Build Guide by Sythriel
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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.
The play style for Akali with this guide will be building her as mainly an AP champ, with some AD. This is my first guide so any constructive criticism for this build would be appreciated.
-Great at chasing people
-Crazy High Burst DPS
-If done right, can get away from most bad situations
-Great Team fighter, darting in and out and destroying their DPS
-Squishy, always annoying no matter what champ you are
-Doesn't really pick up until level 6
-Hard to master
-For marks I get magic pen, and for this build I don't see any alternatives. Why these for this build is pretty self-explanatory, as an AP hero, having your spells go through more of their defense is always a good thing.
-For seals I like to get the dodge runes, to compliment the nimbleness buff since I get health quintessences and Casters never seem to be as much trouble for me as some melee champs out there, but the flat health or magic resit seals are also good choices for Akali. Out of those three, I would say it's personal preference.
-For Glyphs I get the cooldown reduction ones, which I feel are the strongest for her, but if you think you don't need or don't want the cooldown reduction glyphs, the force ones would also work. And yes, for glyphs, force over the flat AP ones.
-For Quintessences I get the flat health ones, and they are by far the best for her. Akali can be an easy first blood if you make one mistake, but that extra 100 health early game gives you a lot more breathing room.
-I get a long sword and a health pot to start, the long sword is to activate her first of two passives, and that's the spell vamp.
-Next I go for an Amplifying tome, to activate your second passive, which is the one that does extra magic damage every time you hit.
-Third I go for the basic boots, but if you feel you need to, get your boots before the amplifying tome, it just helps more sometimes, and I know I alternate those two and their positions in line from time to time.
-Fourth I like to upgrade that amplifying tome you have into a hextech revolver. 40 AP and 10% spell vamp makes it very nice, and you can defiantly use her spell vamp now to more effect to stay in your lane/team fights longer.
-Fifth I get the boots of swiftness. Now I know some of you may want to get the sorcerer shoes more, but the bonus speed from the swiftness ones is a lifesaver. And since this build doesn't get any other movement buff items, I say stick with swiftness.
-Sixth I like to start building up my Rylai's, work on the AP items or the health belt first, whichever you need more at the time. If you're not taking much damage, go for the AP, if you are, the belt. This item seals the deal for chasing with Akali. Slow someone every time you hit them with a spell, especially with your already fantastic chasing ultimate? Yes please!
-Seventh I build up the Ragebblade, buying the blasting wand first. Both of these stats add to your passive, and increase it even further every time you hit! this item meshes great on Akali in my opinion.
-Eighth I start working on transforming that revolver into the Hextech gunblade, again adding to both of her passives, giving her MORE spell vamp and some life steal! Mmhmm, sexy.
-Finally I finish off by selling that longsword you've had forever and buying Zhonya's Ring. It's last because, although the extra AP is really nice, should be unneeded for you to be 3-4 shotting some of them by now. But start with the Needlessly Large Rod, not the Blasting Wand.
I go the 21/9/0 route, since, even though Akali is AP, she doesn't use mana, and therefore really doesn't need much from the Utility tree. I feel that they are self explanatory except for two instances, which I will address.
-First is, why the Alacrity and/or sunder over the lethality? Well I feel like Akali doesn't crit for much, especially with this build, and when she does, it's not for very much, so the Armor pen and attack speed help her out far more than the critical damage
-Second is a personal choice, and that's between the top two in the defense tree, Hardiness and Resistance. Either is a viable option, but I personally feel like I get more mileage out of the magic resist I get out of resistance then the armor from hardiness, because I get the dodge runes/talents and nimbleness for some extra melee defense.
-Cleanse- I grab this because Akali's survivability is low, and being able to get out of stuns/snares is invaluable, Gets you out of Ashe's arrow, Warwick's ultimate, which can both lead to you being ganked by an entire team, but with cleanse you can get away before the rest of the team can join the ganker initiator.
-Exhaust- This is great for winning a battle over a melee champ or giving you some extra chasing power if you're out of shadow dance charges, or even to get away.
Other viable options- Ghost can also work on Akali, useful for chasing or getting away, this is a close second to exhaust for her.
-Flash can also work well on Akali, but not as well as ghost or exhaust for chasing or getting away.
-I personally never take cleanse off Akali, it has saved my life a butt load of times, so if you want to change out a spell with another, it should be exhaust with whatever spell you desire.
Summoner Spells you don't want and why
-Clarity- She doesn't use mana, if you get this on Akali, you fail, at life.
-Heal- Tempting, decent early game, but no where near as good mid-late game as some other tools for surviving.
-Fortify- Unless your team somehow turns you into the tower defender, which isn't great for Akali, you shouldn't need this. You should have another champ do that with fortify if you're running an Arranged team with it.
-Ignite- Not bad on Akali, it can help with first blood, but her early game damage isn't that great for getting first blood in the first place, and it gets less effective for her later on, so I skip this one. And besides, it's not worth it replacing one of your other tools.
-Rally- You're not the support champ, don't take this.
-Revive- You're not a tank, and it's not worth replacing one of your other summoner spells for it.
-Smite- Akali isn't very good at jungling in the beginning, so there's no reason to replace one summoner spell for this.
-Teleport- Not that bad, it can be nice to be able to get right back to a tower to defend, but overall, I feel that it's not worth taking out one of your survivability spells for it.
Early game (1-6ish)
-Grab your items and mark of the assassin first. If you can go ahead and start farming some minions with your auto attacks, but play defensively for now. If you need to, just sit back and try to last hit or harass with Mark of the Assassin. You should try to lane with a ranged champ, to help you push your lane since you can't do it very well right away, and once you get your ultimate you can jump right onto his/her target and destroy the enemy.
Mid game (6ish-14ish)
-Keep building up your item build, and get ready to be a freaking good ganker/harasser. I love to throw down a Twilight Shroud near the enemy, throw a mark of the assassin on them, and then shadow dance to them, hit them once to proc the mark, and then run back into cover of your Twilight shroud. Harassing this way will drop your enemy quickly, and set you and your partner for a kill if they are too stubborn to go back to their tower. If someone on the map calls for a gank, and you are avalible, don't be afraid to go and help, with your shadow dance and Mark of the assassin you're good at it, but remember that Twilight shroud slows enemies! Be sure to use that slow in a gank.
Late game (14ish-end)
You should be traveling as a team by now almost all the time. Keep working on your items, and don't be afraid of being in the front of team fights, just make sure to have a Twilight shroud down near the front of the battle. You're job here is to harass their squishes and chase anyone low, and to NUKE any target the team calls out. Dart in and out of battle with shadow dancing to champs marked by your Mark of the assassin, and sit back and laugh as they start to try and focus you as you run to your Twilight Shroud.
-Remember to always throw your Mark of the Assassin first when harassing, jumping in there and then not having enough energy for it blows.
-Akali has a lot of spell vamp with her passive and these items, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT! Use your mark if your injured to just get some health back, or run into a mob of minions and crescent slash and run out.
-Twilight Shroud SLOWS! If you see a team mate running, throw one down in the enemies path and start to run off, no way they should be able to catch you, unless they're someone like yi.
-If you find yourself in a 1v1, ALWAYS throw down Twilight shroud, not only will it make it harder to target you, it gives you ARMOR while inside, no reason to not have it down.
-Shadow Dance has a max of THREE chargers that recharge every 25 seconds, plan accordingly and don't overuse your ultimate. I try to keep one charge always ready unless I see a good reason to use it.
Well that's it, I hope you all enjoy this guide and that it brings some of you ninjas some wins in the future! Good luck.