All Guides Illaoi Guides 1v9 Damage Illaoi Guide (Pre-Season Fixed)
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Illaoi Statistics for Maulface

Author's performance with Illaoi compared to the ranked average.

Value
Average
Games Played
104
5
Win %
44
43
Kills
5.7
4.3
Assists
4.2
5.0
Deaths
5.7
6.5
KA:D Ratio
1.7
1.4
Gold Earned
12.4K
11.1K
Creep Score
217.2
182.9
Average
  • Author Champion Statistics
  • Guide Details

Summoner Spells Back to Top

You take these summoner spells on almost every top laner, and 420.png is no exception. 


12.pngMaximize Lane Pressure

Although most other top laners primarily use teleport12.png as a way to gank bot, I find that it is often more useful to use it back to lane in order to gain an EXP or gold advantage over your opponent. Without teleport, you will almost always be at an EXP deficit. If you get forced out of lane and don't have teleport, you will end up missing somewhere between 1 and 3 waves, which means you'll be about 1/2 to 1 full level of exp under your opponent. Because of how bad TP ganks are on 420.png, focus on a couple of things:
1. Force your opponent to use his before you use yours. Since you will usually not be able to follow a 57.png or someone with hard cc, your goal should be to make sure that they lack the easy option of ganking bot. Push quickly if you think your opponent based, so that they have to miss a wave before they can walk back to lane unless they teleport12.png to their tower. If you got them low but lack the mana to keep pressuring, base and teleport12.png to the creepwave, ensuring you either an exp advantage or a summoner spell trade. 

2. Save it until you'll miss more than 3 creeps to your tower. If your opponent bases or leaves lane and you clear the wave in 2 QsillaoiQ.png (level 5 and up) then you do not have to use teleport12.png on your tower. At most, you'll miss the melee minions (assuming that they get back to lane quickly.) If you save it for after you get pressured out of lane by a bad trade or a gank, then you'll be happy you have it instead of the 3 creeps you missed earlier.

3. Prevent a towerdive around the map. 420.png sucks at teleporting, but that doesn't mean NEVER use it to other lanes. If bot is about to get 3-4 man towerdived, and you're in a position to help, do not be afraid to try to save them. Towerdiving two people at once is usually risky, and your team should be on the way to help as well. You might lose some waves top, but it's better than their bot lane snowballing two kills, a tower, and an infernal drake. 


4.pngFlash is Key!


Flash4.png is by far the most important summoner spell on 420.png. You need it in order to get into the middle of a teamfight or to escape, since 420.png has no real dashes or ways to escape a teamfight. You will primarily use it during your main combo in order to hit as many people as possible with your ultillaoiR.png; a very common combo with 4.png is to use your E illaoiE.png to make a clone, then wait for your opponent to stand near their own vessel. Then Ult Flash illaoiR.png->4.png on top of both the enemy team and their clone (hitting the clone is VERY important) and then wildly using the rest of your abilities to hit as many targets as possible. 



(Note: You want to use 4.png while in MID AIR or while FALLING during the animation of your ult. Similar to 12.png using his Q Flash pulverize.png4.png combo or 105.png using his E Flash fizzjump.png4.png combo, the extra time you save by using 4.png during the animation of your abilities when applicable can be the difference between someone being able to reactively dodge your ability and you losing the fight or you winning it.  Even if you mess it up a few times, its important to use your abilities in the most efficient way possible.)

New Runes Back to Top

Masteries Back to Top

I build a damage-focused style, so my masteries are also damage focused to complement my build. 18/0/12 is also good, since you gain access to Runic Armor, allowing for some pretty good bonus healing from tentacles and 2140.png+3812.png lategame. 12 in resolve also gives you access to Insight, which allows you to use 4.png more often, which I've already stressed the importance of. However, I find that 12 in cunning feels much better since it gives you access to Bandit. 


Why Bandit?


Pre-season note: Greenfather's Gift is really bad in my opinion. It requires you to play a very brush-oriented playstyle that gives you minimal returns, and doesn't help you at all in 99% of scenarios, so I wouldn't recommend it.

This mastery will single-handedly give you 400+ gold every game, which is just too much to pass up. When laning vs melee champions, its not too hard to proc Bandit pretty often in lane. But where this mastery really shines is with illaoiE.png. You can proc Bandit on the clone up to two times before the duration expires, so if you pull their spirit and manage to kill the clone while proc-ing Bandit twice, you can get up to 45 gold every time you land your E, which is NUTS for anything less than a keystone in your mastery page. Speaking of which...


Keystone - Deathfire Touch

Pre-Season note: Fervor does not stack while hitting a vessel, so I do not consider it worthwhile after the changes. 

I go Deathfire Touch for my mastery for a couple of different reasons. The main reason that I use it is because none of the other offensive keystones are that amazing. Thunderlord's Decree will very often proc on the vessel that you pull for reduced overall damage, making it not as good in my opinion. Stormraider's Surge is an option, but the movement speed is not always useful during a teamfight since you need to stay around your tentacles. Grasp of the Undying is better if you build tanky, which I do not do. Deathfire Touch on the other hand is always good damage; you can proc it on their vessel and on their real body at the same time, there's no cooldown on it so you don't need to worry about "wasting" it, and it makes your AoE damage just a little bit spicier. Although most of Illaoi's skills will only proc the damage for half the duration, you're usually hitting so many people with your moves that the half duration still adds up to way more than Thunderlords or Grasp would have. Also, your empowered W auto procs Deathfire Touch for the full duration!

The second reason is that Deathfire Touch allows you to to go 18 in ferocity, giving you access to the 7% bonus armor penetration in the tree. This is probably the best mastery in its row, edging out the mixed flat penetration in cunning since % penetration is better against people that have armor, and the magic penetration component of Precision is not utilized on 420.png at all (outside of glimpse of the void or Thunderlords if you invested into that tree) so to me, % armor penetration makes the most sense. 

The third reason is that Deathfire Touch makes recalling stupidly annoying for your opponents. Although your mileage may vary depending on the mental fortitude of your opponents, there's nothing more tilting than getting your based stopped for 15+ seconds by tentacles spawning around you after you get your spirit pulled. Tack on an extra 2 second bleed that might even KILL your opponents, and overall that's a pretty big bonus, whether its a couple of extra CS that your opponent missed because of his delayed back, or a free kill somewhere down the line in on of your games. Have you ever died to Deathfire Touch from 202.png? Imagine that but ten times more tilting. 

Other Notable Choices: 
Secret Stash vs Assassin:
2% extra damage from a single mastery point is really good, even if it only applies when you're separated from your team. This means you get 2% extra damage while splitpushing or when you go ham in a teamfight, which is way better than having slightly more sustain from 2033.png

Bounty Hunter vs Double Edged Sword vs Battle Trance:
Double Edged Sword is easily the weakest out of the three, due to the amplified damage that you're taking being such a huge tradeoff. Honestly, it's probably preference between Bounty Hunter and Battle Trance. Earlygame, neither mastery does anything to be honest. Your auto attacks go from doing 49 damage to 51 damage tops with battle trance, and your abilities don't gain much either. Bounty Hunter is my preferred mastery just because the best case scenario is so crazy, but you could make an argument for either of the two masteries being better..

Fresh Blood vs Feast vs Expose Weakness:
Now that Double Edged Sword has been moved down the offense tree, its usage is a little bit more dubious. The sustain from Feast is also good, and the extra damage from Fresh Blood seems minuscule, so Feast seems like the slightly better option. Fresh Blood DOES work on vessels, and often you'll run out of mana before running out of health, so it may be worth looking into as a preferential alternative. Expose Weakness is also an okay choice, but since you yourself will be dealing most of the damage on your team once you go in, I feel that Double Edged Sword outclasses it. 

Vampirism vs Natural Talent: 
You have no AP ratios, so the bonus from Natural Talent seems wasted. The healing you gain from Vamprism is decent once you're oneshotting entire creepwaves with your QillaoiQ.png, which I feel generally outclasses 10 extra AD at level 18. 

Abilities Back to Top

Q
E
W
Q
Q
R
Q
E
Q
E
R
E
E
W
W
R
W
W
Passive
Q
1
4
5
7
9
W
3
14
15
17
18
E
2
8
10
12
13
R
6
11
16

Levels 1 to 3:
This is my usual skill order against ranged champions like 85.png or against super dangerous early game champions like 122.png or 58.png. Q illaoiQ.png first allows you to last hit without pushing the wave early, and you can then use your E illaoiE.png to pull their clone into tower range for very strong harass if they get hit by it. Plus, against dangerous lanes like these, you probably aren't going to want to get into range to auto them with your W illaoiW.png anyway. 

If my jungler wants a leash top, I'll often set up some tentacles around their jungle camp (2-3 tentacles in range of krugs is possible) to give them a strong leash with W, but I'll only do this if I'm laning vs a tank that I can safely auto without taking too much damage, like 57.png or 14.png.  Then I'll either level Q or E depending on how the lane looks; if my opponent is playing aggressively against me, I'll level E to punish them for walking up and making themselves easy targets. If they're playing passively I'll level Q to poke or cs with, or to push in the wave with to protect myself against a level 3 gank top. 

What to Max:
I max Q illaoiQ.png first because it offers you the most utility overall. Q gives you poke, it gives you waveclear (two Q's can kill caster minions at level 5+ and one Q can kill caster minions at 9+) and it gives you strong all-in potential since it increases the damage from all your other moves. 

