Aatrox Build Guide by zergkops
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.
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.
Welcome to Aatrox- The One Who Darkins Souls! This guide is co-written and updated by zergkops and FiveWord50 on the NA server. The item build was originally created by FiveWord50 and then modified slightly by zergkops. It focuses on early attack speed to proc your w, which is maxed out second. Then it moves into attack damage and slows ( Blade of the Ruined King and your Blades of Torment) to chase down and kill enemies. The last stage of the build opens out for lots of health. Your health regen should be about 50 per five, you should also be getting 27% life steal, and have a 300 or 400 health heal from your Blood Thirst while you are below 50% life. If such overwhelming strength (enough to solo baron!), not to mention the fact that your passive ( Blood Well) is a built in guardian angel on a lower cooldown, is something you like, then keep reading friend, and may your mind be blown.
In this part of the introduction, zergkops will be keeping tabs with what new is coming to the guide and an E.T.A. on how long it will be. For now, it will mostly be weekends when he can work, but in about a month the weekdays might open up. He'll keep you posted.
For now, new things to wait for: zergkops will be going through the guide and adding icons in the skill sequence chapter as well as changing the colors of some important points so that they stand out.
Planned chapters in production:
- Soloing baron and dragon
- Playing against specific champions (long list, so this will take a long time)
If there are any other such minor changes you wish to have made, leave a comment. Zergkops or FiveWord will try to check them daily at around noon.
Starting order: We take Blood Thirst/Blood Price for the early heal, followed by Blades of Torment for the ranged poke. Finally, we bring up Dark Flight, allowing you dive in and pick up first blood (or just a kill).
: We level up Blades of Torment first for the slow, the ranged poke, and because it deals magic damage whereas people build armor against Aatrox.
We level up w second for the lane sustain and fight bonus damage of blood price.
: We level up Dark Flight last because the damage isn't great, and it's main use is mobility and initiating fights. The knock-up doesn't get any better with levels, and enemies can still hit you mid flight. That means knock-ups, knock back, stuns, basic attacks, snares, skill shots, targeted abilities (such as ignite), roots, and everything else. Also, it costs 10% of your current life, so using it in a fight could be deadly for you.
: This guide isn't for trolls, so if you want to excel with Aatrox, take Massacre at levels 6, 11, and 16.
Pros / Cons
In-depth Item Explanations
For start, you want to take boots of speed and 4 health pots. You do that for the sustainability before you can put a point in your Blood Thirst/Blood Price, or if you are being denied farm early.
You want to build a Cutlass at your first or second (if you have to) recall, because that extra 100 damage and slow can mean the difference between winning and losing a fight. Jump in with Dark Flight, slow with Blades of Torment, and as they try to run with 200 health left smack them in the face with your cutlass and kill ‘em with Dark Flight. The lifesteal the blade gives can boost your lane sustain, combining with Blood Thirst for a LOT of life back from farming.
Take one of these boots, depending on who you are versing in lane. If it’s a magic damage top like Katarina, you would want the Mercury’s Treads, but when versing an attack damage champ, like Riven, you'll want the ninja tabi.
Zephyr is one of the most important items on Aatrox. It gives him attack speed, necessary for proccing his Blood Thirst/Blood Price, and also gives a bit of movement speed, great for chasing when you get to phase 2 of the build and attack damage, just great in general.
Blade of the Ruined King is one of the most important items in the build. It begins phase 2: slows and 1v1 kills. Trigger your blade right at the beginning of the fight. It will take out 15% of their current health, and then give you 30% of THEIR move speed for a few seconds. Basically, it takes 30% of their move speed, the turns that number into a value (i.e. 180), then takes 180 out of their movespeed and puts 180 in yours, even if 180 isn’t 30% of your move speed. That’s a 60% move speed difference. Have fun killing Teemo.
Spirit visage begins phase 3: Health, Health regen, and teamfights. Teamfights should have started around when you finished your blade, but now, you will CRUSH them. Your 15% life steal will go up to 18% (seems small, but with over 1 attack speed…). Also, your health regeneration and self healing from Blood Thirst will go up 20% as well, meaning that while below 50% health you get 320% of the heal you would get while above 50% health. Additionally, you get CDR and 400 life.
Randuin's Omen. An item great for many things. It gives 500 health, 70 much needed armor, and a slow against anyone that attacks you. The slow in attack speed also helps fight champions such as Jax, who hard counter you and will be discussed in a later chapter. While the active won't be overly useful, it's still a better item than Warmog's Armor for this build.
Ravenous hydra is an item often rushed on champions like Fiora. While it is great for farming, we take it last, as other stats besides damage are more important on Aatrox early. We feel it's more of a teamfight item and take it for the bonus teamfight damage. Remember that Ravenous Hydra is also one of the most cost effecient items in the game, because it's value is about 700 gold more than it's price (based on the value of 75 attack damage, 15 per 5 health regen, and 12% life steal) even without it's passive and active.
