Akali Build Guide by agentxorange
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The Holy Core
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
|Draven||Sorry Glorious Executioner, but it looks like you're gonna be...*looks left*...*looks right*... EXECUTED.|
|Ezreal||Unfortunately, our flamboyant explorer extraordinaire is not the best, and his usual mid build doesn't help him too much since it doesn't incorporate much MR.|
|Graves||Don't see him mid too much, but as a general guide against Graves (if he's jungling or something), you do more damage than him.|
|Jhin||I don't know why anyone would play this craplord mid, but he's got literally no mobility and dies with a single combo after you finish Gunblade.|
|Miss Fortune||Why would you play MF mid?|
|Nidalee||Nidalee is SOOOOO squishy, once you have an item she will die extremely fast. Sit behind minions in lane, dodge spears, collect your check. Easy money.|
|Olaf||Okay I'm just going to use this space for a rant on Olaf. Seriously hands down the worst champion in the game. His play style is so cancerous, and I suppose you could consider him a lane bully but he's not even a good lane bully. He falls off so hard immediately, any burst champion can kill him easily, any hard CC makes his ult essentially useless, his main damage is easily dodged, etc. This champion tilts me so hard. He's also ass though, so I mean you can kill him real quick.|
|Tristana||What the Megling Gunner may lack in health, burst, or mobility she makes up for being terrible in this matchup.|
|Twisted Fate||Easiest matchup that you may actually frequently play. You have one job - wait till he has used his card, and then blow everything immediately. Flash on him, ignite, combo, everything, just melt him before his card comes up. Make sure to kill him under turret too, so that he rage quits early on. Rage is your biggest ally. Harness it. Make it your friend.|
|Taliyah||RIP Taliyah. After removal of the extra damage to minions she lost her main tool against you (waveclear). She's probably decent into some mids still but NOT into you. You dodge her stuff with ult, and you can burst her after 6 no problems.|
OUT OF THE ASHES AKALI WAS BORN
Hey all you Dank Memerinos, my name is REDACTED and welcome to my Akali build! I like playing assassins Mid since doing a bunch of damage and carrying games is enjoyable, and Akali does both of those really well. While she has her counters and her problems, she also has a lot sex appeal. So let's get going!
Akali Summary/Pros and Cons
WITH THE STRENGTH OF A BEAR, AS FAST AS THE FLEETEST OF FOXES, AS BRAVE AS A DEMACIAN KNIGHT, WITH AS MUCH SHAME AS WHATEVER URGOT IS
Akali Mid is played as an AP Burst Assassin. This means that you're all about deleting targets - you excel in catching out champions and punishing mistakes, and her abilities allow her to surprise champions when their CC abilities are down. She does not excel in extended teamfights, which unfortunately means her usefulness decreases into the late game. The idea then is to end games before they get into late game, when Akali is in her prime and can show everybody a good time.
Insane BurstAkali's burst is nuts. She can tear through everybody until they start building resist, and will always melt carries and other squishies.
Terrific GapcloserAkali's ult is not only an extremely strong gapcloser for engages, but also stacks 3 times with a short cooldown. This allows her to not only catch up to laner's with escapes, but also destroy multiple enemies in short succession. It also does a lot of damages.
Good Sustain in TeamfightsAkali's bound to take damage and use energy when dueling or in teamfights, but her passive gives her a decent chunk of spellvamp, and her Q detonation restores energy.
Energy Based with 0 Cost UltimateI love energy based champs, and Akali is no exception. She can do several Q-AA-E combos and not run out of energy, and her ult costs nothing. 0. Nada.
Outplay Potential With W and UltHer shroud makes her invisible, which makes it difficult/impossible to target you. The W can be used to screw with enemy laners, make it hard for them to know where you'll show up from, make it think you're somewhere where you are not, or just let you speed up to let you do the 1-2 punch. The ultimate has a decent amount of outplay potential with too, since you can use it to make up ground or jump from champ to champ.
Low Skill Floor/Easy CombosAkali has no skillshots, just good old lock on abilities with some nice AOE physical damage to boot. Her combos are also very simple, and can be fudged without any real consquences.
Only Dependent on One ItemAkali only really needs one item, Hextech Gunblade, to become incredibly strong. Anything after it, while useful, is only adding to the burst. She does everything she needs to do with only a single item.
Entirely Dependent on One ItemAkali needs early kills, because she needs Hextech Gunblade. It gives her burst and a slow, which she desperately needs. It's expensive too, so your whole early game should be devoted to finding the quickest way to get it (Hint: It's not farming). Not to say she's bad without it, it's just important.
Countered By Pink WardsUnfortunately, anyone can just buy a pink ward and toss it in the shroud. This means you have to be careful and watch what items the enemy champions have. If they have a pink, either make sure you can reliably burst them fast, or wait till they use it.
No Reliable EscapeHer ult can be used as an escape, since it can lock onto minions, jungle creeps, and other champions. Unfortunately, it can ONLY lock on, so if there aren't any creeps around and you have to get out, the W is really the only salvation and it's not that reliable either (see above).
Almost Useless If Behind EarlyThis goes along with the "Entirely Dependent on One Item". If she dies, she will be slow to pick up the Gunblade. Burst champions in general don't excel when behind, because surprise surprise they don't do as much burst.
Falls Off Late GameA burst assassin in melee range falls off late game? Who would have thought? If the game starts going late, you need to try to get some other champions ahead since Akali really falls off hard she gets full build.
Low Skill CeilingWhile she does have some "outplay mechanics", what differentiates good Akali players from bad ones is not their skill with the champion, but their ability to farm, their positioning, how well they punish mistakes, and their game presence.
Melee MidHer auto attacks are melee, which she uses to detonate her combo. While this isn't a problem when fighting since her ult takes in melee range, it is hard to farm without getting poked out.
Did You Notice a Con Was Missing?