Some people in Korea like to max E illaoiE.png (or so I've been told) but to me this is way more "all-in" than maxing Q. Your tentacles will do less damage overall, so you need to land your E in order to gain the benefits from leveling it, unlike Q. Although your damage will be better if they play into the E max (aka they don't walk out of range of their own vessel, or they dive you after you pull their vessel) against smart players, I find that it is almost strictly worse to max E over Q. 

illaoiW.png last because it doesn't scale that well with extra points in it, especially since it's on a flat 4 second cooldown that isn't reduced with points. 

Items Back to Top

Starting Items

    Every game no matter what

Core Items

    if you can afford it
    laning against scary magic damage champions
    very worried about dying to something like AD renekton
    Build these every game
    common build lategame - B.F. into cleaver into death's dance
    before important teamfights
    Common build against full ad
    common lategame build against no physical damage team

Situational Items

    heavy AD enemy team - swap for GA and maw if they have no magic damage
    very little physical damage on enemy team
    You can sell your BF sword for mercurial scimitar as a last item, or finish it into bloodthirster; its better to sell it though
    heavy cc on enemy team or very few auto attack based champions - no need for tabi
    trade trinkets for this if you're stomping lane; allows you to safely take control of the enemy jungle in order to splitpush/steal camps
    sell boots for this if you hit super super lategame
    holy moly this item is bad
    this item is doodoo now
2033.png  Buy this. 

Start the game with 2033.png, no exceptions. 420.png struggles with mana early, and this is one of the only ways to help negate her mana problems without itemizing into a full on mana item like 3057.png2033.png just does everything right; it gives you early game, it helps you sustain in lane, it gives you mana to harass with, and you can sell it when you need to buy a big purchase later into the game like 3156.png or even for space to build a 3134.png or a 2140.png before a teamfight. 


1038.png +1036.png  = Good Earlygame

420.png has some of the craziest AD ratios in the game, so you should build to compliment that. did you base with 1800 gold? buy 1038.png+1036.png+2043.png. did you back with 1100 gold? Buy 1036.png1036.png1036.png. Essentially, you should build as much flat AD as possible earlygame without compromising your build. Both 3156.png and 3071.png build out of 3x 1036.png, so if you have gold for them, just BUILD MORE. 

1038.png is purely an early game item to me. If you ever play ADC, then you should know the feeling of having to try to lane against one of these when you yourself don't have one. This one sword will make you do insane damage for as long as you have it, if you can afford it. If I have 1300+ gold after my first recall and I'm not playing against an AP assassin like 105.png or 245.png and therefore don't immediately require a 3155.png, I will buy a 1038.png and just sit on it until the end of the game. It is worth it, trust me.


3071.png Black Cleaver
Build this first if you're against a tank that's building armor, like 98.png57.png, or even 3068.png3025.png105.png. Cleaver is insanely efficient. Why do you think some ADC's like 236.png started to build it? It's just that good. 

3156.pngMaw of Malmortius
Build this first if you're against 131.png or other AP assassins that you want to avoid getting killed by. You will still want to pick one of these up later into the game if your opponent has a significant magic threat on their team; however, if you are not laning against one of those threats, then save this for later. If you are winning lane against a mage and feel that you do not need the survivability of 3156.png, then feel free to leave it as a 3155.png and finish it later into the game at your own convenience. 


3812.png Death's Dance
Build this first if your opponent doesn't fall into either of the two categories. Maybe you're laning vs 23.png39.png92.png, or other champions that won't have a lot of armor early into the game. You can build this to get a lot of sustain, or you can build 3071.png if your item path just happened to work out that way; it doesn't change much. 


3026.png Guardian Angel
After you have 3071.png +3812.png, you can consider getting 3026.png to help you survive teamfights. 3026.png is an increasingly popular item, for good reason; it has decent stats for its cost, and its passive is very difficult to deal with. Then just finish your other items and build situational items if need be like 3143.png against heavy physical damage teams. 

2140.png Wins Teamfights.
2140.png is insane on 420.png, so after you have your core items, sell your 2033.png and put 2140.png in that item slot, that way you don't forget to use it! This potion is gamechanging. More flat AD, and the healing that it gives you in a best case scenario is beyond insane. You'll kill their whole team and be unkillable at the same time, its that good. Try to not waste it though; 500g is quite the investment if you are not full build. 

Matchups Back to Top

Click on a champion below to see the author's notes on that particular matchup.

