Let's Get in the Fight
Build Order (against squishies)
Build Order (against tanks)
Not Updated For Current Season
11.02.16 - Added Protobelt to the items, reformatted some sections, moved sections around for readability.
06.27.16 - LONG OVERDUE: Updated for current season
09.07.15 - Updated item section after the AP item overhaul of Patch 5.13
05.04.15 - Grammar mistakes, updated item recommendations.
25.12.14 - Added guide. Still missing: videos for the Equalizer section.
27.12.14 - Videos for The Equalizer section added (thanks Dog Chef)
Hi everyone! My name is GarciLP, and I'm a top laner in the LAS Server. I've been playing this game since Feb. 2013, and this is the first guide I got around to writing. I decided to put into writing many concepts I've found lying around from Rumble, which have shaped the way I play him, and condense it into an in-depth guide for anyone wanting to learn about the Mechanized Menace.
First and foremost, I want to thank UNSW LoLSoc (link to his YouTube channel) for his extremely detailled Rumble guide. The guy's seriously awesome, you should check him out. Many of his ideas reshaped the way I played my favourite champ, so a mention is deserved. Also a big shoutout to those who indirectly taught me how to play Rumble, such as Samsung Blue's Acorn, Cloud 9's Balls or SKT's MaRin.
Without further ado, let's get started.
+ High skill ceiling (managing heat, positioning, farming, etc)
+ Has few bad matchups if played correctly
+ Deals a ton of damage
+ Has arguably the best lore in League
+ Is a freaking yordle on a giant fire-spitting death machine!
See the Managing your Heat section for more information on his passive.
Rumble's bread and butter ability, and the one which will have your opponents cowering in fear. The range is longer than most ranged champions' autos (600), which means that even if they want to auto you, they have to get in range, attack you, and walk away, meaning that you'll usually get at least 2-3 ticks of damage in. And the damage is really massive - 150% of your AP plus insane base damage means you will dominate lanes if you use this correctly.
Flamespitter got a massive buff a few patches ago that made Rumble a much stronger pick, which is that it now deals full damage to minions. This makes it so that pushing the wave in the early levels is much easier, so you can manage the waves in such a way to give yourself a more favourable early lane. As the game goes on, you'll be able to clean waves super easy, which will give you more overall gold (less CS missed) as well as map control. Do be careful not to push too hard if you've got no wards, because being relatively immobile and pushed will mean you'll get camped, hard.
Max this second.
A nice skill with plenty of uses. It gives you a decent shield based on your AP, though it doesn't scale so well, and a serviceable movement speed boost. It is, however, an extremely versatile skill. It's used mostly in lane to build heat, giving you a nice push into the Danger Zone which will catch other laners off guard, as well as the speed boost allowing you to harrass them suddenly. and without them having much chance to outrun you, even if you don't have boots.
In lane it's also useful for shielding yourself from an Ignite. It will block 2 full ticks, which might make the difference between life and death, so it might be useful to take this lvl 2 against a heavy all-in champion with ignite (hello Pantheon). Off the lane, you should always use this to move around the map. Getting back to lane, you can Q-W all the way back to lane, using Flamespitter to build heat and Scrap Shield for the speed boost without overheating. If you are not in danger of overheating, you should be using this.
Max this last.
A secondary damage dealing skill, the harpoons deal a relatively small amount of damage early game but the utility they provide is not to be understated. They operate on a charge system, and only generate 10 heat each - you can use this to stay near overheat if you're around the 80-85 heat mark but don't want to overheat quite yet. You will usually want to hit an enemy with the first harpoon, then chase with Flamespitter, and hit the second harpoon before the first runs out. This is because this not only refreshes the slow duration, but also doubles the slow amount. Hitting 2 harpoons when maxed gives a slow akin to a Nasus' Wither with 3-4 points. Also remember that you can fire your second harpoon while you're overheated, which may surprise an unknowing opponent. Last but not least, you can use the harpoons to farm from a distance in a difficult matchup, such as Olaf or Riven.
