IntroductionAkali is a great early game champion that has great chase and escape mechanisms. Akali shouldn't be picked in draft mode all the time, because depending on what the opposing team gets, Akali may not contribute to anything end game (Hard stuns or team too tanky).
She is sort of the "clean-up killer" and the "KSer." Extremely high damage output if built right but is easily shut down when it comes to Oracles. Akali should probably never be built as AD, only enough AD to activate her passive. Other than that, Akali's damage output is mainly through AP. Akali is one of the most underrated champions in the game that has so much potential if played right.
Akali destroys any sort of squishies, so she is best picked last. If she is picked in draft mode too early, they will counter her very easily. So if you're top pick and you want to play Akali, request a trade for someone lower in the list if possible.
Additionally, when someone calls you a "KSer" when you're Akali, just scold them and let them with a comeback "KS = Kill Secured."
text by Westrice
Akali NEEDS her passives to be strong. You have a minimum of 20 AP through runes for her magic damage passive, and a minimum of 10 AD from runes ans masteries. Doran's blade may work if you don't have the minimum 10 AD maybe because you don't have enough IP to buy AD runes. Akali is probably the only champion in the game that may require her own rune page (that is if you want to start boots).
Get flat AP runes because you need to do a lot of damage early game. It is really important to land those Q abilities on creeps for when you're getting zoned out, and the extra AP provides this. Also, your Q + autoattack will do an insane amount of burst damage if your opponent ever decides to get up close to you.
Usually with this rune setup, if anyone ever tries to get near you, you will punish them by taking 1/3 of their hp in one combo (before 6). But depending on your play style, you may want to get AP/lvl if you decide you want to play a bit more defensively before level 6.
Seals are generally optional for Akali. I like to get the extra HP from HP/lvl seals because I honestly like having more heath bars than 4. Its obviously more intimidating to have 5 bars of HP on Akali than 4.
With this rune setup, you will have 19 AP, meaning you will get your offensive "red glow" passive at level 2, where you should be harassing the enemy at this point (because of Q and your shroud).
Get ignite because it really helps with your burst early game, also important to finish enemys and escape. (for example if enemy jungler is incoming)
Passive: Twin Disciplines
It's best to have both passives as early as level 2 so you can focus on core items rather than having to go a different direction just to cope with it (follow my rune page and masteries page). Healing passive and damage passive is crucial for Akali in laning phase, both survivability and damage output.
Q: Mark of the Assassin
This skill is your primary damage ability, alongside with your R ability. It's focused on your ability power and does an insane amount of burst. The mistake that most people make is using Q and then instantly using R, arriving at your opponent too early resulting in a wasted auto attack and a late Q trigger.
The cooldown on this move is short. And the duration of the mark on the enemy is higher than its cooldown by a few seconds. So to surprise your opponent and fully use your damage output, do this: Mark your target, wait for the cooldown to be finished, use your ultimate, trigger Mark, Mark again, trigger second Mark. You bascially trigger your Q move twice under a second.
Great alongside with Rylai's Crystl Scepter both for catching a fleeing enemy or if you are fleeing away yourself.
W: Twilight Shroud
It's good for almost all situations. Just be careful, when you use it carelessly and get caught with your pants down because your shroud is on cooldown, you're forced to either use your ultimate (most cases, you wouldn't ulti at their minions towards their tower) or worse case scenario, flash. Use Shroud to last hit minions if you find yourself getting stomped by your lane opponent. And if you control the lane, use Shroud to push your opponent back out of XP range. Use Shroud on the edge of brushes to highly increase your juking. If they try to find you, their going to be near your shroud and not on the very end of the brush that that Shroud was attached to.
Once again, don't keep spamming this move because you're going to eventually need it when you're getting ganked. Also, Shroud increases your MR and Armor, so sit in your shroud when Garen spins near you, a tower shoots you, or if Karthus is using his Ulti.
And lastly, while in a lane, when you use Shroud to run towards your opponent to Mark them with your Q ability, run away while you're still temporarily visible. And then the INSTANT you become invisible again, you run back towards them to get a close shot to trigger your Mark. You run away while visible in shroud to make them think that you're retreating, but when you go invisible again, run back towards them to trigger your Q. It's fun when it works out in the end.
Akali will continue to auto attack as long as she is UNCLOAKED in the shroud. However, if she becomes CLOAKED note that she will STOP auto attacking, which can mess up your combos at times (primarily your Q+hit)
E: Crescent Slash
This move is usually only good for farming. Never spam this move when you're chasing someone or in a big team fight, because before you know it, you barely did any damage with it and you just wasted all of your energy. But it is also very situational to use it to gank someone, unless you absolutely know you're going to kill that person under 5 seconds, then knock yourself out using E for that mini damage.
Keep using this move to a minimum in team fights. Your Q does 5x more damage than your E and also does not refund energy.
R: Shadow Dance
This is a great juking and magical damage ability. When used in combination of "Mark of the Assassin," make sure you wait half a second before leaping at your enemy with R, because if you leap in too soon after a Mark, your Mark wont trigger until after your second auto attack, assuming you want to attack right away.
Make sure you don't spam this move, especially early game, because the refresh timer on an additional Essence of Shadow is very long (at most 20s). Ganking with only one Essence of Shadow in most cases would be a bad idea, because you won't have a second to when they Flash/Ghost. Keep in mind you gain an additional Essence of Shadow for a Kill/Assist too. Later into the game, you can use this ability on creeps or other enemy champions to catch a wounded champion.
Akali is a great 1v1 Champion. Use Shroud efficiently while 1v1. Your Q is your MAIN source of damage. So Q then auto attack your opponent, hide in shroud and wait for Q cooldown, then you Q and autoattack again.
Akali is never a 5v5 team fight initiator, unless you are absolutely CERTAIN that they don't have an Oracle. Still very risky, but its better in few cases if you want to kill off one of the easy squishies in the front.
Tower diving with flash can sometimes have a good outcome, Especially because your Ultimate makes you leap at them. Q your opponent, wait for the Q cooldown, R your opponent, trigger 1st Q Mark, Q your opponent again, trigger 2nd Mark. After that, your opponent should be dead. Don't dive with them being over 50% HP, unless its a squishy Kog'Maw.
(Akali General Combos):
Setup Full Burst Combo: (Q) + (wait for CD) + (R) + (auto hit) + (Q) + (auto hit) + (E)
-Usually not good in teamfights.
-Only in a duel most of the time when the enemy doesn't see it coming.
Quick Poke Far Range: (R) + (Q) + (autohit) + (E)
-When you're desperate to kill off someone.
-Instant R then Q. Most general combo.
Kill Running Enemy No Ulti: (Q) + (wait .5 seconds) + (flash onto enemy) + (auto hit) + (E)
-When you have no ult charges left.
-Use only if guaranteed a kill. Otherwise not worth it to burn flash.
-Sort of hard to do, so get used to doing this.
How I do: (Q) + (R) + (autohit) + (E)
-If the enemy could stun you by engaging with Q, you can also (R) + (Q) + (E) for being faster