IntroductionFirst of all, Pantheon is a global and this always creates a strong presence after level 6. I consider him a bruiser, because he is meant to dish out damage as well as being tanky enough to be in the front lines at times. You should still consider having an actual tank on your team, but Pantheon is still tougher than some champions with his passive.
Pantheon is an assassin as well as a very strong early game champion. He is hard to lane against because of his Q ability in combination of boots. I find him to be one of the champions that do much damage with as little as just Doran's Blades, while making him tankier at the same time.
Pantheon is one of the most fun champions for me to play, because you can go creative with his ultimate and feels great when it works out in the end.
Basic AD masteries for Pantheon as a strong, offensive laner, and mid game ganker. Get preservation in the defensive tree if you did decide to go revive (which is a really game changing summoner spell). Resistance, Hardiness, and Strength of Spirit provides more sustainability and boost in laning phase and mid game.
Armor Pen Marks: For stronger poking with Q in laning phase and damage.
Mana/lvl Seals: So you can Spam Q in lane more often without being too mana thirsty.
Flat MR Glyphs: So you can sustain the damage from AP casters a lot better in lane.
x1 Flat AD Quint: For more flat AD damage in lane from Q.
x2 Flat HP Quints: For early game laning and dominance.
I like Ghost on Pantheon because you can ensure landing a stun on runners or a stronger initiate. He is also a melee champion, meaning he can't always be on someone's back without getting outran, unless you have Ghost.
Some people don't feel comfortable using revive, but that is mainly because they don't know the impact of having revive. It can turn the tides of a dragon fight or a game changing baron fight, making any team battle into a 6v5. The key to it is knowing when to use it. When dying in lane and your lane opponent is still full hp, don't waste it just to get back to lane.
It is a very long cooldown, but using it at any team battle can really put your team at a very large advantage. Pantheon is probably the only champion in the game that can really pull this summoner spell off well.
Its a good replacement for Ghost or Revive (if you don't feel comfortable with Revive).
Good replacement for Revive as well.
Passive: Aegis Protection
After attacking or casting spells 4 times, Pantheon will block the next normal attack that deals more than 40 damage to him.
A really strong passive for a melee champion. It is what Pantheon needs. When available, it can tank a tower or tank a baron hit. It can save your life at any given time.
Q: Spear Shot
Pantheon hurls his spear at an opponent, dealing 16 / 28 / 40 / 52 / 64 + 100 / 115 / 130 / 145 / 160% of his attack in physical damage.
A strong ability (for poking) in lane especially with all the damage runes and masteries. Stack this first because you'll need it to dominate your lane. When engaging onto an enemy, I generally use Q first and then jumping onto them with W, giving you more auto hits or longer E after you use your W ability on them.
W: Aegis of Zeonia
Pantheon leaps at the target enemy champion and deals 50 / 75 / 100 / 125 / 150 (+100% of ability power) magic damage and stuns them for .7 / .9 / 1.1 / 1.3 / 1.5 second(s). Pantheon also instantly refreshes his Aegis Protection.
A short stun ability for when you want to engage. Great for use after man jumping onto someone with your R. The stun duration is very short after the nerf, so you cannot really stun and then having the full effect of E. A good ability regardless, because you get to jump back on them if they happen to run a distance from you.
E: Heartseeker Strike
Passive: Pantheon gains 100% critical strike chance against targets below 15% of their max health.
Active: Pantheon focuses and deals 5 swift strikes in front of him for 4 / 6 / 8 / 10 / 12 + 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40% of his total attack damage as physical damage per strike. Deals double damage to champions.
Cooldown 20 / 19 / 18 / 17 / 16seconds
I stack this after Q because the 100% crit to people under 15% HP and because it scales for a percentage of his attack damage. Great use for farming as well. Sitting in a brush and using this ability will not reveal yourself. So if an enemy approaches you or if they are chasing you, you can get extra damage in by using your E in the brush, and then Q+W after you are revealed. (Similar to Nunu ultimate in a brush.)
R: Grand Skyfall
Pantheon gathers his strength and then leaps high into the air, crashing down at the target area a few seconds later. Deals up to 400 / 700 / 1000 (+100% of ability power) magic damage to units at the center (down to 33% at the edge) and slows them by 35% for 1 second.
Cost 150 / 250 / 350mana
I love using this ultimate. I find it one of the funnest ultimates to use in the game. Global ultimates are always strong for ganks and get you in battle while split pushing. If you have revive up and you're about to get in a team battle, don't waste your ultimate... because when you die, you'll need your ultimate to jump back into battle right after using revive.
The thing I like about this ultimate is that you can go creative with it. Its a great use to gank top lane or bottom lane (depending on where you are) at level 6, or great to use for the very lane you're in. The trick is to use it while they see you in front of them, and they will go in to try and get extra hits on you while to take off and ulti on someone - he won't realize that you're using your ultimate on him, forcing him to flash away.
Stack Q for stronger lane dominance.
Get one point into W for stronger imitates. A stun is a stun, and that is always a good thing.
Stack E after stacking Q for stronger farming and more damage in battle. Great for 100% crit as well.
Stack R whenever possible for a shorter cooldown on your ultimate which allows you to split push more often while your revive is on cooldown.
Having boots of speed to move quicker in lane while harassing with Q is probably the best option you can have. The pots are a nice addition to sustain in lane.
Doran's Blade is OK but i prefer boots. You can't harass as well in lane without boots, but if you prefer having more HP, then Doran's Blade would be your next choice.
Get at least one more Doran's Blade totalling to at least two for a stronger early and mid game. Get a 3rd Doran's Blade if you really want to be safe in the early stages (like securing dragon).
Get Brutalizer because it gives you the most damage in the early level compared to any other item. You can turn this into Youmouu's Ghostblade later. More attack speed = the quicker your passive activates.
Get Youmouu's Ghostblade for faster attack speed and movement to catch up to runners. It also allows you to activate your passive even quicker.
Frozen Mallet is a very good for Pantheon. It gives him a slow where he can't get anywhere else, plus it gives him a massive HP boost, which all melee DPS needs. The extra damage is nice as well.
I hardly ever find myself getting Infinity Edge until very late game. This is because You need to be tankier and Youmouu's Ghostblade and Frozen Mallet (plus the Doran's Blades) usually provides enough damage until late game.
Against Heavy AD:
Get Ninja Tabi if they have a lot of auto attacking champions. Its the cheapest tier 1 boots plus it can give you a speed boost if you get nimbleness from the defensive tree as well.
Atma's Impaler is a strong item for Pantheon. It gives him a good amount of armor plus the additional damage from all of Pantheons HP which is usually really high up there. The extra crit is good as well.
Sunfire Cape is also good against a lot of Melee AD or just AD in general. If you're going to jump in battle and fight in close combat, the armor+HP+AoE is always a good thing. It also boosts the damage of Atma's Imapaler because of the HP if you decide to get both items.
Against Heavy AP:
Mercury's Threads is good on almost all melee champions, especially against a decent amount of CC and AP casters. It's the most reliable boots for Pantheon, especially because hes melee.
Banshees Veil is good against AP casters because it blocks spells as well as having an extra boost in MR/HP/mana. A nice defensive item to have. The HP boost gives a nice addition if you get Atma's as well.
Pantheon wears off late game, sadly. But if you happen to reach late game and you have nothing else to get, you can get Last Whisper if they're stacking armor and to get more damage, or you can get Guardian's Angel if you already do a lot of damage.