Rammus top was something I did often in lower tiers of bronze all the time. The problem it ran into was at such a low elo your team was most assuredly going to lose lane. This left you level 7 with only 1 item pushing a tier 2 turret and the only viable gank. You got camped. Allot. So you had to farm safe after taking their tower until you were able to go full split push mode. Then you went bot and took all their towers for them.
Rammus was like top tristana. Great early, great late but no mid game. Then Riot nerfed rammus. Apparently his ganks were too godly. So they nerfed his cooldowns and this really hurt his top play. For a while rammus was shelved. Then they “nerfed” thornmail. Hallelujah! Thornmail now ramps off of your armor. Finally an answer to rammus’ biggest issue, you would get so far ahead that you opponents aren’t dealing enough damage to themselves. Rammus top is finally viable again.
The key to understanding Rammus is that his ult damages structures. No matter what people say about his amazing team fight you must ignore them. You are a split pusher. In order to split push you must be able to duel 1v1 against anyone they send. Generally this isn’t an issue because 90% of duelists are AD based or can’t kill you easily. For the other 10% there is ohmwrecker.
The core build for rammus is:
Thornmail > ZZrot Portal > Merc Treads > Sunfire Cape > Abyscal Scepter > Wits End.
However Rammus is actually riots wet dream because this build is simply the most generic one. Depending on your opponent your build can change so much that almost any item can be used on him. I have rushed ludens echo on rammus for good reasons and so will you. Generally there is only 3 classes of items that are worthless on Rammus:Mana, Auto Attack debuffs and Crit chance.
Specific build paths will be detailed in the matchups later on. For now lets talk strategy. Take raptors for level 2. In general you will get tier 2 top turret at around 14 minutes. Then its time to get bot turrets. That is literally your early game. Most matchups you aren’t considering ganks or trades you just want the turret. If someone must fight you then you show them who the boss is.
This leads nicely into skill orders or as i like to call it: The level 3 flash test. By level 3 you will have all of your abilities. Use this opportunity to gauge the lane. Hit powerball and flash into your opponent. Use taunt & curl. What they do next determines your skill order. If they keep attacking max W; If they walk to a safe distance max E. This play is about determining who is the master and who’s the sub. Always max Q last except when you max Q first but more on that later.
Mistakes to avoid:
Using TP for fights, dragon, or baron. Dragon and Baron buff your enemy, let them have it the stronger they are the stronger you are. TPing for a plain old fight is dumb. Let your opponent make that mistake and take his tower.
Building Randuins or Frozen Heart. The less they attack you the less damage you do.
Pushing for an inhib before both side lanes have tier 2 gone. Those towers are your job. Dont leave a job half finished.
Not taunting AP champions. With enough armor and magic pen you can make leblanc kill herself now.
Now for the finisher. Find a situation where your team is sieging mid without you. Use TP to homeguards powerball directly into the turret. Pop any item actives you have and drop ULT. The tower will melt faster than you so have faith. The shock and awe of this all of a sudden teamfight rammus will cause your team to rally and push for gg. Your zz’rot will win the game. Women will cry your name in the streets. Opponents will be blank faced unable to comprehend what happened. They will experience shell shock. Their friends won’t believe them. Your score will read 15+ deaths and maybe 7 kills. No one will truly comprehend your contribution. But you will.
Aatrox: This guy literally helps you kill him with his w. Make friends hit w together and auto attack each other till aatrox dies like a bud. Botrk after Thornmail will cancel out his Bortk.
Akali: Wits end first item. If she builds hextech like and idiot then your golden.
Cassiopeia: Stay in powerball and run around her poison make her feel eggman’s pain.
Cho’gath: Use all chat to convince him not to use his e or lose the game.
Darius: He has -30 attack speed. Even if he builds attack speed he won’t deal enough damage through autos to kill himself. Fuck it, its go time van damme. Botrk > Zhonya’s > Maw of Malmortius > abyssal scepter > berserker’s greaves > guardian angel.
Dr. Mundo: You’ll start to see a theme here rammus can’t deal wit AP very well. In cases where you just can’t fight your opponent refer to Fuck Towers Mode.: Abyssal scepter > Ohmwrecker > Zz’rot portal > Zhonya’s > Botrk > Berserker’s greaves. You dont care about champions. just go kill towers. Ult minions Ult towers Ult Nexi. You dont care about anything else.
Fiora: Anyone with a brain concludes you rush a thornmail against this french bitch. People with brains don’t play rammus top. Fiora will wreck you through your armor. Conclusion DON’T BUILD ARMOR. Kill the fiora. Botrk is your friend. Follow with lots and lots of ap.
Fizz: They nerfed this fishy fucks ad build. If for some reason one of them comes top you are just fucked. AD fizz was easy to deal with AP not so much.
Galio: Dear mother to all that is holy. If you are unlucky enough to face a galio as rammus i feel sorry for you. There is just nothing. His kit has a hidden passive that reads galio fucks rammus. Play out the game. Run from galio. Do whatever you can. Maybe be a second jungler. After the game. Then. Then you can do something. You can uninstall. Pack up your PC. Travel across the country find the galio. If you cant IP track wait for june. The 17 galio players have an annual conference in indianapolis. Find your galio and dunk him with your pc. Congrats you are now a galio main.
