Fresh details on League of Legend’s newest Champion, Aphelios, the Weapon of the Faithful are now available. Across an official trailer, and several blog posts, there’s tons of details about this new Marksman and his complex kit!
On a seperate blog post, Riot Cashmir has gone to great lengths to discuss the design decisions behind Aphelios and how he came to exist.
Sometimes when we release a new champion, we’re greeted with a chorus of, “What the heck Rito, you’ve gone too far! TOO FAR!!”
probablydefinitely going to get that reaction. And that’s fine. In fact, it’s great. Aphelios is here to test what you’re willing to sacrifice. Are you willing to relinquish control over which weapons you wield? Are you willing to learn around 30 different abilities? Are you willing to blindly trust that the voice only you can hear knows exactly what you need?
If you believe it’s your fate to find victory in the whispers of the moon, then it’s time to lock in Aphelios (and Alune). And the results of your faith can be a thing of beauty.
My particular favorite sections of this post, are where Cashmir discusses the fashion and feel of Aphelios’ design, and how they took inspiration from the Met Gala.
“I’d been looking at the outfits from the Met Gala that year, and they had combined religious iconography with high fashion,” says Kindlejack. “I thought it was something worth exploring, so I started drawing it.”
The high-fashion-monk-meets-almost-selflessly-romantic-assassin design struck a chord with the team. A champion who believes so strongly in his cause, with unshakable devotion… It was admirable, but scary. It was perfect. But where did he belong in Runeterra?
The level of attention to detail the team have gone into when designing him is staggering, and when you also considering his weaponry, it needs to be applauded (can we please get figure F as a new Champion in the future?)
Over on the official website, RiotAether provides a kit primer, with a fairly lengthy overview of how he works, and what his playstyle will be. At its heart, Aphelios is a multi-weapon wielding Champion, with a limited physical kit, made up for by the fact his arsenal has a diverse amount of use.
Most champions can be summarized relatively quickly, but Aphelios isn’t most champions. Learning to wield the Weapon of the Faithful demands discipline, focus, and mental acuity, so consider this primer your first test of faith along the path to mastering a champion with one of the highest skill ceilings in the game. (But really, this page has a ton of info to process. Read it a couple times, probably.)
We’re going to start with the overall structure of Aphelios’ kit, then get into what each of his weapons does.
How His Kit Works
Guns, basic attacks & ammo
Aphelios cycles through five weapons, each with its own basic attack. He attacks with his main-hand weapon, but always carries an off-hand weapon he can swap to with W.
Aphelios can’t pick and choose which two weapons he equips at any given time. His weapons have 50 ammo (“Moonlight”) each, and when a weapon runs empty you get the next one in line. Empty weapons go to the end of the line to recharge.
Since Aphelios can swap between his main-hand and off-hand, weapon order changes throughout the game based on which weapons you use first.
Aphelios only has three buttons: Q, W, and R. W swaps between his main- and off-hand weapons, leaving him with two actual abilities. Kind of.
Each of Aphelios’ five weapons has its own Q ability when equipped as his main-hand weapon. Each Q applies bonus attacks and effects based on his off-hand weapon. All five Qs cost mana and ammo, and each has its own cooldown (you can Q, switch guns, then immediately use the other Q). Aphelios automatically learns Q at level 2 and it slowly becomes stronger over the course of the game. We’ll get to what each Q does in the weapon sections below.
Aphelios’ ultimate, Moonlight Vigil, sends forward a moon bomb that explodes on the first enemy hit, damaging nearby enemies. Then, Aphelios follows up with enhanced basic attacks from his main-hand weapon against all enemies caught in the explosion. He automatically learns R at level 6, and it automatically levels up at levels 11 and 16.
Since Aphelios automatically learns his Q and R, he puts his 18 level-up points into stats rather than abilities:
- Attack Damage
- Attack Speed
- Bonus Armor Penetration
Calibrum is a poke/harass weapon. Its basic attacks have extra range.
When abilities deal damage with Calibrum, they mark enemies hit. Aphelios can right-click marked enemies anywhere on the map to follow up with a basic attack from his off-hand weapon (or his non-Calibrum weapon, in cases where he swaps Calibrum to his off-hand before firing). This attack detonates other nearby marks for bonus damage against the marked targets.
Calibrum Q: Moonshot
Fire a skillshot that damages the first unit hit and marks them.
Moonlight Vigil Calibrum effect
Moonlight Vigil’s follow-up attacks mark all enemies hit. These marks deal higher damage when consumed.
Severum is a sustain weapon that heals Aphelios for a portion of the damage it deals. Overhealing from Severum is converted into a small shield.
Severum 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.
Moonlight Vigil Severum effect
Moonlight Vigil grants Aphelios a flat heal.
Gravitum is a utility weapon that applies a decaying slow to enemies.
Gravitum Q: Eclipse
Damage and root all enemies on the map affected by Gravitum’s slow. Eclipse doesn’t use Aphelios’ off-hand weapon.
Moonlight Vigil Gravitum effect
Moonlight Vigil’s follow-up attacks apply a massively increased slow.
Infernum is an AoE/waveclear weapon. It deals increased basic attack and ability damage and creates a damage cone behind enemies hit.
Infernum Q: Duskwave
Spout a wave of flame, damaging enemies. Then basic attack all enemies hit with your off-hand weapon.
Moonlight Vigil Infernum effect
Moonlight Vigil’s follow-up attacks create damage circles around enemies hit instead of damage cones behind them.
Crescendum is a close-range DPS weapon that behaves like a boomerang. Once Aphelios basic attacks with Crescendum he can’t attack again until it returns to him, but his attack resets when it does. Attack speed increases Crescendum’s travel speed instead. The closer Aphelios is to his target, the less distance Crescendum has to travel—and the faster Aphelios can attack.
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.
Crescendum Q: Sentry
Deploy a turret that shoots the nearest target with your off-hand weapon.
Moonlight Vigil Crescendum 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.
All the stuff above is a lot to take in, and a lot to track. Aphelios has a unique HUD to ease this burden.
- Passive, explaining Aphelios’ weapons and level ups. The tooltip is as long as this article.
- Aphelios’ main-hand weapon and its remaining ammo.
- Aphelios’ off-hand weapon and its remaining ammo. If its Q is on cooldown, the icon will also indicate remaining cooldown.
- The next weapon you’ll get once one of your weapons runs out of ammo.
Additionally, if your main-hand gun has 10 or less ammo remaining, an ammo tracker will appear on the right side of your screen so you can track your remaining shots.
Mastering Aphelios’ moonstone arsenal may prove to be one of the most daunting challenges in all of League. Are you devoted enough for the task? Ready yourself, the Weapon of the Faithful arrives during patch 9.24.