Gangplank Build Guide by Free-Kill
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.
In this guide I'll try to illustrate the reasoning behind and play-style of jungle Critplank, something recently popularised by Snoopeh. It can be a very strong style within the right team and, if you play it right, you should find yourself being both a very high damage dealer and excellent utility champion.
Before Gangplank's remake, the only way he was really played was as a crit champion, focusing solely on lucky hits of parley. This gathered a lot of hate (kind of like Evelynn), so you may still get some of that if you decide to jungle Critplank. Hopefully, though, they'll change their minds once you carry them.
This is if you don't want to read the guide and just want a quick look at the concepts.
When levelling skills:
When building Trinity force:
If you need armour:
If you need magic resist:
If you just need damage:
At level one you're extremely dangerous. Try and convince your team to invade if it seems like it'll be possible. You can even take Parrrley first if you really want to deal damage. As for your regular path, take blue and then move on through wolves, wraiths, golems and red. The new jungle is very weak and especially easy for strong junglers like Gangplank. After that, just take whatever you can. You're pretty hard to counter jungle due to your CC resistance and damage output and you counter jungle pretty well yourself since Parrrley can get pretty close to one hitting the minor camps.
Run in and Q. Hopefully you crit and half your target's health. If you don't, you'll still be able to chase due to your passive slow and the move speed buff from Raise Morale. If the champion you're ganking for is really far away then use Raise Morale first so that they have a better chance of catching. Keep in mind that as long as you crit with Parrrley, it really doesn't matter if the gank "succeeds". You can severely cut down a player's options in lane if you can take their health down by a couple of hundred like that.
At this point decide where your role lies: offtank or carry? Depending on what your team requires, you can build some different items.
Offtank Frozen Mallet Sunfire Cape Atma's Impaler Banshee's Veil
Carry Infinity Edge Phantom Dancer The Bloodthirster Zeke's Harbinger
If you decide to take the tanky route then engage, soak up the CC and Remove Scurvy your way back into the fight. You should be able to buff your team, slow opponents and deal a good deal of damage all at the same time.
If you conclude that you need to be a carry, try and stick to the outside of the fight. You certainly won't be SQUISHY, especially with your CC resistance, but you'd rather be at the edges than in the middle. Focus on throwing Parrrley into the fight to nuke down their carries. Once the fight spreads out, feel free to go into melee range and utilise your extreme chasing ability to finish up remaining enemies.
I think is almost impossible to argue against. Smite is necessary to make your jungling satisfactorily quick and Flash, despite the fact that it's been nerfed repeatedly, is still the best escape available. The ability to jump over the walls and get out of range of CC is invaluable and will save your life more times than you'd care to admit.
These are pretty flexible, honestly. Having a large number of points in offense is good just because of the armour penetration, cooldowns and attack speed. The defense points make your jungling disgustingly easy. Enhancing smite is a nice bonus but getting extra armour, reducing damage received and bouncing damage from creeps are really, really useful. Wraiths will basically kill themselves.
Greater Mark of Critical Chance Greater Seal of Armor Greater quintessence of desolation Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Again, these aren't essential. Having the crit chance runes is far more valuable, in my opinion, than crit damage. You get almost 10 percent from the marks which makes your Parrrley vastly more consistent; far more important than making them deal extra damage. Seals and Glyphs are standard defensive runes, but only the seals are especially useful due to the amount they reduce jungle creep damage by. The quintessences mean you have around 10 armour penetration, enough to get through the majority of jungle creeps' defenses.
From the start, you want your glove and pots. This will get you up to around 20% crit chance and get you well on your way to your...
You may think that this is an odd inclusion since it only builds into , but it's actually very useful. Not only do you get an extra 4% crit chance but it also gives valuable Gold Per 5, something that junglers appreciate more than most. Eventually you will sell this item for more powerful ones but, seeing as it only takes 12 and a half minutes to pay for itself when sold, it's not like you're losing gold.
The key to Trinity Force is being able to take advantage of the Sheen effect, which Gangplank (and especially critplank) does excellently. Arguably the Sheen is more impactful than Zeal, but I find that Zeal gives so many good stats early in the game that it's worth getting first, especially since it lets you delay your boots a bit without hurting you too much. Phage is less important since you'll usually have red buff anyway and you have such a strong passive slow that applies far more consistently.
Ooooooh, Infinity Edge. It takes a while, but man does it make you hurt. As soon as you get this item, you'll notice a destructive increase in your damage output. The most important element is Cloak of Agility for it's substantial crit chance. The two damage items can be purchased in any order, depending on how your gold flow is going.
