Build Guide by Doctor Graveyard
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.
Somethings to touch on before we start:
The stats above and the majority of this guide are strictly for a 5v5 Jungle set up. Alternate stats based on the role you want to play and the map and other conditions will be further into the build. You can CTRL+F "Alternate Builds" if you really don't want to read all of this.
Also, I put in as many pictures as i could, but its still a giant wall of text. Forgive me.
Irelia is by far one of the most fun champions I've ever played. She has a unique niche that very few other champions can fufill without cutting their own power by large amounts. Some common misconceptions of Irelia players I've seen is thinking Hiten Style is the ****. While its an awesome ability, having a 2sec stun/60%slow and a 4 second sheen proc nuke are much more important than negligible life leach and high amounts of true damage. Back to the niche. Irelia's most important job is ensuring that squishy carries like Master Yi, Miss Fortune, Kog Maw, etc, etc die as quickly as possible. In short, she's an anti-carry. simple enough job, and few champs can pull it off better than Irelia. While we're on the topic of your job, lets discuss what *ISNT* your job. Irelia is *NOT* a burst champion. She's outclassed in nearly every way in that aspect by other *actual* burst champs, like Akali and even LeBlanc. Irelia also isn't as effective a tankbuster as people tend to think she is. While 75 True damage on an average of 1.5 attacks a second can certainly hurt a tank, after the 6 second window of hiten style s up, Irelia quickly becomes screwed. You may be thinking, "but Doc, killing one or 2 people and then running, doesnt that make me kind of useless?" the answer is no, you just killed the carries, tipping the fight in your favor. If you are thinking "ok, but isn't it boring?" the answer is yeah, totally. Which is where this guide comes in. The point of this guide is to ensure that after you do your job, you still have some merit in fights. Without further ado:
Seeing as I have faith that you know what her abilities do, I'm going to briefly explain how they help you.
Blade Surge: A very efficient last hitting skill. Allows farming to be easier when holding a lane as well as killing Jungle Kreeps one shot faster (if you don't think that's helpful, you obviously don't Jungle very often). Just be careful not to over extend or set yourself up to die when trying to farm - while that's a given for every champion with a farming ability, the "blink strike" aspect of this one makes it much more important.
Equilibrium Strikea 300 damage nuke with a 1:1 AP ratio and either a 60% slow or a stun for 1-2 seconds makes this arguably her best ability. The stun aspect will help turn the tides of a gank, and at higher levels will halt a chase in its tracks with some creative pathing. The trick to this ability is to keep an eye on your health vs the enemies. When in the jungle, you can use it on the Golem to halt his attacks for a few seconds, allowing Hiten to catch up with its healing.
Hiten Style Some of you, I'm sure, will be confused why i bash Hiten in comparison to Irelia's other abilities, and then throw 3 points into it as soon as possible. It's not that this ability is bad, in fact it's very good. however, as mentioned before, your job is to take out single targets and get out. The utility of Equilibrium Strike and the chasing/damage potential in Bladesurge are just much better at pulling it off. THe reason for the early 3 points are to ensure you're siphoning enough in the jungle without any innate life steal to stay in there for a while. (jungling strategy will ensue shortly). Remember to activate it if you feel like you need an extra boost in damage - bar the mana cost there is no drawback to the ability.
Transcendent BladesAhhh, and here comes the disappointment. Imagine if you had the worlds coolest feather duster, and you threw it at people four times tickling them so much that it gives you some health back. That's more or less what it's like. On paper it looks like a great ability, but either the AD ratio is broken, or I'm ****ing stupid. Both are very probable possibilities, but I'm leaning more towards the AD ratio being broken. I'm sure a Lichbane + Pure AP build with her is viable, but I haven't tried or tested it. When its fixed, I'm sure Transcendent blades will be a much MUCH scarier attack, but as of right now, it's only use is *maybe* clearing a lane as you try and get health back from a gank or a similar situation. Occasionaly, it'll net you a kill assuming the target is very weak. If you cant already, learn to shoot behind you while you run. The life leech / damage is usually enough to keep you from dying to ignites and other DoT's. I think smart keys will help, but those are for losers who can't aim.
In reference to the skill build, The skill for levels 2 and 3 are interchangeable. I prefer Bladesurge cause it lets me kill things faster as previously mentioned.
The Masteries and runes may seem a little out of place, but they all have there merrit. Movement speed quints allow you to move much faster (especially with quickness) than enemy laners - making early game ganks much easier. Plus being able to move faster is just in general a good thing alternatively you can lose one for a flat health quint - but you want at least +6% movement speed at the start of the game (a bonus of 20 MS. 350 from 330 makes you faster than everything that doesn't get boots to start) . Armor pen marks are because i like them. I find them to be universally good on everything. Alternatively you can use spell penetration, though i wouldn't use both, or attack speed. I find attack speed marks will significantly boost your damage and help you a lot in the jungle - but being able to hit through 15 armor is just as powerful. Personal preference i suppose. the seals and glyphs give you reasonable bulk and mana regen - just to make sure you dont run out too quickly, and you dont stay out for too long. Armor is more important than magic resist for the obvious reasons that Jungle Kreeps dont use magic damage Which is why your remaining 3 masteries go into Hardiness. In the Utility tree, we go down far enough to get 3 points into Quickness for the same reason we have MS quints. Offensive tree gives us Sunder and Alacrity, two things that help *alot* in the jungle. If you find you dont need armor pen, feel free to drop sunder for Offensive Mastery, Just know you're sacr ificing a lot of power in your Champ vs champ fights for an easier time farming. Obviously the points into the summoner spells will change, but I suggest keeping them in the first rank or so. Smite is a necessity to jungle, but Ghost is interchangeable. Good alternatives include Exaust, Ignite, Clairvoyance, Flash and Teleport. If you choose not to run the Mp5 runes at all, and mana is beginning to become an issue, Clarity may be worth getting.
And now we get to the important part. Items. I prefer starting off rushing a heart of gold, that tends to stay with me throughout most of the game (I usually get it around just under 10 minutes, and it's not combined into an omen until usually around 40). Alternatively you can build it into Razors, and those into a Wriggles Lantern. Both give her added survivability, WRiggles through armor and Life Leech(stacked with hiten) and HoG through armor and life. the utility is what should decide. Would you rather have a ward or money per second? it doeskin really matter, but HoG's added survivability is what wins me over. Assuming you choose like me, on your first back you should be sure you can afford both the HoG and level 1 boots. after that, grab a sheen, ifnish your boots, and it's *very* important you get a stinger next. by now, you should be hitting early middle game, and its important you're attacking fast enough for hiten to do enough damage, the added CDR allows you to spam your spells more, taking full advantage of those MP/5 runes. (Plus, it cuts down Transendent Blades' already low CD even more, giving the ability *some* merrit) after that, finish a trinity force (zeal or phage first, it doesnt really matter. I choose zeal cause the +8% movement speed makes me feel like a jet plane! WHOOSSH!) If you're finding it hard to keep your health up, feel free to get the Emblem of Valor before you finish the Trinity. After Trinity's done, turn your HoG into a Randuin's or sell it. Get a Starks after which ever you decide. Starks gives us great utility, lowering enemy armor by 20, and giving all allies a *VERY* large AS and life leech bonus. From here, it should be late game. If you find your team is terrible and not giving you the support you need in teamfights, get the gaurdian (If you can tell its going to be an issue, get it right after sheen. the loss in damage is made up for the fact that you're actually able to hurt them.)If not, then get Nashor's. +25% CDR, AP, and AS gives you basically everything you need to make you evil and deadly against those squishy carries. Afterwords, get the item you didnt finish, and then buy lots and lots of elixers!
Jugnling strategy: COMING SOON (yeah, I'm lazy. Bite me. I'll get to it tomarrow, i promise.)