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Irelia Build Guide by Asaki

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 Asaki

Stay Classy with Irelia (feat. Morgan Freeman)

Asaki Last updated on April 2, 2013
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Ability Sequence

1
14
15
17
18
Ability Key Q
3
4
5
7
9
Ability Key W
2
8
10
12
13
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

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Executioner
 
 

Offense: 9

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Honor Guard
 
 

Defense: 18

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pickpocket
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Nimble
 
 

Utility: 3


Guide Top

Read this first

Irelia is weak before level 5, can trade evenly at level 7, and is one of the strongest champions at level 9. This doesn't mean she can't kill at level 1 or 2, but in general, you want to play around this power curve, unless opportunity presents itself.

Also, Irelia, especially with this squishy build, is not invincible. Do not leap into fights until your target has appeared.

The information above, including the quick guide (remember to read the notes), is enough to play Irelia for the first time as a fling, but does not explain the nuances of playing Irelia.




When you're ready to read the guide, open these three links in a new tab.

Turn down the volume in the bottom left
Turn up the volume to hear the jazz better
This one is fine where it is

For the final touch, read this guide in Morgan Freeman's voice.


Guide Top

Introduction

Hello, my summoner name is Asakyun, and I'm a Silver 1-2 player. In the first place, I wasn't going to make a guide for Irelia in S3 because she was completely outclassed due to her favorite items being nerfed, along with the attack speed stat in general. But now, with Blade of the Ruined King, she is definitely a decent pick for ranked.

I'm probably going to try to add some videos, especially to explain the tricks you can pull off with Irelia's abilities, at least when I figure out how to record and not have League's FPS drop to 15. Also will add a full game if I can record without lagging, not necessarily a stomp, but just a regular ranked game. It would be nice if I win though. :D


(verification)
Elophant
LolKing



By looking at my stats, you might say I shouldn't be making a guide on Irelia, but one on Singed, Vi, or a support (including support Ashe)


However, a large factor was that I was 0W 4L with Irelia before Blade of the Ruined King. Excluding those games, I am 19W 11L with Irelia, giving a 63% win rate. I also have over 300 games of ranked experience with Irelia over S2 and S3.


So, let's get started!


Guide Top

Why play Irelia?

Irelia is, in my opinion, a weak pick in comparison to other top laners. She will get stomped if she dies early and the enemy gets a level and gold advantage on her. In addition to this, Irelia is a sub-par jungler, which gives away the fact you're going to play top lane.


So why should I play her if she is so "bad"?


1. She has (almost) no real counters.
2. If she gets the first kill, normally she will almost always get the second kill and the third kill, and so on.
3. After stomping in the scenario above, she can normally auto-win games.


Guide Top

How do I win games?

hi i'm uber 1337 pro who should be in challenger but i always have noob teammates who always throw the game and feed 0/20 to the enemy



Now I digress, some games are indeed, unwinnable. However, if it's something moderate like an enemy AP mid being 3/0, or an AD carry 3/0, Irelia will be able to screw them up, even if she is 0/0, as long as she has Blade of the Ruined King, and you start ganking early (i.e. as soon as your lane has been won).

After ganking, push a tower. Towers win games, not kills. If dragon is up, do dragon after pushing down a turret. Return to your lane, push it back out, rinse and repeat.





If you win lane and follow these steps, you should win at least 75% of your games. If you're not winning, the following happened:


1. You didn't win lane.

Winning lane gives you options. You can continue to play defensively, you can play aggressively, and you can roam. If you don't win lane, you're normally restricted to playing defensively. You can roam when losing lane, but your tower will go down, and you might not be strong enough to make ganks work. Winning lane also corresponds to getting an earlier Blade of the Ruined King which is a ridiculously powerful ganking tool. If you don't have Blade of the Ruined King early enough, you may not be able to pull off a successful gank.



2. You didn't roam after winning lane.

If you don't roam, then you have a much more minimal effect on the game. Top lane is relatively isolated from the early action, which happens around mid, bot and dragon. If you do not roam, then as the isolated top-laner, you have almost 0 impact on how the game plays out. Your enemy laner is also worth less gold the more times you kill him, so it's not worth staying in lane to get diminishing returns. (there are some exceptions, and you should NOT pick Irelia when these exceptions are present)



3. You made a dumb play.

Roaming is fine and all, but you have to be smart about it. If you give the enemy a kill, then it sure as hell had to have secured your team a double kill. You don't win games by going even, you have to win every trade. Being smart also applies later on. With this build, you cannot simply go 1v5 in the late-game, or even dive into the middle of the team-fight. Pick your target, and do not go in until this target has appeared.






