Akali Build Guide by wolfstray64
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.
And thus Akali came to be...
There exists an ancient order originating in the Ionian Isles dedicated to the preservation of balance. Order, chaos, light, darkness -- all things must exist in perfect harmony for such is the way of the universe. This order is known as the Kinkou and it employs a triumvirate of shadow warriors to uphold its causes in the world. Akali is one of these shadow warriors, entrusted with the sacred duty of Pruning the Tree - eliminating those who threaten the equilibrium of Valoran.
A prodigal martial artist, Akali began training with her mother as soon as she could make a fist. Her mother's discipline was relentless and unforgiving, but predicated on the fundamental principle: ''We do that which must be done.'' When the Kinkou inducted her into the order at the age of fourteen, she could slice a dangling chain with a chop of her hand. There was no question - she would succeed her mother as the Fist of Shadow. She has had to do much in this role which others might find morally questionable, but to her it is in service of her mother's inviolable doctrine. She now works with her fellows Shen and Kennen to enforce the balance of Valoran. This hallowed pursuit has unsurprisingly led the triumvirate to the Fields of Justice.
''The Fist of Shadow strikes from the cover of death itself. Do not impede the balance.''
To Start Off...
Awroooo....whoops, this isn't my Warwick guide, sorry. Wow that was lame, anyways. Now it's time for the build you really came for, the beautiful shadow striker, Akali. This is my first guide so bear with me. Hopefully you get a good idea of how I play Akali and the build I use.
I started playing Akali a couple months back and fell in love instantly. She is the perfect example of a deadly ninja. I'm making this guide simply because I can, and I want to see what other people think about my build and hopefully someone will see some good points to it and maybe try it out. So now its time to get this show on the road and show you all just how deadly I can make her. This is a guide on how to make her the correct way, the AP way. She is a hybrid, but she should be build toward AP. And to those that already mastered Akali, I'd love to hear what you have to say, it'd be interesting. Hope you all enjoy.
Now here are some Pros and Cons with playing Akali -
- Great burst DPS
- Great at chasing
- (If timed right) Her Twilight Shroad can make a great escape
- Able to jungle (I wouldn't)
- Can be useful in anylane (even mid lane)
- Decent Farmer
- Personally enjoyable
- Many build options
- Can go either AD or AP burster (best to go AP though, trust me)
- Can go mid, but hard to solo a 2v1 lane
- Bad early game
- Item dependent
- Team dependent early game (but hey, who isn't?)
- Requires skill, timing, and good judgement
Don't be one of those people that over thinks this Pro/Con list, Akali is definitely a champion that needs to be played atleast once.
Before Match Setup
Now before you even click "Find Match" there are a couple things that need to be set up and established in you're Runes and Masteries pages.
Marks: Greater Mark of Insight (+ 0.95 Magic Penetration)
Seals: Greater Seal of Evasion (+ 0.75% Dodge Chance)
Glyphs: Greater Glyph of Force (+ 0.17 Ability Power per Level (3.01ap at 18))
Quintessences: Greater Quintessence of Potency (+ 4.95 Ability Power)
So thats how I build it. Now some might say that Glyphs of straight AP are better, and its really all about preference. Add it all up and the "per level" runes give more at the end. The difference that makes is when Akali's first passive activates (which I cover in the Passives section). And if you don't like evasion then you can switch out for armor or health, but Akali is a champion that does not want to get hit at all...never.
Marks: Greater Mark of Strength or Greater Mark of Alacrity
Strength is good to get Akali's other passive active first, really it all about how you want to start. But this is my build so lets go with my way =P
Attack Speed is something that all assassin's can benefit from, if you don't want to get your passives out quickly, but that just seems silly. But hey this game is just one big personal preference builder.
Seals: Greater Seal of Fortitude, Greater Seal of VitalityGreater Seal of Vitality, Greater Seal of Resilience, or Greater Seal of MeditationGreater Seal of Meditation
Meditation, out of the four, is probably the one I wouldn't choose, just giving you options. But out of all of them I would say Fortitude because if you're gonna take a hit, might as well take it well. And some people just prefer Health, but that's your choice.
Glyphs: Greater Glyph of Potency
Some people would argue that she needs cooldown reduction, but I don't think she does, her cooldowns are quick are their own, and her ultimate is based on the number of Shadow Essences that she has, not how quick it can pop back up. Trust me it pops back up quicker that you can spit (unless you spit in 0.5 seconds, that'd be cool)
Quintessences: Greater Quintessence of Strength or Greater Quintessence of Insight
This really depends on how you want to start and with which items. For the purposes of the passives (which, again, I will explain in the Passives section) I would go Strength as an alternative.
