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Pantheon Build Guide by Starki113r

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.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author Starki113r

Fortune Favors the Bold (S4)

Starki113r Last updated on January 15, 2014
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Team 1

Ability Sequence

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Ability Key Q
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Ability Key W
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Ability Key E
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Ability Key R





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.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Havoc
 
 

Offense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Legendary Guardian
 
 

Defense: 9

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bandit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wanderer
 
 

Utility: 0


Guide Top

Introduction



Skills






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Pantheon



Primary Role:
Assassin

General Information:

Pantheon has long been one of the most dominant early- to mid-game Champions in League of Legends. There are few that can match his innate speed, the high poke from Spear Shot, the scaling and execution potential on Heartseeker Strike, the diving and dueling potential with Aegis Protection, and the global dominance from Grand Skyfall.
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Build









Guide Top

Pros / Cons



Pros


+ Outstanding Burst Damage
+ Superb AD Scaling
+ Exceptional Duelist
+ Dominant Laning Phase
+ Global Supremacy
+ The Manliest of All Champions

Pantheon is one of the single most dominant Champions in the game. He has high mobility, tied with Master Yi for the highest base Movement Speed in the game. His passive Aegis Protection makes him a potent tower-diver, he can poke down most enemies with Spear Shot, he has great gank reception with Aegis of Zeonia, his Heartseeker Strike allows him to chunk down and all but ensure the demise of his foes if they're below 15% Health, and Grand Skyfall gives the power to man-drop down on to any enemy and spoil their fun with some of the fiercest AD Burst in the entire game, with very few possessing the same level of scaling.
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Cons


- Lacks Sustain or Escapes
- Requires Early Lead
- Easily Avoided Ultimate
- Naturally Squishy
- Single Gap-Closer
- Very Mana Hungry

However, Pantheon has several glaring weaknesses. His innate squishiness, lack of either an escape or form of sustain, and oppressive need to dominate his opponent from the onset of the match make him both extremely aggressive and easily cut down at the same time. Also, his Ultimate Grand Skyfall is easily avoided in most circumstances by enemies who have at least a small amount of awareness, he drains his Mana extremely fast if he spams Spear Shot constantly, and his passive Aegis Protection loses some relevance as the game goes on due to the increased prevalence of teamfights.



Guide Top

Runes


Marks and Quintessences: Pantheon is a simple man, with one simple need: Attack Damage! He has some of the highest AD Scaling in the entire game, and giving him Greater Mark of Attack Damage and Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage give him a massive boost to his early game dominance, which, considering he is entirely reliant on establishing an early lead, is an absolute must. The only, and I do mean ONLY, other choice in this regard are greater mark of armor penetration. It won't help your scaling, but it will help your late game, where most opponents just love to try to shut you down by stacking Armor.

Seals: Because Pantheon is so hungry for that delicious First Blood, his first priority is to smash his opponent into bits as soon as possible. That means he's going to be poking, trading, and dueling constantly during the first ten-to-fifteen minutes of the game. If you intend to survive doing so with more than just a sliver of Health, take Greater Seal of Armor. The flat damage mitigation will serve you well, believe me.

Glyphs: Unless you're going Mid (in which case you'd obviously take the flat Greater Glyph of Magic Resist), you're best served taking Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist. It'll offer you more protection in those mid- to late-game teamfights, and you (most likely) won't need as much Magic Resist in the predominantly AD-oriented Top Lane. If you find yourself in need of both, take 3 Greater Glyph of Magic Resist and 6 Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist.


Guide Top

Masteries

Double-Edged Sword : You're an all-in, high burst Champion. A bonus 2% to all of your damage is a lucrative trade off for a bonus 1% damage that they'll only be able to consistently deal to you during the very early laning phase.

Sorcery : Pantheon is an AD Caster, so, unlike most AD Champions, he is more reliant on his abilities carrying his damage instead of his Auto-Attacks. As such, Cooldown Reduction serves him better than the Attack Speed from Fury .

Butcher and Feast : This both helps you with last hitting earlier and gives you a small amount of sustain. Wiping out an entire low Health wave with Heartseeker Strike could give you a decent amount of Health and refund some of your Mana back, and it helps you remain in lane a little bit longer than usual.