Max this third.
My favourite ult in the game, bar none. The Equalizer is one of the hardest ults to land, but one of the most devastating ones if used correctly. The sheer amount of utility and damage it provides can turn a fight - nay, a game - around. So enough with the introduction. Let's look at what this baby does.
+ High base damage per second? Check
+ High duration? Check
+ Great scaling? Check
+ Utility? Check
+ AoE? Check
I have seen very few guides going into detail about how to use The Equalizer, and I intend to change that here. The basic tip is this: do not smart cast this. I cannot stress it enough. The way The Equalizer works is as follows: when you press R, you are displayed a range where the ult can start. You then drag a line towards where you want this to be aimed.
In the video below, you can see the range, and the way the line appears after I click. That's the starting position. It will then draw a line between that starting position and the point where I release the mouse button.
The way the ult works means that you can click inside the circle but drag outside of it, for an extreme range Equalizer. If you have someone running away, you can use one such max range Equalizer to snipe them.
Be careful while using this ult in lane. The changes to Rumble have made it so that you can't spam it as much anymore, and your teamfight presence is greatly diminished without it. Also, if you use it in lane, it probably won't be up for the next all-in, so make sure you get a kill out of it. If at all possible, try to save it for a TP bot, a gank, or a certain kill. Just try not to waste it.
You want to cast this on yourself when going all in on someone. The best way to do this is so that half of the equalizer is behind you, and half in front of you. This makes it so that enemies cant escape by getting behind you, and they will be slowed when running away from you. Ideally, you want to cast this and then use Flamespitter into overheat for maximum damage output (see the Managing your Heat section). This will usually force a Flash.
Very important note: wait until your opponents burn their gapclosers to use this. Otherwise they will just laugh away from your ult and you lose a massive portion of your damage.
During a team fight, you will have to assess the situation. If you are being engaged on, use the technique detailed above, which will hurt enemies engaging on you or your carries since they probably used their gapclosers to engage, or it will force them to disengage.
If your team is engaging, you want to cast this on as many priority targets as possible. Wait until they burn their gapclosers and ult on them. A well placed ult will either split their team or melt them. You can also ult both front and back lines, making it an extremely versatile spell. You do not want to engage with The Equalizer - rather, use it after an engage, to ensure the damage is done.
As for teamfights, The Equalizer is most useful in the jungle. The hallways are narrow enough to cover them completely, and it makes it chaotic for the other team to decide whether to engage or not, while eating damage to the face. See for example this masterpiece by PDD:
Taking Flamespitter at level 1 as opposed to Electro-Harpoon, as other guides recommend, is better explained in the Managing your Heat section. Basically we're playing a very aggressive Rumble, so you want to have your primed and ready upon getting into lane, and spamming it to force the opponent into an unfavourable situation.
As with most other champs, we max the ult whenever possible. Then we max for the insane spammable damage, third for the increased damage+slow, and last because it's mostly only utility, so one point suffices.
Flash needs no explanation. Useful for chasing or running away, always take this.
Teleport is useful in the new meta. Also, as Rumble, you are able to gank bot lane with your ult and secure at least flashes, and also allows you to teleport to a dragon fight where you excel. It also allows you to have global presence later into the game now that Flamespitter can clear waves like it's nobody's business.
Ignite is good when facing high sustain monsters such as Dr. Mundo or Swain. Otherwise, Rumble has enough damage to forgo ignite and still be able to secure kills.
There are 3 main ways of playing Rumble this season, centered around 2 keystone masteries:
. Both are great and both have their pros and cons; I'll outline why they're situational below, but do try both out and see which one you like better.
The full mastery trees are as follows:
18/0/12 (Sustain/against tanks)
12/18/0 (Against squishies)
Let's go a bit deeper on why we choose the above masteries instead of others.
This gives us 2% increased damage from spells. Nothing to write home about (it's an extra 6 damage if you're dealing 300) but it's better than attack speed, so... yeah.
