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Aatrox Build Guide by OTGBionicArm

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League of Legends Build Guide Author OTGBionicArm

Aatrox: Complete Guide to the Literal Art of War.

OTGBionicArm Last updated on May 27, 2014
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Ability Sequence

3
14
15
17
18
Ability Key Q
1
8
10
12
13
Ability Key W
2
4
5
7
9
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R





Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Havoc
 
 

Offense: 9

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Legendary Guardian
 
 

Defense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bandit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wanderer
 
 

Utility: 0



Table of Contents


Quick Guide

Preface

Basic Information

Advanced Tactics

Wrapping Up

Items
Synergies and Counters
Summoner Spells
Runes
Masteries

About the Author
Introduction
Who is Aatrox?



|

Aatrox's Skillset
Skilling Order
Itemization



|

Jungling
Roaming and Ganking
Teamfighting
Strategy and Tactics
|

Synergies
Counters
Epilogue



|


Starting Items


Core Build



Early Game




Mid Game




Late Game



Boots


Offensive Items


Defensive Items


Synergies and Counters

Aatrox is good against:


Aatrox is weak against:


Aatrox works well with:

Summoner Spells


OR

__
+
__

As a jungler you will always need to take Smite for securing buffs, Dragon and Baron. For your second spell, Flash is always the safest choice for offensive or defensive plays. Ghost can also be useful against teams that will kite you hard, as Aatrox has poor mobility outside of his Dark Flight.

Runes

An almost exclusively Attack Speed rune page blends very nicely into Aatrox's auto attack centered gameplay. This let's you farm Feral Flare like a speed demon.


Masteries


Aatrox tend to transition into more of a tank later in the game than a damage dealer, so 9/21 masteries are your best option. He's also very reliant on healing sources, making Second Wind even better for him. You can use a 21/9 setup, but I don't feel like he benefits from much beyond 9 points in Offense.

































































































































































































































































































About the Author

I'm OTGBionicArm, a veteran here on MOBAFire and Aatrox has been one of my favorite champions since his release. I typically play him as a top laner, but the release of Feral Flare has reinvigorated his jungling prowess. Aatrox paints the battlefield red with enemy blood. He dominates the jungle with devastating clear speed, infinite sustain and deadly ganks. If you're looking for a high damage jungler with nearly unrivaled sustain and single target damage, look no further.

GrandmasterD coded the entirety of this guides' format and Hogopogo created the amazing intro banner and dividers!

Introduction

Aatrox powerful "Drain Tank"; he focuses on high damage with his abilities and attacks at the cost of health, coupled with a toggle skill that heals him at the cost of DPS. His gameplay involves managing your health to deal high sustained damage and use your empowered healing to turn the tides of battle in your favor. Due to this method of health usage, Aatrox is a very risky, but highly rewarding champion to play. An Aatrox player must be very conscious of when to toggle his Blood Price on or off to make the most of his abilities. To compliment his suicidal slaughter, Aatrox is gifted with a self-revive in his passive.

In this guide I will showcase a mixed farming and ganking path to playing Aatrox. My build order is very aggressive in the early to mid game when Aatrox is at his strongest, and then transitions into a tank for the late game. I focus on early ganks to snowball myself or lanes into intensive farming of the all-mighty Feral Flare. Aatrox excels in solo queue because his ganks are quick, devastating, he clears the jungle quickly and he snowballs insanely hard. However, caution is advised. A reckless Aatrox simply dies twice. A skilled Aatrox lives forever.

Just some Aatrox mood music; Listen while reading the guide!


Who's Aatrox?

Pros

+ Infinite Sustain
+ Godlike Single Target DPS
+ Knock Up
+ Minor Ranged Poke
+ Professional Bait
+ Self-Revive
+ Looks like a Digimon

Aatrox's main strengths are his absurd brawling power through Blood Price/ Blood Thirst and Massacre. These abilities, combined with his passive, Blood Well, make him amazing bait for the enemy team to fall for. His Dark Flight ability makes his ganks deadly and facilitates his role in team fights as a diver. Additionally, his Blades of Torment provide minor poke damage which can't be overlooked, as many junglers do not have this luxury. The item Feral Flare is currently very powerful. Due to his auto-attacking nature and on-hit abilities, Aatrox is one of the most powerful users of the item.

Aatrox's Limitations

While Aatrox has amazing brawling power, he's a rather poor duelist due to his lack of mobility. He's rather slow and his Dark Flight and Blades of Torment can be easy to avoid. Aatrox innately deals a metric **** ton of damage, and so he will be a primary target of the enemy team. Chained CC that keeps him from auto attacking will often quickly kill the Darkin Blade. Aatrox is also suicidal in nature, much like Olaf, meaning any aspiring Aatrox player must take considerable time learning how much punishment he can actually take. Aatrox is extremely prone to being kited as he has only one gap closer and he is entirely reliant on auto attacks to kill or live. This all means that proper tanks may be required to lock down targets for him. Lastly, Aatrox is at his weakest when his passive is down due to his poor base health. Losing your passive can often mean another death is coming if you cannot escape in time or your team cannot clean up the fight for you.

Cons

- Low Mobility
- Extremely Farm Reliant
- Poor Duelist
- Gets Kited
- Very Vulnerable without Passive
- Abysmal Base Health
- Nobody Understands Him

Aatrox's Skillset


Blood Well
Aatrox's passive is extremely powerful because it is essentially an innate Guardian Angel. Your abilities will fuel the Well and bring you back when you die, forcing your enemies to either wait to kill you again, or change targets. Aatrox makes a very threatening aggro-tank due to this ability and his very high damage output. Additionally, maintaining a full Well is very important as it grants Aatrox an absurd amount of Attack Speed.



Dark Flight
Dark Flight is Aatrox's only gap closer, but it's extremely powerful. Hitting an enemy at the center results in a devastating knock up. This makes Aatrox decent at engaging fights, but better at chaining CC and following engagements.



Blood Thirst/Blood Price
While this ability is toggled off, it is used to sustain your health clearing jungle camps, and to bait enemies when you are low on health. The empowered heal can be extremely surprising to enemies and they may over-commit to killing you. While toggled on, this is Aatrox's main sustained DPS. It deals crazy amounts of damage and can overwhelm most foes in a brawl. However, you need to know when to turn it off, (Usually around 50% health) or else you will easily get yourself killed.



Blades of Torment
Blades of Torment is your primary CC in ganks, and it also provides you with a poke ability for sieging. It fires in an odd triangle pattern that takes some getting used to. Additionally, this ability scales with AD and deals magical damage, making Aatrox harder to itemize against.



Massacre
Aatrox's ultimate is mostly just a steroid, but it also deals a respectable amount of magical damage in an AoE. Not much to say about this other than it can be used for things like taking Dragon, Baron or Towers very fast without much issue because of it's short cooldown.

Skilling Order



1




W
2




E
3




Q
4




E
5




E
6




R
7




E
8




W
9




E
10




W
11




R
12




W
13




W
14




Q
15




Q
16




R
17




Q
18




Q

Blades of Torment is maxed first for ganking purposes, as it increases the slow duration and most Top Laners and many supports will be buying a lot of armor, meaning this ability will deal more damage in a gank. You may want to max Blood Thirst/ Blood Price for straight jungle farming if you don't plan on ganking, but Aatrox clears extremely fast even with rank 1 in Blood Price. Additionally, maxing W first makes you extremely reliant on it to deal damage, and as Aatrox tends to get kited easily, is unreliable in a fight with champions. Dark Flight could also be maxed early for the burst damage and lowering it's cooldown, but I generally feel like maxing the other abilities before it is more useful.


Itemization

When itemizing Aatrox, you should focus on Attack Speed, AD and Durability. Aatrox scales best with AD and AS for damage purposes, but he also can be extremely hard to kill building tank items.
Let's go over some items that are arguably the best you can buy for Aatrox as well as a few interesting picks.


Early Game

Currently, most junglers, including Aatrox are rushing Wriggle's Lantern to get Feral Flare as fast as possible. Farming this item should be your top priority, and now you can gank and assist allies to stack it as well (a much welcome change)! To compliment the AS and on-hit effects of Feral Flare, Blade of the Ruined King is a great second item, so pick up an early Bilgewater Cutlass. The active can also help you in your ganks.


Mid Game

Once you have Feral Flare, you have the freedom to keep farming it if your team is doing well enough, or to assist wherever needed. Assists and champion kills help stack the item, so showing your face and winning fights helps your cause just as much as farming. If you're feeling a bit too squishy mid game, you can skip Blade of the Ruined King in favor of Randuin's Omen. I personally like Blade of the Ruined King second for the immense power it gives Aatrox when combined with Feral Flare with their attack speed, AD and on-hit effects. The active also helps Aatrox stick to priority targets. Mercury's Treads can be finished as you need them.


