Build Guide by Nikatu
Not Updated For Current Season
Not Updated For Current Season
I start with a dagger because the added attack speed + Hiten style allows me to regain health when I need to, and to stay in my lane early game pretty easily. I still try to focus on last hitting, but if I need health and I'm not getting seriously harassed I'll either attack a melee minion or a cannon minion (still switching targets to last hit). Berserker's greaves just make everything a little bit easier--you already do some decent damage in the first few levels with the boost you get from Hiten, and the move speed + AS makes you a viable champ. Malady is next because it adds everything you need for a really cheap price--you get AP/AS/and sort of AD from the ability (plus the MR reduction makes you EQ strike that much better). Nashor's is next, and while I'd like to take Guinsoo's at this point, the CDR and Mana Regen on nashor's are really nice for Irelia. Being able to fling your ulti around more often, and to mash your other abilities seriously increases your survivability and damage, as well as increasing your farming potential. Irelia's ulti comes back really quickly, and can be used to clear minion waves for some easy money. I usually build stinger first, but sometimes I'll buy the Mekai pendant a bit early just for the added regen. Next is Guinsoo's--and this is where the build gets really nasty. With your CDR you should now get into combat by Bladesurging, and EQ striking immediately, followed by Hiten (don't worry, they'll refresh insanely fast). At this point your guinsoo's is already halfway charged, and you can simply beat down your opponent. If it looks like they're outdamaging you a little bit just hit your ulti FTW. If the game is going well, and you got to your Nashor's pretty quickly there's a good chance the game will end before you even get to the hextech. But if not, here's where you can sort of go either way. I usually by bilgewaters first, but either weapon works. Once you've gotten the Gunblade however you've reached Irelia's mad Balance potential. The active on gunblade is pretty awesome, but it's the fact that you get a stack of lifesteal and spell vamp that makes it downright awesome. Now while you're swinging away with something like 2.2 attack speed and around 200 AD (not counting Hiten or Malady) you're doing fairly decent auto attack daamge, but as you can freely spam your other abilities and ulti while attacking you've got some pretty decent dps, and quite a bit of survivability. If the game is a slow defense (pretty much the only time I'll ever get to my 6th item) you might even get beyond gunblade. This is where it's a complete tossup. If CC is keeping you from your full potential, get banshee's. If your team doesn't have enough CC and you get focused down first, get Guardian's. If you're rocking it and you just want to rock it harder, go with Lichbane. And if it looks like the game isn't going to end with your 6th purchase, then you may want to by some elixirs beforehand--one of each.
With her Equilibrium strike getting a 1:1 Ratio and there being quite a few hybrid AS/AP items I thought I'd throw 'em all together and see how well it worked.
Focus on using your Equilibrium strike to initiate, hit Hitem immediately, then if they start to run and outrange your Equilbrim just Bladesurge up, and queue Equilibrium while you're in the air. This build offers decent early match survivability, and some decent late game damage/survivability.
Try to remember that if you're fighting a champ near a wave of enemy creeps your survivability goes way up, don't be afraid to use Transcendent Blades before they've started to run if it looks like you're taking some serious damage. Hit a row of minions with it and your hp starts bouncing back up (try to hit the enemy champ in the process of course). With the amount of AP you build up your Transcendent Blades will hit well, and your Equilibrium strike will too. Mix that with the decent amount of AS/AD you have and you've got a pretty solid hybrid build.
No I don't use Frozen Mallet or Tri force, but with the slow you have from Hextech + Red Buff (which you should always take) you should still be doing some serious damage, and if you queue up your eq strike and then bladesurge it should get you in range and trigger eq strike, making for pretty easy chasing.
A nice part of this build is Banshee's barely hurts it, just use Bladesurge to clear the effect (just takes away the damage), and hit your Eq strike.
Now I've seen the top rated Irelia builds, and they seem to call for focusing on some pretty standard items. There are hybrid tank builds, where Irelia is built as a heavy with maybe a bit of lifesteal items, but I think this would be better on a champ like Warwick or Xin Xao, so why play Irelia if you want to do that build? There are some builds that focus on AD / Crit Chance, why not Trnyd or Garen? There are some calling for AS/AD/tank gear, which I think yi could probably do better. That's my one problem with some of the top builds, and why I thought I'd suggest my own itemization (not a guide I guess). To build Irelia as a regular melee champ makes her fall short IMO--after all most of the other melee champs could do these standard builds way better, because their abilities support these builds. With Irelia you end up playing the items, with some abilities that are simply 'nice' and nothing more... I don't think I've seen a build other than mine in which EQ strike will do ANY damage, it's just basic crowd control with a 1:1 ratio (WW and Trynd have better CC in this case). Her Bladesurge might do some decent damage, but without CDR it's a pretty tricky chase mechanic (Warwick and Yi have much better ones, again). Her Ulti in these builds is more or less just a last hit mechanic (Yi's alpha strike). I've used my build to take down these other melee champs with their ideal itemizations... I've out dps'd and outsurvived a warwick, danced around a raging trynd long enough to finish him off... the build does work. And most of the time when I go up against another irelia I win those fights too...