Gangplank Build Guide by StratOnCrack

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author StratOnCrack

Gangs and Planks for Hire- Offtanking with the Pirate

StratOnCrack Last updated on June 30, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 9

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Welcome everyone, to my Gangplank guide! Before you leave because you got freaked out and said, "OMG HE'S NOT STACKING AVARICE BLADES *DOWNVOTE* GTFO NOOB!", i want you people who are like that to actually read thru this guide before voting. I really think that i have something to offer when it comes to playing as the pirate of LoL. So without further ado, lets get onto the guide shall we?
note: In no way am I saying that this is the only way to play GP, but this is a way that suits my playstyle perfectly.

NOTE: JUNE 30,2011. Philosopher Stone gold passive is no longer stackable to itself, so pick up either a Regrowth Pendant and some pots, or one Faerie Charm and some wards and pots.Turn it into one Philosopher Stone later.( i didnt really feal like editing everything i said about the double philospher stones, so i just put this note in. :p)

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Pros / Cons


    awesome passive which counters many champions(Mundo, Janna, Soraka, Sona, any healing person)
    parley can crit=tons of burst dmg
    awesome aoe move speed and AD buff WITHOUT having to kill a friendly minion
    low CD cleanse and heal
    global ult which slows by just being inside it.can help a fight anywhere on the map (even if the cannonballs dont hit)
    crzy kiteing abilities
    able to off tank for the team(late game) and do crazy dmg at the same time
    parley gives extra gold for killing something so last hitting is extremely effective, not to mention easy
    very long staying power in lane with 2 philosopher stones

    very squishy early game
    often focused in every fight(before fully itemized)
    parley does mediocre dmg without critting
    doesn't have a blink or dash to ensure his escape
    ult does very little dmg after the nerf
    no hard cc
    relies heavily on items

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Runes and Masteries

Greater Seal of Replenishment Greater Quintessence of Desolation

Greater Mark of Critical Chance helps to get your crit chance up all throughout the game. Because the items for this build dont include stacking crit chance items (eg. Avarice Blade, Phantom Dancer, Executioner's Calling)you will find yourself lacking that extra crit to put you at 50% or so(after Infinity Edge and Atma's Impaler).I would say that 50% is sufficient crit chance to make you do insane burst with you attacks.Another good alternative would be armor pen, but for my playstyle i prefer crit chance.

Greater Seal of Replenishment. Now you are probably wondering, why the hell would you take flat mp regen over mp regen per level? Dont worry my friend, I have an answer for your question. The reason i take these over per level ones, is becuase GP doesn't have to worry about mana mid-late game, thanks to philosopher stones. But early game with only fairie charms his mana regen is a little lacking, so that extra 3 regen in the beginning helps a ton. You could take per level if you want, But if you go with the build i am providing, flat mp regen is the way to go.

Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction. Pretty standard glyphs here, GP has relatively long CD's (excluding parley) so pick these up.

Greater Quintessence of Desolation. Also pretty common quints. More armor pen=more dmg with parley and AA(auto attacks)


Standard 21 0 9 setup, gives you maximized dmg with more health and mana regen for staying longer in the lane. And we take improved exhaust and ghost to boost their effectiveness (duh)

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Skill Sequence and Explanation

Gangplank's basic attacks apply a poison that deals 5 + (1 x level) magic damage per second and reduces the target's healing and regeneration by 50% for 10 seconds.
Super awesome passive. It adds decent dmg to your attacks, but the real star here, is the reduced healing for 10 seconds on anyone hit. In fights, try your best to smack people that heal a lot

Gangplank takes aim and shoots an enemy for 20 / 45 / 70 / 95 / 120 (+1.0 per attack damage) with his pistol, dealing damage. If it kills it, he gains extra Gold. This ability can critically strike and applies on-hit effects, except his own passive.
■Cooldown: 5 seconds

This skill is your bread and butter, you use it to farm and kill. I max this out first because it gives lots of sustained dmg with the low CD. Why wouldnt you max this out first? Nothing else is worth maxing out first. Overall a really easy skill to use. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO DO WITH THIS SKILL IS TO LAST HIT. Because it gives a lot of extra gold.

Gangplank consumes a large quantity of citrus fruit, which removes all crowd control effects on him and heals him for 80 / 150 / 220 / 290 / 360.
Cooldown: 22 / 21 / 20 / 19 / 18 seconds

This is an incredible skill, you now have the ability to cleanse any and all CC from you and heal you! And it is on a short CD compared to summoner spell cleanse! Be careful with this spell tho, dont use it to heal urself while in lane unless you really have to. The mana cost is not too high but it does have a long CD (for a normal skill). So if you do choose to use it just for the heal, dont kick yourself later when you die because of rammus' taunt. Another important thing to remember is that you should use this to cleanse the hard CC's if you can, instead of the slows. examples of some hard CC's: Puncturing Taunt, Event Horizon, Shadow Dash, Bandage Toss, etc. Basicly use it on stuns :P

(Passive): Gangplank's Attack Damage and Movement Speed are increased.
(Active): Gangplank fires into the air, disabling his passive boost but inspiring himself to gain Attack Damage and Movement Speed, with nearby allied champions receiving half that amount, for 6 seconds.
Passive Attack Damage Bonus: 8 / 10 / 12 / 14 / 16
Passive Movement Speed Bonus: 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 %
Active Attack Damage Bonus: 20 / 28 / 36 / 44 / 52
Active Movement Speed Bonus: 14 / 18 / 22 / 26 / 30 %
■Cooldown: 25 seconds

After the recent patch, this skill no longer has the ability to deny enemy champions xp and gold. Many GP players, (including myself) thought that this was a kick to the balls to GP, because if he cant deny then what can he do? But after playing around with GP a bit more, i learned that it is really handy to have a move speed buff and AD buff whenver i wanted, not just when there are minions around. Not to mention that the stat bonuses are HUGE compared to before, and it gives allys half the boosts as well. These things totally make up for the fact that there is no deny. I choose to stagger this with Remove Scurvy because they are both so important now.

Gangplank signals his ship to fire upon target area for 7 seconds. Each cannonball deals damage. Enemies caught in the area of this ability are slowed by 25% for 1.25 seconds, duration refreshing if one stays in the area.
Magic Damage: 65 / 110 / 155 (+0.2 per ability power)
Cooldown: 120 / 115 / 110 seconds

Finally we get to Gangplank's ultimate. This skill has also recieved a major change, things such as a smaller radius, less dmg, less slow. Once again, this seems like another kick to the balls to GP's usefulness, but one thing that was buffed on his ulti, was the fact that it now has ensured slow, even when the cannon balls dont hit. Even the size has decreased, the ensured slow makes ganks a LOT easier to pull off, instead of before, when you were like " Oh please let some cannonballs hit please, please, please...DAMN YOU RANDOM ULT I HATE THIS FKN GAME AGGGGGGGHHHHHHH HE ONLY HAD TO BE HIT BY ONE MEASLY BOMB!" ya. Basically i am trying to say that it got buffed and nerfed at the same time. Obviously prioritize this over everything else

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Summoner Spells

Good Summoner Spells

By far the best summoner spell for Gangplank. You can use it to kite, run away, chase, kill and basically do whatever else you need. (not rly) Just ALWAYS TAKE THIS SPELL NO MATTER WHAT

Another super amazing spell for Gangplank. 99% of the time, i end up taking this next to ghost. The reason this is so good for Gangplank, is because he doesn't have a whole lot of CC, so he needs all the help he can get. Plus, I find that fewer and fewer people are taking this spell for some reason, they always take ignite, ya i know it boggles the mind, its just so freaking good!

Okay Summoner Spells

Not really for GP, cause you already have your ult to defend turrets.
Take it if you have to tho.

A good substitute for Ghost if you're the kind of person that takes flash on everyone, but honestly ghost is 10x better for GP than Flash.

Can be pretty handy for picking up kills with your ult, but since your ult doesn't do much dmg, its pretty hard to kill with it. So use it like any other support champion would.

Poor Summoner Spells

You shouldn't have mana problems with this build

You have your passive to halve healing, its redundant to have ignite too

Won't save you as much as ghost or flash will, plus you alrdy have Remove Scurvy

Useless for you, there is no place for fortify on GP. let a tank take it. (i've never used this spell in my life, for anyone!)

You have Remove Scurvy

You dont jungle


Could potentially be usefull, for that tiny extra AD, but you already have Raise Morale which is on a shorter CD than Rally

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Alright now for the most important part of the guide, the items. With this build, GP fills 3 important roles: Offtank, because he becomes quite beffy with these items,Carry because he does crazy dmg once he hits Infinity Edge ,and Support because because he supports his team really well with his Cannon Barrage and Raise Morale. These 2 skills have contributed greatly to initiating team fights, and catching stragglers after the fight.
note:This build is a generalized item build, for a mostly balanced enemy team. Substitue what you feel is necessary. I will go into item alternatives later.

At the beginning of the game, pick up 2 Faerie Charms and 3 Health Potions with these items, your mana regen will be quite fast, so dont be afraid to last hit minions with parley, or even harass the squishiy. As a general rule of thumb, i like to stay above half-full mana bar at all times while i have these itmes.

