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Pantheon Build Guide by Swuft

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Swuft

[S7] Ye Olde Pantheon Top

Swuft Last updated on December 6, 2016
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Pantheon Top

Ability Sequence

1
4
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
2
14
15
17
18
Ability Key W
3
8
10
11
12
Ability Key E
6
13
16
Ability Key R

Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Vampirism
 
 
5/
Natural Talent
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
5/
Battering Blows
 
 
Piercing Thoughts
 
 
 
 

Offense: 18

5/
Wanderer
 
 
Savagery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
5/
Merciless
 
 
Meditation
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Precision
 
 
Intelligence
 
 
 
 

Defense: 12

Recovery
 
 
Unyielding
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Runic Armor
 
 
Veteran's Scars
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Swiftness
 
 
Legendary Guardian
 
 
 
 

Utility: 0



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1. A Brief Introduction

2. Mastery Setup

3. Rune Setup

4. Spell Choices

5. Skill Explanation

6. Build Paths
7. Laning Breakdown

8. Objective Strategy

9. Teamfights

10. Matchups

11. Hall of Fame

12. Conclusion
: Look for this icon throughout the guide! It will always be accompanied by interesting info!


Hello, and welcome to my Pantheon guide! My name is Swuft, and I've been playing Pantheon off and on since Season 3. I am currently ranked Platinum in Ranked, and I had a 70% winrate in around 60 games as the Artisan of War in S5.

I credit Pantheon as being the one champion that helped me climb out of low silver/high bronze. This guide is intended to help others do the same. We all know what it feels like to be stuck at a certain rank, and I am confident that Pantheon can help get you over that hump and to the next level like he did for me!


Pantheon is a high damage early-mid game AD Caster who specializes in skewering his opponents and snowballing fast. Easy farming combined with insane early game pressure helps make him one of the most oppressive and dangerous laning champions in the game.

Many people believe that Pantheon is best suited to the jungle, so you rarely see him top anymore. I disagree with this view wholeheartedly. In the toplane, Pantheon can completely dominate opponents and is great at stalling for your team's hyper-carries to get rolling. With high targeted poke, a stun and a semi-global ult, he is a fun champion to play and can help get you out of your Ranked losing slump or even carry you to the next division like he did for me.

In this guide, I will go over the two different builds I use on Pantheon and give you as much advice and insight about him as I can. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments!

: This guide won a prize in the S6 Mobafire Guide Contest! Thanks for all the support!






Like all champions, Pantheon has his strengths and weaknesses. Here are a few of the most notable pros and cons for the Artisan of War.

The Good

+ Massive lane bully
+ Easy farming
+ Targetable stun
+ Great roaming with ult
+ Can snowball hard
+ Few counters in lane
Pantheon has very few hard counters in lane due to high, targetable ranged harass. He is a great pick against any champion that is slightly squishy or has a subpar early game, and punishes enemy mistakes hard. His poke is some of the best in the game, and if Pantheon gets a lead in lane he is oppressive to play against.

The Bad

- No innate sustain
- No reliable escape
- Relies on doing well in lane
- Relatively mana hungry
- Rough damage/tank tradeoff
Due to his lack of innate sustain, Pantheon relies greatly on avoiding ganks/bad trades to do well in lane. Because he doesn't have a reliable escape, however, he is very easily ganked. If you can't get ahead in lane, it is hard to catch back up.

The Ugly

Pantheon's greatest weakness is time, as his damage falls off quite a bit late game when everyone has armor. As shown in the graph, if a game continues past 35min you enter the Sad Zone and your % chance of winning drops dramatically. Simply put, end games quickly by snowballing your lane and then pushing objectives with your team.

: Although Pantheon falls off late game, my build will still allow him to one combo kill ADC's!





As Pantheon, there are two possible mastery setups: 18-12 with Deathfire Touch , or 12-18 with Thunderlord's Decree . Although I swap between them according to my lane matchup, as detailed in the "Matchups" section, the general rule is use Deathfire Touch against non-tanks and use Thunderlord's Decree against tanks/offtanks. Both mastery trees use 2 points in Fury and 3 points in Sorcery , as the AS helps with farming early (this is honestly just personal preference).

Deathfire Mastery Setup


space
If you are facing an enemy you need to outpoke in lane, stay away from or match harass with, this is the best mastery setup for you.

Fresh Blood adds some damage to your all in combo, while Natural Talent gives you the most AD possible early.

Bounty Hunter gives you additional incentive to roam with your ultimate.

Due to your very low Spear Shot cooldown, you are able to constantly apply Deathfire Touch to your opponent in lane. Over time, this additional poke damage adds up and prevents them from engaging on you. It also allows you to harass the enemy more without fully engaging on them.

This is my mastery tree of choice.
space

Thunderlord's Mastery Setup


space
If you are facing an enemy you need to kill early in lane or you need to 1-shot an ADC, this is the best mastery setup for you.

Wanderer lets you return to lane quicker after using your ultimate to gank another lane, or just return to lane faster.

Assassin and Double Edged Sword both give you additional damage in lane to kill your enemy quick.

Although Thunderlord's Decree has a longer cooldown than Deathfire Touch it adds a lot of magic damage burst to your combo. This additional burst helps kill tanks early game before they can stack resistances, and also allows you to more easily one-shot fed enemy carries.

Refer to "Matchups" for more info on when to use this setup.
space


The biggest controversy of Pantheon's masteries is whether to take Deathfire Touch or Thunderlord's Decree . The benefit of Deathfire Touch is the constant damage over time due to your Spear Shot poke every 4 seconds. However, if your opponent in the toplane is tanky and can survive your early poke ( Malphite, Shen, Tahm Kench) it is better to take Thunderlord's Decree and go for the early kill.






RUNE SET #1: BASIC AD


Cost: 4290 IP
Greater Mark
of Attack Damage


x9

+9 Attack Damage
space
Greater Seal
of Armor

x9

+9 Armor
space
Greater Glyph
of Magic Resist

x9

+12 Magic Resist
space
Greater Quintessence
of Attack Damage

x3

+7 Attack Damage
WHY THESE RUNES?: Basically, because these are the best runes for the early game.

