Balls To The Wall
I'm fed as fuk
Threats to Pantheon with this build
|Aurelion Sol||[Detailed Matchup Below] Incredibly easy matchup, as long as you are able to avoid his stun, which is very telegraphed. He struggles a lot against melee champions and Pantheon is no exception. Hurl those spears and all-in him at level 2/3 in order to establish lane dominance.|
|Nidalee||[Detailed Matchup Below] Super easy matchup, her damage early on is inexistent and your Spear Shots will hurt like hell. Avoid her spears and you should be settled for easy kills.|
|Veigar||Early on this little guy is incredibly easy to harass. Hurl those spears like there's no tomorrow and try to avoid his Q and W and you should be fine. At level 3+ take care because his cage is incredibly dangerous, but if you manage to avoid that, it's easy to zone/kill him.|
Table of Contents
Why Pantheon? Mid?!
Pros / Cons
> Hello, random person reading this! My name is Re4XN (it's pronounced Rex) and I am currently a Pantheon main. This is my 2nd guide here on MOBAFire so I hope I can provide you with an easy-to-read experience.
||> As far as my experience with Pantheon goes, I bought the guy out of boredom on a very rainy day, but he soon proved to be one of my favourite (and most fun) champions in the game! That said, I hope I can pass you some of my experience playing him and I wish you the best of luck crushing your opponents!
> I will cover pretty much everything you need to know while playing mid lane Pantheon, so brace yourselves, because this is quite an in-depth guide! I spent quite some time working on this, so if you wish to tell me I did a good job, an UPVOTE would be truly appreciated! If you want to ask something, make sure to leave a comment and I will get to it as soon as I can.
> This guide heavily relies on you winning the lane and being able to snowball, so I would NOT reccommend you to play Pantheon mid without (at least some) previous knowledge of the game (a.k.a., don't try this if you're new, either to the game, or to mid lane, or to Pantheon for that matter). Although I will do my best to explain further down what to do in the unfortunate event of you losing lane (or not knowing the matchup), keep in mind that a good part of Pantheon's potential will be lost due to it.
Successful Pantheon Games:
|> First and foremost, he's the MANLIEST champion out there. I mean, who else has the guts to wage war in underwear?
> Seriously now, Pantheon is an AD Assassin who is mostly used as a hard counter-pick in order to snowball himself AND snowball his teammates by roaming - everywhere - with his Grand Skyfall, closing out games as quickly as possible. Mid Lane provides with the best opportunity for this.
> He has a very clear game plan: enter lane, poke whichever poor soul they have sent to face you until he can take no more, kill him and start spreading your individual power across the map using your ultimate (since you're playing mid, you have access to both top and bot lanes, effectively making you a global threat). Pantheon is a very simple champion with a very simple goal and that's why I like him so much.
|+ Strong laner!
+ Amazing poke ( Spear Shot)!
+ Point-and-Click stun/gap closer!
+ Semi-Global ultimate!
+ *Almost* no hard counters!
+ Snowballs hard!
+ Unexpected pick!
|People don't expect to see Pantheon mid, thus they will underestimate your power (even if they don't, he has very few bad matchups), allowing you to approach the matchup with the super oppressive playstyle Pantheon is known for: as soon as he gets in lane he starts bullying the enemy with his Spear Shots, chunking their life bar by sizable amounts, allowing Pantheon to all-in them and get a very early lead he can snowball off of. Using this lead, Pantheon can start ganking either top or bot lane with his Grand Skyfall in order to snowball not only himself, but also his team mates.|
|- Mana junkie...
- Squishy glass-cannon...
- Falls off late (a bit)...
- Requires coordinated team...
- No escapes...
- Hard to come back...
- Relies too much on snowballing...
|Pantheon is the kind of champion who relies on snowballing early on or else he will be useless for his team. This can be tough to achieve sometimes due to him being prone to ganks and his abilities (namely Spear Shot) costing good chunks of mana, forcing you to manage it carefully if you aren't able to kill your laner. Moreover, Pantheon requires a certain level of coordination among his team mates so that they can take full advantage off of Pantheon's lead and close out the game before he falls off in the late game, where there isn't much he can do by himself, even if he has a lead.|
|ph||> Pantheon relies on a very aggressive playstyle and thus, taking points into the FEROCITY tree will greatly benefit him.
> At Tier 1, we take Sorcery to increase our abilities' damage by 2% (this includes Spear Shots). Pantheon is an AD Caster and he doesn't benefit a whole lot from more attack speed, so in my opinion, Fury is not a good option on him.
> At Tier 2, you have the choice between Double Edged Sword and Feast . Both are good on Pantheon, but I prefer the more agressive option, because it increases your damage by 3%, which helps not only in the early game, but later on as well.
> At Tier 3, Vampirism is the better choice, providing you with 2% lifesteal. It is not a whole lot, but it helps a bit with sustain, something Pantheon lacks. Natural Talent is absolute garbage, because 10 more AD and 15 AP at level 18 is pretty much useless.
> Finally, at Tier 4, you must choose either Bounty Hunter or Oppressor . I prefer to take the latter, due to it not only being the safest option out of the two, but also because it helps far more in the early game (when the game starts, you already have the damage increase, whereas you were to take Bounty Hunter you'd have a 0% increase, because you hadn't killed anyone yet). It provides you with a 2,5% damage increase to CC'd targets, which synergizes well with Pantheon's stun.
|> The main reason why we take 18 points in the CUNNING tree is because it provides even more aggressive options than the previous one.
> At Tier 1, we take Savagery to farm a bit better. Alternatively, you can take Wanderer for better roams.
> At Tier 2, Assassin is the best out of the 3 options, since you are not jungling Runic Affinity is not optimal and Secret Stash feels subpar, since it is only useful very early in the game and in the very end (elixirs).
