Rammus, the Armordillo, is one of the easiest and most effective junglers in League of Legends. With a 55.61% win rate and a 5.97% play rate, he thrives in the uncoordinated Solo Queue environment with his clutch ganks and potent teamfighting. Let’s see how you can use Rammus to climb the ladder!
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Passive: Spiked Shell
Rammus’s auto attack deal bonus magic damage. The damage scales with armor and is increased by 50% while Defensive Ball Curl [W] is active.
How to use: There’s not much to this passive. Obviously, you should remember that you deal more damage when your W is active, but other than that, this is just a nice bonus for your fights and skirmishes. And since your passive scales with armor, you have even more incentives to stack defensive items on Rammus.
Rammus curls into a ball and begins to roll for up to 6 seconds. During this time, he can’t use auto attacks or cast Frenzying Taunt [E], but he gains bonus movement speed with each passing second (up to a maximum of 235%). When Rammus collides with an enemy, he stops rolling, knocking back all nearby foes for 0.75 seconds, dealing damage, and slowing them for 1 second. Powerball can be canceled by reactivating the ability or casting Defensive Ball Curl [W].
How to Use: Powerball is Rammus’s trademark spell. The extra movement speed is great for punishing positioning mistakes and finding ganks where other junglers would have to walk away empty-handed. Not only that but it makes for very powerful flanks, and the enemy team will struggle to disengage from a charging Armordillo. And of course, you can use Powerball to move between your jungle camps.
Keep in mind that creeps can—and will—stop your Powerball, so it’s best to avoid them. And if doing that in a conventional manner is impossible, use your Flash to get right on top of your target.
W: Defensive Ball Curl
Rammus takes a defensive stance for 6 seconds. During this time, he gains bonus armor and magic resistance and increases Spiked Shell’s damage by 50%. Additionally, the damage from his passive is applied to all enemies that auto attack him. Rammus is slowed for the time Defensive Ball Curl is active, but he can cancel the spell by reactivating it or casting Powerball [Q].
How to use: Defensive Ball Curl is a double-edged sword. On one hand, you gain a ton of stats as well as a ‘free’ Thornmail passive. But the self-slow makes it much harder to stick to your target. As a rule of thumb, keep your W up when you ‘re getting focused (or when your taunt is active) and cancel it in all other situations. After all, even the tankiest Armordillo is of no use if it can’t get in range.
E: Frenzying Taunt
Rammus taunts the target enemy, gaining bonus attack speed for the duration of the effect. As long as Powerball, Defensive Ball Curl, or Tremors is active, the bonus attack speed is refreshed.
How to use: Another classic Rammus ability. Frenzying Taunt allows you to lock down your target and get the most out of your other abilities. In general, you want to target AD carries or other squishy champions to force them out of the fight. However, your E also provides quite a bit of peel, so don’t be afraid of using it defensively if you’ve got a fed carry on your side.
Rammus emits shockwaves around himself for 8 seconds, slowing and dealing damage each second to all surrounding enemies. The damage to structures is increased two times. The slow lasts for 1.5 seconds and stacks up to 8 times.
How to use: Even though Tremors is a decent sieging ability, you mostly want to use it against other champions. Its damage is surprisingly high, and the slow lets you stick to your target, provided it doesn’t have any blinks or dashes. Cast your ultimate after your taunt to make sure enemy champions don’t just walk out of the area of effect.
R > E > Q > W
It might sound counterintuitive, but Frenzying Taunt [E] is the best spell to max. This is because each rank increases taunt duration, which is the main thing Rammus brings to the table, but the extra attack speed isn’t too shabby either. Next, invest points in Powerball [Q]. This is your initiation spell, and you want it on the lowest cooldown possible for the mid game teamfights. Save Defensive Ball Curl for last. Even though it adds some durability, it doesn’t scale with levels as much as your other abilities. And don’t forget to rank up Tremors [R] when you can.
