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Gangplank Build Guide by Hyreon

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Hyreon

How to play Gangplank Top Lane DPS / Bruiser

Hyreon Last updated on January 20, 2012
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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: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Hello Mobafire community.

My name is Hyreon and this is my first Mobafire Guide ever published.
I play League of Legends since October 2011 and I am pretty sure that I learned much about the game and I will be able to explain you how to use Gangplank very well.
I will try to tell you everything you need to know about playing as Gangplank.
I will try to update and improve this guide as often as I can.
If you have some questions, feel free to ask.

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Pros & Cons.



  • No natural sustain
  • Mostly it is worth more to use the Bruiser build (Doesn't matter for me, both builds are very fun to play with)
  • Gangplank's skills doesn't scale with attack damage except Parrrley. Well it doesn't really matter for Gangplank :)
  • Some people may say that he lacks of crowd control, but he got an sustained slow due to his passive, plus one big AoE slow with an acceptable damage output.
  • Gangplank lacks of Cons ;)

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Gangplank's Skills.

Gangplank's basic attacks apply a poison debuff for 3 seconds that can stack up to 3 times. Each stack deals (3 + [1 x level]) magic damage per second and slows the target by 7%. Great passive, the best thing about it, it slows the enemy. The damage this passive does, isn't really high, but it is kind of a counter for health regeneration during laning phase, if you hit him and try to keep his health down.

Gangplank gains extra gold if Parrrley deals a killing blow. This ability can critically strike and applies on-hit effects, including his passive.
Another great skill. It applies crit effects. With your 10% critical chance, you will be able to harass your enemy and deal good damage.Try keep his health low and try to get rdy for an kill if he is at 50% or below. You could use your Parrrley, to slow him down and get closer and do some more hits. If you do enough damage, you could try to finish him off, with Flash as an fast gap closer and exhaust to reduce armor and slow him down even more. Parrrley is a great skill to chase down enemys and keep slowing them. With the movement speed buff from Raise Morale you will have more movement speed than the average enemys. Use Parrrley to catch up with the enemy, get some hits off and slow him over and over again, if he tries to flash away, hit him with Parrrley again. This is one of a lot things you can do with Gangplank's Skill setup and you will learn all those things if you play him for a longer time.
If you don't need Parrrley to harass your enemy, use it to last hit minions and get an extra gold advantage.

Gangplank consumes a large quantity of citrus fruit which removes all crowd control effects on him and heals him.
I think it is self explanatory why this skill is really good.
I recommend to use this skill only if you get CC'd and not if you need sustain.
If you need sustain, get an Wriggle's Lantern or Vampiric Scepter since this skill wastes to much mana early and only heals for 80 Hitpoints.


(Passive): Gangplank's attack damage and movement speed are permanently increased. (Active): Gangplank fires into the air, disabling his passive boost but inspiring himself to gain additional attack damage and movement speed, with nearby allied champions receiving half that amount, for 7 seconds.
Why did I marked this text as an important text?? Because you don't need to max out Parrrley first. You should also think about maxing Raise Morale first.
Advantages about maxing Raise Morale first:

  • Grants you free, passive attack damage and movement speed early on. So your attacks become more powerful and even more if you activate the skill. So if you feel like you shouldn't be afraid of getting close to the enemy, you may consider maxing Raise Morale first.
  • Improved ganks. When your jungler comes close enough, you can use it to grant him movementspeed and attack damage, to get closer to the enemy and finish him off even faster.
  • Makes last hit easier early game.
  • Great to avoid ganks due to the high additional movement speed.
  • Great to finish of turrets faster.

