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Illaoi Build Guide by Thatdudeinthecotton

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Thatdudeinthecotton

Illaoi Support - Saving Lives By Breaking Bones

Thatdudeinthecotton Last updated on March 29, 2016
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.


Natural Talent
Bounty Hunter
Battering Blows
Piercing Thoughts

Ferocity: 0

Dangerous Game

Cunning: 12

Tough Skin
Runic Armor
Veteran's Scars
Legendary Guardian

Resolve: 18

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Greetings fellow worshipers, I'am ThatDudeInTheCotton and this is Support Illaoi: The Kraken Priestess

Illaoi is a deadly support, capable of easily zoning her enemy from farm without the need to even be there herself thanks to Test of Spirit and Prophet of an Elder God. Landing one spirit pull can lay down massive poke versus her opponent, or act simply as a big damage buff for her as well as her adc, and the subsequent tentacles when a spirit dies puts the enemy in a tough situation where they have to deal with constant damage threats popping up all around them. As the game wears on Illaoi can determine teamfights with a well placed Leap of Faith, Harsh Lesson combo while sustaining herself off of her passive health regen. Illaoi's main purpose is to make aggresive compositions even more so, while giving the team zoning and pick potential.

If you feel I have made some malodorous errors, feel free to regurgitate some enlightenment in the guides forum. I strive to keep my guide updated and optimal and will take any critiques gracefully.

So without further ado, here is Illaoi: The Kraken Priestess.

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Pros and Cons


+ Oppressive in lane
+ Test of Spirit forces enemies into bad situations
+ Harsh Lessons handy for procing Relic Shield
+ Tentacle damage gives healing/lane sustain
+ Leap of Faith can turn ganks around
+ Has lots of friends :)
Illaoi specializes in hard zoning and damage amplification. Landing a Test of Spirit lets her and her adc get free poke damage on their enemy, and if the spirit dies the enemy now has to either fight at a disadvantage with guaranteed tentacles, or back off altogether. Her damage in fights is huge while in her tentacle's presence and Leap of Faith with Harsh Lesson can decimate gankers, or entire teams.


- Lacks Hard CC
- Has no real Gapcloser, can get kited
- Doesn't do well with passive adc's
- Weak without tentacles
- Friends can die :(
Illaoi is a lane bully, but more so because of her aggressive poke than her CC. She can't stop an enemy going onto her adc, if her damage amp from Test of Spirit isn't enough, the adc's screwed. Champs like Kalista and Vayne can kite their way out of Illaoi's attack range since she isn't all that fast. She also needs atleast one tentacle to be a threat in a fight.

When To Pick Illaoi

The best time to pick Illaoi is when you have some CC already from the other lanes and have an aggressive adc like Lucian or Graves. Illaoi helps adc's by giving them a damage amp for their aoe attacks through Test of Spirit, which also gives them a means of poking from a safe distance. However she suffers against lanes that have a lot of inherent mobility. If you pick Illaoi you do so with the intention of being very aggressive and snowballing your adc by either getting them kills or just zoning hard with your swarm of tentacles.

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Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Seal of Scaling Health

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
* = Reccomended

* Greater Mark of Attack Damage: Illaoi as a support is an aggressive harasser, and since all her damage is physical having some ad in her rune page is very useful.
Greater Mark of Armor: If you feel as if you're a little too squishy most of the time, or you find yourself versus a burst comp, take these. Your damage will suffer but you'll be much harder to kill.

* Greater Seal of Armor: Pretty standard, they simply provide very good armor. They'll give you some bulkiness early on. You can also go for scaling armor if you plan on going passive in lane.
* Greater Seal of Scaling Health: These help your tankinesss scale up a bit throughout the game. They also have some synergy with Veteran's Scars which is nice.

* Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: Generally take these over flat glyphs as most ap champs hit their stride at level 6.

* Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: Makes you move faster, which lets you position yourself faster, which lets you throw out skillshots sooner, which means they'll hit more often. Good for making picks.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage: You're against a lane with absolutely zero mobility and just want to crush them? Well then these are the quints for you!
Greater Quintessence of Armor: These make you supremely tanky, as such they're very good versus other aggressive laners.

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These are pretty straightforward for the most part, being standard tanky support masteries, but there are a couple potentially interesting choices here regardless.

