Aatrox Build Guide by TheRealGir
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 my guide wooooooooo
Welcome to my Aatrox guide that will hopefully fill your needs as both a build and a basic guide on how to play the champion. Feel free to skip around to the parts you are actually looking for and leave a comment if you have any questions. And also, the standard item build, though it is standard, should not be used every single game. You should always change your items around depending on the aspects of the game you are in and make sure you have all the things you need to avoid becoming useless or getting instakilled and feeding.
Pros and cons
Stop stealing my ****ing pros and cons for your stupid ****ing guide
-Heavy free sustain thanks to Blood Thirst / Blood Price
-Gap closer with crowd control with Dark Flight
-Really nice slow in Blades of Torment
-Nice nuke plus a massive steroid with Massacre
-So many free stats with Blood Well Massacre Blood Thirst / Blood Price
-Overpowered revival passive Blood Well
-Pretty low cooldowns
-Will be nerfed
-Melee carry, still not working that well
-Unreliable gap closer Dark Flight if you aren't very good at skill shots
-Abilities cost health, but his Blood Thirst / Blood Price will get it back since it's broken right now
-Very expensive itemization, requires very good farm or kills to get the items when you are going to need them.
Summoner spells can be game changing at times, so try to make sure you take the right ones for the occasion.
Ghost and Ignite are the ones I recommend with this build. Aatrox has a built in gap closer/ escape tool with Dark Flight which combos very will with ghost allowing him to either escape with ease or chase down targets who can't match his speed.
Flash is also good one Aatrox. It will give you another blink ability for jumping over terrain or a surprise initiation. I went with Ghost over Flash because Melee carries tend to get kited around and have trouble sticking to targets. With ghost and Dark Flight you should be able to close the gap and then stick onto targets with ease.
Ignite Is a very good spell to have top lane to help you turn the tides of fights into your favor early on. This will also come in handy later in the game when you are dealing with that pain in the *** Swain or making sure Dr. Mundo Doesn't go where he pleases.
Other viable Summoners are
Teleport Top lane tends to be isolated from any real early game objective play, but with Teleport you can come down for a dragon or a gank whenever TP is off cooldown
Exhaust This one is decent for shutting down any fed carries or your lane opponent for 1v1's. In the end though this is much better in the hands of the support.
Barrier This can be excellent in clutch 1v1 moments, but it isn't as useful for you as Ignite or Teleport would be, leave this one for the Ranged AD carry.
Greater Quintessence of Armor Penetration
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
For Marks I would suggest flat AD so you can still hold your own in the top lane, this will also contribute to his all his abilities which have decent scaling for what they do.
Greater Mark of Armor Penetration if you feel you will need the pentration late game or a very tanky lane opponent ( Shen, Garen, Renekton). these of course will not contribute to your ratios but will help you but through a bit of their starting armor.
Greater Mark of Attack Speed could also be used but since he already gains so much free attack speed I feel like these would just be overkill
As a top lane champion you will be up against an AD bruiser most of the time, so I suggest flat Armor Seals to help deal with some of their early damage.
Another fine option would be Greater Seal of Health or Greater Seal of Scaling Health which will help you tank a bit more damage, but beware only getting health as a fair amount of top laners will build the Blade of the Ruined King and you will get cut to ribbons fast.
For Glyphs you are going to want Scaling Magic Resist to help your transition into mid game when the AP carry will start doing some heavy damage
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist can work as well but will be outscaled by the scaling runes before they become of much use. Of course both these runes will help you deal with any magic damage your top lane opponent or the jungler is throwing at you.
For these I would choose Flat armor penetration to make sure you can get through some of the enemy starting armor. These will help you continue to deal some decent damage throughout the game until the enemy stacks a **** ton of armor and you need to get a last whisper or hope you have a Jarvan IV with a The Black Cleaver on your team
Other viable options are Greater Quintessence of Health, Greater Quintessence of Scaling Health, or Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
depending on your situation.
When choosing your Masteries you must first decide, do you want to be a bit tankier, or have a bit more damage? I will try to go over each choice a bit to help you decide.
A bit more damage
When you go with more damage, you are usually going with a 21/9/0 mastery set up. I will go over all the masteries I suggest with Aatrox but feel free to change yours a bit if you see room for improvement
Fury Is the first mastery you will be putting your points in, the added attack speed will help Aatrox throughout the entire game. His playstyle needs attack speed.
Sorcery The added CDR will allow you to cast abilities a little bit faster which is always helpful.
Summoner's Wrath Will give you some bonuses to your summoner spells, they may not seem worth it but they will come in handy, and for only one summoner point!
Deadliness Will give you a small bit of scaling AD, What's not to love when playing an AD carry?
Weapon Expertise Will make sure you can deal some decent damage without any armor penetration items. this mastery is very important.
Brute Force Gives a small amount of AD that will help you a lot in the early levels.
Lethality Gives an amazing 10% crit damage, for just two points, too good.
Sunder is pretty much the same as Weapon Expertise free armor pen = amazing.
Executioner Is really handy when you are trying to assassinate low health targets, the added damage could be the difference between them getting away with one HP or you getting a nice 300 gold
Those should be your 21 offensive points. Now you are going to want to put some points into your defensive tree to avoid being a walking piece of paper for your enemies to shred.
Durability and Veteran's Scars Give you some extra HP, this is never a bad thing.
Hardiness and Resistance will give you some defensive stats to help you take more hits throughout the game.
A bit more defense
If you feel like you do plenty of damage already but die to fast, you may be looking for a 9/21/0 mastery page, I will now detail said page.
Summoner's Wrath Take this for the some good bonuses to summoner spells
Fury You will still need Weapon Expertise and I feel like attack speed is better then CDR on Aatrox the choice is yours but I prefer Fury
Deadliness For some bonus scaling AD
Weapon Expertise is critical in any AD carry build.
Now come the defensive stats.
Durability and Veteran's Scars Will help you bolster you HP bar.
Hardiness and Resistance Will give you some much needed armor and MR.
Safeguard Will help you deal with tanking towers some what.
Unyielding and Block Are critical to winning trades in the top lane, they will reduce auto attack damage by quite a bit in the early stages and could end up you coming out on top in a fight.
Tenacious Is free tenacity, this is a great thing to have.
Juggernaut Is a decent ability giving you some more HP as the game goes on.
Defender Gives great stats for only one point.
Honor Guard 3% damage reduction from all sources, does that even need explaining?
So with this champion you are going to want to build the standard melee carry build. I feel like a Phantom Dancer, combined with Blood Well and Massacre grant more then enough attack speed for Aatrox. This is the reason why this guide is more focused on Damage and crits over attack speed.
I would suggest starting the game with an Elixir of Fortitude and three health potions. This will give you good sustain and the elicer can really turn a fight around in your favor. But if you feel another start is better in your situation, trust your own judgement and make the call. Once you have a decent bit of money head back and pick up some components for The Bloodthirster. Once you finish off The Bloodthirster. I would suggest a Frozen Mallet or rushing Infinity Edge, depending on your current needs in the game, getting IE if you need dmg and FroMallet if you need some health. Frozen Mallet combined with your built in slow and gap closer will make you a true terror that no one will be able to escape from.
Infinity Edge combined with your natural attack speed and and increased range with ult will deal massive damage and should have you landing crits quite often with The Bloodthirster melting those noob *** carries.
After you acquire these items you are going to want to grab either a Randuin's Omen or Phantom Dancer, once again depending on your situational needs.
The Phantom Dancer will help you crit constantly plus the added attack speed with your built in attack speed will synergize well. Not only that, but it will make you move even faster giving carries a really hard time kiting you with your gap closers.
I recommend the Randuin's Omen to make sure when you are diving in with Dark Flight and Massacre you can survive long enough to take out the carries, along with your other items and the Cold steel passive of the Randuin's Omen there will be no escape for anyone.
At some point pick up boots, Aatrox is pretty mobile with his Q and a base movespeed of 345 so you can get Boots of Swiftness whenever you feel the need. Get Mercury's Treads if they have a high amount of AP or a decent amount of crowd control. If they are lacking in both those areas Ninja Tabi and Berserker's Greaves are a viable option.
There are many other items that are viable on Aatrox, I am not going to go into detail about all of them, just the ones concerning the general AD/attack speed playstyle this guide uses.
Blade of the Ruined King - This item is amazing on Aatrox it synergies' great with his attack speed steroids and his free life steal. This item is great when you want to shred down health stacking tanks like Dr. Mundo or Zac. The active is also amazing for melee carries because it allows you to stick onto targets easily.
Last Whisper - This item is required when the enemy team is stacking so much armor that you are dealing pitiful damage. With this you will cut through them like butter.
Ravenous Hydra - I would take this item if you really want to focus on wave clearing and pushing. With this items active and Blades of Torment you should be able to go through a whole wave almost instantly. This item also adds a large amount of damage and life steal which are always great on Aatrox
Hexdrinker - This item is an excellent counter to many champions. Vladimir, Garen, Akali just to name a few, it really counters all mages due to it giving you a fair amount of MR and a spell shield when you are low. Great to get when you are against an AP top or their AP mid is starting to get out of hand.
The Black Cleaver - This item is pretty decent but I would only recommend taking it if you have an absurd amount of AD on your team (Mid- Zed, jungle - Xin, adc - draven, support - darius ftw) this team for example. The armor shred component will really help your team carve into the enemies despite their armor, which they will probably be stacking against this team.
Trinity Force - The only stats from triforce that would be wasted on Aatrox would be the mana from Sheen but it is still a very good item on him. Every other stat will make you do Tons of Damage. This item is very costly though and may not help you as much in the end as some other items. but if you are very fed I would say go for it.
Zephyr - If you are going for a really attack speed heavy build, I would recommend this. It gives nice stats and since it gives tenacity you can buy Berserker's Greaves instead of Mercury's Treads.
Youmuu's Ghostblade - Ghostblade is just an underwhelming item that I would not buy, but if you feel you want the active with the decent stats it gives, go for it.
Spirit Visage If you are in need of some MR I would suggest getting this. The passive will make your life steal even stronger and it gives stats that will make you more tanky overall.
Mercurial Scimitar If you are getting cc'd to death and need a cleanse. Or you want to get some more MR but also need damage.
Wit's End This will give you a good set of stats that you can use, some MR steal will go with a Sunfire Cape and your Massacre damage well. The attack speed will help you get more hits off faster increasing your damage and healing potential. It will also add an on hit amount of damage that will just add to what you already have.
Sunfire Cape If you are looking to push or fight in long extended fights, get this. The passive will give you some free over-time damage while the HP and armor will help you survive in the top lane and against their ADC early on.
Warmog's Armor Is a decent item but I feel an item that gives HP and armor is better in the current meta. The Blade of the Ruined King is quite popular right now along with a large amount of HP% based abilities Taste Their Fear Unstable Matter etc. with the recent champs make pure HP stacking very risky. Still a decent item to pick up under the right circumstances.
Runic Bulwark This item gives a big boost to defensive stats and an aura for your whole team. This is a good pick if your Support/jungler are not going to get it because it gives a big MR boost to your team which will make their AP carries weaker until they get enough Magic Pen deal with the MR.
Guardian Angel Will give you a double revive combined with your passive along with a nice balance of MR and armor, great for late game if you are pretty fed and you get focused heavily.
This passive is pretty simple but rather overpowered in my opinion. It is pretty much a Zac passive Cell Division minus the ability to actually reduce the amount healed or kill the target during the healing process. Not only that but Aatrox gains passive attack speed based on how much blood is in his pool. I do not really see why they would make his passive like this after just releasing Zac with a similar, yet clearly weaker passive. It heals for a little over half the HP bar when filled all the way and is activated upon hitting 0 Health. overall very helpful and will make Aatrox a pain to kill.
