Irelia Build Guide by AIBE
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.
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.
The Ionians have developed some of the most breathtaking and deadly martial arts on all of Runeterra - just one manifestation of their pursuit of enlightenment. The most remarkable blade style to emerge, however, was the unusual byproduct of foreign intervention. Master Lito was a swordsman whose teachings were sought by ruling class** from nearly every city-state. His art was a highly-guarded secret, but it was said that swords would breathe in his grasp. He withered unexpectedly from a mysterious disease which baffled the brightest of Runeterran physicians. When he died, he left behind Zelos and Irelia, his son and daughter, and a truly unique weapon. Zelos became a sergeant in the Ionian military and left to seek assistance from Demacia immediately prior to Noxus' invasion of Ionia. Irelia, charged with the protection of their home until Zelos returned, was alone when the Noxian forces struck.
The Ionians fought admirably, but soon Ionian blood stained the land beneath the prints of foreign boots. At the Great Stand of the Placidium, Ionians prepared for surrender, but were inspired to maintain their resistance when the young Irelia lifted her father's enormous blade and pledged to hold until her brother returned. In the chaos of the ensuing fight, Irelia was cursed with dark Noxian Necromancy. As her life ebbed, Soraka, the Starchild, made a final attempt to anchor her fading soul. Unwilling to relinquish her home, Irelia rose at the brink of death, and her father's sword lifted in the air alongside her. Irelia rushed back to the fore, unfazed by the blade's sudden animation. The weapon danced around her effortlessly, cutting down Noxians as they gaped in horror. The decimated invaders were forced to retreat from the Placidium. Irelia was appointed Ionia's Captain of the Guard, and when the defense of her homeland moved to the Fields of Justice, so did she.
'The sword flourishes, as though painting with blood.'
- Taken from a Noxian Field Report
+ Awesome solo toper
+ Easy to farm with
+ She can triple attack
+ Great sustain
+ Kills carries
+ Fun to play
- Item dependent
- Kinda squishy without runes or masteries
- Needs to farm well
- Not good against tanky people
- Melee champion
- Never uses left hand in battle
Many others also prefer Exhaust over Ignite. It's usually up to the player. If the enemy has lots of AD output, you may want to get this instead.
I still think, however after switching between Ghost and Flash, that Flash is still the better spell. Mainly because I think that it's kinda hard to suddenly come out of nowhere if your Bladesurge is not in range with a Ghost. It can often determine if you pick up a kill or not.
Other Viable Summoner Spells
This spell has been recently buffed and many carries love to pick this one up, however due to Irelia's insane sustain, if you know how to play her than this would be a waste of a summoner spell slot.
Due to Irelia's awesome CC reduction abilities, you probably shouldn't get this, unless you simply know they got lots of CC or you just hate Ignite as now Cleanse removes Ignite.
It'd be a good idea to pick up an offensive or defensive spell (eg. Ignite) with an escape spell (eg. Flash).
I don't see why you would consider the other spells.
- Your passive is a boss as it lets Irelia to have 40% CC reduction max. It's based on how many champions are around you up to three. You have to see the enemy champion for the CC reduction to count. If a teamfight is about to engage, don't be too afraid if the enemy has lots of CC for this passive will erase that fear.
- Use this to get the creep even if it cost you some mana (it'll be worth it later).
- On enemy champions, after attacking once, Bladesurge to reset your attack timer and attack again.
- The mana refunds if you get the kill so last hitting with this spell shouldn't be a problem.
- It is easy to chase enemy champions on a long distance run, as Bladesurge can quickly catch up to them.
- Give you boss sustain.
- You can lane forever with this spell.
- If you don't have your Bladesurge up will the turret is attacking minions turn this on for the extra damage to get the last hit.
- If teamfights or 1v1 fights, remember to turn this on for that extra 75 TRUE damage. It will hurt squishies.
- Use this to turn teamfights or 1v1 fights around. If you are chasing use it to slow. If the enemy champion decides to fight you, wait till your HP is lower than theirs if it ever becomes, and then stun them. A good tactic is to stun when your HP is lower, attack, Bladesurge, and attack with Hiten Style's active on. They should take lots of damage. If squishies dare to fight you, this combo will literally just melt them away.
- Please remember that this spell depends on who's HP is higher. To look at the enemy HP number click on the champion and it will appear on the top-left hand corner. You can also guess buy just looking at the bars, unless you turned them off.
- If you've never played Irelia before, remember that after you press R, you can press R four more times to shoot out each blade. The blades will shoot accordingly to where your cursor is at, at the current time.