Gangplank signals his ship to fire upon target area for 7 seconds. Each cannonball deals magic damage to all enemies hit. Enemies caught in the area of this ability are slowed by 25% for 1.25 seconds, with the duration refreshing if one stays in the area.
I simply love this skill. It is an Global Ultimate wich supports your teamy really well. Try to get always an eye for your team. If you see that one other lane is getting ganked or wants to gank the enemy, use your ultimate to slow the enemy down, to prevent your allies from getting killed or secure a kill for your team. Also this skill could be used to finish off low health targets. For an example, how often did you see a mid lane "exchange" between 2 ap carrys, where one of them lives with about 100 Hp and Ignite didn't finish him off ? Well use your ultiamte, get a kill and an assist for your ally.
Your team have a problem with initiation into a teamfight ? Use Cannon Barrage to slow down the enemy, scare him in the most cases and this makes it easier for your team to initiate.
Sometimes, Cannon Barrage also allows you to steal baron or weaken the enemy to engage for a baron fight.

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When to use wich Build + Explenation of the current Meta.

First of all you need to decide wich Build you want to take and that depends on yours & the enemy team.
The current Meta is:

One Solo Top (Bruiser / AD / AP with Sustain)
Solo Mid (Ap Carry)
Jungler (mostly Bruiser / AD / AP)
Bot Lane (Support + AD Carry )

Ad Carry (High Dps Ranged AD / Very squishy) Vayne, Graves, Sivir etc.
Support (Supporting the AD Carry + Team / Squishy in most cases) Sona / Janna / Soraka
Ap Carry (High Burst AP Dmg / sustained AP Dps / Squishy in most cases) Kassadin / Cassiopeia
Solo Top (AP Dps with Sustain / Bruiser / AD ) Gangplank / Riven / Kennen / Rumble
Jungler [Tanky Dps AP / Bruiser / AD / AP / Tons of CC) Maokai / Lee Sin / Fiddlesticks / Shaco / Skarner ...

In most cases you have an Tanky DPS Jungler (Bruiser)
ones who are able to handle a lot of dmg and ones less..

For an example.

Mid Lane
Bot Lane +
Top Lane (You)

Well I have to say it depends mostly on the Jungler wich Build you should chose.
Skarner and Morgana are tankier than other champs played in their role when played right. Your team also got alot Crowd Control, so you don't have to engage and get focused down doing that. Skarner is able to grab one target with his Impale and you can easily finish off the target or with Morgana's Dark Binding or Soul Shackles (AoE slow + stun) you can focus down important targets or closest targets and clear and hunt the rest of the team down.
Sona's AoE stun with Crescendo gives you one more advantage.
So with this team composition your High DPS build fits very well.

Another example.

Mid Lane
Bot Lane +
Top Lane (You)

So in this case we have a very squishy mid laner ( LeBlanc) and a squishy Jungler ( Tryndamere).
Tryndamere can't engage on the whole enemy team without beeing afraid of getting bursted down in about 2 seconds because the common Tryndamere builds only attack speed and attack damage,that is how it is supposed to be. The same applies for LeBlanc due to the fact that she is stacking pure ability power and magic penetration.
Tryndamere and LeBlanc are pretty strong one versus one champs but for our decision we have to have another look at the things and what we need is a good team composition for teamfights and that is the key for a good mid / late game. When we look at this team, we only have some squishys and a lack of crowd control. We got one silence, three slows, one snare/bind, one knock up and one knock back and most of these crowd control effects can be easily dodged and are really weak compared to other crowd control effects.
So what we need is a Bruiser Gangplank who is able to tank some damage and deal enough dmg to focus important targets down and who is able to cover important allies, mostly AD Carry who get focused by the enemy team.

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Summoner Spells.


Teleports your Champion to target nearby location under your mouse cursor.

  • Gap closer
  • You are able to flash over walls to escape from the enemy or to catch up with them.
  • Nice to avoid ganks
  • It can be used to dodge or land abilities
  • In my opinion the best summoner spell in the game

Reduces a target's Attack Damage by 70%, Ability/Item damage by 35% and slows its Movement Speed by 40% for 2.5 seconds.
  • Combined with Flash perfect to finish off targets. (secures me first blood very often)
  • Also nice to avoid ganks especially combined with Flash if Exhaust isn't enough
  • If you get into an exchange with an enemy champion it is perfect to shut down his damage and combined with one point in Summoner's Wrath it also reduces the targets armor and magic resist by 10.
  • Great for shutting down ad carry's or high damage AoE ap caster.

