Build Guide by Ahnzehlika
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.
This is a guide to Pantheon, and should be read as such. I do not guarantee 30/0/10 scores with this, and my item recommendations above do not take into account all of the factors in your matches. Items are situational, and for tips about what to carry at what times, scroll down to my ‘Recommended List of Items and Explanations’ section.
*Still a work in progress
**Can't Add Items so I had to type it out
Last updated- 02/22/11
Pantheon is hands down one of the easiest and most popular to play characters in LoL, often eliciting groans from the opposing team and being cursed for being overpowered. This Guide contains 2 guidelines to how I believe Pantheon should be built, and why. The first one, or the ‘Transition’ build, takes advantage of both the early-game uses and the late-game uses of Pantheon (explained in greater detail in its own chapter).The Second build, or the ‘Deeps’ build, is similar to the first but branches off to focus more on damage.
In this Guide, skills will be referred to by their hot keys (q,w,e,r).
Self-explanatory, 21/0/9 for maximum damage. 9 points down Utility instead of defense for the mana regeneration, Experience gain, and the buff duration increase. I’ve heard many arguments and merits of going 21 down the utility/defense tree, but 21 in offense really helps to exploit Pantheon’s overpowered performance during early game.
A full set of Armor penetration Marks and Quints. to maximize damage. Dodge Yellows and Blue magic resist help keep you alive longer. If you want, a full page of tier 3 AD runes give you 22 if you want to try that. Useful if you really want to press that early-game advantage. Recommended only for scrub stomping.
Transition Build/Recommended Playstyle
This is build that I tend to favor, one that takes advantage of Pantheon’s early/mid game damage output and mobility, and then tapers off at late game to provide survivability and to take the role of being a damage sponge.
Early Game- Pantheon is one scary **********er early game, with high base health, movement speed, and very decent damage. During laning, you want to keep up harasses with your spear shot (That doesn’t mean every time it’s off cooldown until you’re oom). Ideally, you’ll want to keep them at around half to 3/5s of their max hp. It may be tempting to excessively poke them, but remember that Pantheon has low mp, and that your ideal goal is an early kill during laning. Excessive spearshots/q until they have too little health is actually detrimental, causing the people you’re laning against to either turret-hug or to recall. Once you hit 3 you’ll hopefully have around half of your total mp (~200). If you managed to cut a champion down to half hp, immediately open up with a q, then quickly stun with your w, pop ignite IMMEDIATELY(since the level 1 stun time was reduced) and follow up with an E. If they’re not dead at this point, either follow and auto attack or pop a last Q on them for the kill. Against skilled players, the ideal scenario I have described will most likely never be seen, so just farm. Be a little more liberal with your mana if you’re being pushed, using spear-shot to last hit from time to time, but never farm with your heartseeker while you’re laning. It’s a waste of your mana and you don’t have enough AD to even clear a caster minion wave with it.
Once you reach 6, immediately spend all of your mana. Do all you can, but keep in mind that staying alive is the most important. If you’re too low or they do too much damage for you to go in, just recall. If you can survive being little reckless, however, Spear, stun, and heartseeker the squishier champ you’re laning against if possible, anything to damage them even a little more before you go back. Once you’ve run out of mana, I recommend walking to gank any lane that needs it, as you most likely won’t have your brutalizer and boots, but if there’s a perfect opportunity, jump on it via your ult. The reason I recommend ganking by walking to a lane is that it allows for you to recall after a gank and either use your ult to gank another lane, or to help push a lane. After your ganks, it should be around mid-game.
By now, you should have at least a brutalizer and tier 2 boots in addition to your Doran’s blade, with a longsword ready to build into a phage/last whisper depending on the situation. If you’re really doing well, with a couple of kills/assists under your belt, build that longsword into a last whisper. It really helps to press your mid-game advantage. With 46/40% armor penetration, you pretty much render anyone who doesn’t buy armor with a negligible amount. If you’re dying, building a phage is also another item that helps, giving survivability and the possibility of a slow. You should be farming and ganking with your ult throughout mid-game, and basically establishing yourself as a threat.
I would love for someone to prove me wrong, but I firmly believe that it is simply impossible for Pantheon to carry during late game.
These reasons are the reasons why I think that Pantheon cannot carry for **** during late game:
1. Damage output- It’s simply not enough, no matter what. Heartseeker and spear shot were your bread and butter, but by endgame, where items are reaching completion, even pure DPS Pantheon falls flat. Think about it this way- Heartseeker strike scales like this- Base Damage: 4/6/8/10/12; Extra Damage: 20/25/30/35/40%; Cooldown: 20/19/18/17/16 seconds. Let’s use this as an example- You are ludicrously fed, and have ~600 AD (4 farmed bloodthirsters, 20 stacks on your occult [I’m looking at you, top rated build on mobafire]). Your heartseeker will do 5(12 + .4 x 600) x 2 over 2.3 seconds. That’s a huge value of 2,520 damage. Your spears will also be hitting for around 1,000 damage.
At this point you might be thinking about how ffs a player can manage not to carry with a 2.5k damage aoe skill and a spammable 1k ranged projectile spell, but I say that it is very impossible. If you’re that fed/farmed (which will never happen), you will be completely ripped apart before you can blink in teamfights. Your heartseeker can be dodged simply by moving out of it. If you go in for a stun, your 2k hp will melt in the face of any AP or AD carry during late-game. Even if you manage to stay alive, the cooldown is 16 seconds for Heartseeker without CDR when you’re pure DPS. I really don’t see how a DPS pantheon during late game is going to manage to survive in teamfights, which is why I build him into an offtank. You’re also a melee champ, so building a glass cannon is pretty stupid imo.
