Hello everyone, I'm QuexFehftir. A currently aspiring lowbie in LoL, playing around with the characters I tend to enjoy playing more than others, which has recently led me to playing Gangplank. This is simply my take on a solo top build for the champion. It will have some info pertaining to a few different laning styles, slightly pointed mastery and rune setups, skill sequence and of course item build order. This will be sorted first by out of match choices, then by in match choices. This is also a glass cannon build, so don't expect to be tanking anything. Positioning is paramount to making the most of a build like this. Here we go!
The rune setup is pretty simple. Flat AD reds and quints, flat AR yellows and scaling MR blues. The flat AD make Par a bit stronger early game, and are still useful late game. The flat AR yellows are particularly useful vs. other ad's on the lane, late game you hopefully don't get stuck in many spots where you need these. Scaling MR blues are not very useful in the early game, as you likely won't eat too much magic damage. By the time these come out equal to the flat MR blues however, you might be taking magic on more often. Other runes to consider may be Crit Chance reds/quints/blues or flat/scaling MP5 blues.
The particular masteries that stand out here..
Brute Force ; more damage
Weapon Expertise ; arpen% for making your Parley shine
Lethality ; critdmg% again for making Parley shine
Vampirism ; keeping you on the lane longer
Executioner ; making that one shot count, better chance of killing them with it
Meditation ; big lane sustainer, massive help with someone who uses abilities as often as GP
Runic Affinity and Improved Recall could probably go elsewhere, as solotop doesn't get a lot of miniboss buffs and Imp. Recall is questionably useful
Flash ; gets you into position / out of ganks, even after being nerfed still seen all the time
Exhaust ; this can get you out of a tight spot, or secure a kill vs another carry. Often times flash+exhaust and GP's built in slow can pick up kills that would have otherwise gotten away
For a solotop build, Teleport is also definitely viable, probably in place of exhaust. However with GP's Cannon Barrage he has decent map presence already. GP can also get across the map pretty easy with Raise Morale
Now for the first section of the in game guide. From what I have run into on GP you will run into two types of lanes. The kind you can push with Parley and the ones you can't. Something like Shen/Panth where your Parley is conantly being blocked by a shield, it more handy to only have 1 level in Par and focus on leveling Remove Scurvy. This actually has a pretty strong healing component and can really keep you in the lane, especially with the sustain from Philosopher's Stone. If you find you have extra mana, feel free to use Par for last hitting to avoid taking some damage.
The other type of lane in which you can pressure/zone an opponent with Parley. Normally you want to apply this to them as often as possible. Harass away and Flash/Exhaust for a kill if they leave themselves open, especially if your jungler is there for a gank. Try to zone them out of experience/last hit range as often as possible.
In either case, every trip back to base when you have an item spot, bring at least one ward to ward the river at the tri lane point right below your tower. For blue this can be done easily by taking the path right below your tower to the right and tossing it without even going into the river with almost no risk, or even further down to watch the jungle entrance if you want. This is the same for purple, but you are more likely to get caught while placing the ward. If on purple side you may want to put one in the tri bush below your tower as well, especially if you know that your jungler is being counter jungled. Also off the topic of warding, feel free to bring back health/mana pots as you see fit in order to sustain yourself on the lane.
GP's last hitting is fairly easy, as he has a pretty high AD. This supplemented by runes/masteries makes the tower hit - auto ranged minions and two tower hit - auto vs melee minions work pretty well for GP. This is the most important aspect of playing solo top though. Obviously don't kill yourself for last hits, but no one is going to forgive you for ending up 50 cs behind for no reason.
Most lanes you will want to take QWQEQRQEQEREEWWRWW. This is for maximum Par harass for zoning.
If you get stuck in a forced passive lane, Shen/Panth WQWEWRWQWQRQQEEREE will hold you through. The first level is just for the extra movespeed, useful vs skillshots or just moving around quicker for last hits. I haven't seen any situations I would prefer maxing e first in a solo top lane. It would be one way to raise Par's damage without raising the mana cost, but the damage increase would be much much lower.
Boots and 2 Health Pots, 1 Mana Pot ; the mana pot is so you can fire off more Pars.
