Gangplank Build Guide by Thanorodd
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
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.
Gangplank is a commonly misunderstood fellow. As a pirate with a giant tarantula stuck down his pants, it's unlikely that he cares much for the opinions of others. So, I'm here to clarify on his behalf that he's actually not that bad.
In fact, he's not bad at all.
I play Gangplank in the role that Riot is pushing him toward; a slippery, semi-beefy auto-attacker with a ranged physical nuke. My build does not center around a gimmick like critting every single Parrrley or using Atmog's.
My goal with my build is to maintain the highest performance reliability possible. I dart in and out of combat, never fully committing or leaving myself extended into the fray for long, but attaching myself to an enemy long enough to get off a few of those vital auto-attacks. I'm not very tanky, but I'll be damned if I'll let you catch me long enough to kill me. Yo ho ho!
My runes are:
3x Quintessence of Desolation (Armor Penetration)
9x Mark of Desolation (Armor Penetration)
9x Seal of Clarity (MP5 per level)
2x Glyph of Clarity (MP5 per level)
7x Glyph of Celerity (CDR per level)
I do this to get CDR cap while gaining the highest amount of mana regeneration possible. Mana regeneration is essential to being able to farm in lane.
Masteries and Summoner Spells
My masteries are 21/0/9. Fairly straightforward! Don't forget to take the Teleport mastery in Utility.
My guide assumes you take Teleport and Flash. While Exhaust, Ghost and Clairvoyance (yes, Clairvoyance!) are viable alternatives to Teleport, they fit different builds. Feel free to experiment.
Here's where the fun part begins.
Gangplank is very item-dependent. He's able to farm massively, but he, like every other champion in the game, is limited to 6 item slots. So how do you take advantage of your amazing farming potential? You need to squeeze the best "bang" for your "buck" out of every item slot. The items I choose, for the most part, are huge and expensive. The best part is: I promise you'll be able to afford them.
You start out with a Regrowth Pendant and 1 Health Potion. As you lane, you're going to run out of mana, probably around the level 4 mark--sustain yourself until you have enough gold to finish your Philosopher's Stone and buy level 1 Boots, then recall and teleport back to lane. No time lost, no creeps lost.
Your next priority is going to be a Bilgewater Cutlass. This is huge for Gangplank. Not only is it a Cutlass, so it's clearly meant for pirates, but it has a ranged slow and nuke. You will depend on this all game to close the gap on pesky runners. With his new passive, you're going to be able to stick to them once you get there. That makes this item even more valuable! You're going to keep the Cutlass until the very, very end of the game when there's nothing else to buy--then you upgrade it to a Gunblade. (Yes, a Gunblade.)
Upgrade your Boots to Lucidity at the next opportunity--either buy it with your Cutlass or with your Phage. Your call.
Your next item should be a Phage--you really want some beef right about now. After that, Brutalizer (more armor penetration and CDR? yes please!) and Sheen (100 damage on my Parrrley? winning!). So your mid-game inventory should look like this:
1. Philosopher's Stone
2. Ionian Boots of Lucidity
3. Bilgewater Cutlass
Looking good already.
So you want to upgrade that Brutalizer right about now and get your Ghostblade. Ghostblade's active is awesome for Gangplank, and it's only going to be better with his new passive. (Hint: everything is better with his new passive.)
Your core concern is going to be the Trinity Force. That gives you every stat you could ever dream of--even movement speed. You should only be 1495 gold away from it. Grab that immediately after Ghostblade.
Now, you're looking pretty. What do you need next? Infinity Edge, for more and bigger crits? Are your enemies building armor, and you can feel the pain? Black Cleaver and Infinity Edge are your next two buys, and take them in the order that makes sense. Selling your Philosopher's Stone right about now is a good idea. Start with the BF sword and finish the rest later (in both cases).
Congratulations: You are now Planking like a boss.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity
How the hell am I going to afford a finished build of 18000 gold?
Easy. Be Bossplank.
Your primary focus throughout the entire game is going to be farming. You are your team's carry. Now, this doesn't mean ignore teamfights to grab minions--that's just bad play. But don't be afraid to use your ultimate to grab some cross-map creeps. Use your Teleport liberally to bounce from lane to lane, pushing back the minions (maybe even pushing a tower!) and earning yourself gold. Gangplank makes a strong split-pusher because you can carry Teleport and you have a global ultimate for AoE damage and slow. You also have strong pushing abilities and you can't be ignored.
Finally: Last hit with Parrrley whenever possible, but don't be afraid to last hit with your autoattack. Gold is gold! Keep in mind that it is better to use Parrrley for harassment in some cases! Get a feel for which champions you know you want to play aggressive against and you know you can burst down. Especially once you get your Cutlass, nobody will get away from the Bossplank.
I normally earn around 20-21k gold in the course of my games, just to give you a benchmark. ;)
You're going to want to be in a solo lane or in a lane with a support that lets you have all the farm. As mentioned above, you need farm.
A lot of it.
So that's your primary focus in lane. Get every single last hit. If your enemy lets you near your creeps, you should not miss a single minion. (Obviously, no one is perfect.)
You want 80 CS by 10 minutes, 100 by 12, 120 by 14. By then, strict laning phase is probably over.
So how do you win your lane enough to stay up in the minion waves?
Easy. Be a Bossplank.
Understand how much damage your Parrrley does and how strong Remove Scurvy is for sustaining yourself. Don't spend too much mana, because your only mana regen is coming from runes and your Philo Stone. Your job is to brutally punish your opposing laner every time they try to disrupt your farm. Harassing them with Parrrley can be very effective, especially once you pack on some damage (like when you have your Cutlass, for instance). You have enough early armor penetration to make your gunshots very impactful.
Don't underestimate your passive, either. The stacking damage/slow is a big deal. If they commit to you and you can win the fight, you're going to get a kill. Period. (And if you can't, eat some oranges and GTFO while they're slowed. Use Cutlass if necessary.)
Just remember: you're not looking to kill your enemy outright. You want to keep them weak and low to deny them farm and ensure your own farming safety. Keeping your enemy laner low also deters ganks, because he's going to be afraid to commit to a gank against you. If he commits and you think you're going to die, just take him with you.
Ideally, though, you should always be able to get out of ganks. Throw wards in good locations now and then and remember to use Raise Morale at the first sign of trouble, Remove Scurvy at the first moment of a CC. You have your passive to quickly slice a little slow into your enemy and the Cutlass to further prevent a chase. Gangplank is so slippery that he should never get stuck unless the enemy team is using a liberal amount of knock-ups.
Biggest thing to remember: Your Cutlass is as useful for chasing as it is to save yourself from chasers. Remember you have it. Remember its cooldown. USE IT!
Your first job in a teamfight is to lay down your ultimate in the direction your enemy wants to move. This will disrupt their planning, because your ultimate is a pretty strong visual deterrent against standing inside it, and the slow + damage are nothing to scoff at. If they ignore it, they lose, if they avoid it, they lose--they'll be so focused on avoiding your ultimate that they will lose sight of their objective in the teamfight.
Next, you're going to want to zero in on the nearest squishy target and beat them down. Raise Morale, open with Parrrley and get your Cutlass/Gunblade slow on them ASAP. Chase them down and cut them into tiny little pieces, then eat some oranges and get the hell out of that clusterf---.
Spam Raise Morale every time it comes up. Not only is it an awesome buff for your team, but it actually gets you assists. (Remember this throughout the game: popping a Raise Morale is a little-to-no risk way of ensuring you pick up some extra gold from the assist of a nearby kill.)
Now you can plank like a boss.
Happy planking! Good luck on the Fields of Justice, summoner.