Aphelios will not be escaping the ban hammer in LoL Patch 10.4 as the troublesome AD carry looks to be on the change list for the fifth patch in a row, with new nerfs focusing on his ultimate.
Aphelios has proven to be a handful to balance in League of Legends. The bot laner has a bunch of utility in his kit between his five weapons, with very few ways to punish him.
While Riot were originally aiming for him to have optimal weapon combinations and inherent drawbacks in certain situations, any flavor can work in any situation for Aphelios in his current state.
Previous nerfs to his Calibrum and Crescendum have had a slight impact on his pick and win rates, but not nearly enough to warrant players choosing any other champion.
Aphelios has a 49.51% win rate across all elos in solo queue on Patch 10.3, but his success drastically increases the higher you go, hitting 52.57% in Master+. He is also one of the most banned champions in the game at 42.1% at all elos.
This is on top of his dominance of pro play, maintaining an 81% presence across all leagues, including the highest amount of picks at 187.
Lead gameplay designer Mark ‘Scruffy’ Yetter said Riot were intending to nerf Aphelios once again in Patch 10.4 as the AD carry still reigns supreme.
“A few more changes should be coming for Aphelios in 10.4 to help increase the clarity playing against him, and overall bring him to a more balanced state,” said Scruffy.
“He seems to still be strong even after [Patch] 10.2 so we’re going to do another set of nerfs to put him in a better spot.”
As for those specific changes, he elaborated slightly on the forums. “We’re lowering the range on his R and amping up the color differentiation so that you can better tell when an R is coming and what it will do.
“We’re adding his offhand gun icon to his health bar. We’re looking into ways to make his turret visuals convey their actual high threat so that players react to them more quickly,” he added.
None of these changes are currently live on the PBE, however they should be coming in the next few days as the next patch approaches.
Patch 10.4 is expected to ship on February 19.