Early Game, you build should look like this:

On your first trip back to town, turn those Faerie Charms into Philosopher's Stones and pick up Boots of Speed. Now you should be able to lane indefinitely, with your rediculos health and mana regen. Don't be afraid to last hit all the minions you possibly can with parley, because now you have the mana to sustain it. YOU MUST FARM LIKE CRAZY TO GET Infinity Edge AS FAST AS POSSIBLE, I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH, DO NOT WASTE MANA ON HARASS.

Now your build should look like this
Philosopher's Stone Philosopher's Stone

Keep on farming, and only go back, if you are really low on hp(remember that Pilosopher's Stoness regen health very quickly). Ideally, you want to farm until you have enough money for Infinity Edge, but since that's probably not going to happen, start by buying the B. F. Sword, then Cloak of Agility, and eventually Infinity Edge. Once you have IE, you will notice a large spike in your overall dmg output, because your parley will hit a lot harder now.

It's about mid game, so now your build should look like this:
Philosopher's Stone Philosopher's Stone

A few team fights should be starting right about now, so you'll probably pick up a few more kills. At this point you should finish your Mercury's Treads as soon as possible,( why Mercury's Treads all the time? Well because 90% of the time, the enemy team has more than one hard cc, in that situation, Remove Scurvy alone cannot save you.) Now begin working on Sunfire Cape or Banshee's Veil, depending on the enemy team.

So right now your build is like this:
Philosopher's Stone Philosopher's Stone


Philosopher's Stone Philosopher's Stone

So now that you have either Banshee's Veil or Sunfire Cape start build Atma's Impaler, and pick up a Cloak of Agility. Then build whichever defensive item that you didnt build before
Philosopher's Stone Philosopher's Stone

Alright, with these items you are now pretty tanky, and can take a lot more punishment than a normal Gangplank, plus you deal tons of dmg. So now we need to finish building Atma's Impaler for that extra bit of crit chance and dmg, which will realy put your overall dmg over the top.
note: Ideally you want to keep the Philosopher's Stones until you have no more space for other items, but rarely do i ever do this because i usually sell them for bigger items.

Your build looks like this now ( you've probably sold both philo stones by now):

If the game still hasn't ended by now, finish off the build with a Guardian Angel so you're pratically unkillable. (if you play smart)

End Game Build

Once again, this build is NOT set in stone, feel free to sub in items after Infinity Edge, but check out my situational items first.

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Situational Items

These items are items you can get depending on the enemy team and your team. I will talk about when to get them, and most importantly why they are good. Do NOT get these before boots and IE. (sorry if i keep repeating that, but it is extremely important that you do so)

Probably the only boots I would consider buying, besides Mercury's Treads. Only get this item if the enemy team really doesnt have any hard cc.

Great item for GP since it gives the 40% armor pen. Which means that all your attacks will do 40% MORE DAMAGE!!! that's pretty ridiculous if you ask me. Only pick this up, if your team has enough tanky/offtank people, or you feel that people are stacking too much armor cause you're owning too hard. Grab this as a replacement for one of the defensive items (either Sunfire Cape or Banshee's Veil) but you have to at least get one of them before Last Whisperer

Extremely underated item, but one that I encourage you to buy if you have to. It gives an awesome magical damage shield which will counter many AP nukers,( as they usually have moderately long cooldowns before they can nuke again). Only get this item if the enemy has a lot of AP damage champs on their team, or they have a mage who is carrying them. People like Malzhar, Veigar, Annie, Ryze, Le Blanc...etc. Get this straight after Infinity Edge because it is offensive and deffensive at the same time. Sadly this is an extremely situational item, and i hardly get it myself.

The perfect item for Gangplank, or so everybody thinks? It gives everything you need, crit, move speed, AD, AP, HP, and of course the 150% extra damage on Parley. The reason I dont include this in the build, is because the stats that it gives are medicore, the only real reason people buy this is for the passive. I find that getting real defensive items such as a Sunfire Cape actually help you stay in the fight, rather than parley once and then die...Not to mention that it is ridiculously expensive! Remeber to only get this item if you are the main source of dps damage on your team (which you shouldnt be, but we'll talk about that later). Take Trinity Force after Sunfire Cape or Banshee's Veil depending on which one is first in your build.

Obviously get this if the other team has AD damage that rips you apart in less than half a second. Rush it right after Infinity Edge

Perfect for your team if it is heavy in physical damage, it also works really well with Raise Morale which also gives AD buff to your teamates! Take it after Infinty Edge once again.

Once again only get this if your team is lacking in Physical DPS. Personally i dont like this item because Gangplank shouldn't auto attack a whole lot during teamfights. The movespeed boost is nice tho, which really helps kiting again!

Boosts your healing a bit, and gives decent cdr. Overall not too great of an item for GP, but if you really feel the need for more cdr, this is the item to go. Pick it up after Infinity Edge.