  • Akali
    Medium
  • Darius
    Medium
  • Diana
    Easy
  • Ekko
    Medium
  • Fizz
    Medium
  • Gnar
    Easy
  • Hecarim
    Easy
  • Irelia
    Medium
  • Kayle
    Hard
  • Kennen
    Medium
  • Lulu
    Medium
  • Malphite
    Easy
  • Maokai
    Easy
  • Nautilus
    Easy
  • Renekton
    Medium
  • Rengar
    Hard
  • Riven
    Medium
  • Rumble
    Hard
  • Ryze
    Hard
  • Shen
    Hard
  • Singed
    Medium
  • Swain
    Medium
  • Teemo
    Medium
  • Trundle
    Hard
  • Tryndamere
    Hard
  • Vladimir
    Medium

VS

Akali

Medium

Tank Akali is probably medium-hard, while AP Akali is probably medium-easy. She's a predictable champion to play against pre-6; you kind of just have to eat her Qs forever and try to farm as best as you can without letting her Q+auto you. She's not too hard to land poke on, and she'll be revealed out of stealth while her vessel is pulled, effectively nullifying her shroud. AP Akali dies too fast to you to all-in you, but tank Akali can scrap with you to the point where your vessel times out from her hitting you, making her more of a threat as a tank than as an AP assassin. 

VS

Darius

Medium

Darius will straight murder you levels 1-3 if you get into melee range of him. Avoid getting brushcheesed level 1, avoid walking into hook range levels 2-5, and even if he's fighting you in a huge creepwave, just run. He'll kill you before your creeps kill him, I guarantee it. Make sure your wave is pushing towards you at all times before 6 at all costs. Otherwise he can zone you just from the threat of getting all-in'd. If you see him waste his W and Q, then use that window to regain wave control with your Q. 


Post 6, you can kill him before he can kill you assuming that you land your E. Most of the time, he'll walk towards you threateningly. If you hit him with your E and he keeps walking up, you can ult and kill him instantly, like most other champs. This is especially true if he doesn't go armor first. 

VS

Diana

Easy

Diana is an assassin who has to get into melee range in order to fight you effectively. She's also very squishy compared to tanks, so dealing with her is no problem as long as you play safe.


Poke with Q and E while near tentacles, and back away while your E is on cooldown. If she ever dashes to you, your ult will kill her instantly as long as you land your E beforehand, so you have little to fear. Build hexdrinker!

VS

Ekko

Medium

Medium to hard matchup in my opinion. Although his E makes him generally hard to hit with your moves, the fact that he blinks to his next auto-attack target means that you can somewhat easily land your E after he teleports. The issue is that his ult and his W make him very hard to kill unless you pop him instantly, so tank Ekko is a solid counter to Illaoi. After you land your E, you generally want to try to hit it (as always) but he can easily put his stun on top of you. That being said, he will almost always try to fight you on top of his own clone, meaning that he can near-instantly die if not building tanky. 

VS

Fizz

Medium

Medium difficulty if he's tank, hard difficulty if he's AP (although after 6.12 nerfs, he's really bad as full AP in my opinion.) You must be extremely careful choosing your engages against Fizz. If you miss your E and don't have insane creep advantage around you, his ability to all-in you cannot be underestimated. That being said, if you land your E and he tries to all-in you, you can destroy him post-hexdrinker. The squishier he builds, the more of a fine line you need to walk; he'll die way easier, but you have to land all of your moves or else you'll pop the moment he fights you. Choose your fights wisely.


If you get ulted by him, use your own ult to avoid the knock-up from Chum the Waters. This is key, since the second you lose being knocked up is very important. 

VS

Gnar

Easy

Horribly squishy when in tiny-gnar form, and incredibly slow when in mega-gnar form. Landing poke on him will absolutely ruin his laning phase, since his base stats are so horrible as tiny-gnar. When he goes mega, just stand outside of his jump range and keep poking him. Not only that, but his huge model means that if he tries to all-in you past 6, and if you have your E and ult up, its almost impossible to miss your full combo on him. He won't be able to burst you from full health, while you can kill him from full health instantly, leaving him with few options outside of near-meaningless boomerang harass. 

VS

Hecarim

Easy

His lack of low-cooldown dashes make him an easy target, and since your ult can dodge his knockback, it will be very difficult for him to push you into an unfavorable position away from your tentacles. Stay near your own tentacles, poke him when he tries to clear them, and if he fights you, E him and demolish his health. His ult+E combo is scary if you get ganked, but even then you have good odds to 2v1 since he has relatively low damage until his Q is ramped up. 

VS

Irelia

Medium

Irelia is not tanky enough to survive your damage combo, but she can be hard to hit or poke out of lane depending on how skilled she is. If she's constantly last-hitting with her Q, try to aim your moves so that she'll dash into them. She only has a chance at winning all-ins if she has her stun available on you, making the matchup very interesting; if you're both at even health, she won't be able to fight you since dashing to you would put you below her health. Additionally, if you get her low enough below you, she won't be able to stun you without dying to a counter-attack. There's a small window of health-differential you want to avoid, so try to land your E over your Q if you're at even health, ensuring you don't put her in that critical health threshhold. 

VS

Kayle

Hard

Kayle has all the tools to beat you in lane; she has a ranged autoattack to clear tentacles, she has a point and click slow that allows her to choose her engages, she has a heal and a movespeed buff to negate poke, and her ult directly counters yours. 


