Akali Champion Guide - Guide for League of Legends

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Hello, I'm CheezWhizX. My ingame name is Vave and I've been playing League of
Legends since December 2009. I'm currently playing on the NA servers and reached
1500 ELO during Season 2. Currently, I am 1700 ELO in Season 3. I've been
playing Akali since she was released and have been playing her through all of
her buffs and nerfs. She's my favorite champion and that's why I'm writing a
guide for her.

This guide is intended for people interested in learning how to play Akali. I
will already assume you know the basic mechanics of League of Legends, which
includes but isn't limited to: terminology, hotkeys, movement, and last
hitting. This guide will also assume you are Lv. 30, are able to afford the
runes, and are fill out the mastery page completely. This guide is mainly
inteded for playing on the 5v5 map of Summoner's Rift, but can be applied to
some degree of success to Twisted Treeline and Dominion.


Akali is a high-risk but high-reward AP assassin. Akali has some of the highest
damage potential in the game, but risk is she has to go in melee range. With
her base stats being average-slightly above average across the board, going
into melee range is dangerous for her. Luckily, she comes equipped with an
array of defensive tools, including stealth, an armor/magic resistance buff,
and innate life steal and spell vamp. She also utilizes the Energy resource
which has it's benefits and drawbacks.

Akali has a good early game and decent lategame, but her true power lies within
her ability to completely dominate mid game. Typically, mid game is the point
where a lot of champions are still trying to farm up and obtain items in order
to play for the later game, but Akali is generally excluded from this. Her base
abilities' damage coupled with how well she can synergize with 1 or 2 items
allows her to take on nearly any champion 1v1 and come out winning.

Akali is generally taken top, but recently has had a surge of popularity in
playing mid lane. Rarely, you can even see her in the jungle or in a kill lane
bottom. This guide will be focusing on the top lane match-up.


As of January 9th, 2013, Akali's base stats and abilities are as followed:

HEALTH: 445 (+85 per level)
HEALTH REGENERATION: 7.25 (+0.05 per level)
RANGE: 125
ATTACK DAMAGE: 53 (+3.2 per level)
ATTACK SPEED: 0.694 (+3.1% per level)
ARMOR: 16.5 (+3.5 per level)
MAGIC RESISTANCE: 30 (+1.25 per level)


PASSIVE - Twin Disciples

"Discipline of Force: Upon obtaining 19.5 ability power, Akali's auto attacks
deal 7.916% bonus magic damage, increasing by 1% for every 6 ability power
gained thereafter. (This bonus damage affects all targets, including

"Discipline of Might: Upon obtaining 9.5 bonus attack damage, Akali gains
7.916% spell vamp, increasing by an additional 1% for every 6 attack damage
gained thereafter."

This passive is what allows Akali to synergize so incredibly well and output a
lot of single target damage with only 1 or 2 items. This passive provides her
with extra magic damage as well as spell vamp, which allows you to regenerate
health when fighting or last hitting. However, the drawback to this passive is
you need to dedicate specific runes and masteries to Akali in order to activate
this passive at level 1.

Q - Mark of the Assassin

RANGE: 600
COOLDOWN: 6/5.5/5/4.5/4
COST: 60 Energy
INITIAL MAGIC DAMAGE: 45/70/95/120/145 (+40% of AP)
MAGIC DAMAGE AFTER HIT: 90/140/190/240/290 (+80% of AP)
ENERGY RESTORE: 15/20/25/30/35

"Akali throws her kama at a target enemy, dealing magic damage and marking the
target for 6 seconds. Akali's basic attacks or Crescent Slashes against a
marked target will consume the mark, dealing the same damage again and
restoring energy to Akali."

Mark of the Assassin is Akali's bread and butter ability. This ability has a
multitude of uses, such as last hitting, harassment in the top and mid lane, the
ability to spell vamp and thus regenerate health from it, and is her highest
bursting skill. Luckily, with the way energy regeneration works, you are more or
less able to spam this ability over and over without running out of energy. The
incredible scaling on this ability and it's rather high base damage is also
what let's Akali have such high damage potential.

