Aphelios has broken the record as the most-banned champion in Korean solo queue, with a 223% ban rate.
Aphelios, The Weapon of the Faithful, was introduced with Patch 9.24, the final update of 2019. The champion promised to be different from any other champion prior and it lived up to those expectations. While Aphelios’ kit is different from the rest in the game, it was also too powerful.
Because of that strength, Aphelios quickly became a required ban and it got to the point where he broke ban rate records. Each champion can get up to a 200% ban rate, meaning that it is banned by both blue and red side 100% of the games. Aphelios reached a dramatic 223% ban rate.
What makes Aphelios so strong?
Aphelios’ kit is unique, the champion has five different weapons that he alternates. Each weapon has its own range, effects, and damage. Despite being advertised as a champion difficult to learn, any capable player can get the hang of Aphelios after playing for some hours. For enemies, the story is very different.
As a matchup, Aphelios is difficult because it’s hard to keep track of his strength. The strength of a champion can be measured based on the items, levels, CS, and cooldowns. On a champion with a fixed kit, the opponents knows what to expect and the timings of each ability. Aphelios is unpredictable.
It is almost impossible to keep track of the weapons and ammunition, and to predict which one Aphelios will get next. A player needs to invest time learning how Aphelios works so they can effectively counter it as an enemy. That effort is simply not worth it, and players have taken the easy route as they’re banning it in every game.
Aphelios received a nerf in Patch 10.1, but it wasn’t strong enough to get him out of the meta just yet. The professional competitive season is fast approaching and Aphelios could see the stage for the first time after it was globally banned throughout both the KeSPA Cup and the Demacia Cup.
Considering the current state of the champion, unless the teams are confident that they can counter it, Aphelios will be a permanent ban on the red side. If the ban rate continues to be this high, Aphelios is likely to receive even stronger nerfs in Patch 10.2.