Pantheon Build Guide by AllyZero
Not Updated For Current Season
Early Game vs. AD
Early Game vs. AP
Early Game Snowball
Endgame Burst Damage
Not Updated For Current Season
Welcome to my guide on Pantheon, the Artisan of War. This is my first guide, so bear with me. Why Pantheon? Well, he was the first champion I picked up when I started playing League of Legends way back in January 2011. He's always been one of my favorite champions, both kitwise and aesthetically. Recently he's also been picked up in the LCS, so I figured the time was ripe to write my first guide.
Before you read any further, know that this guide is based on top lane Pantheon. It's also built around the idea of being a very mobile damage dealer. If you're looking for a tanky utility build, then there are other guides that will suit you better.
If you have any questions, ideas or constructive criticism, feel free to drop me a line in the comment section below. I will do my best to keep an eye on it! Now, without further ado, on with the show..
Pros / Cons
+ Good skirmisher
+ Hard to harass/trade with if his passive is used properly
+ Hard CC
+ VERY mobile champion
+ Has an execute
+ HUGE damage potential
+ Tons of fun to play
- Very mana-dependant in the early game
- Sacrifices survivability for damage
- Can become a liability to the team if not able to snowball
Notes on Pantheon's abilities
- Requires 4 auto-attacks and/or abilities to proc.
- Is instatly proc'ed when you use Aegis of Zeonia.
- Blocks (completely negates) 1 auto-attack.
- Blocks (completely negates) 1 turret attack.
- Blocks (completely negates) auto-attack modifier (eg. Siphoning Strike, Ruthless Predator, Parrrley,.. )
- Does NOT block magic damage or on-hit effects.
- Counts towards activating Aegis Protection.
- Benefits from Critical Strike and is calculated the same way that auto-attacks would be.
- Benefits from Heartseeker Strike's passive.
Aegis of Zeonia
- Instantly procs Aegis Protection.
- It can be used on enemy minions to get in range for a spear or to quickly proc your Aegis Protection. Additionally, it can be used on jungle creeps to get over small walls to chase/escape through the jungle.
- The stun can be blocked with a spell shield.
- It can be cancelled mid-animation by enemy CC.
- Enemies that move out of it's range (eg. with Flash, Arcane Shift,..) during the animation will still be stunned when they reach their destination.
- It can be cast during the channel of Grand Skyfall to instantly jump on and stun an enemy when you land. This is very similar to Shen's Stand United + Shadow Dash combo.
- The passive effect gives you 100% Critican Strike chance against enemies below 15% health.
- In other words, this gives your Spear Shot the ability to become an execute.
- Late game this is useful for waveclear, but also for bursting down enemies with your combo.
- Acts as THREE SEPERATE auto-attacks. So for example, using it on an enemy champion while using a The Black Cleaver will immediatly put three armor-reduction stacks on them.
- By contrast however, it only applies 1 stack for Aegis Protection as opposed to 3.
- It can be cancelled either by yourself or by hard CC. Either way, it will go on a mere 10 second cooldown before it can be used again but the mana will not be refunded.
- Aegis of Zeonia can be cast on an enemy in the impact zone during the channel, effectively "queuing" it to be executed as soon as you land.
- It's most obvious use is to get in to teamfights quickly. Try to aim just behind the enemy tankline so you can jump on one of their carries, and coordinate with your team so they engage the second you land.
- It's also a good escape tool if you find yourself in a sticky situation. Don't do this unless you see no other way, though.
A note on Pantheon's mobility
Here is something that a lot of summoners are unaware of: Pantheon has the highest base movement speed in League of Legends (355).
Be aware of this as you are playing, and learn to capitalize on his inherent mobility. For example, you'll be able to outrun your opponents and you'll be able to get in and out quickly if you want to harass. That's also why this build uses Boots of Mobility. It's synergy guarantees you will almost always be able to get in to fights with Grand Skyfall. For this reason (amoung others), Trinity Force also has great synergy with Pantheon. I very rarely build it and it is therefore not included in this guide, but there's an argument to be made.
For reference, there are a number of champions with the slightly lower movement speed of 350 but these are generally assassins like Shaco, Kha'Zix, Talon.. There is only one other champion in the game that has 355 base movement speed, and that's Master Yi.
Start the game off by picking up your starting items:
- VS AD: Doran's Shield + Health Potion + Warding Totem
- VS AP: Null-Magic Mantle + Health Potion + Warding Totem
- SNOWBALL: Long Sword + 2x Health Potion + Warding Totem
Head to the jungle to guard for invades and/or help your jungler take his first buff. Try to get your passive, Aegis Protection, proc'ed on the jungle camp. Head off to your top lane. Now, there are two things you need to be focussed on: (1) You want your passive to be up as often as possible. If it gets consumed by your enemy, auto-attack minions to get it back up. (2) You want to concentrate on wave control, this means getting gold from last hits and trying not to push the lane to the enemy turret.
