Illaoi, “The Kraken Priestess”, has been one of the most powerful top lane champions throughout Season 12 of League of Legends. Even though she lacks mobility, her enormous damage potential makes you forget about it. Illaoi has a tremendous 1v2/3/4/5 potential and can easily solo carry her games.
She pretty much counters most tanks in the game, and people on social media have named her the “Tank Destroyer”. Even though she is very powerful, she does have a lot of weaknesses. Illaoi lacks any viable CC, and if you manage to shut her down in the early game, she will have a hard time getting back in the game.
Illaoi is a mana-hungry champion, so if you abuse her in the early game, she’ll have no other option than to retreat under her tower. She also doesn’t do very well against ranged or high-mobility champions because they can easily dodge her E and kill her tentacles from a safe distance.
When you’re laning against Illaoi, the most important thing you’ll need to do is to control the minion waves. Now that we’ve covered some basic tips on how to counter Illaoi, let’s have a look at her abilities to give you a better understanding of how to play against her.
- Passive – Prophet of an Elder God – Every 20 seconds Illaoi will spawn a tentacle near her. These tentacles will attack enemies if Harsh Lesson or Test of Spirit is used. Illaoi will heal for 5% of her missing health for each Tentacle that hits an enemy champion.
- Q – Tentacle Smash – Once it’s activated, Illaoi will slam down a tentacle in the given direction.
- W – Harsh Lesson – Harsh Lesson empowers Illaoi with a 225 bonus range and causes her to leap to the target’s location. This attack will also deal bonus physical damage and will force all Tentacles in the range to attack the target.
- E – Test of Spirit – Once Illaoi casts this ability, she will throw a Spirit in a straight line, and if landed, Illaoi will connect with a champion and pull the Spirit from their body in front of her. This Spirit stays still, has a health bar, and is tethered to the enemy champion whose Spirit was pulled. This Spirit will also have a radius, and if the enemy champion leaves that radius, the Spirit will be pulled back into them, which will slow them and turn them into a Vessel for 10 seconds. Enemies that have been hit by this ability will also spawn Tentacles near themselves every 5/4/3 (based on level) seconds. Each Tentacle will autonomously attack the closest Vessel or Spirit.
- R – Leap of Faith – Once Illaoi casts her ultimate, she leaps into the air and then slams into the ground, dealing physical damage to the surrounding enemies. She will also summon one Tentacle per each enemy champion hit. Her Tentacles cannot be killed during her ultimate, and her W ability will have a 50% CDR on it.
Best Champions That Counter Illaoi in Season 12
- Thanks to Heimer’s turrets, he can easily shove Illaoi under her tower, which will force her to miss a lot of CS. Heimerdinger can also hide behind his tower to easily avoid getting hit by her E. Illaoi doesn’t bring any CC to the table, which means that Heimerdinger can survive getting ganked by the enemy jungler. It’s crucial to build health reduction items on Heimerdinger to counter Illaoi, so we recommend you to rush Liandry’s Anguish, alongside with Demonic’s Embrace and Morellonomicon. This should be enough to help you beat her.
- Mordekaiser is probably Illaoi’s biggest counter because he can isolate Illaoi from her Tentacles with his R (ultimate). Avoid playing aggressively and fighting her before you get to level 6. Once you reach level 6, just wait for her to use her ultimate and then use yours because once you do that, you will remove all of her Tentacles and take her to your world. A world in which you’re the boss.
- Urgot is one of the toughest matchups for Illaoi. Since she eats a lot of damage during her ultimate, she gets extremely low on her health, which is more than enough for Urgot to execute her with his ultimate before she can kill him. Urgot’s shield also lets him dodge Illaoi’s Q or E abilities. All you have to do with Urgot is to play aggressively and force her to make mistakes.
How to Lane Against Illaoi?
- Illaoi is very weak in the early game, so you should always abuse Illaoi before she gets to level 3. Once she gets to level 3, all you have to do is to keep killing her Tentacles and keep dodging her E. I know it sounds easy, but trust me when I tell you this, sometimes it’s really not. If you don’t know how to play any of the 3 biggest Illaoi counters we’ve mentioned before in the article (Mordekaiser, Heimerdinger, and Urgort), try playing some ranged champions. Ranged champions can poke her out and get the advantage through tower plates.
- Healing reduction items can truly hurt Illaoi. So, if you’re playing a tank, make sure to rush Bramble West, and if you’re playing a fighter or an assassin champion, make sure to rush Executioner’s Calling (for AD champions) or Oblivion Orb (for AP champions).
- Since her E is her most important ability, be sure to always bait it out as the first play. If she manages to land her E, she will most likely kill you and your jungler.
How to Counter Illaoi? Best Tips:
- Always try to dodge her E. If she manages to land it, make sure to get out of its zone as soon as possible (this will stop her AoE from hitting you multiple times).
- Illaoi has a lack of mobility, so when you’re laning against her, make sure to pick champions with high movement speed or mobility.
- Make sure to avoid standing close to her tentacles because she can always hurt you really bad with it once she uses her W (plus, she will also receive a slight heal if her tentacles damage you)
- Be careful when you’re recalling when you’re cursed (her E) because there’s a high chance that her tentacles will find you and will kill you. Make sure to kill 3 tentacles in order to remove the curse.
- Do your best to bait her E, and if you manage to dodge it, you should go in and try to fight her.
- Do not group up around Illaoi, especially in team fights, just poke her down and kite her.
Even though she is not a very popular champion, Illaoi has always been a very strong pick ever since she was released. If you follow the tips we’ve told you in this guide, there’s a high chance that you’ll demolish Illaoi most of the time. Just remember to play it safe and use the advantage of her weak early game. I wish you the best of luck in the fields of justice, Summoner!