Irelia Build Guide by TMiracle
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.
About the mess which is at the moment and updates (and progress window)
At the moment i'm completelly rechanging all the guide so it's very messy and some places are really outdated, but it still works very well, though you shoul look forward to the new guide which is going to be done in few days :)
Early items V
Midgame Items V
Lategame Items V
Rewriten skill and lane explanation X
Advanced laning X
Hey there and welcome to my first build here in Mobafire!
In this very long and in-depth guide I shall explain everything you need to know about irelia. I will cover absolutely every aspect of playing her so don't be freaked out about items or masteries or ****load of text, as everything here is explained why so and when to use it. (the only thing i won't include is her jungling - she isn't suited for it, she can jungle but there are a lot of other champions that do better than her).
Also, remember - guide is guide only, it helps you understand the champ better, deviate new builds and find your own play-style, also everygame is different, so if you are lazy, at least check item section below about core and optional/situational items.
I'm sorry in advance for my not-so-perfect english, as it's not my main language. Anyway - I hope you will enjoy and have fun trying my build as well as gain useful information, also don't forget to leave your feedback, questions or suggestions how to further improve my guide. :)
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%.
* Range: 800.
This passive is just soooo good, stacked with mercs it gives a total of 75% CC reduction when there are 3 or more anemy champions around, this is what it makes Irelia so hard to take down. Too bad it does not apply to suppression - so be aware of Malzahar and Warwick.
(Active): Irelia dashes forward to strike her target, dealing physical damage. This applies on-hit effects (red buff, sheen, triforce, razors, lifesteal and etc.), but cannot crit.
If it kills the target, Bladesurge's cooldown refreshes and refunds 35 Mana.
* Cost: 70 mana.
* Range: 650.
Cooldown: 14 / 12 / 10 / 8 / 6 seconds
Physical Damage: 20 / 50 / 80 / 110 / 140 (+1.0 per attack damage).
I pick this skill first most of the time just because it is you main farming tool making last hitting a lot more easier. With the ability to refresh it's cooldown if the target is killed my the surge, you can travel quite big distances while targeting minions and by that making chasing and runing a lot easier. This skill will become your farming, chasing, running, harrasing, diving, suiciding, trolling and whaeverdoing tool.
(Passive): Physical attacks restore health.
(Active): Irelia's physical attacks deal additional true damage for 6 seconds.
* Cost: 40 mana.
* Cooldown: 15 seconds.
Heal: 10 / 14 / 18 / 22 / 26 .
True Damage: 15 / 30 / 45 / 60 / 75.
It's a very good, maybe even OP skill, i quite failed to realise it before, this is the skill that let's irelia go almost full tank and still do crazy amounts of damage.
(Active): Irelia pierces her target, dealing magic damage and slowing the target by 60% for few seconds. If the target has a higher health % than Irelia, she stuns the target for the duration instead.
* Cooldown: 8 seconds.
* Range: 325.
Cost: 50 / 55 / 60 / 65 / 70 mana.
Magic Damage: 80 / 130 / 180 / 230 / 280 (+0.5 per ability power).
Duration: 1 / 1.25 / 1.5 / 1.75 / 2 seconds.
This is the skill that will require a lot of nerve to use efficiently as this may save your life/give you a kill in toughtest of situations. I tend to max this First just because of ridiculous harrasment it does when using Bladesurge -> Equilibrium Strike combo.
Just one combo can chop almost all of squishie's hp.
With this skill you can also make some nice kills if any greedy bastard decides to dive you.
Remember, Irelia is suited only for those who don't give a **** about their hp and can stay calm even while being low (do not get too cocky though).
(Active): Irelia summons 4 spirit blades which she can fling to deal physical damage to enemies they pass through, and she heals for 25% of that damage vs champions and 10% vs minions.
Cost: 100 mana
Cooldown: 60 / 50 / 40 seconds
Physical Damage: 85 / 135 / 185 (+0.5 per ability power AND +0.6 per bonus attack damage)
Your bread and butter - this skill makes you godlike laner, you can heal more than half of your hp from 1 minions wave (as well as kill whole wave), kill runners, get heal while running away. It has quite nice damage and range. Though it needs a lot of skill to use correctly - as you may find yourself in situation where you need to land skill shots correctly while running or killing different target. Due to very low CD, you can pretty much spam this skill all time.
After "nerf" ultimate heals far less from minions, though 5% more from champions, that's why, when clearing waves you should always try to aim that enemy champions. Also i noticed a really significant damage change, now your ult does far more damage (earlier waves needed 4 blades, now 3 are more than enough).
