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  1. Default A too-in-depth analysis of Aatrox

    @Five Second Pose and I have spent quite a bit of time in IRC discussing how to build Aatrox and what he provides to teams. Ray insists on building him as a spell-heavy bruiser/disruptor, while I think he is best played as an ADC, but we agree that both are viable. I've spent way too much time thinking about this so I thought I'd make a thread about it.

    My summary of his kit:

    Blood Well: Places him into a stasis when he dies. When he exits stasis he recovers HP based on how much HP is in the Blood Well. HP is stored in Blood Well whenever he casts a spell with an HP cost, and all of that HP cost is stored in Blood Well. He gains AS for every 2% max HP in Blood Well.

    This is the core of his viability as an AD caster. The more spells he casts, the more HP he recovers when his passive activates. The passive AS buff is nice, but it doesn't contribute much to disruptor/AD caster gameplay.

    Dark Flight: This is a lot like Elastic Slingshot. Aatrox jumps 650 range (Caitlyn AA range), deals AoE damage, and does an AoE knock up. It has a 60% total AD ratio and costs 10% of his current health.

    The big thing here is the 10% current HP cost--if he is building tanky with HP, that's a lot of HP stored in Blood Well. Combined with CDR, which is Ray's theory, Aatrox builds up Blood Well really fast and has immense presence in fights. It's a nice initiate/gap close/escape too.

    Blood Thirst/Blood Price: His W is a toggle; Blood Thirst heals him every 3rd AA. Blood Price deals bonus damage every third AA. Both on-hit effects scale off AD.

    Aatrox's W is 80% of the reason I think he is a better ADC than he is a bruiser. I'll explain that later.

    Blades of Torment: Pretty long ranged (1000 range, same as Mystic Shot) magic damage slow that scales off AD. Standard CC fare.

    I think Aatrox's E makes him extremely strong in lane, not because of the slow or the range on it, but the fact that it is magic damage. People will be building things like cloth/5 potions and generally armor against him in lane, but because Blades of Torment is magic damage, ~70% of its damage will go unmitigated in lane and Aatrox will win trades--and it scales off AD. Its cooldown is relatively short for it being a slow (12 seconds at rank one to 8 seconds at rank five).

    Massacre: Does AoE magic damage around Aatrox and increases his range to 325. Gives 40/50/60% AS buff.

    Honestly this ult is fucking OP and it will be nerfed. If Aatrox hits 6 either before you or at the same time as you, he will all-in you no matter how you itemized, because his ult does magic damage, and like his E, a lot of its damage will go unmitigated, meaning he has very strong front-loaded burst plus a slow, plus good sustained DPS because of the AS buff and increased range. Even if Q -> R -> E doesn't kill you, the faster W procs will. Once Aatrox hits level 6 you cannot 1v1 him. This doesn't even take his passive into account.

    Why I think ADC Aatrox is better than bruiser Aatrox:

    Bruiser Aatrox works like bruiser Vlad, in that he builds a lot of HP and a lot of CDR to spam his spells and generally be annoying. We emphasized HP, CDR, and Spirit Visage on Aatrox for the same reason they are good items on bruiser Vlad--those items let Vlad constantly Transfuse, which adds high sustain to the tankiness that comes with building HP. Similarly, HP makes Aatrox tanky, which allows him to be less cautious with Dark Flight; CDR lets him spam spells, which means more CC and more HP into Blood Well; SV means Aatrox recovers more HP with Blood Thirst, and he will come out of Blood Well with higher HP as well.

    However, I think the sustain that Aatrox gets from HP/CDR/SV is mirrored, if not outdone, by AS and lifesteal, meaning a damage heavy build, focused particularly around one item: either BT or BotRK, depending on what Aatrox wants to do in a game. My reasons:

    1. Blood Thirst, Aatrox's heal, scales off AD, and procs every 3rd autoattack, meaning it effectively scales off AS. This means that AD (Bloodthirster), AS (Phantom Dancer), or both (BotRK), give Aatrox sustain on top of the lifesteal that he will build. In short, Blood Thirst lets Spirit Visage be replaced by AS/AD items. Yes, this sacrifices health, magic resistance, and cooldown reduction, but I think the sustain that an ADC build gives Aatrox is comparable to the tankiness that Spirit Visage and a bruiser build would give him.

    2. Blood Price has a 100% total AD ratio and effectively scales off AS as well (procs every 3rd autoattack). Bloodthirster comes to mind as the single best item that complements Blood Price. It gives 100 AD at full stacks, which plays into Blood Price's scaling. It gives 18% lifesteal, which mitigates the HP cost of Blood Price's proc. Combined with Phantom Dancer or Statikk Shiv and Berserker's Greaves, Aatrox will be procing Blood Price very often with no net HP loss.

    3. Blood Price costs HP, which is put into Blood Well, which increases his attack speed. Blood Price's HP cost scales with Aatrox's AD, meaning more HP into Blood Well, meaning more bonus AS. Building ADC on Aatrox will actually cause his passive to increase his DPS.

    4. Blood Well's HP recovery does not scale with anything except level and Spirit Visage. At level 18, Blood Well restores at most 840 HP, 1008 with SV. It doesn't matter how much HP Aatrox actually has, he's still only going to recover 840 or 1008 HP after coming out of stasis. Aatrox will still be able to abuse his passive with a damage build, albeit not as effectively as with a bruiser build.

    I've actually tired myself out in writing this. Maybe I'll add more later or in later discussion, but my point is that his kit suits an ADC build.

    Builds I've proposed:

    And some bruiser builds Ray and I have conjured:

    Feel free to discuss.

  2. Default Re: A too-in-depth analysis of Aatrox

    On the other hand, I suggest starting rejuv bead and either building that into Locket/Warmog's or just leaving it as-is. (Sunfire or Randuin's)/Spirit Visage/Phage/BotRK is my core, after that you could build a lot of things. Hydra, Bulwark, Last Whisper, Frozen Mallet, Black Cleaver, and Bloodthirster are all options.

  3. Default Re: A too-in-depth analysis of Aatrox

    The first build is pretty much identical to the one I suggested my friend take, when he started playing him yet. I don't have any experience under my belt with this character, yet, but I like the idea of him being an ADC. The issue is that he's so damn squishy. Maybe something could be added as a situational substitute for Guardian Angel? Do we know that Guardian Angel works independently from Aatrox's revive ability (I'd assume so, otherwise you'd not have added it)?

  4. Default Re: A too-in-depth analysis of Aatrox

    Yes, it does. Skills proc before GA since those prevent character death and GA procs on death.

    Early laning is incredibly hard for him because of low base stats (of melee champions, only Katarina has lower health growth or something) and % health costs. You may end up being relegated to farming with Blades of Torment if you fall too far behind.

    MegaZero built a Trinity Force on him, for what that's worth. I don't like it.

  5. Default Re: A too-in-depth analysis of Aatrox

    I built him BotRK, IE, and visage and he was super squishy and didnt do much unless you were dueling someone, got blown up pretty quick but I was against a renekton so he pomegranates on aatrox, however if a champion like renekton and riven dont kill you with their initial combos (renekton EWQ) you can duel them out. That game I was 5/3 with 180 cs or something and was able to 1v1 renekton at 20% health and heal to 75% and kill him then 2v1'd cait and their aatrox killing cait so his late game dueling is insane.

    My thoughts would be to make him more bruiser to start then go super late game. Id go with an early BotRK or bloodthirster or even IE/statik shiv if youre going for the late game monster then quickly building randuins/sunfires/warmogs/visage depending on their team and who youre laning against. I like the idea of statik shiv and IE on him, and hydra sounds like it would be a good item in teamfights and back dooring.

  6. Default Re: A too-in-depth analysis of Aatrox

    I honestly think the best build would be something like Bork, BT, Randuin, Visage, and then the last item can be situational. I'd say something with attack speed for the last item too, but if you need defense, you can always get mogs, frozen mallet, hexdrinker or ga. Otherwise I'd say get zephyr or wits end here.

