Pantheon Review and Theorycraft

Pantheon is about to land in Runeterra, and Sorry tries to convince us to get the hell out of the blast radius.

Hey, it’s Sorry here!

Today I’ll be in charge of theorycrafting a Pantheon deck (that hopefully doesn’t end up bottom-tier), and I’ll dig into the fun stuff, rating cards! I’ll give my opinion on each one of them and expectations on how the new cards will perform.

Here’s our rating scale:

  • 5.0: Meta-defining card, should prove itself as a staple in multiple top-tier archetypes.
  • 4.0: Archetype staple, or auto-include in multiple archetypes.
  • 3.0: A solid playable, could serve as a staple for some archetypes.
  • 2.0: Could be used for specific synergies, or to counter some decks.
  • 1.0: Unlikely to find its place in the meta.

Pantheon – 4.5

Targon is saved! I repeat, Targon is saved!

With the multiple nerfs Targon has received patch after patch, the region fell out of meta, only having Zoe Lee Sin as the only top-tier deck left.

But with Pantheon’s landing, it seems the region will be represented in more than just one solid deck.

The 4|2 stats on Pantheon might come off as an easy-to-kill champion, similar to Ekko or Draven. The three keywords on Pantheon though are what makes him a powerful unit!

Overwhelm, Barrier, and Fate! All strong keywords – the two latter ones make it difficult for your opponent to simply kill Pantheon, while the Overwhelm allows you to push additional damage that synergizes well with the additional attack Power you’ll gain from the Fate keyword.

The +1|+1 buffs Pantheon will be gaining every single turn if he’s targeted by a card can turn him into a win condition – and that’s Pantheon that has not even leveled up yet!

His level-up condition works perfectly with the Fate keyword, allowing you to work on buffing your units with the Fated keyword while also fulfilling Pantheon’s quest. A deck built around cards that target units will manage to get him leveled shortly after he’s played.

A leveled-up Pantheon is enormous! Grant Pantheon a random keyword for each round you’ve targeted allies – means on level-up Pantheon will have at least 5 additional keywords! Spellshield, Elusive, Quick Attack, Scout, and Challenger are all great keywords to gain on level-up which will most likely allow you to take over the game.

Finally, Pantheon’s signature spell Shield Vault is a solid card as well, although it might not be a main deck card. I do see it being ran in decks to counter specific archetypes or depending on the dominant decks in a specific meta.

A +1|+1 on an ally that also triggers Fated while stunning a unit all for 2 mana sounds like an awesome card! Especially if it’s ran against decks like Draven Sion or Zoe Lee Sin.

Or might I add, we could also potentially see it as a main deck card in a Yasuo deck! Although I’m hesitant to have too much hope for a Yasuo deck to become top tier.

Alright, this is harder than expected. I can only pick one deck to talk about and between Taric Pantheon Demacia and Riven Pantheon, it’s difficult to choose just one.

I’ll settle for the Riven version that uses Noxus mainly for the Blade Fragments’ interaction with the Fated keyword and Pantheon’s level-up.

Early game you’re looking to play cheap units like Blade Squire, Saga Seeker, Mountain Goat, and Runeweaver, and push in early damage.

Keep in mind that you’ll have to work on leveling up your Pantheon, so the Reforge keyword comes in handy for your gameplan along with the Gems Mountain Goat creates. The Blade Fragments allows you to work leveling up both Riven and Pantheon – at the same time it activates Fated keyword on your units.

Imperial Demolitionist isn’t necessarily played in the deck for the 2 damage it deals to the opponent’s Nexus but also for its ability to activate Fated and advance Pantheon’s level-up.

Your win condition will depend on both champions, Riven and Pantheon. The Overwhelm keyword along with the damage buff cards from Blade Fragments, Brothers’ Bond, and Decisive Maneuver will allow you to set up for powerful combo attacks.

A leveled-up Pantheon with all his keywords will be difficult for your opponent to remove and interrupt your attack, especially if you manage to get a Spelshield on him.

