Irelia Build Guide by Klayvax
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.
Standard Irelia build
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.
More comprehensive match-up section
A changelog because everyone else has one
More in-depth everything in general
To whom it may currently concern, I am Klayvax, and welcome to my guide for Irelia, the Will of the Blades.
I essentially created this guide to be a short, yet informational piece to help give some new Irelia players some help in how to build and play this champion, and help identify their role in the team, and how to fulfill that role to its best capabilities.
This is my first published guide, so go easy on me, and send some constructive criticism my way whenever you want, and feel free to point out anything I may have missed whilst creating this guide so I can include it in the next update.
Also note that it is not yet completed, and I hope to add even more to this guide to further assist people with Irelia
Pros and Cons
Pros+Fun to play
+Good sustain in lane
+Natural CC reduction which stacks
+Great at picking off squishies
Irelia is fairly weak before the 6-9 level mark, but a combination of her Equilibrium Strike and Hiten Style can do devastating damage if timed right, and her Bladesurge makes for a great escape or a great initiate. Irelia is a very viable champion pick as late game she has the ability to jump to the adc and burst them down or at least keep them out of the fight with a Bladesurge then a Hiten Style, and with a slow or stun on Equilibrium Strike in case they run, she is truly a force to be reckoned with.
-Can be bullied early game
-Needs itemization more than some champs
-Can fall behind and stay there
-Better nerf Irelia
It can be easy for Irelia to fall behind in lane, as ganks can severely cripple, and her counters like Jax can dominate her unless played against right. Irelia is also very mana hungry if care is not taken when using her spells, and whilst Bladesurge refunds some mana on a kill, it can easily deplete your mana pool. Equilibrium Strike only works on enemies with a higher % health than Irelia, but when timed correctly and used in sync with Hiten Style, you can make an enemy over-commit, then turn the fight over and win.
Seal of Armor because a lot of top laners are AD and you are building bruiser hopefully.
Glyph of Magic Resist because some top laners can be AP and again, you are building bruiser.
Mark of Attack Damage works well to give you some pushing power and damage, but Mark of Attack Speed can also work as it boosts healing effectiveness of your Hiten Style
Quintessence of Life Steal, Quintessence of Health or Quintessence of Attack Damage and others similar to it work well as it helps you either do more damage or be tankier.
Keep in mind these are merely what I run on Irelia, and and combination of these might work better for certain people and play styles.
Ignite is my other preffered spell, it helps reduce regen on any champion which can be crucial if the enemy has high lifesteal, or to deny hp regen on health pots if they are low and trying to play passively, it is very viable on Irelia.
Ghost is the spell I always use, it allows you to travel longer areas of land than Flash and with the CC reduction it makes you close to "un-catchable" once used. and is much better for chasing than Flash.
Flash is a spell I commonly see on other Irelia's, whilst allowing fast coverage of a small distance, it is not needed to catch enemies as Irelia's Bladesurge can cover that distance, and combined with the move speed form the build Flash is hardly necessary.
Teleport is also viable as the ability to be mobile on such a large scale can allow you to gank very well, and jump straight back into fights, but the fact that using it during laning phase can leave your lane vulnerable is the reason I rarely use it.
Exhaust is viable on Irelia as it can give her a good edge over enemies in laning phase, but I find becomes less useful late game when the most dangerous champion can be removed due to CC from team mates or another exhaust.
Spells not listed I do not feel need to be discussed.
Irelia and increase her chasing down abilities even further by adding an on hit slow from Frozen Mallet's passive. on top of this it boasts a little bit more attack damage to boot.
This build mainly centers around the killing of their squishy team members in team fight, then moving on to the next vulnerable target. But while it excels at killing squishies in team fights or obliterating one who is out of position of pushed too farm in lane, it can also be used to peel off someone trying to initiate on your vulnerable team mates, or simply keeping a threat out of a fight, and it can easily hold its own in a 1 on 1 fight with another bruiser if used right.
1-3 skill distribution
I get Hiten Style at level 2, because if they choose to play aggressively here, an Equilibrium Strike then Hiten Style plus minion attacks can again, massively damage them and give you are early lead if you can grab a kill.
Bladesurge is my third skill to level as I use it more for utility than for combat, and getting it earlier offers no follow for an assault, and not many opportunities to use it utility wise at level 1 are presented.
Equilibrium Strike is your next skill you should level, as it offers a good ability to slow or stun, which can turn the tides in a fight, and the extra stun duration can make a huge difference in a top lane skirmish, as well as allowing you to use it more often.
Bladesurge is your last skill to max, but late game its utility can be the difference between a win or a loss in a team fight, giving you the ability to jump to and obliterate their adc in seconds.
Basically, as mentioned before, your role in the team should be to take out the anemy adc or apc as fast as possible, use Bladesurge and follow up with Hiten Style to drop their hp as fast as possible, if they run, give chase as you should be a lot faster. After taking out one of their threats, immediately move onto the other one, and continue doing this. Alternatively, you can be the initiator for the team if you have no tank, but will not be able to last long unless soon joined by your team. If you get too low at any point in a fight, dont try stay in the fight until you die, bail out, heal, and run back. A combination of homeguard and the move speed from this build should let you go back and pick off any living enemies, or help push depending on the success of the team fight..
My aim for farming with Irelia varies depending on the match up, I expect and aim for about 80/90cs by the 10 minute mark, but if I am playing against a hard match up or one that requires many small skirmishes, I will be generally pleased if I can stay ahead of their cs by about 20. As Irelia, you should always try be close to the minion group so you can last hit with ease, but if you should be a little far from them, you can Bladesurge for a last hit which I often do as every little bit of farm counts.
Late game farming with Irelia is quiet easy as her Transcendent Blades can easily clear a whole minion wave, and her Hiten Style can shred minions very well. I aim to have 200cs minimum at the 40min mark. This is well withing he farming capabilities.
How to play against some of the harder match ups found in games.
Olaf Is by far your strongest counter, going into games like these require you to play passively and very safely, as dropping a kill can give Olaf a lead that multiplies. Ask for a lot of support from your jungler, and try fight while his Reckless Swing is down, and disengage with your Equilibrium Strike when you pull out.
Jax has the potential to be one of your worst nightmares, but most Jax players dont play right to ensure this happens, play carefully and again ask for help from your junngler, and when he initiates on your, fight or run until he stuns you, then pop your Equilibrium Strike and Hiten Style and punish him back, this tactic often works great as they over commit to the fight. Try not to have extended fights due to his attack speed increase.
Renekton While he wins early game, you get to a point where you will be stronger if you manage to keep up in cs, about the level 6+ mark you should be able to win team fights, just stun and punish like most champs, ganks are not 100% required.
Darius can be tricky, his bleed counters your hp regen from Hiten Style and Doran's Blade, ruining your sustain, but at level 9 you should start seeing some wins in the skirmishes, and should be stronger if he has no solid lead, ganks are recommended as Darius has no real escape and a lead will help you win lane earlier than 9.
Garen makes for a really hard and boring lane, you play passively until 7 or later, and at times I even consider starting cloth and 5 against a Garen just try last hit and hold out until level 7-10 and pray your jungler ganks ealier. His silence prevents a quick Equilibrium Strike getaway and his spin outdamages you at most levels.
Nasus is dangerous, more dangerous than any of the listed champs here. He has to be stopped, you cannot fail, and thank god Irelia can do just that!... early game... Harrass early, as soon as he goes for his first Q on a minion, drop an Equilibrium Strike and start laying into him, focus on cs while you are at it, but make sure whenvever he goes to farm a point in his Q, you are there to damage him