Red Post Collection: Poppy Champion Insights, Illaoi Q&A, Figurefest in merch shop, & more!

Posted on at 3:11 PM by Moobeat
Tonight's red post collection includes a champion insights article for the upcoming Poppy champion update, a look at the Illaoi Q&A, a reminder that Figurefest is now live in the merch shop, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Champion Insights: Poppy, Keeper of the Hammer

With Poppy's champion update out on the PBE, we also have a champion insights article on Poppy and more on what inspired her new kit and new look!
"Poppy’s champion update’s been on the list since before there even was a list. With the Keeper of the Hammer making her debut on PBE, read the story of how it came together. 
Design notes from Solcrushed
Narrative notes from JohnODyin
Art notes from Lonewingy
What would a hero be like if they had all of the strength,
 courage, and potential of legend, but no idea of it?
We started exploring Poppy more than a year ago. With her outdated visuals and awkward, imbalanced kit, she’s long been a candidate for a champion update, but getting it right meant expanding on the limited things we knew about her (she had fewer than twenty lines in game) while finding a new gameplay design that would fit with her character and satisfy fans of the little-yordle-that-could.

Poppy’s the Demacian yordle. That was clear from the beginning. But as a champion proud and loud about her love for Demacia, it was important to keep her from seeming like a mini-Garen. So while she can fangirl for Garen and kneel to Jarvan IV, she has to stand out as her own yordle. Demacian in her own way.

The solution we arrived at was embracing the notion of an unaware hero. She was given a legendary weapon and tasked with finding the hero worthy of wielding it. She’s an answer to the question, what would a hero be like if they had all of the strength, courage, and potential of legend, but no idea of it? 
Poppy’s the underdog, even when she’s packing the biggest hammer in the fight. Poppy’s a walking contradiction. Small, but unbelievably tanky. First into the fray, but last to believe in herself. She’s earnest to the point where you can’t quite trust her, but honest to the extreme that you know you have to.

Hammering home her personality keeps her identity distinct among the yordles, while showing off an alternate take on the traditional Demacian warrior. Whether defending a small village besieged by a nefarious dragon, or a sidelane squishy under assault by a gank-hungry jungler, Poppy’s coming to save the day. She just might apologize afterwards. 
Like a giant Demacian hero, but yordle-r
Balancing the contradiction inherent in her character and then expressing it through gameplay, art, and story proved a unique challenge. At the same time we were puzzling out how to really put the hammer down in terms of her story, it was our chance to figure out how Poppy should look. Some champs are dark and grim like Thresh or horrifying like Hecarim. And others have a snaggletooth. Unlike a champ like Sion, Poppy’s in-game visuals were outdated, but not far off from the way a yordle decked out in Demacian dress would appear.

The one thing that really stood out was the hammer. Her story, gameplay, and art all center around her weapon, but it wasn’t always the biggest thing about her. So we re-rolled the drop. Now her hammer is twice the size of the diminutive yordle, representing the burden of her quest to find the hero of legend and the power she packs into a small frame.

To show off those unique sides of her that make her different from other Demacians (and yordles), we’ve played up the extremes of her personality in art and in-game visuals as well as the story and gameplay: she’s introspective and full of doubts but also eager and full of energy. She shoulders the burden of her quest with pluck and courage, but her humility leaves her with a glaring blind spot. She can’t see that she might be the Demacian hero she’s been seeking the whole time.
She shoulders the burden of her quest with pluck and courage, but her humility leaves her with a glaring blind spot.
Frontline Demacian juggeryordle
No part of a champion update happens in a vacuum, and while we explored different storytelling and visual possibilities for a pint-sized brawler, we were also experimenting with gameplay kits. When we first brought Poppy into the ol’ update workshop, we had to deal with one of the most powerful, but least compelling abilities in the game.

Poppy’s old ultimate, Diplomatic Immunity, could render her immune from damage and crowd control from everything that wasn’t trapped in a glowing gold cylinder of sadness. Diplomatic Immunity defined her kit, and pushed her play pattern towards “assassinate the backline with absurd damage out of nowhere.” That squishy-squasher style didn’t make sense given Poppy’s original story or the direction we were taking her, and Diplomatic Immunity was so powerful, Poppy’s entire kit had to be limited because of it.

