Gangplank Build Guide by WaT30
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.
*Corrected few things
*Added Opponents on Top
*Added Off-Tank text
*Tweaked text after Parrrley buff
*Added Off-Tank build
*Improved order of purchase
*Added Tier List
*Tweaked Skill Sequence
*More detailed Items & Items order
*Added screenshots to How to play Gangplank - Solo Top & Jungle
*Added Grog Soaked Blade to Skills
*Added Patch Notes
*Added another video
Gangplank is a great champion, not as awesome as he was, but still great. Most people play him in a weird way, either glass-cannon with 100 % crit-chance or tank with Warmog's + Atma's. Neither of those builds are good as this one, which combines both aspects, offense and defense. Before the ridiculous amount of nerfs he got since summer of 2011, the best way to play Gangplank in that time was full-crit, with barely 2000 hp and something like 60 armor and magic resistance. In season 1, where were squishy champions often forced, with that build you could easily had into the teamfight first, and kill 3 of them in matter of seconds. Most people since season 2 stopped playing Gangplank just because of that reason, they can't kill easily like they used to. The tanky-meta, where there's at least one off-tank and tank, isn't a great place for full-crit Gangplank. Often you can't trade hits with anyone, and you're hoping for the crits from your Q all the time.
Since I can't neglect season 2 meta, I adapted to it. This build is about playing Gangplank the proper way for season 2.
Gangplank was born the son of the dread pirate captain Vincent the Shadow - one of the most wealthy and feared pirates in all of Blue Flame Island. One might think this would have spoiled the boy with a cushioned life of privilege, but the truth is quite the opposite. Growing up in the city of Bilgewater isn't easy; pirates are not known for their compassion, and that most certainly extends to their families. Vincent wanted his son to grow up tough and strong, so he was extremely hard on the young Gangplank. Even as a child, Gangplank was as mean as a snake and is said to have slept with his eyes open. As he grew, the young man rapidly became the most ruthless and feared pirate in all of Bilgewater, and his daddy was never more proud than on the day of his son's eighteenth birthday - when Gangplank stabbed his old man in the back and claimed the famed pirate ship, the Dead Pool, for his own.
The continent of Valoran, however, is a dangerous place for pirates; Gangplank could read the writing on the wall. The den of pirates known as Bilgewater would soon be pulled down by the undertow of Valoranian politics and the Institute of War. It was time for Bilgewater to have their own champion to represent them in the League of Legends, and who better than the fiercest pirate of them all? It is said that Gangplank has enough power and favor to claim the title of the Pirate King back home, but that he is simply biding his time and building his reputation as a champion before he returns to a life of piracy.
Yo ho, blow the man down. Or at least shoot him when his back is turned and steal all his booty.
Proper way of playing Gangplank
Why shouldn't I go full crit or tank as Gangplank?
First for full crit:
With 100 % crit-chance, it sure is fun to see when your Parrrley crits, but if you build him that way, you're not building enough resistance and not enough damage. In teamfights if you're focused, you're going to die in matter of seconds, with only one Parrrley being shot and probably one or two auto-attacks at most. It's not so fun when you're dying that fast, isn't it?
Second for tank:
Playing him as tank is forced nowadays, but there's really no fun at all. You're always going first in teamfights, focusing either AP carry or AD carry, taking damage, taking all kind of stuns, snares and what not, dealing very little damage at all. Of course people are bored playing that way, there's no excitement at all!
Why should I play him like this?
Because this is the right way of playing, which is also very fun! You're dealing very good damage, crits are very often, you can easily go 1v1 and you've got decent amount of hp, armor and magic resistance. With this build, you shouldn't worry much in teamfights, because you're going in as second or third, dealing great damage and often you're alive with more then half hp.
Pros & Cons
+Fun champion to play with
+Parrrley that can crit, applies on-hit effects, follows opponent anywhere in range and is easy to use
+Oranges with which you can remove any kind of CC on yourself
+Global AoE ulti which is great for finishing off low-hp opponents and in teamfights
+You are a pirate!
-Needs time to get skilled with him
-Can't do well against champions with lot of armor
Runes & Masteries
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Lethality
Grog Soaked Blade: Gangplank's passive. Not only does it damages your opponent, but it also slows by 21 % if you can get 3 stacks on it.
