League of Legends: Scrapbot to the Dangerzone
By Jason Harper (Hhean), OnRPG Journalist
Patch v220.127.116.11, Champion Reworks, Rumble
Greetings fellow summoners! This is the patch v18.104.22.168 article for League of Legends, the game that makes good use of the things that it finds, things that everyday folk leave behind. This patch includes major reworks to a number of champions and introduces Rumble, the Mechanized Menace.
Rumble is a burly mage, having to weather a great deal of beating in order to get close enough to make use of most of his abilities. He plays like the sordid lovechild of Corki and Mundo, which is as bizarre as it sounds. He has so many unique and odd twists to his abilities though that it’s very hard to compare him to any existing champion in the game.
There are two lines of thought to playing Rumble – Either max out his ability to deal damage in close combat, (maximizing his Flamespitter [Q] and using Scrap Shield [W] to close distance while protecting him from any incoming damage) or he can stay back and treat his Electro Harpoon [E] in the same way as Mundo’s Cleaver, juking around and shooting at anyone the moment they expose their soft, harpoonable flesh.
I find the former of the two methods great if you’re trying to become a split lane pusher later on in the game. It requires having someone with a strong harass as his lane partner though, and seemingly impossible to do against a half competent player in a solo lane. Personally I prefer a duo lane, as it seems to give him a far stronger harass and ganking potential, while also having good synergy with his ultimate.
That ultimate is The Equalizer [R], an ability so sickeningly good, and so utterly terrifying, it’s truly fascinating to use. Since it uses vector targeting Rumble can create a line of missiles in any direction within range, making it an insanely versatile ability. The Equalizer is a tool that allows you to not only slow the enemy, but control their movement completely. The usual use for it will be to wait for the enemy to move somewhere stupid, and then drop down the missiles in the direction opposite to their movement in order to maximize damage, and use the opponents’ natural instinct to flee against them. With a little practice you can use this to control and trap your opponent as they attempt to flee. It’s at this point you start nailing them with harpoons before closing in and burning their face off.
The amount of space this ability covers makes it great in teamfights. Bonus points if you have an Amumu pal who can hold them in the missiles until they all burn to death. This can also be done even if you’re completely out of position, or if the enemy are grouped under a tower, since the range of the ability only counts for the first missile fired, not the whole line, allowing it to be fired from well over a screen away onto unsuspecting victims.
Rumble’s passive, Junkyard Titan is tied to his unique resource mechanic, Heat. Much like Renekton’s Fury, Heat builds up with every ability used and increases the effectiveness of his abilities. Unlike Fury though, his abilities don’t consume heat after a certain point, and instead it keeps building until the heat gauge maxes out, and Rumble overheats. When his heat gauge is half full, he enters the Danger Zone, increasing the effectiveness of his abilities.
Mastering Rumble’s passive and heat mechanics really are the steepest hurdles when picking him up for the first time. Starting a fight in the Danger Zone is an easy trick to learn, you simply spam his abilities over and over while walking across the map to build heat before engaging the enemy. The most effective way to use this is to get to the Danger Zone, then use Scrap Shield’s enhanced movement speed to zip Rumble across the map, while also keeping him in the Danger Zone. It’s worth noting that one full 3 ability cycle will put him in the Danger zone, and a second cycle will overheat, silencing you while increasing your auto attack damage. I find this to be an easier way of keeping track of Rumble’s heat rather than constantly checking his resource bar.
The problem with being in the Danger Zone before you even start fighting is that while it increases Rumble’s damage output greatly right from the start, it also limits the number of abilities he can use before overheating. Before moving into a fight you have to prepare the Yordle for what sort of fight you think is coming up – a prolonged skirmishing period is better suited to having low heat, whereas a quick gank is aided more by the Danger Zone.
Overheating is a really useful mechanic when used properly. One useful thing to remember about Rumble’s abilities is they all persist for a while after they’re used, so you can still be making use of a spell even while silenced. The order I usually go with before overheating is firing off my first Harpoon, then Flamespitter, getting the shield up (Which triggers the overheat), then running forwards before firing the second harpoon and beating someone to death while spewing fire at them. Also, throwing in his ultimate somewhere during that combo doesn’t hurt either.
At level 1, I go straight for Electro Harpoon. This is terrible for farming, and your lane will get pushed back while you harass. Pick up Flamespitter at 2 will help you get the minions off your tower, and begin building heat. Level 4 is Scrap Shield time. My skill order is The Equaliser > Electro Harpoon > Scrap Shield > Flamespitter.
If you’re going for a more close range Rumble, then swap around how you level Flamepsitter and Electro harpoon, and pick up shield earlier, at level 3. Your skill order becomes The Equalizer > Flamespitter > Scrap Shield > Electro Harpoon.
Start out with a Doran’s Shield. If things are going badly, stack up three of them and tank your way to victory. Otherwise, Rylai’s is pretty much a core item on him due to it working so well with his ability spam during fights, and stacking with his already excellent slows. From there, any other tanky/mage item works well on him – Zonya’s Hourglass (though the active costs you heat) and Abyssal Scepter are good picks on him. Just avoid mana based stuff for obvious reasons. Mercury Treads or Sorcerer’s Shoes are his two boots options that I recommend.
For his Masteries the 9/21/0 build shown in the spotlight was the strongest build I found for him. The only downside is that cooldown reduction is next to useless on him due to how short his cooldowns are anyway, so Sorcery is a bit of a waste, but Archaic Knowledge is so good that it makes up for it.
For his runes I use Magic Penetration Marks, Armour Seals, Magic Resist Glyphs and Flat Health Quintessences. I’m hearing rumors that Health Regeneration Quintessences are now more effective for survivability, so I may get that tested (if I have the IP for it) before my next article.
Rumble has an incredible damage output, strong lane presence, good sustainability due to his resource mechanic and his ultimate has in my opinion, a simply broken range. His only real downside is a lack of hard crowd control, but he spews out so many slows that you’ll hardly notice this as being a problem.
This patch has had some significant changes to how Alistar, Gangplank and Fiddlesticks work, along with some tweaking to Xin Zhao. The changes to Alistar look to be designed to make roaming as him less useful, while at the same time making his laning a good deal stronger. Gangplank’s changes allow his sustained damage to be increased, while removing the last remnant of denying from LoL. His changes overall though seem to hurt his spike damage output dramatically, which was really the only thing the character had going for him. Fiddlestick’s changes look to have crippled Junglesticks, a loss I’m not going to mourn anytime soon, but it is a real blow to those who enjoyed that style of play. His laning now allows him to be a bit more aggressive, while also getting rid of his infuriating ‘I get full health in four seconds’ drain in the early game.