this is my recent remake for Season 3 (under construction) of my Akali guide. This guide focuses on top and mid lane. Jungle Akali is possible but not quite as effective.
- exceptional burst damage
- exceptional chasing capabilities
- great farmer
- sustained and comparable safe laning, can juke
- situational stealth with tiny defensive stats
- huge snowballing potential
- unless behind, great mid game
- tanky champs can screw her
- no hard CC, only item- and buffrelated CC
- melee, high risk > high reward
- gets countered by non-target area spells, oracles and pink wards
- hard CC and silences screw her
- mediocre late game
Mindset and comparisonI always liked those chapters because it can really help you define your methods and goal in a game. So here it goes:
Akali is an assassin. She kills things fast - and marvellously fast. Our goal in teamfights is to kill their key champions and we like them squishy at that. You want to wait til their CC blew off and afterwards make sure you can nuke almost freely on a target with low health and low defense. You can also clean up when everyone is getting low and most people are too frightened to face you - but that puts your team into greater risk. You can as well blow off some target that is most likely to get killed soon after - will refresh in both cases, so keep that in mind.
She has high mobility, high magic damage (but still mixed) and has superior sustain. The last point is where the s*** hits the fan. Duels are an exceptional good thing for Akali since she gains health over and over again, making her deceivably tanky and makes enemies run in fear or because they get frustrated. This also mean you can trick enemies in 1v2 to give you a double kill. The high mobility part is quite typical about assassins, but Akali is atop of them all, except . You get 3 ! flash-like charges, which can undermine every effort to flee from you. And if enemies can't but fight you they are about to die - considering you choose the right targets. That and your high burst makes Akali so dangerous.
MasteriesAkali is all about burst and straight-offensive damage. She excels at nuking single targets, so having offensive stats like Attack damage, magic penetration and AP give you a great advantage. However you are melee and getting in the thick of fights or 1v1 will result in you taking damage - more defense helps a a lot.
Runesexplains the greater part of them.
Someone recalculated the runes and could achieve a small gain in mid and late game damage.*
You need 20 AP to activate one passive.
3x Quints a 5 AP +5 AP over masteries at level 1 solves that one.
You need 10 AD to activate the other . 3 AD come from masteries, 7 from runes - AD Marks.
Fill in the 2 left spots with magic penetration.
The Seals: HP/level is most common and will serve you well in most cases. If you start mid lane, you should use these.
Alternative: 13 armor to help top laning.
Magic resist per level helps your mid laning and mid game.
This spell is mandatory in my opinion. It lets you close the gap (with or before level 6), helps your laning, let's you escape ganks. Lets you escape out of into brush or similar. You can make plays by comboing your opponent under turret and escape via flash. It is also nice to dodge skillshots in sticky situation (after killing the AD carry e.g.) and to escape over walls.
Flash simply supplements to the playstyle that fits Akali - dive in, kill, dive out.
Ignite contributes to your burst. It also helps finishing off in low levels and to prevent certain champions from sustaining themselves ( e.g.). Since it deals true damage it is reliable and you can deal a lot more damage to tanks/tanky targets then otherwise. It is also nice for laning
Possible but weaker alternatives:
if your team lacks it, instead of . However, in most cases you should deal more damage than the target you choose in a short time frame. It scales nicely into lategame and against fed ADs however.
instead of flash you can use this, but ghost is not very strong on Akali, since you can chase with and your damage is bursty, not sustained. Therefore it is good to just pick flash for the greater utility it brings.
in extreme cases, however I suggest not to pick Akali if you have to use this summoner spell since your enemy team is screwing your playstyle.
Sources of DamageTo help a better understanding of Akali, it is necessary in my opinion to break down the numbers of Akalis damage and styles.
General separation into physical and magical damage.
First off, the most part is magical, hence magic resistance is most effective against Akali.
Examples for this sort of damage: (S3)
The second part is physical, so armor screws Akali as well. You want to avoid high-armor targets if you have something else you can focus on.
Examples for this sort of damage: and auto-attacks.
Note that scales off auto-attacks hence decreasing your physical damage results in decreasing your magical damage component even further.
