Pantheon Build Guide by Verdande
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Pantheon's seen better days.
Before he got his massive HSS buff, he was a fun anti-carry. You'd Spear Shot some dudes, stomp their heads in with an Aegis of Zeonia, maybe use some Heartseeker Strike if you didn't have anything better to do with your time, and you'd head off some runners with Grand Skyfall. It was a good time to be from Stanpar. You were balanced, effective in the right hands, and fun to play.
Then they buffed his Heartseeker Strike. Now everybody was jumping on the Pantheon bandwagon. You couldn't play a game without at least one Pantheon on either side, and everybody was whining, "Too OP!" and "OMG EZ mode!" You took it in stride, all while realizing that they were absolutely right.
And then we have today's Pantheon. He's been gutted from his former proud state. His spears tickle. His stun is pathetic. His HSS doesn't hardly do anything anymore.
And yet, you can still carry games with Pantheon, provided that you know what you're doing and you know your limits. That's the secret Pantheon players don't want you to know- he's actually still pretty good. He just takes skill like he used to, and most players aren't interested in "effort". They want old OP Pantheon back so they can win games with one hand behind their back.
Don't listen to those people. Let Papa Verdande show you the way.
Ghost is excellent. You're not a fast guy, but Ghost lets you pretend you are. If you combine it with Youmuu's Ghostblade you can run forever.
Exhaust is awesome, because it lets you overpower those irritating carries that start to outstrip you past the 20:00 mark. With Exhaust, you even the playing field a little and can smack them to death while they're powerless to fight back.
Flash is some peoples' crutch. Use it if you find yourself chronically overextended or just generally poor at positioning, or to initiate a gank from across the lane, or whatever. It's not as good as Ghost, but some people can't live without it.
Clairvoyance is always nice, but not on you. If nobody else grabs it, it can help you avoid ganks and see into a bush to pounce on somebody and maybe get the final shot off.
Everybody seems to have a huge ***** for Ignite, but it's really overrated. The tiny additional damage might let you get a kill when they just barely get away, but honestly, if you need Ignite to secure a kill with Pantheon, you're doing it wrong. It's a good counter for Mundo, Tryndamere, Swain, and any other heal-happy champion.
Teleport is great, but you already have a built-in teleport on a shorter cooldown. You don't get forced out of lane if you're playing right, so you don't need to go back real quick, shop, and teleport in. You can take your time.
Fortify can really save some bacon. But you need to carry something more aggressive.
Just don't get Heal, Rally, or Smite. You're not stupid, and you're not jungling. You know why not to take those.
Let me explain the only starting item you should ever get: Doran's Blade. Don't get anything else. I'm serious. Every other starting item I've ever seen is bad, and let me tell you why.
Doran's Blade is the single most cost-effective AD item out there. Bar none. It is the best. It gives you bonus health, bonus attack damage, and some negligible lifesteal. The important part is that it starts your Pain Train going quicker than anything else. Take a look at your Spear Shot. Go ahead and mouse over the tooltip. You'll notice that Pantheon has what is essentially a physical ranged poke. Notice its scaling.
Now think about it. Pantheon is strongest in his early game. Doran's Blade is the best early game item. Put the two together. Exactly.
MEDIOCRE STARTING ITEMS
Boots of Speed. Why you would start with movement speed is beyond me. If you're even halfway decent at staying just out of your enemy's range, you won't need these boots. They don't make you any better at fighting, and they don't make you any better at staying alive. They just help you get where you're going quicker, and you should already be there by the time you need to be. Nobody else has boots, and you're not going to need to chase anybody anywhere. If 50 extra movespeed would have gotten you a kill, go sit in a corner and think about what you just said.
Doran's Shield. What? Why would you ignore your incredible Spear Shot pokes by going with this? You're on the right path, thinking to get a Doran's item with the early game beast that is Protheon, but you're barking up the wrong tree. Survivability is not what you need. You aren't a tank. Your CC is bad. You need to be lethal as hell, and Doran's Shield does not make you lethal.
BAD STARTING ITEMS
Brawler's Gloves. What, are you ****ing Tryndamere? You're not an autoattack champion, and you have no melee steroids. You're wasting your time. This doesn't make you better at out-laning anybody. It doesn't make you win fights. The tiny +crit percent isn't doing you any favors, homes.
Dagger. Now this one kills me, and I shouldn't have to explain why. Dagger is the worst starting item for any champion. Don't get it.
Long Sword. The only reason to take this over Doran's Blade is so you can pick up a single potion as well. You're giving up on 100 health and some built-in regen so what? You can start your Phage sooner? Don't do it.
AS A GENERAL RULE: Build Attack Damage. Lots of Attack Damage.
You're an angry assassin. You're a skirmisher. You don't need more health- stop getting hit. You don't need Magic Resist- pay attention to who's got their CC up, and who's nearby.
Start with a Doran's Blade. Next, get another Doran's Blade or a pair of Boots of Speed, depending on whether or not your lane enemies have gotten boots. If they have, you need to buy boots, but let them buy them first. If they're trying to rush something, get your second D-Blade. Whichever you get next, get them both before you start on anything else.
The double Doran's Blades is the core of your early game strength. It's extremely difficult to lane against Pantheon when he has more health and attack damage, combined with his innate advantages.
Next, get a Longsword and work towards either The Brutalizer or Phage, your choice. I like Phage because Frozen Mallet is incredibly useful when you're stabbing some squishy in the face with as many pointy spears as you can manage.
Your boots choice will either be Boots of Swiftness or Mercury Treads depending on whether they have a lot of CC or not. If you can get away with it, get Boots of Swiftness.
I see some people get Berserker's Greaves. Please, do not.
If you have some spare money, feel free to work towards an Infinity Edge or The Bloodthirster, preferably the Infinity Edge. B.F. Sword items are only a decent bet if you're really ahead on gold and you already have finished the Youmuu's Ghostblade or Frozen Mallet.
Pantheon's runes aren't too complex, since he is, at his core, a physical caster.
Greater Mark of Desolation is a must-have on any AD champion, and they're awesome on Pantheon. Your strength is in your early game, and Armor Penetration is the best AD early-game rune, hands down. Get as many of these as you can.
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration lets you spam your Spear Shot like you know you want to. I prefer MP5/level over MP5 as a personal preference, since I generally find that through intelligent use of my Spear Shot and Aegis of Zeonia, I can last with my innate regen and the little boost from the MP5 runes. They scale naturally, so you don't have to do anything crazy like waste time building a Manamune or Tear of the Goddess.
You could probably get away with Greater Seal of Replenishment if that's what you have. It probably doesn't make that much of a difference in the long run.
I like Greater Glyph of Health, but that's just me. You could also get Greater Glyph of Magic Resist and do just fine. I just like to have as much health as I can, since it lets you keep up with people who have +health runes and still boss them around.
You need Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed or Greater Quintessence of Health. Greater Quintessence of Desolation is also acceptable, if you're feeling saucy, but that extra movespeed really helps you skirmish in and out of battles. You're going to need to, and there's no reason to be slower than anybody else.