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Gangplank Build Guide by ImissAegis

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League of Legends Build Guide Author ImissAegis

Gangplank - Discussion of Strategy and his Awesomeness

ImissAegis Last updated on February 6, 2012
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Top Lane
Ranked #9 in
Top Lane
Win 53%
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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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Ok. I'm making this guide because after reading the others on here I have noticed an epic lack of consideration into the genuinly essential parts of Gangplank play in LoL. Other guides have great points, but do not address what I consider the most important part of the game, the first 15 minutes with more than "get armor pen runes..... and and 2 ... and flash for ganks ... so you can farm = win!". Wrong. Get those same items on Soraka and she would be a good dps too.
But please read on.

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Ranked Play

This guide primarily is meant to address ranked play. If all you want is to go 40-0-0 with maxed items I suggest you make a smurf account, spend $5 on riot points, and buy . Have fun. To everyone who posts those screenshots of pentakills in a normal game, yea, we understand your awesomeness, it should give you about as much pride as beating the short yellow school bus with your mom's Acura when the traffic light turns green. Woo hoo, go you. Back to the real world.

The basic principle of is that he is hands down one of the most badass harassers early game. For real, a good who gets even 20% crit proc on Parrrley will pin down the best survivors and have the person on the other computer crying and screaming that is OP. And yes, has the nearly unique ability to be a viable laner and/or jungler. The only other hero I know that can do exactly the same just as well as is Warwick. There are good jungle guides out there, to save you time, buy Vampiric Scepter and go Raise Morale. With Red buff, any laners you catch pushing should be an easy kill, if not you will burn their Flash. For jungling, grab Greater Seal of Armor x9, Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction x9, Greater Mark of Attack Damage x9, damage runes and a mix of any of these Quintessence runes: Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed, Greater Quintessence of Armor, Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage. is a good jungle, but he is NOT the fastest and is a poor counter jungler.

Also if you were confused as to what lane goes, it's top. And stop reading if you even questioned what lane, go back to auto'ing as Ashe in bot lane.

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The greatest controversy in my opinion for is what runes to go. And honestly, there are about 4 general ways that all works best.

You can go AD runes . This is a double edged sword though. High base damage means your ability to last hit creeps and raw damage vs the other solo laner is great. This is wtf ftw OP until your opposing lane champions remembers is pure AD damage and gets Chain Vest and Cloth Armor and your (+)20 starting AD now feels like (-)30. You can still do well vs creeps and when you do get Last Whisper, as you will be forced to do, it will help stop your tears.

You can go "WTF how much damage does Parrrley do!?!" build. In my opinion this is best achieved with Greater Mark of Critical Damage and Greater Mark of Critical Chance and Greater Quintessence of Critical Damage or Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage. Be warned, it is a huge risk. But when you do land a 150+ crit at level 1, your opponent will have to respect that or cough up lane control entirely. Think about it, that's for them every 4ish seconds and only 40 mana lost for you. The upside to this rune set up is that it carries well from early game, through mid, straight to late with no pleateau or ramping issues.

Mana regen or armor? CD reduc or mag resist? I know, it is a tough freaking call. I tend to prefer Greater Seal of Armor because I choose not to grab it in the masteries and consequently grab Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction to help yourself farm (), sustain (), and spam Cannon Barrage around the map. 4/5 times your opponent will be physical damage based and thus armor works well. I also grab the Meditation from masteries so I skip the mana regen runes that would be necessary to compensate.

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Skill Sequence

If you have not noticed yet Parrrley is the engine that drives the good ship Kickass known as . It takes priority maxing ASAP. I often take Raise Morale at level 2 for further increased passive damage, then Parrrley at level 3, and Remove Scurvy at level 4. However, at level 2,3, and 4 it really depends on your feel of the game. If you suspect early ganks because they have Rammus, Lee Sin, or Shaco jungling, I grab at level 2 to break any CC on me that could lead to a sloppy and an avoidable death. Use your discretion here, but always get Remove Scurvy before 6, it would be a shame for a jungle Warwick to grab you with Infinite Duress and you not have a get out of jail free card to play.

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Offense tree is a must, virtually max it out and then spend the remaining points for Meditation and Expanded Mind for mana sustain. In my opinion, the 6 Armor + Magic Resist is not worth trading the early game superiority that comes with a large mana pool and regen. I do grab Sorcery instead of Alacrity for because you will rarely go toe to toe with someone who wants to not run or chase you and 4% attack speed is nothing special, better to fire off more often anyway so grab CD reduction.
Enough here? Lemme check, yea. Moving on.

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Items and Summoner Spells

A point of contingency:

If your opposing team is mostly AD, for sanity's sake go Ninja Tabi. If you prefer flat crit or AD runes with no armor pen then 99% of your games will require that you purchase Last Whisper. You are playing ranked, establish what works best for you but be smart about it (ergo, do not go all Greater Mark of desolation AND AND ).

