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Gangplank Build Guide by RTO

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[11.1] RTO's Challenger Gangplank Top Lane Guide

By RTO | Updated on January 17, 2021
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RTO's Featured Video

Runes: Primary

1 2
Grasp of the Undying
Bone Plating

Biscuit Delivery
Time Warp Tonic

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


1 2
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport


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Top Lane
Ranked #31 in
Top Lane
Win 47%
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Champion Build Guide

[11.1] RTO's Challenger Gangplank Top Lane Guide

RTO Here!
About Me

I am a Peak 578 LP Challenger, North American Top Laner and Streamer representing Team Radiance, whose mission is to promote positivity in League of Legends. My main is Renekton, but I play many other champions when I am target banned. I also have an incredible amount of top lane knowledge that I want to share with you guys.

Gangplank is a strong, versatile top laner who excels in teamfights. He has global map pressure post 6, he's forgiving due to his ability to Cleanse nearly everything, he has insane gold generation and is quite an easy champion to learn.

If you like this guide, make sure to check out my even more in depth guides at my new website

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Summoner Spells Back to Top

Flash is your engage summoner, your escape summoner, and all in between summoner. Take this every time. There is no reason to replace this summoner.

Ignite is when you feel like you want to be hyper aggressive during laning phase. It's damage got nerfed during 9.2, so generally Teleport is taken instead. Great vs healers such as Vladimir and Dr. Mundo.

Teleport is your primary summoner in place of Ignite, it allows top laners to have great map pressure, it's used for split pushing, turning team fights and returning quickly to lane early game.

Runes Back to Top


Grasp of the Undying offers extra sustain and damage in lane, while increasing your overall tankiness. Offering extra damage based on your max HP, healing you for 2% of your max HP, and permanently increasing your health - every 4s on your next attack, while in combat.

Demolish is the best option in this row, helping you take down turrets and their plating asap, or if you want to play as more of a splitpusher in this fast paced meta.

Helps reduce damage taken during trades, and skirmishes, reducing the damage you take from a single champion for 3 of their abilities or attacks.

Permanent, increased maximum health for every 8 minions that die near you, and an additional 3.5% maximum HP after 120 is invaluable for a top lane tank. Synergizes well with Grasp of the Undying Revitalize is a good option if you need the extra healing going into a hard match up, and also gets 10% stronger when you're under 40%, potentially creating a clutch outplay!

Very good rune for increasing your overall CDR, and any CDR that exceeds the cap, is converted to adaptive bonus damage, increasing your damage potential exponentially.

Very useful for laning phase, offering you extra damage on your poke. Doesn't scale well into late game, so Gathering Storm is a viable option if you know your team needs to scale and you can hold on.

Extra adaptive force = extra damage.

Your next two runes are interchangeable depending on the enemy match up you're against. You want more damage? Adaptive force! More AP? Take magic resist. More physical? Take armor. Want / need more hp? Take HP!

Itemization Back to Top
Itemization Choices

You'll want to make choices depending on the enemy team
and match up that you're against, whether you need more armor, or more magic resist


Abilities Back to Top
Trial by Fire

Gangplank periodically empowers his next basic attack to burn the target, dealing 55 − 225 (based on level) (+ 100% bonus AD) bonus true damage over 2.5 seconds, ticking every 0.25 seconds. Turrets receive 50% reduced damage.

If Gangplank successfully hits a target with Trial By Fire, he gains 30% bonus movement speed for 2 seconds. Destroying a Powder Keg resets Trial By Fire and grants its bonus movement speed.

Trial By Fire cannot be applied with Parrrley or Powder Keg.


Gangplank shoots the target enemy with his pistol, dealing physical damage and applying on-hit effects.

If Parrrley kills the target, Gangplank plunders Gold and Silver Serpents, the latter of which can be spent to upgrade Cannon Barrage.

Parrrley can critically strike for (100% + Infinity Edge 25%) AD bonus physical damage.
Gold Plunder: 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

On-hit effects that deal area of effect damage will allow Parrrley to plunder from every enemy killed. This includes enemies killed by Gangplank's Powder Keg's when activated by Parrrley.

Remove Scurvy

Gangplank consumes a large quantity of citrus fruit, removing all crowd control affecting him and healing himself.
Heal: 50 / 75 / 100 / 125 / 150 (+ 90% AP) (+ 15% missing health)

Remove Scurvy only removes crowd control debuffs.
Nether Grasp and Infinite Duress will still damage Gangplank even if he moves away.

Powder Keg

PASSIVE: Gangplank periodically stocks a Powder Keg, up to a maximum of 3.

ACTIVE: Gangplank places a Powder Keg at the target location for 25 seconds, which connects to other nearby Powder Kegs that overlap explosion radii.

Gangplank and his enemies can attack the Powder Keg with basic attacks, dealing 1 damage per hit. Gangplank may also shoot the barrel with Parrrley. If Gangplank scores the killing blow, it explodes, also triggering a chain reaction that explodes nearby connected kegs. If killed by an enemy, the keg is safely dismantled.

An exploding keg deals the attack's damage to all nearby enemies, plus bonus physical damage against champions, ignoring 40% of their armor, as well as slowing them for 2 seconds. Enemies can only be damaged once per chain.
Bonus Physical Damage: - 80 / 105 / 130 / 155 / 180
Slow - 40 / 50 / 60 / 70 / 80%

An exploding Powder Keg will splash Parrrley bonus damage, and will also be modified if the attack critically strikes.
An exploding Powder Keg's damage is not increased by most attack effects from runes or items, with the exception of Sheen.

Cannon Barrage

Gangplank signals his ship off-shore to fire upon the target area for 8 seconds, calling down 12 waves of cannonballs in clusters of 3 every 2 seconds, and revealing it for the duration. Each wave deals magic damage to all enemies within the area and slows them by 30% for 0.5 seconds.
Magic Damage Per Wave: 40 / 70 / 100 (+ 10% AP)
Total Magic Damage: 480 / 840 / 1200 (+ 120% AP)

Gangplank can purchase upgrades for his ship in the store at the cost of 500 Silver Serpents each, which improve Cannon Barrage:
  • Death's Daughter An initial cannonball lands in the center of the barrage, dealing a cluster's worth of true damage to all enemies it hits and slowing them by 60% for 1.5 seconds.
  • Raise Morale The barrage grants allies 30% bonus movement speed while they are inside the area, persisting for 2 seconds after leaving it.
  • Fire At Will Cannon Barrage fires 6 additional waves over its duration.

Cannon Barrage's slow lingers for 0.25 seconds after affected enemies leave the target area.
Gameplay Back to Top


Always take Parrrley first, and use it to proc Grasp of the Undying. There's no point using it without! Use your rune proc to poke down your enemy whenever it's off cooldown, this is your main source of damage outside of Powder Kegs. You always want to keep a Powder Keg in the minion wave, the threat of you popping it when they go in to CS can help zone them away - be careful they don't go to last hit it - stay close to it. Use your first Trial By Fire proc on your opponent when you reach lane, followed by a quick Parrrley. Gangplank has a very good level 1 and he can out trade the majority of champions, setting up lane priority.
Gangplank has high mana costs, so you want to make sure you're not spamming your abilities unless necessary, you don't want to be caught pants down with no mana, and you have no escape!

Your general aim of playing Gangplank early game is to farm farm farm! You want to utilize his kit to your advantage and keep stacking your gold. Once you're level 6, make sure to keep an eye on the map as you can get easy assists with Cannon Barrage, and even pick up a kill if you're lucky. You can also help scout out objectives like the dragons, as Cannon Barrage gives sight in the area it's placed.

The best order for upgrading your Cannon Barrage is as follows -
You want to push for the turret with Demolish, but you must be careful as Gangplank, unlike champions such as Renekton or Akali, you have no escape dashes. While you're aiming for the turret, make sure to ward your river, jungle and the enemies jungle as much as possible, you don't want to get ganked and snowball the enemy team.

Once you're 6+, you can focus on pushing the wave into the enemy tower and trying to take some early plates with Demolish.
Help out your jungler if he comes to take Rift Herald , and secure first blood tower for your team. At this point you can potentially invade the enemies jungle, taking away vital XP, gold and their blue buff, if you're on red side.


Outside of laning phase, you have the option to group with your team and take objectives, or split push. If your team has a strong team fight, you can group with them, invading the enemy jungle, forcing fights over objectives, or pushing lanes. It's very important to try to hit your level 13 power spike asap!

The ideal times to split push are as follows -

If Baron Nashor is alive and your Teleport is available, you can split push bot lane.
If Baron Nashor is alive and your Teleport is down, you will be split pushing top lane.

If Baron Nashor is dead, and your Teleport is down, you will split push bot lane, especially if a dragon will be spawning.
If Baron Nashor is dead, and your Teleport is available, you can split push top lane.

You want to split push the lane opposite to the most important, neutral objective, if your Teleport is available. This way, you can take the majority of pressure off the objective, as the enemies will not be able to answer you solo, and they give up the objective to your team. If you know the enemies will be collapsing on you soon, you will want to spam ping your team to complete the objective as quickly as possible. If the enemies collapse on your team, you can Teleport to them to quickly reach the fight, or chunk down the enemies defenses.
Make sure you have good vision around you, so you can see enemies coming from fog of war, which you can either back off, or choose to take the fight.

If you're in the middle of a fight, you want to be setting up Powder Kegs as quickly as possible, a single combo can chunk down an enemy teams collective HP very fast. Try to position your kegs for maximum AoE damage. Drop your Cannon Barrage in the middle of a fight after your combo, it can secure some clutch kills with escaping enemies due to the slow, and it generally causes the enemies to scatter, breaking apart vital targets for you or your team to burst down. Be careful if the enemy team have a Lulu, she will Whimsy you, completely negating any of your damage and essentially rendering you useless, giving enemies chance to destroy your Powder Kegs. The same goes for any very hard CC such as Morgana's Dark Binding or Malzahar's Nether Grasp. Keep a Remove Scurvy orange for any of this CC, you can break out quicker than they can react!
Conclusion Back to Top
I hope you have enjoyed and learnt enough from my Gangplank guide, to shoot down your enemies, and conquer the game.

If you're interested in seeing more of Gangplank, Renekton and myself, please follow my stream! I am streaming every day, and I engage with my chat consistently.

If you like this guide, make sure to check out my even more in depth guides at my new website
Update Log Back to Top
  • 08/07/2019 - Published Guide.
  • 11/21/2019 - Updated for 9.23.
  • 11/23/2020 - Updated for preseason.
League of Legends Build Guide Author RTO
RTO Gangplank Guide
[11.1] RTO's Challenger Gangplank Top Lane Guide
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