Pantheon Build Guide by Mr Boo
Not Updated For Current Season
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Core - Against AP
Boots / Defensive Items
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.
Threats to Pantheon with this build
|Akali||Perhaps one of the easiest match ups for Pantheon. Your passive counters the Q proc, and if she jumps on you, Q -> W -> E. If she hops into her shroud, you can use your E and it covers 95% of the area. You can zone her very easy < 6 and should get a good cs lead. An early Hexdrinker would be good. Start Long Sword, 2 health and 1 mana pot.|
|Gangplank||Your passive blocks his Q, meaning he can't harass you in lane (to some extent). You have early kill pressure over him, but watch out for his lvl 2 all in cheese with his passive. Whenever he goes in to get cs, spear him and if he uses oranges to heal, jump on him and he can't dodge your incoming E. Pantheon is probably GP's biggest counter-pick, so if they pick GP - make sure you pick Pantheon for an easy lane phase.|
|Teemo||Very very easy match up for Pantheon. His blind doesn't impact you at all as you're an AD caster, and you can poke him easily as he has a low AA range. Easy kill at level 3 if he's low enough, if not you'll push him out of lane and get a cs / exp advantage. Even though this is an easy lane, i would still start Flask as he can poke you early too, and you want to be full health when you go in at level 3.|
Hello, my name is Shane and my go to top laner is Pantheon. Pantheon is a really fun champ to play, who should win most of his match ups, giving him a good early lead to help other lanes with his ultimate - snowballing your entire team to victory. Pantheon is good in the Jungle too, but I feel like he is also really good in the top lane, which is why I made this guide to share my knowledge of him coming into Season 5.
Summoner Spell choice:
Most of the time I prefer Ignite over Teleport simply because Pantheon is all about snow-balling his lane. If Pantheon ever falls behind early, he's near useless late game and needs to build straight tank. Also, you have your ultimate which acts as a Teleport to some degree - so having two TP's is a waste to some extent.
If against someone who you don't expect to kill early, such as Shen / Malphite, take TP.
Flask, 3 health pots and 1 mana pot is the best start in my opinion. Take this into 90% of the match ups.
If against an easy lane, such as Akali, Ryze and Teemo, perhaps start Long Sword, 2 health pots and 1 mana pot.
Against Riven, and perhaps Darius, Cloth 5 is a good idea.
EDITED WITH NEW BLACK CLEAVER CHANGES:
As of now, the new Black Cleaver is REALLY GOOD ON PANTHEON. Heartseeker strike procs the passive three times, so if you can somehow Q -> W -> AA -> E -> Q you are shredding so much armour that the last Q will do an insane amount of damage.
The only problems with the new black cleaver is the build path, as phage and kindlegem don't really help Pantheon in the laning phase at all. The health is nice, but we need to snowball our lead, we can't rely on waiting for BC to have kill pressure. Therefore, I recommend going Hydra first item on Pantheon, then Black Cleaver and finally LW.
This will give you a lot of damage from the three items, especially the Hydra, along with wave clear with the passive / active and your E, and the ability to almost 1 shot anyone who has not got armour.
The only problem is that Pantheon does rely on that flat armour pen to kill the adc / mid laner, as early game flat armour pen is much better than % armour pen.
Therefore, you can either change your ad marks for armour pen marks (if you have the IP and a spare rune page) or rush an early Brutalizer and sit on it until late game where you sell it for a defensive item.
Doing this will give you a massive advantage early, which might snowball the game. The only problem is that if it doesn't work out and you cant get kills, you've invested 1337 gold into an item which is useless once armour is built.
I recommend if you do want the brutalizer, use your first ult bot when you're 6. Therefore, if you back with 1400 gold, buy a brutalizer, ult bot, hope for a double kill + drag combo, back for a pick axe and then go into Hydra and go back top.
Ideally, your final build now is something along the lines of Hydra, BC, LW, Boots (Either cdr, mercs or tabis depending if you need the last two, or you can get away with cdr boots), B Veil and Randuins. If their all ad perhaps consider either a warmogs or thornmail instead of the B veil, and if they're all AP based consider swapping the randuins for a warmogs.
