Akali Build Guide by KelvGoh
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.
So you have seen an incredible Akali in action carrying an entire team and after several hours of jaw-clenching,fist pumping games saved enough to buy her.Or you have scrolled through the list of champions available and decided that she is hot enough for your insatiable in-game lust(Haha).Hence you have searched for a reliable guide and build to learn to master your Akali. Whatever it is that led you to one of the more popular champions in game,it does not matter.This is a build that will allow me to share my way of playing my main champion so do feel free to experiment and personalize your build to suit your own playing style.
She has the hottest skins for all you nurse fetishists out there,her burst damage is among the highest(If not the highest) among all the champions,and she's an insane duelist(1v1).Enough said.
As most of you know,she's perfect for 1v1 duels because her skills are suited for them.However,she has no Aoe(Apart from a pathetic slow from her shroud which enemies will not be dumb enough you fight you in) and that,combined with being First Priority Target makes her incredibly easy to pick off in large skirmishes.If she does not get a kill early-mid game she becomes useless in late game.For many this is enough reason to deter from choosing her.However there are times that require you to be a good duelist eg. Laning and your partner returns to base or one of the unlucky times when you are making your way to buffs/dragon/baron/lane through the jungle and bump into an enemy.I know this does not happen often but the few times it does it can reward you with additional gold if you end their spree while they're trying to get their life back through life steal or farming the last hundred gold for that bloodthirster.
Another reason to pick Akali for is that her total damage dealt almost halves itself into the magic damage dealt and the physical damage dealt section.(You will know this if you had been paying attention to your match history)This means any defensive item enemies stack against you have its effectiveness cut to half.
You might ask,'Since Akali is such an invincible champion,why doesn't everybody choose her?'.Thats because she has a fatal weakness/flaw.You will see wards being placed on the lanes where Akali is at.Because strictly speaking,when you get surrounded,ganked;there aren't many options for you except - To die / Or drop a W and wait until a minion or enemy strays so far away and you 'R' to it and continue running.You are an Anti-carry,and this WILL happen if your opponents know what they're doing.Drop a W,wait,and suddenly you're pushed out of the shroud by Alistar/Poppy.The only thing you can do is to buy another ward or elixir and destroy their wards.The wards will also stop you from farming and this is especially fatal to Akali then other champions.You will become a burden late game if you do not get farm,so drop a ward and destroy theirs!
I open up with 3 health pots and boots.The additional speed can aid your attemps in first blood or save you.The health pots are there,simply because they are.You WILL be bullied by opponents pre-level 6 and the health pots can help you stay in lane longer.Your first trip back should net you Mercury's Threads.This is the boots that all Akalis get.However you can also get Sorcerer's Boots(ATTENTION:*NOT VERIFIED*) if the entire enemy team consists of only melee fighters(Nearly impossible).Hence I suggest you go with Mercurys Threads.
By now you should have hit level 6 --> By hitting level 6 you should have atleast 1~2 kills-->By getting 1~2 kills you should have enough for Sheen.Yes you can get other simple AP items but my unreasonable guide INSISTS that you get this item.Why?Because we are gonna upgrade this to *LICH BANE*. YES.YOU HEARD RIGHT.Lich bane as your second item. But,thats so unreasonable!Lich is one of the more expensive items in game!Why should I not get it later?! Thats because it perfectly syncs with your 'Q' skill.Experienced Akali players know that if enemies keep their distance you cannot do a lot of damage.Hence they will always try to pop the 'Mark of the Assasin' to intidimate you into thinking that they are SOOOO pain.Lich Bane furthers this illusion by giving you an awesome passive - Each time you throw a Q and activate the Mark,it gives you an extra 80 damage just by itself.And another 80 comes after 2 seconds.And another.2 seconds passes by so quickly you'd find that you'd only be limited to the c/d of your skills to bring an opponent down.
By now it should hit the 20 minute mark and your opponents will surrender if you are having an exceptionally good game.No kidding.Failure to stop Akali from getting decent amount of kills will allow her to snowball and burst down all your tanks in seconds even in late game.I have tested this build against another Akali who was using a conventional build some time ago.She had even tried to troll me(If you're reading this,sorry :P) by comparing my AP to hers when I was midding and she was duo lane.What happened?She died in a duel with me when she had greater AP.Such is the magic of LichBane so get it ASAP!
If the game does not end,your build will depend largely on your situation.If you are fighting an enemy team full of carries,you should get Rylai for survivability.The passive slow is also sweet as well,it adds to your legendary name for letting no one escape from a duel.
Get Abyssal Sceptor if your opponents consist of high magic damage dealers(Etc. Vladimir,Veigar),and Void Staff if your opponents are stacking magic resist,and so forth.Your build should revolve largely around a high AP build.
What I take
I take Mercury's Threads,Lich Bane,Rylais,Morello's Evil Tome and Rabbadon's Cap(If the game ever gets this far,which is unlikely)
P S : Try Deathfire Grasp(Sweet Active to help drop your opponents) and Morello's Evil Tome for some cooldown reduction.
P P S : You can also get Zhonya's Hourglass if your opponents are highly disruptive ( Eg. Alistar knocks your entire team up and knocks you into his teammates,Fiddlesticks fears and silences you then proceed to drain your ***.)You should use the active when you get focused the most - Right after Alistar knocks you into his teammates.
First skill to add is your Q skill.This is your bread and butter skill and this will be your main damage dealer so be sure to put a point in it for an early first blood!
By now you should be having trouble with opponents in lane,their harass and yours just don't compare.No matter,just stay behind your laning partner,throwing a Q now and then to farm some creeps and wait for your turn to begin.
Hitting level 2,you should put a point in your W skill,the shroud.This is Akalis signature skill and you should not be fighting an enemy Akali in it if possible because of the magic resistance and armor it affords her.If you'd been watching ninja movies for long enough you DO NOT **** with a ninja inside her territory.This skill is crucial for the 'paper' Akali as health items rarely find their way inside her build(Her burst is so insane the opponents do not get chances to retaliate)However there are times when you are focused in a teamfight(Should happen all the time if your opponents know what they're doing),quickly drop your shroud and try to stay to the side to avoid AoE damage.
Your E skill,compared to your other flashy skills does not shine as bright.However there are times when that extra burst of damage is needed to finish off a fleeing opponent,or to activate your LichBane passive.I put a point in this early game and only add to this skill in the later game when I have to.
Your R skill is one of the most versatile skills you have,next only to your signature shroud.This skill can be used to catch up to an fleeing opponent with its insane range,or to get away from ganking enemies surrounding your shroud waiting to finish you off.Just R on a minion furthest away and poof,your opponents have failed to kill the most important target again.Your R can be considered a blink skill that can beat even flash.However you only have 3 charges max at any one time so use them wisely.
Skill usage order
Throw a Q,right click,throw an E(after 2 seconds),right click,repeat.Throw an R after the Q if your enemy blinks away.Of course you must also wait for 2 seconds to activate the passive with your R as well.The wait takes practice so keep trying until you have mastered her skill usage.
I take 9/0/21 for my masteries,putting 4 points into Mental force(4 ability power),4 points into sorcery (4% CDR),and one point into Arcane Knowledge(10$ magic penetration).You can put the 21 Utility points in whichever way suits you best,but do remember to put a point in Scout,which improves vision range for your wards.Your wards,if you don't remember,are there to help you see enemy wards that will beat your *** the next time you drop your shroud and think you are safe.
For runes I take Magic Penetration marks,ability power quintessences,ability power seals,and ability power glyphs.The ability power granted by the seals are pathetic compared to the marks and glyphs so why do I take them? As I said you are limited more by cooldowns than the energy you have,they come back so fast you won't ever run out( unless you decide to spam all your skills blindly even after reading what I've written;in which case please learn to play another champion LOL)
What I take
For summoner spells I take Heal and Flash.The additional health from heal can allow you to stay in lane much longer or net you First Blood.In my opinion this is a much underrated summoner spell.You can save your teammate with it,deceive your opponent into attacking you for a longer period of time with it,lure greedy opponents who do not bother checking enemy SS.Early game I carelessly attack lane opponents on purpose and then run into brush where my lane partner is hiding.Then I use heal and obliterate those who are greedy for first blood.The FirstBlood can allow you to snowball a long way;as long as Akali gets a kill early game she will snowball into an unstoppable force.
Flash for that extra stretch for running when my R is down.
Exhaust - Something to cripple your opponent for those precious few seconds when someone towerdives you at 3/4 health.
Ghost - The unit collision ignore is something to choose this for.
Surge - Gives an additional 10 AP for 12 seconds (2 Qs) at level 1 and 78 at level 18!78 AP = an AP late game item!A viable option to create the illusion that you are undefeatable.
Teleport - Gets you back in lane quickly.Especially crucial in early game when you do not want to miss exp gain.Heal solves this problem AND can net you first blood.Your choice.
Cleanse - A life saver in teamfights.
Ignite - Probable choice.
Many thanks to..
Substance - For allowing me to prove that early game Lich beats conventional Akali builds.
FearTheBlade - For inspiring me to research and find this build (After painstakingly long games with stupid bots)
Trans4m - For correcting my stupid mistakes in this guide time and again
You - For taking the time to read my guide and flexibility to try out this build to see how well it works for you.