Pantheon Build Guide by Aersoth
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Grocery List (Core)
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.
I'm just your average, ordinary chum on the NA server. Though, something that may not be too ordinary about me is that I main Pantheon. I cannot express how much I love and adore this champion. Not only is his play style extremely fun and satisfying, but watching that kill counter skyrocket is, too. If you play him correctly, that is.
That's sort of what I intend to teach you today; not that this way of playing him is supreme, or even "correct". But just what I've had extreme success with in public games.
Repeat after me,
Pros / Cons
• Powerful early game.
• Great tank and tower diver due to passive.
• Insanely quick nukes with proper skill combo.
• Excellent mobility.
• Changes roles late game.
• Takes a ton of practice.
• Hard as hell to hit land the perfect ultimate.
• Mana hungry.
This is my preferred Mastery setup for. It involves some extra health and armor so I'm a bit more beefier in lane, without sacrificing any damage at all. You can trade Resistance out for Hardiness if you're against AP and not AD.
You might be asking: why did you put points into Sorcery and not Fury ? Also, why did you skip Frenzy ? Simple. Pantheon isn't a champion that is reliant on basic attacks to do strong damage. As such, I find it best to ignore Fury and Frenzy in favor of maxing out Sorcery for the CDR.
Here is an alternative Mastery setup that I sometimes use when I play Pantheon in the mid lane. Somewhat addresses his mana issues.
Greater Mark of Armor Penetration
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Ignoring armor is obviously strong. Not an enormous difference between these and Attack Damage Marks early on, in my opinion. But they're definitely the better option in the late game.
Armor Seals give me a noticeable amount of defense during the laning phase, and still gives me that extra buffer later on. Only option, in my opinion.
Basically serves the same purpose as my Armor Seals, except with Magic damage.
Same idea with Marks applies to this. Easier last hits and more early damage.
These are the only options. Flash is extremely unpredictable, and lets you pull off some cute tricks that can save your life. Ignite lets you secure kills early on, making you stronger later. Throw it on the enemy carry later on and reduce the amount of healing their support does. All around good spell.
Cleanse seems amazing on Pantheon at first glance, because of how weak he is to crowd control effects. But it's far too tempting to use it improperly, and serves the same purpose as items you're probably getting anyway in a heavy CC environment.
Teleport is unnecessary due to Pantheon's ultimate.
This is my preferred skill sequence. You might be asking why I threw my third skill point into Spear Shot instead of Heartseeker Strike. It's pretty simple:
Heartseeker Strike is an ability that requires not only higher ranks to do higher damage, but also a decent pool of AD. So I find it best to wait a little bit longer (level 4's a safe bet because I'll probably be recalling for a Doran's Blade or two very soon) before I start maxing it out.
Another thing is, if I pick it up at level three, I'm doing so with the intention of either churning out my entire skill combo (explained below) on the enemy champion, or to get whatever damage I can on minion packs. Neither of those are efficient options. I say that because when I choose to use both Spear Shot and Heartseeker Strike that early, I'm basically saying I want to dedicate to spending 90 mana regularly. That's a ton in the super, super early stages of the game. Why is running out of mana bad?
• I can't safely farm without risking taking a huge chunk of damage.
• I can't stop them from farming safely.
• If I get ganked, I don't have the mana to escape with my stun (will be explained later).
Sure, you could just not use Heartseeker Strike and just save the mana, but then you might as well put that extra point into Spear Shot for a stronger poke. The passive can wait a level.
I'll explain how to effectively use Pantheon's skills in the Gameplay section of the guide.
Crystalline Flask gives you the sustain you need to stay in lane and rack up minion kills. Pays for itself after a couple recalls.
Health Potion shares the same basic idea. Lane staying power.
sight ward gives you some awareness on whether or not someone's coming to gank you.
Bam. Let's move on.
The Black Cleaver is a very powerful item on Pantheon. It contains all of the stats that he needs to succeed: health, damage, armor shred, and cooldown reduction. Just an all around great item. Despite how strong it is, I recommend that you build it after your second core item, Last Whisper. ( Youmuu's Ghostblade can replace this. It's all down to your personal preference.)
Last Whisper is essential in keeping up your ability to assassinate enemy carries. It proves a strong amount of armor shred and decent base damage, allowing you to drop in and take down an important target within a couple seconds. Very powerful item and remains so throughout the game.
Mercury's Treads is my go-to pair of boots in every late-game situation. It gives a good amount of CC reduction, which Pantheon needs to survive, and some magic resist to help versus AP champions. I will only use Boots of Mobility early on, and only when I'm winning my own lane. This is so I can quickly swap to other lanes to secure kills and become even more fed. I sell them for Mercury's Treads later on.
The Bloodthirster works great with Pantheon, providing you with an immense amount of attack damage and giving your skills the edge they need to do massive damage. The downside is that it requires full stacks to reach its full potential, which isn't always possible to maintain. I pick this up if I'm confident and nicely fed.
