Irelia Build Guide by ixFlash
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.
Welcome to my first guide about one of my favorite champs, Irelia. She is incredibly fun to play and if played correctly she can be a huge powerhouse late game. She is best solo top and imo one of the top solo top champs. Meaning she can beat any champ if played correctly. The key to winning against top lane is to know your opponent as much as you know your own character. If you do your homework on your competition and play smart the rest should be simple. Now lets get to the good stuff.
Pros / Cons
Fun to play
Makes Folks cry OP
Needs to farm alone
No ranged skill besides Ulti
Not enough skills lol
greater mark of desolation
As a melee champ the armor pen will shred the enemy and deal good amounts of damage.
I used to run per/level armor, but I was getting smashed on early game so I switched up to flat armor seals. They work great and helps reduce early game harass.
Running per/level magic resist is better imo because most solo top champs are physical and very few are magic. These help scale late game better because it will help against that AP carry. Ive seen some run flat magic resist which is fine too, but I prefer these.
I run 2 health quints and 1 movement quint. This is because that extra health will help you in your early game. The extra movement will help in your late game for chasing down those carries.
Nothing special about my masteries, I like to go 21 points in the defensive tree because it will help my early game survivability. 9 points in the offensive tree for its simple uses. The extra attack damage and more minion damage helps for last hitting. The extra attack speed will help when using your hiten style and cool-downs are self explanatory. Like I said, nothing special just basic defensive masteries.
For all solo top champs I think its mandatory to have teleport and ghost/flash. Some positives for have teleport is that it give your team better map control, you can turn a 2v2 bot lane into a 3v2 fight, and most of all it will help with dragon control. You can port down there and turn the the fight around, simple as that.
Other viable options can be exhaust and ignite. You really have to see who you're up against before you choose one of these. If it's someone with massive healing abilities go with ignite and if it's someone who is incredibly fast or strong go with exhaust, it's the best way to lock them in place.
All other spells I see aren't really fit for solo top, well maybe heal, because it's really annoying in lane and those clutch heals can change a losing fight into a winning one. Other than that, these are the ones i see most fit.
This passive is great. Some of you may not really realize you have a passive, well that's how I felt lol. But really, it is an awesome passive, especially when you have the max targets around you. At this point it almost gives you 50% crowd control reduction, this makes your job easier because you CANNOT BE CONTAINED. If you combine this passive with merc treads, the enemy team will be in some trouble. Nothing will lock you down making your job even easier. Whether it was to take down a target of simply forcing them out of the fight.
This ability is what makes her great in team fights because it allows you to close the distance between you and that pesky carry of their. Making her a great chaser and it can also be used to initiate a fight or catch someone whose off guard or in a bad position from their teammates. It's a great last hitting tool because when it kills an enemy unit the cool down refreshes and you're refunded 35 mana. Probably the best thing about this is that it applies on hit effects. That triforce will really hurt when you use this ability to close that distance.
My oh my, hiten style. This ability has so many uses and is the reason why folks cry OP, imo no character is OP unless they are allowed to free farm or is just fed to death. So STOP CRYING THAT EVERY CHARACTER IS OP. This ability is great because it allows you to stay in lane forever, sustain is key to your early game. This is also the key to your harass, because it inflicts true damage,when they get rowdy jump in and start auto hitting, when they see the output of your damage they will back off and when it's off cool down you can freely farm and build back up that lost health. Knowing when to harass and when not too is also something everyone should learn.
This ability is eh, it's good but not great. It has its uses but it's not reliable 100% of the time. If you have more health it will slow, but if they have more health it will stun. Good but not great. The damage it does is pretty good and helps contribute to your burst. Not much else I can say about this skill other than it can be used to piss your enemies off when they try to chase you or dive you at your tower.
Your R, your ultimate, your best skill. Yup this skill is pretty much all of that. It is probably one of the hard skills to use because it goes wherever your cursor is aimed at. Missing is normal unless you're like ultra pro. Does good damage if all 4 blades hit and the healing is pretty good because it heals for 25% of the damage done for each blade. Its great to use when you want to push your lane or push your lane away from your tower or if you just want to kill all the creeps. The cool down is relatively short, so spam every once in a while, don't hold back. You can also use it to poke your enemy for fun, tons of uses and tons of benefits. Great skill overall.
