Rammus Build Guide

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Tank'n & Team Fight'n Rammus

written by Coonz

Rammus Build



Table of Contents

  • Pure Tank Against a Physical Heavy Team

    This is been what I've been playing recently.

    This build is a little less tanky then the others, especially early so be careful. This is still a tank build, but keep in mind the needs of your team before you go this route.

    Rammus' Tremors does not scale well for AP. And as all of my builds focus on team fights, thats the spell we most want to enhance if we're going to try to do some damage. Hence: Magic Pen Rammus.

    DON'T start with "the usual"

    Jungling Start:


    Lane Start:


    Next


    For Your Core
    first, then which will increase the effectiveness of both your Tremors and your Sunfire Cape

    Next:
    for slow and hp

    Finally:
    [Item_icon=Soul Shroud] for CD reduction and HP and mana regen (as shorter CDs mean faster mana use)

    You Still Haven't Won? Choose One:

  • Pure Tank Against a Magic Heavy Team

    This an in depth guide covering how to get started on the right foot playing Rammus competitively in 5v5. Being a good tank is knowing your items well so you can adapt to the enemy. Therefore, this guide focuses a lot on your myriad options.

    I want to recommend bguggs' excellent guide Master of Assists for further reading especially on Rammus tactics, which I don't cover in great detail. I'm a big fan of his guide and I wanted to make a guide that covered how to be flexible in your builds as a good tank should be.

  • Abilities

    Spiked Shell
    Sounds cool right? Unfortunately its not. There is a common misconception that Rammus does primarily physical damage. He actually does mostly magical. Let me explain before you sharpen your pitchforks.

    Rammus' attack speed is excruciatingly slow. He does very little damage through his auto attack, so the extra physical damage won't help you much there. None of his abilities deal physical damage.

    Rammus' doesn't do much damage but when he does he's doing it by turning enemies attacks against them with Defensive Ball Curl and Tremors both of these do Magic Damage.

    Despite the somewhat uselessness of this passive, Rammus is still a physical damage mitigation tank. His armor stats are higher than magic resist, and Defensive Ball Curl is great against dps characters.


    Powerball
    Key to Rammus' awesome ability to intervene and save people at the last moment. Use this all the time. Note that the speed increases exponentially, so if you're ganking its wise to hide out of sight and let it ramp up for about 5 seconds so you can fly in at maximum speed. Try Flash in the middle of your power ball to jump over creep waves and smash into your enemies. Or using Ghost for awesome map mobility.

    Try to get good at going straight from Powerball smashing into enemies to Puncturing Taunt them immediately.

    Dont level this more than once. The damage it does is insignificant at any level.


    Defensive Ball Curl
    Makes it possible for Rammus to Jungle. Pop this once you've initiated a team fight to be extra strong and sit there like a brick turning enemy's attacks against them, using Puncturing Taunt their strongest damage champ and hitting everyone with Tremors. Also useful early game to survive ganks.


    Puncturing Taunt
    Why Rammus is good. If you have a carry with you, and you taunt an enemy, your enemy will never live to escape that taunt. This is your job. It's not glamorous but it is fun. Try to be with a carry or dps as much as possible so you can have their damage.


    Tremors
    Use in team fights, use for early game kills, and use to scare off tower divers. The fact is it doesn't actually do that much damage. Sure its helpful when you're in a team fight and seems like a lot when you're taunted and you're level 8, but it's no Fiddlesticks or Nunu ulti. Cooldown isn't very long compared to other aoe ultis so use it in any team fight. Often goes unnoticed in big team fights because of its subtle animation, thats when the damage starts to matter, because people don't notice it and stay in range.


  • The Rammus Combo

    There are many fun an inventive ways to combo Rammus' abilities to thwart your enemies. However the one that every Rammus player needs to know first is:

    1. Powerball to close the distance and hit your target for a disruption and a slow.
    2. Puncturing Taunt Immediately! To keep them around.

