Akali Build Guide

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Akali, the soloist

written by DrDopamine

Akali Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    Hello everybody, Im new to LeagueCraft, but not so much to League of Legends, so we are going to walk through what I have tested and believe to be the most successful build for Akali. Before we get into this thicket, you need to know that Akali is very challenging character, and simply by following this guide, you will not be penta-killing every game, and for most of you that try this build, you will be hurting your team more then helping. This build is for players with strong map awareness, aggressive but cautionary behavior, and prior experience with Akali.

    I call her the soloist, because thats how she is worked the best. Away from the team, or coming to a teamfight from a different angle.

    Now that that's settled, if you fit that criteria, this guide will give you the tips and tools to become a better Akali player, and my goal is only to teach you something.

    This guide is primarily focused on AP Akali, with a single varient that can be cast into the "hybrid" section of items. It does differ from most Akali guides in many ways, and ofcourse, I believe for the better. This is my first guide, so if you enjoy the read, and feel like you have learned anything, please rate me. I will be checking the comments for any questions, concerns, advice, or praise (Dont trash me in comments, I wont care. If you dont like it, dont use it- and dont comment)

    Some abbreviations I will use:

    MA= Mark of the Assassin
    TS= Twighlight Shroud
    CS= Cresent Slash
    SD= Shadow Dance

  • Abilities

    Twin Disciplines
    Arguably the best passive in the game. With the combination of runes and a starter item, both of these passives will be active at level 1, which gives Akali a leg up for early game ganks and the lane phase.

    The reason this passive becomes truly powerful is because it continues to boost important statistic throughout the entire game.

    Mark of the Assassin
    This is the foundation for your burst damage throughout the entire game. At level one, you hit nearly 1/4 total health of nearly any champ. If your lane becomes engaged early on, with exhaust and this ability, you and your lane mate can almost always end with a kill.

    It's important to note, double mark hitting can drop squishes early game from half health to virtually none. This tactic is explained in more detail in the powerful tricks category of this guide.

    Twilight Shroud
    This is what makes Akali a powerful 1v1 champion, and can change the outcome of full 5v5 team-fights nearly singlehandedly. Important uses are to avoid damage while harassing or last hitting, protect yourself during cool-down cycles of your burst output, and primarily escaping ganks.

    Keeping this ability available when you are swarmed by enemies can make the deference between life and death. Inside this cloak, only oracles, wards, or aoe damage can leave you vulnerable, so its important to keep that in mind when developing your escape.

    Using shadow dance from this to an enemy minion can put a great amount of distance between you and your enemies. Even if it is toward their base, you have a better chance losing them in the jungle then simply walking away from 3 guys. An alternative to this would be flash or teleport. Both have there risks, but allow for a more controlled escape.

    Also know your limits. If you can take someone in your cloak zone out in a burst, do it. Another important note is there is a .5 second time gap between when you finish attacking, and when you re-invis.

    Crescent Slash
    This is your main minion pushing skill, and once you have lich bane, it becomes your main turret damage dealer aswell.

    Also, after you gain some spell vamp, this ability becomes a very powerful healing source on creep waves.

    Another important note, if you marked, then shadowed in for the trigger, let your Akali's attack animation finish before you trigger this ability. It will cancel your attack if it is not finished, and an un-triggered mark (which means un-triggered lich bane) means a failed burst. Often times they lead to escape of your prey.

    Shadow Dance
    This ability is one of a kind. A massive ranged dash, with good damage output (and a slow after you get your Rylais). This ability is what makes Akali an incredible chaser, escape artist, and powerful team player.

    It allows for extreme surprise attacks from nearly anywhere, allowing a jump from the bush to a range as far as Ezreal can launch his Mystic Shot. With basically no cool down, and up to 3 in a short amount of time, this allows for ultimate mobility in a team fight setting.

    Your goal with this ability is to hastily make your way (after your tanks engage) to the squishy, high damage casters in the back.

  • Pre-Game Setup


    Flash- In combination with your TS, it can put you to safety from nearly any gank attempt. If you find yourself in a bad spot, throw down your TS, scan for a SD minion target away from the danger zone: if you find none, its time to flash. Prime use would be to flash over a wall adjacent to your TS, so that you do not become uncloaked while you do it (many times they will continue standing there till your TS wears off waiting for you to try and escape, just to start cursing at you to find you already long gone. This also allows you to do large early game damage by a method called double marking.

    Exhaust- This move is the single most important summoner spell you can get with Akali. If your running away and hurting, throw down your TS for safety during cd's between bursts. Wait for him to get close, exhaust and burst him down. By mid to late game the damage you can do to him, before he is able to take you out will kill most other none-tank champions (assuming you guys are about equal lvl and money wise). If you are fed, you should expect to drop tanks in those kinds of encounters, due to your large damage output, and high spellvamp).