> At Tier 3, Merciless is a MUST, no arguments there. Although Pantheon has mana issues, he benefits far more from being able to kill things and this mastery makes that job slightly easier.
> At Tier 4, Dangerous Game is the only option (and a good one). It helps surviving tight skirmishes and teamfights (i.e.: you get Ignited, but you kill the enemy and survive the ticks).
> At Tier 5, it is down to personal preference wether you choose Intelligence or Precision , but I prefer to take the latter, simply because of the early flat armour penetration it provides, making you deal almost true damage to enemy squishies early and mid game.
> At long last, the Keystone Mastery you should take on Pantheon is definitely Thunderlord's Decree . It synergizes incredibly well with his entire kit and adds an insane amount of damage to Pantheon's burst combo. It also scales relatively well (for a mastery) with AD, so it stays relevant throughout the entire game.
> There is HUGE controversy regarding the Keystone Mastery Pantheon players should use. As you might have noticed, I advertise Thunderlord's Decree in my guide, and in this section I will show you the reasons that led to that choice.
> Deathfire Touch (DFT) provides you with a DoT burn that can constantly be reapplied with your Spear Shots and, while not dealing a lot of damage, it has no cooldown and after several hits, it really starts to take its toll on the enemy. On the other hand, Thunderlord's Decree (TLD) has a horrendous cooldown of 25(-15) seconds and you have to land three hits to proc it. However, it deals instant burst damage that not only scales with AD, but also with levels and Pantheon has no problems applying it with a swift combo. If you did your math (which I am not going to, because it is booooriiing), you probably came to the conclusion that you are able to deal a bit more damage with DFT in lane, because of how often you are able to proc it.
> Despite the apparent superiority DFT seems to have, we need to think on a larger scale. Yes, it might be better in lane, but what happens when mid-game comes? As Pantheon, it is your duty to roam bot (or top) and show the enemy who's in charge of the Rift. Now, let's suppose you're level 10 (and have 150 bonus AD) and decide to cheese bot lane with a well placed ultimate. You land and all in their AD Carry:
> You successfully ganked the lane, but the Keystone you're using might make the difference between a kill and that ADC's greatest escape. 98 damage over time is nowhere NEAR the power of 145 instant burst damage. And as the game goes on, you will find less and less opportunities for reliable poke, having to instead depend on burst damage. Don't forget that TLD scales with levels and when you hit 18 (and have ~250 bonus AD) you will be dealing 255 additional burst damage, as opposed to 158 damage if you were using DFT, once again OVER TIME. That's 100 more damage!
> But, I am afraid you are actually missing an important point here, for this is not solely a battle between Deathfire Touch and Thunderlord's Decree . It is, above all, a battle between Battering Blows and Precision ! You are playing the mighty Pantheon, who is an early game champion. Taking that into account, most folk have very poor resistances at that point. This is where flat ArPen excels (since they have next to no armour, having % ArPen would be next to no help), helping you deal almost true damage in the early and mid stages of the game, thus allowing you to dominate the battlefield. Squishy champions who get no resistances are your primary target (I'm looking at you ADCs) and for blowing them up, Precision is the better option.
> Finally, taking all of the above in consideration, I come to the conclusion that Thunderlord's Decree is the #1 Keystone Pantheons should use. Yes, you might deal (slightly) more damage in lane with DFT, but you must also remember that the champion you are playing already excels at early game murder! And to further this goal (and your other one, which is snowballing the game), flat ArPen is so much more helpful (even more so, considering that Youmuu's Ghostblade is a core item in this build), not to mention a surprise lighting strike that can put your enemy off of balance. DFT is not terrible, but the TLD path is just too impactful not to take.
|> In my opinion, the best Quints you can take on Pantheon, since they increase your early damage by a sizable amount, allowing you to trade and kite more efficiently and it also makes farming a lot easier!|
|> You need these Glyphs for obvious reasons: you will be facing (most of the time) AP champions in lane. 12,06 magic resistance early game is HUGE (YES!, the decimals matter) and trust me on this, it will reduce damage taken by a sizable amount.|
|> As mentioned above, a good part of your competition will be AP based, which is why we take these Seals. Not only do they increase your HP, but they will also increase the effectiveness of your MR Glyphs, reducing incoming magic damage even further! If you are facing an AD laner however, swap these for 9 Greater Seal of Armor.|
greater mark of armor penetration
|> These will allow you to cut through your opponent's armour and combined with the Quintessences above it will increase the effectiveness of each point of AD and therefore, allow you to deal more damage (throughout the game).|
|> These are not as useful early game as the Marks above, but can be useful later on against tankier opponents. These are really the only alternative Quints Pantheon can use.||
greater quintessence of armor penetration
|> Honestly, you almost always benefit from MR Glyphs, so these are kind of worthless. But in the eventual scenario where the enemy has no relevant magic damage (as in, they have NO AP champs), you can swap them out for these. Also, if you have trouble with mana management you can take 5 Glyphs of Mana Regen combined with 4 Glyphs of Magic Resist.|
|> Well, there isn't much to talk about here. So... goodbye! *joke* Anyway, you only take these against an AD matchup (i.e.: Zed, Talon...), to help mitigate their damage. What? That's it. There is nothing else to say... don't look at me that way.|
|> A healthy alternative to the Marks presented above, these allow you to farm better, so if you are having trouble with that, take these. If not, then man up and start using ArPen Marks like real men do!|
> If you are wondering if this is it, then you are correct. These two spells, Flash and Ignite are a MUST on Pantheon. No, there are NO alternatives, any other spells that are currently passing through your mind are NOT optimal on him, period.
