New Pantheon Rundown
With Pantheon’s new visual and gameplay update, one of League of Legends’ simplest melee champions was brought up to modern standards with some fancy new tricks while remaining accessible and uncomplicated for those looking to pick him up.
One of the first lessons newcomers learn when playing League of Legends is ranged champions are better to play when starting out. For many, the very first champion they ever touched was LoL’s marquis marksman, Ashe, in the Tutorial Mode. Anyone who’s ever outplayed a 1v1 as Vayne, however, knows ranged champions aren’t inherently easier. They just tend to have more straightforward abilities than their melee counterparts.
A marksman will typically have a damaging spell or two and a mixture of mobility and/or utility packed into their hotbar. For ranged mages and casters, each ability will typically have a clearcut and specific purpose, making most of them fairly easy to understand.
With melee champions, however, many skills rely on multiple inputs, such as resetting autos or abilities, or weaving in and out of the enemy’s attack range. Melees have developed over time from a bunch of hulking meatheads ramming into one another to a class that molded around high risk, high reward playstyles.
Many of Riot’s recent VGU’s have changed core elements of champion kits or introduced new mechanics into the game. Think of Mordekaiser’s Realm of Death (R), Irelia’s Ionian Fervor (P) and Vanguard’s Edge (R), and Akali’s Twilight Shroud (W). Compared to their old selves, these champions and many others are now slightly harder to play, more versatile, and a lot flashier.
But not all melee champions play into this dichotomy, and Riot is reminding players of that fact with Pantheon’s rework. He’s great for those looking to dive into LoL’s roster of scrappy, close-combat fighters thanks to his straightforward kit. And fortunately, while the old Pantheon became too simple as the game advanced, the update leaves plenty of room for counterplay and creativity.
When fighting enemies in lane, you’ll still want to spear them, jump on them, and spear them some more, but new intricacies to his abilities allow Pantheon players a wider range of options when trading, especially his new passive which powers up his spells.
Here’s a look at Riot’s behind-the-scenes video on his rework, as well as a rundown of his skills.
- “Mortal Will”: Stacking any combination of five auto attacks or ability uses will empower Pantheon’s next non-ultimate ability.
- “Comet Spear”: Tapping once will strike enemies in the direction of Pantheon’s spear. Charging it will throw the spear in a line.
- Empowered: Deals extra damage to enemies and slows them.
- “Shield Vault”: Jumps onto targeted enemy and stuns them, dealing damage.
- Empowered: Next basic attack strikes three times, dealing less damage with each strike.
- “Aegis Assault”: Pantheon behind his shield in an aimed direction, blocking incoming damage and gaining vulnerabilities from enemies while dealing damage. The last hit deals bonus damage and can’t be cancelled. You can also move during the cast time and block tower shots.
- Empowered: Aegis Assault has an extended duration.
- “Grand Starfall”: Lead in the air and come crashing down like a comet to a targeted spot on the map. Damage all enemies in the path and gain full stacks of Mortal Will upon landing.
Before the update, the life of a typical Pantheon player was fairly uneventful. The only skillshot in his kit was his ultimate, and even that’s a bit of a stretch considering its wide AoE. Everything else was targeted, so if you spammed your Spear Shot (Q) enough, anyone was fair game for an all-in kill.
Pantheon’s refined kit is just as easy to pick up, and also provides built-in ways to teach someone new to the game some of the basics of laning and playing with their team. Unlike Garen, who has a barebones set of abilities but an unforgiving, all-in playstyle, Pantheon gives players a surefire way to trade against an opponent.
Comet Spear and Shield Vault are intuitive. What better time to spear your opponent than when you’ve stunned them with a point-and-click ability? While you reap the most rewards when committing to an all in, Aegis Assault provides the perfect out for someone not as used to going hard in lane. You can even mitigate a tower shot or two if you go in too deep.
Meanwhile, Pantheon’s ultimate was always the highlight of his kit, and possibly one of his easiest skills to use effectively. The perfect way for a beginner to learn map awareness, a skill imperative to excelling on any champ in LoL, is actively relying on the map to make a play.
A good Pantheon ult is only reliant on how good your eyes are working. If you see your team fighting and they’re a person short, you can join them and potentially turn the tides of battle in one move, proving the effectiveness of good coordination.
Pantheon is a rare case among VGU’s in which Riot went down his list of abilities and added something new to each one without removing much of their original functionality. Simply put, his job is the same, but now he’s much better at doing it. Players won’t have to be good at the game to use him effectively, and they’ll squeeze more value out of him as they improve.
Thanks for reading, we hope you enjoyed this guest post! Let us know what you think of the new Pantheon in the comments below. See you next time summoners.