Gangplank Build Guide by beester
Not Updated For Current Season
The True Pirate King
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.
About the Author
I am a relatively new LoL player (started early 2013) but feel I can teach you a lot about my favorite champion to play, Gangplank! I'm currently in Silver IV and climbing. On top of Caitlyn as my preferred ADC, I main Gangplank top using this very build in ranked and normal games.
Who is Gangplank? Isn't he the useless champion who just spams Parrrley everywhere?
Unfortunately enough, most Gangplank players don't know how to build him, and there are MANY ways to build him. You can go total Critplank, complete Bankplank, a mix, a support Gangplank, whatever. In my opinion, Gangplank is an AD slightly off tank, slightly bruiser champion that belongs in top lane. He has the potential to do a lot of damage but has to be careful not to sacrifice survivability. This guide gives you just that - the right amount of damage and scale but not enough to the point where you die instantly in team fights.
+ Built in red buff with Grog Soaked Blade
+ Great harass with Parrrley
+ Great sustain with Remove Scurvy, aka Oranges :)
+ AoE AD Steroid with Raise Morale
+ Global presence with Cannon Barrage
- Early game mana issues
- No damage without items
- Insanely squishy without items
- Needs to be fed to do well
As you can see, Gangplank is a nice team-oriented champion with lots of Pros. He fits into any team very nicely. The Cons can be very easily overcome in-game by dominating your lane and managing your mana effectively. The Pros greatly outweigh the Cons and Gangplank deserves to be recognized as a strong top laner.
Greater Mark of Lethality
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Gold
- Parrrley hurt. You could take Greater Mark of Attack Damage but ArPen is so much more useful when poking.
- Darius, Wukong, AD Nidalee. The extra armor really helps out your early game sustain.
- Vladimir, AP Nidalee, Singed. Not scaling because of the possibility of AP matchups.
- Avarice Blade before you actually buy it. If you want, Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage or Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed can be replaced here.
|Flash is the perfect summoner spell for all champions, allowing corrections for positioning, daring escapes, or exciting chases. Enemy flashes over a wall? Go with him. Perfect for everyone, Gangplank being no exception.||Ignite is the most offensive summoner spell for Gangplank. In 1v1s, it allows your DPS to be improved or it can function as a finisher. Sometimes the extra damage from Ignite is all it takes to secure the kills.|
|Exhaust is for a more cautious, shall we say, Gangplank. While it doesn't provide the raw damage as Ignite does, the AD and Movement Speed reduction can make the difference between a death and a kill. Great for teamfights, as you can easily Exhaust the enemy carry to shut them down for 2.5 seconds.||
Teleport is also viable on Gangplank, but you already have some global presence with your ultimate, Cannon Barrage. Take this if you feel you'll need to be everywhere at once.
We run 9/0/21 masteries on Gangplank, focusing on gold in the Utility tree and Armor Penetration in the Offense tree.
- We only go 9 deep into offense just to pick up Weapon Expertise . The extra ArPen is fantastic, especially costing only 1 point.
- Take Mastermind and Summoner's Insight to reduce the cooldown on both summoner spells, Flash especially.
- Greed , Wealth , and Pickpocket are a dangerous combo on Gangplank. Combined with your Greater Quintessence of Gold, you basically have a Philosopher's Stone (5gp10) at spawn. Pickpocket provides a neat way to generate some extra gold, as well. If you Q an enemy, it's 5 free gold. Harass with your Q once every minute and it's equivalent to 0.83gp10. Pretty nice for 1 point.
- Intelligence and Sorcery combine to give you 10% CDR at spawn. This helps with your Parrrley (4.5 cooldown instead of 5) and significantly reduces the cooldown on your ultimate, which is always great.
In general, the rule for skill leveling that you should follow is:
R > Q > W > E
|Your ultimate is your first priority. Leveling it up reduces cooldown and increases damage. Level it at 6, 11, and 16.|
|Parrrley is your primary source of damage and harass. It should be taken whenever it can be, except if you can take your ultimate.|
|Also known as Oranges, Remove Scurvy is a great skill for removing CC and healing quite a lot, especially at later levels. The reason I take this over Raise Morale is because this skill provides a lot more sustain, necessary for laning, whereas Raise Morale is more oriented for teamfights, a late game thing.|
|Raise Morale is an AoE AD Steroid, as I like to call it. Basically, it gives you and your buddies a bunch of AD and Movement Speed, great for teamfights. Take this skill early to provide some help to your team (and yourself), then wait until later to level it.|
|Additionally, it's worth mentioning Gangplank's passive. It's like you have a mini-red buff the whole game, applying DoT and a slow on-hit. This is one of the most underestimated passives, potentially slowing the enemy by 21% at full stacks. It's great for chasing, and since your Q applies on-hit effects, it's like you have a ranged red buff. Perfect.|
Item Sequence and Explanations
Because of what you plan on building later, this is just about the only viable start. It leads straight into Philosopher's Stone while also providing a great amount of sustain and utility. Any other start and you would be wasting time getting your early gp10 items.
First Back (or two)
Preferably, you would want all of this on your first back. You should have a kill or at least an assist from a gank, and enough farm and extra gold to buy all of this (1490 gold). This can be considered your early game core, providing enough sustain, critical strike chance, and most importantly gp10 to carry you to late game.
Note: You are going to need to sell your Philosopher's Stone sometime later to make room for other items. I recommend selling this soon after you build Atma's Impaler. Philo's primary purpose is to give you early game sustain and gold, so it makes sense to sell it for a Trinity Force or Infinity Edge (much more offensive items) later.
