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Gangplank Build Guide by Okais

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Okais

Gangplank, the solo top SCOURGE

Okais Last updated on January 4, 2012
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Team 1

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Top Lane
Ranked #33 in
Top Lane
Win 50%
Get More Stats

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: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Hello all, and welcome to my second champion build featuring Gangplank!
Through this build I'm going to explain how I play this champion as a solo top.

About Gangplank:
Gangplank is a close quarters champion with a lot of team abilities, such as Raise Morale and Cannon Barrage. His passive, grog-soaked blade gives him a stackable slow which can be really annoying when you spam your Parrrley ability to keep your enemy close, and also increases your damage output in early game. As a carry, Gangplank needs to build up his items fast before being able to inflict higher damage. Gangplank can soak up alot of CC before using his Remove Scurvy and instantly cure himself, which also makes him hard to kite if the opponent's escape manouvers are CC dependant.

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Change log

-Added Yorick and Garen on 'MOST WANTED' list

-changed starting items and build order
-added Wukong and Riven on 'MOST WANTED' list

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greater mark of desolation: Gangplank is a physic damage dealer, so we want less armor on our opponents :D

: our Gangplank is going to be tanky, so we're gonna need early level resistance.

: more resistance, but to magic this time

greater quintessence of desolation: even LESS armor for the opponent

This setup is focussed on good early and late damage, shredding off a maximum of armor when possible, along with moderate resistance for early parts of the game

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Pros / Cons

-Can harrass easily with Q
- pirate
-Can become very resilient once the proper items are obtained
-Good teamplay champion
-Can move fast and slow enemy team

-Excessive harrassement can lead to OOMness
-the CD on Remove Scurvy is high at low lvl, you have to be smart with it because it also costs mana
-Easy to kill at low lvl if you aren't careful

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I take a 21/9/0 setup for optimal damage at all times, along with extra tankiness in early game. I find that making a tank mastery tree on him doesn't bring all of him out. As an offtank you must still be able to inflict enough damage to get the teamfight done before your allies die.

Taking the offense tree:
will increase your damage output at all times, give you bonus crit chance to make your opponent rage once you get Avarice Blade at least and shreds 10% enemy armor

Taking the defense tree:
will grant you a bit more resistance and more life late game, but not great benefits for Gangplank IMO, except for a little bonus life for your Atma's Impaler, but really not that much.

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The following items focuss on a lane durability, along with some reactive damage items to stay at the same level as your opponent, rather making sure you dominate him/her.

My first choice of item because if you can outmanouver your opponent with speed, he'll either have to pop his flash immediatley or stay and lose way too much life thanks to your sustained damage output.

Lifesteal, armor, damage, re-usable ward, what else? Like jungle gangplank, take this item to assure lane durability.

Getting this after your lantern will make you a more durable threat, along with giving you a chance to keep your enemies stuck next to you with its passive. It will build into Trinity Force right after.


Which boots? Here's what I find myself picking throughout games:

: the bonus magic resistance can be useful so you can hold out until Banshee's Veil. The tenacity bonus is always nice too, even though i mostly get them for resistance.

: to be used against AD strong teams. The dodge will help you more than you think, and you'll get good armor too of course. Unfortunately, there's no more Nimbleness proc anymore, so you only dodge, no more speed buff :/

: these are ok, CDR is always nice and it will keep your Remove Scurvy ready when you need it

I'm not a big fan of the other boots. So for optimal results, stick with one of these.

: Getting this first demands one big responsibility: KNOW YOUR LIMITS. You're not invincible (yet...) but you can deal alot of damage. It increases the proc damage for Parrrley and brings an overall boost to your caracteristics. It will allow you to increase your already great abilities in game to the next level.

: the bread and butter of the offtank Gangplank. Armor, crit chance and item passive that gives you all your damage. Once you have this and Warmog's Armor I swear you will have 95% less problems to deal with during the rest of the game.

: this here is the item that's going to make gp an offtank damage dealer, it all comes from here. Giving a whopping amount of health and health regeneration, it synergizes perfectly with Atma's Impaler and grants you great survivability.

Little interesting facts:
atma's empaler will give you precisely 41,1 AD with the Warmog's Armor health. Plus your own life, you will gain a total of 58,59 AD at lvl 18 without any bonus life. Banshee's Veil will give you 11,25 AD, and Trinity Force will give you 7,5 AD. Now, if we add these up...
41,1+58,59+11,25+7,5=118,44 bonus AD from one item. Not so tough now are ya Sword of the Occult ??