Brute Force and Martial Mastery : The standard on any offensive AD Champion for the lifespan of most of League, these Masteries have changed little with the upheavals of the Season 4 pre-season.

Warlord : Pantheon scales ridiculously well off of Bonus AD, to the point of being almost absurd. This will help start off your snowball the moment you buy your first Long Sword.

Executioner and Dangerous Game : Pantheon is one of the most powerful executioners in the entire game, with an almost guaranteed kill on any opponent below 15% Health. These Masteries not only make it even more likely, but also give you Sustain simply for butchering your foes.

Devastating Strikes : The biggest counter to Pantheon, and the reason most people buy The Black Cleaver and Last Whisper on him, is Armor. 6% Armor Penetration from the beginning of the match will put a damper on anyone who thinks they're clever starting Cloth Armor + 5 Health Potions.

Havoc : A flat all-around 3% increase to all damage? No reason not to take this.



Block : A flat decrease to all AA's coming at you? That irritating ranged harass just got a little less frustrating, and duels just turned a little more in your favor. Even better, if an opponent tries the same with you, they'll be disappointed; most of your damage comes from your Abilities, not your Auto Attacks.

Unyielding : Now you take even less damage from your opponents. Since Pantheon is more likely to want to fight Melee Champions, this means that AA-reliant opponents now deal 4 less damage (3 less if you're fighting Ranged) to you per hit. It may not seem like a lot, but trust me, it adds up, especially considering his Passive Aegis Protection blocks Auto Attacks. This will REALLY start to eat in to your opponents' trading potential against you.

Enchanted Armor : 5% Bonus Armor and Magic Resistance? Is there even a reason NOT to take this incredibly low-Tiered Mastery? The answer: NO!

Veteran's Scars : Serves the same purpose as last Season; extra Health, it simply doesn't scale any longer. While not as strong late game (flat 36 Health over 108 Health at level 18) as it once was, it's still a perfectly valid Mastery to take.

Juggernaut : Now your maximum Health has increased by 3%, instead of by 1.5/2.5/4% like it was last Season. Overall, an improvement to the Mastery as a whole, as you get double the maximum Health percentage for a single Mastery Point that you would have last Season.


Guide Top

Abilities




>> Description <<

Aegis Protection is Pantheon's passive and one of his most defining abilities. It enables him to dominate much of the early game, which is focused almost singularly on laning, skirmishes, and one-on-one duels.

Aegis Protection is triggered after four Auto Attacks and/or Ability Casts. It will remain active until the next time an enemy tries to hit Pantheon with an Auto Attack. It is also refreshed by casting Aegis of Zeonia on an enemy Champion.

Aegis Protection will block any form of Champion Auto Attack and will block any Minion (or Neutral Monster) attack that does more than 40 damage. It will also block any single Tower Shot.
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>> Tips and Insight <<

Aegis Protection is one of the most potent diving tools in the entire game, allowing Pantheon to, if timed and executed properly with his Abilities and Aegis of Zeonia, to block up to three, and possibly even four with very high Cooldown Reduction, tower shots in a row. This is assuming, of course, that your target did not return fire.

Aegis Protection blocks enhanced on-hit attacks, such as Parrrley, Savagery, and Siphoning Strike, amongst others. This makes him an especially hard counter to Champions like Rengar and Gangplank, who rely on these Abilities for the majority of their damage.

Aegis Protection can be invaluable late game. Blocking successive AA's with microing will gut the offense of any AD Carry in the game, due to their reliance on their AA's for Sustain ( The Bloodthirster) and DPS ( Infinity Edge).






>> Description <<

Spear Shot is Pantheon's core opening damage ability. While it lacks the utility of Aegis of Zeonia or the burst of Heartseeker Strike, its low Mana Cost and short Cooldown make it a potent tool for poking.

Spear Shot becomes a proto-execution because of his E's passive, Certain Death. Any enemy below 15% Health is all but guaranteed to die if you hit them with Spear Shot.

Spear Shot is primarily used for poking and trading, but is less effective for dueling and clearing. Because of this, it's used best during the early laning phase and when besieging enemy objectives.
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>> Tips and Insight <<

Use Spear Shot to poke enemies early in the game, but restrain yourself from spamming it or you will drain his Mana with unmitigated usage of his Abilities. Try to space each Spear Shot with at least two Auto-Attacks, and use Feast and Crystalline Flask to keep your Mana levels suitably high.