3% increased damage isn't a ton, but it certainly adds up to everything else and we don't very much care about receiving 1.5% extra damage since we'll be the ones doing the bullying. Also Feast has been heavily nerfed, and it's not much good anymore.
With the recent changes to an earlier game focus, this adds even more AP to our early game, as well as a bit of AD which helps you last hit (and makes those overheated autos just a tad bit juicier).
Oppressor is a great mastery since you'll usualy be hitting enemies slowed by harpoons, meaning that it's almost constantly in use. It deals less damage than the other option if you've killed less than 3 different enemies, which is a decent gamble to make.
Percentage magic penetration? Yes please.
This mastery isn't spectacular, but given Rumble's kit you'll constantly be proccing it, which adds up. I wasn't a big believer in this but after using it for a while you'll see the difference. Just be careful while harrassing under turret since you will draw turret aggro while it burns.
This helps Rumble to last hit, which is frankly not easy at all, even with many Rumble games under your belt.
You're a solo laner, so you'll be dealing a ton of damage while you're alone. The boost is not huge, but it adds up, and it's not a big loss in teamfights. All it has to be is better than the alternatives, which it is - you won't be getting any buffs (and even then, you wouldn't be using them)
This will boost our damage to enemies below 40% health. It makes harrassing in lane so much easier after you reach that (easy) critical threshold, and it gives your teamfight damage a sudden boost which, being mostly from damage over time sources, will take your opponents by surprise.
One of the best masteries for Rumble, bar none. 5% of your missing health after a kill or assist is HUGE, allowing you to survive all-ins in lane if you have ignite on, if the fight continues with a jungler, if minion aggro is high, whatever. It's a massive boost and I always pick this mastery when going for Cunning masteries. In teamfights the boost is massive, marking the difference between living and getting an ace. Do not skip this.
Flat magic penetration is great in the early game, especially against squishies who won't be building much of it, so this is a must.
Adds some burst to your damage, which is nice and will catch enemies off guard.Your Flamespitter procs it by itself almost instantly, since it ticks 4 times a second, meaning that you can basically use it off cooldown. Pretty nifty. Scales decently.
Sustain is always welcome and this helps you stay in lane a lot.
Blocks 2 damage from champion basic attacks, which is nice and will save you a lot of damage in a hard lane (such as Quinn). Coupled with Doran's Shield, you'll be shaving off a lot of damage. It also beats Explorer since Explorer sucks.
Increases the amount of shield you get. Nothing great, but it's better than the flat health and it works nicely with the increased health regen you're taking.
Reduced Summoner Spell cooldown is always welcome, especially if your opposing laner isn't taking it as it allows you to be more aggresive with your flash as well as make more TP plays that they can't answer. You can take Perseverance for even more health regen if you're against a hard lane.
Rumble's main damage source is magic damage. Your only physical damage source are your autoattacks, which you should be using only to last hit. You do not want to autoattack your opponent unless you're overheating, and in that case Magic Penetration will make you hit harder as well, since overheating adds magic damage to your autos. Do not run any other reds on Rumble.
They provide 216HP at lvl 18, which is massive, and Rumble can use the tankiness. They outscale flat health seals at lvl 7. You always want to take these against AP laners, such as Vladimir or Swain, since the armor is not so necessary and we'll be forgoing Magic Resist. Make sure to pick up Zhonya's Hourglass at some point during the game unless their ADC is starved.
Flat armor is a must against AD laners, since you'll be trading often and building health early, be it through Haunting Guise, Hextech Protobelt-01, or even an early Doran's Shield. 9 armor may not seem that much, but early on it's the difference between life and death, so do take these. Also if you go against a laner who runs armor pen ( Pantheon, Hecarim, sometimes Riven) you'll pay dearly if you're not running these.
Running these along with AP quints gives Rumble a huge early game damage boost, since it adds 57 damage to all your danger zone Flamespitter. You gain a ton of damage, highly recommend running these glyphs. Other viable alternatives are CDR (flat) for easier spamming of spells, or magic resist if you don't feel comfortable or don't have a full AP page.
