Gangplank Build Guide by Sukiiru
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.
Hello and welcome to my 3 v 3 Twisted Treeline Gangplank guide. This guide is for the champion when in this game mode, not for the Twisted Treeline itself. For information about Twisted Treeline, check out Calisto's guide here.
This is my first guide, I hope that it is helpful for you, I will go through as much detail as I think I can give. If there is anything that people think needs adding. I will read it, and if it fits in, is needed or I have missed out, I will add it to the guide and give you the credit for it. I will not take the credit for myself.
Please note that if you are looking for a 5 v 5 guide. This is NOT the right place for you. Though saying that, I would be happy for you to carry on reading as it may gives tips and advice on playing Gangplank as a champion alone.
There may be still be bits missing, please be patient or help if you can.
Pros / Cons
+ Great farmer.
+ Takes out carries very quick.
+ AoE Ultimate anywhere.
+ Great lane dominance.
+ Can prevent CC.
- Focused a lot.
- Melee based.
- Relies on crits.
- Can be squishy.
- Low mana pool.
I use a 21/9/0 mastery set-up mostly for offensive purposes.
The main purpose of going offensive is to be offensive. Unlike in a 5 v 5 game, you're really time limited to what you can do. Usually you'll be passive on a top lane in a 5 v 5, usually in a 1 v 1 against a brusier or an offtank and you can farm up without a real struggle. As for 3 v 3, it's similiar apart from it is a faster paced gameplay.
I suppose going 9/21/0 or 21/0/9 would also work, but I haven't really tried these myself so I couldn't tell you how well it would work.
- Greater Mark of Desolation: Take away a lot of the enemies base armour at early levels.
- Greater Seal of Armor: These along with Veteran Scars mastery stops you being squishy.
- Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: If the enemy has an AP caster, this takes away a lot of their early damage.
- Greater Quintessence of Critical Chance: After crit chance was taken away from masteries, these are a great way to get it back. Helps with lane dominance early game.
Summoner Spells - What works best and why.
Flash is a great escape tool and great for jumping into a fight.
Ignite is great against enemies like Vladimir, Dr. Mundo or Tryndamere. This will block a lot of the healing along with damaging them. Igniting Tryndamere just after he ults will most of the time kill him instantly before he can heal and escape.
Ghost is a nice way to get around and to escape along with Remove Scurvy to block out CC.
Abilities + Ability Sequence
Grog Soaked Blade: This gives a great early game slow as well as that extra bit of damage over time. This skill will also trigger when you use Parrrley. Overall it is a rather good passive when you play offensive.
Parrrley: This is great for harrassment. It does decent damage alone, it has the possibility of doing crit damage and it also applies on hit effects, including your passive. Grab that red buff and harrass constantly and you'll have quick dominance over the lane.
Remove Scurvy: Really self explained. It's a great heal but as a bonus, it stops all current CC that you have inflicted upon you. This isn't just a great way to stay in your lane, it will help you get away and survive.
Raise Morale: Once again, no need to go into too much detail. Gives you a small AD and Movement speed boost. This is also given to your team, so if they aren't quite fast enough to get away and you're in range, pop it off, save a team member. Don't just save it for yourself.
Cannon Barrage: A great ult. You can rain cannonballs at anyone, anywhere you are. This also slows them down so they are sure to take some damage. This can secure a kill, allow your team to catch up or just add some more damage into a team fight.
Parrrley is your main damage dealer, especially once you have your Sheen. It scales with sheens proc, meaning you will be dealing extra damage. Because Parrrley also applies on hit effects and crit damage, this makes the ability very strong anywhere throughout the game. You will want to max Parrrley first, as it is the only big damage dealer from your abilities.
Remove Scurvy is your survivability skill, this is why I max it second. Not only does it heal, but it also removes all current CC you have on you. This is great for when you need to escape. On the other hand, you can max this last if you don't need it as much, at level 2 this will heal 190 health + 100% of the AP you might have. That is enough to survive with until you get around to level it more.
