Build Guide by Lilwoody

Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Lilwoody

Irelia Hybrid Hard Carry

Lilwoody Last updated on May 28, 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: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

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

Utility: 21

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In the last update they nerfed Irelia's Bladesurge and the healing utility of Transcendent Blades, but added AP AND AD to her Transcendent Blades. These changes certainly made her a viable AP/AD hybrid hard carry. The following is an in depth guide to Irelia as a hybrid hard carry.

Below are the nerfs that riot imposed in the lastest update.

Bladesurge damage reduced to 20/50/80/110/140 from 20/55/90/125/160

Transcendent Blades
    - Now heals for 10% vs minions, and 20% vs champions.
    - Ability Power ratio increased to 0.5 from 0.4
    - Deals physical damage instead of magic damage.
    - Scales with attack damage and ability power

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Current Trials and Experiments

I am always changing up my builds on champions especially Irelia because she is so versatile. There are a slue of different ways to build her and play her. Many of them are very effective when used correctly.

I am starting to lean toward my original build more and more each day as it is much more consistent. With Mercury's Treads Irelia is very resistant to CC and magic damage. When I am not so worried about CC and magic damage I can pick up Ionian Boots of Lucidity so I can Q E and R more, which are your main sources of damage. You need lots of attack speed to make E worth while and in the 2nd build I sacrificed too many defensive attributes for too little attack speed. With Berserker's Greaves and the alternative runes of Alacrity I found myself unable to escape CC and taking tons of magic damage.

Currently I will be trialing scaling Seal of Defense and the Quintessence of Movement Speed because they add to her over all survivability and utility. Speaking of utility...when I first set my masteries to 21/0/9 I had my doubts and I'm now starting to believe that 9/0/21 is going to be much better for movement speed, CDR, spell recast, mana regen, monster buff, etc. This build does not focus on the traditional autoattack hard carry of the past. It focuses more on extreme burst with Q E and R. The W is easily the weakest of her abilities in this build because of low attack speed. If the build leaned more toward attack speed autoattacking then 21/0/9 or 21/9/0 would be a no brainer and the obvious best choice.

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Pros / Cons


+ Your abilities are very strong giving you lots of burst damage.
+ Almost immune to CC.
+ Very quick and mobile.
+ Great farmer.
+ Stun and slow ability.
+ Incredible 1v1 champ.
+ Physical, magic and true damage.
+ More armor and magic resist than I had first expected.
+ There is actually much more ability power and a little more attack speed in this build than what is listed above because the passives from Guinsoo's Rageblade and Rabadon's Deathcap are not included.


- Movement is slower than I'd like.
- Low HP makes you kind of squishy in mid game.
- Low attack speed making Hiten Style the weakest of your abilites.
- Little cooldown reduction.
- Would like more armor penetration and magic penetration.
- There isn't a lot of room for situational items.
- The build is expensive lots of gold and IP for optional runes.

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Skill Sequence

The skill sequence on Irelia is pretty dependent on the current game. In general, I will try to max Equilibrium Strikes first because it is so powerful, especially in team fights. Max Bladesurge second because Lich Bane will add a fair amount of damage to Bladesurge adding quite a bit of burst. Hiten Style is the last skill I max because the true damage and heal on hit is weak without lots of attack speed. During the laning phase, consider taking an extra level in Hiten Style if you are taking lots of damage or an extra level in Bladesurge if you are having problems last hitting. Obviously take a point in Transcendent Blades whenever possible.

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Mark of DesolationMark of Desolation
Mark of Desolation obviously the best choice here.

Seal of DefenseSeal of Defense
Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration, Seal of Armor, Seal of Attack Speed, or Seal of Evasion are also viable. Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration because spamming Bladesurge is really fun but you can get by without them.

Glyph of Shielding
Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist are strongest for endgame. Glyph of Magic Resist, Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction, Glyph of Scaling Ability Power, Glyph of Attack Speed and Glyph of Ability Power are also fair substitutes.

Quintessence of DesolationQuintessence of Desolation
I'm recommending Quintessence of Desolation because they are probably best and much more popular amongst players. I personally like Quintessence of Movement Speed especially during the laning phase because she is kind of slow until you get Lich Bane and/or Boots of Speed. Using either set of Quintessences is a strong choice. Quintessence of Attack Speed discussed below.

