Irelia Build Guide by GMCustom

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League of Legends Build Guide Author GMCustom

The True Irelia: No Trinity Force [Updated 5/16]

GMCustom Last updated on June 5, 2012
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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

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Introduction - No Trinity Force?

This guide is primarily to show you how to build Irelia as one of the strongest off-tanks in the game.

You will notice that this build does not include Trinity Force and that is for a good reason. The fact is that Trinity Force is for a hyper-carry-based Irelia, not a tanky one. However, just because Mallet is a tank-based item, you should not think that it will decrease your carrying cability compared to a Trinity Force Irelia. What Frozen Mallet does for Irelia and her team has a much greater impact than what Trinity Force does for a lower cost.

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Items - Primary Off-tank

The items shown in the purchase order above represent what the build will generally look like when completed(in nor particular order). However, as tanky DPS, you must build accordingly depending on what kind of damage you will primarily be taking. Luckily, it's pretty simple for Irelia.

- Beginning of laning phase

1. Doran's Shield

- note: You should have around 700 HP at level 1 with at least 18 HP per 5 to boot. Just don't get too low and you'll be on your way to farmville.

2. + Boots + 3/4 pots

- note: Fairly standard. Wait at base after minions spawn for 4 potions.

3. + Cloth Armor + 5 pots

- note: Safest opener VS ADs. Will mainly lead into fast Ninja Tabi.

- tip: You can do purple side mini golems at 1:40 with this opener.

4. + Null magic mantle + 2 pots
- note: Exclusively for magic damage dealers.

- What you may need to win laning phase

1. VS magic: , , , .
- note: start off by get 1-2 Null magic mantle(s]

2. VS physical: , ,
note: I highly recommend getting a health item at this point in the game. Regardless of who I'm laning against, I will always find myself getting a Ruby Crystal or Giant's Belt if I can afford it.

- End of mid-game goals / Core (25 minute mark)

* you should have at least three of these items in no particular order

1. or
2. or
- By this time, you should be ready to fight.
Against magic damage and CC,your build might look like this: " , , or
Against auto attackers and AD, your items may end up like this: " , ,

Regarding Frozen Mallet purchase timing:
If your team does not deal enough damage, then keep Phage and finish Atma's, Wit's End, and finally Last Whisper. If you know your teamfight is strong and others besides yourself can deal damage, then you can get Frozen Mallet.

- Late game items

Building more damage:
Atma's Impaler into Last Whisper will be all the damage you need. This combination is a huge boost to every auto-attack as well as the best way to increase 's damage(via Armor Penetration).
Youmuu's Ghostblade
for pure damage. Use the Active + Hiten Style and you'll be chunking lives away.

Building more tank:
Force of Nature

- Primary big MR item. Easily started by purchasing a Negatron Cloak.

Quicksilver Sash

- When you are dealing with suppression champions, this is a must.

Guardian Angel

- Can buy you and your team plenty of time during a fight, especially under towers(either allied or foe).

Randuin's Omen

- Best big armor item. If you need the armor early on, get Warden's Mail then upgrade later.

Randuin's Omen

- More HP to deal with enemy teams that are focused on burst.

Note: The stats that the builder provides does not include the AD gained from Atma's Impaler Unique Passive nor the HP bonus from Juggernaut Mastery.

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Runes - Hiten Speed

Attack Speed Reds, Blues, Quints - 31%
Armor Yellows - 13

31% Attack Speed does a lot of things for Irelia.

1. Higher sustain in lane.

- High attack speed means you get more HP from Hiten Style HP return at a faster rate.

2. More damage output from Hiten Style active.

- As Hiten Style will always last a flat duration thus having more attack speed is the only way to maximize the skill's damage.

3. More chances to get Phage procs.

- Land even one Phage proc and your enemy is in big trouble; usually sending them back to their tower or netting you a kill.

4. More chances for critical strikes.

- Atma's Impaler is core and we all know critical strikes are not to be taken lightly.

5. (BONUS) You need attack speed runes for jungle Irelia.


If you know you will be up against an AP champion, it is possible to run another rune setup consisting of...

Attack Speed reds - 15%
Flat Armor yellows - 13
Flat MR or MR per level blues - 13 or 24 @ level 18
Move Speed quints - 4.5%

This makes laning vs APs a little easier as much more poking is involved. Extra move speed gives you better zone/space control, more MR is awesome(and are the best blue runes), and you still get a nice attack speed boost.

If you feel that you need even more early game sustain regardless of rune set, HP regen quints will solve that problem right away. Get Vigor(+3 hp regen mastery) along with those quints and you should end up with 20 HP per 5 at level 1.

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Masteries - 21 Defense

Of the three trees, the defense tree is her strongest. As an off-tank, you will need every advantage that will keep you alive in a fight. The other trees simply do not do this for you.

21+ offense is not recommended as Irelia already deals damage. Hiten Style, which is a large part of your DPS, is not affected by the deep offense masteries, so we only need to put 9 points into improved ghost/exhaust, +3 AD, 4% ASPD, and the 10% armor penetration.

The utility tree has changed the least from the new mastery patch. It is still a good option, but defense is going to give us what we really want on Irelia.

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Skill Sequence - Hiten then...

Max W first. No brainer there. Free damage and HP; ridiculously good. Every auto attacker in the game wishes that they had this skill. The big question is what to max second. It is important to note that the Hiten Style cooldown begins when you activate it, not when it is finished. As Hiten will always last six seconds, you can subtract that from the cooldown shown and that will be your true cooldown on the skill.

Maxing Q second will increase your damage output and battle mobility. You will usually max this second, as the extra CDR will usually be the difference between securing a kill from a runner or just being able to tack on some extra damage for free. Once this is level 5 and granted that you have any amount CDR(from Kindlegem/Reverie or a CDR mastery), you will be able to Bladesurge twice while Hiten Style is active! Maxing this will also optimize Frozen Mallet's utility.

Maxing E second is optimal against other bruisers where you and your opponent are sitting on top of each other with auto-attacks. A longer stun is going to ruin their day compared to tacking on another Bladesurge, as well as help yourself disengage more easily and make it easier to gank your lane.

If you can't make up your mind, just max Q first. You'll have more fun bouncing around fights.

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Summoner Spells

+ combo is the ol' classic. Tons of utility and survivability with this summoner combination.

Flash is the best summoner in the game. If you are uncomfortable using it, ghost is a fine substitute.

Teleport is just crazy good for top lanes. You're basically isolated up there and teleport remedy's this. Very strong for organized teams.

Ignite is certainly viable. Securing kills at top lane is a pretty big deal.

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The rest is up to you, summoner.

Now go win every top lane. And don't miss any CS.