Champion Reveal: Illaoi
Strong but relatively slow, Illaoi needs to be careful with her abilities, particularly during the early game. The tentacles she summons throughpack a punch, but don't move with Illaoi, making her much stronger when she's able to hunker down in one spot. At the same time, her tentacles and abilities - particularly - deal massive area of effect damage and can push the minions towards enemy towers super easily. This is where Illaoi needs to be particularly vigilant: if she strays too far forward, she'll miss out on the extra damage her tentacles offer and render herself relatively defenseless against enemy ganks. Illaoi can definitely take a punch, but if she's caught out of position, she pretty much only has her health and resistances - along with the healing from strikes - to sustain her through the enemy onslaught.
When she's well-placed for a fight, she definitely knows how to inflict pain. Illaoi can whale rival melee enemies down withand , and only adds to the hurt when she positions her enemy within reach of her . Ranged enemies can be more of a challenge, harassing Illaoi from a distance while staying far enough away to avoid her melee retaliation. But try as they might, they can't avoid Illaoi's punishment if she manages to steal her lane opponent's spirit. levels the playing field, giving Illaoi free access to her target's health bar even when their physical form is well away from danger. So, while junglers traditionally look for enemy kills or during ganks, killing an enemy's spirit will often impact the lane just as meaningfully. Their spirits crushed, Illaoi's counterpart becomes a for Nagakabouros, who starts sending to further test their newest victim.
Suddenly Illaoi's opponent, melee or ranged, has a whole heap of things to pay attention to.spawn beside walls, so escaping or chasing to wall brush becomes a lot less... well, survivable. What's more, Illaoi's a bunch stronger when she can reliably fight alongside the created by her , and can fire off and to coordinate the ever-increasing number of aquatic appendages populating the Rift. And while Illaoi's opponent is distracted by the various limbs sprouting around the Rift, they're all the more likely to miss a return visit from the Kraken Priestess' jungler.
Once teams start gathering to contest neutral objectives, Illaoi takes up her rightful place at the forefront of her team's formation. She's a beast around stationary objectives, particularly when she has enough lead time to set up her. They don't just offer her team extra damage in taking down , but also add disruption should the enemy team move in to stake their claim. And while Illaoi will generally prefer to steal the spirits of squishy targets, landing on a frontline enemy still offers Illaoi and her team options. The spirit will be tankier (its health and resistances reflect those of her target), but by focusing it down, Illaoi's allies will force their enemies to make a tough choice: contest the objective and fight through the ever growing gauntlet, or give up the objective entirely.
As teams fully group, Illaoi works best securing her team's frontline and waiting for the perfectcast. Once she's landed the ability and her team's destroyed the captured spirit, Illaoi's all set to force her way through to the enemy backline. Though she doesn't have a particularly reliable way of getting to the backline, she can still use to charge her way in. And once she's there, just like any other juggernaut, she's an absolute nightmare to deal with, with and offering Illaoi the means to lay the slap down on multiple enemies. Most importantly, her presence in the heart of the enemy team will often force them to spread and scatter in fear of the Kraken Priestess' monumental . While is theoretically only as powerful as the number of enemies Illaoi lands it on, the ability itself has a huge psychological impact on the enemy team. Either they split up as Illaoi calls on her god, or they risk fighting under a cluster of enraged . Neither ends well for Illaoi's enemies.
|Works well with:||Struggles against:|
|Orianna - the Lady of Clockwork
Orianna covers Illaoi's weaknesses and accentuates her strengths. and speed up and shield Illaoi as she makes her way into the heart of the enemy team, and there aren't many things more satisfying than comboing into . There will be .
|Vayne - the Night Hunter
Illaoi, just likeor , is an absolute beast once she gets up in her target's face, but lacks any real means of actually getting there. Vayne's a particularly slippery catch, able to away and Illaoi into walls, all while constantly whittling the Kraken Priestess down with .
|Blitzcrank - the Great Steam Golem
Whenever League's rustiest robot enters the Rift alongside Illaoi, the two quickly form into a deadly tag team. If the Kraken Priestess misses her target with, Blitz can just them outright, pulling them into Illaoi's sea of tentacles before them and them skywards to halt their escape. Beep boop indeed.
|Janna - the Storm's Fury
and give Janna and her team a bunch of ways to slow Illaoi's relentless pursuit, but it doesn't end there. Allies running toward the Storm's Fury enjoy higher movement speed thanks to , while if all else fails, she can call on to send Illaoi flying back and heal up whatever damage she's done.
|Lulu - the Fae Sorceress
Lulu, like Orianna, gives Illaoi plenty of means to get in the midst of her enemies while shaking off their timid attacks.propels the Kraken Priestess forward while shields her from incoming damage. A well-aimed should allow Illaoi to close range, before Lulu finishes off her support masterclass with , knocking her enemies skyward and giving Illaoi the chance to follow up with her own .
|Ziggs - the Hexplosives Expert
and give Ziggs plenty of opportunities to keep distance with Illaoi. And while the Kraken Priestess undeniably thrives in wombo combo team comps, Ziggs has a huge of his own to toss into the fray and help balance the scales in big teamfights.
Champion Insights: Illaoi
By Conor 'fizzNchips' Sheehy 
We met up with some of the folks behindcreation to find out how they turned some early ideas into the battle priestess preparing to test the Rift. Here's their story.
Design notes by Beat Punchbeef
Art notes by Hdot
Narrative notes by WAAARGHbobo
Before Illaoi was a thing, we had this cool idea of having a character in our game literally punch the spirit out of their target. We had to shelve it as we were still finishing up, but once we cycled back around into new champion ideation, we were super happy to find out that our pod had been tasked with creating League's next brawler. Brawlers like punching, we could have ours punch spirits... things were starting out great.
We were a little way through ideation when the champion update guys spun up a new team tasked with identifying roles in the game and making sure all the champions in that role brought a unique playstyle to a game of League. They're the guys who most recently updated the marksmen, but before that, they tackled a whole new class: the juggernauts. These were League's lumbering, tanky, melee class. The champion update team rounded up all the champs who fit their juggernaut definition, and as they did, we realized that our new brawling champion would fit perfectly into that bunch. But they were all guys, even theones, so we started thinking about a lady to mix things up a bit.
- The Battle Cleric Juggerdame
Before we started on this new lady brawler's look, we knew we wanted to do something different. This isn't a commonly known fact, but a huge chunk of League's female characters actually share an identical (or near identical) face and body, and are only differentiated by their hair and clothing. We wanted to try something different, and so set about creating someone significantly apart from the crowd for our brawler. She's a bunch bigger, obviously, but alongside her larger frame we gave her a larger personality, too. We wanted her to be confident and comfortable in her own skin, a woman who knows exactly who she is and what she wants. We started tooling her up to be someone who was genuinely beautiful in her own unique way. The sketching began in earnest.
Armor quickly became a pretty contentious point. Brawler was known as Battle Cleric at one point, a name which naturally led to us giving her buckets of armor. But straight away that didn't feel right. Armor implied tankiness which implied Brawler was someone you hit, rather than someone who hit you. We pulled off the armor to emphasize her muscles, which in turn accentuated her confidence and power. Taking her armor away brought her tattoos into play, too, which played up her strong religious aspect and gave her a more immediate connection to her god. At one point, her tattoos actually came to life and formed her, although that overlapped with and even a little too hard for our liking. Eventually we settled on Brawler carrying a of her god around as she traveled, an idol which she could wield to conjure aspects of her deity.
And what about those tentacles? They first squirmed their way in with Brawler's, which stayed pretty much constant throughout her development. But as we got further in, as we really started figuring out who Illaoi was - how central her god was to her - we started looking for ways we could make her tentacles more central to her kit. We tinkered around with a few ideas, the coolest of which involved Illaoi actually showing her enemies the truth of the world around them. We had an overlay in place that changed the whole map, revealing tentacles snaking all over the walls and structures around them. It was awesome to look at, but ultimately the tentacles were just there - they didn't actually do anything. Then we got to thinking: what if they did?
- Day of the Tentacle
Adding independent tentacles to Illaoi's kit was really the last piece of the burgeoning champion's puzzle. By adding them in, we gave Illaoi a really unique space within the juggernauts: she'd be the set-up queen, a champion who grew in strength when she settled in an area and had enough time to grow a tentacle or two. The independent tentacles fit perfectly into her theme, too. By adding them in, Illaoi players would never feel alone in-game, while Illaoi's enemies would always feel outnumbered against her, even 1v1. Everything worked together, and after months of iteration, we had a kit-locked brawling champion with a compelling and consistent playstyle, look and character. Illaoi.