LoL Season 14 Aphelios Guide – The Weapon of The Faithful | RiftFeed

LoL Season 14 Aphelios Guide – The Weapon of The Faithful

Guides 23-01-2024 14:42

In this guide, I'll cover an Aphelios guide for Season 14, one of the most complex champions in League of Legends. He got released December 2019, and we still haven't made one for him. Well, for sure it's time we fix this issue now, covering all the most important aspects of the weapon of the Lunari below. So stay tuned and get ready to hit Diamond!

Aphelios Guide Header
Season 14 Aphelios Guide: Runes, Items and more. | © Riftfeed

To kick things off, my name is Sunmı, and I'm a Masters ADC and Support Main. While I haven't played a lot of ADC's lately, Aphelios is my most played champion in Season 11 and still my guilty pleasure. I mean, look at him! He is such an aesthetically pleasing and edgy boy! How can players not like him? I'm pretty sure, Aphelios is one of the champions I got the most experience with. That's why he is my most played champion, with about 380,000 Mastery Points and 250+ games in solo and flex queue. 

To this day, I meet people in my games who still don't know what Aphelios does, even if he's already a four-year-old champion. Some are even scared to touch him, because there is just too much going on with this guy. That's why I'll try to cover as much information as possible without boring you. I promise, you won't be disappointed, and you don't have to get a diploma to understand his kit. However, if you already know about basics, like his weapons, abilities, first weapon order and how the kit works, skip to "Most OP Weapon Rotation".

But, before you start dissecting the guide in its details, I recommend you to read it on a bigger device due to a lot of information. If possible, you should also consider to go in Practice Tool on a second monitor to try out and look up the things I'm talking about in case you're reading the guide on your PC.

Aphelios Guide: Uncommon Custom HUD

Aphelios HUD
The only champion with a different HUD. | © Riot Games

So, let's start things of with his HUD! Aphelios is the most unique champion in League of Legends. That's why it makes total sense Riot gave him his own HUD. Instead of four abilities, he only got three, but adapts by using the correct weapon for specific situations. Below, I'll explain each number of his HUD you can see above:

  1. Passive, with your current weapon order and tooltips
  2. main-hand weapon and its remaining ammo
  3. Q, ability of your main-hand weapon
  4. off-hand weapon
  5. upcoming weapon
  6. R

Aphelios is the only champion who doesn't get skill points for his abilities, but instead for attack damage growth (Q), attack speed growth (W) and bonus lethality (E). 

Some quick tips: 

  • If your ammo of your main-hand weapon is ten or less, an ammo tracker will appear on the right side of your screen so you can track your last remaining shots.
  • Aphelios automatically unlocks his weapon's ability (Q) at level 2 and his Ultimate at level 6.
  • If you press shift while hovering over your Passive, you can see further information about your bonus stats you gained through skilling your Q (0-27 attack damage), W (0-54 % attack speed) or E (0-33 lethality).
  • I recommend always to max Q first, then E and then W. Flat AD is always stronger than lethality, especially early on. After maxing Q, I almost always go for E max. Lethality doesn't scale with level anymore and therefore is the best second stat you can go with Aphelios. Usually you also already got enough attack speed with your runes and items at this point. If your enemies got a lot of tanks, and you get into longer fights, you can also max W next, unless you got Lethal Tempo, then you really don't need to skill W. But at the end of the day, it's up to you if you want to max E or W second. So just try it out and keep going with whatever feels right to you! 

Next, I'll explain to you the abilities of each gun, together with possible combinations with Aphelios' off-hand weapon.

Five Weapons, Five Abilities? 

As you already know, Aphelios only has three buttons: Q, W and R. His W swaps between his main-hand and off-hand weapon, so he's kind of got two abilities, but only on his Q. 

Each of his weapons has its own Q ability and unique bonus effects based on his off-hand weapon. They all cost ammo and mana and got their own cooldown. Aphelios also automatically learns his Q ability at level 2 which gets stronger depending on his current level. 

Moonlight Vigil, Aphelios' Ultimate, sends forward a big projectile 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 opponents caught in the explosion. Just like his Q, he also automatically skills his ultimate at level 6 and levels up at levels 11 and 16. Now, let's find out what effect each of his weapons got.

