Akali Build Guide by millordx
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5th and 6th Item
Example Full Build
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Hello and Welcome here. Before anything else, I am an Akali main and I built this guide for the purpose of being in love with this champion and hoping to be able to help those aspiring to be Akali main or be it you just came across this champion and wanted to learn her. I am a solo queue player from PH Server trying to climb the highest rank with Akali. I currently sit in Gold but my experience with this champion should be enough to build this guide nonetheless. Besides, I plan to improve this guide as soon as I get new experiences/ information for with champion. If ever this guide produced good feedbacks from you all, I will try to make this guide comprehensive by adding builds and strategies for a Tank Akali or an AP top/mid Akali.
Akali also known as "The Fist of Shadow" is a melee Assassin Champion that focuses on burst damage. Akali is a mid-laner for Low Elo and a top-laner at High Elo ranks. Akali is fragile and weak in the early stages (pre-6) of the game due to lack of initiate, gap closer and items. Since Akali is, like I said is weak early, I tried to hide her in the Jungle and somehow worked wonders mid-late game.
Jungle Akali is an off meta pick (but I think it is sometimes done in higher Elo ranks) and requires good runes to actually be able to do it right. My item build is still for an AP Akali that rushes Hextech Gunblade even before the Runic Echoes. You may find this a bit weird but I promise you that it is better this way than the other way around.
So now, let's start understanding this champion more.
Pros and Cons
> High Burst Damage
> Mobile Champion (Ult)
> Low Skill Cooldown
> Great Duelist
> High Spellvamp
> Good Split Pusher
> Very weak early game (pre-6)
> Countered by Vision Ward/ Lens/ CC
> Focused upon in Team Fights
Passive - Twin Disciplines
A decent passive that gives you more damage per 6 AP and a stronger Spell Vamp per 6 AD. This passive just makes Akali stay in the map all the time without backing to the base unless to buy items.
Q - Mark of the Assassin
The first maxed out skill as it is your main damage output against champions. You can take this as your first skill IF you will start in the Blue Side of the map.
W - Twilight Shroud
This can be used as an escape, a slow for running champions or be invisible while waiting for your skill's cooldown. The downside of this is that you can be hit by an AOE skill while inside and be seen by Vision Ward. This skill also gives you vision where the shroud is.
E - Crescent Slash
I usually take it first because of it's AOE and lower cooldown than your Q. I take it two levels (sometimes three depends on how long you want to stay in jungle) then leave it right there.
R - Shadow Dance
This is what makes you an assassin. Can be used always in all ways possible. Chasing, Gank, Escape and a gap closer if used correctly. Akali is in her most vulnerable without her Ult so use it wisely.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed
Greater Mark of Attack Speed
Greater Seal of Scaling Ability Power
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
I prefer Attack Speed Quintessence/ Marks because I find it hard to farm without attack speed and besides that attack speed will probably help you in pushing towers and to proc that Mark of the Assassin faster.
Scaling AP vs Flat AP/ Magic Penetration
I go for Scaling APs because at level 8, it already out-scales Flat APs and besides you will probably be staying most of the time in the Jungle clearing camps pre-6. Magic Penetration is a NO because of your passive Twin Disciplines which deals addition 1% bonus magic damage per 6 AP so having more AP is probably better.
It will give you better sustain in clearing camps but not always recommended because Akali is better of with damage. And not very useful against AP Champions.
Fury makes you more viable in the jungle but Sorcery is always good since you already have Attack Speed Quints and Marks. It's more of your personal preference.
Double Edged Sword vs. Feast vs. Expose Weakness
Expose Weakness is a no for Akali since you are the damage dealer and not the support type. Feast is just as good in the early game but has less use later on the game. Double Edged Sword is the best choice since you need more damage for your burst.
Vampirism vs Natural Talent
Vampirism stacks with the lifesteal from Hextech Gunblade and a little life steal early game is very useful in jungle. Natural Talent is also good as it gives you AD/ AP in which both your passive will benefit. Again, a personal preference.
Bounty Hunter vs. Oppressor
Oppressor isn't that good for Akali because your only movement impairment skill is your Twilight Shroud, the Hextech Gunblade and a Rylai's Crystal Scepter which will be build later in game. You can easily achieve that 5% increase for Akali anyway that's why Bounty Hunter is better.
Savagery helps you clear camps faster. 3% MS provided by Wanderer isn't that much anyway.
Runic Affinity vs. Secret Stash vs. Assassin
Akali is an assassin so I think it shouldn't even be explained. Runic Affinity may be good for jungler but 2% damage is still a damage and every damage counts for her. Secret Stash will only help you until level 3 or 5 at most in clearing camps but after that, it will be useless.
Merciless vs. Meditation
You don't have mana so Meditation is out of choice.
Bandit vs. Dangerous Game
You probably will be jungling not laning with the minions so Bandit is a no go besides why will you use that if you can last hit instead if ever you got into a lane?
Precision vs. Intelligence
You don't need the CDR on Intelligence much because your skills already have low cooldowns and your Shadow Dance gives you an Essence of Shadow on kills and assists so probably Precision is much more viable.
Stormraider's Surge vs. Thunderlord's Decree vs. Windspeaker's Blessing
Thunderlord's Decree has just the best effect among all these three and it is arguably the best keystone mastery there is. Stormraider's Surge may help you in chasing/ escaping but it doesn't help that much in duels/ clash since you have your Shadow Dance anyway. Windspeaker's Blessing shouldn't even be a choice here.
Hextech Gunblade -- it's just very good with Akali and I just think I should not explain. With this item, you can already gank all lanes easily. Rush this item after building Skirmisher's Sabre and before Runic Echoes.
Skirmisher's Sabre -- I prefer this over the two because it gives vision to the target for 3 seconds. It will be useful against enemy champions like Shaco, Twitch, Vayne, Wukong and those with invisibility.
vs. vs. Which is better?
The way I pick my Jungle item is entirely depending on the match up and play style. If I tend to be more aggressive early and ganks lanes more often, I will probably pick Stalker's Blade as its slow is really useful. If the match up have invisible enemy champion or like Master Yi that can't be slowed or you tend to be more of a duelist, I will definitely pick Skirmisher's Sabre but if I want map awareness, which is really useful for the whole team, then I will pick Tracker's Knife. Don't be tied to what is recommended, most of the time, items depend entirely on the match up.
Zhonya's Hourglass -- this just gives you everything, AP for heavier burst, Armor for defense ofcourse and it's active, the most important. In a clash, Akali is one of the primary targets because of her squishiness and her very heavy burst. So once you're inside the enemy lines (after you killed the ADC or other squishy backlines), use Zhonya's to stop them from attacking you and it will change their target so you can kill the rest of the enemies after.
Sorcerer's Shoes -- a classic mage/ assassin boots.
Rabadon's Deathcap -- the passive just gives you better AP Stats which would also mean better burst.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter -- Health and Slow? Yes please. Gives you more sustain.
Nashor's Tooth -- I just love how you can proc your Mark of the Assassin faster and this will give you a better split pushing/ objectives to take. I prefer this over Rylai's Crystal Scepter and Rabadon's Deathcap sometimes.
Banshee's Veil -- Against Heavy AP Crowd Control Champions. I don't personally build this but is a great counter against crowd control.
Guardian Angel -- Good defensive stats and once brought back to life, you can probably be able to spellvamp your HP back to full health especially in duels.
Abyssal Scepter -- Good against AP Burst enemies.
There are two routes with different camps. The Blue Side and the Red Side. I will list here the camps per side:
|Blue Side||Red Side|
|Blue Sentinel||Red Brambleback|
|Greater Murk Wolf||Crimson Raptor|
I prefer to start at the Red Side with the Ancient Krugs. The Smite Bonus of this Monster is very useful especially against the Red Brambleback and the Rift Scuttler.
My usual path is: Ancient Krugs (Smite) --- Crimson Raptor (kill the smaller ones first) --- Rift Scuttler --- Red Brambleback (kill the smaller ones first) (Smite if you're in low health) --- Gank (if possible), if not, then go to the Blue Side. Greater Murk Wolf (kill smaller ones first) --- Gromp (Smite if Availble) then teleport back to base to buy items. After that, you can actually continue to jungle if there are no available gank-able lanes 'til you reach level 6 and get your Hextech Revolver.
If you just got that feeling you wanted to start somewhere else or you just got invaded in the Red Side, here is an alternative route starting from the Blue Side.
Gromp (Smite) --- Greater Murk Wolf (kill the smaller ones first) --- Rift Scuttler --- Blue Sentinel (not advisable to use smite because you don't need mana but can be used to clear it faster) then gank if available and so on.
I don't prefer the Blue Side start since it really is harder to start there and the smite bonus from the camps there aren't that big help in clearing camps.
Akali excels in ganks, duels and burst the ADCs and is very unforgiving to those enemy champions who don't build Magic Resist items. Always try to take down/ burst the squishiest enemy champions in the back then the rest can be taken cared of by your other teammates.
Q Mark of the Assassin --- R Shadow Dance --- E Crescent Slash --- Auto Attack (AA) --- Hextech Gunblade --- Q again --- 2nd R --- Auto Attack --- E again. Usually, squishy champions should be dead by the 2nd R but if by some miracle, they survived, you still have 1 charge of your Ult to finish it off.
Flash - Shadow Dance Combo
I usually do this combo to catch enemy champions off guard. This covers a very long distance and if used correctly, be able to settle a kill.
Twilight Shroud - Shadow Dance
I do this mostly in camps with terrain in my front and my wards are on cooldown. Simply put the shroud in the camp the use your Shadow Dance to get to there.