One thing to remember - never take your first skill instantly, it depends on situation you are in. 95% of the time i take Q, but there are situations where you really need that slow/stun (E) to help to get FB or to prevent from you or teammate dieing depending on the situation you are in. So always leave the skill unlearned till you are really sure which one is better at the moment.
I tend to max Equilibrium Strike first, just because of the burst damage it gives, after level 3 I can simply outharass almost anyone, since almost noone can handle such burst together with resistances and 5 potions. Also having 2 sec stun instead of 1 sec, changes a lot.
I max Bladesurge second,i once tried to max this last but, actually that cooldown is a real deal, in some situation you may really blame yourself for not maxing Q when some 1bar dude runs away from you and you got like 2 sec CD on it. Also it strenghtens your burst a bit.
Why I don't max Hiten Style early? Well, early game I just can't find a chance to use it at all, that's why i max it LAST. where more and more oportunities come in. While harrasing it's really not worth the mp, since most of the time after seeing hiten's animation enemy will just run away, so this skill is mainly - for killing. I tried to max this out second but I just found out that i still can't really use it that much and reducing surges cooldown is far more benefiting early.
Greater Mark of Desolation
No-brainer, since there are no useful marks other than these - just a staple for AD champions.
Greater Seal of Armor
Gives a very nice armor at level 1, flat armor is better than lvl ones, because most of the early damage comes in form of AD.
TAKE THIS IF YOU ARE USING BURST SKILLSET BUILD (E>Q>W). (Actually after some time i found that dodge is just... idk... meh so i kinda use armor for hiten path too XDD
Greater Seal of Evasion
Very good early, and is especially good against heavy AD teams.
Passive from masteries is also a VERY GOOD addition to early lane dominance.
TAKE THIS IF YOU ARE USING HITEN SKILLSET BUILD (W>Q>E).
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
The best option, because it adds more magic resist to your already very high tankyness, resist/level are better because they become equal for flat ones at level 6, and before that you won't get hit by magic damage much.
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
May also work, but Irelia doesn't really need that much CD reduction (CD reduction is good, but I think mag resist benefits her just a lot more), since her cooldowns already are relativelly low, not to mention it's 4 times more expensive than magic resist runes.
For Quints you can pretty much take anything.
Greater Quintessence of Vigor
I sue these at the moment to empower your already godlike lane sustainability.
Greater Quintessence of Desolation
If you don't have health regen, this will work as well, since it's quite a staple for any ad champion.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Is also good, but Irelia kinda already has huge movement speed with items and stuff.
Greater Quintessence of Health
For bursty teams, and if you want more survivalability and got no vigor quints.
Greater Quintessence of Evasion
Against full ad team.
dodge quints + seals + mastery + ninja tabi = GG AD DARLINGS. Though you would like to use separate page for these kind of shanenigans lmao.
I can already tell that you really wonder: WHY THE HELL SUCH MASTERIES?!
It's a very good reason behind this - Irelia is very item dependant, so she needs to perform a perfect early game and farm well, these masteries are all about it, it gives you a huge edge early making you very hard to shut down and making you one of the scariest solo laners.
But why not common 21/0/9? Well i found 21 offensive points quite a waste on Irelia, since that doesn't do much - irelia's damage doesn't increase that well, especially in your early game, so that makes these masteries pretty much useless. Utility tree gives more cooldown reduction than offensive one, mag pen. doesn't do much even late game, damage amount added even with with all those masteries is just unnoticeable, not to mention you don't need crit at all and attack speed 4% increase for 4 points is just hilarious.
So how utility is better?
Well Utility gives you more mana regeneration which is really needed to help you farm with your Bladesurge and harass, it's gives you 5% more exp to get that little edge over your opponents, It gives you a little amount of gold (yes, I know, 1 gold/10sec is really lame, but when you look closer, durring whole game this mastery is like ~3 free wards! Get the idea? - No matter how small, this also gives a little advantage, since irelia is very item dependant, even a little increase in your gold outcome still matters!) After recent irelia moving speed nerf, masteries makes up for that, so you still be able to keep a decent moving speed, these masteries also give Irelia quite nice cooldown reduction on both: skills and summoner's. In my opinion, it's overall a lot more useful than that mere damage increase.
You could argue - but hey, at 21/0/9 you still get exp boost.
Well the thing is, Irelia NEEDS survivalability to perform good, especially when taking solo lane, that little armor and mag resistance is a great deal actually because in combination of runes and starting item it makes you tankier than the tank and still keep up your amazing burst, making you almost impossible to take down early, and you are probably aware that if not shut down, Irelia becomes the REAL force to be reckoned with later.