    Then your carry or dps is free to kill the enemy at will.
    If your enemy isnt dead immediately, or you are alone,

    3. Defensive Ball Curl To protect yourself and to hit damage back at them.

    And if you are initiating a team fight or alone and its important enough to ulti
    4. Tremors


    Remember that you're never gonna do great damage alone. Especially after early game. Early game you can kill a few people one on one, but when you're building tank, the damage drops off too much for that. You won't die, but they'll get away.

    Pro tip: Escaping Once Your Job is Done
    After youve initiated a big team fight with this and your team is in full fuck-them-up mode, and all your abilites are on cooldown and you're just about to die after taking a crap load of damage: Flash outside the team fight and Powerball home. This is a good way to turn a 1 death team fight victory into a 0 death and maximize the amount of time you can be in the middle taking damage for your team.
    DON'T do this if your team is losing the team fight. Stay around and see as many of your teammates to safety as you can. You die before any of them.

  • Summoner Spells

    I Recommend:
    Use with Powerball for jumping obstacles and closing distance fast. Use after your "Rammus Combo" to increase your survivability.

    [Spell_icon=Fortify] Don't underestimate. A well placed fortify can save a game. Use it carefully and don't use too early, wait until the tower is taking damage for max disruption. Can also be used to murder tower divers with the increased speed of tower attack.


    Other Good Choice:
    Great map mobility when used with Powerball


    I don't feel that any of the other summoner spells are particularly good for Rammus. Remember you're there to tank, not rack up the kills.

  • Runes

    This is what I'm using these days. Runes depend alot on your play style, but I like these.

    Summary
    +1.73 Armor per Level (+31.14 at champion level 18)
    +2.72 Magic Resist per Level (+48.96 at champion level 18)

    Details
    Greater Quintessence of Defense x1
    Greater Quintessence of Shielding x2
    Greater Glyph of Shielding x9
    Greater Seal of Defense x9
    Greater Mark of Shielding x9 (Marks don't matter much for Rammus)

    Why All the Magic Resist?
    There are much better tank items for Armor than Magic Resist, plus Rammus' stats lean toward Armor, and my build leans toward Armor early. So I chose more Magic Resist runes to balance this.

    Why Scaling Runes?
    A tank's most important job doesn't start until mid game. Your scaling glyphs will be just as effective as nonscaling glyphs at level 9 which is just when you'll start having to tank. I've played rammus with both scaling and non-scaling, and I find the scaling much more effective overall.

  • Masteries

    External Image

  • Armor, Magic Resist, & Health

    Armor and Magic Resist is your highest priority. But remember that the more health you're increasing the amount of time your armor and magic resist can be effective while being attacked.

    Don't stack health though, especially early. Because of [Item_text=Madred's Bloodrazor]. Always keep an eye out for enemies building this. Its a tank killer. And it takes high health items off the table.


    Countering [Item_text=Madred's Bloodrazor] is simple enough. Less health stacking, more magic resist. But if you see a high damage charcter like Kog'maw building Madred's Razors, start springing for some extra magic resist.

  • Items of Tanking Glossary

    Not all survivability Items are Tanking Items. And I'm sure I will piss some people off here, but it all comes down to how much raw survivability are you getting for the price you're paying. Rammus has to sit like a brick and take a crap load of damage in a team fight.

    Thornmail
    Use this item to shutdown a runaway Master Yi, Kog'maw, Twisted Fate, etc. But remember it only works when you can force them to focus on you, so basically one at a time.

    Sunfire Cape
    Health and Armor and a nice passive for someone who sits in the middle of team fights. Pretty nice price too.

    Randuin's Omen
    The best physical tanking item in the game in my opinion. Lots of useful stats. Use the Active to shut down multiple attack speed characters at once. One of the two items you can use to counter Vayne.

    Banshee's Veil
    Overrated. This Item is great for keeping squishies alive, but Rammus takes a lot of hits, so the passive won't last long. You don't really need the mana, and you only get 2 more magic resist over a Negatron Cloak but it costs 1,975 more gold for +375 health and a passive that won't do you much good. Useful if you got money to throw around, but not a good core item for most tanks.

    [Item=Force of Nature]
    Awesome Item when fully built, but the price between Negatron Cloak and finishing the build always seems really steep to me with not much benefit along the way. Riot really needs to add another tank magic resist item, but until then, [Item_text=Force of Nature] is the best choice.

