Build Guide by Tranced
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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.
This is a build that I've grown accustomed to using after trying many builds which revolves around burst damage AP. I'm simply sharing what I've learned and hopefully help a few people out that are looking for answers. I'm by no means an expert with Akali (Although, I'd like to think so :P), I just know what works well for Akali and my playstyle.
Armor Penetration Marks: I feel that using Armor Penetration helps Akali to get her much needed kills early game, before she's able to start putting out her magic based bursts. While Magic Pen is probably more beneficial late game, that's not what I'm worried about as there is plenty of items that give magic pen if needed. I'd personally rather have easier ganks early game to start building the Soul Stealer and Rage Blade as soon as possible. Armor pen also goes along with Crescent Slash being it does physical damage.
Dodge Seals: Survivability? Sure, why not! Also works great if you're against a team of full Physical damage champs, get your dodge boots and you're at a whopping 20% dodge rate!
Flat Cooldown Glyphs: Extra +5% to add to your masteries to give you a start off of 15% reduced cooldowns. Grab yourself blue buff and reap the benefits.
HP Quints: Great early game edge, adds a bit more survivability for extra offensive potential.
Ignite: Whether it's to finish off that last bit of HP or counter players like Mundo, Swain, Warrick and anyone else who regens or stacks lifesteal; There will be many times you wished you had brought this along. First Blood anyone?
Flash: An amazing ability for Akali and gives too many benefits to her that there's no reason not to use it. Adds that bit of range you may need to pick off that guy who otherwise would've gotten away or gives you the juke needed to make your escape.
Cleanse: Great for making your escapes and compliments your flash for making successful turret dives. You can substitute this for Ignite though I typically go for the ignite/flash combo.
Boots of Swiftness: +3 run speed.
Great for chasing and evading.
Mercury's Treads: +2 run speed, +25 Magic resistance; Unique Passive: Reduces the duration of stuns, slows, disables, etc by 35%
Definitely an investment worth looking into against a heavy CC based team.
Mejai's Soul Stealer: +20 Ability power; Unique Passive: Gain 8 AP per stack, recieve 2 stacks for a kill and 1 for an assist and will stack 20 times. At 20 stacks, you recieve 15% reduced cooldowns. You lose 1/3 of your stacks upon death. (Has potential to provide you a total of 180 AP and 15% reduced cooldowns, can't argue with that.)
Upon getting this item, you'll immediately get the benefits of Akali's AP bonus damage passive with the base +20 AP stat. Additionally, you'll get 3% bonus damage per 2 stacks you recieve. While not an immediate benefit reaping damage item, The Soul Stealer was made for Akali. If you're a smart player, by the time you're level 10 you can have already sealed the victory for your team by the damage you're putting out on the opposition. Level 10 with full stacks (or even half) is no joke with Akali. You will be burning down the opposition in seconds, including tanks. Coupled with Akali's ability to chase and escape, it's an ideal item if you're a keen player.
Bottom line, It's a truly game breaking item early game if you can tap into it. If the game drags on and you're not doing well, simply sell it if you need help building another item for more reliable AP. Typically if I can keep 5-10 stacks on it, this item earns its place in my inventory. I believe I've heard this said before but it couldn't be truer; Soul Stealer has likely ended more games prematurely than any other single item.
Guinsoo's Rageblade: +35 AD, +45 AP; Passive: On attack or cast, increases your attackspeed by 4% and AP by 6, stacks up to 8 times. (each time an auto attack or ability is executed, you increasingly do 1% more damage due to her passive)
Cheap, effective and a great beginning game item that compliments Akali fairly well. It will also enable you to have a little more Attack speed DPS early-mid game for downing towers. I use to get this as my first item (and is still an option depending on how the game is going and how viable a soul stealer would be) but have found more luck in purchasing the Soul Stealer before hand as it's about half the price and offers much more potential bang for buck. If you get this first, make sure you buy the soul stealer as soon as possible afterwards.
Rylai's Scepter: +500 health, +80 AP; Passive: Your spells slow the target's movement speed by 35% for 2 seconds.
Upon getting this not only will you have 500 more health but you will have your additional 80 AP that will compliment your bonus damage passive. Rylais scepter is a FAR superior item for Akali than the frozen mallet. You're not an auto attacker, you don't need AD and her lifesteal passive is no excuse. Would you rather have 16% bonus damage + more burst power or the 3% lifesteal and no damage from a Frozen Mallet?
Zhonya's Ring: +120 AP; Unique Passive: Increases AP by 25% of your current AP; Unique Active: Places your champion into invulnerability for 2 seconds taking no damage and are untargetable. You're unable to move or use abilities while under this effect.
Usually around this time, the game is coming to a close. If it isn't, I find the Zhonyas Ring to be a nice addition in burst damage. Giving you a beasty 120AP + 25% bonus to your AP is definitely something worthy to add if a game is dragging on. Not only will it give you a nasty increase in burst damage but the active will also complement Akali; adding more survivability in the case you get into a tight spot.
Lich Bane: +80 AP, 350 Manage, 30 Magic Resist, 7% movement speed; Unique Passive: After using an ability, your next physical attack will deal an additional 100% of your Ability Power in damage, there's a 3 second cooldown on this effect.
I'm sure the first thing you see is that it gives mana, keep reading though and you'll see why this is my final choice in the lineup. I rarely make it this far in the build, but if/when I do, Akali is basically an unstoppable force. The Lich Banes passive is only good after she has tons of AP built up, I recommend only building this item late game because of this. After getting this item, you can rest assure you'll finally be able to end the game once and for all. It complements her mark of the assasin extremely well, allowing you to do remarkable bursts. 400+ damage added every 3 seconds depending on how much AP you have built up plus its additional stats like move speed and ability power make it a worthy addition to your arsenal.
I always start off with Boots of Speed and 3 HP pots. I see people buying Dorans blade, Long Sword, etc. on Akali and I just find it not only pointless but a waste of gold. Any lifesteal you'd get from Akali's passive with +10 AD at such a low level would be barely noticeable. Use this money instead for your boots and a few pots to keep you in the lane a bit longer (also enabling you to play a bit more aggressively).
I've seen some people say that Akali isn't a good laner, that she belongs in the jungle early game but I've never had a problem laning. If anything, Akali excels in laning due to her burst damage, ranged harass, energy based skills, and lane control with smart use of her Twilight Shroud. Now, I'm not saying Jungling Akali is a bad option (I've never bothered with it), however she does a great job at pushing lanes if handled correctly.
Now, I know what you're thinking. ."Ranged Harass, hah!". I know her ranged harass isn't the greatest. . .The initial damage of Mark of the Assassin isn't much more than a mild annoyance, but once you follow up to activate its charge they'll know you mean business. The MotA ability has a relatively short cool down (also -15% from masteries and runes) and being your skills are energy based, you can spam this on them like there's no tomorrow and simply follow up when you have an opening to get the bonus burst.
Laning with Akali takes some grace as she's a bit of a glass cannon. Being she's squishy and highly vulnerable to CC, you'll want to play an overall defensive but pressuring early game. Utilize your MotA and Shroud abilities to push the lane or hold ground in your favor. You'll need to look out for moments that you can wear down your opponent. Just don't over commit, typically a general rule of thumb for any class, however, I still see a lot of people do it far too often.
So you've been laning for about 5-10 minutes, you're level 5-6 and got a couple kills. . you look down and see you have 1300 gold, what do? Port to town and buy a Mejai's Soul Stealer ofcoarse! Getting a couple kills and farming money is really key early game being your first item purchase will in fact be your Soul Stealer. You'll want to start building your stacks as soon as possible, the sooner. . the better. Make your laning partner aware that you're building stacks, try to get a couple kills or at the least assists. The longer you wait, the less the effects the soul stealer will have on your overall performance.
Stay thirsty my friends, More to come. . .