[GUIDE] Rammus the Defensive

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WhiteMantisX

Member

12-15-2009

Hello Folks!

Just in advance. I've never written a guide before, so I hope this one helps you to be more succesful wih Rammus.

Reasons to play Rammus:

+ very compatible with lots of champion
+ extremely useful in teamfights
+ very good chaser
+ extremely durable

Reasons not to play Rammus:

+ no real killing machine
+ extremely hard early game (due to melee last hitting)
+ needs a lot of experience to be effective

I'm not going to make this guide extremely long, so I will focus on the important things.

Masteries:
I use the classical 9/0/21 build which is pretty much effective with every champion. You are free to use a more defensive build, but Rammus depends more on the way you play him than on his stats.

Spells: I prefer Teleport and Rally/Heal/Fortify.
Teleport is nice to not lose to much EXP from shopping. You sometimes will find yourself in a very hard lane with double Ranged DPS like Teemo+Ashe which can be a pain and will force you back more then once. Therefore a teleport ist helpful.
Fortify is a good choice for early kills if you manage to use a level 2 taunt + fortify. In the endgame, the Fortify will not benefit in kills, and won't help much in defending a tower...it mostly delays the towerkill a few seconds.
Rally is ma favourite because it heals you and gives +30% phy DPS. I mostly combine it when the enemy charges me within my minions with the puncturing taunt. You just pull the enemy trough your own creeps which will attack him until he manages to run back.
Heal is not as powerful as many people think, but it might be okay in some situations.

I won't describe the abilities of Rammus. This guide is more for experienced players that know his skills.

Early game:
Your early game begins in the loading screen, where you check you opponents. Count the number of phys DPS characters and the numbers of magic damage chracters. If you have 4 DPS players you will of course take another itembuild as against mass casters. This is a very important phase of the game, as you have to count the number of stunner/disablers and so on, so use the time and prepare for the fight.

If you have 2+ AP chars in the enemy team start with a regrowth pendant, if you have strong DPS take a rejuvenation bead. Take a lane with someone, you don't care who. My strategy is to forget about harassing and i concentrate on last hitting. If the enemy harrasses you with ranged dps you will have problems with farming (thats why i noted Rammus as hard in early game). If the enemy harrasses you in melee, give him a taunt after his hit and run backwards. your creeps will hurt him worse than he did to you. Play passive, play defensive. Don't try to be clever and don't do stupid things. Your priorities lie in lasthitting and not dying. If the enemy is stupid enough to melee charge you you can taunt him into your creeps, and powerball him when the taunt ends...he will have a bad time crawling slowly though your attacking creeps.

Teleport back to get Ninja Tabi Boots (against DPS) or Mercury Treads (against Casters). After that start leveling up your Rejuvenation bead/Regrowth Pendant into Wardens Mail (against DPS) or (Force of Nature). This is where the build usually stop to differ. After that I usually start to buy Armor Stuff to be durable (you will always have some DPS in the enemy team, believe me). If you are really playing against a very very powerful caster team, stack more MR, but usually max casters is 2-3.

Item Build against strong DPS:

Rejuvenation Bead
Ninja Tabi
Rejuvenation Bead -> Warden Mail
Thorn Mail
Sunfire Cape
Sunfire Cape
Sunfire Cape

I know that many will disagree with stacking Sunfire Capes, but its just what you want...you want HP and you want Armor. Usually i first buy the +50Armor and the HP belt and start fusing them to SUnfire Capes in lategame, because in midgame another +50 Armor is more useful than the Sunfire effect. If you have no more space to buy belt or armor, start fusing to Sunfire Cape.

Item Build against AP Champions:

Regrowth Pendant
Mercury Treads
Regrowth Pendant -> Force of Nature
Guardian Angel
Sunfire Cape
Sunfire Cape
Sunfire Cape

Again I stack sunfire capes, because the brutal HP gain goes into synapse with the force of nature regeneration. You will have about 180-200 MR which is enough in endgame. If the enemy is really going hard on Magic Damage, you will have to take an banshees Veil, but usually a so heavy caster team stands no chance against a balanced team.
Sunfire Damage does nice against casters, because MR is usually the last thing they spent money on.

Items i don't buy:

Frozen Heart: Very nice armor rating, but the CD reduction makes not much sense, since the CD's of Rammus are short. The attack speed reduction is usually nice, but with Thorn Mail and Defensive Curl in Endgame you want them to autoattack as much as possible. For the money you can get nicer stuff.


