Introduction(NOTE The video portion isn't ready as of sept 17th, I will try to upload a video as I've been busy in several tournaments, season 2 and such lately.)
Ever since the buffs to Gangplank, he has soared to the top of the jungle lists and despite having several nerfs, he has managed to stay close to the top and become a great addition to any team. Because of his skillset, he has the ability to be a tank, a semi ranged ad carry or a support. As of this patch, GP remains securely near the top of the best junglers (behind op Sin and Nocturne) because of how strong and versatile he is.
MasteriesThis page is what I currently run for Gangplank, since the numerous damage nerfs, Gangplank has been forced into getting at least some offensive punch from his masteries and runes. I prefer this 14-0-16 build because it gives a little of roaming/support as well as extra offensive punch to not make jungling a hassle. While I could get more damage by going further up into the damage tree, I'd be force to miss out on utility,greed and swiftness masteries which I believe are extremely strong for a jungler as they tend to be roaming for most of the game and those masteries make it easier.
So despite missing out on the 21st point of offensive tree and some crit damage, we still receive enough to damage the neutrals efficiently as we use the 6 armor pen towards the 20 we have from runes to make sure all the neutrals are taking full damage. Add in some attack speed and bonus 4+1 damage towards them and they'll go down faster. However Gangplank tends to have trouble doing the full jungle due to his lack of sustain until he gets a vamp scepter so he can't afford to not have at least some in the offensive tree.
RunesSimilarily with masteries, after the nerfs, Gangplank needed a bit more help to properly do routes and such without having to heal every couple camps. Therefore I couldn't run the usual 13 MR glyphs I normally prefer to run on melee but rather have some extra attack speed which I'm lacking to do the early game jungling. Now even though it doesn't seem that efficient to forgo magic resist runes, I'm able to improve my early game by a bit which in turn affects the rest of the game as I can perform ganks faster or clear camps faster. Later in the game 13 MR isn't much if you went tankplank and it isn't needed if you aren't going tank as you'd probably die with or without it anyhow.
The Dodge runes are there because of the way Gangplank jungles (not doing a full clear), he can afford to use these which happen to be far stronger later in the game if Gangplank goes over 2000 hp compared to having 13 armor.
Not much to say here, flash helps you get over walls and ghost doesn't make gangplank much faster because he already has raise morale giving him a good movement speed bonus. While you could sub in exhaust over flash, you'd have to be constantly weary of not getting caught (especially in the river) as you can't flash over a wall to escape.
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.
This passive should not be underrated, in jungling it helps by adding very nice DPS to the target (prior to nerfs, this literally made GP jungle the best) as in addition to your physical attacks, the target is losing between 12-63 hp a second when at 3 stacks which is really easy to get on the buff minions and makes it easier to take them out.
In ganks, this skill is invaluable when used with Raise Morale as even if it's only a 21% slow, when comboed with his superior movement speed, it becomes very easy to chase or intercept a target. Because parley applies this as well, often the first 14% slow is applied easily by parleying and proceeding with a hit (or flash hit if they flashed first) which leads to the final stack.
Later on semi AD Carry plank this isn't as useful but on tankplank it becomes extremely annoying to the target as they likely don't have the damage (or its not efficient) to peel off Gangplank and are forced to move around in the teamfight with -21% MS which can hinder their escape and chase abilities allowing your team to mop up the rest of them.
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
While this used to be much stronger, it still packs a solid punch with items as it scales 1:1 with damage and your base attack damage (which increases via levels) to form a decent nuke. Early game this will give easy gold on lasthits which is actually fairly helpful as often there will be times where the jungle camps are all clear and you aren't getting gold so this is a nice bonus on the wolves/wraiths if you decide to stall the camp just so you can lasthit with parley. Note that this applies the passive so it's fairly useful in a gank when combined with Raise Morale and some melee hits. For semi AD carry Gangplank, this is essentially his entire offense as he doesn't want to go up into melee range as it's likely he'll die so he uses this to deal massive burst damage each shot. While the damage numbers may seem small, once you add in base damage, wriggles, Raise Morale and your other damage items (regardless of route), it'll deal a nice amount to the non tanks.
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
There isn't much to say about this aside from it removes almost anything and allows Gangplank to run or dive due to the fact one or more crowd control effects will be removed. If you have blue and are doing the jungle without any expectation of them ganking you or you won't gank anytime soon, it's quite useful to heal with. Note that this doesn't act like QSS, rather on things like Malzahar ult, it'll allow you to move but you will still take damage as long as Malzahar is ulting the air.
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 6/12/18/24/30 and Movement Speed by 3/5/7/9/11% 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
When Gangplank was first changed, the first thing that I thought was way too strong wasn't his passive, it was this. Gangplank gains between 14-46 damage when this is active as well as a huge movement speed boost when it's activated as well as having a small bonus when there is downtime. However the biggest thing about this ability is the fact that it's range is absurd and it affects allies meaning this skill is versatile and strong in so many different situations. Whether it's chasing,ganking,pushing,running or team fighting, this skill performs it well for a small cost. Try to get a feel on the range of this spell, it could easily save an ally from a large distance away because of it's huge range or if they're killing someone, some easy assist gold.
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
While sometimes unreliable, it is a very versatile skill which can be used in many different waves. Whether it's to farm a large wave when nobody is close enough to get it, stop a push by bombing the minions, help an ally escape across the map or use it to teamfight, it is a very strong support skill. While you can get lucky and do massive damage, it's real usage is in one of the above situations as it's large aoe slow which is global opens up many posibilities. Just be sure to keep an eye on your allies often when you're in the jungle or at base in case they require it's aid.
Skill OrderAs shown above its:
I max E first because it helps in jungle, helps in ganks, helps do dragon, helps push tower and basically does everything since it's so awesome. I max Q over W after as you'd be doing horrible ranged damage if you didn't max Q early as the benefits for maxing W are rather minimal. Leveling Q also gives extra gold on lasthits which is a nice boost to the low farm junglers tend to get over solo lanes.
Item BuildsStarting Items: (, )
Due to the repeated nerfs to , he is basically forced to do cloth armor 5 potions as he can't survive or do proper routes should he go . and is enough to give him sustain for a near full clear with the exception of red buff camp which I find to do after I've bought.
Core: (, , buying when appropriate)
for obvious reasons, it's cost effective and it gives everything a bruiser needs such as lifesteal, armor, damage. Add in the bonus damage to minions (note that this is 33% more effective than Madred's Razor) and a ward every 3 minutes and it's the perfect item for a roaming jungler. s are often a must on the jungler early game as the support isn't roaming the map to be able to place wards in every lane, so you have to pick up the slack and put it at areas where you can make plays (say enemy blue buff) or where you can see ganks on your lanes (near mid lane at enemy wraiths intersection).
Tankplank: ( or , , , ( or/and )or ( or/and )
This build is primarily for you to simply walk in the fray after using and proceed to be very annoying to one of them, whether it's a bruiser or a fragile carry/support at the back, tankplank will be hard to peel off.
The reason for is that it's an extremely powerful defensive item against all sources of damage, magic, physical and true damage. It also has that effect on enemy players who think they can kill you fast if they see you at 50% or less HP despite the fact 50% hp of a full champion is likely just as high hp as his team's full hp carries. Because of Gangplank's skillset, he can afford to go this without being put far behind in damage as rather this allows him to get those melee hits in over and over because they simply won't have the damage to peel or kill Gangplank. is an obvious choice after, it gives all the stats he needs including armor, critical strike and the damage increase. Often this combined with and and perhaps / is all the damage Tankplank needs so I tend to add a or a to make sure the enemy has a ton of trouble dealing with me which results in the rest of their team being aced.
Semi AD Carryplank: (, , or/and , some defensive item such as or )
Unlike Tankplank, this build focuses more on the poke damage from rather than Gangplank actually meleeing something. Often with this build is that if Gangplank is meleeing something, he'll die so I often choose for this build as his main source of damage is rather than his melee hits so Zerkers wouldn't help us much. By running with either or , we hope to have tremendous burst damage each time is cast on a low armor target which is the idea behind + Gangplank.
Early Game / JunglingJungle Path 1 (No ganks available, I don't usually do this):
1a.If you expect a leash that does more than 1 hit to blue, do brown wolf with
2)otherwise start/continue at blue golem using and to lasthit it when no allies are around to make sure you get the full experience. Use if pull forced you to tank a fair bit.
3)Kill wolves, attempting to to lasthit as much as possible. Use if you are missing a couple hundred health after this.
4)Wraiths, Same deal except I usually use during my first slash cooldown as the blue wraith tends to hurt a bit and I don't want to linger at this camp. Definitely use after this camp as you want to be healthy enough to finish double golems. Note that you are level 3 here.
5) Do small golems, if you're too low leash it towards the brush between the lane and the jungle to attempt to 1v1 a golem while his partner constantly walks back to the camp. You can use here if you're running too low.
