Rammus Build Guide by ChickenArise
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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.
Jungle Rammus: The Gold Farming Turtle
Hello and welcome to my first guide. Riot's recent jungle changes have put junglers, well, into the jungle a lot more and luckily everyone's favorite turtle can excel there. I hope you try some of my ideas in this guide out and have some success with them.
So why do I recommend the things I recommend?
Rammus belongs in the jungle. He can clear the camps very quickly with Defensive Ball Curl, he ganks incredibly well with powerball and taunt, and when he is well farmed he is nearly impossible to stop. The goal of this build is to maximize Rammus's gold earning potential, making him into an absolute beast mid game.
UPDATED: Masteries - changed 2 points from Awareness into Indomitable
12/17/11 - Updated Ganking and Items sections, added my thoughts on Atma's Impaler.
Everything listed above are pretty standard for a jungle Rammus.
Armor Penetration marks are what I recommend as they will increase the speed at which you take down the buff camps. I've seen some Rammuses(Rammi?) go with magic pen marks which may be slightly more effective later in the game in team fights, but I personally take what helps me immediately.
Flat armor seals are pretty much the only way to go here. Reduces damage you'll be taking in the jungle, and increases your auto attack damage by enough to be helpful in clearing your first route. HP regen seals are also an option and they'll do a great job at keeping your HP up a little higher during your first trip through the jungle, but you don't really need them.
Scaling MR glyphs are another standard for most tanky champions. Flat MR and CDR glyphs are options, but not better options.
Yes, that's right. Avarice quints. Why gold gen? Because you don't really need anything else. And combined with 4 points in the Greed mastery in the utility tree, you essentially start with a free 5Gold/10sec item. That is a big deal in a long game.
There are other viable options for quints. ArPen quints are great for taking down the biggies at the buff camps, and flat HP aren't too bad early game(there are always those times where you escape with 10 HP and you can thank your HP quints for that), but we get a lot of HP in this build without them and I recommend the getting Veteran's Scars as one of your masteries giving you a nice level 1 boost to HP. Move speed quints are also a decent option here, but not much gets away from a powerballing Rammus without them anyway. The last viable option for quints is flat HP regen, but just as with the seals, you really don't need them that much beyond your first clear.
The 4 Key Masteries in this BuildGreed - Utility Tree - Maxing this along with Quints of Avarice essentially gives you a free 5 gold/10sec item that costs no inventory slot.
Veteran's Scars - Defensive Tree - If you jungle with no leashes at all(hey, it happens in solo queue), the extra HP from this can be important on your first clear.
Bladed Armor - Defensive Tree - Clears camps faster and you take less damage with the prerequisite, nothing not to like here.
Vigor - Defensive Tree - Since you only start with 1 HP pot on this build, all the extra HP regen you can get helps.
This leaves you with 2 or 3 mastery points to spend, depending on whether or not you take Runic Affinity for the 20% increased neutral camp buff time. I choose to put these points in Indomitable which keeps my HP higher during early jungling, but putting them into Awareness(extra XP), Wealth(start with an extra HP pot), Initiator(Rammus is all about initiating) or even Transmutation(slightly easier first clear with the spell vamp) are all very viable choices.
Rammus the Meatball Sub
Many jungles start Cloth Armor 5 pots, I recommend Regrowth Pendant + 1 pot. You'll easily be able to do your first jungle clear with the HP regen from the pendant, although there are a couple of moments where you will be a bit low. Most importantly you'll be able to get your Philo Stone on your first B along with open boots, which enables you to pass off your blue buff to your mid AP carry after that. If you're not using the ideal runes+masteries, or are below summoner level 30, going cloth armor + 5 pots is probably the safer bet for you.
TAKE CARE - Going regrowth pendant means that you will be jungling at fairly low health after Red Buff. If the enemy team knows you are jungling with a regrowth pendant and has an aggressive counter jungler like a Trundle he could try to kill you by warding your red buff and killing you there. You can keep them from knowing what you are doing early by not buying your pendant until after the enemy's first CV wears off at the fountain, and keeping a good distance from common spots they may CV after that(red buff, blue buff) before the camps spawn.
Once you get past those early teamfights and get into late game(30+ minutes in) don't be afraid to sell that Philo stone to make space if you don't feel you need Shurelya's or if you're just a little bit short on cash to afford that Banshee's/Sunfire/etc.
Yes,Warmog's Armor is a Core Item
A lot of people don't like Warmog's. They say "to be a tank you need resists, not just health". This is true. This is why we also buy items with resists later on. But pure MR items don't protect against that fed Caitlyn, and pure armor items don't protect against that bloody Fizz your mid fed 5 times in the laning phase. HP will protect equally well against both. And don't forget Rammus's Defensive Ball Curl, that skill makes pure MR and armor items MUCH less cost effective for the 6 seconds that it is active, making items that give HP the way to go. I recommend getting it after your gold generating items so you can get it fully farmed up as soon as possible.
Argument: "You can be countered if they get Madred's!".
Response: If the enemy team is buying incredibly expensive items to counter YOU, you are doing your job incredibly well and should win the game easily.
Argument: "But what if they have Kog'Maw?!?!"
Response: If Kog'maw is focusing you, either A) Your entire team is dead, B) You've taunted him and he's about to die to your carries or C) He's attacking you instead of the carries in a teamfight, which is exactly what you want him to be doing. Oh, and you can counter Kog by grabbing a Force of Nature which along with DBC reduces his % HP magic damage a whole lot.
Good items Against an AD Heavy Team
Against an AP Heavy Team
Aegis of the Legion
Items That I Get In a "Standard" Game (Max CDR)
I Can HasWriggle's Lantern?
I do not recommend Wriggle's for Rammus. Yes, you can get it, and it will speed your jungle up slightly and allow for better dragon control... but once you work up the cash to finish it, you'll most likely be ganking more and be in the jungle less, covering lanes more for your teammates who need to go buy... whereas if you have HoG and Philo Stone you'll be racking up lots and lots of cash. While Wriggle's does provide the free ward every 3 minutes, Philo and HoG will provide 180g every 3 minutes, more than enough for a ward or two every time you hit the B button on your keyboard.
Grabbing Philo stone first also allows you to pass blue buff off to your mid AP carry when it comes up the second time, which can be a very big deal for them.
What aboutAtma's Impaler?
An Atma's greatly benefits a Rammus with Warmog's, but I don't recommend buying one early on in the game. Grabbing a couple of other items with resists and/or HP before getting Atma's will give you the tankiness you need for initiating those teamfights. In a typical game against a balanced team I'll usually grab a Glacial Shroud and Banshee's, and then think about either finishing Randuin's or grabbing Atma's. At level 18 with Sunfire, Banshee's and Randuins(w/ Warmogs) you'll have ~4500 HP, which will grant you an extra ~100 AD and that is a pretty nice boost for taking down those pesky ranged AD carries ASAP late game.
Build situationally. If the enemy team has multiple AP carries but get shut down in the laning phase and are all trying to build RoA first but still haven't finished it, and your bot lane has fed their Graves 5 times and he has 150 CS at 20 minutes, building going the armor route early is probably going to be a good idea for you.
Standard Skill Order
LvL 1: W - Defensive Ball Curl
LvL 2: Q - Powerball
LvL 3: E - Puncturing Taunt OR W - Defensive Ball Curl
LvL 4: E - Puncturing Taunt
LvL 5: E - Puncturing Taunt
LvL 6: R - Tremors
LvL 7: E - Puncturing Taunt
LvL 8: W - Defensive Ball Curl OR E - Puncturing Taunt (If you took DBC at level 3)
R > E > W > Q after this.
Taking the 2nd level in DBC at level 3 makes your jungle route slightly faster and safer, but weakens your future ganks pre-level 8. Taking Taunt here also allows you to gank after you clear the wraith camp and reach level 3 if the enemy mid champion is getting frisky.
Not a whole lot of discussion here. Flashing while powerballing over minions is too strong an initiation technique when ganking to go without, even with the flash range nerf. Smite is a necessity for any jungler, and is no different here.
It is possible, but not recommended, to jungle without smite. If you feel like trying it, go Flash+Exhaust for a nearly guaranteed kill every time you gank and have Exhaust off cooldown. But not having smite can open you up to having dragon, or even worse, Baron stolen from you.
1 - Start at wraiths. Have mid leash big wraith with one auto attack. Auto attack big wraith and pop DBC as soon as the wraiths turn to attack you, take the wraiths out one at a time.
2 - Move to Blue buff and have mid or top and mid leash golem, smite at 420 HP. Do not use your HP pot. You'll reach level 2, put the point into powerball.
NOTE: Make sure to always use powerball when moving between camps to better your time clearing your jungle(when powerballing relatively long distances like from wolves to wraiths, be sure not to powerball too soon and lose the damage just before you reach the camp)
3 - Powerball down to wolves, DBC and clear them.
4 - Powerball to wraiths, DBC and clear them. Pop your HP pot after big wraith goes down(We hold on to it until now to maximize the heal from the small camps). You've reached level 3, skill point into taunt or defensive ball curl. Before deciding which to take, look at mid and see if it is gankable.
5 - Powerball into Red buff, DBC and clear the camp. Smite will not be up unless you ganked mid before this, but you shouldn't need it. DBC a second time to finish the job.
6 - Powerball to double golems, DBC and smite the larger of the two golems.