> Flash is THE spell of League of Legends. 95,7% (statistics may be incorrect) of people who play this game, also use this spell. It is just THAT good. Why is it so good you ask? I'll tell you: because it is a very versatile spell. You can use it defensively to escape (something Pantheon needs if he is caught out), but it can also be used offensively as a means of gap-closing. A well used Flash can catch an opponent completely by surprise, moreover when you are playing Pantheon. They think they are safe, outside of your point-and-click stun's range, when suddenly *BAM*, you Flash, stun them, throw a spear at their face and if that is not enough you can Ignite their body and watch them burn as they flee, covered in tears and blood (but mostly tears).
> Ignite is just great on Pantheon and it synergizes with his aggressive playstyle, adding a lot of kill pressure. It adds a decent amount of damage to your already strong burst (it also reduces healing effects), moreover in the early game. It can turn a simple trade into a kill, it can turn a fleeing target into a kill, it can help you kill someone who refuses to die (like Dr. Mundo, for instance), and it can also be used to scare the hell out of people when they know you have it available. Basically, Ignite is used to secure kills (no sh*t, Rex, you said it like 50 times), which Pantheon can easily snowball off of.
> Well, you're most likely looking at this and throwing that first paragraph out the window (when I told you Flash + Ignite were the only viable spells). Surprise, surprise, Exhaust decided to joint the party! If you find yourself facing a champion that deals absurd amounts of burst damage ( Zed, LeBlanc...), you will benefit a lot from this spell by denying them a powerful all-in (thus allowing YOU to all-in them safely). However, it is a spell that mixes offense and defense and doesn't really add burst to your combo (unlike Ignite), which can slow your progress a bit. Despite being a better spell for teamfights, I think of it as highly situational and should only be taken if you are not confident in your ability to outplay the type of champion mentioned above.
> I mentioned this countless times already, but I will do it again. Pantheon's abilities cost A LOT of mana, so you need to learn how to manage it efficiently, or you will run dry and become an easy target. Now, we don't want that, do we?...
After bashing someone's face 4 times, Pantheon blocks the next incoming basic attack
> This right here, is an AMAZING passive! Not only does it block any kind of basic attack, but it also blocks auto-attack modifires (e.g.: Nasus' Q, Yasuo's Q, Gangplank's Q...) AND turret shots! Isn't that cool?! This makes Pantheon very efficient at trading blows with an opponent and also makes him an amazing tower diver, being able to potentially block 3 turret shots.
> Pantheon's bread, butter AND ham skill (it is also called, by some, mainly his opponents, the cancerous skill). A very high base damage, good AD scaling and a short cooldown, not to mention it is point-and-click, effectively make this ability a good source of poke in lane. 3 to 4 Spear Shots can often times be enough to cleave half the enemy's health bar and set them up for an easy level 2-3 kill.
> In addition to being a reliable source of damage, it can also be used to farm from a safe distance. Although this is not ideal, because it it will eat through your mana, it can be useful in certain situations, where you do not want to engage the enemy (Ares knows why, but it can happen...).
**NOTE** Although Spear Shot cancels your auto attack animation, it does not reset it's timer (unfortunately). You can, however, cancel your Q animation with Aegis of Zeonia!
> Great ability that can be used both offensively and defensively. It is a point-and-click stun that lasts for a whole second AND resets your passive, allowing you to unleash the might of the heavens upon your foes during that time (or to run away like a coward in case you fear death).
> Aegis of Zeonia can be very devastating (to the enemy) when used in the right situation. For instance, if you keep spamming Spear Shots at level 1 and the enemy is at roughly ~50% at level 2, you level up this ability and go ham on them: this will guarantee they burn their Flash most of the time or, if you manage to take your opponent by surprise, it can net you an easy first blood.
> You can potentially block 3 auto attacks/turret shots with your passive, thanks to this ability. What you need to do is stack your passive 3 times, W on a minion then wait. After Aegis of Zeonia is off cooldown, you can engage and you will block one attack; use a skill and your passive will be up again, blocking a second attack; finally, use Aegis of Zeonia on the enemy and you will be able to block yet another shot.
> Pantheon doesn't have any escape abilities, meaning this skill (not counting Flash) is your best shot at evading ganks. If the enemy jungler comes from behind you (not meaning to be dirty here, hehehe), try to avoid any skillshots and then use Aegis of Zeonia on them. This will give you enough time to walk back to your turret. Don't forget that this isn't foolproof, you are not safe by just doing this, you may still have to burn Flash, but it is the only thing you CAN do when you get ganked (aside from killing them both if you are super fed).
> You can also jump across some walls using Aegis of Zeonia, which can catch some people by surprise. Just place a ward to get vision on them and if the wall is slim enough, you can jump over and kill them.
Heartseeker Strike / Certain Death
A cone of spears appears in front of Pantheon, damaging foes
Basic Attacks and Spear Shots automatically crit on targets below 15% health
> The Rift will tremble in fear when you unlock this ability, because this increases your kill potential exponentially. Just to start off, it deals DOUBLE damage to champions, which by itself is great, but it also applies it's damage over 3 swift strikes (meaning it automatically triggers Thunderlord's Decree ) AND it is an AoE ability, meaning that Pantheon can effectively shred entire teams to pieces with this skill (it is extremely effective in conjunction with The Black Cleaver, allowing you to quickly stack its passive).
> The passive, Certain Death, is just tons of icing on the cake. It allows Pantheon's Spear Shot and Auto Attacks to execute targets below 15% health (most of the time), which is quite useful in a lot of situations (namely during early trades, farming and fleeing targets).
> Arguably one of the best ultimates in the game for roaming. It has a MASSIVE range, allowing you to gank lanes nearly undetected by ignoring the enemy ward coverage. The only thing that can give you away is the circle that appears when you start falling down, but if you position it correctly, then no matter what the enemy does, they are guaranteed to either blow summoner spells, or kick the bucket.
> Most people look at Pantheon's ultimate and think "damn, this thing does a lot of damage". Altough it is true, his Grand Skyfall should NOT be used as a damage ability, save under very specific circumstances. Its primary use is to ZONE enemies and trap them between your ultimate and your team, cutting off possible escape routes, forcing them to fight or to Flash away.
> Regarding those "very specific circumstances" mentioned above, you can use Grand Skyfall to come back to lane, land on top of the enemy and easily kill them. This is very effective if you managed to get a kill early on, got level 6 and went base. Another great use is to enter a teamfight with it, but MAKE SURE you are not the initiator, or you'll get blown up the moment you land. Try and use it when the fight is starting (someone has engaged) and try to land on as many people as possible to deal the most damage.
> Although very hard to pull off, this ability can be used as an escape. If you see you are trapped and the enemy is closing in on you, use Grand Skyfall on the very edge of its range to successfully escape. Also, regarding escapes, if you have great timing, you can dodge spells like Zed's Death Mark when jumping up, because you become untargetable.
> Alright, let's get to this! The reason for maxing your Q first is quite obvious: poke. It has amazing base damage and good AD scaling, allowing you to whittle down your opponents with ease (very few can withstand its early damage), preparing them for cheesy all ins. Worst case scenario you can use this to farm distant creeps if you are going losing/even in lane.
> You want to take a point in Aegis of Zeonia at level 2, since it provides you with tremendous kill potential plus a decent gap closer, and then max it last, because the stun's duration is not increased and Heartseeker Strike provides Pantheon with a larger damage output.
> Next you will want to max out Pantheon's E, Heartseeker Strike, since it is a huge source of damage, not to mention it is an AoE ability, effectively making you able to fight multiple opponents, dishing out the same damage to all of them. Moreover, its passive Certain Death helps you farm and execute low-health enemies that are trying to make a run for it.
> Put a point in your Grand Skyfall whenever you can (levels 6, 11 and 16), because not only is its damage increased (which is not THAT relevant, but still helps) but its cooldown is also reduced, allowing you to roam more frequently, becoming a huge global threat.
> Here I'll be talking about the items you will want to get on Pantheon and the reasoning behind them. In the mid lane you want to play him as an AD Assassin, so you should try and build him like so in order to get the most damage out of his kit.
|I find this the best item you can possibly rush on Pantheon. It provides you with 60 Attack Damage, 10% CDR and 20 flat Armour Pen, which by itself is great, but its active is the main reason why you rush it, since it provides Pantheon with much needed mobility.|
|Absolutely core item and it should be rushed right after Youmuu's Ghostblade. It gives you a good amount of AD, CDR and a bit of health for survivability, not to mention that its passive synergises extremelly well with Heartseeker Strike, allowing you to shred the armour of multiple enemies in a team fight.|
|These are the boots you will be buying more frequently. Not only does it provide you with 25 MR, but it also reduces the duration of Crowd Control effects on you. Pantheon is super vulnerable to heavy CC, so the less time you spend stunned, rooted, etc... the better for you.|
|These are a viable alternative to Mercury's Treads, but are somewhat situational, since CC resistance is more valuable to you. You might want to build these if they have a large amount of AD damage or if their AD Carry is fed, since it'll cut their damage output by a decent amount.|
|Outstanding item that provides Pantheon with a ton of Attack Damage, 10% CDR and massive sustain (healing you for 15% of physical damage dealt) that synergizes extremelly well with your Heartseeker Strike. The bleed passive is another bonus, increasing your all-in potential even further.|
|Not as good as Death's Dance since it's introduction, but a great item nevertheless, since it provides Pantheon with a lot of waveclear and some sustain. In my opinion, you should only get this item if you plan to splitpush a lot (or jungling), since Death's Dance is a superior choice.|
|I rarely build this because I feel like it is an overkill, but it is a great item on Pantheon nevertheless, since it provides a huge AD boost, flat Armour Pen and an execute passive that allows you to not only blow up squishies, but also deal with those pesky tanks. If you are ahead this is a great rush item, even before The Black Cleaver. Don't forget to auto attack to trigger it.|
|Amazing defensive item on Pantheon that has great synergy with Youmuu's Ghostblade. It gives you some health, armour and an outstanding passive that allows you to chase down opponents or run fast like a coward if you sense trouble and it also adds a little bit of burst and CC to your combo in the form of stored momentum.|
|The official "stay away from me" item. It will most likely reduce the chances of you getting focused by the enemy and will grant you a second chance if you die, restoring 30% of your health and mana. Great defensive item to buy if you're ahead.|
|Similar in stats to Dead Man's Plate, only with a bit more utility for you and your team, since it reduces the AS of whoever is attacking you and slowing everyone in a certain area, allowing you to chase people down with ease or create an escape opportunity if you or your team screwed up.|
|Strong item that can negate the burst of certain champions (e.g.: LeBlanc, Annie...), namely mages (or block key abilities). Blocking that one spell can prove critical, moreover if crowd control was attached to it and it will allow you to swiftly counter-attack the enemy or run away with ease.|
|You are playing mid lane, you'll most likely be facing a mage, therefore rushing an early Hexdrinker (and later upgrading it into the Maw of Malmortius) will provide you with a huge advantage in the form of a magic shield that can and will save your life a couple of times.|
|Highly situational item. You will seldom need this, but when you do, there's bound to be either a Swain, a Soraka or someone else who heals a lot. Most of the time however, the combo of The Black Cleaver and Youmuu's Ghostblade (paired with Ignite to cut the heals) is enough to kill them, so you should only get this if their heals are becoming a serious problem you can't overcome.|
|Another situational item you will rarely need. As mentioned above, you won't be needing to buy Last Whisper and its upgrades unless you are really struggling. In this case, if you're having trouble with the enemy tanks (and there's more than one on their team), you can consider to buy this item, since it'll help to cut through all of their BONUS armour.|
|The kind of item you *might* have to build if the enemy team has way too much targeted CC (namely suppression abilities, like Nether Grasp or Infinite Duress) and they are using it on you during fights. It will NOT remove the damage you take, but it will allow you to cleanse the CC and either escape or give you enough time to strike back.|
> As mentioned countless times already, Pantheon is the kind of champion that benefits a lot from snowballing in lane. In fact, he depends on it in order to become a force to be reckoned with. I will now explain what you need to do in order to master the art of bashing people's faces in and carry games.
