Pantheon, the unbreakable spear is a super cool champion that has been around for a very long time (released in 2010!). He was remade in season 9 with a complete makeover including new visuals, sounds and new abilities, but his essence still remains so people do ask: does Panthoen fall off late game?
Since his introduction Pantheon has filled the role of a versatile Fighter/Assassin that can lane almost anywhere in theory, but is most commonly seen in top, mid or support roles.
Pantheon is usually one of the strongest champions in the early parts of most matches and if he snowballs, he can totally dominate an entire match from start to finish, coupled with his fun lore and visuals he is a popular and effective champion at all levels of play.
In this article we’re going to be explaining Pantheon’s general strategy, his optimal items, runes, laning, matchups and anything else I can think of related to pantheon!
Items and Runes
In terms of runes the choices are these:
- Conqueror: Better for dealing with tanky champs and building more fighter items.
- Press the attack: This one is better for just general use, it’s pretty much always good.
- Electrocute: Interesting choice for bursting squishy champions, it doesn’t really change your gameplay too much it’s mostly just a different path to the same place (burst damage)
For the items there are a bunch of options, Pantheon is a pretty versatile champion so he can built as a fighter/assassin, fighter or just pure damage assassin.
This build works for almost every game, its really balanced and you can change things up as you go. Build an Eclipse, then depending on the matchup build Mercury’s or Plated Steelcaps.
For your next item you can build any of these: Black Cleaver (the safe choice, hp, dmg and anti-armor), Prowler’s Claw (more damage), Blade of the Ruined King (anti-tank item, great synergy with your W).
Just build like an AD Assassin and hope to snowball, it can be a risky build depending on how the game is going but when it works its devastating. You can also just stop at the duskblade and then go into the balanced build If you feel like you won’t snowball.
Build a Duskblade of Draktharr followed by more AD like Youmuu’s Ghostblade, Prowler’s Claw, Ravenous Hydra.
Great for when there’s lots of health-stacking champions on the enemy team. Build a Goredrinker then follow it up with a Black Cleaver into a Divine Sunderer.
Pantheon’s core gameplay is quite simple, you could in theory just use every ability without thinking much and it could work… if you’re ahead!
The tricky part is when you’re not actually ahead or even worse, behind that’s when Pantheon can become super hard to play. Fortunately, Pantheon is super strong right now.
Passive – Mortal Will
Every 5 auto attacks or abilities pantheon gains an empowered ability.
Q- Comet Spear
Great ability, use it right after an auto attack to trade for the short-range version. Use the long range version while empowered to finish up enemies from range.
W – Shield vault
Guaranteed stun, there aren’t that many point click stuns in the game anymore. The empowered version deals more damage and is a bunch of auto attacks so attack modifiers work great here (Blade of the ruined King)
E – Aegis Assault
The outplay button for pantheon. With this skill you become immune to damage from the front of the shield. The empowered version gives you a speed boost at the end.
R – Grand Starfall
A delayed teleport similar to a worse version of Twisted Fate or Nocturne but with AOE damage in a small area. Honestly the worst part of his kit in my opinion, the delay is massive so you really need to have a good sense of when to use it. Try to predict what’s going to happen and position it well. If you can hit someone with the ult the damage is quite strong early on.
During the laning phase, Pantheon excels at trading with his opponents using his empowered abilities from Mortal Will. Focus on last-hitting minions and poking your enemy with Comet Spear. When you have your passive fully stacked, engage with Shield Vault, followed by an empowered Comet Spear or Aegis Assault to maximize damage and mitigate incoming damage.
This means that the ideal moment to trade is when you have 4 stacks of mortal will, this way you can use a short-range empowered Q to trade. Remember that your Q critically hits enemies below 20% HP so its really important that you only use empowered Qs in those critical all ins at level 2 or 3.
If for some reason you don’t feel like you can actually kill your lane opponent in lane then don’t worry pantheon is not a one trick pony. Roaming even without your ultimate is a viable strategy, specially if you’re playing Middle or Support pantheon, but Top pantheon can also come at critical times from top and return with teleport!
Roaming with pantheon is quite easy, just make sure you actually get to fight people, no point in making a trip to bottom lane if your team mates are pushing hard into the enemy tower and there is no way you’re getting a kill.
Don’t stop CSing! A common mistake I see a lot of lower Elo Pantheons make is that they almost forget to farm after the 10-minute mark and instead are permanently looking for fights, this can work sometimes but you need to be careful or you’ll end up in a situation where you are actually behind the enemy mid laner thanks to lane CS.
Mid and Late Game
It’s super important to capitalize in Pantheon’s oppressive laning phase, otherwise this part of the game is going to be a struggle for you. Make sure that you come into the midgame in a favorable position by following the tips we mentioned in the other sections.
Be aggressive in the mid game too, you’re still super strong and can kill most people 1v1 if you’re ahead, look for favorable fights and lead your team into objectives after you win fights.
As you approach late game things can change drastically, after the 30 minute mark Pantheon starts struggling to kill people 1v1, his damage doesn’t really scale that well so he often struggles to do the things he did in the earlier parts of the match.
But, contrary to popular belief, as of Season 13 Pantheon does not fall off in the late game!
If you take a look at that graphic it shows you how Pantheon’s win rate looks like depending on game length.
The key to being useful as pantheon after 30 minutes is to play him like Twisted Fate, push lanes alone and then join team fights with your ultimate, never use your ultimate for anything else after 30 minutes. Stop looking for 1v1 fights unless you’re really ahead (and even then…).
In the late game Pantheon’s stun (his W) and his shield become extremely important, having a lot of Ability Haste is also critical to get the most of these later on, make sure to protect your ADC with your stun and the shield, if possible, you can’t reliably kill people 1v1 so fight with your team.
Pantheon as of Season 13 does well against almost anything in both Top Lane and Middle.
In Top Lane some of his best matchups are: Jax, K’sante, Darius, etc…
In Middle Lane Pantheon is great versus Assassins and Burst Mages who lack mobility. For example: He dominates Yasuo, Zed, Katarina, Yone, Sylas, Veigar and Twisted Fate.
In the Support role he is great when paired with an aggressive ADC like Lucian, Draven, Samira or Tristana.
In general Pantheon barely struggles against anyone in both Mid or Top. There are a couple of guys which can give him trouble specially in mid lane.
Top Lane: Malphite(even), Ornn(even), Illaoi(even), Gragas and Akshan are actual threats if the players are good.
Mid Lane: Same as top really but in here Pantheon really does straight up lose lane versus Malzahar and Neeko, Cassiopeia, Azir, Anivia and Orianna.
Pick Pantheon when your team needs an aggressive early game champion with strong roaming potential. He is a great choice if your team composition lacks crowd control or if you want to shut down a squishy, immobile enemy laner. He is also great if you’re not sure what the enemy mid laner is going to pick and you’re worried about assassins (Pantheon does great vs those).
Pantheon is a powerful and versatile champion in League of Legends, capable of dominating the early game and transitioning into a supportive role in the mid and late game. By mastering his abilities, understanding matchups, and adjusting for his change of role in the late game you too can become a Pantheon master.