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Illaoi Build Guide by Kamisshake

Not Updated For Current Season

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 Kamisshake

Top/Mid Illaoi - Break Their Spirits {Comprehensive}

Kamisshake Last updated on March 25, 2016
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Top Lane
Ranked #2 in
Top Lane
Win 52%
Get More Stats

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

Threats to Illaoi with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
Shen Really easy. Kill his soul and watch out for ganks (though you should be able to 1v2 pretty easily). Once you get him into a vessel, you should be able to take over easily.
Malphite Also an easy matchup. He can't really do anything to you so just kill his soul, set up in front of his tower and watch for ganks. Deny as much farm as you can
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Who I am

I've been playing since Season 1. Summoner name: HoIy Fervor

Ever since I first played Illaoi I thought she seemed very interesting and I really enjoyed her. She quickly became one of my favorite champions. I noticed that she had the possibility to absolutely take over a lane and from there, the game. I have always loved the champions that get in your face and beat you down and Illaoi seemed to do just that.

Please remember to up-vote the guide if you liked it or found it helpful.

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Skill Order

I max Harsh Lesson first because it has the most value as a spell. As Illaoi, most of your damage will come from your passive's tentacles ( Prophet of an Elder God). Being able to control those tentacles is the key to success, and maxing Harsh Lesson allows you to do that (as a bonus it gives you a small dash which is also useful). Next, I max Tentacle Smash because it just gives you damage and healing. It is just a better option to level. Level Leap of Faith as often as possible as it really is quite good when you use it properly. Lastly, level your Test of Spirit as in lane you'll only really use it to spawn tentacles and harass.

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Level 1-6 Laning

I would describe Illaoi as a lane bully. The main goal of Illaoi is to either make your opponent fight her or push your opponent out of lane, and she has the tools to do this very easily and very well.

I will start off by saying that Illaoi is very weak without her passive tentacles. I would never recommend fighting without at least one tentacle nearby.

At the start of the game, what I like to do is go to my lane and start setting up my tentacles (you can control where they spawn as they will "latch" onto the nearest point of terrain). I usually set one up on the rear of my turret and one on each side of my lane, as close to my turret as possible (so three in total). This will work in any lane you go to, but it won't have an impact until the lane pushes towards you. Illaoi is fairly weak until you have your full kit and tentacles set up so I wouldn't try to fight until you are at least level three. Take what CS you can and trade when they force on you.

When you have this triangle of tentacles set up properly it is EXTREMELY difficult for the enemy laner to really do anything, from farming to harassing. You can rip their soul out under tower so they can't respond to it and still have all your tentacles smacking it. The two in front of your tower also allow you to trade extremely well as they add damage and healing to your small trades.

Once you hit level three, your goal should be to rip the enemy's soul out near your tentacles where they can't fight you, and kill it. It is kind of hard to know when you are safe to actually go for the kill on the soul, but it just takes time with the champion to get a feel for it. I will say, as a base rule (for new players to Illaoi), don't try to kill the soul unless you are near at least 1 tentacle. Side note, the soul counts as another champion so things like Grasp of the Udying mastery, Tentacle Smash and Leap of Faith will all interact with it as if it were a champion (Grasp and Smash will heal you and your ult will spawn another tentacle). Once you have successfully turned your opponent into a vessel (either by them running or killing the soul) that is where you can really take control of the lane, as they will spawn tentacles and they will automatically attack the vessel.

Once you hit 6 and you have Leap of Faith, try to get the enemy to fight you by pulling their soul out. As Illaoi you should almost NEVER try to engage, wait until you are engaged upon as that is where the true strength of her kit lies. Usually you can 1v2 yourself through a gank if you rip out a soul and land a "three" man Ultimate (recall the soul counts as a champion for this purpose).

The single best thing you can do as you play Illaoi is to stay near, and get a feel for how your tentacles move.

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Everyone has seen those clips of Illaoi getting a HUGE ultimate off and penta killing the enemy team solo. That is an extremely rare occurrence, but oh man is it fun to do.

