Build Guide by shiredragon
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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.
I am relatively new, I have Added Runes and Masteries to lvl 30. Also, this build is built around utilizing your strong points to harass the enemies and make yourself too good to be ignored. This is optimized for a mostly physical damage opponent team (that is what I seem to encounter 80% of the time).
-On speed demand with Powerball
-Able to take the heat off an ally, taunt an enemy into your tower or team.
-Damage mitigation and reflect with the shield.
-AoE harass with your relatively short ultimate.
-Armor -> Damage, this makes you an awesome anti-physical.
-A bit squishier against casters.
-Melee, so you can be harassed early by ranged.
-Tends to be mana constrained. Pop everything about two times and you are dry.
I find these items work fairly well. Please note, this is optimized for a physical damage team. If they have 2 or more nukers, scrap this build and build more HP and get the Impaler item. The Sunfire Cloak is still good, but the Frozen Heart would be almost useless against 3+ casters.
At the start, I get Doran's Shield (replace as needed) for the early HP, Armor->Damage, and Regen. It keeps me in the field longer. Then I go for the Ninja Tabi to get me in and out faster, also combos with the talent to increase movement when you dodge. Next I get the Heart of Gold. I find this very useful since many times I get assists. Then I proceed to get the Aegis of the Legion. Armor, Resists, and HP; not to mention Armor, Resist, and Damage to allies. After that I get Sunfire for the obvious reasons. One is that it helps you take care of minions quickly so you can get gold and lane, also puts heat on the enemies in a big melee. The second is that you get HP out of it. As noted in other builds, Rammus is a lower HP tank. I think this has a few reasons, and so get some HP first to make you less nuke susceptible.
At this point my build deviates depending on team. More physics = this, more caster go to more HP. If this is more physical, I used to get Thornmail next, but I find that it is a bit counter productive. I mean first, they get diminishing returns from Armor, then for my Defensive Curl if it is up, then from their magic resist on the return. So, I subbed it out of my main rotation. Now I usually assess what I am up against. If I am against a lot of physical DPS, I get the Frozen Heart to reduce their Attack Speed and give me reduced cooldowns. If I am against Casters, I look into a couple options. Banshee's Viel being near the top. At this point I am a tough cookie.
By now we are getting into bigger battles, so I the Guardian Angle. It is nice so you can be a little more reckless or so that you have more space to breath if you team fouls up. Now, I finish the Heart of Gold into Randiun's Omen.
If you find yourself against a heavy caster team, scrap most of the Armor pieces and build for HP, Resist, and Atma's Impaler. Soul Shroud is nice for those teams since it helps your team and buffs HP.
Early game, it is about getting the gold and experience. Stay in your lane as long as possible, don't solo. Being melee, the ranged will harass the hell out of you and you won't get any real cash if you soloed. Work with your teammate. It is super easy to gank the other team if they get separated, pull too close to the tower, or are a little too low. Powerball in, melee, taunt before they run away (your ally should be nuking them by now), and in the remaining second run around him. Putting yourself on the other side of the enemy gives you just as many hits, but now they have to run around you buying your teammate another chance to nuke them. If they get too close to your tower and are in range, run in, Taunt, laugh, and then Powerball. As soon as you taunt, the tower will target them for hitting you. Now they are slowed and taking major damage. Even if they don't die, they are now hurting.
Mid-game I do much of the before, but Taunt becomes a much bigger deal. It is now long enough that I can physically drag enemies around at my will. "Oh, you came too close to the tower." 'Taunt and run them to the back side of the tower.' Or perhaps they are playing hide and go seek with their own tower. I can run in, Taunt, and drag them into my three waiting allies. Don't forget what I mentioned before about running to the other side of an enemy. It is very useful. I will Powerball in, Taunt, Shield, then Ultimate while running around them. Now they have to run towards my team, or through my Ultimate while I beat on them.
Late game or in big melee fights, I try to find the top 1-2 physical damage threats in the fight. When we engage, I go in and gun for them. I can AoE with the Sunfire and Ult while Taunting and beating the **** out of their dangerous player. If they try to ambush us, I find the player they are targeting and Taunt off of him. As our guy runs, I then wind up and power ball the nearest enemy to him (and as many others as possible) to buy him more time. When playing with a Karthus, Fiddlesticks, or similar ally; a great combo is to Powerball a couple enemies and Taunt another to keep them inside the painful AoEs that you know they want to avoid.
First off, I just want to remind you that this is with team playing in mind. It is to put pressure on your enemies to make you enough of a threat to target, but if they do, they will take a pounding. And, to do everything you can to redirect, slow, and otherwise hamper their efforts to do anything effective. If you get fed, you can become a monster that will chew through them like a warm knife through butter, but don't expect it. Make your team strong.
Also, while doing this I thought up a new build that I will try sometime also physical opponent centric. I will report back with what I find. (Note: have not been able to get a good feel for it yet.)
And yes, I am sure I can improve. If you have serious criticisms, please be kind and I will listen. If you want to flame, have at it; you won't make a difference and I will just ignore it.
Thank you and enjoy the harassment.
-Updated for more experience.
-Updated Runes and Masteries to assume lvl 30.