Akali Build Guide

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Akali - indepth guide

written by Tyrrrz

Akali Build

Table of Contents

  • Abilities

    Twin Disciplines
    Upon obtaining 20 Ability Power, Akali's basic attacks deal 10% bonus magic damage, increasing by 1% for every 5 Ability Power gained thereafter.

    Upon obtaining 10 Bonus Attack Damage, Akali gains 10% Spell Vamp, increasing by an additional 1% for every 5 Bonus Attack Damage gained thereafter.

    Akali's passives are a must to have at lvl1. Use the runes listed below to help triggering the passives.

    Mark of the Assassin
    Mark of the Assassin - Akali spins her kama at a target enemy to deal magic damage and mark the target for 6 seconds. Akali's melee attacks against a marked target will trigger and consume the mark to cause additional damage and restore Energy.
    Akali throws her kama at a target enemy to deal 50/75/100/125/150 (+0.4) magic damage and mark the target for 6/6/6/6/6 seconds.

    Akali's melee attacks against a marked target will consume the mark to cause 50/75/100/125/150 (+0.4) magic damage and restore 20/25/30/35/40 Energy.

    Your main damaging tool and the only ranged skill. Very handful in last hitting.

    Twilight Shroud
    Akali throws down a cover of smoke. While inside the area, Akali gains Armor and Magic Resist and becomes stealthed. Attacking or using abilities will briefly reveal her. Enemies inside the smoke have their Movement Speed reduced.
    Akali throws down a cover of smoke that lasts for 8/8/8/8/8 seconds. While inside the area, Akali gains 10/20/30/40/50 Armor and Magic Resist and becomes stealthed. Attacking or using abilities will briefly reveal her.

    Enemies inside the smoke are slowed by 14/18/22/26/30%.

    A slow CC and stealth in one packet, what not to like?

    Crescent Slash
    Akali flourishes her karmas, dealing damage based on her Attack Damage and Ability Power.
    Akali flourishes her karmas, slicing nearby enemy units for 30/55/80/105/130 (+) (+0.3) physical damage.

    A relatively good farming ability, rarely used for bursts due to the big energy cost.

    Shadow Dance
    Akali moves through shadows to quickly strike her target, dealing damage and consuming an Essence of Shadow charge. Akali recharges Essence of Shadow charges both periodically and upon kills and assists, max 3 stacks.
    Akali moves through shadows to quickly strike her target, dealing 100/175/250 (+0.5) magic damage.

    Akali stores an Essence of Shadow on kills and assists as well as every seconds up to 3/3/3 total.

    A gap closer which will help you make a kill or save you from giving one if used right. Save at least 2 charges before going into combat.

  • Introduction

    Hi. I've been maining Akali for quite some time now and was always eager to try and write a guide about her. This is my first guide, so dont be harsh please :P

    Akali is a burst damage mage. Building her otherwise isnt as viable although Riot wanted to make her a hybrid champion. Shes an assassin, so you'll be focusing on destroying low MR and HP squishes. Be prepared to be called OP once you master this build.

    Since shes an AP champion you would want to go solo mid or top, Akali needs gold and EXP like no one else. Ill be explaining more about laning with this champion in the next topic.

  • Laning phase

    As explained above, you should be taking a solo lane. Here are the reasons for which you would prefer certain lane over another:
    1. Solo top - more farm but you wont be able to gank other lanes as effective as on mid. Also dont expect an easy first blood against an offtank that is likely to come top against you.
    2. Solo mid - a bit less farm but the AP/AD carry which (most certainly) will be laning against you is meat for Akali. Also, if you dominate mid early you would be able to gank other lanes.
    3. Duo bot - you need lvl6 as early as possible and, like i said above, Akali is an assassin, thus focusing on 1 enemy champion, not 2 at once.

    That being said, Solo Top vs 2 is also bad for her even though Akali can hold off the lane she will most likely lose out on farm and harass.

    When you go to your lane take a boot and 3 potions. Waiting for the 4th potion is really a good idea since Akali is a great damage dealer early game and your team will most likely want you to guard/invade blue or net a first blood.

    When on lane act accordingly to your level:
    Level1: You should be getting your Q here. Only last hit minions with it or proc the mark on enemy champion if he gets in melee range. Kill minions with normal attacks if its 100% safe only.

    Level2: Take 1 point into shroud. Now the harassing should begin. Continue last hiting minions and put your shroud on your caster minions each time its off cooldown. Stay in the shroud while observing your opponents actions. If he/she gets in the range of the shroud drop Q on him and proc it right after. If he/she is stupid enough to stay in for more - repeat. Run away before the shroud ends and simply last hit until the CD on it is gone again.

    Sometimes your opponent will drop less than 50% hp, which is basically 2 proced marks. If he/she isnt going back or playing extremely safe and you want to get a kill do the following:
    1. Q the enemy.
    2. Wait until your Q is about 1.5 seconds on cooldown.
    3. Flash behind your enemy and proc the mark immediately.
    4. Ignite and proc another mark.
    If done right you will get a kill without the enemy even noticing it.

    Level3: You will get your E for additional burst damage. Repeat your harassing as described above, but add an E when the enemy champ is about to get out of the zone of shroud. Dont use E way too often as it drains energy real hard.

    Level4-5: Level up your Q and keep doing what you were doing.

    Level6: Get your ultimate and take your time until there are 3 charges ready on it. After your ult is ready and you have sufficient health replace your harassment sequence with the following:

    1. Q
    2. R and proc the mark
    3. Q again
    4. W on yourself
    5. Proc the last mark.

    If you feel that you can get the kill then continue comboing your Q and R and only use E when your opponent is about to get in tower range for additional quick but expensive damage.
    If you feel that you are about to die while you are invisible in the shroud you can ult to an enemy minion and combine it with Flash to run away.

    If you are going back to base and have a few golds after buying your items - get a ward and HP pots (especially if you have troubles laning). Put wards in the bushes or a bit near to the enemy ramp.

    After lvl6 the laning phase for Akali ends. If you got a kill or 2 on your lane go gank other lanes. If the mid opponent feeds you really well then get Mejais, it will come out really worth it due to Akali's ability to snowball hard after she got a few kills.

  • Laning tips per champion

    E - easy to lane against, wont hurt you and will probably suffer if you harass him.
    C - challenging, but you still got the advantage by picking Akali.
    H - hard to lane against, all laning phase you will try to catch your enemy making a mistake and vice versa.
    T - gets an advantage on you forcing you to play safe and hug tower most of the time.
    CP - counter pick, will make your life on lane impossible making you chose between tower or own life.

    H Akali - Going in a 1v1 versus another Akali is actually really interesting. All you two will be trying to do the whole time will be catching each other off guard and marking with Q. Once you mark the enemy Akali you gain huge advantage for some time, zoning her out of your farming or even harassing.
    H Alistar - Alistar's chain CC is real terror, his combo is Q+W, which if used right will send you directly to his tower. Keep distance and play safe. AP Alistar should be really vulnerable to harass.
    E Amumu - Not tanky early game thus really vulnerable as well. Most probably wont be able to kill you alone, especially until lvl6.
    T Anivia -
    C Annie - Watch for her stun, click on her if she uses Frostfire skin which makes her stun circle almost invisible. If Annie is saving stun she wont be able to farm as effectively and sooner or later will let it off. Until she is lvl6 she wont kill you in one combo so use this time to harass her. Also, before she has tibbers her skill ranges are quite short, allowing you to last hit with Q or under shroud without trouble. A Flash+Ult stun combo from Annie might be the last thing you will see if not played safe.
    C Ashe - Really really squishy. Early game she is no treat to you, if shes playing aggressive - punish her by procing your mark over her. When going into shroud make sure to have a group of minions covering you from her volley, as it can really be a pain in the ass.
    H Blitzcrank - Something similar to Alistar, can pull you to his tower and knock up if you arent careful.
    H Brand - A big pain in the ass. When going into shroud place yourself at the edges right after, since most Brands feel a very big urge to pillar the middle of your shroud right after. A brand with good aim is really hard to lane against so you might think to play very safe until you get 6.
    H Caitlyn - You should be really careful not to stand in one of her traps while stealthed as it reveal and snare you allowing Cait to take a huge chunk of your hp. Her Q is really hard too but could be easily dodged due to very long channeling time.
    H Cassiopeia - Avoid her AOE spells, if you stand in one move back asap to avoid getting hit by fangs. When harassing above lvl6 put a shroud directly with her in the middle and change your position in it while doing attacks. That will prevent Cass' desire to ult you in shroud.
    E Cho'Gath - Crazy health regen making your harass useless until you focus entirely on it. Only harass when your jungler is about to gank. If you are low on health - just base. Cho can flash ult you and deal tons of true damage in 1 hit. Dodging his skills shouldnt be a problem.
    C Corki - His gunfire could be painful and his Valkyrie is really annoying. He will escape most of your kill attempts while completely denying you from going into shroud. Stay back until 6.
    C Dr. Mundo - Avoid his clever by standing inside your minion wave. He shouldnt be really tough.
    E Evelynn - squishy and got nothing to counter you with. Take a pink ward with yourself so she wont deny her own death.
    H Ezreal - skillshots are easily avoided by standing near minions. Cant really hurt you as much as Caitlyn but can deal a surprising killing blow with ult when you dont expect it. His blink is also annoying, not letting you pick up a kill.
    T Fiddlesticks - Whenever he casts silence move away from your minions wave. Whenever he tries to drain you - just run. He can drain you in shroud once he locked on so beware. His fear will be a problem since, in combination with drain, he will force you to retreat from harassing attempt.
    E Galio - Will stack MR which is also bad for you. Cant hurt you until lvl6.
    C Gankplank - Quite squishy but a well builded GP will crit at least 20% of your hp with parrley at lvl1. Play safe, as its pretty much an even lane.
    H Garen - Doubtfully enough you will meet this guy in mid. He needs brushes for his advantage, so stay out of them if you're laning top. When Garen is wounded prevent his passive if possible.
    T Gragas - quite hard to lane against. Stay out of your minions so Gragas wont be as satisfied trying to barrel you. Try to cancel his W if possible.

    To be continued...

  • Counters to Akali

    If you see these picked on the other team - dont get Akali if you arent sure.

    Kassadin (silences you and forces you to fight at melee range), Lee Sin (can see through your shroud). Will add more once i come up with them.

    Most enemies will try to place a in the middle of lane and get an [item_icon=Oracle's Elixir] for teamfights. Get a pink yourself to destroy the enemy ward and coordinate with your team to focus a champion with Oracle first.

    Any CC will drastically decrease Akali's effectiveness. Get if it's a real threat.

  • Masteries + Runes

    I take 21/0/9 masteries for Akali. Make sure to take [mastery_icon=Burning Embers] and max [mastery_icon=Awareness] and 3 points into [mastery_icon=Brute Force] for lvl1 spellvamp passive. That settles the must have masteries.

    In offensive tree i prefer [mastery_icon=Alacrity] over [mastery_icon=Deadliness] and [mastery_icon=Lethality]. Also, dont max [mastery_icon=Perseverance] , keep it lvl1 and max [mastery_icon=Good Hands]. Perseverance is just a waste of mastery points.

    For runes i take
    AD marks are used in combination with lvl3 Bruteforce for activating her passive spellvamp.

  • Items

    The core build looks like this:
    -> + + -> (or ) -> -> -> .

    Right after lich bane you have a couple of situational builds:
    1. Get if you need more burst and you dont die too often.
    2. if you are focused by AD
    3. if you are focused by AP casters

    Late game (usually you wont get that far) you will want to turn your into . Keep getting AP and AD potions whenever you can.

    Dont ever turn your into , you are not going to be with your team most of the time thus the aura is almost useless.

    Dont take . The attack speed bonus from it is only good for taking down towers, so not worth the slot and the money. Akali is a burst AP champion, you wont even be autoattacking your enemies for other means than just to proc the mark.

    is great against hard MR enemy team. Worth getting before if the other team stacks MR.

    is one of the good choices if the enemy team if the enemy team is high on magic damage or magic resistance.

    is OK if you took and still need some tenacity.

    It is wise to get [item_icon=Kage's Lucky Pick] if you are solo toping.

    is a possible option against hard melee AD focus. Get it if you need armor but not as much - otherwise get GA.

  • VS
    Quoted from greywulfe, based upon this guide

    Let's assume a level 18 Akali with no runes or masteries (just to keep it simple) and the following items: Doran's Blade, Merc Treads, Sheen, Hextech Revolver, and Rylai's. From here, we must choose either to turn the Sheen into a Lichbane or build a Deathcap.

    First I'll show the numbers from a Lichbane priority build. AD- 121 (111 base), AP- 200, Passive Damage bonus on autoattack- 46% (56 dmg), Total cost- 9450g

    A basic combo with this build (Q, R, autoattack) yields the following results: Q damage- 230, R damage- 350, Autoattack- 121, Passive dmg- 56, Lichbane proc- 200, Q proc- 230, Total damage- 1187

    Now, the numbers for Deathcap priority: AD- 121 (111 base), AP- 370, Passive Damage bonus on autoattack- 80% (97 dmg), Total cost- 10840g

    A basic combo with this build (Q, R, autoattack) yields the following results: Q damage- 298, R damage- 435, Autoattack- 121, Passive dmg- 97, Sheen proc- 111, Q proc- 298, Total damage- 1360

    In conclusion, the Deathcap build yields ~200 damage more per simple burst than the Lichbane build, but in prioritizing Deathcap first you lose out on 30 MR, a 7% boost to move speed, and 1300 gold. It really is a matter of personal preference, and also depends on whether or not you think you might need that 30 MR. I, for one, will probably still get Lichbane on her first, even after seeing the numbers point towards Deathcap for higher damage output.


    Lets bust a myth about getting Sheen right after Revolver.
    Our Akali is lvl18 and the only bonus AD she got is her 10 (rounded) from runes and masteries (or doran blade or whatever). At lvl18 she will have 53+10+3.2*18=121 rounded high.
    Your AP is 24+25+40=89. The AP passive will yield additional 10%+14%=24% rounded high additional magic damage on hit.
    Therefore you do 242+58=300 damage with Sheen passive, not counting the enemy armor or any other factors.
    Your Q->R combo will deal 0.4AP+0.5AP+150+250=0.9AP+400 damage. Equals to 480 damage.
    Total damage done: 780.

    Rylais on the other hand yield you 80 ap, thus your attacks deal additional 10%+25%=35%. 121+43=164 damage without Sheen.
    Q->R combo deals 0.9AP+400=530.
    Total damage: 695.

    In conclusion: getting Rylai's prior to Sheen will cost you 85 damage and 1775 gold. But on top of that you get a 500 hp bonus for survivability and 35% slow on Q and R which pretty much covers the difference.


    Our lvl18 Akali got 121 AD, out of which the bonus 10 already yields you 10% spellvamp.
    Lets assume you got and are thinking to turn it into or leave it and start building .
    AP at lvl18: 24 from runes+40 from revolver=64AP.

    The AP passive effect (additional melee damage) will not be included as its almost same in both cases (75 ap and 80 ap).

    1. Gunblade. $3625
    60 AD, 75 AP, 25% Spell Vamp, 20% Lifesteal, Bonus 300 magic damage and 50% 3 second slow every 60 seconds.

    The 60 ad will give Akali 12% more spellvamp. With the item passive you will end up with 25+12+10=47% spellvamp and 20% lifesteal.

    Akali's combo: Q+Melee+R=0.9AP+400+181=0.9*(75+64)+581=715 damage + additional 300 damage every 60 seconds.
    Spellvamped: 715*0.47=337 health.
    Total health advantage = 337.

    2. Scepter. $1200+3035=4235
    80 ap, 15% spellvamp (Revolver), bonus 35% slow on Q and R, 500 HP.
    Her spellvamp is 10%+15%=25%.

    Combo: 0.9*(80+64)+521=651 damage.
    Spellvamped: 651*0.25=163
    Total health advantage = 163+500=663.

    Conclusion: By getting Rylai's you will lose out on 50 damage per combo and 300 inconsistent damage every 60 seconds and 610 gold.
    Getting the Scepter will give you much more survivability, even if you vamp your attacks from your 1 combo with the gunblade you get 334 less health advantage. Not to mention, if you get CCed you wont spellvamp much at all, and that wont help you against an AP carry burst, but 500 HP might save your life.
    Also, Rylai's will always give slow, Due to the ability of Akali to constantly deal damage using Q,R,E and W your target will be permaslowed.
    Gunblade offers a slow for only 3 seconds every 60 seconds for a cost of 300 damage.

    I chose Rylai's.

  • Skilling Order

    Here it is:
    R>Q>E>W but take each of the primary skills by lvl3.

    Skill build

  • Summoner Abilities

    I take and .
    Flash is all around good. You need it to catch up with your enemies early game or when they are faster than you or escape from ganks combines with your shroud.
    Ignite is very useful for additional true damage and, with the improved ignite mastery, which also gives 10 ap, there is no price for this spell.

    Taking is ok when the enemy team is high on AD but its better if you let your other teammates take it.

    Take when you are soloing top vs 2. Only get the 1v2 if you are forced to, you will probably survive it due to your spellvamp and stealth but that will mean hugging tower during all laning phase and losing on most of the golds.

    Any other spell isnt viable on Akali.

  • Working in the team

    While in teamfights try to stay behind or hidden until there is an opportunity. Many Akalis would just rush right after the teamfight occurred and get focused to death. You have to wait until enemies are either split or fleeing. As said many times above - Akali is an assassin and is only good when focusing an enemy champion 1v1. Coordinate with your teammates to start a proper teamfight (a Janna ult in the middle of the enemy team is a good choice) so the opponent champions will be scattered alone. Getting a GA would be useful if your team doesnt have a good champion to initiate with.

  • Pros / Cons

    -Highly mobile
    -Very fun to play
    -One of the best bursters in game
    -Unstoppable if fed a couple of kill early
    -Very squishy early game
    -Lacks CC thus depends on the team

  • PS

    Ill be adding more in-depth strategies,tips and so on along with video guides when i have time. Comment and rate. Cheers ^^

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Submitted by Tyrrrz

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