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Aphelios Build Guide by koog

ADC [12.4] koog's complete Aphelios guide

ADC [12.4] koog's complete Aphelios guide

Updated on February 24, 2022
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League of Legends Build Guide Author koog Build Guide By koog 800 28 515,099 Views 10 Comments
800 28 515,099 Views 10 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author koog Aphelios Build Guide By koog Updated on February 24, 2022
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Runes: Default

1 2 3
Legend: Bloodline
Cut Down

Absolute Focus
Gathering Storm

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


1 2 3
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Heal



Starter Items
First Item
Against Tanks
Against heavy AP
Against heavy AD
Second Item
Against low armor
If you need movespeed
Against poke
Third item
Fourth through Fifth items
Against heavy armor
Generally good
Against stacked targets
Against assassins
Against AP burst

Ability Order Default

1 2 3

Attack Damage

Attack Speed


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Champion Build Guide

[12.4] koog's complete Aphelios guide

By koog

Hi everyone, I'm koog and I'm currently a Master Aphelios main. I've been playing ADC since the end of season 2 and peaked Challenger rank 150something in season 5. Aphelios has easily been my favorite champ to play ever since his release, but I didn't really start spamming him until towards the end of season 10. Playing meta, OP, or high winrate champs like (at the time of writing this) Kai'Sa, Sivir, Tristana, or, god forbid, Seraphine bot, is just not fun to me. I would always rather play a champ that is interesting, has a high skill cap, and is fun to play. For me, no champ comes close to Aphelios in all of these qualities.

I'm writing this guide to share what I've learned about Aphelios from the basic mechanics of his kit to the fringe edge cases of his kit that will almost never even matter. However, no matter how long I make this guide, I can't include everything I know. To supplement this guide, I have a:

Twitch channel where I'll be streaming some days where you can watch me play and ask anything you'd like, a

Discord server where you can reach me if you have any questions or want to complain about your soloq teams, and a

Youtube channel where I'll be uploading educational content and clips.

Out of all 150+ champs in League of Legends, Aphelios is the most unique and has the most depth. I really think that CertainlyT made something special with this champion. Even after over 1000 games on Aphelios, I can still sometimes discover mechanics I had not noticed before, or think of new ways to use his guns.

There are so many intricacies in Aphelios' kit that you can take advantage and can lead to some crazy, montage-worthy 200 years moments. It feels incredibly rewarding to blow peoples' minds by doing some really crazy things that they don't even understand. By understanding this champion's limits, you can take over games by surprising your enemies and doing things that they would never even imagine a marksman would be capable of.

Aphelios' high skill cap means that it is going to take a lot of practice until you will be proficient enough at him for it to be worth playing him in ranked if your main goal is winning. If you just want to win ranked games without too much effort, it would be significantly easier to play Jhin, Kai'Sa, Tristana or whatever is meta at the time of reading this.

The same way that your opponents don't know what to expect from you, your solo queue teammates will likely not know what your champ is and isn't capable of either. It can be really frustrating to not have follow up cc when you root someone with gravitum or watch your team force a fight when you are close to having a gun combination that can actually win the fight.

Despite his flaws, if you play Aphelios correctly, he offers some of the most absurd range, lifesteal, crowd control, AOE damage, and raw DPS out of any champ in the game.

Starting now, I'll do my best to teach you how get as much value out of this champion as you can (~ ̄▽ ̄)~
The Hitman and the Seer
Aphelios has access to five different guns throughout the game. At any given moment, he has one main gun and one off-hand gun. Each gun has its own passive effect, Q ability, and additional effect on your ultimate ability. Each weapon starts off with 50 moonlight, which act as the weapons' ammunition. Auto attacking with a gun consumes 1 moonlight from the weapon, and using the gun's Q ability costs 10 moonlight.
Weapons of the Faithful
Aphelios' Q effect depends on what his current main gun is. They all cost 60 mana and each gun's Q ability has its own separate cooldown.
Aphelios swaps his main gun with his off-hand gun. This animation can be cancelled by doing pretty much anything.
Weapon queue system
Aphelios doesn't have an E (seriously). I'll use this area to talk a bit about his weapon queue system. When Aphelios runs out of ammo for one of his weapons, it is sent to the back of his weapon queue, and he receives the weapon at the front of the queue with full moonlight.
Moonlight Vigil
Aphelios shoots out a large, long range skillshot that explodes upon reaching a champion, dealing some damage in an AOE. Then everyone hit by the explosion is hit with an attack from Aphelios' main gun with an additional effect depending on what his main gun is.

Calibrum basic attacks have 100 bonus range (his default range is 550).
When Calibrum is fired from the effects of another gun, Aphelios marks the enemy for 4.5 seconds, revealing them. Aphelios can then attack a marked target from up to 1800 units away with his off-hand gun, consuming all marks, each one dealing a small amount of bonus damage.
Calibrum is Aphelios' primary poke weapon. When you have this as your main gun, you have the same basic attack range as Caitlyn, so be sure to take advantage of that and take every opportunity to poke with basic attacks and Moonshot.
Aphelios fires a very thin, long range projectile that damages and applies a mark on the first enemy hit.
Take advantage of Moonshot's high range and use it to poke in lane or to assist in a fight before you are in basic attack range.
Moonlight Vigil (Calibrum)
Every champion hit by moonlight vigil will have an empowered mark applied to them, each dealing additional bonus damage when consumed.
This version of Moonlight Vigil deals very high single target damage from afar. It is most effective at finishing off targets.

Aphelios heals for a portion of the damage he deals with Severum. The healing from this gun can also overheal, shielding for up to 10-140 + 6% of Aphelios' max health.
The heal amount is 3%-10% on basic attack and 9%-30% based on level when severum is fired as a result of an ability.
Severum basic attacks have an uncancelable windup (you cannot cancel them once you start them) and they go through Wind Walls.
Nothing too complex here, just use this when you're missing health to heal or even when you're full hp to get the shield.
For 1.75 seconds, Aphelios gains movement speed and spins while performing attacks alternating between his main gun and off-hand gun.
Onslaught is Aphelios' only form of mobility in his kit. Be sure to take advantage of the bonus movement speed to position better in fights.
Moonlight Vigil (Severum)
If Moonlight Vigil, Severum hits a champion, Aphelios heals for 275/400/525 health.
This version of Moonlight Vigil can save your life in pinch situations. Pretty much if you think you are going to die, but a small burst health can save you, you should probably use this ult.

Gravitum basic attacks slow for 30% for 3.5 seconds, decaying to 10% after the first 0.7 seconds.
Gravitum is really good for kiting melee champs. Continuous basic attacks will constantly refresh the 30% slow, making it difficult for them to get on you.
Binding Eclipse
Aphelios roots every enemy that is currently slowed by gravitum for 1 second.
You can also cast Binding Eclipse while a Gravitum projectile is midair, rooting the enemy as soon as it lands.
Binding Eclipse is Aphelios' only ability that cannot directly fire his off-hand gun.
Binding Eclipse is amazing for setting up ganks or follow-up cc from your support.
Moonlight Vigil (Gravitum)
The initial slow applied by enemy champions hit by Moonlight Vigil, Gravitum will be increased to 99% instead of 30%. Additionally, using Binding Eclipse on anyone hit by Moonlight Vigil, Gravitum will root them for 1.35 seconds instead of 1 second.
Moonlight Vigil, Gravitum is good for setting up ganks or teamfights from a safe distance.

Infernum basic attacks damage everything they pass through on their way to their target as well as all enemies in a small cone behind the target.
Infernum basic attacks deal 110% AD damage instead of the default 100%.
Infernum will almost always offer the most damage when there are multiple stacked targets. Additionally, you can use Infernum's AOE damage to harass the enemy marksman in lane by attacking the ranged minions that they are behind.
Aphelios deals damage in a cone, marking them for a follow up attack from his off-hand gun.
Few marksmen can match the waveclear offered by Infernum and Duskwave. Clear waves quickly to get a good recall timing or rotate faster.
Moonlight Vigil (Infernum)
Every enemy hit by Moonlight Vigil, Infernum will deal additional damage to enemies in a small radius.
Moonlight Vigil, Infernum is the ultimate that made about 500 pentakills on reddit when this champion first came out. It has been heavily nerfed since then, but the damage potential on this ultimate is still extremely high, especially once you have Infinity Edge. Look for moments in teamfights when many enemy champions clump up to deal huge damage.

Crescendum is easily Aphelios' most complex gun.
When attacking with Crescendum, you cannot attack again until your chakram (the little boomerang thing) returns to you. This means that if your target is far away from you, your attacks with Crescendum might be slower than your attack speed would normally allow. However, if you are close to your target, your attack speed can be greatly increased, reaching absurd levels if you are standing right on top of your target.
When basic attacking with Crescendum, your attack windup is reduced, meaning that the amount of time that you have to stand still while basic attacking is reduced. The attack windup is even further reduced when you crit. This means that it is much easier to kite and chase with Crescendum because your attacks come out very quickly.
When Crescendum is shot as the off-hand gun as a result of another gun's ability or passive, Aphelios will gain a bonus chakram. Bonus chakrams, from what I understand, essentially act as a multiplier on your Crescendum basic attack damage. Each bonus chakram gives less bonus damage than the last, capped at a minimum of 5% bonus damage. Here are the exact numbers on chakram damage. It only takes 6 chakram to hit 94% bonus damage. This bonus damage combined with high attack speed at close range can give Aphelios the highest DPS in the game.
Bonus chakrams will disappear after 5 seconds. Gaining more bonus chakrams will refresh the duration for 5 seconds and attacking an enemy champion with Crescendum will refresh the duration for 3 seconds.
Your main goals when using Crescendum should be getting a good amount of chakrams, getting as close as you can to your targets, and shredding them. It's also important to keep your chakrams alive as long as you can to keep your damage high, so keep an eye on how much time you have left before they disappear.
Aphelios places a remote sentry turret that arms after 0.35 seconds and lasts for 20 seconds. Once an enemy enters its range, it will fire his off-hand weapon at enemies that are in range and disappear after 4 seconds or when it is destroyed.
This ability does not offer too much on its own, but it can produce some very powerful interactions with Calibrum that I will explain in the next part of the guide. Also keep in mind that these turrets scale with your AD, attack speed, and crit, so they will do a surprising amount of damage in the late game.
Moonlight Vigil (Crescendum)
If Moonlight Vigil, Crescendum hits at least one enemy champion, Aphelios gains 5 bonus chakrams plus 1 per champion hit by the ability.
Moonlight Vigil, Crescendum is a good option if you know you are going to get into a fight soon and need more chakrams (which you almost always do).

Understanding how each of Aphelios' weapons work on their own is important, but because all of your weapons interact with each other, using his gun combinations effectively is where your mastery of this champion can really start to shine.

Each gun combo significantly changes how Aphelios can play the game. There are 10 possible gun combos in total with greatly varying amounts of synergy.

Calibrum + Severum

- You will start every game with this combo, so learning how to use it effectively is important.
- This is a decent combo for trading, but it lacks pretty much any synergy outside of lane phase.
- Your ideal trade looks like:
1. Onslaught to apply the calibrum mark
2. Consume the Calibrum mark
3. Moonshot
4. Consume the Calibrum mark

Calibrum + Gravitum

- This combo excels at making picks at high range and setting up CC combos from your team.
- Landing either Moonshot or Moonlight Vigil, Calibrum guarantees a Binding Eclipse
- Additionally, landing a Binding Eclipse guarantees Moonshot or Moonlight Vigil, Calibrum to land as well.

Calibrum + Infernum

- This combo is pretty underwhelming early but scales well.
- You can use Duskwave on a champion within a minion wave to apply a ton of Calibrum marks on the wave and then consume the mark on the champion for decent damage.
- Long range Infernum basic attacks on marked targets can do huge damage to clumps of enemies once you have 3 or 4 items.

Calibrum + Crescendum

- This combo has the most synergy out of all weapon combos Aphelios has.
- Sentry turrets placed with Calibrum as your off-hand gun will apply Calibrum marks, allowing you to then follow up by consuming the Calibrum mark from far away.
- These turrets can let you deal extremely high damage from a safe distance while also generating bonus chakrams for Aphelios.
- Moonshot is also pretty good at helping keep your chakrams from expiring by generating 1 additional chakram if you use it on an enemy and then consume the mark.

Severum + Gravitum

- This combo is pretty mediocre.
- Onslaught will both speed you up and slow enemies that you hit, allowing you to kite pretty well while it is active.
- Tagging an enemy with Onslaught will guarantee a Binding Eclipse

Severum + Infernum

- This combo is really good for surviving in teamfights.
- Duskwave here, especially after the changes in 11.12, will actually offer a lot of burst lifesteal if you can hit it on a bunch of stacked enemies, a minion wave, or a jungle camp.

Severum + Crescendum

- One of Aphelios' best and most notorious weapon combos.
- Use Onslaught to get a bunch of chakrams and then have some fun.
- Severum Sentry are not spectacular, but don't forget to use them when you need the extra damage and healing.

Gravitum + Infernum

- A very reliable combo for teamfighting and laning, only really lacking single target dps.
- Because Duskwave is higher range than your basic attacks, it is one of the most reliable ways to land Binding Eclipse and will often surprise your enemies.

Gravitum + Crescendum

- The worst combo Aphelios has in my opinion.
- There are so many better options to pair Crescendum with, making this one a waste.
- Sentry turrets will slow their targets, making this decent for running away or applying cc from range.

infernum + Crescendum

- A very situational combo
- Use Duskwave on a large minion wave to get a ton of chakrams instantly
- Infernum Sentry turrets are actually quite powerful late game.

Aphelios' weapon queue system starts in the same order every game with his main gun in the first slot and his off-hand gun in the second slot.

Initial gun order

Once you empty all of the ammo from your main gun, your main gun will go to the back of the weapon queue, and it will be replaced with the gun at the front of the queue. In the following example, Calibrum has just run out of ammo.

What happens when you empty your ammo

If we look at the end of this nice animation that took me way too long to make, Gravitum is your new main gun and Calibrum is now at the back of the queue, pushing Infernum and Crescendum up the queue, making Infernum the next gun we will get.

Instead of emptying Calibrum first and sending it to the back of the queue, our other option is to swap our guns and empty Severum first instead.

Swapping and then emptying your ammo

We can see that the order of the guns in the queue ends up being different depending on whether we empty Calibrum or Severum first. Choosing which gun to empty first is the only way we can interact with our weapon queue, but it is enough to change the ordering however we want, it will just take some time.

Ok so now that we have a decent understanding of Aphelios' gun combos, and how his weapon queue system works, we can start thinking how how we want to order the guns in our weapon queue to maximize the value we get from our gun combos.

Here is the gun ordering I get pretty much every game

There are several reasons why you should use this gun ordering:

1. Every gun combo in this ordering is either very good at something, or at least decent in most situations.
2. None of the bad gun combos are in this ordering (looking at you Crescendum + Gravitum
3. Using the same gun ordering every game will help you know exactly which gun you are going to get next, or how far away in the queue you are from a gun combo you want.

How to get this ordering

It might be a bit hard to understand exactly what is going on in this video, but essentially there are 3 things that you need to do when you are trying to get this gun ordering:
1. In all situations other than the following two, make sure to empty your oldest gun first, i.e. do not empty your newest gun before you empty the gun you obtained earlier.
2. Get rid of Severum first when the game starts
3. When you first get Crescendum make sure that when Severum comes after it, you empty Severum before you empty Crescendum

Understanding how to get this queue can be challenging at first, but I promise once you get it it's stupidly easy. I would recommend hopping into a practice tool and trying to make sense of all of this before trying it out in game.

What happens if I mess up the gun order?

Let's say you got the right gun ordering, but then you accidentally empty Calibrum before Crescendum like in the image above. Now you're stuck with a sub-optimal gun combo when you eventually get Crescendum + Gravitum (gross!). Getting your guns back in the right order is actually quite easy when you make this mistake.

All you have to do is get the guns whose order you messed up, in this case it is Calibrum and Crescendum, and then empty the correct one first this time. That's really all you have to do. If you mess up multiple times, you will have to do this step the same number of times. Messing up the gun order more than once can become very cumbersome very quickly. Take care to keep your gun order intact if you want to have consistent access to useful weapon combos throughout the game.
Aphelios has some of the more diverse build options among marksmen. I don't think there is any one build that is best on him and switch up my build each game to fit what I need to do. It's important that you understand how all of the components of your build interact with each other, your team, and the enemy team, because that will help you decide which runes and items you should build in a game. I'll do my best to explain my thought processes on how I choose my Aphelios build each game.


First off, let's look at your rune options. Runes are the first part of your build that you should be deciding because they are the only part of your build that you can't change once you're in game.



Conqueror is the rune that most people take on Aphelios and its for many good reasons. Most of Aphelios' abilities have several damaging parts that will stack Conqueror multiple times. For example, Onslaught will fully stack Conqueror on its own once you have enough attack speed. If you think you can reliably stack this rune, it will give you the most potential to carry fights. Generally, you will be able to stack it reliably against bruisers and tanks.

Press The Attack

Press the Attack is a good choice into double ranged bot lanes such as Lulu Ashe where you would have a hard time stacking Conqueror. Press the Attack is superior in shorter trades rather than all-ins which will be more common when you're fighting an engage support such as Nautilus. Additionally, this rune will amplify all damage your target takes for the next few seconds after you proc it. If you have several significant sources of damage other than yourself on your team, that could be another good reason to take Press the Attack.

Lethal Tempo

Lethal Tempo is the rune I have the least experience with on Aphelios. It doesn't have too much synergy with Crescendum because it doesn't care too much about how much attack speed you have. I would say only take this rune if you plan on going Kraken Slayer and expect teamfights to be slow front to back DPS wars. Try to have Infernum for teamfights, you should be able to do some insane damage with just basic attacks once Lethal Tempo procs and you have the extra range.

Minor Rune 1


Overheal has really good synergy with Severum. Many marksmen struggle to fill up the Overheal shield because it only converts 20% of excess healing to the shield, but Severum has enough healing to fill it up reliably whenever you have it.


Triumph is pretty lackluster compared to the other two options, I wouldn't recommend taking it.

Presence of Mind

I don't really find myself running into mana problems on Aphelios often. Around the time I find myself running out of mana is usually around when I have Gravitum and Infernum, which will let me clear the wave instantly and recall to refill my mana. As mid game rolls around, I find it extremely rare that I run out of mana, making this rune pretty useless outside of lane. Overheal scales much better.

Minor Rune 2

Legend: Alacrity

Take this rune only if you plan on building Immortal Shieldbow. Because you will be getting lifesteal early from your mythic item, you won't need to take Legend: Bloodline.

Legend: Tenacity

Don't take this rune. If you are worried about CC just take Cleanse. I'll use this area to remind everyone that assisting in killing dragons gives you Legend stacks. Try to get at least one hit on the dragon if your jungler is doing it to get your attack speed or lifesteal more quickly.

Legend: Bloodline

Take this rune if you are planning on building Galeforce or Kraken Slayer. This rune will be the only way you can get lifesteal while moving into the mid game because Bloodthirster is pretty much only a 4th or 5th item on Aphelios.

Minor Rune 3

Coup de Grace

I would only take this rune against a team that doesn't have many enemies who will have significantly higher health than you. Additionally, if you want to start with Doran's Blade instead of Cull, the value of this rune in comparison to Cut Down increases.

Cut Down

Cut Down is generally going to be the best rune to take in this slot. This rune starts giving you 5% bonus damage as soon as your target has 10% more health than you, scaling up to 15% bonus damage at 100% more health. Marksman is generally the lowest health role in the game, allowing you to reliably proc the bonus damage. If you take this rune and start Cull, you will be able to proc the bonus damage even against your lane opponents because Doran's Blade gives 80 health and most marksmen have a base health around 500-600.

Last Stand

Only take this rune when you are building Immortal Shieldbow. You will get the maximum benefit from Last Stand when Immortal Shieldbow's shield activates at 30% health.

