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Gangplank Build Guide by jigplums

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This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

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League of Legends Build Guide Author jigplums

Tankplank a Plankers Guide

jigplums Last updated on April 11, 2012
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Top Lane
Ranked #7 in
Top Lane
Win 53%
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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: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Hi summoners and welcome to my first build here on mobafire. This is a guide to playing Gangplank, a great champion for helping out your team and providing a tough body that just cannot be ignored in a team fight

As with any guide, this is a guide not a definitive set of answers. I want this to be a resource for all my fellow PLANKERS to use to refer to, but the main things that will help you to win will be player skill, ability to adapt to the unfolding game plus communication and team play. Hopefully this will give a few of you a head start into the right direction, especially anyone new to gangplank.

Why build Tankplank? Well as a melee ad champion you need to be stacking tank items in order to survive team fights, when player to a high level. Sure sometimes you may get feed early, or face a team that doesn't focus down the fed, class cannon melee champ, however lets assume that's not the case. A ranged ad can afford to go all damage items as they are planning not to be in range of the enemy when it comes time for a team fight to go down, and the rest of the team SHOULD be protecting them. You'll be going toe to toe with the Tryndamere and Xin Zhao right in the thick of it, and all the health and armour will keep you swigging and swinging come end game.

With this build you should be minimising the kills your opponent gets from you, and overall surviving is better than trading 1 for 1 in kills. Play smart, dont push past the river, and take oppertunities that dont get you killed and your team will be the better for it. With Parrrley, Raise Morale and Cannon Barrage you can be cautious and still net more gold, assists, xp and kills then your solotop conuterpart and power into lategame as a carry hunter ladden with a pirates booty, all bought with your ill gotten gains.

In short you could go "criticalplank" build and stack up damage items, and in some games you'll be devastating. However against any team that knows there stuff, they will wait for you to engage and then focus that glass jaw of yours, putting all that damage out of the fight in super quick time. Tankplank will be more consistant and help the team win more often, whilst not giving away a tonne of kills.

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Very survivable once got items
Good harraser
Good Farmer
Gold advantage from Parley
Great team fight champ
Can help any Lane with Cannon Barrage
will smash down squishies mid to late game
Built in cleanse with Remove Scurvey
Raise Morale + Remove Scurvey give situational escapes
Awesome team assister


Squishy until gets items
armour can be a hard counter
Need to get next to enemy for full effectiveness
No Natural way to protect squishies

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GANGPLANK the story

Gangplank was born the son of the dread pirate captain Vincent the Shadow - one of the most wealthy and feared pirates in all of Blue Flame Island. One might think this would have spoiled the boy with a cushioned life of privilege, but the truth is quite the opposite. Growing up in the city of Bilgewater isn't easy; pirates are not known for their compassion, and that most certainly extends to their families. Vincent wanted his son to grow up tough and strong, so he was extremely hard on the young Gangplank. Even as a child, Gangplank was as mean as a snake and is said to have slept with his eyes open. As he grew, the young man rapidly became the most ruthless and feared pirate in all of Bilgewater, and his daddy was never more proud than on the day of his son's eighteenth birthday - when Gangplank stabbed his old man in the back and claimed the famed pirate ship, the Dead Pool, for his own.

The continent of Valoran, however, is a dangerous place for pirates; Gangplank could read the writing on the wall. The den of pirates known as Bilgewater would soon be pulled down by the undertow of Valoranian politics and the Institute of War. It was time for Bilgewater to have their own champion to represent them in the League of Legends, and who better than the fiercest pirate of them all? It is said that Gangplank has enough power and favor to claim the title of the Pirate King back home, but that he is simply biding his time and building his reputation as a champion before he returns to a life of piracy.

"Yo ho, blow the man down. Or at least shoot him when his back is turned and steal all his booty."

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[passive]. This applies extra damage over time, and a nice slow to your autoattacks and parrley shots. Great little passive that makes it easier to net last hits, and disrupt your lane. Great opener when your jungler steams into top lane as the slow and your raise morale will make it all the more likely that one of you nets the kill.