Also strenght of spirit is very great mastery to futher increase your laning quality as with more health regeneration you can keep yourself in lane longer - it's crucial to stay in lane till level 6.
Ghost - Very great chasing and escaping tool, also gives opportunity to kite quite well with Q/E combo. There were few times where i actually kited my opponents down while I was 1 bar and they were full hp. Though at the moment i started to like flash more, since my build includes shurelya - later ghost becomes quite useless.
Flash - Another great escaping, chasing, surprise gank tool. If used correctly, can bring very good results. This one requires a lot of skill to use at full potential, flash + surge sometimes may become very devastatng combo.
Ignite - Very great tool to get some early kills and cripple those pesky healers, though gets more and more useless as game progresses, for my preference i still found this very good skill to use, as it really helps to get things done early and I use ignite as my second spell.
Exhaust - Another good tool to get things done when fighting, chasing or even running away. Not a fan of this, since for my playstyle ignite fits just a little better, but unlike ignite this skill remains more valuable thorought whole game. Matter of preference.
Teleport - A must if you on solo top lane, very great pick if no one has it yet, prevents those backdoor attempts and bring a lot more overall utility, can be trolled by teleporting on malzahars voidling lmao.
I did not mention other spells just because they are simply outshined by these or are better taken by other champions.
Proper Summoner spell picking:
A lot of players tend to use same summoner spells again and again and again without even trying to think why they use it and how they benefit from it. Here I will explain how to chose summoner spells according to situation.
If you are soloing top: Teleport and Flash will be your best friends
Teleport is to prevent tower from sudden shanenigans and quick come-back after recall, since if you won't take teleport while soloing top, you will risk your turret to be taken down once you recalled/died.
Flash is for quick escapes, as while soloing top you are very vulnerable and no one can get there to help you fast if your jungler is not nearby, because top is quite hot gank spot, so flash is better than ghost in this lane - you need to flash out of that gank ASAP, and ghost may not save you sometimes - though it is different in other lanes.
Here your choise will vary a lot depending on your opponent team composition.
Most of the times you may want to chose Flash and Ignite, as in mid lane escaping gank is infact a lot easier and your jungler will be nearby quite a lot of time (well doh, it's mid) so teleport is really not needed. So bassically here you can allow yourself a lot more aggresive skillset.
BUT, if you find that you like it more, or you are facing a really hard mid champion (you should be able to always tell who's going where just from champ selection) you can also get Teleport and Flash or Ghost.
In my opinion Flash and Ignite are superior choises here as since you are duo laning you won;t really need that teleport much and flash + ignite gives you just so much more blasting powder.
Using Exhaust - Even if i tend to pick ignite, it's still great skill and may fit even better for some players. BUT, before picking you should always check you opponent's team if there are any hard AD threats. Deffinitelly take this if you see trindamere or Master Yi in opposing team and your teammates aren't concerned about using exhaust.
New Item Build Guide Format (read please).
So i was thinking quite a lot how to make my guide not just a cookie-cuter provider, but to be the best source of information not how to get a build, not how to just play, but also how to master Irelia.
That's why now instead f giving build - i split section into "Starting items", "Mid game item goals" and "Late game gear".
In every section of these i cover how you should build in order to archieve the best effect - as well as teach you how to chose items according to the situation you are in.
and one more time: EVERY GAME IS DIFFERENT - SO IS THE PATH OF ITEMS YOU SHOULD DO (though this needs a lot of ime and practice to understand and master).
Starting Items and Early Game Shoping Basket.
A lot of people are very simple minded about starting items - it's just, meh, i take random and it will do. Actually it can get really tricky here. Starting item has huge influence into where are you going and what you are building - the right path can make a huge difference.
Before getting your first item you should consider few things:
1. What my team is like and what enemy team is like?
2. What i lane against and how hard will it be, what kind of junglers are in this game?
3. How long is this game lasting? Will enemy team try to force us to end it early or turtle till late game?
foreseeing the duration of match is the huge factor here - it can be seen from both teams compositions, if both teams have late game champions - means this game will probably be quite long so you will get a lot of farm.
So enough spam, lets get to items.
This is very rare starting path you should go, but it's a must in certain situations - this is the best path for so called ******* HARD AS HELL lanes. So basically, everytime you go 1v2 - you insta do this path. Also this path works against really annoying champions like urgot and garen (oh god, that demacian *HATE*).