Parrrley: One of the best attacking spells in the game IMO. Not only does this beauty do significant amount of damage, it can also crit and applies on-hit effects like from Frozen Mallet, Trinity Force and Black Cleaver. With the recent patch, if you last-hit a minion/champion with it, you get half of the mana back!
Remove Scurvy: The second thing what drops on your mind when someone mentions Gangplank (the first one are crits). It doesn't heal much, but the thing which makes this skill so special is that it removes any CC on you! I should mention that it doesn't work against suppression ultimates like from Skarner and Urgot.
Raise Morale: This skill got so much nerfed as it was for a reason before claimed OP. Not only it gives you extra damage and movement speed, but also to your teammates! Excellent for destroying towers and catching runners.
Cannon Barrage: One of the few left global AoE ultimates in the game. You can provide assistance to your teammates on any part of the map, deal damage, slow the opponents, and get assists for it! It's a beast in teamfights early game. Also if you land it well, you can kill opponents with low-hp who escaped from you or your teammates.
Flash: The meta spell of season 2. You'll see it being used on every champion as it provides so much. You can escape with it even through walls and can catch runners easily and finish them.
Exhaust: The second spell for Gangplank, great to slow them down and reduce their damage.
Smite: A must if you're going jungle. With it you can secure Dragon and Baron, and can steal opponents blue and red buff.
Ghost: OK spell, but not really needed for Gangplank, as you have your E which significantly raises your movement speed.
Ignite: Also OK, but I find it only useful at early game, late game it doesn't do much damage. Same with Ghost, not needed as you can secure kills with Parrrley and well-placed Cannon Barrage.
Teleport: More of a season 1 spell for me, it's good when you need to defend your turret, but you're already fast enough and you've got ultimate which can clear waves of minions pretty fast.
Heal: It's only good on AD range carry and support, it won't help you much at solo top.
Surge: Bad spell overall, waste of a slot.
Revive: Even worse then Surge, the point of this spell is you need to die first to use it. And we don't intend to die.
Cleanse: No need for it since you have oranges.
Clarity: You have Trinity Force for a reason in your build. If you still keep running out of mana, you're doing something horribly wrong.
Promote: You're playing either as solo top or jungler, it only helps you pushing your lane, which is bad!
Clairvoyance: Only good on supports, and you're not one.
Items & Items order
+ 3x : Season 2 starting items. With boots you can catch someone or escape more easily, and the potions give you 450 health back.
+ 5x : Go like this if you're jungling. I don't recommend going with boots and 3 health potions because Gangplank can't gank at level 2, and he needs to clear the whole jungle to start ganking.
First/Second trip to base
> : Your next item, gives you necessary lifesteal and crit-chance. Also has an active which reduces healing effects on your opponent.
> : If you're jungling, this is the best item you can get.
: Standard boots for melee dps champions.
> > : Your first main item. Gives everything you need for Gangplank. Also it gives you more mana and it procs with your Parrrley.
> > : Your bread and butter. Not only it gives high amount of damage and critical chance, it also increases your critical damage from 200% to 250%.
> : Your third main item. It gives you 700 hp, and your every attack slows your opponent. Combined with your passive and E, there's no way someone can escape from you.
> > : This item is a must after Infinity Edge. Gives you everything you need for Gangplank.
( ) > : Late game replace Executioner's Calling (Wriggle's Lantern) with Bloodthirster. Since you're in late game, you need more damage.
> : Do this in mid-game as you need more resistance. These boots are the best in the game right now.
> : Buy Black Cleaver instead Phantom Dancer if enemy team has lot of armor.
How to play Gangplank - Solo Top & Jungle
Gangplank isn't range AD carry nor AP carry, so the only lane you can go is Solo Top. Start of with your first items, go to top lane, and wait for minions. Stay with your minions, and only last-hit. With it you won't push your lane, and you can easily escape if their jungler comes to gank you. All the time, whenever you have the chance, harass your opponent with Parrrley. Since Parrrley got buffed, now it gives you half of the mana back if you last-hit a minion with it. Use it all the time to last-hit minions you can't reach in time. When you drop your opponent low, you can go finish him with your Parrrley, Exhaust, Cannon Barrage and if necessary, Flash to him and drop some more auto-attacks. Always buy a ward on every trip to base, that way you can easily see when their jungler comes to gank you, and can escape from him. Don't forget about your ulti, if your teammates need help, you can easily assist them with it. Not only you save your teammates and secure them kills, you get also assists for it, which means more gold.