: send your enemies to the grave for sure with this item. Your enemy will fear any bullet coming their way... MY personnaly favorite to make every bullet a good bullet.


Many choices are available according to the situation you find yourself in, here are a few of them.

: gives you the last magic resistance you need and more life to synergize with your atma's empaler, keep your mana even higher, and gives you further spell immunity. You're blocking one spell, then dispelling the others with Remove Scurvy. Casters can't enter your world anymore...

: more magic resist could be needed, along with, of course, a sickening amount of health regeneration and some extra movement speed. Can replace Banshee's Veil if you're desperate.

: missing some lifesteal? Want more AD? Go for it

: more speed, more critical hit chance, MORE ATTACK SPEED, SO MUCH ATTACK BONUSES, 400 KILLS !! It's a nice choice to keep enemies pinned down by your grog-soaked blade and to make sure you get as many critical hits off of Parrrley as possible.

: even though it's an item you'll usually see on AD carries, it can be a nice solution for Gangplank in order to get rid of armor stacking *****ES.

This is the only situational item I need, the rest are mandatory for a good and working Gangplank

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The second build included into this one is an alternative build, implying massive crit damage via Parrrley. Simular to Tryndamere, this build relies on crit damage.

Engaging with high crit chances allows you to cut down the enemy ferociously, despite the lack of survivability against possible ganks it guarantees.

Since you're much less of an offtank with the previous items, you will have to engage very differently, much like an AD carry must, since you'll only get your health items after the main damage items.

Note that if you are having life problems early and you are victim of too many ganks, you should prioritize health and go straight for life items and go for damage later.

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Skill Sequence

Gangplanks abilities are both dangerous and supportive. Here's a brief rundown on their use and uses ;)

Gangplank gets a stackable slow and DoT at lvl 1... WHAT THE FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF ??? It's what's gonna make you a threat on the top lane so you can make things easier for a gank for example. Great way to chase down your enemies without them being able to counter

This is Gangplank's main damage source. A long ranged nuke spell which applies physical damage and activates on-hit effects, meaning that you can proc Sheen your passive and the red buff at a distance. I mzx this spell first in order to get the most out of my early game harrassment, plus, it grants you more gold on CS, which will get your gold very high if you remember to last hit minions with it from time to time, without abusing it of course.

This spell is almost as good as a cleanse, plus it returns a nice amount of life when you get sheen along with it. I max it second.

This is a great support spell. It increases the movement speed and attack damage of all your allies around you. IT has great range and it works like a mini Shurelya's Reverie. Even though it's a very beneficial spell, I still max it last.

Quite an effective ultimate in team fights. Anyone inside the barrage zone is slowed down and can find themselves getting bombed from above. It's a great fight starter, champion finisher and one of the best engagement spells out there.

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Summoner Spells

: always a good solo top spell. Get's you back in the fight at any time and anywhere. Make sure your support places wards wherever he/she can for maximum effect.

Exhaust is always useful in order to make sure your team is safe from the AD carry or any other dangerous damage dealing douche. It's a great way to keep your enemies close for the rest of your team as well. I take this spell so I can get maximum mileage off of my basic attacks and Parrrley during early laning.

even after its nerf, i still think this spell must be taken by Gangplank for better mobility and engagement faculties.


: always a good finisher and heal reducer. Will stack just nice with your passive's DoT

: taking this means NO CC's on you, NOTHING. Very interesting choice on Gangplank if you want to make anyone who makes the mistake of using exhaust/ignite on you regret it immediatley.

: meh, not too useful for Gangplank since he already has Raise Morale, but hey, do what you want with this one :)

: always a good solo top spell. Get's you back in the fight at any time and anywhere. Make sure your support places wards wherever he/she can for maximum effect.

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On the top lane, you'll be confronted with enemies just as fierce as you usually, so I decided to put together a little list of tactics according to the enemy champion:

By far my least favorite champion to deal with... Nasus has a passive lifesteal which gives him good durability against your Q harrass. The best way to deal with him is to attack him as much as possible once he starts approaching your minions. Nasus is farm dependant, so you're going to have to cut it off by zoning him and pressuring him with the most harrass possible whenever he approaches. Make sure you keep an eye on your own farm too.

Less annoying, but still able to handle you. Irelia will regain health on hit as well, but she needs to lvl up her Hiten Style first in order to make it as effective as possible. You can counter her stun at all times thanks to Remove Scurvy, which is going to makre her much less effective in general. She's easy to outfarm if you're smart with your Q harrass, so don't worry too much about her, you can counter her.

