Pantheon Build Guide by Brodienz
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Not Updated For Current Season
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For people who want it fast...
Figured I'd build this section for people who just want a brief and quick outline of some basic rules for playing Pantheon and a quick build.
Ok so runes, I'm not saying this is the best or only option (see the rest of the guide), but I generally play:
Greater Quintessence of Desolationx3
Greater Mark of Desolationx9
Greater Seal of Armorx9
Greater Glyph of Magic Resistx9
These give you decent damage early game and a good bit of defence so you're not crying if you screw it up.
Masteries tend to be offensive for me, but if you're new you might want to whack a few more in the defensive section. Also consider mana regen as Panth pisses out mana early game.
Items are obviously dependent on how you play and what you're looking for in Pantheon, but if you're a beginner or new to Panth, I would go:
This gives you a good starting point where you're doing decent damage and don't die fast. Once you've got the hang of him you can begin to experiment a bit.
Play style is a little different to what you might be used to, best combo tends to be:
It's not always easy to aim heartseeker so try and anticipate their movement. Never ever run in and just try to autoattack, you will not do enough and will probably get bent over before you get half way. Your abilities work best with a burst playstyle, not DPS.
That should be enough to get you started, as said earlier, if you want more detail or die too much, come back and read more, it's never as easy as just knowing which items to build. On to the real guide....
Well this is my first guide. Ever. Could be a disaster but I'll let you be the judge of that. I will try and include as much as I can as I find that small details mean the difference between winning and losing in this game. If I forget to mention something please do let me know and I will endeavor to include it in an edit. I only recently started playing Pantheon, I tend to enjoy playing melee characters more than AP purely because I like to run in and smash things. Yeah. However, one of my pet hates with melee characters is that without the proper support from your team, it's exceptionally hard to do well, unless the other team is ****. Then it's a day in heaven. What I love about Pantheon is that he is this weird cross between an AP caster and a melee champ, most call it an AD caster. Apologies to those who are reading this going, **** you I have been playing Lol for years. I'm writing this part for those who, like me, picked up panth for the first time and went "what the **** is this??". The reason why I love the melee caster shiz is because you're not really a DPS kinda guy. You don't have to run in and get ****ed up while your team runs around casting their ******** abilities at the enemy tank while their carries literally rape you. You can jump in poke your stick in and be gone before the enemy even knows they've been arse raped by a spartan. Brap. The beauty then being that you don't have to wait for cooldowns to mess the guy up, you can auto attack and still do a **** ton of damage to finish him off. Anyway, to the guide bit...
Pros / Cons
Ok so the Pros for using Pantheon are:
Incredible at ganking, especially if with a good lane partner
Can easily solo lane
Great at harrassment
Dominates early and mid game
Has a teleport that does AOE damage....
The Cons are
Not best used as a DPS character, so can be easy to build wrong
No escape mechanism
If you jump in and stun at the wrong time or make any mistake you're dead...
Can be difficult to play late game
He is one mana hungry champ early game[/centre]
It's always good to get to know the champs abilities inside and out so that when you go to use them you surprises don't hit you in the face.
First ability to get to gribs with is Pantheons passive.
This is an incredible passive in my opinion, quite often underrated. However, it can be misused with disastrous consequences. One of the worst ways I have seen Pantheons die is through towerdiving at level 1-4. Yes you can do it. No you shouldn't unless you are experienced at it. You are a melee character so you have to get close to the champ to kill them, your aegis protection will block one hit from a turret, but because you have to get close, chances are the turret will get maybe 3 hits on you after your Aegis has been used up. All it takes is some spazzy minion to stand in your way and make you walk a slightly more obscure route out and you're dead. It's good to watch your enemies playstyle and see which abilities they initiate with, it could mean that you run in, take their first ability and block their ult, or the other way etc depending on who it is. It's important to remember it doesn't block AOE attacks, so don't run in thinking you're invincible only to be drained down by Fiddlesticks ultimate. Learn to use it aggressively at the perfect time.
Spear shot is incredible. It has a 4 second cooldown without any reductions which basically means it's almost ready by the time you have finished casting it. Spear Shot does a decent chunk of damage, especially when vamped up with armor pen runes, it means your damage is going a lot deeper and makes harassing easy and quick, however you will find that you run out of mana pretty quick so time your attacks well.
This is what makes Pantheon an incredible burst damage melee caster. You jump from quite a range to land on your enemy, dealing magic damage and stunning for 1 second allowing your heartseeker to rip in to them. Not only that but there is very little they can do back as your Aegis Protection is instantly renewed. Because we focus on AD you don't tend to add much oomph to the Aegis of Zeonia in terms of damage, but you don't really need to, it's an incredibly valuable skill without the damage.
