The “new year new me” Aatrox went from pretty underwhelming to flat-out OP overnight following Tuesday night’s hotfix to League of Legends Patch 8.13.
The irony of the situation is that Aatrox was directly hotfixed on June 27, buffing his primary abilities and health by a fair amount—and that hotfix did almost nothing for his priority in the current meta. In other words, he was still considered pretty weak. The hotfix on Tuesday had absolutely nothing to do with Aatrox, and yet, that’s the one that broke him.
Tuesday’s hotfix was directed at marksmen and crit items, as well as some very minor range tweaks on Aatrox’s Q. Something behind the scenes, according to Riot staffer Richard Henkel on Twitter, flipped a switch that caused Aatrox’s Q strikes to apply on-hit boosts like Trinity Force’s Spellblade passive and the Grasp of the Undying rune. The results were… explosive.
Almost immediately after the hotfix was made, Riot dove back in and fixed it, but not before it wreaked havoc on solo queue for a little while. As you can see, it was just a bit too strong.
Without this ret-conned buff, Aatrox is back to underperforming, but there’s a good chance that’s still because his rework is very new and players are working through his kit. Outside of power levels, though, we’re not sure this rework was a success due to the clunky nature of his new Q and desperate-feeling short dash. His ultimate is probably the biggest boon of the new kit, because it’s a very clear moment of boosted power and it provides a lot of reliability to his old passive.
Unfortunately, that probably isn’t enough to redeem the update, and we’re hoping Riot is open to the idea of polishing up some of his animations and mechanics a bit more before settling.