Rammus Build Guide by KingStix
[10.15] Rammus Jungle Guide - Challenger Jungler - KingStixBy KingStix | Updated on July 21, 2020
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Runes: Best Runes
+10% Attack Speed
+10% Attack Speed
Ability Order Always
Threats & Synergies
Nunu & Willump
Champion Build Guide
A Challenger Jungler (NA) and Youtuber
Hello, I'm KingStix. I'm a challenger jungle main and I play a variety of jungle champions. I've played a ton of Rammus in every elo and I love this pick. He is very easy to be useful on so you can easily add him to your champion pool for when your team is in need of a tank. When you are ahead on Rammus, you can be unstoppable while killing multiple squishies and staying alive for a long time. This is quite fun and I used to play him all the time (my #1 pick) during tank meta but now I find him a lot more situational. He is best picked when the enemy team is all the same type of damage (AP or AD) instead of mixed. He also does have some hard counters that make rolling in like a cute (but fast) little Rolie Polie Olie pretty difficult... Syndra's E, Soraka's E, and Janna's Q.
The best possible clear route for Rammus is to start red buff with your bot lane if you are on that side of the map for a simple 3 camp clear: Red > raptors > Smite golems > level 3 gank either mid or bot lane.
If you are not on that side of the map, you can still do a 3 camp clear on your red side in a few different ways:
1. Without a leash: Raptors > red > Smite golems > level 3 gank.
2. With a leash- gank mid: Red > Smite golems > raptors > level 3 gank (this would be if you plan to gank MID lane at level 3)
3. With a leash- gank top: Red > raptors > Smite > golems (this would be if you plan to gank TOP lane at level 3)
The reason for a red side clear is because Rammus is better at taking AOE camps instead of single target camps like the buffs and gromp. He gets too low on health while taking gromp early on.
If, upon start of the game, you can tell it's very likely none of the lanes will be gankable by looking at the match ups- you can do a full clear but this is not optimal. In this case, you can go 3 Health Potions instead of Refillable Potion.
To clear- Level 1 you should start your W Defensive Ball Curl. (TIP: Don't level this up until the buff spawns in case of invade & the possibility of needing your Q Powerball). Make sure when your W is off cool down, you use it again immediately to take the least amount of damage. You don't want to be low health when you go in for your first gank! After W, you should level up Q then E so you have all 3 abilities for your level 3 gank. When moving from camp to camp, make sure you are using your Q Powerball to roll into the camp for the AOE damage and to get there faster. Also, note that your Q Powerball should be used before your W because it will cancel it and put it on cool down.
After Level 3 Gank
After you complete your red side jungle and gank level 3, you have more... options! You can check to see if there is another lane to gank immediately after (if your health bar allows). Laners typically don't expect to get ganked immediately after seeing you gank another lane so they may begin to feel a bit more safe and push up. So, for example, if you ganked top- you can see if mid is gankable immediately after or alternatively, if you ganked mid you can check to see if top or bot or gankable (I would not go gank top if you already took your top side jungle unless you are 100% sure it's a free kill, if it doesn't turn out then you've wasted a TON of time with no camps top). If ganking again is not an option at this point, then you of course keep farming. Getting the enemy raptors could be an option if you know they weren't taken and you know the jungler is elsewhere on the map. Or you can go to your blue side for blue and/or wolves (depending on what the time allows) before the scuttle spawn. You'll want to get scuttle at spawn but you should know where the enemy jungler is and if it is safe or not to do so. To take scuttle crab quickly, you can Smite while it is taunted as that will do extra damage.
***TIP*** Teleport ganks are extremely satisfying and there's typically a lot of opportunity in lower elo to capitalize on this mistake from laners. Often, after they die- they will immediately Teleport right back to lane since death timers are very short early game. If you get a kill again right after they use their Teleport, you are denying them from so much gold, XP, and of course... they totally just wasted their summoner spell and are surely tilted hehe. It's always important to know what summoners the enemies have so make sure you check this in both loading screen and during the game by pressing tab so you don't forget!
After this 1st clear route, you will want to continue to take your jungle camps in a linear fashion and look for opportunities to take the enemy raptors since Rammus can clear those so quickly. However, please keep in mind that Rammus is NOT a power farmer (why did the Old Macdonald song suddenly pop into my head)... Anyways, you'll want to look for gank opportunities as much as possible especially when your Flash is up (or Ignite if you are going that route.) Rammus is not ult reliant like many champions, so thankfully you can mostly gank without it. If you want to see how to carry with Ignite Rammus, you can check that out here!:
In order to achieve a successful gank, you want to try to come in from behind the enemy and knock them back with your Q Powerball. Make sure you do not start your Q too early because sometimes you have to make your way around minions and your Q has a limited active time period. So unlike a Nunu & Willump snowball, you don't want to start for halfway down the river where scuttle crab is. Instead of hovering your cursor over the enemy champion, you should hover it right behind them that way you can instantly taunt the enemies with E Frenzying Taunt since your Q Powerball will knock them back. This will allow them with no time to Flash away! Then you can immediately activate your W Defensive Ball Curl and move in between auto attacks to try to block off the enemy's path for when they are no longer taunted (if you did not kill them already!) Whether you take Stalker's Blade or Skirmisher's Sabre, don't forget that once you have one of these, your Smite can be used in a gank ( Chilling Smite or Challenging Smite respectively).
