Skip to content

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
9
3
5
4
6
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
3
Aphelios
3
4
Viktor
3
Followers
17
1
Lunari Duskbringer
3
1
Spacey Sketcher
3
2
Ballistic Bot
3
2
Mountain Goat
3
3
Sump Dredger
2
5
Subpurrsible
3
Spells
17
0
Poro Cannon
2
2
Mystic Shot
3
2
Pale Cascade
3
3
Get Excited!
2
3
Hush
2
4
Aftershock
2
5
Starshaping
3

Deck Breakdown

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

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

Severum 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 Viktor to attack without dying.

The remaining let’s say 5-10% of the picks are scattered between Crescendum, Infernum, and Gravitum.

Moon Weapons

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

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

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

Gravitum comes in clutch in the later stages where we can force the enemy to open attack, unless they want to see their Viktor or Vi 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 Aphelios 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 Calibrum have a reactive nature and don’t want to get cycled immediately anyways.

Viktor is a powerhouse that lifts this archetype from “just okay” to competitive. With his zero-mana Hex 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!

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

Subpurrsible 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 Pod in Ionia.

Lunari 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 Dust not only has a pretty epic name but also allows us to play Aphelios on turn three with Nightfall activated.

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

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

Mountain Goat is a solid two-drop that trades into other two-drops, as well as being a Fearsome blocker. It also creates a Gem, 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 Subpurrsible. They can also come in handy to swiftly create a Moon Weapon or level Viktor!

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

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

Data suggests two copies of Spacey 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 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 Viktor or Lulu.

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

Daring Poro can serve as a chump blocker, or push Nexus damage. Since there aren’t many lists running Elusive units on the ladder, Daring 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.

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

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

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

Pale Cascade is a neat combat spell to protect our champions and Ballistic 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?!

Hush is a reactive combat trick to save our Nexus from tricky maneuvers, like a big Ambush 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 Hush against decks that aren’t susceptible to Silence effects, like Ezreal Caitlyn.

Starshaping 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 Beyond or The 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
4
Viktor
3
Followers
19
1
Lunari Duskbringer
3
1
Spacey Sketcher
3
1
Zaunite Urchin
3
2
Ballistic Bot
3
2
Mountain Goat
3
3
Station Archivist
1
5
Subpurrsible
3
Spells
15
0
Poro Cannon
1
2
Calculated Creations
2
2
Mystic Shot
3
2
Pale Cascade
3
3
Get Excited!
3
5
Starshaping
3

This version is utilizing Zaunite Urchin instead of Sump 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 Archivist is a fancy way of creating a card/token, as well as giving us a 3|3 body. 

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

Note that this version is waived the cheesy Aftershock 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 Sketcher with a Poro 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
4
Viktor
3
Followers
18
1
Lunari Duskbringer
3
1
Spacey Sketcher
3
2
Ballistic Bot
3
2
Mountain Goat
3
3
Solari Priestess
2
3
Sump Dredger
2
5
Subpurrsible
2
Spells
16
0
Thermogenic Beam
2
2
Guiding Touch
1
2
Mystic Shot
3
2
Pale Cascade
3
3
Get Excited!
2
3
Hush
2
5
Starshaping
3

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

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

Thermogenic Beam is another value-oriented card. It can adapt to the matchup and kill a Lulu, Viktor, or Taliyah. 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 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 Subpurrsible.


Mulligan

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

If we already have Aphelios, we might as well keep Lunari Duskbringer. The same goes for Viktor and Ballistic 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

Mulligan: Viktor, Aftershock

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

Our best shot at winning this game is through Viktor. 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 Strike can be a powerful Invoke that allows you to push damage with a buffed Ballistic Bot or Viktor, especially if the latter has Scout.

Since Aphelios 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 Calibrum to remove a blocker and look for Gravitum to stun a blocker. Don’t hesitate to attack with him, even if he might die.

Riven Viktor - slightly favored

Mulligan: Aphelios, Viktor, 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, Hush comes in clutch to stop their lethal attempt through Ambush or Blade of the Exile.

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

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

Ezreal Caitlyn - unfavored

Mulligan: Aphelios, Viktor, 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. Aftershock 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 Archivist and Caitlyn, 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 Severum 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 Ezreal, so once they are able to develop him, it gets really difficult to survive. In some situations, Severum  can help us outlast their burn, as they oftentimes won’t have many cards left in hand when they play Ezreal.

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

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

On the topic of Aphelios: 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

Mulligan: Aphelios, one drops > Viktor

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

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

While Equinox can be an answer to Yordle Captain, Crescent Strike usually is the better Invoke choice. Even if you didn’t get it, make your opponent fear playing Yordles in Arms by keeping three mana open and bluffing Crescent 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 Lulu, or play that 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 Viktor 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).


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on reddit