This is the best place to place your ward if you're on the blue side (left). This ward covers both entrances to your side, from Baron and from the brush. Be very careful if you overextend since it doesn't cover vision from the right brush.
This is the best place to place your ward if you're on the red side (right). I love to play on this side, since your jungler should be covering the whole jungle, and the only way left for enemy jungler to gank you is from Baron. That ward gives great vision, and not only does it help you, but also your teammate at mid.
That's for laning. When mid-game comes, go with your teammates and push towers, kill Drake, do teamfights etc. In teamfights, never go first, always your tank must go first. Go second or third. Always at the beginning of the fight, fire your ulti in the middle, and then go in the fight with fired Parrrley.
The only items and spells that are changed for jungling is instead of Exhaust you pick Smite, and instead of building Executioner's you build Wriggle's. Start with Cloth Armor + 5x Health Potions and go for either wolves first or blue buff. You can easily do the aggressive way (starting with wolves) since you have your oranges that heal you and your potions. Then go for blue buff, but make sure someone pulls it to you. Then go the usual way, wraiths, golems and finally red buff. Go back to base, buy boots of speed and few Health Potions, and start ganking. Also do counter jungle, since Gangplank is very fast, you can easily escape from their jungle, and he's also great at 1v1. After the 7th minute, place a ward near their blue buff/red buff and try to steal it. If your teammates aren't buying wards, help them out. Not only will it help them, but also you.
This is how it should look:
This is the result of clearing the jungle. Since you don't have enough hp and mana, go back, buy boots, few health potions and start ganking.
These are the wards which you should put as jungler:
They give you vision of necessary buffs, and if you time it well, you can even steal it from them. The ward for Baron is the same as the ward you place when you're playing solo top at the red side (right side).
Opponents on Top
Akali: Difficulty: Medium. Harass her from the distance with Q and when she's low hp, you can go finish her without much problem. If you have problems against her, buy Mercury Threads and she won't do much against you anymore.
Cho'Gath: Difficulty: Medium. His silence doesn't affect you much, so that's a plus for you. Constantly move to sides to escape his Rupture, and watch out when you're low hp since his ulti does true damage. Call for few ganks and it should be OK.
Darius: Difficulty: Hard. For experienced Gangplank players it's Medium more or less. If you have problems against him, buy Ninja Tabi and build W after Q. Darius has no natural sustain, so try to always harass him. I recommend cautious play since he can kill you fast if you're not full hp.
Dr. Mundo: Difficulty: Medium. You can't kill him, but he can't you also. This is where Executioner's Calling shines since the active will severely cripple his ultimate. If you feel confident, instead of Exhaust take Ignite. If you choose to go like that, be more careful.
Fiora: Difficulty: Medium. Don't engage her at first few levels, since she can with her W have easily over 100 damage with no real items. If you give her few kills, expect to get dived at turret a lot. Heavily recommend ganks, Ninja Tabi and Wriggle's Lantern. This might seem hard, but smart play and she won't give you much trouble since she doesn't have any range besides ulti.
Fizz: Difficulty: Easy. Gangplank is rather strong against squishy champions. The only way you can lose this lane if you play really bad and fell easily in his ultimate.
Galio: Difficulty: Hard. Gangplank does bad against tanks. If Galio focuses on building more armor then magic resistance, you'll definitely lose against him. Try to survive by buying Mercury Threads.
Garen: Difficulty: Hard. He'll tear you apart at top. He will easily silence you, spin and if you're low enough, crucify you with his ultimate. Try to play passively as possible as you can, last hit only from distance with your Q.
Hecarim: Difficulty: Easy. He's far too big to miss him with your Parrrley. He can't do much against you, this should be a very easy lane for you.
Irelia: Difficulty: Medium. For some players, it's a hard lane. For me it's easy since she can't kill you easily 1v1. Parrrley her all the time from distance, and when she stuns you, eat oranges. After you get lvl 6, if you played well before, you'll have the upper hand.
Jarvan IV: Difficulty: Medium. More hard then medium, but then again not that hard. If he's building armor (which he should) it will make things harder for you even more. Request ganks often as possible.
Jax: Difficulty: Hard. Definitely not a pushover. A good Jax shouldn't have any problems with you. If you can harass him quite enough, this should be then medium. Recommend buying Mercury Threads since his main damage source W is magic damage.
