Aatrox Build Guide by Spider
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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.
Well I've been playing Aatrox for a while and really like him. A long time of playing jarvan prior to that and I'd say they are quite similar. He is absolutely amazing in the jungler role and has some of the most ridiculous sustain i've ever seen in a jungler. In fact its so ridiculous you can actually go straight to jungling with a dorans blade. how cool is that? He can rack up fast clear times and should be a solid counterjungler. His ganks are definitely good but not great.
EDIT: Just tested smiteless jungling in both twisted treeline and regular 5v5 using regular masteries. It works still with only a dorans blade. The addition of ignite should add considerable pop to his ganks and help defend counterjungling.
Runes + Masteries
Well I love attack speed. I think its pretty clearly the top choice given his 3rd hit activated W. This greatly improves his clear time, especially with proc dependent wriggle's. I realize he has a lot of attack speed already, but like I've said in other guides, the quints give a lot of it, and it scales well through the entire game. Its fairly easy to build attack damage through items, and I've included an early brutalizer for armor pen.
I've gone the defensive masteries route because I think they are simply better for any melee fighter. The current offensive tree really belongs only for an assassin or a well protected AD carry. Anyone expecting to ever get attacked should almost definitely be in the defense tree.
Items + alt items
Dorans blade. Simply everything you need for jungling. You could try some boots and pots if you are wanting more sustain in lane however.
I'm hoping a lot of these choices aren't interesting. Mercury treads w/ alacrity should be an obvious choice. I sure hope wriggle's finds its way into every junglers toolkit. The awesome power of avarice blade just can't be ignored either. I like to buy it third after boots and dorans for jungling, later for other roles. Your sixth big item will be to upgrade this to static shiv.
After that the extra damage/lifesteal/activatable damage and slow of cutless then botrk just gains a level of sexy that can't be ignored. You want to balance the building of offense depending on how much group fighting you are doing.
For more group fighting in the mid game and for 5s you want to add giants belt and wardens mail perhaps before finishing botrk. In any case you'll very likely want randuins and it done before you start anything else. I like randuins over other defensive items for a lot of reasons. But mostly because it simply combines a whole lot of everything you need, lots of health and solid gamechanging ad defense. Against heavy ap teams you would want an early hexdrinker/maw of malmortius instead of wardens mail.
The black cleaver because it adds a bunch of everything you don't yet have: Armor pen/damage/health.
Finally you replace wriggles with something. The list of choices is very long and really depends on team comps. Now that you have 20 percent crit from static shiv, all of a sudden infinity edge starts looking crazy good. Maybe you are more of a main tank and you should build warmogs. In threes the mega sustain of double lifesteal items starts getting exciting.
This build order generally assumes that your support is building aegis/runic bulwark like a good support should. I hope someone on every team builds zekes as well.
Honorable mention items: Trinity is extremely tempting and quite viable, i just like avarice blade into static shiv a bit better. I frankly haven't tested whether the W activates trinity past the 2 second regular cooldown. Probably should do that next. Alternatively you could convert an early avarice blade into atmas then buy a second one for static shiv later. I tend to not build this guy with a ton of health, nor do I particularly go after the critical strike statistic. I already firmly think the defensive masteries tree is where to be, and the crit benefitting masteries are in offense.
Worth mentioning I suppose. You get the most juice out of W and its supremely important for jungling, then you max your E, and finally the Q. Obviously you take an initial rank for general utility purposes and of course max your ultimate first.
Quite a few games in now. Well... he can jump walls and steal jungle creeps and buffs, thats awfully handy. Plus he's got a built in escape move, awfully Jarvan like that way. I tend to try and jungle him every game. He's a brilliant jungler in treeline 3s. You can go straight to creeps with even just a dorans blade and basically stay there until you are ready to leave, ganking at will.
There is a bit of thinking in using your W. Mostly its just cool to watch it turn from purple to green like some amazing lightsaber. Eventually you will have enough damage and lifesteal you can jungle purely in purple mode, thats pretty sweet. Obviously the massive life regen ability of greenblade at low health makes it amazing in big/long fights where you are taking up much of the tank duty, but also in solo duels. You do have to watch out for ignites tho. If you get ignited purple blade is almost certainly a better choice.
I've found I tend to overestimate the free resurrection ability and can definitely be over aggressive, that said, its still an amazing ability and one should take risks in daring tower dives and counter jungling. Its very important to make sure your Q is activatable after you are ressed in order to have a chance of escaping whatever killed you.
The basic engagement is to Q in, hit your R, use your E if they start to run, and switch your W to green once you go below half health. E can also be used as a decent harassment tool, i've certainly gotten a few kills on fleeing opponents with it as well. Relatively slow compared to a lot of poke moves, but hey its something. Like I said earlier I think the slow is sufficient with a phage. With botrk and randuins you are basically owning the slow game, just make sure you got a couple items quickbound so you can use them when you should.