[8.18.2]Detailed Top Lane Aatrox Guide (explained gameplay, abilities at the bottom)

by kkoucher

(Last updated on September 22, 2018)

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Summoner Spells

Hide Notes
  • Flash
  • Teleport

Flash is a must have summoner spell for Aatrox because:

1. He is very immobile. His E dash is very short ranged (and has long cooldown) and his Ultimate movement speed only works out of combat

2. Flash is VERY important because you can use it in your combos (ex. animation cancel third Q with flash). You can also use it to increase your First or Second Q range).

Teleport is a good choice for any match up but you have to be careful when you fight Enemy champion that has Ignite or Ghost available.


  • sorcery
  • Arcane Comet
  • Nimbus Cloak
  • Transcendence
  • Scorch
  • domination
  • Taste of Blood
  • Ultimate Hunter
Bonus :

+12 Attack damage or +20 ability power, adaptive

How to play with these runes: Keep distance and poke with your abilities. You can also go for trades but you can't really burst effectively. You should aim for long-time poke until the enemy is low health and then go for potential kill.

These runes are overall the best for Aatrox, BUT there are specific situations where you ALWAYS want to use these runes. These situations are:

1. When you play against ranged top laner (Teemo, Quinn, Ryze).

2. When you play against top laner that pokes you while keeping fistance (Rumble, Aatrox).

3. When you play against a top laner that plays Safe and has strong escape tools.

4. When you just want to play safe against Aggressive top laners (bruisers).


Starting items.

  • Doran's Blade
  • Doran's Shield
  • Long Sword
  • Health Potion
  • Refillable Potion

Doran's Blade- A good choice because it gives you AD, Health and Lifesteal that gives you extra sustain in lane. Something important is that you should take it only when you constantly want to push the Minion wave. Otherwise you can't use the Lifesteal to full potential.

Doran's Shield- Take it when you play against Poke top laners or you want extra Safety when playing against all-in champions (bruisers and assassins).

Long Sword- Take it when you want extra Poke damage but you also don't want to push the Minion wave. It's good because you also build it into Warhammer and you also get Refillable Potions for extra sustain (without attacking minions).

Traditional build.

  • The Black Cleaver
  • Sterak's Gage
  • Randuin's Omen
  • Spirit Visage
  • Guardian Angel
  • Maw of Malmortius

This is the Traditional item build.

You can always build these items and do well in game, no matter what match up or team comp you have.

Randuin's Omen, Spirit Visage, Maw of Malmortius can be replaced by other items BUT Black Cleaver, Sterak's Gage and Guardian Angel are must have in the Traditional item build.

Aggressive build.

  • Trinity Force
  • Youmuu's Ghostblade
  • Sterak's Gage
  • Guardian Angel
  • Maw of Malmortius

This build is effective when:

1. You get ahead and want to snowball in game.

2. If your team completely stomps the Enemy team.

3. If you want to play really aggressive whole game and carry the game.

Personal favourite.

  • Kindlegem
  • Caulfield's Warhammer
  • The Black Cleaver
  • Youmuu's Ghostblade
  • Sterak's Gage
  • Guardian Angel
  • Spirit Visage
  • Randuin's Omen

These are the items I personally build EVERY game.

I rush Kindlegem and Caulfield's Warhammer for CDR, health and AD.

Then I complete them into Black Cleaver and Youmuu's Ghostblade. I go for Black Cleaver first if I'm behind in lane and Ghostblade if I'm ahead.

The rest of the items are classic items for Aatrox that are also situational and can be replaced (depending of match up and team comps).

Ability Sequence

  • Deathbringer Stance

    Deathbringer Stance(Passive)

  • The Darkin Blade
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
  • Infernal Chains
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
  • Umbral Dash
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
  • World Ender
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
  • The Darkin Blade
    Umbral Dash
    Infernal Chains
    The Darkin Blade
    Umbral Dash
    World Ender
    The Darkin Blade
    Umbral Dash
    The Darkin Blade
    Umbral Dash
    World Ender
    The Darkin Blade
    Umbral Dash
    Infernal Chains
    Infernal Chains
    World Ender
    Infernal Chains
    Infernal Chains

What people usually do on Aatrox is ALWAYS max R>Q>E>W.

What I personally do instead is split skill points between Q and E. The reason I do it is because you want to max your Q, but at the same time maxing your E is REALLY important, too (since it makes both your Active and Passive stronger).

Maxing W is kinda pointless because it doesn't change much in Ranks. You also want to max both your Q and E as soon as possible.

Of course, you also max Ult when possible (at levels 6, 11 and 16).

Vs. Champions

  • Sion
  • Cho'Gath
  • Illaoi
  • Akali
  • Volibear
  • Garen
  • Fiora
  • Darius
  • Riven
  • Yorick
  • Difficulty
  • Champion
  • Notes

Sion is easy match-up for Aatrox because:

1. You can dodge Sion's abilities using your E.

2. You can "abuse" his Q channel and hit an easy Q (and possibly interrupt his charge as well.)

3. You can reduce his Shield using your Passive.


Cho'gath is a good match-up for Aatrox because:

1. Aatrox can match Cho'gath's sustain and he can actually out-sustain him too.

2. You can dodge his Q easily (unless you're silenced).

3. You can chain him with W and he can't escape it because he's very immobile.

4. You can counter his Ult using yours If you time it correctly.


Aatrox is good against illaoi because:

1. You can poke her from distance (which is Illaoi's weakness).

2. You can dodge her Q and E using your dash.

3. You can all-in her and force her to use her Ultimate without dying because of your Ultimate. When you revive, her Ultimate is gonna be over and you can then easily shut her down.

4. You can escape from trades by chaining her with your W. She can't escape it reliable because she's pretty immobile.


Darius ia a bit harder to deal with because if you mess up only once and give him some advantage, he can use it to take over the whole laning phase.

What you should be doing against Darius is NEVER go in his melee range and poke him from distance.

If Darius has Ghost available then you should be extremely careful and never leave yourself exposed to potential engage.


Riven is a bit harder to deal with because of her strong mobility, but winning lane against her is definitely possible.

What you should do against her is try to take short trades into your advantage. You should play around her cooldowns, try to hit her when she doesn't have any mobility available and counter her instant engage and burst with your ultimate.


What makes Yorick a good pick against Aatrox is that he can abuse the very long cooldown of Aatrox's E with his W. Also, Aatrox can't kill Yorick's Ghouls very fast because most of his damage is AoE (which makes him deal reduced damage) and his Q has 3 big delays that make him exposed to the Ghouls' damage.


Akali is a hard match-up for Aatrox because she can dodge all his abilities with her mobility and take all trades into her advantage.

Although Aatrox's abilities are not targeted, she can still dodge them in her shroud because of her Passive and W bonus speed.

What you should do against Akali as Aatrox is try to dodge her E using your dash and try to take trades into your advantage as much as possible.

You can also rush Null-Magic Mantle for some early magic damage reduction.


What makes Volibear strong against Aatrox is that he can force Aatrox to trade with him because of his strong engage tools. Also, you can very easily escape Aatrox's engage because he's pretty immobile.

What you should do against Volibear is play more safe than usual and keep extra distance so that you can be prepared to react to his engage.


Garen is very similar to Volibear. They both have strong engage tools and can escape Aatrox's W easily or abuse his long E cooldown early game. Garen can make Aatrox completely vulnerable and unable to do anything at any time because of his silence.

Also if you "die" early in your Ultimate as Aatrox, Garen can deal massive damage to you with his Ultimate when you revive because of the missing health scaling.


Fiora is a nightmare to deal with as Aatrox. Aatrox's Q and W are very telegraphed and Fiora can very easily Parry them. She can also dodge all your abilities and abuse your long E Cooldown with her short CD mobility.

What you should do as Aatrox is completely play around her W and avoid long trades. Bait her W, go for some poke and immediately run back to safety.


Deathbringer StancePassive: Your passive is something very important you should play around. When you go in for trades, always try to use full potential of your passive (time it to reduce heals/shields). You should also play around the cooldown reduction mechanic (autoattack first before using abilities and use your Qs out of combat if possible).

The Darkin BladeQ: Always use it to poke the Enemy and NEVER use it on minions early game (unless it helps you freeze the wave, which is a bit more advanced). Late game you should go try to use your Q to CC the enemy team and leave them exposed to your team.

Q-Flash combo is something very important you should learn to do. You start your Q and while channeling it you flash in a certain direction. With good practice and execution it has pretty much no counterplay.

Also you should remember than your Q is your biggest source of damage so try to use it to full potential and don't use it mindlessly because you're leaving yourself heavily exposed.

Infernal ChainsW: This ability is decent in the laning phase (it has some dmg and CC), but it's strongest at late game. It's extremely strong tool to catch enemies off guard and secure easy kills if they don't manage to escape it.

Umbral DashE: This ability is a key part of your combos throughout the whole game. You can experiment some combos with it (such as Q-E-W  E-W-Q). The passive is really strong as well. Although the heal is not heavily noticable, you heal A LOT over time.

World EnderUltimate: A HUGE reason Aatrox is such a good pick in all elos is his Ultimate. It's really good because whenever you are about to die, you can just press it and get a free out-of-jail card to escape bad situations.

A very big mistake some Aatrox players do is that they don't use the Ultimate effectively in the late game. What you should do is use it as soon as the teamfight starts, charge into the Enemy team and tank all damage while heavily CCing and damaging them. Even if you are behind, you can still tank all Enemy abilities and still not die because of your Revive.

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