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Gangplank Build Guide by Klarry300

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 Klarry300

Gangplank: Keelhaulin' Solo Top

Klarry300 Last updated on December 12, 2011
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Team 1

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: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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Important Introduction

Hello Mobafire community, welcome to my Solo top guide for Gangplank. Most of you have probably played him before in different ways, in the jungle or in another lane, but this guide is for soloing top ONLY, while having your jungler ganking and giving you the solo-lane exp as in the current meta.


Gangplank can be built both as an offtank and as a carry, and i have adjusted the build and guide to adapt depending on what team-composition you have and what you prefer. Therefore there are several builds included in the cheat-sheet.

Build 1 = The Main Build, which from you can build both offtank and carry.
Build 2 = The Offtank Build, this build focuses on staying alive while still dealing damage
Build 3 = The Carry Build, the way of the Carry is to deal as much damage as possible and therefore we build this way.

I will explain everything more in the rest of the guide and in it's respective sections, hopefully you will find this build useful.

What you can expect from this guide

  • A detailed guide regarding how to play Gangplank in Solo top
  • A build that can be both turned into a scary Offtank and a deadly Carry
  • Explanations and comparisons between the builds and other positions

    What you won't get from this guide

    • A guide about how to jungle, mid or bot lane with Gangplank
    • A guide that fits everyone (Everyone builds differently)
    • A Critplank or Tankplank build
    • Rick Astley

      Time for some Keelhaulin' then!

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So... Offtank or Carry?

So your going to solo top and don't know how you should build? Well no problem, i'll explain it here.

In competitive play, you should build according to what your team needs and what you face. If you don't play ranked and just wanna pubstomp, pick which one you'd prefer.
  • When you need a bulky Offtank
  • Can soak up damage and still deal lots
  • Can actually anti-carry pretty good
  • Hard to kill and good in 1vs1
  • Not as much damage as the carry build
    Space CARRY
    • When you need a deadly Carry
    • Deals huge amounts of damage
    • Carries your team to victory when having other tanks
    • Pushes lanes and eats towers
    • Always targeted and kited
    • Not nearly as bulky as the offtank build

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Taking the Sololane

Some people might say that Gangplank is best in the jungle or in another position, but i say nay to that. He's not bad in any other lane, actually he's a great jungler. But when i go top with him, i usually win the lane and farm well so it's almost a free win. Especially farming is a reason for going top.

When taking the sololane, you should keep in mind that your team needs you to perform well, so don't waste it. Hopefully you have a jungler that intend to gank often and smooth, so you can pick up some early kills.

With your choice of runes, masteries and starting items you are quite bulky and in excellent shape for the top lane. That's whats this build is focused on, to help you perform well up there.

Why we take top lane:
  • Good harassment and sustain
  • Quite bulky with defensive runes
  • Deals good damage and has passive slow
  • Top lane usually results in lots of farm
  • Can resist a lot of ganks by eating oranges
  • Gangplank simply is a good choice for top

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Greater Mark of Lethality

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Health

  • greater mark of Desolation: You only deal physical damage with GP. That's why you always want to get these as your marks, they boosts your damage the most through the game. Simple.
  • Greater Seal of Armor: Early on, the biggest source of damage is always physical through auto-attacks. It is vital to get these if your going top, and many solo top picks are physical. Always get these if your planning an offtank build.
  • Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: When soloing top, almost all champs have some source of magic damage ex. Maokai or Irelia. This will help you stay alive and to survive in teamfights later in the game. A great pick.
  • Greater Quintessence of Health: As you are a offtank and going top these are straight forward survivability. You'll be really beefy with this, allowing you to take harassment like a boss.

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So my masteries consist mostly of the offense tree for both builds. The reason for this is simple, you have pretty much defense already and these masteries are just perfect for balancing your damage up a bit. With ArP, AD and crit damage this masteries are in great synergy with the items you are about to get.

For offtank, i put 9 points in the defensive tree since we need that extra health and resistance to stay alive. Free health? Hell yeah!

