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Gangplank Build Guide by Patrick Mcglory

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.

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Patrick Mcglory

[6.18] Captain Swagplank

Patrick Mcglory Last updated on September 9, 2016
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Top Lane
Ranked #7 in
Top Lane
Win 53%
Get More Stats

Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.


Natural Talent
Bounty Hunter
Battering Blows
Piercing Thoughts

Ferocity: 12

Dangerous Game

Cunning: 18

Tough Skin
Runic Armor
Veteran's Scars
Legendary Guardian

Resolve: 0

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About the Author

That's for me to know and you to not care about!

In-game however I'm a Top/Jungle main and GP is my most played Champion; I have ~120k mastery with him and hold a 60% winrate in ranked. I picked him up after reading guides on this site and have loved him ever since. I hope to bring my own perspective on the champion to this guide.

I hope you enjoy it and find it beneficial. Please vote if you feel inclined, just please include why you didn't like it if you are down voting! Thank you.

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Introduction to the Guide

This guide is not made to be copy and pasted. In fact it would be detrimental to just blindly copy this build without understanding the reasons for certain build paths and Runes/Masteries; so I will do my best to explain the build fully so you understand the theory behind it.

I won't be including a matchup section on each enemy champion as when I started I relied on these to much. Gangplank has great versatility in lane so it's hard to grade matchups as there are so many variables. It's all about how well you adapt to the Champion and Players you face.

I will however have a laning section where I'll explain everything I can about his laning phase and his playstyles so you can fully understand Gangplank and are in the best position to understand how to lane effectively and make your own mind up about matchups.

Spoiler: Click to view

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Introduction To Gangplank

So why play Gangplank? Something I often read on forums as to why GP isn't worth learning, is "He can't carry." or "He needs a good team to do well." This is pretty misguided. While it's true he won't carry in some of the traditional ways, he has excellent carry potential.

He's a champion you can pick into any team comp and do well with and his strengths cover the most common problems you encounter in solo queue. Inability to siege, lacking engage, wave clear, damage. So while he alone may not 1v5 and won't normally get more than 1-2 kills in a team fight (Nothing to turn your nose up at) the chances of a team succeeding are far greater with Gangplank on the team than without. I'll go into more detail on this later.


+ Global Presence
+ Strong Sustain in Lane
+ High Damage
+ Covers Team Weaknesses
Gangplank is a scaling champion who's endgame is feared. His global presence in lane gives your team a safety net and allows you to 'Roam' while staying in your lane and not losing any farm. His range with barrels is excellent, allowing for safe poke and siege. This is why I feel he covers your team's weaknesses. In Solo Queue you may have an awkward, bad comp, but Gangplank hides the weaknesses with his ability to set up engages, poke, waveclear, siege and even splitpush.


+ Squishy
+ Vulnerable to Ganks
+ Game can be over before you can contribute
+ Suffers badly from losing Tower early
If you've noticed a theme here with his early game, you're not wrong... While Gangplank does have excellent sustain from Remove Scurvy, he is very squishy and can easily be caught out in lane. Due to his scaling, the game can already be decided by a heavy snowball on the other team by the time you are ready to fight. If you're the focus of ganks and dives, falling behind can be brutal; losing your tower before level ~10 severely sets you behind and makes scaling a real challenge (But not insurmountable)

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Besides a few key mastery choices, your masteries are pretty flexible.

Essential Masteries:

Thunderlord's Decree For the burst and trading potential as well as securing kills with Cannon Barrage. Bandit for the gold. Meditation for the Regen. Intelligence For max possible CDR. Sorcery and Oppressor are both optimal choices for your damage kit.

Besides these, you can change your Masteries around depending on matchups, getting more sustain or more damage as you prefer. It's not huge flexibility but there are still 4 Masteries open to personal preferance.

Grasp of the Undying used to be the go to mastery for Gangplank and you still see it a lot. People take it for sustain but you lose out on a lot of damage and the 'Sustain' Grasp of the Undying gives you is now very poor for someone who doesn't build HP.

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These are an odd set of runes that I held off on buying for a long time because I didn't think it was worth it. Simply put I was wrong. 15% CDR (with Intelligence ) is big in lane at level 1 and you get even more CDR on your next couple of backs. Now you can use your skills much more often which for a skill based champ like Gangplank, is great!