Now that is all done and I have you some options to choose from for your runes, lets talk about your masteries. This will be short I promise, the tree I have is right up there if you actually skipped it.
Akali is a squishy champion, so she needs some backbone while still having a little power behind her ninja skills. So I like to cover her bases and give her armor and magic resistance along with dodge. Dodge to me is very important, because she can he hit for very little with a good armor boost, but a critical strike could destroy her. So a nice dodge boost is really nice. And then the bottom of all trees will cover your bases that you miss in other trees. So the Defense branch gives a nice little bit of everything. While the Offensive branch will boost your valuable stats like AP and Magic Pen with some cooldown reduction. I also like the boost of "Cripple" because Flash and Exhaust are a great combo for any assassin/chaser. Flash in, slow, kill. Simple as that. So boosting your slow will give you the advantage. If you wanted to you could build more into the Offensive branch, but thats your call.
See that wasn't that bad...it was just a wordy paragraph you probably skimmed or skipped. If thats the case I don't know why I'm typing all this. Must be boredom, or just the will of awesomeness that Akali instills. Just one more thing for this section...
Flash and Exhaust are my personal favorites. Flash makes for great gank and chase, and exhaust just enhances that outcome. What is also good is that Flash works well with your W (Twlight Shroud). Your shroad will be around you so you can either Flash over a wall, or maybe just far away from your enemy, depends on where you can get. And Exhaust speaks for itself.
Ignite: good for early game and if your facing some like Warwick, Fiddles, or Soraka. Pretty much anyone that can outheal you from spellvamp and lifesteal items. And if you run out of Shadow Essence from your ultimate and they have very little left, pop ignite and that'll do.
Ghost: now I don't like ghost for akali because it just seems like such a low level beginner move for Akali's that arn't level 12 yet. It's ok, but Flash is just so much better.
Twin Disciplines: Best Passive Ever
Now Akali has a special passive ability...or should I say abilities. So special that they deserve their own section. Simply because these Passives are the base of Akali and if the build is wrong then it can make or break Akali.
Part One: Magic Passive
Passive Description: Upon obtaining 20 Ability Power, Akali's basic attacks deal 10% bonus magic damage, increasing by 1% for every 5 Ability Power gained thereafter.
This basically means, "Burst and then Burst Some More." This is the base of all Akali's power, which is why as a hybrid she needs to be mainly Ability Power based, good thing for you, my guide is just that. The more AP you have, the more damage you do, obviously. So thats why I have "Rabadon's Deathcap" in the build, with that, your final AP depending on your sixth item, will be around 530-600. Thats insane. That rounds out to be about 120-150% additonal magic damage.
Part Two: Attack Passive
Passive Description: Upon obtaining 10 Bonus Attack Damage, Akali gains 10% Spell Vamp, increasing by an additional 1% for every 5 Bonus Attack Damage gained thereafter.
What this means for you is that you heal yourself. Kinda like Warwick, but not as good. Still great enough to just get that edge in a fight or farm up when you're low on health but not ready to go recall and buy stuff. This is what also enables her to be a good jungler. If you wanna try jungling with her due to this, I would search for a different guide. Anyways, just because she gets the spellvamp, it doesn't mean you need to base the entire build off it. You still get a good amount of spellvamp from the "Hextech Gunblade" with the addition of the Attack Damage you get from it. The spellvamp you end up with at end game, again depends on your last item. Which I'll discuss after this.
Part Three: Why You Should Care!
These passives are what make Akali, so of course you should take some time to consider them. My build will have you start with the Spellvamp passive at level one with "Doran's Blade" and then at level two with your AP Quints and Glyphs you will get the second passive (the magic passive), and that is when the other team should be scared. And as you level your magic passive will just get stronger and stronger, so you don't fall too far behind. If you want, you can tweak your runs and go for AD runes and start with an "Amplifying Tome." IF you do go this route, be sure to buy a health potion. What I like about the Doran's Blade is: it gets your passives up at the very beginning, gives you some nice lifesteal to help you while you farm gold and be harassed by enemy team, and also gives you health, which is what she lacks. You're selling it later to complete your "Hextech Gunblade" so it's fine.
Abilities and Rotation
I'm not going to bother posting what the abilities do word for word or their costs and ranges, because you don't know how far the ranges span in game or how they look off the top of your head by looking at them, so I'll leave that out and just give you the summed up and paraphrased versions.
Q - Mark of The Assassin:
What this does is (first off its a ranged ability, its nice for harassing) gives you a damage boost to the person that is marked with it. So once they are hit, it bursts them for some extra damage. And the damage is based off your Ability Power, it is really a great lead in for the rotation. Another reason to build her AP. Also, once hit, you will recover some lost energy, which is great when you use your Q and then ult them.
W - Twilight Shroud:
This is what Akali is know for. This is a small circle that not only increases her armor and magic resistance, but makes her INVISIBLE. The drawbacks are that it knocks you out of combat, so once you hit something you are no longer invisible and cannot become invisible for another two seconds, which is long enough for an enemy champion like Lux or Ryze to snare you, or someone like Lee Sin to use his Q and be able to locate you. Another thing, since I mentioned Lee Sin, you can still be hit of course, you're not invincible, just invisible. So abilities that are in a cone or skill shot can still hit you. But what this is great for, is that it also slows any enemy champion on it, so you can use it for escape or chase. It's better for escape, but I've used it successfully to chase as well. Also, keep in mind that even if you walk outside the circle, you are invisible for another two seconds. So I like to use it while by an opening and try to judge where they will go, and then go in the opposite direction to recall.
E - Crescent Slash:
I love this move for damage, farming, and healthing...all at once. Go into a huge group of minions, pop your E, and watch them die while your health goes up up up. This is based off your Attack Damage, so with this build it isn't the strongest out of your skills, but it isn't meant to be. It's really just a good way to get your health back up from your passive and farm. I use it in rotation just to dwindle down enemy health, and it is also good for a team fight of course because everyone is grouped together.
R - Ultimate - AWESOMENESS - Shadow Dance
Quite possibly, my favorite ult, not just because Akali is my main, but because it is the result of correctly built passives. Bursting is it's job. And chasing of course. It practically has no cooldown and can be used three times in a row. But only if your have your "Essence of Shadow" up. You can have a maximum of three at a time, and you regenerate a lost one on each kill or assist (of a champion of course, if they allowed it for minions then that would be rediculous). Now you can target an enemy or minion, so it can be used for mega desperate chasing (for when they are out of reach and there are a bunch of minions in the way). This can also be used for escaping if their are enemy minions in ur direction of escape. This is based off your AP and it does so much damage it's not funny, actually its quite hilarious to watch them run and find out they can't.
Those are the...not so short...descriptions of her abilities and tips on using them. Now how to apply them comes next.
I don't even use a set rotation when I'm soloing or just plain of spam fighting. But when I have time to think about it I use it this way:
Q -> R -> W -> E or Q -> R -> E -> Q -> R
It really isn't even a rotation, its more like a "whats up and can I use it now?" kinda set. I use this while chasing mainly. The Q qives you a target and bursts upon impact, which you need R to get close to them with. Then since you have some energy back you can either use W to slow them and hide incase it turns out bad. Or use your E to get some extra damage in there. Then rinse and repeat. When I'm fighting 1 on 1, I usually just use my Q when ever possible to get those bursts in. Extra burst I should say.
What most of you read this for: Items
Ok, I started this a bit late, but I like a nice thinking progress and overal knowledge of Akali before I play (not that I need that with my skill with her, but still). I'll jump right into it.
My Build: In Purchasing (and Selling) Order
- Start Doran's Blade for the health and +10 AD to activate your first passive
- Next we need to get the Hextech Revolver into play, so buy your Amplifying Tome, and then another. If you want you can buy Boots of Speed inbetween your tomes, but thats a judgement call.
- Boots Of Speed if you didn't buy them before your Hextech Revolver.
- Go from Boots to Ninja Tabi. This is where most people start to question me. Most go for Sorcerer's Boots for the magic penetration. Thats nice. But I like to live thank you. The armor is always appreciated and I love to dodge attacks and not take damage, don't you?
- Now you can start with any of the three items: Giant's Belt, Amplifying Tome, or Blasting Wand. I usually start with the Blasting Wand and then go into either the tome or belt depending on how much gold and how much trouble I'm in. I suggest using your judgement, or just get the Giant's Belt second, and then finish with the Amplifying Tome
- Now for one of the most important chaser items, Rylai's Crystal Scepter. Health, AP, and a chance to slow the enemy, who doesn't love that? Cheetahs...that's who. Or champions that build AD, but you know...anyways...
- Buy a Null-Magic Mantle next, we havn't touch MR yet and this is a good start
- Buy Sheen now, you could also buy another Blasting Wand, but Sheen is so much nicer at this point in the game.
- Now your full on items, so you can do one of two things, finish off Lich Bane or go sell the Doran's Blade for a Pickaxe to get a Bilgewater Cutlass. What ever you pick, build the other once next, for the purpose of my build, I go Lich Bane first.
