Rammus: Rolling in a nutshell Written by: Lolance
Note: I will put this up on http://www.leaguecraft.com/when I managed to get the posting system to like me! Till then; this!
Foreword: Excuse the pun for the title, but I really had to do it .
-A little introduction:
Hi there, this guide was written by me (Lolance) as an explanation of how to build and more importantly play the awesome roller ball known as Rammus.
This guide won't enable you to go 15-0-0
If you end a game with more kills then assists I feel you are doing it wrong, leave the last hits to those more suited, Rammy (for me) is all about the support. Indeed I often end a great game with more deaths then kills
Lets firstly talk about about the abilities that Rammus has, not in the terms of maths but instead in the terms of "When will I use this".
His armour to damage move is really a decent passive, it suits people who want to stack armour on him but I find it not overly tanky. Yes you gain some nice freebie damage whilst it also creates some nice synergies with defensive ball curl to make you do more damage while taking less.
The longer you spin the faster it goes. Will knock back slightly. My gosh this is fun! Warning: This has a sillyily large hitbox. You WILL brush creeps and be knocked out of the spin. Fear not, for you will get better with practice .
Tricks: It does aoe damage, in the laning phase this is an easy (but not very mana efficient) farming tool for last hits.
Also: SHORT cool down. Use it to travel. At the speed of light.
Also: Spin this up in the fountain. In 2 seconds you have the full mana cost back, giving you a 5-6 second boost to get back to your lane.
Defensive Ball Curl:
This, in my opinion, is really what makes Rammy an even passable tank. Yes, you have to activate it. Yes, that is annoying. But getting 50 (first level) magic resist and armour is a huge damage reduction.
Tricks: The damage back from this is not insignificant. If you prefer to go the route of Thornmail, popping this as well can seriously mess up any silly Yi who tries to mess with you.
Puncturing Taunt: It took me ages to realise the effectiveness of this is not only the disable but also the armour reduction. Remind your physical dps of this; “Hey look, he can’t hit back AND he takes more pain”.
Tricks: The classic move of taunting someone into a tower so they take hits. If you see someone over extend taunt (so they get tower agro) then power ball. Let the tower do your work for you!
Tremors: The cool down of this will mean you only get it once a battle, so use it wisely. Even though this seems to be the poor mans equilivant of Mundos ability the fact you're the one starting fights makes it amazing. Let’s be honest, this is just the icing on the cake for Rammus, it looks good but really they could have put anything and you’d be happy. The key use for this is in team fights or sneakily knocking down a tower. An AP Rammy might find this of more use but as an aggressive tank it’s the definition of “meh”.
Tricks: The damage hurts towers, but is also a agro fiend. Make sure no heroes are next to you when you use this to knock down a tower or prepare to be eaten .
-Runes, Masteries, summoning and you:
You already have runes. You're going to research before buying them. I personally go hp regen and mana regen for Rammy due to the huge problems he has with cash flow. You're going to want to skimp out somewhere and I do it with my early regen.
Runes are a marginal upgrade for tanks, but are more important for DPS classes.
0/21/9 - Pretty standard. Because I don't use tank items I pick up some much needed survivability from this tree, alongside improved Cleanse and Fortifty, which are the (in my opinion) two most optimal choices for Rammus in terms of his supporting role.
Fortify - This helps your team. It allows you to gank the over keen with taunt. Take it.
Cleanse - When this was buffed it was both the stable and the bane of a Rammus player. Whilst it stoppoed your key abilities (Taunt and Powerball) it also saved you from theirs. I still would suggest taking it, a well timed cleanse both saves and costs lives.
Teleport - Kinda useful? I'm not sold on this, given the map speed you have with Boots and Powerball.
-So what do I pick and when?
This is personal preference, if I’m playing ranged characters I’ll pick up Defensive Curl earlier and use it to neutralise their major damage, due to taunt not forcing ranged characters to melee (it only makes them auto attack).
So in general we pick these;
1. Powerball (Max this first when able)
2. Puncturing Taunt (Then this)
6. Tremors (And this is your ultimate, of course you want to max this when possible).
-But I want to solo...
No. If you really want to solo, pick a different hero please. That's not saying that you are unable to solo. But don’t. Please don’t. The benefits for a Rammy player soloing (with this build) are negligible. Your team would be better having their carry soloing, whereas you can work with a lane mate.
