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Irelia Build Guide by soupdexter

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.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author soupdexter

Nerfelia, the way of the anti-carry

soupdexter Last updated on October 20, 2012
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Ability Sequence

1
7
9
12
14
Ability Key Q
2
4
5
8
10
Ability Key W
3
13
15
17
18
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R





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.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sunder
Archmage
 
 
 
 
 
 
Executioner
 
 

Offense: 9

 
 
 
 
 
4/
Durability
Vigor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3/
Honor Guard
Mercenary
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Juggernaut
 
 

Defense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Strength of Spirit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mastermind
 

Utility: 0


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Introduction

I am soupdexter, a relatively low elo player(1300) but I blame this on riot's matchmaking system, and this is my first guide ever. I currently maintain a 66% win rate with her.
Irelia is a STRONG pick top lane, countered only by few champions, and if you know when to pick her you'll simply be unstoppable. Your role is to farm as much as you can while trying to shut down your opponent, and in a team-fight you should stick to the enemy team's carry, should it be ad or ap, while trying to make their disablers focus you, so your carries can deal dmg.


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Pros/Cons

Pros

    Tons of dmg with almost no dmg items
    Great sustain in lane
    Can shut down almost any top laner if played correctly
    Great in teamfights

Cons
    You can die easily if you get too greedy and jump onto their carry without your team
    A bit item-dependent
    If farm and experience are denied, it's hard to be effective with her


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Runes

I use ad quints and marks so I can last hit easier, as I said before farming with Irelia is vital. You don't need armor pen since your W makes you deal true dmg. The armor seals provide better lane durability versus ad top-laners, and the mr glyphs are used for 2 reasons. First, no champion has significant mr/level, and second, if you beat your lane well enough you might want to gank the mid-lane. It also provides some sustain for early-mid game ganks or teamfights.


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Masteries

I use the 9 in offense for the extra ad(the last-hitting thing) and attack speed. All the other points should be in defense and nothing else.Veteran's scars is a great mastery. 30 hp is quite important for the first few levels, since Irelia tends to be quite weak untill she grabs her full skill-set, and Juggernaut, along with your passive and merc's threads will bring you close to 70% tenacity in a teamfight, which makes you unstoppable from sticking to their carries.


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Items

I start boots 3 pots almost against any laner, except for strong ad-bullies, such as Olaf, Udyr, Jayce, Garen or Riven, in which case I start with cloth armor and 5 pots. First time you go back you should get a doran blade or 2, and a. If you're getting underfarmed and the opposing laner outsustains you, consider buying a , which will keep your gold income steady, and the health/mana regen will help you stay on lane logner. By that point, you should be able to stomp your lane. Getting a phage mid-game is great for the extra-hp and the passive, and from this point you can actually be able to fight in a 1v2 situation if you push your lane too hard and their jungler ganks you or you can be able to tank in an early team fight. Depending on the team compositions, the phage should be later built into a , if your team needs a tank, or , if your team needs more dmg.
Wit's end is the only item I always build on Irelia. The attack speed and magic dmg proc greatly with Hitten Style, and the extra mr is nice. From now on, it all depends on who on their team deals more dmg. If it's their ap carry, build a or a . If it's their ad carry, get , build the Heart of Gold into a , or even build an atma. If their ad carry is fed, consider even buying a . If your team is made out of any AS champions except for your ad carry, such as Teemo, Diana, Nocturne or wtv, build a , 'cause they will benefit from the extra AS as much as you will.


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Boots

your boots in almost any team set-up. They simply work too well with your passive. But if they don't have that many disables or stuns, or if you simply get to play against an all ad team or whatever, you can try:
obviously. Nothing better than armor against a team who deals physical damage.

good for chasing, stacks with Trinity Force, if you decide to build it for a nice amount of ms. I wouldn't recommend it if you're not 100% sure you're going to win the game, but they are a decent choice.

again, I would recommend them ONLY if you win the game. Extra AS is always good for Irelia.

they're actually good, but then again, I'd rather choose tenacity over CDR, so only grab them if you're winning.

Bad choices


you should have enough ms with masteries and boots...you don't need that much ms, only if you plan on roaming. Late-game they're useless since you lose the bonus ms when you're hit(you're supposed to take most of the hits, remember?)

obvious reason. If you ever considered buying those shoes on Irelia, you'd better just uninstall the game.