Other items are situational based on what you need. Luckily you have a lot of options no matter how the game is going, so you should be fine in finding something to purchase. Here are some reasonable purchases:
Frozen Mallet Zeke's Harbinger Phantom Dancer The Bloodthirster Sunfire Cape Guardian Angel Hexdrinker Wit's End Banshee's Veil
At level one, with either Parrrley or Raise Morale you pose a large threat to the other team. If your team is compatible and willing, invade the wraiths and lizard buff area. You will often be able to steal one or both camps, giving you a substantial advantage over your opposition. Try not to use smite if possible, since it'll make Blue much easier, but using it on the large Lizard is not out of the question if you feel threatened. Just be aware that doing it may mean you need assistance when you come to take Golem. If you DO steal red, consider a level 1 gank on top lane. It is rarely expected and devastatingly strong. Red buff + Grog Soaked Blade make escape almost impossible unless your victim uses Flash, which also is often not enough.
Whether or not you invade, your first stop in your own jungle should be the Golem buff. Focus down the large golem and smite it (if you have it) as soon as it's low enough. Once you have Parrrley, don't worry about using it to last hit too much. Whenever it's off cooldown, just use it for value. If it's possible to delay it by a single auto attack to get a last hit and some extra gold then go ahead, but don't obsess over it. It's not that important.
Proceed through your jungle, taking wolves, wraiths, double golems and then red. You shouldn't have much difficulty. Using Remove Scurvy at all opportunities should keep you reasonably healthy, and Raise Morale and Parrrley put out a lot of damage. You should be through your first sweep of the jungle with easily enough time and health to gank either mid or bottom lane.
You should only need blue once or twice. After that you should have the damage and sustain to stop relying on spamming your skills. When this happens, make sure the most appropriate champion out of top and mid gets the Golem buff instead.
Charge in with Parrrley and hope you get a crit. If you do, then your gank is already successful. Dropping a laner's health by two or three hundred makes it extremely easy for your teammate to be aggressive and cuts the victim's options extensively. Once Parrrley'd, aggressive play is out of the question. That's one of the reasons that Critplank is such a scary jungler; he doesn't even have to gank well to gank well. If you don't crit, you've still got a slowed enemy and one of the best chasers in the game, so your odds are looking pretty decent. Use Raise Morale to bring your teammate into the fight and try to get as much damage on target as possible. Remember that forcing a flash should be considered a success since that player then has to either play overly defensive, sacrificing CS, or leave themselves susceptible to an almost sure-fire follow up gank.
This is an extraordinary slow. Parrrley will get you your first proc, then it's up to you to get into range to land your melee attacks. If you do almost nothing will save your victims apart from blinks.
This skill is what makes Critplank so powerful and so hated. It deals an extremely large amount of damage no matter what, but when it crits... Oh, when it crits. You can half your enemies' health at almost any point in the game with this skill. Did I mention it only has a 5 second cooldown? How about the fact that applies on hit effects like lifeteal and sheen? What about the fact that the game considers it a melee attack, meaning that Lizard buff and Frozen Mallet are both fully effective? This skill can tear a team apart, so use it well.
"I ate oranges, and it was k." You'd better learn this phrase, since you'll be using it a lot. Not only is it a pretty substantial heal, but it cleanses just about anything. That includes stuns, suppresses and slows. This is what lets you be so ballsy as a champion. You can chase with reckless abandon and counter jungle with not a care in the world. If something goes wrong, just eat some citrus and everything will be absolutely, positively, undoubtedly k.
This buff gives a lot of attack damage and move speed. Really... A lot. When you have this, Trinity force and maybe a zeal, you'll soon realise that you're able to chase anyone you want. Not only that, but it makes your team very potent in a fight. At max level you give 20 attack damage to your allies. That's 80, nearly two BF swords worth. Not bad. It's also a great ganking tool that let's even the most passive of teammates reach the action in time.
One of the few true global ultimates left in the game, this skill has some very good utility. Since being patched to have a more consistent slow, it only gets better. This skill is often used just as a mid-fight utility slow and damage dealer. It is also, though, a great way to save teammates from ganks, help teammates chase or simply clear a threatening minion wave. This ultimate let's Gangplank contribute from across the map more often than any opponent will appreciate.
After your initial investment in each of your three primary skills, this should be the order you follow. It may seem odd that you rank Parrrley last since you're playing Critplank, but it only gives extra base damage and gold reward. Comparatively, Raise Morale receives great bonus benefits per level which make your crits with Parrrley hit about as much harder as ranking Parrrley would have anyway. Remove Scurvy gets an increased heal and reduced cooldown which is incredibly important since the more often this skill is up, the more CC you can absorb.
Early game - Jungle hard, crit gank often.
Mid game - Power hard towards Trinity Force and keep an eye out for where you're needed. Your mobility and Ultimate will let you help out almost anywhere.
Late game - Decide on how you're going to specialise; Offtank or Carry, MR or Armour. Contribute actively to teamfights and focus on helping your team chase down stray opponents and destroy squishies.
Gangplank is a very versatile champion and Jungle Critplank, whilst not always appropriate, can be a very potent tool within a team. If used correctly you can harass lanes constantly, control the jungles with impunity and crush teamfights with your damage output and resilience.
If you can overcome the prejudice against this style and learn how to maximise its potential, you'll find that you have an extremely strong new weapon in your jungling arsenal.