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League of Legends Akshan, the Rogue Sentinel: Abilities, how to play, and more

The Prince of Persia combined with the sass of all the lovable rogue archetypes you care to mention, Akshan, the Rogue Sentinel will be hitting a rift near you soon. Here’s how he’s going to play:
League of Legends Akshan, the Rogue Sentinel: Abilities, how to play, and more

He’s witty, he’s flamboyant, and he has a grappling hook - Akshan hits all the archetypes for stylish scoundrel you could ask for. A touch ironic, considering his kit. As a Sentinel, he stands firmly against Viego and the Ruination… though perhaps with a limited amount of that “rule following” nonsense. Enough of all the doom and gloom and the collapse of Runeterran society, Akshan is here to help fight the Black Mist back!

But lore and aesthetics aside, here’s the full lowdown on his abilities and a look at how he’s likely to play when he hits the rift:

Ability Breakdown

Passive - Dirty Fighting

Ah, three-hit passives, a staple of most modern champion releases. Akshan is no exception.

At its core Dirty Fighting is simple - hit enemies three times with attacks or abilities, do more (physical) damage on that third hit. If said enemy happens to be a champion? Even better, you’ll gain a shield.

Where the ability gets more complex is in the second part of this passive. Every time Akshan attacks, he fires a second attack with lower damage shortly afterwards. Think Lucian’s Lightslinger passive, but on every auto. However, you can cancel this secondary attack (most easily by inputting a movement command) and Akshan will instead gain a burst of movement speed.

Where the mastery in this ability will lie is in deciding between doing for the raw damage or the move speed, and reassessing that on the fly during fights. This could well be a deceptively intricate part of Akshan’s kit to master.

Q - Avengerang

Boomerangs seem to be unusually common in the League of Legends Universe. Sivir, Gnar, and now Akshan all lay claim to this as a weapon of choice.

Avengerang is a line skillshot, doing damage on both the outward on return journeys, but has its range extended by every enemy it hits. This will make it a potent trading tool in lane, especially when used through minions to abuse that extended range, and potentially in teamfights as well as a way to put damage through a frontline into the back.

Keep in mind that both the outward and return arcs of Avengerang can proc Akshan’s passive, so landing both parts of the ability and pairing it up with an auto-attack will make for a great trading pattern. You get the shield, you get the added damage, and can then decide whether to all-in or back out. A likely first max, assuming strong numbers.

W - Going Rogue

“My name is Akshan Montoya. You killed my teammates - prepare to die.” The Princess Bride references are rife within Akshan’s character, and no more so than here with his W.

If there’s an ability that’s raised community eyebrows, it’s this one. Going Rogue has both a passive and an active, with the passive in particular seeming incredibly potent. In short, whenever an ally is killed by an enemy champion, said champion gets marked as a “Scoundrel.”

If Akshan gets the takedown (i.e. kill or assist) on a Scoundrel, then all allied champions who had died by their hand immediately resurrect at your team’s fountain alongside some nice bonus gold. You heard that right - a full, multi-man resurrect as the passive to a basic ability. Now just think about what happens if Viego steals Akshan’s body…

Now, there are a few caveats. Foremost amongst them, if multiple enemies get kills on Akshan’s allies, then only the first enemy to die with the help of Akshan’s hand counts as a Scoundrel. Every other enemy has their Scoundrel status wiped. In turn, that means only allies that were killed by that enemy are revived; everyone else has to wait their turn.

In the frenetic mess of teamfights, ensuring that the right enemy dies first to ensure the right teammate(s) get revived is very difficult, especially considering assists also count towards Going Rogue for better or worse.

All that without touching the active part of Going Rogue, which grants Akshan camouflage. This is active for a short duration, unless he is near terrain where the effects are indefinite. While Going Rogue is active, Akshan can see trails leading towards Scoundrels, and gains move speed and mana regeneration when moving towards them. Think Warwick’s Blood Hunt.

It’s a great ambushing ability, as to be expected from an effect that makes Evelynn and her ilk so dangerous, and a powerful roaming tool through the jungle and river with the time extension granted by being near terrain. There’s a world where this makes Akshan a potential jungle flex (if he can clear). Add in synergy with Akshan’s E, and it makes for a good disengage tool, too. Get out of range with the grappling hook, then hit the camouflage to become untargetable.

E - Heroic Swing

The Prince of Persia and Ezio Auditore can eat their hearts out, as Akshan has his own stylish way to traverse terrain.

Heroic Swing Comes in two parts: on first activation, the hookshot fires out, embedding in the first piece of terrain hit. On reactivation, Akshan swings around in the direction cast, firing physical damage bullets at the nearest enemy, with the ability to jump off mid-swing by reactivating a third time.

Mobility and damage in one neat package - what’s not to love? Even better, Heroic Swing gets reset on takedown, allowing him the ability to chase or disengage after snagging that first kill. Depending on the damage numbers and cooldown, this is another strong call for a first max. A little play testing will be needed first.

