Build Guide by Dartak
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.
This IS my first guide, so please bear with me.
Besides just the guide I am going to explain why I do and don't chose a few items that a lot of other players seem to jump for.
I use this build for 3v3 and 5v5.
First things first. Akali is a HYBRID character, meaning she benefits from both Ability Power and Attack Damage. Akali FURTHER benefits form these stats from her passive: Twin Disciplines. Her passive(s) in my opinion should both be activated from level 1. Her passives are activated through runes as well as items. Most people downsize her Discipline of Force (life steal) and don't get it until an item like Guinsoo's or the Gunblade. I highly disregard you doing this because of the utility of the life steal early and mid-game. Disclipline of Might is her powerpoint early, mid, and late-game. This is the passive this guide powers the hardest and the earliest.
Non-itemization and Itemization
What I mean by non-itemization is that there a few items that just don't do Akali justice in the field, and here are a few of them:
-Sheen: some Akali players swear by this item and I shun it personally. The output it has is mediocre at best compared to some of the other items you can put forth sooner and really pack that Akali punch.
-Frozen Mallet: You get the same on-hit effect like Rylai's from this item and the ability helps out much more early game.
-Stark's Fervor: The attack speed from this item doesn't benefit us to be worth building, besides I'm sure Yi or Mundo on your team has built this. Besides that you get life steal from your passive. :)
-Mejai's Soulstealer: Funny thing about this is the fact I do recommend this. But this item falls in the area of... Please DO NOT purchase this item if you are playing Akali for free, or you just purchased her. You are only hurting yourself and you will see a diminished effect from this item if you can't build it.
-Tiamat: One of the WORST cost inefficient items in the game. On top of that what is the AOE really gonna do for us? We have Crescent Slash :)
-Youmuu's Ghostblade: Again, with the Discipline of Might thing. We're not building attack damage in this guide so the ArP is an almost wasted stat.
-Long Sword: Activates our first Passive (second should be done through runes if you're runed like the guide suggests. It REALLY puts on the punch very early game while laning combined with your Mark of the Assassin.
-Boots: I only put the Magic Penetration boots in the item build but you have 2 good choices. The Magic Penetration OR Boots of Swiftness( +3 movement no stats). If you're really feeling about bringing the Akali punch I recommend magic pen. if you're looking for mobility and early ganks you may to decide with the Swiftness
-Mejai's Soulstealer: This item speaks for itself! The CDR and added ability power from this item is phenomenal! But again, I can't stress enough how important it is for ONLY adept Akali players to go towards this item.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter: Further strengthening our Discipline of Might and adding a slow to our attacks? The perfect combination with our Shadow Dash ultimate, to make escaping enemies feel that Akali Punch.
-Guinsoo's Rageblade: This item is highly suggested because it adds more beef to both our passives and the item's passive stacks extremely easily with our low CDR and pounding out those Shadow Dashes, Marks and Crescent Slash. Well ****, even our shroud activates this one! This item is good because it adds that much more ability power to arsenal early on.
-Hextech Gunblade: Further strengthens our Passives. The on-use effect is a very powerful one. Especially for champs that can disengage our Rylai's slow (Like Garen's Judgement ability, and players who run with cleanse) It will catch those runners and deal a nice little chunk of back-up damage.
By this time you're a monster beat stick and most players will think twice about engaging you 1v1, even 2v1 if played properly. The last item is your choice and any item at this point can benefit you due to high amounts of AP and AD.
I know the masteries choice ending in utility is a little odd for mode end-game ranked match players. The less time dead, 1 gold/10 and increased experience has helped me surpass a lot of players doing better than me, and helps to make you that much stronger that much sooner.
The gist of this build is to power up your Discipline of Might at level 1, making you that much more of a pound train at level 1. The CDR brings out the Marks, Dashes and Slashes out sooner early game pushing enemies that much harder.
Shadow Dash --> Mark of the Assassin --> Crescent Slash --> Twilight Shroud
Mark of the Assassin is our highest damaging ability (besides Shadow Dash) and should be maximized asap (Level 9). Twilight Shroud isn't nearly as high on importance because it doesn't increase stealth time and the diameter doesn't get larger. The Shroud should remain level 1 for most of the game. Come late game you can solo entire lanes of minions with Guinsoo's and Mejai's stacked up to full with Crescent Slash making you a farming machine at this point.
Ganking throughout the game
I don't recommend ganking pre-5. You shouldn't obtain shroud until this level and you can't just dash in. 5 is a little early on the ganks, but it can be done. ONLY with Twilight Shroud and a set of boots should you consider ganking at this time.
At this point in the game, if you have a stack or two of Mejai's and you're feeling confident lets hope over to another lane and attempt to gank. We should initiate with a Mark of the Assassin followed by a very quick Shadow Dash and Twilight Shroud combo. Slowing them down at this point mixed with 2 more Shadow Dashes a Crescent Slash and ending with another Mark will call this GG and you can grant your Mejai's another 2 stacks.
Middle(Solo in 3v3): Keep a defensive mindset, but make sure you let the opponent know that it's YOUR lane. I would recommend picking up Twilight Shroud at level 2 instead of 4 because this will give you the versatility of stealthing and picking off with your Mark of the Assassin that much easier. Harass with Mark of the Assassin when available and use it to pick off minions.
Top/Bottom(x2 in 3v3): Keep that same defensive mindset, but pick up Crescent Slash to start picking off minions and racking that gold up. Harass with Mark of the Assassin and keep them away from your turret!
In the heat of battle!
So you've engaged in a team fight. The beautiful thing about Akali is her ability to burn away at those squishy champs. i.e. Teemo, Annie, Twitch, Eve etc. Stay back and wait for the front line to engage, pick your champion to kill and go all out. Be careful as not to jump straight to furthest champ and get yourself caught in the cross fire from cleaves, aoes, etc. Our skilling order for a team fight is essentially the same as the gank order. The maximum dps rotation to really push out those squishy damage dealers. MotA > SD > TS > CS > SD > MotA > SD.
Our goal here is to rip the other guy to shreds before (s)he gets to you first. This is where Akali relies heavily on her summoner spells. Due to her being rather squishy in nature we need the blind from exhaust to help us beat down that other guy before he whittles away our health into nothing. Engaging champing with massive amounts of life steal is where Ignite comes into play. I would open up on a champion (like WW) with Ignite, and let the assault begin. Towards the end of this particular fight when he is now depending on Hungering Strike to finish you off, Exhaust him so that his life steal from Melee is reduced to nothing, Pick him off. On a different champion (like Mundo with his stupid Sadism) wait for that Sadism cast and ignite him. Now he's spent 20% of his current life and ignite will only let him heal for roughly 37.5% instead of the usual 75%, making this kill EASIER, but not easy by any means (assuming the Mundo is good). Keep these things in mind for any champion you're facing.
This is a tricky skill to MASTER on Akali, it does seem easy but you really need to know your potential output before Shadow Dashing at that Annie with 1/4 health. This particular skill will rack up those Soulstealer buffs after you've perfected this skill. Akali has high burst and I highly recommend practicing this. After you've picked up Rylai's with that extra 550 health is when it becomes just that much easier.
This is gonna be short and sweet. Until you've stacked Guinsoo's at level 18 don't do turrets without minions or a tank...
Thanks for the time reading and commenting on my guide. I will check the comments as often as possible, post back and even make updates as I see fit. Thanks ahead of time for all the +1s! For those who -1 thanks for reading anyway, I wish you luck somewhere else! :)