Build Guide by Buzzard
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.
For this build/strategy, Irelia is a juicy DPS with about 3/4 of the ability of Master Yi but 3X the survivability. With her you can lane with no problems, prowl the jungles, AND support the team fights more confidently than some of the more squishy DPS. The build is quite similar to some of the successful Master Yi builds with just a couple of tweaks.
Up front notes for this build.I have cut out any mana/AP items. You have to watch your mana in the beginning, but is this any different from most other champs? Once mid-game kicks off I hardly ever have mana issues that aren't solved during routine blue pills or by grabbing a quick mana buff. I usually get all the buffs I need from ganks :))
Item Build. To maximize her lethality she needs AD/AS and cooldown reduction, so that is what every item assists in some manner.
Runes & Masteries. I feel runes and masteries are up to the user. Cool-down and crit runes contribute directly to the build. Dodge is one I invested in and they stuck with me. I always use the same ones no matter the champ because I save my IP for champ purchases. If you want to go buy riot points and tweak them to maximize the build, then by all means go for it!
Finally, don't just look at my build then gloss over this guide and expect to go own with Irelia. She requires alot of practice. Play some practice games before going into the regular matches or ladder and feeding the Irelia hate camp!
Start off with a broadsword and a mana potion (which I hardly ever use, BTW; It's there if you need it). You're going to build the Brutalizer, followed by Avarice and then combine for Yommumu's. Yommumu's boosts everything vital for early DPS. It's Active is useful for early ganks plus punching out if you find yourself in a bad situation. You gotta "Know When to Go" with Irelia. You can't die too much with her or you will fall behind very quickly.
Don't go on the assault during the laning phase! Your task at this point is to be in your lane and blue pill as little as you can. Use bladestrike to last hit minions. You can do this all day because of the low mana usage. Stay in the lane if possible until Level 6, and then you can start farming with your Ult.
Yes, I say farming because you can completely regenerate your health by farming a minion wave with her Ult. Pop that Ult whenever you want to, and get in the habit of doing so. You will find that it is always there when you need it to be because of your cool-down reduction. Always check it before you get into a fight though. It nets you PKs when your prey runs.
One more note on her Ult: it consists of 4 dumbfire missiles. If you get good at it, you can click a move command to the other side of your screen towards friendly lines and then move your mouse back towards your opponent and fire missiles backwards. I escape to the tower this way, and sometimes it nets the occasional kill. Sometimes you will regen enough health to go back on the attack and stun them with equilibrium strike and finish them off. I use this ALOT.
Ability strategy.Save Equilibrium for fleeing prey or enemy that are chasing you. For a gank, Bladestrike in, press 1 for ghostblade, W for Hiten, and start slaying away. Go ahead and fire missiles to do damage and regen. When they run, bladestrike, then ES if necessary for the kill.
Transition from Laning Phase.After getting ghostblade and boots, farm up 1200 gold and go back for zeal, followed by dagger, cloak and then Phantom Dancer. At this point, you are doing around 150-200 crits, not including the damage bonus from Hiten. You can take on most squishy and moderate targets (I regularly slay WWs, Shacos, Eves, Akalis and other types; you name it). Tanks, Garens, and other hard targets are outside of the realm without help.
Mid-GameTransitioning out of the laning phase, I usually find myself pushing up the middle farming minions and hitting jungle minions while I search the map for Pk targets. Don't be afraid of excursions into their territory, just be cautious of how long you are engaging a target on their turf. I farm minion waves with her ult and if the enemy group attacks the mid I position in the center to pick off weak, fleeing targets. This sets up for a push by the rest of your team while the enemy is respawning. I still use the same gank strategy; I will use flash to close the distance or to flee an overmatched engagement. Always have ghostblade, ghost or flash handy if you are going to dive into a sticky situation. Her CC innate is not that reliable. Feel free to insert a hexdrinker if you feel the need to (helps if there is a stupid teemo leaving mushrooms everywhere). I hardly ever participate in big group fights because I die within seconds. I pick off enemy champs as they leave.
After phantom I tag on a spirit visage or glacial shroud. Visage is what you want because it makes health regen that much easier. If you are getting heavy AD attackers and need some help then get the shield. I chose shroud because it includes ability cool-down. After your armor purchase you can roam the map at will without too much fear.
Build a bloodthirster next and you have what you need to own the board.
Late GameThe awesome aspect of Irelia is that she does not become irrelevant late game like some of the other DPSers. Her survivability is enough to let you move about seeking targets. In recent games this is where she shines. To amp up her AD for the late game, I will add a cleaver or an infinity edge. A starks also fits in nicely to greatly improve survivability. She is usually dishing out 5-600 crits at this point; not as high as Yi but, again, she sacrifices that for her survivability. She does not damage hard targets very well, so she can't back door the way a Yi or Eve can. That is a big drawback, but if you bring a tank along you can pull it off.
If you haven't gotten enough PKs to get gold for your build, then keep farming those minnion waves. It nets you cash plus it helps your team more than running around killing jungle minions. I've had alot of fun playing Irelia with this build. She is finally a relevant character, and she is now a permanent part of my stable.