That being said, you can still poke her out of lane by landing Qs and Es well, so not all hope is lost. Just be careful, since you have no way to run should you get caught out; if you get slowed and cannot make it under tower, E+ult may allow you to heal through her ultimate and kill her fast enough after it ends. Hexdrinker recommended, maybe even a Maw rush.

VS

Kennen

Medium

Not a bad matchup considering how annoying Kennen is to most top-laners. His lack of real dashes (outside of a protobelt pickup) makes him not too hard to land Qs on, although a smart Kennen player will be able to avoid most of your Es in his creepwave. An early hexdrinker removes all of his kill pressure on you unless you get chipped down to low health, and your own poke will usually be more than his will assuming you avoid W empowered auto attacks.

If you see that he has his empowered auto ready, just don't farm until he spends it. He can't farm with autos until he wastes it, so just wait it out. Also, if you ever get hit by his passive, try to avoid letting him recast his W for extra poke on you. Although it will be unavoidable at times, immediately running back out of range will save you a lot of health in the long run, and will remove his stun pressure on you. 

VS

Lulu

Medium

Lulu is annoying. You can't kill her unless your jungler ganks for you, and even then she's probably going to get away. The good news is that she's not impervious; she needs to choose to either shield herself to negate your poke, or cast Pix on you for damage. Either way, trading with her is still effective; either she takes a lot of damage, or she doesn't deal a lot of damage. 


Her ult and polymorph make solokilling her nearly impossible, but since she only has two damage moves, the odds of you dying to her are relatively low. On top of that, post level 9, you can keep her shoved to tower forever; level 5 glitterlance is not enough to waveclear, so you can either play the lane safely or harass her under tower at your own discretion. 

VS

Malphite

Easy

Malphite is a slow tank without any dashes, so hitting him with poke is relatively easy. The problem is that his passive negates most of your random poke early, so the lane is relatively boring early unless you land a ton of Es. Malphite lakes any way to poke back early, and he can't really catch up to you as long as you don't let him.


Past 6, the matchup dynamic doesn't really change, but one thing to note is that Malphite can fight you past 6 if he knocks you up with his ult, even if you pull his vessel. The cc from it and him constantly hitting you is enough time to cancel your vessel, so he's one of the few champions you don't necessarily win 100-0 against if he eats your full combo. That being said, you can dictate the lane simply because he lacks waveclear and gapclosers, so play well and you should be fine.

VS

Maokai

Easy

Although Maokai can destroy you if he gets a lead on you, the lane will snowball for you as well should you begin to gain an advantage over him, and you possess the tools to make the lane go as you please. Maokai's 1-3 are stronger than yours are in an all-in scenario, but he's very vulnerable to poke. Not only that, but should you land your E on him, most Maokai's challenge you and W to you, meaning that he's standing on top of his own clone. Use your ult to avoid getting knocked back by his Q, and he should die in a snap. 

VS

Nautilus

Easy

Slow tank, huge hitbox, not enough damage to kill you before you kill him, and you can dodge his ultimate with your own. As long as you don't get too behind pre-6, he loses all of his ability to fight you once you have your ult. He also doesn't provide enough damage in a 2v1 scenario, so if you get ganked and E their jungler (or possibly Nautilus himself) as they approach, you can often win the fight. As always though, if you miss your E, you're pretty much a goner no matter what, so don't miss!

VS

Renekton

Medium

Similar to the Riven and Irelia matchups, his ability to lock you down and kill you exists, but he dies just as easily should he itemize damage early. Throw out your E when you think he intends to dash to you, so that your nearby tentacles will hit him and his clone at the same time for massive damage. Post-6, you generally win all-ins as long as you land your E first, and you outrange him by a longshot should he not dash directly into you. 

VS

Rengar

Hard

Rengar is a cheesy as hell top-laner. It's almost impossible to farm early against him unless you get the perfect freeze early on. You have to poke him out in your creepwave while also avoiding him when he's at full ferocity stacks... which is a daunting task when he can leap from brush to your creepwave at his own leisure. Exercise extreme caution. Things to watch out for are cheesy exp starts such as small krug or small bluebuff minion, or just getting straight all-in'd the moment he hits level 2. 

VS

Riven

Medium

Assuming you aren't playing against a challenger-level Riven player, the matchup is not too bad. You have to gauge when it seems like Riven wants to fight you, and then cast your E as she goes in to make sure that you don't miss. Given that you land your E and you have your ult up, she will die instantly. Pre-6, focus on landing E's into tentacles in range, and try to trade with her only when she's missing cooldowns, i.e. used her shield to avoid a Q or used her own Q to last hit. 

VS

Rumble

Hard

Rumble gets to choose his engages with you due to his high movement speed and W shield. Not only that, but his Q and ult do massive damage should you sit in them, which is hard to avoid considering how slow Illaoi is. If you try to fight him and he ults directly under you, there's little you can do to fight back and avoid dying at the same time, making him a serious threat. Poking him out is your best option, but missing your E means that he's free to run up and harass you to death, especially since his harpoons make running very difficult. 

