Pantheon Build Guide by runt9
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Hello everyone, and welcome to my Jungle Pantheon Guide. Now before I begin, let me please say this:
Jungle Pantheon is not a troll build, and is not bad. He clears relatively quickly, safely, and has amazing ganks, especially post-6.
Now that we have that out of the way, I'd like to start telling you about how you, too, can take a tanky DPS out of top lane and put him in the jungle, and succeed throughout any game you play. I'm not going to lie and say I'm some obscenely high ELO. I've also not been playing the game a very long time. But I have played against some solid players in both normal and ranked and have done quite well with this build. Part of it is that it's unexpected, and the other part is that his ganks are so solid. Aegis of Zeonia against anyone that doesn't have CC reduction, like Gangplank or Olaf pretty much spells doom for them, especially when you gank at level 3 and they're still squishy while you're dealing tons of damage.
Pros / Cons
-Suprisingly Safe and Fast Jungle
-Amazing Ganks at both level 3 and at level 6
-Has obscene early game damage
-Is unexpected and thus is hard to counter
-Can tower dive fairly well with passive
-Becomes hard to kill late-game
-Cannot jungle safely without Blue
-Team may rage at you for picking Jungle Pantheon
-Scales poorly into late-game damage-wise
-No natural escape mechanism
-Focused if fed
Why is Jungle Pantheon so Strong?
People may be asking the question: "Why is Jungle Pantheon so strong?" It's quite a simple answer... Pantheon has a ton of damage early game with Heartseeker Strike, where you need your AP and AD carries to get fed so they CAN carry later in the game. Then when late game comes, Pantheon becomes a tanky DPS that can initiate a team fight, focus down a carry, and stay alive through the fight while putting out constant damage, though much lower damage than he did early in the game. The best part is, though, he can carry if the need arises. Though 9/10 times it's better to build him tanky DPS, you can very much build him as an AD carry if your AD carry is having some issues laning and/or you get extremely fed early. This way, as you scale into late game, you can initiate a team fight, destroy their carry with 1 full burst, and then probably leave the rest of the enemy team at low health after you die for your team to mop up. I do not suggest this, however, as it normally makes you focused quickly, which can spell quick death for you as Pantheon is very squishy without some health and armor.
Alright, let's get into the build now, shall we? First and foremost, the Rune Build:
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Quintessence of Scaling Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
So, it's pretty straightforward. Why not Greater Mark of Desolation and Greater Quintessence of Desolation? Because you need the early game damage, and most people have very little armor early game. When the late game comes and the Armor Pen starts becoming useful, your job is no longer to deal tons of damage, so it's better to stick with flat AD. Though you can build him with Greater Mark of Attack Speed, I don't suggest it as you really won't make as much use out of it early in the game as you will from Greater Mark of Attack Damage. It makes both Spear Shot and Heartseeker Strike do tons of damage during your early ganks and increases your jungle speed. Greater Seal of Armor is typical for junglers as you need the armor against the creeps. And of course Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist is for a tankier late game and because there really aren't any better Glyphs to take for him.
Here are the masteries that I use on Jungle Pantheon:
The 9 in Offense is pretty typical for anything AD. 1 point in Summoner's Wrath for the Exhaust bonus.
The 21 in Defense is so he is tanky throughout the whole game, he gets bonus gold from his ganks and bonus movement speed to start his ganks, and generally makes him very solid throughout the whole game.
The item build on Jungle Pantheon is pretty straightforward as well.
Start with Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potions. You'll want your Madred's Razors on your first B, preferably after getting a kill/assist off of a level 3 gank. I either go for my Boots of Speed or Tear of the Goddess next, depending upon the situation. If I think I need to be ganking and roaming more, I'll grab the boots. If I'm going to stay in the jungle a little more and start counter-jungling, I'll grab the Tear. Finish your Berserker's Greaves and Wriggle's Lantern before you enter the mid game. Note: Get Mercury's Treads if the team is heavy in CC or Magic Damage!
Once mid game begins, this is where your build begins to differ. I almost always grab a Frozen Mallet as my first core item, as the slow on it can pretty much secure any kill, and the health helps so much. However, I've had to go Warmog's Armor before when my team needed me to be the main tank. That is rare, though, and normally you'll want to grab your Frozen Mallet before anything else. Manamune is normally a high priority, but when you're building tanky, you'll want to wait until the end of the game to get it, after you've already finished the rest of your build. Depending upon how the game is going, you can get your Atma's Impaler during the mid-game. It is the best item in your build as it gives you crit chance and damage, and supplies you with armor to make you even sturdier.
Your end-game items on Pantheon differ in many different ways. I normally finish with a Banshee's Veil because it stops me from getting focused, boosts my health and mana, and gives me MR to last longer in team fights, and if the game goes on long enough, I'll grab a Trinity Force. The question becomes, "Why get a Trinity if you already have the slow from Frozen Mallet?" The simple answer is that Trinity Force benefits me in every way, including further buffing my bonus damage from Manamune and Atma's Impaler and giving me the Sheen proc for extra damage in my burst combo. As Tank Pantheon, you'll want to make sure you somehow end up with Force of Nature and Frozen Heart. Assuming you picked up your Warmog's Armor early, you'll be pretty dang hard to kill, and can initiate team fights without worrying about dying.
1. Grab your Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potions and move to Blue.
2. Have someone leash blue for you, then continually hit your Spear Shot when it's up to keep your passive going. Smite the big Golem and finish off the minions.
3. Clear Wolves, Wraiths, and Double Golem, smiting a Golem when your smite is back up.
From here, you will be level 3, and can either gank, take Red and B, or go invade their jungle. This is where you have to look at your lanes and see if they're worth ganking. Normally you can get a gank on bottom lane and get either a kill or an assist, allowing you to grab your Madred's Razors on first B. A good gank should net your team a First Blood every time.
After this point, continue ganking as much as possible in order to abuse the fact that your early game damage is obscene, because it WILL fall off quickly as people start getting more health and armor and you stop scaling up damage-wise and start grabbing tanky items. The more your carries get fed, the better.
For summoners, it's pretty easy.
= Needed for jungling. Period.
= My choice for a second summoner. I think it can guarantee a first blood, make your ganks easier, and shut down their carries in late-game teamfights.
Other Viable Options
= Can make for a very quick red buff early, and can boost your damage on ganks and teamfights. I still prefer Exhaust, though.
= I don't like them. Yes, Pantheon has no natural escape mechanism, but I'm not worried about that early in the game. With the nerf to Flash and the easily-countered Ghost, I feel like I'm crippling myself when I could be getting something to secure kills with. However, if you feel like you don't need Exhaust and would rather play more of a hit-and-run style, I would definitely grab one of these two.
Otherwise, I don't feel any summoner spells are viable on him. None of the other ones really help him.
To summarize, Jungle Pantheon is not only viable, but extremely powerful. His ganks are solid, his early damage is insane, and he can easily be the off-tank for your team with great initiation and CC.
If you like this guide, please leave a comment to let me know, I really appreciate it. I will try to keep this updated as much as possible, especially with the incoming jungle changes, so that everyone may be as up-to-date as possible on Jungle Pantheon.