Recommended Rune Combinations

Mark of DesolationSeal of Defense Quintessence of Desolation Weaker early game but stronger endgame boost

Mark of Desolation Quintessence of Desolation Good early and midgame boost.

Mark of Desolation You can spam abilities freely with Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration.

Mark of DesolationSeal of Defense I am currently running this set.

Mark of Desolation Quintessence of Desolation

Getting 1 Quintessence of Desolation and 2 Quintessence of Attack Speed gives you 18 armor penetration and 19 attack speed. I experimented with this set a few times. When you combine these runes with Berserker's Greaves you have quite a bit of attack speed in the early game making Hiten Style worth maxing second. But, you lose tons of survivability from Mercury's Treads, Seal of Defense and Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist.

You should do fairly well with any of the above recommended combinations. Experiment with them yourself to find out what you like and fits your playing style best.

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When I first selected my masteries I chose the classic 21/0/9 setup. 21/0/9 favors autoattacking AD champions quite well but after some experience I have found that this build makes Irelia an ability burst champion, not the traditional autoattacker, using Q E and R as her main sources of damage. I have now changed my masteries to 9/0/21 this works best with my play style and most of my rune combinations. If you are using the last set of runes that focuses on attack speed you may consider 21/0/9 or 21/9/0.

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Summoner Spells

I really like the way foggy12 made his Annie spell section so I'm going to steal his idea and use it here.

The Good

Ghost and Ignite are my personal favorite on my hard carry champions. Ghost has a tremendous amount of utility. You can use it to turret dive, run away, chase enemies down, save a turret, save a friend, etc. Ignite adds good damage to your burst and can be used to kill enemies that are running away or to their turret. Ignite is particularly useful against champs with lots of health regen like Dr. Mundo and Vladimir. Flash and Exhaust are also very good. Almost any combination of these 4 spells is a good choice. Make sure you select Cripple and/or Blink of an Eye masteries if you are using Flash and/or Exhaust.

The Bad

Heal: Sucks and is for noobs. Good for level 1 fights but beyond level 6 it's basically useless.
Cleanse: Ionian Fervor and Mercury's Treads are enough CC reduction to get you out of any situtation. If they don't save you nothing will.
Teleport: Maybe useful...but I like this for slower champs like tanks who need help getting around the map faster.
Clairvoyance: Best left to support champs that don't need use spells to help land them kills.
Clarity: Irelia is very mana effective so you should have little use for this spell. Again, best left to support champs.

The Ugly

Revive: Absolutely not.
Fortify: Leave it to tanks.
Rally: LOL really?
Smite: Find a different guide.

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Regrowth Pendant + Health Potion
I usually go to the lane with a Regrowth Pendant and Health Potion because it gives you tremendous staying power til level 6 when you can go buy and start using your ulti to hold the lane. Cloth Armor + 5 Health Potion or Boots of Speed + 3 Health Potion are also strong starts. Sapphire Crystal + 2 Health Potion is also good but I would probably only chose this if I was laning with a healing support champ such as Alistar, Sona, Soraka, etc.

Save up 1260 gold to rush a Sheen to add tons of damage to Bladesurge and make it very easy to last hit.

Mercury's Treads or Ionian Boots of Lucidity
If you see the enemy team does not have a lot of CC and AP then I'd go for Ionian Boots of Lucidity. If you are worried about CC and AP then pick up the Mercury's Treads. If I decide on Mercury's Treads and I'm not having problems with magic damage and crowd control I won't always complete these right away. Sometimes I will just pick up the Boots of Speed and then go for Guinsoo's Rageblade. Other boots like Ninja Tabi or Berserker's Greaves are also viable choices but very situational. All around Mercury's Treads are probably best so you have some magic resist and are not getting CC'ed out of team fights but the Ionian Boots of Lucidity allow you to spam your abilities much quicker, which are your main source of damage.

Guinsoo's Rageblade
An obvious and easy pick. All of the attributes on this item help all of your abilities and it's relatively cheap making you quite powerful in midgame fights. Irelia uses lots of abilities so the stacks build fast.

- Bladesurge = 2 stacks (the slide and the hit both count as a stack).
- Hiten Style = 1 stack.
- Equilibrium Strike = 1 stack.
- Transcendent Blades = 5 stacks (1 for activation and 1 for each blade shot).

Lich Bane
Nice boost of 80 AP and a great passive that will be abused. The movement speed will be greatly appreciated. The magic resist is small but provides just enough when combined with Mercury's Treads, Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist and Guardian Angel. The 350 mana on this item largely goes to waste.

Hextech Gunblade
Another easy pick which adds a serious punch to your Transcendent Blades. Lifesteal for your Bladesurge and Transcendent Blades. Spell vamp for your Equilibrium Strike. The spell vamp may also work with the true damage from Hiten Style but because this is an on hit effect this maybe incorrect (source of this theory comes from the notes section in the following link It's kind of expensive but a great item for Irelia. The game should usually be over or almost over by the time you have completed this. I like to pick up the Vamparic Scepter then the Hextech Revolver. Don't forget the active on it.

Guardian Angel
Every good carry needs some defense and I'm recommending Gaurdian Angel because it offers armor and magic resist. Furthermore, it has a great passive for Irelia because when you die and come back you can land a stun and run, or you can stay and fight getting a kill by popping your Transcendent Blades and healing yourself up.

Rabadon's Deathcap
Add's tons of damage to Equilibrium Strike and Transcendent Blades and it synergizes well with Lich Bane's passive.

Other Optional/Situational Items

Frozen Heart - Excellent CDR item with tons of armor and mana. The slows enemy AS passive won't entirely go to waste but is much better on tanks who are usually in the heat of things. Get this if the enemy team has lots of autoattacking AD champs.
Randuin's Omen - Another excellent choice against heavy autoattacking AD champs but the extra CDR that Frozen Heart offers is much better for ability spam. Don't forget it's active.
Thornmail - Same reasons I'm not suggesting Randuin's Omen. It doesn't hold a candle to Frozen Heart.
Quicksilver Sash - Cheap and good escape item especially against Nether Grasp, Infinite Duress, or Children of the Grave but if you tend to panic under pressure or in team fights you probably won't remember to use it's active.
Force of Nature - Best magic resist item in the game with good movement speed but you lack the high HP that makes it's passive powerful.
Banshee's Veil - Good HP and MP boost with one of the best passives in the game probably a better pick than Force of Nature.

Summary and Example Builds

For balanced teams with CC.

For heavy AD teams with little CC. Note: this build gives 35% CDR and with masteries you will make it to the 40% CDR cap. Ability spam!

For heavy AP teams with tons of CC.

I haven't made much room for defensive items in this build so you won't have a lot of variation in your final builds. You are a hard carry that is quite item dependent. If you tread carefully and focus well, you'll should be a serious assassin.

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I'm tired of writing. I will add some stuff here later.

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The update just occurred and I decided to try the new build I had put on paper. Below are some of my results.

First game, Victory! Early game was very rough because I was solo top in a 2v1 against lots of harassment, Ashe and Cho'Gath. Lost my turret at like level 8 but had 1 kill and enough farm to still be a factor in team fights. They surrendered before 30 minutes.

Second game, Victory! Duo lane with Alistar against Garen and Nasus we did quite well but my teammates were really fed, which led to me getting mostly assist because I wasn't the biggest damage dealer on the team. Surrender @ 20 I believe.

Third game, Defeat! Long game. I had the best creep score and KDA ratio on both teams. Duo lane with Amumu in a 2v1 against Mordekaiser. Lots of farm and a couple early kills, one on top and a gank in mid. At about level 7, I farmed the jungle like mad and helped the lanes as needed.

In the game below, I used the last set of recommended runs which give lots of early attack speed from the Quintessence of Attack Speed, Seal of Attack Speed, Glyph of Attack Speed, Berserker's Greaves and Guinsoo's Rageblade making the damage from Hiten Style add up fast. We surrendered due to a rage quitter but I'd say it works.

Used the CDR boots in this game. I was just running away with it. Early surrender brought us the victory!

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Just a rough draft there will be more to come if the guide is accepted well by users here on mobafire. I'll delete it completely if I see a similar guide that I feel is superior. Please vote! Comments would be appreciated but are not required.

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5/27/11 - I took the 2nd build with the Berserker's Greaves and runes of Alacrity down because it leaves you much to vulnerable to CC and magic damage but I have left some recommendations to them as some people may like this option.
5/27/11 - Changed masteries to 9/0/21 from 21/0/9. Revised Spell, Masteries, and Rune sections.