A (Somewhat) Comprehensive Aphelios Guide
(that you didn't need)
January 11th, 2023 ⸱ 9 min read
Quick Aphelios AD ADC Build
If I'm being honest, I'm the last person who should be writing this guide. I've only been playing league for a little over a year now, I don't play ranked, and I'm pretty trash at the game overall. I tend to play a lot of jungle champs, a few mid champs, and 1 ADC champ, and that champ is Aphelios. But there's only one other (and much better) Aphelios guide on this platform, so I decided maybe I should write this so you have a better idea of Aphelios and his mechanics.
Explanation of His Kit
There's a misconception that Aphelios has a complicated kit. As an Aphelios main, I can say that's not really true-his kit is overloaded, but not complicated. Aphelios has 5 weapons in his kit: the calibrum (sniper rifle), the severum (scythe or pistol?), gravitum (gravity cannon), infernum, (flamethrower gun) and then crendscendum (chakram/frisbee on drugs). Each gun comes with its own ability, its own range, its own type/amount of damage dealt, and its own effect.
Your Q (
) for this gun will fire a slim gunshot at the closest enemy champ or minion (sometimes I use it thinking I'll get a kill, but then it hits the minion in front of me, so be careful.) If you are close enough to attack again, it will mark the enemy and will automatically attack them again if you switch to your offhand weapon. Weapon Abilites
here will fire at the closest target, prioritising enemy champs, and it will alternate between your onhand and offhand weapons. Weapon Abilites
Using Q with Gravitum will root targets for 1 second, and it will also empower other projectiles flying towards that target so that they are immediately affected upon being hit.
for the Infernum will unleash a cone-shaped wave of energy that hits most enemies in front of you. All enemies that were hit from that attack will also be hit with an attack from your offhand weapon. Weapon Abilites
Using Q with the Crescendum will deploy a sentry using your offhand weapon. It will attack all enemies that enter the vicinity.
A Few More Things...
Depending on what weapon you are holding, your ult has different effects.
Aphelios has no W or E attack. His W changes what weapon he is holding, and his E shows you the next weapon he can use. Personally, I use whichever I need at the time, but it does help if you create some sort order. Just so you know and can create your own order based on your preferences, the starting gun order is calibrum/severum (offhand), severum/ gravitum, gravitum/infernum, and infernum/crescendum. Remember, his gun changes the result of the fight, so you need to be thoughtful about which one you use.
When I began playing Aphelios, I used with , , with , and my secondary was with . also works pretty well, but it depends too much on who you go against, so now I would most likely recomend . However, the other runes do work almost as effectively. But, if you prefer to have better scaling early game, you can always swap with .
"Which One Do I Use?"
Now, works pretty well for beginner Aphelios players, since you are automatically healed for every energized attack you deal, but, for more experienced players, works better, since it gives you a boost of speed and longer attack range each time you stack. If you're a menace like me, you should probably go with , since it makes it easier to kill your enemies early game, and increases the amount of damage you deal in late game. (easy oneshots and multikills)
In Depth Analysis of Keystones (skip if you rlly dgaf)
is the safest keystone option as an Aphelios players, especially for beginners. Because of the heal plus the speed boost, it's the ideal choice if you're laning as an Aphelios. It makes it easy to maintain health and priotize gold and CS in the early laning phase so that by late game, you're a beast, and it's nice to have when chasing enemies down.
is also a good choice for Aphelios because it relies on basic attacks rather than abilites, so you can regulate your mana usuage, and it utilizes Aphelios' versatility. It also increases attack speed and range, which is especially helpful if you have the Calibrum (green gun) since it increases your already boosted range, making it harder for your enemies to recuperate and easier for you to nail down kills.
Press the Attack
is the more agressive choice of three. It makes your opponents more susceptible to your attacks and makes it easier to kill them early game. During late game, PTA makes it easier to get multikills and oneshots, especially if you have for the AoE.
Domination or Sorcery?
In the time that I've been maining Aphelios, as a secondary has gotten more popular, and for good reason. It makes it easier to scale earlier in game, and now that games are longer, it's very useful. In addition, it provides sustain and helps with those who struggle with mana regulation. Plus, it you take , though it doesn't add much early game, it provides a pretty decent amount of additional damage later in game. Put simply, it just adds more value in late game and it proves to be very useful. Personally, I'd stick with and , but it does work pretty well, so I'd give it a try.
In Depth Analysis of Secondary Runes
I typically suggest going as your secondary with and . However, this build comes with a few major problems: was nerfed twice a few years back, and this isn't Season 11 anymore. Basically what I mean by that is that lifesteal and omnivamp don't do as much as they used to, so there really is no point in going , , or as it's not gonna do much good for you after the laning phase. But old habits die hard, so I still go knowing this.
is definitely gonna help you a lot more in the long term. If you run and or and , you get boosted attack damage and increased move speed, so though isn't going to be doing much at game start, by the 20 minute mark it'll absolutely be doing more for you than would.
I've also heard of people using or . Both pages are very matchup specific, but let me give you a quick rundown on both:
If you take and or , healing becomes a lot more efficient, especially if you take with those runes because the HP shield and its effectiveness is increased. However, it's only a good idea to run this build when the enemy team has several assasins, typically ADC and jungle because otherwise, this build just isn't that good.
As for , you should only really go inspiration if you know you'll have a better wave clear as opposed to your enemies. Other than that, you should really stick with or .
Summoner Spells (Loadout)
I like using and because I'm not that good (as I stated before) and because Aphelios, while being able to deal a lot of damage, is very squishy. But, I would suggest using , , or as well.
For the Bold and Daring
Aphelios' skill path is relatively simple. His abilities are upgraded every time he levels up, so all you have to do is choose between AD or Lethality. His R is automatically given to you when you reach level 6, so just level your E.
Typically, I build , , , , and then . I tend to build somewhere in between that because I like to focus more on my AD and crit strike rather than move speed. I recommend building it before your mythic.
Recommended Final Build (works well in most cases)
More Situational Items
Those items don't do it for you? Need more crit strike? Tanks got you pissed off? I got you. Mages and supports are getting on your last nerve? Don't worry about it. Below are some items for every situation you might find yourself in.
The Menace Build I kind of made on a whim one game when I was faced with a tanky team with no jg and a fed Xayah, but it works really well...if you're desperate. I don't really recommend using it, but it's useful to have in some cases when you're going up against a team that's hard to fight aganist and you need items. It works best when you have with .
- True Menace Build
Gale or Kraken?
If you had asked anyone this question before 12.10, most people, including myself, would have recommended going Gale on Aphelios--the dash paired with the combos were just too good to pass up--but ever since the durability patch, most champs are a lot more durable and tankier than they were before, so I've started using instead. Kraken is better for dealing with tanks, plus the mythic ability on Kraken is easier to utilize in team fights. In addition, when paired with you not only get additional damage from , but you get armour penetration on top of that. And, when you add the or , it's perfect for dominating late game against tanks--you penetrate their armour and then apply a crazy amount of crit and damage on top of that.
Matchups: Threats and Synergies (periodically updating, please be patient :) )
One Last Thing...
Here are some gun combos before you go: blue/purple, green/red, white/blue, red/white, red/purple. I got a lot of information from pro League players and from other guides on the platflorm to playing Aphelios ADC, so check those out as well. I'll link the other guides here:
Hidden Aphelio's Guide (they go way more in depth about items, runes, and matchups than I do, so I would definitely read it if I were you)
f0cusL0LXD's Guide (they really hit the nail on the head, and their guide really analyzes each aspect of playing Aphelios)