Calibrum, The Rifle

Calibrum Aphelios weapon
Aphelios' weapon: Calibrum, the rifle. | © Riot Games

Calibrum is the first weapon you get right from the start of the game. It's a weapon to poke and harass, giving Aphelios 100 bonus range, so he is the only champion with 650 range at level 1 just like Caitlyn. Abilities mark enemies hit. By right-clicking, he can follow up with a basic attack from his off-hand weapon. If there are multiple marks nearby, Aphelios gets bonus damage for each additional mark by hitting the marked target.

Calibrum's Q, Moonshot, fires a skillshot with high range, damages the first unit hit and marks them.

Calibrum R marks all enemies hit and deals higher damage than your regular Q mark when consumed.

Severum, The Scythe Pistol

Severum Aphelios weapon
Aphelios' weapon: Severum, the scythe pistol. | © Riot Games

Together with Calibrum, Severum is the first weapon you get in game. By dealing damage, Aphelios heals himself. Overhealing is converted into a small shield. So, this weapon is all about sustain.

With Onslaught, Severum's Q, you gain movement speed, rapidly firing your main-hand and off-hand weapons at the nearest unit, prioritizing champions. They behave like basic attacks, deal reduced damage, though.

With his R, he heals a flat amount. So, it doesn't really matter if you hit one or all five enemies with this ult. Healing starts by 250 (level 6) and increases by 100 every 5 levels up to 450 (level 16).

Gravitum, The Cannon

Gravitum Aphelios weapon
Aphelios' weapon: Gravitum, the cannon. | © Riot Games

Gravitum is the next weapon in line. Its strength is utility, applying slows with abilities and auto attacks. That's why it's also a great kiting tool to keep enemies off you and constantly slowing them with your AA's.

Eclipse, Gravitum's Q, roots all enemies effected by its slow. On top of that, it's the only weapon that doesn't make use of Aphelios' off-hand weapon by using Q. 

Aphelios' Gravitum ultimate applies an attack with a massively increased slow. It can be used as an engage tool to catch enemies off guard.

Infernum, The Flamethrower

Infernum Aphelios weapon
Aphelios' weapon: Infernum, the flamethrower. | © Riot Games

Infernum is Aphelios' strongest team fight weapon, no matter the combination with his off-hand. So keep in mind to save some ammo if a battle is right ahead of you, especially for herald, baron or drake fights. The flamethrower is also an AoE and wave clear weapon and deals increased basic attack and ability damage creating a damage cone behind enemies hit, similar to titanic hydra. 

Infernum's Q, Duskwave, creates a flame wave. Then Aphelios follows up with his off-hand weapon, doing a basic attack on all enemies hit.

R with the infernum effect is what makes Aphelios to an absolute team fight beast. His R follow up creates damage circles around each enemy hit instead of a damage cone behind it. So, if you hit three or more champions, you deal an insane amount of AoE damage, almost automatically winning team fights later on in the game. 

Crescendum, The Chakram

Crescendum Aphelios weapon
Aphelios' weapon: Crescendum, the chakram. | © Riot Games

Crescendum is a really unique, and my favorite, weapon of Aphelios. It behaves like a boomerang, making Aphelios not able to attack until Crescendum returns, making it a double-edged sword. By getting closer to your target, you get more DPS. However, the further away you stand from your opponent, the longer it takes for the weapon to return. This means that it's almost never worth using Crescendum at range. When you hit your enemy with abilities or your follow-up attacks, Crescendum creates a copy of itself for each enemy hit that increases the strength of Crescendum's basic attack. With the right weapons, you can get a ton of mirror chakrams at once, dealing an insane amount of damage with only one auto attack. 

Aphelios' Crescendum Q, Sentry, sets up a turret that shoots the nearest target with your off-hand weapon. Keep in mind that his turret got two seperate timers: one by placing the turret and the other one getting activated when a unit steps into turret range. When the turret hasn't been activated yet, the timer runs out way slower. With a bit of patience, you can place several turrets at once, in case no unit steps into it, giving you a lot of zoning potential in dragon or baron pit for example.

