Tank Akali Build – The Ultimate Build Guide

Tank Akali Build - The Ultimate Build Guide

Why Should You Play Akali Tank?

When you think of Akali, you first think of her dashes, then her invisibility, and then her burst damage. In other words, Akali is an assassin champion that outplays her opponents by being sneaky and slippery. And if you’ve played Akali even a bit in season 12, then you probably know that this playstyle doesn’t work. So, how does the tank Akali build fit here?

But first of all, let me explain why Akali (with her regular build) is currently in the 3rd tier of champions in League with an average win rate of 48%.

Season 12 brought many changes, but the most noticeable one is the amount of burst damage in the game. You’ve probably noticed that even tanks such as Ornn can one-shot you if they land their full combo. And so, this leaves the squishy champion such as Akali in a pretty vulnerable spot.

As Akali, you die extremely fast if the enemy team lands at least one crowd control ability on you. Her damage is strong, but everyone else’s is too. So, you can’t always rely on your dashes and your shroud to keep you safe from the enemy. And the proof for that is the poor success that this champion has this season.

However, you can eliminate these weaknesses if you go for a tank build on Akali. Will you sacrifice a bit of your damage in the process? Yes. But will you be more durable and able to survive longer in team fights? Hell yes.

In other words, tank Akali deals a bit less damage, but since she’s able to fight longer, she can do more damage overall. And as I mentioned already, even tanks in League of Legends can one-shot someone nowadays, so you shouldn’t be afraid of lacking damage.

That said, let’s check the tank Akali build in greater detail!

Also read: Best Farming Mid Laners in League of Legends

The Best Tank Akali Runes

Tank Akali Build - The Ultimate Build Guide

Grasp of the Undying

Grasp of the Undying is one of the best dueling keystones in the game. It allows your auto-attacks to deal 4% bonus damage based on your target’s max HP. Additionally, these attacks heal you for 2% of your max health and permanently increase your HP by 5.

Now, Grasp of the Undying empowers your auto-attacks every 4 seconds while in combat. This is a ridiculously low cooldown for such an effect. And Akali can really abuse it.

Grasp of the Undying synergizes with Akali’s passive since she already has to use her basic attacks to deal damage. But the additional healing and stacking of health works perfectly for making Akali a tanky champion.


In the second row of the Resolve tree, Demolish is the best rune to get for Akali. Demolish lets you break almost an entire turret plate in the early game, but its damage scales with your maximum HP. So, the more health you have, the quicker you’ll push the turrets. 

Additionally, Demolish has only 45 seconds cooldown, making it a very valuable tool for split pushing in League of Legends.

Bone Plating

Next, we have Bone Plating. In reality, all three choices in this row are helpful in Akali. For example, Second Wind allows you to heal yourself when an enemy attacks you. And you can definitely choose it if your lane opponent doesn’t have burst damage. On the other hand, Conditioning is a great tank rune overall since it grants you bonus armor and magic resist.

However, Bone Plating is the best choice in season 12 since everyone has burst. It reduces the damage you take when an enemy champion attacks you. (https://www.creditcadabra.com) And I recommend you play with Bone Plating if you’re going against an assassin.


And the last rune from Resolve is Overgrowth. Overgrowth passively increases your maximum HP when you slay minions and monsters. It synergizes with Grasp of the Undying and gives Akali a lot of extra health throughout the game. 

When you kill 120 minions or monsters in the game, Overgrowth grants an additional 3.5% max HP, which is also great. And together with the tanky item build, you can easily reach 4000+ maximum health on Akali in each game.

Nullifying Orb

One of the best secondary rune for Akali is Nullyfing Orb. This is a very underestimated rune in League of Legends, and no one really uses it. However, it’s beneficial, especially on Akali.

Nullifying Orb grants you a magic shield when an enemy deals magic damage to you below 30% HP. And since many champions have magic damage in season 12 (even fighters and ADCs get magic damage from their mythic items or runes), it procs every you get on low HP. This shield grows with levels and with AP and AD. And Akali has both.

Nullifying Orb has only 60 seconds cooldown.


