In-depth Io Healing Guide

by Evoralyn
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Life Link
Luna Heals allies around her for 300 per second.
Guardian Spirit
Spirit Arrows
Reduce the Cooldown of Luna's redeploy by 0.1-0.5s after healing with Moonlight.
Moonlight
2
Sanctum of Faith
Regenerate 1-5% Moonlight every 1s while not using Moonlight.
Moonlight
4
Restored Faith
Heal for 10-50 every time you Heal an ally with Moonlight.
Moonlight
4
Moonwalk
Increase your maximum Moonlight capacity by 8-40%.
Armor
4
Broken Deity
Increase Luna's deploy range by 20-100%.
Guardian Spirit
1

Guide

Io is the quintessential main healer champion in Paladins, and is the only champion in the game (without the need for a legendary card) whose primary heal Moonlight has no significant cooldown. The range on her heal, while not as far-reaching as some other supports who gain benefit from certain legendary cards, is long enough to cover all but the most extreme lines of sight. The tremendous versatility of this ability is the primary focus of this build, maximizing her ability to give sustained, efficient and synergetic healing through Moonlight while using Luna for additional or multi-target healing. It should be noted that while Moonlight has no true cooldown, the white bar which appears at the very bottom of the gauge when Io's Moonlight is drained represents a minimum amount of Moonlight she must regenerate before being able to recast the ability. Let's jump into the cards of the build - additional general information on Io as well as recommended item builds will be included afterwards.

Life Link - This is easily Io's best legendary for raw healing output. The correct use of Luna will make the difference between an excellent Io and a mediocre lump of flank food. Luna should never be stuck in one place and then forgotten about - the days of payload-pushing Luna are long gone, and her purpose now is to augment Io's healing, fill in for Io on healing a tank or flank while Io focuses elsewhere, or to protect Io from flanks who've snuck past the frontline. On top of turning Luna into a stunning, dpsing, healing, hyper-mobile turret, the healing created by this legendary DOES affect Io herself and synergizes extremely well with Restored Faith, so we'll come back to it later.

Spirit Arrows II - The cooldown bonus from this card applies on every individual healing tick from Moonlight on any target, regardless of whether the tick actually heals or is already at full health. This means that you get a 0.2 second cooldown reduction on Luna's redeploy every 0.15 seconds while continuously using Moonlight. Since the buff to Luna's initial deploy and redeploy cooldowns, a full cooldown of the redeploy can be cycled in under two seconds with sustained Moonlight usage, guaranteeing that Luna will always be where you need her to be, when you need her to be there. You can use this card to reset Luna's redeploy immediately after placing her, even if none of your targets need the healing, so you're always ready to move Luna right away if the need arises.

Sanctum of Faith IV - There are very few healing-oriented Io builds that don't rely on Sanctum of Faith to some degree. The extra Moonlight regeneration makes a huge difference during downtime, and unlike Moonlight Garden, it doesn't require you to have accuracy to restore your Moonlight. The increased regeneration might not feel like it really makes a huge impact if you're staring at your Moonlight bar, but over the course of a game, or even a single prolonged fight, it can make all the difference in the world. This also synergizes with Moonwalk, so we'll come back to it.

Restored Faith IV - This card is your lifeline for surviving flank ambushes, stray sniper shots, or the tragic untimely death of your tank. It applies the self-heal any time you heal any target with Moonlight, which includes Luna herself. This means that in a moment of panic - think Drogoz sending a barrage on you or Koga spraying at you while an ally attacks him - you can summon Luna next to yourself and begin pouring Moonlight into her. Luna's healing circle from Life Link will be healing you simultaneously with the self-heal from Restored Faith, and can have you from near death to full health in two or three seconds. This is obviously not quite as effective if the enemy is keeping Cauterize active on you, but that's a problem every healer faces.

Moonwalk IV - One of the less common cards, this extra capacity to your Moonlight gauge will allow you to keep sustained healing active for significantly longer if an ally is taking heavy, constant fire. This also synergizes with Sanctum of Faith, increasing the relative amount of Moonlight you regenerate through that card, since you have a higher maximum capacity and the benefit of Sanctum of Faith is percentage-based rather than a flat amount. You can also use this to prolong your Life Link/Restored Faith self-heal until a flanking enemy needs to reload, then use Luna's stun to take them down.

Broken Deity I - This is essentially a filler card, and could be swapped out if you really insist. However, the extra range on Luna can help get her into position without sacrificing personal cover or otherwise jeopardizing yourself and taking advantage of Spirit Arrows can have Luna flying all over the field, so don't underestimate the usefulness of even something as small as 20% extra range.

We'll go into some additional information on Io now, as well as some tips on how to potentially increase your effectiveness with her and become the best Goddess you can be.

