Well with the new masteries that came out, and the updates to items, I was forced to archive the original guide. But now that Ive had time to tinker with the new masteries and work around the gold per 10s items, Im proud to give you an updated guide to playing TANKEON!!
Now before I go any farther, I must explain why I build Pantheon as a tank.
When I first thought about getting Pantheon, I did my research on him. I watched countless videos on youtube, searched thru the guides, and than got my feet wet. Sadly enough for me, I struggled to play him by design. I couldnt play him as the AD Glass Cannon he has been know to be.
So I took a deeper look into his kit, and I saw the potential for a tank. I saw that her had everything that a tank needed, except a taunt. Im not sure why people think tanks need taunts, but I admit it does help. The longer I looked into the kit, the more I wanted to tank. And so I did.
People always ask 'What makes him viable as a tank?'.
My response is this: 'What does a tank NEED?
1. Tanks need to be able to initiate, and Grand Skyfall does that.
2. Tanks need to be able to lock down a target so the team can focus them down. Aegis of Zeonia does that.
3. Tanks have to be durable and some kind of mitigation. Aegis Protection does that. It can offer great protection against some of the hardest hitting AD carries in the game. It can also protect from Parrrley or Mystic Shot.
4. Tanks have to have some kiting ability. He has the kiting ability in Randuin's Omen and Frozen Mallet. These items can help your team escape if it comes to that. Remember as the tank, its your job to make sure that your team survives, and these items help you do just that.
That said, these builds can fit the tank role. If you play it right.
What Type of TANKEON to Play
With three ways to play, you have to know when to play what build. Thats the beauty of TANKEON. He can be the solid tank with massive defenses and high HP, OR, he can be a tanky DPS OR he can be a bulky DPS. But the build you need is based off your team.
This is the first build. This build is to be used only if you have enough DPS or burst dmg on your team already. This will give you more solid defense and allow the team to take advantage of the fact you are being focused. Yes you will get focused. No one can resist the taunt that is Pantheon ulting into the enemy team. This build is not meant to deal massive amounts of dmg. Its meant to soak up dmg and help feed your team. HOWEVER, its not uncommon to be the carry your-self.
Tanky DPS TANKEON
This build should be used if your team has a support. Im not bashing on supports, but with there being one less DPS, than you need to pick up the missing dmg. This build will allow you to play a lil more aggressive, and thats great if you like the in your face playstyle. You might not be as durable as the full tank build but you will be able to do more dmg.
Bulky DPS TANKEON
Now I know you must be wondering the difference between Bulky and Tanky DPS. The difference is Bulky DPS is more HP based than Tanky DPS. Tanky DPS has more of a balance of all defensive stats; Armor, MR, and HP, but still able to do dmg. Bulky DPS relies more on having massive HP to stay in fights, rather than its defenses. But its still fun to build Bulky. This build should be taken, if and ONLY if the other team appears to have less dmg than your team. If your team is going to be out done in the dmg department, than you should be more tanky. If your team can out dmg them, Bulky is always a good choice.
THESE BUILDS ARE TEAM/ITEM DEPENDENT!! Pantheon him-self is item dependent, so you have to make sure to get your items. Its also important that you have your team help you get these items. Be it kills or assists, make sure you have some gold income. And in the Items section, Ill go a lil more into detail.
Well now that Ive explained why I play Pantheon as a tank, lets get into the guide shall we.
Pros / Cons
Pros to TANKEON
1. Far less squishy than the standard Pantheon . TANKEON's duriblity is amazing. Being able to be focused and living longer than 3-5 seconds is great. This not only makes your presence in team fights longer, but allows TANKEON to continue to provide for his team. Aside from being more of an asset in team fights, he can also stay in lane longer. He can harass well and thats good. Pushing lane enemies out of range of XP or dmging them enough to make them recall. Either way, it pays to be tanky.
2. His ult is a great for team fights since it got its 'buff'. Said buff is your team can now see the AoE before you leap. This is a very nice to have as a tank, due to the fact that your bulkier mates can start a fight and keep the enemies in the AoE. Also, this is great for ranged and support champs with slow, snares, and stuns. This will allow you to do more dmg upon landing, and it keeps the carries or other targets in range of the CC and burst that Pantheon naturally has.
3. Can take harassment well. Just like any other tank, TANKEON can take the Laning Phase abuse. Ive found that, with the right items to start, TANKEON can take a lot of punishment before having to recall. Another good thing about being able to take harassment well, is that he can take the top lane in TT (Twisted Treeling), mid or solo lane in SR (Summoner's Rift). Thats good for any champ.
