Irelia Build Guide by ab111392

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League of Legends Build Guide Author ab111392

Stay Tenacious, My Friend; Irelia Top Guide

ab111392 Last updated on October 21, 2013
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
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.



Offense: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21


Utility: 0

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Hello, my name is ab111392 and Irelia is by far my favorite champion. I have continued to play her even through all the nerfs, and I think despite all the nerfs, she is still a very viable champion. She has possibly the best stick of any assassin in the game, this due to her INSANE passive, which, when combined with Mercury's Treads and Tenacious gives you high tenacity in the heat of a battle. She also has a long ranged jump and one of the best ults in the game due to it's cooldown. I have tried out many builds with her, but this is the one I have found the most effective.

Pros and Cons

  • High base Movement Speed
  • Strong Mid Game
  • Good last hitting ability
  • Last hits under tower well ([hiten style] and [bladesurge])
  • Strong burst with [trinity force]
  • Can be built tanky, or as an assassin
  • EXTREMELY high tenacity
  • Scales well with Attack speed
  • High sustain
  • Very item-dependent
  • Easily countered
  • Passive is still problematic to Riot
  • Nerfed into the ground
  • Dangerous to pick first in ranked, Renekton, Jax, or Olaf will murder you
  • Mana dependant if pushed to tower
  • Weak before level 9
  • Not great late game
  • Does not push very fast without items or Transcendent Blades

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Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Quintessence of Health
Seals: Greater Seal of Armors are really the only choice you have here, as most top laners are AD, and you are going to need armor to tank the ADC

Glyphs: Greater Glyph of Magic Resist is the most efficient glyph to take, as it gives you tankiness against AP junglers and roaming mid laners, not to mention AP top laners.

Marks: Greater Mark of Attack Damage you are an AD top laner, you are going to need AD runes for a strong early game.

Quints: Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed gives you sufficient attack speed, which you scale well with.

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Take this mastery set against ANY lane. Even an AP lane. It will give you tenacity, as well as tankiness and ATTACK SPEED which is very important on you, as it scales well with your W.

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Item Sequence

Trinity Force

Frozen Mallet

Randuin's Omen

Spirit Visage

Guardian Angel


You are going to want to get these boots in just about any situation, as they give you much needed tenacity. If you don't get these, I advice just skipping boots altogether for a Zephyr and Trinity Force, which give you sufficient movement speed and tenacity.

Probably the best item in the game. I used to dislike this item because of it's lack of focus, but I've recently fallen in love with it, mainly due to the TRIPLE DAMAGE off of the Sheen procs that come with it after an ability. Works especially well with Irelia's ult, giving you INSANE burst, even with just this item.
This should be your start against a lane where you will be having shorter trades. It will give you less sustained damage than Phage, but it will give you higher burst. Do not buy this if you have to back before level 6 as its main synergy comes from Transcendent Blades.
Buy this first if you have to back before level 6 with enough money.
You should always buy this last. Always buy the dagger that combines into it before Phage, though.

This is a great item for assassin's and/or tanks. Excellent tankiness and stick on Irelia, allowing you to slow as well as gain speed from attacking the enemy ADC. The damage isn't bad either.

Another great item for stick. The slow is incredible, and the slow on enemy autoattacks is especially good against autoattack kiting ADCs like Vayne.

Best passive on any item in the game. If you are diving onto the enemy ADC and killing them then dying, your team should be mopping the floor if the enemy team's main damage is gone. This way, even if you die, your team usually gets there in time to save you.

The health is just very, very strong, gives you crazy tankiness late game, capping you up at about 4500 health.

Against a heavy AP team comp you are going to want extra MR. This item gives just that, as well as giving you extra attack speed and damage. Sell it late game for Warmog's Armor.

This item can be great as a situational build, if the enemy ADC is pretty weak and their tanks are you ones wrecking you. The 5% extra damage to tanks is really strong, and the lifesteal is great too.

Another really strong item on Irelia. Usually replace boots with this item late game, but if you are getting fed in lane, just skip the boots and go straight for this and the Trinity Force for MS and tenacity.

Strong item on Irelia. It gives you lots of increased life gain from Transcendent Blades and Hiten Style. Get this after Trinity Force against a heavy AP team comp, it is a situational rush if you are losing lane to a Zac or another strong snowball AP champ.

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Skill Sequence

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

Back when I was a noob and I started playing Irelia, I underestimated this passive WAY too much. It is possibly the best passive in the game, giving Irelia INSANE CC reduction, getting up to 66.85% in teamfights. It is especially useful against CC kiting champs like Varus or Ashe.
Spoiler: Click to view

Great ability for stick and farming. It can be used as a last hit tool, as well as keeping onto the enemy ADC. One auto and a Bladesurge should kill a caster with 1 tower hit. It has a long cooldown before you level it, so try to save it for last hitting if you can in lane. It also applies on-hit affects like Hiten Style, Trinity Force, and Wit's End.

