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Gangplank Build Guide by Jquoerlix

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 Jquoerlix

“A scared man is a loyal man.”

Jquoerlix Last updated on May 13, 2016
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The Pirate King

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: 0

Tough Skin
Runic Armor
Veteran's Scars
Legendary Guardian

Resolve: 18

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Hi everyone, I'm Jquoerlix, and this is my Gangplank guide. I first created this guide during the Gangplank rework (and resurrection) at 5.14/15 and I have been updating it as the new Pre-season is coming around. I worked hard to make this guide the best I could, and I would appreciate any feedback that you may have for me. Gangplank is an awesome champion, and one of the most fun to play - as he is one of the few champions who is able to OHKO enemy carries. Why should I play Gangplank, you ask? Read on, and find out.

Gangplank is melee physical damage dealer. His main strengths are his high mobility, his INSANELY high damage output, and an ult that can be cast from anywhere on the map, to anywhere on the map, making him the scariest, most threatening pirate to ever grace the Fields of Justice. (Sorry Miss Fortune).

I adopted Gangplank as my main top laner I think during the 2014 Worlds, about 2 months after I started playing League. For some reason, I became drawn toward the champions with the fastest mobility and speed (I know, weird right). A friend of mine gave me a few suggestions, like Master Yi, Pantheon, Hecarim, Rammus, and of course, the League of Legends' very own Popeye the Sailor, King Gangplank himself.

I remember the first time I played Gangplank, in a PVP game with my friend, and somehow managed to get a very respectable score. In that game, for some reason I was able to get to 500 movement speed. After that game, I immediately declared to my friend, "I am going to buy Gangplank," and I did. And what a great decision that was; the first step to a fruitful, long relationship with my favourite top laner ever. (Actually I also enjoy playing Gangplank in mid lane sometimes.)

Thank you all for taking the time to read my Gangplank guide, I hope you enjoy reading my guide as much I did writing it.

PLEASE NOTE: I have included three different builds in this guide, but the guide is only fully applicable to Critplank (the first build). The other two builds - Tankplank and APlank, I made just for fun. (Use at own discretion) Thanks.

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Pros / Cons



I'm The Most Dangerous Man Alive!
Gangplank has a massive damage output - his basic attacks, crit and items combined with Parrrley will allow you to very quickly burst down the enemy champion. Take them by surprise, and they won't even have time to react.
Stay In The Fight!
Gangplank has no ability that helps him escape. Often, this means that Flash is the option. This lack of escape mechanism will often be a large disadvantage against champions with good chasing potential, for example Wukong or Riven.
X Marks The Spot!
Gangplank's Parrrley and Cull will earn lots of gold for Gangplank, making him able to reach full build quite quickly, therefore reaching major itemisation milestones before your opponents on the other team.
Gimme Time To Prepare!
It does take time to set up Gangplank's powerful Powder Kegs and reach full combat potential. This means that Gangplank may lose over time against up-in-your-face champions who excel in close combat, for example Nasus or Darius.
James Cook The Second!
With a heal and CC remove ability - Remove Scurvy, Gangplank is as slippery as a fish. Basically a Quicksilver Sash with a heal and shorter cooldown, Gangplank is very hard to kill unless facing good sustained damage.
Come Closer, And Die!
To be blunt, Gangplank is a melee champion. Meaning he will always be disadvantaged when paired up against a ranged champion who has good sustained damage and can kite reasonably well, for example Teemo or Gnar.
A Threat From Anywhere!
Cannon Barrage, with its global range and the three unique upgrades, make Gangplank dangerous from anywhere on the map (unless he's dead, of course) and means you can assist in teamfights even from the other side of the map.
Where Be Me Crew At!
Gangplank's best form of combat is in teamfights; his in-and-out style of play benefits him and his team the most. This means Gangplank won't reach his full potential against enemies who can single him out, such as Vi and Warwick.

