Irelia Build Guide by Mr. Luminus
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.
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.
Hi, I'm Luminus, and this is my guide to playing top-lane Irelia.
Irelia is by far one of the most strongest champions if played right. By following my instructions/guide, you can easily snowball any game.
I play her often in ranked because she has high sustain, damage, and utility. I admit that the first time I bought Irelia, I thought she was the hardest champion I have ever played (before I hit 30 and played many champs). However, by learning how to farm, trade damage, and play well, she has become my favorite champion.
I hope this guide will help you and convince you to play Irelia more often. Also, I'd gladly appreciate the feedback. Thanks.
Pros / Cons
Runes differ from person to person. We all have a preference in how we play/how we fight/how we farm, so there are numerous combinations. However, I'll list the most viable runes on Irelia.
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Lethality
- I choose these runes since it gives decent damage from AD Marks, decent armor from Flat Armor Seals, late game magic resist from Scaling Magic Resist Glyphs, and Armor penetration from Armor Pen Quints. Overall, this is my preferred ideal runes when playing Irelia.
MasteriesJuggernaut , Veteran's Scars , Durability , more resistance from Hardiness , Resistance , Defender , and Legendary Armor , and reduced damage taken from Block , and Honor Guard . By also going 9/21/0, you benefit from the offensive tree since you get increased attack speed from Fury which benefits Irelia alot, increased damage from Deadliness and the extra armor pen. from Weapon Expertise .
There are multiple methods of going 9/21 depending on how the enemy team comp looks. If they are high in CC, then remove Legendary Armor for Tenacious . Or, add in Relentless by sacrificing defense. It really depends on how you build your Irelia to adapt to the enemy team.
So far from my personal experiences, the best spells for Irelia would be Flash and Ignite or Ghost and Ignite.
If you are pushed to enemy turret and the enemy jungler approaches, you can Bladesurge to an enemy minion and Flash over a wall, or just Flash over a wall.
Ignite is one of the number one spells on league for a reason. It allows you to secure those enemy champions who barely escape with 10 hp. Since it applies true damage and healing reduction, it helps against enemy champions who have healing spells like Soraka using Wish or Nidalee using Primal Surge, or enemies who have the spell Heal.
Ghost is another viable option considering it helps increase your movement speed allowing you to catch up to the enemy champion and apply more damage from Hiten Style. It allows you to easily engage on champions during teamfights due to your high tenacity from your passive Ionian Fervor or escape from a gank.
Not Viable Spells
Cleanse is just a huge waste considering you have so much tenacity already.
Smite is not even needed considering you are not jungling and you clear waves easily.
Clairvoyance is just a waste of a slot considering all the other good spells.
Surge has too high of a cd to be worth a spell on irelia.
Clarity another waste of a spell since you should not encounter problems with mana as long as you can farm easily without spamming Bladesurge.
Skill SequenceTranscendent Blades, then Hiten Style, then Equilibrium Strike and finally Bladesurge.
I focus on getting Transcendent Blades at levels 6, 11, and 16 since it is considered to be your best move (your ultimate) and it also helps with sustain/clearing waves. At lvl 16, it has a cd of 50 seconds letting you clear an entire wave.
I max Hiten Style next since its' active/passive is just broken. Hiten Style at level 9 gives you 13 health restored per hit and if activated gives 26 health restored per hit and adds 75 extra true damage. This is ridiculously over powered. Maxing Hiten Style gives u infinite sustain and lets you win nearly any trade off if played well.
I focus on either Equilibrium Strike or Bladesurge depending on what champion I'm facing at top. If the champion at top has no form of removing your stun/slow then I recommend maxing Equilibrium Strike since it allows you to auto attack them for 2 free seconds when stunned. However, if facing a champion that has high tenacity, or a skill that removes cc like Master Yi using Highlander, or Olaf using Ragnarok, then I'd recommend maxing Bladesurge for the additional damage and cooldown.
Finally, if I maxed out Equilibrium Strike then I'd max Bladesurge next or vice versa.
So to recap, the order goes from:
I'll cover some quick tips/explanations of irelia's skills.
- Depending on the number of enemy champions nearby (max of 3), your tenacity can reach from 10%, to 25%, to a max of 40% just from your passive alone.
- If your not paying attention to your map/your surroundings, but see your passive rise from 10% to 25%, then you can assume that an enemy jungler is within your lane, prepping to gank.
