Akali has always been a strong champion in League of Legends. Her mobility and damage are obnoxious to deal with, especially with an item lead.

But if you build Akali AD, you also add survivability and tankiness to your playstyle, making Akali a truly broken champ.

Since AD Akali isn’t “meta”, I’ll spend extra time explaining how her damage works.

So, not only will I talk about runes and items, but I’ll also answer these questions in the post: is Akali AP or AD? Is AD Akali better than AP Akali? Does Akali have AD scalings?

So if you’re interested in learning everything there is to know about playing AD Akali at a higher level, scroll down to begin!

Is Akali AP or AD in League of Legends?

Akali AP or AD - Q tooltip

Is Akali physical or magic damage?

Akali is an AP-AD hybrid assassin champion in League of Legends.

All her abilities are magic damage and not physical. But she has AP and AD ratios on all of them. Akali can build either full AP or full AD in each game, depending on what’s needed. Her damage scales with attack damage and ability power.

Indeed, Akali is one of the most flexible champions when it comes to builds in LoL. Like Ezreal and other hybrids, Akali can build AP, AD, or an AP-AD mix.

However, Akali can also get tank items such as Turbo Chemtank and still be viable, which can’t be said for the other hybrids.

To understand her champion design a little bit better, here is a table with all of Akali’s AP and AD ratios and damaging numbers. 

Akali’s AbilitiesBase DamageAP RatioAD Ratio
Passive – Assassin’s Mark35 − 182 based on level – magic damage55% AP60% AD
Q – Five Point Strike30 / 55 / 80 / 105 / 130 – magic damage60% AP65% AD
W – Twilight Shroud///
E – Shuriken FlipFirst cast: 30 / 56.25 / 82.5 / 108.75 / 135 – magic damage
Second cast: 70 / 131.25 / 192.5 / 253.75 / 315  – magic damage
First cast: 36% AP
Second cast: 84% AP
First cast: 25.5% AD
Second cast: 59.5% AD
R – Perfect ExecutionFirst cast: 80 / 220 / 360 – magic damage
Second cast: 60 / 130 / 200 plus 0-200% of the target’s missing health – magic damage
First cast: 30% AP
Second cast: 30% AP
First cast: 50% AD
Second cast: /

Keep in mind that as patches roll, some of these numbers may change too. For example, if Riot Games decide to buff Akali, these numbers will be higher in the live version.

And the same goes for nerfs too.

Read Also: Volibear Full AP Build Guide

Can Akali Be AD?

Does Akali have AD scaling?

Akali has AD scalings on all of her damaging abilities. However, her abilities are all magic and not physical. This means that Akali can increase her damage with attack damage items and be an AD assassin.

However, she can’t benefit from stats like lethality because her spells don’t do physical damage.

Akali players are often divided into two groups: those who play AP Akali and those who play AD Akali. And throughout the champion’s history, both AP and AD playstyles have been meta.

In season 12, it’s still possible to play AD Akali. This build can be a great counter play to many champions in the mid and top lane.

And if you really want to, you can definitely play full AD Akali in League of Legends and find success with it.

If you’re really interested in playing AD Akali, I really recommend watching this YouTube video. It showcases a player that reached Masters by playing AD bruiser/survival Akali. Definitely worth watching!

However, here’s what you need to know about the current AP and AD Akali playstyles in LoL!

Read Also: Lich Bane Akali Build Guide

AP Akali vs. AD Akali – What’s Better?

Akali AP or AD - R tooltip

And should you play AD or AP Akali?

AP Akali is a lot better than AD Akali. Since all of Akali’s abilities deal magic damage, she synergizes better with a full AP build. AP Akali has a better burst and more damage overall.

However, the AD Akali build is tankier and has more survivability through self-healing and high armor/magic resist stats.

Rather than thinking if AD or AP Akali does more damage, let’s see where the strengths lie in each build.

As an AP assassin, Akali’s playstyle is similar to that of Zed or Fizz. Here, it’s all about finding that perfect execution on the enemy ADC or mid lane.

The gameplay should be more calculated, centering around one-shotting a squishy opponent with Akali’s R.

But as an AD bruiser, Akali is able to survive way longer in a team fight and deal more consistent damage through auto-attacks. Items like Goredrinker and Death’s Dance offer her self-healing, so she’s also allowed to make a mistake. 

The AD playstyle isn’t as “calculative” as the AP one, so it’s a bit simpler to play. Because of this, some players say that AD Akali is easier to play than AP Akali. And although it may be true, it’s easier to get kills on AP Akali than on AD Akali.

So, if you like the bursty assassin type of playstyle, go for AP Akali. And if you like to be a fighter, go for AD Akali.

That’s all you need to know if you were wondering if AD Akali is better than AP Akali!

Now, let’s talk about what are the best items for Akali and what should you build on Akali in s13!

