How To Play Aatrox In League Of Legends

Aatrox belongs in League of Legends’ long list of strong duelists that can essentially 1v9 in a pinch. His kit is a little complicated but once you get the hang of it, you’ll easily dominate. Here’s everything you need to know to get you started playing the Darkin Blade.


Aatrox is one of the champions that had the privilege of being reworked. Ever since the rework, Aatrox has proved to be one of the best champions in the Top Lane. It introduced many beneficial changes to his kit that made him more satisfying to play. The changes were so good that he can carry a game on his own if he snowballs too hard. He can be an effective lane bully thanks to his crowd control and his sustain makes it nearly impossible to trade with him. The best part is that his abilities do not cost any sort of resource so you’ll only be managing his cooldowns. Overall, if you’re looking for a champion who can carry games that require solid mechanical prowess, then Aatrox might be perfect for you.


Aatrox’s kit is geared towards being a strong duelist and a solid lane pusher. Most of his abilities have some sort of crowd control that make him very good as an initiator as well.

Passive – Deathbringer Stance

Aatrox’s next basic attack gains 50 extra range and deals percent Health as physical damage (max: 100 against monsters), healing Aatrox for the damage dealt (25% when stabbing minions).

Cooldown is reduced by 2 seconds when Aatrox hits a champion or large monster with a spell or attack, doubled when hitting with the Edge of The Darkin Blade. Multi hits only reduce the cooldown once.

Aatrox’s passive is the source of his sustain. When you manage it properly, this could essentially mean that you can outlast anyone in the Top Lane. Since Aatrox doesn’t require any resource, he can just sustain off of minions and freeze the lane whenever his opponent tries to trade or square up with him.

Q – The Darkin Blade

Aatrox slams his greatsword down, dealing physical damage. This ability may be re-cast 2 additional times, each one increasing the damage by 25%. Strikes that hit with the Edge knock enemies up for 0.25s and deal 60% more damage. Deals 55% damage to minions, and the knock-up duration is doubled against monsters.

This is Aatrox’s primary source of damage and crowd control. In a lot of ways, this is your bread and butter. While the mechanics of the ability seems simple enough on paper, it’s rather difficult to pull off. For starters, only the edges of the first two strikes will apply the knock up. It’s very easy to miss so it can take a few tries before it becomes a reliable source of crowd control.

W – Infernal Chains

Aatrox smashes the ground, dealing physical damage to the first enemy hit and slowing them by 25% for 1.5 seconds. Champions or Large Monsters have 1.5s to leave the impact area or be dragged back and damaged again.

This is one of Aatrox’s crowd control abilities. You can think of this as his lockdown CC. It doesn’t have much use when trading so you’ll be using it mostly to secure targets that try to escape. At worst, you can easily burn a Flash or another mobility spell using Infernal Chains.

E – Umbral Dash

Passive: Aatrox heals some of the non-periodic damage he deals to champions, increased during World Ender.

Active: Aatrox lunges, resetting his attack timer.

Umbral Dash is Aatrox’s gap closer. Although it has a very short distance, it can have quite a long range when used in combo with The Darkin Blade. The passive adds to Aatrox’s already impressive sustain.

R – World Ender

Aatrox reveals his true demonic form for the next 10 seconds. On activation, he fears nearby enemy minions for 3 seconds and gains Movement Speed, decaying over the duration. While World Ender persists, he gains Attack Damage and receives increased self-healing. On enemy champion takedown, World Ender is extended (refreshing its effects) by 5 seconds (up to the original amount).

World Ender is one of the best buffing ultimates in the game. This is what makes Aatrox nearly unkillable once he has his items and full stacks of his runes. Use this to win nearly every duel or when you just feel like 1v9-ing.

Runes and Item Builds

For your items, your focus should be to increase Aatrox’s damage and further build on his sustain abilities. Items that give him additional survivability are also welcome.

Starting Items

For your starting items, you have two options. The go to start is Doran’s Blade. This gives you everything you need to survive the laning phase and even secure you an early lead. The other item is Doran’s Shield. Get this item if you’re against a ranged opponent that can somehow bully you.

Mythic Items

For your Mythic item, there really isn’t any doubt that Goredrinker is the best option. Since you’ll mostly find yourself at a numbers disadvantage in fights, Goredrinker can help you sustain and even turn the tides against your opponents. It has attack damage, health, ability haste, and omnivamp. These are all stats that benefit Aatrox. The other option is Stridebreaker. You’ll only be using this if you will be against a champion that has a superior range or mobility advantage over you like Quinn. Otherwise, stick with Goredrinker.

Full Build

After purchasing your Mythic, go for tier 2 boots. The standard is Plated Steelcaps but you can swap it out for Mercury’s Treads depending on the situation. Next, go for Sterak’s Gage for the damage, health, and passive shield that procs whenever you’re low on health. Combo that item with Death’s Dance and you’ll be nearly impossible to kill even if you dive them under towers. Up next is Spirit Visage which gives you health, magic resist, and best of all, it increases your sustain. Top off your build with Guardian Angel for even more damage and survivability.

Other Viable Items

While the full build we’ve shown above is generally considered the standard for Aatrox, it is not set in stone. There are plenty of other items that you can purchase depending on your preference or what your situation currently needs. Items like Black Cleaver, Ravenous Hydra, Chempunk Chainsword, and Maw of Malmortius are all good items to have especially if you’re leaning towards dealing more damage. Try to mix and match these item sets to see what works best for you. Doing so will help you develop a better understanding of the game’s deeper mechanics.


For your runes, go with the Precision tree and take Conqueror as your keystone. This will increase your sustain and will let you do more damage in extended trades. Next, take Triumph for the sustain, Legend: Tenacity to help you against crowd control, and Last Stand to help you deal more damage whenever you’re low on health. For secondaries, take Bone Plating and Revitalize from the Resolve tree. Bone Plating increases your durability while Revitalize makes your shield stronger. For rune shards, take double Adaptive Force and Armor

Useful Tips

  1. If you’re having trouble landing the knock up parts of The Darkin Blade, you can use Infernal Chains to lock the target down so that you can land it easily.
  2. Aatrox is countered by champions like Illaoi and Irelia. These Champions have stronger dueling power than Aatrox so it’s better to play it safe when you match up against them.
  3. For your summoner spells, always take Flash and Teleport. Flash gives you additional mobility while Teleport gives you a more global presence around the map. 

So there you have it! That’s all you need to know about playing Aatrox in League of Legends. Be sure to check back with us again for more awesome guides on your favorite games. Have fun and we’ll see you on the Rift!