Yeah, one thing I should mention, Akali has straight up the worst pre-6 out of any champion in the game. The entirety of her mobility is in her ultimate, so she really can't do much but farm up. I don't really look at it as a con though, you just need to hit 6 before you can kill anyone, but you'll also be playing so safely that you won't die either. It all adds to the Akali experience, and not going in pre-6 means that you'll be focused on farming and dodging skillshots, which I guarantee you will make you a better player. Then when you're 6 and get an item, you'll surprise your laner so much they'll **** themselves when you kill them with 1 combo.
SHE HAD MASTERED THE 4 ELEMENTS - WIND, SHADOWS, TWILIGHT, AND AP BURST DAMAGE
Her Dank Kiterino
|Akali's passive gives her extra AA damage from her total AD and AP, as well as spellvamp off of her bonus AD. The passive gives her terrific sustain in teamfights and makes her easier to farm with. The damage and spellvamp is amplified even more with Hextech Gunblade. There's not much more to know here, just gives you the extra OOMPH to go wild inside your opponents.|
|Akali's Q literally says Assassin in the title - how could you play her in any other way? Akali's lovely kamas mark her targets, which allows you to do loads of magic damage when you detonate them with your auto attacks. When maxed, there is a small window for some great burst opportunities since you can throw another one before the mark wears off. They also restore energy when detonated! What a wonderful ability. Its range is **** though. Max it first.|
|Akali's W gives her the main source of utility in her kit. It stealths her and gives her an adrenaline shot of movement speed. It even slightly slows enemies inside it. You can use it to outplay enemies, mess up targeting, confuse them, catch up to them... the list is endless. Max it last.|
|Akali's E is just straight damage in a small circle around her, and gives her a little bit more damage to finish off those targets or help her farm. It is special however, since it does physical damage, meaning Akali is technically hybrid. It has a pretty high energy cost and cooldown before you max it, so early on you don't want to spam it before fighting. Later on it costs a lot less and has basically no cooldown. Max it second.|
|Akali's ultimate is what makes her Akali. It's the dash. The leap. The flim-flam. It can stack three times and be used in quick succession, and it allows you to dash to nearby enemy champions/monsters. It does damage on arrival, and will also automatically queue up an auto attack on the target. It has a few quirky abilities that you can use to your advantage and will be discussed in detail later. Just remember it's a dash and it can be interrupted. It also has a long recharge time early on. Prioritize it.|
SHE LEARNED HOW TO HARNESS THIS POWER IN A SPECIFIED ORDER
While I never personally switch up the max order, I sometimes switch up ability order itself. If you aren't getting harassed much, or you think you'll only get harassed at Level 3, take Twilight Shroud at Level 3. If you're in an easy mid lane like Kassadin, take it at Level 5 and just toss another point into Crescent Slash. If you think you're going to get cheesed Level 1, like a Blitzcrank gank or a Lee Sin Level 2 gank, take Twilight Shroud first.
Runes, Masteries, and Summoner Spells
SHE HAS ALSO HARNESSED THE POWER OF WEIRD SYMBOLS
- Greater Quintessence of Ability Power gives the most flat AP of any rune and are the only option.
- The Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power are better over the Greater Glyph of Ability Power since they give as much AP as each other at Level 7, and you won't be in any fights before that anyway.
- The Greater Seal of Scaling Health is good for late game survivability, but if you are against a Zed or Talon go Greater Seal of Armor.
- I take Greater Mark of Magic Penetration because of personal preference, but Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration works as well. Just note that you will be sacrificing burst damage, since only Crescent Slash does physical damage.
A few notes...
- Thunderlord's Decree is the best Keystone Mastery since it just amplifies her burst.
- I'd take Bounty Hunter over Battle Trance since it's more reliable (you should be getting kills) and 5 seconds is too long to be in combat anyway.
- Natural Talent is really useful since Twin Disciplines and Crescent Slash both scale off AP and AD.
- Wanderer allows for faster roaming. Don't take it if you aren't going to roam, in which case you are playing Akali wrong.
- Assassin is useful too since it boosts your dueling, which is already strong.
- Fresh Blood is good for adding initial burst off your autos.
- Bounty Hunter , Double-Edged Sword , and Battle Trance are all fine. I take Bounty Hunter because I like going for early kills and it helps for snowballing.
- Greenfather's Gift is kind of ridiculously good right now, there's no way this won't get changed.
Looking at other people's guides, I've noticed some common threads running through them. To understand my reasoning, here are some runes/masteries I wouldn't take (even for personal preference) and why. I'm leaving Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration off since it works, even though I don't like it.
- Greater Glyph of Magic Resist - I've seen this suggested, both to new and experienced Akali players. The thing is, you're playing a champion that literally switches ON at level 6, meaning anything to "aid your early game" is basically useless. If you take these, you are greatly hurting your burst, with no real compensation. If you are a new Akali player and you like these... don't. NOT recommended for new or old Akali players.
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist - Oof, even worse. 9 of these bad boys give you a whopping 1.44 MR per level, for a grand total of about 26 MR at level 18. If you need MR late game, Banshee's Veil with its 70 MR is a wayyyyy better pickup.
- Greater Seal of Health - Early game == sucking. Again, you don't need anything to help it. If you feel like you can't help dying pre-6, don't play Akali. Or at least hug the turret constantly.
- Greater Quintessence of Scaling Ability Power - I know I seem hypocritical, taking flat AP. However, the AP on this quint doesn't surpass the Greater Quintessence of Ability Power until around Level 13, which is wayyyy into your mid game, so these ones are basically useless.
- Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed - These are especially heinous, since they take basically all your AP away in favour of movespeed.
- Oppressor - As I said above, you don't have the CC to warrant even considering this.
- Meditation - Yes, you really need Mana Regeneration.
- Deathfire Touch - Damage over 4 seconds isn't that useful when you are supposed to kill them in less than 2.
- Stormraider's Surge - Absolutely not, again, movespeed < damage. You already have a jump and a speed up, what more could you need?
- Anything in the Resolve Tree - NOPE, NOPE, NOPE, BIIIIIIG NOPE.
|Not much to say here. Take Flash 100% of games. I use it usually for closing gaps to kill enemies. It is quite imperative that you don't blow it in lane pre-6 or it reduces your kill potential at 6. If you have to blow it for a gank, then do it obviously, but try not to be in situations where you get ganked in the first place.|
|Ignite is standard on Akali, since it's useful for dueling, taking down targets which are a bit tankier, or killing champs that are getting away. Take it if you don't need Exhaust.|
Exhaust is really good right now. Like it is just too strong, and it is the reason why assassins aren't super prevalent in the meta right now. Ignite is good on Akali for the added damage, but there are a lot of situations where you should take Exhaust instead. Take Exhaust if
To Address the Other Spells...
- Cleanse - I never take it, but it might not be horrible into Malzahar. I usually just don't play Akali if there's a Malzahar, and if there is I just out-roam and get my jungler to follow him around.
- Ghost - Nah. No reason to take it since you can just leap around anyway, and Flash helps too much with that.
- Heal/ Barrier - I wouldn't, these are more for mages. If you have to escape and need to burn heal or barrier, you're probably dead anyway.
SHE LEARNED TO NOT PLAY WITH FIRE, BUT INSTEAD TO PLAY WITH A GUN WHICH IS ALSO A SWORD AND IS REALLY COOL
The Three Starts
There are three starts which I believe are stronger than any other starts. Remember to buy health pots with your eXXXtra cash. And a trinket.
|This is the standard Akali start. Unless any of the other criteria for the other starts are satisfied, just do this. It allows a really fast Hextech Revolver, since once you have the Amplifying Tome the cost is only 615 gold.|
|Do the LSWORD3POTZ start if any of these criteria match up.|
|Do the Cloth Armor start if any of these criteria match up.|
Other Less Respectable Starts
- Doran's Shield - This used to be the standard Akali start, but nerfs to it and buffs to Hextech Gunblade means it's smarter just to build Gunblade components.
- Doran's Blade - You can start DBLADE if you are bad at last hitting but don't want the pressure of taking Long Sword first.
- Doran's Ring - I mean, you get the AP but waste the mana and the passive.
- Boots of Speed - I prefer damage to movement speed, since one does damage and other doesn't. If you have trouble dodging, I would say go Cloth Armor.
- Null-Magic Mantle - No. You're better than that.
- Hextech Gunblade - Would if I could, big boy.
I lied, I actually don't have any tips for trinkets. Use common sense. Pick up Warding Totem at the start and USE IT. You shouldn't be pushed up too much pre-6, but if you do make sure to ward. If you want to kill your mid laner, ward first. If you want to roam, ward the jungle so you don't get absolutely memed by the enemy jungler. Later on, pick up Farsight Alteration, since you need it for controlling baron and dragons. I'll pick up Oracle Lens if there is a Teemo, Shaco, Talon or some other invisible **** in the game.
Depending on your start, you will either take Hextech Revolver or Bilgewater Cutlass, and Boots of Speed if you can afford them. Make sure to try not to back before you hit 6, in which case your jungler will gank, or you'll have an opportunity to back along with the enemy mid laner.
|Definitely gives you more bang for the buck than Cutlass. If it's just a normal lane, no one has died, and nothing too exciting has happened, just pick this up.|
|If you're playing against someone who an early slow is useful on, like someone with a dash or a speed boost, go Long Sword first and rush this. This includes Nidalee, Kennen, Renekton, and Yasuo. It also does a lot of damage as well, but costs more than Hextech Revolver. It also has more components too, so you can build it in pieces if you have to.|
|The Holy Hextech Gunblade is the perfect item for a seasoned, or even less seasoned Akali main. It offers everything - AP, AD, a nutso passive which gives you an instant heal when dealing damage, and an active which damages and slows a target. Whenever in the game you pick this up, your usefulness triples. If you buy an item before that, or finish boots, or buy 6 Doran's items... you're just wasting time. This is it. This is what we got.|
Second Item and Boots
|I always buy Zhonya's Hourglass after Hextech Gunblade. It has too much utility to ignore. It counters AD Assassins. It allows you time for your Twilight Shroud to refresh. It will prevent you from getting killed randomly while leaving teamfights or while under turrets by a stray Jinx rocket or something. You also aren't the beefiest champion, so if you have to engage you need something to negate the enemy CC. That's where Zhonya's Hourglass comes in.|
|Like every other AP ever, Sorcerer's Shoes are at the very least useful on Akali. It adds to your mid game burst as well, which is just oh so good for you. You could take Boots of Mobility or Boots of Swiftness if you were thinking of doing nothing but roaming, but it would cut down on your damage so I would advise against unless every enemy champion is a squishy. Definitely don't buy Ionian Boots of Lucidity, you do not need CDR, energy is your limiting factor not cooldowns.|
A Note on Using Active Items
Unfortunately, playing Akali means you have to use TWO active items. I know this is stressful, but you can do it! I believe in you. Set a key for items that you can spam, and a key for one that you WILL NOT spam. I use 2 for spam and 1 for non-spam. Put the Hextech Gunblade on the spam key and tap it wildly in teamfights. You have to use it. It does a lot of damage. Put the Zhonya's Hourglass on the non-spam key and DO NOT tap it wildly in teamfights. In fact, it is important you don't accidentally tap it. You have to make the conscious decision to tap it. But, when the time comes and you are at 5 health and have both Chum the Waters and Death Mark on you, I know you'll do the right thing and use it.
Next Two Items
|Damage is nice, and this comes in the form of Rabadon's Deathcap, which amplifies your damage to the umpteenth degree. Building this is just a matter of keeping up with everybody else and making sure you're still wiping the floor with anyone that comes along.|
|Alright, we're getting near late game, so people have more MR than your boots can handle. Void Staff takes care of your problems, rickety split.|
Last Item Choices
Once you get here you're either starting to fall off, or about to win the game. You have a lot to chose from but only one slot, and unfortunately you can only have one Hextech Gunblade without being accused of trolling.
