Riot recently revealed Aphelios, the next new champion joining League of Legends and perhaps their most unique creation to date.
Aphelios is unique in a number of different ways. He deviates from the standard ability format for most champions, with his skillset instead determined by the five different weapons in his arsenal. He’s so different, in fact, that he’ll have his own unique HUD.
It goes beyond even the in-game design, however. He represents a faction – the Lunari – that have previously been only vaguely touched upon in the lore for Diana, and as a mute, players won’t hear voice-lines from him, but instead from his twin sister Alune, who guides him from afar.
There’s a lot to take in with Aphelios, but here’s everything you need to know about League of Legends’ next new champion.
Who is Aphelios?
Aphelios is a mute assassin of the Lunari, a religious group persecuted by the opposing Solari. Prior to the introduction of Aphelios, Diana was the only representative of the Lunari in the game.
Aphelios can summon many magical weapons thanks to his connection with Alune, his twin who is locked away in a hidden temple.
Aphelios will be a marksman, but one quite unlike any other champion currently in that category – or any category, for that matter.
When will Aphelios be released?
Aphelios is currently in testing on the Public Beta Environment, meaning those with an account can try him out immediately. Players must have at least Honor Level 3 and no restrictions on their main account – such as suspensions or chat restrictions - to apply for a PBE account.
For those who can’t or don’t wish to try the champion out on the PBE, he’ll be hitting the live servers on December 10.
Aphelios is set to introduce an entirely new take on how abilities work in League of Legends. All previous champions have utilized four different abilities – three basic abilities, assigned to Q, W, and E, and an ultimate assigned to R.
Instead, Aphelios only has two different abilities – Q and R – but also has five different weapons with different effects. His Q also varies with each weapon, but his W is simply used to switch to the weapon in his off-hand, and he has no E ability at all.
The way Aphelios levels up is different too. Because he only has one basic ability and an ultimate, his skill points – which players can choose how to invest on most champions – are automatically assigned. Instead, Aphelios can improve his base stats with each level.
Ultimate: Moonlight Vigil
No matter which weapon Aphelios is wielding, his ultimate remains the same, sending out a moon bomb that explodes on the first enemy hit and damages nearby enemies. Enemies tagged by the bomb can then be hit with enhanced basic attacks, which vary by weapon.
Calibrum, the Rifle
Calibrum is a poke/harass weapon with extra range. Enemies hit with Calibrum are marked, and Aphelios can right-click on marked enemies anywhere on the map to follow up with a basic attack from his off-hand weapon. This detonates other nearby marks for bonus damage against marked targets.
Q: Moonshot - Fires a skillshot that damages the first unit hit and marks them
R effect: After Moonlight Vigil is used, follow-up attacks mark all enemies hit. These marks deal higher damage when consumed.
Severum, the Scythe Pistol
Severum is a sustain weapon that heals Aphelios for a portion of the damage it deals. If Aphelios already has full health, overhealing is converted into a small shield.
Q: Onslaught – Gain movement speed and rapidly fire your main-hand and off-hand weapons at the nearest enemy, prioritizing champions. Onslaught shots behave like basic attacks but deal reduced damage.
R effect: Moonlight Vigil grants Aphelios a flat heal.
Gravitum, the Cannon
Gravitum is a utility weapon that applies a decaying slow to enemies.
Q: Eclipse - Damage and root all enemies on the map affected by Gravitum's slow. Eclipse doesn't use Aphelios' off-hand weapon.
R effect: Moonlight Vigil follow-up attacks with Gravitum apply a massively increased slow.
Infernum, the Flamethrower
Infernum is an AoE/waveclear weapon which deals increased basic attack and ability damage, and creates a damage cone behind enemies hit.
Q: Duskwave - Spout a wave of flame, damaging enemies. Then basic attack all enemies hit with your off-hand weapon.
R effect: Moonlight Vigil follow-up attacks with Infernum create damage circles around enemies hit instead of damage cones behind them.
Crescendum, the Chakram
Crescendum is a close-range DPS weapon that acts as a boomerang – once Aphelios has attacked with it, he cannot attack again until it returns to him. Attack speed increases the speed at which Crescendum travels, and the closer Aphelios is to his target the faster he can attack due to the shorter travel distance.
When abilities or their follow-up attacks deal damage with Crescendum, they create temporary copies of it for each enemy hit that increase the strength of Crescendum's basic attack.
Q: Sentry - Deploy a turret that shoots the nearest target with your off-hand weapon.
R effect: If Moonlight Vigil hits fewer than three enemies, its follow-up attacks still increase the damage of Crescendum’s basic attacks as if at least three enemies were hit.
Weapon choice and ammo
Players do not have complete control over the order in which they use weapons, but they can influence it. Each weapon has a limited amount of ammo, and when that ammo is depleted the weapon is moved to the back of the queue to recharge.
Players have access to two weapons at any given time – their main-hand and off-hand – and can switch between these using W. When Aphelios’s main hand weapon is depleted, it is replaced by the next weapon in the queue, while his off-hand weapon remains the same.