[Mini-Guide] Your First 6 Pantheon Levels

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Aetherine

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Junior Member

02-05-2010

First off, howdy folks. I'm Aeth, and I used to play a MFing Cho'Gath. You know the one; gets Mog's right in the start, goes for Boots of Mobility to dominate the field of battle, and generally eats people the entire game while shrugging off tons and tons of damage. The introduction of Pantheon and his playstyle have caught my attention however. Thus, this mini-guide for your first six levels of combat in the League of Legends.

We'll start with your most important choice of the early game. Items.

Pantheon can use a broad range of items early game, with each offering a different bonus and favoring different builds. There are a few choices which you can be safe with going with almost every match, in spite of any choices you make in the mid and late game for your build. For levels 1 through 6, you'll be gauging your item choices by the following general observations.

  • Damaging items will give you the most bang for your buck with your bread-and-butter spell, Spear Shot. At rank one your Spear Shot will grant you 100% of your attack in damage in addition to the bonus from the spell, granting you a better ratio than some nukes gain from Ability Power as well as more damage with your auto attacks. This also allows you to deal more damage to minion waves with Heartseeker Strikes activate form, and more damage to multiply from crits with the passive. Simple, effective, and downright cheap early game.
  • Ability Power affects only two of your four spells; the impact damage to your Aegis of Zeonia and the AoE damage from your Grand Skyfall. Two out of four isn't fantastic for itemization, and the items early-game that grant Ability Power tend to be lackluster for Pantheons main goal of spamming Spear Shot and taking advantage of a sloppy opponent to Aegis/Spear/Heartseeker combo them back to their spawning pool.
  • Health and HP/5 items will grant you a bit more survivability in the early game, and shouldn't be discounted as good choices for the Pantheon taking the middle lane solo or aiming for a tankish build later. Having stated the obvious, they will not give you as much of an advantage as simply buying a Healing Potion and using a more offense-focused item in your early game.
  • Mana and MP/5 items are bad for Pantheon. You should feel bad for thinking about choosing them first.
  • Armor and Magic Resist are good; but not early game.
  • Lifestealing is one of the few things early game that really carries its weight without actually giving you any bonus damage. A single Vampiric Scepter will help you stay in your lane after a bad hit from an enemy or survive a group of minions hitting you when you otherwise would be forced to back off or outright recall to your spawning pool. Lifestealing effects work on your crits as well, offering you a bulk of HP to regain from your damage with Heartseeker Strike when you begin to get your killing blows from minions. This can make or break your laning experience early game.
  • Attack Speed comes in many different flavors, but in your early game build it won't be used much. Mostly good for getting your killing blows if your timing is shot, or geting in another extra hit on a ~15% health hero fleeing. Often not enough bang for its buck compared to other stats in the early game.