Read Also: Irelia AP or AD – Guide

AD Akali S13 Runes – Explained

AD Akali runes

Here are the best AD Akali runes for season 13:

  • Conqueror
  • Presence of Mind
  • Legend: Tenacity
  • Coup de Grace
  • Bone Plating
  • Overgrowth

CONQUEROR is the best keystone for many bruisers in League of Legends, including Akali when you build her AD. It increases your total damage and self-healing in combat, making you incredibly durable.

Conqueror synergizes very well with the rest of Akali’s AD build and allows her to be super tanky while also giving her lots of damage.

PRESENCE OF MIND is here to solve Akali’s energy problems. It restores 15% energy upon a champion takedown, allowing Akali to continue fighting.

Without Presence of Mind, you’ll be constantly waiting for your energy to come back up in a team fight. Presence of Mind is a must-have rune for Akali and you definitely want to have it.

LEGEND: TENACITY will help you deal with all crowd control effects the enemy team throws at you. It grants more tenacity the more champion takedowns you have. And in the late game, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll sit in stun or root for longer than 1 second.

COUP DE GRACE is a simple rune that boosts your damage by 8% against all enemies below 40% HP.

It just makes it more likely that you’ll slay your target, especially when you need to assassinate a carry with the second charge of Perfect Execution.

BONE PLATING is mainly here for the benefits it gives you during the laning phase. When activated, it reduces the incoming damage of the next 3 from your enemy.

And when you have it available, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll get one-shotted or slain before you can react.

OVERGROWTH is another rune that synergizes with the overall AD build for Akali. It passively increases your maximum health while farming minions, so you don’t have to do anything out of the ordinary.

Having more health is crucial for any melee champion, especially an off-meta bruiser such as Akali.

So, I recommend sticking with this rune page in every game as AD Akali. It’s really powerful.

Read Also: AP Varus One-Shot Build Guide LoL

AD Akali S13 Items – Explained

AD Akali item build

And here are the best AD Akali items for season 13:

  • Plated Steelcaps
  • Goredrinker
  • Sterak’s Gage
  • Death’s Dance
  • Guardian Angel
  • Dead Man’s Plate

PLATED STEELCAPS are super-useful boots in LoL, especially if you’re facing multiple AD champions. Not only do they give you bonus armor, but they also reduce the incoming damage from attacks.

With AD Akali, you’ll likely fight in the middle of everyone, so the extra protection that Plated Steelcaps give is essential.

GOREDRINKER is the mythic item to go for on AD Akali. It’s what makes this build viable and it’s a powerful addition to Akali’s kit.

Goredrinker’s stats include attack damage, health, ability haste, and omnivamp – everything that Akali needs.

On the other hand, Goredinker’s active allows you to heal yourself based on how many enemy champions you use it on.

And in team fights, it can you heal over 40-50% HP. Its cooldown is super low, so you spam it all the time.

STERAK’S GAGE is one of the most useful items in League of Legends. It gives you a lot of bonus health while also increasing your total attack damage.

When you drop below 30% HP, Sterak’s Gage casts a huge shield on you that scales with your bonus health.

And since you have runes and items that increase your health, the shield will be enormous. So, it’s a key item for surviving in fights.

DEATH’S DANCE is the last core item you need in this AD Akali build. Besides the damage, armor, and ability haste, Death’s Dance also makes you tanky.

With the passive Ignore Pain, 30% of the incoming damage won’t be taken instantly but over 3 seconds instead.

This practically makes it impossible for enemies to one-shot you. And you’ll always be able to heal yourself during those 3 seconds.

GUARDIAN ANGEL allows you to resurrect after being slain. When you play Akali and have over 3000 health as an AD bruiser, it’s already hard for the enemy team to slay you.

But when you resurrect with 50% HP restored, it’s almost impossible for them to win a team fight.

GA is one of the most helpful items in the game. It grants so much attack damage and armor, and it’s the perfect item for late game team fights.

DEAD MAN’S PLATE is the last item you’re going to need on AD Akali. It grants armor and health, but you mainly need it for the movement speed and the damage boost from its passive.

Read Also: AP Gragas Build Guide

Optional and Situational Items for AD Akali

Here are some other useful items for AD Akali.

If you’re facing multiple mages, Spirit Visage may be a better item for you. Similarly, if the enemy team has a lot of assassins, Zhonya’s Hourglass may be a better choice.

And sometimes you’ll need extra damage to deal with tanks, so items like Shadowflame will be necessary. Even though Akali scales with AD, her abilities are still magic damage and therefore benefit from magic penetration.

Divine Sunderer is another mythic you can try, but it doesn’t offer the same survivability as Goredrinker.


The AD Akali build is one of the most fun builds I’ve ever played in League of Legends. The bruiser playstyle fits Akali so well that I honestly can’t go back to playing the squishy AP assassin Akali build.

Because of that, I can’t help but recommend you try it out. And I hope this guide informed you of all you need to know about playing Akali AD. 

GL & HF!

Read Also: AD Nidalee Bruiser Build Guide

Last Update: March 2, 2024