This is a huge damage dealer and tends to be the deciding ability in your ganks. I use this as soon as I have landed on the enemy, aiming in the direction I think they will move. You will annihilate them and as if that's not enough, if you get them below 15% health, the passive on this ability means you crit them every hit with both spear shot and your basic attack, they probably won't get away....
This is one of the most difficult ultimates to master in my opinion. The reason it's so difficult is because the enemies see it coming about 2 seconds before you get there so often have time to get out of the radius. There are some incredible ways to use it though, rather than it becoming just a fancy teleport that looks awesome. For instance, if your team has engaged in a team fight, you can sway the entire game by ulting in. For the most part, the enemy won't run once they have engaged because that would be stupid, if they run away they will get eaten from behind by your team. If they stay, you ult, dishing up to 1000 damage, jump on the nearest enemy and bish bash bosh your team is one up. It's also exceptionally useful for clearing minion waves from turrets, general turret defence, and towerdiving.
Ok first thing to talk about is runes. I find that this is often brushed over because people don't really consider anything other than the first available or more obvious option. The thing to get out of the way first is if you're going to go for offensive runes the choice comes down to AD runes or Armor Penetration. If you find that last hitting minions is difficult, you may want to consider going flat AD runes because minions spawn with no armor at lower levels. A lot of people these days tend to go Armor Pen marks and then AD quins as they get a nice spread of a bit more damage and that damage going a bit further. For myself I tend to stick with Armor Pen for marks and quins as I find that it's better throughout the entire game and more difficult to come by in useful items. It's really up to you how you want to spread them out.
So in summary, Viable options for your Quins and Marks are:
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damagex3
Greater Mark of Attack Damagex9
Total added damage=15.3
That's equal to about one and a half Long Swords.
Flat Arm Pen
Greater Quintessence of Desolationx3
Greater Mark of Desolationx9
Total added Armor Pen=24.93
That's more than you get in a Youmuu's Ghostblade
AD and Arm Pen Spread
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damagex3
Greater Mark of Desolationx9
Total Arm Pen=14.94
A little less than both of the above, but combine to give you a good early advantage in harassing and last hitting.
Now moving on to Glyphs and Seals.
Pantheon has the problem of being both squishy and mana deprived early game. Now depending on how confident you are and how good you are at last hitting, knowing when to extend, knowing when to pull back etc, you're Glyphs and Seals should mirror your ability. If you are a pro and have no need of added protection I would go for Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction and Greater Seal of Replenishment as cooldowns and mana go a long way in you gaining an early game advantage. I personally think that per level runes are wasted on Pantheon as he tends to need that early game push to get him fed as he is harder to play late game.
If however you prefer to tend towards the cautious side and think, yes a bit more protection in those first one or two levels would go down very nicely, I would recommend going for Greater Seal of Armor and Greater Glyph of Magic Resist as having that extra magic resist and armor in those first couple of levels can give you all the advantage you need to ruin the other team. Again I go for straight out resist and armor rather than per level because I think that it's more useful in those first couple of levels to have that extra and if you are getting owned mid to late game you should have built items to accommodate your *** whooping.
So again in summary my preference is
Greater Seal of Armorx9 =12.69 A bit more than a Doran's Shield
Greater Glyph of Magic Resistx9 =13.41 About half of a Null-Magic Mantle
Masteries are a funny thing with Panth as it really depends on how you want to play him. I have played him as a tank, an off-tank and as a purely offensive bad *** Spartan. With the offensive route, go down the offensive tree (funnily enough). I miss out the crit routes as I find those points can be put in to more useful places. I like to whack a few points in the armor and resist branches as that takes my total armor and resist to an awesome 18.69 armor which is the same as a Cloth Armor and 19.41 resist...almost a Null-Magic Mantle.
Where you put the last point doesn't matter too much, I tend to whack it in utility in the summoner spell branch.
If you want to go more defensive the health bonus' in the defensive tree are great. They can help you stay alive that extra little bit longer and may just give you that survivability advantage over your enemy or allow you to escape a potentially disastrous gank. That and the added bonus of having a 10% tenacity perk is incredible (Although it's not called Tenacity as Tenacity doesn't stack...)! Add that to the Mercury's Treads and you have 45% CC reduction.....not bad. Of course, it is late and I may have calculated that wrong. Someone will let me know if I have.
If at all possible, having a few points in the utility branch would be great as I have said many times, mana regen and cooldowns are Pantheon's friends.
Summary is that you can put them wherever best suits you. There is a place for all of them within Pantheon's stats, play around and see what best suits you. My favourites have been put in the 3 Pantheon builds above, but move them around as you see fit.
