Akali has always been a cult favorite assassin on Summoner's Rift, and while she's had some changes in her time, none have been as big as her rework. Let's take a look at The Rogue Assassin.
Passive: Assassin’s Mark
When Akali damages an enemy Champion with an ability, she creates a circle around her target. This circle gives Akali a burst of movement speed when moving toward the circle, and once she crosses its borders, she gains another burst of speed toward the originally marked champion.
Breaking the border also triggers Akali's "Swinging Karma", giving her next basic attack increased range and bonus damage.
This passive reminds us of Akali's old Q, which gave her first attack bonus damage against its marked target, but with the added bonus of movement speed and the extra layer of having to play around an area.
RealSport Rating: 6/10. Not ideal.
The overall problem we see with this passive is that Akali, who is an assassin with (presumably) some huge snowball potential, wants to be deleting her targets as quick as possible. She wants to take her leads and press the enemy with it.
This passive, although not the only tool in her kit, suggests a slower playstyle than that. It rings a similar tune to that of the previous version of LeBlanc, who, before her re-rework, had to wait on her spells to develop around her target before she could delete them.
It's this "I can't kill you just yet" restriction that gave Riot the idea that LeBlanc would need some tuning, and its that same restriction that makes us think this passive will be more of a hinderance to a fed Akali than it should be. It will be a bit less instant than her old Q at trading in lane, and force a more exploitable all in playstyle from the assassin.
Q: Five Point Strike
Akali throws five knives in a narrow passage in front of her in a fashion very similar to Swain's Q. They also slow enemies hit at the end of the knives range, meaning bonus points to the summoners that can master Akali's distancing.
If cast close enough to full energy, Akali will also be healed for a percentage of the damage dealt.
Once at rank 5, the Q also becomes a good wave clearing tool, gaining bonus damage to minions and monsters.
Realsport Rating: 7/10. Decent.
As stated before, this Q seems like a Swain deal. If the numbers are just as they should be, then this ability isn't going to be busted, and it isn't going to be underwhelming. It'll fit right in the sweetspot of combat, poke, and wave clear.
It's simple, sweet, and has a nice slow to wrap it all up when landed correctly, meaning a nice segue to catching up with her Q. It's quite synergistic, but until the numbers are clear, we aren't sure just yet how strong it may be.
W: Twilight Shroud
Akali creates a shroud of smoke around herself, gaining stealth, movement speed, and regaining some energy. Sounds similar to her old kit, right? There are a couple kickers, though.
Firstly, the shroud of smoke slowly forms into a ring after being created, leaving a space in the middle that Akali must avoid to remain stealthed.
Secondly, Akali's position can be revealed, but she herself cannot so long as she remains in the smoke. Which basically means you try to fight her under your own tower, you can see her outline within the smoke, but you can't target her.
Not only that, but your turret can't target her either. Which means she relieves herself of turret aggro whenever she wants, assuming she has her W up.
Realsport Rating: 9/10. Busted.
In the right hands, this ability is downright abusive. And you can bet you'll see a number of LCS teams have great success coordinating dives that make good use of the insane mechanics in Akali's W.
It's not just that the enemy can't see you. It's that they can't ever target you while this W is in play. Not only that, but the enemy turret can't target you.
It's like LeBlanc's stealth, but with a movement speed buff and a Zhonya's Hourglass attached. Riot will need to put a big cooldown timer on this one to keep it suppressed.
Like we said, busted.
E: Shuriken Flip
A skillshot ability that allows Akali to send out a single shuriken. The enemy hit will take damage and become marked.
Akali can reactivate Shuriken Flip to dash to marked targets. If she passes through an enemy while dashing to said her original, that enemy will also take damage.
Just to make the W situation even more daunting, Akali can mark her own shroud of smoke with her E and dash to it, giving her yet another option to escape a bad situation.
Though it's not as op as it sounds since Akali will most likely be using the E to engage on her target mid to late game in the first place (unless they're out of position for her to land W), so it won't so often be around for an escape if she chooses to fight.
RealSport Rating: 8/10. Strong.
This is the kind of ability that could create another Zoey situation. If the numbers are just too high on the damage side of this ability, it becomes a 'if I dodge the E I win, if I don't I lose.' sort of deal. And no one likes that.
But if Riot gets this ability right, then skirmishes that involve Akali will be really interesting, coming down to zone control and distancing that could make for some very innovative and inspiring gameplay throughout the lane and mid to late game phases.
R: Perfect Execution
Akali dashes through anything twice, with a slight cooldown between the first dash and the second. The first dash causes a slight stun for all those Akali dashed through, while the second dash has increased damage, scaling with the enemies' missing health.
Its the iconic "Jesus christ, stop jumping around for half a second" Akali ability we've all come to know and hate, and we couldn't be happier that Riot has decided to keep that identity close to the reworked ninja. It's core to her identity.
RealSport Rating: 7/10. Perfect flavor.
Be wary, however. That 7 instantly becomes a 'Riot pls nerf/10' when she gets far ahead.
Let us know what you think of the new Akali rework in the comments below!