- Guardian Angel - Great last item, especially if you're only slightly ahead or you're needing to lean on your ADC for late game. Lets you jump in, win fights, and stay alive.
- Luden's Echo - My personal fav for a little bit of spice to go along with your paprika. It gives you dat bursto and lots of AP so basically it's pretty worth. Only buy if you're the first to reach full build, ie you're pounde-rinoing them.
- Rylai's Crystal Scepter - This item has a dope passive with a decent chunk of ability power and health. I would get this if the enemy team doesn't have a carry but you can't win the game because the rest of the team is low-damage ultratanks.
- Banshee's Veil - If you are getting pounded by mages, I could see you picking this up.
- Abyssal Mask - I would suggest most new Akali players get this since MR is not incorporated in the build otherwise. Pick it up if the enemy has a late game mage like Veigar. IT DOES NOT GIVE BURST. Don't buy if you're ahead.
Plserino No Buyerinos
I am of the opinion Akali actually has a very strict build path. Detours take away from her burst, and all the items add to one another, as well as add to your favourite champ's sexuality. THAT BEING SAID, there are a lot of other items I see people pick up on Akali which I think don't really have a place in her build.
- Lich Bane - I know some people think this is Akali's best item. The Sheen proc seems too good to pass up, since she has to AA anyway to get her burst out. First of all, the mana is wasted on her, and the CDR isn't that useful either. The movement speed is nice, but you can just get it on Luden's Echo if you're building this last. It gives 80 AP, which is not much compared to what your other core items give you. It also has the passive, which gives you bonus magic damage based on base AD (which isn't that high), and AP (which isn't that high either because of Hextech Gunblade). Also, what would you replace in the build for it? If you want extra burst, there are better items.
- Trinity Force - Man, this has all the same problems I have with Lich Bane with less damage and more useless stats. No please.
- Nashor's Tooth or Guinsoo's Rageblade - You are not going to get THAT many autos off in teamfights, so honestly they aren't that useful. If you were going AD then this would be a different story.
- Mejai's Soulstealer - Don't buy this, or The Dark Seal either for that matter. It's bad. You're a squishy assassin. You have no escape. Unless you play absolutely perfectly and have flawless communication with your teammates you will die, and you will lose your stacks.
- Morellonomicon - I'll tell you right now, Grevious Wounds is not worth the amount of money you waste on the useless passive, mana, and CDR.
- Spirit Visage - Buy Banshee's Veil if you need the MR, the health regen is wasted on her. Akali is either full health late game because of her spellvamp, or she's dead.
- Warmog's Armor - See the above explanation, although this offers you even LESS because the health regen is so much more of a focus.
- Liandry's Torment - You are a BURSTASSASSIN, you don't have time for this wussy "damage over time" nonsense. If you want more magic pen buy an Abyssal Mask.
I did just say Akali has a strict build path, didn't I? Yeah, and I stick by that like 95% of the time. My play style synergizes well with the build - I usually go for early roams, dives if I can, and then transition that into early gold leads by getting turrets and pushing waves. I don't sit mid and farm too often, and if I do I'm usually just calling in my jungler or I'm getting camped. I'm often down in farm/levels mid game but my bot/top lanes are ahead, I'll hopefully have a ton of kills, and I have important items (Gunblade/Zhonyas) to carry me through mid game. For people who aren't as attached to the build as I am, and who may have a different personal play style than me, I'll address some other build paths.
- Abyssal Mask second item - This is essentially you saying "alright, I fed my *** off but this 15-0-0 bot lane is popping off so I'm going to let them carry". You can do this if you're really just trying not to die, facing another AP assassin, but you still want to assist your team. It's also not a horrible build into Diana, although I'd only do it if I lost hard vs. her.
- Rylai's Crystal Scepter third item - I just ABSOLUTELY love addressing the Champion.gg build, but since it's so popular and I've seen people doing it, I figure I should. It's not the worst thing the website tells you to build? That award goes to Boots or Cloth armor first. You sacrifice a mid-to-late game damage spike with Rabadon's Deathcap for health and a decent slow. I tend to play around my damage spikes and try to make plays after hitting them. If the enemy team rushed MR and you're behind, and therefore not really spiking, it's not the worst item. Again, it's one of those items where you're kind of putting faith in your team to carry since you're sacrificing damage for utility. Not my play style, but if you're in a 4 or 5 queue all the time, have great comms, and you got behind, it's not horrible.
- No Zhonya's Hourglass - I don't know... it's probably just worth it to spend the time to learn to use the item effectively. Anyway, what do you replace it with? Abyssal Mask? If you want to survive into mid game you need this item.
- Other Boots - Some mid laners really like their Ionian Boots of Lucidity, but CDR is not that useful when you burn energy so fast. I might grab Boots of Mobility if it's a 5v4 or I'm mememing. Sorc's shoes are the way to go, my friends.
- AD Items - I've seen some **** mid lane guys. Maw, Cleaver, BOTRK, Mallet, Gaunlet, Sterak's, Hydra, Ghostblade. It's all horrendous.
AS AKALI GREW IN STRENGTH THE LEAGUE GODS TOOK NOTICE, AND THEY SPOKE UNTO AKALI : "SHADOW NINJA, SHROUDED BEING, DOES YOUR MOVES OUR EYES DECEIVING?"
Pre-6 Early Game
Play like a total *****. You aren't strong until level 6, and you don't have your dope dash. Focus on dodging the enemy laner's abilities, and figure out how good he is at landing them. If you're playing against someone with a lot of poke or early game burst, just hug the turret. Stay in EXP range, if you miss minions it's not a big deal. You'll make them pay later.
How to Farm on Akali
Farm is important on Akali, but really only until you get Hextech Gunblade. After that, I prefer kills to farm, since getting kills will give your team pressure to clinch objectives. But anyway, onto how to farm...
