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How to Win Lane but Lose the Game: DocM's GP for Dummies.
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Oh He's a jolly good fellow.
But let's be real here. This is Gangplank. Whatever skills he has as a top laner won't translate into team fights in any manageable way, and ultimately you have to rely on your global presence and manly lane dominance to make your team strong enough to carry you. Let's just say it's no surprise that I'm still silver 2.
Parley is a fun skill, you shoot people and they die. When they die you get the mana refunded so you can last hit forever. Ultimately, it's an auto attack on a stick. The more you skill it the more extra damage you get, and the more parley gold you get for each last hit. The latter is the most important part. If you plan on maxing parley, then you need to take full advantage of that extra gold. Obviously, Parley gives you a large amount of burst damage. If you're up against a champion who has a ton of burst damage (like say, fizz) then you need to level this skill.
Recently Oranges has been the cool new thing to do with GP. If you look at the numbers, you can see why. The heal if maxed is ridiculous. Unless you have a lot of burst, there's no way you can throw a GP with maxed oranges out of lane. Makes for excellent dive escapes. Unfortunately, it's also impossible to pressure your lane opponent. You won't have any damage and if you don't buy some kind of waveclear item like tiamat or statickk, you will lose your tower. Do this against opponents that you know you can't beat. Consider buying Tear or chalice depending on whether your up against AP or not because you WILL run out of mana very quickly. Surprisingly effective against Riven if you build Iceborn first. You can actually kill them.
Maxing Raise Morale
This is the man skill. If you want to duel your top lane opponent, you MUST max this first or you will not be able to keep up. It's an invaluable steroid and the extra passive damage boost is sorely needed with GP's poor scaling. While parley is all about burst, this skill is about the sustained trades and chasing. The longer a fight goes on the more this skill is worth it over parley. In top lane where duels last a while it's important that you max this skill first. Not only will this secure kills in top lane, it will also help your entire team in the mid game, where raise morale combined with a well placed ult will make the opposing team feel like it's running through molasses in comparison to yours.
One rule of thumb, if you don't max Parley first, consider maxing it last. The biggest strength of the skill is it's snowball potential with the extra gold and the ability to chunk your lane partner into oblivion once he gets behind. You won't be able to snowball without maxing it.
That said, if you don't feel like you need any healing then feel free to max oranges last.
Eventually, you will need to buy some tank items like Warmogs, bashees veil, and randuins if you want to stay alive in teamfights. Infinity Edge is almost core in most games. GP is a rich man, he can afford it. If you ever see yourself with the chance to buy BF sword DO IT.
Don't worry too much about building damage in the early laning phase. Most of the time, your passive and a dorans blade should be more than enough to kill your enemies.
AD Assassins: GP's best matchup. IF you start cloth five they will run out of mana before killing you and you will be able to all in them. You have a most excellent build path into iceborn gauntlet. Even coming back to lane with tabi and glacial shroud will give you kill potential and tons of mana for bully parleys.
Yasuo is the prime example. Yasuo can do nothing against you. If you max raise morale he won't be able to run away from you and you will get free kills. Every yasuo builds full damage, which is wasted against your early shroud and tabi, and is actually stupidly squishy. They never expect the GP damage. Your passive is strong enough to kill them.
Pantheon is the big exception. His shield will block your parley's, and his spears are better than your parley's to begin with. Even if you get out of his stun, by the time you run away you've already walked through 3 ticks of his E...
Against other strong AD: Riven or fiora, max oranges and build Iceborn. They are difficult matchups because fiora can reflect your parley's, and Riven can shield them and are even better at the early all in thing. Try to play it safe and farm well. Fiora is hopeless while Riven is more just challenging.
Against AP: Vlad/Ryze/Rumble/Teemo.
Teemo and Ryze are especially difficult for GP. Both of them have low CD pokes that have more range and in some cases more damage than parley. You either need to establish lane dominance early by forcing an all in (ryze and teemo are both pretty squishy at levels 1-6), or switch to a new lane. They will poke you under tower, and they will force you out of farm.
Vlad and Rumble are both doable matchups. Building Hexdrinker and merc treads are the best way to go. You're probably going to want to get Botrk if you want to duel them or some waveclear like statikk or tiamatt to avoid losing tower to how fast they push.
Super tanks: Chogath, maokai top.
You can't kill them, and you can't get them out of lane. Even if you get an early kill, their sustain/tankiness means the best you can do is farm and hope for the best. Obviously get botrk.
Jax: Super common these days. He's a ***** though. Early game is free reign, and killing him in early fights shouldn't be difficult. You need to orange out of his stun, and save parley until after his invulnerability is gone. If you can fully apply your passive then it should be no problem. I like to grab cutlass against jax and then move on to trinity force. or wardens mail. Eventually you will need something to lower his attack speed if you plan on dueling him. Most jax's these days grab teleport. Punish this with ignite and go to town. Make sure that jax fears the pirates wrath.
Wait in the top lane bush in river if you are on purple side. If they face check the bush after walking to lane from helping their jungler from blue buff then you've already gotten first blood.
You can do the same on blue side with the tribrush, but it's not as common for them to walk that way unless their team started red buff, and it's easier for them to escape that way...
Watch out doing this with jax, if he starts stun then you need to run away from him once he uses it and you cannot attack him or else you will lose. Might want to consider starting orange for that purpose alone.
So when they go up to trade with you, let them get that first burst in. Let them feel like they will kill you. Then when your passive stacks are on him and his burst is done, you've remembered to be a man. You've remembered that if you keep attacking him then your sustained damage will be way stronger than his burst, and the only limit is how well you can stick onto him (making phage super strong).
GP's greatest strength is actually his ability to reliably be ahead on gold against his opponents. That's literally how his parley works. His stats are designed around the fact that you will have better items than your opponent. The sad part is, once you get to full build, you have until they get to full build before you have 0 chance of winning.
I feel that the best way to win is to maximize this window of time by making your full build much better than theirs. This is why slot efficiency is way more important to GP than other champions. If you invest in an Infinity edge, you will fall off much slower than if you bought statikk as your crit item. (That's why I don't suggest statikk unless your going hardcore splitpush).
It's also important to lead your team to take objectives, and win the game before it reaches those stages. GP's power spike is more akin to Pantheon than anyone else, which is where a lot of people's misconceptions spring from. If you can't get other people in solo que to get together and win, then you will lose.