Heroic Swing will surely make for a great trading tool (especially with how quickly it procs Akshan’s Passive), either as a way to start up a fight, or to back away quickly from one. Add in its raw mobility when doubled up with Going Rogue’s camouflage and Akshan can get around the map very quickly and largely unnoticed. He might not be quite Evelynn or Talon, but the hybrid strengths of both should offers some very creative roam and gank paths.

Oh, and importantly it resets on takedowns! If you see the all-in you can get right back on out if you secure the kill.

R - Comeuppance

Revenge is a dish best served with lots of bullets, apparently. Comeuppance gives Akshan a way to finish up what the rest of his kit started.

Akshan locks onto an enemy champion with Comeuppance, and begins channeling. During this period Akshan stores bullets, at the end of which he unleashes them dealing physical damage, which scales based on the enemy’s missing health. Akshan can also recast Comeuppance to start firing early, at the price of fewer bullets.

Interestingly, Akshan can both move normally and use Heroic Swing while channeling and firing Comeuppance, which gives a lot of options for keeping enemies in Akshan’s crosshairs, and evading any enemies trying to bring the bullet hell to an early close.

Considering its missing health damage scaling, you’re best served using Akshan’s ultimate as an execute, to get the most out of it. Considering how fast it procs Akshan’s passive though, you won’t lose out too much if you use it to churn through the three-hit damage amp and shields to chunk enemies out instead. 

Be aware though that because its channeled, you can definitely be interrupted, so use Heroic Swing as a way to manage anyone who would stop you mid-ultimate, and to keep an angle on your target. It also makes for a good way to get that oh-so vital kill involvement to ensure your allies get resurrected. Keep that in mind, when choosing targets.

akshan league of legends
(Picture: Riot Games)

Build Options

Akshan’s build shouldn’t be anything revolutionary: whatever Lucian or other crit ADC’s are building in solo lanes, Akshan is likely following. Kraken Slayer is surte to be a phenomenal Mythic Item for the synergy on third hit, but Immortal Shieldbow gives Akshan more survivability in tough lanes, and more staying power, which could be critical for getting those resurrects off for allies. Galeforce is another option, with an additional dash giving even more tools to reposition, and the move speed from the Mythic Passive giving more dangerous roams and sidelaning, but it may well also be overkill.

As with other ADCs, second item is somewhat variable - Phantom Dancer, Collector, Lord Dominik’s Regards are all worthy considerations, as is the ever-present Infinity Edge. In short, situational.

As a last note, there’s a world where Eclipse is a strong choice on Akshan. Duelling power for 1v1s in sidelines, with Lethality’s strength versus squishy targets could make Akshan a very scary snowball threat, especially if you can stay ahead of defensive itemisation with Serpent’s Fang and Collector.

akshan league of legends guide
(Picture: Riot Games)

Play Patterns

Designed to be a solo-lane ADC, Akshan certainly has tools to work with in mid particularly. Look to poke out through the minions with Q, and step forward aggressively if you can land both parts of the Avengerang, using the shield gained from Dirty Fighting to mitigate any return fire. Make sure to use the move speed from cancelling Dirty Fighting’s follow-up autos if you need to disengage faster.

For more aggressive trades and all-ins, fire off Heroic Swing towards a likely looking wall, but hold off on reactivating it. After, you’ll want to step forward and Auto - Q - Auto for the passive proc, before recasting Heroic Swing. You can choose whether to swing in for the kill or swing out for a dashing escape as needed then. Remember you can use Going Rogue to drop aggro with the camouflage as well if you do choose to back off!

Of course, if you’re struggling to close the distance, then by all means use Heroic Swing to open up and close the distance before using your autos and Q, but you can end up too deep doing so. Again, Going Rogue can help mitigate this if you can get out of visual range on the retreat.

aksha league of legends design
(Picture: Riot Games)

As for the ultimate, consider it either a finisher - especially when you can pair it up with Heroic Swing to chase down enemies - or as an opener, if you need to chunk out a squishy… though that will be less mathematically efficient the tankier an opponent gets. 

Outside of damage though, a lot of Akshan’s strengths are in his ability to get around the map quickly and evade enemy vision while doing so. If you want to master this champion, get good at roaming, hence the assumed preference for midlane where roam options are more open.

Going Rogue’s permanent camouflage uptime when near terrain makes it a very good tool for roaming through the jungle (or down a side lane), and the added speed and mobility from Heroic Swing can get him down on top of overextended enemies very quickly. For this reason alone, if his clear is good, there’s a very real world where Akshan can flex into the jungle. Duelling potential, stealth and gap-closer are good tools, but his lack of cc could hurt him here.

If you’re playing against Akshan and you’re in a side lane make sure you have control wards in place early and replace them frequently. They’ll counteract his camouflage and make his roams (or ganks) harder to pull off. 

As a last note, playing around Going Rogue’s resurrection mechanics can be a touch awkward. This is not a targeted resurrect like Zilean, and is dependent on who picks up the kills as to who you need to target. It’s much easier to make use of in skirmishes, or to punish solo kills, where target accessibility is less fraught. It can be much more of a lottery in team fights where any stray assist can wipe out Scoundrel on the main target and guaranteed access to said target is not possible. Even so, any teammates you can bring back is a boon, and prioritising Scoundrels should definitely be a major consideration around big fights.