4. The reason I say he can take the mid lane is because he in a great duelist. His kit is perfect for 1v1 gameplay so dont be afraid to claim mid or solo top. His ult can also reach at least one other lane on SR, and can a HUGE distance on TT.
Cons to TANKEON
1. You sacrifice dmg for survival. But such is the way of the tank. This gives you more time in team fights, but you will not be dealing the amount of dmg a normal Panth would. So if you can live with giving up dmg for survival, than you are in good shape.
2. The lack of dmg output means your KDA ratio will be more tank like. Most tanks have more assists than kills, and usually have more deaths. Depending on how well your team plays that is. I say this, because Ive noticed thats how most games work. You get the assist from ulting into a fight and providing the CC. There are times though, when you are in a heavy AoE team, that you can time Spear Shot and get the kill. But most games will be lower kills, zero to maybe a 2-4 deaths, and usually 10+ assists. Now the deaths may vary. Sometimes, usually in pugs, the death count will be higher because no one has faith in TANKEON. But in premades, TANKEON has great survival since there is more faith behind him. But remember, there are times where you can carry.
3. You are item dependant still. Panth is a glass cannon, we all know this. Thus he is item dependant. That said, TANKEON is no different. If shut down, or unable to farm effectively, TANKEON losses his effectiveness in team fights. This must be avoided at all times. This can only cause rage quitting from your team, QQ that TANKEON sux, and so on and what not. All things that we dont want to hear.
Pantheon is a great duelist. His kit allows for powerful 1v1 matches. Lets take a look shall we.
Spear Shot is a ranged attack. This is a great poking tool, and once you pick up Heartseeker Strike a great killing tool. It has a low CD, so it works well with Trinity Force.
Aegis of Zeonia is great CC. If you communicate the stun with your team, the odds of getting a kill go up. It also gives you your passive, Aegis Protection. This is good for many things.
Heartseeker Strike, for these builds is purely for the passive auto crit on low HP targets. And Spear Shot procing this passive is always good for kills, or that extra bit of burst dmg.
Grand Skyfall is a powerful ult. This ult, at rank 3, deals 1000 dmg at its center. 1k before mitigation that is, but its still a nice amount of dmg. It daels 500 at its outer perimeter. Even if it doesnt hit anyone, it will spread out the enemy. And that means you and your team can converge on one spread out straggler. The joys of Chaos.
Summoner Spells & Masteries
Lets talk Summoner Spells shall we.
Now before I start, Id like to vent a lil rage. These builds use to run Rally. This was one of the most effect summoner spells in the game, but was very underestimated. It was a great buff for you and your team. AD team mates loved this spell and it made pushing lanes so much easier. And the extra 35 AD it gave at lvl cap was a big game changer. if the whole team was present there was an extra 105 dmg (3v3-35 for each team member) or an extra 175 dmg (5v5-35 for each team member). It didnt matter if the team had AP champs, its always nice to have some extra dmg. For removing such a great and useful spell, Riot loses some Chaos Points. >:(
Well now that Ive got that out of my system, lets get to business.
Full & Bulky DPS TANKEON Summoner Spell Combos
Exhaust & Flash are the preferred summoners. These spells help you and the team in many ways. Exhaust helps you keep the focus locked down so that the team can do their work. While Flash gives you some mobility. Sometimes ya gotta make your own short cuts to get to the team. Both are also great kiting spells. use these to bait the greedy enemies to your team.
Ghost & Flash are for those that like to be highly mobile. Need to get to another lane, but Grand Skyfall is down? Than hit Ghost and fly thru the jungle. Need to do the baitings but dont wanna go clear around the terrain? Flash over a wall.
Exhaust & Heal are great if you wanna be more team supportive. Though you arent a support, its nice to keep and eye out for your team mate's HP and you need to be able to peel people off your team. These spells help with that.
Tanky DPS TANKEON Summoner Spell Combos
Exhaust & Flash pretty much for the same reasons as Full TANKEON. Mobility, dmg mitigation, and all around great team utility.
Ghost & Flash for the same reasons. You cant be being highly mobile. Get to the places you need to be in little to no time flat.