Only choice. Do not ask. You are a damage dealer and you need the damage, 15 AP early game is a lot.
My preferred starting option. Why?
- More health than Doran's Shield. Since the nerf, the difference is noticeable.
- Great sustain. 2x Health Potion give you an effective 300 health more to sustain back up.
- Speeds up your powerspike with Haunting Guise. You need to farm 1200 gold to get your Guise, which makes it around level 5. It will usually net you a kill upon getting back to lane, and the sustain from the pots helps you stay in lane that long.
This is what most of the pros take since the cheese is not so strong at that skill level and you will be harrassed a lot more at higher ELOs. I still recommend the Ruby Crystal start most of the times, but the shield is a great alternative for a high poke lane. If you are going to be taking lots of autos to the face but with little chance of burst, you can't go wrong with Doran's Shield.
If you're going against an AD champion with lots of poke and all-in potential who is stronger than you at early levels (hello there Pantheon) you should take this. It will enable you to outsustain them and survive through their damage. You mostly want this against Pantheon and maybe Jayce, perhaps Riven if you struggle against her. This is a mandatory first buy for picks who are running armor penetration, such as Hecarim and sometimes Rengar - check your opponent's runes!
This is the finest of cheeses, if you're going against a lane with 0 kill pressure such as Nasus whom you just want to bully early. Ridiculous damage at the expense of very little sustain and survivability.
This is everything that Rumble wants in a nutshell. Rumble has incredible base damage so magic penetration works the best on him, the AP helps his already high ratios (150% on empowered Q!!) and the health makes him tankier, which you always want when you're melee. Rush this, no exceptions.
As said before, magic penetration is what you crave. With Sorcs and Guise, you hit Rumble's first massive powerspike. 30 magic penetration from items alone (plus that from Runes and Masteries) mean that you will be doing basically true damage to any opponent who has not built magic resist.
A quick aside on the importance of magic penetration
Now it's time to look around you and decide what's going to happen next. Liandry's Torment is a tremendous item to rush if you're not in immediate need of a Zhonya's. Rule of thumb is: if you're gonna be hitting an enemy who's stacking health but doesn't have much MR, Liandry's is the way to go. The huge boost you get by completing this item makes it extremely valuable as a first item rush.
If you are facing a lot of AD, or your lane opponent is giving you a lot of trouble, you should build Zhonya's Hourglass as soon as possible (building Seeker's Armguard before is also a good idea). Zhonya's Hourglass is a great item overall because of the amount of raw AP it gives, the tankiness that 50 armor provide, and the amazing active for survivability in teamfights. You should probably build this every game unless the opponent is heavily AP-oriented, in which case Abyssal Scepter will probably be more useful.
Another option that lots of people have been going for is rushing Hextech Protobelt-01. It's an incredible item on Rumble, because it gives him a ton of stats that he wants (AP, Health, CDR) for a very cheap cost. The active is also really nice, allowing you both to engage or to get away from sticky situations, as well as dealing a surprising amount of burst damage. Rushing this against a squishy laner who is not building MR is surprisingly devastating and will give you a super early power spike.
Post 5.13, Rylai's is looking really good as a second item for Rumble. That said, the changes to the ways slows stack (i.e. they don't) means that it's not that amazing with and anymore. The item gives decent tankiness, a lot of AP, and most importantly, a 20% slow on Flamespitter (since it's DoT), so it really is a great item on Rumble. I would suggest getting this after Liandry's Torment if facing an AP heavy team, since the tankiness will help you survive their burst, and Zhonya's Hourglass would not be as effective.
This item. The % magic penetration melts tanks, the AP is not too shabby, and the cost is super cheap. This will make your ults destroy the enemy team. Get this 99% of the time.
Since 5.13, this is a spectacular item, since the build path is a bit smoother (i.e. not having to save 1600 gold twice) and the raw boost to your AP is insane (35% instead of 30% late game means around 25-30 more AP than before). You should get this as a last or second to last item, making sure you've at least got your Void Staff before it. The damage boost will be massive, and you'll have the penetration to back it up. It doesn't make much sense to rush it early game, since other items give you other benefits, mostly survivability, and sinking 3500 gold in damage while you're not surviving is hardly smart.
