Akali Build Guide by Atlas The Titan
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 is played as a semi-hybrid, AP Assassin type champion that excels at taking down squishy targets and dashing back out, usually pissing everyone off at the same time. She uses Energy as her main resource for her abilities, save for her Ultimate, which uses its own unique resource.
The following is the standard build that I like to use when playing her. Just remember, as always, that builds should center around the game you are playing rather than a standard way of playing.
I like to run with the standard Magic Pen. Reds, Armor Yellows, AP Blues and depending on the situation, AP Quints or Magic Pen Quints. I feel like this is a basic rune page for the type of Assassin that Akali is.
Seeing as how squishy Akali tends to be, I like to run with a 9-21-0 Mastery build, taking the obvious points into the Magic Pen. in the offensive tree, while spending the rest in Survivability in the defensive tree.
Doran's Blade: I start off with this so that I can trigger my passive, get a bit of health and some minor life steal. Nothing Special here.
Depending on the other team, you want to choose between either Sorcerer Shoes and Mercury Treads. Sorcerer shoes if they dont have much CC, Merc. Treads if they do.
Hextech Revolver: This is a core item to build on Akali, as it continues to build on the passive, and eventually builds into the Hextech Gunblade, not only granting you Life Steal and Spell Vamp, but the extra AD grants even more Spell Vamp.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter: The Bread and Butter of Akali's build, as this grants you the things she needs the most; AP, Survivability (Health), and a Slow. This is a core item for any AP Akali build and should pretty much NEVER be passed up.
Rabadons Deathcap: Obvious here, this build centers around having AP, this grants an obscene amount of AP, while building on what AP that you already have.
Lich Bane: Seeing as how you need to auto attack to trigger your Mark anyway, this item is pretty easy to explain. Not only will your Mark do extra damage, your basic attack will too, adding to Akalis already insane burst.
The last Item can be interchanged depending on the situation, similar to the boots. Void Staff is best to help with bursting through those pesky tanks stacking MR, or go with Zhonyas Hourglass to help with survivability if they have less than optimal MR. Play according to the game on the last item.
Skill Sequence/Skill Discussion
Passive: Twin Disciplines:
Essentially what her passive does is whenever she gets either +10 attack damage or +20 Ability power (or both, as she can have both with a hybrid build) she gains Spell Vamp and/or Increased Spell Damage to her basic Attacks. Most builds call for starting off with a Dorans Blade to trigger the Spell Vamp portion of her passive, which in turn makes her laneing phase that much easer.
Her passive is what makes her a true hybrid and allows her to get items like Hextech Gunblade and Trinity Force (If desired).
Q Ability: Mark of the Assassin:
Her Q ability is her main burst ability, and her main harass ability as well. She attacks from range, “Marking” the target, allowing her to strike the opponent again with a basic attack to do extra damage. Basically, she hits someone with her Q and then hits them with a melee strike, it does more damage and returns a certain amount of energy.
As her main damage ability, you want to use this as much as possible, and level it up first. Scales with AP.
W Ability: Twilight Shroud:
Twilight Shroud is the thing that allows Akali to be up in the opponents face without being in much danger herself. When she uses this ability, she tosses down a circle that slows anyone caught in it, grants Akali Magic Resist and Armor while she is in it, and if Akali takes no actions, causes her to be stealth. Any actions cause her to pop out of stealth, save for moving.
The best thing about Twilight Shroud is in its applications, and it has quite a few. She can use it defensively: As an escape tool to juke people in and out of bushes, slow to allow her or her teammates escape, or just stealth until your team carries your ***. Offensively are a bit more obvious: Catch that carry thats running away from you, stealth in the middle of that team fight so you can harass…well everyone, or just plain be a **** and dance around in there while fighting 1v1. This ability is usually skilled up 2nd, after Mark of the Assassin, although it can be last if you want to substitute damage for defensive ability. Has no scaling.
E Ability: Crescent Slash:
Crescent Slash is Akalis one and only AoE attack. Its range is rather short, but still wide enough to hit at least 2 – 3 people in a team fight, if not more.
The ability is really nothing special, other than that it scales off of both AD and AP, allowing her excel even more with her passive/hybrid utility. Depending on what you are aiming for, skill this up last in lieu of Twilight Shroud, or 2nd for that extra damage early game.
R Ability (Ultimate): Shadow Dance:
Shadow Dance is not only the bread and butter of what makes Akali so great, but also any other analogy that I cant think of right now. Her Ultimate is the ability that allows her to dash in and out of combat, mixed with her E, allows her to stick to that Carry that is trying to run, and also make a daring escape after you get her down to .0001 health.
Shadow Dance is pretty much as it sounds, when used, Akali dashes to the target, doing a certain amount of damage. When used, it consumes not energy, but instead a Shadow Dance “token” that is gathered over time or by netting Assists or Kills. This ability is what makes her so damn scary in a team fight. You have no idea when and where she is coming from, especially when used in succession with Twilight Shroud.
Again, this is the best ability she has, and when used together with her other abilities makes her a force to be reckoned with.
Flash is pretty much a necessity on Akali, but Ignite can be switched out for Exhaust if you so feel the need. However, I wouldnt recommend it as gettign a Rylais kinda makes Exhaust almost pointless. Your call on this one though.
Akali is very viable to use in Solo Queue, but is not exactly the best first pick in a game, as she can be countered pretty easily by high CC, Tanky type teams.
However, as a 3rd to 4th pick, she can excell, especially if you notice the other team has a **** ton of squishy targets. So, if comes to be your pick and you notice that there is a Caitlyn, Brand, and a Soraka, Akali can be a viable pick to counter their extremely squishy team.
Creeping / Jungling
While Akali CAN THEORETICALLY jungle, she is not optimal over other jungles such as Fiddlesticks or Nocturne. Her lacking any form of Hard CC or gap closing really hurts her early jungling until she hits level 6, which by that time the other teams jungle should have already netted 3-4 kills, or at least made your team lose on some CS.
In short, it can be done on the rare occasion, and is viable, but not recommended.
Akali is one of the most satisfying champions you can play throughout the game. The high mobility she possesses, allowing her to dive in and out of combat, killing everyone with hardly a scratch and making the enemy team look like monkeys who just had poo flung into their faces gives you a sense of satisfaction greater than I can describe. However, remember that she will take you along time to master, and even then you will be hated more than most.