Aatrox Build Guide by Spligam3r
Aatrox Matchups - 2v1 is better than a 1v1! (INCOMPLETE)By Spligam3r | Updated on March 11, 2021
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Runes: Most matchups (wind for highpoke))
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Ability Order is always the same.
Threats & Synergies
Outscales, and his dash/flip will mess up your Q crits a LOT. Plus, his ult yanks ya when you are about to goredrink, not fun
His pull is a combo-killer. Plus ghost being OP is not helping.
Pull and ult will ruin your combos, and if you misposition, he will ult you into your backline and instakill them. Not fun.
BAN OR DODGE. Every single one of your Q crits is cc, so she can stun you anytime. Also outheals you and outdamages you, though she is squishy. If you cant ban or dodge, build bramble and tp bot to feed adc.
Too much armor, for free. You cannot kill him if he has over 3 stacks or is ahead, but he will definitely focus you since he cant shoot through people.
Again, with a combo killer pull, but he doesn't take ghost so it's manageable. Also, force of nature shuts him down pretty hard
Will cc you until your ult runs out or you die. Also has very good healing, and takes very little damage. Farm lane, black cleaver early.
His mobility with dash will make him uncatchable, but he stays squishy, but he pokes HARD.
Executing you when you are about to heal the most? Not fun. The worse part? Its only on a 1:10 base cooldown.
If he takes phase rush or fleet footwork you will have to be smart. Pure skill matchup, but sometimes more annoying than teemo. CARE IF HE TAKES IGNITE.
Surprisingly, she isn't that great into Aatrox. Her knockback kills combos and stuns you if you are near a wall. Very annoying to play against, but if you can perfectly time your engage into her Q cooldown, you can win the trade.
Careful about his blind cancelling your passive! Just run dorans sheild and second wind and all in when u can. Spectre's cowl early, then stridebreaker, then merc treads. Listen to Aatrox's voiceline when he first encounters Teemo, it's great.
The kite on this champion is ridiculous. Try to dash forward into her spin so you dont take true damage, but you will still lose unless she messes up. Build Seryldas Grudge after stridebreaker if you want to have a chance of catching her.
Anything that heals is good. She also gives ms and holds them still so you can Q easy
Like yummi, but you have to protect her. More heals, more risk.
INVINCIBLE!! But also heals! And passive armor! Makes you, a juggernaut, anti-juggernaut.
Every one of your Qs is a knockup. If he's quick, you can dive the enemy adc with little to no issue, even if he is behind.
Her orb gives a small shield, but more importantly, it can suck in a whole team right under you for a juicy Q3. I have never gotten a penta from it, but holy its like an extra healthbar to hit a whole team with that Q.
I like if hes on your team or the enemy team. It takes him a while to stop stacking HP and start getting tanky, so until then hes a free HP machine
He doesn't heal, but if he's smart, he can just land clocks on you for stuns into fat damage. He probably won't use his ult on you, (adc dies too fast,) but if he does, huge!
At this point, I'm listing a lot of damage/heal supports, but Nami's ult and your ult can get you into the fight FAST, and a good Nami will bubble right where your chain yanks, for an even longer lockdown. Plus, her heal wave bounces great off you and how close you are to enemies.
Ult is nice, but the speed AND Heal are great, and even though they are less, they are on a lower cooldown, for better adaptability. Just duo a support main tbh.
Ult + Q3 = Nice. She might just kill everyone tho so idk help her penta? :^)
The teams tend to group up when he ults. Good. More heals for you.
Speed? Ye. Teamfighting? Ye. Self-peel? Definitely. The only ADC you can set to work and not babysit, but can also keep up with you. Grea to have along.
Champion Build Guide
Hello! I play a good amount of Aatrox, and even though he isn't the strongest after the Conqueror nerf on 10.13, there is still a ton of potential with him. I AM BRONZE, and I am writing this guide more for myself than others! It helps to review every single matchup in a document rather than just memorization.
Aatrox doesn't have good matchups! You might feel confident against certain champions you understand well, but that is your skill overcoming the opponent. He has matchups that are skill based and matchups that are waiting games for the opponent to make a mistake, which you must punish hard if you plan to win. However, his tankiness and teamfight utility are huge, with massive knockups and a dash every three seconds. He may be relatively immobile, but with the phage passive and ult, he is plenty quick to catch his opponents. Also, if you choose to give up Goredrinker healing, you can take Stridebreaker for guaranteed gapclosing, and 2 dash meta :D.
