Irelia Build Guide by ChefoSLR
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.
Congratz on picking up Irelia, a very underestimated and underplayed champion, but a true killing machine when mastered. Let's start off with the basics. What makes Irelia special?
- Innate CC reduction;
- Self healing allows for great survivability and jungling capability;
- Very tanky with the right build;
- Tons of damage from Hiten Style ;
- An awesome gap closer, great single - target CC;
- Low- CD ultimate gives tons of healing;
- Epic NightBlade skin.
What you shouldn't expect from Irelia.
- Still vulnerable to CC, even through passive and Merc Treads Mercury Treads ;
- Item - reliant, needs good farm or a couple of early - game kills;
- Easy to play at higher levels;
- Absolutely needs Trinity Force to be effective.
Introduction: Jungling or Laning
Since there are essentially two main paths for Irelia - jungling and solo laning, I'll be going over both. Note that I have played 100+ games with Irelia, but I still appreciate criticism from experienced Irelia players.
Irelia excels at both jungling and solo laning. How you play her depends on your team setup, and on you, of course.
Runes: Craft your own Ionian Masterpiece
Irelia is very rune dependant if you're jungling, not so much if you're laning. For jungling you absolutely need attack speed quintessences . From there Attack speed marks work best . For Seals I go with Armor . Dodge and HP per level seals also work, but for best jungling results I recommend sticking with armor. Glyphs are optional, I go for magic resist to complement my overall tanky build, but Cooldown Reduction per level are also viable.
These masteries might seem strange, but they work great. Since Irelia doesn't crit a lot, Lethality doesn't help her at all. Reach only Brute Force and leave Offence there. Move on with some resistances in Defense. Finally, you want Perseverence because it increases your Hiten Style regeneration, as well as Meditation for easier last hitting with Bladesurge.
Again, not your common build. I make sure to take everything that helps me directly with jungling, as a couple of early game kills will snowball far easier than 21 points in Offence. For that I take two points in Offensive Mastery, resistances in Defense, and two points in Utility Mastery. Everything that makes jungling easier is welcome in this build. Note that Irelia is a very powerful counter- jungler, and a very punishing champion when she's outleveling someone, so I strongly recommend these masteries.
Irelia is a very diverse character. Her playstyle requires her to take on severe punishment however, since she'll be in the middle of the fight. The builds I've shown at the top of the guide are generally the best item choices, however some situations require diversity.
Wit's End - take this against a heavy AP team. The attack speed is invaluable for the true damage, so is the increased magic resistance.
Spirit Visage - some take this as a main item for Irelia, however I'm not so sure in its effectiveness. Irelia is not so reliant on cooldown reduction, although it unarguably helps. The increased Hiten Style healing is welcome, but not anything huge. Again, this is a solid item against a heavy AP team.
Guardian Angel - A very situational item. I take this if I'm getting heavily focused. The reason I don't favor this item is because Irelia needs to be on her target at all times. If she dies to revive, her role is wasted. In any event, this item gives a nice boost to resistances, so a solid choice nontheless.
- The ultimate anti - tank item. If you're playing against a heavy tank team, I recommend swapping your Wriggle's Lantern .
- Against armor stacking foes, this item works wonders. Note that it does make you squishier, so take more care when fighting a 5v5.
- When maxed, no one will be able to stand in your way. Mobility is very important on Irelia, so if you're doing perfectly early game, consider buying this item.
- If the enemy team is lacking hard CC, these are perfect for your anti- carry role. Your passive should take care of any slows.
I think it goes without saying that Hiten Style should be maxed in all occasions. It is such a great passive, and the true damage boost makes you a force to be feared. From there focus on maxing Equilibrium Strike next , since it's your main chasing tool. Bladesurge has a great scaling, but the damage increase as you level it up is negligible. It reminds me of Pantheon's Spear Shot . Note that Bladesurge's mana cost increases with levels, but the mana refund does not.
Summoner Spells: The magic behind
Irelia has a pretty solid choice when it comes to summoner spells.
- A must for any laning Irelia. Without the red buff your Bladesurge will not be enough to finish off your target in time as it has a massive cooldown.
- Irelia is a nuke assassin in general. Flash complements that function perfectly.
- Always take this on a jungling Irelia, helps your ganks immensely, as well as escaping tight situations.
- Above all a utility spell, since it's AD carry focused. A really powerful spell overall since your job in the first place is shutting down the enemy AD carry.
Skill Overview: Bladetacular
Irelia's skills have great synergy. They're all perfectly suited for her needs - lots of sustainability as well as sticking to a single target. She CAN nuke, but often you'll need to finish off the kill with Transcendent Blades.
