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Rumble Build Guide by Wimmerd

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Wimmerd

Roaming Rumble: a Mid-lane guide for The Mechanized Menace

Wimmerd Last updated on August 1, 2013
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Top Lane
Ranked #28 in
Top Lane
Win 48%
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

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Important!! Read this first!!

Hello there. I'm Wimmerd and I'm here to explain why and how I think Rumble is as viable Mid as he is Top. Before we go into that though, I first want to clarify what the purpose of this guide is.
Most guides aim to be very complete and in-depth, bundling all the information a player needs into one guide. They aim to really introduce you to a champion and completely guide you into how to play your champion.

My aim is slightly different. This guide is actually mostly aimed at people who are already familiar with him on Top and want to see if he is also viable Mid. I have tried to include some basic information here, but there's already plenty of very good general, complete, in-depth guides out there. There's no reason for me to just copy what they are already saying. For instance, Staafmixer's Scrapyard Tactics is a must read. He already wrote great stuff about Rumble's abilities, runes, etc... His guide was my basis for learning Rumble in general.

Therefore, I highly recommend and must urge you to read Scrapyard Tactics first! My guide is more intended as an adjustment-for-mid, an add-on or DLC as you will, specifically aimed at what is different when playing Mid.

I'm very curious to hear your opinion, but do keep in mind that I expect you to at least read what I wrote. I know some of the stuff is unconventional so don't just say 'omg that's different so it must be bad' ;). Anyway, now that we've got all the legal stuff out of the way, here we go!

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Why is Rumble viable Mid?


Rumble is an excellent roamer for a number of reasons:
His roaming ability is a little lost when he plays Top. When you are Mid you can really take better advantage of this roaming ability.

Here's a video of some roaming with Rumble. Even though the gank could have been performed a little smoother (don't go so close you can't hit the Electro-Harpoon anymore, also, the top laner didn't get away), it still kind of shows the potential. Notice how I keep my passive charged while underway. By the time Xin Zhao is low health I'm overheating, resulting in extra magic damage on my basic attacks.


Most of the time you will face some kind of AP carry @ Mid. I actually think this is favorable to the AD Bruisers you will often face Top.

This is because Rumble can dodge (and tank) with Scrap Shield, allowing him to withstand the burst of an AP Carry. Once they have cooldowns you can use your damage spells to return the favor, favorably :).

Facing a Bruiser that does more continuous damage, it's much harder. This is because some of them will just stand in your Flamespitter, tank it and keep hitting you. AP carries cannot do this as they rely on their spells (which are in cooldown) for their damage.

To put it in other words, your cooldowns are favorable to the AP Carry ones, but unfavorable to the auto attacking bruisers. The reason all this works is because you can tank and dodge with Scrap Shield.


Another reason why I think Rumble works @ Mid is because I think he snowballs just as much as other AP Carries (and thus more than other AP Off-tanks). Every champion needs kills to snowball but since you have a good chance to have a favorable matchup @ mid and you can roam as much as you want, you should be able to get some.


The burst damage he lacks is made up by the AoE damage he does. Both Flamespitter and The Equalizer do lots of AoE damage.

Also, the main focus of the APC should be to get the enemy ADC. Most of them do it with a quick burst. You can do it with a long-ranged ultimate and nice maneuverability. Hitting The Equalizer will force the ADC to reposition. With your maneuverability and Electro-Harpoon you can keep him there, or even go in for the kill.

No need for blue

Since Rumble does not use Mana and he doesn't really need the cooldown reduction, he has no need for blue. This is not so much something that makes him more viable as a Mid, but more like a nice extra. It improves the synergy with junglers that benefit from blue.

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Pros / Cons

+ Great roaming
+ Can dodge/tank bursts and hit back
+ Snowballs pretty hard
+ Great Teamfighter because of AoE

- Not easy to farm
- Not strong early, needs all of his abilities
- You can silence yourself

Electro-Harpoon is the only ability that helps you farm. It's cooldown is quite long so you need to AA.

You really need to master his passive if you want to be good with Rumble. Overheating at the right time will make or break you often.

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I only take three points here so I can take Spellsword . If you won't take ignite, get 4 points here in favor of Summoner's Wrath
I took 3 points in this since we'll need the MR more than armor. Most of the time you will face an AP Carry mid.

