Build Guide by OldCharon

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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 OldCharon

Irelia: Hybrid Assassin

OldCharon Last updated on January 21, 2011
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 9

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 0

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I have played a lot of champs but I find none of them as exciting and as fun to play as Irelia. I constantly hear that she is slightly underpowered, but I just don't see it. You can build her so many ways that are effective, and that makes her quite the dynamic character.

There are a lot of guides out there that focus on AD/AS, with almost no AP. To me this makes no sense, as only 1.6 of her abilities is AD. She needs to be built hybrid to take full advantage of her Transcendent Blades, which is one of the best ults in the game. AD is great, and you need some for sure, but your burst damage, the damage that makes people go "oh ****, that hurt!" comes from your AP and Equilibrium Strike.

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All Primary here. Magic pen for the marks, flat mana regen for the seals, magic resist for the glyphs, and flat health for the quins.
The logic:
Magic pen works wonders for your Equilibrium Strike, which starts hitting pretty hard at level 4.
The mana regen seals + the starting Sapphire Crystal is all the mana I ever seem to need. It gets tight in the first few levels, but once you get to 6 or so, you should be ok. You could go dodge here to compliment your defensive masteries, but you would need some early game mana regen somewhere else.
The Magic resist Glyphs help a ton with the early game squishiness.

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I tried all kinds of combinations here, but I found the few points in the defensive tree far outweighed anything that I tried in the utility tree. The dodge is very nice for getting your *** back to your tower if you get caught in an early bind. Also, the point in Burning embers in the offensive tree is very useful. I try and use my ignite as early as possible so I can get the extra 10 AP. Especially have it ready to use when you go in for a kill.

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This is my standard item build. the first items are always the same. Sapphire Crystal and 2 health pots. Youll need them.
Try and stay in your lane long enough to get sheen and your 1st boots in the same go. after that, the next item I almost always get is Malady. Once you have this, you should be getting kills. However, if the team is doing well, I will hold out for Nashar's Tooth. To me, this is a game breaking item if you can get it this early. The cool down reduction is incredible when it comes to pulling off your combos.
After the above item, I will try and finish off my Trinity Force and my boots. Always get Boots of Swiftness. This build is for a quick strike assassin. Get in, do your DPS, and get the hell out.
After the above items are done, most of the time the game is over. If not, use your best judgment for you items. Guinsoos is great for shredding towers, Spirit Visage is wonderful for survivability, but you may find you need a Banshee's for D. If you aren't having trouble surviving, go ahead and grab a Gunblade and watch the enemies just melt.

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Skill Sequence

One point in Bladsurge first, then one point in Hiten Style for early game health regen, then max Equilibrium Strike, getting Transcendent Blades whenever they are available. Once ES is maxed, max Bladesurge, then finally Hiten Style.

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Summoner Spells

Ignite and Flash always. Ignite for the early game kills, and you need flash on Irelia. Flash combined with how fast you are is going to save your *** more times than you can count.

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Pros and Cons

lots of early to late-mid game damage and kills.
Tanks can shut you down early, and if you get shut down early, its extremely tough to get back up to speed.

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I have gone in the mid with Irelia and usually do just fine. However, there are way better carries in the game that need mid, so don't take it unless no one wants it.
Early game:
Take a side lane with another DPS if possible and play conservative for the first few levels and feel your enemy out. Never, ever stand still (unless you are in the bush). None of Irelia's abilities have cast times, so they can all be done on the fly. If you get snared, its very bad. I try and stay in the top bush and just last hit with BS. Your build is expensive, and you need to last hit in order to get your stuff. Also, if you are laning against tanks, ask for a switch if they become a problem. I find Rammus particularly tough to lane against, however, you may not.
At level 4 you should have 2 points in ES, and a point in both BS and HS. when the time is right, ignite(for the extra 10 AP from Burning Embers) > HS > BS > ES then analyze the situation. This is your combo that you will always start off with. Keep auto attacking if they are running, or flash out if you are in trouble. If they were damaged before, they should be close to dead. at the very least you should have sent them back to base. Do not over extend, the tower will jack you up this early.
At level 6 you have your ult and combined with the above combo, you should be able to kill most champs that aren't tanks. make sure you use your ult where you can shoot through their minions. When they see their health going down and yours going up, they will almost always run. Chase and hit them with ES and finish them off.
Mid Game:
As much as you want to, do not initiate team fights. You wont survive most of the time. stay behind the tanks and initiators, but in front of the long range DPS. That way you can go in for a quick kill, or slow or stun anyone that is trying to kill your ranged DPS so they can get away. Also, Irelia is a great flanking champion. If you can get behind the lines, you may be able to get in for a quick assassination and get back out before the rest of their team can get to you.
You should have your boots, Malady or Nashars, and most of your Trinity Force done. If you have Malady, your ES should just be wrecking people. Always go in for quick strikes and then get out. Don't worry if you don't get the kill. Your team mates will see the damage done to them and finish them off for you.
If you went the Nashar's route, your Ult will be up about every 30 seconds. Use it as much as you can to farm and to shoot groups of Champions. Having Nashar's Tooth is a great benefit to your team. You can single handedly push all 3 waves of minions back because your ult is on such a short cooldown. It can literally turn the tide of a game, adn youll be getting rich in the process. You'll also be able to do your combo and then do it again after a couple of auto attacks because of the cool down reduction. Being able to slow or stun every few seconds is huge! use it to keep people from getting away, or to get away yourself if someone is chasing.
Mid game is where your shine, Try and do as much as you can to help your team win during this stage.
Late game:
Your damage will have tailed off a bit, but by this time you have them running at just the site of you. focus on keeping minion waves pushed with your ult, stunning or slowing stragglers so you can keep getting kills and assists, and knocking out towers when you get a chance. With the attack speed you will have, you should have several tower kills to your credit by the end of the game.
General Gameplay
You should always be looking to take out their Carry. lurk just outside of range and wait for your opportunity. Be patient. When the right time comes, HS > BS in (which acts as a flash). These 2 buttons should be pushed almost at the same time, with W being slightly ahead so it will hit on your Q. A lot of people say to save your ES till they are running but I disagree here. Your E is going to hit hard and you want them to see their health bar drop,so do it immediately after you get to them. This will cause them to be defensive instead of offensive. Most of the time they will start running, but you are so fast with Trinity force and Boots of Speed, they cant run too far. If they do get out of range, if you have your Nashar's Tooth, they wont get far because you will be able to do your entire combo again in a matter of seconds. If things are bad, flash out. You should be able to outrun just about anyone, and if they get close, time your E, and stun them and keep running. I cant tell you how many kills your team will get because someone will be sure they can kill you, you'll stun them, and your team will tear them apart.
Always use your ult at your discretion, hitting as many minions, champions, etc as you can to boost your health and take theirs down. It can literally turn around a team fight if used correctly.

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The combo is the bread and butter to this build. Get in with BS, combo, and get the hell out. Use ignite all the time. Rinse and repeat, using your ult to both heal yourself and finish them off. I have found great success with this build, and I hope you do as well.