~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.
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.
Runes. The ever important awesomeness of LoL. You need to remember that though you can forgo having these specially stacked just for Gangplank, you'll kill twice as easily and be worth a lot more in team fights with these runes, in my opinion.
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. The use of +crit damage runes are a personal choice, really. It depends on what part of the game you're building for.
+Crit% Chance is best for early game/Zoobi's build. Zoobi's only has 60%-ish crit with more damage than mine, so the runes fix up his focus on damage over crit a bit. Not to say that it isn't good, this just makes it better.
+Crit% Damage is best for late game/my build. I originally scorned +Crit Damage% Runes, as you can see throughout most of this thread and it's replies, but my build already has a natural 100% crit, not even counting masteries. It'd be a waste to go anything else, unless your plan is to drop a crit item (Executioner's, more than likely).
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: 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: Self explanatory. It allows for positioning, chasing, escaping...it's out and out useful. Does it need to be explained?
Ignite: One of the newest summoner spells in LoL. I feel it needs some consideration for the pure fact that it, like Smite, can help you early game...a lot. When combined with your natural passive poison and a good Parrrley crit, it can be a huge help for getting "the lucky ones". If you do try this, please, DON'T IMPROVE IT. The main point in improving it, if not the only point (I can't remember if CD is lowered) is for the extra 10AP. What're you going to do with that? Heal for an extra 10?
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.
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.
3. 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 30 damage and 80% 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 150 plus 80% attack damage and gives +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. Even level 1. It may SOUND weak, but it's very strong, even late game. Don't actively attack creeps unless it's on cooldown, instead aim 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 harass 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.
[E] Raise Moral. Passive: Gangplank's attack and movement speed is increased. 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. This skill has been buffed! YES! Now, you always have the passive. If you set the skill off, the buff doubles on you. Nice, right? It's still not better than Parrrley though. >:O
[R] Cannon Barrage. Gangplank signals his ship to fire upon an area for 10 seconds. Each cannonball deals 160/220/280 damage and slows enemy units 40%/55%/70% 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.
Edit: This has been buffed/nerfed! The damage has been lowered, but the AoE is less random and more focused on the middle. Hurray!
Skills in Order:
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. =.=
Zoobi's Build (+Gold/DPS)
Avarice (12% Crit)
Avarice (12% Crit)
Avarice (12% Crit)
Boots of Swiftness
Infinity's Edge (20% Crit)
(Sell Avarice x1)Frozen Mallet
(Sell Avarice x1)Atma's Impaler (18% Crit)
Final Crit Chance: (12%+20%+18%=50%+11.5%=61.5%)
This, is Zoobi's build. All credit goes to him. I really like this build, but it has one weak point...it'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 possible...it being hard that is).
Avarice (12% Crit)
Avarice (12% Crit)
Infinity Edge (20% Crit)
Executioner's Calling (15% Crit)
(Sell PStone) Phantom Dancer (30% Crit)
Final Crit Chance: (12%+12%+20%+15%+30%=89% + 11.5%=100%)
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 higher 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.
Edit: For those of you who doubt this build, please see the attached picture. Running off of my build, I managed a 49/13/13 game and I didn't have the Bloodthirster until way late game when I sold off my Executioner's for it. I feel the need topoint this out for those of you who are like "where's the damage Tibbers?!" I already had about 25-35 kills before I got that sucker.
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.
ALSO! Many thanks to Teran for unknowingly helping me by providing me with a basic template for this guide.