Aphelios is quickly becoming one of my favorite champions in the game.
I previously wrote and broke down Aphelios and his versatile weapons. At that point, we did not know he was getting a slew of useful support cards on top of his release. Now, we have a lot more options to build with when making an Aphelios deck.
If you have played Legends of Runeterra over the past few days, I am certain you have seen this gun-slinging moon-boy wreaking havoc on his opponents. In my handful of ranked games, I have already seen multiple champion pairings utilizing the versatile nature of Aphelios, and I have crafted some of my own.
In this article, I will give you four decks to start your Aphelios deck building with. These are just some examples I have seen going around and have also brewed my own versions of. Each list will be built to utilize different weapons in different situations, and that is the most fun part about brewing with Aphelios. My hope is that you use these lists as a jump start to your own deck building with Aphelios, because there really are endless options. So let us dive into some lists!
Personally, this is my favorite Aphelios deck I have played so far.
In this deck, we make the most of Crescendum to summon 2 drops. Obviously, getting out The Sky Shadows is super strong, since you will get 2 spell mana back, but we really also like to hit Ballistic Bot with this. Getting 2 Ballistic Bots out is a really good deal.
After this, we slowly build those bots up with their Augment keyword using their Ignitions, Viktor’s Hex Core Upgrades, and the Moon Weapons themselves. All of these created cards synergize extremely well with your Champions, and now that Viktor has received a massive buff, he feels more powerful than ever. On top of that, Ignition and Hex Core Upgrades are great to enable Nightfall effect, since they are cheap spells.
Your mid-game consists of solid Targon units that can either push damage or stabilize – in particular, The Fangs and The Cloven Way do both of these things very well. Your win condition is actually really fun. You will be whittling down their Nexus slowly, and sometimes Viktor can just carry the game and become an unstoppable force.
But a more often case is you use either Cygnus the Moonstalker or an Infernum to give your massive Ballistic Bots Elusive or Overwhelm to push the final damage through. This is a similar strategy to the Atrocity play on Ballistic Bots that was going around for a little while.
You will hear me say this often, but Aphelios is so versatile – and so is this deck. You have a lot of different ways to play in the middle of the game that can set you up for potential finishing moves. The dream of the deck is leveling both of your champions and then having the Moon Weapons cost 0 mana, but that doesn’t happen often.
What does happen often is Viktor leveling, and since Moon Weapons are created cards, he does reduce their cost which is quite powerful. Overall, this is a really powerful deck with a lot of ways to finish the game that focuses on utilizing Crescendum and Infernum.
A more straightforward direction to take Aphelios is directly into his Nightfall Archetype.
Here we have replaced Diana with Aphelios and added some really nice new tools. If you haven’t played with The Veiled Temple yet, you are really missing out on one of the most fun landmarks we have in the game. Nightfall in general got a lot of support with The Sky Shadows and The Cloven way as well.
This variation of Nightfall becomes a little less bursty than the Diana version, but it does have a level of flexibility that was previously missing. All of these new tools for Nightfall lead to some interesting deckbuilding choices for an archetype that was rather straightforward in deck construction previously. You can try some of the old Nightfall staples, or you can even lean more into the Aphelios build by playing Gifts from Beyond.
As far as what Weapons you will focus on with Aphelios, it really depends. Calibrum gives you a solid removal option that you typically would not have gotten from Targon previously. Severum can be useful for extra stabilization on top of Doombeast. Gravitum and Infernum can both be used to up your offensive power to get even more damage through. Of course in other situations Crescendum can be used to summon one of your Nightfall 2-drops with the ability triggered!
Really any and all of the Moon Weapons have great use in this deck in various situations. There isn’t one that you fully focus on, instead, you want to cycle through as many as you can and utilize each to push more damage through and control the board until you have your lethal turn set up.
Aphelios plays even more of a support role in this deck, but does so very well.
This is an aggro deck trying to just push through tons of damage with massive Ephemeral attacks. Your main weapon of focus is Crescendum, which allows you to summon key 2-drops like the Evershade Stalker or Shark Chariot. Obviously, both of these units can not block, so you only want to do this while you have the Attack Token.
One of my favorite interactions with this deck is having The Flight become Ephemeral. It works like how Katarina works if it strikes the Nexus. It will strike the Nexus, then trigger its effect and shuffle itself back to your deck before dying. This offers a lot of cycling power and Elusive damage when you combine it with Encroaching Shadows, Fading Memories, and Stalking Shadows.
It also helps Aphelios as you play lots of cheap cards so you can create even more weapons. You finish the game with the normal Ephemeral closers, Hecarim and The Harrowing. This definitely is not one of the first decks I thought of when I saw Aphelios, but it actually has a lot of potential and shows just how many different ways you can use this champion.
With the addition of The Cloven Way and Gravitum to the game, we all knew people would start prophesizing the return of Yasuo.
This midrange/control deck is an absolute blast to pilot. You completely dictate the flow of the game, keeping your opponent at bay as you build up your board. Once you have a large Fae Bladetwirler out or even The Infinite Mindsplitter, you can play an Infernum to give them Overwhelm and go for the finish!
We are splashing a little bit of the Invoke package with Spacey Sketcher and The Fangs just for the extra value and for more ways to proc Nightfall.
This is not a deck where you are going to be playing a ton of cards each turn while you cycle through all of your weapons. You will make important decisions on what weapons to use, and when to save mana to make sure you can cycle through multiple cards.
Of course, the main weapon of focus here is Gravitum. This effect, which can also be found on The Cloven Way, is extremely strong for stabilizing, leveling Yasuo, and even removing units if you have Yasuo on the board.
There are a lot of flex options in a deck like this, so I encourage you to start with this version and then adjust it more to your play style. You may find yourself wanting more protection for your units or even more offensive power, both of which you can easily adjust to.
The excitement around Aphelios has been building for a while now, and so far it appears like he fully delivered. So many people are already declaring Aphelios as their favorite champion, and I can’t blame them.
He is endlessly-fun to deck-build with and also to pilot. You really feel like a weapon specialist as you cycle through your entire arsenal.
These 4 decks are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Aphelios. I hope these lists have showcased the versatility of this amazing new Targon champion! Happy building and happy climbing!