First, let me state i am NOT a top 500 player. I do NOT play in the uber high ELO ranks. I've never faced MegaZero, L0cust or any of the other council members in any fight (that i know of). I have about 600 matches on my name, with about 100 of them being with Rammus. I've won around 65-70% of them. Cant really say for which ELO this guide will be best, but it works for me.
Rammus is considered a tier 3 hero, and with good cause. He has everything a character could possibly want and is suited for multiple roles. He can be used as a AP ganker, turret killer, tank or just support. He can be very dangerous, if played correctly. In this guide, i will try to explain how i play Rammus, what i do when i face a certain opponent, how i gear myself and perhaps give you some insight in the awesomeness that is Rammus.
-Your worst enemies
-Tips & Trick
Runes are always a tricky situation. For Rammus, there are only a few choices:
Mana regen, Armor, Magic Resist, Dodge or Hitpoints. None of the other type of runes give any value to this kind of build. So lets examine them closer:
Mana regen: Rammus has a notorious mana problem. All his abilities cost a bunch of mana draining you to near zero mana after starting a group fight. As such you'd like to have some mana after you initiate the fight. My issue with mana regen runes is the fact the mana regen they offer. It's not enough to give me enough mana to continue a group fight, do a chase or help in that fight in any sensible way. As such, i try to avoid this problem by having the Clarity summoner spell.
Armor: Armor is one of Rammus best stats. It offers survivability, damage and massivly increases your tower diving ability. Again, i have a problem here. At low levels, the armor increase is too low to really help you do anythig, and at high levels it seems useless as you already have a ton of armor. Also, when facing a caster heavy team, armor is useless.
Magic Resist: Magic resist is atually one of the better stats to invest in. One of Rammus' main weaknesses is during early game, where he lacks the Magic Resist to survive a volley of spell attacks. Due to this i value Magic Resist very high. Downside of this is the fact it won help you tower dive early game, and its nearly useless versus a carry heavy team.
Dodge: Another seemingly excellent choice but highly overrated. I've tried building a dodge heavy set once, and it was a complete failure. It seems that Defensive Curl damage is based on actual hits (would love a red response on this) (EDIT Confirmed, Defensive Curl Does damage on a Dodge) aswell as the damage returned with Thornmail (again, love a response on this)(EDIT Confirmed, Thornmail Does damage on a Dodge). While i cant say this is a fact, im very biased towards dodge as a stat. I like to have some of it, but not too much. Considering the base dodge, the dodge from talents and the usual Ninja Tabi, i believe i already have enough dodge and would not like to have anymore.
Hitpoints: Hitpoints, in my opinion, is the best stat to invest in. With 3 quints of HP at level 1, you'll have a base 97 HP more. Combine this with a full runebook of HP/lvl, you'll have an additional 350 HP more at level 18. It helps you survive better in all phases at the game, makes you towerdive better AND works good versus any team setup. Sure, armor would be better versus carry teams, or magic resist versus caster teams. Usually though, teams are slightly balanced, making this stat work on everything they can throw at you.
9 Red runes of hp/lvl
9 Blue runes of hp/lvl
9 Yellow runes of hp/lvl (sometimes i pick dodge)
3 Quintesses of hp
This gives a total of:
97 HP at level 1
350 hp at level 18 (an additional 19.44 hp/lvl)
Cleanse: A very viable choice for Rammus. It can easily mean life or death for you. Getting stunned while initiating (happens more in higher ELO games) completely screws over your game as you cant hit them with powerball (disruption), can't pop defensive curl (survivability) or taunt (disabling abilities or saving some one). Short cooldown, good choice, though i never take it.
Clairvoyance: Has its uses, though its too limited. The main advantage it has in my opinion is making sure no one can gank you while you are doing what ever you are doing. If, however, it ever gets changed and shows stealthed units (Eve/Shaco/Twitch) it would go up in viability a lot, specifically in draft mode. Currently, it's a bit lackluster as wards can do exactly the same thing for a mediocre price.
Clarity: A very viable choice for Rammus. This spell gives you the oppertunity to continue harrassing early game or continue chasing after a group fight late game. Mana is Rammus bane, and this removes part of the issue (though wont solve it). Personally, i try to fill up my weaknesses, and therefor, this spell is one of my two default spells on him. Mana wins games. Ohh, people love me for having it as i usually have the Mastery point for it.. Another reason to pick this spell is the fact it gives a full mana bar with my build, compared to mana regn slowly filling it up, usually meaning you're out of mana when you eed it and regenerating mana when you dont need it.
Exhaust: It gives a 100% miss chance and adds a 3 second slow to the target. In my opinion, this is a ganking spell and should be used by ganking characters. You, as Rammus, do not need a slow. Powerball will make sure you will catch up with nearly everything, bumping them when you hit them, and taunting them afterwards. The slow part is not needed. That leaves the miss part. Though i'm not 100% sure a dodge or a miss will or will not proc Defensive Curl damage (or even Thornmail), i honestly wouldnt care. In my build, i aim to be getting beat up by carries.
Flash: Flash is amazing. There, said it. Pop powerball, flash in and you are bringing the action to them. Powerball will instantly hit everything nearly, disruption whatever they were planning to do. Flash, for all champions actually, is one of the best getaway tools aswell. In your case, they wont be able to stop you. If you can flash away, you will survive like 85% of the ganks (random number, not a mathematical fact). Just flash and powerball. Unless you have some massive slow on your ass, or they are coming from multiple sides.
Fortify: I have a hate/love relationship with this spell. I think this spell can make a major difference in any game that has it. I also never take it myself. This spell´s use is only decent if you dont defend or if you are loosing. You should be defending, so thats no reason to grab this spell. If you are loosing though, this spell will make little difference. It lasts too short to make a difference, so unless your team is stacking them (AKA the 4/5 fortify teams) it will slow the enemiy down, but wont change the game to your favor.
Ghost: Ghost is my 2nd default spell. Combined with powerball and movement speed 2 boots, it's like a teleport on a shorter cooldown. I usually take the Mastery for it aswell, adding more speed and and better duration. Its a great movement, survival, harrasing, chasing and ganking spell. Though it may not be as great as flash for ganking, the other factors on this spell give more potential the flash does. And its a shorter cooldown. Chasing wise, it has an advantage compared to exhaust, as you can cleanse exhaust, but not Ghost. Keep in mind though, if Powreballing in ghost, you WILL have unit collision (powerball hitting stuff will break powerball, even if ghosted).
Heal: I use pots. Very limited use, specially mid/late game. Can save your life once in a while as you wont be stacking HP too much. Rally heals more.
Rally: The improved version of heal. And it adds damage! Rally is pretty awesome in all factors, though will get nerfed next patch to give a more static amount of damage. Even then, its a good spell. Very viable choice, specially when stacking phsysical DPS classes. Dont grab it for your personal DPS.
Revive: I dont know. This spell seems lackluster, though can be amazing in the right conditions. Im gonna assume that if you have this spell, you would use it on cooldown, but i would also assume that if you used it on cooldown, you would proabably have it on cooldown the moment you'd rather not have it on cooldown (base attack or something). The whole idea about this spell is 'you are dead', which in my opinion is just a bad idea to begin with.
Smite: Smite is actually pretty decent. It helps you farm at the start (which is one of Rammus biggest weakpoints) and in late game helps you kill golem/lizard/dragon/baron faster. Not a bad choice, though not mine.
Teleport: Rammus has the highest movement in the game (powerballing), and combined with ghost will get you half way across the map. because of this, i think Teleport is a waste of a good summoner spell.
My choice is Ghost and Clarity.
Everyone will probably run their own build in some way, and as such, so do i. I run a 0/18/12 build.
Defense tree: ofcourse, i'll grab the armor, magic resist and dodge. I grab one point in the movement speed after a dodge and 3 points in all damage reduction. Then ill just grab the HP and it's all good for me.
Caster tree: I grab the hp/mp regen and improved haste. I always grab the exp bonus, not the mana bonus. My reasoning for this is that i'll be going base a lot and as such will be lower level then everyone else. Why i'll be going to base a lot will be detailed somewhere below. Anyways, ill grab mana regen and improved clarity.
My usual build: http://leaguecraft.com/masteries/000...03140030100000
My other build: http://leaguecraft.com/masteries/000...03140000100000
Guess its a matter of taste. I enjoy the first build for early game more, yet the 2nd build is more geared towards late game. Considering i value early game higher, as that's the biggest deciding factor for end game, i grab the first build.
2. Defensive Curl (or Taunt if you plan on going for a kill)
3. Taunt (or Defensive Curl if you took Taunt at 2)
5. Defensive Curl
9. Taunt (MAX)
10. Defensive Curl
12. Defensive Curl
13. Defensive Curl (MAX)
16. Tremors (MAX)
18. Powerball (MAX)
This is the part everyone usually starts to read, so lets get this going.
