Irelia Build Guide by caconato

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author caconato

Irelia, auto attacks from hell

caconato Last updated on May 10, 2012
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Team 1

Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.



Offense: 23

Honor Guard

Defense: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 7

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Hi you people, i'm Caconato, i dont have any rank, and have had alot of bad luck in ranked games. Anyways, this is my first guide and i'd like some recomendations from you, i know this is no usual irelia build, but it hits so hard you can battle against 2 people easily, not before lvl 4, but you can.

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Builds Explanation

This refers to the builds at the top.
(Ordered from left to right)

First build

Full build cost: 18.175g

Typical build, meant for general purpouses, built with nice tankyness if not getting too focused, and equiped with a great set of damage.

Second build

Cost: 16.315g

Built for a game in which the other team doesnt have much cc but good damage. Frozen Mallet can be changed for Warmog's Armor in case of needing more tankiness and they are not running away from you.

Third build

Cost: 16.525g

Hyper carry build, straight forward end game. Rather squishy early game so you should focus on farming early game.
NOTE: If you seem to be getting out of mana rather easy, get Philosopher's stone.

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Doran's Blade
Great starting item if you want to be aggresive in lane and don't think you will get much harrasment, though u'll have to play safer.

Doran's Shield
Great starting item for survivability early game against ad laning enemy.

Regrowth Pendant
Great starting item against a random laning enemy. It can be turned into a Philosopher's stone for better sustain so u can spam yours spells more.

Boots of Speed
Some speed to prevent other people from kiting you, and obviously to prevent a certain death sometimes. If you are using 3x Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed you can delay this buy until you have Wriggle's Lantern.

Wriggle's Lantern
I just can't explain how much this item is great for irelia, it gives you ALOT of tankyness, damage, and the capacity to get a fast jungle while waiting for another wave of minions to come, lifesteal for better laning, and of course, a free ward, what else do you need than this item? perhaps if you had one in real life it would make a coffee.
NOTE: If the other team is mostly AP, this item will be less effective cause it gives armor, not Mresist.
It helps alot with doing blue, red, dragon and even baron.

Mercury's Treads
This boots are Irelia's boots, in combination with Ionian Fervor you wont even notice CC's, so if you are facing a team with a Blitzcrank and a Veigar, get this boots, but if you are facing an AD team, without much CC, and the ap carry is underfarmed, get Berserker's Greaves.

Berserker's Greaves
Great boots for more dps. Get this if the other team doesn't have much CC. I get this boots most of the time, specially if they dont have an ap nuker like Veigar.

Great survivability item, and somewhat offensive.
Why i get it BEFORE sheen? cause Irelia is squishy, and really depends on some defense. It also helps in fights with its passive.

Great item for Irelia, anyone who has played with her knows that this is a great item, as it stacks with Bladesurge, and Transcendent Blades procs it too, so, you get alot of procs.

Trinity Force
AMAZING item for irelia, movement speed, tankyness, ad, ap, and the Sheen like passive, so op :D

After this item you may improvise with any of this points:

  • You can rush some tankyness, like a Guardian Angel or Warmog's Armor for a balanced team, [Thornmail]] for an AD heavy team, Force of Nature for an AP heavy team.
  • You can get some more offensive item like Infinity Edge for some more damage if you are doing great in the game and you aren't taking much damage.
  • You can get a The Bloodthirster for both tankyness and Damage if you got a nice tank but you still get much damage. Although if you keep getting ignited this is not recommended.

NOTE: Force of Nature can be replaced by Wit's End. It gives a bit less tankyness than Force of Nature, but it gives a LOT of Attack Speed, so if you're looking for more carryness and dont care too much about the ap carry, go for it.

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Why did i choose the runes stated above?

first, the marks. 6 Greater Mark of Desolation for the 10 armor pen., i dont have an explanation to this, i just read it in a guide, i dont remember which one, but the thing i know it's that it works great, cause it let's you get alot of Attack Speed from the 3 Greater Mark of Alacracity, which is a lot, as it gives the double as much the glyphs per rune, so doing the math it counts as 6 glyphs (DUH!), so it's a great boost in dps from the Attack speed.

Greater Glyph of Attack Speed or Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist?

Ok, after playing some fixed ranked games, i really recomend using Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist. Why? Cause ap carrys early game can nuke you down reeeeally quick, and facing solo top against an ap bruiser like Rumble can be really hard.

