Aatrox Build Guide by BBgun22
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Aatrox: Top Lane Masterpiece -
Optional Offensive Items
Optional Defensive Items
Example Offensive Build
Example Defensive Build
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.
Aatrox is a very strong AD Off-Tank whom is capable of both extremely high DPS and an almost never ending life span. Thus players may choose between playing Aatrox as a tank or as a strong AD bruiser, both work and will destroy the opposition. Aatrox's laning phase is legendary due to the fact that in his early game he almost always out sustains almost every top lane champ in the game thanks to his Blood Thirst. Not only is his sustain crazy but his poke potential can be easily exploited as his Blades of Torment has a reasonable cooldown, applies slow and since Aatrox has no mana it is very easily spammable.
However like all champs, every game will require a different set of items and no one build will suffice for each game situation.
* Great engaging & disengaging with Dark Flight
* Early Tower dive without the risk of death Blood Well
* Out-sustains almost all top lane champs
* Passive healing Blood Thirst
* AOE Damage on Dark Flight, Blades of Torment, Massacre
* Long cool-downs
* Hard to snowball throughout mid-game
* Blood Well relies on the blood level as you could waste your resurrection and only be revived with minimal health and therefore shut down immediately after the revive
* Range champs counter Aatrox in lane phase e.g. Jayce, Nidalee, Elise
* Poke range is not incredibly far and is easily out poked early-game
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Lethality
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Grants good base damage early to Aatrox particularly when using the combo Dark Flight + Blades of Torment + Blood Price he will 9/10, if completely successfully, out trade his target significantly thanks to these marks.
Greater Seal of Armor
Makes sustaining against burst champs a hell of a lot easier early game. Less early game means easier mid/ late game right?
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
I preferably take these glyphs over Greater Glyph of Magic Resist as it provide Aatrox with a generous amount of MR late game therefore giving him ample space to build something possible more offensive.
greater quintessence of armor penetration
These quints are where that crazy Aatrox burst is going to come from early game. Armor pen is amazing when versing naturally tanky laners because it wrecks their health bar quicker than they can say "wait? wtf?".
Double-Edged Sword allows the champion to deal an additional 2% damage on both auto attacks and abilities however in return they will suffer the same damage to themselves if taking damage. This percentage applies for melee champs and if used correctly a player can exploit this mastery to slightly out trade their opponent.
Sorcery if maxed out can give the champion 5% cool-down reduction right at the start of the game which can be a strategic advantage for many ability reliant champions. This works in Aatrox's favor as it allows him to spam his abilities, specifically his Blades of Torment in succession.
Brute Force gives the champ as small amount of AD at max level. Although minute, this should not be overlooked when building towards the next tier of masteries.
Executioner great mastery to have when auto attacks are all the players has to resort to when finishing off the enemy before they escape to the safety of their turret. That extra 5% damage may be the difference between life and death of your enemy, so max this.
Martial Mastery Although additional 5 AD may seem minuscule this is a mastery well taken over Arcane mastery when progressing to the next tier.
Spell Weaving Not really a necessary mastery but as it works well with its successor Blade Weaving its a better choice in this tier over arcane mastery as AD scaling champs do not require AP.
Blade Weaving Useful when auto attacking after a successful combo as the abilities will increase the power of the champions auto attacks. However minute, the bonus is still there.
Warlord Great mastery to have late game as it gives you an extra free 5% AD on top of your current AD. Having a decent amount on AD end game will result in this mastery being well worth the points if maxed.
Dangerous Game Handy to have when you escape a showdown at near death, this mastery has the capability to save you from an enemies ignite and/or poison if the enemy is slain. However this ability scales of % of health therefore champions with low health won't benefit as much from this mastery.
Devastating Strikes Great skill for that tiny but more of penetrations. Penetration is great for bursting down targets. This scales well with penetration runes and can give an AD champ a great advantage in early game when securing kills.
Havoc Finally this skill is a must as in increases your overall power by 3%. Now 3% might not seems much but any boost to your damage output is worthwhile. Especially this mastery as it grants the most damage bonus.
Block This mastery may just save your life during a duel as it reduces each consecutive auto attack performed on you by 2 damage when maxed.
Recovery This mastery is great as its grants the champ further health regeneration and therefore further sustain in lane. Who doesn't want to stay in lane longer and beat your oppositions CS score?
Unyielding Similar to the Block mastery of defense tier 1 this mastery allows the champion to take more from enemy champions in both auto attacks and abilities. A worthwhile investment when sustaining in lane is key.
Veteran Scars Who doesn't want more health? Nuff said...
Juggernaut Again, nuff said...
Flash is a must. Useful for escaping, gap closing to secure a kill and avoiding executing skill shots. Flash is a must and a great utility, most commonly taken on near on every champ.
Ignite is a very handy skill to have available when securing a kill. Also helps when trading against champs that have rapid heals and will always deal true damage however timing is essential.
Exhaust is a nice summoner spell to have when chasing down high mobility champs that try to escape from you when you are attempting to deliver the killing blow. Most overlook this spell and underestimate it's utility.
Teleport is an incredibly versatile summoner spell which enables the player to return very quickly back to their lane to get that juicy CS and can aid in ganking in the most unpredictable ways as well as escaping a doomed fate when over-extending or split pushing.
Only use Smite when jungling as it helps clear high health creeps faster and works well in jungle for faster clear times, therefore more gold and experience through the jungle along with the included gold bonus in the spell. However this spell is not very viable in lane as it can neither be used defensively or offensively against enemy champs to help you win lane.
Good early-game lane phase damage. Not recommended if laning against ranged champs as they will out-poke you.
Dark Flight is great for closing in on targets to get in close, preferably invest in this skill if your items such as Ravenous Hydra require you to be in auto attack range.
When against a hard lane, or if losing lane rapidly. Spend skill points in Blood Thirst / Blood Price as it allows Aatrox to stay in lane longer and heal at a greater rate if taking rapid and continuous damage. Recommended for opponents that counter Aatrox
Ravenous Hydra : This item is very dependent on the player. Some take The Bloodthirster over this item as it provides more burst potential. However the life steal of both items are equal but the ravenous hydra sacrifices some AD for an AOE affect which assists in mass farming and increases damage output in team fights.
The Bloodthirster : The most common damage/sustain item that AD champs take is The Bloodthirster it provides both assistance for massive burst damage on single targets and high sustain similar to the Ravenous Hydra in that the life steal works well with Aatrox's Blood Thirst in healing back up after a trade or team fight.
Youmuu's Ghostblade : This item provides the champion with a range of various stats that contribute exclusively to damage dealers. Although the base AD is significantly low it makes up for the lacking of base damage with a generous amount of critical chance and a small amount of cool-down reduction. The armor penetrations is also handy when fighting those annoying tanks that negate your base AD. But what makes this item worthwhile is its active affect which increases your movement and attack speed for a short duration. This can become very handy when chasing down enemies or even during a duel where that attack speed could be the difference between their DPS and yours, determining the outcome of the fight.
Blade of the Ruined King : One of the most commonly used items on damage dealers in season 4. This item features a moderate increase in base attack speed and a great amount of life steal. Although some would take The Bloodthirster over this item because of the lack in burst damage. The BOTRK's active is a great utility when trying to stick to your enemy and/or chasing them down. Overall this item can change the outcome of a duel or team-fight dramatically just by popping that active and auto-attacking those enemies to death once they cant get away. Recommend getting this item when playing against a high mobility team. This item synergies well with Aatrox's Blood Price as when the movement speed is reduced you can land more basic attacks while the ability is activated.
Zephyr : A great item when attack speed is needed to increase the champ's DPS. Like the BOTRK, Zephyr works well with Aatrox's Blood Price. If Aatrox can swing his mighty sword quickly than the active affect of Blood Price will be able to proc more along with your base AD through devastating auto-attacks therefore wrecking any champ that gets close enough.
Last Whisper: As stated in the name the last whisper is usually, but not always, bought last. The item provides an enormous amount of armor penetration and works magic against those pesky enemies who thought they could negate your damage by building armor. Buy this item and they will be proven wrong as your auto-attacks practically tear through the tank's armor and straight to their health.
Maw of Malmortius : Maw is a legendary item to have on aatrox when laning against tough AP scaling champs. The item supplies the champ with a significant amount of MR and enough AD to still shred through most champs. The mana shield on this item is just a bonus to this item as it could potentialyl save you from having to use your Blood Well resurrection and shut down those pesky AP champs when they try to burst that last bit of health from you. Doesn't sound viable yet? Just wait, If you are in a sustained duel with an enemy champion, Maw has a unique passive which allows you to gain 1 AD with every 2% of health remaining. This synchronizes amazingly with your Blood Well passive because as Aatrox auto attacks his Blood Well increases, once blood well is at max capacity his attack speed becomes legendary. Combining this with unique passive, Aatrox can shut down any high DPS champ in no time and not be afraid of dying if his Blood Well Resurrection is up.
Mercurial Scimitar Great item, similar to Maw of Malmortius this item gives the champ sufficient amount of AD and MR to shutdown those AP laners but also features a life saving active which can save you from those well timed enemy ganks and removes and CC or debuff applied to you. Recommended for high CC laners or when a high CC jungler such as Amumu ganks constantly.
Spirit Visage : The tank's best friend against AP scaling champs. This item supplies the user with 55 MR a further 400 health, 20 cool-down reduction which is great on Aatrox as he has reasonably high cool-downs. Finally that health regen and healing passive is just awesome to have to sustain for long periods of time.
