Pantheon Build Guide

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And he takes a spear to the face!

written by muscatred

Pantheon Build

Starting items

  • x 2

Core Build

  • x 1

Late Game / Luxury Items

  • x 1

Situational Items

  • OR
  • x 1
  • OR
  • OR

Skill Order

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • Aegis Protection
  • Spear Shot
  • Aegis of Zeonia
  • Heartseeker Strike
  • Grand Skyfall

Runes for Pantheon

Masteries for Pantheon

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    Pantheon is one of the few AD Assassins (Talon being the other one but Panth is more effective) and is my main top, he excels at ambushing opponents with huge amounts of burst AD damage. I love him because his damage output is unmatched and if you play him safe you should beat almost any other top. Below I'll explain how I play him and why I think this way works so well. 

  • Spells

     Aegis Protection - A decent passive, it has two main strengths. 1, when trading it gives you an early advantage blocking your opponent's first strike (this advantage lessons as the trade goes on, keep the fights short). 2. It allows you to tank two turret shots when diving (when used correctly with Aegis of Zeonia). This allows you to tower dive as early as level 4.


    Spear Shot - This is your main tool for winning your lane, it's strong, has a short cooldown and low mana costs. Don't use it at level one as it's not that strong and will waste mana but from level 2 onwards it will have your opponent crying. Use this to harrass your opponent, any time they get close to you chuck a spear at them, if they stay chuck 2. Very quickly they will stay back from you fearing a spear to the face. At this stage you can free farm, if they try and farm just chuck another spear at them. If they persist and get low on health you go into your combo, more on that later.


    Aegis of Zeonia - This is your utility spell, take 1 point at level 4 and max it last. Its damage is negligable as it does magic damage scaling with AP and you should not, as Pantheon, have any AP or Magic Pen. It has 4 main uses. 1. it's a gap closer but not the best as it only works on enemy champions, it is not an escape tool unless..... 2. It's brilliant for getting out of ganks, you're pushing your opponents turret (this is fine as Panth), the enemy jungler ganks you from behind, you simply jump to him, stunning him and running back to your turret. 3. It's your stun, although short it should allow you to land a full Heartseeker Strike on your opponent. 4. It helps towerdiving, Have your Aegis Protection up and dive your opponent, hit him with a spear and an auto attack, absorb the first tower shot, then use Aegis of Zeonia, Aegis Protection is back up and yyou can absorb a second tower shot.


    Heartseeker Strike - I get this at level 1 for a very particular reason. If you use your spear at level 1 you won't do much damage and you'll waste mana, therefore you need to wait till you are level 3 before using it (first time you can level SS to level 2). HSS gives you the passive ability to crit targets at less than 15% health, this makes last hitting a breeze. HSS's active ability is hard to master. One on one you will use normally after your stun, be careful though as you can quite easily miss HSS if you are standing on top of your opponent. Harder still is using it in a teamfight. A fed Panth can decimate an enemy team with a well placed HSS but it's all about your positioning. More on this later.


    Grand Skyfall - Do not make the mistake of thinking this is a great AOE ulti that you can use to do huge damage to the enemy team. If you try and initiate onto another team they will simply walk out of range before turning round and killing you. This Ult is a ganking and cutting off tool. When the enemy mid is pushing you jump behind him to gank, he can either run through your ult (very bad for him) or be caught between you and a turret and teammate (also very bad for him). If an enemy champ is running away and looks like he will make it safety you can use your ult to try and cut him off, this takes great skill as you must predict the path they will take as well as how far along that path they will be when your ulti lands. Another key thing to remember with this spell is that you can cast another spell as you come into land, i.e. you can start your combo before you've even landed.



  • Summoner Spells

    I always take  Flash and  Ignite, Flash is your be-all utility spell for chasing down, ambushing or ecaping ganks, It's useful on all champs. Ignite has great synergy with Pantheon's design as a burst assassin giving him greater ability to finish off opponents. 


    Teleport is often used by top lane champs but your ulti is almost as good so I don't use it.   Exhaust is bad on Panth, you are not an auto attacker so you have no use for keeping someone in range, you should be doing your burst and then backing off.   Ghost is okay but I prefer flash for it's utility and in my build I'm fast enough that I don't need it.

