Aatrox Build Guide by Jhopp
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The Bloody Blade
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, the Darkin Blade, has within days become one of my favorite champions, as a new champion, one of his biggest advantages is that not many people really know what to do when they see him yet. But he doesn't even need that advantage to be effective. Aatrox has many tools at his disposal that allow him to dominate the top lane and farm freely while zoning his opponent completely. He wields his living sword with purpose and inspires those around to great feats of martial prowess, however, those he transforms into powerful warriors such as Tryndamere wonder if his "gift" is not truly a terrible curse. Aatrox's greatest legacy may be a history of war and bloodshed, but I don't think that bothers him too much. If you want to use the strength of this eternal warrior be prepared to pay the Blood Price.
I use the flat armor and magic resist runes to give me a quick advantage at the beginning, likewise the attack damage improves his AA and makes him a better last hitter, and the AS quints let me proc Blood Thirst and Blood Price faster, giving him more sustain and damage.
I don't use a 21/9/0 or 9/21/0 build with Aatrox, because he benefits most from increases to his health and damage i go 13/17 to give him a good amount of the extra damage, and as much health as you can get from the defensive tree.
For your items you want to maximise incoming health, so i build Blade of the Ruined King early for the lifesteal and damage bonus, then i focus on speed so i build the Ninja Tabi next. From there I build a quick Spirit Visage to improve my self heals and give me some health and MR, then i build into a true danger buy building Ravenous Hydra and Maw of Malmortius. Finish it off with a Randuin's Omen and you are a very dangerous target.
I use this as a general guide for ability leveling, but one of Aatrox's best features is that his skills should be leveled up based on your needs. Going 1v2, or playing someone with a hard poke? Level Blades of Torment (E) up before anything else. Getting beat in melee exchanges and need more sustain? Level up his Blood Thirst/ Blood Price (W). Dominating your lane and want to zone your opponent to death? Level up Dark Flight (Q) and keep him away from CS. Don't just level up skills blindly with Aatrox, build him to fit your situation.
Blood Well (Passive)
Aatrox stores a portion of his abilities’ health cost in the Blood Well, which slowly drains to a base amount while he is out of combat. When Aatrox loses all of his health, he draws on the Blood Well and recovers the amount of health stored.
Dark Flight (Q)
Aatrox rises into the air and slams into a target location. Enemies within the impact zone are knocked up and take damage, while nearby enemies take damage.
Blood Thirst (W)
Aatrox heals himself on every third attack. Activating Blood Thirst toggles Blood Price.
Blood Price: Every third attack now deals bonus damage instead of healing Aatrox. Aatrox loses health based on the bonus damage dealt.
Blades of Torment (E)
Aatrox fires a line attack that damages and slows enemies caught in its path. Aatrox is refunded a part of the health cost if Blades of Torment strikes an enemy champion.
Upon activation, Aatrox instantly damages enemies in an area around him. For the duration of Massacre, Aatrox gains bonus attack speed and range. Massacre has no health cost.
Pros / Cons
Extremely good sustain
Lots of tools (ranged poke slow, aoe jump knockup, passive rebirth)
Can adapt to many different situations
Not being aggresive actually reduces your Blood Well, which can waste your passive
Long cooldowns, autoattack reliant
Blades of Torment has a very narrow aoe at max range
Aatrox becomes a very dangerous team figher mid game, once the tank initiates he can Dark Flight in, knocking up targets within his AOE, his Massacre has a very short cooldown and is deals moderate AOE damage, as well as giving him increased attack range and speed, which increases his damage and sustain. Also his Blades of Torment will slow any target trying to escape the team fight, allowing for chasers to kill any straying enemies. Aatrox is best used with a CC heavy team as this locks down the enemy team very effectively and allows for unmitigated damage done to all enemies.
Like all champions who don't use mana, Aatrox can farm effectively using his abilities. If you just killed your opponent in lane, or are confident you wont be ganked feel free to use your Blades of Torment and Dark Flight to farm minions very effectively and quickly. However, if you are low health it is more advisable to continue autoattacking for minion farm because you will heal yourself with Blood Thirst while farming.
Aatrox is a legendary warrior, one of only five that remain of an ancient race known as the Darkin. He wields his massive blade with grace and poise, slicing through legions in a style that is hypnotic to behold. With each foe felled, Aatrox’s seemingly living blade drinks in their blood, empowering him and fueling his brutal, elegant campaign of slaughter.
The earliest tale of Aatrox is as old as recorded history. It tells of a war between two great factions remembered only as the Protectorate and the Magelords. Over time, the Magelords won a series of crushing victories, leaving them on the brink of obliterating their sworn enemy forever. On the day of their final confrontation, the Protectorate army found themselves outnumbered, exhausted, and poorly equipped. They braced for inevitable defeat.
Just when all hope seemed lost, Aatrox appeared among the ranks of the Protectorate. With but a few words, he urged the soldiers to fight to the last before throwing himself into battle. His presence inspired the desperate warriors. At first, they could only watch in awe as this unknown hero cleaved through their enemies, his body and blade moving in unison as if one being. Soon, the warriors found themselves imbued with a potent thirst for battle. They followed Aatrox into the fray, each fighting with the furious strength of ten until they had won a most unlikely victory.
Aatrox vanished after that battle, but the Protectorate army’s newfound fury did not. Their surprising triumph led to many more until they were able to finally return home victorious. Their countrymen hailed them as heroes, but though they had saved their entire civilization from destruction, darkness lingered in the mind of each warrior. Something within them had changed. Over time, their memories of battle faded, only to be replaced with a grim revelation: their acts of heroism were, in fact, brutal atrocities committed by their own hands.
Tales like these appear among the myths of many cultures. If they are all to be believed, Aatrox’s presence has changed the course of some of the most important wars in history. Though these stories remember him as a savior in dark times, Aatrox’s true legacy may be a world filled with conflict and strife.
“Some fight for honor, some fight for glory. It matters only that you fight.” – Aatrox