Irelia Build Guide by JetEdge
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.
Threats to Irelia with this build
|Sejuani||Sejuani is Easy, she isn't very powerful, and early game you can counterjungle her if you please, just be careful of her team mates helping her. Her CC will kill you however if she counterganks you, so try to rush either Merc Treads, Juggernaut, or Quicksilver Sash as soon as possible.|
*this is currently a WIP as I have not done a lot of matchups yet on this, so I don't have the best idea how everything will work. I am still experimenting with what works best for what scenario, but I can still give my thoughts and my current ideas to make this work.*
Welcome to the Jungle Irelia guide, this is my first ever guide! I have been playing Irelia for a while now, I love her with a passion as a champion, and if I had to choose any champion for whatever role I play, it will most likely be Irelia, whether it's top, jungle, support, mid, or adc. (Those are situational but I hope you see my point) I hope you enjoy and are helped out by this guide :)
Pros / Cons
> You have amazing sustain in the jungle
> Your ganks can be amazing given the right circumstance
> Your clear is pretty good even from the beginning, and gets significantly better with the first jungle upgrade
> The new Jungle Items synergize very well with Hiten Style
>Now that jungle hurts a lot more, ganks can be made even more successful than last season as your Equillibriam Strike will have a higher chance of proccing the stun instead of the slow.
> Your Equillibriam Strike is very picky with it's cc, and you dont have good hard cc due to this fact
> You can accidentally jump to the wrong minion or target and cost yourself a successful gank
>You dont have ignite, which will cut down on some of your damage in 1v1s
Jungle Route and jungle itemization
The Route this season is changed around now. You can still start red, but now Blue is a much much better start on her, and this reason is very simple: smiting red now gives back 25% of your max hp when you smite it. This is very good, and I recommend doing this on every jungler who isn't Fiddle or Warwick with crazy amounts of sustain. (Your sustain as Irelia is good, but it's still not good enough, the monsters still hurt) Think about it. Starting red means you are forced to go back after you clear about 3 camps, as you will be too low to live, but starting blue and smiting red effectively gives you the opportunity to either gank, or do a whole extra clear.
The route this time around is simple, and will go on both sides of the map. You want to start gromp, smite him immediately to get his poison coat passive added to you. Afterwards go to your blue and get that. Next go to your wolves and clear them, skip the Raptors, they hurt way too much without red buff. Start clearing your red, you should be roughly 60% hp give or take when you start the clear, depending on your leash at gromp. smite red to secure it so it can't be smitten from a bush from the enemy jungler and you will go back up to roughly 65% - 70% hp, now you can clear Krugs, then your raptors, over to a gank, or wolves and Gromp again if you can't pull off a gank. You can also skip red, go to Krugs, then back to red to have red longer, but you are gonna go back after you do the second clear or a gank anyway, so it doesn't really make a huge difference.
When you get back to base, you should have enough for both a jungle item and tier 1 boots. this is where choices and situational buys come in. If you want to be able to smite the enemy champions, then this is how I decide which to get.
If they have champions like Hecarim, Leblanc, Shaco, any really mobile champion that can get away easily with low hp, take the Skirmisher's, it will give you vision of them for 6 seconds, whether they are invisible, go into a bush, etc. You can even take this against low mobility champs as you will have more damage for longer on them. I will point out, as of patch 4.20, take this item if they have a Tryndamere on their team, I don't know for sure if this is a bug, it most likely is, but smiting tryndamere with the Skirmisher's while he is ulting, will break through his ult, and the person who smote him can kill him.
If their team is either too fast, or very very low mobility, take Stalker's. The chilling smite only lasts for 2 seconds, so you have to make it count, but if you can use it effectively, you will either completely remove their escape from their mobility, or you will remove any chance for low mobility champs from them, they will be way too slow to even think of escaping.
