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Build Guide by Bunnybunner

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Bunnybunner

The real way to play Gangplank

Bunnybunner Last updated on April 9, 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: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

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

Utility: 21

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I do not take particular credit for this build. This build is a result of studying several different Gangplank builds.

The number one different thing I hope you notice is that this build does not call for Avarice Blades and theres no crit chance or crit damage runes, I will explain this later and its very important why!

Btw, the second build is Tankplank.

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Pros / Cons

-Crazy high damage output which becomes ridiculous with crits
-Global ultimate that can assist with fights anywhere on the map
-Scales very well with items
-Very good Non-tank survivability
-ONLY champion with the ability to deny gold and experience from enemies
-Impossible to deny early game
-You're a ******* pirate

-Very weak early game
-Requires lots of farming early game before he is useful
-Damage output can be pitiful with out infinity edge and significant critical chance.
-Cannot withstand constant high-damage focus from enemies
-Very reliant on chance until fully itemized

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Grog Soaked Blade
This is a pretty solid passive that ads utility to team fights and extra damage to the laning phase. Early game in laning try to tag your enemies with this whenever you get a chance, as the damage will quickly add up. In team fights the healing reduction is really useful, so try to hit important targets, obviously without running through their whole team to get to the Soraka in the back.

Your main source of damage and one of the strongest skills in the game. You harass with it, you farm with it, and you kill with it; this is your main skill. It applies all on hit effects like frozen mallet slow and the red lizard buff. When it crits the damage is phenomenal, if it doesn't crit it can still hurt with a good amount of armor pen. The bonus gold is great for helping you get farmed quickly, but don't neglect harassing your opponent with it early game, especially if they have a low armor stat.

Remove Scurvy
A heal and a cleanse rolled all into one. As of right now it cleanses everything that the summoner spell does, and the healing is affected by ignite and other sources of healing reduction, so be careful. Early game the heal is somewhat insignificant, but it becomes pretty significant later on.

Raise Morale
This has two main uses:
1. Deny opponents gold and experience early game
2. Stronger pushes on towers

Denying minions early game is what makes gangplank viable, as you can keep 1-2 characters under leveled and under farmed, and you have no risk of being denied in return as long as you farm properly. Killing a minion with this move will deny all gold and experience from nearby champions regardless of their proximity. This move also has some interesting uses, which I will discuss later.

Note that this actually does 1010 damage, not an instant kill. This also procs twisted fate's passive if you kill something, so that's a little extra gold towards your pool.

Also note that currently, this move is unable to kill allied wards, so try to always proc raise morale off any nearby wards at baron/dragon/etc.

Cannon Barrage
This is a very versatile ultimate with several uses, usually in this priority:
1. Help a team fight from anywhere on a map
2. Turn an unfavorable gank into a favorable one
3. Zoning enemies away from or into enemies
4. Defend towers
5. Help champions escape from enemy ganks with the slow
6. Finishing off low health champs
7. Cross-map farming
8. Stealing buffs from enemies

It can be really unreliable at times, and positioning takes practice, which I will discuss later

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Masteries and Runes

The reason why I don't go 21/0/9 is 21-0-9 is somewhat difficult to build, as alacrity, offensive mastery, and brute force are all terrible masteries, so picking between them is difficult. Archmage's savvy gives you a moderately stronger heal, but it's still pretty bad for gangplank as well.

9/0/21 on the other hand, mana regen and cooldown reduction allow for more spells to be used, and the movement speed buff in conjuncture with raise morale allows you to stay at level 1 boots for a while and keep up with other champion's movement speed. The extra experience masteries and extended buff duration are always nice as well. Greed has obvious synergy with gangplank's tool tip buff.

Why no Crit chance/Crit damage runes?
Armor pen runes are insanely overpowered in their current state. Crit damage runes suck until really late game, and Crit chance runes cause your non-crits to be very weak vs armor pen runes. It is also MUCH easier to buy crit chance items than it is to buy armor penetration items. Armor pen runes allow for a much more consistent early game; with crit chance runes you'll be relying on chance way to much, and good players don't need luck to win.

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Avarice Blades are only for people who have trouble farming and people who rush a Youmuu's Ghostblade. You are neither of those. It takes 25 minutes for an avarice to pay for itself, so you need to rush one to make it worth it. Gangplank needs to rush infinity edge in order to do damage mid game. That's what you call a conundrum. You can't rush both unless you're fed a double kill or higher early game along with first blood. Even in that bizarrely rare case, you need damage items in order for parrrley to deal consistent damage, instead of just dealing when it occasionally crits. If you grab more than one avarice, you won't be able to get infinity edge until 35 minutes into the game, which is waaayyyyyyy too late. With no crit chance and no damage items you're crits won't be able to keep up with enemy armor growth, and you'll do less and less damage against any competent player. For these reasons and more,




Glad we see eye to eye, now lets move on...

