6 Promising New Aphelios Archetypes

With patch 3.4, Aphelios returns to his former glory with 2 mana weapons. Sorry shares 6 of the most promising decklists for the champion!

Hello everyone, Sorry here! In today’s article, I’ll feature 6 different Aphelios decks, the game plan of each list, and the win conditions!

If you’re a veteran Runeterra player you probably remember how powerful Aphelios was on release along with The Veiled Temple, those two cards generated insane value especially with Bandle City not being in the picture back then. The nerf to both cards left Aphelios too slow to keep up with the wide board aggression Azir Irelia back then imposed, and eventually was bullied out of the meta.

The most notable meta deck was Aphelios Twisted Fate which simply refused to run out value thanks to the Moon Weapons Aphelios provided and Twisted Fate’s card draw ability. The deck along with Fizz Twisted Fate went to dominate the meta, becoming one of the top performers on the ladder and the competitive scene.

Anyways, enough reminiscing about the past, let’s focus on the present. Here are 6 Aphelios decks I dug up that you can try out.

Starting off with Aphelios Viktor, which is currently the most popular version of an Aphelios deck.

The PNZ and Targon archetype runs a bit of everything! Removal cards like Thermogenic Beam, Mystic Shot, and Aftershock, protection tools like Pale Cascade and Sunblessef Vigor, and massive Celestial units created by Starshaping.

Although the invoke deck provides Celestial units as your win condition, both Viktor and Aphelios act as your main win condition.

You’re able to create a lot of cheap cards from Ballistic Bot, Lunari Duskbringer, and Poro Cannon that’ll aid in leveling up Viktor. On top of that Aphelios’ Moon Weapons count as Viktor level up trigger!

Once you’ve gained a lot of keywords on Viktor from the Hex core Upgrade (especially Elusive or Overwhelm) he’ll turn into a threat that can potentially end the game on his own.

However, if you manage to miss those two important keywords, Aphelios can solve the day by creating an Infernum that you can slap on your Viktor.

Invoke Allegiance Diana Apehlios is a full-on Targon deck with 2 Atrocity splash in the list.

The archetype runs a lot of cheap units that allow you to survive the early game or potentially play an aggressive game plan.

Moreover, Diana acts as a great removal unit, the Challenger + Quick Attack keywords will guarantee that you win early board presence. Whereas Aphelios is more of a nuisance to your opponent with the infinite Moon Weapon value he keeps generating.

The Invoke mechanic makes sure you never run out of value, Solari Priestess and Mountain Scryer provide mid-game Invoke choices. On top of that, Mountain Scryer makes those Celestial cards cheaper to play, this allows you to potentially play one of your big Celestial units a turn earlier than usual.

What are those big Celestial units you may ask? Starshaping gives us The Great Beyond, The Destroyer, and Immortal Fire that can swing for a lot of damage, especially since throughout the game you’ll play a lot of cheap Celestial cards which increases the Power of the big Celestials late game.

If you still haven’t won the game Atrocity is here to save the day! The 7 mana spell can be your game finisher if played on one of those big Celestial units.

Aphelios in a Demacia region archetype paired with Lux which synergizes with the Moon Weapons to create Final Sparks and slowly dominate the board.

Early game you’re looking to keep the board in check with Petricite Broadwing and Aphelios’ Crescendum. Additionally, Severum allows you to keep your Petricite Broadwing alive when it challenges a unit with the additional +2 health.

Once you have Lux on the board, every Moon Weapon you play will slowly set up for a Final Spark creation, the Final Sparks from Lux will drain your opponent from board units while chipping Nexus damage at the same time.

As they lose units, the cracks will allow your own units to sneak in damage directly to the opponent’s Nexus. Furthermore, the list runs Vanguard Sergent which creates For Demacia! a card that can leave your opponent’s board in shambles but can also be used as a counter card for Yordles in Arms – a popular card ran in a couple of the top meta decks.

Starshaping is another tool to set up a win condition with a big elusive unit, the 5 mana spell can help create a Final Spark with Lux, granting additional value!

Infernum is your last resort winning play, if you’re unable to squeeze damage with board domination, you can give the Overwhelm keyword to your buffiest unit and potentially set up a lethal swing.

Noxus Targon is back or at least an attempt to revive it! Aphelios Swain deck brought by Spanish player Darlian to the Fight Night tournament.

The archetype takes advantage of both Calibrum and Gravitum to set up its game plan. Calibrum for instance advances the level up condition of Swain, whereas Gravitum synergizes with Ravenous Flock.

The stun cards can also be played in an aggressive manner, stunning Fearsome blockers with Gravitum and Arachnoid Sentry can pave the way for your Swain to slam the Nexus!

As the game progresses, your goal will be to set up both Swain and Leviathan on the board at the same time. Not only does Leviathan slowly burn down your opponent, but the ship also empowers Swain to start stun locking the opponent’s units which sets up for a lethal swing on your upcoming attack turn.

The advantage of playing a Swain Targon version is that it runs an alternate win condition unlike the PNZ and Bilgewater versions. Starshaping can find you a big Celestial unit that can carry the game for you once your opponent depleted their removal cards on your Swain and Leviathan.

Aphelios Nami elusive deck relies on Nami buffing up your elusive units until they turn into a game-ending threat.

Work on leveling up your Nami as soon as possible to start buffing up your elusive units. Cards like Zap Sprayfin, Wiggly Burble Fish, and Fleet Admiral Shelly can turn to monstrous elusive units with Nami’s buffs, especially since the deck runs a lot of cheap spells that trigger her effect.

As for Aphelios, he acts as more of a support champion, offering Moon Weapons that activate Nami’s effect while also generating value. It’s essential to keep either Nami or Fleet Admiral Shelly alive for as long as possible for maximum value out of their board buff ability. Pale Cascade, Guiding Touch, and Sunblessed Vigor can act as protection tools to keep key units alive.

Even though elusive units are the main threat you impose with this archetype, Infernum can turn a buffy non-elusive unit into a deadly force that pushes the little damage you need to close out the game.

Last but not least, Aphelios Trundle Aurelion Sol ramp deck, this is Broken Ball’s take on an Aphelios Freljord version that looks interesting at first glance, so let’s see what’s going on here!

This is a control version of Aphelios that runs multiple win conditions! The ramp cards like Faces of the Old Ones and Catalyst of Aeons help speed up your gameplan as your deck runs mana heavy units that can only be played in the late game.

Space Sketcher, Vulpine Wanderer, and Kindley Tavern Keeper are early units that help you buy time until you’re able to start dropping your big 1units and take over the game. As for Trundle, he’s your mid-game play, he’s a big body that can block incoming unit damage and can turn into a win condition with the Overwhelm damage once leveled up.

You run two strong plays that act as win conditions, Buried in Ice followed up with It that Stares to clear out the opponent’s board completely, and She Who Wonders that now is capable of Obliterating champions as well after the recent buff, threatening to waste a lot of your opponent’s cards on the board and in hand.

As for Aurelion Sol, the big Dragon can threaten to level up if you have a second high stat unit along with it, it forces an answer out of your opponent, which eventually will run them out of resources.

With the help of your ramp cards, you’ll be able to set up your big Celestial units earlier than usual to start swinging onto the Nexus and setting up a lethal attack.

Aphelios is your early to mid-game play that simply looks to buy you time, but both Infernum and Severum can become solid plays on your big units if you’re looking to close out the game or heal up your Nexus.

Closing Words

The mana reduction on Aphelios’ Moon Weapons certainly brought the champion back into the meta. As players continue to experiment more with different versions of Aphelios, the Viktor versions seem to be the most popular approach players are taking. Performance-wise it has been holding its own with a positive win rate on the competitive ladder.

The meta has yet to settle, so we’ll probably still see more innovations from players trying to create a solid Aphelios list, it’ll be exciting to see what the future unfolds! Hopefully, you enjoyed the article, if you wish to keep up with my content follow me on Twitter!


Alaa "TricksterSorry" Yassine is a competitive Legends of Runeterra player. His passion for card games ignited in his youth with favorites like Yugioh and Pokemon. Currently, he dedicates himself to achieving professional excellence in Runeterra, while also creating informative video and written content for the Runeterra community.

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