Build Guide by tomasxD123
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.
When I first started playing League of Legends, I searched avidly for a champion that I could call my "favorite". Being a former DoTA player, I tried to shy away from the idea of a "main", because I felt like playing the whole cast would make me a better player. Then one day, I discovered Pantheon, and I fell for him (as is to be expected with a spear-wielding spartan bad-*** with a heart of cookie dough.) Between his ability to fit many different roles (harass, stun, AoE, teleport), and his overall flavor, (see: cookie dough) I found myself hard pressed to try anyone else afterward. But I had no idea how to play him at first. Mobafire has always been there since I've been playing, helping to guide me along when I first try new champions with it's excellent theory, so I went there first.
And that is precisely what drove me to write this build. I've lurked almost every Pantheon build with a rating on this site, and there is a healthy amount of solid information out there - but no one gets it just right. Pantheon is the kind of champion with all the tools to be great, and most people can pick him up and fumble along with all the best intentions. Time and again I've seen him disgraced, utterly and pointlessly, and each time I think, "Man... doesn't this kid know what Mobafire is?" But maybe he does... and it's just not helping enough. Until now!
I should give credit to Madmack and his build: Ashe - Carry Ranked Games. This build was the spiritual inspiration for my build, as I used the general layout as a basis for my own build to make sure that I had covered all the bases of my Pantheon play. Thank you Radon for pressing me to make sure to include this section.
Please try the strategies and build, and comment if you vote. Constructive criticism is encouraged!
Coming Soon: Video Tutorials!
Key Points - Philosophy:
To be successful with any champion, you must develop a set of ideals that become the basis of your in-game decisions: call it a fight philosophy if you will. To understand Pantheon's philosophy, one must understand the role that Pantheon plays in a team.
First and foremost, he is an anti-carry, and as such, he should be able to starve, abuse, and destroy the opposing team's carry all game long. If successful at your job, it should be apparent by mid-to-late game that your own carry has a distinct advantage over the opposing side's. Assuming a game of ten competent players, this can often mean the difference between victory and defeat.
We must also understand the nature of the beast we play.
Pantheon is what I call a -MELEE CASTER-. Is that clear? Should I make it larger? -MELEE CASTER-.
I cannot stress how vital this is to a proper play-style. Treat him as such, and glory is close at hand. However, if you think your name starts with a G and your job is to charge in screaming D-MBAS-IA, clearly you should be reading another guide.
Now that's over with. Lets look at Pantheon's weaknesses, and how I attempt to minimize them.
1. Pantheon is extremely mana-hungry.
Pantheon has a very small base mana pool, and his abilities are not cheap with respect to their cooldowns. Some people advise using clarity as a summoner spell, others build a . I forgo both of these and prefer to spec my masteries (11/0/19), and run to provide ample regeneration for a very minuscule trade-off.
2. Problems with a Pantheon? Grab a : Problem solved.
Both of Pantheon's primary damage dealing abilities , and are physical, so any champion stacking armor will seriously affect his burst. Keeping this in mind, we build The Brutalizer early to make sure our damage stays relevant across the board. The recently changed Last Whisper is a welcome addition to the fight against armor-heavy teams, and plays a pivotal role in dismantling them.
3. Pantheon is squishy.
With just shy of 2k base HP and no escape mechanisms to speak of, Pantheon lacks quite a bit in the survivability department. The main reason for defensive boots and early game stacking is to provide him with a more stable footing when going toe-to-toe with the more dangerous early/mid game champions. Later, provides us with ample defense from casters that would try to disintegrate the beloved spartan.
WTF Was He Thinking? - A Commentary on Other Options
In this section I will try to address many of the common misguided ways to build and play Pantheon, highlighting a few key recurring points.
1. Manamune and Clarity: The Blue Stuff Issue.
Both of these are strategies to combat Pantheon's lack of mana. Manamune is, in my opinion, a huge waste of money and space. By committing yourself to building this item first, you seriously inhibit your ability to deal damage during the early-game laning phase, which is arguably where Pantheon is at his best. It has a combined cost of 2110, which costs more than a and fortitude elixir combined. Even at level 18 with maximum bonuses, Manamune will only offer you 63.44 AD (less than an upgraded BF variant), offers no survivability, and does nothing to check high-armor targets.
, on the other hand, provides us with large spikes of mana every few minutes, and can actually improve Pantheon's early game harassing. The drawback, of course, is that this comes at a price of either or . Having no escape mechanisms of his own, Pantheon relies on summoner spells to get out of sticky situations. Between the added survivability Flash and Ghost give, and the strength they give his chase & positioning, I feel that clarity is almost a waste.