These items provide the perfect mix of poke, damage, and sustain. Statikk Shiv is primarily used for poking/farming purposes. If you kill a minion with the extra magic damage that proc'd from your Parrrley, you get more extra gold. I'll try to add a video of this later. Warmog's Armor gives you raw health, and Gangplank doesn't need much more than that to survive. I prefer Warmog's pretty early on so that you can move to the front lines during mid game. Without a Warmog's, you would be stuck in the back poking with your Q. Along with Atma's Impaler, you have enough armor and health to take a beating on the front lines, taking on a more bruiser role during teamfights.
These are the only two viable boots I see on Gangplank. Ionian Boots of Lucidity could work, but you don't need the CDR. Depending on your lane matchup, you can decide whether you want Merc Treads for the MR or Ninja Tabi for the armor (and the great passive). In my opinion, Mercury's Treads scale much better late game because of the passive, reducing the duration of CC on you. This is great when Remove Scurvy is on cooldown.
These items really make Gangplank shine late-game. They allow his damage to scale really nicely and make him a formidable force in the final stages of the game. Sheen and Trinity Force are interesting on Gangplank because of the way Parrrley works. When you activate your Q, those items proc their passives (extra damage on your next basic attack based on AD) and when you Q hits an enemy, it deals extra damage because it acts like a basic attack. Basically, it gives your Parrrley a ton of extra damage. Great! Infinity Edge is also designed to make your Q's hurt a lot more. The extra critical damage makes a significant difference, and the extra critical chance is always appreciated.
How to Play Gangplank (all phases)
Early Game / Laning Phase
During the laning phase, Gangplank is weak. Not terribly weak, just no where near as strong as he will be later. Because of this nature, early game Gangplank is passive. Your focus should be on farming and harassing, but not killing. Obviously, if the chance arises (the enemy is out of position, low on health, etc.), you can take a free kill, but don't be too aggressive. Especially in levels 1-4, your Q doesn't do enough damage to be useful. Harass once in a while, but generally farm. See the next chapter (How to Farm as Gangplank) for more specifics.
Mid Game / Eating Phase (after level 6)
The reason I call this the Eating Phase is because this is when you get fed. Off of assists or kills - it doesn't matter, as long as you're raking in the gold. Now that your Cannon Barrage is available, keep an eye on every lane, especially bot. If the jungler is going in for a gank, pop your ult, help them out, and smile when you get two assists. About every 2 minutes (when you ult comes back up), see if someone wants to engage. They'll appreciate your help and you'll appreciate the assist. It is very easy to get 4 or 5+ assists just by ulting.
But, you also need to be focused on your lane, too. Don't push too much; your goal is not to take the turret unless it's free. At this point, you have much more harassing power. Feel free to continually poke your opponent, maybe pushing them out of lane. If they're low enough, you have the strength to take them 1v1. However, don't take kills or towers unless you're absolutely sure you can. A feeding Gangplank is not a happy Gangplank. You need to be fed!
I like to think late game begins when there are repeatedly 5v5 or 4v4 fights happening wherever they happen to occur. You should be with your team during fights, but it's alright to push top lane because of your Cannon Barrage. If you see your top opponent in mid fighting a 5v4, it's okay if you take top turret because you can still participate in the team fight by dropping your ult. I'm not trying to tell you to not be a team player! In fact, the nature of Gangplank allows him to be a team player even when he's not with the team.
Late Late Game and Your Role in Teamfights
This phase is at 40+ minutes. Both teams are "all mid", pushing back and forth, maybe taking Baron, and team fights usually result in Aces or just one survivor. Any fight can change the game. As Gangplank, you scale nicely into Late Game, but not quite Late Late Game :P Your role shifts now to an off tank, and not so much a bruiser. Pop a Parrrley if someone on the enemy team is out of position. Your Raise Morale should be used whenever your team engages, and if it's up, place a Cannon Barrage. During the teamfight, it's up to you whether you want to be on the front lines or a little behind. Your DPS will benefit from you autoattacking (and applying your Grog Soaked Blade), but you're not a complete tank so you will probably die if you sit up front the whole fight, unless your team is completely dominating.
In short, your role in teamfights is to Raise Morale, place a Cannon Barrage, and Parrrley as much as possible.
How to Farm as Gangplank
One of the absolute best things about Parrrley (besides the insane crits) is the extra gold. By dealing the killing blow on a unit with Parrrley, you gain 4-8 extra gold depending on the level of the skill. Additionally, you regain half the mana cost when you kill a unit with Parrrley, which makes farming a breeze without worrying about mana. Of course, sometimes your Q is on cooldown, and you will have to autoattack sometimes. Often, your opponent will try to poke when you move up to farm. By this time, Parrrley should be off of cooldown. Show them who's boss by returning their poke with a nice Q and maybe an autoattack. See the following video for a nice explanation of farming/trading:
(still need to record a video :/ )
Another advanced technique is farming with your Statikk Shiv. The extra magic damage is proc'd when you Parrrley, allowing you to pick up some EXTRA gold when it kills 2 or more units. See the following video for an example of farming with Tiamat, Ravenous Hydra, Iceborn Gauntlet, and Statikk Shiv. Jump to 2:17 for Statikk Shiv.
With this build, I've received many comments about how I'm "the first good gp" and that "you built him very nicely" (actual quotes from in-game, authors unknown). Gangplank has built up such a reputation as being a bad champion because so many people play him for trolls sake. He can do so well.
So! First off, some of my games with Gangplank :)
If you want your own awesome scores here, feel free to PM me an image or two :)
This is my first published guide on MOBAFire. I say published because I made an unpublished guide (just items) for my own reference in the past. I would like to thank you for reading through and I wish you luck on the Fields of Justice! ARRRRRR!
As always, if you have comments, criticism, or feedback, feel free to leave a comment below. Always appreciated! Thanks again!
Gave purpose to the Philosopher's Stone (thanks Laggermeister)
Edited masteries (thanks Latest Legend)