The Champion Aatrox is a meme amongst players for being one of the officially worst champions to have on your team in general. In modern league that was always the case, there is simply no reason why one would pick Aatrox over a comparable Champion. This is why everyone in the community was looking towards an Aatrox Rework, where all of the poor Skirmishers problems were supposed to be fixed.
What we got a few days ago will be known as one of the saddest moments in moba balance history.
Before we get to what can be considered as yet another shameful attempt of game balance fixing in League of Legends I wanna quickly go over the cases of Game Health for Aatrox prior and after the most recent Patch of 7.5. Because Aatrox can be proud to call himself a unique case of failed reworks as we have seen them in the past: Aatrox, to the current day, is the only champion in the gameto haved completely different problems prior and after the rework, yet both of his states can be considered to be of an unacceptable state of power level in the game in entirely different ways of designing mistakes.
Aatrox was, since the beginning of "modern LoL", an overall bad champion: He lacked utility, was lack-luster on every single one of his abilities and even managed to be outclassed in the one thing he was supposed to be good at by other champions (Warwick in this case). He became a meme amongst players for being one of the worst champions to pick for your team in all roles you could possibly play him. Therefore, there was not really a single member of the community that was not looking forward to a possible rework of this champion, as everybody was sure that the developers surely would not manage to make this entry of the possibly worst champion in the game in its current state even worse.
Ironic, as most of Aatrox' playerbase wishes the consistent passive or burst Heal on W back.
This isn't just about Aatrox. It is about Riot's balancing team overall and all of the numerous issues that ensue out of their designing philosophy and current behavior.
The first aspect of this "E-Sport-Game-Balance"-Tragicomedy is the nearly foolproofed obviousness of Aatrox In-Game problems when it comes to viability: It is easier to spot any kind of "okay" part in this champions kit that couldn't be easily improved by number tweaks or quality-of-life-buffs. Dark Flight is the possibly worst hard crowd control dashing ability in the entire game, with a previously high cooldown, bad damage scaling and foregoingly the unreal and frustrating inconsistency of the ability itself, consisting of the mindblowing 75-unit Epicenter "Knock-Up" radius of the ability (with no "Consolation price" for not hitting it, like a slow around the outer part of the epicenter radius) together with an entirely visible targeting indicator during the abnoxiously long cast time which can be interupted and negated entirely with any kind of displacement ability, returning not even partly reduced cooldown or health cost to Aatrox whatsoever. Blades of Torment, one of the blandest and most unsatisfiying abilities on any champion in my personal opinion, whcih has a chastening damage output together with the previously eye-popping 40% slow (that lead to Aatrox being titeled "a champion with great crowd controlling potential" in the Champion Spotlight), is unique in the fact that, together with a long cast time and a soporific traveling speed, it posesses a skill-shot shape that is useless in certain situations and grants the champion itself not a single advantage over having a traditional linear skill-shot instead. Massacre, sadly being one of the coolest abilities from an effect and "in-game usage" point-of-view, is outstanding in the fact that, compared to 2013's Riot rise of "pioneering cool abilities", like Thresh Lanterns or Zac Blobs for instance) it is outstanding in not a single factor whatsoever. Most of his problems however resulted from the combination of his overall bad base stats and his identity as being a champion that is supposed to thrive in the midst of battle, taking on armys of enemies without falling in the middle of the fight. Furtheron, the unfitting mix of exessive health costs on every ability but insufficient health regaining through his abilities made him establish himself as the fabeled "Paper-Man", maintaining his squishyness throughout most of the game without ever appearing durable through lifestealing or reviveing in an efficient fashion.
Possible forms of changes seemed obvious to nearly every single mentionable member of League's community. Quality of Life Buffs on Q, a more reliable sustain against multiple enemies within teamfights, less punishment on the passive's revive or an overall retune on his E ability seemed reasonable and perceivable to everyone. The Community of the Champion itself proposed numerous attempts to work together with Riot's designing team in order to adress this entombed and "iceboxed to staleness" issue of a champion.
As always, a certain self-confident Balancing Team made an "Ask Riot"-Post about a possible rework for the champion as a whole and then strictly ignored every single answer on the post itself and on the forums as well as subreddits.
This is the first and biggest issue outside of Aatrox' case, the mindset of firmly ignoring PBE test results and player feedback as well as serious advises against the viability of PBE Changes on live servers. The belief that any unfitting change can be simply reverted with a snap of a finger if it doesn't fit into the meta of this game, whereas every change to the game's balance can cause paralleless amounts of bad expirience in all queues of this fast-paced and constantly changing game, is something that simply is not qualified as a designing philosophy, especially for the "multi-million-dollar-company" of Riot Games. In other words, just 'cause you can change it later on in a hotfix or reversion if it doesn't fit (regardless of this fitting's extent), it doesn't legitimize arbitrary changes to champions or the other parts of the game.
Just because you are allowed to fuck up, it does not mean you have a license for integrating it into your designing philosophy.
Do you know what an apparently legit solution to Aatrox' Q problems are which were mentioned earlier? More damage, it seems, as you can see from 7.5.. The hotfix that went online a few hours ago also buffed the cooldown of the ability, which has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with any of the problems that are ruining this champion even further right now. The removal of the two only reliable parts in Aatrox' entire kit, huge amounts of permanent attackspeed and a revive, were exchanged for the probably clunkiest passive in all of League since a long time, a so-called "Window of Power", together with missing efficiency on the Blood Rush Buff itself (55% PERMANENT Attackspeed prior to the patch vs. extremly situational 4 SECONDS of 50% attackspeed after the patch) have sucessfully removed the last bit of self-confidence a player is expiriencing when playing this champion. Senseless, yet worsening, changes to other abilities like the Change of his E to physical damage from magic damage, the violation of designing standpoints within his gameplay fantasy, reasoned in his lore or background, such as no more Blood "Price" on Blood Price with the removal of its HP cost or seriously ridiculous designing decision like the now remaining useless
30 flat HP cost on Aatrox E
that legitimately serve
~No Purpose Whatsoever~
one Aatrox' state in the meta or his kit or the kit's problems make a casual player of this moba question the seriousness of Riot's Game Developers on an entirely new spectrum. It's the little things, like the overlapping on the naming of Aatrox' Passive's Blood Rush and Draven's W's Blood Rush that induce the impression of the lacking concentration that were spent in these probably twenty minutes of reworking a truely underpowered champion.
All in all, a confession is somewhat made by Riot that they once again messed up big time. A barrel of laughs together with spiteful tears are spilled by the community over the fact that Riot Games managed to screw up a lost champion into an even worse state, and that in 2k17. Personally, I will await the day a competent and interested group of game developers come together working on the first champion I was ever hyped for to be released back in the days of 2013. The Aatrox' tale of shameful balancing will continue over the next patches, I reckon, as always without the perspective of creating a champion that is fit of a so powerful thematic and backstory like him.
But our minds and sorrow should be supporting the true losers of this tragedy of a rework:
Hang in there.