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Illaoi Build Guide by Smartest2

Top [S11]Smartest2's Guide to Carrying Solo Queue with Illaoi

Top [S11]Smartest2's Guide to Carrying Solo Queue with Illaoi

Updated on July 25, 2021
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Smartest2 Build Guide By Smartest2 321 32 1,107,544 Views 17 Comments
321 32 1,107,544 Views 17 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Smartest2 Illaoi Build Guide By Smartest2 Updated on July 25, 2021
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Runes: Standard Grasp

Grasp of the Undying
Bone Plating

Presence of Mind
Last Stand

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


Every Game
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None


Hello all, another guide by Smartest2. I've played Illaoi in low-mid diamond level and found that Illaoi is a BROKEN champion, if played properly. After thousands of games on Jayce, I didn't even hesitate switching to Illaoi as my top laner after a couple games.

The carry potential of Illaoi is one of the highest in the game. There will come a point where you enter RAID BOSS mode if you can get the items.

Please ask questions on anything you need help with and I'll be more than happy to provide some feedback.
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You guys asked, I listened!

I have put up my first video talking through the lane phase of Illaoi. There's so much information I want to pass on to you all and it's much quicker to give that information through a video. Quality might be scuffed as it's my very first video but let me know what you guys think! More videos coming in the future!

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Pros and Cons


  • GREAT 1v2/3/4/5 potential
  • INSANE Damage
  • Very Beefy With Items
  • Can EASILY Solo Carry Games
  • Tank Destroyer


  • Lacks any viable CC
  • Takes A While To Get Back In The Game If Shutdown Early
  • Can Be Very Mana Hungry
  • Can Take Time To Master Tentacle Placement
  • Bad Lane Matchups Are Brutal
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There are two combos to learn:

Combo 2: Test of Spirit + Leap of Faith (E + R)

The first one is to use Test of Spirit before Leap of Faith (use E before R). The ghost that spawns from Test of Spirit counts as an additional champion and will spawn a tentacle when hit by Leap of Faith just like an enemy champion would.

This combo is especially great for 1v1 situations, as it helps you deal extra damage and heal for extra amount with the additional tentacle. Normally a 2 tentacle ult will win you any 1v1. It comes in handy when you're in a 1v2 situation as well. If you can get a 3 man ult (2 + ghost), you have a pretty good chance of winning the 1v2.

Combo 2: Leap of Faith + Flash (R + Flash)

The second combo takes a lot of quick thinking. First we will need to cover some background information on how Leap of Faith (Illaoi's ult) works.

Animation: Illaoi's ult has a two-part animation. In the first half, she jumps up into the air, preparing to slam down onto the ground.

The second half is when she starts falling from the air to slam to the ground. Between her ascending and descending animation, there is a brief pause where she is suspended mid-air (half a second at the most).

During this suspended state you are able to flash before you slam on the ground. This works similar to Shen's Shadow Dash, only the end location matters.

When to use this combo: This one requires prep or quick thinking. Typically you'll want to use this as a teamfight breaks out. You want to try and LAND in their backline, hitting 2-4 champs. As soon as you land, your priority target will most likely be the enemy team's ADC. If timed well, this is a fight changing combo.
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Passive - Prophet of an Elder God

Prophet of an Elder God is the core of our kit. Periodically, a tentacle will spawn on the wall closest to Illaoi.

These tentacles will attack enemies under certain conditions (if Harsh Lesson or Test of Spirit is used). The damage dealt by the tentacles is equal to 10 - 180 based on level + 120% of our AD. For each tentacle that hits an enemy champion, Illaoi heals for 5% of her missing health.

Continuing to spawn tentacles whenever possible, and preventing the enemy laner from killing your tentacles is a vital component in mastering Illaoi. It can be a little tricky learning to play around the cooldown, but after a couple games it'll become second nature.

Q - Tentacle Smash

Tentacle Smash is our main damaging ability. Upon activation, Illaoi slams down a tentacle in the given direction ( Tentacle Smash is a skill shot ability). The damage Tentacle Smash does is equal to the damage of our passive. All this ability does is create an immediate tentacle slam in the given direction.

The reason we max Tentacle Smash first is because each rank into this ability increases the damage of our passive. At rank 1, Tentacle Smash increases the damage of each tentacle by 10%, and an additional 5% for each rank up to that (30% at rank 5).

Landing Tentacle Smash in lane is our only viable form of poke early game, and once we get some ad going, we're able to clear waves of minions with ease. The damage output from this ability starts adding up quickly, letting us pressure out quishy enemy laners that don't build early sustain, such as Teemo, Wukong, Rumble, etc.

W - Harsh Lesson

Harsh Lesson is our most straightforward ability. It's an auto attack enhancer + reset. It increases Illaoi's auto range for the next auto, causing Illaoi to leap and slam down on the target. This also triggers any tentacles in range to attack the target.