Secondary Runes


When to take Domination

Because Ravenous Hunter has been nerfed repeatedly, I think that taking Sorcery second is a bit more reliable and impactful than this tree now. I'd recommend going into Domination only if you're playing into a lane where your main goal is to survive the lane phase against champs with a lot of poke such as Xerath or Vel'Koz.

Taste of Blood

Aphelios can pretty reliably proc Taste of Blood. Calibrum gives you a range advantage on most marksmen to sneak in an auto once in a while, and Infernum can proc Taste of Blood easily if you can hit the enemy with the AOE damage from your basic attacks. Try to proc this rune as soon as it comes off cooldown to get the most value out of it.

Ravenous Hunter

Ravenous Hunter has been nerfed so that it does not provide any omnivamp until you start getting takedowns. Try to participate in kills whenever you can to start stacking this rune as soon as possible.


When to take Sorcery

Sorcery is probably the most reliable secondary page for Aphelios. You can't really go wrong with the free attack damage from Absolute Focus and Gathering Storm and the flash playmaking from Nimbus Cloak.

Nimbus Cloak

As a champion with basically zero mobility, the movement speed Aphelios gets from Nimbus Cloak is invaluable. Also Aphelios has some really strong power spikes depending on what is going on with his kit. Flashing in with 10+ chakrams will be so much more impactful if you have Nimbus Cloak. Overall, I'd recommend taking this if you are planning on using Exhaust or Cleanse.

Nullifying Orb

I wouldn't really take Nullifying Orb unless you're against an all AP team. But in the case that you are, this rune will be extremely high value.

Absolute focus

Take this rune if you think you are in a favorable matchup where you will usually be over 70% hp such as Xayah if you want to push your advantage with some extra early attack damage. You probably want to avoid this rune into lanes where you are going to be taking a lot of harass such as Caitlyn ADC or Karma support.

Gathering storm

Gathering Storm is late game insurance. Taking this rune will turn Aphelios into an absolute monster late game at the cost of some early power. If you see that your team comp has no chance of winning past 30 minutes, you probably don't want this rune.


When to take Resolve

This is a tree I would only recommend using if you're planning on building Immortal Shieldbow. These runes will amplify your survivability even further by giving you a decent amount of armor, magic resistance, and healing and shielding power.


Armor and magic resistance have really good synergy with shields and healing, of which there will be a lot in a build with Immortal Shieldbow. You'll get roughly 14 armor and magic resistance once Conditioning procs. You can get even more value if you actually build some resistances.


Revitalize increases your healing and shielding by 5% by default and then by another 10% once you are below 40% hp. This has great synergy with Immortal Shieldbow because the shield will proc at 30% hp, meaning you'll get a 15% stronger shield every time.


When to take Inspiration

I would say the highlight rune in this tree for me is Cosmic Insight. If you think you need the reduced flash and item cooldown, and are able to play without boots for the first 9-12 minutes, this tree can be good. However, I would say this tree is still outperformed by Sorcery in most cases.

Magical Footwear

Free boots with +10 bonus movement speed. The main drawback of this rune is the fact that you cannnot purchase any Boots at all and have to wait until you get your magical boots to have any additional movement speed at all. It can be pretty difficult to operate on Aphelios without boots for this long, so I would only recommend taking this when you think you won't be punished for being very slow.

Biscuit Delivery

This rune is a good alternative to Presence of Mind if you want some extra mana. The 150 base mana the biscuits give along with the slight health and mana regeneration it gives in lane is more than enough to deal with any mana issues you have with Aphelios. Just remember that it restores missing health and mana, so try to use it when you are as low as possible.

Cosmic Insight

Cosmic Insight gives you item and summoner spell haste. I sometimes take this when I feel like I need a shorter cooldown on Flash to survive against champs like Malphite and Jarvan IV. It also lowers the cooldown of Galeforce, Immortal Shieldbow, Mercurial Scimitar, and Guardian Angel, so if you think you are building at least two of those items, this rune has good value.

Perfect Timing

I haven't experimented much with this rune, but a Stopwatch can be really useful against champs that it counters really hard such as Pyke and Zed.


Starting Item

Doran's Blade

The default starting item for every marksman. The 80 health can help you survive early all-ins and the 2.5% omnivamp scales pretty decently.


Cull is what I start on Aphelios every game I take Cut Down which is most games. It may seem a bit greedy to give up the 80 health from Doran's Blade, but there are also many pros to taking Cull. If you take Cull with Cut Down, you'll do 5% more damage in most situations compared to if you had Doran's Blade. Also the healing you get from Cull is actually higher than the healing from Doran's Blade in the early game. This item gives an additional 450 gold once you kill 100 minions. If you farm well, this can give you enough of a gold advantage to finish your mythic item before the enemy marksman.

Long Sword

Starting Long Sword is very similar to starting Cull. The primary differences are that Long Sword gives 3 more AD than Cull, and 2 more Health Potions to start with, while Cull gives 180 gold over Long Sword when completed, and slightly more sustain in a drawn out lane phase.

Overall, I strongly prefer Cull or Long Sword start over Doran's Blade on Aphelios. I recommend starting Long Sword if you are confident the extra AD can help you win your lane, or Cull if you want to play safer in lane.

Mythic Item

Kraken Slayer

Kraken Slayer is the go-to tank sredding item. Build this mythic if you think you can participate in fights without Galeforce or Immortal Shieldbow because you have enough peel, or the enemy team does not have any threats you need to worry about. Kraken Slayer also has some good synergy with Aphelios' kit. Calibrum marks, Duskwave, and Moonlight Vigil can all apply Kraken Slayer's passive (RIP interaction with Onslaught).


Galeforce is my mythic item on Aphelios most games. Especially because you are an immobile adc, the dash this mythic provies allows you to position much more aggressively. You have the safety of a dash to dodge out of the enemy's engage tools, and make big plays by Galeforceing in with chakrams.

Immortal Shieldbow

This is the mythic that I build the least on Aphelios. I would only recommend building this item if your team has enough damage to win fights and you are playing against assassins with undodgeable damage like Rengar or Fizz. Make sure you take Legend: Alacrity if you want to build this mythic.


Berserker's Greaves

These are the boots you should buy in almost all of your games. I put this section after the mythic items because I generally prefer finishing my mythic item before my tier 2 boots. The marksman mythic items are so op that I don't think it's worth getting the 20 extra movement speed from boots by delaying your mythic by 800 gold.

Plated Steelcaps

I generally don't buy defensive boots on Aphelios unless I'm against a full physical damage or full magic damage dealing team. Take Plated Steelcaps into extremely auto-attack heavy or only physical damage dealing teams.

Mercury's Treads

Mercury's Treads can be good against teams with only magic damage. If you are worried about CC, you are probably better off just taking Cleanse.

Second Item

The Collector

The Collector is Aphelios' best second item in almost every single game. Because most of Aphelios' abilities end up firing a basic attack anyways, stacking AD, crit, and Lethality can let you kill most squishy champions with just a single rotation of spells. And with the amount of mobility and burst in the game, getting value out of attack speed (a Zeal item) is often difficult.


Bloodthirster is a solid 2nd item choice if you are against a heavy poke team or need some more survivability in a teamfight. It also gives the same amount of AD as The Collector and scales better by giving 20 lifesteal instead of 12 lethality, with the tradeoff of costing 400 more gold.

Phantom Dancer

The extra movement speed and attack speed that Phantom Dancer gives you will help you stay alive longer and more quickly stack Conqueror in drawn out fights. This item also has high value if you're playing against champs that can be kited easily. Another benefit to running Phantom Dancer is that it only costs 2600g, which is 400 less than The Collector and 800 less than Bloodthirster.

Third through Fifth Item

Infinity Edge

Infinity Edge is going to be your third item most games. Aphelios scales very well with crit and the bonus crit damage from Infinity Edge will make his ultimate hit harder if it crits. Also please never get this item second. You need at least 60% crit chance for the passive to activate.

Lord Dominik's Regards

Lord Dominik's Regards is only necessary against enemies with a lot of armor. If you're trying to decide between this item and Infinity Edge as your third item, a general rule of thumb I've followed is - once your target has at least 150 armor, Lord Dominik's Regards will do more damage than Infinity Edge. You could even build this item second if the enemy stacks armor really early, but I find it difficult to participate in fights without the movement speed from a zeal item.

Mercurial Scimitar

Mercurial Scimitar is going to be a must-buy some games, especially if you didn't take Cleanse. Champs like Skarner, Lissandra, and Malzahar are going to ult you whenever they get the chance unless you have Quicksilver Sash. I would try to wait until 4th item to build this to make sure you still deal relevant damage. If you are fed enough and built Kraken Slayer building this as your third item wouldn't be so bad.


Bloodthirster is a solid 4th or 5th item choice. It could even be good as a 3rd item if you built Kraken Slayer and just need some more survivability or against a poke comp. Stacking the shields from Severum, Overheal, and Bloodthirster can get you an 800 health shield at lvl 18 which will make a late game Aphelios nearly unkillable.

Guardian Angel

If you're getting dove by ad assassins in teamfights like Rengar or Talon, Guardian Angel will save your life and let you come back in a teamfight. Just make absolutely sure you never get caught out of position with this item. Guardian Angel's passive cooldown is 5 minutes and the item is pretty worthless without its passive.

Maw of Malmortius

Maw of Malmortius is good against heavy magic damage burst champions like LeBlanc Ekko and Fizz. The statline on this item isn't the best, though. I would only really buy it if there are several magic damage threats on the other team.

Runaan's Hurricane

Runaan's Hurricane has a lot of really useful interactions with Aphelios' weapons, particularly Gravitum and Infernum. Gravitum will apply to anyone hit with a Runaan's Hurricane bolt, allowing you to slow and root more enemies. Infernum bolts will do huge damage to stacked targets. I would build Runaan's Hurricane against teams that are likely to stack and teamfight front to back - usually teams with several tanks or bruisers.


Aphelios is unique in that he does not put points into his skills. He instead can allocate skill points into either attack damage, attack speed, or lethality. The way you spend these points should be situational, just like the rest of your build.

Since the changes in patch 11.13, Aphelios' attack damage and lethality level ups have been significantly buffed. Now, attack speed should be maxed last. For your first 3 levels, you should always put 3 points into attack damage and then either finish maxing attack damage or switch to maxing lethality. In general, attack damage is better against anyone that buys armor and better for basic attacks. Lethality is gonna be better against squishier teams that you want to quickly burst down as it makes your abilities hit harder. Also keep in mind that lethality maxing will also be better when you are ahead in levels and gold.

If you're unsure of what to do here, you can't go wrong with maxing attack damage > lethality > attack speed.

If you've made it this far in the guide and actually still somehow want to learn more about Aphelios, I am absolutely impressed, and you're pretty cool (☞゚ヮ゚)☞

In this section I'll list a bunch of miscellaneous tips to get some extra value out of Aphelios' kit. Even if you think you know your way around Aphelios, I would be very surprised if you didn't learn at least something new in here. If you can master all of these, you'll be well on your way to having your entire team spam ping you after a fight wondering what the hell you just did (in a good way or a bad way).


For the most part, Aphelios has access to two abilities and his ultimate at any time. However, when you are at 10 ammo or less, you can actually use 3 guns in conjunction, giving you access to 3 gun passives and actives in a short powerspike.

Severum + Crescendum + Calibrum

The reason this 3-gun combo is so much better than just Severum + Crescendum is because with the regular combo you can only deal huge damage with your Crescendum basic attacks. With this 3-gun combo, you can fire your bonus chakrams at enemies you apply Calibrum marks to with either Sentry, Moonshot, or Moonlight Vigil, Calibrum. In my opinion, this is when Aphelios spikes hardest in his default gun rotation. Try to keep Severum at 10 ammo or less until you can take advantage of this powerspike.

Crescendum + Calibrum + Gravitum

When you are at 10 ammo or less on Crescendum in my default gun ordering, your last Sentry turret will allow you to apply Gravitum to enemies it marks. This last Sentry turret is unique in that Aphelios can root enemies and keep them in range of the turret, allowing you to continue shooting them with the Calibrum marks applied by the turret, or use a Moonshot Moonlight Vigil, Calibrum combo while they are rooted. Keep in mind that you will get this combo at 10 or less Crescendum ammo. If you want a regular Crescendum + Calibrum Sentry turret that shoots chakrams, stay above 10 ammo.

Severum + Calibrum + Gravitum

This is probably the easiest and most consistent 3-gun combo you can use. If you get Severum down to 10 ammo or less, landing 1 tick of Onslaught will guarantee a root from Gravitum. This is because after Onslaught ends, you will swap Severum for Gravitum and then you can consume the Calibrum mark to apply Gravitum and then follow up with Binding Eclipse into a Moonshot. This combo catches most people off guard and can lead to some pretty devastating early trades, or even a kill if your support can follow up correctly.

Infernum + Crescendum + Severum

If you're going with my optimal gun ordering, you should end up with this 3-gun combo once per game. You'll have 3 ways to get a huge amount of bonus chakrams with this combo - using Duskwave on a big minion wave, Onslaught, and Moonlight Vigil, Crescendum. Most of the time, just using two of these should give you more than enough bonus chakrams. Using my ult in this clip was definitely overkill, but in a closer fight, using all 3 and getting potentially 20 bonus chakrams might be worth it.

Calibrum + Gravitum + Infernum

This 3-gun combo only really works if you have Runaan's Hurricane around mid-game when the enemy team is grouping. You land a Moonshot on an enemy, consume the mark, ideally Runaan's Hurricane will proc and apply Gravitum to 3 enemies. Wait for them to group up, use Binding Eclipse and then follow up with a Moonlight Vigil, Infernum. If I had Flash up, I could have even followed that up by flashing in and finishing them off with Infernum basic attacks and Duskwave. This combo is pretty situational, but can set you up to win a teamfight all on your own.

Calibrum Mechanics

Calibrum mark basic attack reset

Similar to Caitlyn's headshot basic attack reset mechanics, Aphelios can reset his basic attacks on enemies marked by Calibrum. Doing this can help slightly optimize your DPS if you're hitting multiple champions. One nice advantage of this is if you stand at max basic attack range with calibrum and shoot Moonshot at an enemy, you can sneak in a basic attack before the Moonshot lands and then immediately consume the mark because it resets your attack timer.

Using Calibrum Turrets Properly

Now that we know how Calibrum marks basic attack reset mechanics work, we can learn how to properly use Calibrum Sentry turrets. If an enemy is within both Aphelios' range and a Calibrum Sentry turret's range, you can repeatedly spam basic attacks on the enemy and constantly perform basic attack resets. However, this only works if you have Calibrum as your main gun. In the first half of this clip, you can see how I can't consume the marks until the chakram returns to Aphelios. In the second half of the clip, all of my basic attack resets are flowing properly and my DPS is significantly higher. (If you have the audio on you can probably tell, but all you really have to do is spam right click or attack move them once the turret is on top of them lol)

Calibrum Q-Flash

You can use Moonshot and cast Flash while it channels to reposition where your Moonshot is fired from. This can be useful to get your Moonshot around minions or to get some extra distance on it.