After initial explorations, it became clear that straight up nerfing Diplomatic Immunity meant losing what made the ability cool and unique. Once we made the decision to remove it instead, we could play around with new signature abilities to anchor the kit around. After trying a few different themes, we circled back to her story and focused on one aspect of her character in particular--disproportionate power--which led to her new ultimate. With the exaggerated hammer slap of Keeper’s Verdict in place, we found we were able to really push Poppy’s strategic niche of tanky disruption to eleven.

We’re looking forward to bringing her back to the battlefield packing a whole new wallop. 
Poppy’s new unique gameplay identity embraces her small-stature/big-hammer duality. Despite being one of the smallest champions in the game, she brings a ton of crowd control that’s perfect both for causing commotion in a big scrum and flattening bad guys one-on-one.

Through her art, gameplay, and story, we’ve refined the core of Poppy’s personality and playstyle while discovering a few things, too. She’s on PBE now, but we’re looking forward to bringing her back to the battlefield packing a whole new wallop."
Looking for more on the Poppy champion update? Check out these links:

Figurefest is live!

The Riot Merch Shop's FIGUREFEST sale is live!

Between now and December 5th you can pick up any league figure for 30% off or a discounted price when you purchase two! Additionally, new figures are now available for BraumDravenGnarHeimerdingerLuluTryndamere, and Zed!

Visit the shop here and select your appropriate region using the icon in the top right.
PSSSTT! While hidden from the normal selection, the URF Figure is also up for sale.

[PBE] New Champion Select Experience Returns for more testing

After it's original introduction in the 5.22 PBE cycle, the new champion select experience has returned to the PBE for another round of testing!

Here's Lyte with more information:
"Hey everyone, 
We need some players to help us run through the new Champ Select on PBE again. 
We've toned down some of the animations to see if they were the culprit that caused crashes in the last PBE test; if you crash in this version of Champ Select, please let us know: 
1) Which phase did you crash in? (Lobby, Pick Intent, Bans, Picks, etc)
2) What were you doing right before the crash?
3) If possible, send us your dxdiag to 
Thank you so much for your help!"
As a refresher, here's a small gallery of the new champion select experience on the PBE:
Check out this megapost for more information on the current PBE cycle!

Repertoir on Marksman

When asked about thoughts on how Ezreal is doing following the 5.22 patch, Repertoir commented they will be looking at him and a few other marksman before preseason ends:
"Ezreal feels like he fell a bit short of what we expected to see from him in the 5.22 preseason patch. We should look over him along with some others like Ashe, Sivir, and Twitch before the preseason ends. For him specifically, we nerfed some stuff to make room for the improved Q cooldown reducing effect as a precautionary measure, but it may not have been necessary."

He continued:
"We expected him to be fine, and he's honestly not super far off. He tends to sit at a lower-than-average win rate when considered balanced by us and most players. has him at a 48.5% win rate over the last week in Korea, where he has always been and continues to be a very popular pick, so that seems like decent evidence that he's not horribly far off. I don't think he requires much more than a slight adjustment, really."
When asked about Quinn, he noted:
"Yeah, she'll have a few small nerfs aimed specifically at her early game in 5.24. Maybe 2-3 Base AD and a tiny bit of damage off her Q. Nothing too dramatic. 
Moving forward we may reduce the vision reduction duration or increase its radius if it seems like she's too strong still."

Fan Artist Feature - Shilin

Riot Jynx is back with a fan artist feature on community artist Shilin!
"Hey Summoners! In today’s feature we’ll be hearing from Shilin, a talented community artist from Canada who enjoys telling stories and has her own original comic series! 
Continue reading to learn more about her awesome art and process.

You can also follow her on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Twitchto see even more of her work!

If you know someone that you'd like to recommend for a future Fan Artist Feature, please let us know here.