- Early game you should use this ability to push a creep wave. A good time to do this would be right when you are about to go B to buy stuff.
- Early on this spell will not clear the creep wave for you even on the caster minions, so you will have to go to the caster minions and kill them yourself. If their HP is low enough, Bladesurge all three. If Bladesurge wouldn't kill the minion then attack, Bladesurge, and repeat to the other minions.
- This spell gives immense sustain, so if you need some HP, use it on a big creep wave.
-If you feel like a teamfight will soon begin, save this spell, otherwise use it as it's cooldown is very low.
The only reason I get Bladesurge at lvl 1 first opposed to Hiten Style, is just to make sure I outlane my opponent immediately. As you rarely die at lvl 1, get Hiten Style at lvl 2 will not make much of a difference. However if you do prefer Hiten Style first, get it at lvl 1, and get Bladesurge at lvl 2.
I max out Hiten Style first in order to fulfill your "sustain opness" role. It's just too much to give away. I'm not sure if anyone doesn't max this first. However I've tried maxing out different things in different games, but they just don't pwn as much as your sustain. Also this spell does some insane true damage at lvl 9 which should garuntee some kils or at least win your lane.
I max out Bladesurge after that is because it really hurts. This spell also allows you to attack three time in what should've been two time. You do this by attacking, Bladesurgeing, and immediately attack after as this spell will reset your attack timer. I've noticed how many ask why I don't max Equilibrium Strike second, and my answer is simply because I like the distance it can cover, and the short cooldown it will offer at lvl. 13. Sure you can slow more for 2 seconds, or maybe a stun, but slow is covered from my Frozen Mallet, and in cases where I'm losing, enemies will do anything so they can kill you, even if it means they have to Flash or something.
I max out Transcendent Blades next because I really don't know who doesn't. Though it's damage isn't exactly the best for an ulti and can be easily dodged, but this spell allows you to clear creep waves quickly and farm like a boss. It also gives more sustain which Irelia just needs :D.
Last but not least, I max out my Equilibrium Strike next because it's the last spell. I've seen players max this out first just because players play Irelia as a burst caster, but I really don't see how that works. Yes, 280 damage will hurt on squishies, but that just means you're playing against noobs. People argue that the stun and slow duration can become 2 seconds at lvl 9 and I am aware of that, but most people don't use this for the stun unless running away for your damage output should sooner or later be higher than that of your opponents.
Bladesurge VS Equilibrium Strike
As there has been some comments about which skill to max after Hiten Style, I'd thought I might as well add in a chapter about this topic.
I tend to max Bladesurge over Equilibrium Strike. Sometimes I do the opposite. Mainly it is between what I find I need more. If there aren't many teamfights during the mid phase, I tend to max Equilibrium Strike so I can kill my enemy laner. I also prefer to max Equilibrium Strike if my enemy has a strong early game. If there are many teamfights early on, I tend to max Bladesurge so I can hop around in teamfights. By increasing Bladesurge's lvl, not only is the damage increased, but the cooldown is also significantly decreased. Because of this, you can dash around more. In teamfights, it would be really annoying not to be able to dash after someone uses Flash in a mere 5 seconds. Though arguably you can attack more with Equilibrium Strike's longer stun/slow, but sometimes Bladesurge will cover the enemy's escape distance more efficiently.
Mostly it is really if you prefer or want to max Bladesurge or Equilibrium Strike. Sometimes it is also very situational.
if you don't care about the extra speed, or simply want some of each defense characteristic.
if the enemy can constantly harass you (eg. Riven or Gangplank).
for some insane regen at early lvls.
Your first back will really depend on how you farmed and stuff:
I find that this item is so useful and will soon build into a Frozen Mallet or Trinity Force. The slow will help you pick up kills with the enemy not being about to escape from you without burning some summoner spells.
This is a very standard item to get for you should be solotoping and the ward will allow you to control the Baron buff and enemy jungler ganks. If you started with a Cloth Armor, then this should be your first item when you come back.
This item is just so legit for its attack speed and passive. Remember that if you do get Wit's End, your Bladesurge will also proc its passive with the extra 42 damage and magic resist stack.
If you need some speed or extra CC reduction, this will be a good item to get.
Other Viable Items
Because of the decent 10% damage reduction passive, this is great against large amounts of damage.
if you are just pwning and want to move faster or if the enemy just has no CC.
if you started with a Regrowth Pendant. Gold/5 is always good.
if you plan to build a Trinity Force and you are really destroying the enemy solotoper.
or Avarice Blade if you plan to get a Youmuu's Ghostblade.
if you plan to get Randuin's Omen or even some extra health.
Your other items really depend on if you die, kill, or farm properly:
This item is great in a combination with Warmog's Armor, Frozen Mallet, or simply items that give you health. If gives some decent armor, critical strike, and an attack damage boost.
If you got Phage and you don't plan on getting Trinity Force, you want this soon as the slow is great.
This item will allow you to die and come back into the fight with a boost of armor and magic resist. However the revive passive should only be used as a last resort as a 5 minute cooldown could hurt you in teamfights.
Other Viable Items
I've noticed how many people rush this item first and claim that after getting this Irelia will start getting kills, but I've noticed that a Frozen Mallet and Atma's Impaler combo will do much of the same but giving you more tankiness. In my second build however, I rush this item, but that is only if I am doing very well early game, or I'm just farming enough. It's more of a personal preference.
If you got a Heart of Gold, you should aim to get this item. Remember that if people are attacking you, their attack speed and movement speed may be slowed. Also remember to use the item's active to garuntee that slow. This item also denies Irelia herself because she cannot chase people properly if they have this as much of her damage comes from her auto-atacks with true damage. Really counters champions like Irelia and also simply champs that need to auto-attack to do well against you.
If you got a Avarice Blade or a Brutalizer you should probably build this. Your active gives you movement and attack speed with the attack speed stacking if you get hurt during the duration of the active. The active stacks if you get hit, even by minions and can be great for chasing opponents, running away, or pushing towers. I like this with a combination of Randuin's Omen so you can run and chase efficiently.
This item will deny enemy carries for its surrounding attack speed debuff. So if you got some annoying carries, this may well be better than Randuin's Omen as it's debuff is an aura.
Some people prefer this over getting Frozen Mallet. It does give you more HP and HP regen, so it is up to you. It also stacks for each kill or minion kill you get and doesn't reset even if you die.
With extra movement speed, percentage HP regen, and magic resist, this is probably one of the best items to get if you have lots of casters that melt you down quickly.
Great to get if the enemy team has a fed AD carry like Tryndamere. Getting this item will just deny enemy AD carries, unless they do true damage. Vayne T_T.
I really like this item's passive as DoT should not be ignored. Just remember that you can't control this passive so if you are low around enemy towers, and you burn them, turret agro will be on you.
I like this item's passive as a whole as the regen per lvl up is nice with the ability to negate the first spell that hits your bubble. It gives a decent amount of HP and MP and is great to stop caster's that really need the first spell to hit (eg. Brand, Cassiopeia).
I like this item to help me push lanes and has a very good aura for its price with some nice resists benefits too.
This item can be built out of a Philosopher's Stone and it's passive is great for initiating, chasing, or running.
I'd only get this item if I really think I need by Hitten Stlye passive to heal more or my Wriggle's Lantern passive.
Often an over looked item, but the passive will do its job against casterz. It can also protect you from those Ignites that people think will kill you.
Often an over looked item, however if the enemy really has too much CC, this is your item.
Great item for some tenacity if you don't get Mercury's Treads.
A great item to get for solotopers and if you aren't good at controlling your mana.
If you want some more damage output, this will be a good choice.
This item is viable to replace Wit's End later on if your opponents do get lots of HP as this shreds by percentage instead of flat damage. However if the enemy stacks HP with magic resists, then this is not the item you want.
Sometime your Hiten Style doesn't give enough regen so this could be a good item to replace Wriggle's Lantern or simple have both. You get some good attack damage and it can stack. Just remember that if you die, you lose all your stacks.
Again this armor deduction stacks up to three time with a fairly good amount of attack speed and damage. It is a good item to have if you want to do more damage or to shred people's armor.
This is a great item simply for the fact of it's armor pen. As it scales on percentage, it is a good combination with your runes. If you get Youmuu's Ghostblade also, armor shouldn't be a threat to you.
Wards and Consumables
Due to the fact that many people ignore wards and consumables, that is something you should never do on Irelia, especially during late game phases.
gives you vision. Very good.
gives you vision and vision of other supposively invisible things. Good to place at Dragon and Baron Nashor.
- Get it late game. First always.
- Get it late game. Second if you can buy two elixirs.
- Get it early game if you know what you are doing, or else mid-late game. Third if you can buy three elixirs. This will be great for if you are fighting against champions like Twitch, Shaco, or Evelynn.
- Get it late game. Fourth if you can buy four elixirs.
I just wouldn't really consider the other items. Tell me if you have any ideas though.