The other of the 21 points in offense are important because we need to do damage as AP Carry, that is our role. Therefore we pick up as much AP masteries as we can.

I went with the other 9 in defense because we are trying to survive the initial burst of the enemy AP Carry.

The utility tree revolves mostly around Mana or CDR. Both of which we don't need. Summoner's Insight and Wanderer are the only masteries I find interesting. But getting these involves not taking Veteran's Scars . Even when you run with both Flash and Teleport, both of which benefit from Summoner's Insight I would not recommend giving up Veteran's Scars for it. I cannot name the amount of fights I've won with just a smidge of health left.

These are exactly the same 21-9-0 masteries Staafmixer uses in his guide Scrapyard Tactics. You can find some more explanation there if you need it.

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Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Greater Seal of Scaling Armor
  • Quintessence of Movement Speed: The movement speed helps with roaming and dodging. It also helps you get in range for Flamespitter. Either in laning, ganking or teamfights.
  • Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: We have a lot of Magic penetration. Boots, Liandry, Abyssal and these runes. This helps us get kills during laning + we stay strong late game if they stack MR.
  • Greater Seal of Scaling Armor: aimed at late game team-fights where you will want to take out the enemy ADC. Since he won't like you running at him, these help with the damage :).
    Since you only need it late game, I prefer the scaling ones.
  • Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: you are laning against the enemy AP. Getting some MR is always a good idea in that situation.

Other options:
  • Greater Seal of Magic Resist: Since you'll be laning against the enemy AP Carry, more MR is never a bad thing. Don't forget there's still teamfighting though, not to mention an enemy jungler or the enemy players you want to gank.
  • Greater Quintessence of Ability Power: Never bad runes on an APC, but I actually think these are better on Top Rumble. We want to roam, dodge and get in range for Flamespitter! Doing more damage is slightly less valuable to your team compared to more ganks/roaming. At least it is to me. Overall, still no bad runes, close call.

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Summoner Spells

Flash: Very useful for escaping when you are attacked by surprise. You can also use it when chasing. Use it to get in range for your Electro-Harpoon, then you can use Scrap Shield and you should be close enough to start using Flamespitter. Ignite: Always a good spell to have during laning. It can make that small difference between a kill and a near escape. Also good for blocking some of the healing from a Health Potion.

Teleport: To help even further with roaming you could opt for teleport. A surprise teleport (for instance after recalling) followed by The Equalizer is sure to catch somebody off guard.
Be sure to take Sorcery in your masteries instead of Summoner's Wrath .

Other Spells

Exhaust actually makes some sense to keep people from running once they know they can't win the exchange. On the other hand, you have Electro-Harpoon for that, on top of The Equalizer that has incredible range.

Barrier is not ideal as you already have a shield: Scrap Shield. The cooldown on it is very short so you should have it available whenever you need it. Barrier can help you when the enemy fully commits and you're going to have a close call on your hands. In this situation the shield will be used completely if you time it decent enough.

You will notice that Barrier actually shields more damage than Heal will give you. The reason why you would want Heal over Barrier is that :
  • Barrier only nets you HP if the enemy hits you (in the form of not losing HP), Heal gives HP as long as you aren't full HP.
  • Heal also gives nearby teammates HP.
Since you will be using Barrier only when the enemy fully commits (when they don't, you use Scrap Shield) and you are solo laning, I think Barrier is the superior spell. Especially if you consider the enemy will often have Ignite, negating a lot of that healing right when you need it the most.

Ghost is viable. It can help you with even faster ganking. On the other hand, you already have Scrap Shield, which already enables fast ganks. Overall, it's good, but Teleport is better as you have a better chance of surprising the other team.

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Abilities (laning)

For a good explanation on how to use your abilities during laning (farming), I'll refer to a very good guide by Zakkery, here.


You want to max this first, just as you do on Top. It's still the main damage source on Rumble.

Allows you to tank/dodge some of the abilities of your lane opponent. Also allows for better roaming (speed boost, keeping Junkyard Titan in danger zone). You will have to judge how much points you need here to tank the damage. Leveling Electro-Harpoon is favorable, but only if you have enough points here to tank enough.