. This is gangplanks bread and butter, and you will be using it all the time. The thing that makes it so amazing, is that it applies on hit affects just like an auto attack, so can critical, applies slow affect from phage etc... and also trigger and benefit from sheen. In this build late game you'll be criting for over 1000 damage. The other great thing about it is that it has a low cooldown and will give you extra gold for any kills it secures. Use it to last hit minions and win the gold race. Finally its great for harrasment, which is really why it allows gangplank to solotop sucessfully. alot of the time you will want to max this first, and unless jungling or team invading there jungle you should take this first pick.

This is what sets gangplank out in the Crowd. in the least instance its a heal for a reasonable mana cost with a medium cooldown. However what makes this super narley is that cleanse affect that comes with it. It removes all crowd control affect on you ontop of the heal. So when an Ashe big arrow connects with your face, Malzahar shuts you down in his ultimate, or Annie lands that tibbers stun, take a big old swig of citrus and go chop their face off, or run to live and fight another team fight. Late game this is immense and you should always keep the mana up for it. This could be the difference between you dying first in a team fight too you shrugging off that stun to get into the mix and leading to a team ace.

If you need a reason to justify Gangplank as your tanky solotop then this should be it. There are few others that have as affective a cc shutdown BUILT IN as this, so it makes him ideal as a carry hunter.

: This ability makes Gangplank SO useful in a teamfight. It raises your ad and mv speed, which makes it well worth a point or two early game. When you activate it You and nearby allies gain a boost as well. This means your whole team is quicker, does more damage and that you gain assists for any kills your allies get. It will mean that you should have as many assists as the support if not more come end game, gaining you more gold from this and tip team fights in your favour. Also dont underestimate the move bonus. I use it from the summoners platform to the lanes for a little boost, helping team mates that are being chased, boosting damage, procing sheen pushing lanes. literally has loads of applications

: A damaging and slowing AOE ultimate, with a huge range that lets you help out other lanes, whilst maintaining the top lane. Using this well can really make a difference as not only will it net you assists and the occasional kill when you land it on that recalling enemy champ that thought they were safe, it can be a great opener for a team fight as slowing the enemy down, makes your whole team more likely to land their skill shots and get to the most important targets first. From level 6 you should be keeping one eye on the map and dropping those bombs whenever its up, and mid or bot lane are going for a kill. Drop it on a tower to stop a push. Drop on your tower when they dive you [then Parrrley and Exhaust to secure the kill]. Along with Raise Morale I feel this makes Gangplank a top tier choice, due to the utility it gives in terms of team support. If it nets you kills its a bonus, but you'll be racking up those assists while denying top lane.

When it comes to skill sequence you should almost always start Parrrley, and put a point in Cannon Barrage whenever its available. However other then getting a point in everything by level 6 the exact order can vary game dependent. If your playing harashment then max parrley first, if your losing the lane extra ranks in Remove scurvey might be advisable, and if your doing alot of ganking or needing to push then make sure you max Raise Morale. In the skill sequence in this guide ive kept it kind of even between parrley and raise morale, as raise morale will raise your ad, which will affect your Parrrley in turn, and while the Parrrley is the most useful, or at least the most frequently used Raise Morale will have a bigger impact on the dps you do early to mid game.

Try not to spam abilities in the laning phase unless it secures a kill or saves your skin from a gank. otherwise you'll need to go back every few minutes and give them an advantage in gold and xp.

Overall Gangplank has an extremely versatile set of skills that helps him deal terrible damage, close with carries extremely quickly and affectively and help his team mates in almost every stage of the game. Enjoy using them to swing the game in your favour.

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when building runes for gangplank its important to think about what you want him to be doing in the team. The example in the build is given as a solo-top Champ, who is building into a tanky role for late game as this is the role i think Gangplank fills extremely well. We take Armour pen in the Marks as these give the best damage you can get from your reds and your going to be getting your other tankiness elsewhere. The other reason this is important is that we actually want to be a threat in the lane and later in team fights. in the laning phase that extra damage were putting out means that enemy champs are more likely to go back earlier, meaning more farm for gangplank and more opportunities to slip down into the other lanes. Also it means its less likely that riven your facing off against is going to be able to maximize any advantages they gain and come in for the kill.

In seals we go full armour. This is because armour is probably the most important early game stat, as not only will it help vs champs but aslo minions and jungle creeps. This will keep you in lane longer, mean you should die less, and hopefully pick up a few more kills.

Magic res in glyphs gives us a nice tanky package that should see as sustain well as long as we play sensibly, as well as stacking nicely with our late game items

Quints is where there are more options, depending on the team your facing and how you want to build. Extra pen is good for keeping you dishing out that damage, and would be the allround choice i would recommend. Life steal quints also have some merits as they add some sustain, and work well with your masteries to sometimes allow that extra early kill. Its also great for jungleplank. some prefer going health quints which give that extra surviveability early game that hopefully helps you snowball.

Experiment with runes and let me know what you think.

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Masteries here are pretty straight forward, although im recommended you go 21/9/0 there are lots of ways to build masteries affectively. The reason i go into the offensive tree so heavily is because we need to keep gangplank a threat or theres no point being tanky. The extra damage, armourpen, critical and lifesteal are all very worthy additions on gangplank, especially with his parrley skill being able to crit etc. This should mean they cant ignore you as you engage into a teamfight with raise morale and start chopping chunks from the enemy team. When they then turn and try to shut you down your carries will start picking apart the enemy team. Your items will make you tanky enough, the extra damage will come in really handy.

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With Items there is no magical formula that is going to win you every game you play. Your going to have to adapt to the team and how well your lane and other lanes are doing. However the recommended items in this build give you an idea of what to aim towards against a reasonably balanced team.

I usually start with Regrowth Pendant and a mana pot. you can also start Cloth Armor and health pots or boots and pots against someone like talon, kennan etc that you'll wanna dodge those skills shots on.
You want to play the strafing game early on, which i find the regen pendent works well with as it gives you time to regain any health from their pokes, and also mean you can build it into either philosophers stone or into Warmog's Armor depending how the lane starts out. If your opp went cloth armour pots and you do well early the extra gold from you pistol as well as the affective advantage of starting with an item that will be in your build will put you ahead in the mid game.

Nomad's Medallion is great in the solo queue when you dont know how good your jungler and mid are and just as importantly their jungler and mid. You could be up their alone and the extra gold + your parrley gold is nice, but the sustain it gives you is better.

Now depending on how well this early phase goes will determine what you buy. If i have the gold then starting giants belt to build Warmog's Armor is a great start. However i will often start with Phage as its slow works well with planks passive on parrley and helps set up ganks from your jungler, the health keeps you in lane and the extra damage should make your presence felt.

If someone is knocking out heavy Magic damage then you may be best to build your mercury treads first.

Atma's Impalers Next i will usually build Atma's Impaler, especially if laning against a ad champ and jungler, or against an ad heavy team. This item is amazing, and i think should be in any gangplank build. The armour will make you more survieable and outside facing some seriously fed ad carries should be enough when combined with all the health were stacking. The Critical that it gives will really help your damage potential, along with the crit from our masteries and later with Infinity Edge and Trinity Force. the real bonus of this is the attack damage it will grant. This is exactly what our tanky build needs, something that makes us harder to kill, and makes us deal more damage. Its a bit of a myth that you need a Warmog's Armor before you buy atmos impaler. Its a really cost affective item that gives you what you want in the form of Surviveability and damage potential. As long as you have at least a phage, the impaler will fit really nicely into your build.

Warmog's armour one of the most useful tank items. I will build this before atmos if the enemy is heavy ap [along with the mercury treads] or if your facing a solotop or even jungler that are dishing out serious magic damage. you may also consider it if the enemy is getting ahead as having that extra tankiness could swing a team fight at a crucail stage. The reason that warmogs is so good, is because it makes you harder to kill against everyone. Its a great all round item that fits well into the build. However its not essential, you could supstitute it for frozen mallet or another decent health item with great utility, especially if your team are ahead come mid game. If your getting used to how the solotop fits into the team dynamic i would stic with warmogs though, as in 8 out of 10 situations its going to be the best choice.