The Crescendum effect of his R creates five mirror chakrams by hitting an enemy. With every additional opponent hit, it creates one more chakram. For example: If you damage two enemies, you get 6 mirror chakrams (5 by hitting your ult plus 1 for the second champion hit).

To get a taste of the power of his weapons, below you find a short clip of my Aphelios. And no, I didn't die at the end. I got a Janna shield last second, I promise!

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Next, I'll talk about weapon rotations and how his kit works. Are you still alive? Good! Because now we're getting down to business.

First Weapon Order & How The Kit Works

To begin with, I'll cover some basics. Aphelios got access to five weapons made by his sister Alune in the spirit realm. Don't ask questions, you're not here for some lore. He always starts with following weapon order:

  1. Calibrum, the Sniper Rifle (green) 
  2. Severum, the Scythe Pistol (red)
  3. Gravitum, the Gravity Cannon (purple)
  4. Infernum, the Flamethrower (blue)
  5. Crescendum, the Chakram (white)

Below, I will refer to the weapons as colors for easier understanding. I mean, I'm pretty sure everyone struggles with those weapon names except nerds like me who got 250+ games with him. 

Aphelios weapon rotation 1
Aphelios' weapon order at the start of the game. | © Riot Games

Aphelios got two weapons at a time, one main-hand and one off-hand weapon, starting with the green gun as the main-hand and the red gun as the off-hand weapon. By using his W he can swap between main-hand and off-hand weapon.

Aphelios weapon rotation 2
A weapon with no ammo moves to the end of the rotation and gets replaced with the next weapon in line. | © Riot Games

Each weapon has a unique ability and 50 ammo. By using auto attacks, you lose one ammo per shot. An ability costs ten ammo. When a weapon runs empty, you get the next one in line. In this case, we get rid of the green weapon and instead gain the purple gun with fresh 50 ammo.

Aphelios weapon rotation 3
Depending on which weapon goes empty first, you can change the rotation | © Riot Games

By swapping between main-hand and off-hand weapon, Aphelios can also change the weapon order throughout the game depending on which weapon has no ammo first. In the image above, the red weapon empties out first and moves to the end of the rotation instead of the green gun like before. 

All understood? Great! Now take a deep breath, sip some water and continue reading as soon as you're ready. Now, I'll show you the weapon rotation and weapon combos I got the most success with.

Most OP Weapon Rotation

Rotating your weapons correctly is the bread and butter. But, before I start explaining to you, what's probably the best weapon rotation, you have to keep in mind that this is one of many possible play styles. 

Correct Rotation

Aphelios starts off with red and green gun. Below I'll show you which weapon you should expend first for an optimal cycle of his arsenal.

  1. red and green → get rid of red (upcoming weapon: purple)
  2. green and purple → get rid of green (upcoming weapon: blue)
  3. purple and blue → get rid of purple (upcoming weapon: white)
  4. blue and white → get rid of blue (upcoming weapon: red)
  5. white and red → get rid of red (upcoming weapon: green)

At the end we changed from...

  1. green
  2. red
  3. purple
  4. blue
  5. white

  1. white
  2. green
  3. purple
  4. blue
  5. red

From now on we stay in the resulting weapon order. All you have to do is, to always drop the older weapon in your inventory first.

How To Fix The Cycle

If you made a mistake and messed up your weapon order, don't worry. It's really easy to fix! Let's pretend we're on red white and get rid of white first, leaving us with red green. Now you just continue using your weapons in the order you should've used until you end up with the weapon you messed up with, in this case red and white. Then, you consume your newer weapon first, instead of the older weapon. Here, it's white red, red being the newer weapon. We get rid of red and end up with white green once again. The cycle is fixed!

Too much theory? Here's a video, explaining weapon rotations and how to fix your weapon order:

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Best Weapon Combinations And Why

Now you may ask, why should this be the best rotation for Aphelios? And why can I not just throw random stuff at my enemies? I mean, you can, but you're here to learn, so don't give up and keep reading! There are certain weapon combinations that are straight up OP. With this cycle, you get the most potential out of Aphelios' weapons.