Ability Build:

This is easy, just level Punturing Taunt as early as possible followed by Powerball. Defensive Curl is lowest priority, but will save your ass during end game.
Puncturing Taunt > Powerball > Defensive Curl
Take earthquake everytime possible.

Mid Game / Late Game or Technique to play Rammus

As mentioned before you will have to play defensively the early game. So don't waste time harassing and get money...money money money!
The enemies will try to harass you, but with every piece or armor you buy you will just have less problems. When the enemy has 50% HP and comes to near, taunt him and pull him back through your own creeps...and just before the taunt ends, you cast the powerball right next to him...start attacking him...in most cases it will kill him, if not...you have to decide to chase him until next taunt is available or let him go and last hit creeps.
DON'T, and i repeat: DON'T USE POWERBALL AS INITIATOR. You want him to go FAST the whole way through your creeps, and you want him SLOW to return this way while they are shooting at him. maximize the time he is fired at.

I have seen many players starting with Powerball and driving around like crazy to hit him behind his own creeps...that does not help you. Save your Mana, play clever. Every second you do stupid things like that you lose 1 or 2 last hits.

When you hit level 6 after taunting him you add your earthquake, and after ending of taunt you powerball...this assured he eats every wave of the quake. This costs a lot of mana and after that you are empty but empty! So don't waste Mana.

After having decent boots and some Armor you can help your team to gank people. Just catch them with puncturing taunt and powerball them to slow them, let them do the rest and help with autoattack. Your taunt has little CD so dont be afraid to use another one after that.

If someone is fleeing from fight with low HP, use Powerball to get him. BUT DON'T chase people like an idiot. If you die after the chase, you havent won anything. So be smart.

In late game the enemies will have A LOT OF fear, because the Taunt is by far one of the hardest disables imaginable...you lose control, you get directed into towers and the CD is short. Use Defensive Curl if you get punished and you want to get away. But don't forget...no powerball during defensive curl...so decide if you can powerball away or if defensive curl makes a better job.

In endgame a DPS will not harm you anymore and with full equipment, they will just be pounded by your Armor + Defensive Curl + Thorn Mail...so don't wonder if an Ashe gets killed by you even if he is in ranged attack :-) They will really hurt themselves critting for 500 dmg (which hurts you like 80-100dmg) and them for 200+ dmg

Take care of disablers, because they will stun/slow/silence you which really can get dangerous.

Help your allies at all times. If they get attacked, taunt the enemy away from them, powerball the enemy and put pressure on them. You can take the punishment, and with defensive curl and thornmail you deliver it back. You wont do much alone against a good player, but in Teamfights you pick the biggest thread and take him out of the fight for 3+ seconds. Thats your job.

Enemies you can hardcounter with Rammus

There are several champions you can hardcounter in LoL. This means to making them nearly useless. This is usually something exclusive for tanks as most of them have a stun or knockdown. Rammus is lacking a stun but has its taunt which in some cases is even nicer. Here a list of champions that are easily countered:

Katarina: If build on AP she can still be a pain in the ass due to her Shunpo-DMG which is magic damage. But after the last patches most people go DPS build and harass with Dagger. What really makes her a threat is her Ultimate that can be devastating in teamfights. As Rammus always keep your Taunt ready to counter her ulti...it will immeadiately stop and making her attacking you in auto-attack. Do it 2 or 3 times in a row and chances are high that she leaves the game.

Nunu: Another good example for a champion with an incredible, and I mean incredible Ultimate. His Absolute Zero will AoE Slow all nearby enemies and make HUGE damage after the channeling time. As Rammus, just taunt him. Ultimate aborted, on Cooldown...Game!

Tryndamere: The "overpowered" champion of LoL. Many say he is not killable, but they are wrong. He is not easily killable by every champion, especially in 1vs1 but with a tank its easy. Tryndamere is strong because his DPS output is very high. Tanks counter this by high HP and/or Armor. The ultimate is annyoing because he can escape often. Not so with Rammus. If you see a Tryndamere, attack him, if he start hitting you, go defensive curl and taunt him. If you are mid game your Thornmail will destroy him. He soon realizes that he can not win this confrontation.if he uses his ultimate, immeadiately taunt him, then powerball him after the taunt duration and chase + attack him. Next Taunt is ready and he will bite the dust...
(I have to admit that I dont know any other hero which has such a good K/D ratio against Tryndamere...so maybe he is a bit OP)

High DPS heroes:

In late game you should have over 500armor with defensive curl and a Thornmail. That makes you incredibly effective against all high DPS champs. The damage that penetrates your armor is in no correlation with the returned damage...so he drops much faster than you do. Just make sure to taunt whenever possible to avoid magic damage from abilities (Master Yi Alpha Strike, Teemo Blinding Dart, etc.).

