Irelia Build Guide by Swift Moonlight

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Swift Moonlight

Irelia Nuff Said

Swift Moonlight Last updated on December 4, 2011
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Team 1

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.



Offense: 0

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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You can call me Swift, and this is my first guide!
I have been playing Irelia since she came out, and I love her. In low ELO shes a , but in high elo, she must be played very intricately. In this guide I will learn you got to kick a*s in solo top!

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With the new masteries many things have changed.

Why do I run these Masteries?

Well, Irelia is a mobility monster, when I run these masteries I have Armor, MR, Hp/5, which help towards her weak laning phase.

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Pros / Cons


+Is able to completely annihilate a carry in a matter if seconds
+Her enormous versatility in items
+Being able to take a lot of punishment
+Deal high single target damage
+Self heals with her ultimate + W
+Her own slow/stun
+Her ability to dash to an opponent using (Q)
+Virtually immune to CC during team fights because of her passive and merc-treads combo.


-only good to be clearing minion waves. (not the best ulti)
-Good enemies will deny your experiance and gold early on.
-Her stun only works if enemy is above her health

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This is my opionion what to use, I don't say this is best for everyone, cause everyone playing differently.

As I said, I prefer being a utility monster, so obviously the MS Quints is no questions about it. The armor pen marks are standard and the i used Dodge runes but now when they will be removing it, I will use armor instead.

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Summoner Spells


Teleport is a standard to a solo laner, some preffer ignite for lane domination.
Flash i basicly good for everything, chasing, flee.

Optimal:Against high sustain targets: Nidalee, Soraka, Yorick.

Sometimes acceptable in replacement to Teleport: Renekton, Garen.

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Passive: Ionian Fervor

Each nearby enemy champion (to a maximum of three) reduces the effectiveness of Crowd Control on Irelia.1 Champion: 10% 2 Champions: 25% 3 Champions: 40%

This is what makes her so versatile. CC Reduction, up to 40% and more with Merc Treads. Yes, it stacks multiplicatively. This is what makes her Borderline OP.
Q: Bladesurge

Irelia dashes forward to strike her target for 20/50/80/110/140 (+1 per Attack Damage). If it kills the target, Bladesurge's cooldown refreshes and refunds 35 Mana.

Cooldown 14 / 12 / 10 / 8 / 6 seconds
Cost 60/65/70/75/80 mana
Range 650


Used for many things: Farming, applying an extra hit (Further explained below), Juking and Manipulating the Minions (Also explained below), and Gap Closing as an assassin.

Notes to Consider:
Applying the Extra Hit:
- Bladesurge applies an on Hit Effect and will reset your attack timer. Attacking someone and then Bladesurging them immedeatly after, will hit them twice in what would've been once.

Juking and Manipulating Minions:
- Killing a minion will reset your Q's cooldown so this can be manipuated in two ways:
-- Escaping, running into the top bushes and then using Q to the minions
-- Double Gap Closer, hitting the caster minions then immediately dashing again to the champion
--- **Notes to Remember** : Activating W + Q'ing a caster with Trinity will instantly kill it
W: Hiten Style
Irelia is skilled in the art of Hiten, passively giving her physical attacks 10 / 14 / 18 / 22 / 26 health restoration. Activating Hiten Style adds 15 / 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 true damage to her physical attacks for 6 seconds.

Cooldown 15seconds
Cost 40mana


This is your bread and butter skill. This is what gives Irelia her amazing lane sustenance. 26 health per hit is no joke. And the 75 true damage isn't either. This combined with her Q will provide with some pretty burst damage.
R: Transcendent Blades
Irelia's attack balances the scales, dealing 80 / 130 / 180 / 230 / 280 (+50% of ability power) damage and slowing the target by 60% for 1 / 1.25 / 1.5 / 1.75 / 2 seconds. However, if the target has a higher Health % than Irelia, then the blow stuns the target instead.

Cooldown 8 seconds
Cost 50 / 55 / 60 / 65 / 70 mana
Range 425


I like this skill a lot. It can surprise your foe with some 1v1 changing results. In lane against heavy harassers, once you hit 6, they will think twice about harassing you as a well played combo will drop them below 25%. This skill is not used for its damage but it's stun + slow so naturally, only one level is needed.
Irelia summons 4 spirit blades that she can fling to deal 80/120/160 (+60 of attack damage) (+50% of ability power) physical damage to enemies they pass through. She heals for 25% of that damage against champions and 10% against minions.

