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Aatrox Build Guide by ApocalypteK

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League of Legends Build Guide Author ApocalypteK

Aatrox - Jungling is Elegance

ApocalypteK Last updated on June 17, 2013
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Team 1

LeagueSpy Logo
Top Lane
Ranked #46 in
Top Lane
Win 52%
Get More Stats

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

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Welcome to my Aatrox jungle guide.

SPACE?This is my second guide on the site, my first being on Pantheon. I like to main the jungler role on the LoLs, and when Aatrox was announced I was giddy as a toddler on Christmas. Upon my first game with him I fell in love and knew I would play him more often. This guide is oriented on building a balance between lethal damage output and survivability.

Here's a game I was testing out my build with.
I sold my Frozen Mallet and The Black Cleaver around the end of the game to test out crit chance. Worked nicely if you ask me.

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Pros vs Cons


+ Has built in sustain for the jungle
+ Free revive similar to those of Zac and Anivia
+ Attack range modifying ult
+ Two CC abilities

- Melee besides his ult
- Low range on Dark Flight
- Rather high cooldowns on his two CC abilities
- Can be tricky to land Blades of Torment

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Jungle Aatrox - Why?

AAAAA? Aatrox is terrifying. Not only does he have insane damage output with Blood Price but he has a knockup, gap closer, and a slow. The heal on Blood Thirst is excellent for jungle clearing, and being manaless he has no worries about having to recall home. He excels at farming, ganking, dueling, and team fighting.

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Summoner Spells

Main Spells

SPACEA must have for any jungler. Smite operates at a low cooldown of 70 seconds, and grants a free and instant damage based on your level. If you plan on stealing the enemy buff, you should always be certain that Smite is ready to be used. Make sure to use it to secure your buffs, dragon, and baron as well. I would never consider jungling without it unless I'm a Shaco.

SPACEI choose Flash as a safe pick. You can use it to escape over a wall, dodge ultimates like Absolute Zero and Tidal Wave, chase down fleeing enemies, or even gank with it. It is one of the most versatile summoner spells in the game and I often take this.


SPACE Ghost would have to be my second choice to replace Flash. Sometimes it's better to run ghost, notably for chasing and escaping. I'm more likely to use it to run across the map and save my tower than flashing slightly closer to my destination. There is nothing wrong with taking it over Flash, it's a matter of choice.

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Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Mark of Attack Speed

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor Armor seals are the best option to go with, and that can be said for most builds. The second best choice would be Greater Seal of Health, but I wouldn't recommend it.

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist Same situation as the armor seals. I wouldn't even recommend a different glyph.

Greater Mark of Attack Speed This is where you get a choice. Right now, I find that getting that third hit on Blood Thirst/ Blood Price works better on Aatrox for both damage and healing. Greater Mark of Attack Damage might be better for early game, it's up to you.

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage The other options for quints would be greater quintessence of armor penetration or Greater Quintessence of Life Steal.

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Fury Attack speed is Aatrox's specialty.
Deadliness AD is probably a better choice over AP.
Weapon Expertise Good boost to your ArPen.
Havoc More Damage please.
Lethality More crit damage.
Frenzy AS on a crit can make the difference.
Sunder More ArPen.
Executioner Amazing mastery. Another 5% damage to low health victims.

Durability Health helps your survive, believe it or not.
Tough Skin Makes the jungle creeps weaker, no?
Bladed Armor Adds up nicely. Satisfying to see small creeps die when you do nothing to them.
Hardiness Some extra protection.
Veteran's Scars Good health boost for that first jungle run.

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Ability Explanation

Blood Well
Whenever Aatrox uses an ability that costs health, he stores 100% of the health cost into his Blood Well. The maximum amount of health the Blood Well can store is equal to 30 + (45 x level). If Aatrox has not dealt or received damage in the last 5 seconds, his Blood Well will deplete at a rate of 2% per second.

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 x 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.

8===DThis passive is blatantly OP. With a full Blood Well at level 18, you will be revived upon death for 1134 health. Not bad after being in stasis for three seconds, longer than a Zhonya's Hourglass. It has a cooldown just shy of four minutes.

8===DThe other half of his passive gives 50% attack speed with a full Blood Well. That alone makes this passive amazing. Try and keep the well full by jungling some creeps before fighting.

Dark Flight
Aatrox takes flight and slams down at a targeted location, dealing physical damage in a large area. Enemies in the center of the blast are also knocked up for 1 second.
8===D Gap closing and a knockup. Be wary when you use this, it costs 10% of your current health and is on a long cooldown. I level this last because all you get is more damage per rank and a CD difference of four seconds from rank one to five.

Blood Thirst
Aatrox heals himself on every third attack. If Aatrox is below 50% health he will heal for three times as much.
8===D This is what keeps you going in the jungle. At max rank, you heal for 40+25% bonus AD, triple that if you're below half health to get 120+75% bonus AD. Pair this with lots of AS and life steal and you're unkillable.

Blood Price
Aatrox deals bonus physical damage on every third attack at the cost of health.
8===D The amount of damage this skill does is insane. At max rank you deal 200+100% bonus AD. Pair that with lots of AS and AD and you'll be hitting hard. Take care that by choosing this you hurt yourself in the process, so choose wisely between this and Blood Thirst.

Blades of Torment
Aatrox unleashes and sends forward the power of his blade, dealing magic damage to enemies in a line and slowing them by 40% for a few seconds.
8===D One of the trickier skill shots in the game. Deals damage and a slow in an inward cone that moves at a similar speed to Duskbringer. I max this second because it deals slightly more damage than Dark Flight, has a lower cooldown, more range, and increases slow duration per rank.

Aatrox draws in the blood of his foes, dealing magic damage to nearby enemy champions.

For the next 12 seconds, Aatrox gains bonus attack speed and 175 bonus attack range (325 total range). His attacks are still considered melee.

8===D The ult version of Kayle's Righteous Fury. You gain more than half your attack range and a plenty amount of attack speed. At rank 3 and a full Blood Well. you're looking at 110% attack speed boost from your skills alone. This combined with a Ravenous Hydra destroys teams.

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Skill Sequence Explanation

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

First Four Levels

Level 1

Start off with Blood Thirst, the heal is great.

Level 2

Take Blades of Torment second because it deals ever so slightly more damage than Dark Flight and has a lower cooldown.

Level 3

Dark Flight for the gap closer, and to get more attack speed from your Blood Well.

Level 4

To finish up grab Blood Thirst.

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Starting Item

Standard start for most junglers. Very cost efficient and allows you to get 5 Health Potions. Builds into your best option, Madred's Razors into Wriggle's Lantern.

Core Item

This item shreds high health targets. Everything about it is very beneficial. AD, life steal, attack speed, current health bonus damage, and an awesome active. Many champions build this every game and Aatrox should be no exception.

Offensive Items

Everything about this works great on Aatrox, mostly the AD and life steal. Early to mid game this is enough sustain. You also get the nice new passive, 100 magic damage on hit to creeps. Since you'll be focusing on attack speed, you'll clear very efficiently. On the defensive side, you get a decent amount of armor as well as a nice ninety second ward.

With this item, you get a flat amount of 10 armor penetration, and the ability to quickly stack armor reduction up to 25% by dealing physical damage. You also benefit with some AD and health. You should build this if the enemy team starts stacking armor.

Pure offense and sustain. With full stacks, you get a massive 100 bonus ad, which applies directly to Blood Price. I would also consider this core, because it's similar to Blade of the Ruined King how they work so well on Aatrox.

Alternate choice to The Bloodthirster. Provides better sustain actively and passively with health regen. The AOe damage passive works incredibly with your attack speed, and especially Massacre. Definitely an amazing choice for teamfights.

A situational offensive item. If the enemy team is heavy on AP and you need to deal more damage, this is my item of choice. Magic resistance as well as a spell shield when you're low health that couples with Maw of Malmortius's other passive which gives more AD at lower health.

Generally an amazing item, I wouldn't build this early on Aatrox but late game when I have one or two slots left and I'm steamrolling the other team, I may consider it. Pair it with a Statikk Shiv and you'll crit like there's no tomorrow.

I love this item. What makes me love it even more is that even though I build it for the attack speed, the static charge passive works amazingly. The fact it can crit too makes this item even more appetizing. Image hitting a Blood Thirst with a crit on Statikk Shiv and watching their health bar turn red.

Alternative to Statikk Shiv. It's more expensive, provides better attack speed and crit chance, and has a passive that let's you glide over creeps. Personally I prefer the Statikk Shiv on Aatrox, I feel it fits for in his playstyle, but if you're a fan of dancing these are fine.

