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The End is Near: New Aatrox Decks

Ready to Assimilate? Yang shares his World-ending Aatrox decks to try on Day One!

Note: This is an old article.
For the most recent data, check the latest LoR Best Decks article, or our Meta Tier List!

Five Legends of Runeterra Aatrox Decks

What’s up, everyone? It’s your boy Yangzera here with another article on early builds for one of the World Ender's Champs! Much like last time’s Seraphine, I’m confident that my designated champion, AatroxAatrox, is potentially the strongest of the trio.

Although it’s not very difficult to be stronger than KayleKayle (Round Start level up? *chuckles*), RyzeRyze is extremely difficult to rank, and I think we need more ladder data before properly evaluating him. At any rate, I brought a bunch of decks (some good, some questionable – but still fun!) to help you get some reps on the big red boy.


About our Aatrox Champ

The World Ender

Aatrox Aatrox (level 2) World Ender

AatroxAatrox is all about ending the world with big frikkin' Darkins through his new Assimilate vocab:

In addition to inevitability with massive Darkins, the constant healing from Aatrox enables his decks to play a little bit greedier. So let’s start by talking about what Darkin weapons we want, and how many.

I’d say 10~12 weapons is a good starting point, and there are some specific weapons that we definitely want to have in any and all Aatrox decks: The Darkin BloodlettersThe Darkin Bloodletters, The Darkin HarpThe Darkin Harp and The Darkin AegisThe Darkin Aegis.

The Darkin BloodlettersThe Darkin Bloodletters is a clear choice because, since we’re a deck that’s high on Equipment and generally light on units, we actually need the DarkinthrallDarkinthralls to wield our weapons. And the Harp and the Aegis are baseline great weapons that will definitely enable our equipped units to safely go for strikes, discounting our World EnderWorld Ender further.

With the three above, there’s a good baseline of nine Equipments that are core in every Aatrox deck, and we can fill the remaining slots ourselves. You’ll notice, in the decks I've built, that I really like The Darkin SpearThe Darkin Spear – that’s because the buff is actually relevant for the few units we are running, but most importantly part is that AnaakcaAnaakca will help us close out the game once Aatrox levels up, since she can bring summon a big Darkin to our attack, making it devastating.

Other weapons to consider, if you want to go the distance and reach the fourteen-equipment mark, are a few copies of The Darkin StaffThe Darkin Staff and The Darkin LodestoneThe Darkin Lodestone (maybe one of each, or two, or even a 2-2-1 split between both of these and the Spear). The important part is to have all nine core darkin weapons in our build.

Now, let’s jump into these new Aatrox decks, shall we?


World Ender: New Aatrox Decks

Aatrox Akshan

This first Aatrox blend features Akshan and friends in a Shurima-focused deck – as GeneralSchwartz says in his Ryze article, you can never go wrong with Akshan!

Regions
Runeterra
14 cards
Shurima
26 cards
Rarities
37 800
champion
6
epic
14
rare
5
common
15
Mana cost
0
0
11
1
11
2
12
3
2
4
1
5
3
6
0
7+
Champions
6
2
Akshan
3
Akshan
6
Aatrox
3
Aatrox
Equipments
11
2
The Darkin Aegis
3
The Darkin Aegis
2
The Darkin Harp
3
The Darkin Harp
1
The Darkin Bloodletters
3
The Darkin Bloodletters
2
The Darkin Spear
2
The Darkin Spear
Followers
12
1
Baccai Reaper
3
Baccai Reaper
1
Forsaken Baccai
3
Forsaken Baccai
3
Merciless Hunter
3
Merciless Hunter
3
Vekauran Vagabond
3
Vekauran Vagabond
Spells
11
1
Shaped Stone
2
Shaped Stone
3
Desert Duel
2
Desert Duel
3
Grappling Hook
2
Grappling Hook
3
Quicksand
2
Quicksand
4
Rite of Negation
2
Rite of Negation
5
Heedless Resurrection
1
Heedless Resurrection
Open deck in builder

We’re starting off with the deck I personally think will be the best initial Aatrox version, for a few specific reasons. First, it runs Rite of NegationRite of Negation to deal with Champions' StrengthChampions decks – that’s the most important part. Champion’s Strength is, in my opinion, the best card in the set (a card like, as Shadawx notices in his New Decks article, it's on everybody's radar), so I expect it to see lots of play. Packing a few denies to negate its power sounds pretty important, at least in the beginning of the patch.

Other than that, we’re running a pack of interaction on our strike spells, and a few copies of QuicksandQuicksand to deal with those pesky Elusive abusers (like, say, 4LW is planning to do with Kayle!). Overall, there’s room for refinement in this list, as I tried to make it well rounded against most things.


