Since this is Jungle Rammus, I will try to cover the most important aspects in as great a detail as I can. Except for his ganks, jungling with Rammus is not that fun nor powerful, especially early when compared to other junglers (
Protip: Be sure to ask your team for a little damage on blue (it won't cost them more than 1 CS) or else you might end up too low on your HP to gank.
+ Powerful Ganks
+ High mobility
+ Very potent mid and late game
+ Very flexible late game
+ Needs only mild regeneration to make up for his lack of flexibility (Philosophers solves it.)
+ Doesn't need more than the first blue buff to get along. He can feed the rest to his AP carry or other heroes that need them.
+ Makes up for his slow clear times with high mobility between camps.
- Weak early game
- Lack of flexibility early game
- Until mid-game he has to decide if he will trade off disables for resistances or vice-versa
- Inability to defend from counter-jungling or to defeat counter junglers in a 1-1 situation
- Rammus doesn't have much flexibility when jungling the first time around. His jungle isn't that fast at first but he gets progressively better and more flexible as the game progresses. Used correctly and with good map awareness you can both gank and starve the enemy jungler of most camps and buffs. Using his extreme mobility is key to doing this.
- Rammus lacks any skills that would allow him to, in case he gets caught at a buff, trade off a little more mana to quickly clear out a creep camp. Therefore it's advisable to clear big creep camps in the bush next to them so that the enemy doesn't have sight of the big creep. This also prevents the Smite Steal from certain champions. Beware of invisible champions though.
Routes and getting level 4
- NEVER use smite unless it gets you the kill on the minion. I cannot make this big enough. One of the most common mistakes I see is smiting the buff as soon as they get there. This allows for a VERY easy smite steal and, if you get pushed off your buff you'll be unable to steal it from the enemy or, if they leave, you'll have trouble getting it since you already popped smite.
Getting level 4 is very important on Rammus since, like most junglers, he acquires his gank ability at that level. That doesn't mean you can't take Puncturing taunt at level 3 if you see an easy gank. He cannot really gank at level 2 unless he gets a really heavy pull on blue.
Invading early with Rammus is not indicated since he HAS to get Defensive Ball Curl in order to jungle and he is quite slow at level 1. Unless you have your whole team backing you up or if you have good map awareness and you know that you won't get interrupted. Later invades however are quite easy. Rammus clears camps quite fast and goes away even faster.
If the enemy jungler starts at their blue (or wolves) you can, if they don't guard, move in and quite easily steal the big wratih and two of the other small wraiths with only one Defensive Ball Curl. Leave a little wraith as a little "HA! IN YOUR FACE" to the enemy jungler and since they might respawn until he gets there. Then go the standard route:
Don't invade, have your team guard your cowardly self and your jungle. This route is safer and easier. It focuses on getting wraiths twice for that nifty level 4.
Level 2 tip: After departing from the wolf camp wait until you're right next to the mid lane and then start your Powerball. That way it will end just as you enter the wraith camp and you'll benefit from the extra damage.
While you're out stealing their jungle, they might get yours instead. While good map awareness and proper warding CAN prevent most of this, some heroes are particularly good at it. Take note that Rammus is horribly weak at 1 versus 1 confrontation, especially early on. Your best chance is to run and return with help. It's ill advised to lose your blue buff over wraiths or even red buff. While these are important, Blue Buff is essential on Rammus.
Some examples of especially troublesome counter-junglers:
: While the Shaco Wraith bush trick isn't as popular anymore it's not to be neglected. Go around it if there is no way of seeing into it and Shaco hasn't been seen on the map. Shaco is also a very sneaky character and you should be careful concerning his invades. He can jump in and out of your jungle before you even know it and even wait for you in there with a nasty little surprise.
: Lee can clear camps like there's no tomorrow. His ability to jump over walls with his Sonic Wave/Resonate makes getting in and out really easy for him.
The Doc can clear camps really fast and, at level 3, is nearly impossible to get away from. Try to steer clear of confrontations with Mundo and, if caught, call in your team to help. If unavailable just activate your
and walk away or, if especially troublesome activate your
since mundo is a very fast hero.
Another fast camp clearer, Shyvana has one major disadvantage over the other heroes mentioned: no disables or slows. Being absurdly fast you won't be able to catch her often but, in a normal situation, she should be unable to kill you.
While these aren't the only hereos that can counter jungle you, they are some of the worst. In most cases you won't be able to fend them off on your own and you will have to call on your team for help. Don't think that's a bad thing. Rammus is a team hero, adept at helping others reach their full potential.
If you do get counter-jungled you have two options.
- Eye for an eye. If you KNOW where the enemy is and you're not there to stop him go to their jungle and steal their creeps. This requires good map awareness (check if the enemy champions haven't seen you going in or if the enemy jungler is still in your jungle) and especially a little team support if you do get caught.
- If you lose a part of your jungle but you can't counter continue doing the small camps until you get level 4. The creep camps now give mana as well as hp so you should be safe even IF you lose your blue buff. It's recommended however that you take care and don't lose it.
With the exception of the early wraith invade I wouldn't recommend early invades. However, later on, invades become an option for Rammus. With the ammount of armor he stacks it's easy to quickly wast creep camps with
. Save your escape skills for when you need to leave quickly when caught and be sure you have a very good understanding of where the enemy is. Counter-Jungling is risky. Camps and counter-jungling:
Creep camp - Wraiths
- Not needed
Notes - These little things will fall to your
fast. The damage from it cancels out their lifesteal and kills them. Focus on the Big Wraith and the others should be dead before you're done. They make for a quick bit of exp and gold. You can run into them with your
but it's recommended that you keep it for your way out.
Creep camp - Wolves
- Not needed
Notes - While these pesky little buggers are painful to other heroes with their little crits and whatnot, they are no problem for the Mighty Armordillo. Since they're deeper into the enemy jungle you should have
ready just in case.
Creep camp - Golems
Notes - The big golem is quite hard to kill and thus it's recommended that you have
on hand in case you get caught and you need to smite it to get the exp and run. When engaging them be sure to check the creep position on the map to make sure that they can't see you. Small hint: Pull the golems into the brush. This serves two purposes:
1. Visibility. You can see them, they can't see you. This also helps you see across into the enemy lane.
2. Security. The enemy can't steal or smite-steal the big golem from you and also the creeps coming from the lane won't see you.
Creep camp - Red & Blue
Notes - Do not attempt to steal the big camps without smite unless you are sure they won't find out. Also, while stealing them, make sure that both you and the major buff are in the nearby bush and that you always have your powerball ready for a quick escape. As always, use smite ONLY to kill.