I hope this is helpful.

Mantis


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Tikor

Senior Member

12-15-2009

Nice guide! Especially the no powerball as initaitor thing, that will improve my game. A few questions:

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteMantisX View Post
Spells: I prefer Teleport and Rally/Heal/Fortify.

As mentioned before you will have to play defensively the early game. So don't waste time harassing and get money...money money money!

Take care of disablers, because they will stun/slow/silence you which really can get dangerous.
Seems like you're own statements favor a smite/cleanse summoner spell selection.

I notice your item builds are quite expensive with no gold/5 items. I have trouble making the money required for your builds in the amount of time my games usually last. Also, I tend to run out of mana even with the 9/0/21 mastery without a little item help.

Due to Rammus' relative lack of money pressuring his item slots, I've found a Doran's shield effective as a first item. Thoughts?


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WhiteMantisX

Member

12-15-2009

Hey Tikor,

thanks for commenting. Money is a big issue on Rammus. Thats why I recommend Rammus only to experienced players. Your main priority during ealry game is last hitting and not dying. You don't engage a fight if its not 99% that you win it.
I have more than 50 games with rammus, so I really know what I'm talking about.
The first minutes are the hardest especially against ranged dps harrassers like Teemo/Ashe etc.
After playing a lot LoL I can manage them (depending) on my lane partner, but in this match up last hitting gets a science and you really need to plan every IN-and-OUT very well. When you have your first armor items, the thread is decreasing rapidly as the damage is reduced and you have more ATK for making the time window of last hitting bigger. After having Ninja Tabi + Wardens...DPS have hard time on you as reach the 150 Armor.

More difficult is a good mix up between MR/DPS...Ashe/Teemo/Veigar/Ryze for example is hard to counter, because the build is more expensive.
The Mercury Treads + Force are quite expensive. You will be delayed in your usefulness about around 5-10 mins, but keep going on playing defensive and you will be fine in the end.
The other way round a strict dps enemy team has no chance against you. If the enemy is only going DPS and you go straight armor + thornmail they cannot win...promise.

But you pointed out the weakness of Rammus in making early money. But buying g/5s items don't solve the problem at the long term...buying slowly up your armor does.

Cleanse can be a good idea, but i prefer Rally as it helps you in early game, when you hit a bad lane. If you are alone in endgame and you get targeted by 4-5 enemies you have 2 chances. Powerball away, which won't work, because you are slowed always. You can buy some precious seconds with defensive curl, but in most cases you will die anyway if you don't get help from you allies. In 3vs3 or 5vs5 you dont need the cleanse, you taunt the high threat champ and go into defensive curl. In endgame you will hit 500+ Armor (depending on build) and more than 250 MR. If they try to focus you it takes A LOT OF TIME and if your teammates help they will have no chance to down you before they all die.

Mantis


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makkii

This user has referred a friend to League of Legends, click for more information

Senior Member

12-15-2009

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteMantisX View Post
Hello Folks!

Just in advance. I've never written a guide before, so I hope this one helps you to be more succesful wih Rammus.


Reasons not to play Rammus:

+ no real killing machine
+ extremely hard early game (due to melee last hitting)
+ needs a lot of experience to be effective
1. i beg to differ, i can stomp anything other than a tank after i get my first few kills

2. if your going against ranged characters max out powerball quick with a regrowth pendant and you constantly hitting 600-1100 hp heroes for 200-250 with a high speed ram will get them to back off and youll be able to farm just fine


alright about the item build, i suggest one similar to your caster one to be the standard not just for against casters but all around, you may not think that mr is important against physical dps, but it is, with skills+madreds bloodrazors not having enough magic resist can be painful

anyhow, if the enemy gives you 3 or 4 kills they might as well give up as rammus becomes and unstoppable monster after that

alright guide , could use a couple tweaks though


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WhiteMantisX

Member

12-15-2009

Quote:
Originally Posted by makkii View Post
1. i beg to differ, i can stomp anything other than a tank after i get my first few kills