Jayce: Difficulty: Medium. He's quite new, so many players still don't know how to play properly with him. Harass him often as possible, since he has no built sustain. It can be a hard or even easy lane since it depends how you'll play against him.
Kayle: Difficulty: Medium. Pain in the *** with her constant harass. Rather then that, she's squishy, if you play things right with few ganks, she can't deal against you anymore.
Kennen: Difficulty: Hard. A real nightmare since he counters many top lanes. He can easily kite you all day, and if you somehow drop him low, that annoying Pikachu will just sparkle away from you with over 600 MS.
Lee Sin: Difficulty: Medium. If he's good enough, he'll constantly jump on you and then jump back on his minions. If not, it shouldn't be that hard for you.
Malphite: Difficulty: Hard. Second biggest counter for you, after Pantheon. He's naturally building armor, which is the biggest nightmare for you. He can't kill you without a proper gank, so that's a small advantage for you (if you can even call it an advantage). Most what you can do against him is remove his passive shield. If he isn't utterly useless, you'll definitely lose this lane.
Mordekaiser: Difficulty: Medium. Before level 6, you'll be winning against him. After level 6, you'll be losing if he's playing good. Try to get an advantage at beginning with removing his shield with Parrrley all the time. A proper gank will definitely kill him since he doesn't have any escape mechanism.
Nasus: Difficulty: Medium. Same as with Mordekaiser, if you can get the upper hand before level 6, he won't be dealing much trouble for you after then.
Nidalee: Difficulty: Hard. If she's playing as AP, you'll have real trouble with her. The only plus is that she's really squishy, so hope for some good ganks to kill her.
Olaf: Difficulty: Hard. Probably the strongest bruiser at the moment. After he buys Wriggle's Lantern, you'll have absolutely no chance against him. He has a long range attack with axe, lifesteal spell that also raises his attack damage, true damage spell, and an ulti which removes all kind of CC and prevents any incoming CC on him. In few words, prepare for hell.
Pantheon: Difficulty: Hard. Biggest counter for Gangplank. This guy like he was designed specifically to counter your sorry ***. Three auto attacks are enough for him to build up his block. He has a stun, great close range damage attack, and a range spear that hits way harder then your Parrrley. If that's not bad enough, if you overextend yourself or something, he'll land on you with his ultimate like a meteor.
Poppy: Difficulty: Medium. I placed it medium since she won't be a pushover if she builds armor. Since they removed her crit from Q, Poppy isn't anymore the same like she was. If she isn't building armor, you'll win the lane no matter what.
Renekton: Difficulty: Easy. Constant harass is Renekton's worst nightmare. Since your Parrley has a nice range, you'll win this lane without even trying.
Riven: Difficulty: Medium. She may look hard, but she really isn't. Since she gains most if she's rushing for Bloodthirster as first big item, with constant harass you'll disallow her any farm.
Rumble: Difficulty: Medium. If he wants to be of any use, he'll build AP. You shouldn't have any real trouble with him, this should be a fair fight. Call for few ganks and that's all.
Shen: Difficulty: Medium. At first few levels, you'll laugh as he can't do nothing against you before buying his first tank item. After that, you won't be able to do anything against him. It's almost the same as with Mundo, you can't kill him, but also he can't kill you.
Shyvana: Difficulty: Medium. Same as Shen, but a bit easier. Watch out after she gets level 6, since it can turn into a mess if you get ganked.
Singed: Difficulty: Medium. He'll kite you all the time. Not only that, he's a tank... He shouldn't be able to kill you 1v1 if you're not overextending and taking heavily his poison.
Sion: Difficulty: Medium. He won't be a much problem if he goes AD, since his shield will be rather weak. He can't kill you 1v1 (I don't think he can kill anyone 1v1 really).
Talon: Difficulty: Easy. If he's going top, he missed the lane. The only way you can play Talon good is to counter AP Carries with him, especially champions like Ziggs that have no real CC. If he's starting to build tanky, he'll be useless the whole game, as the only way he can do something if he bursts down squishy champions. Gangplank beats him in every aspect, range with spell (Parrrley against Drake), silence doesn't affect you at all, the bleeding too, ahd his ultimate won't do much damage against you since you're far tankier then him. This will be a fun lane, and you should get fed on him.
Teemo: Difficulty: Medium. Annoying little ****, he'll harass you all the time with his darts. Good thing that scout is squishy, so with a few ganks you'll destroy him without much problem.