If nothing is going on, just farm with your autos. Do not push the wave when the enemy laner is there, especially pre-6. This means don't just auto the creeps, auto them right before they die. Use your Q-AA combo to grab creeps you might miss. If your laner is stopping you from getting the cannon minion, toss your Twilight Shroud down and run up and Q-AA it. You can use your Crescent Slash to kill minions that are low, if they are going to get hit by the turret. Just don't spam it, it costs a lot of energy early and doesn't do that much damage.
Post-6 Early Game
As soon as you hit 6 and get a level in Shadow Dance the whole dynamic changes. If you're playing against a tough mid, you want to immediately go for picks bot once you get a Gunblade component. Just keep pressuring other lanes as much as you can. If you're lucky, the jungler or mid laner will make a mistake, like going up river alone, and you can punish them hard.
- Don't die, you really don't want to get behind during this time period. Play safe in lane.
- Only go for people you know you can kill. This usually does not include your laner, at least until you have Hextech Gunblade.
- With your early roaming, prioritize bot lane if it's pushed, then top lane if it's pushed, then the catching out the jungler if his buffs are up. In that order.
- You melt dragon as long as you got your jungler there, so if you get an opportunity (either mid or bot is gone) do it.
- You will do damage. If someone messes up and you're fighting them, for instance, with your jungler 2v1, don't be afraid to go hambone.
- Don't go in without 3 Shadow Dance stacks. This is important since you can usually kill people by using 2, but you may need a 3 if something unexpected happens.
Your mid game starts when you get Hextech Gunblade. If you aren't behind them yet, Akali beats most mid lane matchups at this time. The notable exceptions to this are Lee Sin, Malzahar, Pantheon, and Kayle, unless their abilities are down. In which case go ham. You want to prioritize objective control during this time. If drags about to come up, try to get a pick. If your top laner is a split pusher, try to get a kill top so that you can grab Rift Herald. This time involves a lot of cooperation with your jungler - if the jungler is a rando, you need to be a little bit safer than you normally would. Basically, kills are great, objectives are better, farm when you can, go for Zhonya's Hourglass components and Rabadon's Deathcap after it.
Mid Game Hints
- You are the most useful during this time. GET OBJECTIVES. Increase your lead. This actually involves teamwork. Dragons are really good, turrets are good too because they extend your mid game with all that dope global gold. Go for shutdowns too, if anyone on the enemy team is on fire.
- Don't be scared to dive people or catch them out as long as you know no one else is around. You are really strongerino.
- Secure kills for yourself. Your job is to blow people up really fast, so any split-second thought like "I should give this to our Jhin" can mess you up.
- Play like an absolute ***** if you don't have at least 2 Shadow Dance stacks up. This doesn't really change over the course of the game.
- If you're going to die to ignite or a burn, hit minions really fast, blow ult on them, everything. You have a good chunk of spellvamp at this point.
It gets tougher here. People are grouped more, and that really hurts you. Usually if the game is close, go Abyssal Mask last item, since it'll prevent you from getting burst down by any of their mages. If they are all AD, chose something else. You want to keep up dragon and baron control. Basically, if you kill someone or catch them out, do a baron, do a dragon, do a turret/inhib, whatever. You do not want the game to go on that long.
- End the game as soon as possible. You do not want it to go on that long, you will only get weaker after buying your final item.
- Don't die. This is really important. Play back until you think you can clean up, or peel for your ADC. You really shouldn't be diving people at this point.
- Time the enemy's ults if you can, especially ones with heavy amounts of CC like Orianna. Once they blow an ability, you have the advantage since at this point, you'll pretty much always have 3 Shadow Dance stacks.
- Your speed boost on your Twilight Shroud is filthy after you hit Level 18. Pop it down whenever you can to go for some dank oUtPlays.
- You don't have to secure every kill now. You actually need your ADC to pick up a lot of slack now in the damage department.
AS THE PANTHEON OF GODS SPOKE UNTO HER, AKALI ANSWERED : "I MARK MY TARGET, DETONATE, BUT ONLY I AND YORICK KNOW THEIR FATE"
The combos for Akali are relatively straightforward, with the caveat being that they must all be done extremely fast. While I don't like saying that playing Akali involves a lot of keymashing, playing Akali involves a lot of keymashing. However, just as any other champ, the keys must be mashed in the correct order.
This is the really bringing it back to the basics. You toss your Mark of the Assassin to an enemy, it travels to them and hits them. This marks them for EXACTLY 6 seconds. You then auto attack them, which detonates the mark and does ***loads of damage.
If you harass in the lane this is usually how you'll do it. Toss the Mark of the Assassin, then toss the Twilight Shroud between you and the enemy champion, use the movement speed boost from the shroud to make up the ground between you, and then detonate the mark with the auto. Start walking back towards the shroud and use Crescent Slash so it hits them right on the edge. Then you disappear into the mist, never to be seen again.
This is the basic combo. You toss the Mark of the Assassin, and let it hit the target. You then zoop over to them with Shadow Dance, let the AA detonate the mark, and there you go! You just half-healthed that Twisted Fate.
This is your highest damage combo. In practice, you almost never get to do it like this. If you're in a bush or your Twilight Shroud though, and the enemy champion is stupid enough to come near you, do it like this. Use your Q and Hextech Gunblade, then zap to them with your Shadow Dance while the Q is in the midair, cancel your auto with the Crescent Slash, and then once the mark hits detonate it with the AA. Once you do this combo, the rest is mostly just spamming your Q-R-AA.
Now we're getting fancy. Toss your Q and toss your shroud in the area between the enemy champion and you. Most likely they will start to back up. Sit in the shroud, and once your Mark of the Assassin comes up again, toss it to the enemy and shadow meme over to him. Detonate the first mark, and while you're waiting for the next one to land, Crescent Slash. Then detonate the next mark once it hits. If the enemy has flashed or run away while this is going on, do the same thing but toss in an extra Shadow Dance to make up the ground. This will one-shot most squishies once you have a few items. It also sounds easy but the part where you go in on them has to be accomplished in less than a second.
