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Rammus Build Guide by Vynertje
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Threats & Synergies
After first back she cannot do shit against you.
She cannot kill you and you'll have a hard time killing her as well. Essentially you'll both just freefarm which is good for you.
You cannot even get close to her. Don't even bother playing this matchup.
Gnar is okay. Overall he doesn't have enough damage to fuck you up but you cannot do anything against him either. In the end it matters who plays the lategame better.
J4 is essentially the same as Irelia: Can't kill you, you can't kill him. His lategame and TP ganks are a lot more dangerous though.
Boring. Both of you cannot do a thing to each other so you'll just end up farming and outscaling him.
Dangerous as you cannot stop him from farming his Q.
Little bit less dangerous than Lissandra cause he's melee, but still fucks you up.
He's ranged. Nuff said. Him being AD makes it relatively easier though.
It's hard to stop him from farming and reaching late game but he cannot really kill you either. With gank support you can still shut him down pretty well.
Ranged AP. Ouch.
Even if he's mid, it's still great to pick rammus against this guy because you can taunt him during his ult.
Packs a lot of hybrid damage which makes it relatively hard to fight him early game.
Introduction - Why Rammus top?
Rammus is your best counter to those pesky top lane fighters. Due to the way he scales with armour he can and will become the most tanky monster on the rift while dealing tons of damage. Need proof? Here, have a video of me oneshotting Caitlyn in ranked team.
This guide will not tell you that Rammus top is the new OP top laner nor will I tell you it is superior to jungle Rammus. What I will tell and teach you is that if you pick Rammus top in the right situation, you can and will get some stuff done.
Finally, if you're looking for real gameplay footage, check out this video in which I get obliterated by Riven in the early game but still wreck everyone's faces - Diamond 4 solo queue.
Long story short, Rammus excels against relatively squishy, high physical damage targets. This is because Rammus will have the potential to blow them up, while they usually cannot dent you: your damage scales on the total armour you get.
So, Rammus excels when:
- The enemy top laner is fully physical damage, e.g. Riven/ Fiora and relatively squishy
- The enemy team doesn't have a big magic damage target (in other words: is full AD oriented with AD top, mid and bot)
- The enemy top doesn't hyperscale like Nasus
On the other hand, you shouldn't pick Rammus when you're facing ranged champions, specifically mages like Lissandra. This is because Rammus cannot get in range to them and because mages will not allow you to stack armor and get damage from Spiked Shell and Defensive Ball Curl. Even when you're not facing an AP top, you should still be wary of teams with AP junglers and mids because this will essentially mean that you'll have to start buying magic resist items regardless.
For runes, I choose to go with a healthy mix of everything Rammus needs. Armor is the obvious choice for Rammus and I coupled it with some AD and attack speed for more damage in trades early game. It also helps last hitting under the turret a lot. Besides that we got a standard mix of flat and scaling magic resist to help us out.
While you are of course allowed to make a few changes, I'd strongly recommend to stick close to this page as it offers all you need for early game.
Picking masteries, I essentially went for the same effective mix of maximizing defence with some attack damage and attack speed. Double-Edged Sword is a little bit of a weird pick considering Rammus is a tank but I use it to abuse early-/midgame damage from Sunfire Aegis, Defensive Ball Curl, Spiked Shell and Soaring Slam.
Summoners are standard for most top lane champions right now. Flash is great and allows you to make big plays ( Flash- Powerball engages) and is a must for Rammus. Teleport allows you to sustain in lane (as Rammus lacks sustain) and even go for ganks on other lanes. Especially when coupled with Enchantment: Homeguard these ganks will be super effective. I would not recommend to go with anything else as it completely ruins your pick.
Instead of maxing puncturing taunt which is the standard for jungle Rammus, we max Defensive Ball Curl (DBC) first. This is because the taunt simply has only one use being gank support, while DBC allows us to trade more effectively in lane (take less damage, deal more damage) - do not forget that the bonus armour you get from this spell also stacks with Spiked Shell.