Tryndamere: Difficulty: Medium. Last summer, there was no way Tryndamere could beat you 1v1. Since they remaked him and nerfed Gangplank to the ground, now that before claimed OP champion can kick your *** if you're not playing well. If you can survive 5 seconds when he's on ulti, you'll kill him.
Udyr: Difficulty: Medium. Really tanky. He'll soak all your damage in turtle stance. If you can harass him quite well, you should have the advantage on the lane. He can't catch you if you start with boots.
Vladimir: Difficulty: Medium. Much easier then Kennen, but he can burst you if you're not careful, he's rather squishy, so that's your advantage. Take Ignite if you want to dominate the lane for sure.
Volibear: Difficulty: Hard. Way to tanky to take him down. Unlike Mundo, he can actually kill you quite easily. Call for ganks often as possible since you won't be able to kill him on yourself.
Warwick: Difficulty: Easy. One of the best, if not the best counter for Warwick is Gangplank. He can't kill you at all, if he ulties on you, you can just eat oranges and break of his hug. After laughing your *** off, kill him since he's rather squishy until mid-late game.
Wukong: Difficulty: Medium. More harder then it seems. He can attack you from all directions really, and has a great ultimate to stop you from running away. If you can place your Q properly on him, you won't have that much trouble against him.
Xin Zhao: Difficulty: Medium. Since he got remaked, he's quite better now. If he's going AD build with no tanky items, you should be able to kill him without much trouble.
Yorick: Difficulty: Hard. Yorick counters much top opponents since he has an unbelievable great harass. He naturally builds tanky, so there's no chance you'll kill him.
I'm quite surprised that this Off-Tank build feels good on Gangplank. It gives you way more health, armor and magic resistance then the standard build, you can easily head first into the teamfight, and you won't die so easily unless they all focus you. The item order like this gives you a proper amount of resistance and damage through the whole game.
Here is a ranked game with this build (I had most farm, second most kills and assists, and fewest deaths):
For the first item, I bought Wriggle's Lantern (replaced it with Bloodthirster after finishing build) and for my third item I bought Warmog's Armor (didn't place it well in in-game item order).
If you want to go as Off-Tank, replace with Greater Mark of Desolation since you don't have any early crit-chance.
The downsides of this build are that you have far less critical chance (from 85 % to 43 %) and attack speed (from 1.5 to 1.0). Surprisingly, late game you have more damage then you would have with my standard build (something like 30 damage more). All in all, if you don't have a decent tank/off-tank in your team, go with this build. You won't have much fun with this build, but as you can see it gets the job done.
Solo Queue Tier: By Elementz
Tier 1 - Shen, Morgana, Ahri, Riven, Dr. Mundo, Nidalee, Twisted Fate, Ryze, Nautilus, Udyr, Kennen, Lee Sin, Lulu, Rumble, Rammus, Soraka, Twitch, Cassiopeia, Skarner, Graves, Sion, Vladimir, Vayne, Shaco,
Tier 2 - Janna, Renekton, Warwick, Mordekaiser, Nocturne, Yorick, Alistar, Karthus, Shyvana, Cho'Gath, Singed, Galio, Anivia, Tristana, Annie, Irelia, Maokai, Brand, Ashe, Gragas, Amumu, Sivir, Tryndamere, Kassadin, Corki, Malzahar, Pantheon, Olaf, Varus, Gangplank,
Tier 3 - Swain, Wukong, Veigar, Kog'Maw, Jarvan IV, Miss Fortune, Malphite, Lux, Ezreal, Teemo, Leblanc, Trundle, Talon, Taric, Urgot, Jax, Zilean, Master Yi, Fizz, Caitlyn, Viktor, Sona, Xerath, Akali,
Tier 4 – Katarina, Blitzcrank, Leona, Orianna, Ziggs, Hecarim, Nasus, Kayle, Volibear, Fiddlesticks, Nunu, Garen, Poppy, Fiora, Sejuani, Karma, Heimerdinger, Xin Zhao,
Eve Tier: Eve
Gangplank moved down to tier 2 - Waaaaaay too high. Moving down to have a more accurate list. He's all around decent, so tier 2 fits him better then tier 1.
Jungle Tier: By StonewallRoG
Tier 1 – Lee Sin, Udyr, Dr. Mundo, Nocturne, Jarvan IV, Maokai, Nautilus, Skarner, Trundle, Alistar, Riven, Shyvana, Olaf, Amumu, Malphite, Cho`Gath, Shaco
Tier 2 – Warwick, Shen, Hecarim, Jax, Gangplank, Master Yi, Volibear, Rammus, Sejuani, Fiddlesticks, Darius, Xin Zhao, Wukong, Nunu, Tryndamere
Tier 3 – Kayle, Gragas, Twitch, Fizz, Galio, Renekton, Rumble, Fiora, Pantheon, Singed, Twisted Fate, Janna, Blitzcrank, Kennen, Taric, Sion, Ezreal, Soraka, Karthus, Cassiopeia, Lulu, Ziggs, Leona, Heimerdinger, Brand, Yorick, Evelynn, Mordekaiser
Tier 4 – Caitlyn, Corki, Veigar, Poppy, Karma, Nasus, Irelia, Malzahar, Draven, Sivir, Akali
Tier 5 – Viktor, Graves, Varus, Orianna, Garen, Ahri, Talon, Annie, Urgot, Kog`Maw, Ashe, Sona
Competitive Tier: By Elementz
Tier 1: Shen, Malphite, Olaf, Udyr, Yorick, Jax, Riven, Lee Sin, Renekton
Tier 2: Irelia, Jarvan IV, Nautilus, Wukong, Darius, Shyvana, Singed, Nidalee, Galio, Skarner, Cho'Gath
Tier 3: Warwick, Gangplank, Nocturne, Fizz, Trundle, Nasus, Dr. Mundo, Tryndamere, Talon
Tier 4: Pantheon, Poppy, Blitzcrank, Volibear, Garen
Gangplank moved down to tier 3 - He's not even on the radar anymore it seems.. No competitive top laner wants him. I've talked to lots of top laners and they all say he's been too nerfed, too weak and granted I am not a top lane playing player when I have seen GP's in solo queue they just seem to be out done by the other current stronger top lanes. I'll have to check more into this but the general consensus of the pro scene right now from the information I've got is that he's not so good anymore. I do however think he's not as bad as people say he is so I am only moving him down to tier 3.
Tier 1: Nocturne, Dr. Mundo, Shyvana, Lee Sin, Alistar, Riven, Maokai, Udyr,
Tier 2: Nautilus, Jarvan IV, Jax, Gangplank, Skarner, Olaf, Amumu,
Tier 3: Rammus, Hecarim, Shen, Malphite, Warwick, Trundle, Fiddlesticks, Nunu,
Tier 4: Tryndamere, Sejuani, Shaco, Pantheon
Three's Tier: By Only_Jaximus
TIER 1 - Gangplank, Jax, Lee Sin, Lulu, Singed, Tryndamere, Udyr, Yorick,
TIER 2 - Akali, Cho'Gath, Jarvan IV, Kennen, Morgana, Nidalee (AD), Nunu, Pantheon, Poppy, Rammus, Renekton, Riven, Rumble, Shaco, Shen, Shyvana, and Wukong.
TIER 3 – Ahri, Amumu, Caitlyn, Cassiopeia, Corki, Dr. Mundo, Ezreal, Fizz, Garen, Galio, Graves, Hecarim*, Heimerdinger, Janna, LeBlanc, Malphite, Mordekaiser, Nautilus, Nocturne, Olaf, Orianna, Sion, Skarner, Soraka, Swain, Talon, Teemo, Tristana (AP & AD), Twitch, Urgot, Vayne, Veigar, Vladimir, Warwick, and Xin Zhao.
TIER 4 - Alistar, Anivia, Annie, Ashe, Blitzcrank, Brand, Fiddlesticks, Fiora, Gragas, Irelia, Karma, Karthus, Kayle, Kog'maw, Leona, Lux, Malzahar, Master Yi, Nasus, Nidalee (AP), Ryze, Sivir, Trundle, Volibear, Xerath, and Zilean.
TIER 5 - (the rest) - Evelynn, Kassadin, Katarina, Maokai, Miss Fortune, Sejuani, Sona, Taric, Twisted Fate, Viktor, and Ziggs.
