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Irelia Build Guide by BlitzIMO

Middle diamond

[11.5] BlitzIMO's Season 11 Irelia Mid Complete Guide

By BlitzIMO | Updated on March 9, 2021
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Runes: Presence of Mind

1 2 3 4
Precision
Conqueror
Presence of Mind
Legend: Bloodline
Last Stand

Domination
Sudden Impact
Ravenous Hunter
Bonus:

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor

Spells:

1 2 3
Aggressive
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

LeagueSpy Logo
Top Lane
Ranked #57 in
Top Lane
Win 47%
Get More Stats

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies

Champion Build Guide

[11.5] BlitzIMO's Season 11 Irelia Mid Complete Guide

By BlitzIMO
Introduction
To all the players reading my guide, I'm BlitzIMO an up and coming Irelia OTP in mid lane. I have been playing League of Legends for a long time (since Zed's release) and have been Diamond for the past few seasons. Up until this point, I avoided one tricking and playing mechanically difficult champions in order to deepen my understanding of macro. However, due to my diminishing enjoyment for the game, I looked for alternative reasons to continue playing. That's how I decided to become a student of the champion I enjoy playing and watching: Irelia. I hope this guide helps you on your path to sharing the joys and the thrills of playing Irelia as I have.
Irelia in the Mid Lane Back to Top
PROS

+ Strong laning phase
+ Easy to gain priority by shoving waves
+ Strong outplay potential (1v2, 1v3)
+ Strong dive potential
+ Strong teamfight potential
+ Mostly winnable matchups in mid lane

Irelia can accel in the mid lane because of Bladesurge and Ionian Fervor. This provides her with a gap closing ability and a huge burst of damage and attack speed that allows her to punish any squishy mid laners that overstep their bounds. Aggressive play in the laning phase should allow Irelia to win lane and help other teammates as well. Using her lead, Irelia can snowball to win the game.
CONS

- Mana management issues
- Low base movement speed
- Weak against CC
- Does not scale into the late game
- Not very tanky until late game
- Mechanically demanding / unforgiving

If Irelia falls behind, it will be difficult for her to comeback into the game. It is important that Irelia plays patiently and does not greed for waves allowing the enemy laner to push before using the wave to close the gap on the enemy. Accumulating experience on Irelia will help improve decision making for laning and teamfights. Remember that taking Teleport may help cover mistakes, especially in harder matchups.
Abilities Back to Top
PASSIVE
Ionian Fervor (Passive): This is what makes Irelia a strong duelist. Her passive requires you to use your abilities on champions, minions, or monsters to stack up to 5 times. Each stack gives you attack speed and damage. You do additional bonus magic damage at maximum stacks, so maxing out stacks will allow you to maximize your damage output.
Q
Bladesurge (Q): This is Irelia's bread and butter. Bladesurge resets its cooldown if the targeted champion, minion or monster is killed within a short timeframe of when it is used. Its cooldown is also reduced to 0.2 seconds if it is used on a marked target. Marks can be applied when Vanguard's Edge or Flawless Duet is used on enemy champions or epic monsters.
W
Defiant Dance (W): This ability is good for channeling to mitigate burst damage and right before CC is applied. It reduces physical damage taken making it good against AD assassins in the mid lane or reducing tower damage. It is also often used to lower minions HP to setup waves for Bladesurge pathing.
E
Flawless Duet (E): This is Irelia's hard CC ability. There are two parts to this ability. The first part sends out a blade and the second part sends out another blade which stuns anything in-between the two blades' path. The second part of the ability can be used while CC'd so it is useful to cancel CC like Warwick's Infinite Duress or Malzahar's Nether Grasp.
R
Vanguard's Edge (R): Irelia's ultimate is an ability that sets up marks for her Bladesurge on enemies, but also traps enemies in a diamond shape in front of her because it slows enemies if they touch the blades on the edges. It is a good engage tool that can set your teams up for strong teamfights. However, it has a long cooldown, so take care when using it.
Pre-Game Setup Back to Top


