Akali Build Guide by LetsEatBabies
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.
Introduction - Why Play Akali?
Akali is in my honest opinion, the greatest anti-carry in League. She has incredible burst damage, chasing capability, farming capability, and if you can play her right (Which is what I'll try to teach you), high survivability. Now, let's dive deep into the realm of 'Akali, The Fist of Shadow'. Akali is one of those characters that starts to shine once she gets her ultimate ability. Until then, the game is rough. People who play Akali will often be called 'KSer'. Ignore people who say this; League is a team game, not Call of Duty.
Here's some of the recent matches I've played with her.
Pros / Cons of Akali
The pros and cons of Akali vary throughout the progression of the game, so I'll be listing the 3 phases of the game with her pros and cons.
-She is great at harassing and can easily knock out 1/4th-1/3rd of the enemy's hp in a single combo.
-Zoning out other melee champs is fairly easy if you are careful enough.
-She is extremely squishy and requires a very good watch on the HP, as well as map awareness.
-Usually, champs like Blitzcrank and Nidalee will end up dominating her in this phase of the game.
-Easy to run away from until she gets her Ultimate.
-Starting mid-game, her burst damage significantly increases, and you'll often find your self mashing on your ult to finish people that are running away off.
-HP starts to increase with the items you build.
-She's pretty much useless against a decent tank.
-She's Still pretty squishy.
-You'll find yourself dominating everyone with huge bursts if you were fed early game. If not, your damage is still plausible and significant.
-Most of the time, you'll be the one who's getting the kills and racking in the gold because you'll be chasing people down, if you're into that kind of stuff.
-HP will usually hit around 2.2k-2.5k, which is decent.
-This point in the game is where Akali is focused on the most, so assuming that the other team is atleast decent, you'll have to be careful.
The two summoner's spells given are Ignite and Flash. Why?
Ignite provides true damage, and is essential for finishing off your enemies that are running when you don't have any charges for Shadow Dance. This is also good for first blood, as it also reduces heals by 50 percent in which you can just throw down your Q and kill them because they did not heal enough. In the masteries, you'll notice that I've put a point in the ignite mastery for Offense. Do not forget to use ignite. It will help you and increase your ability points while you're at it.
Flash is irreplaceable. It's perfect for chasing, running, and everything of the sort. This is a must have.
The runes listed above will activate both of Akali's passives, and will also add some magic penetration for higher bursts, and HP per level for survivability. The runes and masteries together are the reason you can simply buy boots and 3 HP Pots at the start of the game.
For masteries, you're going to put up a 21-0-9 build, in which you support ignite, ability power, attack damage, and utilities which give you extra experience, less death cooldowns, and longer neutral monster buffs.
Endgame, you'll have: Lich Bane, Sorcerer's Boots, Hextech Gunblade, Rylai's Crystal Scepter, Void Staff, and Rabadon's Death Cap.
You'll total to around 500 AP, and will have alot of Magic Penetration to go with it. Also, the Hextech Gunblade complements your passive which will ensure survivability.
Alot of people argue that Hextech Gunblade/ Revolver is needed for Akali. The truth is, it is not a necessity. The core items in this group are Sorcerer's Boots and Lich Bane. Reason being is that Lich Bane will accent your bursts so that you'll be hitting harder and stronger hits, and Sorcerer's Boots for the early game Magic Penetration as well as the movement speed needed to help in ganks. The reason I buy Hextech is because usually in games I will get fed enough to afford them. I repeat: you do not need to get Hextech. If you don't want to, you can rush the Lich Bane and go straight to Rylai's Crystal Scepter afterwards, which will help you chase down enemies and kill them easier.
Your item build order will be as follows:
-At the start of the game, purchase Boots of Speed and 3 HP Pots.
-Stay in your lane until you can afford atleast an amplifying tone. Often times you'll find weaker players, in which you can stay until you can afford a Sheen. After purchasing, go and own.
-Stay in your lane until you can get atleast Sorcerer's Boots. Again, there will be weaker players. Take advantage of this fact and if you can, stay until you can get a Hextech Revolver as well.
-Once you have these items, it should be early-game transitioning into mid-game, where the laning phase ends and you'll help gank. After landing a couple of more kills and some more gold, go ahead and purchase a Hextech Gunblade, and from there use the buying order given above to buy whenever you please, but efficiently.