> This is when Pantheon shines the brightest and it is your duty to use this phase of the game to its fullest. The perfect scenario for you is to kill your opponent before level 6, so that's what we're going to focus on.
> As the game starts, you buy your initial items (more often than not, Corrupting Potion and a Warding Totem) and head to lane, right? NO! You will not head to lane and I shall tell you why. You will head to the bot lane jungle ASAP and place a ward in the river (the small circular bush), to prevent any unpleasant surprises from the enemy team. Seriously, just start doing this every single game and it will become natural. An unpredictable invade from the enemy can be devastating, even more so if your opponent gets a kill/assist, thus making your life harder. You want to prevent this. And if you see the enemy coming, you can coordinate an ambush with your team and invert the situation, possibly getting a kill yourself! 400 gold allows you to get a nasty Long Sword that will GUARANTEE a lane victory as soon as level 1!
> Unfortunately, people now-a-days are cowards and jungle invades are rare (but you should still place that ward, just in case), so the likely scenario is that nothing will go down and you will head to lane as the minions start arriving. First thing you do is see who the hell you're laning against and what strengths do they possess, because that is how you determine what you must try to do in order to kill them, and what to expect should you fail.
> Taking some examples, let's imagine you are facing a Brand or a Lux: very skill reliant matchup, they can match your early poke with their own abilities ( Pillar of Flame and Lucent Singularity). If this is the case, your top priority is to figure out a way to safely farm and poke. These are not the types of champions who will sit idly by taking spears in the rear... these guys will try to fight back! Whenever you get close, you have an excuse to hurl a Spear Shot at them. This will most likely trigger a response, which you must try to dodge. If you do manage to hurl those spears and dodge the enemies' abilities, you are effectively kiting them: reducing their HP bar while keeping yours intact, which allows you to all-in them as soon as you get to level 2. Remember to respect the ones who fight back, but for the love of Ares, don't confuse respect with fear! You are Pantheon and you should be doing your best to outdamage these guys. Playing safe does not mean hug the turret and cry like a baby, it means that you have to play smart. Keep that in mind.
> Now, if the matchup is an easy one (which is roughly 80% of them), then the first thing you do when you enter lane is throw a Spear Shot at their face to establish lane dominance (trust me, this works 80% of the time, every time). Then, for the remainder of level 1, you farm... while throwing spears whenever you can, because a response from this kind of champion is not likely to turn in their favour. Should they engage you, don't be afraid to sip a potion and fight back, since there is very little they can do to outdamage you at this point.
> You need to remember that in order to get to level 2, you need to kill 7 minions. That is one entire minion wave plus the first creep from the next one. As Pantheon, getting to level 2 before the enemy provides you with an enormous advantage, because you gain access to Aegis of Zeonia, allowing you to engage hard and ruthlessly, often times resulting in a burned Flash or a cheesy First Blood! A swift | Spear Shot -- Aegis of Zeonia -- AA -- ( Ignite)| combo is devastating to the enemy (not to mention it procs Thunderlord's Decree ) and is well capable of netting you an early kill. Before engaging, make sure the enemy is around 50% health, or you won't be able to kill them. If they are not, make use of your Spear Shots (alternatively, you can use the above mentioned combo to crack their HP bar and zone them). Also, don't be afraid to Flash for the kill, since an early lead will most likely guarantee your lane dominance.
> When you hit level 3, the first thing you do is press TAB and take a look at who is their jungler. If it is an early game jungler like Lee Sin, you need to be careful with lane control and how hard you engage, because it might turn on you. If it is a more late game jungler, like Shyvana, then you don't need to worry as much, but you should still pay attention to the map! Either way, when the timer hits roughly 3 minutes, it is time to place a ward in the side bushes of mid lane. At this stage, 99% of junglers have cleared half their camps and are ready to gank. Pantheon is a juicy target, since he has no escapes (besides Flash) and ganking you successfully will prevent an avalanche. To counter this, you ward. First time you go base, get a Vision Ward and place it in the river.
> Now that that is out of the way, the second thing that should be crossing your mind when you hit level 3 is how to kill the enemy laner (if you haven't yet done so). When leveling up Heartseeker Strike, you also get access to Certain Death, which is amazing at securing kills, should the enemy attempt to run away. To kill your opponent, do as usual: hurl Spear Shots until they are roughly at ~50% health. Next thing you do is to get close to them and | Spear Shot -- Aegis of Zeonia -- AA -- Heartseeker Strike -- ( Ignite) -- AA -- Spear Shot|. This is the main combo you need to perform in order to get yourself a nice kill (or, at the very least, force your opponent out of lane). Remember that you can use Ignite mid- Heartseeker Strike, which might be useful if the enemy has Flash (since they can escape the range).
> Now that you have your lane dominance firmly established and the enemy has nightmares about you, it is time to abuse your power even further! Levels 3 to 6, simply keep doing what I mentioned above in order to create a disparity: hurl Spear Shots whenever possible and when you feel you can get a kill, don't hesitate to engage! Even if you just force them out, it is a small victory, because you are denying them experience. Speaking of this, you should try to freeze the lane near your own turret, since this will accomplish two things: you get safe farm/poke on the enemy (because you are ungankable), but most importantly the enemy won't be able to farm, since that will imply taking a Spear Shot to the face every time they go for CS (if not outright getting murdered!). Don't forget to ward your lane, the greater your lead, the harder the enemy will try to gank you.