VS

Ryze

Hard

Although he's very squishy, his ability to outspace you while keeping you rooted means that the ball is in his court. He can absolutely melt you while keeping you at range, so your only hope past 6 is to wait for him to stack on top of his vessel and for you to flash on top of him while not rooted. 


Pre-6 though, he's extremely mana gated, so use that time to try to gain enough gold to buy a hexdrinker. 

VS

Shen

Hard

Surprisingly high damage for a tank, and his W will often cancel your W empowered auto-attacks, greatly reducing your damage output. Not only that, but his map pressure is unmatchable, especially since you will not be able to adequately match his ult-teleports. In my opinion it is better to gain as much of a lead over him as you can by farming and pressuring his tower instead of teleporting to follow him. If you can pressure him enough, he'll lose more by teleporting away from tower than he'll gain from saving someone (usually) but it all revolves around how good of a Shen you're playing against. 

VS

Singed

Medium

Singed can't trade with you well, but he's playing Singed; he doesn't have to trade with you. It's very difficult to stop his proxy farming if he gets started, and Illaoi lacks the tools necessary to stick to and kill him, unless he plays really, really badly. His lack of pressure on you means that the matchup is pretty much a standstill. 


Just fight him around your tentacles and don't walk through his poison if you can help it, and pull his vessel when he tries to run through your creepwave. 

VS

Swain

Medium

Swain has w relatively low range for a mage, so you can trade back damage with him whenever he tries to fight you. All you need to do against Swain is make sure that you do not sit in his Q; he will almost always max it out, and as long as you get out of its range quickly, he does not do that much damage. Poke with Q whenever possible, but save E for when his Q is on cooldown; if he has it up and you pull his vessel, you won't be able to challenge him for it anyway (unless you pull it under your tower.)


Post 6, you can fight him if he goes into melee range with you; your E ult combo will destroy him through his ult, and you'll heal as much as he does. Avoid getting poked as much as you can, and an early hexdrinker is helpful. 

VS

Teemo

Medium

Although Teemo is very fast and does a lot of auto damage from range, he will usually make himself an easy target while trying to harass you. Trading one of your Qs for getting hit by 1-2 autos is fine, especially if you do not let him proc thunderlords. Landing your E on him will also obliterate his health bar, since he'll usually try to contest the vessel; after landing an E, aim your Q at Teemo so that you'll hit both the clone and his real body. 


If you manage to get him low, you'll probably have to flash+ult in order to get in range to kill him, but he'll die instantly should you ult him and his clone while he's about half or less health. 

VS

Trundle

Hard

When played moderately well by your opponent, this matchup is impossible to win. His Q and R mean that you will not win all-ins, and his passive means that your poke won't hurt him like it will to other champs. Not only that, but since his R functions as a multi-hit move, it will very rapidly deplete your vessel should you so pull him, greatly reducing your all-in potential.


That being said, you can maintain a lead over him if you somehow get ahead... it just isn't likely in an evenly skilled matchup. 

VS

Tryndamere

Hard

Tryndamere completely destroys Illaoi. He has high damage, and his ult makes it so that you cannot logistically fight him post-6, since he can just facetank you while slicing you to pieces. Not only that, but its impossible to run away from Tryndamere, meaning you have to exercise extreme caution while fighting with him. 


You can poke him out of lane, but his all-in potential against you is crazy high, so be careful.

Ninja Tabi are very effective against Tryndamere, so buy them if you want to live. Chainvest optional.

VS

Vladimir

Medium

Vladimir is a short ranged mage, and since they removed Will of the Ancients, its not too hard to put decent harass on him. His pool will not prevent damage dealt to his clone, and no Vlad player will use their pool to dodge your E, making your E + ult combo still effective against him. Hexdrinker helps the matchup, but building damage is effective as well. You just need to get tanky enough to survive his burst. 

Early Game Back to Top

As I said in my runes section, I think that 420.png is really bad pre-6. Although she can put decent harass on the enemy laner, she really cannot do anything if you get ganked, and because of this I feel that a lane control heavy style pre-6 is the optimal way to play her. You want to keep the lane pushing towards your tower for as much time as possible so that you cannot be ganked, and you want to spawn 1-2 tentacles on your tower and under your tower so that you can punish overagression with your E. All I look to do is kill creeps with my Q, and to land E's into either my tower or into range of 2+ tentacles if possible. Only try to poke with Q if you can either do it while getting CS, or if your opponent is already low; otherwise the damage that you rack up on them won't be worth the mana you spend spamming Q at them. 


Use W when you can directly on your opponent for bandit gold if it is safe, but be careful since getting into melee range with characters like 122.png and 245.png will often make you take WAY more damage than the bandit gold or harass is worth. But if you see them use all of their cooldowns, then do not be afraid to get yourself some supplementary gold. Otherwise, just use W on their clone if you manage to pull it in order to get nearby tentacles to swing at it, and try to kill their vessel (or get the full 20 bandit gold on their clone minimum.)