2. The Glass Cannon - B.F. Sword Stacking
Seeing the kind of burst Pantheon puts on Soraka Bot in practice games makes pure AD stacking rather attractive, even addictive. The fact of the matter is that one well timed stun is all it takes to end your B.F. spree, and a dead Pantheon deals no damage. Unlike Master Yi or Tryndamere, Pantheon lacks a steroid ability that makes purely offensive building possible. A melee caster cannot hope to be competitive when he counts on the fear and inability of his opponents to keep himself alive.
3. The Failanx - Warmog's Armor
Admittedly, I do have less real game experience with building Warmog's, but even in theory, everything about this is wrong. When was the last time you saw that Warmog's Ryze dominating, or Vladimir and his 6 layers of Warmog's doing anything more than running around and being ignored? Warmog's is extremely expensive, and gives nothing but Health and Health Regen. This means that you will likely live 2-4 seconds longer while being focused in a team fight, deal pitiful damage, and completely prevent yourself from capitalizing on the early game. Last but not least...
4. Stacking Items - The Giant Neon "FOCUS ME" Sign
I spent a long time with my Sword of the Occult. It's cute, and fun, and has it's place when farming IP. With respect to competitive play, it places a dangerous burden on the one who uses it. Suddenly, it becomes an even higher enemy priority that you die; and you worry more about keeping your stacks than playing intelligently. Stacking items are far too temperamental on a character as squishy and vulnerable to CC as Pantheon.
Lets see... what's next. Oh yes, everything you will need to lay waste to your foes. The typical build order is pretty set, but differences in game-to-game economy can affect your choices.
-> -> -> -> -> ->
Having these will help your survivability considerably during early game encounters, as well as provide you with the damage needed to harass and kill right off the bat. The lifesteal just comes as an added bonus, and will let you stay in lane longer to farm and level.
One of my favorite items in the game. It gives you attack damage and flat armor penetration, which will add a noticeable spike in power to your abilities and attacks; and let you engage tanks more effectively. The 10% cooldown reduction is also huge - spear shots will come more rapidly, Aegis of Zeonia and HSS can be used multiple times in a skirmish. Grand Skyfall will refresh sooner, allowing you to leave lane to buy/gank and push more frequently.
The first defensive addition to our build, and the best choice of boots in almost every situation. Pantheon is not an auto-attacker, his abilities deal physical damage, and he has more than enough mobility in Aegis of Zeonia, Grand Skyfall, Flash and Ghost. The treads decrease the effectiveness of all crowd control effects on Pantheon, most notably silences (A silenced Pantheon deals very little damage). Magic resistance is a nice cherry on top that synergizes nicely with Banshee's Veil for overall late-game sturdiness.
These boots are situational against teams with very little CC and powerful auto-attackers.
It is important to note that a dodged auto-attack will not expend , and this can greatly increase your survivability against the heavy hitting physical carries like Yi, Trynd and Ashe.
The recent changes to Last Whisper make it a perfect Pantheon item. The 40 AD means carries and support will continue to fear your spear, and the 40% armor penetration allows you to focus on other areas (Damage and Survivability) without being stopped in your tracks by armor.
The Bloodthirster is nothing new or radical on Pantheon. It provides a massive amount of AD and lifesteal when fully stacked, which is not hard to do considering the fact that a single will absolutely devastate creep waves at this point. The lifesteal is actually less key for him than most, but it does help keep our health up in between team fights.
The Late Game: Choose Wisely Young Padawan
At this point in the game things can be much more dangerous for Pantheon. No longer are champions busy laning, ready for you to drop in on them unsuspectingly. Team fights require the proverbial big guns; and a balance must be found between stacking damage, and stacking for survivability. Replacing our Doran's Blades gives two slots to play with, and many options are available. A few of the most notable are below.
, , , ,
So, what's best?
A great option on any character who is looking for a bit more sturdiness, Banshee's Veil offers a shield that will block one spell every 30 seconds. Along with that comes a respectable 50 Magic Resistance, 375 HP and an equal amount of mana as a cherry on top.
Summary: + HP, + Mres, + Spell blocked = Overall Sturdiness.
This item is quickly rivaling The Brutalizer as my overall favorite purchase. For the low price of 1440, it gives you effectively the same M-Res as a Banshee's Veil, and the summoner spell Cleanse. Except it's not Cleanse, it's actually better. Whereas Cleanse only removes stuns, silences, suppressions, and the like; the Quicksilver Sash removes all debuffs on your character.
