Click to open network menu
Join or Log In
Mobafire logo

Join the leading League of Legends community. Create and share Champion Guides and Builds.

Create an MFN Account






Or

It's time for the Midseason 11 Guide Contest! Create or update guides in the following 3 weeks for the chance to win up to $200 in prizes!
Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page

x

Akali Build Guide by KlavierGavin

Middle Technical Guide to New Akali [Version 8.17]

Middle Technical Guide to New Akali [Version 8.17]

Updated on July 31, 2018
9.4
32
Votes
3
Vote Vote
League of Legends Build Guide Author KlavierGavin Build Guide By KlavierGavin 32 3 96,464 Views 26 Comments
32 3 96,464 Views 26 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author KlavierGavin Akali Build Guide By KlavierGavin Updated on July 31, 2018
x
Did this guide help you? If so please give them a vote or leave a comment. You can even win prizes by doing so!
Vote
Comment

You must be logged in to comment. Please login or register.

I liked this Guide
I didn't like this Guide
Commenting is required to vote!
Would you like to add a comment to your vote?

Thank You!

Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.

Runes:

Sorcery
Summon Aery
Nullifying Orb
Celerity
Scorch

Domination
Sudden Impact
Ravenous Hunter

Spells:

LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

LeagueSpy Logo
Middle Lane
Ranked #58 in
Middle Lane
Win 48%
Get More Stats
Middle Lane Ranked #58 in
Middle Lane
Win 48%
More Akali Runes
>

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Introduction



Hello, and welcome to my Technical Guide to the champion I consider the most engaging to play with: Akali. There's much to cover, but let us hit the ground running.

Before we begin, I'd like to talk a little bit about myself. I am - quite admittedly - an one-trick-pony with Akali; I've fallen in love with her on my first Coop vs. IA battle (long before the rework that changed her Passive Ability). I play in the Brazilian Server and hold a Gold ELO, despite not being someone that plays the game constantly.

Nonetheless, I have a strong penchant for analysis, and Akali certainly was a champion that required a lot of thinking to master - hence the term "Technical" when referring to this guide. I know that my playing abilities are not as good as my teaching tools and analytical prowess, so I certainly hope that my guide might lead others into playing with mastery this incredible champion.



Table Of Contents






Back to Top

Akali Pros And Cons



When it comes to playing Akali, she is certainly a champion that has her strengths and weaknesses very clearly defined. Here are Akali's Pros and Cons.

Pros

+ Extreme Burst Capability
+ High Snowball Potential
+ Strong Sustain
+ Unparalleled Engage/Disengage
+ High Mobility
+ Versatile Toolkit
+ Splitpush Capability With Passive
Cons

+ Weak Early Game
+ Vulnerability to Crowd Control
+ Easily Harassed (Especially Pre-6)
+ Hard To Regain Advantage If Losing
+ Subpar Farming Pre-6
+ Cannot All-In Without Items

Let us discuss each of these points briefly.



PROS

- Extreme Burst Capability: Once you have built some momentum with Akali, you'll be able to destroy nearly any champion with a series of appropriately-timed combos.


- High Snowball Potential: The Mid to Late Game is where Akali excels. By getting an advantage in your lane, you make this rift grow even wider, strongly swinging the match to your favour.


- Strong Sustain: Both Akali's first Twin Disciplines strike and the effect from Hextech Gunblade enable to you stay in the lane for long periods of time, reducing the amount of returns to the base.


- Unparalleled Engage/Disengage: If you need to stick to an enemy, you have a wide variety of tools to your disposal - Twilight Shroud, Shadow Dance and the active effect of Hextech Gunblade, to name a few. Things have gone awry? Disengage by casting Shadow Dance towards a Minion. Caught off-position in the enemy Jungle? Blink through a wall with Twilight Shroud, cast Shadow Dance on the Rift Scuttler and escape safely.


- High Mobility: Besides from the engage and disengage, Akali is extremely fast as a result of her Twilight Shroud and her customary built items.


- Versatile Toolkit: Many people take Akali's toolkit for its face-value; however, believing that her skills only serve one purpose is a hasty observation. We'll analyse this more in-depth during our Skills section.


- Splitpush Capability With Passive: Akali's second Twin Disciplines strike can dish a lot of damage against structures; this, when coupled with her high mobility, can aid you in splitting and conquering objectives.



CONS

- Weak Early Game: Let us convene - except if you are facing a Yasuo, a Fizz or a Katarina in your lane, you probably won't get a kill before Level 6. The champion's need to stay in melee range makes for a very weak early game that can be easily exploited.


- Vulnerability to Crowd Control: You cannot burst if you are stunned, and you cannot get close enough to proc your Mark of the Assassin if you are snared. Most forms of Crowd Control disrupt your combo, so avoiding them is your top-most priority.


- Easily Harassed (Especially Pre-6): If you want to build momentum, you'll need to farm. If you want to farm, you'll take damage. There are ways to mitigate that, but the truth is that you'll get harassed quite a bit before you hit Level 6.


- Hard To Regain Advantage If Losing: Since Akali requires close contact with the enemy for her burst to happen, you need to dispatch them fast. If you are losing, however, the time you'll require is greater. This means you'll have reduced opportunities to burst and much less relevance in teamfights if you have fallen behind, to the point that getting back to shape will be extremely difficult with her.


- Subpar Farming Pre-6: Your only tool of ranged farming Pre-6 is Mark of the Assassin; effectively, this means that you'll likely lose quite a few Minions if they are at the opponent's side of the lane.


- Cannot All-In Without Items: A common mistake of a neophyte Akali player is to believe that they can all-in as soon as they hit Level 6. This is not true; in order to all-in, you need at least Hextech Gunblade, and having an extra item is advisable.

Back to Top

In-Depth Skill Analysis



Akali has a kit that seems straightforward at first. She doesn't have any form of Crowd Control, except for the slow arising from Twilight Shroud, nor any convoluted interactions between her skills. However, a very common mistake is to believe that there isn't complexity to the champion's kit - and, for that reason, we shall now analyse each skill thoroughly.



Passive - Twin Disciplines


Skill Description: Akali's first two attacks are empowered. The first strike heals her, and the second strike deals bonus magic damage. Twin Disciplines will recharge itself automatically a short while after being used.


Cooldown And Timing: Ranges from 8 to 4 seconds, based on champion level; this takes into account the first strike. After the first strike, you have 4 seconds to make use of your second empowered hit.


Data Parameters:
Heal - 3 + 2 * Level (until Level 11) + 5 * Level (above Level 11) + 60% of bonus AD + 45% of AP
Damage - 8 + 2 * Level (until Level 11) + 10 * Level (above Level 11) + 50% of bonus AD + 75% of AP.


Use: First and foremost, Twin Disciplines is what allows Akali to have a good level of lane permanence. Its sustain is an excellent tool despite the harass faced by the champion, and this is the reason why you can remain in the lane for long periods of time. If your life is dangerously low, simply let the opponent push the wave and farm under tower while reaping the benefits from the Passive Skill.

Furthermore, Twin Disciplines also grants Akali an edge during trades. By consuming the first attack on a random target, the next strike ends up dealing a hefty amount of damage that the opponent might have not expected.

Twin Disciplines is also a valuable tool for splitpushing, as both strikes proc against structures. This allows you to quickly destroy towers and inhibitors, and might even provide you the tools to do a successful backdoor.

Last, but not least, Twin Disciplines is a great tool of trickery when chased by your opponents. By attacking the neutral monsters during your escape, you'll be able to heal quickly and your chaser will be none the wiser. Then, simply hide in a brush and jump on him when the opportunity arises, punishing him for the chase.



Q - Mark Of The Assassin


Skill Description: Akali throws her kama at a target enemy to deal 35 / 55 / 75 / 95 / 115 (+ 40% of AP) magic damage and mark the target for 6 seconds. Akali's melee attacks against a marked target will consume the mark to deal 45 / 70 / 95 / 120 / 145 (+ 50% of AP) magic damage and restore 40 energy.


Cooldown And Timing: The skill's cooldowns are 6 / 5.5 / 5 / 4.5 / 4, based on level. Mark lasts for 6 seconds.


Combined Damage: 80 / 125 / 170 / 215 / 260 (+ 90% of AP) Magic Damage.


Use: This skill is plainly used for damage. You will use Mark of the Assassin to ensure that you win your trades by causing a large amount of damage in a short period of time.

Mark of the Assassin can also be employed to farm from a distance, especially so if your opponent has a high harass capability. To top it off, Mark of the Assassin is great for harassing your opponent under his tower - as you can throw the skill and walk backwards without getting the tower's aggro on you; the skill is only considered complete when it hits the target.

Nonetheless, there are certain tricks to this skill, which shall be explored more deeply in our next section.



W - Twilight Shroud


Skill Description: After a 0.25 second delay, Akali blinks to a nearby location, leaving a smoke cover for 8 seconds at the location before cast and incurring a global cooldown of 0.5 seconds to all her other abilities. The smoke cover grants sight of the area and slows all units within it.

While inside the smoke cover, Akali immediately gains true invisibility and movement speed.

If Akali uses a basic attack or ability inside her smoke cover, she will reveal herself for 0.65 seconds.


Cooldown And Timing: The skill's cooldown is 18 seconds on all levels. The area lasts for 8 seconds.


Added Effects: Besides from the Invisibility and Sight capabilities left by Twilight Shroud, it also provides a short-distance blink, a 14 / 18 / 22 / 26 / 30% slow for the enemies that enter the area and an increase of 20 / 40 / 60 / 80 / 100% regarding Akali's movement speed.


Use: Far, far too many to count. Brace yourselves, because this is going to be a long ride.



DISTANCE-RELATED USES


A - Prodding. By far and large, this is the reason why you'll use Twilight Shroud the most during the Early Game. A good Akali keeps prodding by throwing a Mark of the Assassin, then bridging the distance with Twilight Shroud, following up with an auto-attack and then disappearing in the shadows again. Quite simple, but quite effective.


B - Gap Closer. Sometimes, a casting of Twilight Shroud is all you need in order to get into Hextech Gunblade's active range, which puts you, as a consequence, into Shadow Dance's range. When small distances need to be bridged, Twilight Shroud should be your ally.


C - Disengage. Has the opponent picked you out of position or has the enemy Jungler ganked you while you were too advanced? Disengage with Twilight Shroud and await for the opportunity to escape (either by walking or by casting Shadow Dance on a backrank Minion). Since Twilight Shroud increases your speed and decreases the speed of your opponents, more often than not your escape will succeed.


D - Teammate Escapes. Sometimes, an ally of yours will be chased by the enemy team. If you can't kill them, simply move towards your ally and cast Twilight Shroud on the area he's passing through. This will hinder the mobility of the opposing team and help your teammate's escape.


E - Wall Bypasser. Twilight Shroud is like a Flash, except stronger and with a much smaller cooldown. You can either use the skill as a follow-up to an opponent's Flash through a wall, or as an escape route if things get awry.


F - Tower Exit. Have you decided to dive the opponent under his tower and now he's dead? Congratulations. Now use a Twilight Shroud backwards to get out of the tower's range. Due to the short blink and the added movement speed, you can avoid from one to two tower shots by employing this strategy.


G - Skill Dodge. If you're about to get hit by a Dark Binding, for instance, then you can cast Twilight Shroud away from the skillshot's path to avoid being hit altogether. This works even with more arcane skillshots, like Syndra's Scatter the Weak - simply jump the incoming wave and you'll land on the other side unscathed. Sometimes, Twilight Shroud can also be used to mitigate a skill's effect - for example, use a casting of the skill backwards to make Cassiopeia's Petrifying Gaze turn into a slow rather than a stun.


H - Quick Lane Arrival. Due to the small blink and the added movement speed, it's always wise to cast Twilight Shroud when you are leaving your base. Sure, you're shaving only one second or two, but those seconds might be the difference between farming the Minion and seeing it die right before your eyes.


I - Displacement Interruption. Were you caught by the opposing Blitzcrank with a Rocket Grab? Counter his skill by interrupting the displacement with Twilight Shroud. You'll still take the damage, but at least you'll be in a better position to counter-attack or escape.


J - Positioning Tool. Imagine that you used Shadow Dance on someone that seemed to be alone, but when you land you see that he was protected by three other guys. In this hypothesis, casting Twilight Shroud tends to act like a sieve that separates the opponent team - melee, tanky characters will remain inside the area awaiting for you to appear, while AD Carries and Midlaners will step outside to a safer range. Use your invisibility to elect a more favourable position, and then jump into the fragile carries to secure a kill or two. If death is unavoidable, you might as well die with style.


K - Tether Breaker. Sometimes, your Shadow Dance will not be sufficient to break a tether skill, like Karma's Focused Resolve. Maybe there are no backrank Minions to target with the jump, or the distance bridged was not enough. In that case, use Twilight Shroud to bridge the remaining space; the blink and the added movement speed are sufficient for that more often than not.



TIME-RELATED USES


L - Farming Tool. Akali can be easily harassed early on; however, casting a Twilight Shroud close to the Minion area will allow you to avoid that harass and farm safely. Simply linger inside the invisibility and position yourself as far from the opponent as you can, then last-hit those creeps when he least expects.


M - Cooldown Recovery. Your skills refresh very fast; owing to that, if you need your opponent to wait a little bit until you're back in shape, you can throw a Twilight Shroud and await until the cooldowns reset. This is especially useful when it comes to Twin Disciplines, as the sustain of that skill might be determinant in securing your survival.


N - Team Aggregator. Assume that you've attempted to do a pick-off on the opposing AD Carry, but instead you find yourself being surprised by four members of the enemy team. If your allies are right on your track, you can use Twilight Shroud to make them waste a few precious seconds until your team arrives.


O - Enemy Lure. Enemies, in general, are very bad at calculating distances when invisibility is added to the mix. This can be used to your favour: throw Mark of the Assassin on your opponent, then Twilight Shroud. Break invisibility by attacking a Minion and pretending that you're walking towards your tower, then position yourself as close as possible to the opponent while invisible. Await for the opposing champion's approach, leap with Shadow Dance and proc the secondary damage from Mark of the Assassin, followed by a new cast of the skill, a second auto-attack and one cast of Crescent Slash.



MISCELLANEOUS USES


P - Skill Interruption And Avoidance. Certain skills, like Noxian Guillotine, require unbroken visual contact with the target to be executed - therefore, by using Twilight Shroud, you break the connection required for the cast. Other skills, such as Ravenous Flock, are not interrupted by Twilight Shroud, but they will not target you while under invisibility.

Here's a video example of Noxian Guillotine being interrupted.


Note that the skill is interrupted every time visual contact is cut. In the provided example, I have briefly broken invisibility to invite Darius into attempting a secondary cast of Noxian Guillotine, increasing the time he spent under tower.


Q - Sight Granter. If you need sight in a specific area due to the fear that someone might be lurking there, then you can use Twilight Shroud to check the area more safely.


R - Mind Games. This use is very generic and relies much on what you can creatively assemble on the spot - so, feel free to try new things that might trick your opponents. One of my favourite mind games is to use Twilight Shroud when chased by the opponent team but slightly out of their sight range; in these situations, one person frequently keeps charging (under the belief that you have used Twilight Shroud as a disengage tool) while the others retreat.

After the coordination is broken, you can leap out of Twilight Shroud and get an easy kill.



E - Crescent Slash


Skill Description: Akali flourishes her kamas, hitting nearby units for 70 / 100 / 130 / 160 / 190 (+ 80% of bonus AD) (+ 60% of AP) physical damage.

If Crescent Slash kills a unit, its cooldown is 60% refunded.


Cooldown And Timing: The skill's cooldowns are 5 / 4.5 / 4 / 3.5 / 3, based on level. 60% of the cooldown is refunded if any unit dies to Crescent Slash.


Use: The main use of this skill lies in causing a bit more damage to the opponent during trades. Quite straightforward.

This skill is also very useful when it comes to farming, especially when paired up with its cooldown reduction capability. By setting up a Minion close to death, you can use Crescent Slash consecutively and farm a whole wave without a hitch.

The last use of this skill is as a zwischenzug while splitting, in order to ensure a higher permanence of your Minion wave under the tower. I know that the term might sound intimidating, but I assure you that things will be properly explained once we start discussing zwischenzugs.



R - Shadow Dance

Skill Description: Akali moves through the shadows to quickly deal 50 / 100 / 150 (+ 35% of AP) magic damage to the target and appear next to it.

Akali gains an Essence of Shadow once every 30 / 22.5 / 15 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.


Cooldown And Timing: The skill's casting cooldown is 2 seconds on all levels.


Added Information: Although the skill states that Akali appears next to the target, she actually appears behind the target.


Use: Despite its reasonable amount of damage, Shadow Dance is used 95% of the time as a displacement tool. All of the distance-related uses that we have already discussed when analysing Twilight Shroud are also applicable to Shadow Dance, provided you have a valid enemy target.

In other words, you can use Shadow Dance as a prodding tool, an engage or disengage, as a mean to escape a chase, as a wall bypasser and as a way to exit the enemy tower's range, to name a few.

Back to Top

Skill Tips And Tricks



Okay, so we are done with the basics - but how do these skills connect to each other and to themselves? What are the main combos and strategies that we can adopt with Akali, and how can we make sure that we play effectively with the champion? We shall see that now.



Mark Of The Assassin Dual Tap:

> AA > > AA

This is the damage tool you'll use the most when it comes to Akali. Since her Mark of the Assassin cooldown is equal or, or smaller than, the time the mark remains on target, then you can nearly double your damage output by casting Mark of the Assassin, waiting a few seconds, get to the target either via walking, Twilight Shroud or Shadow Dance, proc the first Mark of the Assassin, cast a second one and immediately activate the secondary damage again.

When To Use: During damage trades if one Mark of the Assassin does not suffice to burst the target.



Classical Damage Combo:

> > AA > > AA >

With little complexity and great returns, this combo requires no specific circumstances to be employed. The total damage arising from the Mark of the Assassin dual tap, added to Akali's damage arising from her auto-attack, her Shadow Dance damage and the one arising from Crescent Slash hits hard.

However, word of caution - Crescent Slash should be used last. Since Mark of the Assassin recovers Energy when the mark is activated, you'll make sure that you have enough resources to conduct your combo completely. On the other hand, if you opt to cast Crescent Slash before Mark of the Assassin, you might not have Energy for the latter; if you opt to cast Crescent Slash before bursting the mark with an auto-attack, you might kill your target and miss 40 Energy that might be crucial for a Twilight Shroud.



Passive-Enhanced Damage Combo:

[2nd HIT] > > > AA > > AA >

This requires a little bit more of preparation, but pulling it off is rather easy as well. What you need to do is to queue your second Twin Disciplines hit by wasting the first one on a Minion; then, simply conduct the remainder of the combo as previously discussed.



Dual Crescent Slash Damage Combo:

> > AA > > AA > >

In order to pull the described combination, you'll need to be close to a Minion that is about to die. With the 60% cooldown reduction provided by the death of an unit, you can add a secondary Crescent Slash at the end of your moves, which can be very useful for finishing a target that has more life.

Both the Passive-Enhanced Damage Combo and the Dual Crescent Slash Damage Combo can be combined.



Twilight Tower Dive Damage Combo:

> > AA > > AA > >

Twilight Shroud indeed has many uses, but I believe that using the skill to escape a tower's aggro is the best of them all. Using the ability correctly and precisely will certainly come in handy whenever you venture into a more dangerous territory.

This skill combination can also be paired with the Passive-Enhanced Damage Combo, the Dual Crescent Slash Damage Combo or even both of them combined.