How did you get started creating League of Legends fan art? 
My first league piece was actually the current Sona classic splash art that I had the honour of doing! I didn't play league at the time because I was terrified of any PVP environment, but eventually my now girlfriend babysat me into the game through playing bots and learning about the champions' stories, which inspired me to do a bunch of drawings as gifts for her of her favourites (Riven, Vayne). I also got a bunch of my own favourites after learning more about the champion lores, and out came all the fan art that I did! 
What’s been your favorite piece to create, and why? 
My favourite and most natural piece to create is the Nami/MF piece I did, Shipwreck. The composition came to me out of nowhere and the entire rest of the process was just putting what's in my head onto the canvas, rather than battling the drawing to try to make things work out. I enjoyed thinking about the interaction between the two in the picture a lot, even more than the process of drawing itself. Did Nami strike at a time when MF is most vulnerable? Did Nami save MF from impending fiery doom and just savoring the moment before returning MF to the land? Thinking is the most fun part of drawing! 
Do you have a dream project you’d like to work on? 
I am extremely lucky because I am already working on my dream project--an original series called Carciphona (at I don't know how, but the public has given me enough generous support for me to be able to do this work of my own full time, write/draw/publish the story at my own pace, without the confines of a publisher's deadlines and writing/art direction restriction, or fear of the series being dropped because it's not mainstream or successful enough. Even to this day I feel baffled just putting this down in words; being able to do what you love for a living to this extent is like heaven for every creative, and I am so privileged to be there already. 
Who’s your inspiration? Do you have any favorite League content creators? 
In most cases, my inspiration lies in "what" rather than "who". I feel most frequently inspired by things I see--even mundane things down the streets, stories I hear--be it a masterwork of fiction or the rundown of a friend's day, news, experiences... There is so much to think about in everything that happens and there is always something to express through art. 
But that is not to say fellow artists are not inspiring as well! I look up to many professional and peer artists alike and find motivation in seeing the fruits of their hardwork and gems of their genius. Some of my favourite League fan artists are:

Suqling - bask in her masterful storytelling and gorgeous art right before she strikes your vitals with her savage puns.
2gold - for her charming characters and beautiful colours!
Kaisinel - from monsters to people, kaisinel makes everything look SO GOOD. 
Is there anything else you’d like to share with the community?

Please allow me a moment to convince you how awesome it would be to have a League MMO. Wouldn't it be amazing to be able to explore all of the breathtaking lore and world building work Riot has put in!? MAYBE IF WE SPAM ENOUGH RITO PLS, WE CAN CHANGE DESTINY??? :D 
Last but not least, some awesome videos sharing Shilin's painting process!"

Community Collab | Ragnarök

FASTER TO BATTLE! Next up we have a new Community Collab video featuring Olaf!

"Only obliteration!   
Concept by Terkoiz:  
Created & Animated by Hyun's Dojo:  
 Olaf played by Antirivet:  
 **Created in Collaboration with Riot Games**"

/ALL Chat | Prepping For Preseason 

We also have a new episode of  /ALL CHAT, Riot's community show!

"ALL Chat’s prepping for preseason by talking about how it feels to learn the game you love all over again. Preseason’s a scary time when champions change and strategies form, but with so much change comes the potential for great things. We dive into the preseason and figure out what we love about League changing so drastically from year to year. 
How’s your preseason going so far, and which changes are you looking forward to the most? 
Missed any previous episodes of ALL Chat? Check out our past episode playlist:
Let us know what you think!"

Champion Q&A: Illaoi, the Kraken Priestess

Following her release earlier this week, we also have a champion Q&A on Illaoi, the Kraken Priestess! 
To start us off, here's RiotShadowStorm with an introduction to the Q&A:

"Thanks for participating everybody! We hope you have as much fun playing Illaoi as we did working on her. 
May you go forth in constant motion, and remember: life is the sweetness of fruit, and the joy of battle! 
Hey everybody! 
We've gathered a bunch of Rioters from the Illaoi team for some Q&A about the Kraken Priestess! Whether you're interested in Illaoi's gameplay, story, art, or fun stories from her development, ask away and we'll be happy to answer! 
Check out these links if you need to get up to speed:

Now... let's get kraken!"