Try to begin and end every all-in with a Spear Shot. The opening strike lets you hit them from range before closing in, and the closing attack has a high chance to immediately kill them with the execution bonus provided by Certain Death.

Spear Shot scales very well with both Critical Strike Damage and Attack Damage, and something that gives oodles of both, like an Infinity Edge, can very easily turn Spear Shot into a point-and-click Javelin Toss.





>> Description <<

Aegis of Zeonia is Pantheon's gap-closer and only form of Hard Crowd Control. It Stuns any enemy Champion for 1 second, and gives Pantheon a mostly guaranteed full-channel Heartseeker Strike on the Stunned enemy.

Aegis of Zeonia refreshes Pantheon's passive Aegis Protection when used. There is no limit to refreshing Aegis Protection; he can proc the Passive then immediately refresh it with Aegis of Zeonia.

Aegis of Zeonia cannot be used on friendly minions or wards like Leap Strike or Shunpo, for example, and is only used as a gapcloser. Because of this, it is a counterproductive tool for escaping.
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>> Tips and Insight <<

Aegis of Zeonia makes Pantheon arguably the best non-revive ( Zac and Aatrox) tower diver in the game. It allows him to both block the tower shot and burst down his opponent with Heartseeker Strike.

Never use Aegis of Zeonia against an enemy as an escape mechanism. Instead of helping you get away it just zooms you right back into their face.

Aegis of Zeonia has an intentional bug that gives it additional range when casted during Grand Skyfall. This gives you more of an opening to catch an enemy despite the avoidable Ultimate itself.





>> Description <<

Heartseeker Strike is Pantheon's primary damage tool. It deals large amounts of physical damage over a channeled period of 0.75 seconds, and deals double its damage to Champions.

Heartseeker Strike has its own passive, Certain Death. It provides Pantheon's Auto-Attacks and Spear Shots a 100% critical hit chance on any enemy Champion below 15% Health.

Heartseeker Strike deals damage in a frontal Area of Effect cone. Any enemy target in the cone will be subject to the damage.
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>> Tips and Insight <<

Heartseeker Strike has some of the highest AD Scaling out of any ability in the entire game, at a massive 360% per bonus AD. This makes each mere Long Sword make Pantheon's burst spike at regular, terrifying intervals.

Certain Death is one of the most powerful executions in the game, simply due to how reliable and available it is. Unlike Demacian Justice or Noxian Guillotine, you don't have to wait for it to come off Cooldown.

Like most Skill Shots, Heartseeker Strike can be used through walls and ignores Stealth. If you know where they are, chunk them, or even kill them, with a blind E.





>> Description <<

Grand Skyfall is Pantheon's Ultimate ability. It is a long-range, semi-global teleport that allows Pantheon to cover massive distances in the blink of an eye.

Grand Skyfall deals a large amount of Area of Effect damage on any enemy caught in its descent, decreasing how much by how far from the center they are, and also afflicts any enemy caught in the Ultimate with a Slow.

Grand Skyfall is a channeled ability, and as such it can be interrupted. Interrupting before the jump will make the Cooldown ten seconds. Interrupting just after he begins to jump (due most likely to death) will force the full Cooldown.
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>> Tips and Insight <<

Grand Skyfall is one of the single hardest-to-hit Ultimates in the game. It has a long wind-up time and a clear danger-zone indicator. When trying to hit, lead the target like you would a sniper rifle in the Battlefield games (definitely not Call of Duty).

Grand Skyfall is good for ganking, counterganking, split-pushing, counter-pushing, and even functions as an unconventional escape if you can fully channel it without being CC'ed, all due to its massive range.

Grand Skyfall scales purely off of Ability Power, not Attack Damage, so if you want it to do damage (when you manage to hit it), your best bet is Trinity Force for the high amounts of AD and AP it grants you, amongst others.