> Warding is a key aspect of League of Legends. Knowing where your enemies are and what they're up to gives you invaluable information that can utterly win you the game. Not only do wards tell YOU the location of enemies (thus preventing ganks), but they also tell YOUR TEAM their location, who can switch playstyles depending on the enemy's position.
> As Pantheon, warding becomes even more crucial, since he lacks any form of escapes: with the aggressive playstyle he is known for, the lane is bound to push sooner or later, drawing the enemy jungler's attention so, vision is important. Try to have a Vision Ward placed at all times.
> From the pictures above you can see the key areas you will want to cover. Mid lane side bushes are useful spots to ward, since most junglers tend to hang there before ganking. Same goes for the bushes in the river, if you ward them, you'll be able to see the jungler before he is even close to your lane, allowing you to adapt your playstyle. In the river, the bushes are not inspected often, making them good places to place Vision Wards.
> You can also place Vision Wards in the Mid Lane bushes, however they are bound to be destroyed sooner than if you had placed them elsewhere. In that specific spot, however, they serve an additional purpose: bait! Most laners can't afford to 1v1 Pantheon early on and attempting to destroy the ward will give you the perfect opportunity to smack them in the face!
> With the introduction of Farsight Alteration, warding the enemy's buffs has become a much faster and easier job, one you should be doing. It costs nothing to place a ward in the spots you see on the maps above and the wards can go unnoticed for a very long time. The purposes of having them there are as follows: you will know if the buff is there or not PLUS, you AND your team will know the jungler's position (if he's there). This means that you can, for instance, go there and kill him. If he is dead, your team can afford to play more aggressively, since ganks from him are not going to happen for at least 30-60 seconds (plus the time it would take him to get to a lane)! Moreover, by killing him you get his buffs, which help you tremendously with assassinating people. So, you can see that a simple ward can give you a nice edge, so make sure you use them whenever they are available.
> In addition to buffs, a great spot to place Warding Totems is at the enemy's Raptors. Before ganking a lane, most junglers tend to clear this camp to verify if you have placed wards or not. By placing a ward there you will ensure two things: he will waste the Vision buff he gets from the camp, since your ward will be detected and you will know that he's very close to you, allowing you to adapt your playstyle.
> So, you have hit level 6 and have your lane under control, great news! At this point your main concerns are:
- keep your opponent under check to make sure he stays behind as long as possible (by killing/zoning him or forcing him to leave lane);
- start using Grand Skyfall to roam bot (or top) and snowball not only yourself but your team mates, in order to secure a firm lead;
> Second point: don't be a selfish douche. If you are fed it is your obligation to help your team mates get fed as well. A smart person is not foolish enough to think they'll be able to carry the whole game on their back! NO! A smart person will ENSURE their victory by spreading their individual power amongst their mates! So should they falter, they now have a fed AF team to help them back on their feet.
> How do you spread your individual power, you ask? That's an easy one! Whenever you have Grand Skyfall available, look at the side lanes for gank opportunities. Is the enemy bot lane extending? Drop down! Is the enemy top lane low on health but your top is not able to finish him by himself? Drop down! Is your jungler going to gank bot lane? Shiet, drop down and join the fiesta! You have to seize these moments and ensure a lead in order to either finish the game, or to have someone to help you late game, should it reach that point (pray to Rito that it won't).
> Remember that Grand Skyfall is not to be used as a damage ability! It's primary use is to zone/trap the enemy between you and your team mates (and if it hits them in the process, then good, but it is not a priority). This way they will be forced to either fight or burn Summoner Spells in order to try and escape. As soon as you drop, perform the infamous | Spear Shot -- Aegis of Zeonia -- AA -- Heartseeker Strike -- AA -- ( Ignite) -- Spear Shot| on the priority target. Between you and your team you should be able to take them out with relative ease.
> Also keep in mind that while most mid laners have to make sure there is an unwarded and safe path to a lane in order to gank it, as Pantheon you can ignore this, because of the massive range on your Grand Skyfall. Your gank will most likely come as a surprise for the enemy and that is a huge advantage!
> The thing to remember is to KEEP ROAMING as much as you possibly can (even if you don't have Grand Skyfall you can still roam but if you do have it, then you simply MUST try to gank). Become such a nuisance that the enemy will hug their tower and cry. And when they do so, make sure to drop right on top of them (if you do this, make sure to communicate with your team in order to get some minions under the enemy turret)! NOWHERE is safe when Pantheon is in the game and that is the message you need to convey.
> Last important point you need to understand when going for ganks: objectives! Every time you gank successfully, try to increase the lead your team has by taking an objective, namely Dragon . Let's suppose the enemy ADC and Support are dead due to an amazing gank you performed and your jungler is nearby. What you can do now is take Drake, because NO ONE can contest it. Alternatively, you can push the turret with your bot duo and grant your team global gold and increased map control.
> One last piece of personal advice... it might seem a bit harsh, but for the love of Ares, THINK TWICE before ganking a lane that is losing. If your top laner is 0/2/0 against a 3/0/1 Riven, is it really worth to invest time and resources to a gank that you can't be sure will work? You press TAB and take a look at the scores... while top lane is 0/2/0, you notice that bot lane is 0/0/0 (both of them)! Much safer option, since the odds of success increase and you get to help two people instead of 1, not to mention Dragon is a potential prize. Always consider all options before committing yourself to a gank.
> I will begin this section by saying that by the time the game reaches this stage, it SHOULD be won. The maximum the enemy team should be doing right now is struggle to keep your team from overwhelming their base. If this is not the case, then it's not all bad and you still have a good shot at winning, but keep in mind that Pantheon will begin to fall off...