Start off with a Cloth armor and five Healing pots.
After this your aim should be getting the following items:
Ninja Tabi or Mercury Threads (grab threads if enemy has more then 2 stun/slow/root)
Heart of Gold (this will get removed eventually, but is high priority for Rammus)
After Boots and Heart of Gold, these items should be your priority:
Force of Nature
It doesnt matter much in what order you grab these items, i personally always go Thornmail first. Its just that good on Rammus. This item completely nullifies the threat a Carry is to you. Usually, i grab Warthogs afterwards. Depending on how dangerous i think their casters are, i grab Force of Nature/Banshee's first. f i think they pose little threat to me, i go Guardian Angel for more damage and a higher general survivability.
Should their casters be dominating from early game, skip getting a Thornmail (specially vs an all caster team). Mercury Threads, Banshee's Veil and Force of Nature will completely cripple any damage they'd do to you. Get that fast, perferrably in that order. Even though they might be crippling you with magic damage, you should always rush your Heart of Gold. The gold/5, base armor and HP are a must have. You will be tower diving a lot, towers to physical damage and all that fancy magic resist will be useless in such a situation.
Most of the time, you'll be going:
Ninja Tabi (850)
Hear of Gold (950, sells for ????)
Warthogs Armor (3200)
Force of Nature (2690)
Banshee's Veil (2715)
Guardian Angel (2900)
Total 15305 gold minus the gold you get for selling the Heart of Gold.
This total sum goes up by 350 if you decide grabbing Mercury Threads instead of Ninja Tabi.
This should give you:
Movement Speed 2
8% increased Movement Speed
132.5 Health returned per 5 seconds
0.35% health returned per second
171 Magic Resistance
47.75 damage from Passive
Unique Passive : Blocks one negative spell every 30 seconds.
Unique Passive : On being hit by standard attacks, returns 25% of the damage taken as magic damage.
Unique Passive : Revives your Champion upon death, restoring 40% of their Health and Mana, this effect can only occur once every 5 minutes.
This might not look like a lot, but keep in mind, you also get stats from Masteries, Runebook and Levels.
Total (important) stats would be 4145 Hit Points, 207 Magic Resist and 286 Armor without Defensive Curl.
With Defensive Curl, you'd have an effective life of 18942,65 versus magic attacks or 22217,2 versus physical attacks.
Personally, I've never had the oppertunity to get this far into the game where I've actually been able to get this full gear list, but once you've gotten around the 50th minute mark, you should be neigh unkillable, even during 5v1 ganks (assuming you do the smart thing and run away, you wont be able to kill them).
As i stated in the Items part, grab a Cloth Armor and healing potions. The reasoning behind this is twofold. Firstly, regardless of whom you'll be facing in your lane, the Cloth Armor will increase your staying time in that lane. It will decrease damage dealt from their normal auto attacks and will also decrease damage from minions. While minion damage is usually laughed at, keep in mind they might not hurt a lot, but their damage is like a thousend little bee stings. One will not kill you, but 10 will definately change your gank into a failure. I grab this amount of healing potions to survive the early laning phase. You'll have no health regen from items nor any life stealing, so depending on how aggresive you or your lane partner or the enemies play, you will need some form of regen. My choice is healing potions.
Do not take solo mid. You are not a solo laner, though you should have no problem doing solo mid.
er default, play defensive. You cant farm too well, and having a level setback will completely ruin you. Make sure you dont die. Play 100% safe till level 4. At level 4, you should have 1 level powerball, 1 level Defensive Curl and 2 levels of Taunt. This gives you the ability to gank a bit, depending on your lane partner. Try to get laned with a high DPS like Twitch, Shaco, Sion or Yi. Casters work too. Annie, Ryze or Veigar are great too. Should you feel comfortable in your lane and you see an oppertunity to kill one of their players, make sure you do. You can expect that with such a laning combo, you should be able to do atleast 50% of their lifebar in damage. Uusually, its a kill, but its highly dependant on whom you're laning against and whether or not they have Flash. During early game, flash will be your biggest bane. Since the turrets are so close to eachother, Powerballs nor Ghost will be enough to catch up with them before they reach their turret. Keep in mind that if they are pushing you towards your turret, a Ghost and Powerball together can easily overcome the bridge Flash has made for a gank. Abuse your speed in early game, no one can run away from you. Dont be too greedy to get that kill, its not worth dieing for. While you'll get ~300g, you'll be loosing out on experience to get that extremely important level 6.
