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League of Legends Guide to Akali

by: Gabriel Rose ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

This 7-page guide goes into great detail on how to play the League of Legends Champion Akali. Master the art of the shadow, and strike from darkness as the sexy yet deadly champion Akali.

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    League of Legends Akali Guide

    League of Legends   League of Legends is a realtime strategy "defend your castle" type PvP game developed by Riot Games. Based off of the incredibly popular Defense of the Ancients Warcraft III map, League of Legends is an intense strategy PvP game that can be incredibly complex init's character building system. There are currently 70 different Champions to play as, each with their own unique playstyle and look. Asyou play through the game, you accumulate gold used to buy different items at the store. This guide will feature the Champion Akali, and the different League of Legends builds she has. Akali is unique in that you can run in two different directions with her build, and still end up with a pretty similar endpoint in the way of damage output. The differences you'll notice come in the side-effects of the various items you'll take in each of Akali's respective League of Legends builds.

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    League of Legends: Akali Champion Skills

    In League of Legends, Akali needs to use her skills as much as possible to survive. Her passive makes her incredibly versatile in how she can be played, and her ultimate turns her into a fantastic chaser. It is almost impossible to get away from an Akali who has all of her Shadow Dance tokens.

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    Passive Abilities

    These abilities don't need to be actively used, and apply passive bonuses to your champion.
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    Twin Disciplines

    • Twin Disciplines   When Akali gets her inital 20 Ability Power (AP), her physical attacks begin to do 10% bonus magic damage. This damage increases by 1% for every 5 AP gained thereafter. When Akali gets an Attack Damage (AD) bonus of 10, she gets 10% Spell Vamp. This increases by 1% for ever 5 AD gained thereafter.

      Akali's passive allows you to swing either way with an AP build or an AD build. Some people even prefer to create a hybrid build, but I'll explain the problems with that later on. No matter what build you decide to run with, you'll be looking to get your inital passives activated as soon as possible.

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      Active Abilities

      This is the meat of your character. It's absolutely vital to use your skills as often as you can. Akali's skills consume Energy, which is different from mana in that you get 100 Energy that regenerates quickly.

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      Mark of The Assassin

      Mark of the Assassin  

      • Akali throws her kama at a target, dealing 25 + (Rank * 25) magical damage. The mark stays on the target for 6 seconds, and if Akali lands an attack within that timeframe, the mark is consumed, causing 25 + (Rank * 25) damage to the target, and restoring 15 + (5 * Rank) energy to Akali.

        This skill will become the first you use when chaining your abilities together for a kill. The mark will cause initial damage, and when you use Shadow Dance to close the gap between you and your enemy, you will do a ton of bonus damage and gain almost all of the energy you used back. This makes for a great harassing skill in the beginning of the game, and will often times prevent the enemy champion laning with you from farming.

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        Twilight Shroud

        • Twilight Shroud   Akali places what is a essentially a portable bush for 8 seconds. While inside the shroud, Akali gains bonus armor and magical resistance, all while becoming stealthed. Enemies are slowed when they enter the shroud by 10 + (Rank * 4) percent.

          Twilight Shroud is an incredibly useful skill for routing and escaping enemies. Akali becomes unstealthed for a short period of time when she uses a skill or attacks. Even so, this makes fighting her inside of her shroud incredibly difficult, as auto-attack will not function correctly when she is constantly disappearing for short periods of time. Often times you can drop a shroud near an actual bush when you're low on health, and you enemy will assume that you are trying to escape through the bush. Another tactic is to drop a shroud on yourself, and wait for your enemy to go through the shroud, as he assumes you will run away from him. As soon as he has gone through the shroud, run in the opposite direction.

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          Crescent Slash

          • Crescent Slash   Akali brandishes her kamas, dealing physical damage to all enemies around her based on her AD and AP. Base damage dealt is 30/55/80/105/130 depending on rank.

            Crescent Slash is the ability that is going to get you all of your gold once you raise it a couple of ranks. With this ability, Akali can essentially take out an entire group of minions with one click. While you won't be focused on getting this to a very high rank right in the beginning of the game, it becomes very important when you get closer to midgame.

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            Shadow Dance

            • Shadow Dance   Akali dashes through the shadows to strike a target, consuming an Essence of Shadow and dealing 100/175/250 magic damage depending on rank. Akali gains an Essence of Shadow for every kill and assist, as well as every few seconds.

              What makes this ability so devastating is the fact that it's cooldown time is less than a second. At maximum rank, Shadow Dance does a large chunk of damage, and has a huge range of 800. This allows you to chase down and kill almost every champion before they can get back to safety. This is especially useful for ganking support champions hiding behind turrets / enemy tanks.

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              Akali's Character Bio

              "There exists an ancient order originating in the Ionian Isles dedicated to the preservation of balance. Order, chaos, light, darkness -- all Akali   things must exist in perfect harmony for such is the way of the universe. This order is known as the Kinkou and it employs a triumvirate of shadow warriors to uphold its causes in the world. Akali is one of these shadow warriors, entrusted with the sacred duty of Pruning the Tree - eliminating those who threaten the equilibrium of Valoran. A prodigal martial artist, Akali began training with her mother as soon as she could make a fist. Her mother's discipline was relentless and unforgiving, but predicated on the fundamental principle: ''We do that which must be done.'' When the Kinkou inducted her into the order at the age of fourteen, she could slice a dangling chain with a chop of her hand. There was no question - she would succeed her mother as the Fist of Shadow. She has had to do much in this role which others might find morally questionable, but to her it is in service of her mother's inviolable doctrine. She now works with her fellows Shen and Kennen to enforce the balance of Valoran. This hallowed pursuit has unsurprisingly led the triumvirate to the Fields of Justice." - League of Legends Website Bio

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              Looking At An Akali Build : Ability Power vs. Attack Damage

              Akali's main harassing skills all scale incredibly well with AP, with her ultimate scaling 50% with AP. This is extremely unique in a melee character like Akali, and makes the decision between an AP build and an AD Akali build tough. Crescent Slash is the only ability that Akali gets that scales with AD, and even then, it's only 30%. When playing as an AD build though, Akali can top out her Spell Vamp at 38%, which stacks with the lifesteal gained from her item build.

              Damage wise, you will still do massive amounts of burst damage no matter which Akali build you use. In endgame, it isn't uncommon to do around 3500 damage in one attack chain with either build. In the end, the secondary effects of the items for each build are going to be what makes or breaks the build for you. This isn't saying that you won't be going for any AD raising items as an AP build, or vice versa. Your build will always bleed into the other one slightly, as just getting the initial bonus from both of Akali's passives will make a huge difference.

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              Why Not To Use A Hybrid Build

              Some people do try to run with hybrid Akali builds, but generally they don't work too well. You won't be capping out your maximum damage potential if you try to go both ways with Akali, and you'll end up being mediocre in both AD and AP. The Spell Vamp and Lifesteal you gain from building AD won't be significant enough, and the magic damage bonus you get from AP won't affect your damage output extremely. Sticking with one stat will maximize your damage output and greatly increase your chance for survival later on in the game.

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              Early Game Difficulties

              Akali can be an especially tough champion to play early game because she starts with very low health and armor, and doesn't have particularly high damage. When you first start you have two options with your Akali build. You can either rush to unlock Akali's lifesteal bonus, or her magic attack bonus. One will mitigate the low amount of health/armor she starts out with, while the other will make her more effective in early game combat.

              When playing early game, you want to be more conservative in how you engage your enemies. Take your time, and use your Mark of the Assassin skill as often as possible on the enemy champion laning with you. This will slowly bring down their health and require them to return to the Nexus before you.

              If you're interested in jungling as Akali, you'll want to wait until you've leveled up some more. Jungling as Akali becomes incredibly difficult if you don't have the runes and quintessences required to bolster her damage output and health. You'll have trouble defeating even the weakest of jungle mobs without using Smite every time.

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              League of Legends Guide For Akali : Summoner Spells

              Most of the Summoner spells work remarkably well with Akali, but there are some that are absolutely necessary to use as a low level player, and others that should never be used simply because they literally do nothing. Some of the Summoner spells go hand in hand with various Masteries you can take at earlier levels, and Akali's early game can be completely changed with some of the mastery/spell combos. Listed below are some of the most common combos you'll find in any League of Legends guide for Akali.

              On a side note, never take Clarity. Akali uses Energy, not Mana, so Clarity does absolutely nothing except recharge the mana of those around you slightly.

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              Exhaust + Ignite

              Exhaust   Ignite  

              This combo will allow you to very easily get first blood when starting in early game. The extra gold that comes with first blood, and having a freed up lane for a short period of time is invaluable. Exhaust will also get you out of any sticky situations where you've mis-gauged an enemy who is faster than you are. Ignite also has a related mastery that increases AP by 10 while the spell is in cooldown. This will instantly give you your magic damage passive if you buy an Ampifying Tome at the start of the game.

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              Exhaust + Flash

              Exhaust   Flash   Using Exhaust and Flash together is a guaranteed escape. With this combo, it is almost impossible for you to be killed when you are aware that your life is in danger. When both of these spells are charged, it's a simple task to drop a Shroud, cast Exhaust, and Flash out of range. Flash also allows you to teleport across barriers like walls.

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              Cleanse + Exhaust

              Cleanse   Exhaust   This combo will allow you to turn the tides when you're ganked by a stunner. Akali can beat most champions in a 1v1, but when stuns come into play, she can become utterly helpless. Cleanse will remove all stuns, and Exhaust will in turn stun your opponent, allowing you to get off a full combo chain before having to take damage yourself. This combo is incredibly useful when you know you're dealing with stunners/gankers.

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              League of Legends Game Guide : Masteries for Akali

              Akali Nurse Skin   As a beginner, you won't have too many points to put into masteries. This League of Legends game guide will focus on the 3 initial tiers of masteries, and the most important masteries for Akali. You should focus on the Offense tree at this point in time, and try to get Burning Embers as fast as possible. A hierarchy of masteries you want to raise is as follows. By the time you've put all of the ranks needed into these masteries, you should be comfortable looking at some of the more advanced guides on MobaFire or Leaguecraft.You'll have more rune slots open, and the IP to actually purchase some of the higher tiered runes. Getting these masteries will give you a significant edge over your opponents, and can often mean the difference between life and death.

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              Tier I Masteries

              • Archmage's Savvy - Raises your AP by [0.2/0.4/0.6] per champion level. You'll want three ranks in this.
              • Deadliness - Increases your champion's crit rate by [0.66/1.33/2] percent. Take one rank in this to open up the next tier ofOffense masteries

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              Tier II Masteries

              • Sorcery - Reduces the cooldown of your abilities by [0.75/1.5/2.25/3]%. You'll be using your abilities as often as possible, and want to shorten the already short cooldowns as much as possible. Put four ranks into Sorcery. You'll need these to get the Archaic Knowledge mastery also, which is incredibly useful for Akali.
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              Tier III Masteries

              As soon as you can grab these masteries, get them. All three of the third tier masteries are invaluable for Akali and increase her damage output significantly.

              • Burning Embers - When Ignite is on cooldown, your champion will gain 10 AP. As soon as this is available, grab it. It will make early game much easier.
              • Archaic Knowledge - Your magical spells penetrate 15% of your enemy's magic resist. Crescent Slash is the only physical skill that Akali possesses, so piercing through your enemy's magic resist is important.
              • Sunder - Your attacks penetrate [2/4/6] of your target's armor.

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              Runes : Why To Avoid Them

              Runes will unnecassarily complicate things, and as a low level summoner with not a lot of IP, they really won't do much for you. At this point, you should avoid runes and focus on learning your character. On that note, this League of Legends game guide won't have much in the way of rune info. If you're dead set on picking up runes, go for Dodge, AP, AD, or Cooldown Reduction runes.

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              League of Legends Champions Guide : Ability Power Build For Akali

              Akali Phantom Clockwork Skin   Now we get into the nitty gritty of Akali : How exactly you're going to play with this build. It will take some getting used to, as playing Akali is incredibly different from playing a tank or a mage character. Be smart and patient, and you'll be on your way to victory in no time.

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              Very Early Game

              In this League of Legends champions guide for Akali, it's stressed that you try to unlock your passive bonuses as soon as possible. The Spell Vamp will generally give you more benefits than the magic damage. Pick up a Long Sword (+10 AD) at the start of the game. The Long Sword will cost you 415 gold, and leave enough spare change to pick up a Health Potion. This will help keep you alive with your small starting health. Along with the Spell Vamp you'll gain from the extra 10 AD, you should be able to stay alive early game as long as you use caution.

              Take to the lane of your choice, and start getting some gold. Your goal at this point is to stay alive until you get to level 6. Don't head back to the Nexus unless you've died, or have accumulated at least 1500 gold. While laning, you want to use Mark of the Assassin as much as possible to score the last hit on minions/champions. This will also regenerate a substantial amount of your health, so keep an eye on your cooldowns.

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              Leveling

              As you level up, you'll want to put ranks into Mark of the Assassin as often as possible. Optimally, you would raise it at level 1,3,5,7, and 9. At level two, put one rank in Twilight Shroud. This will be the only time you rank this skill up before midgame. After getting one rank in Twilight Shroud, alternate between raising Mark of the Assassin and Crescent Slash, also raising your ultimate (Shadow Dance) whenever you can.

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              Early Game to Midgame

              Once you've accumulated 1500 gold, return to th the Nexus and purchase the Hextech Revolver (40 AP, 15 Spell Vamp). This will substantially increase the power of all of your attacks, as well as increasing your Spell Vamp, and thus your survivability. At this point you'll have both of your passives unlocked. This is where Akali starts becoming very powerful. You have only one more item you need to grab before midgame starts. You need a pair of boots. Here's where your individual playstyle will influence what item you buy. For an AP build, you should choose between the Ninja Tabi (+25 Armor, +12% Dodge Chance) , Mercury Treads (+25 Magic Res, reduces duration of stuns by 35%), Sorcerer's Shoes (+20 Magic Penetration), or Boots of Swiftness (Improved speed over all other boots). If you're looking to do as much damage as possible and you expect your enemy to be carrying magic resistance gear, grab the Socerer's Shoes. If you're fighting some heavy hitting tanks, or you just want to increase your survivability, grab the Ninja Tabi. The Mercury Treads are completely situational and only necessary if you're going to be dealing with a lot of stuns. Speed is always a good thing to have more of, and generally, the Boots of Swiftness are a solid choice if you still don't know exactly what you're going up against.

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              Midgame to Endgame

              Come midgame, you have two items you really want to work towards getting. The two major items you want are Rylai's Crystal Scepter (80 AP, 500 Health, Passive : Your abilities slow target by 35% for 1.5 seconds) and Guinsoo's Rageblade (35 AD, 45 AP, Passive: On attack or spell cast, increase your attack speed by 4% and your AP by 6. Lasts 5 seconds. Stacks up to 8 times) These two items are going to make your skillchain take down a non-tank champion in less than 5 seconds, and the Rylai's will make you invaluable to your team as a chaser. At this point your skill chain is going to look as follows:

              Mark of the Assassin --> Shadow Dance --> Twilight Shroud --> Autoattack --> Crescent Slash --> Autoattack --> Shadow Dance

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              Endgame

              Come endgame, you're going to try to obtain a Lich Bane (80 AP, 350 Mana, 30 Magic Resist, 7 Movement Speed, Passive: 100% chance when an ability is used that your next attack will deal 100% of your AP in additional damage.). You can either go for this, or the Hextech Gunblade (60 AD, 75 AP, 20 Lifesteal, 20 Spell Vamp, Active Ability : Does 300 magic damage to target champion and slows target by 50% for 6 seconds. 60 second cooldown.) The Hextech Gunblade can be preferred if you need the additional survivability and can also pay attention to the active ability's cooldown. Come endgame, you'll be finishing up in whatever way your team requires. There are no specific guidelines at this point. Simply pay attention to the needs of your team and you'll do fine.

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              Akali's Items

              Long SwordHealth PotionSorcerer's ShoesGuinsoo's RagebladeRylai's Crystal ScepterHextech GunbladeLich Bane
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              League of Legends, Champions' Builds: Attack Damage Akali

              Akali All Star Skin When playing an Akali AD build, you're going to end up playing pretty similarly to an AP Akali. There are a few crucial differences that you have to pay attention to though. Maxing out Mark of the Assassin OR Crescent Slash early in the game will maximise your damage output to a certain class of enemy. If you're confident in your PvP skills, you can max out Mark of the Assassin as early as possible and be incredibly effective against enemy champions. You'll score more final hits, and bypass your low damage output in early game. On the flipside, if you max out Crescent Slash as early as possible, you'll be incredibly effective at farming, and will wipe out entire groups of minions in seconds. You can split your ranks between the two early game, but you're going to essentially have your damage potential halved for each group. Focusing on one skill will specialize your role on your team, and allow you to fill one role perfectly. No matter which route you take, put one rank in Twilight Shroud when you hit level 4. You won't need to upgrade it until everything else is maxed out. After you've upgraded Mark of the Assassin or Crescent Slash to full, begin upgrading the other skill and your ultimate as often as possible.

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              Core Items

              For this build, you have 3 core items you want to go after. They are, in order:

              • Guinsoo's Rageblade (35 AD, 45 AP, Passive: On attack or spell cast, increase your attack speed by 4% and your AP by 6. Lasts 5 seconds. Stacks up to 8 times)
              • Hextech Gunblade (60 AD, 75 AP, 20 Lifesteal, 20 Spell Vamp, Active Ability : Does 300 magic damage to target champion and slows target by 50% for 6 seconds. 60 second cooldown.)
              • Trinity Force (30 AD, 30 AP, 30% Attack Speed, 15% Crit Chance, 12% Movement Speed, 250 Health, 250 Mana. ACTIVE : 25% chance of hit to slow target by 35% for 2.5 seconds. On spell cast, increases base AD by 150% for one attack.)

              Along with these, you'll want a pair of boots to grab in the beginning of the game. To maximise your damage output, you want to either take the Berserker's Greaves (+25 Attack Speed), or the Sorcerer's Shoes (+25 Magic Penetration). Grabbing a pair of boots at the start of the game is almost mandatory. Speed is a huge part of League of Legends, and it's important to maintain the speed boost you already have at the start of the game.

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              Playstyle

              Follow the same guidelines towards farming and harassing in the AP guide, and you should be a force to be reckoned with. You'll be dishing out some powerful bursts of true damage that will equal that of the AP Akali, and your enemies won't be expecting an Akali stacking AD items. In the end, you'll have around 38% Spell Vamp, plus the Lifesteal gained from your passive bonus. Staying alive should be an easy task, even with little to no armor.

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              Important Items Used in This League of Legends Champion's Builds

              Berserker's GreavesHextech GunbladeTrinity Force
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              Tips

              • Remember, in League of Legends, items are your greatest asset. Keep track of your gold and what's required for your next item. As soon as it is available for purchase, snatch it up!
              • Don't be afraid to change around your League of Legends items based on a situation. If you need magic resist to fight off theAkali In Action  enemy team, or require some more magic pen, get it. This guide is not concrete, and should be altered on a situational basis.
              • It can be very hard to take on more than one champion as Akali. Try to lure a champion away from his ally, and take him/her out before the other one can react in time. This will oftentimes allow you to take out both champions with a minimum of effort.
              • Avoid turret aggro. Especially early game, you do not want to be going anywhere near a turret without minions. Don't forget that attacking an enemy champion within the range of a turret will automatically cause it to target you.
              • Don't forget about your summoner spells! They can and will save your life mutliple times throughout a game as long as you remember to check your cooldowns.
              • If you're playing against another stealth champion, don't be afraid to purchase a couple of unstealthing items to light up the lane you're occupying. This will give you the jump almost every time.
              • Wait until you've stocked up your runebook and masteries before you decide to Jungle, and always take Smite. Remember to take the improved Smite mastery as well, as it will make things easier for you in the long run.
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              Closing Comments

              Akali Stinger Costume Akali is an incredibly strong champion with one of the most interesting passive abilities. She makes up for her low health with the high levels of spell vamp she can achieve later in the game, and her abilities scale incredibly well with AP, allowing her to do massive amounts of burst damage. Akali is a pseudo-stealth champion in that she can stealth in her own portable bush, but it is incredibly obvious where she is. In that vein though, she can be considered a stealth champion in that it's very easy for her to create the ruse that she is somewhere, and then pop out of the shadows. Akali creates stealth through illusion, and to play Akali, you have to remember that. When you need to escape, you have to create an assumption of the direction you're heading. To succeed as the Fist of Shadow, you must use your enemy's assumptions, and turn them into deadly mistakes.

              Image & Item Data Source: www.leagueoflegends.com.

              Build Tips + General Advice Source : www.mobafire.com



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