Guide Top

Summoner Spells



Ignite


Ignite provides Pantheon several things. One, he is super aggressive from the onset of the game, but he doesn't (in my typical setup) take Heartseeker Strike until level 4, so he needs killing potential before that, which Ignite gives him. Two, he needs a way to defeat high sustain opponents, like Warwick or Aatrox, who would otherwise heal through his entire combo during a duel. And most importantly, there's only one other Spell that works well with Pantheon, and it's already listed. The only replacement would be Exhaust if you're playing an unconventional Support, or Smite if you're trying to be butchered by the new Jungle.
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Flash


Flash gives Pantheon the one thing he desperately needs: an Escape. Why? Because outside of creative use of Grand Skyfall, he doesn't have one. He doesn't need Ghost, because he has the highest possible unmodified Movement Speed in the game. He doesn't need Teleport because of his Ultimate. Heal and Clairvoyance are wasted on him, and he doesn't need Exhaust when he has Aegis of Zeonia. Cleanse and Barrier are decent for defense, but an escape is better, and this build isn't tailored to Jungling, so no Smite. And Revive, Clarity and Garrison? This is for Summoner's Rift guys. Let's stay focused.



Guide Top

Items



Starting Items


Pantheon has three logical starting items. He takes Crystalline Flask for Sustain and, more importantly, for Mana Regeneration, and is overall the best choice for people learning Pantheon. If you want to cheese your opponent at level 3 (not level 2, you're not Riven or Tryndamere), take Elixir of Fortitude. Finally, if you want extra AD and plan on conserving your Mana, take Long Sword, so your Spear Shot and Heartseeker Strike deal the extra damage needed to justify not spamming them overmuch; this is my preference, as it lets you build The Brutalizer faster and gives Pantheon a faster, easier snowball. As for the Warding Totem, it's a free Stealth Ward. You shouldn't take Sweeping Lens or Scrying Orb; the former is best for Supports early and the latter is best for the Jungler early.



Early Game


or

Pantheon scales extremely well with pure Attack Damage, so the item he'll be buying the most of is the humble Long Sword, which builds into nearly every damage item he could ever want, save Infinity Edge and Mercurial Scimitar. Getting a couple of Doran's Blades gives him the early bonus AD and Sustain he'll need before he's finished The Bloodthirster, and for a very cheap price, and after finished it they can be sold. And he'll need to pick up Boots of Speed eventually, so he might as well get it early. You automatically get Greater Totem at level 9, so you don't even need to worry about it. And since he's going to build Guardian Angel eventually, get either Chain Vest or Negatron Cloak early to all but negate the damage of the enemy laner.



Core Items


Pantheon's biggest Counter is Armor, and he lacks any form of Sustain, so the two things he'll want most are Armor Penetration and Lifesteal. Well, he should be building Spell Vamp, but there aren't any decent AD Spell Vamp items, so... yeah. Anyways, The Black Cleaver and Last Whisper will give Pantheon a massive 60% Armor Penetration when he gets full Cleaver stacks, and The Bloodthirster will give him huge amounts of AD and Lifesteal at full stacks.



Tier 2 Boots and Enchantments



After you finish your Core, you'll probably want to move a little faster so you can actually use them on your opponents, since they'll probably have Tier 2 Boots at this point. You'll either pick Mercury's Treads for the Magic Resist and Tenacity, Ninja Tabi for the Armor, or Boots of Mobility for zooming across the map.

If you never want to fall behind when chasing, take Enchantment: Alacrity. Otherwise, take the pretty much standard Enchantment: Homeguard to get the hell out of your base and back into the fight.



Defensive Items



You have three real choices based on what you built earlier ( Negatron Cloak). You'll either build my preference, Guardian Angel, for the Revive and Resistances, or Spectre's Cowl, which later becomes either Spirit Visage or Banshee's Veil.

However, if you're looking to build a more Bruiser-oriented Pantheon, then you need to drop the Negatron Cloak and build either Warmog's Armor (you're the team's initiator), Sunfire Cape (you're a more deadly split-push Shen), or Randuin's Omen (you still duel the Carry, but you also peel for your team and secure kills).




For my build, at the end of the road you have two final options to pick from. You either take Infinity Edge for the huge Critical Hit damage you'll be dealing to opponents, or Trinity Force to give your W and Ultimate a bit of a boost in extermination-potential. It's really that simple. You should also drop Greater Totem at this point and pick up Oracle's Lens. The power of a free Stealth Ward is greatly overshadowed by the power of a moderately sized AoE ward + trap clear and 10 second True Sight, which pierces Stealth (think Shaco, Evelynn, and Twitch) and reveals Stealth Wards. Far superior than Greater Stealth Totem or Greater Vision Totem.

