Pantheon Build Guide by viper459
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One day, many months ago, on a whim i decided to buy pantheon with a spare 3k IP. I've loved him ever since. the problem was, i was playing him as an 'ad caster', with little to no survivability, and as i gained summoner levels he was growing more and more useless. until a friend of mine made a suggestion: play him solo top. and so i looked for builds, and the only good ones i could find (correct me if I'm wrong) were still the same old ad caster, full damage and no survivability. so, as an avid solo top player, i set out to make the pantheon off-tank solo top build. the off-tank part is emphasized, because i find it important to be clear on why i build him off-tank: the biggest reason is team utility - i think he's much more use in teamfights as a tanky disrupting bruiser than a fragile one-off nuker who still needs to get close to enemies. a big second is security: there's always the chance you're going to find yourself in a 2v1 situation somewhere in every game: maybe it's a normal match and they don't have a jungler. maybe you didn't notice their jungler coming to gank. but who would you rather be at such a moment - a tanky bruiser or a glass cannon?
-Good at securing ganks
-great survivability with high effective health
-good lategame scaling and item synergy - many passives help each other with speed increases, health regen, and slowing enemy attack speed
-doesn't need lifesteal per se for early game sustain - still a great tool at endgame
-very good at 1v1 and even some 2v1 match-ups
-good initiate with Aegis of Zeonia
-passive has good synergy with off-tank role
-more of a mitigation tank than a damage sponge
-lacks good attack speed until later in the game
-silences and stuns hurt
-needs farm, and isn't all too good at securing it, unless you want to give up all your mana
-this can be mitigated with champion kills, but especially in lategame you might be struggling to keep the farm up
-CAN be focused down, and needs a fast reaction time from his team after initate - he's not the kind of tank that can survive a few seconds before having the team follow in.
Abilities & strategy
Passive: Aegis Protection
(Innate Passive): After attacking or casting spells 4 times, Pantheon will gain a shield that will block the next normal or enhanced standard attack that deals more than 40 damage to him.
This ability is one of the reasons i play pantheon off-tank as opposed to squishy. this baby will block a lot of damage for you. it works quite simply - each time you auto-attack or cast a spell, you gain a charge. when the charge reaches 4 stacks (or you use Aegis of Zeonia), you gain a charge of Aegis Protection.
TIP: this also works well against physical abilities that apply on-hit effects such as Parrrley, Mystic Shot, and Bladesurge, champions who rely heavily on auto-attacks, or turret attacks. this will not block physical abilities like Volley or Ace in the Hole.
Q Ability: Spear Shot
(Active): Pantheon hurls his spear at an opponent dealing 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.
Cost: 45 mana (all levels)
Cooldown: 4 seconds
Physical Damage: 65 / 105 / 145 / 185 / 225 (+1.4 per bonus attack damage)
This ability is your main harass, and when you get some bonus attack damage it scales very well, quickly turning into a mini-nuke. this is great for securing kills, whittling enemies down, hitting beyond your range or just plain doing damage.
TIP: this ability can be used to secure last-hits in a hard match-up or overpowering enemy lane, though it is possible to quickly burn through your mana this way.
W Ability: Aegis of Zeonia
(Active): Pantheon leaps at an enemy and bashes the enemy with his shield, stunning them for 1 second. Pantheon will also instantly refresh his Aegis Protection.
Cost: 55 mana (all levels)
Cooldown: 13 / 12 / 11 / 10 / 9 seconds
Magic Damage: 50 / 75 / 100 / 125 / 150 (+1.0 per ability power)
This Ability has many uses, the least of them being a small amount of magic damage. no, this really is more of an utility skill - and great utility it does bring. it's a jump and a stun packed in one - though blindly jumping every enemy the second you encounter them is not its strength. especially earlier on in the game, even though it has a long cooldown, it's one of pantheon's best skills. the 1 second stun gives you plenty of time to walk away while doing a Spear Shot, to keep walking and use the enemy as a stepping stone, to focus that carry without his support at his side healing, to secure a gank, or just to do a Heartseeker Strike.
TIP: when you want to harass for the most damage with the least amount of health loss, initiate with this, use 1 more ability then run away.
the AP scaling is impressive, but unused in my build(s).
E Ability: Heartseeker Strike / Certain Death
(Passive): Pantheon's autoattacks gain 100% critical strike chance against targets whose current health is 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 physical damage, and they deal double damage to champions.
