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Gangplank Build Guide by masterxiao

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Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author masterxiao

Land Ahoy Ships Deploy!

masterxiao Last updated on October 18, 2011
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Team 1

LeagueSpy Logo
Top Lane
Ranked #33 in
Top Lane
Win 51%
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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 9

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Hi Everyone,

Masterxiao here again with a guide on , the Saltwater Scourge. This is my second guide on mobafire, and I'm really liking the simple and comprehensive interface for creating a build/guide. If you haven't already, please be sure to check out my other guide(s) using the link(s) to the right. Without further ado, I give you my build for Gangplank!

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Update LoL Game Ouch, GP's E got hit quite a bit. They nerfed the AD and the mvt speed. This shouldn't affect your jungle route, correct me if I'm wrong and I will edit my guide if it does.

Guide Update 1.0 Guide Released!

Update LoL Game No changes to Gangplank! yay? :D

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Pros / Cons


    lots of utility (lane and jungle)
    has a free QSS skill (W)
    great teamfight buff (E)
    ranged skill that procs on-hits (Q)
    global ulti :D (who doesn't love that)
    can have mana problems early game as a result of spamming Q and/or W
    vulnerable after W has been used (pretty long cd)
    no real hard cc (not as good of a ganker as say, xin zhao)
    is too squishy to be a melee auto-attacker

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Build Explanations

Build 1- My solo top build for GP. This build focuses on both sustained, guaranteed damage with Q (sheen) and crits (ie, atmas, etc.) I also build GP tanky in the first 3 builds because pretty much any champion will get destroyed very quickly if they have no defensive items (especially at higher ELO.) It is very bad to die as a carry... I get wriggles as well because the free ward is amazing for map control and the stats help in lane too.

Build 2- Duo-lane bot GP. This build is pretty much the same as Build 1 except without a wriggles. You shouldn't need a wriggles in bot because the support you are laning with should buy wards.

Build 3- Jungle GP! I feel GP is one of the top junglers (comparable to Lee sin and Nocturne,) as he has a built in red buff and an AoE buff that is effective at all levels. My build is similar to the first one except for the fact that I get a Wriggles to speed up my jungling. The free ward is amazing as well :D. My bad lol, No One Is Comparable To Lee Sin.

Build 4- This build is for the long-awaited Dominion mode of LoL. The Crystal Scar features a very different gameplay and I build GP accordingly. Starting items and core items are different, so don't use the SR/TT build for Dominion.

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Summoner Spells

Once again, flash comes out on the top of my list of summoner spells. I can't stop emphasizing how vital it is to have some kind of escape ability. Flash gives you great utility and you can use it to position yourself in teamfights. Highly recommended for all 4 builds.

Exhaust has many different uses like I explained in my previous guide. I find it very useful against AD carries and that is the main reason I take it as GP. Highly recommended for laning GP and Dominion.

Why wouldn't you take Smite if you're jungling? It speeds up your route by alot and you don't have crazy survivability like fiddlesticks or warwick. MANDATORY (imo) for jungling.

So far, I have found that Ghost is much better than Flash on Dominion. Since the main goal in Dominion is to capture and hold, getting somewhere fast is often the key factor. Using ghost at the beginning can sometimes be the difference in whether or not your team captures the Windmill first. Highly recommended in Dominion.

Similar to my last guide, ignite or exhaust is really a matter of opinion. Recommended for laning or Dominion.

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My Runes are pretty standard for each build.

Greater Mark of Desolation is a great mark and really boosts your damage output throughout the game. A must-have for an AD carry laner.

Greater Mark of Attack Speed will help improve your jungle time, but your late game will be weaker without the armor pen.

Try to achieve a balance with armor pen and attack speed (this is for junglers only,) don't sacrifice too much damage output or jungling speed.

Greater Seal of Armor is excellent for jungle GP and good for laning GP too. The armor helps alot early game for all of the builds. Due to the fact that GP shouldn't have mana problems if played correctly, armor seals are probably your best bet.

Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction is a great glyph because it will make your Q spammable :D Also your W will be up more often, letting you get out of tricky situations. This is good in Dominion because it helps your ult cooldown faster, which is key to defending certain points.

Greater Glyph of Attack Speed Again, try to reach a balance between attack speed and armor pen if you are jungling. If you aren't, do not get these glyphs as attack speed isn't that great of a stat overall. As I mentioned before, Gangplank should not be an autoattacker.

Greater Quintessence of Desolation is simply amazing for all 3 builds. I don't think I need to explain more about armor pen. It is good. Get the Armor Pen quints :D

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For laning and Jungling I go 21/0/9 making sure to get Lethality , Havoc , Sunder , and Improved Exhaust or Smite respectively. I get Utility Mastery for jungling and Meditation for laning to help with early mana problems. Awareness is pretty much mandatory if you are going into the utility tree. Trust me, the extra exp is amazing.

For Dominion, i run 15/0/15 getting Quickness , improved ghost, improved exhaust, Sunder , and Brute Force .

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Gangplank's basic attacks apply a poison debuff for 3 seconds that can stack up to 3 times. Each stack deals 8 + (1 x level) magic damage per second and slows the target by 7%.
This passive is great for ganking and for keeping champions (eve,twitch) from going into stealth. One of the reasons that GP is such a good jungler because he pretty much has a built in red-buff. Not much to say about when to use it, it's just a passive lol.

Gankplank shoots a target enemy with his pistol, dealing physical damage. If it kills it, he gains extra gold. This ability can critically strike and applies on-hit effects, including his passive but not stacking on hits such as Malady, Rageblade, etc.
This is an awesome ranged skill that can apply on hit effects! It can crit upwards to around 1000 :D (prob not with this guide unless you are uber fed.) Similar to Ezreal's mystic shot, parrrley procs sheen on the same hit. Basically, instead of your next attack, parrrley acts as the skill that procs sheen AND the autoattack. So at max rank (lvl 9 for laning) your Q will deal 120 + 81 base dmg (at lvl 9) x2 (with the sheen proc) so 282 dmg. This should show you why sheen+trinity is so good for GP and why sustained damage is better than straight Critplank. If the Q crits at lvl 9, it will deal 120x2 + 81x2 = 402 dmg! Use this to initiate, to poke, to last hit, to kill, and even to chase because remember, it applies your passive which slows. When jungling and laning, this can be a great last-hitting tool as it gives you bonus gold. Getting a few more last hits with your Q can net you one more health potion on your first blue pill. All of this amazing-ness on a 5 second cooldown (which will be reduced further if you have blue and/or cdr boots and/or ghostblade xD.)

Gangplank instantly removes all crowd control effects on him, as well as healing himself.
This skill is pretty amazing as it is pretty much a QSS as a skill (quicksilver sash.) This removes anything from your character (i think), stuns, suppresses, snares, etc. An important tip: DON'T USE THIS WHEN YOU ARE IN VIEW OF YOUR ENEMIES. SMART OPPONENTS WILL WAIT FOR YOU TO USE THIS SKILL AND THEN CC YOU. Only use this to cleanse hard cc (stuns, suppresses, or snares) and don't try and cleanse silences loool...
If you try to use this skill like a health pot in lane, you will have mana problems. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

(Passive): Gangplank's attack damage and movement speed are increased permanently. (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.
This may not seem that flashy at first, but this skill gives you a free BF SWORD AT MAX RANK. LOL theoretically you can then save 1650 gold, but it doesn't work that way xD. This is also an insane team buff during teamfights. It can also be used for chasing and running away, as the movement speed buff is pretty substantial at max rank as well. This is the first skill you want to max if you are jungling.

