Rumble has been great in season 11. He was quite popular in the top lane, and we got to see a lot of him in the mid lane this year as well. He was heavily prioritized during the Spring Split and reached a high pick/ban rate in both solo queue and pro play. Multiple builds were being shuffled, and Rumble became very successful.
The most consistent build has been the Arcane Comet one, pumped with a lot of early pressure. The keystone allows Rumble to dictate the laning phase’s rules, often snowballing from small advantages to a point where the opponent simply can’t catch up. Things like Predator, Electrocute, Phase Rush, and even Conqueror were also seen, but not quite as much.
Rumble can be built in many different ways because he benefits from a lot of different buffs. Based on the opponent, he can choose multiple different items, yet the core build stays the same. Here we will talk in-depth about the best way to play Rumble in season 11, and what makes him so good?
Never Out Of Meta
Rumble is one of the best champions in the game. No matter which patch is currently live, he can fit everywhere! He is powerful throughout the game, with exceptionally high damage early on. Not many champions are a threat in the lane; he can split push as well as most top picks, and he is fantastic at team fights too. So, no matter where you throw Rumble, he can always find a way to win it.
And that has always been true. Rumble used to destroy the early seasons, with only the last few being somewhat of a problem for him. While the tank meta reigned, Rumble was far less picked than now. Pro players would choose him for early lane dominance when the team needed a quickly destroyed turret. Yet even then, Rumble was able to match the value of every tank and carry games.
In season 10, though, he has returned stronger than ever! The current meta is a lot more focused on the early game and damage dealing, so Rumble is a fantastic champion to main! He is also a very easy champion to learn, with only his passive being a partially complicated mechanic to master. However, as with any champion choice, it might take you a lot of practice to become a great Rumble player. So, let’s first see his strong points and what he can do best of all!
Rumble starts every game with dominating damage, which is rarely met by another champion, especially in the top lane. Because of that, Rumble can pressure and bully most of his matchups, forcing them to return to base multiple times before he even does it once. However, there are some unpleasant matchups too, which Rumble needs to play very carefully in order to win the lane.
Such champions can be Lucian, Ryze, or Jayce in the top lane, or something like Orianna and Zoe in mid. It is because all of these champions are ranged, and they can poke him severely. They also have mobility, a dash, a jump, or a burst of movement speed, which Rumble obviously lacks. Against them, Rumble should play patiently and find windows of opportunities to punishing his opponents.
On the other hand, champions like Kassadin, Nasus, and Diana can be easy prey for Rumble. They start off slowly and struggle to keep up with Rumble’s damage during the early levels. And if Rumble has taken Ignite as a Summoner’s spell, he can almost always get a kill if he goes all-in on them.
In the lane, Rumble should successfully poke with E – Electro Harpoon, then pressure with Q – Flamespitter and be careful when CSing against ranged champions. And because he pushes lanes very quickly, he needs a tremendous amount of jungle awareness to avoid incoming ganks.
The Yellow Line
Rumble is a bit of a unique champion. And the main reason for it is his passive – Junkyard Titan. It is a reasonably simple passive, but it has many different ways it could influence his gameplay.
When Rumble uses his active spells, he heats himself. The resource bar begins with white color, then in the middle, it turns to yellow and, in the end, red. In the yellow stage, all of Rumble’s abilities have bonus effects. For example, Flamespitter deals 150% more damage; Scrap Shield gets a 50% increase in shield and movement speed, and Electro Harpoon’s damage and slow effects are stronger for 50% as well. But, if the bar gets red, then Rumble overheats and gets silenced for a few seconds. During this time, he won’t be able to use any spells, but his auto attacks will do extra damage.
Knowing all this, certain advantages can be taken. Rumble’s abilities don’t cost any mana, so you can press Q, W, or E anytime and get to the yellow stage. Once there, you can manipulate the resource bar and maintain it in the middle, so you always have empowered spells in the lane. If you haven’t used ability in a while, just throw a harpoon or two randomly to keep the bar in the middle, and whenever you’re nearing the red stage, just cool off for a moment. Doing this successfully is what distinguishes the great Rumble players, so mastering it is crucial.
Rumble’s early power can be translated to the rest of the map. His serious damage is great for early jungle skirmishes and river fights, so unless your jungler is doing some questionable things, you can go and help him to secure a kill.
With two charges on his Electro Harpoon, Rumble can repeatedly slow down enemies and give them no chance of escaping. This is only increased at level 6 when Rumble gets an additional boost in damage and CC. All of this power can be abused for snowballing games and getting victories.
The most important part of Rumble’s kit is his ultimate – The Equalizer. This ability is so versatile that it can be used differently in so many situations. By dragging the mouse, you can set its direction wherever you want. This is great for surprising enemies because you can guess where they will turn and then set the ultimate on top of them. The amount of damage and slow The Equalizer has is just crazy, so a good Rumble’s ultimate can often win an entire team fight.
While on that note, Rumble benefits significantly from having teammates with a lot of CC. For example, Maokai, Malphite, or just anyone who can lock down enemies during a fight is a big help. It’s because Rumble can comfortably set his R on immovable targets and kill them while they’re in stun.
However, The Equalizer can also be used purely for slowing down enemy champions. If your team already has a lot of damage, you can always start a fight with it to make a pick. Or if you’re getting chased, you can throw the ulti behind you and getaway. So, get creative with it!
Arcane Comet is just fantastic on Rumble! The way he deals damage is very consistent and easy, so he almost always gets a proc out of it. Two of Rumble’s abilities have a slowing effect, so enemies can rarely run away from the damage of Arcane Comet. It ties up greatly with his early power, and it increases his bullying potential.
Arcane Comet is a great poking tool, especially when matched against ranged opponents who would usually pressure Rumble. Champions like Syndra or Gankplank can suffer a lot from him if he manages to hit a harpoon after harpoon. So, sometimes the best defense is an offense.
Nimbus Cloak is a vital part of Rumble’s build. It can’t be replaced by another rune and certainly not by the choices offered in the same row. Manaflow Band is only for mana users, and Nullifyng Orb has a way too big of a cooldown to be a reliable option.
Rumble is an immobile champion. Apart from the movement speed buff from his W, he doesn’t have anything else to catch up to many other champions. Well, Nimbus Cloak solves that problem, giving him bursts of movement speed whenever he throws his ultimate or uses a Summoner’s Spell. So, each time Rumble throws The Equalizer; he can be right there beside the enemies, hitting them with other abilities. And he can always use Flash or Ignite, one after the other, to continue getting MS and keep chasing.
Celerity just completes Nimbus Cloak! It increases its bonuses and makes it almost impossible for anyone to run away from Rumble. Absolute Focus can also be taken sometimes, and it’s great for setting ambushes or engaging fights with R, but the value of Celerity and Nimbus Cloak together is just unmatched. So, make sure you pick both of those runes up every game.
Scorch burns enemies with magic damage, and it is only on 10 seconds cooldown! This is a massive power rune for Rumble during the laning phase, because, as with Arcane Comet, he can activate it all the time! His Q and E are on even shorter cooldown and can be spammed to no end.
Gathering Storm can also be an option in this row, but only if it’s paired with Absolute Focus. It becomes really good the longer the game goes on, but since Rumble is great at pressuring early, Scorch will be the go-to here.
Taste of Blood
Compared to most top lane champions, Rumble is fairly squishy. The only defensive tool in his arsenal is his Scrap Shield, which only lasts for 1.5 seconds, which in turn is enough to block only one spell or an attack. Even in the mid lane, Rumble struggles because he is melee, so Taste of Blood gives him a nice way of returning the lost health. It’s only on 20 seconds cooldown, and he can proc it with Q or E.
Ravenous Hunter plays the same role as Taste of Blood, giving Rumble much more survivability throughout the game. If stacked fully, Ravenous Hunter can heal for an incredible amount. It is essential to get it because Rumble will be the frontline most of the time.
Ultimate Hunter can be taken if you want more frequent ultimates, but Ravenous is just an invaluable addition.
Two Adaptive Forces should always be your choice on Rumble, and based on what you’re facing, Armor, Magic Resist, or Health.
There aren’t many disagreements about what Rumble should start with. Doran’s Shield and Health Potion are the base choices for nearly all situations. Doran’s Ring or Corrupting Potion could sometimes be used, but Rumble can’t get nearly as much value from them as from Doran’s Shield. He is a melee champion that likes to fight early, so the passive regeneration is almost a must. Especially when matched against a ranged opponent, Rumble will need to survive the early trades in order to try for a kill.
Many Rumble experts will tell you that rushing Sorcerer’s Shoes is the surest way for winning lane! They provide Rumble with the necessary movement speed to catch up to any opponent or to quickly come back from the base. The magic penetration is a power boost that no early magic resist can ignore, so at level 6, The Equalizer will shred anyone if Rumble has his Sorcerer’s Shoes on!
Note that you can always go Ninja Tabi or Mercury’s Treads if you’re having trouble against certain AP or AD champions, but in that case, you shouldn’t rush them. It is better to at least start your first big item then upgrading to full boots.
By far, the most beneficial item for Rumble is Liandry’s Torment. Both unique passives work incredibly well with his kit because he can consistently pour out damage and trigger the effects. Whenever Rumble is in a fight, he will always burn enemies and have a 10% damaging buff throughout the skirmish. That’s why getting Liandry’s as a first item is essential.
Morellonomicon is another big power spike for Rumble. The additional magic penetration on top of the one from Sorcerer’s Shoes will penetrate any defenses during the mid-game. And since season 10 has a lot of passive healing, Morellonomicon is almost mandatory for success! It applies the Grievous Wounds debuff, which lowers the healing of the enemies. So, it should always be a prioritized item choice by Rumble, even if playing against only one healing champion.
As for any magic damage dealer, there isn’t a better item than Rabadon’s Deathcap. Rumble can one-shot any squishy champion on the enemy team only with his Equalizer after getting Rabadon’s Deathcap. It will double his AP and make him a scarier than ever. It is always good to buy it near the mid-game if possible, and use it to crush team fights and win over games.
Void Staff completes all of the previous items. It gives Rumble’s abilities magic penetration far greater than the enemies can resist, even in the late game. It is an offensive item, and it should be used that way. After purchasing Void Stuff, you should always look to engage in team fights and burn everyone down.
Zhonya’s Hourglass is the best defensive item for Rumble. Despite the life-saving active, it provides him with additional ability power, and armor to survive the fights in the frontline.
Banshee’s Veil can replace Zhonya’s, but only if the enemy team is full AP or there isn’t a single life-threatening ultimate to dodge. But since Rumble fights from up close and not from range, Zhonya’s Hourglass will always be more valuable.
Flash is irreplaceable on Rumble. Ghost can have some nice uses, but it isn’t as reliable on Rumble as on other champions. So Flash should never be compromised!
Choosing between Ignite or Teleport will always depend on what you’re playing against. Generally, it is better to run Teleport in the top lane and Ignite in the mid lane. But, this is not a strict rule, so always take the one you think you’ll get the most use out of!