Cost: 45 / 50 / 55 / 60 / 65 mana
Cooldown: 10 / 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 seconds
Physical Damage Per Strike: 13 / 23 / 33 / 43 / 53 (+0.6 per bonus attack damage)
This is you bread-and butter AoE dps skill. Positioning is key - it's why i prefer regular over smart cast with this ability. hitting multiple enemies double or triples the damage it actually does, and when their entire team walks into one the fight is basically decided. try to use it when an enemy is CC'd, or otherwise try to position so that they either have to walk towards your team, or farther into the aoe to run to their turret.
TIP:It may not seem to do much damage from the numbers, but it is in fact one of your best skills in teamfights due to the cone AoE. the 0.6 scaling may not seem much, but when you view it as one attack, the numbers are a bit more impressive:
Damage Total: 39 / 69 / 99 / 129 / 159 (+1.8 per bonus attack damage
R Ability: Grand Skyfall (ultimate)
(Active): 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 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.
Cost: 125 mana
Range to Center of AoE: 5500
Radius of AoE: 1000 (estimate)
Cooldown: 150 / 135 / 120 seconds
Magic Damage: 400 / 700 / 1000 (+1.0 per ability power)
This is Pantheon's ultimate ability. every once in a while after level six, you can choose a location in a big radius to skyfall down onto. a common misconception is that the enemies see the ring that appears on the ground for the whole 3.5 seconds it takes to do the skill - while in fact, they only see the last 1.5 second channel while pantheon is ''in the air''. this is an easy ultimate to use, but hard to master. it's hard to explain exactly how i place my ultimate with pantheon - sometimes, you just really need to get to that tower and simply use it as a teleport - but the skill is much better than that. it's massive damage is only dealt fully in the center - so if you can place even one champion there it's worth the long cooldown. but if you can get the entire enemy team in there, and your team mates are near enough, this ability can be a real game-changer.
TIP: because the cooldown resets, you have a small window to ''bluff'' your ultimate and cancel it. this can be used to try and scare away a backdooring champion - if he isn't scared away, you will hit him - otherwise, he will be away and you will only suffer a 10sec cooldown.
Items & Skill Use
Your starter items are Regrowth Pendant + Mana Potion for sustain. Start with Spear Shot for harassment and farm while whittling down your enemy with attacks and Spear Shot.
After a while your jungler will come to gank - you will be lvl 2 (with Aegis of Zeonia) or lvl 3, ( with Heartseeker Strike as well). when lvl 3 the gank should be easy enough to secure, use your Aegis of Zeonia when your jungler initates and immediately use Heartseeker Strike and if necessary, finish with Spear Shot. This is the standard combo for pantheon. when level 2 it might be more tricky, you will have to use auto-attacks and might need to Flash into an Aegis of Zeonia to secure the kill.
After this you should have a nice sack of gold, and a jungler in your lane to defend - you are safe to go back. the goal is to have >1050 gold by now. this buys you Boots of Speed and Chain Vest, which will give you the first speed boost and some nice armor rating. you can more safely duel now if your lane is 1v1, or much more safely farm if 2v1.
Then proceeds the laning phase. This is pretty straightforward: farm, harass with Spear Shot and Heartseeker Strike, and secure kills whenever you can. the optimal time to go back again is at about 1600 gold - this gets you Mercury's Treads and Glacial Shroud. with these items you'll be a pretty beastly fighter already, and have a lot of sustain mana-wise.
After that, proceed to do the same thing all over again, and when you go back get a B. F. Sword and (if you can) Negatron Cloak. now you'll really start doing some more damage.
After the B. F. Sword you'll want to complete Frozen Heart and Force of Nature, based on the enemy's team composition. congratulations, you now have the core items of this build pretty much down.
After the core items the Builds start to diverge. i go one of three ways:
Build 1: 0/21/9 masteries, Lifesteal, more health, on-hit slow, armor and some damage,
The Bloodthirster, Atma's Impaler, Frozen Mallet
Build 2: 21/9/0 masteries, attack speed, damage, on-hit effects, Magic resist and lifesteal
The Black Cleaver, Wit's End, The Bloodthirster
Build 3: 21/9/0 masteries, attack speed, critical strike damage, lifesteal, hp regen and armor reduction
Infinity Edge, Zeke's Herald (i know, you could also get a PD..), The Black Cleaver