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Irelia Build Guide by slydunan

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League of Legends Build Guide Author slydunan

Irelia - Comprehensive Guide to Facerolling

slydunan Last updated on March 10, 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: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Greetings summoners. Previously, I did not feel the need to make this section, but after having to reply to numerous comments with people saying the same things without trying the build or reading guide, I have created this. Firstly, if you are not one of those summoners (those who take one look at the build and see that it's not same way that you play Irelia, and therefore make a quick judgement that its bad or "not viable"), I applaud you, and this section isn't meant for you, so you may skip this and continue reading to learn how to play Irelia. However, if you want to read a bit about the history of this build or enjoy a good story, you may stay as well.
To the rest with these quick judgements (I used to be like you) who don't even intend on trying it, this is for you, and the following will hopefully convince you to be more open-minded:

Here is my story of my "journey of enlightenment."

History of Me

I used to be like you. I used to think I was right about everything, even when I was <lvl 30. Even when I started ranked games, and was around 1400's I thought I knew everything. But as I progressively rose in ranked and got more experienced, I learned to learn. Consequently, I got much better.

For example, I played a few games as (old) Jax and I did extremely well. This made be believe that Jax is numero uno. Therefore, I would insta-lock Jax, thinking that nothing can beat him. Then one game, I instapicked Jax against pantheon. When someone on my team told me that, "Jax is a counterpick, you shouldn't be picking him first.", I just called him a noob because I thought Jax is unbeatable (after all, I did win 4 games with him already). Then the other team picked pantheon. I was still confident that Jax beats everyone. However, after each spear, block, and stun. I found that it was impossible to trade hits, and that dodge wasn't helping at all. Needless to say he beat me in lane, enough of an advantage for him to even beat Jax's strong lvl 6. This is the moment I realized that my teammate was right and discovered the importance of counterpicking in the process.

Now, how is this story relevant to a guide? Because I thought I was right, and that there was no way that someone 50 elo below me knows better. However, my only evidence was that I only did well in a few games, where I just so happened to face opponents that Jax counterpicks. Eventually, I learned to look at the picture as a whole, because while a few games may have provided just the right conditions, the long run can very different.

So, about this build. How did I come up with this unusual build?
I can't say that I just looked at Irelia and came up with this build. It took a lot of fine-tuning and testing to get to this.

Starting off with Irelia

Well, when I first started playing Irelia (Before this, I had only played her the last time she was free.), my main was at ~1600, so I decided to play her on a 1300 elo smurf first. I used the build that I've seen most other Irelia's use- the popular "gp2 trinity build". I knew that I was better than my lane enemy at top, so needless to say, I was confident. At this point, all I new was that gp2 and trinity force were the only great items for Irelia. However, I found it difficult to lane against champions that I now know Irelia easily beats. I did not find my early game very good at all, even with my philospher stone regen and a heart of gold. It was even worse since I wasn't sure which runes were best, so I just went armor pen, as I've heard that it's always good. I also went defensive masteries per someone's suggestion. As I finished my gp2s and started building trinity force, I discovered that it was taking a long time to build, and that my lane enemy was still out-sustaining me. However, I knew that once I got my Trinity Force, I would be strong. Finishing trinity force at mid game, I started doing much better, getting a lot of kills fighting a lot of small skirmishes where people were always out of position. Now I started snowballing from crit rammuses and <100 armor everyone else. Piece of cake. I figured that if I survive a sketchy early game, I could just dominate later game by snowballing and going from 1-3 to 14-4 consistently, so I bought her and tried her on my main.

Trying Irelia in mid-elo ranked

Queued up for solo queue 1600 ranked, and went top with Irelia, knowing that it will be somewhat more difficult, though I've gained some experience with her to make up for it. Again, since I still wasn't sure what runes were best, and I didn't have any AS runes, I just went standard armor pen and armor runes as well as defensive masteries. Again, I built gp2s, finding that I could Bladesurge to farm at my will, however I also found that trading was difficult. One trade would be alright, but after that I would have to back off until my health could regen. So I avoided trading, and farmed under the tower for Trinity Force. Throughout a course of several games, and tried getting sheen,phage, or zeal first. None of them seemed to give me that boost I needed to win the lane with my gp2s. So, I just farmed until Trinity Force for mid game. However, now I found that there wasn't that many enemies out of position for me to feed off of, and everyone grouped up a lot to push and wander. So most fights were teamfights, and as I fought those, I discovered that sometimes I couldn't proc my slow, and that after I use my bladesurge, my target would just use an escape of their own and turn around kite me with the help of a teammate while I quickly die. Why did I die? looking at the death recap, then looking at my health and armor, I quickly discovered that I didn't enough health, armor, nor sustain to survive. I knew that finally built my trinity force, but I still died with my super item.