The problem with overzealous Pantheons is that when the jungler gets around to ganking your lane, you won't have the mana to pull off your combo because you've been throwing spears all day. Mana management is crucial at this stage in the game. That being said, if your enemy gets too ballsy, it doesn't hurt to shoo them off with a few spears to the face. A few things to note here: NEVER farm/lasthit with your Heartseeker Strike. It costs too much mana and does terrible damage at early levels anyway. Also, never throw spears unless you have to. And lastly, don't use your Aegis of Zeonia (aka put it on cooldown) unless your jungler is ganking your lane or you need a clutch proc of your passive to save your life.
If your jungler comes to gank your lane, that's when it's sparta time. Hit your enemy with your full combo: Spear Shot -> Aegis of Zeonia -> Heartseeker Strike -> Ignite -> Spear Shot. With Heartseeker Strike's passive, this is almost always a sure kill.
On your first time back, you want to pick up at least a Long Sword and Boots of Speed, ideally a full The Brutalizer (unless you're going up against an AP toplaner, than you'll want a Hexdrinker). Your next big-ticket item is going to be a Giant's Belt. At this point, you'll be in the mid-game, which I'll go in to in the next section.
The next item to complete is going to be your Sunfire Cape to give you some much needed health and armor. At this stage in the game, the first turrets should be down and teamfights should be starting. Pantheon has the potential to pressure lanes hard and quickly move to another lane with Grand Skyfall.
The two things that should be your main focus are (1) pushing your lane and forcing the enemy team to react to you and (2) making sure you're in range to Mandrop to your team if they should engage somewhere. Not only will your team appreciate the help, but you want those kills and assists too, right?
Also, a good idea at this point in the game is to sell your Warding Totem and trade it in for a Sweeping Lens. As you'll be doing a lot of splitpushing and objective-taking, this will allow you to clear out enemy wards, effectively denying them vision on the map.
After your sunfire, you'll want to build a The Bloodthirster and upgrade to Boots of Mobility. After that finish your The Black Cleaver or Maw of Malmortius.
At this point, you need to decide which way the game is going. Is it more teamfight-oriented and is your damage necessary to nuke down enemies? Then get an Infinity Edge. Is your team more mobility based and are they good at catching out enemies and taking objectives? Then a Ravenous Hydra is probably a better bet to help you splitpush faster.
If the game has taken this long and you've got five items, your general strategy will be the same. Push lanes hard and force the enemy team to split up and deal with you, then mandrop to your team giving you the numbers advantage. As noted in the cheat sheet above, I generally pick up a Guardian Angel as my sixth item. It gives you that second life, but it's also a deterrent for enemies who'll switch focus to other members of your team because "forget it, he has a GA".
This, however, is not set in stone. Other viable options are:
Randuin's Omen - Often better, in fact. Especially when going up against AD-heavy teams.
Thornmail - A niche pick. Could be useful against crit/ad teams that haven't built any MR.
Banshee's Veil - Good vs heavy AP teams with a lot of one-shot bursts.
Warmog's Armor - It's ok, but I can't think of a situation where it would be better.
Frozen Mallet - If it's HP you're after, then this is the better option.
Blade of the Ruined King - It has it's uses, especially against high-health tanks, but I'm not sold on it with Pantheon.
Trinity Force - A good go-to item if you're unsure what to build, the mobility bonusses synergize especially well with Pantheon. Not sure if you'll want to build this as a sixth item, though.
Sword of the Occult - Trolololol. If anyone can pull this off, I want to see the VOD. :)
PANTHEON IS STRONG AGAINST:
Champions that generally rely on auto-attacks and auto-attack modifiers for damage. Also, champions that have no way to counter your CC/combo damage shouldn't be a problem. Some examples are:
PANTHEON IS WEAK AGAINST
Champions with ranged (AP) attacks that can outsustain you in lane. Some examples are:
I've seen quite a wide array of different Pantheon builds, to varying degrees of success. I understand that a lot of people like playing him with more emphasis on being able to tank and initiate. I also recognize his viability as a jungler or midlaner.
As described above, I enjoy playing him as a mobile damage-dealing monster. I'd like to ask that you keep that in mind when commenting. Thank you for reading my first guide to Pantheon, I've attempted to make it as comprehensive as possible. As stated in the introduction, questions, ideas and constructive criticism are more than welcome!