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Pantheon Build Guide: the items, runes, and counters that dominate in 2020

Think League of Legends is toxic and full of unbalanced champions? Don’t spiral into negativity – let this Pantheon build guide be the vaccine to this disease.

Pantheon is the unbreakable spear that will shine a light on these dark times. Some say League of Legends 2020 has introduced a meta where more than half the champions become obsolete due to the oppressive nature of newer champions – but a well-considered Pantheon build should solve that.

This 2010 (reworked in 2019) champion is here to remind all these newcomers who the real master of the Rift is. Let’s get right into it.

pantheon

Featuring unremarkable stats and a horrible late game, you may be wondering why anyone would play this hunk of junk past the 30-minute mark. Well, the ideal Pantheon will make it his duty to make sure the enemy never sees a game that lasts longer than 30 minutes.

Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you, the ultimate aggression laner.

Abilities

  • Passive – Mortal Will: Every few spells or attacks, Pantheon’s next spell is empowered.
  • Q – Comet Spear: Pantheon either thrusts his spear or throws his spear in the chosen direction.
  • W – Shield Vault: Pantheon dashes to a target, damaging and stunning them.
  • E – Aegis Assault: Pantheon sets his shield, becoming invulnerable to damage from the front and striking repeatedly with his spear.
  • R – Grand Starfall: Pantheon composes himself and then leaps into the air, landing at a chosen location as a comet.

With one of the most impressive skill sets in League of Legends, it’s no wonder Riot made sure Pantheon falls off in the late game. His passive allows for an empowered Q/W/E on every 5th attack/spell, which seems almost unfair in the early game. An empowered Q makes the spear deal more than twice its initial damage (let me remind you that his Q already deals more damage based on his opponent’s missing health). But that’s not all.

The bread and butter of Pantheon lies within his W. His second ability allows him to leap upon a target enemy and stun him/her for a second (both a great gap closer and effective crowd control). This gives him an auto-attack animation cancel, resetting the timer for his next hit.

As his passive effect lets him mercilessly bash his opponent three times in quick succession, this allows Pantheon to charge his speed in infrequent bursts – a combo giving him two uses of his passive in one play.

In addition to being an impressive baker, his skill set also includes his E and R. His E gives him 100 perfect damage nullification in the direction of his shield for a brief moment, giving him an instance of invulnerability.

His R is his ultimate ability where he leaps into the air and lands at a target location, but let’s return to this point in a bit. We want to briefly explain why his Q/W/E is so good in the current meta.

pantheon

Dismantle the Competition

2020 champions such as Samira and Yone are capable of dealing outrageous damage when played correctly. These champions are mechanically heavy, but they reward players with insane damage even when button-mashed. When it comes to ruining this ‘intricate’ set-up for massive damage, Pantheon truly shines.

The character is given the option to both point-and-click anyone within his range and nullify damage. The problem with champions that play to their own specific rhythm is: they hate getting interrupted. The nature of Samira charging her Style or Yone pressing his pesky E button leads to telegraphed damage, and a simple W/E Pantheon combo dismantles these champions instantly.

You will find that within some outdated guides (see video below), players are just longing for an opponent to give Pantheon a reason to dominate the early game. Most previous champions don’t give that much of an indicator of when damage is about to come, but this has now changed.

Furthermore, Pantheon does more than just deny the enemy carry. As he falls off in the late game, a good Pantheon will seek to get his team ahead before that point. His ultimate ability covers the distance between two lanes, providing him the option to gank almost instantly.

Surprising the enemy and visiting other lanes can help Pantheon extend his team’s lead, helping his own carries get ahead. Whilst Pantheon lacks the sustainable damage to carry on his own, his kit always has the utility to help his team play aggressive. This is contrasted by Samira and Yone, whom become useless without getting fed.

Furthermore, Pantheon is no longer the top-lane dweller he was in pre-2019 League of Legends. The new Pantheon allows him to counter any assassin in the mid lane, act as the ultimate shield and spear in the bot lane, or assert the role of the hunter from the jungle. His ultimate simply allows him to be of use from every lane.

