Build Guide by TribalPlayer
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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.
((My first guide, so please bear with me a bit. Comments greatly appreciated!))
Rammus is a high armor tank champion with a little lack in health and magic resistance. He is very skill based, but not very difficult to play. In order to play Rammus well you need to have these things in mind:
1. You need to be brave. Being the tank means always being in front off your team. And sometimes this means dying a few items for the team's sake. You'll need to get used to this.
2. You need good map awareness. In order to be there for your team, you need to know when and where team fights are likely going to happen.
3. You cannot panic under chaos. A tank like Rammus needs to be able to know when to stand his ground and not scatter when things get hectic.
If you can fulfill those qualities, or you can at least try to, then you are ready to play Rammus!
Let me start by saying that this is my default choice of items, and that you should change is slightly depending on what you are up against and who your teammates are.
I start with boots, two health potions, and a mana potion. I like this setup best because the increased mobility protects me from becoming first blood, and the potions allow me to help my teammate harass if we are doing well. And sometimes that little extra speed will get our team the first blood.
The first thing you want to get on your way back is ninja tabi boots of course. Lucky for you, ninja tabi are the cheapest boots available, and on top of already having your boots of speed it will only cost you 500g. Granted, if the enemy team looks stun heavy or magic heavy, it might be a better idea to get mercury treads instead. If you need one more, it might be a good idea to buy another health potion, and a ward if your team hasn’t already placed a few.
The next item you build will be dependant on how you are doing so far. If you feel like you are constantly running out of mana, you should grab the sapphire crystal. If you are doing well in using your skills conservatively, then grab the chain vest. Both will build into glacial shroud as soon as you have the money.
Aegis of the legion is actually a kind of optional item. I sometimes build it, if my team is getting into team fights very early on. But you can put it off until later. Be sure to let your team know that you are building it, in case someone else decides to do the same, making yours useless.
The rest of the items can be built as you like. Be sure to gauge what you are up against and build your items in accordance to that.
There are a few items that I can recommend in place of others if you’re not liking some of these choices.
Sunfire cape: This can be a really expensive item sometimes, and if you would rather, Randiun’s Omen can be a lot more bang for your buck.
Guardian Angel: Guardian angel is great because it is one of the only item in the game that offers both magic resistance as well as armor. But you may feel that the extra cost to have the revive is not worth it, and believe me sometimes it isn’t. If you feel that way, spirit visage, Randiun’s Omen, Banshee’s veil, and Warmog’s armor are all great alternatives.
Rammus gains additional damage as his shell becomes reinforced, converting 25% of his armor into damage
This is a great free little reward riot gives you for building what you are supposed to. The more armor you have, the more damage you do; simple. Do not mistake this as an excuse to ONLY buy armor items. Since Rammus lacks in natural magic resist, you will need to buy some of that too, as needed.
Rammus accelerates in a ball towards his enemies, dealing damage and slowing targets affected by the impact.
Rammus accelerates in a ball towards his enemies, dealing 100/150/200/250/300 (+1/AP) magic damage and causing 28/36/44/52/60% reduced movement speed to nearby enemies on impact.
Cost 80/90/100/110/120 Mana
Powerball gives you some awesome mobility for getting where you need to be at the right time. You will find yourself using this move all the time. The trick though, is when to use it. Considering Rammus' low mana pool, this ability is a bit expensive, so try to use it sparingly. I've found that powerball is a great move for initiating fights, and for escaping fights. Do not use this ability for its damage. The hit box on this move is actually quite large, so enemies may try to hide behind creeps to stop you, but often times it will still hit them anyway. Powerball is also a "knock up" move, which means it will interrupt channeling spells. Use this spell to get into the fights first to save your team, and to escape enemies when things get hairy.
Rammus goes into a defensive formation, vastly increasing his armor and magic resistance, while returning damage to attacks.
Rammus goes into a defensive formation for 6 seconds, increasing his armor and magic resistance by 50/75/100/125/150 and returning 22/28/34/40/46 (+ (10% of Armor)) magic damage to attackers.
Cost 50/50/50/50/50 Mana
This ability will save your hide time and time again. Above all, I use this ability for the armor and magic resist more than the damage return. Since Rammus normally lacks in magic resist, this (along with items) is how you supplement. An extra 50 magic resist at level 1 is awesome, which is partly why I get this move first. While I mostly only use this move when fighting players, if I have the mana for it, I will use this move to take down creeps a bit faster since the extra armor it also grants will beef up your passive ability. There is a tricky part to using this move however; While defensive ball curl lasts, you cannot use powerball. This makes things a bit frustrating when the teams fights get hectic and you just want to spam all your moves at once. If you really need to use powerball for an escape, or to catch up with a straggling enemy, you can always press W again to cancel the ball curl.
Rammus taunts an enemy unit into a reckless assault against Rammus' hard shell, reducing armor temporarily.
Rammus taunts the unit into a reckless assault, reducing their armor by 10/15/20/25/30 and forcing them to attack Rammus for 1/1.5/2/2.5/3 second(s).
Cost 50/60/70/80/90 Mana
This move is what makes Rammus great. My favorite way to use this move is when defending a tower. Enemies will usually go nowhere near your tower as long as you are hanging around. With taunt, if they ever go in range of your tower, you can grab them with taunt, forcing them to hit you, which shifts the towers attacks onto that enemy. This can be devastating at higher ranks of taunt when it lasts 3 seconds. You can also use powerball right after taunt to make sure they stay in the tower's range even longer. As for team fights, this move really saves your squishy dps from physical carries. When the enemy carry goes right for your carry, your job is to taunt them right off so your team can eliminate them while the enemy hopelessly tries to get through your 470 armor and magic resist. Taunt will also cancel channeling spells and lock all actions of the enemy target, so it is equally as good against AP based enemies.