The fun part. Items.
Now I am still experimenting with what works best with the way I play Panth. A lot of people like to use Youmuu's Ghostblade for the cooldown reduction, the active and the armor pen, but I personally hate it for Pantheon. I don't particularly want to be there long enough to have to use the active and I should have movement speed from boots and masteries so don't want to waste an entire item to chase enemies down a bit faster. The other stats aren't good enough to make me want to spend monies on. Just had to get that rant out of the way.
I always start with a Doran's Blade but you may want a Long Sword and a Health Potion. I find that the extra health and lifesteal from Doran's blade combined with the 3% lifesteal I get from my masteries means I have all the staying power I need. If you have particularly vicious opponents you may want to consider the Doran's Shield but I don't think you should be going close enough to need it in the initial lane phase.
Now depending on how that went, the next time you go back you need to consider your opponents and how well you're doing. If it's going well, last hitting, harassing and such, pick up another Doran's Blade and if you can Boots of Speed. That should give you the extra damage and staying power you need to get even more of an advantage. Baring in mind that you'll need around 825 gold to get both of those so here is some math....
+ + +
Minions spawn at around the 1:30 min mark and they spawn every 30 seconds after. Each wave consists of 6 minions,3 melee and 3 ranged and a siege minion spawns every 3 waves. Each melee minion is worth 22 gold and its value increases by +1 gold after the 1st wave and +1 gold every 5 mins. Each caster minion is worth 16 gold and its value increases by +1 gold after the 1st wave and +1 gold every 5 mins. Siege minions are worth 27 gold every time they appear and their value increases by +1 gold after the 1st wave and +1 gold every 2nd wave in which they appear(every 3 mins or every 6 waves).After the 20:00 minute mark a siege minion appears every 4 waves(every 2 mins). So if we're talking how much gold you need to go back and get these items, you want to have killed around about 50 minions to get 900 or so gold. That's not including your natural gold per second gain, but gives you a good idea about how many you need to kill. If you do it right you could have killed that many by around the 5 or 6 minute mark.
If you're doing badly at last hitting or have been ganked heavily, I would start to move in to the defensive items early. Picking up either a Cloth Armor or a Null-Magic Mantle could give you enough defense to push back. If you can pick up a few potions, you may as well as they are incredibly useful for staying in lanes longer.
As you move in to your next phase, think about the enemies and what they're doing/playing/building. If you have been heavily ganked, going down the offensive route will be useless as they will have more money from the ganks and will be ahead of you. Whatever you do, don't be tempted to assume that with more offense you can bring it back. You might get lucky, but better to play sensibly and buy defense. I tend to start building my Banshee's Veil at that point as the health and the null an ability passive is very good at giving you that edge again. You also need to look at what your team has built. If you have been landed with a bunch of idiots who all want to be carries and have bought fully offensive items, you probably at the very least, need to offtank. Because of Grand Skyfall you can initiate team fights quite well by landing in the middle of the enemy team and taking of a chunk off their health. They tend to focus you while your team kills them if you jump in like that. If you have built Randuin's Omen you can activate it as you land and give your team an instant advantage.
If your opponents are getting ganked by you or your team, go as offensive as you can, either build an Infinity Edge, The Bloodthirster or your Last Whisper next, choose your offense according to how your team and the enemy team has built e.g lot's of armor would want armor penetration. If you find you are dying quick and just staying alive long enough for you to get the kill, lifesteal may be the way to go to bring you back to full. If you want pure damage, go down the Infinity Edge route.
So after getting your two Doran's Blade's and your Boots of Speed, you will choose your route either offensive or defensive.
+ + +
Damage and lifesteal.
+ + +
Armor Pen and damage
+ + +
When VS Mostly AD or when the carry is AD
+ + + or
or alternatively, if they are literally shredding your team, you could build a
When VS Mostly AP Casters
+ + + or
When VS even spread of AP and AD
+ + + +
To build in to a
Next up I would get your boots finished, you may want them first, I find I'm usually fine because of the jump and stun closing the gap faster than you could ever run but it's up to you.
Viable boots are:
For Heavy CC teams get Mercury's Treads
If you're ganking well and racking up the kills and assists I would get Boots of Swiftness
For Heavy AD teams at the moment the best option is probably either Boots of Swiftness for escape or (depending on what they do with them because of the dodge stat being removed) you could go for Ninja Tabi.
