Build Guide by GloomyDaze
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Not Updated For Current Season
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Made for you, you, and maybe you.
Well, this is my guide on how I play my main chick Akali, as an All-star. She is a melee champ that has uses two sick *** kamas to rip a new hole in enemies. Shock and Awe got nothing on her two kamas. Akali is one, and the cutest, of the shadow warriors in the triumvirate of the Kinkou Order, with the other two being Kennen and Shen. The three are energy champions, who consume energy for skill use instead of mana. The nice thing about energy champions is that is that energy recovers incredibly fast, 50 per 5 seconds and more if they have the Ancient Golem's buff. The disadvantage (not that bad for Akali) of energy is that you can't raise the max capacity (200 Energy) through leveling or items unless you get runes, which doesn't help that much.
- Amazing burst damage and makes for a great assassin
- Great for finishing up champs running from fights, especially with Rylai's and/or Lizard Elder's buff
- Has stealth, slow, and increase in armor/magic resist all rolled up into one skill
- Good in 2v2 and 1v1 lanes, though I prefer to fly solo
Not so goodies:
- Can be pretty fragile
- Not as dangerous before getting Shadow Dance
- Not a good initiator
- She's not real =[
Overview of Skills
Mark of the Assassin (Q)
Damage - 50/75/100/125/150 (+0.4 AP) Magic Damage
Cost - 60 Energy at all levels
Range - 600
Cooldown – 6/5.5/5/4.5/4
This is going to be your bread and butter skill. You will be using this to cut through your targets like a hot kama through butter and make you that $bread$. This is a single target ranged skill that tosses a kama at the enemy, dealing magic damage and leaving a mark (pun maybe intended.) This mark does not stack with additional marks and lasts for a generous 6 seconds. Within this time frame, following up with her melee attack will proc and consume the mark, which will apply magic damage equal to the initial toss damage. When the mark procs, you also get back 20/25/30/35/40 energy, making it a nice skill to use to help you last hit.
Twilight Shroud (W)
Damage - You wish.. No damage on this skill, but it produces an AoE slow that reduces movement speed of enemies by 14/18/22/26/30%. In addition, As long as Akali is within the area of the shroud, she gets a bonus 10/20/30/40/50 armor and magic resist. Oh yeah, you also go into stealth =D…Twilight is such a horrible movie.
Cost - 80/75/70/65/60 Energy
Range - 700
Cooldown – 20 at all levels
It's like playing peekaboo with a baby child.. except for the part that the person hiding is wielding two sharp *** kamas and is probably gonna massacre the one the other side.. okay bad example. Don't use this on kids cause smoking kills. Twilight Shroud allows you to place a circle of smoke around you that gives you stealth and armor/magic resist while being an AoE slow that can help you run away or chase down enemies. It lasts 8 seconds at all levels and the bonus armor/resist goes up while cost decreases per level.
Crescent Slash (E)
Damage - 30/55/80/105/130 (0.3 AP + 0.6 AD) Physical Damage
Cost - 60 Energy at all levels
Range - 325
Cooldown – 7/6/5/4/3 Seconds
This is where she becomes a merry-go-around of death. On use, Akali spins with her kamas and damages all enemy units in range around her. At higher levels, it makes really short work on huge minion waves if you position yourself properly. This can also be used to hit invisible targets.
Shadow Dance (R)
Damage - 100/175/250 (+0.5 AP) Magic Damage
Cost - 1 Essence of Shadow
Range - 800
Cooldown – 2/1.5/1 Seconds
Shadowless kick! This is where you scare the **** outta unsuspecting champs with a kick straight to the face. This helps close the distance for you to start fights or chase them down. Essence of Shadows build up after 25/20/15 seconds, and now can be reduced with CDR due to a recent patch. Akali can only hold up to a maximum of 3 at a time and the countdown to build up a new charge does not start until she has less than 3. When Akali gets a kill or assist, she immediately gets another charge added if she is not already maxed out.
This is Akali's passive ability. Discipline of Force - once she has 20 AP, she deals 10% extra in magic damage for her passive attacks, gaining an additional 1% for each extra 5 AP afterward. Discipline of Might – this gives her 10% spellvamp after getting a bonus of 10 AD, and this increases by 1% for every 5 additional AD.
Start off with a level in Q (Mark of the Assassin) at level 1, grab a level of W (Twilight Shroud), then max out Q while alternating with E (Crescent Slash) when Q is not available but making sure to prioritize getting your ultimate, R (Shadow Dance.) Only after everything is maxed should you finish mastering your W.
Review: R>Q>E>W (get one level of W at level 2)
Your ultimate being your most prioritized skill is pretty obvious, since it's what lets you instantly connect her foot to the enemy's face which allows Akali to start her chain of carnage. Mark of the Assassin is the skill to get when Shadow Dance is unavailable for level up. This is where the main source of your damage comes from. Landing a melee attack after dropping this on an enemy will take a niiice chunk out of their health. The next skill to max is her Crescent Slash, which is her last damaging skill and only skill that applies physical damage. Great skill for cutting down mobs, but levels in Q would produce more damage when hunting a single target which she excels at. Getting one level of Twilight Shroud at level 2 and leaving the remaining levels for last is because the major use of this skill is for the stealth and levels in this will not extend the duration of the shroud.
