Akshan, the Rogue Sentinel, is League of Legends’ newest champion.
The third champ released in 2021 provides an interesting take on the marksman class. Instead of being designed with primary use in the bottom lane made in mind, Akshan was built for success in the solo lanes due to the way his kit is more ability focused and how his attack speed scales. Akshan’s play patterns align with a mobile skirmisher who can use the map to his advantage thanks to his grappling hook.
If you’re searching for another unorthodox marksman champ with lots of utility and mobility, Akshan will be a fine addition to your repertoire.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to play Akshan.
Runes and abilities
Like most marksman characters, Akshan’s primary rune tree will be found in Precision. Press The Attack is a fantastic rune for Akshan due to how your Heroic Swing ability can quickly stack it when you swing near an enemy. Aside from Press The Attack, Conqueror is another potent option if you’re in a matchup where it’s easy to harass the opponent without them answering back, like in a melee matchup.
If you’re in a lane where you will get out-poked and harassed by your opponent, Fleet Footwork is a strong consideration to assist you in surviving the laning phase.
Here’s a breakdown of Akshan’s abilities:
Passive: Dirty Fighting
Akshan’s passive has two components. The easier one to make sense of and take most advantage of is the multi-hitting passive, which draws similarities to Vi. Whenever you strike an opponent with an ability or basic attack, you apply a stack against an enemy.
Once three stacks are accumulated within five seconds of each other, you detonate the marks dealing bonus magic damage and gaining a shield if the target was a champion. This shield component from the passive can only be activated once every few seconds.
The other half of Akshan’s passive ties to his auto attacks and how slow his attack speed is. Whenever Akshan uses a basic attack, an additional shot is fired dealing bonus damage, but if you cancel the second shot you gain a bonus movement speed for the next second. This gives Akshan good chase potential if you can understand the timing of these auto attack cancels.
If you allow time for the second shot though, it triggers on-hit effects (like your three-hit passive and Press the Attack), but benefits from critical strike modifiers at a reduced effectiveness.
Akshan’s Q throws a boomerang forward in a target direction, dealing damage to each enemy that it passes through. In addition to this, each time an enemy is hit by the boomerang, the range is extended with no limit to the range if it can keep striking enemies. After reaching the maximum range, the boomerang returns to Akshan damaging and applying the same effects back.
Whenever a champion is hit by Akshan’s Q, he gains a temporary burst of movement speed.
Since Avengerang has a cast time and shoots the boomerang from where you finish your cast, you can surprise your opponent with a Q and Flash for surprise burst damage opportunities.
W: Going Rogue
Akshan’s W has two important components that are paramount to understanding to find success with him.
The passive portion marks any enemy champions that kill your teammates with the “Scoundrel” debuff for one minute. If you takedown a Scoundrel, you score an extra 100 gold for the kill and revive all dead allies that were slain by that Scoundrel and remove the Scoundrel title from all other enemies.
The active portion of Going Rogue gives Akshan a camouflage which can last forever while inside a brush (like Teemo) or when near a wall (like Taliyah), and lasts for two seconds when not satisfying either condition.
While he’s camouflaged, Akshan gains bonus movement speed and mana regeneration when moving towards Scoundrels. In addition to these bonuses, Akshan can see a trail leading towards Scoundrels, similar to Warwick’s Blood Hunt.
E: Heroic Swing
Akshan’s E is the most flashy and kit-defining part of all of his abilities. The Heroic Swing allows you to shoot a grappling hook and rotate around terrain very quickly. During the cast, you traverse great lengths and perform auto attacks to any nearby enemies. In addition to this, you can cancel the swing early to do one last leap in a target direction, which can also fire one last bullet.
Heroic Swing’s Cooldown is reset when you score a takedown against an enemy champion, providing multiple movement options in a teamfight if you look out for them.
To get a quick understanding of best using Akshan’s Heroic Swing, if you E to a close or rounded wall you dash for less distance, which can let you deal more repeated damage. However the inverse is true, as using your E from a far away wall lets you swing and move for ridiculous ranges but at the opportunity cost of missing a few potential auto attacks.
Be careful when using this ability and take some time to practice to fully master it. If you mash your right clicks or smart casts, you may accidentally cancel it early, which will leave you vulnerable.
Akshan’s ultimate draws many similarities to Caitlyn’s Ace in the Hole. After selecting an enemy champion, Akshan takes time charging up to store some bullets, Akshan will send all stored ammo towards the enemy champion, but they can be blocked by other champions, minions, and structures.
If your opponent tries to hide behind their allies, you can use multiple movement options to surprise them. Akshan may still move cast Heroic Swing, and even Flash, while performing either charging up, or firing the Comeuppance.
Even though Akshan isn’t made to be played in the bottom lane like most marksmen, his item builds share many similarities to them. Under most circumstances, you should go for Noonquiver-type Mythics, with Galeforce being a potent one for the extra mobility and burst damage that synergizes with your kit.
While most conventional builds will focus on crit, there are a few circumstances where you can use Lethality Mythics if the enemy team lacks a bulky frontline or has powerful burst potential against you. Eclipse could double as a powerful item with both offensive (due to its ability proc) and defensive (thanks to the shield and lifesteal) components that can assist you.
When deciding on legendary items, going for critical strike is favored due to his abilities that still benefit from critical strike (like his E and R). Essence Reaver matches well especially with his kit since you want to try to weave abilities alongside your auto attacks.
Aside from benefiting from critical strike items, Akshan’s abilities and second shot also benefit from lifesteal. This means you can look towards building Bloodthirster as a potent sustain option.
How to perform during early laning
When laning with Akshan, you should look to use your range advantage to harass the enemy and keep the lanes pushed with your basic attacks and Avengerangs. Despite your Q dealing reduced damage against minions, it helps you stack your three-hit passive, which deals massive damage.
If you’re fearful of getting ganked due to pushing your lanes then properly angling your grappling hook can help you find creative escapes. Despite having this powerful disengage tool, if enemies can blink onto you, then your dash will be stopped leading to your demise. If you have your lane pushed up against your opponent, you can either roam or fake one which can force other lanes on the map to play defensively.
How to best navigate the mid and late game
Once the mid game arrives after having some completed items under your belt, you can find some creative angles to flank opponents with Going Rogue’s active component. Due to Going Rogue being a Camouflage, you need to be mindful of opposing Control Ward placements as those can spot you, and any enemy lurking in a bush can surprise you and see you as you’re trying to enter.
The late game is when Akshan can make more use of the passive parts of his kit. Due to how your W revival ability on teammates works, you should not aim to lead in fights, and instead mainly follow up on allied engages. After a path is cleared for you to safely perform in a fight, look towards slaying enemies who killed your allies.
After teamfight trades occurred, any teammates revived from completing the scoundrel mechanic allows you to get a macro lead on your opponent with more members on the map.
Try out Akshan when he releases with Patch 11.15 later this week on July 21.
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