This is what I like to call the "Reality Combo". Since Mark of the Assassin is pretty short ranged, you usually have to first make up the ground using Shadow Dance. It's similar to the above combo, you just have to dash to the enemy first and then throw the Q out.
My favourite combo in the whole game. This completely takes people by surpirse - using Flash and Shadow Dance quickly together can make you cover a huge amount of ground. This, coupled with doing this under their tower with your huge amount of burst makes it basically the perfect combo for making people rage quit or meme on you in all chat.
A Quick Sidenote
I didn't put Ignite in any of the combos. Use it if you think you can kill the dude, otherwise don't.
How to Outplay Them - Tips and Tricks
AND AS SUCH, AKALI SHOWED HER KAMAS TO THE LEAGUE GODS, AND THEY LOOKED ON WITH AWE. THEN SHE DID A SICK DASH AND DODGED FIZZ ULT.
- Roam. Kills are nice, not only because it gives you gold, but because it allows you pressure to get objectives. If you get a kill bot, do dragon, If you get a kill top, push for turret. Whatever seems more appropriate at the time.
- Damage your laner if he damages you. You don't want to give up free poke. This means toss out your kamas, Twilight Shroud, and go AA him. Then give him that delicious Crescent Slash for the Thunderlord's proc.
- Use common sense. Usually suicide is bad. If nothing is warded and you don't see anyone on the map, usually pushing or doing objectives isn't the best idea.
- Have a general sense of how much damage you're gonna do. Your main damage spikes are at Level 6, after you get Hextech Gunblade, Level 11, and after you finish Rabadon's Deathcap. If the laner is ahead of you but you got to one of these spikes, you can probably kill him. If he is a whole item or several levels ahead of you, get your jungler to help or just go get kills in other places. You will blow up the ADC or a squishy support the whole game, its mainly about getting to them.
- A lot of mid laners have to get a magic regen item first. Once you have Hextech Gunblade and they buy Morellonomicon or something like that, you will usually do a lot more damage than them. If they have to go a regen item, push your dueling advantage. They have the advantage when it comes to poke or sustain now, so you really just want to wipe the floor with them quick.
Quirks of Akali
Akali has some wonderful interactions with her abilities, and you can use them to your advantage.
- Twilight Shroud reveals stuff in bushes. If you're turning a corner into a bush, pop the shroud if you don't have a ward.
- You can use Twilight Shroud to zone people away from dragons or chokepoints. Pop it down and then run into a bush or where they can't see you. If you're lucky, they'll blow skillshots or AOE abilities on the shroud itself, and you can have a hearty chuckle.
- I said this before, but your Shadow Dance queues up an auto attack on the target. This means that 1. You don't have to mash right mouse button when you dash in 2. You can use Hextech Gunblade while your AA is going off if you haven't used it yet.
- You end up on the opposite end of your opponent when you use Shadow Dance. There isn't much you can do yourself with this information, but enemies will sometimes burn abilities on nothing since you move so damn quick. I've seen quite a few Cassiopeia players burn ult on the wrong side of them. Another hearty chuckle.
- Shadow Dance has a strikethrough range. This means that the closer you are to an opponent, the further behind them you will end up. You can mess up a melee opponents targeting by dashing while you are very close to them, tossing down your Twilight Shroud before they can hit you, and then dashing again, all while blowing them up with beautiful mark procs.
- You can jump to enemy minions with Shadow Dance. If you're in a 1v1 in lane, you can use this fact to dodge skillshots and still end up near your opponent. Unfortunately, this also means you might accidentally jump to a minion in a fight, and no, it doesn't do AOE damage.
- Mark of the Assassin can be animation-cancelled, so you can make your Q-AA go off very quickly. Just make sure your AA timer has reset, since it DOES NOT AA CANCEL.
- Use your sex appeal to confuse and bewilder opponents. While you might not have a Charm, you do have some hot and spicy kamas.
How to Get Outplayed - Things Not To Do
BUT AS SHE WARPED AND WEAVED, SHE THREW HER KAMA AND HE JUMPED HIGH IN THE AIR, LANDING DOWN ATOP HER HEAD. THE GODS LOOKED ON, AND SPOKE : "****"
Unfortunately, just like any high-risk-high-reward champion, you can screw up. You'll occasionally die on Akali. To avoid this in the future, know that it's really all about knowing how to do everything right yourself so that you can just focus on what the enemy champion is doing.
- Don't die pre-6, and don't die 1v1 in lane. These will make you look like a real noob if they happen, which is literally the worst thing in the world ever. You can avoid this by saving your Twilight Shroud for defensive moments, not shoving your wave, and not going in on enemies when they have a massive wave of minions around them.
- Don't forget who you're ahead of and behind in a game. Don't smash the enemy Twisted Fate and then expect to get kills off of the 11-0-7 Tryndamere top.
- Don't roam without telling people you're roaming! Ping it a thousand times and tell them you're coming. Nothing more annoying than starting to roam down bot, which then apparently makes your bot laner start frantically pushing the lane.
- Don't kill yourself in dives unless it'll secure your team a turret or dragon. Objectives are key here. You really don't want to die for nothing.
- Don't take Blue Buff even if the jungler offers it. It's more useful on them, at least early on.
- Your Shadow Dance can be interrupted. This means be careful of champs with knockbacks (like Jayce), suppresses (like Malzahar), or snares (like Ryze). Don't dive these champs!!
- If a Lee Sin exists in the game, play a lot differently. Don't go places without your jungler, and do not ever push your wave without pressure or vision of the Lee Sin. He counters you extremely hard and you really just want to not die. If the Lee Sin ends up being terrible, just revert back to playing ye olde FUN Akali.
- Don't be a noob. This is more of a general rule, but you really don't want to be a noob. This means don't miss farm accidentally, don't constantly AA waves you don't want to push, don't dive into 1v3s, don't waste time farming jungle creeps, don't wander the enemy's jungle aimlessly looking for picks, don't not ward, don't dive tanks, don't allow your roaming to lose you objectives, and don't not communicate with people, especially your jungler. However, all this stuff can be worked on with other champions. If you mess up doing this kind of stuff, practice on champions that aren't burst assassins and are more forgiving, like Yorick.
