[Guide] The unkillable turtle Rammus
First off, I would like to say Im writing this guide with teamplay in mind. I should also mention that english is not my first language (Im norwegian). As for the guide, Im assuming you know what you are doing, so I will not cover gameplay. If you expect a guide telling you how to go 22-3-5 against not-too-good-players, then this is not for you. I will be focusing on the item build for Rammus' primary role, which is that of being the initiater (read: tank), tower pusher and chaser. I will also assume you know how to taunt under a tower and stuff like that.
Here is where a guidewriter would brag about scores in recent games, level or whatever in order to make people assume I know what Im talking about. Suffice to say, I feel that I have enough experience with this champ in order to write a guide while Im bored at work.
Ok, heres a few things that I see other rammus players do that makes it feel like a caterpillar is crawling across my back. One could call it my small list of not-to-do.
Rammus does not need tons of HP items in order to tank successfully.
This is probably the point where most rammus players will disagree with me. Im confident that there is no need to buy warmogs on rammus. Rammus tanks better with more effective HP and regen instead. Yes, I know warmogs gives regen as well, but the actual hp is not as effective as it should be. At level 18 I almost always tops at 2600 hp.
Do not stack sunfire capes!
Yes, I think its a great item. I almost always get one. It gives both HP and armor which is ofcourse very nice for a tank. However, I think getting more than one means you are neglecting other items in favor of "dps". The aura damage does not scale very well in late game.
You dont need atmas impaler.
2400ish gold is alot for 50 armor and increased damage. Not to mention that we're not going to get warmogs. Hitting for an extra 50~60 damage on auto attacks will not turn the tide in teamfights.
Do not blindly buy armor items.
I should not need to say this, but alot of rammus players stacks only armor items regardless of the matchup. This makes no sense if you are facing a caster-heavy team. And I dont care if rammus gets 25% of his armor added to attack.
Ok, lets move on. Summoner spells. It is hard to go wrong here. Exhaust, flash, haste and heal are all solid spells for rammus. However there is one I personally feel is a must-have and that is fortify. Rammus already is a pretty durable champ with excellent chasing skills, so getting both exhaust and haste or whatever may not be needed in my opinion. However, fortify by itself will always be useful for your team as well as having nice synergy with your taunt+tower killing. Masteries should be obvious though. Get at least 21 points into the defensive tree.
The skillpoints should be a nobrainer. Max powerball first, followed by taunt. Get your ult whenever you can and get defensive ball curl last. Only 1 point into taunt is not enough. It is one of the best disables in the game. You probably dont have the mana to spam all 4 spells either early on.
Finally we can get to the actual item build. Starting item should be the regrowth pendant which you use to make a philostone as early as possible. I know that some players frown upon this item, but remember that it gives you all the mana regen that you need in the laning and that it pays for itself in about 17 mins if you decide to sell it later.
Next up is basic boots and heart of gold. It does not gimp you to buy this item as long as you get it before 15 mins. It should not be an issue to farm the 975 gold for the heart before the 15 min mark, but you should consider recalling to buy it as soon as you have the cash for it.
Finally, you upgrade the boots into either ninja tabi or mercury treads based on how heavy the opposing team is on casters. Just use common sense. If the yi is fed 5 kills in the first 15 mins, then you can assume that he will be an issue later and buy the tabi etc.
That was the early game. Items should look like this:
As for the midgame, you want a sunfire cape. It will make your farming extremely easy, but the primary reason is ofcourse the teamfights. 40 damage per sec to multiple champs is quite nice in the midgame as well as always giving you assist gold whenever you are present during a kill (even if all you did was taunt and run towards teammates/tower). However, I will not recommend multiple capes for the reason posted above. There are other items you also need and the damage does not scale well in the lategame. You should have finished the sunfire cape by 25~30 mins.
The next item should be force of nature. Massive hp regen, magic resist and movement speed. Combined with other armor/MR items as well as the defensive ball curl will make you extremely difficult to kill. This item is the reason why you dont need warmogs, because not only are you regenerating alot more hp every second, but every hp is also worth more in terms of effective hp. It is also cheaper. The extra movespeed is also great for a chaser like rammus.
So when you enter the lategame you should have these items:
From here on I cant really tell you which items to get as I cant know how your game has evolved till now. Is the opposing jax a big problem? Consider thornmail. Morgana and ryze giving you a hard time? Banshees veil. Facing a well balanced team? Maybe frozen heart should be your next item. I will just say that Im not a big fan of guardian angel because the item assumes that you will die. Which really shouldnt happen too often :)
Any comments would be appreciated. I would especially like to hear from rammus players whom are used to getting warmogs who have tried force of nature instead.
The only real negative comment I have is that I find that a cooldown reducing item (usually frozen heart for me) is too important to ignore. Without it I feel like I am standing around auto attacking heroes in team fights and am fairly ignorable.
With frozen heart you can keep your ball curl up almost all the time which increases your surviveability substancialy. Every time your ball curl is off you have a powerball to do damage and knockup champions. You can taunt much more often, keeping their carries off your carries, and your ult is down to a 45 second cooldown, which provides you wilth the ability to farm and it does far more damage in a teamfight then sunfire.
I disagree with maxing out powerball first. IMO, getting the extra time from taunt is worth far more than the extra damage of powerball especially since it allows your allies to really lay the beat down. Like you said- its one of the best disables in the game.
