Irelia Build Guide by AnasF
Not Updated For Current Season
3. Mid and Late Game (Possible Choices)
4. Example Build (Standard)
4. Example Build (Ahead)
Not Updated For Current Season
Hi, I'm a player who started in season 2. I picked up Irelia as my first top laner, and loved her since. I've practiced her mechanics and combos, and have been playing her in top lane for a while. I've also been trying to make Irelia jungle work since season 2. It's finally her time to shine in the jungle. I'm mainly writing this guide to help explain how she works in the jungle with the new Sated Devourer.
Pros / Cons
Can be used to round off a team comp in many different ways
Can splitpush lategame
Scales very well
Early clears slower than average
Spends a lot of time in the jungle
If your team is falling behind, and you buy the wrong items, it'll take a long time to catch up
You should try to save Potions for when you're really low (at risk of dying), or when you think there's a risk of the enemy jungler coming in to kill you, or when you plan to go gank a lane. Being at low health is more efficient in the jungle, as your masteries will heal you more. Moreover, try to leave Red for as late as possible, as Smiting it while you're low on HP is very efficient. The Scuttle Crabs are an easy source of HP and klling them is very easy for Irelia, as Equilibrium Strike weakens them, and Hiten Style helps you kill them really fast. Whenever you're grabbing Scuttle Crabs, make sure to ward the river brush that the enemy jungler is most likely to surprise you from. After securing both buffs, you should look around to see if any lanes are being pushed towards your team, and go gank them. You should do such a check after every camp you do while you have double buffs.
Blue Side Start (Standard):
Take W and get your bot lane to help with Krugs. Smite the big one the moment it spawns (this ensures you have the stun buff to help killing it), then start hitting it. The moment your HP drops below 100%, you can activate your W (otherwise the increased health gain is wasted).
After Krugs, level up your Q and move over to Raptors. You want to kill the small ones first, as they are relatively easy and deal substantial damage. We do this by activating our W, hitting a small Raptor twice, then immediately last hitting it with Q to cancel the animation of your second auto. During this Q animation, you should be right clicking the next little raptor so that when your Q animation ends, you don't accidentally hit the big raptor. After the little guys are dead, you can kill the big one, using W and Q whenever they're off cooldown.
By now, your Smite should be off cooldown. Move over to Red buff and just kill it, smiting it when its HP is below the Smite damage. Finish off the little lizards and move on. Finally, level up your E.
Run over to Wolves and clear them however you want, killing the big one first. Then, move over to Gromp if your smite is up, or Blue buff if it is not - you want to smite Gromp. Remember to use your spells whenever they're off cooldown, and try to use your Q to last hit and animation cancel on the little monsters.
Whenever you can, try to take Scuttle Crabs. Sometimes you can take bot side Scuttle Crab before Wolves (if it seems safe), and top side Scuttle Crab at the end of your clear.
Blue Side Start (Afraid of Counterjungle):
Have an ally ward up your Blue buff. Take W and get bot lane to help with Red buff. Save Smite until Red buff is below the Smite damage. Level up your E.
Move onto Wolves, warding Blue buff along the way if you can. Kill the Wolves, then kill Blue buff using whatever spells you can. If your Smite is up, and you feel like your Blue buff is no longer under threat of counterjungling, you should take Gromp.
Try to take Scuttle Crabs after you've obtained your two buffs.
Red Side Start (Standard):
Take W and get your bot lane to help with Gromp. You should Smite it immediately when it spawns, then activate the W the moment it has hit you once. Once you've killed it, level up your E.
E the Blue buff, then use Hiten Style to kill it and its children. Then, move onto Wolves and do the same. Level up your Q and move onto Red and repeat the same, except you can use your Q to reach the camp faster. Save your Smite until it will execute Red.
Move to the Raptors. You want to kill the small ones first, as they are relatively easy and deal substantial damage. We do this by activating our W, hitting a small Raptor twice, then immediately last hitting it with Q to cancel the animation of your second auto. During this Q animation, you should be right clicking the next little raptor so that when your Q animation ends, you don't accidentally hit the big raptor. After the little guys are dead, you can kill the big one, using your abilities whenever they're off cooldown.
Finally, grab Krugs. At this point, you can recall if you're low, or chug some potions and try for a gank or secure Scuttle Crabs.
Red Side Start (Afraid of Counterjungle):
Do the same as above, except we skip Wolves and move straight to Red buff. Unfortunately, you might not be able to Smite it, so we use the Smite on Krugs straight after Red buff, then move onto Raptors or recall back to base. If you need HP, you might consider grabbing Scuttle Crabs.
You start off with Hunter's Machete, two Health Potions, and a Warding Totem. On your first back, finish your Stalker's Blade Devourer. If you can't afford that on your first back (don't worry, it's normal), work towards it and consider buying a few Health Potions, Stealth Wards, or some Boots along the way. You want to finish your Stalker's Blade Devourer ASAP.
Once you've finished your Devourer, you have a few choices. If your team is doing good, start working towards a Blade of the Ruined King. If your team is doing average or bad, perhaps a Mercury's Treads would be better. If your team is falling behind, and the enemy has an AD champion getting fed, consider rushing a Frozen Heart. At any point, if you need to desperately back, but your enemies are forcing an objective, consider buying Homeguards. Homeguards are also useful if you just want to get back to farming ASAP, and pulling off constant ganks.
