Pantheon Build Guide

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Pantheon, Dominating Dominion

written by sgb

Pantheon Build

Table of Contents

  • Changelog

    11/15/11: Massive changes due to mastery , summoners, and removal of Warmogs.

  • Introduction

    Pantheon's kit is practically made for Dominion.  Problems he has on SR such as mana issues, late game drop-off, and a weak ult are suddenly not an issue and he can stomp as he was meant to.  This guide will explain how to best build him for Dominion, IMO of course.

  • Masteries + Runes

    For runes I go:


    Nothing else to think about here, armour pen is best.


    More armour is good.  Scaling are actually not garbage on Dominion due to you being level 4 by the time any fighting starts, but I'd still take flat over them.  Alternatively you can run scaling health.  Mana regen is NOT needed due to the Dominion buff.


    Free magic resistance is good on any melee champion as always.  Alternatively, you can run CDR runes if you prefer to run different masteries (explained more below).


    I usually prefer more armour pen, for maximum early-mid game damage.  Move speed quints are nice too if you prefer them.  You shouldn't really need anything else, but if you want to run health or health regen you can work with that too.


    Hoo Boy, this got massively changed recently and it's impossible to say what works best.  Our goal is to have maximum/near maximum CDR by the end of the game, so that means you'll have to make compromises based on whether you run CDR glyphs or not.  If you do, I would suggest something like

    This gives you maximum damage along with some extra health and resists.  If want to run something else in the glyph slot, I'd suggest something like

    This gives you a massive 12.1% CDR free of charge, but you lose out on Sunder and Executioner.

  • Summoner Abilities

    With the overhaul to summoners, I now suggest and .  Cleanse got massive buffs and now negates and on top of any cc, and Ghost is great for moving around the map when is on cooldown.  Some alternatives:

    useless trololol...wait, this isn't bad now so long as you have the mastery upgrade specced, which we do.  It's definitely something to consider now.

    anyone who gets really screwed over by this (ie Mundo, Swain, etc.) will be running Cleanse now, but it's still a strong spell.  Now that the mastery upgrade gives some extra AD, it's a bit stronger of a pick on Pantheon.

    is interesting.  You can drop on a friendly point under attack and pop this to make it really hard to take.  If they don't run from you, they will very likely die from the enhanced tower shot speed.  I don't take it on Pantheon, but you could make this work.  Having the mastery upgrade easily obtainable now improves its usefulness a fair bit as well.  Also keep in mind it works offensively against enemy towers.  Viable.

    Not Recommended:
    weak on Dominion.  You don't need to chase on Dominion, as an enemy returning to base is a good as a kill.  You shouldn't be out of position because you dropped on top of everyone's heads.  You shouldn't need to flee, because you're Pantheon and you fight to the death damn it.  After the nerf to it, you'd be stupid to run this on Dominion anymore unless you're playing Twisted Fate (stop laughing, he's still viable) or a burst caster with weak/no cc.

    the combined effect of the nerfs to it and buffs to Cleanse have more or less killed this spell.  2.5 seconds from 3.5 is a huge hit, and anyone who relies on attack speed is probably running Cleanse now.  Still, if you're against 5 autoattackers it could still be a strong choice.

    Pantheon is one of the few champions that can make use of this, but it's still not a good idea.  Death timers are quite low already on Dominion, and the cooldown is so long that you'll get maybe 2 uses out of this the entire game.  Not having to make a sacrifice for the mastery upgrade anymore helps, but I still wouldn't recommend it.

    Nothing else is worth talking about, and should never be taken.

  • Skilling Order

    This is a nice passive early on, but becomes unnoticeable later on.  Still, it gives you the edge in close fights against other AD champions.

    This is you main source of damage, doing high damage from a distance and having a really short cooldown when maxed.  You want to level this first.  You have the mana in Dominion to spam this during fights.  Do so.

    Your gap closer and only source of cc.  Probably the biggest one point wonder skill in the entire game, as you get little but a slightly lower cooldown from extra levels.  The extra block is great when diving a tower.  The mana cost is normally very high, but in Dominion you should be able to use this whenever it comes off cooldown.  Even so you should save it for when you really need the utility, as the cooldown will be long until late game.  Level this skill last.

    Your highest source of damage mid-late game, it starts off fairly weak but takes off chunks of health with max rank and some weapons backing it.  Do NOT use this on minions at low ranks.  It will do little but waste your mana.  Later on you stop big minion waves pretty fast with it.  Level this second.

    This is super strong on Dominion, and the reason this build will focus on max CDR.  From the middle point in Dominion, you can jump to top or bottom as needed.  From the middle of the map you can go anywhere.  Drop in on ninja cappers, save points, jump to undefended points, drop in on teamfights...the utility of this spell on this map is simply insane.  People tend to neglect magic defence on this map, so it WILL hurt if they don't move.

    Keep in mind that once Pantheon is 'in the air', you can queue up one move that will go off right when you land.  Usually you want this to be , but if they're low life you can and kill them instantly.

    To start take 2 points in and 1 in .  Take 1 point in at level 4 for extra burst.  From there the general rule is >>>.  There generally isn't a reason to deviate from this, as needs to scale up a bit before it's useful.

    When fighting, your typical combo order will be , , then .  If someone isn't smart enough to run from , you can land on their land and burst combo them for Tons of Damage.  Many casters and carries who were not smart enough to buy some health or armour will die immediately from this mid-late game.

  • Items

    This means you will not get a full build in Dominion unless you throw some more economical items in there.  No, you cannot end the game with three Bloodthirsters, a Trinity, and a Last Whisper.  Don't be afraid to do things like buy a Negatron or Chainvest early on and never upgrade them.  Prioritize if you need high tier defencive items or if basic resistances and more damage is the answer.

    I find myself opening with [item=Prospector’s Blade] and one .  As Pantheon you will be going with the group attacking the windmill initially, so the bonus health is much needed.

    This gives Pantheon decent damage, lots of CDR, and some armour pen.  All you could want on Pantheon early on.

    Whoops, removed from the game!  RIP OPmogs.  Atma's is still good, but not nearly as stupid without that 1300+ health from Warmog's.  You can try in place of it now, but I'll tell you right now that slow isn't as hot on Pantheon as you might think, and it's really not cost effective if you aren't getting full benefit from the slow.

    More Damage:
    maxes out your CDR with various other nice bonuses.  I wouldn't get this immediately after your boots and Brutalizer though, as there are better values for money.

    The new Frozen Mallet variant, this gives you a lot of raw damage and a slow with no wasted stats.  Just remember to use that active!

    Against a team of tanks?  Sell your and get this later on.  This will hurt your cooldowns, but doing no damage hurts even more.

    Am I smoking crack you ask?  No, Pantheon spams abilities more than autoattacks so this is your best option if a stealth champion is giving you fits.  Very, very situational of course.

    More Survivability:
    You rarely get a full build on Dominion, so this rarely ends up a 'wasted slot' late game.  Decent magic defence without giving up damage output.  The earlier you build it, the more it helps.

    Aegis of the Legion Who cares if it's an aura item, it's cost effective on you alone.  It's kind of like a defensive Trinity Force but doesn't cost a million gold.  If you're against a balanced team composition, it's hard to go wrong here.

    I've been told this is cost effective with 2000 health, which isn't a big problem since we're getting 130 free health from masteries now.  Like Hexdrinker, if you want resistances without sacrificing damage Atma's is a good choice.  The crit kind of sucks on Pantheon though, but the armour and damage in one are so good it's still worth it.

    Getting destroyed by an autoattacker?  Grab this.  For extreme cases only though.

    Sunfire Cape Normally, I wouldn't consider this on Pantheon.  But with Warmog's out, this is now a more attractive choice if you want health.  The burning is more useful than you think since Pantheon is generally going to be in someone's face the entire time.

    Against a team of 5 AP champions?  Shouldn't have picked Pantheon.  Get one if you must, but things really need to be going bad to drop this much money on magic defence on a melee bruiser in Dominion.

    I've upgraded this from 'bad' to 'possible' with Warmog's out.  It's now the most health you can get from one item in Dominion.  Don't buy it unless you're getting with it though.

    Deceptively Bad Options:

    Crit is mostly a waste on Pantheon as you won't be autoattacking constantly.  3800 gold isn't chump change on Dominion either.

    While this is better than The Bloodthirster on autoattack champs, Pantheon is not one of them.  You simply will not be keeping the stacks up to full often enough to get full value for money here.  If it worked like Rageblade (ie got stacks from skill use) I'd put it in the above category instantly.  But it doesn't.

    This is GREAT on champions with no specialization, but Pantheon does have one: doing massive damage with abilities.  You do not want a little bit of everything, you really just want raw damage and CDR with Pantheon (and just enough tankiness to live to use that damage).  The sheen proc sounds awesome, but Pantheon is more about dropping everything at once than timing out abilities and autoattacks.  It's not BAD, it's just not a great use of that 4k gold.

    This is nice all-around defensive package, but by the time you build it you'll be lucky to get more than one use of the revive.  Aegis of the Legion is much, much better.

  • Working in the team and fighting common Dominion picks

    Pantheon is a great mid point defender, allowing him to jump to top or bottom point as needed.  He can also join in on any attack as needed, doing high damage (for once) with his ultimate and probably insta-gibbing a squishy champion with your burst right after.  Do NOT waste your ultimate on 1v4 fights though; dying useless deaths makes it that much harder for your team to retake lost points.  Going in first if your teammates are right behind you is fine, but make sure you ping so they know you're committing to the fight.  After the first use, save your stun for when needed.  Use it to kite people if losing, stop channeled spells, or stop runners.  Don't waste it.