However, if you're experimenting with my recommended items but not following my personal build, here are your best final items based on your plans.

If you want to be a pure one-versus-one Duelist, have massive pure AD Burst, and prefer to ambush gank enemies in the Jungle or when they're coming to counterpush, take a second The Bloodthirster for the extra Sustain and Attack Damage.

If you're Bruiser Pantheon with Randuin's Omen, take Mercurial Scimitar to complement the Armor with Magic Resistance and make you a balanced Anti-Carry and Anti-Mage.

If you're Bruiser Pantheon with Warmog's Armor, take Frozen Mallet for the huge Health Bonus and for the permaslow, or join it with Randuin's Omen and Mercurial Scimitar to make yourself nearly unkillable at the cost of most of your AD Burst and Sustain, because the only item you can realistically drop is The Bloodthirster.

And if you're going split-push Pantheon with Sunfire Cape, take Ravenous Hydra for the insane waveclear and AoE Teamfighting Presence.


Guide Top

Why build Glass Cannon? Will it work in Ranked?

As I read over my guide and read others, I noticed not a lot of people like to build a purely Assassin Pantheon. I can understand it; most people go into a game afraid of getting weak in the Late Game and build to compensate.

Me? I revel in the pressure of Pantheon's subpar Late Game, and I build to fully and totally exploit his ability to absolutely dominate the Early and Mid Game. My view is why build a Bruiser Pantheon with okay damage and moderate tankiness, just so you can try to keep up with the rest of the players in the match, when you can build a full Man-Mode Assassin Pantheon with insane damage that'll force the enemy team to ragequit? When I play Pantheon, I'm not looking for a long, drawn out war with the enemy; I actively work to thoroughly stomp their faces into the mud and bury their eviscerated corpses deep under the ground in under half an hour.

Kill Them All

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Hold Them Back



Surprising how much of a difference a few items can make, eh? You can still deal respectable damage with the Bruiser build, don't get me wrong; but I prefer Mantheon over Spantheon (Spartan Pantheon a la Thermopylae, if you're wondering what the hell a Spantheon is).

It's simply more fun to play as Mantheon, and it's more effective in Solo Queue. You can't rely on your team of four other random people to help you win the game, and you have to go into every match with the intention of being the one to carry your team to victory. Would you realistically play an Assassin Pantheon in Competitive 5v5? Not likely, but if you can rely on your team to make plays and you have a lane opponent that wouldn't abuse it it's still possible.

The bottom line is this: you can't win every single game, with Pantheon or any Champion for that matter. It simply isn't possible. But will you enjoy more of your games as Mantheon than you would as Spantheon, and thus have A) a better, more positive attitude that'll help you win more games and B) actually enjoy climbing the ladder, at least to some degree? Personally, I think you will.

If not, there's always that Bruiser Build I have in here!


Guide Top

Synergies

Pantheon is a Champion defined by dealing huge amounts of (mostly) single-target AD Burst. But when it comes to taking damage himself, or fighting entire teams, he needs help. Anyone that brings hefty survivability (and typically aggro), teamfight utility, and wide-ranging AoE Burst will help Pantheon handily destroy entire teams.



The Champions with the Highest Synergy

This is based entirely on personal experience and preference in teammates, and is operating under the assumption that you're playing in Top Lane.

Good God, this Chicken is amazing with Pantheon. She may be squishy as all hell and as slow as the glacier she's made from, but oh my word... protection from giving her opponent that ever so important-for- Pantheon First Blood with Rebirth; a hybrid Slow + Stun in Flash Frost; a very, very helpful terrain-block with Crystallize, which can either save his life or doom enemies fleeing their wrath; absolutely insane AP Burst with Frostbite; and a push-ending, always on-demand AoE Damaging Slow in Glacial Storm. Watch over her, feed her like you would a pet bird (often and well, I should hope), and reap the wonderful rewards.