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Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Mark of Critical Chance

Greater Seal of Scaling Health

Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

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My ideal Gangplank masteries is an 12-0-18. In the Ferocity tree, we have Sorcery, Double-Edged Sword , Vampirism , and Oppressor . We take Sorcery over Fury here because while Gangplank does build some attack speed, the predominant part of Gangplank's combat is in the first boom-loaded Parrrley Powder Kegs. That is why spell damage is better for Gangplank than extra attack speed, which is more for sustained damage dealers. In my opinion, Vampirism is better than Natural Talent because AD and AP bonuses are justsooo tiny, while 2% spell vamp and life steal is kinda almost equivalent to Doran's Blade's stats, so yeah - a bit more significant than Natural Talent . Lastly, we pick Oppressor for the tier 2 mini-keystone because of its early-game advantages compared to Bounty Hunter . Additionally, Oppressor is more reliable because you will always to +2.5% damage to movement impaired enemies, so you'll do the same damage even if you aren't fed at all.

In the Resolve tree, we have a few stats that make it not as easy to die when you are playing Gangplank - Recovery , Tough Skin , Runic Armor and Insight . If any of you are wondering, I take Recovery here because Unyielding only scales with bonus resistances, and because my build doesn't have any resistances, there's not much point taking Unyielding . Also, Insight is a great choice for our Gangplank here because it gives summoner spells 15% reduced cooldowns. Next, we have Legendary Guardian , which is great for teamfighting as it gives resistances the more enemy champions there are nearby. Last of all, we have our Keystone mastery: Grasp of the Undying. The ultimate trading weapon, stealing health from your opponent as long as you have been in combat for 4 seconds. Grasp of the Undying is very good with Gangplank's passive - Trial By Fire. Both of these help you amazingly in short trades against your lane opponent; there is not really a better Keystone for Gangplank than Grasp of the Undying.

Yeah, that's about it on the mastery trees. Moving on.

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Starting Items

Cull and Corrupting Potion are the two starting items (as well as a Health Potion with Cull) that I would recommend when playing Gangplank. If you are laning against a difficult enemy champion, then starting Corrupting Potion for the lane sustain. If you are confident and want to start greedily, then start Cull and a Health Potion.

First Back

Depends on how much gold you have, really. I would start off with aiming for the Trinity Force. Usually the order I go is Sheen, Phage, and finally Zeal. If you have any gold left after buying as much as you can, get a Vision Ward and also one or two Health Potions.

Core Items

Trinity Force, Infinity Edge, and Essence Reaver are Gangplank's core items. Trinity Force is in general a very good combat item because of its variety of stats that benefit Gangplank - crit chance, movespeed, AD, CDR - but also because of its passives: Spellblade (from Sheen) and Rage (from Phage, which stack well with Gangplank's Q ( Parrrley) and the rest of his kit. Infinity Edge gives attack damage, crit chance, AND its passive - which makes critical strikes deal 250% of your AD instead of 200%. Additionally, you have the Essence Reaver which gives great stats for Gangplank as well as its passive which restores mana on crits. These 3 items are essential on Gangplank.

As mentioned before, I would suggest starting with Trinity Force first, for it's wide variety of combat stats and unique passives. Sheen first, then Phage and lastly Zeal. Your next item should be a Infinity Edge and after that Essence Reaver.

After these 3 items, finish off your choice of tier 2 boots.

Other Offensive Items

, , , , , and are all other offensive options you could buy on Gangplank. After the four core items, you may choose to build more damage or have lean more toward a tankier build.

Defensive Options

If you are wanting a build more on the Tankplank side, , , , , and are all viable items to buy. All of these items are viable as they give Gangplank advantages apart from just plain defensive stats, for example cooldown reduction, mana and unique passives.

