Rammus Build Guide
Jungle Rammuswritten by selkie
Table of Contents
|Masteries and Runes||4|
|Items and Jungling||6|
|Other Builds and Items||7|
Spiked Shell Pretty basic. With Defense Ball Curl up, you can hit approximately 200 auto-attack damage during the later stages of the game which is kinda neat. Powerball I'm sure you're all fairly familiar with this ability. One thing to note when trying to use this while you're in the jungle, positioning is key. Unless you're basically on top of neutrals, you can't just activate Powerball and expect it to hit; you'll need to back up slightly and then move forward into them. Defensive Ball Curl This skill is the reason jungling on Rammus is doable. Not much else to say about a skill that gives you 150 armor and magic resistance at level 5. Although it should be noted that you cannot Powerball while Defensive Ball Curl is active; thankfully a recent patch made it possible to turn DBC off manually instead of forcing you to wait for DBC's duration to end on its own. Another thing to note that is that the return damage on it scales off your armor. Do not stack armor just to take advantage of your passive and DBC; you need MR and HP to be a successful tank. Puncturing Taunt Longest taunt in the game. Three seconds is a lot of time to be CC'd for but read the description on that skill again; yeah, armor reduction as well. While it may seem trite to a three second taunt, every little bit helps. Tremors Pretty decent AoE damage that also happens to deal damage to towers as well. Oh, and don't be afraid to use this to farm large minion waves; it's on a fairly short cooldown so chances are it'll be up in time for the next team fight.
There are other Rammus guides out there who can do a much better job of telling you about all the little dark secrets of how to play Rammus like this lovely guide by bguggs. This will be focusing more on jungle routes and what items to get. One thing I will not be going over is how to take advantage of jungling and all the nitty-gritty tricks to jungling because a) I'm lazy and b) there are, again, much better sources to get that sort of information (such as Stonewall008's YouTube channel).
The guide is a little wordy for my tastes so I added in a quick explanation on how to start jungling as Rammus before walls of text fill up the page. Enjoy.
Update (the night before v184.108.40.206 patch)
Haven't been playing the game in weeks thanks to Cataclysm. I've been keeping myself up to date on the patches and I know about the nerfs on Randuin's and Banshee's. I'll have to run some numbers but I wouldn't be surprised if they still remain the #1 armor/MR item. For the time being, this guide might have slightly inaccurate information but the core concepts introduced in here should still be sound. If you find any errors with it, please don't hesitate to tell me through the comments feature!
Armor Pen Reds
Flat Armor Yellows
Scaling MR Blues
Flat HP Quints
Cloth Armor + 5 HP Pots
Golem (Smite) > Wolf > Wraith > Lizard (Smite) > Double Golem
Masteries and Runes
The masteries I favor is pretty standard: 0/21/9
I don't think the smite mastery is worth giving up a point in the buff mastery but if you think the extra gold and lower cooldown is more beneficial, then by all means go ahead and take it.
Runes can be a little more tricky and up to personal preference. Instead of giving you a full runepage, I'll be splitting up the runes into their own categories. Fun fact: Rammus can jungle the standard route with an empty runepage as long as his masteries are set up properly.
Greater Mark of Desolation
Greater Mark of Insight
Greater Mark of Resilience
Magic pen will make every single one of your skills hit that much harder. So why is there even a debate? Well, recall that your Taunt reduces armor by a certain amount (up to 30.) Combined with your passive, you'll find yourself doing respectable damage and armor pen runes will make you hit that much harder. When you taunt someone, it's likely you'll get a hit or two so don't neglect your auto attacks. This also makes you jungle a little better since jungle creeps do have armor. Something else to consider is that squishies will often get a Banshee's Veil if they want more survivability but it's rare for them to get an armor item to address their squishiness, making your damage from skills even with magic pen not as effective. A third option is armor reds. The armor runes will make jungling on Rammus incredibly easy. You won't get beat up as much, you'll do a little more damage with autoattacks, and your DBC will return slightly more damage with the armor runes.