The problem with this is your limited mana pool and high cost of Remove Scurvy leaves you dry of Mana in lane, however, with these Mana Runes, Masteries, and Doran's Ring you gain almost limitless sustain. (HP from Remove Scurvy Mana from Runes/Masteries/Ring) while last hitting is a little harder without the 6.5 AD, overall you are able to play much more aggressive and stay in lane longer.

You do lose out on MR. Generally speaking though, you won't have to much trouble with the AP top lane champions you'll normally encounter and you can afford to forgo the MR runes and pick up a Hexdrinker for any seriously fed midlaners there are.

Greater Seal of Armor are my personal runes and as I play a lot of different champions, I don't have enough rune pages for multiple ones just for separate seals as armor are always a strong choice. If you wanted Greater Seal of Scaling Health are viable depending on matchup.

This is, in my opinion, the most optimal way to play Gangplank; farming well, able to soak up trades and harass often with Parrrley Which provides even more gold from Bandit . You can often poke out your lane opponent with this method, or at least make his laning difficult while gaining that extra gold.

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Excellent for trading. Destroying a Barrel refreshes the CD of this ability. The true damage applies to towers, so if you have barrels available you can drop a Powder Keg and Parrrley it (Careful not to interupt AA) to get more damage onto tower and CS minions at the same time.

Treated as an AA, though your AA animation is not synced with this ability so weave them. Applies on-hit effects, applies Sheen and Phage passives with just the one Parrrley shot, no need to AA after.

Applies Bandit so you get 10g every time you Parrrley the enemy champion as Gangplank is a melee champion and Parrrley is treated as a basic attack.

Any unit you kill with Parrrley grants extra gold and Silver Serpents, depending on level, that you upgrade your Cannon Barrage with. Using Parrrley on a Powder Keg also grants you this kill gold for any minion/monsters killed inside the area.

An amazing ability but one that you need to understand the limits of and know when to hold onto it. Removes CC, not damage over time effects. It restores more HP the lower hp you are, so in trades, it's tempting to use early, but with it's long CD early, you're only going to get one chance to use it in a fight and therefore, better to use after the trade (while laughing and flashing your mastery badge).

Try and plan out what you're going to use it on in lane. Against Riven for example; It's tempting to use it as soon as she uses her knockup on Broken Wings, but this just leaves you more vulnerable to her followup Ki Burst. But Broken wings is more telegraphed and easier to time, so, which will you use your Remove Scurvy on?

A very well timed Remove Scurvy can completely nullify the CC they get onto you if you know what their kit well and have good timing.

Rule of thumb: Play safe while it's on CD and don't push to heavily without it unless you know the Jungle is no where near and you aren't in immediate danger.

Getting comfortable with using Barrels quickly and accurately is the first thing you should work on if you don't already have it down. I've seen some players use Normal Cast on Barrels. Personally I recommend getting used to using Quick Cast as you save essential time on combos and can achieve almost the same accuracy as normal cast. if you set the ability to Quick Cast and have Normal Cast on Alt+E for example, you'd have the best of both worlds.

Whatever you destroy your Powder Keg with, stacks it's damage onto the Kegs own damage. So a Parrrley Keg hits a lot harder than an Auto-Attack Keg.

As you probably know, Destroying Powder Keg gives you the Trial By Fire passive speed boost, allowing you to make some nifty escapes/chases when combined with the slow on your Powder Keg.

Using AA's on barrels are an effective way to catch people out in lane. People get used to your Parrrley Powder Keg combo and are wary of you Unless have just used your Parrrley, then they often feel safe for a few seconds. Now is the perfect time to drop a second barrel (you should normally have one down in lane) and AA it. The damage from this, combined with the slow on them and a speed boost to you allows you to make a great trade. Either run up and AA them and then Parrrley (this procs Thunderlord's Decree ) or just straight up Parrrley them once it's off CD.

Spoiler: Click to view

Fully global ultimate with a multitude of uses.

First, 'securing' kills across the map. Simply by playing Gangplank my map awareness has vastly improved as will yours, because this skill incentivises good map awareness. It will proc Thunderlord's Decree which gives that extra kick for securing kills. Sadly this ability has been nerfed in 6.17 and now has a longer CD and less damage per wave but this only means we can't be as lazy when using it, which isn't bad at all!

