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.
Many Akali builds will focus on AP, gathering % magic damage bonuses from Twin Disciplines but almost completely ignoring the Spell Vamp side of it. There are a few reasons I don't like to do this.
1. Simple math. Consider this, if you stack enough AP to get 100% magic damage from Twin Disciplines, but only have (as an example) 50 attack damage, then your attacks will deal, in total 100 damage.
50 (attack damage + 50 (100% magic damage) = 100 (total damage per auto attack)
However, say you have only 50% extra magic damage on your attacks, but you have 100 attack damage.
100 (attack damage) + 50 (50% magic damage0 = 150 (total damage per auto attack)
So even though you have a huge %magic damage, if you don't have any damage to begin with, the bonus isn't that significant.
2. Creates a more versatile and dangerous champion. Since most builds focus on their magic damage only, a tank only has to stack magic resist to counter you. With this build, while you still deal more magic damage than physical, you will deal moderate amounts of both types of damage, making it harder to counter you.
3. Survivability. Akali is naturally a pretty squishy champion, which is where Twin Disciplines comes to your rescue. Where most AP builds go into the defense tree, this build is able to skip that for the bonuses in the Utility tree by having higher attack damage, netting higher Spell Vamp. In most games this build will get 50%+ Spell Vamp from Twin Disciplines and Hextech Gunblade, as well as the lifesteal from Hextech, and if you're lucky even more lifesteal from a Zeke's Harbinger or Spell Vamp from a Will of the Ancients. Essentially, as long as you're dealing out damage, you're surviving.
A Note On Twin Disciplines:
The tooltip for Twin Disciplines is wrong. In the game it will actually provide 1% Spell Vamp for every 5 NOT 10 Attack Damage that Akali has.
- A great passive, which this build is essentially based around getting the most from. Higher AP gives %magic damage on your auto attacks, and higher attack damage gives Spell Vamp, which is insanely good for Akali's survivability.
- This skill is maxed first, taking it at level one, and every other level thereafter until it is maxed. This is a perfect skill far last hitting minions, and when combined with Twilight Shroud can be used to harass. This skill's DD effect isn't why we get it, though. It's useful, but the on hit proc is the real reason for getting this skill. With your Trinity Force complete it is possible to Shadow Dance onto an enemy squishy, Mark of the Assassin them, auto attack once, and have them be at half health between your Trinity Force and Mark of the Assassin procs.
- A great skill, but the Armor and Magic Resist are not why we get this, and while the slow is useful, that isn't its primary purpose either. This skill is great for harassing early game, placing it, getting a Mark of the Assassin off on the enemy, or causing them to move back, allowing you to get easy minion kills. It's also perfect for escaping. Just place it at a crossroads, and go whichever way your enemies don't expect. One point in this at level 2 is enough to keep you going until late game.
- This skill takes both AP and AD scaling, making it perfect for this build. In fights it's basically another damage ability, useful in team fights for the AoE, and useful for farming a large group of minions. Max this second, getting your first point at level 4.
- This ult is what makes Akali. Allows for quick leap ins onto the enemy carry during team fights, or onto the enemy in your lane. Great for chasing as well. Deals some decent damage and allows Akali to get in where she is most effective without having to run through a fight. Great combo for harassing (particularly in mid) if you have your ult: Ult onto the enemy champion (since a leap in looks like you're going for the kill, this will usually invoke a flight rather than fight response), Mark of the Assassin, auto attack once, Crescent Slash is you want/have the energy, and run back to the safety of your minions. Chances are you've gotten your opponent to about half health, especially if you have a Sheen, and take little damage yourself. Obviously, this is prioritized over any other skill, getting it whenever possible.
In my opinion Summoner Spells are almost entirely preference. I put what I use, but there are obviously many other options. I will, however, tell you why I use what I use.
- Most people, I think realize that Flash can be used for escaping, chasing, and ganking, and these are all great uses. However, there is some nice synergy between Akali and Flash. Especially during early game people will often underestimate how much your Mark of the Assassin proc does. By harassing an enemy to a little under half health, you can net a quick kill before having your ult simply by using Mark of the Assassin on them as you have been all game, as if you're just harassing, and then, while the effect is still up, but when they don't expect it, Flash in, proc your Mark, Ignite, and maybe Mark of the Assassin again to net you a kill. You can also use Flash to escape by using Twilight Shroud and then going to the edge of it and flashing as far in an unexpected or unguarded direction as possible. the distance Flash creates is generally enough to get you away.
- Great skill for picking up early kills, such as in the situation above with Flash. It is also useful late game on a Mundo, or on the enemy carry if the other team has a Soraka, Taric, or Janna.
Obviously other spells have their own benefits, and if you find you don't like the ones I use, it may be worth it to try out various other combinations to see what you like best. Just remember to change Masteries to correspond with the Summoner Spells you're using. If using Exhaust instead of Ignite take Cripple instead of Burning Embers , or Haste instead of Good Hands in Utility, if taking Ghost.