The problem I see with newer players on Gangplank is that they will only use this to heal, or use it close to the CC ending. Remember that it's not just a heal, it is your saviour. If you get stunned or slowed and need to get away, use it without fail and you should be fine. It also scales at around 0.9 AP so you'll be healing close to 400 HP after your Trinity Force.
Cannon Barrage is good for a lot of things. You can initiate with it to slow the enemy down, so your team can all be there at once. You ultimate should always be maxed by level 16 on almost all champions. This can be a great tool to win team fights if used correctly.
Raise Morale isn't the best of abilities at first glance. It does give you a small amount of extra AD and Movement speed, which can help more than you think. When activated, the passive doubles for you and when maxed, this gives you a free B. F. Sword. It is also given to friendly champions, but they only receive half of it. This is great for catching up or escaping, best used just after you remove CC with Remove Scurvy to speed up your getaway slightly. It is best to max this second as it can improve your early damage. Don't underestimate this ability, it can save you and your team.
Before you read through the item choices, remember that in Twisted Treeline you a limited. Most games will last between 15-30 mins. It is rare to see a 50+ min game. So you have to base your items around cost and effectiveness. You should average 11-14k gold. My two builds are between 12,300-13,500 gold which may be pushing the upper limits. Though with that in mind, the order I buy them in gives the effectiveness when you should need it.
Remember that builds should never be exact unless it works for the situation. Situational items are usually penetration or survivability items. Learning what you need and when you need it will help you throughout any game you play.
Trinity Force: This item gives you a lot. The problem is it can be expensive, but the items that build it up will give you the needed damage you need for the early game. You should manage to build a full Trinity Force by the mid game. Once you have this main item, you can start to decimate the enemy, especially while still laning. This item gives great early survivability along with your Remove Scurvy.
Infinity Edge: This item is amazing. Not only does it give the best flat AD for an item, it gives you 25% crit chance as well as making your crits do 250% damage compared to 200%. If you don't think that extra 50% damage is good, then just do the math. This will combine with the effect of Trinity Force and give you 'tons of damage'.
Atma's Impaler: You may be thinking why have an atma's when you only have 2.2k HP? Well, it may not be the biggest HP pool to get this item with, but it works well in this scenario. You will ofcourse be needing a way to get around an AD carry from doing too much damage, this is where the armour it gives comes in handy which will also scale up with your Greater Seal of Armor runes. This gives you a decent amount of armour to play with, without having to risk less damage to go tankier. You will still manage an extra 44~ AD along with 18% crit chance, giving you more crits and damage. This item is great value for it's cost compared to what you get from it.
The Bloodthirster: This item gives the biggest AD boost when you max out the stacks. A whopping 100 AD without going through the trouble of the Sword of the Occult. Not only does it give AD, it will give you 12-20% lifesteal, depending on the stacks. All of this scales with your Parrrley giving you health back per hit, which when you're dealing a lot of damage, can keep you alive under extreme odds. This can be a great item.
Phantom Dancer: Now, a lot of people will be thinking, why attack speed if your Parrrley is your damage dealer? Well, while that is on cooldown and you're in a teamfight, you'll be wanting to get as much out of your items as possible. With attack speed on my crit build, you'll be dealing a lot more damage while waiting for that cooldown. Add that to a little lifesteal and Remove Scurvy and you should manage to survive very well. The 30% crit chance will also allow you to crit more often, the movement speed will aid chases/escapes.
Avarice Blade: This item is a good early item if you are building a crit strike build. Not only does it give you 12% crit chance, it gives you 5 gold per 10 seconds, which will slowly add up and pay for itself later on in the game. Once the later game comes, this item won't seem to be as good. You can trade this in for some more damage or lifesteal or even some armour pen if needed. Don't forget, this item is paying for itself and more.
Quicksilver Sash: This is a great item but I never see many people use it. It is great for carries that rely on abilities, being able to block a silence or just simply blocking out CC and other debuffs. This is basically a 3rd summoner spell, giving you a cleanse every 90 seconds. The magic resistance is pretty nice too. This item can be underestimated, but you just need quick reactions for it's active.
