Apollo is one of the most popular gods in the game. He has a really strong versatile kit with only a handful of weaknesses that can be overcome easier than the weaknesses of other choice ADC?s.
Kit discussion (How it works/How to use)
Audacity (PASSIVE)?After 10 successful basic attacks, Apollo gains Audacity, attacking with both hands and increasing his attack speed by 100% for the next 5 attacks (hit or miss) he makes.
ATTACK SPEED BUFF: 100% BUFF DURATION: 5 attacks
So Beautiful?Apollo strums a single cord on his Lyre. It?s so beautiful it hurts, and all enemies in a long range line take damage.
DAMAGE:80/135/190/245/300 (+80% of your physical power) COOLDOWN: 15/14/13/12/11s COST: 70/75/80/85/90
Serenade?Apollo uses his amazing voice to mesmerize all nearby enemies and bolster himself with additional protections. Any damage done breaks the effect.
MESMERIZE: .7/1.1/1.5/1.9/2.3s PROTECTIONS :10/20/30/40/50 BUFF LIFETIME: 5s RADIUS: 20
COOLDOWN 17/16/15/14/13s COST 75
The Moves?Apollo runs forward and slides on his knees, dealing damage, knocking aside all enemies and adding a stack of Audacity for each enemy hit. At the end of the slide, the movement speed is decreased for enemies and increased for himself and allies.
DAMAGE: 70/115/160/205/250 (+60% of your physical power) MOVEMENT SPEED BUFF/DEBUFF: 5/10/15/20/25% BUFF DURATION:2s COOLDOWN 15s COST 70
Across The Sky?Apollo rides his chariot across the sky, choosing when to land, dealing damage every .2s for .8s and knocking back enemies when he lands.
DAMAGE PER TICK:70/95/120/145/170 (+30% of your physical power) RADIUS :20 COOLDOWN 110/105/100/95/90s COST 10 + 60 per second
His passive?is probably the single most valuable aspect of his kit. The vast majority of an ADC?s damage is in their auto attacks. The ability to gain a free 100% increase in attack speed every 10 autos for 5 autos means you get an?effective 33% upgrade to attack speed?compared in overall dps and attack speed to other ADC?s. Gods like Artemis have to dump 70 of their 205 mana (or 90 of their 885 mana at level 20?Not much better) in order to obtain attack speed buffs that are not only temporal, but weaker. You can ?bank? Apollos passive for an opportune moment. Before ulting or flanking into an engagement you should always try to build up your passive and hold onto it so the first 5 autos can be bursted 100% more quickly before the enemy can react and reposition to your presence. If there is one thing to gain from this guide ? this is probably the biggest ?step up? a player can gain as Apollo.
His 1?is his ?nuke? (His ability that does damage that most ADC?s have ? some have multiples, Apollo has 1 though). You will be using your 1 to clear the wave and ranking it up first. Sometimes I don?t put a point into my ult if I know I wont need it in order to place it into this ability and gain a tiny bit more wave clear.
His 2?is a Mez (this means it is a stun for either the entire duration or until the enemy takes damage from an allied source). You will be using this to run away from split pushing, in a 1v1 to buy time for rotating team mates, or in a 1v1 to reposition yourself into a more favorable position.
Examples?of how to make the most of it: Late game you have destroyed a tier 2 tower. The enemies surround you, use it on all 3 of them and IMMEDIATELY begin to ult. The duration of the mez will last long enough for your Ultimate to complete its long wind up ? thus ensuring you aren?t bursted down while channeling your ult.
You are 1v1 and low HP vs the enemy ADC ? your jungler is on their way, you mez and let it run its full course ? meanwhile you position yourself behind allied minions so that the enemies auto attacks will be soaked up by the minions allowing you to buy enough time for the jungler to gank.
In a general 1v1 situation you are gunning down an artemis who doesn?t have her ult. She is trying to retreat and so she uses her 2 and sprint at the same time: You immediately mez her and let the full duration play out, meanwhile running past her towards her destination so that she must run past you in order to get to tower. Every second she is mez?d she loses time off her buff and her sprint active. You should disengage her mez at the last possible moment with your 1 at the max distance you can so that you get the guaranteed ability damage and a free auto attack (which fires right after his 1). She now has to run past you and has no move speed/attack speed buff left.
If you do not need the mez it is still worth using because you gain up to 50 protections by using it (late game)
His 3?is a dash with a knockup and buff/debuff for each enemy hit with the knockup. If you are running and mez has a short duration because you haven?t leveled it up enough yet then be sure to use the mez to ensure that you can dash through the enemy in order to knock up and debuff the enemy. Every second counts when you are running. Don?t be afraid to take a step backwards sometimes in order to ensure the dash gets the knockup/debuff. I Think of this ability much like an Agni dash. You SHOULD NOT DASH FORWARD unless you are CERTAIN that you can obtain a kill off of this. This ability is your greatest retreat. Burning it offensively without knowing where their jungle is = dangerous.