    Guardian Angel
    Not my favorite. Again I think this is an item better placed on squishies. Its very expensive and I just don't see that much benefit. I much prefer to escape from team fights with a more versatile Flash then spend so much money on an item that just sets up for a humiliating death as often as saves you.

    Warmog's Armor
    Underrated. Not core worthy on many tanks, but I find it makes an awesome icing-on-the-cake item. Buy it after you finish your core to just multiply your tankiness. I find it very useful when a game runs long. People will give you grief for buying it later in the game, but its still totally worth it. Just beware of [Item_text=Madred's Bloodrazor]. You can still get your Warmog's Armor, but make sure you have some magic resist to deal with [Item_text=Madred's Bloodrazor] Passive.

    Zhonya's Hourglass
    Only suitable for late game on Rammus in my opinion. AP will help your Tremors and Defensive Ball Curl but I don't really find it matters much. The Active can help extend your life when you're taunt is on cooldown in a team fight, but really you should be trying to take more aggro, not throw it off you. I don't recommend it.

    Atma's Impaler
    Again, I'm not keen to recommend this. Always awesome after a Warmog's Armor, but again Rammus attacks so slowly and usually you're in team fights anyway.

    Rod of Ages
    You don't need the mana and I don't think you need the AP. Good on some tanks, not for Rammus.

    Rylai's Crystal Scepter
    Its cool when your Tremors slow, and it gives you health. Not the best item, but get it late game if you're doing well and want to play around with some different items than the usual.

    [Item=Soul Shroud]
    Not recommended for your core. Gives you a good amount of health and it can be helpful if you see your allies are mana starved. The cooldown reduction will help late game.

    Hexdrinker
    This item is for squishes. Don't get it.

    Spirit Visage
    Not recommended. The only thing useful here for Rammus is health and magic resist and not much of either. Only useful if you're with a Soraka or Sona and want to amplify their heals.

    Glacial Shroud
    You don't need the mana or the cooldown reduction. Too pricey for just a little armor.

    Frozen Heart
    You don't need the mana or the cooldown reduction. Get Randuin's Omen instead. One of the two items you can use to counter Vayne.

    Aegis of the Legion
    Some tanks swear by this. It is very cost effective, but I'm just not a big fan. Insert it in my builds just after the [Item_text=Heart of Gold] if you want to use it.

    Frozen Mallet
    NO! I see this all the time on tanks. This item is for carries. The price is way too high and you won't use that passive. Just no.

    Leviathan
    You're a tank, you shouldn't hesitate to sacrifice your life to save your teammates. This item makes you hold back. Great item if you always kick ass all game long. But I don't like to risk it.

    Abyssal Scepter
    Great item on Rammus and often underrated. But I rarely can justify putting it in my builds. The AP doesn't help much, you're really building it for the Magic Resist and the passive.

    Warden's Mail
    Good item for Rammus, but I almost never get it without turning it into Randuin's Omen. Just signifcantly better to finish the build than stick with this.

    [Item=Heart of Gold]
    Great for early game health. Too bad it got nerfed, it used to be godly.

    Ninja Tabi
    Best tank boots. Their price/benefit ratio is better, and they give you the early game armor you need to ignore harassment.

    Mercury's Treads
    Too pricey, and Tenacity doesn't matter much to tanks, not enough for that price anyway. Just buy a Negatron Cloak after your boots to stop AP harassment.

    Boots of Swiftness
    Popular on Rammus, but wrong. Only good for chasing after people with Tremors which doesn't happen much.

    Boots of Mobility
    Pointless when you can just Powerball.

  • How to Start Your Rammus Build

    These items will work for laning or jungling just fine.

    Starting Items


    First Trip Back
    Turn your Cloth Armor into

    So much cheaper than Mercury's Treads and you don't need tenacity, tenacity is for squishies.
    And don't get Boots of Swiftness they're only useful for chasing people with Tremors which just doesn't happen often enough.

