Welcome to my second guide ever, featuring my most played champion, Rammus the Armordillo. Rammus is an underused, underpicked, but potentially powerful champion that can be used in ranked or normals. This is probably going to be the best Rammus guide on Solomid. I played hundreds of Rammus games in Season 4, climbing from the very depths of Bronze to Platinum. Rammus started to make a bit of a comeback after winning 100% of his games during Worlds (I told you he's OP), and he definitely became stronger when the updated Spirit of the Ancient Golem was released during 4.10. However, season 5 jungle changed everything and limited junglers to the holy trinity of Vi, Lee Sin, and Jarvan. Rammus is admittedly weaker than these three in every single aspect, but he can still be played very effectively. Rammus is a great jungler for solo Q because most teams lack the warding and communication to stop him from repeatedly ganking and snowballing lanes, which is his specialty. This Rammus guide will go in depth on jungle clears, matchups, gank routes, and anything else you need to know about the amordillo. Edit for 5.5 5.5 gave some love to tank junglers with the cinderhulk, but it's a mixed bag for Rammus. Here's why. 1 - No longer have any tenacity or CDR. This was the single redeeming feature from the old jungle item. 2- Can't build sunfire cape. Because the Cinderhulk passive is unique, it can't be stacked. For some characters this is great, because it gives them the sunfire passive and frees up a spot for some more item choices (looking at you, Amumu). Sunfire was CORE on Rammus, but not really for the passive. Sunfire was great for Rammus because it was a cheap, effective purchase for the stats, with an AOE damage source as a bonus. So the obvious choice to replace it is Randuin's Omen, which is also a great item with an AOE slow. The reason I don't like this build path as much is because 3- The bonus health on the new item doesn't scale as well on Rammus as I'd prefer. Because the new item gives +25% bonus health, you are going to see some Zac, Mundo, and Cho Gath players with some ridiculous HP pools. Now when you get full build as Rammus, you will also be rocking 4-5k hp, but you aren't using your enchantment as well. Why? First of all, you can't build Sunfire AND Randuin's. This used to be a favorite build of mine, because both items were hybrid health and armor. I think of thornmail as a core item if they have even moderate AD damage dealers, and it gives zero health. Removal of the CDR bonus means that your only accessible source of CDR is Frozen Heart, but this item also gives no health. You will have a whole bunch of armor, but no health. This almost forces your next item to be Warmogs (although I like Rightous Glory quite a bit) just to add to your health pool. TL:DR you can't build as many health items as other junglers, and you have no outside sources of health to supplement your pool (Cho Gath feast, Sion passive, etc). Finally, he still has a really terrible clear, especially single target monsters like gromp. So I think 5.5 helped Rammus quite a bit, but he certainly isn't as powerful as he was in the past. Rito, if you are reading this: 1 - Revert Q cooldown. 2 - Bonus damage returned to monsters on W activation, preferably scaling from health. Pros: Very strong ganks. Very strong. Very fast. Very very very very fast. Shuts down auto attack based AD champs Anti-assassin Can do damage while building pure tank. Cons: Weak farming, weak early clears, susceptible to early invades (Edit for Season 5: Can't farm. Can't clear early. Will die if Lee Sin sneezes in your jungle) Weak when behind due to invades, feeding teams, etc Has a lame dance/emote spam
Most Rammus guides have you maxing your taunt first. This is great CC and it's great for the armor shred. I most commonly max E, but I will sometimes put more points into W for the defensive stats. If I am going to do an early dragon, tower dive, or skirmish more frequently I will dump some points into W to help stay alive. W is also better if your lanes are pushing and you are stuck farming. Edit: there is a good reason for maxing W. Most of your early purchases are going to be health, and if you put points in W you can maximize your effective health (that you bought) with resistances that you \"earned\" from your levels. Also, since the armor shred nerf on E, points in E primarily gives you increased CC duration. This is awesome, don't get me wrong, but most of your early / mid game ganks will not hinge on getting the full taunt off. For example, if I am ganking for my bot lane, it doesnt matter how long the taunt is, as long as thresh can hit a hook. In mid lane, I just need to give Ahri .75s to land her charm.
Generally, Rammus is strongest against characters who rely strictly on auto-attacks. For example: Jinx, Caitlin, Tryndamere, Yasuo, etc. Characters with some kind of on-hit effect or damage generally can hurt you pretty bad. This includes anyone who builds Blade of the Ruined King. Think characters like Warwick with his on-hit heal, or Draven with his spinning axe damage. This includes any caster type character (Jayce, Talon, Zed). If/when they auto attack you, you can absorb more damage than when they use an ability. Finally, Rammus is absolutely weak against any character with magic DOT. Stay far, far away from characters like Rumble, Cassio, Brand, or Malzahar (shudders internally).