Understanding wave control is very important on 420.png. If your creepwave is larger than their creepwave, then you need to either ward immediately or push it into their tower as fast as possible. Having more creeps than your opponent in lane means that they have control of the lane; if they freeze it outside of your tower, then you are going to be ridiculously exposed to a gank, and any good jungler will kill you repeatedly. Of course if you see them show on the opposite side of the map then you do not need to worry at that moment, but regaining control of the wave by resetting it to neutral is an important habit to get into. By killing all their creeps as fast as possible, you force them to either tank all of the minions or let it crash into their tower, and after that the wave should reset in general. Note: if you see them trying to freeze the wave in front of their tower, do NOT let them. Run up to them and try to spook them into letting the creeps reach their tower so that you cannot get frozen on. 

After you hit level 6 is when you should be able to start dominating the lane. 

Mid Game Back to Top

Once you're level 6+, you can look to put serious pressure on your opponent as well as the enemy team. Your poke will do intense damage with a 1038.png and a bunch of 1036.png, so you can throw out Qs and Es to pressure your enemy laner. The most important thing to know mid game as well as late game is this: if you land your E, you are strong. If you miss your E, you are weak. Most of the damage in your kit comes from landing both E and ult on the same target. Landing your E before your ult is so impossibly important, and I cannot stress enough how integral this is to your damage on 420.png. Let me try to break it down for you: If you don't land your E before you ult, here's how it will normally turn out. You get your ult damage, then you get to use W on them and 1-2 tentacles will swing at them, and then you might land 1-2 more Ws tops. Compare that to if you land E before you ult; since tentacles automatically swing at the vessel at least once, if they stand on top of their clone when you ult, here's what happens: you get your Ult damage, and you get your Ult damage on their clone as well, so approximately 1.5x ult damage. Then the two tentacles that spawned from them and their clone both automatically swing at the vessel; if they hit both the clone and your opponent at the same time, thats 2-3 tentacles all doing 1.5x damage. Then you hit them with your W for the first time, either on them or on their clone; Now all of your tentacles swing again, including the extra one that spawned, and if all of them hit the enemy and the vessel again, thats 2-3 more tentacles doing 1.5x damage again. Now say you killed the vessel with that W and the 4-6 swings from spawned tentacles; now they're slowed, allowing for you to easily hit your Q, and now even MORE tentacles will spawn around them and will swing at double speed, doing even more damage.


TL;DR: No E before ult = 1xillaoiR.png, 2xillaoiW.png, 2-3xillaoipassive.png approximately.
E before ult = 1.5xillaoiR.png, 2xillaoiW.png, 5-8xillaoipassive.png, 1xillaoiQ.png approximately.

This is of course an approximation, but even just roughly looking at it, the importance of landing your E before you ult should be crystal clear; if you land your E, don't be afraid to fight them. If you miss it, run for the hills and wait for the cooldown to come back up before approaching them again. 

Proof of Concept: With and Without Vessel Back to Top


The first half of the video is a single spell rotation at level 6 without landing EillaoiE.png, while the second half of the video is the exact same combo with a vessel thrown into the mix. Note that 86.png  has upgraded his cloth armor to a chainvest 1029.png->1031.png, so he's taking roughly 12% less damage overall. (Shoutout to Totly for helping me!)


Full Breakdown:

In the first half of the video, 420.png hits 86.png with one of every move besides EillaoiE.png while near one passive tentacle. The tentacles all swing at 86.png one time, so the visual breakdown of how many moves he gets hit by looks something like this in order:

illaoiR.pngillaoiW.pngillaoipassive.pngillaoipassive.pngillaoiQ.png
And heal ~14.26% of your missing health

But tentacles auto swing at vessels in range. This means that by landing EillaoiE.png before comboing, the visual breakdown looks more like this, with just the one extra move thrown in: 

illaoiE.pngillaoipassive.pngillaoiR.pngillaoipassive.pngillaoipassive.pngillaoiW.pngillaoipassive.pngillaoipassive.pngillaoipassive.pngillaoiQ.png
And heal ~51.23% of your missing health

So with only one use of WillaoiW.png throughout the entire combo, landing E has made tentacles swing at 86.png triple the amount of times, while your tentacles have made contact a total of 14 times as opposed to 3 times. If you skirt along the brink of death, you'll heal for 70% of your health in this combo as opposed to 15%, but more likely you'll heal 51% of your missing health as opposed to 14% of your missing health, which is still three times more healing!

TL;DR: Land your EillaoiE.png before you Ult. 

