Akali is an amazing burst damage champion which excels at bursting down enemy champions, she is probably one of the best and funnest hybrid characters in the game. She uses both Attack Damage and Ability Power to build her damage her passive giving both magic damage to attacks via building AP and spell vamp using Attack Damage.
My build prioritises getting enough Spell Vamp to survive, but also enough Ability Power to kill a target successfully in 1-2 bursts (Squishy targets). She can be played effectively solo top - mid or bot with an AD carry.
Shen, Akali and Kennen should never be played together... If they are, each will lose health (1 Health per ninja) according to how many ninja's are in the team... Nice troll riot! ;D
Pros / Cons
- Exceptional Burst Damage
- Great chasing and ganking when you get your ultimate
- High Spell Vamp utilising both passives
- Good at escaping/using W to engage enemy team without taking much damage
- Very squishy
- Focused fast if fed
- Silence, Crowd Controls's, stuns and suppresses can halt akali before she can do any damage
My runes for Akali:-
Quintessences - x3 - Greater Quintessence of Potency (+15 Ability Power)
Marks - x9 - Greater Mark of Insight (+8.5 Magic Penetration)
Seals - x9 Greater Seal of Resilience (+13 Armor)
Glyphs - x9 Greater Glyph of Potency (+11 Ability Power)
This gives Akali a massive boost in damage early game, along with the durability needed to lane. Also you can alter the runes for less defence and more offence by adding AD runes - This will also trigger her passive and give spell vamp earlier but I prefer the survivability early game and the burst damage.
Masteries on Akali can vary - Heavy Ability Power focus for massive burst damage - AD for early game Spell Vamp - Or more defensive - Or a mix of all. I have gone for heavy Ability Power + A little bit of durability which gives you the edge early game and I find the AD masteries aren't that effective.
Starting with Amplyfying tome gives around 52 Ability Power at the start of the match - This gives you a massive head start and amazing burst damage.
I'd advise buying Hextech Revolver as soon as possible for the Ability Power and the 12% Spell Vamp. The early Hextech Gunblade gives massive Ability Power and Attack Damage Triggering both Akali's passives to be boosted - I take this over Will of the Ancients because it gives more Spell Vamp than Will of the Ancients - This I feel is worth it as Will of the Ancients gives 10 more Ability Power than Hextech Gunblade.
Now you must review the enemy team - Sorcerers shoes if their are few Crowd Control's or Mercury treads if your getting focused or lots of Crowd Control.
Rylai's is a must have as it gives slow to all her abilities - Makes great for ganking and chasing/saving allies.
LichBane is also a must have as it gives your next basic attack will deal an additional amount of damage (100% of your current Ability Power) This along with Mark of the Assassin will give you a massive burst damage along with Akali's ultimate.
Finally Rabadons Death Cap for a huge damage boost and Deathfire Grasp for additional damage - This can be changed for more defensive items or whatever you feel is best.
Other items can include defensive items such as Banshee's for the shield - However it doesn't give as much of a bonus due to having mana in it which akali does not need. Guinsoo's for more AP and AD or pure AD items such as Bloodthirster to add more Spell Vamp, Life Steal and Damage to your build.
If you do not have enough penetration or got merc treads early on, it is worth maybe getting a void staff to make up for this.
Mark of the Assassin (Q) is Akali's main damaging tool - When you hit a target with Mark of the Assassin you will do additional Magic Damage based on your Ability Power. Twilight Shroud (W) makes you invisible to all enemies inside the cast area - Oracles and Vision Wards can see you however so beware! As it slows and makes you invisible for a set time - I take a point early at level 2 and leave till I have maxed other skills. Crescent Slash (E) hits everyone around you and also triggers Mark of the Assassin - This deals both Physical and Magic damage so stacking a bit of Attack Damage not only helps give Spell Vamp - It also gives damage to your E. Akali's ultimate Shadow Dance (R) jumps you to target enemy Champion OR Minion - This ability deals Magic Damage. It does not have a Cool Down but an ammo system - Whenever Akali kills or assists on an enemy champion, she gets one essence or every 15-30 seconds (Approx). R Can be used both Aggressively and Deffensively - Attacking enemy champions or using on a enemy minion OR champion nearer your team.
The best skill order I find is Q - R - E - Q - R - Etc
Early game skill usage:
Harass with Q and try and get close using W to be able to hit off the mark and use E for more damage then running back. I find playing defensive till you get your ultimate the best way unless you can easily beat the enemy champion.
Mid-Game (Or when you get your ulti):
When you get your utli start using your skill sequence to harass or take the enemy down. If your playing bottom lane with an AD carry - Set up kills with them or go and gank other lanes. The slow from Rylai's makes ganking exceptionally easy on Akali - Use Q to slow and apply the mark - Use R to clear the distance and E for more damage - Then apply the mark again and Ultimate. This combo will maximise your damage each time you hit and is exceptionally powerful early and mid game.
Late game if you are fed, the enemy will focus you so beware for ganks. At this point you should have sufficient burst damage to burst down any of their team (except high defence champions) with ease and should be looking for team fights. In team fights you have to judge the enemy team. If they are focusing you, play defensive and wait for an opening to burst down their AP and AD carries. Whatever you do... Do not focus the tank while the damage dealers are still near. Use W to hide yourself and get the defensive bonus from it then attack when an opening appears.
Flash - This can be used both offensively and defensively. However because akali has Shroud of Shadows, try and use that to escape before flashing.
Ignite - For finishing enemies or damaging tanks.
Exhaust - For bottom lane - Use to aid allies escaping or slowing enemies who run
Cleanse - If your against tonnes of CC
Ghost - For chasing but I prefer Flash for jumping over walls and with slow you won't need ghost
Creeping / Jungling
I am not a very good jungler so don't rely on this part of the guide!
When playing jungle Akali, start with either armor and 5 health pots - Because akali is squishy by nature - Or if you have Spell Vamp runes - Amplyfying tome and 1 health pot. You will need a hard pull at blue and damage on the wolves. Then move to wraiths and take Red/Golems if possible. If you can't make them recall and try and get boots as fast as possible. When you have boots you can either try and gank or wait till level 6 for your ulti. Use red when ganking to slow the enemy. When you get rylai's ganking will be much easier.
When working as a team you must evaluate two things on the enemy - How much CC they have - And who is their main threats. Focus the enemies AP and AD carries, leave tanks to last! Unless it's Darius... (I hate Darius... Please nerf? :D). Use Rylai's to slow running enemies, or W and Q to slow enemies chasing you. Use W where there are multiple escape areas (3 ways in the jungle to escape) or near brush.
Akali is a very powerful burst hybrid champion and is best at bursting down enemy champions and staying in stealth and lashing out for massive damage. She is very versatile where she can go but is very frail so use her damage to kill them, before they kill you!
Hope this guide helps you, if you have any other questions please don't hesitate to ask :)