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Gangplank Build Guide by JPlayah

Not Updated For Current Season

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 JPlayah

The Return of Bankplank

JPlayah Last updated on March 14, 2016
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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.


Natural Talent
Bounty Hunter
Battering Blows
Piercing Thoughts

Ferocity: 18

Dangerous Game

Cunning: 12

Tough Skin
Runic Armor
Veteran's Scars
Legendary Guardian

Resolve: 0

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My name is JPlayah and this is my guide to Bankplank, the Money Pirate. While many variations of Bankplank have surfaced over the years, Season 6 has created new opportunities to restore Bankplank to his former glory.

But JPlayah, what about that nerf in patch 6.4?

Patch 6.4 reduced Parrrley's bonus gold per unit killed with it from 4/5/6/7/8 to 2/3/4/5/6, a change which some people think has killed Gangplank and has nerfed Bankplank into oblivion. But this attitude just makes me laugh...

...because as you'll see in this guide, that nerf has virtually no effect on Bankplank >:).

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What is Bankplank?

Bankplank is a variation on Gangplank which aims to have Gangplank make as much gold as possible. This is done primarily through his Q ability, Parrrley, and additional methods of gold income are added. Runes and masteries are optimized to further increase gold income (as are items when possible), even at the cost of some apparently "better" choices for stats. You can see this in my choices for runes and masteries, where I have done my best to maximize gold generation.

The reasoning behind this is that if Gangplank makes more money than his opponents, then he can buy more items, which then gives him an advantage in combat. More damage from items also makes him better at farming, allowing him to make gold even faster, and he just snowballs from there.

Also, making money is just fun, especially when it's done through unconventional methods such as the shekel heckle, described below.

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The Shekel Heckle (or why 6.4 nerfs do so little)

As you can see by looking at the mastery tree, you want to take Bandit . This mastery not only allows you to mitigate the effects of the nerf to Parrrley, it allows you to grief your lane opponent more than 4chan griefed Tumblr in 2014. This changes up the way you should use Parrrley in lane, allowing you to run a moneymaking scheme which I have named the shekel heckle. It's fun, it's viable, and it gives you a fantastic excuse to troll your opponent.

As you can see by looking at Bandit , this mastery allows Gangplank to gain 10 gold every time he hits an enemy champion with a basic attack, up to once every 5 seconds. As experienced players know, Parrrley is treated as a melee basic attack and it applies on-hit effects. Thus, Parrrley applies Bandit 's gold generation effect when used on an enemy champion.

So, you could use Parrrley to last hit an enemy minion for its normal gold plus 2 bonus gold... OR you could last hit enemy minions with your basic attacks for their normal gold and use Parrrley to attack your opponent for 10 bonus gold. It's pretty easy to see which one makes you more money. The shekel heckle exploits this by using Parrrley on your opponent at every opportunity. Of course, this also deals lots of damage to your opponent, and can force them back to their tower or out of the lane entirely once you do it enough. You are literally gaining gold for harassing your opponent.

Now you may be thinking "If I use Parrrley to last hit a minion and then I use a regular basic attack on my opponent, I get 12 bonus gold!" and you're right. If the opportunity presents itself (aka if your opponent is stupid enough to stay within your melee range), this is exactly what you should do. However, most of the time it's just as good, if not better, to use Parrrley to hit your opponent, for the following reasons.

1. Parrrley still does a good amount of damage. It deals more damage than a basic attack would, and can chip away at your opponent's health. This can really punish your opponent early on, when they're stuck in the lane with you. You certainly won't be short of opportunities to use it.

2. If you're in melee range to hit your opponent, they're in melee range to hit you. By using Parrrley to attack from a distance, you deny melee opponents the opportunity to hit back unless they have ranged abilities that they can use. Against ranged opponents, poking with Parrrley gives you the opportunity to fight back and prevent those enemies from making it a one-sided battle. It's certainly safer than trying to walk up to a ranged opponent and hit them with your melee attacks, which would just let the opponent hit you with several free attacks of their own and then back off before you ever reached them.

3. It lets you maintain a safe(er) lane position. When you hit an opponent with Parrrley, you won't be pushed as far in the lane. This makes you less vulnerable to ganks and other surprises, since you have less distance to cover if you need to retreat.

