Welcome to another installment of Weekly League, a segment in which we test some of the newest features that have been made available for public testing! Though we won’t be able to cover all of the changes incoming to the live servers, we will be reviewing the most major game-changing updates!
A new champion has arrived on the PBE: Aatrox, the Darkin Blade! Aatrox is best suited for top laning or jungling, depending on how you decide to build him. He’s a manaless champ who uses his abilities at the cost of a percentage of his health, however, his passive allows him to store the health used for his abilities and then revives him if he were to die. The skin that will accompany his classic skin once he’s released is the Justicar Aatrox skin, a theme that was also made available for Syndra.
Aatrox’s passive is called Blood Well, which stores 70% of the health used to activate his abilities. Blood Well has a base amount of 35% of the maximum capacity (the capacity scales with your level), and when you are out of combat, Blood Well decreases by 3% per second until it reaches the 35% base amount. There’s a 225 second cooldown on Blood Well, which will, again, revive you if you die. While Blood Well is on cooldown, you will not store any points into Blood Well.
Aatrox’s Q ability is called Dark Flight, which lets him dive up to a 650 point range (perfect for most walls) and costs 10% of your current health to activate. If you hit an enemy with Dark Flight, you will knock them up for 1 second and deal damage that scales with your attack damage stat (70/115/160/205/250 (+70% AD) at the time of this writing).
Aatrox’s W ability is an activatable passive called Blood Thirst/Blood Price. Blood Thirst allows Aatrox to heal himself with every third attack, with the healing amount increased if he’s below 50% health. Blood Price, however, allows Aatrox to deal additional damage with every third attack, but you’ll take 25% of the damage dealt. Both forms of this ability have a short 0.5 second cooldown and scales on your bonus attack damage stat. Blood Thirst is currently scaled at 20/25/30/35/40 (+25% Bonus AD), and its enhanced version is scaled at 60/75/90/105/120 (+75% Bonus AD). Blood Price is currently scaled at 60/95/130/165/200 (+70% Bonus AD).
Aatrox’s E ability is called Blades of Torment, which allows him to send a ranged attack that slows any enemy it hits. The range of Blades of Torment is currently at 900 points and costs 5% of your health to activate. Blades of Torment scales on your ability power stat, currently set at 75/120/165/210/255 (+60% AP), and its slow duration is set at 1.75/2/2.25/2.5/2.75 seconds.
Aatrox’s ultimate ability is called Massacre, which deals damage around Aatrox based on the enemy’s current health. Massacre has no cost and scales with his ability power stat (1% per 100 ability power). Additionally, for 12 seconds, Aatrox increases his maximum health based on the number of champions hit, which scales at 100/175/250 (+50/65/80 per champions hit), his attack speed increases at 25/35/45% (+10% per champions hit), and his attack range is set at 325 until the end of the duration.
Our first impression? Aatrox is an incredible bruiser with massive amounts of damage and a fair amount of CC. His Dark Flight ability can help to disrupt moves that require channels and his Blades of Torment gives him significant range and an added slowing effect. Though we didn’t get to test out Aatrox’s passive and ultimate that well, Blood Thirst serves as a good sustain ability while Blood Price gives him a surprising amount of added damage every 3rd attack. Our initial build focused on damage, life steal, and health. We could recommend adding some attack speed items such as Sword of the Divine or Phantom Dancer to help with Blood Thirst/Blood Price, however, with Massacre, this may not be entirely necessary.
Also, we managed to solo Baron even without a complete build! Our build when going against Baron consisted of a Giant’s Belt, Ionian Boots of Lucidity, Blade of the Ruined King, Phantom Dancer, Bloodthirster, and Guinsoo’s Rageblade. The build was quite effective once Aatrox dropped below 50% health, which activated Guinsoo’s Rageblade’s effect as well as Blood Thirst’s enhanced regeneration effect. Aatrox’s passive was never activated during this battle, so we still had a safeguard in the event that anything would’ve happened during the battle. Additionally, even against a 1v5 situation, Aatrox was able to hold his own, though CC-heavy teams may be able to make quick work of him as he is kinda squishy, relying more on life steal/spell vamp sustain rather than armor/magic resist/health.
In skin news, champions who are receiving new skins include Darius (Woad Darius Skin, previously named Norse God Darius) and Morgana (Ghost Bride Morgana). Both have been recently implemented for testing, so the general public should be able to get these skins in a few weeks.
As Howling Abyss was released a few weeks ago, there are no real new map updates to report. Of course, once the recently announced Magma Chamber map goes into public beta, you can be sure we’ll be covering everything about that map!
The Replay feature is still undergoing some final check-ups, but during our initial testings, the feature ran smoothly and with only a few minor bugs. We should expect this to launch live quite soon.
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