Build Guide by Epic Viperfalcon
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.
Irelia is one of the strongest carries in the game if played correctly. It also helps if you build her just right. Having an incredible amount of damage coupled with great survivability makes achieving this goal a cakewalk!
Pros / Cons
-Early game nuker
-Strong early game pusher
-Strong midgame team fighter
-Great survivability midgame and onwards
-Mid/Late game carry
-Squishy early game
-Carrying potential greatly depends on team
-Needs high farm/ early kills
-Very hard character to learn
Although there are many successful variations of runes that Irelia could benefit from, I have found the best combination to be Greater Mark of Desolation to account for the current tanky meta, Greater Seal of Vitality for some great survivability past level 5, and Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction for some impressive cooldown times, yielding even more spammability of your stun and ult. I have tried Greater Glyph of Magic Resist, but that proves to be quite useless after the early game phase, and makes Irelia unable to be as much of a threat late game. Furthermore, pairing blue buff with Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction makes your ulti have a roughly 30 second cooldown, which isn't even fair, especially when paired with Spirit Visage!!!
I highly recommend using a standard 21-9-0 masteries set, with the regular AD carry tree in offense. I decided that going 9 down defense attributed to higher survivability than both going much further down or putting points into utility. I like the extra amount of armor and magic resist, as well as the nice health regen obtained from "Strength of Spirit". This mastery tree will give you a longer presence in the laning phase, as well as a larger threat throughout the whole game.
I initially had problems coming up with the perfect sequence of items that would benefit Irelia the most. I have found that rushing Trinity Force is the only way to go with her. This is where it got interesting: most people believe that stacking CC reduction (ie: Mercury's Treads ) is beneficial on Irelia. In most cases, this would be true! However, when you really think about it, high level players won't put themselves in a position where they could be snared/stunned and killed in the laning phase. The only time that Mercury's Treads would come in handy would be in a team fight, or when being ganked while in the lane. I find Mercury's Treads to be useless in these situations because of her passive, which stacks up to 3 times (and most teams don't gank with less than 3 people), giving her more of a CC reduction than Mercury's Treads would provide.
This is why I recommend using Berserker's Greaves. With the innate CC reduction, it will ALWAYS be more beneficial to have increased AS to both deal more damage as well as healing more from her Hiten Style passive rather than being able to escape a stun/snare/slow/taunt .1 second faster.
Furthermore, a few of you may be asking: "Why Spirit Visage?!" Well, the answer is quite simple, really. Spirit Visage size will increase the health gained from Hiten Style 's passive, as well as increase the amount of health gained from and further reduce the cooldown of your UNFAIR, DESTRUCTIVE, SPAMMABLE ULT. Also, the extra magic resist and health make Irelia all that much harder to kill.
After those, the rest of the items are self explanatory, as also serve as her core items: Frozen Mallet for its 100% chance to slow, (and yes, I know that Trinity Force can proc the same effect, but the extra health, damage, and guaranteed slow is too good to pass up!), The Bloodthirster for its lifesteal and great damage, and Last Whisper for being able to penetrate those tanks who realize how much of a threat you are and begin stacking armor.
A few variants include Madred's Bloodrazor in place of Last Whisper if their team has a very high health pool. Also, I recommend Banshee's Veil if CC becomes a larger problem than her Ionian Fervor can handle in place of Last Whisper.
Pretty self explanatory, except for the first 3 levels. Rather than getting Hiten Style at level 2 to help with any early level harass you may be receiving, I like to go Bladesurge to help with early last hitting. This is especially useful if someone in your lane gets a bit cocky while having you pushed back by the turret. Little will they expect that while they are sitting there, poking you under the turret, you can Bladesurge in and follow up with an immediate Equilibrium Strike, dealing a large amount of spike damage as well as forcing them to take 2 or 3 hits from the turret if they were damaging you.
Ghost and Exhaust on a champ who actually needs a speed boost and extra snare in their gameplay...Duh?
By the way, a few people have told me that Cleanse would be better than Exhaust, but do I really need to say how overkill this summoner spell would be on Irelia with her passive?
Irelia is very vulnerable at this point in the game. Be sure to stay out of range of harass while making sure to last hit minions, either with your auto attack or Bladesurge. Keep in mind that your Equilibrium Strike does MASSIVE amounts of damage early game, and will STUN the target if your health is lower than your target.
Basic harass: Bladesurge in, followed up by Equilibrium Strike. If you feel like you and your lane partner can finish them, throw an Exhaust either on the target or their lane partner, whichever will allow you to get the kill and escape safely. I wouldn't recommend using Hiten Style unless you need the extra damage, which is minuscule early game anyway. I prefer to save this skill for ganks or sure kills rather than wasting the mana to harass.
On your first back, you should be able to buy Sheen, Berserker's Greaves, and if you are especially good at last hitting, or you got an early kill, Ruby Crystal to begin building the Phage for the Trinity Force.
You are a very effective assassin at this point in the game. Make sure to continue harassing by rushing in with Bladesurge followed up with Equilibrium Strike at the right moment. When the opponent is about 1/3 health, rush in with the same combo. Using Transcendent Blades will guarantee a kill.
You will also be very useful in team fights. Knowing how to use your ult will make or break how well you do with Irelia. Saving Transcendent Blades for chasing down someone escaping isn't always the best idea. Sometimes it is best to help turn the tide of battle by positioning yourself to hit as many enemy champs as you can with your ulti, greatly damaging their team as a whole and healing yourself to near full health (totally full if Spirit Visage was purchased).
At this point, you should have your Trinity Force, Spirit Visage, and your second Phage.
Depending on how well you farmed/ got fed early game, you should be either carrying or hindering your team - there isn't really a middle ground when playing Irelia. Assuming that you are at the carrying state, you should still not initiate team fights. Although you are survivable, you should still not be the one the opposing team focuses, because you need to be the one who Bladesurge 's in to take out their AD/AP carries. Upon taking damage, or seeing an opportunity to turn the tide of battle, use Transcendent Blades to really stir things up. At this point, you should be happy, healthy, and incredibly intimidating to the opposing team, who is running away due to the fact that their carry is dead and support/offtanks are greatly damaged.
Depending on how long the game goes, you should be able to get most of the items I recommended. Just focus on rushing Frozen Mallet and The Bloodthirster, with the last item largely depending on what is required based on your judgment in game, whether that is more armor, damage, or even movement speed( Youmuu's Ghostblade, anyone?).
Irelia is one of my favorite champs in the League. I hope you all learn something from this guide, as well as help me make it even better.
!!!PLEASE LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW, LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!!!
Thanks for reading!