After Rammus has a finished cinderhulk, he has tower dive potential which becomes much stronger after he builds some armor. Due to his taunt, Rammus is also good at protecting his own towers because he can taunt the enemy under tower and they will take turret shots. He is also good at counter ganking so if you know where the enemy jungler is and expect they will be going to gank a certain lane very soon, you can tell your lane "ill counter gank" and wait for the enemy jungler to show up.
**TIP** Rammus Q cannot go through minions. Woah, that would be OP. However, you can Flash over the minions to Q into the enemies if you can not go around them.
Rammus, like all tanks, can either engage on the enemy team or sit back and peel for the carry/carries. This can mean protecting the fed Xerath or Jinx or whoever is your squishy carry, it doesn't have to be the ADC. Basically, if your carry keeps dying quickly in the fight causing you to lose the team fight, you know that you need to peel to keep them alive. Locket of the Iron Solari is very useful for this. If your carry is fine because the enemies already can't get to them, then engaging on one of the enemy carries is your best bet. Prioritize whoever needs to die first (the biggest threat!) Rammus is very fast on his Q, so make sure you don't zoom in and die before your teammates can even catch up to the fight. Utilize the "on my way!" ping spam so that your teammates are well aware you are engaging and will follow up.
**TIP** Also be on the look out for enemies who are out wandering on their own (especially the support going to ward) so you can get a pick before the team fight starts. Rammus is great at getting picks since he is so tanky, he has a much lower chance of dying than an assassin jungler getting a pick and he is so fast on his Q that he can get to the enemy quickly before they have time to leave. You should be able to easily solo any squishy champion especially if they do not have Cleanse or Quicksilver Sash. Before going for a pick, you should make sure that either your teammates are nearby and ready to follow up or that you can solo the person quickly and know that the other enemies aren't nearby. If your team is behind and struggling in team fights, getting a pick could be very unsafe if you don't know where the rest of the team is. In this case, I would only go if it is the biggest threat on their team. (For example, if you go in for a pick on Sona but your team is behind and the enemies can still win the fight without her then it turns out the rest of her team was nearby, you could lose the whole fight but if you catch their hard carry Diana, you should hopefully be able to win the 5v4 or 4v4 now.
If you would like to see a video guide on how to play Rammus, you can view that here:
Thornmail is the next item you will buy. It is a core item for Rammus. If you are against a full AP or mostly AP team, you can rush only the Bramble Vest part of the item then finish the rest of it after you build some magic resist.
Oracle Lens is also core on Rammus. You can activate this while you are zooming in for a gank with your Q and it will deactivate the wards for the enemy to have less time to react to your gank.
Dead Man's Plate is a strong item that will give you even more speed, armor, and a slow on your auto attack when stacked. You can build this after thornmail if the team is fully AD or you can build Randuin's Omen if the enemy team has 2 or more critical strike champions such as Caitlyn and Yasuo.
Warmog's Armor can allow you to leave and re-enter a team fight. It's also a good buy whether the team is mixed damage, AD, or AP as it offers a lot of health, health regen, and even cool down reduction.
Adaptive Helm is a good buy against champions with damage over time or champions that repeatedly hit you with the same spell such as Brand, Malzahar, Zyra, Evelynn, and Teemo.
Abyssal Mask is good against AP or mixed damage comps if your team has a strong AP carry or 2+ AP champions because it will make the enemies take more magic damage.
Gargoyle Stoneplate is for team fighting. It gives armor and magic resist which doubles when there is 3+ enemies nearby. It's a great item to buy when you are being focused by the enemy team to absorb as much damage as possible while your team attacks the enemies because its active increases your health by 100% for 4 seconds (or 40% if there's not 3+ enemies nearby). Stopwatch is even part of its build path which is pretty fun and troll to use on a tank.
Wit's End is a good buy into AP heavy team comps and has great synergy with Rammus' kit. It allows you to deal more damage, but it's something you'd want to buy after you are already decently tanky. However, if you have a carry on your team that needs to be protected- Locket of the Iron Solari is what you'd buy to peel and keep them alive.
Death's Dance can be built as a final item to make you more tanky, heal in combat, and deal more damage.
Boots of Mobility is something you would only buy really early on if you have an early game team comp and know there's a ton of potential for nonstop ganks early.
Ninja Tabi is good against AD heavy team comps or auto attack based comps.
Mercury's Treads are good against AP heavy team comps and CC heavy comps.