[u]Fixing my Early Game[/u]

That's when I knew that I need to build something stronger, and faster. I started thinking, if old gp2 meta Jarvan IV started going out of style, how about old gp2 meta Irelia? I decided to skip the gp2s and go straight for Trinity Force in order to build some defence after that. However, none of the items provided me with enough sustain for lane. I tried sheen for mana, but still had too little health sustain. With phage, I could take more damage, but it was also more expensive and didn't really provide that much sustain. Zeal seemed to work the best, but still the attack speed didn't feel like very much. I couldn't get Trinity without something to sustain me first.

I've noticed that a lot of ad tops were getting Wriggle's, and i knew how annoying it was to push them out of lane. I had always disliked Wriggle's before, thinking of it as a jungler's item. However, I also disliked buying wards, so I figured that Wriggle's would help with that if anything. Immediately, I noticed the difference. I could trade hits then sustain it all back in a few hits. I didn't have to wait for health regen anymore. However, I noticed that spamming Bladesurge was taking a toll on my mana, but quickly adjusted by only using it when I actually needed it as well as not maxing it first, since the mana return doesn't increase. I found a lvl 1 bladesurge to be just as effective for my needs, and that Wriggle's was more than enough to make up for pushing as well as fighting.

Being Continued...

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Welcome to my guide to Facerolling with Irelia! I can assure you that this is the correct way of playing her. I play Irelia in 1900+ elo games as well as tested other possible builds on her in normals. When played correctly, Irelia is virtually unbeatable 1v1, with very few if any counters. This guide will hopefully teach you how to do that.

I build Irelia as a tanky dps with sustain and on-hit mixed damage. This way of building her focuses on a cost-efficient, uncounterable Irelia. The builds makes her strong versus any hero, be it another tanky dps, a tank, an ap carry, an ad carry, and even those overpowered supports! She is nearly unbeatable 1v1 with items and does just as well in team fights too.

I will be using formatting copied from my Ranked Ryze Guide.

-:Community Message:-

I want to try to make this as much of a community driven guide as I can, especially with the great amount of suggestions that have already been posted (keep them coming!). Also, thanks for the upvotes, it helps considerably in letting more people see this guide (and also helps balance troll-votes).

Ways you can help make this guide better:
>>> Tell me if you liked this guide, and why! (remember to thumbs up as well!)
>>> Tell me if you disliked this guide, and why! (it's ok if you forget to thumbs down!)
>>> Tell me any of your suggestions to improve the content of this guide! (or layout!)
>>> Tell me how awesome you did with this guide! (and I'll put you on the braggin' wall if you do!)
>>> Tell me if I made any mistakes! (and I assure you, there will be mistakes)
>>> Tell your friends about this guide! (or your enemies too, if you happen to keep in close contact with them.)
>>> Thumbs up this guide! (you don't even need to have thumbs to do this-no excuses if you don't have thumbs >.<!)
>>> Read this guide! (yes, reading this guide will magically improve this guide!)

As an additional incentive for you to help make this guide better, if you post a comment telling me how you did any of these, I will personally +rep you as well as give you a cookie. Remember to +rep me as well if I helped!

Thanks ahead of time for the thumbs up/comments/and reps!!!

P.S. Did you get the cookie?

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FAQ's - (BETA)

Ok, here I'm going to try something new in response to the various questions/suggestions mentioned in the comments. This way, if you were thinking the same thing, you already have an answer! Let me know if this helped or if you didn't like this!

This is called FAQ's, or Frequently Asked Questions, even though most of these questions are/will probably only be asked once. ONE TIME IS FREQUENT ENOUGH FOR ME! I won't mention who asked the question, though I might add some quotes when applicable. If you want to be mentioned, you can just ask.
First of all, thank you very much for asking these questions or making suggestions, as it really helps to give me an idea of the general mindset and helps me improve this guide to fit it better. Although there is no way my answers can ever be agreed to be 100% correct, I am a high elo player (1900+), and so I feel I know enough about the game to justify my answers, especially since I will only write a guide on a champion that I have extensively played and tested.

The main purpose of this is so that if you have a question/disagreement/suggestion about Irelia and don't want to read through the entire guide, you can scan through this and see if it's been answered or if I already included an explanation in the guide.
If it's not here, please leave a comment with your question/disagreement/suggestion and I will respond either to your comment, put it here, or both as soon as I can.

Therefore, if you have any questions or disagree about something in this guide, look here. If it's not here, leave a comment so that you can help others with the same question/suggestion!

BETA: As mentioned, this is in BETA, so leave any suggestions or your thoughts on this or anything to add/reformat. Some things I'm considering in the future are: Categorizing the questions (items, masteries, general, etc), Moving longer answers into corresponding section in the guide and shorten answers here with a redirection to the longer answer, Leaving it the way it is, Disperse all the questions/answers throughout the guide.

