Friday, July 8, 2011

Akali: The First of Shadow

There exists an ancient order originating in the Ionian Isles dedicated to the preservation of balance. Order, chaos, light, darkness -- all things must exist in perfect harmony for such is the way of the universe. This order is known as the Kinkou and it employs a triumvirate of shadow warriors to uphold its causes in the world. Akali is one of these shadow warriors, entrusted with the sacred duty of Pruning the Tree - eliminating those who threaten the equilibrium of Valoran.

A prodigal martial artist, Akali began training with her mother as soon as she could make a fist. Her mother's discipline was relentless and unforgiving, but predicated on the fundamental principle: "We do that which must be done." When the Kinkou inducted her into the order at the age of fourteen, she could slice a dangling chain with a chop of her hand. There was no question - she would succeed her mother as the Fist of Shadow. She has had to do much in this role which others might find morally questionable, but to her it is in service of her mother's inviolable doctrine. She now works with her fellows Shen and Kennen to enforce the balance of Valoran. This hallowed pursuit has unsurprisingly led the triumvirate to the Fields of Justice.

"The Fist of Shadow strikes from the cover of death itself. Do not impede the balance."

Akali is a hybrid anti-carry champion with huge burst damage and is a fantastic chaser.  She is probably the best hybrid character in the game with her passive, Twice Disciplines, which adds magic damage to her auto attacks based on her AP and spell vamp based on her AD.  She has Mark of the Assassin for burst damage, Crescent Slash (which deals AD) and AOE damage, Twilight Shroud for defense, and Shadow Dance for chasing and juking.

The biggest drawback for Akali is that she is squishy AND melee.  She alleviates some of this while hiding in her Twilight Shroud, but it has a fairly long cooldown for how often you are going to want to use it.  But the best way to prevent your death is to just do what Akali does best; run in, assassinate someone, and run out (Twilight Shroud/Shadow Dance for safe exits), while your tank takes all the hits.

While there are several champions that can very viably go Hybrid (Shaco, Twisted Fate, Ezreal, Kog’Maw, etc), most of these characters would actually do greater damage by just picking AP OR AD; whereas Akali would be missing out by only picking one.   You are losing either extra spell vamp or extra magic damage, both of which are going to make you far more deadly if you have them.


  1. Most of your posts, i agree with but i feel you were very premature with your judgement of Akali, Akali A) is not a hybrid carry, she is AP, yes, she gets gunblade... late in her build, but the way that is... probably the best to play her is straight AP, getting gunblade late in the build(revolver early gunblade late)... after like rylais lich bane ect... items to improve survivability... B) Shaco != hybrid C) TF != hybrid D) Kog maw != Hybrid E) Kayle is a better Hybrid carry then akali :P... F) Jax is a better Hybrid then akali :P.... Akali is one of my Favs, and i def. like that you like playing her, but she shouldn't be played hybrid, not that you shouldnt proc your Twin disciples spell vamp... 6.6 atk damage in marks + atk damage mastery procs it w/o items, and the extra spell vamp from revolver more then makes up for what you'd lose by not adding more AD... Akali is better then Jax.... but definitely not better when played hybrid... also... Crescent slash is akalis worst move, and really 90% of her damage comes from Q + R... uhmmmm... yeah... iono... Akali's role is to shit all over then enemy team early... and then if fed shit all over the enemy tame late... Generally speaking you want runes for her so you can start boots 3 pots... Chaox had a pretty solid rune page for her that i like at least: AD marks untill you get 6.6 magic pen for the rest... flat AP quints, ap per level glyphs and health per level seals... that build gets you both procs on twin disciples by level 2, w/o items... so you can start boots... and it also gives you 170 bonus health at level 18 which is pretty baller, plus a bit of magic pen which doesn't hurt... prolly a bit of tweaking makes that configuration better, but i like it... Twilight shroud is a profoundly useful skill even on a high cooldown and should almost never be used after level 6 untill you have initiated, akalis who use it before they Q or R are awful and deserve to be shot(unless its used to secure escapes or slow enemies, but i think most of the time slowing enemies is not necessary or worth the waste of the w).... before level 6 you have more freedom with it, but after, you really need it because when you initiate on more then one to pick up that kill they will eat your soul unless you can R out really fast without TS, with TS you has time to think and that time will let you plan an intelligent escape, plus it disorients people and you can actually tank OK in it due to the passive bonus to MR and Armor... Akali also has ridiculous dragon control because of her high spell vamp, and should look to Team fight at dragon cause she will probably win, at least early on... uhmmmmm... Also, ORACLES counter akali, and they are very important if the enemy team has a fed akali, akali cant pick off your carry(at least w/o dying) in a lot of situations if you see her in TS moreover, it means she doesn't get free harass on you... Fed akali's seem unstoppable, but they aren't if you have an oracle... cause she is as you said very squishy. reading your article again, you mention most of this last part, except teh oracles... but meh, im too lazy to remove it. Glad you've joined the Akali fan club, go watch chaox play her, he is very good at her actually, and he brings up a lot of what i say here... Akali is imo a very underrated champion right now because she has trouble solo laning against sustainability like irelia/ww ect... But she is still very good and honestly i think pretty good if fed by a support in bottom lane Taric-Akali is hella boss xD... its like have shadow dance at level 1... but yeah, not hybrid... definitely AP assassin... I am curious however as to how you build her, cause i have seen a lot of builds for her, i would just say AP is pretty much the best xD...

  2. I tend to build her mostly AP, but with some good AD items. The last game I played with her I actually rushed Gun blade (saw Elementz do it one of his videos and wanted to try it) and I DESTROYED with it. Not saying this will always work, but Gun blade doesn't have to be last.

    I do agree that Crescent Slash is her worst ability, but its still useful and makes it easy to farm.

    And thank you, you do make some very good points. I do not pretend to know everything about this game (I personally think that knowing EVERYTHING about a game like this is impossible, its too dynamic), and its nice to get other people's feedback on what I think.