Akali is one of League of Legends’ premier assassins, darting in and out of the shadows to take down enemies. We’ve got the ultimate guide to mastering the Rogue Assassin, including the best builds, runes, tips and tricks.
Akali has gone through a number of changes in her 11-year League of Legends history. Her Season 8 rework was one of the game’s most drastic, taking a bland assassin and giving her a modern kit full of skill expression.
While she’s a tough champion to master, if you put the time in, the rewards are worth it. Keen to give her a go? We’ve got the ultimate Akali guide right here, including her best builds, runes, and some League of Legends tips and tricks to get a handle on the Rogue Assassin.
Who is Akali?
Akali was once a part of Ionia’s Kinkou Order, defending the First Lands from invaders. However, she now works alone, choosing violence instead of peace to defend Ionia after the first war with Noxus.
On Summoner’s Rift, the Rogue Assassin lives up to that one-man army title, with Akali jumping in and out of the shadows to pick apart enemies one at a time as a top and mid laner.
Akali abilities & gameplay
Akali is the ultimate assassin, jumping in and out of the shadows to take down enemies before they can react. She’s incredibly mobile thanks to her Shuriken Flip and Perfect Execution, allowing her to jump around fights while being notoriously hard to lock down.
Riot have done their best to keep the assassin down, but in the hands of a master, she can put out a lot of damage. In lane, she thrives by poking out her enemy with her Q — although it has a heavy energy cost early. Using W in your combos can help alleviate this, giving you 70 bonus energy — enough for one Q at max rank.
Akali’s E is her most crucial skill. Recent changes have buffed it up, and because of its low energy cost, it’ll be both a key engage and damage tool. If you miss your E, you can’t follow up with the rest of your combo. Be mindful that you will first dash back and then throw out your shuriken, so you have to make sure you aren’t on top of multiple enemies.
Akali’s ultimate doubles as both an engage and disengage tool too. You want to use it to get on top of enemies, dish out tons of damage, and hit the execute while dashing away from the fight unscathed.
If you can learn to position with Akali, with smart usage of her W shroud, you’ll be able to get a lot done with the Rogue Assassin. It sounds simple, but you need to hit your abilities — if you don’t, use the shroud to escape.
- Passive: Assassin’s Mark — Dealing spell damage to a champion creates a ring of energy around them. Exiting that ring empowers Akali’s next auto attack with bonus range and damage.
- Q: Five Point Strike — Akali throws out five kunai, dealing damage based on her bonus Attack Damage and Ability Power and slowing.
- W: Twilight Shroud — Akali drops a cover of smoke and briefly gains Movement Speed. While inside the shroud, Akali becomes invisible and unable to be selected by enemy spells and attacks. Attacking or using abilities will briefly reveal her.
- E: Shuriken Flip — Akali flips backwards and fires a shuriken forwards, dealing magic damage. The first enemy or smoke cloud hit is marked. Re-cast to dash to the marked target, dealing additional damage.
- R: Perfect Execution — Akali leaps in a direction, damaging enemies she strikes. Re-cast: Akali dashes in a direction, executing all enemies she strikes.
Best build for Akali
Akali has plenty of different build paths in League of Legends. However, there are two more prevalent ones: the pure Assassin build, or the more common DPS build.
If you want to run Akali like a pure Assassin like it’s Season 8 again, you want to take Night Harvester or Hextech Protobelt. The two items are jam packed full of damage to nuke enemies, and help her scale into the late game with bonus magic penetration and ability power.
If you prefer the DPS build, you’ll want to take Riftmaker or even Goredrinker, because of the omnivamp. Hextech Protobelt is also fine in this situation, but you want something that can give you prolonged survivability in fights to stack up Conqueror and dish out a ton of true damage.
The Assassin build — along with core items like Demonic Embrace, Zhonya’s Hourglass, Void Staff, Morellonomicon, and Rabadon’s Deathcap (which apply to both builds) — is great against squishy targets, but if the enemy is tanky, you’ll want the survivability of the DPS build.
Top meta Akali build in LoL Season 11
- Mythic: Hextech Protobelt (default) / Riftmaker / Goredrinker / Night Harvester (if you are running an Assassin build)
- Boots: Sorcerer’s Shoes / Mercury’s Treads (if you need more tenacity)
- Zhonya’s Hourglass
- Demonic Embrace
- Morellonomicon (if you need healing cut)
- Rabadon’s Deathcap (if the enemies are squishy)
- Void Staff (if you need to cut through magic resist)
- Banshee’s Veil (if you need magic resist)
Best runes for Akali
Akali has two different rune pages to run too — something she’s picked up as Conqueror has fallen off late in Season 11.
The DPS Akali build still runs Conqueror due to its prime survivability. It’s still good, and when combined with Legend: Tenacity, Last Stand, Bone Plating, and Unflinching, it gives her plenty of sustain, as well as Tenacity to stop her from being locked down.
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However, if you are up against squishies, Akali can now run the Electrocute build again. With Sudden Impact, Eyeball Collection, and Ravenous Hunter, you can delete enemies quick smart with Night Harvester.
Top meta Akali runes in LoL Season 11
Conqueror rune page (DPS-style)
- Presence of Mind
- Legend: Tenacity
- Last Stand
- Second Wind / Bone Plating
- Overgrowth / Unflinching
Electrocute rune page (Assassin-style)
- Sudden Impact
- Eyeball Collection
- Ravenous Hunter / Ultimate Hunter
- Presence of Mind
- Coup de Grace
Akali skins in League of Legends
- Stinger Akali (Legacy) — 520 RP
- Infernal Akali (Legacy) — 520 RP
- Sashimi Akali — 750 RP
- Nurse Akali — 975 RP
- All-Star Akali (Legacy) — 975 RP
- Blood Moon Akali — 975 RP
- Silverfang Akali — 975 RP
- Headhunter Akali — 1350 RP
- K/DA Akali — 1350 RP
- PROJECT: Akali — 1350 RP
- True Damage Akali — 1350 RP
- K/DA ALL OUT Akali — 1350 RP
- Crime City Nightmare Akali — 1350 RP
- K/DA Akali Prestige Edition — 100 Prestige Points
Akali isn’t a forgiving champion, but if you put in the time, she’s incredibly powerful. Learning the ropes with her DPS build before jumping into her Assassin-style build is a great idea.
Once you become an Akali master, there’s almost no champion in League of Legends you wouldn’t be able to learn.