Aatrox General Guide by FINWolfie
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AD Offtank Aatrox
Health + Sustain
Against heavy AP teams
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.
Pros / Cons
+Incredibly high sustain
+Very high attack speed with passive and ultimate
+Slightly higher range than most melees with ultimate
+Has a revive for passive
+No mana cost for skills
-Requires autoattacking in lane (pushes lane, making it easy to gank)
-Very reliant on skills for chasing
-Very slow attack speed when passive/ultimate are down
-Uses a significant amount of HP to cast skills
-High cooldown on skills
-Reliant on autoattacking for damage and survivability
-Attack speed slows hurts a lot
-Vulnerable against heavy ranged harasses
-Prone to being bursted down
Why Aatrox Middle?
However crazy it might sound to put an AD meleer into middle lane in hopes of winning the game, Aatrox is actually one the best current mid laners agains't all sorts of AP bursters and even some of the attack damage assassins.
For instance, pick one of the most common mid laners; Lux.
Lux cannot instantly burst Aatrox due to his passive Blood Well which will revive him.
Lux can't efficiently poke Aatrox with spells, due to the fact that he will sustain it back by farming minions with Blood Thirst.
Lux can't possibly poke Aatrox with her Illumination without getting a huge lot of damage in her face by Aatrox's Dark Flight and Blades of Torment.
Another case in point would be Talon.
Talon usually relies on bursting down the target instantly, since he is melee. However Talon has no built-in sustain and is really squishy and vulnerable outside his combo.
Talon's Rake is pretty much all poke he has, and to be honest, Aatrox wins it hands down with his Blades of Torment.
AD is the best option for easier last hitting, better trading and stronger early game.
Attack Speed is an option as it synergies nicely with Aatrox's . However, since Aatrox gets bonus attack speed from his passive and ultimate, it is not needed.
Armor Pen is another option, as Aatrox does primarily physical damage. However, because Aatrox is not reliant on his spells, armor pen isn't as attractive of an option.
Armor is best for all match-ups in the top lane, even if it is to block excessive damage from minions.
Magic Resistance (Flat/Scaling)
Magic resistance is needed for most cases. Take either Flat MR when laning against a magic dealer or scaling if not.
Lifesteal combined with makes it very easy to sustain in lane.
AD works well for a bit of extra damage in lane.
Armor Pen is an option for the extra bit of damage, but not as good of an option as the other two.
Passive: Blood Well
Passively grants attack speed as the bar fills up. Using, or the damage portion of fills up the passive. Always aim to have it near max when looking to fight.
Note: You lose all of the passive when you resurrect and you lose all the attack speed from the passive when it's on cooldown.
Q: Dark Flight
Large AoE, but only the center knocks-up. It is very important to land this ability for kills and in fights. This is also very useful for running away and can be used to hop over walls.
W: Blood Thirst
Generally, you'll want to toggle Blood Thirst on when in lane for the extra sustain. When fighting, you will want to toggle Blood Price until you are less than 50%, and at that point it will be better to take the sustain (because it is doubled).
Note: Aatrox's attack pattern goes slash-slash-poke (if lifesteal) or slash-slash-smash (if damage) and it will always poke if Blood Thirst is proccing on that attack.
E: Blades of Torment
A rather narrow and slow skillshot. It can be very difficult to land it max range, but the poke and wave clear is excellent for laning.
Note: You can cancel the wind-down animation of Blade of Torment by activating immediately after.
Increases attack speed, increases attack range and provides an AoE nuke.
What about farming? Well, over all my experience, and some pretty obvious information from his skills aswell, Aatrox is a natural pusher, and will almost everytime win in farm against AP mids.
Why does Aatrox push so much then?
Blood Thirst Because Aatrox is melee, and will therefore be poked by longer range abilities, he will have to sustain himself. When Blood Thirst is on, he gains passive healing every 3rd autoattack. This is all the sustain Aatrox will have in lane among the lifesteal quintessences and masteries. This forces Aatrox to push, because he will heal only on every 3rd attack.
Blades of Torment Much like other melee champions, Aatrox only has one ranged ability. This is Aatrox's poke ability. It's much more safe to cast it from behind minions, than it is to cast it when there are none around, because minions block single target abilities and therefore provide cover. It's also very useful, since the damage on Blades of Torment doesn't decrease based on how many enemies it has hit.
There is one team based stragegy Aatrox can use to outfarm enemies if he cannot for some reason push near tower or if the enemy jungler is pressuring mid lane. This only works if your jungler is doing decently and can sustain himself in the jungle. These junglers would include;
Fiddlesticks, Hecarim, Zac, Riven and several more.
When your lane is pushed, and your jungler wont at that moment mind, you can go kill either the wraiths which are very near to middle lane or the wolves which are a little further on the other side, but will provide more experience when killed. This is also a great way to sustain yourself to go back to middle lane if it's pushed and you can't sustain from minions till the enemy pushes it back. However, please NOTE! Do NOT steal your junglers creeps if he isn't doing that greatly or if he will suffer greatly in the experience loss. It's always better to ask at the start of the game if he will mind or not.
While Aatrox is really a basic-attack based champion, he also has a good initiation burst.
You should always be able to land your Dark Flight into the middle of the fight, so that as much enemies as possible will be knocked up into the air, immidiately after this, use your ultimate Massacre to deal heavy damage to all enemies around you. Massacre also gives you immense attack speed and makes your auto attack range longer so you wont have to catch up as much.
NOTE THIS! Always try to engage a fight when your Blood Well is FULL or NEARLY FULL because it will give you bonus attack speed!
Always use your abilities in this order: Q Dark Flight -> R Massacre -> E Blades of Torment. Always activate Blood Thirst OR Blood Price (in late game where you can sustain yourself without W) BEFORE you engage, you can switch it during the fight.