Aphelios is one of the most interesting champions in League of Legends, as he relies on weapons and ammo more than abilities. We’ve compiled the best runes, items, tips and tricks to make sure you can master this new marksman as soon as he hits live servers.
League of Legends’ newest champion brings a whole new weapon mechanic to the game. His five unique weapons allow Aphelios players to have an array of utility and damage at their fingertips – if they play him correctly.
Aphelios' low base stats and resistances makes him one of the most high-risk, high-reward champions in the game, and mastering him will take time. Don’t stress though – this guide will help you pick him up and solo carry your games.
What are Aphelios’ weapons and abilities?
Aphelios is a unique champion in League of Legends, designed with only a couple of abilities in mind, but lots of different weapons to cycle through. This gives him a very large kit in general, with plenty of different ways to play around it.
Because of this, he can't level up any abilities, instead choosing to level up his attack damage, attack speed, or armor penetration. The few abilities he does have, though, like his ultimate, will be automatically upgraded depending on your level.
Aphelios’ kit revolves around his five weapons: Calibrum, Severum, Gravitum, Infernum, and Crescendum. He can only ever have two weapons in rotation at one time. Each weapon holds 50 moonlight, which is his ammo resource for each weapon. Once he uses up all of his moonlight on a weapon, it will be switched out of rotation.
Calibrum is his long-range weapon, giving him an extra 100 attack range on his base 550 range. After he tags an enemy with Calibrum, he can auto attack them from global range, firing his off-hand weapon and dealing bonus damage. His Q with Calibrum fires a single target skillshot, marking an enemy if it hits, allowing him to follow up with an auto attack.
Severum gives Aphelios sustain, healing him based on damage dealt and giving him an overshield if he is full health. His Q with Severum gives him extra movement speed and rapidly fires his main and off-hand weapons at nearby enemies.
Gravitum slows down enemies on attack by 30%, decaying over 3.5 seconds. Hitting the enemy again refreshes the slow, rather than stacks it. His Q with Gravitum then roots all enemies with active marks and deals damage.
Infernum is his main wave clearing tool, with lots of area-of-effect damage. His Q then locks onto nearby enemies marked by his auto attacks, dealing damage and then firing a basic attack with his off-hand weapon at them.
Crescendum is the most unique weapon in Aphelios’ kit, working similarly to Gnar’s Boomerang Blade. His blade fires out at an enemy before returning to Aphelios, when he can attack again. This makes Crescendum incredibly effective in close-quarters combat, rapidly firing off at your enemies.
On top of this, he can have multiple Crescendum weapons active, capping at 20. This means that he can fire out multiple shots of Crescendum. His Q then deploys a sentry with his off-hand weapon, which lasts for up to 20 seconds.
He can easily swap out between his primary and off-hand weapons with his W, Phase, so you aren’t locked into one weapon until it’s dried up of ammo.
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His ultimate, Moonlight Vigil, casts a skillshot that stops once it hits a champion. It will then lock on to nearby champions, damaging them with enhanced auto attacks from his primary weapon.
With that all explained, breaking down what’s good on Aphelios is situational. Some weapons thrive in long range battles, like Calibrum, while others work well in congested fights, like Crescendum. Being able to manage combos between your primary and off-hand weapon will maximise your DPS in fights, and really turn the tides of battle.
Best runes for Aphelios
Aphelios performs well with the traditional marksman pages of Press The Attack, Fleet Footwork, and Lethal Tempo, but he shines with a Conqueror-Lifesteal rune setup.
Running Conqueror, Overheal, and Legend: Bloodline allows Aphelios to keep his Overheal shield up and increase his effective HP on top of his Severum shield. This allows him to survive trades, especially when he’s on a short-ranged weapon. Magical Footwear and Biscuits offer good utility for an AD carry, giving you more survivability in lane.
In the same vein though, you can run a more attack speed orientated loadout with Press The Attack. Using Triumph and Legend: Alacrity instead, you can trade out sustain for better dueling power, especially once you get your Press The Attack up.
For a more cheesy rune page, Hail of Blades could surprise some people in the bot lane. You can choose to run either Cheap Shot for extra damage, especially with the Gravitum weapon, or Taste of Blood for more sustain.
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Finishing off the rune page with either Overheal / Legend: Bloodline or Triumph / Legend: Alacrity will still give you the utility you need from the Precision tree. You can also substitute Hail of Blades for Electrocute.
Best items on Aphelios
Like his runes, Aphelios is strong when you build more traditional marksman items. Things like Essence Reaver and Infinity Edge are powerful buys regardless of the game state, but there are some items that you can use to really get the upper hand.
Bloodthirster is great on Aphelios because it adds more overshielding and increases his effective HP. This is crucial on Aphelios, because he has some of the lowest defences in the game.
Runaan’s Hurricane allows Aphelios to have multiple attacks up simultaneously, while only expending one moonlight per attack. This means that he can stack Crescendum using Runaan’s for maximum damage in teamfights.
Phantom Dancer can provide Aphelios with extra defensive utility. Given his low mobility and low resistances, Phantom Dancer can give Aphelios a break in the action for long enough to get his healing back online.
Because he can get passive armor penetration, Last Whisper items also scale really well on Aphelios. He can shred tanks with a Lord Dominik’s Revenge, or stop enemy sustain with a Mortal Reminder. On top of that, if you are in dire need of a health boost, Black Cleaver is super easy to stack up on Aphelios, and gives him a bit more survivability.
How to play Aphelios
Every game, Aphelios will start with his Calibrum and Severum weapons in the primary and off-hand positions respectively, so there’s no need to worry about relying on luck to get the right weapon loadout.
His Calibrum allows him to farm early waves safely, but also can be used to poke down enemies in lane. Getting early harass at level two can help push enemies out of lane, using Calibrum to lock onto enemies and do bonus damage. However, be careful at level one, because you won’t have access to any abilities to trade back or escape.
Managing ammo on Aphelios is crucial. His abilities cost him 10 moonlight, but you can override this cost by using an ability near the end of a weapon’s life. If you cast an ability with one moonlight left, it will only cost one moonlight instead of 10, so be sure to maximise your weapon uptime and DPS by keeping track of your ammo.
Being able to cycle to the correct weapons is also key. Weapons like Infernum give Aphelios a lot more presence in the laning phase thanks to the splash damage, so cycling through your weapons to get back to Infernum will allow you to maintain lane control.
However, because of his low base stats, Aphelios players have to be careful to not overextend or misposition in teamfights. One stray hook could ruin you and your team’s day, and you need to be protecting yourself by any means necessary to keep your damage high. Whether that’s by giving yourself a ranged advantage with Calibrum, sustain with Severum, or crowd control with Gravitum, you need to decide.
From there, sticking to Infernum to keep your damage high in teamfights will allow you and your team to dominate the enemies, as Aphelios hard scales into the late game to become one of the game’s biggest threats. Keeping a good weapon for utility in your off-hand for your ultimate to quickly swap to, while maximising damage in teamfights will allow you to solo carry any game.
Aphelios will be released onto League of Legends live servers with Patch 9.24 on December 10.