Dominion Tier: By Elalya
Tier 1 -- Kassadin, Urgot, Rammus, Yorick, Darius, Poppy, Lulu, Warwick, Wukong, Pantheon, Jax, Malphite
Tier 2 -- Cassiopeia, Sona, Shen, Janna, Jarvan IV, Riven, Irelia, Malzahar, Kayle, Teemo, Amumu, Ezreal, Nidalee, Kog'Maw
Tier 3 -- Udyr, Nunu, Maokai, Blitzcrank, Evelynn, Alistar, Leona, Dr. Mundo, Varus, Skarner, Twisted Fate, Renekton, Gangplank, Ryze, Swain, LeBlanc, Shyvana, Gragas, Karma, Annie, Lux, Olaf, Trundle, Vayne, Fizz, Graves, Talon, Xerath, Ahri, Heimerdinger, Tryndamere, Nocturne, Lee Sin, Corki
Tier 4 -- Morgana, Singed, Xin Zhao, Soraka, Zilean, Master Yi, Fiora, Brand, Karthus, Rumble, Ashe, Hecarim, Garen, Nasus, Sivir, Galio, Fiddlesticks, Twitch, Nautilus, Ziggs, Tristana, Taric, Anivia, Cho'Gath, Akali, Kennen, Sion, Volibear, Shaco, Katarina, Caitlyn, Viktor, Vladimir, Veigar, Sejuani, Miss Fortune, Mordekaiser, Orianna
As you can see, he's now in Tier 2/Tier 3. As Elementz said, the numerous nerfs did a lot to him, he's not the same as he used to. He can be countered by lot of champions, and he can't do well against champions with high armor. I was quite surprised he's placed first for Twisted Treeline, but it doesn't wonder me much as he's great there, he has everything you need for that small map. But still, who plays Twisted Treeline anyway? I remember before, he was mostly in Tier 1 for every part, with few Tier 2 exceptions. As I said before, those nerfs hit him hard, and often people avoid playing with him just because they can't do the stuff like they used to.
Final Thoughts on Gangplank
Gangplank is the first champion I buyed, and is still my main. I fell in love with his ridiculous crits, his big contribution to the team, and simply because he's a damn pirate. First I played him full crit, and was satisfied with the results. After the nerfs, at season 2 I saw that way I can't play him anymore that way, simply because he can't parry vs other bruisers on top as glass-cannon. Then one day, I made my mind, got tired of crit-build and made this. Combination of both attack and defense, I'm once more enjoying playing my favorite champion.
I recommend not to play him vs champions that have huge armors like Malphite or champions that can harass you all the time, like Pantheon. If you lane against someone like Talon who is rather squishy, you're going to enjoy it.
Once again I mention, you need to play a high amount of games with him to fully get all the aspects of Gangplank. In time, you'll master it, landing every Parrrley and often securing kills with Cannon Barrage.
He's still strong after the numerous nerfs, not OP as he used to be, but still strong. This build helps you to play him the best way you can in season 2, and I hope you'll enjoy playing him.
v18.104.22.168 - 2012-08-15
Fixed: Remove Scurvy now removes Blinds
v22.214.171.124 - 2012-07-19
Now refunds half the mana cost if Parrrley kills the target
v126.96.36.199 - 2012-05-23
Parrrley now displays total gold earned by the skill in the tooltip
v188.8.131.52 - 2012-02-14
Parrley mana cost increased to 50/55/60/65/70 from 40/45/50/55/60
Raise Morale range reduced to 1200 from 1500
v184.108.40.206 - 2011-10-19
Active movement speed reduced to 8/11/14/17/20 from 10/14/18/22/26
Active attack damage reduced to 12/19/26/33/40 from 14/22/30/38/46
v220.127.116.11 - 2011-08-09
Grog Soaked Blade max stacks has been reduced to 3 from 4
Fixed a bug where Cannon Barrage would not grant gold on minion kills
Fixed a bug where Cannon Barrage's slow was not always applying consistently
v18.104.22.168 - 2011-07-26
Parrrley gold bonus reduced to 4/5/6/7/8 from 4/6/8/10/12
Active attack damage bonus reduced to 14/22/30/38/46 from 20/28/36/44/52
Active movement speed bonus reduced to 10/14/18/22/26% from 14/18/22/26/30%
v22.214.171.124 - 2011-07-08
Grog-Soaked Blade max stacks reduced to 4 from 5.