Upgrade your trinket. Now, you want to take a good look at the state of the game.
If everything's going great for your team, and the enemy team doesn't have any champions approaching a threatening power spike, you can go for full damage with Blade of the Ruined King, Wit's End, Trinity Force, etc.
If the enemy team is doing too much damage to you during fights and it's all spread out, consider a Randuin's Omen with a Spirit Cowl item for the HP.
If you tick 2 of the following 3, build a Frozen Heart: Enemy team is doing too much AD damage to you, you plan to tank towers, you want CDR (getting kited, so need low cooldown Q and E, or you need R up often for split pushing).
If the enemy team has an AP carry who is getting fed or the enemy team has too much burst damage, consider buying Banshee's Veil or Guardian Angel.
If you want to do some damage, your team has magic damage, and the enemy has mediocre magic damage (fed support, for example), consider Wit's End.
If you've been maxing Q and are going to be using it often, consider a Trinity Force or Iceborn Gauntlet and some CDR through Spirit Visage or Frozen Heart.
If you're being kited, the following items can help: Randuin's Omen, Blade of the Ruined King, Iceborn Gauntlet, Frozen Heart, Trinity Force or Furor boots upgrade.
If you want some MR to round off your build, consider Spirit Visage.
If you need even more armor, consider Iceborn Gauntlet or Sunfire Cape, or maybe even Thornmail or Ninja Tabis.
I honestly don't like Trinity Force that much right now; its playstyle is a little different to what Devourer does. However, it may still be a good option in many cases. To round off your build, pick up Furor upgrade, and an Elixir of Iron/Wrath. A good indication of if your build is good is how many damage items and how many tank items you have. You should only have 3 damage items if you're too far ahead to be killed without taking two people with you.
Abilities and Mechanics
This passive ability basically gives you free tenacity that stacks with all other sources of tenacity. Because of this, Irelia can often shrug off even the harshest CC in the game.
This ability is great for three reasons; it's a dash, it has a reset, and it's an animation cancel.
Your Q will deal damage to a target regardless of whether they dash away, or even Flash away. Your Q will not follow them, and you'll land at the position they were at when you initially cast your Q. Hence, it can be used to dodge abilities like Vi's Vault Breaker or Alistar's Headbutt as the Q will place you behind them.
You can use Q to escape by dashing onto nearby minions, neutral monsters, or even weak enemy champions.
You can use Q to initiate in many different ways. The obvious way is to just Q onto your victim and then start fighting them; if your HP is lower than theirs, you can E them for a stun before you start killing them. However, what do we do if their HP is lower than ours by the end of our Q? (This problem can be a result of buying Sheen). In this case, it's best to either Flash onto your victim, then E them, or just Q onto any target near them, then E them.
What do we do if our victim is out of Q range? We can either Flash+Q, but a better choice is to look for low minions or neutral monsters (or extremely low enemy champions), who will die to your Q - Sheen helps with this. Then, you've gained distance, and your Q is still off cooldown. If minions nearby aren't low enough, you can use your R to poke a minion down from range so that you can Q to them and reset it.
When you are (split) pushing a lane, you can increase your pushing speed by Qing to last hit every minion right after your preceding basic attack. This cancels the animation of your last basic attack, effectively increasing your attack speed. This idea also helps in the jungle.
Consider maxing this skill second when you're versing slippery champions like Nidalee or Kalista. If you choose to max Q, consider Frozen Heart to decrease its cooldown further, or a Sheen item, as you'll be able to proc it quite frequently.
[W] Hiten Style:
This ability is your bread and butter. It helps you sustain in the jungle, and activating it makes you a formidable damage dealer. It also synergises with Spirit Visage and Second Wind to help you survive for long periods at low HP in the heart of a teamfight. The heal will proc off of towers, but the true damage will not be dealt to them. This ability is why we build Devourer on Irelia; every 2nd hit, you heal twice as much and deal twice as much true damage. This ability should be activated before using Q whenever you want to maximise burst, or you want to reset your Q.
[E] Equilbrium Strike:
This ability always has an 8 second cooldown, and slows for 60%; the slow is instead a stun if your HP % is lower than your target's HP %. Maxing this skill only increases the damage and the duration of the CC from 1s to 2s. However, this increase in CC duration is huge, and is the reason we usually max E second. Equilibrium Strike's range is slightly higher than melee, so if you're chasing someone who's barely out of your reach and your Q and R are on cooldown, try spamming E on them. It also does a decent amount of damage, when you need it. In duels, try to save this ability until the end as it'll help turn the table if you're losing, or prevent the enemy escaping if you're winning.
[R] Transcendent Blades:
This ability is great because it has a 50 second cooldown when maxed, which goes down to 30 seconds when you have reached the CDR cap. Mid and early game, Transcendent Blades can be used to deal a decent amount of damage, and heal a good amount of health. In duels, try to save this ability until the end, so that you can snipe people running away, or heal up by passing your Blades through as many champions and minions as possible. This ability is also good for wave clear when defending tower, or for pushing. When split pushing, try to save the R for when you're past the river, as this is when you want to clear the wave quickly. Before then, just use W and Q to push. If you're in the jungle, and are about to back after a camp, it's okay to use your ultimate to finish the camp off.