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Gangplank Build Guide by Bakiraka

Top Yer Raidin' the Rift! S9.1 Gangplank Top (Crit and Tank)

Top Yer Raidin' the Rift! S9.1 Gangplank Top (Crit and Tank)

Updated on January 10, 2019
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Bakiraka Build Guide By Bakiraka 416 41 1,333,856 Views 15 Comments
416 41 1,333,856 Views 15 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Bakiraka Gangplank Build Guide By Bakiraka Updated on January 10, 2019
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Gangplank
    Classic CritPlank
  • LoL Champion: Gangplank


Perfect Timing
Biscuit Delivery
Time Warp Tonic

Gathering Storm


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Introduction + To-Do List

Hi everyone! Thanks for clicking on my Gangplank guide! In this guide, I'll go over Gangplank's strengths and weaknesses, his matchups, items, runes, summoner spells, and just how to play him in general. As a champion, Gangplank is a melee top laner/mid laner, but this guide will focus on him as a top laner. I'll go over how to play the two major kinds of GP top over the course of this guide: Critplank and Tankplank.

To Do :
More matchups
***If anyone requests something specific, I'll do it***
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Pros/Cons of playing Gangplank

+ Strong level 1
+ Outscales almost everyone
+ Unmatched AoE damage late game
+ Gets a ton of extra gold
+ Global pressure with his ultimate, Cannon Barrage
+ Super fun to master
+ Insane waveclear
- Squishy (unless you're TankPlank :D)
- Needs items to be useful
- Hard to master
- Some very bad matchups
- Needs lots of farm
- Very low mobility
- One of the hardest champs in the game
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Should I go TankPlank or CritPlank?

Good question! Most Gangplank players tend to go Critplank for the super high late game damage. TankPlank still offers high damage, but gives you the opportunity to play as more of a frontliner, with a lot less of the risk, and also as a very solid splitpusher. If you have a tank jungler, then either one works. If you don't, for your team's sake you should probably go TankPlank. If you need damage, CritPlank is perfect.
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Summoner Spells

Flash: Please take flash. Please. Gives you mobility, escapes, engage, and just general fun.

Ignite: Don't. Not as a toplaner.

Teleport: This is what you'll want to go 90% of the time, along with Flash. It helps you get around the map to eat up waves and scale up. Generally just good.

Exhaust: Unless you're just learning GP or in a super bad matchup, don't take this. If you're against the rare Zed top or a Fiora, then this is totally fine to take as a defensive spell.
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CritPlank Runes:
Kleptomancy is a great rune for Gangplank. His Q, Parrrley activates Kleptomancy by itself, and it generally fits into his champion identity as an extra source of gold income and sustain.
Magical Footwear gives you free boots at 10 minutes, but you can't buy boots before then. While this is great value in easier matchups, getting items such as Ninja Tabi or Mercury's Treads is the best way for you to get resistances quickly, so it can be harmful in hander matchups.
Perfect Timing gives you a 1-time Zhonya's at 10 minutes which also works as a discount for Guardian Angel. It's great to keep you safe in the event of a dive or when you're caught out.
Biscuit Delivery is really nice for early laning. Not only does it give a hefty amount of healing, but it also gives permanent maximum mana, which is great for laning.
Future's Market is an interesting rune. It works really well with Gangplank because it means you can hit your powerspikes earlier, which is really nice.
Cosmic Insight raises the CDR cap and gives extra CDR on basically everything. Nice all around.
Time Warp Tonic gives your potions more oomph and some movement speed when you pop them, which is great for tougher lanes.

Sorcery secondary:
Celerity makes you go a little faster and gives you extra damage for being fast. For a champion that builds items that give move speed and gets some from breaking barrels, it's a pretty good choice for full damage.
Gathering Storm makes you scale infinitely. Honestly, I think this can be swapped out with Transcendence based on personal preference.
Transcendence gives you 10% CDR when you reach level 10, and gives you bonus AD for surpassing the CDR cap. This is particularly good if you know that you're going for lots of CDR, as it really rewards the way you build, and can get you a whole lot of extra AD.
Manaflow Band gives you a free ability cast every so often and refunds mana along with it. Great when you don't want to back often or want to harass more.