Morde's ult about to kill you? Vlad's ult about to detonate? Not anymore. You've almost escaped with 50 HP when suddenly - YOU STEP ON ONE OF THOSE MUSHROOMS?! Nothing to worry about, Quicksilver Sash has got you covered.
Summary: Situationally, one of the best items in the game. Removing all debuffs from your character with 105 second CD, and M-res to boot. Very useful and cost effective against champs like Morde, Vlad, Malz, Warwick, Galio, Amumu, etc.
At this point in the game you are either building a Bloodthirster to compliment the one you already have, or to give you some lifesteal when you already have your Cleaver against those pesky armor-stacked teams. When stacked up, this is one of the highest damaging items in the game, so if all you need is moarmoarburstcaptain, then load up your 2nd Bloodthirster.
Summary: 100 AD, 25% Lifesteal. If you feel that you need more AD to fulfill your anti-carry role into the late-game, pick this up.
This is your HP boosting item. I would pick this over Warmog's 10 times out of 10, as it provides you with a very solid HP pool increase while still providing AD. Moreover, the built in slow on your autoattacks will ensure that no one can escape your wrath. (Except maybe Nidalee...)
Summary: 700 HP, 20 AD, 40% auto-attack slow. Buy this if you want to get beefy and take longer to kill in general. Never worry about stealing lizard buff from your teammates again.
The Brutalizer's big brother, this packs all the same things you know and love from it's predecessor with the added bonus of an incredibly powerful activated effect. When active, you'll move and attack faster than if you were packing a Phantom Dancer, which has quite a few applications. It can be used as a mini-ghost for escaping/chasing, and will be your life-line going toe-to-toe with melee champions if your and are down. Most importantly, your hands will glow with enough flowers to make you feel like a kimono princess.
Summary: Builds off of Brutalizer for a powerful activate and increased overall stats. Use the activate to run, to chase, or to stack faster while a physical carry is trying to pummel your face in. Always a good idea to build, up to personal discretion when to spend the 1350 to upgrade your Brutalizer.
Note - The Black Cleaver
The Black Cleaver is not an item you want. A friend of mine recently pointed out to me that Black Cleaver actually reduced the effectiveness of Last Whisper's percentile Armor Penetration - which is true. It was then I realized that I hadn't actually built Black Cleaver since the Last Whisper patch. Black Cleaver was the old solution to the Armor problem - Last Whisper should be more than enough for your high armor targets now.
I build my Pantheon (11/0/19) to compliment my play style and address some of his issues (mana and survivability). It's far enough down the offense tree to pick up the key stats: Armor Penetration and Cooldown Reduction. Some might say, no 21 offensive mastery? BUT YOU'RE A SPARTAN DUUUDE. More importantly than a few negligible offensive stats are the benefits of the Utility tree.
Perseverance and Meditation offer Pantheon the mana regeneration that he sorely lacks early to mid game.
Awareness helps get Pantheon to 6 as soon as possible to safely buy or gank unsuspecting champions.
The Utility tree also provides him with extra movement speed, further cooldown reduction, a lower Flash cooldown, and extra duration on neutral creep buffs.
Greater Mark of Desolation
The 15 flat Armor Penetration these marks provide give your Spear Shots that bite, even at level 1, and keep your overall damage output red hot all game long.
Greater Seal of Clarity
I was recently persuaded to test these seals over Seals of Evasion and I was basically sold after a single game. The added regeneration is noticeable - between these and your masteries you should never have mana problems. If you find yourself using Ninja Tabi relatively often, or you simply think that the 205 IP per Clarity Seal is just too steep evasion seals are not a terrible alternative.
Greater Glyph of Focus
I chose flat CDR glyphs for a few reasons. Pantheon relies on his abilities to deal the majority of his damage, and so CDR is invaluable and will greatly increase your killing power. Also, flat CDR glyphs give you the biggest early game bonus possible, which is where Pantheon is most dangerous against his adversaries.
Greater Quintessence of Desolation
See Mark of Desolation description. ArP r for maek Pantheon Ultra-Mecha-Leonidas-Rape-Machine.
Flash is, arguably, one of the most useful summoner spells in the game. It is a positioning tool, an escape mechanism, and even though it no longer pops projectiles, can still save your *** where you would have otherwise had no hope. Furthermore, Pantheon has the unique bonus of being able to flash next to someone below 15% and slap them to death in 1 hit. Feels good, try it sometime.