While she may move slow and have a fairly low amount of damage early in the game, she gives Pantheon oodles of benefits when she starts to get going. Her Focus can absolutely chunk opponents, her permaslow with Frost Shot gives him an easy opening for Grand Skyfall, her Volley is comparable to his Heartseeker Strike with a Slow on it to boot, her Hawkshot can protect not only him but her entire team from an ambush gank or check Baron safely, and Enchanted Crystal Arrow is like a super-powered Frost Shot with minor-AoE for Pantheon to ruthlessly exploit. Tryndamere better step aside, is all I'm saying...

Ever felt like taking Pantheon bot lane for fun? Then take Blitzcrank for your Support, and end the game in 15 minutes. Seriously, the incredibly lethal combination of Rocket Grab into Power Fist, followed by Aegis of Zeonia and Heartseeker Strike, will all but guarantee the death of any AD Carry... sorry, Marksman, in the entire game, every single time. His Silencing AoE Static Field, lifesaving Mana Barrier, and super-pushing Overdrive don't hurt either.

If you're going to go anywhere other than Top, then one of your best choices in a partner up Top is without a doubt Darius. Why? Because not only does he bring a metric f***ton of damage to a fight - with the Bleed from Hemorrhage, the AoE with Decimate, the Slow on Crippling Strike, the armor penetration and pull from Apprehend, and the infamous True Damage execution from Noxian Guillotine - but he's much tankier than Pantheon by default. Even if, by some strange mischance, Darius doesn't snowball like crazy, he can still initiate fights for Pantheon and his team, and not (most likely) get killed in the process.

One reason only. Just. One. Requiem. Seriously, 'nuff said. It's my guide, I only need the one reason! Moving on! ... Oh, fine! He has the most spammable AoE Skill Shot in the game with Lay Waste, an MR-shredding Slow with Wall of Pain, a mini- Fiddlesticks Ultimate in Defile, and, like I said, Requiem. There. Done!

High damage and pursuit with Duskbringer? Check. Enough Sustain from Umbra Blades to survive the new, nightmarish Jungle? Check. A kill-securing Fear with Unspeakable Horror? Check. Attack Speed and protection from just about any Ability in the game with Shroud of Darkness, plus that hilarious evil laugh? Check. Can follow you into a gank, or initiate a fight with you, with the combination between your Grand Skyfall and his Paranoia? Check! I made one of the most successful Season 3 guides for Nocturne on this site, trust me on this! Nocturne and Pantheon got a serious man-nightmare crush, m'kay?

Remember when I mentioned that Pantheon wants someone with a lot of teamfighting utility? Say hello to Orianna, she's your new best friend. She has respectable damage on her own with Command: Attack, but what she really gives to Pantheon is the delectable Slow from Command: Dissonance, the resistances and shield from Command: Protect, and the AoE nightmare, teamfight deciding, Grand Skyfall-landing Ultimate of hers, Command: Shockwave. When you're looking to win teamfights, and you're afraid that the game might go longer than Pantheon would like, Orianna is your best, albeit slightly creepy friend.

Whether he's played as a Support or taking over in Top Lane, Shen is an outstanding partner to pick with Pantheon. Do I really need to explain why? Not only does he have pretty much infinite Sustain with Vorpal Blade, but whoever he hits with it gives his team Sustain just for beating on them; he's an absolute pain to kill due to Feint; his Shadow Dash punishes anyone stupid enough to try to dive him and pins them down for a quick Heartseeker Strike; and if you want to dive in with Grand Skyfall, due to Stand United, you don't have to worry you're going in alone.

Twisted Fate earns extra gold from Loaded Dice; clears easily with Wild Cards; has Pick A Card to A) restore Mana, B) Burst an enemy with AP AoE, or C) Stun them; gets Attack Speed and bonus AP from Stacked Deck; and can follow up with Pantheon across the map with Destiny. Whew, almost done!

Last but not least, time for the moment I've been itching for during this Alphabetical List of Awesomeness: the Xin Zhao + Pantheon Bot Lane Kill Lane! If you didn't already know, there are few combinations more nightmarish to a standard meta ADC + Support Bot than Pantheon and Xin Zhao working together, in tandem, to butcher them both. Armor Penetration from Challenge makes Pantheon hit harder; the knock-up from Three Talon Strike is the perfect follow-up from Aegis of Zeonia; he can Sustain himself with Battle Cry; a Slow and gap-closer with Audacious Charge; and a knock-back that can give Pantheon an excellent opening to obliterate that skinny little Ezreal with Crescent Sweep. Good lord, when you're looking to make a Duo Lane rage quit, and you have a friend that knows, and I mean knows, what their doing, do this little wombo combo and laugh your a**es off.



THE GREATEST TEAM COMPOSITION EVER

Top

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Mid

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Jungle

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Marksman

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Support




Guide Top

Counters

Am I... forgetting something... Oh yeah! You guys want to know who counters Pantheon, right? Well, to be honest, Pantheon isn't truly countered by anyone, at least not in the same vein as Vayne is by Caitlyn or Garen by Teemo, for example. He's characterized by an extremely dominant laning phase, as we all know, so most counters for him are found past the 25-minute mark. However, I'm guessing you guys want to know who makes his laning phase more frustrating than others, right? Okay, here you go:

I'm just going to jump right to it: your chances of killing him during the laning phase, and thus winning this match-up, are pretty much zero. Shen will ruin your Early Game, plain and simple; his Feint will block most of the damage from your Spear Shots, his Vorpal Blade lets him Sustain through the rest, he can interrupt your Heartseeker Strike and crush you in trades with his Shadow Dash, and there is no way in hell you can successfully hit a Grand Skyfall on one of his friends without him A) interrupting it with Shadow Dash or B) following you no matter who you gank due to the fully-global power of Stand United. He lacks your inherent Mana problem (all of the Energy resource Champions, never mind purely resource-independent Champions, are so damn annoying) and will prevent any hope of you snowballing early. Your only way to win is to either A) get him camped, which only helps in the short term, or B) roam whenever you can, and get fed that way.

Ever had the masochistic desire to fight Shen, only he has better clearing and dueling by a factor of ten? Say hello to Udyr! Let me get down to it: you'll never out-run him due to Bear Stance, and he'll always get good ganks on you because of it; you'll lose every single trade with him because of Tiger Stance, bar none; you'll constantly be zoned and pushed to your tower because of Phoenix Stance; oh, and even if you manage to overcome all the rest, his borderline overpowered Turtle Stance will make killing him all but impossible with a low-cooldown shield and lifesteal. Don't even bother trying to win this lane alone; unless the Udyr is either seriously mentally handicapped or way too overconfident, your Jungler will either have to pitch a tent or you'll have to roam, just like Shen. The only good news is Bear Stance makes for a pitiful escape and he has a worse time with Mana than you do. Yay!

F*** this guy. Seriously, I mean it. Malphite is one of the most annoying little s***s in the entire game, and is a pain in the a** to just about everyone, not just Pantheon. He will almost never actually win his lane, but his chances of losing it are infuriatingly low. All he has to do is ignore you and farm until level 6, and then his team will simply win the game off his teamfighting. I'm not kidding. Want to poke him? Granite Shield. Want to pursue him, or escape a gank? Seismic Shard. Want to duel him, or try to zone him? Brutal Strikes and Ground Slam. Want to teamfight, or force an objective? Unstoppable Force. Seriously, f*** this guy!

Ugh. I frigging hate this b****. Both of her forms are a pain to deal with. Her human form naturally gives her Range superiority, punishes you for building a small amount of Health ( The Black Cleaver) with Neurotoxin, she has AoE Clear and Zoning with Volatile Spiderling, and a ranged and annoyingly-long lasting Snare with Cocoon. Meanwhile, her spider form has one hell of an execute with Venomous Bite, an annoyingly large amount of Sustain with Skittering Frenzy, one of the most frustrating escapes/gap-closers in the game with Rappel, and those stupid passive Spiderlings to boot. Not only can she comfortably build pure AP and Burst down damn near anyone, but she can build tanky and still kick your ***. Early game you can win if you outplay her and get a good early gank on her, but she'll outdo you in teamfights and in most one-versus-one duels.

Do I really need to say anything at this point? Honestly? He has infinite Sustain with Omen of Famine, you'll never escape him or catch him with both his Omen of Pestilence and Omen of War slowing you and speeding him up, he gets tankier whenever he spams one of his skills because of Unholy Covenant, and even if, when he clones himself to duel you or dive you with Omen of Death, you manage to kill him, he can still come back and finish you off. Only people that can out-Sustain Yorick, like Irelia, can win this lane. You ain't one of them, to put it bluntly.