Gangplank signals his ship to fire cannonballs upon target area for 7 seconds. 25 cannonballs will drop over the duration and each will deal magic damage to all enemies hit. Enemies in the area of this ability are slowed by 25% for 1.25 seconds with the duration refreshing if one stays in the area.
This ultimate is very beneficial in teamfights. At first it may be kind of hard to use, as enemies can either flash out or calmly walk out of it without receiving too much damage. However, using this ultimate in the right place at the right time during a teamfight could very well be the deciding factor. Try and place it where enemies must go eventually, as in a path of retreat. When people turret dive around lvl 6, you can place your ult right behind them because they have to run back to avoid turret aggro. This is a good example of how to use your ultimate correctly. In teamfights, try and use it when your tank uses his/her ultimates. Examples of ultimates that correspond with Gangplank's well are Amumu's, Malphites, Galio's, Ashe's, etc. Any AoE cc is very beneficial as then the enemies cannot get out of your ultimate's range.

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Item Builds

Build 1 Solotop GP:

OR <-- if you sell Wriggle's late game.

This build is good in ranked games where your team has a jungler and you need a solo top person. GP isn't the best laner, but he definitely isn't bad. The core of this build is Wriggle's Lantern and Trinity Force. Wriggle's will give you lane power and an awesome free ward and trinity force will give you more damage and survivability. Atma's Impaler and Warmog's Armor are also staple items for GP because of their synergy with each other. Atma's gives good damage and survivability and Warmog's gives even more survivability which is amazing for teamfights. Your luxury items are Infinity Edge and Last Whisper. I prefer LW over Black Cleaver because your main source of damage is your Q and therefore, it is better to have "instant" armor pen instead of the armor pen per stack that black cleaver gives.

Build 2 Duo-lanebot GP


This build is the same as Build 1 except for the removal of wriggle's. You shouldn't need to buy wards for duo-lane bot because in most higher elo games (ranked) you will be laning with a support. If the support doesn't get wards, I'm not sure what he/she is doing... The rest of the items and their uses still apply (read Build 1 explanation.)

Build 3 JUNGLE GP!

OR <-- if you sell Wriggle's late game.

Personally my favourite way of playing GP. Since pretty much every ranked game needs a jungler, I feel GP is a great champion due to this fact because he can jungle and gank very well. As hahano said in his "who is your jungler and what does he do" guide, gangplank has one of the strongest late-games out of his jungle. The actual items are the same as Build 1, but the starting items are different. The jungle path will be talked about in the Jungle section.

Build 4 Dominion GP!


Dominion GP is fun because using your ult to interrupt captures and possibly get kills is quite amazing. The build is the same as Build 2 (except for Warmogs) but the starting items are definitely different, as you start with 1375 gold. I build GP less tanky for Dominion because it is OK to die in dominion. The point of dominion isn't not to die, but rather to capture and defend points. Therefore, buidling a little more damage and a lot more cdr (from youmuus) will make your ult and q (and even E for that matter) on ridiculous cooldowns. With runes, cdr boots, and youmuus, your cdr should be around 35%!

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Item Explanations

Starting Items

3x : These are my starting items for both my laning builds, because I feel that the extra speed gives GP more mobility in lane and the health pots help in stay in lane longer.

OR : They are both acceptable as starting items for GP. If you are dying a lot in lane, or getting zoned pretty hard, you can even get two Doran's Blade.


: The most cost efficient starting item for jungle GP. This will give you some good lifesteal (something that GP lacks) and will build into your Wriggle's Lantern later anyways.

5x : The less cost efficient way of jungling, but it is considerably safer and can be done at lower levels without runes. This will be discussed in more detail in the Jungling section.

2x : I get 2 long swords and boots for dominion because the 2 longswords allow me to rush a brutalizer. The boots of speed allows me to get to a capture point faster, and combined with your E, you will be quite speedy at the beginning of the game.


As I said in my kog'maw guide, probably the best boots in the game and you will get this in 90% of your games, as GP is rather squishy for a melee champion. The MR and Tenacity work wonders if you get caught out of position and believe it or not, help during teamfights as well.

The 2nd best boots for GP imo because the cdr makes GP's Q on crazy cd and lets you use his ult without having to think about whether or not you should save it for a teamfight.