Rammus creates waves of destruction pulsing through the ground, causing damage to units and structures near him.
Rammus creates tremors beneath him, dealing 65/130/195 (+0.3) magic damage per second to nearby units and structures.
Lasts 8 seconds.
Cost 120/120/120 Mana
This move is just plain awesome. There's a wide variety of places you can use this spell. It's one of the few spells that actually affects towers, which you can imagine might get devastating at rank 3, dealing 1600 damage over the full duration. Be very careful though, if you hit an enemy champion with your tremors, the tower WILL target you. At a certain point you wont give a damn about tower damage (especially with your defensive ball curl) but until then, be careful. Another way I use my tremors is to quickly clear a wave of creeps. It's not the most efficient way to spend your mana, but tremors combined with sunfire cape is almost guaranteed to get your every last hit in the wave, which sums up to a good free 150g at least. Lastly, tremors in team fights. It's important to make sure tremors is up and ready for every team fight, which is why I build at least one cooldown reduction item for my build, to make its short cooldown even shorter. To make this move as efficient as possible, you'll need to position yourself in a way to make sure it's hitting as many enemies as possible. While you aren't going to be the main source of damage on your team, that kind of potential damage shouldn't be wasted.
: You can choose whatever mark you want here, really. Some people choose attack runes here because marks are the best attack runes of course, but Rammus is not meant to be busting out the massive 'deeps'. Even though it is not much, I chose health here to supplement Rammmus' lack. If you want a cheaper alternative than the health per level, flat magic resist also works nicely for marks.
: This is where the health per level really shines. Almost 180 health at level 18 is really nice. It's approximately 3 times better than flat health runes. I've seen some people choose dodge or armor seals, and I have to disagree with those choices. Dodge is very counterproductive with your defensive ball curl move. While dodge may save your life in some cases, more health and being able to return damage with your ball curl will lend more advantage. Armor is a nice choice, if that is what you like, but rather than beefing up my strengths with runes, I like to focus on covering my weaknesses.
: These are runes that everyone should have regardless of champion choice. 24 magic resist at level 18 is sweet, that's 20ish% damage reduction. With these glyphs on Rammus, your magic resist will almost be as good as your armor, effectively covering your *** for both AP and AD carries.
: Both of these are great choices. Get whatever combination of each that you like better. I like doing two fortitude to make sure I don't get destroyed in the early game.
I chose ghost because if there is one thing that will always save you, it’s extra mobility. Using ghost on Rammus while powerballing can easily make you the fastest champion in the match. This extra mobility is necessary for a tank, to be where your team needs you as fast as possible.
Teleport is more of a personal preference for me. I understand it’s not for everyone, but it suits my play style perfectly. I love being able to teleport to previously placed wards to really throw the enemy for a loop.
Other summoner spells that work well are flash and cleanse. Flash can give you the extra bit of mobility you need, like ghost to make sure the enemy doesn’t escape, or to make sure you’re never caught yourself. Cleanse in general is good for tanks to make sure you are staying active and not locked down in team fights, as well as avoiding ganks. If you do decide to take cleanse, be sure to change your masteries appropriately by taking a point out of “defensive mastery” from the defense tree, and putting it into “willpower” for cleanse. Change the improved ghost/teleport also if you take one away.
Finally, let's look into HOW to play Rammus.
As I said in the introduction, Rammus doesn't have as much health or magic resist as other tanks, so he may feel a bit squishy in the early game. You'll want to take top lane or bottom lane, and preferably bring a ranged champion with you. If you find yourself being harassed constantly, it's okay to give up some ground. As long as you have taunt ready, enemies won't try anything funny around your tower. Conserve your mana enough for a powerball to escape or chase, and enough mana to taunt after that at all times. Without mana, Rammus quickly becomes useless.
Now that you should have a few good items, you're ready to tank. Keep a sharp eye on the mini map to see where you are needed. Powerball can be a great way to help teammates cover lanes when needed. Simply use powerball a couple times to get over there fast. When the team fights break out, Rammus has a fairly simple spell rotation to follow (if you want to use all moves, it's going to take approximately half your mana, so be conservative!).
1. Make sure your team is well positioned and not too far away from you
2. Being the tank, you need to be the first one into the fight. Powerball into the enemy team. This helps by stopping their actions for a split second, and sometimes breaking their formation.
3. Defensive ball curl IMMEDIATELY after powerball ends. This is very important to your survival in the team fight. In most cases this will easily double your armor and magic resistance.
4. If the enemy team is still engaged, check to see if any of your teammates are being attacked. Use taunt to pry them off and save your allies. If the enemies are all targeting you, stand your ground, use tremors and help focus on the same person you team is focusing on.
5. If the enemy team has decided to run, use powerball to catch up to them, or use taunt to ensure at least one doesn't escape. When powerballing, you should try to hit the enemy with the best mobility, and stop them using taunt, because your team can help catch slower champions on their own.
End game is really more of the same from mid game. Only now the laning phase should be done. Stay with your team. Stay in front of your team. Use powerball to engage and chase. Use taunt to single out enemies. Use tremors to scatter enemy champions or deal decent damage. Use defensive ball curl right before entering bushes, in case there is a gank waiting. At this point you should have a decent mana pool and mana regeneration, so you are allowed to use defensive ball curl a bit more freely since it only costs 50 mana. If no one on your team seems to need ancient golem buff, feel free to take it. Having that huge amount of expendable mana allows you to spam moves making you deadly as well as tanky.
In conclusion I hope you found this build helpful. Good luck!
If you have any thoughts on this guide, changes, errors, questions, feel free to comment in the box below.
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Edit: Working on replacing image links with actual informational links