- A solid passive giving her 40 tenacity in a large fight. You probably won't notice the effects, but they're there, and they are critical for her role of a tanky assassin.
- A long- range gap - closer with a big mana cost for her pool. 35 mana is refunded upon slaying an enemy, as well as resetting its cooldown. Early on this is NOT a last- hitting spell and should never be treated as such. The CD reset is critical for chasing, but more on that later.
- One of the best passives in the game imo. The active true damage is invaluable for bursting resilient targets. This is Irelia's signature skill and your opponents will learn to fear the 6-second armor - shredding nightmare.
- Another great skill for her kit. This skill has a twist, though, as it stuns if you have lower % HP than your target. This has many great uses:
- Safe harassment;
- Turning a 1v1 around at the last second. My favourite.
- A powerful low-CD ultimate which most Irelia players sadly misuse. This is not a damage dealer, its used mostly as a finisher to an uncertain kill. It can be used for farming effectively. But the most important role is making sure you don't need to back out immediately after engaging. This ultimate gives you tons of regen, enabling you to survive the initial burst in combat. Never use this in the beginning of the fight. Time it so your low HP baits the unawary to quicky turn the tide.
Start with a Cloth Armor and 5 health potions . Start at the 2 golems. Jungling with Irelia is actually a lot harder than it seems. Time your bladesurges after your auto attacks because it resets the timing and always last hit with it when you don't have the blue buff. Take wraits, wolves and blue buff. At this point you'll die miserably to the red buff, so either gank some pushed lane, or wait for the 2 golems and return for a Madred Razor . From here, you should focus on ganking non - stop. Get fed early game and you'll easily snowball with your Trinity Force .
Summary: Early Game
I'll go over Irelia's laning phase in this chapter.
Take a solo lane, this is where Irelia truly shines. Hiten Style allows her to lane indefinitely. Avoid last hitting too much with your Bladesurge . Your auto attacks should be sufficient. Blue pill as soon as you have enough money for a Philosopher's Stone Philosopher's Stone.
Now you can start dishing out some serious pain to your enemy. Mana should no longer be an issue. Any time you're left low on hp, use your ultimate on the creep wave for an instant health refill.
Note: Irelia is a really powerful ganker. As soon as you get your boots and sheen, start punishing pushed lanes as much as you can.
Summary: Mid Game
By now you should have your Tri-Force
. Be present in every teamfight as you are a deadly force to behold. Your job for now is sticking to their more fragile targets, as they will lack the survivability to withstand your damage output.
A very important lesson is to never use your ultimate for its damage output when in a large teamfight. Think of it as Warwick's Ultimate . Irelia is a very deadly champion when at low hp IF you know how to abuse it. Bait champions with your stun, then ult to regen health way faster than they can take it down. Note that teamfights on lanes are far better for Irelia as she can life steal off minions, too.
Summary: Late Game
This is where Irelia is at her strongest. She's very difficult to kill and can complete her job of shutting down the enemy carries extremely well. Note that even though she is tanky, you should never be initiating a fight. Irelia is susceptible to high burst as her kit is designed for prolonged survivability. One good example is Mordekaiser, who is also a number one target for the enemy nukers, due to his passive, Iron Shield.
Late game you should try to stay closer to your team. Irelia punishes champions who overcommit very easily. So focus that Warwick who thinks he can kill your Ashe and stay on him. Never switch targets unless you absolutely have to. Irelia is at her strongest when following a single enemy as her 1v1 is extremely potent.
The art of Dueling
Irelia is a really potent 1v1 champion and this should not be discluded from a 5v5 scenario. She's extremely good at isolating herself and sticking to a single target. Always remember to activate your Shurelia after initiating. Your Randuin's Omen
should take care of any attempts of escape.
Important Note: Equilibrium Strike is a strategic nuke. If you're ganking someone and you're aware of his kit, wait until he does anything you expect and counter with a stun. For example, you know Tristana will Rocket Jump away from you and will follow with an ultimate. Exploit that by taking the damage to stun. Same goes for almost every escape move, since most of them do some sort of damage. If your target has an easy way of escaping, it's vital to be sure your Equilibrium Strike stuns.
To wrap up the dueling section, remember you can always Bladesurge out of a losing fight. Note that in most scenarios it's best to finish off your target with Bladesurge or save the cooldown. Bladesurge doesn't do a ton of damage, but it's an invaluable dash. It's the same with Akali's Shadow Dance - you don't use it for the damage, more for the ability to close the gap between you and your target extremely fast.
Thank you for checking out my guide. I'd love to hear your opinions, not just on my builds, but my tips as well. This build is, in my opinion, the ultimate way to carry your team while sustaining heavy damage.
Now get out there and be legendary, for justice guides us.