Both of these smites synergize well with your Hiten Style, and Stalker's synergizes extremely well with your Equillibriam Strike. But I personally prefer Trailblazer, this item will let you infinitely sustain in the jungle, so on top of the amount of sustain you already have with Hiten Style active, you are gaining back a massive amount of hp and mana when you smite jungle creeps. On top of that your smite will have a lower cooldown, which helps with Baron and Dragon steals, securing buffs, getting extra small camp buffs etc.
On to the enchantments. There are 3 enchantments for your jungle item of choice which work well on Irelia. Warrior, Devourer, and Juggernaut.
Warrior - Grants 45 AD, 10% CDR, 10 Armor Pen. In my opinion, only take this one if you are super ahead and want that extra damage. It is a good source of damage early on before you get your tri force, and can mean you can build full tank after triforce, instead of triforce and another damage item. You don't really need the armor pen, as Hiten Style while active gives true damage anyway, but it's nice to have when you don't have Hiten Style active, this will also speed up clear times immensely.
Devourer - 50% Attack Speed, 40 magic damage on hit, and gains 1 magic damage per stack. Large monsters grant 1 stack and champ kills/assists grant 2 stacks. This one in my opinion is the worst of the 3 on her. You aren't really a farming jungler, you are a ganker like Nautilus, Trundle, Vi, etc. But if your lanes are all doing exceptionally well and you have more time to farm, you can do a full clear with this, then ganks, then another full clear, but the reason I feel this isn't that good is because after a gank, you will most likely have to recall, and not have a chance to farm, unless you have trailblazer and can just get back the hp and mana for sustain, but this still synergizes well with her as it's more damage on top of her already powerful Hiten Style true damage. And the Attack Speed is really really good as she goes really well with attack speed.
Juggernaut - 500 hp, 10% cdr, Tenacity. This item is my personal favorite. It gives you good tankiness early on, and tenacity, tenacity is HUGE on Irelia. This item eliminates the need for Merc Treads, which in my opinion is really good, as you can get tabis and those combined with a Thornmail mean that you are tanking huge amounts of damage and giving back a bunch of damage, just by taking hits. Tenacity synergizes perfectly with your passive, and in a team fight effectively gives you 75% tenacity when you get this item, which is amazing for Irelia, as cc kills her.
When to smite what camp
This is gonna go over briefly what each camp does and when you should smite it for it's buff, this will allow you to make a judgement call as to wether you want to benefit from it or if it isn't needed. Im gonna go start with high priority targets down to lower priority targets for your smite. All monsters respawn after 100 seconds, with the exception of the buffs which are on a 5 minute respawn time, Dragon on a 6 minute respawn, and Baron Nashor on a 7 minute respawn.
HIGH PRIORITY TARGETS:
Baron Nashor - This one is a no brainer. This is like the final boss, even more final than veigar. He is the Sephiroth of this map, the Bowser of Runeterra, the Ganon of the land. Upon killing Baron, any allies in the area that helped kill him gain 800 xp, anyone who did not contribute to killing it gain 600 xp instead. Everyone on the team gets 300 gold, and the one to land the killing blow gets 25 bonus gold. The buff applied is "The Hand of Baron." You gain up to 40 AP and AD, scaling with your level, an enhanced recall that yakes 4 seconds instead of 7, as well as increased healing and move speed when you get back to base, and all minions nearby the champion with the buff is promoted to deal extra damage on hit. The buff lasts 4 minutes, and the Runic Affinity mastery does not affect it.
