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Aatrox Build Guide by gogo yubari

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League of Legends Build Guide Author gogo yubari


gogo yubari Last updated on June 17, 2013
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

Guide Top


Hello everyone and welcome to my guide for Aatrox,the darkin blade!
In this guide I will do my best to teach you how to turn the tides of battle and bring many glorious victory as Aatrox.

I would like to point out that it is my first guide,and I am aware it probably won't be perfect!
if there is anything you do not like about,feel free to tell me,but always make constructive criticism,thank you!

issues covered in this build:

  • about aatrox
  • runes
  • summoner spell choice
  • skill sequence and skill explanation
  • build
  • gameplay
  • matchups (coming soon!)

now,let's get to the fun part!

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AATROX,his power,his pros,his cons

Aatrox is a melee fighter relying mainly on auto attacks,has a high sustain and can easily fight on the line of a team fight with a few survivability such he is perfectly designed for the top lane and the jungle.However,this guide will only cover his potential as a top laner (for the moment,at least!)


  • possibly the best sustain of the game
  • no mana!
  • potentially enormeus damage output through Blood Thirst / Blood Price
  • good mobility
  • can entirely turn the tides of any battle if played well


  • easily itemized against
  • very vulnerable to cc
  • his cc can be somewhat unreliable
  • EXTREMELY item dependant
  • need a good early game or will likely become useless late game

Before starting my explanation,I'd like to state something:

when you want to build a champion,it is always VERY important to think about the states your champion needs the most,and build accordingly:

Aatrox absolutely needs four states:
  • attack damages (as an AD champion)
  • attack speed ( Aatrox is not an AD caster,he relies heavily on his auto attacks)
  • lifesteal (I'd say this is the core state of Aatrox,it improves his already wonderful sustain,and gives him a very,very deceptive tankiness that will allow him to beat almost anyone in a straight 1 vs 1 confrontation)
  • health ( Aatrox is a melee champion,and as such will always be at the front line in teamfights,so he of course needs a good amount of health to stay alive!)

now that we got our main states,we'll see how to exploit them!

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Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

I take runes of flat attack attack damage for both quints and marks over armor penetration for the simple fact that AD scales with the healing you get from Blood Thirst / Blood Price,thus improving your sustain even further.
Not to mention that your Blades of Torment deal magic damages,and as such wouldn't benefit from armor penetration at all,whereas it benefits from attack damages.

I take flat armor and magic resist for some early game tankyness that will prove extremely useful!

in draft pick,you can take glyphs of scaling magic resists if you know your opponent won't be an AP champion.

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I take classic 21/9/0 masteries when I play aatrox.

in tier 1,I take Summoner's Wrath because I am taking Ignite as well,if you don't want to take Ignite,then don't put one point in this mastery,and put it in Fury instead!
Fury is extremely important on Aatrox due to the fact that he relies on his auto attacks.
cooldown reduction won't help you much since your spells aren't your main income of damages,so taking
Sorcery would be a waste.
the other masteries are pretty self explanatory.

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summoner Spells

I take Flash almost every games with almost every champions.
Aatrox is not an exception,this spell just has too many uses!
it allows you to escape,to catch up to a fleeing enemy,to reposition in teamfights,and many more!
it also allows you to travel surprisingly great distances coupled with Dark Flight,which is perfect to surprise an enemy!

let's not hide it,we all hate it when your lane opponent flee the battle with 10 hp.
thanksfully, Ignite is there to fix that!,most of the time,use it as a finisher,however,if you are facing an enemy who sustain himself heavily during the battle through lifesteal or other regeneration(IE: Fiora),you can also use it at the beginning of the fight to reduce said regeneration by 50%!

let's also remember that Aatrox might have some problem to catch up to an enemy who is escaping,at the beginning of the game,so Ignite is definitely a very important spell for him!
(by the way, Ignite will also be a very painful spell if used against you,due to the healing debuff,be wary of it!!)


Ghost can be a pretty great spell to replace Flash with,especially on Aatrox.
the main problem of ghost is that you can't disappear behind a wall like you would with Flash
but thanks to Dark Flight, Aatrox can still hop over walls,even without flash!
however, Flash got that little surprise effect,which makes me often take it over Ghost!

you can take this spell if you think you won't need Ignite and most of all if your team wards correctly.
this spell can be used very efficiently to get back to lane extremely fast after recalling or respawning,but most of all,it allows you to make very surprising ganks,providing your team warded their lane correctly!
your lane opponent won't even have enough time to call "MIA" that you'll have already racked up a double kill! great,huh?

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skill sequence and explanation

blood well

This is Aatrox's passive, Blood Well.
It is,without doubt,an amazing passive.not only does it revive you,but it will grant you up to 50% free bonus attack speed! even at level 1!needless to say that it is extremely important to have your passive fully charged most of the time!

your passive will charge every times you expend health with one of your abilities.
this include casting Dark Flight, Blades of Torment or triggering the bonus damages from Blood Thirst / Blood Price.