Keeping track of your jungler helps a lot. Especially bot lane to soften up/zone the enemy bot lane from running down to their turret.

Don't be afraid to use this when defending a turret by proxy. Lets say midlane got pushed out and has a big wave of minions about to crash on their turret. Situations like this are perfect uses for your ult. You gain a nice chunk of gold, often as much as an Assist or more, you save a turret if the enemy laner is attacking it and you often screw with when they wanted to back.

Sometimes you are in danger of getting dived, the jungle might have arrived and even the midlane lurking nearby. Use your ult preemptively. Cannon Barrage on a building minion wave before it reaches the turret resets the minion waves.

This means the divers have no minion cover and gives your team mates time to rotate and help. It might seem like a waste but it's really not. You deny gold from the other team, you waste their time from coming up top, and you relieve pressure from the other lanes.

If they do dive you anyway, you can normally net a kill from it and go 1 for 1 if not more. At worst, you die, but you have probably saved your turret which as Gangplank is probably your most valuable asset early on.

Finally, using it to kill your laner. Pretty self-explanatory!

Cannon Upgrades
  • Death's Daughter Standard first upgrade. It makes your global snipes much more potent and is very useful in team fights for targeting a carry you can't reach. The damage from this skill alone is substantial and has to be respected, requiring them to re-position so as not to take more damage from the rest of Cannon Barrage.
  • Fire At Will You will normally be picking this up second but Raise Morale is a viable second buy. It's best if your team is in longer drawn out fights.
  • Raise Morale can be bought second as stated. It's best if your team is chasing a lot as it will slow them as they run and speed you up as you move through.

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There are a few different builds on Gangplank that are viable.


If you watch the LCS you will probably see Penplank. This build has no crit, and normally builds Trinity Force Youmuu's Ghostblade into Maw of Malmortius with a Last Whisper. This build provides the earliest power spikes and had the best midgame power. And due to the style of the LCS matches (Normally shorter games where the game is normally decided much earlier) This build does fall off late game when compared to 80% crit chance.


This is normally a 100% crit build. You go from Trinity Force into Ionian Boots of Lucidity for 45% CDR, then you start building critical items, often Infinity Edge first. I don't play this build much as I find it an awkward build path and lacks consistency. It will often have Essence Reaver which is a good item, it just overcaps CDR. However it's personal preference. I haven't experimented with it enough so I'll let you make your own minds up.

Spoiler: Click to view

Sadly this build doesn't have a cool name (At least that I could think up). The Hybrid Gangplank build normally ends at 80% crit chance, has decent AD and deals the most damage at 6 items.

The power spikes midgame like the armor pen build midgame but then falls off on your 4th item, Statikk Shiv or Phantom Dancer, as you only sit at 30% crit chance which isn't reliable and only gain some attack speed. (Normally why Statikk Shiv is the better first buy of the two for the extra damage)

This guide focuses on the Hybrid build and it's the one I recommend. As stated it's the highest damage late and spikes at the right times, remaining relevant throughout.

Spoiler: Click to view


Item Sequence

Trinity Force

Youmuu's Ghostblade

Boots of Speed

Statikk Shiv

Phantom Dancer

Infinity Edge

The best starting item available for Gangplank. After 6.17, our base HP took a hit so the extra 80 hp this gives is invaluable. The passive and the mana regen in this item counter high mana costs of Remove Scurvy which went up 20 mana in 6.17.

It's a strong item, worth picking up in certain matchups that you will be taking a lot of poke. Pantheon for example blocks your Parrrley with his Aegis Protection. So he can out-trade you, while still holding the threat of all-inning you with his stun. In this situation using Remove Scurvy to heal leaves you very vulnerable. In situations like this Corrupting Potion is a good starting item.

Not an optimal starting item, but if you are very confident you can beat your laner early and even first blood, this item gives you the extra AD and allows you to pick up 3 Health Potion allowing for very aggressive play at early levels. But you will run out of mana fast.

This was THE starting item on Gangplank before Doran's Ring started getting picked up. The mana and extra Health Potion you can pick up was great and it lets you go for a very early back for Sheen. While it lets you sit in lane longer, it provides no sustain and once you're out of mana you don't have much choice than to back. Teemo lane isn't bad for this as the extra Health Potion lets you soak up a little extra poke, and once you get sheen, you can really punish him with Parrrley so the early pickup of Sheen is worth it.

