Pantheon Build Guide by Lucorian5
This build has been archived and is for historical display only.
PLEASE NOTE: This build has been archived by the author. They are no longer supporting nor updating this build and it may have become outdated. As such, voting and commenting have been disabled and it no longer appears in regular search results.
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Summoner's Rift (5v5)
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.
Riot Games Champion Spotlight
It's VERY old, and no longer overly relevant, but watching it will give you an idea of how Pantheon is played; so if you have the time, I highly recommend a quick watch.
Your probably wondering why I released this guide, and what happened to my old one. Fear not, this is pretty much the exact same guide with some minor changes and a few new alternative masteries, and I now mention an alternative Solo-Top skill sequence that involves maxing Spear Shot first, though it pains me greatly to have to include it. Anyways, this guide is out in replacement of my old (though it was out for less than two weeks) Pantheon guide because of how badly the other one got troll-voted.
After getting twenty upvotes with comment to vote on and rapidly scaling to 87%, trolls attacked violently with C2V disabled, and the guide dropped to 79% within about four days. Awesome. This is probably a direct result of me getting into an argument with a couple people on a public forum (what can I say? I've always had something of a talent for finding conflict, just ask YourSpineIsMine :P) and people didn't like that, and so all my guides tanked downwards, with my Pantheon guide being hit the hardest. It was my own fault, and its all been cleared up now, so that shouldn't be a factor anymore.
I acknowledge that the same thing may happen again, but I have addressed the complaints of some of the criticizers and have made a few changes to the guide accordingly. So now they have nothing legitimate to complain about. So now, without further ado, my Pantheon guide. Enjoy!
Pantheon is an AD-Caster/Assassin who excels at dishing out massive amounts of damage with his abilities AND auto attacks, while being able to absorb a decent amount himself. Pantheon has really become quite strong with the new Season 3 changes; and if played and built correctly (ie. by following this guide!) he can deal out some enormous damage and not fall off late-game like he usually did before. This guide will cover many aspects of playing Pantheon, and I can assure you that reading through this will help develop your Pantheon skills!
Before I get into this guide, I would just like to say a MASSIVE thank you to Aquilegia for the design and making of ALL the graphics in this guide! Without her help this guide would not look NEARLY as awesome due to my inability to work such magic :P. Anyways, if you liked this guide, PLEASE don't hesitate do give her Riven guide (found Here) a +1, or just give her a +rep.
My Pantheon Background
You may be wondering whether or not I really know what I'm talking about, and how much experience I have with Pantheon. I don't blame you, and so allow me to give a brief recount of my Pantheon history:
In a way, Pantheon was why I started playing League of Legends. A couple years ago, as I watched my cousin play (making fun of him for how stupid I thought it was :P) I decided I was going to pick which character he was going to use for the next game. So I scrolled boredly through the long list of champions in the Champion Select screen, when suddenly I saw a SUPER badass looking spartan holding a spear out of the corner of my eye. I immediately started asking questions about him and recieved some disappointing answers about how he's "decent, but falls off really hard late game" Still, my interest was captured, and so the next day I made an account and began playing.
Pantheon was the first champion I ever bought, and the only reason why I played at the start was to get enough IP to buy him. I know I've played Pantheon far more than any of my other main champions, and I have probably used him in around 40% of my total games. In fact, from around sommoner levels 4-10 or so, he was literally the only champion I played. And how do I know what items to buy for him? I assure you, I've tried just about every different possible build for Pantheon in my time. I've gone tank, I've gone off-tank, bruiser, glass-cannon and everything in between. How do I know that maxing Heartseeker Strike over Spear Shot is best? Because when I started, and for quite a long time afterwards, I would always max Spear Shot first; and got the same result every time. Great early game, but USELESS late game and not even very strong mid game either. I played probably almost 100 games and never once broke 19 kills, so I knew something was wrong. I've also tried alternating between Spear Shot and Heartseeker Strike, and that REALLY didn't work.
After switching up my build to be less tanky and more offensive, and maxing Heartseeker Strike as soon as possible, I IMMEDIATELY started seeing results. Getting a 28 kill game no more than ten games after making this switch. My results from there on were consistently quite a bit higher. However, this was back very early in Season 2 and a little before level 30, and as I got to level 30 and started coming up against significantly tougher opponents, I began to get seriously out-done by other melee AD champions such as Xin Zhao and Darius simply because my damage couldn't compete with theirs. After a lot of games that went mediocre at best, and some mostly unsuccessful ranked play, I finally just shelved Pantheon. And for about two or three months I almost never played him. But with Season 3, Pantheon has really come back strong; and is now a very viable pick for both ranked and normal games. His damage has taken a dramatic increase and he can now compete with the best of them. I was really excited about this and quickly found a build that worked extremely well, which I am now sharing in this guide!
Pros / Cons
- Very Strong Physical Damage
- Good Auto-attacks, can still get kills without abilities
- No skillshots
- Fairly Easy to Learn
- Strong Laning Presence
- Quite Mana-Hungry Early Game
- Ultimate Is hard to use, and has a high cooldown
- If you max Spear Shot shot first, you will fall off HARD late game, even mid game
I set up my runes with offensive Marks and Quintessences, and with Seals and Glyphs for defense against both AP and AD opponents.
I take armor penetration in my Marks so that my attacks will be doing nearly true damage against the majortiy of my opponents at the start of the game. If you want, to help with last hitting, you can switch these out for the Greater Mark of Attack Damage.