SUMMONER SPELLS
FLASH: Flash is a very flexible summoner spell that is used on most champions in the game. Irelia can Flash to engage with Vanguard's Edge or get in range of Bladesurge.
IGNITE: Ignite is a good option for Irelia when she is in a winning matchup. It allows her to win all-ins during laning. It is also good for anti-healing against champions like Ekko.
TELEPORT: Teleport provides Irelia a way to return to lane quickly if she makes a mistake or survive in tougher matchups. It can also be used to influence side lanes or split push post laning.
EXHAUST: Exhaust can be used against assassins that want to do burst damage to you such as Fizz. While uncommon, it is worth considering if it is a hard matchup.

RUNES



Precision

Conqueror synergizes well with Irelia because of how she wants to maximize Ionian Fervor using abilities and auto attacks. Irelia benefits from taking Presence of Mind because it helps her manage her mana problems when fighting with the enemy laner. This allows her to take Domination secondary for more damage and healing during the mid-late game. Legend: Alacrity, Legend: Tenacity, and Legend: Bloodline are all viable options and can be boiled down to preference and enemy team composition. Last Stand and Coup de Grace are both viable options, but Last Stand is better if you want to take long extended fights which is where Irelia excels. Start Doran's Blade when taking this rune page to maximize your damage and aggression in lane.
Domination secondary provides Irelia with additional damage and healing. Sudden Impact and Taste of Blood are both viable options, but with Ravenous Hunter providing ominvamp and Legend: Bloodline for extra lifesteal, additional healing is not as necessary.
For the first slot, depending on preference, attack speed or adaptive damage can be taken. For the second slot, adaptive damage is best for Irelia. For the final slot any of the three shards can be taken depending on the matchup.




Precision

This setup is a little different than the first setup. Instead of Presence of Mind, Triumph is taken because Inspiration secondary and Corrupting Potion start provides Irelia with ample mana sustain for lane. Triumph allows Irelia to make more aggressive plays in skirmishes and dives due to the health returned after a kill or an assist. Taking Legend: Alacrity offers Irelia additional attack speed for lane phase and after she gets a few takedowns. This can be taken to cover for not taking the attack speed shard and/or building items without attack speed such as Goredrinker. Legend: Tenacity is a good idea against teams with heavy crowd control. Legend: Bloodline is nice as it provides Irelia sustain in fights while auto attacking and synergizes with Blade of the Ruined King.
Inspiration secondary allows Irelia to fight into bad matchups because of the increased lane sustain. Biscuit Delivery gives Irelia more room to recover from mistakes. Time Warp Tonic synergizes well with both Biscuit Delivery and Corrupting Potion.
Sometimes, Irelia players like taking adaptive damage shards in both the first and second slots because it makes it easier to proc Bladesurge on minions. Some players prefer the early game attack speed to get extra auto attacks in when trading.

Itemization Back to Top
Since the item revamp in Season 11, Irelia has been searching for mythic options. As of right now, it is hard to say which mythic is outright the best. My take on it at the moment is that the items are situational. In previous seasons, Irelia would default to Trinity Force. However, with the changes to Trinity Force in patch 11.1, always going Trinity Force might not be the best.

Starting Items


Doran's Blade

Corrupting Potion
Doran's Blade or Corrupting Potion are the starting items to consider. Doran's Blade is good with Presence of Mind and Domination secondary. Corrupting Potion is good with Triumph and Inspiration secondary. Each item and rune set is viable although Ravenous Hunter will be slightly nerfed in Patch 11.2. It is a matter of preference, so I recommend trying both and see which one you are more comfortable with. Generally, Doran's Blade is the more greedier build path as you have less mana to replenish, but more kill potential early with the extra AD and Sudden Impact.

First Item: Blade of the Ruined King


BotRK

Wit's End
As explained in the powerspikes section, Vampiric Scepter should be your first buy. From there you should aim to buy Pickaxe after. First completed item should almost always be Blade of the Ruined King as this item synergizes very well with Irelia. An alternative first item to consider is Wit's End. Against heavy AP compositions, this item can be a good buy for your laning phase, especially if the Jungler and Mid laner are both AP. However, you will notice that you will have less lane sustain without Vampiric Scepter, so I recommend only starting this item if you started Corrupting Potion with the Triumph rune page. The second item is where it becomes more situational.

Second Items: Mythics


Trinity Force

Goredrinker
I think there are at least 5 very reasonable item options for Irelia to consider as her second item. Those items are Trinity Force, Goredrinker, Stridebreaker, Wit's End, and Sunfire Aegis (when patch 11.2 goes live). I will try to breakdown my reasoning for each. While Trinity Force was changed in patch 11.1 to have 10 less AD for 10 more AH, it is still a very respectable item for Irelia. It is a good option for her when she is ahead and snowballing as you will likely be able to get the full stacks from Trinity Force thus maxing out the item's potential. Goredrinker is a good option when you are in an unfavorable split push matchup and you will want to try to teamfight more. Stridebreaker is a good alternative to both Trinity Force and Goredrinker. It carries component items from both items in Hearthbound Axe and Ironspike Whip, so transitioning to it is very convenient. It is a good item to both split and teamfight as it offers utility while allowing chase down potential in a side lane.

Second Items: Wit's End + Sunfire Aegis


Wit's End

Sunfire Aegis
The following items are good second item options, but will delay building a mythic early in the game. This works for Irelia because there are other items she can use more efficiently than rushing mythic items early. Wit's End is a good item in the mid lane against AP heavy matchups. It offers AS that Irelia utilizes well and on-hit AP damage. It isn't a mythic, but it allows you the flexibility to buy either Goredrinker or even Sunfire Aegis as a third item. Sunfire Aegis' mythic passive has been changed in patch 11.2 to have additional 5% tenacity and slow resistance per legendary item. This makes it a viable second or third item for Irelia. Before starting Sunfire Aegis as your second item, I would recommend building Hearthbound Axe first for the MS, AS, and AD that it offers. You can eventually build this item into a Wit's End as a third item after Sunfire Aegis. This build is situational, but can be very useful as it can reduce most CC abilities to less than a second and offers mixed damage outputs.

Third Items and More


Sterak's Gage

Guardian Angel
Third item will depend on what item you built second and the enemies team composition. As said earlier, Goredrinker and Sunfire Aegis can be viable options following Wit's End. Otherwise, Sterak's Gage, Wit's End, and Death's Dance are good situational items to build each having its own strengths and purposes. Fourth and fifth items you can opt to build any of the defensive items listed as third items + Guardian Angel if you are snowballing. If not, it might be a good idea to build tank items like Gargoyle Stoneplate for survivability.

Drain Tank Build NEW


Immortal Shieldbow

Guinsoo's Rageblade
There are incoming nerfs to Blade of the Ruined King, Sterak's Gage, and Ravenous Hunter in patch 11.6. As of right now, the exact numbers have not been released, but it will likely impact Irelia's current on hit build based around Blade of the Ruined King. That's why I have been experimenting with the a drain tank build. It consists of taking the Overheal rune page and then starting Corrupting Potion. This allows you to play aggressively and attain the gold needed to build Immortal Shieldbow first item. With that item in tandem with Guinsoo's Rageblade, Irelia gets a really strong two item power spike. She still has her on hit identity with an early shield that rivals Sterak's Gage. Afterwards you can opt to itemize survivability by building either Bloodthirster, Death's Dance or Wit's End depending on your needs. I currently enjoy playing this build a lot and recommend it for Irelia mid players.
Gameplan Back to Top
There is one definite rule you MUST follow when playing Irelia in order to dominate:
Rule #1: Fight with fully stacked passive

Irelia's fully stacked Ionian Fervor gives attack speed and bonus magic damage on hit, so without it you will be missing out on a huge chunk of damage. Overall, Irelia is a strong early to mid game champion that can snowball her lead into strong mid-late game teamfights. Irelia's Gameplan as a mid laner can be split into two phases: Laning and Mid-Late Game

Laning

There are a lot of intricacies when it comes to laning, but I will try to boil it down more generally. Irelia is a melee character (albeit with a very long melee range). It is important to know how to play the laning phase based on melee vs melee matchups and melee vs ranged matchups.