When using the shekel heckle, keep in mind that it assumes your opponent is in lane. If your opponent is nowhere to be found and you're just farming, switch to last-hitting minions with Parrrley. Also, keep in mind that once you have cooldown reduction, Parrrley will come off cooldown slightly faster than the Bandit mastery. You'll see a little icon which indicates that Bandit is recharging. Wait until it's ready before using another Parrrley on your opponent.

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Starting Items (mana is good and cull is not)

In the moneymaking quest which defines Bankplank's game, mana is by far the most important stat to have early on. Parrrley costs mana to use, so the more mana you have, the more you can shoot your opponent/enemy minions for gold before running out of resources. This is why I highly recommend starting with a Sapphire Crystal. It gives you a huge amount of extra mana to work with, more than you would get from all three charges of Corrupting Potion. Besides, Refillable Potion should be enough to cover your health needs if you play safe.

Of course, it's important to consider all possible options for making money, which brings up another possible starting item, Cull. This item costs 450 gold and has a passive effect which will earn you 450 gold by killing 100 enemy minions, so it pays for itself exactly. Cull doesn't build into anything, so when you're done with it, you'll sell it for a net profit of 180 gold, use the gold you earned from its passive to buy a Sapphire Crystal, and build from there*. This seems pretty good, so let's compare it to buying Sapphire Crystal first.


Spoiler: Click to view

Sapphire Crystal costs 350 gold and gives 250 mana. Parrrley costs 40 mana, so having Sapphire Crystal lets you use Parrrley 6 more times before you run out of mana. If you hit your lane opponent with all of these shots, you gain 60 gold, and you'll gain this opportunity again every time you leave spawn after recalling to refill your mana bar.

So the question you need to ask yourself is "How many times will I recall before I kill 100 minions?" A reasonable answer would be "At least once." If this is true and you recall once during this time, you'll have a second full mana bar and a second opportunity to hit your opponent 6 times with Parrrley for 60 gold, giving you a total of 120 bonus gold from Sapphire Crystal, assuming you go through your entire mana bar both times.

Now obviously 180 gold from Cull is more than 120 gold from Sapphire Crystal, but here's the thing: While you're running your shekel heckle and using Parrrley on your opponent, you're also farming minions with your basic attacks. In addition, the extra mana you have available to spend on Parrrley lets you keep pressure on the enemy and stay in lane longer to farm. You could keep farming when you run out of mana anyway, but your opponent will likely see this as an opportunity to harass you and make this difficult, so you might be forced to recall whether you really want to or not.

What this comes down to is that if you start Cull instead of Sapphire Crystal, you'll need to recall more often, and thus spend more time walking back to lane. Walking back to lane takes about 30 seconds, and a minion wave also spawns every 30 seconds. This means that you will usually miss one minion wave each time you recall (unless you Teleport back to lane). Given the massive difference between Gangplank's base mana and the mana that he'll have with Sapphire Crystal, you'll probably need to recall one more time during the laning phase with Cull than if you started with Sapphire Crystal. Even if your farming is so bad that you only get half the minions in each wave, this is a loss of about 75 gold (assuming an average value of 25 gold per minion). Alternatively, you could say that Sapphire Crystal allows you to get 75 more gold from minions than Cull due to your ability to stay in lane longer. The better your farming is, the more of a difference this makes. If your ability to last hit is perfect (or nearly perfect), then the difference is closer to 150 gold.

In terms of gold gained:

Sapphire Crystal gives 120 gold (from the shekel heckle) + at least 75 gold (from minions) = at least 195 gold

Cull gives 180 gold (net gain from passive, item cost, and selling the item)

Conclusion: Sapphire Crystal is better than Cull.

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Maximizing gold income

While Gangplank only has one ability which causes him to gain bonus gold directly (his Parrrley), he has a couple of tricks that he can use to get more gold from it.

The most important skill for a Bankplank player to have is constant awareness of how much damage his attacks and Parrrley will do to minions. A failed attempt to clear a group of minions with the following techniques is frustrating, but this problem is easily prevented by accurately judging Gangplank's damage ahead of time.

If you aren't confident in your ability to determine how much damage you'll do, keep practicing until you are. The road to Bankplank success is paved with failed Powder Kegs.

Sheen/ Trinity Force: These items allow Gangplank to deal more damage with his Parrrley (which both triggers and consumes the bonus damage from the item passive). The extra damage makes it easier for Gangplank to last hit minions with the ability.