Nine of these seals will offer a significant boost in armor early game. Which will allow you to negate a lot of your lane opponent's auto attack damage at early levels. The only substitutes for these would be the Greater Seal of Scaling Armor (x9), which offer late game armor benefits as opposed to early. I prefer the flat armor, but either is fine.
I take nine of the Greater Glyph of Magic Resist to defend against magic damage early on. These will help quite a lot if you find yourself facing a champion like Nidalee or Rumble in top lane. The only alternative to these would be the Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist which offer bonuses geared towards the late game rather than early. As with armor, I prefer the flat Magic Resist to the scaling, but either one works fine.
My Quintessences build off of my Marks, and together they will allow my attacks to ignore the majority of most opponent's starting armor. As with the Marks, you can replace these with the Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage for easier minion farming, however, make sure to alway have the same Marks as your Quintessences, and never go with some armor penetration and some attack damage; as this will make for near-useless amounts of both and very little overall benefits.
Solo Top Masteries:
For masteries, I take the physical damage side of the Offense Tree, and then place my last nine points in the Defense tree for some survivability.
: Some Attack Speed to help with farming and to help you survive when your abilities are on cooldown
: Grants Attack Damage per level, an obvious benefit
: Increases your total damage by 2%, which can be more helpful than you would think, especially early game.
: Slightly increases damage against tankier opponents
: Increases the damage of your critical strikes
: A decent 3 Attack Damage bonus, helpful for farming minions at low levels
: One of the better masteries in the tree, will make your critical strikes even more devastating
: 6 Armor Penetration is actually pretty good early game, especially paired with
and your runes
- Executioner : The most important mastery in the offense tree, really helpful for finishing off low-health enemies
: Decent mastery, provides a bit of health throughout the game
: Provides a nice 5 armor for some good early game protection
: Put one point in here to unlock the next tier, and a tiny bit of magic resist
- Veteran's Scars : A solid 30 health to make you slightly tougher at level 1
Mid Lane Masteries
For mid lane, you don't need to be as tough due to your opponents generally being a lot squishier. Therefore, its not worth it to invest 9 points in the defense tree, so instead put them into the utility tree for more durability.
: Pantheon has no real escapes other than Flash, so a 15 second cooldown on his best form of escape is well worth it.
: I take two out of the three possible points here for some increased movement speed when out of combat; helps a bit with getting around.
: Pantheon is very mana-hungry early game, especially if you like to play aggresive like me. these three points will aid your Faerie Charm in keeping you from running out of mana too quickly.
- Expanded Mind : A small amount of bonus mana per level, but quite helpful for sustain. Works well with Meditation to let you stay out in lane a bit longer without running out of mana.
These three items are what will make your damage so strong. The Black Cleaver is your best item, and should be taken after The Bloodthirster and your tier 2 boots. Granting some good Attack Damage, Armor Penetration, Health, and Cooldown Reduction, as well as the amazing passive. An absolute must-have. Your second best item is The Bloodthirster simply for the attack damage and lifesteal, both of which are huge stats that will make your offense even stronger. Take this after you buy The Brutalizer And last but not at all least, Last Whisper grants a decent 40 Attack Damage and a THIRTY FIVE PERCENT armor penetration boost. Paired with The Black Cleaver and your masteries, that is a total of 53% armor penetration. And that's not even including the 25% armor penetration you can possibly get from The Black Cleaver's passive. AND you still have the flat armor penetration from you runes. That's kind of ridiculous.
For your fourth item, you're going to want some defense and survivability. Guardian Angel, despite the Season 3 nerf, is probably my favourite defensive item. It grants 50 armor, and 30 magic resist. Offering defense against both kinds of damage. But best of all? The passive. I cannot tell you how many times this has saved me, and it will let you use Grand Skyfall in the middle of their entire team, take out a carry (or two) and then stay alive with the passive as your team arrives to clean up.
To put the icing on the cake of your build, add in a second The Bloodthirster for even more damage and life steal; allowing your abilities to scale even higher and rip the enemy team apart, the extra damage will also be necessary in very long games since everyone (even the formerly squishy carries) will start to become quite tanky. And so you will find having more damage quite helpful.
Every game I decide on one or the other. You basically want to base your decision off of the enemy team. Most of the time, I get Mercury's Treads to counter CC and negate some magic damage; however, if I have to lane against someone like Xin Zhao or Tryndamere then I would most likely buy Ninja Tabi.
In recent times, I have really started to gravitate towards the sustain starting items of a Faerie Charm, six Health Potions, and a sight ward. This way, even if your opponent buys Cloth Armor and five Health Potions to try to counter your damage you can still out-sustain them. The Faerie Charm is HUGELY helpful, allowing you to constantly harass with Spear Shot and also to aggresively attack with Aegis of Zeonia and Heartseeker Strike without running out of mana. The reason I don't start with the traditional Boots of Speed and three Health Potions is because Pantheon, along with Master Yi, has the highest starting movement speed in the game. And you should have 355 Movement Speed without any boots, meaning you will be faster than some people that have Boots of Speed. If you are very confident about your lane, or are in a Normal queue or lower level game, then I would suggest starting with Doran's Blade for all the nice stats it gives at Level 1.