Cloth armor which you get in this path can be upgraded into making very early and cheap Ninja Tabi lvl 2 boots (ninja tabi are great versus ad heavy teams or just if you want a cheaper build), another item you can do from it is Guardian Angel and Randuin's Omen (and GA is OP on irelia lmao). Oh and if you can't deal with your lane - get Wriggle's Lantern
This item is very good against AP harassers and is a must if you want to build philosopher's stone.
Though never get this as first item if you aren't going to build philo stone.
I start this item when I'm facing quite hard ad lane, or if I'm going to build chalice instead of philo stone. This a really good start as those little bonuses help you thorought all game unlike the philo stone.
THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE RUSHING TRIFORCE:
Before getting any offensive item, Irelia needs something to sustain her lane and farm easy. And there are items that help you do it (get one of these before going trinity).
Get this if you are starting Regrowth Pendant, and if you see that game will drag really really long... This is great item against casters and is pretty much staple on Irelia, I get this most of the time.
Very underrated item.
I'm still testing it, and it's doing really okay - Irelia with amazing sustain from W and infinite mana pool is kinda impossible to win a lane against xD
This item is hella good against ap harassers and especially against Lanewick which as all we know is - pain in the ***. But good Irelia can beat anything ^.~
So this item is perfect if enemy team got some ap and you want to completelly dominate your lane (this item makes your lane stronger because mana regen given from it is superior to that of philo's and W kinda already makes your hp sustain more than enough lmao).
This item is rare, though it's an emergency life saver - get this in 1v2 lane, or where you need that "OMFG FKIN OP SUSTAIN, NERF PLOX". Also it comes with nice ward bonus - which kinda repays in long run.
Get this after one of the items stated before xD
GOLD PER SEC ITEMS:
These items include philosopher's stone and Heart of Gold. They are always good, and you can get both of them, since they can be built into a very good items for Irelia anyway, though there is one thing to know:
gold per sec items reward you in late game, BUT they kinda **** up your early game power, your laning will be really good yet, but if evemy team forces early teamfight - you will be at a quite noticeable dissadvantage, as you delayed your offensive items for the sake of better late game.
also since a lot of ppl saying:
*yes, same gold per sec items do not stack - BUT, unique ones DO STACK. So you cannot stack 2 HoG's or 2 Philo's, BUT you get both gold/sec bonuses if you get 1 Philo AND 1HoG*
Core and Top-priority Gear After
So when you get your early sustainability gear, it's time to focus on your core item - ze allmighty Trinity Force
This is irelia's one and only item which is a MUST HAVE.
This is because trinity powers-up irelia in every single way, it gives her more survivalability, more damage, more movement, slow, crit chance and the main thing - AMAZING burst. This one item increases your ovrall dps just soooooooooo much that you just build full tank items after that and still dish-out insane amounts of DPS. Trinity sinergises with Irelia's skills just perfectly - TF insta activates on low-cd Bladesurge, it slows enemies and gives more attack speed while you shred them with Hiten Style (not to forget movement speed), and hibridish mix of ad and ap significally increased damage amount of your ultimate.
but building trinity isn't that simple, trinity is the most expensive item in the game at the moment and it has two different paths in building it. though both can be used to whatever skill path you take, my reasoning behind it looks like this:
Phage> Sheen> Zeal
This path is only for Hiten Style skillset (if you max hiten first), that slow effect helps you land more hits not to mention added damage and more survivalability.
Sheen> Phage> Zeal
This path is for bursty early game, where you max equilibrium first (or even Q, but i don't recommend that o.o), this will make those little Q>E harassments HURT. This path is also very strong if you max hiten, though if you are able to hit it several times and play a bit more aggresive, phage might be better investment.
There's nothing too big about chosing how to aproach trinity, just a matter of playstyle, but one thing to note - always take Zeal last, it's quite useless when compared with sheen] and [[phage.
Soooo you got trinity, what now?
Well after trinity comes the tricky part where you have to observe enemy team builds, scores and champ composition and depending on what you see - build accordingly.
Though, after trinity, first thing you want to get is - more survivalability.
The obvious, lol (you want to get one of these or both insta after trinity, unless you building a specific other item like Hexdrinker or something):
The best option to get early survivalabity for least gold possible, and also builds into your late game items anyway lmao.
Under-rated, though amazing item.
So, enemy team has brand, annie or similar bursty champion which kick your *** in a blink and you have insta run away like chickhen because you can't take them down after all that stuff they've trown at you? Hexdrinker comes to the rescue. This item is very cheap, and that's what i like about it, it will give you mag resist, really nice damage, and amazing passive, that passive will save you from that nasty annie and brand blazing **** just sooooooooo much, so just for a really low amount of gold you already counter ****load of thir dps and even gives a chance to kill them while they are running with all cooldowns.