The Cunning tree:
Wanderer is an obvious pickup as it allows for an easier time landing abilities and lets Illaoi ward faster. Secret Stash is great for lane sustain, and Runic Affinity is useless so point goes to Secret Stash . Meditation is really good for mana regen, to the point that if you get you will have nearly no mana problems. Merciless is good for do or die situations however, and it can be a big buff in a teamfight. I lean towards Meditation due to consistency, but if you have good mana management, Merciless isn't bad. The choice between Bandit and Dangerous Game is pretty similar, but since you're a sup you need all the gold income you can get, so Bandit it is.

The Resolve tree:
Unyielding is great for the free stats you get out of it. Since we got Secret Stash and have passive health regen from tentacles Recovery isn't quite as useful by comparison. Tough Skin next because it's obvious. Runic Armor is actually pretty good since it synergizes with tentacles, but I go with Veteran's Scars since that synergizes with resistances and health(which Illaoi builds a lot of) and doesn't require a skillshot to land for it to have it's impact. Runic Armor is more useful if you can land a lot of your tentacle hits. The choice is pretty dang close.
Insight is great since Illaoi really likes Flash and having Exhaust up sooner allows for favorable trades sooner. Swiftness is the only source of tenacity you can get aside from items, and for that it's very valuable. Legendary Guardian by comparison only gives 15+ armor/mr when you hit team fight stage. That's pretty small considering 15% tenacity will be useful at all stages of the game. Finally we have Bond of Stone , the resolve mastery literally designed for tanky bot laners. You're a tanky bot laner, this makes you and your adc much more tanky. The other two keystones aren't even nearly as good as Bond of Stone for bot lane. So take it.

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Summoner spells

> Objectively the best summoner spell. One could make a case for Ghost being better for chasing, but that just doesn't change how powerful this spell is. Get it, every game.

> Its a toss up between getting this or Ignite. Exhaust is better most of the time though because it helps chasing, escaping, dueling, really almost any situation versus adc or no. Ignite is just more damage and healing reduction, which is only ever more useful than Exhaust in certain matchups.

> Some would say this spell is quite aggresive. Those people would be correct. This spell gives much more kill potential in lane, but you generally want to only use it versus enemies such as Sona or Soraka as it'll mitigate their healing. But Exhaust is more useful in more situations, especially versus an adc.

> If for some reason your adc took Exhaust, then it's best to get this. Unless of course you're running some weird cheese strat with them, but by that point my advice is irrelevant.

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Skills and Gameplay

Passive: Prophet Of An Elder God
> TENTACLES! That's this passive. Tentacles really don't do much by themselves and rely on Illaoi's abilities to actually be helpful. Tentacles spawn roughly every 20 seconds, and they position themselves on to the nearest wall to Illaoi, unless there's another tentacle nearby. The minimum distance between tentacle is just under the width of the lane. You can use this info to help positions tentacles in ideal locations, such as in or out of bushes, by specific sections of wall. Where you position a tentacle may give it more survivability if it's behind your minion wave or be useful for baiting an enemies actions if it's farther up the lane depending on the circumstance. Tentacles won't attack champions without Harsh Lesson, but can hit them if they happen to be in the area of another target they are hitting. Tentacles WILL attack spirits and vessels from Test of Spirit though. So when you land a spirit pull it's ideal to be in range of a tentacle as it'll immediately attack the pulled spirit. It's worth noting that tentacles are really easy to destroy once you leave them alone so don't be surprised if your enemy clears a few of them out if you leave lane while they're still hanging about. It's not too big a deal, since they're just as easily replaced as they are destroyed.

Tentacle Smash
> You do damage, in a line, and it heals you a bit. The active is really pretty simple and there isn't much to talk about in regards to it, but the main reason we get points into this is actually the passive, not the healing one but the other one it doesn't say, which increases the damage of all tentacle attacks. This is great since it bumps up the damage from all of your other spells indirectly as they all involve tentacle smashes. Having a second point in this before you hit level 6 is really valuable due to the immense damage spike gained from Leap of Faith. Also the actual passive is handy for lane sustain, since it also works off of tentacles summoned by Test of Spirit.

Harsh Lesson
> This is really good for bringing the smack down. You ideally use this after either: Test of Spirit makes a pull and you're beside a tentacle, so you get two tentacle smashes, one from the spirit naturally and the other from Harsh Lesson, as well as harsh lesson's base damage. The second time to use this is immediately after Leap of Faith and I cannot emphasize this enough: DO NOT USE HARSH LESSON TO GAPCLOSE FOR LEAP OF FAITH. You need Harsh Lesson up the moment you land Leap of Faith otherwise you are wasting all of your damage and sustain. Just be a woman, and walk up to your enemies or Flash if you have to, but whatever you do don't waste Harsh Lesson before Leap of Faith.

