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Gangplank Build Guide by Gott der 7 Meere

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Gott der 7 Meere

=o .... Pillaging to Raise Morale .... o=

Gott der 7 Meere Last updated on August 19, 2012
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Top Lane
Ranked #7 in
Top Lane
Win 52%
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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: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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Hello Summoners,

Gangplank is an all-round-DPS jungler or solo laner. His main role is that of an off-tank, as he needs to do damage in order to work with his team and has no strong cc/protection skills to warrant full Support/Tank builds.

You can find guides on AD-Carry-Gp, Atmogs-Gp and Jungling that work well here on Mobafire, so there is no need for another guide concerning these.

My guide is about a very unusual and strikingly different build, it will draw teammate aggro and might not work on your first attempt. I don't pretend that everyone else is wrong and that I have the only true Gangplank build, but I do claim it to be viable and I would be happy to hear reasonable arguments, when you talk about AS-Bruiser Gangplank.

Feel free to contact me for questions and feedback,

my IGN is "Gott der 7 Meere" on EUW.

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About this build

Every build has its ups and downs. Playing Gangplank like discribed in this guide works best, when your understand how it is supposed to work.

  • You will have ...
  • ... very strong team support and 1v1 potential.
  • ... skills that are very frequently usable.
  • ... great flexibility in your build.
  • You will lack ...
  • ... the OMG-OMG-GP-OP- Parrrley.
  • ... support from your team for this build, as its unusual.
  • ... nothing else.
Why no AD ?

First of all Parrrley is very good spell. I love it. And AD is certainly not bad on Gangplank. I will explain this later in the guide, but here is a short summary:
  • Graves + AD = + 1.2 per AD Buckshot + 1.4 per AD Collateral Damage + + 1.0 per AD Autoattacks = ~ 3.6 Damage Scaling on AD (+ he is responsible for physical damage)
    (This holds true for more or less every AD carry: high scaling on AD.)
  • Gangplank + AD = + 1.0 per AD Parrrley + 1.0 per AD Autoattacks = ~ 2.0 Damage Scaling on AD (- not responsible for physical damage)
  • Gangplank + On-Hit = + 1.0 on Parrrley + 1.0 per Autoattack = ~ 2.0 Damage scaling on On-Hit effects

While AD carries scale very well with AD you don't. You gain no more benefit from AD than from On-Hit effects. If you keep in mind that On-Hit effects are generally cheaper and give you additional Bruiser Stats and increase your damage via AS on top of that, the only reason you would have to go for AD is if your team lacks physical damage and needs you to fullfill that role. Read other guides for that.

With my build, you fullfill the role of a versatile tanky DPS with a lot of team utility and support. You can easily trim your build for more tankyness or more damage. Late game, when your AS and Crit chance are high, and you have everything you need, you will take some AD, as it increases your damage greatly and you will have no money concerns - its a waste early though, IMO.

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Abilities and Skillorder

- improved by: AS, CDR(applied with your Q), MPen
Grog Soaked Blade (Damage and CC): Everything a Melée Bruiser needs. It provides you with a valuable slow [-7-21%] that ensures your superior mobility whenever you fight. The on-hit-damage ([4-63 MD]) is best compared to a single-target Sunfire Cape. Finally the damage-over-time [12-189] is a good finisher and allows you to skip Ignite. Damage doesn't tick every attack, but every second after your first attack. This helps early and mid game, when your AS is still below 1.0 but is a bit sad late game.

> > > - CDR, On-Hit, APen, AD, Crit, level
Parrley (Damage, Farming, Finisher): His Q works like a enhanced ranged auto-attack. It applies On-Hit effects, can crit, scales of total AD and it resets your attack-timer. It gives you gold and has a very short CD. His Q is very powerful, and you get 50% [!] of its damage with only one rank. Take it first. However, you need more than a "level 5-max crit-OMG-Parrley" to win, your other skills will be maxed frist, they gain more virture with ranks than this. Max it last. Overall a very, very annoying pirate move indeed.

> > > - level, CDR, Increased Healing effects, AP, Armor, MR
Remove Scurvy (Heal/Sustain, Cleanse, Bait): The first rank gives you a short-CD Cleanse that will even remove suppressions like Infinite Duress. As most forms of CC always take away some health or will target you on low HP, it is unbelievable that you get a sizable Heal, at later ranks, too. Max this second to profit from a huge low-CD heal whenever you really need it.

> > > - level, CDR
Raise Morale (Team Support, Damage, Utility): On first glance, you get something similar to your passive; damage [40 AD] and mobility [+20%]. Pretty cool... But look closer, this ability goes far beyond damage:

  • Positioning is paramount in fights. This gives a free AOE Ghost!
  • The Aura multiplies its stats (on your teammates) and is well paired with Zeke's Herald to increase your teams damage greatly.
  • The initiation or dissengage signal is very good for a coordinated teamplay (in solo q).
  • Finally, the AD goes straight into your Parrrley.
I see no reason to rush AD, when you get up to 40 free AD with this; get AS items for a big damage increase. Max this first.

> > > - level, MPen, CDR, AP
Cannon Barrage (CC, Damage, Zoneing): A weird ultimate, since it is a very unreliable in terms of slow and damage, but serves well for Assisting, Farming and confusing your enemy. Its global nature teaches you a lot of map awareness, and synergizes well with Teleport. It reveals the target are and can work as a Clairvoyance in dire situations (e.g. checking Baron). Obviously you take your ult whenever you can.

Concerning my skill order: I think it is reasonable to neglect a 100 dmg increase on your Q in favor for a 360 heal with cleanse on a 10 sec shorter CD and a strong AD and MS aura. (You don't have to agree with this, of course.)

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Summoner Spells

If you want to jungle, Smite is a must. SPACE Teleport: If you like to be everywhere
for farm, ganks, dragon and teamfights.
Flash gives you a gap-closing or escap-
ing ability.
SPACE If your team lacks CC or vs , ...
get Exhaust.

You already have , , , and . Other summoner spells are very champion specific ( , ) or underpowered ( , ).

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Champion Statistics

In this section, I will talk about the most important stats for Gangplank, how much you need of them, and where you can get it effectively. In my oppinion, there is no one item or mastery that is set in stone, you should adapt to your team and enemy anyway. Therefore I list them all, and you can choose what you want accordingly.

Attack Speed (AS): --- 1.5 - 2.0

- Zeke's Herald

Gangplank already starts with a high AS base value 0.694 (+2.75% per level), making the benefit you get from AS strong throughout the game. , , mastery, Wit's End and Zeke's Herald will give you the AS you need.

Critical Strike Chance (Crit): --- 10 - 50%


Bad about crit: its a chance stat. Good about crit: everything else. Crit is very good on Gangplank, since he has a high innert AD already and his Q applies it. I advise you to get 1% with a for early game, around 10-20% mid game ( Zeal and ) and a solid 30-50% for late game with Phantom Dancer and (100% Crit will cost you ~4k gold, cover many item slots and delay your other stats).
Having no critical strike chance on Ganplank sux.

Attack Damage / On-Hit-Effects (Damage): --- 200 - 400 per hit


AD carries get AD because their abilities scale with it. Since only your Q scales with AD and this Q applies On-Hit effects you are free to choose between them. If we compare Wit's End and B. F. Sword and subtract costs for additional stats of Wit's End ( 2175g - 740g - 1050g) we conclude that 42 MD On-Hit cost only 385g compared to 1650g for 45 AD. So in terms of damage, On-Hit is the way to go. Only if your team needs physical damage take AD. End game, when your AS and Crit are getting high, you will profit from AD a lot.

Defense Penetration: --- Up to you...

- Greater Mark of Desolation You love tanks with: and you love allies with: , ...

Armor and MR decrease your damage. Yet damage will never be prevented fully. Regarding your primary targets low Resistance of 10-100 (Minions, any Champions early and Carries mid/late game), defense Penetration, will increase your damage by a lot. However, AS runes give you more DPS in jungle and your item slots are already covered. You can decide for APen when going to lane, since burst damage is more important early there, but there are no mor viable options other than that. Try to get a Last Whisper late game and you may even decide on the unusual Sorcerer's Shoes seeing that half of your damage is magic.

Armor: --- +150


Your base Armor of 20 will increase to around 100 without items (runes). Get one armor item depending on the enemy team composition and the game to get to 150 or even more. Madred's Razor can help a lot in jungle, and later be upgraded.

Health (HP): --- ~500 bonus HP

- Zeke's Herald

Get HP with two Ruby Crystals or a Giant's Belt, its your first line of defense.

Life Steal: --- ~10%

- Zeke's Herald

The Tire 1 item is enough. Zeke's is the best upgrade you can get for teams that want livesteal, since no one can afford two lifesteal items, and ~10% is just barely enough for sustain. Latern is useful for jungleing, but not mandatory. I consider HP and CDR superior to Armor and AD. (And don't take the latern just as an excuse for not buying wards!)

