Pantheon Build Guide by Pelikins
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Not Updated For Current Season
Not Updated For Current Season
To defend against the Trolling.
I just want to quickly analyze Pantheon's kit and attempt to swing the closed minded folks who have Pantheon labeled as an assassin into a bruiser mentality.
Let's look at Panth's kit first off.
Aegis Protection: defensive passive that blocks auto attacks. Scales with AS and CDR.
Spear Shot: Low CD, low base damage, spammable ranged physical poke
Aegis of Zeonia: fairly low CDR, low base damage, gap closer, 1 second stun, refreshes defensive passive, magic damage
Heartseeker Strike: Fairly low CD, high base damage, channeled skill, physical damage
Has a secondary passive that makes all his attacks crit against targets below 15% hp.
Grand Skyfall: High base damage, longer range, magic damage
So we have a champion that can chip at hp from range or hard initiate and jump into the fray. He has good closing power/intiation power in his ult and W. He doesn't really have a flexible kit that can play mind games nor does he have many mobility options nor can he disengage a fight once he's in it nor do any of his abilities poke at range where he could contribute from a safe distance. But he does have a very strong defensive steroid in his passive that scales with CDR and promotes being in melee range for auto attacks to get more refreshes and auto refreshes when he uses his Aegis of Zeonia to dive into an enemy.
Every part of this champion sounds like a bruiser to me... Low CD closing power, ranged abilities to help him be effective when being peeled, defensive steroid, an initiation ultimate, high base damage being rewarded at the expense of being easy to interrupt and self rooting...
Now lets look as HSS's passive. 100% crit chance against players with under 15% hp.
OK if I build glass cannon assassin and I auto attack a carry, I better deal at least 15% of their hp. Let alone if I use a skill on them. So if I were going to kill a carry with a single auto attack even if it didn't crit, but it crits... it didn't do me any good.
Now if you are a bruiser, and killing a carry it might take you 2 or three hits to take 15% of a carries hp. Now that passive cuts it down to 1 or 2 hits instead and has provided an appreciable value.
SO this my thought...
You have an entire kit that has low CD spells which are perfect for extended combat, including a semi spammable gap closer CC spell. You have a passive that scales well with CDR and is amazing late game against ADCs especially if you are getting in melee range for even more blocked autos. You have an ulti that allows you to initiate team fights and you're ability to resist being peeled is extremely high with a short cd gap closer and 2 ranged nukes. Plus when you do get someone into the danger zone, you get extra free unlimited offensive power against that target to finish the deal.
Why aren't you the guy diving in on the enemy team causing them to scatter in your wake and then making a lousy focus target as you slam their carries over and over with your spammable spells?
That's what this build does.
Crystalline Flask + sight ward + Mana Potion
Manamune / Muramana + Iceborn Gauntlet + Ionian Boots of Lucidity + Spirit of the Ancient Golem
Other important items:
MR item: Pick one of these againt any team with an AP solo laner/jungler. Pick two against AP heavy teams.
Maw of Malmortious or Runic Bulwark or Banshee's Veil or Mercurial Scimitar
Get bulwark if no one else on team has one. Maw is most aggressive item. Scimitar is great against suppression and long CCs. BV is good against burst nukers like Kassadin and LeBlanc. Build the appropriate MR item against the enemy team.
Second health item: Pick one of these as your 6th item.
Frozen Mallet Randuin's Omen Warmog's Armor
Evidence of effectiveness.
I have yet to have a game where my Pantheon hasn't dominated. I've lost a couple games because my teammates would do exceptionally poorly (or the enemies does exceptionally well, however you want to look at it) but I've yet to not be the most effective player on my team.
I haven't kept track since I started playing this build, but I currently have 6 Pantheon games in my match history with a combined score of 61K/27D/44A or 7.63K/3.38D/7.33A Average per game.
That's an average KDA of 4.43, which is pretty phenomenal.
And I've yet to lose my lane. I've gone up against all kinds of champions. Shen, Riven, Yorick], Cho'Gath, Jax... pretty much you name it and I've stomped it with Pantheon.
Why pick Pantheon?
Pantheon is powerful because he has the most powerful aspects of Yorick and Shen combined.
Pantheon's Grand Skyfall gives him the extremely powerful (semi) global presence allowing him to show up in other lanes or at objectives quickly. This is especially powerful in the lane phase because you can set up ganks on the other lanes very easily.
Skyfall also allows Pantheon to split push safely and he can get back to his team quickly. This is especially true if you invest into the homeguard enchantment as you can recall, then run into ult range and then skyfall the remaining distance and be to river anywhere on the map from any location in about 10 seconds.
Pantheon is also one of the few lane bullies that hasn't been nerfed this season.
Elise, Rumble, Darius, Yorick, Garen, Jarvan, AP Tryndamere, Xin, Zac, and Zed have had their lane phases tuned down this season (or at the end of last). There are almost no remaining powerful lane bullies. But Pantheon hasn't been touched, while he has been given some amazing new items.
Pantheon pretty much auto-wins his lane in the early game. He can literally take anyone on and at least come out even, while he has a multitude of champions that he hard counters. This makes Pantheon a very safe champion to pick in blind or to first pick in draft. Pantheon has the huge advantage of having a ranged, low CD spammable farming tool (that heals him with spell vamp) and the ability to get back to lane quickly using his ultimate. That makes Pantheon extremely resilient against junglers because he can just play safe with such ease and you can't shut down his farm with pressure like most top laners.
With my build, he also will scale into mid game and even late game. So even if the jungler chooses to apply a lot of pressure to you, you can simply focus on farming and transition into team fight stage.
What this translates to: Pantheon typically wins his lane. Pantheon pressures other lanes causing them to win as well. Pantheon turns into a powerful split-pushing, utility bruiser late game.
Basic build concepts: How Manatheon works
This build is all about cheating free damage. Most people will tell you that Pantheon falls off by mid game, but they obviously aren't running this build.
The key is that Muramana applies bonus damage to ALL single target spells AND auto attacks. Spear toss AND Aegis of Zeonia both apply this bonus damage. Now your spear toss and your Aegis have 6% current mana scaling, in addition to their respective 1.4 bonus AD and 1.0 AP ratios.
By purchasing an additional mana items, such as Iceborn Gauntlet you hence get to double and even triple dip offensively off the seemingly defensive items.
What people don't realize is how much damage mana actually provides Pantheon after completing a Muramana.
The item grants 6% of your current mana as bonus damage, which means that for every 16.7 mana you purchase, each auto attack and single target spell will deal 1 extra damage. On top of this, you gain bonus AD equal to 2% of your maximum mana, so every 50 mana grants 1 AD. A simple Sapphire Crystal will provide 12 bonus physical damage and grants you 4 AD. Compare that to buying a Long Sword which grants 10 AD for the same amount of gold.
If you were to spear throw and then aegis and auto attack a person followed by a HSS and finish up with a second spear (a typical full harass)
A Long Sword would provide 14 damage to each of 2 spear throws, 0 damage to the aegis, 10 damage to the auto attack and 18 damage to heart-seeker strike. That equals 56 bonus damage.
A Sapphire Crystal would provide 12+5.6=17.6 damage to each of two spear throws, 12 damage to the aegis, 12+4= 16 damage to the auto attack and 7.2 damage to HSS. That equals 70.4 bonus damage.
When comparing the efficiency of building mana verse AD with Muramana completed, there is no doubt which of the two is superior.
Spear toss and Aegis's scaling with Muramana and IBG
Now the talks about how Pantheon scales well into late game.
I'll quickly explain how.
Muramana allows a champion to quadruple dip offensively inherently using the mana stat.
With muramana, you scale twice off two state. Base mana and bonus mana.
Pantheon's base mana pool at level 18 is actually fairly high, at 822 mana.
With muramana, Pantheon gains 16.44 AD from leveling that he otherwise wouldn't have.
Additionally, his single target spells and auto attacks deal 49.3 more damage than they ordinarily would based off his base mana (from leveling).
In addition to base mana, the build also includes 1500 BONUS mana between Iceborn Gauntlet and Muramana itself.
This 1500 bonus mana supplies an additional 30 AD and 90 bonus damage on all single target spells and auto attacks.
What this means (with full mana) is that the base damage of your aegis of zeonia and spear toss is increased by 140 damage inherently. Then on top of this, spear toss has an AD ratio which adds power to it further. 46.5 AD is improved 40% to deal 65 more damage on top of the 140.