Not a starting item. This item is a good pickup after your first back if you have ~1500 gold Sheen and Cull. Best for farm heavy lanes, it still provides some nice stats and the extra gold synergizes with Gangplank gold farming well.

Your first buy 95% of the time and you will have this in your full full build 100% of the time. So long as this item is the only item with 200% Sheen damage and this damage applies to Parrrley, it will be in your build. As for build order, Sheen gives you the most. Stinger is normally your second pickup. Phage looks perfect for Gangplank but Stinger gets your Cannon Barrage off quicker, and makes it easier to proc Thunderlord's Decree in trades. This is flexible, if you are struggling in lane Phage might help you more.

A great item to provide a midgame spike. It has a nice build path, provides the 45% CDR, the armor pen is huge and the active great for duels, running, chasing ect. I like getting an AD item before building crit as you are still effective midgame and having more AD for crit to multiply gives you far more damage than just 65 AD.

Boots are very flexible. Ionian Boots of Lucidity are the only item I'd finish before trinity force; Sheen Stinger Ionian Boots of Lucidity gets you to 45% CDR very early. It works if you are really behind and just need to be a bit more relevant. Buy with caution as this does delay your Trinity Force spike so only useful in certain situations. Gangplank can make good use of most boots and it's something you should decide on game by game.

After Youmuu's Ghostblade a critical item is normally optimal. Statikk Shiv is great for some spike damage and waveclear and it's much cheaper than Infinity Edge.

Very similar in raw stats to Statikk Shiv but this item is better for dueling and provides nice mobility in fights.

Some Gangplank's build this early on him. It provides a lot of AD but as the first crit item, you don't get access to the 20% crit and the passive very often. It provides a better spike on your 1st crit item than Statikk Shiv or Phantom Dancer, but the very high cost of this item delays you reaching a reliable critical rating. Fantastic damage spike once you have one or two other critical items.

Spoiler: Click to view

Very good item. against certain matchups this is worth building components of instead of Youmuu's Ghostblade. Against a Vladimir for example, having a Executioner's Calling which is very cheap, is ideal for you, and you don't need to get him to 35% health like Morellonomicon for grievous wounds to take effect. In situations like this, or whenever you skip Youmuu's Ghostblade, you need to make sure you buy Ionian Boots of Lucidity. Lord Dominik's Regards is also a good pickup if you're against a very beefy frontline, just remember it's bonus armor. If they're not stacking armor items, this isn't that useful.

I used to buy this instead of Youmuu's Ghostblade. The healing you get is considerable, even with the reduction on AOE damage and it can help you out with the bleed effect, giving you a chance to heal back up in time. Now I would only take this in certain situations. If I'm struggling in lane, or against a cheesy top like an Ashe that can poke me a lot, then a Vampiric Scepter can be useful. Sometimes you build this out of necessity in lane to match your opponents own lifesteal so they can't outduel you. you might build this in 5-10% of your games, normally there are better options as you already have great sustain.

Another item you can build instead of Youmuu's Ghostblade. This gives armor pen, and AD which are great, but the lifeline passive is why you buy this item. normally you can stay far enough from mages to not be in danger, but if your game has a strong midlaner, like a LeBlanc who can oneshot you, this prevents that. I would normally hold off on buying this item unless you are dying to them often, or there is more than one AP threat on the other team.

I'm a fan of this item, it's similar to the lifeline from Maw of Malmortius except it works on both AD and AP. Sadly with the low base HP of Gangplank, the shield from this item isn't huge. Regardless it's still a good anti-bursting item and it gives a small boost to Remove Scurvy. Normally it's tossup between Guardian Angel and Sterak's Gage. A tossup that Guardian Angel normally wins. However if you only need a little more defense, but don't want something purely defensive, this is a good pickup.

While the passive revival is good on this item, it's often not super useful when you revive in the middle of a waiting lynch mob. Normally by this point in the game (5th or 6th item) you know how fights are playing out and if it's worth buying. What this item is best for, beyond the revival, is just how it makes the other team play. When they see the Guardian Angel effect around you, that often changes who they focus first. They want results from their engage so you might not be the first priority. This is perfect as even if you only get 1-2 more Powder Keg's off on their team, that's often all it takes to turn a fight late game.