Resolve secondary:
The Resolve tree is a really safe option. If you aren't looking to go full damage, this is the best scaling tree for you.
Demolish is good for splitpushes, which you can use in conjunction with Gangplank's strong pushing. Deals a ton of damage to towers when it's all added up.
Bone Plating is super valuable into engage heavy matchups when you'll be hit a lot. It gives you damage reduction from the next few attacks from your opponent after being hit a lot.
Conditioning is good in matchups where armor or magic resist are more important than health.
Second Wind gives you even more sustain, and heals a fair amount late game. Great into poke matchups.
Chrysalis is a super interesting and super strong rune. It's pretty much exactly what Gangplank wants. It gives you early game security which you can cash in later for some bonus damage.
Overgrowth gives bonus max health when things die around you. Pretty simple, and pretty great as games get later.

TankPlank Runes:
Grasp of the Undying is your bread and butter in laning phase. Every time you land a Q with this up, you get 5 max health and a hefty heal. Using it often in lane heals you a ton and gives a fair amount of max health.
Demolish is good for splitpushes, which is one of TankPlank's stronger points. Deals a ton of damage to towers when it's all added up.
Bone Plating is super valuable into engage heavy matchups when you'll be hit a lot. It gives you damage reduction from the next few attacks from your opponent after being hit a lot.
Conditioning is solid when you won't be poked too much, or when you're just looking to be safer in the long run. It gives you bonus armor and magic resistance after a short time. Pretty simple.
Chrysalis is good if you're planning on going a more defensive build. If you do, the health won't really be needed, and you can use the free damage to stay threatening.
Second Wind gives you even more sustain, and heals a fair amount late game. Great into poke matchups.
Overgrowth gives bonus max health when things die around you. Pretty simple, and pretty great as games get later.

Sorcery secondary:
The Ultimate Hat is great on TankPlank for the same reasons that it's good on CritPlank: your ultimate is a powerful ability and having it on less than a 1 minute cooldown is super powerful.
Transcendence is better than Gathering Storm on TankPlank in my opinion. It gives you a lot of bonus AD for having CDR over the cap, as well as 10% CDR at level 10. You can capitalize on this extra AD a lot better with tanky items than you can with CritPlank (unless you go Essence Reaver.)
Manaflow Band is good into matchups that you win hard for extra mana to poke, or in matchups where you'll be shoved into often so you don't lose too many minions from backing.

Inspiration secondary:
Biscuit Delivery can be great into matchups where you need some early relief. It gives you a free cookie at 3 minutes, and again every 3 minutes until the 12 minute mark. They give health regen and permanent mana.
Time Warp Tonic makes your potions speed you up and heal for more, which is similarly good into tougher matchups.
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Skill Sequence and Ability Explaination

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Trial By Fire: This is your passive. It's a pretty strong ability. It makes your next autoattack apply true damage over time to the target, like a mini-ignite. It's great for trading at all levels, and it works on towers to aid your pushing power. Destroying a Powder Keg brings it off of cooldown.

Parrrley: This is your Q, and the ability that makes your early game any good. It's a short, point-and-click spell with a pretty low mana cost and a low cooldown that applies on-hit effects. This means that it activates effects such as Grasp of the Undying and Kleptomancy, which is why we take them in our runes. It can also crit, which is why CritPlank is a strong build. When it kills a unit, it grants 3-7 bonus gold and 4-8 silver serpents, which can be used to upgrade his ultimate.

Remove Scurvy: This is your W, and a very strong ability. It removes all crowd control debuffs (slows, stuns, snares, etc.), and heals you for a flat amount plus a percent of your missing health. This ability is really strong early as a source of sustain, but it has a high cooldown and mana cost early on. Use it wisely.

Powder Keg: This is your E, and the thing that makes Gangplank so strong in the late game. It places a barrel, up to 3 of which can be stored at one time, which can be destroyed by you or an enemy champion. Each barrel has 3 health, which gradually decays. When a barrel reaches 1 health, the next attack to hit it will explode it, dealing AoE damage and applying on-hit effects if it was exploded by your Q, including extra gold plundered by killing minions. If an enemy kills it, they get 10 gold and nothing else happens. Barrels can be chained into very long range, high damage pseudo-skillshots. One of the reasons why Gangplank is so weak earlier on is because your barrels will decay at a very slow rate. As you level up, they become slightly quicker, until their maximum speed at level 13.