Illaoi is not an engage style champion, she has no cc and no tools to chase enemies. The way to play her in a team is to be the one to get engaged on. Her strength lies in having the entire enemy team try to run past or collapse on you, then you ult and get a ton of tentacles and heal up when they lay the smackdown as your team cleans up behind you.

There will be times however, that you do want to flash in and ult for that juicy 5-man tentacle nonsense. Learning when to do this will just take time and practice with the champion.

Be the front line for your team, don't be afraid to take some damage. Just try to be smart and use your tentacles!

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-DO NOT PICK Illaoi INTO MOBILE OR LONG RANGE TEAMS. She is far too immobile for that, and gets kited far too easily. Her strength comes from taking over lanes and countering dive comps.

-When pulling out a soul, any nearby tentacles will automatically swing at the soul once

-There was a "fix" to Illaoi's ult, Leap of Faith, to ensure that tentacles will always spawn from it. With this fix you are now immune to movement effect while in the animation of the ability. This means things like Lee Sin's Dragon's Rage, Gragas's Explosive Cask will not move you while in the animation for you ult, giving you some outplay potential. (This function has multiple applications, offensively and defensively)

-Your Test of Spirit ability will negate stealth while active. (Vision granted through things like Akali's shroud Evelynn's stealth, Twitch's stealth)

-Souls count as champions for things like Grasp of the Undying, Leap of Faith, Tentacle healing. ALWAYS PULL A SOUL BEFORE ULTING (provided time/HP allows)

-Setting up tentacles in your lane before the game starts can really help you out

-When fighting a champion and their soul in a fully committed fight, focus the champion over the soul (you will gain more damage)

-Ripping out a soul from a vessel and killing the soul does not extend the duration of them being a vessel (this may change but as of right now this is the case)

- Illaoi can 1v2 most ganks with good play and near 2 tentacles

-ALWAYS fight near tentacles

-Learn how your tentacles move, and try to control where they spawn

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Ok, this setup may seem like a lot but it is just different runes that do the same things.

CDR is very good on Illaoi, but you already build CDR so you only need a little more from runes. This setup gives you about 37.5% CDR late game with no Black Cleaver.

The AD should be self explanatory. Just gives you more damage.

The Scaling HP is better than armor because your tentacles heal you for a percentage of missing health, meaning that if you have more HP your heal will be larger.

The single biggest weakness of Illaoi is her immobility, so in order to counter this I take movement speed quints and also get alacrity upgrade on my boots fairly early.

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This is the best setup that I have found for Illaoi. Going down to Fervor of Battle is also a decent path, but I feel this setup offers Illaoi more and syncs with the champion better.

For the Cunning tree, the first tier dosen't really matter, but I think the movespeed out of combat has more value than extra minion damage. Since you'll be in a solo lane with no nearby allied champions, you will want to take Assassin in tier 2 as it gives the most benefit (you could take biscuits, but it won't have as much value). Tier 3 you want Merciless because it gives you the damage to finish someone off in a close battle. Also, once you finish Iceborn you shouldn't have mana problems so you don't need the mana regen. Tier 4, Dangerous game. Other node has no value for you as a solo laner.

For the Resolve tree, you take a mix of the HP regen and bonus stats. Both are useful as HP regen helps lane sustain and as you scale into the game, the bonus stats become more valuable. Tier 2, Tough Skin will have more value as Illaoi roams are pretty weak (no cc, no chase potential). Tier 3, you want the HP more than the increased healing. This one is close as they are both good on Illaoi, but the HP is better because it will increase your healing and your innate tankiness. Runic Armor will increase your healing, but 8% is not enough to make it better than the HP. HP has a similar increase to healing and it also helps in other areas of the game, making it more valuable. Tier 4 you want summoner spell reduction as you don't really regen HP, you heal in combat. Tier 5, you want tenacity because you are already immobile. You want to actually be able to do something, so it's better than bonus stats. Tier 6 you want Grasp of the Undying. Strength of the Ages could be good, but it takes too long to stack up in a lane setting. Grasp of the Undying just helps with trading, lane sustain and damage.

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Please scroll over the notes for additional information on items.