A nifty item that you don't see often. Provides you with some AD, crit strike chance, ArPen, and more CDR. I love the active this item supplies because it gives you a speed buff as well as more attack speed, making it the perfect chasing item. This item in a way reminds me of a melee offensive oriented Trinity Force with the different stats it provides. You probably won't build this every game but give it a try.

Defensive Items

One of my favorite items in the entire game. A very generous amount of health and an on hit slow with your basic attacks let's you win any chase. Getting this item early on makes you hard to kill and your ganks even more terrifying. Build this and nobody will ever escape you.

Tenacity is a great passive, and the stats this item provides all are beneficial. I would build this when I need CC reduction but I also want to max out my attack speed, where I want to build Berserker's Greaves over Mercury's Treads, or another case would be AD oriented teams with lots of CC.

Mix of health and armor as well as an attack speed reduction aura. If you are hit by their basic attack they are slightly slowed, so chasing you will be difficult. Randuin's Omen's active can be used to chase or initiate team fights. I often build this when I'm getting focused by the AD carry.

If you find yourself being the middle of the enemy team often, this is a great item. Armor, health, and an AOE damage. I don't think I'd build this first, but again if the enemy team is full of AD bruisers this is a good choice.

A nice item to consider. Usually the support should build this, but if you can't be the main damage output this is a good choice.

When you need magic resistance, this is a great go-to item. The passive greatly enhances your Blood Thirst, so if you ever find yourself against an AP heavy team consider this.

Health, the one counter to all types of damage. If you're taking lots of both physical and magic damage, Warmog's Armor is generally a good choice. The passive also gives a nice sustain for in between team fights and any damage you soaked from dragon or baron.

Very situational, you get pure armor with a nifty passive that lets enemy champions kill themselves for you. Only build this when there is four threatening AD champs on the enemy team.

As if one revive wasn't enough, you have another. I've heard that it was bugged in the PBE where this and Blood Well would activate at the same time, so be wary of this information if you choose to build this.

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Recommended Build Order

Always start out with these, as a jungler there really is no exception.

Take these two, make sure you have 725 gold on your first recall so you can buy them both.

You should build this if you're new to jungling in general. You may consider skipping this step and go straight into The Bloodthirster or Blade of the Ruined King if you feel confident enough. Remember to buy sight wards.

Choose Berserker's Greaves only if the enemy team doesn't have annoying CC, or if you plan on building a Zephyr later. Otherwise, the wiser option would be Mercury's Treads. If they also have annoying slows consider Boots of Swiftness coupled with a Zephyr.

I recommend this item first, it's just way too good to pass up. Everything about it makes Aatrox so scary. Your active slows them, so remember to use it alongside your Blades of Torment.

I build the Statikk Shiv for more attack and burst potential. It'll help you clear minion waves and jungle camps faster. Another option here is Ravenous Hydra for clearing, or any defensive option if you are dying consistently, I recommend the Frozen Mallet.

At this point you should sell your Wriggle's Lantern if you got it for The Bloodthirster, and you'll be at your full build. You may opt to build this earlier if you don't want a Wriggle's Lantern.

The Black Cleaver since the tanks and bruisers will have some armor built up.

Sell your Madred's Razors or Wriggle's Lantern and make a decision here. Are you carrying the team? Infinity Edge. Are you not carrying but making a dent in the team fights? Ravenous Hydra. Do you need defense against AD? Randuin's Omen. AP? Spirit Visage.

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Jungling Route

This is my new jungling route for patch 3.8. It will get you to level 4 and allow you to use Smite on both the ancient golem and elder lizard . It's not perfect right now but I'll improve it over time.

*Blue text and lines are for blue side, purple for purple side.
Start at ancient golem with Blood Thirst, ask for a leash from your top (bot if purple) and mid lanes. Smite the ancient golem when it is at or under 490 health. Why 490? Any higher and there's a good chance your teammates might accidentally take it. You will (hopefully) get the blue buff which grants CDR and mana regen.

Take the wolves next, your leash may have went to lane but if they stayed ask them to help take down the big one. Take Blades of Torment next.

Head over to the wraiths and clear them. Nothing special happens here.

Now it's time for the red buff camp. Smite the elder lizard when it is at or under 550 health, just in case the enemy jungler decides to try and steal it. If you get to the camp and smite is at least 15 seconds from cooldown, skip to step 5 and do this after golems . The red buff will grant you a small DOT with true damage, and a small slow which will assist your ganks. Now take Dark Flight/ Blood Price.