Notes for Exhaust (
  • The damage reduction for abilities or items that boost normal auto attacks like Sheen and Devastating Blow is 35%, while the reduction on the auto attack with it is 70%.
  • Cleanse now removes Exhaust
  • If Exhaust is cleansed, the graphic of Exhaust will still be present, but not the effect.


After 4 seconds, teleports your champion to target friendly minion or turret. 3 minute cooldown if cancelled
  • Great spell to get back into your lane if you died.
  • grants you mobility on the map and allows you to help other lans and get back into your lane fast
  • Helps to split push.

Targets a single champion dealing 50 + (lvl x 20) true damage over 5 seconds. Also reduces the target’s healing and regeneration by 50%.

Your Champion ignores unit collision and moves 27% faster for 10 seconds.

  • I think Flash is better, because you don't really need Ghost as an escape mechanism.
    You got a passive movement speed buff from 7%, plus you can slow down the enemy using Parrrley wich applies Grog Soaked Blade.
  • Raise Morale gives you an additional 20% movement speed buff for 7 seconds.
    Compared to ghost:

    Raise Morale
    • 27% movement speed buff on level 5 (7% passive + 20% on activation)
    • lasts for 7 seconds
    • 27% movement speed buff
    • lasts for 10 seconds

      Well some would say Ghost + Raise Morale would be even faster but there is no need to get 50% movement speed buff, because you slow the enemy down anyway no matter in wich situation, if you run away or chase an enemy.
      The important thing is, if you take Flash instead of Ghost, you are able to Flash into skillshot range or Flash out of enemy skillshot range so that they can't land any CC skills on you.
      In my opinion Flash is more useful than Ghost.

Removes all disables and summoner spell debuffs affecting your champion and lowers the duration of incoming disables by 65% for 3 seconds.
  • You don't need this summoner spell because you got your Remove Scurvy

Not viable:

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Runes and Masteries.


x3 x6 x9 x9 x3


Level 1 Stats with these Runes and Masteries:

(Missing stats are 0)

Hitpoints: 612
Health regeneration./5: 5
Attack damage: 70
Armor penetration: 6 + 10%
Attack speed: 0.68%
Critical Chance:10%
Movement speed: 320
Mana regeneration./5: 7
Magic resistance:35

Now let me explain, why I don't have any armor penetration runes.
Runes should give you an early advantage and after the masterie changes, armor penetration runes are one of the worst runes right now.
You got already 6 + 10% armor penetration with a 21/9/0 masterie setup.
So don' waste any runes for more armor penetration.
You have to find a balance to reduce amor and get some attack damage.
So instead of getting Greater Mark of Desolation or Greater Quintessence of Desolation, get some attack damage. With 6 Greater Mark of Critical Chance + Masterie setup, you get a 10% crit chance, wich are perfect to hit some crits on the enemy.
+18 Armor and + 14 magic resistenc at level 1 (Without buying Cloth Armor.

Just try it out.

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Match Ups & Items.

Versus heavy AD Team (AD Top Lane + AD Jungle for example)

+ 5x
+ +
+ /
+ Something you need

Later you can replace with .
If you feel you don't need Wriggle's Lantern anymore.

Or you can start with

+ 5x

and continue with high dps build. Just get Ninja Tabi instead of Ionian Boots of Lucidity.

Here is a list of Items you could buy for additional armor.

Perfect to shut down high attackspeed AD or AD Carry in general. (Good Item to counter Vayne / Tryndamere and other High aspd AD's and all AD Carrys).
It also gives you 20% cooldown reduction, nice for spamming Parrrley and Raise Morale.
Also allows you to use Remove Scurvy even faster if you got CC'd often. Bruiser

Well, be a team player and get magic resist, armor and attack damage for the whole team. Also gives you some Hp.

Really good and game changing Item. Make sure you don't lose it by getting caught or something. It is important that the passive is really used in important teamfights.
With that item you might consider playing more aggressiv and engage easier on the enemy team. If they start to focus the closest target, (You as a bruiser) your allies have to make sure that they deal much damage as they can. You as Gangplank have to try to deal as much dmg as you can on their squishys if you die trying that in teamfights with your Guardian Angel up, it isn't a big problem, because during that time your team must have scored some kills, so that the fight goes on 5 vs 4 / 5 vs 3. Bruiser / High Dps

Counters Ad Carry's very hard. Bruiser

With that Item. Try to zone the enemy Ad Carry out with your Parrrley.
You should do a lot of damage and if he hits you Randuin's Omen will slow their attack and movement speed. If the Ad Carry just ignore your zoning, just get closer and try to finish him off. Bruiser

I don't like this item. I think it is wasted money. You need one 450 Hp Item and one 45 Armor Item + extra gold to get an useless passive wich is countered by low magic resist. Never buy that. Just get your Chain Vest and Giant's Belt and built it into something else later.

If the enemy team got a lot of CC + Magic Damage. (for an example: Fiddlesticks Jungle + Kennen Top Lane)

You should start with

(Start with boots if your enemy has Skillshots like Kennen's Thundering Shuriken) + 3x or + and build into
Philosopher's Stone (grants you Health and Mana regeneration and allows you to harras Kennen more with your Parrrley ) + (to reduce the duration of Kennen's stuns and Fiddlesticks fear plus cheap magic resist)

If you want more sustain you should buy this item.

and then just follow the build you want to use. (I will make a list with good magic resist items down below)

Here is a list of Items you could buy for additional magic resist.

It is cheap, gives you AD, magic resist and a shield wich absorbs 300 magic damage.(good early game item) / High Dps

Well... you got your Remove Scurvy.. but still it is a cheap magic resist item. Only get this item, if they have tons of cc. Otherwise don't buy it. High Dps

Only get this item vs casters like Sion. Not only to counter his stun, it also make Sion totally useless against you, because an AP Sion only have 2 damage skills if he doesn't get Deathfire Grasp you counter about 50% of his damage.Bruiser / High Dps

Maybe as last item versus heavy magic dmg teams. Bruiser

Here is a list of other good items for Gangplank.

1350 HP full stacked. Combined with Atma's Impaler it gives you an additional 27 AD.

Good for enemys with low armor.

Counters heavy armor.

700 Hit Points. +20 AD, combined with Atma's Impaler 20+14 bonus attack damage. The best thing about this item is the passive wich slows the enemy and applies with Parrrley and it stacks with your Grog Soaked Blade.

is a must have bruiser Item right now. With my bruiser build you will have about ~3900 Hit Points. That means Atma's Impaler grants you 68 bonus attack damage ;)

Some like it some doesn't. I LOVE THIS F****NG LANTERN XD.
It gives you great sustain, a free ward, armor, attack dmg and 20% chance to deal 500 magic dmg on a monster / minion. That addiotional magic damage allows you to clear waves very fast and also helps to do fast Nashor / Dragon with your team. If you get this Item early on, be prepared to stay in lane as long as you want ;)

Must have item. don't matter if you go Bruiser or full damage.
It gives you movement speed, mana, hitpoints, critical chance, 50% improved on hit effect from sheen, 25% slow chance, attack damage and attack speed. (Also 30 Ability Power, wich isn't rly important for you)

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Where to Ward.

Well red and blue are the lane you play.
If you are on the red side, you should ward there, were the red "stars" (*) are.
If you are on the blue side, you should ward there, were the blue "stars" (*) are.
I also marked the common ganking ways from the mid lane and the jungle.
This picture shows, on wich spots you should care as a top laner.
I didn't marked bot lane / jungler / mid lane wards, only top lane and important areas like, Baron, Dragon and jungle entrances and way outs where you get to baron and nashor.

In the following picture, I give an example how to ward, if the lane is pushed to the towers.
If your lane is pushed to the first tower, you only need to ward the jungle out way from the enemy jungler, this ward gives you also sight of the river, and protects you from mid lane ganks.

If your lane is pushed to the second tower, you will need 2 wards for more safety.
One ward, at the river, to see if someone comes from the mid lane and a ward at the enemys blue buff, to see if the enemy team is coming or trying to cut of your way. If you see one of the enemys passing the ward, you have to assume, that he is trying to cut of your way from the bushes at the top.

