*This build is even more epic since they buffed the hextech this patch!!! Will update soon!
Good evening, I am writing this guide for Akali because quite a few people have told me to create one and ask about my builds and runes and play style etc. I hope you should find it useful.
Overview: This is a guide for spell vamp Akali, which, imo, is the best way to play her. Many many people play her almost all ap and burst, and that’s all fine and good, I used to play like that. However since the buff to her passive and the buff to gunblade, this build became amazing. Before then It was very mediocre, most people just haven’t caught up yet. In addition they recently buffed AD runes, which really helped my already good build.
Why you should care what I think – Two reasons. One, I play a ****load of Akali. I used to have the “high score” before season one came out, meaning I had more wins than anyone with her than anyone else. That title got passed around a few times, and I stopped keeping track after a while, so don’t go calling me out. I know I had over 200 wins with her before season one, and I’m also approaching my 100th ranked win with Akali. Idk if that’s a big deal, but yeah I play her a lot.
Two, I’m good at her. I’m not saying I don’t win 100% of the time with her, because I don’t. However the vast majority of the time I pull my weight, and more than half of the time I carry to victory. I know how to make comebacks from bad starts and what she’s capable of and what she isn’t capable of.
Why this build is the best you can have: Simply put, you are a greater asset to the team. You are able to remain in fights the entire time, yet you are still able to pull out monster damage. Ap Akali’s downfall is two things. Tanks, and getting hardcore focused. When fighting a tank, sure you may be a monster, but if they live through your burst, you are out of energy and pretty much dead, hence no longer helping the team. Getting focused can be anyone’s downfall really, but Akali is pretty squishy and needs to be in faces to do damage. If she gets focused at the beginning of a fight, you might be able to escape into your cloud, but you aren’t going to be fighting and doing damage, you might as well be dead anyway. Hybrid spell vamp pretty much gets rid of both of these issues.
NOW ONTO THE GUIDE
Overview: This is a guide for spell vamp Akali, which, imo, is the best way to play her. Many many people play her almost all ap and burst, and that’s all fine and good, I used to play like that. However since the buff to her passive and the buff to gunblade, this build became amazing. Before then It was very mediocre, most people just haven’t caught up yet.
Summoner Spells - In order of preference. Get ghost or flash and usually ignite, but if you want to counter-pick spells you can change out ignite.
Ghost – You need this. The only other acceptable thing is flash, but you definitely need one or the other. With this spells you can always get away, always catch up, and just improve your play overall..
Flash: See above. Also, it’s getting removed soon anyway.
Ignite: A high priority spell. I get it about 95% of the time, it gets you a lot of kills and the mastery adds to her passive. Not required, but recommended.
Cleanse: If you are fighting taric, morg, sion, and other people with epic CC, I highly recommend this in place of ignite. Cleanse can save lives and get you kills.
Exhaust: Useful spell, I don’t get it, but you wouldn’t be a noob for getting against a yi, trynd, twitch, etc. Just don’t pick it up if you aren’t fighting any auto attackers.
Teleport: You don’t really need this. If you love teleport, go for it, but you don’t have mana to regen, and you should be vamping most of your health back, so you don’t really need to leave much during the laning phase.
Smite: You need it if your jungling with Akali, otherwise don’t get it. Quick note SMITE DOES WORK WITH SPELL VAMP, so it will end up healing you for butt loads, but yea only get it for the jungle.
Heal: Not recommended. If you just LOVE heal, ok but I think it’s only really useful during the first ten minutes of the game.
Clairvoyance: Doesn’t really help you, let your support get this.
Rally: I SUPPOSE you COULD get rally, it does benefit your passives. However, you are going to be chasing and flashing everywhere a lot, so you won’t even really get the bonus from it much at all. Probably shouldn’t get it.
Fortify: Useless without the mastery imo, and you won’t be getting it in this build. Skip it.
Revive: only in normal games when you are playing with buddies for the lols; never in ranked.
Masteries: I go 21/0/9. I could see 21/9/0 I suppose but I don’t suggest it.
What you need: All three archmages savvy, All three brute force, Archaic knowledge, and Havoc. I also get sprint.
If you are under 21, just get the magic pen mastery and whatever else you want. If you are at least 21, make sure you take havoc. Brute force masteries are also important.
As long as you have what I listed, you should be fine. The others aren’t so important.
Runes: Ok, here is the most skeptical part of my build, or it used to be.