His Ultimate?is what some people consider the staple of his kit. You can use it to run away after a successful split push (or a failed one lol). You can use it to swing a team fight on the other end of the map. Or you can even just use it for the CC immunity to avoid undesirable CC such as an Ares or Fenrir ult.
Wave clear strategy?As Apollo you will be ranking your 1 up first in order to hit minions. I highly recommend that if you ever can ? use your passive in order to shoot the archer minions before the melee ones since his wave clear is weaker than many other ADC?s ? this will mean less damage for you in the long run. You should have death toll or some form of lifesteal as Apollo in current meta ? you should be using your autos to clear the wave and gain lifesteal as much as possible. Do not use your 3 to clear a wave. You CAN mez minions in order to avoid some damage but usually its not worth the mana.
Harassment and avoiding harassment?Apollo is pretty simple: Build passive on minions, use passive on enemy tank/adc. If you can nuke the minions AND the enemy then I recommend you do so. Your passive will help you gain back the life you lost with lifesteal. And that brings me to a really large point: Apollo in current meta has REALLY strong potential for lifesteal in early stages of the game. He can gain back 11 hp per auto attack with level 2 of Devo + Death toll. Combined with his attack speed passive this means he can gain back 165 hp for around 10 seconds of auto attacks (how long it takes to build and spend passive). This is more than a green pot. (250 over 25 seconds vs 165 over 10 seconds). With this huge potential he can use himself to soak up more damage than the tank because he has potential to heal it up for free as he lanes. This means that you can keep your tank in the 2v2 fight much longer than they can. And people who learn this and how to manage it will have a distinct advantage in lane. Don?t underestimate a tanks damage at early levels ? especially someone like Ymir or Ares.
Itemization specific to the god
Nothing too specific to Apollo to note:
A typical build could look like:
Deathtoll -> Devo gloves -> pen boots -> Executioner -> Rage -> Situationals
Deathtoll -> Devo gloves -> pen boots -> qins -> rage / titans -> situationals
Situationals: Titans bane, qins, Executioner, Deathbringer, fatalis, blood forge, Defensive item (such as magi blessing), Jotuns, Asi, Malice, Brawlers Beatstick, Witchstone.
And even transcendence if that item fits your style more. The mana isn?t a BAD addition to your ult?s available cast time pool. But I don?t think there is much reason to leave a typical ?meta? build. Heart seeker is of course still an option on him ? I don?t see too many benefits of using it over devo gloves at the moment though.
You CAN forgo deaths toll in order to start Devo gloves level 2. But honestly this A: wastes your blue since you are backing prematurely B: losses an xp lead in lane ? If you leave before level 5 you will be coming back to lane and they will have ult and you wont? huge potential for kill in this regard. This is less of an issue for Apollo since his ult isn?t really saving his life in the early team fights. But coming back when an enemy has their nuke doing 100 more damage than your nuke is bad for the laning phase ? you WILL be out pushed until level 8/9.
There are merits such as 5 extra physical power? but 3% attack speed and 90 HP negate that benefit imo. Not to mention mana sustain and hp sustain are much greater with Death toll (especially on Apollo who gets passive attack speed and thus more auto attacks onto a minion wave)
I honestly think Deaths toll is more useful in this regard. But you are entitles to your respective opinions on builds starts. (Did I mention you have room for a green pot if you start Deaths toll + Devo gloves 1 instead of Devo gloves 2? Extremely useful get out of jail free card right there. Makes up for any mistakes in the laning phase engagements?)
Level priority?If there aren?t any opportunities to ult in on team fights I often don?t rank up my ult with the same priority. But typically your rank ups will look like this:
1, 4, 2, 3
Alternate roles (IE: Solo, Jungle) Apollo makes a great Solo/Mid and a surprisingly good Jungle. As far as the solo/mid game goes it is pretty self explanatory as you are just farming the wave, avoiding damage, dealing damage if you can, healing up with auto attacks on the wave.
Jungle start is: Death toll, red pot, hog. I will be honest if you can take the hit in early game its worth it to avoid picking up the hog so that you can have beads/sprint late game. Your auto attacks and lifesteal will be your jungle sustain. Before ganking you should have your passive built to full. Your ult is a great initiation, mez sets up allied ults, and your dash is a good chase down or buff/debuff (and dont forget its a knock up!). If you can land auto attacks ? squishy mages are juicy food that you can kill from a range (vs most assassin jungles having to close the distance before dishing damage ? Apollo and other ADC?s can dish it from afar.)
Matchups VS other ADC?s (1v1)
- VS AMC: AMC can and WILL out push you early game and if he is ranking his hives fast then your passive loses a bit of its shine since he can gain situational 50% more attack speed (vs your 33% effective). Be sure to get the hives. If you are fast enough you can mez his ult windup. Your ult is easier to land since he doesn?t have a leap/dash (beware his move speed though and aim carefully).