Calibrum Q-Ult

You can use Moonshot and cast Moonlight Vigil, Calibrum while it channels to deal high single target damage. You can consume the Calibrum mark that Moonshot applies before Moonlight Vigil, Calibrum applies its mark.

Abusing Calibrum & Gravitum mark duraition

The mark that Calibrum applies lasts 4.5 seconds, which is kind of a ridiculously long time. You can use this time to keep your Conqueror stacks up, wait out shields, Bone Plating, Undying Rage, etc. If you have the Calibrum Gravitum combo, you can also abuse the duration of the Gravitum mark which lasts 3.5 seconds. This means that if you land a Moonshot on someone with this gun combo, you can root someone 8 seconds later or even longer depending on the travel time of your attacks. You can use this time to wait for your team to get in position to follow up and chain their abilities with yours.

Duskwave Mechanics

Despite what I said earlier and what the indicator actually looks like, Duskwave does not strike in a cone. Its hitbox is actually a triangle. This means that the edges of its hitbox extend farther than aiming it directly at a target.

Another thing you may not have noticed about Duskwave is that it strikes in its hitbox from right to left.

What all of this means is that if you're trying to tag an enemy with this ability at max range, you actually want to aim slightly to the left of them so that the edge of the hitbox just barely hits them. This is especially important in lane because most of the time you will have Binding Eclipse to follow up on any Duskwave you hit.

Crescendum Mechanics

Keeping Chakrams Alive

You can normally keep your bonus chakrams from disappearing by either getting more bonus chakrams or by hitting someone with a Crescendum basic attack, but there is actually another way to extend their duration.

You can use any ability or your ultimate to prevent your bonus chakrams from running out for an extra 1.5 seconds. This is extremely useful because you should be trying to keep your chakrams alive as long as possible as having the bonus chakrams can make the difference between winning and losing a fight.

Turret Tricks

You can place Calibrum Sentry turrets over pretty much any wall in the game. This will take most people by surprise and let you open fire on them with Calibrum marks.

Placing Calibrum Sentry turrets in unwarded bushes can also catch people off guard and let you get a ton of free hits on them before they even know whats going on. I've found this to be particularly effective when placing the turrets in unwarded bushes in the river when fighting for an objective.

Miscellaneous Tips

- Try to always use a basic attack before using Onslaught or Infernum for extra damage.

- If you are saving ammo for 1 last Q ability use before a gun runs out of ammo, you usually want to save 2 ammo instead of 1, especially if you are holding onto Gravitum. You need the extra Gravitum shot to actually apply Gravitum before you can use Binding Eclipse. The extra ammo also helps you do the basic attack > Onslaught combo and the basic attack > Duskwave combo.

- You can't use basic attacks or Q abilities right after you run out of ammo with a gun, but you can actually cast Moonlight Vigil while Aphelios gets a new gun. It will use the Moonlight Vigil corresponding the the new gun Aphelios is getting. This can help fill the gap in your DPS if you run out of ammo during a fight, or hit the enemy with a surprise heal from Moonlight Vigil, Severum or quickly getting a bunch of bonus chakrams from Moonlight Vigil, Crescendum, for example.

Thanks so much for checking out my guide! It ended up being way longer and taking way more time to make than I could have ever imagined. I hope you were able to learn something from it. If you still have questions or if something in the guide was unclear, don't be shy and come ask me at my Stream or in my Discord.

- koog

Banner fan art from coax

Parts I might add later

- Aphelios bugs
- Laning
- Mid game
- Teamfighting
- Where to find good Thresh players
- Full Video Guide
- Aphelios top guide


- More threats and synergies
- Hit rank 69

Change log

- v1.0 Initial release (4/2/2021)
- v1.1 Patch 11.8 ( Aphelios buffs!) (4/15/2021)
- edited ability descriptions to match ult buffs
- added Inspiration secondary runes
- added some synergies
- v1.2 Patch 11.11 (5/26/2021)
- Realized The Collector is OP
-v1.3 Patch 11.12 (6/9/2021)
- Added graphic headers!
- Aphelios buff(nerf?)s
- slight base stat buff (+4 MR +0.6 AD/lvl)
- Severum changed to heal more when used as the result of an ability, less healing when basic attacking.
- Onslaught does more damage but hits fewer times, granting fewer bonus chakrams.
- Bonus chakram damage nerfed significantly, about 30% of the bonus damage has been removed.
- Sentry now does slightly more damage
-v1.4 Patch 11.13 (6/22/2021) (Actual Aphelios buffs!)
- Passive AD and Lethality bonuses increased.
- Item and rune builds don't really change, Attack Speed usually gets maxed last now.
-v1.5 Patch 11.14 (7/8/2021)
- Added Resolve tree
-v1.6 Patch 11.15 (7/22/2021)
- Changed item builds a bit, added Wit's End and Long Sword start.
-v1.7 Patch 12.5 (2/1452022)
- Updated a few things including second item and runes for season 12.
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