It's extremely important you gain as much experience as you can, and you should aim to go to base at max level 7, no matter how good you are doing in your lane. Level 7 gives you lvl 4 taunt, 1 level of defensive curl, 1 level of powerball and 1 level of tremors. Dont stay in your lane longer then this, this is usually too late anyways. Personally, i usually go to base the second i hit lvl 6, unless i think i can kill/assist in killing one of the enemy laners in a few seconds.
Try to last hit when possible. Your starting gold and starting experience during your first laning phase will make your succes during mid game. Its very important you dont screw this up. You should aim to get about 1000g after your first laning phase, which will give you a Heart of Gold and 1 part of your boots. Which part of your boots depends on whom you are facing (not just in your lane), how good your team is pushing them back or how good their team is pushing your team back. Usually, Boots1 will be the choice in general, as it works in most situations. If your team is pushing them to their turret, grab another Cloth Armor to avoid turret damage you will be getting during your tower diving. You could also grab a Null-Magic Mantle if the enemy has a lot of casters. Either way, these items will get used at some point, so you wouldnt be wasting money. The second you roll out of your base, you will be entering mid game.
Mid game is where the fun starts. You should check you map for a lane that is being pushed by your enemies. A 2v2 situation changing into a 3v2 situation completely offsets the balance in that lane, and usually results in deaths. Poorly executed, deaths on your team, but lets assume we did our thing right and we managed to kill atleast one of them. You probably didnt get the kill, since you have very limited last hitting abilities. You will get an assist, and assists are gold. You carry hopefully got the last hit, which means he'll got fed a bit. Keep in mind if you kill one guy, even without them having several kills on their name means your team gets several hundreds of gold. Not just the 300 for the kill, but also about 150-200 for assists. This is what will make the difference. Consider yourself as a support tank. You shouldn't be grabbing all the kills you can get but assisting wherever you can.
See a friend in need in a 1v2 position, but they are not a full HP while your friend is? Roll in and get them. They'll back off from your friend as they see you rolling in (powerball is a great harrasment tool, just rolling puts people on their toes). Roll in, hit one (or both prefferable) , Taunt and use Defensive Curl. Pop Tremors for added damage. The guy you just attack will die in no time, if your friend realises what you are doing atleast and assists. If they decide to take you on, you'll have Defensive Curl for armor/magic resistance and a Heart of Gold for even more armor and some base HP. You'll survive most of the time (in some occasions, even all the armor in the world wont save you...).
Think about which one of the two enemies will do most damage, mark him up for elimination first. This will be the target you taunt. Taunt will silence a caster and will make them a squishy target for those readdy to tear him apart. If you are facing two carries, be sure to get the fastest hitting one. At around level 6, characters like twitch and yi will have their ults and will try to use those to kill you. Their damage wont be out of the roof yet, but their attack speed will. They'll kill your friend and then proceed with finishing you off. Fortunately, Taunt focusses them to attack you, and each attack will be countered with damage from Defensive Curl, which usually leads to a quick demise.
End game, for me, starts when people start forming 4-5 man ganksquads. This usually happens around lvl 10, sometimes a bit earlier, sometimes a bit later. This is where you gear choices start to shine. If their physical heavy, you should have gone Thornmail while caster heavy group should be answered with a Banshee's Veil. Balanced groups should be harder to decide, as its usually one of either groups which will do good.
Keep in mind that in this part of the game, people look to you to start a team fight. You are a tank, so you should act as such. Do not try to initiate an unfavorable battle (like 2v5) because you'll waste your own life and usually drag the others with you. Wait till your team is in position, and perhaps even try to confuse the enemy by going into a brush where you can charge up your Powerball. Avoid certain death traps, or team death traps. If you are facing a Fiddlesticks, i can advice you to make a quick Powerball run to the side to check if he's hiding to Crowstorm in. His Crowstorm will usually not kill you, but will decimate your team during a teamfight. Map awereness is key, and cheap wards are invaluable.
Your worst enemies
Cleanse: Yes, not a champion but a common summoner spell is your biggest enemy. It will save their hides a lot, since Taunt is cleansable nowadays. It can completely ruin your attack if you taunt the worng person. As such, take a good look during the loading screen and look which character has cleanse. Dont roll in a group and taunt this person, because he can easily cleanse it and walk away. Thing obviously change when you have other CC abilities on your team. Should you have a Annie with stun bear ready, it might be better to taunt first, then get that character stunned by Annie and wtfowned by team damage. It depends on the situation.
