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Akali Build Guide by Akio Nomura

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Akio Nomura

"As balance dictates." {An Akali Top Lane Guide}

Akio Nomura Last updated on January 28, 2015
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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

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

Threats to Akali with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
Hecarim Strangely enough, i fought with an Hecarim top. Just be careful pre-6, because he's gonna surely build full damage with trinity and stomp on your face with a lot of damages. At level six go full aggressive, you deal more than him.
Nasus Really an easy fight, you can deny his farm by always Q+E him. I gave him a three as threat level, because he's gonna play passively under his tower, farming minions. After six, go full aggressive. You can win even pre six, but a dive is very risky.
Volibear Not a really hard matchup. You may want to take ignite against him, to one shot him for his boring passive.. but even with teleport it's kinda easy. He can't do nothing to avoid your combo, so.. just go full in at level six and farm/poke pre.
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Hi guys, here i am. Just a random guy who decided to take League of Legends more seriously during Season 4, and climbed from Silver III to Platinum V in some months. I'm the ambitious type, so i aim to Diamond this year. Wish me luck (Hide those vodoo dolls please).
I play League often, since Season 2. In this guide i won't explain everything in detail, because i think that somethings, like how much damages you do with an auto attack, must be learned by trying the champion more than one time. That doesn't mean the guide will be hard, but the opposite. You just have to learn by your self how much you do and how much you take from the others. So, have patience dudes and have fun playing Akali. I did the images on this build, since i know how to use photoshop. But i think you really don't care about that, so.. this is me:

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Pros & Cons


+ She's hot.
+ No Mana.
+ Can easily one shot.
+ Easy to learn.
+ Kunoichi docet.

- She's hot. (Don't get distracted)
- Rely on ult.
- Very squishy.
- Not as easy as people think.
- Pink + Sweeping Lens.

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Recent Changes

Patch 5.2

Akali Crescent Slash no longer detonates Mark of the Assassin. (That means that you can't anniemore trigger the Q passive with your E. You need to auto attack.)

Akali Shadow Dance range decreased to 700 from 800. This is quite clear, you have less range with your ulti.

Other changes that Akali players need to know.

You can now build Giant's Belt with a Ruby Crystal. This is good, since you ain't always got the money for it.

The Hextech Gunblade had those changes:
LIFESTEAL 12% ⇒ 10%
Doesn't change much for Akali, you get less lifesteal and attack damage, but you gain more ability power. So it's fine.

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Easy Champ?

Before i begin to explain everything about Akali, i would like to open a parenthesis about this topic. There's probably no need to, but i think that you should be free to play her without being mocked by the enemy team for using an easy champ.
First of all, Akali is not that easy as people think. It's surely easy to learn, and all of her skills are target ones.. easy to land. But your huge gape closer could make you end up in a really bad position. The map must be warded well. And in teamfights you're easy shotted. A good team will surely place a Vision Ward in your Twilight Shroud or use the Oracle's Lens, denying your possibility to ult, hide and repeat the combo.
I once used Garen against Akali top in ranked, completely owned her and being called "noob champ" by her. My team replied with: "You're using Akali and you call the others noob?". Well, trust me, Garen is much easier than her. And as a Wukong main, i can assure you that even the monkey it's easier that Akali. You like her? Just play, and don't get mad by some random strangers that surely does not know how to play her.

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Champion Introduction

Hi Ninjas, this is my Top Lane Akali build. It's not one of my favourite champ, but she's pretty cool to play, nice to see in game after the texture update, and got an awesome splash art now. So, why not? I noticed that there's not a well made build of her in the top lane and wanted to try to make one.

Akali is an awesome champ if you want to raise your elo from bronze to gold. With her combo you can kill almost everybody. Just do a Mark of the Assassin on them, Shadow Dance auto attack to trigger the Q passive and Crescent Slash. Always use your Twilight Shroud to cover yourself and be careful for Vision Ward and Oracle's Lens!

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Greater Quintessence of Ability Power

Greater Mark of Precision

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Seal of Armor

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This is your main masteries tree. You can also try to variate it, but 21/9/0 are the best for Akali. You could also try to copy a 9/21/0 from somewhere, but you're an assassin, and since your role is to kill, those are wasted.

Double-Edged Sword it's a bit risky, but believe me, it's worth it. The 2% damage can assure you a kill. Sorcery it's a must have, since Akali rely on spell cooldown. It's true that she has a pretty low cd on her own, but it's really helpful on early game. Mental Force , Arcane Mastery and Archmage for more ability power. Executioner and Dangerous Game will help you to snowball better, and to survive after killing someone. Arcane Blade it's pretty cool with your lovely ninja, because you will do a lot just by auto attacking. Devastating Strikes because you need to penetrate them, and Havoc it's really strong with almost everyone.

The nine points on the Defense tree, are the classic one. Block to avoid being destroyed by auto attacks, Recovery for a bit more health regen, Unyielding for every single damage taken, Veteran's Scars for a bit more hp and Juggernaut for your maximum health.

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Skill Order

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

> > >
As always your top priority is your ultimate, Shadow Dance. Remember that you can cast it three times if charged. Your Q, Mark of the Assassin as second, because the mark that it applies, it's your second most powerful skill after your ult. E, Crescent Slash as third, it deals good damage. As last you'll take the W, Twilight Shroud, since it's more an utility than a damage skill.

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After channeling for 3.5 seconds, teleports your champion to target allied minion, turret, or ward.
Teleport is your main choice for the toplane, for various reasons. First of all, almost every champion play top lane with Teleport. Why? Because you can come back to the lane fast, after dying or just recalling. Also, you can help the lane in needs. I suggest you to help the botlane as soons as you can, it's the most weak lane, if your bot lane it is going bad, it means that two of your team mates will be out farmed for the whole game. After the gank, recall asap, or you'll lose the lane. You're not Shen, right?

Ignites target enemy champion, dealing 70-410 true damage (depending on champion level) over 5 seconds, grants you vision of the target, and reduces healing effects on them for the duration.
When you take Ignite over Teleport? It's pretty simple, you'll need Ignite when the champion heal itself. Like a Volibear top, with his passive. Or a Dr. Mundo. A Warwick with his Q, Swain, since he always heal itself with his ultimate. Usually you should take it with Tryndamere too.. but do not. With your three ultimates you can kill him even with his ult up. He can't escape your gap closer.

Teleports your champion a short distance toward your cursor's location.
Oh damn, run! Need an explanation about it? You'll always take flash to escape from risky situations. Never take Ghost with her, it's useless, now more than ever, since your Twilight Shroud give you movement speed.

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Sorcerer's Shoes - Homeguard
15 Magic Penetration. UNIQUE Passive: Enhanced Movement: +45 Movement Speed

UNIQUE Passive: Homeguard: After being out of combat for 6 seconds, visiting the shop grants portion of Health and Mana per second.

Sorcerer's Shoes - Homeguard is the best choice for Akali. The fifteen magic pen allows you to kill your opponent even if he has a Negatron Cloak. Homeguard is really useful right now, it's the best option in every case, no matter if you want to go back to your lane, def a tower or help your team mates.

Hextech Gunblade
80 Ability Power, 40 Attack Damage, 10 Life Steal. UNIQUE Passive: 20% Spell Vamp. UNIQUE Passive: Your basic attacks and single target spells against champions reduce the cooldown of this item by 3 seconds. UNIQUE Active: Deals 150 + 40% of your Ability Power as magic damage and slows target champion's Movement Speed by 40% for 2 seconds. 60 second cooldown.
Hextech Gunblade it's one of your core items, because it has an high synergy with Akali. You need both the spellvamp from the Hextech Revolver and the lifesteal from Bilgewater Cutlass. Also, the slow it's pretty awesome. It allows you to ult them again even if they flash away, since it slow them a lot for two seconds.

Zhonya's Hourglass
120 Ability Power, 50 Armor. UNIQUE Active: Places your champion into Stasis for 2.5 seconds, rendering your champion invulnerable and untargetable but unable to take any actions. 90 second cooldown.
Zhonya's Hourglass it's the second item in your core build. You need it to save yourself from bad situations, by using the active. You can avoid almost everything. Like blocking Lux Final Spark, Katarina Death Lotus or Zed Death Mark. Also, remember to rush Seeker's Armguard against strong AD champs, like Riven, Darius, Zed.. etc etc.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter
100 Ability Power, 400 Health. UNIQUE Passive: Your spell damage will slow the target's movement speed by 35% for 1.5 seconds (15% for multi-target spells, damage over time spells and spells with a cooldown time below 3 seconds).
This item it's like Zhonya's Hourglass. It does not save you from boring skills, but it helps you with that 400 health. Also, like the Hextech Gunblade it got an useful slow for every single spell damage you trigger. They're perma slowed, helping you to chase better, survive more and kill them all.

Lich Bane
80 Ability Power, 250 Mana, 5 Movement Speed Multiplier. UNIQUE Passive: Spellblade: After using an ability, your next basic attack deals bonus magic damage equal to 75% of your base AD + 50% of your Ability Power (2 Second Cooldown).
A very strong item on Akali. Lich Bane make your next auto attack, after a spell, stronger. Since you're an hybrid damage based champion, like i said before, even your aa does nice damages. With a Sheen it does even more. Sometimes you want to rush it even before Zhonya's Hourglass and Rylai's Crystal Scepter, if you don't need either the armor from one, or the health from the second.

Guardian Angel
50 Armor, 40 Magic Resistance. UNIQUE Passive: Revives your Champion upon death, restoring 30% of your maximum Health and Mana. This effect can only occur once every 5 minutes.
Super Mario Bros should've teached you, one more life can be the key to victory. You always need a defensive item. You could also go for Banshee's Veil, but Guardian Angel it's more worth it. If you die and you've got good mates, they'll help you to survive.. or to kill the whole enemy team.

Oracle's Lens
Active: Disables and reveals nearby hidden wards, traps or devices for 6 seconds, active now additionally grants True Sight for 8 seconds after activation (60 second cooldown, sweep area of effect increased by 100%, 600 range)
In late you need to clear the wards, more than placing a single trinket that last three minutes. With Oracle's Lens you can clear more than one ward since when evolved it works like an old Oracle's Elixir.. but only for eight seconds.

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Early Game

Your early game as Akali it's almost the same every single time. You just need to farm, farm and farm. Just remember that farming is one of the most important thing of the whole game. But, God, you're Akali, you can also farm champion if you want. [Insert a stupid laugh here.]
Be sure to last hit every single minion, and don't get zoned by the enemies. Try to reach level two faster than your opponent, so you can zone him by using Mark of the Assassin. He'll probably back from you to avoid your Crescent Slash. But don't spam too much or you'll run out of energy. Try to trigger your Q with an auto attack, and remember, don't take huge damage from the creeps just for it. IMPORTANT! Warding Totem on the bush at 3:10 or a little before when they got a fast jungling clear jungler. Like Vi, for example.

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Mid Game

When you are in the mid game, it's probably the best for you to Teleport bot lane or mid, if you're not forced to use it defensively. You need to roam as much as you can, to put your team in a way that they can win their own lane (The true definition of carrying). Like i said before, bot lane it's probably the lane that need more help, because if they lose, you'll play the game 3vs5, since both the support and the AD carry, will be useless. And even if you get fed, it's almost impossible to win if they get unmotivated to play. Even mid will need help, if you ain't got Teleport just push your wave, wait for your opponent to recall and then use your feet to gank it. Do not forget your farm, and always take a Stealth Ward or a Vision Ward (if you can) every time you go back.

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Late Game

As an assassin, your primary role will be to one shot the enemy AD carry or AP carry. You need to play both solo and as a team. The team work is the most important thing, but we already know that most of the assassin must have a solo vision of the fight. You'll be on the side waiting for an opportunity to assassinate the enemy. If you can peel someone, like your AD carry, feel free too. The more you are the better. As a top laner you can also split push a lot in your own lane, or on the others with Teleport. But that doesn't mean you should ignore the team calls. Always be aware of your surrounding. As Akali, never leave a kill. It's really worth it on you, if you get fed you can snowball hard and go solo versus five (Ok maybe it's not a good idea, don't do it). Don't forget to remember every single cc's of the enemy team. You wouldn't like to be perma stunned after your first R, right? And always engage with your little friend Zhonya's Hourglass up.

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Synergies & Counters

the Fist of Shadow
Yourself! As weird as it seems, Akali is one of that type of assassin that goes well with every team. If your team is good, then it's fine, no matter if you've got an AP Poppy jungler or an AD carry Janna. You play solo for most of the time, so don't worry about your team comp, just play and have fun!

Lee Sin
the Blind Monk
He is known as your top counter. He's blind, but you can't hide from him. He can reveal you from inside your Twilight Shroud, with his Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike or Tempest / Cripple. If you try to Shadow Dance him, he'll Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike you, Dragon's Rage then Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike again. His burst will win against yours, because you can't react to the combo. Ask for some ganks and try to apply your Mark of the Assassin passive without being taken by Lee Sin Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike.

the Might of Demacia
Another counter for Akali is Garen. With Decisive Strike he can prevent you to continue your combo, thanks to the boring silence. With is W, Courage your damage get reduced and if you try to hide in Twilight Shroud, he'll just spin with Judgment. And you'll obviously die if he going to apply Demacian Justice on you. You need to poke him as much as you can with Mark of the Assassin and Crescent Slash, until he's half dead; then, you can try to combo him with your Shadow Dance, hiding as fast as you can in your Twilight Shroud. If you're fast enough, he probably wont be able to hit you with Decisive Strike. If he's building good (And you should always assume so) then he'll buy a Null-Magic Mantle. But you've gotta build the same items. You could also rush Bilgewater Cutlass first, but it's not really worth it, since with Courage it will last less.

the Master of Metal
There's not really much to say about Mordekaiser. He is known as one of Akali counter because pre six, he can punish you with his E, Siphon of Destruction. Making impossible for you to farm. Ask for an early gank, you'll need it. If he's fed you might wanna get a Null-Magic Mantle.. but it's kinda pointless. Just press Alt+Mouse Down. Care to Children of the Grave and if he's in a bad position, tell your team to focus him hard. Better not go four versus six, right?

the Butcher of the Sands
Like Mordekaiser, there's not much to say. A good Renekton will just do his Q, Cull the Meek and then dash away with E, Slice and Dice. This will make the lane really boring for you. Even after level six. Ask for the jungler help and play safe. Watch to his build, a lot of people love to start with Tiamat or The Brutalizer on him. While someone else will just buy a Giant's Belt for the Sunfire Cape.

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And those are the credits!
A special thanks to jhoijhoi, since i used her tips on Making a Guide.
I did the rest myself if you need something else just write a comment, i'll gladly answer to it! And, if you liked it..