Given that you are not taking any sort of MR from your runes and masteries, this might prove to be hugely useful. Works wonders if you're opponents are heavy AP damage dealers, such as AP Top + Mid. Abyssal helps you tank their damage better, and the flat MP reduction (not penetration) will absolutely melt teams. Situational, but very powerful. It can also be worth it to pick up just the Negatron early and get Abyssal after you finish your core.
Your typical build will usually look something like this:
So by now you should have a pretty clear mental picture of what Rumble's skills are, what they do, how to use them, and what items you should be building on him. The question remains... how do you play this guy?
Well, your laning is stronger than most people think. You may read a ton of guides saying that Rumble's early levels are weak, and you should wait until level 4 to do something. This is flat-out wrong, and missing out on Rumble's huge bullying potential from level 1. If you read the section on Heat Management, you should know to bring your charged to the lane and start harrassing your lane opponent, especially melee champs with weak retaliation potential or little sustain. Most melee champs will suffer when they get a Rumble against them in lane, and will hate you for the harrass you can dish out.
So early game, you want to do just that. Farm, push your lane into their tower, make them miss out on minions either by tower shots or by taking huge amounts of harrass, and then reset your lane in your favour. If your opponent gets close, you chase them with and . If they go all in, you use your combo. Always remember to ward, since Rumble's mobility is very limited and you will be playing very aggressively. This leaves you very open for an early gank, so make sure you see the jungler coming before it's too late.
Some champs, however, will make laning a living hell for you. Xin Zhao, for example, has a gap closer, a knockup with a slow, high attackspeed, and will therefore usually bully you very hard (he's luckily rarely seen top). Other such champions can and will give you a hard time. So if you are ever in this position, just keep your distance, farm with your , and wait for your inevitable powerspike when you get 3 points in or your Haunting Guise. You do not fall off during late game, whereas most of the champs who can bully a Rumble usually do.
If you took Teleport, you can gank bot as soon as you hit level 6. Push your lane up to the enemy's tower, back off a bit, and teleport to a deep ward previously placed by your adc/support. The amount of utility and damage you suddenly bring to an underleveled lane will destroy them, netting you either a few kills/assists or blow their summoner spells. You can even make the call to get a dragon afterwards.
If you took Ignite, you'll want to make sure to use it during all-ins to secure a kill and take towers from a free lane. Rumble's pushing is far weaker than his teamfighting though, so you should be looking to group with your team whenever possible.
Managing your Heat
Every spell Rumble casts gives him Heat. When he reaches 50% Heat he reaches Danger Zone, granting all his basic abilities bonus effects. When he reaches 100% Heat, he starts Overheating, granting his basic attacks bonus damage, but making him unable to cast spells for a few seconds.
Rumble's heat decays at a rate of 5 heat every half second during 2.5 seconds, and then 10 per half second. It only starts to lower around 4 seconds after using an ability, so manage your cooldowns accordingly. There are 3 heat states you can find yourself in.
Normal (0 - 45 heat)
This is a state where your damage is heavily crippled but you are in no danger of overheating. You rarely want to be in this condition, since it's sub-optimal for skirmishes.
Danger Zone (50 - 95 heat)
The sweet spot. You can't cast many spells rapidly one after the other, so you want to stay in this zone for as long as possible while using spells to damage your opponent sparingly.
Overheat (100 heat)
During overheat, you will be silenced, meaning that you can't cast any other spells. This is not good for you. However, during overheat, your autoattacks will deal a lot more damage, since they are infused with a portion of your AP and do magic damage. This is good for you. It leaves you really exposed however, since you have to get into melee range.
So now you know what the three states are. It is important to know that The Equalizer does not generate heat, so you can cast it without fear of overheating, but you cannot cast it while silenced. Make sure to cast it before you overheat, or you may get caught in a sticky situation without being able to cast your ult, which might cause you to die or lose a teamfight.
