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I have seen some people play Irelia as a tank, wich is pretty useless in my opinion.
She is the will of the blades, BLADES! wich are ment to attack/kill.
Irelia is best with fast hits and damage obviously.
You start off with the equilibrium strike (E) to do some early rape in the grass.
After that you put a first point into bladesurge (Q) to get any runners, your flash will come in handy with this too.
Now the funny part is when you are low hp and trying to get away, you can use (E) to stun him cause he probably will have less hp than you else it would be suicide to hunt, hit him really hard, and flash away, works always for me.
Hiten style (W), is a good and usefull skill, if you are in later game and are being a bit fed, you can just run into a full hp tower, kick it's *** and just return home, without any help of minions.
The skill is helpfull cause it does additional damage on the hits you make, at lvl 1 it does 15 extra damage, wich isnt reduced by their shield, so you hit him for 67, and the 15 damage comes on top of it, wich makes it a total of 82, nice and you heal yourself for 10hp every hit.
Next is the ultimate, I personaly really like this ulti, cause its 4 hits, long range and lifesteal, EPIC!
Transcendent blades is always nice when you are low hp, need to defend tower, and want to rape those low hp'ers, just shoot all minions, your full life again, rush in, hit hit slow with (E), if he runs you can still pop him with your (Q).
And there are many more scenarios where the skill comes in extremely handy.
Now, runes all for attack speed, and the quint's for the extra starting hp and survivability.
Masteries don't really need explaining, it's just a nice advantage in battle.
And the 10% dying cooldown is pretty nice especialy considering late game ownage.
You start off with the doran's blade and a potion.
You will be able to stay in the lane long enough with the potion and the (W) skill to get roundabout 2k (make sure to last hit minions for the early gold boost), and recall to buy the shoes and the belt, this will give you extra surivability and killing minions faster, thus regaining hp faster by the (W) skill.
Buy a recurve soon after, with the attack speed you now have, you should be able to steal some kills and do some fast jungling as the game isnt 2,1,2 anymore but people are scurrying around.
As soon as you have the money to buy the BF, get it, this will give you the ability to 1v1 practicaly every champion in that game that is about the same lvl as you are.
From now on the money will be flowing like hell.
Turn your bow into a sword of the divine to get the extra att. speed and nice feature.
Turn your sword into an infinity edge and your belt into a warmog.
By now, you will be practicaly invincible.
Getting a last whisper is really good for the armor penetration, even more attack speed and more ownage.
Instead of taking the wit's end, you can also take the black cleaver or the bloodthirster, for even more attack damage and sexy features wich will help to enhance your triplekill ratio even more so.
With this maxed build, you can actualy solo baron, trust me, I have done it.
Now if your build isnt full don't be afraid to jump into a 1v1 at any time if he's surrounded by minions, he thinks that is his help, but actualy it is your garden of eden, cause those little buggers will heal your *** if you shoot your ulti right threw them, even hit the other champion, and giving you the upperhand in the fight.
Practice this build a few times before you give your opinion, it is really awesome and this is probably one of the better build for Irelia ^^ thanks for reading and using.