    You can act as a fake tank, fighting the people in front of you and trying not to go too deep. Basically just try to sustain through most of their damage, since they will most likely want you if you're somewhere near the front of the fight. If you take down someone and then you see a carry alone or something, you can q to them and turn your blood price on to kill them. If you're not 1v1 then you should have blood thirst on. With Lifesteal, Bork, Passive and W heal, he shouldn't be going down anytime soon.

  7. Default Re: A too-in-depth analysis of Aatrox

    Have you guys tried a 9/21/0 build with HP yellows, AD Reds, Magic Resist Blues, and AD Quints?

    Start Rejuv Bead -> Doran Blade/Shield -> BotR / Warmog -> Spirit Visiage -> Situational?

    Haven't played too much of him, but this seemed to be the best build from what i tried in PBE.

  8. aka ClawofBeta Straight Male
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    Default Re: A too-in-depth analysis of Aatrox

    I've heard full AS runes are hilarious.

  9. Default Re: A too-in-depth analysis of Aatrox

    This is similar to what I said except I'd prefer armour yellows and HP regen quints.

  10. Default Re: A too-in-depth analysis of Aatrox

    Whats the total % regain per 5 on the regen quints?

  11. Default Re: A too-in-depth analysis of Aatrox

    2.7 each, so it totals to 8.1.

  12. Default Re: A too-in-depth analysis of Aatrox

    HP Yellows and Regen Quints could lead to a pretty tanky and sustain heavy pre-6 Aatrox. Worth trying at least.

  13. Default Re: A too-in-depth analysis of Aatrox

    I bet. I just got done playing my first round as Aatrox with about 13.6% attack speed from Runes and that attack speed helped a ton. I completely raped that game without really understanding what I was doing. I nearly got a Penta Kill, but then my team mates came in and KSed. xd

    This is the build I tried building (didn't get completely through), and I think I might stick to this one for a while, unless I find something better :

    Berserker Greaves > Blade of the Ruined King > The Blood Thirster > Spirit Visage > Frozen Mallet > Ravenous Hydra

    I might try getting the Ravenous Hydra before the Frozen Mallet and maybe even before the Spirit Visage (though that's a little riskier).

    I'm loving this character so far. He's a lot of fun to play. Very squishy at the beginning, but very fun.

  14. AFK at Ch 18 Leafre Straight Male
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    Default Re: A too-in-depth analysis of Aatrox

    Well I went against an Aatrox as Jayce and all I can say is that 1v1ing him is one of the most horrible ideas ever.

  15. aka ClawofBeta Straight Male
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    Default Re: A too-in-depth analysis of Aatrox

    Oh dear. You bought runes before you're level 21.

  16. Default Re: A too-in-depth analysis of Aatrox

    I'm level 24. o.o

  17. Default Re: A too-in-depth analysis of Aatrox

    I think you might want to fit a Last Whisper in there, depending on whether or not the other team is stacking armor. If you go that route and he is as squishy as everyone is saying he is, Spirit Visage 2nd might be a good idea, or if you need damage over tankiness, just a Negatron Cloak into a third offensive item. Tabi/Merc Treads over Berserker Greaves is also a good defensive option.

    There's also starting rejuv/potions/ward and building Hydra first, which isn't a bad option as it's only 100g more than BotRK and BT. The important part is the rejuv start for the early sustain.

  18. Default Re: A too-in-depth analysis of Aatrox

    You could leave it as a Tiamat and get BotRK but remember that only Hydra has the passive that lifesteals off its splash damage, Tiamat's splashes do not proc lifesteal.

  19. Default Re: A too-in-depth analysis of Aatrox

    But what is Aatrox's counter? I've been having a hard time against him..

  20. Default Re: A too-in-depth analysis of Aatrox

    Outsustain'ing such as Ap yi, super poke(only example I have here is me vs'ing aatrox as Syndra, just poke'd all day then finsihed him off), and burst, cause you can't sustain if you're dead ^o^.

    I'd think vlad would do pretty well against him. If you just avoid his q, or pool the q and kite away you should be good. And vlad can poke and sustain with one ability. If you armguard wota I think you win. Of course all of this is just me thinking about the matchups, only one I've played is the Syndra vs Aatrox.



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