That's probably it for the core build, most games won't reach past this point, if they do the best offensive option in my opinion is to stack The Bloodthirster or choose from whichever offensive items you hadn't bought in the previous offensive list. The Bloodthirster has the best stackable damage output as well as a healthy bit of lifesteal to keep you going. Another option as a slightly more end game option is to get a Trinity Force. It has a bunch of useful stats including the movement speed a bit more AP for your W and R abilities but particularly for the passive where you do 150% bonus damage on top of your autoattack....pretty hefty extra punch if your abilities don't finish them off.
If you're heading down the tanky route, well it all depends on how the game has progressed. You may want to start getting some damage items to add some punch to your longevity, or you may want to grab yourself some more defense. Warmog's Armor is always a nice item to have to give you a hefty chunk, combine that with Atma's Impaler and you have a nice addition to your item set giving you a bit more armor and uses the tanky items you already have to give you extra damage. For instance, if you have:
+ + + +
Assuming you get the chance to max out Warmog's, that gives you a bonus health of 2195.
Add this to your base health at lvl 18 of 1999 and you have an awesome 4194 health which in turn with Atma's Impaler's passive gives you a bonus damage of 84, almost 2 B.F. Sword's
My personal preference for final builds are the builds shown in the 3 Pantheons above. Play around with them as you will. I guess that's it for items, I will leave it to any readers to correct me on mistakes, I think that's fairly close to the mark thus far in my pursuing the ultimate Pantheon build.
After having a look at one of Forgottenduty's experimental builds, there is the possibility of using Manamune as the solution to Pantheons mana problems. Give it a try and check out his build here
Summoner Spells will be a fairly short section, it's not hard to work out what's good and what isn't.
I usually play either
Some combination of the four spells is my preference. Pantheon has no real escape abilities, unless you get lucky and have an enemy minion to jump on further in front of you. It's not a bad option, if you are a more defensive player, to have the two escape spells, but I personally don't think you should need to escape that often if you play properly.
Pantheon is an easy farmer if you work out how much damage each of his abilities does and how much his basic attack is at lvl 1. Last time I played him, I was doing around about 70 damage per hit at lvl 1 with a Doran's Blade and armor pen runes. Easiest way to get good minion kills is to click on a minion, see how much health they have left and then when it reaches below 70, hit. Simple as that. Try not to waste your abilities early on minions as it takes up a lot of mana, save it for harassing or ganking. Pantheon owns early game, as I have said before, so if you can rack up the minion kills, you will find that your item advantage makes you rip the enemy apart. There is nothing more beautiful than jumping in, stunning, tanking their lame abilities with your Aegis Protection, heartseeking their ***es and finally spear shotting them to hell.
One thing to consider when farming is who you are farming with. You will find that if you are with an AOE AP caster or a DPS carry, you will lack the attack speed and early damage on your autoattack to be as effective at farming as they are. Best idea is to talk to them and work out a system so that you still get a decent number of minions. If you're with a bunch of heemas who flip you the bird when you ask, you can always buy a Heart of Gold to get a bit of extra cash. If you are with a tank or support, they will most likely be expecting you to get the majority of minions, don't let them down or you will lose in your lane.
If want the enemy to push, only last hit minions and they will move forward in your lane. If you want the enemy to be pushed, go all out and attack as many minions as poss, picking up last hits as they come.
Simple fact is, minions = gold, gold = win. Don't underestimate the power of a good farm, if you get 7 kills and no farm, you will still lose against a well farmed champ. They will be levels above you and have at least as much gold if not more.
Ok so Pantheon is great at harrassing early game. Get your last hits on minions and if they come within range, smash the opponent with a Spear Shot. Eating away at their health with your 4 second cooldown ability is fairly effective.
If you find you are being harrassed, back off a bit (stay in range for xp) and let the minions push so you can kill them on turret. You will lose a few minion kills, but better that than dying. If you are pro, you can get most of the kills anyway.
If you are doing the harrassing, be careful of jumping in too far. Pantheon is a bit of a one trick pony, once you have used your abilities there isn't a huge amount you can do at those lower levels so you will die against someone like Caitlyn who will just chip away at a distance as you run at them with your spear.
Panth can easily solo top lane. I don't know why people say he can't but I have heard enough moaning to think that perhaps they just don't get him. If it's one vs one in solo lane, the same rules apply as above. If you are one vs two in solo lane, play defensive. Stay in xp range, but don't run in and allow yourself to be jumped on, particularly with characters with jumps....nothing worse than jogging around, swooping in for the occasional kill only to have Xin Zhao jump on you and shove his spear up your arse. Let them push to your turret and then take out the minions one by one. Be aware of ranged characters, if they run in and get a hit off without taking a turret hit, you're too far out of turret range. For characters like Caitlyn or Kog'Maw you need to be extra careful, their range is ridiculous, so have a few health potions to tide you over. It's a ****py position to be in, but not much you can do with two vs one. Harass away at them if you can while they are in turret range as well, generally they will take a couple of hits and you will mostly block theirs with your Aegis Protection.