Notice how in the three points above, I do not mention anything about your teammates. Especially in Silver tier or lower, almost all games are winnable, as long as you have the skills.

If, for example, Voyboy was playing in your place, in many of those "unwinnable" games, he would have carried hard. Your 4/1/0 would have been 10/0/17 for Voyboy, and he would have carried that game. He would roam and get his teammates back in the game. If you really believe you belong in a higher elo, then this is how you need to think.

Focus on yourself, and not on how bad your teammates are. By doing so, you will be a generally better player, you will always be able to improve, and you won't be at risk of having a heart attack. The first step in being a better player is to think about how you could have done something better, rather than blaming others.


Guide Top

Runes

Runes

Greater Mark of Attack Speed
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
3



Runes are more "personal flair" than game-changing. They're only an aid to help you through the early levels, but they're far overshadowed by items as the game goes on.

My runes are ones you could consider standard for junglers, so these can serve dual-purpose as a page for Irelia and a page for jungling.

The total cost of this page is 10,455 IP. Changing out ASPD marks for AD will reduce the price to 8,610 IP. This page will work for all junglers (AP junglers arguable) and Irelia. I'm trying to reduce the number of runes and rune pages we need to play Irelia. If you want a scaling MR glyph page, that's fine with me.





Marks
Runes

Greater Mark of Attack Speed
9

Greater Mark of Attack Damage
9
M
A
R
K
S
The most optimal marks for Irelia are ASPD marks, giving 15% attack speed.

It does not greatly hurt Irelia to have AD marks. AD marks help last hitting, but Irelia scales a lot better with ASPD, due to Hiten Style.


If you are really intent on playing Irelia, you should really have ASPD marks though. ASPD marks are also great for a jungling page.
M
A
R
K
S




Seals
Runes

Greater Seal of Armor
9
S
E
A
L
S
If you're playing top lane, there's only one legitimate choice for seals, and that's armor. Most top-laners are physical damage, most junglers are physical damage. It's nearly inexcusable to play ranked top lane and not have all nine armor seals. Make sure you have these, if not anything else.
S
E
A
L
S




Glyphs
Runes

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

Greater Glyph of Attack Speed
9
G
L
Y
P
H
S
MR glyphs are quite useful in the case that you're against an AP top laner or an AP jungler. They're also cheap and can be used for any role, so if you are limited on rune pages, then use MR glyphs.

ASPD glyphs are also an option, as they scale well with Hiten Style, but they're expensive and not all-purpose. If you have lots of rune pages, this could be a second page for Irelia.


This is really the only place I would deviate from my standard ASPD marks, armor yellows, MR glyphs and AD quints.
G
L
Y
P
H
S




Quintessences
Runes

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
3

Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed
3

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
3
Q
U
I
N
T
S
You can have ASPD quints for the additional scaling with Hiten Style. This brings you up to 25% ASPD, when combined with your marks.

You can also have MS quints to counter kiting. However, this is fixed by building Blade of the Ruined King, Zephyr or Iceborn Gauntlet.

Finally, you can get AD quints. In my opinion, these are the best quints for all physical damage based characters. "But you just said ASPD marks were the best for Irelia?" Yes, they're the best marks for Irelia, but AD quints have a special advantage over ASPD quints.

AD quints are equivalent to 2.37 AD marks, but ASPD quints are only equivalent to 2.0 ASPD marks. In addition, AD helps you last hit, and I believe you should retain some AD in order to facilitate last hitting, and quints are clearly the best place to add AD. You can't use Bladesurge to last hit every minion, so you're going to need some AD.
Q
U
I
N
T
S


Guide Top

Masteries

Masteries, like runes, are more "personal flair" than game changing.

Offense
Having 9 points in offense is obvious.

Summoner's Wrath gives you that little extra boost of AD when your Ignite is down, just a little perk for 1 point.

Fury gives you some sweet attack speed which boosts your Hiten Style, no matter how little.

Deadliness is not the best mastery for Irelia, but it's a free 12 AD at level 18, and will also give you access to the next tier...

Weapon Expertise is the mastery you spent 9 points in offense for. Giving 10% armor penetration, as a physical damage dealer that does not build Last Whisper, this is extremely important.





Defense
18 points in Defense? Not so obvious.

You get the 4 points in Durability for 108 HP at level 18 and access to Veteran's Scars .

