Jun 29, 2016

Weird Picks #55: Illaoi Support

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When Illaoi first hit the scene, she was a jungler, a classic top laner, and even support. However, players quickly decided that she worked best as a top laner, and there she sits 96% of the time.

Meanwhile, after the latest changes to Illaoi's kit in Patch 6.11, she is looking much more viable as a support after they changed her kit from a heavy bonus attack based scaling to a flat percentage scaling on her Tentacle Smash (Q) and enemy HP scaling on her Harsh Lesson (W).

Although Patch 6.13 looks like it will heavily favor supports with heals and shields, Illaoi support still makes for an excellent "cheese" type kill lane against all those squishy bot laners.

Introduction

When Illaoi first hit the scene, she was a jungler, a classic top laner, and even support. However, players quickly decided that she worked best as a top laner, and there she sits 96% of the time.

Meanwhile, after the latest changes to Illaoi's kit in Patch 6.11, she is looking much more viable as a support after they changed her kit from a heavy bonus attack based scaling to a flat percentage scaling on her Tentacle Smash (Q) and enemy HP scaling on her Harsh Lesson (W).

Although Patch 6.13 looks like it will heavily favor supports with heals and shields, Illaoi support still makes for an excellent "cheese" type kill lane against all those squishy bot laners.

How to Play
Runes: Attack Damage Quints, Attack Damage Reds, Flat Armor Yellows, Flat Magic Resist Blues
Masteries: 0-12-18, Bond of Stone Masteries, can also use Grasp of the Undying
Abilities: E, W, Q then prioritize R > E > Q > W
Core Items: Eye of the Equinox, Boots [Vary Depending on Game], Black Cleaver, Locket of the Iron Solari, Sterak's Gage, Spirit Visage

Why It Works

Extra Targets Bot Lane Clown Fiesta
When top lane, Illaoi can only max out at two tentacles on her ultimate spawn, maybe three if the jungler is ganking. However, bot lane is a constant barrage of teleport ganks and sports two champions default. That means Illaoi has more opportunities to get higher amounts of tentacles earlier in the game via her ultimate.

Secondary Target
As an extremely powerful source of sustained damage, Illaoi tends to be a primary target in the game, and most people respect her damage enough to be wary. However, as a support Illaoi is no longer a primary target, and results in her getting a lot more in the way of free hits off before the enemy team perceives her as a threat.

Cleaver Synergy
Illaoi's Black Cleaver works extremely well with other AD based champions, but often does not come into play until mid to late game since top laners are not particularly involved in early skirmishes other than the occasional teleport. As a support however, Illaoi is constantly by the marksman's side, meaning that her Black Cleaver is put to much better use.

Potential Pitfalls

Expensive Build Path
This build is relatively expensive compared to most traditional supports, and if you are behind then it might be better to build an Aegis first instead of a Black Cleaver.

No True Support Skills
Without a heal or shield, Illaoi support does not gain much of a benefit from Patch 6.13's support buffs. Meanwhile, Illaoi also does not have a true form of crowd-control. Luckily, death is the hardest CC. That being said, if she snowballs in lane then she can do very well. Nevertheless, if she falls behind and/or cannot hit her Test of Spirit (E), she may quickly become a burden to her team.

Conclusions

All in all, Illaoi support is certainly not the strongest possible support early to mid game against a cautious lane. However, if she can snowball into a few items it works exceedingly well transitioning into the late game. There are few other champions that can parallel her damage output, and she certainly starts feeling like a primary target rather than a secondary one.

Suggested Rating: Tier 3

What do you think about the Support Illaoi? Comment below!


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