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< Aatrox

Champion Background Strategy Skins & Trivia


Aatrox is a basic attack dependent melee champion who excels as a duelist and team fighter. His built-in sustain and escape mechanics make him an ideal fit for top lane.

Top lane

The sustain from Blood Thirst keeps Aatrox’s health topped off, allowing him to farm throughout the laning phase. Aatrox excels as a duelist, able to switch to Blood Price for heavy burst damage when trading with his lane opponent. After the exchange, Aatrox can toggle back to Blood Thirst to top off his health. When he’s ready to finish the job, Massacre adds significantly to an already potent burst combo.

If the lane isn’t going Aatrox’s way, the knock-up effect from Dark Flight can be used to set up ganks for his jungler. Or, if Aatrox has bullied his enemy out of lane, he can push aggressively, safe in the knowledge that the disengage from Dark Flight and Blades of Torment’s slow will aid his escape when enemies come charging. Even when things go totally wrong, Blood Well offers a second chance to secure kills or make a quick exit.


Aatrox’s mobility gives him an innate ability to pressure enemy carries in team fights. Blood Thirst grants Aatrox plenty of sustain as he tangos with enemy initiators and tanks. When he sees an opportunity to reach an enemy carry, Dark Flight closes the gap and allows the punishment to begin. When Aatrox is in deep, the area of effect burst and extra range from Massacre, and slow on Blades of Torment prevent high-value targets from escaping. All the while the consistent healing from Blood Thirst and resurrection effect from Blood Well keep him alive long enough to cut through enemy squishies.

If Aatrox’s team is on the defensive, a well-aimed Blades of Torment can slow multiple enemies and open a window for retreating allies to slip away. Alternately, he can kite enemies with Dark Flight, and create an opportunity for the remainder of his team to turn and counter-initiate. If Aatrox is focused, Blood Thirst’s sustain and the Blood Well keep him in the fight, giving his teammates an opportunity to cut through foes as he resurrects and delivers the killing blow.

Ability usage

  • Whether playing in lane or in the jungle, it is recommended that you level your Blades of Torment.png Blades of Torment first as the increased slow time as well as the powerful, ranged, magic damage offers more per skill point than any of AatroxSquare.png Aatrox's other skills.
    • It may seem appealing to maximize Blood Thirst.png Blood Thirst first for additional sustain, however the amount healed only goes up by 10 base with each skill point (roughly 3.3 health per attack)
  • The attack speed from Blood Well.png Blood Well is one of the most underutilized parts of AatroxSquare.png Aatrox's kit, be sure to keep your Blood Well.png Blood Well full, regardless of whether or not the revive is on cooldown.
  • It is important to remember that Blood Thirst.png Blood Thirst and Blood Price.png Blood Price can be switch between at any time. Meaning you can charge the heal in Blood Thirst.png Blood Thirst then switch to Blood Price.png Blood Price to instead use it for damage.
    • Switch to Blood Price.png Blood Price for early game harass against other melee champions. On the other hand, switching to Blood Thirst.png Blood Thirst and getting one last heal can mean the difference between life and death when running from foes.
  • Dark Flight.png Dark Flight can be used as both an initiation move and a disengage, but be aware that AatroxSquare.png Aatrox is still vulnerable to crowd controls, such as stuns and knockups.
    • Dark Flight.png Dark Flight has a very fast movement time and can be used to quickly jump over smaller walls to escape pursuers or chase down enemies who have recently used Flash.png Flash or other blinks such as Arcane Shift.png Arcane Shift
  • Blades of Torment.png Blades of Torment and Dark Flight.png Dark Flight have some synergy with each other.
    • Using Blades of Torment.png Blades of Torment first can allow you to get in a few hits and hopefully force an enemy to attempt an escape, after which you can follow up with Dark Flight.png Dark Flight for further punishment. Reversing the skill order will achieve the same effect but not with the same efficiency - Dark Flight.png Dark Flight has a longer cooldown and is a "harder" form of crowd control, thus encouraging more efficient use.
    • Additionally, the slow from Blades of Torment.png Blades of Torment makes landing dark flight's knock-up easier by reducing the enemy's ability to dodge it
  • Try following the bonus damage from your Blood Price.png Blood Price immediately with Massacre.png Massacre after you engage for the quickest burst of damage. A full combo would be readying your Blood Price.png Blood Price, engage with Blades of Torment.png Blades of Torment followed by Dark Flight.png Dark Flight, proc Blood Price.png Blood Price bonus damage, then activate Massacre.png Massacre to deliver a burst of damage.
  • Be aware that both Blades of Torment.png Blades of Torment and Dark Flight.png Dark Flight briefly interrupt Aatrox's movement.
    • When trying to disengage, it's good to use Blades of Torment.png Blades of Torment first (since it has a longer range and a shorter cast animation) followed immediately by Dark Flight.png Dark Flight (since it has a shorter range and a longer cast animation).
  • With enough life steal, AatroxSquare.png Aatrox can leave Blood Price.png Blood Price on indefinitely, as the amount of damage he takes every third strike is negated by the life steal.
  • Massacre.png Massacre has a huge variety of uses and a relatively short cooldown, so don't be afraid to use it for as many of these as possible
    • One use of Massacre.png Massacre is for heavy burst damage as explained above.
    • Another use of Massacre.png Massacre is to grant yourself additional attack speed for pushing down towers.

Item usage

  • AatroxSquare.png Aatrox is a melee fighter who specializes in strong initiation and in-fight sustain. Because of the diversity in AatroxSquare.png Aatrox's kit, he can quite effectively build two different ways: Damage or Tank.
  • Using Elixir of Iron item.png Elixir of Iron and Massacre.png Massacre together,will provide a incredible 406 attack range,making it possible to hit melee champions from even farther,as well granting tenacity and the bonus move speed for your allies.
  • Aatrox benefits from life steal since it allows him to negate the health loss from his abilities.
  • Trinity Force item.png Trinity Force provides many valuable stats to AatroxSquare.png Aatrox, giving movement speed, attack speed, health, attack damage, and a Phage item.png Phage movement speed bonus on-hit .
    • Make sure to utilize the procs of Trinity Force properly or the breadth of mediocre stats it provides will be less effective than an item more focused on a single stat.
  • Youmuu's Ghostblade item.png Youmuu's Ghostblade is especially useful once you fall below half health, as the bonus attack speed combined with the tripled healing from Blood Thirst.png Blood Thirst makes you very hard to kill, even without your revive passive.
    • For the same reason, Sword of the Divine item.png Sword of the Divine can be used, although it is relatively cost inefficient.
  • Aatrox can use all 3 armor penetration items effectively (Last Whisper item.png Last Whisper, The Black Cleaver item.png The Black Cleaver and Youmuu's Ghostblade item.png Youmuu's Ghostblade). The choice depends on whether or not you need armor penetration early, and also whether or not your enemies are focusing on armor.
    • If you predict that your enemies are likely to get high amounts of armor, it is best to get Last Whisper item.png Last Whisper during mid-game, helping you transition into your late-game phase better due to the high armor penetration and low cost.
    • If you feel that you need armor penetration more early, or that you need cooldown reduction, getting a The Brutalizer item.png The Brutalizer is a good idea. It can later be upgraded into a The Black Cleaver item.png The Black Cleaver, which offers high armor penetration and some useful health, or Youmuu's Ghostblade item.png Youmuu's Ghostblade which offers a passive that synergizes fantastically with Aatrox, as well as some critical strike chance.
  • Zephyr item.png Zephyr gives off great offensive stats, and the tenacity is good if not getting Mercury's Treads item.png Mercury's Treads.
  • Sunfire Cape item.png Sunfire Cape's passive will allow AatroxSquare.png Aatrox to deal mixed damage, forcing enemies to itemize on some magic resist as well as armor.
  • Randuin's Omen item.png Randuin's Omen helps soak up damage in team fights and helps you survive long enough to take out high priority targets and the active slow helps catch running enemies.
  • Spirit Visage item.png Spirit Visage in conjunction with Ravenous Hydra item.png Ravenous Hydra results in fast healing due to the increased healing effects of Spirits Visage and the AoE life steal from Hydra. It also sync well with his Passive and Blood thirst as it also increases their healing.
  • Frozen Mallet item.png Frozen Mallet is also a good choice since it provides 700 bonus health and an on-hit slow.
  • Guardian Angel item.png Guardian Angel is equivalent to a second Blood Well.png Blood Well; they both revive AatroxSquare.png Aatrox after death. This gives more survivability and allows for more opportunities to finish off targets.
  • An early Hexdrinker item.png Hexdrinker is primarily to counter laning opponents dealing mostly magic damage. Additionally, the active shield can save AatroxSquare.png Aatrox from an otherwise untimely death.

Recommended Items

Summoner's Rift
Starting Doran's Blade item Health Potion item Item
Essential Ninja Tabi item Spectre's Cowl Blade of the Ruined King item
Offensive Ravenous Hydra item Maw of Malmortius item Last Whisper item
Defensive Randuin's Omen item Spirit Visage item Guardian Angel item
Consumables Health Potion item Sight Ward item Vision Ward item Elixir of Wrath item
The Howling Abyss
Starting Doran's Blade item Boots of Speed item Health Potion item3 Cloth Armor item
Essential Blade of the Ruined King item Ninja Tabi item Zephyr item
Offensive Youmuu's Ghostblade item Ravenous Hydra item Sanguine Blade item
Defensive Spirit Visage item Maw of Malmortius item Randuin's Omen item
Consumables Health Potion item Elixir of Fortitude item
The Crystal Scar
Starting Prospector's Blade item Boots of Speed item Health Potion item2
Essential Ninja Tabi item Sanguine Blade item Blade of the Ruined King item
Offensive Youmuu's Ghostblade item Ravenous Hydra item Entropy item
Defensive Spirit Visage item Maw of Malmortius item Randuin's Omen item
Consumables Health Potion item
The Twisted Treeline
Starting Doran's Blade item Boots of Speed item
Essential Blade of the Ruined King item Ninja Tabi item Zephyr item
Offensive Youmuu's Ghostblade item Ravenous Hydra item Sanguine Blade item
Defensive Spirit Visage item Maw of Malmortius item Randuin's Omen item
Consumables Health Potion item


  • When AatroxSquare.png Aatrox takes fatal damage he is healed for the amount currently in his resource bar. Landing a fatal blow on him while the resource bar is low will result in him reviving with a lower amount of health.
    • Unlike other reviving champions, AatroxSquare.png Aatrox's Blood Well.png Blood Well revive is rapid and grants him invulnerability during this time which allows him to quickly re-join a team fight after being dropped to critical health.
    • When fighting him, consider his resource bar as part of his own health. (For example, killing him with a full Blood Well.png Blood Well will make him return with a large portion of his hitpoints and if the fight was closely matched, he will most likely kill you.)
    • Be aware that his passive (after reviving) doesn't provide any attackspeed anymore, because he consumes all the blood within it and be sure to look if he got the Blood Thirst/Blood Price buff while reviving.
  • Aatrox's main weakness early game is being bursted down, as he is naturally squishy, and that's the reason why he should build tanky during mid and late game. If you use a champion who can burst down Aatrox, the healing will be innefective, as Aatrox will lose too much health in a short period of time to be able to heal though the damage. This is especially dangerous for Aatrox if he already lost his passive.
    • Because of this, assassins or champions with amazing early game damage, like RivenSquare.png Riven and PantheonSquare.png Pantheon, are effective counters to Aatrox. They can dish out a lot of damage against Aatrox, and then zone him from farming, since he relies on auto-attacking to heal himself.
    • Once Aatrox starts to get tanky items, these counters lose effectiveness, as Aatrox can no longer be bursted. At this point, only champions that have superior sustained damage, such as JaxSquare.png Jax or WarwickSquare.png Warwick, can duel Aatrox.
  • When AatroxSquare.png Aatrox casts Dark Flight.png Dark Flight towards your location, avoid being knocked up by moving away from the center of impact.
    • Most players will aim the ability right above you or right behind you. So, moving closer to Aatrox at the time he casts Dark Flight.png Dark Flight will likely make the skill miss you.
  • In lane, zoning AatroxSquare.png Aatrox out of combat will quickly drain out his Blood Well.png Blood Well making him a much more vulnerable target.
  • While he can be built as a fighter, AatroxSquare.png Aatrox's stats and kit are similar to those of a melee ADC, like FioraSquare.png Fiora or MasterYiSquare.png Master Yi. These champions are devastating as long as they are able to attack, but are extremely vulnerable to crowd control, and while AatroxSquare.png Aatrox's Blood Well.png Blood Well helps him survive, he is no exception to the rule, as a well landed stun or snare can severely hinder his combat abilities.
    • In particular, not only his damage but his in-lane sustain are dependent on him auto-attacking. Champions with strong blinds like TeemoSquare.png Teemo or QuinnSquare.png Quinn will give him fits during laning.
  • Inflicting Grievous Wounds can reduce his healing from Blood Thirst.png Blood Thirst.
    • However, Grievous Wounds does not affect the health he regains from his AatroxSquare.png Aatrox's Blood Well.png Blood Well.
  • Without ability power (which likely won't be built), Massacre.png Massacre's initial damage is not a factor. The large attack speed and range bonus is a huge threat, but you don't have to worry about getting instantly burst-nuked by the activation.
    • The ability lasts long enough for most teamfights, but baiting AatroxSquare.png Aatrox into using the ability to commit to killing you before a fight breaks out will remove the strong threat the ability presents in a teamfight.
    • However, it's recommended you only do this if you are a very hard to kill or catch champion, such as LuluSquare.png Lulu, ZacSquare.png Zac, SingedSquare.png Singed, or KarmaSquare.png Karma.
  • Aatrox is auto attack reliant for not only his damage, but also his survivability. Reducing his attack speed by purchasing Randuin's Omen item.png Randuin's Omen or Frozen Heart item.png Frozen Heart can help reduce both of those components greatly.

Champion Spotlight

Aatrox Champion Spotlight06:02

Aatrox Champion Spotlight


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