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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.
NOTE: The above Ability Power is incorrect. I had 600 something in my last game. The AD is also wrong. I had 230-ish.
Welcome to an in-depth description and build guide to my personal favorite champion, Akali, The Fist of The Shadow.
To start off, let's describe Akali for what she is.
Akali is an anti-everything. In the right hands, with the right build, Akali only needs her teammates to distract the enemy while she deals ungodly amounts of damage to everyone around her, all the while healing for a large amount of life with each hit. There are two times when Akali is not a major contribution to the team.
Akali requires the support of her team early in the game to get enough gold to become an unstoppable force that she becomes later in the game. She is fairly weak early game to her low health and melee range attacks. If the player is not careful, they become easy pickings for enemy ranged champions. If your team is not playing well or they are not playing as a team, you will do very poorly the whole game. If you lose, 95% of the time it is because your team could not work well together or were all-together garbage.
The other is CC. Akali has a very bad slow for cc, and that is it. However, she is extremely susceptible to stuns. Akali has little escape ability. 1v1, she can get away no problem, but against a whole enemy team, she has no chance. Mercury Treads and Flash give the player a better chance to avoid these things, but if Akali is stunned early in a team fight, it spells disaster for the team.
Here are some pros and cons
Akali is an excellent anti-DPS/anti-mage. She does a large amount of damage in a short amount of time, so she can destroy mages before they have a chance to deal much damage back. Her Twilight Shroud ability ruins most DPS simply because it causes them to lose a target for auto-attack.
Akali has great gank ability. Shadow Dance lets the player basically teleport to any ranged champion. What the enemy thinks is a 2v3 quickly becomes a 3v2.
Akali has great staying ability mid-late game. Her healing ability from her passive allows her to run off at low life, jungle for a bit, and then return at near full life to continue wreaking havoc.
Akali has epic side-boob.
Akali has amazing chase ability. Shadow Dance has great range and allows you to shoot to a fleeing enemy's side. Once you get Rylai's, you will have even better chase since your abilities will slow the enemy. Only champions like Ezreal or Kassidin can escape because of their teleport.
Akali is, no matter how you build her, always going to be very squishy. Even with Rylai's, you still only have 2455 health at 18. This is easily shredded by mages or dps should they set their sights on you.
Akali is generally a weak team fighter. She has no cc, and can only focus on weaker enemies. She is a one-target fighter.
Akali's Twilight shroud, which anyone who plays Akali comes to use it like second nature for escaping or scouting, is completely useless to Oracle. Unfortunately, unless you are paying very close attention, your day will be ruined when you throw that cloud and discover that you are not safe.
Akali is notorious for kill-stealing. Shadow Dance makes this very easy, since you start using it like second nature when you see an enemy at low life. This seems ok for you, but it pisses teammates off, and, as I said, Akali needs her team.
Passive: Twin Disciples:
This is Akali's lifeblood. Her entire build and play style is built around both of these. The healing ability of the AD portion of her passive allows her to heal a large amount, allowing you to stay in fights against tanks or high health DPSers. The damage scaling of her AP allows her to avoid become a one dimensional champion. She becomes almost impossible to stack against. Stack armor, and her magic damage rips through you. Stack magic resist, and her physical damage will punish you.
Q: Mark of The Assassin:
This is your best friend for your active abilities. Mark of the Assassin if your highest damage dealing ability. When combined with Lich Bane, you do 370-ish damage with the activation of the ability, then with the follow up, you deal your attack damage (230) plus the above damage (370) plus your ability power (600) Grand Total = Approximately 1570 damage in one second. It also has good harass ability early game, throwing at the enemy when they get close. Even without the follow-up, you still deal some damage.
W: Twilight Shroud:
This is one of your least used abilities, most likely only using to ruin DPS or escape. It is easily ruined by Oracle or enemies camping around it. However, it is useful for slowing pursuing enemies, slowing enemies pursuing an ally, or using it to scout bushes. If you have the chance, use it to extend bushes. This makes it so enemies don't know whether you are actually in the bush or just running around in circles in your shroud.
E: Crescent Slash:
This is your main farming/life gain ability. Because it technically deals a massive amount of damage when you are around minions, you gain a lot of life from Akali's passive. Hitting all the minions around you to about half life and then using Crescent slash to finish them all off at once is a good farming technique. This is less useful in battles against enemies, but it is an intermediate when waiting for Mark to come off of cooldown. I have noticed that it often does not set off Lich Bane, maybe because it applies on hit effects.
R: Shadow Dance:
This is your initiating ability, chasing ability, and escape ability. Use to spring upon the ranged carries to deal with them quickly, or use it to chase the wounded enemy as they run, allowing you to finish them, or even use it on an enemy minion ahead of you to escape from an enemy more quickly. These regen fairly quickly, and deal decent damage, so don't be afraid to use it to deal some extra damage on a jungle boss or something. It is also useful for kill stealing should you go down that path.
How to play:
Start out with a Doran's Blade and a health potion. Your runes will allow Doran's blade to trigger your AD passive. Be very cautious against ranged or stealth enemies, since Akali's low life is a target. You WILL be targeted early game simply because of your life total and the fact that Akali is godlike if allowed to build.
Harass the enemy with Mark of the Assassin, mixing in Twilight Shroud to get close and Crescent Slash to farm minions. Be sure to target the champions who cannot gain their life back so easily. If you are feeling overwhelmed by your enemies, do not be afraid to go back to base or ask to switch with an ally.
Your first item upon the first return to base is the basic boots. This allows you to not get outpaced so quickly and allow you to escape enemies. After the boots, focus on getting Hextech Gunblade, Hextech Gunblade is probably the best item you will get. The damage and AP scale on your passives and the life steal and spell vamp make your AD passive even more effective. Once you get to level 8, start spamming Mark to regain life very quickly.
Never, EVER, even if you feel like you are god already, go for sword of the occult or Mejai's soulstealer. This will lead to you being targeted and you will die horribly for the rest of the game. Once you have Gunblade, you should be able to 1v1 anyone but the tank and win. Remember, travel with a buddy and gank often. The more kills Akali gets the more godlike she becomes. Focus on killing enemies and taking the first row of towers. Don't be afraid to grab the Lizard Buff or the Golem Buff. The Golem Buff does recharge your energy faster and shortens the cooldown of your best buddy, Mark.
By now, you should have at least Rylai's, and this will be an invaluable weapon. Putting your health above the normal squishy mages and ranged DPS allows you to not be targeted in team fights, which is invaluable as you will be able to deal out massive amounts of damage. Be aware, you should never initiate a team fight. Follow in behind your tank and wait for your mages and DPS to wear down the enemy before jumping in to finish off the squishies. At this point, Lich Bane will allow you to take down even tanks with a little help, so don't be afraid to target them as well.
Preferred LVL acquired by: 8
Functions: Life Gain and Damage.
Preferred LVL acquired by: 9
Functions: Increased movement speed and CC reduction.
Preferred LVL acquired by: 12
Functions: Massive Damage output via Mark of the Assassin.
Rylai's Crystal Sceptar
Preferred LVL acquired by: none, acquire if possible.
Functions: More life, Slow, AP
Functions: More damage, increased AP and scaling AS
Functions: Massive AP boost, Stasis useful when waiting for Twilight Shroud cooldown or others.
There you have it, a proper guide to Akali. Remember, wait to initiate, don't be afraid to jungle, and abandon your buddies if they are lost causes. There is no shame in living to fight another day.
"You know, we probably should have been focusing Akali. She was massacring us. Everyone just hates Amumu and Olaf more, I guess."