Talon will harrass you as much as you harrass him, but you have a better way of doing it. For best damage output, he relies on Rake which can be dodged, whereas you never miss with Parrrley. Talon's main weakness during his laning phase is his lack of regeneration if he goes staright for a Doran's Blade. Constant harrass can cause him to back off and miss out on alot of farm.

The one solo top caster you must NOT feed under any circumstances. Swais has a reasonable amount of CC, and good mana regeneration for good lane duration. Your only chance before things get out of hand is to get at least 1 kill on him before he gets lvl 6 and buys Will of the Ancients. At that point he'll be regenerating off of minions too quickly and your damage might be done in vain. Early harrassment is very important against him if you don't want him to give you a late game headache... Also, Ignite is recommended against him once he hits lvl 6.

Jax can inflict severe damage to you very quickly, so try avoiding direct confrontation and keep your distances with ([parrrley]]. Since his mana pool is low when he wants to damage you, you can easily make that your advantage. Moreover, you counter his stun. Exhaust is a great choice against him so once he engages you with Leap Strike, you can keep him there powerless.

Even though he's mostly a jungler, Lee Sin is also a very dangerous solo top champion, able to inflict massive damage to you in a split second. He can regain health very quickly unfortunately and has good defensive abilities. The only way to get past him is to dodge as many of his Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike attacks as possible. If he misses you and you keep up the damage, you can easily keep him out of your way.

Durable, dangerous, ugly and refuses to die, Yorick is another very dangerous champion because of his ghoul spamming which regenerates a lot of health for him. Personnaly, I don't see this champion too often, but that's no reason to under estimate him. Harrassing him is kinda useless, the best way to get him out is to outdamage him or make him use up his mana fast. Both tactics are rather risky but they are your only options. Yorick is easy to escape from so you don't have to worry about getting stuck unless you get ganked. Try to engage Yorick when his ghouls are on CD, he'll be more vulnerable to your attacks and will have less alternatives.

Here's another real messy f***er. Garen can inflict massive damage at lvl 2 with his judgement and Decisive Strike, but lucky for you, that involves getting close to the enemy. You can outrange him with Parrrley easily, but dont over spam without constantly damaging it if he took Doran's Shield. If you want to wait for a gank against him, just poke him from time to time so his Perseverance doesn't activate. In late game Garen is much less threatening unless he goes AD, which is rarely the case. Whenever he gets too greedy, just roll in on him. If he needs to run he'll use Decisive Strike, but if you have your boots and you stack your Grog Soaked Blade enough, you can prevent him from acting and kill him easily.

You're in for alot of trouble against this one... Riven can easily jump in and out of a fight and still do massive damage at no cost. Now there are 2 ways to deal with her:
-Whenever she attacks, retaliate as much as possible. Make sure she understands that you won't back down to her harass and that every time she tries to do so, she'll get a beating.
-Call for a gank as soon as possible to assure lane dominance against her. But whatever you do, avoid direct confrontation. Riven can deal alot of damage without even trying and you might just find yourself giving 1st blood...

Wukong is a tricky bastard who works alot like Riven. Don't be fooled by his Decoy. If he uses it, it means that he's on the run (you can easily determine his trajectory) or that he's about to engage with Cyclone. Stay out of his ultimate and fight back as if it where Riven if he tries to harass you with nimble strike. Just be sure to never get ganked against him or it's 100% death chance without a flash.

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Team Work

During teamfights, you might have to be the one engaging, so always make sure you have your backup. No one likes a dead Gangplank, except the enemy :(
Gangplank engages fights the best when he uses his ultimate. This creates massive discord among the enemy team, making them scatter. And once a team is scattered, it's vulnerable. Make sure you lead the way for your allies towards the most important enemy targets, making good use of your Exhaust.
When you are targeted, you're gonna take lots of damage because you don't have a whole lot of armor and MR. Once you get pinned, you need to get out of there with Remove Scurvy. Buying this time will let your allies get into action fast, and letting you retaliate with your armed and ready allies.

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Well, here we are at the end again. So, if there's something you need to know about Gangplank, it's the following:
-He has great engagement abilities
-Is very resilient, and can withstand lots of CC
-He's very mobile, and can get wherever he needs to be very quickly
-He harrasses great

I'll be bringing more thorough guidelines into this article soon, concerning the laning phases, you be patient ;)