Note that the splash damage from Iceborn Gauntlet will NOT cause Gangplank to gain bonus gold if it kills minions when delivered through Parrrley. While the item can be used to great effect against clustered enemy champions in team fights, it adds nothing to Gangplank's ability to gain bonus gold. Trinity Force is generally a better choice.

Ravenous Hydra: When Parrrley hits an enemy, it will deliver the splash damage from this item's passive effect, allowing Gangplank to last hit multiple minions with a single Parrrley. Note that the splash damage is considerably less than the damage dealt to the main target. As such, this technique is best used to deliver the splash damage to one or more minions that have only a tiny sliver of health left.

One method to take advantage of this is to walk up to a cluster of full-health enemy minions, attack the same one over and over, and let the damage splash to all the others. You'll kill one or two minions with your basic attacks this way, but in exchange, you'll bring the rest of them down to the point that you can kill all of them with a single Parrrley, giving you massive amounts of bonus gold.

Powder Keg: When Gangplank destroys one of his kegs with Parrrley, he will gain bonus gold for every minion killed by the splash damage. Unlike Ravenous Hydra, the splash damage dealt by Powder Keg is both high and consistent, making it a more reliable tool for getting bonus gold from minion waves. Gangplank will need a lot of damage to kill minions from full health with this technique, so until you reach that point, use basic attacks to weaken minions, then use Powder Keg and Parrrley to blow them all up at once.

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Fighting enemy champions

The whole point of the Bankplank strategy is to gain a gold advantage and thus an item advantage over your opponents, and it culminates in your ability to destroy those opponents in fights. Having power is useless if you don't know how to wield it, and this chapter aims to address the question of how to handle Gangplank in combat against enemy champions.

Overall goals: You want high damage, but you also need to be able to take a few hits. If you intend to take on a front-line role in team fights, building tank items becomes that much more important. Parrrley is one of Gangplank's main tools in fights as well as for farming, and it benefits from on-hit effects (such as lifesteal) as well as attack damage. Get some attack damage and lifesteal, then round out your build with defensive stats such as health, armor, and magic resist. Keep an eye out for some nice on-hit effects while deciding what to get. The items suggested in this guide are a good starting point.

Abilities: Parrrley can deal terrifying amounts of damage under the right circumstances. It has a short cooldown and is useful for delivering damage while chasing down enemies. On-hit effects that slow targets can help you peel for your team using this ability.

Remove Scurvy is best kept in reserve as an emergency button while fighting enemy champions. It provides some nice sustain outside of fights, but it's not something you want to waste in the heat of battle. The ability to remove crowd control is very useful, but it won't do a thing to stop crowd control effects which are applied after it is used. Because of this, you want to hit it as quickly as possible if an opponent tries to lock you down from range (such as with a stun) before their allies can catch up to you and take advantage of the situation. If the entire enemy team jumps you, the ability does little other than provide a quick health boost, since new crowd control effects can be applied to you in a moment.

Powder Keg is a difficult ability to use in fights. It's very easy for enemy champions to run out of a keg's range before you can detonate it, and skilled opponents will simply blow it up themselves, wasting the keg. To use the ability effectively, place a "starter keg" in a hidden area, such as inside a bush. When an enemy champion gets close, place another keg on them, then immediately blow up the first keg. The explosion will chain to the second keg and detonate it, hitting the enemy champion before they can respond. It's pretty obvious what you're doing if an opponent watches you pause next to a bush to put a keg in, so try setting up kegs in anticipation of fights that might be about to start in the area. When the fight happens, watch for enemies getting near your kegs so that you can surprise them with explosions. This works especially well if you can bait enemies into chasing you into bushes or through the jungle.

Cannon Barrage is a powerful ability which can really change the outcome of fights. It can be used anywhere on the map, and applies a strong slow as well as good damage. Use it to save allies, stop enemies from escaping, trap an enemy team, or finish off a low-health enemy champion. Good map awareness is key to using this ability effectively. It has a lot of uses but a long cooldown. Try to save it for when it can determine whether someone lives or dies. Centering it slightly behind an enemy team is a great way to use it as your team initiates a fight, as you can chase the whole enemy team right into the middle of it.

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I hope you enjoyed my Bankplank guide. Feel free to leave feedback and suggestions in the comments, keep banking, keep ganking, and keep running that shekel heckle. Stay classy, NA.