    [Item_icon=Heart of Gold]
    Before this got nerfed it was the best item ever, but its still a good choice. Not easy to last hit with Rammus, so the extra gold is welcome and the health is important to fix Rammus' rather low starting health for a tank.

  • On Building Rammus (Or Any Tank)

    Your job is to thwart any attempt your enemy team makes to harm your team. Therefore, your build has to adapt to your enemies. You're going to have to swap out items in your build mid game. These builds below are builds I think of when I'm waiting on the loading screen, but as I get into the game I might realize that the enemy's Annie sucks and I really shouldnt be building so much magic resist, and their Caitlyn is a big problem. You need to know your tanking items well so you can adapt to the situation and lead your team to victory.

  • Pure Tank Against a Varied Team

    If your enemies have built a strong team, you'll have to build in many directions at once. When I'm playing ranked, I find this is the build I have to use most often. There are two versions, but they're very similar. You might have to rush one item or another to stop damage. Here I show a balanced approach to stop all damage.


    Start with the usual.

    Version 1: If the Enemy's Main Physical DPS is in One Carry:
    In a team fight: Taunt the carry and take him out with the Thornmail.

    After your [Item_text=Heart of Gold]
    Which one you build first depends on who you're laning against.

    Next


    For Your Core
    [Item_icon=Force of Nature] Order depends on what you need. Keep in mind that [Item_text=Force of Nature] requires alot of money investment before you get a payoff, so usually I go Thornmail first.

    To Be Super Tanky
    Turn that Giant's Belt into a .
    People will usually give you grief about this choice, but remember that the more health you have the longer your Armor and Magic Resist is in effect. I find the Warmog's a good gateway to late game, but you dont want to wait too long or it won't be worth the price.

    If You Need More Armor
    Instead turn that Giant's Belt into a .

    If You Need More Magic Resist
    Build a

    You Still Haven't Won? Choose One




    Version 2: If You're Facing Multiple Attack Speed Carries that Need to Be Shutdown
    In a team fight: Taunt one of the carries and activate Randuin's Omen to screw their DPS over.

    After your [Item_text=Heart of Gold]
    Which one you build first depends on who you're laning against.

    Next


    For Your Core
    [Item_icon=Force of Nature] Order is your call

    To Be Super Tanky
    Turn that Giant's Belt into a .

    If You Need More Armor
    Instead turn that Giant's Belt into a .

    If You Need More Magic Resist
    Build a

    You Still Haven't Won? Choose One

  • Pure Tank Against a Physical Heavy Team

    Start with the usual.

    Version 1: If the Enemy's Main DPS is in One Carry

    After your [Item_text=Heart of Gold]


    Next


    For Your Core
    First, then

    Finish it Off:


    You Still Haven't Won? Choose One:




    Version 2: If You're Facing Multiple Attack Speed Carry's that Need to Be Shutdown

    After your [Item_text=Heart of Gold]


    Next


    For Your Core
    First, then

    Finish it Off:


    You Still Haven't Won? Choose One:

  • Pure Tank Against a Magic Heavy Team

    Again, not an ideal place to play Rammus, but just in case:

    Start with the usual. (Yes even the Ninja Tabi, its good for early game)

    After your [Item_text=Heart of Gold]


    Next


    For Your Core
    [Item_icon=Force of Nature] first, then

    Finish it Off:


    You Still Haven't Won? Choose One:

  • Magic Penetration Tank

    This is been what I've been playing recently.

    This build is a little less tanky then the others, especially early so be careful. This is still a tank build, but keep in mind the needs of your team before you go this route.

    Rammus' Tremors does not scale well for AP. And as all of my builds focus on team fights, thats the spell we most want to enhance if we're going to try to do some damage. Hence: Magic Pen Rammus.

    DON'T start with "the usual"

    Jungling Start:


    Lane Start:


    Next


    For Your Core
    first, then which will increase the effectiveness of both your Tremors and your Sunfire Cape

    Next:
    for slow and hp

    Finally:
    [Item_icon=Soul Shroud] for CD reduction and HP and mana regen (as shorter CDs mean faster mana use)

    You Still Haven't Won? Choose One:

  • Skilling Order for Laning

  • Skilling Order for Jungling



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