Pantheon Build Guide by CubeJackal
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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 guide is incomplete! Yeah, I accidentally clicked 'Publish' instead of 'Save' while building this guide. Sorry! Please withhold votes until this notice is removed.
Welcome to CubeJackal's Pantheon build and gameplay guide! In my recent games as Pantheon, I've devised a somewhat unique build that has proven to be extremely effective. I'm writing this guide in order to share both this build and my knowledge with other Pantheon players in the hopes of improving everyone's Pantheon-playing experience. If you have any constructive criticism or tips to impart, please leave a comment and don't forget to vote!
Disclaimer: This build has not been tested in a ranked gameplay environment and as such may not be viable in ranked gameplay.
Introduction to Pantheon
To begin with, Pantheon has some of the best killing potential in the game. Everything about this champion favours killing other champions. His Spear Shot whittles down his enemies' HP, his Aegis of Zeonia traps his victims and Heartseeker Strike delivers the killing blow, both actively and passively. Finally, Grand Skyfall has become infamous within the League of Legends community as a terrifying tower diver, tower saver, teamfight disruptor and noob killer. Pantheon is a hugely underrated and underplayed champ, meaning that many summoners have no idea how to stop him as a result. Take advantage of the naivety of your opponents by sweeping the Fields of Justice with this beast of an assassin.
What are the basics?
First of all, let's go over Pantheon's Golden Rule: Pantheon is not an auto-attacker. This is the biggest mistake I see unskilled Pantheon players making. If you're right-clicking an enemy champion at any time other than to trigger Heartseeker Strike's passive or to disrupt certain status effects (such as an enemy Pantheon's Aegis Protection), you're doing something very wrong. Pantheon is an AD caster. He relies on his abilities to deal almost all of his damage.
Secondly, Pantheon is classified as an assassin, meaning that he is a relatively squishy champion that excels at killing vulnerable enemy champions, such as carries. With this build especially, he does not have the tankiness necessary to initiate a teamfight or go toe to toe with an enemy Volibear or Darius. Keep in mind that you are nowhere near as brawny as many other potential solo top champions.
Greater Mark of DesolationGreater Mark of Desolation
This is a solid choice on any AD-based champion, but even more so on Pantheon as it presents a solution to his hardest counter: armour. Armour penetration is much more important in terms of runes than flat or scaling attack damage.
Greater Seal of Resilience
Flat armour seals soak up plenty of the damage you'll receive early on from top-lane AD champions. Armour runes are a better choice than health runes simply because they scale better. It's more efficient to have 13 extra armour than 50 extra health (9x Greater Seal of Health).
Greater Glyph of Warding
Same story as Greater Seal of Armor, but concerning AP damage instead of AD damage. These are at their most useful against potential top-lane opponents such as Sion or Mordekaiser, who dish out AP damage as well as AD.
Greater Quintessence of DesolationGreater Quintessence of Desolation
Some AD champions are better suited to flat AD or critical chance/damage bonuses in their quintessences, but keep in mind that Pantheon gets shut down effectively by armour. These quints are essential in countering Pantheon's counter, so to speak.
Why flat runes instead of scaling runes?
Put simply, flat runes provide larger bonuses when they're needed. These particular runes are at their most useful early on in the game, before you're able to purchase powerful items. By the time scaling runes reach their maximum power, you've probably built items to fulfil their purpose anyway. These runes give a significant early game edge that can win you your lane and secure the rest of the game for you.
: Nice buffs on common Pantheon spells, such as Ignite
Brute Force : Flat extra AD for more of an advantage early on
Sorcery : Lower cooldowns so that you can harass and combo more often
Alacrity : Synergies with building stacks for Aegis Protection
Weapon Expertise : More armour pen - this is important!
Deadliness : 9 extra AD at level 18 certainly doesn't hurt
Lethality : Synergies with Heartseeker Strike's passive effect
Sunder : Should be obvious by now
Executioner : Powerful damage buff to wounded opponents, use to secure kills
: Flat magic resist for absorbing enemy AP harassment
Hardiness : Flat armour for extra survivability in lane
Vigor : More health regen for extra lane sustain
Veteran's Scars : Strong health boost for initial lane sustain and survival
Aegis Protection (Passive)
After attacking or casting spells 4 times, Pantheon will block the next normal attack that deals more than 40 damage to him.