I also like to take my first point in Scrap Shield at level 2 because it allows me to use my basic attacks more easily for farming. Not having Flamespitter will push the lane towards you a little. But getting Flamespitter won't really help you hit minions either. At least with Scrap Shield you can use your basic attacks.

You want to level this up as quickly as possible after Flamespitter. Getting more damage is important. You do have to make sure that you have enough tankyness first with Scrap Shield. There's no golden rule here, you have to experiment with this.


Most of the time, you will be facing AP Carries. A lot of them with skill shots.

The basic idea here is that you can use your speed boost and shield from Scrap Shield to either dodge (preferably) or tank an incoming skillshot. If you time it correctly you will dodge/tank with the shield and counter-engage really quickly because of the speed boost.
The enemy will have no chance but to retreat, as they will have one of their abilities on cooldown, with no chance for an even exchange.

You can do this much more constantly on Mid since those AP Carries have no basic attacks to fall back on. They either run or die.

I took a little clip from my last game demonstrating this versus Diana. Even though I move in the wrong direction initially, you can see my shield tanks the blow and if I had moved forward immediately she would have had little time to react. Luckily, I was facing a slow Diana, so you can still see the result when you succesfully get them to run from you :).

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Abilities (teamfights)

For teamfights I again want to refer to another guide. You can find everything you need in Scrapyard Tactics.

When playing Rumble as a Mid AP Carry we will be focusing to do lots of AoE Magic damage over time, staying alive long enough for all the damage to be delivered. This is what Rumble is good at, and we should play into this strength.
A lot of other AP Carries deliver their damage in short, combo bursts (for instance Ryze w-e-q or Ahri's e-w-q), darting in and out of combat, waiting for their cooldowns to pass.
Rumble however can actually spam his abilities a lot more because of the very short cooldown, mostly on Flamespitter. Where other AP carries have moments where they do almost no damage at all, Rumble will keep on chaining his abilities until he inevitably ends in overheating.

You will be a pretty tanky for an AP Carry but that doesn't mean you should just jump in. You will die very quickly if you draw too much focus from the enemy team. Use your mobility to your advantage and be especially careful for champions with cc! They are a nightmare for Rumble as it will make it very hard for you to hit any of your abilities!

Here's some basics:

  • Use The Equalizer to engage on the enemy, forcing them to reposition.
  • Use Electro-Harpoon on somebody's who's running, for slows and damage.
  • Use Scrap Shield as a gap closer while tanking some damage.
  • Use Flamespitter for massive damage barbeque!!
  • Try to only overheat in the end of a fight.

You can see me use The Equalizer to engage. After that I active my Scrap Shield right before jumping in the bush. I follow up by a quick Flamespitter because I know the enemies will be in range. They use a knock-up but it's already too late as the Flamespitter is already actived. I then use Electro-Harpoon to slow the feeling Zilean. Since he revives I chase him with Scrap Shield and Flamespitter, using those same abilities to tower dive.

At the very end you can see my timing was off to tank the Time Bomb, but you can also see this very last spell is the moment I overheat. If I had overheated under the tower before starting Flamespitter I would have had no kill because I wouldn't have reached him with basic attacks. Junkyard Titan is a passive you will learn to control over time by playing.

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Core items

Item Sequence

Liandry's Torment

Abyssal Mask

Sorcerer's Shoes

Warmog's Armor

Rabadon's Deathcap

Zhonya's Hourglass
Because we do not burst but rather do damage over time, we need a combination of AP (the damage part) and Sustain (staying alive long enough to deliver that damage).

An item that gives us just that is Haunting Guise. HP for the sustain and AP+MPenn for the damage. It's fairly cheap so that's why we like to start with it.

Since we're laning versus an AP Carry I like to get some MR early. I think this helps out more per gold than spellvamp does. If you use your Scrap Shield well, the enemy APC should do very little damage on you with harass.

Liandry's Torment offers all basic ingredients we need (don't overlook the MPenn) combined with an awesome damage dealing passive. Whenever you use your The Equalizer or Electro-Harpoon, the passive will even do double damage! You do not need a Rylai's Crystal Scepter for that (see below).