  • you don't need to hit an enemy to charge your passive,casting Dark Flight or Blades of Torment without touching anything will still increase your passive.
  • however,this won't stop it from decaying if you were out of combat.
  • the max amount of health you can store in your Blood Well scales with level,not with health.this means that once at level 18,you won't be able to increase the maximum health you can potentially recover.
  • HOWEVER,since your Q and E's cost scales with your current health,the more health you'll have,the faster you'll be able to charge your passive!
  • since your W's toggle's cost scales with bonus AD,it'll also fill your passive faster the more AD you got!

Dark Flight

Aatrox's Q.
this will be your main escape/chasing tool!
the damages it does are moderate,but it is still a powerful engagement skill.
its cooldown is fairly long,so,DO NOT use it offensively unless you are sure you can get a kill or at least force your opponent to recall.while it is on cooldown you'll be vulnerable to ganks.
since we don't use it for damages and leveling the skill doesn't bring much except more damages and a bit less CD,I take a point in this skill at level 4 and max it last.
however,if you know the enemy jungler will attempt very early ganks or if your opponent can pull you to him or engage you easily(IE: Darius) you can take the first point in this skill at level 2. (always max it last,though.)


  • Always make sure to hit the enemy with the center of the spell,so he'll be knocked up.This will likely require some practice to accomplish.
  • as I said earlier,coupling this skill with flash will allow you to escape or catch up to an enemy extremely quickly,don't forget about it!

blood thirst/blood price

This is it. THE spell that defines Aatrox,the reason why he is so strong in 1 vs 1 fights and so difficult to kill.
this skill is a "toggle" meaning that depending on whether you activate it or not,you'll get different effect.
Those effects will be triggered every third auto attacks.there is no maximum time between each auto attack required to activate it.You don't need to hit the same enemy with the three auto attacks either.

if the skill is toggled off,you'll regain health every third AA.this is an amazing source of sustain as,coupled with the fact that you don't have any kind of resource such as mana,you can practically stay in your lane FOREVER!Not only that,but if you fall below 50% of your maximum health,you'll heal THREE TIMES AS MUCH!!
this allows you to win most trades with an opponent and get out of it almost full life!
However,no matter how awesome this skill with this simple effect,you just can't and should NEVER

forget about the effect it gives when it's toggled on:

if toggled on,this skill will make bonus damages on every third attacks instead of healing you AND you will lose some health every times the effect is triggered.
first of all,let's look at the bonus damages:

60/95/130/165/200(+1.0 per bonus AD)

at level 18, Aatrox's basic damages are equal to 112.
and both your auto attack and Blood Thirst / Blood Price scales directly with 1 damages per bonus ad.
In other words,this skill will allows you to deal over TWICE your normal AA damages every third attacks,which will just be devastating for your enemies.

Also,the cost of it isn't particulary expensive,and you can even nullify it entirely given enough life steal!
knowing when to toggle on this ability is extremely important to master Aatrox
if you always keep it activated,you'll lose that sustain which defines you,and might even end up killing yourself against your enemies if you aren't careful,but without it,you will lack damage output to kill your enemies in the early stages of the game.
since this skill is definitely Aatrox's signature and is jsut incredibly useful for the whole,I take a point in it at level 1 and max it first!


  • almost always should you have this skill toggled off below 50% health,as the healing from it become absolutely monstrous.
  • toggling the skill ON or OFF won't reset the AA counter. in other words,if you AA'd twice,your skill ready to apply its effect. switching it on or off will still proc the effect on the next hit.
    use this to surprise your enemy by getting it ready while toggled off,then toggle it on and go land a very heavy hit to your opponent before going back to farming/healing.
  • the cost from blood price will fill your passive,in other words,I highly recommend to toggle it on to farm when you know you are safe and don't need to be absolutely full health,you WILL need the bonus AS from your passive in order to trade and farm efficiently.
  • toggling the skill on or off will NOT proc the spellblade effect from Trinity Force, Lich Bane, Sheen or Iceborn Gauntlet,keep that in mind.

Blades of torment

Aatrox's E will be your main harass tool early game.
it has a fairly medium cooldown,and decent damages.
Its slow isn't terrific but will definitely come in handy until you get your Frozen Mallet.
leveling up this skill will reduce its cooldown and increase the damages as well as the slow duration(the slow's effectiveness remains unchanged).

there is not much to say about this skill,if it isn't the fact that it has a very special hitbox,that will get narrower as the spell travels.


Aatrox's ultimate.

this is a mini nuke that deal magic damage,increases your attack range,and gives you a huge Attack Speed steroid for 12 seconds!
this skill is extremely powerful as it can give aatrox up to 110% FREE attack speed with Massacre at level three and a full Blood Well)
of course, Aatrox loves attack speed,as it'll allow him to proc his W much more often!
activating this ultimate when you are getting ganked could very well turn an unavoidable death into a double kill for you!
However,even if the cooldown is average for an ultimate,don't waste it,it'll make you an enormeus threat in any team fight,so make sure it is available by then!

of course,take a point in this skill whenever possible.


  • the bonus range will give you a clear advantage over other melee champion
  • this skill can easily makes you win a 1vs2 fight,you are Aatrox,and until your screen is grey,you can always turn the tides and win! ;)

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As I said at the beginning of this guide,we will mainly focus on items that increase your attack speed,damages,lifesteal,and health.


take those items in EVERY GAMES.the other items covered in this guide are up to your choice.

Blade of the ruined king

this item is almost a miracle for Aatrox,it gives everything you need except health!
to this point,the passive and active are almost bonus,seeing how Aatrox makes use of all the state provided!
I rush this item first every games.

frozen mallet
I almost always take Frozen Mallet right after Blade of the Ruined King when playing Aatrox for the following reasons:
it'll give you a good amount of health (700) which is perfect for a fighter as Aatrox,but most of all,the passive of this item is just what you need:
since your spells have a long cooldown,you are bound to often see enemies just running away from you like it nothing happened.
with this item:NO MORE!
as soon as you start hitting them,they either have the choice to turn and fight you,or to die.
(well,actually,they'll probably die even if they start confronting you).
the AD the item gives is just a tiny tiny little bonus,but it's always enjoyable!


those are all good items Aatrox makes a great use of.

The Bloodthirster
now,with the 40% bonus AS from the Blade of the Ruined King,your Blood Well and your Massacre you already have a faire amount of attack speed,so I think we can wait a bit before building another AS item.
instead,let's focus on the best ad item of the game: The Bloodthirster.
this item will give you up to 100 bonus ad and 18% bonus liftesteal.
at this point you'll be able to pretty much nullify the cost of blood price
and you'll already be healing a ton,even without the proc of bloot thirst!

I won't hide it from you:
pretty much any fighter can and should build a Warmog's Armor.
+1000 health is just too good!
you'll also be filling your passive like mad with the cost of your skills,which is always a good thing.

infinity edge
since Aatrox's main source of damage is his AA,this item will definitely comes in very handy!
plus,with Aatrox's high natural AS,you'll have a lot of chances to critically strike.Which will then deal tons of damages coupled with this item!However,if you want to build this item,I recommend taking another item increasing your critical strike chance with it.Like the one I'm gonna talk about now:


critical strikes,movement speed and attack speed?Well, Aatrox can make a good use of all these states! definitely a good late game item for Aatrox,however,I wouldn't rush it,since you have more important items to build first.I also don't recommend to build it if you didn't build an Infinity Edge beforehand.

when it comes to choose boots,those are a great choice when facing an AD opponent!especially if they also rely on their AA (IE: Fiora)
however,since Aatrox is very vulnerable to CC,I highly recommend that you build one tenacity item if you went with Ninja Tabi.
you can also switch for Mercury's Treads at late game.


extremely useful on Aatrox,take this if you can as default boots,since you NEED that CC reduction time.take them over Ninja Tabi if your lane opponent doesn't deal tons of AD damages or isn't really AA dependant.


if you took Ninja Tabi ALWAYS build this item.
it provides very useful states for Aatrox and mainly will give him that damn tenacity he needs.


you thought you had STILL NOT ENOUGH sustain?let Spirit Visage fix that!
the passive of this item is just hilarious on Aatrox and will allow your sustain to go through the roof (as if it weren't high enough!)
I'd mainly recommend this item against an heavy AP team,as otherwise,the magic resistance might be a bit wasted.

guardian angel

Here is another hilarious item on Aatrox,basically you'll be able to revive twice!
this item is particulary great as Aatrox's sustain will allow him to quickly regain his missing health after resurrecting.
Even if this is definitely a good item,I think you have more important items to buy,but if you think you're dying too much,teach that enemy teal lesson and show them that Aatrox won't die this easily!


A perfect item for more tankiness.the passive of this item will be very useful to make sure the enemy AD carry can't retaliate with you.
the active of this item will also come in handy to catch up to fleeing enemies.


do NOT build any of those.

I know,at first sight,it LOOKS like a good item for Aatrox however...
let's remember that your W doesn't proc the spellblade passive,and his other spells' cooldown are just too long for him to make an efficient use of it.
Plus,building this item would mean no Frozen Mallet and you absolutely need it,
as the slow from Trinity Force is far too unreliable.
don't build a Trinity Force on Aatrox.

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as with any champion,focus on farming during this phase.toggle on your W to charge your passive and reach as quickly as possible those 50% bonus AS. Otherwise,keep it toggled off.
farming is definitely the most important part of the laning.occasionally,harass your opponent with Blades of Torment,but don't do it if it'll make you lose a last-hit. If your opponent get too agressive,toggle on your W,punish with the proc of blood price,then go back to farming.
since you are Aatrox chances are you won't get pushed out of lane at all.Just recall every now and then if your opponent is either recalling himself either dead to buy your stuff.
farm,and do your best to keep your passive at its max capacity!

if the enemy jungler attempt to gank you,flee to safety with Dark Flight,and add your Flash on top of that if it wasn't enough.
If your opponent attempt to towerdive you,SHAME ON HIM!
diving Aatrox is almost like suicide:
if your passive is up,you most definitely have nothing to fear,just use Dark Flight to reposition and force your opponent to reposition as well,while he is taking the tower aggro!
your sustain should make it easy to go through the towerdive attempt until your poor opponent dies with anger in his heart!even if he "kills" you,your passive will save you.
you can even get an easy double kill if both your opponent and the enemy jungler attempt to towerdive you while your passive is up!
play more safely if you don't have your passive,and wait for it to come back.(don't forget to farm harass,or even go for a kill,just remember that you can't get as aggressive as with your passive)

if YOUR jungler attempt a gank,either let him engage if he has good hard cc,or engage yourself with Dark Flight otherwise.
then use your Blades of Torment and start hitting the enemy with your W toggled on,as he'll probably be fleeting.If needed,you can add the active from Blade of the Ruined King to top it off!
most the time,if your opponent had pushed the lane,you're pretty sure to rack up the kill,either for you or your jungler!

When your opponent is dead,you have several possibilities:
  • start hitting his tower (however,do it only if you know you have the damages/AS necessary to destroy it,or at least to take away most of its life)
  • recall and buy some of your items
  • start roaming and gank the midlane(make sure you pushed your lane to the enemy tower beforehand)

I do NOT advise to just stay here and farm,waiting for your opponent,because,being dead will at least give him the opportunity to buy items.So,if he comes back to his lane with items while you still don't have any,he can still get the advantage over you,beware!


in team fights,you may,or may not engage,depending on wether there is a tank or not on your team.

if there is,let him engage,as it's his job,otherwise,you can engage yourself,as you'll be likely the tankiest champ in your team,if a real tank (IE: Volibear) is lacking!
you'll want to focus the enemy ad/ap carry first.don't hesitate to activate Massacre as soon as you've reached your target,you'll then be able to take out the enemy carries without too much difficulties.
if you have to engage,try to hit the enemy ad/ap carry with Dark Flight as it'll render them unable to do anything for one second,which could be crucial for your team.
because of Blood Well and the tanky items you've built,chances are the enemy team won't focus you right away,which will cost them a lot,as you still have an amazing damage output!

now go,and rack me that Aatrox pentakill!

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MATCHUPS(under construction)

still under construction.

while I am experiencing several matchups at the moment,I will already talk about the few things that will make Aatrox's life hard:

  • healing reduction.
    Probably the worst of them all,if your opponent has some kind of innate way to reduce your healing.
    a spell such as Ignite is already a pain for you,but if your opponent already have something to debuff you in his/her kit,it's gonna be hell.( Seastone Trident, Death Lotus, Impure Shots,etc)
  • under the same token,the items Executioner's Calling and Morellonomicon will counter you hard.Often watch your opponent's items to make sure he hasn't build any of those,as it'll make him considerably harder to duel.
  • the only good part here is that healing reduction will NOT affect the health you regain from Blood Well upon death.

  • Another other thing you're gonna hate are hard cc.Unlike Swain,who can sustain passively with Ravenous Flock,you need to autoattack in order to sustain,in other words,while you are stunned,or if you are rooted out of range of your enemy,or even worse,suppressed,you won't be able to heal at all.
  • for the same reason (you need to hit in order to heal) you will probably hate champions like Jayce who zone you out of their creeps. Not only will you lose farm,but on top of that,if you don't hit minions,you won't be able to sustain,you will have trouble charging your passive,and your passive might even start to decay if you're really completely kept out.
  • and finally,another very bad thing for Aatrox is spells that reduce your attack speed.
    once again,less attack speed means less W proc,so less healing and less damages.Beware of champions such Malphite and his Ground Slam

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well,thank you all for reading my Aatrox guide,I hope you'll have a lot of fun times playing him and destroying your opponents on the fields of justices!

as I stated at the beginning,this guide was my first,feel free to tell what improvements you''d like to see in the future,as I will constantly update this guide.
I will appreciate any constructive criticism given!

If you want to ask me anything I didn't cover in the guide,if an item is or is not viable for Aatrox,or anything,feel free to ask me,I'll make a section for that!

thank you all for reading!