Aatrox, The Darkin Blade
Aatrox is among the few champions to receive a full relaunch, which aimed to address his initial iteration's problems, as his combination of mobility, sustain, and the ability to resurrect himself made him both very dangerous and very hard to take out of the fight. His relaunch aimed to deliver on a new vision - that of a "Bloodthirsty, greatsword-wielding Warlord."
Unfortunately (aside from this new identity overlapping heavily with Tryndamere) his updated kit brought little new to his role, his new niche was unclear, and future changes to his kit only served to further sand away anything meaningfully distinct.
The changes prescribed here draw from both his initial and relaunched identities, as a demonic force of carnage trapped within an unnerving, living blade, who seeks out strong hosts capable of harnessing his power. The result is a support-oriented Diver, who has exceptional synergy with aggressive melee allies.
One minor visual change that would accompany this redesign would be a middle-ground between his old and new weapons, becoming a whip-like greatsword that can extend to grant Aatrox's merciless strikes a little extra reach.
With this redesign being such a departure from both old and new Aatrox's kits, I wanted to make sure most of what players grew to love about him remained intact in some way. So, while he is now as reliant on hosts in-game as he is in the narrative, he's still a hyper-aggressive, life-draining, hard-to-kill demon with a fancy sword combo, who occasionally unleashes his true form so he can go ham on the enemy team.
While this new Aatrox is most suited to a supporting role, his ability to possess minions provides a novel approach to the solo sidelane as well.
All values in blue are meant to give a general idea of the ability's properties, and are subject to change.
Recommended Positions: Duo Sidelane (Support), Solo Sidelane
Innate: The Darkin Blade
Aatrox's bonus health is only applied to his True Form.
While not in his True Form, Aatrox's basic attacks and on-hit effects deal 20% reduced damage to non-minions, but his basic attacks and abilities that damage enemy champions draw in their essence, healing him for (10% bonus HP) health and his Host for 75% of that amount.
FIRST CAST: Aatrox readies his blade for up to 3 seconds, extending Massacre's range over the first 1.5 seconds. Massacre is canceled when the charge ends, refunding 50% of its cooldown.
SECOND CAST: Aatrox performs 3 slashes in the target direction over 1.5 seconds, with each slash more precise than the last. Each slash deals 15/45/75/105/135 + (105% total AD) physical damage to enemies in its path, and enemies struck by all 3 slashes have their armor reduced by 25% for 6 seconds.
Range: 325-650 (length), 70° (second strike angle); 200 (third strike width)
Targeting Type: Skill Shot - Half-Circle/Cone/Line (first/second/third strike)
W: Deathbringer Stance
PASSIVE: Every 14/12.5/11/9.5/8 seconds, Aatrox's next basic attack gains 500 bonus range and deals full damage to champions.
ACTIVE: Aatrox dashes to an ally champion or minion, possessing them and turning them into his Host. While possessing a Host, Aatrox gains access to his other abilities, becomes untargetable to non-turrets, and follows his Host's movement, but is Disarmed when Deathbringer Stance's empowered attack is on cooldown.
This ability can be re-cast while possessing a Host to detach from them and dash in the target direction.
Aatrox's first ability point is automatically invested in Deathbringer Stance.
Range: 600 (attach), 400 (detach)
Targeting Type: Targeted (attach), Skill Shot - Line (detach)
Cooldown: 5/4/3/2/1 (triggered upon detach)
Cost:10% current health (attach)
E: Dark Flight
Aatrox extends his blade forward, dealing (50% total AD) + (6/6.5/7/7.5/8% of target's HP) physical damage to enemies it impales and rooting them for 0.25 seconds, stopping if it strikes an enemy champion.
If the blade strikes a champion, Aatrox will pull his Host towards them until they reach his Host's maximum basic attack range.
Targeting Type: Skill Shot (line)
R: World Ender
PASSIVE: Aatrox stores 100% of The Darkin Blade's healing effects in his Blood Well. The Blood Well's capacity is equal to 100% of Aatrox's bonus health. World Ender cools down twice as fast while the Blood Well is full.
ACTIVE: Aatrox breaks free from his weapon and takes on his True Form, gaining 30/40/50% bonus movement speed and replacing his other abilities with a powerful Cataclysm Slash that deals 90/125/160 + (45% total AD) damage to nearby enemies, refreshing armor-reducing effects.
Aatrox's True Form has (100/120/140% bonus HP) health that is shared with his ally as a shield. Both the shield and True Form's health deplete at a rate of 5% per second, both are restored by 10% whenever Cataclysm Slash damages a champion, and damage suffered by one is taken by the other.
World Ender can only be cast while the Blood Well is full. Aatrox will revert from his True Form and return to his Host once his True Form's health is depleted, or his Host moves beyond a set distance.
Range: Self (activation), 1100 (max distance from Host), 300 (diameter of Cataclysm Slash)
Targeting Type: Self-Cast (World Ender), None - User-Based AoE (Cataclysm Slash)
Cooldown: 120/100/80 (World Ender), 3/2.5/2 (Cataclysm Slash)
Cost: 100% of Blood Well