The answer to this is just philosofical, as it depends on your personal gamestyle, so it's just a matter of opinion. If you play Irelia like Shaco, you can use Greater Glyph of Attack Speed, come from behind, from the jungle in a bush, jump in when the tank has initiated and kill the squishy in a second (with this i mean a char like Caitlyn shooting from afar), and this happens so fast they cant dps you much and with all the tankyness from this build you wont have problems. You'll be able to fight face to face with a fed Tryndamere.
Well, getting back to the subject, if you have the bad luck of playing against an ap heavy team using Greater Glyph of Attack Speed, then you should get some defense with Wit's End or Force of Nature.

Greater Seal of Armor?

it's armor, armor is always useful in melee champs. Why flat? cause Irelia lacks a lot of defense early game, has low health.

Greater Quintessence of Desolation or Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed?

well, again this is just a matter of playstyle, and what you want to do early in game... If you always get kited early game use Greater Quintessense of Switftness, or if you really dont care about moving fast early game get Greater Quintessence of Desolation.
I personally use Greater Quintessence of Desolation as i prefer boost in damage than boost in movement, as i get alot of movement speed from Berserker's Greaves+ Trinity Force+ Force of Nature. Irelia moves so fast Mid-Endgame that cars envy her xD

Greater Quintessence of Health

With this rune you can avoid starting with Doran's Shield or Doran's Blade so u can start with boots.

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Aclaration: The 3 ways are stated at the top of the guide on the champions, being the first one the left one, and the last one, the one to the right.

23 - 0 - 7 Way

This way of masteries is meant to have great DPS and overall sustain throughout the game. I know Meditation doesn't seem as a very good mastery, but it helps Irelia greatly, as it makes you less likely to become out of mana if you use your skills wisely.
NOTE: If you prefer using Flash instead of Ghost, change Good Hands to Summoner's Insight for reduced cooldown.

24 - 6 - 0 Way

This way is meant to have more tankyness early game, though if you dont start with an item that gives health, you'll still be squishy lvl 1~4.

21 - 9 - 0 Way

This way is meant to skip a Doran's Shield type item at the beginning of a game, therefore starting with boots+potions. I know i took out lifesteal from the equation. Don't worry bout it, your W is your main healing way, 3% lifesteal isn't really too worth it.

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Summoner Spells

Why Exhaust?

Why not? You could get ignite if you need a dps booster or a finisher after sbdy runs to a tower with low health while you ult him when he runs, but end game it has no use better than exhaust, as ignite helps you against a Vladimir that has too much Spellvamp or something, but if you have exhaust you can make him have no dps at all, therefore no lifesteal considerable.
Exhaust is just La Creme de la Creme of Summoner spells, as it helps offensively as defensively, and helps in teamfights to render the carry useless.

Why Ghost?

I use ghost as it helps offensively and defensively too, you can escape ganks if you Ward correctly, and you can use it to keep up to the speed of enemies when you have no boots at all, therefore getting a kill without them escaping. It also saves a point to use elsewhere.

Flash Is a good spell which I started using on squishy assassins like Talon and Evelyn.It works great offensively and defensively.

This spell is good offensively, it wont help as much as exhaust would when you are about to get killed, but is a really good skill if you are facing an enemy who heals too much like Dr. Mundo or Vladimir. It is also a great spell as a finisher, as you get kited easily early game, just pop ignite and finish with ult, sure kill if you get the ult right :)

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Skill Explanation+Tips on each skills

Ionian Fervor.
This passive is what everybody hate, you can get cced in many ways, but the only way to stop you is by killing you. Really, in team fights filled with cc's, you get Mercury's Treads and you wont have any type of problem.

I consider it as an utility/damage ability, but mostly utility.

Tip nº1: Save the cooldown for a killing blow, or reaching when he Flashes, but preferably not before, just wait for a minion to be low on health.

Tip nº2: Activating Hiten Style before using Bladesurge, will make Bladesurge hit with Hiten Style.

Tip nº3: Sheen and Trinity Force will make this spell hit harder.

Tip nº4:
With Wriggle's Lantern and Trinity Force you will oneshot ranged minions, so use this as an advantage when chasing.
REMEMBER! Trinity Force has a 2 second cooldown.

Hiten Style
Most important skill of this build. You will use it for healing up, and what is most important, it deals ALOT of damage! Really, without the active of this spell, this build would be useless.
Activate this skill if you are with low health and need to refill it (and autoattack something obviously xD).

ALWAYS FIGHT WITH THIS SPELL ACTIVE, ALWAYS!, without it you wont deal as much damage as you need to, and you won't have the sustain you need.

Equilibrium Strike
Great CC. I know other guides recommend getting Bladesurge first, but i really recommend getting this first. WHY? Cause you deal most of the damage autoattacking, and if you have an enemy stunned in front of you for 2 seconds, you can turn the tides of the battle easily.

Example: Imagine you're fighting a Master Yi, he gets you to half health somehow, and he tries to get the kill on you. You go to the bush and wait till he facechecks, you'll have lower health than him, you stun him and spend 1~2 seconds autoattacking him, healing yourself up, and getting him to lower health than you, making a victory for you.

Tip nº1: Facechecks, wait for em', you'll get an easy kill, or at least you'll get the lane dominance.

Tip nº2: Use the minion Bladesurge technique. Bladesurge a minion next to the enemy champ, Equilibrium Strike resulting in stun, Hiten Style for damage boost and you got lane dominance, or maybe a kill if you have boots. LOL

Tip nº3: You can always save Equilibrium Strike for when you have lower hp than your enemy in 1v1 fights. Just wait to get some hits from your enemy to use it.

Transcendent Blades
Good ult, nice dps boost, healing boost, and AOE damage. Remember that you have to spam R to use it.

Tip nº1: Try, when you use this skill, to hit multiple target so you heal the most you can.
Remember: Champs heal for 25% damage and minions just for 10%, so if you lineup for the champ and a minion wave, you'll heal for quite a lot.

Tip nº2: All the blades fired proc Sheen and Trinity Force, so try spacing the R spam to about 2 sec, so you boost your dps greatly.

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Skill Sequence Explanation

Why do i get Equilibrium Strike at lvl 2 and not Bladesurge?

Because if you are laning with this build, you are either preventing them farming cause of your high damage output and they leave you alone enough to farm with auto attacks, or you are being pwned and need some cc to get away from them.

If you had Bladesurge and you are being pwned, if you go for a minion kill, you can die with a good team on the other side, and if you are pwning, you only may need it for movement and utility, it has good damage but it is best to use it for getting fast to an enemy, like if you are in the bush and want to surprise them, or if you can run to them, to reach them after they flash, or if they run too fast and have about 5 hp LOL.

Why I prefer Hiten Style for maxing first?

You should try it and see... Auto attacks hit sooo hard you will scream of amazement xD
You should take advantage of the heavy damage output at early levels and get alot of kills, or at least make them get underleveled or underfarmed. I must clarify, wait until you get Bladesurge (level 4) for better harrasment and advantage from the champion itself.

Why maxing Bladesurge last?

Cause it is more mana efficient, and it will make you learn to use your cooldowns more efficiently. There is no need in lvling it up further, as you should practice lasthitting with auto attack rather than with Bladesurge, though it is not forbidden, and it is recommended to use it if you made a mistake in the timing for the Auto attack.
As for movement utility, if you Bladesurge to a minion which you can kill with the skill, you'll have the cooldown reseted, and some mana refunded so you can use it in another skill. Really, what this build lacks is mana regen.
Also, 2 seconds stun, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE! WHY U NO LIKE 2 SECOND STUN! LOL, just kidding, really, the 2 second stun is much better than the lower cooldown on Bladesurge. PERIOD.

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So, how do you farm with Irelia?

  • First of all, you need to LASTHIT minions! What do i mean with that? Wait until a minion has low hp so when you hit ONCE, you'll kill it. WHY? Cause if you push your lane, their jungler will have more posibilities of ganking you, and yours will have less.
  • Lasthit with Bladesurge or Auto attack? The answer to this question is a matter of safety on our laning phase. If you can walk to the minion without getting harrassed, auto attack. If you can't, and the enemy doesn't have noticeable cc that would make you take deadly damage, Bladesurge to it, and if your oponent is melee and comes to hit you, Equilibrium Strike him.
  • Bladesurge lvl 1 doesn't consume any noticeable mana if you lasthit the minion and resets the cooldown, so if you cant walk to it, or just messed up the timing, Bladesurge it.

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So, in order to explain myself better, and in order to please some people who read my guide, i made a video while playing a normal game, so as you see what i do early game. I plan on keep uploading videos, so if you have any special request or something, please tell me.

Solo top, Irelia VS Dr. Mundo

Brief explanation of the game:

SKIP TO 2:30, i didn't edit the video and the leash got taped too.

Rune set for this game:

Item buildage decision for the game:

Started with Regrowth Pendant because Dr. Mundo was going top for sure, so as he does both magic and physical damage, this was the best choice. Then i got Philosopher's stone for mana regen, so i could spend carelessly. After that, as Dr. Mundo was máxing Infected Cleaver first, and wasnt hitting too hard from autoattacks, I rushed Wit's End to be more beefy against his attacks.

Video comments

The video doesn't have good quality, sorry bout that, i'll try to get the future ones better. I must say, it was really late when i made this video, and it's been a while since i last played irelia, so i'm a bit out of practice, so don't hate :)

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Solo Top Example

Here's an example on me as Irelia on solo top, against a Renekton.


see? nice results.