Magic Resistance (MR): --- +100


30 Base is insufficient. You can get runes, but one way or another, Wit's End's 50 MR is the cheapest you can get, together you will be around 100 giving you all the MR you need.

Movespeed (MS): --- ~400 without E active


Take Boots of Speed throughout the biggest part of the game. Your E and optional Masteries/Runes will bring you to 400 MS and leaving you 850g free for other stuff. You can be very flexible in your Boot choice. Don't take Boots of Mobility or Boots of Swiftness. After the first Teamfights, when you know what you need, upgrade your boots.

Cooldown Reduction (CDR): --- +30% - +40%

- Zeke's Herald Shurelya's Reverie

To increase your DPS, CDR is a very viable thing to take. Instead of having one OMG-OMG- Parrrley you will have two less notable ones, yet the damage will be higher, since you will apply two On-Hit effects, the AD scaling of two Q (+2 per AD) and you'll have two chances to crit. Useless to say that your other abilities profits from it. Zekes and the Shroud are very good for Gangplank.

Mana / Mana Regeneration (MReg): --- +200 bonus Mana

- - - - Greater Seal of Replenishment

Take the 3 points into utility for a huge Mana boost and get a Glacial Shroud. Your options in therms of Mana/MReg are unfortunately very limited. Less ideal options include Philosopher's Stone, and . Saving Mana is a good way to cope - greedy Gangplanks take Blue Buf if it is free instead.

Zeke's HeraldUtility / Team Support: --- Your team comes first!

- Zeke's Herald

Never underestimate the value of aura items for your teammates. Every team should aim to get Aura items that help it's carries, effectively giving them more stats/gold.
If no one is getting Aegis, it is a good choice for you. If your team has a Ryze without it might even be worth to consider. It is that much decisive. Still, some champions get more benefit out of certain Aura items. Always adapt and never get Aura items twice in your team (they only stack on the holders two times).

Stats not listed here are thouroughly ineffective on Gangplank, such as Ability Power, Spell Vamp, Health Regeneration etc. or are against the thought process of my build (Critical Strike Damage, AD). Some situational items will be listed in the next sections.

Get as many Tire One Items as you can, they are most cost-effective. Good upgrades provide you with 3 or even 4 of the stats stated above..

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Runes and Masteries


Red: AS (APen/AD). You want AS for jungling or APen/AD for Lane. Don't forget to snuggle in a Crit Mark to get that 1% early chance.
Yellow: Armor (HP/AS). Armor is needed almost always. Possible alternative is only HP/HPlvl or even AS.
Blue: MR (AS/MRlvl). I prefer flat runes since you want early game stats. MR runes, and makes you a strong mid ganker.
Quints: AS/MS (Lifesteal/HP/APen/AD). I suggest offensive Quints, since your item setup is rather tanky.


21/0/9 Balance damage and defense in your Rune/Mastery/Item choices. The offense tree offers really good stuff for Gangplank IMO.

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Game - Walkthrough

Starting item choices:

Your first Item is supposed to give you survivability early, either by avoiding skillshots and ganks with boots, or by decreasing damage taken. Cloth Armor works well in Jungle and vs. physical opponents while Null-Magic Mantle gives your resiliance vs. casters.
Allthough starting with a Vampiric Scepter is possible, it is a lot more difficult and gets you low HP quickly, which is terrible for you in early game clashes. Never be below 50% and use Health Potions to stay healthy.
Parrrley is your first level skill. It allows you to reset your attack-timer and gives you the most damage on level one out of all of your skills. Also helps you to apply your passive faster and to finish someone. Best of all, this will increase your gold income, which is vital in early game.

Early game (4000g):

Lifesteal for more sustain is your next priority, you don't want to rely on Health Potions alone. Rush a Vampiric Scepter along with Boots of Speed if you did not get them until now.
Now you can sustain yourself and move freely, and the Raise Morale speed buff allows you to skip second tire boots and AD items and focus entirely on getting more Damage via AS. This is a very good help for ganks.
This is your cheap early game damage item. We skip Wriggle's Lantern and go straight for AS. Get this always (Only Core Item I insist on). Do not rush Mercury's Treads for MR (IF you don't need MR, get Ionic Spark instead).
You need HP now. While you may choose to get Giant's Belt for a later upgrade, I mostly take the Ruby Crystal because it is so cheap and gives more options when upgrading. Heart of Gold can help you if you are beeing outfarmed or in jungle.
Armor because physical damage is your greatest concern 90% of the time. You want a big Armor item soon, so get Chain Vest if you can. Cloth Armor should only be taken for Ninja Tabi or Madred's Razor.
Sight Ward Always, always have one of those in your inventory. While you are nearly ungankable due to your Remove Scurvy and Raise Morale, clever enemies will lure you into foolish actions. Wards are your tool to turn ganks and get kills! Even Vision Wards are worth their money!