Rushing this after trinity is not my original idea, but after a lot of testing i confirmed that this is pro pick. Guardian angel after trinity is a very nice balace between mag resist and armor and rises your resistances to the optimal ~160 AND gives you are second life, which if used properly on irelia - is devastating. Also i think those mind games also contributes their part, as when people see guardian angel, they just ignore you as it' like... "Yeee so we waste all our skills on oe midget who will revive anyway... Meh...."
So guardian angel makes your carry-hunt-dive hella easy, basically if noone focused you, you rape their carries, or even all of then, and if they do focus you, your team will rape them - basically trinity + guardian angel irelia is pretty much end of game already if your team is not plain stupid and ******ed, and enemies are not absurdedly fed.
Another cheap and amazing item, though i stopped using it, dunno why lol. THough if you are way ahead others, and enemy team consist of ap mostly, but can't really burst you down, this darling can make their game a one hell on earth ^.^
Not using myself anymore, though it may work for some ppl. Quite nice item price/effect wise, but that healing increase won't do much, and I like to focus on more important items and bigger ones instead. Though if you build it, it on't really fail you, just keep in mind that you will have to sell it anyway later in the game as it will be replaced with more expensive, higher tier items.
Very great counter to CC loads and can counter supression, get this when you have problems with Malzahar and Warwick, it also can "cleanse" Vladimir Hemoplague and Mordekaiser Children of the Grave, a cheap magic resist with amazing active.
Sooo get one or two of these and then - there's where the late game comes.
(I recommend always getting Guardian Angel, it's just way too good to pass up, you may get it after hexdrinker though, that's a nice combination too ;P)
Shiny Late Game Clothing ^.^ *sparkle*
So you got your trinity, you got your 150+ resistances, (you probably got guardian angel and you may even have some more damage.
So about that time really late game kicks in, where all kills or deaths may mean - game over.
Late game you should define who's the guy you are most afraid of, who are you focusing and stuff like that.
If you are not the one who's taking all the kills, doing all the damage and simply owning the **** out of enemy team, you should probably focus on more survivalability while your real carries tear them apart. And even when you are owning, more survivalability is never a bad decision.
"Feelin squishy, darlin?" THE DEFENSIVE ITEM SECTION:
Mostly described as - screw you and your DPS. Devastating active against mellee and overall great aoe slow, good combination of hp and armor, this is the item to get when DAT ASHE get's her phantom dancer and hopes to land at least few hits, this item really screws over those ad carries.
Magic resist against irritating initiators and heavy bursters, quite a staple, the difference between this and Force of Nature is that banshee is better against strong initiation teams and burst heavy ones, while Force of Nature is more towards a bit longer, more sustained fights.
So I pretty much described it already at the Banshee's Veil description. Just a staple magic resist item, also movement speed is adorable addiotion <3.
The heavy ad counter. This item makes those 4-5 ad trolly teams regret what they made. Amazing counter to all glass-cannons, like trynd and stuff.
I never was in a situation where I needed it but, it is a possible item if you got Ninja Tabi and you need more tenacity, it is built from philo anyway and 500 g isn't much at all.
In my opinion - ze troll item against ap heavy teams and ESPECIALLY against busters, so if for example you got problem's with let's say - Akali, get this and she's pretty much screwed lmao. HP stacking is the best counter to pesky bursters, also get atma after this.
About troll, joke - actually it's very underrated item and it fits irelia very nice. I can see why chaox build uses it as it sinergises just sogood with the buiild (item build below).
*Leave meh alone nooooo.... Q_Q #./smash#, ACE* THE OFFENSIVE ITEMS SECTION:
So sometimes, it turns out that you are the main carry and you are so fed that you already face-roll enemies, and survivalability is really enough for you.
Never seen this in any stream. But i don't know, at least for me it's a beast item. Though get it only if you are ridiculouslly fed and you are able to REALLY face-roll their team.
Combined with your quite nice survivalability and skillset kinda makes you impossible to kill, your both sustainability and damage will be just a pure monstrosity. If enemy can't burst you down in few seconds - they will never get you because you will just outvamp them and they won't be able to take you down because your damage as i said - will be monstrous.
This item perfetly sinergises with guardian angel. Right after revive it's a very common thing to actuallywin 1v2 fight and still be alive, that how monstrous irelia is with trinity GA and gunblade.
Cheap and awesome item, sinergises with trinity as it makes your crit chance quite decent one, it gives armor and passive provide really cool damage bonus. A great mix of damage and survivalability makes this a perfect item for late game.
