Akali is a mid-lane magic damage assassin. In this guide, we will be taking a look at Akali in the top lane. Akali is a weak champion and can struggle vs ranged champions before hitting level 5. Once she gets to level 5, you have access to Perfect Execution (Ultimate) which is her main source of damage, this is when you can start to utilize her aggressive play style and try to get an early advantage by either trying to get a solo kill in the top lane or group early with your team around objectives and focus on the squishy targets in the backline.
Akali can also be played in the Baron lane, make sure to check the alternative build at the top of the page! The build with Akali top lane is the same as mid lane, there is not really much else that is different in terms of playstyles, build etc. The only thing to keep in mind is matchups. There are a lot of top lane champions that are really good duelists that can punish you more in the early game so keep that in mind.
When you hit one of Akali's active abilities (Five Point Strike, Shuriken Flip or Perfect Execution) on a champion, it reveals a ring for 4 seconds. Crossing the ring grants Akali bonus attack range, damage and movement speed when walking towards the ring, and it also restores 15 energy.
The best way to utilize this passive is when you hit a champion with an ability, you walk out of the circle (normally backwards) until you are out of the ring to proc the passive and then walk towards the champion to auto-attack. You will know when you have got the passive-active when the ring disappears and Akali starts spinning her dagger.
Akali throws kunais, dealing magic damage. Enemies struck at maximum range are slowed. Five Point Strike has a very low cooldown, meaning you can spam the ability a lot to last hit minions, harass enemies, and activate your passive with. Practice hitting enemies at maximum range with Five Point Mark, as if you do, you can instantly proc your passive as you will be outside the circle range.
An important thing to note is that you can activate this ability all around Akali even if it's behind her, and most of the time it's best to manually aim the ability and not just tapping it so you can see the range and utilize your passive.
Creates a smoke cloud that expands over time and restores energy. Akali is invisible and gains movement speed inside the shroud. Twilight Shroud is one of the main abilities of Akali and it is what allows her to dodge and move around during team fights with ease, not being able to die.
The best time to use the ability is when you are running low on energy or you are about to get heavily crowd controlled by the enemy team. When invisible, this is where you can use your Five Point Mark on the enemy champions and easily go out of the ring and back in again procing Assassin's Mark without being seen.
Akali flips backwards and throws a shuriken, dealing damage and marking the target. If you press the ability again when the shuriken hits, you dash to the marked target dealing damage. It's really important to use this ability at the right time, because if you don't hit a target with your shuriken, you will be too far away to get back into the fight. If you are not confident enough on hitting a target with your shuriken, you can cast the ability backwards. This means that Akali will flip towards the enemy and you can use your Five Point Strike or Perfect Execution to engage on the enemy.
Shuriken Flip is a great way to proc your passive Assassin's Mark. When you hit an enemy champion, you will already be outside the circle so you will be able to dash in and do extra damage. But be careful when using your second part of Shuriken Flip, because you might travel into a dangerous area and you can die very quickly.
A two-part dash ability. The first cast dashes through an enemy champion dealing damage. You can only use the first part of the ability by targeting an enemy champion. When you use the ability on an enemy champion, you will end up behind the champion so just keep that in mind.
The second part of the ability dashes in a target direction, dealing damage. The damage is increased based on the target's missing health so it's a great way to secure a kill on an enemy champion. You can use the second cast anywhere, so even if you need to escape a scary situation where you might die.
Akali's main source of damage comes from her abilities, this means she works great with ability power items. Lich Bane is a great first item for Akali, the item gives Akali a lot of burst potential when fighting. Deathcap and Void Staff are both core items for Akali as it gives her a lot of damage and magic penetration which helps if the enemy team is building magic resistance.
For runes we have:
Akali can get 5 stacks of the rune really easily with her abilities and auto-attacks because of her short cooldowns and increased attack range from Assassin's Mark (Passive).
A nice way to get that extra little bit of ability power to help out Akali at all stages of the game.
As a melee champion, it is very helpful to have more health regeneration especially for the laning phase, as most of the time you will be poked out by ranged champions.
A great rune for if Akali gets low on health in the laning phase and needs that extra bit of healing and she gets free money.
Akali can be pretty weak in the early game. Before level 5 the best thing you can do is try and hit Five Point Strike (1st Ability) on the enemy champion, this activates Assassin Mark (Passive) which means you can exit the circle so your next auto attack has extra range and damage. If you get into trouble early when playing Akali you can use Twilight Shroud (2nd ability), this allows her to turn invisible whilst inside the shadow. Akali can also use Shuriken Flip (3rd ability) to get some distance between you and the enemies.
When Akali reaches the mid/late game and gets a few items this is where she can really become a strong champion. When she is grouped with her team and about to have a team fight the best thing she wants to do is get onto the enemy backline where she can kill the carries. Akali has so much mobility and survivability with her abilities and stasis (boots upgrade) also helps with that. When playing Akali you also have great 1 vs 1 potential against most champions. This can give your team a big advantage if you are able to get a kill before the team fight starts.
Overall Akali is a champion that has a very aggressive playstyle! If you like jumping into people's faces and killing them whilst staying alive for a long time then she is the right champion for you! She has a very high skill gap which means it might take a few games to understand how to play her, but if you can master her you can climb the ranks and reach the very top!
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