Very niche item. I've only bought this item once or twice. The stats aren't bad but you only buy this for the active, and Gangplank has Remove Scurvy which does the same thing. You would only buy this item against a crazy amount of CC that you can't just sidestep. If you find yourself or your team locked down before you get a chance to respond, then maybe you can get this. I'm talking something like Sejuani Lissandra and Kennen all coordinated!

Normally part of the armor pen build. I don't really build this item myself, but it isn't something you should forget about as it's been rising in popularity on a lot of champs and is a good choice in the right situation, I've just not gotten around to testing it out yet. Your Parrrley will proc the passive on this item which gives an interesting interaction with it on Gangplank.

Sadly this item just doesn't synergize with Gangplank in it's current state. As a stand alone item it seems perfect, but it just doesn't fit with Trinity Force. With these two items alone and no runes you overcap CDR. I've seen this item bought as a boot replacement just for the extra AD and 100% crit chance, but you still overcap CDR.

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Top or Mid?

I've played Gangplank top almost exclusively and I wrote the guide with top in mind. However, as of 6.17 and the nerfs that hit, I have been looking into mid lane a lot more.

The Pros: Mid lane is a much shorter, safer lane. Often squishy target without the sustain that top lane champions have, so you only need a couple of barrels to hit to put them in trouble. You can't be shut down as easily by the Jungler. You allow more room in your team composition for a tank top lane and Teleport flanks (Which Gangplank can't do very well). Finally, the matchups you face often rely on a stun, Remove Scurvy clears the stun and nullifies a big part of their kit, where as top laners may have a stun, but they often have a lot of slows which are worse for a Gangplank as they can often be reapplied after you cleanse.

The Cons; if you fall behind against something with strong burst, you can struggle. Mid lane often receives more attention than the other lanes, if your team is losing lanes then mid lane often becomes a focus after top or bot turret has fallen and at low level, Gangplank just needs to scale, and having people clutter up your lane just delays that. Your team may also lack AP if you go mid with an AD.

In my opinion, top lane was perfect for Gangplank, as you could sit up there, out the way and just farm your heart out while Cannon Barrageing around the map and applying as much, if not more pressure, than a top laner who teleports to bot lane. After 6.17 though, the nerfs that hit his sustain, his cooldown on Cannon Barrage and the damage (by a large chunk), your global presence is diminished, and you are even more vulnerable to ganks top.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both lanes, but personally I believe mid lane is now the better position for Gangplank if your team composition allows. You will have to make your own minds up though, as I've not played enough mid on him to say for sure and really, there isn't a wrong lane for him as of now.

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Early Game & Laning

Gangplank has a lot of of ways he can play the laning phase. Due to the versatility of Gangplank and the different ways he can farm in lane means once you know Gangplank and are confident on him, you can pick him into pretty much any matchup.

There are three different methods of farming on Gangplank which I'll highlight. They are not mutually exclusive and you'll probably be using all of them in lane.

  • The bully lane. Ideally, you will be CS'ing mostly with AA's. You might think this is sub-optimal because your Parrrley gives bonus gold on anything you kill. At low level however, you only get 2-3 gold early per kill so unless you can kill most of wave with Parrrley Powder Keg (bringing it them low with AA's) you actually get more gold just from Parrrleying your laner twice per wave for 20g. That's pretty big and with the mana sustain and CDR from your build, you can spam this skill.

    You miss out a little on Silver serpents but if your laner allows you to play like this and just bully them out, you'll have so much more freedom in lane it will be worth it and you come out ahead in gold anyway.

    You keep your Powder Keg's for zoning. Don't let yourself reach three Powder Keg's or you just waste free harass. Drop a Keg in the middle of the minion battle, and just sit on in. As soon as they try and go for CS or attack you, you Parrrley them, AA them (If you have Trial By Fire) then smack the Powder Keg. The damage this does is big, you get movement speed to run back or chase, you proc Thunderlord's Decree and can simply rinse and repeat.

    If they don't counter this style of play early, you should win lane pretty easily.

  • The Even Lane. While the Bully Lane is best for harass and gold earned, most laners won't allow you to be so bold. Gangplank is squishy and not a good fighter for a longer duel. He's great for short bursts with Parrrley, Trial By Fire and Thunderlord's Decree , but that burst falls off fast.

