Akali Build Guide by FENIX SP l
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This build guide for Akali is
ENDGAME ITEMS: Standard Assassin
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.
Pros / Cons
High sustain with her built-in spell vamp
High base damage due to her passive
Very mobile with her utlimate
Closes gaps and bursts targets effectively. NO ESCAPEES.
Countered by pink wards / oracles and easily focused down
Has many counters top lane
Very reliant on farm as snowballing is important to her assassin playstyle. Farm to 6 ASAP.
In the recent nerf, going revj bead and a ward with pots gives you enough sustain to make it through the early game laning phase. If you are going vs. an AD counter top lane then you should pick up a dorans sheild to help survive the lane.
You can sell th e revj bead later to get a major item (you'll only take a 34 gold hit).
You want to buy Hextech Revolver as soon as possible. You will need 1,200 gold (roughly 60 creeps) and you should always be able reach this amount of money when you reach level 6. Aim for more so you can afford health potions and wards. Your 1st trip back to base should always get you a Hextech Revolver but if you cant afford it, buy the 2 Amplifying Tomes that are required and whenever you can go back again combine them into the Hextech Revolver. You need this item, as it will build into Hextech Gunblade and gives you very good sustain in lane. After Hextech Gunblade you have to identify the type of damage the enemy has. If they have mostly magical damage or you are having troubles with crowd control abilities buy Mercury's Treads. If not, wait till later on in the game to buy Sorcerer’s Shoes.
Your core items for every game should always consist of a Hextech Gunblade, Sorc boots (or Mercs), and GA. Hextech Gunblade does everything Akali needs to keep on the target and synergizes with her AD and AP. Sorc boots are an option because she is an assassin and does a lot of damage early game after 6. If you jump in and die instantly then you're doing it wrong - wait until the fight starts, then come in last. I almost ALWAYS get GA every game because it puts the focus from the enemy team onto somebody else, especially if you're fed. I would usually get GA before Deathcap but if you're not worried or not worth too much, get Deathcap first.
Standard AssassinThis build gives you massive amount of damage all while having damage mitigation. That is a key part of building Akali. You can never go full damage without any resistances or you will be useless. Here you deal mostly magical damage. Even though the Hextech Gunblade gives you attack damage, the reason behind it is for the slow, the spell vamp and the lifesteal component of it. The Zhonya’s Hourglass also gives you another method of survivability. Only get Lich Bane if you have a lot of AP already. Void staff only if the CARRIES start stacking MR.
Assassin Tank BuildThat's it. If you're an assassin you've gotta not be a huge ***** and just go damage. GA provides room for maximum damage output and also keeps you safe. Hourglass is for if you want more AP and a good way to disengage if you ever initiate a fight. A good way to use Hourglass would be to make them waste important abilities in that 3 second duration.
Discipline of Force: Akali's basic attacks deal an additional 6% bonus magic damage, increasing by 1% for every 6 Ability Power.
Discipline of Might: Akali gains 6% Spell Vamp, increasing by 1% for every 6 Bonus Attack Damage.
This passive is extremely useful in the early stages of the game. The spell vamp and extra damage allows you to trade blows with your enemies without worrying about taking the damage since you will heal it through your passive. It also makes your auto-attacks hit harder than DPS champions in the early levels. You need to have both of these effects active at level 1 without the aid of items; this means you need the exact rune setup mentioned in the rune section of this guide or your whole strategy will fail.
Q: MARK OF THE ASSASSIN
Akali throws her kama at a target enemy to deal 35/55/75/95/115 (+0.4*AP) magic damage and mark the target for 6 seconds.
Akali's melee attacks against a marked target will consume the mark to cause 45/70/95/120/145 (+0.5*AP) magic damage and restore 20/25/30/35/40 Energy.
Mark of the Assassin buff lasts longer than the cooldown, this allows you to cast this ability, followed by Shadow Dance, then casting Mark of the Assassin again for extremely high burst damage (this is what makes Akali so strong!). Because of this, it is best to use your combo right before your Mark of Assassin is about to expire, so you can maximize the damage from the ability being on cooldown.
