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.
Threats to Akali with this build
|Dr. Mundo||You can attack him even pre 6. If he uses Ult, Ignite or mabe even get Morellonomicon if you want to be mean.|
|Shen||Taunt makes you attack him and proc your Q+Sheen. Harass him and you should win, don't be too passive.|
|Shyvana||Trade with her early on, especially with Sheen.|
|Sion||Dance around him, pop his shield before it does damage. Don't give him the chance to poke you with his E.|
I made this guide to show a different approach to Akali than "get Hextech Gunblade first". I will explain my opinion about Hextech Gunblade in detail and my thoughts about playing around Akali's strengths. It's also my very first guide and I apologize for all the dull text with no design.
Everything I explain here applies to mid and top lane equally.
I'd be happy to see some players try this and share their opinion because I always did well when I got the chace to play Akali. Sadly I'm not a very skilled player so I can't say how it works in high tier ranked games.
Hextech Gunblade and Akali
Let's start with the main reason for this guide.
Hexech Gunblade is a great item for Akali....... if you need SUSTAIN. I can see the value in all the stats and the Active for a quick burst. But I think Akali doesn't need sustain, if she can amplify her burst so much that the enemy gets too scared (or too dead) to fight back.
I like Sheen (and later Lich Bane) much more here. The mana may be wasted, but when I use Q and follow with an auto-attack in the early game, most enemies lose nearly HALF OF THEIR HEALTH immediately. Bilgewater Cutlass active may do more damage than the Sheen proc (100 dmg to ~70 dmg), but I don't see it viable in trades because of the 60 sec cooldown. Sheen will be used every trade and when you go for the kill, multiple times even.
Season 6 update
I feared the worst for my Akali build when I saw those changes to Sheen, but it still works well. The biggest changes that affect my guide are masteries and we now got a better way to get to Mejai's Soulstealer if we want to.
As for masteries... the ones seen above are the ones I use. Main thing here is Stormraider's Surge. With Q+AA+E I could easily take the 30% hp off my enemy and run away with those 35% morement speed.
I think an 18/12/0 with Deathfire Touch or 12/18/0 with Thunderlord's Decree mastery build would also be pretty nice and do more damage in Teamfights. But in the end I prefer making it easier to trade in lane with that Stormraider's Surge so I can get snowballing early.
Not much to tell here, Flash is a must-have as always.
For mid lane I suggest Ignite but other spells like Cleanse, Barrier or even Exhaust are viable depending on the enemy team composition or your personal preference.
As top lane Akali you can also use Teleport for quickly ganking other lanes or split-pushing later.
Plain and simple:
Get Sheen ASAP for that unexpected burst. Then build towards Luden's Echo for next power level or Rylai's Crystal Scepter if your enemies rely on running to escape you.
After completing Luden's or Rylai's, buy Lich Bane. Don't complete Lich Bane first, because it is too expensive and not worth if you dont have another AP item completed.
These two items are often enough to do your job in teamfights which is taking out the squishy enemies quickly.
After those first two items it becomes more complicated.
If you want to prepare for longer fights, you can get much sustain and tankiness with Hextech Gunblade and Spirit Visage. If you're ahead and buy all offensive items, you make tanks look squishy but if the enemy can catch you with a single CC, you die quickly.
Since you can take out your targets anyway, you can choose any 3 tank items that help you survive whatever the enemies are doing.
Boots can also be chosen either offensively with magic penetration or defensively with armor/magic penetration+tenacity.
Since Akali is a melee champ and has no gap closers pre level 6 you will most likely hug your tower against ranged champions and miss some farm. Against other melee champions it varies heavily and depends on what they can do. Look at matchups for more info.
Your main goal in the laning phase is to survive!
Don't lose your tower and get as much farm as you can. At level 6 your chances of bullying your opponent become much better. You won't be an unstoppable killing machine as soon as you get level 6, but if you strike at the right time (e.g. enemy just used their cc-spell somewhere) you can kill quite easily and begin snowballing.
Also watch your enemies item slots for pink wards. They are your worst nightmare, if you fail to kill your target.
If a jungler offers you a blue buff, you can choose to decline, as you don't need it that much. Maybe your jungler or toplaner can make better use of it. Instead a red buff may be interesting for you because of the slow, so enemies can no longer run from you and you can use your ultimate if they flash or jump away by any means.
Mid-/Lategame / Teamfighting
When the laning phase is pretty much over and people roam around and gather for teamfights, thats where I laid my focus on, because the fun begins here.
If you find someone strolling around in the river or jungle alone, they are food for you.
When something like a 5v5 fight is about to happen you can either stay with your team, throw out Q and proc it on the tanks if they come too near. Then if the full fight starts and you are in range of their squishy members, jump them and kill, but don't engage first!
The other plan is to flank the enemy team and attack if a someone is a bit out of position.
Of couse in those fights your Q+AA is your main damage source. Use your E in between to get more Lich Bane procs off, but watch your energy; you might need 60-80 energy for your W if somethings wrong.
Also don't forget to check the enemy items for pink wards before a fight, if you want to get out alive afterwards.
Akali can also be a good split-pusher, since she can 1v1 quite well. With Lich Bane you can destroy towers pretty fast. The latest changes to her E (1 sec cooldown at rank 5) enable you to make full use of those Lich Bane procs.
So to wrap it all up:
- Stay safe in lane
- Kill if you can, but don't get reckless. Take opportunities and have an escape plan if you're not 100% sure
- Know your enemy (matchups)
- Don't let the enemy surprise you with pink wards
- Don't engage first in teamfights unless you are ahead and tanky
And of cource: practice, become one with your champion, feel the ninja, be a ninja!
- Updated Gangplank matchup
- Added Fiora, Malphite and Nautilus matchup
- Updated item build path and masteries because of preseason changes