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Item explanation

I chooseover 'cause my way of playing Irelia focuses on getting on top of their carries and not letting them escape. Even though Trinity gives you bigger burst with your Q, Frozen Mallet gives you the necessary hp to jump through their team, and the passive is great for sticking onto your preferred target.

scales great with your W, gives you nice resistances and makes you AA much faster, which is what Irelia relies on.

versus sustained AP dmg, and versus burst dmg. The 400 shield is great.

gives you a lot of armor and sustain, but the thing I like the most about Randuin is its active. Lowering the AS of their AD carry when jumping on them is great, and it can be used to slow some1 if chasing him, or even escape.

great resistances, great passive, makes Irelia a much bigger threat to the enemy team, making you more likely to be focused.

if built early in the game, it gives you and your team a little advantage. You gain more sustain and hp, and your whole team benefits from it. ALSO, don't forget it counters , should the enemies grab one.

This item can be passed to your support or jungler, but if no one builds it you can be the one to do it. The extra armor is GREAT and you benefit a lot from the mana and CDR. Also the passive is great, if the enemy team relies on AS.

Other possible items:



While I already explained most of the items which you can build on Irelia, there are other good choices, such as:
Sunfire Cape can be a good choice. HP and armor are never bad stats on Irelia, although the passive is quite useless. Sunfire cape is made for tanks which need to deal AOE-sustained dmg in a team fight, such as Leona, Malphite or Garen. Irelia's skill set allow her to deal more than enough dmg to ONE single target, so Sunfire Cape loses some of it's utility. But if you find yourself losing to AD and needing some resistances and hp, it's a good item.

basically allows you to ignore their AD carry's dmg. It is a good item, but buying it will have you sacrifice either Guardian Angel or Randuin, which I find somewhat better than thornmail. Get it if their ad carry is fed.

if they stacked armor, you can grab a LW and ignore some of it. However, you have quite low AD(somewhere about 160 at lvl 18 full build), so your main dmg output is from Hitten Style, and since your role is to focus carries, who don't normally have that much armor, you won't really need it. But if you simply can't bring down the remaining chunks of meat and armor, grab a LW. 40% armor pen for 2290 g is nothing to say no to.

if you decide to build a philo early-game, consider building it into a Shurelya mid game. Great initiation item, if you must initiate, great chasing item if you must chase and great escape item, if you must escape. Build this if your team has enough resistances and dmg, and don't mind if your support already got one. 2 Shurelyas can't be a bad thing.

Wit's End older, much stronger brother. Great item for Irelia, only downside is the huge cost, whereas you already got an expensive item, should it be Trinity or Frozen Mallet. If you feel like you can afford it, replace Wit's End with it. It'll be great for tearing down their hp.

pretty good item if their team has a Ryze or Kayle or Kassadin or whichever champion whose burst relies strongly on one particular spell...also gives hp and mana which are good.

you could grab one if neither the jungler or support got one. It's good in team fights for the whole team, but late-game it'll lose all of it's efficiency...if you think you'll be able to finish the game before late-game, grab one.

it gives you a lot of hp, and basically that's it. I'd much rather choose resistances over hp. 3k hp is more than enough with around 200 resistances, so warmog loses some of it's usability. I guess you can build it though, if you feel like it, but if you do, replace Frozen Mallet with it, and get Trinity Force as well.

Items I don't recommend on Irelia:


your dmg does not come from AD. Lifesteal is useless since you have relatively low AD. End of story.

you're not an ad carry. You don't need crit chance.

Bloodthirster reasons and Phantom Dancer reasons combined.

Obviously you are not going to build any AP items on Irelia. I hope I should not say anything about Leviathan or Sword of the Occult.

And then there is Tiamat:

errrr...I guess you could say Q benefits from it's passive, but...really...no. It's a useless item. The only champion you could try and build it on is Fiora...with enough lifesteal and a Tiamat, Fiora can tear down the whole team with one ult. But you're no Fiora...


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Summoner Spells

My personal preferences are:Ghost is much more useful with Irelia, since your passive makes you ignore hard CCs and you can escape easier simply by running away, or you can chase-up a running opponent.
Ignite is a must-have on any top laner, making it easier to finish a kill.
Other good choices would be:
, jumping over walls is always helpful.
can be picked over ignite if you face a counter-pick, such as Garen.

NEVER pick clarity, revive, smite(you're not a jungler) or any other summoner spells which are used by almost no-one.