Trinity force, is an amazing items on many champions and gangplank is no exception. the great thing about it is that almost everytime you go back to the summoners platform, you'll be able to afford that next piece, which means going into the lanes more likely to pick up kills and assists. You can buy them in any order you want, and the more you use gangplank the more of a feel you'll get for when sheen should be bought early or when the movement buff from zeal is really needed. The thing that is so good about this item on gangplank is that it works AMAZINGLY with his Parrley. using raise morale to proc sheen and raise your ad then shooting the enemy carry in the face for a critical is a great feeling, as they lose half their life and the slow means you or a team mate chases them down and chops them up.

Infinty edge will really finish off that damage dealing output, and gives the most ad in the game, other than a fully stacked sword of the occult or bloodthirster. The extra critical chance and 250% crit Damage means it far outclasses any other item in its damage dealing potential. With the damage you can now take, an infinity edge means you'll easily chop up an enemy ad carry which is what your primary target should be at this stage of the game.

The final item slot is the one that will change the most, and tbh there are lots that can go in very well. Its a rare game that will finish this build, and its all down to what the enemies team make up is. Ive put banshees veil in the slot as it works really well with what we already have. the extra Magic res will protect from the nukers in the enemy team which really come into their own at this stage of the game, with its shield giving you the perfect defence to close with those casters and keep up your built in cleanse for any secondary cc affects. champs like annie, malzahar etc will hate you ;). the other great thing about it is the extra health, which in turn give you extra damage. its a good all round item that will really help win teamfights and survive them to chomp through towers and inhibitors.

Other contenders Phantom dancer, Randuins, Thornmail, Madred's Bloodrazers, maw of malmortius, bloodthirster, the list really does go on.

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Summoner spells are quite a personal thing, and will be determined in some part what the rest of your team takes. I usually feel at 1 offensive and 1 defensive spell is a good idea while your getting used to a champion. Once you master the champion those defensive spells suddenly become offensive, as you flash into position to snipe an ad carry out of a team fight for example, or heal under a tower to get the kill.

: Possible the best summoner spell and certainly the most used in the league. This is beacuse it give the ability to make heroic escapes that simply wouldnt be possible with any other spell and aslo set up for better ganks and chasing. Its really versatile and with remove scurvey makes the Plank hard to nail down. use it early to shot, flash-initiate and raise morale-exhaust for the kill.

: Great summoner spell, with lost of uses. Early i love it when the enemy jungler comes ganking and they try to take you under your tower, as one gets exhausted, you remove scurvey to heal, and then shot to slow the other it will sometimes net your the doublekill under your tower. Mid game you can use it to grab kills when someone tries to get away or to turn any one to one with an enemy melee in your favour. Lategame use it to protect your carries. If wukong tries ghosting through to go get Caitlyn then exhaust him and raise morale to give her time to get away and do what she does best. Melt the enemy team. The reason this is mainbuild is that it lets you do what good tanks should, protect your carries.

: Good alternative to exhaust, grab if your team doesnt have 1. This should net you a few extra kills early to mid game, but comes into its own against lifegain champs like mundo, tyrndamere, olaf etc..

: Can be taken over flash, especially if the enemy is cc light. This is perticularly good for ganking down mid while your lane is pushed or your nemesis has recalled/been killed. Also can mean you chase that enemy down, as very few people will escape when your ghosted, morale raised and they have your slow and or exhaust going off. Great when a team fight goes in your favour and the feet start hitting the pavement.

: This is a great one for a solotop as it means you dont have to suffer the long walk to get back to your tower early game, and can keep getting the last hits and build exp and gold ahead of their solotop. Its also great to keep lanes pushed and set up ganks later on. Once your pretty confident with plank, i feel this adds more in alot of teams than flash.

Most other Summoner spells arent really going to be worth it on gangplank, so dont go near the likes of Cleanse Surge etc....