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Gangplank's Abilities Explained

Trial By Fire is Gangplank's passive. Basically, every 15 seconds, Gangplank "ignites" the target with his next bonus attack, dealing true damage over time and giving Gangplank a burst of movement speed. Trial By Fire's cooldown resets after Gangplank destroys a Powder Keg, meaning you can pull off 2 basic attacks with the Trial By Fire proc in very quick succession.
Trial by Fire

Parrrley is Gangplank's main source of damage, and is the main way Gangplank can OHKO enemies (through the use of different items, procs, and buffs). It is an ability that is counted as a basic attack, meaning it can crit and will apply on-hit effects. However, it also means that Parrrley can be blocked ( Aegis Protection), dodged ( Counter Strike) or parried ( Riposte). Killing minions using Parrrley refunds mana, and plunders gold and Silver Serpents, a currency unique to Gangplank that can be used to upgrade his ultimate, Cannon Barrage.

Remove Scurvy is one of reasons why Gangplank is so hard to chase down and kill. Basically, Gangplank eats and an orange " They're not just oranges... they're blood oranges!" and heals himself (the more health missing, the more the ability heals), and removes ALL crowd control effects, whether it be slows, stuns, fear, charm, snare, suppress, anything! Being one of the few champions with an ability that can remove suppression, (others are Alistar's ult Unbreakable Will and Olaf's ult Ragnarok) so if facing enemy CC, just eat an orange, and its K.
Remove Scurvy

Powder Keg is Gangplank's new ability. Gangplank uncovers a powder keg at target location. The Keg starts off at 3 points of health, similar to how the old Stealth Wards' health worked. The Keg loses its first 2 health points after a short duration (this will become quicker as Powder Keg is levelled up). If Gangplank attacks it, it explodes, spreading the attack's damage to enemies in the area, slowing them. Also, if an enemy champion scores the last hit on the Powder Keg, the keg is disarmed and they earn 10 gold.
Powder Keg

Cannon Barrage is a barrage of cannons waves in a circular area anywhere on the map. Cannon Barrage is special in that it can be upgrading three times, in any order. The upgrades are: Death's Daughter, which fires a single cannonball dealing true damage at the centre of the AoE at the beginning of the ability; Fire at Will, which increases the number of cannon waves while keeping the ability's duration the same, and Raise Morale, which gives movement speed to allied champions walking through the AoE.
Cannon Barrage

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Ability Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

When playing as Gangplank, you would want to level up, and max, Q - Parrrley first. Not only because of the ranged harass and damage, but also the amount of gold you are able to Plunder from each unit killed. This leads onto having more Silver Serpents, which means you can upgrade your ultimate much more quickly.

At level 2, I get a point into Remove Scurvy for the CC removal (not really for the heal), as it is a very useful ability so getting a point in it early is a good choice. Another reason why I get Remove Scurvy at level 2 is because Powder Keg is not very useful in early=game as Parrrley does not deal a lot of damage. Max Remove Scurvy last.

I put my first point into Powder Keg at level 4. Because it is an offensive ability, and also Gangplank's main form of wave clear, max this before Remove Scurvy.

Obviously, you should put a point into Gangplank's ultimate - Cannon Barrage - whenever you can. (At levels 6, 11, and 16.)

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Laning Phase

The first thing you will want to know is the use of Parrrley in early laning. Of course, you would want to use Parrrley whenever it is off cooldown to farm safely at a distance, away from any poke, and also picking up Silver Serpents. Parrrley can also be used or to slow down approaching enemy junglers.

Trial By Fire is also a critical part of Gangplank's in=lane trading, as whacking someone with a blazing cutlass does deal quite a lot of damage. Remember the double Trial By Fire combo (in the Trial By Fire spoiler) - use this to quickly shred down your opponent's health bar.

Another very big part of Gangplank's gameplay after his update are windows of power. I mentioned before how it takes a long time to prepare his Powder Kegs, and being able to set up and blow up the Kegs are Gangplank's windows of power. Another champion who relies quite heavily on windows of power is Ryze and his passive - Arcane Mastery.