    With the Even Lane, normally you'll be against champions that can hold their own against you, but often can't match you ranged burst or harass. This method is relatively similar to the Bully Lane, the difference is you aren't sitting in the middle of the wave and often you will have to use Parrrley to shoot casters that would force you to over extend if you went for an AA.

    You still keep a Powder Keg for safety near you, and try to combo them with a second periodically. This is the method you'll be forced to use for the early game bully champions like Riven or Renekton. normally you play a little safer the first few levels then turn up the pressure. With a few well placed barrels onto them and Parrrley they often start to be much more wary of you, allowing you more freedom to CS.

  • The Losing Lane. This is a painful situation to be in, you might have been killed early by a bully champ or just a miss play, maybe your jungle tried a bad gank and got you both killed and now your laner is way stronger than you are. If they are smart, they freeze the lane near their turret, forcing you to extend into dangerous territory.

    The hardest thing about this lane, if that you can CS from far back with Powder Keg chains. This might seem like the best option at the time but it has a detrimental effect on your lane. The AOE damage that Powder Keg does to the whole wave of minions means your wave of minions is naturally pushing to them, forcing you to remain in this state of limbo, over extended with no turret protection, and no sign of anything changing.

    As Gangplank you can't be in a worse situation, so what should you do? Do not CS from miles away with Powder Keg's. Keep one or two Powder Keg's down in your lane for safety as you extend out, just stay in range of XP and the wave will eventually start coming back your way. Now with the wave pushing to you, you're in a much safer position to CS. Do you best to 'Freeze the wave' at your turret, outside of turret range, sometimes this means you soak up some minion hits but that's okay, just wait until your minions arrive and don't let the tower shoot all the enemy minions as the wave will probably push again.

    Spoiler: Click to view

    With good wave management the Losing Lane quickly turns back into an Even Lane just be patient and play it safe. You're Gangplank, you're going to outscale them later, no need to play desperate.

    Thankfully, the majority of laners won't freeze lane if they are winning. If it's a Yasuo player for example, he'll often just hard push you under tower every wave, and you have the waveclear to match. Little does he know this is perfect for you and you can safely farm up for the next ten minutes.

    General Laning Tips:

  • Just afk Powder Keg farming can get you very overextended and in danger of jungle ganks. Even if you are winning lane, it's still better to freeze the lane near you, as now you set up your jungler for ganks on a weak laner, you can easily zone them away from some CS with Powder Keg's.
  • If you've not played Gangplank before, when you realize the enemy can destroy your Powder Keg's, you get a little miffed. It's not serious and can easily be played around, even if they are ranged, you just have to keep Powder Keg's further back and lead with a second Keg (Or even the famed triple barrel). You can bait people in pretty easily if they are hell bent on CS'ing every one of your kegs, just be aware they do get 10 gold for every Powder Keg they destroy.
  • Be aware of your item spikes. In lane don't underestimate the damage of Sheen after your first back. Even in a lane where you might have been getting out-traded, with Sheen the chunking power of Parrrley becomes formidable. Always check what the other lane has returned with. Even if you just killed him, if you didn't back and he's returned to lane, he is probably stronger than you with his new items. Unless of course you just dumpstered him three times.
  • Do your best to always be looking around the map, checking where your jungle is, if he's ganking. Even if they have it under control, it's worth Cannon Barrageing the fight. It gives you gold and secures the fight. Use it whenever you see a situation, all that CDR is wasted if you aren't using it regularly.

    However when I say use it often, try and use it selfishly. This sounds bad and maybe it is, but if you think it's 50/50 whether it's worth it or not, it's probably not. If your botlane is getting stomped over and over, and you see them getting chased again down lane, it's probably not worth burning such a big CD on something that probably won't change the outcome. Cannon Barrage 60/40 plays and above!
  • You need to place a lot of importance on your tower. If you lose it before you have Trinity Force, you will probably struggle for a while.

    Spoiler: Click to view

    Thankfully Gangplank has a lot of tools to defend turrets. Powder Keg Teleport Cannon Barrage are all perfect for defending and you shouldn't be afraid of using these tools liberally. You can even call your Jungler if they're nearby to care for the turret while you Back; normally they don't mind as this is free xp and gold.
  • Your goal is level 13 (you should have 45% CDR and will have fully upgraded Powder Kegs. Get to level 13 with as much farm as possible. After that, Midgame takes over.

