Landlubber's Guide to Gangplank - by Mr. Tibbers

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~Landlubber's Guide to Gangplank~

Yo. First off, I would like to point out that YES, I do not play in high level matches. Most of my matches are solo queue, only one of them premade. My win-loss is okay, but not as good as it could be. And though it says I've left once, it's a giant lie. A storm cut my internet. So, now that all of the things you could possibly flame me for are out of the way, why not get to what you want to see/flame me for?

My guide to Gangplank.

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There are many things I have learned as Gangplank. The first of which is that AP is a sucky build on him, and more than likely always will be. With that in mind, please don't stray too far from the item and rune/mastery builds for those of you who don't like to stick to the norm. If you're so intent about playing a champion differently, you might want to take a look at either Teemo or Tristana, both of whom can effectively use AP or DPS.

Secondly? You can afford to be a wee bit reckless. Only a wee bit mind you. With your heal and crowd control cancel, you can tower dive effictively, or even run into a group of 3 champions to Parrrley a weak opponent, netting yourself a kill. Just be sure you don't get too low, and that you have both Heal and Flash up. Ultimate could readily replace flash as well, it's just more difficult and less reliable.

Thirdly? ALWAYS be in team fights. Use Raise Morale in team fights, especially near DPS heroes. Ultimate when the enemy gets grouped together or is trying to fall back to base and Parrrley the HELL out of those guys. 

1. Runes

Runes. The ever important awesomeness of LoL. You need to remember that though you can forgoe having these specially stacked just for Gangplank, you'll kill twice as easily and be worth a lot more in teamfights with these runes, imo. 

First off, the red runes. The more offensive runes tend to be the strongest of this bunch. And just as well, seeing as you'll be stacking one of the most important things for Gangplank...Malice. You want Malice Runes on Gangplank, stacked as high as can go. Crits work with Parrrley, which as you'll soon find out, is your best skill and main damage dealer. Why, I just played a game as Gangplank where I dealt almost half of Anivia's life in damage at just level 2 or 3 of Parrrley with a nice crit. So, the more it happens, the better.

Yellow runes...the defensive ones of the lot. Though weaker in general from the more damaged based counter-parts, they too have a decent Malice rune. Once again, stack those as high as possible. With full Malice runes in both Marks and Seals, you hould have around a +13.5% chance to crit with each hit. Not bad, right? Of course, if you feel as though the crit was fine with just Marks, I would like to suggest Evasion seals.

Can you guess what we'll use for Glyphs? That's right, we'll be using...Focus! What? I threw you for a loop there? All right, remember when I told you that Parrrley is the main damage dealer? Well, with all the Parrrley shots you'll be spamming, we want a lower cooldown. Less time for Parrrley=more last hits, which in turns amounts to more gold. That means more money to spend on more +damage items resulting in an even BIGGER Parrrley shot. Which is what you want. A lot.

Quintessence is a bit more flexible, I guess. I prefer +Crit% chance here, but I feel Quints of Avarice wouldn't hurt too much either. No +crit damage quints though, because though they SOUND good, the chance to actually get one with your Parrrley would be too low.


2. Summoner Spells/Masteries

Spells are, for the large part, VERY important on Gangplank. He has no real chase skills, or escape skills. With that said, let me tell you what NOT to grab on Gangplank.

Heal: You already have one, if you're so low that you absolutely NEED another heal, there's a problem my friend. More than likely you aren't spamming Parrrley enough. 

Teleport: I had originally thought this was a waste. For sure, it isn't necessary either. However, with Gang's low pushing power you NEED to be at a tower to push as quickly as possible, or it just won't work. That said, I now consider Teleport viable. 

Boost: You already have a crowd control canceller, so effectively you would be wasting a spell slot so you could get half the benefit. Good job. =.=

With that having been said, let me touch on the more important spells for Gangplank. They are Exhaust and Flash. Alternatively Flash can be replaced with Ghost, but get Flash if you have it.

Exhaust is self explanatory. Early on, especially with my build, you're a horrible chaser. And you suck at running too. Solution? Exhaust them. If there's only one champion, exhaust that sucker and run away. If they're running from you, exhaust and pop and Parrrley while running up to them. This can even be used offensively next to the tower for those more dangerous tower divers. Slow them with this to let the tower get a few more potshots, possibly netting you a kill. At level 6 or above, combine it with your ultimate to pretty much lock them in a deathfield next to a turret that wants their soul. 

Flash too is self explanatory. It allows for positioning, chasing,'s out and out useful. Does it need to be explained?