Dragon - The dragon is essentially the miniboss of the rift. Upon slaying the Dragon, it grants 25 gold to the slayer of the creature, plus 180 + 10 per champion level to the slayer and anyone who helped kill it on the team. xp gained from it for anyone participating in it is anywhere between 75-300 xp, dependent on level. When the dragon falls, everyone on the team who slaid dragon gets 1 stack of the Dragonslayer buff. Every time the dragon falls, another stack of the buff, maxing out at 5 stacks. At stack 1 you gain the Dragon's might, giving all team mates 8% increased AD and AP, at stack 2, you gain the Dragon's Dominance, granting 15% bonus damage to minions and monsters. At 3 stacks you gain the Dragon's flight, which gives allied minions 5% move speed, and at 4 stacks you gain the Dragon's Wrath, which has all allies dealing 15% increased damage to enemy structures. The final stack can be repeated, and only lasts 180 second. (3 minutes) the Aspect of the Dragon doubles all bonuses from the previous dragon stacks, meaning 16% extra ad and ap, 30% damage to minions and monsters, 10% minion move speed, and 30% damage to structures. If you prioritize dragons you will have a much much higher chance of winning.
Krugs - These are the little rock looking creatures that are in the top lane camp behind purple outer turret, and behind bot lane blue side outer turret, where the season 4 golems were. Smiting these will give you the Gift of Heavy Hands. The Gift of Heavy Hands makes your first attack and every 4th attack on a monster or minion stun them, meaning that you will take way less damage when clearing, and on top of this, your first attack on a tower will consume the buff and do a nice bit of damage to the tower.
MEDIUM PRIORITY TARGETS:
Gromp - This is the large frog where wight camp used to be. I don't know what the real name of this buff is so let's just call it poison barbs. Poison barbs is pretty decent if you start the game with it, as it will help your clear a lot on blue and on wolves, but after you get your first jungle item, it's pretty insignificant. Poison barbs will deal damage to enemies that attack you over 3 seconds, like an enhanced quill coat, but it's not really that good of a benefit after that first clear. It is still useful, just not as useful as it was in the first clear.
Enemy Wolves - Smiting the wolves in general will send an orb out that reveals the location of enemies that pass by it, which is really useful to do in the enemy jungle. You most likely won't be in the enemy jungle, you in my opinion Irelia isn't that great at counterjungling, then again I don't like counterjungling in general so I can't say much about it. The enemy wolves is a really good camp to smite as it will pretty much tell you where the enemy jungler is, and you can keep your lanes safe, they can play more aggressively with less fear of a gank.
Raptors/chickens - The raptors are where the wraiths used to be. The benefit from smiting these guys is that the first ward you walk over you will reveal it and you can destroy it, like a mini oracles. This is actually really good for when you decide to go in for a gank, but it can be countered if the enemy mid laner is smart enough to place a ward on top of your raptors to instantly use up the bonus and essentially render your smite a waste.
Red Buff - The benefit itself isn't really a buff, but it helps your sustain as smiting it can give you 25% of your hp back. If you aren't fearing a counterjungle, you can actually go gromp > blue > wolves > smite red > raptors > krugs > do red and smite it at the end. This will give you a butt load of sustain, and it is a really good way to abuse the bonus red has from being smitten.
LOW PRIORITY TARGETS
The scuttle crab/snail crab - Smiting it does nothing, but it is a good way to secure it for free vision in the rivers. It can also be useful to smite it if you don't feel like chasing it back and forth, this thing is fast...
Blue Buff - Smiting the Blue gives back 25% of your maximum mana, but it really isn't that useful unless you are being chased and it happens to be up, you can smite it like a drive by and get free mana to turn on the enemy and get a kill. You are most likely gonna be getting the buff anyway so it really does not matter if you smite it.
Friendly Wolves - Same as with the enemy wolves, but the only difference is it's your own jungle, I suggest only smiting these if you are being counterjungled like crazy.
When you initiate a gank, look for a low hp minion and dash straight to it with your Bladesurge. Afterwards hit the enemy with an auto if you have time, if you don't, hit them with an Equillibriam Strike, keep autoing them down until you cant anymore, then Q to them to finish them. It helps when you are in a voice chat with your team, as you can tell them to leave a low hp minion for your gank. When you get your ult, you can force minions to be low hp when you gank, all you do is: ult a minion that's at about 60% hp, it should lower to enough that you can dash to it, E the enemy, and use your ult stacks on it, if they have skillshots, you can ult minions around them to both keep up with them and juke the shots, on top of being a good way to reduce damage taken, it looks really cool when you dash between 20 minions and finish with a kill.
