Build Guide by SrsBsns1338
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Not Updated For Current Season
This guide is oriented around making you be able to tank while dishing out damage. This build is configured to give you a nice, balanced early game. You are by no means a carry. If you want to roll as carry instead, then this guide is not what you're looking for!
Desolation: The best damage-oriented rune around. You can choose to roll health instead if you want to become a bit beefier, but you won't be doing as much auto-attack damage.
Evasion (Seals/Quints): This helps you in early game AND late game! Some other good options are Clarity (for mana regen.), flat health seals/quints, or even Swiftness Quints. All other runes seem sub-par to me.
Warding: Early game mages can screw you over hard, especially since you're a melee-ranged champion. Warding runes will aid in reducing their damage just enough to get you that first blood.
They're specced to synergize well with your evasion runes, help with mana regen, and augment your Ghost summoner spell. Now you're probably wondering "Why not invest in Tenacity or PotM (utility), and the answer is simple: they're effects are negligible, and they're not going to break you for not having them. Remember, you're an off-tank'esque champion with this build, which means you'll be able to sustain a fair amount of damage while dealing some good true-damage bursts. Again remember: You are NOT a carry. If that's what you were looking for, then this build is not for you!
Ninja Tabi: Some armor and block to counter carries because they're very common in matches. If you come across an all-mage team, you may want to roll Merc treads instead, and swap out Eleisa's for Shurelya's Reverie (for similar stats, except no cc-stacking because it's not possible), or even a Banshee's Veil (the perfect anti-mage item: spell-block x1, health/mana, and magic resist; you'll miss out on the mana-regen though...).
Eleisa's Miracle: Tenacity, and health/mana regen. (because Irelia's very mana-hungry) will make you that much more unstoppable in fights. The health regeneration from it will be amplified by Spirit Visage (your next item) through its passive effect, giving you that much more survivability.
Randuin's Omen: Health, armor, some cool-down reduction, and an amazing active will enable you to deal with pesky auto-attackers. The active is versatile though, as you can snare anyone in range in team fights. Remember to USE IT. Don't forget! It's pretty much a free 7th skill next to your QWER/DF. You can choose to swap it for another item (like Warmogs), but I do not recommend it. You'll miss out on its strong Active effect!
Force of Nature: MR, more health regeneration boosted by your Visage, and last but certainly not least-> the Movement Speed increase <-! You'll be a force to be reckoned with at this point.
Trinity Force: More movement speed, an impressive snare/damage-proc, more health/mana, attack speed and some crit, and some damage/AP will make you a beast! No cc in the world can stop you, and you can zap in and cut through those squishy back lines like a hot knife through butter!
You're a Godly off-tank at this point. So get in there and show them who's BAWSS!
Max Q (your farming skill) first while alternating between W and E for snare/stun/damage/healing. ALWAYS invest in your ult when available (at levels 6/11/16). It's imperative because with it you can clear out creep waves and reap lots of gold and prevent turret pushes!
Ghost: It'll help you catch up to victims to score auto-attacks while laughing at their cc. It can also be your escape tool (again) while laughing at their cc. Most versatile skill for Irelia, tbh.
Exhaust: Another very effective and versatile skill. This skill enables you to snare, mitigate damage, and escape enemies. Nothing worse than a get-away enemy champ at low health. You'll be kicking yourself in the face (if you could... lol) for not having exhaust while watching someone escape you!
Teleport: Is okay for better mobility. It's awesome for helping your teammates back-door turrets, or even prevent a back-door attempt on your own turrets. If I had to drop Ghost or Exhaust for another skill, this would be the one.
All other summoner spells are just subpar, imho. You can take different summoner spells if you like, but I do not recommend it.
With this build you'll be able to burst them squishies, take fair amount of damage, puch lanes, defend your turrets, and win games. Just understand that you're not a carry, and that you'll have an ever-so-slightly tedious time with Golems, but it'll be totally worth it (especially in organized play *pre-made teams*). Hope you enjoyed the read, and the best of luck to you! GIT 'EM!