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There are lots of little tips and tricks that turn any champ for good to great. Ive included a few in the different sections above but wanted to have this section to help out all the other PLANKERS out there and put it all into one place. If you have any suggestions for this section please post and i'll keep this updated


* Your playing the waiting game. Harass and dont get killed doing something stupid
* 1 for 1 trades arent worth it. it just means guys in your team with no kills get left behind and find it hard to catch up.
* make sure when you parrley a minion it nets the kill
* If your opp starts building armour from the get go, play the farming game and wait for the ganks. Once you have your items you'll start netting the kills or ***its so dont get impatient.
* always keep moving. It makes skill shots harder, and keeps you alive
* last hit. There arent going to be sucessful ganks if you under the opponents tower, unless they come from your opposition jungler. You shouldnt be past the river unless you know where everyone is
*ward the river. Keep a ward just outside the jungle path to blue to give you early warning that a jungler is on their way
* keep mana open. If your opps are ganking you need that Citrus fruit, so make sure you have the mana up, and down use your remove scurvey until you need it


* Watch the mini map
* If your doing well help the other lanes. push your minions then go help. but make sure your back in plenty of time to save your tower.
* Make sure your dropping Cannon Barrages when your lanes are intiating a kill. This will slow the enemy champ, making the kill easier hopefully put down some more damage, and net you the assist.
* grab blue if your team doesnt need it more than you. The cooldown is really useful and you'll be able to lane longer.


* Focus squishy carries
* Protect your carries
* Keep Remove scurvey for important if you get stunned wait to see if they initiate.
* Use raise morale to initiate, the extra mv will help the team
* Use raise morale to help net assists
* Dont go into a team fight before all the pieces are in place. Make sure your team are ready too. As tanky as you are 5 champs will kill your face, when you flash in all alone.


*take lifesteal quints for more affective jungle.
*open with parrley to slow and make sure you and the lane benefit from raise morale
*Grab Vampiric Septre as first pick. This will mean you have a healthier life total to go gank form lvl 2-6.
* A cannon barrage is a great opener for a Gank. Your opp also knows this, so if a lane is in trouble, drop cannon barrage on the enemy champs and watch them drop back. It could give that lane time to get back into the game


*communicate.....end of
*dont troll. No matter how much you think its the junglers fault or that you knew Mid eve was a bad idea, nothing losses a game quicker than a lose of team respect and teamplay. This is a team game. You win as a team. Wait till the curtains have closed before you discuss tactical differences of opinion.
*Raise morale should be used in every team fight. Use it to help initiate, but dont feel like you have to dive it the first time you use it. If you need to keep waiting for the ccoldown and rinse and repeat until and oppertunity arrises.
*Cannon Barrage can often get an enemy to make mistakes when used to initiate. Either they jump forward to get out from its AOE and get focued down, or that ad carries runs back to get away from it leaving everyone else out on dry land with no rum. Be ready to take advantage and make sure your team knows.
*never go into a team fight without your team. This sounds obvious but the amount of times someone waiting the 3 seconds for the rest of the team to be in position would make a difference sometimes makes me cry myself to sleep.


*if your enemy builds armour to counter you, then last whisper or black cleaver should make your build. Talk to your ad carry. Ideally you can take one and them the other for devastating combo.
*if your laning against a strong Magic dealing champ, dont be afraid to buy an early Mantle or cloak to add to your survivability.

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So PLANKERS, as you can see this is a guide for making a survivable teamfighting asset, that bring consistency to your play. If you play smart, and dont give away silly kills half the game is won, and with gangplank that will still net you plenty of gold. When the time is right and gangplank strikes there are few champs who will be able to go toe to toe with you, and the aggro you get from the enemy will carry your team to victory. The guide above should net you reasonable kills, low deaths and loads of assists and allow the rest of your team for forfill their roles.

If you have any constructive comments please post, would love to hear what you like about the guide, and what you feel could be added. If you enjoy playing as TANKPLANK please vote and comment, especially if you have anything you'd like to be added to the hints and tips section