Test Of Spirit
> This essentially operates as Illaoi's hook and her most powerful zoning tool. It doesn't go through minions so you want to position yourself close to the lanes sides so you can throw it around the minion wave. If you land a grab one of two things will happen, either the enemy will fight you, or they won't. If they don't then obviously you want yourself and the adc to just chip away at the spirit super fast and kill it. It gives a lot of free poke damage for very little effort. If the enemy does fight you then you wanna determine if you can fight them before either going at em or running away. If you choose to fight them hit the enemy directly instead of the soul you pulled. If you can hit the soul and the enemy at the same time that is amazing as the damage amp is huge, but just attacking the soul by itself is stupid if you can't finish it off in 1 second. A handy tip for landing this in lane is to watch as your enemy goes to destroy your most aggressively placed tentacle, and then pull their spirit mid auto attack to the next tentacle down the lane.

The reason you max this first is because doing so reduces it's cooldown and causes it to echo more damage over to the enemy that got hit by it. Normally this isn't great for Illaoi as by putting levels in Test of Spirit she isn't putting level into Tentacle Smash, meaning that even if she does get a big pull it won't matter since she won't have the damage to kill it. This changes when you have an adc in the wings. Since you're putting out over twice the damage on spirits with autos, the extra echo'd damage is great for ruining your enemies health bar from a safe distance and the CDR helps keep enemies under your curse for long periods of time. When you get to mid game it's super valuable for making picks as your whole team can burst it down in a second and the slow + tentacles makes life very difficult for your victims.

Leap Of Faith
> The heavy hitter. This is an ability which gets stronger the more enemies are under it, and in turn makes Illaoi great at turning around would-be lethal ganks. Combined with Harsh Lesson the burst and sustained damage on this is massive and each tentacle procs her healing passive from Tentacle Smash helping her survive the damage enemies will be pouring onto her. If you can, land a Test of Spirit before you ult, as the spirit will not only amplify the damage done to one poor soul, but it also counts as a champion when Leap of Faith summons it's tentacles, giving you one more friend to help pound you foes into the floor. In terms of geography, Leap of Faith is at it's most devastating near walls and in cramp spaces where the enemy has little room to escape. The smaller the space, the more tentacles overlap, the more mincemeat you make. This ult wins teamfights and games.

MLG PRO TIP: If an enemy is a vessel and is escaping at low health you can cast Leap of Faith while they are escaping. Doing so will cause all tentacles, including the ones spawning around the vessel, to swing 50% faster and be invincible for 8 seconds. This makes the tentacles that follow them not only harder to dodge, but harder to remove as well. This is great for sniping kills that would otherwise be impossible against cautious opponents.

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The starting combination

The standard tanky support start. Relic Shield gives you a large amount of lane sustain, gives health which is a nice stat on Illaoi and builds into Face of the Mountain which has a great stat distribution on top of it's fight turning active component. We get the biscuits over Refillable Potion because they're stronger and Refillable Potion doesn't build into anything Illaoi wants enough to sacrifice the extra healing. Finally Warding Totem is a must because wards save lives and this is your main source of wards at this stage of the game.

Early Goals

So the reasons you want each of these items early is because the earlier you get them the bigger their impact is. For Boots of Speed, they make landing all of your abilities easier, as well as help with chasing and escaping. You don't necessarily need to upgrade them right away, since if your enemy doesn't have them then these alone should make you faster than them. Face of the Mountain and Sightstone get more and more gold value the earlier you finish them. If you're partway through building Face of the Mountain and can't finish it, see if you can finish off Sightstone instead. Vision wars are a thing and having more ammo to work with is always nice. Once you pickup Sightstone get Sweeping Lens to clear out enemy wards. Also, always have one Vision Ward in your pocket or on the field at all times. A well placed Vision Ward can give you vision of an important area for huge stretches of time.

To Equinox Or Not to Equinox..

That is the question! The times you wanna get equinox are the times when you feel like you really need your damage to get big really quickly, since it's cheaper than Face of the Mountain+ Sightstone which in turn lets you start on your other items sooner. Why damage items? well, it's best to grab this when your team comp isn't too squishy so that they don't miss the shield from Face of the Mountain too much. It also just so happens to line up that teams that aren't squishy tend to lack in the damage department. So the best time to get Eye of the Equinox, is when you're shooting for something like The Black Cleaver afterwards.