|I actually really like this item, and have started buying it more and more often. It offers a pretty good amount of attack damage, and the AMAZING Quicksilver Sash active that I have learned to love. Its a great counter to teams with a lot of CC, and if you find yourself getting caught up in a lot of slows, traps, stuns, etc. then I highly recommend this item as a late game buy instead of Ravenous Hydra.|
|This is a very strong defensive item that you may consider taking instead of Guardian Angel if you would like to opt for more health and take away the Magic Resist. Or, if you want to sacrifice a significant amount of damage for a significant amount of toughness because the game calls for it, then take this as a final item for defense along with Guardian Angel.|
|I used to really like this item, and always bought it. But with the Season 3 10 Attack Damage decrease on it, its become a lot less appealing. Especially since the fact that The Bloodthirster now starts with the same amount of attack damage, as opposed to 20 less like in Season 2. The fact that BT starts with 70 Base AD instead of 60 and is quite easy to farm up means its just a lot better of an item for an AD Caster like Pantheon. However, the critical strike chance and damage increase is still very nice, and so if you find yourself auto-attacking a lot, then this item is a good way to finish off your build.|
When playing Pantheon in 3v3, your going to have to make some changes to your item bulid. The biggest change is the fact that The Bloodthirster is not available on the Twisted Treeline; and so should be replaced with Sanguine Blade, a 3v3 and Dominino variant of BT that is identical in all but the passive and price, in which its 100 gold cheaper. It also gives 60 Attack Damage instead of 70, so this is a slight annoyance. Second main difference is the fact that Guardian Angel is also not available on Twisted Treeline, and therefore take Randuin's Omen instead. The only other change is to take your defensive item as your third item instead of fourth (not including boots or Chalice of Harmony) to add the extra toughness that 3v3 requires.
After attacking or casting spells 4 times, Pantheon will gain a shield, that will block the next Tower Shot or normal/enhanced standard attack that deals more than 40 physical damage to him.
This is a really, really good passive. It will allow you to turret dive early on, as well as block quite a few abilities from different champions. Namely ones that are auto-attack based, such as Nasus's Siphoning Strike and Talon's Noxian Diplomacy. Make sure you always have this charged when you go in to attack an enemy.
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.
This ability is your ranged harass, and I would recommend starting the game with a point in it, and maxing it second. This ability does pretty good damage, while sporting a low cooldown and the ability to critical strike on opponents below 15% health when you have one point in Heartseeker Strike. This ability will grant you some strong poking power in the early laning stage, allowing you to wither down your opponents in preperation for your other abilties, try to pepper your enemy a couple times with this before going in for the kill.
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.
This is your utility spell, and is specifically designed to set up Heartseeker Strike, so use this to your advantage and ALWAYS stun your opponent with this before activating Heartseeker Strike. You can also use it right after you land on someone with your ultimate. Take your first point in this at level 3, but always max it last due to it being a utility skill that doesn't do any real damage at any rank.
Passive: Pantheon's autoattacks and Spear Shot 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.
This is your main offensive ability. As mentioned before, it has great synergy with Aegis of Zeonia's stun, so try to reap the rewards of this devastating combo whenever possible. Unlock this skill at level 2, and ALWAYS max it FIRST, and Spear Shot SECOND. I will discuss why a bit further into the guide.
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.
If this isn't the craziest and most hilariious ultimate in the game, then I don't know WHAT is. The best thing about playing Pantheon is landing directily on an enemy Ezreal's make-up slathered face and killing him in less than two seconds. But seriously, if you manage to land right on someone, you will do some pretty huge damage, and the people on the edge of the circle will take decent damage also. However, it can be quite hard to use, and has a very long cooldown, so wasting it can be pretty frustrating. I will give a brief tutorial later in the guide of how exactly to use it, because it does take some practice.
Primary Skill Sequence
Maxing Heartseeker Strike first is usually the best thing to do, especially in mid lane, and it will give you the highest possible damage output. Spear Shot should be maxed second, and Aegis of Zeonia last, as its a utility skill. Take points in your ultimate at the standard three levels of 6, 11, and 16.
Solo Top Alternative
I never use this myself, but if your solo top and facing a very hard lane opponent (like Riven, Xin Zhao, or Lee Sin) then it could be a good idea. Particularly if your new to Pantheon. I always max Heartseeker Strike regardless, but if you need to be able to harass safely from a distance, and know you will die if you try to fight close up, then you may consider maxing Spear Shot first.
Why Max Heartseeker Strike over Spear Shot?
I'm writing this chapter because 90% of the Pantheon players I see max Spear Shot first; which means that 90% of Pantheon players do not understand the champion they're trying to play. Heartseeker Strike is your main damage tool, and if you max Spear Shot first, then you will relying on it COMPLETELY for damage, which is not good. It also means that your iconic Aegis of Zeonia + Heartseeker Strike combo will be useless, meaning so will you.
The reason Pantheon is surrounded with this stereotype of falling off hard late game is because, if you play him like most people do, he does. When maxing Spear Shot first, you will have some strong (not OP or SO BROKEN ODFSLKJFSLKDJF like most guides will try to say, just, strong) poking power EARLY game, but in the mid game it will drop off quite significantly, and by the late game it will have fallen off extremely hard. Heartseeker Strike, on the other hand, becomes STRONGER as the game goes on. And when you have The Black Cleaver, The Bloodthirster, and Last Whisper, it will be doing TRUE DAMAGE, or very close to it; which will absolutely melt your opponents.
