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 11.
Her core items are quite cheap and her early game is great as well, even though she is melee and doesn’t have a lot of options to farm safely. While her range can be exploited by enemies during the laning phase, the combination of runes and items below should help you get past that point.
As with all League champions, specific items are going to be more effective depending on the circumstances. But there are certain items that are most effective on Akali regardless of the situation. These core items are going to give you the best chances of success with the Rogue Assassin.
Fleet Footwork: As a melee champion, you’re going to be punished a lot in the early game, especially since most popular champions in the mid lane are ranged. As a result, you need to double down and take all the sustain possible through items and runes. This keystone will ensure that you get some health back in the laning phase and get more time to stay in lane until you reach your core items. In teamfights, the added movement speed buff can be the difference between life and death as well, which is very valuable.
Presence of Mind: This rune is going to resolve your energy issues, especially during a hectic teamfight which may take some time. With an assist or kill you’ll regain a big chunk of your energy pool, allowing you to use your abilities once again to press on.
Legend: Tenacity This rune makes you less susceptible to crowd control. If you’re not facing a lot of crowd control, feel free to take Legend: Alacrity instead to make your auto attacks feel smoother.
Coup de Grace: This rune acts as a finisher. It allows you to deliver even more damage to low-health targets, ensuring you execute them with your combo and get energy back with Presence of Mind.
Taste of Blood: Taste of Blood is a simple sustain rune. It gives you some health back during short trades during the laning phase. You want all the sustain you can get to survive the early game.
Ravenous Hunter: As one of the most powerful healing runes in the game, Ravenous Hunter allows you to heal back up based on damage dealt from spells. The impact might not be that high compared to other runes early on. But once the match gets to the later points of the game, you’ll heal back up from 10 percent to full in a matter of seconds, which is crucial if you want to win teamfights and be as slippery as possible.
Bonuses: +9 adaptive force, +9 adaptive force, +6 armor
Having early durability is important for Akali since she’s a melee assassin who will take a lot of poke damage during the laning phase. Doran’s Shield helps by granting the mid laner 80 bonus health, extra health regeneration, and bonus damage to minions to ensure that you get last hits. This item is going to make farming much safer for the champion early on.
During the farming phase, you are most likely going to take damage from enemy champions. Health potions heal back 150 health over 15 seconds and will give you extra time before having to head back to base.
Sorcerer’s Shoes are a straightforward choice as magic penetration increases your damage potential. The item should be purchased after your Mythic item or while working towards it to increase your burst damage output as soon as possible.
Riftmaker is an amazing Mythic item for Akali, granting her strong stats alongside much-needed Omnivamp to help her sustain in teamfights. The item promotes lengthy skirmishes and doesn’t help you burst down targets compared to Night Harvest, which is more oriented towards small trades. If you’re facing a tanky team, Riftmaker with Conqueror can help you sustain through all their damage with enough ability power.
With so much healing in the game which might deny you early kills, it’s necessary to have an anti-healing item. Oblivion Orb is a cheap 800 cost item helping you with that, while also giving you some ability power early on.
Zhonya’s is a great item especially against heavy attack damage-focused teams or against champions who rely on combos to kill you. One thing which helps this item be great is Seeker’s Armguard, which is one of League‘s most gold-efficient items. If you rush it early on, you can sit on it for 20 minutes without issues since the stats it gives are phenomenal for the gold cost.
In teamfights, Zhonya’s Hourglass allows you to deceive opponents. You can force them to use all of their spells and engage tools on you, then use Zhonya’s to give your team some crucial seconds to unleash devastation on the enemy team while you’re untargetable.
There’s no better offensive item for mages than Rabadon’s Deathcap, the ability power supercharger. Although some players might rush it if they’re winning the lane, it’s a relatively suboptimal path. It’s best to build it if you already have other core AP items. If you have an Ornn on your team who can upgrade it, then consider prioritizing this item. You will get even more ability power from Rabadon’s Deathcrown, the upgraded Ornn version.
If you’re ahead, have plenty of gold, and willing to take risks, then feel free to get this item to amplify your damage and be capable of one-tapping squishy targets–though you could be just as susceptible.
If enemies are stacking magic resist, then you need to invest into a Void Staff. Sometimes it’s worth it to purchase a Void Staff first instead of a Rabadon’s Deathcap if the enemy has a lot of magic resist. Prioritize this item after your core items if there a lot of enemy tanks. However, if the enemy doesn’t have magic resist items, then skip this and get other pure ability power items to increase your damage instead.
If you bought the Oblivion Orb, then you’ll need only 1,700 gold to upgrade to Morellonomicon. While not as efficient as other AP items, it’s a requirement that you get it unless your team has anti-healing elsewhere. The ability power and health granted are great, but the lack of Omnivamp, Magic Penetration, or Ability Haste makes it suboptimal compared to other pure AP items. That’s why you should forego this item if your team has anti-healing already.
If you’re facing a heavy ability power-focused composition or a composition that has too much crowd control, then Mercury’s Treads are a must. It gives you much-needed early magic resist and reduces duration from any crowd control on you.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity
If you want to snowball harder and the opposing team is stacking up a lot of magic resistance, then going for the Ionian Boots of Lucidity might be a better choice compared to Sorcerer’s Shoes. The reduced cooldowns on abilities on top of Summoner Spells will allow you to all-in your opponents more often.
If you want to have more short skirmishes, then this is the alternative Mythic item which you should go for. It gives you impressive stats and Ability Haste for every Legendary item you acquire. With an ability-haste oriented build, you can reduce your cooldowns to absurdly low levels, allowing you to dance through teamfights with ease.
This item aimed at making bruisers stronger allows Akali to benefit from it as well due to her playstyle. While the lack of offensive stats outside of Ability Power might make this item less ideal in attack, granting you armor, magic resist on top of a max health burning effect makes it quite powerful.
What was once a rush item became an optional item against crowd control. Use it against heavy-pick compositions relying on getting an engage to dismantle you. By having a spell shield to protect you from that Nocturne Paranoia or Ashe Arrow, you can increase your chances of winning such games.
But be wary not to waste the spellshield before a teamfight begins, since it needs quite a bit of time to recharge. If you waste it, then ask your team to wait a couple of seconds before engaging to ensure success or victory.
A great item if you’re facing champions who can lock you down and ruin your day. It’s cheaper than Banshee’s Veil and can be activated at will to cleanse crowd control, making it much more flexible. Building it against champions like Leona, Nautilus, Braum, or Syndra is a must if you don’t want to be blown up in a teamfight before you can react.