Gangplank Build Guide by Knight of Demacia
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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.
Introduction (why build GP this way?)
Ah Pirate. He's been around awhile now, you've fought against him. He crits you for 600-700, runs around, chases you down. Hit and run, hit and run. Then you get him to use his Remove Scurvy, and CC him and suddenly it's not "k." He's a 3 hit kill critplank, and although he beats you up midgame, the fact that he's so squishy, and relies only on his Parrrley with its semi long cool down, makes him less viable late game.
It's great that you can crit for 700 every 5 seconds. If you can't stay alive long enough to get 2 Parrrley off in a row, then you're a waste.
Fact of the matter is, there's better glass cannons. Kog'Maw, Sivir, Vayne... all better ranged AD champs to build as total offense glass cannon type choices. Stick them in bottom lane and get them fed, and Gangplank can solo top or jungle.
What's his role in the meta? Well top lane is often the home of "bruisers." Bruisers are champs that work well in close combat, usually have good sustain and armor. Critplank has none of these. So meeting a Yorick, Fiora, Renekton, Pantheon, Irelia, Riven in top lane can be a real pain for such a squishy champ, especially if you dump all your runes/masteries into crit. (There have been many mathematical breakdowns done that show that ArPen and straight DPS is actually more consistent and damaging then going crit heavy and fooling with perecentages, if you don't believe me, google it.)
So if he's not the ideal "carry", and the meta suggests there are quite a few better choices in top lane than Gangplank now, and by end game a "critplank" build is a 3 shot glass cannon that basically gets 1 Q off and has to run for his life, what is viable about building him this way? (You can jungle him, pretty successfully, but I will not be covering this in this guide. This is a top lane Gangplank guide.)
How can we build Gangplank to be a solid contributor throughout an entire game?
Mobile bruiser champ
Solid sustain with this build
Global ult makes for a lot of long range assists/kills and its a slow as well
Viable all three phases of game
*If you KS people you can tell them its K because pirates steal things*
1/2 the deaths of a Critplank build, nearly the same amount of kills
Stay in lane longer
Stay in team fights longer
Tanky enough to soak some DPS, taking heat off your team mates
You can shoot your Parrrley 4-5 times in a fight with all the health and armor
You provide a good amount of CC with Parrrley and Frozen Mallet
Viable solo top for ranked
Some idiot will pick on your build (usually the noob playing Fiora who thinks he's good)
Harder to snowball earlier, more farm based
You won't have 20+ kill games often
OMG LOOK AT YOUR BUILD
People have been trying to abuse crit with Gangplank so long now, that many people don't even know what they're looking at when you build health and sustain into him early game. I've already covered why Critplank is not terribly viable. (Although if you snowball it is fun.) With this particular build, I never die more than 4-5 times a match, often getting double digit kills and 20+ assists. You don't kill a ton of people until you complete your Infinity Edge, but you rack up the assists because you can stay in team fights longer due to your sustain and bonus health. You also provide a huge amount of CC with your Parrrley and even auto attacks by rushing Frozen Mallet. Your Parrrley is never underpowered, and you will get a hand full of kills early. When you really explode is late game however. So just mute the haters until its 35 mins in and you have a better K/D/A than Fiora, Master Yi and Tryndamere.
A word about the rune set up
I go greater seal of resillience and great mark of desolation. Pretty standard bruiser/melee. Whats with the greater glyph of replenishment blues you may ask? Well you don't really run into a lot of AP champs in top lane these days. I don't see a reason to go nuts with magic resist blues. You do run out of mana a lot using your Parrrley for farming/harassing. You basically shoot it for some reason every time it's up. Take the extra mana regen, and roll with a philosopher's stone early, and your mana problems are solved. Parrrley farming is a great way to accumulate a huge sum of gold early, because you get the bonus gold for Parrrley last hits. Parrrley harass is huge for denying your lane opponent. You could use the mana regen, trust me. I just used the Quints to add a little of everything, but you can set these up how you like. More ArPen? More Armor? More regen? OK. Do what you like.
I usually always take Teleport for top lane. Flash is good for initiating a fight, and saving your pirate booty in a jam. Ghost is a decent choice too. Exhaust and Ignite could be substituted, but keep in mind you don't have a ton of escapability. You won't see a lot of the rest on a top lane champ.
Gangplank's Skill Kit
(Innate): Gangplank's basic attacks apply a poison debuff for 3 seconds that can stack up to 3 times. Each stack deals 3 + (1 × level) magic damage per second and slows the target by 7%.
(Active): Gangplank shoots a target enemy with his pistol, dealing physical damage. If it kills it, he gains extra gold. This ability can critically strike and applies on-hit effects, including his passive.
Cooldown: 5 seconds
Cost: 50 / 55 / 60 / 65 / 70 mana
Physical Damage: 20 / 45 / 70 / 95 / 120 (+1.0 per attack damage)
(Active): Gangplank instantly removes all crowd control effects on him, as well as healing himself.
Cost: 65 mana
Cooldown: 22 / 21 / 20 / 19 / 18 seconds
Heal: 80 / 150 / 220 / 290 / 360 (+1.0 per ability power)
Extra Gold: 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8
(Passive): Gangplank's attack damage and movement speed are increased permanently.