I think the masteries pretty much speak for themselves. Few important things to highlight, perhaps.
Brute Force - 2 points in this is key. This is what allows you to have both the spell vamp and %magic damage aspects of Twin Disciplines active at level 1, without having to buy a Long Sword
Like above, in the Summoner Spells section, if using different Summoner Spells remember to move masteries out of, for example, Burning Embers .
Utility Mastery - With this build both Red Lizard and Blue Golem are effective on Akali. Cooldown Reduction and Energy regen from Blue Golem make her more effective for longer in team fights, and Red Lizard is useful due to the AS from Trinity Force and Guinsoo's Rageblade, and the fact that her ult can allow her to catch up to an enemy, slow them with Red Lizard buff, allowing the rest of the team to catch up. However, I also recognize that the buffs are not the MOST effective on Akali. So, if your team has a hardcore AD/AS carry, let them have Red Lizard, it will be more useful on them. So, if you find yourself in Champion select thinking that you probably won't be getting Red Lizard or Blue Golem very often that game, switch out the points in Utility Mastery, instead placing 1 in Alacrity and 1 in Havoc . Just remember, Blue Golem is incredibly useful for both the energy regen and CDR. More Mark of the Assassin procs and Crescent Slashes mean more damage, and the energy regen means that you can continue doing these for longer before having to wait to regen, so if you can get away with getting Blue Golem, by all means do it.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration - While this is a hybrid build, a large portion of its damage is still magic. Mark of the Assassin and its proc, Shadow Dance, and the %magic damage on auto attacks from Twin Disciplines make up a large portion of your damage. Since early game this build focuses more on AP, these are especially useful then.
Greater Seal of Attack Speed - These are probably your most interchangeable Runes. I take AS because the more times you attack, the more times your bonus magic damage goes off, the faster you can get your Mark of the Assassin and Sheen/ Trinity Force procs off, and the faster you can apply Red Lizard buff if you have it. However, should you find that you want more survivability, Seals are probably the place to do it. These can be exchanged for Health or Armor seals with little damage to the build.
Greater Glyph of Ability Power - These runes are used to help reach the 20 AP needed to get the magic damage buff from Twin Disciplines at level 1, without having to buy an AP item. With the proper Quints, only 6 of these are required to reach 20 AP, and so the other 3 can be exchanged for CDR or Magic Resist, depending on preference.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power - Like the Glyphs, used to reach 20 AP for Twin Disciplines
Start off with a Doran's Blade and a Health Potion. Akali can do well both as a solo or dual lane character. I usually try to mid with her, because the level allows her to be much better late game, I find, and she is usually able to pick up a kill or two mid. So go wherever is comfortable.
When you have a chance to go back without letting your tower get pushed (ask for a gank mid if the enemy shows no signs of going back. Even if they aren't forced to go back themselves, it will usually allow you to push them to their tower, giving you a chance to go back without too much damage to your tower as long as you're quick) buy a Hextech Revolver. This item gives great AP, increasing your killing power, as well as Spell Vamp, giving you higher staying power, and allowing you to get kills without losing huge amounts of health.
Next buy Boots of Speed for the needed movement speed increase, but save off on finishing your boots for now.
Sheen will increase your damage output by a huge amount. Obviously the mana is useless, but the AP, and more importantly the proc are incredible for Akali. With one ability your damage can be huge:
Mark of the Assassin + Attack Damagex2 (from Sheen proc) + Mark of the Assassin proc + %magic damage bonus from Twin Disciplines + Red Lizard buff if you have it
For one ability and one auto attack that is an insane amount of damage, often totaling up to nearly half of a squishy character's health.
Finish your boots, turning them into Sorcerer's Shoes. Ionian Boots of Lucidity are also a viable choice, allowing you to get close to the 40% CDR cap if you also have Blue Golem.
Finish your Trinity Force, prioritizing Phage over Zeal. This provides an extra bit of survivability in the form of health, a bit more AP, 30 AD (Which translates to 6% Spell Vamp from Twin Disciplines), as well as some AS and Crit which are useful, and movement speed which can be helpful, but what's really incredible here is the improved proc. Remember that equation we used in the Sheen section, earlier? Well add another 50% attack damage to it, this is a huge damage bonus.
Next turn Hextech Revolver into a Hextech Gunblade. Start with the Vampiric Scepter, which will increase your survivability by quite a bit. This item provides another 17% spell vamp (60 AD = 12% Spell Vamp, plus 5% improvement over Hextech Revolver), as well as 20$ lifesteal, and a good AP bonus too, as well as a pretty decent active for chasing or finishing an enemy.
After that build a Guinsoo's Rageblade which will again increase your AP and AD, as well as giving you a nice passive that builds well in team fights. This gives you another 7% Spell Vamp as well.
