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Akali Build Guide by Vapora Dark

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Vapora Dark In-Depth Mid Akali Guide 9.20 Season 9

By Vapora Dark | Updated on October 9, 2019
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Runes:

Domination
Electrocute
Taste of Blood
Eyeball Collection
Ravenous Hunter

Inspiration
Magical Footwear
Minion Dematerializer
Bonus:

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor

Spells:

LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

LeagueSpy Logo
Middle Lane
Ranked #58 in
Middle Lane
Win 46%
Get More Stats

-Table of Contents-
Gameplay and Extra
About Me
Gameplay
Conclusion

Hi, I'm Vapora Dark, a veteran player that's been playing since season 1. During that time I've hit Master tier as a mid lane main in season 5, as an ADC main in season 7, again as a jungle main in season 8, and once more in season 9 playing a mix of all those roles including mid and Fizz. I can play every role to a very high level and have a very good understanding of the general aspects of the game on top of that.


I've been writing guides on MOBAFire since 2011, among which my achievements include winning the MOBAFire guide contest multiple times, achieving the highest score on the site multiple times with multiple guides, achieving the most comments on a single guide of all time by a very large amount which hasn't come even close to being surpassed in the 3 years that it's been archived, and having the most collective guide views on the site by a very hefty amount. I've also written some champion guides for Riot Games on the Lolesports site.


Domination & Inspiration



Electrocute
Your job as an assassin is to kill a single target as fast as possible. The most consistent keystone in the game at helping facilitate that is Electrocute. More damage in combos is always useful.

Taste of Blood
Logically, Sudden Impact seems like a no-brainer as an assassin with lots of dashes and invisibility. However in reality she can do her killing job easily. The problem comes in to surviving lane without being useless after 15 minutes. Taste of Blood is a god send for Akali as it scales from both AD and AP giving you enough sustain in lane to survive until you get Hextech Gunblade and some Ravenous Hunter stacks.

Eyeball Collection
You're looking to snowball as much as you can and every kill or takedown you get will give you extra ability power. It's the most consistent of the three options so you should always take it.

Ravenous Hunter
Akali deals a lot of single target damage thanks to her passive Assassin's Mark. She is also incredibly squishy. Combining this with a Hextech Gunblade offers you an incredible amount of self-healing which is immeasurably useful in every scenario.


Inspiration


Magical Footwear


Minion Dematerializer
Magical Footwear: Hextech Gunblade is an expensive first item with a lot of cheap components. This means that being able to completely ignore boots and just rush straight to your most important item is paramount. The extra movement speed is nice as well.

Minion Dematerializer: Akali has fairly mediocre waveclear with a pretty bad laning phase. Minion Dematerializer helps with both of these issues. Being able to consume a cannon minion early can quickly let you roam or recall safely, granting precious early pressure that you simply can't get without. Then you can also use them on the ranged minions to help with pushing as eventually you won't be able to one shot the casters without this.

Offense:
9 Adaptive Force
Flex:
9 Adaptive Force
Defense:
6 Armour

Flash
This summoner spell is one you should always take and the one you'll always see. Flash has a billion and one uses, from flashing in to get a kill, from flashing away from danger, flashing over walls and flashing over abilities. This is something you should be very familiar with by now and it's something you should ALWAYS have. There is never a situation where you don't take flash.
Ignite
As a mid lane assassin your job is to kill champions. Ignite the best summoner spell for the job and will always be useful throughout the match. With the recent Teleport nerf and the fact you don't really need to use utility based summoner spells this is the only real option for you. Even things like Cleanse don't need to be taken as if you need to deal with heavy crowd control you can purchase Mercury's Treads.

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Q E W Q Q R Q E Q E R E E W W R W W
Passive: Assassin's Mark
Assassin's Mark
Akali's passive is actually where most of her damage will be coming from. The scaling is higher than everything else except a low health target of the second dash of your ultimate which means it's the most important part of the kit to master.

The ring that spawns is static, which means it doesn't follow the champion you hit to create the ring. If someone is running away from you, you do not need to turn around for a split second to trigger the mark, you can continue to chase and cross the other side of the ring.

The enhanced damage has great synergy with select runes and items. Specifically Hextech Gunblade and Ravenous Hunter. This is because it scales from both your bonus attack damage and your ability power which the gunblade gives both stats and it's treated as a single target ability for the purpose of healing. With a fully stacked Ravenous Hunter and a finished Hextech Gunblade, Akali will be healing for 30% of the damage you deal with this and as she is a very squishy champion who's only survivability comes from items or becoming invisible this can very quickly stack up to some absurd levels of self-sustain.

The radius of the circle is about 475 units which is almost identical to the maximum range of your Q Five Point Strike which in turn means landing a perfect range Q will instantly proc your Assassin's Mark to run in from the movement speed and get a high damage attack in.
Q: Five Point Strike
Five Point Strike
The most simple part of Akali's kit is her first ability. This is a very basic wave clear/harassment tool that also has some sustain built into it in order to help with early laning against tough matchups. The damage it deals early is fairly low but it scales with both your total attack damage and your ability power again making Hextech Gunblade a great item.

An important thing to note about this ability is both the cooldown and the energy cost. As with most other energy users, Akali has 200 energy which regenerates quickly but cannot be increased. This ability costs 100 energy at rank 1 and has a 1.5s cooldown before cooldown reduction. That means if you cast this ability a lot you will run out of energy incredibly quickly and if you miss you'll be unable to trigger your Assassin's Mark which is most of your damage.

Another thing to focus on is the innate healing you get can be triggered on minions and monsters, so if you have nothing to hit but need some quick healing you can Q into a jungle camp for some fast heals. However once you get your gunblade and a few stacks of ravenous hunter the extra healing really won't mean a whole lot in comparison to those 2.

I max this ability first as it's your waveclear tool and the energy cost decreases with levels. At max rank it'll again deal even more damage to minions and monsters making it a must to rank this ability asap.
W: Twilight Shroud
Twilight Shroud
Twilight Shroud is what enables Akali to dive deep into the enemy team. Instantly putting her into a long stealth as long as she remains in the smoke and getting a burst of energy makes this ability powerful.

The ability also doesn't have a set shape/hitbox. You throw a small circle slightly tilted towards your cursor that expands into a doughnut shape. This means that you can actually leave stealth by entering the center. However it's affected by terrain. If you cast it in the middle of a lane it'll expand evenly like said doughnut, but if you cast it in a choke in the jungle or player-made terrain like Crystallize it won't expand past it. You can actually squash it into practically a line if you place it at certain points. This is invaluable to master as it can alter exactly where and how you'll be invisible.

It also has no energy cost and in fact restores your energy upon cast. Using it after you cast an ability allows you to get more Five Point Strike's off which in turn means more Assassin's Mark's which means a lot more damage. Whilst it is your defence/utility spell do keep in mind the energy generation for offensive use too.

I max this ability second as it gives a huge amount of energy regen based on its ability rank, which in turn makes you able to use more Five Point Strike's which means a lot more damage. The integral part of Akali's kit is being able to duck in and out of fights consistently so the lower cooldown on Twilight Shroud also helps a lot with this.
E: Shuriken Flip
Shuriken Flip
As with any melee assassin, it's vitally important to get into melee range one way or another. Akali's version of a gap closer is actually incredibly unique as it starts by creating more distance from you and your target. This serves 2 purposes. The first is quite simply to make it harder to counter attack, as it's a dash it can be used over walls and can create time to set up or escape. It's style of escape is similar to 90 Caliber Net. However as it's your main way of getting onto a target to kill them, you'll usually only cast it to escape if you can't kill anything or get ganked. I should also mention how high the base damage of this ability is. Whilst you'll max it second because you need your Q to wave clear, hitting someone with the follow up dash will deal well over 300 base physical damage at rank 5.

The second use is that it's almost always going to proc Assassin's Mark. It will trigger the swinging kama effect every time regardless of the range at which you cast it. The only time it will not trigger your passive is if you're against terrain that you cannot dash over (like the edge of the map). This means your most basic way to deal high damage to someone if you have low energy or they're keeping outside your Q range is to simply hit them with this then instantly dash into them and basic attack for massive damage.

It also has the niche use of connecting to your Twilight Shroud. If the shuriken hits nothing but lands in some smoke, you can actually dash into your shroud. This can create some incredible mobility and outplay potential if you set things up properly.