- Bladesurge allows Irelia to farm every minion possible since the cooldown refreshes if it kills the target.
- It also refunds mana if you kill a creep or a champion with this spell, so it is not too costly. However, do not use this to kill every creep or you will lose mana fast.
- Tip 1) You can jump from a low minion using Bladesurge and then onto the enemy champion again using Bladesurge since the cooldown refreshes if it kills a creep/champion.
- Tip 2) Initiate with Bladesurge on the enemy carries if a teamfight breaks out since it will let you close the gap between their carry and you allowing your team to possibly win the fight.
- Tip 3) If you see an enemy champion using a skill shot at you, you can try dodging/juking it by using Bladesurge onto an enemy creep in order to avoid the shot.
- Tip 4} Early game, when a tower hits a caster minion, you can use Bladesurge to get the CS if you are still too low in AD to auto attack and get the cs.
- Tip 5) If you want to have a little bit of fun, then whenever you are pushing a lane with someone, use Bladesurge to steal the creep right before they get it to troll them.
- Hiten Style boosts the amount of damage you deal by dealing true damage along with your regular damage. It also passively grants health restoration per hit and double that amount when active.
- Always activate Hiten Style if you want to trade with someone since you will restore health and deal damage to them.
- Tip 1) Do not be afraid to harass the enemy champion when you have Hiten Style since 90% of the times, you will come out on top. But don't harass if you are missing cs.
- Tip 2) If low on health, then let them push your wave to your turret and activate Hiten Style to regain health.
- Tip 3) You have high sustain from the passive/active so do not be afraid of being low health.
- Equilibrium strike has 2 forms of cc; either a slow or a stun depending on you and your enemy's hp bars. If you have hp lower than him, you will stun them. But, if you have higher hp than him, you will only slow him.
- Tip 1) Do not be hasty in activating this the second you start fighting a champion. Time it so that when you have less health than the enemy champion, you will stun them rather than slow them.
- Tip 2)This allows you to easily kite anyone who towerdives you since you can slow/stun them while they are under your turret.
- Tip 3)During teamfights, use your equilibrium stirke to cancel out channeled ults from Fiddlesticks or Nunu pr Katarina.
- Transcendent Blades summons 4 blades which can be activated at any interval within the alloted time.
- Tip 1)Before going back to buy items, use your ultimate to push the next incoming wave to avoid losing cs from turret.
- Tip 2)If low on hp, do not hesitate to activate ult to clear a wave to regain health. It has a short cooldown so use it if necessary.
- Tip 3)Remembering how Bladesurge refreshes its cd when it kills a minion, you can ult a wave and Bladesurge from minion to champion to close the gap between you two.
Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potion. If they aer ap, then I'd recommend going Boots of Speed and 4 Health Potion. One exception to the usual start would be going 7 Health Potion and 1 sight ward and 1 Vision Ward. These starting items are usually for an impossible to kill lane where the goal is to just outfarm the other person. This can also be used for against Akali top since the sight ward helps see her when she is shrouded.
After your first back, you usually want to get a Vampiric Scepter and if possible either a Ruby Crystal or Null-Magic Mantle. The Vampiric Scepter synergizes well with your Hiten Style further increasing your sustain and trade off abilities.
Your next item would be a Blade of the Ruined King because it gives everything that is wanted by Irelia. Blade of the Ruined King offers us life steal, attack speed, attack damage, and it's passive works wonders with Hiten Style. When fighting champions, you deal true damage from Hiten Style and 5% of the targets current health in physical damage from Blade of the Ruined King. I'll go further in depth in the trinity force vs Blade of the ruined king section.
Your mid game core build should consist of Warmog's Armor, Blade of the Ruined King, and either Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi depending on wether they are ap or ad heavy. This core build gives u immense sustain along with immense damage allowing you to easily kill enemy champions.
|AD HEAVY TEAM
When facing an ad heavy team, you want to focus on getting a Chain Vest for the increased tankiness, then focus on a Zephyr since you only have the tenacity from your passive w/ or w/o the tenacity from your masteries. Zephyr provides enough tenacity with your passive and grants attack speed, movement speed, attack damage, and tenacity which all are beneficial to Irelia. You should hvae enough armor for mid game by now.
|AP HEAVY TEAM
When facing an ap heavy team, you want to focus on getting a Wit's End for the passive and for the resistance. The passive synergizes well with your Hiten Style along with your Blade of the Ruined King causing you to dish out immense damage. Wit's end allows you to easily survive bursts from AP champions and you can heal it back with your Hiten Style. Furthermore, Wit's End allows you to have 3 forms of damage: true damage, magic damage, and attack damage.The magic resistance from Wit's End and Mercury's Treads are enough for mid game.
