Gangplank: The New and Improved Saltwater Scourge


If you don’t already know, Gangplank will be receiving changes to his abilities and mechanics in the upcoming patch this week. I believe these changes will help Gangplank greatly and become a more viable champion. Will Gangplank be coming back into competitive play after an extremely long wait? Will Gangplank be good in solo queue? These questions and more will be answered in this article. I’ll be going over the changes to his abilities and how they create potential for high Gangplank play in both solo queue and in the competitive scene. For a more in-depth run down on his new changes check out the new Champion Spotlight below with game-play footage as well.




Passive: Trial by Fire 

“Every several seconds, Gangplank’s next melee attack ignites the target, dealing bonus true damage over time and granting a brief burst of movement speed. Destroying a Powder Keg instantly refreshes Trial by Fire.”

This passive will help GP become more of a bully in laning phase. Being able to apply a true damage DoT (damage over time) to a champion every/every other trade can allow you to come on top very easily, making him a very strong duelist. Melee opponents have the chance to get stream-rolled if Gangplank gets far ahead of them. As for late game teamfights, it is unknown how Trial by Fire will scale, but an assumption can be made that it will be a large amount of single target burst damage for carries and squishy targets.

Q: Parrrley

“Gangplank fires his pistol at his target, dealing damage and applying on-hit effects. If Parrrley kills a unit, the shot plunders bonus gold and refunds mana. For each Gold plundered, Gangplank gains a Silver Serpent that he can use at the shop to upgrade Cannon Barrage.”

Mostly unchanged, Parrrley still remains as a targeted damaging ability that applies on-hit effects. Each time gold is earned from Parrrley, a Silver Serpent is obtained as well. Silver Serpents can be used to upgrade Gangplank’s ultimate. This will encourage players to farm more with their Parrrley instead of always harassing opponents with it. This will require players to think more about how they use this ability throughout the laning phase. The feared Crit Plank will still be an option for players as well.


W: Remove Scurvy

“Gangplank consumes a large quantity of citrus fruit, curing all disabling effects and healing him based on his missing health.”

Nothing really changed with this ability. Always great to have an ability that mimics a summoner spell. He has his own cleanse and adds a heal to it. Breaking out of CC will always remain one of Gangplank’s strongest assets. We will have to see if the scaling changes at all.


E: Powder Keg

“Places a powder keg that can be attacked by Gangplank or his enemies. If Gangplank destroys a keg, it explodes in an AoE blast that slows and spreads the damage of the attack to all nearby enemies. Other casks within the zone will chain explode. If an enemy destroys the cask, it defuses the explosion and grants gold.”

Gangplank’s new E is what makes him a better champion than he is right now. This ability can be used as both AoE damage in teamfights and waveclear, GP can now effectively split push and still remain present on the map with his ultimate. On top of this, the mechanic of granting gold can add up with the gold earned from Parrrley, giving GP and edge over his laning opponent and other enemies. Another key feature is triggering Gangplank’s passive and the movement speed buff that comes with it. The good Gangplank players will have to figure out when and where to use Powder Keg and also how.

R: Cannon Barrage

“Signals Gangplank’s ship to fire waves of cannonballs at an area. Each wave deals magic damage and slows enemies. Cannon Barrage can be upgraded up to three times.

Upgrade 1) Death’s Daughter fires an initial mega-cannonball in the center of the area of effect.

Upgrade 2) Raise Morale gives allies within the area of effect additional move speed.

Upgrade 3) Fire at Will increases the rate of fire over the duration of Cannon Barrage.”

The ultimate itself has been unchanged, it still remains as a global AoE damaging ability that slows. In addition though, three upgrades have been added that cost Silver Serpents as we went over earlier. This change creates adaptability for Gangplank in the game, being able to choose which ultimate upgrade is superior for the state of the game he is in. It creates potential for an otherwise straight forward champion. Gangplank players will have to decide if they want utility, damage over time, or burst with their first upgrade. Cannon Barrage will be more valuable late games with multiple upgrades.


What’s Gangplank’s status at this point?

I do believe Gangplank is much stronger than where he was. Looking at all the changes to his kit and game-play, Gangplank could be viable to competitive 5v5 settings if played correctly and in the right comps. Using him in succession with champions who have AoE crowd control to keep enemies in his barrel combos and ultimates can create huge damage potential to inflict on the enemy team. Tanks like Sejuani and Nautilus and carries like Sivir and Orianna will synergize with Gangplank very well when the update hits. The problem is, the top lane meta is for the most part tanks with crowd control that can make good teleport plays. Gangplank’s teleport plays are very lack luster and his lack of crowd control will have enemy carries running freely. With his new changes, I believe he is a much stronger split pusher and his global ultimate can still help his team. Although he is stronger and more viable in any game, I don’t think he will break into competitive play unless he gets some buffs, or the meta changes to favor him.

By: Jeff “Gravy” Miskin