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Patch Notes for Gangplank

Patch notes

v1.0.0.123 (09th Aug, 2011)
Grog Soaked Blade max stacks has been reduced to 3 from 4
Cannon Barrage
Fixed a bug where Cannon Barrage would not grant gold on minion kills
Fixed a bug where Cannon Barrage's slow was not always applying consistently

v1.0.0.122 (26th Jul, 2011)
Parrrley gold bonus reduced to 4/5/6/7/8 from 4/6/8/10/12
Raise Morale
Active attack damage bonus reduced to 14/22/30/38/46 from 20/28/36/44/52
Active movement speed bonus reduced to 10/14/18/22/26% from 14/18/22/26/30%

v1.0.0.121 (08th Jul, 2011)
Grog-Soaked Blade max stacks reduced to 4 from 5.

v1.0.0.120 (22nd Jun, 2011)
Grog-Soaked Blade
No longer reduces healing and regeneration, but now slows movement speed by 7%
Now stacks up to 5 times, but duration reduced to 3 seconds from 10
Damage changed to 4-21 from 5-19
Fixed a bug where Parrrley could sometimes restore gold to other players
Now applies Grog-Soaked Blade
Raise Morale duration increased to 7 from 6
Cannon Barrage damage increased to 75/120/165 from 65/110/155

v1.0.0.118 (10th May, 2011)
Armor per level increased to 3.3 from 2.8
Attack speed per level increased to 2.75 from 2.35
Attack range increased to 125 from 100
Remove Scurvy cooldown reduced to 22/21/20/19/18 from 30/27/24/21/18
Cannon Barrage
Slow increased to 25% from 15/20/25%
Cooldown reduced to 120/115/110 seconds from 120

v1.0.0.116 (25th Apr, 2011)
Movement Speed increased to 320 from 315
Base mana increased to 255 from 239
Mana per level increased to 40 from 34
Raise Morale (remake)
No longer targets a unit (Gangplank can no longer kill allied minions)
Passive changed to 3/4/5/6/7% movement speed from 2/4/6/8/10% and 8/10/12/14/16 attack damage from 8/12/16/20/24
Activating Raise Morale grants Gangplank 14/18/22/26/30% movement speed and 20/28/36/44/52 attack damage
The activation also grants nearby allies 7/9/11/13/15% movement speed and 10/14/18/22/26 attack damage
Duration reduced to 6 seconds from 10
Mana cost changed to 50/55/60/65/70 from 60
Cannon Barrage
Reduced the size of the area affected by Cannon Barrage
Now slows all enemies in the AoE for the duration, but slow reduced to 15/20/25% from 35/45/55%
Reduced damage to 65/110/155 from 100/140/180
Updated the random algorithm to not favor one quadrant over others
Fixed a bug where the tooltip said it lasted for 8 seconds, but it actually lasted 7
Base damage reduced to 20/45/70/95/120 from 20/55/90/120/150
Extra gold gain reduced to 4/6/8/10/12 from 4/7/10/13/16
Cooldown reduced to 5 seconds from 6
Mana cost reduced to 40/45/50/55/60 from 50/55/60/65/70
Remove Scurvy base heal changed to 80/150/220/290/360 from 70/125/195/280/380
Grog Soaked Blade
Damage increased to 6-23 per second from 5-18
Fixed a bug where it applied 9 damage ticks instead of 10

v1.0.0.100 (08th Sep, 2010)
Fixed a display error with Grog Soaked Blade and death recap
Fixed a bug where Gangplank's passive would be replaced with the Grog Soaked Blade debuff text when struck by another Gangplank

v1.0.0.94 (24th Jun, 2010)
Parrrley bonus damage reduced to 100% from 110%
Parrrley is no longer dodgable and is unaffected by blinds
Raise Morale now grants 8/12/16/20/24 attack damage instead of 12-36% attack speed
Cannon Barrage
Cannonball damage reduced to 100/140/180 from 140/200/260
Cannonball radius increased to 275 from 225
Slow amount reduced to 35%/45/55 from 40/50/60