Due to Pantheon being a champion that relies on doing well in lane, you need runes that boost his early game power. The flat AD from your Greater Mark of Attack Damages makes your poke hurt a lot and helps with farming, too. Since you will be building so much armor penetration on Pantheon in items, Lethality runes here are generally not optimal. The flat armor keeps you healthy for Level 2-3 all-ins, and the flat MR will be useful all game as you don't build MR usually until mid-late game.

DO NOT EVER TAKE: With this build you will get 40% CDR through items, and any attack speed runes are a waste since Pantheon does 95% of his damage through abilities. Do not take health runes because you will be building more health than armor with items, and you need the early armor to win trades.

POSSIBLE SUBSTITUTES: If you know your lane opponent is not AP and does little magic damage, taking 9 Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist will help you scale into lategame better (this is the ideal situation). Finally, if you you decide you really need to scale into late game no matter the cost, take Greater Mark of Lethality to scale your damage into lategame better. This will cripple your laning phase, but can be helpful if the entire enemy team is going to be super tanky.






Flash is a must have on almost every champion, and Pantheon is no exception. Flash allows for escapes and engages alike, and will prove invaluable in every game. Flash can be used to get in range for the killing Spear Shot, get close enough to hit Aegis of Zeonia and land a full combo, or simply escape a gank.

I take Ignite over Teleport on Pantheon for one simple reason: he needs early kills. Since Grand Skyfall is basically a Teleport, Ignite helps you cement or gain an early lead and snowball games. When combined with Corrupting Potion and Deathfire Touch , Ignite can burn down health on enemies surprisingly fast.

Only take Teleport against hard counters of Pantheon, or against enemies who you need to follow when they roam from top. The new extended cooldown and channel duration of Teleport makes it even less desirable to use as Pantheon, and should only be taken in very hard matchups. More details in the Matchups section below.

: Once you become more experienced with Pantheon, you will begin to use Teleport less.





Order of Skills
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
0 Q W E Q Q R Q E Q E R E E W W R W W


On Pantheon it is imperative to max Spear Shot first, as it provides the greatest amount of harass and kill potential in the early/mid game with a 140% AD ratio. Since it has such a low cooldown, you will be whittling down the enemy's HP bar in no time.

Alternative Choices Level 1-3
Generally speaking you want to go Q>>W>>E in the first three levels as it allows for a Level 3 all in. If you can tell you won't be able to kill your opponent until Levels 4-6, however, you can go Q>>W>>Q then grab E later for maximum early poke.

Why not grab R at Level 11?
By not putting a second point into your ultimate until Level 13, you are able to finish maxing out both Q & E. This gives you the greatest increase in damage output, as another point in your ultimate only results in a slightly increased range and slightly lower cooldown.
Passive
Ability Description

Aegis Protection
After attacking or casting spells 4 times, Pantheon will block the next incoming basic attack or turret attack. This ability also blocks large creature/minion attacks that deal more than 40 damage, abilities that register as an AA ( Mystic Shot, Parrrley etc..) and turret shots.
Aegis Protection is Pantheon's passive. On paper it may not seem like much, but this is actually the part of the kit that defines good Pantheon players from great Pantheon players. Great Pantheon players will be aware of how fast they can bring up their passive, and thus mitigate the most amount of damage possible in trades.

In lane it is not very difficult to activate this passive. Between poking with your Spear Shot and farming, it should be up most of the time. Similar to Guardian Angel, this passive acts as an engage deterrent. When they see it up, your opponent knows their first attack will be blocked and thus may choose not to engage at all.

If you plan to engage at any point in the game, be aware of how many stacks (autos and spells) you will need to cast to activate this passive. If the enemy has an ability that registers as an auto attack, this can mean the difference between life or death in a fight.

Tips and Tricks
  • Keep track of how many stack you need to activate this
  • Use to dive enemies under turret relatively safely
  • Using your W, Aegis of Zeonia, activates this immediately
Q
Ability Description

Spear Shot
Pantheon hurls his spear at an opponent, dealing 65/105/145/185/225 (+140% bonus Attack Damage) physical damage.

Cooldown: 4s all ranks
Cost: 45 mana all ranks
Spear Shot is Pantheon's bread and butter skill. This ability has a very low cooldown and is targeted, so use it to poke down enemies constantly or kill the occasional creep you can't quite reach. Max this first no matter what, as its damage falls off somewhat late game.

In lane Spear Shot is devastating, allowing you to force opponents away from minions and zone them. Since this is a spell, you can freely harass without fear of minion aggro when standing in a minion wave.

Be aware of your mana early game. This ability has a very low CD, which can cause you to run out of mana quickly if you're not careful. A general rule of thumb is spam it on enemies when you have an odd number of skill points in it (1,3,5), and save mana when you don't. Learn the range of this ability, as a Flash> Spear Shot combo can kill fleeing enemies quite easily.

Tips and Tricks
  • Use to harass enemies when they try to farm
  • Be aware of early mana cost
  • Use to farm only if necessary
  • Will active your E passive, Certain Death
W
Ability Description

Aegis of Zeonia
Pantheon leaps at target enemy, dealing 50/75/100/125/150 (+100% Ability Power) magic damage and stunning them for 1 second. Pantheon also instantly activates his passive, Aegis Protection.

Cooldown: 13/12/11/10/9s
Cost: 55 mana all ranks
Aegis of Zeonia is a targeted stun, bringing some much needed CC to Pantheon's kit. This ability has the same range as his Q, allowing you to Q>W in a quick combo.

In lane, this ability doubles as both your hard engage and hard disengage. When engaging it allows you to lock them down and ensure a hit with your E. When disengaging it allows you to either jump to a minion and escape, or stun the enemy and run away. Only use this early when you know you can kill the enemy.

Be aware you can jump over any wall using this ability, provided you have vision of an enemy on the other side. You can also jump over walls onto jungle camps, making an escape.

