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Irelia Build Guide by doctordowney

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League of Legends Build Guide Author doctordowney

Irelia 101 (work in progress)

doctordowney Last updated on December 24, 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


Utility: 0

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Hey guys, I'm a 1700 elo top main on the NA servers, who mainly plays Irelia and Jax. This is my second Mobafire guide, my other was for Vayne.

Irelia is a tanky bruiser who excels at diving squishy carries and being deceptively tanky and still do hella damage. She can shrug off any CC you throw at her with 66% CC reduction with her passive + Merc treads and the new tenacity masteries. Her early game is annoyingly weak, but not BAD, and mid game she turns into a monster. Though, late game she falls off but not even that hard.

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Why should I play Irelia?

Why should you pick Irelia?

Well first off let's start off with her pros and cons

  • Item dependant
  • Requires a **** ton of CS
  • Melee
  • Weak early
  • Relies heavily on AS which can be reduced by a number of items and spells

  • Hard to itemize against (True damage, physical damage, magic damage)
  • Doesn't need many damage items
  • Good at CSing
  • Good sustain and burst
  • Extremely mobile
  • Resistant to CC
  • Great chase/escape mechanism

There are certain times when you should and should NOT pick Irelia.

Some of the times that you would, are
1. If their team is full of squishies
2. If their ADC has no escape ( Kog'Maw Miss Fortune Ashe )
3. If your team already has good initiation ( Malphite, Leona, Rengar with either Shen Orianna )
4. Teams that have reducible (by tenacity) single target CCs.

Avoid picking irelia if
1. They have a ranged harass champion top.
2. Top has a strong early game

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Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Mark of Attack Damage - For last hitting and harassing / trading top lane and being able to tank minions better.

Greater Seal of Armor - Flat armor seals because most top-lanes are AD which will make you stronger so you can take more hits etc.

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist - Take these because chances are their mid will be AP and they may have an AP jungler.

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage - Same as marks.

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summoners wrath - Makes you run faster w/ ghost on so you can stick to carrys even harder.

Butcher - Makes early CSing easier

Fury - Free AS = more damage

Deadliness - Makes CSing easier + more damage late

Weapon Expertise - Makes buying armor VS you less effective

Durability - Health early = op as fk

Veteran's Scars - free hp all day

Resistance / Hardiness - Take less damage, trade better, etc.

Unyielding - DAMAGE

Tenacious - Adds another 15% tenacity ontop of your Merc Treads and your passive, making you nearly un-CCable.

Legendary Armor - For every 100 armor / MR you gain 5 MR / AR which can add up late game.

Defender - Gain 1 MR / AR for each enemy near you. Gives you about 4 - 5 AR / MR in a team fight.

Honor Guard - Gives you 3% damage reduction from ALL sources (True damage included). Pretty nice throughout the entire game. 1000 damage would be reduced to 970 damage. It's something.

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Boots of Speed / Health pot x3
Standard starting items, 450 effective HP + mobility to escape / chase.

Cloth Armor / Health pot x5
Take this vs champions like Darius and Riven

Crystalline Flask / Sight ward x1 / health pot x5
Experimental starting items that I haven't really tested out yet but I imagine that it could be quite useful in harder matchups if you have armor runes


Doran's Blade x2 - You can buy this on your first recall if you are winning or are ahead in lane.

Doran's Shield x2 - Buy this if you got countered and don't know how to win or are getting camped so hard that your hair is going to fall out.

Phage - Buy this after one of the above or before or just replace them with Phage depending on if you want the slow or not.

Mercury's Treads - Buy these against a CC heavy comp or against a double AP comp.

Ninja Tabi - Buy these if you are getting **** on or you want to have better trades vs an AD bruiser.

Recurve Bow + null magic mantle - Good vs AP tops or double / triple AP comps. Gives you damage, AS and MR once you upgrade to Wits. This is even good to get after Phage if you'd like.

Trinity Force
+30 ability power
+30 attack damage
+30% attack speed
+15% critical strike chance
+250 health
+250 mana
+12% movement speed
UNIQUE Passive: Your basic attacks have a 25% chance to slow your target's movement speed by 35% for 2.5 seconds.
After using an ability, your next basic attack deals bonus physical damage equal to 150% of your base Attack Damage. 2 second cooldown. Does not stack with Sheen or Lich Bane.

Literally one of the best items you can buy for Irelia. It gives her everything she needs. HP, a slow, burst, and AS / Crit. Its an all-round great item.