Cooldown 60 / 50 / 40 seconds
Cost 100 mana


Last but not least, her ultimate. This skill has been nerfed consecutively through patches and is now used for nothing else but clearing waves and proc'ing your Trinity. It used to heal for an insane amount, but now it is purely for damage. Use this wisely, because although the heal is really less, it will sometimes save your life. Learn to aim this and it will actually provide some hefty damage middle-late game.

The key to maximizing damage on Irelia is a technique in DotA known as Attack-Cancel Animation.

Basically put, the auto attack animation will apply damage before it is fully finished, so you can cancel it halfway through, move up a little, and reactivate the auto attack. It is difficult to master, but once you do learn it, you can attack 3 times in what would normally be 2.

For maximum 1v1 dominance, your skill combo should be depicted on the situation.

100% v 100%:
E (Stun) -> W -> Auto -> Q -> Attack Animation Deny -> R -> Q

75% v 100%
Same as Above

100% v 75%
E (Slow) -> W -> Q (Assuming he's running) -> R -> AAD -> E -> Q

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Skill Order

My build is always R>W>Q>E

Ultimate is obviously first priority.
Hiten Style offers too much damage and sustain to give up.
Bladesurge offers lower cooldown with levelup and more damage
Equilibrium Strike is only used for the Stun/Slow, not the damage.

Why Q > E?
Irelia's role is Assassin/Offtank, but you cannot thoroughly do both jobs until very late game. That being said, I play her more of an Assassin, thus Utility is key on an Assassin. 14 Seconds on your only gap closer is WAAAAAAAY too long to utilize efficiently, thus prioritizing Q>E.

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Item Builds

There are two ways for Irelia to start, depending on the lineup.

Starting Items:
If against the limited people who outlane you early game (Akali, Garen, Renekton):+(which then builds into )
Against anyone else, start:
Early Game Goals:

*Note* - Wriggles is only for those who started with+
*Optional Early Game Goals:*-> (More often) or -> Note: 99% of the time, I will not get a HoG. I only get it if I feel the need for Randuin's which is almost never.

Middle Game Goals: (I can usually farm this within 14 minutes)
Late Game Goals: Armor Orientated

Late Game Goals: MR Orientated

Situational Items: (Explained)
This item is great to buy to replace Trinity. However, the situation in which this will arise is the need for more health than burst damage. This occurs when your team comp requires you to have a bulky mid game which means your jungler is more damage based, such as Fiddlesticks. This coupled with Atmas will bring you quite some damage.
This item is a decent item to buy when you've bought an early HoG and you seem to be lacking CC. The aoe slow is very helpful when you dive at their carries, almost guaranteeing a kill and slow to a majority of the opponent's team. It gives armor and a debuff that shouldn't be taking lightly. If you plan to be more tanky then damage, this is the item to use.
I take this item when I have sufficient HP backing me up, meaning I have run either AtMogs or FrozenMas. And only applies towards a really, and I mean really, fed AD carry. Otherwise, the stats are not worth taking as you won't be able to make full use of the armor with the lack of HP.
This item is used for it's active which makes your attack not to be able to be dodged. This means that the best time to get this item is against high Dodge proc orientated champions such as Jax and Udyr.

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Champions That Are A Problem

Akali, if not player properly, will snowball against you hard. Do not let her send you back early and farm delicately. You will not be able to compete until level 9, at which you will wreck havoc. I start +. Farm easy, don't let her send you back early and you will win at the end.

Same as above.

He will do nothing but farm, you will not lose, but he will free farm as much as you. Do not let him go out of control.

Against GP, you can start Cloth Armor + 5 pots and instead of just last hitting, you will hit more consistently, counting your opponent's hits so that the lane balances. This will build into a Wriggle's which gives you armor and even more sustain. However I start Doran's because I can maintain my heath without sacrificing CS. That is up to skill level. When GP harasses with his Q early, he will pull minion aggro, causing him to take some damage in turn. In this case, you can pull through this and just hit some minions for HP. It will start getting difficult once he can spam it with his Philostone, but from then, your Hiten Style will be able to handle it.

How to beat Jax?
His early game burst relies too much on mana, and with Jax running a very strict runes/masteries, he must not spam too much. To counter it, you can actually fight him back as after that burst, he is not left with much damage. He has no sustain, which means you can outheal his harass and possibly force him to back early. By the time he gets his Cutlass, you should have decent items, such as Merc/Phage/Recurve Bow. You should do fine then.

