Aatrox Build Guide by JareDaBear
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Recommended Runes + Notes
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 + Notes
For the explanation of this build, I'm gonna make this short and sweet. Aatrox is a simple champion with not much to explain but his high variability and versatility. When build right he has extremely good health, attack speed, damage and lifesteal making him one of the hardest champions to kill during team fights or duels. Also he's a beautiful butterfly. That's a bonus too.
Although all champions focus on skill and how to use them , Aatrox is much better when you know what items to put in and how they will affect your game play during teamfights.
Blade of the Ruined King
The blade is one of the most important parts of Aatrox because of its combination of attack speed and life steal. It gives him better engages, easier disengages, and lots more sustain in duels and team fights. Do not be afraid to use the active, and put it in a comfortable slot, because you should be using it a lot.
Summoners may disagree, but the wit's end is one of the best items to get on Aatrox. Because of his awful mid game due to the lack of good damage (because if you don't look at this you will probably rush the blade) and you will struggle mid game. Not only does it give extra attack damage, allowing your Blood Price or Blood Thirst to proc more often, but it gives bonus magic damage allowing Aatrox the power to sustain himself mid-game. And I know that the attack damage on Aatrox is low but if you count the additional magic damage and magic reduction he lands at about 290, a great number for the health and cc he has. If you don't like the passive that Wit's End gives you, just transfer over to a Zephyr or Statikk Shiv to uphold the attack speed you have. But I would recommend keeping it, because of the bonus magic damage it gives you, and the magic resist reduction.
Most people build Aatrox as an attack damage bruiser with little health. I build him off-tank with attack speed. And you know what? I did both, and god dangit this is better. Getting ravenous hydra give you enough sustain to dominate team fights and has enough area of effect damage to not only help the team, but to be an asset for team fights.
The frozen mallet i recommend immediately after ravenous hydra. This being said, I would get the Giant's Belt build early, just after you start to build Wit's End and Blade of the Ruined King because no matter who you are and how you play, Aatrox is a melee champion. So the extra health would help a bunch. This being said, the health from the Giant's Belt will reward you with extra health so you can engage more and survive longer. And late game, the health will more than triple with the Frozen Mallet and will even get you additional cc, in sync with your Blades of Torment and Dark Flight.
Randuin's omen i recommend on any attack damage bruiser. Because of how up front you are, you will get focused. This being said, the Randuin's Omen will give you bonus armor and health, and slow the enemy when they hit you. This furthers his absolute torment of cc and damage, and that's why i recommend it for Aatrox.
Unlike other champions, Aatrox's abilities make him a very versatile champion. Jungle, mid, and top are all viable areas for him because of his abilities and how you use them.
1: Farming - Early game for Aatrox is where he pulls ahead. He has superior poke, lifesteal, and damage making him a great champ to top as for early game. Start with Blades of Torment and whenever the enemy gets in range, toss it to them. Keep them at range while farming until level 2, where you grab your w. Once this happens, feel free to get however close you need to them, but continue to last hit while you poke.
2: Poke - Although the summoner showcase says otherwise, be sure to adjust your combo to Blades of Torment, then a rapid Dark Flight. The slow movement of you e plus the knock up of the q will keep the enemy in place for a while. And if minions are nearby be sure to transfer to your blood price and prep for a proc on that too for full combo damage.
To be completely honest, Aatrox is an extremely easy butterfly to play. His early game in any solo lane (which is what i recommend), is dominant. Early game is when you need to be offensive and punish them for even overextending a bit. To do this, buy sight wards and only engage with your Dark Flight when the enemy jungler is in view or just left view, going to a lane besides yours. Any other time, keep your Dark Flight for escaping, and just poke with your Blades of Torment and focus on farming, while constantly attacking him with your readied Blood Price and then switch back for the farm. What's great about Aatrox is that because of his passive and his cc, as long as he stays aggressive he will always stay ahead in farm. Mid game is where Aatrox struggles the most. By now, you should have the Bilgewater Cutlass and Wit's End along with some kind of boots (I recommend Mercury's Treads) and a Giant's Belt. If you do not have this or somewhere close to this, you definitely will struggle during mid game. If you do have the correct build, your job is to focus on the carrys on the team. Start near the back, and let the tanks absorb the damage, and when the carry goes in, so do you. Engage with Dark Flight and Blades of Torment and just hammer them with Blood Price. Your disengage should be Dark Flight and then Blades of Torment to wherever the nearest entry point is. Late game, he is next to impossible to kill in a 1v1 or a 2v1. By this point, characters like Nautilus and even Blitzcrank will have less cc than you. Use this with your damage as an advantage to go into teamfights to solely focus the ap or ad carrys. Then you can focus the off-tank with the highest attack damage output. This guy you don't need to kill, as your team will be able to easily secure the kill. From here you just put this to work until GG!
Pros / Cons
Pros: Durability, Good attack damage, Hard to kill, great lifesteal, high attack speed, changes teamfights.
Cons: Squishier than most tanks, bad range, less than decent AOE damage, Hard to defend turrets, will be nerfed.
Runes and Masteries
The Why's and How's of my set-up!
The point of the masteries and runes on Aatrox are to balance him between good damage and decent defense. I give him tankier masteries because of the runes I give. His attack damage is so high that taking defense instead of damage is a better choice for him.
Overall, Aatrox is a fun melee bruiser who can fly like a butterfly and sting like... a butterfly with a sword. He's a great addition to most team comps and, most importantly, hes fuuuun! If you agree or like my post push the upvote button, and then play the Beautiful butterfly for yourself!
He looks so much like a butterfly!!