In a melee vs melee matchup, it is okay and recommended to walk up to last hit your minions and harass the enemy laner. Your goal should be to start a slowpush just enough, so that the lane remains in the middle, but you hit level 2 first. It takes 1 wave + 1 melee for a solo laner to hit level 2, so make sure to keep that in mind when managing your wave. You will also want to manage your Ionian Fervor using Bladesurge so that you are around 3-5 stacks when you hit level 2. This way, you can all in the enemy at level 2 if you hit your Flawless Duet with a fully stacked Ionian Fervor.

In a melee vs ranged matchup, you should not be walking up to hit your minion wave early or you will take too much harass. Look to just last hit your minions and slowly stack Ionian Fervor. Once you hit level 2, you should be able to all in the ranged champion, especially if you are able to land Flawless Duet.

The similarities between both melee and ranged matchups is that Irelia will generally be able to all in level 2 and win with a fully stacked Ionian Fervor. Enemies often underestimate the potential of Irelia's level 2 all in which often makes it an easy first blood and/or at least an early Flash.

Make sure to be aware of junglers that can cheese at level 2 such as Jarvan IV, Twitch, or Nunu & Willump. An early ward should help prevent early ganks from occurring against junglers that can cheese gank. Something to be aware of as a mid laner is the timing of when scuttle spawns. Scuttle currently spawns at 3:15 (subject to change at Riot's whim and discretion). This is when you will want to push your lane in fast as possible, so that if a fight breaks out between junglers, you will be the first to respond and collapse on the enemy jungler. This also often results in a first blood/free kill and/or Flash.

Besides trying to upkeep Irelia's Ionian Fervor, there are other things you want to take into consideration to maximize using Irelia's kit. One of those things is her long auto range. She generally outranges all melee auto attack ranges. Using this to harass in between farming and abilities is crucial to maximizing your damage. The second thing to consider is setting up minion waves for Bladesurge pathing. You can do this by using your abilities or just auto attacking minions to drop them to a health where you can Bladesurge to them. Knowing the approximate health range needed on minions for your Bladesurge, will depend on game state and will become more natural with repetition and experience. This allows you to weave in between your waves to harass, feint, and all in against your opponents while sustaining from lifesteal. An additional thing to keep in mind is if you decide to take Presence of Mind, harassing the enemy with autos (or abilities) will allow you to increase your mana regeneration for a few seconds, so make sure to keep autoing and harassing to maintain your mana pool.

Irelia is the most dangerous when she has a minion wave being pushed into her. Use that to your advantage if you fall behind to quickly stack Ionian Fervor and all in when you have the opportunity. Once you have a lead, you can choose to either freeze the wave on your lane opponent or you can choose to shove your wave and roam to invade the enemy jungler or gank other lanes. Against enemies with strong roaming potential, I prefer to shove the wave in to keep them in lane and harass the enemy jungler when possible. Against farm heavy enemies, I prefer to freeze the wave.

Once you hit level 6, your all in is now even stronger. If you play your cards right, this should give you a guaranteed kill. Don't be afraid to use Vanguard's Edge first before landing Flawless Duet and if you trade Vanguard's Edge for enemy Flash it's almost always worth because Vanguard's Edge CD is shorter. Be wary of who hits level 6 first in lane as it can impact who wins the trade or the fight.