2. Threat Level- Throughout early and mid-game you should have been establishing your position as a hard-hitter, hunting down squishies and even managing to power through tanks. The entire goal of this is to put you higher up on their focus list. With the transitional guide, your final item list should be 2 offensive items, boots, and 3 defensive items, changing from 4-5 offensive items during early/mid game. A Guardian angel is imperative, allowing you to engage with a stun without worry, or to engage with an ult on a whole group while letting your team clean up.
3. Survivability- I think this speaks for itself. Let’s look at the relative costs for a pure DPS build and an offtank build that you might transition to during late-game. Both are pretty unrealistic, but let’s just look at them for the sake of comparison (prices off the top of my head, so correct me if I’m mistaken).
Glass cannon- Bloodthirster x3- ~9k; IE x1- ~4k; Last Whisper- 2k; Tier 2 boots- 1k. Total=~16k Gold
With Baron/elixirs, probably around ~600-700 AD, 2.2k hp and base armor/resist. Ludicrous damage if you can survive long enough to dish it out.
Balanced Defense build- Guardian Angel- 2.6k; Warmogs- 3k; Atmas- ~2.5k; Mallet- ~3k; FON- ~3k Tier 2 boots- ~1k. Total=~16k Gold
With baron/elixirs, around ~300AD with the atmas bonus, ~4.2k hp, +~100 armor and ~100 magic resist.
Great damage, allows you to survive and actually help your team.
Recommended List of Items & Explanations/Comparisons
This following section is a list of items (separated by Early-game/Mid-game/Late-game) that I consider good on Pantheon, and explanations of why I think they are superior compared to other popular items for Pantheon. This doesn’t mean that you should buy every single one of these.
Doran’s Blade (475)- This is a great starting item for Pantheon, offering 8 AD, a negligible amount of lifesteal, and a 100 HP bonus. I always take this item first to exploit Pantheon’s early-game potential. The damage is comparable to a longsword, and the 100 HP bonus allows you to survive those dives and harasses. **** meki pendants. Nearly all the Pantheons that I’ve seen have grabbed the horrible mana regenerating *****, effectively nerfing their early game damage and wasting 1k+ gold. Are you seriously going to buy a ****ing Chalice of Harmony or Manamune? If you do, you have the judgement of a walnut.
“But Ahnzehlika! The Manamune is perfect for pantheon! You never run out of mana and it gives high (40 with the 1k maxed out bonus mana, around 50-60 total counting your own base mp) AD!”
A popular argument, and one that is weak. Let’s just compare the initial benefits and the costs. Manamune-2110, B.F. Sword-1850.
Manamune-~25 A.D.; B.F.- 50. The manamune may reach 60ish AD, but it takes using your skills over 300 times, by which time you’ll be well into late-game. Also doesn’t build into anything
Brutalizer (1337)- 25 AD, 15 Armor Penetration, and 10% Cdr. ****ing amazing, and only 1.3k.
Boots of Ionian Lucidity (1050)- Stacks very well with your brutalizer, with masteries, you reach nearly 30% Cdr, which shaves around ~42 seconds off your ult.
Boots of Swiftness (1000)- Also works well on Pantheon by allowing him to escape/chase.
Phage- Moderate AD, nice health boost, and nice passive. Survivability item, builds into a mallet/sold depending on circumstances.
Mid/Late Game Items
Last Whisper(2250)- Offers 40 AD and 40% Armor penetration. Allows you at mid-game with masteries, runes, and a brutalize to have 46 Armor pen.+40% Armor pen. effectively rendering anyone without armor items to basically have no armor at all.
B.F. Sword (1850) - Offers the most AD for your gold, it is advisable to rush this after your boots and brutalizer if you’re farmed or fed. Builds into some of the most powerful AD items in-game.
Banshee’s Veil (2740)- Great and standard magic resist item, great on a variety of champions.
Bloodthirster(3200)- Good to build your BF sword into. Solid damage and Lifesteal.
Guardian Angel (2600)- Mid/late game item depending on how well you’re doing, your transition item into going offtank. Amazing item for most carries/tanks, allows pantheon to engage via a stun/ult in safely
Frozen Mallet(3150)- Great survivability item for Pantheon, 700 hp with a small AD boost and a slow. Great in conjunction with an Atmas, Warmogs, and a FON.
Solo lane is great for Pantheon, as you can farm up, and get to 6 quickly. Generally you’ll want to play it safe and tower hug, look for opportunities and if they come within tower range, make sure to stun and make them regret it.
I don’t recommend mid for Pantheon, and it’s only possible against certain champions, but if you do decide to mid, some experience with Pantheon is necessary. Great against certain squishy champs. Use common sense. Some people you never want to go against are Anivia and Kennen.
This is what I recommend for Pantheon. Pantheon is, in my experience, one of the most powerful champions early game. With a good lane partner, you can easily take lane dominance and perhaps land some early kills.
Elixirs are one of the cruxes of my playstyle, and what I view as necessary for every champion. This may be obvious to most people, but I make it a point to keep an elixir of fortitude on Pantheon at all times while it isn’t active. I buy one when I first back, even if it’s during the 5 minute mark. It allows for luring, especially during early game, can save you from jungler who came to gank your lane, a tower shot, global ults, etc. Absolutely fantastic when you lure someone to turret dive only to pop an elixir (+~200hp instantly), stun, and then proceed to smear him across the grassy earth with tower shots and heartseeker.