:::::Starting off:::::
Meki Pendant: if you're new to gangplank, or aren't level 30 with full mana regen runes it's really easy to run out of mana fast. Start with this and 2 health pots. You can upgrade it to a chalice if you're under level 30/don't have runes, but if you do have the mana regen runes then you really don't need it, and should just sell off the meki later on (you only lose ~100 gold by doing this).

Doran's Shield: Once you're more comfortable with your mana usage, you can try a shield. Both starts allow for constant raise morale denying, but the shield allows you to sustain more harassment. Meki grants more parrrleys, but with the shield you can actually sustain harassment and freely farm and harass with your auto attacks. Grog soaked damage adds up fast, and can really hurt healing based champs like Vladimir and Nidalee. Basically if you know that you're going up against a scary lane or if you actually want lane presence during the first 4 levels, you might wanna grab a shield instead, but with a shield mana regen runes and the regen masteries in utility are completely necessary.

:::::Mid Game, The race to Infinity Edge:::::
Your goal is to get Infinity Edge as soon as you possibly can. That doesn't mean don't buy extra health potions and wards when necessary, as a dead gangplank can't farm very well. Buy whatever pieces you can of infinity edge whenever you have to go back, preferably bf sword or pick axe first, as the extra damage will help your farming and sustained harass more than the critical chance will. Grab level 1 boots when you can, and if you're having a bad game against a dangerous lane and reallly need mercury's treads, you can upgrade those before infinity if you don't have the money for the edge yet.

:::::After Infinity Edge:::::
At the 25 minute mark, you should have at lest this:
Doran's Shield or Meki Pendant
Infinity Edge
Mercury's Treads
If not, try and work on your farming or your not getting murdered 5 times. Either or will help. 12 minutes is my record for infinity and boots of speed (i got 5 kills because the people I was laning against had a death wish and didn't know what minion aggro was), I encourage you to try and beat that. Getting it at the 18 minutes mark is common if you can farm most of your lane's minions and get a kill/assist or 2 (usually with your ult). Still, 20 minutes is a good marker to see if you're ahead, and 25 minutes is a good marker to see if you're behind.

Atma's is by far the second best gangplank item. It gives you 18% crit chance, more than 40 damage, and extra armor to keep you alive(you will have 112 armor at level 18 with this item) Grab the cloak of agility first, and feel free to grab another cloak before completing the Impaler, as you also need ~50% crit chance through the mid game.

Last Whisper is the final touch on your damage output, and is amazing on gangplank since the December patch. You can now destroy high armor targets, including tanks, and have all the damage you'll really need. This is a really great and necessary item for Gangplank, and the earlier you can get it the better, but I feel he he needs all the items posted before this much more in order to survive and actually crit. If your enemies rush armor you may need to grab this faster, so pay attention to your opponent's builds. Parrrley is affected by it's armor penetration as well, since it applies on hit effects, so this is a pretty high priority item. If you want to build this before finishing Atma's, that can work sometimes, but so far Atma's -> Whisper has been working best unless you encounter several high-armor targets.

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Start off at your nexus, facing the direction of whichever lane you're going to be headed to. Kill the first melee minion you see, as melee minions give more gold and experience than ranged minions do, and they push slightly faster than ranged minions. Follow the minions down the lane, then once raise morale is off cooldown, kill the forward-most melee minion. MAKE SURE YOU AND YOUR LANE MATE (IF YOU HAVE ONE) DO NOT START AUTO ATTACKING MINIONS. I'll Discuss last hitting in a second, but for now just watch the minions attack each other, check out your opponent's items, and maybe inquire as to why your roger is so jolly. If nobody touches the minions, you'll have time to kill the first melee minion as it moves up to attack the ranged minions. From there farm the other melee minions and wait for the next wave. Raise morale will be up in time to shoot your last ranged minion, but DON'T do it. Wait a few seconds for the next melee minion. If done properly, you should never raise morale a ranged minion during laning. Every third wave contains a tank minion, and Raise Morale will be up right about when the 3rd wave is approaching your line. DON'T kill another melee minion, save it for the large tank minion, as that is worth by far the most gold and experience, and killing them will ensure that the minion wave stays by your tower. From there on try to always deny melee minions whenever raise morale is up, but pay special attention to incoming tank minions ever third wave, as it is essential that they die.

When laning try to farm as much as possible, and prioritize parrrleying minions early on over parrrleying champions (unless they are very low health/armor and lack health regeneration). Parrrley doesn't really hurt enemies until it's level 3, so start harassing with it every once in a while at that point.

:::::SOLO MID:::::
The general concept and execution is always the same, except you will most likely have to deal with more harassment, and the minions reach the lane faster. Always try to have enough mana for a parrrley and a remove scurvy in case the enemy gets sick you you stealing all their gold and exp and tries to kill you. Play defensively and ask your allies for ganks, as the enemy mid will be at your tower most of the time.