Io's weapon the Light Bow has very standard damage at 400 a shot and cannot headshot, but benefits from being constantly steady - she loses no precision while jumping, falling, or moving, which makes her as accurate in the air as on the ground. This can be a boon during duels against flanks, allowing you to jump throughout the fight. Since Io cannot headshot with her bow, there's no need to be exceptionally accurate while firing, but the unpredictable movement can deny the enemy's ability to land headshots on you. Additionally, every 15 seconds, a Light Bow shot will mark an enemy target, and if Luna has line of sight on them she'll attempt to dash to them, going through shields and stunning the enemy. Using this stun both defensively and offensively while moving Luna around as needed can make you extremely dangerous to tanks and flanks alike.

Lunar Leap, Io's mobility ability, is too often overlooked as a quick escape ability to put sudden distance between Io and whoever's trying to kill her. This is fine enough, but don't underestimate the ability for Lunar Leap to reposition yourself after a fight, during a payload push, or to pursue an ally on a different elevation than you. Practice using Lunar Leap and the extra height it brings you frequently for the sake of moving, not just escaping, and you'll become incredibly difficult to pin down, especially for flanks who don't have much mobility themselves.

Begone, Io's ultimate, is one of the only hard crowd control abilities in the game which is not affected at all by Resilience. Often it's used to shove enemies off ledges, but a very important thing to remember is that Begone both grants you short-term invincibility while casting, and sends the enemy in a straight line directly away from you. This means that Begone can be used not just for cheesy ledge kills, but also defensively to push an enemy flank into a nearby wall, shoot them with Light Bow during the flight, and have Luna stun them as they fall down. One or two follow-up shots will kill most flankers before they're able to move again.

Recommended item purchases for this Io build:
(Items marked with (!) should be considered core essential items)

(!)Kill to Heal - The sudden spike of healing from Kill to Heal can fill in for Restored Faith self-healing, and will apply on most eliminations you assist in while healing allies with Moonlight. More crucially, any enemies who Luna assists in killing, with or without you, will also trigger the Kill to Heal effect, leading to situations where you gain the Kill to Heal bonus while not even engaged in combat yourself. The huge amount of eliminations available to Io due to her own elimination gain and the assists from Luna make this item too valuable to pass up.

(!)Morale Boost - Io doesn't have one of the fastest charging ultimates in the game, but she does have one of the most versatile. Usable both offensively and defensively as well, Begone is worth keeping charged as much as possible, whether it's to shove an enemy tank off the point during overtime and end the round or to shove an annoying flanker into a wall and finish them off. Let's not forget the cheesy ledge kills, either.

Nimble - Staying mobile is very important for Io, since her only mobility skill has a rather lengthy cooldown, and Nimble will help keep you on the move at all times. Chasing down a distant ally or escaping an incoming enemy is much easier if you have even one or two levels of Nimble, and finishing it all the way to level three isn't exceptionally expensive or difficult. Kill to Heal and Morale Boost are much more important, but Nimble is excellent to round off your core item set.

Haven - If the enemy team has many champions with single-target damage, or if you're having difficulty keeping a Koga or Androxus off your tail, Haven can help buy you some more time to heal yourself with Luna or even duel them down. Ideally you want to be avoiding damage as much as possible, but any good flank will be chasing you down constantly, and in those cases Haven can be worth the investment.

Chronos - Moonlight may not have a cooldown and Spirit Arrows effectively removes Luna's redeploy, but Lunar Leap is a very powerful ability once mastered and having it available more frequently can be a godsend. If you're not in need of a protective item like Haven, giving up your fourth item slot to Chronos can be a smart alternative, if only to give you increased evasion.

General tips for better Io play:

*Do not treat Luna as expendable. She's a significant chunk of your healing output, a contributor for Kill to Heal, and the only person in the game you can count on 100% of the time to come to your aid when you're in danger. Keeping Luna alive should definitely not be as high a priority as keeping your teammates going, but if your team are all alive and well and you have some Moonlight to throw to Luna, don't neglect her.

*Lunar Leap is extremely potent for moving across gaps or onto ledges that are otherwise not easily accessible. Seriously, don't treat is as only an escape ability, it's an essential part of your kit and proper use of the jump arc will make you vastly more difficult to chase or predict.

*In a pinch, Luna can be used to shield yourself from enemy fire or ultimates. If you're low health and under steady fire or you hear a Drogoz flying in, put Luna between yourself and the enemy. She'll soak the damage for you and possibly even save your life. Her respawn timer is much shorter than yours and the enemy won't get credit for killing her. Again, don't treat her as a useless deployable, but if you need to sacrifice her to save yourself (or even a teammate), don't hesitate.

*Luna's healing circle from Spirit Link is actually a healing cylinder, and can heal allies through walls, floors and objects. Use this to heal allies you can't see or who are on a different elevation, or to keep Luna under cover while healing a teammate on the payload.