Late Game

Come Late Game, Aatrox functions more like a tank, meaning you'll need to bulk up with items. Randuin's Omen is a generally amazing and cost effective defensive buy, and Dark Flight will get you in good places to hit multiple enemies with the active. Spirit Visage greatly improves all your healing sources and is by far your best MR purchase available. It's even good to buy when you aren't fighting many AP enemies for this reason. Finally, Thornmail nicely meshes with your class of "Drain Tank". Let the enemy AD champions hurt themselves for hitting you while you heal back up with your Blood Thirst!


Offensive Buys

Ravenous Hydra is an alternative item to Blade of the Ruined King when you're going to spend most of your time split pushing rather than team fighting. It offers you more burst damage but lower DPS than BoRK. When enemy magical damage is your biggest threat, the Hexdrinker can be your best friend early on in the game with it's life saving shield. It can be upgraded later, and Maw of Malmortius works very well on Aatrox due to his low-health baiting scenarios. Wit's End has risen in popularity with Feral Flare builds due to it's synergy with it. Aatrox's Blades of Torment and Massacre also deal magical damage, so having an MR shred with more on-hit damage can make Aatrox a very mixed damage threat.


Defensive Buys

Sometimes, it's simply not feasible in Solo Queue to farm Feral Flare. You can usually tell if you're going to need to help your team a lot more than you'd want before your first back. If this is the case, pick up Spirit of the Ancient Golem instead and start your tank build early. Gank like crazy and try to get your team back up to speed. Banshee's Veil is to be used against specific poke champions like Nidalee who will mess you up with one single amazing ability. Lastly Guardian Angel is a super obnoxious purchase on a fed Aatrox. Killing him twice can be hard enough when he's fed as hell. But killing him 3 times? Oh dear.

Jungling

Aatrox's best point in the game is arguably his early game. He does ridiculous damage in the jungle and to enemy junglers. To start off you'll generally want to start at which ever buff your bot lane is located. This means your red buff if you are on blue side, and blue buff if you are on purple side. Aatrox doesn't actually require blue buff to succeed, so losing your blue to invades isn't as crushing for him as it can be for many other junglers. Another tactic you can use is to scout in and invade the enemy jungle to steal their red as minions get to lane. Should you invade the enemy jungler, Aatrox can easily 1v1 most of the cast due to his insane DPS, but be quick! Any help they recieve can easily seal your fate.

After securing your initial buff, you'll want to farm either wolf or wraith camp and then do your other buff with your smite, which should be up by this point. You'll reach level 3 witht his buff and you can take this time to acess the map. Are the enemies pushing up/being aggressive? Aatrox's early ganks are extremely deadly due to his Dark Flight and Blood Price. If you can come into a gank with your Blood Price ready, it goes a long way for instant burst. Alternatively, if your lanes are all pushing, resort to farming. Try to stick around in positions to counter gank enemy junglers while you are farming. Aatrox can easily win most 2v2 scenarios when his passive is up.

You should back as soon as you get enough gold for Madred's Razors, as this dramatically increases your jungling speed. The same rule applies to getting your Wriggle's Lantern. Aatrox has a massive power spike with Feral Flare if he gets it before 20 minutes, so try to farm quickly and efficiently. Try to make every gank count to get further stacks on your Wriggle's Lantern.

This guide is about playing Aatrox, and not how to jungle in general, however. If you wish to learn more about advanced jungling routes and tips, I'd search for another guide.

Warding and Ganking

As a jungler, your buffs will always be in danger of being stolen by the enemy jungler. Early on, scouting areas with your Warding Totem can give you enough time to secure buffs from the enemy, should they invade you. Or you are invading them. Later on you'll wanna sell the Warding Totem, however. Picking up a Sweeping Lense around level 9 will help you and your support in the job of clearing the map of enemy wards. Always be on the look out for enemies placing key wards so you can remove them.

Aatrox's innate beefiness through his passive allows him to do some aggressive ganks by diving the tower, but be aware that his lack of mobility can easily get him killed this way if you missed your CC. Additionally, Dark Flight opens very interesting gank paths in certain lanes. Some examples are from wraiths or wolves at mid lane when the enemy is sitting at their turret or from Tri-Brush at bot lane.

Teamfighting

Aatrox is a strong team fighter due to his nature and itemization. His primary job is to dive carries and quickly dispatch of them with his ult and Blood Price. Using Blade of the Ruined King and Randuin's Omen's actives will help you stick to targets and destroy them.