It is possible to block 3 turret shots in a row using this ability and Aegis Protection. Stack your passive up to 3, then use W to activate your passive and wait for its cooldown. When you engage, the first shot will be blocked; Q to activate your passive again, blocking another; then W again to activate your passive blocking the 3rd shot!

Tips and Tricks
  • Use to jump on enemy carries and burst them
  • Once you jump onto an enemy, you have no other escape
  • If grabbed by a Darius or Blitzcrank, stun them then run away
E
Ability Description

Heartseeker Strike
Passive: Certain Death; Pantheon's basic attacks and Spear Shot gain 100% critical strike chance against targets below 15% Health.
Active: Pantheon focuses and delivers 3 swift strikes in front of him for 80/130/180/230/280(+300% bonus AD) physical damage (deals 60% damage to minions and monsters).

Cooldown: 10/9/8/7/6s
Cost: 45/50/55/60/65 mana
Heartseeker Strike is a channeled ability that does damage in a cone infront of Pantheon. It can be interrupted by all forms of hard CC. Although weak early, this ability will shred through everyone mid to early late game.

In lane, this ability is mostly useful for its passive, Certain Death, which makes your AA's and Q's critically strike enemies below 15% HP (effectively an execute). It should be used sparingly in lane due to the high cooldown and mana cost.

Late game, try and hit as many enemies with this as possible. Each strike (3 total) applies a stack of The Black Cleaver's armor reduction, meaning you can quickly shred through an entire team's armor. If you use W>>E, the enemy will be unable to dodge most of your E's damage. Try to wait out enemy CC abilities before using this, because if it's interrupted your damage output drops considerably.

Tips and Tricks
  • One full channel of this ability procs Thunderlord's Decree
  • Does full damage to all enemies in cone
  • Interrupted by all forms of hard CC
  • Can be used for waveclear mid/late game
  • Certain Death activates on minions/monsters too
R
Ability Description

Grand Skyfall
Pantheon begins channeling and, after 2 seconds, leaps into the air and becomes untargetable. He then blinks to the target location and plummets down, becoming targetable and striking after 1.5 seconds for up to 400/700/1000 (+100% Ability Power) magic damage to enemies at the center (down to 50% at the edge) and slows their Movement Speed by 35% for 1 second. If Pantheon cancels this channel, Grand Skyfall is put on a 30 second cooldown.

Cooldown: 150/135/120s
Cost: 100 mana
Grand Skyfall is a semi-global ultimate that is great for roaming to other lanes, contesting objectives or simply returning to your own lane. This is the ability that allows Pantheon to effect the entire game if he gets ahead.

In lane, this ability is useless. Unlike other Top champions Pantheon's ultimate cannot be used in combat, meaning his Level 6 powerspike is very weak. When you get this ability you should immediately look to roam Middle to try and get a kill. If you need to back after getting it, use it to return to lane and kill your laning opponent.

Late game, this ability can change the tide of fights. Use it to zone an enemy team away from an area, to initiate a fight or to get to a fight if one is already happening. Enemies will have to flee from the area or risk being chunked by the huge base magic damage. If a fight is already happening or the opposing team is already taking dragon/baron, use it ontop of them; most likely they will be too busy to notice and avoid the AOE.

When aiming this, try to predict where the enemy will be in 3-4 seconds, as it has a total cast time of 3 seconds (the landing zone is visible to the enemy for 1.5 seconds). Be aware this ultimate can be canceled by any form of hard CC.

Tips and Tricks
  • Ward the enemy jungle so you can ult to the enemy jungler if they appear low HP
  • This uses lots of mana, so make sure you have enough mana to combo upon landing
  • While in the air, Pantheon dodges all damage. This means you can dodge things like Karthus's Requiem if timed correctly.
  • If in a fight and the enemy has no CC, use this to escape
  • Yell "SPARTAAAAAA" when landing on the enemies' faces

: How well you use Grand Skyfall can determine whether you win or lose a game!




Long Sword stands for an auto-attack.
Boots of Speed stand for movement.
Deny Combo

-> ->

This is what you want to do whenever your enemy walks up to farm a minion. If you don't feel comfortable getting close enough to AA, just use your Spear Shot.


Hard Deny Combo

-> -> ->


Use this combo when you want to severely punish an enemy who is trying to get a creep. Be careful; since you have no escape, a Darius or Volibear can easily grab/throw you after the combo is over. Ideally, use this only when you are certain the enemy will retreat after you use it.



Basic Panth Combo

-> -> -> ->


This is Pantheon's bread and butter combo. Use your Spear Shot before stunning the enemy, as after you use Heartseeker Strike it will be back up again. Make sure to AA between your Aegis of Zeonia and Heartseeker Strike, otherwise you could lose the chance of having your last Spear Shot critically strike.


Death From Above

-> -> -> -> ->


This is your ult combo. Since Grand Skyfall slows enemies in its radius, after you land on the enemy position yourself between them and the closest escape route. Just as the slow is wearing off, use Aegis of Zeonia and then complete the Basic Panth Combo. If the enemy is on the very edge of your ult when you land, do not try to walk up. Instead, immediately stun them to prevent escape.








Pantheon must sacrifice tank and survivability to reach his maximum potential as a champion. In both builds detailed below, I focus on items that will help you achieve this. That being said, to actually complete these builds and succeed you will most likely have to do well in lane. Here I provide two builds, one for when facing a non-tanky opponents in lane and another for facing tanky opponents in lane.

I will briefly mention some defensive items that are most useful on Pantheon. The rationale for these will be mostly explained in the Matchups section, however.

As Pantheon, a bursty AD Caster, you need several stats which are listed below in order of importance.

Attack Damage>>Armor Pen>>Cooldown Reduction>>Health

Building items with these statistics will allow you to do well in almost every situation. Although others can be purchased, you will not be playing Pantheon to his full potential if you do so.



The items in this build path assume you are winning your lane, as Pantheon beats most champions in lane. For more detailed build paths, find your specific enemy laner in the Matchups section. Follow this build if you are facing a lane opponent who is not tanky.


Starting Items


Corrupting Potion
This is really the only viable starting item for Pantheon. Because you will be harassing the enemy so often with your abilities, you need the Mana Regen this item gives. Additionally, the burn damage active increases your poke nicely.