After completing Liandry's Torment first, you already bought the Negatron Cloak, so now is a good time to complete Abyssal Mask. It improves the damage you do by lowering the MR of your opponent and off course, it gives you AP, of which you need lots.

We have lots of damage dealing now and you should be starting to feel how things are going. This is the point where you should start being a little flexible and make a choice depending on what you need.

You basicly have 3 options here. Warmog's Armor if you need more sustain, Rabadon's Deathcap if you want more AP or Rylai's Crystal Scepter for a little bit of both.

I know a lot of people like to go with Rylai's Crystal Scepter here.

I actually think it's better to forgo the crystal scepter altogether and go for Giant's Belt and/or Needlessly Large Rod, building straight into either Rabadon's Deathcap for AP or Warmog's Armor for sustain.

Why? First off, looking at the AP/HP it gives you, it's good but nothing special. Rylai's Crystal Scepter will give you 80AP and 500 HP for 2900g. Needlessly Large Rod and Giant's Belt will give you 80 AP and 380HP for 2600g. They will, obviously, take two slots but this is no problem as I'd rather have both Warmog's Armor and Rabadon's Deathcap instead of Rylai's Crystal Scepter and either warmog's or the deathcap. We have enough room to get both and still get Zhonya's Hourglass.

So what about the passive then? Can the passive make this item worthwhile? Rylai's Crystal Scepter's passive is a slow that is added to all your abilities. Having a slow on your abilities is important in itself for it's utility but it's also important for proccing the double damage on Liandry's Torment.

The problem is though, we already have two out of three abilities that slow! Do we really need our slows to slow even more? We would only be slowing MORE, not adding a slow .. it's already there! This is a huge difference compared to other champions!

Because of this, it's also not necessary to get a Rylai's Crystal Scepter to double the passive damage on Liandry's Torment. A comment actually made me test this out. The video I made isn't ideal but it shows me hitting Olaf first without a Rylai's. After that I hit the exact same Olaf with a Rylai's Crystal Scepter. I obviously had Liandry's Torment both times.

As you can clearly see, the passive damage counters show almost exactly the same damage.
You can also see the double damage is procced on the first Electro-Harpoon, not just the second one. So every slowing spell doubles the damage. Not just the ones that hit when the opponent was already slowed before.

If you want the math, here it is:

Spoiler: Click to view

So, in summary.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter is loved for it's combination of AP and HP, but we can get similar values from a Giant's Belt/ Needlessly Large Rod combination. The extra slot usage is no problem as we want to build into Warmog's Armor and Rabadon's Deathcap anyway.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter is loved for it's added slow to your spells, but we already have slowing spells that are strong enough to let us get in range for Flamespitter. More is always better .. but in choosing we are losing. Specifically, we lose either the extra sustain from Warmog's Armor or the extra damage from Rabadon's Deathcap. Both of which are more important than extra slow.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter is loved because the slow on the abilities procs double passive damage from Liandry's Torment. Since two of our three damage dealing spells already proc this double damage, it only helps with the passive damage from Flamespitter. Usefull, but I'd still rather have both the Warmog's Armor and Rabadon's Deathcap passives instead of just one.

It is still a very good item to have, despite all this. As was pointed out in the comments, having that slow on your Flamespitter is a really nice thing to have. Nevertheless, it will only slow for 15% which makes it that much less spectacular. I'm not convinced it is worth losing either the Warmog's Armor or Rabadon's Deathcap over. But it's definitly viable, I'll give you that.

A good amount of AP, combined with a nice active for teamfights. Also, this is the first item that actually offers some armor, which you might be sorely lacking by now. It might not be a bad idea to take this item before Rabadon's Deathcap if the enemy ADC is fed. Normally though, your most important weapon is your mobility, don't get focused down by the enemy ADC! Kill it with Fire!

Other items

Guardian Angel is a really nice defensive item that works good on about any champion. If we could buy 7 items, this would be my favorite defensive choice. Also, this builds out of Chain Vest, so that's an option if you need more armor early. Might switch this out with Warmog's Armor if health is not as good an option but armor is.

I know a lot of people like the Hextech Revolver on Rumble. I can understand why they do it. It improves your sustain and builds into Will of the Ancients, which does not only benefit you but also your AP Carry. Since we are playing Mid here, you will often be the only one benefiting from Will of the Ancients, which decreases it's efficiency.