Cannon Barrage: This is your ultimate ability. It creates a large zone that deals magic damage every half-second and slows enemies. It's a global ability, which means it can be cast anywhere from anywhere. It can be upgraded 3 times with silver serpents. Each upgrade costs 500 silver serpents. The first one, Death's Daughter, creates a zone of true damage at the center of Cannon Barrage. The second one, Fire At Will, makes your ultimate deal damage 6 extra times over the course of its duration. The final upgrade, Raise Morale, gives your allies bonus move speed inside of it. This ability can be used to deal damage in fights or to clear waves globally. Drop it down when your team is fighting across the map for free kills/assists.
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Early Itemization + Path to Trinity Force (Both TankPlank and CritPlank)

Doran's Ring is a great starting item for GP. It gives some extra health, good mana regen, and additional mana from its passive. The AP is sort of wasted, but it does add some health to your Remove Scurvy early on, which is nice.

Sapphire Crystal is the other main starting option for GP. It gives less sustain, but it's better in the short term. Great if you are planning an early back for a Sheen to abuse your enemy laner with poke.

Refillable Potion is a somewhat greedy, but useful start. Coupled with Sapphire Crystal, it becomes gold efficient after your first back. Those two together give you a pretty strong early game after recalling once.

Boots is a good early item on GP. Since you lack major mobility, the movement speed is helpful for getting around the Rift.

Ionian Boots of Lucidity are the greediest and most rewarding boots for GP. With an early Sheen, it gives you a lot of CDR, which is great for poking in lane and sustaining with Remove Scurvy.

Ninja Tabi are great for taking the bite off a harder lane early on. Against champions like Darius or Fiora, you gain a ton of survivability thanks to the reduced autoattack damage and armor. Safe buy overall.

Mercury's Treads are similar to Ninja Tabi on GP, just with a little more usefulness. The magic resist can help you with harder AP lanes, such as Kennen or Ryze. Additionally, the tenacity makes you harder to pin down, and helps against all champions will CC.

Sheen is the first item you should really go for every game. It gives you everything you want: more damage on Parrrley, more mana, and CDR. An early Sheen is a great way to abuse your enemy laner and to start stacking silver serpents in conjunction with your Powder Kegs.

Phage is a pretty solid item if you're behind. If you aren't, then save this for last. Phage gives AD and Health, along with its passive giving a burst of movement speed after hitting something for easier escapes.
***Note*** if you're going the TankPlank build, this can actually be better than Stinger because the health makes you heal more with Grasp of the Undying.

Stinger is a valuable item on GP. It gives a lot of attack speed and CDR, which is great for farming. Additionally, the attack speed can help you lower the health of a Powder Keg more quickly for easier combos in the beginning of the game.

Cue angelic choir. Trinity Force is your waifu, no matter if you're TankPlank or CritPlank. It gives everything: health, damage, move speed, mana, attack speed, CDR, and its passives. Coupled with some crit items on CritPlank, this item helps you deal out some major pain. Regardless of which build you take, Trinity Force makes your Powder Kegs one-shot caster minions, which is super nice for farming and getting silver serpents.
"An all-purpose artifact" - Gangplank
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Itemization (CritPlank)

Serrated Dirk is a powerful item once you've gotten Trinity Force. It really makes you start to pack a punch, and makes your Parrrley chunk squishier targets.

Caulfield's Warhammer is Serrated Dirk's counterpart. You get more CDR with it, but less damage overall. The choice between which of these two to buy first is purely situational/personal. I prefer Dirk > Warhammer.

Youmuu's Ghostblade is the best item for CritPlank to get second. It provides additional CDR, bringing you to the maximum if you have Ionian Boots of Lucidity, as well as some more damage, armor penetration, and a very useful active. The active is great for chasing, escaping, and rotating between lanes to catch minion waves. This gives you the AD you need to have to start building up your crit.

Essence Reaver can be bought on Gangplank as an alternative to Phantom Dancer in times where you want more pure damage than the extra movement speed. The attack speed is made up for by the new passive, which will give you a boost when you use your ultimate.

Stormrazor is a super interesting in combination with Powder Keg. It gives you additional speed and a guaranteed crit when you use an attack for the first time in a short period. I originally thought that it wouldn't be a very good item for Gangplank, but as it turns out being able to consistently crit barrels with only two items (one of which being triforce) is really really strong. You won't often be shooting barrels without this active, so it's a really solid purchase.

Zeal is a great follow-up to Youmuu's Ghostblade or Essence Reaver. It gives you a hefty 20% crit, as well as some bonus attack speed and movement speed. All in all, a great item to get once you get some AD under your belt.

Kircheis Shard isn't the best by itself, even if it does add 50 extra magic damage to your Parrrley/basic attacks after running around and give you some attack speed. However, it's a component to Statikk Shiv, which is our next item.

Statikk Shiv makes your Parrrley pack a real punch, since it applies on-hit effects, gives you even more waveclear, lots of crit, and extra movespeed. A great item to start stacking crit on, since it has use even without a lot of crit. Great additional burst overall.
"Watch 'em twitch" - Gangplank

Cloak of Agility is a great way to bring your crit chance up after buying your Statikk Shiv. I recommend buying it directly after you purchase it.

Throughout this whole guide, I've been saying things like "this is really when you start doing damage, but none of those previous instances are as serious as your powerspike when you buy your 4th item Infinity Edge. It gives you AD, doubles your crit, and bonus true damage on your crits, making you into a damage machine. With the added bonuses from items like Trinity Force, Youmuu's Ghostblade (or Essence Reaver, and Statikk Shiv, you'll start being able to chunk entire teams out with your barrel combos.
"This blade's got bite" - Gangplank

Phantom Dancer is a solid last crit item. It gives the same stats as Statikk Shiv, but it also supplies you with some resistances for a little bit of protection, as well as allowing you to pass through minions when you're near an enemy champion for good chasing.

Mortal Reminder is a good item to replace your boots with in the late game, once you have your other item slots filled up. It helps you dent even the tankiest enemies in the late game, and the AoE healing negation with your barrels is great against champions who rely heavily on lifesteal.

Lord Dominik's Regards is Mortal Reminder's counterpart. It supplies the same armor penetration, but gives more damage rather than healing negation. Good against comps with lots of tanks or little healing.

Guardian Angel is a good item to replace your boots with in the late game if you are in need of some protection, or if you don't think that the armor penetration is helpful. The armor is nice, and the revive passive is super valuable, especially as games get longer and death timers become more severe.
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Itemization (TankPlank)

Jaurim's Fist is a great item to grab early after finishing your Trinity Force. Killing minions (which you do a lot of) gives you 5 bonus health, stacking up to 20 times. This means that it becomes more valuable the longer you have it. It also gives you a little AD, which is a nice bonus. The other Titanic Hydra components don't really need explaining, but I would recommend buying the Pickaxe over the Ruby Crystal if you can when in base.

Tiamat is a really interesting (in a good way) item on GP. It gives health regen and attack damage, but most prominently gives your auto attacks an AoE effect which is great for waveclear. It also has an active which applies additional AoE damage when cast. The thing that makes this item so interesting is that the AoE on-hit effect is applied by your Parrrley, which gives it some extra damage. Good for splitpushing in addition to all these other things.

Titanic Hydra gives you all the stats that Tiamat gives you, just better, and with a lot of health. It also changes the AoE effect into a cone shape, and makes the damage scale with your maximum health. This is great for TankPlank, since all of your items so far have given you extra health. The on-hit damage isn't actually applied to the attacked target, just to the enemies in a cone around the target. However, the active effect deals damage to the target, which means that you can activate it, then use your Parrrley to apply the active damage along with the Trinity Force proc for a hefty chunk of damage.

Dead Man's Plate is a great tank item for TankPlank. It gives lots of health and armor, as well as some movement speed to help you get around the map. As you move, you get more and more movement speed, stacking Dead Man's Plate's passive. Once you reach 100 stacks, your next attack slows and deals bonus damage. You can use your Parrrley to slow your targets with this effect, then autoattack a Powder Keg to detonate it and apply another slow, which is great for chasing.