For carry, i put the rest in utility. This allows you to spam your Parrrley even more, keep your lovely buffs longer and see those landlubbers coming to gank you easier.

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The Core & Different Builds

All items are explained more detailed in the next section

The Solo-Top Core

The core is how your build should look like independent on how the game goes. This items is what makes you so good for top. Wriggle's Lantern giving us farming capabilities and sustain as well as a free ward, boots for mobility and to keep up, and our lovely Trinity Force coming in handy giving us ***loads of offensive capabilities as well as some defensive. Building like this let's you win the lane easier, deal more damage and still being able to become what kind of Pirate you want.


Boots are built differently. As an Offtank, you'd want to pick either Mercyry's or Ninja Tabi depending on their source of damage. Do they have 3 magical or physical dealers? On the other hand, if you are building into a carry, get the CDR boots. You will be able to Parrrley more and it will increase your DPS as well as having your ultimate more often.

The Offtank Build

The balance between damage and survivability. Helloo Atmog's, you fit right in my build. Massive damage, massive tankyness, crit, armor, WHY THE HELL NOT! The reasons are simple and clear and the balance is great. In competitive games, having an offtank like this is a great asset for the team. You can 1 v 1 most AD and AP carries and tanks, and you should be a really tough opponent for their offtank as well.

The Last 2 Items

+ or

The 5th item is mostly always the same, but the 6th is very optional. A Force of Nature is really great for you, but you wont always need it because they maybe doesn't have that much magic damage or they just don't use it against you. Maybe they just have a Vlad who never give a **** about you and always target your carries. But the 6th item is more optional, if you take serious physical damage at this point, consider Randuin's. But mostly, an Infinity Edge is a purchase that is very worthwhile. Your endgame Parrrley's will be even more dangerous while you still manage to be very beefy.

Building summaries:


or + + or

+ or


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Items - Explanations

Okay so now we've come to the items section, and here i'll explain my choices of items and why i choose them.

+ 5 SPA First of all you wan't to get a Cloth Armor and some pots. You get a nice armor boost that is really helpful early on top, since almost all early game damage is from auto-attacks. I also choose this items since it speeds up building our Wriggle's which is an important item to get. The pots are just great too.

SPA After a little while you will probably gotten some cash either from farm or maybe you picked up a kill. Anyway, when you have enough for the Wriggle's and a Boots of Speed, teleport back. This item is the best item for Gangplank if you are soloing. Sustain, damage, farm and ward, what more can you ask for? When you get this, get ready for farming. Last hitting just become a breeze with this. Remember to use the ward as i show later in the guide.

SPA If your doing it right, you should be having your Wriggle's and be farming like a boss and zoning your opponent. The well-earned cash is always well spent in the Trinity Force. This item is all around awesome. It enhances every aspect of your offensive capabilities (except for lifesteal) and is the perfect item to become a real threat. Obviously you should get a Sheen first. Why? Oh, you maybe didn't know that Parrrley's on-hit function works well with the proc from the Sheen? Well it does, you almost double up the damage, and now the enemy will think twice before coming in range of your gun. After Sheen you get Zeal. Zeal also complements you well with AS, Crit and Movespeed. Then turn this batboy into a whole and you get Trinity Force. Now we're talking, you get massive proc damage, an extra slow, movement speed, attack damage, crit chance and everything you need! From this point, you can build however you want, but i daresay that this is the best all around item for Gangplank at this point.


SPA Around this time, everyone get their pair of boots. This includes you. Mercury's Boots is the best choice of your building Offtank. But wait, Tenacity? I have my oranges? Well yes, even though Gangplank can clear CC doesn't make you immune to it. Tenacity is what makes you much harder to put down with slows and such. You maybe need to clear off Morgana's Dark Binding just to find out she's gonna use Soul Shackles? Well with these boots you will be up and running sooner, which is very good. The MR is also just great, helping you against casters and all sources of magical things.

SPA And now, the item that characterizes offtanks, the Warmog's. The reason why i get this? Because it provides OP survivability. You can easily farm the passive up and be 3000+ hp very fast. While having your Triforce doing damage and slowing you now is a real pain in the *** to kill too! And it's just about to get better.

