Gangplank Build Guide by jmillz
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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.
"You will always remember the day you almost caught Captain Ja-"..wait that's the wrong pirate....moving on, moving on.
Welcome everyone, to my solo lane Gangplank guide. If followed correctly this guide will make all your dreams come true. Both in League of Legends and in life. Well maybe it won't do that, but it will for sure allow you to dominate the top lane harder than you can believe possible. They say they took away the Plank's Deny ability? That hasn't stopped me from denying my enemies, albeit in a somewhat different way.
Enough of this mindless introduction, and let's get started.
I will list and then explain my rune choices in this section:
Armor Pen Marks
1 Armor Pen Quint, 2 Flat HP quints
Mana Regen Seals
Attack Speed Glyphs
If you were expecting me to use crit runes on GP...well maybe this guide isn't for you. And maybe you should go back to HoN where you don't need to make all these difficult choices. So, just like any melee (mostly) physical champion, like GP, armor pen is a must. Crit runes are for people who like to win by getting lucky. With this guide you won't need luck. So I run Armor Pen Marks and 1 armor pen quint. That gives gp plenty of armor pen for his early game, until you start to build lots of damage and crit later in the game. The 2 health quints are because I like all melee champs to have at least 2 flat hp quints, it makes a noticeable difference early game. Mana regen seals are KEY. This bears repeating, GP depends on mana in order to deny someone hard early game. He doesn't NEED the mana to lane effectively, but if you want to "dominate" like this guide is intended, you need the mana regen. Finally I get attack speed glyphs, to give his obscenely slow AS a boost early game. I'll admit that the glyphs are one thing I change around occasionally, so put whatever you want in glyphs. Ive done MR glyphs quite a lot as well.
I'll explain more about how to dominate further in.
Now on to the masteries.
There are several viable mastery configurations to take with Gangplank, but I prefer 21-0-9
This gives GP a huge early game damage burst, 10% armor pen, a small crit percent, and a crit damage multiplier. I take the final 9 points in utility in order to take increased mana/mana regen, which GP needs early game.
No crazy reasoning here. I used to try teleport on gp but decided it was a waste. I run flash because it is still such a powerful summoner, despite its recent nerf.
For a long time I run flash exhaust, but recently have been taking ignite to make first blood that much easier.
Both exhaust and ignite are viable.
Before I talk about my item choices, I'm going to talk about how exactly to play Gangplank top in order to dominate.
Skill Sequence: Max Q first, (put 1 point in W at level 3), and Max E second. Taking ult whenever available.
As I'm sure you have guessed, Gangplank's ability to deny revolves around his parley. Back in the day, it was always underrated until you bought an IE, but when in lane it has a very short CD and does very good damage when you have ArPen. I don't care who you are laning, and whether they bought a cloth armor, they wont be able to outlast you.
The denying part is fairly simple, keep spamming them with your Q every single time they come near the creeps. With your mana regen seals and utility mastery points, you won't run out of mana, and parley is about a 3-4 second CD. If they try to come and farm creeps in between your parley shots, dont be afraid to walk up and slap them with your sword until they run. Don't get overzealous and go all out after 2 parley shots, this isn't 100% about killing them asap, its about denying them creeps and gold, and letting yourself become farmed. Yet by all means once you have them low, go for the kill. I run ignite now on GP simply because it usually ensures first blood. Parley + 1 auto + grog + ignite will kill them from almost half hp.
I start with health regen pendant, and rush philo stone, as it will give you the rest of the mana regen you need to keep harassing. I usually back and buy a philo stone and lvl 1 boots after i have ~850 gold. Make sure you have enough to buy a ward and at least 1 pot on your first time back also. Most likely youll have gotten first blood so you should be able to afford it. That's about it for basic gameplay in terms of early laning. One thing to note is that parley counts as a physical attack which makes the creeps attack you. This, best case will make your own creeps push, which you dont want, and it will also make you take damage. So what you should do is parely, and immediately walk in a bush, repeat, etc.
Let's talk about why I choose the items that I choose
Im sure some people will argue that buying gp/5 on gangplank isnt what they would do as it limits your early game damage. I respond by saying that is ridiculous. Gangplank is one of the best people in the game for gp/5's for a few reason. First, he can utilize the effects of both philo, avarice, and heart of stone, namely health/mana regen, crit, and health.
Secondly GP naturally has a high attack, and his E allows him to scale his attack without actually buying ad items immediately, so he isn't any weaker than someone who stacks a couple doran blades.
The final reason is that while gangplank is overly gold dependent, he has AMAZING late game scaling if he does get all that gold, so it is worth it.
One thing I would like to mention, is that I occasionally only go 2 gp/5 items if I am doing very well and getting kills, and then Ill buy more core items and allowo myself more free item spots. I always by philo no matter what, and then at least avarice or HoG.
My first real item is phage. Some people might not like it as the next item since you don't necessarily need more slow, but I like the combination of damage and health it gives gp.
I then buy zeal, which gives him some runspeed, attack speed, and crit, all fantastic on gp. I then go ahead and finish trinity, which will now proc on his Q, which makes up for not having much crit at this point in the game.
I then finish boots. I occasionally run zerker, but usually merc treads.
Now its time for decisions. This is the point in the game where you can go one of two ways. The first is to build gp into an offtank. This woul involve building warmogs and then atmas. The trinity will hold you over for damage quite well until atmas, but you wont be doing much burst. This is the build that I have listed up top, since this is usually is necessary vs competent teams.
The second viable option is going more damage. At this point I would buy a BF sword, a vampiric for sustain/survivability, and then finish Infinity Edge. At this point, if you still don't need health/tankiness, build a phantom dancer. Going this route you will explode their carries, but won't be very survivable.
If you follow this guide you should be able to dominate top lane, without doing any ridiculous builds like stacking dorans blades or something similarly foolish. The best part is it is easy to dominate while buying gp/5 items. Despite you being able to win 1v1 early game, dont always chase them to try and fight. If you are denying their top gold, be content with that. If you arrive late game fed, and their top lane has 1/3 of the CS and no kills, you did your job.
Teamwork: In a team battle I usually recommend going for their ad carries or ap casters. I like to take our their caster first since I dont usually build too much MR, but end up with a good amount of armor.
I hope you enjoyed my guide, I'm all for constructive argument.