(Python code used to calculate missing health below)

current=0

total=0

counter = 0

 

while counter<14:

    missing=1-total

    current=missing*0.05

    total = total + current

    print ("hit #"+str(counter+1)+" heals for " + str(current))

    counter+=1

 

print ("total is " + str(total*100) + "% healing done")

Late Game Back to Top

Once most of the outer towers around the map have been taken, you want to either group with your team or splitpush for outer towers. Use 3363.png to get vision of choke points in the lane that you're splitpushing, and use the timer on their buff to try to take control of it. Set up tentacles in locations where you might get collapsed on, so that if they group gank you can try to fight back. Once the outers and inners are all gone, you will group with your team and either try to siege a lane, using E to chunk their champs to 1/5th hp, or setup a perimeter around baron in order to bait the enemy team into fighting you within your zone. That's pretty much all there is to play 420.png; although her kit is fairly straight forward, she requires a lot of laning fundamentals to play at a very high level. Your opponents not knowing what your champion does will greatly help you win games, so play to your strengths, let the enemy engage on you, and you should do great.

Tank Illaoi (Thoughts and Builds) Back to Top

Although building tank has its upsides to building full damage, it is not as good in my opinion because it does not scale at all into the lategame. Think about a tank 245.png for instance; both have solid damage while building tanky, but 245.png has so many more things going for him; he has an AOE stun, a heavy slow on his Q, a dash, a blink, a movement speed boost, and an invulnerability ultimate. All these things come together to make him extremely hard to kill, while still dealing tons of damage. 420.png has nothing in her kit besides damage. She has no crowd control, no real dashes, no movement speed boosts, and she needs to be directly next to you while hitting you to sustain her health. So if you wanted to build 420.png as a tank, why didn't you just pick 245.png or 57.png instead? Both also do decent damage and are hard to kill, but bring many other things to the table that make them way better tanks in my opinion. 420.png has nothing in her kit that benefits from building tank items, and she's so incredibly vulnerable to kiting that unless you build damage and pop their whole team, you'll  end up melting no matter how tanky your build is. 


That being said, here's what I would do if my team required me to build tank:
gSPRDc4.png?1

0/12/18 masteries make the most sense when building tank, especially since 12 in cunning is so powerful as previously described. Runic Armor and Insight are some of the most powerful masteries on 420.png; extra healing goes very well with her tentacles and having flash4.png up as often as possible is a huge upside. Grasp of the Undying is the best defensive keystone since you can proc it on the vessel, and the rest of the resolve tree doesn't really matter. Note that my rune choices have not changed. 


Tank Itemization
3071.png is still amazing, so I would still recommend building it first. 
3156.png is a good damage/tank item, and since 3155.png is required in so many matchups, consider this a good option. 
3053.png is an alternative to 3156.png if the enemy team lacks magic damage, but overall the item is not as gold efficient as I would like it to be, so I would avoid it most of the time. 
3065.png is the number 1 defensive item against magic damage; build it if they have decent magic damage on their team. 
3143.png followed by 3075.png are the two best armor items in the game. Build only 3143.png if they do not have heavy AD, and build both if they do.
3026.png is one of the best items in the game, period. Its good on tanks, its good on carries, its just amazing overall. Build this after two defensive items to maximize your value. 
3083.png is one of the only flat health items in the game, but its great as long as you have enough health to activate its passive; because of this, consider picking it up last or second to last, once you're a high level. 
3047.png or 3111.png depending on how much crowd control the enemy team has, or how much auto attack damage they might have. 

Possible Tank Illaoi Build(Standard Damage Mix)
3071.png3047.png3065.png3143.png3026.png3083.png
Note: switch the order of3065.png and 3143.png based on who their highest damage threat is at the time of building it, and switch  3047.png to 3111.png should the situation call for it. 


Tank Illaoi Build (AP Top, Mid, Jungle)
3071.png3156.png3111.png3065.png3026.png3083.png

Tank Illaoi Build (Full AD)
3071.png3143.png3047.png3075.png3053.png3083.png

Fun Clips Back to Top

 
E + Q combo on Vayne lategame; since your E does ~80% of their health, if your Q does over 20% of their health and you hit both them and their clone at the same time...


You can use your ultimate to avoid getting knocked up by champs like  105.png or 157.png. Also, I do a lot of damage.

A great way to tower dive someone is to get really close to them under tower and then E + Ult while you're right on top of them. This does hilarious damage.

Who is Maulface? Back to Top

I started playing League of Legends back in Season 2, in a simpler time of 50 second 29.png stealth and 25% Lifesteal 100 AD 3072.png. I was Gold in Season 2, climbed to Diamond 1 in Season 3 as a 105.png one trick, and ended in Master both Seasons 4 and 5. This season i picked up 420.png for fun, and found great results with her! I'm almost the #1 Illaoi player on Lolskill, playing her the way I described in my guide. Although this does not make me the authority on how you should play her, I can at least say that it is possible to find success with her like I have if you play her like I do. At the very least, you'll have a ton of fun killing people horribly in a tentacle massacre, so at least there's that~

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