Aatrox Build Guide by Neatkhajiit
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That's my boy!
+9% Attack Speed and +15-135 Health (at levels 1-18)
Don't Kill Me
Balanced Build #1
Balanced Build #2
Threats to Aatrox with this build
Aatrox is an underplayed champion who doesn't get much attention nowadays. He has the potential to pretty much fill any role, which could be daunting for the average player. However, this is my favorite aspect of Aatrox. Your team needs a tank? Play a highly mobile tank with fantastic CC who can almost never die. Your team needs a carry? Play a high-damage, high sustain fighter who can dive into the fight, pick up kills, and get out alive. I've even played ADC Aatrox successfully (with a support Sion)! He has become one of my favorite champions, and you can't deny the satisfaction of landing a Blood Price attack to one-hit the enemy. Oh, and stabbing towers with Blood Thirst is so entertaining. Towers don't bleed, Aatrox.
As you may have heard, my boy Aatrox is receiving a rework soon, which I am massively excited for. However, this guide is going to be out of commission for a time while I'm working on his rework changes. Lucky for me, I had PBE access, so I can get working on his build ahead of time. Still, I ask that you please be patient.
Pros / Cons
+ Massive sustain with Blood Thirst
+ High mobility with Dark Flight
+ Great CC; knock-up and slow
+ Built-in Guardian Angel
+ High burst with Blood Price
+ No mana, no problems
- Weak to CC; keeps him from healing
- Either high tank or high damage; hybrid doesn't work so well
- Weak to ranged poke and mobility
- Defensive items required
- Hard to recover from losing lane
- Blood Well gives false sense of security
Aatrox is an amazing champion if played correctly. If you see an opportunity for a kill, even if you have less health than your target, don't be afraid to initiate. Aatrox's sustain can keep him alive in the worst of situations. With that being said, he is easily shut down by heavy CC. If the enemy team targets him and keeps him from attacking, he can't gain health back and he's basically dead. The key to playing Aatrox is knowing when to use Dark Flight to dive and when to use it to escape. The rest is simple.
|Top Lane Runes|
|Lethal Tempo||Triumph||Legend: Tenacity||Last Stand|
|Dark Harvest||Cheap Shot||Eyeball Collection||Relentless Hunter|
With the new runes, the possibilities are endless. I personally prefer to use teamfight-oriented runes when playing Top Lane, while using gank-oriented runes for Jungle. Adding even a little sustainability to Aatrox can go a long way.
Aatrox can benefit from a wide range of items. From attack speed for more W procs, to life steal for bonus sustain, Aatrox can use it all. Some Aatroxs might even build heavy armor and magic resist to be the main tank of the team. Here's what you should and shouldn't build on Aatrox.
|Stalker's Blade - Bloodrazor||Enchantment: Bloodrazor makes Aatrox very effective in the jungle. It gives him the proper attack speed he needs, while adding some percent damage as well. Also, I prefer Stalker's Blade because Aatrox tends to have issues keeping enemies from running away, especially with the lack of an item like Blade of the Ruined King.|
|Ravenous Hydra||Life steal, damage, and AOE all in one. This item helps Aatrox clear camps much faster. If going for a single target build, Ravenous Hydra might not be that high of a priority.|
|The Black Cleaver||Consider as a replacement for Ravenous Hydra. If you don't plan on farming jungle or lane too much and would rather hunt down other champions, grab The Black Cleaver. It gives Aatrox much needed mobility, as well as armor reduction.|
|Guinsoo's Rageblade||Guinsoo's Rageblade is Aatrox's bread and butter. With the not-so-recent update to the item, it now has the ol' Sated Devourer buff. Upon unleashing Guinsoo's Rage, Aatrox's W will trigger every two attacks instead of three. This is highly effective on Aatrox, allowing him to be 1.5 times as deadly. The AD and AP on Guinsoo's Rageblade are also nice to have, even though Aatrox no longer has AP damage on his Q.|
|Blade of the Ruined King||Without Bloodrazor in a top build, Aatrox does not have the attack speed he needs to be effective. In its place, I usually use Blade of the Ruined King as a replacement, due to its similar mechanics. It's also very viable to use both Bloodrazor and Blade of the Ruined King, but I prefer the wave clear of Ravenous Hydra and the passive of Guinsoo's Rageblade, and find no room for the item in a jungle build.|
|Dead Man's Plate||While there are plenty of other armor choices, Dead Man's Plate helps Aatrox the most in staying alive and even in getting kills. The armor and health keep him from getting bursted down by AD champions, while the movement speed can allow for more mobility. An all-around great pick for armor.|
|Spirit Visage||Again, Aatrox can build any defensive item effectively, but Spirit Visage works extremely well on Aatrox, allowing Blood Well and Blood Thirst to gain more effectiveness. Spirit Visage gives Aatrox essential magic resist for fighting AP champions, as well as increase all healing and life drain by 20%. An amazing item for the Darkin Blade.|
6 / 11 / 16
#2. Blood Thirst / Blood Price
1 / 3 / 5 / 7 / 9
#3. Blades of Torment
2 / 8 / 10 / 12 / 13
#4. Dark Flight
4 / 14 / 15 / 17 / 18
Massacre gives Aatrox additional attack speed, as well as 225 more attack range. Even with the additional range, Massacre still considers Aatrox's attacks to be melee. This is incredibly useful, since he can still use Ravenous Hydra's AOE damage while in that form. Finally, Massacre deals massive damage to any nearby enemies, while filling his Blood Well by 20% for every enemy he hits with it. That way, when Aatrox dies in the middle of using Massacre, he'll almost certainly already have Hellbent active.|
Blood Thirst / Blood Price is Aatrox's main tool for sustain and even additional damage. Toggling Blood Thirst lets Aatrox heal on every third auto-attack, bringing him to full health rapidly. On the other hand, toggling Blood Price lets Aatrox deal massive damage on every third hit, increasing his burst potential. Extremely necessary for jungling.
Blades of Torment allows Aatrox to poke champions that would usually be out of his reach for decent damage, and it even gives him a pretty effective slow for chases or getaways. If aimed right, Blades of Torment can usually hit all jungle minions in any camp for maximum damage.
Dark Flight is Aatrox's escape/engage ability. A well-timed Dark Flight can get Aatrox over a wall and out of danger, or into the fray, knocking up his target if they are caught in the center.
Often times when going jungle, I'll max my W first for better sustain. Otherwise, Aatrox will die quite quickly. When going top, it's a different story. Maxing Aatrox's W first is still the best choice, but a point into his E at level 1 will allow him to poke out his lane opponent due to his lack of other ranged abilities. Depending on your playstyle and position, you'll want to change your skill build accordingly.
With the addition of the new Enchantment: Bloodrazor, Aatrox is fantastic in the jungle. Ever since Sated Devourer's buff was added to Guinsoo's Rageblade, both top and jungle have been able to utilize Aatrox to his full extent. Now, instead of having to build a Blade of the Ruined King in the jungle, you can build Enchantment: Bloodrazor.
In most cases, starting bot-side jungle will be your best choice. You can get the best leash possible, while not affecting your top laner's farm too much. However, I've been able to jungle successfully without a leash on Aatrox, so you usually have to choose between having more health going into the jungle or Red buff. In the case that you can get a bot leash and Red, you're golden.
Aatrox is very rarely seen in Ranked play. He's great for teamfights and pushing towers, but it's difficult to come back from a failed gank or a lost lane for novice players. I've managed to play quite a few successful games as Aatrox in Ranked, but I would recommend practicing his mechanics in Normals before attempting to head over to Ranked. Aatrox requires patience and good timing to play, and therefore he can be difficult for a beginner. However, if played correctly, he can carry quite well.
Overall, Aatrox is a great champion that anyone can play correctly. Success in playing Aatrox lies in winning 1v1 trades and bringing that into teamfights. If you can farm up in the early game, you can become an unstoppable powerhouse late game. Aatrox is one of my favorite champions, and I will continue to improve this guide as I gain additional knowledge about how to play him.
Feel free to comment! I'm always looking for more advice on how to make guides.