This is the hardest part of the game for Rammus. Let's make one thing clear...you absolutely cannot farm your jungle. Thanks be to Riot, who in their great wisdom simultaneously nerfed Rammus, made the jungle harder, and created an environment to better accentuate Lee Sin's strengths (I think it was their plan all along). I always start with my bot lane to leash me. This means krugs for blue side and gromp for red side. Usually I move and take my buff next. If your leash was good, you can usually take 4 camps before backing. Only do this if you feel safe. Never do this against Lee, Xin, Shaco, Jarvan, or Vi. You will get first blooded and it will suck. Make sure to gather enough gold to pick up Ranger's trailblazer on your first back. Another option that can work with a good leash is Gromp --> Blue --> Smite Red gank top/mid. This used to be my go to route for first blood in Season 4, but it's harder to pull of because you will likely be sitting on 1/2 or so HP. Only do this if the laners are trading really aggressively, their laner is pushed, or their laner is already low. After you get trailblazer, you need to really be watching for ganks. Your base movespeed can catch people out of position easily, especially if they are immobile or squishy. Juicy midlane targets to gank include champs like Lux, Xerath, Veigar, Velkoz, and Ziggs. Another situation to watch for are characters who can follow your gank easily. I love ganking for Ahri, for instance, because if I taunt she gets a super easy charm that usually leads to a kill. Bottom lane can be a little bit more tricky. Once their support gets sighstone, river is usually warded up. If you have mobi boots, you can try a lane gank. I do this every time I kill gromp / krugs. I check bot lane, see where the minions are, and if the enemies are even a little bit pushed I start up powerball and ping like crazy. If they are focused on trading, you can either catch them / blow flashes just from your speed. So in general, you need to gank. If in doubt, gank something. Just ganked mid? Do it again. I get first blood for myself or my laner in the majority of my Rammus games. The trick here is to continue going back to that lane to keep snowballing the lane out of control.
So the other team picked a Lee Sin, and he has straight AD runes and is looking to get all up in your business and take your jungle. This happens more and more to Rammus in higher divisions where people know how to counter Rammus. Employ some or all of these strategies to get yourself through your jungle without getting bullied early. 1) TELL YOUR TEAM. Type in chat \"Lee is looking to cheese me early, let's ward up and keep him out of the jungle\". You only have one trinket ward, so you need your team to help you with warding. 2) Be tricky. Let's say you're purple (lol....red) side. Expect Lee to start red or steal your red, while he expects you to start blue. So what you do is stand outside of blue, get your bot lane to help you, drop wards like you're starting blue, then go take red. Your top laner can make sure that it hasn't been warded. Make sure your top laner goes to lane immediately, and have bot lane wait 5 seconds then head to lane. Get Lee to assume you started blue, then take your red first. He will show up at your red looking for first blood while you safely take blue, then gank bottom with certainty that Lee is somewhere top, either at his blue or your red. 3) Use your speed. If you can take blue then red, the obvious next step is to gank top lane (assuming you are purple side Rammus). Instead, powerball to bot lane. It only takes an extra 30 seconds, and you will be ganking on the opposite side of the map. 4) Wards wards wards. On your first back you will get a trailblazer and pots. Hopefull you can also afford a pink ward (you got 4 camps). Then I will ward both sides of my jungle, using my pink on one of my buffs. That gives me and the team a LOT of vision on Lee, and if he tries any funny business the team can collapse on him in the jungle. The 250g spent on wards will likely reward you with a kill/assist and maybe a buff for a laner. Very worth. 5) Go into his jungle. This works especially well against hyper aggressive junglers who like to take your stuff. The last place he expects you to be is his jungle. I don't recommend this all the time...it's more in the category of \"It's so crazy it just might work\". 6) Gank so hard that you don't have time to farm the jungle because you are killing enemy champions :) 7) If you are behind and struggling in farm/exp, leach some lane experience. If one of your laners gets killed, make sure you go farm a wave or two. If you are behind, the bonus experience will help your levels and the minion farm will help your shopping. Downside: everyone can see you on the map and will play more aggressively.
