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Aatrox Build Guide by I Am Goliath

GoliathGames Masters guide to Aatrox

GoliathGames Masters guide to Aatrox

Updated on February 4, 2021
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League of Legends Build Guide Author I Am Goliath Build Guide By I Am Goliath 746 31 1,734,216 Views 15 Comments
746 31 1,734,216 Views 15 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author I Am Goliath Aatrox Build Guide By I Am Goliath Updated on February 4, 2021
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Legend: Tenacity
Last Stand

Taste of Blood
Ravenous Hunter

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport


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Top Lane
Ranked #43 in
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Win 49%
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Top Lane Ranked #43 in
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More Aatrox Runes

Champion Build Guide

GoliathGames Masters guide to Aatrox

By I Am Goliath

My other guides:

Hey guys,
My name is Goliath. I've played League of Legends since season 2 and have mained top lane since season 3. I've been high Diamond in every season since season 4, peaking at Master tier. League of Legends has always been the main game that I have stuck with over the years.

Here is my OP.GG for anyone interested.

If you want to see me play, maybe learn a thing or two, or ask me some questions, you can find my stream here. Stop by some time, I'm always down for giving advice and helping you improve.

If streams aren't up you alley, you can also check out my YouTube channel here. I'm going to start uploading informative videos, as well as stream and gameplay highlights.

If you want more general info, like when I upload, or update, a guide, then you can find my twitter here.

If I'm offline on twitch but you still want some pointers or just wanna chill, then feel free to join my discord server and hit me up.

Aatrox is a bruiser champion that is capable of doing high amounts of AOE damage while also healing lots of HP from his abilities. On top of this Aatrox has quite a strong laning phase and can really excel in teamfights. Especially if he can get resets in his ultimate.

If you like bruiser champions that fight a lot and have healing then you should give Aatrox a try.

+ Doesn't use mana or energy
+ Has good sustain
+ Has good base damage
+ Decent mobility
+ Good waveclear
+ Strong laning phase
+ Good teamfighting
+ Good from behind
- Long cooldowns
- Takes a decent amount of games to learn
- Item dependent (especially cooldown reduction)
- Q and W are skillshots (especially your Q's since they have a sweet spot that is ideal to land)

This rune is a must on Aatrox because it provides you with bonus attack damage and is very easy to stack with your combo. Since you have 3 Q’s- The Darkin Blade it also provides you with even more healing and true damage when fully stacked, which is great for Aatrox.

This rune can be clutch in certain situations. Since it gives you HP and gold on kills and assists, you’ll want to run this rune as the other two in this slot aren’t very good for Aatrox.

Legend: Alacrity
Free attack speed is always nice on a bruiser champion and is overall just going to help you do more damage.

Note: I recommend taking Legend: Tenacity against team comps that have a high amount of CC.

Last Stand
This rune is just another DPS increase when you get low on HP. I personally like this rune over
Coup de Grace but both are viable on Aatrox.

Taste of Blood
This rune gives Aatrox even more sustain which makes his laning phase even stronger. It’s also very easy to proc on him.

Ravenous Hunter
This rune is amazing on Aatrox since we have so many sources of healing such as Conqueror,
Death's Dance, Taste of Blood, and even your ultimate, as well as your passive both increase healing. Once you stack this rune up in the mid-late game you’ll be healing for crazy amounts so make sure you take this rune on Aatrox.

Extra Note: Against very hard matchups you can go resolve tree secondary and take Bone Plating and Overgrowth to help you survive.

Flash is a must on most champions and the same goes for Aatrox. It’s especially important on Aatrox because he can use his Flash while he’s using his Q's- The Darkin Blade and this will secure you a lot of kills. So make sure you take this summoner spell.

Teleport: Personally I always recommend taking teleport on top laners as it helps you pressure the map, get back to lane so you don’t miss waves, and overall allows you to play around objectives and join teamfights. Which is very important for Aatrox since he is great at teamfighting.

Note: Ignite is viable as a second summoner spell if you’re wanting to go for snowball and lane dominance. But like I said above if you’re trying to learn and get better at top lane I always recommend learning how to use Teleport. I also think Teleport helps you learn certain aspects of top lane and map awareness which are important for getting better at the game and role. Ignite is more of a cheese spell in my opinion and while it can be good for stomping people that may be worse than you; it gets much less impactful the higher elo you climb.

Deathbringer Stance
Aatrox's next basic attack has increased range, deals % max HP damage, and heals you for the amount dealt. It has a 24 seconds CD at level 1, going down to 12 seconds at level 18 and its cooldown is reduced by 2 seconds when you hit a champion, increased to 4 seconds if you hit the sweet spot on your Q- The Darkin Blade. It’s a great poking tool thanks to its increased range and bonus % max HP damage, but is also really good for sustain thanks to the healing you receive from hitting it. You should try to run towards you enemy and hit him with an auto every time your passive is up. If they are melee they shouldn't be able to respond to it as the increased range keeps you somewhat safe.

The Darkin Blade
This is your primary wave clear, trading, and poking tool. The ability itself has 3 casts, all of them being skill shots. First one is in the shape of a rectangle, dealing bonus damage and knocking up enemies that are standing near the end of the Q for 0.25 seconds. Second cast deals more damage than the first one, has a cone form and is much wider but shorter than the previous Q cast. It also has a sweet spot near the end of the skill shot that deals bonus damage and knocks enemies up for 0.25 seconds. Aatrox's third cast is in the shape of a circle close to him. It deals the most damage out of all his Q cast's and just like the others it has a sweet spot located in the middle of the circle dealing bonus damage and knocking up enemies for 0.25 seconds.

You can use your E - Umbral Dash during the cast animation to get closer
Knocking enemies up almost always guarantees that you get a pull from your W - Infernal Chains
Great for wave clearing

Infernal Chains
Aatrox fires a chain dealing a small amount of damage. If you hit a champion or a large monster they become chained to the area and after 1.5 seconds they are dragged to the center and take the same amount of damage. This is a really good skill to engage on your enemy with, but it has a long cooldown, low damage and getting a pull isn't guaranteed. That’s why you should max this skill last.

Umbral Dash
Upon activation Aatrox dashes forward. The reason you want to max this ability second is the passive, which heals you for a % of the damage you do to enemy champions giving you an insane 30% at max rank, making your dueling insanely good.

Umbral Dash can be used during all of Aatrox's ability casts.

World Ender
Upon activation Aatrox unleashes his true form for 10 seconds, fearing all enemy minions. In addition to that Aatrox gets decaying bonus movement speed, bonus AD and an increase to all self-healing. Getting a takedown on an enemy champion refreshes the effects and extends his ult duration by 5 seconds. This ability is extremely powerful during teamfights as you will be getting a lot of takedowns. The increased healing is going to make sure you don't get to die and the increased AD is going to make sure you wipe the entire enemy team.

Q Max

W - Q - Q - E - Q - Auto

Land your W- Infernal Chains, then follow up with your first Q- The Darkin Blade so you can knock him up making escaping your W harder. Q again combined with your E- Umbral Dash to get in range for the knock up so you can ensure he gets pulled. Q again to get a knock-up and bonus damage and close it with a passive empowered auto attack.

R - E - W - Q - Auto - Q - E - Q

Start off with your R- World Ender and cancel animation with E- Umbral Dash and then use your W- Infernal Chains immediately after. Use your first Q- The Darkin Blade and auto attack right after. By the time your auto attack animation has gone thru the enemy should already be getting pulled by your W. Use your second Q to lock him down and then use your third Q combined with your E to make sure you get the knock up and bonus damage from the sweet spot for the kill. This combo is great when catching someone alone or engaging a fight.

Q - Flash - E

You can use your Flash and your E- Umbral Dash during the same Q- The Darkin Blade cast so you can hit extremely long range Q's. For example you can engage on the enemy back line with Q, then an E and Flash immediately after that. You can also use this combo to finish off champions that manage to get too far away from you as you should almost always hit your Q sweet spot whenever using this combo.

Starting Items

Doran's Shield or Doran's Blade
You want to go either a Doran's Blade or a Doran's shield depending on the match-up. Both items provide some HP and sustain which really helps Aatrox early game.Generally You'll want to only go Doran's Shield into matchups that have a lot of poke or damage over time spells like Teemo,Cass,etc...

Build Order

Black Cleaver
Black cleaver is essential on Aatrox regardless of the match-up. Grants a nice chunk of AD, a good amount of HP, and an insane 20% CDR which all help Aatrox immensely. It also has 2 great passives which Aatrox can utilize to make his chase potential even better and winning extended duels even easier.

Upgrade Boots
Aatrox needs either Ninja Tabi or Mercury's Treads to help out with his stats. I like to finish Black Cleaver before I upgrade my boots, but if you're laning versus a hard lane such as Jax or Fiora you should try to upgrade to Ninja Tabi ASAP. Mercury's Treads is somewhat optional as in teamfights you would want to endure as much auto attacks as possible from the enemy ADC, but if they have some hard, easy to land CC (like Morgana or Lux binding) that can prevent you from going in you should go with Mercury's Treads for the tenacity increase.

Death's Dance
Death's Dance on Aatrox is insane. It gives him a great amount of AD, a decent 10% CDR and an insane healing passive. Death's Dance + Aatrox R- World Ender bonus healing makes him almost unkillable during teamfights due to the sheer amount of healing. It's definitely a must buy regardless of how well you're doing or the champion you're facing.

Sterak's Gage
Sterak's Gage grants Aatrox a big amount of health and a passive shield plus tenacity which helps Aatrox survive during fights. In addition it also gives you 50% of your base AD as bonus AD which at level 18 is 72.5 AD for Aatrox which is insane.

Guardian Angel
Guardian Angel grants you a decent amount of AD and Armor, but what makes this item truly shine is its passive revive. After taking lethal damage you revive with 50% of your base HP allowing you to continue fighting.

Spirit Visage
You want Spirit Visage most of the time (unless you're facing a DOT AP champion such as Cassiopeia or Singed) as it grants you 30% increased healing as well as some stats Aatrox needs such as a decent amount of HP, MR and 10% CDR.

Situational Items

Youmuu's Ghostblade
Youmuu's Ghostblade is a must buy if you're facing an enemy that can kite you easily so you're better able to catch up to them with the help of its active ability. You can also buy it as a first item if you're really ahead in lane to increase your chase potential, helping you snowball your lane even harder.

Thornmail is good versus full AD teams that rely a lot on auto attacks, but it's not an item I would recommend to build regularly. If you do build it however, you should first buy a Bramble Vest and upgrade it to Thornmail when you've finished all of your other items.

Mortal Reminder
The only time you're going to need this item is if you're facing champions that get healing either from their support or their abilities so you can reduce the amount of healing they'll be receiving. Like I mentioned for Thornmail I would recommend upgrading from Executioner's Calling to Mortal Reminder after finishing all your other items first.

Adaptive Helm
Adaptive helm isn't that good on Aatrox compared to Spirit Visage and it's 30% increased healing, but can be a nice pickup versus DOT champions such as Cassiopeia and Singed.

Level 1
Level 1 is Aatrox's weakest point in the entire game. You don't really have you'r E- Umbral Dash to hit your Q- The Darkin Blade's more easily, or run away from a bad trade. You should try to farm up and shove the wave to get to level 2 ASAP. Try hitting your 1st Q's to get some poke in against you opponent. Try to also get some autos in and try to keep your
Conqueror stacks going so you can go ham when you hit level 2.

Levels 2-6
Level 2 is where Aatrox's early game dominance starts. You get a point in your E- Umbral Dash which allows you to trade even better. Try to trade with your opponent as much as possible hitting your first 2 Q- The Darkin Blade's and a passive empowered auto attack and if you see an opening for a kill. Don't be afraid to Q- The Darkin Blade + Flash for your third Q- The Darkin Blade so you can hit the sweet spot knock up and get the bonus damage. Getting level 3 and your three skill power spike is also really important. You finally get your W- Infernal Chains which makes hitting your 3 Q- The Darkin Blade's possible without the use of Flash. You should try to hit level 3 before your opponent and if you do, you should go in immediately. Landing your W- Infernal Chains guarantees one of two things: Either your opponent burns his flash or you get to hit all your Q- The Darkin Blade's and possibly get a kill on them. At level 6 your kill potential with your ult is insane. You fear enemy minions which means you don't take minion damage for 3 seconds whilst gaining a movement speed and attack damage buff as well as increased healing. You should definitely abuse that in your favor to either get a kill or a summoner spell.

First Recall
You should try to recall when you have around 1100 gold so you can either get a Caulfield's Warhammer for the extra 10% CDR before you get Black Cleaver or a Kindlegem + Long Sword if you're laning versus a tank so you can rush Black Cleaver ASAP. Another option is rushing Ninja Tabi / Bramble Vest if you're laning versus a Fiora or a Jax.

Level 6-9
This is when you really become a beast. After you've bought your CDR items your Q- The Darkin Blade is on a 5 second cooldown and so is your E- Umbral Dash. Making your DPS output and chase potential incredible. At this point you should also be able to 2 v 1, so try to draw pressure on other lanes so that your team can take objectives more easily and use Teleport to help your team out if needed.

Level 13+
At this point of the game you should have Black Cleaver and/or Death's Dance as well as a max on both your Q- The Darkin Blade and your E- Umbral Dash which means you're a beast. You should group up with your team and look for teamfights or go to a side lane and pressure with Teleport as you are virtually unkillable in a 1v1 thanks to all of the damage you dish out and the healing you get from it.

Aatrox's teamfight is all about dishing out insane amounts of damage and CC to the enemy backline. Mid and Late game you are pretty much able to nuke the enemy carries with just your 3 Q- The Darkin Blade combo. Try to go in a little after the start of the fight when the enemies are somewhat damaged so you can go in for the cleanup with your ultimate resets.

Aatrox is good in fights even if behind thanks to his great AOE CC when you hit the sweet spots on your Q's. Try to land your third Q on the enemy backline so you can get directly into auto attack range which allows you to deal bonus damage and also heal a lot thanks to your passive. You should be pretty much unkillable mid game so don't be afraid to go ham on their carries. Just make sure you hit your Q's sweet spots and try to get as much resets on your ultimate as possible.

You can also build tankier and act more as a frontline and peel for your team while still dishing out great amounts of damage and AOE CC with being even harder to take down. But I'd only recommend taking that route if you're really far behind.

While Aatrox's turret taking ability isn't as good compared to champs that build Trinity force (such as Jax, Camille, Yorick) his ability to pressure a side lane mid-game is incredible. You should try to play opposite of the objective you want your team to play around, either Baron or Drake. So say you tell your team to play around Baron, head bot lane and begin shoving your way to the enemy turret as to draw pressure. Make sure you have
Teleport up in case a fight breaks out so you can be there to help your team. By that time you should have your Black Cleaver and Death's Dance built which makes your outplay potential insane and you should be able to 2v1 with ease and maybe even pull a 3v1.

Whenever taking turrets with Aatrox make sure you utilize your E- Umbral Dash auto attack reset to its fullest potential. Auto attack, then use E- Umbral Dash at minimum rage and then auto attack. This gives you a good amount of damage on a relatively short cooldown, which allows you to take towers easier if your splitpush is left unanswered.

If the enemy team sends only 1 person to answer you, and you see an opening, you should go in for the kill. By that point 1v1's should be a breeze (unless you are fighting a strong duelist such as Fiora or Jax) which will give numbers advantage for your team allowing you to either Teleport and win the fight easier or continue your push without anyone there to stop you from doing so.

Extreme Threat

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Major Threat

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Tahm Kench
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Even Threat

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Minor Threat

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Tiny Threat

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Dr. Mundo
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Thanks for reading my Aatrox guide! If you liked it then consider tossing me an up vote as it really helps to get my guide out there. If it helped you out at all, then let me know in the comments. If you think I left something out, let me know as well. I always enjoy hearing feedback whether it be positive or negative. Also if you want to ask me any questions regarding top lane in general you can find my stream here.

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