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League of Legends champion Aphelios took “well over a year” to create

League of Legends’ newest champion Aphelios has a few tricks up his sleeve and some complex moves to master. Developer Riot introduced him as “a champion with one of the highest skill ceilings in the game.” It looks like that complexity is reflected in the time it took to create him – Riot has said it took more than a year.

As spotted by The Loadout, Riot has said in a blog post the journey of League of Legends’ Aphelios – otherwise known as ‘The Big Brain, Sad Moon Boi’ – “from early concept to creation was a long one. Well over a year, in fact.” Given Aphelios’ playstyle, however, it’s perhaps not too surprising that the mystical marksman took a while to develop.

The champion uses five weapons, and three buttons – Q, W, and R – using W to swap between his main and off-hand weapons. He cycles through the weapons, which each have their own Q ability, as ammo drains, rather than just selecting them. His setup is significantly different to the game’s near 150 champions, which means that he even gets his own custom HUD.

“Because of the ammo, you force players into a scenario where they need to recognise their strengths at that exact moment. You can give them this combination of weapons that’s really strong for duelling so they think, ‘Oh damn. I have to fight RIGHT NOW,'” game designer Stash Chelluck, says, reflecting the thought that needs to go into the champion’s attacks.

However, as the devs explain, his design can let players explore creative ways to play: “He started, as all champions do, with a goal. His was to allow creative adaptation by using combinations of abilities, instead of twitch reflexes. Basically, he was designed to be the Yasuo of 200 IQ, galaxy brain plays,” the studio says.

After more than a year of development, Aphelios has now arrived on the LoL PBE, ready for testing before he heads to the live game. If you’re keen to get the lowdown on how his abilities work, take a look at the League of Legends patch 9.24 notes.

You can also check out his Classic skin, VO, moves in action, plus his release skin: Nightbringer Aphelios, ahead the LoL Night and Dawn even which kicks off next month.

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