Maw of Malmortius is a must-have when faced against heavy AP compositions. The passives work together nicely to let you do as much damage as possible before you die. It can even work as an escape tool. Nidalee's spear just hit you? Don't worry, you have that shield to protect you while you escape.
Youmuu's Ghostblade is a little bit underrated, I feel. Like The Black Cleaver, it provides all the stats that Pantheon requires to do huge damage: CDR, AD, and armor shred. The critical strike chance is an added bonus. Its active provides you a way to escape fights, initiate them, and chase. The attack speed isn't game changing for this particular champion, but it's still nice.
Trinity Force is a great item in theory. Sure, it gives you a ton of stats, but the idea of Pantheon is to maximize the damage dished out by your skill combination. The AD on this item in comparison to something like The Bloodthirster is a bit underwhelming, to say the least. Attack speed, movement speed, and critical strike chance aren't entirely necessary either. The Sheen proc is decent in some cases, but considering that your main job is to drop in, kill the carry, and get out, I don't see this having an opportunity to shine. That's just my personal opinion, though.
Lastly, Ravenous Hydra. Both the passive and active are great for clearing minion packs instantly, making this a good item if you're assigned to split-pushing. It's also effective if the enemy team is clumped up enough. This is mainly because the AoE applies The Black Cleaver stacks.
Frozen Mallet is pretty meh. The damage is just flat-out garbage, and it's not the best pick if you're looking for massive health. It's beaten in that department by Warmog's Armor. The on-hit slow is strong, but that's the only redeeming factor about this item. Pick it up if you need some extra CC, but otherwise, get something else.
Randuin's Omen is probably the absolute best item to pick up when faced against a fed enemy carry. The attack and movement speed slow coupled with the insane amount of armor makes you a force to be reckoned with. The health is a little low compared to Frozen Mallet and Warmog's Armor, but that isn't nearly enough to make this item not worthwhile.
Warmog's Armor. I've mentioned this item a couple times, and with good reason. It holds an immense amount of health to its name, making a good addition to your armory if the enemy ADC is under performing, and the APC is doing the work. Be on the lookout for items like Deathfire Grasp and Blade of the Ruined King, though, because you'd pretty much be increasing their damage done by getting this item.
Banshee's Veil is extremely underrated. It allows Pantheon to laugh in the face of CC. Not only that, but it can negate nearly every single spell in the game. This includes Rocket Grab, Enchanted Crystal Arrow, Bandage Toss, and Dazzle. I highly recommend this item.
And last but not least, Guardian Angel. It's pretty obvious as to why this is a good item. You pretty much become a cat, except with seven less lives. Jokes aside, it has a good amount of magic resist and armor, along with a powerful passive, making this a great item. It has good synergy with Maw of Malmortius, as well.
Gameplay (Will Be Updated Soon)
We're almost done, just hang on a little longer.
Gonna kick this off by addressing Pantheon's basic skill rotation.
Throw in an auto attack somewhere in there to apply on-hit effects from items like Frozen Mallet and you're set. This rotation is the most efficient, in my opinion. Inflict some good initial damage with Spear Shot, get the most out of Aegis of Zeonia by allowing Heartseeker Strike to deal damage through it's full duration, then get one more Spear Shot in before repeating it all. If your opponent's health doesn't plummet after that, then either they're Rammus, or something's bugged.
Caught overextending? Getting ganked by that pesky Nocturne? Have no fear, Aegis of Zeonia is here! Simply leap-stun that Nocturne, recharging your Aegis Protection and giving you time to escape to your tower.
Here are some pictures to demonstrate this:
The enemy Nocturne runs up for a gank (not sure why he turned away for a split second, but imagine he's facing me?).
Doing so buys me time to get to my tower safely.
Grand Skyfall is by far my favorite ultimate in the entire game. It's so tempting to use incorrectly, but once you get the hang of it, you can turn fights around in an instant. Let me start by showing you the incorrect way to use Grand Skyfall.
No. Bad. Garen can simply retreat to his tower, taking absolutely no damage from Grand Skyfall itself. If I dive, there's a high chance I will die.
This is just silly.
Better. He can't escape to his tower or the jungle. If he tries, he'll take massive damage from Grand Skyfall. I am right on top of his tower, but I can simply Aegis of Zeonia onto him to recharge my Aegis Protection. Then, I can maneuver myself away, throw out my Heartseeker Strike and Spear Shot, and secure the kill. If Reneketon helps, he dies faster.
Now's probably a good time to mention that this is my first guide. To everyone that has read this far, I really appreciate your feedback and comments. If you disagree with something, or if I'm blatantly wrong, just let me know.
To everyone else, though. I hope that I explained my Pantheon style clearly, and I hope that you learned something from this. Now go out there and carve skulls.