Ignite + Flash
These are my two choices in summoner skills that work really well with my play style.
Ignite gives you true damage according to your level and cut the healing effects on your target while they are burning, and you get a 10 AP bonus when this is on CD with the mastery in Burning Embers.
Flash lets you..flash away. Amazing GTFO skill or can further boost your chasing abilities.
Marks: 9 Greater Marks of Insight - Magic penetration marks are the definite choice here since I build her as an AP champion and her main skills apply magical damage. More penetration = more damage.
Seals: 9 Greater Seals of Evasion - Dodge seals are a great choice for Akali due to her being a melee champion, which gets her right up in the enemy's face. It’s obvious, but being able to dodge some attacks especially from the opposing DPS carry will give you a lot more survivability and allow you to get out alive or continue with the battle.
Glyphs: 9 Greater Glyphs of Focus - Flat cooldown reduction (CDR) runes are essential since Akali excels at bursting and a shorter cooldown on her skills means you can cut down targets that much faster. The CDR/lv runes only catch up to the flats at level 13, and by then you would already have 2 levels in Shadow Dance and maxed levels in Mark of the Assassin. So... pretty much having the flat CDR runes will allow you a better early game to make kills easier>>>good late game with better items.
Quintessences: 1 Greater Quintessence of Strength + 2 Greater Quintessences of Insight - The flat AD quint is there so that Akali's Discipline of Might is activated at level 1 when paired with a Doran's Blade and Brute force mastery. Greater Quintessence of Strength +2.25 AD with Doran's Blade's +6 AD and the +3 AD from Brute force = 11.25 AD = Discipline of Might activates and Akali gains the 10% spellvamp. The 2 Greater Quintessences of Insight adds more magic penetration which is explained for already.
Starting the game, I buy the Doran's Bladeand a Health Potion. The first core item I build is Rylai's Crystal Scepter(gives AP, HP and applies slow on enemies that are hit by your skills.) When I head back to base, I try to get the Giant's Beltfirst if I don't have enough for the entire item. After getting the belt or the entire scepter itself, I buy a pair of boots if the gold allows for it. If I have just the belt and shoes, I evaluate the opposing team's magic damage and CC power and go for my Mercury's Treads(Magic resist and 35% reduction on CCs) if it calls for it, but if CC and magic nukes aren't threat then I might go for Sorcerer's Shoes(Magic Pen.) If things don’t seem that bad, I might finish the Rylai's before the shoes. Finish up the proper shoes for the situation and then work on the Sheen(gives AP and doubles next normal attack after casting a skill) and turn that into a Lich Bane(gives AP, magic resist, movement speed, and gives bonus damage equal to AP on next melee attack after casting a skill). Games tend to end around here if your team is working together and taking advantage of the kills you make. After the Lich Bane, if the game isn't over yet, it's time to work on the Zhonya's ring(everything it touches turn to gold!!! On activation, you turn all shiny make give off this noise for 2 seconds and makes you untargetable but unable to perform any actions.) This ring gives a nice dose of +120 AP along with giving an 25% increase of Akali's AP, making this a really good game ending item. The tricky part about this item is learning to remember that you have the active ability and using it. If somehow the game STILL is lasting, I tend to go pick up a Hextech Gunbladefor more AP and additional AD to give both of your disciplines boost. A Void Staffor other AP items are also viable, so just get what would help you in the situation after this point. Around level 10 and up, you should be getting Elixirs of Brillianceto give you an edge during fights for a cheap 300 gold. Getting Mejai's Soulstealeris a gamble that should only be gotten in certain situations. If there are a lot of squishy champs that I can easily burst down to the floor or if we are dominating and kills are going to come easy, I might get this after my Rylai's to keep the pressure on. The thing about getting Mejai's and other items that stack is that the other team will be focusing you hard (if they are smart) to keep your stacks low and make the item pretty ****ty, so keep in mind what kind of CC and damage the other team can drop on you before buying this and play smart to keep those stacks growing. Getting Sight Wards, Vision Wards, and Oracle Elixirs are pretty basic, they save your *** from ganks and last two help spot other stealth champs. It would be nice to have your man in the jungle or a support champ to take care of the wards and for your tank to have oracles, but if nobody is willing to do it, you gotta step up. Oracles is nice to have on you too when you are hunting down a Twitch or Evelynn on the other team, just make sure you don't die too easily to the other team or else the 400 gold will go to waste.
2v2: Early game, you'll want to play a bit defensively especially if you have 2 enemies on your lane and they have CC and/or some nasty nukes. If things aren't that bad, you can last hit with normal attacks and harass occasionally with your Q, although level 1 and 2 on Q does not do much damage unless you proc the mark. If things are too dangerous, you can sit back and chuck those kamas to last hit. Once you get to level 2, you can use it to zone the enemies a bit. If they get too close to the shroud, you can drop your 1-2 combo, Q + auto attack, on them and take a bite of their health. Just keep up the last hits and chip away at their HP if you can. Having a partner that has a snare or stun is really nice since you can easily drop a Q on them and land a normal hit to proc the mark. Once you reach level 6 and get your charges, you can become more aggressive and fly in, do some damage and hide in your shroud. Be careful when you jump and also drop your shroud immediately if they have stuns and can melt your HP bar. When they are at a low enough HP (judgment comes from experience) you can dive in for the kill after skills come off cooldown and you have enough Essence of Shadow charges. The best way to do this is to start by dropping a Q on them to give them a mark and allow a second or two for the cooldown to start running. Then you Shadow Dance in with your R and hit them with a melee attack to proc the mark. Immediately use your E, then use ignite if you think you need the extra damage (remember, the Burning Embers mastery grants an additional 10 AP while it is on CD), followed with planting a shroud behind the target to slow the movements while throwing your Q once it comes off of cooldown and procing it again. Keep chasing with R and use the Q + hit combo until they fall. Doing all this while your partner backs you up..hopefully. After getting your Rylai's the constant slow will keep them from running and allows for more of your Q + hit combo to chop them up. If they are staying far away or you want to ambush them from the bush, you can start with R first and follow with E, shroud, Q, melee hit, and R after a Q when it comes off CD to stick onto them (With Rylai's you don't need to use R as much so you can conserve marks, especially if it’s a beefy target that will take a bit longer to shred and reinforcements on their side are on the way.) If you are in a 2v2 lane, you can and should start ganking different lanes when you hit 6 and see a good opportunity. When you're current lane is pushed deep into the enemy territory, you should go see if you can help out your teammates and also keep your level up by clearing your jungle if someone is not jungling. During team fights, you will be targeting the opposing team's squishiest champ or someone that is dangerous for your team. Work your way up from there picking them off one by one and try to communicate before fights to set priorities on targets so that you can focus them down in seconds.
1v1: Solo lanes are generally played the same way, playing defensive the first few levels and letting them push close to your tower. More than likely they have a ranged champ in middle so just last hit with your Q or regular attack when they are out of range. Maintaining the proper position is vital to prevent harassment and still get exp and last hits in. Having the Doran's Blade's lifesteal and spellvamp from your Discipline of Might really helps your laning power by recovering HP from the opponent's poking at you. If you can get close to the creeps, drop a shroud behind that line of contact and go into hiding there to zone out and poke at the other champ. Be careful if they have AoEs that can hurt you though. When they are away from their lane or you've killed them, you should attack everything and use your Q as well to replenish back your health without having to go back.
Tips and Tricks
- When taking down towers and inhibitors, use your Q on creeps to activate your Sheen/Lich Bane to deal additional damage to the buildings. When there are no enemy creeps are around, you can use E as well to do the same.
- Having wards to show creeps in the jungle can be used as an escape mechanisms to escape pursuers, catch up to those trying to escape, and stealing someone's buff followed by killing them.
- When being cornered around Dragon or Baron, you can run to these monsters by smacking them one time before dropping a shroud. Doing so will switch Dragon's/Baron's agro onto others around. At lower levels this can really help buy time for your friends to come help while damaging the enemies and can also lead to netting you multiple kills if they keep taking damage from the creep. It’s like having a pet that’s more badass than Tibbers.
- You have a slight fade out time after you leave the area of your Twilight Shroud, so you can use this to ninja your way into the grass if you placed it with a small gap between.
- Being in stealth with Twilight Shroud and flashing away, makes a really good escape path and leaves those chasing you waiting for the shroud to dissipate.
- Having flash up allows you to pull off some crazy **** when you tower dive. You dance in, do your thing, and then flash out through the wall. You can also save a flash and dance back out if enemy creeps are positioned correctly.
- Don't be afraid to use your ignite, especially at earlier levels in your harassment combos to drop the enemy champ's health for an easier kill when you hit level 6 and get Shadow Dance (ignite usually comes back up around then.)
- If you see an enemy dropping a ward somewhere, you can walk by it and spam your Crescent Slash to break it and get exp. It takes a while at low levels if your E is at level 1 so make sure you don't spend too much time away from exp when taking out these wards. Also keep in mind that the enemy can see you breaking their wards so be careful when pulling this off.
- When being chased by many champs that can intercept you on the way back to base, you can try to sneak into their jungle without being seen and 'B' back somewhere safe.
- If the person you are chasing is out of range, you can dance onto the furthest creep in sight and use that to bring you closer. After that, you can toss a kama onto them to slow if you have Rylai's or just dance to the target when R goes off of cooldown. Also, when being chased, dance to enemy creeps to help with running.
- Know the other team’s summoner skills so you don’t get caught off guard and killed from an exhaust, flash, ignite, etc.
- Play and test out different champs to see what they are capable of and a general idea of cooldowns so that you know when it is a good chance to go in for a kill or if they can take you on with what they got.