Irelia Build Guide by Natalie Cionna

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Natalie Cionna

Irelia - The Will of the Blades

Natalie Cionna Last updated on April 5, 2012
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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: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Hi everyone. This is my first and probably the last guide that i will ever make. I try to keep this guide short and clear to help us both. Enjoy and please ignore all writing and grammar errors, i've tried my best.

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Pros / Cons


  • Can stay in lane forever with Hiten's Style passive.
  • Very easy to farm, Bladesurge and Transcendent Blades makes it even easier.
  • Fast and moves even more rapidly with Bladesurge.
  • Great burst damage which contains true damage from Hiten Style.
  • Your passive Ionian Fervor makes you unstoppable.
  • Very strong in late game when build correctly.
  • Fun to play!

  • Requires much farming.
  • Skills need to use wisely, especially Equilibrium Strike.
  • Hard to play?
  • Playing Irelia well often causes draama in all chat.

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Starting items.

Sight Ward

There are few item to choose at the beginning of the game.

Regrowth Pendant and one Health Potion are the items that i choose in 75% of the games, with Hiten Style your health gain is massive.

However sometimes it is better to start with Boots of Speed and Health Potions. I recommend buying boots first only against champion that you can harras easily or they use any avoidable abilities like Infected Cleaver, Rupture, Undertow, Thundering Shuriken.

Evelynn, Twitch and Shaco are all great junglers and gankkers, you should really consider buying Vision Wards in early game ofcourse depending about your situation.

Sight Wards are replaced later in game by Wriggle's Lantern and used against other "non stealth" junglers if needed.

More early game items.

As fast as possible you should recall back and buy Heart of Gold this item gives you some extra hp and gold, later in game it is built to Randuin's Omen. Wriggle's Lantern the best solo top item in game. This item offers extra armor, lifesteal, attack damage and sight ward free once in 3 minutes, what else would you need? However again sometimes it is better buy Mercury's Treads before Lantern for some early magic resist and movement speed.

Sheen Simply best item for Irelia, works well with Bladesurge, Build in Trinity Force in later game.

Mid game items, or exactly one item.

Again not much to explain, simply this item is awesome on Irelia. You benefit from all of its properties. It is build from Sheen and Phage. Only bad thing is the price, it may take some time to build, but it is definitely worth it!

Late game items, if you survived this far.

Force of Nature Gives you huge movement speed bonus, magic resist and health regen for late game. May be replaced by Quicksilver Sash, i will talk about this later.

Randuin's Omen Build from Heart of Gold helps you to destroy enemy carrys. This item may be replaced by Thornmail if really needed. For myself i prefer building this after my magic resist item, unless enemy team is ad based or just fed. Slowing passive effect and "use" can end up winning team fight!

Last but not least Guardian Angel extra armor and magic resist if someone bothers target you anymore. If you somehow die, you will get resurrect with 750 health. Some people think that's nothing, but after few Bladesurges you are full health again!

Some situational items

Quicksilver Sash consider buying this item against very heavy cc teams. Activating this item, will remove ALL debuffs from yourself. Some people have been asking does this remove Malzahar's or Warwick's ultimate. Answer is yes, it does remove them too. **** you Malzahar and Warwick, no more faceroll ultimates! You can also save your team from Galio's Ultimate Idol of Durand by removing taunt with Quicksilver Sash and stunning Galio with your Equilibrium Strike. There are also many many many other useful situations for Quicksilver Sash.

And what comes on Thornmail all ad carrys will kill themselves for being stupid and targetting you after you got Thornmail. It is fairly cheap, and provides excellent defense againts ad heavy teams.

Aegis of the Legion is mainly used on tank support like Taric and Alistar. But in my opinion every other support should have this too. If your team don't have one, and you are the nice guy in team feel free to buy it, it is definitely worth it.

Wit's End i will explain about this item on "Mid lane chapter".


Warmog's Armor only Dr. Mundo should use this. Allways prefer armor and magic resist over health!

Frozen Mallet this is like Warmog's Armor, but buying this you get atleast something. 3250 Gold for 40% snare every auto attack and 20 extra attack damage. You allready got Equilibrium Strike and Trinity Force or Phage. So say no to Frozen Mallet.

I've seen some people building their Heart of Gold to Locket of the Iron Solari, don't do that. It gives less armor and health than Randuin's Omen and i can't even compare their

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Skill Sequence

Ionian Fervor (Passive)

Best possible passive in game? With Mercury's Treads and Juggernaut you are unstoppable!