DO NOT AUTO ATTACK AND PUSH THE LANE. Pay attention to the rate at which the minions are dying, and make sure you only get last hits. This is necessary for 2 reasons:
1. The Enemy can not deny you experience or gold. Gangplank has a very weak lane presence, so someone like Garren can keep you from getting last hits very easily if you're not at your tower.
2. The Enemy has a harder time last hitting. The pressure of the tower will make the enemy more hesitant to use AoE spells and if they don't have any minions at the tower, they can't kill yours without taking a shot to the face.

A good Gangplank needs to know how to farm at his tower, since due to Raise morale, that's where the minions will be most of the time. Early on this is what it takes to kill each creep minion.
Melee: 2 tower hits and 1 gangplank auto attack. Eventually it will take 2 auto attacks, but a pick axe or bf sword fixes that
Ranged: 1 tower hit and 2 auto attacks or 1 parrrley. Once you grab a pick axe/bf sword it will be 1 auto attack.
Tank: Try and make sure you get these, as they are worth a lot of gold. Watch the rate at which the tower/minions are killing it and finish it with a well timed parrrley or auto attack.

Farm as much as possible as fast as possible. I prefer solo top, as it allows me to keep the enemy solo under-farmed, and it allows me to use my ultimate assist anywhere on the map, most importantly at the dragon area, while my opponent can not, as we both continue farming. Try to avoid too much running around in the jungle, as you need the early levels and farm. Stay in your lane and pop your ult to help your team when they need it. Your opponent will almost always be at your tower, so call for ganks, as it will generally be an easy kill 2v1 when the opponent has so much distance back to their tower.

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Working in the team

When you're finally farmed enough and roaming/pushing with your team, you want to do a few things before, during, and after a fight.

Before: Try and harass anyone in range with Parrrley. Run in an oval, going from the front of your team to the back so you're only able to be focused for the second you're shooting, and keep making laps whenever parrrley is up. The enemy will need to either initiate or recall, as the damage will add up quickly. If they do initiate on you, Remove Scurvy immediately, and run back, ghosting if necessary. They will most like have blown an ultimate, and you should make it out ok, and your team will be right next to you assuming you didn't run too far ahead and overextend. *Make sure you've popped your green Elixir if you have one, as you should always try and use it pre-team fight.

During: Use your ultimate properly (discussed later). Parrrley their weakest target. Raise Morale if you are next to minions. Exhaust whoever needs to be exhausted. If you're being focused, back off as they chase you in an attempt to kill you and let your teammates attack them, and parrrley when its available (this is called kiting). If you aren't kiting, auto attack an important target and try to focus them down with Parrrley and your auto attacks.

After: Chase and clean up whoever needs to be chased, but don't run too far as towers can and will kill you. Help your team push with Raise morale and go home to heal or back to farming a safe lane before the enemy team comes back hungry for pirate blood. If you died, Kite harder next time, and see what source of damage killed you so quickly, and buy more magic resist or armor accordingly if you need to.

Just because you're so item dependent doesn't give you immunity from buying wards or oracles. If either are necessary, be a team played and chip in.

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How to ult properly

:::::TEAM FIGHTS:::::
Your ult has 3 different uses in a team fight:
1. Initiation
2. Zoning
3. Damage output
4. Helping the team escape an unfavorable fight

1. Typically there are better initiations, but dropping this on a key area such as baron or a tower as your team rushes to get in there can be very effective. The damage and slow can cause a disruption in their coordination, and may disrupt their positioning.

2. Your ult can also be used to keep enemies out of a key area. If your enemy's friends are coming to help, this can force them to either take a different path or cause them to take damage and be slowed. This is more effective when in the jungle.

3. This is your ult's most common use, as well as its most difficult one. You need to wait for the enemy to commit to the fight (i.e. if the enemy Amumu or Malphite ults, the fight will generally take place in that area) before you drop it, so the enemy simply doesn't just walk away or through it, and so the majority of the cannon balls will hit. This takes patience and practice, but eventually you'll learn the right time to ult.

4. Sometimes things just go wrong. Help your team escape by ulting the enemy's chase path. If they run through it, they will most likely be damage and slowed, which might give you the opportunity to turn that **** around and win the fight.

:::::Other uses:::::
1. Defending towers
2. Helping ganks
3. Finishing off low health champions

1. Sometimes no one's around to defend the tower, and there's a big minion wave or and enemy there that's gonna drop the tower. It happens. Position the center of your ult in the center of the minion wave, and all the minions will die within 2-4 seconds wit a few exceptions. Usually this is enough to defend a tower, unless you're facing an exceptionally large wave or a really strong enemy push. Be sure someone will get there soon though, as the next wave is still a threat.