Smite! One of my favorite farming skills! I had originally thought it best to drop it, but after a build provided by Zoobi, I've found it's completely viable. With liberal use of Smite and Parrrley, as well as +gold runes and items you can actually work up an Infinity and a Frost Mallet by the 30 minute mark. I'm still testing this, but so far it's the easiest and quickest build to use. The downside is low damage early on, even with Infinity. :/

For my masteries, I have 21/0/9. I put every point I can into crit and damage plus masteries. I upgrade Exhaust, and get one point of the 2nd tier magic skill so I can get the 3rd tier skill for magic penetration. In fact, max every 3rd tier skill. Put three into the left hand 4th and 5th tier offensive branches and take the ultimate mastery.

For the utility tree, grab one point of Good Hands and 3 of preserverence. Put 4 more into awareness and the last one into the +1 gold per/10 second skill. Ta-da! You've got 'em all.


Gangplank's Skills.

[Q] Parrrley. Pirate shoots a target dealing magical damage, if he kills it he gain extra gold.

This is, by far, your best skill. At level one it deals 20 damage and your attack damage combined as a ranged attack on target opponent. Each kill with it gives you +3 gold at level one. By the time you hit level 5, it deals 100 plus your attack damage and give +11 gold per kill. It's low mana, about 50 or so at level one and it only increases by 5 per level.

So, what to do with it? Take it. Every chance you get, take Parrrley, except level 6. Even level 1. It may SOUND weak, but it's very strong, even late game. Don't actively attak creeps unless it's on cooldown, instead aom for low life creeps and use it to kill them every 5.6-ish seconds (depends on if you took the cd runes like I said.) Use it to harrass enemies if they get too close to creeps. With your first item (Meki Pendant), it will be spammable, especially at level one.

[W] Remove Scurvy. Consumes a large quantity of citrus fruit which clears any crowd control effects on him and heals him.

The next best skill of Gangplank. This, like Parrrley, is cheap. It's cooldown is slightly on the high side, but it's no big deal. With this you can stay in the lane harrassing and last hitting two to three times as long as you could without it. I have managed to save enough to buy a BF Blade and Vampiric Sceptre in one go with this little guy keeping me in lane. 

[E] Raise Moral. Passive: Gangplank's attack and movement speed is increased. Gangplank doesn't receive the benefit of the passive while the spell is recharging. Active: Gangplank kills and allied minion, inspiring nearby Champions to receive Raise Morale's Passive benefits for 10 seconds. 

Originally, I had put that this skill is to be taken last. Nix that, it's better to alternate with Remove Scurvy, giving this precedence. Of course Parrrley is more important, but still. 

[R] Cannon Barrage. Gangplank signals his ship to fire upon an area for 10 seconds. Each cannonball deals damage and slows enemy units for 1.25 seconds.

Alright. First off, it says ten seconds in the Abilities tab under his Champion info. In the game, it says eight seconds. Rather than take the optimistic route, we're heading the other way and will assume it last 8 seconds. It targets a pretty large area and drops random cannonballs. To me, it's about as useful as it sounds...just barely. It's a mapwide ultimate, but the unreliability makes it best for herding enemy champions, splitting enemy champions apart from each other, slowing the enemy and finishing someone running to base by placing it in their way, forcing them to run through it or die. If you get in a head on fight with a DPS or a tank, use this...but only if they seem to be doing fine or are capable of running from you when they get low with Powerball, or some other speed enhancer.

Skills in Order:
2.Remove Scurvy
3.Raise Morale
6.Cannon Barrage
8.Raise Morale
10.Remove Scurvy
11.Cannon Barrage
12.Raise Morale
13.Remove Scurvy
14.Raise Morale
15.Remove Scurvy
16.Cannon Barrage
17.Raise Morale
18.Remove Scurvy

Edit: Alright, so the skill build has been switched up a bit. The heal IS nice, but it does promote a reckless style that often results in death. I've been known to get a bit greedy myself with the normal fragile heroes, but with Gangplank I get ridiculously greedy. =.=


4. Important Items 

1. Meki Pendent. 

Meki provides enough mana regen (+7 per 5 secs I think. Maybe 10.) to spam your Parrrley like mad, especially when you're lvl 3 and lower. What's not to love?

2. Philosopher's Stone.

If you went Meki, PStone is the next logical conclusion. It provides more than enough mana regen to let you spam decently all game, though you will have to recharge a bit. It gives a small healing regen and +5 gold per second. With my foray into Zoobi's build (kind of like the CM guide, it uses +gold items that are advantageous to the +crit chance we want), I've found that the better you can farm Gangplank, and the faster, the more awesome you'll be later on, though still earlier than without this. Hence, this is why +gold per 10 items rock. 