> Two things become really important during Late Game: stayin' alive and vision. The first one, because the death timers are HORRENDOUS and if you are absent for as long as a minute, the game can take a terrible turn (imagine if the enemy team manages to take several objectives, a disaster!). The second one is important because of the first! If you get caught and die, you're not being useful, are you? Use Farsight Alteration to safely ward key areas of the map and avoid facechecking suspicious bushes.
> What happens during late game is that both teams gather and try to wreck each other. This can happen in several ways and usually revolves around objectives, namely the Dragon and Baron Nashor . First thing you must acknowledge: Pantheon is a champion with a semi-global ultimate. What this means is that while both teams are slugging mid lane poking each other with sticks, you can go to a side lane and push that lane, forcing someone to come down and stop you (make sure to always keep an eye on where both teams are and also tell your team you will be pushing; also make sure you have wards around, to ensure you see the guy coming). If that happens, Pantheon is well capable of 1v1-ing most of his opposition, so you must make a choice: kill the guy and take the turret, or use Grand Skyfall to reunite with your team and force a 5v4 teamfight.
> Regarding team fights, it is not a business where Pantheon excels at. Nevertheless, you must try and do whatever it takes to win! The obvious targets in a fight are the ADC and/or the Mid Laner. Unfortunately, these two tend to stay behind those bulky frontliners and getting to them can be a real pain. You might be thinking: "Yo Rex, doesn't Grand Skyfall put you right on top of those nubs?" YOU ARE CORRECT, my friend! HOWEVER, it also puts you right... in the middle... of the enemy team... alone. This is obviously not optimal. Don't take me wrong, it CAN work (and if you are ahead like you should, it often does), but your team might just not be able to help you.
> So, what should you do when Grand Skyfall-ing into the middle of the enemy is just too risky (you must be able to assess this risk yourself and make a decision)? Simple! Stay behind your own frontline bodybuilders and attack whoever your team is attacking. This way, you will win most fights and hey!, you're still alive. If someone manages to get past the line, whack them hard. If multiple people pass (Ares knows how this would happen), try to attack whoever poses a greater risk to your carries (it is usually the guy who deals more damage).
> If you do choose to use your ultimate to get in the fight, make sure you are NOT the person initiating, as it will draw the enemy's aggro and that is not good for you. Tell your team to engage and use Grand Skyfall slightly afterwards. As you are dropping, try and eliminate the greatest threat (usually the ADC). From there, focus people based on danger level. After the ADC, you should try to go for the Mid Laner and then just attack whoever your team is focusing to clean up.
> In the picture above you can see an example of the beginning of a teamfight: Twitch is caught in a terribly bad position and three people are converging on him. I had predicted something like this would have happened and used Grand Skyfall to attempt and trap Jinx, Shaco and Thresh between myself and my team (who were also coming). Annie followed me bot lane, unfortunately, so this is going to be a 4v4 fight, potentially 3v4 if Twitch dies.
> What should you do here, then? It is not looking to be in our favour. Top priority here is to try and kill Jinx, who is the main damage dealer. I cannot see Shaco (unlike in the picture, sorry for that), but I know he will try to assist Jinx and Thresh with killing Twitch. He has a decent enough damage output to be a threat, so that makes him the second priority target. After those two die, it should be easy to clean up Annie and Thresh, since their damage output is ridiculously low ( Annie was very behind this game, thanks to a great laning phase I had).
> What happened? As I land from Grand Skyfall I Flash towards Jinx and use Aegis of Zeonia on her followed with a Heartseeker Strike, allowing Twitch to pick up an assist and miraculously escape. Shaco tries to finish off Twitch but gets grabbed by Blitzcrank and dies seconds later (he also got caught in my E earlier). I immediately switch my focus towards Annie, who desperately uses Summon: Tibbers, but does not manage to do anything relevant, dying to me and Sejuani. Thresh is the last person left and dies shortly after. After the fight is over, we take a free Dragon and push the inner Mid Tower.
> Let's take a look at another example: in the picture above we can see that both teams are restless and a teamfight is bound to go down. Vi and Singed are nearby and it is going to be a 5v5 fight. Eventually, everyone is near and people are waiting for someone to engage.
> So, what should you do in this situation? First thing: stay back. You are a valuable asset to your team and Vi, Galio or Leona can catch and instantly kill you if you go too near. You should stay behind Amumu, who is your team's tank and main initiator. Restrain from being the first one to engage, should something go down. Always follow up on someone else and focus the person your team is focusing, unless there is a clear path to the carries (which in this case, there isn't).
> What did I do, then? First, I stayed in the safety of my backline and told Amumu to engage while I was casting my Grand Skyfall. Being out of the enemy team's vision range, it was easy to follow up on Amumu's Curse of the Sad Mummy, dealing a massive amount of AoE damage using my own ultimate and Heartseeker Strike. The rest of our team quickly followed up and only Ezreal managed to escape, burning away his Flash. After this fight, we were able to take bot lane Inhibitor.
> Final example: both teams are in the mid lane, preparing to fight. Vi is near, so is our Teemo, so it is going to be a full 5v5 fight. From the picture above, we can see that Singed was stunned by Annie (which was a great move on her behalf, and a terrible mistake on his).
> What should you do here? I understand that the urge to engage on Singed must be huge, but you should restrain from doing that, because the enemy will have the perfect opportunity to kill you, even if your team manages to follow up. No. You should wait for Amumu to engage on Singed and then follow up. After he is dead, you should try and peel for Ashe (if someone engages on her, if not, then focus whoever the team is focusing) who is dangerously low, but still dishes out great amounts of damage.
