Pantheon Build Guide by Pelikins
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Panth dominates all game long:
I constantly hear people complain about Panth. How he isn't good past 20 minutes. How he doesn't scale well. And how he's not a solid pick in general.
Well, I'm here to rebuttal those claims and tell you just how amazing Panth really is.
Panth has excellent scaling and a very strong end game.
He is fully capable of going toe to toe with other bruisers late in the game while providing exceptional amounts of interruption and mitigation to enemy AD carries.
The key to building a successful Pantheon:
The key to Pantheon doing well is found properly using skills and leveling the right ones first.
I see many many Panth players leveling Heartseeker Strike first or leveling Aegis of Zeonia last. This is a huge mistake.
Heartseeker Strike really should be leveled last.
Being successful with Pantheon is all about dealing damage without taking damage. Spear Throw and Aegis of Zeonia, help you do that a lot more than HeartSeeker Stike
One of the big things to consider is Pantheon's passive, Aegis Protection after each 4 attacks or after using Aegis of Zeonia, Panth will block the next auto attack. This is an incredibly powerful passive that will really help you win trades.
Spear Throw has a very low CD, it is your main damage source. You'll use it to harass and dps. It will also help you build up passive stacks rapidly to block more auto attacks.
Make sure to turn on auto cast when playing Panth to help you spam q more effectively.
Aegis of Zonia is also a very powerful spell. People underrate it way way too much.
The skill is three parts offense and two parts defense. Offensively, the spell is a closer, it stuns, the enemy, and it deals damage, especially with a Sheen. Defensively, the spell interrupts, and it brings back up your passive.
This skill is very important for trades. You'll want to kite and ranged harass the majority of the time and let the enemy try to commit if they want to deal damage back. This works against most top laners.
If they do commit to you and use a lunge or similar mechanic you'll have your passive up already to block the first attack. You'll then jump on them with aegis to immediately reset your passive to block a second, and you can then auto, spear, auto, HSS for a 3rd block. This will put you way ahead on damage by mitigating so much.
Proper use of HSS:
I see a lot of Panths fully channeling HSS not realizing that the skill actually gimps your damage output if in melee range.
The best use of HSS is ranged harass after you've spear thrown but before they close into melee or use it in a brief spur between auto attacks to proc Sheen and slightly boost damage.
Do not use HSS while chasing unless you are chasing an enemy that has no Flash mechanic in its kit AND you have Aegis off CD or if the target is going to escape and you just want to get a little bit more poke on them. Or in the rare occasion that you can hit multiple low hp enemies at once.
Remember that an auto attack is always more valuable than extra HSS ticks against a single target because autos will deal more single target damage, will provide life steal and will activate your passive.
Making Panth scale:
The key to making Panth scale is bringing a solid mix of utility, tankiness, and damage.
By building a solid amount of CDR, we can provide the team with a steady stream of damaging attacks, interrupts, and slows.
People think that Panth doesn't scale because he doesn't get as tanky as Dr. Mundo or as damaging as Irellia.
But Panth is very capable late game.
Panth can position himself well with his ultimate and he can be really disruptive to the enemy ADC while being very well suited to survive that ADC's attacks. He can also poke much better than most bruisers and that's something that you should really take advantage of, while his burst is very strong while being tanky.
In 5s I build a Frozen Mallet on Panth to add to his disruptiveness and his ability to track down and kill carries as well as add to Panth's tankiness. It also makes Panth a brutal ganker due to his ability to ult in on someone and close on them with aegis to apply a slow and stun.
Panth doesn't fall off in the late game, his role simply shifts from an assassin, to an enabler in team fights, who limits the enemy carries movement because of the threat of being able to ult in and assassinate them even late game (therefore they need to take an escort everywhere).
First off, to make solid decisions, Panth needs good map awareness. Having a good web of vision really helps here.
Your ult if poorly used, will make you a liability, but if well used makes you an amazing champion.
What is really tricky about Panth's ult is that there is a 3.5 second delay between where you are and where you'll be plus they have 1.5 of preparing for you to land due to the huge ring on the ground. There is a pretty large radius on the skill, but it really won't deal much damage unless you have targets in the center and you have to hit the "right" target.
