Aatrox: What counters him, and what does he counter.

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oO Slaave Oo

Senior Member

06-14-2013

Hi everyone. I have spent a good amount of time since his launch playing as him in various different builds and different situations and against him from several different approaches as well and I have found a few useful tips on how to counter Aatrox if you're paired against him and what to watch out for if you ARE him.

First, I'll mention the top lane situation starting from against:

AGAINST AATROX IN TOP
In a 1v1 situation against Aatrox you have three options to work with if you want to avoid feeding the snowball-machine that is Aatrox.

  • Out burst his sustain
  • Out sustain him in lane
  • Zone/Out farm him and wait for late game.

To out burst his sustain early game to get the edge on him I have found going cloth/5 pantheon with +22 flat AD runes, ignite and starting with your stun pretty much destroys him. If you can get him to try to trade with you before level 2 just walk up to him hit him a few times and we he goes to disengage the trade jump/stun/ignite and collect 300 gold. When he returns to lane hopefully you have your HS if so when he comes up to farm, Stun-AA-HS-AA him down if this doesn't kill him he will be low and unable to walk up to cs for fear of death. Elise can be another way to deal with him in top lane her combination of CC/Poke/Burst seems almost designed to take him down. Koodos to "JazzyDoes" for this pointer!

To out sustain him I would recommend other high sustain tops such as trynd, vlad, or irelia and getting something with Grevious wounds such as Executioners Calling or Morellonomicon. Just try to trade every now and then and count his swings, start the trade just after you see his health go up from his 3rd swing and do as much damage as you can then back away after he hits you twice. Keep this up and you should be able to eventually get him low enough for a jungler to step in and finish him off. Aatrox's I've played against play too aggressivly thinking that despite low HP they can just sustain back up with their W or if they get ganked they'll just come back and Q away. If you can force his passive he is at risk for the next 225 seconds.

The last option is the least desirable but sometimes all you can manage. I would suggest a ranged top that can push the lane quickly, Kennen or Vlad both are very good against him. Unless he is using his health to push the lane back via his Q and E (thus giving him less targets to heal off of with his w) you can easily shove him to tower then go gank mid.

THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR AS AATROX TOP:

Here are a few build concepts I've found that work particularly well:
  • Attack speed, on hit, lifesteal build
  • AD Bruiser
  • Spellvamp CDR build

The attack speed on hit build is the one you see everywhere, items like BotrK, Wits end, Zephyr, Berzerker greaves, Frozen mallet, Statik shiv. This build focuses on maximizing the usage of your W. I recommend leveling your E at level 1, your W at level 2 and your Q at level 3 then maxing your skills R>W>Q>E. This build does good damage and is very hard to kill SO LONG AS YOU ARE ATTACKING SOMETHING you are very vulnerable to ranged damage and cc in this build as if you are not attacking anything you go down quickly.

The AD Bruiser build is hilariously fun and plays as an off-tank disruption. Focus on items that add both damage and tankyness. Frozen Mallet, Ninja Tabi, Black Cleaver, Botrk (for sustain/as/damage), Sunfire, Guardian Angel. This build really comes into its own once you pick up a GA I recommend it as maybe your third or fourth item. Once you are relatively tanky having a GA coupled with your passive makes for a catch 22 situation for the other team. If they focus you they have to kill you three times and you're tanky so that will take awhile, if they ignore you then you're beating on their ADC and providing knock-ups, slowing everyone and shredding armor with your Black cleaver.

The AP Spellvamp CDR build is probably the least effective of the builds but still makes for some hilarious plays similar to AP Trynd. Your E and R both scale with ap, the ratio's arn't great but they arn't that bad either. Grab items that increase your health, ap, spellvamp and cdr. This gets a bit tricky but items like Hourglass, Deathfire grasp, Liandries, Hextech Gunblade, Ionian boots, Wota. Coupled with CDR Blues and masteries (9/0/21) you get a slow that has a short cooldown and decent range that makes for some hilarious kiting options. in 1v1 situations use your E to poke and when they get close Q away. This build you want to focus on your E and Q and level your W last. I know, I know this sounds like it won't work but try it out, even if just against bots. In teamfights your short CDR makes you a CC god with your Q spam.

Jungleing against Aatrox

You are going to be hard pressed if you are paired up against Aatrox try and keep an eye on where hes at and do your best to stop him from getting red buff. Unless you're a really bursty jungler like Darius/Kazix/Akali I don't recommend going to to toe with him just try and match his ganks 1 for 1. If he goes top you go bot if he goes bot you go top. A trick I found that helped a lot against him was to grab a few wards and when you see him gank and you're on the other side of the map run in and ward a buff or high traffic area. If you can see he's on his way to kill or you catch him backing you can capitalize on it. While these tips are pretty much general regarding any jungler it works against Aatrox just as well. Also watch what he buys and make it your duty to counter him. Good junglers to pick against him are any champs that can stop heals or CC him. Amumu and Fiddlesticks can both 1v1 him fairly easily.

Jungleing as Aatrox

There are two approaches to Jungling as Aatrox that I've found. Jungle AS Carry and Jungle AD Bruiser. Same builds as above but first item is a wriggles lantern. When starting in the jungle take your W first, Hunters Machete and 5 Pots. As far as the pots go you can use them in one of two ways.
  • Slow and Safe
  • Fast and Furious

If you keep your W on only when above 75% health you can save your pots to heal to 100% when you go to gank at level 4 and will keep you safe and farming for a long time before you have to back (usually just to spend money not because you have to) This approach is slower but much much safer, I recommend this approach when against heavy counterjungling champs like Xin and Shaco.

The other way is to leave your W on all the way down to ~30% and use your potions to sustain this will shave off a lot of time on your jungle but are very vulnerable to counter jungling and you will be forced to back and buy sooner and won't be as fluidly able to gank lanes as the other build. I timed a few runs through the jungle and the difference in time between levels 0 and 4 is about 35 seconds faster burning pots. This means the time it takes you to back before ganking is covered and your level 4 ganks will be about at the same time with this approach having your longsword in time. Risk vs Reward is what you want to think about here. Again, I stress this approach should only be used against slow junglers who you don't think you will run into either in your jungle or en route to a gank.


Hope this information was useful I will admit that I am only in bronze teir but I do lots of theory crafting and watch a lot of pro games so while my reaction time isn't that high and I have troubles landing combos accuratly I do have a good head on my shoulders for strategy.


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Epic Magnus

Senior Member

06-14-2013

Overall I can agree with what you said. Good post.


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fibblins

Member

06-14-2013

vladimir is the true blood lord


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JazzyDoes

Member

06-14-2013

This is just a re-post of what I commented in another thread, but:

I had no problem 1v1 him as Elise. Poke him down until he is 30%~ hp, kill him in spiderform, step back and human form, throw a spiderling and wait for him to resurrect, stun him with your E, Q, then back to spider form and finish him off with a good 1-2-PAWNCH.


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oO Slaave Oo

Senior Member

06-14-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by JazzyDoes View Post
This is just a re-post of what I commented in another thread, but:
I had no problem 1v1 him as Elise. Poke him down until he is 30%~ hp, kill him in spiderform, step back and human form, throw a spiderling and wait for him to resurrect, stun him with your E, Q, then back to spider form and finish him off with a good 1-2-PAWNCH.
You know, that make sense I'm not sure why I didn't think of Elise as a good counter. You have ranged poke, you have CC to interupt his attack combo, a good get away to dodge his Q and decent burst to deal with him as soon as bloodwell comes off. I'll add her in to the post, thanks!


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StormMaster

Senior Member

06-14-2013

ive played a few aatrox's and i can say if you can kill him in one burst go for it, if you cant its a waste of time and he will heal back all his hp eventually unless you keep harassing him, which is not very mana efficient. and attack speed slows work very well like randuins and frozen heart to stop him from attacking and healing as much as he can, one of his counters would be malphite as malphite is the counter to almost all AA champs, or even teemo who can blind and kite him, hell, any champ with blind or slows can eat aatrox


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Nomercy Elder

Senior Member

06-14-2013

no pictures
tl;dr

ty though


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fibblins

Member

06-14-2013

keep him away from the creep wave and he can't build his passive or sustain with his w. easy


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oO Slaave Oo

Senior Member

06-14-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomercy Elder View Post
no pictures
tl;dr

ty though
'merica

seriously? Do people in the states refuse to read anything not in pop-up-book format?


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MudWrestleMeIRL

Senior Member

06-14-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by oO Slaave Oo View Post
'merica

seriously? Do people in the states refuse to read anything not in pop-up-book format?
You can't beat us though.


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