Main Healer Io



Talent: Life Link
Card Name
Points Allocated
Card Description
Restored Faith
4
Healing with Moonlight heals for 40 health
Sanctum of Faith
5
Regenerate 5% Moonlight every 1s when not using Moonlight
Broken Deity
2
Increases Luna’s deploy range by 40%
Moonlight Garden
2
Hits with Light Bow restore 4% Moonlight
Spirit Arrows
2
Healing with Moonlight reduces the cooldown of Luna’s redeploy by 0.2s


Introduction

Io is the greatest and latest support champion introduced to the realm. Her kit is no doubt one of the most interesting in the game compared to other healers. It looks very easy to play, you shoot your bow here and then and heal your allies when they’re low, summon your fox Luna to do your bidding. But there’s more to Io than what meets the eye. Io is one of the many champions that has a low skill floor and high skill ceiling. Not only she can play as an off-healer, she can play as a flank as her Talent Sacrifice allows her to do so. In this video, I’ll be first covering my healer Io deck, a build that focuses on Io’s existing kit and tunes it to a healer that can rival current meta supports like Mal’Damba, Ying, Furia, Grover, and Seris. And then I’ll cover my preferred playstyle with this deck.

Disclaimer: In the process of making this guide, I have dedicated 72 hours on just playing Io. While her competitive ban has yet to be lifted from Ranked and various leagues and tournaments, it is still possible to get a good feel on her kit and test out her match-ups in casual queue. Her kit and popular playstyle may change after the time of making this guide, especially once her competitive bans are lifted, and after some time passes since release and people starts getting a feel of Io’s strengths and weaknesses.

Deck / Build

To turn Io into a main healer, I’ve decided to build her deck around her base kit, and not so much dependent on her fox, Luna. It might seem otherwise because I’ve chose the talent Life Link instead of Goddess’ Blessing, but it is for a good reason. One of the many things I’ve noticed with io players is that they tend to spend a lot of points into Luna. But you must remember, once Luna dies, which she inevitably will as the game progresses and people starts buying bulldozer, those points will become useless.

With that said, I’ve gone with Sanctum of Faith and Moonlight Garden as base cards in my deck, which Sanctum of Faith receives a full 5 out of 5 points allocated in the card. To alleviate my downtime as a support, I’ve also included Moonlight Garden, with 2 points, to work alongside with Sanctum of Faith. By maxing her passive Moonlight regen and including Moonlight Garden, I can shorten my recharge time on Moonlight, and receive additional charges from attacking while I am waiting for Moonlight to recharge. This effectively tackles Io’s downtime problem that makes her base kit unviable as a main healer, and it also softens the blow on her ineffectiveness once Luna dies.

I’ve also included Spirit Arrows in my deck. This will help with Luna’s sustainability. Because not only are you spending a generous amount of time healing your allies, once Luna is low, you’ll be able to move Luna to safe spots while she either heals out of combat or you use your Moonlight on her. It also works the other way around, if you’d like to use Luna aggressively to go for a stun on a priority target or to save yourself, you’d be able to summon Luna most of the times when you need her.

Restored Faith is included in my deck, allotted with 4 whole points out of 5. Since Io is almost always in combat, she needs have a form of self-sustain. Aside from calling Luna to her side and self-heal with Life Link, the most practical way to go about it while maintaining Luna’s role in this deck is to add this card and give her the sustain she needs as a support to keep healing.

Playstyle

As you’ve been able to put some pieces together as I went through my Io deck, it is obvious that I’m not very reliant on Luna. The role Luna as been assigned in this deck is to contest point and push the payload while my team and I are playing on the off lane. It is important that Luna is on the point to start the round with and summoned to the side when the area is too hot, especially when my main tank decides to flank or not play point. If I have a main tank that plays the point well, I can put Luna around the point, outside of line of sight of the enemy. When I need help dealing with a flank or have an angle watched, then I can summon Luna to do just that. Because Luna scales horribly into late game due to bulldozer, it’s recommended that you try to take the early game advantage and win the game before 2-2 or 3-3.

When it comes to items, I avoid starting yellow items with the exception of Morale Boost. If my team has a predetermined strategy that calls for buying that item, then I’d go for it. Otherwise, I start with a standard red item. Cauterize if enemy only has 1 shield champion, or Wrecker if they have 2 shield champions. I also have the option to start bulldozer if I’m against a deployable heavy composition (Barik, Ying, Inara, Imani, Io, etc) Finish the red item or start a second red item after getting Tier 2 of the first red item. I will always to finish one of my red items first before going for other items.

Positioning wise, Io will be playing the same angles other main healers would. Occasionally I’ll peek the enemy to recharge Moonlight with my bow. You almost never touch your Q, Guardian Spirit, after the initial cast. Healing can be very awkward with Io since you and the healed target has to stay within each other’s line of sight, but this is crucial because you don’t want to overpeek and expose yourself too far and end up getting yourself killed.
You want to use your Lunar Leap to either get to safe spots or chase for kill confirms, and then use it to get to high grounds after you’ve capped the point to get the payload through chokes.
Once my team gets a pick, or wins a team fight, I can then leave Luna on the point to cap and move forward to zone. If I need to resummon Luna during zones, then it’s a clear sign that I pushed up too far forward or I overstayed for the zone. As long as I’m moving with my teammates or have Luna near me, I can fight off most flanks. Make note of if the enemy has resilience 2 or 3, because you really don’t want to take those 1v1s without your teammates.

Before I wrap up this guide, I have a couple helpful tips that’ll up your Io game.

  • Practice your tracking, because Moonlight only heals if you maintain line of sight of your healing target AND if your crosshair is in the proximity of the target. If you look or flick too far away from the healing target, Moonlight will cancel by itself until you reactivate it.
  • Learn all the Lunar Leap spots, as many vertical maps has small boxes and wall boosting spots to help you get positional advantage.
  • Understand line of sight areas for Luna, because putting it in a safe position will not only heal your main tank, but also deal damage to overextending tanks on the enemy team.
  • Keep an internal timer of Luna marks too. The cooldown on it is 15 seconds. One easy way to remember when you’ll have it is once every other engagements with the enemy team.

Hopefully you’ve learned something from this main healer Io guide. If you like what you see, feel free to like and share this guide. If you have questions or want to discuss about Io, the shattered goddess, leave a comment below.