E - Test of Spirit (This is a long one)

Test of Spirit is the ability that usually determines how the laning phase goes. When cast, Illaoi throws a spirit in a straight line, connecting with the first target hit. If it connects with a champion, Illaoi pulls their spirit from their body in front of her. This spirit will be stationary, have a health bar, and be tethered to the enemy champion whose spirit was pulled. This tether will have a radius, and if the enemy champion leaves that radius, their spirit will be pulled back to them, slowing them and turning them into a vessel for 12 seconds.

A percentage of the damage taken by the spirit is transferred to the tethered enemy champion, 25/30/35/40/45% (+ 8% per 100 AD). Any tentacles in range of the pulled spirit will attack the spirit. If the spirit is killed before the enemy champion leaves the tether radius, they will immediately be turned into a vessel for 12 seconds.

An enemy champion with the vessel effect is initially slowed by 80% for 1.5 seconds. Every 5/4/3 seconds (champion levels 1/7/13), a tentacle will spawn near the vessel and slam in the direction of the enemy champion. In fact, each tentacle that is within the range of the enemy will attack the vessel before going on a 10cd, which means that the same tentacle can attack the vessel twice if the tentacle isn't killed and the vessel stays near the tentacle.


R - Leap of Faith

Leap of Faith is our OP, enter raid boss mode ability. When cast, Illaoi jumps up into their and slams down (indicating that $#*! is about to go down). For EACH enemy champion hit.. Illaoi will spawn a tentacle in the area (no longer limited to terrain/walls). Her tentacles no longer have a health bar, they can't be killed. Her tentacles slam down TWICE as fast, making near impossible to dodge. Her W will have 50% cdr on it, meaning more tentacle slamming wreckage.

What does this all mean? This means, you get close to enemies, you push r to try and hit as many enemies as possible = spirit (max of 5 tentacles can be spawned from ult), and then you spam w. Goodbye enemy team. Short and sweet.

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Ability Sequence

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

Let's take some time to discuss this ability sequence in detail by looking at different stages of the game. This ability sequence is fairly standard, but for any new Illaoi players, I will try and provide a detailed explanation on everything.

Early Game Ability Sequence

Mid Game Ability Sequence

Late Game Ability Sequence

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An In-Depth look at Test of Spirit (Illaoi's E)


When looking to land E on an enemy, positioning plays a vital role. You want to make sure that when you land E, you have at least one tentacle in slam range. It won't do you a lot of good to land your E if you aren't able to deal have damage to the spirit. Try and play around a tentacle when you look to land an e, and make sure to watch for enemy minions.

Best Combo to Kill a Spirit

Okay, you landed your E, you have the enemy's spirit in front of you, and you're close to a tentacle.... now what? The second you land your e, w the spirit. If your tentacle hasn't slammed onto the spirit yet, it'll queue another slam, causing 2 back to back slams. You want to take advantage of animation cancelling whenever you can, on any champion you play. This usually means weaving in auto attacks whenever possible.

So theoretically your combo would be:
E > AA > W > A > Q > AA > W > AA/W until spirit is dead or enemy champion walks out of tether range.

This combo will take some practice to become second nature, but you will get the hang of it pretty quick.

Ahhhh The Enemy is Running At Me After I Landed E!!

Some enemies don't want to take free damage from us attacking the spirit, and will try and fight you (usually this will only happen pre 6).

What you want to do in this situation is to use your Q ( Tentacle Smash) at an angle in which it hits BOTH the spirit, and the enemy champion. What will happen is that your damage output will actually be the base damage they would've eaten from Tentacle Smash ANYWAY.. PLUS the damage that the spirit took. This chunk of health they will lose will usually freak them out and cause them to back away.

However if they decide to commit and try and fight you, you'll need to gauge how quickly you can kill the spirit.

If you can kill the spirit quickly, you should be able to chase down the enemy and get a kill, since tentacles will be attacking them as they move as well, increasing your total damage output.

If you CAN'T kill the spirit in time (usually the case vs Sion as an example), it might best to just back off. The problem is that killing a spirit is EXTREMELY mana intensive. You're using a full rotation with additional W's. If you're laning against Sion, and you aren't even going to be able to break his shield early game due to a lack of damage.. you're just going to waste mana and run oom quickly.

Vs matchups like this, you're usually better off either:
  • Only harassing with Tentacle Smash instead.
  • Waiting until you get additional points into Test of Spirit.
  • Waiting until you get additional damage (either through skill ups, or items) that will allow you to kill the spirit faster.

Tips and Tricks

  • Tip #1:

    Pop a dosage of your Corrupting Potion when you land Test of Spirit. Each time you hit the spirit it'll apply/re-apply the burn effect of Corrupting Potion. Every little bit of damage helps.
  • Tip #2:

    An easy way to land Test of Spirit is to cast it when the enemy laner comes to last hit a minion. They will be animation locked and won't be able to dodge the e (or they give up the gold from the minion).
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Smartest2
Smartest2 Illaoi Guide
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[S11]Smartest2's Guide to Carrying Solo Queue with Illaoi

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