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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.
1. Pros / Cons
-Rolley Polley Powerspin of Awesome
-Amazing anti carry tank
-High Damage in late game with correct build
-Excellent tower pushing ability with his ultimate
-Taunt is simply one of the best moves in the game
-Attack animation is great for last hitting
-Moves force you to get in the fray and be attacked
-Not suited to non-aggressive play-styles
-No incredible burst capabilities(which doesn't matter because you can chase to no end sometimes)
-Mana dependant hero with a low mana supply(which we will address)
-easily countered by Crowd Control Spells; i.e stuns and roots, (Cleanse will help this)
Obviously Rammus's signature move. You will use this frequently, and is KEY to initiating ganks, saving allies, escaping, chasing enemies, transporting from point A to B, and even farming. The mana cost is relatively low, and the cooldown is great, generally 11-12 seconds after you finish using it. It's important to remember that it can unintentionally hit creeps, and the hit-box is rather large. Many enemies will surround themselves with creeps when you enter this stance, but with proper micro you can weave your way through them to catch your foe. Use this in a combination with ghost to reach speeds of 1000 ms, or in combination with ghost AND an ally ability (such as Zilean's haste) to reach speeds of 1400 ms! Rammus moves so fast in this state that you can travel 3/4 of the width of the map before the spell ends. INTENSE!
Defensive Ball Curl:
Very useful defensive technique. Use it immediately after taunting a foe to increase your resistance and your damage output. Also use this when targeted by huge finishing nukes that are obvious (lich's ultimate, ryze's ultimate, etc.) to drastically reduce the damage done. It's important to remember that while this is active, you are unable to use your powerball skill, and vice versa, obviously.
Simply put, this is one of the best skills in the game in my opinion. Silences, snares, lowers armor, completely neglects pushes at times due to the nature of towers, saves allies. This move will net you about 90% of your kills, at least it does for me. The main advantage of leveling this skill (in the same way you level fear for fiddle) is the duration. 3 Seconds is an INCREDIBLY long time to be forced to attack an enemy, and with combination from Thornmail and Defensive Curl, they will be doing great damage to themselves, not to mention the fact that they are forced to be in range of your tremors and are being hit decently hard by your auto attack. I generally start fights with this move after initiating with powerball, but then save it for the right moment, whether saving my ally or finishing a kill.
Awesome farming, pushing, killing, and tower killing mechanic. Don't be afraid to use this on a huge wave of creeps for farming, it IS worth it. The Cooldown is low, (60 sec) and should be ready by your next teamfight. This move has saved me numerous times in very strange ways. For example, when tower diving for a kill, I generally only approach it with an enemy low health and solo, AND with the tower at low health. Why? Pop tremors, tower goes down while I'm taking out the enemy, removing me from risk. This, stacking with sunfire cape, is just an awesome damaging tool in teamfights. Use it in every multiple hero engagement.
Spiked Shell (Passive):Converts 20% of Rammus' armor into damage. This inherently makes Armordillo a strong anti-physical tank. By stacking armor, Rammus not only gains toughness vs DPS carries like Ashe and Tristana, but sees a significant increase in damage.
This passive is the very reason why you stack armor on Rammus, because of the damage increase that comes with it. This has me hitting for upwards of 230 late game, which hurts, especially when combined with the damage from tremors, sunfire cape, thornmail, and defensive curl.
3. Skill Sequence
You HAVE to max Powerball and taunt early, for what should be obvious
reasons. So many builds I've seen with Rammus only take one point of
taunt early, only sticking to the 1 second crummy taunt, when obviously
the biggest increase in effectiveness is the length! 3 Second CC which
can make the difference between life or death for you, your allies, and
your enemies? Yes please. Simply put, 90% of my kills are from the use
of taunt, and at least 50% of my ability to save allies comes from it.
Only one level of Defensive Curl is needed early on to mix well with
your combo of powerball-taunt-curl-tremors. You simply cannot ignore
increasing the levels of the other two skills.
Starting: Doran's shield+health potion
Ninja Tabi (or Mercury's Treads depending on the team)
Aegis of the Legion
Thornmail (may choose to go warden's first)
Warden's Mail (or Banshee's Veil depending on the team)
Dorans shield gives you a nice armor, health, and health regen bonus early game, which is all you need originally in your lane. Health potion just in case you are getting harassed greatly. With chalice, you simply have 0 mana problems 90% of the time. When you do, they are quickly resolved due to the nature of the item. Ninja tabi or Merc Treads is obvious, reasons posted above. With the current way the meta-game is looking, Mercury's treads are used a lot more lately. Sunfire cape after for exellent farming ability, and health and armor bonuses. Aegis of the Legion is just an amazing item for its cost, and imo should be gotten by every tank, every game, no matter what. Thornmail has perfect synergy with your defensive ball curl, and in late game will eat carries for breakfast. Even in mid game, people are hitting upwards of 150 ish, making them hit themselves for around 60-70 damage per strike. It also gives great damage to your auto-attack. Warden's Mail gives needed hp regen, and an awesome synergy with your taunt. After the oppenent is done attacking you, they have a good chance to be instantly slowed by 35%, allowing you to continue hitting them with tremors and giving you more time for your cooldowns to refresh. Also stacks with the reptile neutral bonus, which slows them to a snails pace. However, if your facing a large amount of casters/disables, you have to get bashee's veil instead.
Focus on last hitting and moderately keeping your lane pushed with occasional powerball usage on creep waves. This can also help you farm very well, and can give you great lane control. Once level 4, it isn't a bad idea at all to go for a kill on an overly aggressive player. The armor decrease at this level is nice, as it usually drops players to 0 armor, making your attacks hit very hard. Combined with Powerball, I've gotten first blood solo in the majority of my games to silly players. Also, if anyone EVER tries to attack your tower, taunt=death or waste of flash. Period. I've almost never not gotten a kill from someone or made them waste their precious cooldowns on their spells once they move to close to the tower. Taunting them not only reduces their armor and snares them, but it forces the tower to attack them also. Abuse this whenever you can.
This is generally the time where Rammus shines the most. Focus on ganking heroes, team pushing, and Powerballing across the map for superb map control and keeping all of your lanes in check. Combining this with sunfire cape for quickly annihilating creep waves, you should outlevel players quickly. Always go for the neutral buff given by the Reptile for an incredible damage over time spell that stacks with sunfire and slows the opponent down, giving you many easy kills. Use rank 2 of Tremors to quickly annihilate towers, and don't be afraid to tower dive if your sure of the kills. Your armor will reduce the damage of towers by up to 75% in mid game, which is simply puny damage.
The game is generally over by this point, either way. If you played well and had much success with pushing and ganking, then its nearly impossible for the team to swing back. Their only hopes of doing so is generally a carry who is nicely farmed/fed, and luckily you are the answer to this. A well stacked master yi can't penetrate your armor, unless they have multiple black cleavers, and they are still going to be damaging themselves greatly due to thornmail and defensive ball curl. Stick to the plan generally of your mid game strategy, except be more cautious, as people are much more in line with Rammus's capabilities by this point.