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Gangplank Build Guide by

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A build to ensure success in all stages in 5v5!

Last updated on May 1, 2012
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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.



Offense: 23

Honor Guard

Defense: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 7

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I've read a lot of guides that don't seem to put much thought into what items you need and win. Many guides seem to expect you to get 20k gold per game...and that usually doesn't happen. This guide focuses on getting you what you need, when you need it...then adding on the extras if the game lasted long enough.

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For marks and quintessences, I pick up armor penetration. This is a hard stat to come by otherwise, and I think it's better than crit chance since that's easy to get in the build. It's also beter than attack power, as we'll get plenty of that in the build.

For seals and glyphs, I pick up flat mana regen. "Why do you do that, you start with a Meki Pendant anyway?" If you haven't noticed, Gangplank is VERY mana-hungry early-game. Not even a Meki Pendant can prrovide him with the mana he needs. Having flat mana regen runes, you'll be able to stay in lane as long as you want and use whatever skills you want, when you want to use them, without worry of running out of mana.

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For Masteries, I go 23/0/7.

Summoner's Wrath isn't needed, as I don't typically use the summoner spells associated with them. But if you do, go ahead and pick it up instead of Summoner's Insight, if you wish. Butcher really helps to last hit minions, not only early game but throughout the whole game. Since Mental Force is also not useful (I don't think healing myself an extra 1 is going to make a difference), I picked up Butcher.

Cooldown reduction is more important than attack speed on Gangplank. You want to make sure you can spam Parrrley faster -- your auto-attack is much less important.

We get everything in the next row to make sure we hit HARD -- not only with Parrrley, but Cannon Barrage as well.

I'm not a huge fan of lifesteal...the rest of the masteries are pretty self-explanitory.

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As I've mentioned before (and I can't say it enough times) Gangplank eats a lot of mana along with all those oranges. The best starting item you can get is a Meki Pendant (unless you're jungling). Since it should provide enough mana, let's pick up 2 health potions along with it (also saves mana from healing). Don't worry if you use up your health potions early -- by level 3 or 4, Remove Surrrvey heals as much as they do anyway (AND it's instant).

The first time you go back will be heavily dependant on several things, so I won't tell you "Oh, you WILL be able to afford A but not B). However, I CAN provide to you a general order you should purchase them in. How often you pick up the next piece of the puzzle isn't as important as which order you pick them up in.

That being said, the second item you need to pick up is your Tear of Goddess. This does 3 things for you. "What, such a simple item does THREE things?" Yes. It gives you mana, which helps you use more skills and keep mana up for your Cannon Barrage. It also gives you mana for every minion you kill, further increasing your mana regen. And lastly, it stats building up your mana for the attack power on your Manamune.

Now, this next step may seem controversial. You don't have boots yet but I'm asking you to get your Manamune BEFORE you get anything else -- even boots! This is because Gangplank hasn't built anything to help him fight yet. No attack, no health/armor/resist, not even crit chance. He shouldn't be trying to kill things...yet. And his move speed (along with eating oranges), and Flash, should be enough to keep him out of harm's way. Hug your turret if you're scared. When you first get this Manamune, you will get a sudden boost of about 50 to your attack power, depending on how your level and how much you've already stacked the Tear of Goddess. This is something your opponent's aren't expecting...and maybe you can even catch them off guard. The best thing about it is, it's only 2110 TOTAL gold, and that Meki Pendant you started the game with is even part of it! Try to get 50 attack power that fast any other way...not happening. Manamune is quite cost-effecient. Quite cost-effecient indeed. And it even gets better! As you attack, use skills, level, and even build certain items (Sheen, Frozen Heart) you will continue to increase its attack. At level 18, a fully-stacked Manamune will give you over 70 attack power (over 80 with Frozen Heart -- we'll get to that later).

Ok, now that we have damage, it's time to get Boots finally. You know I wouldn't let you go the whole game without some! But just pick up the level 1 boots for now. You're fast enough, and there's one more item we want while we're getting attack damage.

The next item is the Sheen. The sheen does 4 things for you! (OMG it's more uber than the Tear of Goddess!) If you're still in the laning phase, an extra 200 mana can't hurt. You might still be low enough on mana where you notice a difference. Maybe not. Either way, there ye be. Oh...and speaking of that mana...4 attack power! (Yay...who cares right? But it's something...) It also gives you 25 AP...which stacks pound-for-pound making you heal more...and it gives you 5 more attack on your ultimate! ... Ok, I don't think you're impressed yet. You're not impressed? Well, what are Sheens for?!? None of that, that's for sure. Ah! I know...every time after you use a spell (i.e., Remove Surrrrvey, Raise Moral, Cannon Barrage) your next attack (your basica attack OR Parrrley) deals BONUS damage equal to your base attack power! Woot! And you thought they called him Gankplank because their "g" button broke after they hit it the first time...

Ok, I've made you wait long enough. You can get your level 2 boots now. Get the cooldown reduction boots, because nothing else in this build gives you that and I'm sure you appreciate 0.75 seconds off Parrrley, ~2 seconds off Remove Scurrrvey, and 18 seconds off Cannon Barrage. Yay! Ok, you can get the Mercury Threads instead if you want. I don't care. (Does it look like I care?) But don't say I didn't warn you.

Now that we've started ganking them (maybe) they got mad and they want to gank you! Oh no! What to do, what to do. Well, nothing appropriates you with the "Tanky DPS" title like a Warmog's Armor! There's no single item in the game that gives you more survivability than this thing. After building it, it's going to take quite a bit to kill you and one-on-one you should have no problem killing other people.

But the survivability ends there. It's time to up the damage some more!

The next item I get is the Trinity Force, and there's a couple reasons I get it before the Infinity Edge. A) It's cheaper, with Sheen already. Many games won't last long enough for you to get an Infinity Edge, even if you get it before the Trinity Force. B) The Infinity Edge is best if we build crit chance, and we haven't even done that yet. C) The Trinity Force just gives you so much, while the Infinity Edge only gives you raw damaage (and some of which is unreliable). All things considered, I think Trinity Force should go before Infinity Edge.

The 6th slot gets filled with a Phantom Dancer. Now that we have an Infinity Edge, it's time to get more critical chance. Also, now that people are beefier, you may have noticed you use basic attacks more tha Parrrley -- and your attack speed is slow. Fix it!

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Situational Items

Most games will be over before you get this build completed. But if you have enough gold to buy all the Elixirs and then more, here's what you do: Sell your Manamune. Yes, it's sad, I knwo. This thing gives a lot of bang for the buck, but now you have all the bucks you need.

If a game has gone on this long, chances are they either have too much armor or too much lifesteal. If the former is true, get a Last Whisper. If the latter is true, get a Bloodthirster to try and counter-act their Bloodthirster.

Better yet -- get a Thornmail. You can get this instead of a Bloodthirster, but this will lower your attack. It's also a good idea to sell the Warmog's for a Thornmail, but that idea is less OK if they have heavy-hitting mages on their team.

In fact, if they have NO mages on their team (or their mages suck), then guess what? Joke's on them! INSTEAD of the Warmog's Armor, you can get a Frozen Heart or a Thornmail. Both give more sustain than a Warmog's against AD alone. Frozen Heart is generally a better idea, because it A) slows their attack speed, B) gives you the always-coveted CDR, and C) gives you 10 attack while you have the Manamune. But get a Thornmail if you think you'll need it (not that they'll hit you hard with either one, anyway).

Another viable option after selling the Manamune is to get a 2nd Infinity Edge (but, bear in mind, that with the Frozen Heart, the Manamune has more attack power than an Infinity Edge. If, for some reason [like you didn't get the Runes I told you to, and went crit chance] your crit rate is already too high, don't sell the Manamune if you have Frozen Heart).

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But why not build [insert item here]?

Atma's Impaler: We don't need the armor. Warmog's gives enough sustain by itself. Atma's is more expensive than Manamune, gives less attack (albeit higher critical chance) and doesn't build from mana regen that is so nice to start with. It doesn't give enough critical chance to compete with Phantom Dancer, and is much worse than the Trinity Force. No. Just no.

Banshee's Veil: Honestly, I don't think it's passive is THAT great. Their mage has a fast enough recharge time, that they can probably blast you twice within 45 seconds if you want...then you're screwed. Just stick with Warmog's. If you REALLY swear by a Banshee's Veil, then I guess you can use it...

Force of Nature: Even if they have no AD whatsoever, Warmog's Armor gives more sussurvivability, and only costs 390 more gold. Might as well not worry about Force of Nature, unfortunately. It's a great item, just not for Gangplank.

Frozen Mallet: As a replacement for Warmog's it's weak, and isn't viable for a late-game after-you-sell Manamune item. It's slow is unnecssary, as Gangplank is already fast and slows a little. I suppose coupling it with a Maw of Malmortius as a replacement to Warmog's and Manamune is ok, but ONLY if they have no AD and you have a s*** ton of gold. It's a hella expensive duo.

Guardian Angel: Warmog's is better. Get it and you won't even die in the first place.

Maw of Malmortius: See Frozen Mallet.

Nashor's Tooth: Unfortunately, attack speed isn't that important. :-\ I love this item, but we need the crit chance and attack power. I can't really work it into the build.

Phantom Dancer x2: A second Phantom Dancer gives more DPS than a Manamune, but there's better options to replace it with if the oppurtunity arises.

The Black Cleaver: If they're not beefy enough to merit getting a Last Whisper, then there's better options.

Tiamat: Things have to be awfully close for this to work on them. Not really a viable option.

Wriggle's Lantern: It's really most useful on jungle Gangplank. I'm not a huge fan of it.

Yomuu's Ghostblade: It doesn't really give a whole lot. It's cheap, but not cheap enoguh to be worth getting, in my opinion.

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Skill Sequence

You want to start out with Q as it's your only way to harass. You also get bonus gold if you finish a minion off with it. At level 2, you need W to get out of tight situations and to heal yourself, to be able to sustain longer. At 3, another level of Q to help scare them, ensure last hits on minions, and get more gold. At 4, another W to heal as much as a health potion. Level 2 W is so OP at level 4, and you can even get level 3 if you want. But at 5 we need E, and 6 R. After that I max Q (putting emphasis on R when I can) but getting level 3 or even 4 of W before maxing Q is ok if you need to/being harassed a lot. Ultimately, though, max E before W.