Irelia Build Guide by LordSlash
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Ah, didn't see you there. I see you've found my Irelia guide. This said guide is my preference of playing Irelia for climbing solo queue. It's been extensively tested and touched up in ranked at a 1400-1600 range of play, but it will work in other brackets as well.
You may notice that these setups deviate from what most Irelia players do. This is because I adapted everything to fit my playstyle. What works for me here, might not work for you, so don't feel obligated to follow everything like a bible.
I run -
Armor pen marks because they're simply the best marks you can use. 15 armor pen is no joke.
Armor seals because they're the best seals at this point. Mana regen runes are all meh, dodge is only nice on selective champions. The armor helps a lot early game.
Magic resist/level glyphs for lategame survivability.
Armor pen quints because Irelia offensively scales best with them.
I think this is the perfect set-up, but who am I to stop you from tweaking it?
The regen from strength of spirit is nice for laning.
Utility tree is great, it gives you so many benefits for your cooldowns and whatnot. Gold per 5 and mana regen are always nice as well.
Offense tree is pretty meh for Irelia since she doesn't have the mana pool to optimize it early.
When you're buying your first item, you should figure out who you're laning against. If you're playing Irelia correctly, you're soloing (much preferably top). Make a guess who you'll be playing against.
If you'll be soloing against an AP champion, start with a regrowth pendant and a health potion, and immediately turn it into a philosopher's stone before you buy anything else. This gives you efficient sustainability against casters.
If you'll be soloing against an AD champion, start with cloth armor and 5 hp pots and skip philosopher's stone. The cloth armor later builds into randuin's omen.
After that, get boots of speed and start working on a sheen. Some people like to get a heart of gold, but that's actually a huge waste of money. It delays your initial purchase of triforce by ~7 minutes, and Irelia lives off triforce. GP5 items for the sake of having GP5 are a no-no. Buying them for that purpose is only good on jungles and supports.
Finish up merc treads and triforce. After that, you'll most likely build a randuin's omen. This gives you tankiness, as well as a disable for their AD carry, thus moving you into more of an anticarry position. However, the active is still nice just for the slow.
I usually get force of nature next, simply because it gives great all around stats. Banshee's veil is pretty meh, so force of nature is the better choice in my opinion.
If the game is still going on now, just get a madred's bloodrazor. This scales well with hiten style, and causes you to shred through HP stackers. Triforce + bloodrazor are the only 2 items Irelia needs to deal massive DPS.
The last item is entirely situational. I usually like buying a quicksilver sash, because getting ignited in team fights makes me a sad panda. It's up to you, though.
Also, don't buy shurelya's. Contrary to popular belief, it's a terrible Irelia item. Don't believe me? Chaox cost his team 50k at Dreamhack by buying it.
Because you're soloing top, you're likely going to be facing a tanky DPS, or a heavy harasser. Because of this, I max W first. It gives you great lane sustain, and once it gets to level 2 or 3, it hits like a truck.
Activate W -> autoattack -> animation cancel with Q -> autoattack again = 300+ health gone.
I max Q next simply because it prevents you from being kited, and it scales with your 25 armor pen, unlike E.
Max E last. The extra stun is nice, but whatever. I like other stuff more.
Take your ult whenever possible for obvious reasons.
Ghost + Ignite
I feel these two spells have the most synergy with Irelia's kit. Ghost allows you to overextend and farm all day with impunity. Ignite scales with your burst + ult. I s'pose you could use flash instead of ghost, but you put yourself at a mobile disadvantage by doing this.
Sit back and farm your lane 24/7. Use Q to get last hits you would otherwise miss. Only try to make a hit on the opponent if your creeps are too high to last hit. Farm >>>>>>> harass. Also, don't try to go out of your way for a kill or harass. It's better to go 0/0/0 with 20 more cs than the opponent than 2/0/0 with the opponent having 30 more than you. The best thing to do is send your opponent back to base so they miss out on exp and gold.
Keep farming, ignore team. You should have around 200 cs at this time if you aren't failing. Go buy your randuin's, maybe start your FoN, and finally go help the team. Burst their squishy carry, proceed to roll noobs. Repeat.
-Don't forget to activate W in team fights. It's so so important.
-If your team is failing, farm extra hard to carry.
-Push towers when no one's looking. Oh yeah, and farm too.
-Don't forget to activate randuin's to greatly disable enemy damage output.
All in all, Irelia is a fun champion to play, and great for carrying solo queue. If you love tanky DPS and want to raise a few points of ELO, she's definitely worth the learn.