This means that your mana DOUBLES the base damages of your spear throw and aegis without a single point of AD purchased, just by having the muramana in your inventory. That's not even to include the 20 AD on the item or the 30 AP on Iceborn Gauntlet.
Then you add in the 186.5 damage per auto attack your mana provides and the sheen procs the IBG provides in addition to the 20 flat damage on muramana per auto attack and you begin to realize why the muramana + IBG combo is secretly an offensive powerhouse.
From that point, all you need to do to continue to scale is simply improve your CDR to max it to take advantage of you now incredible base damages and become tanky enough to stay in the fight long enough to use them multiple times.
What Makes this build powerful.
The key feature of this build is Muramana. It's what makes the build function and pretty much everything about the build is centered around abusing Muramana.
To make a Muramana AD caster all it can be, a champion needs 5 things in particular.
1) A large Mana Pool: Muramana provides extra AD equal to 2% of your maximum mana and deals bonus damage on esch basic attack, spear toss, and Aegis of Zeonia equal to 6% of your current mana. More mana equals more bonus damage and more bonus AD out of Muramana.
2) 40% CDR cap. Cool down reduction allows you to cast more spells to get benefit of Muramana's bonus damage more often. CDR one of the highest DPS stats for Pantheon and other similar AD casters. It's especially powerful on Pantheon because he has two spammable ranged nukes with spear toss and Aegis of Zeonia. CDR exponentially appreciates in value as you get more of it, up to 40%. Also, CDR not only increases your damage, but also your utility. CDR means more ambushing with your ultimate, more gap closing and CC with aegis, and more sheen procs for more slows/damage with IBG. CDR is also essential for charging Tear of the Goddess/ Manamune faster. Plus it's great for harassing and farming.
4) Defense- You need defensive stats because you'll be in the fray and you'll likely a secondary focus target (a primary one if you are doing well). Defensive stats are MANDATORY on Pantheon because his ultimate and his Aegis of Zeonia put him in the thick of things. Pantheon's kit is no longer designed to burst them down in a single spell rotation... that was old pantheon, back when he has a longer stun and huge base damage on HSS. Now, it's a sustained damage kit very similar to Yorick and Xin Zhao. He kills people by being an immovable object who just keep chucking spears and slamming the carry over and over. Just like how Xin kills people by being an immovable object that keeps charging the carry and knocking him in the air over and over. But you have to be able to survive focus to do this.
5) Tenacity- Every AD caster needs tenacity. It is fundamental to them. Reducing CC's effectiveness against you is extremely important because you are doubly vulnerable to CC. Your damage is split evenly between spells and basic attacks, which means you can be kited like a melee AND silenced like a mage and both effectively slow your dps/peel you. Spirit of the Ancient Golem was a godsend for AD casters. It provides them a viable alternative to purchasing Mercury Treads which also provides CDR and a huge amount of cost effective hp. And gives a little mana and hp regen as a bonus.
6) Self healing- HP sustaining power is very important to any "whittle" champion. Pantheon want's to press his advantage by poking his enemy repeatedly with spear toss and win small trades repeatedly by skirmished and abusing his passive to block incoming harass. But skill damage against Pantheon is always going to get through. In order to mitigate this skill damage, Pantheon needs a way to self heal. Spell vamp quints/masteries and Crystalline Flask do exactly this. With each spear you toss, you'll gain an appreciable amount of hp (around 30 in lane phase so 5 spears equals a healing potion). That means, over time you'll be able to win the lane by mitigating incoming harass better than the opponent can.
7) Mana regeneration- mana regeneration is especially powerful on Muramana casters because Muramana deals damage based on 6% of your CURRENT mana. That means a muramana caster with 25% mana is only getting 25% of the potential bonus damage muramana could be granting. You aren't regenerating mana... you are regenerating DAMAGE. This is further reasoning why Spirit of the Ancient Golem is such a perfect item for muramana AD casters.
My mastery selection is a good reflection of my build... BALANCED.
I take 9 points in offense for Weapon Expertise . Between Spear Shot, Muramana, Sheen procs, HSS, and basic attacks, the vast majority of pantheon's damage is physical, despite his secondary nuke dealing magic damage. Hence, Weapon Expertise will drastically improve Pantheon's damage.
I also place 9 points into defense. This raises my hp pool and main counter resistance against my laning opponent.
