How to Play Aphelios, Viktor, and Zoe
Aphelios and Viktor both received huge buffs last patch. Aphelios’ weapons now cost 2 instead of 3. Viktor’s Hexcore Upgrade went from 1 mana to 0 mana.
These are massive buffs for each champ as it is more efficient to play them now than before. They are a lot less risky to play than before and don’t require as many resources put into them for them to shine.
These changes have left players excited to play them once again. On top of that, the two champions have a solid pairing together. Targon and PNZ have a past of working well together with decks such as Zoe Viktor and Zoe Aphelios in the past.
I will be showing two different decks for this archetype. One is of one I have personally played and enjoyed while the other has a 59% winrate in nearly 200 games played!
In my deck, we will be taking a piece of each of those decks and run 1 Zoe, 2 Viktors, and 3 Aphelios while the other one plays 3 Viktor and 3 Aphelios.
The deck I’ve personally played
Deck Code: CEAQGAYJGNE5SAIEAYBQSKSUKZOGAYQCAMCAGBIBAUCBQAICAQAQMAQEAQBAOBADBEESGVO3AEAQGBAOAIAQIIJUAECASCQBAUFJQAI
The deck backed by stats
Besides the obvious champions ratios, there are a handful of differences in the deck such as the Poro Cannons, Sunburst, and Get Excited being run in this version.
Most of the cards are 3 ofs as well. However, there are a lot of core cards that are similar and the decks tend to play out similarly.
Deck Code: CECAMAYJENEVIVS43EAQEAYEAMCQCAIEGQAQEBABAMAQGBASAIAQIJRHAIBQSF2VAA
Goal of the Deck
This deck has a range of ways to win the game. As you might have noticed, the deck has a large number of one and two of’s in the list. This is to more easily activate Subpurrsible and Pursuit of Perfection which are one of the deck’s many win conditions. Each champion also has its win condition too. Zoe’s level up is incredibly impactful and giving all your units augment and elusive tends to be game-ending.
Aphelios as well as Viktor allow you to out grind most opponents through weapons and keywords. Aphelios’ Crescendum also allows you to continuously pull random 2 cost cards from your regions which helps you not run out of resources.
On top of this, the deck is filled with low-cost cards to make it easy to produce more cards for Aphelios to more easily level up. When Aphelios and Viktor are leveled up together, then you can have 0 cost weapons! Viktor’s 0 cost Hexcore Upgrade is another great way to generate more weapons with Aphelios.
This deck is more similar to a sandbox where you can play your cards and do what you want with your deck. The variety of ways to win through the champions, Purrsuit of Perfection, as well as generally outvaluing your opponent makes each game feel unique and fun to play!
The mulligan can change quite a bit depending on which matchup you are against. In some matchups, you will want to focus on controlling the board and not dying. This is most often against aggressive opponents.
Generally, you will want to keep, Zoe, Fallen Feline, Lunari Duskbringer, Spacey Sketcher, Mountain Goat, and potentially Guiding Touch in these matches.
Against more control and value-focused decks, you will want to do your best to match that value. You can do this by keeping your champions Zoe, Aphelios, and Viktor in the mulligan. On top of this, you will also want to keep cards that continue to generate value such as Ferros Financer and Solari Priestess. In especially slow matchups, you might even consider keeping Veiled Temple, Startipped Peak, and Calculated Creations.
Against Combo decks, you want to keep Aloof Travelers in hopes that you can discard one of their main pieces and hope that they don’t find the next copy of their combo piece in their deck.
Against a slow deck, I’d keep Zoe and Ferros Financer. Against a more aggressive deck, I’d keep Zoe. If my opponent is burn-heavy I’d keep Guiding Touch, but if not I would only keep Zoe.
If you get stuck with slow, value cards against an aggressive deck, your best bet is to take the low-cost, efficient cards from the card selection pool and hope that you can keep enough tempo to have a chance against fast decks.
There isn’t an optimized version of this deck yet, but the 59% is the closest so far. There are a variety of options to add to the deck with an incredible amount of flexibility.
Two cards that might need to be considered are Aftershock or Divergent Paths for landmark removal. Both cards are flexible as well if your opponent doesn’t have landmarks.
Bastion is great to protect against hard removal spells. While Sunblessed Vigor can defend against some damage-based removal.
In a meta with very long, drawn-out games that are focused on outvaluing the opponent, then Loping Telescope might be a card worth slotting in as well.
This is an archetype that has been revisited since Aphelios and Viktor were buffed. However, the game has changed a lot since Aphelios dominated the meta.
Most players are unsure how powerful he is in the current meta. The best way to find out is to try him yourself and see what you think about Aphelios and Viktor!
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, feel free to ask Silverfuse during her streams (usually daily from 2-6PM CST).