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Aatrox Full Life Steal OR Aatrox Attack Speed...

Creator: Lasoor January 8, 2017 6:47pm
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Lasoor
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So I've been playing a lot of Aatrox lately and it is really difficult to tell what is optimal because there's so many different factors involved when it comes to building. I am not sure whether I should go full life steal or go attack speed with tank items.

The build I usually do is this:

+ + + + +

Okay so my thought process with this item build is I will have attack speed needed for sustain with my Stalker's Blade - Bloodrazor and Blade of the Ruined King. I'll get tenacity from Mercury's Treads so that CC doesn't last too long on me. And then after that I go full tanky items for the defensive stats and health so that I can take a lot of damage before I die. That way if I am CC'd or have trouble getting in range I don't just instantly die. I end with Frozen Mallet or sometimes other items depending on what I need, in this case it would be to help me stick on enemies.

Most people focus on life steal for Aatrox but the problem I noticed when I was trying it is he dies so insanely fast if he stops hitting the enemy even for a brief moment which is probably why no one plays Aatrox. It makes him weak against burst and CC while if you go tanky he does a lot of damage using his W and ultimate while also not dying quickly. But then he does considerably less damage overall. I'm just curious what everyone else's thoughts are on this.

I get Fervor of Battle keystone
Runes = 9 AD marks, 9 Armor Seals, 9 MR Glyphs, 3 AS Quints
Ekki
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Lasoor wrote:
So I've been playing a lot of Aatrox lately and it is really difficult to tell what is optimal because there's so many different factors involved when it comes to building because Aatrox sucks.
ftfy
Lasoor
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If Aatrox is really that bad then you'd think Riot would be buffing him in their next patch. As far as I know they aren't. I think Aatrox is a case of players just not understanding how to properly play him or build him and just being like "okay this champion sucks". The fact that Aatrox can easily 1v1 champions like Tryndamere, Darius, and Yasuo without having to do much to outplay at all tells me that he is a strong champion. And purpose of this thread is so I can better understand how he works not so people can diss the champion. I realize he has his issues, but he also has his strengths. If Aatrox was too trash to play there wouldn't be a Master elo 1-trick pony Aatrox main.
Vapora Dark
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No, Aatrox is legitimately bad. He used to be good but he was nerfed into unviability because he's too binary, the same reason WW was nerfed into his current state and they've both been ignored until their eventual reworks ( Warwick's being much sooner than Aatrox's probably).

There are Master Aatrox 1 trick ponies but there are 1 trick ponies of tons of different bad champions at high Elo, since a champion being bad doesn't negate someone being better than most of their competition even while playing at a handicap. But someone that's Master as an Aatrox OTP would be even higher ranked if they were equally good at a meta champion. Just like an ADC main getting to Master tier while never building Lord Dominik's Regards would be even higher Elo if they did build it.

He's still worth playing if you find him fun and personally find success with him (why I play Lucian and Tristana), but even if he's a little underrated it's hard to argue that the champion's actually good.
Lasoor
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Aatrox has strong gap closing, strong CC, and normally is focused on by the enemy team. Meaning thanks to his passive they have to kill him twice. All that combined with his sustain and damage makes him lead team fights to victory when he does what he's supposed to. I feel he is a lot more viable of a choice than many other champions people use more, however that's not really what this is about. I'm interested in what the optimal build for him would be and the reasoning for it.
Ekki
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Lasoor wrote:
If Aatrox is really that bad then you'd think Riot would be buffing him in their next patch.
That's not how the world nor Riot works. Every rioter that talked about him for the last months agrees that Aatrox sucks (I lost track of since when he has been a trash tier champion). They won't buff him for the same reason they won't buff Urgot or Galio. His kit sucks and would be unhealthy if balanced (or impossible to balance, I don't remember why they said he needs an update).

The rest of your first comment are even more anecdotical cases where you think Aatrox is good. There are master/challenger 1-tricks of every champion, no matter how much the champion sucks. That doesn't make the champion better, it just speaks of how savage the player is IN SPITE of the champion sucking.

Lasoor wrote:
Aatrox has strong gap closing, strong CC, and normally is focused on by the enemy team.
He has ONE telegraphed, short range gap closer that doubles as his only hard CC in a knockup. And a slow. That's NOT "strong gap closing, strong CC". Also "normally focused on by the enemy team" is not a measure of balance, especially given how that's affected by the elo in which you're playing (and if people know how to play around the passive it's not like being focused is a good thing).



He's just a cluster**** of a champion. He has a bunch of CC tools, a bunch of damage tools and a bunch of lifesteal tools. Not enough CC nor base damage to be a good tank, not enough damage to be an assassin and not enough lifesteal to be a "drain tank" like Warwick. You should probably test all 3 builds and see which one is better for your playstyle. Being a Warwick player it's natural that you preferred the drain tank fighter build. I would probably build him Bloodrazor + full tank (maybe with Titanic Hydra or Frozen Mallet) like Shyvana, and I guess you could go all damage + 1-2 defensive items like a Fiora. And do notice that he's just a worse version of those 3 champions I mentioned for each of his possible builds. It's what happens when a kit has too much different stuff going on.
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Actually **** Huap, a youtuber who tends to hate on Aatrox, made a video recently saying how he is actually pretty good as a jungle champion currently. Which is the role I play him in. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bir4VGivXR4&t=4s


Aatrox has a lot of issues and I won't deny that, but he has a lot of strengths too that rely on how you play him. He is a really strong duelist and a really strong early ganker. He can also 1v1 dragon at level 5 easily, probably even level 4 but I always do it after my first back. He has a fast jungle clear, will be stronger than most junglers early game, and late game is great at following up his team's tank to make the fight a win. He can also 1v1 Rift Herald if his team won't help him at around level 10 using his ult if he has life steal.

In the video **** Huap compares Aatrox to Xin Zhao, minus the issues Xin has. As a mastery 5 Aatrox and Xin Zhao player I do believe he is right.

Also the game play in the video is of a Master tier player fighting other, I'd assume, Master tier or Diamond tier players. Yet the strategies he is using are so easy to do and I've already found immense success using them in my elo. My first game I got 16 kills and I believe 3 deaths. Second game was 16 kills and 1 death. Third game was 16 kills and I think 6 deaths. I remember it because they all had 16 kills which I found cool.

Aatrox is also insanely good at split pushing because it is really difficult to stop him and he has very high attack speed that lets him destroy turrets quickly. If you try to 1v1 him he will likely win, he even counters split pushers like Tryndamere because he wins the 1v1. If you try to group up to kill him he can Q away and E to slow you or sometimes even win a 1v2 or 1v3 depending on how much CC his enemies have.

And yes I know every champion is going to have high elo 1-trick ponies, but if you watch this guy's replays he isn't doing anything spectacular. Most of what he is doing a high Silver or Gold player could also do on Aatrox. It doesn't take a lot of skill to use him. Just takes familiarity with his abilities and his limits as well as game knowledge, map awareness, and all that other stuff that isn't entirely specific to champions.


And ya I play Warwick which is why I tested items Warwick gets on Aatrox. But I also play full life steal Xin Zhao and Nocturne so it's not like builds like that are foreign to me.


I will say that I could be wrong, just like any of you could be wrong. Doesn't really matter to me though because I am mostly just playing Aatrox for Mastery 7 so I can say I got Mastery 7 on Aatrox :)

I'm still curious about the reasoning behind doing full life steal on him because I want a better understanding of the champion.
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His problem is not that he's bad (well, he is sorta bad but clearly not unplayable) but more so that there is always another champion doing the job better.

Lasoor wrote:
Aatrox has a lot of issues and I won't deny that, but he has a lot of strengths too that rely on how you play him. He is a really strong duelist and a really strong early ganker. He can also 1v1 dragon at level 5 easily, probably even level 4 but I always do it after my first back. He has a fast jungle clear, will be stronger than most junglers early game, and late game is great at following up his team's tank to make the fight a win. He can also 1v1 Rift Herald if his team won't help him at around level 10 using his ult if he has life steal.
i.e. like Shyvana, but worse.


Lasoor wrote:
In the video **** Huap compares Aatrox to Xin Zhao, minus the issues Xin has. As a mastery 5 Aatrox and Xin Zhao player I do believe he is right.
Mastery level means nothing. I'm a level 7 mastery Fizz with over 70k mastery points on him and I suck right now because I played him tank top or jungle. Even worse, mastery 5 is literally only a testament of having played around 30 games with a champion. Around 40 or more if you lost many games. And the comparison with Xin Zhao means nothing in the face of the comparison with Shyvana. Comparing Aatrox, a ****py champion, with Xin Zhao, who fell out of meta, is like comparing two turds and calling the less smelly "a nice perfume".

On a slightly tangential note, I do like ****'s videos but I haven't seen one in a couple of months. Might look that one later.


Lasoor wrote:
Also the game play in the video is of a Master tier player fighting other, I'd assume, Master tier or Diamond tier players. Yet the strategies he is using are so easy to do and I've already found immense success using them in my elo. My first game I got 16 kills and I believe 3 deaths. Second game was 16 kills and 1 death. Third game was 16 kills and I think 6 deaths. I remember it because they all had 16 kills which I found cool.
[...]
And yes I know every champion is going to have high elo 1-trick ponies, but if you watch this guy's replays he isn't doing anything spectacular. Most of what he is doing a high Silver or Gold player could also do on Aatrox. It doesn't take a lot of skill to use him. Just takes familiarity with his abilities and his limits as well as game knowledge, map awareness, and all that other stuff that isn't entirely specific to champions.
Great players are great when you don't know what they're doing that you're not doing. He might have great rotations, skillshot/cooldown awareness or just plainly good knowledge of Aatrox's limits. Then again, that doesn't mean the champ is good. The player could be good in spite of his shortcomings instead of because of his strenghts. He could have Challenger level mechanics. You're just assuming the option that better suits you and that makes for an awful argument.


Lasoor wrote:
If you try to group up to kill him he can Q away and E to slow you or sometimes even win a 1v2 or 1v3 depending on how much CC his enemies have.
A single displacement with no cast time easily counters his short range Q. Also, his Q is a short range jump with a long cast time. It's not a great mobility tool. In fact I would call it a ****py mobility tool.


Lasoor wrote:
And ya I play Warwick which is why I tested items Warwick gets on Aatrox. But I also play full life steal Xin Zhao and Nocturne so it's not like builds like that are foreign to me.

I will say that I could be wrong, just like any of you could be wrong. Doesn't really matter to me though because I am mostly just playing Aatrox for Mastery 7 so I can say I got Mastery 7 on Aatrox :)
Agreed.


Lasoor wrote:
I'm still curious about the reasoning behind doing full life steal on him because I want a better understanding of the champion.
I wouldn't call it a "full lifesteal" build. His W and a Blade of the Ruined King should provide enough lifesteal if you have enough resistances. Maybe you could try a risky Bloodthirster instead of the Frozen Mallet if you're fed or the game drags on for too long and your team lacks damage, but I doubt it would be what we call a "standard" build on him (it would be more of a "cheese" build).
Lasoor
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Lasoor
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Quoted:
The player could be good in spite of his shortcomings instead of because of his strenghts. He could have Challenger level mechanics. You're just assuming the option that better suits you and that makes for an awful argument.


Except that I clearly pointed out I'm not when I said:

Quoted:
Just takes familiarity with his abilities and his limits as well as game knowledge, map awareness, and all that other stuff that isn't entirely specific to champions.


Quoted:
Mastery level means nothing. I'm a level 7 mastery Fizz with over 70k mastery points on him and I suck right now because I played him tank top or jungle. Even worse, mastery 5 is literally only a testament of having played around 30 games with a champion.


Mastery level 5 means I have familiarity with the champions and therefore can agree on a comparison between the two. Also worth pointing out that I get S or S+ on almost every game with Xin Zhao and Aatrox.


Quoted:
A single displacement with no cast time easily counters his short range Q. Also, his Q is a short range jump with a long cast time. It's not a great mobility tool. In fact I would call it a ****py mobility tool.


His "short range Q" is used to follow up tanks in a team fight, not to start the engage. Meaning the enemy won't be using what they have on you because they won't know when you plan to go in. The cooldown isn't that long when you build CDR and the jump ability goes great with the long distance slow skill shot that is pretty easy to land on multiple people. The cast time on it is so fast that people don't even have time to react. I've never seen anyone come close to dodging it and only got knocked out of it twice in around 30 games. Only time I miss it is when it is my fault.

Quoted:
I wouldn't call it a "full lifesteal" build. His W and a Blade of the Ruined King should provide enough lifesteal if you have enough resistances.


Generally that just isn't true in a team fight because he is still weak to burst and CC forcing him to constantly rotate out and preventing him from healing off of enemies. All the resistances do is keep him from dying instantly so that he can keep using his abilities to help his team. Generally he is best when the focus isn't on him and when he uses his ultimate during that time. That is when you can see an Aatrox carry a game. Normally to keep focus off of me I do what I said already, I go in second or third instead of first. And I also often save my Q sometimes as an escape then go right back in.

And most people do go full lifesteal on Aatrox because his sustain ability isn't enough and what they like doing is using his damage ability instead, lifesteal allows that. I've noticed that his damage ability is normally only useful when he isn't being focused on, so it's basically useless in a team fight.





Another use I found for Aatrox is to intercept assassins in a team fight. He is really great at protecting the back line against any assassins. He can knock them up and quickly kill them before they can do anything to your squishy carries. So playing him as a carry body guard is sometimes what I do.
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