v126.96.36.199 - 2011-06-22
No longer reduces healing and regeneration, but now slows movement speed by 7%
Now stacks up to 5 times, but duration reduced to 3 seconds from 10
Damage changed to 4-21 from 5-19
Fixed a bug where Parrrley could sometimes restore gold to other players
Now applies Grog-Soaked Blade
Raise Morale duration increased to 7 from 6
Cannon Barrage damage increased to 75/120/165 from 65/110/155
v188.8.131.52 - 2011-04-25
Movement Speed increased to 320 from 315
Base mana increased to 255 from 239
Mana per level increased to 40 from 34
Raise Morale (remake)
No longer targets a unit (Gangplank can no longer kill allied minions)
Passive changed to 3/4/5/6/7% movement speed from 2/4/6/8/10% and 8/10/12/14/16 attack damage from 8/12/16/20/24
Activating Raise Morale grants Gangplank 14/18/22/26/30% movement speed and 20/28/36/44/52 attack damage
The activation also grants nearby allies 7/9/11/13/15% movement speed and 10/14/18/22/26 attack damage
Duration reduced to 6 seconds from 10
Mana cost changed to 50/55/60/65/70 from 60
Reduced the size of the area affected by Cannon Barrage
Now slows all enemies in the AoE for the duration, but slow reduced to 15/20/25% from 35/45/55%
Reduced damage to 65/110/155 from 100/140/180
Updated the random algorithm to not favor one quadrant over others
Fixed a bug where the tooltip said it lasted for 8 seconds, but it actually lasted 7
Base damage reduced to 20/45/70/95/120 from 20/55/90/120/150
Extra gold gain reduced to 4/6/8/10/12 from 4/7/10/13/16
Cooldown reduced to 5 seconds from 6
Mana cost reduced to 40/45/50/55/60 from 50/55/60/65/70
Remove Scurvy base heal changed to 80/150/220/290/360 from 70/125/195/280/380
Damage increased to 6-23 per second from 5-18
Fixed a bug where it applied 9 damage ticks instead of 10
v184.108.40.206 - 2010-09-08
Fixed a display error with Grog Soaked Blade and death recap
Fixed a bug where Gangplank's passive would be replaced with the Grog Soaked Blade debuff text when struck by another Gangplank
v220.127.116.11 - 2010-06-01
Parley gold gain increased to 4/7/10/13/16 from 3/5/7/9/11
v18.104.22.168 - 2010-05-11
Added "Yarr! I'm a mighty Pirate!" buff
v22.214.171.124 - 2010-04-08
Tweaked autoattack animation timing
v126.96.36.199 - 2010-02-10
Parrrley now deals Physical Damage
Fixed a bug in which Parrrley was dealing extra damage
Parrrley percentage damage from Attack Damage increased to 110% from 80%
Parrrley bonus damage reduced to 20/55/90/120/150 from 30/60/90/120/150
Parrrley will no longer apply Grog-soaked blade
Fixed a tooltip issue with Grog-soaked blade
v188.8.131.52 - 2010-02-02
Parrrley now applies Grog-Soaked Wound.
v184.108.40.206 - 2009-12-17
Cannon Barrage no longer reveals Gangplank to enemies when cast
Fixed a bug where Cannon Barrage's particles showed above the fog of war, even if you didn't have vision of the area
Fixed a bug where Gangplank would fail to close distance to cast Parrrley or Raise Morale if Cannon Barrage was occurring
v220.127.116.11 - 2009-12-02
Cannon Barrage Slow % reduced to 40/50/60 from 40/55/70
Cannon Barrage Damage reduced to 140/200/260 from 160/220/280
Grog Soaked Blade: Healing reduction effect increased to 65% from 50%
Grog Soaked Blade: Duration increased to 10 seconds from 8
Closed Beta : v0.9.25.21
Added Missing Mana Regeneration per Level
Increased Move Speed from 310 to 315
Reduced Weapon Damage from 100% to 65%
Increased Base Damage from 20/40/60/80/100 to 40/80/120/160/200
Grog Soaked Blade
Increased Duration from 3 to 7
Reduced Damage from 10 + (1 per level) to 5 + (1 per level)
Altered Implementation to make it less random and more uniform around the circle
Closed Beta : v0.9.22.16
Reduced Cooldown from 30 to 25
Activating this skill no longer removes Morale Boost from himself (he now gets double effect for the duration)
Reduced Movement Speed Bonus from 4/6/8/10/12% to 2/4/6/8/10%
Increased Ability Power Ratio from .3 to 1
Modified Mana Cost from 55/60/65/70/75 to 65
Modified Cooldown from 20 to 30/27/24/21/18
Reduced cast time to make it a quicker cast