Now Go Win!
AND AKALI DID SAY : "GODS ABOVE, NOW DON'T BE CRASS, FOR I HAVE ZHONYA'S HOURGLASS. I WILL SHADOW DANCE INTO THIS FISH, AND MAKE HIM INTO A TASTY DISH"
Congratulations, now you're an Akali master! As a closing note, Akali is a great carry champion, a wonderful burst assassin, with fast and fun gameplay, although it can be a bit one note a times. You have VERY clear weaknesses, but you make up for it by doing way too much damage constantly. I would go as far to say she is overpowered at low ELOs, since he core combos are not that difficult to pull off, and people won't punish you as hard for mistakes. They also tend to push and fight more, which is all the better for you since you can punish them in return. This was the champion that brought me from Gold V to Plat. Once people start picking up pink wards consistently and hitting skillshots, playing her will become more challenging. You'll have to use all your Akali knowledge to beat them. But don't worry, the sexy ninja is invincible! Now go wreck some scrubs!
Here are the basic points summed up for people who want to "dive" right in.
- Buy the core items I specified, in the order specified. Do not deviate, and don't buy anything that isn't on the list.
- Go the mastery page that I have and run the rune page I have unless you're against an AD opponent, then run Greater Seal of Armor.
- Farm up Pre-6 and learn to dodge skillshots. Hug the turret if need be.
- Try to avoid going back before 6. Once you're 6, start your reign of terror. Usually roam bot immediately, roam top is bot is pushed to their side.
- Go for objectives, if securing kills help you, do that. You delete squishies and most mages. You are required to buy Hextech Gunblade, it will help you do this.
- Objective importance in this order - Elder Drag > Baron > Inhibs > Infernal Drake > Towers > Other Drakes > Kills > Pink Wards > Scuttle > Rift Herald.
- Figure out who you can delete and who to avoid. Time champions' abilities that are heavy CC or invulnerabilities. Try to learn how your own abilities work, see "Combos" or "Tips and Tricks".
- Push to end the game earlier rather than later.
The Akali Rework
Akali got a rework! Now I was extremely hesitant before with what they were doing (worried they'd tone down her power), but I have to say I'm impressed. She feels less clunky now - just a smoother experience playing her. She has also got her skill ceiling and skill floor raised drastically. Her power levels may be (slightly) less, but the new W more than makes up for it.
|Her first attack heals her and scales with bonus AD. Her second attack deal extra magic damage and scales with AP if it occurs in the next 4 seconds. The whole shebang has damage and a cooldown (8 sec - 4 sec) which scales with level and maxes out at level 10. The main idea with this change is to shift her power from the ult damage to the damage off the passive. And woah nelly does it do damage. I was initially worried the passive was too weak, but number wise it's pretty good, and the cooldown maxes out while you're hitting midgame. Instead of just being able to heal over time, she heals in burst with autos. It also becomes essential to get the second hit off on champions - You can proc it on a minion and then use it, or just make sure to get two autos in a teamfight. That second hit does QUITE a lot of damage when you have some AP. She is now a bit similar to Diana in that regard. It also gives her another burst (with the Q) in order to last hit minions with. A+ change.|
|Unchanged! Which is good. Her main bursty-burst still lies with this.|
|Akali can blink to a target location a short range away (250, just enough to get over walls), and now leaves the shroud where she was. The duration is severely nerfed to compensate, now only lasting 4 seconds rank 1 and scaling with level. ALSO, I should mention that pink wards can no longer see in the shroud. I had severely underestimated how good this ability is now. And it is SOOOOOOOO ****ing good. The blink means you can completely dodge over enemy skillshots, but at the same time close distance with them. This will make some matchups ( Talon, Lee Sin, LeBlanc) much less annoying. It gives a good escape as well, since it brings you over short walls, and the range is just enough for you to stay on the edge of the shroud in case you want to continue fighting. I have to experiment more with it in order to talk about it, but this raises her skill floor and ceiling dramatically, and makes her wayyy more fun to play.|
|The cooldown is higher at higher levels and refunds 60% of cooldown if you kill an enemy. It does more damage now as well (QUITE a bit more in fact, a 40 dmg increase up to a 60 at max level). However, yet again, this is offset by the fact that it scales with bonus AD and AP instead of total AD. This ability is still unexciting, but does make her farming a lot better, especially early on or under tower. Just make sure you last hit with it, and it refunds a large chunk of the CD. With some CDR, you can just spam this to clear waves relatively early on.|
|They halved the damage from it, both in base and scaling. It also has a 2 second cooldown at all ranks, but it is reduced with CDR, meaning you can get it to 1.2 with 40%. It's sad that the dmg is reduced, but the damage is now put on her autos and some is given to her outplay abilities with W. Still the same ability we know and love, just a little floppier.|
Alright, I was wrong. The changes are good. She's smoother to play, harder to master, there's more stuff to do, more potential for outplay, and easier to farm with. I also like them in terms of her not being broken - she is definitely not broken. She's good - not nerf-worthy. Which is good, since I wouldn't want her to be nerfed into oblivion in the coming patches.
Also being completely honest, not sure what to build on her yet. Hextech first obviously, and then you have a bit more free reign. I've been trying Nashor's second, Nashor's after Zhonya's, Lich Bane last, etc. The basic jist is that CDR is now useful on her, autos are more important, and just early building of flat AP is less useful since she has no spell vamp.
A Note On Akali's Garbage Winrate
People just suck at her, honestly. Her playrate was around the 1% mark last season, and now it's up about 250%. She's really not bad - at the very least, she needs SLIGHT buffs to her ult and (maybe) passive scaling. She's very playable, it's just the rework, coupled with the fact she was by far the least played assassin last season means that people are trying to hop on the Akali bandwagon and just completely sucking ****.