Some people prefer to play with + . This is not wrong. Nor is it noob. It is a preference. It is not as fast as but can be used to get back to lane quickly and chase effectively. And compliments this well, it solidifies gank kills and shuts down an AD in team fights later in game. I have and do use this combination at times.

When I choose + I tend to go first with x2. This is an offensive build yes. But with you brought your safeguard. I believe it is a highly underrated top laning spell. If your winning, it allows you to quickly grab more items and quickly return to lane making your opponent cry whilst curled up in the fetal position in the corner of their closet with the light on. If you are losing, it allows you to retreat quickly and restock until your jungle can make it top to help grab a kill. If your bot lane is being dived at tower, not only should you it as soon as your teammtes begin girlishly screaming over ventrillo but you can down if needed to secure a wipe. 9/10 games I can farm + without losing any advantage in lane. For your personal reference, at 970g you can grab +Sight Ward+ . If you can survive to 1320g, you can grab + +Sight Ward+ . That's right, include 75g in EVERY trip back for a Sight Ward, it saves lives people. After this, your harass game literally becomes twice as effective. If you are not farming well, I would put Sheen on hold and begin to assemble the Phage components first for hp and damage.

The rest of the item build is HIGHLY (note the caps) dependant on who is in the game. I choose the item set I most often go. In reality, 95/100 games end before you can max a build, so DO NOT gripe about why sheen is not utilized in Trinity Force. Why not? Because no one farms 18k gold every game. Your "end game" build will realistically be:

Mercury's Treads (1200g) or Ninja Tabi(850g) (going to differ every game)
Sheen (1260g)(Boom! Headshot)
Frozen Mallet (3250g)(Instant 37% slow on Parrley, 47% on melee, and 61% after 3 melee hits)
Atma's Impaler (2355g)(Some items were made for .. Crit, Armor, and Damage in one item, check. Remember, that's 2AD for every 100HP, true late game, thats 80+AD)
Vampiric Scepter (450g)(Lane sustainability and dueling capability)

Thats a total of 8515g, before wards or potions.
Be honest with yourself. Play a few ranked games, and look at your average gold earned per game. My average gold earned per game is 9935g. My average on is 12587g and my average on is 8372g. It's not bragging or embarassing, it's reality. Plan to buy according to that average. And if you only have 9935g, that means the above items at 8515g + sight wardx5 is 375g and x4 is 140g, your total is 9030g. That is what my team can expect of me on average every game. Don't kid yourself into thinking "once I get a full item set I'll be good" because that's lame. Be good with whatever you have. Put the excuses aside.

As mentioned, there is a lot of variability and I utilize that caviot frequently. Sometimes I turn Vampiric Scepter into Wriggle's Lantern. This is a nice early and mid game item for a free ward, plus nice boost to damage, armor, and easier Dragon & Baron. If I do not make I may combine into Zeke's Harbinger. This is a cheap item that packs an awesome aura, more hp to help out , and another bonus of CD reduction. Sometimes though, it stays as is.
Sometimes I combine and for , adding movement speed and freeing up a spot for . This build is awesome if your team is kicking ***. If not, you just make yourself a glass cannon, which means you basically become , but as a melee. Which everyone knows, is OP, and is why they made her a ranged champion.

A lot of people have debated the use of high health items for a item composition. In my experience, is a chaser and fighter. Unless you have a blink ability or an instant escape skill like , , , , or , you need to come to terms with the fact that you will be in the thick of the fight, which means AoE damage and convenient targetting.

Some people might notice I include no gp10 items in my build. Heed that. You have to get rich, use it. There are 3 that could possibly work on and they are: Heart of Gold, which turns into Randuin's Omen, Avarice Blade which turns into Youmuu's Ghostblade and philosopher's stone which turns into shurelya's reverie. Let's address these, shall we?

is one of my favorite items... on the tank or support. You are already building enough armor and hp as it is, let another teammate grab this at a steep 3075g.
has a sweet activation and nice passives too. Plus the crit from is a nice component item. But the ultimate goal of this item is for movement and attack speed, which is great but best for and . Not a bad option, but better to spend your 2687g towards or at least + which will serve better early and later.
philosopher's stone provides nice hp and mana regen, both which benefits from.. but builds into a **** item for him later game, especially when your support should be picking it up. Spending your 2200g on twin giant's belts would even be better.
To conclude, gp10 are not all they are cracked up to be.. do the math, it takes approximately 17 minutes from the time you buy the item to pay for itself. So unless you buy all 3 or any of them at 10 min and plan to hold them until at least 30 min, it is a waste. Don't delude yourself.