As usual, I've sorted the responses based on similar topics -


As for how to pronouncing "Illaoi", WAAARGHbobo  commented:
How do you pronounce Illaoi's name?
She says it in game! 
Ill Ow ee"
When asked about the inspirations for IllaoiWAAARGHbobo  commented:
What was the inspiration for Illaoi? She brings about a lot of thoughts of Lovecraft in her design.
Complicated. The team worked on her for a long time. 
When we started we broke out the juggernaught opportunity space-- where we noticed the game was lacking a top-lane juggernaught that was a human female. 
We jammed on the idea for a while: 
I had been doing some stories about native culture in Bilgewater-- so started lobbying for a Bilgewater champ. 
Beat Punchbeef had the idea for a champ that "punches you so hard it knocks the soul out of your body" 
Skeezik had a sketch showing a lady with tentacle tattoos which came to life.
We mixed that up in a blender and then started to figure out how we could get all of that into one cohesive idea."
Riot ShadowStorm added:
I have been following the Q&A regularly, and there is a question I wanted to ask since forever :D Which comes first, the lore or the mechanic ? Do you always start with a mechanic that you think is fun, then you think of a good story for it, or the opposite?How much of the design process is influenced by the community ? Do some champion suggestions find their way to a champion kit?I think of Illaoi as the opposite of , he can move his minions to his target, while moves her target to her minions. What made you think this idea will work as a champion ?Do you think can fully utilize her kit in challenger tier for example ? I mean it is not hard to avoid her tentacles or kill them for experienced players, right ?
It's really a collaborative effort between Design, Narrative, and Art (which we collectively call the DNA). We often start from one spot, but iterate constantly across all three axes. So for Illaoi, we knew we wanted to make a "Brawler" (which morphed into Juggernaut as we defined that class better). 
From there, we gather lots of story ideas, gameplay ideas, and art ideas. These will then inspire other directions, so we talk about what's cool, and iterate from there. We keep cycling around, refining what's cool until we feel that we have a solid character, and then we start working on realizing that in-game."
WAAARGHbobo continued:
"So with our new process these are developed together (along with visuals).
We want new champs to be thematically consistent. 
So Beat Punchbeef will have an idea, I'll write something that puts some spin on that---
The story affects the way its drawn and the kit. --which opens new doors and requires a new story and new gameplay ... 
Animation begins -- this affects how we think about her-- changes are made...
It's very iterative and collaborative for the whole team."
Beat Punchbeef   added:
"Every champ happens differently in regards to their jumping off point. Illaoi was a combination. We knew we wanted a big female juggernaut to fill an obvious hole in our roster. We also had her E in mind pretty much from the beginning. 
I've never seen an idea taken directly out of something suggested by the community. There are obviously a number of issues with this. However, I think that everyone draws influence from everything they consume at some point or another. It's the combination of these ideas in interesting ways that lead to the executions of familiar ideas that still feel unique. 
The core concept for a juggernaut is that they're immobile but extremely dangerous if they can get near you. For Illaoi, this concept is heightened within the areas where she moves. "Zones of power" felt like an easy fit inside of this space. 
I'm really curious to see how Illaoi will shape up in the competitive scene. I think there's a lot of room to play around her which might make her too unreliable to fit into a composition. Conversely, I think there are some really interesting compositions that can be built around her (return of the wombo comp?)."
nickstravaganza also added:
Riot, your work on your characters is amazing and you give them so much personality and feeling! The community seemed to instantly connect with Illaoi (the puns...too much).How have you guys (and gals) challenged yourselves to produce better content? How have you been able to set the bar higher each time?As an aspiring game artist I have to ask: Can we get a book of League designs and iterative sketches some time in the future? Maybe some story or game design bits? I would so pay for that."
We try to get more disciplines involved earlier in the process these days. So in addition to the game design and concept work that's always been a staple of early pre-production, we're getting more narrative, animation, sound, and VFX input early on so that the whole"
When asked who did Illaoi's splash art and concept, Riot Tokkelossie  shared:
Who did Illaoi's splashart and concept art?
The concept art for Illaoi (and honestly for just about every champion) is a massive collaboration that the whole team contributes to. Skeeziks and Hdot were the Concept representatives for her on the Champion team, and did a lot of the refinement and polish, but we had contributions from many artists across the art team to realize her final form.

Her splash was painted by Somnicidal, who's our dedicated Champ team splash bro."


