Reasons I enjoy Gangplank:
-Parrrley is great for harassing/controlling the lane
-Good gold generation for later in the game through Parrrley
-Strong lane control pre-6
-Underplayed and generally viewed as weak
-Powerful auras and team utility
-Can sway fights on the map with his global ultimate, great for helping ganks
-Great build diversity
-Just generally extremely versatile
-Doesn’t need to snowball to be useful later
Reasons I dislike Gangplank:
-Feels weak in 1v1 duels post-6
-Passive feels extremely weak early and doesn’t feel much better later
-RNG ultimate damage
-Cast animations are rough
-Remove Scurvy too hit or miss, either I get out of something huge or get stuck with tiny stuns/knock-ups over and over
-Minor burst, not good at short skirmishes unlike most top lanes
-Mana costs are fairly high
-A lot of hidden power (i.e. Raise Morale, Grog-Soaked Blade, even Remove Scurvy to an extent)
Problems with Abilities
Grog-Soaked Blade: The passive makes him better at dueling and better at chasing people down. The problem is if it is too strong it makes him oppressive in top lane, and if it is too weak it is not really noticeable. As of right now, I feel like it leans more towards the latter. The slow doesn’t feel noticeable until later when Gangplank has higher move speed and the damage is never too noticeable. The passive mostly has problems with invisible power and snowball potential.
Parrrley: The biggest problem, I think, is that Gangplank is supposed to be a melee champion but he gets a low cooldown ranged auto attack. It allows him to freely trade with people without ever putting himself in danger, allowing him to bully in top lane pre-6. Because of the bonus gold generation, it creates some problems where the player must choose between increasing their gold or increasing their lane presence, a problem of optimally using the ability. It also causes a divide between play style, where in one Gangplank goes into the fight and brawls with people and the other he runs around in the back line shooting enemies with his Parrrley at range. While either is acceptable, I feel like he should have a more clearly defined optimal play style, mostly revolving around the former.
Remove Scurvy: The ability is pure utility, and, to me, it feels extremely lackluster. Obviously the ability is iconic, but it just generally feels extremely weak (to me). In top lane the vast majority of crowd control abilities are short durations, generally not exceeding 1.5 seconds, or possibly knock-backs or knock-ups. None of these feel like useful abilities to use remove scurvy for and, even if it is used, the mana cost is so high that using it hurts his ability to continue his bullying play style early game. In team fights, there is generally so much crowd control flying around that he is going to get hit by some regardless of what he does and removal of one crowd control ability simply is not enough. The only time it actually seems to feel good is against big crowd control abilities, like some of the major crowd control ultimates, for which the ability has to be balanced. I think the heal in conjunction with the crowd control removal just is not a particularly good thing to put into a kit.
Raise Morale: This is just an absurd ability defining invisible power. It provides nearly three BF Swords worth of attack damage (120 combined attack damage) and a 10% move speed increase to all of his allies. This is great and extremely powerful as far as team fight auras go, but almost everyone feels like the ability is useless and boring. That is really the problem – absurd invisible power.
Cannon Barrage: This has the problem of being an instantaneous, global, crowd control ability. It also has the problem with RNG as the damage either does plenty of damage or nearly none, mostly because it is, again, instantaneous and global. Eliminating the global power would really allow this ability to feel much stronger.
Passive: Bonus gold drops from enemies on death
Q: Reduced range, reduced mana cost, bonus gold removed
W: Free Cleanse (including tenacity), heal replaced with armour/mr steroid
E: Gangplank drinks rum, momentarily gaining bonus damage on his next three auto attacks and slowing by 30% per auto
R: Reduced range to 2000, functions like MF’s Make it Rain