Gangplank Build Guide

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His Roger is jolly because he one-shotted your DPS

written by Paravel

Gangplank Build

Table of Contents

  • My little disclaimer / introduction.

    First off; I've tried many a Gangplank build, some I theorycrafted myself, some I ripped from Leaguecraft. From Tankplank to AP/Hybrid (don't do this), I've cheered at my quad-kills and cried when my Cannon Barrage randomly hits nobody at all in a 5-man teamfight. I always come back to my personal favorite build, my most unorthodox and controversial. This guide is strictly about that build. Aside from AP being just silly in my opinion, I say now that most other builds are perfectly viable (Tankplank is fantastic) I just wanted to share a little road I walk down when I'm sick of losing. I chose to write this guide because there are so many GP guides that basically say the exact same thing in slightly different ways.
    If you're looking for something higher-ELO for now, I wouldn't necessarily look here. I'd recommend checking out some great guides by other people such as How to not suck with Gangplank by I am the Walrus or Heat n Serve's advanced Gangplank guide both of which offer a more in depth guide and high level of competitive viability.

    Second; I have done this build, been 12-1-10 (one example I'm thinking of in particular), and still had people on my team chewing me out for having a stupid build. So be forewarned, if you follow this guide people may say things to you that no human being should ever say to another human being; though that tends to happen in any game no matter what any of us do. I will cover that later, and offer some coping methods. Also, I'm leading up to what seems like something really crazy as though I buy four Wriggle's laterns or something but it's really not, so don't freak out.

    Third, and further to my "don't hate on me", I'm a solo queuer, though I do occasionally tag along with a clan for a 5's match. This build is 100% untested in Ranked. If you want to use it in a ranked match and it utterly fails, don't blame me and least of all don't blame poor Gangplank, as he and I wrote this guide on a cocktail napkin while drunk at the Bilgewater Tavern. Yo-ho!

    Finally; when playing Gangplank you must always speak like a pirate at least once per game, and hopefully be slightly (read: very) intoxicated.

  • Abilities

    Grog Soaked Blade
    This is a decent passive. The damage is quite low, but the duration is long. You won't get many kills directly because of this, but it will cripple people without the obvious nature of an ignite.

    Almost more ultimate than your ultimate. Allows you to more safely last hit creeps for a huge bonus gold amount (even at level 1). Hits like the fist of an angry god later on, has a very low mana cost and short cooldown. Doesn't get much better than this.

    Remove Scurvy
    Cleanse is a great summoner skill. How about you free up that slot, since you have it for free just by picking GP? The heal is almost inconsequential early game (becomes quite a life-saver of a heal late game though), and the cooldown is massive, but it's still shorter than Cleanse obviously.

    [spell=Raise Morale]
    This is what convinced me to play Gangplank, even before the slight reworking of it around Season 1. Being able to buff your entire team relatively easily during a push, coupled with the ONLY deny ability in the entire game. Yarr harr!

    Cannon Barrage
    This ult has several pros and two cons.
    The cons: First, is that mastering when to ult can't be taught by anything but a lot of practice; and second, that the cannons landing in the AoE is completely random, so you need to be prepared to sigh when you place the AoE perfectly and not a single cannon ball lands on the intended target (or nobody at all).
    Luckily, the pros by far outweigh the cons (as any ult should). The random nature of the hits aside, the biggest "pro" is that the AoE is quite massive. You can cover an entire team in most full-scale team fights but, even more importantly, you can block off the entire width of a lane, or the river, or the baron ( >:) ). Also, the damage output is significant if used well. Lastly, the slowing effect will both save lives and end lives with impunity.

  • Masteries + Runes

    This is always up for debate, and I encourage that. I personally use 23/6/1. Really any variation where you're fully invested in Offense works just fine.

    As far as Runes go, I have tried a few, and I recommend:

    9x Greater Mark of Desolation
    9x Greater Seal of Vitality
    9x Greater Glyph of Celerity
    3x Greater Quintessence of Fortitude

    Armor pen = Bigger hits, bigger crits, more DPS.
    Extra HP = Extra survivability, which you NEED.
    Cooldowns = More ults, more often, faster Parrrley is nice, but anything to help refresh Remove Scurvy faster is sexytimes.

  • Skilling Order

    Level one, Q. This build has mana issues for around 6-10 minutes, then never again. You want to start last-hit farming ASAP. Harass by zoning but only use Parrrley to last hit creeps.

    E second to deny the first Siege Minion, and every one from then on. Secondary pumped skill to increase your damage output as much as possible to slightly make up for not rushing Inf. Edge like every other GP.

    One rank of W the whole way through. You should be using this only as a last resort to remove CC and get back to a safe place.

  • Items

    Here we go! I'll do this in order.

    Start off with:
    Sapphire Crystal + Health Potion, Mana Potion

    You now have a flat zero gold. Time to start last hitting like a boss. If you cannot last hit at least 3 of every 6 creeps per wave, you should stop reading now. This build relies heavily on not being aggressive with your Parrrley and knowing how to zone your enemies to maximize your XP/gold gains and minimize theirs. This is general LoL knowledge that everyone should master with EVERY character. Certain people can make up for this, this build does not allow for slackers. Anyway, back to the build.

    When you have 925g minimum, time for first blue pill to make:
    Catalyst the Protector
    Mana/HP worries are now almost null. You can now begin denying at a near constant rate, you can start to throw a Parrrley in the mix to harass, and you are generally a lot safer with your massive HP boost / heal every level. Don't forget to keep last hitting, or I will find you. Your Parrrley should be at least level 3 by now, and every creep you don't kill with it is a massive amount of gold lost.

    Now that the tough part is over, you'll want to build the following in this order:
    Boots of Swiftness or Mercury's Treads depending on the enemy team. This is a different kind of a decision due to your having Remove Scurvy. If they only have one or two CC abilities team-wide, you can rely exclusively on well timed W's to keep you in the mix/out of danger, and should grab Swiftness. Otherwise just rock the Merc Treads, as they are the Jimmy Choo's of the LoL world.

    Avarice Blade
    Just one, to make something fancy later, but for now just the one and then:

    Brawler's Gloves
    You'll make a zeal later. All you want is the crit for now.

    Are you ready for it?
    If you can't buy it outright, just buy the Pickaxe
    There, bomb dropped, recover, move on. This is why the build gets flak. The catalyst doesn't turn any heads, but the Tiamat makes teammates rage. This is where there, and here, I have to explain. What these people don't realize is the glory of wiping an entire creep wave with one Parrrley. With your [spell=Raise Morale] up high, you'll be critting (thanks to the previously purchased crit items) for a large amount of damage to everything in a radius of your target. Yes, it does that. If a lane is being pushed hard, you simply walk there, Parrrley once, and return to whatever it is you should be doing. Taking out neutral creeps, and the waves, in seconds will skyrocket your gold per minute. All this compounded on your catalyst giving you huge survivability, plus the regen benefits of the Tiamat helping as well. You may say: "But, Paravel, you handsome bearded devil, how can I crush faces without my Infinity Edge?" First off, you'll get it. In fact, you will buy it outright in a few minutes because you will be farming the GDP of Australia. Second, the damage output of Parrrley's base+bonus, plus Raise Morale, and finally with the +42 attack damage of Tiamat, you are nothing to laugh at. You WILL crit a non-tank (who you should be focusing anyway) for over 30% of their life, oftentimes closer to 50. End TL:DR, don't knock it till you've tried it.

    Bonus tip - Go get the Lizard buff NOW.

    Next up:
    Infinity Edge
    There you go.

    From the Brawler's Gloves, obv.

    Now you have some choices. You can either upgrade your Catalyst into a Banshee's Veil, or turn your Avarice into a Youmuu's Ghostblade, or make the Zeal straight into a Phantom Dancer. There is no wrong choice here, as it will be completely game dependant, and the game could very well be over, with the enemies wondering how you shot their tank who was in range and killed their retreating Veigar behind him.

    Anyway, you want to get all three of those items, in no particular order.

    If by some horrible act of divine malice the game is still going, I usually spring for one of either a The Black Cleaver, Frozen Mallet, or a Last Whisper. The Frozen Mallet is a rare one, as I am almost always trying to keep Lizard Buff going.

  • Summoner Abilities

    You can do whatever you like, really. I take Ghost and Exhaust, to chase/escape and to have at least some kind of disable to make up for having basically nothing outside of your ult. Everyone has their reasons for taking certain abilities over others, and as long as you don't take Revive, I think we're all good here.

  • Summary

    That's it. If you try the build/guide and like it or hate it, either way, please comment! I welcome the feedback. All I ask is that you do try it before you post/rate.

    Thanks a bunch. Hopefully more guides to come in the future if this one is well received. :)

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Submitted by Paravel

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