7 - Powerball back to wraiths, DBC and clear it.
8 - Powerball to wolves, DBC and clear it.
9 - Go B and pick up your Philosopher Stone, open Boots, a ward and 2 HP pots. Unless you ganked at 3, you should be finishing this at around the 4:30~4:45 mark.
10 - Golems will be respawning and your smite will be up for them so powerball on over there, then do wraiths and wolves, paying close attention to the status of your lanes while doing so. Always be looking for that gank or for that teammate who might be in a bit of a tough spot.
1 - Start at wraiths, have mid leash with an auto attack and DBC once they begin attacking you, same as above.
2 - Go to wolves, DBC and clear them. Level 2, skill point into powerball.
3 - Powerball to Blue buff, DBC and smite at 445 HP. You do not need a leash, but if you can convince mid to come give you one auto attack on it, do it.
4 - Follow the standard route above after this point.
Both routes will get you to level 4 on your first clear. The standard route is better if you're playing with people you know and can communicate with, the alternate route may be better for solo queue games where you're not incredibly sure if you are going to get a leash on blue at level 1 after wraiths. That said, you can do either of these routes with no leash at all and be just fine, but your HP will dip pretty low at a few points.
Rammus is one of the best gankers out there. If you put a point into Taunt at level 3, ganking mid after you do wraiths the 2nd time can be first blood if their mid is overextended and has taken some damage already. Always, always be checking your minimap looking for lanes that are pushing to your side and check them to see if the enemy champions HP is low enough to give you a reasonable shot at getting the assist/kill. However, before you gank there are a few things you need to look at.
1) Does your teammate have enough HP and burst damage to gank?
Ganking that Annie with your below 50% HP AP carry is not always a good idea. Before you bait your teammate into taking that Tibbers-Incinerate-Disintegrate combo, check his HP and make sure you're not sentencing him to death while Annie flashes away from you laughing it up after your taunt wears off.
2) Does the enemy have flash ready to go?
Flash is not a guaranteed escape from a Rammus. Be prepared for the champion you are ganking to flash away before you can land your powerball. This is no problem when you have powerball fully revved up. With the flash nerf, you can close that distance incredibly quickly, knock them up, taunt, success!
3) Know who you are ganking.
Do not taunt Wukong's clone. Don't chase Shaco into that bush. And don't expect to be able to stop Morgana from just walking away from you while typing /t.
4) You have that Warmog's yet?
If yes, tower dive those squishies into oblivion(within reason).
At higher levels of play, do not expect ganks to be there for you. No gank available? Back to the jungle with you, farming up with those gold generating items.
And This is Key
Always, always move to where the action is. You can always come back to that wraith camp, but by being aware of the minimap and responding to pings immediately you have the chance of saving teammates or turning the tide of a fight or picking up an easy kill or two from low health enemies that thought they were going to get away clean. Unless you're on the complete opposite side of the map(say top is being ganked and you're at golems), get to where the action is ASAP.
Initiating a Gank
Your skill sequence is pretty easy for Rammus when going in for a gank. First, rev up your powerball in a bush. As you are revving up, ping your target champion like crazy for a second or two to let them know you're going in, and then roll in. If the enemy flashes away into turret range, go clear a jungle camp while waiting for them to get into gankable position again. When you land your powerball, instantly taunt, then use defensive ball curl, and then ult if you have it. If they're still alive when your taunt wears off, just walk next to them so they continue taking damage from your ult(so long as you don't go into tower range if it's fairly early game) and powerball again and taunt again if possible.
TL;DR: Rev up Q, E -> W -> R
I won't bother stressing the importance of wards here, oh wait, I just did. Always buy a ward or two when you go B.
1 - If you're against a jungle Fiddle or WW(lol), you need to ward dragon fairly early(7 minute mark) to prevent them from getting it for free.
2 - Against aggressive counter junglers like Shaco or Trundle, keeping your triangle bush and wraiths warded(the spot between the wraith camp and river) will either A) keep them out or B) provide an opportunity to gank them and get an easy kill. Kill them once, and it's unlikely they'll be back a second time.
3 - If you're not worried about any of these things, be aggressive and ward the enemy buff camps and gank them when they come up. You can powerball in, place a ward and be out in a few short seconds.
4 - Later in the game, if you're behind on towers ward your own jungle. If you're ahead, ward their jungle. And make sure Baron is always warded.
Well dear reader, if you've read this far I hope you try this out and give me a comment. A well farmed Rammus is a scary thing indeed during those early team fights, and that is exactly what this build is meant to achieve. Suggestions are always welcome and if you convince me to make additions/changes I'll definitely credit them to you in the guide.
I'll likely be posting a video or two just to show the basics of the jungle routes here soon.