This is a guide for AP, a burst damage build to be the anti-carry. Unfortunately, a lot of the technique from playing her will only come with time and practice. However, I can point you in the right direction and hope that you can figure the rest of it out yourself.
Skills & Abilities
- (Passive) - AD gives you spell vamp, AP gives you more magic damage on you melee attacks. For this build we will be getting 10 AD and then maxing our AP.
- - Where your burst comes from. You throw it to mark the enemy. You melee to consume the mark, doing more damage on top of you melee. The buff lasts longer than the CD, which is key to remember for later.
- - Akali stealths while in here and gains a small armor & magic resist boost while inside. She does become revealed briefly to attack though. Great for running away and out juking your chasers in the jungle. Also works as a small snare when needed. Snare is light and the shroud costs a lot of energy and has a high cooldown, use it wisely.
- - Expensive but decent damage AoE. Best used on clearing creep waves.
- (Ultimate) - Incredible distance closer with very short cooldown. Only restriction is that she can at most do 3 shadow dances before waiting for another charge or getting a kill/assist.
While there are many different mastery set-ups you can go with for Akali, I go with a 15/15/0 build. Because she has no mana, about 1/3 of utility is useless. Instead I go for a nice balance of offense and defense. The key parts are free AP, % magic pen, 3 AD, improved spells, armor, dodge and dodge movement speed, reduced minion damage (for ambushing champions hiding behind minion waves), and bonus HP for early game.
- 3/3 Archmage's Savvy
- 1/1 Cripple
- 4/4 Sorcery
- 1/1 Archaic Knowledge
- 1/1 Burning Embers
- 2/3 Sunder
- 3/3 Brute Force
- 3/3 Hardiness
- 1/3 Resistance
- 4/4 Evasion
- 1/1 Nimbleness
- 1/3 Harden Skin
- 2/2 Defensive Mastery
- 3/4 Veteran's Scars
Just like masteries, there are variants that work just fine for Akali and I've gone through a few iterations myself this is what I use now.
- AD Quints
- 1 AD Mark
- Magic Pen Marks
- Dodge Seals
- MR/lvl Glyphs (CDR Glyphs work as well)
This provides me with her AD passive right at the start of the game without any items. There are other ways of building her masteries and runes that combine to get her passives, please feel free to experiment yourself and find out what works for you, but now you have a starting point.
I run withand as my spells since they both add to her burst assassin capabilities, increasing damage, getting that DoT on the 'one that barely escaped' or ensnaring the target to ensure he will not be able to escape in time.
Other useful ones areas an extra escape/closer and for mobility.
Like I stated at the start of the guide, this is an AP build so I will be focusing on maximizing her AP burst potential. Also, do note that her core only consists of boots + 2 items (3 with snowball), which means Akali can be quite flexible in how she is built.
- (gives you that staying power boost)
- (activate your 2nd passive)
- (only get this once you start doing well as Akali and expect a lot of kills for the match)
- (adds a snare to your , , and )
- Start placing s in key jungle spots if you haven't already
- You have to make a choice here, also you can finish your boots before you finish the scepter if needed
- if they have CC
- / if they don't have significant CC
That is her core, after this you can get defensive items according to what is killing you (, , etc) or specialized offensive items like:
- For those stacking light magic resistance or in need of light MR yourself.
- For high MR tanks.
- Used to be amazing (and nearly required) on Akali, but after the rework, it is only a decent option to increase her burst. Does wonders on destroying turrets though.
Last 2 items are a couple of possible choices. Also, Doran's Shield is always available for being sold late game.
Because she runs off energy and not mana, she is a great option to start mid and harass with herwhile last hitting minions. She can lane just as effectively with a propper lane partner. A third, and not addressed option is jungle Akali but that would require a whole new guide.
- Skill Order
- Mark of the Assassin
- Mark of the Assassin
Shadow Dance > Mark of the Assassin > Crescent Slash > Twilight Shroud
Last hitting minions should be easy with your AP passive adding dmg to you melee, save your Marks for harassing the opponent and trying to keep them away from the creep waves. Using youryou can effectively zone them away from the creeps and deny them XP, giving you an advantage. If they don't back off, then you get to punish them harshly by meleeing them with a mark on them and disappearing back into your shroud. Keep going back and forth between last hitting and harassing while also trying to keep your incoming damage to a minimum. Once you get level 6 and have 2+ Essence of Shadows (or they get to close to your shroud while at low HP) dash in and drop both summoner spells on them burst them dead.
At mid game, you should have or close to having your, the Red buff helps to so get that whenever you can. At this point you should be running back and forth between lanes and getting as many ganks as possible. Nobody should be able to beat you 1v1 at this point so they're all free kills. With proper usage, you can even tower dive pretty effectively.
One advanced trick is using the short Mark CD compared to the debuff length (told you to remember that). During the process of harassing your opponent with, once they get to about half HP you can throw your mark and wait for the CD to be almost up. At that point you then in, consume the mark, mark them again right after and melee again for another mark consumption. The burst you get from doing this is borderline OP and can really catch people with their pants down.
One key aspect and one of her few disadvantages is that Akali is pretty weak to AoE and in teamfights. She's great for running in and doing clean up and catching the runners. But diving head first into a teamfight will get her killed 80% of the time. What you do want to do is try to flank them from the side and drop their carry fast before he/she can destroy your team. Keep the creep waves moving to your advantage and wipe out large enemy creep waves with your.
Remember that with this build you will destroy opposing carries and squishies. You can burst down a decent chunk of tank HP (if they build properly) but don't be surprised when he doesn't die from your combos.
Also remember yourhas a pretty good ranged snare on it (if you have ) for escaping and helping teammates escape.