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Mid Game

Now you start to shine. Here you want to be team fighting, or splitpushing. Ideally team fighting. Always have an objective in mind. As long as Gangplank got to farm okay in lane, he has fantastic objective control.

  • Sadly in Solo Queue people won't follow the 'right' play. Often a won team fight just leads to 30 seconds of chasing and maybe netting one more kill, than burning an objective or two down.

    In these situations, don't be afraid to "abandon your team." (Their words) in the chase. I'm not saying all chases are bad but a tower is worth as much as a kill, and it's permanent. If nothing is available, then sure go for the kill.
  • In the Pro's section I said he covers team weaknesses, especially Solo Queue weaknesses. This becomes apparent at this point in the game. Your team might have no tank, lack damage, lack engage, lack poke, lack waveclear. Any of these things that are so common in team comps. All you have to do is plug in Gangplank; His damage is crazy, you can waveclear all day long, your siege is superb when attacking or defending and you can even engage with Powder Keg and Cannon Barrage simply by catching 2-3 in a Powder Keg and following up with Cannon Barrage.
  • Sadly even with everything Gangplank brings to the table, you and your team will still make bad decisions, fight without you, you'll splitpush at the wrong time or roam in the jungle without vision, go in on a bad team fight. It happens, and while you might be the 21st century Sun Tzu, and know the perfect decision and play at every moment, your team won't always follow. People have egos, they like to think they know everything and react with hostility at the mere suggestion that you might know better in this particular situation.

    No amount of reasoning on how this play is better than that one, or how they shouldn't have been roaming for the 4th time in the enemy jungle with no vision, is going to change that persons mind. Maybe they will see it later if left alone, but right now, their pride is wounded and they have this stranger talking at them about how "He was right and they were wrong." You probably weren't saying that, but that's how they see it.
  • You need to be able to swallow your own pride here too. Especially on a champion like Gangplank. The team is far better off with you with them, than without. Even if there is a better play available, if the team is doing 'this objective' then you should be with them for that objective or fight, unless it's 95% suicide. Sometimes it was the better play after all.

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Late Game

You've arrived!

Now your barrel damage is obscene, 1200 Powder Keg crits, 900 Parrrley crits, 500 AA damage. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm........

  • Staying alive is your goal. While you can very effectively splitpush, you are just so much of an asset to the team that you can't afford to die or get caught out. Stay with your team when possible and before team fights, do your best not to waste all your Powder Kegs laying down poke. If a team fight is about to break out, and you don't have access to two Powder Kegs you can often lose out on a lot of potential damage and range.
  • Don't be afraid to just hold off a second before letting rip with your combos. Before a fight everyone is hyper aware of Gangplank's Powder Keg and the damage they've already felt from them and your barrels will normally get shot before you can detonate them. When a fight breaks out however, the ADC isn't peeling their eyes for stray Powder Keg's they can hit, so this is when you want to be opening up your barrel combos. It's very hard to see them in the middle of a team fight before it's to late.
  • Late game doesn't differ to much from mid game, it's just higher stakes, and if you've played well, you will be a high priority target. This is why a defensive item is normally picked up.
  • Gangplank's late game is so strong that anyone who plays him or mains him will say you should never surrender on Gangplank. Even if a game is looking bad, if you can just reach that late game with the remnants of a tower to defend, you can often turn the tides, as it were. >.>

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I want to thank you for reading my Guide on Gangplank. I love the champion and will be continuing to work on this guide as it's by no means finished!

Feedback is welcomed, if it's negative that's fine just please put a comment as to what your reasons are and how it could be improved!

Special thanks to jhoijhoi for her Making a Guide Guide and anyone who's donated these awesome graphics! It made the process much easier and I doubt I'd have tried to make one without this resource.

I'd also like to thank link491 for his Captain Gangplank's Revenge Guide! which was what got me started on my favorite champion in the first place! I encourage anyone serious about learning Gangplank to check it out as it's a fun, informative read!

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Change Log

Brand new guide but I'll be posting updates about the champion here.


31/08/2016 Edited item descriptions on I.E and Duskblade. They are now more flexible than previously stated.
31/08/2016 Added a Disclaimer to the 'Introduction to the Guide' section.


31/08/2016 Added a 'Top or Mid?' section.