If you do find yourself solo at any stage of the game remember these keys:
1. Powerball can (and should) be used as an escape.
2. Defensive Curl being active STOPS powerball from being usable, time these abilities accordingly.
3. Being a tank /= being unkillable, know your limits. Yes you can run ahead; but if you have to travel back more than 1.5 towers distance I find I’m out of tricks and will usually die.
4. If you see a melee character alone and all your abilities are up you can likely take them; killing a carry of equal level is often demoralising to them.
-What items when?
((Note I play aggressive, I return to base alot. Not the most efficient playing style but means you need not worry about mana for a while cause it is being refreshed))
Well the order changes game to game, however as a general guide I usually go:
1. I usually buy a Ruby Crystal (475g) off the bat. This gives a healthy chunk of health, and with some regen runes you will be fine to lane till:
Alternative: Meki Pendant (375g) + 2 Health Potions (70g).
2. Woo woo you’ve hit 500g, are out of mana so it’s time to go get a lovely Heart Of Gold (500g). What a beautiful item. Armour. Health. Gold per 5. Exactly what you (as a turtle) have always wanted and needed.
3. Here I usually go mana regen. A Chalice of Harmony (890g) is excellent, adds some nice mana regen and magic resist, all in all a well balance item that means you’ll never hit that empty blue bar when you really want that taunt.
4. Booties! Speed helps you gain map control and since you want to be first to fight this can be a key for you! This is personal preference but the Boots of Mobility (1000g) are my choice in the average game, just for the advantage when you run into battle. If you have alot of snarers against you maybe try Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi against physical damage.
5. Now it’s time to supplement your abilities! If you have the cash (i.e you’ve gotten ganks) go for Sunfire Cape (2700g). You’re going to be in the middle of every fight, might as make the most of it. If (as happens alot) money is scarce start to build a Veil or Thorn Mail (?g)(with the nice patch change)/Warden's Mail (?g). Both of these have a great benefit for you against meleers.
As you can tell, this isn’t the tankiest Rammy. However he starts fights, disables, does some damage and can turn any fight in your teams favour. If you want more tankness consider getting Warmog's Armor (?g). Infact get several.
-Playing as Rammy
The game (at my level) has some distinct phases
Phase 0: Creeps
Help other people take the buffs. You don't need them. Always be willing to go for a gank if they try dragon unprotected.
Phase 1: Laning (1-6)
Depending on your partner and your opponents this can ever be mediocre or horrible. Rarely (and I mean 10% of all games) will you get the dream laning experience. Rammus is a melee character, thus suffers from sniping by ranged toons. Your major early skills (powerball and taunt) both have next to no range and one doesn’t even do damage. In this phase I play as a support character, I try to play with a harassing lane mate, taunting if they need an escape, power balling for some last hits on minions. Still try for last hits but don’t be surprised if they are few and far between.
Played aggressively you can support another character for some early kills (of course the KB’s will rarely be yours ), but the glory won’t usually go to you. Your melee hits aren’t great and your abilities should be used to stun, not last hit. Taunt is amazing at lower levels, it saves lives, enables ganks and is really just a fun skill.
Range. If you get an aggressive ranged player you will be sitting back licking your wounds more than playing aggressive.
Phase 2: Map control (6-12)
Here I play as an initiator, joining in lanes if I see someone has another player low enough to gank. Also Rammy is great at holding a lane, while not the best at clearing the minions, your presence in a lane is all but guaranteed to stop a turret push. Be aware of this. At this stage I also find (in my ELO) that the game is devolving into team fights, 3-5 man gank squads wandering the map. In any situation such as this Rammy has the ability to turn the tide in your teams favour. Depending on your play style there are a number of ways to approach this, but my usual is the shock value.
You’re starting to shine – Working in a team, rolling over the map to support team mates, protecting lanes from pushes, taunting into towers. My good gooly what fun!
With this build you’re squishy. You will die. It happens.
You can’t be everywhere.
Phase 3: The final countdown (12 onwards)
Teamwork. Don’t go off alone. You can usually survive but it’s both socially and practically inefficient. Support. Initiate. Distract. Please don’t backdoor towers. Like... You can... But why. For the love of god why. Here just go over the steps as listed above. Save your team with taunt, they might not notice but you will.
