While searching RPS for something I found out that we never covered the addition of Illaoi, The Kraken Priestess to the League of Legends [official site] roster. I knew I shouldn't have taken a holiday. Just think of the "sucker punch" remarks we all missed out on as a result. Disaster.
ANYWAY. I guess I COULD have left the news alone given it was weeks ago now, but it involves a beefy Kraken Priestess who goes around leaving aggressive spectral tentacles all over the place. Quite frankly it ticks all my boxes and I want to read about kraken priestesses for half an hour so let's call this "news" and not look too hard at things like champion reveal dates.
Okay, so what's her deal?
Illaoi is intended for the solo lane. The idea is that her ghost tentacle zone coverage and her ability to rip the spirits from enemy champions' bodies will offer whole bunch of area control options.
And what are these skills of hers?
Illaoi periodically spawns a tentacle on a nearby wall. They go away if they're destroyed or if they're dormant for 60 seconds, otherwise she can use them in combination with her other skills.
Q: Tentacle Smash
She summons a spectral tentacle which slams down in the target direction dealing damage and healing Illaoi a little for each enemy champion struck.
W: Harsh Lesson
This is kind of a mini-dash which adds a bit of bonus physical damage to her attack as well as causing all the nearby tentacles to take a swipe at the target unit. (You can see how a build up of wall tentacles would be useful in amplifying the effect here.
E: Test of Spirit
This is the one where she sends out tendrils to rip an enemy champion's spirit from their body. The spirit can be attacked in order to deal a portion of damage to the actual champion. Destroying the spirit or putting too much distance between spirit and body applies a heavy slow to the enemy champion as well as making tentacles spawn near them for some extra slapping about.
R: Leap Of Faith
This is a leap followed by a slam which deals damage in an area of effect and summons a tentacle for each enemy champion hit. It also puts her W on a far lower cooldown so you can chain the skills nicely.
What does any of this mean?
It means that if you play well you get forests of aggressive tentacles which smack your foes in the face and ease the laning phase significantly. I haven't League of Legends-ed in a while because I was recovering from Worlds but I've caught some YouTube videos of her in action and I feel like this could be the champion which helps ease me in to melee. I am historically bad at melee but the reach on those tentacles combined with the ability to steal a ranged enemy's spirit and do damage that way might act as a nice middle ground while I find my feet.
I also want to say I really love her character design in terms of how she actually looks. She's built like she could take you in a brawl, plus she's dragging round an idol shaped like a giant head with tentacles spilling out of it.
Thinking about Illaoi and taking into account my friendship with Alice, perhaps I gravitate towards punchy ladies with a thing for water.
I've seen a fair amount of people saying she's overpowered. It's hard to judge as I've not yet taken her for a spin myself and with new champs sometimes it's far criticism and sometimes it's a case of the right counters not having surfaced yet, maybe both. At least they fixed this bug during development though, eh?
The kerning between the A and the O in her name on the official champion reveal page is atrocious.