W - Twilight Shroud

RANGE: 700
COST: 80/75/70/65/60 Energy
SLOW: 14%/18%/22%/26%/30%

"Akali creates a smoke cloud in the target 300-diameter area for 8 seconds.
While within the cloud, Akali is granted stealth, and bonus armor and magic
resistance. Attacking or using abilities reveals her for 0.5 seconds. Enemies
inside the smoke suffer slowed movement."

Twilight Shroud is Akali's only defensive ability, but it's really all she
needs. Her ability to stealth on will is an incredible tool that allows her to
trade really well early game when your opponents do not have the resources to
afford a pink ward or Oracle's. This ability is also great for escapes and
retreats, as well as keeping on the enemy via the slow. You always want to fight
an enemy in the sdhroud if possible. An extra 10-50 armor and magic resistance
nothing to scoff at. If you're able to, you'd also want to place the shroud
before the enemy decides to harass you with an ability in order to take less

E - Crescent Slash

RANGE: 325
COOLDOWN: 7/6/5/4/3
COST: 60/55/50/45/40 Energy
PHYSICAL DAMAGE: 30/55/80/105/130 (+30% of AP) (+60% of AD)

"Akali flourishes her kamas, dealing physical damage and triggering any Marks of
the Assassin on nearby enemies."

This ability used to be considered a waste of energy on Akali until they buffed
it by allowing it to trigger Marks of the Assassin. Now, it's an essential part
of her burst combo, as well as a good farming tool. A thing to note about this
ability is that it's physical damage, meaning it's incredible hard to build
defensively against Akali due to her ability to output both magical and physical

R - Shadow Dance

RANGE: 800
COOLDOWN: 2/1.5/1
COST: 1 Essence of Shadow
MAGIC DAMAGE: 100/175/250

"Akali uses an Essence of Shadow, dashing to and dealing magic damage to a
enemy. Akali gains an Essence of Shadow periodically, affected by cooldown
reduction, up to a maximum of 3. Additionally, Akali gains an Essence of Shadow
for each kill or assist she obtains."

This ability is what allows Akali to be the assassin she is. This ability
provides a decent amount of damage, but more importantly allows Akali to chase
down her targets with incredible ease. Even better, the dash will reset upon a
kill or assist, potentially enabling Akali to ult around for a good amount of
time. This ability also allows her to juke extremely well via dashing to creeps
or other enemy champions in order to escape. However, this ult has Akali deal
with another resource system, making it a bit tricky to handle.


R > Q > E > W

The reasoning behind this skill build is that Akali's job is to do damage, plain
and simple. By maxing Q and E first over W, you maximize Akali's damage
as early as possible. The stealth is really all you need out of W, the defensive
bonuses are just a plus and the slow is redundant when you get your ultimate. Of
course, we take the ultimate at every point possible.




Flash is pretty much a required spell on everyone. It just has so many uses:
Escaping, Getting over walls, Flashing out of abilities, etc.


This adds a bit of true damage to your arsenal, but more importantly, it's use
activates the Summoner's Wrath mastery, which adds +5 AD and AP to you when
Ignite is on cooldown. This is usually what accompanies Flash.


In the top-lane, you're incredible far from bot lane, so having teleport on hand
to counteract a gank or dragon is an incredible tool.


Cleanse is very strong if you against a champion whose main damage source comes
after a hard CC, such as Jax or Kennen. You may want this if they have a
who is able to disrupt you in teamfights constantly, such as Amumu or Morgana.


If you find yourself facing a hard match-up with a heavy burster, Exhaust may be
beneficial if you can time it well. Otherwise, it isn't recommended to take this
over any of the above 4.


+175 HEALTH AT LV. 18

x7 Greater Marks of Damage
x2 Greater Marks of Magic Penetration
x9 Greater Seal of Scaling Health
x9 Greater Glyph of Ability Power
x3 Greater Quintessance of Ability Power

This is typically the rune page that most Akali players utilize. This is to
maximize Akali's damage potential by allowing her to activate both of her
passives at level 1. I personally utilize Health per level Seals mainly because
Akali's base stats in both Magic Resistance and Armor aren't TOO bad, with the
added bonus of having bonus armor and magic resistance in her shroud. If you
want, you can switch out the Seals for whatever you like (such as flat Armor,
flat Magic Resistance, etc.). It's really personal preference.




