This rework was a collaborative effort between myself and Ralanr, with some ideas from Pantheon players on the Pantheon main subreddit. The goal was to create a version of Pantheon that would remain true to Pantheon as he is now, while also making him fairer to play against in lane while making sure he does not fall off in the late game.
We bounced ideas between the both of us and looked at what we and other Pantheon players thought Pantheon would fit dramatically.
Here's what the Pantheon mains told us:
Pantheon should be the guy in the dirt. If this was WWI he'd be stuck in a trench somewhere. If they want to make him look unique, don't make his armor golden and glowy. His cape should not have twinkling stars inside of it. Make his equipment old and chipped and scratched. Make his cloak torn, bloodstained, and muddy. Make him look like he fights for a living, that he has survived more battles than you could name. The battlefield is his home, that's what Pantheon is.
Pantheon isn't some soldier with "flair" like the other "pretty" boys, like Garen, Jarvan, Darius, Yasuo, Fiora, etc. He isn't your special soldier with some fancy crap, the poster boy, no. Pantheon is THE soldier, battle hardened, the guy that gets dirty in the mud and blood, the guy that is there in the heat of battle, and he loves it, he lives for it, the dirty and chaotic battlefield is his home. That is who Pantheon should be.
Unless they retcon this already retcon'd version of his lore just for his rework, which I don't see them doing since they are expanding this area of lore with the next Aspect, Zoe, I don't think Pantheon is going to get the rugged front liner story we actually wanted out of him. Being Pantheon, he joined the spotlight crowd, and I think it actually is a shame. Had he taken to being called Pantheon as a title, just acknowledging the Aspect he was imbued by while still being himself, it could be different story.
Those were the notes we went on and developed the soldier, Pantheon.
> HEALTH: 580 +89
> HEALTH REGEN: 8 +.65
> MOVE SPEED: 355
> RANGE: 175/125
> ATTACK DAMAGE: 65 +3
> ATTACK SPEED: .644 (+2.4%)
> ARMOR: 37 +4
> MAGIC RESIST: 32.1 +1.25
**Reasons**: So this should look pretty close to those who know Pantheon's numbers. We gave him a slight boost to his Health and Armor, because as you'll see his burst got extended a little and we thought he needed the touch more survivability.
Though more important to the tone of the rework is the conspicuous lack of mana. Very early in our discussions we decided to ditch mana. For several reasons. Primarily, I think mana is the single most boring method of gating power in the game. At early levels it acts as a stopgap from spamming what you have, and at late levels it just means you are forced to go back to base periodically to refuel or buy some mana regen item somewhere in your build. This works well enough for mages, but not so great AD casters. Our Pantheon already has stopgaps on spamming his abilities built into the champions kit, meaning mana costs become just an annoyance that neither of us wanted to deal with.
> **Aegis Protection**
> After landing 4 basic attacks or uses of his Q, Pantheon blocks the next incoming basic attack from an enemy champion, large minion, large monster, or the next incoming shot from a turret.
> **Spear and Sword**
> After using his Q to throw his spear, Pantheon draws his sword, his attack range is lowered to 125 and he gains a 10% / 15% / 20% / 25% increase in attack speed. In addition, his abilities are changed to his Sword stance, until he picks his spear back up. All abilities and cooldowns remain unchanged when switching between forms. (i.e. Your Certain Death ability will always start on cooldown upon switching to Sword Form)
**Reasons**: Aegis Protection is one of the more thematic and useful abilities in Pantheon's current repertoire. It is useful to work with, though with his E no longer adding to the counter (without also attacking) this ability and other changes with the champion, we hope that its overbearing presence in lane will be toned down dramatically.
The second passive is the crux of the rework, which will add variation to his playstyle and abilities, hopefully in a way that increases his skill ceiling and late game use.
**Q: Spear Shot / Certain Death**
> SPEAR SHOT [SPEAR STANCE] RANGE: 750, COOLDOWN: 5
> ACTIVE: Pantheon hurls his spear forward in a line, dealing physical damage to all enemies it passes through, stopping at the first Champion or Large Monster hit. Champions and Large Monsters hit with Spear Shot are marked as Skewered for the next 10 seconds, at which point the Spear drops to the ground. If the Spear does not hit an enemy Champion or Large Monster, it remains on the ground at the end of its movement.
> After throwing his spear, Pantheon enters Sword Stance, until he picks up the spear.
> PHYSICAL DAMAGE: 75 / 115 / 155 / 195 / 235 (+150% bonus AD)
> CERTAIN DEATH [SWORD STANCE] RANGE: 200, COOLDOWN: 5
> ACTIVE: Pantheon tears his spear from a Skewered opponent or off the ground. Dealing damage to every creature in range. This damage is increased by 50% if the enemy is below 20% maximum health.
> After picking up his spear, Pantheon enters Spear Stance.
> After being in Sword Stance for 20 seconds, or upon returning to fountain, Certain Death can be cast without being in range of a thrown spear. Casting Certain Death in this way deals no damage, but Pantheon will still enter Spear Stance and Spear Shot is not on cooldown.
> PHYSICAL DAMAGE: 75 / 115 / 155 / 195 / 235 (+150% bonus AD)
> MAXIMUM DAMAGE: 112.5 / 172.5 / 232.5 / 292.5 / 352.5 (+225% bonus AD)
**Reasons:** Probably the biggest change in the rework, one of the most infuriating problems with Pantheon is his current Q, Spear Shot. Currently, it basically transforms Pantheon into a ranged champion in lane, where if the opponent even gets close to his minion wave he can expect a Spear to the face. Pantheon just picks at his enemy until he can all in and win. Now, that's pretty horrible gameplay for the enemy and really doesn't fit the mentality of a Spartan either.