Gives a bit more armor than Sunfire Cape, but the best part is the active, it slows enemy move speed and AS. If the enemy team has a lot of hard hitting dps, consider getting this item, as it just might save your life. (Master Yi will still rape you tho. :P) Other than that, Randuin's Omen will give you an upper hand over those dps champs. Take it after Infinity Edge.

So that's about it for the situational items, i might have missed a few, but i think i covered the major ones.

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Items NOT to buy on Gangplank

A lot of these items seem like they would be really good for GP, but in reailty they are not.

Sure it gives a lot of hp, but with Gangplank's low base defense stats, you're still going to die really fast. I'd much rather have a Sunfire Cape or Banshee's Veil. Not to mention that Warmog's is really expensive

While being slightly better than Warmog's Armor in that it gives AD and the passive slow, it is still very expensive, and the only good stat is HP. Not worth the gold, for GP. Pick up red buff if you want the passive slow, lol.

Everyone's favorite, the famous Avarice Blade. Imho, there is nothing good about this item. The only stat it gives, is crit chance,and it takes 25 min to pay itself back. I can do much more sustained damage with Infinity Edge than a normal GP can with 2 or 3 Avarice Blades. Only take 1 for Youmuu's Ghostblade if you feel like you need one.

Lets face it people, the new tenacity items suck, they have mediocre stats, and give even less tenacity than Mercury's Treads, which we already have. GP doesn't really need a whole lot of Attack speed to be effective, and we get adequate crit chance from Infinity Edge and Atma's Impaler.

Looks great in theory, but really is just another gigantic waste of precious gold. We already have all the mana regen we need with Philosopher Stones, and Infinity Edge gives much more AD than this item. NEVER GET THIS, EVER!!

The poison damage is **** compared to your passive, an extra 30 or so damage over 8 seconds wont help much. The active is also extremely redundant. Although i will admit that the life steal, and crit is nice, it still is not worth it.

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Team Work

Now that we are finally through with the items, lets get on with some good ol' fashioned team fighting shall we? So first of all, GP's deadliest tool in his arsenal, during a team fight, is his ultimate, Cannon Barrage. This skill lets him participate in a fight, without actually being there. Since the recent patch, his ult has gotten a whole lot weaker, as in it does a lot less damage. This doesn't mean that it is a lot less usefull, it just has different uses now. If you are laning, and you see that people in a different lane are chasing an enemy down, use your ultimate to cut off the enemy's path, (remeber it has guranteed slow just by being inside it). You could try using it to help deal damage, but it really isn't as effective that way. Now, during a team fight, it is pretty much the same idea. After the fight has begun, place your ult a little bit behind the enemy team, while still slowing/hitting a few people at the back. Note the placement, this specific position will force the enemy team to either A. fight your team, while having their escape cut off. Or, B. Run away, straight into your Cannon Barrage, and give your team the upper hand. Back when GP's Cannon Barrage had was huge, you could kind of throw it in the general direction of the enemy team, and it would help out, but now with the decreased radius size, you must be a lot more careful of where you place it.
So besides casting your ultimate, what else do you do? Well after casting ult, whip out your little pistol, and Parrrley, and exhaust the squishy dps if you can. Know that you are very easy to take down if you dont have Banshee's Veil or Sunfire Cape, so dont run into the enemy team just to try and kill the Ashe at the back. Keep spamming Parrrley, and Raise Morale as much as possible, after each Parrrley shot, back down a little. If things start getting really ugly for you, use Remove Scurvy and Ghost to kite the enemy team, and get the hell out. When things are clearing up, come back into your team, and use Raise Morale to help chase down any stragglers. Try not to use your Auto-Attacks too much, as you have to be really close to the enemy team to do so. The only time when you should use Auto-Attacks is when you are fully itemized, (by fully itemized,i mean you should be at Atma's Impaler) This is the reason i chose not to put dps items into my core build, because if you try to dps people to death, you will most likely die. Dps items really brings down your survivability, as they do cost a lot of money, e.g. Phantom Dancer, or Trinity Force. If you are fighting 3 people or less,(with 3 or more teamates), feel free to use your auto-attacks.

Simple team fighting right? Just follow these guidelines, and you should survive most of the fights, while picking up 1 or 2 kills.

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If you've read this far, congratulations. I hope by reading this guide, you can realize the true awesmoness of Gangplank, he is an amazing kiter, farmer, and team fighter/supporter. I know that this build is a little different from other Gangplank builds on this site, but if you are willing to give it a try, you will soon see what i mean.
Please help me to make this guide better, as this is my first guide here on mobafire! I would greatly appreciate constructive criticism!