Vayne Quinn Aatrox

Regions
Demacia
30 cards
Runeterra
10 cards
Rarities
35 300
champion
6
epic
11
rare
9
common
14
Mana cost
0
0
4
1
21
2
6
3
4
4
2
5
3
6
0
7+
Champions
6
3
Vayne
3
Vayne
5
Quinn
2
Quinn
6
Aatrox
1
Aatrox
Equipments
9
2
The Darkin Harp
3
The Darkin Harp
2
The Darkin Aegis
3
The Darkin Aegis
2
The Darkin Spear
2
The Darkin Spear
2
The Darkin Lodestone
1
The Darkin Lodestone
Followers
15
1
Fleetfeather Tracker
3
Fleetfeather Tracker
2
Petricite Broadwing
3
Petricite Broadwing
3
Faithful Wolfdog
3
Faithful Wolfdog
4
Combat Cook
2
Combat Cook
4
Ranger-Knight Defector
2
Ranger-Knight Defector
6
Bloodcursed Harpy
2
Bloodcursed Harpy
Spells
10
1
Catch!
1
Catch!
2
Blinding Assault
3
Blinding Assault
2
Fish Fight
3
Fish Fight
2
Sharpsight
3
Sharpsight
Open deck in builder

Our second Aatrox deck is an adaptation of Quinn Vayne with PZPiltover & Zaun. We’re profiting from the fact that Quinn Vayne only goes to Piltover & Zaun because of The Darkin HarpThe Darkin Harp, and since splashing AatroxAatrox allows us to do just that, we can bring in some late-game potential and extra Darkin weapons to the mix, increasing the overall value of our Equipment cards like TumbleTumble and Catch!Catch!.

We can also abuse The Darkin BloodlettersThe Darkin Bloodletters to generate a few extra bodies which we can equip our weapons into (or even Tumble into the opponent while not feeling bad), and use a couple of copies of the doggo (Faithful WolfdogFaithful Wolfdog) because his auto-equip is more valuable on a Darkin weapon than it is on an improvised Equipment.

Additionally, because of Aatrox’s The World EnderThe World Ender Origin, we won’t have trouble making our big boy shine, since we are going to tutor our single copy anyway. This deck is a serious contender at a high-tier deck, in my opinion, and can make waves on ladder and tournaments if properly refined.


Aatrox Kayn

Our third build features the dynamic striking duo! Both AatroxAatrox's and KaynKayn's Origins are pretty limited as to what cards you can choose for the build, but we have some seriously high-power cards to abuse, like The Unforgiving ColdThe Unforgiving Cold, Momentous ChoiceMomentous Choice and Furious WielderFurious Wielder.

Regions
Runeterra
40 cards
Rarities
36 700
champion
6
epic
13
rare
5
common
16
Mana cost
0
0
12
1
10
2
3
3
7
4
5
5
3
6
0
7+
Champions
6
5
Kayn
3
Kayn
6
Aatrox
3
Aatrox
Equipments
11
2
The Darkin Aegis
3
The Darkin Aegis
2
The Darkin Harp
3
The Darkin Harp
1
The Darkin Bloodletters
3
The Darkin Bloodletters
2
The Darkin Spear
2
The Darkin Spear
Followers
14
1
Buhru Cultist
3
Buhru Cultist
1
Forsaken Baccai
3
Forsaken Baccai
2
Keeper of the Box
2
Keeper of the Box
3
Blooming Cultist
3
Blooming Cultist
4
Ambitious Cultist
3
Ambitious Cultist
Spells
9
1
Momentous Choice
3
Momentous Choice
4
Furious Wielder
2
Furious Wielder
4
The Unforgiving Cold
2
The Unforgiving Cold
5
Heedless Resurrection
2
Heedless Resurrection
Open deck in builder

As long as we don’t get overrun early on, our champions will be able to fully heal us back up, and KaynKayn is another nice zero-cost unit alongside JoraalJoraal once Aatrox flips.

Note that if we cast World EnderWorld Ender with The Darkin ScytheThe Darkin Scythe on the board, it will assimilate the follower into Kayn and level him up, but will deterministically transform him into RhaastRhaast every time and, because of that, won’t recall him on level up. He will become a fully-fledged Rhaast and be able to start healing us slowly but surely alongside AatroxAatrox.


Elise Aatrox

This fourth Aatrox deck uses SIShadow Isles tokens to give us more targets for our equipments. Husks from SulturSultur can transfer permanent weapon stats and Keywords onto a new unit, and SpiderlingSpiderlings and PreyPreys can wield other Equipment to either assimilate with World EnderWorld Ender, or make DarkinthrallDarkinthralls with The Darkin BloodlettersThe Darkin Bloodletters.

Regions
Shadow Isles
25 cards
Runeterra
15 cards
Rarities
36 000
champion
6
epic
12
rare
7
common
15
Mana cost
0
0
9
1
22
2
3
3
0
4
0
5
5
6
1
7+
Champions
6
2
Elise
3
Elise
6
Aatrox
3
Aatrox
Equipments
12
2
The Darkin Aegis
3
The Darkin Aegis
2
The Darkin Spear
3
The Darkin Spear
2
The Darkin Harp
3
The Darkin Harp
1
The Darkin Bloodletters
3
The Darkin Bloodletters
Followers
8
1
Boisterous Host
3
Boisterous Host
2
Fading Icon
3
Fading Icon
2
Sultur
2
Sultur
Spells
14
1
Quietus
3
Quietus
2
Glimpse Beyond
2
Glimpse Beyond
2
Vile Feast
3
Vile Feast
3
Black Spear
3
Black Spear
6
Vengeance
2
Vengeance
11
Utter Devastation
1
Utter Devastation
Open deck in builder

Although it doesn’t look as strong as other builds at first glance, it has some merit as a Shadow Isles blend that can pack copies of VengeanceVengeance, QuietusQuietus, and perhaps a tech choice of AtrocityAtrocity?


Aatrox Braum, ft. Ornn's Forge

Our fifth and last Aatrox deck packs FRFreljord units with hope of taking advantage of the Forge archetype, since we’re packing so many high-value weapons. 

Regions
Freljord
24 cards
Runeterra
16 cards
Rarities
36 100
champion
6
epic
13
rare
2
common
19
Mana cost
0
0
8
1
14
2
7
3
6
4
2
5
3
6
0
7+
Champions
6
4
Braum
3
Braum
6
Aatrox
3
Aatrox
Landmarks
2
3
Ornn's Forge
2
Ornn's Forge
Equipments
13
2
The Darkin Aegis
3
The Darkin Aegis
1
The Darkin Ballista
3
The Darkin Ballista
2
The Darkin Spear
3
The Darkin Spear
2
The Darkin Harp
2
The Darkin Harp
1
The Darkin Bloodletters
2
The Darkin Bloodletters
Followers
15
1
Weaponsmith's Apprentice
3
Weaponsmith's Apprentice
2
Favored Artisan
3
Favored Artisan
2
Ruthless Raider
2
Ruthless Raider
3
Adept Weaponsmith
3
Adept Weaponsmith
3
Kindly Tavernkeeper
2
Kindly Tavernkeeper
5
Hearthblood Mender
2
Hearthblood Mender
Spells
4
2
Here to Help
1
Here to Help
4
The Unforgiving Cold
3
The Unforgiving Cold
Open deck in builder

I chose to be on a triple BraumBraum version, but you can choose any amount of OrnnOrnn (that isn’t three) to complement the top end, even though it’s not actually needed. The Darkin BallistaThe Darkin Ballista fits into BraumBraum like a glove, and enables him to make great use of the Challenger + Regeneration combo.

Ornn's Forge can give us nice recurring value since the Hearthblood MenderHearthblood Mender into AatroxAatrox curve can regain some of the Health we lose because of the negative-tempo play of dropping the landmark down on curve. And xince our units are naturally beefy (because of both their base Health, and our Forges), it’s easier for us to get Assimilates off and put on a serious clock on the opponent once the big Darkins hit the field.

We do lack card draw on this build, which is the reason I’m slightly skeptical about it, but I can see it work in a slower, midrange-focused meta. We absolutely fold to Champions' StrengthChampions on non-The Unforgiving ColdThe Unforgiving Cold hands, though, which could be an issue.


Wrapping Up

Alright, and that’s it for Day One Aatrox decks.

If you have enjoyed one in particular, or have different ideas that I might have missed, let me know on my socials or in the Mastering Runeterra discord! I’ll be around there to talk about AatroxAatrox decks since it’s been a blast to build him, and I absolutely believe he’ll have a high place in the meta.

Looking for even more decks today? Then check:
GeneralSchwartz's ten Ryze decks, one for every region,
4LW's five Kayle decks,
Shadawx's seven World Ender decks combining old champs with new cards.

And if you’re made it this far into the article, thank you as always, and check out my links down below!


About the author

Playing LoR since beta, Masters player every season, with multiple rank 1s and 2s. Topped Seasonals twice, qualified for the Regional Worlds Qualifiers, and got way too many grassroots tops and wins to put into one single paragraph.

If you want to provide any feedback about the article feel free to reach out to me on any of my socials:

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/yangzera 

Discord: Yang#7463

I also do coaching! Want to improve on a fundamental level and have your skill transcend metas and balance patches? Contact me on Discord or Twitter for more info on pricing and available sessions!



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