I'll start off with white green:

White green is the best combo of Aphelios. By placing your turret with white Q, enemies hit get marked with the green gun, turning Aphelios into an absolute DPS machine, especially when the enemy keeps standing in turret range, granting you several mark procs and auto attack resets at once. Late game, you can two shot squishy enemies with his turret and repeatedly triggered green marks. 

Next in line, we have green purple:

By combining green with purple, green gun gets a useful secondary effect when you hit an opponent instead of just poking your enemy. With purple, green Q slows when you trigger the mark and most importantly it gives you the opportunity to root your enemy from a huge distance which can give your team the option to engage on your hit target.

Let's continue with purple blue:

Purple blue is a great combo for CC and AoE, creating a great weapon combo for teamfights. Depending on what your team needs at the moment, you can either go for straight up damage with blue Ult or root multiple enemies with purple Ult. Your classic combo with this weapon combination looks like this, with blue gun as your main-hand and purple as your off-hand weapon:

  1. Auto attack and instantly use blue Q.
  2. Swap your weapons with W and auto attack.
  3. Use purple Q.

Below, you'll find another clip of me playing Aphelios, demonstrating the potential of this weapon combo:

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The next combination is blue red:

White green and blue red are your core weapon combos. With your blue gun, you got great AoE damage and a strong team fight weapon meanwhile your red gun is perfect for sustain and single targets, giving you the best of two worlds. By hitting multiple targets with your blue Q, you can also rapidly heal a huge amount of HP, because of your off-hand weapon effect. Red Q with blue gun as your off-hand weapon works perfect, too, hitting your targets with a ton of auto attacks in a short duration and creating a lot of damaging waves behind your unit.

Last but not least we got red white:

This combination makes Aphelios to one of the best ADC's in a 1v1. By using red Q, you gain 3 to 6 mirror chakrams and heal for a certain amount based on damage you dealt. Together with your white Ultimate, you get at least 8 mirror chakrams, making Aphelios a huge threat at close range. 

A lot of people, to this day, dont expect him to have that much DPS, so abuse it! Depending on the situation, you can also go for red Ult instead of white Ult, to get a flat heal and for example survive burst combos. However, I don't recommend using white Q with red gun as your off-hand weapon as you don't get any mirror chakrams by dealing damage with your turret. The best combo with these weapons looks like followed:

  1. Start with white ult, getting you at least 5 mirror chakrams.
  2. Swap your weapons with W, auto attack and then use red Q for additional mirror chakrams.
  3. Swap back again with your W and attack your opponent with your 8+ mirror chakrams.
  4. Tip: Try to hit your enemy with your R off guard by hiding in a bush and wait for him to get closer to you, increasing your DPS with your white gun the closer he gets. You can also swap step 1 and step 2, however, if you do so, keep in mind that your enemy will probably expect you to fight him way faster, making it harder to hit your ult.

Unexpected Way To Finish Of Your Enemies – The Octopus Combo

What if I tell you that there is an OP Aphelios Combo lots of players still don't expect from you. Don't believe me? Well, check it out! The essential tool for this combo is Calibrum, the green weapon. By Q-ing with green Q and immediately ulting afterward, you can proc two marks of your green gun at once. 

If you get the purple gun as your second weapon, you can also hit your enemy with your purple gun first, then root them, swap to your green gun, use Q and then ult meanwhile your target is rooted and can't move. Combined with Press the Attack, you did three auto attacks and got an insane amount of single target damage that your enemies won't expect from you. 

Here is how it looks like:

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What To Build On Aphelios

As your first item, you want to build Stormrazor or Kraken Slayer. For the price of 3000 Gold both of them are great choices and offer you a great early power spike. Normally, you always want to go Stormrazor first, as it gives Aphelios a little bit of everything he needs, especially movement speed due to his vulnerability for hard engage champs. It also helps a lot to add the last drop of damage to kill your enemy in a lot of situations. 

If the opponents got two or more full tanks, you should go for Kraken Slayer instead. Otherwise you just don't have enough damage for longer teamfights. Kraken also procs really easy with certain weapon abilities, especially with red Q.

For Boots you should always go for Berserker's Greaves. Otherwise, you won't have enough attack speed to properly use your weapon abilities for its potentials as they interact faster with attack speed, too.

Next, you should go for Infinity Edge. IE grants you bonus Critical Strike Damage. It must hurt like hell but, with this blade in your pocket, your auto attacks, Q ability and Ult will all get stronger. Since Galeforce got removed sadly, this is your best second item choice. I will really miss Galeforce, though. So much playmaking potential with his ult, but for now it's not relevant anymore.

Now you have two item choices once again. You can either go for Bloodthirster giving you tons of free bonus AD due to its Passive or you can build Lord Dominik's Regards in case you got tanky opponents and you feel like you don't do enough damage only with Kraken.

Your last items should just fit the situation. You can either go for LDR or BT, depending on which one you haven't bought yet or Guardian Angel, Shieldbow or Maw of Malmortius.

Best Rune Choice For You

Spirit Blossom Aphelios
LoL: Spirit Blossom Aphelios. | © Riot Games

Let's talk about Aphelios' runes first. He is the most versatile champion for the Precision rune page. But even if he can make use out of Lethal Tempo, Fleet Footwork as well as Conqueror, I recommend you to go for Press the Attack as keystone. 

Press the Attack allows you to increase your damage output and can easily be proced by his Q abilities, as he can auto attack cancel with one of his abilities immediately giving him two stacks. It's also quiet easy to trigger with red Q, making trades in the early game way more relaxed. Last but not least, PtA synergizes well with the Octopus combo, giving you an additional burst against your opponent.

Another good choice is Lethal Tempo. When the enemy team got a lot of tanks and u predict that you will end up in longer fights, Lethal Tempo is the go-to rune for you.

Fleet Footwork works wonders, too sometimes. In case you play against a lot of poke like Ezreal, Xerath, Karma or Lux, Fleet Footwork will help you out getting through your laning phase.

You can also go for Conqueror, but I personally don't like it that much, as the other runes just feel better on Aphelios in my opinion. However, just like Lethal Tempo, it's great in longer fights and can give you a lot of damage, but also sustain.

Afterward, the choice is easier to make. First, you go for Overheal. With the red weapon's Passive, you can stack up a thick shield.

Legend: Bloodline is also essential. Until the third or fourth item you won't have any lifesteal without your red gun. Bloodline compensates this issue.

Lastly, you go for Cut Down. Your enemy only has to have 10% more max health than Aphelios to proc it. So, it's really easy to trigger and to get bonus damage upon tankier targets. And please never ever go for Coup de Grace. This rune is completely scam for adc's. Next time, you use it, check out your damage output and compare it to Cut Down.

Secondary, you go Sorcery with Gathering Storm and Absolute Focus. Gathering Storm is the best runes for longer games. And since you're playing one of the best late game adc's you obviously take it with you. 

Absolute Focus is a great choice, too. As long as you got more than 70 percent of your HP, you get bonus AD. You often start things of with your ultimate ability before plunging into a battle, making it the perfect rune for Aphelios.

The Go-To Summoner Spells

Nightbringer Aphelios
LoL: Nightbringer Aphelios. | © Riot Games

Next, we'll talk about his Summoner Spells. Your first one is always Flash.

You got 4 Summs to choose from for your second one. Heal, Exhaust, Ghost or Cleanse. And that's how to choose between them:

  • Heal: Good for lane in general. Take it if you feel like you need it for you and your supp to survive in lane. Can help you to survive global or high-range ults as they're not uncommon in the bottom lane. Examples are Ezreal R, Jinx R, Caitlyn R or Jhin R. Make sure to check your support's Summs before taking Heal. Some champs like Milio or Soraka synergize with Heal better.
  • Exhaust: Great choice against aggressive ADC's or junglers like Tristana, Samira, Draven or Vi and Nocturne. But if you predict your lane opponent to go Cleanse, go Heal or Ghost instead, as Exhaust can just be removed with Cleanse.
  • Cleanse: Very niche, but a must-have against hard CC champs like Ashe or Leona. It may take some practice, but eventually you will be able to time it right. 
  • Ghost: The best choice. You can catch up or run away from enemies. It also makes team fights way easier, as you can go in and out faster and take bigger steps for kiting. Just like Cleanse, you first have to learn how and when you have to use Ghost, but if you get the hang out of it, it's the best second Summoner Spell you can go with Aphelios in my opinion.