Mid Game (7000g):

Zeke's Herald This is the reason we do not take Wriggle's Lantern. Every single stat is perfect for you. HP, Lifesteal, AS and CDR. You want all of it, and your team wants it too.
Mana is your weak spot, and this item gives you all you need to never worry about it again. It is a very cheap item and Frozen Heart is a good upgrade. Don't get this if other teammates are.
Every team should have one and if your support/tank won't get it, you will. Especially to consider if you need more MR.
Seeing that Phantom Dancer is probably the best item you can get for Gangplank, you are on the right path here. You want more than your 1% crit, and even more AS, get it.
This will make a huge difference if you have it maxed now. Annoyingly short CDR, and a ridiculous amount of heal. Enemies will hate you for this.
Or Elixir of Agility if you face a dragon battle or want to gank something, this is a perfect boost, together with Oracle's Elixir to scout savely (You may need one in your team, take it if your support doesn't).

End Game (13000g):

You want this sooner or later. 50% Crit together with Elixir of Agility, a nice 50% AS boost and some MS on top of it. Alternatively you can upgrade it to a Trinity Force.
If you got Glacial Shroud, this is the upgrade. If you choose another Armor item, replace it. Possible alternatives: Randuin's Omen or Sunfire Cape.
Alternative or upgrade to Aegis of the Legion. I suggest a big HP item: Randuin's Omen, Trinity Force or the Mallet. Warmog's Armor only gives you HP, which you should already have in abundance.
These are teamfight boots. Although you can take , , and , remember that Mercs are your only viable source of Tenacity.
Remember that I said AD is bad early game ? Well, late game with your high AS and Crit, it becomes quite important on Gangplank. Since he also depends on Defense Penetration to keep up in damage, this should be his end game item number one. Get it before or after Trinity Force/ Phantom Dancer.
Any consumable available to you is totally worth the money if you can't finish other items instantly. Get them all ( Elixir of Brilliance, Elixir of Fortitude, Elixir of Agility and Oracle's Elixir).

Focus on your role exclusively. If your team has squishy DD's but no tank, fullfill that role to your best possibility and get Tank items ASAP (This isn't optimal as GP can't really protect anyone except himself). You will always need damage together with tankyness, so get items like Sunfire Cape, Frozen Mallet and Atma's Impaler. Else if your team has tanks, and needs more damage, or if:


Get a Phantom Dancer. Choose either Infinity Edge, Madred's Bloodrazor or Trinity Force depending on whether your team needs physical damage, magical damage or something of everything.
In the end your builds will look like these Example Builds:

Zeke's Herald
(Build vs physical damage)

Zeke's Herald
(Build vs magic damage)

Zeke's Herald Sight Ward
(Poor people's build)

I hope by now you realize that a clever build needs to be flexible. Every game has its own requirements and obviously teamplay is better than any build. Don't dismiss items just because you have never seen them on Gangplank. Remember that "Atmogs" is ok on almost any champion, but never goes to the full potental on most.
You should also know that your ROLE in the game limits your item choices, and your team and enemies strenght over the different game stages (early/mid/late) imposes strict requirements on your effectiveness.

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Guidelines for decent Gaming

Honor the Code and behave like decent Ladies and Gentleman should...

  • "That heal/stun/slow/attack/ult saved my life, that was soo close, thank you very much."
  • "I underestimated my enemy, it was my mistake, it won't happen again, I promise."
  • "Kind Sirs, getting Mercs against that team is a decent thing to do."
  • "[all] Talk kindly to your fellow gentleman, it is hard for them too."
... if you get my drift :D

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As with almost every mobafire guide, credits go to jhoijhoi for learning about BBCode. I hope you learnt something from this guide, I wrote it to clear my thoughst on GP and to let others look at my conclusions.
I am happy with this guide as it is. If you have something to add to my line of thoughs write to me. I greatly appreciate discussion and arguments about builds, I don't want you to adapt my style, I see it as an experiment that yields good results and should be appreciated as such.

Thank you for reading!