I normally wasn't a fan of Hydra on Pantheon, but I think the 75 AD works really well with the 1.4 ad ratio on spears, and the wave clear means you can save mana instead of having to use E on the wave. You can also use the active to proc a BC stack.
Moving onto Black Cleaver, as stated the item is REALLY good on Pantheon, but the build path isn't. That's why i suggest either first buying a brutalizer to survive lane phase and have some kill pressure, or rushing the Hydra for the flat AD which helps BC later.
If you decide to go Brut -> Black Cleaver, you don't need CDR boots as you get 30% from those items, plus 10% from runes / masteries, meaning you can go tabis / merc treads.
LW is still required on Panth to be relevant late game, so don't leave that item out.
Always start Q. Always.
I prefer to go W second, as I feel that the stun is a lot more helpful than his E. Even though his E deals more damage - around 78 compared to the 50 of his stun, it's hard to land the entire E, and it can be interrupted against champs like Riven / Darius etc.
Always get the other ability at level 3, so you have all 3. There are some exceptions, such as if you get a level 2 gank from the jungler and you're chasing someone as you hit level 3. In this instance taking a second point into Q will allow you to flash Q dealing more damage.
After getting a point into all 3, max Q up to level 5, and then put a point into your ult.
Generally, R > Q > E > W.
Always max your W last as the stun duration doesn't increase, and it scales of AP - which you don't buy ... EVER.
This is the sequence you should run 99% of the time, the only variation I can think of is if you're trying to push the wave 24/7 - so against someone like Akali, where you max E, or just get a few points into it and then max Q from level 7 onwards. I don't recommend tho.
There is some debate about getting a second point into Q at level 3 or getting a point in all three abilities. Personally, it's up to you and how you think the lane is going. If you have kill pressure, get E, if you don't, take Q to try and poke them down more for a level 4 all in.
Pros / Cons
Perhaps the strongest level 3 in the game - perhaps Riven, Darius and Fizz can argue that point, but Pantheon's level 3 is amazing.
Has a global pressure, and can help other lanes with his ultimate. If you back in vision of the enemy laner, he might not ping MIA meaning you can co-ordinate a 4 man gank bot lane with your jungler, and then secure a dragon etc
Amazing peeling for your ADC with his W
Great initiation with his ultimate -> W onto the enemey ADC
Can tower dive fairly safely with his Passive and reset on W.
Very bad when behind -> Must build full tank if you die early and you'll do next to no damage.
Falls off hard around level 12
No offensive ultimate to help in 1v1's
All engage - can't escape once you've gone in unless you flash
Can't build full damage otherwise you'll get blown up (above) - Though is REALLY fun :) IE ftw.
Farming with Panthon:
Pantheon's attack speed recently got nerfed (due to him being able to solo dragon etc) and this actually affected his cs'ing in the top lane. His auto attacks feel quite sluggish to go off, but once his animation starts he jab's quite quickly. It can be semi awkward to farm.
His passive on his E "theoretically" should help with his farming, but seeing as most minions have ~ 500 health, 15% of this is 75 meaning you can't really crit minions to kill them.
Try not to farm with your abilities as you have quite high mana costs in relation to your mana pool - save your mana to harass the enemy champion.
Once you get a few points into your E - at level 9 - 10, you can E the back line (casters) and AA them once to kill them.
Also, if you don't trust your last hitting, you can Q the cannons. It can sometimes be more worth to secure that 45g rather than using the Q on trading.
Also note that cannons can absorb your passive, so be careful of this because if the enemy sees you're passive is down, then can engage on you and you can't block 1 AA.
Pantheon has really good initiation with his ultimate, as it applies a slow and deals quite a lot of damage (1000 magic damage at rank 3).
Try to position it behind the enemy champions, so when they see it they either have to walk into your team, or into the center of the ult - meaning they take more damage.
When you drop down - look to W onto the enemy ADC or APC - whoever is giving your team the most trouble.
The combo is therefore R -> Q -> W -> E.
