Pantheon Build Guide by Draacko
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Pantheon, Middle+Top Lanes
As soon as realistically possible
Not Updated For Current Season
Hello! And welcome to my guide on Pantheon, the Artisan of War. This guide will focus on Pantheon played aggressively both top and middle lanes. I may introduce how Pantheon can be played as a support character and jungle ganker at a later time(That's right! I am claiming that a skilled Pantheon can be played in any position of Summoner's Rift! I've done so extensively and in time, you will too!) For now though, let's focus on Pantheon top/mid!
Pros / Cons
We go with the standard 21/9/0 "Attack Damage" tree in order to maximize our burst and harassment tools. Also, synergies perfectly with your second passive from .
Greater Quintessence of Scaling Attack Damage
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Attack Damage
Throughout our Marks and Seals we use straight Attack Damage runes in order to help dominate early-to-mid lane exchanges, and to dissuade our opponent from trying to exact vengeance from our successive against him. For Glyphs, we use CDR runes in order to keep up our assaults far faster than any one champion can contend with. The effect we are trying to have is to continually beat our targets into either, making a mistake, or returning to base so we can farm ahead and tower burn.
IT IS worth mentioning again though that, if you continually back-to-back then you will go mana dry fairly quickly(at least early game). But, like previously stated, if you are mana dry it is because you dealt extensive damage to your target and he is most likely cowering in a corner somewhere. You can farm a little, or Back-to-Base to top off, while he licks his wounds. Alternatively you can stick around with low mana and maybe trick your opponent into making a move against you. You only need about 120 mana or so to land a devastating combo at level 3, which will almost guarantee a kill against even a mildly damaged opponent.
Part of the joy of playing Pantheon is the huge deficit you impart to your enemies health bar with one or two focused . You'll want to rush for the early Armor Pen, AD and CDR. Seriously, this item has pretty much everything you want. Be responsible though! You'll still need wards and at least a few potions to stay competitive. That said, you'll never have any trouble keeping your farm and income alive and well, just keep at it.
Secondly, get your additional movement speed and CDR with our . This does wonders for your rotation, true. But these boots really shine when you're jumping across the map, setting up ganks and team engages like a mad man with your ultimate. I couldn't count the amount of times people have been amazingly shocked at the rate of my , both allies and enemy alike.
Thirdly, boasts additional Armor Pen, slight AD and CDR, and +15 Critical Chance. All of these are truly great stats, but the activated movement speed buff is invaluable for chasing in order to land, either, that final Spear Shot or to open another w-e-q combo, leading with your stun and effectively stopping your fleeing opponent in their tracks.The Attack Speed is nothing to ignore either as it will allow continual stacks of . The movement speed is also great for evading ganks or a bad team fight. Also, the sound effect more than pays for the item.
The last crucial part of your build is . Obviously there's the huge Attack Damage buff that is further enhanced by your Armor Pen from your Youmuu's. However, maybe not so obviously, is the extra Critical DAMAGE. Seeing as you are guaranteed critical strikes against opponents whose health is below 15%, thanks to . The additional Critical Damage will both, get their health bars lower quicker and seal their doomed fates with a final spear shot as they disengage to avoid feeding you, more.
Our fourth and fifth items can be reversed as you see fit, or replaced completely to cooperate with your individual play style. Generally it is recommended to grab a defensive item, but the choice is entirely up to you!
is a constant on all version of Pantheon's except for when you jungle. The true damage is unmitigated by Armor and Magic Resist and is usually *just* enough damage to secure a kill. is often my second choice for Summoner Spells as it will let you stick to targets easier, as well as allow for escapes. It is also generally considered good practice for at least one team member to have equipped regardless. However, I can see the benefits of as an escape/positioning tool and I often used that in my beginning stages with Pantheon. There is no fault in using either of these.
I personally almost never use on any of my Champions, but if you do, then that is another viable choice as well.
Our skill sequence is pretty straight forward. First, we want to grab our Q ability, . This will be our main harassment tool for the entire match and so it is the first one we will want to max out as well.