For marks, I go all damage per level. Many people like to go magic pen, I used to as well. However, all that spell vamp and damage really adds up, and with the right runes you can get spell vamp early game without any AD items which is great. I really highly recommend going straight AD per level. In, fact, I demand it.
For seals, Offset your weaknesses. If you want to pull out a bit of extra kick early game, get a couple AP seals. If you are finding yourself dying a lot, pick up some hp. If you are jungling, get armor. I use a mix, right now some hp and some ap. If you are poor and can only buy one set of seals, get the magic resist seals. Trust me, you are generally going to be taking more magic damage than anything else since you will be killing everything else before they can do anything to you.
For Glyphs, get AP per level. They are the best value for your ip, and I find them to be very good. DO NOT GET CD REDUCTION, it’s a waste of your ip and space. You’ll end up reducing her cd’s which are already super low by numbers barely larger than a second, and you are just going to be out of energy anyway.
For Quints, It’s really up for preference, but you need to make sure one is AD per level. The other two you can use for whatever you need, more HP, more AP, movespeed even. If you want, go all three AD per lvl and be super awesome late game. Personally I use one Flat ap, one AD per, and the flat energy rune that gives you 5 more energy.
ENERGY RUNES: Generally, I wouldn’t recommend them. They aren’t so amazing, and are kind of situational. I do use one of the quints, but if you want to use two, and the others go ahead. However, DO NOT GET THE REGEN, GET THE FLATS! The regen is the worst thing I have ever seen, just grab golem and you have all the regen you need.
ITEMS: This is what really sets this build out from the others. It’s a bit weird, but trusts me, it brings victory.
HEXTECH GUNBLADE: +60 Attack Damage +75 Ability Power +15% Life Steal +13% Spell Vamp UNIQUE Active: Deals 300 magic damage and slows the target champion by 50% for 3 seconds (700 range). 60 second cooldown.
This Item is the forefront of the build. It is amazingly amazing on Akali, and you need it. NOT ONLY do you need it, but you need more than one. YOU NEED TWO. That’s right, im talking about duel wielding gunblades. And I am 100% serious. I’m not saying rush both of them, but you will end up with both unless you win first. Here’s why. It gives more damage than a bf sword, in addition to it’s natural spell vamp, it gives ability power for more damage, it has another spell in it which does substantial damage AND a slow. When you have two gunblades you can’t fire both, however you can use both the gunblades and the cutlass if you have them both. It gives you 22% spell vamp alone, and with your runes and masteries you should probably be above 30% by the time you get this. With only this item you can kills the squishes (Ashe, ez, trist, zil) before they have time to react. R,Q, gunblade, hit, E R all under three seconds and they are dead. You can also straight up out fight most people with your spell vamp already. No longer will you have to burst then run away, you can burst and fight! REMEMBER TO USE THE GUNBLADE ATTACK!! If you get it early enough, the attack itself is actually kind of op, abuse it as much as you can.
GUINSOOS RAGEBLADE: Very useful item. It gives you a bit more spell vamp, some ap to make your skills a bit harder, and some attack speed to allow you to auto attack more. What you really want this for is to take down tanks and towers. If you aren’t killing everyone else in under five seconds you are doing it wrong, but guinsoos gives you enough aspd to stack and whack away without wasting your time. DON’T FORGET TO KEEP IT STACKED IF YOU ARE ABOUT TO FIGHT! Use ur E if you aren’t close to anything you can hit. The bonus ability power is substantial.
Trinity force/Lich bane: You need one of these. Whichever one you get kind of varies. If you need a bit more hp and even more spell vamp, go for trinity. If you need some mr cause malzahar is wrecking your face, get lich bane. As for which one actually does more damage, it will depend on your rune set up. With a fully stacked rageblade your AP and AD will actually be pretty darn even, so the difference will depend on if you got AD per level or AP or whatever you did.
Spirit visage/Sunfire/Banshees/GA: I’m talking about defensive items. You need at least one defensive item unless you are just face rolling across the battle field. Which you might be, who knows? Anyway, I usually pick up spirit visage cause it’s cheap, gives me cool downs and it affects Akali’s spell vamp. Normally it doesn’t, but since Akali’s healing is in her passive (Like Warwick) it does apply. However, if you are fighting almost no magic damage and you are vamping substiantally anyway, maybe pick up a sunfire instead, or randuins, or something. You need SOMETHING so be sure to take AT LEAST ONE DEFENSIVE ITEM. Akali may be a beast, but there are champions out there her can hurt as much as she does, and no one is immortal. Make sure you live long enough to vamp your health back.
RYLAIS CRYSTAL SCEPTER: I actually generally don’t get Rylais anymore. Before you guys go all “but it’s so amazing on Akali and all the pro’s do it blahblahblah”, Here’s why. Gunblades. they gives you everything you really want from Rylais. It gives more damage output, it gives you survivability (In the form of spell vamping) and it gives you a slow( which is actually a more intense slow btw). I’m not saying Rylais is noob or anything, it’s great in any other build. But in here, it doesn’t serve you any real purpose that isn’t already served. IF YOU SIMPLY MUUUUUST HAVE RYLAI, SWITCH IT WITH YOUR DEFENSIVE ITEM!! The only time I get Rylais for my defense is when no one else on the team is really doing substantial burst damage. You can live through and kill any sustained damage, so the bonus health and bit of ap will help as long as stacking the slow.
Step one: Start with an arcane tomb. Don’t start dorans unless you are jungling. You objective is to get your cutlass in 11 minutes or under. If you can pull this off early enough you can pretty much guarantee getting fed. You get a slow hella early, way before you would ever finish rylai which people won’t expect, and a free damage spell. Before 20 minutes in, 150 damage is a lot DON’T FORGET TO USE IT.
Should have CUTLASS
Step two: Here’s where it gets tricky. After cutlass (Or in the middle if you had to go back) get at least level one boots. If you can finish your boots, do so. You either want boots of mobility or sorcerers boots. If the game is still pretty early and people are squishy, get mobility boots so you can travel faster and get gold via ganks and farming faster. If you need a bit of an extra kick to take down a tough opponent, go for sorcerer boots. Then you want to finish your gunblade next, unless you are getting wrecked and bursted down/CC’d before you can do anything, then maybe get a health crystal or some other piece of your defensive item. You should be ahead of everyone, so this really shouldn’t be a problem anyway.
SHOULD HAVE GUNBLADE AND BOOTS
Step three: Next you either want sheen or another cutlass. If you are having no trouble killing people, get cutlass for more survivability, vamp, and the extra spell. Don’t forget that cutlass and gunblade are separate items and can be used differently. If someone isn’t dying in one spell rotation and an attack or two, get sheen. You still want to be taking people down as fast as possible, if the fight lasts longer than 5 seconds; you are probably doing something wrong.
SHOULD HAVE GUNBLADE BOOTS AND EITHER SHEEN OR ANOTHER CUTLASS
Step four: By now you should finish your defensive item as it’s getting late game and your enemies are going to start hitting a bit harder. Make sure you stay in the game and pay attention to the damage they are dealing. Don’t get armor if they are all AP and vice versa. You should get Rageblade in this step, either in between your defenses, or right after. Fights are going to be getting longer now, and you may need to stick around for team fights longer than you may like. Make sure you can keep up.
SHOULD HAVE GUNBLADE, BOOTS, SHEEN, (OR CUTLASS),DEFENSIVE ITEM AND RAGEBLADE
Step five: You are approaching the end of the game. Turn your sheen into a trinity/lich bane, and turn your cutlass into another Gunblade, and BAM you are done. Load up on elixirs and have fun wrecking faces.
Trinity force or lichbane (depending on runes)
A QUICK NOTE, WARDS AND ELIXIRS: They do exist, and you do need them. Elixirs can give you a way to tip the scales, don’t forget about them. WARDS ARE NOT OPTIONAL THEY ARE A REQUIRMENT!! I cannot stress this enough. Wards will save your life, and get you kills, and not to mention your teammates lives. They will pay themselves off as long as you place them even partially intelligently. You are going to be getting a lot of kills, so you are going to be filled on item slots before your teammates, so please don’t burden them early game with wards since you won’t be able to buy them later anyway. Try and get a ward or two every time you go back, or at least every other time. I’m not going to go into details about warding, but I’m sure there is a guide somewhere.
Passive: Twin disciplines- Discipline of Force - Upon obtaining 20 ability power, Akali's hits deal 10% bonus magic damage, increasing by 1% for every 5 ability power gained thereafter.Discipline of Might - Upon obtaining 10 attack damage, Akali gains 10% spell vamp, increasing by an additional 1% for every 5 attack damage gained thereafter. – This is what makes Akali better than the other nukers out there. She can dish out damage with spells, AND auto attacks AND vamp like a beast. This is what the build centers around.
Q- 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. .4AP ratio. This is your skill. Your weapon. Your bread and butter, etc. You max this first, you use this to farm, you use it to kill, you use it all the time. Make sure you consume the kama’s when you fight to restore energy. If you fail to do this not only are you missing out on damage but you aren’t going to be able to have enough energy to do much else after you use another skill or two.
W- 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. This is what makes you a ninja, what allows you to win a lot of 1v1’s, and allows you to juke like a beast. However, be cautious when you use it. It takes a substantial amount of energy and the cooldown is pretty long as well. If you throw it too early, you may be out of luck after your kill when their teammates come for you. Try not to use it to kill unless you can’t get the kill otherwise. You need it to get away.
A good juking plan is to throw the smoke so it connects between bushes so they have no real way to tell where you went, or to throw it where the paths divert multiple directions so they have to choose one way to go. You go the other way.
Also you may use the cloud as a minute to rest and refresh your cd’s, letting you finish them with a second burst. Level it once, and leave it there.
E- Crescent Slash Akali flourishes her kamas, dealing damage based on her attack damage and ability power. – The most lackluster of her skills, but still very good. With the hybrid build it actually does a hefty amount of damage compared to AP. Use it to farm, keep your rageblade stacked while traveling, and whenever you can get more than one person in it. What makes it actually good is end game if you are fighting with enemy minions around you, you will heal anywhere from a quarter to half of your hp back with one spin.
R- Shadow Dash 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. Now affected by CDR. – This is how you get in, get out, finish kills, and be a ninja. The damage isn’t AMAZING but it is pretty good. You want to use this for chasing and escaping primarily.
DON’T FORGET YOU CAN USE IT ON MINIONS TO MAKE A FAST GETAWAY! A good juking tip is to ward minions in the jungle so you can use them to dash to. Don’t be afraid to finish off a target with your ult since you will be getting a stack anyway. Try to always have at least one stack left on it for emergencies. Use the last one at your own risk/discretion.
If i am duo laning or going mid and the person i am against isn't harassing or fighting me ill get E at lvl 2 just to farm a bit better. Other than that i've never had to change anything in the skill order.
ACTUALLY PLAYING AKALI:
Now that all the technical build stuff is out of the way here’s how to actually use her, in random tip form.
1: Once you hit 6, gank a lane if anyone is at ¾ hp. If you have your cutlass, there are very few people around who can survive your burst. Get fed early and get towers pushed.
2: Don’t go home after a gank unless someone is mia and you are low. Push a tower. In the end towers win games, not kills. You can be 20-1 and lag once during a teamfight and lose.
3. With this build, you are a fighter AND assassin. Don’t be afraid to get your ninja hands dirty in a duel. Chances are you will win.
4. Don’t shop for every little piece of your items. Stay in the game, farm, push, and gank, as much as you can.
5. Work with your teammates to bait and set up ganks. Hiding in the bushes while your friend looks like he’s over pushing is a great way to do it. Nothing makes people madder then a ninja in their bush.
6. LAST HIT EVERYTHING. Minions are going to be where you got a majority of your gold. Pay attention to every single minion’s hp and use your Q and E to farm up like a beast. Some people might be like “Quit stealing my minions” but don’t listen to them, they don’t own the minions. However, don’t be a **** and steal jungle minions people were working on. That’s just rude.
7. One of your greatest assets is the element of surprise. You will win most 2v1 fights as long as they have no CC. if one of them has CC, throw ur bomb right before u get stunned and proceed as normal. If they BOTH can stun you maybe you shouldn’t do that. But generally you can kill the squishy member so fast they will both freak out and run away, so then you get your double.
8. If you are raping enough people will buy oracles for you. Check before you rush into to make sure they don’t have it.
9. You aren’t immortal. I can tell what’s going to happen to more than half of you. You’re going to get kind of fed, see 2 or 3 people low, and go for a kill when everyone else is mia, and you are going to get raped. Then you are going to die over and over. Play your entire game like you are under leveled. Don’t take unnecessary risks just because you do a butt load of damage.
10. Don’t stack. Unless you are sure that you can win the game before you lose the stacks or unless you are sure that you won’t be the one getting focused. And I mean 10000% sure. It takes a while to build stacks but it takes no time at all to lose em.
11. During the laning phase try to use ur Q to harass and last hit with auto attacks. Use your Q to last hit if you need to kind of stay back or you are low or something.
12. Push intelligently. Farm the minion wave but don’t keep going and die if you don’t know where your team is. It’s very hard to get away from an entire team, even if you are akali.
13. Kill the killers. In team fights, make sure you take down the deadliest opponents first. Don’t jump in until you see them. If your team gets mad at you, tell them that the other person wasn’t fighting either so it was 4v4. That doesn’t mean don’t fight if they just B’d or something. But if you’re fighting a twitch, wait for twitch to pop up.
HOW YOU WILL LOSE:
1: Bad team comps. Akali is good, but she can’t carry without a team like others. You can get away with ok team comps, but you need a tank at least.
2: Super long games. Unless your team is dragging it on purpose, the longer a game goes, the less of a chance is there for your victory. I’m not saying you can’t win, but it’s a hell of a lot easier to win in the first half hour than the second.
3. Silences. Generally silences last a lot longer than other CC, but you need your skills very badly. It might be a good idea to focus down silencers first if possible.
HOW YOU WILL WIN:
1. Fighting team of squishies. If everyone on the enemy team dies in one combo set you are in business.
2. Being on a team with lots of CC. If your opponent isn’t damaging you back you should generally be able to kill them before the stuns are done.
3. Wards. Catching people alone in the jungle will allow your team to push 4v5 and win.
4. PUSHING. Kills don’t win games, they only help. Towers and inhibitors win games.
I hope this guide will inspire some people to play akali, or maybe inspire those who play her to try a different way then burst.
If you have any questions comments or concerns, I encourage you to post. Of course I will edit and update this guide as time goes on.
If there is a particular champ giving you trouble or anything like that, ask and I will give a solution.
You need to add your ability order, and maybe a more easier to read item build after explaining the item build. Also your ability rotation while ganking maybe? You mention to 'now get your defensive item'... you state to grab a Ruby Crystal or something HP oriented but don't say what defensive item to go for... if your going for Ryjals why get Ruby
When the tanking metagame was at its peak I was thinking along these lines as an alternative to AP Akali. I do have a few suggestions.
Because AoE spells only heal at 1/3rd of your Spell Vamp, use Crescent Slash as sparingly as possible in a 1v1 drag out slugfest against a sturdy opponent. Mark does much more damage and heals at the full spell vamp ratio.
On that same note, CDR is actually a good stat. When Lich Bane still used the reservoir system CDR was less useful as we typically auto attacked between each ability for maximum damage, which delayed ability reuse. Under the new proc system and with Shadow Dance's recharge rate now affected by CDR, it's a much more potent stat.
With that in mind, I'd highly recommend picking up a Kindlegem after completing your first Hextech Gunblade. It's cheap, offers a good amount of CDR, and provides a much needed additional health buffer.
I'm not doubting your credibility, but for Akali, isn't Rageblade a meh item? You have to snowball the stacks up on a burst hero, which I find silly. I switched out Rage for Gunblade in my build and got a Rylai's immediately after, but I'm going to try out the build. Thanks for the guide, good work on it.
Played a game with this EXACT dude, name and everything. He's in the 1300 elo bracket, so am I. I was trying to tank my hardest as rammus, I think I went 4/7/16, but man we got seriously owned by olaf. We were building thornmails, but by that time, they already pushed to the nexus and won.
His build was great, he got LOTS of kills off of mages and squishies. But what he states, that it's good against tanks, I don't know. Olaf built tank and just chewed through him like paper. What sucked was, there were several chase opportunities against the other heros, (everytime we chased Olaf he had his dang ult, man that olaf was good!), and maybe this was my teams fault or mine, but I know my powerball was on CD, and he charged in with R, but because he didn't have Rylais the dude wasn't slowed and got away. Saw this happen several times.
This dudes build put out some SERIOUS damage against squishies. Really sorry we had a lame team that couldn't win. We had a Garen who admitted several times that he was "baked." I think at one point he was just standing near a turret while a battle raged on around him. What I didn't like though was the lack of support he had without Rylais. Seriously Akali's cooldowns are so low, what better way to make her a friggin kickbutt chaser than rylais.
I approve of the build, just needs a rylais.
When I said snowball, I meant rageblade stacks to maximize it's efficiency. This works better on a hero like Nidalee who can increase the potency of her spears and heals, and can sustain the stacks for free by spamming cougar skills.
I used to do the generic Akali build: Rageblade, Rylai's, Sheen, Zhonya's, Lich, survivability. I swapped Rage for Gun but I'm not sure if I should just get Rylai's after and continue on as normal or not. Gun gives a LOT more survivability.
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