How to Play: Celestial Aphelios Yasuo
We’ve seen it before and we’ll see it again. A new card comes out with “Stun” in its text, and out come the Yasuo memes.
Poor Yasuo’s never really seen true success outside of some fringe Tier 2 decks, and it’s been a long time since then. I won’t sugarcoat it, Yasuo is far from amazing.
But perhaps he deserves a bit more credit than we give him. After all, Stuns are very strong in the recent metas.
It’s Trevor “Shugo” Yung here and today I’m bringing you Celestial Yasuo!
Deck code: CEBQEAQCAMCQCAYJEMBACAQMB4CAIAYJJFLGBWIBAEBQEFABAEBDCAIFBEHAIBABAIBAWLRYAUBQSCJTKRKV2AIEBEGQCAQCBE
Look, I won’t lie. This deck is somewhat of an Ionia Targon pile.. But with good reason! Many of our spells are reactive and situational. We’ll rarely want more than one copy, but those 1-of’s can be extremely valuable.
This deck has a 1-2-3 champion split between Zoe, Aphelios, and Yasuo. Each of these champions are powerful engines that can potentially win the game on their own. But more importantly, Zoe and Aphelios also provide excellent support for Yasuo by generating stuns.
We’re mostly just looking for champions. The entire deck revolves around having a value engine online, so it can be rough without them.
- Lunari Duskbringer: Keep against aggro or alongside Aphelios.
- Eye of the Dragon: Almost always keep unless against control matchups.
- Recall: Keep alongside a champion against control matchups.
- Twin Disciplines: Keep alongside a champion.
Example Hand 1: Lunari Duskbringer – Aphelios – Yasuo – Twin Disciplines
Example Hand 2: Zoe – Eye of the Dragon – Yasuo – Recall
Card Choices (Core)
Zoe is the perfect 1-drop that generates value from turn one. The cheap Celestial cards have excellent synergy with the deck by offering both protection in Moonglow and removal with Crescent Strike. That’s right, don’t forget Crescent Strike deals damage with Yasuo in play! We also play a TON of 1-ofs and 2-ofs, making Zoe level quick if unanswered.
Aphelios offers the perfect support to Yasuo in the form of Gravitum. While Calibrum can only target followers for 3 damage, Gravitum can hit champions for 2 and followers for 4! Once Yasuo is flipped, Gravitum becomes a reliable 5 (or up to 10 against followers) damage removal spell. Synergies aside, Aphelios is extremely solid on his own.
While most Yasuo decks can’t function without him, this one can still hold its own. That’s a big part of why it works. Every card is valuable in its own right and gets even better alongside Yasuo. That being said, it’s still important to hold up protection when possible.
The inclusion of Lunari Duskbringer makes a night and day difference alongside Aphelios. It’s the most efficient way to play Aphelios early and still bank some spell mana. If drawn later you can use the Duskpetal as discard fodder to Spacey Sketcher or as your second spell for Eye of the Dragon.
As mentioned with Zoe, there are many excellent Celestials to choose from. While we don’t run a ton of discard fodder, there are a ton of situational spells that make for good targets when not needed.
Eye of the Dragon
With all our stuns and situational spells, it can be difficult to play two spells per turn, unless we have Zoe or Aphelios. However, Eye of the Dragon is simply too powerful to not include.
Stuns are great in combat but ineffective against the likes of Ezreal or other units that don’t need to attack. Meteor Shower and Falling Comet help fix this.
Our champions are vital to our success. Nopeify is great insurance.
Cheap protection that helps survive removal or win in combat. Don’t be afraid to proactively cycle it away if you need to dig for answers.
Champion protection first and foremost. Can bluff that you have it when attacking with Yasuo.
Arguably the best stun in the game and a key reason to play Ionia. Need I say more?
Late game insurance. Once our engines are online, few things can stop us. Deny prevents the worst from happening.
The deck doesn’t get its name just from the Invokes. Celestial Wonder is a fantastic card. Its existence makes it really hard to win through combat, even with two big Overwhelm or Elusive threats. This often equates to five mana, buy one turn. And that’s enough to find even more answers for whatever comes next!
Card Choices (1-of’s): Why they’re valuable, and the reason for minimal inclusion.
An untargeted version of Arachnoid Sentry that usually hits the best target. Coming down for only two mana is excellent, but Daybreak is a real downside as it must be the first card played that turn.
The classic big play for Yasuo decks. Against certain board states, this can be a complete blowout. However, it’s slow and situational.
An excellent way to save a champion for only one mana. It’s a good failsafe but does come at a tempo loss, especially when used on Yasuo.
Healing in a pinch is handy for Nexus survival and occasionally unit protection. Solid inclusion, but in small quantities due to lack of synergy.
A two-mana Stun can really come in clutch. However, it can’t stun proactively, and we already have much more valuable stuns. Plus, you can always double-draw Yasuo.
Often used to shut down a big combat play. Stuns typically fill the same role in most cases, but it does help to have Hush’s flexibility to silence problematic abilities.
Newly buffed to five damage makes this card pretty solid for three mana, especially with added stun support. Though don’t forget, it’s still slow speed removal.
Will of Ionia
An excellent tempo answer to big threats, but most importantly, it bounces threats that do more than just attack. However, just like with Hush, Stuns do a good enough job most of the time.
Solid draw to find more interaction. We don’t double spell enough to want more copies, and the deck’s got plenty of card advantage already.
More burst healing alongside an alternate win condition. Without more Invoke support it’s not quite as powerful as it could be, but still a valuable 1-of.
The first turns are all about finding our champions to get the engine going. If we’re lucky enough to find our one copy of Zoe we’re off to the races. But don’t worry, so long as we get Aphelios or Yasuo we’ll be just fine. Eye of the Dragon can help buy time before then.
Calibrum is almost always the first pick unless we’re against a matchup without many good targets. In those cases, either grab Crescendum to develop the board or Gravitum to pair with Yasuo.
With a plethora of stuns and interaction, this deck does an incredible job at stalling the game. However, it does take time to actually win the game. It’s important to know what your opponent’s win conditions are in order to survive turn after turn. Stuns are temporary, and some attacks are far more threatening than others. React wisely.
Watch out for SpellShields, they are the bane of this deck, especially on champions (Viktor, Sivir, Galio, etc.). We rely almost exclusively on Stuns, and SpellShield is a complete shutdown. Ionia Targon as a region pair lacks targeted pings. So in these matchups, it’s extremely important to pick Gravitum as it’s one of the few ways to pop the shield; Calibrum won’t help!
Yasuo is a champion that often levels when you’re defending an attack. It’s important to remember to sequence properly when stunning multiple units at once. Order your Stuns so that Yasuo strikes for five on the necessary target, and deals two to the other(s).
If your goal is to climb the ladder as fast as possible, this probably isn’t the deck for you. However, if you like playing decks with a lot of agency, Targon Yasuo offers some great tools to outplay your opponents in style!
Shugo’s Productivity Thought of the Day
When times are tough, instead of using false positivity, try being honest with yourself. Accept the current situation and know the road ahead could be a long one.
We can travel much further when we anticipate the challenges.