Tough Skin also helps mitigate early minion damage, as minions can contribute as much as 50% of the damage in an early death.

Then Hardiness or Resistance as necessary.

Unyielding to help mitigate early damage. When each auto-attack from an enemy does maybe 40 to 50 damage, Unyielding in combination with Block will cut the damage by 1/8th or 1/10th, which is huge.

Veteran's Scars for that free +30 health early. This is worth more than one HP quint, which only gives +26 HP.

Block for reasons stated above.

Tenacious : With the 15% tenacity from this mastery, 35% tenacity from Mercury's Treads or Zephyr and the maximum 40% tenacity from your passive, CC duration is reduced by 67%.


The last 2 points in defense can be used in one of the two ways:

2 points into Relentless for reduced effect of slows. I actually like this mastery, even though it only reduces slow amount by 15%. It helps against Ashe and other champions with perma-slows.


Or


1 point into Juggernaut and 1 point into Reinforced Armor . Juggernaut is an arguable 1 point wonder. Reinforced Armor is also a 1 point wonder because it reduces damage from criticals by 10% with only a 1 point investment. When your job is to kill carries (normally the AD carry), and carries critical 55% of the time, then this point reduces the damage you take a respectable amount. This isn't a wasted point like Honor Guard , this will actually help you take damage.






Utility
3 points into utility.
These 3 points into utility is where my own style comes into play. If you like Honor Guard , put those 3 points into defense, but I think being able to use your skills more is much more helpful than 3% damage reduction.

Meditation lets you use your skills more, meaning more Bladesurges to help you CS, and more lane staying power. In my opinion, this is more valuable than the weaksauce Honor Guard .

You can also opt for Summoner's Insight if you remove a point from defense. However, I don't think that 15 seconds is that huge. Think back on every time you died. Would those 15 seconds have saved you an appreciable amount of the time? I don't think so.


Guide Top

Skill Sequence

W > R > E > Q against melee in lane and Teeto
W > R > Q > E against ranged in lane

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18






Ionian Fervor is a great passive. However, you need to understand the limitations of your passive, as an Irelia player.


What Ionian Fervor will do:

+ Make CC irrelevant in teamfights
+ Possibly help you out when you get ganked
What Ionian Fervor will not do:

- Reduce CC significantly in a 1v1 duel







Take an early point in Q ( Bladesurge) to easily CS. The CD on Q refreshes on kill, so in theory, you could get all your CS with Q. This is too mana intensive, however, and I recommend you learn to CS normally, with auto attacks. You can, however, use it to get all the CS when there are two minions about to die and you can only reach 1. If you want increased safety from ganks, take E at level 1 and Q at level 2. Max Q last, unless your lane opponent is ranged.

Tip: Bladesurge resets your autoattack timer, so if you auto-attack then Bladesurge really quickly, it'll have the same effect as auto-attacking twice in the time of one. AA, Q, AA will give you about 3 Hiten Style procs in less than a second.

Tip 2: Bladesurge applies all on-hit effects, including Hiten Style, Wit's End, and Spellblade procs. In fact, using Bladesurge counts as proc'ing the Spellblade passive, and when you reach the target and hit them with your Bladesurge, the target has the extra damage applied. Thus, you don't necessarily have to activate Hiten Style before Bladesurge to proc Spellblade, but it's normally in your best interest.

Tip 3: If your opponent is standing next to a dying minion, you can Bladesurge onto that minion and then use Equilibrium Strike on your opponent. Afterwards activate Hiten Style and start whacking away. Use Bladesurge later on in order to either escape or stick onto your opponent.

Tip 4: If the enemy jungler ganks from behind you, just use Bladesurge on him, and you'll escape the gank easily.






Take W ( Hiten Style) as priority afterwards to get extra sustain and true damage which helps in trades. Hiten Style's sustain was hit hard, but it still gives you something.

Tip: Activate Hiten Style before you use Bladesurge, as Bladesurge procs Hiten Style.






Take E ( Equilibrium Strike) at level 2 to get the CC, and max it second for increased burst damage. If you want increased safety from early ganks, take E at level 1.

Tip: Equilibrium Strike will stun even if both of you are at the same % of HP. So, if both of you are at full health, E is a guaranteed stun.






Needless to say, take R ( Transcendent Blades) when you have the chance to. One of the greatest things to do with R is to wait until your opponent comes up with a huge minion wave, then engage. You might think that doing so is bad for you (minions can do lots of damage), but with Tough Skin , you cut the damage by a large amount, and Transcendent Blades will quickly turn the tides in your favor. (healing you while damaging your opponent)

Tip: Transcendent Blades also doesn't interrupt your attack animations, so you could use it to increase your DPS slightly. Each blade is worth about the same amount of damage as an autoattack without Hiten Style, so it's helpful.

