So, the other day I found myself in top lane (as Riven) against the newest champion, Aatrox. And much to my annoyance, I lost lane pretty badly, with there being little I could do about it.

The first problem is that Aatrox has built in sustain. Even before he gets items, he can heal up easily by just auto attacking minions. Considering he has a ranged slow for harass, this makes trading a joke, as he'll heal up any damage I deal, while I need to burn potions or recall.

The second problem is that the lane is nearly unkillable. Sure, I can get in and do some nice damage as Riven, but his jump is very effective at letting him get away, and though I managed to force his passive several times, at that point he's close enough to his tower to escape before I can finish the job.

In short, I'm up against a laning opponent that I can't kill and who has better harass and sustain. Is there a reasonable way to actually win this lane on my own, or do I need to farm it out and ask for jungler assistance?

  • If your not already, you could try using more sustainable starting items to stay in lane. (Five pots with cloth armor, rejuvenation bead, or possibly an elixir of fort.) Also, try igniting him when his passive goes off? Then after his passive finishes, you could try and stun him before he gets away with his flight, to finish him off. That's all I got, hope this helps.
    – Jonny
    Jun 27, 2013 at 18:08
  • @JonnyB his passive makes him invunerable while it is activating.
    – Ender
    Jun 27, 2013 at 18:17
  • Are you looking for advice on laning against Aatrox as Riven, or just generally laning against Aatrox?
    – Ryre
    Jun 27, 2013 at 18:36
  • @Toast Why not both? ;)
    – Sadly Not
    Jun 27, 2013 at 18:40
  • 1
    Nicholas, your question titles aren't really matching up to well with the description, you're asking how to lane against an aatrox in the title, but then how to beat him on riven in the description, this is also the case in the other question you asked
    – Brian
    Jun 27, 2013 at 20:23

4 Answers 4


Aatrox is extremely reliant on basic attacks. Getting a Ninja Tabi and a Wardens Mail will shut him down HARD. Wardens Mail eventually can become a Frozen Heart or Randuins Omen, both of which are excellent defense items against Aatrox.

If his jump is becoming a problem consider a Phage to perhaps enhance your movespeed enough to catch up to him, or perhaps a Bilgewater Cutlass\Blade of the Ruined King. Both item's have an active that slows him down and the BoRK actually speeds you up as well.

A good Aatrox will make good use of his escapes, and short of using the assistance of a good gank, he may be hard to kill. The trick is catching him while his abilites are on CD as they tend to be moderatly long.

If you can't bring him down just farm it out, as long as you can get him to the point where he has trouble striking the minions, you've got him cold, as he can no longer sustain.


If you're ever having trouble top lane, don't be afraid to ask your jungler for assistance. If you don't make the jungler aware of a problem they likely won't see it and help you out.

As for the matchup, TL;DR Riven beats Aatrox in lane because he simply cannot trade with her. The key is understanding how to trade.

Riven straight up does more damage in a shorter time, and is free to engage/disengage with her high mobility, so Aatrox cannot win an all-out melee battle with her. Aatrox relies on auto attacks for his damage, and he should not be auto-attacking you more than once in a trade because you can Q-auto-W-Q-auto-Q-auto, which both stuns and slams him while dealing high damage.

His best chance at getting autos on you is committing with his Q so that you are cc'ed and he can start dealing damage. The problem with this is that, as stated above, Riven wins melee battles. He has committed to a fight he cannot win, and he cannot escape because his only escape is on CD and you have two short-range dashes (Q and E) to chase him with. His E is useless here because the slow does not reduce the chasing power provided by your Q and E. You will catch up with him and deal much more damage.

Since you destroy him in melee battles and he cannot risk a melee engage with his Q, you take the role as aggressor here. If he Qs away when you try to engage, you are winning. His Q costs HP, and the only way for him to heal is auto attacking. Keep doing this and he's just wearing himself down. Stand in the minions and zone him so he can't heal. Freeze your lane so no minions move closer to his tower. Punish him with your burst for coming too close - getting his Q on cooldown is sufficient. He cannot trade with you, cannot heal, and cannot farm, so this lane is completely over. You do not need to kill him, just establish dominance and farm because you scale well and can win other engagements with a gimped Aatrox.

There's only two things to worry about at this point: jungle ganks and Aatrox' harass. As for jungle ganks, ward up the river. You can easily back off when the jungler comes, or even kill Aatrox if his passive is down. As for harras, Aatrox only has E, which costs him HP and is extremely easy to dodge. Keep in mind that you are Riven - you have high enough base speed to move out of his E skillshot, and you also have two short-range dashes (Q and E) to help you out if you are having trouble.

You really don't need to build a whole lot against him - Ninja Tabi are sufficient or get another armor item. Build as normal and you'll continue crushing him in lane.

If you want to get a feel for how this lane works, watch WingsOfDeath play Riven against Aatrox. Unfortunately I lost the old video was taken down, but this one still demonstrates the lane.


I main Aatrox. I would say I'm fairly decent at top laning with him. One of the things this article seems not to mention is Aatrox's ultimate. The massive increase in attack speed with range is a deadly combination, especially if Aatrox has built Blade of the Ruined King, which I consider to be core on him. I know many times that I have used my ult just to regain health.

As Aatrox, I don't have to worry about getting engaged upon because I can hit from distance and with how fast I can hit, I am back to full health quite quickly. Another strategy that has come about is an Aatrox E build. His E can either be used as extra damage or life steal. The extra damage plus his ultimate can lead to many headbutts. However, Aatrox has his revive which gives him the win.

In order to effectively out-fight Aatrox, you will need to have Attack Speed slows.

  • Hey General Kline, and welcome to Arqade! I've edited your post to break up the paragraphs and copy-edit a bit, but I personally feel like your answer could be stronger. The question is asking specifically how to counter Aatrox, and yet your post simply details his strengths. If you could edit your post to discuss viable counterplays to his strengths, then your post in turn would be much, much stronger! :)
    – Schism
    Sep 25, 2013 at 19:44

A lot of people are saying zone Aatrox ut of farm, and he won't be able to sustain... Well, you're wrong kind of! People are talking about his E as a harass when actually if you are zoning him out of farm he can still E from a deacent range and life steal back and maybe even poke you a bit. Although zoning him is a very good idea it won't always work. If you are against Aatrox, just don't let him kill you, zone, but also play safe, since he snowballs pretty fast!

As for being Riven, You can easily beat Aatrox, just trade with his as much as possible, Riven has a shield which can completely ruin Aatrox! Just use your shield well while fighting him and your trades will be way, WAY, more successful than his!

And if you're looking about how to beat Riven with Atrox... Well, it is quite hard, especially if the Riven knows what she is doing! In my mind and game the trick is to bait her dashes, (Q-E) doing that will let you harass while those abilities are on CD! Also pick your pokes well, as i said before Riven will laugh if you try to trade with her, unless you catch her off guard! This is what i have in mind. Riven-Dash Aatrox-Jump/smash while Riven jump smashes! Then you have you're e and w left to kill her. I hope this helped.

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