Secondly though I max puncturing taunt as it's just such a powerful tool in late game. Two or three seconds is all you need to kill an ADC with this build and having this spell maxed out will allow you to do so before they can get away. Finally we max Powerball - although the damage goes up significantly and the cooldown drops down, it's still a one-point-wonder compared to the other skills you have at your disposal.
|This passive is one of the things that makes Rammus top viable. Even at low level the returns from this passive are immense. If you stick by my recommended setup, you start the game with 55 armor and 80 AD, which is absolutely unheard of for other champions. It also means your early levels are actually a lot stronger than most people bargain for, allowing you to win some easy trades.|
Powerball is Rammus most unique spell and the use of this spell alone distinguishes a decent player from a good one. Basically, there are a lot of things you have to keep in mind when using it:
Very self explanatory spell with massive impact. As we max it, we can use it in top lane to make our trades super effective. As it stacks with Spiked Shell it also means you get about 25-30 AD as well. Just be careful when it's on cooldown and try to time the use of it with your taunt. With this spell and Spiked Shell, stacking armor also means getting more damage. I've had games in which I dealt more damage than the ADC just by stacking armor on this spell.
puncturing taunt is probably the most feared tool in Rammus' skillset. It used to be a 3 second taunt but even at 2.25 right now it's devastating in effect. While it's not the most useful laning tool you can use it to follow up on ganks or set up ganks yourself when roaming around the map.
Keep in mind that in late game, a lot of supports will get Mikael's Blessing (or sometimes ADCs even get Quicksilver Sash) to get rid of the taunt, so make sure you keep an eye on the enemy's items so you won't blow everything on a target that can just cleanse away from you.
Soaring Slam is a cool ultimate which has a really low cooldown, making it quite versatile in use. First and foremost, you can use it to get better trades against your enemy; as the cooldown is so low you won't have to be afraid of wasting it. Besides that, you can use it to clear waves faster just before going back to base (so you won't lose a lot of minions or be able to save your Teleport for later). Finally, it works on turrets - this makes Rammus a terrifying splitpushing force: no one can kill you while you can even kill them under their turrets as you're so damn tanky.
Most obviously, you can use it in teamfights to get massive area of effect damage.
Doran's Shield, Health Potion and Stealth Ward
Standard start for a passive early game start. Doran's Shield gives you everything you need to be just as tanky as you possibly can in the early game, but not giving any armour means your damage can be lacking. Besides that, you're also limited to only 1 Health Potion meaning you cannot go as aggressive early as the other start allows you to. In short, I'd recommend this start for any medium to hard matchup.
Cloth Armor, 5x Health Potion and Stealth Ward
More aggressive start for favourable lanes. While it might seem rather passive, the Cloth Armor means you get 70 armour on startup combined with nearly 90 AD, meaning you actually get a lot of damage early game while mitigating a lot of enemy damage. Besides that, the extra potions allow you to play more aggressively for a longer time without having to go back to base. I'd recommend this against all champions who only deal physical damage.
Core items are the items you should be getting in every game as long as you picked Rammus in the right situation. These items are so important for Rammus that they should never be replaced.
|Sunfire Aegis is pretty much all you need to start dominating your lane. It works so well with Rammus in all aspects: it makes you really tanky early on while amplifying your damage and wave clear. Especially early game this item works wonders, so I'd recommend to get this before anything else.|
|I've already talked about homeguards, but I'll do it again here. Homeguard boots are so amazingly good on Rammus (especially Rammus top as you'll run Teleport every game) that you should always get these, even early in the game. They allow you to splitpush very effectively as you can roam around the map so fast while also giving you the ability to go for super powerful Teleport ganks. I'll discuss different boots later, but this should be bought every game after finishing your Sunfire Aegis|
|Randuin's Omen is the second main item you should be getting. While it doesn't offer any damage stats besides the armour through Spiked Shell, it does make you a lot tankier than the other options can - it is the strongest item providing both health and armour in the game. In terms of defensive stats its an upgrade over Sunfire Aegis|
|If Thornmail wasn't a self-explanatory pick, I would perhaps have something to say here. It synergizes so well with Rammus' kit that it again is a must-buy. It gives 100 armour which also translates into 25 AD and 10 bonus damage on your Defensive Ball Curl, not to forget that you return some juicy damage to all the targets hitting you. With this you can literally one shot enemy carries.|
These items allow for a little bit more flexibility in your build: whether it is because that one AP carry got out of hand or because you already have enough armour. If you need, you can get these before finishing your 3rd core item.