I would argue I have a large amount of experience with Rammus as well.
My Skill build I've found works best:
Max Taunt, followed by Powerball then Curl.
If you desire more early game harrassment, then a 2nd level of Powerball works instead of 3 levels of taunt.
Curl is good, but maxing Taunt is the most important thing Rammus can do. Powerball for initation damage/movement is next, and even 1 level of curl will get you by till later levels.
Remember that if you initiate without charging in with Powerball, don't Curl right after the first Taunt. It's better to Powerball after the Taunt wears off, then chase for possibly a second taunt. If your curl is on, taunt will wear off after 3 seconds, and then it's 3 more seconds curl is active that you CAN'T powerball them.
I agree Rammus is a poor gold farmer until Tremors/Sunfire, but I don't think Philos/Heart of Gold is necessary.
My old/current build:
1. Dorans + HP Pot
5. Merc. Treads
6. Sunfire 1
7. Sunfire 2
8. Glacial Shroud/Wardens (if you even get this far)
I have a new build I'm going to try though; Still Merc Trea, but Soul Shroud/Glacial Shroud and either Banshees or Force of Nature. 35-40% CD on Rammus gives you 39 Second Tremors and under 5.5 second Taunt Cool Downs. 3 Second taunt out of every 5.5 is a pretty nasty disable
About frozen heart:
I agree with the awesomesauce that is cooldown reduction. However I do feel that getting the core items that are sunfire cape and force of nature first takes priority. The sunfire cape actually will do more damage than a 25% cooldown reduction would do, not to mention that fights wont last over 45 seconds during midgame anyways. I most certainly do not mind getting the frozen heart after those two items though.
About the skillpoints:
During the early game laning the spelldamage and slow from powerball grants more kills it seems to me. It can also hit 2 champs. The taunt relies alot on your lanemate.
Oh, and they released the top 500 elo and my e-peen is THIS big now! Currently ranked 169th in europe.
Whoa, whoa. Philosopher's Stone? Two gold per items? I don't think so.. Turn that Meki into a Chalice (great mana regen +mr) and then we're talking.
Warden's Mail is also an excellent item. The slow proc is wonderous with Rammus and can help deal with carrys that get Last Whisper. A decently armored Rammus with Warden's Mail pretty much becomes impervious to all melee. It's insane.
I would start with a cloth armor/pots or meki/pots.
Gold items are perfectly viable as long as you get them early enough. Im just speaking from experience, though. Its not set in stone ofcourse and people are free to skip them if they like.
I have tried chalice, however and it never really did it for me. Philostone gives me all the mana regen I need, at least in laning. If its mid/late game and you run out of mana due to a teamfight then just go and find a golem. Or recall. Chalice feels like going overboard and I always ended up selling it later.
I disagree. More than one gold per is pretty wonky save for Avarice on Gang. Heart of Gold is more than enough. Philosophers is more overboard - it costs more and health regen when it matters most (at the very start) is easily fixed by potions and by getting mana regen early as opposed to a regen item you have more harassment power.
I'd rather risk having TOO much mana in a team fight than not enough. Also MR > Health regen.
to chime in, going full powerball is a bit...well... blah. I usually go this route-
3. defensive curl
Depending on the opposing team, I will sometimes nab thornmail as my first item. Nothing like seeing a yi kill himself during a taunt. If they are ranged heavy, I usually go for the heart of gold.
As for my starting items, it is nearly always cloth armor + pots. I rune for mana regen so I dont have I dont need to grab the meliki pendant.
As for items, its almost 100% certain that I go sunfire cape first as you posted in your guide after getting either heart of gold and ninja tabi/mercury treads. After that, I tailor my gear to what I see. By end game, its possible I will have a second sunfire cloak. 80 damage along with quake can do some nice AoE as ramus....not to mention farming like a mad man.
As for the angelic, its one of those love or hate items and really depends on your playstyle as rammus. It lets you play a bit more recklessly than you otherwise would from time to time but then again, reckless playstyle is probably not a good thing.
In general a good Rammus guide. Issues I have are pretty similar to others: My initial skill order is powerball, curl, taunt, taunt, taunt. I could see getting the curl after either the first or second taunt but, other than tower kills (which you'll only get on dummies) taunt really doesn't have any spice earlygame without curl. After lvl 6 you can start getting funky with whatever skills you like. Taunt is already decently long (but I max it first anyway), Curl is good from lvl 1 and only gets better, and if you really like it go ahead and get some more damage on powerball. The reason I don't like maxing powerball early (besides taking points away from taunt) is that its hard to use against intelligent players. Its good to farm some creeps but, anyone juking through their creep wave will pretty easily avoid getting PBalled. Its a good skill for movement purposes but it is one of the most difficult skillshots in the game. If you can get a taunt off without PBall initiation it is very effective at chasing low-health runners because of their tendency to travel straight and away from their creeps.
Also, starting items: philosophers stone isn't my cup of tea. Early health regen is more effecient with potions and the early mana regen isn't necessary if you manage your skill use well. Either Doran's Shield or Cloth Armor and pots are my two top choices. If you're likely laning against some melee grab the Armor and pots. If you're likely facing some magic grab the Doran's as the HP will help avoid early nuke-deaths.
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