IntroductionFirst of all, thanks for viewing my guide all views are appreciated, regardless of whether you enjoyed my guide or not. If you didnt enjoy my guide or it didn't help you, please leave some constructive criticism in the comments section.
Anyway, I'm Purecreature and ever since I've started playing LoL around a year ago i've thoroughly enjoyed playing Gangplank. He is a very unique champion in the way he can support, carry, jungle and to extent tank. He can literally play in every lane. Over the time i've played i've obviously learnt a lot of new things about the game and I think I'm at the point where I can share that with other people.
Before I begin, a little bit about gangplank. Gangplank is a versatile champion often played as a bruiser but can be built to have incredible burst, a jungler(late game bruiser) and a support champion. This guide focuses on the solo top bruiser gangplank.
Pros: Insane mobility
Cons: Weak mid game (If played wrong could cause your team to lose)
No good CC (Stuns snares etc)
Runes + MasteriesThe mastery choices to me are fairly obvious.
Playing top lane as a bruiser you want armour and magic resist in the first row of defensive.
You'll need the health regen for greater sustain, particularly against champions like Irelia, Renekton, Lee sin etc who already have a good form of sustain in their abilities.
The extra health and health per level is handy especially at level 1. You can start with around 650 hp without any health items being a real force to be reckoned with; it'll help you become that little bit more tanky.
The movement speed is more of a filler mastery but it's still very useful at level 2 with boots its possible to have near 400 MS because of the E passive, this helps a great deal when your jungler is ganking as you will find it a lot easy to apply the slows from your auto attacks and Q.
Honor Guard is a given, reduction of damage makes Gangplank tankier and able to withstand more punishment in team fights and in lane.
The final point in defensive, juggernaut is fantastic for gangplank, not only can he get out of stuns and slows with his W, with merc treads he now has a ridicilous amount of CC reduction so can continue to chase and can counter initiate pretty well.
Offensive tree obviously suits gangplank a lot better than utility. The attack damage will help Gangplank last hit better and help his Q pack a bit more punch.
The Summoner's wrath is just a filler and can easily be replaced by additional damage to minions.
Although in an ideal world you'd want the CDR from the next row, you are forced to get the attack speed; which although isnt bad, isnt as good as spamming more.
This is to get the armour penetration which will hopefully help your Q and auto attacks shred the enemy laner's armour and bonus armour.
Armour pen marks are to make your Q and auto attacks hit harder and pierce the enemy bruisers defenses as they are highly likely to be using armour runes and masteries.
Attack damage Marks are just to make your Q Hit that little bit harder early game and to help with last hitting. These can be replaced with any rune you prefer.
Armour yellows (Flat) are to make you tanky early game, these runes dont need to be scaling as you will end with more armour due to atma's and or wriggles so you want the most defense early.
Magic Resist Glyphs (Scaling) are to make you a bit more defensive going into late game because you will be lacking the magic resist a little more than armour.
These summoner spells are far from set in stone. It's just my personal preference.
Flash Is useful in a number of situations; Flashing to Q that renekton that just dashed away on 2 hp. Flash over obstacles to avoid ganks. Flashing baron wall to steal or initiate a team fight. It is by far the best summoner spell for any champion IMO.
Ignite however, can definately be replaced by a number of spells. I use since his passive is already a decent slow and stacked with ignite it can help finish people off, and negate any healing effects like irelias ultimate etc, particularly in lane. With frozen mallet late game, you really dont need any more slows.
Other useful summoner spells:
Works very well with gangplank, allows almost uncounterable chasing abilities especially when combined with however by taking ghost you lose the utility of flash.
Definately a viable spell, sometimes I'll choose this if I'm against someone like a tryndamere that can do heavy damage to you all game in a 1v1
Utilized properly this spell can be invaluable. Going back in insta teleporting to your tower to pick all those CS you would have missed is priceless. The ganks are also fantastic. Teleport to a ward to grab dragon or gank bottom lane with your jungler. However dont use it correctly and its a wasted summoner spell.
Passive: Grog Soaked Blade
Gangplank's attacks apply a poison that deals 4-21 damage each second and reduces movement speed by 7% (slow stacks up to 3 times). Lasts 3 seconds.
Fantastic passive, really makes Gangplank a great laner and chaser. It's like having a mini red buff and even combined with red buff can have fantastic results.
Gangplank shoots a target unit for 20/45/70/95/120 plus 100% of his attack damage as physical damage. Gangplank gains 4/5/6/7/8 extra gold if Parrrley deals a killing blow. This ability can crit, applies Grog-Soaked Blade and applies on hit effects.