Bladesurge (Q)

Your farming and harrasing tool, also works perfectly with Sheen and Trinity Force. If you are running out of mana this is probably reason. Don't afraid to last hit minions from distance with this. This skill can be used to move though minions to catch your enemy champion. Also you can escape with this ability in some situations.

Hiten Style (W)

Probably the best skill in game, passive health gain might not sound good. But actually it is more than The Bloodthirster believe or not!

Activating this ability enchants your basic attacks to deal ADDITIONAL TRUE DAMAGE, that damage is "typeless" so no matter what, it will always hit your target for same amount. You max this ability as fast as possible, this true damage will destroy your targets in early game fairly fast! It is not bad in late game neihter, but killing Shen with 4 000 health points and 300 armor will take some time.

Equilibrium Strike (E)

Irelia's skill shot, "game changer". This ability stuns target only when enemy has more health than Irelia in %. Otherwise it slows for short time, this slow doesn't stack with your other slowing effects. You can also use this ability to interrupt enemy main skills, if they got more health in % than you. Stunning target successfully will stop example Ace in the Hole, Absolute Zero, Idol of Durand, Monsoon, Death Lotus, Requiem when Karthus is in dead form, he cannot be targeted.

Transcendent Blades (Ultimate)

Irelia's Ultimate the great farming and harrasing tool, again it works perfectly with Sheen or Trinity Force every time you shoot a blade sheen procs. Don't afraid to use this on minion wave that comes to you while destroying turret.

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Greater Mark of Desolation Simply best marks for any champion dealing mostly physical damage there is no exceptions.

Again simply best seals for any melee ad / solo top champion, no exceptions.

What else can i pick for Glyphs? and Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist is better than Greater Glyph of Magic Resist after you reach lvl 10. You choose what to take, for myself i prefer Shielding.

Greater Quintessence of Desolation Again best Quints for any champion dealing mostly physical damage there is no exceptions.

Greater Quintessence of Vigor I've not much to say about these Quints, only useful in early game.

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Defensive way 9-21-0

There is not much to say about this, 9 points on Offense to get Weapon Expertise and 21 points on Defense to get Juggernaut .

  1. Juggernaut stacks with Mercury's Treads and Ionian Fervor.
  2. Even more tanky
  3. Some extra gold from Mercenary
  4. Weapon Expertise best mastery from offense tree.

  1. No Runic Affinity
  2. Longer cooldowns on summoner spells.
  3. Playing against someone with Awareness you are in big disadvantage.

Utility way 1-8-21

21 points for Utility to get Mastermind and other goodies.

  1. Longer buffs, including Baron with Runic Affinity
  2. Summoner spells recharge faster with Mastermind
  3. Faster experience with Awareness

  1. Lower damage output without Weapon Expertise
  2. Almost zero goodies from Defense tree

If neither of the above looks good, make your own. But i guess 9-21-0 Defensive way is the strongest possible setup for Irelia.

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Summoner Spells

Next i will tell my opinion about the summoner spells.

Irelia's main summoner spell, i wouldn't never change this. Bad thing about this is it doesn't give any defense. However instantly kills Dr. Mundo!!!

Gives great movement speed bonus for 10 second, and you can move through minions without getting slowed on them. Great for early game chasing and escaping.

You got Bladesurge, why do you need this? Well you can replace Ghost if you like.

I would pick this only when i know my team needs defense. You can replace your other summoner spell with this if you feel like. Also helps you to survive against better duelists like Jax.

Jungle Irelia? nope, there are many other better junglers. So no smite today.

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Ranked Play

I will tell some basics of ranked Irelia playing here.

I've been playing Irelia only in ~1350 elo, so probably you guys know much more about ranked gaming. But i will explain shortly Irelia's role in team fights.

Priority of targets, still in 1350 elo I've seen players who don't understand this.

Playing Irelia in ranked(normal) games you got three major objectives.
  • Farm as much as possible, you don't steal from other carrys!
  • You start team fights, instantly lock yourself on enemy carrys and interrupt someone with Equilibrium Strike.
  • You soak all possible damage from other carry's even if you die for it.

Also if somehow your team doesn't have any hard cc Pulverize, Dazzle, Infuse with Irelia you are responsible for interrupting Absolute Zero, Idol of Durand, etc.

If your team's support is too lazy to buy Oracle's Elixir you should really consider buying it, it works against stealth champions like, Evelynn, Shaco, Twitch, and Wukong, it also reveals enemy wards of any type, and last but not least Teemo you are done with mushrooms.

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Chapter I - Destroying the top line

In this following chapter i will explain basics of top line playing with using some examples.