This is easier said than done, I haven't perfected it yet, but try to gank when you are about half HP or 75% hp so that you can have a higher chance of stunning instead of slowing. This shouldn't be too much of an issue though as the jungle hurts so much now compared to last season.
Laning phase has ended, now time to group up if you can take on your enemies. By this time you should have your Golem, Tier 2 boots, Tri Force, and a Tank Item if you have been doing everything successfully, maybe all that minus the tank item.
When team fighting, you will want to get to the ADC as quickly as possible and take them out, then move onto the APC all the way up until you have only the tank remaining. Try use your E to lock down someone important if you dont need to use it on the ADC. You should be able to take some good abuse with the build.
Her E: Equillibriam Strike is an amazing ability, the only problem is that it is so situational with how it acts. This can be good and bad if you think about it, but it is strong as a damage ability when it has a few levels in it.
W: Hiten Style is her main ability, it allows her to sustain easily in the jungle, and when activated deals true damage on each auto attack hit. This ability allows you to do significant damage, and it heals for a set amount per hit. I believe activating this does extra damage to towers when struck, but even if it doesn't, it still has it's double heal amount for being active, as it isn't lifesteal, and just a flat hp return.
Q: Bladesurge allows you to dash to a target enemy. If it deals the killing blow to an enemy, it will reset it's cooldown. This makes ganking much much easier as you can cover large distances with it. It also deals on hit affects, soif a sheen proc is up you can get the sheen damage on a Q dash.
R: Transcendant Blades isn't really an ult used for big damage, it is mostly to secure or poke enemies from afar, but it can be used for sustain, as it heals for 25% of damage it deals to champions per blade that hits them, and 10% per minion hit. This ability can be used to save your life on multiple occasions. The main use for this ability however, is the main reason Sheen is her core item, and that is that each time you activate this ability, another Sheen Proc comes up, allowing for some good damage.
When Farming the jungle, what you wanna do is use W to get true damage on the monsters for extra damage. When the minion gets to roughly 10% hp use Q to finish them off and reset the ability. This increases your clear time, and your damage dealt to the camps. Your E is also good damage output, I mainly use it to stun the large monster of the camp so I take less damage.
You should start off with Gromp, kill it and be level 2 when it dies, then kill blue buff and be about halfway to level 3, if you kill wolves you should hit level 3, or run to red and you should hit 3 after red.
Item build notes
I always start with a hunter's machete and 2 potions. Depending on who the enemy jungler is, take either red or green trinket. Take the green trinket if the laners you will be ganking have little escape, as you can leave wards for your lanes for free. Take the red trinket if they have zed, leblanc, lucian, and other champs with good escape, as it will be harder for them to see you coming.
Your main build. You want the Trailblazer as it lets you farm jungle and push waves very easily, and with juggernaut and ninja tabis, you will have a lot of tankiness and tenacity for ganks. You want the triforce as it is one of THE most powerful items on Irelia.
Always finish the trailblazer and Juggernaut enchantment first, but if you are very ahead, you can consider getting a sheen then finishing the enchantment next back if you are getting really successful ganks off. The Sheen is what makes her damage unreal at times, as with the right ability rotation you can destroy most targets 1v1. After you get a sheen consider getting tabis or mercs, depending on the enchantment (let's assume you are going jugger tho, so get tabis) This will give you good tankiness and cc reduction to be useful the whole early game.
Ohmwrecker is really good now with the changes, so consider getting that early on AFTER triforce. If you end the game with only 2 items (excluding boots) it should ALWAYS be the enchanted jungle item and Triforce. This item will let you dive and tank turrets for your team. You can go in from behind a turret for a gank as well due to your tankiness with this item.