Of course, not everything listed will ring true due to item builds past level 6. Here's an item-by-item breakdown of notable pieces of gear to start with, and to purchase before level 6.
  • Long Sword upgrades to a fair amount of items which Pantheon will get a GREAT deal of use out of. Ten Attack Damage will give you ten bonus damage on your Spear Shot. And it only goes up with more ranks of Spear Shot.
  • Doran's Blade makes for a good starting item for a couple reasons. As a basic item, it pairs well with your other selections early game. The health keeps you going for a few extra hits when bombing a tower to Spear Shot that fleeing Champion, while the damage helps your melee attacks and Spear Shot damage. The small amount of Lifesteal shows less when attacking full-health minions, but gives a noticable bit of health when you crit with Heartseeker on a minion and especially Siege Rider minions. The same thoughts for Lifestealing apply to the Vampiric Scepter as well.
  • Doran's Shield offers more static defense than the Lifesteal of Doran's Blade (in the form of both Armor and HP/5), and the same amount of health. The lesser choice for someone looking to play an aggressive Pantheon early-game.
  • Sapphire Crystal and Amplifying Tome are a pair of items which seem to go counter to many of the points made above about doing damage and applying pressure in the early game, but are mentioned because they make Sheen. Sheen's passive ability comes in most handy when you already have a few damage items on Pantheon, but at 1235 gold it's more than possible to buy by the time you reach level 6 and begin using Grand Skyfall. The 100% extra base damage is multiplied normally when you crit with Heartseeker Strike, making it viable to save your Aegis until you are guarenteed to bring a foe to or below 15% health for a devistating Heartseeker crit.
  • Elixir of Fortitude makes for a surprisingly good item on a Pantheon in the early game. For 300 gold you gain 20 Attack Damage and 230~ health for four minutes. Buying this elixir and waiting to use it at level 2 or level 3 will often help you get ahead of your opponent in a lane, granting you a larger bonus to your stats than anything permanent could at that level and allowing you to better play an aggressive Pantheon and keep your enemy on guard and away from killing blows.
  • Boots of Speed are a good investment for the Pantheon that knows they will be chasing down opponents early on in the game. Taking either of the side lanes with their longer run from tower to tower, moving to brush to break line of sight with an enemy and escape a nuke, or simply getting into a group of minions quickly to begin getting killing blows are all good reasons to pick up a pair of boots early. The less time spent running to and from a target, the better. Ninja Tabi make fantastic upgrades to your initial boots due to the dodge chance, giving your Pantheons passive more power when you have a chance to dodge before using a charge of your Aegis Protection. Boots of Mobility help you dominate the field of battle when out of combat as well as in combat, moving across the map faster than almost anyone unbuffed while still giving you more movement speed than basic boots while in combat. Berserker's Greaves help you benefit from Lifesealing effects and get more chances to land killing blows with Heartseeker Strike, making them a solid choice for movement speed.
  • Ruby Crystal is a very poor item for the aggressive Pantheon. Only think of buying one when you know you will be upgrading to bigger and better things quickly in your game, and only if you have a solid item build planned after level 6. Buying a Ruby to make a Heart of Gold also tends to be a poor choice; the damage you gain from other items or the utility from boots or a Sheen will far outweigh the minor amount of gold you gain with the Heart of Gold. Your main source of money will be killing blows; not time. This also applies to the Regrowth Pendant and subsequent Philosopher's Stone.
  • Items not mentioned are in fact just bad enough to be unmentionable on their own for early game. The only excuse you have for buying Brawler's Gloves or a Dagger is to make Zeal and Phantom Dancer mid-to-late game. The same applies to many other item choices in your first 6 levels.


Next up for important things to consider in your first 6 levels are your abilities. I often won't suggest that someone stick to a hard-and-fast build of abilities for a Champion, but Pantheon has the distinct advantage of having a skillset that melds together better than simply powerleveling two abilities and leaving a third to rot.
  • At level 1 you will be picking up Spear Shot. Period. This is going to be one of your most important, most spammed abilities when you hit your lane and you need every rank of it and every use of the cooldown you can to keep your foe on their toes. It deals damage as a melee attack with flat bonus damage applied as well, and every rank increases both the flat bonus damage and the percent of your base attack damage used. It starts at 100%, and climbs from there. Note also that it has a surprisingly good range for something so spammable, and allows you to avoid minion damage from refocusing after you deal damage to the enemy Champion due to being able to fire it and quickly move away from the onslaught of pin-pricks and tiny magic balls they're bound to hurl at you. You'll learn how to keep even towers from hating you when you Spear Shot someone in range of them with enough careful micro.
  • Level 2 presents a choice that isn't much of a choice; get Heartseeker Strike. The sooner you can get killing blows on minions, the better you will be by a long shot. Lifestealing will allow you to survive in your lane under fire better, attack speed will help get more than a single Heartseeker Strike crit on a fleeing opponent or a Siege Rider minion, while attack damage will stack up the damage you gain from the crit.
  • Level 3 is another rank of Spear Shot. The question now comes up about Aegis of Zeonia. Why not get a rank of it early? Point blank, unless you're in a side lane with an ally or you're an exceptional Pantheon player, you won't be getting enough damage output to be able to finish someone you Aegis charge at. Taking another rank of your Spear Shot will allow you to bring the heat on the enemy Champion in your lane. The pressure applied at this point combined with the general time of the match will mean that the enemy may even recall to their spawning pool; this will allow you to refocus your Spear Shots to getting off killing blows on minions at a distance, as well as weakening Siege Rider minions for a quick kill.
  • Level 4 gives you your first rank of Aegis of Zeonia. By now you should be able to put out some serious damage when you focus on a target, and your target will be the enemy Champion in your lane from here until the end of the match. Firing Spear Shot at them to bring them below half health will scare them into moving back, but proper timing of your Spear Shot and Aegis charge will allow you to close the gap quickly while dealing enough damage to bring their health into Heartseeker Strike range. Remember, Aegis and Spear Shot both have the same distance. You can often queue your Spear Shot up on a target and then get ready to Aegis charge them the moment the ability fires, freeing up a few moments of micro to get a melee attack off before attempting to out-pace your target to their tower.
  • Level 5 gives you another rank of Spear Shot. More damage. Nothing more needs to be said.
  • Level 6 is when you get Grand Skyfall, and all hell breaks loose in other parts of the map. Leap on foes. Leap on minion pushes. Leap on the dragon. Leap between enemy towers to wait for someone to retreat and eat a Spear shot from you. Recall back to your spawning pool and then leap back into combat when you've replenished your health, mana, and bought your items without blowing a Teleport. Leap to safety from a gank (assuming you've broken out of the stun/knockup/knockback/silence already. Leap to break up an incoming gank on an ally. Leap to create area denial and keep a foe from attacking a tower. Leap to confuse your enemy. Leap to impress women. Leap to impress men. Leap to walk the dog. Leap to the club. Leap to your local dealer. Just make sure you use it when it's up, and you'll be set.