Our version of Spear Shot is a skill-shot with a much higher cooldown. Now since minions will not stop the spear, we think this will still force the enemy to play around him and keep his identity of a lane bully. But, in a much more balanced way. In addition, to regain his spear and deal the additional damage of Certain Death he has to be aggressive, promoting more risky play.
**W: Phalanx / Aegis Tackle**
> PHALANX [SPEAR STANCE] RANGE: 600, COOLDOWN: 13/12/11/10/9
> ACTIVE: Pantheon dashes in the target direction. Pantheon stops upon colliding with an enemy champion or large monster. Pantheon and all allied champions that he contacts gain Aegis Protection and bonus Armor for the next 3 seconds.
> BONUS ARMOR: 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 (+12.5% bonus armor)
> AEGIS TACKLE [SWORD STANCE] RANGE: 600, COOLDOWN: 13/12/11/10/9
> ACTIVE: Pantheon dashes in the target direction, dealing physical damage to all enemies in the way and knocking them aside. Pantheon stops upon colliding with an enemy champion or large monster. The enemy champion or large monster becomes stunned for 1 second.
> PHYSICAL DAMAGE: 50 / 80 / 110 / 140 / 170 (+50% bonus AD)
**Reasons:** So, Pantheon's W has somewhat under the radar been one of the most over-tuned basic abilities in the game. It is at the same time a gap-closer, a stun, fuels Pantheon's already powerful passive, deals damage, and it's point and click. That's pretty amazing. However, in the modern League where everyone has to have some form of movement to even be considered viable, he needs to have some of those benefits.
We decided to basically split the ability in half. With one side gaining the stun and damage, the other getting the passive proc. This split also determined what we decided was the purpose of each Stance. Being a Spartan, or any soldier really requires both teamwork and ability to kill your enemy. We decided that the Sword Stance would be about being aggressive and in your opponent's face, while the Spear stance can stay back, throw spears and aid allies.
**E: Pinning Thrust / Heartseeker Strike**
> PINNING THRUST [SPEAR STANCE] RANGE: 600, COOLDOWN: 11/10/9/8/7
> ACTIVE: After channeling for .5 seconds, Pantheon thrusts his spear forward, damaging all enemies within range and Grounding and Slowing every champion hit by 50% for 1.5 seconds. Pantheon may still move but cannot attack or use other abilities when channelling.
> DAMAGE: 30 / 50 / 70 / 90 / 110 (+100% bonus AD)
> HEARTSEEKER STRIKE [SWORD STANCE] COOLDOWN: 11/10/9/8/7
> ACTIVE: Pantheon's next attack within 10 seconds deals bonus damage, with a percentage of that damage ignoring Shields.
> This ability resets Pantheon's auto-attack timer.
> BONUS PHYSICAL DAMAGE: 25 / 40 / 55 / 70 / 85 (+100% bonus AD)
> SHIELD PERCENTAGE: 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 / 50%
**Reasons:** Pantheon's E has always been a bit of an odd move. It's a huge part of Pantheon's burst potential, but it doesn't really make sense thematically. And that's not even getting into the name. How are wild flailings a heart seeking strike? We also wanted to have an ability that actually emphasizes the spear part of Pantheon's spear.
In Spear Stance, the Grounded and Slowing ability gives a means for Pantheon to actually land some of his abilities, and gives him more of a presence in the wild clash of a team fight. When he's a spearman he can keep targets pinned down for his team, at the cost of his single-target burst damage.
When in Sword Stance he is going in for the kill. His auto-attack counts for slightly less than double damage on a single hit (so a free crit for the most part), or if maxed an attack on a Shielded opponent that will actually deal damage. With the ubiquity of Shields in the game, an ability like that becomes almost needed.
**R: Grand Skyfall**
> TARGET RANGE: 5500, SELECTABLE RADIUS: 700, IMPACT RADIUS: 200, COOLDOWN: 150 / 135 / 120
> ACTIVE: Pantheon jumps into the air and becomes untargetable. He then blinks over the Selectable Area for 1.5 seconds. Target a location within the Selectable Area and Pantheon will descend, damaging all enemies within the Impact Zone and slowing them by 30% for 1 second. If no location is selected within 1.5 seconds, Pantheon will instead land in the middle of the Selectable Area.
> PHYSICAL DAMAGE: 150 / 250 / 350 (+50% Bonus AD)
**Reasons:** Grand Skyfall is almost synonymous with Pantheon. And since he's technically now some sort of space thing with celestial powers it makes sense to keep it (no matter how much I despise that particular lore update).
However, the ability is ridiculously powerful, but, to make up for it, it's kind of easy for enemies to just plant a trap or stun right under the middle and go on with their lives. And probably kill you in the process. These means most optimal Pantheon players are either hanging off while the fight is going on waiting for stuns to go off, or just using their Ult a safe distance behind the enemy. None of that is the kind of in your face fighting we wanted Pantheon to have.
This ult's damage is dramatically cut. Landing directly on top of someone deals roughly the same damage as an enemy at the periphery of the old ult, and enemies not on the Impact Radius take no damage at all. Only now they have to deal with Pantheon right in their face, and that should be a terrifying experience.
And that's it, Pantheon Reworked.
Mathematically, his full potential burst damage is about the same as it currently is (technically slightly lower). However, except for auto-attacks almost none of it is guaranteed like it is now. He has abilities and uses outside of either being a burst machine or a road bump if he doesn't get fed early. While there is a specific maximum damage combo: Q > W > auto > E > Q, which has the benefit of being exactly what his current max-damage skill rotation is. However, having some light cc and defensive bonuses that may be more useful in different situations should open up Pantheon's current rather one-note gameplay.
I hope you like it.