Champion Spotlight

By David 'Phreak' Turley [1]

Aatrox Champion Spotlight06:02

Aatrox Champion Spotlight

Learn how to dominate top lane through damage-heavy exchanges and potent Blood Thirst.png life steal in the Aatrox Aatrox Champion Spotlight.

Aatrox's combination of Dark Flight.png mobility and Blood Well.png survivability enables a hyper-aggressive playstyle, punctuated by brazen dives and daring escapes. He excels at relentlessly pushing lanes, relying on his Dark Flight.png Dark Flight and Blood Well.png Blood Well to evade incoming ganks. In team fights, Aatrox's mobility takes on a more offensive bent, allowing him to dive past tanks onto valuable back line targets.

Learn how to Massacre.png Massacre your enemies with Aatrox in the Champion Spotlight, where we'll sample the Darkin Blade's tactics, masteries, and more.

Recommended Items

Summoner's Rift
Starting Doran's Blade item Health Potion item Warding Totem item
Early Boots of Speed item Tiamat item Vampiric Scepter item
Essential Ninja Tabi item Blade of the Ruined King item The Black Cleaver item
Offensive Trinity Force item Ravenous Hydra item Phantom Dancer item
Defensive Randuin's Omen item Death's Dance item Titanic Hydra item
Consumables Health Potion item Control Ward item Elixir of Wrath item
Summoner's Rift (Jungler)
Starting Hunter's Machete item Refillable Potion item Warding Totem item
Early Boots of Speed item Stalker's Blade item Recurve Bow item
Essential Ninja Tabi item Stalker's Blade (Bloodrazor) item Blade of the Ruined King item
Offensive Ravenous Hydra item Death's Dance item The Black Cleaver item
Defensive Spirit Visage item Maw of Malmortius item Randuin's Omen item
Consumables Health Potion item Control Ward item Elixir of Wrath item
Twisted Treeline
Starting Boots of Speed item Doran's Blade item Health Potion item2
Essential Ninja Tabi item Blade of the Ruined King item The Black Cleaver item
Offensive Youmuu's Ghostblade item Ravenous Hydra item The Bloodthirster item
Defensive Spirit Visage item Maw of Malmortius item Randuin's Omen item
Consumables Health Potion item Elixir of Wrath item
Twisted Treeline (Jungler)
Starting Hunter's Machete item Hunter's Talisman item Health Potion item3
Essential Ninja Tabi item Blade of the Ruined King item The Black Cleaver item
Offensive Youmuu's Ghostblade item Ravenous Hydra item The Bloodthirster item
Defensive Spirit Visage item Maw of Malmortius item Randuin's Omen item
Consumables Health Potion item Elixir of Wrath item
Howling Abyss
Starting Guardian's Horn item Boots of Speed item Health Potion item3
Essential Ravenous Hydra item Dead Man's Plate item Ninja Tabi item
Offensive The Bloodthirster item Death's Dance item Phantom Dancer item
Defensive Randuin's Omen item Spirit Visage item Maw of Malmortius item
Consumables Oracle's Extract item Health Potion item Elixir of Wrath item


Playing As Aatrox Aatrox
  • Avoid engaging in a fight with low health unless your Blood Well.png Blood Well has at least 3 or 4 stacks, so you can activate it quickly in order to revive.
  • Massacre.png Massacre can be used to activate your passive for quick reactive revives.
  • The extra range granted by Massacre.png Massacre allows you to kite melee enemies as well as stay in attack range of ranged targets by orbwalking.
  • The damage from Massacre.png Massacre is very high for an ultimate at levels 6 and 11, abuse these powerspikes for easy kills early game.
  • You do not always need to use your Blood Well.png Blood Well early game. If you think you will die and gain nothing out of the revive, simply allow yourself to die so that your Blood Well.png Blood Welldoesn't go on cooldown for no reason. Blood Well.png Blood Well revive can be more valuable in the long run than the enemy getting 300g.
  • Use your Blades of Torment.png Blades of Torment to guarantee landing Dark Flight.png Dark Flight's knockup.
  • It is possible to land Dark Flight.png Dark Flight reliably with no setup, however it takes a lot of practice.
  • Your Blood Price.png Blood Price / Blood Thirst.png Blood Thirst persists through the passive revive, the stacks are not reset.
  • In lane, it is best to save Blood Price.png Blood Price attacks for opposing champions than on minions, especially when the opponents are keeping tabs on you.
Playing Against Aatrox Aatrox
  • Aatrox's Hell Bent passive grants him increased attack speed and attack damage when his Blood Well.png Blood Well is full, avoid fighting him during this effect and you will have a large advantage in terms of dps.
  • Killing Aatrox while his Blood Well is empty or on cooldown will actually kill him.
  • When Aatrox's blood well is off cooldown and full, he gains the visual effect of Guardian Angel item.png Guardian Angel.
  • When Aatrox casts Dark Flight.png Dark Flight towards your location, avoid being knocked up by moving away from the center of impact.
  • A good Aatrox will Slow icon slow you with Blades of Torment.png Blades of Torment to guarantee landing Dark Flight.png Dark Flight's knockup. Respect Dark Flight.png Dark Flight and Blades of Torment.png Blades of Torment's range if Aatrox is strong enough to engage you.
  • Aatrox is auto attack reliant for most of his damage and 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.
  • Grievous Wounds icon Grievous Wounds reduces healing from Blood Thirst.png Blood Thirst. This is essential in executing any Aatrox that can't be bursted down. {ii|Thornmail}} is ideal for this.
  • You can disrupt Aatrox Aatrox's Dark Flight.png Dark Flight with any Airborne icon displacing ability, so prepare such an ability for when he wants to engage.
Playing with Aatrox Aatrox
  • Aatrox can function similarly to an ADC at times, so lending him a supporting hand can help him pop off hard.
  • Slowing or stunning an enemy will guarantee Aatrox's Dark Flight.png Dark Flight.
  • Mikael's Crucible item.png Mikael's Crucible can be exceptionally strong when used to mitigate cc on Aatrox as Aatrox's survivabilty and damage is entirely linked to his ability to auto attack.
  • Pay attention to his Blood Well.png Blood Well stacks to determine how ready to fight he is.
  • Remember to ping if the enemy jungler might be near him. As Dark Flight.png Dark Flight is his only escape tool, he is susceptible to ganks when he pushes lane too far.


Blood Well.png Blood Well (Innate)
  • Just because you have a revive doesn’t mean you should use it.
    • Aatrox doesn’t aim to ‘get killed’, If you die you aren’t dealing damage, which is the point of the champion. This is more of a free guardian angel which allows you to play offensively than something you should rely on defensively.
    • Dealing damage to enemy champions or jungle monsters will stop Blood Well.png Blood Well from decaying during Hell Bent. Blood Well.png Blood Well Will not decay if it isn't full and you are in combat.
Dark Flight.png Dark Flight (Q)
  • Should be used both offensively and defensively
    • Be careful how it is used offensively, as it is also your only escape.
  • It is not necessary to land this for the damage and Airborne icon knock-up, as it is primarily used for an engage to get into range. The damage and Airborne icon knock-up are a bonuses.
    • Because of this, it is not as much necessary to rank this ability up. Compared to other abilities in his kit, the cooldown reduction he attains by ranking this ability is not much of a priority.
    • The damage does not change whether you hit them with the center or the outer ring of the AoE zone.
    • There are scenarios where landing the knockup is crucial, but most of the time you just need to gapclose or escape with it.
  • If you can get in auto attack range without using Dark Flight.png Dark Flight and without taking much damage this can guarantee kills on targets with a lot of mobility.
  • Aatrox's mobility is actually very low outside of his Dark Flight.png Dark Flight
    • Only displacement cc will cancel it, so be sure to save it for use after knockups
    • Use Dark Flight.png Dark Flight to jump over walls for a sneaky engage or to escape from the enemy.
  • Dark Flight.png Dark Flight->flash does not work like Gragas Gragas's Body Slam.png Body Slam->flash, you will need to flash first if you need more range.
Blood Price.png Blood Price (W)
  • When you all in do not aim to out sustain their damage, kill them with this.
  • In teamfights it may beneficial to use Blood Thirst.png Blood Thirst isntead, until fighting a carry that needs bursting down.
Blood Thirst.png Blood Thirst (W)
  • Use this to recover hp when out of combat with enemy champions.
Blades of Torment.png Blades of Torment (E)
  • Use this on the enemy laner right before you attempt to trade auto attacks with them, the slow will make it difficult for them to return damage as it makes pathing through minions very difficult.
  • Do not use this ability as harass.
    • Against ranged hit them with it right after they auto attack you. Because minions will aggro to the enemy champion when they auto attack you, this will result in them taking more damage as they are forced to stay in range of the minions for a longer period of time and minions are able to chase them easily.
    • Using it in a wanton fashion will result in the wave slowly pushing towards the enemy turret, which may put you in an extremely vulnerable position to the enemy jungler.
  • There are a few ways this is used to lock down a target
    • To keep them in range of your Massacre.png Massacre
    • To guarantee the hit of Dark Flight.png Dark Flight
    • Self peel/disengage
Massacre.png Massacre (R)
  • You can R->flash to have your damage happen instantly at the end location
  • Orb walk when using the bonus range to reduce damage from melee champions and to stay in range of ranged champions.


  • Hell Bent’s active effect now refreshes upon taking jungle minion damage, maintain Hell Bent’s effects between camps by pulling the camp you’re currently fighting towards the next one between auto attacks.
  • Use Blood Price.png Blood Price to fill up your passive as soon as possible vs jungle monsters for the increased attack speed and damage boost, rather than just keeping Blood Thirst.png Blood Thirst on all the time to maintain a higher % hp.
  • When ganking, do this:
    • Get as close to the enemy laner as possible while taking as little damage as possible.
    • Attempt to land Blades of Torment.png Blades of Torment while closing the gap.
    • If they have summoner flash hold onto Dark Flight.png Dark Flight if you can get in range to auto attack them.


Fervor of Battle mastery 2016.png Fervor of Battle
  • This is probably the best keystone on Aatrox Aatrox
    • It increases the damage on all of his spells but his ultimate, and because he is auto attack based he stacks and uses it all the time.
Grasp of the Undying mastery 2016.png Grasp of the Undying
  • This isn't a terrible choice, but is flat out worse than Fervor of Battle mastery 2016.png Fervor of Battle. Aatrox foremost is not in need of the extra burst and sustain, as he has enough of them in his kit already.
Thunderlord's Decree mastery 2016.png Thunderlord's Decree
  • Can be used in more burst focused builds to function more like an assassin than a fighter.

Item Usage (Outdated)

  • Attack speed is a significant stat on Aatrox. It will benefit not only his damage, but also his healing from both Life Steal and Blood Thirst.png Blood Thirst.
    • Blade of the Ruined King item.png Blade of the Ruined King is one of Aatrox's core items. It grants attack damage, attack speed, and life steal, in addition to its health-shred passive and active slow. The passive also synergizes with Massacre.png Massacre's bonus attack speed.
    • Another good item on Aatrox is Titanic Hydra item.png Titanic Hydra, but mostly if needed to clear the jungle or being built with other health items. The splash damage complements Aatrox's single-target damage and the health gives him more durability.
    • Guinsoo's Rageblade item.png Guinsoo's Rageblade works very well on Aatrox. When fully stacked, it will allow him to trigger Blood Thirst.png Blood Thirst/Blood Price.png Blood Price once every two attacks and also grants attack speed and attack damage.
  • Defensive health items synergize well with the % health revive of Blood Well.png Blood Well.
    • Spirit Visage item.png Spirit Visage grants lots of health and magic resistance. It also decreases the cooldowns of your abilities and increases your healing from all sources: life steal, Blood Price.png Blood Price and even Blood Well.png Blood Well.
    • Randuin's Omen item.png Randuin's Omen grants bonus armor, health, and critical hit resistance. It also allows you to slow surrounding enemies, allowing you to land a few more attacks. The slow from Randuin's Omen item.png Randuin's Omen and Blades of Torment.png Blades of Torment will allow you to near-root enemies hit for around 2~3 seconds.
    • Frozen Mallet item.png Frozen Mallet will allow you to stick to your targets. Even if your enemies attempt to blink away, you can hit them with Blades of Torment.png Blades of Torment or just increase your attack range with Massacre.png Massacre. The extended attacks still count as melee, so it might help catch fleeing opponents. Frozen Mallet item.png Frozen Mallet also grants some bonus damage and greatly increases health, allowing you to survive for longer and increasing damage from Titanic Hydra item.png Titanic Hydra. However, it doesn't grant any other defensive stats as armor or magic resistance.
  • Ravenous Hydra item.png Ravenous Hydra will allow Aatrox to deal lots of damage as it grants bonus attack damage. It also grants bonus life steal and increases already high area of effect damage.
  • When damage-oriented, Death's Dance item.png Death's Dance might be pretty good, as it will allow you to reduce incoming damage and heal from all your abilities. It also grants you some form of life steal and lots of attack damage.


  • Jax Jax can block Aatrox's auto attacks with his Counter Strike.png Counter Strike and stun him, making it easy for the Grandmaster to burst him down in a 1v1 situation.
  • Malphite Malphite seems to be an excellent counter for Aatrox. He gains lots of armor from Brutal Strikes.png Brutal Strikes, plus his abilities scale with armor and he can greatly reduce Aatrox's attack speed, all while granting a very useful ultimate for his team. Massacre.png Massacre can also negate the attack speed reduction from Ground Slam.png Ground Slam, so the 1v1 matchup is probably still in Aatrox's favor.
  • Renekton Renekton can out-DPS and out-tank Aatrox in the early game. If Renekton Renekton gets ahead in the laning phase, the chances of overcoming this lane bully is small.