    Good for Akali-
    Teleport- Now I don't do this, but in all honesty, it is a pretty solid choice to me. With teleport, you can drop a TS, and teleport in the middle of it without being uncloaked until the last .5 seconds (not enough time for someone to hit you will a stun or silence it would take to stop your teleport. However, there are downsides. Although that escape is nearly flawless (an oracle or ward or an aoe stun/silence could end you), there are downsides. You no longer have the option to double mark in the early game (pre lvl-6). Also the cooldown on teleport is much longer then flash. Again, these choices are up to you.

    Ignite- To be honest, i dont use this either. It's a nice early game toy, to get that last little dot in for the kill, but by late game (unless they have large heals) it becomes more or less obsolete with akali, do to the decisive ganking your be doing. If your cant burst someone to death before they can escape with akali mid/late, then an ignite wouldn't have helped. I recommend only if they have a mundo and/or a vlad, and as a replacement for exhaust, not flash.

    Bad for Akali-

    Clarity- If you need to know why, you shouldn't be using this guide.

    Cleanse- Its great and all, but a good akali should be able to TS before he gets into any serious trouble with CC. If you end up with their CC becoming an issue, grabbing a sash is probably a better idea anyway (lower cd, +magic resist, also removes pesky dots such as ignite, malzahar, morde, Warwick and twisted's ult)

    Heal- You will gain more health from your spellvamp, and your main advantage in a fight is your ability to avoid damage with TS, while still dropping a fuck-ton of damage (that fuck-ton is metric by the way, which is greater than the standard system fuck-ton). So basically, there are better choices, this is a no.

    Clairvoyance- Take it if you have a problem with maps awareness, and if you do, you probably should use a different guide. If you dont, then leave it for a teamate.

    Rally- Waste.

    Fortify- Again, not really your thing. Best left for your teamates.


    Marks- Flat Magic Penetration
    These are standard for Akali, you are a AP damage hero after all.

    Seals- Energy Regen/5
    You will not find these on many Akali builds, mostly because they are seen as unneeded, and better replaced with dodge or health. I agree, and I dont. Although under most circumstances dodge or health would be a better choice, there is nothing like getting dropped because sion came around the corner with a stun and shield, and you didn't have enough energy to drop twighlight because u drained ur energy farming or fighting.

    Glyphs- Flat AP Runes
    Not quite a standard for Akali, but you may have seen it before. I use these, in combination with the quints, to make sure both passives are active by level 1.

    Quintessences- 2x Flat Ap Runes, 1x Flat AD Rune
    The AP quints, combined with the glyphs, will start you off with a total of 19 AP from Runes, so in game, you will spawn at level 1 with 20, giving you 10% additional magic damage on your auto-attacks.
    Most Akali players know why I have the AD rune here, if you dont, I will explain in the next section of the guide.


    For now, we move to masteries.

    There are 3 mastery setups I have seen successful Akali Players use. 21/9/0, 21/0/9, and 9/21/0 (Highly Recommended)

    The reason I recommend 9/21/0 is because of the rune set we are using. It is designed to give us an advantage in the lane early game offensively, but because of that rune selection, we lack all semblances of defense. Going with the 9/21/0 still gives us arcane knowledge (pretty straightforward best AP mastery), along with a fairly rock solid defense, with most of it staying effective until late game.

    For example, going with 21/9/0 you will miss out on the health from veteran scars (which is > 3 health quints) the 4% reduced damage taken from Tenacity (Amazing all game) and an extra 4% AP buff (who couldn't love that), and really all you would get in return is 4% increased damage, because the AD and Crit. Strike dont matter to you.

    Now this one makes me laugh, 21/0/9. Basically you miss out on armor, magic resist, health, decreased damage taken, and ability power, so that you can get 4% increased Regeneration (which doesnt help in team fights at all, and in lane, most ur regen will come from spellvamp) extra experience (only really important for junglers, laners will only get a few seconds level advantage by having this, and being forced to base once more then your enemy removes the entire exp lead you got) and either greed or extra buff duration. If you can see a reason to go this route, by all means, do it. Im sure plenty of powerful Akalis use this setup, possibly...

  • Skilling Order

    Pretty Straight Forward,
    Shadow Dance>Mark of the Assassin>Crescent Slash>Twilight Shroud
    But ofcourse you want to grab 1 rank of TS at lvl 2.

    For all you lamans termers out there

    it's q-w-q-e-q-q-e-r-q-e-r-e-w-e-w-r-w-w

  • In-Game Building


    Pretty Straight Forward,
    Shadow Dance>Mark of the Assassin>Crescent Slash>Twilight Shroud
    But ofcourse you want to grab 1 rank of TS at lvl 2.

    For all you lamans termers out there

    it's q-w-q-e-q-q-e-r-q-e-r-e-w-e-w-r-w-w


    Your goal in for your full item build should look like this.

    The reason I can tell you that this needs to be your build is because it gives you everything you need. Defensive items aren't really your goal (in most cases) because in teamfights, you will spend most your time in your TS. Because of your passive, and the hextech gunblade, you will have 35% Spell Vampirism. The Void Staff combined with the Sorcerer's Shoes, and the mastery of Arcane Knowledge 75% magic penetration, which should easily give you the power to burn down tanks, and easily drop squishes. 598 Ability Power, with the heavy Lich Bane Proc, and mark combo can burn down nearly anything, especially because of your magic pen.

    Situational Items

    Facing a karthus? His ultimate can devistate you because of your low hp, and his AOE damage will give you alot of trouble. I suggest switching out your Void Staff and get either:


    Abysal Sceptor will help with both the ultimate and the AOE, with some good damage reduction. Grabbing a Zhonya's Hourglass will allow you to nulify his ultimate, and give you some extra armor. This will also slightly boost your AP. Replacing the Void Staff isn't too big of a deal, because you already have plenty of magic penetration.

    Having a hard time taking some people down and want more damage?

    Well, obvious answer, replace your void staff with . This will add quite a bit of AP, but will deminish your ability to burn down the tanky enemies.

    Alot of Akali player's do a few different things. For one, they build Akali alot more hybrid then I do, perhaps with a Guinsoo Rageblade, or a Trinity Force. I recommend against this for a few reasons. 1) You want Akali to burst heavy, not be an auto-attack hero. Staying in a combat zone to hit a champion a bunch is a very risky thing for Akali to be doing. You want to dash in and kill as fast as possible. Yes, you may do more damage over time, but it greatly diminishes your burst capabilities.


    When you first start out, be sure to grab the Doran's Blade and head to your lane. Pre-Level 6, you are not a very aggressive champion. Harass with your q, and lay your twilight shroud down on the enemy minions to deter enemy melee champions from approaching. If they do, punish them with a mark-burn-CS combo. Continue last hitting minions with your mark, but do not push the lane with CS. If an enemy champion over extends to much into you and your lane partner, dont be afraid to exhaust and combo away. Many times this scores early game kills due to your ridiculous amount of early damage.

    Your first run back to base should be at least with 1260 gold, Grab a Sheen. If you have extra money, or were forced back early, get your Boots of Speed.

    Also, I recommend against grabbing a [item=Majai's Soulstealer], because you are going to be front lines glass cannon, and all it takes to put you into serious trouble is an oracle or a ward. Spending this money can be very rewarding, but it can instantly become a waste for dying once or twice. If, however, you use your money lead to buy the next items in your build, a death will not hurt you, and you will still be ahead of all your enemies.

    Now comes your first choice, if you are doing well, and already fragging, grab start on your [item=Rylai's Scepter], buying each item as you can afford it. If you are having a hard time, grab your Hextech Revolver before starting on Rylai's. This hextech will up your survivability by greatly boosting your spell vamp. You should have your ult before you finish Rylai's, so start dropping them down.

    After you get Rylai's, finish up your Lich Bane, and start the real fun. At this point, although your AP is a bit low (compared to stacking AP), you already have slowing ability (making escape impossible) and another huge nuke to trigger of your mark. Remember to space your abilities 2 seconds apart, so you can still get the Lich Bane off of your CS aswell.

    Time to boost your AP, so get a Rabadon's Deathcap and get back out there. Most games will be getting done by now, unless you are nice and fed, or its just a long game, but either way, you need to get your Hextech Gunblade finished up, so when you have enough, sell your doran's (not important once you finish Hextech) and build it up.

    Grab your Void Staff and finish ripping faces.

  • Akali's Tricks

    In this section, I want to go over alot of the unique trick's Akali can pull off. I cant record my game's, or I would give you all some personal video.. so im going to explain the manuever, and try and find a video of another Akali pulling it off.


    First and formost, the double-mark burn. This can be used early game, using flash to drop the health of targets nearly half health. Remember, using your flash in this way will take away alot of your escape ability, so play carefully. This can also be done with SD, but remember, your lich wont hit 2x, but dont let that deture you! This is a great way to stay out of danger, and prep your target for some extra damage. I found this video of an Akali pulling this off on an ashe, so take a look.


    Basically the goal is to mark your target and wait till your cool down is nearly complete. During the CD time you want to seem unthreatening, or best of all, afraid. Then right before your CD is done, flash or SD to your enemy, burn your mark, then mark and burn again. Place your twilight Shroud down now if you plan to continue engaging.


    Pretty simply, place your twilight Shroud near a wall, in some bushes, or on a visionless corner. Wait in the shroud, watching where everyone goes to cover you, then simply flash, or run out in the most promising direction. This takes some practice, but once you get it down, without an oracle or ward, you can consider yourself free to run off. Teleport can also be used inside the shroud without revealing you, so if you chose that summoner spell, then your free to fly off.

    Here is an example off a great Akali Escape. You should see first, just the escape from the shroud past Udyr, then the second one, teleporting out from the Shroud.


    This one just shows the basic Akali escape.



    This video shows how Shadow Dance can be used with jungle creeps to provide escape routes, fast lane transfers, and just general added map control. Just gotta remember to keep your wards up!


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Submitted by DrDopamine

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