Counter for hp stacking ******ation. When you get so pissed when it takes 1hour to slay those meat mountains running around and screaming, this item is the way to go, makes life so much easier.
Best dps item cost/effectiveness wise. Though i'm not a huge fan of this anymore simply because even though it provides mazing dps, it gives me no survivalability which is what i don't like about it - gunblade gives me ****load of vamp, and atma gives me armor and that's the reason i prefer them a bit more than this, though it's really not a bad item.
*kkay so i got back from picnic and i got 728204687k gold, np* ZE TROLL ITEM SECTION:
These items are very expensive and should not be bought normally as they are cost inefficient, though if you are getting sooo much money and you are so monstrouslly fed, you can get these and don't gives a **** about anything as these items are good anywayz (because they are hella expensive).
trinity + inifinity = ZOMFG THOSE CRITS. Well, yeah you will hit like a truck lol, but as i said earlier, this section is the trollish luxury, i mean - almost 4k gold infinity? REALLY? The game will be already ended before you complete building this.
Another nasty damage item, works especially well against squishy carries with no armor items - makes your normal AD into true damage lol.
Lol, just lol, so if you don't die, you 3hit their carries and, yeah just lol item - if you trolling and facerolling, enemy team will NOT like this one in your inventory if it's fully stacked.
There are many many working builds for Irelia, and actually there's no cookie-cutter one, but o well, some ppl just can't make the right decisions yet so they need somekind of already made-up path.
Here i will show two different builds - mine and chaox.
THERE'S NO BEST BUILD, THERE'S ONLY BUILD THAT FITSPLAYER'S STYLE MORE OR LESS.
Chaox build differs from mine that - it's more consistant and more durrable while remaining quite good damage, while my build is quite situational and more specific to fit my own very aggresive play-style. Chaox build offers more durrability and consistency, while mine gives more utility burst and sustainability.
WARNING: this build is still in test, though i found it best suited for me, i don't know how this may work for other's, for not so experienced player's i recommend chaox build as it's less complicated.
Skill Usage (outdated, new section coming soon)
your main harass combo will be: Bladesurge + Equilibrium Strike. Try to not use this combo till lvl 3, just to save mana.
After doing this, instantly go back / or hit 1 or two auto attacks (this way most of the time you will get a free harass on enemy without taking any damage, with the exception of minions), unless you are going for kill or you are sure you land several hit's without taking any damage yourself.
Do not bother activating Hiten Style, early it will be just a waste of mana (unless you are going for a 99% kill.
Use Bladesurge to last hit minions - it has relativelly low cost, so take advantage of that, you NEED FARM as much as possible, but try to use it only when you can't last hit with AA, always track your mana bar and cordinate you harassments.
Also, if you are laning versus mellee champion, and he's almost in your mellee range, don't hesitate to slap him with just your Equilibrium Strike, it won't deplete your mana almost at all, but gives your opponent great warning that you are better not to be messed with.
At level 5 your burst gets really strong, so then you should be able to burst down pretty much anyone after 1-2 harassments, try to create situation where your opponent feels safe as most of people aren't really aware of Irelia's burst potential.
When you get your ult, use it only when going for kill, other than that, you should spare it for healing, huge wave, or just pushing lane for a quick leave. Don't hessitate to spam it though, since it has really low cooldown.
Normally your killing combo will just look like this: Equilibrium Strike > Hiten Style > AA / Equilibrium Strike (at the right moment, depending who you fight with, for early burst use it immidiatelly after surging, other than that, spare it for fleeing enemy or opportunity to land stun) > Transcendent Blades > AA > repeat.
After you get trinity force, you will start to deal some really amazing bursty damage. Note that your Bladesurge instantly adds sheen / triforce proc's to it's damage. Even if it's not written, Trinity Force passive damage dealing actually has 2 second cool down, so keep that in mind - the main aspect of knowing this, is your transcended blades usage - try to time blade shooting so you can get maximum effect of trinity, since every blade triggers it.
Later, your ultimate will deal quite low damage alone, but even so, it is your grand healing tool, so in some fights you will want to spare it as much as possible in case something unexpected happens.
In team fight: your main target is opposing team's carry's and squishies, wait a bit till team fight starts and do you normal killing combo, your ultimate will save your *** sooooo well while doing that, use it on as much targets as possible.
Tips and tricks:
You can travel huge distances with Bladesurge while killing creeps, every good Irelia knows this and uses it all the time, this is what makes some Irelia's good ones, since in right moment, you can burst down low hp enemy even if he is at very long range, thinking that he's completelly safe. Using this trick sometimes can bring some very nice kills. Not only that, this should be always used when escaping.
