Build Guide by HarveyFartbottom
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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.
This is my first guide, so bear with me on the organization.
I've been playing Rammus with some serious success since I first chose him. I decided it's about time I post my build because it consistently works, and I see people constantly messing him up. The item sequence above is one that I frequently choose, but you always have to take the other team into account. It should be obvious, but if you're playing a really disable-heavy or caster-heavy team, get mercs, and go for banshee's veil first. I'll tell you, despite the armor pen runes, you shouldn't make stacking armor, and thus damage, your number one priority. In the end, Rammus's damage is not all that high unless you build him entirely for armor and stack Sunfires (which I think is stupid), and it doesn't even do you any good if you get decimated by casters. People have a tendency to blow CDs on you as soon as you engage, which is awesome if you're built well, and terrible if you're not. It's embarrassing dying as the tank before your team gets there.
Anyway, as you can see, my build is sort of a hybrid. I consider Rammus a tank, although some just call him a carry. He can really be both. Protection is the number one priority. Rammus is continually useful because of taunt, so whether you're putting out a ton of damage or not, if you stay alive, your team stays alive, and you win.
I went armor pen marks because they're huge for first blood. Armor pen is absolutely most useful at the start, as once the opponents get any significant amount of armor, the effect is negligible. First blood is key (well really with any champion) as a stacked Rammus = dead other team. I had magic pen runes for a long time, but ultimately, I found that I liked armor pen. Both can be good.
I went health/level with some dodge on my seals, which is really personal preference. Flat health quints is very nice to start, and I chose mana regen/level on glyphs because Rammus does really run out of mana quickly because he's constantly using all his abilities, and they're fairly costly.
To go further on the item build, I go cloth armor and 5x healing pots. This is not for jungling. This is mostly because Rammus gets hit a lot as his entire focus is running right into the middle of things. This will allow you in almost every case to survive even against heavy harrassers until you can grab HoG and boots. HoG is great to start, and it can turn into Randuin's late-game (If you happen to own early, you can go straight to a Sunfire. I've done this a few times). After this, choose your L2 boots, and then choose Sunfire or Banshee's. Because of cleanse, I almost always go Sunfire, but Banshee's sneaks in there pretty frequently, as most teams in ranked are heavy on disables/AP. Almost always, my first four items are HoG, L2 boots, Sunfire, and Banshee's. SOMETIMES, but infrequently, I go thornmail before Banshee's, but that's only if the other team is stupid and went almost all AD. Banshee's is useful against almost any team.
It's really up to you how you build from here. Base it on what they have. I almost never get 2 capes. I find it to be a waste. In the end, I've just found that other items keep him alive better, and the 40 damage/sec is not that huge once you get late-game.
And as for cleanse vs. flash, I'm still up in the air. Both have proven to be incredibly useful, and it just seems like a tossup which turns out better in each game. Your choice.
I'll now list some play issues, many of which are common sense, some of which are not:
1) Rammus is a great 2v1, as he can taunt anyone who comes to the tower, and if all your minions are dead, you can pop defensive curl and tank while the tower kills them.
2) Always be on the look out to taunt into your tower. Ghost isn't a bad idea to run up and taunt. They rarely expect it. Also, one huge benefit of ghost for taunting is that you can run away before they hit you and bring them a very long distance. If you can, always taunt before you powerball. ALL the time, I see people powerball into someone they don't NEED to, and so they're slowed and they have far less control in terms of running them backwards. The damage on defensive ball curl is nice, but definitely be on the lookout for running someone into your team rather than sitting there and dealing damage yourself.
3) Don't be afraid to disengage defensive ball curl if it means powerballing them as they run. People don't seem used to this yet. It's good.
4) Don't be afraid to let powerball run out. I see Rammus get killed frequently because he felt the need to run into SOMETHING and went into an enemy that killed him.
5) Save taunt if you know there's a carry that will jump in, whether it's Twitch, Trist, or anyone else. Don't just taunt the first guy you see that might do some damage.
6) I started writing this two nights ago and got too tired. I swear I had more useful things. If there's one thing to remember though, it's number 2. Especially when they're tower-hugging, you can ghost in, taunt, and run them all the way out to your team. I'll likely amend this more as I think of more. I hope this guide helps!
OH, one more. Please let Rammus get blue once in a while. It is so much better on him than people think it is. He's an ability spammer, and being able to constantly taunt and powerball and keep up his mana is HUGE.
That's all. Enjoy!