Akali Build Guide by Bonivore
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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.
Hello and welcome to my guide on Akali, the Fist of Shadow.
As I started moving up in ELO, I started seeing more and more of this champion, and wanted to give her a try, and she quickly became one of my favorite champions. She is great at dealing early game burst damage, picking out the carries in team fights, and staying alive afterwards. So here is how I build my Akali and dominate in lane, teamfights and late game quarrels.
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."
Behind every good champion is a good rune page.
Akali deals a lot of magic damage, so Greater Mark of Magic Penetration is a great way to go.
For seals, I take Greater Seal of Ability Power for early game damage and to help activate the first part of her passive, Twin Disciplines.
For glyphs, I use Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power for better scaling per level and late game damage.
Last but not least Greater Quintessence of Ability Power, again for activating the first part of her passive and early game damage.
Keep in mind this is merely how I build Akali, I am in no way saying this is the best way to build her, this is just what's worked best for me thus far.
My masteries are pretty basic except for the fact that I don't take the last point in any of the trees. My reason for skipping out on
in the defense tree is simple,
is better. 10 AP between levels 1-4 can be the difference between a First Blood or an enemy escaping with little health to spare.
Akali is naturally squishy, so it would only make sense to take some defensive masteries. You can't get kills if you're dead.
Edit - I did change to using Lichbane as a suggestion from reppinFTC and it's just better.
Since I don't start off with any AD from runes or masteries, my first item is Doran's Blade to activate the spellvamp part of her passive Twin Disciplines. The 3% lifesteal is negligible, but the 100 HP is great early game.
After Doran's Blade I build directly into Hextech Revolver for the AP and spellvamp, and because it builds into Hextech Gunblade later on. Sometimes I'm able to get Hextech Revolver and Boots of Speed in the same trip. Whenever you are able to, do so. Top off your spell penetration with Sorcerer's .
By the time you have these items, you should be getting ready for your first real team fight. Pick off the carry, or one if them if there are multiple, and try to stay alive long enough to snag some assists or kills if possible. The sooner you can build that Lichbane the sooner you can start ganking anyone you see alone, and I mean ANYONE.
You should have quite a few kills under your belt by this point in the game, so go finish building your first Hextech Gunblade and get to farming up that Rabadon's Deathcap.
If at any point you feel that stuns or magic damage are inhibiting your ability to gank or farm, build Banshee's Veil early. You want to keep your gold income at a steady pace so that you don't get outgeared by someone that may be getting fed.
After all is said and done, if you actually make it to the second Hextech Gunblade you'll find yourself at a hefty 96% Spellvamp at level 18 with 46% from your passive Twin Disciplines and 50% from your 2 Hextech Revolver's, and 40% lifesteal, as well as 97% bonus damage from the other part of your passive. Between the damage and healing, you can solo down anyone you come across 1v1, and more than likely 2v1.
You absolutely want to max your Q, Mark of the Assassin, as soon as possible. It is the beginning of your combo, deals the most damage combo'd with an auto attack, and is great for harassing.
The next thing I max is E Crescent Slash. It's perfect for farming with it's 2 second CD, and if you need that little bit of umph against a champion, this is great in between your Q and R.
Quickly max R Shadow Dance at level 16 as it's your ultimate ability, and deals the most damage late game.
The early point in W Twilight Shroud is merely for escaping or slowing runners or people that are chasing you.
Your main combo is Q -> R -> Auto attack -> E -> W. Skip W Twilight Shroud if it's 1v1 and there's no chance that they'll retaliate.
Now most believe that these are the only two summoner spells in the game, and for my Akali build, it's true.
Ignite can net you that first blood at level 1 if you play your cards right, and then with Burning Embers you also get an extra 10 AP at level 1! It's also good against others with early game healing capabilities.
Flash is that one summoner spell that you will see 4 out of 5 players use every game. It's great for closing the gap between you and an enemy champion for your R Shadow Dance, and getting away from a gank or team fight without dying.
Until you get Shadow Dance at level 6 and can gank effectively, you want to last hit minions as often as possible with your Q Mark of the Assassin. The earlier you can get your items, the better. Taking as little damage as possible to last hit minions can force enemy champions to get impatient or anxious and overextend, thus giving you or a lane partner a kill. Farming early is essential for outgearing opponants early on, which can give you easy kills at level 6.
Later in the game, once you get some meat on your bones, you'll be farming waves with your E Crescent Slash, raking in cash and keeping them off of your turrets, and making it harder for opponants to get any damage on your turrets at all.
Pros / Cons
-Early burst damage
-Squishy if not well handled
-Easily outran before level 6
-Medium play difficulty
I have had many good with this build as my ELO score rises and presume to have even more.
I will try to keep this build updated with changes I make to my own build, and if anyone has any suggestions or comments on the build, please let me know. I'm always open to ideas and suggestions, and wouldn't mind a few votes if you like it =)