Our Gangplank Swain deck list guide features the best Legends of Runeterra deck list for the Season of Plunder ((May 2020). Our Gangplank Swain guide also contains Mulligan advice, card combos and strategy tips.
If you’re looking for a rundown of the best decks Legends of Runeterra has to offer, check out our Legends of Runeterra Best Decks page!
Gangplank Swain is a strange deck in that it looks to go for quick Nexus damage, but isn’t an ‘aggro’ deck in the vein of most of that archetype. Instead, it uses Powder Kegs and non-combat damage to chip away at the enemy Nexus until they turn out to be super dead without even realising.
Both Gangplank and Swain are powerful cards in this archetype, but are far from being essential to victory. We’ve romped to victory with our Powder Kegs and AOE damage against aggro decks of course, but the Champions do help a lot.
Here’s the latest version of the Gangplank Swain deck, and we’ll keep you posted as the metagame develops.
|3 x Black Market Merchant||3 x Death Lotus|
|3 x Dreadway Deckhand||3 x Imperial Demolitionist|
|3 x Make it Rain||3 x Death's Hand|
|3 x More Powder!||3 x Noxian Fervor|
|3 x Pilfered Goods||2 x Citybreaker|
|1 x Petty Officer||3 x Swain|
|2 x Yordle Grifter|
|3 x Gangplank|
|2 x Riptide Rex|
Select and copy the long ID string below, then click ‘Import Deck’ in Legends of Runeterra’s Collection to export this deck into your game.
Deck Import ID: CEBQCAIDGICAEAYDAQDQQBQCAYCAYIBBFUYQEAICAMDAEAQGBMOACAICAYEA
This deck is based on direct Nexus damage, forcing your foe to take you down quickly before you chip their health to nothing.
Early game: Early plays are quite tough to come by, but you should be looking to start setting up for later on. Dreadway Deckhand and your other 2-cost units are decent here, and summoning Powder Kegs is a great way to prepare for future turns. More Powder! combined with the likes of Make it Rain can quickly take out enemy threats, as well as chipping away at their Nexus. Block larger enemy units when you need to, and remember that your Powder Kegs can be targeted by the likes of Noxian Fervor and still give its bonus.
Mid Game: Getting a Citybreaker up is often well worth the time it takes, as it’s a pretty large body for blocking as well as being a constant source of chip damage. This unit helps a lot with upgrading Gangplank too.
Take out enemy units when you can too. Death's Hand can sometimes do enough damage to kill a unit, but you should always have a source of Powder Kegs to boost that if necessary. Remember - these Powder Kegs only boost your spell damage once, so choose wisely. It’s usually best to use them on things like Make it Rain, since it impacts more enemies, rather than something like the Warning Shot generated by your petty Officer.
Late Game: Ideally, your Champions will have upgraded by this point. Both Gangplank and Swain don’t need to be in play to upgrade, so you can play them out immediately and they’ll get stronger. Gangplank is a particularly strong finisher, summoning a Powder Keg every round, and upon playing him from hand. He deals 1 damage to all enemies when attacking, but combined with the Powder Kegs, this can finish them off, and his Overwhelm ability is often enough to get that last bit of chip damage. By the time the late game comes along, you should be pretty close, so you just need to get yourself over the line with all the direct damage available to you. Don’t forget, Riptide Rex only triggers when you’ve damaged the enemy Nexus already this turn thanks to Plunder.
- 1. Deck Tier List - Legends of Runeterra: Deck Tier List
- 2. Best Decks - Legends of Runeterra: Best Decks
- 3. Best Budget Decks - Legends of Runeterra: Best Budget Decks (January 2020)
- 4. Fearsome Midrange guide - Legends of Runeterra: Teemo Mushroom deck list guide
- 5. Rivershaper Fiora deck guide - Legends of Runeterra: Rivershaper Fiora deck list guide
Gangplank Swain Mulligan guide
These are the cards you’ll want to make the best possible start with Gangplank Swain:
- 1. Dreadway Deckhand is a decent 2/2 body, as well as a Powder Keg to buff your spells.
- 2. Make it Rain works great alongside your Powder Kegs to keep the enemy board clear and chip away at their Nexus.
- 3. Imperial Demolitionist is impacted by Powder kegs too, so deal 1 damage to them in exchange for buffed damage to the enemy’s Nexus early on.
Gangplank Swain tips, combos and synergies
Here’s a quick overview of a few things you might want to watch out for when you’re playing this deck.
- Black Market Merchant draws cards from the enemy deck if you activate its Plunder ability, as well as discounting them. Getting multiple copies on board and drawing from the enemy deck with something like Yordle Grifter can be a great way to make some high-value plays outside of your gameplan.
- Gangplank has Overwhelm, so all damage not absorbed by an enemy unit will go towards the enemy Nexus. This also means if he kills a blocking enemy with his Attack ability once upgraded, he’ll hit the Nexus for full damage.
- Citybreaker deals 1 to the enemy Nexus every turn, not just on your attacking turn. This means it’s a reliable way to get both Swain and Gangplank upgraded.
- Target your Powder Kegs with spells that require you to damage a friendly unit. The attack will still go off, you’ll still get the damage boost from the Powder Kegs, and keep your friendly units alive.
- Pilfered Goods can disrupt your opponent’s plans, as you’re taking a card from their deck and making it less likely for them to draw it, as well as generating value for you.
- Death Lotus hits your own units in combat as well as the enemy’s - it’s often best to use this spell when you’ve got Powder Kegs on deck and ready to kill a whole board of attacking enemies.
- Always keep an eye out for lethal. Noxian Fervor, Death's Hand, and loads more of your spells can deal quick damage to the enemy Nexus for a low cost with very little chance for them to respond.