Irelia the quees of top line, you will get only challenge when facing almighty Jax the Grandmaster at Arms. You will have some hard time in top line versus him, if you don't believe me go try! Let's start with something..easier?

Gangplank the Pirate! This dirty guy is picked too often for soloing in games that i play. So i guess we can use him in this chapter.

Gangplank often uses Parley to harras his enemy, don't worry about this, even if it crits on you. Early Hiten Style and you will get your health points back to full in no time! Gangplank using Parrrley on you will also lose his farm, keep this in mind. Harras him wisely and try to consume his mana as much as possible. Believe me, the bad Gangplanks that i see, will run out of mana in less than few minutes. While waiting his mana to run out remember farm as much as possible and hit Gangplank every time he gets on melee range of minions. Try to get him waste Flash, Exhaust, Cannon Barrage with your fast Bladesurge + Equilibrium Strike combos. Also remember Remove Scurvy, Gangplank can remove slow and stun with this ability.

Once you think your opponent is weak enough, it is time to finish this or at least force him to leave minions. Don't let him leech free experience or even get minion kills if you can force him to retreat! In this case you can start pushing lane, kill minions as fast as possible and add pressure on enemy turret. Also beware about incoming ganks.

Tips and notes
  • Only last hit minions, you shouldn't hit twice any minion. Unless you are pushing.
  • Use Bladesurge to kill minion if you would fail otherwise.
  • Tank minions if needed, don't let them hit turret or turret hit minions.
  • Learn enemy champion abilities, if you don't already know them.
  • Don't afraid to buy "counter" items if really need them.

This may sound hard and unclear, but best way to learn this is playing. DE-FE-AT GANG-PLANK! Once you are good enough, kill this Jax too!

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Chapter II - Struggling in mid line

This is my second line playing chapter, i will use Morgana as one example here.

Sometimes I've been in situation where anyone in my team can't play any mid line champion and we already got someone else going top line with AP champion. But there's no reason to worry about that, Irelia can handle this as well! Katarina, Akali, Veigar, Cassiopeia and Kennen you guys are all done. Irelia will stack a lot magic resistance, huge movement speed, and your cc won't work on her, also she will harras you in nonstop and with Blue Buff even more! Don't forget that Hiten Style will heal you up again. Ofcourse there are some differences, facing Good Vladimir or Morgana will make you cry blood instead of giving you free farm.

So playing in mid line is different than top. First of all, you have to beware incoming ganks from behind right and left. Second champions you normaly face here will harras you much more than anyone in top line. And third you have to be able to protect your jungle, counter jungle and gank any other line regardless of the situation.

So let's say you are playing mid line against Morgana her Dark Binding combined with Tormented Soil and Soul Shackles could kill you. But again why would you ever eat her Dark Binding, i don't know. Play safe and harras her always after using Tormented Soil on group of minions, that way she will have to spend mana for Dark Binding and probably on Black Shield even if you can't kill her. Morgana's passive Soul Siphon with Tormented Soil will heal her always to full, but this method is very mana hungry for her without Blue Buff.

Wit's End I mentioned this in item chapter, and now i will explain why. Wit's End gives you 40 attack speed which means you get faster health back with Hiten Style. It also gives always +30magic resist and up to +50magic resist after 4 basic attacks. And it's passive effect deals 42 magic damage every auto attack. This item is fairly cheap, price only 2 000. If you are getting harrased too much on mid line, buy this.

Playing in mid line also means you must be able to counter jungle and gank top or bottom line every time they got rammed too much. Great timing for gankking is when your opponent in mid line is recalling or almost forced to leave lane. You don't have to worry about your turret getting hit or destroyed fast. Ofcourse there is change enemy team got ward and they see you moving around map but thats why your team should communicate and tell all possible warded places and destroy them if needed.

Irelia can solo Dragon at lvl 9, if your jungler cant kill it earlier in game. Before lvl 9 you can help possible jungler with it.

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Chapter III - Duoing, Jungling, Roaming!

Sigh, jungling and roaming, well something new if you are bored for staying in line!

Often on Normal games everyone plays what they want. Sometimes there is no solo line or support on bottom line. No worries Irelia can handle this as well. In situations like that, start staying in top or bottom line until you get Wriggle's Lantern. For this point forward if your linemate doesn't start jungling and roaming you've to. Get Red Lizard Buff for yourself and gank lines. You can also try jungle from level 1 with Smite. I added jungle items, masteries and runes. Check them and try jungling if you like.

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This guide isn't completed yet and it doesn't cover more than basic for now. I will keep working with this guide as fast as i can. Feel free to comment and tell me what is missing. Thank you!