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-   -   Clever Girl: Jungling as Akali (http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=271041)

Montegomery 09-30-2010 08:01 PM

[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.


  • Runes (T3 Assumed): Spell Vamp Quints, Flat AD Marks, Armor Seals, Flat AP Glyphs
  • Masteries: 23/7/0 - http://leaguecraft.com/masteries/104...00000000000000
  • Starting Items: Machete + 5 Potions
  • Summoner Spells: Smite and Ignite or Flash
  • Skill Order: QEQWQR, R>Q>E>W
  • Basic Route: Wolves -> Blue -> Wraiths -> Wolves -> Red -> Wraiths -> Golems


Basic Season 3 Route: http://youtu.be/kjPWqD-S7gs

Recent Patch Changes:
  • v3.5: Shroud's rework doesn't dramatically change her jungling, nor do the recent balance changes particularly harm her. All of this basically affects lane Akali and jungle Akali equally, save that jungle Akali isn't as reliant on trading (which the Q damage nerfs address).


Setup Explanation:

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:

  • Spell Vamp Quints: Without these runes Akali can not jungle safely. The sustain they provide is critical to her success.
  • AD Marks: While Akali's Spell Vamp passive is now activated automatically, you're going to spend a lot of time auto-attacking early on. The extra damage and Spell Vamp is extremely useful.
  • Armor Seals: Armor is absolutely necessary in the new jungle on any jungler, Akali is no exception.
  • Glyphs: Now that AP is not required for her passive you can use many different runes here, but I prefer AP for the extra damage and faster clears.

  • 23 Offense: While not critical for her passives, these 23 points allow Akali to clear faster and as a result take less damage.
  • 7 Defense: Bladed Armor is arguably optional, but the Armor and reduced monster damage are essentials for jungling.

Starting Items:

Machete + 5 Potions is now the de facto setup for almost all junglers. The jungle simply hits too hard for Boots or Amplifying Tome.

Summoner Spells:

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.

Skill Order:

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.

Item Builds:

The optimal item build for Akali is a constant source of debate. Here are my thoughts on individual items.
  • Machete: The only worthwhile upgrade for Machete is Spirit of the Spectral Wraith. While it has worthless Mana Regen, it's much, much cheaper than Gunblade and provides a huge power spike when you complete it. The fact that it gives you more opportunities to use Smite as a self-heal is an obvious plus.
  • Hextech Gunblade: A ridiculously good item on Akali, especially now that its cooldown is reduced each time you hit a champion with a single target attack or ability. With all of her single target damage it's easy to exit a kill with less than half the cooldown remaining.
  • Lich Bane: This is widely considered the second most essential item for Akali. It sends her burst potential through the roof and increases her movement speed,. This is a second or third item, never first as it requires at least one other major AP item for its damage to be better than simply keeping Sheen and building toward a different AP item.
  • Kage's Lucky Pick: If you're a fan of rushing Kage's Lucky Pick for gp10 in the jungle, then Twin Shadows is a decent upgrade. The increased movement speed is extremely nice, and the active is useful for scouting out opponents or starting off ganks. However, if there's an AP champion or AD caster who'll benefit a lot from Spell Vamp, then Will of the Ancients would be a better pick.
  • Deathfire Grasp: An expensive but highly effective item. Combined with Gunblade and Lich Bane, you will absolutely melt just about anything. It is, however a little hard to get on a jungler's budget.
  • Rylai's Crystal Scepter: With all the other slows and potential movement speed boosts, this item isn't as essential as it once was. It is, however a decent item when you need to stack some Health.
  • Void Staff: With Flat Penetration no longer conflicting with % Penetration, this is a very good late game purchase.
  • Rabadon's Deathcap: The huge amount of AP this item provides can not be underestimated. It may lack active abilities, but combined with any other item it is incredibly powerful. You will be a glass cannon, but you'll easily destroy any high priority targets.
  • Zhonya's Hourglass: The active can be somewhat useful on Akali, but ultimately this item should only be taken against very heavy AD teams. This is a fourth or fifth item, meaning you won't use this except in very long games.
  • Abyss Scepter: Similar to Zhonya's Hourglass in that it should only be taken against heavy AP teams. This is also a fourth or fifth item, only taken in long games.
  • Guardian Angel: An excellent item for surviving team fights, but generally must be built very late in the game. Another fourth or fifth item, except in dire circumstances.
  • Wriggle's Lantern: Do not want.
  • Sorcerer's Shoes: The only sensible option on Akali.


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:
  • v3.02: Passives are now activated automatically, no runes/masteries required!
  • v153: Smite buffed, meaning more damage for Spell Vamp to work off of!
  • v152: Another season, another jungle turned on its head. Practically the whole guide has been redone.
  • v142: As nifty as the Crescent Slash changes are, they don't really affect her jungling.
  • v138: +3 Base Armor on Akali, and Flat AP Glyphs were buffed. These changes allow an alternative rune setup for Akali.
  • v132: Red buff no longer applied by direct spells. This slightly hurts Akali's pre-6 ganks, but in the grand scheme of things it isn't a big deal for her. You should be rushing as fast as you can to 6 anyway.
  • v131: Spell Vamps Quints introduced. These change everything. You can now start Amplifying Tome + 1 Potion and tear everything up even without a leash. Jungle Akali is back!
  • v130: Jungle remake, dogs and cats jungling together... mass hysteria! Sadly, between Akali's nerfs from the previous patch and the demands of the new jungle Akali has become a very poor jungler.
  • v129: Twin Disciplines nerfed to 8% initial spell vamp and less AP damage. Mark nerfed as well. This hurts Jungle Akali's early sustainability and kill speed significantly. Compared to the current popular junglers she simply isn't a good pick.
  • v127: Hextech Gunblade nerf. It's arguably not as good as Will of the Ancients now.
  • v121: Akali will now attempt to immediately attack champions upon arriving when she uses Shadow Dance. No relevance to jungling, but it makes players lacking in click precision happy.
  • v118: Hextech Revolver's Spell Vamp has been reduced by 5%. It is still a really good item.
  • v115: Heart of Gold no longer builds out of Cloth Armor, and as such is no longer a viable option. Hextech Revolver, Hextech Gunblade and Will of the Ancients have all been buffed with 5% more Spell Vamp making them substantially better items, particularly Hextech Revolver.
  • v113: Non-solo lane experience has been increased by 10%. In lower Elo or normal games where 2v1 lanes may happen this further increases the pressure on the jungler to provide assistance early and often. In addition Akali's Twin Disciplines now trigger at 9.5 AD and 19.5 AP to account for rounding, which could open up a couple new mastery/rune options.
  • v110: Doran's Blade cost has been increased to 475, and damage increased to 9. If you didn't get the memo last patch this is no longer a jungling item, period.
  • v109: Jungle creeps which previously had negative Magic Resistance now have zero. This significantly decreases Akali's jungle damage, but does not prevent her from jungling. It does, however, mean that Doran's Blade is no longer viable for jungling.
  • v108: Baron and Dragon have had substantial buffs making them much more difficult to solo. Attempting Dragon at level 6 is now extremely difficult, and as such Dragon should be put off until later or taken with teammates.
  • v107: Champions now gain health proportional to their current health on level. This change punishes low health jungling severely and places a large emphasis on timely potion usage.

Quantumprophecy 09-30-2010 08:06 PM


xavarn 09-30-2010 08:07 PM

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 .

malphismia 09-30-2010 08:17 PM

you 100% sure the 10AP bonus from ignite cooldown goes towards your passive?

Numbat 09-30-2010 08:29 PM


Originally Posted by MatadorRED (Hozzászólás 3191350)
you 100% sure the 10AP bonus from ignite cooldown goes towards your passive?

Yes, yes it does.

Montegomery 09-30-2010 08:31 PM

You can see for yourself at ~1:00 that the second buff icon appears after I use Ignite.

malphismia 09-30-2010 09:16 PM

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

Dunkelzahn 09-30-2010 09:32 PM


Originally Posted by Montegomery (Hozzászólás 3191181)
Depending on your precision, experience and luck you may jungle slower or faster than the times above assume. As such, these numbers may not be accurate and should only be used as a general guideline.

What does the degree of deviation from the mean of a set of values (precision) have to do with jungling?

Good guide, by the way. I hate Akali with a roaring passion but it's still a good guide. +1

Montegomery 09-30-2010 09:47 PM


Originally Posted by MatadorRED (Hozzászólás 3192073)
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

I hadn't thought of that. It's an interesting idea.

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.

IS176974897df0345ab2392 09-30-2010 09:54 PM

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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