Breakdown by source.
Now, to understand how and why Akali works and works not, some quick suggestions about her abilities.
increases the damage you deal from auto-attacks (including procc) and . The more AP you get, the stronger you hit with your melee attacks. The more AD you get, the harder your melee attacks hit and the greater is the benefit from this passive since its percental. This passive is the reason and scale so greatly with Akali.
Increasing your AP by 572 will result in your melee-attacks dealing double damage.
This ability is considered as Akalis main burst and core ability. The first part is a single target range nuke, the second part triggers when you melee the target with your -debuff on it.
It's single target, so it provides the full slow from (both parts separately). The cooldown is shorter than the duration on your target, so you can , wait for cooldown, auto-attack, , auto-attack for a larger portion of burst.
This ability scales poorly off AP (40%) for each part looked on separately, but both parts even for 80%. And that's a lot.
This shouldn't be considered solely as a source of damage since it's purpose is chasing people. However, you will use this 1-3 times to go in for a kill. Consider this ability having a cooldown of 10 seconds unless you assist/kill someone.
This ability scales poorly off AP (50%) and should be used to close gaps, not for the damage itself unless you are absolutely sure you have to use it for sustain (/) or for greater burst.
Note that this ability is also considered single target and therefore slows your opponent by 35% if you use .
Lichbane in Season 3:
Instead of 100% AP and physical damage, its 50 magical damage + 75% AP. Let's do the math.
100 AD 100 AP
Autohit after using a spell: 100 physical
Lichbane base damage: 50 magical, Lichbane AP % damage: 75 magical
= 100 damage physical, 125 magical. Before: 200 physical.
Difference: 125 magical vs. 100 physical
150 AD 300 AP
Autohit after using a spell: 150 physical
Lichbane base damage: 50 magical, Lichbane AP % damage: 225 magical
= 150 damage physical, 275 magical. Before: 450 physical.
Difference: 275 magical vs. 300 physical
Decent gain in both cases, and you have magic penetration on top of that!
Another upside: a bit more spellvamp healing.
5% over 3s after using a non-periodic spell.
Best versus high health, low MR targets with CC on them.
Let me get this straight: this ability should be used for farming purposes OR if you have to dish out as much damage as possible and you know you have no time left to or . It scales of 60% total(!) AD and 30% AP. The damage is low and the energy cost high. Besides, you don't aim for but for so it should be even worse compared to other skills in mid/late game. Using this for results in a 15% slow.
No armor penetration, hence you deal (base damage+buffs++ mastery: 5) - armor = damage.
Stats you should aim forIf you have to build according to your enemy team and must differ from the standard build, here is a short orientation what fits Akali and what does not.
Great stats for Akali
Ability power for and increasing the damage of as well as .
Spellvamp increases your 1v1 capabilities and your lane sustain. This is the reason it's so hard to kill her.
Attack damage since it activates part 2, gives more spellvamp (see above) and synergizes with the other part of it. More physical damage, more magic damage. Ability power and spellvamp should be prioritized over this since you spend only a fraction of time melee-hitting your opponent.
Magic Penetration - of course! You deal magic damage and have very little magic penetration via runes, so getting an early /respectively can really screw your opponents.
"Okay" ((c) by Rammus) stats for Akali
Movement speed - Akalis base movement speed is very high (325), but you won't need any additional MS beyond + and the reason you should pick up is not the movement speed it provides. should be enough for chasing.
Cooldown Reduction - You will run into energy problems sooner or later but having more and increases your burst damage by a large amount and having alot more helps your survivability. The greatest problem appears with the availability of items, since the only "solid choice" for an Akali player is .
Health - it is vital to have a certain amount, therefore you should aim for building a . Beyond that, you shouldn't stack any more health. Getting an early makes you incredibly hard to kill (you have spellvamp and stealth, remember?).
Armor penetration - the stat at itself is nice for Akali (see sources of damage), however there is rarely a case where you can't get a better item than and since you run AD runes to complete your passive, the only armor penetration you get comes from masteries usually.
