Akali Build Guide by Pikachu Hat
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
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.
This is my first guide on mobafire, scary things. So, Akali was the first champion that i bought in the game. I'd never played her before (hadn't even seen her in game at that point either) but she was a ninja and had cool skins, so why not right? so i played her in a match and instantly loved her, her move-set was god-like and then the "Akali OP" starts. which in my opinion isnt really true, everyone is over powered if played right. so that's what we'll learn to do.
I would love some constructive critiques on whats in this guide. i dont claim to be the best or anywhere close to amazing but it makes me sad when i see people play a champion in a way that doesnt allow their true potential to shine though. I'm pretty sure everyone is gonna rage about my runes because i don't think ive heard of anyone going all ap per level runes. dont knock it till you try it!
*Caution: may contain traces of sarcasm*
Pros / Cons
uses energey not mana
buff that makes auto attacks scale with ap
buff that provides spell vamp with ad
excellent at chasing
she has a stealth
shes a ninja
often runs out of energy in prolonged fights (boooo)
pretty useless before level 6
can't jump to friendlies with ult
Law Of Inverse Ninja Strength
So, as you've undoubtedly noticed, my runes are not a traditional rune page format. (at least from what i've seen) And im expecting a lot of negativity from peole about this. I implore you to at least try it if you have the spare ip. Also note that this is just how i do it and i am in no way forcing you to play like me. Do what you want what you really really want.
Greater Mark of Force
Greater Seal of Force
Greater Glyph of Force
Greater Quintessence of Force
Again, do what you want but this is why i like this set-up:
Greater Mark of Force > Greater Mark of Potency at level 6
Greater Seal of Force > Greater Seal of Potency at level 6
Greater Glyph of Force > Greater Glyph of Potency at level 9
Greater Quintessence of Force = Greater Quintessence of Potency at level 11. but are still a good option if you want that couple extra ap early game.
Other things to concider would be Greater Mark of Magic Penetration for early game magic pen although i dont find it necessary.
So as you can see all the per/level runes out-scale the flat ones relatively early. And i really dont do much before level 6 besides farm minions. Now you may be saying "But Pikachu Hat! if i have flat runes i will be able to farm better early!" First of all, you're playing Akali, once you get Sheen you will insta-kill any squishy by level 6. I'm too lazy to think of a second reason so deal with it.
MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!
Note: if you want more lane sustain early on i suggest you set up in way that will allow you to start with at least 10 bonus ad so that Twin Disciplines kicks in with some spell vamp.
If you are solo laning you probably shouldn't take the runes of force, it can be done but it's hard to do. To solo lane you should definitely start with both Twin Disciplines buffs or at least the spell vamp one. In whice case you should start with Greater Mark of Attack Damage and 2-3 points in Brute Force . For top lane Greater Seal of Armor since most solo top lanes are ad based champions. But if you're mid lane than Greater Glyph of Magic Resist are ideal since most mid champions are ap based.
It's just a typical 21/9/0 mastery page. I aimed for maximizing damage output, But like i have said before, do what you want!
Summoner's Wrath = 5 extra ap when Ignite is on cd. No ignite = more damage. Less damage = ignite. No downside.
Mental Force = MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!
Sorcery = better than no cdr am i right?
Arcane Knowledge 10% mp, seems legit. less mr = MOAR DAMAGE!
Havoc 1% MOAR DAMAGE! ...poitns gotta go somehwere...
Blast 1 ap/level, more effective than +
Archmage 1/6 of a Rabadon's Deathcap
Resistance for mr
Hardiness for armor
Durability for extra health
Veteran's Scars for more extra health!
This is key since if you start like me youll have less sustain than most Akali's early game. (thanks to Asaki for pointing that out to me!)
That is my reasoning. I've tried many other ways and i just like this the best. It's totally up to you!
So i chose Flash and Ignite for my summoner spells, i played around with pretty much all of them and this works out best for me.
Spells To Take
Exhaust helpfull, take this if you dont like ignite!
Flash I, I love you like a love song baby! although in all honesty between this and Twilight Shroud your escape is almost guaranteed.
Ghost speed is nice, a good substitute if you don't like flash.
Heal I used this one a lot, usually a tanks job but you can take it if no one else did.
Ignite A personal favorite of mine. shuts down bears ( Volibear) and Dr's ( Dr. Mundo) quite nicely, also good for runners when you're out of Shadow Dance.
Teleport This is good if you're gonna be solo laning. (mid or top) or if no one else has it.
Spells Not To Take
Clairvoyance <<< For Supports.
Clarity If you even thought about taking this please uninstall the internet.
Cleanse Usefull! no doubt. but i find i dont get hit with much CC as Akali. Shes just too fast and sneaky.
Garrison I dont play dominion but it could be helpful?
Promote oh look... a big minion...
Revive ...who does that?
Smite youre not jungling. or are you? O.o (although i did play a troll game where we all took smite and revive. We won. baron level 9 anybody?)
Surge I didnt really use this one. I didnt find it necessary.
My item build is aimed at maximizing burst damage, same goes for runes and masteries. So if you're not interested in being a portable nuke i'm not sure why you're still reading this.
Good starting mobility and sustainability.
Starts with more damage, helpful for last hitting since you'll get an auto attack boost from Twin Disciplines and your Mark of the Assassin will do more to those pesky far away minions.
I've never started with anything else, if you have any suggestions please leave a comment or pm me!
First off is my dear friend Sheen, i always always always get this item on my first b. No exceptions. With Mark of the Assassin and an auto attack with Sheen's passive your enemies will cry. that auto attack is, in a nut shell, a 300% crit that only gets bigger the more ap you have.
Next is the boots. I love Mercury's Treads for the mr and 35% tenacity. But if the enemy team is ad heavy i would go with Ninja Tabi instead. I wouldnt get any other boots besides those two. Especially not Sorcerer's Shoes. As soon as your opponents get to 70mr these shoes are almost pointless. If the enemy is too tanky for you get a Void Staff although this shouldn't really be a problem for you because Akali does good physical damage with just a the Gunblade. Also you shouldn't even be attacking the tanks first anyway. More about that later.
The Third item we'll work on is the Hextech Gunblade. It doesn't really matter if you decide to start with Bilgewater Cutlass or Hextech Revolver both will provide you with sustain and damage, it's just personal preferance. Dont forget about the Gunblades uinique ACTIVE! 300 damage and a slow which is crucial because Akali has no natural cc besides a slow from Twilight Shroud and lets be honest here, its not very good.
After your Gunblade is done it's high time to get a little less squishy! And what better way to do this than Rylai's Crystal Scepter? Bonus hp and ap (which is more damage from auto attacks too! Yes Twin Disciplines!) But the best part of this item is the consitant slow it will provide to you! And they thought it was hard to run away from you before. Good luck to your enemies.
Now that you've got the bad guys cowering in fear from your slowing burst ***ult, why not add another thing to worry about? it's time for the Deathcap. Rabadon's Deathcap, a must have on any champion that is all about damaging through ability power, oh wait, thats you! Get it! Now! You'll be glad you did. With a whopping 140ap you will be a force to be reckoned with. Oh, and dont forget about its passive. A 30% boost to all of the ability power you had and has yet to come. So technically speaking it alone gives you 182ap. All for just under 4000 gold!
The final item in your core build is Lich Bane which is built from Sheen and you already have that! This will provide you with more ap and and little mr as well. You get to keep the amazing passive from Sheen too. Not to mention a little kick to your speed, who wouldn't want that?
So now you've got the core build done, awesome sauce! I can usually finish this without a problem, but sometimes you'll come across situations where you need to counter-build a bothersome fed enemy. Not cool.
There a few do's and dont's to this. Lets start with some facts about our precious Akali. First of all Akali has mr that scales with her level. (only 43.75% of champions can bost of scaling mr) She starts with 31.25mr and gains 1.25mr per level. So at level 18 you have 52.5mr! not too shaby. Then we can add the mr from Mercury's Treads (assuming you got them) and Lich Bane! That leaves us 107.5mr. (Also assuming there isn't a Soraka with Aegis of the Legion around, then you'd have 138.5mr) Second, Akali starts with 20 armor and gains 3.5 per level, so at level 18 she'll have 79.5 and thats wihtout any boosts from items! Also note that when Twilight Shroud is rank 5 it will increase your armor and magic resist by 50 when you stand inside it. So now with your newfound defensive knowledge of Akali we can talk about counter-building!
First thing to know is that you are an assassin. Not a tank or an off tank. So, sacrificing damage for more surviveability is a nono. There are ways around this tho and these are a few items i would recomend getting for sticky situations.
This itme has the second best ap boost in the game so if you find that your dying from mostly attack damage i would get this item since it also provides 50 extra armor, not to mention a sick Active. I use this active to initiate team fights when no one is making anything happen but you really really really need to know what youre doing before attempting that! If you wanna try it, target the squishiest member of the enemy team, hit them with a truckload of damage and pop the active making you untargetable and invulnerable for 2 seconds. Weather or not the person you attacked died they're gonna have to get out of that fight. Dont spend more than a second in before Activating Zhonya's Hourglass because being Akali you will die. The surprise of your sudden ***ult will give your team enough time to then effectively engage them in combat, but make sure you tell your team what you're gonna do! If you jump in there and no one follows you that's just awkward.
This item is for when your current magic resist just isn't enough to deal with that fed ap enemy. It has a decent ap boost and 57 extra mr, not to mention a passive that will help your team in a team fight by reducing the mr of all enemies around you by 20. unless you're the only one doing magic damage (that should never be the case) this will help a lot in team fights. I would highly recomend this item over something like Force of Nature because you'd be sacrificing 70ap and 20mp for 19 more magic resist. You can try and argue that it gives you a lot of hp regen and and 7% more movement speed. But in a fight that hp regen wont even come close to helping you win and that movement speed is covered by Lich Bane.
This one isnt high on my list of things that need to be purchased but can save your *** if the enemy team is cc heavy.
You shouldnt be waiting till the enemy team is actually killing you effectively to start counter building. Look at their composition, if you think that ad is gonna be an issue because 4/5 enemy champs are using it then build Ninja Tabi and Zhonya's Hourglass before they become an issue!
If all is going well for you and you dont need to counter-build these are some things you can get to improve your overall effectiveness in assassinations. Zhonya's Hourglass and Abyssal Scepter can be built 6th regardless of wanting to counter the enemy champions or not, both are viable options. These are just other things to concider.
Will of the Ancients is really good item that is incredibly cost effective. it only gives you 50ap but the aura applies to you as well so it actually grants 80ap and 20% spell vamp. that will leave you with 53% spell vamp becasue, yes, it stacks with Hextech Gunblade and Twin Disciplines. But wait! It gets better! Say you have your ninja buddy Kennen on your team who has also built Will of the Ancients. The aura on it, even though its unique will stack with your own giving you 30 more ap and 20% more spellvamp! thats 73% spell vamp! and for Akali, who deals most if not all of her damage through spells, is something you will grow to appreciate and i advise doing this whenever possible!
If sustain isn't your thing or if most of the enemy team has magic resist greater than 100 than Void Staff is the way to go. although it has no other stats besides ap and magic pen it is still ridiculously good against those enemies who think themselves clever for amassing copious amounts of magic resist to counter you.
Guinsoo's Rageblade The point of this build is not auto attacking, if you wanted ad Akali you're in the wrong spot.
Mejai's Soulstealer You are just putting a giant target on your head and people will do whatever they can to keep from getting stacks, trust me, reliable items are the way to go on Akali.
Morello's Evil Tome First of all, you're wasting gold on mana items. And secondly, cdr is not really your friend on Akali because her cd timers are already short and you'll just run out of energy faster. Not worth it in my opinion.
Guardian Angel, Thornmail, Force of Nature and Frozen Heart Are all nice but they are not helpful to your cause. The point of this build is to be the burstiest burst nuke of all nukes and you cant do that by sacrificing all your ap.
Please leave a comment or pm me if you have any qustions or suggestions or arguments about anything i said here. But most of all, do what you want! I can't make you take the items i've suggested thats why they're "suggested."
This is Akali's passive skill. It provides you with bonus magic damage on auto attacks and spellvamp. I've seen a lot of people do what they can to start with both buffs active, i did this too for a while. And if you have to go against an Akali who has done this then they will be better than you early game. My build sacrifices early game liberties for late game dominance. As long as you don't let them kill you you'll be fine and since you should be playing passively at first this shouldn't be an issue.
This is Akali's [q] skill. Early on it is used as a farming and harrasing tool. It is also the main source of damage for you when you begin fighting champions.
This is Akali's [w] and probably the most versitile thing at your disposal and you need to learn how to use it to be the best Akali you can be. First it should be used to check bushes you are unsure of. Twilight Shroud's second use is for juking and Escaping, two things you will need to master. Third, is the armor, magic resist and stealth it provides when you stand inside. And finally it can be used to slow enemies but honestly isnt effective enough to be concidered a threat.
Akali's [e], mainly used to damage champions when you jump at them and farm mimions.
Akali's [r] or Ult. Used for initiating a fight, Escaping fights, juking, or catching up to an escaping enemy. it gains charges (that max at 3) that you use to acivate it when you need to. It can also be used again on enemy champions beside you for a boost in damage when you think you might not be able to kill them before they kill you.
Tips and Tricks
Mark of the Assassin. When you throw this at an enemy champion make sure you wait for it to hit and mark them before using Shadow Dance to close the gap between the two of you. Little known fact, Shadow Dance is faster than Mark of the Assassin. So preemptively jumping to your enemy and attacking before they are marked is decreasing your efficiency as an assassin.
Twilight Shroud. To check a bush you are unsure of, place the Shroud partially in the bush in question but dont jsut walk straight in. Once you enter your "Douche Cloud" (endearingly named by my friend Blacksunrise) you proceed to walk along the edge of the ring into the bush. since you are in the Douche Cloud and the bush you are, what i like to call, Double Stealthed. you can see who's in the bush while they cannot see you.
Everyone seems to assume when Akali activates Twilight Shroud that she's in the middle of it and will fire all their skillshots into the center with the futile hope of hitting you, luckily for you, you're on the boarder of it!
When using Twilight Shroud to escape an enemy in hot persuit there are some things you need to know. The buff it provides that actually causes you to become stealthed doesn't dissipate as soon as you leave the Douche Cloud. Use this to your advantage. For example, when you drop the Douche Cloud make sure that it is close to a bush but actually touching it, try to make the distance convincing enough while still being able to cross the gap fully stealthed. This will throughly confuse your enemies as they will expect you to be in the Douche Cloud when it ends, but you wont be and by then it will be too late! you can also try to get it near multipule bushes so that they wont know which you ran to. And once they grow wise to your tricks you can just stay in the douche cloud and run the other way. you sneaky bastard you.
Shadow Dance. It can go through walls and things! you can wait behind a wall for a team fight to begin, maybe its a 4 vs.4. So the enemies think they have the upper hand but then you drop kick through the wall and slay the foolish attackers! remember that you can Shadow Dance more than once in rapid succesion since its cd is almost non-existant. This means if you're going to die because you're being focused then you can jump over a wall or just away from the fray to another enemy or enemy minion. you can also use it agaisnt neutral monsters so if you have the jungle well warded (which you should regardless) then evasion is much easier. And if they follow you with flash or something, you still have your flash and can hop right back over the same wall or over a different one again.
Dance on the shadows my friend! Dance!
I will crunch some numbers for you since i know most people dont have the time or want to do that. Lets assume you are level 18 with my runes and masteries and have a full build with Zhonya's Hourglass as your 6th item. (thats what i usually get)
Hp - 2475
Hp Regen per 5 - 18.95
Energy - 210
Energy Regen per 5 - 50
Attack Damage - 150
Attacks per Second - 1.2
Ability Power - 785.7
Armor - 129.5
Magic Resist - 107.5
Discipline of Force
(785.7-20=765.5) That gives you the initial 8%
(765.5/6=127.583) That gives 127.6% boost ontop of that 8% so 135.6%
(150x1.356=203.4) That means with every auto attack you make you deal an additional 203.4 damage. So, 353.4 Damage per auto attack.
with Lich Bane passive 353.4+(150-40)=463.4
MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!
Mark of the Assassin
Initial damage on cast 145+(785.5x0.4)=459.2
On attack when the mark is Consumed 145+(785.5x0.4)+463.4=922.6Total = 1381.8 damage every 3.84 seconds
which will activate Lich Bane for your next attack if you wait 2 seconds after using Mark of the Assassin
On a 0.6 second cd = 1928.25 damage in 1.8 seconds
so lets do a combo! use Mark of the Assassin then Shadow Dance to close the distance, land an auto attack and consume the mark. Then we'll fire Hextech Gunblade becasue they flashed away, run up, casually Crescent Slash and auto attack cuz Lich Bane activated again. All that would take about 3 secodns to happen. Lets see how much you did! 1381.8+642.75+300+455.65+463.4=3243.6
Now lets assume you attacked a squishy ranged ad carry like you should be doing and they take 35% reduced magic and physical damage becasue of armor and mr. thats still 2108.34 damage you just did. If theyre still alive, which they probably wont be, you can just do it again.
Some of the results achieved by following this guide!
Send me your results at if you'd care to share!
So that's my take on Akali the Fist of Shadow. Like i said before, do what you want! play around with things until they suit your own playstyle. Don't downvote cuz of runes! and have a wonderful day/afternoon/evening. If this guide does well then i'll add more on actual gameplay and such. Untill then, happy LoLing!
ps. pm me or comment if theres any spelling or gramatical errors you'd like to see fixed or if you want me to expand on my reasonings behind certain choices i've made and whatnot.