1/1 Summoner's Wrath
4/4 Sorcery
4/4 Blast
1/1 Arcane Knowledge
3/3 Havoc
2/2 Brute Force
1/1 Spellsword
4/4 Archmage
1/1 Executioner


4/4 Durability
1/3 Hardiness
3/3 Resistance
1/1 Veteran's Scars

This is my most utilized mastery build. This gives Akali a good amount of
offensive power as well as giving her a bit of defense. The 2 points in Brute
Force are especially important because that talent, coupled with the runes
allow Akali to activate Discipline of Might at level 1 without any items. The
runes chosen in the defense tree are interchangeable. Depending on your personal
preference and and lane match up, you may wish to go 3/3 in hardiness or 3/3 in
Perseverance, the health regeneration mastery.




1/1 Summoner's Wrath
4/4 Sorcery
4/4 Blast
1/1 Arcane Knowledge
3/3 Havoc
2/2 Brute Force
1/1 Spellsword
4/4 Archmage
1/1 Executioner


1/1 Summoner's Insight
3/3 Wanderer
1/1 Improved Recall
3/3 Mastermind
1/1 Biscuiteer

This mastery build is more for defensive purposes. You get a free potion at the
start of the game, as well as a faster recall and more movement speed. Also, if
you enjoy utilizing Flash more often, this build shaves off around 40ish seconds
off the 300 second cooldown. Really, the masteries here can be changed around a
bit like putting points into the item active cooldown one. Overall, I wouldn't
recommend using this mastery build very often, since it's more technical and
requires a bit more knowledge of the game than if you're just learning.


NOTE: There are no set item builds for ANY champion. This is just a guideline of
what you can build if the game is going smoothly without anything happening. If
you feel as though you need defensive items, don't try and rush that Rabadon's
Deathcap before a GA and so on.


Boots of Speed
x3 Health Potions

This start is mainly if you need that extra movement speed to dodge skill shots
or you feel you don't need the extra sustain. This used to be the mandatory
for nearly all champions during Season 2, but Season 3 shifted some of the
movement speed on this item to every champion's base movement speed, so this
isn't as mandatory. It's still the most preferable item if you are facing
burst damage, however.

Crystalline Flask
x5 Health Potions
x1 Sight Ward

This start is the safest start. It's great for anyone just learning to play
and needs a crutch. This start provides an incredible amount of sustain as well
as an early ward to catch junglers with. It may seem like a waste to buy
Flask when it regenerates mana, but it's still cost effective even if it only
regenerates health. This combo is also great if you feel as though you're laning
with a strong early-game harasser.

Cloth Armor
x5 Health Potions

This start is mainly for Akali in the top lane when she's facing a strong,
physical harasser such as Jayce or Darius. The extra armor, however, usually
isn't worth it compared to the Boots or Flask start, but if you feel you need
it, it's always an option.

x13 Health Potions


x9 Health Potions
x2 Sight Wards

This start is basically an all or nothing start vs. heavy harassment. While
starts do provide an incredible amount of sustain (2500 or so extra health), if
you fall behind with these items, it's going to be very difficult to climb back


When you've farmed a bit and maybe even got a kill or two, you should go back
and make your first purchases. Besides wards and health potions, here's a list
of good items for your first buys. Of course, if you can't afford the item, you
can always buy the parts leading up the item.


Sorcerer's Shoes


Mercury Treads

These are the two shoes you should be looking at to build as Akali. Sorcerer's
Shoes are generally the to-go item as Magic Penetration is an incredible stat
what it does and allows Akali to do even more damage. Mercury Treads are for
those situations where your opponent bought a pink ward and has enough CC to
counter your high burst with. It also provides a decent amount of magic

Hextech Revolver

This is a key item in Akali's build. Not only does it build into Hextech
Gunblade, but it also provides a good amount of spell vamp and AP that allows
to sustain in lane even further, adding on to your passive.