If you read the above, GP is not an autoattacker imo, more of a utility damage dealing champion that pokes with Q, buffs team with E, and kills and changes the outcome of teamfights with R. If you really want to, and you need some attack speed, then go ahead. If not, the above two are really better choices for GP.


One of the best items in the game hands down. The damage, armor, and lifesteal are amazing for lane sustain and control, and the extra minion damage proc helps for farming and getting a very quick dragon. The free ward (if used every single time) will save you 75 gold every 3 min! Wriggle's is sooo cost-efficient I almost feel that they are going to nerf it soon.

The best damage item for GP. Gives you some great sustained damage with the sheen, which procs with your Q. I described this in the skills section btw. The Zeal gives you some crit and mvt speed, and the phage gives you good survivability and a possible slow. An overall great item, but you need to farm alot to get it. Remember, CARRIES HAVE TO FARM.

Easily a core item for GP because it gives him even more damage (crit and passive) and survivability (armor.) I build this before Warmogs because your damage will be very low if you build warmogs first. However, I always buidl these 2 together, as warmogs gives me even more AD from Atma's passive.

As I said before, this item has great synergy with Atma's and GP. If you don't start building flat health at the end of your core, you will walk in to teamfights and be annihilated in less than 2 sec. Good teams will know to focus the carry.

Luxury Items

This thing gives you CRAZY DAMAGE. Your crits now do 250% damage and with more AD, they hit harder as well. If you feel you really don't need the survivability early, you can skip warmogs and go straight for ie, but it isn't that viable in higher elo games where teams focus the carry.

This gives you some amazing armor pen. I feel that this is better than Black Cleaver (as I said before) because since you shouldn't be autoattacking, you won't be able to maintain your black cleaver stacks, so LW will be better.

This is great on Dominion because the cdr and armor pen is amazing for interrupting captures with your ult. The movespeed from the active is good for getting to capture points faster.

Defensive Items (replace LW)

A good overall defensive item against casters that has an amazing passive (can block crazy damage-dealing ults and can prevent you from dying to that pesky karthus...)

Another very viable defensive item against casters. Good against champions with hard cc (suppress, stuns, snares). However, you have your W so unless you want a double-cleanse (I'm not sure why you'd want that,) banshee's or FoN is probably better.

Very good for GP as the passive regen synergizes with warmogs. I often replace IE or LW with this item if I feel like the casters are bursting me down before I can do anything in teamfights. Loads of magic resist :D

As I mentioned in my kog guide, this is great against dps champions. The slow is beneficial throughout the teamfight and the atk speed slow proc can really shut down the AD carry on the other team.

This item gives the most amount of armor in the game (I think) for a pretty cheap price as well. If you find that the other teams AD carry is focusing you, then get this and you will deal magic damage to him each time he attacks you!

I'm not a big fan of this item on GP, but I guess it's viable. The armor and cdr help quite a bit and the mana, um, doesn't do much. I prefer this on off-tanks.

This is an overall great defensive item. Armor and magic resistance, and a passive that will allow you to play slightly more aggressively (not saying you should.) With this item, you will be less vulnerable to their AP and AD carries, and you will be able to deal damage once you die (and revive.)

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Early Game (Lane)

As GP, whether you are top or bot, you should concentrate on farming and only harass if you catch the opponent over-extending. The range on his Q isn't very long, so if the enemy has a harassing skill as well, it will most likely have a longer range than yours (the enemy will damage you before you get in range to damage him/her.) As a carry, you want to get as farmed as possible. If you find that you are getting zoned, stay out of melee range and last-hit as well as you can with your Q. If not, then just try and get most (if not all) of the first couple wave s of minions. You should recall around 1250 gold (for bot which is enough for sheen) and 1600 gold (only if you can for top, enough for wriggles.) If you are too low and need to go back earlier, just grab a part of the item (sapphire crystal or vampiric sceptre), boots of speed, a couple health pots, and maybe some wards. FARM FARM FARM.