When asked why Illaoi has AD scaling instead of AP, Beat Punchbeef  shared:
What made you decide to have her scale with AD as apposed to AP? Thematically she could easily have scaled with either stat but I'm curious as to whether there is a specific reason for the AD scaling.
Our intention was to create a character who uses magic in a very physical way. AD scaling helped this fantasy. 
AD scaling gave us an easy way to make her basic attacks feel strong and satisfying without needing to add a "also does a bunch of extra damage" passive. 
The Juggernaut items were also being developed in tandem with Illaoi's development. She was intended to be a Juggernaut from day 1 so making that the most favorable item path made a lot of sense."

As for her lack of hard CC, Beat Punchbeef commented:
Illaoi is the first champ I've seen released since I've been playing the game to not really have any CC. Yes Rek'Sai has her knock up but Rek can use it more often than Illaoi's situational slow on her E and Rek has her tunnel vision as extra utility. Is there any particular reason you decided to forgo utility aspects of her in kit in favor of an almost completely damage oriented champion?
By definition, the juggernaut class has very low access to hard CC and is intended to be a situational damage threat. They should bring some form of unique utility to the game which is where Test of Spirit comes in to play."

When asked about her passive and how it will interact with her as jungler,  Beat Punchbeef  commented:
Hello! Love the look, and the kit seems interesting.Question about her passive: Will the tentacles spawn often enough for her to jungle? Or does the randomness of it lock her into a lane?
While not intended to be a jungler, she's definitely functional. First clear is actually pretty solid if you can pre-place some tentacles before the camps spawn. Follow-up clears are less good and her ganks are significantly less impactful than others'."
Beat Punchbeef   continued:
so you´re willing to support her jungle if she ever struggles in coming patches?
The core of her kit centers around persistent interaction with enemy champions. Future changes to the character will look to preserve/sharpen this. However, if there are needed and easy ways to make jungle more fun/interesting I don't see why we wouldn't."

As for thoughts on Illaoi as a support, Beat Punchbeef   noted:
Could Illaoi support work? She has barely any CC but her E is too strong not to pass up.
Support has some cool interactions and she still functions as a bully. I do think she lacks the tools of a traditional support (peel, CC, sustain/mitigation for others, etc.) Though there's opportunity to run someone like a mid Lulu to cover that weakness.
Try it and let me know if you have success!"

When asked about her base stats, Beat Punchbeef  noted:
Are you worried that her base AD might be a bit too high? I just played as her (loved it) and I'm worried that she may be nerfed in her base AD scalings.
Her base stats are generally in line with our other Juggernauts. 
As far as nerfing her damage, I will want to look for other places to take power away from her before I hit that. She's intended to be a carry and a damage threat. A lot of her power lies in her ability to put areas of danger down on the ground and if we soften how dangerous those are then her pattern as a zoning character will start to disappear."

Beat Punchbeef also replied to a question on how strong she is intended to be outside of her tentacle area:
Love the champion so much! I've always wanted a melee tank heimerdinger
How strong do you intend on her being outside of her tentacle area? Any plans on changing how effective she is versus ranged, or do you like that she is pretty easy to kite and kill from outside of melee range? Finally how do you intend on her scaling? A friend on pbe told me she is good early but falls off late, is this intended/true?
She should be at a weaker baseline without tentacles nearby. Her ultimate is intended to give her a window to offset this weakness. 
The juggernaut class' primary weakness is being kited, and this is no different for Illaoi.
A lot of our lane bullies sacrifice late game power for their strength early on. This is intended but the balance may shift over time. 
Thanks for the questions!"

When asked about how her tentacles aim to attack Vessels, Beat Punchbeef   commented:
Do her tentacles aggro to spirits created by her E? Or do they only attack things you attack with your W?
Tentacles will automatically swing at both Spirits and Vessels."
Meddler also commented on the burden of knowledge surrounding Illaoi's E:
Being turned into a vessel seems bad, but it's really hard to get a feel for exactly how bad it is, and there's high burden of knowledge about details like how frequently tentacles will attack you, how to de-vesselize yourself, etc. How will you measure whether players on both teams are understanding the rules of Illaoi's Test of Spirit?
That's one of the key things we spent a lot of time assessing during Illaoi's development. Test of Spirit does have some noticeable burden of knowledge to it around how the debuff functions, that's a cost we felt was worth paying in this particular case though for the gameplay it allowed us to create. One thing that gives us a lot of confidence is that while some of the details aren't immediately apparent the main points of counterplay (avoid the E skillshot in the first place, dodge the highly telegraphed tentacles as they slam down) are clear, even if some of the surrounding functionality's not going to be obvious your first game. 
At a more general level burden of knowledge, like other design principles, is a guideline as to how we want to assess possible designs, not a hard rule to never be broken. It's one we do think is pretty important, but it doesn't trump all other considerations."

