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Guide to Gangplank the Pirate

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Swift Ghost



This is my guide to Gangplank the Pirate.

I've re-edited this guide for over a years worth of patches.

This set is just good if you don't wanna buy specific runes for gangplank
Marks: Armour Pen/Crit Chance
Seals: Mana regen
Glyphs: Cooldown Reduction/Mana Regen
Quints: Health/Crit/Armour Pen


For the daring, you can go ALL Critical chance for 20% critical chance

On the offensive masteries, get the critical related ones, armour pen, damage, summoner spell related and possibly a choice between offensive mastery to help with minion last hitting or attack speed for the daring pirates who engage in close combat. Where you put the last 9 also depends on your play style. I go the 9 in utility for bonus mana regen.

Summoner Spells
I tend to go Ghost/Exhaust
The reasoning for exhaust is abit biast as I get exhaust for nearly every champion. It's Just so useful! Slow them to hunt or the get away and slow down their damage,
I like teleport because that allows me to go back to base to get a few items and not lose exp. It's also good with cannon barrage to defend towers. If someone hero is pushing on other side of map and allies won't get there in time, Teleport or barrage or both if theres a few of them there.
Ignite is really good to finish people and helps with kills and synergises nicely with his passive

Items and Gameplay

My build has changed ever since the release of a few new items and the physical damage parrley. I would also like to say is that when people saw it become physical damage, they didn't see one awesome benefit - the attack damage scale went up from 65% to 110%!

I would just like to say that I stray from attackspeed a lot because he is quite squishy and, after reading comments, I now see him as a ranged champion IN TEAM BATTLES. Often in 1v1 or 2v2 battles, you're much less likely to be nuked down as a result of coming in close so it's worth attacking.

If you're not bothered by explanations, here are the summerised items.

Chalice of Harmony
Boots (Purely situational)
Yommuu's Ghostblade
Infinity Edge
Last Whisper

OK so here are the explainations

Meki Pendant
When I play Gangplank, I spam Parrley. Using it to harras is reccomended but personally I just like to last hit minions, especially now that the bonus gold has gone up. I tend to last hit in the earlier levels and harrass at level 5 if it's worth it.

Chalice of Harmony/Philosiphers Stone
This further increases your mana regen. If I have teleport then I will go back to base as SOON as I hit 500 gold. Philosiphers stone is also good because it gives you health regen so you don't get as tempted to waste remove scurvy for a heal.

If I didn't get teleport then I would go back to base when I have 850 gold and buy the boots of speed at the same time. I'd get the mercury treads after Ghostblade unless the situation calls for it like a Taric-Sion combo. From here on, you dont have to take special trips back to base just for the items. Just go back when convenient.

Vampiric Scepter
I get it now just so I have a bit of health regen of lane sustainability

Avarice Blade
Oh how I've waited for this day! Originally I was a pro-avarice blade stacker unless everyone posted about how bad it was. I stopped doing it but I saw pirates owning with it all the time. Then Ghostblade came. Avarice blade was then part of a greater recipe!
Now, if you wanna go greed mode, you can get philosiphers stone and 2 avarice blades
<Let the avarice blade war continue?>

Infinity Edge
This gives 80 damage, extra critical chance AND extra critical damage. This is a MUST have for a Gangplank.

Yomamu's Ghostblade
After infinity edge, you've probably used the best of the gold from the avarice blades so now you can get brutaliser and then Ghostblade. So why Ghostblade you say? It's has everything you need! Damage, critical chance and ARMOR PENATRATION. Also at the moment, my build is lacking in attackspeed, which is because I don't plan to go into melee combat too much. It's good to use in small battles and using melee attacks.

The lifesteal really improves your survivalbility in battles as well as the the fact that it's the highest 'potential' damage item.

Black Cleaver/Last Whisper
Black Cleaver has higher damage than last whisper but is harder to use the armour reduction buff. Last whisper has less damage but has a flat, high amount of armour penetration..
From here I can do 1000+ Damage parrley critical strikes. I have seen hp cut in half from this. Generally people will start raging on about how cheap it is.

By now, most games would have finished but if they are still going you can start swapping items.

There are 2 ways you can go with your last item

As the situations calls for it
Sell you chalice and get what you need such as a Banshee's Veil or something along those lines and you just really need somehting to keep you alive
Sell both chalice and get Phantom Dancer. Phantom Dancer has massive crit chance and bonus movement speed. Also the attackspeed is also very useful.
If you don't need your boots for anything, like merc's to counter stun, sell it and get a 2nd phantom dancer.
You should be guarenteed to crit if you do this.


Here is the priority on abilities IMO

Cannon Barrage>Parrley>Remove Scurvy>Raise Morale

Some people prefer to get raise morale before remove scurvy, which is fine but I prefer the heal for survivibility early game. All I can say I just get 1 level in Remove scurvy to remove crowd control.

Note: I'll be honest, when I started Gangplank, I didn't know what Crowd Control was so I just used Remove Scurvy for healing. So for anyone who doesn't know what it is: Crowd control are things that remove control of your champion. This includes stun, fear, taunt and possibly snares. So if an Ashe gave you a 3.5 second stun lock, just tap your Remove scurvy and you're free!

This build is fairly lacking in attackspeed. Therefore don't lock into melee combat with another dps champion after level 6 because chances are they will beat you. You have a good chance to beat them after you have Yommuu's Ghostblade with the cast.