Wit's End: This item can will boost your attack speed by a lot, allowing you to play with it's passive more. Not only will it give you more magic resistance per attack/stack, it will also help stack Grog Soaked Blade's poison damage. If that wasn't enough, it gives you extra magic damage on top of that. This is a rather cheap way to get attack speed and magic resistance that can work so well in the right circumstances.
Hexdrinker: This item now has an upgrade, but it is expensive to upgrade it. This can be a great item against an AP caster that can nuke you down in seconds. It also gives a little more AD along with it.
Maw of Malmortius: Ok, so this is a new item that has never failed me so far. It probably isn't going to be needed as much as I use it on other champions. But the shield is great against AP carries/nukers. This can allow you to survive huge damage from the AP caster and fight back without being slaughtered instantly. The other part of the passive is awesome too, when in team fights, it can change a lot. It's basically the opposite to Atma's Impaler but scales similiar. The more health lost, the more AD you gain. This can give you a big AD boost when low health, which with your Parrrley and the rest of the damage boosters you have, you can usually take out a carry with 1 hit. Then heal up and help ace the team.
Last Whisper: If your armour pen from Weapon Expertise , Greater Mark of Desolation and The Brutalizer isn't piercing through the enemies armour enough, this item will make sure it does. It has 40% armour pen along with an extra 40 AD for only 2290 gold. This is yet another amazing item for Gangplank as well as AD carries. Don't forget to get this, you'll soon see the results. Swap The Brutalizer for this item if you need more armour pen.
Banshee's Veil: This item is great against an AP caster/nuke, it can prevent a huge amount of damage and it gives nice health/mana as well as magic resistance. This can be used instead of Maw of Malmortius. They are rather similiar but Banshee's Veil has more magic resistance. The choice really comes down to your preference.
Guardian Angel: This can replace either Maw of Malmortius or Atma's Impaler. Once again it's on personal preference. If you think you need it over one of the other items, then go for it. The resistances are nice and the Unique passive is great, but your reactions might have to be fast if you're the only one left to 1 v 1 the remaining enemy team member.
An expensive build for those long games
Ionian Boots of Lucidity
Maw of Malmortius
This was my original build for this guide, though the cost of it was close to 17,000 gold. In the Twisted Treeline, that amount of gold is hard to get in the average game. Though if the game drags on it is possible. This build is amazingly strong once you get the hang of it. You can always keep it in mind for those longer games.
As for the explantions on all of these items, they are all above for you to read about. As for it being possible for a Summoners' Rift build, I wouldn't know, I have never used it there. If anyone wants to try it for me and post the results, I would be very greatful, Thanks.
Boots and Explanations
Ionian Boots of Lucidity: 15% cooldown reduction, Enhanced movement 2. These boots allow you to spam short cooldown abilities quicker. They are great on Gangplank as his Parrrley will be close to a 3 second cooldown. Ever had a team fight where you could of won, only if that ability came off cooldown a second earlier? These boots can change that.
Ninja Tabi: 25 Armour, Enhanced movement 2, non-turret basic attacks damage reduced by 10%. These boots are great against those auto attackers. If that 10% doesn't seem much, then let's say Xin Zhao is auto attacking you and he has 400 AD. That 10% is taking away the damage of a B. F. Sword which in theory, is wasting 1650 gold of his he used. Also that 25 armour also adds up eventually too, blocking out a little more damage.
Mercury's Treads: 25 Magic resistance, 35 Tenacity, Enhanced movement 2. These boots are a Ninja Tabi that counters AP and CC. The 25 magic resist will prevent some of the damage of an AP caster and lower the time the CC lasts on your character. The tenacity can help when your Remove Scurvy is on cooldown.
Berserker's Greaves: 25 attack speed, Enhanced movement 2. I personally don't think these boots help with Gangplank, especially the way I usually build him. That being said, with the second build in this guide, they can help to do more DPS. Other than that, they're not worth it on Gangplank.