Up until this point this build has been almost entirely hybrid. However, now it is time to but a Rabadon's Deathcap. Why a Rabadon's? It will quite literally double your AP. You already have a decent amount of AD, Spell Vamp, and Lifesteal. Doubling your AP means you get a huge extra chunk of bonus magic damage on your auto attacks from Twin Disciplines, and your abilities do a decent extra bit of damage. With this extra chunk of bonus magic damage the AD and AS you got previously become much more effective, because they're giving you harder hits and more hits of bonus magic damage.
After that, buying The Bloodthirster as your last item again increases your AD by a large chunk, meaning you get more from the bonus magic damage Rabadon's gave you. You also get more Spell Vamp (20% when The Bloodthirster is fully charged to 100 AD), as well as 25% lifesteal if it is fully charged. This will give you another huge boost in both survivability and damage.
After that, all that remains is to buy Elixirs, all of which are useful for Akali on this build.
On Stacking Items:
If, at some point during early/mid game you find that you're likely to get a large amount of kills or assists this game feel free to buy a Mejai's Soulstealer or a Sword of the Occult. Which one you buy is up to you, but some suggestions for deciding:
1. Try both out, see which you prefer
2. Look at your team, see which you need more. If your team lacks a strong AD carry, grab the Sword of the Occult. If you're heavy on physical damage, grab a Mejai's Soulstealer.
3. What do you need? Sword of the Occult provides both more damage and more survivability by giving both AD and Spell Vamp as it stacks. If you think you'll need the extra survivability grab it. If not, Mejai's Soulstealer will increase ability damage, and auto attack damage through Twin Disciplines, leading to a higher damage approach.
Laning and Playing
Try to grab mid. The level bonus is a great advantage for you once you get to the team phase, and it is quite easy to mid and grab a kill or two with Akali.
At level 1 there is very little you can do, since you're a melee champion who currently has no way of getting close to the minions without getting harassed. So just chill out, last hit with Mark of the Assassin and wait until level 2.
Once you reach level 2 you can begin using Twilight Shroud to move into the enemy minions and possibly harass by placing it in the middle of the enemy minions, between caster and melee, and moving into it. If the enemy decides they don't need to move away, prove them wrong with a Mark of the Assassin, and feel free to make the effect go off to if you can get an auto attack off without going too far from the safety of your Twilight Shroud. If they do move back, you've got free reign on farming and last hitting their minions for 8 seconds, so make it worthwhile. Knowing how much damage both Mark of the Assassin and its effect deal is key at this stage to get the most out of the enemy minion waves. This will continue until level 4 when you get Crescent Slash, which changes very little. Use Crescent Slash to last hit, particularly when you can get 2 or more minions with it at once. Once you hit level 6 you can start killing.
Try to harass the enemy down a little bit. About 3/4 of their health should do. Make sure you have at least 2, preferably 3 Essences of Shadow up, for your Shadow Dance. Allow them to push a little bit, which should be easy as a melee champion, simply don't put Twilight Shroud down and sit back. Then, Shadow Dance onto them, Mark of the Assassin, auto attack to proc it, Crescent Slash and Shadow Dance onto them again as they run. Remember that Twilight Shroud is also a slow and put it in their path. If they only have a little bit of health left, feel free to tower dive onto them with Shadow Dance to help you get in and out quickly. After getting the kill, blue pill if you're low and buy, or if you still have a decent bit of health (or your Hextech Revolver), farm minions and do some damage to the tower, using your Spell Vamp to get health back.
Once you reach mid game, run around, gank when you can, defend and push towers as needed, and grab Red Lizard and Blue Golem if they're up and you have a free moment. This is one of Akali's best stages.
Once team fights start you must know your role as Akali. First and foremost you are an anti-carry, which is exactly what Shadow Dance lends itself to. Let somebody else initiate, it's not your job. If you get targeted and CC'ed you'll likely die. Instead, wait until someone, or a couple people have gone in, rush in behind them, and immediately Shadow Dance to their carry, taking them down as quickly as possible. After that, move to other squishy characters, in particular supports.
Tips for Laning and not getting harassed:
Know the enemies' skills. Unfortunately AoEs and skill shots can still hit Akali while in Twilight Shroud. Most skill shots aren't difficult to avoid, and Twilight Shroud is a pretty decent sized area, so an Ezreal, for example, will still have a tough time hitting you. However, AoEs such as Morgana's Tormented Soil or Nasus's Spirit Fire, and frontal cone attacks such as Ashe's Volley or Morderkaiser's Siphon of Destruction will make it tough to farm minions. Your options are to try and make the enemies use their skills while you won't be hit by them, on minions for example, and Twilight Shroud and farm right after, or you can ask for a switch if you feel more comfortable somewhere else.
This is going to be a short conclusion as I'm kind of sick of typing. I may come back and lengthen it later, potentially adding new sections as I see fit. If you stuck with me the whole way, thank you, I hope this guide has helped you out in becoming a better Akali player.
If you have any questions or problems with the build please comment and ask me, I may be able to help. If you have any suggestions, also feel free to comment. Please do not down vote without giving a reason, particularly if you have not even tried the build.
Thank you for reading my Akali guide.