Tip 2: Transcendent Blades will quickly even out a fight in your favor, especially if you're fighting in a wave of minions, as you will also heal for the damage done to minions.

Tip 3: If calculated, Transcendent Blades will do more damage than, say Lee Sin's Dragon's Rage, as long as you hit all 4 blades. Don't believe people when they say this ult is weak -- It's still very strong, just because it doesn't have massive burst damage doesn't make it any weaker.

Tip 4: When you have an item with Spellblade procs, such as Sheen, Iceborn Gauntlet or Trinity Force, space out your Transcendent Blades to one every 2 seconds if you're not at risk of dying, in order to maximize damage from Spellblade procs. Of course, if you're at risk of dying, spam it to get health back as soon as possible.

Tip 5: When you want to recall, use Transcendent Blades to push the lane. You will miss less CS this way and Transcendent Blades has a short cooldown.




Combos

Q to dying minion > E > W > AA > Q

This combo takes advantage of the fact that if both are at the same percentage of health, Irelia's Equilibrium Strike will stun. You then have a choice to Q back to a minion to disengage or to Q to your opponent to stick. Add Transcendent Blades and Ignite if going for a kill.




W > Q > E > AA

This is a standard combo. Q onto your opponent. Use this if your opponent is smart and stays away from dying minions. Add Transcendent Blades and Ignite if going for a kill.




Q to dying minion > Q > E (1300 range gap closer)


In lane, you can trick people who are low on HP into coming closer to the minion wave with this combo. They'll think that you're not going for a kill and walk back up to the minion wave for CS. When an enemy minion starts to die, Q to that minion and then Q to the enemy (W optional) for a super long gap closer.

When chasing (you need rank 5 Q and an item that gives Spellblade procs), you can Q to a ranged minion on a passing wave, then Q to the target you're chasing. The ranged minion instantly dies, refreshing your Q.


Guide Top

Starting Items

There are three main starts for Irelia to take.




sight ward

sight wardsight ward


I will go through the pros and cons of each start.








The main advantage that starting with Long Sword provides is getting 400 gold ahead in your build. It is the most dangerous start. It has nearly zero gank resistance, as you do not start with a ward, and you only have two potions. With two potions, you only have 300 health worth of sustain.

Though I like to use this start every game, it's not the most optimal start. Obviously I don't follow my own advice, but this start should only be used against weak early laners and against junglers with weak ganks, such as a Fiora top and Warwick jungle combo.






Sight ward


This is the favored start of many top laners, tournaments included. Has good bait potential, insane stats for the cost. Using Elixir of Fortitude automatically gives you health, rather than healing over time, so it works similarly to potions in MMOs. This is literally the strongest start in the game at the moment, as it provides an additional 100 base HP and 15 AD, which is much more than 475 gold worth of stats. You should be ashamed if you cannot win trades against a champion that does not start with Elixir of Fortitude. It also has higher gank resistance that the above start, as it starts with a ward and 600 HP worth of sustain. The only problem is that the effects of Elixir of Fortitude are not permanent. This will be the start you use 90% of the time.






sight ward


This is the most conservative start. You use this if you know you're going to get crushed in lane. Has a whopping 1,350 HP of sustain and 2 sight wards. Will see all ganks before they happen, and even if you do get ganked, you shrug them off easily with your 9 Health Potions. However, If you're in a situation you have to start 9 Health Potions and 2 sight wards, you should have not picked Irelia, and rather a stronger late game champion like Singed or Nasus.


Guide Top

Branching Point

Before building your third item, you should have boots and Blade of the Ruined King. You should rush Blade of the Ruined King 100% of the time. It's an incredible item for Irelia. However, after you finish this item, you have 3 paths to take. The third item in your build is very situational.

In an ideal world where you don't need to be massively tanky, I would build all 3 of these items eventually.










I build this item in almost all of my games as Irelia. The real question is when to buy this item. You can pick up Warden's Mail and hold off finishing Randuin's Omen if tankiness is not necessary at the time.

It gives extreme survivability against physical damage and has pseudo-survivability against magic damage because of the 500 health pool it gives, reducing the effects of burst damage. It reduces the ability of the AD carry to kite you, as it guarantees a movement speed slow whenever you are autoattacked. Its active is also extremely strong, giving maybe a 3 or 4 second movement speed slow in an AOE, which also reduces an enemy's ability to kite you. Randuin's Omen also helps you run away, as you slow anyone who attacks you, and the active can also be used in such a defensive manner.