Guardian Angel
+68 armor
+38 magic resistance
UNIQUE Passive: Revives your champion upon death, restoring 750 health and 375 mana. 5 minute cooldown.

MR, AR and an extra life. This item is great on Irelia because she gets tankier and kill twice as many people with two lives.

Warmog's Armor
+1000 health
Unique Passive: You gain health regeneration equal to 1.5% of your maximum health

HP + HP regen = op nuff said

Randuin's Omen
+500 health
+70 armor
Unique Passive – Cold Steel: If you are hit by a basic attack, you slow the attacker's attack speed by 20% and their movement speed by 10% for 1.5 seconds.
Unique Active: Slows the movement speed of nearby enemy units by 35% for 2 seconds +1 second for every 100 armor and magic resistance you have. 60 second cooldown (500 Range).

Gives good hp, has a great passive and active and it gives you armor.... it's great vs heavy AS teams or vs a fed ADC.

Runic Bulwark -
+400 health
+20 armor
+30 magic resist
Aura Unique - Legion: Nearby allies gain 10 armor, 30 magic resist and 10 health regen.

Bulwark is a funny word. You can take this item if your jungle or support don't feel like buying it or if the enemy team has a strong AoE comp.

Frozen Mallet -
+20 attack damage
+700 health
UNIQUE Passive: Your basic attacks slow your target's Movement Speed by 40% for 2.5 seconds. (30% for ranged attacks)

If you need the HP and constant slows, you can take this over Trinity Force.

Banshee's Veil -
+375 health[/color]
+50 magic resistance
+375 mana
UNIQUE Passive:
Blocks one negative spell every 45 seconds.

Take this if they have annoying initiation ( Bandage Toss Unstoppable Force )

The Black Cleaver
+250 health
+50 attack damage
+10% cooldown reduction
+15 armor penetration
Dealing physical damage to an enemy champion reduces their armor by 7.5% for 4 seconds. This effect stacks up to 4 times.

BC is broken as hell currently especially on bruisers, pick this up if you are snowballing hard.

Sunfire Cape
+45 armor
+450 health
UNIQUE Passive: Deals 40 magic damage per second to nearby enemies (400 range).

Gives you HP, armor and a DoT passive. It's pretty good for split pushing and it makes you tankier.

Shurelya's Reverie
+250 health
+10 health regeneration
+10 mana regeneration
Unique: +10% cooldown reduction
Unique: Nearby champions gain 40% movement speed for 3 seconds (60 second cooldown). (600 range)

MS boost, HP5 / MP5, and CDR. Your support should get this but if he doesn't, it's a good item to get.

Zeke's herald
+250 Health
UNIQUE Aura: Nearby allied champions gain +20% attack speed and +12% life steal. (1200 Range)UNIQUE Passive: +15% cooldown reduction

Good ol' stark's frevor ... gives you more support stats and a good aura. Again, if your support doesn't want to get it... buy it for the HP, LS and AS.

Maw of Malmortius
+55 attack damage
+36 magic resistance
UNIQUE Passive:
Gain +1 attack damage for every 2.5% health missing.
If you would take magic damage which would leave you at less than 30% of your maximum health, you first gain a shield which absorbs up to 400 magic damage for 5 seconds. 60 second cooldown.

Gives you AD, MR and a magic damage shield. Good vs AP tops and fed mids.
Other items you can buy

Frozen Heart
+20 attack damage
+700 health
UNIQUE Passive: Your basic attacks slow your target's Movement Speed by 40% for 2.5 seconds. (30% for ranged attacks)

Armor, mana, CDR and an AS slow. Pretty good vs teams that have to AA a lot. It is super cost effective and pretty much makes Irelia unkillable by psychical damage dealers.

Spirit Visage
+200 health
+50 Magic Resist
+15% cooldown reduction
Unique: Increases your healing, regeneration and drain effects on yourself by 20%

HP, MR, CDR and increases your healing effects by 20%. Good for laning and MR.

+100 armor
Passive Unique: On being hit by basic attacks, returns 30% of damage, before any reductions such as armor, as magic damage. At least 15 damage must be received.

This item is really only good if they have 2 AD autoattackers.

Statikk Shiv
+40% attack speed
+20% critical strike chance
+6% movement speed
Passive Unique Passive: Moving and attacking builds Static Charges. At 100 charges, your next attack expends the charges to deal 100 magic damage to up to 4 targets. This damage can critically strike.

Not quite as good as the Ionic Spark in all it's former glory, but it's still decent.

