Future turbofan engines seek shorter intakes to reduce the cruise fuel burn of a low pressure ratio, large diameter fan. However, shorter intakes increase the level of flow distortion entering the rotor when the aircraft angle of attack (AOA) is high, reducing thrust when critically needed. This paper considers how the fan rotor radial pressure ratio distribution and tip velocity triangle can be designed to improve thrust at high AOA. Full annulus, unsteady CFD is performed on three rotor designs coupled to a short intake. We show that rotor design for high AOA should be guided by three flow mechanisms. Mechanism i) is caused by high Mach number flow over the bottom intake lip, which chokes the rotor leading to high loss. Mechanism ii) is the loss generation in the rotor tip as it passes through an intake separation. Mechanism iii) shows radial flows through the rotor change both the amount and the way work is imparted on the flow. Two comparable rotor design philosophies for high thrust are proposed; high work or low loss. Rotors designed to a mid-high radial pressure ratio distribution impart high work on streamlines that migrate radially towards the hub and exit the rotor at highly cambered sections. Meanwhile, tip-high designs reduce choking losses in the midspan when operating with a separated intake, particularly when the tip velocity triangle is designed to high axial velocity diffusion over high camber. However, such designs suffer with higher tip losses after exiting an intake separation.