SPA Okay, so now you got survivability and some damage, but it's getting later and your damage is quite falling behind if you don't fix it... So let's do it. Get the Atma's. The old combo of Warmog's and Impaler works well on Gangplank. In fact, very well. You get heavy damage along with crit and more armor. You just got yourself a real balance now, the items you have gotten so far really synchronizes perfectly. It's not a cheap deal, but a brilliant one. From this point, we might lack a bit mobility and magic resist, so let's fix that too.

SPA A Force of Nature is the item for Gangplank at this point. Heavy MR helps against very much, as Madred's Bloodrazor and all AP Casters and mages that could target you. The mobility is just great too. But it also has a passive health regen, that syncs well with your Warmog's and make you even more sustainable.

SPA If you get this far in the game, you want to sell your Wriggle's Lantern and buy yourself a better deal. This slot of item i think is quite optional, and you should build depending on the following factor: Do you need more damage or more survivability? Offtanking is all about balancing those two aspects, and mostly you want an Infintiy Edge for the great damage it provides. But if you just keep on dying because they have so many fully builded carries, a Randuin's Omen will seal the deal. You might not be the biggest late-game damage dealer, but you aren't supposed to be either, let your carry handle that.


SPA If we're gonna go carry the game, we need damage. What does provide better damage than an Infinity Edge? Only a bloodthirsty, but this item is much more consistent. You'll be ripping everything apart with the crits from this badboy. I tend to get the B.F Sword first for the damage, but a cloak is also nice. Unfortunately many champs will run away from you when you get this item, so we need some movement speed. And we also got pretty slow AS and we ain't crating that often, so let's fix it?

SPA huehuehue. Time to get an upgrade, this item is a great investment. Your all earlier problems will be solved and now you can start tear apart mostly everything. Just try not get too focused and so on, cause your damage peak is really freak-*** high.

SPA With so much physical damage taken, your opponents will almost always buy some armor. Then it's vital to get a Last Whisper. You want to remain a threat and a threat you will remain. With this you can break down them even though they got their damn Thornmail, but really it's just a waste for them now.

SPA The game is still going? And you wanna win? A Bloodthirster is perfect. Sell your Wriggle's and get the real lifesteal. Now you can more easily carry and get health back, it's just a must-have. I don't like the fact that you lose your damn stacks if you die, these stacking items always tend to get you more and more targeted since your opponents ain't idiots. Although, if you don't need more damage and have other problems, grab a Thornmail if you have problems with armor, a Banshee's Veil if you have problems with magic or an all around Guardian Angel if you get focused by everything.

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Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence Order

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

> > >

The sequence is pretty obvious. Putting points in Parrrley will allow you to harass masterfully and also to get more gold from last hitting with it, so maxing this first is vital. The next skill i max is Remove Scurvy due to it's a great heal and it will really help you sustain and survive. Raise Morale are maxed last since it's really not that important, but it's a great steroid buff letting you damage more.

Obviously, grab Cannon Barrage at 6, 11 and 16.

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Summoner Spells

SPACE Teleport: This summoner spell is just perfect for the top lane, it let's you be present at all times and go back and buy your items without having someone pushing your turret. In competitive games, you need atleast one having this spell to prevent backdooring and pushing, and it usually falls to the top lane to pick this. SPACE

SPACE Exhaust: The perfect summoner spell for Gangplank. A great slow and damage reduce, i usually take this because it's so great for 1 vs 1 situations at top, while still being useful for escaping/chasing and shutting down gamechanging ultimates like Crowstorm or Death Lotus. SPACE

SPACE Ghost: Ghost is also a great summoner spell for Gangplank, making it very easy to chase and escape. I don't pick this in the first place because Teleport is more viable for solo-top and Exhaust serves more purposes and benefits you better. SPACE

SPACE Flash: The most OP summoner spell in the game, you might think i'm crazy for not picking this, but it isn't as vital for Gangplank as it is for others. It is great in many purposes, but i think that Exhaust works better for you since it really helps you kill that top champ in 1 vs 1. He will most likely have Flash, but if your smart you make him waste it early. Remember that you have your ultimate to finish off someone that is hugging at the tower with low health, so i don't think this is really that necessary. SPACE

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Laning Phase

At the beginning of the game, play quite aggressive. Not many champs can stand the constant Parrrley you are dishing out. It's essential to last hit and to don't push to long, or you could get ganked. Zone your opponent, try punishing him with Parrrley's and auto-attacks if he tries to farm, and you will get the most farm.

