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Detailed Deck Guide – Aphelios Viktor

Guns, Robots, and Science! Aphelios Viktor is a toolbox deck based around creating whatever you need. Learn all about it in this deck guide by Leer!

Thanks to Hazy for this amazing info graphic and for letting us use it in this Aphelios Viktor deck guide! =)

Regions
Piltover & Zaun
20 cards
Mount Targon
20 cards
Rarities
26 700
champion
6
epic
3
rare
10
common
21
Mana cost
2
0
6
1
12
2
11
3
3
4
6
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
3
Aphelios
3
Aphelios
4
Viktor
3
Viktor
Followers
17
1
Lunari Duskbringer
3
Lunari Duskbringer
1
Spacey Sketcher
3
Spacey Sketcher
2
Ballistic Bot
3
Ballistic Bot
2
Mountain Goat
3
Mountain Goat
3
Sump Dredger
2
Sump Dredger
5
Subpurrsible
3
Subpurrsible
Spells
17
0
Poro Cannon
2
Poro Cannon
2
Mystic Shot
3
Mystic Shot
2
Pale Cascade
3
Pale Cascade
3
Aftershock
2
Aftershock
3
Get Excited!
2
Get Excited!
3
Hush
2
Hush
5
Starshaping
3
Starshaping
Open deck in builder

Deck Breakdown

Aphelios

Let’s talk moon boy. ApheliosAphelios is the bread and butter of the deck and a powerful value engine since his buff.

We will 75% of the time pick CalibrumCalibrum as his created Moon Weapon, as it is a two-mana, deal-three-damage spell. Even if ApheliosAphelios dies, his creation of CalibrumCalibrum means he almost always trades at least two for one.

SeverumSeverum will be our second most-picked Moon Weapon. It can heal us out of range against aggro decks, as well as some slower burn decks like Ezreal Caitlyn. It can also provide sufficient health for our ViktorViktor to attack without dying.

The remaining let’s say 5-10% of the picks are scattered between CrescendumCrescendum, InfernumInfernum, and GravitumGravitum.

Moon Weapons

CrescendumCrescendum is heavily RNG-reliant, you never know what you get. It might be a one-attack Herald of DragonsHerald of Dragons or a three-attack Academy ProdigyAcademy Prodigy. Its unpredictability makes CrescendumCrescendum an unreliable tool that is difficult to rely on. CalibrumCalibrum is almost always the better choice to remove an enemy unit, unless you need a chump blocker or want to quickly phase CalibrumCalibrum for more board presence.

InfernumInfernum might appear underwhelming, and it is for most parts of the game, but once we have a ten-attack Ballistic BotBallistic Bot or ViktorViktor, it’s quite the opposite. One might even say InfernumInfernum becomes quite… overwhelming then =)

GravitumGravitum is probably the trickiest Moon Weapon. We don’t really want to use it early, since it only chains into InfernumInfernum and CrescendumCrescendum. On the other hand, its two mana cost makes it worth cycling even on smaller units like Endless DevoutEndless Devout

GravitumGravitum comes in clutch in the later stages where we can force the enemy to open attack, unless they want to see their ViktorViktor or ViVi stunned. It can even put pressure on our foe before that – we force them to develop the units they want to attack with one round earlier. In that round, we might hold mana open to remove whatever they want to play. See where this is going?

Overall, I think we shouldn’t put too much emphasis on keeping ApheliosAphelios alive. Once he created one or two Moon Weapons, he already traded two for one or even three for one. The next Moon Weapons we can phase after CalibrumCalibrum have a reactive nature and don’t want to get cycled immediately anyways.

Viktor Hex Core Upgrade

Viktor is a powerhouse that lifts this archetype from “just okay” to competitive. With his zero-mana Hex Core UpgradeHex Core Upgrade, he is a one-time four-mana investment that scales indefinitely.

Note that he also gets buffed by Aphelios’ Moon Weapons. It won’t happen often, but when Aphelios and Viktor are both leveled, your Moon Weapons will cost zero mana!

Subpurrsible

How could I resist a deck with a cat card name pun it? 

SubpurrsibleSubpurrsible benefits from the tokens we create through our champs and other units. We won’t ever keep it in the Mulligan, or have its effect activated by turn five. 

It will gain us card advantage and present a lethal threat in the mid-late game though, similar to Scattered PodScattered Pod in Ionia.

Lunari Duskbringer Ballistic Bot Mountain Goat

Lunari DuskbringerLunari Duskbringer is the MVP follower in this deck. The 2|1 body trades into most two drops, thus being a great anti-aggro tool. The Duskpetal DustDuskpetal Dust not only has a pretty epic name but also allows us to play ApheliosAphelios on turn three with Nightfall activated.

Ballistic BotBallistic Bot fulfills a similar role. The created IgnitionIgnition can activate ApheliosAphelios’ Nightfall effect. Don’t be overprotective of this unit – use it as a blocker against aggro decks like Draven Rumble.

Especially in combination with ViktorViktor, the IgnitionIgnition can represent 3+ damage, buffing ViktorViktor and Ballistic BotBallistic Bot through Augment, and deal one direct Nexus damage!

Mountain GoatMountain Goat is a solid two-drop that trades into other two-drops, as well as being a Fearsome blocker. It also creates a GemGem, which is beneficial to our deck in many ways.

To be honest, Mountain Goat feels a little underwhelming when compared to the above two followers, as it usually gets blocked by a one or two drop. Data also suggests that this unit should be replaced, but I’m not sure what better unit would create a token that can be discarded or synergizes with our deck.

If the unit happens to get replaced, it will become the… Mountain Ghost of the deck =)

Note that all the tokens created by these followers also advance SubpurrsibleSubpurrsible. They can also come in handy to swiftly create a Moon Weapon or level ViktorViktor!

Spacey Sketcher Sump Dredger Poro Cannon

Since we create so many tokens, but will not always find a use for them (e.g. drawing Lunari DuskbringerLunari Duskbringer, but not ApheliosAphelios), using them as discard fodder can prove quite efficient. They will allow us to gain card advantage and outlast most of our opponents, fitting ApheliosAphelios’ playstyle.

Spacey SketcherSpacey Sketcher is our prime discarder, as it Invokes a valuable Celestial card, in addition to serving as a chump blocker. I heard SivirSivir has nightmares of our sketchy fellow. =)

Data suggests two copies of Spacey SketcherSpacey Sketcher is optimal, but the question remains what’s an optimal one-of replacement. We will talk more about this in the Tech Choices section.

Sump DredgerSump Dredger is our second discarder. Since we like the cards in our deck, we are happy to draw as many as we can. The 4|3 body is another excellent Fearsome blocker that trades into lots of popular champions like ViktorViktor or LuluLulu.

Poro CannonPoro Cannon is our final discarding tool. It provides two card names for the advancement of SubpurrsibleSubpurrsible, as well as creates two Daring PoroDaring Poros, synergizing with Augment units. Oh, yeah, the Daring PoroDaring Poros are useful as well =) 

Daring PoroDaring Poro can serve as a chump blocker, or push Nexus damage. Since there aren’t many lists running Elusive units on the ladder, Daring PoroDaring Poro can deal significant Nexus damage over time. Especially against decks like Sun Disc or Bandle Tree, where we have a hard time damaging the enemy Nexus otherwise, this game plan can prove quite effective.

Also, with all these discarders, we might even be able to discard our emotional baggage.

Mystic Shot Get Excited! Aftershock

With our cheap units, Aphelios Viktor already tends to do well against aggro archetypes. Running cheap removal spells from PnZ to stabilize this strong point lies close. 

Mystic ShotMystic Shot and Get Excited!Get Excited! are well-known removal spells that don’t need much explanation. Get Excited!Get Excited! works well in our deck as we usually have at least one token in hand to discard.