Items, items, items. Your choice of items is the key to winning match ups and winning team fights. The build I have is the standard build, but it shouldn't be followed step by step. Every match up is different meaning you should play every match up different. But your core should be in your build 90% of the time, the last two should be situational. Now lets talk itemization.
I have 3 choices in mind for boots.
These three are the best imo.
Serkers are great when your top lane can't out dps you without items.
Tabi is good when your top lane has too much dps without items.
Merc are good when top is an AP user or someone with loads of crowd control.
Check your match ups and get whatever will benefit you best.
For 4k it does everything she needs to be a real threat. It gives attack speed and a built in slow, movement speed, and so much more. It's like this item was built for Irelia. The greatest use of this item would be the fact that it makes you HURT, the sheen proc is deadly and it puts you in melee range for your hiten style. Great item.
This item is a beast of an item, sometimes i build it early when I'm getting harassed to much, or just parts of it to help me sustain. It gives soo much armor and decent magic resist. Build that chain mail vest and that enemy tops damage will be laughed at. Once it's fully built, it's beast mode time. Initiate fights like a boss and if you die, well what can I say, "Rise From the Grave". Fear nothing while its active, but take precautions when it's on cool down.
This item synergizes well with my standard build. The extra attack speed will be great with hiten style, more hits equals more true damage meaning more pain. The magic resist is great too, so if you do get caught you can easily brush off some of the damage. Good solid item.
For my late game item choice there's no real set build, I like to buy according to the situation. The omens and force of nature is a standard and balance item to build. Heres how things work.
The omens will help against the ad carry, armor and health is good but the best part about this item is that its active lets you reduce the attack speed and movement speed of the enemy team. That quick reduction in attack speed is all it can take to win a fight.
The magic resist from this item is godly, death shall not come upon you. But I think the best part of this item is the bonus movement speed. It will help you get to the back of the crowd and do your job.
Good item if you're having trouble getting to that wits end, don't finish it tho because the nashors tooth isn't that great overall and plus it's expensive. 10% cool down isn't bad either, good item.
Good item if you're wrecking house and the team doesn't surrender at 20, pick it up just because you can.
Same goes for this item, if you're completely destroying the enemy team, pick this up after your warmogs and you're set.
I wont list any offensive items because theres not many to pick from in the first place, just take if you like more damage and don't feel like getting beefier.
Before you buy and leave base check your match ups and take 1/3 routes to begin with.
The extra armor will help against tough AD top.
Build it into philo for sustain.
When you're feelin good about your lane.
Minions have spawned, just farm, farm, farm. Until about lv 3-4 depending, from here on harass when you see an opportunity otherwise just farm, simple as that. If the enemy harasses you, don't worry just hit a few creeps and heal up, when back to full, fight back. What I try to do is I try to force my opponent out of lane, deny them exp and gold is your job early game, while farming.
By now you should or almost have your triforce, if not then work for it. Building guardian angels and wits end before triforce doesn't hurt either. Only do this if you are totally losing your lane. From here coordinate with your team about dragons and ganks and things of that sort. Farm when possible. Midgame is where I like to force at least one team fight and see where we are as a team in the game, if we're behind or ahead. If your team is behind play it safe and try to catch other team members off guard and try to catch back up. If your team is ahead push towers and try to end it. For me, I hate late game so much because anything is possible.
You got your items and your team is set, so is the other team. This is where things most likely falls apart, you were winning all game, but now can't seem to beat the other team or you were losing all game and now are just dominating. Tempers flare and teams start to fall apart. Keep your cool and communicate with your team. Lose your ego and protect your carry, don't leave them for one second because it could all be over. Focus target correctly and protect key members of your team and you should come out on top.
I felt like this section is important to any solo top champ. Here I will be discussing my experience with certain match ups. I'll tell you now, all match ups are winnable, some may be harder to achieve than others. I'll do my best to have all the match ups possible but for now I'll be listing common match ups. These match ups are for solo top characters only.