3. Boots (Type depends).

Originally I had stated that Boots of Swiftness were the best. Now I base it on item build, personal preferance and enemy team. The truth is, all the boots work wonderfully. Get Mercury when the enemy has a lot of slowers and your CC Removal just hasn't been enough (don't forget it has magic resist too, so enemy nukers warrant this), Sorceror's for my expiremental AP build (still in testing), Zerkers for the DPS build players like that one guy who flamed me uses, Tabi against enemy physical know. The only boots which I now consider useless are Movement +3. I had originally liked them as they fixed the movement loss from not taking Raise Morale. They provide nothing other than speed and hence become useless with the new skill build.

4. Bloodthirster.

Bloodthirster IS a good item...just not as the first main item. Not for Pirate. I've found that while it DOES help, it's too difficult to build early on. The few games I was able to get this in a decent amount of time w/o farming all game were mainly because of idiots who liked to feed me in my lane. That, and Zoobi's build. 

5. The Black Cleaver.

With this your crits can kill all the casters in the back, and deal some huge DPS to enemy champs who like to group. However, there are many more important items to get in liue of this, so don't go thinking it's the ultimate for it's farming power.

6. Infinity Edge.

Alright. This once wasn't your starting it's AMAZINGLY important. Zoobi's build is awesome at farming this sucker up, all while ensuring you'll have plenty of other high level items much quicker than otherwise possible.

7. Crit Items

Crit items are the best. You will NEVER be tanky, so survivability items are out, other than maybe Frozen Mallet. You want/need damage, so you're getting it ALL. After the main build is done, your damage should be over 300 and your crits should be about 1k. With Infinity Edge and your natural crit chance, about 40% of the time you should land a crit. So, throw in a few more crit items and your average hits with Parrrley should be pretty devestating.

Originally, I had said any sort of mana regen/mana item was useless. However, in light of new possiblities, I plan on eating my own words and trying it out. This is made possible all by Sheen. Since it's based off of attack and not ability power, like I had thought, it makes the major damage portion of Lich Bane a viable item on Gangplank. This also means that AP items, especially the +gold item "Kage's Lucky Pick" could be useful on him...immensely useful. I'm going to do further testing to decide between Kage and Avarice, but I think Avarice'll pull through for the +crit. 

Attack have to admit, your attack speed is shit. Always will be. However, for the DPS build you'll have so many items backing you up, you might as well have an AVERAGE-GOOD attack speed. Wooohoo? Anyways, it works. 

Taking back EVERYTHING I said about Frost Mallet. It's a supremely useful item, though I would never advocate it as your first item. Second or third? Most definitely.

(Edit: Largely re-did items section. I know, what doesn't work on Gangplank it seems? Well, I'll tell you. Armor. =.=)


6. Builds:

Zoobi's Build (+Gold/DPS)

Philosopher's Stone
Boots of Swiftness
Infinity's Edge
(Sell Avarice x1)Frozen Mallet
(Sell Avarice x1)Atma's Impaler

This, is Zoobi's build. All credit goes to him. I really like this build, but it has one weak's weak. Well, early on it is. Later on you'll be the DPS freak, but definitely not early. I find that after about the 2nd Avarice, my crit chance is decent enough to make Parrrley prove a decent threat. I'm undecided on his choice of Boots. Though they had been my preferred boots because of my lack of chasing ability, he gets chasing ability as his second real "main"item. 

This is the build I recommend for most. Especially newer players who'll find it hard to last hit with Parrrley (if that's even being hard that is). 

Tibbers' Build: 

Philosopher's Stone
Berzerker's Boots
Infinity Edge
Frozen Mallet
Executioner's Calling
Phantom Dancer (Sell one Avarice)

The damage isn't as high as Zoobi's, so I guess you could call mine the weak one now. But the crit percent is high and the build is cheaper overall, I believe. I'll look into pricing a bit later. The crit damage is nice and high even with the non-attack focus early level. You hit at about 500-600 which is freaking awesome. Gotta love Riot for buffing our beloved Parrrley. 


End Notes:

This guide is far from finished. I will continue to play Gangplank for a long time, as he is incredibly fun for me. I would also like to ensure that the general populace of LoL is ready for the ninja onslaught, so you won't look so bad when we kick your ass (is a ninja fan). That being said, this guide will continue to be updated and changed as Gangplank is changed and new item builds become viable. If anyone has an item build they would like to post in a reply for me to try out, I'll test and do some comparisons to see what, if anything, might need changing in my build.

Many thanks to Teran for unknowingly helping me by providing me with a basic template for this guide. 

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