Akali is one of League of Legends’ swiftest champions. Even with a small lead, she can quickly capitalize and take over games easily in season 12.
The core items for Akali are quite standard for ability power-based assassins. More importantly, they are quite cheap and give you an advantage in the early and mid game. Thus, Akali can rapidly become one of the most dangerous champions on Summoner’s Rift.
In today’s League meta, specific items should be built in certain situations. Sometimes, you’ll find yourself in a game against a tanky composition, while in others, you may be facing a squishy team, where an all-in approach is advised.
Conqueror: Conqueror is oftentimes the best choice as a main rune for champions that are looking to spam abilities on their opponents—and that’s the case with Akali. With your passive and heavy bursting skills, you will aim to deal as much damage as you can in the shortest amount of time. Therefore, Conqueror will boost the damage you do thanks to the additional ability power it will provide you with as you gain more stacks.
Presence of Mind: While Akali is an energy-based champion, her abilities consume a lot of it, and refilling her energy bar takes a couple of seconds. To make it a bit quicker, it’s wise to choose Presence of Mind. This should resolve some of your issues with energy, especially in teamfights, where champion takedowns will restore 15 percent of your energy immediately.
Legend: Tenacity As an assassin, players should try to be as mobile as possible. When the enemy team lands a crowd control chain on you, with your low survivability, the chances that you make it out are low. To enhance your resistance to CC spells and mechanics, it’s a great idea to pick Legend: Tenacity so that you will gain some tenacity throughout the course of the game.
Coup de Grace: Coup de Grace will allow you to deal more damage to opponents below 40-percent health. And since most of the time you will be trying to take down squishy champions, this rune just fits Akali perfectly.
Second Wind: Second Wind is a great sustain rune, especially in the laning phase. It enhances your health regeneration once you take damage, which should be pivotal in your trades early on. And if you win those trades and start snowballing early, you can carry your team to victory.
Unflinching: Unflinching pairs perfectly with Legend: Tenacity. With both runes, your tenacity and slow resistance should be at impressively high levels, which should elevate your chances of managing teamfights on your terms.
Bonuses: +9 adaptive force, +9 adaptive force, +6 armor
While Akali doesn’t have mana, with which Doran’s Ring helps extremely, it’s still helpful if you are in a matchup that you think you’ll win. For the Rogue Assassin, as we mentioned, the faster you get going, the better. Thus, dominating your lane early is the first step in the recipe for success, and Doran’s Ring, with 15 ability power and 70 health, can help with doing that.
Sometimes, however, players are going to be placed in even or losing matchups. In those instances, it’s much better to go for Doran’s Shield so you don’t fall behind early. With this item, you should have much-needed sustain in the first minutes of the game.
During the laning phase, Akali is quite vulnerable and it’s not tough for enemy junglers to gank her. To provide yourself with a way to replenish some health, buy one or two health potions at the start of the game (depending on the other item you get).
This is the best Mythic item for Akali most of the time. Hextech Rocketbelt gives you an active, damage-dealing dash, which can help you in your assassinations and boosts your mobility. It also comes with some great stats. In the end, 90 ability power, six magic penetration, 15 ability haste, and 250 health are all the statistics that Akali players should value the most. What’s more, this item empowers other legendary items with five magic penetration, and in most cases, enemies will be stacking magic resistance against you.
Zhonya’s Hourglass is another key item for the Rogue Assassin. With its active ability, which puts you in stasis for a few seconds, it allows you to dodge powerful skill shots, buy some time for your team to join the fray, or just simply lets you wait until your cooldowns come back up. Additionally, Zhonya’s is relatively cheap, only costing 2,600 gold.
As we mentioned, items that grant you magic resistance will be usually common in your opponents’ equipment. Therefore, to ignore that even more, Shadowflame makes it onto the list of our core items for Akali. With it, your damage-dealing abilities ignore a respectable amount of magic resistance, depending on the target’s current health. Last but not least, this item gives you an immense amount of ability power (100) and a bit of health (200).
Almost every champion in League needs boots. For Akali, the best choice is Sorcerer’s Shoes. They improve your magic penetration, which is pivotal for the reasons we explained earlier.
Sometimes, though, you may not need as much magic penetration. So to lower your cooldowns, you may think about picking Ionian Boots of Lucidity. In other cases, when you want to stack some armor or magic resistance, obtain Plated Steelcaps or Mercury’s Threads, respectively.
This is one of the best late-game items for AP-based heroes in the game. With an eye-watering 120 ability power, there’s easily no better option when players want to influence their AP. What’s more, Rabadon’s Deathcap increases your overall ability power by 35 percent, so it stacks perfectly with the other items you’ll have under your belt.
With Void Staff, players once again improve their key stats on Akali: ability power and magic penetration. This rod grants you 65 of the former and 45 of the latter. Oftentimes, Void Staff is the best item to finish your build because in the late stages of the game, enemies will have some magic resistance stacked already.
For Akali, there are a few viable options for Mythic items, and Riftmaker is the first one that comes to mind. It should be picked when you are facing many bruisers since it grants you omnivamp and more health to survive lengthy skirmishes. Additionally, at one point, some of your attacks with Riftmaker will deal true damage, which should be deadly for bruisers and tanks who stacked some health and magic resistance.
Turbo Chemtank is an item that also makes some sense on the Rogue Assassin. With it, you have more ability haste, which is great if you’re certain that teamfights will be lengthy due to there being many bruisers and tanks on both sides. In those situations, it’s hard to get past the enemy frontline to eliminate squishy targets, so you may want to survive as long as you can and maximize the damage you deal.
Furthermore, Turbo Chemtank grants you an active ability to enhance your mobility for a few seconds. Therefore, you are going to have more chances of reaching the opponents’ backline. And if you get caught, you’ll have an additional escape mechanism. All in all, this item also boosts your survivability, which can be pivotal in some matches.
Divine Sunderer plays perfectly with your passive ability, which gives you empowered basic attacks once you use your ability and cross a generated area. Similar to other situational items above, this is also a great pickup against tanks and bruisers, with whom you don’t want to fully engage but rather harass with your skills. Still, this should be the most rarely picked Mythic item you’ll get since it doesn’t give you ability power at all.
Lich Bane’s biggest strength is the unique passive it grants to its buyers, which, like Divine Sunderer, boosts the damage you deal with your basic attacks after using an ability. In contrast to the item above, however, it comes along with an admirable amount of ability power (75), at the same time giving you eight-percent movement speed and 15 ability haste. It’s not a bad choice for Akali, but to make the most out of it, it’s best when purchased early in the game.
This is another item that is suitable if you’re going for a bruiser-like build. As we explained, you should do that when facing a lot of tanky heroes, and in those games, Demonic Embrace can do wonders. It curses enemies to take a certain amount of damage, equal to eight percent of their maximum health. This item also gives you ability power equal to two percent of your health, simultaneously improving your AP and health by 60 and 450, respectively.
Like many optional items we included on this list, Cosmic Drive is also viable for bruiser-like Akali. With 30 ability haste, 65 ability power, 200 health, and five-percent movement speed, it influences your major stats. But, more importantly, Cosmic Drive’s passive lets you gain an additional 15-percent move speed once you damage a champion with three separate attacks or abilities, so you can be even more mobile in those time-consuming teamfights.
Morellonomicon is a sensible choice for almost every AP-based champ in the game, the Rogue Assassin included. With it, players will boost their major stats, like ability power and health, and are going to inflict Grevious Wounds on enemies they hit. In today’s meta where healing supports like Soraka are popular, having such a possibility isn’t a bad idea at all.