Level 2, you will want to grab our W, , which is our stun. You most likely will want to use this ability to initiate melee combat after a Spear Shot or three. We will be maxing this skill out last as it is mainly a utility skill. Something that is worth knowing about this ability though is that it refreshes your passive when used. So, lets say you build up 4 attacks to gain and move to dive your opponent, whom is know cowering under his turret snuggled warmly by the false blanket of security it provides for him. Approaching the turret with minions(as you generally should) gets you in range, allowing you one last poke before engaging. Having dealt damage to your opponent however means that the turret wants you dead. Well, surprise! You're first will block that turret damage ENTIRELY. After the first shot, you engage with a well timed refreshing your and letting you open up with a combo of , and for an impressive kill. In this scenario alone you can see how timing your is crucial to playing an unkillable Pantheon. Three turret hits, which would normally kill almost any other champion, is reduced to one and you get a kill. Priceless.
At level 3 we will complete our combo set with E, . Now you're ready to get personal! This is our burst damage ability plus it provides us with our not-to-shabby second passive. Generally you will want to use this ability right after you stun your opponent with . HOWEVER, is on a shorter cooldown then by a couple seconds and the double damage+guaranteed critcal can spell out the difference between victory and defeat if things aren't going well or you're facing a tanky Champion. DO NOT forget to use it again! It is also a good form of wave clear when farming for minions.
Most rotations will follow up a few initial Spear Shots and are generally followed by one last Spear Shot. Don't underestimate this ability when coupled with your second passive! It will often not let you down.
Lastly is our ultimate, . This ultimate is great for tower diving using our skills previously discussed in the review about our Q, . It is hard to land though, and harder still to master. It is best used for damage after a team fight has already been initiated and people are too busy fighting to notice your giant circle of impending doom. !!!HOWEVER!!! This is only the simplest form of your ultimate. Advanced Pantheons can use this ability to push opponents forward from under their tower and into his friendly team as they stalk in ambush. Or foregoing the damage entirely and using the Leap to get ahead of your opponents as they retreat, effectively cutting them off and locking them in a classic kill box. Your ultimate can also be used to escape, gank, tower burn/defend and back door the enemy nexus if the situation allows for it.
Lastly, I find it's worth mentioning that when I first started playing Pantheon I was cautious in using my ultimate because of it's notoriously long cooldown. Thanks to our CDR runes and items however, this CD is drastically reduced. And what that should mean for you is this.. DON'T BE AFRAID TO LEAP ON ANYTHING, OUT OF ANYTHING OR TO ANYTHING. It will confound your enemy, putting them off balance and inspire your allies. Leap much and leap often.
At the risk of sounding prideful, I feel it is safe to say that Pantheon can be effective when coupled with almost any ally. I've used Pantheon to much success coupled with a Jax, Ezreal, Lux, Kha'Zix, Malphite, Annie, Ryze, Malzahar, Rengar, Riven, Talon and a few others. His stun allows for him to setup initiations in lane, or let his ally escape. His ultimate lets him leap from base to tower in dire situations, turning the lane around completely. His passive makes him deceptively durable and most carries just can't withstand the damage output from and to be effective. Just take your time. Land your Spear Shots and jump on them with your stun when you're ready for the kill. Or give it your teammate! League of Legends is a team game after all. And you are going to have a hard time finding a better ally than a skilled Pantheon.
In conclusion, I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to read this guide about how I play Pantheon. I promise you can't argue with the results. As soon as I get the proper equipment/software I will be uploading some video footage of Pantheon in all lanes(solo/duo top, mid, bot and jungle)
I will also be going in-depth about how to jungle with Pantheon. Look forward to that.
Please upvote on this guide and I will make sure to keep it updated! If you do downvote, send me a message or comment about what you didn't like and I'll be sure to address it.
This was my first guide, and most likely my only one as Pantheon is the only champion I feel confident enough to make a guide for. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did making it!
Have fun leaping!