Homeguards are also a great buy for Irelia since you can get to jungle, grab a camp, then gank in the same amount of time as if you didn't have them and just walked through and ganked without getting a camp.
The tank items are sort of optional to be honest, these are the ones I use. Though it isn't in the core build shown here, I always get a Frozen Heart if they have a Yasuo or a Xin Zhao, the Spirit Visage gives good cooldown and survivability, and the sunfire will give you the aoe damage, which you want since in teamfights youll be in the middle of everyone. Randuins is also really good as if they have a hecarim or Rammus, you can save a lot of your squishies with it. DON'T FORGET YOUR WARDS!!!
Optional - Jungle:
See above in chapter 3 for details on this
Optional - Damage:
Bork is a very VERY good item on Irelia, I try to buy it when I can, but a lot of times I dont have enough use for it, but if they have say a Twitch who is trying to stealth away for example, it is perfect for those situations. It also helps you get your best combo out, which is to E them, activate w, auto them until you cant keep up anymore, then finish with a Q auto.
Mercurial Scimitar is my personal favorite item in the game. Even if you aren't trolling (which you are playing jungle Irelia, some people will consider that trolling, but it's really fun and good) it can be like a small trollage in itself, as you can activate it to get out of many predicaments. I usually use this item if they have a Nasus, Vayne, Leona, or someone who has a lot of cc, as after they combo all their cc on you, you can use it and get back in the fight immediately. I recommend this item mainly if they have a rammus, amumu, or nasus jungle, but you can branch off beyond those picks to others with annoying cc such as lisandra.
Get the Maw of Malmorteous when you need Magic Resist but dont want to sacrifice a damage output slot if you need the damage for it.
The Black Cleaver is good because you will get the hp and damage, as well as cooldown, plus the armor pen for when your W is down, as well as youll steal people's armor with it.
I personally like to get a Youmou's over it though, as it helps ganks, and can make you pretty scary in teamfights towards the ADCs.
Optional - Tank:
The Warmogs is one of the best tank items for Irelia, it gives her a lot of hp, good regen for when it's early in the game and death timers are low, so you cant go back, especially if you do baron then a fight breaks out, it gives you amazing sustain before it happens, especially coupled with the Spirit Visage.
The Mallet is really goof coupled with the Warmogs and when they have a Shyvanna or someone with a MS steroid, or can just kite very well like Ashe, or is annoying like Singed with a Rylais. This item is also very very good coupled with E when you cant hit the stun with it, like when they have less hp than you.
Banshees Veil is very good in this, as you get good survivability, and one free cc negation, it really helps when engaging a team fight.
I personally hate Thornmail, in my opinion it is a bad item and it should just not even exist, but I will admit that it's passive is amazing, it murders ADCs, but only EVER get it if you have the HP to compensate it. I recommend if you are gonne get this item, get it after you have Golem, Triforce, Spirit Visage or Banshees, Sunfire or Randuins, etc. as by then you will have enough hp to sustain it's armor only value. When this item is combined with a Warmogs and Frozen Mallet, with Triforce in there, you become a monster, unstoppable to AD champs, for the most part that is (enough cc and enemies surrounding you can still spell your demise).
I'm not gonna lie, I always forget the active on Locket, that is why I personally don't buy it a lot, I'm not reliable with it, it is one of the few items I forget has an active, just like Frost Queen's Claim. But since you will be in the middle of a team fight and tanking everything while also putting out a lot of damage, this is very good for your squishies when they have a lot of magic resist, since you produce the aura that gives everyone hp regen and magic resist. It also helps when your team does Baron and everyone needs to regen afterwards for a team fight or a siege.
Remember, Frozen Heart against auto attack heavy champions is going to help you win a lot of trades, as well as the thornmail.
These are really the only 2 you will want, as you get extra tankiness and help the team out better with these, and it makes getting towers much much better.