Randuin's Omen is great against dive-heavy or double crit comps (i.e. Tristana and Yasuo). The crit resistance and attack speed slow is a good debuff to soak up a lot of damage, and the item's active can be used to chase or to slow people chasing you. Great late game.

Frozen Heart is a good situational buy against full AD comps, or when you're running Transcendence and want to cash in on your extra AD. The mana it gives is also really useful, since with Trinity Force it makes it so you'll never run out of mana.

Spirit Visage is a great buy almost every game. It gives you lots of health and magic resistance, as well as health regen and highly increased healing from all sources. Not only does this make your Remove Scurvy a lot more powerful, it also gives you some free CDR.

Adaptive Helm is normally not as good as Spirit Visage, but in some matches it can be far better. It gives you the same stats, just less health and no bonus to healing. However, it reduces damage from the same spell (i.e. two Syndra orbs) by a fair amount. This means that against mages like Syndra, Cassiopeia, or even Teemo, it is a really valuable item.

Zz'Rot Portal is your go-to for both armor and magic resist. It gives you both, along with health regen, movement speed near towers or tower rubble, and an active that spawns little minions that push the lane for you, giving you the gold they collect from last hits and getting stronger based on your maximum health. This item is great for splitpushes and for definding your base, as it automatically pushes the wave without someone having to be there.

Frozen Mallet is good against enemies with few dashes. Its on'hit slow can be applied by Parrrley, making chasing very easy. It also gives a very large amount of health, which is great for Titanic Hydra.
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Playing Early Game (CritPlank and TankPlank)

Gangplank in the early game is all about staying safe and farming well. Into melee matchups, poking with Q is a great way to harass your enemy laner and make use of your keystone (be it Grasp of the Undying or Kleptomancy). When you're using your Parrrley, make sure to stand near a bush. Using it on a champion makes the minions attack you, so running into the bush is a must to not take too much damage. Against ranged champions, it's better to play back behind your minions if you aren't feeling safe. You never want the minions to push away from you, so don't just attack the minions if you aren't last hitting them. If there is a big enough wave, then setting up a freeze is always a great way to safely get a good amount of farm and force your enemy laner to overextend. To freeze a minion wave, you need to have a wave pushing into you. When it gets to the last bush before your tower, zigzag in and out of it, keeping the minions in place until your minions arrive to lock it in place. This sets your jungler up for an easy gank, and makes it a lot safer and easier to grab a few waves of minions. Once you hit level 6, make sure you look at other lanes with the minimap to look for opportunities to use your ultimate and help your team between minion waves. In the event that you do push early (which is never good), make sure you have good wards and that you're always standing on top of a Powder Keg. This gives you a pivot point to start barrel chains off of, and a quick way to slow enemies diving onto you for an escape. Backing early when the wave is too far up or shoved in is a good idea, since it means you won't have to use your Teleport to get back to lane. The early game generally ends right around when you finish your Trinity Force, which conveniently is when you start gaining power.
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Playing Mid Game (CritPlank)

In the mid game, your only aim is to accrue as much gold as you possibly can. A great way to do this is to go mid as soon as you finish your Trinity Force, since you can use your Powder Kegs to shove minions into the enemy tower and get lots of farm, which means that the enemy team is forced to keep someone mid if they don't want to endanger your tower. If you have free time between waves, you can look for plays with your team, or rotate to other lanes to take their farm. Playing mid makes these rotations pretty quick, and means that you can get the maximum amount of gold. This is also why I so highly recommend Youmuu's Ghostblade, as it lends itself so well to the rotational style in the mid game. Always make sure to keep up vision, stand on top of a Powder Keg at all times in case the enemy team tries to gank you, an stay vigilant for skirmishes to use your Cannon Barrage on and participate in yourself. If you can make it to a fight, you should always go to support your team, even if you've already used your ultimate on the fight. If you're to far away, (i.e. in a different lane catching some farm) then always use your ultimate and/or use your Teleport to aid your team. It's very important to help your team in the mid game, as mid game leads can make it very easy for a team to run away with the game. When you're playing skirmishes, make sure that you're spacing yourself well from the enemies, as you're pretty squishy. Use kegs carefully, since they can do huge damage even in the early game. Even without kegs, you can still do lots of damage with your Parrrley. Either of these styles work. I just recommend that you don't play like a typical melee champion. Stay out of melee range and dish out some pain.
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Playing Mid Game (TankPlank)

