I disagree with most of the guides for Akali made so far. So I wanted to give my hand a try at making one for once, for this last ninja of 3. Also to give people more tools to use in strategy and tactics while playing her. This is a hybrid build so if your preference is pure AP or pure AD then do not bother reading except for maybe the tactics part.
The rune changes did not significantly affect the game so the below still stands about the same imo.
Phreak build (current cookie cutter) add in dorian's blade for dmg/steal/HP for better survivablilty and getting dmg passive
9 red 17.64 armour pen
9 yellow 6.8% dodge
9 blue CDR not sure number off hand not really important for my needs atm
1 dmg Quint 2.25 dmg and 2 HP Quint 64.8 HP
Certainly Phreak's build provides more damage and survivability early. If the laning phase goes long then it does not scale as well being the only issue. Overall for simplicity sake it is better for most player's I think.
Build to get both passives at level 1 with buying tome at the start
9 red dmg 2.88 dmg
9 yellow dodge 6.8% dodge
9 blue of choice
2 dmg Quint 4.5 dmg and one HP Quint 32.4 HP
both would use 3 damage from masteries
I have been playing with both passives up at level 1 the last couple of days. My games overall have gone significantly better. This affords you less survivability but, my ability to farm definitely jumped. Until you get boots and your ulti I wouldn't try pushing them if they have outs.
I want to play around with a different build with the AP bonus from the ignite mastery. I am sure that bonus would provide quite a bit more flexibility in rune builds for the double passive early.
Exhaust & Ignite
These two are my preferences. They allow me the control needed through out the game with the damage incoming reduction, movement slowing, extra damage and healing reduction. Exhaust is valuable even once you get your Ultimate for more mobile Champ's. Ignite is also valuable against healer's or self healer's like Warwick and Fiddle.
I see value in Flash and I am sure some trickery could be done with dropping shroud and Flashing somewhere. I have heard this is going to be removed so may one day not be an option. Anyways using shroud and changing your movement direction is in general about as effective as Flash defensively and your ultimate is already an offensive Flash. Of course you could Ultimate in a base and escape with Flash if needed too.
I have seen several Akali's with this but, I still wind up bursting them faster. Also with exhaust and ignite on them this spell does nothing for them. The only value I see is when you are sitting in shroud waiting for your energy to regen for another combination to help damage at that point when you let loose again.
If your play style is of the type to take advantage of creep waves and kill tower's or fire brigade tower's being pushed this is definitely the spell for you.
Many player's like this spell in general I only prefer it on character's that need chasing ability or already have a speed increasing boost in their skills. If you are having problems chasing then this might work for you but, my build prevents them from running anywhere unless they are Yi, or have an Ultimate that takes them some where else on the map.
Past trying to kill your lane opponents early this just is not effective enough through out the game.
I forgot about this one. If you feel you need something to help getting out since Akali is a little weak on the escape side of things. Match this up with flash and you should be able to escape pretty well.
Anyhow the rest of the SS spells might have some merit on a limited basis but, certainly afford less effectiveness on an individual basis. General team strategy is improved by the rest of the summoner spells.
I roll 23/0/7 picking up improved ignite, exhaust. Also I skip attack speed and put 3 into extra damage for the double passive. Fortunately the 10ap from ignite cd does now stack to give you your passive. I really like increased experience and even though I side lane in general. With my play style by level 15ish I am tied with being the highest level in the game.
21/9/0 is likely going to be one of the more popular builds, to get the point in nimbleness. This affords more survival you just won't be able to max all 3 of M/R, Armour, and Dodge. So depending on your rune setup looking to max one of these out could be a way to help round out your build or provide more focus on one aspect defensively.
Main points being avoid utility tree past experience. Put points to boost your summoner spells. Only go defensive tree if you find you need more survivability.
Sorry I am not going to put specific values on the skills you can track those down somewhere else.
Q: The initial application does not do much damage and can not crit the key to this attack is that the melee attack after application does bonus damage and can critically hit. Also when you melee attack after application you regain most of the energy you just spent. This skill should be leveled first as it is easy to get the last hit on minions with the melee attack after, early in the game. Also for level one fights it provides the largest burst of your 2 damage abilities with a shorter cd.
W: Your stealth ability take it at level 2 or 3. Lots of tactics that can be used for this ability I will try and cover some important ones later. In general I'd advise limiting the skill up of this ability and finish it up last. An extra point or two along the way may not be a bad idea depending on how the game is going and your needs.