As for tips on when to engage Illaoi and fighting vs becoming a vessel when she tags you with E, WAAARGHbobo commented:
Maybe it will become more clear when i play as/with/against her, but do you have a feel for what situations will be better to run and allow yourself to become a vessel vs when to fight her outright? IMO I don't think its at all clear which is the better choice and when due to the complexity of the skill and interactions it poses. The if statements and conditionals on this skill are nested too deeply for me to understand the situation properly.
The short version: 
1. Does she have some tentacles nearby?
2. Can she angle to hit you and the soul with tentacles?
3. How badly do you wanna avoid damage vs making more tentacles for her? 
All of this is a tactical decision based on what lane your in, how badly damaged is your tower, how tanky are you, how many tentacles does she have where you could run, etc.. You have make a choice-- and make it quickly-- but the knowledge you need to make the choice should be decisions your were already making ( items, your attack speed, champ select etc..)."

When asked about any scrapped abilities or prototypes for IllaoiMeddler shared:
Were there any abilities that you guys tried to put in her kit, but they didn't make the cut? For example; apparently Azir's ult was once two giant hands of sand that came together and "clapped" what was between them.Did Illaoi have anything nearly as insane?
One alternate ultimate we tried had three tentacles that would erupt from the ground and CC an enemy for a long period of time. Duration on that could be shortened however if the target or their allies killed the tentacles. It was a pretty solid skill, but wasn't the right for Illaoi (in particular it gave her a lot more CC, and we didn't want to give her that much lock down on top of her E, hence the shift to a damage focused ult)."

Lore & Background

When asked about Illaoi's weapon and using the idol of her god to.. hit things, WAAARGHbobo explained:
I just want to ask is why is Illaoi stepping on the Nagakabouros idol, the god that she's being Priestess of? (sorry, Eng is my 2nd language)Because from my culture background, I could kind of relate to her but when she was revealed.. after seeing this splash art, it confuses me...Thank you for your time.
She hits people with it too. For her and her religion it's a useful thing --built to last -- objects and symbols are to glorify motion -- they have no value outside of that. If it breaks it was meant to break and has reached the end of its use."
He continued:
"It is rare, but it is only a "tool." Like a hammer or saw. It would be replaced. The power comes from her connection to Nagakabouros, the Eye of God just helps her focus."

When asked if Illaoi's people are aware of other religions on the world of Runeterra, WAAARGHbobo commented:
"Illaoi's people aren't really aware of other religions (though they have other gods too). So they haven't needed a name for it.

Buhru is an island near Bilgewater. Both are in the Serpent Isles' chain.

The various islands have distinct dialects-- similar to Scottish vs English vs Welsh. Burhun is the one of the most common languages as it is especially suited for sea travel.

Bilgewaterian's and many others have adopted the translation of the natives name for the island chain. Blue Flame is the old Valorian name for the island chain-- and you would be unlikely to hear anyone but Demacian's call it that."
WAAARGHbobo continued:
Given Illaoi's quotes when referring to spirit champions "Foolish spirit, begone!" (Bard, Anivia, Kindred), it would seem like she thinks they are a natural annoyance or not as important as other living things. Why does she treat them this way? And, if you can offer a glimpse into this, what role do spirits and elementals play in Nagakabouros?Is Nagakabouros a part of a larger family/pantheon of gods? A mother, sister, daughter? Does she have any rival gods?What would Illaoi's opinion of champions like Nautilus and Amumu be? Champions who have not chosen their fate but are clearly either immortal or undead now.
See above

Yes. She is the god of life, chaos, the ocean, and storms. Buhru has other gods. Valorian has other gods.

She has a taunt for amumu I believe. Foundations and Champup will be looking at Nautilus at some point-- can't speak to where it is."