Exhaust & Surge are lots of fun if you need a few more hits. The light CC and the AS boost work together to increase your DPS. This is good because its up to you to cover the dmg from the missing DPS. Plus, the cosmetics are funny. A big stompaging, thats right stompaging, Pantheon throwing big spears or landing on someone with his ult >:))
Exhaust & Teleport is always great too. CC and the ability to be anywhere and every. Push lanes than ult into a team fight, and port to push another lane. Man to joys of TANKEON!!
Zombie TANKEON Combo
Revive & Teleport is one of the more... Well troll summoner combos. Teleport can let you get around without having to use your ult, or if its down. And there are times that you might get be kiting, but still die. Revive will bring you back and make a 4v5 or 2v3 (Twisted Treeline. Yes TANKEON can tank on either map), into a 5v5 or 3v3. But this combo should be used only with premades. Remember, TANKEON is team dependent.
Full and Bulky DPS TANKEON Masteries
Well since Im tanking, I like to use 8/22/0 for this build. This set up is best for getting the job done. But lets break down the trees.
Since there are only a few things in this tree I can get, I have to get only the things that will benefit Pantheon or the team.
is for the Exhaust debuff. Best for the team since they can deal a lil extra dmg. Great for getting the focus dead.
helps him deal a lil extra dmg. Its only three points of dmg, but any is better than none.
is a good mastery for getting his passive up. Even if you dont want to ability spam to get it, you can just AA and it will be up before you know it.
of course help with the tankiness.
has great synergy with greater seals of vitality
for more HP at the start and
is always good mitigation for those heavy AoE comps.
for mobility since you are the tank. Move fast and start the fight.
is helpful for pushing lanes. Best when combined with AD carries.
for % mitigation.
syngergizes with mercury treads so CC isnt much of an issue.
This set up grants the build the full tankiness it needs to tank, but it doesnt completely give up dmg for survival.
Tanky DPS TANKEON
Now with this build, Ive found a way to give him a better balance of dmg and survival. Using more offensive/defensive items, this build can be just as effective. This build I use 13/17/0. This give him more offensive power, while still being durable.
This build takes the same masteries as Full TANKEON, but it goes farther down. This build takes
. I find these offensive masteries to give him a lil more power since crit is effective on him.
These masteries are just like Full TANKEON. Nothing changes since what I take allow him to still be able to jump in the middle and lay down the punishment.
Full TANKEON Items
Ninja Tabi is now an option with the patch. These boots would be best if you need a lil more armor, and there isnt much CC. Though, with 10% less dmg taken, CC might not be as big of a pain as it use to be.
Mercury's Treads are the best boots to have for a tank. In my time playing, Ive found the best way to keep a tank out of a fight, is to CC him. These boots help you get back into the fight.
Force of Nature is a great item for any tank. One of the better items for some of the best regen and MR in the game. Add the movement speed bonus, and you have one mobile tank.
Banshee's Veil is great for tanks IMO. It can save you from the one thing can cause you harm. CC. Every 45s you get a bubble that can block one harmful skill. This can save you from many things.
Randuin's Omen is, again a great tank item. This is a great item to make sure that people stay close to your team. And the more defenses you have, the longer people stay slowed. And for team fights gone wrong, the active can help give your team some running room. As the tank, its your job to make sure your team has a much running room as they can. This item helps.
Guardian Angel isnt just for carries. By taking this item, you can play a lil more aggressive. Take the plunge and hope that your team follows you. But the great thing about this item is it gives you a chance to get back into the fight. Pantheon gets focused, and with this item you can get focused and not worry about missing out on the fight.
Shurelya's Reverie is a fun item for carries, but a more fun item for tanks. This item combined with Randuin's Omen, is great for team fights/escapes. But the regen of this item is amongst the best in the game. Simply a fun item to have.
Bulky DPS TANKEON
Mercury's Treads it helps keep you out of CCs and helps against mages. Best boots in game for anyone that is countered by CC.
Trinity Force is a great item. Great stats and a powerful proc. With Aegis of Zeonia, the proc will be put to good use. But with the ability to spam skills, the proc for this item will not be wasted.
Wit's End is one of the better tanky DPS items out there. Giving MR, up to 20MR, and some on hit dmg, plus AS for Aegis Protection, this is a great item to have. Minus the Recurve Bow cost, this is a a cheap item, and worth it.
Warmog's Armor for the HP and regen. This build doesnt give him high defenses, so the massive amount of HP has to pick up the slack. Plus, I take Atma's Impaler
Atma's Impaler is one of the best Tanky DPS items around. Armor+crit+ 2% hp as AD. What more can you ask for? Well worth its cost. Synergy with Warmog's, so this item is a must.