> Let's go through what really happened. I stayed back and waited for Amumu to engage on Singed and after he had done that, becoming the enemy team's focus, I followed up with a really well placed Heartseeker Strike, dealing massive amounts of AoE damage upon the enemy team. Vi Flashed and used Assault and Battery on Ashe, who despite my best efforts did not survive, since she was low enough to be executed. I did, however, manage to save Annie from being killed. After that, it was a matter of cleaning up and we easily dispatched Galio and Leona who really had no damage output. Again, Ezreal managed to escape due to his elusive kit, but it did not matter, since we were able to destroy the Nexus after this fight.
> In this section you will find some other tips I might have forgotten to mention above or that I simply put here for no apparent reason. You will also find a detailed matchup section below (which is most likely incomplete) that I will be working on constantly. There is also a small Jungle section for those interested in taking Pantheon there.
> Although this guide focuses on the role of Pantheon Mid, the champion is amazing to the point of also being a capable jungler! So, for those interested, here's a small section about jungling with the Artisan of War.
> I will not discuss Pantheon Pros & Cons in the jungle (though I think they are pretty obvious, the most noticeable ones being his great gank potential, but mediocre clear times), nor will I explain itemization. This section will mostly focus on his Early and Mid game.
- You should constantly be throwing Spear Shots at the enemy, but try to really spam the ability when you level it up and restrain from using it much when you don't. This way, you'll be hurling powerful spears and won't be wasting mana on weaker ones.
- I mentioned this above, but try your best to kite the enemy. You don't have a whole lot of sustain, so damaging your enemy while dodging their abilities is a key factor for gaining lane dominance.
- Do not neglect Serrated Dirk's passive. 15 bonus damage early game is huge, so try to poke the enemy after killing a minion to maximize your damage output.
- If you start winning the lane, you are bound to be ganked sooner or later. Buy a Vision Ward and don't forget to use your Warding Totem/ Farsight Alteration.
- Playing Pantheon in the mid lane can have the huge advantage of getting Blue Buff from your jungler, so you should ask for it. You won't lose if he doesn't give it to you, but it's is a big help early on.
- Before roaming, make sure to (or at least try to) push the wave, so you don't lose a lot of farm, or your tower.
- Avoid getting shoved under tower, since it will make your life unnecessarily harder: you will have to take damage in order to farm or give up CS to preserve your life bar. However, it works both ways, so if the enemy is in this situation, then it makes your poke-ing a lot easier. Just make sure you have some wards placed, since you are over extending.
- Although you can roam Top or Bot, the latter should be your priority, because not only are you helping two people, but this lane is also near Dragon , not to mention that the bot lane is usually lower level (and squishier) than Top.
- Don't forget that during fights, you can interrupt channels with your Aegis of Zeonia, so if the enemy has someone like Miss Fortune, Nunu or Karthus, make sure to save it should they use their ultimates.
> Below you will find some in-depth matchups. They contain all the information you need in order to either outplay them or in the worst case scenario survive long enough to get out of lane and start roaming. If you don't feel like reading, there are also some general tips that can help you as well.
> Pantheon is a champion that will only succeed if you know your enemies and their weaknesses. This will eventually come with experience, but the descriptions below can facilitate the process.
Aurelion Sol, Dragon's Cousin
- In order to win this lane, simply focus on avoiding Starsurge and Center of the Universe, which are Aurelion's main sources of damage;
- Early on, he struggles a bit with mana, so if you see him spamming abilities, make sure to punish him whenever he runs dry;
- Aurelion Sol has very good waveclear, so avoid getting shoved under tower or else you will make yourself vulnerable to his Q and Passive;
- Remember that since you're a melee champion, you can easily avoid Aurelion's Passive during an all-in, negating a good amount of his damage.
Nidalee, the Bestialism Hunter
Rush: (or )
- Avoiding her Javelin Toss should be your main concern, since it will deny her the ability to all-in you;
- You can safely poke her from inside your minion wave, since her own spears don't go through it;
- Nidalee is very vulnerable to hard CC, so you get great opportunities to kill her at levels 2-3;
- She has powerful roams and can easily recover from a beating, so try to follow her when possible.
Gangplank, the Tangerine Juggler
Summoner Spells: (or )
Rush: (or )
- You can easily kite Gangplank due to Aegis Protection blocking his Parrrley;
- Avoiding / Destroying his Powder Kegs is a major aspect of this matchup, since they are Gangplank's main source of harass (vs. you) and waveclear;
- You can easily burst him down if you manage to bait his Remove Scurvy;
- After level 6, try to constantly harass him in order to divert his attention from other lanes;
> If you made it this far, congratulations my friend! I don't really have a prize for you, so... yeah, I guess you'll have to settle for getting out of ELO Hell this Season. Also, you have my big thanks for sticking with me through this entire wall of text, it was a piece of work and I had a real fun time writing it. I thought about giving up this guide several times, but in the end I decided to publish it anyway, so I hope I did not do a mistake.
> If I helped you improve in any way, an UPVOTE or some +rep is always appreciated or, if you think this guide needs some work, make sure to post it in the comments and I'll get to is as soon as possible.
> Thanks once again and I hope you have lots of fun with Pantheon, as much as I do.
> P.S.: Don't like Pantheon? Think he's booooring? Need someone who... goes where he pleases, when he pleases? I'VE GOT YA COVERED, FAM! Here's my Dr. Mundo guide for you, free of charge! Be sure to check it out if you want to play something tankier.
SpEcIaL tHaNkS tO:
* Everyone who clicked this guide, I hope my experience with Pantheon and Mid Lane has helped you improve your own skills and I really hope you have as much fun with this champ as I do!
* jhoijhoi for her amazing Guide On How To Make A Guide!
* pepsiM4A1, Swuft for their time and amazing feedback/reviews! :D