Prior to her release a few months ago, Summoners were intrigued by the Kraken Priestess, but unfortunately she appears to have fallen off the face of the Rift. Although it doesn’t look like she will be joining Galio and Taric in the pool of champions that never see game play, it is worrisome that the new champion hype has fizzled off so quickly.
Has Illaoi hit her prime? Is she going to eventually need a major buffing or a complete rework in order to get her more action? Or could it be that there are too many disadvantages to picking her in any lane?
Photo Credit: Kilenator DeviantArt
On paper, she makes perfect sense: zone control, massive area of affect damage and she has built in sustain. In game however, she fails to bring much to the table. There’s no denying that she’s annoying to lane against but if you shut her down early, she’s not much of a threat. I’m hesitant to dismiss her already but the evidence shows that she is a regrettable pick.
When she was first free to play, everyone and their grandmothers from bronze to diamond seemed to want to hop on the Illaoi bandwagon. The biggest concern I have about her is that she’s Riot’s only new release that has not hit the professional stage. The pros have not benched most of the new champions released in the last 2 years. On the contrary, the newest releases are the most powerful/most picked in the META and frankly, she’s not worth the amount on her price tag – especially when comparing her to Kalista, Braum, Bard, Kindred or Azir.
And because I love making lists, our fantastic news team at Origen has come up with a few reasons why this lady brawler isn’t a favorable pick;
- Most top lane champions played in the META right now out-trade her in the laning phase
- She is easily kited
- Mobile champions will escape her tentacles without much effort, and in order for them to work – she needs to be on a heavy CC team
- In a META where double AD’s are all the rave, Illaoi doesn’t stand a chance against the range
- She is weak without her tentacles, so destroy them early and destroy them often.
- Tentacles are essentially free gold for players experienced enough to just dodge them
- She does not have a choice in where the tentacles are placed making her zone control very weak
- She has very low mobility making her susceptible to ganking especially before she has hit level 6
- She offers a damage only kit however and it does not scale well late game
- Illaoi can shine in team fights, but in professional play – team fights are not always the main focus. Sometimes, we only have one or two in the entire game
Of course, not knowing how to play against her can get you in a bit of trouble initially but once you know what she’s all about – a matchup against her is in your favour. The debilitating nature of her E can make you go insane, but similar to Blitzcrank’s pull – stand behind minions and you’ll survive the laning phase. In my experience one of the biggest hurdles for people when new champs are released is the initial grind. Learning the mechanics, defense, counter-plays and positioning are the solutions to playing against a new champion – which is what makes them seem overpowered.
But if anyone’s going to find out why this lady brawler hasn’t touched the professional scene, it’s someone more analytical than me. So get to work 🙂
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Cover Photo from: Riot Games