  • How to own top

    So how should you actually play. As I said earlier take HSS at Lev 1 to aid last hitting. For the first couple of minutes just concentrate on last hitting, If you're opponent plays aggressively back off, the fight starts at level 3. Once  your spear is level 2 you start skirmishing. Run towards your opponent and chuck a spear, immediately backing off after, if they chase chuck a second spear. You should expect to out damage your opponemt every time you do this. After 3 or 4 throws your opponent will have less than half health and you'll have around 3 quarters. You can now concentrate on farming and zoneing your opponent, only last hit and if your opponent tries to farm they get another spear to the face. One of two things will happen, they will either retreat to safety hoping to farm under their tower or they will subject themselves to more spears. If the former happens feel free to push. You can happily chuck spears at them under the tower with your passive and if you are ganked your lane opponent will be too low to help and you can stun the jungler to escape. Simple. If the latter happens and they get low unleash your combo, you should have enough mana to chuck a spear, stun, auto-attack, HSS, another spear and ignite if needed. Opponent dead, simple. You can also do this under the tower if the opponent is low enough thanks to your passive, just be careful if they have a stun. Last point, if they have a shield (riven, udyr, shn etc) bait them into using it, wait for it to go down, then chuck your spear.

  • Useful Stats

    Panth as an AD caster has no use for the following stats; Attack speed - you should never be auto-attacking enemy champions more than once. Critical Hit - Once again, this is only for auto attacks, don't buy! Mana - your combo may be mana intensive but it's a finnishing move only, HSS shouldn't be used for farming until late game when speed is the esence. The only spell you'll be spamming is your Spear and that has low mana costs. Ap - Pantheon has 2 AP spells but neither are your main damage dealers, never build AP. 


    I don't reccomend:

    CDR - I don't think Panth needs any CDR, his spear is on a short cooldown anyway and your other spells should only be used for burst attacks so I never buy it on him.


    Useful but not the key stats:

    Resistance - It is possible to build Pantheon as a glass cannon and own the other team,but only if they're not very good. Panth is a very close in fighter so he needs the ability to take some damage. Resistance is neccessary but don't go too mad, he's not a tank, he's not Lee Sin or Riven dishing out tonnes of damage as the enemy teams attacks bounce off him, you must still prioritise damage.


    Mana Regen - You don't need a large mana pool but mana regen to keep it topped up is helpful. I normally take mana regen runes and mana regen masteries to help.


    Key stats:

    Damage - flat damage is what you want, it is what you spells scale off and is what will get you your kills. 

    Armour Pen - Late game everyone will have at least 100 armour, Armour Pen allows you to keep doing damage.

    Speed - I never understand why this is so underated, speed allows you to chase down kills and escape ganks (being on 5 HP and just out of range of your opponents attacks is one of the best feelings in the game)



  • Skilling Order

    Covered this already but to specify, take a point in HSS at level 1 for last hitting, a point in AoZ at level 4 for utility, otherwise level ulti, spear, HSS and AOZ in that order. 

  • Masteries and Runes

    Masteries are 21-0-9 focusing on damage increase and armour pen. I take 9 in utility for the flash and mana regen. You don't need defense, you'll win your lane by out-damageing your opponent.


    2 things about my rune page, I take health regen quints, in my oppinion these are the best quints in the game (they are one of the few quints to outperform standard runes). This lets you stay in lane much longer and if you can zone your opponent away (and they don't have any regen) you'll have the advanatge. The second thing is I take mana regen glyths, they're not as strong as mana-regen seals but you shouldn't sacrifice you're armour seals and they still help you in lane.

  • Items

    Boots - First things first, don't buy  Beserker's Greaves, you don't need or want attack speed, it aids Pantheon in no way so do not buy these.  Sorcerer's Shoes - obviously not. Ionian Boots of Lucidity, as explained above Panthorn doesn't really need CDR so I wouldn't go for these.


    That leaves speed boots or tank boots.  Mercury's treads and  Ninja Tabi are fine but I don't think you really need the defense, remember the plan is to skirmish with your opponent, not duke it out. That leave the speed boots, Swiftness and Mobility. I'm a fan of  Boots of Mobility on junglers but they don't work on Panth, your tactics are to run in, do damage and run away again, Boots of Mobility don't let you do this as you're just as slow as everyone else once you've taken a hit. That leaves  Boots of Swiftness which are perfect on Panth. These boots have a bad rep and I have no idea why. They allow you to chase an opponent, chuck a spear and back off with out being hit, that's exactly whay you want. I said earlier I rate speed a a great stat so I always buy boots of swiftness.


    Damage items - First of all, Do not buy  Infinity Edge or The Black Cleaver on Pantheon, neither of these items help you, you can't use the crit bonus on IE and you can't proc the armour pen on BC, nor do you need the attack speed. I also wouldn't reccomend hybrid items,  Trinity Force sounds like a good idea but it has too many wasted stats for the price (AP, AS, Crit, Mana) and you can get higher damage output by going flat AD.  Manamune is another item that sounds good but doesn't work on Panth, you don't need the extra mana and, unless you buy other mana items, it only gives you about 65 AD when maxed so isn't as good as other options. You're main damage items should be  the Bloodthirster (maybe 2 by late game) or, if you're good enough,  the Sword of the Occult. These items offer the best flat damage and that is what you want. If you want to be more tanky you can go the  Atms's Impaler/ Frozen Mallett/ Maw of malmortius combo which all increase your damage output. 


    Armour Pen - You have two options here,  Brutalizer/ Youmuu's Ghostblade or  Last Whisper. LW costs about the same amount as YG but out performs it in term of damage output on Panth (he doesn't use the AS bonus, the crit chance or the CDR either) so always get LW over YG. But what about the Brutalizer, this is cheap, has some damage and Armour Pen, should you buy it to replace it late game? I say no, for the following reasons, the Brutaliser is only effective against Champs with 15-70 Armour, any top lane worth his salt will buy armour against Panth and will quickly have over 100, the Brutalizer just becomes ineffective at this stage. Instead buy a  Pickaxe and  long sword, it's about the same price and gives more flat damage, it is also the ingredients to upgade to LW later. The other Problem is that you waste gold if you sell the Brutalizer later bringing it's cost in real term's to around 1750 Gold, it's not worth it.


    Tank Items - I've mentioned some tank items in the damage section but there are other choices that work as well. [item_icon=Force of Nature] Force of Nature and  Sunfire Cape are a good combo offering armour, ragic res and health, the health regen and speed boost on Force of Nature is also helpful. This is slightly cheaper than the earlier tanky build items and gives a different utility. Situational Items like  Thornmail or Guardian Angel can also be useful, this depends on how the games going and what the other team is doing.

  • Who do you beat

    In general you beat every damage dealer/bruiser/AD carry/AP carry that you could. You outdamage them all. If your wondering how to beat ranged opponents it's simple, run in throw a spear, run away, even if you take one hit you are still outdamaging your opponent. People I have no problem beating include: Jax, Olaf, Shen, Irelia, Wukong, Riven, Gangplank and Darius. 

  • Who may beat you

    Full tanks, non mana users, Yorick, Mordekaiser. Full tanks - if they start tanking your damage and shrugging it off they become a problem. You can beat them if your aggressive early. If you can get ahead they're just as easy as everyone else, if you get behind it's game over though. Non mana users - These guys can spam their spells against you and out last you in lane. They're not unbeatable (as I said above, I love facing Shen) but can be tricky. Mordakaiser and Yorick - These are the two guys who scare me, Mord because his shield can tank Panth's spear and his spells ignore my passive. Yorick because he can out harrass you by constantly dropping ghouls on you. I've beaton both, get armour and lifesteal (so you can regen off his ghouls) for Yorick and Magic Resistance for Mord. I also reccomend a philosophers stone to increase your sustain (plus the extra gold is nice). 

  • Team fights

    Once you've won your lane, which you should about 80% of the time (I suck and I manage it) it's off to fight the teamfights. Pantheon's late game is quite weak, he's exposed in teamfights and, will be quite fragile compared to other tops and it's difficult to use HSS properly. Therfore it's all about positioning and timing. attack after someone else initiates and if you can get 3 - 5 enemy champs caught in your HSS you can decimate their team, but be careful, you should never initiate yourself as you'll be squashed and if you get seperated from your team you'll die in a second. Wait for the fight to start then fire your HSS from the brush or over a wall, you can then follow this up witha combo on the opposing carries. Ideally you'll want your team to have a great initiator, someone lile Amumu, Malphite, Galio or Rammus. If you can follow them in, fire off a HSS followed by a combo (and with the help of your carries) the opposing team should be dead or dieing allowing you chase the kills for the ace. Hopefully that's job done, game won.

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Submitted by muscatred

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