Warmog's Armor : Great item to have to intimidate enemies with your now massive health bar, this item supplies the champion with an enormous amount of health and along with that its passive restores 1% of your maximum health every 5 seconds. Meaning you'll be sticking around the enemy team like a cockroach.
Frozen Mallet : Sick of your enemies getting away from you? Wanna perma-slow their ***es like Ashe on steroids? Then you need Frozen mallet. This item is extremely tanky, grants a bit of AD and most importantly, the passive allows Aatrox to auto attack the **** out of any enemy and each successive auto attack will proc the slow affect allowing Aatrox to cut his enemy to pieces.
Wit's End : An uncommon item to build on aatrox but if you feel that your enemy has too much armor then Wit's End passive is handy to apply that magic damage with each subsequent autoattack as well as giving a nice amount of attack speed and magic resist.
Banshee's Veil : Another good item for champs with high damage output spells such as Nidalee's Javelin Toss, Jayce's Shock Blast and Nasus's late game Siphoning Strike as the mana shield negates the damage of said high damage skills if timed corectly.
Guardian Angel : Aatrox's Blood Well resurrection not annoying the enemy team enough for you? Invest in the guardians angel. The enemy team kills you once? Oh damn they were close... They managed to shut you down after your Blood Well resurrection? Lucky, lucky, but they will never expect a second revive XD *troll face*. This is actually a legit item on Aatrox don't overlook it.
Sunfire Cape : A nice tanky item that gives both health and reasonable armor. If your lane is pushed regualrly and you need to push it back constantly this item is recommended as it speeds up wave clearing and can also contribute in team fighting as it has an AOE affect that deals 40 magic damage per second to anyone or anything within a radius of 400.
Randuin's Omen : Enemy team keep getting away from your team in teamfights? Get Randuins it's active can slow the whole enemy team for 2 seconds by 35% and a further second of CC for each 100 armor and MR that you have. The passive on this item negates the attack speed of nearby enemy champs, seriously countering ADC's and champs such as Nocturne and Tryndamere. This item supplies the champion with an additional 70 armor which can really help against both ranged and melee AD DPS builds and help you team shut them down quickly.
Most Difficult Counters
This guy just practically out duels you 9/10 times. Due to the fact that Aatrox needs to keep fighting to reach his full potential it is hard to stay in the duel as Jax's passive Relentless Assault will eventually out DPS Aatrox as Jax becomes stronger with each subsequent Auto Attack, Counter Strike evades Blood Price and will stun Aatrox and gives time for Jax's to build up his Relentless Assault and finally Jax's Grandmaster's Might's passive destroys Aatrox if he doesn't build MR early and the active will negate the majority of Aatrox's Massacre damage boost.
Jayce is another very hard champ to lane against as he has a very high poke range and can stay out of range of Blades of Torment therefore denying any trades aatrox might attempt. Jayce has an extensive kit and featuring a slow and a knock back to escape Aatrox's auto attack assault. Jayce can use his Hyper Charge/ Shock Blast combo on you at his own leisure as it is incredibly hard to dodge and the range is incredibly long and is impossible for Aatrox to out trade.
This ***** is a high mobility top laner which is just a tad annoying for Aatrox. When Aatrox tries to trade a few auto attacks with a Riven she will dance around your lane with a combination of Broken Wings and Valor and avoid your skill shots while auto attacking you in intervals with her activated passive Runic Blade. Like all good Rivens she will dive you at 6 and if she has already made you waste your Blood Well she will more than likely kill you. Overall it is extremely hard to get sufficient damage on a riven because she will evade your attempts and if you do succeed she will trade back just as much as you give.
Creeping / Jungling
Due to Aatrox's insane base AD, last hitting in lane is a piece of cake. You'd have to have serious lag or extremely bad reaction time to miss CS.
Aatrox is a very viable jungler, as said he has amazing sustain in lane which shows tremendously in the jungle as his Blood Thirst heals him during his camp clears. The abilities Dark Flight and Blades of Torment are both AOE spells therefore hastening your clear time.
Aatrox towards mid and late game becomes a great source of CC for the team and can assist the team in securing kills for either yourself or the team. However both his abilities that hold added CC affects are both skill shots and therefore a certain amount of mechanics skill is required to use this CC to full affect.
Blades of Torment is capable of dealing an amazing slow to all enemies that stand in your way. In theory an Aatrox will attempt to hit the whole enemy team during a team fight with Blades of Torment not only applying CC using the ranged damage to its full potential.
Dark Flight is capable of freezing a team fight for a short duration and interrupting many high damage stationary skills such as Katarina's Death Lotus, Caitlyn's Ace in the Hole, Lux's Final Spark
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