Your game changing ability is your stun, so when you hit level 3, you should be able to start doing some serious ganking. Wait for your lane partner to engage or line themselves up in a good position and jump on them. I have never failed to get a kill in those first few levels using that technique.
I like to go back and get my second Doran's Blade around about level 4ish, later if you're doing exceptionally well and don't need it. Choose your moment well. Don't go back if they are both in lane and pushing. Best time to go back is after you have killed one enemy or have taken them low enough that they have to return or play it safe. Keep up the pressure on the enemy, zoning them out and damaging them. Pick up your next item as quickly as you can so that your damage goes to the next level.
When you reach level 6, be ready to start ganking mid lane. Your Grand Skyfall gives you the unique advantage of getting pretty much anywhere on the map in a few seconds. Use it to either land on the mid champ or behind to cut off their escape. Only if you have been fed a little though, don't go jumping in only to be raped by the enemy mid champ. Let your mid know as well so they can be ready for the gank, timing is everything.
By the end of your early game, your offensive build should look like this
If you're not doing so well and need to build defensively it should look, at least, look like this
Another thing to note is, BUILD WARDS. They are so helpful in general gameplay, no matter who you are playing. If you place wards in the river, you will very rarely get caught out with a gank. You can also mark dragon and baron etc so that you can always be aware of their team movement. You can also jump in easily for ganks using Grand Skyfall.
You need to start roaming now, don't stop farming, but be available if your team calls for ganks. Also, if you haven't got a jungler, make sure you cover dragon, it's quite hard to take it on your own so call for help, but maintaining dragon possession means an extra 190 gold each per team member. That's an extra 950 gold over all which is more than you get for a tower. You can make up for losing towers early by getting regular dragon kills.
One of your worst enemies in League of Legends is your team. If your team aren't willing to cooperate or play well or even talk, you will need to be wary of them not joining in or not letting you know about ganks etc. Tends to not happen in Ranked matches, but in normal games you will find that 3 times out of 5 you're with a **** team who can't play. Don't run in to a fight and expect your team to join if they haven't said a word on chat so far. Likewise, make sure you are chatting to them even if they aren't, don't fail to ss or ping just because your team is a pile of wank.
Maintain ward placements, they still massively increase your ability to gank well. By level 12 I would hope you have at least one or two more items, whether you have gone for The Bloodthirster or an Infinity Edge, or of course the defensive items. If you are falling behind on farming, you can always Grand Skyfall some large minion waves, preferably save it, but sometimes it is necessary because your team refuse to leave the minions for you or you can't last hit. Minions are levels and moniessss.
A jungle presence is always good, buffs and extra gold can turn the tide in a losing game. Share the love as well, don't take a blue buff if you have someone like Brand on your team, he will benefit from it more than you. If your team is playing well, try and grab baron as early as poss. From around level 13 onward it is possible, but your team will probably refuse.
By the end of Mid game you should be working towards a full build. At this point in the game, the enemy carrys will be doing quite a lot of damage, so if you have gone offensive, it might be good to pick up some lifesteal for a bit more staying power.
A good offensive build at this point is
A good defensive build at this point is
Late game is a case of waiting for your tank to engage and then ulting in with Grand Skyfall. Only if there is a full engage though, never run in for the sake of a kill if you're jumping in to 4 of them and only your tank is there. You will die.
Late game is your weakest point. If any other champs have been fed, you will struggle to one vs one. If you have been fed at all you will be fine, but just play carefully, you are not an ad carry that can solo the entire team.
It basically goes like this. Watch for team movement, ping for gank, tank initiates and stuns if possible, you ult in, stun nearest squishy, heartseeker, spear shot, BAM dead. Cooldowns should be finished by then so repeat. You need a full build to be absolutely brilliant, but with enough armor pen, you can take even tanks if you're good.
By this point you should have your Infinity Edge and hopefully your The Bloodthirster, after your Last Whisper if that's the order you did it in, usually my order. You should be dealing serious damage to people if you went offensive.
If you went defensive then you should have your Banshee's Veil, your Randuin's Omen, the Frozen Heart and your Force of Nature. You will never die.....
Keep farming, keep warding, keep ganking. Don't initiate, don't go solo vs fed champs, don't miss out!
Thanks for reading the guide, please do post comments and criticisms, I welcome them. Don't be too harsh, as I said at the beginning this is my first guide. I am more than happy to update if there is better advice to be given! Hope you enjoy playing Pantheon!