Definitely an extremely strong item, and should be built on any melee character that needs semi-tanking abilities.







This is a strong offensive and defensive pick. Gives Irelia good utility and Spellblade procs. In the past, I might have advocated Trinity Force or Frozen Mallet, but why buy either when you can have both combined? This is essentially what Iceborn Gauntlet is, while giving a ridiculous mana pool, cooldown reduction, and tankiness in the form of armor.

You would build this as third item if you're teamfighting earlier (so you can skip out on tenacity due to your passive), if an enemy physical damage dealer is fed, or if you simply like the utility and burst damage of Iceborn Gauntlet.







If the enemy magic damage dealer is fed, or the enemy team is magic damage heavy, your third item should be Spirit Visage. Gives one of the highest values of magic resist on any one item in the game, second to only Runic Bulwark. Synergizes extremely well with Irelia, due to the fact it increases regenerative effects by 20%. This helps the lifesteal from Blade of the Ruined King and the life gain on hit from Hiten Style. It also has 20% cooldown reduction, and Irelia loves cooldown reduction.





After building all 3 of these items, you reach 40% CDR, which is the max.


40% CDR stats

Bladesurge: 3.6 second cooldown
Hiten Style: 8.4 second cooldown, 71% uptime on active effect
Equilibrium Strike: 4.8 second cooldown
Transcendent Blades: 30 second cooldown


Guide Top

Situational Items

These items should be mixed into the core (found in the quick guide) as necessary.

Also, the way effective HP works, as a highly regenerative unit, Irelia should not spec for health in and of itself, as she relies more on lifesteal and life gain on hit for tanking, rather than having a massive health pool. Resists synergize with lifesteal and life gain on hit, more so than health.





Attack


If you are completely crushing your lane, you can afford to hold off building tanky and build Zephyr instead. If any enemy champion is "on a rampage" or "legendary", don't build Zephyr as your third item, after boots and Blade of the Ruined King. If you build Zephyr, don't build Mercury's Treads, build Berserker's Greaves. This item gives you insane attack speed, movement speed, and tenacity. All of these are great stats on Irelia, but by going with this item 3rd, you have to play more cautiously in teamfights. Try to build Zephyr at a point where you no longer need to get bulkier.





Armor








Note that when you build this item, you go 10% over CDR cap. This is not ideal but if you really need armor, then that's what you have to do. With 95 armor, this has the second highest armor value of any item in the game, and synergizes with Randuin's Omen active. The attack speed slow aura stacks with Randuin's Omen, which drastically reduces the DPS of any AD carryand auto attack based bruiser. You can easily go above 300 armor if you build Randuin's Omen, Frozen Heart and Iceborn Gauntlet, netting 75% physical damage reduction, which is reduced to 65% after the effects of Last Whisper and Weapon Expertise .







Guardian Angel is an ubiquitous item in League of Legends. Can serve dual purpose as both armor and magic resist, and gives a strong passive to boot. However, the stats of this item are inferior to any dedicated armor or magic resist item, due to its strong passive.

This item can turn around fights in the late game due to the passive, and can lead to a win, but in other cases, it has weak stats compared to other items.





Magic Resist









One of Irelia's core items in Season 2, this has been relegated to a secondary item role. However, it is still decent, provides Irelia much loved attack speed, and magic resist.

Only build Wit's End when you need magic resist outside of Spirit Visage. You should predict whether you need Wit's End, and in that case, you should not build Zephyr and Berserker's Greaves, but instead build Wit's End and Mercury's Treads.

Often, this is enough magic resist for the game, netting you 165 magic resist when Wit's End is at 0 stacks of its passive, and 185 magic resist at 4 stacks.







This is the Holy Grail of magic resist items. However, do not pick this item up if your support or jungler did. They need the cost efficient stats because they do not get as much gold as you do. If they are bad and do not build this item, you need to build it for all the free stats you provide for your team.







This is just a pretty terrible item for Irelia. Irelia doesn't really do much with attack damage, so you're only buying this item for the magic resist and the magic damage shield passive. This item is included simply because I feel I need to provide options, and most other options are even worse.






Like Maw of Malmortius, this is a bad item for Irelia simply because she does not do much with attack damage. This item should only be built if the enemy team has suppression, such as Skarner, Warwick or Malzahar. Even then, Quicksilver Sash should be kept in your inventory as long as possible, until the only item left to build is Mercurial Scimitar.