I'd recommend getting a Guardian Angel as one of your final items since after diving their carries, you can die and come back to the fight immediately. After Guardian Angel is procced, you can easily heal back lost hp using Hiten Style.
This item is perfect for teamfights since it gives you enough armor to dive their adc and kill them while being able to slow the enemy's movement speed and attack speed. It's a great item giving armor and health.
This is a luxury item where if you are beyond fed, then try to get it as your last item. Trinity Force synergizes well with Hiten Style and your skills overall.
Spirit Visage is not a bad item since it gives cdr, health, magic resistance, and increased healing/regen.
Last Whisper is a very situational item only used when the enemy team has many people stacking armor.
Thornmail is not a bad item just there are better items for Irelia than this. It is viable only if the adc is able to kill you.
Trinity Force vs Bork(Blade of the Ruined king)
Currently, many of you are thinking why should I choose Blade of the Ruined King over the usual Trinity Force. Well comapring the two items,
When comapring the two items, Blade of the Ruined King may have worser stats than Trinity Force, HOWEVER, Blade of the Ruined King active and passive cause BORK to be more efficient than Trinity Force. Blade of the Ruined King allows you to do a high burst and offensive damage, and allows you to catch up to fleeing champinos using it's active. Trinity Force on the other hand, is more of a defensive route, where damage is dealt gradually over time.
Another factor for me choosing Blade of the Ruined King is because after diving their carries and killing them. You will probably be extremely low. Bork allows you to regain your health through the lifesteal/attack speed along with the health restoration from Hiten Style.
Overall, Blade of the Ruined King is a better choice since it offers Irelia more of an offensive item which is required rather than a defensive item like Trinity Force.
I'll go into a brief guide on how to play Irelia in Twisted Treeline. In Twisted Treeline, you can go bot lane or top lane. I have yet to find which lane she is best at however, I find that right now I'm leaning more to top lane since you are best at dueling champions 1 on 1.
Items- In twisted treeline, you want to use a smilar build as the one from Summoner Rift but with slight changes here and there.
My usual starting items are Boots of Speed, Long Sword, and 2 Health Potion since it gives us mobility, damage, and potions. This allows us to escape ganks while still deal damage. Other viable options are grabbing defensive items like Cloth Armor or Ruby Crystal or Null-Magic Mantle. However, I find that you do not need to be defensive 90% of the times unless against a strong top lane champion.
From there, I want to upgarde my Long Sword into a Vampiric Scepter and hopefully Bilgewater Cutlass. I choose to rush a Bilgewater Cutlass since when your teammate is ganking your lane, you hvae either a stun/slow from Equilibrium Strike and a slow from Bilgewater Cutlass. You can easily pop their summoner spells and possibly secure a kill with your cc and your jungler's cc.
Mid Game Core Build
Towards mid-game, your team should have easily gotten kills at top/bot lane, and by now you should be focusing on having damage and sustain. So, in replacement of Warmog's Armor I grab Overlord's Bloodmail . Overlord's Bloodmail is a great item for Irelia b/c it grants you an enormous amount of health and the passive from it is good as well for teamfights since it gives you more sustain.
For damage, I grab Blade of the Ruined King since it is such a great item on Irelia. It synergizes so well with your Hiten Style and lets you catch those foes that are trying to escape. I recommend always getting this item since it is your core item. Read more about this in the items explained and/or trinity vs bork section.
For attack speed, I almost always grab Wit's End since it has a great passive, stats, and a great active. By grabbing Wit's End, you have 3 form of damage: True damage, Magic damage, and attack damage. Wit's End helps you deal more damage since it allows you to get more hits using Hiten Style.
Concerning what boots to get, I usually prefer Mercury's Treads 90% of the time since you will be getting armor items late game and will have less magic resist if you grab Ninja Tabi.
Late game has begun and you and your team are focusing on trying to get inhibitor and turrets. You currently have health, damage, attack speed, and resistance but are lacking in armor. To account for the minimal armor you possess, I usually buy Sunfire Cape since it gives us armor, health, and a good passive. When combining Overlord's Bloodmail and Sunfire Cape, you will have a bonus of 1300 health. A whopping amount of sustain.
Your final item can be whatever you prefer. You can go for more damage, more armor/resistance, more health. It really all depends on who's fed, who's winning, and what not. If the enemy team is fed and are ad heavy, go for a Randuin's Omen or even possibly a Frozen Heart. But if the team has a fed ap carry, then you might want to grab a Maw of Malmortius for damage, sustain, and the sheild passive. Other options would be Runic Bulwark to assist your team in magic resist/armor or even a Spirit Visage for the health regen.
An option I usually go is Trinity Force at the end, since I'm usually fed and have alot of spare money. Trinity Force gives you damage, health, movement speed, and synergizes well with Hiten Style. I find no fault in getting this at the end as long as the enemy team is not fed and you are not behind.
Early, Mid, and Late game
I'll divide the game into 3 phases: Early game, Mid Game, and Late game.
Early game- This point of the game is all about farming. Do not even bother if your enemy pokes here and there since you can easily heal it back using Hiten Style. When you hit 4 or 6, you can poke back at the enemy, but keep on farming. Irelia is item dependent and if you can farm well, she will shine well. If you think you farmed enough, you probably have not farmed enough.
Also, considering you are mainly farming at top, care for jungler ganks. I stress the fact of buying wards, Vision Ward, and sight ward since those will save you from dying and prevent you from losing cs. It is an investment to buy wards so that you can get more money from not being dead but rather being alive in your lane.
Mid game- Teamfights are starting to break out and people are dying at bot, mid, or at dragon. Your goal is to continue farming and pushing your lane. If you pushed your lane to a point where it is near the 2nd line of turrets, back off, and farm enemy golems or wolfs or wraiths. Then, when the lane is back to normal again, continue farming.
The only time when you should be leaving your lane is when you spot an easy teamfight at mid lane and your lane is not pushed to your turret. As long as your team is not dying/losing extensively, you can continue farming. However, if your team is in a bad spot and are losing, go help the team and secure kills/assists. It will be profitable since the team gets gold, and you get gold, and possibly more gold from a turret or dragon/drake.
Late game- Everyone is now pushing a lane 5 vs 5. Your job, as Irelia, the overpowered offtank, is to wreck their ad carries or ap carries. Whichever one is closer or is doing more damage, he/she is your target. You want the enemy team to focus you rather than your carries. Your main job is to disrupt the enemy team and make them focus you. However, when saying this, you should not be diving 1 vs 5 since you will die without your team following up.
Ranked Play Videos
I'll upload ranked gameplay of Irelia in Gold Divison 4 ranked games as soon as possible.
Champion Lane Matchups (Still Updating)
I'll focus on lane matchups against most common top champions. I'll continue editing this filling it with more information/tips
Akali difficulty is about a 4/10 and can possibly go to a 5/10 after level 6. The reasoning behind this low ratings are akali is only able to deal damage if she can burst down squishy champs. Irelia has enough hp and sustain to not get bursted by akali. At 6, she gains more burst due to the fact that she can kite using ult or deal more damage with ult. However, as long as you have a vision ward in lane it should not be hard.
The most favorable starting items when facing an Akali would be boots and 4 pots. Early game from 1-4 you want to farm and just let her poke wtih her Mark of the Assassin. If she comes too close to you and procs the mark, then immediately follow up with Equilibrium Strike and Hiten Style. You will regain most of your health lost and she will use her Health Potion. After your first back, BUY A Vision Ward. I do not stress how important a Vision Ward is in killing Akali at top. When Akali uses Twilight Shroud, immediately place a Vision Ward and continue harassing her. Continue this every time she is in lane to win.
Counter mechanisms: Vision Ward, and early Null-Magic Mantle.
Olaf difficulty is about a 5/10. Prior to season 3, Olaf would have easily won against Irelia. However, trading with Olaf is easy once you hit 4. Whenever Olaf uses Reckless Swing, follow up with equilibrium strke, and Hiten Style. Continue this until you hit 6. When you hit 6, go for the kill. Save your Bladesurge until he tries to run away using Ragnarok. As long as you do not feed Olaf pre-6, you can win top-lane easily.
Nasus difficulty is 4.5/10. To win against Nasus, is to not let him stack Siphoning Strike. However, this is pretty difficult considering it is Nasus. By not letting him stack Siphoning Strike, he is completely useless. Late game he will not be able to deal damage, he will not have alot of items. However, the one thing you hvae to be careful is when an enemy jungler ganks. Nasus can easily slow you down with Wither and they can easily kill you if overextended. So, I stress the fact of having a ward in river and/or tri bush. Also, if he applies Wither on you, do not fight. The reduced attack speed makes trades non-beneficial. Wait for Wither to finish and then continue fighting him.
Basically for this lane, you want to farm alot. It is a 100% farm lane until you get damage from Blade of the Ruined King, some armor, health etc. Do not miss cs for poking. If your jungler pings that they are going to gank, then prepare your lane by poking him alot.
Singed difficult is 3/10. The main difficult about Singed is his Poison Trail. Do your best to avoid getting caught in his poision, and DO NOT, DO NOT follow his Poison Trail. You will want to rush a Wit's End after buying Bilgewater Cutlass and get Mercury's Treads. When you have a Wit's End, or Recurve Bow, poke at him when he tries to farm using Hiten Style. He will take too much damage so he will avoid taking damage from you. At this point, keep poking at him and aquire more farm than him.
Rumble difficulty is about 7/10. The main difficulty about Rumble is his early harass. He can easily damage you and win trades until you reach level 4 or 6. When reaching 4, your Hiten Style will be level 2 granting you enough health restore/sustain to win trades. However, needless to say, you do not want to fight him pre6. Only trade if he extends past his minions so that he takes damage from you and from minion aggro. Be wary of his ultimate The Equalizer and never stand in that during a fight. Do your best to fight behind a minion or kite during the fight to not take too much damage from Electro-Harpoon. Once hitting mid game, as long as you did not die too often to Rumble, then you should win fights from then on.
Tips: You want to get a Ruby Crystal, and Mercury's Treads right after getting Bilgewater Cutlass, so that you are not squishy (health and resistance) and that you have enough mobility to escape if necessary.
Jax difficult is 8/10 to 9/10. You almost can never win against Jax since he is too strong at trades. Due to his Counter Strike, he can dodge your Hiten Style active causing it to be useless during the fight. The best way to beat Jax is to snowball pre-6. Having an advantage against him is crucial if you do not want to lose lane. Ask for ganks from your jungler to ensure that you have the upper hand.
Tips: Early armor, ganks from jungler, and win pre-6
Vladimir difficult is 3/10. Laning against Vladimir is really easy. When you reach level 4, poke at him using Hiten Style, and when he uses Sanguine Pool, wait until he resurfaces and Bladesurge to him. Keep repeating this. Also, if he tries to heal by using Transfusion on minions, then Bladesurge to him, and poke at him. In this lane, you have more sustain/damage then Vladimir and you have a gap closer, so you can easily win.
Jayce difficulty is 4/10. Jayce is not a difficult laning opponent since you have enough sustain to withstand his early game. Upon reaching 6, you can poke at Jayce easily. You never want to Bladesurge right onto Jayce since he will use Thundering Blow and knock you away. You instead want to Bladesurge to a low minion and follow up harassing him. Repeat this step many times, and you will easily win the lane. Also, just avoid his accelerated Shock Blast and you should have no trouble against him.
Gangplank difficulty is 5/10. Early game, you will lose to Gangplank from his Parrrley. However, once your Hiten Style is maxed out, the lane is easily won. I advise to just get Cloth Armor early game and just continue farming until you reach level 9. Then, turn the tides, and poke at Gangplank to win.
Volibear difficulty is 3/10. You can easily stomp on volibear since he rushes health items. By getting a Blade of the Ruined King you deal huge damage to Volibear. Along with Hiten Style he can never win any trades early, mid, or late game. Focus on farming and when the time is right, go for the kill. You can easily make him pop passive or make him pop flash. If lucky, you can kill him during his health regen from passive.
Ranked Gameplay - Stats
If you want me to post your stats from a ranked game using my build, then please message me or inform me so that I can upload your stats onto the stats page with your name.
My stats -
Thank you all for taking the time to viewing my guide. I'm hoping that by reading this, you can get a better understanding of how to play Irelia, how to build her, etc. This is my very first guide so I'm hoping you would comment it, give me your feedback so that I could make this a better guide. Thank you.