Pantheon Build Guide by odysseusxiv
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Pantheon has always been my favorite champion and since the last nerf to HSS, I had been down on playing him. My old builds weren't working anymore so I started playing around with the idea of combining them. My old builds were modifications of the Hybrid Theory by XLZ for use against a bulky team or The Might of Gargantuan by Manass. These builds worked great for me prior to the stun and HSS nerfs and I would like to thank them.
This build is based on building for damage early game when pantheon is strongest and then stacking up survivability mid-late game. The idea is that if you build some HP items and your health bar looks bulkier, you will get focused less. This build relies on good farming skills to keep stacks on The Bloodthirster and getting early kills. If you fall behind on items too much you will find yourself awful squishy.
Pros / Cons
Still a pretty easy toon to master
Strong AD scaling
Teleport ganking is so much fun
Melee toon with a ranged attack for harassing
Stun (although short these days)
Passive shield can save you
Great early game killing power
Cooldowns can feel long during team fights
Good for burst damage, poor dpser
Squishy if built solely for damage
Greater Quintessence of Desolation
Greater Mark of Desolation
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
I feel that rune decisions are based mostly on personal preference. Marks and Quints should be armor penetration to get extra damage, especially early game. I like to use Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration to give me mana regen based on level. This keeps my mana up decently early game and by end game I can't burn through my mana fast enough. For glyphs, I use Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist for the magic resist per level. Casters have always been the biggest pain for me so I like to give myself the extra 24 magic resist at level 18. Some people prefer the flat magic resist but I feel having higher resist end game is more important. Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction could be used instead for the flat cooldown reduction.
I had been using the standard 21/9/0 build. Because I don't use Exhaust. I put the 1 point into
. The rest of the offensive tree is pretty self explanatory. I choose to put 3 into
and 1 into
. This can be switched if you want more armor instead of magic resist. Going down for
can help you escape if you're lucky.
The build I have been using lately is a 21/0/9. The offensive tree remains unchanged but having Perseverence and Awareness is helpful. Perseverence gives more mana regen and that never hurts on Pantheon. Awareness will allow you to out-level your opponents slightly. This can benefit you if you hit level 3 and they're still level 2. The difference can help you get first blood. It will also help when farming and clearing the jungle. The final point can be placed in either Greed or Meditation . I choose Greed for the small amount of extra gold, can be the difference between getting that B. F. Sword or having to wait.
Skills and Rotation
This passive has saved me countless times running away from people with 1 bar of health. Every fourth attack, you gain a shield that will take one hit. It is smart to be aware of this being active when turret diving, it can be the difference between getting the kill and getting away or feeding. It is also renewed by using Aegis of Zeonia.
This is our harass ability. Spam it as much as your mana pool will allow without going below the necessary 140 mana threshold for the stun/HSS combo. This should be used as teams are facing off for battle (just don't get too close or you'll be dead quickly) and then when chasing after the fight.
Aegis of Zeonia
This is our stun that used to be a lot stronger but it still useful. Be aware of the other team's composition as well as yours because if they have a champion with an interuptable spell, it may become your job to shut that toon down. For example, Katarina has a very powerful ultimate that can wipe out a team but it can be stopped by a stun. This is where we come in.
This is our nuke. It may take time to get used to predicting how players will react and then using it in the right direction. Pantheon attacks 5 times in a cone in front of him. We can be interupted and players can move out of it as well. You should be careful to attempt to only use this when you aren't being focused and will get all 5 attacks off.
This spell is just so much fun to use. Pantheon teleports to a point on the map. A green circle will show up when you cast it to let your team know you're coming in. Then a circle will show up for the other team a few seconds later and they will all panic and scatter. The key is trying to predict where the players will be when you will finally land. This skill is also great for backdooring turrets when the minions push a lane.
I choose to get Spear Shot first for harassment and possible first blood attempts if I have a strong laning partner. I follow with Aegis of Zeonia most of the time but if I'm soloing, I might get Heartseeker Strike before stun to help clear creeps. By level 3, you should have all 3 skills and be looking to get a kill if you have them whittled down. I max HSS first, Spear shot second, then Aegis last. Put a skill into Grand Skyfall at 6, 11, and 16.
The basic rotation for pantheon is Spear Shot > Aegis of Zeonia > Heartseeker Strike > Spear Shot. The final spear shot may not be available until you have the cooldown gear. When leading with Grand Skyfall, before you land you can cast Spear Shot then work through the rotation.
Sometimes, using the stun to enter a battle is unnecessary. If a team fight is breaking out and everyone is packed in, just lead with a Spear Shot and hit as many as possible with Heartseeker Strike. This will save your Aegis of Zeonia cooldown for chasing the runners or, if the fight doesn't go your way, escaping.
I used to run with Exhaust and Flash but switched to Ignite and Flash because of the change to Exhaust. Ignite gives you that extra little bit to get a kill when they think they have gotten away. Flash can be used to get a final blow or get out of danger. Flash is basically the only escapability you will have so use it wisely.
I don't use Clarity because I use my mana intelligently early game with my Mana Potion and runes. Ghost can be helpful but I prefer Flash for the instant get away and ability to go past barriers. Teleport is nice for saving turrets and helping the team but Pantheon's ultimate should be used for these purposes. If you need more than that, you're team is holding you back.
Now the part everyone is really interested in. I start the game with Boots of Speed, 2x Health Potion, and 1x Mana Potion. This gives you more movement speed to give you better mobility for harassing and avoiding harassment. Because the boots are cheaper, it allows you to buy the potions for more staying power in the lane.
I try to stay in lane until I get 1337 gold for The Brutalizer but if I can't, I just purchase Long Sword's. On my next trip back, I aim to get Vampiric Scepter and upgrade my boots to Ionian Boots of Lucidity or Mercury's Treads if the game requires. Now you have to be patient and save up 1650 gold for B. F. Sword which will be upgraded to The Bloodthirster as soon as possible. Once you have The Bloodthirster, it is very important to keep the stacks up on it. You can easily add damage by jungling and wiping out a wave of creeps. This gives you the core damage items of your build, time for the survivability.
Your next item should be the Giant's Belt for a pretty substantial increase to your health pool. This will hopefully keep the other team from focusing you right away if there are other squishies on your team. The next item should be Atma's Impaler to put that health pool to work for you. It will give armor, critial strike chance and damage based on health. Purchase the pieces leading to it as possible. After Atma's Impaler, I will start working on my Banshee's Veil for magic resist, more HP (which now = more damage as well), and the nice passive shield it gives. I will usually buy the Negatron Cloak first for the magic resist. Then I upgrade the Giant's Belt to Frozen Mallet for HP, slow, and minor damage increase.
Finally, if the game is still going, upgrade The Brutalizer to Youmuu's Ghostblade. Once your item build is complete, purchase Elixir of Agility, Elixir of Fortitude, Elixir of Brilliance and Oracle's Elixir's if necessary.
Randuin's Omen - Use this item instead of Warmog's or BV for the heavy AD teams.
Thornmail - Use this item against strong AD carries such as Master Yi or Tryndamere
Last Whisper - This used to be one of my favorite items. If the other team has some strong tanks and you can do without BV, pick this item up.
The Bloodthirster - If you aren't having any problem staying alive, you can consider adding another one of these instead of BV. I would still suggest getting Atma's and Frozen Mallet because of the synergy between those items.
Warmog's Armor - Huge health boost that can be used instead of Frozen Mallet if more HP is desired.
Item's To Avoid
Infinity Edge - I don't like this item because Pantheon is not a strong auto attacker. It does offer the highest attack damage for the item slot and the extra crit and crit damage can help if you find yourself auto attacking a lot.
Sword of the Occult - I tend to stay away from snowball items because even bulky, Pantheon will die quite a bit. If you are putting the hurting on the other team like you should be, you will get targeted a lot, which will cost you stacks.
