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Will Aphelios return to power after patch 10.21?

League of Legends went back on the heavy nerfs to Aphelios and injected some life back into this marksman with patch 10.21.

After being out of the meta for five patches, it seems like the Weapon of the Faithful got some ammunition back.

Aphelios is the most recent victim of the League of Legends balance team. Every time Riot Games deploys a new champion, it tends to be overpowered, players complain, and then the cycle of nerfs start. Eventually, the balance team nerfs the champions into oblivion, making them completely useless and almost impossible to play.

In the summer season, Aphelios had one of the highest presences in professional play across the four major regions. The effectiveness of the champion changed from region to region. In the LCS, Aphelios had a 63.4% win-rate. That number decreased significantly in the LCK where Aphelios reported a 46.3% win-rate.

Those numbers correspond to the regular summer season. Aphelios' presence went down in playoffs since the leagues around the world started playing on patch 10.15.

Aphelios missed Worlds 2020

Ever since its release, Aphelios kept receiving nerfs and adjusts with every patch. The idea was to get the champion to a healthy spot where it couldn’t overtake a match in the late game. After patch 10.15, Aphelios completely disappeared from the meta as bottom laners preferred utility marksmen like Senna and Ashe.

In the 2020 World Championship, Aphelios got picked four times into Senna and came out victorious three of those times. In those occasions, Aphelios got drafted because it fitted into the composition and not because it was a difference-maker.

Aphelios went from a blue side first pick, to the last resource.

Unfortunately, the remaining of Worlds 2020 will be played on patch 10.19, so Aphelios won’t get a chance to show its new buffs on stage.

Aphelios, between nerfs and buffs

The nerfs targeted Aphelios’ damage and range. The ultimate’s range was the first to get nerfed and the weapons soon followed. The damage output by Aphelios got ridiculous at times, so every other patch they got a nerf only to get readjusted soon afterward.

Aphelios is one of the few champions that can one-shot the entire enemy if it gets the perfect ultimate. The balance team slowly took away that ability, but kind of gave it back with patch 10.21. In the live server, Aphelios got a buff on its base damage and lethality.

The stats still put Aphelios behind other marksmen, but this buff might be enough to bring it back. It wouldn’t be a surprise if pro players pick Aphelios back up in the offseason.

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