During the mid game, TankPlank starts to get very tanky, as well as starting to benefit a lot from splitpushing. Not only does it stack your Jaurim's Fist for extra bonus health if you have it, but it also means that you can apply lots of pressure for your team. As long as you keep track of your enemies on the map so you don't get ganked by 3+ opponents, you should be very hard to kill and apply a lot of pressure to side lanes. When skirmishing, your Powder Kegs should be used at point-blank range so that you can autoattack while it ticks down. Spamming Powder Kegs in skirmishes also activates Trinity Force very often for tons of bonus damage. When your kegs are 1hp, make sure to destroy them to damage nearby enemies and refresh your passive for lots of true damage. You want to be in your opponents' face as TankPlank, unlike the distanced style of CritPlank. Make sure to keep your Teleport up so that you can join skirmishes with your team, or support them for objectives like dragon. Always use your ultimate on fights to help out your team. As you can tell, helping your team is very important in the mid game, since the more coordinated team in the mid game will almost always win the game. As you near the end of the mid game, you can become more and more of a splitpusher: you can waveclear with incredible speed with Titanic Hydra and Powder Keg, and you have great dueling potential due to the way this build excels in close-range scraps.
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Playing Late Game (CritPlank)

In the late game, you are a hypercarry. You can stand an entire screen away and nearly one-shot entire backlines with a good Powder Keg combo. You should be looking to eat waves to finish upgrading your ultimate, and for more gold, since Gangplank is one of the few immobile champions who can get away with a true, 6-item, bootless build. However, you should seek to stay with your team as much as possible, and wait for a good time to present itself to gather farm, unlike previous stages of the game. You're playing one of the strongest late game teamfighters in the game, which means that your team is fighting at a very serious disadvantage without you. In these fights, you should be ready to use your Remove Scurvy on a hairpin trigger, since if you get caught in the late game you're probably dead. You should never be any closer to enemies than Parrrley range in fights, but you can go into melee range to clean up or chase after a fight, or if you're 100% on cooldown and the enemy backline is still vulnerable. When sieging, always stand on a Powder Keg to launch a chain at a moment's notice. One of the things that you can get away with fairly easily is setting up Powder Kegs on the enemy's minion wave as if to clear it, then quickly add a third barrel to hit enemies standing near their minions to punish them. Most lower ranked players can be caught by this very consistently. If you're being sieged on, stay towards the back of the tower, using barrels to power-clear the enemy wave, and making sure to stay far away from enemies. If you're playing around baron or elder, it's a good idea to stand in a bush that you know isn't warded, and set up a Powder Keg for an ambush. Always use your Cannon Barrage to follow up a good Powder Keg chain if you land it onto squishy targets for extra true damage to finish your victims off. You should also be sure to push out your minions in mid so that the enemy team has to answer them.
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Playing Late Game (TankPlank)

In the late game as TankPlank, you are a frontline bruiser. What you lack in stuns, you make up for with constant slows from your Cannon Barrage, Powder Kegs, and Randuin's Omen or Frozen Mallet if you choose to build them. TankPlank makes it very hard for enemies to reposition in fights, as they will have their movement constantly impaired, and you have very high burst damage from a mix of your Trinity Force, Parrrley, and Titanic Hydra active. You'll be doing far too much damage to ignore, and be too tanky to focus down effectively. Like in the mid game, you should splitpush whenever you have you Teleport up, so that if a fight breaks out you can join it quickly. In the side lanes, you will be very safe against 1 or 2 enemies, but beyond that you should back off. When posturing around baron or elder dragon, make sure to push out mid so that the enemy team has to answer the wave and so your push is already prepared for if you get the buff. When sieging a tower, don't play too ham. Poke your enemies down with Parrrley and your Powder Kegs, waiting for them to back off so you can make short work of the turret. When being sieged on, if you can, get in the enemy's face. Clear their wave, then walk up and harass them as much as possible with everything you have. If you're in an even 5v5 siege with your team's support, there is very little your opponents will be able to do to stop you. Don't do this if you're very outnumbered, or if you're considerably behind.
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