- Sell your Doran's Blade for a Pickaxe and finish off your Hextech Gunblade. Now we're cooking. But that's not the mac-daddy of all items in the build. That's next.
- Buy a Needlessly Large Rod (hehehe)
- Once you have enough money, buy either a Blasting Wand or go straight for Rabadin's Deathcap. We're almost there. But I'm going to stop now and talk about your sixth item.
Ok now, the 6th item is a judgement item. Depending on whats going on is what you should buy. I have three suggestions.
Now, the fisrt is Abyssal Scepter. It gives a nice AP boost and great Magic Resistance. If you choose this as your sixth, its because your facing an OP magic heavy team. Buy the Negatron Cloak first and then finish it off. Abyssal Scepter is my most used item, especially when facing a magic heavy team.
Another option is a second Hextech Gunblade, I usually go for this. It gives you more spellvamp from itself and your passive, you should have 40% addition healing from abilities with ur passive and two Gunblades. Plus whatever the gunblades themselves give you. If you choose this, then buy a Hextech Revolver and then finish it. The Hextech Gunblade, was an item truely made for Akali, it gives her everything she needs and then some.
My last option, which I don't usually go with but its an option. A Void Staff. Gives decent AP to boost your passive of course, and also gives more Magic Penetration. If your under 20 and have no runes, then I would go with this. Also, if you are facing a Magic Resistance heavy team (like Galio) then I would suggest switching up to a Void Staff. Since you won't have an boosted magic pen. from runes it's a good idea to get some in game. If you go Sorcerer's Boots then I wouldn't go with this, unless you really want to. But if you do choose this, buy a Blasting Wand and start wrapping things up with your Void Staff.
Now, if you still think I'm crazy after the Ninja Tabi speech, then get either Mercury's Treads or Sorcerer's Shoes. Those are the best alternatives. The Mercury's Treads are always good and for when you are facing a more AP heavy team or a stun heavy team. So if that's the case I would suggest taking the Treads for that match. Sorcerer's Boots are also a possibility for obviously damage. I usually never end up getting them. I get the void staff usually instead for my 6th item and keep ninja tabi since you are still facing tanks and its oh so nice to dodge their attacks. Boots of Swiftness are also a possibilty, but I prefer the boost from Lich Bane alone, more room for stat boosts. Leave the Swift Boots for Garen.
Yes I said it, I do not mid with Akali often, but when I do I love it. Akali is bad early game, especially if she is soloing a lane against two champs because you have a jungler. But 1v1 Akali can be very deadly, as bad early game as she can be. It offers a good chance to jump in level which is great to get the Ultimate faster. But it depends on who you lane against. That is the case with just about anyone. I suggest if your facing a champion like Ashe, Kog, or Rumble (and no one ever wants to face Annie so that's implied). You can pass on the chance to take on mid.
Laning with someone is great for just about anyone. Its good for Akali so she can some back up when targeted by two champs. Lane with someone you can work well with is obviously the goal, but there are some that you should really consider. It's mostly anyone that can stun, slow, suppress and all that good stuff. And especially champions like Singed who can throw the opponent back and slow them, or Cho'Goth who can knock up, silence and slow. Really, a good tank is a good laning partner for anyone. So that also includes: Maokai with his snare and also the more support type Taric who can heal and stun while increasing the armor of those around him make for a great partner to lane with.
Now, it's hard for me to say who to avoid and who to lane with because everyone is so different. There are *****s in Akali's system, which can be found easy. But to say you should flat out avoid that person and lane, its hard. Some people are just naturally better or worse than you. So how they plan is completely different than someone else, or a Bot in customs and co-ops. 'Cause Bots are just plan stupid. But if I had to say who to avoid if all possible, it would be: Urgot, Lee Sin, and although he is not too much trouble when played really bad Mordekaiser can be trouble for anyone with his AoE and cone type moves. Urgot has to be the worst because if he hits you with his Noxian Corrosive Charge coupled with Terror Capacitor. Not only can he find you, but then he'll target you with his Acid Hunter. So it's best to avoid him with a typical akali play-style. Lee Sin only causes problems if his Sonic Wave hits you while in your Twilight Shroud. I'm sure there are many others who it's possible to have problems with but those are the ones I feel are the worst. And also as an addition to the list, Orianna is now also a problem since her Command:Attack can be launched within bushes or your Twilight Shroud and reveal where you are.
Those are who I find to be the worst through experience.
Yes it's over lol
I hope you enjoyed this guide, if you read the entire thing. I did spend my time typing this so I hope you can take the time to read it. If you disagree, please comment (you usually do) I would love to hear what you have to say. I also enjoy arguing so yea. Thanks!