Greater Seal of Resilience
Greater Seal of Vitality
Greater Seal of Clarity
Greater Seal of Evasion
If you're into min/maxing stats, grabbing armor yellows in conjunction with armor reds will allow for a rather quick and relatively easy jungle. The HP/level runes is oriented towards the end-game. 175 HP will offer you much more durability than 12.7 armor in the latter stages of the game. The MP5 runes address Rammus' mana issues. While this isn't a problem during the early game when you'll have Golem buff, it can be an issue during the later stages of the game. Unfortunately, there will likely be better candidates for Golem than you on your team so the MP5 runes will help to make sure you'll always have the mana for that one last taunt to ensure the kill. Lastly, we have dodge runes. They're not as good as before when you could use them to dodge TF's gold card or other similar skills but they're certainly very good. In terms of the jungle, I'd assume armor runes give much more consistent damage mitigation but during the end game, being able to dodge 500+ crits from that crazy Tryndamere is pretty baller. I believe DBC still procs its return damage even if you dodge so don't worry about dodge screwing up your jungle.
Greater Glyph of Shielding
Greater Glyph of Clarity
I suppose an argument could be made that flat MR runes are better but for now, I'll stick to my scaling MR runes. Pretty simple logic here, more MR means you're more tankier. I've already touched upon the benefits of MP5 runes so no reason to rehash. I will mention that if you decide to take both MP5 blues and yellows, you should have zero mana issues.
Greater Quintessence of Fortitude
Greater Quintessence of Swiftness
Nothing much to say about flat HP quints. They're good, all-round runes to have in general and they're very nice for jungling chars especially. The MS quints are an interesting choice. It comes out to around 15 extra MS so it's a question of whether that extra MS will help you get kills/assists or if that extra 97 HP will keep you alive long enough to get kills/assist.
Nope, don't even think about it. Flash is non-negotiable on Rammus. Smite is non-negotiable as Jungle Rammus. I'd go so far as to insist that Smite is non-negotiable on any jungler but that's another discussion.
Why Flash? Flash enables you to get from point A to point B without interrupting Powerball. Getting Powerball interrupted by that goddamn caster minion is one of the most frustrating things you will ever experience as a Rammus so don't let it happen to you; take Flash.
Items and Jungling
Yes, you're getting five health potions. I see a lot of people who buy boots or a red elixer only get 2 or 3 HP pots. I never understood the reasoning behind this. Getting a 60 gold headstart on your next item isn't that big of a deal but not dying or having enough HP to gank will be a big deal.
Now, here comes the tricky part. At higher levels of play, you'll often see teams head out into the jungle to prevent ganks on their jungle or to gank the enemy jungler. Rammus needs Defensive Ball Curl in order to take Golem at level 1. The issue is that DBC doesn't really do much in an early game team fight. Powerball is a 100 damage nuke that leaves you all but useless until it cools down. Taunt can be okay but unless your team can chain CC, chances are your target will just flash out to safety and leaving you in a pretty bad shape as a jungler. What does this mean? Convince your team to defend your jungle but don't try to gank or initiate an early fight. Rammus needs a few levels under his belt before he becomes credit to team.
Jungling with Rammus is relatively simple. Take DBC and head to Golem. Turn it on and start auto attacking while chugging down a health pot. Once Golem is low enough, Smite it and revel in your shiny new blue buff. Pop a point into Powerball and ram into the wolf and wraith camp, making sure to have DBC on whenever possible. Do the same thing to Lizard as you did to Golem; your Smite should be back up in time for Lizard. Now, go down to the double golem camp and once you hit 4, put a point into Puncturing Taunt.
With Flash, Powerball, DBC, Taunt, and double-buffs, you're now ready to gank. If a gank is available, you should consider going in as soon as you get Lizard. Unfortunately this means you won't have Taunt (unless you get Taunt at level 3 instead of a second level of DBC) but if dumb Warwicks can set up ganks with just Lizard buff, you sure as hell don't need Taunt either -- Taunt just makes it a wee bit easier.