Frozen Mallet is a great item on him IMO. HP and Dmg. Add the on hit slow, and you can make sure no one gets away. But add this to Atma's Impaler+ Warmog's Armor and you get FrAtMog's. Ahhhh what fun.
Tanky DPS TANKEON
Wriggle's Lantern is a great item since it gives tanky stats and helps with farming, while the Lifesteal helps keep you in lane. The dmg is always nice too. Plus the ward it gives is always good for map awareness. Also, if you have a jungler, you can assist in dragon kills due to the passive proc.
Mercury's Treads are always good. Remember CC kills Pantheon. But the MR helps too. These plus Wriggle's are great for early game survival.
Trinity Force is a beastly item on TANKEON since he has the ability to spam skills. Great stats also, with fun passives and procs.
Wit's End is a fun item for the the stats and the ability to increase your MR. The on-hit effect helps with dmg, and the AS helps with your passive's up time. And its a great item for its cost.
Ionic Spark is a new item to the classic game play. HP, AS, and a chain lighting proc. This is great for farming, pushing lanes, and for keeping passive up time. Another great item for its cost.
The last item is at user preference. See 'Situtational Items' for ides.
Quicksilver Sash if there is too much CC and the personal Cleanse is nice.
Frozen Heart if there are a few high AS champs
Thornmail is always great for high AS champs too
Bulky DPS TANKEON
Sunfire Cape is always good for the armor and HP. I like this item if there are more melee than ranged on the enemy team.
Banshee's Veil is always useful for those heavy CC teams or nuke/finisher skills.
Tanky DPS TANKEON
Since there is no 6th item, seeing as how it can be up to players preference, Ill just list some fun items.
The Bloodthirster is a very nice item for any AD champ. This gives dmg and lifesteal. And since there is a lot of basic attacks, this item can be a big help.
Infinity Edge is another fun item if you want more dmg and harder crits.
Madred's Bloodrazor for punishing high HP targets and of course increase that AS.
Zeke's Herald if you feel the need to help out the other AD champs on your team.
Starting Items and Build Items
There are a three ways to start building TANKEON. With the power to Solo Top, Mid, or Duo Bot, there has to be options based on what you think will be up against.
1. Doran's Shield is a great way to start Mid or Solo Top. Most of the time solo top will go to the tanks, or tanky dps. It helps you stay in lane since it gives HP regen, more life than other doran's items, and armor.
2. Doran's Blade is great for mid, solo top, or duo bot. This is gives AD, HP, and Lifesteal. More power for spear chucking, AAs give you life, and HP is always nice. This is ideal for aggressive play.
3. Cloth Armor & Health Potions are best suited for solo top or mid if there is that ranged AD carry there. It can work duo bot though. I just prefer mid or solo top.
Now it doesnt matter what path you choose to start with, or what build you choose, you will build will the following
Recall 1 Boots of Speed is always the first item you get. And if you have enough you will want to get Ruby Crystal or Regrowth Pendant. Both are useful.
Recall 2 Grab Heart of Gold &/or Philosopher's Stone. You will want to get both before you start the builds. Health, health regen, and mana regen. Slap on passive gold gain, and you have great lane time.
Recall 3 you should be able to buy Mercury's Treads. Once you have got your boots, its time to finish the build.
After you get your G/10 items and boots, build the following.
Catalyst the Protector> Warden's Mail> Negatron Cloak> Force of Nature> Banshee's Veil> Randuin's Omen> Chain Vest> Null-Magic Mantle> Guardian Angel> Shurelya's Reverie
This build order is best since you want to get the most expensive parts first. CoP for BV, Neg Cloak for FoN, and Warden's for Rand Om. This also gives me everything I need when I need it. Ill explain.
When you get mid game, you need a balance of HP and defensive stats. CoP, Warden's, and Neg cloak, give me all the things I need to tank effectively. And since these items are the more expensive items of FoN, BV, and Rand Om, getting these help cut down that cost of the bigger items. Squeeze in GA after Rand Om, to increase the effectiveness of its active. Get Shur. Rev to increase mobility, add to the HP, and get your regens up.
Bulky DPS TANKEON
After the G/10 items and boots, build as follows.
Phage> Sheen> Trinity Force> Recurve Bow> Wit's End> Giant's Belt> Ruby Crystal> Warmog's Armor> agility cloak> Atma's Impaler> Giant's Belt> Frozen Mallet.
This build start with early offense, than as the game evolves, he becomes Tanky DPS. With Wit's AS, on hit dmg, and defensive stacks this is a great item. After these items, FrAtMog's well be next. When building this combo of items, you can go one of a fews ways.
1. Warmog's Armor> Atma's Impaler> Frozen Mallet
2. Frozen Mallet> Atma's Impaler> Warmog's Armor
3 Warmog's Armor> Frozen Mallet> Atma's Impaler (Mog's and mallet can be switched)
Tanky DPS TANKEON
If you decide to play this build, you have a different purchase order.
You can start like the other builds, but you wont get the gold items.
I usually start with Doran's Blade for the beginning stats, or Cloth Armor and health potions. Starting cloth/5 is best if you want Wriggle's Lantern.
Recall 1 Grab your Boots of Speed and either Madred's Razors or Vampiric Scepter
Recall 2 null-magic mantel and finish Wriggle's Lantern. If you have enough start Sheen with Sapphire Crystal or Amplifying Tome
Recall 3 complete your Sheen than build Zeal or Phage. If you have enough, finish Trinity Force.
Recall 4 If you havent finish TriForce, do so. If you can get a Recurve Bow. If you dont than get Ruby Crystal and/or null-magic mantel.
Recall 5 If you have the Recurve Bow you have to choose between Ionic Spark or Wit's End. If there is more of a magic threat Wit's End. If not and you want to push lanes or farm more Ionic Spark is the way to go.
Recall 6 Finish both Wit's End and Ionic Spark and pick your last item to work on.
Recall 7 finish your last item and get back into the fight.
A tank is only as good as their team. Get a team that works with your tank and your team will have a better chance at victory. Work against the tank, and you are in for a world of hurt.
When it comes to team work, communication is the best. And the only thing I have to stress for communication is Grand Skyfall.
This can be used to turret dive, or to initiate team fights. As the tank, you have to make sure that your team is aware you are diving in. If you dont communicate this, you will be alone under a turret or in a 1v3/1v5 situation.
Also, remember that Grand Skyfall deals more dmg to enemies closer to the center of the AoE. If you have to ult into a fight, make sure to have your team try and keep the enemies are close to the center as you can. There is a green indicator showing the edge of the ult, so your team knows when you are coming. But communication is still key.
For more benefits of communication, read my thread on The Pillars of Order.
Buffs and what they do for you
On Twisted Treeling, there are four buffs.
The Red Lizard Buff (also on Summoner's Rift) is a great buff for you to have. Slows and deals true dmg on every hit. A great tank buff IMO. Share this buff with other AD carries, or other on-hit champs.
The Grey Wraith Buff which gives you movement speed. It doesnt last long, but the speed boost is amazing for getting around the map. Share with the team.
The Green Wolf Buff is AS and CDR. This is a decent buff for giving your passive more up time, and lower the CD on your stun and ult.
Finally, there is the Golden Dragon Buff (mobafire doesnt have gold color so yellow has to work lol). This buff inceases your dmg by 1% for each lvl you have. Granted this is a great buff for you.
Summoner's Rift buffs are the following
Red Lizard Buff same effect as on Twisted Treeline. Great for you since you in the middle, but great on AD carries. Share this buff.
Blue Golem Buff This is great for lowering the CDs on your stun and ult, but this is better for mages and supports. If you can steal the enemy blue buff, than you can have it.
And what than there is Baron Buff Increased AP and AD is a great way to get an edge on the enemy. But everyone wants this buff.
Lets recap shall we. This is a recap for tanking as Pantheon. Ive given you three ways to play. Full Tank Bulky DPS and Tanky DPS. Play which ever suits you. Each get the job done, and all are fun to play.
Just remember, this is a team dependent build. You are only as good a tank as your team allows you to be. Communication is key to playing as TANKEON. If you like to be in the middle of the fight, thats fine, but dont do it alone.
Feed your team kills by setting them up. Share the buffs. And always always communicate. Choose your path and head into the Fields of Justice. Oh and be on the lookout for a new idea Im working on for Support TANKEON!!
With the Senjuani patch, v188.8.131.52, there was a big remake to Ninja Tabi.
Dodge has been removed
New UNIQUE Passive: Reduces the damage taken from non-turret basic attacks by 10%
1/29/2012: Changed Tanky DPS to Bulky DPS. Added remake of Tanky DPS.