Gangplank Build Guide by Action Walter
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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.
Gangplank, the Saltwater Scourge
Growing up in the city of Bilgewater isn't easy. Gangplank was born the son of the dread pirate captain Vincent the Shadow. One might think this would have spoiled the boy with a cushioned life of privilege, but the truth is quite the opposite. Vincent wanted his son to grow up tough and strong, so he was extremely hard on the young Gangplank. It worked. The boy was the most ruthless and feared pirate in all of Bilgewater, and his daddy was never more proud than on the day of his son's eighteenth birthday - when Gangplank stabbed his old man in the back and claimed the ship for his own. However, the world is a dangerous place for pirates and Gangplank could read the writing on the wall. It was time for Bilgewater to have their own champion to represent them in the League of Legends, and who better than the fiercest pirate of them all? ''Yo ho, blow the man down. Or at least shoot him when his back is turned and steal all his booty.''
Grog Soaked Blade
As of this current patch, Parrrley no longer applies the Grog Soaked Blade debuff. Note that healing reduction will not stack with any other healing reduction debuffs (e.g. Ignite, Executioner's Calling).
Prime targets upon which to apply this debuff are Alistar, Dr. Mundo and Nasus.
Helps you farm. In team fights, use it on the enemy carry. Try to stay back and avoid enemy fire in the early parts of the battle. Parrrley damage is now physical. See my Parrrley Mechanics Guide to give yourself a better idea of how the damage is calculated.
For escaping, Ghost and this ability will get you out of some ganks. Good players, however, will space out their stuns in a gank so that Remove Scurvy won't get you very far. In team fights, use it to keep yourself out of heavy AOE fire.
In a lane, it can be used to deny minions, but I prefer to use the mana to farm or harass with Parrrley. Forcing a lane opponent to heal denies them much more gold/xp than killing a few allied minions. Use before a team fight if possible. Always use it to push towers.
AP scales poorly on this ability. Magic penetration, however, will give it some extra mileage. In team fights, wait until the enemy has committed to the fight before laying it down on the battlefield.
Solo Lane Strategy
Gangplank can be played in a solo lane, but can easily be outmatched by better solos (Annie, Teemo, etc). Strategy for a solo lane can be difficult, since to be a good solo you should be able to do at least 2 things well:
1. Control your lane through sustained harassment
2. Farm minions and maintain gold/xp earnings on par with (preferably better than) your opponent
For Gangplank, #1 and #2 are accomplished through use of Parrrley. Being a melee champion, it is difficult in a solo lane to score last-hits with melee attacks without being harassed into oblivion. It is therefore necessary to stay back at range and use Parrrley to last hit. The problem, however, is you won't have sufficient mana regen to use Parrrley for both #1 and #2. There are several options:
A. Have your team help you get Golem buff to start the match. If another ally needs the buff more, you can...
B. Re-spec with mana regen runes, change item build to support mana regen (not recommended, as you won't need it as much once you are roaming with your team)
C. Focus on harassing (you'll make basically no gold, and your opponent might just out-regen your harassment or use Heal)
D. Focus on farming, neglect harassing entirely until returning to buy "Stage 2" items
I tend to go with options A or D if I am solo-ing as Gangplank. This requires you to sit back and avoid being harassed while still scoring last hits. Once your opponent hits level 6, they will likely be looking for a way to kill you with some kind of spell chain (usually Flash/Ghost/Ignite/Exhaust + nukes/stuns). If you tower hug enough they will get frustrated and leave your lane to gank another lane. Call them missing in action. If your allies heed your warning, your lane opponent will have lost out on gold/xp in exchange for zero kills/assists.
Once you hit "Stage 2" items, you should now be able to harass and farm much more without concern for your mana pool. Your Parrrley can do a surprisingly high amount of damage at this point, and you can quickly swing control of the lane to your favor. Always be mindful, however, of any spell chain that they might send your way. You are still quite fragile at this point.
Notes on Cannon Barrage:
If you are on a highly organized team, you can prepare your allies for an incomming enemy ganker and place a well timed Cannon Barrage that may even out a 2v3 gank situation and net you or your allies a kill.
In general, you should always be watching for opportunities to cast Cannon Barrage since you will be the first person on your team to hit level 6. If you hear that "an ally/enemy has been slain" you should immediately check out where all the action is taking place and determine if a Cannon Barrage is warranted.
If you score a Parrrley crit that takes your opponent down to about 200 hp, drop a Cannon Barrage slightly behind them. Their natural instinct will be to recoil back toward their tower upon being crit down to low health. Ghost in and chase for the kill.
Be mindful of Tristana (Rocket Jump), Corki (Valkyrie), Kassadin (Riftwalk) and those champions who have Flash. They can easily make your Cannon Barrage be a complete waste by jumping out of its range instantly. For best results, use Cannon Barrage when your opponents have their escape spells on cooldown. Try to bait them into wasting these abilities and then go for the kill.
Gangplank can leave his lane to gank, but good opponents will call their lane opponent missing, and other lanes will adjust to avoid being ganked. Also, at level 7 without any items, the expected value of Gangplank's Parrrley damage is somewhat low. Cannon Barrage might help, but without a targeted stun the effectiveness of a Gangplank gank is highly variable. With Gangplank, you are taking a big roll of the dice on ganking. I prefer to stay in my lane until I have hit "Stage 2" items before making any serious attempts at ganking.
When you do gank, use Ghost and run in shooting. Lead their escape route with Cannon Barrage and start melee attacking. Cast Parrrley again before they get to their tower. This is especially useful if you show up late to a fight and the enemy is retreating with low health. I have scored many a double kill this way, Ghosting in with guns-a-blazin'.
Tips and Tricks
- Resist the urge to use Remove Scurvy just to heal, smart enemies are always watching to see if you use it. They will target you without fear when they know it's on cooldown. If you must use it, use it when no one is looking.
- A well timed Cannon Barrage on a melee champ who is attacking a tower with minimal minion support could kill the remaining minions, slow the champion and allow him to be hit by the tower repeatedly. Combine with Ghost + Parrrley for a guaranteed kill.
- Getting armor and magic resist can make Remove Scurvy more effective than simply getting AP. You can calculate the effectiveness of the heal by the following formulas:
Physical Effective Heal: [base_heal + AP]*(100 + armor)/100
Magical Effective Heal: [base_heal + AP]*(100 + magic_resist)/100
This is another reason why I get magic resist runes and, in late game settings, armor item(s) too.
- Parrrley will not trigger spell vamp, only lifesteal. Cannon Barrage will trigger spell vamp, however.