Once you take Tier 1 tower in Mid lane or Bot lane, it's often a good idea to swap lanes to allow bot lane more overall map pressure in mid. Irelia can gain solo lane xp through splitpushing or freezing waves. This is the point where you transition from laning phase to mid game.

Mid-Late Game

Once you transition into mid game, it is important to be prepared to be present for teamfights. Irelia's AOE abilities and high mobility allows her to be a strong presence in teamfights. Be ready to walk over or be nearby when your team wants to take objectives like Dragons or Baron , especially if you don't have Teleport.

When not fighting over objectives, Irelia is able to sidelane pretty well early on when she has Blade of the Ruined King and Trinity Force, but as the game progresses, there will be stronger splitpushers that Irelia will need to be wary of such as Fiora, Jax, Tryndamere, etc. It is important that you make the most of your mid game powerspike by splitpushing or setting up teamfights once you complete Trinity Force and up until you complete Sterak's Gage. With Goredrinker, you will be more teamfight heavy so you should be looking to fight over objectives like Dragon or Rift Herald with your team. Stridebreaker is more flexible, but your mid game powerspike will not be as emphasized making your window to splitpush smaller and less bulk to survive long teamfights. All three are viable choices depending on how you finished laning phase and how the game is progressing.

During teamfights, Irelia is often secondary engage rather than primary engage due to her limited tanking abilities. However, she can use Vanguard's Edge early to trap the enemies to allow for her team to follow up as soon as possible. Using Vanguard's Edge early can also give her full stacks before engaging in a teamfight. Her goal is to get to the backline where she can use her mobility to annihilate the carries before they can deal DPS to her team. By being secondary engage, she can wait for the enemies to waste CC on the primary engage and clean out the backline after. Flanking is a viable option because Irelia wants the easiest and the quickest way to the backline. However, she doesn't have tools to scale walls and generally you won't be taking teleport as midlane Irelia, so your opportunities will likely be limited. Using Vanguard's Edge as a zoning or engage tool for the team will likely be more helpful when the team lacks either of those aspects.

Closing Out

By obtaining strong leads in lane and transitioning them into strong teamfights, Irelia should be able to finish games by having a strong presence throughout the game. You don't want to waste too much time chasing kills or getting caught out in bad spots as Irelia's teamfighting and splitpushing will suffer as the game draws out. You should be trying to close out games before Irelia maxes out in levels and items which will happen if you are farming well and catching solo experience. Make sure to always focus your attention on objectives throughout the game. If your team was able to secure multiple objectives, it should be easier to finish the game smoothly.
Powerspikes Back to Top
It is really important to take advantage of Irelia's powerspikes as much as possible. There are generally two ways powerspikes occur: leveling abilities and items. Here is a list of important powerspikes to take advantage of.

Level Powerspikes

o Lv 1: Bladesurge start
o Lv 2: Flawless Duet and Bladesurge (Major)
o Lv 3: Flawless Duet, Bladesurge and
Defiant Dance
o Lv 6: Vanguard's Edge (Major)
o Lv 9: Maxed Bladesurge (low cooldown) (Major)
Item Powerspikes

o Vampiric Scepter (lane sustain)
o Vampiric Scepter + Pickaxe
o Blade of the Ruined King (Major)
o Hearthbound Axe
o Sheen
o Trinity Force (Major)

Remember to always follow Irelia's one and only rule to fully make use of her powerspikes.
Closing Words Back to Top
I will look to eventually update and expand on this guide once S11 is in full swing. Thanks for reading my guide and I hope you were able to find some useful information for your own games! I am planning on streaming Irelia Mid S11 Ranked gameplay on Twitch sometime soon, so follow me to stay tuned!

With each update, I will likely be throwing in occasional experimental builds I will be testing, so feel free to try them and comment on how your experience was!


League of Legends Build Guide Author BlitzIMO
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[11.5] BlitzIMO's Season 11 Irelia Mid Complete Guide

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