Build Guide by NeonGrayKnight
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.
The newest champion in the league and the last in the set of three ninjas, Akali is a Fighter/Assassin class drawing on both Attack Damage and Ability Power to decimate her foes. I will attempt to give a coherent explanation of her skills as well as my reasons for leveling(or not leveling) them.
~ Abilities ~
Akali's Passive. Twin Disciplines gives accumulating bonuses depending on what stats you stack. Stacking AP gives your attacks a extra magic punch, while stacking Attack Damage give your abilities life vamp. While her AP bonus is more valuable for ganks, her AD bonus allows you to regen HP in-lane relatively quickly, thereby allowing us to farm longer then other champs. The challenge for Akali is finding a balance between how much AP and how much AD to stack.
Mark of the Assassin
Akali's only projectile attack, Mark allows Akali to harass very well early game thanks to her rapidly regenerating energy. It also marks with target with a debuff that causes extra damage as well as giving Akali energy every time she hits them. The debuff really shines when soloing the Dragon or Lizard, giving Akali the energy she needs to constantly cast Crescent Slash on CD. I get this skill at level one but usually hold out on leveling it further until I can't level Crescent Slash or Shadow Dance.
Akali's Defensive ability and Snare. Shroud stealths Akali while she remains in it's AoE as well as granting her extra armor AND slowing down any enemy unfortunate(or stupid) enough to pass through it. The fact that you are only de-stealthed for moment after you attack means that most single target abilities won't be cast on you as in the time it takes for the enemy to select and target you, you will most likely already be stealthed again. You should have level 1 by the time you are level 5, but hold off on leveling it further unless you cannot level anything else.
Akali's only AoE attack and main farming ability, Slash draws on both her AD and AP to boost it's damage. With full stacks in SotO and Soulstealer you should be one-shooting whole minion waves and wiping jungle creeps with extreme prejudice. I tend to max this out first for gold production and lane control.
Akali's Ult. Akali teleports to target foe inflicting damage. Akali's ult is one of the best chasing skills in the game, and combined with Shroud and/or Exhaust guarantees that the enemy WILL NOT get away from you. Maxed out this ability has a 1 second cooldown, meaning that at max charges and with high AP you inflict well over 1200 damage in around 3 seconds, just from this ability alone. However Akali's ult can only be used if she has Essences of Shadow ready. She regains them at a quick rate but can only carry 3 at a time. Needless to say this should be leveled at 6,11 and 16.
~ Item Order ~
Start out with a Long Sword and a Health Pot. The Sword will activate the spell vamp half of your passive allowing you to regen health without having to blue pill back. If you can hold out long enough, get both Boots of Speed and Sword of the Occult at the same time. if not, get SotO first and Boots second. Next complete your Ninja Tabi and start building your Soulstealer. At this point you can get either Guinsoo's Rageblade, Leviathan or start constructing your Trinity Force. If you are getting a lot of kills I would suggest getting Leviathan first to max out stacks as soon as possible. If you are able to farm like mad then get Sheen or Phage and start saving up for your Trinity Force. You most likely will not get all 6 items and sometimes not even 5 but if you can, you will most likely be absolutely destroying the competition
~ Summoner Spells ~
I take Exhaust and Ignite as my summoner spells, The Slow, Blind and extra damage from Ignite means that you will always have the advantage. However in this case neither make or break Akali as a champion so go take something else if you so choose.
~ Masteries ~
I go 24/6/0, the Magic Resist and Armor from the Defense masteries give you a little extra survivability in early game.
~ Runes ~
I went with AP/lvl on Glyphs and Seals, Att. Damage/lvl for Marks and Armor Pen for Quints while there are a lot of people who say Armor pen is better(and are probably right), the Attack Damage boosts Akali's passive.
~~ Strategy ~~
~ Early Game~
Get your Sword and HP Pot and head to your brush ASAP. Stay in the center of your brush and hope that curiosity will kill you a cat. You stay in the middle of the brush so as to dodge skill shots like Mundo's Cleaver thereby giving you the element of surprise, if a champ does come to your side, Use your ignite, Mark him and then Exhaust, if your Ally has half a brain you should have yourself a first blood. Harass with Mark, use Crescent Slash to farm and Shroud to get close enough to Melee. You can't run out of mana so use those skills on CD!
~ Mid Game ~
By now you should have your shoes and both Soulstealer and SotO, If you got a kill or three in early game, killing should come even easier: Hit your target with Mark, Shroud ahead of him, Ult in, Slash, Mark again if necessary while sprinkling liberally with normal melee attacks to gain energy from your Marks.
If you got Leviathan first of the three end items, you should be trying to max it out as soon as possible: the 15% damage reduction will make you immortal in 1v1s and very difficult to gank in Team Fights.
~ Late Game ~
If you did decent this whole time you should have 18-20 stacks in SotO, 16-20 in Soulstealer and maybe even 10-15 stacks in Leviathan. If you did great you should have max stacks in all three and be a invincible monster ripping squishes to shreds and cleaving tank's HP Bars in half.
~ Tips ~
~ Shroud can be used to create a safe environment to farm, in a otherwise hostile lane. After you gain a few levels, you can wipe a whole minion wave in the time it takes for shroud to wear off.
~ While Akali's Ult is a great way to quickly get into a fight, it cannot be used reliably to get out of one. Always have a escape plan ready.
~ Because Akali's Ult can be used up to three times in rapid succession, you can "Leap Frog" from enemy to enemy extremely quickly to assist a teammate who is caught behind enemy lines.
~ Twilight Shroud increases Akali's Armor by a sizable amount, use that to your advantage when farming big game minions.