Wooo! 5 man battles! Fun.
While not as effective as Blitzcrank at starting a fight, taunt is the single best in game ability anyone has. It is a three second fear, snare, silence, tower attractor and can do nasty damage if you’re balled up.
-Team fights and you
The 7 steps of team fighting:
Step 0: You are Rammus. You do aoe damage (Tremors). You slow (powerball). You disable (taunt). You initiate. Team fights are what you want to be involved in. Don’t be afraid to die. Be aware of your team, and remember: 1v5 isn’t good odds .
The normal team battle for my bracket involves 1 team jumping from bushes at another. You want to be the jumping team, but if not these steps also provide you with the basis of supporting your team in a fight.
Step 1: Creep as close as possible with your team, bait them with someone else if possible.
Step 2: Start your power roll (you don’t need to move, as time progresses the roll gets faster) and chose a target. Someone squishy is good, but keep in mind who the fight will revolve around (where the damage comes from). For instance If they have a Nunu and a Yi, you want to be near the Yi to stop him messing up your buddies.
Step 3: Roll on in! Hit a target. The shock value is immeasurable.
Step 4: Cleanse and turtle shell! Make sure the shell goes off. This will not only save you from the opening barrage, but it also does significant damage to anyone who hits you with a standard attack. Further the shell increases the damage you do (by buffing your armor. I don’t use taunt yet because we want to keep people in our ultimate with taunt and also so it will be over when Powerball is back up.
Step 5: Ultimate if it is up, the passive damage done in an AOE is great and makes people think about fleeing due to the fact even when snared it remains casting and you keep on chipping off their health.
Step 6: Now it’s time to taunt, or is it? Take stock. What is your health? What is theirs? Who is moving where? Would it be better to grab that Jax to stop him jumping your squishy or to stop that Fiddle from running.
Step 7: By now Powerball should be back up. You can use it to chase down runners or to disrupt their players if still grouped.
Play the character.
Feel his weaknesses and strengths.
Add me and play in game alongside me (Lolance)
And, of course, give me feed back!
Thorn mail is a very situational item. With the changes (the up in cost AND the up in price) it makes it something that I DO look for but only if the game has 3-4 carries against me. If you're facing a team of magic users (2 +) then I feel the extra damage you gain (from Hardened Skin) really isn't worth the massive item cost. I'd much prefer a Bashees Veil.
However if you are facing a carry who is ripping stuff up, or multiple carries, I would buy one in the blink of an eye.
I've been doing some Rammus lately, and I love him. I made my own item build though, a compilation of all the guides. You're the only on (I think) who says to get boots of mobility. I can't stress how important these boots are to Rammus. It makes the other team never know where you're going to be next. I've saved so many teammates who were going to die and being chased by a low health enemy. Going speeds of 1000ms+ is super incredible. I actually start with boots + pots and then upgrade the boots first, because I place so much importance on them.
I also recommend gemming for mp5, all of my yellow and blue slots are runes of clarity (mp5/lvl). This means I can skip my regen item all together and opens up an item slot (and saves money early game).
Because I like the speed and regen so much I'm actually going up the utility tree, grabbing the 5mp5 talent and the +3% movespeed talents.
Anyways, good guide man. Definitely one of the better Rammus guides out there. (Sunfire stacking only works when you're summoner level 5 or so.)
I honestly feel that 2 heart of gold is the way to go.
then i work my way up to a catalyst, However note, im only summoner level 11 and cant get to a huge amount of the mastery/rune trees. But i feel that the damage Rammus does is often understated. with defensive ball curl up you can do really well jungling the golem buff is great to ensure you have the mana you need. As far as team battles go i am a huge believer in being support. the slow is great and had a good aoe.
when you fend off a lane push. there will often times be a bunch of creeps left. slamming into a prime spot on the mobs will often lead to a giant splash of golds for you. great for building that late game guardian or Warmongs.
Though awesome strats on the taunts. i need to use it more ^.^
An interesting thing I have noted, after reading and using this guide, is the synergy you fail to mention between AP penetration, powerball and shock factor. By putting your final points into Offence to gain that lovely AP penetration you not only vastly increase your ability to grief early but further increase viability end game.
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