2. if your going against ranged characters max out powerball quick with a regrowth pendant and you constantly hitting 600-1100 hp heroes for 200-250 with a high speed ram will get them to back off and youll be able to farm just fine


alright about the item build, i suggest one similar to your caster one to be the standard not just for against casters but all around, you may not think that mr is important against physical dps, but it is, with skills+madreds bloodrazors not having enough magic resist can be painful

anyhow, if the enemy gives you 3 or 4 kills they might as well give up as rammus becomes and unstoppable monster after that

alright guide , could use a couple tweaks though
i see, i see

What i know from experience is, that you don't get a couple of kills n the early game. This is true if you play against level 1-20 summoners, but after that the people really know what they do. And then you don't have the option of killing in early game. If my lane enemy is stupid (like in some Solo Games) I also get a ridiculous K/D ratio of 14/1/5 or so, but against good players you shuld focus on last hitting. I tried the offensive style with Rammus, but if you roll into a 1000hp player for 250 dmg, he will punch you, and his creeps will punch you...and then you have a problem because you have no money, and you have no kill. So i think there might be a possibility to play ofefnsively with Rammus, but 1.) not against good players and 2.) not in a secure way

Mantis


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AsherZaine

Senior Member

01-01-2010

I like the guide but I always only put one point into powerball before lvl 6 just to escape and catch someone. I usally only lvl defense curl and taunt. Only bad thing about it is if your lane partner is a ****** it is going to be rough till lvl 6 if not it usally turns out ok. I get everything on your list but one item i dont think i can live without and thats chalice of harmony gives decent mr and the mana regen will make it to where mana isnt a issue anymore. I kinda disagree with stacking capes but i have stacked two capes then got atmas and it worked pretty good but other than that its a pretty good guide.


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AsherZaine

Senior Member

01-01-2010

[QUOTE=Tikor;403540]Nice guide! Especially the no powerball as initaitor thing, that will improve my game. A few questions:


Seems like you're own statements favor a smite/cleanse summoner spell selection.

I notice your item builds are quite expensive with no gold/5 items. I have trouble making the money required for your builds in the amount of time my games usually last. Also, I tend to run out of mana even with the 9/0/21 mastery without a little item help.

Due to Rammus' relative lack of money pressuring his item slots, I've found a Doran's shield effective as a first item. Thoughts?[/QUOTE

Well Rammus can be a pretty good farmer without the sun fire cape. That doesnt mean you shouldnt get one. Tremmors is only a 60 second cd and most of the time using taunt curl and tremors at the same tiem on a hero espically if there squishy is usally a kill if not chase them down with powerball and repeat. I always start out with a rej bead and a farie charm I use the bead to make wardens and sell the charm for w/e i want chalice or tabi usally.


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MeanBean

Senior Member

01-01-2010

This is where I wish the game had a replay feature

Rammus is great early on. And you do care who you lane with. Flash, maxing powerball and taunt should give you kills during laning if you coordinate with your lanemate. Say you lane with blitz. You flash up and taunt the ryze. This allows the blitz to follow up with an easy grab+uppercut. You follow and land your powerball. Theres basically no champ that can survive that combo at level 4-5.

Also, you have no mana regen at all in your build. And no team is either full physical or full caster, you need to mix up your build. And stacking sunfires is horrible.

Edit:
Cooldown reduction is awesome on rammus. Try to get away from him when his taunt has a 5.4 seconds cooldown (I think that was what it ends up at).


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Kalarix

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Member

01-01-2010

I agree with doran's shield to start, particularly with his passive.
I also find a heart of gold right after boots to be helpful for his cash flow.
It's the things you've said he wants (Armor + HP) and helps generate cash.
Since he's not filling his items slots early due to low income, it's not wasting a slot.

I agree with MeanBean, later in the game, cooldown reduction is excellent on him. Fast taunts and powerballs wreck a team fight. Take their DPS off the focus target all the time. This is why I often get a frozen heart after a sunfire.


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Garborg

Senior Member

01-01-2010

My item order...

1. Cloth Armor + 3 heal pots and 1 mana pot
2. Heart of Gold (helps money issues)
3. Chalice (Mana issues solved)
4. Boots of Mobility (Lane switching and gank inniating easy when you can hit 1100+ speed w/ ghost+powerball+Mobility)
5. Thorn Mail
6 Start stacking sunfire capes if against melee team other wise HP or other survial type gear


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