(Active): Gangplank fires into the air, disabling his passive boost but inspiring himself to gain additional attack damage and movement speed, with nearby allied champions receiving half that amount, for 7 seconds.
Cooldown: 20 seconds
Radius of AoE: 1200
Passive Attack Damage Bonus: 8 / 10 / 12 / 14 / 16
Passive Movement Speed Bonus: 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7%
Cost: 50 / 55 / 60 / 65 / 70 mana
Active Self Attack Damage Bonus: 12 / 19 / 26 / 33 / 40
Active Self Movement Speed Bonus: 8 / 11 / 14 / 17 / 20%
(Active): Gangplank signals his ship to fire cannonballs upon target area for 7 seconds. 25 cannonballs will drop over the duration and each will deal magic damage to all enemies hit. Enemies in the area of this ability are slowed by 25% for 1.25 seconds, with the duration refreshing if one stays in the area.
Cost: 100 mana
Radius of Target AoE: 575
Radius of Cannonball AoE: 275
Sight Radius: 600 (estimate)
Magic Damage Per Cannonball: 75 / 120 / 165 (+0.2 per ability power)
Cooldown: 120 / 115 / 110 seconds
How to build
Start Regrowth Pendant and a Health Potion First back get your Philosopher's stone, then take into account who you're laning against and their play style. If you're against Renekton, last hit the creeps with your auto attack and Parrrley the hell out of him, he has little sustain. If you're against Yorick or Mordekaiser, then back off the creeps and use your Parrrley to last hit. They have a ton of sustain, or a shield, and push very hard. Using Parrrley on them is a drain on mana, you're better off Q farming and out leveling and out gold farming them if possible. Against a Tryndamere or Fiora? Call for a gank before level 6, because you will get tower dove and killed by these two easily once they get their ults. Play according to who you're laning against.
Second back you Boots of Speed and start building a Phage for your health bonus and the Parrrley proc. Pick up a Cloak of Agility next.
By the time the laning phase is ending, and you start roaming you want to have a Frozen Mallet built, working on an Atma's Impaler and a couple pieces to your Infinity Edge (the Cloak of Agility, always have some crit in the build). has a decent speed with level 1 boots, so its not necessary to rush level 2 boots.
If you're getting owned in lane by a heavy DPS champ, grab Ninja Tabi. Otherwise, Ionian Boots of Lucidity are the way to go, for the CDR. Shoot and buff often.
Your Core items should look like this:
Ionian Boots of Lucidity
Sell your philosopher's stone late game. Last item slot should be used in this manner:
Is their AP carry fed? Go Force of Nature
If their AD carry is fed and they have a lot of CC, go Thornmail.
If the AD carry is fed and they don't have a lot of CC and you can move freely, go Warmog's Armor for more damage and health/sustain
If you find that you don't quite do enough damage, build something off the B. F. Sword tree.
Last Whisper if they have stacked armor.
Madred's Bloodrazor if they are very tanky.
This stuff should be counter intuitive if you have any idea what late game is about. Once your Core build is in place, you're in pretty good shape. The final item will be the icing on the cake, and you tailor it to your needs.
How to play in the various phases
Laning: farm your core items. Harass if called for, Q farm if called for. Shoot your Cannon Barrage when skirmishes break out in different lanes, to clear creep waves if necessary, to KS people escaping, to slow with AoE damage. It's a versatile ult with many uses.
Mid game: Since you have a fair amount of armor health and sustain, you want to jump into a team fight after your tank initiates. (If you don't have a tank then you're probably in 5v5 Normals playing on a 5 carry noob team. Have fun.) So the tank initiates, shoot your ult over, or slightly behind the enemy line, then charge in, find their carry and Parrrley and auto attack the hell out of them. Slow them with your Frozen Mallet, if you crit a couple times then he's probably dead. If you get focused you live most of the time. You always want to come in after the initial burst and just stick on the carry or the support. Focusing the tank will lose you team fights, so don't be that guy. Once your Infinity Edge is built, be prepared to kill people at 1/2 life. Good times.
Late game: Finish your final items tailored to what is called for. A certain item doesn't work all the time, but if you can finish a Warmog's Armor, its a pretty good all round choice. It has great health, sustain, and gets you more AD in conjunction with your Atma's Impaler.
At level 18, with Ionian Boots of Lucidity, Frozen Mallet, Atma's Impaler, Infinity Edge, Philosopher's stone, Force of Nature and the Baron nashor buff, you're at 356 AD, 2800 HP, around 50% crit, 140ish armor, 130ish magic resist. Basically you're a 1 man wrecking crew (with built in CC). Without baron nashor you're still nearly 300 AD. This is insanity considering you still have another slot to use.
When Gangplank was released, he took a lot of people by surprise when he abused his Parrrley with critical chance. A lot of builds took you to 100% crit chance, or close to it, with a ton of damage, and no health or sustain. Since then everyone has learned to CC and focus Gangplank, especially when he's built so squishy. This build should make you a force through all phases of the game, with a total monster late game. Gangplank re-enters the area of viable champs in top lane, and especially in late game.