Format will go like this:

>>>Questions/Statement asked.

  • My response. This will be a short, TL/DR version if I also include...
  • ...directions to another part of the guide with more details if necessary...
  • ...or directions to another part of the guide that already answers the question...
  • ...let's get started!

>>>Why don't you build Trinity Tank build? Your build sucks because you have bad items.
  • In short, this seems to be the question I've been getting the most (not word for word but the general tone is unfortunately the same in many cases), and you may be thinking the same thing (I hope not).
  • Most of these (pretty much all) have been in the form of people saying why individual items ( Frozen Mallet, Thornmail, Madred's Bloodrazor) are bad in this build without thinking about the build as a whole. The biggest flaw in this is that people are comparing the item's effectiveness in different builds. You can't compare individual items completely different builds. You need to look at how items synergize with each other within a build instead saying how one item is bad in an entirely different build. It might be bad on one build, but very effective on another. Until you try it out the entire build instead of just one item, you are not in a position to doubt the effectiveness of an item. Please don't get in the habit of comparing apples and applesauce. They might look the same at first glance, but they are in entirely different categories. Now, given that admittedly horrible analogy (if you can think of a better one, let me know), I will fit that into my point.
  • My point is that this build is a cheap, heavily balanced, mixed damage build. Although it doesn't excel in one thing, it is still very effective in everything ( Irelia - "Balance in all things"). Why is this? First of all, because it is very cost efficient and cheap. The only expensive item is Madred's Bloodrazor, which you only get to in very long games anyways. Every other item is very easy to build and extremely cost efficient. Secondly, it's heavily balanced offensive-wise, and makes the most out of hiten-style. With this build, you have significant attack speed, which means you deal more true damage and heal more. To complement your attack speed, you have your natural ad plus ad from items and lifesteal as well. You will deal physical damage this way. To even further complement your attack speed, Wit's End and Madred's Bloodrazor deal significant magic damage. You deal large amounts of three types of damage that will be effective against anyone. Thirdly, the items that give you this much damage also gives you defense. Every item in this build gives you both offense and defense. This means that while you are building that damage, you are also building a heavy defense. Again, balance in all things.
Here's some testimonials from other players who used to build Trinity Force(not including me).
"I have always thought that trinity-tanky irelia was the way to go, but after reading your guide i just felt stupid for never trying something like this. I can't thank you enough of showing me this new way of playing irelia."

"I was playing trinity-irelia and tanky-irelia before, and i felt that something was wrong. What you did is not only showed the build, but wrote an excellent guide with solid theory-crafting, good formatting too. Now i swapped my armor penetration runes with aspd and went for completely different set of items, and it seems much more strong!"

"I play Irelia all the time so I like to check out new builds every now and then. Loved your guide, went 14/6/6 my first game using it with one person on my team afk the entire time and another being 1/12/1 lol. +1"

>>>Why Frozen Mallet over Trinity Force? Trinity Force has everything Irelia needs, it's OP on her!
  • This isn't quite true. There are several wasted stats that makes Trinity Force 800 gold more expensive than Frozen Mallet. Frozen Mallet gives more hp, which Irelia desperately needs, and it gives a Much More Reliable Slow.
  • I have a nice section in ITEMS covering this.

>>>Isn't Randuin's Omen and Frozen Heart better than Thornamil? Hasn't it been proven that those items are more effective?
  • No, Thornmail is taken to counter ad carries. The other items to a less effective job of protecting you agaisnt them for the price. Thornmail is considerably cheaper and does just as effective or more effective job of this.
  • This is covered extensively in ITEMS.

>>>What about Sunfire Cape instead of Thornmail?
  • I don't get Sunfire Cape for several reasons:
    1. First of all, I consider Sunfire Cape an early-mid game item that falls off heavily late game. There are better items to get early game that are more effective than this item, and Thornmail is more effective late game. It has more than twice the armor, and the passive deals considerably more late game as well.
    2. Secondly, the purpose of sunfire cape doesn't fit Irelia's role. Sunfire's purpose is to try to get people to focus you. This is not what you want to happen. Thornmail does a better job of deterring attackers, especially from ranged, which is your main problem.
    3. Thirdly, its more expensive and thus harder to build.

>>>You should take Guardian Angel over Thornmail because of the extra magic resistance it gives. "you dont need 250 armor, and you only have ~150 MR". The passive is better as well.
  • Guardian Angel gives 68 armor and 38 magic resistance compared to 100 armor. It's also 600 gold more expensive than Thornmail. Its passive revives you every 5 minutes with 750 health compared to returning physical damage.
    1. Obviously, Guardian Angel gives more magic resistance than Thornmail. However, most enemies teams have only one major ap carry and the rest are a tanky dps, ad carry, or support. Support does negligible ap damage and the rest do physical. You already have ~150 magic resistance and 60% CC reduction. CC is a powerful tool for ap carries, and Irelia has a great defense against this. 150 MR is also enough for just one ap carry who isn't likely to focus you anyways due to your CC reduction. You usually don't need to worry that much about magic damage for this reason.
      • But wait, there's also a lot of games where there is an ap going top as well as mid. That's two ap carries! In this case, you will need to put more focus more on magic resistance. Now, Guardian Angel wouldn't be a bad idea. It gives you magic resistance and also gives you more protection vs ad carries.
      • Then again, would a Force of Nature or Quicksilver Sash be better in this case? It gives much more mr than Guardian Angel. Well, it's all up to your in-game judgement. In general, Guardian Angel is very effective against burst and long cooldown teams, while Force of Nature is effective against magical heavy and lower sustained damage teams, while Quicksilver Sash is made for suppressions or other dangerous debuffs. They are all effective in their own rights.
    2. Thornmail is cheaper, and uses less item slots to build. This means you can get it faster and have more gold for other items. Not much cheaper, but a nice plus.
    3. Passive comparison: as mentioned above, Guardian Angel is situationally effective against high burst/low sustain teams. Thornmail is just generally very effective in deterring ad carries, which pretty much all games have. (If their ad carry isn't dangerous, ofc there is no need to get this.) However, you will find that most of the damage causing your death will be from an ad carry.
    4. Passive comparison continued: Guardian Angel has a very long 5 min CD, longer than the time between most team fights. If the passive is used, the value of this item goes wayyyyyyyyyyyyy down. Thornmail has a very reliable 0 second cd :D.
  • Mentioned Guardian Angel as an optional item in ITEMS.
  • Might end up moving this long explanation above down to ITEMS and redirecting this question to there to clear up space here. What do you think? Move or stay?

>>>"I don't find the Ult to be a con given that Irelia is an assassin champ. It excels at killing heroes that are just outside of Q-range (or when Q is on CD)"
  • The reason I put "Weak ult compared to others'" as a con is because compared to other heroes, her ult is just less powerful. It doesn't mean it isn't good, it's just that unlike most other champions, Irelia's ult doesn't define her. Consider heroes like Tryndamere, Pantheon, or Talon. Irelia's ult takes time to cast in order to deal full damage, which doesn't give her an assassin's burst like talon or the utility of many other champions. Despite what League of Legends might tell you, Irelia is not an assassin and should not be played as such.

>>>Building Full-Tank Trinity Irelia is so much better than Tanky DPS Frozen Mallet Irelia!
  • First of all, the champions who should be building Full Tank, are ones with a lot of disruptive skills that don't need items, or scale off defensive items, such as Amumu, Malphite, or Rammus. However, Irelia needs attack speed for her damage and sustain. Without sufficient AS, she will do very little damage will therefore be ignored. Now, that's where the CC skills of tanks come in. Even if they are ignored, they will be disruptive no matter what. Irelia has one disruption skill Equilibrium Strike that is single target, doesn't do much damage, and requires her to be lower health. Here lies the paradox of tank Irelia:
    Your only hard CC requires you to be low health. As a tank, you don't deal much damage. People have no reason to attack someone with no damage and no CC. Unless the enemy team is stupid enough to focus a tank and get you to low health, you won't have any tools to stop the enemy from killing your team. What about Randuin's Omen? Well, the passive won't help if they don't attack you (plus only a 1/5 chance), so only the active will really help. As for Trinity force, it is only a 1/4 chance, and combined with your low attack speed, the chances of it proc'ing enough to save your teammates is not very high.
    On the other hand, Tanky DPS Irelia lets you protect your team as well as deal damage. You won't be as tanky as Full tank Irelia, so you will not be able to run in recklessly and will have to play smarter. The good thing about tanky dps Irelia, is that she can still sustain damage, even if not as much as full tank. Tanky dps makes up for this with damage and utility that a "trinity tank" doesn't provide.
    This is why Tanky DPS is just the more effective way of playing Irelia. If you want to build tank, you are better off playing another champion better suited for it.
  • TL:DR - If the enemy has enough brains to ignore a minimal damage champion without hard cc, they will ignore you(tank Irelia), and you will be of no use to your team. By building tanky dps with Frozen Mallet, you will be able to help your team by actually disabling and killing the enemy team. If you want to build tank, play a tank. If you want to deal damage while still surviving and helping your team, play Irelia

>>>What are your thought on getting a Zeke's Herald instead of witt's end in certain situations? With the extra health now, it makes the ad on Atma's Impaler even more potent.
  • First of all, this is assuming you get an Atma's Impaler, which you shouldn't be getting with the main build. However, it is included as an alternative build in the ITEM section. As you can see there, I replaced Wriggle's Lantern with zeke's herald instead of replacing Wit's End. Why?
  • