Akali Build Guide by Bladetrain3r
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Akali General Build
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.
Threats to Akali with this build
|Fizz||Fizz has a strong advantage against Akali before level 6 as he's got a gap closer and she doesn't. Stick around the edges of your shroud so he doesn't whack you with his E.|
|Katarina||Kat's ulti still hits Akali even in her shroud - if you can't burst her down immediately then dash out of combat quickly to stop her from nailing you down. Her W also gives her an edge as with any AoE.|
Akali is my personal favourite champion in the game - although she's quite weak before level 6 she's still got a strong poke to punish the unwary. Once she gains her ulti she becomes a roaming powerhouse, destroying anyone wandering around solo, while in teamf ights she can easily take out the squishy ADCs or mages so that the rest of the team can focus on the tougher tanks and supports. I'm putting up this guide because I find that quite often people build in the wrong order or ignore items I consider critical entirely.
This is my first guide, so if you have any questions or want any areas expanded upon in detail - let me know. I will be padding out her performances against individual champs over the next week or so.
Akali is a snowballer - she has a comparatively weak early game but once she starts getting in some ganks she quickly becomes unstoppable by almost any single champion. If the enemy team enjoys split pushing or wandering the jungle you'll have a good time, picking off anyone foolish enough not to stick in a group.
Akali isn't the best champion for teamfights - she's got great single target burst allowing her to take out ADCs and Mages, but her fragile nature means that ideally she'll be doing 1v1 fights at all times - moving in on an enemy team as an initiation can be handy but if they have any sort of decent reaction times they'll lock you down before you can drop your Twilight Shroud, at which point you'll quickly end up dog meat.
Akali's greatest enemy is any form of AoE CC - Fiddle, Leona, even someone like Blitz or Thresh who can pull her out of her shroud give the enemy team ample opportunity to take you out before you can land your burst. Positioning and timing is critical as with any assassin, kiting a fight until they've committed to the rest of your team - at which point you pop the squishy champions and let your team mates mop up.
Pros / Cons
- Ridiculously strong burst early and mid game
- Good movement speed and judicious use of her Shroud allow her to escape unmolested in many seemingly hopeless situations
- She's an Energy champion with low cooldowns. Her Q regens 40 energy on a hit so it's a good way to keep the damage going.
- Powerful roamer. Once she gets her shadow dash any out of position champion on the enemy team will go down.
- It's quite possible to solo dive a squishy who thinks they're safe.
- Hard snowballer. Do well early and you'll generally do well the rest of the match.
- Any champion who's out of position can easily be taken out by Akali
- Weak laning phase. It's quite easy to get zoned as Akali and until she hit's 6 it can be hard to counter.
- Glass cannon.
- Easily countered by AoE CC or if she's focused in a teamfight.
Mark of the Assassin
Maxing out Akali's MArk of the Assassin early is vital to a successful build - it provides a good chunk of her damage and allows her to regain energy much faster. I put in an extra point at level 3 to give an extra bit of poke - early levels in crescent slash can be useful but it's rarely necessary.
Put one point in this at level 2, otherwise I pretty much ignore it until everything else is maxed. It's a very useful way to avoid damage if you skirt the edges, and can even help net some kills with it's slow; but a relatively long cooldown means you need to be smart with when you use it.
Crescent slash is very useful for procing Akali's MArk of the Assassin, especially since it has an extended range over her auto attack. It may not seem like much but often an opponent will turn around and start running the instant you jump in to avoid getting hit. Follow up with an autoattack to really bring the pain.
Once you get this it's a good bet you'll start the real snowballing. Although it doesn't proc Mark of the Assassin, it gets you into range of the enemy so that you can. Additionally, it's multi-use nature and short cooldown (for an ult) means you can freely use it to escape or chase down a fleeing opponent by dashing onto an enemy minion and then your fleeing prey.
AP is critical to Akali as a champion and you need to get as much in as early as possible - although many prefer a Hextech Revolver early for the sustain and reasonable boost to damage. My personal core build is to rush a Needlessly Large Rod and a Sheen, allowing her to avoid the need for too much sustain - by the time the enemy can cause any damage to you, they've already been finished.
Core build for her would be a Deathcap and a Lichbane - this gives her an absolutely ridiculous amount of damage, and with careful management of positioning you won't be taking the damage to need sustain. As the game moves on into mid/late, you'll want to build into a Hextech Gunblade as it provides both a good chunk of extra damage as well as allowing you to quickly recuperate between fights. Tank items early are largely unnecessary on her as again, you'll ideally want to be surprising your opponents and finishing them before they can do significant damage to you. Later on your burst might not be quite enough and the enemy team will start to focus you, so a Zhonya's or an Abyssal Scepter will give you that little bit of extra edge to survive any counterattacks.
Akali has 2 forms of her basic combo - ideally you want to hit them with Q then R on to them before using your E and an auto attack, dropping your W and repeating the combo as necessary.
For ganks or for running opponents, it will often be better to R and close the gap then Q and E.
All of her damaging abilities have extremely low cooldowns - where possible it's best to wait for Mark of the Assassin to refresh before using your Crescent Slash again, but Crescent Slash is quite a good finisher on it's own if the enemy is very low. Auto attack as much as possible between abilities as her passive gives her a strong boost to damage.
When in the laning phase, after you've hit level 6 you'll ideally want to get a kill or two on mid by dashing in and out on the opposing champion, leaving them no choice but to leave lane or get finished off.
With a few exceptions such as Fiddle, Akali is extremely hard to beat in a 1v1 dustup. You'll want to avoid extended fighting, rather landing as much burst as you can before dropping your twilight shroud - once they've lost vision of you, you can wait for your abilities to go off cooldown and burst them all over again. If the fight hasn't been finished by the second burst you may be in trouble, make a judgement call on whether to try and finish them off (they WILL be low) or to run. Wherever possible, I find aggression is the best course of action unless you're up against some very heavy tank.
Early farming can be quite difficult with Akali, especially against a strong ranged poke. I find the best tactic is to last hit where you can, but to keep mobile and cherry pick low-mid health minions using Mark of the Assassin. Once you get your Shadow Dance you can start harassing the enemy off lane, freeing up some breathing space to start gaining any lost ground. Once you've got a needlessly large rod and a sheen you can one shot most minions, and once the core build is up even a full health siege minion will find itself out of action in short order.
However, Akali's farming skills are not her greatest strength - once you hit level 6-8 you'll want to start roaming and picking up ganks to pad out your gold income.
Akali is a ganker by nature. As early as possible you'll want to start roaming, picking up kills or assists on top or bot lane then returning to mid to keep them guessing. Strong map awareness is critical as Akali doesn't deal with ambushes too well outside of lane - without an enemy minion to dash onto you'll often have no choice but to drop the W and try to out-maneuver your attackers.
Although her teamfight presence is quite weak by itself due to her lack of utility, dropping her twilight shroud into the middle of the enemy team keeps them guessing and distracts them from your team mates. A good idea is often to initiate onto a carry or burst mage when they move slightly out of position, then immediately drop a Twilight Shroud and kite until the rest of your team moves in. Once they've engaged, you'll move in and out of the fight, finishing off weakened targets or chasing down any runners. If the enemy team has strong CC your only option is to wait for your own initiators then move in once the CC has been used.