The golden rule of League of Legends seems to be ‘fight oppression with aggression’ and no one does that better than Pantheon.

Item Builds

Your items are a reflection of what you want your champion to do. Each item set has different purposes and Pantheon just so happens to fit a range of roles, so the ideal Pantheon build is as malleable and important as ever.

Here are some of our top picks.

Starting Items

With 500 gold in hand there’s only so much you can buy, but the most common scenario would be purchasing a Corrupting Potion. In addition to providing sustain, your aggression will be fuelled by the mana regeneration it allows. And just for bonus value, it even gives on-hit damage which chips away the enemy’s health.

A Doran’s Blade + Health Potion start is also fine if you’re against a weak laner where you can just abandon sustain. For those who want to look down upon their opponents even more, we recommend the Long Sword + Refillable Potion start so you can begin your proper build early.

Mid Game (Assassin)

With limited late game potential, most Pantheon item builds tend to be cheap, meaning you’re fully slotted towards the end of mid game if you play properly. There are three ways you should be building Pantheon – and keep in mind that each item path can be flexible, so feel free to switch and replace to better fit a changing scenario.

As the dedicated assassin, you would want to build the following:

  • Yomuu’s Ghost Blade – 2900 gold
  • Boots of Swiftness – 900 gold
  • Umbral Glaive – 2400 gold
  • Sanguine Blade – 3000 gold
  • Edge of Night – 2900 gold
  • Guardian Angel – 2900 gold

These items provide massive lethality damage, allowing you to penetrate armour by a flat amount and assassinate squishy targets with a single combo, whilst providing a huge amount of mobility.

The only disadvantage will be your inability to deal with enemy carries towards the later stages of the game – make sure you opt for a quick finish when committing to the assassin build.

Mid Game (All-Rounder)
  • Yomuu’s Ghost Blade – 2900 gold
  • Mercury Treads/ Ninja Tabi – 1100 gold
  • Black Cleaver – 3000 gold
  • Death’s Dance – 3600 gold
  • Duskblade of Draktharr – 2900 gold
  • Sterak’s Gauge – 3200 gold

First thing to note is that this build is significantly more expensive than the pure assassin build. It will require you to be more patient and make sure you have an extended lead over your enemy team – gold advantage is crucial here.

The reward? You become more than an assassin. This Pantheon build gives you the right to challenge anyone on the enemy team, with the durability to hold off enemy carries or even take them on.

Mid Game (Catch Up)
  • Executioner’s Calling – 800 gold
  • Mercury Treads/ Ninja Tabi – 1100 gold
  • Umbral Glaive – 2400 gold
  • Knight’s Vow – 2200 gold
  • Gargoyle Stoneplate – 2500 gold
  • Sunfire Cape – 2750 gold

This is by far the cheapest and least cost-effective Pantheon build, so only pursue this when you lose lane hard. A build like this can help you transition into a support/tank role where your sole purpose is to protect and secure kills for your carry.

Runes

Runes should compliment your item builds. Here’s the runes to take when opting for an assassin build and play style:

  • Domination – Electrocute
  • Domination – Sudden Impact
  • Domination – Zombie Ward
  • Domination – Relentless Hunter
  • Precision – Triumph
  • Precision – Coup de Grace

This build is off-meta, but compliments the assassin archetype very well. With Domination as our main rune line, Pantheon assassins are designed to deal instant damage with their empowered W. Replacing life steal with damage, this guarantees enough damage to eliminate more champions.

Coup de Grace allows his empowered Q to execute low-health champions as usual.

The standard meta build is as follows:

  • Precision – Conqueror 
  • Precision – Triumph
  • Precision – Legend: Tenacity
  • Precision – Coup de Grace
  • Inspiration – Biscuit Delivery
  • Inspiration – Time Warp Tonic

This rune path boasts a 54.55% win rate as of October 20th 2020. It’s the most-used Pantheon build and sort of a one-size-fits-all deal where you can transition into flexible item paths.

However, the Conqueror main rune provides stability upon dealing five instances of damage. This means that it’s slower to act upon, but at least you can be more than an assassin.