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Akali Build Guide by arghlex

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League of Legends Build Guide Author arghlex

Ninjakali - Road to victory

arghlex Last updated on September 23, 2012
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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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Hi everbody, and welcome to my Akali build!
This is my second build, its not a boring and long 'in-depth' build.
I'm not telling you how to play this ninja since everbody has their own playstyle and what not.
The build I'm presenting to you can merely be viewed as a help for new Akali players, what items you could buy and so forth. Some people will always disagree on what build is the best way to go. I'm not saying these are statisticly the best items for akali. The items betrayed above is just something that I use to follow when playing our dear Akali - And they have worked pretty well.

Later on an explanation on each item will come, and hopefully(to the bound-to-be-haters) you will agree with me, or understand why I chose this way:)

After starting to using this build, I´ve actually won about 90% of the matches played with Akali - Really good for IP farming.

I played some games with Akali, for purpose of using in the build.
(Screenshot of you pwning often get the readers attention;))

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Behold! The segment of item explanation!

The starter item is an interesting thing and can be very situational and tricky to decide;

Doran's blade gives you alot of good stats. It's overall a viable choice.
but I dont really need the lifesteal, I can live without the damage. The hp could be beneficial because of the extra survivabilty.

What about the dorans shield then?
Yeah, you could go dorans shield. It does add alot of survivabilty which I like, but its 475gold, couldnt you get something better for that?

Personally, in atleast 8/10 I start
- It's so simple, yet so genius. This is all survivabilty people, and guess what? That is 350 less gold that you will have to spend later.
Part of why I go into the defensive masteries tree is that I dont have to bulk up with dorans blade/shield first thing. With boots, you are almost guaranteed to be faster than your opponent. With W at lvl 2 and flash+exhaust, they can´t kill you in lane, its basically impossible.You will still be able to farm effectively, even without a dorans blade. The healthpot will see to it that you don´t need to back before you´ve got a good chance.

NOTE if you dont start boots, and dont have both passives; go with doran's blade - very cost effective item and proccs your discipline of might.


I'm a sucker for survivabilty.. did you know that?
It's probably the most used word in this build, and for a good reason.
There is nothing more frustrating than seeing someone in your team die 5 times before the 10 minute mark.. Oh yeah, there is onething; Actually dying 10 times before the 10 minute mark!

That's why, at about 7-10 minutes(depending on the farm and or kills)

is purchased!
At this point, you have sooo much hp that the enemys wont probably bother trying to kill you, but you still deal viable dmg, and your harass is real annoying. If they try and harass you back, just shrugg it of and pop a healthpot.


What do you think is needed now? More survivability ofcourse! That's why you upgrade those pretty little boots of yours into :

Why would I want those?'
Well friends. At the current meta AP is the way to go.
You've probably noticed it. Almost every hero can be played as AP, and for the most part, are played better as AP. That's why you need the magicres and tenacity.
Akali's biggest threat is by far an AP burster(Like annie, gosh her stun + burst is annoying)
AP bursters thrive on stunning or ccing you, and unleash death before you can even flash or W to safety. Merc threads works wonders.
If, for some reason, you dont want the merc threads there are other viable options.
I prefer;

- just because it matches your ninja playstyle


(This is taking forever, I'll speed the next ones up)

- because it's awesome (more hp, ap+slow on every ability)


A hat to go with the boots;

(Pretty self explainatory; It gives you sooo muuuch damaageee)


Right now, with your runes, I'd say you have about 400ish AP. That is alot. Imagine basically your every other autoattack doing that same amount in damage... Sick right?
That's why you get

- With this badboy right here you will get more AP, more survivabilty, run faster and hit ALOT harder. This is absolute core.


Tricky part of itembuild comming up (IE Situational)
Because of the current meta(explained above) you will run into alot of AP heroes.

That's why I like;

-More magic resist, more AP and reduces the enemys magic resist. Pretty nifty item, not so often seen.


Other viable options for 5th/6th item is;

- (More dmg, more healz. I never liked the gunblade but I do admit, its pretty viable for akali.. Not my first choice of item though.)

(Also gives you armor and has a cool passive)

or ofcourse standard carry accessoar;

(Can be just what you need to survive)


To be fair. Akali doesnt use mana, so every item that gives mana is not as ... what to call it.. cost efficient as on alot of other champions. However I feel that basically every item portaited in this build is worth buying, mana or no mana.

