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Aatrox Build Guide by AWierdShoe

Top [SEASON 14] AATROX: THE DARKIN BLADE

Top [SEASON 14] AATROX: THE DARKIN BLADE

Updated on May 15, 2024
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League of Legends Build Guide Author AWierdShoe Build Guide By AWierdShoe 16 0 58,469 Views 3 Comments
16 0 58,469 Views 3 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author AWierdShoe Aatrox Build Guide By AWierdShoe Updated on May 15, 2024
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Runes: Standard Conqueror

1 2 3
Precision
Conqueror
Triumph
Legend: Haste
Last Stand

Resolve
Bone Plating
Revitalize
Bonus:

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+10% Tenacity/Slow Resist

Spells:

1 2
Flash/TP
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport

Teleport

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Champion Build Guide

[SEASON 14] AATROX: THE DARKIN BLADE

By AWierdShoe
Welcome!
Hi, I'm AWierdShoe (aka nAshpoint). I've been playing Aatrox for about 4 years now, and have around 330k mastery points on the champion, peaking Emerald. Aatrox is one of my favorite toplane champions in League of Legends, and with the new Season 14 changes I wanted to clear up the details for those interested in playing the champion and give insight with the new items that were just released.
Why Aatrox?
Aatrox is one of the top champions in the toplane, and I would like to go over his strong and weak points.

Pros:
-Safe laning phase, can also play aggressively later on
-No resource bar (manaless champion)
-High damage, with decent crowd control and sustain
-Great into multiple melee/short-ranged champions with low mobility
-Carry potential
-Can sidelane very well with good waveclear + durability
-Good teamfighting ability

Cons:
-Weak early levels
-Needs decent mechanics to pilot
-Harder to play versus a lot of longer-ranged and/or high-mobility champions
-Punishable in lane due to high cooldowns
-Weak to crowd control
-Missed skillshots result in no damage and no sustain
-Struggles to kill tanks in lane(nerfs to Black Cleaver + Serylda's changes make it even worse)
-Gets outscaled by most of the toplane roster
Abilities
Passive: Deathbringer Stance
This is your passive auto attack. It deals bonus % HP magic damage, has increased range, and heals you (reduced against minions). Its cooldown is reduced each time you auto a champion (or large monster) or hit them with an ability, further reduced on hitting your Q sweetspots. This means that if you're in a close fight, auto attacking while Q is down/in between Q casts is absolutely worth it to get your passive back sooner. Your passive can be used to start/finish a trade, or even threaten the opposing laner from taking a good amount of poke in the early game. While your Q is on CD you can threaten the opponent with your passive auto if they try to walk up, or in some cases start a full spell rotation with it. Do your best not to instantly use it to CS (though you can secure minions from a safe distance with it as well) while it's up as it does provide good damage and sustain.


Q: The Darkin Blade
This is Aatrox's main source of damage output and CC. Q1 is great for poking enemies from a distance or even CSing minions safely. Q2 can be utilized this way as well, though its hitbox is shorter in length (though in return larger in width). Q3 should be used sparingly as using it will put your Q on its full cooldown (using only Q1 puts the ability on CD for 4 seconds less, Q2 only is 2 seconds less). You have four seconds after casting one Q to cast the next. You can use Flash during any cast of Q to reposition the sweetspot in order to hit it.

Early on in the laning phase you will be trying to fish for Q sweetspots on the opposing laner, or simply secure minions for yourself. You'll want to play for level 4 as your Qs don't really do much damage before then and you'll also have other tools to land them. Landing your Q sweetspots will make it incredibly easier to follow up with your next Qs. While rewarding when they land, early game it can be very punishing if you're wasteful with them. That is why should you ever miss your Q1 initiation, it may be best to back off and just wait for your Qs to refresh. Even if you miss Q1, it will still be dangerous for the opponent to just walk right at you if you're holding onto Q2.

Once you get enough points into your Q (as well as more AD/Ability Haste), you should be looking more to use your Q on the opposing laner and less on the minions (your Q deals a lot of reduced damage to minions before rank 3). One of the biggest things that show how well an Aatrox player plays is how they utilize their Q1 and Q2. Just like the champion quote "Patience, Aatrox, patience!", it's ingrained in the champion's playstyle as well. No Qs = minimal/no healing for you to sustain up top.

Although hitting your Q sweetspots are vital, there will be opponents with good movement out there, or even ones that like to get right on top of you to make it incredibly difficult to land your Q1 or even Q2. In this case, landing any part of Q1/Q2 is alright as long as you kite back and even finish with Q3 sweetspot if they keep trying to fight you. (A little thing i like to do if there's an enemy right on top of me is use my first two Qs on them, then hit my sweetspot of Q3 AND THEN E dash immediately afterward to disengage).

Biggest tip with Qs is to not be too hasty/impatient while using the ability. A good rule of thumb to consistenly land Q1 is to use it when the opponent is walking up to last hit a minion. Since in the toplane every minion is a decision for yourself and the opposing laner, you can punish them with max-ranged Q and proceed to look for either a quick follow-up or even a full combo given the correct circumstances.


W: Infernal Chains
This ability shoots out a projectile that deals magic damage to the opponent (doubled versus minions so you can use it to secure CS). If it hits a champion, it will slow them and create a zone around their area. If they do not escpae the zone, they will be pulled back to the center of it (where the Infernal Chains first hit them). The pullback is considered a knock-up, so they can't escape if the W pulls successfully. However, be wary as enemies will simply walk towards the right or left edge of the zone to escape it (its the shortest distance out of it).

Infernal Chains is a great tool in our kit. While inconsistent when used by itself, combining it with our Q will allow us to dish our more damage and ht our sweetspots more consistently. Be wary when fighting in an opponent's minion wave as the ability is blocked by minions and has a long cooldown. If the enemy is playing behind their wave and you have all your abilities up, you can simply walk behind their wave and fight them, making it easier to land your W. You'll want to play around your W a lot if you're considering going for a full combo.

You can use Q1 sweetspot on the opponent and, if it lands, immediately W onto them. This will put them in the zone and slow them, allowing you to hit your Q2 easier. If your Q2 lands, they won't escape the W zone, pulling them back. This allows you to finish with an easily-landed Q3. More details in the combos section.


E: Umbral Dash
Your E's passive is where your healing versus champions comes in, so keep in mind that your champion does NOT heal off of Qs level 1. This healing is increased during your ultimate ability.

The active dash can be used during any of our ability casts. This is super important at allowing us to land either our first Q, or follow up with our next. The dash distance, while short, is increased over certain walls along the map, allowing us to traverse certain terrain or make a quick getaway if necessary. The dash's distance is not set, and can be shortened. This means that a short dash can also be used as an auto attack cancel, allowing your champion to hit twice in quick succession (if done correctly). This is good at CSing under our tower, hitting enemy towers, or even in a close-up fight for more damage that may even get your passive auto off cooldown.

The most common usage of E that I've seen is in combination with Q1 for max-range poke (Q1+E). However, this is very predictable as enemies can simply walk forward to dodge the sweetspot or walk to the side. If I do for a Q1+E, I like to Q1 a bit away from the enemy, then use E dash at a forward diagonal direction. Using E at an angle (whether forward or backwards) with your Qs tends to catch opponents off-guard a lot of the time. A good Aatrox player is harder to predict at how he will use is Qs and E together, so you'll have to mix it up on playing aggressively and kiting with it.


R: World Ender
This is your ultimate ability. Upon activation, it fears minions around you, gives you bonus AD, bonus (decaying) movement speed + ghosting, and increased self-healing from all sources. This ultimate gives you a huge boost in power, allowing you to turn close 1v1s or even 1v2s, as well as giving you even more teamfight power. World Ender also resets on champion takedowns, allowing you to stay in the fight longer.

Level 6 is one of your biggest powerspikes in lane. Aatrox has one of the best 1v1 ultimates in the game. The huge boost in offensive stats and healing allows you to dish out tons of damage on your opponent, and the bonus movement speed will allow you to catch them if they try running away. The bonus healing counts for all sources of healing, not just your own. This includes the Triumph rune, any items you have that provide healing such as Sundered Sky, and even healing from his allies (Soraka, Sona, Redemption, etc.)

A good thing to note is that fighting multiple enemies without your ult makes you quite vulnerable without the extra boost. Unless you're fed, it can be easy to burst an Aatrox out of his ultimate. Though it's cooldown gets quite low later into the game, you need to be aware of the right time to use it (securing a kill in a 1v1/turning it around, outplaying/escaping a gank, fighting for an objective, attempting to 1v9 in the sidelane and become the World Ender yourself lol). A lot of aatrox's late-game teamfighting power comes from the power in his ult due to the massive amount of stats it gives, so plan its usage accordingly.
Combos
In this section I'll be going over some basic and advanced Aatrox combos you can utilize in-game. It may take many hours to get the hang of things so don't fret if you don't get it the first time. A good tip to use is to try your best to weave auto attacks in between each cast of your Q for maximum damage output.

Auto->E->Auto Basic auto attack cancel.

Q1->W->Q2+E->Auto->Q3->Auto One of your bread-and-butter combos. This one is great since as long as you cast W immediately after Q1, you will land the rest.

E+W->Q1->Q2->Potential Q3 Follow-Up The E+W combo is great for catching far opponents or even catch those that are trying to escape. This clip shows Aatrox landing a Q3 + Passive Auto in the case of the enemy (tragically) trying to fight back at point blank range. In most cases you will NOT land the Q3 sweetspot after your Q2.

Q1->Q2 (Stand still) Not a true combo, but more of a mind game tool for you to utilize. Many opponents after getting hit by Q1 or dodging it will walk forward/dash into you to dodge your Q2+E. If you Q2 without the E, the enemy will get hit by it. This is great for discouraging enemies from engaging on you too hard.

Passive Auto->Q1+E(Backwards)->Q2->Q3 The Passive Auto in this combo is optional, but it can be used if autoing from a safe distance. I would like to put more emphasis on the Q1+E backwards, as this is great for kiting opponents into a full combo if spaced correctly. This is one of those examples where you can get creative with your Q1+E if you know your opponent will walk forward during your Q1 cast.

W->Q1+E->Q2->Auto->Q3+Flash Starting a combo off with W alone is a viable option. As long as you can track the opponent with Q1+E to prevent them from escaping you will come out on top. The Q3+Flash usage in this clip shows what to do in order to secure a kill in this situation.

Obviously not every situation will make each of these combos viable, and not every combo is shown here. These are just insights on what Aatrox is capable of when using his abilities together.
Laning Phase
Aatrox has one of the weakest level 1's in the game (though you can put yourself at an HP advantage in certain matchups early on if the enemy plays too aggressive or you're one of those few matchups where your level 1 is stronger [Sion, for example]). We'll have to allow the enemy to push the wave into us most of the time so that we can safely farm up to level 4.

Into harder matchups where walking up to the first wave is not an option, I like to employ a nice little strat in order to CS the first 3 minions. You can purposely miss your Q1 (not hitting anything, not even the wave) and then proceed to use your Q2 sweetspot to farm the first 3 melee minions. This 100% secures you the 3 minions and allows you to stay at a safe distance when you can't usually just walk up to auto attack minions.

Once we hit level 4, Aatrox's damage will get quite a boost, and he'll have the tools available to better combo his Qs. This gives Aatrox a big boost in laning power and trading. If we land our Qs onto the enemy we'll put ourselves at a large adavantage due to our high damage output and sustain. This is the moment in which you'll have to decide whether you opponent gets to farm/play the lane for free or not. Confidence is key when playing Aatrox, but remember that patience is important as well. We can mind game our opponent after using our Q1 by holding our Q2 for a bit to scare them off or trick them into thinking it is on cooldown.

Aatrox's next powerspike is at level 6, when he has access to World Ender. Depending on the circumstances we can force a fight 1v1 with our ultimate, or even fight back if the opponent is forcing themselves. Aatrox's level 6 is not to be underestimated, but keep in mind that we still need to hit our skillshots in order to maximize damage.

Aatrox's next biggest powerspikes is either at level 9, when he gets his max-ranked Q, or his first completed item. Both of these spikes boosts his damage greatly and reduces his Q's cooldown to a very short period. Once you're at this point and not behind, you'll find it much easier for yourself to dish out damage more consistently with less punishment for whiffing.
Conclusion
Thank you for checking out my Season 14 Aatrox guide! If you have any tips, questions, or insights relating to the champion feel free to leave a comment. Good luck on the rift, Summoners!
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League of Legends Build Guide Author AWierdShoe
AWierdShoe Aatrox Guide
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[SEASON 14] AATROX: THE DARKIN BLADE

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