From the Champion Reveal:
ILLAOI, The Kraken Priestess
"Most champions arm themselves with swords or guns or magic or whatever, but Illaoi’s bringing a freakin’ god to the Rift. One of the new breed of juggernauts, she’s a slow but impactful solo laner in any game, with tentacles that offer huge zone control once they worm their way into a game. And while she lacks traditional gap closers to start fights, she can pull the spirits from distant squishies and destroy them, rendering yet another vessel for Illaoi’s god, Nagakabouros.
Passive: Prophet of an Elder God
Illaoi periodically spawns a tentacle on a nearby wall. Tentacles interact with Illaoi’s abilities and last until killed or left dormant a full minute.
Q: Tentacle Smash
Passive: Tentacles that hit enemy champions heal Illaoi for a small portion of her missing health.
Active: Illaoi summons a tentacle that slams down in a target direction, damaging all enemies struck.
W: Harsh lesson
Instead of attacking normally, Illaoi charges in for her next basic attack, dealing bonus physical damage before commanding all nearby tentacles to swing at her target.
E: Test of Spirit
Illaoi casts a spell that sends tendrils out in a target direction. If the tendrils connect with an enemy champion, they grasp the champion’s spirit and tear it back to Illaoi. When spirits are attacked by the Kraken Priestess or her allies, it transmits a portion of its suffering to their now spiritless champion. If Illaoi and her allies are able to destroy the spirit, or if the spiritless champion flees too far from their spirit, they suffer a heavy slow as they become a vessel, and start spawning tentacles around them that attack both their host and their allies. Test of Spirit allows tentacles to occasionally swing at spirits and vessels, dealing physical damage to all enemies hit.
R: Leap of Faith
Illaoi leaps into the air before slamming her idol into the ground, damaging all nearby enemies and summoning a tentacle for every enemy champion hit. Harsh Lesson’s cooldown is significantly reduced while Leap of Faith is active.
Strong but relatively slow, Illaoi needs to be careful with her abilities, particularly during the early game. The tentacles she summons through Prophet of an Elder God pack 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 Tentacle Smash - 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 tentacle 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 with Harsh Lesson and Tentacle Smash, and only adds to the hurt when she positions her enemy within reach of her tentacles. 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. Test of 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 flashes during ganks, killing an enemy’s spirit will often impact the lane just as meaningfully. Their spirits crushed, Illaoi’s counterpart becomes a vessel for Nagakabouros, who starts sending tentacles to further test their newest victim.
Suddenly Illaoi’s opponent, melee or ranged, has a whole heap of things to pay attention to. Tentacles 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 tentacles created by her spiritless enemy, and can fire off Tentacle Smash and Harsh Lesson 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.
"Test of 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. "
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 tentacles. They don’t just offer her team extra damage in taking down dragon, 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 Test of Spirit 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 tentacled gauntlet, or give up the objective entirely.
"Illaoi is a beast around stationary objectives, particularly when she has enough lead time to set up her tentacles. "
As teams fully group, Illaoi works best securing her team’s frontline and waiting for the perfect Test of Spirit cast. 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 Harsh Lesson to charge her way in. And once she’s there, just like any other juggernaut, she’s an absolute nightmare to deal with, with Tentacle Smash and Harsh Lesson 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 ultimate. While Leap of Faith 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 tentacles. Neither ends well for Illaoi’s enemies.
Works well with:
Orianna - the Lady of ClockworkOrianna covers Illaoi’s weaknesses AND accentuates her strengths. Command: Dissonance and Command: Protect 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 Command: Shockwave into Leap of Faith. There will be tentacles.
Blitzcrank - the Great Steam GolemWhenever 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 Test of Spirit, Blitz can just grab them outright, pulling them into Illaoi’s sea of tentacles before silencing them and knocking them skywards to halt their escape. Beep boop indeed.
Lulu - the Fae SorceressLulu, like Orianna, gives Illaoi plenty of means to get in the midst of her enemies while shaking off their timid attacks. Whimsy propels the the Kraken Priestess forward while Help, Pix! shields her from incoming damage. A well-aimed Glitterlance should allow Illaoi to close range, before Lulu finishes off her support masterclass with Wild Growth, knocking her enemies skyward and giving Illaoi the chance to follow up with her own ult.
Vayne - the Night HunterIllaoi, just like Nasus or Darius, 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 tumble away and condemn Illaoi into walls, all while constantly whittling the Kraken Priestess down with Silver Bolts.
Janna - the Storm's Fury
Howling Gale and Zephyr 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 Tailwind, while if all else fails, she can call on Monsoon to send Illaoi flying back and heal up whatever damage she’s done.
Ziggs - the Hexplosives Expert
Satchel Charge and Hexplosive Minefield 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 ult of his own to toss into the fray and help balance the scales in big teamfights.
We’ll return soon with some tales of Illaoi’s creation. In the meantime, let us know your thoughts on League’s next champ below!"
Over on Twitter, ZenonTheStoic has noted Illaoi will be a top lane AD juggernaut. He also noted her name is pronounced " ill-OW-ee".
Riot ShadowStorm on Illaoi's gameplay designer -
"Beat Punchbeef! He was also the designer on Rek'Sai. But as always, this was a major team effort, with lots of people contributing and making her as awesome as possible."