6)Heal up and buy, often it'll be boots and potions/ward depending on how much gold I've accumulated.
7)While in about 90% of games you should've ganked by now, wolves and wraiths should be ready to kill with double golems spawning a 2nd time, which will give you level 5.
Jungle Path 2: (Many ganks, as if you're a Nunu)
1) Start at either blue buff or double golems with hopefully a leash at either, use at the one you pick. The choice of which camp you are doing is dependant on which lane you see is as a easier gank but having the blue buff side take preference if you aren't sure as it's very useful. Factors when deciding which lane to gank include; the enemy champion, the enemy summoners, your lane partner's champion, your lane partner's summoners. For instance having an ally who is or top is far more useful in a gank than a or a .
2) If you're ganking already, attempt to get behind or close to them without seeing and proceed to you and your partner(s) for the gank so they can chase even if they . and do a melee hit as soon as you can to slow the enemy down with . Depending on where the enemy stood, it'll often just result in the enemy blowing summoners while hopefully your ally doesn't.
2b)If the gank above only blew the enemy summoners,I often find myself standing in a river brush waiting for the enemy to go back in the same position as I'll know they won't have . Proceed with the gank at 2) if the enemy hasn't wised up to your presence.
3) Regardless if you ganked or not, doing wraiths and wolves (and double golems if you started blue) is your next priority due to the fact your smite is likely up (use on either of these camps) and you need to level to 3.
4) Return to base for boots and potions and proceed to either do blue or red depending on what route you took then either go out for another gank or finish wolves/wraiths/golems again. However, it might be possible to hold the lane for someone or gank a lane during this so keep an eye out for shoved lanes because has a significantly easier time ganking lanes.
With either route, attempt to mix ganking up with leveling as you're basically a Nunu type character, with a extremely strong early game to make use of as are very effective due to his team movespeed buff and his slow. When you get level 6, be sure to for allies that need it or to scare people off towers/dragons so your team can get there in time.
Mid GameAt this point, you have a good entire whether you're going tankplank or semi AD Carry plank as you'll see if your bruiser top (if any) is farming well enough to not explode when he walks into the enemy. Because this stage of the game is so varied on your farm, enemy farm, what the hell is going on, it'll likely be fights for dragons and towers so will have to cover lanes when needed, continue ganking/warding while pressuring dragon. will be extremely useful at this stage in the game as you can save fleeing allies or help allies get kills from across the map. And yes, it gives you assist money which is always good you greedy little bastard. The only time I'd use to kill a minion wave is if there are at least 2 waves stacked up about to reach a tower and nobody on my team (with teleport or speed) will get to it in time. Otherwise save it for one of the other situations to help your overextending allies who are hellbent on throwing the game.
Late GameAt this point depending on your build, you're either the squishy carry hitting for 500+ each or that annoying guy soaking up CC and doing non ignorable damage on the back lines as tankplank. Often at this stage, the team will have to move as a unit and Gangplank is very good at it because of his team buff . More about this stage is explained in the next section.
Team FightsDepending on what build you're doing, there are many things can do in teamfights. One of these could be to peel off enemy bruisers/tanks from your AD carry by merely auto attacking them to slow them with . If you're going the AD build, just avoid the high damage enemy targets if you're auto attacking the enemy bruisers/tanks as they'll wipe you out instantly. Often what I find is that people tend to ignore you because the bigger threat happens to be the more farmed AP and AD carries of your team allowing you free hits on the enemy front line which is trying to go for one of the carries.
As AD , you have to watch out for the enemy carries as they can kill you just as fast which means you have to and back off the moment they switch focus to you as AD Gangplank shouldn't be in range to melee hit the enemy carries unless it's a 1v1 and he knows he can finish them.
As tankplank, I find myself walking through the enemy towards the backlines as the AP carries know they can't waste stuff on me and are forced to watch helplessly as Gangplank goes for the AD carry, often the only person that can kill high hp tanks later in the game. However a key point is to either be in a position where you're not getting hit by AOE or in a position where only you and none of your fragile backlines get hit by the same AOE as there's no point being a tank if your team is getting hit with the same damage. For this reason, I find myself going into the enemy rather than attempting to peel bruisers off my backlines as this GP won't have enough damage to finish the tanky people diving your carries before the fight ends.
Closing Commentsis currently a very flexible champion due to his skillset which allows him to play almost any position in the game (bruiser top, support bottom, jungler) and is a very strong addition to any team right now, currently in my top 3. As I said in the first line, I haven't got the videos ready (been busy) so I'll attempt to have them ready within the week so stay tuned for that.