How to Play Illaoi: Updated Guide for Season 11

How to Play Illaoi

Illaoi is by far one of my favorite champions in League of Legends. She is an excellent top lane choice and is never completely out of the metagame.

She excels at pushing the lane and putting a ton of pressure on the opponent. When pushed up, you are normally vulnerable to jungle attention. Illaoi, however, is one of the best 1 v 2 champs in the game.

Once you have a little experience, you can easily turn an enemy gank into a double kill for yourself.

Many new players or those unfamiliar with this champ, often ask “How does Illaoi work?”

We will answer that and get you well on your way to dominating the top lane.

How Do Illaoi’s Tentacles Work?

Her basic mechanic revolves around her passive which spawns tentacles around the map.

When your passive is up, a tentacle will spawn on the closest piece of terrain within range (including towers and inhibitors.) These work with Illaoi’s “W” ability to slam enemy units and champs.

The most important thing to know is that you want to set up tentacles all through your lane to gain extra damage output.

The idea is to set up tentacles on either side of the lane so that multiple tentacles can hit your target at the same time.

When your tentacles hit two or more enemies, you heal for a small portion of the damage dealt. This is what gives Illaoi the ability to survive through ganks, especially when you have ult available.

How Does Illaoi’s “E” Work?

Your “E” is by far the most important basic ability that you have.

It is a medium-range skill shot with a decent size hitbox. It shoots out a tentacle from your position and grabs the spirit from the enemy champ and pulls it to your position.

That spirit then remains in place for 8 seconds (duration is no longer lowered if Illaoi takes damage.) Each hit on the spirit echoes damage onto the enemy champ.

If the spirit runs out of health or the enemy champ leaves the large circle around the spirit, the enemy champ becomes cursed.

When an enemy is cursed, they are slowed for a short duration and tentacles will spawn around them and automatically attack.

This is usually the first ability that you max.

How Does Illaoi’s “W” Work?

Your “W” is an empowered auto-attack. It increases your range slightly and does additional percentage health damage. When you hit a target with your “W”, the tentacles within ranges will slam down on that target as well, damaging any other targets they hit as well.

This is used as a vital part of your combo but is also great at wave clearing when combined with your “Q”.

How Does Illaoi’s “Q” Work?

Illaoi’s “Q” turns the handheld idol that she carries into a tentacle that slams in a straight line in front of her. It is great for wave clearing especially later in the game.

In the early game, it is very mana intensive, so use it wisely. It is best to try to hit the minions and the enemy champ at the same time when using this early.

How to Use Illaoi’s Ult

When Illaoi ults, she jumps up and slams the idol on the ground spawning an additional tentacle for each enemy champ within range.

A spirit clone created by using your “E” ability counts as an additional champion and will spawn another tentacle. Using your “W” ability, all of the tentacles come crashing down together and will do a ton of damage while healing Illaoi at the same time.

Illaoi’s Combo

To maximize your damage output, start by pulling a spirit clone with your “E”. Once you have that in place, wait until the other champs are within range and then ult.

Immediate hit “W” and continue to spam that ability until everyone is dead or has run out of the circle.

What is the Best Rune for Illaoi?

Legend: Tenacity
Last Stand
Taste of Blood
Ravenous Hunter
Ravenous Hunter

Illaoi doesn’t really have a great keystone rune. Conqueror is generally the best since it stacks during your extended trades and provides extra healing which is critical to her kit. I think there is room to experiment with other more damage oriented builds as well.

Everything on this rune page is design to maximize your healing and create insane 1 v 2 potential.

Illaoi Build

Sterak's Gage
Sterak’s Gage
Merc Treads
Death’s Dance
Spirit Visage
Spirit Visage
Black Cleaver
Black Cleaver

You have two different paths you can take with the new item system on Illaoi. Since Illaoi has healing built into her kit, you just need to slow down burst damage to win most fights. So you can either increase your overall healing during extended fights, or your sustained damage. For extra healing, select Goredrinker as your Mythic item. For more armor pen and sustained damage, select the Divine Sunderer

The other two items that synergize well with her kit are Death’s Dance and Sterak’s Gage. The longer you can stay in the fight, the more value you get from your healing and AOE abilities. A Spirit Visage amplifies your healing and really puts this build over the edge.

For your last item, you can either go for more armor or magic resist depending on the enemy comp. Or another great option is a Black Cleaver to maximize your overall damage.

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