This skill is your main skill. It is your killing power, harassment, long range farming skill and a key component of your combos. It is also your only method of regenerating energy so you can spam it without worrying about running out of energy just as long as you get to trigger the mark. It has a 0.4 Ability Power ratio which is low but it also applies to the triggering of the mark so in fact, it has a 0.8 ability power ratio. When going in for the kill, and when it is safe to get in range, always use Mark of the Assassin (Q) first then wait the 2 seconds to use Shadow Dance (R) to increase the speed at which your burst is delivered. Otherwise, just close the gap with 1 charge of Shadow Dance (R).
W: TWILIGHT SHROUD
Akali throws down a cover of smoke that lasts for 8 seconds. While inside the area, Akali gains 10/20/30/40/50 Armor and Magic Resist and becomes invisible. Attacking or using abilities will briefly reveal her.
Enemies inside the smoke are slowed by 14/18/22/26/30%.
This ability defines your skill as Akali. Using this skill effectively can win you 1v3 battles and enable you to escape the strongest of ganks. In lane you are going to use this skill to zone out your enemy, or if you are having trouble farming simply use it on top of creeps you want to last hit and you should be able to improve your creep score while taking minimal damage. This skill also gives you increased armor and magic resist, making you that much stronger in 1v1 situations. The restealth timer on the skill is very low. In 1v1 situations, use Mark of the Assassin (Q) then Shadow Dance (R) and as soon as you trigger the mark, lay in the shroud without using any spells; this will damage your enemy heavily as well as making it very difficult for him to retaliate. When using this be wary of stealth detection skills, Vision Wards/Oracle’s Elixirs and strong AoE skills such as Nunu’s Absolute Zero and Anivia’s Glacial Storm.
E: CRESCENT SLASH
Akali flourishes her kamas, slicing nearby enemy units for 30/55/80/105/130 (+0.3*AD) (+0.3*AP) physical damage.
Triggers Mark of the Assassin on targets affected by it.
This skill is mainly used for farming and gaining massive amounts of health through spell vamp. You should never spam this skill in team fights as you will run out of energy before you know it and be useless. You can use it to finish someone off simply by using Shadow dance (R) then this skill. At rank 3 you can use this skill twice on the caster minions to clear them. Position yourself in between as many creeps as possible for maximum use of the spell vamp of this skill.
R: SHADOW DANCE
Akali moves through shadows to quickly strike her target, dealing 100/175/250 (+0.5*AP) magic damage.
Akali stores an Essence of Shadow on kills and assists as well as every 0.5*AD seconds up to 3 total.
Fantastic ultimate, long range dash on a very short cooldown. Use this only on targets you are going to commit to. You only have 3 of these, so if you are not careful and use all 3 and do not get a kill or assist, your killing power will be severely diminished. You can use this skill on creeps to cover terrain, to heal through spell vamp, and as your gap closer to trigger your Mark of The Assassin (Q). Avoid using this skill on creeps especially at earlier levels because the refresh timer on it is of medium length and you will need all 3 for a kill in lane. As the game progresses feel free to use it more often but still be careful that you do not get caught in a fight without at least 2 charges of this.
This ability also provides Akali great mobility. She can dart to and from the fight by using it on minions and enemy champions. Be cognizant of your escape patterns by trying to initiate fights near minion waves so you can escape or chase when necessary.
Greater Quintessence of Ability PowerGreater Mark of Hybrid PenetrationGreater Seal of ArmorGreater Glyph of Magic Resist
With the recent changes in patch you no longer have to have a page specifically for Akali, opening up more rune options!
Since the changes to her passive, you can now get away with just running hybrid penetration marks.
Armor runes help you out in the top lane against physical champions. Being melee range champions will just poke you with auto attacks, and flat armor helps you out with that.
Going for flat MR will just help your tankiness in general. You need to be able to survive diving onto carries and assassinating them, and having flat magic resist helps.
Going for the flat ability power quints allows you to have great early damage and really are just fantastic all around for AP champions.
If you are in a particularly rough lane, you can go for this rune setup. It's also effective in 2v1 lanes. The extra armor will help you make it through the lane phase.
Greater Quintessence of ArmorGreater Mark of Magic PenetrationGreater Seal of ArmorGreater Glyph of Magic Resist
While you are an assassin, you need to survive getting to the back line. Going in the defense tree will help keep you alive in lane and in team fights. You will still put out great damage, but won't die as easily.
You want 9/21/0 because you want the magic pen and cooldown reduction from the offense tree still, but you'll want to get all the tanky benefits from the defense tree.
I like taking the reduced turret damage becuase I dive turrets and make plays with Akali.
You should be looking to make as much damage as possible in as
Always take Ignite. Nearly all burst mages take it, and so should you. The true damage can give you the edge in a 1v1, even more so when fighting champions with healing or life steal abilities because of the 50% reduced healing effect. The 5 bonus ability power from the Burning Embers mastery is also quite nice. Remember always that when going in for a kill to use Ignite right off the bat, this will give you a strong advantage at the beginning of the fight as well as 10 bonus Ability Power to ramp up your burst damage.
Flash is the best summoner spell in the current metagame. I use it to escape large distances with Twilight Shroud (W) or Shadow Dance (R). When in trouble or being ganked, use Twilight Shroud (W) in places that have multiple escape paths with the use of Flash. Then when you see your enemies migrate towards one side, use Flash to the opposite side to successfully juke the enemy. You can also use it to get in range of a Shadow Dash (R), Mark of The Assassin (Q) or Ignite for the finishing blow on an enemy. It can also net you kills before level 6 if you use the Double Proc technique but instead of using Shadow Dash (R) as the gap closer, simply use Flash.
If your team chooses to force a fight at level 1, or you are invaded by the enemy at level 1, you will still get Mark of the Assassin (Q) as your 1st skill. Focus whichever enemy is in range. Do not go out of your way to attack enemies that are farther away. At level 1 you are very squishy and do not have Twilight Shroud (W) to protect you. You must Ignite the target you choose to focus right off the bat. This will grant you a bonus 10 AP from your masteries giving you even more damage at level 1. If you are caught off guard you should be able to flash away and not be chased down because you have early boots of speed.
Laning Phase (Levels 1-5)
You will always want to take a solo lane. Choose to take top solo or mid solo depending on which opponents you will be facing in the mentioned lanes. You want to face opponents who have low, non-burst damage early on such as Nidalee, Singed, and Wukong. Switch lanes with your teammates to avoid difficult matchups such as Urgot, Brand and Renekton. Being able to dominate your lane is the only way that Akali can safely and effectively snowball a game into your team’s favor and ultimately into a win for your team. Start with Boots of Speed and 3 health potions. You are going to put your 1st skill point into Mark of the Assassin (Q). Once the creep waves have arrived to the halfway point of the lane, begin to last hit. Attack creeps only when they are 1 auto-attack from death. Your auto-attacks deal huge damage early on because of your passive and runes, so last hitting effectively should be a breeze. To harass, you will spam Mark of the Assassin (Q) on your enemy whenever you are in range to do so. Doing this will not aggro creeps so you can keep doing it for as long as you can. Last hitting is still your number one priority until level 6, so you should prioritize last hitting over harassing. To take the Mark of the Assassin (Q) harass to the next level, utilize your Twilight Shroud (W) as well. Land Mark of the Assassin (Q) and then use Twilight Shroud (W) in between you and the enemy. This should effectively zone your enemy from gaining experience and successfully last hitting. If they choose to stand in the shroud simply auto-attack them to proc your Mark of the Assassin (Q) for some massive damage. This zoning/harass technique can be reversed by using Twilight Shroud (W) first and then getting in range to land a Mark of the Assassin (Q) without any follow ups.
Laning Phase (Level 6+)
At this point you should have recalled to base at level 6 and with 1300 gold from last hitting (roughly 55 minions slain). Buy a Hextech Revolver, a health potion and a sight ward. On the way to your lane, you should have gained 3 stacks of your ultimate. Place your ward on the side where the jungler is most likely to gank from and begin extreme aggression. You are going to use the same harass/zoning tactics used before level 6 only this time you will proc Mark of the Assassin (Q) hopefully 3 times and score a kill. Get in range of your enemy and land a Mark of the Assassin (Q). Wait until it is floating above your enemy, and then count to 2 seconds. You are about to use what is commonly known as a “Double Proc”. After 2 seconds of having Mark of the Assassin (Q) hovering on top of the enemy you are going to Shadow Dance (R) on them, attack to trigger the mark, then quickly use Mark of the Assassin (Q) again and attack them again. Keep up this harassing, and when you feel confident enough to go for the kill, do so. Remember that when going for a kill always use your ignite first because it will give you 5 bonus AP before you use any spells, giving you a slight damage boost.
Once you are level 6, you should be able to kill anyone on the map if you have a Hextech Gunblade and 3 charges of your ultimate. In your lane you are going to perform the harass discussed earlier and attempt to score a kill. Do not be afraid to exchange blows because you will heal yourself back to full health in 1 creep wave due to your spell vamp. Your damage will often take people by surprise, so much that when you are ganked later in the game most of the time you are able to win 2v1 ganks against you especially when using Twilight Shroud (W). You will be able to 2v1 because this ability allows you to avoid damage, position yourself and wait for your cooldowns and energy to refresh. Remember to use your Hextech Gunblade for the extra damage and to prevent the enemy from escaping.
As Akali you should always be the last person to enter a team fight, even more so if the enemy has stealth detection such as Oracle's Elixir, a pink ward or a revealing spell. Stay in the back of your team until the suppresses/stuns/silences and other crowd control effects have been used. Then with your Shadow Dance (R), dive right for the AD carry. Remember to stick to 1 target until they are dead, otherwise your ultimate charges will not refresh and you will be found in the middle of the enemy team without any way to kill them. Once you dive for the carry and remove them from the fight take some time to look around you. Is the enemy taking their time to protect who you are focusing? Are they going to focus you? If they are, use Twilight Shroud (W) and wait inside it patiently until they are forced to focus somebody else. If they are not, continue killing your target and progressively move on to the other squishy targets or those who are about to die. Do not be afraid to take all the kills for yourself. That is simply how Akali is played.
Akali Ability Rotations
Combo 1: Hit the enemy with your first Mark of the Assassin then wait for the cooldown to be gone until you Shadow Dance towards them and proceed the combo.
Combo 2: In Team Fights use Mark of Assassin, then immediately Twilight Shroud first and wait until they focus someone else, then proceed to attack by Shadow Dance and then another Mark of the Assassin.
Beyond rank 1, the Mark of the Assassin debuff lasts longer than the cooldown, allowing Akali to cast Mark of the Assassin followed by Shadow Dance, then finishing with another Mark of the Assassin for extremely high bursts of damage.
More specifically, Mark of the Assassin --> wait for the cooldown --> Shadow Dance --> autoattack --> Mark of the Assassin --> autoattack. If you are under level six, you can surprise enemies low on health by substituing Flash for Shadow Dance to net a kill.
Farming is very easy on Akali. If there is a creep with half hp you may choose to use Mark of the Assassin (Q) then proc it to heal yourself and kill the minion. Be careful of how many times you do this because it pushes your lane and makes you vulnerable to ganks. Once you have Crescent Slash (E) at rank 3 you can use this ability twice on the ranged minions and kill them. Crescent Slash (E) uses a lot of energy without any refunds. Spamming this may make you vulnerable to ganks because you have no energy to use Twilight Shroud (W). To alleviate the energy cost slightly use Mark of the Assassin (Q) on one of the 3 ranged minions, then use Crescent Slash (E) and finally auto attack the creep that was marked with Mark of the Assassin (Q). Rinse and repeat. This method should heal you because of your spell vamp, allow you to farm effectively and is energy manageable. Again, do this only if you are confident you can avoid being ganked because this does push your lane quite hard.
Akali relies on her aggressiveness to overpower and kill her enemies. She needs to dominate her enemies in order for her to be successful. You must tailor your playstyle around this mentality by taking advantage of your stealth, dashes, wards and sheer killing power which may allow you to fight outnumbered and come out ahead. A weakness of Akali is that she has to be fully committed to her targets. Your enemies may exploit this and use it against you. With practice you will learn how to focus different targets and when, or when to switch targets and how to do so. As Akali you must also not fear to soak up damage as you will heal a lot of it because of your item build and runes. This may be true but you should be very wary of non-targetable damage-dealers such as Mordekaiser and Kennen which can harm you severely. As Akali you must also be extremely careful of going into battles versus enemies with high damage and stealth detection.