If you are doing real good in the game you could get

It's an okey item I guess, Very cheap if you get 7-10 or so stacks. More recommended for experienced Akali/LoL players.

Hopefully this wall of text gave you an insight to why I chose this item path.
If not, give me an upvote for dedication? Pretty please?;)


Westrice Akali
There´s a video of Westrice playing Akali.
The start he is building is almost an exact replica of what I'm trying to go.
He builds tome at his first trip to base, because he only has 500gold. That is viable - If you´re at base, you should always(Almost always) spend the moneyz.

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I've gotten requests of making a playstyle chapter, and who am I to deny the people of what they want!

I will describe a typical match and how to play during the laning phase.

It's pretty standard to have a team composed of;
-AD carry
-AP carry

Since Akali is not really any of the above, I feel it most confident to use her when the Jungler in your team is either a tank or a support
Examples of this is for instance ; Amumu, Tankwick, Nunu.

A typical team could look something like this:
-AD Carry
-AP Carry

In this type of game, you will have two sololanes

As Akali, I prefer to play her on a sololane.
This will give you an advantage over the AD carry of the opposing team, and if played right; You should be able to melt faces.

Which lane you take is entirely up to you, preferably against any non-burst casters with standard escapes.

Lets say you solo top vs Ashe.
(If the enemy are smart, this probably wont happen. But the playstyle is pretty much the same against every champion)

Akali Summoner spells;

You start of with getting boots + Hp pots.
Ashe will either start doran's blade or boots + Hp pots.
Let's say she started doran's;
She will have an advantage the first lvls.
What you want to do at this point is to just play it defensively, lasthit with your q and if necessary lasthit using autoattacks.
Lasthitting is VERY important, do your best to hit them, you´ve got both your boots and your hp pots.
Evading her volley should be fairly easy.

At lvl 2 you have your Twilight Shroud.
What you want to do now is to try and deny her exp, or atleast push her away from your creeps so she cant lasthit.
Easiest way to do this is;

-Wait for her Volley.
-Cast Q on her (at this point she will probably move backwards, since she dont want you to hit her after getting marked.)
-Cast W between the creeps and ashe.
-Get into your shroud
-If she get's close, punish her by casting q again and hitting her (This hurts.)
-Run to your end of the shroud(Out of Ashe's striking range)

Short version;
You want to cut her off using your shroud.
This can be difficult at first but as soon as you get used of it, its on autopilot.

NOTE - Always, ALWAYS ward the river from incomming jungle ganks. This is so easy and will save your life countless times during a game.


You will not be able to do this in every game, in alot of games, the opposing 'Ashe' might be too good to fall for it.
If you notice that this is the case, let her push.
When she is close to the turret, twiligh shroud.
She cannot risk getting close to your shroud at turret range.

I like to cast the shroud ontop of her minions, this gives me free lasthis aswell as cuts her of.

Key in this scenario; Don't die. If she out cs you, thats fine. Play it safe, call for jungler help if you absolutely need to.
You can not afford to give her that 300+ gold and give her free hits at your turret.
Just stay back, lasthit with q.
Shroud and chill, the tide will turn in time.


When you hit lvl 6 or 7, you would want to have about 1200-1500 gold.
Now you want to bluepill to purchase items.

Try and push the lane using your Q, shroud ontop of her, R.
Dont use exhaust at this point, if you´re not certain that she will die, or you need to use it to survive.

Anyway, bluepill to base.

My first item now is depending on;
1. Money.
2. How the laning is going.
3. Opponents.

Generally, there are two ways to take here.

1. The high risk, high reward route. "Sheen route"

If you are confident that you can either kill her or push her out of lane;

-If you get Sheen, most of the time you want to go for a kill.
Alot of the time you will get it.

Get back into lane. repeat your laning.
Try and harass as much as possible.
If you can, get her to use her flash/Ult by "baiting" that you are going in for the kill.
(If her flash is down, it significantly raises the chances of a successful gank)
If her flash is down, you want her to be at about 60% hp, for an almost guaranteed kill.

When going for the kill you;
-Mark her
-Throw down your shroud ontop of her (Your Shroud slows and gives you survivability)
-Ult her
-Exhaust her

I try doing this without my jungle support. That gives the jungler a chance to focus more on globals, counterjungling, and gank others lanes.

At this point you either;

-Killed her
-Got her to bluepill
-Died/ got low hp

If you killed her or got her to base you could either;
- Go for the turret, if your lane is pushed (You want to get that turret before the laningphase is over at about lvl 10-13)
- Gank mid (You can synergize a gank with your jungler for an almost 100% guaranteed kill, afterwards; Push mid/dragon)
- Free Farmin'!

NOTE - One kill is not enough for you to get farmed, when going for a sheen you need to always be fighting/ gank lanes.
You get the sheen to get fed more or less.

If you died or got low, you could either bluepill or try and play it really safe.
Either way, you will be at a huge disadvantage.
That is why this way is highrisk-highreward.

2. The low, medium reward route "Safe route"

If you don't want to risk it, your opponent plays really good.
Giant's belt

If you go giant's belt you probably wont play really aggressive for a kill.
You can attempt to gank since you will still do good damage, but you will be best of with jungle support.

If you decide to go for a gank, play it the same way as you would in the Sheen route
If you got the kill, stay in lane and free farm all day'. You want your rylais asap.

NOTE - This is by far the most common route for me. You will still be able to melt faces, but you can do it by playing safe and get alot of farm since you will be really beefy with your giant's belt.


From here on out, try to always be doing something.
The laning phase will soon be over -> go for objectives.

Objective's rank looks something like this;
1. Nexus (Obvious)
2. Inhibitors (Obvious)
3. Baron
4. Turrets
5. Dragon
6. Ganks
7. Enemybuffs
8. Buffs
9. Enemy Jungle

Where 4,5 could switch places depending on the situation. Most common this way however.(IMO)

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Alternative starts

Ok, so I´ve got a few comments on the chosen itempath.
Teamsetups and tactics vary with each game, so does the buildorder of items.

Note - This is only if you run runesetup #1 (When you dont have both passives at lvl 1 from runes.)

Duolane vs 2 melee champions?

Start Doran's blade - You don´t need the movespeed asap (assuming that you are not laning vs taric or other ranged stun) and you probably wont need the healthpots since they cannot reallt harass you.

Second Get sheen + boots
NOTE Now I'm assuming that the laning goes well. If you are being pushed out, stick to the regular itempath and go giantsbelt+healthpots

Third Get a Giantsbelt+ upgrade boots

Forth Get Rylais

Fifth Get Rabadons

Sixth Get Lichbane

Seventh Get Gunblade** After latest nerfs on revolver, gunblade is very very optional.

Just to clarify;
I realized that I might´ve thrashed doran's blade a little too much in the previous chapter.
Doran's blade is a good item on Akali and in alot of cases worth buying.

Situations that calls for Doran's blade

Note - This is only if you run runesetup #1 (When you dont have both passives at lvl 1 from runes.)

DUOLANE VS NO SKILLSHOTS (In alot of cases, depending on what they start. If you´ve got an ashe with boots you really want to get boots too)

Note - This is only if you run runesetup #1 (When you dont have both passives at lvl 1 from runes.)

Also, if you get pushed out of lane early and need to bluepill with about 500-600 gold - Get a Doran´s blade instead of early sheen(Doran's benefits you a hell of alot more in this situation then an amplifiyng tome). Get back into the fight. Kill him. Carry game. Win.

That´s how I roll anyways.

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Twin Disciplines;
Discipline of Force - "Upon obtaining 19.5 ability power, Akali's auto attacks deal 10% bonus magic damage, increasing by 1% for every 5 ability power gained thereafter."
Discipline of Might - "Upon obtaining 9.5 attack damage, Akali gains 10% spell vamp, increasing by an additional 1% for every 5 attack damage gained thereafter."

Mark Of the Assasin- "Akali throws her kama at a target enemy, dealing magic damage and marking the target for 6 seconds. Akali's melee attacks against a marked target will consume the mark dealing the same magic damage again and restoring energy."

Note Great harass spell. You should always throws this first in a fight.

