Build Guide by Hawkbat
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.
AKALI: a simple yet effective build
For starters you should know what Akali is.
Akali is considered a Mage for the purpose of team construction. Even though she is a melee character she relies on her abilities and AP (ability power) for the majority of her damage output.
Her role on the team is fairly simple. She needs to kill the enemy players and she needs to do it a lot. In the ganking phase it should be done often for the gold, but also to deny the enemy players of gold and experience. In the team fight phase she should be behind the team waiting for initiation and which point she instantly picks out either the carry or the support hero (such as Sona) and take them out fast.
I switch off between
Exhaust / Flash and
Exhaust / Ignite
Ignite gives you a greater chance to kill heroes in the laning phase and continues to be useful throughout the game. Flash gives you the ability to tower dive safely as well as gives you a greater chance to get out of sticky situations.
I like to always use exhaust since it is the best way to score a kill in the laning phase and is a great way to shut down the enemy carry in the team phase.
I would avoid all other spells except maybe
Ghost is you really like it
Heal if you are still below summoner level 10 and just starting to try Akali, or
Cleanse if you are very good with it.
I go 21,9,0 the guide at the top shows what I use. Switch out 1 point in [b]deadliness[/b] for the point in [b]Burning Embers[/b] if you take ignite instead of flash.
Also in the defensive tier, [b]hardiness[/b] and [b]resistance[/b] are pretty interchangeable. I prefer magic resistance as I have Exhaust, but the difference is fairly minimal so you can max either or just put two points in both.
21,0,9 is also viable for Akali (especially if jungling) although I think it would be better to leave the jungling to your tank or a Warwick and keep the dodge since it works well with your runes.
There is much room for change here. I like my rune set up it works well for me and it allows the twin discipline to go off with a Doran's Blade. Note: I use a tier 2 Quintessence of Attack Damage because it will still work and costs much less.
You can switch out the Greater Mark of Magic Penetration for greater mark of desolation. Most games you will do more physical damage then magic damage, however your spells are going to be your main burst damage on heroes so this gives the extra bump for that but the choice is yours.
you can switch out the Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power for Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction if you prefer to be just slightly better at the start then just slightly better at the end.
you may also consider going all Greater Glyph of Ability Power and a Greater Quintessence of Ability Power to set off your other twin discipline with [b]burning embers[/b] (mastery) when Ignite is on cooldown. I would only try this once you've played Akali for a bit and know exactly how she works.
(passive) pretty cool power, allows you to go full AP and still have some auto attack which is most important for last hitting and killing towers. Also it gives some life-steal but with an almost full AP build this will not be of much use until very late game.
(Q) This is your bread and butter skill, it is always the first skill you should take and will do the most amount of damage. It is also very useful for last hitting minions if you are being harassed in the laning phase. Learn this spells range and damage and try to get a hit in after you use it for the extra damage plus the energy regen.
(W) This is your only CC (crowd control) and pretty much your only defensive spell. I almost always take this second. only if I am doing very well and feel that I may be able to kill an enemy before level 3 do I ever take it later, and never later then level 3. You should always have this spell available in case you start getting attacked of someone tries to gank you.
(E) Great AOE spell, good for last hitting minions and tacking on damage as you attack. level this spell up second.
(R) This is the spell that makes Akali amazing. you can move quickly through fights, chase down enemies, and cause a great amount on confusion in the battlefield. Level this whenever possible and as soon as you have it you should be looking to kill folks.
I like to start out with a Doran's Blade and a Health Potion. This provides extra health, armor, and enough damage to start your first twin discipline. It is also possible to start off with an Amplifying Tome instead of a Doran's Blade which is a good choice if you don't have enough runes to set off the twin discipline with just a Doran's Blade.
Depending on how the laning phase goes you may need to return to base at different times. Your first item should be a
after that on your first return to base, purchase an
Amplifying Tome and upgrade to
Mejai's Soulstealer if you have the gold
Boots of Speed purchase these when you can as well
Health Potion grab a few
sight ward Sight Ward grab at least one for the river so you don't get ganked
Amplifying Tome grab another and upgrade to
Sheen whenever possible, as well as a
Null-Magic Mantle to upgrade your boots to
Health Potion continue to grab these until you have enough gold for
Giant's Belt after this health pots will be fairly useless on you.
Blasting Wand is next so you can upgrade to
Rylai's Crystal Scepter this gives your Mark of the Assassin and Crescent Slash a slow effect which will allow your teammates to catch up to runners.
Blasting Wand grab another one of these so you can finish up
Lich Bane This item is amazing for you. It's like sheen only much better.
Amplifying Tome another of these to upgrade to
Hextech Revolver which will finally make your spellsteal useful!
At this point you will need to sell your Doran's Blade to purchase a
Pickaxe to make a
Bilgewater Cutlass (which has a great active damage + slow) which will finally make a
Hextech Gunblade which has a greater active damage + slow
Your final item is really up to you. at this point the game should really be over, if it isn't I suggest an
Abyssal Scepter for the aura, you may even choose to grab another
Hextech Gunblade for the amazing stats. if you have a Hextech Gunblade and a Bilgewater Cutlass you can use both actives. with two Hextech Gunblades you cannot however.
your item slots should look something like this.
level 18: 30 min mark
level 18: 40 min mark
level 18: 45 min mark
level 18: 50 min mark
Note: this places the Hextech Gunblade in the easy to activate slot 1 without even really trying.