Decide on how to use your parrley for your lane. If you're getting controlled, then play passive and last hit. If you have control or want to get control, harrass with parrley. Just make sure that it actually hurts them and that they don't just heal it off.

If you have chalice of harmony and you're upgrading remove scurvy, don't be afraid to use it to heal. The lower your mana, the more you get back and the more you spam. Just make sure you don't use it to heal if a battle is imminant or you are in a posittion of possible gank.

Gangplank is a bit of a lucker champion. He has crits on Parrley and his ulti isn't guarenteed to hit. Sometimes you can just luck out and you can't do much

The barrage on the ulti can be completely dodged or hit them for 1k damage. Make sure you use it when they are busy.
NEVER use it to initiate a battle. They will just run out of it before fighting or just run away completely.

In the beginning of large team fights, it may be worth just sniping their squishies from afar as this build makes him very squishy.

You should only really be going into melee combo in smaller scale batlle when you won't get nuked in an instant for 3 sources.

So here is my build. Please comment on what you think. I accept criticism as long as it is APPROPRIATE. Thanks

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Senior Member


Pretty terribad build, honestly.

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Tom Bombadil



Buying avarice blades on gang is a BAD idea, I rage on whoever does such an idiotic thing.

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We have enough gangplank guides already, this is kinda why I didn't post my own(even though it has its own unique item build that people seem to underestimate)
So why you thought posting your own build was a good idea is beyond me, try posting guides for characters that are low on guides. The comphresive list of guides it getting full because people like you continue to make the same guides over and over.

my thoughts on this guide anyhow
I hate it when people think chalice can replace the hp regen from a philosophers stone.
Even with your fruit eating spell, the chalice is going to leave you ripe for melee damage taken.
Avarice sucks, every gangplank I see gets them and trys to convice me that the critical strike is a need. you want to know the real truth?
Heres a little critical damage break down i'll do for ya
Runebook 50%(unless that 10% nerf from this last patch brang it down to 45, lets still round it off to about 50%)
sword of the occult %40
Masteries - Lethality - %10
Infinity edge 250%
added up you got yourself about 350%critical damage.
With Infinity edge you should have yourself %32 critical strike chance, enough for 1/3-2/3of your spells to crit.
Get another 18%crit strike item(that builds into phantom dancer) then grab voidstaff(cause with masteries you have %55 magic penetration)
Now you have 50% critical strike, 350%critical damage, %55magic penetration and 3item slots left.
that leaves room for mercurys threads(The magic resist chalice would give you + making snares, slows and stuns impossible!)
and 2 bloodthirsters(don't forget to uppgrade that critical strike item to phantom dancer so you can up your critical strike to %62critical strike chance)

I tend to build like this
philosophers stone
infinity edge or sword of the occult
sword of the occult or infinity edge wich ever you didn't get before
18%crit chance item
blood thirster
phantom dancer
Sell philosphers stone for bloodthirster

I tend to farm minions with parrley till level 5, then harass the enemy with parrleys.

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Senior Member


Aloha. Good choice of runes, masteries. Could use a bit of tweaking on the items though. If you're playing Gangplank mainly for Parrrley, you'd rather get Sorceror Shoes (because Parrley does magic damage) than the attack speed ones. You got the rest of the idea correct though, that is to invest on damage items. And pls, no Phantom Dancers.

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Senior Member


What's wrong with phantom dancer on pirate? attack speed, move speed, 30% crit chance... umm yeah, it's like everything he needs.

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Junior Member


Dont know why you would need all that MR... but I only just started using him since he is free this week. I'm having a lot of fun playing him, he is an annoying pos. So far item wise (for parrrley build) i'm liking:

Sorc Shoes
Emblem of Valour
Inf Edge
Frozen Mallet

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Senior Member


I don't know what kind of spamming madness you guys are into, but why are you even upgrading to Chalice? I find that Gangplank doesn't even need mp regen after level 10 so why waste the gold?

Also is the 200g difference on a Cloak of Agility really that despised? You're going to need 2 anyways and that's 36% crit chance right there over the 24 you're getting from 2x avy for 400g more.

Well whatever, good players can pull off whacky builds, but I still think items with g/10 are stupid and really don't offer any kind of advantage unless you're playing a character that just can't last hit or farm at all which I don't think any character has a problem doing now.

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Senior Member


Avarice blades are only useful/necessary if you don not have a crit chance rune page. If you already have 20% crit from runes then your base will be sufficient until you buy IE (gettung agility cloak first. However if you do not have a rune page then the small base crit chance means you will be very ineffective with Parrrley until you get some more, and the easiest way to do that while still getting IE reasonably quick is getting Avarice Blades.

However if you do have 20% crit chance my build is something like this.
1. Haunting Guise
2. Boots
3. IE
4. Boots-> Sorcerer's Shoes
5. Zeal->PD ( you now have plenty of crit chance)
6. Frozen mallet (for ranged slow and hp)
7. Whatever the situation may call for.

This maximizes both Parrrley and your ult early, and you still do good physical dps once you get PD.

I choose not to get sheen/trinity force anymore because if you are critting then the bonus damage isn't all that great in comparison, and if you are not critting you are doing ****ty damage even with sheen/TF.

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magic pen and crit chance > crit damage