In case your still not entirely convinced, and you think that Spear Shot is meant to be your entire offense, then lets do some calculations...
1. Lets say you're at Level 9, and have 150 bonus attack damage, well lets calculate the damage difference between the two abilities at their highest rank, calculating the total damage of all three strikes for Heartseeker:
Ok so pretty close (not), Heartseeker Strike deals almost double Spear Shot's damage at level 9 once its been fully ranked up. I've heard people argue that Spear Shot has a lower cooldown and can be spammed, whereas Heartseeker Strike has a higher cooldown and takes time to channel. Well the channeling time does warrant some consideration, as Spear Shot is an instant throw as opposed to a channeled ability; however, if you use Heartseeker Strike with your stun, this shouldn't be a problem. And as for cooldowns, this is only true at early levels. Heartseeker Strike starts with a 10 second cooldown, but decreases to 6 at full rank, while Spear Shot has a flat 4 second cooldown. So there isn't really much difference at all if you max Heartseeker Strike as soon as possible.
2. For the second comparison, lets calculate the starting damage of both abilities at level 1, with 20 bonus attack damage:
This is the only category where Spear Shot has a slight edge...which is why I say to START the game with a point in it at Level 1, and get Heartseeker Strike second. The way its structured, Heartseeker Strike will increase its damage over Spear Shot the more attack damage you build because it scales better. The reason Spear Shot wins here despite slightly less damage is that at this point, it would have six seconds less of a cooldown, and its an instant throw as opposed to a channeled ability, and therefore a guaranteed land.
3. For the third comparison, lets calculate each skill's damage at full rank in the late game, with 350 bonus attack damage:
Absolutely no contest here, Heartseeker Strike destroys Spear Shot in the late game when they are both maxed out. And this isn't even taking into consideration the fact that Heartseeker Strike is affected by armor penetration, whereas Spear Shot isn't. Now you may be thinking "What's the point of this calculation? They will both be maxed by this point anyway, so the skill sequence doesn't matter" and you would be right. That was more just for fun, so let's do one last calculation more relevant to the argument...
4. For the final comparison, and the one that hopefully will put this to rest, lets calculate your TOTAL damage with both abilities at Summoner level 11 when you have maxed out one skill, have two points in the other, and have 215 bonus attack damage. Starting with a maxed out spear shot:
So as you can see, you will have more damage with the full rank of Heartseeker Strike, but not by much. However, this actually PROVES my point, because if you'll notice, Heartseeker Strike at rank 2 does more damage than Spear Shot does at rank 5, although it would have a 9 second cooldown as opposed to Spear Shot's 4. And Spear Shot's damage at rank two is so lousy it barely puts that combination ahead. Which again proves my point, because people thinking that it should be maxed first for damage is flat out stupid when you see how much better Heartseeker Strike scales with your attack damage; and just how much more damge it DOES. Hopefully reading this will convince you to stop following whatever guide you read that mislead you, and I GUARANTEE you will notice a huge damage increase when maxing Heartseeker Strike first, and you will almost certainly begin to get better scores. The bottom line is, Spear Shot is meant to be a ranged harass that you hit your enemy a couple times with to wither him down before you go in with your MAIN combo; and also as a finisher to critical shot enemies below 15% health with Heartseeker Strike's passive. It is NOT meant to be your main damage tool, so please just max Heartseeker Strike first, and don't make me had to have done all that math for nothing.
Using Grand Skyfall
Pantheon's ultimate, Grand Skyfall, is a great ultimate that can be very fun to use. However, it has a high cooldown and is VERY easy to use incorrectly. It requires a ton of practice to properly use, and in this section, I will tell you the rules of using Grand Skyfall that will give you a good idea of when to use it, and when NOT to use it.
If you see two allies defending a turret against three or four enemies and your too far away to get there normally, then a Grand Skyfall around the turret will both drive the enemies backwards to avoid the circle and possibly save the turret and the allies guarding it. The same would go for if you see a fight breaking out in the jungle or somewhere on the map and your team is outnumbered, then do not hesitate to use it to jump into the fight and help your team.
When you use your ultimate to land on a group of enemies, MAKE SURE that you have teammates that are either there already, or very close. Otherwise you are just offering yourself as a sacrrifice and really hurting your team. I cannot tell you how many times I used to activate first and think second, meaning I would see a fight and then immediately jump in the midst of the enemy team...only to find my team had retreated and I was suddenly in a 1v4 or 5. So even if you see teammates there, make sure they're going to still be there when you land, and don't jump in if you think they're about to retreat.
When you are using Grand Skyfall to cut off a fleeing enemy, make sure you aim it so that they run into the circle as you land. In order to do this, place your circle a short distance ahead of where they are running, this can be tricky if its in the jungle, and I wouldn't recommend using it if they've dissapeared into the brush, as its very hard to predict their movements. However, if they are running straight down a lane towards a turret with teammates chasing, simply aim a short distance in front of them, and even if they see it and turn back they will be trapped between you and your team, and therefore, dead. So don't aim your ultimate right where you first see them if they're running, or you will just land behind them and waste it.
If you see your team is pushing an enemy tower, but the enemy team is all lined up protecting it, then you can use Grand Skyfall to push them back and let your team take the turret. WAIT UNTIL YOUR MINIONS HAVE PUSHED RIGHT UP, otherwise you just landed in the midst of a group of enemies underneath their turret, giving them a free kill. Again, wait until your minions are right up to the turret, with your team close behind, and then place your circle around the turret; the enemy team will see this and be forced to fall back in order to avoid taking mass damage and possibly losing a team fight. Once they've retreated, your team can now finish destroying the turret, so even though you may not have gotten a kill, this is not a waste.
As I've said in all my guides, these are the two best summoner spells in the game, and I take them with just about all of the champions I play (except supports...then again, I don't support, so nevermind :P). Simply because, having Ignite will get you at least 1 or 2 kills a game that you couldn't have otherwise had, while Flash can allow you to escape situations that otherwise would've killed you AND it can be used as a gap closer to secure a kill on an enemy who would've escaped.
This is a half-decent spell, it can help you escape or close gaps. However, I would only ever suggest taking this over flash if you weren't high enough level to use Flash. Otherwise just take Flash, because in most cases, a short-ranged blink is better then increased movement speed.
You can take this spell if you think you really must, or if nobody else on your team has it. It's great for securing kills, and it can also be used to escape if there's only one person chasing you.
This spell is somewhat okay; but only for new players. This is a suggestion only as a necessary replacement to Flash and Ignite when you aren't high enough level to have them. Normally, if this was the case, I would suggest Ghost and Exhaust, but Heal can be decent also.
Top Lane Opponents: A-G
This is typically a fairly easy match-up. Your only real problem is the fact that she doesn't use mana while you do, but that's easily solved with Faerie Charm. I would recommend building it into the Chalice of Harmony fairly soon, because combined with Mercury's Treads that will give you enough magic resist to completely shut her down in the laning phase. Just be slightly more cautious if you didn't get any kills once she hits level six, because once she gets her ultimate she becomes dramatically more deadly. But you really should win this lane; one last thing: run backwards as soon as she hits you with Mark of the Assassin so as to not let her trigger her mark.
She isn't often played solo top, and you (sadly) will never get to play this match-up in ranked unless your opponent doesn't know the game too well. This is possibly the easiest lane you could ever have, especially if you can consistently dodge her Piltover Peacemaker skillshot. Your damage will destroy her, and her's will do moderate-at-best damage to you, especially with your passive blocking some of her attacks. Just don't walk into Yordle Snap Trap, dodge Piltover Peacemaker, and you will win this lane.
This lane is fairly difficult, but if played right its not too bad. Don't ever let him hit you with his Rupture, as this is how he sets up his combo and without it he will have quite a tough time matching your damage. Be wary of ganks, because Rupture and his silence will knock you up and prevent you from using Flash and quite possibly secure a kill on you. Just constantly harass him and work on last hitting with Spear Shot from a safe distance, but always go in if you have the chance.
Darius is not as scary as everyone thinks, especially since most people have no idea how to play him and just kill steal with his ultimate, which basically just screws his team over and denies them gold. He has no escapes whatsoever, and therefore is very susceptible to ganks from your jungler, so use this to your advantage. One important thing is to ALWAYS stun him with Aegis of Zeonia when he pulls you in with Apprehend, the stun will prevent him from using his combo and save you a lot of damage; this is most important for when you're low on HP and he reels you in to set up a kill with Noxian Guillotine. Other than that, just constantly harass with Spear Shot, and go in with Aegis of Zeonia + Heartseeker Strike when he starts to get low. The number one rule against Darius: DO NOT FEED HIM! Or he will destroy your team with his ultimate and control the entire game.
This lane is fairly easy to handle, the most important thing is to always dodge Crescent Strike, if you can do that, then all of her harassment power is negated and she becomes quite useless really. She is on the tanky side, so she may be slightly difficult to actually kill, but just keep endlessly spamming Spear Shot with help from your Chalice of Harmony and then go in with your main combo when she gets low.
This can be somewhat annoying, mostly because of his passive Adrenaline Rush which gives him ridiculous sustain, especailly since he doesn't use mana. You HAVE to dodge Infected Cleaver as much as possible to stop him from harassing you, and in turn make sure you poke him a bunch with Spear Shot. You may need jungler help to take him down due to how tanky he is and how much health regeneration he can have. So don't hesitate to call for help if you need it. Be very careful when trying to tower dive him if he is level six or higher, because Sadism gives him some RIDICULOUS health regeneration when activated, and so even if he's very low on HP you might not be able to kill him before his turret gets you.
She's quite squishy early game, and should take heavy damage from your abilities. Try to deny her as much farm as possible and constantly harass with Spear Shot, going in with Aegis of Zeonia + Heartseeker Strike whenever you can. One important thing though is to NEVER let yourself get caught up in Blade Waltz if your even somewhat low on HP, because you WILL die to it.
This should be a pretty easy lane for you, the most notable advantage you have is the fact that your passive will block his Parrrley, which is his main source of damage. He also doesn't have any real escapes, so use this to your advantage by calling for some early ganks to get ahead. Just keep harassing as you normally would and you should out-damage him and do pretty well in the lane. You should also be sure to ward, because the slow from Cannon Barrage and the movement speed boost from Raise Morale can really set you up for a gank if you're not careful.
This could potentially be quite a challenging lane. I would recommend buying an early Chain Vest on top of Ninja Tabi to really shut down his damage. But he will stll be tough, his passive Perseverance and the fact that he doesn't use mana gives him a MASSIVE sustain advantage over you. And judgement is an extremely effective farming tool, so prepare to be at a CS disadvantage. The one thing you have over him is the fact that he is quite easily kited, so try to spam your Spear Shot as much as possible without running out of mana. And finally, DO NOT stick around with low health, because his ultimate Demacian Justice will destroy you.