Moreover, you shouldn't need the sustain against almost any mid opponent. You have more health and you have a shield, which scales with AP. You already have MR. You should be the one making your opponent think about getting spellvamp.

Finally, we are trying to snowball since we are the carry. It's no rocket science that it's easier to get a kill with more AP. The spellvamp helps you stay alive, but the difference is too marginal. Especially since you will not be constantly using your Flamespitter on minions. This will push the lane, you only want to do this at certain times.

If you have an AP Top, it might be an idea for him to get it. Maybe he needs the sustain .. and it's always a nice aura to benefit from.

Void Staff gives more MPenn. I really don't think you need more of it. Unless maybe you took different boots and/or didn't get Liandry's Torment or Abyssal Mask. I really think there's no reason to do so however, as these two items are your bread and butter for dealing damage.

Deathfire Grasp is a very nice item that gives lots of AP. The problem I have with it though is it's active. It is geared towards really destroying one specific target. This is not Rumble's DNA. He does lots of damage over time to multiple targets. It's a nice item but I don't know which item I would leave out in favor of it. Maybe the warmog's if you're really, really, really ahead...

Randuin's Omen is a tanky/utility item. Even on off-tank/Top Rumble this is not a core item. On AP Carry/Mid Rumble it's only viable if you really need the armor. We already have Warmog's Armor though. This item could be viable if they have a really AD oriented team composition with a fed ADC. You can swap out Warmog's Armor in that case. Don't get both, we are supposed to do damage!
Thornmail also gives a lot of armor, like Randuin's Omen. It's more oriented toward a fed ADC as this can really do damage to them. So if the enemy team's got one fed ADC but not really much other physical damage dealers I'd pick this over Randuin's Omen, otherwise, go with the omen.

Sunfire Cape is another tanky item. It is more oriented towards champions that want to jump into the fray and stay there, tanking and immobilizing while the rest of the team does damage. Amumu is a prime example of this.

It is actually more geared towards champions that don't necessarily have high AP or rely on their abilities for damage, since the damage it offers, is flat.
While Rumble actually does come close to the heat of the battle, he should never be caught right smack in the middle of it. You will die too soon. You also want items that augment the damage of your abilities, not give a flat damage over time.
It's not bad, but there's better options to get tanky and/or do damage.

Mercury's Treads could be an option to get some MR early. The help against that damned cc is also nice. On the other hand though, we are already rushing our Negatron Cloak, this should suffice for your early MR needs. The help with cc is nice but I'd stick with the MPenn of Sorcerer's Shoes since our main goal as AP Carry is to do damage.

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I hope I've been able to make you think about Rumble as a viable option for Mid/AP Carry.
Please leave a message in the comments with feedback. I'd really appreciate it. I'm just as interested to hear your opinion as I was to sharing mine. If you've tried it, I'd be thrilled to hear your experiences.

Do keep in mind I value constructive criticism. Try to explain why you think something is wrong.
Also, Trolls will not be fed.

If you want to leave a vote, please do. Comment to vote is on though. I'd like you to explain your vote :).

Special thanks

Like so many others before me, I have to thank jhoijhoi for her work on the template and guide, which you can find here. It took some time to find everything here but it really helped me out.

Also want to reference Staafmixer's guide Scrapyard Tactics. I believe his builds are very strong. His guide helped me get hooked on Rumble.

Thanks to the commenters that took the time to read this through and leave their opinion. I've had a lot of fun writing this and I think discussion is what births new insight.


  • No changes that impact Rumble in Patch 3.10. Abyssal is a much better item to build the negatron into than the new spectre's cowl for us.

  • No changes that impact Rumble in Patch 3.9

  • Since Path 3.8 the boots are now cheaper. This solidifies my choice for boots + pots

  • Small change to the build order
  • Added Thornmail to other items
06/05/2013 05/05/2013
  • Added an extra chapter to clarify the purpose of the guide better and clarify reader should already have read Staafmixer's guide.
  • Added some more explanation to Masteries, Runes and changed the Abilities/Teamfight section.
  • Completely overhauled the items section based on comments