Aatrox's gap closer and crowd control effect all wrapped into one, it's like a skill shot version of Alistar's Headbutt + Pulverize combo. Since this skill is mostly for the utility you should only put one point in it early and max it last.
Blood Thirst / Blood Price
This ability is, in my opinion, his best ability. It is a passive that you can re-activate to change to it's other state. The first component is Blood Thirst, this gives a massive heal every third hit, much like Xin Zhao's Battle Cry. This will keep you healthy in lane as long as you can get to your minions. When Aatrox goes below 50% HP the healing amount TRIPLES, that's right folks, triples, im not joking here. This means in extended fights Aatrox should be able to out damage and heal most champs making him a great duelist. Max this first for lane sustain.
The second part of this ability is Blood Price, and like the name would suggest this passive costs HP, at that cost you gain a heavy amount of extra damage every third auto attack. This bonus damage, along with the healing part, scale off of bonus AD which is pretty crazy. With this passive combined with a nice mix of attack speed, AD, and crit damage, you will burst extremely hard with just your auto attacks.
Blades of Torment
This ability is a very nice slow with some pretty decent damage, it is a new skill shot that starts out as two lines and comes together into a point at the end of its path. This ability's slow has increased length as it scales so I recommend maxing it second to help stick to your targets.
Aatrox's Ultimate, this ability not only does a large AoE nuke but will also gain a heavy amount of attack speed and his auto attack range with be increased, this ability lasts for quite some time and it also has a nice 1:1 AP ratio on it making an AP on hit build pretty decent on him. Even a full ap build could work if you felt like doing something slightly unorthodox. This ability combined with his W and passive attack speed will make him a beast at dueling, he will gain so much health while dealing great amounts of damage.
How to play
When you are laning as Aatrox you want to try and force trades often, with your high natural sustain you can heal back anything as long as you can safely hit the minions for lifesteal. Your opponent will likely not have the sustain you have since you W is very powerful. Once you have some lifesteal from items you can press this playstyle even more, but ward up and watch out for ganks, you can't sustain back if you get instakilled by their jungler and top.
Mid Game - Team fights
At this point you should have a few of your core items depending on how well you are farming and your kills. This is about the point grouping will occur and team fights begin. Aatrox has great teamfighting capabilities with his AoE abilities and crowd control.
Your main goal should usually be to burst their AD or AP carry down fast, depending on which one is a bigger threat. Sometimes their front line is a bigger issue then their carries though so you should try to peel for your carries with your CC and take out the biggest threat first. Your going to want to try and get near the enemies without blowing your Dark Flight instantly as they will just respond with an escape of their own. Try and Slow them with your Blades of Torment and beat them till they flash or jump away then Dark Flight after them. Try to use your Massacre when you think the fight is going to start to get the full effect in the team fight.
At this point Baron Nashor and inhibs are going to be your main focus, along with just ending the game that is. Keep Sight ward and Vision Ward up on baron at all time and if there is a proper opening go for it, make sure there is little to no risk or you will throw the game right then and there. Once you have a clear advantage (baron, inhibs taken, massive gold lead) you are going to want to press this advantage to wrap up the game. If one lane is pushing with inhib down push down other lanes so they will not focus on protecting that lane. If you have Baron then just siege down towers with the health rejen. Beware, baron doesn't make you invincible so don't just tower dive for no reason. If you can make proper plays and work with your team pushing advantages you should be able to walk away a winner.
The end. For good.
Well this has been another guide by me, TheRealGir, best guide maker ever. I have just now decided I will never be returning to Mobafire. I understand why it gets so much hate and is considered the worst build site for league. You people prefer **** filled guides that detail how to ward over and over as long as it has proper coding and pretty little pictures on it. I don't know if you people have picked up a book that was not meant for a six year old, but they are just pure text. No colorful pictures to help your feeble minds. You all suck and will stay in bronze and silver forever.