As powerful as the Powder Kegs may be, they are fragile. Enemies with long range and an attentive eye will be able to spot them and disarm them. A good way to initiate a Powder Keg chain is to hide a Keg in a nearby bush, or on the other side of a wall, etc. After that Keg has reached 1 HP, place down the second one and shoot the first one. PRO TIP: It is possible to extend the chain as the Powder Kegs are exploding, so you can catch your enemies by a surprise hit.

Gangplank is also very good at zoning opponents and harassing, particularly against melee opponents. Remember the How to Harass with Powder Keg (in the Powder Keg spoiler). If facing a melee champion, you may want to place your first Keg in the middle of the enemy minion wave, making the enemy stay further away, and therefore, zoned.

Gangplank can unload surprising amounts of damage in an in-and-out fighting pattern, e.g. leading the enemy into a Parrrley- Powder Keg, then a Cannon Barrage, and finally turning back and finishing the kill, thanks to the speed boost. In, and out. (Or in this case, out and in.)

As you become more experienced with Gangplank, you should plan ahead and set up Kegs to maximise the benefit of the burst damage.

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As a top-laner who is quite good at split-pushing (after buying Statikk Shiv and also because of his ultimate), a very important part of Gangplank's gameplay is warding. As mentioned above, you should buy a Vision Ward quite early in the game, as it will protect you from ganks from the enemy jungler. The below diagram shows places where you could/should place Stealth Wards and Vision Wards if you are on the blue team. The only difference between red- and blue-side warding are the Vision Wards in the tri-bushes - 'B' in the diagram. (Note: my warding map does not only apply to top-lane Gangplank)

Purple = Vision Ward / Greater Vision Totem; Green = Stealth Ward / Warding Totem / Greater Stealth Totem

A: When playing as the top-laner or ADC/support, you need to ward the river bush whenever you push past it.

B: A precaution against enemy junglers who gank from the tribush rather than the river bush, or diving you inside your outer turret. You will want to keep this warded constantly, so a Vision Ward will be more cost-effective than several Stealth Wards.

C: As the mid-laner, it is different in terms of warding when compared to top-lane and bot-lane because you could be ganked from both directions. This is why I opt for Stealth Wards instead of Vision Wards so that the enemy jungler won't be able to destroy your vision that easily.

D: These Stealth Wards are for protecting your jungler and his/her buffs, and to ensure that they aren't stolen by the enemy jungler.

E: I put Vision Wards behind the dragon and baron pits, as preparation and anti-steal.

F: Same as above.

G: For helping your jungler/team potentially stealing a buff or just getting a kill.

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In mid- to late-game, Gangplank becomes and excellent split-pusher and wave-clearer. Putting Powder Kegs in nearby bushes can help you deter any enemies who come and try to stop your push. Using the slow and bonus movespeed (as well as massive damage) from Powder Keg allows Gangplank to run away search for more worthy opponents safely.

Due to his global ult, Gangplank can contribute to faraway teamfights while split-pushing. However, when split-pushing be careful of enemies who are able to move through walls, for example Ekko and Tristana. Although, you do have Remove Scurvy to get rid of CC, you won't be able to outrun champions with gap-closing kits (unless you get boots), e.g. Jayce, Wukong, and Riven. (See Pros and Cons).

If not split-pushing, the best way Gangplank can contribute to teamfights is through strategic placement of Powder Kegs. In most cases, Remove Scurvy can let him dance through the enemy frontline and blast the squishy carries with a crit-loaded Parrrley together with the (ver strategically placed) Powder Kegs.

Depending on the build you chose, can be the team's damage and CC soaker, or rip up the enemy team with crit-loaded Parrrleys and incredible damage. Depending on the upgrades you chose for Cannon Barrage, Gangplank can use his ult to focus high-priority targets, zone the enemy team, help his team chase/escape, or all three.

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First of all I would just like to thank you for having read this far into my guide - all the way to the end! My guide is written for you guys, who have the time and patience to read someone's first ever MobaFire guide. I hope that you will upvote my guide, but if you do downvote, please let me know why.

Life lesson from Gangplank - "Eat more oranges."

Special thanks to: