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Gangplank Build Guide by Maltigow

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Maltigow

Off-Tankplank // Owh sh#t he also had a sword !

Maltigow Last updated on July 28, 2011
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Team 1


Team 2

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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My favorite champions are the heroes you can play in many different ways, and this is why Gangplank is one of my favorites from a pretty long time.

A while ago, I learned a lot reading really goods build like Aeneas's, which are more "critical strike AD" and carry/killah oriented. With my own experiences and my taste in playing offtank and support champs, I started to play Gangplank on a more resistant way.. Which inscreases his "support" face. But don't think that this build will deal a lot less damage... Or you'll get killed in no time. :)

NB : I build this for a lane gameplay.. I'm not building like this when I have to mid with GP. (It happens but I think that he is a better lane than mid champ.)

I'm not a pro player at all, I'm playing LoL to have fun and just wanted to share my experience with a champ I know pretty well. I hope that your comments and advices could help me to improve this build.. and myself, basically. :) Anyway, if you just want to play Gangplank as a carry/assassin, this build is way better, I consider it as an excellent reference.

What you're about to read walks on a different path...

NB : English isn't my mother tongue but I'm gonna do my best here. Feel free to correct me if I write something scary ! :D

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The champ' : Pro/Cons

Gangplank is a really balanced hero with a correct early game and an AWESOME late game. If you play it well, you will be really useful for the team all along the match thanks to your E and your ulti.


- Deals great damages (not only your Parrrley)
- Good farm
- Excellent HP base
- Awesome range with ultimate
- Great buff for team with Raise Morale
- Good (team)escape thanks to speed-buff and combo Remove Scurvy > Raise Morale ( > Cannon Barrage )
- Eats fruits, a good example for the kids

- Squishy.. When you build him pure AD :)
- You have to like to play with your luck (critical chances on Q, random hits with ultimate..)
- I don't understand his joke
- Your Parrrley in the best KS-skill ever if you don't care
- Drinks rhum, a bad example for the kids

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Runes & Masteries

It's not a scoop that the best way to deal damages with Gangplank is to play with the critical strikes. I builded these runes and masteries in order to start the game with a bit more than 10% chances of critical hit.

The masteries provides 2%, and you can get around 9,6% from 9 * Greater Seal of Critical Chance and 3 * Greater Quintescence of Malice. These ~11% will act as a jump to reach really soon the 50% in the early game, for less than 1.7k gold.. ( 2 * Cloak of Agility = 36%. Yeah, I swear.) By the way, if you have a bit of luck and it an opponent with a critical hit even before your first back, it will hurt him REALLY badly.

Of course, since I want to build an "Offtankplank", I have to spend most of my gold in Defense.. and Critical Hits ! Therefore, a good choice is to use the (legendary) 9 * Greater Marks of Desolation insteed of taking too much critical chances. Armor Penetration is really important with Gangplank and this way you've got a vital minimum and don't need to buy The Brutalizer or something.

By the way, more than 10% from Runes and Masteries is pretty useless since you can easily reach the 98-99% with your item purchases, even if you play tanky -- Atma's Impaler powah !

Another option is to buy Runes to increase critical damages hits.. I personnaly don't enjoy it because your Infinity's Edge will increase the critical hits to 250% already and you've got another 10% buff with the masteries.. Which on the other hand give you only 2% of critical chances ! But it's just MY choice and I don't think that it's bad to use Runes of Furor.

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Summoner Spells

There's a lot of possibilities here... It depend on your taste and mind. :)

My first choice is to use Teleport and Ignite because it definitely turns you into a true b#tch.

Ignite is a choice for the mid/late game, more than for the early. Early game, it is a painful spell that (added to your poison) can kill or at least deny your lane opponents, so of course it is already useful, but my most important goal comes later : Spamming it on the squishier carries in the teamfights. Kill a carry or scare him to force him to runaway can definitely turn a battle in the advantage of your team.

Teleport + Incredible Speed + Ultimate allows your Gangplank to be ANYWHERE on the map at lightspeed. Too much minions on turret top !? TELEPORT ! Sh#t, same on bot.. ULTIMATE ! And then you run mid at the speed of light thanks to Raise Morale to join the teamfight. Yes, this will happen, more often that you can imagine. Teleport is a basic for my gameplay of some champ but here.. I just don't want to play a GP without it. :)

Therefore, it's more insteed of Ignite that a lot of spells can be useful.

Other good spells

Using Ghost or Flash increase A LOT your escape or chasing habilities.

By the way, Ghost increase your hability of being anywhere in no time, therefore it is an excellent addition to a Teleport if that is a point you want to play with.

Flash is more efficient to escape dangerous places, focus or to approach a target to use your Q.

These two spells turns you champ more agressive AND more chickenrun at the same time, you choice between the two is only a matter of taste.

Viable spells

I don't really like to use Exhaust with GP since he already have a zone slowdown with his Cannon Barrage but it can definitely help.. Just keep in mind that it'll lead you to force a melee fight.

Having a Clairvoyance in the team is never useless.. So it's up to you. Since you're not a pure Support, it is not you true role but it won't be a waste if you can use it properly.

Rally could be great for the teamfight in addition to your E but I'm not really use to this spell.. And I think that your E provides enought support for a DPS champ.

Spells I dislike with GP

Cleanse.. Your W is already more than a cleanse. Ok, this spell allow you to cleanse twice but I think that if you need to cleanse twice in 10 second, you'll most probably die anyway. I prefear to count on my W and the Tenacity from the Mercury's Tread. :)

Heal, Clarity, Revive.. No, definitely not. I don't even want to explain myself.

I saw players using Fortify, pretending that it is a good add to the Teleport and Cannon Barrage to defend your buildings and being everywhere. Well, why not, but I don't just don't trust this spell. :D

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Items & Alternatives

First items


At level 1, Gangplank have one of the highest base-HP but is a bit too manavore if you want to spam you Q.. An innocent Sapphire Crystal gives a great survavibily to your mana. If you like to play with the passive of the Sheen with your combo Raise Morale> Parrrley, it is the better start cause you can get Sheen with a recall in mall at a little 900 Gold.

Another viable choice is to start with Boots + Mana Potion. Honestly, it depend on my mind. That's the way I play when I want to up asap my critical chances by buying 1 or 2 * Cloak of Agily in my first recall.

Early Core Build

The Boots of Speed, your Sheen and at least a first Cloak of Agility are your priorities.. Next items depend on the game. I have two main ways :



Basically 2 is more agressive than 1, which gives you more of defense. The choice depend on the early game and on how you feel on your lane. If you have to face a dangerous AD or something, 1 will be the better way, most of the time. If you owned them after a few minutes, go on 2 to keep you advance and farm/deny easilier !

Mid-Game build

+ OR

Whatever I do before or next, I plan to reach this point around the end of the mid-game.
This core gives 54% chances of critical hit which can deal a lot of damage thanks to the passive effects from items and your masteries.

At the same time this core gives you a viable amount of Armor and MR and life. By the way, it turns your Q and you auto-attack painful and dangerous thanks to the Infinity Edge and most importantly a 53% chance of critical hit. By the way, never underestimate the bonus AD from the Atma's Impaler.

Late game alternatives

As you can see below, there is a choice to make between a Giant's Belt and a Ruby Crystal. It's simply because the next thing you need is more HP to be a viable offtank. My two favorites items to fulfill this need are Warmog's Armor and Aegis of the Legion.

Therefore, here are two possible late-game builds :

1 >>>



Both build gives 98-99% chances of critical hit and allow you to rush in the teamfight.

It is important to consider that it is pretty rare to reach this moment. Most often the time you'll get the first item of one of these late-game-build and the match will be finished a bit later.

That's why I like the solution 1 because add Warmog to the Core Build turns Gangplank into a freaking solid bastard who can truly ascape from ennemies' focus after dealing a lot of damage in the teamfight, thanks to the passive from your Atma's Impaler.

With 2, you will have less HP but your defense have a better balance. By example, if you are facing a team with a lot of AP, it is really better.. But that's not the only good reason to pick an Aegis of the Legion ! Its aura is always really helpful in teamfight. And don't worry about the passive from Atma's Impaler, the difference in AD bonus is not so big, since the Aegis provides HP and a small AD bonus too !

Another choice to make is to up your Trinity Force or your Phantom Dancer first. The question is.. Gameplay or Critical Chances ? You will be at to 68% with the Triforce and at 83% with the Dancer, with similar prices, but the Triforce adds a interesting chance of slow to your attacks (including your Parrrley and increases the passive from your Sheen to 150%. These are just the fact to consider before your last purchases. Most often the time, I buy the Triforce first because I'm confident in the ~70% chances.

Other items to consider.. Or not

Remind that I'm writing this build in the context of an offtank champion. Therefore, items like The Bloodthirster or Last Whisper doesn't really fit here, despite they're excellent weapon for an AD Gangplank.

Bad ideas...
- The Brutalizer could be a good item if you DO NEED a cooldown reduction and armor penetration, but it will be a little gain for a huge loss, because you will have less damage, hp, or even critical strike, unless you build the Youmuu's Ghostblade pretty fast. A lot of GP starts with Avarice Blade too, critical strike and PO/sec.. I can't deny that it is an interesting item but from my point it is way batter to buy a Cloak of Agility with the same gold, if you last hit correctly, you will gain a lot of gold anyway.
- I WANT TO SPAM MY MANA ! So what ? Manamune ? I think that it's a bad idea. It will only help you A BIT early game and is pretty useless later. Most often the time in the mid game, when you're OOM, you also need to back to the mall or to survive with 200HP. If you play Gangplank with the Manamune, even in AD, try without it and I'm pretty sure that you won't buy it again. But well.. That's just my point. :)

Viable ideas
- I just gave two "bad" example but.. Maybe is there something good if you really want a bit of CR and more mana regen ? Shurelya's Reverie is an excellent alternative to the Warmog's Armor in this case. I really enjoy it despite it gives less HP. Its active bonus in addition to your Raise Morale gives a ridiculous chasing/escaping ability to your whole team. Why not ?

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Skill Sequence & Gameplay

Early game, your best weapon to harass, deal damage and most importantly FARM will be your awesome Q, but of course you can't show your best gameplay without the cleanse effect of your W and the speed/AD buff from your E.

My favorite way is to up Parrrley first, then to manage to have it level 2 at my level 4, with 1 point in W and E. Then, up Parrrley asap and Raise Morale in second position.. Of course, spend a point in your ulti as soon as you can !

A good alternative is to start with Raise Morale.. I prefer my Q but I don't think that it's change the game anyway. Matter of taste, again. Since the Q is a great source of farm, I like to use it asap.

Parrrley !
Consider your Q as your ***** : It's the most important thing you have and you have to use it as soon an opportunity is in front of you, but you have to learn which opportunities are the best.
(OMG, did I really write that ?)
Let's get serious. A brainless spam of your Parrrley won't lead you anywhere. At first, Parrrley is your best weapon to farm early game and since your early core is pretty expensive (damned Infitity Edge !), you have to do your best to Last Hit ! It's not a bad idea to use it to harass your opponents, you can deal a lot of damage in only one it and make them feel insecure. This point is to improvise following how's your partner, how are these opponent, etc. Anyway, my advice is to wait peacefully your level 4-5 to become aggressive.

Remove Scurvy
The existence and the nature of this spell made me wonder about the mental health of Riot's game designers. They're too funny to be normal.
This spell includes two parts : A (little) heal and a cleanse. The most interesting part is the Cleanse. Try to not use it for the heal.. Keep it up in order to have a Cleanse at anytime. It can (I mean.. IT WILL) definitely save your *** many times ! Of course this heal can save your *** too if you're about to take some damages from a spell or turret by example.. But that's all, unless you play Gangplank AP. Well. Gangplank AP. Why not. I won't say that it's bad before I try it. (Mouahaha ?)