Your goal is to kill the enemy carry first. You must never initiate a battle as Akali unless they are very split up. As a general rule, however, you should always be the last person to go into the battle. When a fight breaks out, wait for the major damaging or disabling abilities to be used, then dive straight for the carry. If focused, use your Twilight Shroud (W) to avoid focus. After removing the carry from the fight by either killing them or forcing them to flee, switch to the targets with lowest health.
When Akali uses Twilight Shroud,she is very vulnerable because she will use Twilight Shroud to hide and wait for her abilities to come off cooldown. Having a Oracle's Elixir or Vision Ward will make her vulnerable and easier to take down. If your playing against an akali (Where she is on the other team), the just make sure you carry a pink ward for team fights so she cant wait for her CD's while in shroud.
TIPS AND TRICKS
One of the most important aspects of Akali is mastering the use of Twilight Shroud (W). The stealth will last for 8 seconds and immediately stops all creep aggression. During lane, when the enemy decides to harass you with auto-attacks, you should use Twilight Shroud (W) as soon as he hits you. This will leave him slowed, with no target to attack (because you are now invisible) and he will be taking damage from your creeps because he attacked you. This is indirect harassment that can be followed up with your Mark of the Assassin (Q) for increased damage. It is things like these that give you the edge in the laning phase.
One of the strongest harasses with Akali is using Shadow Dance (R), then Mark of the Assassin (Q) , Twilight Shroud (W) and then 1 auto-attack to trigger the second component of Mark of the Assassin (Q) . This will be very strong burst damage that becomes increasingly intimidating the faster it can be pulled off. You can add some increased damage by using Crescent Slash (E) as well, but be sure to have your energy bar full before attempting this because it will use up most of it and you do not want to be caught off guard without any energy to use your spells.
SYNERGIES AND COUNTERS
Akali has good synergy with champions with crowd control, displacement moves, and heals. The best supports for Akali are Janna and Alistar. Janna can save you from area of effect damage while in Twilight Shroud (W), keep the enemies at bay with her tornado and slow, give you a movement speed boost through her passive and grant extra damage from her shield, which turns into spell vamp. Alistar is also very good in combination with Akali because of his stun and headbutt. He can easily single out targets for you to kill. Champions that can pull enemies away from the enemy team will benefit you greatly, such as Blitzcrank, Gragas, and Singed. Try these out with your friends and you are sure to have a good game ahead of you. Akali also has awesome synergy with Morgana. Black Shield + Akali is great!
Akali is extremely susceptible to stuns, silences and area of effect spells that do not require a target. This is because she needs to use her spells to regain health through her spell vamp. Also, while in the Twilight Shroud (W), she needs to be able to avoid damage and be able to escape. If an enemy can hit her inside it, she will be in a great deal of trouble. During the laning phase, you most definitely do not want to have to face enemies such as Garen, Renekton, Brand, Annie and Orianna. All these champions have high burst damage which can hit you inside your Twilight Shroud (W). Request a lane swap if you are facing these enemies. In team fights you must be wary of the same champions as previously mentioned but with some additions. Be careful when facing burst mages who have area of effect damage, notably Cassiopeia, Anivia, Malzahar and Mordekaiser; all of these can kill you in a matter of seconds without having to even target you. To fight these champions you must go in ONLY when they have unloaded their spell combos on someone else because Twilight Shroud (W) will not save you in this case. Their spells are on very short cooldowns so be prepared to be quick with your spells because if you do not kill them in this short time frame, they will kill you.
Dealing with Oracle’s Elixirs, Vision Wards and reveal spells may be tough. Identify who the target with the aforementioned items/skills is. Is it someone you can afford to target first without being killed by the enemy team? Most likely not - the most likely targets with Oracle's will be supports such as Taric and Alistar. What you should do is wait for them to use their disables and then dive for the targets of value, NOT THEM. Killing a support first will not win a team fight. If you start being focused use either Flash or Shadow Dance (R) to escape. It should be relatively easy to do so because the enemies' disables should be on cooldown. It is easy to deal with these items. You simply need to be more aware of what spells the enemy team uses.