Feedback on the latest set of Aatrox changes (4/23 PBE Update)

* #Deathbringer Stance (Passive) >Bonus damage lowered from [8-16%] to [5-10%] This change feels pretty bad. The whole point of Aatroxes passive is to get that big empowered autoattack. The fact that it also heals you now is amazing, it's a great source of sustain in lane (honestly, a bit too good), but its damage never was out of line. It feels kinda pointless to even pay attention to it when for the majority of the game you're doing only 6-7% of a target's HP once per fight/trade. At level 18, 10% HP + heal on a 15 second cooldown (practically lower) as a champion's entire passive doesn't really feel really satisfying. BotRK literally does 8% HP and heals for it **ON EVERY HIT**, it's just current HP instead of max. **Suggestion**: Keep the damage at 5-15% at levels 1 to 18 and simply reduce the healing to 75% of bonus damage dealt instead of 100%. This way his lane sustain will be a little less easily accessible too. * #The Darkin Blade (Q) > * Cooldown start time changed from [on Q1 cast] to [after Q cast sequence ends] * Cooldown lowered from 16/15/14/13/12 to 12/10.5/9/7.5/6 This change did not feel as bad as I expected it, but it's _weird_. On its own it seems like it's fine and it's actually pretty good in the late-game where Qs are usually spammed instead of interwoven with autos. Before that, however, it forces me to make decisions that feel strangely counterproductive. For example: * In lane I now have to choose between weaving a couple autos between Qs and postponing having to deal with the 12 full seconds where I'm literally doing nothing but autoing. I feel like I'm supposed to play lane like a slow Irelia now, Q everything as fast as possible to put the skill on cooldown then just keep autoattacking. It feels punishing to only use one Q, then delay the second and third casts to generate threat and use them on a more opportune moment. * Having to spam-Q instead of spacing the casts out is also fighting for a spot in my list of priorities with using E on as many Q casts as possible. Not being able to E on every Q now is already a controversial choice, and now I'm pressured to forgo Eing my Qs even more, cause if I wait 3 seconds on at least two Q casts, I'm literally shooting myself in the foot with my Q cooldown management. * During ulti, using Q feels more like short bursts of desperately trying to reach enemies (with E only available on one Q out of three) then with a short window of downtime, rather than a consistent cycle of damage and threat that I can manage depending on the situation to zone enemies out and maximize E usage. * With Q having windows of downtime, E not matching every Q (or even 2 Qs per sequence) since Q is not worth spacing out, and E being overall quite spammable, there's a weird situation where you just spam E a couple of times in combat just for the tiny mobility itself (since it doesn't give AD anymore so it has no combat benefit on its own), and it feels slightly ridiculous, like a gimped Lucian E. E is 100% a complementary skill to Q, and being forced to spam Qs to get rid of the cooldown but also spacing them out to maximize E utility simply feels like there's no optimal way to use the two skills together. **Suggestion**: One of the two changes has to be reverted. Q should either not be able to be cast with every E without significantly spacing out every Q cast, but at least it should go on cooldown on the first cast **OR** it should go on cooldown after the final cast, but E should be somehow made to work with all 3 Qs being used in rapid succession. * #Infernal Chains (W) > * Slow changed from 15/20/25/30/35% to 35% * Cooldown increased from 18/17/16/15/14 to 26/23/20/17/14 Love the reliable slow in the laning phase, the W cooldown is huge but surprisingly it doesn't hurt as much as I thought. Enemies can't disrespect my W completely in lane but they don't have to fear it constantly. Enjoyable change overall, both for Aatrox and his enemy. * #World Ender (R) > * Aatrox receives 40/55/70% increased healing during World Ender instead of 50/75/100% Still feels super cool, still heals enough to feel super cool (and drain-tank), overall good choice to remove power from this. > * Triggering a Revive no longer clears short buffs on Aatrox (ex. Conqueror stacks) Also feels good, reviving with 1/3rd HP, usually in a bad position and then having to re-stack Conqueror was a pain. At least now I can fight immediately. ---------- TL;DR: * Passive losing a bit of healing feels good when facing Aatrox, but losing that extra 5% max HP damage in the late game makes it feel rather underwhelming as a powerful heart thrust. * Q change doesn't feel bad on its own, but its interaction with E optimal usage feels weird and uncomfortable. I feel like it forces me into lose/lose decisions both in lane and in team fights. * W changes are great. W feels more impactful for all-ins when landed and I don't feel worthless when I don't have it for longer, even though I can't just throw it out on every trade without thinking anymore. * R changes are also cool. Not losing Conq is a great QoL change and if a numerical nerf had to be done, I'm glad that it's the extra healing that got hit rather than the AD or movespeed (and honestly the extra healing needed to be dialed back slightly, before yesterday an ulting Aatrox with a potion popped and any healing support was a bit ridiculous even with no healing items yet, like DD/Visage.)
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