The best Illaoi build in League of Legends

Prove your worth to the Kraken Priestess.

Image via Riot Games

Illaoi is a frontline bruiser champion in League of Legends capable of dealing heavy, sustained damage over long periods of time while healing for a strong portion of the damage that she deals. The champion transitions exceptionally well throughout all stages of the game but comes alive mostly in the late game when her full potential as a damage-dealing, nearly unkillable tank comes to fruition. 

Illaoi is most closely associated with tentacles since she summons monstrous appendages across Summoner’s Rift via her passive, Prophet of an Elder God. Additional tentacle-focused abilities, including Tentacle Smash (Q) and Test of Spirit (E), are also cornerstones of her kit. 

Illaoi is played primarily in the top lane. With almost no viability as a flex pick, it’s incredibly rare to see Illaoi played in other roles, such as the mid lane or jungle. Her greatest strength as a champion comes in her ability to stay alive long enough to serve as an effective tank for her team, while also dealing a significant amount of damage as a potential late-game melee carry. 

From runes to items and champion counters, here’s everything you need to know when it comes to constructing the perfect Illaoi build to help you win your League solo queue games. 

Runes

Screengrab via Riot Games

Precision 

Conqueror: Illaoi has a tendency to stay in combat for long periods of time, especially when you take her ability to heal herself into consideration. Extended fights should give you ample opportunity to stack Conqueror effectively and increase both your damage output and total healing. 

Presence of Mind: Illaoi’s mana costs, while reasonable, can become a burden if you’re staying in lane for an extended period of time. Presence of Mind should help to alleviate some of the stress associated with resource management. 

Legend: Tenacity: Illaoi is a frontline bruiser with off-tank capabilities, so being able to stay alive and unhindered by crowd control is a must. 

Last Stand: Illaoi is at her strongest when her health bar is low, and she can be a nuisance to enemy players looking to burn through her healing capabilities and finish her off. Last Stand ensures that your health bar will bounce back up, allowing you to thrive in near-death scenarios. 

Resolve

Demolish: Illaoi is a splitpushing extraordinaire and Demolish will help you take down towers even faster than you normally would. Combine Harsh Lesson (W) with Demolish to take massive chunks out of towers at a time. 

Bone Plating: This rune is strongest during the laning phase, especially when you’re receiving poke damage from enemy champions. But it also has value when you’re tanking during late-game teamfights. 

Starting Items 

Screengrab via Riot Games

Corrupting Potion

Corrupting Potion is the standard go-to choice for Illaoi since it gives her plenty of much-needed sustain during the early portions of a game, while also boosting her damage in one-vs-one situations. Corrupting Potion should be used when engaging an enemy champion in lane because it gives you an uneven advantage in skirmishes for a brief period of time thanks to its consistent healing and damage buff. 

Core items

Screengrab via Riot Games

Divine Sunderer

It’s a no-brainer that Divine Sunderer is Illaoi’s go-to Mythic item. Harsh Lesson (W) is such a prolific part of her damage output and buffing it in any way you can should be a must. Plus, the healing that Divine Sunderer’s passive effect, Spellblade, adds to your enhanced auto attacks will greatly increase your mid-to-late-game sustain capabilities. 

Hullbreaker

Not many champions can burn through a minion wave like Illaoi, whose Tentacle Smash (Q) can wipe out six minions at once in the late game. With Hullbreaker in your back pocket, you’ll be cruising down side lanes and taking down towers left and right while your teammates keep the enemy team occupied. 

Sterak’s Gage

We mentioned earlier that one of Illaoi’s strongest states comes when she’s low on health and is fighting back from the brink of death in the middle of a teamfight. Sterak’s Gage will give you an extra boost to your survivability when you’re low on health and looking to fight back. 

Mercury’s Treads

Extra Tenacity is always going to be a welcome addition to the build of any frontline champion, but the magic resist that Mercury’s Treads supplies is solid as well. Against full-AD teams, don’t be afraid to substitute these boots out for Plated Steelcaps. 

Late-game items

Screengrab via Riot Games

Death’s Dance

Staying alive by delaying the damage you take while still being able to dish out punishment is part of the reason Illaoi can be so frustrating to deal with in late-game teamfights. Death’s Dance is a major reason why Illaoi can stay alive for so long in those situations.

Titanic Hydra

Titanic Hydra provides upgrades to your raw HP and AD values, two stats that Illaoi heavily relies on, especially in the late game. Plus, the Colossus passive attached to this item causes you to turn two percent of your bonus HP into extra AD, effectively rewarding you for all the HP you’ve stockpiled throughout the game by turning you into a practically unkillable damage-dealing machine. 

Situational items

Screengrab via Riot Games

Black Cleaver

When faced against armor-stacking enemy players, Black Cleaver is a quick substitution you can make in your build to shred opposing players’ armor. 

Serylda’s Grudge

Illaoi is innately oppressive, but if you’re running into enemy champions who are particularly slippery and are continuously evading your attacks, a bit of extra CC worked into your build through the slow attached to Serylda’s Grudge could be of service. 

Champion counters

Image via Riot Games

Illaoi is weakest against champions that can chip away at her health pool while making it harder for her to climb back into the laning phase. Champions that can jump in against her at will and win trades or poke her down from long distance will often have the most success against her. A champion like Teemo can whittle Illaoi down with consistent auto attacks, while his Blinding Dart (Q) will prevent any counterattacks. Camille is another great counter to Illaoi since she can Hookshot (E) into her for a quick burst of damage while remaining at a defensive advantage against Illaoi thanks to Adaptive Defenses (P). Riven, Urgot, and Gangplank will also give Illaoi a tough time in the top lane.