Aatrox Build Guide by Sheathblade
World Ender Aatrox Jungle || Extensive GuideBy Sheathblade | Updated on July 16, 2020
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Runes: Most Effective Option
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Threats & Synergies
Kha's ultimate now doesn't allow him to be invisible 24/7.
Kayn's in between. His mobility and jg pathing is one of the best, but early, he doesn't have the dueling capabilities like Aatrox does.
Eve is very, very vulnerable pre-6, take advantage of this and counter jungle. Even after 6, she is still squishy, but she gains her ult powerspike.
If he is building tank, you have an easier time dealing with him than AP. This is usually the case, as your sustain is better than his sustain. However, be wary of your position; he can easily set up an ambush if he's decent in his combos.
Graves can easily burst you down if your not careful. Fight him with caution; he will most likely go nosing around in your jungle.
Hecarim just happens to be meta since he has the speed to gank every lane.
Ivern's different in that he can invade, and take camps at a blink of an eye. And if left unchecked, he's the best support a team needs to win. And don't underestimate Daisy either. Shut him down early, and make sure he's separated from his teammates. Very rare, since he doesn't have the playstyle that everyone likes.
Elise is squishy and is predictable in her ganks. You can exclusively try to counter gank her, since her abilities are telegraphed and easy to predict.
Would not recommend making contact with Warwick unless you are counterganking.
All depends on your level of skill and macroplay. Be able to predict where Lee might be going.
Rengar is strong because he has bushes to utilize his passive. You wouldn't want to duel him in the jungle.
With new Aatrox, it has become easier to fight Jax. Although rare in the jungle, you will still need to countergank, since he has more mobility than you.
J4 has some good CC and lockdown, and is overall more useful than Aatrox's CC. Make sure to shut him down early and countergank.
She is a great tank, and has innate boost in armor and magic resistance. Lots of great CC. You can duel her and win however.
Xin is pretty strong right now, since his level 2 dueling potential is off the charts. Would steer away from him if possible unless you have help.
Champion Build Guide
With over a million mastery points, and five seasons' worth of jungle Aatrox, I thought I would share some of my insight, some of my knowledge, to aspiring Aatrox junglers.
As of Patch 9.3, Aatrox jungle is most likely dead. Therefore, if you still wish to play him in the jungle, just know that Aatrox is even weaker than before, especially in the jungle.
Note that the items that I build in this guide are merely suggestions. Perhaps the enemy team is an early/mid-game comp, and they want to end early. In order to counter that, you might want to build tank items early, and save the damage items until later. Aatrox is a flexible champion in that he can optimize his build to certain situations.
While many of us Aatrox mains will want to feel at home with old Aatrox, the rework had to happen, one way or the other. With this in mind, let's keep going forward with the Aatrox we have now.
+ A great alternative to top lane.
+ You clear camps insanely fast with The Darkin Blade
+ Passive healing is insane early on, helps with sustaining in the jungle.
+ Your ganking tools are insane with Infernal Chains and the constant knockups from The Darkin Blade. Most likely will burn a flash (worst case scenario) if everything lands.
+ Very low ult cooldown
- You are slower than most junglers.
- May need a little practice with landing The Darkin Blade
- Very telegraphed ganks
- No on-command revive. This means you have to plan tower dives very carefully.
Let's talk abilities, shall we?
Passive: Deathbringer Stance
Aatrox's passive is very simple and straightforward. He will deal bonus 5-12% max health damage on his next auto attack, and heal off of that amount of damage. On large monsters, the damage is reduced to 100 HP. The passive cooldown can be reduced if Aatrox damages an enemy champion or a large monster with a spell or auto attack, and if he lands the sweet spot of The Darkin Blade.
Q: The Darkin Blade
Aatrox's Q is an AOE ability with 3 casts, similar to Riven's Broken Wings. This is his most bread and butter ability. The hitbox consists of two parts, the normal hitbox, and an inner hitbox I'd like to call the sweet spot. If any enemy gets hit at the sweet spot, they get knocked up and are dealt additional damage. The cooldown of this ability starts after your most recent Q cast. For example, if you cast Q1 and wait, you get the shorter cooldown, but you will reset that cooldown once casting Q2.
With each cast of his Q the sweet spot hitbox gets closer to Aatrox. This incentivizes you to get closer to the enemy, and position yourself into the right spot in order to land it. The Darkin Blade, which each cast, also roots you when casting, like Renekton's Ruthless Predator. However, his other abilities synergizes with his Q, which we will get to later.
W: Infernal Chains
Aatrox's W sends a projectile that, when it hits a champion or a large jungle monster, it creates a Viktor Gravity Field. If such a target is hit by Infernal Chains, they are slowed, and Infernal Chains creates a zone. If the target fails to leave the zone in a certain amount of time, they will be pulled back to the place of impact, or where Infernal Chains hit the target.
As you might tell, this ability is a great ganking tool. It allows to you cast your Q at the impact zone when you know the target isn't going to escape, guaranteeing a knockup. If the target has no movement abilities, they will have to burn Flash for their survival. It's also a good way to position yourself so that you can block out any exits that the target may have.
E: Umbral Dash
There are two parts to this ability. The passive portion is that he heals for a percentage of all damage he deals to champions, excluding damage-over-time damage, the only example being Ignite.
The active portion of it allows him to dash a short distance.
This is a very important ability for Aatrox. He can use Umbral Dash to reposition himself when casting The Darkin Blade, since it can be used in tandem.
R: World Ender
Aatrox's ultimate gives him increased size, bonus AD, bonus decaying movement speed on cast, and increased self-healing for 10 seconds. Additionally, he fears all enemy minions around him.
For the duration of World Ender, you slowly lose that extra movement speed. Getting a kill or an assist on an enemy champion will extend that duration by 5 seconds, fearing enemy minions again and refreshing the movement speed.
With this ult, you rely on having your team open up access for kills or assists in teamfights. Once you cast your ult, you have already committed to killing everything that's in front of you.
Regarding the basic abilities, you want to put all your points into your The Darkin Blade, as it's your only damaging ability. The Darkin Blade has insane damage, allowing to clear camps at a faster rate than old Aatrox.
I got Umbral Dash as my second ability and the ability to max second. Maxing E reduces cooldown, increases the healing you get. Also, at max rank, your E is on a 3 second cooldown, which is really useful for landing your Q.
I hope you realize that Smite is an essential tool for any jungler. Not taking Smite means that you are trolling or you aren't paying attention to your role.
Flash is an essential tool for any champion, save a few ( Shaco). It's more important on Aatrox solely because you can guarantee a knockup from your Q, and close gaps, as Aatrox is somewhat immobile.
Electrocute is by far the superior option in the jungle. In a meta that favors early game ganks and duels, Aatrox can easily win most of these duels. In one combo, Aatrox can easily proc Electrocute, dealing a significant amount of burst damage. In addition, Conqueror is pretty useless in ganks, as you will never ever be able to proc it when the enemy is either running away, or getting bursted by your combo.
Sudden Impact works all too well with your Umbral Dash, giving you more lethality when you gank. This is very useful in the early game. Cheap Shot is also a viable rune given that you can land your CC, but the lethality from Sudden Impact is too good to pass up.
In the second row, I take Eyeball Collection. It allows you to take advantage of the kills you got. Aatrox needs damage in order to be relevant, so this is a necessary pick.
I have taken Ravenous Hunter because it helps with your healing in the jungle, as well as dueling other junglers for objectives. Ultimate Hunter is alright, but not necessary because your ult will come back up in no time between teamfights.
I usually skip the first row of runes in favor of the next two rows.
In the second row, I take Legend: Alacrity. Personally, it helps me clear camps faster by auto attacking and getting that passive proc even faster. In addition, if you do run out of abilities to use, your auto attacks deal a decent amount of damage.
In the third row, I take Coup de Grace. It helps amp up your damage output to kill opponents that would otherwise live, had you not taken this rune. Last Stand is a decent option, however you are rarely going to be low on health in the jungle. If you are low on health, any meta jungler can burst whatever health you have left in an instant.
As for the Stat Shards, I go the attack speed rune, the damage rune, and an armor rune. The attack speed rune is helpful in that it helps to reduce your passive cooldown by auto attacking. In this way, your passive has a lot of uptime, allowing you to top off your health bar easily. I take the armor rune because it reduces damage from the jungle monsters, allowing you to stay healthy in the jungle.
Because Aatrox is a spell-oriented champion, Hunter's Talisman will give a lot more benefits than Hunter's Machete. Talisman will deal more damage than Machete with World Ender Aatrox.
Pretty much set in stone to get this.
Stalker's Blade will turn your Smite into a Blue Smite, in which you can now target enemy champions, slowing them down. This allows Aatrox to stick to the enemy, and reduce the kiting weakness that Aatrox possesses.
With new Aatrox, attack speed isn't a priority anymore, so Warrior will help increase damage with his Q, which will decrease the amount of time clearing camps.
Items after the Jungle Item:
I don't think we need to talk about boot options here. Boots are self-explanatory.
Youmuu's Ghostblade is a great item if you are ahead and want to snowball even further. It gives you passive movement speed, as well as an active that gives you even more movement speed, which makes it a perfect match with World Ender. In addition, your Q damage will be increased immensely due to the addition of lethality to your Q's.
Black Cleaver is great against tanks, who will undoubtedly build Bramble Vest, Ninja Tabi, and Frozen Heart in order to counter you. Black Cleaver shreds the armor that tanks will build, allowing you to deal more damage.
Death's Dance is a must-have item for Aatrox. It allows you to heal more, while distributing the damage you receive from the enemy champion into Bleed damage. This item is useful for dueling and not getting one-shot by an assassin, mage, etc.
This also compensates for your lack of healing against non-champions.
It gives you a ton of health and 50% more bonus damage. Once you lose a certain amount of health, you gain a big shield and more tenacity. With this, in combination with World Ender, Aatrox grows to a massive size comparable to Cho'Gath.
Lord Dominik's Regards
This is a last item alternative to Black Cleaver. If you feel like Black Cleaver isn't doing enough to scratch a tank, Lord Dominik's can help. It gives you a ton of armor penetration.
Guardian Angel gives you armor, AD, and a revive to boot. This is helpful if you want to compensate for the lack of revive until you get a kill or an assist.
Spirit Visage is the perfect defense item for Aatrox. It gives you health, magic resistance, cooldown reduction, more base health regeneration, and the most useful passive for Aatrox: your self-healing is increased by 30%. This means that your Umbral Dash passive healing is even stronger.
Randuin's Omen is a great all-around armor defense item. Great against ADC's like Tristana and Jhin, and it's great against other auto-attackers like Shyvana, Master Yi, and Jax. In addition, its active slows down people around you, allowing you to catch up to the enemy and keep landing The Darkin Blade.
Righteous Glory gives you not only armor and health, but a strong active that synergizes with World Ender. With the movement speed boosts from Nimbus Cloak, World Ender, and the Righteous Glory active, you'll be zooming into the enemy team.
If you can't beat them, join them! Thornmail is especially good against auto-attackers, since Thornmail will reduce their attack speed, and champions who heal and do physical damage, such as Warwick. Grievous Wounds isn't going away.
If you have a ton of health, armor, and magic resistance, Gargoyle Stoneplate is an excellent choice among your tank build. Perfect for tank Aatrox; he will dive in the middle of the enemy team, and when Stoneplate is activated, he will gain an enormous amount of health.
There's a neat trick with the active of this item, where if you do it correctly, you revive with over 50% of your health. The trick is this: Activate Stoneplate (it's better when there's 3 enemy champions). Then you ult, knowing that you will die. When you revive, you gain back more than the 50% HP that's described in his ultimate description. Since Stoneplate doubles your current HP whenever you have 3 enemies around, the revive will heal you 50% of your current HP, which basically means you heal 100% of your HP. This healing works in conjunction with Spirit Visage, which will allow you to heal past the 50% threshold.
With full Blood Well, Spirit Visage, and a Stoneplate active with 3 enemies around, you heal over 100% of your health. With a full Blood Well, Spirit Visage, and a Stoneplate active with less than 3 enemies, you heal just under 100%.
Here's a video of how to correctly use the Stoneplate interaction:
Once you are level 5, it is possible to solo dragon of any element, due to how low their health bars are.
I will update the video soon! Stay tuned!
Here's a video of one of the optimal paths for jungle Aatrox. I did this without a leash, but you get the point.
With World Ender Aatrox, you are incredibly slow and telegraphed. With this in mind, one option is to make sure to take note of where laners might have warded, either through constant observation of asking your teammate if it's warded. The other option is to predict the enemy jungler's movements, and play the counter-ganker. His W is a great tool for locking down champions, as if hit right, they either get pulled in, or burn a Flash. Hitting your Q's are essential to Aatrox's damage and relevance, as they are great sources of CC (knockups).
All the other stuff about jungling in general can be found under Virkayu's YouTube channel, in which he explains, in great detail, what a jungler must and must not do. The link to his channel is in the Helpful Links section.
If you have any questions about this guide, Aatrox, or me, you can comment or you can visit the Aatrox Mains Discord and Reddit!
The Aatrox Mains Reddit, but it's mostly on mourning the death of Old Aatrox.
It's a more focused group of New Aatrox players.
The Aatrox Mains Discord Link
In addition, you may find these jungling guides helpful:
Virkayu, a guy who knows his stuff about jungling
foxdrop, a Diamond Jungler in EUW, with old, but still relevant videos on jungling
I hope this guide has benefited you in some way, whether it be learning to play Aatrox in the jungle, or giving a guideline to being successful on Aatrox. Whatever it may be, I hope you win your games as Aatrox, or on the flipside, win your games against Aatrox jungle. Like war, only one side lives to tell the tale.
Don't hesitate, or it will mean death.