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Champion Spotlight

By David 'Phreak' Turley [1]

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

Aatrox's combination of Dark Flight mobility and Blood Well survivability enables a hyper-aggressive playstyle, punctuated by brazen dives and daring escapes. He excels at relentlessly pushing lanes, relying on his Dark Flight Dark Flight and Blood Well 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 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 24px 24px
Early 24px 24px 24px
Essential 24px 24px 24px
Offensive 24px 24px 24px
Defensive Randuin's Omen item 24px 24px
Consumables 24px 24px 24px
Summoner's Rift (Jungler)
Starting 24px 24px 24px
Early 24px 24px 24px
Essential 24px 24px 24px
Offensive 24px 24px 24px
Defensive 24px 24px Randuin's Omen item
Consumables 24px 24px 24px
Twisted Treeline
Starting 24px Doran's Blade item 24px2
Essential 24px 24px 24px
Offensive 24px 24px 24px
Defensive 24px 24px Randuin's Omen item
Consumables 24px 24px
Twisted Treeline (Jungler)
Starting 24px 24px 24px3
Essential 24px 24px 24px
Offensive 24px 24px 24px
Defensive 24px 24px Randuin's Omen item
Consumables 24px 24px
Howling Abyss
Starting 24px 24px 24px3
Essential 24px 24px 24px
Offensive 24px 24px 24px
Defensive Randuin's Omen item 24px 24px
Consumables 24px 24px 24px


Playing As AatroxSquare Aatrox
  • Avoid engaging in a fight with low health unless your Blood Well Blood Well has at least 3 or 4 stacks, so you can activate it quickly in order to revive.
  • Massacre Massacre can be used to activate your passive for quick reactive revives.
  • The extra range granted by Massacre Massacre allows you to kite melee enemies as well as stay in attack range of ranged targets by orbwalking.
  • The damage from Massacre 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 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 Blood Welldoesn't go on cooldown for no reason. Blood Well Blood Well revive can be more valuable in the long run than the enemy getting 300g.
  • Use your Blades of Torment Blades of Torment to guarantee landing Dark Flight Dark Flight's knockup.
  • It is possible to land Dark Flight Dark Flight reliably with no setup, however it takes a lot of practice.
  • Your Blood Price Blood Price / Blood Thirst Blood Thirst persists through the passive revive, the stacks are not reset.
  • In lane, it is best to save Blood Price Blood Price attacks for opposing champions than on minions, especially when the opponents are keeping tabs on you.
Playing Against AatroxSquare Aatrox
  • Aatrox's Hell Bent passive grants him increased attack speed and attack damage when his Blood Well 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 Guardian Angel.
  • When Aatrox casts Dark Flight 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 Blades of Torment to guarantee landing Dark Flight Dark Flight's knockup. Respect Dark Flight Dark Flight and Blades of Torment 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 Randuin's Omen or Frozen Heart Frozen Heart can help reduce both of those components greatly.
  • Grievous Wounds icon Grievous Wounds reduces healing from Blood Thirst Blood Thirst. This is essential in executing any Aatrox that can't be bursted down. Thornmail Thornmail is ideal for this.
  • You can disrupt AatroxSquare Aatrox's Dark Flight Dark Flight with any Airborne icon displacing ability, so prepare such an ability for when he wants to engage.
Playing with AatroxSquare 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 Dark Flight.
  • Mikael's Crucible Mikael's Crucible can be exceptionally strong when used to mitigate cc on Aatrox as Aatrox's survivability and damage is entirely linked to his ability to auto attack.
  • Pay attention to his Blood Well 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 Dark Flight is his only escape tool, he is susceptible to ganks when he pushes lane too far.


Blood Well 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 Blood Well from decaying during Hell Bent. Blood Well Blood Well Will not decay if it isn't full and you are in combat.
Dark Flight 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 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 Dark Flight
    • Only displacement cc will cancel it, so be sure to save it for use after knockups
    • Use Dark Flight Dark Flight to jump over walls for a sneaky engage or to escape from the enemy.
  • Dark Flight Dark Flight->flash does not work like Gragas' Gragas' Body Slam Body Slam->flash, you will need to flash first if you need more range.
Blood Price 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 Blood Thirst isntead, until fighting a carry that needs bursting down.
Blood Thirst Blood Thirst (W)
  • Use this to recover hp when out of combat with enemy champions.
Blades of Torment 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 Massacre
    • To guarantee the hit of Dark Flight Dark Flight
    • Self peel/disengage
Massacre 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 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 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 Blades of Torment while closing the gap.
    • If they have summoner flash hold onto Dark Flight Dark Flight if you can get in range to auto attack them.


Item Usage (Outdated)


  • Jax Jax can block Aatrox's auto attacks with his Counter Strike 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 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 Massacre can also negate the attack speed reduction from Ground Slam 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.



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