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Aatrox Build Guide by bitpik
Master tier Aatrox guide(will never be finished)By bitpik | Updated on June 3, 2016
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Threats & Synergies
You can't duel him for the a large portion of the earlygame.
This guide is not finished and never will be
This guide is featuring Aatrox who is played as a melee assassin reliant on either life-gain or burst to beat his opponents. If he's able to survive his sustained damage is very significant aswell.
Many newer players think he's a very easy to play bruiser since he mainly relies on autoattacks for damage, and he possesses the super-power of making every male who sees him bicurious. But despite what was thought of him in his first years, Aatrox is a very fragile and sensitive being. Aatrox has a dark secret past. From the point of youth he was always a loner, despite his amazing sustainability. Cause every time he used his Dark Flight to engage communication with friends and attractive females he ran the risk of losing everything. The emotional trauma Aatrox suffered from has caused him to see less and less competitive play as years go on, and most people thought he'd never step out of his shell. UNTIL NOW. But if he isn't going to be played in the LCS in a few years he's likely going to be very sad =/.
Now that you know a lot about me and Aatrox, lets step into the guide! The best Aatrox guide
The main purpose of this guide is to lecture anyone who isn't a complete ****wit on how to play Aatrox, the alpha male of league. Do you know how to last hit minions? Can you reliably last hit atleast 20% of the minions that're given to you for free? If so, this guide is just right for you! If not, what the **** are you doing on this website, go play with your friends or watch a stream, learn the basics before you dare lay foot on a champion this cool again.
Every lazy fool that doesn't want to read this guide should know right now that the item section is far more reliable information-wise than the cheat sheet. I'm just too lazy to edit the cheat sheet and it'll look clunky because Aatrox likes to flex a lot, both his muscles and his items.
- One of the strongest passives in the game.
- Easy to master but you'll still require a brain at all times when playing him.
- When building correctly, even if you're behind, you pack an insane amount of damage and teamfight presence if your team is ahead. Similarly to Malzahar.
- Noone, atleast at high elo, is used to playing against him.
- Deceptively high damage throughout the game.
- Some games are simply impossible to solocarry as Aatrox. This is because he relies on crowd control/other sources of damage/a team that can survive in order to make the most use of his sustained damage and passive in teamfights.
- Easily kited. The only thing he's good at is peeling against melee champions without Dark Flight.
- Weak base stats. Incredibly easy to kill early-on without his passive. Therefor very vulnerable to repeated ganks in some match-ups unless you play like a god.
- Isn't featured in any rule 34.
Since there's very little fanart of Aatrox and i want some pictures in my guide, heres a picture of Huni instead.
This section will be about runes and how they work. I personally think that tech(masteries and runes) is a huge part of league and having an optimal one can actually be gamechanging. I recommend buying runes as soon as you start playing, go for tier 1 runes until you reach level 20, in where you jump to tier 3 runes right away. Tier 1 runes are pretty underused in lower levels making a page for level 20 only costs around 500 Influence points. Tier 2 runes are horrible for the most part as they only give the slightest of improvements compared to tier 1 runes, and they're around five times as expensive. I suspect most of the people reading this guide to be level 30 though, so lets jump into some less basic stuff.
I currently use 4 runepages for Aatrox and they're the ones openly displayed in this section. If i had an infinite amount of runepages i think I'd dedicate maybe 8 to Aatrox though since you can tweak some of the runepages to perfectly fit a game. I recommend having a total of atleast 5 runepages(for different champions), and i think around 8 is mandatory in order to have a wide champion pool.
Mark tier list
Seal tier list
Glyph tier list
Quint tier list
Tier 3: greater quintessence of hybrid penetration, Greater Quintessence of Life Steal
Tier 4: greater quintessence of armor penetration
Greater Mark of Scaling Attack Damage are pretty bad and I've honestly never seen them be played by anyone but me. But after doing some math and realising how poor Aatrox's ad ratios are in lanes where 90% of your damage comes from E, i figured scaling AD could be better, and they are. At level 3 your E loses 2 damage from running scaling rather than flat, and even less if they're running magic resist runes. The scaling ones catch up at level 7, which works well with the fact that against most champions you need items in order to do extended trades involving several autos. Your early laning won't suffer because of E's awful scaling, and when you're level 6+ and gotten 1200g worth of items the scaling ones are really strong. 14 extra AD at level 18 ain't no joke.
Greater Mark of Critical Chance are used by some pro players. Running one Greater Mark of Critical Chance can pay off, but its very unlikely as Aatrox. I personally think the whole concept of winning a trade from that crit is very boring to even think of, so I've never used it.
Against AD champions whom you can bully at early levels. For example Irelia.
We go for 9 Greater Mark of Attack Damage because against these kinds of champions you often trade with auto's. The AD slightly improves your healing during the first levels aswell.
We go for nine Greater Seal of Scaling Armor since they catch up to Greater Seal of Armor at level 6, overall they hold far more value.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction are huge, and we run 9 since Aatrox hasn't got any better sources of cooldown reduction from items. Going Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist is also very viable.
Being left with little armor in the first levels we run a Greater Quintessence of Armor. We later finish the page with two Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed since they are amazing throughout the entire game. If you're a coward you run two Greater Quintessence of Armor.
Against teams that are very AP heavy.
Against AP champions whom you can bully at early levels. Such as Ryze
We go for 9 Greater Mark of Attack Damage because of the bullying power early-on. With these we're able to kill squishies in about 5 seconds at level 3. The extra sustain helps against ranged champions.
We go for nine Greater Seal of Scaling Health since they catch up to Greater Seal of Health at level 6, overall they hold far more value. This is probably the best seal in the game right now.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist for the tankiness required against most AP champions. Greater Glyph of Magic Resist also work but are not as efficient since most AP champions you'll play against need levels before their spells actually deal damage.
Greater Quintessence of Magic Resist is optional, but i think they're more than worth it. We later finish the page with two Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed since they are amazing throughout the entire game. You shouldn't run more than one Greater Quintessence of Magic Resist.
Should be taken vs AD's in matchups where your E is 80%+ of your damage on the first levels.
Works really well versus for example Trundle.
Nine Greater Mark of Scaling Attack Damage since your E scales very poorly with AD. These marks catch up at level 7 which is where your auto's actually start to really matter.
I go for 6 Greater Seal of Scaling Armor and 3 Greater Seal of Armor. Greater Seal of Scaling Armor are better but since we're not running Greater Quintessence of Armor the flat runes make a big difference. This is just one of the ways you can use your seals in all pages.
This just shows a different way to use your glyphs. This gives 10% cooldown reduction which means you can theoretically build both Black Cleaver and Spirit Visage without exceeding the 40% CDR cap.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed hold more value since the champions we use this page against(tanks) either lack burst damage, or trade in quick bursts that allow you to heal with Blood Thirst / Blood Price.
Magic resist variant to the 3rd runepage.
The runepage i use the most in this current metagame(lots of AP tanks).
greater mark of hybrid penetration
These gives you the highest possible damage on Blades of Torment and Massacre. They are stronger than Greater Mark of Scaling Attack Damage if the enemy team doesn't build magic resistance.
I haven't done the math but i believe it's beneficial to run a specific number of these while jungling.
I use these runes when i play midlane Aatrox(which i currently have 70% winrate with) against a champion who can heavily poke from level 1, such as Azir.
The best item for Aatrox in my opinion. Because its AD heavy its great as a first item when he already has built-in attack speed received from his passive. If you want to buy this for some reason you're probably right. The big amount of attack damage you get from this, in comparison to Blade of the Ruined King works very well with Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed and Blood Well.
An iconic item for Aatrox. It gives everything Aatrox needs in the mid- and lategame. But falls short in comparison to Ravenous Hydra as a first item. Normally i like having both of these items though. This item is much better than Ravenous Hydra if you're going fulltank afterwards.
The best source of magic resist for Aatrox. Absolutely amazing as a 2nd item against magic damage partly because Hexdrinker which it builds out of is mandatory in some matchups. People might call me crazy for building a magic resist item that doesn't give health such as Spirit Visage or Banshee's Veil. And the truth is that there are no AP champions whom Aatrox can't beat 1v1 with this item, even without any magic resist items. The shield counts for a lot of health and Aatrox scales insanely well with AD.
I don't see a situation where you'd build this instead of either Ravenous Hydra or Blade of the Ruined King. But it's a pretty good endgame item if you're going full dps.
This is the best armor item in the game for Aatrox. What makes it stand out is the movement speed. Gaining up to 60 movement speed while not attacking is pretty overpowered. The discharge effect is noticable, and great if you're able to get the entire discharge combined with the slow, but those moments are actually pretty rare as Aatrox.
I always build this item at one point, unless the enemy team is 96-100% magic damage.
Randuin's Omen is the role model of all armor items, and our society would've worked better had all armor items strived to be like this. The stats it gives are amazing, the attack speed slow is always relevant and the active is EXTREMELY useful if not mandatory if you don't have either Frozen Mallet or red buff. I build this item in every game i play as Aatrox unless i either win too early or the enemy team has 90-100% magic damage.
If the enemy team has an ad carry this item is core in the endgame if you're building tanky. Since i tend to not ever go tanky, i would only consider building this against a farmed ad carry that tends to be strong against Aatrox one versus one, such as Vayne. The only toplaner I'd consider buying this against is Tryndamere, but never build it before Randuin's Omen.
A pretty underused item on both Renekton and Aatrox in my opinion. If noone else on your team can build it and the enemy team has several auto-attack reliant champions such as Jax or Vayne you should consider this over thornmail. The mana is obviously wasted but 100 armor and 20% cooldown reduction isn't bad for 2450 gold. I would never buy this over Randuin's Omen, but its a situationally good endgame item.
I think this is a strong item, and its not that bad on Aatrox if you're going close-to fulltank with only Blade of the Ruined King for damage. But when you're building offensively the stats it gives are far less valuable.
A terrible item on Aatrox. I only consider buying this over Randuin's Omen or Dead Man's Plate if my team has 99-100% physical damage. Theres an Aatrox main in diamond 3 who always rushes this into fulltank. What to learn from that is to never do what diamond 3's do.
I think this item could be strong in low elo if you're solo-carrying since people won't know how to play with a splitpusher. But because I'm not low elo, i only buy this item if I'm stomping and want to save KDA.
UPDATE: Since its recent buffs this is a pretty decent item on Aatrox, and its better than for example ZZ'rot portal in most situations. It shouldnt be purchased unless you really know why you're buying it though, as it requires game knowledge(atleast in high elo)
Some common misconceptions for people building Aatrox
Items:Doran's Blade / Doran's Shield > Hexdrinker + Boots > Ravenous Hydra / Blade of the Ruined King > Mercury's Treads / Ninja Tabi
Because of my champion pool, Aatrox is my go-to pick against Ryze. He is very good at punishing Ryze's mistakes and can kill him in <5 seconds with a good combo. What makes this a difficulty 3 is that Ryze is a disgusting champion, and if you don't build magic resistance he can kill you in less than 4 seconds post-6. Ryze is hard to snowball against, since even when you're ahead you'll constantly get blue-balled by the threat of his combo.
Punishing a good Ryze player:
Items:Doran's Blade > Hexdrinker + Boots > Blade of the Ruined King > Boots of Swiftness / Mercury's Treads / Ninja Tabi
Rumble is a very annoying champion to deal with as Aatrox. Firstly because you need magic resistance against him in order to not get completely analed(unless you're faaar ahead), and secondly because if Rumble plays well enough there really is no way for you to outtrade him during the laning phase. If he doesn't buy any potions(which he ALWAYS should against Aatrox) you have an upper-hand.
Punishing a good Rumble player:
FOR LANE ONLY HERERatings are from 1-5
Dr. Mundo: 2