This item is also an option for magic resist, though it again is weaker than any dedicated magic resist item. Mostly built for the passive.


Guide Top

When not to pick Irelia

Absolutely do not pick Irelia against Singed, Nasus, or Darius. Teemo and Garen also are not good match ups for Irelia. For the most part, Irelia is fine against other top lane champions.

These are not necessarily hard lanes to play against - Singed and Nasus won't easily be able to kill you - but they vastly out-scale you and make it hard for you to do your job snowballing other lanes.







Singed is simply too hard to play against as Irelia. He's nearly impossible for Irelia to kill without jungle help, and forces her to stay in lane even if she did win lane. He does not let you fulfill the core tenets of playing Irelia and top lane in general, which is win lane and roam. Irelia has a hard time winning lane in this case and Singed's pressure with his constant pushing does not allow her to roam. Just don't pick Irelia against Singed.






Nasus, like Singed puts constant pressure on top lane. He is weak in lane, but Irelia still has a hard time killing him due to Wither, which slows both movement speed and attack speed. His ult, Fury of the Sands, also inhibits Irelia's ability to kill Nasus. Finally, because his Siphoning Strike infinitely scales, you do not want to let him free farm, and thus he forces you to stay in lane with him. Nasus, like Singed, thus is not a champion you want to pick Irelia against.






Darius is a generally weak pick on top lane if you use the right champion to counter him, i.e. any ranged champion. However, Irelia is not a ranged champion. Darius punishes champions on top lane simply for being melee (unless you're Yorick), and Irelia is melee, so don't pick Irelia against Darius.






Teemo is just a bad match up for Irelia because he is ranged, easily kites her due to his ability Move Quick, and because his Blinding Dart hard counters Irelia. As an auto attack based champion, not being able to do damage from autoattacks for 1.5 to 2.5 seconds is crippling. It's not as severe early on, but it gets worse late game when his Blinding Dart is maxed. You max Equilibrium Strike first against Teemo in lane, because you need to lay down as much burst damage as possible before he just runs away and blinds you. He also plays similar to Singed in that he will push your lane forever, forcing you to stay in lane.






Garen is an extremely strong top laner. He's especially strong early game, and Irelia is at her weakest in the early game. Irelia has problems getting out of Judgment, and will thus take full damage from it. She even has problems killing Garen at level 9 because his Decisive Strike breaks all slows, including the one from Blade of the Ruined King. It's hard for Irelia to decisively win this lane, so this is not a particularly great match up for her.


Guide Top

When to pick Irelia

Assuming that your opponent is not Singed or Nasus, you can pick Irelia, though certain matchups are incredibly annoying or hard.



Consider your teamcomp and the enemy's teamcomp.


Does your teamcomp include a dedicated tank, normally a jungler, and a semi-tank, normally a support like Thresh, Leona, Alistar or Taric? If so, you can normally afford to build squishier into my "ideal" build.

This is not a limitation though, as you can choose to build tankier, but I enjoy playing Irelia more when building slightly squishier with higher damage.


The more champions on the enemy team that can dive, the safer it is for you yourself to dive, as champions diving on your carries cannot peel for their own carries. However, you need to weigh the risks that your carries will die if you're not peeling. Irelia is a subpar peeler and should not be chosen if you need protection for your carries.



These are the main things to consider when picking Irelia, in my opinion.


Guide Top

Warding

This section will go over important warding locations in top lane. Remember to buy at least 1 ward every time you go back to base.


Ward Areas:


Tribush (Purple team)








River bush (Blue team, can be used for Purple if you want)








Downriver (Purple team in laning, both for Baron)

This location can be used to ward Baron, but in laning phase, only Purple team should use this location, as Purple team's jungler can bypass this ward, but Blue team's jungler cannot, unless he decides to use the exit at midlane, and walk through your jungle to reach you. Note that you cannot directly see if Baron is there with this ward, but can see if a team is doing Baron. Use a Vision Ward if using this location to ward Baron. There's a small mistake in this picture, as the ward is supposed to be much closer to the ridge on the left, in the hopes that your ward will escape the eyes of ward sweepers.








Baron (both teams)

This is the standard area for warding Baron, and gives you vision of Baron as well, unlike the "Downriver" warding area. Make sure you use a Vision Ward.





For more tips, here's a nice video with warding tricks.


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Change Log

3/31/2013, 11:32PM: Guide published