Cooldown 5 seconds
Cost 40/45/50/55/60 mana
Gangplanks bread and butter skill, vast majority of his poke and even a little bit of utility will come with this skill. The fact that it applies on hit effects makes the skill amazing. Having a frozen mallet than be applied every 3 seconds or so and range is crazy. This skill also makes gangplank fantastic and farming, the extra gold on minion kills is great to get ahead on gold. It's advised to share the Parrrleys out evenly between the enemy laner and the minions. That way you get ahead on gold hopefully and you will also weaken the enemy for a gank from your jungler. If possible try to farm as much as possible with this when you lane is empty and helping any team fights with your ult.
W: Remove Scurvy
Consumes a large quantity of citrus fruit which clears any crowd control effects on him and heals him for 80/150/220/290/360 (+100% of ability power) health.
Cooldown 22/21/20/19/18 seconds
Cost 65 mana
This skill what makes Gangplank fantastic. Ashe arrow in the face? Eat an orange. Malz ults me in his pool? Eat an orange. Taric stun stopping you from critting that annie in the fact? Eat an orange. In my opinion the best skill in the game, a cleanse AND a heal on a 20 seconds cooldown. 'Nuff said
E: Raise Morale
Passive: Gangplank gains 8 / 10 / 12 / 14 / 16 Attack Damage and 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 % Movement Speed.
Active: Gangplank fires his pistol into the air, disabling his passive boost but increasing his Attack Damage by 12 / 19 / 26 / 33 / 40 and Movement Speed by 8 / 11 / 14 / 17 / 20% and nearby allied champions' Attack Damage and Movement Speed by half that amount for 7 seconds.
Cooldown 25 seconds
Cost 50/55/60/65/70 mana
Great skill for chasing and getting that extra bit of damage, applies to anyone in the area too meaning your whole team can benefit from this in a team fight. The passive alone on this is pretty decent, it allows you to be around 425+ movement speed by the end of them game and upon activating it you become even faster and do even more damage. It's a good idea to use this as your jungler is about to gank. It combines fantasticly well with udyr as his bear plus this will give him amazing mobility to get a stun on.
R: Cannon Barrage
Signals Gangplank's ship to fire upon an area for 8 seconds. Each cannonball deals 75/120/165 (+20% of ability power) damage and slows enemy units 25% for 1.25 seconds.
Cooldown 120/115/110 seconds
Cost 100 mana
A worldwide AoE ultimate, great for initiating team fightings, stopping escapes, cross map farming, baron and dragon fighting/stealing. Its an all round ult with an average slow and average damage but huge potential. See below for ideal places to put place it.
The below images also work on the opposite sides of the map, i.e Dragon images will work with baron. Your blue buff will work with the enemy red and vice versa.
If you are coming down down the river towards bottom lane to stop the enemy dragon fighting and/or force a teamfight, an ideal place to put would be here as to cut off the main escape route and keep some people slowed, this will make initiating easier. It also works the other way round if you are taking dragon while the enemy is trying to stop you coming from bottom lane place it here.
You should place your ultimate here if the enemy is doing dragon and you have them trapped within the enclosure, this is the ultimate place to teamfight with your ultimate, you will have maximum damage a lot of slow on the entire team and have a bigger chance of stealing dragon.
This is the same idea as the first image, place your ultimate here to cut off their main escape and help force the teamfight or secure dragon. This is mainly if you are coming from bottom lane and will also work if you are doing dragon and the enemy comes from mid.
This is one of the better places to put your ultimate for a team fight, there are many turns so they will have to either flash or go a long way to get away. It's a tight area so they will be slowed for decent amount of time to put up there carries and possibly even the ace.
The final place to put it is around the buff areas to contest these buffs. You can force teamfights in your favour or let the enemy run and steal their buffs or secure your own, the placement is optional depending on the scenario.
Item BuildsPretty standard start, if you're not worried about the enemy dominating you early. Ideal against champions such as Singed, Nidalee or Nasus etc.
Use this set up if you're scared of their AD early game. This is suitable against champions like Lee sin, Tryndamere and Udyr who all have high early game damage. The potions should help you sustain for the first few levels to get some ganks and the advantage in your lane while the cloth armour will help mitigate their abilities and attacks.
Not a widely used starting setup, but it still works against magic damage heavy top laners. Ideally used against champions like Galio, Fizz or rumble. Same principles as the Cloth armour setup other than less potions which is a downside, the null magic mantle will build straight into your boots.
A decent setup with good sustain. Allows you to be harassed and regain the health over a period and allow you to stay in lane easier, also allows you to rush .
Upgrade your boots to for most games. Combined with masteries and his W it's pretty insane and CC last mere millisecond sometimes. However if the team is vastly AD and Attack speed based, . This would be teams like. any ad carry. Udyr Top/Jungle and Skarner Top/Jungle etc.
If you're getting out laned a decent setup to start with would be
These 3 items will give you a decent amount of gold income while you attempt to last hit with your Q. The philo stone will help you sustain a little in lane it'll keep you last hitting getting that extra gold from your Q. Heart of gold will give you that little bit of tankiness that will hopefully help you survive any ganks or harrass. Lastly the Avarice blade will help with last hitting particularly under the tower and will provide any harrass you want to throw out. This early/mid build isnt advised unless you have no means of farming and are getting completely owned.