I max this ability last as it deals pure physical damage and outside of your Hextech Gunblade you get no attack damage.
R: Perfect Execution
Perfect Execution
Akali's ultimate is a 2 part double dash. The first cast is a dash that deals a small amount of physical damage that scales with your bonus attack damage and the second cast is a longer dash that deals decent magic damage scaling with both your ability power and the missing health of enemies hit.

The second dash is an execute through and through and should be treated as such. You'll usually use the first dash to re-position yourself, as the damage is low enough that it's not a must hit. The second dash however will be very important to connect with to kill someone. The range is long and the hitbox is decent so it shouldn't be hard to land, but if the target isn't low on health then it will deal very little damage.

I put points into this ability at 6/11/16
Doran's Shield

Whilst there are many choices for starting items, the safest option will always be the Doran's Shield. Extra health, health regen, health regen on taking damage and the extra last hitting power just makes this item perfect for the early lane where you'll be poked regularly.
Long Sword

As a champion who rushes a Hextech Gunblade you can go Long Sword as your starting item to turn all your adaptive force into attack damage. This helps a lot with early trades and pushes as your auto attack damage will be a lot higher than people expect. Not to mention it allows you to buy 3 Health Potions giving you a huge amount of early sustain.
The Dark Seal

In a more aggressive or easier lane you can instead opt to take a Dark Seal. Ability power is always nice and the increased healing you get with the almost 100% buy of a Refillable Potion makes your sustain still pretty good. It also has the potential to become the snowballing item Mejai's Soulstealer if you're getting fed early. Even a kill or 2 with this item makes it the most valuable starting item if you can survive lane without the shield.
Hextech Gunblade

The perfect item for Akali. It gives her everything she needs to do her job and do it well. This will be something you rush every game as your first item without exception. Sometimes you'll buy components (like Seeker's Armguard against a Zed) but you'll always finish this item first.
Sorcerer's Shoes

The only boot choice that will directly increase your damage, these are your default option in most matches. You'll get the tier one Slightly Magical Boots so you can completely ignore them until after you get your Hextech Gunblade.
Ninja Tabi

Sometimes you don't need more damage, but you need to live longer. These are great boots against high physical damage comps and amazing against champions who deal most of their damage through basic attacks. Yasuo, Lucian, Draven and Graves to name a few where Ninja Tabi are an excellent buy.
Mercury's Treads

Just like with the Ninja Tabi sometimes you need to survive instead of dealing maximum damage. These boots are specifically for crowd control heavy teams with a good amount of magic damage behind them. Whilst you won't buy these just for the magic resistance or just for the tenacity, if you need both you'll buy these. Ahri, Morgana, Twisted Fate and Fiddlesticks are to name a few where Mercury's Treads are an excellent buy.
Zhonya's Hourglass

Whilst it's not difficult to dive into the middle of an enemy team, it's often going to end in your death. Being able to become totally invulnerable for 2.5 seconds is a utility you cannot ignore. Directly countering a lot of champions and in general always being useful for AP divers makes this another must buy in most builds.
Morellonomicon

Akali lacks base health and her job is to kill squishy targets. Morellonomicon is an item that perfectly makes up a big weakness of her and gives her extra squishy killing power with some flat magic penetration makes this a great option if snowballing. The grievous wounds is a huge counter to certain champions like Vladimir or Soraka but it also has a potent effect against the champions you'll likely be killing such as Draven or Lucian who buy lifesteal.
Rabadon's Deathcap

The single biggest ability power spike you can buy, a Rabadon's Deathcap is a huge multiplier for all of the ability power you've already bought. I would only get this third at the earliest but I will nearly always buy one at some point in the game for a huge power spike.
Lich Bane

As most of your damage is based on the basic attack empowered Assassin's Mark the natural synergy a Lich Bane offers is great. This item is a luxury item if you're snowballing to keep the snowball going but usually items like Morellonomicon will offer more damage meaning there isn't much of a place with this item in a lot of games.
Void Staff

Whilst most mages buy a Void Staff as a core item, you don't. It's without a doubt a good item and should be considered in any build but you're an assassin. Void Staff is only gold efficient if you're attacking a target with at least 90 magic resistance after your flat penetration. Even if a squishy target has a Maw of Malmortius it's not worth it to buy a [[Void Staff]. However sometimes the enemy team will have several tanky champions or your team has a lot of magic damage making the enemy team stack more than they usually would. It's the definition of a situational item.
Mejai's Soulstealer

I would only buy this if I was able to buy Dark Seal and am without a doubt going to get several kills without dying. The best way to gauge if you'll be able to do that is only buy this item if you get 10 stacks on Dark Seal before you upgrade. Like the Void Staff though, this item is situational as it won't be uncommon for you to kill someone then die after the assassination.
Laning Phase
In the midlane as a melee assassin you'll most likely only be able to farm up and try to not fall behind champions who can shove you in. Against other melee champions however you can easily use your Five Point Strike to push the wave and tag them with the tip, triggering both the slow and the Assassin's Mark buff which in turn will let you walk up and attack them for high damage. However they too can return high damage back to you if you're not careful so your priority is to survive until you get some components and levels before you look to kill. You should also keep an eye on your jungler. If your jungler is able to contest scuttle crabs make sure you'll not be far behind them in order to secure it.

After you get a few levels, maybe level 6, a Hextech Revolver and some attack damage you can start to look to roam or assist your jungler in invades. With your high single target damage, you can very easily kill most targets in the early game if they get hit by some allied crowd control, or just simply run them down thanks to your movement speed and kit of mobility/slows.
Mid Game
After you finish your Hextech Gunblade you'll be very hard to poke out. This means at this point you'll want to look aggressively to advance your snowball. Skirmishes and picks are your best bet to kill players over and over whilst you become more and more fed.

Your high mobility is also very important to remember as it's not just a way to close the distance, but also create distance and unique gank paths to avoid wards. Using your Shuriken Flip backwards can help cross walls like the baron/dragon pit to avoid common river wards.

It's situationally a good investment to purchase an Oracle Lens to clear vision which helps with getting into position to assassinate targets. I wouldn't swap to this until level 8 at the earliest however.
Late Game
At this point you should have several items and be the biggest threat to the enemy carry if they're ever caught out of position. Your job is to continue what you did in the mid game but also to take as much as you can from any mistakes the enemy team make or any plays your team makes. Getting a kill or 2 without anyone on your team dying can be the end of the game with things like Baron Nashor or having multiple elemental dragons.

However, even though you're incredibly strong at this point so will your targets. Items like Guardian Angel or Zhonya's Hourglass and the general power of support champions can thwart assassinations or make them bad things to do. It's very important to always check your enemy's items as even a stopwatch can ruin the best laid plans.

Death's are very long at late game so make sure that if you do die (and as an assassin, it's not uncommon to do so as part of your job) that you caused fight winning damage or takedowns before you do. Getting off the second dash in Perfect Execution can be the difference between wiping a team or getting wiped.

Whilst tower diving is never totally safe, late game is when it's the most risky unless you have a pure tank. You'll want to focus on using your Twilight Shroud as more of a area denial tool rather than just a pure utility skill. Just being invisible in a large area can be enough to buy your team time to finish what they're doing and create an opportune fight. Keep in mind though that an Oracle Lens can give your position away. Whilst you'll never be able to be targete
Offense:
10% Attack Speed
Flex:
9 Adaptive Force
Defense:
6 Armour
d inside your shroud whilst obscured, the trinket will cause a red silhouette to pulse your location which means you can be hit by deadly skillshots. You're invisible not invulnerable.
Hopper is Bae
Akali is a high skill cap assassin who has a toolkit with limitless potential. Having the unique mechanic obscure alone can create so many opportunities no other champion can do and along with her myriad of dashes you'll be very hard to pin down. This comes at the downside of damage being gated behind not only your passive needing perfect spacing but also the second half of your ultimate Perfect Execution making your highest damaging ability not be usable on demand. Her skill floor is fairly high, but once you cross that barrier and understand her limits you'll be an assassin everyone will fear.

Special thanks to Hopper for banners and coding. This guide was a collaboration with Vicious Skittle, who wrote the majority of the guide.
League of Legends Build Guide Author Vapora Dark
Vapora Dark Akali Guide