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Pantheon Build Guide by StingingChicken

Top STAND UP, FACE ME AGAIN: Pantheon Top Explained

Top STAND UP, FACE ME AGAIN: Pantheon Top Explained

Updated on September 16, 2023
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League of Legends Build Guide Author StingingChicken Build Guide By StingingChicken 75 3 148,537 Views 2 Comments
75 3 148,537 Views 2 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author StingingChicken Pantheon Build Guide By StingingChicken Updated on September 16, 2023
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Runes: Tanks/Bruisers

1 2
Legend: Tenacity
Last Stand

Manaflow Band

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


Every Single Game
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Champion Build Guide

STAND UP, FACE ME AGAIN: Pantheon Top Explained

By StingingChicken
Pantheon's Identity
Pantheon is an snowbally AD Bruiser who is versatile and can be played depending on the situation both as a diver who tries to burst carries or a frontlining bruiser.

He wants to use his extremely strong pre 6 laning to get a lead. Throughout the mid- late game Pantheon should be trying to push in sidelanes and use Grand Starfall to force fights with numbers while enemies catch the waves you've shoved in.

Pantheon falling off a cliff late game is just a myth. Old Pantheon lacked an ability to survive teamfights without Aegis Assault, and had no armor pen so his damage fell off as well. It's from level 6 until 2 items where he struggles most. At level 6 if you haven't managed to get a lead pre 6, many toplaners like Tryndamere, Trundle, or Wukong that can run you down and massively outstat you can be extremely difficult to deal with.

Finishing 2 items and getting level 11 for more armor pen from Grand Starfall will finish this. At 3 items and level 16, you are a strong teamfighter and beat probably 75 percent of toplaners in the sidelane.

While he doesn't fall off, he struggles badly from behind. He has no mobility to escape ganks or teams collapsing on him in the sidelane and so if he isn't strong enough to control the sidelane he will struggle to get gold and xp to scale. When fights roll around, as a jack of all trades champ he is able to do everything when ahead and nothing when behind.
Conqueror should be taken every time in my opinion, but some people prefer Press the Attack

Conqueror is your main option. Pantheon stacks this rune very quickly and stays in fights long enough to use the AD and healing it gives very well. You can make a case for other runes in theory, but you will unquestionably be missing out on lots of damage and healing especially after the 20 minute mark or so.

Press the Attack is another option
Pantheon can instantly proc Press the Attack with an Empowered Shield Vault, which then amplifies the damage from the rest of the combo after that. This does mean you need to be paying attention to your passive stacks and getting an empowered Shield Vault off if possible, especially in lane or isolated 1v1s.
However, this rune scales far worse than Conqueror even if the enemy team is squishy and you will be looking to burst them. It also locks you to using Empowered Shield Vault or you will not proc your keystone. I personally never run it, but if you really want the burst you can give it a try.
Minor Runes
Regardless of whether you have Conqueror or Press the Attack you will be in the precision tree.

Triumph is the best option next, unless you need Presence of Mind for mana sustain. There are better mana sustain options though as Presence of Mind gives a lot of mana for teamfights and not much in lane.
Legend: Tenacity is the only one in the next line that makes any sense on Pantheon. Finally, Last Stand gives a little damage and is the only option in the last line. Coup de Grace is redundant with your Comet Spear execute and you will build too much health to use Cut Down

Against melee matchups that you can poke with Comet Spear's, I like to go Manaflow Band and Scorch. Manaflow Band gives a lot of mana back in lane(unlike Presence of Mind), which is when Pantheon needs it most. Scorch damage really adds up and is often the difference in forcing an early kill angainst a passive laner.

Against ranged, Sudden Impact is too good to pass up. It does so much damage against these champions where you always have to begin trades with Shield Vault, proccing Sudden Impact.

For your other domination tree rune you can run either Relentless Hunter or Treasure Hunter, the other two don't make sense on a champion with a relatively unimportant ult and few item cooldowns.
A Word on Burst Builds
Recently I've seen a lot of high burst damage builds being run, stuff along the lines of Eclipse> Blade of the Ruined King(edit, new ghostblade in season 13 is similar) with Press the Attack.

These builds spike harder and earlier than bruiser builds but I feel that they turn a versatile jack of all trades champion into a budget assassin. Yes, you will burst hard at 1 and 2 items, but you will be left entering midgame teamfights with little to no HP, resistances, or ability haste. As teams group you will have a harder time getting on top of and getting a combo off on priority targets, as your only gapcloser is one medium range dash.

Bruiser Pantheon usually has a bit of lethality and when the opportunity presents itself to jump on the ADC he is still a threat, but when he has to settle for a frontline role he can be useful there too. There are better champions if you are looking to play an early game AD assassin, I recommend Talon or Rek'Sai
Items In Depth
One important thing that I think many people don't understand is how armor penetration works. Let's take a target with 100 armor vs a level 16 Pantheon with a build like Divine Sunderer, Black Cleaver, Death's Dance. Pantheon has 0 lethality,30 percent armor pen from Grand Starfall passive, 6 percent armor pen from Divine Sunderer passive, and 30 percent from Black Cleaver after a combo. So that should leave the target with 100-66=34 armor, right? Wrong. Percentage pen stacks multiplacatively, so really it's 100(1-.3)(1-.06)(1-.3)=46.1. Now let's replace the Divine Sunderer with an Eclipsewith 18 lethality. Flat pen(lethality) is calculated after percent pen. So (100(1-.3)(1-.3))-18=31. So because Pantheon gets a bunch of free percent pen from Grand Starfall and uses Black Cleaver really well, more percent pen is inefficient.

Therefore, you really want to be picking up one lethality item on Pantheon despite him being a bruiser. Lethality is at its strongest early on in the game and so you want to be rushing your lethality. For this reason I rush Eclipse in 95 percent of my games. It has a great build path for the laning phase, it's cheap at 3100g and is a great one item spike that gives Pantheon all the stats he needs early.

After Eclipse or the rare time I build another mythic, I build Black Cleaver every single game no matter what. The item is built for Pantheon as he stacks it so quickly and the stats fit him perfectly. Then you'll usually go into your resistance items, Death's Dance and Maw of Malmortius since you already built health/ Eclipse shield. An exception to this is after Black Cleaver, if you're ahead vs a squishy enemy team, go Edge of Night 3rd. You have a decent amount of ability haste already and if you're ahead you'll 100 to 0 squishies with the 2nd lethality item. Situational items like Chempunk Chainsword, Guardian Angel, Sterak's Gage, Serpent's Fang can round out the build last. If enemy team has one fed solo ap champion, I go Eclipse, Cleaver, DD, and then Anathema's Chains. If it's just one champion, Anathema's Chains does a lot more.

Vs an extremely tanky enemy team where lethality won't do much, go Blade of the Ruined King, Divine Sunderer, Black Cleaver. If you are going to buy a Blade of the Ruined King, rush it. It's really good in a 1v1 situation and in the sidelane, but remember that you need to get an empowered Shield Vault off to proc it.
Run Flash Ignite every single game. Pantheon has early kill pressure into every single toplaner . Against many champs like Fiora, Irelia, or Wukong that get a strong dueling ult that also lets them gapclose, he needs all the help he can get to get a lead pre 6 or he just gets run down post 6. Additionally, Grand Starfall covers for Teleport somewhat.
Laning vs Bruisers
Most bruisers will beat Pantheon in a straight up all in the laning phase, especially after level 6. Your goal is generally to whittle them down with Comet Spears and you can then win an all in. Keep your spacing and don't let them walk inside your Comet Spear range. Obviously most bruisers can close this gap with an ability, but it is important that you force them to use it to close the gap and not for damage/to gapclose again. Of course, the specifics depend more on the exact matchups and those are all written out.
Laning vs Ranged
Against ranged toplaners, it's pretty simple and Pantheon does pretty well into most. Wait for your level 3 without getting poked out(give a few cs if you have to), then look to engage and dump your full combo. You dont need to all in necessarily as you have long cooldowns early. Empowered Shield Vault> Comet Spear>AA>Empowered Aegis Assault and with the bonus move speed either run away for a one sided trade or chase for an all in.
Laning vs Tanks
Against tanks, you should have Conqueror. It depends on the specific enemy champion, but you generally will win extended trades against tanks. With levels into Grand Starfall and Black Cleaver you will melt tanks later in the game. However, if you can't kill them early and they come to lane after first back with a Warden's Mail and Plated Steelcaps, you will just be tickling them.
Yes, it gets its own section. Do not empowered Shield Vault if the enemy has Bone Plating up. It treats Empowered Shield Vault as three separate attacks and so it does almost no damage. You need to land a Comet Spear before you can engage someone with Bone Plating.
Roaming with Ult
In the laning phase, there's a few things you can use it for:

In your own lane, if you catch your laner lacking going for platings or overextending after you reset, ult on their head. Don't feel bad about using it to catch a big wave either, especially if you're already behind.

Ulting to mid: This is always a good option if you are able to shove in your wave toplane and their midlaner looks gankable. Grand Starfall on their head, hopefully get a kill, and you can usually get back to top without missing more than a few minions

Ulting to bot: Obviously more risky, as you will likely miss at least one wave and give up at least a plating top. In my opinion it's usually not worth it except for 2 situations: 1. You are way behind to the point of no return toplane(in this case try to leave your adc the kills if possible since you won't be doing anything with them topside) 2. Your team is way behind and their botlane has shutdowns. You need to make a play and get the shutdowns or your team will just lose regardless of you winning toplane.

Rotating mid or bot is more rewarding when a dragon is spawning soon, as even if you don't kill you create priority for your laners to go to dragon
Pantheon is very versatile and can fill a number of roles. He can ult into the backline and try to burst carries when ahead, he can frontline with a Goredrinker and kill enemy frontline with his team, or he can stay back and hold Shield Vault to shut down something like a fed Master Yi or Katarina. Which one you should do just depends on the game and what is needed, one isn't right for every game.
Why Play Top?
While Pantheon can genuinely play any role, top is the most fun and most rewarding once you learn it. Every matchup is winnable and you can force an early kill into every matchup once you learn it and for me, this is what makes him a fun main.

In midlane, half the time you'll lane against mages whose entire kit has practically double the range of Shield Vault and you'll be stuck under tower for 15 minutes. Against melee mids, you just statcheck them in every trade. Pantheon is a strong counterpick to these champs, but if they play passively you can't harass under tower or build up a big wave to 1v2 a gank in like toplane due to jungle and support being up your *** constantly. You have permanent priority and can roam, which is a strong strategy, but I like focusing on winning lane instead of running the river between every other wave.
There's two high elo Panth top players, Spear Shot and Keegun. Both of them have probably forgotten more about this champ than you or I know, give them a watch. Spear is my personal favorite, most entertaining stream you'll ever watch. THANKS FOR READING
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