WAAARGHbobo   also commented on the origins of Illaoi's religion:
Illaoi's passive is called Prophet of an Elder God. Nagakabouros is a spectral tentacle creature. Were any inspirations taken from the Elder God of the Legacy of Kain series, or is this all just a lot of coincidence?
Nope, not from Legacy of Kain. 
I wanted a religion that spoke to uniquely to Runeterrra, and to life on the Serpent Isles.
Nagakabouros is an odd mixture of ancient chaoskampf myths (Taoism, Hinduism, Zorastic, Sumerian, Babylonian, Cthuthul and a half dozen more). 
(I took a lot of philosophy and religion courses in undergrad. )" 

As for Nagakabouros as a sort of physical being,  WAAARGHbobo reminded:
how big/strong is nagakabourous compared to the kraken that olaf killed? it would be dissapointing to think that olaf killed something its same size once in its life then again by himself in its 2nd life.
No that is an average sized mother serpent. (Olaf killed a very very small one) 
The religion uses those animals (and others) as symbols-- much like Christianity uses lambs and Doves. 
to Quote Illaoi "The kraken, the serpent, the hydra. A god's appearance is limited only by those observing it. "

As for the distinction of Illaoi testing one's spirit rather than their soul, WAAARGHbobo explained:
Illaoi's abilities seem to involve stealing a target's spirit to put them to ''the ultimate test''. But various sources (such as her champion spotlight) seem to suggest that she actually tests your soul. Is there (from a Runeterra-lore perspective) a difference between one's spirit and soul? I'm also curious since champions are still able to move and attack after having their spirit ripped from their body, but the lore seems to suggest that people die after their soul is stolen by a Shadow Isles champion.
We choose the word spirit over soul for a number of reasons. 
here's a couple. 
  • Illaoi is taking only one of your many reincarnations.
  • Soul implies a true unchanging self-- which Illaoi believes is changeable and growing.
  • "Taking your soul" or "testing your soul" sounds evil and while Illaoi ain't exactly nice-- she's definitely not evil."

When asked if everyone from Buhru is large like IllaoiWAAARGHbobo noted:
Is Illaoi what people from Buhru typically look like? Are the women as built as she is or is she the exception?Does she have any family?
No she is exeptional. Like Braum or Garen."

As for Illaoi's thoughts on the Shadow Isles, Riot Tokkelossie commented:
Illaoi seems to hate any Shadow Isles champ because they like to eat your soul and torture it and they are generally not so nice guys. But isn't that exactly what she does herself? Ripping out people's souls (spirits, whatever) just to beat them up and potentially even kill their host. What justifies her soul-abuse techniques compared to beings like Thresh and Mordekaiser?
Illaoi is definitely deeply involved in matters of the soul, but there is an important distinction between her interaction with the spirit world and what the Harrowing represents. 
'Healthy' souls move through a constant cycle of transition and rebirth. Losts souls, like the denizens that inhabit the Shadow Isles, are stagnant, and trapped on the mortal plane. The same is true of anyone that doesn't follow their true purpose and desire in life. 
If passivity or lack of drive causes you deny yourself your true destiny and stagnation sets in, Illaoi will take notice and do her best to 'encourage' you back on the right track.
She's a tough lady, so she's a fan of harsh lessons, but the truth is that she has your best interest at heart. If she breaks a few bones in the process, well, then it was probably for your own good ;)"
WAAARGHbobo added:
Illaoi seems to hate any Shadow Isles champ because they like to eat your soul and torture it and they are generally not so nice guys. But isn't that exactly what she does herself? Ripping out people's souls (spirits, whatever) just to beat them up and potentially even kill their host. What justifies her soul-abuse techniques compared to beings like Thresh and Mordekaiser?
Shadow Isles champs and the black mist itself -- are clouds of souls trapped in this world. (by magic, strong emotions, etc...) 
They do not advance and are an abomination to her faith and god. 
She is closer to "tough love" than evil. She doesn't want to kill you but believes you need to get your shit together and pursue your destiny. If you can't, then that energy is forfeit and should go back to the universe."