Ruined Reckoner is your “second shot” at ending the game if your first one wasn’t enough, a second attack with the Overwhelm keyword can be just enough to close out the game.

Saga Seeker – 4.0

At first glance, Saga Seeker doesn’t seem like an amazing early drop, the 1|2 stats aren’t that great but the Fated keyword is what makes this card solid!

Having this on early turns and targeting it with a card will turn it into a 2|3, a great stat line early game that will only continue to increase if you target the card on future turns.

It’s a great answer against aggressive decks that might become a problem for any opponent if not dealt with early game.

Iula – 3.0

A 3 mana 3|3 is an alright stat line but you won’t be running Iula for her stats but for her Play effect.

The Spellshield and Overwhelm she gives a unit for one round can set up for combo plays.

I can already see the card being run in decks like Zoe Vi, maybe a copy of it in Zoe Lee Sin.

Basically, Iula will be a nice pick-up for a deck that can benefit from the Overwhelm keyword to set up a win condition with it.

Blinded Mystic – 3.5

Alright, stat-wise Blinded Mystic isn’t that great, but what it lacks in stats it gains in utility!

The Grant an ally +1|+1 is a great Fated trigger that advances Pantheon’s level-up. The ‘Silence an enemy follower’ clause is pretty much an Equinox, capable of shutting down your opponent’s game plan.

The card is meta-dependent, it’s not the best against aggressive archetypes, but can be a broken card against combo or control decks that rely on a particular follower for their gameplan.

Wounded Whiteflame – 4.5

A 3-mana Dragon! Honestly, Wounded Whiteflame might become a top-tier unit, especially in a Dragons deck, but will definitely be ran outside of that archetype as well.

The Fury and Fated keywords make Wounded Whiteflame an extremely strong card to play on turn 3, completely shutting down your opponent’s attempt to attack – especially if you can activate Fated.

Wounded Whiteflame will also be able to take a chomp from Dragon’s Chow without killing it – damaging it for 2 and drawing a card while passing on some leftovers for a second Dragon to trigger another draw!

We Stand Together – 3.5

A powerful combat trick that allows you to help two units in combat or against a damage spell.

The buffs being for only one round means that We Stand Together will mostly be played reactively as an answer to an opponent’s play or after combat has been locked.

Keep in mind that it activates the Fated keyword, allowing you to buff up two units.

Camphor, The Doubt – 2.0

The keywords Camphor, The Doubt gains once its condition is met are amazing – the problem is that 5|4 stats aren’t really worth the cost of the card.

For a 6 mana card, it doesn’t feel impactful, it might even force combat tricks out of you just to keep it on the board.

I don’t think we’ll see much of this card, mainly due to its low health.

Against the Odds – 2.5

Against The Odds looks like a cool card but a situational one.

The card heavily depends on your opponent’s deck to give you any value, and for it to work you’ll basically want to be behind on board presence.

It might find synergy with Elusive or Lifesteal units but it won’t be a great card to run in board-centered decks that rely on building and trading with your opponent.

Freed Colossus – 2.0

An underwhelming card for a turn 5 play. The lack of any useful keywords while having only “alright” stats makes the card unimpactful.

The Gem created is nice to activate Fated keyword but at that point of the game you’ll find them less impactful and you likely won’t create more than two Gems unless you invest resources to keep Freed Colossus alive, which isn’t the best unit to use valuable cards on.

Closing Words

Pantheon seems like he’ll become a strong champion! It’ll be interesting to see him in an archetype that brings out the best of his abilities.

So far I’ve seen many concepts of Pantheon in different archetypes, showing that the new Targon champion can be flexible and fits in different regions.

Pantheon Taric – a Targon Demacia deck, and Akshan Pantheon – a Targon Shurima deck seem to also be viable routes that champion can take.

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Alaa "TricksterSorry" Yassine is a competitive Legends of Runeterra player. His passion for card games ignited in his youth with favorites like Yugioh and Pokemon. Currently, he dedicates himself to achieving professional excellence in Runeterra, while also creating informative video and written content for the Runeterra community.

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