Manamune - I don't find this item necessary because of my runes and masteries. I don't run into any mana issues.
The Black Cleaver - Also, an auto attacker item. Increased attack speed and the passive don't really benefit Pantheon.
Phantom Dancer - Great auto attacker item but not very useful in this build.
Start by last hitting creeps melee if possible to save mana. Spear Shot enemy champions to harass and keep them off minions as much as possible. Against strong ranged champions, you may need to use Spear Shot to last hit minions and take [[Heartseeker Strike] at level 2 to help farm at the turret. At level 3 you should have all three skills and hopefully the enemy champions are getting towards half HP. Pop your mana potion if you haven't already and go for the kill.
At level 6, once you have your ultimate, you should bluepill and let your lane partner know you will be roaming so play safe. Scan for low HP champions and use Grand Skyfall to suprise them for a telegank. From here, start hitting the jungle for gold and experience, letting your partner solo lane for a while. Whenever Grand Skyfall is off cooldown, you should be looking for ganks. Grab blue/red buffs and if all enemy champions are accounted for, steal their buffs. I tend to always go back to town before using the ultimate if theres time. That way my mana is regenerated before I land.
At this point in the game, most fighting will be ganking and team fights. You should have some of your survivability gear but you are still pretty easy to kill so don't push out too far. Your ultimate will be needed to stop backdooring if they have a strong pusher. Otherwise, I tend to hang back and let my tank know to initiate and I will land right there.
Favorite Laning Partners
Mordekaiser - strong pusher and can harass well
Rammus - can be agressive and take hits from the other team. will hopefully be their main target if they get his HP down. His taunt is outstanding for use if they push you back to your turret.
Ashe - her slow and ultimate make getting kills a lot easier. her bird can also help make sure the other team isn't coming for ganks.
Blitzcrank - rocketgrab > knockup > silence. enough said
Sion - strong stun and high burst damage
Taric - strong stun and heal
Basically any champion that can help harass is a helpful laning partner. I especially like ones that have stuns or taunts that will make getting early kills that much easier.
Pantheon is a great burst damage champion but he needs to play behind a tank to be most effective. You should try to stay towards the back, throwing spears as often as possible to start the damage on the other team. When your tank initiates, locate a carry on their team and start the rotation. Try to limit your chances of being stunned/interupted and also keep track of their most dangerous champions. Like I stated earlier, it may be your job to save your stun for those champions.
Pantheon's ultimate can be a good way to enter a battle but be careful if your team isn't completely prepared. It will get you killed fast if your team didn't initiate in time. I tend to save my ultimate for those silly Master Yi's of the world who think they can backdoor my turrets.
As the battle ends, hopefully in your favor, attempt to chase down the stragglers with low life but be careful not to chase too far that you overextend and get jumped. Be aware of who is dead and who is back alive at all times.
The following are a bunch of games I've played in the past few months that I have randomly taken screenshots of. The last two I included are loses that I played really well in because I wanted to display that even when you are playing out of your mind, you can still lose. Pantheon is not a toon that can push lanes and take out turrets by himself really well as he is not an auto attack champion. This is where your team composition comes into play.
I failed at taking an in game screenshot but here is a screenshot of a Penta-Kill I landed on Pantheon. My team was being chased 2v5 after 2 champions had already died. I used Grand Skyfall and killed 2 on impact and killed the other 3 easily. Teaches you not to chase at low health when Pantheon is still up :-)
Thanks for reading my Pantheon guide. This was my first guide and I look forward to seeing the comments and keeping it updated. Hopefully Riot will leave my main alone for a while.
Last Updated 3/8/11
-Changed masteries section
-Added to skills and rotation
-Reduced cost of B.F. Sword noted in item section
-Changed item purchase order and expanded on item section
-Added gameplay section
-Changed team work section to team fights
-Finally added screenshots
-Removed Warmogs from item list, replaced with frozen mallet
-Edited item section