Gangplank: You can’t beat his waveclear or his oranges but you can beat him. Max Q rush ludens echo. Your ap rammus now. Ludens > Zhonya’s > Sorc Boots > Void Staff > Deathcap > Twin Shadows.
Garen: This guy will dunk you with his Q all day. Luckily he’s not as fast anymore. 6 zephyrs and just keep running.
Gnar: He has a perfect kit to never allow you to do what you want. Buy a coin and go botlane.
Hecarim: Super Speedy GP. Rush AP/Movespeed items. Lich Bane is a great item and a free kill if you buy it without anyone seeing you build it.
Heimerdinger: Fuck towers mode but heimer turrets are towers now. Heimer is also a tower. The enemy team is also towers. Everything is a tower. Except baron dont fuck with him.
Irelia: If it was not for her ult shed be easy to kill with a thornmail. Instead build GA.
Jarvan: Jarvan deals essentially true damage don’t build armor. Max out your health. Your zac now. Rod of ages is a great idea.
Jax: Irelia without the stupid ult.You just win.
Jayce: His acceleration gate does not affect you no matter how want it to. Still it might be good to pretend they do and every time he uses it ram his face into the ground. If he hammers you away the first time you do this you’ve won. He’s GP now.
Karthus: I have never seen a karthus that put up with my shit. Powerball in and out all day and they will afk.
Kennen: Did you know what’s the best way to survive a gank? Ult Zhonyas when kennen does the same Kill the jungler powerball away.
Lissandra: No one can blame you for going AFK in an ice coffin.
Lulu: She will polymorph you every time you try to go in. Fake the attack wait till after polymorph to powerball. You will have to max Q and get a luden’s echo.
Malphite: Agree to retire in florida together Both of you are armor stacking mages. The downside is his kit is better against you than yours is to him. The upside, Fighting you makes malphite worse against anyone else.
Maokai: You do dick to him and he loves to fight you. Wait till he leaves lane then take all his towers.
Mordekaiser: Mordekaiser’s new kit is difficult to use in a solo lane. The lack of a w target hurts him. This means his W is only useful in a gank. These ganks are scary. Rush a sightstone, don’t get ganked.
Nasus: I cannot explain this matchup. everything on paper says nasus will outlast you and q you to death. Somehow you just shred him. His high offensive bases mean your taunts are deadly to him. This is almost as bad as teemo. Please don’t pick rammus into nasus otherwise Nasus players are going to start going AP.
Olaf: Malphite hates this guy. You do too. UNLESS. You can convince him to max W and build bork.
Pantheon: Stone nothing. Thats what you do. He has no reason to attack you.
Poppy: This yordle bitch is fucking crazy. The only way to kill poppy is sustained damage. IE Sunfire Cape.
Quinn: Thornmail and she tilts. Bortk and she uninstalls. IE and she Deletes system 32. Dont build IE.
Renekton: It wouldn’t be top lane if renekton made you feel useless. Stay safe and outscale his tankiness.
Rengar: Pro tip if you hide in the bushes he can’t use his passive. Drag the minions into the bush. You’re the king of the jungle now.
Riven: Out faceroll her. Build Ludens, max cdr and some magic pen and just ram her ass continuously.
Rumble: CDR runes and masteries keep on rolling. stay behind rumble and he cant flame you. At least physically but you can mute all chat.
Ryze: Fuck. You know what looks stupid? A rammus spinning his wheels and going nowhere.
Shen: Build no attack speed or damage and you win the taunt fight. Press the issue. Shen is always oom.
Singed: Get thornmail and proxy. This is one of the few matchups singed has where he actually wants to fight you.
Sion: He will just ignore you. Return in kind and fuck the towers.
Swain: Trick him into ulting then powerball away. Do this till he’s oom. You both will be oom and have to back. This is preferable to death by carrion.
Tahm Kench: You know whats annoying. A champion with barrier always up. Build whatever he builds and you will be slightly less usefull.
Teemo: Fuck towers mode. Buy lots of pink wards and place them all over the place. 1 Shroom will get you killed.
Trundle: This is one AD matchup you’ll have an issue with. The only counter vs trundle is full damage. Wits End > Rageblade > Botrk > Trinity Force > Sorc Boots > Yomuus.
Tryndamere: There is a chance your tryndamere hits the lottery and goes AP. Otherwise today is not his day.
Urgot: The trap here is to intentionally get hit by his flask then pop your W. He will fall for it Twice. 3 times if he’s stupid. 4+ times if he’s feeding.
Vladimir: Did you know Vladimirs ult still scales with physical damage? I did and that is about as helpful as rammus is vs vlad.
Volibear: Name one time a volibear is a better pick than every other champion you can pick. You can’t Volibear is always sub par. Don’t be worried.
Wukong: If you can react to his E before he decoys you win. If not You have to ult and guess.
Yasuo: Windwall can block thornmail damage. Be mindful of that. Then laugh maniacally.
Yorick: He gives you free farm, does mostly physical damage, and is melee. Except for the fact that muramana exists. The trick of the trade is to convince yorick he doesn’t have time to stack. Start longsword, Go bork, Dive. Dont ever give him space.
Zac: Turns out Flubber is pretty resilient to spiky-turbo’dillo.