|If you really find yourself and your team needing some magic resist? This item is the solution. While only giving 40 magic resist, this item is really good for your team if they are low on magic resist themselves. The item is even better when the 1 AP guy you're facing deals a lot of AoE damage.|
|New item introduced in the preseason. While the stats aren't overwhelming, it can give some extra power to your engage if you really feel the need. It's also hilarious when you use this item combined with homeguard-teleport ganks. Keep in mind though that it costs the same as Warmog's Armor which gives 300 extra hp and a lot of regen.|
|If you really think you have enough armour, you can get this to boost your HP and regen massively. It also gives you the freedom to build into Turbo Chemtank if you end up not wanting this.|
|If you want as much MR as you can as quickly as possible, this is your item to go. While 55 magic resist isn't THAT much, it should be more than enough to keep that one pesky AP carry off your ***. Also, the spell shield makes it somewhat easier to engage because you cannot get stopped by CC as easily anymore. Besides that, it comes with some nice HP and hp regen so overall it's a really good item for magic resist needs.|
|More of a troll item than anything else, Guardian Angel is absolutely hilarious when you've already got 5 core items and just want to annoy the enemy some more. Just roll around in your Powerball taunting the enemy - you've got a second life now so there isn't a thing to lose. (I don't think they'd even dare to attack you anyway).|
Boots are obviously essential, even for Rammus. I'll quickly explain the 3 possible choices and when you should get them where.
|Standard choice, they are dirt cheap and give the best stat possible: armour! Besides that they come with a very nice passive reducing all damage from basic attacks significantly, making them very good in lane - this is a big difference from other boot types, which usually don't give any lane power.||
|If you want to focus a little bit more on roaming around the map rather than just laning, these will be your friend. They're relatively cheap and give A LOT of movement speed. You can easily get over 1000 movement speed if you do some fun Enchantment: Homeguard + Teleport ganks with these. However, they're as useless as tier 1 boots in a full blown fight or in lane, so only get this if you're really planning to roam.|
|I don't really like getting these boots a lot as your role as a tank is to absorb as much CC as you can and you don't really need to constantly hit people yourself anyway, but if you're really afraid of the enemy CC you can go for it.|
First of all, your early levels depend on the champion you're facing. If you're facing Riven, feel free to go for some early trades as your high armour count and high AD will help winning those. However, if you're facing Darius (who has a lot of mixed damage) you should rather wait till you have some extra health. However, once you have Sunfire Aegis you should be beating pretty much every matchup.
When trading however, be careful for your Defensive Ball Curl. While you win every trade when it's activated, once it is on cooldown you are rather vulnerable, so make sure to back off in time.
When ganks are concerned, I'd usually recommend being careful (both recieving and getting ganks) early game because your damage follow up is low till 6 and you are relatively squishy till you actually get some items. Therefore I don't often ask for ganks till I hit 6, but once I get 6 ganks will actually become incredibly powerful.
When deciding to back to base, try to save your Teleport for ganks rather than using it to get back to lane quickly. Now of course you'll want to get that juicy wave from time to time anyway, but it's really valuable to keep that teleport ready so you can do some powerful ganks.
When late game is concerned, you pretty much want to be splitpushing with teleport up. Make sure to have good ward coverage around so they cannot kill you easily. When you want to initiate a teamfight, try to teleport behind your enemies and roll towards them to initiate. The most important thing to keep in mind that engaging right from the front won't work very often unless you have Flash up.