WAAARGHbobo  also commented on her thoughts on champions such as Bard or Anivia:
Mainly I'm a bit curious of her quotes: it seems like for any 'spirit' champions (Bard, Anivia, etc.) she declares them all foolish spirits. Is there any reason for this apparent hostility? My guess is "These spirits are ancient and practically immortal, so their souls would be 'stagnant' to Nagakabouros"Another thing is her quote towards Yordles "Why would I need a spirit's help[...]" Does Illaoi mistake the Yordles for spirits of some kind, or is there some new lore stuff in the works for Bandle City?
She thinks they are a useless distraction from the truth. 
Foundations team will be revealing some stuff soon I believe."
As for if Illaoi would be able to test BraumRiot ShadowStorm commented:
Could she test Braum?The guy just laughs at everything.
I've always imagined him just shrugging off the test completely; to me, he's so overwhelmingly "in motion" that the test just washes right over him."
WAAARGHbobo  added:
Being so close to an Elder God has to give her some sort of insight into the world. What are Illaoi's opinions on Tahm Kench? How about Kindred or Aatrox?I'd also like to know: Would Illaoi test Braum if their paths crossed?
She has taunts which explain her feelings about these spirits. 
She hasn't meet Braum yet-- but her VO hints at what might happen. 
She might test him--- but Braum would pass pretty easily."

When asked about her VO line about Mangos and her relationship with GangplankWAAARGHbobo commented:
I believe someone may have asked this, however...... are there any other special relations (i.e. taunts, etc.) between certain champions, i.e Gangplank, Miss Fortune, and (most importantly) Vel' Koz? Will any of her jokes or taunts (like toward Gangplank) involve her love of mangos?
Within the serpent isles native culture, you always share food with guests-- esp fruit.
Eating fruit without offering to share it -- is a huge insult and an overt threat. 
Mangos to Oranges was intentionally a connection between these characters-- hinting at their past."

As for Illaoi's  thoughts on MordekaiserWAAARGHbobo commented:
How does she feel about being able to rip Souls out of people as easily if not better than Mordekaiser?^^
She wants to end Mordekaiser. He is a great offense to Nagakabouros."


When asked about the lengthy tooltip on Illaoi's E, Meddler commented:
How do you feel about the trend of champions getting paragraphs for ability descriptions. Some of the new ones have been pretty lengthy to understand what happens.
Having one lengthy tooltip on a champion is reasonable to me, multiple, 3+ especially, suggests things are probably getting too complex though. In Illaoi's case we felt we could go with a fair bit of complexity on the E because her other tooltips are relatively straightforward (Passive, Q and W especially)."
WAAARGHbobo   also commented:
How do you feel about the trend of new champions and reworks to have abilities that are paragraphs to understand? Do you think clarity is becoming an issue?
We strive to make the champs as grok-able as possible. 
Illaoi actually teaches you how to play against her, and playing her will teach you how to play with or against her pretty quickly. 
A lot of the text is to explain a core thematic that hopefully will feel natural after a couple games."

Group Questions

WAAARGHbobo group questions #1:
1.What is the bilge water native language based on?2.What is her option of Malzhar's prophet title as she see void cretures as not under nagakaboros?3.what is the attraction to is it only free will? is the soul on e coded (monsters minnions, clones) can it be qss? or smited? or can summoner spells be used?5.was the name there a possibility for infinity tentacles?7.what is the intended counter play for her e? are yordles spirits and muses is this referring to some future lore change for yordles or is that just illaoi's opinion?9.where us burhu?10. why are you trying so hard to make braumxillaoi a thing?
  1. Actually spent time to create the language. It combines elements of Australian aboriginal, Polynesian, and Mayan.
  2. I don't she would consider Mal a prophet. More like the herald for a cancer.
  3. huh?
  4. nagakabouros was originally just going to be the temp name. (kinda on the nose) but the voice actress said it so beautifully- we decided to keep it)
  5. At one point yes. And a hilarious bug (see link elsewhere)
  6. In the same island chain as bilgewater.
  7. Just thought it was amusing. Braum is emotionally healthy and doing what he wants in life.
  8. Also Braum shares a similar birth to Illaoi from the team. Braum is a male champion in a role mostly covered by women and creatures (counting yordles and non-humans). One of the reasons he was great for the IP is he added diversity to the support role. Illaoi is a female human in a role where you mostly see men and monsters. Both are positive, both are big." 

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