champ is because you are already focusing on AoE damage. This adds an additional 35 damage per second around you.
This is the only other "core" item IMO. The MR is not as high as FoN, but the spell shield is worth so much more. Blocking a stun/snare or a large damage hit like an AP carry's nuke is much more beneficial than the extra 26 MR which scales poorly once you get above about 120.
99 armor: good. 20% CDR: good. 500 Mana: good. AoE AS reduction to enemies: good. This is an all around solid item.
The MR on this item is the main reason for getting it, however, at this point you should have a good chuck of HP which makes the passive regen awesome.
Shurelya's Reverie This is mostly in the build for the extra CDR and something to turn your Philosopher's Stone into. The active on it can be very useful though, so if you get to a point where you can afford it, get it.
Other viable items:
This is an awesome item to pick up... If you have tons of money and the time to build up the passive. The only reason I don't get it is because it's so expensive and I prefer to build armor/MR first.
This is a good item if they have a lot of auto attack heavy champs. Would normally replace your Frozen Heart.
A solid item, but I don't feel that it syncs as well with this build. A possible starter/6th item in place of Shurelya's Reverie.
I'm really iffy on this item. The armor/MR on it and the passive resurrection are great, but I generally see it being wasted because you just get smashed again after you revive. Only consider if your team is playing well together and/or the other team is focusing you hard in team fights.
AP Off-tank Items
HP and AP. Build it early so that the passive has time to build up (takes 10 minutes once it's purchased).
AP and MR. Also has a passive Magic Pen aura. It's a good item to build, especially if no one else on your team has yet.
AP and spell vamp. This makes your Bandage Toss, Tantrum, and Curse of the Sad Mummy heal you.
The God of AP items. It's expensive and is only offense oriented, so you'll know if you can even get it.
Other viable items:
If you need to be more tanky than AP.
Usually in place of Abyssal Scepter if someone else has already taken it, or if you think you can benefit from the spell shield.
This is a strong item, but it's expensive.
I get this sometimes when I want the HP and AP, but especially the slow. As long as someone is in the range of your Despair they will be slowed by 15%. Also slows after your Curse of the Sad Mummy so they have a harder time getting away. The biggest downside is it's an expensive item in an already expensive build.
I'm iffy on this item. AP is decent, and the active definitely has it's uses, but like Rylai's Crystal Scepter it's an expensive item in an already expensive build.
Jungle Tank Items
A few things to cover. Many people forget what the laning phase is about. Players should focus on last hitting minions and zoning the other team as much as possible. Normally the AP carry will take mid, and the Off-tank will take top, leaving the AD carry and tank to take bottom lane. This allows for one of them to move over to dragon to help the jungler take it out when the time comes. There are plenty of guides on warding and zoning, so if you aren't familiar with those terms or want to improve, then look them up.
Remember, Amumu is a tank, not a ganker, and not a pusher. Yes, he can clear minions fairly quickly, but because he's melee, he's easy to harass. Solo laning, though doable, is very hard and not very rewarding. Opt to take bottom lane (which should be a duo lane) with the AD carry. Let the carry get as many last hits as possible, and don't over extend. Call MIAs and if you're getting harassed a lot, ward the river. Use your Bandage Toss to stop the other team from chasing your carry should a gank happen. As Main Tank, try to wait to go back until you can buy your Philosopher's Stone and Boots of Speed. As AP try to wait until you can afford your Catalyst the Protector. Both of these help you stay in your lane as long as possible. The laning phase usually lasts until there are a handful of level 11 champs, at which point you move to team fights.
So you don't have a jungler on your team and decide to take the role. Start with your Cloth Armor and 5x Health Potion. Run to the Blue golem and don't get ganked. If someone can leash for you (hit's the golem first then runs) that's even better. Either way, run up and auto attack it and activate your Despair. As soon as you start getting hit activate your Health Potion. Make sure that once it runs out, you start your next one. Use Smite once the golem is below 445. Take Tantrum and use it as often as possible to clear wolf camp and wraith camp. Always auto attack the big one down first, then the little ones. Keep Despair up whenever fighting and keep using your Health Potion. Clear the golem camp. Smite should come back up around this time. Make sure your health is as high as it'll get. Attack the Red lizard, keeping Despair up and using Tantrum as often as possible.
Now a note on Smite. Some basic math is very helpful. It increases by 25 damage every level, meaning that every 4 levels it increases by 100 damage. So at level 1 it deals 445, at level 4 it deals 520, level 8 620, etc. By the time you get to Red lizard you should be level 4, so Smite it once its health falls below 520. Recall to base and get your Ruby Crystal. If you have to cover a lane do so, otherwise clear the jungle again. Setting up a lane gank is hard until you're level 6 and have at least Rank 1 Bandage Toss and Curse of the Sad Mummy.
Pull at least one person from bottom lane to take Dragon around level 8 (or 10, if you're not fully geared/runed/etc). Clear the jungle whenever possible, but don't let lanes fall and make sure you're present once team fights start breaking out.
Once there are some level 11 champs on the field, team fights will start breaking out. At this point, all three builds play roughly the same. Make sure you take your place at the front. Don't engage under towers, but once the other team crosses the river, Bandage Toss into the fray, toggle on Despair, use Tantrum as often as possible, and once your team starts to move in and the other team clumps together use your Curse of the Sad Mummy to start turning the tides. Run out of the fight ONLY when you are sure you're going to die because you're being focused or bursted.
If you're being chased or team mates are being chased Bandage Toss an intercept and keep Despair up. If they want to keep chasing they're going to have their health bled off. Flash really shines through at this point. Use it to jump walls or get out of a fight quickly, or use it if your Bandage Toss hits a minion that moved in your way to reposition yourself.
Late game you should be able to tank towers for minionless tower pushes.
First I'd like to say thank you for making it all the way through this guide. I hope that anyone reading this was able to at least take something from it. Please leave comments as long as they're constructive, I'm very open to feed back or to opening discussion of what and why.
GL and HF.