Akali Build Guide by F3ar0ner
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 - The Shadow Assassin
Akali is an amazing champion that excels at killing her enemies quickly. She is an Assassin, meaning that she helps her team by focusing the enemy carry to give her team an advantage. She can be a great threat to your enemies, as long as you play right.
As for the gameplay itself, she is very fun to play with. She has amazing abilities that can be used for both attacking and escaping. Akali looks like she escaped from an anime and that's one of the many reasons I'm so obsessed with her!
However, Akali has her flaws as well. She is a very situational champion that can be countered quite easily if the opponent team knows what they are doing. However, any champion can be viable in the right hands. Akali is not the exception.
So, I hope this guide will be helpful. It also includes a gameplay section, so you can learn her flaws and play better. To be honest, this guide aims to help players that haven't played Akali, but I hope it can be helpful for those who play her regularly.
Table of Contents
+ Very fun to play with
+ Huge Burst Damage
+ Short cooldowns
+ Can chase and kill easily
- Vulnerable to Crowd Control
- Squishy champion
- Countered by Stealth Detection
- Requires good judgment
We start with
to improve Ignite and have some Cooldown Reduction.
The other choices are Blast , Arcane Knowledge and Havoc , for Ability Power, Magic Penetration and increased damage.
Mental Force will give us even more Ability Power. Spellsword is very useful too, so don't forget to take it.
Last, we spend points in Archmage and
Executioner , the later being a very useful Mastery that will help finish champions easier.
In Defense, we invest in Durability , Resistance , Hardiness , and Veteran's Scars for Magic Resistance, Armor and Health.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Magic Penetration is always welcome to champions who use Ability Power. These are the best you can get on Akali since the recent changes.
Greater Seal of Scaling Health
Akali is a very squishy champion. Not as squishy as Twitch, but you get my point. These, along with the right Masteries, will give us a generous amount of Health.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
I prefer these over Greater Glyph of Ability Power, because we get more Ability Power that way, but at the cost of early damage.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
It's a must for champions who use Ability Power. They will increase your overall Ability Power more, helping you greatly throught the game.
Greater Seal of Armor
If you think Greater Seal of Scaling Health won't help you much, you can get these. They are also useful in case you are matched against a champion like Tryndamere, for example.
Greater Glyph of Ability Power
If you want to have more Ability Power right from the start, consider getting these. They will give you a massive boost early, but not as much Ability Power as Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Most of the time, you will be versus a champion who uses Ability Power, like Ahri. By getting these, you will sacrifice some damage to have more survivability in lane. They are certainly useful.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
I wouldn't get these normally, but I get they will give you some Movement Speed, enough to help you catch up to your enemies. Many players can benefit from these.
It can save you from an ugly situation or close the gap between your opponent for securing a kill. A very useful spell which I always pick.
This is also used for securing a kill. It's not only good for finishing a champion early. Because of Energy issues, Ignite can help you a lot in late game.
If you feel that Ignite falls off later and you can live without it, pick Exhaust. It is useful and it synergizes well with Akali. Chase enemies or escape. Good for trading blows too.
Ghost gives you increased Movement Speed, allowing you to escape or chase your opponent more efficiently. It ignores unit collision too.
It's a good spell. If you are new to Akali, Heal can benefit you a lot early, as it can save you more than once. Extra survivability is always good.
Teleport can help you defend your lane, help a teammate or gank your opponent. It can even give you a quick escape. It's a great spell overall.
Akali gains bonus Magic Damage and Spell Vamp, for a certain amount of Ability Power and Attack Damage she has.
- When you have Twin Disciplines, Akali's right and left hand starts to glow.
- Use Runes to trigger Twin Disciplines right from the start.
Mark of the Assassin
Akali spins her kama and marks her target, dealing damage. Akali's melee attacks against a marked target will trigger and consume the mark to cause additional damage and restore Energy.
- Use this to harass enemies frequently.
- If you can't farm properly, use this skill for a last hit.
- Remember, consuming the mark gives you some Energy back.
- The mark lasts longer than the cooldown.
Akali throws down a cover of smoke. While inside, she gains Armor and Magic Resistance and becomes invisible. Attacking will briefly reveal her. Enemies inside have reduced Movement Speed.
- Use Twilight Shroud to check bushes.
- Use this if you are focused or if you want to escape.
- If a teammate is being chased, use Twilight Shroud on the enemies to slow them.
- Stand in the sides of the Twilight Shroud to avoid attacks.
- Some champions can reveal you inside your Twilight Shroud, so be careful.
Akali flourishes her kamas, slicing nearby enemy units, dealing damage based on her Attack Damage and Ability Power.
- Use your Crescent Slash if a large minion wave with low Health is around you.
- Don't forget, Crescent Slash consumes your Mark of the Assassin too.
- It will drain your Energy quickly if you use it carelessly.
- When and if you have Lich Bane, use your Crescent Slash to destroy turrets quickly.
