How the Rammus pick swung the KT Rolster game

With the massive overhaul of items and several champion updates, AD carries — or Marksmen — have become all the rage in Season 6 of League of Legends. Many teams run double ADC compositions, sometimes even triple, in a poke and siege style that is devastating when effective.

Usually both sides arm up with ADCs in an arms race, but occasionally one side will defer to champions that are effective at shutting ADCs down. KT Rolster did just that against Jin Air Greenwings on Wednesday with a composition no one saw coming.

The Draft

Rammus pick

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Out-witting the enemy through flex picks and surprise pocket picks is an underappreciated mind game. Jin Air Greenwings favored siege and poke compositions this season, using Gangplank, Corki, Graves, Quinn, and others in double or triple AD comps in most of its games. KT Rolster lost Game 1 to one such composition and adapted in Game 2. KT got its hands on its usual Lulu and Kalista power picks, and once Jin Air locked in Graves and Bard, it began to assemble its anti-ADC comp.

KT picked Rumble in its second rotation. Traditionally played top, KT misled Jin Air with its pick intent and baited out Poppy. With Jin Air’s composition displayed in full, KT locked in its secret weapon: Rammus. A champion with immense move speed and armor scaling, Rammus is great into AD-heavy compositions. KT’s Kim “ssumday” Chan-ho took control of Rammus, giving the champion more farm so he could stack armor faster and use teleport for homeguard flanks in the late game. Jungler Go “Score” Dong-bin played Rumble, giving him prime placement to control vision to get Equalizers on the back line and relying more on the power of Rumble’s base damages rather than items to work.

Every part of KT’s comp synergized: the Lulu could give Rammus extra movespeed to amplify his engage onto the backline: the knock-ups from Flay, Fate’s Call, Powerball, and Wild Growth could chain together to keep anyone caught locked down in Equalizer’s aoe while Kalista darted around the outside stacking Rend. With only Tempered Fate and the easily-avoided Keeper’s Verdict to truly push KT back, there wasn’t a frontline for Jin Air to hide behind or a reliable means to keep KT away. One can imagine the horror had Jin Air not banned Zilean and KT picked him instead of Lulu. Rammus rolling into the backline with ridiculous move speed and AOE bombs attached to him is the stuff of nightmares to triple-AD compositions.

The draft had to go perfect for KT. Had TrAce seen the Rammus coming, he probably would have played Morgana into Rammus and used Tormented Soil to keep ssumday under his tower, and deny taunts with Black Shield. KT perfectly hid its strategy until the last possible moment, taking full advantage of red-side’s last pick. It was rewarded with a clean win.

Laning

Jin Air Greenwings initiated a lane swap to immediately start pushing down towers. After the teams traded an outer tower each, Jin Air opted into standard lanes because it had drafted low wave clear. Ezreal and Bard could push in ssumday, but it could hope to dive Rammus under his tower: with his taunt, whoever was caught would be forced to take tower aggro and trade a kill. Poppy, on the other hand, couldn’t hope to trade a dive so well against Kalista, Thresh, and Rumble, so Jin Air’s lane swap was stopped short.

The laning phase didn’t improve for Jin Air. Yeon “TrAce” Chang-dong has typically played high wave clear champions like Morgana into low wave clear champions to shove the tower down by repeatedly pushing waves into. Here, he couldn’t push in ssumday because Poppy lacked the tools to punish Rammus, and ssumday began building an early cs lead through it. Rammus’ snowball began, and KT quickly put it to work.

The Dives

Score asserted control over Park “Winged” Tae-jin with early invades and pick attempt with Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun’s assistance. With Winged’s flash down and KT’s duo lane shoving a wave into the tower, ssumday teleported in with a first-item Thornmail. Following up on IgNar’s knockup chain that locked Winged and Choi “Chei” Sun-ho down on Rumble’s Equalizer, ssumday added a taunt to ensure Winged’s death, and KT picked up two kills.

From there, Jin Air had no answers to Rammus: it lacked the peel to keep ssumday off the carries, and it couldn’t kill him with autos because the Thornmail returned too much damage. As early as 13 minutes into the game, Winged could not damage ssumday.

It took a while for KT to properly close. Rather than threatening Baron to force Jin Air’s poke composition in the riverbed where it was at a disadvantageous, KT dawdled with ssumday split-pushing the side waves until he joined for more dives that displayed the gross tankiness of an armor stacking Rammus.

Once KT Rolster forced Baron down, it finished within the buff’s duration. ssumday ended with a 6 item build a 4/0/6 scoreline and 90 percent kill participation in the 39 minute disassembly of Jin Air.

Will We See Rammus Again?

Rammus pick

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Innovations like this make League of Legends exciting. Seeing a team research its opponent and come up with an out-of-the-box answer that works perfectly is incredibly satisfying to watch. With multi-AD comps so popular, it’s possible that other teams will try out Rammus. Western teams have already used Malphite, who has a similar armor-stacking function to Rammus, so it stands that one could try the armored creature out. Rammus won’t become mainstream, however; he lacks wave clear which can be punished in certain matchups, and his effectiveness is related to how many ADC’s he’s against.

The big takeaway from this game is that there are answers to the rampant of ADCs we see in the metagame, and if used properly, they can be crushingly effective.

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