So, I was tempted several times to come to the forum and write up a huge wall of text about how trash the new Aatrox is, but the thing is that's a pointless debate - we all know it at this point so I came to discuss something even better: is Aatrox sucking a GOOD thing?
First of all, it's blatantly obvious that Riot WANTED Aatrox to be an unreliable champion when it came to fighting. I don't think it's a coincidence his main damage source is clunky and hard to land, or that everyone can just casually walk out of his CC, or that he has a pitiful mobility option. So the question is, if Riot INTENTIONALLY made Aatrox suck at all this, WHY did they do it?
When you look at Aatrox's kit, you start to realize that it's not FIGHTING that Aatrox is good at ( referring to mid game, not his 10 mins or so of lane phase bullying ). Aatrox's strongsuit is that he thrives in situations where most other champions would not. The first situation being turret dives. We all know how risky a turret dive can be, and as a jungler main there are so many times when my teammate is like "gank my lane bro" but I'm like "your lane is pushed all the way to his turret, so no I'm not ganking". However, when I'm jungling as Aatrox and my top laner is like "gank my lane bro" with the wave pushed to the turret I'm like "HELLS YEAH DUDE, LET'S BUST HIS CHEEKS WIDE OPEN" ( no really, I actually said "bust his cheeks wide open" instead of "ganking top" in one of my Aatrox matches ) because as Aatrox, you are that one guy on your team that can afford to thrust yourself into ridiculous situations and still come out on top. There's no such thing as "overextending" or "going too ham". If you are "playing safe" as Aatrox, you are doing it wrong. Your kit ENCOURAGES you to play like a person with a death wish because **that's precisely what Aatrox has**.
Not going to go over his entire lore because anyone who cares about the champion has already read it, but we know that his new story depicts him as a fallen warrior who hates himself and wishes to no longer exist and feels that the only way to accomplish that goal is by constantly fighting, and not *any* fight but starting a battle so catastrophic it'll destroy **everything** including himself. Lore-wise, Aatrox isn't fighting to defend something, or because there's an enemy he wants to defeat. Simply put, the poor guy wants death and he wants it as soon as possible. This would explain why he's not reliable when it comes to dealing damage ( he doesn't care about winning a war or a battle, he just wants the outcome to include him finally being able to die ), and why his kit makes him thrive in the most dangerous situations possible. When you think about it, the best way to land his Q is to swing it at multiple targets - even if you don't hit 3 with the sweet spot, you'll at least hit 1. The best way to get value out of his E passive? Hit multiple targets instead of just one. Best way to get value out of his ultimate? Fight multiple targets so they can kill you and proc your revive.
So I guess the final question is what is the point of a champion who isn't necessarily designed to be reliable, but to instead be inconsistent and die? Because we already established that this guy really isn't meant for damage, otherwise Riot would've made his Q way more reliable, and they would've made it so that he could still be effective with a damage build ( he isn't, building damage items is dumb because you won't be able to reap the benefits of a crap ton of AD since you will inevitably miss a bunch of your Q sweet spots, as well as the fact that when you don't build tank items he dies very quickly, meaning you're not able to get value out of his abilities that thrive cause him to thrive in dangerous situations facing multiple opponents at once + a possible turret ). I've found that the true purpose of Aatrox is to basically waste time. That's it.
You know that saying, "Don't chase Singed?" Well, we need a new saying called "Don't fight Aatrox." Aatrox is a champion that WANTS to die because even when he does die, he doesn't actually die, and if he has GA, he still doesn't die after you've killed him a second time. In team fights, I've found that the best thing to do is to run in and put myself in literally the worst position possible where the main damage dealers on the enemy team have easy access to me. This is problematic for the enemy team for several reasons:
* I've raised my chances of landing my Q for maximum damage because I'm swinging it at multiple targets and at least ONE of them is going to be on the sweet spot
* Since my Q is hitting multiple people, I'm getting maximum value out of my E passive
And then we have what I like to call the "impossible decision" effect: The enemy team has to make two choices. Either do something about Aatrox, or ignore Aatrox. Both of these come with consequences. Ignoring Aatrox means I get to land my abilities easier because if you're tunnel visioning my teammates, you're less focused on where I'm aiming my Qs, which means I'm going pummel you. Hard. I also have a W to pull you back to me and away from my team, that again, you won't dodge because you're ignoring me and won't know that I've just cast it in your direction. Oh, and BTW, I have 20% bonus attack damage with my ult, so if you thought my Qs hurt before, they'll hurt even more now ( especially since you aren't dodging them ) and a larger model size ( so some of your skill shots will hit me even if you intended for them to hit someone else ).
So you're like "Ok, we'll focus Aatrox then." But wait, tanks LOVE it when you focus them, so that's not a good option either. And not only am I a tank but I'm a tank who WANTS TO DIE BECAUSE WHEN I DIE I'M NOT ACTUALLY DEAD! You're going to have to repeat that process one to two more times before I'm actually gone. By the way, if you actually chose this route, that means my team has most likely already killed one or more members of your team in the time it took you to deal with me, which means we win the team fight.
Aatrox is actually designed pretty well if you ask me. Stop trying to play him as "Riven 2.0", he is not Riven 2.0 just because he has a spammable Q, CC, a dash and an ultimate that makes him stronger. By that logic, Yasuo is also a Riven knockoff, but I don't see you guys arguing that Yasuo is "Riven 2.0" because you know that despite the similarities in the kit, these two champions have two different play styles and should be built differently. Yes, Aatrox resembles Riven, but the difference is Riven goes in with the intent to kill everything. Aatrox goes in with the intent of dying. Multiple times. This sounds dumb on paper, but in practice wins team fights just as much as a skilled Riven player can. It's really hard to win a team fight when your entire backline is trying to decide whether to zip past Aatrox and deal damage to more squishy targets or trying to burst/CC him down.