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When to pick her

Irelia should not always be picked if you see a champion who you can easily beat with her. It strongly depends on the team comps when to choose her. For instance, if they have champions with easy escapes such as Kassadin or Ezreal, it'll be more than frustrating to jump on them and they'll simply blink away to safety. Also, it should be picked if your team lacks tankiness and hp.
Possible match-ups:

The ultimate counter for Irelia. His true dmg deals MUCH more dmg than your W, his sustain is somewhat bigger than yours, and he is simply unbeatable when he's low hp. If you get close to creeps he'll punish you by dealing 300 true dmg with the swing of an axe, and he can easily chase you down with the constant axe throws. Start cloth 5 pots, play EXTREMELY defensive and ask your jungler for as many ganks as he can. Let him push the lane, farming with Irelia at your tower is not hard at all if you get used with Bladesurge.


This match-up is about who's the better player, but a small mistake of yours can give Udyr a huge advantage. Don't underestimate his sustain and dmg output, and do not think that making him run out of mana will help. His turtle stance will give him all his mana back in time. Play aggressive from the very beggining, and maybe get a wriggle first time you recall.


Cry, flame, rage, QQ, and then cry some more. He'll simply RUIN you. There's absolutely NOTHING you can do against Garen. Start cloth 5 pots, do your best to last hit with Q and then run away, stun if he jumps on you and ask your jungler to gank. If he recalls and buys a giant's belt, it'll be hard to make him go back in base.


The croc will give you a hard time. He has a lot of dmg with a 50 rage W and Q, he has more sustain than you since he doesn't use mana, and he has a friggin annoying ultimate. Rush ninja tabi, and if played correctly(farm and not engaging), by lvl 8-9 you should be able to beat him. Start cloth 5 pots.


He can beat you if he plays correctly. Lee's skill-set makes him deal dmg and get back without a scratch. But you can beat him if you get hp and lifesteal. Let him push the lane, and try not to let him land his Q.

Some say he counters Irelia, but I don't believe it's true. Bait his stun, than stun him and unleash your true dmg on his ***. Start boots 3 pots, easier to run off his stun. Watch out for jungler ganks though, you'll probably push the lane against him so buy wards.

It's a matter of who plays better, but getting some help from the jungler will help a lot. Start boots 3 pots, and let him engage. Bait his ghouls out when he casts them by going into the brushes.

The monkey is no match against you. You should be able to beat him NO PROBLEM. Start boots 3 pots, or even doran's blade if you're confident enough.

Be careful, be very careful. His E lowers your AS to the ground. It's not a unbeatable lane, but if you plan on getting rid of him, do it as early as possible. After he buys some hp or armor, you won't be able to do anything to him. Start boots 3 pots only so his Q won't lower your ms too much.


Easy match up. Your stun is much powerful than hers, not to mention your passive makes it last even less. Your true dmg tears through her hp, and her sustain is almost 0.


Pretty hard match up if Teemo plays correctly. Get as much resistances as you can, depending on his item build, and activate W only after the blind wears off. It can be killed, since it's kind-of squishy, but it's really more of a farm fest. Start cloth 5 pots, since he's ranged.


I beat Darius with Irelia top without too much problems. His damage output is indeed high, but he truly becomes a beast after 6. Pre-6 is easily beaten, and if you manage to deny some of his xp and farm, he won't even get to the point in which he'll cast ulti. Ask your jungler to gank and make sure you'll make him recall so you'll get ahead of him in cs and xp. As soon as he hits you with Q, stun him, W, AA, Q, and he'll start to retreat. Start cloth 5 pots just to be sure.


Hard match up 'cause he has a LOT of sustain...Start cloth 5 pots, and when he deals some dmg, simply stun, swing 2 times with W and run away. You should be able to win the lane like that, he'll run out of mana faster than you.


Farm fest. Impossible to kill after he hits 6 and starts feasting. Start boots 3 pots, and try to shut him down early game, 'cause he'll be much more efficient than you late game.


Weak laner. Easy win. Start cloth 5 pots 'cause she has some dmg early game.


Try making him get out of the lane early in the game. From that point on, easy win. Start cloth 5 pots 'cause his Q will drive you mad 'till he runs out of mana.

Irelia counters any ap top laner, such as Vladimir, Rumble or even Kennen. Be afraid of ranged top laners(Graves, Vayne, Corki, Jayce), start cloth 5 pots against them and play passively. After you get your first 2 doran's jump on them and make them QQ.


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Summary

That's about it. I hope this gives you some useful tips about when and how to play Irelia, and if you already are a good player, I hope you'll find something useful in my guide. I'll try and update the guide everytime something new appears.