E: Your aoe great for hitting groups or those other pesky invisible stealther's in your vicinity. It is great for hitting those all but dead minions that your minions want to steal from you to. The damage is not high till you start picking up items, so trying to use it to farm is not optimal. Also its energy usage is quite expensive and to maintain using it on a some what continual basis you have to prioritize using Q first.
R: Obviously your priority a long range offensive flash that does damage. Unfortunately you can get at most 3 charges so you have to pick your uses; with 25 second recharge time per charge. This is your assasination tool and chasing tool so that no one will get away. The addition of refreshing a charge after a kill affords a bit more flexibility to spam as many of your charges as you need to get your kill. When you kill then you have a charge to escape or pick a new target.
I prioritize R>Q>E>W in maxing levels out. I do not follow it strictly as I will throw a couple points into E before Q is level 5. Also of course make sure you put 1 point in all 3 before you get to level 4. Sometimes I might throw another point or two into W on the way to 15 if I find I am needing a little more out of the things W provides ie. stealth/armour/slow/CD.
So far my build with slight modifications depending on the game dynamics has allowed me to win all 1v1 fights end game if we are evenly matched with SS spells off cd and full HP.
I now start with tome and HP pot. This eventually gets turned into Rylai's but, not for a while.
Boots - My preference is swiftness for the chasing and running advantage. Merc treads if they are a stun heavy team. If you want to move a lot to gank and jungle then mobillity might be a better choice. Pretty standard and well documented.
Hextech Revolver > eventually Gunblade - The AP and Lifesteal make up for the loss of Phage. While also being one of 2 pieces building into the Gunblade. All of the items are exceptionally useful and a perfect fit for Akali. I like the revolver first as it is cheap and if I want I can build the first tome I got into it. Where as the blade is more expensive and I do not have one of its build items. I build the Gunblade after Rylai's and Rageblade.
Rageblade - 2nd or 3rd item for sure as you can have it half stacked almost instantly on a single target with spamming all your abilities. This item is cheap and gives a really nice AP boost when fully stacked along with the surely faster attack speed then your opponent instantly upon attacking. At full stacks the AP bonus increases your Attack damage passive by 10%.
At this point you can solo dragon. I have done it as early as level 8 (had to pill after). At level 10 you will be half health so you can still farm or catch a runner from a group fight or w/e suits your fancy.
Rylai's Sceptre - The main purpose is the bonus damage to not only your abilities but, also your passive. The other main reason is of course HP. If you need the HP early just pick up Giant's Belt early and finish this later. This gives you enough health to survive the incidental damage that is happening during the group fights starting at this point in the game. Also diving that Champ that thinks he is safe and going to get away under or behind his towers.
Basically at this point the only Champ that has gotten away from me was a Yi once or twice (by my own error). Short of the few Champ's that have Ultimates that take them somewhere else on the map or a good flash through a wall that I had no vision to the other side on. I recently went against a well organized team that everyone had cleanse and ghost. Some of them successfully got away due to their superior coordination it was terribly annoying.
My Preferences for Last Items
Bloodthirster - This gives you the staying power against other physical Champ's as well as boosting your passive a good amount. You will also begin one shotting minions; also with Q and a crit kill the large minion's.
Armour of Choice - This is entirely game dictated, I think I have done Guardian's Angel the most. As I dive behind enemy lines a lot to get their runners. Along with at this point the other team realizes I am a threat and go after me. Any of the other end game armour's depending on needs are a good choice. The choice should be obvious based on their team.
Lichbane - This item brings the burst to a whole new level. Also the magic resist helps since everyone loves to dump all their AoE on Akali's shroud now.
Snowball Items - My preference is to not get them. Sword of the Occult, Mejai's Soulstealer, Leviathan are all viable if you want to play defensive and protect stacks. I just tend to make sure I kill caster squishies early to mid game sometimes at my own sacrifice as I know I can farm better then them. So with Akali I just don't want to worry about stacks.
2nd Bloodthirster - I had to do this once against one Yi to keep up with his lifesteal while he was ultied. Basically I'd only advise a second one if there is someone on their team that is out stealing you.
Sheen > Lichbane or Triforce - A lot of people are fans of Sheen it certainly gives you more bang. I just find I always beat other Akali's who go this route. This route gives you more damage but, that doesn't do you any good if you are dead. Akali gets into a fight really well but, she does not get out very well unless you go cleanse/flash. I usually have half as much more or twice the HP of the Akali's going this route; this more then makes up for the slight loss in damage. Seeing as half my other items give me more damage along with HP. Certainly Sheen is a viable option for more burst but, you wont have staying power. Generally at this point in time it is agreed that Triforce is not nearly as good as going the Lichbane direction.
Madred's Bloodrazor - I actually did this instead of Bloodthirster for a team that had 4 high HP tanky type Champ's. So if most of your opponents are in the 4k HP and higher range this could be a good option.
Zhonya's or Deathcap - Certainly very viable items alot of AP and an on use that is great for diving into their team with. It is quite expensive I have not actually ever tried getting one of these for my build. Having to save a lot of gold for a while or stacking AP rods seems less versatile for a chunk of the game to me. If you want to go more of an AP stacking route these are the items for you.
Generally same standard stuff and general ebb and flow of most games. I have only played on Summoner's Rift with Akali. As I am not a big fan of TT since it is decided at around level 15ish by one or 2 team fights.
Early Game - With Q and next melee its pretty easy to get last hit on minions at half health. Main thing's to look for are if they have a squishy with 4 bars at level 1. Q then melee the squishy if you crit that is half their health that means 3 hits and an ignite and they are dead. Other then that if they are really aggressive and controlling the lane hug your tower. Get W(shroud) at level 2 and use it right in front of your tower they will back off and you can hit minions. Popping in and out of stealth should prevent them from harassing you to much. I have been finding I also need to level shroud a couple of levels if I am having to tower hug to get more stealth time. This allows me more farming time under the tower. Just be sure to use Q first to help maintain energy to last hit with.
Mid Game - At level 6 or shortly after, If we have our lane pushed I like to take my ulti and exhaust/ignite and gank mid. Otherwise look for oppurtunities to dash in and burst someone. While you are moving to lane from shop or death stop by the easy jungle minions. By the end of this phase you should have some kills and should have Rageblade go get dragon during a slow time in the fight.
Late Game - Team fights try not to initiate, look for their squishies and dpser's. If you come a hair late good look for their runners. If they are not in range of your Ulti target someone in their back line then Ulti to the runner. You can shread minion waves now and should be able to 1v1 anyone so keep your minion waves pushing their side of the map. If you see someone alone take them they wont be able to get away just be very map aware.
Q: They took out the auto attack then Q auto attack combo making it now reset the swing timer. Use on those all but dead minions during laning phase that are out of your melee range. When in shroud open up with this to get some energy back and then AOE if you want that added damage this just keeps you exposed for longer.
W: This is the bread and butter to make you dynamic. I am going to have to section this one out. It is also a key to increasing your zone of control.
1v2: I have done this several times now for our teams jungler. Just make sure to take shroud at level 2. Put shroud up just in front of your tower you should be able to kill every other minion after the turret hits them at low level with Q. Pick off other low minions with ranged Q as they come into tower range and E once the shroud is down and your in the group of minions. After several levels you should be able to last hit more then half of every wave. Try and bait the other team into your tower then just hide in shroud once they are commited and laugh as they try and run with exhaust and ignite on them. If the second gets low just ulti and burst them down. You will also probably want to level shroud up to level 3ish if you are doing this.
Bushes: Put shroud down with the edge attached to the bush and you have effectively extended the bush.
From inside the bush you can scout out or approach; most enemies just move away from the area. So you can use shroud to try and push your opponents to the other side of a lane for someone else to initiate a gank. This tactic also works in denying them minion kills once your minions start getting low throw shroud on them and the enemy will back off instead of getting last hits.
From outside the bush you can walk in and check to see if the bush is occupied again most enemies are darting out the other side to avoid you so now the bush is yours.
Connecting bushes this is a tactic I have seen few Akali's do but is quite effective many areas have bushes close enough to connect with in the shroud. So you can scout for your team or make a nice juking maneuver amongst the bushes depending on how the enemy is chasing.
Slowing: There is the obvious chasing be it the chasee or chaser for yourself or allies. More advanced uses are dropping it in place for fighting 1v1. Keep in mind though whether you are the weaker fighter or the stronger fighter in a given situation. Factoring in HP pools, levels and your opponents Champ type. If you are weaker you may want the shroud closer to a safer running side or clipping a bush for an escape. If you are stronger then you may want it leaning to their likely escaping direction. If they are likely to have help coming you should put it between your opponent and his rescuer while you finish him real quick.
Teamfights: Following up on the slowing I like to dive to the back side of their team once someone else has initiated. To kill a runner or a squishy who thinks they are safe. It depends on how their team has been reacting to me and to how fast I can kill my target for my placement. If I can kill my target fast and I know they come after me then I drop it close to me but between me and them. If I can kill my target almost instantly then I hold it till they are on me and drop it at my feet. Hopefully my team has been beating on them while they turn to try and get me. At his point I can pick out any other low HP or squishy targets and have my way with them as i am untargetable in stealth.
If I can't kill them quickly then I drop the shroud at my fight and do as much as I can. Hit and hide usually in this case my team has not done so well so I at least make sure I take one or two of my opponents with me. If my team has done well then its a matter of cleaning up the runners go for the ones with escape abilities first and the ones furthest away from the group and work back to your team.
Towers: As with all stealth towers show you. The interesting thing is once you get out of range of the tower's sight you go back into non-visibility to your opponents. So the shroud can overlap the visible range of the tower and you can still break opponents targeting. I put this in due to other people's questions else where and to answer as many question's as I can in one place.
E: I have killed plenty of other Akali's that thought they were safe in their shroud with this ability, good for other cowardly stealther's too. Obviously if its a team fight and you have shroud down walk into the middle of it and let loose. There isn't to much more to say same as any other non targeting and positioning AOE, good for clearing up minion waves fast.
R: Bread and butter for chasing and added burst just be careful since you only have 3 charges use them wisely. I only have a couple of points to make since I have mostly covered it through this guide already.Now with getting a charge after a kill you can be a little more risky in burning your charges.
Tower Diving: Ulti in and save one Ulti to get to one of their minions and out of tower range fast. You can go to a wave that has already passed or one that is coming in. Just be aware that you may have company if you head to their base so be prepared to drop shroud.
Running: if you are being chased look for a lane near by that their minions have pushed and Ulti to the furthest minion you can to gain distance. Also the odd Neutral around a corner might gain you a little ground as well but, not much this of course could make the difference though. Another possible option is using wards to sight neutrals that you can dash to.
Surprise: Unfortunately the range just gets you a little over a wall but enough to get you over. I have surprised several people from the darkness much to their dismay. Obviously they didn't make it.
Sorry for the wall of text I am not good with manipulating this stuff. Feel free to post constructive criticism. I will check this and update it for a while if people make valid points. I am sure I missed stuff or could fill out some stuff more. I have spent a few hours on this and it is my first attempt at a guide.
My feeling on her ranked game viability. She is a good counter pick against a squishy low cc team. She winds up being a liability against a beefy team with a medium or more amount of cc. Taking her as a first 3 pick is a bad idea other options would usually benefit your team more. If your team has at least 3 good cc already and your opponents have 3 squishies Akali is a great counter pick imo.
I personally have a lot of fun playing Akali (she is like crack). Akali is the only stealth Champ I have liked so far. I also feel she is very possibly the best chasing Champ in the game, if not certainly in the top 5.
Last updated 15Feb2011
I prefer extra experience to level faster rather then then the extra survivability. You are leveling through out a larger percentage of time during the game. By end game 6 dmg reduc, 6 M/R, and 2% more dodge really is not going to be noticeable. Do not get me wrong I think nimbleness is awesome. I just do not prefer the defensive tree for myself. I do fine unless I am sacrificing myself for a kill anyways in which case it is unlikely that little bit would have kept me alive.
I mention if you want the extra survivability go in the Defensive tree instead. I guess I could add some detail about that. I will put it in after a bit.
Improved ignite is not great and I originally thought it would help with getting the passive. Anyhow it is on cd a lot for me through out the game. So I feel it nets me a little extra damage when I do not have it available.
It might be good to note that once Akali is stealthed in her shroud, there is a small area outside of it she can move.
So, say you place the shroud somewhere that is slightly away from bushes, she can slip through the gap.
Your guide is interesting, and I build very similar to you, but with a different item instead of Phage, as Rylai's is more than enough slow from AoE to Mark for me.
I do hope however, that your title is a joke, as her name isn't Alkali (before she was released I thought it was, only because I failed while reading her name).
I understand your note Draev, I know what you mean. I just do not think that is something you can exactly count on or is something only experience will provide. Also most graphics have some error through out the game.
Phage is way cheaper then Rylai's so is a slow you can get much earlier in the game. Also since I am stuck getting longsword as my starting item with my bad rune set up it builds into Phage easily for me.
Yes a friend made the joke to me the other day I didn't get it till it was explained to me. I spelled her name correctly I just didn't want to use assasin or some other standard boring title.
Added a bit to Masteries to be more specific in going into the Defensive tree instead of the Utillity tree.
I completely disagree with your skill build. Crescent Strike is WAY BETTER for farming than Q. I would much rather level crescent strike as my main skill than mark. Not only is it INSTANT, but the damage is dealt in one blow instead of two. Not to mention it's an area of effect skill allowing you to farm twice as fast. It's way better in team fights too.
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