Originally Posted by FayRuckingLewis
I don't understand why so few people play Rumble. He has amazing damage and utility. His ultimate is arguably the best in the game. He has insane AOE, a speed boost, shield, three slows and massive range. Oh and Lich Bane late game while overheating means 800 dmg to turrets.
I will say this. Most Rumbles I play with build tanky. I used to but then I went full AP. (Stacks then Cap then Lich Bane) and it's been ten times better.
People don't play him because he used to be pretty good, but then he was nerfed several times. Some of the nerfs were pretty painful, like the ult one and also the one increasing the cooldown and reducing damage on flamespitter. All of his abilities (minus the ult) are pretty short range and his base stats are actually very squishy.
I think the worst was the cooldown increase as it makes it much harder to micromanage your heat without cooldown reduction. And unlike most other champions, Rumble does not really benefit at all from cooldown reduction since his skills are bottlenecked by heat buildup a lot more than the actual cooldowns. So it took an interesting mechanic that was kind of fun and made it considerably more difficult to micromanage the heat. You really don't want to be overheated unless flamespitter just started so you can get an overall dps increase, and even then you generally want to make that only at the end of a fight since the silence lasts quite a while.
It's true that he can do a pretty good amount of damage if you build pure AP, but then you have an essentially melee range champ that is really squishy, and his ratio on the shield is really terrible. Going full AP on Rumble will just make a good enemy team kill you first, or force you out of the fight except for the ult. You're actually adding more to team fights than most champs that are forced to stay that far back with the ult, but you're still basically doing nothing.
Primarily because of his range, Rumble is best at noob stomping and plays a lot like Garen hiding in the bushes. His laning ability is really terrible against any ranged character because of this, and you'll get zoned if they are smart unless you also have a really good ranged partner -- in this case his laning is actually really strong, and you should be able to zone them and get free farm. However, even a full AP Rumble's damage will become lackluster during mid-late game.
In my experience, the best way Rumble can contribute to the team is to do a mix of tank and tanky AP items, with a void staff as the last item, and always get Rylai's first. Your role is to initiate with the ult if it is up, and then pop the shield and try to lock down their carries with slows. If you build pretty tanky, they will not focus you first but you should still be able to do enough damage to scare them into trying to run (which they shouldn't be able to with your slows) or die from your damage (but mostly your teams'). Honestly he's a good addition to the team, but after the nerfs I feel like many other tanky dps characters outshine him.
Also, he plays just like a Garen, and Garen is getting buffs tomorrow soooo we'll see how that plays out.