Twilight Shroud
"Akali throws down a circular cover of smoke that lasts for 8 seconds. While inside the area, Akali gains armor and magic resistance and becomes stealthed. Attacking or using abilities will briefly reveal her. Enemies inside the smoke have their movement speed reduced."

NOTE Can be used verywell both offensively and defensively. Offensively it gives you more surviabilty and slows them, if you engage in fights - dont be afraid to throw it over you. You can chase with it, throw it on them and their speed is reduced.
Defensively it's just great, you can juke em. Check bushes (throw it in the bush and just check for incomming ganks)

Cresecent Slash
"Akali flourishes her kamas, hitting nearby units for physical damage."

Note Great farming tool. Also proccs your lichbanes and does quite a nifty sum of dmg.

Shadow Dance - Ultimate
"Akali moves through the shadows to quickly appear next to her target and deal magic damage to it. Akali gains an Essence of Shadow once every few seconds up to a total of 3, affected by cooldown reduction. The time to gain a charge doesn't count when at maximum charges. Additionally, Akali gains an Essence of Shadow for a kill or an assist."

Note Just awesome ult. Great for lasthitting champions like a boss.
Real low cooldown, you will always have it ready. Does a fair amount of dmg.

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I have tree different runepages that all works well with Akali;

Actives Discipline of Force at lvl 1

MARKS 9x Magicpen
SEALS 9x Dodge

Actives Discipline of Might at lvl 1;

MARKS ; 3x AttackDMG, 6x MagicPEN
SEALS ; 9x Dodge
GLYPHS ; 9x Scaling AP runes
QUINTS ; 3x AttackDMG

The reason for this setup is;
Marks + quints gives you +9.6 attackdmg at lvl 1. This proccs your Discipline of Might, which in my opinion is quite alot better than your Discipline of Force(Especially at lvl 1)
With these runes, youve got actually no need for a doran´s (since the main reason to get it is for your passive procc) and you only loose about 2.8 magicpen and some AP(Which you will get soon enough)

As mentioned before, the +20 ap is not that important early game anyways.
However, the +10 attackdmg will take a very long time to get(if not starting dorans) if you ever get it at all.

The Scaling AP instead of the flat AP is because;
Since you are not going for the lvl 1 Discipline of Force, you dont really need the early AP.
The Scaling will start benefit you at lvl 6 - Which is where you start doing good damage anyways.

Dodge seals as usuall. Armor seals can be used instead if you dont want to spend the IP.

Actives both Disciplines at lvl 1;

MARKS ; 9x AttackDMG
SEALS ; 8x Dodge, 1x FLAT AP
QUINTS ; 1x AttackDMG, 2x FLAT AP

People tend to favor MagicPen over attackdmg as red runes.
In the end its pretty much the same, 9MagicPen is equal to about 9% reduced dmg. which at lvl 1 is pretty much the same as hightening your attackdmg with 10.

However, it's alot harder to come by magicpen on items then it is for you to buy an AP or AD item.

In the end both is decent.

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Summoner Spells

Best summoner spell evah

My next Summoner of choice is

- Exhaust helps you secure alot of early kills when You dont have redbuff. It boost your damage and slows them a great deal. Overall a really strong choice.

Other Summoners worth looking over.
- When faced against alot of heals or you just want that little extra 'oompf'. I dont use this because I think Akali already have a quite sufficient burst.
- One more escape can never go wrong.
- Low cooldown, not as strong as the beforementioned, but dont get me wrong. It can be real epic.

For all of you who got around to read my Vayne guide;
Yeah, I actually did just copy paste this chapter. The same rules apply.

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EDIT 2011-05-30; Added chapter 'Alternative starts'
EDIT 2011-05-31; Rewrote chapter 'Runes'
EDIT 2011-06-06; Require commen to vote
EDIT 2011-06-22; Added chapter 'Playstyle'

- I really dig the upvotes and stuff, but to me the written comments are more important.
So if you like this build and want to upvote it, you'll need to comment;)

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* This has not been updated in a while. I'll try to regulate this build after the most recent patches

I'm almost done here. If you guys have any further questions, dont be afraid to ask.

I really appreciate comments and feedback.

Be sure to try this guide out, tell your friends and don´t forget to give an upvote!

I want to end this with a thanks, for all of you who actually read through it all.

I'm going to show my appreciation with a picture of my dog

She's a real cutie right? :)