And the final rune you want to have on tank Akali is Transcendence. This is such a useful runes that most Akali players run it even in her regular build. Transcendence grants ten ability haste. But it also resets the 20% remaining cooldown of your abilities when you score a kill or an assist, making it one of the most valuable runes in a team fight.

Even as a tank, Akali still relies on her dashes and shroud to dodge the incoming damage, so Transcendence is a handy choice.

Also read: Dark Harvest Jhin Build

The Best Tank Akali Item Build

Tank Akali Build - The Ultimate Build Guide

Frostfire Gauntlet

Frostfire Gauntlet is the mythic item you want to go for in this tank Akali build. Here’s why.

Frostfire Gauntlet grants 350 health, 25 armor, 25 magic resist, and 20 ability haste. Additionally, it grants 100 health and 6% size for each legendary item you have. So, it also synergizes with Grasp of the Undying and Overgrowth.

On the other hand, Frostfire Gauntlet is good for two other reasons. First, it lets you burn the enemies around you in combat, dealing magic damage based on level and your bonus health. And second, Frostfire Gauntlet applies a slow effect through your auto-attacks, allowing you to chase enemies more easily.

Titanic Hydra

Titanic Hydra is the next core item in this tank Akali build. Many players recommend that Titanic Hydra should be purchased first and Frostfire Gauntlet second. I agree. And here’s why.

Titanic Hydra grants health and attack damage. It also converts 2% of your maximum health into AD. Nearly all of Akali’s abilities already scale with AD, so it’s a great deal overall. 

Next, Titanic Hydra is another on-hit effect that makes your auto-attacks deal bonus damage. It also deals damage around your primary target, which is pretty useful for clearing waves and dealing AoE damage.

Death’s Dance

The third item you want to have is Death’s Dance. This is an offensive/defensive item in League because it grants attack damage, but it lets you heal up to 15% of your max health when you score a kill or an assist. 

Additionally, 35% of the physical damage you receive is actually taken over 3 seconds, reducing the effectiveness of the burst damage in the game overall.

That said, Death’s Dance is one of the best items for fighting in LoL!

Sterak’s Gage

Next, we have Sterak’s Gage. Besides bonus health and attack damage, Sterak’s Gage is great for one more thing. It grants you a shield when you reach below 30% HP, which is similar to Immortal Shieldbow.

However, the shield from Sterak’s Gage scales 8% of your maximum health. So, the more HP you stack, the bigger the shield will be. Additionally, if you strike more enemies during a fight, then the shield will be larger too.

Zhonya’s Hourglass

Zhonya’s Hourglass, being one of the best defensive items in the game, is a great option for Akali, even with her tank build. This item grants bonus armor and is very useful against a full AD team. However, its true value is in its active – Stasis.

Stasis allows you to become immune to all damaging or crowd control abilities in the game for 2.5 seconds. This is absolutely necessary for Akali, who often dives deep into the enemy backline and has to survive on her own. So, always buy Zhonya’s Hourglass.

Mercury’s Treads

When it comes to boots, Mercury’s Treads is the best option for tank Akali. The Tenacity you get is extremely valuable for avoiding standing in place for too long. You’ll reduce the duration of your opponents’ CC, so it’s a great purchase overall.

You can sometimes go for Plated Steelcaps or Sorcerer’s Shoes, depending on the enemy team.

Summoner’s Spells

Choosing Summoner’s Spells for Akali isn’t always easy. Some players advise you to go for Ignite and Teleport, while others insist on taking Flash. 

I’d recommend you stick to Flash + Ignite or Flash + Teleport. Flash is easily the most useful Summoner’s Spell in the game because it allows you to outplay your opponent or fly away from danger. 

Generally, you Flash and Ignite should be your combo for playing the tank Akali build in the mid lane. And Flash and Teleport are better overall for playing Akali in the top lane.


Personally, I love playing Akali with this tank build. When it first resurfaced from the Korean server, I dedicated much time to studying it. And I can tell you for sure – you don’t lose too much damage, but you gain so much more defensiveness! Seriously, all those on-hit effects make your auto-attacks hit like a truck. You’ll also have more HP than most champions in the game, and you’ll always die last.

All in all, I’d definitely recommend you to try this super fun tank Akali build!

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