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Illaoi Build Guide by Toumouniek

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This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Toumouniek

Octopus to Carry from Bronze to Plat

Toumouniek Last updated on May 21, 2016
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Top Lane
Ranked #2 in
Top Lane
Win 52%
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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: 12

Dangerous Game

Cunning: 0

Tough Skin
Runic Armor
Veteran's Scars
Legendary Guardian

Resolve: 18

Threats to Illaoi with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
Nasus Best counter to Nasus that exists. Harass and dont let him stack, easy.
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Hello, my LoL tag name is Toumouniek. I know I'm in Gold Elo this season and most of you will pass cause you might judge it too low for a guide to follow etc. This guide is dedicated for people bellow Plat of course.

Illaoi is quite a skilled champ, as it requires a cold-blooded summoner to play him. Never Panic. Even with 100 HP, if you keep calm, you can spam Qs and Ws to regen and win duel/teamfight. Against the right comp, illaoi is insane in teamfights and can be annoying while sieging thanks to his Test of Spirit

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These runes give you early all-round tanky stats versus AD and AP.
The scalling health gives you extra health regen when your Q hits.
Armor penetration on Illaoi is stronger than AD because most of your damage will come from base damage, and so armor penetration will benefit more than flat AD.
It helps to crush bruisers and squishy carries, as well as regen easily versus tanks.

Plus, with both Iceborn Gauntlet and The Black Cleaver, you'll have 40% CDR so no need for CDR in your runes.

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Grasp of the Undying is essential on Illaoi, it allows you to have an easier early game, and is very strong on any tanky toplaner anyway.
Very interestingly, against some champs that stay far from you, or that can avoid AAs like Jax, you can take his spirit with Test of Spirit and proc your Grasp of the Undying on him, which is quite useful.

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OP Build

Iceborn Gauntlet is, to me, a core item on Illaoi. The Sheen procs adds a lot of base damage. The 20 % CDR is extremely strong on Illaoi, armor is good on any tank. But what makes this item so strong on Illaoi is the AOE slow which enables your tentacles from your Leap of Faith and Prophet of an Elder God to hit your enemy without them being able to dodge them. Plus, while under Leap of Faith, Illaoi has a 2 seconds Cooldown on her Harsh Lesson and your Iceborn Gauntlet procs every 2 seconds. Such a strong item on Illaoi.

The Black Cleaver does wonders with Illaoi. It completes the 40 % CDR with Iceborn Gauntlet, gives you HP (for tankiness and regen), some AD and moreover, Armor reduction on every hit. This is extremely strong on Illaoi as each one of your tentacles reduces the target's armor. This allows you to deal near pure damage on squishy enemies, and greatly helps against tanks. With a good Leap of Faith and so 3-4 tentacles around, in only one Harsh Lesson, you maximized the The Black Cleaver's passive efficiency.

Spirit Visage is strong on Illaoi as it gives you even more sustain, Zz'Rot Portal gives you more split push potential. Other items are for tankiness of course.

Sterak's Gage is a very good item on Illaoi because it prevents the enemy team from bursting you before you can start putting all your damage and sustain on everybody's corpse. Sterak's might seem like a less tanky item but in the end, if it allows you to survive initial burst, it's a super effective item. In this meta, after the nerf of the Zz'Rot Portal, it's a better item on Illaoi.

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Skill Sequence & Spell Details.

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Take Tentacle Smash for an easy lane phase, as if you proc your passive regen after a short trade, you'll come out victorious.

Max Harsh Lesson for more damage, and more regen as your sustain will mostly come from your Prophet of an Elder God hits than your Tentacle Smash. Having a short cooldown on your Harsh Lesson is way better. More sustain, more damage.

Of course, upgrade your Leap of Faith as it is your deadly weapon. With this OP Ult, you can even 1v2 on a gank if you play correctly, and if you stay near your tentacles.

Max your Tentacle Smash for more damage and sustain.

Last skill to upgrade is your Test of Spirit. It is a very handy skill, even at lvl 1, this is why it doesnt need to be upgraded. This skill is a very handy skill is many cases, if in a hot duel, always try to Test of Spirit your enemy, as he'll take more damage if your Tentacle Smash hits both your foe and spirit. It is also super annoying for the enemy team in a Siege situation. If you can mark 2 or 3 enemies as vessels, it will wreak Havoc in the enemy lines, and let their concentration slip away as they'll have to deal with the minions, your team and also the tentacles popping and slapping them in the face.

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Ranked Play - Risky Pick that pays off

Illaoi is a risky champ to pick. If you have blind picked Illaoi, they could and should pick a good ranged and mobile AD Carry, ranged champs to avoid staying melee with you and also champs with great disengages.
Illaoi's incredible strength comes from your ult in teamfights, you can litterally do what you've seen in videos, get in the middle Leap of Faith 1v5, smash everybody. Really. But for that, you really need your Leap of Faith, and if you use it badly, you shouldnt teamfights until it comes back up. Fortunately, with this build you have 40% CDR and you wont have to wait too long.
Illaoi is a super strong champ if they have 3-4 melee champs, (by melee, I mean champs that need to walk up to you to maximize their damage, like Elise etc). This pick guarantees a teamfight win.
Unlike other champs, Illaoi scales super well with Time. Not kills, and a perfect Creep Score, but time and experience/levels. This is why, I recommend, a safe early game because you are sure to win late game if the other team isnt too ahead of yours.