Note: the time stamp I added is a rough estimate of how my games usually go.
Note: this build from item 1 - Item 5 will cost around 12,500 gold. That is not too much considering you should have quite a few kills. I don't add the gold cost of the 6th item since the game ends usually around the time I start building my Hextech Gunblade anways.
Note: on Mejai's Soulstealer: I originally preferred to not use the stacking items. However I eventually found this item to be extremely useful. even in games in which you die a lot you should still always have about 6 stacks or so on it. if you are completely shut down and never have stacks on it then it is likely that you will just lose anyways and no other items you could have bought with the 1235 gold would have made a difference.
Note: on alternate items. I find Mercury's Treads to be vitally important in pretty much every game. every second that you are not stunned, slowed, etc. is a much better chance at survival. HOWEVER, if you don't find CC to be a problem for you or you just want to do something else:
Boots of Swiftness are great for getting into Shadow Dance range on that enemy hero running away,
Sorcerer's Shoes give you that extra boost in damage
Ninja Tabi gives you a better chance to dodge which works with your masteries/runes,
Boots of Mobility allow you to get between lanes for more surprising ganks
Berserker's Greaves will do pretty much nothing for you.
(yes the boots are in the order in which I would use them)
Some people really like other items. I generally don't and I'll explain why.
Guinsoo's Rageblade: you need to build stacks which you need to do by auto attacking. in general I only auto attack after I put out the largest portion of my damage so it doesn't do too much. It is a cheap item so if you find yourself having trouble filling out the build I provided then it may be a good item to have, but I never use it anymore.
Trinity Force: it's too expensive and it doesn't do that many great things for you. yes, it slows on auto attacks but with Rylai's Crystal Scepter you don't really need it, it has far too little AP for the cost. I'd rather have a Hextech Gunblade in that slot any day.
Sword of the Occult: actually not a terrible item if you are absolutely owning. However, if you ARE owning, then you have the money to just go ahead and buy other items so I would generally just skip it.
Zhonya's Ring: I used to get this item. It will give you the biggest AP boost which is nice, but even if you do grab it it will have to be your fifth item which will replace your Hextech Gunblade. Zhonya's gives you a little more AP and the active 2 sec invulnerable which might save you in a team fight vs. Gunblade which gives you an active slow and a viable spell steal. I like the spell steal as it allows you to stay in the lane longer while both teams are taking pop shots at each other before full initiation. I guess I would consider Zhonya's if your team had a full healer like Sona or Soraka but I really feel you get more for your money with Gunblade. Zhonya's would make a sufficient 6th item if you find yourself in a game that goes over an hour.
HOW TO PLAY
At the beginning Akali is quite weak. you should stay back and just run in to last hit or, if that is too dangerous, use your Mark of the Assassin to last hit.
Once you hit level 2 you can begin to use Twilight Shroud plus Mark of the Assassin to harass a little. try to get the auto attack in after the mark for the extra damage. The shroud will keep popping you in and out on invisible so you will be hard to attack but be sure to only use this power close to your tower so you are not caught without your escape mechanism if someone comes to gank.
Once you hit level six you should probably head back to buy. This allows you time to get your items and also a good chance to gank. hopefully you should have enough for your meijai's soulstealer so you can begin getting stacks. your attack should look like this. Mark of the Assassin / Shadow Dance / auto-attack / Crescent Slash / Auto-attack. at any point in here you can drop your Twilight Shroud to slow them as they try to run away. In keystrokes it would look like this Q / R / pause / E / W. At this point Mark of the Assassin will be off cooldown and you can spam that and Crescent Slash when available.
Allowing the time for the auto-attack is very important. It is important for the extra damage from Mark of the Assassin and will become equally important for Sheen and later Lich Bane. Sheen and lich bane have a 3 second cooldown so just make sure you let her get an auto attack in every few seconds.
Side note for the difference between Sheen and Lich Bane. They work the same way, only Sheen counts off your basic attack and Lich Bane off your AP. Between level 1-12 (unless you are very fed) they should be about even. so don't rush Lich Bane. You should only grab it once your AP is over 250.
In team fights your job is to kill the carry. you should be able to do this very quickly using the method as before only you will need to Shadow Dance to them first making the keystrokes R / Q / pause / W / E / pause. After this your Mark of the Assassin will be off cool down and you can spam it and Crescent Slash (allowing auto-attacks for sheen/lich bane).
once the carry is dead, if you are still alive you should begin picking everyone else off staring with the squishiest and moving up.
TIPS AND TRICKS
If you get caught you can Shadow Dance away from the fight. You need to target an enemy (hero or minion) with it however so the ability to do so is usually limited. (you can also shadow dance to neutral minions as well)
When you place your Twilight Shroud for an escape you should place it near a brush so you can move from one to another without breaking invisibility. a great escape mechanism is to place in NEAR a brush and then to flash to the brush. this should ensure a clean escape.
if you have no brush near you, you can place the Twilight Shroud and run into it as the enemies usually run straight through it you can then double back out the way you came. this will generally put you further from your base and safety but it is a good way to gain some space if they are in range of their stuns.
I generally avoid playing games as Akali if there is a Twitch or Evelynn on your team. The opposing team will often buy oracles elixir for them, but not for you. If they do have it however, it will be very easy to shut you down.