2. This has the same uses as it does for team fights, but using method 3 is the best in most situations.

3. This is my least favorite use of my ult by far. Lets face it, your ult can be really unreliable at times. Sometimes you men drink too much, forget to put on their glasses, and can't hit ****. The enemy causally walks past EVERY SINGLE CANNONBALL and recalls at peace. This is incredibly frustrating and a waste of an ultimate, and will most likely result in a "/all sick ult pirate" from the enemy. If you do want to try this, make sure you position the ult so that they're most likely to get hit, i.e. put the center on where they're recalling or place the center slightly ahead of them if they're running in a certain direction. If you do get a kill, good for you, you're a greedy pirate and you profit from it. If you don't, it should be up in 100 seconds or so, so it isn't a huge waste.

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Things to watch out for

Enemies stacking lots of armor: This will lower your damage output significantly, so be ready to get an early last whisper if you see this

Exhaust/blind: Disables your auto attacks, but fortunately, not parrrley

Characters with any spell shields or abilities that stop physical attacks: Pretty much everything that can stop something will stop parrrley. Be ready to deal with it.

Ignite: This will cut your heal from Remove Scurvy as well as deal more damage, essentially negating it, which can seriously mess you up early game

Silence: This can also mess up your Remove scurvy, as sometimes you will get the cleanse effect but not the healing effect when silenced. Try to wait for the silence to end before pressing w, unless you're in a seriously life-threatening situation.

Another Gangplank: You must be better than him. Period.

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Trollplank's Guide to Raise Morale

Sup noobs, I'm here to tell you how to use raise morale to make sure your team knows how awesome you really are. Feel free to deny friend requests at will after this ****.
Things to shoot:
1. Allied Wards: your ally just spent 90 gold to ward an important area. Guess what, you need to move faster. Kill that ward and get back to farming faster. Wards are overrated anyway.
*edit: WTF i cant kill these things anymore. They only cost 75 gold now and they're immune to troll bullets LAME

2. Annie's Tibbers: Annie is clearly too difficult of a character to play while moving Tibbers at the same time. Relieve her strenuous burden by sending that bear back to...wherever the hell it goes. It'll be back. Take note that by level 3 that bear will wise up to your **** and beef up a little. Now he takes two shots, so use caution when taking him down.

3. Heimerdinger: That little nerd is too attached to his turrets. Those turrets steal your gold, so put that afro-having bookworm back to work by busting his turrets. Note this was much more effective when heimer had 5 turrets and had to manually upgrade every one from yellow to red. You could keep him working all day, and have races between how fast he could build and how fast you could wreck his ****. That's a race where everybody wins.

4. Malzahar: This guy thinks he's so cool, floating around everywhere. Why don't you tell us all how to fly Malza****? Keep shooting his scrawny little minions till he shares his secret. UMAD BROZAHAR? These clever insults will get to him, trust me. If that isn't enough here's a few more. Malzabad, Malzasuck, Malzafail(save that gem for when he ****s something up), and MalzaResponsibleForSpreadingAids.

5. Mordekaiser: This guy is actually kinda scary, and you don't want to get that metal **** in your eyes. You can't shoot his pet, so don't try.

6. Shaco: So your best buddy Shaco's setting up a bunch of Jack in the boxes at lizard. Everyone knows it only takes 4 jack in the boxes to kill lizard, not 6. Correct his mistakes by standing next to him and shooting every jack in the box he puts down. If he puts them down too fast tell him, preferably in all chat, that he's putting down too many clown toys at lizard, and that someone needs to come deal with this ****. If he starts yelling at you, tell him that the twisted fate's passive is giving you 2 gold for ever box, and that the team is profiting from your bold judgment calls. You can try and shoot that creepy-*** doppelganger he gets later on but it never seems to work.

7. Teemo: Give the stupid Koala something to do. Shoot his mushrooms for fun and watch him scamper around trying to fix the mess you're making. If he asks why in god's name you keep doing this, tell him that the enemy team has oracles, and that you're denying them from getting the gold for killing his mushrooms. He will thank you at the victory screen. *If he tries to tell you that they removed the gold gain from killing mushrooms, tell him that they patched it back, he has no way of knowing.

8. The Last minion that's helping you push a tower: Let the tank tank the tower that's all his fat *** is good for. Teemo's tanking it now? Little rat's fine he's got move quick. Oh he died. Shoulda moved quicker.

This is all I have for now bros but be creative (not that you'll ever be on my level, but whatev). Btw ignore this I am the Walrus guy. How does he answer people anyway, "I am I am the Walrus?" That tard sounds like he's stuttering. Who the **** names them self after an obscure Monkees song anyway, what a ***. Ignore that **** he says about Avarices too, you get sooo much gold for stacking 4 of them. It's totally hre;/ehnar'igqjherio[