As I sit here, with a live stream of Aurelion Sol gameplay open on my second monitor, I’m trying to figure out whether I’d enjoy playing the star forger. Optimistically I’d say the answer is yes, but then I’ve always been easily drawn in whenever Riot hands me a new toy. Bar those made for top lane, that is! As someone who spends a majority if not all of their time camped out in botlane, I rarely get the chance to try out flashy mages due to their popularity, but Aurelion Sol, as much as a mouthful as his name is, seems genuinely captivating for a lot of reasons.
First of all, Riot seems to be enamoured with the idea of snarky characters. Following right off from Riot’s last champion, the artiste known as Jhin and also Tahm Kench who has a salty line to say about nearly every champion in the game, Aurelion Sol continues the tradition by calling anyone’s attempts at defending themselves ‘Adorably futile’.
In fairness, Aurelion is a dragon who lives in the sky; there’s not going to be much that excites you when you’re used to seeing entire galaxies come into existence and die around you. Luckily for me, I tend to love snarky characters but the thing that I love the most about Aurelion in particular is the fact he seems to treat everyone and everything as a tiny kitten. Every time he hits an enemy champion with his passive, he says ‘Boop!’. Would you say ‘Boop!’ after punching an adversary in the face? No! You do it after poking a kitten on the nose and giggling at his reaction! Everything you do is adorable to him, like a tiny cat trying to murder you with its tiny claws.
Honestly I tend to do a similar thing in matches, when someone flames me I just say “Aww, you adorable boo-boo, look at you trying to hurt my feelings!” so the fact I’ll be able to do that literally every game without trying is kind of awesome! What’s more, with over half an hour of recorded dialogue, which is to my knowledge the most recorded dialogue on a base skin champion, you’ll almost never hear the same line twice.
Now, on to the nitty gritty. Let’s look at Aurelion Sol’s abilities and how I think they’ll shape up in game. Aurelion Sol’s kit can be found here for those of you who haven’t seen it and he has a lot of interesting new skills to bring to the table. Firstly, I think this is the first champion we’ve seen where the bulk of his damage is done by his passive. Sure, there are champions like Ekko whose passives deal damage, but you never expect that damage to be the core of their kit. They’re more like a nice bonus to an otherwise fine combo. However, Aurelion Sol’s damage seems almost entirely dependent on hitting champions with the three stars that orbit him. Not only is that an interesting form of sustained damage but I love how well it ties into the cosmic theme here.
Also, it’s important to remember that while the bulk of his damage is done in proximity to him, and I’ll certainly be interested to see if any tank builds arise throwing him into the centre of a team fight, Aurelion Sol is billed as a mid laner, and you can expect some squishy mage stats as a result. Your best bet at dealing damage with ‘Centre of The Universe’ is to save up your mana and use ‘Celestial Expansion’ whenever you want to poke.
The most deadly part of Aurelion’s kit seems to be his Q, ‘Starsurge’, and I say this based on utility alone. You see, being able to grow the stars area of effect by travelling alongside it goes a long way. All the way, in fact! I’ve seen it used from the base all the way to the enemy’s inner tower with some careful placement and use of his E ‘Comet of Legend’ (how cool is it that he can fly over terrain!?). This ends up with a blast radius covering the entire lane. That’s damage and a stun covering of the entire mid lane! Imagine trying to start a team fight while he’s in base only to realise he planned this all along and came roaring in to blast your entire team! While I’m sure the ability will receive nerfs to, y’know, not be a team killing AoE crowd controller, the potential for teamfights on ‘Starsurge’ are endless and definitely worth experimenting with once he hits Live.
We’re getting a little long here, so without much more gushing I’ll just say this. Aurelion Sol is a beautiful champion. Having a character which captures the brilliance of the cosmos, with all its pretty colours and lights is a fantastic idea and the fact that his creation ties in with some sorely needed lore for the Mount Targon area of Runeterra just makes things even better. I don’t know what will lie ahead for Mount Targon in the coming updates but whatever is written in the stars is sure to be interesting.
Let us know what you think of Aurelion Sol and the Mount Targon update in the comments below. More specifically, help me come up with a cute nickname for this star dragon because, wow, that name is a mouthful!