Earlier today, Riot revealed the next League of Legends champion, Aphelios, the Weapon of the Faithful. In total, the character has five different weapons, over a dozen separate abilities, and a custom HUD. Riot themselves even admitted that the tooltip for Aphelios’ passive is longer than the article that explains the entirety of his kit. If that doesn’t tip you off about the character, I’m not sure what will. Aphelios isn’t even released yet, but you can already tell that out of all the champions in the game, he’s going to be the most complex, intricate, and complicated.
And while it’s definitely fun to marvel at the titan of a character that Riot’s designed here, I want you to take a look at Aphelios and then take a look at every other champion that’s around him. Take a look at Wukong. Take a look at Master Yi. Even look at Sylas, who just came out a few months ago. They aren’t on the same planet as Aphelios.
The problem here isn’t that Aphelios brutally sticks out, it’s that the rest of the game’s roster just isn’t on the same wavelength. Newer characters like Aphelios, Senna, and Qiyana – who are all incredibly complex – shouldn’t be the standard, they should be the exception. Aphelios simply represents the breaking point of an awfully dangerous trend that’s been presented within the past three champion releases (four if you count Yuumi, but let’s be real, the Magical Cat can’t hold a candle to this beast). The fact of the matter here is that Riot is prioritizing uniqueness and flash as opposed to tried and true mechanics.
It’s hard to read that “Each of Aphelios’ five weapons has its own Q ability when equipped as his main-hand weapon. Each Q applies bonus attacks and effects based on his off-hand weapon. All five Qs cost mana and ammo, and each has its own cooldown. Aphelios automatically learns Q at level 2 and it slowly becomes stronger over the course of the game.” and then immediately after read that “every few consecutive basic attacks, Master Yi strikes twice”.
Sure, it’s fun to read through all of Aphelios’ abilities and wonder what the champion will bring to the table upon release, both in solo queue and on the competitive stage, but it’s still offputting to see the game heading in a direction that promotes intricacy and elaborateness over the proven simplicity that’s gotten League to where it is today.
New players who look at Aphelios and can’t help but be amazed by the champion will most definitely be in for a shock when they realize that the character is incredibly overloaded and doesn’t represent the standard for League of Legends champions.
When you look at what a League champion has always been, Aphelios obviously doesn’t fit that mold. He couldn’t be more out of place. But when you look at what a modern League champion is in 2019, he fits in perfectly.
Photo Credit: League of Legends, Riot Games