While you are very low and you are running from full hp enemy, it is possible to use Bladesurge + Equilibrium Strike combo, if used correctly, this strenghtens the chance of surviving, or even let's you kite your enemy to death. (doesn't work 100% though XD)
Try to lure enemies to your turret while you are low, instantly stunning them and bursting them down.
At level 18 your Hiten Style gives you ability (hiten's healing passive works on everything, as long as you are hitting) to quite easy backdoor turrets, so if you got any chance to BD in safety, you can do so.
Since your ultimate can be shot while running, use it while escaping, to heal yourself and increase chance of survival greatly.
If timed perfectly, with your ulti it is possible to steal warded dragon or other neutral monster from behind the wall (did it once with dragon, enemy team had real rage outbreak right then XD).
One huge mistake that people do is - initiate with Irelia. Don't do it (unless you are the only one capable of doing that), even though you are tanky you are still not a tank - it's not your job. Till teamfight, find a good possition for yourself and wait for your tank to initiate.
Your first job is solely to take out their carries, so once teamfigh started and enemies casted their first skills and possibly CC - dive and kill their carry's. If they are smart enough they will instantly focus you - that's where your tankyness comes: you should survive quite a long time there and still kill their carry, in best scenario you will even survive whole focus while your team dish out damage at them. If you did it right, took care of their carry - enemy team lost their main source of damage, so you are close to winning right now, run out of crowd just to make false runing effect and refresh your cooldowns. Right after that rush and kill everyone who's left.
Actually every team fight is different, so there's no such "teamfighting module" so just don't do stupid things and play your role as it should be played and you will be okay.
One of things that should be remembered - don't chase low ones while your team is still fighting!!! Also don't overextend while chasing them, that time is much better used for pushing and taking down turrets.
Notes in team fight:
Always say to your team who to focus.
Protect your carry's and squishies.
If you have someone in your team who has large killing spree - save them no matter what, even if it cost you your life.
If you got large killing spree - don't act rambo and don't walk alone, just DON'T DIE.
If your team is defending a turret and is capable to hold 5v4, a possible scenario is to backdoor while they are fighting. With tankyness, huge movement speed and ghost you are impossible to catch as well as you can survive turrets very well with your Hiten Style.
ALWAYS TAKE SOLO LANE - IRELIA NEEDS SOLO LANE! (unless you are quite new with Irelia - then you should learn to play in duo-lane first).
So as I stated before, always get solo lane or mid.
Some people aren't aware of Irelia's mid laning power and don't even know how to counter her - take advantage of that.
At first few levels you should play defensive and just keep farming (also do not auto-attack minions, don't push lane and keep on last hitting only), your real laning should begin at level 3 (unless you are laning against specific champion which is stated in "Laning Against" section). After level 3 you should start doing quite huge burst, so once you have a chance - show him who's the boss here. Though, always keep a good look at your mana bar.
Considering you started with Cloth Armor and 5x Health Potion, your survivalability should be unmatched, and you shouldn't even care about enemy minions hitting at you - by the level 6 he should already be very afraid of you or even hug turret. At level 6 your laning power becomes close to that of godlike.
Now when you got such huge laning power don't do mistakes and don't push the lane - only keep last hitting, and zone-out your enemy, preventing him from getting exp.
After you farmed enough gold for your Wriggle's Lantern and Boots of Speed , push the lane with Transcendent Blades and go back to shop.
Also if you dominate the lane, push your lane with ultimate and go gank other lanes (do this only if you are sure to get a kill, since while ganking, you lose quite a lot of exp).
If you pushed a bit too far and can't zone your opponent, don't stand still waiting for the next wave - you must always do something, Irelia needs farm. So if your lane is pushed, you don't need to go back and you see no gank opportunities - go and kill your wraith camp, it gives you even more gold and exp for complete dominance.
In worst case scenario, if it happens that you can't hold you lane against someone, just hug turret and keep last hitting with Bladesurge, you should still hold up pretty well due your transcended blades, also ask for gank.
After every trip back remember to buy ward (or if you got wriggle, remember to put that ward) and few pots, ALWAYS KEEP FEW POTS WITH YOU - it's very cheap, but saves life a lot.
About ward - I will go more in-depth about it in warding section. But always remember to take ward with you if you have leftover gold, it won't delay your build, but will save you from ganks. Just make it habit of your's.
In this section I'm going to cover the advanced/situational acpects of laning with irelia.
