[Guide] Clever Girl: Jungling as Akali
This guide details the setup for jungling as Akali. The "Summary" section of this guide constitutes a brief overview of the setup and recent changes that have affected her. The explanation behind this setup, additional jungling routes, and advanced jungling concepts are detailed in the "In-Depth" section.
Basic Season 3 Route: http://youtu.be/kjPWqD-S7gs
Recent Patch Changes:
The Season 3 jungle is extremely punishing. You will take a lot of damage, and you will fall behind if you waste time. For most junglers it is therefore imperative to choose runes and masteries that will both maximize clear speed and safety/sustain. For Akali these are:
Machete + 5 Potions is now the de facto setup for almost all junglers. The jungle simply hits too hard for Boots or Amplifying Tome.
Smite is not optional. You must always take Smite. If don't want to use Smite don't jungle. Your second summoner spell can be any of the following.
Ignite is one of the better options available. It can no longer be used on creeps, and thus can't really speed up your jungling. Still, it's highly effective for ganks, especially as you increase in level.
Flash is another common choice. Akali doesn't have any escapes unless there are conveniently placed enemy minions or neutral monsters around, so having a reliable escape ability is a big plus.
Exhaust is a strong second option. Crippling an opponent's damage, speed, and even defenses is extremely strong both when ganking and defending your jungle.
Ghost is the an often underestimated summoner spell. It's both an escape tool and a ganking tool, granting additional safety in the jungle and greatly increased gank potential prior to hitting level 6. It's also easy to pick up the mastery for Ghost.
Teleport and Clairvoyance are niche choices. There are some advanced applications of these abilities which can be very satisfying, but they are almost entirely centered around extremely aggressive counter-jungling. The vast majority of players will find these abilities less useful than Flash, Ignite, Exhaust or Ghost.
Mark of the Assassin has a short cooldown, is sustainable, and takes full advantage of your Spell Vamp. It also is your hardest hitting ability outside of the jungle. This makes Mark top priority.
Crescent Slash is nevertheless a critical tool in killing creeps faster and enhancing both jungle speed and survivability. With AoE being a big advantage in the new jungle, this ability takes precedence over Twilight Shroud.
Twilight Shroud is taken at level 4 to defend against counter-jungling and to aid ganks. Most counter-jungling seen before this point isn't deadly enough to worry about lacking Akali's signature defense mechanism, but delaying Twilight Shroud any further is a huge risk for little return.
As is typical for any champion, you should take Akali's ult every time it's available.
The Season 3 jungle is far more rigid than Season 2. Still, Akali can start practically anywhere thanks to being Energy-based, giving her an advantage over many other junglers. Stick to the basic route as you learn the new jungle, and practice others in custom games before branching out.
The optimal item build for Akali is a constant source of debate. Here are my thoughts on individual items.
Counter-jungling in the new jungle is largely a waste of time for a power ganker like Akali. Unless you're coordinating with your team to steal buffs, you're better off applying pressure to lanes. If the opposing jungler isn't clearing their jungle, it won't be worth your time to clear it for them.
Dealing with Counter-Jungling:
It is inevitable that at some point you will encounter a game where one or more of your creep camps are stolen or where enemy champions ward your jungle and harass you. When this happens take a deep breath and relax. Akali can fluidly switch routes to deal with adversity so long as you don't panic.
Akali can also stand and fight against most enemy junglers 1v1 due to her high burst damage and ability to manipulate encounters with her shroud. If your teammates are attentive it becomes very dangerous for the enemy jungler to attack you directly as you can easily stall long enough for help to arrive.
Sometimes you will feel harried at every turn and the game will go very poorly. Pay attention to these games, they are your best opportunity to learn where your weaknesses are in your jungle play.
Old Patch Changes:
btw, a jungler is a must to any 5v5 and 3v3 so to add to the list when to jungle : Anytime someone else isnt doing it .
you 100% sure the 10AP bonus from ignite cooldown goes towards your passive?
You can see for yourself at ~1:00 that the second buff icon appears after I use Ignite.
Well then,I have to say this is a great guide.
Have you ever though of doing minigolems --> wraithes --> wolves --> LIZARD --> recall --> minigolems --> level 4 gank.
basically getting red buff instead of blue buff, since energy regen not much of a problem at low levels, cooldown is nice though
Good guide, by the way. I hate Akali with a roaring passion but it's still a good guide. +1
The additional travel distance will cost you some time, and by killing the Lizard before recalling you'll also sacrifice a portion of its duration. However, I imagine this is a faster gank than my suggestion.
The major advantage of sticking with Ancient Golem -> recall -> Lizard, beyond having the blue buff, is that you won't technically need to decide to go for the level 4 gank until you're almost back to the minor golem camp, whereas with your faster gank you need to decide when you kill the wolf camp.
I'll definitely try this.
I usually jungle with Akali as well, but with MPen Marks.
Going your jungle route I'm unable to kill Ancient Golem in the first run.
My usual way is therefore: Golems, Wolves, enemy Golems, enemy Wraiths, (trying to pick off their jungler at golems or lizard) B.
However I don't feel that confident in taking out blue/red or the dragon and the ARPen just might solve this.
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