New Gangplank Build - Coming Back Stronger -

by Shakarez on July 26, 2016

New Gangplank Build - Coming Back Stronger - dfo4gold.comEver since Gangplank was reworked over a year ago, he’s been highly contested, in both ranked games and competitive play. During Worlds 2015 he was almost permanently banned and his priority was relatively high for an extended period of time.


When Patch 6.11 came along with the changes to Trinity Force, some players feared the worst for the Saltwater Scourge as his core item was taking a big hit with the loss of Zeal from the recipe, and consequently the Critical Strike the item gave.


Traditionally with the new Gangplank, we would see a very critical strike oriented build, with Trinity Force, Infinity Edge and then Zeal items or even more Infinity Edges in order to get close or even reach 100% Critical Strike. Since Gangplanks Powder Kegs can crit, his impact is much higher when he can AoE crit a team and destroy them.

The Trinity Force nerfs ended up not being too detrimental and didn’t stop Gangplank from being a strong force in the current meta.



Gangplanks’ Win-Rate is not spectacular, but it has been consistently around 52% for a month now


So what makes him so attractive, even after the Trinity Force nerfs?


Simply put, he’s still an amazing late game carry. He needs time to get rolling, but his impact in fights is superb once he closes his core items. He can impact fights from afar with his global ultimate, especially if you manage to get early upgrades and hit enemies with the epicenter of the Cannon Barrage. In later stages of the game he’s a strong sieger as teams are frequently zoned out by the threat of being hit by his barrel combo, that besides doing incredible damage, also has a very punishing and durable slow, 80% at max rank.


As the playerbase has been figuring out that he’s still relatively strong, players have steadily started picking him up again.


His popularity has been steadily increasing. Over the last month, it has gone up from 6% to 10%


If after the changes there was a short decline, players quickly figured out other build paths and setups to use in order to keep dominating with him.



Let’s take a look at the current most popular items on Gangplank and explain the new build that has been gaining traction.




Trinity Force: “An All Purpose Artefact”

New Gangplank Build - Coming Back Stronger -


The big selling point of Trinity Force was never the Critical Strike, it has always been the Spellblade effect from Sheen, which Gangplank uses and abuses as it works on his Powder Keg and Parrrley. The Crit was definitely good, but it was the icing on the cake, not the fundamental piece of the item.


The changes to Trinity Force were also not entirely bad. The new Trinity Force gives 20% Cooldown Reduction, a stat that Gangplank doesn’t usually itemize for in his build; and a bunch of Attack Speed. While the attack speed has a lower value for him in sieges and fights, it does make his split pushing better, as he can take down towers extremely fast with a ton of attack speed and powerful Sheen Procs.


After Trinity:


With the Crit removal from Trinity Force in mind, there are two options for Gangplank. Going immediately for critical strike items mean his 2, 3 item build is much less fluid, as he won’t be hitting 50% Critical Strike until much later than he used to before.

On the other hand, going for non Critical Strike items, namely items with AD and Armor Penetration, mean his mid game is stronger, but his hypercarry status is delayed.


The idea behind the most recent Gangplank build is to go for a more Armor Penetration oriented build. Critical Strike isn't as important of a stat in this build. Instead, the flat penetration will allow you to shred through opponents, especially ones that don't itemize defensively against you.

This allows Gangplank to spike earlier and have a stronger mid game, while still being relevant in the later stages.





Youmuu’s Ghostblade:

Currently, most players in higher tiers of play are picking this up as a second item. High values of Attack Damage and Armor Penetration, 10% Cooldown Reduction and an active that grants him extra mobility, either to escape or close the gap.


Maw of Malmortious:

A solid replacement for Youmuu’s as a second item if Magic Resistance is a necessity against AP matchups or AP heavy compositions.


Duskblade of Draktharr:

While not nearly as popular as the other items, it’s being picked up frequently in higher tiers of play. The highest Attack Damage item that also grants Movement Speed and more importantly, more Flat Penetration.

Assuming you’re picking up Youmuu’s and Duskblade, you now have 30 Flat Penetration, not to mention that the remaining armor will be ignored by 40% if you hit opponents with a Keg.


Sterak’s Gage:

One of the preferred defensive items for Gangplank. It allows him to not get bursted nearly as easily and also increases his base AD by 25% (50% when the passive activates). What is so strong about this is that the increase on base AD directly affect your Spellblade procs with Sheen.


Infinity Edge:

Obviously still an extremely strong item as it gives Critical Strike and increases the potency of Crits. But in this build IE is usually picked further down the line, usually as a fourth or fifth item.




LolKing Resources

  • Here are GP games played in the last 2 weeks in Diamond+. Replays are not working with the new patch, but you can still check out Build Order, Runes and Masteries!
  • If you want to follow GP mains closely we recommend: Longzhu Flame from Korea, FallenBandit and Tobias Fate from NA and ESG Magifelix from EU, current rank 1 in the ladder!



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