In-depth Spell Explanations
Let’s go in order, from Blood Well to Massacre.
Blood well is your awesome passive. When you die, it’ll bring you back to life with hp equal to the amount of blood in it plus 10.5 plus 45 times your level. So at level 3 with 300 blood in the pool, you regenerate 445.5 health. If you have a Guardian Angel and Blood Well triggers, it will consume your Guardian Angel, putting it on full 5 minute cooldown and basically making it useless.
Dark flight is your basic CC and chase tool. You always want to initiate team fights with it, as well as 1v1s, as using it later in the fight can kill you (it costs 10% current health). It’s pretty self explanatory. You target, then Aatrox jumps into the air and slam into the ground. Enemies can hit you mid flight, with both skill shots and single target abilities. If you are rooted mid flight (for instance by Ryze) You will land at the targeted location and then be snared there.
Blood Thirst is your basic sustain tool. Keep it on while farming below level 6. Remember that you get triple the regen if you are below 50% health, which is the main reason you can solo baron. Also, the heal triggers on every third basic attack, so attack speed items are always great. That’s why we start with a Zephyr.
Blood Price is your other passive battle stance. When starting a 1v1, always have this on until you fall below 50% health, then switch to Blood Thirst. In general, I don’t use it, but when I do, I get kills. Personally I prefer Blood Thirst but it depends on your own playstyle.
Blades of Torment is your ranged poke. It’s also your chasing CC tool. The most important thing with Aatrox is learning to land this skill at range, because it narrows down the farther it goes. It deals magic damage, key because most people will build armor against Aatrox. It slows by 40% for 1.75/2/2.25/2.5/2.75 seconds.
When you jump into a teamfight with Dark Flight, you want to hit massacre right away. It will hit each of them for 200/300/400 damage each, then give you 40% attack speed and 175 bonus attack range. Never use it while soloing baron or dragon. It only deals damage to champions and the attack speed isn’t necessary for solo baron.
You have two options with your farming. I'll divide this chapter into two parts, one for each of them.
Part one: Gold Farm
This is the farm you use when you want to get gold and get out before the other team can come in and kill you. All you do is put on Blood Price, line up a Blades of Torment so that it hits every minion, and then dark flight into the bunch of them. Kill the ones that aren't dead with the bonus damage from Blood Price.
Part two: Life Farm
This is the farm you use to get life back. The basic idea is turn on Blood Thirst and basic attack the wave to death. Don't use Blades of Torment or Dark Flight because they cost life, and you're trying to get life back. Once the wave is dead, kill all enemies in the area. Take red buff. Repeat.
We’ll divide this chapter into two parts: 1v1, and teamfighting.
If you want to 1v1 as Aatrox, well, you’ve already won. He is STUPIDLY overpowered, and with this special build, he can pretty much destroy anyone, particularly attack damage carries. They simply cannot do damage fast enough and just not enough in general to kill him, but in order to do that, you really need that Spirit Visage to win. If you have already built your Warmog's Armor you have to keep your W on Blood Price. However, if you get really low, switch to Blood Thirst. Try to knock them up whenever you possibly can, to prevent them from dealing damage while you DISH OUT TONS OF DAMAGE, but make sure to use that when you have a good amount of life remaining, because it CAN kill you.
So you wanna learn how to teamfight. Well with Aatrox it’s simple. Make sure your team is ready. When they are, if you have an Orianna, have her ult. If you don’t have an Orianna, just Dark Flight, making sure it hits as many of them as you can. While they’re in the air, ult and start basic attacking with Blood Price. As soon as you fall below half, switch to Blood Price. Even a second to late on this switch could mean you die. Remember to constantly basic attack, but don’t use Blades of Torment or Dark Flight in the fight. The life cost and cast delay will mean your death. Feel free to use them in a chase situation though. You can’t go wrong with them in a chase (except if you throw it backwards, which I did once).
Laning Against Specific Opponents
THIS CHAPTER IS IN PRODUCTION ON THE PUBLIC GOOGLE DOC. PLEASE SEE LINK IN INTRODUCTION.
There are three situations when you want to roam. You just destroyed the first top turret, you need a kill, or an ally needs help. Either way, the basic roam is simple. Hide in a bush, then when you get the chance, jump in with Dark Flight. Don’t worry about landing it so long as you land the Blades of Torment. If they don’t run in fear, you should get a kill with your basic 1v1 fighting. If they DO run in fear, you get an easier kill by method of your choice: Dark Flight into Blood Price, or Blades of Torment into Blood Thirst.
So when you get right down to it, Aatrox is awesome. He utterly destroys top lane, his skills are awesome, and red buff completely breaks his balance. When you need an off-tank with massive amounts of massive damage, Aatrox is your man. Thanks for reading, and remember not to take mana pots!
Have fun with Aatrox,
zergkops and FiveWord50