When does League of Legends’ new champion Aphelios release?

He's coming sooner than you think.

Aphelios splash art
Image via Riot Games

Although League of Legends fans may not have had enough time to digest Senna, who was released 10 days ago, Riot Games has already revealed a new champion hitting the Rift next month.

Riot teased Aphelios yesterday with a captivating biography about the fated circumstances that separated him from his twin sister, Alune. But the split filled him with the power needed to fight off the ruling Solari. And despite the marksman’s haircut reminding us of emo’s heyday from the early 2000s, Aphelios will debut on Summoner’s Rift with a chip on his shoulder.

When is Aphelios’ release date?

Screengrab via Riot Games

Aphelios is slated for a Dec. 11 release, according to the League client, which was updated today with Patch 9.23. Players will likely get to test him out beforehand on the Public Beta Environment so that the developers can fine-tune any glaring balance issues.

A December release for the Weapon of the Faithful will mark the fifth champion of 2019, joining the unique cast of Senna, Qiyana, Yuumi, and Sylas. His release would also trump a quiet 2018 that produced only three champs—Neeko, Pyke, and Kai’Sa.

This would also give players adequate time to play him in the preseason before hitting the season 10 ranked grind.

How will he be different from other marksmen?

Aphelios’ abilities haven’t been revealed yet, but his bio gives us some inclination as to how he’ll perform on the Rift. The marksman was given magical power from his sister, which seemingly manifested in mystical moonblades.

“To protect the survivors of the attack who retreated back into the shadows of the mountain, Aphelios’ training as an assassin has been given reach by Alune’s magic—his blades now an arsenal of mystical weapons, perfected by Alune over the course of many missions together,” the bio reads.

Lore also suggests the Aphelios is training as an assassin. Pairing that with the moonblades may indicate a change from traditional ranged ADCs. Seeing a Yasuo or Garen in the bot lane was a flavor-of-the-month occurrence, but a melee assassin being cemented as a marksman would dramatically shift the meta. 

Pyke, being an assassin, provided a refreshing take on the stale tank or heal support champion pool. If Aphelios provides a similar break from the norm, then things are about to get a whole lot more exciting in the bot lane.