    You should NOT build glass cannon with Pantheon.  Tanks aside, you will often be the last man standing in many teamfights.  This is ideal, as it allows you to back once teammates revive and then jump in again when the next fight breaks out.

    Common Enemies:

    Jax - The king of 1v1, or at least he is late game.  Early on Pantheon can wipe the floor with Jax.  He can't dodge your abilities, and he doesn't have much free health from his passive.  Just throw everything at him and he should be dead or at critical health.  Late game is a different story, and there's nothing you can do about it.  Full build Jax is unmanagable for all but a few champions (Ryze says hi).  Don't fight him alone late game, and generally just hope the game ends before he gets out of control.  He thankfully took a hit with the removal of the dodge related masteries though.

    Akali - PSA for inexperienced players: DO NOT FIGHT HER IN HER BUBBLE FFS!  Akali is pretty squishy, but has crazy burst and that annoying stealth bubble makes it impossible to target her.  What to do?  This is one of the rare occasions you should consider a .  The new oracles item is waste of money due to how often you die.  The best way to fight her is to make her come to you at a tower.  Her stealth doesn't work there, and stunning her by the tower and bursting her should be a dead Akali.  Don't roam in the jungle if there's an Akali around, it's stupid to try and fight her there with her stealth and the bushes.  You shouldn't need to waste a ban on her if your team isn't stupid, but when playing with randoms it is always safe to assume everyone on your team IS stupid.  She got a net buff from the mastery changes, so beware.

    Rammus - You will need here, and something to reduce or nullify that taunt.  Honestly, it's best to NOT fight him as he shuts down AD champs too hard and makes you deviate from your optimal build too much.  Let the AP champs on your team handle him or just ban him in draft mode.  The mastery changes only made him stronger as he now gets a lot of CDR from defence.

    Another AD bruiser (Gangplank, Nocturne, Wukong, etc.) - You do very well against them thanks for your blocks, and should be able to outdamage them.  If they build glass cannon get and laugh at them.  If it's another AD caster giving you problems (ie Talon, Garen, or another Pantheon), you may want to consider a as the Thornmail ability isn't going to help much.

    Heimer - You should not be laning against him ever, but you should be aware of how he's doing against your own bottom defender.  If he's pushing too hard as all bad Heimers do, help your teammate out and jump behind him and annihilate him.  Dead Heimer=dead turrets.

    Yorick - You need to kill him ASAP, you will lose if you try to outpoke him.  Get in his face and throw everything at him.  You may need if he starts stacking armour.  Pantheon and Talon are two of the best counters to Yorick in bot, so switch out with whoever is there is they're stuggling.

    Kog and Vayne - Early on you can burst them down pretty fast.  Later on it is impossible to fight them 1v1 unless you have ready.  Good Vayne players are the worst, as her knockback attack WILL COUNTER YOUR , denying you your stun!  Do not ever try to attack either head on past the early game, you will lose.  Fight with teammates or try to drop on top of them.  and are not good counters to either on them, and does not fit into Pantheon's build anywhere, so this is one of those times I'd say DO build glass cannon and try to kill them ASAP before wears off.

    Ryze - He's an ass for any AD champ mid-late game since is core on him.  and magic defence items are a must here.  He's arguably the strongest 1v1 mage in the game once he gets a few items, so be careful about engaging him.

    Shaco - If he's at a point, ALWAYS assume there's a stack of boxes there.  If he's roaming, it might just be best to avoid the jungle entirely.  He can't fight you head on without a box farm, so like Akali play defensively against him.  is gold against him, as the active will reveal his box farm at a point.  Luckily, Shaco is FOTM and there's tons of BAD Shaco's running around (or unluckily if you get one).  Beware the skilled ones though, as they win games.

  • Pros / Cons

    +High damage
    +Crazy mobility
    +Above average survivability
    +His mediocre farming ability isn't a problem in Dominion
    -Can't compete with the damage output of late game carries
    -Limited cc

  • Summary

    Pantheon is a strong pick on Dominion that can defend multiple points at once and join in teamfights anywhere, anytime.  Thanks to the mana regen bonus on Dominion, Pantheon's mana woes no longer hold him back allowing him to keep up with autoattackers mid-late game.  Without having to use your boot slot on mercs trends, he is free to take the much stronger CDR boots.  As an AD caster, CDR on Pantheon is like attack speed on an AD carry.  It is important to keep a balance of CDR and damage to maximize damage output on him.  I hope you find this general guide useful for using him successfully on Dominion.

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Submitted by sgb

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