Akali Build Guide by Duke of Juke
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.
Welcome to my guide for Akali, the Fist of Shadow.
There are dozens of guides on Mobafire that share a lot of strategy with this guide and helped to shape it, but I wrote this guide for two reasons; first, there are some aspects to the way I play Akali that I feel are objectively far more effective than other ways. These bits of strategy I defend to the utmost, but I also fully recognize that there is no one superior way to play and build a champion. Even from game to game, my item order changes, my play style changes; adapting to different situations is one thing that is absolutely crucial to League of Legends, and only being able to succeed in ideal case scenarios is a mark of not having a very good handle on a champion, or even the game as a whole. I've known players who can play if they get fed, but play like they're fed even when they're not; an effective play style is not one that goes either 20/1 or 1/20.
That all being said, this build is meant to communicate as best I can with text how I play Akali. It is fairly aggressive, but smartly so; the main part of the build that makes it this way, especially in relation to a lot of other builds, is the skeleton item order of Boots of Speed as a starting item, Sheen as the next purchase, and Rylai's Crystal Scepter rushed after that. As I state later, I don't ALWAYS take this path, but the main reason I'm writing this guide is to get that strategy of playing her out and represented.
The build requires a certain play style, one of hyper-aggression at the right time, hyper-defensiveness at others; it is not best suited to ALL situations, and focuses more on kills than some other builds, but I also wish to stress that this isn't a build for getting fed that will only work against stupid teams. I've made this item order work, time and time again, against lane opponents and teams that were worthy opponents.
Thanks for reading the guide, and any feedback is greatly appreciated!
+Extremely high burst damage
+Uses energy instead of mana, with low cooldowns on most skills
+Excels in solo lane
+Extremely good chaser
+Stealth capabilities (great for juking)
+Hybridized sources of damage (mainly AP, but Crescent Slash, and especially proc's from Lich Bane dish out a fair amount of physical damage as well)
+Snowballs extremely well, able to put the team on her back Greg Jennings style if fed.
-Squishy (not just at outset, but is best built with an emphasis on offense)
-Has to get into melee range to be effective
-Susceptible to Crowd Control
-Lacks Crowd Control of her own
-Highly targeted due to high damage
-Can be crippled by Vision Ward and Oracle's Elixir
-Doesn't fit into EVERY team composition as well as some other, less hybridized champions (i.e., Ranged AD Carry, Hard Tank, AP Carry)
Naturally, just as I had found a unique mastery setup that I was very much beginning to enjoy, they revamped the entire system. I need to play a lot more with the new page and figure out exactly the best way to complement everything with runes as well, so I'm keeping this section brief for now.
I loved my 13/0/17 setup that I had begun using, but the good news is that the main reason for which I took 17 points in the old utility tree was Quickness , which can now be accessed with only 9 points in the new utility tree, and looking at the new offense tree, getting to the end is much more enticing for Akali than before. Overall, this new mastery setup is definitely beneficial to building her, especially with masteries like Brute Force (now higher on the page before, deliciously), Mental Force , and even Blast working beautifully towards activating Twin Disciplines, even if her passive did take a decent nerf over the Fizz patch.
So, here's what I've been taking, subject to change soon but it does seem pretty solid.
3 in Brute Force
4 in Mental Force
4 in Sorcery
1 in Arcane Knowledge
4 in Blast
4 in Archmage
1 in Executioner
1 in Summoner's Insight
3 in Good Hands
4 in Quickness
1 in Transmutation
I do want to say that Executioner really couldn't sound more like a mastery made for Akali in the first place. Everything taken in the offense tree helps to amp her damage all throughout the game, and I very much like what Riot did to help mages play more offensively. The Utility setup might seem not as advantageous as before, and honestly, putting more than 21 points in the Offense tree isn't stupid anymore, as literally everything over on the offense tree except Deadliness or Lethality would help with her damage output, notably Havoc , though it doesn't seem very effective to me now. I am a sucker for movement speed (I'm actually celebrating this patch because I can fit another Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed because of Mental Force and Blast ), so even if Quickness took a hit, I'm still taking it, and Transmutation helps a little to offset the nerf to Twin Disciplines.
With the old mastery pages, there was always a debate between the old Good Hands and Perseverance; the new Perseverance has moved down and gotten MUCH better for a lot of champions, and now taking the first row of the Utility tree entails a choice between Good Hands and Expanded Mind . In the past, the second did not apply to energy, and so it was completely useless; the description might mislead a person to believe that it's adding 10 energy PER LEVEL, but unfortunately this is not the case. Expanded Mind adds 10 energy at the beginning of the game, and it stays there for the remainder. Perhaps combined with either greater seal of sapience or greater seal of acumen, it would help to make some quick combination of abilities possible that isn't possible right now, but with the fast regen on energy in the first place, the fact that Akali's ult doesn't cost energy, and the return on Mark of the Assassin, especially just 10 energy really doesn't seem worth 10 mastery points. I wouldn't say it would never be a good idea, maybe more likely for Shen, Lee Sin, or Kennen, but Good Hands means coming back 10% quicker, which can be around six seconds late game. This is a very underestimated mastery; there are more than a few games that I remember getting aced in a poorly executed teamfight and being one of the first ones down, but coming back and keeping the enemy at bay with those 6 seconds from the angels. It can win games, and maybe it isn't the very best mastery on the page, but in my mind, it's significantly better than 10 energy.
While I'm on the topic, I suppose this is a decent place to mention energy use. If you find you're running out of energy, what will help a lot more is playing a different way. Each of Akali's abilities takes knowing how and when to use, of course, and one aspect is in the energy use of each. Mark of the Assassin costs the same as Crescent Slash, but returns between a third and two thirds of its energy cost when proc'd with an auto-attack, depending on level, making it nearly free to use at full level. Twilight Shroud is expensive at first, costing 80 energy, but decreases in cost with rank. Given that it's Akali's only built in getaway skill (not counting Shadow Dance used circumstantially), it's not a bad idea to save the energy needed for a quick shroud in most situations. If it's a choice between using Crescent Slash and completely depleting your pool or saving it for a shroud, in riskier situations at least it might be more prudent to save it for the shroud. All in all, most of Akali's damage comes from Mark of the Assassin and Shadow Dance, and it's important to keep in mind that proc'ing Mark of the Assassin with an auto-attack both doubles the damage for the ability and returns energy; if this is done especially, you shouldn't really have any energy issues.
The new mastery pages, designed more than anything to give players more options (and make previously available options more enticing) make for a little more freedom in the runes as well. These are the runes I've found most effective, though many setups are effective in their own ways.
The main reason for getting Attack Damage marks on a primarily AP champion is to activate Twin Disciplines. Only seven of Greater Mark of Attack Damage, combined with Brute Force , are required to activate the spell vamp portion Akali's passive, and so the last two marks are where a little bit of variability comes in; 2 of Greater Mark of Magic Penetration helps a little, but since the difference is so negligible anyway, 2 extra AD from going with full Strength marks seemed more beneficial anyway to me.
Greater Seal of Vitality
If one is looking to activate both halves of Akali's passive early on with just runes and masteries, Seals are the only rune set that one doesn't have to put either AD or AP to accomplish that. I'm a fan of the health/level, mainly because Akali should focus on damage, of course, but survivability is also important; providing nearly 20 health each at level 18, as well as nice boosts at every level up, helps significantly with making her not such a glass cannon. Other options include Greater Seal of Armor, as flat armor is rather helpful in the lane phase against enemy champion physical attacks, minions, and even towers; that being said, health is more effective against ALL types of damage, throughout the game, and especially if you're taking Akali mid and playing smart, you shouldn't be taking loads of physical damage, especially if there's another AP champion laning against you.
I also feel worth mentioning are greater seal of lucidity and greater seal of meditation. I haven't bought and tested these, especially since they're so expensive, and even if I do play a lot of Akali and Shen, and own Kennen and Lee Sin, they don't seem to be really that significant, and even more importantly, I don't find myself running out of energy if I'm playing right anyway. If someone finds these particularly effective, I'd love to hear about it.
With the mastery setup in this guide (21/0/9, notably taking Mental Force , Blast , and I suppose Archmage ), building full scaling AP glyphs and running 1 Greater Quintessence of Ability Power will activate the bonus magic damage half of Twin Disciplines by level 4. I have found this to be my personally favorite setup, as I used to run enough flat AP on my rune page, even before the mastery rework, to activate both halves of her passive immediately, running varying amounts of Greater Quintessence of Ability Power and Greater Glyph of Ability Power. I found, however, that a small percentage of extra magic damage on her auto attacks (even smaller after the Fizz patch) frankly makes a very negligible difference early game. If your opponent is letting you proc Mark of the Assassin with auto-attacks, and you're playing wisely, you'll be so far ahead with damage that 8% extra on your physical attack is an advantage you won't need. If they're keeping their distance like smart opponents will, then Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power will get you more AP by level 6 than Greater Glyph of Ability Power, and continue to feed you more and more damage after that.
Other notable possibilities include cooldown runes, whether they be Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction or Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction, though this requires running full flat AP quints to activate her passive at all early on. I've found cooldown reduction not worth the investment on Akali, not in this instance at least.
5 Flat AP from the Greater Quintessence of Ability Power helps towards activating her passive (discussed thoroughly enough above I see no reason to elaborate here). I personally swear by running the movement speed quints; nearly all of my rune pages have them, if I can possibly justify it, and they are WONDERFUL. Akali already starts out at 325 movement speed, and taking boots first makes her rather fast. However, between these two quintessences and Quickness , I start out at 394 movement speed. This is faster than nearly anyone, even if they take boots right away; against other opponents who typically take the staple Doran's Ring or Sapphire Crystal, or any other starting item that isn't Boots of Speed, I can control the lane. If you're good at dodging, it basically makes you unhittable with a lot of the skills that casters depend upon to dominate their lane (compare playing against a Brand who can adequately place Pillar of Flame with or without this setup and the difference is astounding). It helps defensively, and it is also an incredible asset to her offensive game. The instances of me being able to proc Mark of the Assassin (typically with the help of Twilight Shroud) seriously doubled or even tripled against some opponents, because they just couldn't get away. I've had opponents complain over all-chat that Akali's movement speed is OP, all because they had no counter for me cruising around the place like I owned it.
Enough of that, I suppose. Other possibilities include Greater Quintessence of Health, which always help with survivability. Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration is another option, but I did the math for these; against an opponent with 30 magic resistance, a very average amount, with damage values of a typical level six caster (I did calculations using Annie's level 3 Disintegrate, level 2 Incinerate, and level 1 Summon: Tibbers), Greater Quintessence of Ability Power will dish out consistently more damage, by just 3-10 damage, but there was no skill for which the magic penetration did more damage that early. Magic penetration is great, but the quintessences don't provide enough for it to really be worth it.
I've found Flash and Ignite to be the most effective summoner spells to run on Akali, as well as a great number of other champions. Flash is probably the most versatile summoner spell in the game, and one might think that Shadow Dance is more than enough for distance closing, and perhaps that Twilight Shroud would be enough for getting away, but for the longest time I ran Exhaust in place of flash, and I killed fairly effectively, but if I got in a bad situation, I often had NOTHING to do about it and get away. Flashing over walls, Shadow Dancing and then flashing or vice versa, or even aggressive flashes to get in range for other skills give Akali a range and utility that I would NEVER play her without now that I have experienced it.
Ignite is a fair amount less important, but when going for first blood or at least your first kill in mid, ignite throws a little extra damage and helps secure the kill. It's useful also for cutting the effectiveness of heals in half, a utility of the spell that is often overlooked and underrated. Many people prefer Exhaust, and this is certainly an excellent spell on Akali, especially for going toe to toe with an AD carry, but I prefer Ignite, especially for getting first blood mid, which I very often do.
Exhaust helps with slowing people down, but in my opinion, Akali doesn't need it as much as many other champs; an enemy running isn't particularly a problem, especially between Shadow Dance and Rylai's, and this still stops an enemy from running more effectively, such as if the fight is approaching the enemy's tower range, but overall I've found that it's not as useful as Flash or Ignite. It is an indispensable skill for shutting down an AD carry, whether it's 1 on 1 or in a teamfight, but I'd only take Exhaust if no one else on my team had, especially if there were a few Ignites already on the table. This is by far, in my opinion, the most viable alternative to Ignite.
Ghost can act as a stand-in for flash, but the utility of flash is much better for Akali, especially since she doesn't need Ghost for chasing whatsoever, between Shadow Dance and Rylai's Crystal Scepter.
I haven't personally run Cleanse all that often on Akali. Crowd Control is one of the best ways to shut her down, and this is a good counter to that, but I've found taking a Quicksilver Sash in response to especially suppression, but heavy CC as well, to be enough.
I'm talking about Teleport mainly because it is the one spell that I pretty much believe can be effective on nearly ANY champ. That being said, you'll get much more use out of any of the spells listed above; many uses of teleport come in when the enemy is suddenly pushing one of your towers and you need to get there NOW...but a good share of the time, that push could have been anticipated with better map awareness. If you're taking solo top, it's a better idea, but this guide focuses more so on taking Akali mid.
I've been wondering about Surge, but it doesn't seem to be enough of a boost to justify taking it over the other options available. The attack speed is only useful when taking down turrets, and more damage comes from proc's on Lich Bane than anything else anyway, and that's got a 2 second cooldown. Surge wouldn't be useless, but the others appeal a lot more.
I haven't found any other summoner spells to be near effective enough to even consider taking. They're not bad spells by any means, but they're not best suited to Akali. Get Clarity if you want; I'll just laugh at you.
I don't care how well you can duo lane as Akali, I've certainly done that myself as well, but Akali OWNS the mid lane. It's the quickest way to get ahead, get your ult, get fed if they let you, and start wreaking havoc on the other lanes in the game. Let your team know when you pick Akali that you intend to take mid. If both your team and the enemy team have junglers, top is a far better second choice than bottom lane, but biggest issue I've found with solo top is how far removed it is from the other lanes. Taking Mid enables Akali to gank bottom lane, help the jungler if they get counter-jungled, participate in fights over Dragon, and many other things that she is very often too far away to do if she takes Top.
If Top is a 1 v 2 lane, she's better suited than some champions to take it, but there are certainly better 1 v 2 champions than her as well. Akali's main advantage in solo top is her use of energy, making her more sustainable in general than mana-dependent champions; therefore, if the choices for solo top are between Akali and a typical AP carry champion, especially a heavily mana-dependent one, it's best for the team overall to put the other champion mid, and have Akali take Top. That being said, it's best for AKALI overall to take Mid.
I also want to point out that yes, while Akali is, as I've dubbed her, the Empress of Murder, and very efficient at getting the kill on her laning opponent as soon as she hits level 6, MID/SOLO LANE IS FOR FARMING. Harassing your opponent is also an important part of the lane, but farming is more important. Focusing especially in the first five levels on getting EVERY creep kill you possibly can is the most important thing to do in the solo lane. A balance between champion kills and creep kills is absolutely essential, and once again, this balance is best found in taking Mid.
While I think most of Akali's skills are fairly straightforward, I believe a full understanding of each is just as important to playing her effectively as any other part of the strategy.
Akali's passive is one that is often ignored, and even more often under-utilized. Upon obtaining 19.5 Ability Power, Akali's auto-attacks are imbued with 8% extra magic damage, and this damage increases by an additional 1% for every 6 Ability Power she gains after the initial activation amount. Likewise, upon obtaining 9.5 Bonus Attack Damage, Akali gains 8% Spell Vamp, which increases by 1% for every 6 additional Bonus Attack Damage.
Naturally, building at least some of each AD and AP in order to take advantage of both halves of her passive is the most effective way to utilize her innate ability, especially given the way the two feed off of one another (though, somewhat notably, the bonus magic damage on her auto-attacks does NOT proc spell-vamp of any kind.) The question then remains of when to access each half, and to what extent, and I will address this later, mostly in the Runes section.
Mark of the Assassin is Akali's MOST IMPORTANT standard ability. This is what makes her the absolutely godly (or goddessly, one might say) assassin that she is. She throws her kama at an enemy unit, hitting for magic damage, but just as importantly, the ability marks that opponent for the next 6 seconds; landing an auto-attack on that opponent in that period will consume the mark, dealing the initial magic damage again in addition to the auto-attack damage and any other on-hit effects, and further, it will even restore some energy to Akali.
The versatility of this ability is astounding. Last-hitting creeps at a range? Perfect, especially given that we're dealing with energy and not mana. The main use of this ability will be to unleash a large amount of damage at all stages of the game (given proper leveling of the skill) on enemy champions, naturally, but there are even more uses past these: Marking an enemy, especially when playing 1 v 1, will cause them to fear a simple auto-attack from you for the next six seconds. This, plus the AOE stealth offered by her W (not getting ahead of myself or anything) is an incredibly effective zoning strategy against many champions in the solo lane.
One more VERY important thing about this ability stems from a simple observation: especially as you continue to take more levels in Mark of the Assassin, the cooldown decreases, and even at the first rank of the skill (assuming one takes the Cooldown Reduction from Sorcery ), the cooldown of the skill is LESS than the period for which the enemy is marked. Therefore, Akali can Mark an opponent, and then wait until the skill is off cooldown or at least very close, then consume the mark, and directly after, Mark him or her once again and consume again for VERY high burst damage. This combo, aided both in damage and execution by her Shadow Dance, DECIMATES opponents. Developing a sense for how long that 6 second Mark is in real-time is essential to playing Akali well.
Twilight Shroud is one of the most appropriate abilities for a ninja, as so one of the most appropriate abilities for Akali. She throws a ring of smoke out on the battlefield. While inside this ring, she gains a fair amount of armor and magic resistance, increasing with rank, and is stealthed until she leaves the ring (the stealth persists for about a half second past leaving), or until she uses an ability or attacks an enemy unit. The stealth will resume if she refrains from doing either of those things while still inside the ring, or if she re-enters it. Enemies within the ring are slowed.
Like her Q, Twilight Shroud also has a wide range of uses; I previously mentioned the zoning potential in combination with Mark of the Assassin, and early game, this introduces an element of uncertainty into the lane. Your opponent knows you are SOMEWHERE in that ring, but even given the small to medium size of the ring, that uncertainty often forces your opponent back, giving you free opportunity to farm and possibly deny your opponent experience, or, in the event they don't respect your little smoke cloud, you harass them with the Mark, and possibly even with a consumption of it. It's a good way to earn respect.
As for mid and late game, there's really not very many good reasons NOT to drop the Shroud when engaging the enemy. With the long cooldown, when and where to drop it is rather important (not quite as make-or-break as timing Vladimir's Sanguine Pool, but similar), but given the stealth, increased resistances, AND the slow on enemies, the ability should be used, to take advantage of any or all of its benefits to you.
For Crescent Slash, Akali flourishes her kamas, dealing instant AOE damage to enemies around her. This ability is a bit more straightforward than her Q and W; it basically just damages anything around her that isn't an ally. The interesting part comes in when one takes a look at how the ability scales with her stats; her Q and R scale with ability power and deal magic damage, but interestingly, Crescent Slash scales off of BOTH her ability power and attack damage, dealing PHYSICAL damage.
Keeping this in mind can occasionally be important. One of the reasons Akali is such a proficient assassin is her somewhat diversified damage; with two abilities dealing magic damage, but one of them requiring a physical attack in the midst to function at full efficiency, and a third ability dealing fully physical damage, stacking Magic Resistance won't completely protect anyone from Akali (though really, an Akali who is properly fed and built is an Unstoppable Force, in that NOTHING will completely protect anyone from her.)
Crescent Slash adds a good little burst of damage into the mix, but it's also good for farming, whether it's dishing out some quick damage to a creep wave, securing a last hit you botched, or taking out creeps in the jungle quicker in mid or late game. It's important, however, to realize that her damage comes much more from her Q, Auto-attack, and R, and while the E should be utilized, the other abilities need to be emphasized.
When Akali uses Shadow Dance, she dashes through the shadows, dealing a good amount of magic damage. Very importantly, this ability does not draw from her energy pool, but rather upon Essences of Shadow. Akali automatically stores Essences of Shadow over time (a charge time that both decreases as she gains more ranks in the skill, and decreases with Cooldown Reduction), and also stores them upon kills or assists.
This ability defines Akali. One of the most important abilities for anyone looking to dish out absurd amounts of damage at melee range is a distance-closing ability, but with nearly everyone else with a comparable ability, we're talking about a standard ability, with a fairly long cooldown, and further, often a mana cost that makes it difficult to spam the ability. Shadow Dance runs off of its OWN resources system, and heading into ANY encounter, you WILL have no fewer than *3* charges, and therefore *3* chances to close the distance between you and your opponent, and continue murdering them. One doesn't run from Akali. One tries, and one fails.
-How to Build?-
One can see from her abilities that Akali is meant to kill, chase, and then slink away under cover of stealth, but my question of how to build is directed more specifically; clearly building offensively for the most part will be ideal, but more specifically I am raising the question of building AD vs. AP. This has become a bit of a foregone conclusion for most Akali players, and one that I more or less agree with, but I think addressing it and understanding fully why I build the way I do for every champion is very important.
Especially given her passive, as I stated before, one is encouraged to build at least SOME of both AD and AP. I'm going to spoil the next section and say that simply by the Runes and Masteries I choose, both halves of the passive will be activated early on without any itemization going towards this. After that, however, the question is how much should the build go towards one or the other.
Because of the way her abilities scale (and especially WHICH abilities), particularly her Q and R scaling with magic damage only, it is far more important to build Akali with an emphasis on Ability Power. Even her Crescent Slash scales off of AP (in addition to AD), but there is also her passive to consider, which adds magic damage to even auto attacks based on her AP. Even with the 8% or so Spell Vamp from her passive, if no additional AD is built or no additional Spell Vamp is acquired, will continue to be more and more helpful as she is dishing out more and more damage.
I will typically build a Hextech Revolver somewhere in midgame, helping with Spell Vamp, and eventually turn it into a Hextech Gunblade, which helps even more given that it gives her additional AD, and the only other AD item I build with any frequency is Sword of the Occult, and that's only when I'm about 7 kills up and not dying, and nothing but penta-focus from the other team will do anything but annoy. Emphasizing Ability Power is far more effective.
Like every other champion, upon reaching Level 6, the priority is leveling her ultimate, Shadow Dance. If a rank in her R is unavailable, leveling Mark of the Assassin is by far prioritized over the other two skills, given how much the damage scales up and the cooldown goes down.
Taking a rank in Twilight Shroud at level 2 gives the player the stealth utility of the ability. Leveling it past the first level increases the Armor and Magic Resistance buff, and lowers the energy cost, but does not lower the cooldown. Crescent Slash increases in damage and receives a lower cooldown with higher rank, and given that the emphasis is on dishing out damage, typically it should be leveled and maxed before Twilight Shroud.
That said, if you find that more survivability is needed in teamfights, and you think an extra 10-40 armor and magic resistance is worth sacrificing a bit of damage and frequency with use of Crescent Slash, especially if you find that nice little killstreak of yours is drawing focus from the enemy team, that would be a good example of adapting to the current situation, changing the skill lineup to be more effective.
-BASIC AKALI MURDER COMBO-
Rather than devote an entire section to skill sequence in terms of execution while murdering people, I saw fit to detail THE basic sequence for maximum damage with Akali. I may expand this section, especially if requested to do so.
This cycle can be entered once again by throwing another Mark and dashing again, and gone through for the most part as many times as Akali has Essences of Shadow. Keeping in mind the trick of waiting until Mark of the Assassin is nearly or completely off of cooldown before moving in to consume, and then directly after throwing and consuming another, is an excellent way to modify the above combo slightly. After some play as Akali, one should notice her abilities flow together like quicksilver, and the order may change to fit the situation, but the end result is almost nearly always death for her target.
And finally, the items. I'm going to take this step by step, explaining what and why, especially in the spots where I believe many Akali players go wrong. The items are listed more or less in the order in which they should be purchased.
Boots and pots. I have tried Amplifying Tome + Health Potion (which allows for a bit more freedom in Runes, such as going with perhaps Greater Quintessence of Health or Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration, or even my favorite, Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed) and for quite a while I ran Doran's Blade, eliminating the need for the Greater Mark of Attack Damage, which can nicely make room for Greater Mark of Magic Penetration, and making for a bit more survivability and lane sustainability. Activating both halves of Twin Disciplines through runes and masteries diminishes the need for the Tome or the Blade, and looking at the 100 Health offered by Doran's Blade, compared to the effective 600 extra Health offered by 3 Health potions more than makes up for the 3% lifesteal on the blade. The extra movement speed is absolutely crucial for performing well in the laning phase, and in the case of the Doran's Blade, eliminates any gold lost by selling the blade later.
Three Health Potions, with conservative play (especially against an opponent with good harass) and a bit of spell vamp, should usually be enough to stay in lane and hopefully secure the kill at level 6. Focusing first on farming and second on harassing should net one enough gold for their first trip back after going for the kill, whether the attempt is successful or not. Especially if that kill is gotten fairly easily (you hopefully won't need help from your jungler, but that is one way to make sure you don't sneak away with 50 health), you may be able to push the lane up and go straight for a gank, and the boots help you get there faster, chase better, and kill better. Then...
SHEEN. This is one of the most important parts of the build, and it is one that I can vouch for absolutely. Many object to especially the mana component of Sheen, and while yes, avoiding items that grant mana on a champion that runs on energy is wise, the proc on sheen FAR more than makes up for the gold that could be considered wasted on the mana. Many guides put a Hextech Revolver here, and I've included it as an alternate, because it really is a safer choice. The increased Spell Vamp and 15 additional Ability Power certainly is a good boost, but considering that the highest Ability Power ratio of her skills is 50% on [Shadow Dance], doubling the base damage on her auto-attack when consuming the Mark of the Assassin makes for MUCH higher burst damage. That one auto-attack will rip to shreds a HUGE portion of an enemy's health, and the 2 second cooldown on Sheen's proc makes it possible to access that bonus damage likely twice in an encounter, if not more.
This does, however, depend on an aggressive playstyle, as well as an enemy team that isn't incredibly defensive. If you're playing against a very defensive team, and for whatever reason think you will have a slim chance at being able to pull off ganks, the extra damage from Sheen isn't necessarily that helpful. For lane sustainability, Hextech Revolver is definitely the better option, affording almost 25% spell vamp when combined with Akali's passive. Akali is one of the most aggressive champions in the game, and if you're given a chance to play that way (which, frankly, in most normal queue games even at level 30, you typically will be once you get the hang of it), she will shine that way. If that's not an option, and more passive play is necessary, or, I've found, if you go solo top and ganks aren't as easily procured, the Revolver is sometimes the better choice.
The "or" between the two should be noted. Most games I feel it is far more valuable to get one of these items (leaning very heavily, as I've said, towards Sheen), and then rush Rylai's Crystal Scepter; save the other mid-tier item for after Rylai's.
I have also added a Health Potion, since I continue to buy these until at least mid-game. If control/dominance of mid is established, Akali best serves her team by ganking other lanes when the opportunity presents itself. Sheen enables her to effectively gank with very high burst damage, and a Health Potion or two helps her to survive a few of these attempts better. I wouldn't recommend going back before you can purchase Sheen or Hextech Revolver, though if you are forced to, picking up an Amplifying Tome component of either, or possibly two, is the best option. If you're going back because you're getting outlaned, especially by an AP opponent, Null-Magic Mantle is actually a decent buy if you're behind and getting harassed.
I believe Sheen is the most important item to get Akali into mid-game, but I believe Rylai's Crystal Scepter is hands-down the most important item for her, period. It gives a fair chunk of Ability Power, a very nice and much needed chunk of health, and most importantly, makes ALL of her abilities slow her opponent. It really couldn't be more perfect for her. I typically build the Giant's Belt first if I have to choose just one component, since Sheen gives her rather good damage output, and survivability becomes a bit of an issue. An extra 430 health is enough to change you from that squishy ninja chick who's wrecking people and should be (and can be) focused first, to that ninja chick who's wrecking people and is kinda beefy for mid game, and therefore something to run from. Akali's job doesn't get harder when they run; it gets easier.
I used to go straight for Sorceror's Shoes in most games that I played, but I have since realized the incredible value of Mercury's Treads. Yes, Moonflair Spellblade now offers the same amount of Tenacity, but getting Treads early on, which also gives a good chunk of magic resistance, is completely invaluable. As for not getting Tenacity at all, a hyper-carry/ that dives into enemy lines and destroys a squishy in the back is greatly enhanced if slows and stuns have reduced effect. Since the rune setup I use doesn't offer much in the line of Magic Penetration, Sorcerer's Shoes are a good boost to penetration through enemy Magic Resistance, but frankly, Akali does just fine with damage this early on in the game, especially when taking Sheen first, and Abyssal Scepter does even better for penetration by reducing the value for any source of magic damage on your team if they're close by. The only time I consider running Sorc Shoes in lieu of Merc Treads anymore is when I'm in ultra-fed mode in a normal game (like fully stacked Mejai's Soulstealer and Sword of the Occult), but frankly, at that point you don't need any more damage, and since only the most idiotic of teams would be focusing anyone but you, Tenacity is much more useful. If the enemy team is building magic resistance to counter a super fed Akali, Void Staff will work better anyway. Given how much movement speed I get between Quickness , 1-2 x Quintessence of Movement Speed, and even Lich Bane, and given both the excellent TRIPLE dash of Shadow Dance and the slow once Rylai's Crystal Scepter is acquired, Boots of Swiftness is completely unnecessary. Likewise, I find the qualities of all of the rest of the completed boot options to not be even as useful as the ones I mentioned by name.
These next three items I nearly always get, and typically in about this order. I usually pick up the Hextech Revolver after Rylai's, but wait until later to build it into typically a Hextech Gunblade, though if I have another effective caster or two on my team, a Will of the Ancients is also a cheaper alternative that still gives the sought-after Ability Power and Spell Vamp. Usually a Revolver is enough to tie her over until late game, as focusing on Lich Bane and Deathcap are higher priorities than the completed Gunblade or, in what I wish to emphasize is a VERY rare case, a Will.
The next question of sequencing falls between Lich Bane and Rabadon's Deathcap. Purchasing Sheen means the prospect of finishing it into Lich Bane is only an investment of 2210 gold, whereas the Deathcap entails a full 3600 before most of its benefit kicks in. For this reason, I typically build Lich Bane first, but by the same token, the proc from Lich Bane is also more effective with high Ability Power, with which Rabadon's helps phenomenally. Either way, both are essential for dealing incredible burst damage late game, and the 7% movement speed and 30 Magic Resistance from Lich Bane always helps.
Now, Hextech Gunblade. Thanks to SilverMercury for calling out my total lack of focus on this in the first version of the guide, I had mentioned it but forgotten to detail exactly how useful this item is for Akali, mostly due to an oversight rather than my not using it in game. Having bought the Revolver earlier, and with the extra 8% from her passive, you should have enough Spell Vamp to make it to mid-late game, but after that, assuming you didn't go with Sword of the Occult, some more Spell Vamp GREATLY increases Akali's survivability. Diving into a teamfight is a much easier and more survivable prospect when the more pain you dish out, the more life you get back. The Gunblade is fantastic for this because of the flat 25% given in the item description, but ALSO the lifesteal AND the added Spell Vamp given from the bonus Attack Damage.
One often overlooked aspect of the Gunblade is the active, and when someone plays Akali it's not quite as important as on some other champions; she specializes in keeping up with her opponent and slowing them, so both aspects of the active only serve to help her do that better, faster, and longer. You've got it, so use it. As for Will of the Ancients, I buy it so seldomly that I'm only mentioning it rather than throwing the icon up there; I usually leave it to a caster that doesn't need any of the Attack Damage or Lifesteal components of the Gunblade to pump that aura out to the team.
NOTE: After the recent nerf to Gunblade, it's still a very viable item on Akali, but this more than anything justifies its placement at the end of the build. Getting it earlier may seem like it would be effective, but whenever I go up against an Akali that rushed a Gunblade, I/my team shut her down easily.
I typically end up buying some combination of these four items to finish out the build, all depending on what I feel is necessary. Abyssal Scepter gives a fairly high amount of Magic Resistance and Ability Power, but the aura that reduces nearby enemies' Magic Resistance by 20 is invaluable when playing on a caster-heavy team. Since Akali darts into the back of the enemy ranks and decimates the carry, therefore being in close proximity to the enemy team, putting abyssal scepter on her is second in effectiveness only to a tank.
Void Staff will offer more penetration for her abilities against high magic resistance than any other option, and if you find the enemy team countering you with lots of it, the staff may be very necessary.
Zhonya's Hourglass gives another large boost to Ability Power, a full 100, and also gives 50 armor, and therefore is helpful against teams high in physical damage. The active can also be a life-saver, as Akali can sometimes be the one leading a charge in perhaps a 3 v 2 battle...that quickly becomes a 3 v 5, leaving her in the middle of the fray until her teammates catch up. 2 seconds of invulnerability is often enough to allow your teammates to catch up and support you, and make for massive survivability in teamfights in general. Lastly, one often overlooked use of the ability is breaking turret aggro. Since the active renders the user completely untargetable, diving under turret, getting a kill or two and drawing aggro in the process, and then popping Zhonya's will direct the turret aggro elsewhere. Moonflair Spellblade also offers a good chunk of AP, and serves well to replace the Tenacity granted by Mercury's Treads if you ended up not buying them.
I used to include Moonflair Spellblade in this section, but since I don't think I've taken any boots besides Mercury's Treads in more than 1 or 2 of the last 30 games I've played with Akali, I'm only mentioning it as a useful item in case you felt another completed boot option was enticing enough to take instead of Treads.
Lastly, just like any other champion with whom you get to full build, taking the elixirs that will benefit them is always a good idea. Even having 6 items, one can buy and instantly take any elixir, and especially when you have ALL your items and you're still accruing gold, there's no reason not to. The boost isn't super huge, but it's like an extra blasting wand, amped by Rabadon's Deathcap, and a good amount of cooldown reduction from Elixir of Brilliance, and Elixir of Fortitude affords a nice chunk of health, as well as attack damage that will marginally increase her damage output, and maybe more importantly add a little bit of spell vamp to the picture due to Twin Disciplines.
If you've got the money, and at this point you usually have more than 500 at a time anyway, there's really no point in NOT picking up Elixir of Agility too. Attack speed is really only useful for maybe clearing creeps or taking down towers, and crit % is practically useless for this build (I'll probably cry if I ever see an Akali building 2x Phantom Dancer and an Infinity Edge), but it's 250 gold that you don't need that won't HURT you.
The next several sections detail items that I have gotten with Akali, with varying frequency and effectiveness. Everything above here is something that I recommend for a good percentage of games, and everything below is dependent on specific situations.
I considered putting this in the elixir section above, especially in the "it's endgame and i have 7000 gold with which to do nothing except sell my deathcap and buy a new one" situation, but this is an incredibly useful item in the right situation, rather than a "they don't even have any stealth, I just want a little eye hovering above me" purchase, like the green glow from the Elixir of Agility that barely helps you. It is absolutely crucial for a team to have against stealth characters, like, I don't know, another Akali, as well as a lot of other characters that can mess you up if you aren't careful ( Talon and Shaco being the two other than other Akali that seem to be the worst to me, though there are several others it helps with). One of the main Cons outlined in my section above, in my opinion, is that Akali can be crippled by this item, and that is true of many other stealth characters as well; cry about it if you want for yourself, but if you're up against another stealth class, use the advantage yourself and buy the Elixir.
It should be mentioned, of course, that Oracle's Elixir goes away when you die, unlike the other elixirs, which are instead cut short by a time limit. Obviously, most characters are looking NOT to die, but there are some times when it is less avoidable than other situations. All I meant to say with this is that Akali is not the BEST character to get this elixir, though she certainly isn't the worst. If there's a stealth class that's wrecking your team, having 1-3 champions outfitted with this elixir, even if they're dying and having to buy it again every other teamfight, is still worth it. If you're only getting one, leave it to the tank to show everyone where that pesky Talon is sneaking off to, or perhaps the support to sweep for sight wards and Noxious Traps and the like.
As for countering this item as Akali, one has to be aware of how it changes the game and how it doesn't. The only thing Oracle's Elixir changes about teamfights is that when you drop Twilight Shroud, if someone with a little eye above their head is close enough, they can see you. And you better bet that they'll be trying their very best to be close enough. Does that mean this completely makes your shroud useless? No, not by a long shot. You're still provided with 50 extra armor and magic resistance at level 5, and enemies are still slowed within it. And you know what's most important? YOU'RE STILL EXTRAORDINARILY GOOD AT KILLING PEOPLE WHETHER VISIBLE OR NOT.
Yes, the elixir removes a lot of options from the table for escaping, juking, and avoiding focus fire, but all you have to do is play smarter. It takes a bit of experience to know exactly what this entails, but I've actually had games where I was getting kills early and getting fed, and 2 or 3 of the enemy team decided they got sick of not seeing me and got oracle's, thinking when they dropped that 400 gold, I'd be worthless. 2 things happen more often than others; either my team was doing well enough and could be aggressive enough that it made literally no difference and we just steamrolled them, or, every once in a while, I'd go in my bubble, draw a bunch of focus fire from the enemy team that can FINALLY SEE THAT STUPID FREAKING AKALI, and my team would rip them apart while they're throwing everything at me, with increased resistances due to the nice defensive buff on the shroud. I would never say that Akali makes the best sacrificial lamb, but it's worked once or twice.
Oh, the snowball items. Some people love them, some people hate them, and if this is going to be anything near a legit Akali guide, I have to address them. I want to say first that getting one or both WILL draw focus from a smart enemy team, and the higher price to pay for dying does alter one's play style. Akali can function perfectly well without either of the items; she is often dependent on kills, but if it looks like kills won't be readily available, even hyper-farm, 0/0/0 until mid-late game Akali can be effective.
I used to get these items quite a bit, but as I've played more an more (and have been getting matched with more experienced opponents), I've been taking each less and less. It is important to note WHEN and WHY a snowball item should be bought, however. Akali can go from already tearing opponents new orifices to decimating them even easier with these items if she's getting fed, but frankly, she's already very good at killing people when fed, whether or not those kills in the midgame are getting you stacks. This decision is an important one to know how to make, and it should be based not just on your own K/D spread, but also on the composition of the enemy team and an educated guess on how the game will progress throughout mid and late game. There are some enemy teams against which your function will be to go in, kill one, two, maybe three champions, and then you WILL die. Snowball items are not as effective against that kind of team, and this is only one of many factors that might suggest staying away would be more wise.
That being said, Akali snowballs VERY well. The raw AP from Mejai's is incredibly helpful in dominating the mid-game, especially since it synergizes so well with her Twin Disciplines. A full 20 stacks earns 15% Cooldown Reduction, and given that no other Cooldown Reduction items are particularly well-suited to Akali, this is a welcome addition. As for Sword of the Occult, Attack Damage is useful for increasing damage on her auto-attacks and Crescent Slash, but perhaps even more useful in giving her a VERY welcome boost in Spell Vamp because of her passive, pushing her over 30% with 20 stacks. Full stacks yielding 15% movement speed is also a fantastic boost in speed.
Picking between the two, Mejai's is definitely the better way to go, given that the majority of Akali's burst damage comes from Magic Damage. More Spell Vamp will make for more health return, but it's important to keep in mind that a high percentage of Spell Vamp on a weak ability might not even heal as much as a lower percentage on an ability that is bolstered by high Ability Power.
Overall, especially in my recent play, I would only advise buying either if you are already rather fed, and you realize that only you and perhaps another teammate or two are doing well AT ALL, and you realize that you will have to more or less carry the game. If your other teammates aren't performing, and you're going to be the one dishing out half the damage or more for your entire team, then you dying will likely end in an ace anyway, and these items might be your only hope for carrying the team. I once played a game where our entire bot lane (the only two players with whom I wasn't communicating via voicechat) ragequit after feeding nine kills to their lane opponents between the two of them in the span of 15 minutes. I had already gotten 4 kills myself, and proceeded to, with VERY careful turtling and use of both mejai's and the sword, to outkill the entire enemy team and nearly win, lasting a full 41 minutes in a 3 v 5. I can point out one key moment, however, when I dashed in for a kill without my shroud up and they took advantage of the first major mistake i'd made all game, and I lost stacks and it all snowballed backwards from there. They have their place, but depending on them doesn't make you a good player.
I wish to emphasize that a strong focus on offense is, in my opinion, the way to build Akali. Tanky Assassin, Off-tankali, or anything of that sort is grossly ignoring the whole point of Akali. However, there are some teams that are capable of bursting down an assassin the second he or she shows his or her face, and while the health from the greater seal of vitality and Rylai's Crystal Scepter does a world of good, as well as some of the defensive buffs from some other items such as Abyssal Scepter and Zhonya's Hourglass and even the small amount of Magic Resistance from Mercury's Treads and Lich Bane, sometimes those resistances aren't enough. The following items should only be necessary if either an enemy team is SUPER heavy on one source of damage or the other, or if you're dealing with an incredibly fed champion of either kind. I would hope that only one purely defensive item would be necessary, as survivability is just as much (if not more so) based on playing smartly as it is on building.
Guardian Angel gives both Armor and Magic Resistance, as well as the wonderful revival ability, which is priceless on an assassin that dives into enemy ranks after first initiation. Of all the defensive items, this is probably the one I'd recommend first, either that or Banshee's Veil, which I will discuss in the next section. Lastly, Thornmail is one of the best defensive items in the game, and really very cheap as well. This is likely the BEST way to deter physical attackers from attack you, and it also gives the highest amount of armor of any single item in the game. All of these are good if you're finding yourself too focused or behind to do a whole lot, though I do wish to stress again that positioning may far easier be a player's problem if they find themselves dying a lot than itemization.
I also want to mention Sunfire Cape and Randuin's Omen, as each of these provides a good amount of health and armor, as well as very nice other effects. I didn't put these up with the more heavily recommended items, however, because they don't seem to be quite worth it to me. Sunfire Cape is much better used on someone who will be spending a lot of time standing next to the enemy, whacking away at them (basically tanks and offtanks). The passive on Randuin's Omen, which is perhaps my favorite tanking item, aids very much in initiation and keeping the enemy team in place and encumbered. This is not Akali's job; if she's the first one into the teamfight, she's the first one back at the fountain when her team gets aced. It's not that it wouldn't be nice to have, it's just that especially since she's targeting one person at a time, the slow from Rylai's Crystal Scepter, or if need be, the active on Hextech Gunblade is a better bet anyway.
The active on Quicksilver Sash is the only way to get out of suppression, (very useful against Malzahar's Nether Grasp and Warwick's Infinite Duress especially) and it's also a fairly cheap way to obtain a good amount of Magic Resistance. Additionally, it has the invaluable ability to remove basically ANY debuff, including such things as Vladimir's Hemoplague and Mordekaiser's Children of the Grave. Banshee's Veil is one of the best defensive items in the game for practically ANY champions; health, magic resistance, and the bubble are invaluable. There's a reason that if a ranged carry picks up ONE defensive item, this is almost always it. Lastly, Force of Nature is a very good item for many champions, though I've been only lukewarmly appreciative of its effects on Akali. It does give the most magic resistance of any single item in the game, but health regen isn't something Akali seeks to build, and the passive isn't nearly as good on her as a tank/offtank.
There are a LOT of items I'd advise against, but some are more obvious than others. Meki Pendant as a starting item just doesn't quite earn anything but a facepalm from me. The following items represent a few that I have seen enough Akali's building to want to devote a section to explaining why they aren't as effective as other choices.
I've seen a lot of love for Guinsoo's, and the fact that it's in Akali's suggested items tells me that I should probably at least mention it. The Rageblade is cheap, and given that during a fight, Akali spends her whole day dropping abilities and auto attacks, she gets fairly good use of near full stacks. The Rageblade is also very good for taking down towers, especially when combined with the procs from Lich Bane. Passively it also works towards both halves of her Twin Disciplines.
That being said, I almost never end up buying the Rageblade, for a few reasons. The added attack speed, though useful against towers, is negligibly helpful for fighting champions. Akali spends far more time using abilities than just throwing down auto-attacks; while consuming the mark on her Mark of the Assassin is incredibly important, as well as taking advantage of the proc's on Lich Bane, neither of those two things will happen more than once every 2 seconds or so anyway. If I could have a seventh item, Rageblade might fill that blank, but I've always found it to not be useful enough to warrant a spot in the inventory.
These are honestly two of my favorite items in the game, but they are NOT for Akali. Trinity Force does make the proc from Sheen 50% better...but comparing bonus damage equal to 150% of Akali's BASE physical damage to the bonus damage from Lich Bane, equal to her ENTIRE total AP, the second is FAR better. There are other little things from Trinity Force that jump out as nice, like the 12% movement speed, and all the little bonuses here and there, but none of them come even close to being worth buying the most expensive item in the game, ESPECIALLY when it is utterly outclassed by Lich Bane for Akali.
The Black Cleaver is one that perplexes me a little more, since while Akali definitely falls into the realm of hybrid champions, she deals substantially more magical damage than physical damage. She will get a few auto-attacks off, lowering the target's armor, but it just isn't worth it; attack speed is something I've never felt a need to buy on her, as it may help with turrets, but with Lich Bane proc's, she'll be tearing a turret down rather quickly anyway. Leave the Black Cleaver to your ranged AD, or even a melee class that relies far more on auto-attacks than abilities.
I hope this build has proved useful in some way to anyone who reads it. I'm by no means an expert Akali player, but I've played a fair amount with her and found this strategy to be rather effective in my experience. I've found the Fist of Shadow to be an incredibly fun champion to play, and an incredibly dangerous force to reckon with if played properly. I haven't found a more consistent champion for carrying a solo queue game. Thanks for reading, and please leave comments and critiques below!
The biggest change for this patch was the new Masteries, and I've also included the most relevant changes to this build for Akali, the most notable being of course the nerf to her passive and Q, but also some revamped summoner spells like Flash and Exhaust.
* Twin Disciplines
o Initial spell vamp gained upon obtaining 10 bonus attack damage reduced to 8% from 10%
o Additional spell vamp reduced to 1% per 6 attack damage from 1% per 5 attack damage
o Initial magic damage bonus upon obtaining 20 ability power reduced to 8% from 10%
o Additional magic damage bonus reduced to 1% per 6 ability power from 1% per 5 ability power
* Mark of the Assassin
o Projectile base damage and proc base damage reduced to 45/70/95/120/145 from 50/75/100/125/150
Yes, they nerfed Akali. My friends and I have been wondering if this was coming, and it comes as no surprise to me at least, and frankly, I am very happy with this nerf. Obviously as an Akali player, no nerf is better than a small nerf, but this change is SO much better than Riot going Evelynn on her. 5 damage (10 total if you're proc'ing it) off of Mark of the Assassin is a negligible change, especially since it's 5 damage at ALL ranks, and therefore barely makes a difference in later ranks. The bigger hit was to Twin Disciplines, decreasing both the initial spell vamp and magic damage upon activation, as well as the additional quantity of each gained past initial activation. Akali will be dishing less, slightly, and healing herself less, slightly, but frankly, I'm taking 1 point in Transmutation , making up 1 percent of the essential spell vamp early game, and the magic damage on her auto attacks was pretty ridiculous and still is. One of my roommates says, usually when an Akali other than me gets fed, that she's just too easy to play, and in some ways I have to agree; mastering her may be another thing, but getting a kill or two early can make even a mediocre player a little to easily unstoppable. I think Riot noticed this and decided that kind of trend in a character made them nerf-worthy, and frankly, I find myself agreeing.
* Cooldown increased to 265 seconds from 255 seconds
* Range reduced to 400 from 450
When I heard they were nerfing Flash, I descended into the grips of depression, until I thought about it for a minute or two. Pre-nerf, most games I played had 8-10 champions taking it, and if you didn't take it, you were at a real disadvantage. That in and of itself should signal that it might be overpowered, or at the very least that it should be balanced to make other options more viable. It is also worth noting that nerfing flash makes a distance closer like Shadow Dance harder to get away from. I'm still taking flash, and will update if I find another choice more suitable.
8/28/11 - Guide released
8/29/11 - Hextech Gunblade properly emphasized, Guinsoo's Rageblade added to situational items.
9/20/11 - Added bits and pieces, addressing 9/21/0 mastery spread, Sheen vs. Hextech Revolver as first item, and various other small edits. Thanks for the feedback, keep it coming!
10/17/11 - Added a new mastery setup that I have been trying. I also plan on adding a section for Dominion soon, especially given how very dominant Akali is on the Crystal Scar. I think I owe it to anyone reading this, however, to play a lot more of her in Dominion than I already have, and let both the meta-game and my personal build and strategy settle a little, so that I actually have something substantial to say. Thanks for the views and comments!
11/16/11 - Updated guide initially after Fizz patch, mainly for the new masteries, and also updated sections to reflect the slight nerf to Akali and other changes, like that to Flash. Rune section to be updated soon, and I'm still working on a Dominion build, half-***edly since I tend to enjoy Classic a lot more. Also changed default boots from Sorceror's Shoes to Mercury's Treads, since I haven't gotten sorc shoes for like two months, and reworked some item order and explanation to better reflect how I've come to play and would recommend to do so. Also reworked large portions of the guide, rewriting the intro, changing the "summary" section to "Laning," and adding a "Pros/Cons" section.
11/19/11 - Revamped a lot of guide, some in response to Fizz Patch, some in response to changes in my own play style. Most notably updated were the Runes section and Items section. Rearranged order of guide substantially. Added Elixirs to item order.