As far as general pickups go, Mercury's Treads are probably the best. They give some mr, but more importantly have tenacity to counter CC, which makes them strong in most situations. The second most common pickup, Ninja Tabi, is useful when going against teams just loaded with ad, for the obvious reason that armor counters ad and Ninja Tabi's passive is great versus auto-attack reliant champions. The last pickup is Boots of Mobility. Generally you just wanna pick these up if you're ahead or really wanna make picks with Test of Spirit. They have no defensive properties other than helping you dodge initial skillshots, but they do help you position rapidly which in turn makes your own skillshots easier to land. Would really only recommend when ahead though.

Situational Offence

Iceborn Gauntlet: This is a pretty good item to start of on if versus ad. The sheen proc bumps up your damage and synergizes excellently with Harsh Lesson, slowing the enemies and making it harder for them to avoid your tentacle swings. The CDR and armor are also much appreciated stats allowing for Illaoi to pull and ult more frequently, while still being durable. The worst stat on this is the mana, but even then it's useful for the staying power it provides, so all in all a good item with helpful stats and a useful passive. Near core levels of helpful, but sometimes health is more valuable than armor, or your team needs more damage than utility, in those cases:

The Black Cleaver: Pure damage, this is the The Black Cleaver for Illaoi. It does give some armor shred which might be useful if your team is all ad, but make no mistake, this a selfish purchase orientated around killing whoever stands in your way. The armor shred applies to your tentacles and the phage movespeed buff lets you keep up with enemies to give them Harsh Lessons. Though this is the most offense driven item in Illaoi's kit it also gives health and CDR, which are both nice as well.

Sterak's gage: This is just a big ball of stats. That being said, it's a really big ball of stats. The ad on Sterak's really hurts and while the health isn't massive, it's big enough when you throw it together with it's crazy passive shield and damage steroid. If you're perfectly happy with how you can currently catch people out and just wanna beat people into the ground, here you go.

Dead man's plate: This is the most defensive of the offensive options, really it's neither, it's just good in general. It provides a bunch of armor and health, both of which are simply good stats to have for any tank, but the reason I classified this as an offensive pick though is the passive which is designed with offense in mind. The movement speed that ramps up is very useful and the damage bonus+slow gives Illaoi that extra bit of burst of damage and engage potential she needs. This item is great for making Illaoi the tip of the spear in teamfights.

Righteous glory: DID SOMEONE SAY ENGAGE?? Yup, this is an even more engage focused item that can be picked up if needed. The actual stats on this are quite low, 500hp is nice but nothing to write home about, the main reason you buy this item is definitely the active. If you find the enemy is just too mobile or your team lacks hard engage then this item will help solve those problems.

Situational Defense

Locket of the Iron Solari: If you're versus aoe and/or magic damage then Locket of the Iron Solari has got you covered. This item will give your whole team a MR buff to help deal with any pesky mages and the active can works wonders as a counter engage. That being said the shield only lasts for a second, so time it well if you don't want to whiff it. On top of the MR and shield it also provides some CDR and health thanks to building from Kindlegem, so Illaoi herself does get some sweet benefits from building it.

Ranudin's Omen: This is for when you are just ******* tired of some obnoxious ad opponent and just want to become an annoying wall for them to deal with. In particular Randuin's Omen messes with enemies reliant on crit, such as adc's or melee carries like Tryndamere or Yasuo. The slow also lets you keep up with enemies more easily while keeping them in your tentacle zone for longer, though it won't help deal with enemies that have long range dashes like LeBlanc, that's what Righteous Glorys for. But regardless this is a very strong answer for any tanks ad-based problems.

Spirit Visage: If the enemies got a lot burst magic damage then Spirit Visage should be your first defensive pickup. Spirit Visage base regeneration and passive which synegizes with Tentacle Smash gives Illaoi a whole lot of sustain in general. Throw the big chunk of magic resist, health and CDR on top of it and you have the number one anti-magic item for any self respecting lover of Cthulhu.

Banshee's Veil: If Spirit Visage wasn't enough, or the enemy has a particular spell which is really bothering you ( *cough Blitzcrank *cough) then you're gonna want to pickup Banshee's Veil. The passive on it is really good for saving your buns, and it gives mr and health. Just don't get it popped on some puny spell like Soraka's Starcall or something, then you'll be vulnerable.