Top Lane Opponents: H-N
She's beatable if you know how to play against her, but if you don't play smart then she will become pretty unstoppable. Just be constantly harassing with Spear Shot and always be wary of her stun. She does have a slight sustain advantage over you, so get your Faerie Charm as soon as possible and buy a couple extra Health Potions throughout the laning phase. Be careful when trying to 1v1 her, because her ability to temporarily deal true damage can be pretty devastating.
Quite an easy lane for the most part. Just be prepared to not get that many kills on him due to how annoyingly tanky he is throughout the whole game. His damage really isn't much though, so use this as much as possible and try to initiate damage trade-offs as much as possible, as you will probably win most of those. Just be careful not to waste Flash, because you will need it to get out of his ultimate Cataclysm if he uses it on you.
He can become an absolute monster if he gets fed, but if you know how to beat him than he isn't that scary at all. Just always stun him with Aegis of Zeonia when he charges up his Counter Strike to try to stun you. Just, as usual, be constantly harassing with Spear Shot and get all the last hits you can. If you think this lane is going to be an issue, then call for jungler help to try to finish him off for a kill.
Jayce isn't much of a problem if you can consistently dodge his accelerated skillshot that provides the majority of his damage. It will hit minions, so just keep some minions between you two and you will be fine. Just be aware that if he hits you with his Thundering Blow / Acceleration Gate knock-back while you are in mid-air with Aegis of Zeonia then he will cancel your stun. Also, make sure to stun him when going for the kill, or he will use his acceleration gate to escape.
AP Kayle is actually a VERY tough thing to have to face. Her Righteous Fury ranged attack actually does some ridiculous damage and she can just freely spam it all she wants. Play passively, and I would only recommend going for a kill with jungler help unless she isn't very good and you get ahead of her in CS and/or levels. The most annoying part of this match-up is the fact that when you finally DO kill her, she will just use her Intervention ultimate to survive and deny you the kill. I would recommend getting your jungler to gank often, as she doesn't have too many escapes, and just do your best to stay even in farm and to protect your turret.
Not an overly difficult lane. He is also fairly mana-hungry early on, so buying a Faerie Charm early will help you to out-sustain him and keep using your abilities while he has to use his sparingly to save mana. You can completely cancel out his ability to do increased damage to isolated targets by sticking close to your minions at all times. When he uses an un-evolved Leap to try to attack you, feel free to punish him and go for a kill, as Leap is his best escape mechanism other than his ultimate. Play as you normally would, and remember to stay close to your minions and dodge his Void Spike whenever possible.
One of the toughest solo top opponents no matter who you're playing as. Lee Sin has it all, he's tanky, he's mobile, he can dish out some pretty good damage AND he uses energy instead of mana, meaning he has a ton of sustain and can spam his abilities. You're really going to need to buy a Faerie Charm as soon as possible, and an early Chain Vest wouldn't hurt either. Try to avoid his Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike skillshot as much as possible to negate some of his damage output, and remember to constantly use Spear Shot to harass him. Just turret hug and farm if you're having a really tough time, and try to get your jungler to put pressure on him to keep him on his toes.
Early game is not where Malphite shines, so this lane is not that hard. He may be pretty tough to kill, as he gets very tanky pretty quick, but his damage output is extremely small and he probably won't be able to kill you without jungler help. So make sure to always have a sight ward in place for protection if he starts calling for ganks to help him out. Try to attack when his shield isn't up, and remember that you will win most damage trade-offs, so don't be afraid to play aggresively.
Assuming AD Master Yi here. It should be pretty easy, just match his Alpha Strike harass with Spear Shot and punish him if he comes too close. You should be able to win most damage tradeoffs, so play fairly aggresive. Take advantage of how mana-hungry he is by getting a Faerie Charm and spamming your abilities as much as you can, just be wary of ganks from his jungler, because his Highlander ultimate is near-impossible to escape from.
Mordekaiser can be a real pain to lane against. He doesn't use mana, and therefore out-sustains you, deals pretty good damage, and can absorb an absolutely RIDICULOUS amount of damage with his Iron Man passive shield. And since he doesn't need mana and his abitlities have low cooldowns, he can easily almost always have it fully charged. He will almost certainly push the lane, so use this advantage by getting your jungler to stand by and gank, this will probably be the best way to kill him, as Mordekaiser's biggets weakness is his complete lack of escapes. I wouldn't bother harassing too much with Spear Shot unless his shield is fully down, but it probably never will be. So just use it to last hit and try to stay even in farm througout the laning phase. You will have to rely on kills from ganking other lanes (preferably with Grand Skyfall to get any kills in this match-up, because Mordekaiser is just ridiculously hard to take down on your own.
Laning against Nasus is mostly just boring. He probably won't be able to kill you without help for a jungler, and so prepare to be ganked often. But at the same time, he's very tanky and will be hard for you to kill also. The most important thing you can do is to try to prevent him from farming up Siphoning Strike, because although you have a huge advantage over him early game, if he farms that up, it will have devastating effect and turn him into a monster.
She can be pretty nasty if she can consistently hit you with the spear throw of Javelin Toss / Takedown. Because if she hits you with that from far away, it freaking HURTS. So do you're absolute very best to dodge that thing, and if she is stacking AP, then buy your Mercury's Treads and finish Chalice of Harmony fairly soon to defend against her damage. Be sure to harass her with Spear Shot as you would anyone else, and go in with your other two abilities whenever she gets vulnerable.
Top Lane Opponents: O-Z
Olaf is pretty tough, and can be EXTREMELY hard to take 1v1 do to his passive Berserker Rage, which allows him to become more deadly the closer he gets to dying. Remember to dodge Undertow, as its his only form of ranged harass; so if you can keep hitting him with Spear Shot while dodging Undertow, then you will be at a slight advantage. Do not under any circumstances try to fight him if you're both low on HP unless you have a lot more health than he does. Because Olaf is extremely deadly at low health as I've said before. The same goes for tower diving, unless you have a significant health advantage, don't bother trying. Remember to call for ganks, because Olaf doesn't have too many escapes, and beware the damage he can suddenly do with reckless swings, as it deals true damage and can take you by surprise.
Renekton, although scarcely used nowadays, can still be a tough opponent in top lane. He has been nerfed hard over the years, but he still remains fairly good; dishing out decent damage and becoming quite tanky with his Dominus ultimate. He has a big sustain advantage due to a healing ability and the fact that he uses Fury instead of Mana. Buy Ninja Tabi in this match-up, and buy a Faerie Charm early so you can stay out as long as he can. Be aware of his kiting ability granted by Slice and Dice, and also of his stun. Harass as much as possible, and you may want to avoid direct conflict until around level 3 or so, and then be cautious again once he gets to level six, because his ultimate can be devastating in a 1v1 fight.
Yet another opponent who doesn't use mana, so he has sustain over you. Definitaly buy Ninja Tabi here and be sure to stay away from bushes that you know he is in so he can't use his Unseen Predator passive on you. Be careful of 1v1'ing him early on, as Savagery will outdamage Heartseeker Strike early on; always stun him with Aegis of Zeonia as soon as he uses Savagery to cancel out the huge attack speed bonus he gets. His only real escape is his ultimate, so pre level six he is quite susceptible to ganks, use this to your advantage.
For sure one of Pantheon's hardest counters. If you're in ranked, and you know there is a Riven on the enemy team, maybe consider not picking Pantheon, as there are better suited champions for playing against her. However, if the situation is unavoidable, then just play passively, harass and last hit with Spear Shot, and buy Ninja Tabi instead of Mercury's Treads. Be wary of her Ki Burst stun, and try your very hardest to avoid her Broken Wings combo. Because if you can keep her from landing all three attacks, it will really hurt her damage. Don't attack when her shield is up, and just play safe, you REALLY don't want to feed her; Riven is one of those champions who needs maybe two kills to become ridiculously fed, and she can snowball completely out of control quite easily if you're not careful. Get your jungler to put pressure on her, and try to make some of the ganks succesfull ones by bringing her down.
Usually not too bad, but he can be frustrating at times. Keep out of his Flamespitter as much as absolutely possible, and never attack when his Scrap Shield is active OR when he has maximum Heat built up and goes into Danger Zone, as he is more powerful in this state. Dodge his Electro-Harpoon skillshot, and finish Chalice of Harmony for magic resist. Paired with Mercury's Treads it will make you quite tough for him to kill.
Singed gets REALLY tanky really fast, so abuse his low level squishiness as much as you can. The most important thing is to NEVER chase him when Poison Trail is active, becuase staying out of that will make it very hard for him to deal damage to you. Be wary of ganks, becuase a Fling behind him and an exhuast will make it pretty much impossible for you to escape, even with Flash. Harass hard early on, becuase he will get tanky quite quickly, and be careful about attacking him near his tower, as he can simply Fling you right on top of it and get a free kill from his turret.
If you ever get to face a Talon solo top, then you should have a pretty easy laning phase. Spear Shot should really hurt him, and some early armor in Ninja Tabi and maybe a Chain Vest if you really need it will completely shut down his damage. Once a couple points have been put into Heartseeker Strike, and after you have The Brutalizer, then you should be able to kill him very easily. Play aggresively, and try not to let him hit you with Rake, but even if he does, its not too big a deal. Talon is weak against tankier champions, and you are no exeption, so just buy a bit of early armor and he literally won't be able to do anything but tickle you while you slice him with Heartseeker Strike. Very easy lane.
Extremely easy lane for Pantheon to have, as he is a hard counter to Teemo. Once you have Mercury's Treads and Chalice of Harmony, his damage will be very small, and if he maxes his Toxic Shot auto-attack enhancing ability first, then the lane becomes even EASIER as your passive will block it whenever it is up. Simply stay out of bushes to avoid the obvious placings of his Noxious Trap, and just play aggresively and you should bully him the entire time.
Tryndamere can become outrageously powerful IF FED, but he is one of the most item-reliant champions in the game, so if he is anything less than heavily fed, he won't be that tough. Just heavily harass him with Spear Shot, and get Faerie Charm early to compete with his sustain. Ninja Tabi and a Chain Vest early on will completely shut him down, as he relies 100% on his auto-attacks for damage. His only escape is Spinning Slash, so bait him into using it before your jungler pops out of the bushes for a gank. This lane is simple, if he doesn't get early kills, you've done your job.
