Aatrox Build Guide by postaldude
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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.
Hey there Mobafire,
My name is postaldude, i'm currently a Silver Division 2 player on the NA servers and i'm looking to help out people who don't quite know what to build on Aatrox, or don't really know what items to go for. I see many people building and playing Aatrox incorrectly in lane, as in rushing very strange items, or being over aggressive all the time. I decided to take an in-depth look at Aatrox, his mechanics, his counters, who he synergises well with and what items are good on him. Also, this is one of my first guides (I made one back during Season 2 under a different name)and I plan on making more after this. Any constructive criticism will be greatly appreciated. Also, I do plan on updating this to add more information to the match ups / who works well with him, the only reason I am not doing it now is because I like going in games and getting matched up against the champions, or matched with them randomly, just to study it. Hope you like the guide.
Pros / Cons
Good at bullying in lane with his
Good sustain, especially when near 50% HP because of Blood Thirst
Great burst potential with the third hit proc on Blood Price mixed with Massacre
Great late game presence
Can easily peel off an ADC / APC
Great 1v1 mid/late game
Can set up ganks early on with his Dark Flight and Blades of Torment
Very squishy early game
Can be countered easily in lane
Sustain requires you to be able to hit minions
Blinds / Stuns / Hard CC can make him feel useless
The sustain is a bit contradictory, as I claim it is good sustain (because it is) but is also bad because you must be near minions, or the enemy champion for it to be effective. When you're at 50% HP or lower, Blood Thirst will heal you double the amount. If you're behind, or getting zoned extremely hard it becomes virtually worthless. If this is happening, try to get your jungler to gank, you're going to (A) Kill the enemy. (B) Force them out of lane. (C) Make them use a summoner. (D) Put them on edge, and get them afraid of being ganked again.
If you die too many times early game, whether its from an over-confident 1v1 attempt, or a jungler ganking while you had no wards, it will be difficult for you to pick up in mid-late game. Going 1-2 0-2 sometimes 0-3 is pretty acceptable, but not ideal. You need to try your best to stay alive and continue to get lane EXP, even if your farming isn't on par with the enemy. If you feel like you're falling way too far behind, call for a gank. Aatrox is exceptionally good at farming from afar. If you cant seem to get close enough to last hit, consider maxing Blades of Torment before Blood Thirst
I'm about to kill three birds with one stone here. Aatrox can be countered easily in lane because he is so squishy, and because a good amount of CC (example Ki Burst, Counter Strike, Blinding Dart) can completely shut down his wombo combo. Early game is Aatrox's weak point, even though people like denying it because he has Blood Thirst but theres no way around it. Solo queue, build to counter.
I the offense tree I take Fury over Sorcery because I feel that the 4% attack speed boost works better with his passive. I take Deadliness because putting a point in Weapon Expertise is a must considering you are completely auto-attack dependent.
Now, onto the defense tree. I took 4 points intp Durability because I feel the extra HP per level is more important than the regen or less minion damage. Now, What I did next with the three points in Hardiness and three points in Resistance , nothing is set in stone. This is a simple guideline, not what you should use every game. Under certain circumstances Resistance may be totally useless, like versus all AD teams while in other cases, its useful because of double AP on the enemy team. I take two points into Unyielding because it also unlocks Block , both of which are useful for early game trading. Tenacious because Aatrox is shut dow nby hard CC. Juggernaut because Aatrox isn't naturally healthy. The last point I chose is Honor Guard because in general, its just amazing. 3% less damage, thats from all sources, not just "3% from AP damage" or anything, pure damage reduction.
Upon taking fatal damage, Blood Well activates and places Aatrox in stasis for 3 seconds. Over the stasis duration the Blood Well is emptied and Aatrox restores health equal to its contents plus 10.5 + (15.75 × level). Blood Well's activation has a static cooldown and is unaffected by cooldown reduction.
Also, Aatrox passively increases his attack speed by 1% for every 2% in the Blood Well.
TOGGLE ON: Aatrox deals bonus physical damage on every third attack at the cost of health.
For the next 12 seconds, Aatrox gains bonus attack speed and 175 bonus attack range (325 total range). His attacks are still considered melee.
Tier 1 Damage Options
Another great item for Aatrox. It has lots of lifesteal and lots of attack damage. If you get it with Blade of the Ruined King you can sit in Blood Price for most of the fight. (Unless you're getting focused)
Considering Aatrox is completely auto-attack based for his main source of damage, this is viable if the enemy is getting a lot of armor, or if you want to be doing "lesser true damage".
Another good item, it gives you health CDR and attack damage along with armor pen for each hit, since your passive gives you attack speed its not hard ot get the stacks off.
Tier 2 Damage Options
I was never a big fan of this on Aatrox because other items are more viable for him, but if you want to do some AoE damage in teamfights this would be your go-to item.
An above average magic resist item because of the unique active, it helps Aatrox get out of some tight spots, but I still wouldn't choose it over some other items.
Viable Defensive Options
Makes an excellent starting item versus people like Tryndamere Udyr Jayce, it gives you that early game trade advantage and I suggest getting it if its a poke lane or a trade lane.
Another viable item, gives you a nice amount of armor, a nice amount of health and the 50 magic damage/sec helps more than people think. I personally get this if they don't have too many auto-attack reliant champions.
You can't really go wrong with this item, it gives you 1K HP, which is a lot of bulk and it also regens 1% of your maximum health every few seconds.
Excellent defensive option versus a Vayne, Tristana, Xin Zhao, or Tryndamere because it gives you armor, health and the active is amazing versus those champions specifically.
One of my two personal favorite for Aatrox mainly because you get a second chance, with a certain build you can become the one versus one king at a certain point in the game, mainly because of this item.
Good vs extreme AP team, or if the APC is super fed, otherwise its not really worth investing money into and the support or jungler should pick it up.
I love this item on Aatrox because not only does it give health and magic resist, but the passive on it works for Blood Thirst and Blood Well. It pretty much negates ignite on your passive.
Viable Boot Options
You can't really go wrong with this because of the tenacity they offer you. The only time I don't see these being super viable is it the enemy team is full of AD champions.
Excellent for laning phase, and versus the enemy ADC. May leave you feeling a little weak versus AP champions so feel free to pick up some additional magic resist items if you do go Ninja Tabi
Extremely Difficult Match-Ups
Champions Aatrox synergises well with