Morgana: How i hate thee. She's by far the most annoying character for Rammus to face, since she has an abundance of CC spells. She will not kill you though, but she can break a good initiation attempt by rooting you or shielding your taunt target. Hate her.
Alistar: with right the top tank in the game at the moment. His low cooldown knockup/AoE stun wins teamfights, and his knockback will save allies. You usually ignore him while you charge in, but he'll just knock you back or knock you up ruining your initiation.
Armor penetration: While armor penetration runes wont kill you, combining it with a Last Whisper and a Black Cleaver will wreck your armor mitigation. Same goes for Magic penetration. Unless you got an amazing gear list, people with both these items will hurt. Its a hard counter to Rammus.
TIPS & TRICKS
- Powerball has a large hitbox. Its effect is also larger then you'd probably think. Learn how big they are.
- Charge up your powerball in the brush. You'll still increase your movement speed,
making you jump out of the brush very fast.
- Powerball seems to give a flat amount of speed increase, not a % amount like most people seem to think it has. Boots3 or Mobility do not add that much to your mobility. Stick to Ninja Tabi or Mercury Threads.
- Powerball should be used a lot. Not only to attack, but also to retreat, harrass or just move about on the map. For some reason, people think a powerballing Rammus will attack, making them back off a bit, giving you breathing room to get some last hits.
- Defensive Curl does not reflect damage versus magic attacks, which is something most people already know. However, did you know Baron does magic damage? Or to be exact, it casts spells? Same with dragon's slow/dot. That means you will not get reflective damage from Defensive Curl. It will still decrease the damage you take though. It also does not reflect damage done to you by turrets, even though this is Physical damage. It will reflect damage from every other physical damage source in the game though. No, parrrley is considered a magical attack (doing physical damage), wont be reflected. Damm pirates.
- Defensive Curls adds 25% damage from armor. 25% Ability Power from Magic Resist has been removed (temporary?).
- Defensive Curl damage is pretty good, dispite what everyone else seems to think. Keep in mind, the faster people hit, the more damage it does. It's downside is the fact it's magical damage, making Banshee's Veil effectively halving the damage it does. It's amazing vs carries, but very lackluster vs casters or tanks. This does not mean you should not use it though. Damage is still damage.
- Taunt is amazing. By far the most interesting crowd control spell ingame. While every other crowd control spell disables some part of the targets movement (i.e. stun, slow, root), Taunt gives them full mobility but forces them to attack you with nothing else but their normal auto attack.
- This means you are actually silencing them.
- You control which side they face (for passive directional damage like Pheonix stance or Spray and Pray).
- You can make them move away from their safe haven (pop defensive curl, pop ghost, run in to a turret, taunt random enemy, powerball to your team, kill him).
- You can save your teammate who is trying to get away from the enemy. Taunt his persuer off him, pop powerball and just run another way. Your team mate will be safe, and you will be away from the persuer.
- Taunt is highly effective when defending a turret. Taunting a target will force it to attack you, forcing the turret to attack them. Works great early game as turrets completely destroy a single enemy, but looses value late game. Dont try this with a tank, it's pretty much useless. The higher your ELO is, the lower the chance is this will succeed. People will actually go into turret range to try and provoke you, making you come outside your 'comfort zone'.
- Taunt adds a armor penalty. I dont know if this penalty can make it go into the negative, and honeslty it doesnt matter. What does matter is the fact it makes your taunted target a weakling for physical damage. Make sure your team knows this.
- Max rank Tremors deals 195 damage per second. A lot of people underestimate the damage Tremors does, which is a big mistake. 8 Seconds of 195 damage equals 1560 damage, which for most characters is around half their life bar end game. Try to position yourself so you hit as many targets as possible.
- Tremors has a remarkable low cooldown. Use it to farm minions or grab a buff. Rank 1 Tremors will kill most minions, with the exception of the tank-like minions. Max rank kills all.
- Tremors is excellent to get stacks on Warthogs Armor.
- Do not stack Sunfire Capes. Seriously. Its an overpriced, low value item. You are better off grabbing a Thornmail and a Warthogs Armor. It offers more armor, more hitpoints, more base damage and more survivability. Did i mention it's cheaper (2k + 3.2k = 5.2k) vs (2.85k + 2.85k= 5.7k). That means you could get more armor, magic resist or hitpoints. For people saying you 'need' Sunfire Capes to farm: 40 dps will surely kill everything amazingly fast. Right.....