Warding Totem
Allows you to ward the river to prevent early ganks. Also allows you to ward lane brush, in case the enemy tries to hide in them to avoid your harass. Has a long cooldown early so be smart about its placement. Works on a charge system, storing up to 2 wards at a time.

First Buys



Serrated Dirk
This should be your first item in 99% of games. It gives decent AD and good ARP, and provides a large damage spike for you. Ideally you will be able to buy this on your first back (1100g); if not, get 2x Long Sword instead.

Boots of Speed
Buy these on your first back if you have 300g left after Dirk, or just whenever you have the extra gold. Pantheon has the highest base MS in the game, so you can afford to delay buying these for a bit. If you do buy them early, don't feel obligate to upgrade them right away.

Control Ward
At 75g, this is an item you should buy whenever possible. When placed in the river brushes, it allows you to see incoming ganks easily. It also disables nearby enemy wards, which clears a path for your own jungler to gank.

Phage
Buy directly after Serrated Dirk, ideally on your second to third back. This item gives good survivability with its HP, and also good mobility with its passive. Buy buying this second, allows you to either build into Youmuu's Ghostblade or Black Cleaver next.

Core Items


Youmuu's Ghostblade
Building out of your early Serrated Dirk, Youmuu's gives a huge powerspike with its 10% CDR, 60 AD and 20 Lethality. This should be bought as your first full item if ahead, or your second item (after The Black Cleaver) if slightly behind. The active is also very useful for chasing down enemies.

Black Cleaver
Gives every stat Pantheon needs. The passive, which reduces armor when dealing physical damage to enemy, will allow you to shred through any armor the enemy might have mid game. Buy as your first full item, before Youmuu's, if your laning opponent is rushing armor.

Ionian Boots of Lucidity
These are your first choice of boots. They allow you to spam your skills even more, and combined with Cleaver and Youmuu's they give you 40% CDR. Only get other boots in specific situations, such as Mercury's Treads against high CC/high AP teams or Ninja Tabi against high AD teams. If you do this, substitute another CDR item into your build.

Edge of Night
This is an all around good item for Pantheon. Built as your 3rd main item, it gives 15 Lethality, 60 AD and a solid 35 MR. The active, a temporary Banshee's Veil, allows you to completely negate the first spell that hits you when active. This is great against targets with one hard CC ability ( Vayne, Xerath etc..) and allows you to stick to them much better. The MR also helps stop you from getting burst down by mages.

Duskblade of Draktharr
This is your last Lethality item. Although it has good base stats, the real reason to buy this is because of its passive. Since you will have tons of Lethality already, this item can add over 200 true damage to your first auto in the Basic Panth Combo. Very useful for assassinating enemy carries in a single combo. If you can't oneshot anybody, however, this is the item you want to swap out of your build due to its cost.

Situational Items


Lord Dominik's Regards
If the enemy stacks HP and Armor, buy this item. With 15% bonus physical damage against enemies with greater maximum health, you will be shredding tanks in no time. If necessary, buy an early Last Whisper and finish this item later.

Mortal Reminder
Although this item gives the same Armor Pen as Lord Dominik's, I rarely every get it because it simply gives less overall damage. Against high healing enemies ( Vladimir, Swain), however, grabbing an early Executioner's Calling and finishing this item later can be useful. Note: heal reduction is applied off ALL physical damage. This means Spear Shot.

Maw of Malmortius
If an enemy mage is out of control or the entire enemy team is AP, get this item.The 10% CDR it gives allows you to replace Ionian Boots of Lucidity with Mercury's Treads and still hit 40% overall. Can buy an early Hexdrinker and finish this later.
: There are some more defensive items are listed in the Off/Tank Build Section!




The items in this build path assume you are winning your lane, as Pantheon beats most champions in lane. For more detailed build paths, find your specific enemy laner in the Matchups section. Follow this build if you are facing a lane opponent that is tanky.


Starting Items


Corrupting Potion
This is really the only viable starting item for Pantheon. Because you will be harassing the enemy so often with your abilities, you need the Mana Regen this item gives. Additionally, the burn damage active increases your poke nicely.

Warding Totem
Allows you to ward the river to prevent early ganks. Also allows you to ward lane brush, in case the enemy tries to hide in them to avoid your harass. Has a long cooldown early so be smart about its placement. Works on a charge system, storing up to 2 wards at a time.

First Buys



Serrated Dirk
This should be your first item in 99% of games. It gives decent AD and good ARP, and provides a large damage spike for you. Ideally you will be able to buy this on your first back (1100g); if not, get 2x Long Sword instead.

Boots of Speed
Buy these on your first back if you have 300g left after Dirk, or just whenever you have the extra gold. Pantheon has the highest base MS in the game, so you can afford to delay buying these for a bit. If you do buy them early, don't feel obligate to upgrade them right away.

Control Ward
At 75g, this is an item you should buy whenever possible. When placed in the river brushes, it allows you to see incoming ganks easily. It also disables nearby enemy wards, which clears a path for your own jungler to gank.

Core Items



Black Cleaver
Gives every stat Pantheon needs. The passive, which reduces armor when dealing physical damage to enemy, will allow you to shred through any armor the enemy might have mid game. Buy as your first full item, before Lord Dominik's, if you are even or behind in lane. This will ensure you have a strong mid game powerspike.

Lord Dominik's Regards
If you are able to kill the enemy laner early, rush Last Whisper into this after Serrated Dirk. With 15% bonus physical damage against enemies with greater maximum health, you will be shredding tanks in no time. Against champions with huge armor pools like Malphite and Rammus, this will keep an early snowball rolling. Be careful rushing this against Offtanks, however, as it will make you squshy and vulnerable to their damage.

Ionian Boots of Lucidity
These are your first choice of boots. They allow you to spam your skills even more, and combined with Cleaver and Youmuu's they give you 40% CDR. Only get other boots in specific situations, such as Mercury's Treads against high CC/high AP teams or Ninja Tabi against high AD teams. If you do this, substitute another CDR item into your build.

