TL,DR (because, believe me, it's long): Until Riot gives him the Akali/Irelia treatment and remove mechanics/add actual weaknesses on his weapons, he'll stay strong simply because of how many ways of dealing damage he has, with his only weaknesses being.
Since Aphelios is getting nerfed yet again next patch, I thought appropriate to discuss him. Let's break him down a bit, to understand why he's getting nerfed but why it's being done in the wrong way.
Calibrum has Caitlyn's AA range, and its active skillshot lets him AA with his offhand weapon from even longer range than Caitlyn's enhanced AA range on the target it hits. If you hit anyone with this weapon from using other weapons' abilities, you also get the mark. The autos with the offhand weapon all act as normal autos, which mean they proc lifesteal, Runaan's, can crit, etc.
Severum doesn't use projectiles and heals him for a portion of the post-mitigation damage (lifesteal, but only on Severum until you get "true" lifesteal), with Runaan's letting him heal off from more targets, and any overhealing becomes a shield that stacks with BT/Overheal rune. The active gives him Urgot's W, making him attack autonomously in increased speed with both Severum and the offhand weapon, and while the attacks don't benefit from Runaan's, they still benefit from lifesteal and crit, and they can apply marks from Calibrum/slow from Gravitum/deal the splash damage from Infernum/stack chakrams from Crescendum.
Gravitum gives him Frozen Mallet, slowing target(s if you have Runaan's), and the active roots the slowed targets. If you have Runaan's, you can apply the slow to more targets per auto. This is his only weapon whose active itself doesn't synergize with other weapons or can crit, apply lifesteal, or proc Runaan's, since the active root isn't done from an auto; think of it as a Kennen's W/Twitch's E.
Infernum gives him Titanic Hydra on his autos, and if you have Runaan's, you can apply the splash damage multiple times to multiple targets. The active deals damage and marks everyone hit with Infernum, then follows up with autos from his offhand weapon on all marked targets at the same time; these attacks don't benefit from Runaan's, but they do benefit from crit and lifesteal.
Crescendum gives him nearly unparalleled DPS close-range, which can get even higher, since everytime you would attack with Crescendum from using the other weapons abilities, you gain more chakrams to add damage to your Crescendum's AA, everytime the chakrams return to you your AA resets, and the active deploys an Heimer's turret that autos with your offhand weapon, benefiting from your AS, AD, AP and crit chance.
And this is not even considering his ultimate, which has five variations depending on which weapon he's currently using. The most notable one is Infernum's, since it acts as a Brand-like ultimate (which can crit and apply lifesteal as normal), with Gravitum's being the second most notable for slowing everyone hit for an even higher percentage and letting him root multiple targets from quite afar, giving him initiation power too. And that's not considering how he gets "extra extra" AD/AS/Lethality from leveling up.
And that's the problem with him; his entire kits synergizes with itself too much; all his weapons have different mechanics and utilities that, while sounding deep and difficult on paper, are actually quite easy after 2-3 games to understand him; everything crits, everything applies lifesteal, Runaan's upgrades all his weapons with the exception of Crescendum (you do get the normal effects, but the bolts don't stack more chakrams nor do they benefit from the increased damage), and for all these strengths, not a single weapon of his has any true weakness or at least a trade-off for those.
Nerfing his numbers will only do so much until he actually has mechanics removed or weaknesses added to his weapon, which was what they did with Irelia and Akali to bring their power down. Give him lower AS on Gravitum, or lower initial damage on Crescendum, or remove the overheal on Severum, make his abilities count as abilities so that not everything crits and lifesteals, especially his ultimate, just to name a few ideas. Because until then, he'll still be an amalgamation of different ADCs, with most of their strengths and almost none of the drawbacks other than "immobile and squishy if you can actually get to him before he destroys you from half a screen away with turrets and calibrum marks".
- Pros losing to shopkeeper again (Senna math)
- Upcoming changes for 10.15 with preview
- Kai’sa : Hybrid vs Crit vs On-hit ( long and lots of numbers )
More about League of LegendsPost: "The problem with Aphelios isn’t his numbers, but actually, how many mechanics he has for dealing damage with almost no drawbacks." specifically for the game League of Legends. Other useful information about this game:
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