Raise Morale
As if Parrrley wasn't made of pure violence already, Gangplank have also this spell and can share his buff with friend in order to have a great time kicking ***es. I won't spend too much time explaining how running faster and hitting harder can be useful in game... I think you're not that dumb. :D

Cannon Barrage
Gang's ulti is just the best range of the game. The main problem is that it hits pretty randomly... So don't count too much on it to deal damages, be more confident in your sword and Parrrley for it. The most "secured" part of this spell against enemies is the slowdown. It's a really dangerous skill combined to Raise Morale to chase or escape. Chasing someone under your ulti with your E active and you Parrrley is just something that will make you scream by excitement in front of your screen.
(Remind that when you start to scream like a Pirate, it's time to play Shen.)

Your ulti have many other uses.
- Farm. YES. If you see a huge bunch of minions waiting for someone to dig their graves, don't run if your ulti is up, kill them from where you are. If you're not so confident in wasting your ultimate for this kind of use, do it only when these minions are right in front of your turret. This way you make money push without even going on another lane.
- Get assists. HELL YEAH ! But not exactly like Raise Morale. If you see a 1v1 somewhere on the map, releasing your ultimate on it will definitely give an advantage to your teammate. At first, his opponent won't feel secured, he will take some more damage and lose his mobility. Most often the time, it'll lead your mate to victory if the fight was balanced. In the same way, when there's a team-fight, your ultimate is a great influence. The best time to use it is a few seconds after the start of the fight.. Because people will start the to run and chase.. And of course, when all the enemies are slowed, your team gets an advantage in both.
- The Finish Move. Really funny to remove the last 50 HP to a running enemy with a blind ultimate in the middle of the forest. Way too exciting. This could also make your scream like a Pirate.
- Turret Push : When you minion are on an enemy turret, it can be dangerous to go if there's too much misses, you should be ganked and killed before you could even call your mum. Sometimes, it can be good to use your ulti on the enemy's wave to let you minions hit the turret a bit longer.
- Counter-Backdoor : Late game, thanks to Teleport, you are one of the BEST counter backdoor ever. A ****ing Xin Zhao is trying to dive your turret while your whole team is pushing ? Initiate him with you Cannon Barrage and then Teleport on the building in order to rape him.

Hell yeah, you also have a SWORD !

Just something to keep in mind : Your sword gives a lot of damage too ! Counting on your Sheen for your auto-attack isn't a bad choice.. And don't run away too early in front a "dangerous" assassin or carry.. You are an offtank after all and... You are Gangplank !

I seriously don't know a champ that Gangplank can't face in a random 1v1 with equal levels and if you play with your brain. Even the "AD" Gangplank is pretty squishy but he's definitely not the squishiest champ ever. If you already have Atma's Impaler Infinity Edge Warmog's Armor, you just CAN'T be defeated by a random AD carry or assassin unless he have a lot of Armor Penetration, with The Black Cleaver or Last Whisper by example.

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I think that this is not the best way to play Gangplank... There is really many excellent ways to build it and anyway, the result depends a lot on the player's skills themselves.

Since it works pretty good for me in game, I'm sure that there is at least a few good ideas in my way to play Gangplank. Notice that the early-game core build is pretty easy to turn into a full AD build if you feel like it will crush the opposite team, when you have a good start.

I look forward to read your comment, if you have any idea of how to improve my Tankplank. :)

As I said, I'm far from a pro player but here are the 5 last games I played with this build before writing this guide.. Just to make you sure that it is not a bunch of ****. Huu, yes, I lost one because I'm just a human. :D But my honor was safe in this match, I swear. :D

Thanks for reading ;
Thanks for trying before voting ;
Thanks a lot more again if you take your time to give me your opinion or advices !

See ya, and have fun in game! :)

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2011-06-20 : I started to write this guide

2011-07-07 : Build published
2011-07-07, 10 minutes later : Correction of an amazing amount of mistakes in my poor english :D (shame on me)
2011-07-22 : Little correction, again, and justification about the choice of Cloak of Agility insteed of an Avarice Blade