Shadow Tower Dive Damage Combo:

> > AA > > AA > > [Backrank]

If your Twilight Shroud is in cooldown or if you lack the Energy to cast the spell, you might still have a swift way out of the tower's aggro. For this to happen, however, you'll need at least one backrank Minion that is close enough to your position - simply jump on it after completing the combo.

You do not need to worry about having a Shadow Dance charge in order to do this, as all kills and assists provide you with one counter.



Minion Slash:

AA > >

This is a very simple combo devised for farming, but you'd be surprised about how many people neglect it. In order to pull it off, simply prepare a Minion for culling, then dispatch him with Crescent Slash.

This will trigger the cooldown reduction from the skill, allowing you to cast Crescent Slash once more and farming the whole wave with ease.



Greed Punisher:

[Ganked] > > AA > > Retreat Into

It's very frequent for an opponent that was severely punished by you to call for Jungler attention. This means that they will tend to run unnecessary risks because they want the gold arising from the kill or assist.

However, all human weaknesses can and should be exploited. Upon being ganked - provided, of course, your lane opponent has very low life - cast a Twilight Shroud and pretend that you are trying to get away from the gank. Then, use the invisibility to relocate yourself and wait until the weakened opponent greedily walks forward. Break the invisibility by casting Mark of the Assassin and auto-attacking your target, followed by an immediate Crescent Slash.

This will frequently assure you the kill and completely twist the dynamic of the gank attempt. After killing your opponent, retreat into the lingering cloud left by Twilight Shroud and analyse your resources. If you have enough life, the opposing Jungle has less than half of his life and a lower level than yours and many skills were already used, then you can go for a Double Kill; otherwise, simply retreat towards your tower and enjoy your gold.



Twilight Dance Gap Closer:

>

Akali's quintessential combo, this sequence of skill requires nothing more than some mental preparation; if you think that you might need Twilight Shroud later, do not employ it.

By casting Twilight Shroud, you can bridge the needed space for Shadow Dance due to the blink and the added movement speed you'll get. This, in turn, will allow you to jump in and dish out any damage combinations you might have in stock for your victim.



Secondary Shadow Dance Gap Closer:

[Secondary Target] >

Differently from the previous sequence, you'll need a secondary target - such as a Minion or a creature in the Jungle - to pull this off successfully. The idea here is to cast Shadow Dance as a way to get into the enemy's jumping range, then bridging the remaining distance with a second Shadow Dance.

Please note that these steps can be combined with a Twilight Shroud in order to traverse an even longer distance.



Hextech Dance Gap Closer:

>

Hextech Gunblade's range is slightly bigger than the one from Shadow Dance. Owing to that, you can also use Hextech Gunblade to slow down the enemy, then pounce with might once the opponent is at a viable distance.

This strategy can be combined with the previous ones - you can both use a Twilight Shroud or a secondary Shadow Dance as a way to reach Hextech Gunblade's range, then Hextech Gunblade as a mean to reach Shadow Dance's range.

Thus, we have a final gap closer that can cover massive distances in the blink of an eye.



Dual Twilight Gunblade Dance Gap Closer:

[Secondary Target] > > >

With this combo, you'd be able to move from one Midlane tower to the other in the blink of an eye - not to mention the damage caused from the gap closer alone, as both Hextech Gunblade and Shadow Dance deal a considerable amount of harm.

This combination is often employed when you have returned to base and the opponent is trying to push your tower. You'd jump on a Minion that's attacking your tower, then bridge the distance with Twilight Shroud and conduct the remainder of steps as described above. As a general rule, this will give you a kill.



Backrank Minions:

This is something that might sound obvious, but it should be said nonetheless - one of the greatest strategies that you'll employ with Akali is leaving a few backrank Minions as an escape gateway.

These little guys will save you from a handful of situations - you can use the backrank to dodge, to escape the tower's aggro and, most importantly, to break any tethers that are placed on you.

The most relevant case is Morgana: as long as her Dark Binding is down, you should dive her under tower range. She will likely counteract with a Soul Shackles, then you simply use a backrank Minion to return to safety - thus, making her waste her Ultimate without any consequences.

Back to Top

Runes Reforged



Now that we know what to do with Akali, let us now work around the methods to maximise our potential. It's time to discuss the runes that should be used with her.



Let me preface this discussion by addressing a large controversy that has been around.

vs. vs.

There has been a lot of discussion about which of these Keystone Runes should be used for Akali. For that reason, I crunched the numbers and analysed the situation to give you an appropriate answer.

First thing we need to take into consideration is the strength potential of each rune. As a general rule, Electrocute will be best suited if you know you're able to trigger three sequential skills; this will happen against melee characters, such as Yasuo and Fizz. Dark Harvest has unparalleled potential for the Late Game, but it fails short (as we'll soon see) during your Laning Phase. Last, Summon Aery excels against targets that can constantly harasse you, since it only requires a single cast in order to proc.

On Level 2 - which is the one in which you can begin to consistently prod your opponent - the following damages are dealt:


- Electrocute deals 60 + 50% of bonus AD + 30% of AP, as long as you use three unique skills.
- Dark Harvest deals at least 46 + 25% of bonus AD + 20% of AP, as long as you hit the target with an auto-attack.
- Summon Aery deals 16 + 10% of AP if you begin by building AP.


Let us remove some variables. Early on, you should not have any bonus AD due to your starting items; recall that due to the Adaptive nature of the bonus stats from Runes Reforged, they shall be allocated as AP after you buy any Ability Power item.


- Electrocute effectively deals 60 + 30% of AP, as long as you use three unique skills.
- Dark Harvest effectively deals at least 46 + 20% of AP, as long as you hit the target with an auto-attack.
- Summon Aery effectively deals 16 + 10% of AP if you begin by building AP. For balance purposes, let us multiply this by two, as you'd likely use two unique skills and an auto-attack when triggering Electrocute.


Thus, Dark Harvest outscales Summon Aery by at least 14 damage points. On the other hand, Electrocute outscales Dark Harvest by a maximum of 14 damage points + 10% of AP, provided that you use three unique skills.

The main issue is this final part. When Thunderlord's Decree was still a part of the game, triggering its effect was easy because Mark of the Assassin stacked counters both in its primary and secondary damage; Electrocute, on the other hand, doesn't allow Mark of the Assassin to provide multiple counters. Furthermore, the counter does not refresh with every skill - in other words, the time-span between the first and the last ability cannot be larger than 3 seconds, which restricts even more your window of opportunity.

However, there is yet another concern with Dark Harvest. Since you need a soul in order to trigger the damage, the effect can only be used once every two waves - since you'll be able to collect the charge from the Siege Minion. Owing to that, and considering that Akali's skills have considerably low cooldown, then it is not unreasonable to surmise that at least two skills will connect every two waves.

For that reason, I have been leaning towards Summon Aery lately, especially on lanes that deeply harass you. The small damage caused by skill, after enough castings, can be enough to cause some severe harm, especially when combined with Scorch.



Okay, so now that we have our Keystone Rune, we can assemble the remainder of the Sorcery Path.

This is the underdog of the Sorcery Path, but it can save your life early on. As a Midlaner, you'll frequently have to go against an opponent that uses Magic Damage; as a result, the added shield from Nullifying Orb might be the edge that you need to win the trade rather than lose it. It will also allow you to take a little more of harass during your Laning Phase.


Although this rune is often neglected, Celerity is actually a great call with Akali due to your added Move Speed arising from multiple sources. Most of Akali's items provide added speed, which makes this rune's utility two-fold: you will both get extra damage and the opportunity to get closer to your opponent and land a Shadow Dance. Another aspect that is often neglected lies in the added Move Speed provided by Twilight Shroud; in other words, whenever you are forced to fight inside the invisibility area, you'll get a large amount of Ability Power to boot.


Scorch is a great call because it rectifies one of the main issues we have with Early Game Akali; namely, her poking capacity against high-zoning potential champions such as Annie. This skill acts in essence as a diluted version of Summon Aery, only with a heftier damage in early levels and a much longer cooldown.


The Primary Path has already been elected, so it's time to choose a Secondary Path. Although both Precision and Inspiration can be viable in the hands of a skilled player, I strongly urge Akali users to elect Domination, since Sudden Impact is a rune that seems completely suited for Akali's toolkit.



Sudden Impact is definitely the quintessential rune for Akali, mostly due to the fact that it is triggered with both her Twilight Shroud and Shadow Dance. Adding up to that, Sudden Impact grants both Lethality and Magical Penetration, which are both very welcome for a hybrid Assassin. Truly a match made in Heaven.


Eyeball Collection can be used by players that want a little edge on battle, as long as they are sure that they'll be able to hold their own afterwards. This is certainly the choice to go if you plan to kill the Damage Carry of the opposing team and leave afterwards, but definitely not recommended if you plan to stay longer in the skirmish.


Ravenous Hunter is my favoured choice as the last rune, to put it simply. Despite the fact that Eyeball Collection might aid you in bursting the ones that cause damage quicker during the Late Game, Ravenous Hunter will both give you sustain during the Lane Phase (provided you can assure a kill) and during team fights. This is often enough to give you the opportunity to destroy the enemy's backline completely and live to tell the tale.

Back to Top

Summoner Spells



Time for a well-deserved break. This section will be very light, as we discuss the five main spells that can be used with Akali.



Flash goes well with any champion. Whether you need to escape to safety or find a way to secure that kill after you've used all of your other resources, Flash will always be there for you. I'd dare say that this spell is not only recommended, it's mandatory.


If your opponent has some degree of healing capacity, then Ignite is another spell that is almost mandatory; otherwise, it is simply highly recommended. Ignite can help you assure a kill during the Early Game Phase, which completely swings the game to your advantage.

I also urge you to elect Ignite if the opponent is someone that you can kill early on - that is to say, Yasuo, Fizz and Katarina, to name a few.


Provided your opponent does not heal and does not have a good level of mobility, then you can forego Ignite for Teleport - this will ensure that you're able to stick to your lane and even aid your teammates in the event of a gank. Due to your high mobility as Akali, Teleport can be an astounding resource if employed appropriately.

Adding up to that, electing Teleport also enables you to split better and even conduct a backdoor if the enemy base is exposed, which might assure you the win.

Last, but not least, Teleport is a better selection whenever you play the Top Lane, as the utility of Ignite tends to be much reduced against characters with high health.


We have discussed previously that Akali is highly vulnerable to Crowd Control. In order to mitigate that weakness, you might elect to use Cleanse instead, which can be used to dispel a harmful effect that hits you during a crucial moment.

However, make sure that you analyse whether using Cleanse is really necessary. More often than not, buying Mercury's Treads and Mercurial Scimitar is enough to seal the deal.


Few people choose to get Exhaust, but this can be a good choice on certain circumstances. As an example, you can use Exhaust after you penetrate the Team Fight and isolate the AD Carry, enabling to kill him down while taking near to no damage.

Exhaust can also be a great selection if you're facing an opponent that can kill you with a skill combination, such as Zed - in this kind of situation, the mitigated damage disallows your opponent to get rid of you with his combo, swinging the trade to your favour.

Back to Top

Match-Ups



With our Runes Reforged and Summoner Spells selected, we are ready for battle - now, you need to know thy opponent in order to succeed. I have already covered the most basic details within the Match-Ups Tooltip, but now let us get a little more in-depth on the strategies for each and every opposing champion you might face.



Foreword - Laning Styles

Although there are always certain peculiarities that are exclusive to each champion, most of the lane strategies that should be used can be categorised in a handful of groups. For that reason, in order to keep each champion analysis as succinct as possible, I will first describe each of these Laning Styles and refer to them throughout the whole match-up list.


Style #1 - Mana Waste


Used Against: Opponents that will attempt poking you with abilities constantly.

Strategy: Force the enemy to use as many skills as you can by pretending to be off-position. Keep a close track of his Mana resources and drain it constantly and consistently, while also making sure that you heal the damage that you take through the use of the first strike of Twin Disciplines.

Strategy's Timeframe: Pre-6. The quicker you can drain your opponent's Mana, the greater is the advantage you'll get - as this will allow you to farm more freely and open more poking strategies for you.


Style #2 - Danger Dodge


Used Against: Opponents that have Crowd Control arising from skillshots.

Strategy: Expose yourself by walking out of the zone protected by your Minions. Pretend that you are doing so just for the purpose of poking with Mark of the Assassin. Await until the dangerous skillshot comes in your direction and dodge it with Twilight Shroud; then, leap forward with Shadow Dance, burst the mark and, if applicable, place and detonate a second Mark of the Assassin.

Strategy's Timeframe: Immediately after you hit Level 6. In order to employ this style of laning, you need the mobility arising from Shadow Dance. Before Level 6, focus on farming.


Style #3 - Heavy Poke


Used Against: Opponents that attack at melee range.

Strategy: Cast Mark of the Assassin when an allied Minion is close to death. Await until your opponent comes closer to farm the Minion - either through a basic attack or a skill - and proc the mark's secondary damage. Use Twilight Shroud if necessary.

Strategy's Timeframe: As early as possible. Some targets can be forced to return to base, or even killed, by the time that they reach Level 2.


Style #4 - Cooldown Forcer


Used Against: Opponents that heavily rely on a long cooldown skill to disengage, heal or build a grievous amount of damage.

Strategy: Pretend to all-in and await until the concerning skill is used. Immediately disengage via Twilight Shroud or Shadow Dance, heal with Twin Disciplines while prepping its second empowered hit, then close in once more (usually with Shadow Dance) to finish the onslaught.

Strategy's Timeframe: If you can do this before Level 6, this will certainly give you a great edge on battle. Nevertheless, it is much more common for this strategy to work Post-6.


Style #5 - Marked Tower


Used Against: Opponents that have an overall upper hand against you.

Strategy: Use Mark of the Assassin to farm Minions or to poke the opponent. Let him push the wave towards your tower, then farm under it. Calling for the Jungler is advisable.

Strategy's Timeframe: Pre-6. You don't really stand a chance against these guys before you acquire Shadow Dance, so it's best to wait.



Having said that, we are now ready to finally study each match-up in a deeper manner. Each analysis is prefaced by a brief overview of the champion's main characteristics, including the starting items, the recommended Summoner Spell, the overall difficulty level and the skill you should be on the watch for.




Ahri, The Nine Tailed Fox

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Boots
Lane Strategy:
Danger Dodge
Main Threat:
Charm
Difficulty:
4/10

Ahri is the typical champion that gives you a hard time until you reach Level 6, but you should be able to dominate the lane after you acquire Shadow Dance. Previously to that, you need to have quick feet and dodge her Orb of Deception every time she casts it - as a general rule, a good Ahri will wait until you attempt to last hit in order to cast the skill.

One important rule when it comes to Ahri is that you should never dodge by walking backwards - this simply puts you in the correct position to get the return damage from Orb of Deception. Instead, dodge by walking sideways and exploiting your Minions as a protection against Charm.

You also want to make Ahri burn her Mana by feigning exposure and forcing a Charm. Walk closer to her and cast a Mark of the Assassin, then await for the inevitable Charm. Immediately use Twilight Shroud to dodge sideways, which causes Ahri to be deprived of some Mana that could prove valuable.

This lane is yours Post-6. The strategy you'll use is the same: simply watch out for Ahri's Charm and dodge sideways with Twilight Shroud, then get close to her with Shadow Dance.

It is highly possible that Ahri will attempt to escape via Spirit Rush afterwards. In that case, whether you give chase or not will depend on how much life she has - if her life is extremely low in comparison to yours, feel free to counter Spirit Rush with a second Shadow Dance and escape through the side opening of the lane. Otherwise, take solace in the fact that she has consumed her Ultimate, which will give you a great edge when it comes to farming.

Ahri has a tendency to retreat after being marked if her Charm is down as well; in order to exploit this, throw a Twilight Shroud in the middle of the lane and pretend that you are only farming. Then, if she approaches with the intent to farm with an Orb of Deception, immediately use Shadow Dance and pound her with the Mark of the Assassin Dual Tap.



Anivia, The Cryophoenix

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Boots
Lane Strategy:
Danger Dodge
Main Threat:
Flash Frost
Difficulty:
5/10

Luckily for you, Anivia's most dangerous skill is also the one that's the easiest to dodge. The greatest point of concern within the champion's kit is her Flash Frost, but it moves far too slow to be a tangible threat.

If you focus on dodging those skills and poking Anivia as much as you can with your Mark of the Assassin, you'll begin to build up relevant momentum until you reach Level 6. Nevertheless, Anivia still keeps a strong degree of opposition after she hits Level 6 as well, so it's wise to keep your eyes peeled.

A bad Anivia will tend to use Glacial Storm either to farm or as a poking method via Glacial Storm and Frostbite - in this case, counter-act her by leaping forward, casting a sideways Twilight Shroud as a response to the Flash Frost that willinevitably be cast back, and prodding her with your Mark of the Assassin.

Still, you need to be prepared for the eventual good Anivia that might appear. These individuals are much more devious and will wait for you to leap first in order to cast Glacial Storm and Frostbite. The solution to that is to prepare a Minion backrank, leap forward, dodge the incoming Flash Frost, casting Mark of the Assassin, jumping to the prepared Minion backrank, await for the Glacial Storm area to vanish and strike with a Mark of the Assassin Dual Tap.

Diving an Anivia can be a dangerous game, especially due to her Crowd Control capabilities, her Crystallize and her Rebirth - to top it off, some Anivia players favour Barrier instead of Ignite, further hindering your ability to kill her instantly. Keep track of all resources before taking this risk.

If you'd still like to attack her under the tower, it's wise to save Twilight Shroud for your return, as Anivia will attempt to trap you under the tower's range with Crystallize.



Annie, The Dark Child

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Cleanse
Starting Item:
Boots
Lane Strategy:
Marked Tower
Main Threat:
Pyromania
Difficulty:
10/10

Annie is definitely one of the hardest lanes you can face as Akali, and assuredly the one you'll face the most when it comes to complicated match-ups. Her stun capability via Pyromania wrecks your combo and disallows you from healing, which can then lead you to a swift death by fire.

However, not all is lost if you get your Jungler's collaboration. Annie has limited stun capability Pre-6, as her sole AoE ability - Incinerate - cannot stun a target in front of her and another directly to her side at the same time due to its 50° angle.

Thus, what you must do is to farm safely with Mark of the Assassin and attempt your best to prod her with the skill as long as Pyromania is down. If there are no charges in Pyromania, you might even take a shot at advancing with Twilight Shroud and activating the skill's secondary damage. You will lose that trade after you're hit by Disintegrate and Incinerate, but your sustain through Twin Disciplines will turn this apparently bad trade into an advantage.

You get a better fighting chance Post-6, as long as you play your cards right. As long as you do not attempt to all-in Annie - her burst is stronger than yours at Level 6 - then the advantage is yours. Fit a Mark of the Assassin Dual Tap when possible, then retreat with Twilight Shroud and heal. Rinse and repeat.

Buying Mercury's Treads is a necessity, simply put. The provided Tenacity and the added Magic Resistance will disrupt Annie's capacity to burst you, providing Akali with a much needed fighting chance.



Azir, The Emperor Of The Sands

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Boots
Lane Strategy:
Cooldown Forcer
Main Threat:
Conquering Sands
Difficulty:
4/10

Get ready for some poking, poking and poking. Azir's capability of attacking safely with the use of Arise! will give you a run for your money early on. Nonetheless, most individuals that play Azir will not tend to use Shifting Sands except as a finisher against Akali, as using this skill places him directly into your turf.

The pattern when fighting against this champion is very cyclical Pre-6: get closer to farm a Minion, take some damage when the soldiers are dislodged with Conquering Sands, retreat, advance when the soldiers expire and heal with the aid of Twin Disciplines. It's highly likely you'll be a little behind Azir when it comes to farming, but you should hit Level 6 before him due to your proximity from the Minions.

After Level 6, it's time to turn the tables on him. Wait until he casts Conquering Sands away from him, then prepare a Mark of the Assassin and bridge the distance to him with Shadow Dance. Activate the mark and then retreat, winning the trade. The main aspect that allows a swift response is the fact that Conquering Sands is used to distance Azir from his soldiers, which in turn disrupts the possibility of casting Shifting Sands. As a response, Azir is left with little to no Crowd Control, and can now be subject to your full might.

Sometimes, your jump will be met with Emperor's Divide; however, your kit has the tools to deal with this skill swiftly. Simply cast a Twilight Shroud in a direction parallel to the created wall and ensure that your path to Azir is completely clear. Then, leap back on him with Shadow Dance and strike a second Mark of the Assassin on him.

This is something important, and a very common error done by people that are starting to play Akali - you cannot leap through Emperor's Divide with Shadow Dance, despite the fact that this skill can usually traverse terrain. I hate to admit it, but I've tried that a few times in the past with no success.



Brand, The Burning Vengeance

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Boots
Lane Strategy:
Mana Waste
Main Threat:
Sear
Difficulty:
5/10

When the game starts, Brand will try his worst to hit you with his Pillar of Flame. Do not let him; buy a pair of Boots and walk as swiftly as you can around his skills. As long as you have good reflexes, you're not at the risk of being stunned before Level 3.

Things are changed a little bit once Brand acquires all of his skills. His to-go combo now becomes Conflagration, followed by Sear and then Pillar of Flame, stunning and dealing increased damage due to the effect of Blaze. To top it off, receiving this combo will trigger the burst from Blaze, which deals a hefty amount of damage.

The way to prevent this from happening is to use a sideways Twilight Shroud as soon as Conflagration is cast on you, without any delay or wait, causing Brand to miss his Sear and lack any visual directive on where to conjure his Pillar of Flame.

However, that doesn't mean he won't try casting Pillar of Flame - most Brand players are either hard-wired to conduct the full combination or unwilling to lose the added 25% damage, and for that reason they will tend to use the skill blindly. As a response to that, employ your added mobility inside Twilight Shroud to dodge his efforts once more.

The lane should be yours Post-6, as you likely won't stay still after you get your Shadow Dance - thus, disallowing Brand to hit you with both Sear and Pillar of Flame. His last-ditch effort comes in the form of Pyroclasm; mitigate its effect by either leaping forward towards an enemy Minion through Shadow Dance or by disengaging from the allied Minion area through a backwards Twilight Shroud.



Cassiopeia, The Serpent's Embrace

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Boots
Lane Strategy:
Mana Waste
Main Threat:
Petrifying Gaze
Difficulty:
5/10

Get ready to walk, walk and walk. Cassiopeia usually comes with a barrage of spells, and for that reason you cannot stand still for long enough, or you will suffer.

Your strategy should be to force her casts of Noxious Blast in order to deplete her Mana as quick as you can. Without Mana, Cassiopeia cannot farm well nor pose a huge threat for you, swinging the lane to your favour. If you can sway her into casting a Miasma, that is even better.

It should be noted, however, that Miasma prevents your dislodgement effects; however, dodging it is quite easy once you get the hang of the trick. Instead of walking backwards, walk forwards - due to the curved shape of the skill, most Cassiopeia players tend to shoot the ability way behind. This will put you out of Miasma's area and allow you to disengage with a backwards Twilight Shroud, effectively avoiding the trap. You will take a little damage, as the distance you bridge with Twilight Shroud is smaller than the diameter of Miasma's circles, but Cassiopeia cannot use her Twin Fang while you are under invisibility - thus, cutting her damage severely.

The greatest concern arising from her kit, however, is Petrifying Gaze - this skill is often used immediately after you leap on Cassiopeia as an attempt to prevent you from dealing damage. Still, this can be countered by a simple, yet effective strategy: use a backwards Twilight Shroud to turn the stun into a slow, then jump back into her to finish the job.

By following these steps you allow yourself to complete the combo and proc the sustain from Twin Disciplines, not to mention that you will frequently cause Cassiopeia to miss her Noxious Blast, as she'll expect you to remain in the position where you were supposed to be stunned.



Cho'Gath, The Terror Of The Void

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Teleport
Starting Item:
Dark Seal
Lane Strategy:
Heavy Poke
Main Threat:
Feast
Difficulty:
8/10

Laning against Cho'Gath is pretty much the opposite of any other lane scenario you face as Akali. Instead of waiting for Level 6 to strike, you need to be the one doing the harassing early on, or you are bound to suffer.

Cho'Gath has a weak kit at the start of the game. His Rupture is somewhat hard to land due to your ability to move with Twilight Shroud, and his Feral Scream will frequently have no tangible effect on you because you probably have already cast your Mark of the Assassin. This enables you to be the bully, instead of the bullied, in the lane.

Much to an Akali's sadness, however, the tables are turned once Level 6 comes. Your Shadow Dance places you exactly in the spot where Feast can be activated. His high health will likely mean that you cannot burst him at once, and a smart Cho'Gath will counter your Shadow Dance with a Rupture at his feet, causing the ability to strike as soon as you arrive at the destination.

Cho'Gath, however, is slow and cannot keep up with your roaming capabilities. It's wiser to provide support to your team by going to lanes that are heavily pushed, generating an advantage for your AD Carry or Top. If you are feeling especially daring, you can opt to take Teleport as your Summoner Spell and mainly focus on helping the other lanes.



Darius, The Hand Of Noxus

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Teleport
Starting Item:
Dark Seal
Cloth Armor
Lane Strategy:
Heavy Poke
Main Threat:
Noxian Guillotine
Difficulty:
3/10

Many people seem to be afraid of Darius nowadays; however, this fear cannot be present at all if you are playing Akali. The skillset that Darius bears seems to act as a perfect match to the strengths that Akali possesses, and for that reason this lane will likely be in your favour.

First and foremost, Mark of the Assassin can be cast without entering into Decimate range, which acts as a constant prod; this prodding can be made even stronger by leaping forwards with Twilight Shroud and bursting the secondary damage of the skill.

Getting caught by Apprehend, likewise, does not pose a threat to you. As a general rule, Apprehend will seize you after you've already used Mark of the Assassin, which puts you in the optimal position to trigger the secondary damage with cruelty.

Crippling Strike should not concern you as well. This skill - which is frequently used as a way to add a new Hemorrhage stack and refresh Darius's auto-attack - has its effect strongly limited by Twilight Shroud. Akali simply needs to disappear, wait for the inevitable Decimate and then use the mobility difference to escape.

Your Shadow Dance also reduces the effectiveness of Darius's main basic move, Decimate. By jumping directly towards him you avoid the blade area altogether, mitigating the received damage and disallowing Hemorrhage to stack.

To top it off, Noxian Guillotine is also ineffective against you. This Ultimate skill requires unbroken visual contact with the target, and for that reason Twilight Shroud interrupts its casting with elegance. Darius would better watch out.



Diana, Scorn Of The Moon

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Dark Seal
Lane Strategy:
Heavy Poke
Main Threat:
Crescent Strike
Difficulty:
5/10

Many people say that Diana is a counter to Akali, but I do not agree with that - as Diana relies too much on Crescent Strike as a prelude to Lunar Rush, whereas Akali does not have that restriction.

The greatest tip against Diana lies in how to dodge her Crescent Strike. If you are playing on the lower-left side, then you dodge her efforts by moving diagonally towards the upper-right side of the screen (in the direction of an imaginary point that is located between your screen's upper-right corner and the middle of your screen's right side). Likewise, if you are playing on the upper-right side, the dodge must be conducted by moving diagonally towards the lower-left side of the screen.

This will allow you to dodge most of Diana's attempts, which ends up severely draining her Mana and preventing her from casting Lunar Rush successively.

Another important information that you need to track is whether Moonsilver Blade is up. As soon as she strikes her third attack, you must prepare your Mark of the Assassin, since her damage potential becomes much lower. Then, pretend to be at a vulnerable position and dodge Crescent Strike when she casts it.

This will provide you with the opportunity to get closer and proc the mark that you have previously placed. Diana will try to counter with Moonfall and Pale Cascade; simply use Twilight Shroud to disengage, throw a second Mark of the Assassin and, if beneficial to you, strike to burst the newly-placed mark.

There's a last observation when it comes to Diana - namely, the revealing effect from Crescent Strike is not True Sight. As a consequence, it does not break your invisibility inside Twilight Shroud; consequentially, by casting the area after being hit by Diana's move, you prevent her to follow-up with Lunar Rush.



Ekko, The Boy Who Shattered Time

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Dark Seal
Lane Strategy:
Heavy Poke
Main Threat:
Parallel Convergence
Difficulty:
2/10

Laning against Ekko is quite nice, as long as you avoid his Timewinder; due to the nature of Z-Drive Resonance, he will likely be unable to deal the extra damage to you if he has not connected with this skill to start with.

Ekko is a melee champion, which means that he can be subject to his abuse during the beginning of the game. The easiest way to exploit this is to pretend that you are going to farm a Minion with an auto-attack, wait for Timewinder to be cast, dodge the skill via walking, throw Mark of the Assassin on Ekko and move towards his direction with Twilight Shroud. Do this a couple of times and he will have no option but to cede the lane.

Here's a hint that many beginners are not aware of: you can hear Parallel Convergence before the area pops up in the map. Whenever you hear Ekko saying "come get me", that is an indicator that the skill was cast and you should disengage at once.

When you reach Level 6, your objective changes slightly - now, it is your intention to make Ekko waste his Chronobreak by pretending to all-in. Use the player's mind against him and force him to protect himself - after using the skill, Ekko is forced to play much more conservatively and will end up losing crucial gold and experience.

One last trick when playing against Ekko is to abuse the sustain arising from Twin Disciplines. Parallel Convergence causes Ekko to deal more damage to opponents that have low life, so it is in your best interests to make sure that you do not give him the opportunity for bursting you down.



Ezreal, The Prodigal Explorer

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Boots
Lane Strategy:
Mana Waste
Main Threat:
Trueshot Barrage
Difficulty:
6/10

At first, this lane will be complicated as you have to manoeuvre between all casts of Mystic Shot to the best of your ability. As a result, laning against Ezreal might imply in a strong loss of farm during the Early Game - in order to keep up with him, do your best to appropriately farm with Mark of the Assassin

Both Essence Flux and Arcane Shift do not tend to be very relevant early on; it's highly unlikely that an Ezreal would use Arcane Shift to approach you, as this opens the opportunity for you to close in with Twilight Shroud and proc an eventual Mark of the Assassin that you might cast on him.

As soon as you get to Level 6, it is time to dish the punishment back to Ezreal. Wait until his skills are down, preferably by forcing Ezreal to use Essence Flux. Afterwards, single him out with Mark of the Assassin and conduct a Dual Tap combo via Shadow Dance. In case that was not enough to kill him, retreat and heal with Twin Disciplines.

As a general rule, Ezreal might try to retreat with Arcane Shift, which has a long cooldown. Assess whether giving chase is beneficial to you; due to your three charges of Shadow Dance, diving him is often a favourable prospect.

Another thing that you must have in mind is his Trueshot Barrage, which can deal a large chunk of damage and clear the Minion wave if you are attempting to take his tower down. Just because he has returned to base, that does not mean you can relax still. Either follow suit and return to base as well, or use the opponent Minions to heal with Twin Disciplines.



Fiddlesticks, The Harbinger Of Doom

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Dark Seal
Lane Strategy:
Cooldown Forcer
Main Threat:
Terrify
Difficulty:
5/10

As a Midlaner, Fiddlesticks shall not be a dangerous threat to you. His auto-attacks are easily healed back because of your sustain; his Reap can be disrupted by leashing the crow to a Minion and then retreating past the skill's bounce range; his Terrify, albeit strong, has a relatively short range.

However, that does not mean Fiddlesticks is an easy target. Killing him can be rather complicated, as his built-in sustain via Bountiful Harvest allows him to take a few trades without any issues. Furthermore, going in for the kill will often cause Fiddlesticks to use Terrify in response, disrupting the flow of your combo.

Naturally, you can work around these elements with a little preparation. Throw a Mark of the Assassin and await for the appropriate opportunity, then jump towards Fiddlesticks with Shadow Dance. Wait until the effect of Terrify expires, then proc the lingering mark and dish a new one, winning the trade.

Nonetheless, you'd benefit greatly from buying Mercury's Treads, as this would reduce the duration of Terrify and Reap's silence.

His Crowstorm, likewise, has nothing on you. You can exit the area by either using Twilight Shroud or Shadow Dance in a Minion that is around, disallowing his potential for damage. Just ensure that you cast these skills as quickly as possible, in order to prevent an eventual Terrify that might be used to keep you inside the area.



Fiora, The Grand Duelist

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Cloth Armor
Lane Strategy:
Marked Tower
Main Threat:
Lunge
Difficulty:
9/10

Fiora has what it takes to disrupt you hard, so this is a match that must be taken very, very seriously. Initially, it must be noted that she'll use her quick moves and Lunge dashes to manoeuvre around you as she strives to activate Duelist's Dance - and, to make things worse, her added movement after activating the passive often disallows you from connecting an auto-attack, which is necessary to burst Mark of the Assassin.

Another important observation is that Lunge attacks you even under invisibility. If you are nearly dead and attempt to use Twilight Shroud to avoid the skill, I have bad news for you: it will not work. I've tried before, and was utterly disappointed with the results.

You have no better luck after Level 6, unfortunately. Despite being able to close in with Shadow Dance, Fiora laughs at your face by casting Riposte and taking no damage whatsoever, followed by a Lunge delivered directly to your face. Her added Attack Speed and damage with Bladework increases her advantage during this trade even more, resulting in an overall unfavourable set of circumstances.

There's only one element that you should take solace on - namely, Fiora's Grand Challenge is virtually useless against you. Simply use Twilight Shroud to hide yourself from view, then await for an escape opportunity via backrank.

This is the typical lane in which you should ask for Jungler assistance, or rotate with a teammate.



Fizz, The Tidal Trickster

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Dark Seal
Lane Strategy:
Heavy Poke
Main Threat:
Chum the Waters
Difficulty:
1/10

As I mentioned before, this lane is extremely easy if you do not get too greedy and attempt to all-in Fizz recklessly.

Fizz is heavily reliant on his Seastone Trident to farm Minions, which puts him directly into your mercy during Level 1. Your counter-play is to approach and cast a Mark of the Assassin, await in position close to the Minion that's currently dying and gauge if Fizz is approaching. If he approaches, strike with an auto-attack, bursting the damage. If he seems insecure, bridge the distance with Twilight Shroud, proc the mark and retreat into invisibility. If he goes back, smile at his gold and experience loss.

Level 2, interestingly enough, has a very different dynamic from Level 1. Most Fizz players elect Urchin Strike as a preparation for Seastone Trident, with the intent of bursting you out. Nevertheless, your strategy mostly remains the same: throw Mark of the Assassin and remain in striking position.

If Fizz decides to close in with Urchin Strike, then what you must do is to throw Twilight Shroud. Do not attempt to start the trade with the auto-attack, as this will leave you open for a triple-damage Seastone Trident. Your intent here is to use Twilight Shroud as a zwischenzug towards the bleed's expiration, and only then burst the mark, followed by a second one. This completely turns the trade all around in your favour.

Diving Fizz is not advisable, mainly due to Playful / Trickster. Even though you could give chase with Shadow Dance, his damage after exiting the skill added to the other abilities is more than enough to make you into the prey instead of the predator.

Chum the Waters is, without a doubt, the skill that concerns you the most. The ability provides Fizz with True Sight of you, which effectively neglects your Twilight Shroud completely and leaves you open to his combos. It is of utmost importance that you dodge the skill in whichever way you can, preferably with the use of a sideways Twilight Shroud.

You can also opt to assemble a Mercurial Scimitar, which cuts the bond between you and the fish, or rush a Zhonya's Hourglass as soon as you finish assembling your Hextech Gunblade.



Galio, The Colossus

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Teleport
Starting Item:
Dark Seal
Lane Strategy:
Heavy Poke
Main Threat:
Winds of War
Difficulty:
4/10

Galio might be tanky enough to take a beating, but he isn't tanky enough to take a handful of them in sequence. As an Akali, it is your duty to strike with Mark of the Assassin as much as you can, disallowing him to receive the Shield of Durand's passive effect.

Naturally so, Galio will attempt to zone you out with Winds of War; dodging this skill is rather interesting, however, as it is counter-intuitive when compared to other forms of dodging. Instead of walking backwards, Winds of War should be dodged by moving forward, preventing you from being caught in the generated area.

Believe it or not, despite being a form of Crowd Control, Shield of Durand is not a matter of concern for you. As soon as you see Galio casting the skill, respond with Mark of the Assassin and walk into the area. The taunt will cause you to attack Galio automatically, bursting the damage that you have prepared in advance.

Likewise, Justice Punch is another skill that generally works in your favour, as it puts Galio directly where you'd like him to be. The only exception is when it comes to diving him; in this set of circumstances, Justice Punch might cost you a little time that might turn the skirmish to his favour.

It is highly likely that Galio will begin to roam if you begin to get traction, as Hero's Entrance gives him a strong degree of permanence on the other lanes. It is your duty to roam accordingly, intervening whenever Galio goes to a lane.



Gangplank, The Saltwater Scourge

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Teleport
Starting Item:
Boots
Lane Strategy:
Cooldown Forcer
Main Threat:
Powder Keg
Difficulty:
7/10

Before Level 6, this lane does not proceed smoothly at all. Parrrley's damage outscales the primary damage caused by Mark of the Assassin - and, if you try to move closer to trigger its secondary damage, you also end up receiving a bonus Trial By Fire, which favours Gangplank in the trade.

Still, Gangplank has yet another tool that completely screws up your Early Game - Powder Keg. Powder Keg acts as a strong zoning tool that ensures you get little to no farm, while Gangplank's farming capabilities are made much stronger. This increases the level rift between you and the opponent, transforming this lane in a tough one.

In order to break a given Powder Keg, you have three main strategies. First, increase your last-hit game and strike the barrel as soon as it reaches the last counter - you should make use of the fact that your attacks reach the destination faster than Parrrley does. Second method is a variation of the first one: use Twilight Shroud to jump towards a barrel and then strike it when Gangplank is out of position, removing the threat and getting 10 gold to boot.

The last strategy, however, is certainly my favourite. Wait until an enemy Minion begins to get low on health and then pretend you are closing in to strike; then, quickly walk backwards and make Gangplank detonate the barrel for you.

Another tool that might be a tad problematic is Remove Scurvy, as it heals a decent chunk of health. Despite its usefulness, however, the skill is extremely costly and Gangplank is bound to run out of Mana if he's forced to use it constantly.

After Level 6, like always, it's time to close in for the kill. Await until Gangplank uses Parrrley to farm and close in with both Mark of the Assassin and Shadow Dance. Complete the trade and add a Crescent Slash, then disengage if Gangplank is not at death risk; await for him to use Remove Scurvy and jump again with a new combo once your cooldowns are restored.

As a last-ditch resort, Gangplank will likely try to keep you in the area with Cannon Barrage. After killing him, exit either via Twilight Shroud or Shadow Dance on a backrank Minion.



Gragas, The Rabble Rouser

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Dark Seal
Lane Strategy:
Mana Waste
Main Threat:
Explosive Cask
Difficulty:
5/10

Even though Gragas is a melee attacker, the Heavy Poke strategy tends to not work well against him. Because of his hefty life bar and Happy Hour passive, attempting to whittle his life is often a fruitless endeavour. It's better to make him waste his Mana by forcing a constant barrage of Barrel Roll that should be constantly dodged.

That is not to say that you shouldn't poke Gragas when the opportunity comes; rather, this should not be your main priority. If the opportunity to make him lose either health or Mana appears, you should - counter-intuitively enough - make him miss out on Mana. Recall that every skill he uses implies indirectly in the loss of 6% of his maximum life, due to Happy Hour's effect.

Dodging Barrel Roll, as said before, is the main priority during the lane phase. You must also attempt denying him farm by striking with Mark of the Assassin and an auto-attack if his Barrel Roll is on cooldown, as he'll need to move closer to kill the Minion.

When it comes to Post-6, you'll need to turn your quick thinking into overdrive. Explosive Cask is a skill that might either cause you a lot of trouble or none at all, depending on how adaptable you are given the circumstances. You can usually employ a Shadow Dance towards Gragas, a Minion or any creep in the Jungle in order to position yourself appropriately once more, so keep your eyes peeled for those opportunities.

Once his Ultimate is down, punish him as much as you can with one of Akali's combos.



Heimerdinger, The Revered Inventor

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Boots
Lane Strategy:
Marked Tower
Main Threat:
H-28G Evolution Turret
Difficulty:
8/10

Heimerdinger certainly has a zoning potential that is nearly unparalleled against an Akali. You can rest assured that he will cast a triad of H-28G Evolution Turret in the middle of the lane and prevent you from farming effectively. This will later be his own demise, so let him push and push to his heart's content.

Instead, focus on farming each and every Minion that you can put your hands into. As long as you keep outside of the H-28G Evolution Turret area, Heimerdinger has somewhat limited damage to hit you with; his Hextech Micro-Rockets, albeit powerful, can be easily dodged and the same holds true for his CH-2 Electron Storm Grenade.

One important information that I always like to reiterate: do not ask your Jungler to gank Heimerdinger. His safety zone is highly effective against ganks; more often than not, your Jungler will leap towards him, get stunned by CH-2 Electron Storm Grenade, die to H-28G Evolution Turret and give Heimerdinger the advantage. Rage ensues by your Jungler asking you why you haven't followed through, despite the fact you are pushed towards the tower. Would not recommend.

Post-6, the lane's status is utterly flipped. Although Heimerdinger creates a safe zone with his turrets, he often has to stand behind them; what you need to do is to penetrate the defences by using Shadow Dance on a H-28G Evolution Turret and then sticking to Heimerdinger to the best of your ability while causing the greatest damage possible. Stay on the watch, however, for the CH-2 Electron Storm Grenade - it's best you leap after he has used the skill.

One last observation that is very important - UPGRADE!!! is a skill that, against all odds, should not cause you any concern. UPGRADE!!! is usually paired with either H-28G Evolution Turret or Hextech Micro-Rockets, which can both be avoided by Twilight Shroud. The former cannot attack you when invisible, whereas the latter can be dodged through a sideways cast of the skill.



Irelia, The Will Of The Blades

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Cloth Armor
Lane Strategy:
Heavy Poke
Main Threat:
Flawless Duet
Difficulty:
6/10

Easy Early Game, troublesome Late Game if you haven't prepared accordingly. Irelia, like Akali, is a champion that strongly benefits from her bought items, and for that reason you are both on a race for the greatest amount of gold and experience during the beginning of the lane.

The best way to drive Irelia away is to start with a Cloth Armor and force her to trade every time she closes in to kill a Minion. Due to your added Armor, most trades will end in your favour; furthermore, your sustain through Twin Disciplines packs a greater punch in quick trades.

It must be noted that Irelia's Bladesurge does not refund her Mana anymore if the target is killed; ergo, if you can force her to use Bladesurge instead of an auto-attack on a given Minion, that's 20 Mana you have eliminated from her pool. This might seem like a negligible advantage, but it can make a great difference in the long run, especially when you force her to use her Flawless Duet.

Speaking of which, Flawless Duet is the skill you should watch out for, as its stun can disrupt the flow of your combo greatly. Even though the stun is relatively short, this could be more than enough to turn the tide of the battle against you, depending on how things go.

Another advantage that is frequently ignored is the damage reduction arising from Defiant Dance. The apt strategy in order to deal with that threat, therefore, is to wait for the skill to be used and expire, then proc Mark of the Assassin with a double-tap combo after the damage mitigation is not in place anymore.

Irelia's Ultimate, Vanguard's Edge, should not pose any major threat to you because of Twilight Shroud. The short blink is enough to phase you out of the area if desired; on the other hand, if advancing is the best strategy, then you can immediately jump forward with Shadow Dance and finish her off.



Jax, Grandmaster At Arms

Summoner Spell:
Teleport
Starting Item:
Dark Seal
Lane Strategy:
Heavy Poke
Main Threat:
Counter Strike
Difficulty:
4/10

You have a slight upper-hand against Jax, as you are the one in the appropriate position to dictate the rhythm of the lane. Whenever Jax casts Empower with the intent of trading or farming a Minion, it's your choice to either face him head-on or retreat with Twilight Shroud.

I'd like to reinforce that Twilight Shroud is a life-saver against most of Jax's skills. He cannot cast Leap Strike or Empower on you while under invisibility; likewise, his Counter Strike does not help him much even if he hits you under Twilight Shroud - thus, effectively using this skill against Jax is mandatory.

From his skillset, the only concern comes from Counter Strike - as the skill causes you to miss any basic attacks, this means that you cannot immediately trigger the secondary damage arising from Mark of the Assassin. Still, this is not really a point of concern, as you should use your Twilight Shroud as a zwischenzug until Jax's stun subsides. Then, strike the mark you left behind and follow up with a second one, winning the trade in your favour.

Counter Strike is also sometimes used as a last-ditch attempt of survival while escaping from Akali. In this scenario, inflict that last bit of damage through Crescent Slash, which will bypass Jax's skill and potentially kill him.

When the Late Game arrives, it's highly likely that Jax will strive to make the most of his split-pushing capability, and this is exactly why I urge you to get Teleport instead of Ignite as your Summoner Spell. This way, you'll be able to keep up with his advances and counter-act them accordingly.



Jayce, The Defender Of Tomorrow

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Teleport
Starting Item:
Boots
Lane Strategy:
Mana Waste
Main Threat:
Shock Blast
Difficulty:
9/10

This lane hurts and it hurts bad. Jayce tends to keep his Cannon Stance against Akali as a way to zone her out and cause massive damage from a distance. This will hinder your trades and often disallow you from prodding him with Mark of the Assassin, as this tends to be customarily met with Shock Blast.

The only way to alleviate this lane is to force him into using Shock Blast as much as you can. Expose yourself to the side of the Minion wave and await for the Acceleration Gate to appear; then, once it pops up, follow with a sideways Twilight Shroud in the direction of the Minion area.

One other tip that I have to offer: as a general guideline, all Shock Blast casts are perpendicular to the originating Acceleration Gate and they generally tend to intersect it in its midpoint, likely due to a psychological component or perhaps because it's easier to cast the skill in this manner. Nonetheless, this little tidbit might help you plan better and dodge Jayce's skills more consistently.

After you have drained Jayce's Mana, however, you are still not in the clear.

This champion also has a very strong melee capability due to his Hammer Stance, whose skills also do not require Mana to boot. Although using Hammer Stance is slightly more favourable to you than Cannon Stance, that does not mean Jayce can be underestimated in the least.

The manner through which you should exploit his Hammer Stance is by conducting a series of Mark of the Assassin Dual Taps, fitting as much damage as you can and keeping the opposition. If necessary, you can use Twilight Shroud to disengage or to counter Thundering Blow's displacement.

Getting Jungler help for this match-up is advised.



Karma, The Enlightened One

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Boots
Lane Strategy:
Danger Dodge
Main Threat:
Focused Resolve
Difficulty:
7/10

Not an impossible lane to beat, but you'll need to take good care whenever you face a Karma. You cannot beat her previously to Level 6, so it's best to dodge each and every Inner Flame to negate the damage that she can dish out.

Whenever possible, poke her with the primary damage of Mark of the Assassin, but do not follow up with the secondary damage if she has not used Focused Resolve. Moving close to her will cause Karma to cast the aforementioned ability, which gives her True Sight of you and enables her to punish your advance.

From time to time, it's highly likely that Karma will use Inspire and Focused Resolve as an engage tool on you; fortunately, you have an optimal disengage tool - Twilight Shroud - in response to that. The small blink arising from the skill enables you to break free from the tether, leaving Karma exposed to a counter advance of yours.

Level 6 completely shifts the tide, as you get access to a new skill while Karma does not.

This means that Level 6 is your absolute time to shine. Abuse Shadow Dance to damage Karma in whichever way you seem fit, and make sure that you also employ the skill to break from Focused Resolve's tether if necessary. After a series of trades, you should be able to whittle Karma's life low enough to the point that you assure a kill.



Karthus, The Deathsinger

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Boots
Lane Strategy:
Mana Waste
Main Threat:
Requiem
Difficulty:
2/10

Karthus has nothing on you because of your extreme mobility. Akali's sheer speed, especially when combined with an early purchase of Boots, makes it very difficult for any Lay Waste to connect with you, which is the main basic source of damage arising from Karthus.

His Wall of Pain also fails to cause you any harm, as you can opt to walk through it or blink across the skill with Twilight Shroud. Both of those skills should not cause you any form of grievance, as it's highly unlikely that Karthus will receive the opportunity to damage you.

Your worst issue, concerning his basic skills, is Defile. People are sometimes under the belief that Karthus disrupts Akali with Defile, which continuously damages her after the casting of a Shadow Dance. However, this is patently untrue; due to her quick burst, the damage arising from Defile is often negligible and completely healed by Twin Disciplines.

Adding up to that last point, Akali doesn't tend to remain for long close to Karthus after his death, as she can simply retreat via Twilight Shroud or Shadow Dance towards a backrank Minion.

The only concern here arises from Requiem, which can deal a hefty amount of damage even after Karthus dies. Still, your built-in kit and items allow you to heal some damage with Twin Disciplines and Hextech Gunblade, which must be exploited for their fullest. When Requiem is cast, either in battle or after Karthus died, disengage and strike the Minions as quickly as you can with your abilities.



Kassadin, The Voidwalker

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Dark Seal
Lane Strategy:
Heavy Poke
Main Threat:
Nether Blade
Difficulty:
6/10

This is one of the rare examples in which the champion's most annoying skill is not the one that causes the most danger to you. When it comes to Kassadin, the skill that can truly harm you is Nether Blade, whereas the one that will annoy you is Null Sphere.

Null Sphere grants Kassadin a sizeable shield against Magic Damage, which blocks the greatest share of Mark of the Assassin's primary damage. This means that you will lose trades against Kassadin from far away; it's best, then, for you to get closer and proc the secondary damage (preferably, followed by a second Mark of the Assassin) whenever the opportunity arises.

Even still, getting close to Kassadin opens the opportunity for him to use Nether Blade, which can hurt quite effectively and recover his Mana. Your options are either to wait until he uses Nether Blade to farm or engage him if your life is full, as you'll be able to heal the damage after you disengage with Twin Disciplines.

A second issue that pops up with Kassadin is that he gets stacks for Force Pulse with every cast skill, and you will tend to cast quite a few. This gives him the chance to fit in some extra damage at the end of every trade, unless you think quickly enough and avoid the skill by either using Shadow Dance away from its area or behind Kassadin.

Another nuisance you'll have to endure is Kassadin's tankier nature. He usually has a bit more of health than other Midlaners and takes reduced Magic Damage due to his passive, Void Stone, which is yet another issue that might cause you trouble.

Last, but not least, comes Riftwalk. Despite the fact that this skill is not as effective as a displacement tool when compared to Shadow Dance, it still might allow Kassadin to find a better position and escape from death. All in all, this is a very bothersome lane, although not one that should kill you if you pay enough attention.



Katarina, The Sinister Blade

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Dark Seal
Lane Strategy:
Heavy Poke
Main Threat:
Voracity
Difficulty:
1/10

If you are facing a Katarina, that means you are going to have a pleasant time in lane. Due to Katarina's skillset, she fails to consistently harass you during the Early Phase game, and she might even find herself on the receiving end of some grievous damage.

I know that it's uncommon for someone to say that Katarina's most dangerous skill is Voracity (or, to be more precise, the daggers left behind by Voracity). However, I stand by what I say, and a simple comparison proves my stance. At Level 6, Voracity's daggers deal 111 + 100% of bonus AD + 100% of AP, which is equivalent to approximately one-third of the full damage caused by Death Lotus. In other words, three daggers are the same as one Ultimate, except they are much quicker to refresh and hit instantaneously.

Even still, dodging the daggers left behind by Katarina is an easy feat. Her dagger combo starts with Bouncing Blades, which always leaves a dagger behind the target - ergo, all that you need to do, counter-intuitively enough, is to throw a Mark of the Assassin and move forward to strike Katarina while exiting the area of damage.

This disrupts the most classical Katarina combination, which is Preparation, Bouncing Blades, Shunpo on the target, collect the back dagger, Shunpo on the target, collect the Preparation dagger, Shunpo on the target. By moving forward - and, if possible, avoiding the area of Preparation's dagger, you effectively cripple Katarina.

Another trick that you can use is playing with psychology. Many beginner players do not like to lose a dagger that's placed on the field, so they tend to aimlessly use Shunpo if you begin walking towards it. Thus, feign your approximation towards the dagger and immediately retreat, await for the opponent to use Shunpo, throw Mark of the Assassin and follow immediately with a Twilight Shroud to proc the mark's secondary damage.

Death Lotus should also cause you no concern - although the daggers can hit you while you are inside Twilight Shroud, you can use this skill or even Shadow Dance to briefly exit the area. If you're feeling daring, you can even keep the opposition and kill Katarina, provided that you have enough damage to pull this feat.



Kayle, The Judicator

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Dark Seal
Lane Strategy:
Cooldown Forcer
Main Threat:
Righteous Fury
Difficulty:
5/10

Even though Kayle is theoretically a melee character, she's not someone that you can willy-nilly use Mark of the Assassin against, as she can keep her distance by using Righteous Fury and striking from a distance. Still, the effect is only active for a limited time, and it's exactly this window of opportunity that you should use.

Work around her cooldowns and approach when she cannot strike you back with Righteous Fury. Generally, you'll take damage from Reckoning, which is acceptable as long as you win the trade by activating the secondary damage from Mark of the Assassin.

Many players underestimate Kayle's Holy Fervor, but this is something that you should not do whatsoever. When paired with her added Attack Speed, Holy Fervor can essential to shredding your life down, so it's always best to err on the side of caution and always disengage after you have cast your combos.

You cannot kill Kayle on Level 6. I shall repeat that: you cannot kill Kayle on Level 6 - provided, of course, she plays appropriately. Her kit has built-in sustain from Divine Blessing and, if things go awry, Kayle can always use Intervention.

This makes, therefore, for a lane in which you should exploit the little trades and try your most to force Kayle into using Intervention, all while you do the most to avoid her empowered strikes from Righteous Fury. If you make a handful of combos connect and force her out of intervention, then you can jump on her with Shadow Dance and finish her off. Beware of the slow caused by Reckoning if you are going to dive, however, and make sure that you save Twilight Shroud for this occasion.



Kennen, The Heart Of The Tempest

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Teleport
Starting Item:
Boots
Lane Strategy:
Marked Tower
Main Threat:
Slicing Maelstrom
Difficulty:
10/10

This is the second worst match-up that you can be forced to face. Kennen has pretty much all of the required tools to shut you down with efficiency and elegance.

During the Early Game, he will farm from a distance due to his range capability, while trying his best to make a Thundering Shuriken connect whenever you attempt to farm or stray away from a safe place. If he hits, brace for impact - Electrical Surge will definitely be cast right away for that extra little bit of damage.

This is a champion that you should not attempt to poke with Mark of the Assassin except if the spacial structure extremely favours you. Otherwise, you open yourself for a sequence of Thundering Shuriken, Electrical Surge and Lightning Rush with the intention of detonating Mark of the Storm and shutting you down completely.

You'll quite frequently fall behind in farm whenever going against a Kennen due to his zoning potential. There's yet another zoning tool that was not mentioned - namely, the passive effect of Electrical Surge. Keep close track of his attack count and make sure to retreat whenever his attack gets empowered, as it will deal a hefty amount of damage and open yourself up to the active effect of Electrical Surge.

I'd like to tell you things would get better after Level 6, but that is a blatant lie. Once you acquire Shadow Dance, Kennen will already have acquired Slicing Maelstrom - and jumping in his direction will only put you where he'd like you to be. Furthermore, Slicing Maelstrom and Lightning Rush are often activated in conjunction in order to make it even more difficult to escape.

There is only one strategy that you can try employing: you can try to bait Kennen's Slicing Maelstrom by leaping on him and very quickly leaping back to a Minion followed by a Twilight Shroud. This will cause Kennen to burn his skill and create a small window of opportunity that you should exploit either through consistent combos or by asking for your Jungler's help.



LeBlanc, The Deceiver

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Boots
Lane Strategy:
Danger Dodge
Main Threat:
Ethereal Chains
Difficulty:
6/10

Interestingly enough, LeBlanc's threat to Akali wildly differs from the advantage she has over other champions. LeBlanc tends to thrive because of her mobility, which is negligible when compared to Akali; however, her Ethereal Chains - which tend to have a more combo-supportive role against other characters - is what disrupts our champion.

Thus, it is your intention to force Ethereal Chains as much as you can while causing LeBlanc to miss by using Twilight Shroud. When you place that skill on cooldown, you win the opposition of the lane and can force LeBlanc to retreat, which damages her farm.

Beware, however: most LeBlanc players attempt to farm by using a Distortion on the Minion wave and then a Shatter Orb as a mean to activate Sigil of Malice. In case you see LeBlanc quickly leaping to do that, counter her by throwing a Mark of the Assassin at her and by casting Twilight Shroud towards her original area. Then, when she blinks back, strike with an auto-attack and proc the secondary damage from the mark.

This is another observation that many people consider obvious, but I believe it's important to mention: you should walk away from your Minions if there is a chance of her activating Sigil of Malice on you. Since the passive can bounce between targets, it's better to be safe than sorry.

After Level 6, you have a strong upperhand. LeBlanc lacks enough escape tools to get away from you, even after she acquires Mimic - she can, at most, cast a sequence of two Distortion skills, while you have access to three Shadow Dance counters. If you play appropriately and be wary of her possible returns, there is no way LeBlanc can escape from you.

This was already mentioned when we talked about Karma, but I'd like to reiterate that the same tether-breaking strategies can be used against LeBlanc if she eventually hits you with Ethereal Chains.

Last, but not least, one must also be wary about LeBlanc's mimic, as it might cause you to waste a skill or two. This is not a large problem when it comes to Akali, as her cooldowns are all low, but it's best to avoid falling for the mimic altogether by noticing the tell-tale signals. If LeBlanc's behaviour seems too inconsistent, then retreat and give it a couple of seconds to see if that's really her.



Lissandra, The Ice Witch

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Dark Seal
Lane Strategy:
Cooldown Forcer
Main Threat:
Frozen Tomb
Difficulty:
8/10

It seems strange that I have selected Dark Seal instead of Boots as Akali's first purchase during this match-up. I know, I know, it sounds rather counter-intuitive, but I shall explain.

Lissandra's skills do not require a great degree of fast dodging. The only skill that requires a bit more of mobility to dodge is Ice Shard, and as a general rule Lissandra tends to cast those inside the Minion area for farming and damage purposes. Therefore, you already know what to expect and when she'll likely cast the skill, not to mention that the area of the opened Ice Shard is rather wide and difficult to dodge sideways. Thus, you do not benefit much from buying Boots.

On the other hand, buying Dark Seal forces your Adaptive Damage Bonus to shift from Attack Damage to Ability Power, which causes your Mark of the Assassin casts to pack a bit more of punch. This is rather useful, as this is the only skill able to damage Lissandra early on.

Unfortunately so, Lissandra disrupts Akali rather effectively. Casts of Shadow Dance are met with either Ring of Frost or Frozen Tomb; a cast of Twilight Shroud can be countered by a smart Lissandra that stands in its middle, launches Ring of Frost and then throws Ice Shard towards the direction of the blinked image.

Your utmost goal is to deprive Lissandra of her Frozen Tomb, which is the tool that will cause you the greatest concern. After that skill is on cooldown, then you can push the trades more aggressively and perhaps even dive Lissandra under her tower if her health is low enough for that.



Lulu, The Fae Sorceress

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Boots
Lane Strategy:
Cooldown Forcer
Main Threat:
Whimsy
Difficulty:
8/10

This is another match-up that is not promising for Akali. Lulu has a strong degree of mobility that will give you a run for your money, especially so if you do not acquire a pair of Boots early on.

As a general rule, Lulu will keep prodding you with Glitterlance every time you approach a Minion with the intent to farm. You'll either need to dodge very consistently or farm from a distance with Mark of the Assassin during the Early Game.

The issue with this match-up is that Lulu has several disrupting techniques at her disposal. The first one of them is Help, Pix!, which provides True Sight of the afflicted target. This means that your incursions against Lulu will usually not benefit from Twilight Shroud, as she's bound to activate Help, Pix! upon your arrival.

Adding up to that, Whimsy is yet another tool that fully wrecks your combo. The act of turning you into a lovely, yet harmless critter breaks the necessary tempo to deal the necessary damage with Mark of the Assassin - an advantage that is further expanded when you take into consideration that you'll have reduced movement while under the effect of the skill.

Assuming that everything has gone awry for Lulu, she can still save hide by using Wild Growth, which gives her immense bonus health. Both Whimsy and Wild Growth are the skills that you must remove before trading with Lulu more fiercely.

A last word of warning: unless you are absolutely secure about the fact that you can kill Lulu, do not tower diver her. Her arsenal has a sequence of tools that disrupt your damage completely and prolong the time that you spend under tower, causing you massive damage for your folly. It's best to avoid tower dives against her altogether until you learn the ropes.



Lux, The Lady Of Luminosity

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Boots
Lane Strategy:
Danger Dodge
Main Threat:
Light Binding
Difficulty:
4/10

Theoretically, Lux is a counter to Akali, as she can technically disrupt Shadow Dance with the use of Light Binding. However, this is only sustainable in theory; in practice, Lux should not be able to hit you with any skills whatsoever.

The strategy before you hit Level 6 remains the same as always - focus on farming as much as you can while dodging the skills cast in your direction. Lux will tend to use Lucent Singularity in order to drive you away from the Minion area, which must be met by the use of Mark of the Assassin as a farming tool.

After you hit Level 6, this is where the party starts. Bait Lux's Light Binding by pretending to go in for the jump, then dodge sideways with Twilight Shroud. Cast a Mark of the Assassin and use the new position to leap at her with Shadow Dance, placing you at the right position to detonate the placed mark.

One important element that makes all the difference: Akali's Ultimate places you right behind your opponent, which means that by using it you are effectively avoiding getting hit by Final Spark.

Due to the squishy nature of Lux, you'll usually be able to dispatch her with one combo or two. Make sure to punish every single mistake she makes, and the lane shall be a breeze. Even still, I recommend you to build Mercury's Treads, as this will severely cut the efficacy of the champion against you.



Malzahar, The Prophet Of The Void

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Dark Seal
Lane Strategy:
Cooldown Forcer
Main Threat:
Nether Grasp
Difficulty:
9/10

If there's a lesson to be taken from laning against Malzahar, that lesson can be summarised in three words: buy Mercurial Scimitar. We'll get to that point soon enough, but keep in mind that this the most important thing when facing him.

Early on, you should try as much as you can to make Malzahar deplete his Mana. Poke him with Mark of the Assassin constantly in an effort to keep Void Shift down for as long as you can. Malzahar's skills tend to be costly early on, and by wasting his Mana you can often prevent him from being able to cast Nether Grasp on you once he hits Level 6.

One strategy that seems counter-intuitive is to attempt your hardest to catch Malefic Visions. The reason for that is because you deny Malzahar some farm and Mana by intercepting the skill, whereas the small damage you take (approximately 100 damage before Magic Resistance calculation) can be healed via Twin Disciplines without a hitch.

If the opportunity arises, feel free to cast a forwards Twilight Shroud to proc a Mark of the Assassin that you might have placed on him. The lingering cloud will act as a deterrent to Malzahar's Void Swarm, as they cannot attack you once you are invisible.

As soon as you reach Level 6, it's time to gauge what amount of Mana Malzahar possesses. If you have drained him completely, then feel free to all-in and punish him for wasting his resources. Otherwise, you'll have to play very safe by healing via Twin Disciplines and forcing his other skills.

Buying both Mercury's Treads and Mercurial Scimitar is much needed after you finish Hextech Gunblade, as this will prevent Nether Grasp from having an effect on you. Do recall, however, that the skill keeps doing damage if you are still in the tether's range, and for that reason always combine Quicksilver Sash with the necessary displacement moves to get out of the danger zone.



Mordekaiser, The Iron Revenant

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Dark Seal
Lane Strategy:
Heavy Poke
Main Threat:
Children of the Grave
Difficulty:
2/10

Most of Mordekaiser's damage, when it comes to the Early Game, arises from the Mace of Spades skill; this is exactly why this champion cannot hold a candle to you. By simply using Twilight Shroud as a zwischenzug until the skill expires, Mordekaiser is severely limited in his capacity to cause damage.

Adding up to that, Mordekaiser can be easily harassed by you due to his melee nature. You can out-trade him by conducting a sequence of Mark of the Assassin Dual Tap whenever he ventures past the point of safety - even with the shield he acquires from Iron Man, the trade ends up favourably to you due to Twin Disciplines.

That does not mean, however, that there are no issues with Mordekaiser. The first of them lies in the fact that he is rather tanky and difficult to kill when compared to other Midlaners. That means you have to work on whittling his life little by little, and exploit your superior presence in lane as much as you can.

The second issue comes from Siphon of Destruction - albeit it's a skill that doesn't cause a massive amount of damage, it can still hit you while under invisibility and act as an advantage towards the opponent, no matter how small.

After you hit Level 6, you should exploit Mordekaiser's positional mistakes and proc a Mark of the Assassin whenever possible. The only recommendation is to not engage him if your life is dangerously low, as he will likely counter with Children of the Grave. Losing a skirmish against Mordekaiser while affected by this skill means that your tower will get a lot of damage, costing you much in the long run.



Morgana, Fallen Angel

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Boots
Lane Strategy:
Danger Dodge
Main Threat:
Dark Binding
Difficulty:
6/10

As I said before, Morgana can severely screw you over if you do not play smart against her. If you do play your cards correctly, then you should have the advantage Post-6.

The first element that defines Morgana in the lane is her constant farming with Tormented Shadow, which has the added bonus of zoning you out due to the AoE damage. This can be rectified in two manners: either you decide to take the damage and heal it through Twin Disciplines, or you farm the Minions with the use of Mark of the Assassin and lose some poking potential. Both solutions are equally appropriate against a Morgana.

However, what is not appropriate is getting hit by Dark Binding. Unless you're trying to bait her skill, never step outside of the zones protected by your Minions, or she's bound to exploit your positional mistake. If you do venture outside the safe area, have Twilight Shroud prepared for a sideways casting of the skill.

Hitting Level 6 balances things out if you can drain Morgana out of her skill. This requires a small degree of preparation, but it is not difficult to conduct whatsoever.

First, bait Morgana into using Dark Binding, and be ready to dodge. It's important to not use Twilight Shroud for this dodge if you can, as this skill might become handy in a short while. Then, after you deprived Morgana of her snare (and provided there are backrank Minions), throw a Mark of the Assassin on her and jump, activating the mark. Morgana will then counter with a Soul Shackles to keep you in.

Swiftly jump out of the skill by using Shadow Dance on a backrank Minion that you prepared in advance. In case the distance your traversed is not enough to break the tether, cast Twilight Shroud to blink the remaining distance or, at least, disallow Morgana to hit you with basic attacks if the stun is inevitable.

Congratulations. You have now deprived Morgana of her necessary skills and should exploit the next two minutes or so into bullying her as hard as you can possibly imagine.



Nasus, The Curator Of The Sands

Summoner Spell:
Ignite or Teleport
Starting Item:
Dark Seal
Lane Strategy:
Heavy Poke
Main Threat:
Siphoning Strike
Difficulty:
1/10

There is no way Nasus can compete with your harass during the Early Game. He has a tough choice of whether using Siphoning Strike to farm while getting poked, or employing the skill to trade damage with you.

As a general rule, most Nasus players will ignore you and try their best to farm quietly at first. Here a little notion of timing comes deeply into play: instead of casting Mark of the Assassin when a Minion is about do die, do it a few seconds before the next critter is about to disappear. By doing this, Nasus is forced to take two Mark of the Assassin casts rather than one if they'd like to farm.

After learning his lesson, it's highly likely that Nasus will change strategy and try farming with Spirit Fire. This is good because of a simple reason - the more Nasus is forced to use AoE skills to farm, the closer the Minion waves get to your tower. Follow the flow and freeze the lane as close as you can to your tower, denying Nasus the capacity to grow.

This has been the case so far and it will not be any different now - whenever you have the opportunity, lunge forward with Twilight Shroud and proc the extra damage from Mark of the Assassin. This will make the rift between both champions even larger.

There are two counter-strategies that Nasus might employ - he can either try to control your motion with Wither, or strive to deal stronger damage to you by combiniong Spirit Fire and Siphoning Strike. Both strategies are countered by Twilight Shroud, as it acts like a zwischenzug until the skills expire. Once he loses that advantage, strike hard and true.



Nidalee, The Bestial Huntress

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Boots
Lane Strategy:
Mana Waste
Main Threat:
Javelin Toss
Difficulty:
5/10

This lane is a breeze after Level 6, provided you do not let Nidalee harass you too much early on. In order to avoid giving her the opposition, you need to make her waste as much Mana as you can by enabling her with opportunities to throw her Javelin Toss, then dodging the spears consistently.

One important trait of Javelin Toss is that it gives Nidalee True Sight of the hit target. Thus, if you have been hit by the skill, avoid the instinct of using Twilight Shroud, as it will have no practical effect for you.

If you drain Nidalee's Mana, this means two things. First, she'll need to be a little more careful with you, as you now have an opening for casting Mark of the Assassin followed by a forwards Twilight Shroud if she cannot counter the move with any spells. Second, she will be unable to heal with Primal Surge, severely restricting her sustain capability.

I have played few matches against Nidalee, but as far as I've seen they do not tend to remain in Cougar Form during Lane Phase; rather, Cougar Form is used as a finisher after hitting Javelin Toss, and for that reason you do not need to worry about the lack of Mana costs when it comes to her Cougar Form skills.

Despite her having a lot of mobility, Nidalee cannot keep up with you after you hit Level 6. Your Shadow Dance has a much superior range than Pounce, whereas Twilight Shroud has the same jumping capability over walls. After you acquire Shadow Dance, exploit her positional mistakes and take any opportunities you might have towards a kill.



Orianna, The Lady Of Clockwork

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Boots
Lane Strategy:
Mana Waste
Main Threat:
Command: Shockwave
Difficulty:
5/10

Yet another lane that is bothersome before Level 6, but delicious afterwards - does that come as a surprise? I didn't think so.

Orianna is a champion that's highly capable of harassing you without any repercussions, due to the fact that her skills are based on a separate third entity named "The Ball". This means that Orianna will zone you out whenever the opportunity appears, which shall be frequently.

First things first, do not let yourself be hit by Orianna's basic attacks. Due to the effect of her passive, Clockwork Windup, they hurt hard. If she is in position to attack you with an auto-attack, disengage as quickly as possible.

The second trick to Orianna is to memorise the diameter of Command: Dissonance - it will come in handy to drain her Mana, as this skill is much more costly than Command: Attack.

Third piece of information: Orianna can queue her actions in transit. This means that she can program the ball to immediately cast Command: Dissonance after the end of Command: Attack, which is actually an advantage to you. As long as you are quick on your feet, this means that you have managed to dodge two skills at once.

If you are high on health, then you might want to risk yourself a little more by getting close to the ball. Allow yourself to step on it and take the damage from Command: Dissonance, then heal the damage taken via Twin Disciplines. If you don't want to take damage, you can feign that you'll walk in that direction, prompting Orianna to cast Command: Attack and Command: Dissonance.

When you hit Level 6, the situation changes very interestingly. There are two stages to Level 6 - before and after you drain her Mana completely.

At first, you'll strive to deprive her of resources by poking her constantly when her ball is advanced. Since she cannot cast Command: Shockwave on you if the sphere is far away, that means she is forced to use Command: Protect to relocate the ball, incurring in a 60 Mana loss. Do that enough and she'll be drained, but make sure that you disengage from her after the ball is relocated. Otherwise, you might be the target of one of her combos and die.

After you drain her, go for an all-in if Orianna has low health. As long as she is unable to use any skills, Orianna cannot keep you under the tower nor consume your life instantly, which means that you have got an easy kill in your hands.



Pantheon, The Artisan Of War

Summoner Spell:
Teleport
Starting Item:
Cloth Armor
Lane Strategy:
Marked Tower
Main Threat:
Aegis of Zeonia
Difficulty:
10/10

This accursed match comes directly from the deepest pits of despair to bother you. Here's my hint: rotate at once with a teammate.

Pantheon is, quite assuredly, the worst match-up that you can potentially face whenever playing Akali, and this is exactly the reason why I make sure that I ban him whenever I have the chance. Forget any other ban that you might have thought of - Pantheon can and will screw your lane up.

Let me explain why. First comes Aegis Protection, a skill that blocks basic attacks. This means that prodding him with the secondary damage arising from Mark of the Assassin is impossible, since his passive will prevent the auto-attack from connecting.

Maybe you're thinking that you could, theoretically, try to stick two attacks in sequence. Tough luck. If you get close enough to Pantheon, he will use his Aegis of Zeonia to stun you on the spot. To add insult to injury, this skill also renews Aegis Protection, disallowing you once more from detonating the secondary damage.

Okay, then perhaps you can use Twilight Shroud to waste some time, right? Wrong. Heartseeker Strike can damage you even under invisibility, and its 80° angle covers a wide span of the generated cloud.

Even if you are willing to take the damage of Heartseeker Strike, you'd still lose the trade. Pantheon would be able to stick a Spear Shot into the mix, causing you more damage than you could cause to him.

Perhaps you'd be content with trading only with the primary damage of Mark of the Assassin, but even that shall not help you. The damage of Spear Shot outscales your and you cannot advance to the Minion area in order to heal with Twin Disciplines, lest you get stunned by Aegis of Zeonia.

Very well, then maybe you could roam? It's possible (and one of the reasons I urge you to take Teleport rather than Ignite during this match-up), but Pantheon can use his Grand Skyfall to join in the skirmish without a major delay. Long story short, his kit seems perfectly devised to disrupt you.

Either ban him or request Jungler collaboration as soon as you can.



Quinn, Demacia's Wings

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Teleport
Starting Item:
Boots
Lane Strategy:
Marked Tower
Main Threat:
Harrier
Difficulty:
8/10

Quinn packs quite a punch with her ability to damage you with constant auto-attacks. To top it off, her Harrier passive further aggravates the damage that you take from her, which can be a strong deterrent towards farming.

During the Early Game Phase, you need to kill those Minions as safely as you can. Use Mark of the Assassin exclusively for farming purposes, and do not attempt to trade with Quinn; if you move in her direction, receiving a Blinding Assault to the face is nearly inevitable. Make use of your tower's protection zone and do not let her get close enough to cast Vault on you, as this will cause you to receive damage from both Vault and Harrier.

The situation gets a little more tolerable once you hit Level 6. The strategy then becomes to force Quinn into using her Blinding Assault and advancing on her while the cooldown is off. Despite the fact that she'll tend to use Vault to keep her distance, you can respond with Shadow Dance and stick to her once more.

As long as you have not fallen too much behind during the Early Lane Phase, then you should win those trades if you play smart.

Still, whenever you play against Quinn, you need to be very careful whenever she disappears, even if you are under the belief that she has returned to base. It is advisable to abuse your M.I.A. Ping, since Behind Enemy Lines gives this champion unparalleled mobility to reach any lane in the blink of an eye. It might also be wise to elect Teleport as your Summoner Spell rather than Ignite as a rebuttal to any ganks attempted by Quinn.



Riven, The Exile

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Cloth Armor
Lane Strategy:
Heavy Poke
Main Threat:
Broken Wings
Difficulty:
3/10

Laning against Riven is similar to a dance - you move forward when her cooldowns are active, move backwards when she started her Broken Wings and repeat the cycle until you have whittled enough of her health.

Despite her reasonable capacity for Crowd Control, Riven is actually very susceptible to your poking arising from Mark of the Assassin, especially so if you have acquired Cloth Armor with the intent of trading with her. Her Crowd Control vanishes quickly, to the point that those skills cannot prevent you from activating Mark of the Assassin's secondary damage.

The skill that will cause you the greatest issue is Valor, as it blocks your damage quite effectively. Still, the cooldown on this skill is reasonably large - approximately 50% larger than your Mark of the Assassin - and for that reason you're bound to chip her health by constantly keeping the offensive.

Riven is also heavily reliant on items, which means that she cannot get an edge on you if you plan your trades correctly. This means that you should do your best to avoid Ki Burst and the third cast of Broken Wings, and also keep track of her Runic Blade.

Even though this is a lane that heavily favours you, do not attempt to all-in Riven at first. Her all-in potential is greater than yours during the Early Game, especially so because she can resist a good chunk of your combo by using Valor.

As long as you are happy to break her resistances little by little, you are bound to win this match-up.



Rumble, The Mechanized Menace

Summoner Spell:
Teleport
Starting Item:
Doran's Shield
Lane Strategy:
Marked Tower
Main Threat:
Flamespitter
Difficulty:
9/10

Rumble has the capacity to be annoying on many different levels, albeit not as fiercely as some of the other targets that were given the 10/10 score. Most notably, his lack of Mana usage and the constant barrage of Flamespitter that he's able to cast can certainly make this lane a very tough one.

The typical Rumble behaviour consists in using Flamespitter as much as possible to deny you any semblance of farm with your auto-attacks; this means that you'll have to use Mark of the Assassin instead and wait until the wave is pushed towards your tower. Rumble will also try to prod you from time to time with Electro-Harpoon, which you should make the greatest effort to dodge.

As you can see, this is the sole match-up in which I recommend you to get Doran's Shield instead of any other item, exactly so you can diminish the harmful effects arising from Flamespitter. Whenever you are going against Rumble, the passive from Doran's Shield is certainly worthwhile, despite the purchase causing you to miss on your usual Health Potion amount.

This champion is also rather sturdy, mainly due to his Scrap Shield. Ergo, instead of engaging him with all you can, you'll need to break him down little by little with the typical Mark of the Assassin Dual Tap combinations.

You must also watch out for Rumble's passive, Junkyard Titan - as it gives him added damage in his auto-attacks after he has used many skills; this effectively means that Rumble lashes his full combo at you and gets extra damage to boot. If you see Rumble overheating, finish whatever you're doing as quick as you can and then disengage via Twilight Shroud. Do note, however, that Twilight Shroud does not protect you from Flamespitter as soon as Rumble is able to cast skills again; for that reason, it's wise for you to not linger in the area.

His Ultimate, The Equalizer, can also mean a ton of problem for you. Its width makes the skill hard to dodge with Twilight Shroud, and the damage you get while remaining under it can build up quite intensely. Sometimes, your only option will be leaping forwards to an enemy Minion just so you do not take the skill's damage; if push comes to shove, make sure that you instantaneously draft a plan to get out of Rumble's turf.



Ryze, The Rune Mage

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Dark Seal
Lane Strategy:
Mana Waste
Main Threat:
Rune Prison
Difficulty:
5/10

Theoretically annoying, but not so problematic when faced against in practical scenarios. Ryze is a champion that should be very problematic because of Rune Prison, but the fact is that this skill is, as a general rule, only used after Shadow Dance due to its prohibitive Mana cost.

As you could have surmised, draining Ryze of his Mana is the best way to shut him down early on. Most of his wave clear arises from successive casts of Spell Flux and Overload, which means that causing him to drain the pool will severely hinder his ability to farm.

A great strategy that tends to work is to deliberately let Ryze place his Spell Flux on you as you move towards him to cast Mark of the Assassin, and then dodge his Overload. The general rule is that your opponent will not use Rune Prison, but every once in a while they might (which completes the combo). If that happens, do not fret: retreat and farm while you activate the sustain from Twin Disciplines, healing the damage that you have taken.

This is actually a great general rule for Akali - do not worry much about taking damage from Mana-based champions (provided, of course, that you have a way to disengage and that your health isn't low enough to the point you might be the target of a burst). You generally tend to heal your health faster than these characters recover their Mana.

After you hit Level 6, then you should dominate the lane - especially so if you have drained Ryze from his precious Mana. Since Ryze's Realm Warp does not incur in any damage, that means your power spike after Level 6 is extremely superior to his when it comes to trading. Use that to your favour.



Shen, The Eye Of Twilight

Summoner Spell:
Teleport
Starting Item:
Dark Seal
Lane Strategy:
Heavy Poke
Main Threat:
Spirit's Refuge
Difficulty:
3/10

Shen shouldn’t cause you much concern, although there are certainly some aspects of the champion that can be rather troublesome. Most notably, the greatest problem that Shen might cause you arrives through the activation of Spirit's Refuge, which prevents you from activating the secondary damage from Mark of the Assassin.

The champion also has a hefty amount of health and sustain, so do not expect to kill him anytime soon. Although you must definitely poke Shen as often as you can, do not get too greedy when doing so. Most Shen players tend to request Jungler collaboration, and they can keep you nearby by connecting with Shadow Dash.

If there is no one around to help him, then Shadow Dash does not cause you a great deal of concern; if he begins to move into Shadow Dash position, counter by casting Mark of the Assassin. His arrival next to you and the taunting will cause you to automatically burst the secondary damage of the skill, which means that you won the trade.

Still, do recall Spirit's Refuge cooldowns when employing that strategy in mind. If you linger close to Shen's sword, then he'd be able to activate the area without needing to relocate it through Twilight Assault, which means that your plan might go to waste due to the decreased time to activate Spirit's Refuge in the relevant area.

As a consequence of Stand United, it is extremely relevant that you pick Teleport instead of Ignite, in order to be able to stick to Shen as much as you can.



Sona, Maven Of The Strings

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Dark Seal
Lane Strategy:
Mana Waste
Main Threat:
Crescendo
Difficulty:
4/10

During the early stages of the game you will tend to get poked quite constantly - both by Hymn of Valor and Sona's auto-attacks. During this phase you must concentrate into simply healing back any damage you take through your Twin Disciplines.

If you have the opportunity to punish Sona for an overextended advance, do so by employing Twilight Shroud - this will force her to retreat and use Aria of Perseverance, draining her Mana even faster - and, if you are lucky, she might even throw a Song of Celerity into the mix. Do recall that it is our intention to drain her Mana as fast as we can.

This objective also extends past Level 6. If her Mana is still now fully drained, you'll have to carefully poke her with Mark of the Assassin and Shadow Dance combinations if she's in a bad position to cast Crescendo. Do not engage her if she holds the high ground, as this will leave you open for her stun.

One strategy that I prefer to use is to Shadow Dance and immediately cast a sideways Twilight Shroud, predicting an eventual Crescendo. If she does not cast the skill, there's no real loss as I can use the area to disengage with the caused difference of speed. If she casts Crescendo, then the skill is wasted.

After you have appropriately punished Sona's Mana, it's time to dish heavy punishment to her health. Attack with a flurry of Mark of the Assassin Dual Tap combinations whenever possible, and don't be afraid to tower dive her if she has no way to cast any skills.



Swain, The Master Tactician

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Boots
Lane Strategy:
Mana Waste
Main Threat:
Nevermove
Difficulty:
5/10

If you keep yourself in motion, Swain is going to have a bad time. In order to cause severe damage to you, he must connect with Nevermove - this was already the main threat before his rework; however, at the present time, connecting with Nevermove has become much easier, which complicates this match-up.

Most of the poking arising from Swain will come from casting Death's Hand when you approach the Minion area, causing a hefty amount of damage and forcing you to miss on some farms. The intent here is to keep your sustain via Twin Disciplines in order to mitigate the poking strategy as much as possible, and ensure that you can regain the lost health while Death's Hand is on cooldown.

Our objective here is, like it has been with all Mana-intensive champions, to deprive him of resources by feigning vulnerability and giving him opportunities to cast Nevermove without success. This skill has a hefty cost, which means that every Nevermove that Swain misses places you one step closer to victory.

Luckily enough, the other ordinary skill Swain bears - Vision of Empire - should not be a threat to you whatsoever. This skills requires a very long time to explode and deal damage, which means you'll have plenty of opportunities to either dodging it by walking away with your high mobility, or by, in dire scenarios, casting Twilight Shroud away from it.

The main issue you'll have with Swain is the fact that he's tanky, and that is it. His Ultimate, Demonic Ascension, will not cause any issues to you, as the crows do not target Akali while invisible. All casts of Demonic Ascension should be met with Twilight Shroud, which will give you enough time to either reposition yourself or finish him off once all cooldowns on Akali are refreshed.



Syndra, The Dark Sovereign

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Boots
Lane Strategy:
Mana Waste
Main Threat:
Unleashed Power
Difficulty:
6/10

Balls to the wall, it's time to push your dodging skills to overdrive. Syndra is a champion that will save her Dark Sphere casts to punish you when you try getting closer, so always pull a small feint before you get in position for farming. This will often make her waste the cast of her skill.

Another skill of hers can screw you over, and that skill is Scatter the Weak. Being stunned by it opens a wide opportunity for her to strike hard on you without any retaliation; thus, in order to avoid the skill, you need to keep a strong positional diagram in your brain at all times. Starting from Syndra, draw lines that connect to all of the Dark Sphere casts that linger on the ground - then, make sure that your character does not intersect any of these lines, as these are the positions in which you could be stunned.

Force of Will is generally used as a tool to change the position of a Dark Sphere; it is not a skill devised to cause you direct damage as its primary intention, but as a preparation towards Scatter the Weak. In that scenario, it's best you disengage altogether; the loss of Mana incurred by Syndra is already an advantage that is good enough.

A trick that many people do not know is that you can stop the displacement of Scatter the Weak, and sometimes even jump the wave, if you use Twilight Shroud. This takes practice, but it could be a lifesaver if you're out of position.

After Level 6, you need to be mindful of two things: your own health level and Syndra's Mana level. Unleashed Power might have the potential to wreck you up even if your health is slightly below 50%, so it's best to heal a tad with Twin Disciplines before engaging under these conditions.

Provided you have enough health and Syndra lacks the Mana to burst you, then you must pounce on her and strike as many Mark of the Assassin combos as you can. If she doesn't die at first, try again until she slumps to the floor.

It's rather wise to buy a Null-Magic Mantle when you return to base, if possible. This will mitigate most of Syndra's damage and expand even more the rift between champions.



Taliyah, The Stoneweaver

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Boots
Lane Strategy:
Cooldown Forcer
Main Threat:
Unraveled Earth
Difficulty:
3/10

As long as you keep to the centre of the lane, Taliyah cannot surpass you with regards to mobility. Her Rock Surfing can only activate if she is close to walls or structures, which means that you must deny her that possibility whenever you can.

You shall mainly have issues with her poking attempts through Threaded Volley, as this will somewhat hinder your farm - still, if you move unpredictably from side to side and use the time between skill casts to regain life via Twin Disciplines, you should be in the clear. Please note, however, that Taliyah doesn't spend a whole deal of Mana with this skill, and for that reason draining her is more challenging than other champions.

Our main concern here is Unraveled Earth, especially when paired with Seismic Shove. Under no circumstances you can let Seismic Shove hit you - use Twilight Shroud, if necessary, but ensure that the skill does not connect with you under any circumstances.

Still, you need to give Taliyah the opportunity to make her think that she can use Seismic Shove to combo you. Do that by feigning exposure, and always have your Twilight Shroud prepared.

Unraveled Earth becomes more dangerous after Level 6 for you, as your dash arising from Shadow Dance can cause the rocks to burst too. The best way to deny Taliyah the extra damage is to pretend you are going to use a Shadow Dance and throwing a Mark of the Assassin, then retreating when Unraveled Earth is cast. If she attempts to push you back with Seismic Shove, use a Twilight Shroud; do recall that its blink does not activate Unraveled Earth's secondary damage, as it is not a dash.

Taliyah's Ultimate, Weaver's Wall, does not pose any threat for you. You can escape to the other side by either using Twilight Shroud or Shadow Dance on a nearby Minion, completely disrupting Taliyah's strategy.



Talon, The Blade's Shadow

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Dark Seal
Cloth Armor
Lane Strategy:
Heavy Poke
Main Threat:
Shadow Assault
Difficulty:
2/10

Preparation towards this match-up begins at the time you're leaving your base. Are you experienced against Talon and believe you can hold your own? Then elect Dark Seal as your first item. Are you unsure whether you can kill him or not? Pick Cloth Armor instead.

The main characteristic arising from Talon is that he cannot activate his Blade's End on Level 1, nor can do so if he misses Rake during the next five levels. Effectively, this means that the secret to beating Talon is ensuring that Rake never fully connects. Typically, you'll want to dodge forwards and sideways to prevent Rake's secondary damage, rather than trying to avoid the skill altogether by doing backwards.

Due to his melee nature, he will be forced to take risks while laning against you. Use this opportunity to prod him as much as you can. This will force him to retreat and use Rake mainly for farming purposes, which will soon exhaust his Mana.

As long as you're able to connect a handful of Mark of the Assassin combos, he will be forced to take the defensive. You can either follow that up by requesting for a Jungler help or holding him under this unfavourable position until Level 6.

To be honest, I prefer the latter, as some Junglers might be too aggressive when ganking and take unnecessary risks by tower diving. One opportunity is all Talon needs to turn a gank into an advantage, so I'd rather wait for Level 6 while denying him farm and experience.

Talon gets rather dangerous after Level 6 if you haven't punished him properly because of Shadow Assault. Always keep your lane warded, both as a preparation for a Shadow Assault and to track Talon's position, as he has an excellent roaming potential. If you see the blades of Shadow Assault spinning around, you must disengage with Twilight Shroud at once. This will both put you closer to your tower and deny Talon the opportunity to lunge forward with Noxian Diplomacy as a way to activate the skill.



Teemo, The Swift Scout

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Dark Seal
Lane Strategy:
Cooldown Forcer
Main Threat:
Blinding Dart
Difficulty:
6/10

He will poke you with poison, poison and more poison. Teemo is definitely a bothersome lane early on, which means that you'll frequently have to use Mark of the Assassin to farm. Another possibility is to poke him with Mark of the Assassin and cast a Twilight Shroud in the middle of the lane for farming purposes, only breaking invisibility once you need to last-hit a Minion.

The skill that will cause you the most grievance is Blinding Dart, which disrupts your farming flow and the capacity to burst the secondary damage from Mark of the Assassin. Luckily for you, this skill costs a sizeable chunk of Mana; as long as you do not let Teemo follow up with any damage, taking a Blinding Dart to the face can be advantageous if you can heal after disengaging.

You might have noticed that I did not pick Boots as an appropriate item for this match-up. The reason for that lies in the fact you'll disengage from Teemo mostly by going invisible, not by sheer speed. Furthermore, his Blinding Dart is a point-and-cast ability rather than a skillshot, and as such the benefits you get from Boots is very reduced. Lastly, Teemo can match your speed through Move Quick, so it's best to acquire Dark Seal, redirecting your Adaptive Bonus to AP and packing a larger punch with each Mark of the Assassin.

You should have some breathing space after Level 6, especially if you were able to force Teemo into using several Blinding Dart casts. Feign an approach by casting Mark of the Assassin and put yourself into the range of Blinding Dart, forcing him to use the skill before you jump. Retreat and then pretend to be in a position of vulnerability, then leap at him when he tries to match your motion and conduct a Mark of the Assassin Dual Tap. This is often everything you need to kill him, as Teemo is a very squishy character.

Most Teemo players tend to cast Noxious Trap at your feet after you leap. In order to not activate the trap, always remain in motion and memorise the position where the mushroom was thrown. After you kill Teemo (provided you have enough life, the lane is warded against a Jungler and a Minion will not cross the area containing the mushroom), step on the trap and heal via Twin Disciplines on a Minion.



Tryndamere, The Barbarian King

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Exhaust
Starting Item:
Dark Seal
Cloth Armor
Lane Strategy:
Heavy Poke Pre-6
Cooldown Forcer
Main Threat:
Undying Rage
Difficulty:
4/10

Tryndamere can be harassed by you early on without any repercussions, as long as you force him to heal with Bloodlust and retreat with Twilight Shroud once your combo is over. The point of forcing Bloodlust is to consume his Rage bar, which denies him the added Critical Damage chance he acquires.

Since you'll plan to face him head on, more often than not Mocking Shout fails its purpose - as it will only decrease your Attack Damage, even though most of your damage capability comes from Ability Power. These two elements make up for a rather easy lane early on.

The situation doesn't sustain like that after Level 6, though. As soon as Tryndamere gets access to Undying Rage, that means you'll need to make him consume the skill if you'd like to force his upper-hand. This is done by making sure that you save Twilight Shroud for when he uses Undying Rage: leap on him with Shadow Dance and detonate your first Mark of the Assassin. Tryndamere will generally counter with Undying Rage, which can be easily identified through hearing his loud shout. Waste his time with a Twilight Shroud and wait until you see a change of behaviour from Tryndamere.

This means that the skill is about to expire. Throw a Mark of the Assassin on him, follow up with Shadow Dance and an auto-attack, then finally strike with Crescent Slash. This will tend to be enough for a kill - in case it is not, if you have elected Ignite, cast it and disengage at once.



Twisted Fate, The Card Master

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Teleport
Starting Item:
Boots
Lane Strategy:
Cooldown Forcer
Main Threat:
Pick A Card
Difficulty:
2/10

Besides from the Golden Card arising from Pick A Card, there isn't much that Twisted Fate can do to you. Sure, he might try to use Wild Cards to deal some damage, but you should be able to dodge that with ease - especially so if you have started the game with Boots.

The typical farming and poking strategy should be employed until Level 6, with two rules to be considered. First, disengage at once every time he begins to cast Pick A Card, as you do not want to provide him with the opportunity to cast the Golden Card.

Second, be mindful of his passive effect arising from Stacked Deck. If your life is almost full and Pick A Card is down, then you can elect to take the damage and counter-act it with Mark of the Assassin and a forwards Twilight Shroud. Otherwise, it's best to keep your distance for a little while.

What should concern you the most when fighting against Twisted Fate is his roaming capacity, so keep close track of him.

The teleportation arising from Destiny enables Twisted Fate to cover a great share of the map from the Midlane. This means that you have to be attentive whenever Twisted Fate is M.I.A., and preferably predict the lane he is going to appear in. Then, assess whether that lane can hold on its own (and give them a M.I.A. Ping followed by a Danger Ping) or if you need to follow behind him.

In case the lane can hold on its own, Twisted Fate's movement might actually be advantageous to you, as you can quickly destroy a tower with the second empowered him from Twin Disciplines. This might even provide your team with First Tower Gold.



Veigar, The Tiny Master Of Evil

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Boots
Lane Strategy:
Mana Waste
Cooldown Forcer
Main Threat:
Primordial Burst
Difficulty:
3/10

I believe that Veigar is the only character that has a dual-strategy with regards to how he should be dealt with. First, you need to always avoid his Event Horizon in order to place it into cooldown. Second, you need to always make him use Event Horizon and Dark Matter to ensure that he burns his Mana deeply.

This is done through a very interesting strategy. Get to a place that enables Veigar to cast Event Horizon with ease. Veigar will likely cast the skill, followed by Dark Matter and Baleful Strike; in response, you simply use Twilight Shroud to blink outside of the stun area. Simple, yet effective.

Believe it or not, there are some people who are unaware of Akali's blink in lower levels (and, as a matter of fact, there are people even in Gold ELO that are unaware that she is not revealed inside Twilight Shroud by placing a Control Ward anymore, but I digress). I've quite often been asked by Veigar opponents about the dynamics behind the escape; thus, if you are playing Akali against an unprepared opponent, you might even bewilder your enemy and cause him to tilt.

Nonetheless, the fact that connecting Event Horizon with Akali is nearly impossible is bound to frustrate anyone, not only low-ELO players.

By draining Veigar's Mana, you shut down his most dangerous ability - Primordial Burst. The damage arising from this skill can be very dangerous, so it's best not to engage Veigar if his cooldowns are up and your life is low. Retreat and heal with Twin Disciplines, as Primordial Surge has a very reduced efficacy against targets with high health.

Due to Veigar's sheer amount of Ability Power, it is wise to buy Magic Resistance once you have the opportunity. Acquiring Mercury's Treads is definitely a good shot, especially so if the opposing team has other characters that bear Crowd Control.



Vel'Koz, The Eye Of The Void

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Boots
Lane Strategy:
Danger Dodge
Main Threat:
Tectonic Disruption
Difficulty:
1/10

Vel'Koz is defined by his skillshot-based kit, which is wonderful for you as an Akali. When you buy Boots, you effectively prevent Vel'Koz from damaging in nearly any capacity, as his auto-attacks have minimal damage that can be easily healed via Twin Disciplines.

The skill that you need to avoid here at all costs is Tectonic Disruption, as being hit by it will evoke a subsequent casting of Void Rift, which will consequentially trigger Organic Deconstruction for a reasonable chunk of True Damage. Always make sure to manoeuvre around the skill, even if you miss a farm or two.

With Tectonic Disruption down, Vel'Koz can't do much to you. Your mobility permits you to dodge both Void Rift and Plasma Fission with ease, provided that you keep in mind the capacity of dividing Plasma Fission in two during its transit. In return, Vel'Koz ends up being subject to your customary Mark of the Assassin skills whenever applicable.

Upon hitting Level 6, things get even better.

Life Form Disintegration Ray is absolutely useless against you, as you have two counter-strategies against it. You can either use Shadow Dance on Vel'Koz, placing you outside the laser's path in a way that cannot be fixed, or (if Vel'Koz is in a safe area you should not jump to) you can use Twilight Shroud to keep Vel'Koz doubtful of your whereabouts as you retreat.

The former strategy, though, is always the best one in my opinion. Even if Vel'Koz is under the tower, oftentimes leaping and striking a Mark of the Assassin is enough to do a lot of harm and sometimes even kill him. After he's forced to toggle Life Form Disintegration Ray off to hit you with Tectonic Disruption, you can simply use Twilight Shroud to disengage or, perhaps, finish him off with a second combo followed by Crescent Slash.

All in all, this lane should bring you no threat whatsoever.



Viktor, The Machine Herald

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Boots
Lane Strategy:
Mana Waste
Main Threat:
Death Ray
Difficulty:
3/10

Early on, be ready to endure a lot of poking arising from Siphon Power. Viktor will close in on you every time that you attempt to farm, and strive to do as much damage as he can with both the primary and the secondary damage of the skill. Use his positioning mistakes to farm more appropriately, or adopt a more retreated posture by farming with Mark of the Assassin.

Gravity Field, which would have the potential to be a great nuisance due to the presence of a stun effect, should not concern you at all. The reason for that is that the skill takes 1.5 seconds to stun you - by that time, you should've already moved out of its range with safety.

My greatest concern, therefore, comes from Death Ray; this skill packs a heavy punch and Viktor tends to use it quite liberally whenever laning against you. To make things worst, its path can be drawn in a myriad of ways, which makes the act of predicting its trajectory much more complicated than most skills you'll face against. This effectively means that you'll need to always watch out for its damage, and approach the Minion area for healing via Twin Disciplines whenever possible.

Guess what happens after Level 6. Yes, the lane becomes much easier. Chaos Storm cannot cope with your mobility to do any severe harm, as you can simply jump around with Shadow Dance; furthermore, Viktor will have even more troubles with hitting a skillshot on you due to the added jumps you can add to the mix.

A smart Viktor will save Gravity Field for when you jump on him, so be prepared. Cast Mark of the Assassin and jump with Shadow Dance, strike the auto-attack and retreat via Twilight Shroud. By doing that, you win the trade and prevent his stun from landing.



Vladimir, The Crimson Reaper

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Dark Seal
Lane Strategy:
Cooldown Forcer
Main Threat:
Transfusion
Difficulty:
7/10

Frustrating. That is the one-word definition for laning against Vladimir.

Any damage that you attempt to dish via Mark of the Assassin will quickly be healed due to Transfusion, which actually can deal a large chunk of damage back to you. Vladimir certainly has much more sustain than you do, to the point that you must mainly focus on farming rather than trading damage with him at first.

Something important to have in mind - whenever his Transfusion is empowered by Crimson Rush, retreat at once. The damage he will deal with the skill is increased by 85%, which makes it pack quite a punch.

Once you acquire 1300 gold it's wise to return to base an buy a Hextech Revolver; this will at least allow you to match Vladimir's damage and enable to you keep up in lane a little more. If you can wait a little longer before returning in order to amass sufficient gold for a Null-Magic Mantle, that is also advisable.

Once you hit Level 6, your objective becomes to deprive Vladimir of his Sanguine Pool. Throw a Mark of the Assassin on him and pounce with Shadow Dance, prodding the mark upon arrival. Vladimir will likely counter with Sanguine Pool; await for him to come back and throw a second Mark of the Assassin, a second auto-attack and a Crescent Slash. He will respond with Transfusion but at least the trade is won and his most crucial survival skill is down.

For the next seconds, you have an opening that you must exploit to the best of your ability. Save your Ignite for the all-in, because it will come in handy - allow Vladimir some space to farm and follow with another Mark of the Assassin combo. Throw Ignite and do the best you can to take him down, but do not act too greedily. Just because his healing is cut, that doesn't mean he doesn't have some decent sustain going on.



Xerath, The Magus Ascendant

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Boots
Lane Strategy:
Danger Dodge
Main Threat:
Shocking Orb
Difficulty:
4/10

You'd better have a good mouse, because you'll need it. Remaining in motion is much necessary whenever facing against a Xerath, as his entire kit is comprised of a series of skillshots.

Most of his poking will arise from Arcanopulse, which generally cannot be dodged by retreating. Rather, focus on walking from side to side and make the most of your reflexes while attempting to dodge it - you'll frequently be unable to escape the skill, but all damage that you have received should be recovered by activating the primary effect of Twin Disciplines.

A good trick against Xerath is to walk erratically by clicking your cursor in quick succession towards two different directions. This shall confuse your opponent about which path you're taking and give you a greater chance to dodge the skill - there are great guides around that deal with the art of dodging, but practice is certainly the best teacher around.

What you must avoid here, without a doubt, is Shocking Orb. The stun arising from the skill can shut you down completely and put you at the mercy of Xerath's full combo, so do not let the orb connect under any circumstances. Dodging this skill is crucial towards dealing your own damage unimpeded.

Once you force Xerath to miss his Shocking Orb, then conduct a classical Mark of the Assassin Dual Tap. Be on the watch for Eye of Destruction - if you still have Twilight Shroud up, you can use it now to dodge this skill. Strike as hard as you can and score the kill, or retreat via backrank if one combo was not enough.

Last, but not least, Rite of the Arcane should not hit you at all. If you have Twilight Shroud up, you can cast it and dodge while under the cloud, using your invisibility and added speed to their greatest extent. If you cannot do that, then simply dodge by either jumping towards a safe target with Shadow Dance, or even by walking - the added mobility arising from Boots should be more than enough for most cases if you can walk in erratic patterns.



Yasuo, The Unforgiven

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Dark Seal
Lane Strategy:
Heavy Poke
Main Threat:
Last Breath
Difficulty:
1/10

I absolutely adore this lane from the bottom of my heart, partially so due to the fact that most Yasuo players tend to want quick results and act in an impulsive manner. This lane is both technically and psychologically-wise a delicious one to play.

As an Akali, it is your duty to strike Yasuo with Mark of the Assassin every instance in which he attempts to farm a Minion. Then, after he has already used Steel Tempest, move closer and auto-attack him, then cast a second Mark of the Assassin and a second auto-attack, winning the trade by a gigantic margin.

Be wary, however, of the third cast of Steel Tempest, as the tornado has a much longer range than the blade of Steel Tempest. Disengage a little, but still remaining within the range to cast Mark of the Assassin; afterwards, side-step the tornado and throw another mark at him, sticking back again to the target.

Most Yasuo players tend a long time to get Wind Wall, often electing to place their skill point in this skill only by Level 3 or 4. Naturally, this should be exploited to its full extent by intensely casting Mark of the Assassin before then.

Even after Yasuo gets Wind Wall, the skill does little against you. Surely, he'll be able to block one projectile, but your skill cooldown is much lower than his, and for that reason your combo is not prevented, but only delayed. He also cannot cope with your mobility even through the use of Sweeping Blade, as you have both Twilight Shroud and Shadow Dance as effective tools to keep up the opposition.

I know this will sound obvious, but sometimes the obvious needs to be said - after Level 6, your focus should be on not being caught by the tornado; dodge with Twilight Shroud if necessary. As long as you do not give Yasuo any opening to cast Last Breath, this lane is yours from beginning to end.



Zed, The Master Of Shadows

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Exhaust
Starting Item:
Cloth Armor
Lane Strategy:
Heavy Poke
Main Threat:
Razor Shuriken
Difficulty:
3/10

I've said this before and I shall say it again - matching against a Zed can range from an extremely easy (1/10) feat to a somewhat complicated one (5/10) depending on the skill of the opposing player. Whether the lane is easy or not will depend on how well the opponent Zed can keep the opposition - for that reason, the first trades of the game pretty much determine the outcome of the match.

I do recommend that you start with Cloth Armor, for certain - and, if you're unsure what Runes to take, perhaps you'd like to go with Perfect Timing and Biscuit Delivery. Doing so will put you much closer to acquiring a Zhonya's Hourglass as well as automatically giving you an opportunity to avoid Zed's first Death Mark.

I digressed about Cloth Armor, so let's back on track. Acquiring Cloth Armor not only puts you closer to acquiring Zhonya's Hourglass, but also strongly reduces the overall damage you take from Zed. This effectively means that Zed will have a much more restricted access to Contempt for the Weak, which can strike very hard if the passive triggers on you. Thus, by making sure that his damage is capped as much as possible, you are able to keep a stronger opposition in the lane.

Dodging Razor Shuriken is a must, no questions asked. Out of Zed's skills, this is the one that will pack the greatest punch on you, so always be on the lookout for it. It also has a very low cooldown, which enables him to spam the ability against you if you don't take care. After dodging Razor Shuriken, you must always respond with Mark of the Assassin and proc its secondary damage if you have the opportunity. Placing Mark of the Assassin on Zed, likewise, will force him to retreat and lose the opposition around the Minion area.

If Zed casts Living Shadow, use Twilight Shroud at once. This is often a preparation for Razor Shuriken and Shadow Slash, so remaining under invisibility will remove him information regarding your present location, as well as giving you a greater opportunity to manoeuvre.

You should also not worry about Death Mark; simply cast Twilight Shroud - preferably towards his point of origin or sideways - and deny him view of your current location. Most Zed players will attempt swinging blindly towards the direction of your tower, as the psychological tendency of someone under attack is to seek for protection. Deny him that damage and, once the skill ends, cast a Mark of the Assassin and Crescent Slash combo, winning the trade and healing the greatest part of the received damage.

Do recall that Death Mark hurts as bad as a single auto-attack if you're not damaged at all during its duration. Thus, don't fear the skill - still, if you'd really like to play safe against a Zed, you can elect Exhaust as your Summoner Spell instead of Ignite.



Ziggs, The Hexplosives Expert

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Boots
Lane Strategy:
Mana Waste
Main Threat:
Bouncing Bomb
Difficulty:
3/10

Every Bouncing Bomb that you dodge is a step closer to winning this lane. Ziggs is a champion that can easily run out of Mana if unchecked - and that's why you'd do your best to prod him towards that direction.

Due to the AoE capability of the bomb, the easiest way to bait him into casting the skill is to feign that you're approaching the Minion area to farm, then cut yourself right on the track and throw Mark of the Assassin on the Minion that should be farmed instead. Most Ziggs have the knee-jerk reaction of throwing a Bouncing Bomb into the Minion area with the expectation that it would also hit you.

Exhausting Ziggs from his Mana is not only an effective way of preventing him to deal damage, it will also come in handy when you hit Level 6 because it deprives him of his sole escape tool. Ziggs has limited mobility and can only escape from you by throwing a Satchel Charge - this means that if he has no Mana once you reach Level 6, he cannot get away from your Shadow Dance at all.

Many people are extremely wary of Mega Inferno Bomb, but this skill should deal no damage to you if you come in prepared. Ziggs tend to cast Mega Inferno Bomb when you come for the all-in; as a response, you should always leave a Minion backrank behind and use Shadow Dance on them when the skill is cast. In case you do not have a backrank prepared, then use Twilight Shroud to partially dodge the skill by exiting the central area; you'll still take damage, but the blink and added movement speed will be enough to cut a third of the harm you'd normally receive.



Zyra, Rise Of The Thorns

Summoner Spell:
Ignite
Starting Item:
Boots
Lane Strategy:
Danger Dodge
Main Threat:
Grasping Roots
Difficulty:
6/10

We finally get to the final match-up of the list, and it's one that's not common at all to see; Zyra is a rare sight on the Midlane, but one that can still pose you a sizeable degree of worry.

At first, Zyra will use her plans as much as possible to zone you out, generally activating them by throwing Deadly Spines in the Minion area. As always, either bait the skill and advance once it finishes casting, or farm more safely via Mark of the Assassin. Do recall, however, that you have superior mobility than Zyra - whenever she's out of position, destroy her seeds by stepping on them.

A special seed case is the one generated by Rampant Growth. This seed, when stepped on, grants Zyra True Sight of you - ergo, if you are planning to use Twilight Shroud any time soon, it's best for you to forego stepping on it altogether. Also, if you have already cast Twilight Shroud and Zyra throws a seed in the area, avoid it at all costs.

By far and large, Zyra's skill that causes you the greatest harm is Grasping Roots. Avoid it at all costs, even if it takes a Twilight Shroud to do so; otherwise, you'll be open to the remainder of her skills and the projectiles from her plants, which can hurt quite a lot.

If Grasping Roots was already used, though, that means you hold the opposition. You can play slightly more aggressively and poke her with Mark of the Assassin, punishing her for the missed skill. As you leave Twilight Shroud, you can also use the opportunity to step on any lingering seeds, since you shall not use your invisibility any time soon.

Stranglethorns can also be a skill that causes you some degree of inconvenience, and it should be dealt with the same way as described when we discussed Mega Inferno Bomb. In fact, using the invisibility from Twilight Shroud will prevent Zyra's plans from directing their aggro to you, severely cutting down on the damage that you take.

Back to Top

Skill Order



Phew, that was a long ride. I promise you that this section will be much shorter and sweeter, especially so because there is only a general rule and two exceptions when it comes to ordering Akali's skills.



General Rule:

> > >

Your Shadow Dance is the skill you'll always want to allocate a skill point into; this is essentially what defines Akali as a champion. As you could see, there are many strategies and counter-plays that require the presence of Shadow Dance, and for that reason I strongly recommend you to upgrade the skill on Level 6, 11 and 16.

Next comes Mark of the Assassin, which is the skill that bears Akali's greatest share of damage. Upgrading this skill means more damage, more poking potential, a stronger lane opposition and greater farming possibilities.

The second share of damage comes from Crescent Slash, which is used to finish an opponent or add that slight bit of damage to win the trade. Although not as fierce as Mark of the Assassin, this skill can prove rather valuable during a skirmish.

Last comes Twilight Shroud. This skill is truly versatile, but it is a one-point wonder; its main function arises from the blink and the invisibility, which do not get stronger as you upgrade the skill. Upgrading it only increases the slow impinged upon an opponent and your mobility, but not any of the characteristics that make Twilight Shroud a skill that's truly one-of-a-kind.

Still, Twilight Shroud's first point is very relevant, and this is where our first exception comes in handy.


Exception #1:

[Lv. 1] > [Lv. 2] > [Lv. 3]

Although you should usually prioritise Crescent Slash over Twilight Shroud, that does not hold true for the first point placed on the skill.

Placing an early point on Twilight Shroud will enable to consistently proc the secondary damage from Mark of the Assassin, grant you more farming opportunities and allow you to dodge skills by casting Twilight Shroud sideways.

Owing to that reason, Twilight Shroud should always be the second skill you pick with Akali. You will not upgrade it again until Level 14, but that's not a problem whatsoever.

The next exception to the rule is not something that you must apply every time, but analyse it as a case-by-case rule.


Exception #2:

IF YOU CANNOT REACH THE MINION AREA,

[Lv. 1] > [Lv. 2] > [Lv. 3] > [Lv. 4]

Note that I have said "if you cannot reach the Minion area", not "if you are facing a Pantheon" or anything of the sort. This is not only a matter of match-up - you must also take into consideration the level of your opponent and his skill in maintaining the opposition.

If you have noticed that you won't get any opportunities to use Crescent Slash effectively anytime soon, then it's best you put a second point in Mark of the Assassin, which will allow you to farm from a distance.

Nonetheless, do notice that this takes into consideration the state of the game at Level 2, Level 3 and Level 4. If the opponent is pushing the wave towards your tower at Level 2, then you don't need to deviate from the common Mark of the Assassin > Twilight Shroud > Crescent Slash order - and, in fact, Crescent Slash can be rather useful for farming under the tower. On the other hand, if the opponent is freezing the lane and poking you with, say, a Spear Shot every time you get close, then you'd better take that second point in Mark of the Assassin.

Still, this is something that requires a certain degree of analysis. If you are unsure whether you should apply this exception or not, go for the more general rule.

Back to Top

Item Builds



With our skills upgraded properly and an in-depth knowledge regarding the most common match-ups, let us now discuss the items that should be bought in order to make the most of Akali's potential.

In this section, I strive to not only tell you what to do, but also the reasons why - since informed decisions make for best players and exercising this capacity of critical analysis will allow you to create better plans. Note that the ideas provided here are just basic guidelines that can and must be adapted depending on the current match you are playing.



Starting Items

I'd say that there are four viable starting items for Akali, three of them being much more customary than the fourth one we shall discuss. I have not included Health Potion among the items, since you must always buy as many as you can during your first purchase.


Dark Seal is, after Season 8's updates, the best offensive item you can elect for Akali. I know that this comment might sound strange at first due to the fact that Dark Seal was not modified in any way by these updates, but I swear there's a reason to my statement.

The reason lies in the fact that you get Adaptive Damage from Runes Reforged. You either get Attack Damage or Ability Power when you elect the Domination Path, based on whichever you have the most. If you buy Boots or Cloth Armor, the bonus defaults to Attack Damage instead of Ability Power. Thus, if you buy Dark Seal, you end up actually getting 33 Ability Power - which means that hitting a Mark of the Assassin and bursting it deals 29.7 more damage before Magic Resistance calculations. On the other hand, without Dark Seal your Attack Damage is only increased by 11, which means you're missing on 18.7 free damage.

This does not even mention damage arising from other skills, such as Crescent Slash, not the scenario in which you can only trigger Mark of the Assassin's primary damage, which does not benefit from Attack Damage.


If you need that extra mobility to ensure that you dodge all skillshots, then go for Boots. This purchase is actually a safe bet, as it puts you closer to Mercury's Treads, Ninja Tabi or Sorcerer's Shoes, which means that you're also ensuring that you do not miss on money by buying an item that has to be sold in the future. Buying them also provides you with superior roaming capacity.


Sometimes you want to trade with a character that is heavy on Attack Damage early on; if you are doubtful whether you can hold your own during those trades, it's highly advisable to buy Cloth Armor as an insurance. This will definitely make sure that you'll deal more damage than your opponent, which enables you to hold opposition in the lane.

As it has been the case with Boots, buying Cloth Armor also ensures that you do not miss on gold in the future, as this item can be improved into Zhonya's Hourglass and Guardian Angel, for instance.


This is the rarest purchase of the bunch, and one that I only recommend if you are facing an opponent that deals damage over time, such as Rumble or Singed. Doran's Shield is a really strong item with really strong flaws as well; namely, you will miss on two or three Health Potion vials that you'd normally buy, and you cannot improve Doran's Shield into another item you'll use later on.

Still, this item can be very handy against DoT opponents and even end up healing you if you play smart - if you take one tick of the DoT damage, the healed damage from Doran's Shield is stronger than the damage you take, ensuring that you can get sustain from, counter-intuitively enough, getting hit by an opponent's skills.



Early Game


After getting some gold, it's time to return to base and buy some neat things for Akali. These are the items that you should focus on buying during your first return.


The rule is rather simple: if you can buy a Hextech Revolver, buy it. The first reason is quite obvious - Hextech Revolver provides you with Ability Power, which increases the damage dealt by Mark of the Assassin, whereas the other side of Hextech Gunblade's tree - Bilgewater Cutlass only grants you Attack Damage.

The second reason is based on Hextech Revolver's passive, which deals rather sizeable damage when poking your opponent. The combined damage from the secondary hit of Twin Disciplines combined with Mark of the Assassin's full damage and this passive might take your opponent by surprise.


Still got a lot of money to spare? Then buy a Bilgewater Cutlass, increasing your sustain and giving you an active effect that might be just what you need to proc those Mark of the Assassin casts.


If you haven't bought your Boots before, buy them now. They become extremely valuable when the game begins to pick up, since having these boots on will almost always enable you to reach into Shadow Dance's range.


Got some spare money, but not enough to finish Hextech Gunblade? Are you currently laning against someone that deals Magic Damage? If you have answered 'yes' to both of these questions, then Null-Magic Mantle is your friend. Buying this item can be a great aid in surviving sudden bursts arising from opponents such as Annie and Syndra, not to mention that you can assemble the item into a Banshee's Veil when the time comes.



Boots


Come in, come all, and welcome to the Boot Store! These boots are the ones that are most commonly used on Akali for a myriad of reasons.


This is the pair of boots that I strongly favour for Akali, due to several reasons - first, Akali is extremely susceptible to Crowd Control, which makes any degree of Tenacity on her immensely valuable. Furthermore, Akali tends to lane against characters that employ Magic Damage, which can also be reduced by Mercury's Treads. If you are having a balanced (or losing) lane against a character that relies on Ability Power, or if the opposing team has the capacity to disrupt you with Crowd Control, this purchase is the best one.


If you are strongly snowballing, you'll want these shoes to shred your opponents down - especially so if they have started to play safe and construct Magical Resistance. By buying the Sorcerer's Shoes you effectively cut your opponent's capacity to resist your combos and dispatch them with a much faster time-rate, often employing less skills in the process. This is, naturally, a very valuable trait for Akali.


Provided the opposing team is strong in Attack Damage, you might perhaps buy Ninja Tabi instead; this is a safe choice if you are laning against a Zed or another Midlaner that relies on Attack Damage, or if the opposing team has a very Attack Damage oriented structure.

You might also elect to change towards Ninja Tabi later on if there's someone causing chaos with basic attacks - for example, if there is an opposing Twitch who was left unchecked and can get rid of you before finishing a combo.



Essential Items


You cannot forego these items in 90% of your battles (or, in the case of Hextech Gunblade and Zhonya's Hourglass, 100% of your battles). Buy them as soon as you can.


Buy this item first for Akali, no questions asked. Since Hextech Gunblade provides both Attack Damage and Ability Power, this item is crucial for a hybrid-damage character like Akali. Adding up, Hextech Gunblade provides us with a very strong gap-closer that can mean the difference between letting your target escape and assuring a kill.

Still, I don't believe those traits to be the most important - the one that makes the greatest difference is Hextech Gunblade's 15% heal that arises from any damage dealt, which means that you get incredible sustain anytime you engage an opponent. Last, the damage caused by the item's active skill is very hefty and proves invaluable during any trade.


Buy this item second if you are snowballing and the opponent team is composed of squishy characters. Lich Bane's effect scales from both your Attack Damage and Ability Power, which means that it packs quite a punch on hybrid-damage characters. Furthermore, Akali's skills refresh rather quickly, which means that you can fit several of these passive effects during a single battle. To top it off, the added Movement Speed helps you whenever approaching your targets as a preparation for Shadow Dance.


Buy this item second if the opposing team is strongly based on Attack Damage or if there are dangerous skills that have their execution delayed (such as Death Mark or Requiem). Zhonya's Hourglass enables you to survive some dangerous circumstances and even a wrong jump you have made with Shadow Dance; it also allows you to withstand damage arising from physical sources better.


Buy this item second if the opposing team has point-and-click Crowd Control or if you are losing against an opponent that relies on either Ability Power or a specific engage skill (such as Charm). Banshee's Veil has become an excellent item for Midlaners after Update 7.9, which modified the item's intended use - since it started granting Ability Power after this update, it can be bought without harming a Midlaner's damage potential. Acquiring Banshee's Veil can also prevent you from receiving some forms of Crowd Control skills that act as an engage, such as Solar Flare.



Offensive Items


Are you currently ahead in the game? Then it's time to further your advantage with some of these items. In case your advantage is extremely high, you can even forego one of the Essential Items, such as Banshee's Veil - however, make sure that you can take the heat if you opt to do that.


This is hands-down the best item to buy if you want your skills to really hurt. The added 35% Ability Power causes your skills to deal a lot of harm, especially so when it comes to characters whose kills have a short cooldown period such as Akali. If the opposing team is not building Magical Resistance, then punish their folly by taking Rabadon's Deathcap.


Luden's Tempest has two very interesting components that work well with Akali - first of them, the added Movement Speed helps her as previously discussed when we analysed Lich Bane, with the added point that moving around charges the passive effect of Luden's Tempest.

The second aspect arises exactly from this passive effect, which gives Akali some degree of AoE capability. This can prove extremely valuable when jumping behind the enemy's line and killing the squishy targets; the added damage might be what you need to get an edge on this fight. Furthermore, Luden's Tempest receives charges based on how quickly you can cast skills, and Akali has quite the short cooldowns.


If the opponents are building Magical Resistance, then you'll want to curtail their efforts with Void Staff. This item severely limits the damage that they can block, disallowing your enemies from having enough resistance to survive your onslaught. This is a great call against foes that decide to build Maw of Malmortius or Banshee's Veil.




Defensive Items


If you are falling behind, however, it's wiser to stock on these items instead. In case the disadvantage is extremely large, perhaps you'd like to trade Lich Bane for one of the options presented here as well.


We don't want you to die that easily, and for that reason buying an item that gives you extra health can mean the difference between surviving and perishing. Rylai's Crystal Scepter provides you with a hefty bonus to your health, which is especially relevant because of your sustain; in other words, having extra health means that you'll have more opportunities to heal during battle, which means that your chances of survival increase exponentially.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter also slows down your target, which is relevant for two reasons. First of all, it will help your teammates to be on the track of a target that you jump on with Shadow Dance; second, this effect synergises very well with our next item.


If you thought I would speak about Liandry's Anguish, you were right. Rylai's Crystal Scepter afflicts enemies with slow, while Liandry's Anguish deals double damage to enemies whose movement capacities are hindered. To summarise things, you have effectively doubled the efficacy of Liandry's Anguish through buying Rylai's Crystal Scepter.

Liandry's Anguish also provides Akali with extra health and alleviates a weakness that Akali has in her kit - namely, the fact that she cannot effectively burst characters that have a great deal of health such as Garen. It also provides a reasonable deal of Magical Penetration to ensure that your damage remains relevant.


This is truly, truly necessary if the opponent team has the capacity to suppress you, as this will wreck you over completely. Buying Mercurial Scimitar ensures that you can snap out of harmful Crowd Control and strike back fiercely, especially if fighting against a Malzahar.

The item also gives you added Attack Damage and some sustain through lifesteal. All in all, not a bad deal.


If you are dying too much, that means it's time to buy a Guardian Angel. This item will give you a reasonable chunk of Attack Damage and the ability to come back from the dead every once in a while. This means that you can fulfil your role as an Assassin and burst the threats from the opposite team and return to see the end of the battle.

This item is especially relevant if you have elected Perfect Timing as one of your runes, since it will shave 45 seconds of the item's cooldown.


Akali already heals a lot, both from Twin Disciplines, Hextech Gunblade and Ravenous Hunter to name a few sources. Adding 30% to the efficiency of these heals is almost obscene and can definitely ensure your survival on many scenarios. This item also provides you with extra health and Magical Resistance, which means that it is especially good against teams that heavily rely on Ability Power and that strive to burst you instantaneously.

Back to Top

Game Phases



The items are now defined and the board is set; this means it's time to analyse how to behave during all phases of the game. Most of this information was covered previously in an indirect manner, so I promise that this section shall be brief.



Pre-6 Lane Phase, Against Melee

Your objective against melee opponents is to keep the opposition as much as you can, except on the cases in which doing so can lead to your death ( Pantheon, I'm looking at you). As a general guideline, your damage can outscale any other melee attacker if you can trigger both Mark of the Assassin's primary and secondary damage, then disengage as quickly as you can.

Using Twilight Shroud for approaching reasons is very valid here, as long as you don't have any skills that you might need to dodge soon - for instance, do not use Twilight Shroud if Yasuo has cast his second conjuration of Steel Tempest, as you might need it to dodge his tornado arising from the next cast.

If you get ahead and hold the opposition, then zone your opponent out of the Minion area by poking with him with Mark of the Assassin whenever he gets close. Your objective here is not to kill your opponent - a very common novice mistake - but to deny him farm and experience. If he risks himself by getting close to you, that's okay; what you should not do is to actively pursue the kill at this point.

Remember: what you want is to get to Level 6 before your opponent. If you drive your opponent away, that means you have completed your objective.

A last observation must be made in the event that you acquire a kill before Level 6. There are two mistakes that are customarily done by people who score a kill - either they remain for too long on the lane, or they return to base immediately. What you actually want is to stay on lane until you have enough gold to buy Hextech Revolver and until the enemy received a reasonable amount of damage; 35% of his health should suffice.

Only after those two conditions are attained you should return to base. This will allow you to get back to lane with a great item advantage and a way to hold opposition due to your opponent's reduced health.



Pre-6 Lane Phase, Against Ranged

Laning against a ranged character is somewhat more complicated, due to their poking potential whenever you'd like to farm. This means that you'll need to adopt a posture that relies much more on the first effect arising from Twin Disciplines and Mark of the Assassin casts.

If your passive is up, then you can venture forward and farm; the heal will diminish the effect you get from the constant harassing. If your passive is not up, however, then you should farm from a distance with Mark of the Assassin.

In case there are too many Minions close to death, you'll need to take the extra risk and approach the Minion area, then cull them with Crescent Slash. Make sure that you prep one Minion with the Minion Slash combo, so you do not lose any of them by using a second Crescent Slash if necessary.

However, that doesn't mean your opponent will never make any positional mistakes. Provided they get too close to your position, throw a Mark of the Assassin on them; then, assess whether they have a dangerous skill available that might disrupt you and, if they do not, poke them by advancing with Twilight Shroud and detonating the placed mark. This will force a retreat, giving you some space to farm better.

Whenever you have an opponent that bears an especially dangerous skill for you (such as Dark Binding), it is interesting to feign vulnerability by walking outside of the zone protected by your Minions, then dodging once the skill is cast. Doing so opens that possibility for the strategy described in the previous paragraph.



Post-6 Lane Phase

After Level 6 you should turn the lane on its head and punish your opponent for not getting an advantage on you. Initially, it is your objective to make the enemy get rid of any dangerous skills they might bear through the strategy described in the last topic.

One word of warning: Akali (generally) cannot burst without items at this point. I customarily made the mistake of going all-in once I reached Level 6 and suffering from it. Constant trades will make you win; jumping recklessly will not.

After the dangerous skills are down, you should prep your Dual Crescent Slash Damage Combo, preferably enhanced by your passive if possible. This can shave approximately 50% of a character's life, giving you a significant edge on battle. Retreat and farm in order to heal the damage you've taken, then pounce on your opponent again for an easy kill.

Some opponents tend to be more conservative once they see the damage you can cause. In order to fool them, use a Twilight Shroud mind game: pretend that you are shrouding in order to farm and break invisibility to attack the Minions that are the farthest from your opponent, then move as close as possible to him while invisible. Many people are rather bad at estimating distances when they cannot see their target, so they tend to fall prey to this trick and die.



Team Fight Phase

Your objective during Team Fights is to penetrate the other team's defences and kill the squishies that are causing the most relevant damage - these usually tend to be either the AD Carry or the Midlaner.

Doing so consists of three phases: killing, waiting and escaping. First comes the killing phase, which should be the simplest one. Simply jump on the squishy that you'd like to take, oftentimes using the team's vanguard as a bridge through a secondary Shadow Dance and spam your skills to the best of your ability.

Then you should simply wait. Throw a Twilight Shroud and assess the scenario; if you have done everything right, the opponent's team structure is about to crumble. Sometimes another squishy target might position himself bad - if that does happen, feel free to kill him as well.

Last comes the part of escaping, which can be done in many different ways. The simplest one is when your team gains enough ground to push the opposing team away, giving you the opportunity to regroup. Another common method is when the opposing team breaks coordination by walking in different directions. Use their lack of congruent strategy to escape.

You can also escape via someone that is running from the battle, as long as that individual does not have Crowd Control. Use Shadow Dance on the person running and the active effect of Hextech Gunblade if available; then, employ your superior speed and get away as quickly as you can.

These are just general guidelines, but there are more things that you can do - such as using Zhonya's Hourglass instead of Twilight Shroud for protection. What is important is to have the general gist of the Team Fight Phase in your mind and play accordingly, with your main objective of crippling the opposing team's damage in mind.

Back to Top

Zwischenzugs (In-Between Moves)



Here comes the final part of this guide, and one that I believe most of you shall find interesting. The concept of zwischenzug is not something that comes originally from League of Legends, but from another game that dealt with strategy and overpowering your enemy.

It is, nonetheless, a concept that can be easily applied to League of Legends. Let me explain how.



Definition And Visual Example

Zwischenzug, also called 'in-between move', is a concept that first comes from the game of Chess. In Chess, a zwischenzug is an intermediary movement that has the intention of preparing a second attack through a sequence that forces the opponent's hand.

Now, you might be asking how that can possibly be applicable to League of Legends. Don't worry, I have a visual example to show you.


This video actually shows two instances of zwischenzug. The first one is when I use all of my skills on Xin Zhao and need some time to recover my Twin Disciplines and my Mark of the Assassin. In order to buy time, I cast Twilight Shroud and make sure that I remain inside the area of Crescent Guard; then, when my skills are up again, I pounce him with Mark of the Assassin, Shadow Dance and Crescent Slash, scoring the kill.

The second zwischenzug happens with Ryze. Once more, my skills are down, with the exception of Mark of the Assassin - still, I know that only one cast of the skill will not be enough to kill Ryze. Instead, I use Zhonya's Hourglass as an in-between move until my cooldowns are restored, then jump on Ryze via Shadow Dance (and end up dodging Overload to boot) while activating the first mark and immediately placing and detonating a second Mark of the Assassin. I also use Crescent Slash, but the previous damage was enough to kill.

As you can see, the tempo that I acquired by casting these little intermediary moves was decisive to score the Quadra Kill. A well-placed zwischenzug can mean the difference between life and death, as well as provide you with better tools to escape and take towers down.

There are four main zwischenzugs that you can employ with Akali.



Twilight Shroud Spatial Zwischenzug

The first of them is when you want to get to another position - often a safer one - but you have no immediate way to do that. For example, assume that you have just been ganked by the enemy Jungler and you are advanced. There is a Minion wave coming, but the wave has still not arrived at the appropriate position.

What you should use here is a Twilight Shroud Spatial Zwischenzug. Advance even deeper into enemy territory (as long as you do not get into the tower's sight range) and cast a Twilight Shroud; then, simply wait for the Minions to gather at the middle of the lane. The Jungler will generally wait for you inside the Twilight Shroud - in order to disengage, once the position is properly set, use Shadow Dance on an enemy Minion.



Twilight Shroud Temporal Zwischenzug

A Twilight Shroud Temporal Zwischenzug, on the other hand, is conducted in order to waste the enemy's time. This has mostly two intentions: either you want to cause your foe's skill to expire, or you want your own cooldowns to be restored. I shall exemplify both cases.

Assume an Ekko has connected a Timewinder on you. You both have extremely low life, and a combo is bound to kill whoever connects first. Due to Timewinder, you now have two stacks of Z-Drive Resonance on you. Ekko follows up with Phase Dive's cast.

It is in your best interest to not let Ekko use Phase Dive's empowered attack on you, nor let him proc the Z-Drive Resonance added damage. In order to waste his time, you cast Twilight Shroud and disappear until the skills are down, then strike him with Mark of the Assassin, Shadow Dance and Crescent Slash. This is an example in which a Twilight Shroud Temporal Zwischenzug is used to force the opponent's skills into expiration.

The example regarding cooldown recovery was the one provided in the video. In order to throw a Mark of the Assassin on Xin Zhao, I went under invisibility and waited until the skill was up; afterwards, I jumped on him via Shadow Dance and conducted the combo in full.



Zhonya Zwischenzug

If you need to waste some time and your Twilight Shroud is down, or if your Twilight Shroud can't protect you appropriately, then you can use Zhonya's Hourglass in order to conduct the zwischenzug instead.

The fundamentals are the same as described in the previous item: you can use this in order to make your enemy's skills expire, or in order to recover your own cooldowns. The example, likewise, was already provided in the video - the attack on Ryze illustrates the use of a Zhonya Zwischenzug.



Crescent Slash As Zwischenzug

And finally, comes the use of Crescent Slash as a zwischenzug. Whenever you are split-pushing a tower, you want to give it your unparalleled attention in order to demolish it as soon as possible. Nevertheless, your Attack Speed is limited, which means that you can optimise the process by using skills - such as Crescent Slash - as intermediary moves.

If there are opposing Minions under the tower, use Crescent Slash between your attacks. By doing this, you get rid of the little critters and increase the durability of your own Minions under tower, enabling you to attack the structure for longer, while still dishing the greatest amount of damage possible to the turret.



Final Observations

I'd like to reinforce that zwischenzugs are not exclusive to Akali - in fact, perhaps you have already used this strategy before, despite not knowing its name. A Bard that casts a successful Tempered Fate employs a zwischenzug; a Vladimir that uses Sanguine Pool because Transfusion is currently down makes use of a zwischenzug; a Syndra that triggers Zhonya's Hourglass because she needs two more seconds until Unleashed Power - you guessed it - is also utilising a zwischenzug.

Studying different strategies and keeping your eyes open towards their application in practice is one of the best ways to learn effective plays. As always, study, study and study, and you shall succeed in your endeavours.

Back to Top

Postface



After it's all said and done, it's time to wrap up our explanation. I do hope that you've enjoyed reading this guide as much as I've enjoyed writing it, and expect that this acts as a small incentive for players to try out this wonderful champion.



Acknowledgements

I'd like to thank everyone that enabled, either directly or indirectly, the creation of this guide. However, I'd be remiss if I did not mention some people that were determinant for the success of this endeavour.

- Aces Shinogeki, who rekindled in me the passion towards writing this resource by accidentally appearing in a Ranked Game of mine. You can be assured that this guide would not be complete if you didn't express a desire towards learning how to play with the champion I consider to be the most wonderful in the world of League of Legends.
- Hailie Drescher, who helped me stay on track and pushed me towards the completion of this objective. Thank you for putting up with my procrastinating behaviours and giving me incentives to not let that side take the best of me.
- Jake Mullergan, who heard me rant over and over about the length of this guide and had to put up with my excited self every time I completed a new piece of art or invented a new form of visually coding the guide.
- ManioXesta, who provided added insight into the pictographic elements of this guide after being bombarded with my newest visual creations.
- MOBAFire's Staff, for opening and maintaining this wonderful collaborative platform that allows people to share information regarding a game we are all passionate about.
- And, as a final thanks, I appreciate you for reading the guide that lies in front of you. I wrote this thinking about you, and I mean it when I say that I truly hope this can be a valuable resource in your League of Legends trajectory.

May your blades be sharp enough to shred your opponents as you dance with the shadows of the twilight.



Change Log

November 27th, 2017: Technical Guide To Akali is first released.
November 27th, 2017: Corrected some spelling mistakes that have gone unnoticed.
December 23th, 2017: Fixed a broken anchor from the guide and added new observations in the Summon Aery vs. Electrocute vs. Dark Harvest section. I am quickly leaning more towards Summon Aery lately, so expect a revamp of the Runes section soon.
January 23th, 2018: Fixed a few spelling mistakes. A reviewed section about the Runes should be released in the future.
April 19th, 2018: Updated the Rune section. Updates on some match-ups, such as Irelia and Swain will be done soon.
July 31st, 2018: The guide was fully updated to the 8.14 Patch, including with regards to the outdated match-ups.

League of Legends Champions: