[GUIDE] Hardcore Shadow Fisting with Akali, the Fist of Shadows
Akali is an assasin, meant to be a hybrid of damage and ability power. Being an assasin, her role is to come late into a fight, deal tons of damage and survive. Keep in mind that it is generally not her role to initiate fights.
Akali is a nuker, not a right-click dps champion. As such, you want to get much Ability Power, not damage. You only need the initial 10 dmg to trigger the spellvamp passive. It is best to achieve that pre-game and not using items.
Being a nuker assasin, she blows up squishies, and gets pancaked by tanky champions. Many CC's (crowd-control) shut her up, including blind (since she needs to land an attack to trigger damage from mark of the assasin).
So, you wanna get AP, not AD. However rushing Hextech Gunblade might work. It gives A LOT spellvamp and lifesteal, plus a nuke with huge slow.
My setup consists of 8 AD marks (7.3 AD), 1 AP mark, 2 AP quints and 9 glyphs (19.4 AP), health per level seals and a health quintessence. That way I can start with a boot and 3 health potions, and both passives on (the remaining 0.6 ap is provided by archmage's savvy mastery).
For masteries, always get 21 points in offense. It really improves your damage output, which is good if you want to cut enemies in half in 2 moves.
Here are my typical masteries for Akali:
Never use a longsword to trigger spellvamp. You want to build AP; a longsword heavily sets you back in cash, offering no stats but 10 AD. Doran's blade is acceptable because it gives so much more (health, lifesteal). It still doesn't build into anything useful, but the initial boost is way bigger than in the case of the sword.
Some people build occult but in my opinion, it's a waste of cash (which could be spend buying you a nice piece of rylai). It's fine if you're playing against feeders, but let's assume you're not.
Focus on getting last hits, without getting hit yourself. Use Q to farm and harass, but remember - getting gold and xp, not harassing, is your main goal for now. If your lane is hostile, don't lose hp trying to farm. Staying safe till level 6 is more important than getting 100 more gold.
Once you hit 6, you can start being a pain in the lower back. If you played right till now (defensively that is), your opponent will most likely underestimate your ability to pwn. To effectively eat your enemy, you do the following combo.
The combo: Q your opponent, wait till Q is off cooldown, R, ignite, autoattack, Q, autoattack, E. Somewhere along the path you may need to land a smokescreen to slow down your target (remember not to abuse it, you may need it to escape). For this to work really effective, the AP passive has to be turned on. Also, try to ignite before spellcast, to make the most of the bonus AP.
Always try to double mark (mark, wait, jump, attack, mark, attack - as described above). That way you will minimize the time needed to kill an enemy.
If the enemy was below 600 hp, he's dead now.
MID & LATE
The game will probably turn to big teamfights. You should remember your role - wait for the right moment to enter the fight, deal as much damage as you can in short bursts. Try to run around between the bursts, because staying near your opponent auto-attacking will draw attention to you. Your goal is to get a kill or two (or three or more) AND survive. Going kamikaze is gonna make your team cry.
Always try to keep the other team separated. If they hold a tight formation, akali is sad. Buy wards and try to pick enemies off. Beware of the oraclez!
Remember, you should adapt your build to the gameplay. E.g. you may need a void staff if your opponent is high on magic resistance, or avoid buying mejai, if you're not getting enough kills.
I start with a boot and 3 potions (no need to waste money on tome or doran, I have passives activated pre-game). Then I start farming for my 1st major item.
If the enemy team has a jungler, I tend to start with a boot, a pot and a ward. I use ghost righ away, run to enemy golem and place the ward in the brush. Make sure you have a teammate at your own golem, because some junglers might try to steal it.
Consider one of the following items as the first major one:
For boots I run Merc Treads. They make it possible to survive in a fight, and staying alive is the key to blowing up enemies. The +5 boots are also a nice option, because you can avoid being hit by standing in the shroud for a while, to activate the +5 bonus. It also makes ganks easier.
Provided that your 1st item was Rylai, get sheen. Sheen makes your earlygame nukes hurt like hell, making it possible to blow up squishies in 2 moves. It is also great, because it builds into Lichbane, which is a really great item on Akali.
I tend to get hextech gunblade as my 2nd item though. It adds further utility & nuke (thanks to it's active) and greatly boosts your effective hp. After the gunblade I usually get a guardian angel, for further survivability.
Somewhere along the way, you might want to pick up a mejai, if the kills are pouring like diarrhea from a buffaloo.
Next items depend on the enemy team: voidstaff, zhonya etc. Pick whatever you like.
AKALI'S TEAM VIABILITY
Despite being my absolute favourite, Akali is not the best pick. She deals huge amounts of damage, but has no CC, is pretty squishy and her shroud can be broken by oracles or wards.
You don't want to pick Akali if your team is short on CC or has few tanky champions. You need a good initiator in your team, such as amumu, galio or morgana, to punish the enemy team for staying in tight formation. Remember that Akali's only role is nuker-assasin, so only pick her if your team lacks that.
In other words - Akali is not Morgana. Picking her is not always a good idea.
Don't spam E: It eats a lot of energy, use it if you have no moves left or if you can hit 2 or more opponents with it.
Conserve jumps: use shadow dance with conjunction with mark of the assasin, don't waste it.
Plan your dives: if you're planning a dive, always make sure there is an enemy creep behind you. You can always escape by dashing to it.
Don't rambo: the solo farming Ashe might be a bait.
Use wards to farm on junglers: Akali is great at ambushing junglers.
Use your slows to save allies: both mark of the assasin and shroud can be used to slow down chasing enemies.
Awesome guide, man!
EDIT: seriously, I wasn't trying to upvote my own guide. THIS IS A JOKE.
...people these days :)
..., you just told yourself you had an awesome guide -.-
3 fixes I would like to add:
You should mention that you're using offensive masteries or something, as I know that 8.5 AD won't trigger a passive
I would highly not recommend rushing hextech gunblade. It's similar to the idea of rushing vampire scepter as a melee carry. Yes you could do it, but you'll have no damage (compared to other items).
Don't use your shroud to slow, the slow is too little for the cost, it's more for the invis, armor, and resistance.
Thanks for the feedback!
I've included your fixes. Thanks again.
The build of your guide emphasizes survivability, so I'll toss you a suggestion on some boots that improve Akali's survivability considerably.
The +5 mobility boots are a viable option on Akali since her shroud can take her out of combat for a long enough time to proc the additional +3 effect. The advantage in this lies in amazing chase and godly juking. Unless the enemy has oracles or ghost, Akali becomes literally impossible to catch.
On another note, I think you're putting too much emphasis on Rylai's crystal staff. When it comes to determining item order on Akali, it mostly boils down to team comps and preferred play-style. Since your guide focuses around the nuking nature of Akali, it would make more sense to recommend sheen before Rylai's crystal staff. If you want your suggestion to sound less random, give brief reasoning as to why Rylai's suits this play-style more so than say tri-force or lichbane/mejai's. To be honest I think these items are interchangeable and just depend on each game.
From my experience, an akali that rushes rylai's wins with akali rushing sheen/lichbane/rageblade etc. Since the removal of reservoir system in Sheen, it doesn't boost the damage output as much as it used to.
For Akali to be a successful nuker, she needs to get survivability first, because she is a melee nuker.
Rylai is also important as it gives you extraordinary chasing abilities. Having only a sheen/lichbane/rageblade, you rely on your opponent's recklessness and lack of thought (aka being a noob: "hey, akali can eat half of my hp? that's so OP!").
As for the +5 boots -- it may be a good idea, I'll add it to the guide. I feel that mercs are better because they shorten stuns, snares, blinds - i.e. "idle time", but if the enemy has little CC, why not.
Akali is a single-target champ who is not feared and has no CC.
^you could have inputted that and it would have explained a lot more about Akali than typing a wall of text.
There is so much bad in this guide... no offense man.
You go on and on about how squishy she is and yet you seem to make no effort in remedying that problem except by getting an early rylais scepter for the HP. I go 15/15/0 masteries, dodge yellows and MR/lvl blues. I gain a lot of early game and mid/late game survivability with my set up without sacrificing any damage.
Anything in offense tree past brute force is a waste of points, save the 5% dmg boost. You claim shes not a right click hero and yet you're forcing yourself to put points in crit chance, crit dmg, or attack speed in order to get that last pt.
I run 3 AD quints + 1 AD mark + 3/3 brute force giving me my AD passive. from there its ArP (will be replacing w/ MPen when i can afford it) marks for the boost to sheen/lichbane damage. It lets me start with a dorans shield which gives a HUGE early game survivability boost. Because of my early game staying power, i can harass quite aggressively and still last hit minions because they're going to be getting pushed back away from the creeps with my shroud + Q combo.
Also, sheen before rylais because you can always get lizard buff for the slow. you cant get a poor mans substitute for the added burst that sheen gives you.
sheen -> lichbane
I don't put points in crit chance nor crit damage. Attack speed makes the attack animation quicker, so it helps in triggering the mark. I get cdr and 15% magic pen.
Akali is squishy even after buying a guardian angel - it's just the way she is, so investing in defense tree, or starting with a defensive item, is a waste of mastery points, imo.
One thing must I admit is that getting MR/lvl blues really makes her survive more AOEs than usually. Dodge seals are sh*t, get hp/lvl instead :)
What you really need earlygame is not survivability, but pwning powah, so that you're able to cut an enemy in half once your taric lands a stun. Start with a tome instead of doran's, it really makes a difference.
Also, Lichbane is not that awesome anymore (after nerfing sheen-likes to the ground, they buffed sheen and triforce, but left lichbane with no change).
EDIT: you make a point :) i've stressed the fact that lich bane and sheen is great on akali in the guide. Still I think that getting rylai's 1st is the way to go in most cases.
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