Closing thoughts?

THIS.

IS.

STANPAR.


Edited for Quality Control and Formatting


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lobsterzilla

Member

02-05-2010

I agree with postponing stun if you're midding or solo laning (of which with pantheon is surprisingly good.). But in a duo lane panth + partner can easily put out enough damage to drop an enemy into auto crit range.

I take 1 of each. I can usually get FB level 2 but definitely lev 3 with spear/stun/heartseeker exhaust ignite


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Aetherine

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Junior Member

02-05-2010

I didn't touch upon Summoner Spells very much because it's something that a lot of people have very, very emotional attachments and responses to. Heal/Ghost for getting that gank in and escaping, Ignite/Exhaust to quickly load up the damage and keep someone in range, ect.

I personally stick with a great deal of mobility. Flash/Teleport all the way. After discovering that I can Flash mid-Skyfall and retarget where the epicenter of the Grand Skyfall is based on where I Flash to, I can't see myself using anything else. Between Teleport and Skyfall, Pantheon has more map mobility than anyone save Card Master.


And you're absolutely right about laning with someone. One of my main focuses though is that a Pantheon can often hold the middle lane like 300 Spartan warriors at the Battle of Thermopylae. Never letting the enemy Champion get past the middle lane to land a single blow on the tower, while constantly keeping the pressure on them to move to their own tower and beyond.


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Fbsunny

Senior Member

02-05-2010

I like exhaust as a summoner spell, since it can also be used while Grand Skyfalling. This makes sure that your opponent will stay in the radius, and lowers their MR for extra damage. I also generally get flash since otherwise Pantheon can't escape very well.

I have started using boots first, and it works very well for me. If I get a competent lane partner I almost always get 2-3 kills in my lane before 6, meaning when I blue pill back for the first time I can get my BF sword already.

As for skills I level up like this.
QWQEQR
I do not generally solo mid, but I can last hit plenty well with a mixture of melee and spear throws, and since the CD on it is so short I can still harass the enemy a lot with spear throw. Farming creeps with heartseeker uses up to much mana, I generally don't use it unless I;m going for a kill until I start getting golem.

Then around 12 or so when you get items to give you more damage you can kill a creep wave with heartseeker and it gets much better for farming.

Btw are you sure it moves the epicenter of Grand Skyfall when you flash, the times I have done it didn't seem to.


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Aetherine

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Junior Member

02-05-2010

I'm positive it does. Besides seeing it move the edge of the effect numerous times using Flash and Grand Skyfall, I've managed to refocus the middle of the effect with a Flash on top of a Champion and managed to deal the maximum amount of damage to them.

Admittedly, the way it deals damage and where the exact edge ends up isn't an exact science. I haven't tested it well enough to be sure, but I swear the impact site where you land is separate from the original cast, and that the two overlap but don't stack.

Funky Skyfall tends to be funky.


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Fbsunny

Senior Member

02-05-2010

Ya, you are right, I tested it and the center definitely moves. I didn't think it did because the visual doesn't move at the time you flash, but I sometimes see it change right before it hits.


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cheeeya

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Senior Member

02-05-2010

I have pantheon and I like using him I don't really understand how his grand skyfall works. anyone care to explain the different charges and how it can be used? so far i have only used it to land on unexpecting fleeing champions