Gangplank Guide by Bwipo

Posted by Doppler 27 September 2016 in League of Legends


Hi, I’m Bwipo! Currently, I am the top laner for Sector ONE’s league of legends team. I’ve been sitting around 300-500 lp in Master/Challenger maining Gangplank. In light of the recent nerfs in 6.17, I wanted to make my own guide to show people he still has the capability of being a great pick for solo queue.

About Me | Runes | Masteries | Gangplank’s Abilities | Skill Order | Itemization | Champion MatchupsBarrel Combos


Getting into the rune pages, I’d like to state that these are my personal pages. I like playing an aggressive lane, making sure I dominate the laning phase with heavy poke. Now, the rune page that most pro players use is the standard 15 AD 9 armor 12 mr page. But personally I’m not so much of a fan of this because it doesn’t accentuate Gangplank’s scaling at all.

However, it ensures that past Trinity Force he can clear caster minions with 1 barrel at all times. My pages rely on a steady gold income, so that I’ll always have enough AD to push effectively.

Ensuring you’re around the 8-10 CS/minute mark will suffice.

Now, these are my rune pages:


This is the most aggressive setup and the standard page I’ll be utilising in pretty much all lanes.

Running 9 armor allows you to tank more minion damage whilst going in for greedy Q’s for the bandit procs. (I’ll elaborate during masteries.)

5% flat and 5% scaling CDR allows you to build boots other than lucidity, which I think aren’t as good anymore due to Teleport nerfs. This also opens up the option of rushing Swiftness boots or Mercs/Tabi around your TriForce spike.


The second page. I run this one into difficult matchups that don’t allow me to play up.

The single armor quint is there to make sure you can’t really get cheesed unless you mess up big time.

Scaling health is great on him towards the mid/late, especially if you’re planning on getting Sterak’s Gage, as it makes Gangplank near impervious to burst damage.


A bit of everything, some Armor pen, AD, MR, Armor and scaling health.

I’d use this when I feel like I need both resistances in the lane. You can run flat mr here too.


These are all rounders used by me and pro’s alike. There’s two small differences, some prefer the Resolve tree, I prefer the Ferocity tree.

Also, some go 45% CDR instead of the armor pen, but I highly prefer the armor pen as Gangplank will scale even harder combined with my rune page.

Make sure you always put at least 12 points into the Cunning tree, because Bandit is amazing on Gangplank as it gives you the full 10 gold every time you Q someone.

These are my mastery pages:


Here’s the one with the Ferocity tree. Take all the % Damage you can get on the barrels, I’ll make a difference. Bounty Hunter’s great for snowballing, but Oppressor’s the most consistent one so I opt into that. Note that I mix mastery points in Meditation and Executioner, and then Vampirism and Natural Talent. This gives me sufficient mana regen (Meditation) and some bonus sustain through Q (Vampirism).

I don’t quite need 5 points into Meditation to keep my mana costs at bay, nor do I need the full 5 points into vampirism to sustain, but they’re just enough.


This page goes into the Resolve tree, mainly for the 8% healing bonus (Synergises well with W), and the 15% CDR on Summoner Spells. Good for more teleports, try to build Lucidity boots if you’re going this page, makes it even better as Teleport/Flash will have a 225 second cooldown.

Note that this page can also run armor pen, I just went for the 45% here to show that it’s totally viable.

Gangplank’s Abilities

Trial by Fire (Passive) :

Every few seconds, Gangplank’s melee strike will set his opponent on fire.

Deals 20 + (10 x level) (+100% bonus AD) bonus true damage over 2.5 seconds and granting Gangplank Trial by Fire2 30% bonus movement speed for 2 seconds. Turrets will take only [half as much damage][/vc_column_text][ish_quote author=””]”Great for decisive trading in the laning phase. Try to tap your opponents with this when possible. Don’t overextend for it though, it’s never worth it unless you’re going in for the kill.”

Parrrley (Q) :

Cooldown: 5 Cost: 40 Mana Range: 625

Fires a bullet that deals 20/45/70/95/120 (+100% Attack Damage) physical damage (can crit and applies on-hit effects).

If Parrrley kills the target, Gangplank plunders 2/3/4/5/6 bonus Gold and 4/5/6/7/8 Silver Serpents. (Trade Silver Serpents at the shop to upgrade Cannon Barrage).

For each Gold plundered, Gangplank gains a Silver Serpent (trade Silver Serpents at the shop to upgrade Cannon Barrage).

“Bread and butter skill for Gangplank. Does solid damage due to the Spellblade effect from Sheen or TriForce.

Use it to poke, as it gives you 10 gold every time you hit the opponent with it due to the Bandit mastery.”

Remove Scurvy (W) :

Cooldown: 22/20/18/16/14 Cost: 80/90/100/110/120 Mana

Gangplank consumes a large quantity of citrus fruit, curing all disabling effects and healing him for 50/75/100/125/150 (+90% Ability Power) (+15% Missing Health).

“Solid sustain during the laning phase and great later on to get rid of crowd control.

Really straightforward, use it to stay healthy at the cost of your mana. This is why I run Meditation, helps with the regen.”

Powder Keg (E) :

Recharge time: 18/16/14/12/10 Range: 1000
PASSIVE: Gangplank stores a charge of Powder Keg periodically, up to a maximum of 3 stored at once.

Places a powder keg that can be attacked by Gangplank or his enemies at a location for 60 seconds.

If Gangplank destroys a keg, it explodes dealing the attack’s damage as physical damage (ignores 40%Armor) to enemies and slowing them by 40/50/60/70/80% for 2 seconds. Champions take 60/90/120/150/180 bonus physical damage from the explosion.

When a keg explodes, other kegs with overlapping blast zones chain explode (damage does not stack).

Kegs health decays every 2/1/0.5 seconds. (Decay rate increases at level 7 and 13)

Keg explosions apply Parrrley (Q)’s plunder effect.

“This is the reason Gangplank is difficult to master. He requires solid barrel chaining to perform. In return, you get one of the highest damaging abilities in the game that can easily one shot squishy targets.

Due to the % armor penetration he’s also capable of shredding tanks together with his true damage passive, making him a real pain to itemize against.
I’ll go in depth on barrel combos in a later part of the guide.”

Cannon Barrage (R) :

Cooldown: 160/150/140 Cost: 100 Mana Range: Global
Signals Gangplank’s ship to fire 12 waves of cannonballs at an area over 8 seconds. Each wave deals 35/60/85 (+10% Ability Power) magic damage and slows enemies by 30% for 0.5 seconds.

Collect Silver Serpents with Parrrley (Q) to upgrade in the shop.

“Got nerfed recently, still does the same things it used to, just not as oppressive. Use this to help out your teammates in skirmishes or set up ganks.

Great for mid-lategame teamfighting as this’ll put a dent in squishies.”

Skill Order

Q is your bread and butter, most of your damage output comes from this ability.

E second reduces the cooldown per barrel charge. Also increases barrel damage and slow.

W last, some bonus healing. Most importantly, cooldown goes down.

R when available, don’t forget to buy the upgrades when you have enough Silver Serpents.


Starting items:

You’ll be wanting to start this basically every game. Due to the gold advantage you create by simply being Gangplank, you can farm up 700 gold through minions and Bandit super easily.

Finding a balance between proc’ing bandit and farming is what’ll get you Sheen as early as 4 minutes in. Once you find a solid recall timing, pick up your Sheen and build towards Trinity Force. Once you’ve got Sheen, especially early on almost no champion can compete in terms of power.

With 19 armor pen plus the masteries (around 23 at level 4), your Spellblade passive from Sheen can easily spam 200~ damage Parrrley’s into your opponent as early as level 4.

Not to mention the Spellblade proc on barrels, which help you shove in and harass even better.

Core items:

I’m currently building Sheen, and then rushing Swiftness boots straight into TriForce. The swiftness boots allow you some room for error. Sometimes you mess up a barrel combo and would normally take a terrible trade that the movement speed can get you out of.

Get Phage into Stinger to finish off the Trinity Force.

Dirk first, then the CDR.I value the armorpen over the CDR because I’m stacking so much of it. These three items set you up for a great midgame.

I like to aim for them around the 22 minute mark, but that requires a solid snowball. As long as you’re not later than 25 minutes, you’re in for a good game.


Any of these boots, depends on what you need. Ionian are here because they’re fine if you have to rush a Maw of Malmortius to deal with heavy amounts of magic damage.

That way, you’ll still round off your 40% without Youmuu’s Ghostblade.

Ultimate Upgrades:

Get the the ult enchants in this order.

You can get Death’s Daughter first if you have some hard CC you can follow it up with

Offensive Options:

Get this if you can’t afford Sheen on the first back/death

Solid follow up on Ghostblade if you’re snowballing.

I like this item a lot in a stale game where I’ll have to split against a tank. Get this third if so.

Good if the enemy has lots of healing. (Vladimir, Soraka, Swain, Trundle)

Get this against squishies, against more than 1 tank opt into Duskblade or LDR(Lord Dominik’s Regard).

Follow up on IE(Infinity Edge) for the 50% crit and more consistency.

This plus double PD/IE = 100% crit. Don’t do this unless you’re super far ahead.

Defensive Options:

Buy this when you’re against an assassin, try to get Tabi if you’re going to get this.

Solid defensive option, pen is always appreciated. Always get third vs 2 or more AP threats.

Last item for when you don’t need Maw or Sterak’s.


If you’re rushing boots early on and have 10% CDR in your rune page.

If you don’t have 10% CDR or have to skip Ghostblade in favor of Maw.

Against heavy CC comps with respectable AP damage

These are good if you’re getting destroyed by AD champions, or are scared of them

Champion Matchups

I’m not going to go over every single champion, as generally speaking you’ll be laning the same way against almost every champion in the game. I’ll write a short summary of what to W and what to respect.

The only real difference is how hard you can get punished on bad W usage and mispositioning. As long as you land barrel combo’s and disengage the trade properly, you shouldn’t be losing any matchups. You’ll always want to be melee range of a Powder Keg, so that you can immediately chain it. Detonate it with an auto attack and proceed to Q the opponent. If they get in melee range, you can tap them with Trial by Fire, which procs from the barrel chain. This’ll get you enough MS to disengage the trade.

This way of trading is really hard to deal with, because as long as Gangplank lands the barrel, he slows the opponent. So even if they trade back, you can simply disengage the trade immediately.

Before I go into specifics, making sure you land Trial by Fire after a chain if they do come in an attempt to trade back almost always results in a devastating trade in your favour

  • Don’t let him extend trades.
  • Land barrel chains as he’s coming in for a hook and punish him with Q if you hit the barrel.
  • Don’t even go near him if you don’t have any barrels around, W his slow as fast as possible if you do get caught by his hook.
  • If you get caught in melee range when his hook is up you’re pretty much dead.
  • Never extend the trade.
  • It gets a lot trickier with Ekko because he can either dash the damage or just straight up kill your initial barrel with Phase Dive.
  • Keep barrels behind you and don’t be scared of letting him E you early on, as long as you land the barrels you’ll outtrade him anyway.
  • Just because I like change, don’t let her extend the trade.
  • Make sure you’re out of range for the Riposte slow if you do go for a barrel chain, as getting hit by that usually results in an all in or extended trade.
  • Force her Riposte through Q poke, and follow up with a barrel chain to ensure she can’t get near you.
  • You can just spam W here, it’s also nice to get rid of the slow.
  • Don’t let him extend the trade.
  • In this matchup wave control is key.
  • Having a bigger minion wave allows you to poke him without return damage from the caster minions, and obviously vice-versa.
  • Keep track of her E and play back if your W isn’t available when she can stun you.
  • You have to destroy her in the earlier stages and gain a significant lead through trinity force components.
  • Try to aim for Sheen + Ruby Crystal, and make sure you’re the one initiating the trades.
  • Make sure the trades are always short, as in an extended trade she’ll annihilate you.
  • *Tabi’s are optional here.
  • As long as you hit the barrel chain as she’s coming in for a trade, you’ll be winning this lane.
  • Check with Q for what ability she starts, as if she starts E you can just pump some Q’s into her shield for the free gold.
  • *Tabi’s are optional.

Play aggro early, force him to trade with you in a bigger minion wave (early on) to get his remount or he’ll fall too far behind on sustain before the first recall. Eventually, creeps won’t make a difference and you’ll get slammed anyway so don’t trust a bigger creepwave.

  • Don’t all in unless it’s clear you have enough damage to kill him before his remount.
  • Try to get Sheen around his 4-5 as that’s when he’ll start brawling. So if you dodge Q and barrel him, your poke will stick and make it difficult for him to keep trying.
  • Respect the W. Post 6, pray to god you see their jungler in time or die Farm it out, wait until your Kegs can carry you through this matchup. Go Sheen – double ruby crystal tabi. Denies him all kill pressure, and you can still push out relatively fast with the Sheen to punish his roams.
  • Make sure you farm really well, as this guy’ll smash you into the ground if you don’t have Sheen to help you farm/shove/trade.
  • In this matchup, Q’ing the barrel for poke is worth it as his passive will eat your Q anyways.
  • Don’t bother trading Q for Q, he wins that.

Same thing again. He can’t extend any trades as long as you hit your barrel as he’s dashing in, so you’ll win the shorter trades.

  • If he does extend the trade, he’ll outsustain you due to him not having resources.
  • I’d always get Tabi into Renekton, stops a lot of his damage output.

Well, I’m running out of lines to mention that you shouldn’t let this guy extend the trade.

  • Respect his Frozen Domain + Pillar of Ice combo as it’s quite difficult to get away from unless you have an immediate barrel reponse, if you do just land the combo and walk away.
  • He’s got a long CDs on E/W so abuse that window by poking a lot with Q for the free gold.
  • Spam W as you like, Tabi’s are great here.
End of the guide

This is written under the assumption you’re capable of basics such as damage foresight, space and wave control and most importantly are capable of consistently farming up 8-9-10 CS/minute. It’s also incredibly useful to have a basic understanding of objective control to maximise the global pressure Cannon Barrage brings.

I hope you’ve learned something reading the guide, it’s pretty simple because I’m only focusing on Gangplank rather than actual game mechanics.

In the case you’d like to see some vod content you should be able to find the occasional Gangplank game over at my twitch stream.