[item=Heart of Gold]
Boots of Speed
If there aren't any ganks open, bluepill back to fountain and ponder the intricacies of life as you waste your red buff. Either buy a Heart of Gold or grab yourself some boots and more health pots. I'm a big fan of health pots as a jungler. Any jungler should be well aware of the importance of sight wards. Sight wards can prevent ganks which is always a good thing. Warding Dragon is important as well. I wouldn't suggest trying to solo Dragon as Rammus. It can be done but it takes forever and two days which isn't a good thing; instead, settle for controlling Dragon and denying it to the enemy team. If you decide to follow the HoG route, it's highly likely you won't be able to get any of the extra stuff so it's back to the jungle for you until you can afford some boots and wards but always be mindful of gank opportunities. Remember that with Flash, Powerball, and Taunt, you're pretty damn good at setting up ganks. Once you're level 6, you also do some good damage as well thanks to Tremors.
Note: Actually, I'm pretty sure it's not even possible to get an HoG with the standard route without a gank...
Some level after 4
[item=Heart of Gold]
Boots of Speed
Sight Wards win games. HP Potions are becoming less and less important but it's still a great way to keep your health up.
Your upgraded boots will either be Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi. Your third item is completely up to you. Aegis of the Legion is a very slick item but if you want to be a selfish prick, that Giant's Belt probably looks awfully tempting. Now, item builds depend greatly on the opponent's team composition. For the time being, I'll be addressing item builds as if you were facing a fairly balanced mix of AD and AP but I feel obliged to mention that if you are facing a team that's heavy with AP, buying a Catalyst the Protector to build into an early Banshee's Veil is the way to go.
Your MR is probably not too good since our scaling MR runes haven't quite kicked in yet but never fear, gold is meant to be spent on and what better choice would there be than the Negatron Cloak? If you decided to get an Aegis, you can hold off on the MR until you farm up the gold for a Giant's Belt. The thing about Rammus is that he doesn't really have that much HP and unfortunately, armor and MR needs HP to back it up if it's gonna be of any use.
The next question you wilhl face is do you build your Sunfire Cape out of that belt or do you begin building up your glorious Randuin's Omen? You'll undoubtedly want both but in which order? Sunfire Capes make farming minions ridiculously easy and its passive isn't too shabby but the Omen makes ganks go so much more smoother with its AoE slow.
Once you have one or the other, you'll need to decide for yourself whether or not to move right on to get the other item or if it's time to upgrade that MR Cloak you purchased a while back. Think carefully and ask yourself if their AP burst was that much of a danger to you or not. Chances are that a Banshee's Veil or [item_text=Force of Nature] might just come in handy right about now. Note that Banshee's Veil offers more effective HP against AP and AD as well despite the lower MR in comparison to Force of Nature so always get the Banshee's Veil first.
Anyway, you should look like something like this when you're done:
On a side note, if you have someone on your team already making an Aegis, like a Taric, than feel free to replace it with a Thornmail for an even stronger Taunt/DBC combo. Another option is Atma's Impaler for a big boost in AD but I suppose a Thornmail is the better 'tanky' option.
Other Builds and Items
Here are examples of other items you may want to consider getting:
Not a big fan of Frozen Heart. It's ridiculously expensive and gives no HP. The extra mana is a nice boost but I wouldn't get this item unless there are 3+ ASPD based champions. Alternatively, you could get a Glacial Shroud initially, grab some other HP/defensive items, and then finish your Frozen Heart.
Atma's are a really under appreciated item. The crit on it makes it more useful on DPS heroes but even without the crit, it's a pretty neat last item to get. Note the "last item to get." There are other tank items that have a higher priority than this baby.
A quick note about Sunfire Capes. Don't stack these unless you're completely stomping the enemy team. These are bad tank items. You're paying 700 gold for a 40 dmg AoE and 20 HP. The 40 dmg is nice and it certainly adds up but 20 HP is not gonna help you tank any harder.
The thing about stacking armor or MR in general is how useless it is without lots of HP to back it up. Unfortunately there aren't that many big HP/MR items aside from Veil so you have to make do with what you got.
Between an FoN, Banshee's Veil, and your runes, your MR should be more than enough to handle any AP damage but just in case it's not enough, we can turn to Abyssal Scepters. The extra AP and MR reduction aura helps you and your team hit harder and we also have its MR component.