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Skill Sequence

R > W > Q > E


Irelia dashes forward to strike her target for 20/50/80/110/140 (+1 per Attack Damage). If it kills the target, Bladesurge's cooldown refreshes and refunds 35 Mana.

Cooldown 14 / 12 / 10 / 8 / 6 seconds

Cost 60/65/70/75/80 mana

Range 650

This skill is your gap-closing skill and main way of farming under turret. At lvl 5 and with max cdr, this has a 3.6 second CD. No carry will be able to escape you. Even if they CC you, you literally cut the duration in half. 3 second stun? **** no, 1.5. This skill also applies on-hit effects. With red buff, you should be able to roam during Mid-Game and successfully net a few kills.

Irelia is skilled in the art of Hiten, passively giving her physical attacks 5/7/9/11/13 health restoration. Activating Hiten Style adds 15 / 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 true damage to her physical attacks for 6 seconds and gives her physical attacks 10/14/18/22/26 health restoration.

Cooldown 15 seconds
Cost 40 mana

This is your bread and butter. It's your damage and your sustain all in one package. It gives you 75 true damage at level 9, now this may not seem like much in comparison to Olaf or Darius but it's a really really strong skill. If you combine it with AS, you do a **** ton of damage and sustain all the damage you take. You will win almost any trade with this skill up. Armor does NOTHING to stop this skill's damage and if an opponent starts stacking armor VS you, just skill up Hiten Style + Equilibrium Strike and laugh in their face. If they stack HP... well then you cry because it makes you feel like you do no damage.

Irelia's attack balances the scales, dealing 80 / 130 / 180 / 230 / 280 (+50% of ability power) damage and slowing the target by 60% for 1 / 1.25 / 1.5 / 1.75 / 2 seconds. However, if the target has a higher Health % than Irelia, then the blow stuns the target instead.

Cooldown 8 seconds

Cost 50 / 55 / 60 / 65 / 70 mana

Range 425

The strength of this skill varies on your HP. If it's higher than the enemy's, you will just slow them rather than stun them. It is also what makes it so hard to win trades VS. Irelia if she is even 1% lower HP than you, she gets a free 2 second stun.

Irelia summons 4 spirit blades that she can fling to deal 80/120/160 (+60 of attack damage) (+50% of ability power) physical damage to enemies they pass through. She heals for 25% of that damage against champions and 10% against minions.

Cooldown 70/60/50 seconds

Cost 100 mana

The four blades are smart casted in a line from Irelia. This ability is what makes Irelia deceptively tanky and it also helps her burst due to sheen procs. If you hit every blade, you do around 300 damage at rank 1. It may not seem like a ton but it also heals you and procs sheen every time you use it so this + hiten style is OP. Transcendent blades is independent of auto-attacks so you can freely attack and use this at the same time.Furthermore, she heals for 25% of the champion damage. So that's 80 health from all 4 blades. Again, not sounding like much. But if we factor in the minions behind/next to the enemy champion the numbers again increase. Assuming you hit 5 minions with this skill in a fight, you'll heal an additional 160 hp if 4 blades land.

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Match Ups

Some people say that Olaf is a total and complete counter to Irelia but I feel the need to disagree with this. If she farms under tower until Lv. 6, she will be able to fight him without a problem. For this match-up, I'd recommend having Ninja Tabi / Phage as your first items as the HP will help you tank his E more effectively and the tabi for his Q / AAs. As I said before, you should win post-6 with no interference from the junglers. If you do get camped... well you're going to have a hard time, as it is with any early game top VS Irelia.

Irelia has the ability to outplay Jax. If Jax uses his E, juke him out with your Q once he leap strikes you and THEN activate your W. Jax will constantly try to engage on you in lv. 5+ and if you use your W before he does this, you will either die or severely lose the trade. Stacking armor and HP and farming under turret is all you can really do VS this match-up. Do not underestimate Jax even if he is behind. As Sun Tzu said "If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril."

This... is just not fun. You attempt to Bladesurge or go near a minion that is low hp? BAM ****ING STUNNED. You want to try and trade? BAM SHIELD + SUSTAIN + ******ED DAMAGE AND ANOTHER ***********ING STUN. I have only ever played this match-up once but was it ever a pain in the ***.... Udyr has a ton of early game damage and is tankier than you late game. He is just plain annoying. If you absolutely must play this match-up, build MR and AR. Yes, MR because Tiger Stance does magic damage and a lot of it. His AAs do not do that much damage to you. To do anything, you will have to safe farm all day.