- Added Taliyah matchup, upped Vlad's difficulty
- Changed that whole wall of text thing the Skill Sequence chapter had
- Grammar, spelling, etc.
- Meme density increased
- Removed info to enhance mystique
- Added info on cloth-4pot since that's the recommended build by Rito
- Added Yorick matchup info in case you accidentally step into an alternate reality where he's played
- 6.11 Patch Thoughts - Nothing that affects Akali directly and no changes to any items she uses. The Azir ultimate nerf will probably make him less disruptive for extended teamfights, but the annoying part of his kit is still there. The nerf to Ekko decreases his stun duration and increases his passive cooldown, both of which are decent nerfs but may not directly affect the interactions Akali has with him (his ultimate being his main tool). The Swain nerf decreased his healing from his ult, which was the main reason why he was difficult for Akali to duel him, so that's moderately spicy for you. Same with Ryze, the nerf on the ultimate cooldown makes it a lot more important for you to time when it's down (instead of just assuming it's always up). I'll update the matchups more as I play against them.
- Swapped Abyssal for Luden's in the build after realizing I never build it at all and it's set as last item :/ If you're behind late game or there's a Veigar or something you could build it. Definitely if you're doing well you want an item with more burst/stats
- Made reasoning to buy Luden's more incomprehensible
- Increased spelling errors
- Updated some matchups
- Added Jax matchup
- Added trinket memes
- 6.12 Patch Thoughts - As usual, no Akali changes. Pretty minor patch, nothing that stands out. With the E cooldown increase on Fizz he'll definitely be an easier matchup. What stands out to me on the item front is the cost increase on Rod of Ages and other Catalyst of Aeons items - this helps you a lot since you'd have to be extremely high to want to pick up Rod of Ages on Akali. Also, Bilgewater Cutlass got its combine cost decreased, which is nice for Long Sword start. I don't think it really changes anything though, Long Sword start is still situational for sure, especially with Hextech Revolver being so cheap.
- It's new matchups for ya bois Azir, Taliyah, and Vladimir.
- Added a new section in "Runes and Masteries" of what not to do.
- If you play this page backwards, you can now hear "I am Satan"
- 6.13 Patch Thoughts - Support changes, not too much important to see here. Swain got a cooldown nerf to his ult, but it should only make you only so slightly better against him. Vladimir on the other hand got a nerf to his AP->base health gain, which is pretty sweet. Anything to make you burst him down faster. I'll report in on the experience changes later, definitely will make everybody less snowbally. This is definitely a negative on the Akali gainz train, but it will affect everybody so it probably won't be too drastic.
- Added a new section, the extremely wordy "The Current State of Akali" for people who might like some League reading material.
- Patch 6.14 Thoughts - No Akali changes as per usual. Azir continues his downward spiral. The attack range nerf on Malzahar is actually huge and should make him less punishing to lane against. Taliyah continues to improve and is probably hidden OP right now, although I still think she's bad into the Akali matchup. Viktor having the cost nerf on his first item is terrible for him, and should be an even easier 1v1 after you have both backed and are both 6. It also nerfs his early waveclear, for that added bonus.
- Matchup changes for Karma and Taliyah.
- Wrote a rant on my least favourite champion, Olaf. Complete garbage. Anyone who plays him frequently should be ashamed.
- Big Ultra Massive HuGe Change - GA is in core build now. Definitely a better late game option now, especially in the current meta. Ludens is still good if you're extremely ahead, but I'd suggest in most cases go GA.
- New "Current State of Akali" section. He1l yeah!
- Expanded the Items section to address other build paths.
- Increased difficulty of Anivia, Cassiopeia, Kennen, Vladimir, and Zilean matchups.
- Lowered difficulty of Aurelion Sol, Azir, and Taliyah.
- Added my thoughts on the inc. rework.
- Added a Summoner Spell Section
- I will slowly be updating the guide - It'll be at least a couple weeks before I can get the whole guide and all the matchups set. However, I'll update the Rework section and stuff in the top section today for those who want to "jump in". The build will not be correct until I figure it out, but basically the main changes will most likely be Nashor's Tooth and Lich Bane can now be built.
- Just for my own sanity, the updated sections are Runes, Masteries, and Summoner Spells, the Akali Rework section, and the first part of the first section.
- The whole first section is correct, except for the matchups, which are mostly the same except for the assassins. That means NO ITEM CHANGES. The build is the same. From my own playing, the same build is the way to go. I was thinking earlier Lich or Nashor's might be viable since CDR and autos are more important (and they are definitely better than they were) but they just aren't better than the other items. I might add them to an "optional items" section later but I need more testing. My reasoning is the items that build into them are horrible for Akali (Stinger???), they are too expensive for what they give you, they don't fit well in the build order,
- I did add Negatron Cloak to the build order. This isn't a change, just more for clarification - if you're against an AP assassin, don't be a potato, be a Nega-potato.
- Updated the item section in the main body of the guide, mainly to include Cloth Armor and remove Corrupting Potion. Also updated the max order and skill order sequence to make sure you take your AWESOME W early.
- The sections that need updating are the matchups, combos, the tips & tricks, and the how not to get outplayed sections. They are mostly all correct, but I just need to go through them.
- H3LL yeah Akali buffs. The buffs are good, the +0.15 AP ratio on the passive all around is really nice, +0.1 to the ratio on the E is aight. Basically just reiterates what I've been saying, the build will be the same - Hextech and then straight into AP items. The W buff is scary good though - in lane Akali doesn't tend to run out of energy that fast, but in teamfights she definitely can, especially when taking down tankier opponents. A 20 flat energy reduction at all levels is really quuuuuuuuuuuuuite good. I already thought she was good after the changes, but everyone else thought she sucked, so now she's gonna be gud.
Hey maybe the champ isn't the thing that was bad...
- Updated matchups! Yay! Most aren't different, I tried to highlight the ones that are though.
- I promise I'll update the abilities list soon GIVE ME SOME TIME MAN I'M BUSY