Youmuu's Ghostblade
Building out of your early Serrated Dirk, Youmuu's gives a huge powerspike with its 10% CDR, 60 AD and 20 Lethality. Against tanks this is a 3rd item, providing more Lethality to keep shredding that armor.

Edge of Night
This is an all around good item for Pantheon. Built as your 4rd main item against tanks, it gives 15 Lethality, 60 AD and a solid 35 MR. The active, a temporary Banshee's Veil, allows you to completely negate the first spell that hits you when active. This is great against targets with one hard CC ability ( Vayne, Xerath etc..) and allows you to stick to them much better. The MR also helps stop you from getting burst down by mages.

Duskblade of Draktharr
This is your last Lethality item. Although it has good base stats, the real reason to buy this is because of its passive. Since you will have tons of Lethality already, this item can add over 200 true damage to your first auto in the Basic Panth Combo. Very useful for assassinating enemy carries in a single combo. If you can't oneshot anybody, however, this is the item you want to swap out of your build due to its cost.

Defensive Options


Randuin's Omen
If I am behind and I need a defensive item with health, I get this. With a whopping 60 Armor, 600HP and a passive/active that destroys auto-attacking based champions, this is too good to pass up. If needed, buy a Giant's Belt early then finish this item later.

Dead Man's Plate
An "offensive-defensive" item. Gives a good amount of armor, although less than Randuin's. Where it makes up for that is in its passive, which increases your movement speed greatly over time. Buy this if you need a bit of survivability in addition to increased roaming ability. I rarely ever buy this, as if I need a defensive item in the first place I want the maximum amount of armor/HP possible (i.e. Randuin's).

Guardian Angel
This is the BEST defensive item for Pantheon. Although it gives no HP, the armor/MR and passive make it incredibly useful. Since the enemy knows you will be revived if they kill you, this item will often dissuade them from attacking you in the first place in teamfights. If you do get focused and killed, you will be revived and give your team a chance to respond. This is my first choice of the defensive items.

: An early rush of Lord Dominik's Regards can help you win lanes against tanky opponents!





So you want to play Pantheon? Well you've made it this far, so don't turn back now! I said earlier that Pantheon can help you get out of your ranked losing slump; that is only true if you fully embrace him as a champion, from abs to spear to pizza feet. Oh, and don't forget the calves carved from rock. Never skip out on leg day.

Below is a breakdown of the most important aspects of laning as Pantheon. Master them all and you will succeed. First I'll go over some basic principles, including some detailed information on warding, then we can dive into a level-by-level breakdown of laning phase.

Pantheon is one of the, if not the, strongest laning champions in the game. In order to maximize the effect you have on a game, you must win lane and get kills early. The following information will help you do that, if you read through it carefully.



Having the right mindset going into each game is incredibly important, and honestly should be talked about in every guide. As a Pantheon player, however, you need more than just the standard positive attitude and all that blablabla. You are a motherf*cking Spartan. When you walk into the top-lane, that lane is YOURS.

It doesn't matter who you are against: during laning phase, YOU are in command of everything north of the Baron pit. Nothing happens unless you let it happen. Here are three easy steps to crushing your opponent in lane.




Step one for dominating as Pantheon is learning to deny the enemy farm in lane. Pantheon's kit and style rewards those who are super aggressive early in the game. Project this aura of aggressiveness into the game by constantly poking with your Spear Shot and just generally bullying your opponent in lane whenever possible.

Basically, every time there isn't a creep for you to last hit you need to be poking the enemy down or feinting like you're going to poke then back off. Make them scared to get near their creeps, and their farm will plummet.

When they do step up to farm, PUNISH THEM. This is easier against melee opponents, since you can stand back in your own wave and just Spear Shot them forever. Remember: this is YOUR LANE. They can't farm if you don't let them.

There are two possible outcomes if you correctly deny the enemy in lane. One, they come out of lane with dramatically reduced farm because they were zoned off the minion wave during laning phase. Win. Two, they die multiple times in lane because they continued farming as normal and ate all of your poke. Win.

Either way it goes, you should come out top. If there is one thing you should take away from all of this, it's "Stomp lane, win game".

: Using Spear Shot on an enemy champion will not draw minion aggro, but autoing them will.



Step two for crushing in lane is demoralizing your opponent. What this amounts to, essentially, is making them feel useless in lane. A tilted enemy is an easy enemy. If you have been correctly denying them farm in lane, this should be easy to do as they will already be behind in gold.

An essential component in the demoralization of your opponent is controlling the location of the minion wave in your lane. After the first two waves, which you want to shove as hard as possible so you can get Level 2 first, ONLY LAST HIT while your opponent is in your lane.

Good Wave Control freezes the lane in one place, preferably close to your tower. Your opponent won't be able to approach the minions without opening themselves to harass or a gank, while you will be safe from ganks yourself. This means easy farm for you and no farm for them. Yay!

If your opponent backs or dies and they don't have Teleport to get back to lane, shove the wave to their turret. This causes them to lose more gold when the turret kills the minions. Nothing hurts more than seeing a Siege Minion die under your turret.

The other major component of demoralizing the enemy is emoting. It can be as simple as flashing your champion mastery emote after killing them or just spamming laugh while they are forced to stand helplessly away from the minion wave.

Yes this actually works and causes them to tilt more, and no I am definitely not suggesting you use this strategy. That would be disrespectful.
: In Ranked, anything that helps you win and doesn't break the Summoner's Code is fair game.



Now that we have have denied our laner farm and demoralized them with wave control, it is time for the final step in the process of winning lane: destruction. As I mentioned earlier, you must play aggressively in lane if you want to win. Look to kill your opponent whenever possible and snowball your lane even more.

Once you've put your laner so far behind, they will be looking for every opportunity to catch back up. Often, this will mean calling for a gank. In order to snuff out all of their remaining hope, make sure to ward the river bushes. A Control Ward will help nicely here.

At this point if a jungler does happen to gank, you may be able to get a double kill. If you see an enemy jungler appear toplane, quickly decide whether you can fight. If you cannot, run back towards your turret. If you can, focus the squishier/lower HP one first and then deal with the other. At the very least, you will trade kills.

