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Aatrox Build Guide by postaldude

AD Offtank An in-depth look at Aatrox by postaldude

AD Offtank An in-depth look at Aatrox by postaldude

Updated on July 5, 2013
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League of Legends Build Guide Author postaldude Build Guide By postaldude 3 7 5,312 Views 2 Comments
3 7 5,312 Views 2 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author postaldude Aatrox Build Guide By postaldude Updated on July 5, 2013
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Aatrox
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  • LoL Champion: Aatrox
    Example of a Bad Build


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.

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Pros / Cons


    Good at bullying in lane with his
Blades of Torment and Blood Price trades.
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.
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With Aatrox I like going 9/21/0 masteries, it helps with his early game weakness.
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.
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Skill Sequence

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 equals 30 + (45 × 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 × 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.
Ignite is the bane of Blood Well's existence, get Spirit Visage to negate Ignite. Also, Blood Well gives you more attack speed the more blood you have stored, so be sure to keep as much stored as you can.
ACTIVE: Aatrox takes flight and slams down at a targeted area, dealing physical damage to nearby enemies upon landing. Enemies in the center of the area are also knocked up for 1 second.
I personally, max Dark Flight out last because I feel that Blades of Torment and Blood Price / Blood Thirst are much more efficient, Dark Flight takes too much of your HP early on for it to be viable to max out first.
TOGGLE OFF: Aatrox heals himself on every third attack. If Aatrox is below 50% health he will heal for three times as much.
TOGGLE ON: Aatrox deals bonus physical damage on every third attack at the cost of health.
This is Aatrox's bread and butter. Blood Thirst allows him to sustain in lane just by auto attacking, at no health cost and it isn't weak if you don't have much AD, it actually becomes powerful the more you get and starts off decently. Blood Price scales ridiculously well, and makes trading amazing with that third hit damage. I max this ability first because of the lane sustain and trading potential.
ACTIVE: 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.
Another very good ability, useful for poking. I max this second. The slow does not get stronger as the game drags on, but it does last longer. It is a bit tedious to actually land at times, and the animation goes further than the actual skill. Extremely useful for chasing.
ACTIVE: 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.
Another amazing ability, sequences perfectly with the third proc on Blood Price, you can burst someone out of nowhere, preferably an APC or ADC as they're the squishiest ones on the team.
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Tier 1 Damage Options

One of the best for Aatrox, Attack Speed, Lifesteal, Attack Damage, a passive that steals run speed and heals you. What more could you want?

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.
Gives you a good amount of health, you don't really need the slow if you're landing Blades of Torment and it doesn't give much AD, sometimes as Aatrox AD is not what you need. All in all its an okay item.

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
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Match-Up Difficulty

Easy Match-Ups

Yorick walks into a bar, Aatrox is sitting there with a spiked bat. This will be literally one of the easiest lanes you can possibly dream up for Aatrox. One of Yorick's major counters is someone with more sustain than him, that's where you come in. He requires mana to stay in lane and keep his sustain up, where Blood Thirst doesn't require anything except auto attacks. He has absolutely no way to stop you from auto attacking, and he only has a movement speed slow. Just be careful for a Warden's Mail or Frozen Heart. TL:DR, If you're getting the short end of the stick with trades, keep doing it. He'll run OOM and you'll be able to stay in lane.
Xin Zhao, you'd think with his Three Talon Strike and similar Battle Cry healing passive, he would make an exceptional opponent. To beat Xin Zhao in this lane as Aatrox, you wait it out until level four. The second rank on your Blood Thirst allows you to heal more, it makes the worlds difference. When he tries his Audacious Charge + Three Talon Strike wombo combo on you, simply disengage with Dark Flight and wait it out. Once you're level 4, you can brawl him. I suggest starting Cloth Armor with 5 pots, and making the Cloth Armor into Ninja Tabi picking up a Warden's Mail before finishing off your Blade of the Ruined King. TL:DR, Ninja Tabi is a must, wait until level 4 to brawl him.
Lets face it, when people play Nasus in the top lane, its usually frowned upon, yet people still do it. Hes as weak as Aatrox is early on, so the squishiness isn't that much of an issue. The only thing you'll want to look out level 6+ is the random burst from Nasus. If he runs close to you and uses Wither, disengage with your Dark Flight (especially if you have no wards and feel like you're going to get ganked). If he uses Fury of the Sands, you disengage yet again with Dark Flight and wait for it to go down. If he doesn't have his ultimate, hes the prime candidate for you. If he uses Siphoning Strike you can easily outheal it with Blood Thirst. TL:DR, Try fighting when Wither and Fury of the Sands is on cooldown.
Tryndamere, his greatest creation! Contrary to popular belief, Aatrox should be able to win this lane with ease. Sure, Tryndamere has sustain with Bloodlust but not nearly as much as your Blood Thirst. I cannot stress enough how good Blood Thirst will be versus him. Pre-level 6 you need to harass the cr*p out of him with Blood Price and make sure to keep him away from farm. When hes level 6, You shouldn't attempt to take him on without Blood Well because of his Undying Rage. If hes going all in on you and you have Blood Well up, thats his mistake. Immediately switch to Blood Thirst if you have not yet already and pop Massacre for the attack speed and damage, I would not suggest moving around unless you plan on doing the AA walk to kite him around. When his Undying Rage is around 2 seconds left, throw your Ignite onto him. If all goes well, you should have stayed around 25% or higher, and if he popped your passive then his Undying Rage would be down. If he uses Ignite on you, do not panic! Dark Flight away, or onto him if you feel you can continue the fight. TL:DR Bully him like crazy pre-6, then brawl him if he goes all in at level 6.
Darius, just like a Yorick lane without all the sustain! Seriously, Aatrox has NO issues in this lane whatsoever. All Darius can do is poke you with his Decimate and stop your Dark Flight with Apprehend. Other than that, its smooth sailing. If he goes in to make a trade, be relentless. Most people go in, use a few abilities and walk away. If Darius tries doing that, you punish him and hard. Don't leave him alone until you're just outside of turret range. Denying Darius farm and kills is denying him everything mid to late game. Also, you have a get-out-of-his-ult-for-free kind of deal, he can't do anything until he pops your Blood Well and in a 1v1 he won't be able to. Think about it, if he uses Noxian Guillotine before your Blood Well is down, he wasted it. If he doesn't use it Noxian Guillotine before Blood Well is down, he has a 0% chance of killing you. TL:DR, DON'T BE AFRAID! This is the easiest lane for you.

Skill Match-Ups

Lets face it, Vladimir is a ranged version of you in lane, except he can juke harder. His passive, Crimson Pact will allow him to build tanky and still deal damage. This won't matter once you get your Blade of the Ruined King because of the percentage damage on it. As Aatrox be prepared to get harassed. He WILL poke you with Transfusion and Tides of Blood. Transfusion has a very high CD early on, so do NOT be afraid to go and farm with Blood Thirst up. If the Vladimir is an exceptional or above player, you will almost never hit him with Dark Flight on your first try because of Sanguine Pool. When he pops Sanguine Pool after you use Dark Flight, thats the signal to go in and follow him until he pops back up, then slow him with Blades of Torment and switch to Blood Price. If that isn't working [which it should, especially early levels] then be sure you farm with Blood Thirst up and keep him at bay with Blades of Torment and the constant threat of Dark Flight. TL:DR, Try going in on him with Dark Flight to pop his Sanguine Pool, it has a ridiculous early level cooldown, if he uses it follow up with Blood Price.
Jayce, the hero of solo top. Its a fairly even match up, if you know Jayce you know hes going to try to poke you the hell away from the farm. Its going to be another one of those "keep Blood Thirst up and farm" kind of advice sessions. Hes gonna poke you, and a lot. Personally, for this lane I would start Doran's Shield and then buy Ninja Tabi my first back just to counter his Hyper Charge poke. His Acceleration Gate and Shock Blast combo is going to be brutal if you don't have armor, so all in all, Ninja Tabi and Doran's Shield are two excellent items for this match-up. If you jump onto him with Dark Flight we all know hes going to Thundering Blow you away, and your cooldown is longer than his. Poke at him with Blades of Torment and keep your focus on farming. [Unless jungler ganks of course]. TL:DR, Build a good amount of armor for this lane match-up, its going to be a farm lane.
Shen is slippery and dangerous. He can Shadow Dash you, but that wont stop Blood Thirst, it will just reduce your damage and obviously force you to attack him. He can brawl you upfront by using Vorpal Blade mixed with his passive, Ki Strike. If hes smart he will use Feint when you try using Blood Price The cooldown is high at low levels so abuse it. If he tries brawling you, switch to Blood Thirst. If he tries disengaging, follow him. If he uses Shadow Dash to get away follow him with Dark Flight and punish him. If hes winning due to Ki Strike and Vorpal Blade, then you must disengage with Dark Flight. Consider picking up a Giant's Belt after your Bilgewater Cutlass and getting some tenacity to make his taunt last less time. TL:DR, Build tenacity, get some meat on your bones before finishing your Blade of the Ruined King
Renekton, the terror of top lane.. even Aatrox will have a fairly hard time with this. Renekton builds extremely tanky and still has a very good damage output, you WILL need jungle pressure for this match up. His passive is Reign of Anger, so much like you, when at 50% health he also becomes deadlier to fight. You must watch his lower bar, if its red you need and I can't stress this enough you MUST YOU NEED TO STAY AWAY WHEN THE BAR IS RED! He will DESTROY you with the damage output from Cull the Meek and Ruthless Predator. He has a double dash with Slice and Dice, which will make it easier for him to get close to you when he has a fury pool running. At level 6 be careful for Dominus because he will tower dive if you are low enough and if he has already popped your Blood Well. A tip for this lane is building Ninja Tabi and Giant's Belt before even getting a Long Sword or Dagger. TL:DR Build armor, lots of it. Stay away from him when he has a full fury bar, and be careful for Dominus
Elise like Renekton, is on the verge of entering the "Extremely Difficult" category. At this point, If you were both exceptional players, the Elise would beat the Aatrox. You need to have a slight curve in skill in order to beat Elise in lane, but its nowhere near impossible. For this lane, start Null-Magic Mantle and make her waste her mana by using Neurotoxin. If you can force her to shift into Spider Form then lane becomes easy for you. The only thing that should hold you back from going all in, his her Cocoon. Cocoon can only be used in Human Form, so keep that in mind. When she is in Spider Form, she gets Rappel which makes her untargetable, and she can jump to an enemy, whether its a jungle monster, a minion or a champion. If you can get her to waste all of her mana on Neurotoxin, make sure you're above half health before rushing in to fight her. The lower health you are is usually the better with Aatrox, but in this lane.. one false move with low health will get you killed. Remember folks, Spider Form does more damage the less health you have while Human Form does more damage if you have more health. Negatron Cloak to Spirit Visage and Mercury's Treads are a MUST after your Bilgewater Cutlass. TL:DR, Build plenty of magic resist, make her run OOM so she cannot Cocoon you and get an early Spirit Visage

Extremely Difficult Match-Ups

Yeah.. this guy.. every first-pick Aatrox dreads seeing his face show up on the other team. Jax is Aatrox's worst nightmare. Counter Strike just demolishes you. Master-At-Arms every third hit is stronger than Blood Price because it doesn't cost him any health, and the active on it counters you. The most you can do in this lane is sit back and max Blades of Torment to last hit minions at a safe distance. If Jax decides to go all in with a Leap Strike and Counter Strike, disengage with Dark Flight. You can't build one straight resist because he is a hybrid-damage champion. You can't build health because Blade of the Ruined King is EXTREMELY viable on him. TL:DR Wait for jungler to gank, sit back and farm. Max Blades of Torment first.
Another extreme challenge for Aatrox, but if you get two kills on Riven, you will most likely win the lane and shut her down hard. The two things that will screw you over is her saving her third charge on Broken Wings to knock you back in attempt to interrupt your Dark Flight. If she does this, shes free to Ki Burst you and just unleash her early game power. Try dodging her Broken Wings and if you can't, disengage and sit back, wait for cooldowns. Your best bet would be to start Cloth Armor 5 health potions, and get a early Ninja Tabi and Giant's Belt. If you plan on brawling her, poke her down with Blades of Torment a few times before finally going in to trade hard. She can dodge your Dark Flight with Valor and go back in with Broken Wings so be careful for that. TL:DR Play cautious, build armor, health and try to sustain while she will be most likely zoning you.
This can be considered an easy or a hard lane, it all depends on the skill level of the Fiora. If she is good, its going to be a very hard challenge. Her sustain is good, but not as good as yours. You both rely on auto attacks for sustain but hers is up more because it gives her health regen, rather than health every three hits. When you pop Blood Price, she will try to juke with Riposte, you can either continue going at her, or run away.. either way you're going to take a ton of damage. If you run, she will pop Burst of Speed and use Lunge twice to chase you. If you don't run, she'll do the same exact thing but you'll take the damage from Riposte. Its always going to be a close fight between you two, but she will most likely come out on top if you do not have any help because, in my opinion Blade Waltz is much better than Massacre. TL:DR Plenty of armor, plenty plenty plenty. Get as many ganks as you can pre level 6
The tiger in the top lane, Udyr. This lane is close to impossible, he has almost infinite sustain with Iron Mantle, he makes better trades because of Wilding Claw's passive and he has Blazing Stampede AKA a free stun and run speed every few seconds. People say "Oh but Udyr is better in the jungle!". They're wrong.. Udyr counters many solo tops such as : Darius Riven Tryndamere Aatrox Garen. The only way you will win this lane is if Udyr decides to go Wingborne Storm first. Or if you get plenty of ganks. TL:DR Never play Aatrox vs Udyr, it is almost impossible for you to win. If you're suicidal enough to try this, get as many ganks as you can. [
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Champions Aatrox synergises well with

Tier 1

The synergy between Orianna and Aatrox is unbelievable. If Orianna uses Command: Protect on Aatrox, he can then Dark Flight into the enemy team, activate Massacre followed up by an Orianna Command: Shockwave. Both of those ultimates combined like that are devastating if the enemy team is grouped up.
Thresh also works amazing with Aatrox. If Thresh can land Death Sentence and follow it up with The Box, Aatrox can them jump into the middle of it with Dark Flight and pop Massacre. I only suggest doing this if The Box managed to trap three or more people, or if it caught a carry.
If Amumu can land his Bandage Toss and follow it up with a good Curse of the Sad Mummy , Aatrox should follow up with what? You guessed it, Dark Flight and Massacre.
Not only do the Miss Fortune and Aatrox ultimates synergise well together, Aatrox also provides excellent peel for Miss Fortune. Example ; Zed leaps onto Miss Fortune, Aatrox then uses Dark Flight on her and then Blades of Torment to slow him, while Miss Fortune AA runs and uses Make it Rain to kite him further.

Tier 2

Ahhh.. Fiddlesticks and Aatrox. Who doesn't like a Terrify into a Dark Flight followed by Bountiful Harvest and Blades of Torment? The guy getting ganked of course! Crowstorm and Dark Flight work well together too.
The level 1 invade possibilties while you have Shen and Aatrox is pretty nice, a Shadow Dash Dark Flight combination. You think Aatrox doesn't die with Blood Well and Blood Thirst? Imagine that with Stand United. Oh, did I mention the peel off an ADC with these two is ridiculous?
Jarvan IV is pretty good with Aatrox because of Demacian Standard and Aatrox benefiting so much from attack speed throughout the entire game. Cataclysm + Dark Flight and Massacre = one dead carry.
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An in-depth look at Aatrox by postaldude

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