My last 12 points are placed into utility, primarily for sustaining power and secondarily to reduce the CD of my summoner skills.
There are very few viable options for spell vamp itemization on physical damage dealers. That makes the Vampirism skill desirable. I also enjoy the increased mana regeneration and further sustain provided by the Biscuiteer mastery.
I'm a huge advocate of capping CDR early and a huge fan of spell vamp quints.
So these might seem like wonky runes... but don't knock them until you try them.
So I run, 2 CDR runes, which provide 1.6% CDR. I run 2 CDR runes on every champion that I buy Ionian Boots of Lucidity and don't get Summoner's Wrath . The boots provide 15% CDR, the runes provide 1.6% CDR and I'm grabbing 4% cdr from the Sorcery mastery. That adds up to 20.6% CDR. You then toss 20% more CDR from items ( Glacial Shroud and Kindlegem in this case)) and you're at the 40% cap with only .6% overshot which is nothing (the last rune is still worth getting due the exponential appreciation of CDR's value).
I've already talked about the most importing itemization highlights... I'll just further explain a few other things.
I start with a flask every game. I enjoy the flask because it provides the right amount of mana regan and healing to allow me to trade well. I only need to gain 775g before I return the first time. The flask gives me the perfect amount of sustain to get there.
I rush a tear. Tear of the Goddess is by far the most important buy for Pantheon. It allows Pantheon to freely spam his abilities every time they are off CD and that allows Pantheon to really self heal using his 9% vamp from runes and masteries and also pour out some serious poke. You also want to start charging tear as soon as possible to get the manamune to muramana where it really provides you with hefty offensive power.
After tear, I will typically pick up a Doran's Blade I like doing this because the tear doesn't provide you with any up-front combat stats, so I grab this to bulk up hp and also bolster my AD to catch me up in the "all in" department.
I typically will finish manamune after this. If for some reason I'm behind at this point, I might hold off and grab some defense first (either GS or kindlegem or boots depending on what I need).
Next I grab boots. Movement speed is important on Pantheon because typically you don't want to straight up fight people. You want to whittle with Spear Shot and disengage initiations with Aegis of Zeonia. So it's highly beneficial to be able to out walk people. The 15% CDR on these will also help you charge your tear faster and it's the cheapest CDR source in the game.
After boots, I build a Glacial Shroud. Item will improve your dps by providing CDR and it provides AD since it has mana on it. I immediately upgrade GS into IBG for more armor, sheen procs, more mana (more AD0, and the slow which helps peel, initiate, stick, and ect.
I next pick up a Kindlegem or The Brutalizer to max CDR. If either of the other team's carries are doing well, the Kindlegem is the better option, because you'll have to dive them and be able to take damage while doing so.
You can build aura items such as Aegis of the Legion if your team needs one. You upgrade the kindlegem into Spirit of the Ancient Golem for a cost effect hp boost and tenacity. Your build options really open up at this point.
Skill selections and how to use HSS with this build
I know there are a lot of people still stuck in the past who think leveling HSS is highest priority.
But with this build, HSS is actually the least important of your abilities.
That's not to say HSS is useless... it just isn't used in the way you'd typically think a lot of the time.
First off, we max Spear Shot first, followed by aegis of zonia. We max HSS last.
The reason we don't put a lot of stock into HSS is that it doesn't synergize well with Muramana and it's not very reliable. It's a channel ability that self roots pantheon. That makes it prone to being interrupted or walked out of and it allows you enemy to gain distance away from you. It also interrupts your ability to auto attack and only counts as 1 attack towards a block.
But it's far from useless. The good news is that it still generates Sheen procs, it is still a decent ranged poke, and it almost immediately deals 2 of it's 3 strikes in damage. This means you can cast the skill in between auto attacks for a decent amount of extra damage and an extra passive stack. And you can weave it into your skill rotation to get you a sheen proc that you otherwise would have to wait for and then self interrupt the channel and auto attack to use the proc. Also, the 100% crit against low hp targets is just as effective at level 1 as 5, making rank 1 HSS a pretty awesome little tool.
Make sure you use the Full Metal Pantheon skin when using this build. That way you look the part of the ultra tanky unstoppable killing machine.
The skill and deadliness of King Leonidas and the durability of a Teutonic Knight.