Akali moves through shadows to quickly strike her target, dealing damage, by consuming an Essence of Shadow. Akali has 3 charges and recharges them with time or upon kills and assists.
- Use your Shadow Dance in a minion wave to catch to an enemy or escape.
- Don't use it carelessly.
Usually I pick Mercury's Treads because of the Magic Resistance and Tenacity it gives, but your choice is based on the enemy team. If you want some Magic Penetration, get Sorcerer's Shoes.
This item gives you some Spell Vamp, Ability Power, Attack Damage and Life Steal. This is the best item you can get because it synergizes with Twin Disciplines. Don't forget to use the Active!
All champions that use Ability Power get this item. It gives you a huge amount of Ability Power and a Passive that increases it even more. Buy Needlessly Large Rod first if you can afford it.
A very popular item for Akali. It gives you Armor, Magic Resistance and a Passive that revives you upon death. If that's not useful, I don't know what is.
This is a very useful item because it synergizes well with Akali. It gives you Ability Power and Movement Speed. It can also deal bonus magic damage equal to your Ability Power.
You will be surprised by how useful this item can be for Akali. It has everything she needs. Since Akali can be focused a lot at times, Zhonya's Hourglass can be very rewarding.
This item can be more rewarding than Void Staff, only if the opponent team has less than 100 Magic Resistance. It gives you Magic Resistance too, useful if you are laning against a Veigar.
It's a great initiator in team fights and gives you massive Ability Power and some Cooldown Reduction. Overall, it's a great item for Akali.
Although this gives you enormous Ability Power, it is quite risky. Take this only if you are doing really good in the game. It can also give you some Cooldown Reduction.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
Rylai's Crystal Scepter can help you chase your opponents easier. If you want, you can replace something else with this, since it can be very useful with the extra Health it gives you.
With Void Staff, you have 35% Magic Penetration, which is good if the opponent team is stacking Magic Resistance. Replace Zhonya's Hourglass with this if that's the case.
Will of the Ancients
If your team consists mostly of Ability Power champions, or if you just want more Spell Vamp and Ability Power, Will of the Ancients is a great choice.
Not sure what items to take? Are you confused with the alternative items? If you are, I think this chapter will help you develop your own build and make you find your playstyle.
It features some of the most common builds for Akali. Remember, this helps you find the build that benefits you most. You shouldn't follow these builds if you don't benefit from these items.
This is my standard and one of the best builds you can get. It gives you the most survivability and Ability Power from any build, thanks to Guardian Angel and Zhonya's Hourglass, which can help you in case you are focused often.
This is another good build. It gives you some survivability and a good amount of Magic Penetration and Ability Power. Here, we trade Zhonya's Hourglass with Void Staff, if the opponent team has a lot of Magic Resistance.
This is Akali's normal build and the one used by most people, through I don't use it anymore. It gives you a good amount of Ability Power and some survivability. Rylai's Crystal Scepter can be essential to Akali due to the stats it gives you.
Troll build incoming. This build isn't viable at all, but offers the most Ability Power. Mejai's Soulstealer is a very risky item and you shouldn't get it, unless your opponents are starters. The Ability Power this can give you is huge. Again, this isn't viable. At all.
Tips & Tricks
Tips & Tricks
- Don't engage when Pyromania is up, wait for her to waste it on farming.
- Harass her from your Twilight Shroud, activate the mark if you can and get away quickly.
- Keep in mind that she can hurt you inside Twilight Shroud with her Incinerate.
- Don't attack her when Molten Shield is up, wait for it to wear off.
Tips & Tricks
Tips & Tricks
Tips & Tricks
- Normally, harass doesn't work on him, but it is vital to do it since you have Energy.
- Remember, his Drain works inside Twilight Shroud.
- If he uses Dark Wind, make sure to back off a little so it won't bounce to you.
- Keep in mind that if you are chasing him, he will most likely use Terrify to fear you.
Tips & Tricks
- He will spam his Lay Waste like crazy, make sure to avoid it.
- It may be difficult to farm against him, so try to last hit with Mark of the Assassin.
- He can somehow counter your Twilight Shroud with his Defile, so be careful.
- If he uses Requiem, take advantage of your Spell Vamp or use Twilight Shroud.
Tips & Tricks
- Your cooldowns are better, play offensive and harass her when you have the chance.
- When you see her throwing Bouncing Blades, take a step back so it won't bounce.
- Your Twilight Shroud is useless against Katarina, but you can use it to scare her.
- If she Shunpo's to you, make sure to mark and trigger your Mark of the Assassin.
Tips & Tricks
Tips & Tricks
Tips & Tricks
- Harass him with Mark of the Assassin, don't let him farm his Baleful Strike.
- A Veigar will use Event Horizon, followed by a Dark Matter, try to avoid them.
- If he traps you into Event Horizon, don't go to the edges as you will be stunned.
- Be careful when he gets Primordial Burst, if his combo succeeds he can kill you in 2 seconds.
Akali has amazing sustain early, due to her using Energy and not Mana. Use this to your advantage. Harass the enemy with Mark of the Assassin whenever you can. Also, don't forget to farm.
If you can't farm properly because the opponent is pushing too hard, you can always use your Mark of the Assassin to last hit minions or your Twilight Shroud to zone or scare him off.
When you are low on Health, make sure to benefit from the Spell Vamp that comes with your Twin Disciplines. Use your abilities to heal faster.
From my personal experience, I think it's better to deny some farm in order to harass your opponent or even get a kill from him, in order to snowball harder. Of course, that depends on your opponent.
Last but not least, you shouldn't overextend too much because you will be susceptible to ganks. Zoning is extremely important. That said, don't use Crescent Slash to farm because the lane will be pushed fast.
Sometimes, your lane won't go as well as you wanted to. That's why, as Akali, it's important to gank other lanes to get kills. When your opponent is missing, it's probably a good time to gank.
In order to gank, you want to have Shadow Dance so you can have better odds of killing your opponent. When you find an opening, engage and try to kill the enemy quick.
You can also place Twilight Shroud on your opponents before or after engaging, to surprise or slow them. Just remember that if you do your Twilight Shroud, it will be hard to escape if something goes wrong.
After the gank, it is very possible that your opponent has pushed the lane to your tower. If that's the case, come from behind and do your Twilight Shroud behind him so he can retreat. Use that time to harass him.
Positioning is a vital role in team fights. As Akali, you must be behind everyone. When the team engages in a fight, you must always be last.
Focus the enemy carry and do your Twilight Shroud if you are focused. Don't ever go first. You will die and probably the enemy team will score an Ace.
Watch out for enemy champions that can see inside your Twilight Shroud, like Lee Sin. Play safe if they are on the enemy team. Also, be wary if someone from the enemy team has Oracle's Elixir.
Twilight Shroud and Shadow Dance are your escape tools. Twilight Shroud can give you stealth for some time, while Shadow Dance, if used correctly and at the right situation, will give you distance.
To use Twilight Shroud at it's full potential, use it in places that have at least 2 paths, so your enemies won't know which way you went.
When you are inside, always let your opponents guess which way you went, and then pick your escape route, unless you just want to slow them.
When you are going out of Twilight Shroud, you will remain stealthed for a second even if you are completely outside. Use it to your advantage.
In order to escape with Shadow Dance, use it on an enemy champion or minion. Remember, that depends on the situation, so use it smart.
If you ward the jungle, you can use Shadow Dance to a monster so you can escape. Don't do this it if you are extremely low on Health.
If you combine these with Flash, you will have massive distance ahead of your enemies. It's best to use that if you know you will be totally safe.
Below are some combos you can use. Remember that Akali's combos depends on the situation. You have to tweak your combo in order to fit the situation you are into.
Keep in mind that Akali must focus one enemy at a time. That means you don't use Mark of the Assassin on one opponent and then attack another enemy.
In the combos below, you can replace Crescent Slash with basic attacks. Also, remember to use Twilight Shroud if you are focused.
Early, this is very useful for harassing your enemy. At this time, Crescent Slash is like a mini Decimate, that's why it's important to harass with it when you can.
Use this combo if you have time to kill someone. When you land your Mark of the Assassin, you wait for the cooldown to go off, and then you engage. Mark lasts longer than cooldown.
In this combo, we replace Shadow Dance with Flash. We use it if our Shadow Dance is on cooldown. However, it's very risky, so use it only if you know you can kill your opponent.
This is the combo you want to use when you have to kill the enemy quick, or if you are chasing someone. As with the Flash combo, better use it if you know you can kill the opponent.
When you have Hextech Gunblade, you can use this to slow your opponent. With the help of the slow, you will have enough time to use your full combo and finish him.
This is the same combo we use as our normal combo. The difference is that we don't wait for the cooldown on Mark of the Assassin. You can also do your Twilight Shroud between this combo.
I added some images so you can understand better Akali's playstyle. This is not a normal game, and most of the time, it will not look like in these images. For example, the positioning part is poor but I hope you get what I'm talking about. Anyway, I hope these will be helpful.
That's it guys! I hope my guide was helpful for all of you. I would love to hear your thoughts about it. If you have any questions about the guide or Akali or anything in general, feel free to ask. I will be here updating and making this guide better for you! Again, thanks for the feedback you all provide me with!
||She is definitely the first person I should add here. She was kind enough to share her knowledge about making guides with beginners like me. Without her, this here wouldn't exist.|
||He helped me more than he can imagine. He provided me with information for the build, helped me with the template and was patient enough to answer all my questions.|
||A simple mention here wouldn't be enough. She did all these banners for me, including a line divider, and helped me make the guide more appealing.|
Do i have to get my items with the same order as you?
Absolutely not. You have to tweak the order of your items depending on the game and your playstyle. As a situational champion, Akali has a situational build too. For example, some people get Rylai's Crystal Scepter before Hextech Gunblade. You should do the same if you think it's better.