Pantheon Build Guide by SquishyTomato
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Hey people, since Pantheon's "remake" there have been quite a few threads saying he's overpowered and many more saying he's underpowered and that, if anything, the patch was a nerf to his viability. I've had great success with Pantheon since the patch so I wanted to share the build that I use, which I think staggers damage with survivability at a good pace throughout a match, and you guys can see if it works for you.
If you want some proof that I'm usually (in this case, 2/3) successful with this build, here's some of my match history. Those two losses didn't go too well, but for the most part this build works out great.
I roll with:
9x Greater Mark of Desolation
7x Greater Seal of Replenishment
2x Greater Seal of Clarity
9x Greater Glyph of Shielding
2x Greater Quintessence of Swiftness
1x Greater Quintessence of Desolation
The Desolation marks and quintessence allow Pantheon to deal out some nice damage throughout the entirety of the game and especially at the start; you should start with 24 flat armor penetration, including masteries.
The 7 Seals of Replenishment are to give us some more mana regen right off the bat, while the 2 Seals of Clarity are to provide a little bit more constant increase to mana regen throughout the game.
The Glyphs of Shielding provide a great 24 magic resist at level 18 which when combined with Mercury's Treads and Pantheon's naturally scaling base MR gives us a nice 110 or so MR at level 18.
The two Quintessences of Swiftness are to capitalize on Pantheon's already phenomenal movespeed, and combined with the Quickness mastery you can get by on just basic boots for a good deal of the game (assuming their CC isn't too horrendous).
The masteries are pretty standard 11/0/19. We take the Offensive tree for CDR and armor penetration, and then do the rest Utility for more CDR, some mana regen, and movement speed.
It's up to you whether you want Greed or Utility Mastery in the Utility tree, but quite honestly I think that Greed is kind of worthless and would rather have 15% more time with the golem or lizard buffs.
I focus on maximizing Spear Shot first as it not only allows me to harass but does ridiculous damage and crits when they are below 15% health. Instead of following the standard Pantheon combo, I also prefer to open with a spear shot, use Aegis and stun them, auto attack a few times, throw another spear, and use the cutlass. Throw spears as often as possible.
I use Heartseeker strike for clearing minion waves, for finishing someone off sometimes, or even to open a combo. It's just one of those skills that it takes judgement calls to use properly; its AOE is great but generally spear will be better to use on a single target. HSS can be used to harass as well.
ON ODST DROPPING: Really, this skill got much easier to use when they shortened the channel and landing time by those precious seconds, but it still can be sort of difficult to use properly. It takes a while of playing Pantheon to really develop that judgement about where and when to ult; my proudest moment is still stealing the Baron buff from the enemy team upon landing with Pantheon's ult.
An oft-noted fact is that it is very easy to run out of mana with Pantheon. My personal solution to this was to run with the mana regeneration runes that I included in this guide, however some people might prefer other runes such as armor or flat AD or something of the sort, and might be wondering how to deal with Pantheon's mana problems. I've got a few words of advice.
1. Use the mana regen runes. I know you might not want to, but seriously, do it.
2. If you want you can go with Clarity instead of Exhaust or Cleanse, and your mana problems will be virtually extinct, however you miss the great utility of having that second offensive/defensive summoner spell.
3. Learn when to engage and when to hold back. If you last hit every once and a while with a spear, or harass with a spear or HSS every so often you should NOT run out of mana, especially if you follow the previous two guidelines I laid out. Do not spam all of your spells all the time; you need to assess the situation constantly and work out how much mana you can afford to use in each fight.
4. For the love of god, do not get a Manamune, it's such a waste. It delays your actual damage items for quite some time, and no, the damage you get from Manamune does not justify its exorbitant cost.
5. Lane with a Soraka or other support character who's packing clarity. Problem solved.
6. Talk to your team about the golem buff and see if you can snag it; this'll also alleviate your mana problems completely, at least until the buff wears off.
Starting off with a longsword and a health potion gives us good damage, a bit of sustainability, and a running start towards the rest of the build. As soon as you can afford the Brutalizer, go ahead and buy it for more damage and great armor penetration. Then move on to boots and a pickaxe. The pickaxe can be built into either a Last Whisper if the enemy team is stacking armor, or a Bilgewater Cutlass if they're not building much armor. The cutlass is great because it provides nice AD, great lifesteal for survivability, and a ranged slow which Pantheon really benefits from.
Next finish up your Mercury Treads and if you're doing fairly well feel free to pick up a Sword of the Occult; I generally manage to maintain 10-15 stacks thoughout a game, and it really helps (A stacked Pantheon with some good survivability is really lethal).
Next pick up a Heart of Gold for some added survivability and gold income, then get an Atma's Impaler for a good chunk of armor and a nice portion of AD. Finish up with Randuins for MUCH more survivability as well as another slow, Youmuu's as a natural upgrade to Brutalizer, and upgrade your cutlass into a Hextech Gunblade for more AD and a longer range slow.
Of course you should always build situationally; sometimes a Warmogs might be better because you just need flat beefiness, or a Black Cleaver for the armor reduction. (A note: Yes, black cleaver is great on Pantheon because generally you will auto attack once or twice after stunning, and 15-45 armor reduction is extremely potent, especially combined with 40 flat armor pen)
I prefer flash for it's amazing escape/chase utility (I've gotten so many kills from flash/Aegis or flash/spear). The second summoner spell I use is exhaust, though depending on how heavy on CC their team is you could swap it out for Cleanse. I recently have found myself using cleanse more often than I do exhaust simply because this build already comes with a variety of slows, and also because Pantheon really needs the added escape mechanism.
Generally I end up with around 300 AD, 2400 HP, 210 armor, 110 MR, 425ish movement speed, and a nice arsenal of slows and movement speed buffs (from items) by the end of the game.