League of Legends 9.24 patch is about to land, and with it, we will get a new playable champion called Aphelios. Right of the bat, Riot has announced that this will be quite a challenging champion to master. What makes this new ADC/AP hybrid so special?
This mysterious legend is a part of Lunari, which is a religious group that originated from Mount Targon. Aphelios spent his childhood training as an assassin, while his sister Alune followed the steps to become a seer. He wanted to wield greater power but got tricked into drinking poison which made him mute. That’s when his sister Alune decided to channel her spirit through him, while also summoning deadly weapons for her dear brother to use.
A Different Kind of Legend
Riot has decided to spice things up with Aphelios by offering us a radically different playstyle. He is the first champion without the third spell, but this does not make him limited. You use Aphelios W attack to cycle through 5 different weapons, and each of them will interact differently with your Q and ultimate. The weapons are:
- Crescendum is a boomerang-like weapon similar to what Sivir uses. Aphelios needs to wait for it to come back before attacking again, so choose it wisely. The closer you are to enemies the faster it hits and every follow-up attack is a bit stronger.Sentry: deliver a turret that stays hidden until activated (4 shots)
Ultimate: additional attacks do 3x more damage
- What a better way to unleash your fury than with a flamethrower? Infernum provides good AOE damage and clears enemy waves pretty fast.Duskwave: unleashes the flames + additional basic attack that strikes all enemies hit
Moonlight Vigil: the follow-up attacks do larger AOE damage, good for scattering enemies
- Gravitum is a cannon with a basic attack that slows enemiesBinding Eclipse: root and damage enemies affected by the basic attack
Moonlight Vigil: additional attack apply stronger slow
- Severum is a uniquely shaped pistol that protects Aphelios by providing shield equal to the % of damage dealt to the enemy.Onslaught: shoot faster basic attacks from both weapons, with reduced damage (prioritizes champions)
Moonlight Vigil: heals Aphelios for a significant amount
- Calibrum is a rifle that will give Aphelios a bigger range.
Moonshot: marks and damages first enemy it hits (skillshot)
Moonlight Vigil: mark all enemies hit by additional attacksAphelios can detonate marks by right-clicking on enemies anywhere on the map. Deals more damage if champions are marked with Moonlight Vigil.
- Moonlight Vigil will send a moon bomb that explodes upon hitting the first target and deals AOE damage. Aphelios proceeds with an improved basic attack which depends on the weapon equipped.
It Gets Even More Complicated
Shuffling 5 weapons might be challenging, but Riot also went one step further. Each weapon has 50 ammo before it is shuffled to the back and you are forced to use other ones. This might be a good strategy to keep players from using the same weapon all of the time and challenging them to become more than just a one-trick-poney. Furthermore, Aphelios also carries a weapon in his off-hand which further complicates things and gives you various bonuses. The following gameplay shows you how this looks in practice.
Aphelios doesn’t level as a normal champion. Instead, you will put your level points into things like armor penetration, attack speed, and damage. We wonder if this will be a one-off experiment or will Riot continue in this trajectory with follow up champions.
Aphelios is a marksman with limited crowd control, so good positioning in the lane is of extreme importance. If you decide using longer-range weapons like a rifle, it would be wise to invest in Rapid Firecannon or even Runaan. If you want to go AP style and burn everything to the ground, Essence Reaver may be quite useful.
Aphelios will benefit from tanky support, such as Leona, Malphite, or Alistar. Alternatively, healers like Sona and Soraka are another good option.
Since this is a completely fresh champ, expect a lot of different tactics to develop in the following months. These are just some ideas to get you thinking creatively.