Champs Aphelios Got A Hard Time Against

League of Legends Aphelios
LoL: Aphelios and his sister Alune. | © Riot Games

Like every other immobile and squishy champion, Aphelios gets hard countered by every form of hard engage, including assassins, aggressive ADC's, hard engaging tanks and fighters or bruisers who try to run you over. 

In lane, you'll have a rough time versus lane bullies like Draven, Kalista, Samira or Tristana. He also struggles a lot against supports like Blitzcrank, Thresh, Pyke, Nautilus or Alistar. So, if your opponents picked champions that fall into the "I bully you so hard in lane that you'll start crying" category, you have to keep in mind to play extremely safe during the laning phase. Trust me. One wrong step and you're dead. At least in higher elo.

Aphelios' Synergies For The Lane

Sakura Karma
Karma is a great choice for Aphelios! | © Riot Games

Aphelios synergizes great with supports who can protect you in any kind of way. Janna, Soraka or Milio are for example all great enchanters that can help him out a lot during laning phase and in team fights with heals, shields and defensive tools. 

Other great choices are Renata Glasc, Braum, Thresh, Alistar and Karma. Karma seems a little bit off in this constellation, however, she is an insane lane bully, compensating the biggest problem Aphelios got, his early game. With Karma, he can make it through laning phase safe and sound and let him carry the game in the later stages of the game. 

Renata Glasc, Braum, Thresh and Alistar are great choices for him, too, as they can be played aggressive as well as defensive, giving Aphelios the chance to adapt with his current weapons. 

Different Stages Of The Game – When Is Aphelios Strong?

Heartsteel Aphelios
LoL: Heartsteel Aphelios. | © Riot Games

Early Game And Laning Phase (10-15 min)

Aphelios is definitely one of the weaker ADC's in the early game. Since he starts his lane with no ability, it can be rough to fight specific opponents. If possible, ask your jungler to start his red or blue buff top side, so you can go in lane faster and get an advantage early on.

You should also always try to get level 2 first. Aphelios' level 2 is the only small powerspike he will get early on, as he gets 2 abilities at once by swapping your weapons with W and using Q twice. Press the Attack can easily be triggered with red Q, too, giving you a good trait and a small early lead.

It's really hard to tell when you can trade your opponent and when not. In general, I recommend you to not overforce. Trust me, you will get excited time to time by getting new weapons and wanting to hit your enemy with every single ability you got. You have to keep in mind that you're an extremely easy target for hard engage supps, so try to keep a cool head and really think about every little action and ability you're about to do. 

Your main goal in this phase of the game is, to farm up and get your first items without taking unnecessary deaths, fights or trades.

Mid And Late Game (15-30+ min)

With the first items, Aphelios' strength really starts to show of. Together with Stormrazor/Kraken Slayer he starts to become the power house he is supposed to, giving you a lot of oneshot potential with certain Q and R combos. Maybe you also remember that his abilities scale with level and he grant him bonus stats instead of skill points by leveling up. Later on you got lots of free bonus stats, always outdamaging your lane opponent if you go even or get ahead, which makes Aphelios to one of the best scaling adcs in the game.

Take a deep breath, cause now, you made it to the end of the longest guide you probably ever read for League of Legends! *Phew* I'm sorry! But to be fair, Aphelios is the most complex champion, so what did u expect? To motivate you for playing Aphelios in Season 14 and even beyond, check out those crazy plays from "daynean", one of the best Aphelios players out there:

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Otherwise, I hope I helped you out, trying to understand Aphelios a little bit more. Now, have some fun and practice, practice, practice! And please, learn this champ in some Normal Games, nobody wants to see a first time Aphelios in Solo Queue.

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Eric Leneschmidt

Eric is a Bachelor graduate who is educating as a gaming journalist at EarlyGame & Riftfeed. Considering that he studied media and communication at the University in Passau and always liked to play video games since he was little, participating...