Aphelios is, on paper, one of League of Legends’ most complicated champions. He has five different weapons, each with their own abilities, cooldowns, and ammo. He even has his own special HUD to help you keep track of all the in-and-outs of his complex kit. But don’t be intimidated. As strange as Aphelios’ abilities are, they aren’t quite as hard to understand as you might think.
To help you get a handle on how League’s new emo marksmen works, we’ll do our best to explain each of his mechanics and how all of his different weapons work.
How Aphelios’ weapons work
Aphelios’ main mechanic are his weapons. He has five of them and carries two at a time — a main-hand and an off-hand. He can change between these two weapons at any time, and they cycle throughout the game. Each weapon has an ammo counter that starts at 50 each game. When you reach zero with a certain weapon Aphelios will swap it out for the next weapon in the cycle, and the empty weapon will go to the back of the line up.
The weapons are as follows:
- Calibrum: Calibrum’s basic attacks have extra range.
- Severum: Basic attacks heal Aphelios, overhealing grants a shield
- Gravitum: Basic attacks slow enemies
- Infernum: Basic attacks deal ability damage and do AOE damage behind the target
- Crescendum: Basic attacks act like a boomerang. Aphelios can’t attack again until the boomerang returns.
Aphelios only has two abilities, sort of
Aphelios only has a Q ability and an ultimate ability. But these abilities change based on the weapon he is using.
Aphelios’ Q ability changes based on what main-hand weapon he has equipped, and each Q has a slightly different effect depending on which weapon is in his off-hand. While each of the Qs is different, they’re all pretty similar, so learning them won’t be too punishing.
Here are all five of Aphelios’ Q abilities and a simple description of how they work:
- Calibrum — Moonshot: A skillshot that damages the first enemy hit an marks them. Aphelios can shoot marked enemies with his off-hand weapon from any range. Shooting them detonates the marks deal AOE damage.
- Severum — Onslaught: Aphelios gets extra movement speed and fires both weapons at the nearest target prioritizing champions.
- Gravitum — Eclipse: Damage and Root all enemies who have been marked by Gravitum’s slow.
- Infernum — Duskwave: Shoot a wave of fire. Aphelios shoots all enemies hit by the fire with his off-hand weapon.
- Crescendum — Sentry: Aphelios creates a turret that shoots nearby target with his off-hand weapon.
His ultimate ability, Moonlight Vigil, will also shoot a ball of energy at targets and explode on the first enemy hit and deal damage to all enemies nearby, but the ability also gains effects based on his equipped weapons. After using his ultimate, Aphelios will follow up with basic attacks to all enemies hit with the ultimate.
Here are Aphelios’ ultimates, with a simple description:
- Calibrum: Aphelios’ basic attacks after he uses Moonlight Vigil will mark enemies and detonating the marks will deal extra damage.
- Severum: Using Moonlight Vigil heals Aphelios.
- Gravitum: Aphelios’ follow up attacks slow enemies.
- Infernum: Aphelios’ follow up attacks deal AOE damage.
- Crescendum: Aphelios’ follow up attacks deal more damage no matter how many enemies are hit.
Aphelios levels up stats not abilities
Because he only has two abilities, Aphelios doesn’t level up normally. He automatically learns Q at level 2, and the ability slowly gains strength throughout the game. He automatically learns his ultimate at level 6 and it upgrades at level 11 and 16 just like every other champion. Instead of regular level-ups, Aphelios can level up three of his stats.
Aphelios stat level-ups:
- Attack Damage
- Attack Speed
- Bonus Armor Penetration
Aphelios has a special HUD
League of Legends’ normal HUD is designed to display all the helpful information that you need to play most champions. Aphelios is not most champions, so he gets his own special HUD. This HUD should display everything you need to know about the champions. It, like Aphelios, is complicated, but readable once you figure out what you’re looking at.
Here’s the HUD and how to read it:
- This is basically just a giant freaking tooltip, don’t worry about it.
- This is Aphelios’ current main-hand weapon and an ammo counter.
- Aphelios’ Q and its cool down.
- Aphelios’ off-hand weapon and its ammo.
- The next weapon Aphelios will get when one of his current weapon runs out of ammo.
- Aphelios’ ultimate ability, its cooldown, and how many upgrades it has.
There’s no denying the fact that Aphelios is complicated. In fact, he might be the most complicated champion Riot’s ever released — at the very least, he’s certainly the most complicated to explain. But with a little studying, and a few games under your belt when he finally comes out, Aphelios won’t be that confusing. Once you’ve seen him a few times, you’ll start to recognize his weapons, and you’ll figure out exactly what this Gerard Way-looking-ass marksman can do.