Your main dueling/trading ability. Great for sustain and damage. This is why Irelia scales so well with attack speed. Activate this in any trade, max first. You can also farm with this under tower, one auto gets a caster with one turret shot. This will be your main damage ability. You will max it first so you have maximum sustain and DPS in lane trades. It also deals TRUE DAMAGE, and 75 TRUE DAMAGE per hit when maxed. This makes you very strong because if the enemy stacks armor, or goes cloth+5, you will still deal lots of damage to them.

This is your CC. Make sure to use when you are losing a trade to turn the tide, especially against a champ that counters you. Try to only use your Hiten Style after slowing or stunning the enemy with this to keep them from running. Keep in mind that this ability will stun if you are the same health as your opponent. This makes it especially potent in level 1 fights or duels when you and your opponent are just coming back to lane. Against Irelia you might want to purposely take a little minion damage or leave a little health unhealed at the fountain to counter this.

A great ultimate. It has really strong synergy with your core item of Trinity Force as it gets a Sheen proc for 300% damage with every shot. And there are four. With 100 AD, that means 4 of these plus the autos gives you 1500 damage. Don't be afraid to use it to push waves or heal up, as it has a very low cooldown. It is also your only AOE ability. For this ability, try to engage your opponent with a lot of minions behind them to get extra life steal from this.

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ALWAYS take Flash. It is the best summoner in the game, allowing you to dodge skillshots and escape sticky situations. It also allows you to secure kills.

Since you aren't the best laner in the world as Irelia, you should try to take this for the extra damage. It deals true damage and has heal reduction. Take this every time against dr mundo or Volibear, or against a team with a Soraka

Take this against attack speed based top laners like Teemo or Kayle. It will completely cripple their damage and give you complete lane dominance.

If you are against a champ that really counters you like Jax, Darius or Olaf, take this so you can escape bad situations. It will also help with stick late game, so it's not in vain. This is a really strong spell on other champions, but not as much on you as Irelia.

Against a champ you counter you might want to take this. It allows you to make plays all over the map after you kill or zone your opponent. It will also be more effective late game than Ignite as it will allow you to split push and teleport into a fight.

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Early Game

You are NOT going to have the best early game. Your dominance starts once you hit level 9. Pick up Equilibrium Strike as your first skill, as it is a CC ability and you should always take CC at level 1. Bladesurge at level 2 to CS. You should not try to trade with your lane until level 4, when you have 2 levels in Hiten Style. You want to Bladesurge to a dying creep near your opponent to get the reset, then hit your Equilibrium Strike. Keep in mind that this ability stuns and enemy with equal health too, so if you are both full health then it is worth going in on. Next activate your Hiten Style to do maximum damage with it active. If you think you are going to win the trade, press in on them. Only use Bladesurge if they are getting away and you think you will kill them, as it is your only escape.
First back you should be picking up Sheen for the procs on your ultimate and other abilites. Once you have the Sheen you should have enough burst to zone almost anyone, and with your Transcendent Blades healing you, your enemy will be surprised at your health not lowering and they should run. Keep in mind that the lifesteal on Transcendent Blades applies to minions hit too, so try to engage in the middle of a big lined up creep wave for them. Your combo should be Q-AA-E-AA-W-AA-R-AA-R-AA-R-AA-R-AA. If your enemy is dumb enough to fight you that long, you will kill them. Ignite, Flash, or Bladesurge for the kill if you have too.

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Mid Game

This is when you get your core build including Trinity Force, Mercury's Treads, Pickaxe, and Giant's Belt. You should be in perfect shape to dive onto the enemy carry in the fight.
Number 1 rule of the Mid Game- KNOW THE DRAGON TIMER. If dragon is up, you should be heading bottom to help your team contest it. If the enemy team is grouping for a turret, head down to help your team. You should have great MS off of Mercury's Treads and Trinity Force, so you should be able to get to the dragonpit or a mid or bot turret fast. Use the same combo in the previous section onto the enemy ADC, except use the Bladesurge directly onto them instead of a minion unless they are taking wraiths or wolves. You should never be the one engaging. Dive onto the enemy ADC in all the chaos of an engage from your or the enemy team. If the enemy tanks are carrying, the you should get a Blade of the Ruined King to take out those anoying tanks.

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Late Game

Late game usually starts when multiple players get several items. By late game you should have Mercury's Treads, Trinity Force, Frozen Mallet, and Randuin's Omen. You should be dealing high damage and you should be very tanky. Use your same combo in late game, but mix in a Randuin's Omen active if they are getting away. In late game, most fights are going to be around baron or for a turret or inhibitor. Unless your team has great map control and you are far ahead, you should be grouped up for a baron or turret. Always be taking jungle camps or shoving lanes whenever your team is in the area. Even if you don't kill the enemy ADC, pushing them far enough away from the fight should buy your team enough time to annihilate the rest of the enemies. For example Vayne will kite you to the moon and back, so just chase after her and try to kill her. If you can't, your Guardian Angel will keep you alive long enough for your team to get there, after they win the fight due to having an ADC while the other team doesn't.

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Thanks for looking at my Irelia guide. I hope you enjoy playing Irelia as much as I do. If you have any tips or comments for my guide, please leave feedback in the Comments/Discussion, and upvote if you liked it.
Stay tenacious, My friend.