He has a ton of harass, so be prepared to bring the Health Potions. But his mobility is awful so punish him by calling for ganks that he won't be able to escape from. Never attack when his shield is activated for obvious reasons, and be wary of his ultimate that lets him swap places with you, as that can be deadly when his jungler comes to gank.
Not a ton of experience against her as she's fairly new, however from what I've seen she isn't that strong. Out of all the Vi players I have seen, only one did well and it was an enemy Vi who got spoon-fed kills by camping our terrible bottom lane who went about 0-5 each. Anyways, she isn't too difficult, her damage output leaves a lot to be desired, and she isn't overly tanky or anything so your abilities will do good damage to her. Just try not to stand directly behind minions she's attacking to avoid Excessive Force, and if she goes into a bush, assume she is charging Vault Breaker and move backwards to avoid it. I would also recommend Ninja Tabi for sure against her, as she doesn't have any real CC and deals physical damage.
A rather annoying opponent, he doesn't use mana and is actually very tanky. He has a ton of sustain and harass with Transfusion, and unless he's WAY out of position, he can escape almost anything with Sanguine Pool. Don't waste too much mana harassing him, as Transfusion and Health Potions will keep him constantly healthy. Focus mainly on staying equal in farm and don't bother attacking unless you have jungler help, he's low on health, or he's pushed too far. Stacking early magic resist in Mercury's Treads and Chalice of Harmony will really help you resist his attacks early on.
Volibear can be a fairly tough lane opponent. He is very tanky, and his passive Chosen of the Storm can be very frustrating and cost you kills. Be very aware of the throw-back from Rolling Thunder, especially when there may be an enemy jungler lurking in the bushes, being thrown backwards is a great way to get killed. Also be wary of attacking him near his turret, because he can throw you within range of it and quite possibly kill you with help from the turret. Don't play too aggresively, and take advantage of the fact that Volibear isn't a great farmer by last-hitting everything with Spear Shot and auto-attacks. Once you have a gold advantage, then consider playing a bit more aggresively and attacking more often.
Not too difficult of a lane, as Warwick is more often played in the jungle. However, he does have good sustain with Hungering Strike, and can lock you up for a kill very easily with Infinite Duress, so be wary of ganks after he hits level 6. Also be careful of a striaght up 1v1 fight with him, as Warwick is deceptively good at duelling and you may end up dead despite being ahead in kills and/or farm if your not careful. Try to engage only when you know Infinite Duress is on cooldown, and remember to constantly harass with Spear Shot to force him to keep using Hungering Strike, which will run him out of mana quite quickly.
Wukong is a very solid choice for solo-top, and is a significant opponent for just about anybody. Nimbus Strike into Crushing Blow will deal more damage than Spear Shot and Heartseeker Strike EARLY GAME. So be careful at low levels and just focus on harassing and last hitting with Spear Shot. Once you pick up The Brutalizer and have a few points in Heartseeker Strike it should start hurting a lot more. MAKE SURE you never attack his Decoy, as it puts him at a huge advantage if you waste your spells and have to wait for cooldowns while he is free to attack. Also learn to see the difference between when he uses Decoy and when he presses "S" to suddenly stop in an attempt fake you out. Be aware that Decoy has a fairly long cooldown, so if he uses it then appears to use it again very soon after, he is probably faking and you can feel free to attack.
I really hate Xin Zhao almost solely because of how stupidly easy he is to use. Almost anybody can just pick him up and do well with him, meaning you will see him A LOT in ranked games because he's such a safe pick. However, you have the potential to be stronger and he is beatable. One easy way for you to counter his damage is to immediately stun him with Aegis of Zeonia when he activates Three Talon Strike so he can't do his extra damage or knock you up in the air. Be very careful of fighting him at low levels, I have beaten Xin Zhao's in fights early in the game as Pantheon before, but it requires a lot of timing and careful planning of your attacks; whereas Xin Zhao can simply click on you press some buttons and quite possibly win. Remember he doesn't have too many escapes, so call for as many ganks as possible to put pressure on him, and once you have some items and some points in Heartseeker Strike, then you can become more bold and start fighting him.
Yorick isn't overly hard to play against, and for the most part you should deal more damage than he does; however he is EXTREMELY irritating due to his absolutely ridiculous harassment capabilities. Try to match his harassment by peppering him with Spear Shot, and wait until he has used some abilities before you go in aggresively. I would advise starting with a Faerie Charm, six Health Potions, and a sight ward so you can stay in lane despite all the harassment you will be taking. And also so you can harass him back with Spear Shot as much as possible.
Here I will submit GOOD Pantheon games by me using this build. However, if you have a good game with it, send me a screenshot and I will add it in! Only a couple right now, but I will try to keep them coming if I remember to screenshot before leaving the lobby :P. Again, don't hesitate to send me YOUR games with this build for me to add in.
DarkAkumaLord playing his first time Pantheon in a Ranked game and coming away with a win. Very nice.
Aughes with a flawless score of 14-0 in his first Ranked game as Pantheon.
Well, that's the end of the guide I suppose. Thank you for taking the time to actually read the entire thing, and I promise your Pantheon play will improve significantly if you paid attention. There are only two things I ask of you now that you have read my guide: The first is that you DO NOT downvote because you disagree with something small like ONE item or a couple masteries or any other small mostly insignificant thing. If you REALLY for some reason feel like you need to downvote, then please explain why and possibly offer some constructive criticism. The second thing that I ask is that you simply have fun dominating the field with the Season 3 Pantheon :D. Good luck!