At first glance, there's little reason to pick up a Spirit Visage over any of the other big MR items I've mentioned thus far. However, the CDR on it is pretty handy. HP/MR is also nice but unfortunately, it's not a significant amount. Its healing/regen passive is sorta cool but unless you have a healer on your team, you probably won't see a significant boost in your HP regen until you grab yourself a Force of Nature.
You'll notice a lack of straight HP items like [item_text=Soul Shroud] or [item_text=Shurleya's Reverie] and that's because I'm not a big fan of straight HP. You've probably noticed that the three big HP-only item (Shurleya's Reverie, Innervating Locket, and Soul Shroud) are all very support-based rather than straight-tank oriented. As such, they're great options for support characters but I feel tanks need something with more weight. That said, all three do give a nice chunk of CDR which can be good on Rammus so it might be something worth considering.
One item I see from time to time on tanks is the Guardian Angel. Decent resists but the passive is obviously why people get this thing. I'm rather ambivalent toward the item. On paper it seems like a great idea but I don't think I've ever really thought this was a must-have item on Rammus.
Another item worth mentioning is Quicksilver Sash. You hardly see it but with Cleanse being in the state it is, it's actually not that bad of an item. If it gave a minuscule amount of HP a la Spirit Visage this thing would be a must-buy against the right enemy team composition. As it is, however, unless there's an enemy Galio who's really destroying your team, I wouldn't recommend getting it. If the enemy decides to waste a CC/debuff/etc on you instead of your carry, I wouldn't complain too much if I were in your position.
As for Warmog's Armor, if Rammus was able to farm reasonably well I'd actually consider recommending it. As he is now, Rammus is an awful farmer unless you're confident your ulti isn't gonna be needed soon. Yes, I understand he farms well once he gets a Sunfire Cape but if you get the Cape before the Warmog's, chances are the game is gonna end soon. If you get the Warmog's first, you'll still have his lack of farming ability to deal with. That said, Warmog's combined with Atma's and maybe a Banshee's Veil and you'll be able to tank well and hit like a truck; I'd definitely suggest trying something like this in a low-pressure game.
If for whatever reason you decided to grab Taunt or Powerball at level 1 instead of DBC, this jungling route should hopefully make sure you don't fall too far behind. Lack of DBC means you won't be able to do Golem at level 1 so you'll need to get to level 2 before tackling Golem; here's what you do:
Start off by Smiting the big, blue wraith then clear the rest of the camp. Make sure your solo mid doesn't leech off that exp by being too close when you Smite. Then head on over to the wolf camp and start whacking at things until you hit level 2.
Do Golem as you would if you were level 1 and once you have your blue buff, head down to do Lizard. You won't have Smite to safely secure red buff so this might be a bit dangerous if the enemy jungler has it warded so make sure to pull Lizard into the brush. Make certain that you are always using your HP pots. If you run armor runes, this isn't as big of an issue but if you're running HP/levels, your HP can drop very low while not paying attention.
The cool thing about this route is that by the time you're done with the double golem camp, your wolf and wraith camp should have respawned so you do actually get extra EXP and gold in comparison to the standard route. The problem I have with this route is that after you're done, you'll have no HP pots and low HP forcing you to bluepill back to base instead of immediately trying to gank at level 4.
One thing to be aware of is if the enemy team steals Golem, do not use Powerball. Powerball takes up a lot of mana and without the increased mana regen from Golem, you will run out of mana for DBC.
Please note that depending on your runes, this alternate route may or may not be possible. As always, practice makes perfect so if you're unsure if you can handle this route with your current runes, be sure to try it out in practice games. Experiment and find your own routes! Also, don't be afraid of booking it back to base. An argument could be made that going back to base before you get Lizard buff is actually good since you should be higher HP when you finish it off and you'll have more time to play with Lizard buff.
All I really hope this guide does is enable you to start from Golem camp armed with a Cloth Armor and five Health potions and finish at the double golem camp as a level four Rammus safely and easily. Good luck.
Submitted by selkie
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