Aatrox suffers when being chain CC'd however. One should try not to be the first on in the fight if seeking to kill carries. If you find yourself being CC'd too hard to reach anyone important, at least try to keep swinging with Blood Thirst up on any target you can to stay alive longer. Remember, if they are focusing you through your sustain, they aren't killing your carries either. If this scenario happens, it's really up to which team can clean up better.

Sometimes "tanking" is the best thing you can do as Aatrox. Even when building full tank items, Aatrox deals enough damage to kills carries, and this warrants him being focused and CC'd. If your team is far ahead, Aatrox makes a great aggro-tank.
Aatrox's passive being down is generally considered to be the worst thing that can happen for Aatrox. Many Aatrox players will play much more timidly when their passive is down, but you don't have to back out of every fight while you wait for the cooldown. When Aatrox's passive is down, it triggers greed in the enemies. This is a very under rated baiting tactic. Being aggressive with a tanky build and simply attempting to stay alive as long as you can without your passive can lead to enemy team wipes if they focus you long enough. Make sure your team can adequately follow up on this plan, as Aatrox will fall insanely fast if this is done poorly.

Aside from diving carries and being bait for the enemy team. Aatrox is also a great peeler for Marksman and Mage characters alike. His high burst damage and knockup can save a carries' life and make enemy assassins think twice about their engagement.

Finally, in a good full on fight, never stop fighting! Running is the worst thing you can do in most team fights, especially when your passive is up. In small scale skirmishes, it's less of an issue to try to escape with your Blood Well, but don't leave your team mates hanging if you can turn a fight!

Strategy and Tactics

In a nutshell, we've covered Aatrox's core gameplay, follow up initiations, eviscerate carries, and farm Feral Flare like mad. But now I will go over some more advanced tricks and nifty hints.

Proper Drain-Tanking

Many new Aatrox players play far too passively and do not correctly play up to his Drain Tanking abilities. They are often afraid of Blood Price being on "because I'm taking too much damage!" but this is all part of Aatrox's combat flow. Especially if at full health, don't be afraid to have Blood Price turned on until you are at around 50% health. You can't be a wuss with Aatrox or any other health sacrificing champion.

Baiting

Always look for opportunities to bait. If you catch a person out, knowing that their allies are coming, you can bait them into your enetire team by pro longing the fight if you have to. Just be sure that your allies are in fact coming to aid you. In a 1v1 scenario, Aatrox is insanely hard to kill and he can even survive some fights of up to 1v3 with his passive, so you'll generally have a long time to hold for your team to assist you and clean up.

Dark Flight

Dark Flight has a small quirk that most dashes don't have in that it can be interrupted mid flight. You have to be aware of this and be careful not to get tagged by stuns and immobilization when attempting to dive or escape with Dark Flight.

Brutal Massacre of Objectives

Aatrox' ultimate can be used to easily secure objectives early on. It's short cooldown combined with the massive attack speed steroid with Aatrox's Blood Price can make short work of Dragons and Barons. Massacre even helps to topple towers, though Blood Price will not proc on them. Just makes sure you won't need your ultimate to team fight in the next couple seconds.

Synergies

Aatrox is a heavy Aggro-Tank, and a few common mid makes his job much easier. Lulu, Kayle and Soraka are all currently top tier mids and all provide Aatrox with heals and a high degree of durability, as well as additional sticking power. Being focused with these champions backing you is a nearly guaranteed victory in a team fight, provided you engaged correctly. Lulu is particular is probably the best ally due to her Wild Growth giving you a slowing aura and additional knock up.

Any champion that increases Aatrox's attack speed like Nidalee or Warwick are also welcome allies.


Counters

Aatrox suffers most from being denied the ability to auto attack. In team fights, champions with an attack speed slow massively gimp Aatrox. Malphite, Lee Sin and Nasus are among your worst nightmares.

Aatrox is also very easy to CC lock and kite, meaning hardcore kiters like Lucian are harder for you to catch.

When it comes to jungle duels with other junglers Aatrox tends to suffer against champions with higher single target DPS (Rare) or extreme burst. Udyr, Xin Zhao and Kha'Zix all out damage Aatrox in a straight out brawl, and generally stick to targets better than he does. Fighting any of these champions 1v1 is not fun.

Epilogue

This concludes my guide to Aatrox, the Darkin Blade. He takes a bit of time to learn due to his risky nature, but he is highly rewarding once you get it down! I hope you enjoyed reading my guide, and playing Aatrox as much as I do.

OTGBionicArm