I went solo top with a Tryndamere on the jungle against a Renekton with Gangplank jungling.

I started with a Doran's Shield and played safely, just last hitting, knowing that Irelia is weak at game start, so i waited till lvl 4 to start fighting, but didnt engage myself unless a minion was low near Renekton, so i'd Bladesurge to it, Equilibrium Strike'd Renekton and autoattacked him with Hiten Style ON, not using Bladesurge unless i had the chance to get the kill. Anyways i got forced to back cause the enemy jungler, Gangplank came gank and got me too low to stay, so Tryndamere got the lane for me.

I came back with Boots of Speed and kept playing defensively, until i found a chance to get Renekton low enough to make him back. I farmed all i could until Renekton came back and i got the kill.

Anyways, i backed to buy and got Wriggle's Lantern and continued laning.

Here comes the EPIC WIN i had in my laning part. When i got back to the lane, i saw another chance to stun Renekton with a minion, and got to kill him again under his turret (this was around lvl 8~10), and as soon as i killed him, Gangplank came to kill me, i tried to back through their jungle, but as Gangplank was coming to kill me i waited in the bushes, stunned him with Equilibrium Strike and started auto attacking him with Hiten Style active, i killed him and went to the lane to Auto attack minions to heal up. As soon as i reached half health a Gragas came from the river, i ran to the bushes up top on my side, and waited him to get in, so i stunned, auto attacked with Hiten Style and got another kill :D

So epic :D

After that Epicness i got really mana starved, but if with the mana i had was enough to get a triple kill, then it's enough for laning. (yeah, i was letting Tryndamere get the jungle for himself)

Thanks to Trans4M for encouraging me to make this section :)

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Duo lane/Roamer Example


Early game

you start with a Doran's Shield, and if you have a good partner, you should get first blood, although if the other team lane is ap heavy, you should stay back cause you'll be squishy, but if it is physical squishy you can get it easy.

Then, you should wait until lvl 4 to get agressive, when you got bladesurge, so you can harrass with this combo, Hiten Style, Bladesurge and Equilibrium Strike and some autoattacks, and if you see the enemy is low and too far away for Bladesurge reach, wait till a ranged minion is low, and bladesurge to minion and imediately to champ.

Another Techniche i do is: Minion is low near champ, Bladesurge to minion, then combo him like this so you get to stun him Equilibrium Strike, Hiten Style and Bladesurge, or save Bladesurge for when he flashes or something like that.

Sth important i do is being half jungler, but you should have Wriggle's Lantern first. the one thing i need the most is blue buff, without it you might go oom alot, but if you're intelligent and use the skills wisely you can be with good mana everytime, and when you get sheen you wont have any trouble with it. Even at lvl 6 you can get dragon with a bit of help, you'll have for sure wriggles lantern, and if you dont have it don't even try to do dragon.

Mid Game

You should have Doran's Shield, Berserker's Greaves, Wriggle's Lantern and half Trinity Force, like Phage+ Sheen, and you should be pwning alot with a bit of help from your teammate, and reaaaally tanky for the time, unless, as i said earlier, care with the heavy ap champs, like an ap lux. You can get alot of hits from her and kill her, but dont tank her plus sbdy else plus no help from your team, it's certain death.

Sth i recommend is helping your lane alot, and ganking alot too, that gives much advantage to your team, but dont be foolish enough to gank a lane without warning the lane you are ganking...

End game

By now you should have all from mid game plus Trinity Force, an Infinity Edge and a Guardian Angel for the tankiness, it is very important you dont sell Doran's Shield until you have Guardian Angel bought, if not your tankiness will be greatly reduced.

On team fight i play her as an assassin, going straight to the squishys in the back, i dont recommend coming from the front, because if you do, that squishy will kill you xD

The last item you should get by selling Doran's Shield is either a defensive item like Force of Nature, or a The Bloodthirster, which will give you more survivability and more damage output, by now you should be carrying like hell and being a little bit difficult to kill.

If you have the chance to Sell Wriggle's Lantern, get a The Bloodthirster or more defenses.

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End notes.

well, hope you like the guide, hope you get something useful from it and have alot of fun with Irelia :D.


  • whenever you get back to base, BUY WARDS! It's just 75g that you spend in not getting killed!
  • FARM FARM FARM FARM FARM FARM FARM FARM! If you don't, you won't be able to finish any of this builds even if you are 10/0.

I'd appreciate some constructive comments about the guide and the format itself.

Thanks to Jhoijhoi for the guide on making a guide.
Thanks to Nerun for supporting me in improving this guide.

Best wishes,
from Uruguay,