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Pros / Cons

+ Great Teamfighting Potential
+ Good Siege champ
+ Can carry a game solo
+ Scales Great Lategame, still has a safe early game
+ Damage output is always surprising

- Rarely can solo kill before level 6
- Is weak against good-ranged AD hyper Carries
- Can be disengaged fairly easily
- Requires Skill and Calm to win duels
- Suffers against highly mobile champs like Yasuo

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How to Play at all stages of the Game

Early Game :
Unless needed by the jungler, I usually rush to my lane and keep close to the walls in order for Illaoi's passive Prophet of an Elder God to spawn. Best tactic is to put one near your tower on the river side, one in the bush nearest to your tower, and a third one in the middle bush.
Play passively, watch your creeps HP, so you know when the enemy will come to last hit it, and give him a little Tentacle Smash, and little by little reduce his HP pool. Only use your Corrupting Potion when you're below 50% HP. Back when you have enough Gold for the Sheen and when the next wave has a cannon minion in it. TP back to your lane.

Mid Game :
You have quite a power spike when you have finished your Iceborn Gauntlet. If your Leap of Faith is up, and your foe attacks you, you can easily 1v1 him. If his jungler is ganking, avoid a 1v2 if you can easily, if not then put the ult when both targets are near you to have a maximum of tentacles. Focus the squishiest target, use your Test of Spirit on him, and spam Tentacle Smash and Harsh Lesson on him. You could make a double kill if all goes well.
You can now 1v1 your opponent in lane normally, so what you can do is perma push, try to lessen the pressure of your other lanes by forcing the jungler to be close to top lane. When your opponent is pushed undertower, harass him with Test of Spirit, and if the enemy jungler is on another lane, try to dive your enemy if you feel ready.

Late Game :
With 3 to 5 objects, you have incredible Teamfighting power. Force objectives with your team, push lanes, use your Zz'Rot Portal effectively. Forcing a baron is a good strategy with Illaoi, as you are extremely good at fighting in corridors, and in 5v5.

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Skill Usage

Illaoi's Tentacle Smash is mostly used when enemy champs approach you to last hit a creep obviously.

You should only use Harsh Lesson if one or more of your tentacles from Prophet of an Elder God is near, so the mana cost is effective damage-wise.

When you successfully used Test of Spirit on an enemy, try to use your Tentacle Smash where both the spirit and your foe will be hit to maximize damage and sustain. As your sustain from Tentacle Smash procs on the Vessel, freely use Harsh Lesson on the spirit than trying to catch up to your enemy. The trade will always be on your side. Freely harass his Spirit with your skills, and if he becomes a Vessel, then hell most likely lose time and CS to get rid of your Test of Spirit state.

Only use Leap of Faith if you think the enemy wont try to run away immediately, as its fairly easy to flee from. Either if he wants to try to stay undertower and you dive him, or in a teamfight and you are between an enemy and its target.

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Role in Teamfight

Illaoi is made to teamfight like a boss. He can both burst carries and bruisers easily and survive long enough to penta the enemy team.

Illaoi's kit is obviously as a front liner, no-one should be able to get past you without losing half his HP if you stand in the middle of the teamfight with Leap of Faith.

If your Team is ahead, and your carries are stronger :
Stay near them and smash anyone trying to get to them, your damage output will make them think twice before approaching.

If your team is behind, their carries are a bigger threat :
Try to get in a position where most enemies are near you to maximize the number of tentacles you'll get from Leap of Faith and use the mobility given by Harsh Lesson to wreak havoc among the enemy carries and simply burst them.

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A little add-on for Outplay Potential

Since Patch 6.4, Illaoi has a surprising outplay potential. They changed his Leap of Faith a little, now you cant be CCed while the animation. Some champs require this CC to win the duel, like Yasuo's tornado into Last Breath or on a gank like Elise's Cocoon or Alistar's combo, what you can do, is launch your Leap of Faith at the moment you'll be CCed and this will act like a Quicksilver Sash, and you'll be able to outplay them.

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Illaoi is a great champ to pick in Plat Elo or under. Against the correct comp, it guarantees to win teamfights in lategame, and can solo carry a game. In most games with Illaoi, I've had most damage inflicted on champs, and most damage taken. With a Zz'Rot Portal you can also split push like crazy, as nearly no-one champ can 1v1 you if played correctly in lategame.
It's a risky pick, but I'd recommend it. Plus it's been quite forgotten lately, and no-one bans her, which I find absurd but fortunate :D