After you ult, try to stick with your damage dealer as it's now your job to peel for them with your stun. Pantheon has great peel with the point and click, but it is on a long cooldown. Also, if you do rush Black Cleaver, shredding the tanks armour will make it easier for your adc to kill the tank, meaning you can take objectives after.
If you're getting engaged on, just peel for your ADC. Don't try to ult once the fight has broken out, as it takes too long and you being immobile for 5 seconds isn't going to help. Only use your ult to engage on the enemy.
1 v 1 Fighting
Make sure you first of all know what summoners they have up - such as Flash, Exhaust or Ignite etc.
The classic combo is Q -> W -> E -> Q
This will generally do around 40 - 60% of the enemy's health - depending on your items and their resistances.
Try to poke with Q before you jump on them though, meaning your combo is more like this -> Q (wait 3s) -> Q (wait 3s) -> Q (wait 3s) -> Q -> W -> E -> Q -> Flash AA if needed.
Your passive can be "stacked" while it's active. What this means is that you can get 3 charges on it, by auto attacking, then W onto something (such as a Jungle creep or a minion) and then wait for it to be on cool down again and then look to fight.
What this does is when you fight, you block one auto attack as your passive is up from your W, then you get 1 auto attack in or Q them, getting your passive up again, and then after it's been "popped" you W onto them giving you 3 blocked auto attacks.
This works well against champs like Riven etc, meaning you can dodge a lot of damage.
Also, if you're looking to tower dive someone, being able to block theoretically 3 tower shots if done correctly will result in a relatively safe kill.
Secondly, Pantheon's ult takes a while to channel - and the enemy gets around 1.5s before you land (they can see the circle). Therefore, try to place it were the enemy will be 3 seconds from now - not where they are now.
Good places to ult are in closed spaces in the jungle, or when their pressuring one of your inner towers.
Never ult in vision of an enemy champion, always make sure you sweep a bush if you're in one, or when your behind a tower and there's no chance they can see you.
Pantheon has the highest movement speed by default at 355 - only Master Yi matches you. Therefore, you don't necessarily need to buy boots early, giving you more combat effectiveness items.
As an AD caster, CDR is a really good stat on Pantheon. If you run flat CDR glyps, 5% from masteries and a Brutalizer + Lucidity boots, you can get 37.5% CDR by only spending around 2.5k gold in game.
This means more spam of Q, more ults and more DPS.
If you're going Jungle Pantheon, take flat MR or scaling CDR blues - (Warrior + Brut + 5% from masteries = 25%) Then, when you get your second blue buff (I always take second buff - i'm greedy :P) you have 35% CDR + around 5% from the scaling CDR runes - giving you 40%. Then, you can gift the next blues to mid laner as you'll be closing in on 40% as the game professes from the 15% you get from scaling.
Even though Pantheon gains 100% crit chance when the enemy is < 15% health, this doesn't apply to his Q. Reading the ability, it states:
"If Heartseeker Strike.png Heartseeker Strike has been ranked, Spear Shot will deal 100% additional damage to targets below 15% health."
This is why i prefer getting a bloodthirster last item over an IE - as the shield is more useful than IE's passive (I feel). There is some argument that IE does apply to Pantheon's Q - but i'm fairly certain it doesn't.
You can cancel Pantheon's ultimate after activated by walking. This puts the spell on a 10s CD. This is good as if the enemy has walked away / backed, there's no point ulting. Be careful though, as you can "bait" your team into engaging if they think you're coming in.
Last Tip is that your Heartseeker Strike (E) applies a tick on Black Cleaver. Therefore, if you manage to land it on 3/4 of the enemy team, their armor is all shredded, meaning your team does a lot more damage to them. If you're going to die, landing a E over another Q could be more beneficial.
Pantheon is an all in champion, who excels in the early / mid phase of the game. His level 3 is AMAZING and he counters a lot of the "FoTM" top laners such as Riven. As an AD caster, CDR is really good on him, so try to get as close to 40% as you can.
If you have any comments on my build / match ups, feel free to post - and if you have any questions just ask.
I have a 72% win/rate on Pantheon - mostly in the Top Lane.