Haunting Guise

This item is ridiculously good early game if you can afford it. It has a good
amount of magic penetration (which is now much stronger due to Season 3 changes)
and gives a bit of health and AP to boot. If you intend on snowballing hard or
having the tankiness and damage output to trade well with the bruisers up to,
consider buying this item.

Mejai's Soulstealer

If you're just running train on the enemy team as Akali, I recommend this item.
This item is looked down upon for being a pubstomper item that literally is
off snowballing, but that's essentially Akali. By no means is this item core on
Akali, but consider that Mejai's becomes worth it's price with only 5 stacks.


THis is the part where Akali starts to shine. All she really needs is one or two
items to get going and being able to outburst nearly anyone in the game.
Consider the following for those one or two items.


Hextech Gunblade

This is, by far, the single best item on Akali in the game. It provides
everything that Akali needs: Burst, Spell Vamp, Lifesteal, AD, AP, and a Slow.
It's ridiculous how well Akali can synergize with this item. This item should be
your first completed item with Akali.


Abyssal Scepter

This item synergizes extremely well if you built Sorcerer's Shoes and/or
Guise. The magic resistance reduction that you provide can make you hit nearly
true damage with your abilities. It also gives a good amount of AP and magic
resistance. Consider building this vs. an AP-heavy team.

Deathfire's Grasp

This item makes Akali's burst insane. With this, your already strong burst
becomes strong enough to finish off anyone in 1-2 combos. If you're snowballing
hard, consider this.

Twin Shadows

This is a really underrated item in general. While it gives a decent amount of
magic resistance and ability power, it's true strength lies in the movement
speed bonus and active. It's active sends out two ghosts that look for enemies,
even through fog of war and not only reveal them, but slow them as well. If
you roam a lot as Akali, consider this item to make your roaming much stronger.


Here is where Akali's power starts to diminish. She still has a strong burst
overall, but really everyone starts to have the damage and tankiness to contend
with her. Besides getting more of the above items, consider these to make
lategame easier.

Rabadon's Deathcap

If you feel as though you aren't doing enough damage as Akali, this item easily
doubles your total AP and makes you hit like a truck. However, the Season 3
nerf hit it hard and you may want to consider more defensive item options.

Zhonya's Hourglass

This is a great second buy if teamfights start to break out frequently. Being
able to jump into teamfights and burst their AD carry, then Zhonya's for
invincibility is incredible. The armor it offers is good for surviving well and
it gives a good amount of AP. Personally, this is usually my second choice of
item after Hextech.

Void Staff

With the way magic penetration was changed, Void Staff became much stronger.
this, you'll still be able to hit your opponents hard even if they build magic
resistance. Coupled with Abyssal Scepter, Haunting Guise, and Sorcerer's Shoes,
consider yourself to be doing true damage.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter

This item makes Akali extremely tanky and basically ensures that her target will
never be able to get away. I find the slow redundant due to Twilight Shroud's
slow and her ability to stick on people regardless of their movement speed, but
who knows? You may need the extra tankiness to survive, especially in a meta
where high-health bruisers are running around.

Lich Bane

This item sounds like it synergizes well with Akali, so why is it not core?
That's mainly because the mana is wasted on Akali and her burst is already
enough without having to drop 3,000 gold on this item. But it does make her
stronger and the movement speed bonus is always a plus.

Guardian's Angel

Akali is going to be in the middle of teamfights very often, so having a GA on
hand to revive her is going to help a lot. The resistances aren't much, but even
if you revive at 30%, her ability to get back to full health via spell vamp and
life steal is incredible.



vs. Akali

This is a straight-up skill match up. Basically, whoever can get the first kill
usually wins the lane. Try getting an early Vision Ward to counteract her

vs. Cho'Gath

You want to take him out early and reach level 6 before he does if possible. If
you simply let Cho'Gath farm and turn the lane into a farm lane, he WILL scale
much stronger than you going into lategame. Burst him down before he buys any
defensive items.

vs. Darius

This match-up is very rough for Akali. Darius has his AOE and pull to mess you
up, even if you're in Twilight Shroud. Even at Lv. 6, Darius easily has the
burst potential to put you down. Your jungler is really what makes or breaks
this match-up.

vs. Gangplank

This is a really easy match-up. His Parrrley does outrange your Mark of the
Assassin, however, so be wary of that. Gangplang is really weak without items,
however, so he's simply food for Akali at level 6.

vs. Garen

This is another match-up that Akali should dread. Not only does Garen's silence
prevent you from stealthing or jumping away, but his spin damage and execution
ult can easily kill you considering Akali's base armor. His innate sustain and
incredible tankiness from his W also make him very hard to harass and burst
Do not expect to win this match-up without assistance from your jungler.

vs. Irelia

You're going to want to kill her early game, a lot. Without significant items,
Irelia is
much less of a threat, but once she's able to start building tankier and
do not consider yourself able to win 1v1 with her.

vs. Jarvan IV

This is another skill match-up. Jarvan has a lot of early game strength and a
good amount of tankiness to back that up. While your ult CAN counter his ult by
your dashing away, you should be wary while fighting him.

vs. Jax

Jax's ability to dodge prevents you from being able to burst him effectively.
to mention his tankiness and straight insane-damage output. Don't expect to win
this lane very often. You're going to want to try and harass him with Mark of
the Assassin as often as possible. Jax's only way to trade back is to jump on
you, which you can counter with stealth.

vs. Jayce

Another strong top-laner. I used to think Akali stomps Jayce, but now I see it
more of a skill match-up. Jayce's ranged early game will cripple you if you
get anywhere near him. Luckily, your Mark outranges his ranged attacks, so abuse
this to your advantage. Jayce isn't innately tanky either, so consider trying to
kill him once you get your ult and before Jayce gets his AD items. Shadow Dash
also counters Jayce's only ways to to escape (his knockback and movement speed
bonus), so keep that in mind.

vs. Kayle

This is a rather uncommon match-up because Kayle doesn't see much play. Early
game, you do have the damage to straight-up kill Kayle, even if she ults. She
doesn't have the damage to fight back until she gets her items.

vs. Kennen

A battle of ninja. Kennen's incredible CC allows him to easily take-on Akali in
a straight up fight. Unfortunately, all of his abilties can hit you despite
stealth, so be wary stealthing near him.

vs. Kha'Zix

His burst is INSANE. In fact, I consider Kha'Zix one of the few champions able
outburst Akali. If you can, try to hit Level 6 before he does. Kha'Zix needs a
few seconds to add a point in from his ultimate to his other skills, so try to
exploit this.

vs. Lee Sin

Lee Sin straight up counters Akali. His damage and tankiness early game allow
to easily trade with you and two of his abilities reveal you in stealth. He also
has access to nearly as many ways to retreat as you do to chase him. Sit back
and try to farm as much as possible.

vs. Malphite

Malphite's shield is annoying, but you can spam Mark all day against him. His
level 6 burst is something to be wary of, however.

vs. Mordekaiser

Before Mordekaiser gets any tanky items, he's pretty much food for Akali.
Depending on his summoner spells, however, be careful trying to kill him at
6. His ult + ignite is a significant amount of damage and Akali doesn't have the
means to mitigate it very much.

vs. Nasus

Nasus loses lane to practically everyone. Akali isn't an exception. Kill him as
much as possible early game, because he can scale ridiculously into lategame.

vs. Nidalee

A skill match-up. Back in season 1, the best Akali (Westrice) and the best
Nidalee (HotshotGG) faced off 1v1 and Hotshot ended up winning. There's been
signifcant changes to both champions since then. If Nidalee is smart and builds
tanky vs. you, don't expect to be doing a lot of damage vs. her.

vs. Riven

Riven's kit allows her to fight Akali very well. Her on-demand stun can mitigate
Akali's burst very well. Try harassing her from ranged and going for the kill
when she's low.

vs. Olaf

Another hard match-up. Because of how Olaf can straight build health, the one
thing that can nerf Akali's burst hard, he ends up being a hard match-up. Count
on your jungler for this one.

vs. Pantheon/Renekton

You're not going to fight either of these two unless you're absolutely sure you
can 100-0 them quickly. They both have abilities that cut through your stealth,
stuns to keep you in place, and gap closers to make harassing from ranged not a
possibility. Another one to count on your jungler for.

vs. Rengar

An easy match-up since Rengar's nerfs. He doesn't have the damage to put you
or the tankiness to stop you from bursting him.

vs. Rumble

Hard match-up with all of Rumble's abilities. However, he relies on sustain
you rely on burst. You CAN outburst him, but don't expect to win any fights if
the fight drags on.

vs. Shen

His tankiness and damage output early game as strong and unfortunately, you do
not have any abilities to shut down his Stand United. This lane will probably
turn to a farm lane unless you can lane a kill on him.

vs. Singed

One of Akali's easiest match-ups. You simply crush him early game enough so that
he's unable to work his way into lategame. He has no signicant abilities that
outdamage you, so feel free to kill him as much as you can.

vs. Teemo

Another easy match-up, although this can rely on the skill of the Teemo. Try
baiting his blind so you can go in and burst him with your full combo. Teemo has
no escapes, so exploit this as hard as you can.

vs. Vladimir

Fortunately, neither of you have the damage to put down the other early game,
once you hit level 6, Vladimir is food. His sustain does not help him against
your incredible burst and his only escape is countered by your 3 gap closers.

vs. Warwick

He's a rough match-up. He has the ability to heal for a truckload and wear you
down until he can ult in for the kill. It's worse if he builds Spirit Visage.
Take advantage of the fact you have a ranged ability and he doesn't.

vs. Wukong

He hits hard. Very hard. Good for you though, because Wukong is one of the few
champions that actually doesn't have some sort of sustain. He does have a gap
closer and make sure you don't accidentally burst down his clone. His ultimate
a strong disengage or engage, so be careful of it. It can hit you through

vs. Xin Zhao

Because Xin Zhao relies on auto attacks, your stealth is a very good tool
against him. He doesn't have burst to contend with you, nor does he have any
real escapes.

vs. Yorick

This lane is living hell. He has the sustain and damage to put you away very
easily. Nothing to really say except hope your jungler comes along often.


NOTE: While a lot of top lane match-ups are hard for Akali, you have to
remember these
are based around a even-skill scenario. The better player will usually win the


As Akali, there are a couple of things that are expected of you:

-Kill the opposing laner as often as possible
-Roam around and gank
-Have the ability to strike down the squishy but important targets in teamfights

A thing to note is at Level 6 is where you make one of your first major choices:
Whether or not your can burst down your opponent. If you can't, that's basically
your cue to go and roam around. If you can, try to get as many kills as possible
from your opponent before starting to roam.

As Akali, you may or may not be dominating your lane. Regardless, your lane
opponent will most likely be trying to freeze the lane at his tower, so use
this time to roam around. Push your lane hard and constantly be on the move.
to mid and bot. Even your mere presence can force a lane to miss CS if the lane
pushed to your side's towers. Akali can reach some incredible damage ranges with
only 1-2 items, so farming isn't as important for you as, say, the AD carry. I
cannot stress this enough, you want to roaming around as Akali. I've seen too
many Akalis that don't push their kill advantages to other lanes or don't
that even if they're behind in their lane, they can go to other lanes and still
kill them.

Lategame is where you make it or break it as a great Akali. Being able to dive
their AD carry and make it out alive is a miracle in itself. However, if you can
trade yourself for their farmed AD carry, go for it. This may leave you dead,
this leaves your team with an AD carry and the enemy team AD carry-less.


Hopefully you have learned a bit more on playing Akali today. I do plan to
this guide more, such as going more in-depth on match-ups and the playstyles of
mid Akali, when I do have the time. If I did make any mistakes, please message
and I'll try my best to fix it. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to
read my guide!



For having a good amount of in-depth info on Akali and all the other champions,
including their base damages, base stats, ratios, etc.


For being a great game. Special thanks to the forums for having odd bits of
like general opinions on lane match-ups and various graphs and charts!

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