In order to do this, it takes immense knowledge of each champion, as well as knowing what the other teams goal is. One misjudgement means a wasted ult or worse.
This all takes a lot of practice and a lot of experience. So Panth has a high learning curve.
In general, you want to plop yourself right on the face of the enemy carry. Even if they have a skill to flash out of the ult. You'll mess up their positioning making it easy for your allies to focus them or making them run away from the fight and allowing you to basically duel them outside the team fight.
You should be able to win a duel like this, but if their team turns to focus you and you lose, don't be discouraged because you did your job. If they turn and focus you, then your carries had free reign to dps them and you should win the team fight even if you died.
Outside of team fights Panth's ult is also devastating. If you get ahead of your lane opponent, you can really press the advantage by being able to skyfall behind them at any time to secure their death. Make sure you don't do this unless you can account for their other players though. Too often, I see Panths skyfall in behind their opponent into the hands of the enemy jungler who figured Panth would do exactly that.
More devastating than this though, is the option to skyfall on other lanes, especially bottom lane where two kills can be easily secured off one good alt, followed by a tower and a dragon for a huge gold swing. Netting kills in mid lane is also really powerful because AP carries tend to snowball really hard and one kill or death will often tip those scales dramatically.
Panth is also great at countering counter jungling to catch enemy junglers who are trying to steal camps in your jungle.
Just don't get carried away. Always know (or have a really good guess) of what you are jumping into. Use good judgement. Being conservative in your placement is often best. Don't lose out on one kill and die by trying to force a double kill.
Also, aim small miss small. Aim for a particular champion (not a tank) and if you hit any extra people, BONUS! Don't aim for a group, especially not their front line of bruisers who will shrug off a direct hit anyway.
Don't expect big damage out of your ult. If you get big damage, BONUS. But don't engage on someone expecting the ult damage to be the determining factor. I other words consider before ulting "Would that be a fight I'd happily walk into?" If not, wait for a better opportunity.
Be prompt! Don't show up to a fight late. Communication is key. Lead your enemies and try to land right as the opening spell volley starts flying. This is hard to do, but its a game changer.
Always pick the right target.
The right target is almost always going to be a carry. Get on that carry and don't let it do it's job.
When team fighting, don't clump up!
One thing I see a lot of Panth players do wrong is get caught in AoE effects.
You have a great kit for avoiding single target focus by blocking auto attacks, but nothing to help you absorb AoE. You're much better off separating yourself slightly from other players.
If they wish to kill you, make them focus you, not just catch you in a ton of AoE. Remember this when ulting in. Pick the back row of the enemy team. If they want to keep you from their carries, they'll need to make a special effort just for you.
When to go Trinity Force and when to go Frozen Mallet:
This really all depends on how fed you are. If you are carrying the team, Trinity Force. If not, Frozen Mallet.
The Frozen Mallet typically is better for 5s because it gets you more tankiness and allows you to support team mates by slowing high priority targets better.
But I've built Trinity Force in 5s before successfully and Frozen Mallet in 3s before if I found my self with a big stack of assists and someone else carrying.
The Trinity Force allows you to carry hard if you are already doing well, the Frozen Mallet enables your teammates to carry harder. Don't try to carry if the game is already going that route.
Why is Frozen Heart in all the builds?
Frozen Heart is a pantheon staple. Lots of CDR, and armor for an affordable price, plus a supporting AD debuff on top.
The item allows you to dish damage and stuns more consistently while being tanky and that's all Panth needs tbh.
It synergizes well with sheen if that's the route you went and it synergizes well with aegis of zeonia + frozen mallet if that's the route you went. Either way its a staple item.
When to buy tenacity (Mercs):
As a general rule, more enemies = more value to tenacity. So I purchase it always in 5s and less often in 3s and Dominion.
tabi is a very good alternative. They are very affordable and give a good amount of defense while boosting your mobility to tier 2.
Panth needs mobility early on. He relies on kiting and reclosing to melee back and forth.
By buying tabi, he can use the extra gold saved on cheap boots to buy consumables or charge through his build (snowballing him). Keep in mind your lane opponent when choosing as well as the general amount of cc on the opposing team.
I hope I've allowed you to see Panth in a new light.
He is a very strong champion that I truly enjoy playing and truly find powerful in the late game.
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