It is also important for you to spread the destruction top to other lanes. Look for opportunities to roam into mid, bottom or even the enemy jungle. By helping other lanes you can ensure they win their lanes too.

Be aware of who the enemy jungler is, too. Are they a farming jungle, or a ganking jungle? This will dictate how likely they are to help top once you begin stomping. If they appear to be ganking a lot, temper your aggressiveness if you cannot see them on the minimap.

: Be sure to abuse the huge kill potential Ignite gives you. When it is up, you always win duels.



Warding is a very important and oft overlooked part of the game. A well warded lane can quite literally make the difference between life or death, so there is no excuse for you not to know how/where to ward.

In this brief section I will go over the two types of warding that occur in the top lane: Offensive and Defensive. Defensive wards mostly involve ensuring that an enemy jungler can't sneak up on you, while offensive wards give you an opportunity to contest objectives or invade the jungle.

The legends for each diagram is as follows:


Blue
Safe zone when you are on the Blue side, danger zone when you are on Red side.
Purple
Safe zone when you are on the Red side, danger zone when you are on Blue side.
Yellow
Semi-Danger Zone for each side.
Red
Range of vision for ward placement.




Defensive warding is meant to keep you safe from ganks, allowing you to play very aggressively in lane.

In the diagram to the right, you can see the three zones of safety. If you do not have the river brush warded, DO NOT go past the yellow zone unless you see the jungler in another lane. Ideally, no matter which side you are playing on (Red or Blue), you will have each brush warded 95% of the time. The easiest way to do this is purchase one Control Ward and place it in the brush furthest from your turret, using Warding Totem to cover the closest brush.

If you can't/haven't bought a control ward, the general rule is toward the bush furthest from your tower and closest to the enemy jungle so use your Warding Totem to do that.



: A Control Ward is only 75g! Don't be afraid to carry an extra if needed.




Offensive warding is meant to give your team opportunities to make picks on roaming enemy champions and the enemy jungler.

In the diagram to the right, you can see several possible warding spots in the Red side jungle. Usually it is only viable to ward these spots as a top laner once you have Farsight Alteration, which allows you to place a long distance ward, due to missing farm.

Placing offensive wards can be risky with Warding Totem, as you must walk blindly into the enemy jungle to place it in the first place. Note that Farsight Alteration reveals less Fog of War than Warding Totem.



Make sure you have a Control Ward in one of the defensive ward locations if you go to place an offensive ward to ensure safety from ganks upon return.

In the diagram to the left, you can see several possible warding spots in the Blue side jungle. Usually it is only viable to ward these spots as a top laner once you have Farsight Alteration, which allows you to place a long distance ward, due to missing farm. Also shown on this map are ward locations around Baron Nashor which can be utilized to keep an eye on enemy movement through that area.

Note that you may also use Warding Totem in the brush located within top lane. Only do this if the enemy is trying to dodge your harass by sitting in them.

: Farsight Alteration unlocks at Level 9. Don't forget to switch to it; it's free!




Pantheon is an extremely dominant and lane reliant champion. Of all top laners, he has arguably the strongest pre-level 6 harass and kill potential in the game.

Due to the need for a strong laning phase, I am going to provide an in-depth analysis of Pantheon's early levels. Everything you do should be aimed towards starting your snowball early on, which then transitions to getting your team snowballing after you get Grand Skyfall.

This information is intended to be for laning phase in general. If you want information specific to a certain matchup, check out the Matchups section. Below "Level" tells which level the analysis is geared to, "Power" tells you what your strengths are, and "Analysis" provides more information.


Lvl

Power

Analysis and Advice



1

Poke: Ok
Engage: Low
Kill: Low
Since you start Corrupting Potion begin poking the enemy right away. Stop when around half your mana bar is gone, unless you want to use a potion, to ensure you have reasonable mana for Level 2.

If you last hit most of the first minion wave, you will hit Level 2 off the first melee minion from the second wave, so shove the wave as hard as you can with AA's early. This is one of the only times you want to push the minion wave.

Do not engage hard to get into extended trades; you want your health to be as high as possible for an all in Level 2-3. If the enemy is a ranged champion or also has high harass, duck in and out of the lane bushes as you last hit to avoid their poke.



2

Poke: Ok
Engage: Ok
Kill: Ok
When you hit Level 2, immediately determine whether or not using Aegis of Zeonia and engaging can get you the kill. If so, go in and use Ignite. If not, pop a charge of Corrupting Potion, continue poking and wait for Level 3.

Begin freezing the wave. If the enemy jungler started at their top buff, they could gank you around 2:45-3:15 so ward up in the river. Use Corrupting whenever necessary, but save at least one charge for Level 2.

Continue to avoid hard engages. If they go onto you, stun them and kite away, using Spear Shot to punish. If they begin hiding in the lane brush while not farming, throw a ward in the one nearest to the minion wave so they can't hide.



3

Poke: Low
Engage: High
Kill: High
If the enemy is below half HP when you hit Level 3, pop Corrupting Potion and go in with everything. Most of the time this will result in a kill. If they aren't that low, poke a little and look for a chance to engage. Don't be afraid to flash for a kill if needed. DO NOT fight in a huge wave of their minions.

If your opponent tries to engage now, fight them. You should be able to win most trades with a full rotation of your abilities, but be aware that it will cost a lot of mana to do so. If you get ganked, look to kill the jungler if they are low otherwise run/flash away.

Since you will still only have 1 point in Spear Shot, your poke will be pretty bad this level so conserve mana if possible. Even if you force them to back and don't kill them it's a win, because when they get back you should have a level advantage.



4

Poke: Ok
Engage: Ok
Kill: High
With another point in Spear Shot your poke will pick up again. If you haven't gotten a kill yet keep harassing, denying and looking for the opportunity. Even if you blew Ignite for nothing earlier you can still get a kill.

If the enemy used their Flash already or they happen to overextend, go all in. Make sure to keep the river warded as the jungler could swing by at some point. If you can get a friendly jungle gank during this time it's basically a guaranteed kill.

If you are low from bad trades or harass, determine whether you can stay safely until Level 6. If not, go back because it's not worth giving up a kill. If you can, play a bit safer and farm.



5

Poke: High
Engage: High
Kill: High
If you somehow haven't gotten a kill yet, this is your chance. Your poke will be huge now, especially if the enemy hasn't backed yet, as Spear Shot gets a huge base damage boost with 3 points in it.

At this point, the enemy should have no potions left to use. This means every Q you land will be damage that is not healed. Play very aggressive and go for a kill; if you haven't gotten one already this is your last clear chance to snowball in lane.

If you are ahead and have kills/items already, deny the enemy farm harder than usual to delay them from getting Level 6 (usually their power spike).



6

Poke: High
Engage: Low
Kill: Low
90% of champions are able to out duel you once they hit Level 6, even if they are a bit behind. This is because they gain a combat skill at Level 6 and you don't. If you haven't gone back to base yet, do so immediately and look to Grand Skyfall back into lane for a kill.

If you hit 6 after just returning to lane, instantly look to ult mid lane. Mages will be very squishy still, and most of the time this will end up being a kill for somebody on your team. Your poke will still hurt most laners, so focus more on that than hard engages until the enemy is low enough for an all-in kill.

If you are very far ahead in items, you can often force the enemy completely out of lane by freezing the minion wave. If you are far behind still look to roam, but call for a gank because you are going to need help at this point if you have no kills.



An important aspect of Pantheon's early levels is knowing how to trade with the enemy. In nearly all matchups, Pantheon has the advantage in trades early if you stay away and poke with Spear Shot (poking/harassing). Where you can run into problems, however, is when the enemy wants to jump on to you and force fighting.

Champions like Renekton, for example, need to get close to do damage. You, on the other hand, never want to full engage unless you are positive you can kill the enemy. If the enemy ever decides to jump on you, it is imperative that you stun them with Aegis of Zeonia and back off.

By using this strategy of "Poke-Poke-Run", you can whittle the enemy down until they are low enough to kill with a single all-in. It will also keep your healthy, allowing you to go for those all-ins without a risk of dying. An added bonus will be royally pissing off whoever you are playing against. Prepare yourself for the salt in All-Chat. Also, if you see one of the Honeyfruits spawn in the river (shown on minimap) go take it. It heals a lot of health and mana.



Even though Pantheon is not very good at taking towers, you should always try to take the enemy turret as soon as possible. Now that there is a Turret First Blood, you can get around 400 extra gold just for being the first to take a tower. After the enemy's outer top turret goes down, look to roam into the other lanes and enemy jungle to shove objectives. Return top whenever you need to.

Fortunately, if you get far ahead in lane, you will be in a position to one combo both the enemy ADC and mage. This allows you to, for example, ult bot and get two kills then help your team take a dragon. Never forget that the enemy ADC is a walking money bag. Remember that you will fall off later, so do everything you can early to cement your teams lead. If you/your team is behind, still look to roam and snowball other lanes.

Choose to gank lanes where it will make the most difference. If your midlane is 0/3/0 and your ADC is 0/0/0, a gank bot has a better chance than of snowballing your team than a gank mid. Additionally, if you have the enemy jungle well warded, you can sit in a bush and wait for the enemy jungler to come along. This can work well if you have good vision and are smart about positioning.

The more you can invade other lanes, the more disruption you cause. The more disruption you cause, the more likely you can close out the game early. Just don't roam so much that your enemy laner catches back up.
You say Miss Fortune, I say MY fortune!

: You can also roam to contest objectives like dragon. Your ultimate is very good around the ::Dragon and Baron pits.





One thing that changes as you climb the ranked ladder is the focus on objectives. In lower elos, it is not uncommon to see a team blow a lead simply because they don't take those dragons or turrets. Plainly: objectives win games, not kills. You could be up 20 kills, not kill the enemy nexus, and still lose.

In this section, I will be talking about how you can help your team take these all-important objectives from the island that is top lane. I am talking about objectives before Teamfights because there are often opportunities to take them before people group up together.

Before you go to contest an objectives, ask yourself three questions. One, does my team have a reasonable chance of getting the objective? Two, does my team need my help to fight at or take said objective? Three, can I make it there in time to contest the objective? If the answer is yes to all three, go help.

Normal Spawn: 2:30
Elder Spawn: 35:00
DRAKE

Dragons are, in my opinion, the most important early objective in the game due to power each buff gives. After level 6, Pantheon is able to help contest drakes due to the range of his ult, so don't be afraid to help.

Be aware that if you go to Dragon your enemy laner may also come down, so if your team can't win a 5v5 it may be better to stay top. If you choose to stay top and your enemy laner has Teleport, watch for them trying to teleport to the drake and use Aegis of Zeonia to cancel it.

Good times to get a dragon include the enemy jungler being dead, enemy bot lane being dead or the enemy jungler appearing top lane. If you are ganked, let your team know they can take a dragon for free.

: Dragons types spawn randomly, and stack up to 3 times each. Killing Elder Drake gives TD burn ::and amplifies these buffs.


RIFT HERALD
Spawn: 6:00
Despawn: 19:45

The Rift Herald gives a 20 minute buff that remains even if you die with it. The buff, Glimpse of the Void, grants 5% damage reduction when you are away from allies as well as a charging damage buff.

Because the Herald hits like a truck and resets quickly, you don't want to be fighting the enemy at the same time you are taking it. If you and the jungler kill the enemy top or you know the enemy team is at Dragon, quickly take this objective.

If you are facing a tank in lane, this buff is a must have for you. In combination with Thunderlord's Decree you will do a ton of magic burst damage to them when you engage. This will also allow you to more safely splitpush if necessary. DO NOT let your enemy laner get this buff, or your life will become hell in the top lane.

: Attacking the Herald from behind while its eye is open does a lot of bonus true damage to it!


Armor/Magic Resist: 40-70
Health: 3,300-3,500
TURRETS

Due to being an AD caster with rather low attack speed and mediocre base AD, Pantheon falls rather flat in the turret taking department. This being said, since you will be killing your opposing laner so often it is possible for you to take down the turret quickly.

Always group up with your team, as that is how you will push the easiest as Pantheon. Additionally Lethality applies to turrets, so late game you will actually be able to take them down solo pretty fast. If you got really fed in lane, don't be afraid to stay and push top for a bit. If you draw more than one enemy top to stop your push, your team can easily take other objectives on the map (like Dragon!).

One strategy for taking down the first enemy top turret fast is getting your jungler to gank after you've made top waste their Teleport and/or Flash. After getting a kill off the gank, get your jungler to help you shove to tower and take it down quickly. Turret First Blood gives a nice bit of gold if you get it!

: Grand Skyfall allows you to quickly join a fight in another lane if you are splitpushing!


BARON NASHOR
Spawn: 20:00
Respawn: 7:00

This is objective becomes increasingly important as the game progresses. You must coordinate with your team to take this and always be sure you will get it if started. A bad Baron call can quickly bring the enemy team back into the game.

There are many circumstances that enable you to take Baron Nashor, but a few common ones include: 3 or more of enemy dead, 2 or more enemies in the botlane, all enemy inhibitors destroyed, all enemies at Drake, or no enemy wards around the pit. If the enemy tries to take it around mid game, do not commit suicide trying to steal it as you will just be able to defend.

Late game, there are some circumstances where you must contest Baron or lose the game. If this is the case try and get a ward in the Baron pit, then time Grand Skyfall so that you land in the pit right before they take Baron. Your passive, Certain Death, allows for easy steals if the enemy jungler is lazy with smite.

: If you get the Baron buff, have your team group up and siege towers with your empowered ::minions.



One last thing to note is that enemy jungle camps display a timer a minute before they respawn. If you pay attention to the enemy jungler's movement on your minimap (or have an Offensive Ward!) you can predict when an enemy jungler will visit the camp. This gives you an opportunity to Grand Skyfall on their face. Who doesn't want a free kill and a buff to boot!






Teamfighting with Pantheon is all about killing an enemy carry. As the game progresses, you should be analyzing the enemy team to determine the greatest threat. With my suggested builds, you should be able instantly take that threat out of the game. As the saying goes, "Death is the best form of CC". If you are not far ahead, however, your job shifts to protecting the person on your team who IS carrying. Pretty simple.

Below I will focus specifically on a few aspects of teamfighting that I think Pantheon players need to specifically pay attention. This includes role, basic positioning, and focus.




Pantheon fills one of two roles in teamfights, depending on how far ahead you are compared to the enemy team. You are either an assassin who goes straight for an enemy carry when the opportunity arises, or you are an bruiser who pumps out DPS with Spear Shot and peels for your carries.

To be able to pull off the assassin role, you must either be able to 100-0 the enemy ADC/Mage or be able to do enough to them that they can't re-enter the fight. Knowing whether or not you can do this will stem from how your fights in the game have been going so far.

If you can't assassinate a carry, protect yours because keeping them alive is how you win. You will still have lots of armor shred, so if an enemy tank charges you should be able to stall and hurt them a lot before they get to your carry.



Unless you can make a free pick on an enemy caught out from their team, Pantheon works best if you stay behind your frontline tanks and infront of your backline ADC/Mage.
You should never be the one to engage fights (the exception is using your ult to cut the enemy escape off); instead, wait for your tanks to go in then make a beeline for the enemy carries.

By positioning in what is essentially the center of your team, you are able to decide whether it is best for you to engage on the enemy or peel back for your carries. By positioning like this, you give yourself the most flexibility and thus the best chance of reacting to whatever happens in the fight.

If a fight happens to break out and you aren't already with your team, be sure to use your ultimate Grand Skyfall on the enemy backline to have the greatest impact possible. Remember, it's okay for you to die in fights (even if not preferable) if it helps your team win.

For example, going after the fed enemy ADC and forcing them to Heal/ Flash away from the fight can give your team time to kill the enemy frontline while the enemy backline is zoned away.



If you are able to fill the assassin role, you must assess who the greatest threat on the enemy team is that you are able to kill. Usually you want to go for the ADC or Mage as they do the most damage in fights.

Sometimes, however, it is best to focus targets of opportunity. If an enemy gets caught out, bursting them down fast then turning your focus to the enemy carries can quickly make the fight a 4v5 in your favor.

Always be aware of what summoner spells the enemy carries have available. If the enemy ADC is more fed then the Mage but the Mage used his Flash in the last fight, it may be beneficial to focus the Mage first since you know they can't escape. Communicate with your team so that they know who you will be going to kill.





In this section I will go more in depth with which items I recommend in specific lanes. They are arranged in alphabetical order and hidden under the "Spoiler" tags to save space. I will assume you have basic knowledge of the other champions' abilities in order to keep the explanations as concise as possible. If you would like any other champions added to this section, please let me know.

As I play games in S7, I will continually add matchups to this section and revise current ones based on my experiences. Thank you for your patience.


Matchups A-H



Matchups I-Q






I personally think my guide is pretty helpful, but don't take my word for it! The proof is in the pudding. Here are some people who followed this guide to great success!



Thanks to Moltenhard for some Platinum 1 >> Diamond 5 stats!

Thanks to MBMx for the stats and the commendation!

Thanks to Patence! Look at those stats!


: If you want to see your stats here, drop a comment in the discussion section with some feedback ::and the picture link!





Congratulations! You have reached the end of my guide to playing Pantheon! Unfortunately, however, this is only the beginning of your journey. I have provided the foundation, but now it is up to you to continue learning and growing as a Pantheon player. To quote a certain champion:

"A true master is an eternal student."

If you have any comments/criticism please drop a note in the comments or send me a PM, and if you liked the guide please drop a +1! It helps a lot!

Thank you to everyone who helped me with this guide along the way, including:
~jhoijhoi, for her "Guide on how to make a Guide"
~foxyriven for the coding guide.
~IceCreamy for a coding guide
~Everyone who left a review in the comments section
~Surrender@20 for ability images