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Mid Game (Lane)

This is the optimal time to gank and start racking up kills. If you were solo top, your level should be around the same as your mid. If you were duo-bot, you might be a bit behind, but that shouldn't be that much of a problem. Talk with your teammates, tell them to initiate with their stun, ult, etc. Use your 2 slows to your benefit (passive and ult) and W when the enemy tries to stop you with a stun. E your teammates and yourself for that extra damage and movement speed. Also, ask your teammates to tell you where and when there is someone low and a possible kill with your ult. GANK GANK GANK. and FARM.

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Late Game (Lane)

Late Game is definitely where GP (as a carry) shines. Try and stay at the back of your team and wait for your tank to initiate. Once your tank initiates, use your ult if they have been AoE stunned/snared/taunted (veigar, amumu, galio, etc.) If not, keep it until the right time. When you see that the fight is about to start, use your E, R, and then just Q the most important person on their team. If there carry is no where to be found, Q the major damage-dealers and the squishiest targets. Your Q should be doing some crazy damage if your opponents aren't stacking armor. Late Game = CARRY CARRY CARRY.

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Jungle Route

Jungle GP is one of the easiest junglers in the game (imo.) Since I start at wolves and only get blue after my first recall, the jungle route is rather safe and "not-gankable."

1. Grab Vampiric Scepter and head out to your wolves. Unless your team wants to attempt a lvl 1 gank just wait at wolves until they spawn. It is one of the safest starting spots for junglers imo. If you don't know your jungle creeps take a look at the Jungling 101 guide on mobafire. If you don't have a full rune page and/or aren't lvl 30, you can also start with Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potions. This is less cost-efficient but will allow you to complete your jungle safely. When the wolves spawn, pop your E and attack the largest of the 3 wolves. There's not much to it, just kill the largest one and then the other two afterwards.

2. Smite the big (blue) wraith as soon as you see it and then learn Parrrley. Use your E and autoattack + Q one of the remaining wraiths. If you can, last-hit them with your Q but don't wait forever just to try to do it. A few Q last hits will give you a slight gold bonus.

3. Go to the double golems and E and then simply autoattack and Q them to death. This is why GP is such an easy jungler. Recall and buy cloth armor and 1 or 2 health potions, depending if you got last hits with your Q.

4. Go to the ancient golem (blue buff) and E and start attacking. Use your Q whenever it's up and use a health pot as soon as you start taking damage. Smite it when it gets to around 500 health. DON'T SMITE IT AT THE BEGINNING. Once you have blue, you won't have to worry about conserving mana YAYYY :D

5. Finish wolves, attacking the big wolf first.

6. Kill the wraiths, big one first.

7. If you have a full rune page or bought 2 health pots on your 1st recall, you can take red now. It is similar to blue, pop a health pot as soon as you start taking damage, or just autoattack it to death. If not, it might be better to go to double golems and take it on your next jungle clear.

The rest of the game for junglers should be farming, ganking, and teamfights, similar to the laning guide above. As a jungler, you should constantly be aware of the map and ask your teammates to tell you when to gank. If the enemies have pushed their lanes to your tower, come up behind them and tell your teammates to stun or slow them etc. This should ensure your team win their lanes.

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Dominion GP!

I feel that GP is very viable on Dominion as a disruptor. If you don't know much about Dominion strategies, check out the guide on Mobafire Dominion Guide: Roles and Teamwork.
As GP, you want to get all 3 skills at the beginning and you want to prioritize E over W. Use your E and ghost when the battle begins and rush to the speed shrine at mid. If your team is slow and you are one of the faster people, go straight for windmill. If not, cap the one in the middle and then go to windmill to help your teammates. Dominion is basically a constant struggle where you try and find available points to cap, or defend points that the enemy want to cap. I'm not a Dominion expert either, so it would be better for you just to go read the guide on mobafire Dominion Guide: Roles and Teamwork.

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Video Guides

LegendCommentaries again :D Slightly outdated but still shows some nice tips.

This is the jungle route for GP. Credits to stonewall! :D

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Thanks for reading my second guide for GP! Vote, comment, give me advice, don't trollvote, etc. Also, tell me which champion you'd like to see next!

Until next time,