I take Ghost to further address Pantheon's lack of mobility and escape mechanisms. This spell can be used to chase or escape, or even to jog downriver to save a teammate that you otherwise could not have reached in time. (I mean, Ryze did it in the Season One trailer, so it's clearly a pro move, right?)
is really only notable for it's blinding component, but is more of a crutch than a useful ability. is purely offensive and as such, I feel, not useful enough to give up either or for. is lulz-worthy, but better suited for the 800 ELO bracket. If you want , pick up a Quicksilver Sash. is underrated, but more effectively utilized on a support champion.
Gameplay - Yes! Finally:
Like many champions, Pantheon is most importantly about how he is played. Intelligent choices, aggressive coordinated laning, and farming are what separate the truly effective Pantheons from the wanna-be's. In this section I will try to apply our melee-caster ideology to practical situations that will occur in almost every game you play.
1. Early Game - The Laning Phase:
Pantheon is an incredibly dangerous champion early game. His Spear Shot is an extremely powerful harassing tool, and his stun + HSS will rip through tank and caster alike. When you first see your lane opponents, judge how aggressive you can be. Certain champions like Malphite can cause you problems, either because they can harass you better (Granite Shield + Seismic Shard) or they can out-range you (LeBlanc's Orb has 700 range to your Spear Shot's 600). Keeping this in mind, play your early game offensively. Look for openings, and harass your opponents as often and safely as possible. If you are 2v1, or forced to play defensively, use your Spear Shot to last hit minions and farm. 140 mana is what you need for a stun + HSS combo, so keep that in mind before you do anything stupid. If you are laning with a partner who can stun/snare/slow your opponents and deal decent damage, first blood is a very realistic goal. Once you are 6, use this opportunity to go back and buy your boots and a second Doran's, and then assess the game's situation.
Note:If you have farmed enough to afford a B.F. Sword early game, always purchase it first. This is the single most expensive item you'll be working towards, and an early B.F. Sword makes your Heartseeker Strike absolutely crush things.
2. Post Level 6 - It's Rainin' Men, Hallelujah:
Once you have the power of Grand Skyfall, all manner of wonderful destruction can be unleashed. Are your lane opponents overextending now that you're gone? Leap back and destroy them. Have your team partners whittled down their foes a bit? Stop by and show them you care. Keep an eye out for low health recalling champions. Leaping on them is an almost guaranteed kill. At this point your job as an anti-carry makes you shine. If you have been laning against the opposing team's carry, jump back and kill them. Stay in your lane and continue to starve them, using your Grand Skyfall to assist allies or return quickly to lane. If their carry is in another lane, make it priority #1 to jump over and shut them down. Pantheon's ult takes a bit of practice to become proficient with, but is an incredibly powerful tool when used correctly. By this point in the game you should have your and , and be on your way to that .
3. Mid to Late-game - Learning the Art of the Team Fight:
As the game progresses, champions will begin to cluster and ganking becomes more difficult. The overall shape of the game should be forming at this point, and you should have a pretty clear notion of which team is ahead. Pantheon tends to really swing games early and mid with his large burst damage and great map-wide presence, so if you're ahead, don't rest on your laurels. Recognize that Pantheon is not an end-all be-all carry, and that the longer the game progresses, the more your teammates will have to pick up the slack. I've had many defeats with 2:1 or better kill ratios because I simply couldn't pressure the team fights without proper support. It is at this stage in the game that you can really begin to understand Pantheon's role.
Do not initiate team fights, you will be focused and killed. Your two best courses of action are this: land on a team fight and jump for the opposing team's carry, or come around and attack the squishy champions behind the tank. If these opportunities are not available, make sure to let the tank engage first, and use your Aegis to lock down the most dangerous enemy. Position your HSS to hit the most targets possible, and Spear Shot anything that tries to escape. Hopefully, you'll come out the victorious one.
Conclusion - A Slice of Justice:
Give it some time and learn your limitations. Discover which of the over-extended champions that you can Skyfall to and gank, and those you cannot. One of the most rewarding things about Pantheon is a good ol' helping of /all chat hate. If played correctly, Pantheon can be one of the most demoralizing champions to face in all the League, and his pie-slice of an E will strike fear into the hearts of your enemies. He is not the easiest champion to master, but hopefully with practice and these guiding principles, you too can bake up a little victory.
Here is the results of my Pantheon games after I published the build. As a cosmic reward for putting the build up, I actually got to play him for once in the ranked game I played! (He's always gettin' banned.)
If anyone has any questions or would like to play, my username is Kuro Kun (NA)
Remember to Comment! Thanks for Reading. :)