Why play Aatrox?
Aatrox is fun to play and is one of the most unique champion in the game. Aatrox is a champion with both high scaling and high base damage which makes him very versatile in terms of item build. Lee Sin is very much so the same way. In this guide I will put up some of the most viable builds and personal go to build for Aatrox in patch 6.10. However, remember as the meta changes Aatrox can pretty much build how ever you wanted with some core stats to look for.
If you are looking for common combos please go to other existing guides or youtube as there are tons of them. Aatrox is not mechanically challenging in that sense so to speak. This should merely be an add-on guide/opinion from a fellow Aatrox player.
P.S. He excels at everything but not really the best at anything unfortunately.
Things to look for when building an Aatrox
Aatrox has decent bonus AD scalings on both his Q and W, and while his E and R has decent AP scalings. This is the order of stats you would want to consider when building him.
1. Attack Speed
Aatrox relies heavily on auto attack speed as his W is really what makes him unique and fun to play.
The same as any other auto attack reliant champion, usually the more AD the better.
The first thing you think about an Aatrox is probably a tanky insane dps if you ever play against a good Aatrox before. That's right! Aatrox's passive does somewhat scales with your HP and since he is usually the team fight initiator you would want to be tankier.
4. Life Steal
Well you don't really need it in tank meta since your W is mostly enough. If the meta ever shift backs to squishier meta consider this above HP.
5. Armor Pen
I am separating this from AD is because the really only item that you would really want to get this stat at the moment is Black Cleaver. As health is listed above Armor pen you would want to buy health before Armor pen.
6. Armor/Magic Resist
This is pretty much a given for a melee fighter I can't really come up with a reason why not.
Now for the awaited AP. Given for the 100% AP scaling on his ulty, it wouldn't hurt to build some AP.
I understand I just said that you can pretty much build anything as long as your are following the criteria above but here are some of my favourite items to build. There are other guides that makes builds and build paths go look at them.
Tiamet - BOTRK - Black Cleaver - Spirit Visage - Sunfire Cape - Boots of Swiftness
BOTRK - Death's Dance - Spirit Visage - Randuin's Omen - Phantom Dancer - Boots of Swiftness
Tiamet is a life style. Titanic > Ravenous on Aatrox as of season 6. Both are good but too expense for how much it offers and I like tiamet's passive/active better.
This core items are really just tiamet and BOTRK or Bloodrazor (whatever the attack speed one is called). Black Cleaver can be replaced with another tanky item or damage item, but personally I like the move speed and CDR.
Spirit Visage and Sunfire cape can both be replaced with any other tanky items but as of now these two fits the criteria the best. Sunfire for better splitting. Randuin's Omen for chasing/escape. Dead Man's plate for more one shot burst.
Death's Dance and Maw of Malicious are options that you might want to consider trying out.
Youmuu's Ghostblade is decent item to consider.
The new phantom dancer offers more attack speed and some lucky crits.
The Blood Thirster is really what made me become an Aatrox lover, feel free to try it. I had the most fun whenever I have this item.
My personal opinion on Guinsoo Rageblade as of patch 6.10 would be it is way too expensive for what it offers. Might as well get an infinity edge with that much money. Maybe late game stucking in a deadlock might help you either win or lose the game but meh too expensive.
As for boots, just build whatever you like honestly.
Always try to build against the enemy team composition. You should have different builds for different games. Since most of the items share similar stats you should look for the unique passives and actives each item offers.
In terms of summoner spells it's pretty much a preference since play style dictates builds.
Common for jungling is Flash/Ghost and smite. Ghost is currently an option in Season 6 since the buff.
Common for Top lane is Flash/Ghost and Ignite/Teleport. Consider picking Ignite over teleport if any of the enemy champion relies on self healing.
Ghost or Flash?
Ghost for tankier build
Flash for assassin build
Personally still prefer flash over ghost in team fights. As Randuin's Omen pretty much serve the same purpose as ghost (catch or escape).
Put a point in Q first to fill up your blood well gives you more attack speed.
Max W first as there is no CD when comparing to E, so you clear faster.
Max E second for the damage and slows.
Put a point in R whenever you can. Cliché I know...
In Top Lane:
Max E first as you pretty much do the same amount of damage as maxing W but it's ranged.
Max W second for the damage and sustain.
Put a point in R whenever you can.
Really aside from Jungling you would want to max E first for the extra distance in your little circle of comfort.
Masteries are bound to change in the future and there is not much of tips and tricks in them.
Pick ones that gives you dueling (1v1) potential.
Warlord is good against burst champs.
Ferver is good against tank champs and longer fights.
Grasp is good against squishy all in champ given you plan on building more tanky items.
others not so much.
Standard runes consists of:
Armor or scaling HP yellows
MR scaling blues
Attack Speed quins
Rune build is a life style not much I say here will really affect your rune build, so this is merely a suggestion.
Tips and Tricks
Now for the awaited tips and tricks.
Actually sucks. I don't know why you would over lap your cc like that, but don't do it unless that's the only thing you will need to kill your target. E to poke downs first or E after you landed for the chain cc. Q is not that hard to land and I mean the knock up so suck it up.
Quick W switch:
This one is pretty intuitive. A side note, for most of the time you would want to keep it on blood thirst when laning and in team fights. W doesn't have a cast time, meaning you can literally cast it as an auto attack empower skill, then cast it again to put it on blood thirst. Why bother with this? Many people have the problem of deciding which W to stay on, and this pretty much solves it. When you want an auto attack boost you cast W as an empowerment then cast it again to put it back. Of course you can do it the other way around you do you.
Passive - Blood Well:
It gives you attack speed when you fill it, so fill it whenever you can. Just remember since your Q and E uses % current HP, heal up first before using them is better after procing your reviving part of the passive. Small tip when walking back to top lane is using Q and E in the fountain before leaving to fill up a portion. Continue to Q until you are back to the lane allows you to have more attack speed.
Ultimate Kill Steal/Secure:
Aatrox's ulty does damage around him much like tiamet so very convenient in killing an escaping enemy by surprise. It also gives you more auto attack range.
Blades of Torment:
Aatrox's E has a larger hit box then its animation. It hits all target within the cast range so very useful for csing and poking at the same time. The range is actually surprisingly long so definitely use it to zone your enemy whenever you can.
Not much to say here except you knock all enemies all in the inner circle. You are guaranteed to auto attack once before they land if you chose to do so. You can toggle W as you land for the pricey 3rd auto. You can use actives anytime during the descending flight such as Tiamet or Randuin's Omen. You can try to use multiple actives.
Basic All-in Combo:
Q - tiamet - W - AA - R - E - any actives you have left
You can actually do this all before they land. Pretty neat eh?~
That conclude this tips and tricks! Thank you very much for reading! I might at some visual if I ever want to. Feel free to give me any suggestions in terms of builds you would like me to try.
As of now Aatrox sits at about 2% play rate everyday globally. Cheers for becoming one of us!