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League of Legends Build Guide Author NinjaSprite

Akali - As Balance Dictates (AP/Hybrid)

NinjaSprite Last updated on April 9, 2011
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Top Lane
Ranked #10 in
Top Lane
Win 51%
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 0

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Hey guys, and thanks for reading my guide on Akali, The Fist of Shadow.

I love playing Akali for her manoeuvrability, her nuking ability, and her downright awesomeness!
I play Akali because I always seem to be good at anyone with a dash ability (who doesn't like jumping on someone from the brush?) and because she is't your typical assassin, who jumps into a team fight and, well, dies.
I think Akali is good because she has more survivability than most assassins, and functions extremely well as a nuke who can almost spam her abilities.
I choose to build Akali as an AP/Hybrid character, rather than AD, because the nuking potential of all her skills is wasted with an AD build. It's also much more fun IMO to use skills to deal damage, rather than getting into a fight with Shadow Dance and going, "Oh look, now all I have to do is right-click and wait."

Also, this is my first guide, so please bear with me.

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Pros / Cons

Here I will explain some of the pros and cons of playing as akali.

  • Great nuking ability
  • Excellent manoeuvrability
  • Has, for all intents and purposes, a portable bush
  • Can chase down nearly anyone
  • Excellent harasser

  • Can be taken down by CC heavy teams
  • Can sometimes be killed by fed 1v1 DPSers

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Alright, now to explain my Rune choices.

  • So, the reason I chose Armor Penetration Marks in an AP build is because of that wonderful skill called Mark of the Assassin. It does magic damage, sure, but when you hit your target with a normal attack after that, it deals the magic damage again, along with your normal attack damage. At level 18, 203 attack damage + 297 magic damage = a whopping 500 damage off one physical attack! The armor penetration lets you almost completely bypass any armor they have (since they should be scared of you and stack magic resistance) and deal almost the full AD part of the skill.

  • The reason for taking Seals of Resilience is so that after initiating a fight with Shadow Dance you can then take whatever damage they are able to deal before you throw down Twilight Shroud. It especially helps early game, with taking away some of that annoying minion damage.

  • I take Glyphs of Focus so I can harass to my hearts content in the farming stage of the game. Your energy system means you don't have to worry about trifling things like being out of mana, etc. Just spam those skills to keep them away from you!

  • And, finally, I'll tell you why I take Quintessences of Potency. I take them because, as AP-oriented as this build is, you don't get decent AP for a surprising amount of time. These Quints let you be ahead in the early stages of the game, and can every net you a few kills with the extra damage.

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Okay, time for the task of explaining item choices.

  1. To kick the match off I grab a Long Sword to activate half of Akali's passive, Twin Disciplines. This gives all her spells spell vamp, and is incredibly handy while laning. I also get a health potion, just in case something goes wrong and I need to heal.

  2. As my first real item I get a Phage. It's passive is very good for ganking early game, and provides you with a bit more survivability and damage. You should never be going back to base before you can afford this.

  3. Now, for my second item I take some boots, but what boots is really up to you. I normally take Sorcerer's Shoes, but other viable options are Ionian Boots of Lucidity, allowing you to almost spam your abilities, or Boots of Swiftness, if you're finding their team too fast even for your chasing abilities.

  4. My third item is always Rylai's Crystal Sceptre. It may take a while until you can afford it, but once you get it, people die. The passive is just so good for Akali's chasing ability, with a slow every time you hit somebody. It also provides you with a ton of health and ability power, making you have a very strong early/mid game.

  5. For my fourth item, I grab a Trinity Force. The reason I take such an expensive item after just getting Rylai's is because getting Rylai's usually allows me to become reasonably fed. I take it because it gives Movement Speed, Attack Speed, Attack Damage, Ability Power and Health, although not in great quantities. The real reason this item is good is because of it's passive. "On casting one of your abilities, increases your base Attack Damage by 150 precent for one attack. When using Mark of the Assassin, this really shows, making the normal attack deal a ton more than most people expect.

  6. Fifth, I take a Guinsoo's Rageblade, as it allows you to combo your abilities very effectively, and get stronger as a fight progresses. This is what allows you to take down whole teams, with a bit of help from the rest of your team of course.

  7. A Hextech Gunblade is my sixth choice, as it gives you Spell Vamp, Ability Power, Attack Damage and Lifesteal, everything you need to be a super-nuking, well-rounded Akali. It gives you a ton more survivability, as you should deal huge damage by now, and therefore heal alot.

  8. And, finally, the last item: Rabadon's Deathcap. I've never had to get this item before, as the games have finished, but this should maximize your nuking damage.

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Skill Sequence

Now I will explain the order you should use your skills in when: A) Initiating, B) Fighting in a team fight, and C) Getting ganked.

A) When you initiate a fight the skill order should always be the same. Shadow Dance -> Mark of the Assassin -> Auto Attack -> Crescent Slash -> Exhaust -> Mark of the Assassin and Auto Attacks until they die.

B) Fighting in a team fight the order of the skills can change, but generally I use these. Shadow Dance -> Twilight Shroud -> Crescent Slash -> Mark of the Assassin and Auto Attacks just to pick off low HP people from now on.

C) When you get ganked, your skills can also be turned to escape effectively. Exhaust the main threat -> Shadow Dance to a nearby minion to get away -> Throw down Twilight Shroud and Flash over a nearby wall to get away.

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Summoner Spells

Summoner Spells: What to take, what not to take and why.

I always take Exhaust because of the help it gives when attacking and escaping. There are countless times where a kill would have got away if it hadn't been for this handy spell, and a few when it has saved me from someone like Nocturne.

This is also a very handy spell, as it enables you to jump walls to backdoor, gank or escape. A few games ago we were losing, and I flashed over their walls and took out their Nexus just before they killed ours. Their outrage was very amusing.

This is also a viable choice for a summoner spell, as it can let you chase down somebody who might otherwise be just too quick for you. This rarely happens to me, though, and that is why I prefer Flash.

You shouldn't be in such desperate need to use something like heal, and other spells have so much more synergy with Akali's skills.

I don't think anyone takes this spell seriously, as it's just so, well, useless!

This is good for Junglers, but as we're not jungling, it's virtually useless.

Could be handy, but you can move around the map fast enough anway. If you really need it, you can have it, but I'd advise against it.

This is a resonably good choice for Akali, as it can let her get out of some very tight spots against CC heavy teams, but I've never been in a situation where I couldn't have gotten away with it. Normally my skills will suffice.

This does not benefit you in any way, and as such should not be taken.

No mana + Clarity = Epic fail!

Can be useful to stop someone getting away on, say, 75 health, but your abilities are so geared towards chasing it's not worth taking.

A useless spell for Akali, as you move around too much for it to be effective.

Lets you spot incoming ganks, so what? That's why you buy wards, and wards don't take up a spell slot.

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Champion Spotlight

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So, that was my guide to Akali, The Fist of Shadow. I hope you liked it, and please, PLEASE, comment and try it out before voting.

I'd also like to say thanks to DEWO for inspiring me to make this guide, and to everyone who has read it! Thanks,
NinjaSprite out.