Gangplank General Guide by Ganonsgirdle
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Hello, the name is Ganonsgirdle. I just picked up Gangplank in Season 3, and whoo boy is he fun. I play quite a few top champions, and it astounds me that there is an ADC who is completely viable top. There are certainly multiple ways of building the Saltwater Scourge, but this happens to be my favorite. Please, enjoy two shotting people.
Pros / Cons
[*] Insane late game damage
[*] Crits - all day every day
[*] Take down most people in two or three shots
[*] Can escape from almost anything
[*] Easy creep farming
[*] Weak early game
[*] Requires passive laning
[*] Can be countered hard
My thing with runes on Gangplank is that he is such a crit-dependent character that I see no reason why not to improve those crits. You are certainly justified in taking ArPen Marks, and I've found they work well. However, out of personal preference, I like having more crit damage. Also, Quints are flexible in this case, with ArPen, Crit Damage, or if you're having trouble in a passive lane, even GP/5s are viable on GP.
Max out Parrley first. There is and should be no debate on this, it is your main source of gold as well as damage and it is Gangplank's most useful ability, which is really saying something. I'm somewhat ambivalent between Remove Scurvy and Raise Morale. For full damage, you should certainly go with Raise Morale, and it also helps in teamfights, in solo fights, escaping, in many different situations. However, passive laning opens you up to harass, and Remove Scurvy will help you stay in lane longer, not to mention the removal of CC, which is absolutely amazing in so many ways. Junglers beware when Gangplank is top. For this build, I'd max out Raise Morale first, simply for the extra AD. Take your ulti whenever you can, it turns the tides of teamfights, picks up cheap kills, slows down pursuers, you name it.
Flash and Teleport are just incredibly useful. Teleport allows you to backdoor or stop backdoors all day, as well as telegank (one of the most underrated and hilarious things in LoL). Flash is simply the most useful Summoner Spell. Other viable spells include Ignite, Exhaust, or Heal. I never take Ignite, for the simple reason that I see it more as an early-game finisher, and this build of GP is passive early game. Exhaust can be useful, but with your Boots of Swiftness and your Raise Morale, you should be fine catching up to almost anyone anyway. Heal? Gangplank already has a heal. Again, more of an early-game fight winner/support ability than anything else. Flash and Teleport maintain the same level of usefulness throughout the game, which cannot be said for those other spells.
My items have caused a bit of controversy in the past. Simply put, this Gangplank is built to two-shot people late game. This means taking a disadvantage in early game. I take a Brawler's Gloves and two Health Potions at the start, and then I passive lane until I get 1400 gold, at which point I return and buy Avarice Blade and Boots of Swiftness. I again passive lane and wait for, depending on how the game and the lane is going, the 1175 for Zeal or the 1700 for Statikk Shiv. Statikk is invaluable on GP, and your early game ends with it's purchase. Then, for 100% crit chance, you build Infinity Edge, Phantom Dancer, and then another IE. This puts you at probably around 250 AD and 100% crits, making you an absolute menace to all but the tankiest of champs. The last item is really a luxury, but I take Black Cleaver for the ArPen and the CDR. It's just nice.
I've talked about pa***ive laning a lot in this guide, and I feel like I should explain what I mean by that. Passive laning means that generally, you hang back by your tower, refusing to push, and only farming, not attempting to start fights with the enemy champ or even harass him/her much. This allows you to conserve your mana for Parrley, avoid ganks, call ganks on the opposing top, use your ulti to help other lanes, and farm easier. It does, however, annoy opposing tops, and opens up Gangplank to harass. Use your own harass and Remove Scurvy to counter this.
Mid to Late game/General tips
By the time you have Statikk Shiv, Gangplank has become effective. Start becoming a little more aggressive in lane. Jungle a little bit to keep gold and experience up, and use your ulti to assist other lanes, pick up kills on stragglers, or slow a pursuing enemy champ. Once you get your first Infinity Edge, Gangplank is straight dangerous. The enemy top, used to you hanging by your tower, will be shocked the next time you hit him with Parrley, as it'll probably take a quarter to a third of his health. Begin to push and roam a little bit. With Phantom Dancer, you're a full fledged ADC/Assasin. Take down squishies first and escape easily using your w and e. Backdoor all day with Raise Morale and Teleport. Go solo dragon, one shot the golems, at this point just begin to play like a full ADC. You'll have fun. Believe me.
I love GP. If at the end of a good game using this guide your voice isn't hoarse from yelling "Boom, headshot!" or your fingers sore from explaining that no, you're not actually hacking, come see me about it. You won't have to. All feedback is appreciated! Thank you for reading this guide, and I hope you find it fun and useful.