Critical Strike chance - You spend only a very short amount of time auto-attacking so this doesn't offer you much.
Attack speed - same reason as for crit, why would you constantly auto-attack enemies?
Lifesteal - the reason for is not the lifesteal because you'll barely notice it. Again, you don't spend much time with auto-attacks so this won't help you much.
Mana - pretty obvious.
Spellvamp and sustainSome sentences about of Akali's greatest strengths: Being able to heal in battle and sustain herself in lane.
If you've activated this (which you should at level 1), you gain 8% spellvamp. This means, every 100 damage dealt from single target abilities or every 300 damage dealt from multi-target abilities will heal your champion about 8.
Both parts count for a single target nuke, hence it heals for each portion. Using this to kill some minions will heal you back constantly.
Example: Dealing 200 damage with this, 10 Bonus AD and will heal you for 40.
Using this can be a life saver if you have dots on you, however it should only be used in extreme cases since it's cooldown is comparably long and it doesn't refresh unless you kill someone or assist in doing so.
This ability is AOE, hence it provides only 33% of the damage dealt in relation to spellvamp. For sustain, this should mostly be used upon a crowd of minions. Example: Dealing 200x4 damage with this, 10 Bonus AD and will heal you for 53,32.
Passive: Twin Disciplines
Upon obtaining 19.5 additional ability power, Akali's hits deal 8% bonus magic damage, increasing by 1% for every 6 ability power gained thereafter.
Upon obtaining 9.5 additional attack damage, Akali gains 8% Spell Vamp, increasing by an additional 1% for every 6 attack damage gained thereafter.
Like already stated, this passive is great since it provides TONS of sustain and TONS of damage (see above chapters). This is what lets Akali scale greatly.
This has been nerfed by a huge amount and is therefore not as strong as Pre-Fizz.
Q: Mark of the Assassin
Akali spins her kama at a target enemy to deal 45 / 70 / 95 / 120 / 145 (+40% of ability power) 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 45 / 70 / 95 / 120 / 145 (+40% of ability power) magic damage and restore 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 energy.
Cost 60 energy
Your main nuke. This is your harassment tool - either throw it on your enemy if he is quite defensive and stays out of melee range or melee him if he does not. Note that activating it may draw minion aggro so you should consider using after this or retreat (into bush?). If you have to stay defensive and can't really farm I suggest to use this for lasthitting.
You can also use both parts of this on minions to heal yourself up thanks to spellvamp. See above chapters for additional information.
You can also use this as a finisher on low % hp enemies (sometimes combined with if you have to).
Can be triggered by if your range is not sufficient.
W: Twilight Shroud
Akali throws down a cover of smoke that lasts for 8 / 8 / 8 / 8 / 8 seconds. While inside the area, Akali gains 10 / 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 armor and magic resist and becomes stealthed. Attacking or using abilities will briefly reveal her.
Enemies inside the smoke have their movement speed reduced by 14 / 18 / 22 / 26 / 30%.
Cost 80 / 75 / 70 / 65 / 60 energy
This skill is your life saver, your brush checker and to slow opponents before level 6. You can block pathes to help allies. If you attack, you get detected. Turrets detect you as well.
You can zone your opponent if used properly. In most cases that is using this behind his own minions. He can't really damage you because you get stealthed but if he comes near you combo him and he can't really strike back. This ability is the reason you win most trade-offs.
You should use this spell as well to avoid focus damage in teamfights or if both junglers happen to gank your lane and you are more squishy than your jungler (e.g. your comes in for a gank). Use this to juke into brushes. If you have to escape, trick your opponent by using this near brushes and escape them after they ran into it or through it. Combined with your or you can pull off some nice tricks.
If you have to sit in it and wait, you should go to the edge of this ability. Most enemies tend to nuke their skillshots into the middle of your shroud so they will miss you.
Note that this ability adds defensive bonuses, so use it against , or .
E: Crescent Slash
Akali flourishes her kamas, hitting nearby units for 30 / 55 / 80 / 105 / 130 physical damage (+30% of ability power) + 60% Attack Damage.
Cost 60 energy
As already explained, this should be taken solely as a farming ability or for harassment since the single target damage is pathetic. Rest: see above chapters.
You can trigger with it.
R: Shadow Dance
Akali moves through shadows to quickly strike her target, dealing 100 / 175 / 250 (+50% of ability power) magic damage.
Akali stores an Essence of Shadow on kills and assists as well as every 25 / 20 / 15 seconds up to 3 total.
Cost 1 Essence of Shadow
Note that this ability is instant. The travel time is extremely short. Using this, Akali attempts to melee the target and occasionally triggers . Combined, these two abilities are strong harassment.
You can chase enemies or prepare kills due to your slow from or .
You can juke enemies by using minions and/or using it on enemies that go straight for you (unless you would run into their turret).
You can also use this for damage / sustain if you really have to blow everything for a kill/to survive.
You should keep atleast 2 stacks before going in for a kill.
Using this ability does not cost energy. However, running out of stacks deprives you from chasing and some escape capabilities.
Note that kills and assists grant you additional stacks.
Skill OrderOf course whenever you can.
Should be picked and maxed first under any circumstances.
Should be maxed second, get it at 4.
Should be maxed last, unless you have to rely on the defensive bonuses it grants. Grab a point at level 2 and leave it there.
CombosMaximum single target burst:
wait for CD > > > AA > > AA > > > AA > >
Usual damage combo:
> > AA > (usually people retreat when you ignite them) >
Fast secure kill combo:
> > AA > >
> > AA > >
(wait CD) > > AA > > >
> > >
Provides you with mobility which can be abused to harass your opponent and sustains yourself with the potions.
If you have to fight hard to win your lane or you get stomped.
To utterly destroy your opponent if you have an advantage. This gives you even more burst and lets you destroy turrets faster if you have to. Cheap and strong. Builds into the most favorable .
For extra survivability. This item grants you the ability to tower dive more safely and survive a lot more, especially ganks or heavy nuke-dependant enemies. Build this early if you want to rush .
Gives you decent defense stats, exceptional chasing potential and a lot of damage. Whatever you build later, this combination makes it a lot stronger.
can replace , but consider picking up for additional HP, magic penetration and the passive.
- usual choice
- against multiple CC enemy team. (you shouldn't pick Akali then, but hey)
- against 3 AD enemies and if you have trouble against AD burst.
- 90% of what you do is single target. 90% of what you do is running towards squishy enemies while constantly hitting them. 95% of what you get out of it are 12% valuable movement speed.
For pure damage later on. Unlike other AP carries, Akali is not strictly dependant on building AP only. Increases autohit damage via . Rather focus on magic penetration when your opponents don't stack HP only.
Earlier, if your opponents stack magic resistance (120+). This item gives you a huge amount of damage since you barely get any magic penetration beyond that and Akalis base damage is quite high. Otherwise get it after .
Has been nerfed to a point where it is not mandatory to get it fast in mid game anymore. If you want to rush it, consider skipping because then you have a slow item active already.
Increases your late game damage - but it also screws squishy targets even faster. Another 5-10% damage in the same kill-timeframe, not even considering the magic penetration and the extra AP and survivability. Allround great item for Akali. Keep in mind, CC on your target has the highest effect.
It's great if you get focused a lot and give your team more time to get in position/help you if you have been caught and/or killed an enemy carry out of position. It gives you stats you want, the armor however is situative. The active can save your life against and similar abilities or and other dots and of course, after you finished their AD Carry in the middle of a teamfight.
Even more focus? Make yourself an undesirable target and passively improve your defense. If your main goal is to kill the enemy carry for whatever cost, you can nuke the crap out of him, die under great overkill of damage+CC and revive/escape afterwards.
This can be a great item against supression. Use your judgement when it is necessary to pick up. (it's usually not)
Final Build example:
Early GameAkali should go top lane or mid lane. I found her to be strongest top since she can deny more easily and the way to the enemy turret is longer so you can abuse your exceptional chasing capabilities.
You are best at early and mid game. Your goals in the laning phase are: defend your turret, denying your opponent farm and XP, farm as much as you can, don't push your lane, don't die in lane, kill your opponent several times - and if you are fed and farmed enough, destroy the enemy turret.
Akali is a great farming machine unless denied. You can lasthit 4 ways:
- melee attack: most common; does not push your lane hard and puts you in a certain risk since you have to get nearer to your opponent
- should be your last resort if you can't reach a minion or have to stay defensive because your lane opponent is very dominant
- +melee: pushes your lane but heals you. Especially if your enemy pushes your lane, use this to sustain yourself and protect your turret from harm.
- on multiple low hp minions. This results in pushing your lane hard.
You can use your to kill minions or get in range for your if your enemy is at base/under turret whole time and you have 3 stacks left, but only if you would miss CS.
If your enemy is frightened and spends the whole time under turret, occasionally gank other lanes or the enemy jungler if you have CV at your disposal. Akali is a 1v1 monster and can retreat easily if necessary.
You can harass three ways:
- constantly poke with
- use +trigger and and retreat within
- at level 6, use , wait for CD, , melee, , melee, retreat
Always make sure you win every trade-off by using and brushes. Shrug off minion aggro the same way.
You can also use in between your enemy and his minions to keep him from getting nearer.
Setting up a kill
You have to watch your opponents stats: how much sustain does he have (? ?), how much magic resistance (most important), and how much HP? I found enemies above the treshold of 40 magic resistance to be a very tough lane, below that it's usually no problem to win the lane. Watch how much damage you deal and how much you receive and estimate how many spells you'd have to use to establish a kill. If you are absolutely sure, use to procc your mastery talent and combo your enemy.
Counter Guide (Top)Very Easy:
Counter Guide (Mid)Very Easy:
Mid GameYou should concentrate on roaming if the opportunity arises, otherwise keep farming/deny your opponent further and/or destroy his turret/help push out other turrets.
Your top priority should be to mess up bottom lane since you can get 2 kills, dragon control and deny the enemy AD carry which is vital for your late game.
If dragon is up, you should concentrate on getting it, meaning you have to kill 1-2 important enemies like their jungler and AD carry. Dragon and Baron should be warded as well as key spots/buffs.
One of the teams should start roaming / running together so it may get hard for you to kill someone alone.
I usually spend alot of mid game killing people or help doing so, use every minute in which the enemy team does not run together in a group and pick up single targets whenever you can.
If you can, try to give some kills to your AD carry as long as the enemy can't escape.
Team FightsThere are 2 possibilities for you to start a teamfight:
- Wait after your team initiated and the enemy team used most part of their hard CC; dive in for their carries, especially AP carry in mid and AD carry in early game and crush them; if you get focused use and/or and keep yourself an escape route with
- if one of your opponents stays out of position and/or you're fed and confident, you can kill off one guy right away, hide in or escape with right away. Wait for your team to catch up and neutralize low % HP or high priority targets.
Your top priority is to stay alive and deal as much damage as possible. You can also bait your opponents into following you into jungle/shroud while your team finishes them.
Remember to heal up on a squishy target and/or minions if you have to back off.
You can also jump from different points of the teamfight if the enemy team splits using .
If you have completed you can also slow/kite chasers for some time. You can also set up kills for your team doing so.
Use on as many opponents as possible to hinder their movement.
Late GameSecure Baron, secure buffs, secure dragon. Catch of single opponents farming/pushing unless you don't know where the rest is.
Akali slightly falls off during late game. Stay alive under any circumstances and make sure you focus the right targets.
If you did your job, the enemy AD carry should be vastly inferior to yours and winning teamfights should be easy as long as you don't mess up with positioning and cooldowns (the whole team).
If you have an advantage/someone of their team died, push any lane as a team, most preferable mid and get those inhibitors off as early as you can.
Focus on ending (=winning) the game as early as you can.
Final CommentsGoodbye Summoners!
I hope you enjoyed it. Leave feedback in the comments below and like it if it helped you/you found the guide well :)
Feel free to ask questions if they occur.
If you really liked this guide, you can check out my others!
And remember: "Hesitation is the seed of defeat."