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Akali Build Guide by Xx Phishh xX

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Xx Phishh xX

The Flippin' Ninja (Hybrid Akali Guide)

Xx Phishh xX Last updated on September 3, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 9

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 0

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Hello, and welcome to my extensive guide on Akali - The Fist of Shadow

First off, I'd like to say thanks to Searz for the awesome guide format! You can find it here. He helped me create this awesome guide! Thanks man! :)

Akali is one of my favorite champions to play: she's very versatile and shines in Team Fights as well as a 1v1 with an enemy champion.

Anyway, this is my first guide on mobafire, so please give me something to work with so I can improve.

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Pros and Cons

Pretty good harass early game
Massive nuking ability
Able to take a position in any lane or take the jungle
Great ganking ability
No mana :D
Great chasing ability

Semi-difficult solo before hitting level 6
Usually gets focused relatively quickly
No real escape ability
Super squishy before Rylia's
Stuns/slows are usually lead to death if caught out of position

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Abilities In-depth Review

Akali's abilities make her the assasin-like nuker that she is. So lets take a look, shall we?

The two parts of the passives gives Akali the ability to sustain well. The extra spell vamp stacks well with Hextech Gunblade. More will be explained about how this passive gets really important later in the guide.

Mark of the Assassin has 2 main uses:

  • Used as her main farming ability early game, as well as the main part of her nuke (along with Shadow Dance)
  • Used to help nuke/harass enemy champions.

You usually do not want to last hit with Mark of the Assassin unless you're going against someone who can zone Akali really well, such as Caitlyn, Kennen, or Ashe to name a few. Why is this, you might ask? Because you don't want to waste the energy when you can get it back from activating the mark. Not only does it do damage, but restored energy when the mark is activated. Now, I'm not saying that you can't last hit with it. All I'm saying is that you never know when you might need the energy.

The most important part of Mark of the Assassin is its damage output. It has a very nice ap ratio, as well as the ability to do a HUGE amount of damage in a short amount of time. Many people tend to underestimate Akali's strength, so punish them by bursting them down before they even have time time to say, "Have you seen my bear, Tibbers?"

This ability is Akali's most important defensive feature (though it does have its uses in being offensive).

Defensive tactic: Twilight Shroud should PRIMARILY (I stress this) for escaping agro, crowd control, etc. Since Akali tends to get focused quickly, dropping into her "bubble" (as I like to call it) before getting really focused. This is also a very helpful ability for juking your enemies. Here's a good example of it:
Offensive tactic (not recommended)
: Twilight shroud's slow is helpful, but you're more efficient getting your Mark of the Assassin or Crescent Slash off to do some damage. You can also use your Twilight Shroud face check (walk up to bushes to see if any enemy champions are lurking in the brush) without much consequence... notice the MUCH. Be careful if you decide to face check (you never know what might be waiting for you).

Great for farming large creep waves because it hits all (I repeat: ALL) enemies in the range of your Crescent Slash.

Now something to remember while chasing: lets say you're chasing an enemy and are bursting them down pretty well. You've Shadow Danced up to them, are now out of charges on your Shadow Dance, and only have enough energy for your Crescent Slash or Mark of the Assassin. You'd much rather get a mark from Mark of the Assassin on your victim than trying to desperately spin in circles trying to do damage. You have a much higher chance of catching up to your victim with your item build/summoner spells to activate the mark. If your spin doesn't kill them, you're going to be left in the dust by your enemies and the will surely LAUGH AT YOU for your failed attempt to pursue them.

BEHOLD! AKALI'S MOST IMPORTANT SKILL! *insert epic music here...*
  • Charges take time to regenerate (either in seconds or kills/assist); don't spam them too much or you'll be stuck in the middle of your nuke/chase and render yourself unable to complete it.
  • Use the element of surprise! Jump out of a bush to an unsuspecting enemy. Hopefully this will catch them off-guard, which is exactly where you want them to be.
  • Great chase/flee mechanism. But still remember: you only get 3 at a time! Keep that in mind when pursuing or fleeing.
This ability makes you a deadly force in picking off super squishy champions,

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Which to max first?

I go for my Q ( Mark of the Assassin) first because of the extra damage and farming ability. By level 2, champions get stronger (obviously). I grab my Twilight Shroud because Akali is still squishy and it's also good to have a free, temporary "cover" to protect you from champion and minion focus. I then move to level up Mark of the Assassin as fast as possible because of the insane amount of damage you do with it. Next I max my Crescent Slash, and last Twilight Shroud, picking up a point in Shadow Dance whenever possible.

Now, I've seen some, granted not much, but some argument over whether to max your E ( Crescent Slash) or W ( Twilight Shroud) first. The argument goes " Crescent Slash doesn't really help much towards your nuking capability and the slow from the maxed out Twilight Shroud is good enough that it will slow enemy champions enough so you don't have to use another charge of your Shadow Dance." While this may be true, I find that the damage done by Crescent Slash is overwhelmingly more helpful than Twilight Shroud and here's why:

The ability to put out a lot of damage is a lot more important than putting out a magic bubble. And besides. Any reasonable person would just walk around the myserious enemy bubble, so you have a high chance of missing. Therefore, I level my Crescent Slash before my Twilight Shroud, which I max last.

Skill preferance when chasing: ( > means greater than)
Shadow Dance > Mark of the Assassin > Crescent Slash > (ONLY IF IT IS COMPLETELY NECESSARY FOR YOU TO SECURE THE KILL) Twilight Shroud

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Summoner Spells

Recommended Choices
I highly recommend this for every Akali. Because she has no real escaping ability, this can be a life saver. It can also bring you back in range of your Shadow Dance if your prey gets too far away.

Jeez, I don't know how many times that I've let a kill get away because I didn't have ignite or it was on cooldown. I recommend this for the soul purpose of finishing off your opponents when you can't nuke them down fully (which shouldn't happen by the time you get your Hextech Gunblade, but just in case.

This summoner spell gives Akali the ability to do the best juke in the game in my opinion. Lets say you get ganked, 5v1, vs the enemy team while you're split pushing. Just calmly drop your bubble, sit inside it, then teleport out. Watch your reactions of your enemies as you disappear out of thin air! :D

This is a really good skill for escapes. The elimination of ALL CC from your champ can be an essencial part of your escape as Akali.

"Eh" Choices
This choice is ok for akali, but because of her great chase, ghost isn't needed. That being said, it can be a great escape mechanism.

This makes your chase easier to control. Then again, your Hextech Gunblade and Rylai's Crystal Scepter slows make your chase just as effective.

Definite No-No Choices
Unless you're planning on dying a lot, but this guide involves you not dying :P

Jungling is a viable option on Akali, but it is not covered in this guide.

If you really think that you are going to get your towers pushed pretty hard, than have your tank take the spell, not you.

No mana = no point on Akali.

Who even uses rally....

Again, this is not your role. Have your support take the CV, not you.

This doesn't really help you much. It could help your presence early game, but your lifesteal/spell vamp will eventually cancel out the need to even use heal, rendering it useless to you.

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In my build, I mainly focus on her damage output, so I go a standard 21/9/0 mastery set up, making sure to grab points in Archaic Knowledge , Offensive Mastery (to make laning a little easier), and Havoc of course, as well as picking up Nimbleness in the defensive tree. This tree maximizes her damage and her presence in lane.

The main reason that I don't go for Burning Embers is becasue the extra AP isn't really worth the mastery point. 10 AP doesn't really do much for you, especially late game.

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For marks I go Greater Mark of Magic Penetration x8 and Greater Mark of Ability Power x1.
For seals I go Greater Seal of Ability Power x9.
For glyphs I go Greater Glyph of Ability Power x9.
For quints I go Greater Quintessence of Health x2 and a Greater Quintessence of Ability Power.

This rune setup allows me to activate 1 of my passives (giving me a little over 10% extra damage). The magic pen helps my nuke to hit harder, and the 2 greater quint of fortitude help to give me early game sustain.

If you want to activate BOTH of your passives at level 1, get a Doran's Blade or Long Sword and 1 Health Potion. I don't really recommend going with both passives first for 3 reasons:
1. The extra spell vamp at the beginning is good, but it's not as good of a sustain as 3 health pots are.
2. Focusing on survivability is usually key early on with Akali.
3. Having boots makes it easier to run from ganks, or persue people who think they can get away early game.

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+ This early game item set up tends to be an important way to sustain yourself early game in lane.

This is a great item for 2 reasons:

  • It goes well with your Twin Disciplines. The lifesteal/spell vamp heals you very quickly.
  • The slow is a must to catch up to enemies or prevent them from running.

The movement speed, ability power, and passive make your nuke hurt a lot. AND it gives magic resist, making you more sustainable.

The slow and hp boost from rylai's is the main reason I make it a priority to get.

This is a must if you're going to push towers. Some people argue that the extra AP isn't significant enough on Akali to make much of a diffence. I usually recommend it as a part of the core build, but I'll feel free to skip it if you don't think you'll need it.

This item gives your attacks a slow, increases your attack speed, attack damage, ap, AND movement speed! This is an overall fun and helpful item.

Sustain Items
warmong's armor If you're having trouble with harass and are getting your health jipped every time you walk out of your base, I'd definitly rush this item. It really helps in making you an unstoppable wall of hurt.

Good magic resist and gives your nuke harder hits because of its pssive.

Good magic resist and health (and of course, the passive). I KNOW, I know.. You don't use mana. But the item can sometimes be too good to resist.

*Side note: I can't get the icons for Warmong's Armor and Rylai's Crystal Scepter working. If someone could help me, it'd be greatly appreciated.

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Know Your Role

Akali is an assassin. This means you're usually in the back, waiting to pick off an enemy carry/support. Usually hiding in the bushes makes this effective. You want to be the last one in and the first one out, doing as much damage with your Mark of the Assassin + Shadow Dance combo. It's important to NEVER initiate fights that you aren't sure you can secure a kill from. Let your tanky teammates start the fight, and wait for the perfect moment to jump into the fray.

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Early Game

Pretty self explanatory. Just farm up as much as possible. Help your teammates by ganking once you can at level 6 (only if they need it). Akali can take pretty much any lane, so don't fret if you have a Karthus who HAS to mid.

Since you have energy, harass the enemy champion(s) that you're laning against with your Mark of the Assassin. SPAM FTW!

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Late Game

Ganks and teamfights are going down very often now. You should have your Hextech Gunblade, Lich Bane, and probably your Guinsoo's Rageblade. Your nuking capability is extremely strong at this point. Because of your rageblade, you have a surprisingly strong ability to push towers. So don't be afraid to split push with akali.

You've probably gotten your team a few dragons and maybe a Baron because your ability to pretty much eliminate an enemy champion in the course of about 10 seconds.

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Team Fights and Your Combos

Remember (this is something that all Akalis usually forget, even me sometimes):

...YOU AREN'T INVINCIBLE! I know that's kinda self explanatory, but in teamfights, people who play akali start to get really greedy. Make sure that you try to burst down a few champs and get the heck out!

Strongest nuke capability
Throw your Mark of the Assassin. Once it lands, jump to the enemy champion with Shadow Dance. This does an insane amount of damage, more than enemies usually expect.

When harassing, a great way to get off a lot of damage at early levels is to mark your enemy, wait for your Mark of the Assassin to come back off of cooldown, activate the mark on your enemy and throw/activate the next mark as soon as you activate the first mark. This damage output can give you a pretty nice nuke at level 1!

Remember: if your in the middle of your combo and you get stopped, drop into your bubble and try to get away ASAP!!

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So this is my guide on how I personally play Akali. I hope I helped anyone who's wanting to learn how to play her or just wants to try something new. And please: drop a comment stating what I could do better in this guide/future guides.

Just remember: if people start complaining about you being OP, then you're really doing it right! ;)

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Thanks again, Searz. Couldn't have made this guide without you. :)
Thanks to mikeyxoxo for letting me use his video in this guide.
To Glory - Two Steps from Hell
And most of all, thanks to all my friends that helped me to create this monsterous build, no matter how small the contribution. :3