Passive = An auto attack with the Deathbringer Stance buff. This does between 5-12% (based on levels) of the opponents MAX health in bonus physical damage, and you heal for the damage dealt. Note that it is physical damage, so if you proc this on a target with lots of armor, it won't do much damage, meaning you won't get much healing. Try to focus health-stackers like Zac or Sett, but otherwise hit a squishy with it. Additionally, it is not worth missing minions to hit this on an enemy (5% isn't that much early, around 25 hp by attacking enemy), but since it does more damage based on hp, you can proc it on cannon minions for free healing in lane. Also note that with passive up, you are able to finish a caster after they take a tower shot with just the passive damage.
Q1 = First use of Q The Darkin Blade, the longest reaching and has the exact range as your W Infernal Chains, but also does the least damage of the three. Unless you are going for the full combo against a low mobility champ, don't waste dash to hit the crit zone.
Q2 = Second use of Q The Darkin Blade, the wide one. This is the Q you really want to focus on hitting in teamfights, as it can easily fit three champions in the crit box, and another two in the non-crit zone. It is worth using your dash to reposition and hit it in teamfights, but not in 1v1 combos where you only have one target locked down with W Infernal Chains.
Q3 = The last cast of Q The Darkin Blade, the circle. Note that it does not cast right under you, but slightly in front of you, with the very center of the circle being the same distance as your auto attack range. This Q does the most damage, but given its very short distance from you, it can be hard to hit. In 1v1 fights, this is what you want to save your dash for, as the damage from it will greatly flip a fight against one person.
W = Infernal Chains, also known as the rip current, since the only way out is sideways, not running away. It slows by 25% for 1.5 seconds,(until the yank,) letting you gapclose as they try to run. Note that it can be used as an auto-cancel, and does double damage to minions. It is single target, but can be used to last hit from a distance if you can't walk up. This will be discussed more in the Full Combo.
E = Umbral Dash, the infamous 3 second dash (at max rank and with 60 Ability Haste). At level one, it has a 9 second cooldown, so you will only be able to dash once per combo. It is also a very important to practice casting Q one direction and then casting E the opposite direction, so as to guarantee a hit on chasing enemies. Note that you can control how far you dash, with the time taken to dash increasing based on the distance input. Furthermore, it give Aatrox passive Lifesteal and Spell Vamp , increasing with each point in E. More on this in the Full Combo
R = World Ender, angry demon time. After 0.25 seconds, Aatrox reveals his true demonic form for 10 seconds. On activation, he fears nearby enemy minions for 3 seconds and gains 60 / 80 / 100% bonus movement speed, decaying over the duration. While World Ender persists, you gain 20 / 25 / 30% bonus attack damage and receives 50 / 75 / 100% increased self-healing. If you kill or assist during your ult, the duration of ult is extended by 5 seconds and the movement speed increase is refreshed. This is where the fun stuff happens. With ult, you heal more than double what you normally would, with the heal buff AND the damage buff, and ulting mid-fight usually lets you catch up with the speedboost on activation. It is also useful to chase after a kill, as the speed buff is huge. Paired with phage passive (or ghost :D ), you will be ZOOMING from kill to kill.
THE FULL COMBO!
Aatrox has lots of possible combos, but the general rule of thumb is that you want to hit Q2 and Q3 as much as possible. The bread and butter of laning phase, however, is always the same. Remember that if the champion has a dash in their kit, INCLUDING FLASH, they can avoid the whole combo, or at least the killing blow of Q3. More on this in matchups. Keep in mind these combos are not set in stone! Change up the inputs as you like, and keep in mind that the enemy might want to fight back after you're done, if they are somehow still alive...
Combo 0 - The Ideal One
Situation: In lane, with no minions in the way to block W.
E- Q1 - W-(walk forward until you can hit Q2)- Q2-Q3-Passive.
This combo should heal you for about 200 hp at lvl 3 if you do it right. :) Remember, if you miss W or Q2, just back off, and save Q3 for if they counterattack.
Combo 1- The Guaranteed One.
Situation: In lane, but hiding in a bush or somehow able to hit Q1 without using E. Ideally no minions to make sure you hit W.
This combo is really good because if you save your dash to hit Q2 while they are caged, they cannot escape the yank and Q3 unless they flash outside of the cage. Note that this combo is pretty rare, as not many people are going to just walk into Aatrox's Q1 range knowingly, so camping a bush or flashing to open this combo is recommended. Remember to keep in mind their dashes, speed boosts, and flash cooldowns!
Combo 2 - The Level 2 cheese
Aatrox is able to flash mid-cast of any Q, so if you can hit the first Q in lane and think you can kill with a full combo, get aggressive with this combo
As long as they don't have a dash, or they flash themselves, this can kill from half! You can flash during Q cast time, and save it for the last second so they can't flash out. Alternatively, you can bait them to flash by using Q3 and not flashing, while they do to avoid you.
NEW ADDITION: STRIDEBREAKER! Withe the arrival of this movespeed-giving item, Aatrox now has a reliable way to counter ranged matchups and gapclose, even without W! What makes it OP is that even if they walk sideways, the stacking slow from Stridebreaker Active and your W Infernal Chains will not allow escape. Here is the combo:
Again, if they try to walk our of W Infernal Chains sideways, they are too slow to escape, while if they walk away they get hit by Q2. If you time it right, you can even cancel dashes out of your cage by throwing an early prediction Q2 right after you hit Stridebreaker.
Ahri - This matchup is very much decided before level six, as Ahri has the perfect number of dashes to escape all three Q's. If you can bait her Charm or have a huge wave to tank it, immediately take control of the lane, assuming that you have warded against a gank. If she doesn't back off, she has no more mobility, and will take heavy damage from a Full Combo.
Akali - Akali has a very hit and run playstyle, but since the nerf her early game isn't as pokey and oppressive, and you can usually trade back with your first cast of The Darkin Bladeto zone her off. After level 3, if she ever drops her Twilight Shroud, you should walk up and pressure for the next 20 seconds. If she doesn't back off, use W Infernal Chains and then immediately dash and Q1 so that she can't Shuriken Flip all the way out of it, then cast Q2 to guarantee a hit once the chain pulls, then back off, holding Q3 for if she dashes into you so you can auto-Q-auto to trade back. When you both hit six, start baiting fights, and if she ever uses her shroud, wait for it to run out then engage, but note that she can dodge most of your Q's with R Perfect Execution or E Shuriken Flip, so save your dash to guarantee you hit Q3 if nothing else. This is a skill matchup as to whether you hit your Q's past 6.
Alistar - I have never seen him top, but in teamfights a smart Ali will bump you away as often as he can. It't not worth focusing him, since he goes full tank and ults for even more tank. Not much heal from him.
Amumu - If ahead, take this fight. Amumu's damage weak unless he has ult or hits bandage, so feel free to take this 2v1, kiting around minions to dodge his Bandage Toss. Focus the enemy toplaner over him, unless they are a cc tank, ( Maokai, Sejuani, Nautilus, Malphite, Cho'Gath,) but otherwise just try to hit both with Q2 and either run with Q3 or use it to finish a kill.
Anivia - Very bad waveclear early, take the opportunity to get a Cheater Recall. Make sure to E sideways out of her stun, Flash Frost as her Q, Frostbite will do double damage if she hits it. Keep in mind that her storm can be stopped by hard cc to her, so try to use Infernal Chains her if you can, as it will force her to stop the storm either by leaving the area of the storm and the cage or by being yanked and having it cancelled. Note that you still heal off of the egg, so when in a 2v1 remember to hit it too!
Annie - Summon: Tibbers! Don't focus the bear, you don't heal off of it. If she opens her combo against you with stun, go in HARD and trade back. Otherwise trade when she is at 0 stacks of her passive. Remember that she wins burst trades and you win extended trades, unless she uses Tibbers. Track her Flash as best you can to save teammates, and also because of the fact that without Flash, she is a sitting duck. 10/10 would W-E-Q2-yank-Q3 again.
Aphelios - 200 years! Avoid him entirely when he has full stacks of Crescendum, the Chakram, but otherwise just another ADC. He has no mobility abilities aside from his Severum, the Scythe Pistol Q, so if he ain't red, he be dead. Focus if diving, else zone off like usual.