Aggressive Early Game, his combo incorporates E -> W -> Q -> E. Dodge his first E and he will recede, if he wastes his next E to catch up to you, this is when you turn and fight. You can beat him at 7 if you have your Wriggles + Tabi by then.

I would recommend and maybe even early to hold your minions outside of tower range. He will push like a madman. The best you can do is outsustain his harass and CS correctly.

Against Yorick, it is preferred to start Cloth Armor + 5 pots and instead of just last hitting, you will hit more consistently, counting your opponent's hits so that the lane balances. This will build into a Wriggle's which gives you armor and even more sustain. From then on you will not be harassed and with Merc Treads, you will even outlast him.

The thing with Garen is that he is a heavy early game damager and an ignorable threat middle-late game. To counter his laning phase, starting Cloth armor + 5 pots is the best option. This will build into a Wriggles, and at that point, he will be no threat. But until that point, the hard part is CSing to get to him. Normally Garen will not harass until 3 in which you must gather every single CS. Afterwards, try to kite him until his Q runs off so then you can E him when he spins on you. You will win afterwards.

If he is at the same level (Skill wise) as you, you will most likely not beat him 1v1 in lane. The only way is to have a jungler give you an early game so then you can snowball. You cannot beat him, however, given the right situation, you can outlane him. Such that an early level gank will set him to play passive and miss early CS/gold. This will in turn slow down his Philo, giving you a snowballed advantage. Play wisely and don't die, that's the worst you can do.

However, if you do find yourself 1v1ing him, here's the deal. Fight him normally until he Wither's you for the AS/MS Debuff, then Q to an almost dead minion so the CD resets, and then kite until then. His wither is the reason you cannot fight him 1 on 1. But since it is on a high CD and high mana cost, you can kite him with your massive utility.

The problem with Lanedyr is his Tiger harass. Because it deals Magic damage, I get a chalice against him. It sounds silly, but it will significantly reduce the damage. Also, the mana regen counterpart will help because to cs early against him, you will need to manipulate the minions with your Q. Middle game, I sometimes get an early Sword of the Divine and maybe even before my Trinity. He is a losing lane, your best choice is to not lose too hard as you will scale better into late game then him.

Lanewick is only a threat because of several things. His sustain comes from his Q and passive. If he spams his Q, he must start Doran's. If he is to use his passive, he must spam hits just like Irelia does. This balances the lane. If he does start Doran's, you will get harassed the first 3 levels, but then win afterwards as he can only Q so often. I recommend Chalice or SV (Not both) as you just need the early MR to play against him. You can regen more than his Q cooldown.

Talon is an issue in some cases. To be certain, the best course of action is to run Armor Seals + Start Doran's Shield. Doran's is preferred over Cloth Armor + 5 pots because Talon doesn't start doing serious damage until 5. He can't burst you from 100 to 0, so dodge his W harass. If he does combo you to harass, turn around and fight him. No need to run then.

Nidalee will have heavy harass early game due to her range, but it shouldn't be anything you can't handle with +. You should get close if not have by the time he is level 6-7. After that, his damage will not be ignored, but when he combos you, just stun him and hit back, you will out sustain her. Just do not let her zone you hard early and play conservatively.

Riven's damage comes from her early AD and successive combos. Even I have trouble laning against her, and if the Riven is any good, you will lose. You should always avoid picking Irelia against Lane Riven. However, if this does occur, you must get Wriggles and Tabi ASAP. You cannot fight her until you get Wriggles, Tabi, and Phage. But by then, she will have zoned and outfarmed you. So play, once again, conservatively.

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Early Game

As explained in Chapter 8, certain lane champions will lead to different early game.
- Akali/Rumble = Passive early game
- Cho'gath/Galio = Beat them in farm
- Jarvan/Renekton = Judge their skill level, manipulate what you can

Items are also explained in Chapter 8. Read thoroughly :)


Level 1:
56 AD
I cannot explain how to last hit, but you will get used to her animation

At tower:
Front minions = 2 Tower hits + 2 Basic Attacks or 1 Attack 1 Bladesurge
Back minions = 1 Tower Hit + 2 Basic Attacks or 1 Attack 1 Bladesurge

I normally will not go back until I get 1700+ Gold. Enough to get Boots, Phage, Wards. And even then, I can just teleport back at any time.

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Last Comments

I hope you enjoy'd reading this guide, if you got any questions or if I have missed anything, please dont hesitate to tell me!

Feel free to add me in game with questions.
Thank you!