When you get your oranges in stock, remember to eat them to clear CC's, i can't count the numerous times i've been ultied by Warwick's, eaten some oranges and it's been k.

If you get in true 1 vs 1 situations, be sure to use Exhaust at the right moment, which is when you think your opponent will deal the most damage ex. when they use a channeled ultimate or similar.

By the time you get your ultimate, be sure to keep an eye on the map. Are the other lane champs very close on the minimap? They might be fighting and you can help em', just signal your ship and they'll thank you later. Remember that you also can clear people pushing turrets if you already used your Teleport.

By this time at the game, junglers usually ganks if they haven't done it already, so mind getting a ward in the bush below:

If they don't have a jungler or other potential gankers, you should instead place the ward at dragons. With Wriggle's you are so close to soloing dragon, i've both done it and failed depending on how many procs you get. Asking for aid from bot is therefore a lot safer.

Here's a summary of how to perform in the laning phase:

  • Harass the hell out of your opponent with Parrrley
  • Eat oranges when CC'ed and ganged
  • Ward with Wriggle's Lantern
  • Exhaust if you stand toe-to-toe with your opponent
  • Zone your opponent and farm well.

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Later into the Game

After laning phase

Now when laning phase are over and teamfights are starting to occur, you should communicate with your team if you haven't already and decide how to build after your Trinity Force. You should play a bit different depending on how you build, but mainly it's the same.

What to do as an Offtank:

If you build Offtank, don't think you'r a REAL tank. LET THE REAL TANK INITIATE. You aren't as beefy as other tanks and don't have any abilities or skills that helps you tank. As an offtank you should go after their melee carry if they have one. Try to get his attention so he won't bother your carries. If you don't have any anti-carry, the ranged carry could also be your target. Try to have someone targeting you but not the whole team, since you still want to deal damage.

For more tips how to play offtank check out this guide about offtanks.

What to do as a Carry

As the carry, your job is to deal as much damage as possible. This is achieved through Parrrleying their ranged carry and trying to auto-attack those in range. Let your tank initiate and play smart. Positioning is the key to a successful teamfight, that has been stated many times.

Other general tips

Cut off the enemies escape path with your Cannon Barrage by placing it slightly behind their ranged's while it's still hitting them. Always use Raise Morale to beef up you and your teams damage and use Remove Scurvy to avoid hard CC's like Soul Shackles and Nether Grasp.

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I couldn't make this guide without help from other people. Big thanks to:

  • All my friends and teammates in my ranked team WMO. Wouldn't write this guide if we never had started playing LoL together :)
  • JhoiJhoi for her amazing guide on how to make guides. It helped me very much on how to create and edit guides, and i've used parts of her layout and build ideas. Here's a link to her guide: Guide on how to make Guides.
  • Other guides that have inspired me, personally i love these two great guides: Spin to Crit by Palthios & Ferrovial's Teemo Guide

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Last Words

Thanks for reading!

So now you have come to the final chapter, and i hoped you enjoyed reading my guide and that you will try out the build and evaluate what i have wrote, so you can have a better experience when playing Gangplank!

I did this build and guide for fun, and by the fact that i feel i wanted to share how i play GP and by that i really think building him this way is very efficient. Hopefully you can leave a comment on what you think should be improved and what is good. I realise i might get downvotes from people who have other opinions on how to play him, but this is only an optional way of playing him and it is how i do it.

Good luck, pirate!

To do:

  • Add scores and videos
  • Add more optonial items
  • Perfect the build out of constructive criticism
  • Add a banner to the guide
  • Add FAQ Section if needed