The inclusion of AftershockAftershock is heavily induced by the overwhelming popularity of Sun Disc at the time of writing. If we are able to destroy Buried Sun DiscBuried Sun Disc, the deck is usually unable to out-value us.

AftershockAftershock can also be used for its deal-three damage effect. A lot of popular champions, like LuluLulu, ApheliosAphelios, or Miss FortuneMiss Fortune, have three health and are thus susceptible to AftershockAftershock.

Pale Cascade Hush

Pale CascadePale Cascade is a neat combat spell to protect our champions and Ballistic BotBallistic Bot, while also drawing us a card. There’s nothing more to say here, besides: Can you believe that this spell used to give a +2|+1 buff?!

HushHush is a reactive combat trick to save our Nexus from tricky maneuvers, like a big AmbushAmbush strike from Riven Viktor. We will never keep this spell in the Mulligan, as it is too reactive in nature. Don’t be afraid to discard HushHush against decks that aren’t susceptible to Silence effects, like Ezreal Caitlyn.

Starshaping

StarshapingStarshaping is our main way of closing out the game. While we don’t need to present big threats against aggro decks, we do need finishers to close out the game against control decks like Sun Disc or Ramp Aurelion Sol. These finishers will usually be The Great BeyondThe Great Beyond or The Immortal FireThe Immortal Fire because of their Elusive keyword and in-built protection.

Tech Choices

This is a difficult one. There are a multitude of very different Aphelios Viktor lists out there, so let’s cover two of the strongest ones.

Regions
Piltover & Zaun
22 cards
Mount Targon
18 cards
Rarities
26 700
champion
6
epic
3
rare
10
common
21
Mana cost
1
0
9
1
14
2
7
3
3
4
6
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
3
Aphelios
3
Aphelios
4
Viktor
3
Viktor
Followers
19
1
Lunari Duskbringer
3
Lunari Duskbringer
1
Spacey Sketcher
3
Spacey Sketcher
1
Zaunite Urchin
3
Zaunite Urchin
2
Ballistic Bot
3
Ballistic Bot
2
Mountain Goat
3
Mountain Goat
3
Station Archivist
1
Station Archivist
5
Subpurrsible
3
Subpurrsible
Spells
15
0
Poro Cannon
1
Poro Cannon
2
Calculated Creations
2
Calculated Creations
2
Mystic Shot
3
Mystic Shot
2
Pale Cascade
3
Pale Cascade
3
Get Excited!
3
Get Excited!
5
Starshaping
3
Starshaping
Open deck in builder

This version is utilizing Zaunite UrchinZaunite Urchin instead of Sump DredgerSump Dredger, making it even better against aggro, as well as pushing some early damage against lists that have a difficult time dealing with wide boards. 

A one-of Station ArchivistStation Archivist is a fancy way of creating a card/token, as well as giving us a 3|3 body. 

Calculated CreationsCalculated Creations is a surprisingly good card, backed by data, that can either create a Ballistic BotBallistic Bot for additional value or NyandroidNyandroid to increase our winning chances against archetypes like Sun Disc.

Note that this version is waived the cheesy AftershockAftershock against Sun Disc and rather relies on the Elusive and going wide game plan.

If you really wanted to push the data to its optimality, you could replace one Spacey SketcherSpacey Sketcher with a Poro CannonPoro Cannon =)

Regions
Piltover & Zaun
17 cards
Mount Targon
23 cards
Rarities
26 400
champion
6
epic
2
rare
14
common
18
Mana cost
2
0
6
1
13
2
11
3
3
4
5
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
3
Aphelios
3
Aphelios
4
Viktor
3
Viktor
Followers
18
1
Lunari Duskbringer
3
Lunari Duskbringer
1
Spacey Sketcher
3
Spacey Sketcher
2
Ballistic Bot
3
Ballistic Bot
2
Mountain Goat
3
Mountain Goat
3
Solari Priestess
2
Solari Priestess
3
Sump Dredger
2
Sump Dredger
5
Subpurrsible
2
Subpurrsible
Spells
16
0
Thermogenic Beam
2
Thermogenic Beam
2
Guiding Touch
1
Guiding Touch
2
Mystic Shot
3
Mystic Shot
2
Pale Cascade
3
Pale Cascade
3
Get Excited!
2
Get Excited!
3
Hush
2
Hush
5
Starshaping
3
Starshaping
Open deck in builder

While the previous tech list was more focused on going wide and sneaky, this one focuses on playing tall and value-oriented.

Solari PriestessSolari Priestess is a powerful mid-game Invoker that can accelerate our game plan instead of waiting for StarshapingStarshaping. For that, it’s a tempo-negative play that will lose us some games against aggro archetypes. 

Thermogenic BeamThermogenic Beam is another value-oriented card. It can adapt to the matchup and kill a LuluLulu, ViktorViktor, or TaliyahTaliyah. The “spend all your mana” mechanic makes it a little inflexible and awkward to utilize though, especially if you need to cast it as soon as your opponent plays their threat. Data doesn’t support this card, but the presented list has a 55% WR nonetheless.

Guiding TouchGuiding Touch is the last new card on this list. As a cycling card, it doesn’t fulfill any significant role, besides being one more card to activate SubpurrsibleSubpurrsible.


Mulligan

We are usually looking for ViktorViktor and ApheliosAphelios. While we want ViktorViktor against midrange and value-orineted archetypes, he can be too slow versus aggro. The opposite is true for ApheliosAphelios – he can generate a cheap CalibrumCalibrum and serve as a blocker afterward, producing a Phased SeverumSeverum on his way out.

If we already have ApheliosAphelios, we might as well keep Lunari DuskbringerLunari Duskbringer. The same goes for ViktorViktor and Ballistic BotBallistic Bot.

In general, we are looking for units over spells. Spells are reactive and usually not as valuable as our units.


Matchups

Sun Disc - even

Buried Sun Disc Azir Xerath

Mulligan: Viktor, Aftershock

Despite us running AftershockAftershock, this matchup isn;t as one-sided as you might think. Even if we find AftershockAftershock, they can always just draw SoothsayerSoothsayer and be safe.

Our best shot at winning this game is through ViktorViktor. We don’t have much time before they level their champions and queue the one minute short movie. Before that happens, we have to explode their nexus.

Crescent StrikeCrescent Strike can be a powerful Invoke that allows you to push damage with a buffed Ballistic BotBallistic Bot or ViktorViktor, especially if the latter has Scout.

Since ApheliosAphelios isn’t really adding to our gameplan of rushing the opponent down, we don’t look for him in the Mulligan. If we get him anyways, create CalibrumCalibrum to remove a blocker and look for GravitumGravitum to stun a blocker. Don’t hesitate to attack with him, even if he might die.

Riven Viktor - slightly favored

Riven Viktor

Mulligan: ApheliosAphelios, ViktorViktor, one drops

At the beginning of the patch, Aphel Vik actually had a 49% winrate. With the increase in popularity of Riven Viktor, and other aggro decks to beat Sun Disc, that changed.

As previously mentioned, HushHush comes in clutch to stop their lethal attempt through AmbushAmbush or Blade of the ExileBlade of the Exile.

AftershockAftershock and Get Excited!Get Excited! can be great for killing NyandroidNyandroid, but Poro CannonPoro Cannon is also sufficient at blocking it.

Overall, especially thanks to SeverumSeverum and StarshapingStarshaping, we can heal enough to not get burned down. They can’t play around HushHush, so make sure that you have enough mana open if you expect a big attack by them.

Ezreal Caitlyn - unfavored

Ezreal Caitlyn Tri-beam Improbulator

Mulligan: ApheliosAphelios, ViktorViktor, one drops

This matchup is pure misery. While Aphel Vik is good at dealing with small units, three-health units are at a threshhold where they become expensive to remove. AftershockAftershock is a crucial tool in removing Caitlyn, as we have no other way of removing her. She will win them the game if left untouched.

Despite the reactive nature of Cait Ez, they are actually the aggressor in the matchup. With their value plays of Station ArchivistStation Archivist and CaitlynCaitlyn, they can produce a surprisingly wide board that can quickly overwhelm us. 

We can’t hold back on this one and have to take sub-optimal trades to protect our Nexus HP. I found SeverumSeverum to be helpful to keep us alive a little longer if they found more units than us.

The problem with this is that they also win in the late game. We have no way of dealing with a leveled EzrealEzreal, so once they are able to develop him, it gets really difficult to survive. In some situations, SeverumSeverum  can help us outlast their burn, as they oftentimes won’t have many cards left in hand when they play EzrealEzreal.

With Ezreal on board though, their topdecks, like a Station ArchivistStation Archivist or Captain FarronCaptain Farron are usually more valuable than ours, unless we draw StarshapingStarshaping or Solari PriestessSolari Priestess (If we run her).

Thus, we would like to be the aggressor in this matchup and accept said slightly worse trades, like Mountain GoatMountain Goat trading into House SpiderHouse Spider.

On the topic of ApheliosAphelios: We will never be able to protect him. Our best-case scenario is playing him when they can’t remove him at fast speed, so we can play a Moon Weapon, phase another one, and create it in hand before Aphelios dies. 

I have lost games in this matchup because I thought I could find the perfect moment to play him in an unremovable spot. That usually led to my Nexus taking way too much damage from their small creatures. Don’t be greedy – don’t be me.

Fizz Lulu - even

Fizz Lulu Yordles in Arms

Mulligan: ApheliosAphelios, one drops > ViktorViktor

This is a matchup where ApheliosAphelios really can shine. If you’re not overly protective of him, this matchup can even be favored for us. After he produced CalibrumCalibrum + another Moon Weapon, trade him away. Letting our opponent’s unit live to push extra damage and get buffed by Yordles in Arms Yordles in Arms is not worth his awkward Moon Weapon Cycling after CalibrumCalibrum.

I find it really difficult to Mulligan in this matchup. Having Mystic ShotMystic Shot for a Flame Chompers!Flame Chompers! can be amazing, or a Get Excited!Get Excited! for LuluLulu. But if they never play her, and instead find Yordle CaptainYordle Captain, our removal isn’t very efficient.

While EquinoxEquinox can be an answer to Yordle CaptainYordle Captain, Crescent StrikeCrescent Strike usually is the better Invoke choice. Even if you didn’t get it, make your opponent fear playing Yordles in Arms Yordles in Arms by keeping three mana open and bluffing Crescent StrikeCrescent Strike if you Invoked previously and haven’t shown the Invoked card yet.

This matchup really is about staying reactive. Make them second guess if they can develop LuluLulu, or play that Flame Chompers!Flame Chompers! at slow speed. Keep enough mana open to bluff removal spells and don’t be afraid to (open) pass if they haven’t spent their mana yet.


Conclusion

Aphelios Viktor is a fan favorite that made the development from Hopium to actually viable. The archetype is an all rounder that doesn’t have many bad matchups, making it a solid pick for the ladder.

The reactiveness of the deck makes its playstyle similar to Caitlyn Ezreal, with a few key differences like ViktorViktor or the Invoke mechanic.

This is the reason that if you want to bring Aphelios Viktor to a Bo3 format like the Gauntlet, consider pairing it with Ezreal Caitlyn. Fizz Lulu or Scouts could be your third deck, making you very strong versus aggressive lineups targeting Sun Disc. We are also strong against lineups bringing Riven Viktor, while we want to ban Sun Disc and Caitlyn Ezreal.


If you have any questions about any explanation or a word you don't understand — please reach out to me! You can either write/ping me on Discord (Leer#2026) or DM me on Twitter (@Leer97).


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