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How to: Lane

Delivering A sermon

The goals of laning are pretty simple:
    Get more cs than your opponent
    Get more kills than your opponent
    Get more towers than your opponent
Pretty dang simple. However achieving said goals, is not. As Illaoi your main purpose in lane is to land Test of Spirit on your enemy, preferably the adc, and break the spirit that comes out to get the damage and tentacles that come with it. If the enemy decides to fight you, attack them directly unless you're just about to break the spirit. If you just attack the spirit while the enemy is hitting you and you have no chance of breaking the spirit, then you're just wasting damage. So yeah, if you can't kill the spirit quickly, hit the enemy directly.

If you've ever played Thresh or Blitzcrank, Illaoi's laning is very similar, just less committed. By pulling the spirit there is less chance of the enemy being able to immediately fight back against you, to contrast this however, you also have less damage when you catch them out. But getting a pull and nailing the proc does zone your enemy from farm pretty hard and then puts future engages in your favor.

When you reach level 6 Harsh Lesson becomes more important. Don't use it to gapclose for your ult, you'll waste its damage potential. Either walk up to your enemy like a woman or flash if you have to, but always be sure to have Harsh Lesson up when you do a Leap of Faith, comboing them together is devastating in a fight. Even more devastating however is combining those two with Test of Spirit for the aoe damage overlap, turning the full combo into: E-R-W. The amount of damage this does can and will turn ganks around on your enemy, especially if you have one or two tentacles up already.

In terms of supporting, don't forget to ward your lane. Try to get a ward up in the river near dragon, and one in the tribush. This'll cover you for most ganks. Buy pink wards and use them on areas that you're confident you can hold for quite some time. Eg: If you're bottom side, then chances are you can hold the Tribush most of the time since it falls on your side of the lane, however if you are winning lane quite aggressively then you can put it in the river bush.

If you win an exchange in bot and get a kill, try to put pressure on your enemies by getting a tower, or if your jungler is near go for a fast dragon. The benefit of getting kills is that there is less enemies around to stop you, so when enemies fall grab what objectives you can. If you can't get any objectives, just shove the wave under your enemies tower before you recall so that the tower kills your minions and the enemy adc misses out on farm.

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How to: Mid-Late game

Once you get out of laning and into the teamfighting stage Illaoi's purpose is to make picks and get her tentacles up by using Test of Spirit. I may harp on about this ability quite a lot but it really is core to her play style. At this stage a spirit will deal 55% of the damage it receives to its owner, so popping a spirit at this stage of the game really hurts. Ideally you want to smack a squishy easy to kill target, since their health is the most valuable and the tentacles will hit them for more.

In terms of teamfighting Illaoi really just needs to find a good time to get a big ult down and unload her combo. If the enemy's grouped up then the sooner you ult the better, though ideally you want someone to cc at least a couple of them before hand. Illaoi does best as a follup engage, rather than engaging just on her lonesome. Having that buffer will help Illaoi survive the upcoming damage after the ult gets dropped and the enemy starts focusing her. It's a lot like playing Gnar, your ult is your most devastating tool by far, so most of your teamfighting revolves around it.

If your adc/other carry, gets dived on you have to be on point with your Face of the Mountain shield, it's big enough to save most lives in a teamfight. If you have Locket of the Iron Solari you want to use the active at the exact moment the teams collide, it's not much of a personal shield but spread across 5 champions it's as if you suddenly have Taric on your team.

In terms of warding you want to be putting deeper wards in enemy territory if you're winning, having wards in the bushes near their base gates and in their jungle, but if you're losing you should aim to keep your own jungle warded + dragon and baron. Avoid facechecking bushes at all costs if behind. Use Sweeping Lens to clear out any wards near baron or dragon before/while your team goes for them. It's worth saying that the small bushes near the middle of the river are great places for pink wards, as they get a lot of vision coverage from there but aren't often noticed immediately.

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Cthulhu's Credits

Credits to JhoiJhoi, Who I yet again leaned on for formatting purposes. I would feel bad about it but since everyone does it I like to feel like my laziness is justified.

Also thank you the reader for getting this far (unless you skipped to this part like a dirty cheater), I really appreciate that you took the time to read this and hope it brings you good fortune :)

Oh and if you like this guide why not give it a +1 or whatever, would appreciate that, yup.