Head down to the golems and take the bigger one down first, then the smaller one.

Finally, head to the wraiths again where you will get your final point for the route, and put it into Blood Thirst. The next section will explain your options from here.

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Farming, Ganking, Team Fighting, and Warding


AAAAA!You're the jungler. You won't have constant waves of minions coming for you to last hit. In order to not fall behind you must properly farm your jungle. It's not difficult to do, basically you can follow the same route above to farm, after your first jungle run it gets much easier.

AAAAA!When you are jungling you should always be doing something. The only time you should be sitting still is when you're waiting for an allies abilities to come off cooldown in order to gank. Otherwise, always clear jungle camps when you have no other priorities. A lot of the time, especially in solo queue, you'll find that all the lanes are pushed to the enemy tower. That's okay, you don't have to gank every five seconds. Just farm and get experience, or try and cut the enemy jungler off from ganking your allies.

One final note, always ditch the camp you're at if a lane nearby is in distress, whether they have to recall or they were just ganked themselves and the tower is in danger. Just remember that if you kill some jungle creeps but leave at least one alive they don't respawn, so make haste to clear the last of a camp before moving on.


AAAAA!Ganking lanes is just as important as farming the jungle. A gank can change your bottom lane from being pressured under the tower into giving your AD carry a double kill and taking the enemy tower in return. A misconception is that when you don't get a kill while ganking makes it not worth your time, but blowing someones summoner spell or forcing them to recall is almost as good as a kill. You still deny farm to them for that duration while letting your laner CS hassle free.

AAAAA!On the image above I included the basic ganking locations. You can gank through lane, where you can also sneak into the brush by the map boundaries, or the river brushes. The only time you should gank is when you are certain to cause destruction and inconvenience to the other team. When ganking, you should ping the ally in that lane that you are coming. Sometimes you must run in instead of waiting in brush, and your ally may not have noticed in time. Start off the gank by running towards the enemy with assistance by your ally, unless you are ganking to save their life. If you are behind them, save your Dark Flight in case they flash away, otherwise if you think you can't run up to them iniate with it. Use Blades of Torment before getting to them, or when they start to run. I tend to give the kill to whoever is in lane at the time but don't be afraid to take the kill.

AAAAA!Now that you gank is done, you have a couple options. You may have taken damage in the middle of the gank and must recall, which is fine if you're super low, otherwise Blood Thirst nearby enemy minions or your jungle. You could hold the lane if your ally is low on health, pushing the lane is fine as long as you deny farm to the enemy. Don't hesitate to take some farm while in lane. One or two CS that would have gone to waste won't cause too much damage. But sometimes, the enemy gets away. In this case, you can go back to farming if they are now extremely cautious, or you can wait in the brush and surprise them again. The most important rule during a gank is to not feed a kill to the enemy laner. Try not to gank if you think you'll just die.

Team Fighting

AAAAA!Now the laning phase is over, team fights start breaking out, what do you do? First of all, make sure your team actually is incorporating teamwork. If you dunk on the AD carry and your team starts running away, bad events are about to unfold. Unless there's a Malphite on your team it is likely you are the one initiating with Dark Flight. Try using Blades of Torment to harass and slow anyway trying to run, and chase down anyone who is low or outside the team fight, you can easily kill them. Don't be afraid to go in when Blood Well is up, if they target you first they have three whole seconds before they can do anything again, by then your team should pose a threat.


Spoiler: Click to view
AAAAA!Warding is a huge aspect to the game. The image above shows common spots where wards should be place. As a jungler, you should always keep a few wards on you, unless you feel that Wriggle's Lantern is enough. Prioritize them at your buff camps in case the enemy jungler feels thrifty. You can also feel generous and throw a ward down near someones lane, but usually that's up to the laners to place them. Always try to keep dragon warded, and later in the game baron. Placing a ward could mean avoiding that brush later on with the whole rival team hidden in it.

Wards can also hinder you. If you rush to a river brush to set up a gank and see the enemy champions suddenly double back under the tower, chances are there's a ward at your feet. Don't be disgruntled, head back to farming. No need to force a gank. If you really want to gank, you can buy Vision Ward's and destroy enemy wards, leave, and come back later to surprise them.

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FINAL!Thanks for taking the time to read my jungle Aatrox guide. If you have any questions, criticism, suggestions, or anything else to tell me, please leave a comment and let me know. Other than that I hope you had an enjoyable time and wish you good luck on trying this build out.