Always buy a Ward each trip back to watch out for ganks on the bottom. Get it first to be sure you can afford it.
Philosopher Stone for a first buy for the extra sustain. This is very useful regardless of the type of lane you have for the MP5/GP5.
Secondly pick up Avarice blade as soon as you can afford it. The bonus crit is nice on a lane you can dominate with Par, and not quite so much in a passive farm lane, but you want it for the GP/5 and to build into a Ghostblade later.
Finish up the Ionian Boots of Lucidity next. The flat movespeed scales well with Raise Morale and allows you to apply more pressure with Par or heal faster with Remove Scurvy. This along with the CDR on Ghostblade later on allows you to rely more on Par lategame.
Next main point is to take Executioner's Calling. You could say this is GP's answer to a Wriggles since you won't be needing much AR with this build, and the crit will help with your Par burst. Just don't slack on wards. This can be even more beneficial if the other team has a Mundo/Warwick.
Infinity Edge is your next key point. BF Sword or Cloak of Agility should be first picks for buying, depending on what you can afford. The Cloak with Exe's actually has a nice bit of crit. IE's unique effect will really start to make your Par push some numbers.
Atma's Impaler is your next item. The Armor is a bit less useful but the AD/Crit are always good. This could probably be skipped and replaced with a Last Whisper early if you want to take something like Guardian Angel instead for the passive later on.
Next you want to build Youmuu's Ghostblade. This item has everything you could ask for as far as Parley and a melee carry goes. CDR for more shots, AD Crit and ARpen to make it hit harder, and an active that can really push damage in melee range if you get some leftovers, or to push towers a little bit faster. This is a nice buy as it builds out of Avarice and is still pretty useful. Just don't forget you have an active to activate if you aren't used to using this item!
Normally the last item would be a Last Whisper. I would wait until I could afford the Pickaxe at least before Philosopher's Stone to pick up this item. This will really add the finishing bite to your Par to scare the **** out of people late game. This could also be replaced for a late game Guardian Angel as noted before if you find that they just won't leave you alone. This isn't very useful sometimes though, depending on how the team fights are going as it is. Be sure you don't die alone and waste the effect, as it has a 4 minute cooldown.
Team Work/Unique Points
Few things that are important to learn while playing GP are...
Play to your strong points in team fights. Try to wait until CC is blown before getting into melee range, just Parley until then unless you are dived on, in which case you are probably dead. Always drop an E as team fights are initiated as team ad + movespeed are invaluable.
Wait until a fight is actually engaged before using your ult. If you only see some pokes and then drop it, chances are the enemy will just walk out of it then start a few seconds later. Wait until the tanks are in, and people are fighting to get a real effect out of your ulti. Another point is with tower dives against you, wait until they are committed for sure or you will do nothing but hold them off for a few extra seconds.
GP's ulti can be used to farm a lane if you end up away for too long and a huge push builds up. Just be sure you got two waves of built up minions to kill with it, considering you won't be able to use it again for a while.
Map awareness is a key thing for playing GP. Get used to checking on the other lanes to look for good times to drop your ulti. You can really turn fights around. If nothing else is going on though, feel free to B and use this to cover your lane so you don't miss farm/ get pushed on.
When using Remove Scurvy, be sure to use it at the right time. For instance if Amumu stuns you with Bandage Toss, and you think his Ult is up for a team fight, wait until he uses his Ult. Burning it to break the first stun just to get stunned again isn't very useful. This is especially good to know for ganks. With time you learn what other champions can do what. When you find a matchup that is very difficult for yourself, read into the opposing champion so you know what they can do and what you can do to counter it.
For myself, I found this a fun way to play Gangplank, especially when you have a tanky junger/support. It's a bit harder with only one other beefy player and requires a lot more thinking on your part. Playing glass cannon in LoL is always like this however, so you must be sure to keep on your toes and play carefully. Getting caught alone will likely result in a kill fed to the enemy team every time. Try to get your buddies to buy wards, especially the support/jungle and be sure to last hit as often as possible, as this is what solo top is normally about. Farmmmmmm farmmmmm farmmmmmmmm.