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.
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.
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?
Illaoi is one of the few champions that can see great results from the Kelptomancy Rune. With its recent buff, it is even better. Since hits on the spirit clone give you klepto procs as well, you can stack up gold and consumables quickly.
This is by far the best rune, although some players are testing Dark Harvest while it is still considered OP.
The two core items you absolutely need are Sterak’s Gage and Death’s Dance. Since Illaoi has healing built into her kit, you just need to slow down burst damage to win most fights.
These two items give you protection against burst champs and increase your overall healing. With the buff to Death’s Dance, Illaoi is in a great place in the current meta. A Randuin’s can also be a lifesaver if the enemy team has a lot of Crit damage.
For a third item, you can choose TriForce or Black Cleaver. Then round out your build with other tanky items like Spirit Visage (also increasing your healing.)
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