The main items you want to build towards are:
To me this item is invaluable as solo top gangplank, the range slow is amazing for chasing down fleeing enemies and stopping people chasing you. It combines with your passive to make it that bit more potent.
[imgext=] Combined with frozen mallet, gives you a big AD increase, tankiness and that beloved crit that gangplank strives on. can make you into a late game monster.
Third item in the chain combines well with your AD and crit so you hit even harder.
The rest of the end game items are entirely optional and situational.
Is their team magic damage heavy? or
Is their carry shredding you in seconds? and/or
are you not taking any damage in a teamfight and want to own some more?
I want to give this item it's own section. I think it's a vastly overlooked item and JUST a support item. While it is ideal for supports to get it, having 2 is not always a bad thing considering they can be chained at different times to give a longer boost and the fact that a support isnt ALWAYS going to know when you are ready to initiate or counter initiate so you're in control of when you want to engage. That and the stats are decent, the health will add to you tankiness and give you more damage through atma's and the regen will be able to keep you poking for longer while the CDR will help you poke more and close that gap quicker.
Early GameAt level 1 you can duel the vast majority of champions so don't be afraid to be aggressive. Once you begin last hitting, throw as many Q's at the enemy as you can, this should keep them away. Try and zone them by standing on their caster creeps; they won't want to come near in fear of your harass. Once you have this down, start last hitting with your Q. Don't forget to keep harassing every once in a while because more than likely the enemy will have sustained. Once you get to this stage don't push the lane; freeze it in the middle or close to your tower, this will allow you to be safe and farm nicely while the enemy will be scared to push in case he gets ganked. If the enemy gets aggressive early on i.e the first 3-4 levels, try to 1v1 him. If you feel it would not go in your favour stay back for a while and call for your jungler while last hitting as much as possible with auto attacks and Q for caster creeps. When your jungler ganks remember to ultimate behind them. This will slow them enough for you and him to catch the enemy and beat down on them. Also remember just because you didn't get a kill doesn't mean it was a bad thing. You will have pushed him out of the lane, making him lose CS and XP and giving your self a chance to back while you're ahead to buy some items.
Mid GameMid game is where gangplank is at his weakest, although he isn't technically weak he just doesn't have what other champions have at this point. He acts more of a support than anything. He won't have the tankiness at this point to run in all guns blazing and doesn't have the damage to pick off carries. Basically you want to continue farming your lane. Try to move down to mid lane to gank, preferably with your jungler. If you took teleport, remember to use it to teamfight as much as possible and dragon when it's available for taking (normally when there are 1 or 2 enemies out of position). Use your ultimate to help other lanes get kills or escape and use it to CS minions where the gold would have been missed otherwise. This will all help add up to you late game potential. Don't forgot to actually help your team though, if they are fighting around the river, ultimate and go down to support them. If the mid game phase is done well. If you are doing well, avoid taking down the enemy top tower. Once this is down the minions can push all the way down the lane; farming here is dangerous as you can very easily get ganked and it gives the enemy a chance to CS safely.
Late GameThis is where solo top gangplank really shines. You'll be tanky enough to survive initiations. Try to bait any enagement CC and W out of it (Jumping in front of ashe arrow) and try to counter engage(if your team is equal or ahead). Farm where you can but leave your ultimate for teamfights. If you really feel you wont be teamfighting for a while then try to cross map farm with it, however it isnt advised. With your ultimate you are a fantastic dragon threat. If you know the enemy are trying baron, ult the enclosure. This will clear the shroud, damage the enemies and potentially steal baron. If you don't have an initiator such as ashe, annie etc with a decent CC to start the fight off. Gangplank works very well for this. Try to initiate fights in tight areas as you will gain the most from your movement speed and slows here.
Team FightsAs stated early, if you dont have a hard initiator, gangplank covers this role decently, E and shurelya's towards their team, popping your ult if you can. Q their carry as this should force them to flash or at least allow your team to catch them easily. Continue to autoattack the squishiest champions as this is what gangplank excels at. Keep them slowed and let your team help you annihilate them. As a tip, don't W the first CC that comes your way. If you would have died from the initiation, then W immediately. If you think you'll survive, wait it out and then W the next CC that might put you in danger. If nothing really troubles you then you always have the W for chasing and which will remove any CC the fleeing enemy throws your way to try and get away.
Final CommentsJust a final note that this guide is no way set in stone as mentioned earlier. Gangplank is one of the most versatile champions in the game and can be played a multitude of different ways so play around and experiment with him.
Not really much to say in this section other than thanks for viewing my guide, all constructive comments are welcome, any criticism that make sense will be taken on board and added to the guide. Please report back with how this guide helped or didnt help you and maybe I can change things and help you a little more.