Ashe - Slow, but forever. Yeah. Gapclose if you can, if you miss W you lose. Good luck. Remember her arrow is global, watch out for it, and her bird scouting an objective.
Aurelion Sol - Watch out for the gank from mid with a stun the size of of the Sun. Other than that, just engage him, since he's squishy without stopwatch. Remember he gets a noticeable speed boost (40% decaying) when he pulls his stars back in from being expanded by Celestial Expansion.
Camille - TECHNICALLY A HARD COUNTER. The true damage lady. If she takes Grasp of the Undying, fight to extend every trade since her passive, W, and E cooldowns are long early game. Her main trade with Grasp is to either poke you while last-hitting or engage with Hookshot, then Tactical Sweep to slow you so she hits her stun, Wall Dive. She will then proc her passive Adaptive Defenses to block your counter engage, and then use her Q, wait, Q again for true damage and walk away. Dash to dodge her stun! She only gains bonus attack speed if she hits it, and if you counter-engage your Infernal Chains on her then Q1 to guarantee the yank, her shield will run out by then, letting you chunk her down and punish her mistake. FOR CONQUEROR: You don't win the extended trade! Unless you are in minions and level 3. She will engage same as before, but if she hits the stun she will spread out her Q for more auto cancelling. If she engages you at level three, do this:
E toward your wave to dodge the stun - Q1 - Auto - Q2 - Auto - W - Auto - Q3 - Auto
This should guarantee at least one passive proc, and using your E to kite the stun will mean she doesn't get the bonus attack speed, meaning you win the fight in your minion wave. Also, try to kite away from her while you do this, since the longer she stands in your minion wave, the more damage they will do to her, just don't go tooo far or she will leave the fight. At level six, remember that she becomes untargetable on casting her ult, and that her ult Hextech Ultimatum doesn't just cage you, but also makes her attacks do % max health damage to you. Try to kite her out during the ult and stay in minions when you know she has it. The other solution is to request jungle pressure, since her ult is cancelled if she has to leave the zone, but that's not reliable in my elo. Generally, if she uses her Hookshot to engage during her ult, you can get off a Full Combo to trade back, ulting if you need to gapclose, otherwise saving it so you can chase her down after you finish the combo and she escapes with 100 hp because of her shields.... Good luck! Lategame you autolose, her true damage is too much for you, as well as the movespeed from her Q.
Cassiopeia - Outsustain. This matchup is rare since Cass isn't really great at escaping. Her Q Noxious Blast grants movespeed, makes her machine gun spell heal her, and make you take damage over time. A lot of it too. Her cooldowns are low earlygame, but your E cooldown is around double her Q cooldown (3.5 seconds) level one, and it stays that way since neither of you max those abilities first. Either way, just dodge her Q and outsustain her, since doing anything but last-hitting takes a huge amount of her mana pool. If she manages to cheese you with her W Miasma from a bush and you die, it's 100% fine to get a Spectre's Cowl before Stridebreaker/ Goredrinker, just pick up a Caulfield's Warhammer right after it to pick up that damage again. Also note that her hitting Q shouldn't make you immediately disengage. If she hits one on you, she is most likely going to run straight towards you to start spamming you to death. You can kite toward a bush, then start to Q her from the bush. Move toward her after your first Q, most Cass players won't expect that, and miss Q. From there, you can usually clean up. Make sure not to flash after being Q'd at low hp, since you could just die from the poison ticks and have wasted flash.
Cho'Gath - Save your E to dodge his Q, since it is his main damage earlygame. If he goes tank, get boots and then build into Goredrinker. For AP, still get boots early, but get a Kindlegem next, and if he gets fed, build into Spirit Visage and farm for Cleaver. If you get fed or go even, go Stridebreaker, Black Cleaver, then farm for Spirit. Take Bone Plating and Coup de Grace, because you will be dead by the time Last Stand works well.
Darius - Dash INTO the Q! This matchup sucks, play safer than you think. Save your Teleport to make a play botside, since they are the counter to Darius. At beginning of the game, give first wave entirely unless you see him use Q, because he can cheese you by starting W Crippling Strike and popping ghost to get in more autos. Poke with Q and save W, since it is your only hope of stopping him once he ghosts. Roam. You do not beat him unless he is much worse than you.
