Aphelios Nami: Moon Weapons and Ocean Tides

Aphelios was once at the top of the meta, but has fallen into obscurity. Can Nami pluck him from the depths?
  • Origins

Good evening card gamers. IzzetTinkerer here, and I’m catching up with two of my favourite champions in the history of Legends of Runeterra.

Aphelios has had a storied time here in the game. He’s been previously nerfed twice over, and moved down from a position where he defined the metagame at one point last year, to becoming largely irrelevant in the current environment.

Or is there still hope? I was playing Ranked, and I came across a deck much like the one above. I was baffled to see myself lose to an immense Boxtopus suited up with Moon Weapons and Nami buffs. After some research, I found the original list, and this explanation video by MajiinBae, inspired by a brew from Yangzera.

And recently, I started to see Aphelios Nami start to pop up more and more. So what’s the fuss all about?

  • Gameplan

Aphelios Nami is the latest in a long line of Targon Bilgewater spellslinger decks. It has a lot of core cards from the earliest Aphelios decks, now enhanced by the new engine cards like Nami and Fleet Admiral Shelly.

The deck wins by producing a great deal of board pressure with one or more heavily-buffed units, then stabilizing by applying Severum to it, or attacking with Overwhelm thanks to Infernum.

The early curve is unchanged from the Aphelios glory days. Lunari Duskbringer is a perfect enabler for a turn-3 Aphelios, but its Duskpetal Dust also provides a spell trigger for Nami and Shelly, or, at worst, acts as a discard fodder for Spacey Sketcher.

The combo of Boxtopus plus Crescendum is a staple in Aphelios decks, and here it’s back again.

New card Blinded Mystic has quickly proven itself to be a very strong tech choice against all the Curious Shellfolk decks, and other key followers like Bandle City Mayor or Wounded Whiteflame.

There are certain spells that are auto includes in a deck like this. Pale Cascade and Guiding Touch will always be strongly considered as they’re spells that draw cards. Double Trouble is a favourite alongside Nami for the ‘pass on 1, pass on 2, empty spell mana to get a board on round 3’ play.

The Veiled Temple is not what it used to be as it no longer buffs health. Still, the power of it comes from the fact it gets you back two mana. This deck can be incredibly mana-hungry, so whatever we can get refunded through Temple, plus the Attune from Nami and Shelly – all is welcome. It can be incredibly slow in some matchups, but in others, it can provide the edge you need.

Despite appearances, this deck does not run out of gas easily. The card generation of Aphelios, Solari Priestess, and Starshaping reliably keeps you stocked on options throughout the game.

Your usual win conditions are whichever units have survived the longest against your opponent to have received the most power buffs from Shelly, Temple, and Nami. Against early aggression, swinging with a beefy unit equipped by Severum is usually enough to ensure you will live long enough to swing for the win the next time you have the attack token.

  • Verdict

This deck, though deeply rewarding to play, is also incredibly punishing. You have a lot to manage across the game in terms of spell efficiency and board presence. Your game plan is constantly evolving based on which carry cards you’ve drawn and the overall plan of your opponent.

For anyone who enjoys a challenge, and deeply misses the Aphelios spellslinger playstyle, this deck is definitely worth crafting. If the constant ‘puzzle box’ style of play has always been appealing to you, this deck can definitely deliver on that.

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IzzetTinkerer

IzzetTinkerer creates a lot of things. As co-founder of fantasticuniverses.com, they write about card gaming and PC gaming. On YouTube, they can be found game mastering for No Ordinary Heroes, or editing the antics on The Hostile Atmosphere. Find where they dwells by climbing their Linktree.

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