First off, start by leveling your Q. Your Q is your 'main' ability, in which you harass, farm, and burst with. Your combo is Q -> Auto, which creates a huge amount of burst damage. You will level this to max as soon as possible. Don't forget, this is your MAIN ability; alot of Akali newbs make the misconception that you're supposed to be using all sorts of stuff like Q -> E -> W, blah. No. It's not really that complicated. Also, this gives you some energy back to quickly pop another combo and kill your enemy.
After the first level on Q, you want to level up your W/E. This is interchangable, and simply depends on your preference:
An aggressive player will want W. That will allow them to land quicker kills, tank out the last turret shot that may kill them without their W, and extend your reach. This skill is great for juking out the enemy, especially near brush, a roaming 1v1 fight, and taking minion aggro off of yourself. The reason you do not max this after the first level, is because there's not much of a difference between the levels except for armor and slow amount. Since you're going to use W for the reasons above, there's really no reason to build this up so early. Also, it lasts the same amount of time for each level.
A player focused more on farming will want their E. It's used for farming, and the early phase of the game. You definitely don't want to use this in a battle. It's low damaging in comparison to your Q, and you're pretty much just wasting your energy by doing so. Use it to farm, and that's about it. I find this more useful to level before your W because it's a good farming tool, which you'll mostly use in early-mid game, and for the most part to clear creep waves end game.
Finally, your ultimate. 'Shadow Dance'. Cool, isn't it? It's your most important skill to accent your Q. Not only does it do a pretty good burst damage, it also closes the gap between you and your enemy so you can unleash that devastating combo of Q -> Auto. Use it when you're chasing, use it to escape in the jungle, and use it to finish off people. Don't be afraid to use your ultimate liberally. At level 3 it only takes 15 seconds to gain another charge to pop it again. Killing someone/ Assisting a kill will also recharge this, and cooldown reduction will lower the time to gain another charge. Again, use it when you need it, cause it's there in abundance.
Buy the items mentioned. Head to either the top or bottom lane; Akali excels in duo laning because of her ability to hit high bursts when you want her to. Begin the game with harassing the enemy efficiently while looting farm with your Q. If you need to, run up to a minion marked by your Q and give it a quick auto attack before running back to finish it off and bring back some energy. Use your Q to last-hit, not to first-hit. Once you get your W, and E, you'll have some control over your lane. Use your W to extend your reach for your Q, scout brush, and to hide until help comes if necessary. Your E is good for farming. Pretty much it. A common problem I see with alot of Akalis though is that they ignore farming to continuously go for kills, which is really inefficient. Keep farming throughout early-mid game, and it will net you gold as well as keep you in the same level range as your team. Early game is a tough spot for Akali, but if you play her right, you will shine. Also, once you get your ultimate, you will dominate your lane, no questions asked. Some champions you want to stay clear of are Fiddlesticks, Kassadin, and most tanks. You'll be weak to them; Silence is Akali's bane, and she can't do much around tanks.
Mid-Game is where you'll find yourself killing people the most. You'll be ganking, finishing off people, and chasing off scared noobs. Use your ultimate liberally. There's no need to plan ahead when you don't know what's going to happen in the future. Here you'll be jungling for red buff, and potentially helping your AP Carry teammate to get the blue buff. You'll find yourself in some pinches where the other team will get frustrated and try to gank you while you're roaming around. No need to worry; don't try to fight back, just use your W and ultimate to juke out your enemies and regroup with your teammates to start a team fight. Akali is a champ that needs to be fed early and mid game. Get kills.
End-Game, you'll have all the tools necessary to dominate your enemies. Weaker tanks and carries (especially squishies) will fall to your wrath in less than a second. Use your Q, use your W, use your ultimate. If played right, you can win in tough pinches where the enemies catch you in a 2v1, or even a 3v1. Continue playing straight to victory!
Akali's difficulty is at the medium level, as given by Riot. I feel like there's a learning curve that's given with Akali. She's difficult to play correctly when you first start playing her. My initial games with her were terrible, where I'd go into the negative zone very quickly and feed the enemy. Do not get frustrated. Practice the combos, juking techniques, etc. Also, read this guide every day until your eyes fall out. Have fun killing everyone~