Dr. Mundo - Ah yes, the other unkillable tank. Fortunately, he only has one form of cc, his Q Infected Cleaver. Sadly, this is more than enough to run down a poor lil 'trox. He will outscale your healing and outtank your body, but you have better teamfights than him. Keep this in mind when defending his splitpush. During the lane, he will simply farm with his Cleaver from afar, so you have to take lane advantage early to bounce and set up a freeze for yourself, which you will later defend. This is important because Mundo has no dash, and even while he is movespeed boosted by his ult, he cannot escape your cage by running away, at least not until he gets tier 2 boots. Use this to your advantage to take early fights and burn his flash, and maybe even his Teleport by your Q poke. He will take Doran's Shield and is not a tank, so feel free to take Doran's Blade if you aren't afraid of the enemy jungler.
Fiddlesticks - Piece of cake. His suck Bountiful Harvest is interrupted by your Q crit knockup, so simply save your Q for when he tries to suck. If he's being cocky, cast your first Q when you are too close to him, so it damages him but doesn't cancel it. Then crit him with Q2 for more heal for you and damage to him :)
When he hits six be careful of him hiding in top bushes and ulting you, since his fear can push you into the river and his jungler. Just play back if you can't see him, and ward your top wall bushes if freezing on him for a while.
Fiora- Why didn't you dodge? Jokes aside, you cannot do anything until she uses her counter Riposte because your Q crit and W pull count as immobilizing. She is your hardest counter and if you agree to play against her, watch the challenger replay of trox v. fio, buy bramble first, and camp your tower. Last tip, when she ults, she is going to run straight at you, so use this to hit Q, UNLESS SHE HAS Riposte. Then you lose. lol.
Fizz- His dash puts him behind you, past that you win extended trades after level 3 if he uses E Playful / Trickster too early. Good luck and crush him. Also remember that you don't heal for damage you deal until you get E or stack Conqueror, but he looks for burst trades anyway, if his E is down, pressure.
Gangplank - Have not played this matchup. From what I see in replays, force orange and save dash to get past barrels.
Garen - Remember to kite into your minions earlygame to force him to push when he uses E, Judgment, but also trade back when he does so, since he has no mobility outside of his Q, Decisive Strike. Note that he can break your chain slow with it, so don't rely on catching him. Outside of that, remember that his ult deals 150 plus 20% of your missing health true damage rank 1, so be sure to not get too low! Take Coup de Grace.
Gnar - Not gonna lie, if he takes fleet footwork, you're done for. If not, then you have a shot! Don't fight him if the bar is full, since his next spell will make him Mega Gnar, and you won't win the trade. Try and force him to use E Hop/Crunch in Mini Gnar form by pretending to do combo but with no chain, and then when he uses it, HARD ENGAGE. Also try to pressure him off catching his boomerang, since it has a very high cooldown if he doesn't catch it, stopping the poke for 24 seconds lvl 1.
Gragas- Never played this! Advice appreciated @thebausffs
Hecarim - Never played this, technical hard counter due to movespeed defeating Aatrox, since it's hard to hit a moving target. Be unpredictable and cast your spells behind you if he isn't using E, since that's how most people are told to dodge your spells. If you go into practice tool, you'll notice that your Q1 and Q2 hitboxes are actually slightly behind you. Use this to your advantage.
Heimerdinger- Personally, I dodge in norms if it's a Heimerdinger top. Its the most unfun thing to play, though its simple to beat; Get Hearthbound Axe, then Merc treads, then Aegis. Walk up to engage, and save e to dodge his stun. If you get behind because of jungle pressure and he is not the only AP, get Force of Nature, not spirit.
I said it wasn't fun. Unless! You get really ahead and want to be sexy, get Youmuu's Ghostblade for the lethality and active speed that lets you move through his stacked wave.
Illaoi - Not fun. Technically, you can dodge her E Test of Spirit every time, but it defines the whole lane. If she misses it, immediately all-in, (if she isn't ahead or baiting you into her jungler ofc). If she gets fed, play under your tower and tell your jungler to not gank, since her ult is even better at 2v1 than your Qs. Like Darius, she lacks reliable gapclose, but she doesn't build mobility items, so you can continue to duel her even into lategame as long as you buy Black Cleaver.