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Akali Build Guide by Larrathos

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Larrathos

Akali by Larrathos

Larrathos Last updated on June 19, 2012
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Larrathos's Build


Other Builds

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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Hi, my name is Larrathos, this is my first guide on Mobafire (or anywhere for that matter) I have been using guides here for several months now and figured I should give back to this community by making one of my own. Though I do not claim to be anywhere near a professional at league of Ledgens Akali is my most played champion and I feel I have had enough practice with her to make a guide of my own that has something valuable to say. After playing several games a week, sometimes several a day, with Akali you get a few people who try to tell you how you should build her differently and why they think their way is better. I have had quite a few lengthy discussions and have tried just about every way to build her I have been told about in the sake of giving everyone's input a fair shot in my eyes, but in the end I still feel that the way I build Akali is, in my opinion, the best way. I will try to explain this as best as I can using logic and math to compare how much magic and physical damage each build, as well as mow much life is gained from different sources.
Also if some of my coding is bad please bare with me I have not done this before I will try to fix my mistakes as I notice them.

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Pros and Cons

  • Enormous amount of burst damage from level six and on
  • Excellent escaping ability
  • Snowballs quickly if you're doing well
  • Oracle's Elixir does not hinder her as much as other stealth champs like Shaco or Twitch
spacespace Cons
  • Very weak before level six
  • Not as easy to farm as many other champions
  • If team fights are not set up right it can be tricky to join and you may end up being useless until an opportunity presents itself

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As with any champion masteries can be changed based on preference Akali is no exception. This being said there is one rule you should follow when choosing your masteries for Akali, and that is you always want to start your games with at least 10 attack damage (9.6 rounds up to 10 in my case) and 20 ability power from both your runes and your masteries. This is needed in order to proc both parts of Akali's passive Twin Disciplines. Though I highly recommend you get both the 10 AD and the 20 AP, if you have to choose between starting with 20 ability power or 10 attack damage, choose starting with the 10 AD, I say this because you will get plenty of AP from the build, and if you don't have the 10 AD you will have to start with a Doran's Blade instead of Boots of Speed and Health Potionx3 and you will not be able to sell it until you buy another attack damage item, which I don't for quite some time.

I wont go over every mastery and why I pick it because it is fairly straight forward for Akali, I will how ever go over the areas where other people choose differently and explain why I choose what I choose.

Summoner's Wrath : A lot of players will drop one point from Mental Force in order to pick up Summoner's Wrath , this is actually a perfectly viable thing to do, if you choose to do this just make sure you know what you're actually gaining. A lot of people will say that Summoner's Wrath is awesome because it gives you 5 AD and 5 AP for free. This is wrong, it gives you 5 AD&AP at the cost of your Ignite being on cooldown. So you should ask yourself, "When is my Ignite on cooldown and would having an additional 5 AD & AP be helpful during this time?" Ignite is a spell you should only use to secure a kill that you could not get otherwise, and it will usually be used to finish off a fleeing opponent, so you only really gain the additional AD and AP after your opponent has been killed. If you still think that it's worth it by all means take it, just make sure you understand when you actually benefit from it

Havoc : Sometimes people like to toss an extra point or two into this mastery, but the damage you actually is rather insignificant, even if you max it out and get the full 1.5% it's still only 1.5%, that means for every 1,0000 damage you would deal, you would deal an additional 15 damage, in my opinion not worth 3 mastery points.

As far as the masteries on the left half of the offensive tree go, Riot clearly wanted Akali to be a hybrid champion, but the fact is she just isn't. Akali benefits far more Ability power than she does attack damage, so I believe that spending points in these masteries could be better spent else where.

I choose to spend my remaining 9 points into the defensive tree for two reasons, the first being that Akali is very weak pre level six and having a little bit more survivability helps with this. The second reason being that even though Akali is very good at avoiding damage and escaping fights, she still needs to jump into melee range, and it's impossible to do this without taking some damage, especially later in the game when people start grouping up more and more.

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Runes work very similar to masteries in that they are mostly about preference as long as you follow one rule for Akali, that rule being that you should start every game with 10 attack damage and 20 ability power.

I use Greater Mark of Attack Damagex7 because this is the bare minimum you need to start you games with 10 AD and fill the remaining two slots with Greater Mark of Magic Penetrationx2 because most of the damage Akali does is magic damage.

I use Greater Seal of Vitalityx9 because I like the extra health and Akali doesn't have a lot of options when it comes to seals, I suppose you could run Greater Seal of Armorx9 instead but either way you're gaining durability.

As far as glyphs go, Greater Glyph of Ability Powerx9 would also be an excellent choice, giving you a bit more power during the early game when you're weak. I run Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Powerx9 because I already have enough AP to activate Twin Disciplines and they pack a bigger punch during the late game.

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Summoner Spells

Most efficient Summoner Spells
  • Ignite is the perfect solution to those situations where the enemy champion gets with just barley any health. I will also sometimes use it during a fight if I know my opponent will be receiving healing soon, you should always check to see which opponents take Heal using Ignite and the right moment to dampen the life they gain can make the difference between a kill and a death. SPACESPCESPACESPCESPACESPCESPACESPCESPACESPCESPACESPCESPACESPCESPACESPCE
  • Flash is probably the best summoner spell for Akali and I can't imagine playing a game without it. I usually use to save my ***, though it can be used to secure a kill on someone who is just out of reach of your Shadow Dance. In combination with using Shadow Dance on enemy minions Flash can help you cover an insane amount of distance. It can also be used to escape or chase someone over a wall or it can be used to jump from your Twilight Shroud to a nearby bush leaving enemies confused when your Twilight Shroud fades and you're missing.
Other choices
Though I don't usually use any other summoner spells I will mention a few and what I think about using them with Akali
  • Teleport is a great spell, it can be used to get kills you wouldn't otherwise be able to get and if you use it well and the opportunities present themselves it might even beat Ignite in terms of the number of kills it helps you get, but you would have to know what you're doing and the opportunities need to present themselves, it can also be used to stop the enemy team from pushing a tower, or just to stop that obnoxious backdoor.SPACESPCESPACESPCESPACESPCESPACESPCESPACESPCESPACESPCESPACESPCESPACESPCE
  • Ghost isn't a bad summoner spell but I believe that Flash greatly outweighs it in terms of usefulness. SPACESPCESPACESPCESPACESPCESPACESPCESPACESPCESPACESPCESPACESPCESPACESPCE
  • Surge isn't a bad spell either and I could easily see taking it if you're too low level for Flash or Ignite, but I believe Ignite will help you get more kills in the long run. SPACESPCESPACESPCESPACESPCESPACESPCESPACESPCESPACESPCESPACESPCESPACESPCE
  • Exhaust: No, just no, some people like it, I do not. If an opponent is in range of Exhaust they should also be in range of Flash+ Shadow Dance and Flash has far more uses, and you get a slow from Rylai's Crystal Scepter that should be enough to stop an enemy from getting away from you. I could see this being a great spell for a lot of other champions but not Akali.

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Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

This the main source of Akali's damage as well as her best farming tool, though it can pack a punch early on if you mange to get off the auto attack needed to consume the mark to deal the extra damage, this is difficult when you don't have a distance closer and you will usually take a lot of damage if you try especially in a 2v2 lane, but if you see an opportunity to hit them go ahead you can always toss a Twilight Shroud after, just be careful. But for the most part you will be using it to harass and to get killing blows on minions, it has a very short cooldown and only costs energy so feel free to use it all you want.

Though its damage isn't that great it can still be used to finish off minions, or if you have lost a bit of health position yourself so it will hit a few minions and let your spell vamp heal you up a bit. I usually hit it right after I Shadow Dance for that extra bit of damage, but be careful about spamming it in a fight that might last a while, Mark of the Assassin will return energy used, but Crescent Slash will not and Mark of the Assassin will do far more damage to a single target.

Twilight Shroud has a long list of uses and is Akali's most well known spell, it can be used to hide from an opponent you can't beat to slow down the enemy team while yours flee to safety, it used in the right places and in combination with Flash can make for some phenomenal jukes that will leave the enemy checking all the wrong places while you just walk away, it can also be used to force the enemy to focus someone else while you wait a few seconds for your spell to get off cooldown. Even though it has many uses try not to use it if you don't have to, it does have a high energy cost and can leave you lacking the energy needed for finish off an opponent. When you use Twilight Shroud to escape, try to place it in an area where there is more than one path you can take, a fork in the road if you will, that way the enemy will not know which path you chose to take and will be forced to pick one, once they do, you pick the other, if they don't pick and choose to wait instead you can just pick one, you'll still probably get away.

although Twilight Shroud is Akali's most well know spell Shadow Dance is what really give her the power to kill before enemies have time to react. it is one of the distance closers in this game. When using this spell offensively toss out a Mark of the Assassin before using it and make sure the Mark of the Assassin makes it to your target before you do that way your first auto attack will consume the mark for the extra damage, it it's possible try to toss your first mark and then wait for Mark of the Assassin to come off cooldown before using Shadow Dance and the once your auto attack consumes your first Mark of the Assassin toss the next by the next time you auto attack you will have done the damage of four Mark of the Assassins one shadow dance and one Crescent Slash and you still have two charges left on Shadow Dance. In some situations it can be used to save an ally even if you can't kill the opponent. As an example let's say Dr. Mundo is chasing an ally who has less than 25% health remaining, Dr. Mundo will most likely have too much health and health regen for you to kill him, but you can save your ally by using Shadow Dance to jump in, your Rylai's Crystal Scepter will slow him, then drop a Twilight Shroud to escape and for an additional slow and you're free. Don't forget that Shadow Dance can be used defensively as well. Let's say you chased an enemy past the minions and now their allies have shown up to help or to punish you for killing an ally of their's. just turn around and run until you're in rage of the minions and Shadow Dance your way to safety by jumping on an enemy minion, Shadow Dance can also be used on monsters in the jungle as a way to gain some distance on an enemy.

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Starting Items
If you have the the 20 ability power and 10 attack damage from your runes and masteries this is how you should start your games, if you don't, get a Doran's Blade. I never start my matches any other way, Boots of Speed give you mobility to help you run it and out quickly to get last hits on minions either with melee attacks or Mark of the Assassin.
core items
these are the two items nearly every Akali build starts with it sometimes deviates from here but this is how it usually starts Mercury's Treads generally considered the best boots for Akali, I could see maybe getting sorcerers shoes for the magic pen, most people go [mercury's treads] because cc shuts Akali down hard so getting out of a cc a little bit sooner can easily make the difference between life and death. As far as the order goes I usually grab Hextech Revolver before finishing my Mercury's Treads.

Third item and beyond
This is where I start to see builds differ, I will first explain my build and why I build it using logic and a bit of math. After that I will show a few of the builds that I have been told to use instead and compare them using the same techniques. When explaining I will only use my build up to Rabadon's Deathcap because this is usually how far I get in a typical game, as such I will try to keep the other builds to a similar cost to keep comparisons fair. Even though I will not show boots and the Hextech Revolver in the builds their cost is factored in. the stats used in these builds include my masteries and my runes at level 18. Also please note that the stats Mobafire shows at the top are not accurate, you can do the math yourself and check my numbers.

Larrathos's build
Stats at level 18:
  • Attack Damage=120
  • Ability Power=497
  • Movement speed=421
  • Armor=86
  • Magic Resist=110
  • Spell vamp=20%
  • Bonus magic Damage from Twin Disciplines=86%
  • total cost=12,580g

In an ideal situation, you would use Mark of the Assassin wait for it to be off cooldown again then use Shadow Dance followed by Crescent Slash then once the first Mark of the Assassin has been consumed toss another and consume it. During this time you usually get off 3-4 melee attack and Lich Bane can proc twice.

So you have Mark of the Assassinx4 Crescent Slashx1 Shadow Dancex1 well say 4 melee attacks which deal an additional 86%and Lich Bane passive proc x2 so from this you get

Damage from: Life Gain:
  • life gained through spell vamp=418.96
  • life gained through life steal=0
  • total life gained=418.96

Another common build

Stats at level 18:
  • Attack Damage=190
  • Ability Power=214
  • Movement speed=431
  • Armor=86
  • Magic Resist=80
  • Spell vamp=40%
  • Bonus magic Damage from Twin Disciplines=40%
  • total cost=12,000

Please note that Trinity Force only does extra damage equal to 150% of you BASE damage, not you total attack damage, for Akali this is 111. Assuming you use the same rotation as before and that the attack speed boost from Trinity Force gives you an additional melee attack you get.

Damage from: Life Gained:
  • life gained through spell vamp=634.96
  • life gained through life steal=225.15
  • total life gained=860

As you can see this build deals over 500 less damage per rotation for the same cost. granted it does gain a few hundred more life and you have 250 more health so you could argue that it's an even trade and by no means am I trying to put down this build, in fact I still build this every now and then if the entire enemy team is tanky, but a lot of people will try to argue that this build does more damage than the one I use and I was hoping to put that to rest, at least for those who read this guide. Also the damage is split pretty evenly between magical and physical so any armor pen or magic pen gained isn't quite as effective as gaining magic pen in the first build.

I hope to go over other common builds I have seen while playing but for now this is all the math and coding I can handle doing.

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This guide is not complete I will eventually do the math for a few other builds I have seen. I also plan to add sections on the different phases of the game laning, ganking, and pushing, as well as sections for each lane situation solo mid, solo top 1v1, solo top 1v2, duo top 2v1 duo top 2v2 and duo bottom 2v2. As I said before this is my first guide and I am new to coding so I will try to come back and add pictures and diagrams and make this guide look nicer.
I owe thanks to a few people namely jhoijhoi for his "Making A Guide" guide it was a huge help. also a thanks to all the top Akali guides on Mobafire for showing my alternate builds, and to anyone who has talked to me in game about Akali.