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Akali Build Guide by Aenemius

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Aenemius

Akali - Versatile Tank-busting Assasin

Aenemius Last updated on January 29, 2012
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Top Lane
Ranked #10 in
Top Lane
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: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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A lot of guides focus on Akali's ability to do massive damage either as AD or AP. While I agree that her burst potential using either one is quite phenomenal, I prefer building her for On-Hit effects, for a few key reasons.

  • Activating Akali's passive, Twin Disciplines is trivial, so accessing both early game can make a big difference.
  • Once you're anywhere near 100 each for AD and AP, the cumulative benefits of shredding resistances and attacking with excessive speed can outweigh the benefits of single-hit potential.
  • Very few champions really benefit from an On-Hit style of play, and varying from the norm makes your champion harder to anticipate.

This being said, any On-Hit build is going to make a champion more challenging. In this case, your burst damage (which is what Akali is designed for), will be slightly less than you're used to seeing. However, thanks to shredding from Malady and buffs Wit's End, makes Akali's natural combination of physical and magic damage that much more effective.

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The essence of the this rune build is to get your buffs started off right at level 1, so you - ideally - can claim first blood and make sure you spend most of the game just fed enough to hammer through your item build as fast as possible.

Greater Mark of Attack Damage will, along with your masteries, activate one portion of your Twin Disciplines passive immediately on entering the round.

Greater Seal of Armor helps deal with the lack of armour/health items in the build until Rylai's Crystal Scepter around mid-game.

Greater Glyph of Ability Power gets you halfway to your second Twin Disciplines buff immediately - and works with Amplifying Tome to get bonus magic damage immediately on spawn.

Greater Quint of Malice adds some token critical chance, along with your masteries, again to give you unexpectedly high striking power with your basic attacks right out of the gate.

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Since we're building for a mix of AD and AP, I'm focusing on pushing up critical change and attack speed with a 21/9/0 layout.

Unlike a lot of pure AD or AP masteries, however, cooldowns are not my focus. Nor is armour or magic penetration. I wanted to push up AP and critical chance, as they both contribute to the Twin Disciplines passive well.

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Items - AP-Focus

Build Core
The core items for this build really are Lich Bane and Rylai's Crystal Scepter. Achieving both of those as soon as possible ensures you're getting the most out of your less-bursty Akali and beginning the On-Hit chain at as low a level as possible.

I've found if you can get through the build to Rylai's Crystal Scepter by level 10, you're pretty much golden for the entire match.

Secondary Bundle
A combo of Malady and [Rylai's Crystal Scepter really shines on this build, since shredding magic resist and adding adding the slow from the scepter has good synergy with Akali's capacity as a chaser. Using this in combination with a focus on attack speed often means being able to get more than one combination off per engagement.

In this case, The Bloodthirster and Infinity Edge ensure that, by end game, you can still burst just about any champion into the ground.

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Items - AD-Focus

Build Core
The core items for this build are Frozen Mallet and Void Staff. The intent behind providing this build, with Doran's Blade early on, is to provide a solution for activating Twin Disciplines to those who choose an alternate rune path; namely, magic penetration and armour rather than straight AP/AD rune sets.

Again, if you can get through the build to Frozen Mallet by level 10, you're pretty much golden for the entire match.

Secondary Bundle

Working through Last Whisper and The Bloodthirster should be a no-brainer. Matching your existing magic penetration from Void Staff with the armour pen from Last Whisper means each attack is ignoring significant amounts od defenses. The Bloodthirster itself is obvious; lifesteal reduces your squishiness, and the stacking attack damage helps your passive, as well as your kill speed.

Ending with Infinity Edge is almost a smack in the face, rather than a straight-up damage play. Enhanced critical hits, with an huge penetration numbers, makes taking down tanks late game far easier.

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Skill Sequence

Mark of the Assassin is Akali's bread and butter, so I always max it first. Using this skill as an initiator - especially in concert with Lich Bane and your other On-Hit items - is what causes Akali to be a such a big threat.

Twilight Shroud is a great utility spell - making Akali impossible to track in team fights, and often scaring groups enough to break up, since they cannot focus her. More often than not, I use it as an in-lane juke; get in, come out at a weird angle to make skillshot tracking impossible. Because it's a utility, rather than a damage dealer, I max this last.

Crescent Slash is a fantastic farming skill. By the time it's being maxed - between level 8 and 13 - it deals enough damage with your remaining build to shred an entire minion wave in 1 or 2 hits. Late game, it also makes teamfights a breeze, especially if it's used to augment an AoE skill with buffs, such as Leona's Eclipse ability or Kayle's combo of Righteous Fury and Holy Fervor.

Shadow Dance is, needless to say, your ult. As a gap closer and initiating tool, it's peerless. Using Mark of the Assassin before, and Shadow Dance to close through a team fight and subsequently consume your mark is a staple Akali technique late-game.

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Summoner Spells

Most AD/chaser summoner spells are viable on Akali - of course the standards, such as Ignite for early game kills, and Exhaust for added chasing ability are usually best bets.

I generally mix one mobility spell, such as Teleport or Ghost, with one offensive spell. This allows some great map crawling capability, while maintaining your smack-the-opponent powers throughout the game.

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I really enjoy playing Akali. As an assassin, she's second perhaps only to Irelia for her kill securing capabilities, but has the benefit of higher mobility early game. Her balance, between both attack damage and ability power, makes her a good choice in blind matches, where you can't always tell whether you're facing a tank-heavy team.

I hope you've enjoyed the guide. As always, if you have any suggestions, please feel free to drop them in the comments section and I'll answer as soon as I can.

Thanks for reading!