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Akali Build Guide by Pure Panphobia


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League of Legends Build Guide Author Pure Panphobia

[7.16 IN-DEPTH] AKALI MID, TOP, AND JUNGLE GUIDE

Pure Panphobia Last updated on August 11, 2017
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Team 1

Ability Sequence

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Ability Key Q
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Ability Key W
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Ability Key E
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Ability Key R

Masteries

12 Ferocity

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18 Cunning

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0 Resolve

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Threats to Akali with this build

Threat
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High
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Threat Champion Notes
1
Brand His damage takes too long to accumulate. He'll die before he can get it all off.
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Viktor Slow. Immobile. Unreliable CC. No threat.
1
Ziggs Slow. Immobile. Unreliable CC. No threat.



Welcome to another in-depth guide for League of Legends. This guide we'll be covering Akali, the Fist of Shadow. Before we get into the guide itself and the details it contains, we'll go into a bit of background information and some Pros and Cons. I'll do my best to explain Akali in a very clear way.

Akali is a high-mobility, high damage, AP-burst Assassin. She functions best by using that high burst damage to delete a squishy enemy, and then using the mobility to get out of a potential tight situation. She's also able to use that mobility to go back in and grab another kill or assist. She also has a good amount of built-in sustain to help her in prolonged skirmishes. Relying on Energy instead of Mana, Akali is able to go with a large variety of starting items, making her very adaptive and capable of choosing the best opening options based on her lane opponent. She can very easily snowball and Gain a huge advantage, and thanks to her mobility she can roam and spread that advantage to other lanes easily as well. But we'll talk about that later.

Pro's N' Con's


Pro's


+ Has An Invisibility Skill
+ High Mobility
+ High Damage Output
+ Built-In Sustain
+ Low Cooldowns
+ No Mana
+ Easily Snowballs
+ Highly Adaptable

Con's


- Easily Harassed By Ranged Laners
- Susceptible To CC
- Naturally Low Base HP
- No Hard CC
- Hard to Trade Before Level 6
- Better at Engaging than Escaping




QUINTS


MARKS


GLYPHS
  • Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power: Ability power is important.
    Scaling glyphs gets you a big benefit in the late game and when combined with the Quints in this guide, you don't lose anything in the late game.
  • Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: The early, flat magic resist helps a bit in the laning phase against AP opponents. You can replace these with more AP, but I like the little bit of defense.


SEALS
  • Greater Seal of Scaling Armor: These are designed to give you steadily more armor as the game goes on. These are here to ensure your protection from enemy and most monsters' auto attacks and physical damage scales with their ability to do so, as much as possible.
  • Greater Seal of Scaling Health: These are designed to give you steadily more maximum HP as the game goes on. This helps with late game survivability and allows you to stay alive longer if you need to engage or fall victim to some unexpected misfortunes.


These are the masteries I run in the middle lane. This combination of masteries provides you with a tone of damage, although it does leave you slightly less in terms of defense. But in the middle lane, where you don't tend to see tankier opposition, these masteries are what I find to be most useful.



This is the mastery set I take when I play Akali in the Top lane. It's optimized to still provide you with a ton of burst damage, but this time you're not sacrificing any defensive options. The defense is much needed in the typically tankier top lane matchups. More about playing Akali top lane later in the guide.



These masteries are what I take in the jungle. It's a very similar setup to the Top lane masteries with just a few jungler specific changes. These are also geared to give you a ton of burst damage and still have plenty of defensive masteries too. More specific help about jungling as Akali will be later in the guide.




PASSIVE
ABILITY
Twin Disciplines (Passive): This ability has 2 parts. For the first part, Akali's next auto attack heals her by 5(scaling to 60)
+ 60% of bonus Attack Damage + 45% of Ability Power. Akali's second auto attack deals 10(scaling to 100) + 50% of bonus Attack Damage + 65% of Ability Power as magic damage.


Q
Mark of the Assassin (Q): This ability is the "bread and butter" ability for Akali's damage. Akali throws a kama at a target, dealing 35(scaling to 115) + 40% Ability Power as magic damage. This marks the target for 6 seconds. Akali's next auto attack on that target detonates the mark and deals a bonus of 45(Scaling to 145) + 50% of Ability Power as magic damage. It also restores 40 Energy.


W
Twilight Shroud (W): Akali throws down a cover of smoke which grants vision in the area of effect that lasts for 8 seconds. Casting Twilight Shroud places Akali's other abilities on a 0.5 second global cooldown. While inside the area, Akali becomes invisible. Attacking or using abilities will briefly reveal her for 0.65 seconds. Akali gains 20(scaling to 100)% bonus movement speed while inside her shroud. Enemies inside the smoke have their movement speed reduced by 14(Scaling to 30)%. Akali can use this ability to go over small walls.


E
Crescent Slash (E): Akali flourishes her kamas, hitting nearby units for 70(Scaling to 190) + 60% of ability power + 80% of total attack damage as physical damage. If Crescent Slash kills a unit, its cooldown is 60% refunded.


R
Shadow Dance (R): This is [akali]]'s Ultimate Ability. Akali moves through the shadows to quickly deal 50(Scaling to 150) + 35% of ability power as magic damage to the target and appear next to it. Akali gains an Essence of Shadow once every 30(Reducing to 15) seconds, affected by cooldown reduction. She can store up to a total of 3. The time to gain a charge doesn't count when at maximum charges. Additionally, Akali gains an Essence of Shadow for a kill or an assist.


Summoner Spells

Flash is necessary on almost every champion, and Akali is no exception. Her Shadow Dance is great for engaging and chasing enemies, but unless you have a minion or can see a monster over a wall, it doesn't let you escape amazingly well. Escape can be done in other ways, but Flash is just the fastest escape you have, not to mention to extra chase potential it gives you. Ignite is what i consider to be a staple on Akali when you're intending to lane with her. The true damage just gives you an edge in trades and helps you to burst people down. The grievous wounds effect stops them from being able to heal out of your burst.11111111 11111111 11111111 11111111 11111111 11111111 11111111 11111111 11111111 11111111 11111111 11111111 Smite is necessary on Akali if you are taking her into the jungle. The health it gives when used on monsters and the access it gives you to Jungler only items cause this Spell to be a Jungler requirement.]11111111 11111111 11111111 11111111 11111111 11111111 11111111 11111111 11111111 11111111 11111111 11111111 11111111 11111111 11111111 11111111 11111111 11111111 11111111


Lich Bane is one of Akali's main 2 items. The damage from its spellblade passive stacks with the damage from detonating Akali's Mark of the Assassin and really makes for a TON of extra burst damage, not to mention the 80 Ability Power it gives you to further increase your damage overall.

THE CORE

Hextech Gunblade is the second core item for Akali because of it giving both Ability Power and Attack Damage, as well as adding to her sustain and giving her an extra active ability to increase her burst damage. The bonus Attack Damage and the Ability Power both reinforce each part of her Twin Disciplines passive.

BOOT OPTIONS

Sorcerer's Shoes are the damage-focused boots in this build. The magic penetration is great for making the most of Akali's damage, and of course 45 more movement speed is also quite nice.11111111 11111111 11111111 11111111 11111111 111111111 Boots of Mobility are more utility focused as an option. They're mainly meant for when you're jungling as Akali as it allows you to gank lanes rapidly, regardless of whatever lane you were in last or what objective you just took. It also allows to go to objectives quickly from lanes. Ninja Tabi are my go-to boots for a defensive option. The 10% damage reduction to enemy auto-attacks is great, as well as the armor. I don't tend to buy Mercury's Treads very much right now as they just aren't very good. 11111111 11111111 111111111

PURE DAMAGE ITEMS

Void Staff is extremely useful as Akali, as the amount of magic resist it allows her to ignore adds to the effectiveness of her burst damage. I recommend this in any situation where you're either going full damage, or you're not buying other forms of magic penetration. Luden's Echo is yet another item that gives a lot of Ability Power and has a subsequest ability that adds to Akali's burst damage. It also gives a substantial amount of bonus movement speed to increase her ability to roam, gank, or contest long-distance objectives. Rabadon's Deathcap is the pinnacle of Ability Power burst champions. The ridiculous amount of flat Ability Power it gives you, plus the 35% increase to total Ability Power makes Akali deal an insane amount of damage and truly represent the definition of "one-shot".


DAMAGE ITEMS WITH DEFENSE

Banshee's Veil is a good item to pick up if you're experiencing a lot of enemy CC and/or Magic damage. It gives you an insane amount of Magic Resist and the spellshield passive will be able to save you from potentially life-threatening Crowd Control. It also gives you 70 Ability Power, which is a huge boost to Akali's damage. Guardian Angel is another Armor + Damage item that works on Akali, though due to the fact that it gives Attack Damage, it isn't the most amazing option. That said, the revive passive is still extremely useful, and the bonus AD does benefit Twin Disciplines and Crescent Slash, so it isn't useless in that regard either. Zhonya's Hourglass is another solid damage item that provides defense, but in the form of Armor instead of MR. The active can save you in tight situations or negate things like Zed's Death Mark, and it once again gives you a solid 70 Ability Power to provide a substantial benefit to Akali in the form of overall damage output.

USEFUL DEFENSE ITEMS

Adaptive Helm is a passable item on Akali if the enemy team has a good amount of magic damage, especially damage-over-time, and I need to be extra tanky. The extra health is nice for general survivability and the magic resist is great in heavy AP enemies, but the main reason is the passive. This passive will stop you from getting poked with the same ability over and over, and works really well against damage-over-time champions like Swain. 111111 111111 1111111 1111111 111111 111111 111111 111111 111 Spirit Visage is another very good item on Akali if you need to be extra tanky against heavy magic damage. More max health than Abyssal Mask but with just a little less magic resist. The extra health regen is also nice. The most beneficial thing about this item that sets it apart from other options though is, again, the passive. The extra healing works with Twin Disciplines and Hextech Gunblade to maximize your sustain. 111111 111 Dead Man's Plate is, in my opinion, the best armor tank item for Akali. It gives as much health and armor as Sunfire Cape but rather than allowing for a slow damage-over-time effect, it adds to your overall burst damage. It also helps you to roam, gank,
or get to objectives faster because of the movement speed bonus. It also gives a very slight assist to escaping, provided you get enough distance to safely build movement speed.


MIDDLE AND TOP LANE


Laning in Mid or Top with Akali can be varied in process depending on whether or not the lane opponent is melee or ranged, and obviously also as to whether the opponent is a counter or not. Generally speaking, Laning phase is where Akali falls short until she gets level 6. Once you reach level six and get access to use Shadow Dance, the entire aspect of the lane changes, regardless of the type of matchup. That said, allow me to walk you through the laning phase in each situation.

Melee Lanes - Melee lanes are where Akali has a pretty good advantage over many matchups. There are not a lot of melee enemies who have a built in sustain that's as good as Twin Disciplines, and those who do don't also have a high damage passive ability like the second half of Twin Disciplines. The general tactic against melee champions is to CS until they either attempt to harass you, or they try to last hit. In either situation you want to use the Melee Harass Combo that's detailed below in the combos section. This will proc Thunderlord's Decree if it isn't on cooldown, and it will take a massive chunk of their health. You then should proceed to CS and repeat the process. If they attempt an all-in around level 3, you can use your Twilight Shroud to avoid some damage and then out trade them.
You can use the above tactics repeatedly to pretty easily shutdown your opposing melee laner. And then you can roam of course to further capitalize on the advantage, but we'll get more into that later. For now we're moving on and talking about Ranged match ups.

Ranged Lanes - Ranged opponents can be very dificult to get solid damage on without your Shadow Dance, but that doesn't mean you're at a significant disadvantage. You can still CS, though admittedly it is impaired a bit. The best way to do this is to take Twilight Shroud second instead of third. CS from within your Twilight Shroud and do not attempt to push the lane. This will lead to them being over extended beyond the amount of time when their wards are up. What that means is you should be asking/looking for ganks from the jungle. Once you get a successful gank from your teammates, you can then push out the land and back for items. Once you get to level 6 and have Shadow Dance the lane plays out the same as if they were melee, because you can easily close the range gap. The change is that usually you'll have to change the all-in combo to be R > AA > Q > AA > E > AA > Q, and repeating it as necessary. And again, once you kill the enemy laner, shove out the wave to their tower and then you can look to either recall or roam for furthering your advantage.

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EARLY GAME JUNGLING


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Jungling with Akali is not something I recommend in higher levels of play, so if you're climbing rapidly and then you start noticing (usually around G5) that Akali jungle isn't working very well, it may be time to start preferring a different jungler when in that role. That said, if you're not doing it for rank and you wanna have a little fun with Akali jungle, this is how to do the early game.

You'll want to start with the Hunter's Machete and 3 Health Potions. After that go to the blue sentinel and start there. Then clear murk wolf camp and Red Brambleback . After that, in very certain instances you can look to gank if there's an enemy who is very overextended. The better option is to power farm to level 6. Once you get your Shadow Dance your ganks are extremely hard for an enemy to survive. Also, it's very hard for the enemy jungler to out-fight you in the jungle once you reach level 6, and even before then you are very good if you find them at half health due to your natural burst. Using your Twilight Shroud to go over walls is very useful in the jungle as it allows you to escape unwanted fights or get to an ally faster if they need your help. There's a video on how this works here. Once you hit level 6 it's time to gank lanes with obscene rapidity.


MID GAME AS A LANE AKALI

At this point in the game, Laning Phase is pretty much done and lanes are probably partially grouping up, maybe one lane is getting split pushed off and on,
but the big issue of importance here is objective control. Your jungler might have done great at getting those dragons before now (or could have completely sucked at it,
who knows), but at this time you can't pin it on the jungler anymore because it's time for the team to group for different objectives, be it towers or Dragons/Rift Herald.
So where does Akali fit into this?

At this phase of the game, Akali as a mid laner will probably have the bottom lane in mid with her. As such it means 3v3 or 4v4 skirmishes against the enemy team. With that said, any skirmish where your team comes out ahead, look to get an objective. Push down that middle tower if needed, group with the Jungler for that dragon between mid and bot, etc. Every won skirmish should lead to at least a partial objective (50% tower HP). The more objective damage you can dish out in the mid game, the easier closing out the game will be in the late game. Wrapping up games is where a lot of lower ELO players struggle, this will help.
If you're playing top lane as Akali in the mid game you have to look at the map so far. Firstly, did you already get top tower? The answer is probably no. But that's not a bad thing. How are you doing in lane? Are you up in CS, ahead in kills? That means you can afford to leave lane if it's pushed and you can roam mid to help the mid lane skirmish, or you can look for dropping into the jungle for an easy pick, or to group with your jungler and get the Rift Herald.

But what if you're behind? What if you're not up in CS and/or kills? Not a problem. You're Akali. Now while that sounds incredibly dumb to say, it has some merit. If you're behind, you can't really try holding top lane alone. What you can do is try to send your mid or ADC up top lane while you group with your other teammates, or your support can come top lane to secure you some kills and tip the scales. Once you get ahead as Akali, you're going to stay ahead with your team. So group up if you're behind, and you'll be back ahead soon enough. Once you get ahead, you can start looking to pick people off again and contest split pushers from the enemy side. In between picks and contesting a split push, you should definitely group with your team and push down a tower or secure another objective.

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MID GAME AS JUNGLE AKALI


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Mid game is the dream for Akali as long as you're communicating your actions with your team. Wherever people are grouped, you need to hang close to, but not necessarily in that lane. The moment there's an engage, you'll want to flank the enemy team and delete the enemy carry, then you can either escape with Twilight Shroud and go around to rejoin the fight or you can use Twilight Shroud to make them think you left, then continue to collapse on the next carry as soon as their backs are turned.

Again the most important thing about the mid game is objective control. So after you've had your fun with nuking the enemy carries, be sure to stick with your grouped lane and shove down a tower or take another objective. Once that's done, be sure you're still farming your jungle between fights and don't forget about your top laner. They get lonely sometimes and they need some love. So try to give them a Rift herald if you can, and if they'll ping when they're going to use it, you can usually have them use Rift Herald at the tower and follow it with a tower dive while the Rift Herald just demolishes the enemy tower. Once that tower's gone, you can move back into farming the jungle or skirmish for another objective.


THE LATE GAME, REGARDLESS OF ROLE

Welcome to the late game. All of your efforts thus far have brought you here. At this phase of the game, it no longer matters what role you began the game as because Akali is geared for versatility in the late game. The important thing to remember here is that you are an imperative damage source for your team. You need to stay alive in the beginning of the fights, so that you can use that damage. If the enemy team has a strong splitpush champion (Tryndamere, Nasus, Etc.), you may need to recall and contest that champion's push while your team is 4v4 elsewhere. You have to be able to think on your feet to prevent a throw if you're ahead at this point.

What if I'm behind though? If you're behind, the most important thing to remember is you can't give up. Even if you think it's a sure loss, it's never impossible to turn things around when you're Akali. You can use your engage and burst to pick off a squishy carry, and then fight 5v4. You can try split pushing and hold your Twilight Shroud to escape. This will let your team have a solid chance of fighting 4v4 while they send their carry to stop you. There's always an option. Just gotta find it.


Level 2-5 Melee Laner Harass: E > AA > Q



This is your main harass combo against a melee champion. It's very simple and very reliable as they have to get in range in order to CS. Just use this whenever they try to CS or engage on you and you should stay pretty ahead in HP. Then once you hit level 6 or they pick a bad fight, or if your jungler comes to gank they should be a free kill.

Level 6 All-In Combo: Q > R > AA > E > Gunblade > Q > AA (repeat)



This is your level 6 all-in combo. Against anything that's not a tank, using this can delete an enemy in 1-2 rotations of abilities. Against something tanky you'll still get a nice piece of damage and maybe push them away.

Twilight Shroud To Wall Jump



This is how to use your W - Twilight Shroud to jump walls:

Twilight Shroud + Flash Escape Tactic



This is a reliable escape combo in case of an emergency:

Twilight Shroud Escape Fakeout (All-In Combo)



This is faking the Twilight Shroud + Flash in order to bait the enemy into a vulnerable position:


Thank you for taking the time to read through and watch the videos in this guide. I love playing Akali very much and typically use her as a go-to in mid lane, and also as a backup top lane champion. I have an account that's in a lower ELO as well and on that account I play Jungle Akali a lot as well. I very much hope this guide has been helpful and that you can find lots of success from what you learn in it. Good lock and have fun in your next games and feel free to comment any questions you may have.