Not Updated For Current Season
Hello and welcome to my new Illaoi guide. This is my third guide ever, and I hope it helps you to learn this new champion! I have already fallen in love with this amazing champ, playing her in the top lane as an AD Offtank with insane damage and tankiness with this build, but feel free to change it up however you want.
Constructive criticism is much appreciated, as well as commenting the reason for downvoting. Enjoy!
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
12/0/18 Illaoi is what I personally prefer. This mastery set up offers excellent damage output, as well as insane tankiness and sustain to let you dominate your lane and any fights. The combination of vapmirism, Perseverance, and Grasp of the Undying mean you will be able to stay in lane for long periods of time, and push well when your opponent recalls.
||Flash is pretty necessary on Illaoi, seeing as she has no escape and the only cc she has is the slow from Harsh Lesson, which is not viable as an escape method. This can help you flash over walls to either escape from or obliterate your opponents, always take it.
Teleport is amazing on Illaoi, as it allows her to maintain her dominating lane presence, and push down towers easily with her amazing wave clear. This also helps you gank other lanes in need of help, or if a good opportunity arises. If your lane opponent has a lot of global and lane presence and is likely taking teleport, this is your best bet.
Ignite serves well in aggressive kill lanes. If you don't believe you need as much of a global presence, or think that your opponent will not be taking teleport, feel free to take this do vastly increase your dueling potential. Excellent against champions who rely heavily on healing such as Vladimir or Volibear.
Your passive serves to summon uncontrollable tentacles that deal insane damage in a line, with some minor delay. These spawn every so often near you in terrain as long as there isn't already one in said terrain. If you use Harsh Lesson or your Test of Spirit marks an opponent as a vessel the tentacle will attack the opponent. Always fight near these and use harsh lesson near them for bonus damage.
Tentacle Smash is an amazing damage source, thus we max it first. You can get this first for long range poke. The damage and attack damage ratio on this ability is insane, and the range is often underestimated. This is your bread and butter skill, and whether or not you can consistently hit your enemy with this will determine how well you can do as Illaoi.
Harsh Lesson can be taking first as well, but is always maxed second. The reason you can take this second is because although it has less range and damage than Tentacle Smash, it has a lower cooldown, serves as an auto attack reset, and causes nearby tentacles to attack your enemy. If you believe you can get your lane opponent to fight you in range of a tentacle early, this could give you a nice quick first blood. The dash aspect if also extremely handy.
Test of Spirit is a very unique ability. This is a ranged ability that only affects champions, and when you successfully hit one (note it does not pass through minions) it will pull their 'spirit' towards you for a short period of time, in which you can inflict damage on the spirit, inflicting a percentage of this damage to the champion you hit. If you kill the spirit or the enemy champion runs too far away from their spirit, the spirit disappears, slowing the enemy champion and causing tentacles to occassionally spawn next to and attack them. This secondary effect lasts one minute.
Leap of Faith is the mighty ultimate. As well as dealing a considerable amount of damage in a large aoe, this will spawn one tentacle in the area per champion hit. Thus in teamfights or in lane fights this should be used immediately if you are in range of as many champions as you deem sufficient. For the duration of the effect this ability causes, you also have a mere 2 second cooldown on [[harsh lesson] meaning you can almost spam it for MASSIVE damage on the enemy champions with the tentacle damage. When getting ganked if you can get this off on both champions, they will often underestimate your damage and fight you without moving, taking full damage from all tentacles, often landing you a double kill.
An amazing starting item for some good damage and tankiness, and some sustain. This is the starting item i usually take, in conjuction with a health potion. This is the more aggressive option.
A good option against difficult lanes where you will have to face a lot of auto attack poke, or ranged ap champions who will generally auto attack poke you early game. Take this if you aren't too confident.
The core item on Illaoi. This offers amazing wave clear, damage, tankiness, and sustain with the health regen. The active is also a massive aoe attack that serves as an auto attack reset for some nice burst damage. Always buy this.
More tankiness and an amazing passive on Illaoi because of her high base attack damage. The passive also serves to make you a much stronger duelist and harder to kill in skirmishes, ganks, and teamfights.
The Black Cleaver
More health, more damage, and some nice cdr and armour pen. Everything you could ever wish for! This item is amazing and the Phage passive on it makes you one sticky tentacle lady which is very important considering your lack of cc.
A late game item offering even more tankiness and damage! The Sheen passive also capitalises on your high base damage, and the slow helps you stick with enemies and clear waves with the aoe. Mana is also very nice considering the surprising rate at which this lady uses it.
General tankiness against any team with some nice health and armour. The passive is good against champions who crit alot, such as ADCs and top laners such as Tryndamere. The passive adds some stickiness or escape potential.
Amazing armour, mana, and cdr. This works very well against auto attack based champions that rely heavily on attack speed such as Tryndamere, Irelia, or Aatrox. Always a good option with the amazing aura.
Great against ap, with all around good stats. The shield is good against teams with hard engage, poke, or cc you want to avoid. This can be interchanged with a Spirit Visage depending on the flow of the game, and the enemy team comp.
Great armour stats. Only useful against an extremely fed auto attack based champion, or if the enemy team has many of these, such as the ADC, junglers such as Master Yi, and top laners such as Tryndamere.
A very nice new item, offering immense sustain, as well as some nice damage and cooldown reduction. Only get this if you are well ahead.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity
These are nice boots if you are doing well, as you are very reliant on abilities.
Facing a lot of cc and magic damage? Get these.
Facing a lot of auto attacking and physical damage? Get these.
In lane you are so dominant it's insane. Your tentacles offer lane pressure and can cause the enemy to attack them instead of your minions, meaning you can push very well. Your aoe and high spell damage and range for a melee champion means you can poke and push extremely well.
Try and fight as near to your tentacles as you can to ensure a strong amount of damage. If you get ganked and have ult just use it and fight underneath the tentacles, you will be surprised how quickly the enemies will die. If you don't think you can win just run if you can, if not try for at least one kill. If you don't have ult and want to fight, just get near a tentacle and smash that Q and W. In a fight if you can use Test of Spirit quickly before the enemy initiates you should, as your aoe damage from your passive and Tentacle Smash will cause you to deal much more damage.
If you have pushed the enemy under tower and you can't do much, just try poke the enemy with your Tentacle Smash or use Test of Spirit. This will mean either free damage or the enemy will initiate on you which you should win if you play it well.
Thanks for Reading
Thanks for reading! Hopefully this has helped you learn some more about Illaoi and you can smash some enemies with her now! Let me know how your games go, and leave some constructive criticism if you want. Any screenshots of past matches will be much appreciated and likely placed into a 'Hall of Fame'. Here are some of my recent matches experimenting with some builds: