Riot Games have revealed the newest champion to hit Summoner’s Rift: Illaoi, the Kraken Priestess. As described by Riot themselves, she’s part of the juggernaut class, a type of solo lane fighter with equal amounts of health and damage, and is slow but powerful with a lot of zone control. Here’s a rundown from Riot themselves!
“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.”
Here’s a quick rundown of her abilities, too!
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.
Test of Spirit sounds like it’ll be monstrously powerful in team fights, being able to essentially do damage to an enemy carry without having to dive through to the backline, and discouraging them from simply getting the hell out of dodge with a powerful slow.
The official reveal site has an in-depth rundown of her gameplay style, including analysis of how she’s intended to hold up during laning, skirmishes, and full-on teamfights, along with champions she may work well with and struggle against. Her biggest shortcoming right now seems to be against champions who can keep a distance while inflicting plenty of damage, or who have plenty of disengage, with Ziggs specifically singled out, but I imagine other disance-focussed siege mages like Xerath, Syndra or Azir will be able to hold her at bay just as well.
Overall, she seems like a really cool addition to the game. Tanky female characters are thin on the ground, with characters like Vi and Sejuani being the exception rather than the rule, so to see a female tank who has the physical build for it as opposed to a svelte girl with an abnormally large health bar is pretty sweet. She also seems to be drawing a lot from Polynesian and Mesoamerican culture, just to add even more diversity into the mix. Illaoi definitely seems like a breath of fresh air, and a hell of a powerful breath at that – I’m glad I usually stay in the bottom lane, at the complete opposite side of the map from where she’ll be played!
What do you think of Illaoi? Are you a juggernaut fan who will be adding her to your champion pool, or are you a rival toplaner who’s dreading that Test of Spirit ability? Let us know in the comments!