Using your skills
Once you have all your skills, you want to take the following into account. Once you're in the Danger Zone, everything will be empowered, but casting all your spells will cause you to overheat. You don't want this. Scrap Shield's bonuses are not useful enough during laning, so you will want to avoid using it when in your danger zone. So only use damage spells ( or ) when you are in the danger zone
Following that, you always want to overheat while using your Flamespitter. Since you will be getting in melee range anyways, having your Flamespitter on will cause a lot more damage. The extra damage on your autos will take a lot of people by surprise, causing them to either Flash or die if they think they can take the damage (tip: they usually cannot).
Multiples of 20 are not good to use spells in. Think of it this way. If you are at 60 heat, then using - will cause you to overheat. This is not optimal since you want to have your Flamespitter on when you overheat. However, if you are at 50 heat and you use (70 heat) - (90 heat) - (overheat), you will deal a ton more damage.
A good technique to use as well is letting your cooldown drop below the danger zone, and use your Scrap Shield as you are at 30-35 heat. The pause you take will make your opponent think you're backing off, giving them a false sense of security, and it will push you right back into the danger zone with a movement speed boost, allowing you to engage with while being faster than them.
So summing up:
- Never use below 50 heat
- Use when you are at 30-35 heat
- Use your ultimate before you overheat!
- Use to overheat
An ideal all-in combo would be waiting for your heat to reach 30-35, then using the following:
Your Scrap Shield at 30-35 heat gives you a speed boost and pushes you into the danger zone, enabling you to get in range to harrass with empowered Flamespitter (taking you up to 70-75). Once at 70-75, you proceed to fire (and hopefully hit) your Electro-Harpoons, slowing them down and pushing you to the limit of overheat at 90-95.
It is at this point that you proceed to drop The Equalizer, and then follow up with your Flamespitter on them for the overheat. If they stand on your Equalizer, they will take damage both from Flamespitter and the Equalizer, while you hit them with overheated autoattacks. The damage is mindbending and will usually net you a kill. And the best part? It's up every minute and a half. You can also do this without your ult for a similarly high amount of damage.
Your role in the team is that of an AP damage bruiser. Let's clear a few concepts here.
- Rumble is not a tank. He is somewhat tanky, but he can't soak damage like a true frontliner can.
- Rumble is not a burst mage. Do not expect to unload all your skills on an opponent and him to die instantly.
Rumble's role in a teamfight is dealing extended amount of damage to multiple people, focusing on deleting priority targets and zoning away the rest of the enemy team. If engaged on, however, he can peel for his team by creating zones which the opponents will want to avoid or face dire consequences.
You shouldn't engage; rather, you want another member of your team to engage, such as a Jarvan IV or a Malphite. Good initiators will lock down a target for you to ult on and move into Flamespitter range, after the target has used their gapclosers of course.
You do not want to engage as Rumble, seeing as you'll be very vulnerable and predictable if you walk up to them and start shooting flames, and you don't want to ult too early since it can make the difference in a teamfight. You can use it to initiate if there are no other options available, but make sure to use it in a way that your team can follow up on, so that you don't waste it.
Usually you want to fight in the jungle, read the Equalizer section for more info on that. You can close down an entire hallway by ulting it, and if you stand on it with Flamespitter and Zhonya's Hourglass you shut down an entire exit, making it ideal for your team to trap the enemy. You do not need someone to initiate if the enemy team is in a jungle hallway, since you can ult down there to deal damage and they'll be forced to stand on it for a good while.
All in all, your combination of high extended damage over time and assortment of slows should be strong enough for your team to fight around and obliterate the enemy team. This is why Rumble will always be useful, even if behind. High base damages, high utility, you can't go wrong with that.
Whew! That was a long guide to make, formatting and all. If you made it all the way to here, thank you very much for sticking along. Hope you have a lot of fun playing this yordle! If you have any questions or suggestions, be sure to drop a comment, and if this helped you in any way, please vote positive. Cheers!