He'll clear out your Minions, ignore your poke, go between your Turrets and keep you from farming without getting chunked by his own waves, laugh off your attempts to stop the proxy, and even if you manage to kill him all he has to do is build Mana and he becomes even more of a pain in the a** to kill. Everyone knows that Singed is a little s*** and everyone hates playing against him. Pantheon is no different.


These are the big ones. Why? The recurring themes are Sustain and Tankiness, some having more of one than the other, while the worst have plenty of both. These two things make Pantheon's laning phase boil down to two things: wasting Mana using Spear Shot in a pointless effort trying to poke enemies down, and constantly going back trying to recover from the slow erosion of your Health and Mana bars. And what does Pantheon want? To dominate the laning phase to the degree that his opponent wants to creep into a corner and cry. So... yeah, you're now useless in your game unless you roam like hell and get in some damn good ganks.


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Gameplay

Okay, here's how to play Pantheon in a nutshell.

Laning phase, you focus on getting enemies down to about half their Health so you get the bonus from Executioner , conserving your Mana but still using Spear Shot to whittle them down. When they're at 50%, it's time to go Man-Mode. Start with Spear Shot, follow with Aegis of Zeonia > AA + Heartseeker Strike > Spear Shot = they're dead, they stick around like idiots and die ten seconds later, or they back, you shove to their tower, and you get some Long Swords and kill them the next go 'round. Farm as much of possible of course, using Feast to keep your Mana levels high, but keep hitting that b**** to zone 'em away and keep 'em weak.

Mid-game, it's time to roam. Use Grand Skyfall to Man-Drop down on Bot Lane (preferably), kill both of the poor b******* when they (inevitably) over-extend, grab yourself Dragon, secure Mid Lane with extreme prejudice, go back Top Lane, remind your opponent that they need to stay firmly buried six feet under the ground, and repeat until you win the game.

... Wait, the game hasn't ended yet? ... Oh dear. Well, in case you weren't aware, Pantheon doesn't exactly have the best Late Game. If you're stuck fighting a team of mostly-full build, level 18 opponents, then you have two jobs: split-pushing and assassinating the enemy. I'll go further into being an Assassin later, but short story is you find someone split from the pack, murder them, then go and help your team either A) grab an inhibitor with numerical superiority, or B) force Baron, again with numerical superiority. Otherwise, push like a madman, like you would if you were Tryndamere, only you don't get to go invincible for several seconds. If a bad engage happens and your team needs you, in the blink of an eye you come down with Grand Skyfall and turn the fight around... or you all die and they win the game due to the absurdly long respawn timers. No pressure!




As an Assassin, you build Pantheon with a focus on dealing as much damage as possible, and focus the enemy team's squishiest members, typically their Carry, Support, and Mid Lane. You avoid jumping into teamfights when they begin, unless you're initiating it with a very well aimed Grand Skyfall and following it with a flawless Heartseeker Strike into the majority of their team, typically hanging on the sides and poking the enemy with Spear Shot until the fight's outcome is all but decided, after which you either chase down and finish off the surviving enemies with the passive on Heartseeker Strike or run for your life. At all other times, your primary goal is to find and pick off lone enemies quickly and efficiently, and you overriding focus in any small engagement is to focus the enemy team's primary damage dealer, most often their Carry.


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Conclusion

Pantheon is one of the strongest Champions you can ask for. Does he have his weaknesses? Yes, but that's the point of balance. In the face of his drawbacks, he's still a dominant force in lane, and with skill and proper timing he can easily turn the tide in a teamfight with incredible burst AoE Damage. He's a phenomenal executioner, and can quickly eviscerate all but the most slippery of squishy opponents.

But most of all, this manly beast is one of the most fun Champions in the game to play. His mechanics are solid, simple to understand, and proper knowledge of how to use them can make him a terror to fight and a joy to play.

Pantheon is, in all things, the living embodiment of one thing:

The Greeks said "τύχη ευνοεί τον θαρραλέο,"
"Audentes fortuna iuuat" to the Romans,
But for most of us, it's simply "Fortune favors the bold."