In my mind, mid game starts after you obtain your second set of buffs. At this point you should have Mobi Boots, Ranger's, and a Ruby Crystal (at least), and you need to buy a sweeper. Your speed and mobility make you a vision controlling machine, so make sure you buy wards on every back. I shift my focus during this part of the game to OWNING mid and bot jungle. Use Q for deep ward placement, making sure the river is well warded. This will prevent their mid from roaming and raping your bot lane, will help prevent ganks from their jungler, and will set you up for a dragon should you get a kill. If a game is going well, hopefully your top lane is fed from your early ganks, letting you help mid and bottom lane more now. If top lane is struggling, just have them hold the turret as best they can and get your bot lane fed enough to take care of their top lane. This is the part of the game where you need to get creative in ganking bot lane, as their support likely has a sightstone, a pink ward, and a sweeper of their own. Here are some of my favorite routes. Blue Side Rammus: -Starting from my red, I walk into the river, around the enemy blue buff, and start my roll. With an eye on the enemy minion wave, I roll through their try, zipping past the turret (only take 1 shot), and reach full speed right as I near the mid point of bottom lane. -Start your roll from the river bush about dragon. If they are pushed, they will see you but it will be too late. Ping like crazy. -Start rolling at your red, and head through your tri bush. Take a thresh lantern or simply flash the fat wall at max speed (tricky but effective) -I had to add this because so few people do it. If your team can engage, you can \"gank\" by just rolling through your lane. Start rolling at the inner turret, have your team engage, and you'll arrive with follow up. Also, at this point of the game you should be taking objectives after kills. Kills are great early, but objectives matter more. Just got a double kill bot lane? That needs to be a tower or dragon. Picked up a kill mid lane? Maybe you can both go bot. LoL is kind of a zero sum game. Whatever you take, the enemy gets less of. What I mean is that by taking a bottom turret and drag, you gain gold and control of the map. By also swiping a large golem and big wraith and planting two wards in their bottom jungle, now you OWN their jungle. Not only did you gain an advantage, you denied them opportunities to catch up. Final Point: Buying health at this part of this game is VERY STRONG. Assuming you have a few points in W, you can use that for increased resistances. Effectively, heath is worth much more to buy than armor or MR for now.
Late game Rammus is nearly unkillable, but this is not where you want to be as Rammus. I very much prefer to win games in 25 minutes, with all lanes fed and rolling toward the nexus. I like having teams split up so that I can catch people out, and I like small skirmishes way more than teamfights. That being said, some games do go really long, and that's ok. Rammus is less effective late game duo to banshee's veils, peeling supports, and the huge mass of people in teamfights. In some cases, you should go balls to the wall and flash taunt the enemy Jinx, effectively destroying her. More often, it's better to become a tanky turtle bodyguard for your ADC. There are a few simple and effective ways to do this. First of all, stand on him. Seriously. Just by being next to him he is harder to click and kill. Second, use your roll for instakilling assassins. This is devastating against Rengar, Fizz, Zed, Talon, etc. They are going to be trying to dash/jump/flash to your ADC to nuke him, but if you are rolling right on top of your ADC, they will proc your knockup and you can instantly taunt them. You, the ADC, and support/other members can burst the assassin (they are likely very squishy), then turn on the rest of the team. Finally, keep your wards up. If you have vision on a warding support who is even slightly out of position, you can very likely race to them and lock them down, creating an easy pick. If your team is responding to a baron or dragon play and someone has to facecheck a bush, make sure you do it with your W on. Many times I have been \"caught\" but actually it turned into an initiation and we won the teamfight. With thornmail and sunfire you are going to be a menace to their carry, but seriously consider your role. If your team already has a Leona support, Zed mid, and Lissandra top, you need to be the turtle bodyguard for the carry. The entire rest of your team is build to dive, so let them do it. If you dive with them, you leave your ADC to get nuked by their mid laner. If your team has a Lux mid, Rumble top, and Braum support....now you're the diver. Attract as much spells, CC, damage, and attention as you can, hopefully controlling their ADCs damage onto yourself. It can very well take them as long to kill you as it will take your team to kill everyone else.
This section is pretty much the same as the previous section, with a couple of additions as I think to add them. 1- I can't stress enough how tanky full build Rammus is. I recently won a game that went long after a clean ace. We mopped up 4 turrets in 50 seconds, and I tanked 22 turret shots. (Had a Jinx that could murder turrets) 2- For games that go long (40+), really consider selling Mobis and switching for Merc's treads. Your in combat speed will actually increase, but you wont be as fast travelling the map. 3 - Occasionally you will run across a team that is entirely/mostly AD damage, which is fantastic. 400+ armor and 4500+ health will make you an unkillable god. My one Rammus Quadra kill was fighting a Yasuo/Tryndamere/Jinx/Zed with thornmail while in a wave of my own super minions. #Bronze logic.
So Rammus isn't the strongest of the tank junglers in the Cinderhulk meta, but he sure is fun to play. 10/10 would ok again. The greatest secret to Rammus is not that he was ever overpowered, but that he powered up the rest of your by ganking for them and creating opportunities for kills instead of farming minions. As long as you are able to play Rammus to his strengths (please don't try to powerfarm your jungle), you will be able to win games. Thanks for reading. Hopefully I'll see you on the Rift.