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Akali Build Guide by Crystalize2

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Crystalize2

Akali - Dibs on mid.

Crystalize2 Last updated on November 27, 2011
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Top Lane
Ranked #10 in
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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.



Offense: 29

Honor Guard

Defense: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 1

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Oh hello. My name is Crystalize, and today I'm going to show you how I build and play my first main champion, Akali.

As a warning, this is my first guide. Please don't expect strategies used in high ELO ranked matches.

From the first game I played Akali I knew she was going to be my first mained champion. Her burst is second to none, and she has quite a few tricks to get away.

Shes often banned in ranked/draft (Again, if this changes in higher ELO, feel free to call me a noob since I haven't experienced it.) so I don't get to play her in anything other than blind pick, but I only play her solo mid. Sure she is a great solo top 1v2'er, but it's not really my playstyle. I've found that her mid is definitely stronger, leaving solo top open for a champ like Singed/ Garen/etc.

To most of my friends, my build is a bit unorthodox compared to most Akali players, however, it's always worked for me.

And please, feel free to vote and leave some feedback in the comments. I'd love to hear anyone who has input, questions or even hear from people who try it and have success. :D

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Pros / Cons


Insanely high burst damage.
Twilight Shroud + Shadow Dance makes it easy to juke enemies.
Amazing snowball.
Easy to last hit minions.
Is a flippin' ninja.


No crowd control.
Extremely squishy
Often public enemy #1 (Enemy's focus target)
Players buying Oracle's Elixir or Vision Wards make Twilight Shroud useless.

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Summoner Spells

Optimal summoners

Ignite is a great summoner spell for obtaining First Blood, as well as the self explanatory damage and healing debuff later in the game. The extra gold acquired from first blood will also help build Hextech Revolver faster. Building it early will sustain mid for


Flash is a universal summoner spell that can be used effectively on nearly every champion. I've heard a lot of Akali players claim Flash is unnecessary because she already has a gap closer( Shadow Dance). DO NOT LISTEN TO THEM. Often times Shadow Dance will not be enough. Not only does the combination of Flash + Shadow Dance equal amazing range, but Flash is a life saver. Flashing over a wall can save your life if you're caught in a bad spot and find the entire enemy team. It's also very useful for initiating ganks, juking, securing kills under turrets, and many more thinks we'll be talking about in the "Tricks" section.

Alternative Summoners

Exhaust is a common alternative for Flash. If you feel Shadow Dance is a adequate gap closer, you may wish to try Exhaust. Offensive uses include chasing down a running target, while defensive uses include lowering an enemy's damage output, and movement speed just long enough to get away.

Ghost, again, is an alternative for Flash. A lot of Flash Vs. Ghost arguments come down to preference. Combined with Shadow Dance you will be able to stay on a running target, while avoiding those evil minions and their demonic collision.

Teleport can be very useful for entering a teamfight from afar. Porting to friendly wards in TOP/BOT lane bushes can also make for an amazing surprise gank. I would only use this in premades where you know your teammates are reliable.

There is honestly no other spell worth using on Akali.

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Akali runes are fairly interesting. Her passives Twin Disciplines can be activated with no items at level 1 using runes, which is a huge boost to your early game, and makes solo mid very strong.
Greater Mark of Attack Damage. 9 of these bad boys will put you at a bonus of +8.5 Physical damage.

Greater Seal of Health. Purely for survivability early game.

Greater Seal of Armor Again, increased survivability. Can easily be exchanged to use pure Health seals, since you're more likely to see an AP solo mid than AD.

Greater Glyph of Ability Power 9 of these will grant you +8.9. Matched with:

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power will bring you up to a total of +24 bonus AP.

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In time I will go over my mastery setup with a more in-depth explanation if people want it. However with the latest changes to the S2 masteries they are all very straight forward. Increased damage here, increased AP there. A few that I will go over now, however are:
Butcher . I pick up one point for last hitting purposes only. It's not a big increase by any means, but everything helps. If you wish to place this point elsewhere, an alternative would be either Good Hands , Hardiness or Resistance based on your preference.

Demolitionist . I've contemplated and tested this single point a few times, and I don't see it being as useful for Akali as it would be on a backdoor/AD+AS champion such as Master Yi, Xin Zhao or even Vayne. However every champion hits towers. This can be taken instead of the 1 point in Butcher .

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Mark of the Assassin[Q] This is your bread, but not the butter. After the latest Akali nerf, the projectile damage (as well as overall damage) was dropped a bit. This used to be an amazing ranged harass, making Akali mid nearly unstoppable. While that is no longer the case, it is still your number 1 source of damage.

Twilight Shroud [W] This will save your life. With the bonus MR and Armor, you should be using this to reduce as much unavoidable incoming damage as possible. This includes Karthus's Requiem, Caitlyn's Ace in the Hole and so on. It's also a key element to harassing without being harassed back. We'll go over many uses for this under the "Tricks" section of this guide.

Crescent Slash [E] This is a great farming tool. With a full build late game you can obliterate an entire minion wave. It's also great for last hits early game in mid on multiple low health minions.

Shadow Dance [R] This is the butter, that will go with your tasty bread. A gap closing, high AP damage ultimate with virtually no cooldown. Theres not much else to say about this badass ability. Lets go over rotation, shall we?


> > > > Auto Attack > > > > Auto Attack
This is my basic super-burst combo. Mark a target to start, then hesitate until it's back up. If you have a Gunblade, fire it off while your mark CD is at 1 second left. otherwise, mark the target a second time and immediately Shadow Dance to that target, into an auto attack. You have just unleashed 2 Mark of the Assassin procs, a Shadow Dash, and possibly a gunblade. Seems like enough to kill a Dr. Mundo with 5 Warmog's Armor, right? Yes! It is! but we want more damage. So we're gonna throw in a Crescent Slash for good measure, the damage from it is a nice kick, and can also AoE some unlucky bystanders during teamfights. After our [E] we go into the basic start of the combo, only this time you won't have enough time to hesitate for a double Assassin's mark. So 1 will be plenty. Shadow Dance to your target again. Even if they aren't running in fear, the damage output will finish them off when along side your final auto attack to proc your mark.
I would also like to add that in any team fight, you will want to lay down a Twilight Shroud to cover as much of the enemy team as possible.
  • Reason A: The AoE slow it will provide. Everything counts.
  • Reason B: You will be harder to focus during teamfights. Learn to slow down your combo to dodge in and out of Twilight Shroud as much as possible.

For 1v1 fights this can turn a losing battle into your favor. Your enemies cannot hit what they cannot see. If you are dipping low, throw down your Shroud in order to stop your opponents damage (unless they have high AoE). From here you're free to give them a quick [Q]>[R]>AutoAttack>[E] to the face before they know whats going on. This can easily be just enough to turn this 1v1 around and make them run, giving you the advantage to go full offensive.

*Keep in mind, as with every other stealth or invisibility, enemies can still hit you with skillshots as well as AoE. Stand on the outer edges of Twilight Shroud can help avoid these skillshots, as most enemies will fire blindly into the center.*

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Starting Items

For this portion of the guide, we are going to assume you have both halves of Twin Disciplines active with runes.
Boots+3 Health pots are very standard for a lot of champions, Akali is no exception. Health pots will help you sustain early harassment before your lifesteal kicks in to gear. Boots will help overall mobility in lane, which effectively increases harass with Mark of the Assassin, last hitting minions, and dodging skillshots.

Hextech Revolver should be the next item you buy. If you happen to die, or absolutely must back, you have buy 1 if not both of the Amplifying Tomes then. Otherwise stay in lane until you can afford it. This is where First Blood comes in handy. When you get your Revolver, your lane-sustain increases drastically.


This is very dependent on your enemy team. I normally always go with Sorc shoes, but if they have a very AP and CC heavy team, Merc treads are your best friend. As Akali you will be high on the enemy team's priority list.


Rabadon's Deathcap. I know what you're thinking. Why not a Rylai's first? and if not Rylai's, why Rabadabadon's? Simple. If you can rush a Rabadon's quick enough, the damage output will be insane so early. Even if you don't rush it as early as you would like, the overall damage output from this item alone is enough to make people run in fear.*When purchasing this item, priority is: Needlessly Large Rod > Blasting Wand*

Rylai's Crystal Scepter. Your third fully built item. The health on this item is a substantial increase in survivability with it's 500HP. The 80AP isn't overlooked either. That is a good chunk, and is amplified by your pre-purchased Rabadon's. Last but not least is the unique effect. 35% slow on all of your abilities is great. It makes keeping your target in range of Shadow Dance even easier. There's no way they're getting away solo. *When purchasing this item, priority is: Giant's Belt > Blasting Wand*

Lich Bane. An amazing item, not only for the 80AP, 30MR and 7 Movement speed, but the on-hit is absolutely godlike when combined with Mark of the Assassin's proc. I didn't feel the need to add this in the rotation, since any ability will proc the effect. Remember earlier when I said "You have just unleashed 2 Mark of the Assassin procs, a Shadow Dash, and possibly a gunblade."? Well now your auto attack will proc 100% of your ability power with it. Akali's burst just jumped to godlike status, and we're not even done!*When purchasing this item, priority is: Sheen > Blasting Wand*

Final Items

Bilgewater Cutlass. Since you already rushed your Hextech Revolver, this pretty little number is your stepping stone to your Gunblade. At 35AD and 15% lifesteal, this is a pretty nice secondary item, but as we mentioned.Stepping stone.Buy this to hold you over until you can afford your Gunblade. Don't forget to replace the "Gunblade" in our rotation sequence with this use effect. Every bit counts, 150 damage is a nice little extra damage, as well as tacking on a 50% slow.

Hextech Gunblade. Awwwwwyeahhhh. Gunblade time. A lot of people ask me why I don't rush this. With 70AP, 40AD, 15% Lifesteal AND a passive 20% Spell Vamp, this item was practically built for Akali. It is a great item for a hybrid Akali, no doubt. But I've honestly had a much better time using the build in sequence now. I've tried rushing a Gunblade, and I don't find it to be as strong. I fit it into my build very nicely as a late game item. *MAKE SURE TO USE THE ACTIVE EFFECT AS LISTED IN OUR ROTATION* It is easy to forget about things like the Gunblade Active effect when you're in the heat of a battle. But it does eventually become second nature to add it into your rotation.

Void Staff: This is the final item for this build. Again, 70AP is great, but we're looking at the 40% Magic Pen. This is a must for any team who are on to your dirty tricks, and stack Magic Resist. Your overall damage on targets without MR items will also go up from Magic Pen alone, cutting through base MR, or MR runes.

Alternative Items


Zhonya's Hourglass. This item can be a preference based, universal choice for any AP champion. With the slight survivability from the 50 Armor bonus, matched with 100 AP, the stats alone are nice, but what makes this item shine is the Active effect. A 2 second invulnerability is amazing, and quite annoying for the other team focusing you. Think of it as a 2 second CC for any AD carry, or single target enemy attacking you. *Note: This is only considered a ghetto CC, if the enemies do not switch off you during the 2 seconds you are invulnerable.*

Deathfire Grasp. I know what you're thinking. Bro are you trolling? Well yes, infact I am, and if you buy this on Akali, you too can troll. The only wasted stat is the MP/5. At a medium 60AP, and a 15% CDR, Deathfire isn't all that impressive. What is impressive however, is using the Active effect before you unload your full rotation. I'm not going to go into too much detail with this item, as it's pretty self-explanatory. If you feel the need to be a stressed out middle aged man, and make the enemy Teemo your red-headed stepchild who is too afraid for his life to call Child Protective Services..this is the item for you. Stay trolly my friends.

Guinsoo's Rageblade. I personally don't have a lot of insight on this item. I never buy it. With a minimal 35AD and 45AP, I find this item pretty unappealing. Akali isn't an auto-attack ***** either. Stacking your Rageblade would only come in handy for killing turrets/inhibs faster. But you should leave that to your Master Yi


Force of Nature and Thornmail are pretty self explanatory. Force of Nature for a heavy AP enemy team, and a Thornmail for a heavy AD team. Not much more to it.

Banshee's Veil. This item is the most common cause of Karthus ragequits, with the other cause being Akali stealing mid from him. This item can be huge for you and your team if you can bait a big spell to be wasted. A decent amount of health and a good amount of MR makes this item very common against AP heavy teams. Don't worry about the 375 mana being wasted. The spell negate makes up for it.

Guardian Angel. I haven't had much experience with this item on Akali, but GA is considered a preference item. I personally recommend going with something else for defense, but if you like the 2nd life, be my guest.

Warmog's Armor. As a person with a fetish for building Warmog's on many different champions, I might be biased, but I love building it on Akali if I need to go defensive. 1370HP when you cap the bonus passive is godlike. If I could build 5 Warmog's and boots every game, I'd do it. But alas, one should suffice for you.

Quicksilver Sash. This is a situational item that comes in very handy against teams with an enemy Warwick or Malzahar. Both of their suppression ults can be countered by the stroke of a key every 90 seconds. 56 Magic resist is also a very nice amount. I would say this item is a must for any team with suppression CC. *WARNING: NOT AS EFFECTIVE AS EATING ORANGES*

One more thing.

This item is very situational and it's up to you to decide whether your body is ready to wield the power of the Soulstealer. If you're dominating early game, you may wish to pick this up after your Hextech Revolver, but be careful, as this could delay your build severely. So unless you're getting the most out of it, and can keep a steady farm while stacking up your Mejai's, you might wanna forget about this item. However again, it's very important to learn when to make this purchase. In the future I will go over an in depth look into making this decision.

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I hope you all enjoyed my first guide for Akali. If you have any constructive criticism, feel free to leave it in the comments, all I ask is you take the time to respond with intelligence and respect. Anyone acting like an idiot or being unnecessarily rude will be ignored.Updates will be coming in the future as I obtain more resources to demonstrate specific 'tricks' in their respected section of this guide. This includes recording video in-game, as well as taking screenshots. All will come in time. =) If you would like more insight on anything feel free to PM or add me in-game. Thank you guys.


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A special thanks to Brosephiine. Without her I wouldn't have started this guide. You should also check out her Karma & Riven guides.