Boots of Swiftness: Enhanced movement 3. I don't like these boots at all. Sure they give you a lot more movement speed than the other boots, but they don't give anything other than that. They might be good for chases or getaways though. But they are not needed, especially if you get a Trinity Force as that along with Raise Morale will give you more movement speed overall.
Boots of Mobility: Enhanced movement 2, when not in combat, Enhanced movement 5.
Never really seen these used in Twisted Treeline. A lot of junglers will use these boots in Summoners' Rift to run between lanes and the jungle at a faster rate, but in Twisted Treeline, the lanes are so close together, they aren't needed. The only other use I have seen for them, is when a stealth champion such as Twitch will get them to roam about with. I wouldn't use them on Gangplank.
Sorcerer's Shoes: 20 Magic Pen, Enhanced movement 2. Plain and simple in this case. You aren't an AP caster, there is no need for these boots.
Gangplank can be played many ways. The way I am showing you in this guide is to play really offensive. The first thing that anyone needs to learn is that the start of Twisted Treeline is different to Summoners' Rift.
What people tend to aim for is first blood straight away, the way they do this is that they buy their starting items ASAP. They then rush down the the bottom lane brush that is next to the edge of the map, in the middle of the lane. The first players to get inside the brush usually have the advantage. Once the enemy steps into the brush, the first person is focused down and first blood is usually gained. Sometimes you can even see a team being aced around the 1:00 mark. This is important to know, do it well and get some first bloods. The starting item I use can produce a powerful early crit, this will help you get those kills before the enemy does.
In Summoners' Rift, you would usually play as a solo top or a jungler. Either way, you still do a nice amount of damage but you're also rather beefy, so to speak. But in Twisted Treeline, people hardly play like the usual solo top. The top laner is usually a damage dealer, looking to level up more quickly to the bottom lanes 2 v 2.
Being solo means that you have the ease of getting the minions to yourself. Never think of it as an easy task though. You're prone to ganks at any time, just like you are on Summoners' Rift, and the distance between lanes isn't much. They could reach you within seconds and end what you thought you would win. The best way to play pre-6 is to play defensive and count up the creep score.
Now I know this seems weird because I have been saying that you should play more aggressive. Well the pre-6 aggressiveness comes from pushing back the enemy champion with your Parrrley to try and deny them creeps. When you are managing to dominate the lane, you can start to use Parrrley to start getting extra gold on creeps by last hitting them with it. Always try to save enough mana for Remove Scurvy to get away/survive unless you know that you'll be fine. You never know when it can save your life.
With Parrrley's extra gold gain, you can get your items rather quick. Those small amounts of gold eventually add up. Once you hit level 6-11, you can start either roaming, gaining creep score or even go in for kills without much worry. This part of the game is usually where the team fights begin. Just keep an eye on the map while you farm and help when you're needed.
Once you start coming into the late game, usually 1-2 turrets on the map have been pushed down and you're starting your push to win the game. You should have a nice amount of damage and survivability. Here is where you start pushing as a team. Stay close together, focus the damage dealers first and win the game.
Kills vs. Creep Score: Ok, so first blood is worth 400G, kills after that are worth 300G and start lowering as that person dies more. Eventually the kills are worth less than creeps. The best thing to do is to farm over kills unless you know you can secure a kill. A full creep wave is close to the same amount of gold gained as a kill. Keep this in mind.
Credit given where credit is due.
I would like to say a big thanks to JhoiJhoi, her guide creation guide was an amazing help to me. You can view it here: Making a guide - by JhoiJhoi
tehAsian - Gave the idea for the cheaper builds and more insight into Raise Morale and starting items.
A Chubby Baby - Gave an idea of lifesteal, tried to implement it how I see it will work.
Fulundry - Reminded me about Last Whisper being viable if enemy has 113+ armour, nothing less.
Also, I'd like to say a thank you for reading my first guide. I hope it helped you.
~ Jei ~
- Added boots explanation chapter.
- Changed the build to be cheaper, took 3-4k gold off the price.
- Added another build that focuses on critical strike.
- Kept the old build, made a seperate chapter on it.