Here i will also share how Irelia should be played against specific champions.
green - easy
yellow - medium
orange - hard but manageable
red - very hard/ should be avoided (though if you are very good and opponent is a bit less skillful, it is still possible)
Brand: This one guy is very annoying, honestly i think a lot of ppl just rage when seeing him in champ select. Though for well played irelia he shouldn't be much of a problem. Brand is well know for his combo-burst, but if you prevent his deadly shanenigans, you should be okay. Versus him just go your normal setup, maybe get Mercury's Treads before Heart of Gold. Always keep track on his movement, when you see him going to cast Pillar of Flame, go away and dodge it. also don't stand in creep wave as minions will block your way. The best way to dodge this - once Pillar of Flame animation starts, you have a short amount of time to Bladesurge at him and doing Equilibrium Strike, after few harassments like this he should be either to go back or to be stupid enought and get bursted.
COMMON MISTAKE: some people tend to be too greedy when seeing brand half hp, he has stun and VERY high burst, if he still does play aggrisive - means he still is thinking that he can burst you, and if you make a mistake and get baited, he will dffinitelly do so. Also be very aware when he gets ult, brand is really not hard to lane against, but just because of that constant burst potential i marked him yellow, also to dominate him, at least avarage amount of reaction is a must.
Vladimir: Quite long time ago, before Irelia nerfs I wrote that vlad is relativelly easy, actually i was wrong - as I faced really mindless vlad players back then. Actually Vlad is really hard (Well doh, he's one of the best laners). Versus vlad you cannot do mistakes, if you die for him early at least once, he will snow-ball crazy hard over you, BUT if you manage to cripple him, overtime you should overpower more and more. So bacically when you lane versus vlad, whichever player drops first - loses lane.
When laning against vlad, for build there are several options, though you should always get Regrowth Pendant as first item. If you feel you can manage, go regular build and try to deny vlads farm (normally you will meet vlad in solo top, considering you got teleport, you should get back once you got gold for philosopher's stone, Vision Ward and maybe Boots of Speed.) - if you got ward, you should push CRAZY HARD, early vlad has relativelly low damage and has nothing to stop a minion wave. This way you will prevent him from farming minions, as tower will take those important last hits from him, and the longer you delay his revolver, the better possition you are in. If his revolver is delayed too much, you should really start dominating him. Don't try do deny his exp early, he is ranged, so he will just harass you everytime, and you can't answer with your surge, as minion aggro will kill you, so in my opinion the best way to fight vlad - is push your lane HARD. (DON'T DO IT WITHOUT VISION (ward) AS YOU WILL BE GANKED, YOU WILL DIE, VLAD WILL SNOWBALL ON YOU AND YOU WILL BE TOTALLY SCREWED).
Another way which i really haven't tested much, but used it several times and it worked wonders (I'm still not sure about it, as it kinda cripples/delays your core too much), If i was really piseed about vlad, i rushed my regrowth straight into Force of Nature and got mercury's threads after that, following by Sheen and philosopher's stone, this kind of setup absolutelly screws vlad BUT it delays your core a lot and thus you will have very low damage early.
Another thing - do not get cought, even when low vlad is really dangerous and sometimes it could just be a perfect bait as you couldn't stun him - be aware of that and don't be greedy, also for ionia's sake, don't dive him if pool is not on cooldown.
Guide User's Submited Pictures
***egair scores using this guide:
antonbystedt scores using this guide:
Considereth scores using this guide:
EasyGhost first game with Irelia using this guide:
This guide is ridiculously long and I was working hours and hours to complete it. Though even now - it is not completed yet and I would be glad to know how to futher improve my guide - I'm free for coments, critics, questions and suggestions. Also don't expect to "own" from first try, every champ and every build need practice to do well, so try at least twice before judging.
#Skill and skill usage section update
#Some of my art
#Runes section update
#New Patches regarding irelia commentary
#Advanced item selection section (how to take right one in right place at the right time)
#Counter-champion Section (laning)
[2011.04.03] - # Launched first version of Guide
# Few little changes in several sections
[2011.04.18] - # Changes in item sections as well as more item explatnations added, added Sunfire Cape to testing stage.
# Changed skill sequence and added more info in skill explanation section
[2011.04.23] - # Added Guardian Angel over Sunfire
[2011.04.27] - # Added "Guide User's Submitted Pictures" section
[2011.05.30] - # Changed item build, annaunced big changes.
[2011.06.01] - # Updated Item Section
[2011.06.06] - # Summoner spells section update
[2011.06.15] - # Skill sequence and summoner spells section updates, updated item build
[2011.07.01] - # Added Advanced laning section, updated abilities section
[2011.07.31] - # Added Early Item Section, started and introduced new guide format
[2011.08.12] - # HUGE UPDATE, updated all items, added builds