There are several viable rune pages for Rammus. Still, you always want to go with Resolve as your primary path. Take the Aftershock keystone. The resistance from it will increase your damage output, and the subsequent explosion will throw in some burst on top of that. Next, grab Font of Life. Half of your kit has slows in it, and your allies will definitely appreciate additional healing. Follow up with Conditioning to scale in the late game. As for your final rune, make a choice between Overgrowth and Second Wind. The former scales better, but the latter offers more immediate survivability.
As for your second rune tree, Precision, Domination, and Inspiration are all viable options. In the first case, Legend: Alacrity boosts your damage while Triumph makes sure you even tankier in teamfights and skirmishes. Meanwhile, Domination is notable for Cheap Shot that increases your damage against slowed targets. And if you combine it with Relentless Hunter, you become a very scary Armordillo. Finally, the Inspiration tree is great for the Approach Velocity and Magical Footwear runes that let you move around as fast as possible.
Rammus Summoner Spells
Rammus’s summoner spells are pretty straightforward. Since you’re jungling, you’ll always need Smite to clear camps and secure objectives. And Flash will come in handy when you need to start a fight or get out of harm’s way.
1.) Skirmisher’s Sabre – Cinderhulk > Ninja Tabi > Righteous Glory > Gargoyle Stoneplate > Abyssal Mask > Thornmail
Rammus’s core build relies on stacking as many defensive stats as possible. In that case, Cinderhulk is a great jungling enchantment because it gives you health and health scaling, which is great for the late game. The Skirmisher’s Sabre is especially important as you’ll get some extra damage from your smite. Ninja Tabi synergize well with your entire kit by adding more armor. Plus, the damage reduction from auto attacks doesn’t hurt either. Righteous Glory is another potent Rammus items since it makes your initiations even more devastating.
It’s around this time that you’ll start getting involved in teamfights, so pick up Gargoyle Stoneplate to gain more durability in 5v5s. As for the Abyssal Mask, it’s an amazing purchase as long as the enemy team has at least one spellcaster, and its passive aura will certainly come in handy in battles. Wrap up your build with Thornmail to present an even bigger threat to AD champions.
Rammus Situational Items
There are several situational Rammus items you want to consider. Even though Ninja Tabi are exceptional on the Armordillo, Mercury’s Treads are still better if you’re facing a lot of crowd control and AP damage. In a similar fashion, Adaptive Helm is a good choice against machinegun mages (Ryze, Corki, Cassiopeia).
If you want to provide more utility to your team, grab Locket of the Iron Solari and Knight’s Vow to protect your carries. And if you want to catch enemies off guard with your movement speed, buy Dead Man’s Plate instead of Stoneplate. Hell, you can even replace Abyssal Mask with Randuin’s Omen against full AD comps. Last but not least, consider getting Zz’Rot Portal. The stats on it aren’t half bad, and the active helps you secure more splitpushing presence.
When to pick Rammus?
Rammus is a powerful counter to most AD team comps. If the enemy team is lacking in terms of magic damage, it’s a good idea to lock in the Armordillo and roll over your foes. And even if they have a few mages, you’ll still be fine as long as they can’t DPS. After all, Syndra isn’t likely to use her combo on a tank.
In a similar fashion, Rammus works well against immobile carries because they have no way of escaping his Powerball [Q]. Keep in mind, though, that Rammus has notable weakness. Carries with dashes and blinks will always have a way of escaping his initiations, and meta junglers can exploit him in the early game.
Rammus Matchups and Counters
Rammus’s worst matchups are early game junglers. Most of the time, the Armordillo wants to farm and gank. And while he’s good at both of these aspects of the game, he doesn’t do much else, so any junglers that can disrupt this pattern with invades and counter ganks are tough for Rammus to deal with. Avoid picking him into champions like Elise, Graves, Lee Sin, or Nidalee.
Meanwhile, farm-oriented junglers that prefer to stay on their own side of the map are your ideal matchups. Go for Rammus if you see someone like Master Yi, Hecarim, or Rengar on the enemy side.
Rammus Early Game
Once again, you want to focus on ganking and farming in the early game. Start with a Hunter’s Talisman and a Refillable Potion and go to your jungle. You always want to get the leash from your bot lane for the fastest possible clear. Your standard route is buff > wolves/raptors (depends on which is closest) > raptors/wolves.
At this point, you should hit level 3, which is the best time to go for a gank. This is especially true If you started at red buff since the extra slow will make your ganks even deadlier. So look for an enemy that’s overstepping his limits, channel your Powerball [Q], and charge at him at full speed.
Once you connect your knockup, cast Frenzying Taunt [E] and activate your Defensive Ball Curl [W]. After your taunt runs out, the enemy laner will likely try to escape, so make sure to disable your W if you want to chase. Chances are you’ll get a kill or force a Flash. In the latter scenario, make sure to come back for a free kill within the next 5 minutes.
But don’t fret if you don’t see any gank opportunities. Finish your other buff, secure a Scuttle Crab (great for gold and river control) and look for ganks once again. Still, you should be very conscious of the enemy jungler’s pathing. Rammus isn’t that good in 2v2 skirmishes, so if you’re not certain where your opponent is, avoid ganking for a weak laner.
Top lane will always present more gank opportunities. It’s the longest lane in the game, and it’s far too easy to run people down with Powerball there. That being said, bot lane is a much more attractive target because you can get two kills (and a Dragon) instead of one. So if you have a support with a lot of crowd control, try to pull off a few bot lane ganks.
Mid lane is probably the hardest lane to gank. That’s not to say it’s impossible, though. If the enemy laner is pushing into your turret (or your mid laner has hard CC), you can still make the gank work by looping around the enemy jungle and dashing in with Powerball.
Remember, though, that you don’t need to focus on ganks. Of course, Rammus has a strong presence in the early game, but just like most tanks, he scales well later on. And as long as your enemies have AD champions, you’ll always be useful in the mid game, so make sure you don’t fall behind in farm.
Rammus Mid Game
In the mid game, Rammus turns into a powerful initiator. Powerball [Q] gives you so much movement speed that you can catch out champions 2-3 screens away from you, so try to find a pick or two. This way, you’ll secure a numbers advantage before a fight even starts. The best players to pick off are supports (when they’re warding) and splitpushers (when they’re away from their team). Also, keep in mind that you can duel most AD carries at this stage of the game, so don’t hesitate to jump on them if an opportunity presents itself.
Once you find a pick, look to start a fight with your surviving enemies, or snowball your lead by securing neutral objectives. After all, it will be much harder for the enemy team to challenge you in a 4v5.
When it comes to teamfighting, you have two viable strategies. First, you can peel. If you have a fed hypercarry (Twitch, Kog’Maw, Ryze, Kayle), stay next to them and protect them with Frenzying Taunt [E], Tremors [R], and Powerball. Also, make sure to block any incoming skill shots. Even if you die, it’s okay as long as they get to live and deal damage.
Of course, these situations don’t come up often. Most of the time, it will be your job to stick to enemy carries and take them out of the fight. The best way of doing this is by finding flanks. If you Powerball in a straight line, your initiation becomes very telegraphed, giving your enemies plenty of time to react and use their escapes.
But if you zoom in through their jungle, they might not be able to disengage in time. Once you get on top of the enemy marksman, go through your E > W > R rotation and follow them around with the slow from your ultimate. Be mindful of your health, though, because you will be getting focused by the entire enemy team.
Also, remember that even though you are a very, your teammates won’t always be able to keep up. Make sure you initiate when your allies are nearby.
Rammus Late Game
Rammus serves the same purpose in the late game. However, items like Quicksilver Sash, Zhonya’s Hourglass, and Guardian Angel can disrupt your playstyle. Keep track of them by hitting Tab and checking enemy purchases.
Much like in the mid game, you still want to get picks before securing objectives. So even though you’re great at tanking Baron and Elder Dragon, turn away and look for a fight as soon as the enemy team walks up to contest. It’s far too easy to lose a Smite war to someone like Lee Sin or Elise, so don’t let things come down to chance and put everything on your strongest part of the game, teamfighting.
Rammus is made to dominate Solo Queue. His kit is perfect for punishing bad positioning and finding clutch ganks, which makes him great at securing advantages at every stage of the game. And provided you make the right decisions, you’ll always show up in your games.