- VS Artemis: She will be poking you..And poking you hard (its what she does) You need to rely on lifesteal to remain in as long as possible. If she ever uses her 2 be sure to mez and reduce the duration as much as possible from it. (of course not worth it to get close to her and take autos if your mez only lasts 1 second). Dash out of the radius of tusky whenever possible. If it is absolutely necessary you can pre-emptive ult to avoid her ult/root combo + the chase and turn it into a forced retreat instead of a death? but good luck.
- VS Anhur: his ult is pretty great vs your ult ? you are standing still and ensures max damage on his. Your wave clear?s are about identical. If he leaps in on you be sure to mez and avoid the wall stun. The dash is effective vs his pillar aoe though. It?s a fair matchup all things considered.
- VS Cupid: Beware his level 1-5 damage ? it is far superior to yours. Late game you will be wrecking him and his utility. (This is true for most adc?s tbh) You can mez if he dashes right at you in order to ult. It will interrupt the ult and buy you enough time to dash to more favorable positioning. Overall the laning phase is pretty boring so long as you don?t get hit too often by his heart bomb. You will out push him for the most part.
- VS Neith: She CAN out push you if she doesn?t care about her mana consumption but tbh more than likely its just a boring laning phase for you and her. Her ult and yours are both global. You both have pretty good sustain. At the end of the day most of your damage is in your autos and hers is in her abilities. If you remember this and out play her abilities (baiting/juking whenever possible) ? you should win the auto attack fights.
- VS Ullr: Avoid his 1 in ax stance and you should out push him slightly. Mez is good to burn down his speed buffs and attack buffs as well as gain protections for his burst. If he leaps on you be sure to mez and dash backwards (unless you WANT to fight lol)
- VS XB: Lifesteal as much as possible and it negates his bolas. Mez his 2 and his 3 since they are channeled abilities. Should be a very easy matchup until very late game.
Laning phase matchups (Duo lane from ranks 1-5 specifically usually)?If Apollo is put up vs someone who out pushes him in the laning phase then picking up a complementary support is pretty beneficial to the early game for him. Picking up a god like Aphro or a support who can contribute to the wave clear safely without too much cost to their mana helps with gods like AMC who really out push him hard. With Apollo?s increased lifesteal potential he can make up for gods like Geb / Aphro who are relatively squishy in the early stages and can share the tanking burden. He has annoying CC potential with a god like KBK as his support. (Lol KBK mez -> Apollo 1, Auto, Dash knockup/debuff, KBK root, Apollo autos for duration, mez at tail end of it, ensure the kbk ult/minion snipe, autos from apollo, ETC ETC. It?s gross and annoying.) CC is great for Apollo burst because of his passive. Hopefully your support only goes and CC?s when your passive is up to make the most of this. Apollo mez is handy for channeled abilities such as Ares flames or Bacchus belch so that your support may maintain their own CC for offensive capabilities. It?s also handy for certain combo?s such as ensuring more damage on Ymir?s ult.
General Strengths and Weaknesses
- Lifesteal potential
- Split push potential
- Passive burst damage
- Objective damage/solo ability
- Random protections/buffs/debuffs
- Versatile CC
- CC immune ult
- Global ult
- Some gods out push him in laning phase
- Reliance on a mez/channeled dash to escape (Cripple is strong vs him)
- Ult has a long windup time and he can be bursted down while channeling it
- Passive is visible by enemies (know when to not engage and counting to 10 is simple enough for knowing when he WILL have it/how long it lasts)
- Ult?ing in somewhere can mean he has very little mana to engage/run away
- His greatest advantages in the laning phase and the late game REQUIRE good accuracy. If you can?t land autos then you lose a large portion of his strong kit (his passive).
Split push potential, Objective solo potential
High. Near the top if not THE top of the food chain in this category. Mez + ult + dash + actives ensure he can escape just about anything he needs to ? he can overextend fairly safely and get objectives before the enemy even realizes he is over there because of his attack speed buff. Give him a little penetration and he will destroy objectives with ease. With the lifesteal meta he also gains the ability to solo gold fury even earlier than he used to be able to. Around 10-14 he can do it depending on itemization/stacks/etc. Not quite as easily or quickly as AMC / Ullr but mez can ensure that the enemy support can?t steal it from you at the last possible second and Ullr and AMC do not have as easy of a time preventing such things (AMC must ult and cripple the actives and Ullr must land the stun around the GF).
Closing thoughts and next week?s guide
Apollo is a strong god and a darn popular god because of his strengths. This guide had a few sections cut in order to fit it into a reddit post (Darn character limits strike again!!) but I think I?ve maintained enough material here that it helps both someone new to the ADC role and someone who knows ADC?s but maybe had problems with Apollo. I will be completely honest when I say that Apollo isn?t a very exciting ADC to me. I?m only rank 6 with him atm while i?ve got more than half of the ADC?s to legendary. I will not deny he is strong ? He is by far one of the strongest in an all purpose setting and many of his weaknesses can be made up for with a good complimentary support. But I mention this because I think the other ADC guides will be a bit more in depth ? Apollo?s potential is obvious. I think other ADC?s are less obvious ? And its more fun and engaging to point out the less obvious things than the obvious ones when writing a guide 🙂