This passive is one of the most useful in the game. As well as blocking all champion auto-attacks, this ability also blocks certain abilities ( Parrrley, Mystic Shot) and tower shots. This is one of this things that makes Pantheon such an excellent tower-diver. Ensure that this is up as much as possible and keep in mind that siege minion attacks can break it.
Spear Shot (Q)
Pantheon hurls his spear at an opponent, dealing 65 / 105 / 145 / 185 / 225 (+1.4 per bonus attack damage) physical damage. If Heartseeker Strike has been leveled up once, Spear Shot will crit to deal 150% damage against opponents whose current health is below 15% of their max health.
This is a powerful, low-cost harass ability that can cause a great deal of damage to your lane opponent over time early on and continues to be useful later in the game. It comprises a large portion of your burst damage once leveled and can finish off escaping enemies due to Heartseeker Strike's passive effect on it. Don't hesitate to use this frequently during the laning phase, but always keep a careful eye on your mana levels - Pantheon runs out of mana very easily. I max this skill second in order to max Heartseeker Strike first.
Aegis of Zeonia (W)
Pantheon leaps at the target enemy champion and deals 50 / 75 / 100 / 125 / 150 (+100% of ability power) magic damage and stuns them for 1 second. Pantheon also instantly refreshes his Aegis Protection.
This is Pantheon's hard CC ability. Though the stun time is short, it gives him more than enough time to end a chase and execute his full combo. Use it when ganking to ensure a kill and always use Heartseeker Strike immediately after this if possible. Another notable point of this ability is that it instantly refreshes Aegis Protection. Try using Spear Shot and auto attacks (this is the one of the only times that auto-attacking as Pantheon is okay) on your opponent until they break your shield, then immediately use Aegis of Zeonia and Heartseeker Strike for an immediate passive refresh and a large amount of damage to boot. I max this ability last, as the stun time does not scale with level. Note that this ability uses a large amount of mana, so only use it in the best possible circumstances and ensure that you have enough mana to combo with Heartseeker Strike.
Heartseeker Strike (E)
Passive: Pantheon gains 100% critical strike chance against targets below 15% of their max health.
Active: Pantheon channels for 0.75 seconds and deals 3 swift strikes in a cone in front of him. Each strike deals 13 / 23 / 33 / 43 / 53 (+0.6 per bonus attack damage) physical damage, and they deal double damage to champions.
This is easily Pantheon's most dangerous ability when maxed first. When used in conjunction with Aegis of Zeonia, it can cut out a huge portion of the health of the targets and may even kill them. This is your main damage dealer, which you'll ideally use to remove most of your oppponent's HP before finishing them with Ignite, Spear Shot or a similar method. I max this ability first in order to reach my full damage-dealing potential as Pantheon. This ability desperately needs both levels and items to become truly fearsome. Many unskilled Pantheons max Spear Shot first. While this grants excellent harass, these Pantheons have little-to-no killing power after using Aegis of Zeonia and are forced to use auto-attacks (remember the Golden Rule?) after the neglected Heartseeker Strike fails to do significant damage. Needless to say, correct usage of this ability is what separates good Pantheons from poor ones.
Grand Skyfall (R - Ultimate)
Pantheon gathers his strength (channeling for 2 seconds) and then leaps high in to the air, crashing down at the target area 1.5 seconds later. Deals 400 / 700 / 1000 (+100% of ability power) magic damage to units at the center (down to 50% at the edge) and slows them by 35% for 1 second. If the channeling is cancelled, the cooldown is reduced to 10 seconds.
This is one of League of Legends' most hilarious ultimates. This can crush a recalling lane opponent, save a tower in distress, completely wreck a teamfight and even escape a gank. I take a point in this whenever possible. Grand Skyfall needs a lot of explaining to allow you to reach its maximum potential, so see the 'Grand Skyfall' section of the guide for more information and strategies.