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Gangplank works under 2 general principles:

You out harass your opponent with Parrrley
You out farm your opponent with Parrrley

Notice a commonality between those? Yep, . If you cannot kill the other champion with , then farm creeps with . Thanks to Riot for such an awesome skill. It is why I go Meditation in masteries along with Saphhire Crystal to ensure continued spam of your dearly beloved .

Now let's talk about who you will be fighting. There are viable magic damage champions for top lane such as Cho'Gath, Galio, Nidalee (though she's better as AD), Katarina, Maokai, Kennen, Mordekaiser, Rumble, Singed, Warwick, Akali, and Yorick.

But all those champs are picked far less than your more common top laners such as: Garen, Irelia, Nasus, Nidalee, Jax, Lee Sin, Malphite, Pantheon, Renekton, Talon, Riven, Tryndamere, Udyr, and Wukong.

Hardest champions to lane against:
Pantheon (The anti-lane , his passive Aegis Protection negates your harass, if counter picked in champ select, ask to jungle. A good trumps a pro any given day of the week. If you must lane vs then remember to activate needs to attack, which means he has to push. Plead and grovel for your jungle to watch top lane and catch every time he does so)

Rumble (Spam and shield, at no cost, like , can shut down your harass and make farming tough. If you can break through his Scrap Shield and zone him at all, kudos. If not, remember, is there to help you outfarm him. Not to mention, is global and can grab assists to pad your gold reserves)

Irelia (Awesome sustain, likely to have + x5, and when she hits 6 she gets a full HP recovery with Transcendent Blades. Harass hard and pick up as many creeps as you can, is a beast survivor)

Riven (mostly dependant on how talented the player is, it is 50/50 here but a good is dangerous. If you can secure the upper hand with a few lucky crits off , you should have it)

Jax (another counter like with Counter Strike, plus Leap Strike + Empower he makes for a bruising blink burst champion. Few players are that talented but if you encoutner one, it will keep you on your toes)

Nidalee (possibly the strongest lane ever, a fantastic is near unbeatable especially after level 6. She has unparalleled damage output at 6 due to Aspect Of The Cougar and terrific sustain before it too. Ask your jungle nicely for ganks, and if you notice you are not doing well harassing, switch it up and use for creep kills)

Warwick (spam and burst harass with Hungering Strike, may not be able to kill you, but he might out-sustain you, nicest part is late game your Remove Scurvy trumps his Infinite Duress)

Tricky champions to lane against:
Cho'Gath (soaks up damage, free reign to spam. Good 's are just tough to ever do much besides go toe to toe with, and unless you get some crits off early from and he gets the chance to stack HP, it will be a back and forth lane)

Nasus (his Siphoning Strike makes for insane single shots but also insane HP recovery, may not be able to kill you, but he might outfarm you without a jungle gank)

Garen (any player with patience can rock as , just have to know when to back off and let Perseverance work, but tends to rely on bushes and is inherently worse at harass than so you still come out ahead)

Galio (with Chalice of Harmony is annoying, he will out harass and out farm you, but he sacrifices for it. Utilize to help boost your gold with global assists)

Singed (with enough HP regen, he acts like , soaks damage and farms but again you have a global ult, better harass, and better farm ability)

Mordekaiser (Even after all his nerfs, he has huge spam and an ult that is unrivaled. Hit him with before he gets Iron Man charged from abilities on minions and yourself)

Akali (Burst and blink, she can get to you and kill you at 6 if you are getting sloppy, so don't)

Kennen (Not often top, but a great packs some serious aggravation for almost anyone, but lacks sustainability before Hextech Revolver so abuse this and dodge his Thundering Shuriken)

Lee Sin (One of the highest skill players in the game, and subsequently if the other player is fantastic his Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike + Safeguard / Iron Will can make your lane miserable. Dodge the skill shots and land when his shield is down)

Malphite (like , if he backs off to always keep his Granite Shield up, you will be forced to outfarm him)

Wukong (mostly just formidable output, but is mana dependant which in my opinion puts him lower on the rung than )

Talon (another burst, like , his best shot is to catch you slacking off or getting greedy and punish you for it. Again don't let this happen to you)

Udyr (if the player is quick on Turtle Stance, you are not getting a kill, go for harass and outfarm)

Who you should always trump in lane:

Everyone else

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This guide is by no means exhaustive or the Holy Grail of guides making all other guides obsolete. But I believe a lot of other guides out there don't help you through a realistic expectation and description of higher level play for this champion.

Gangplank can take on any other champion top and can still pull off some nice farm. his ability to cast an instant AoE Damage and slow with is unparalled. When well placed, can determine fights by forcing the team to fight in it, or even allow your team to catch up in a chase which is further boosted with .

Take everything here with a grain of salt and at least a shot of something 80 proof. The salt for its timeless reason, and well, the same for the other.

Many special thanks to letsgoROSH for editting and his input.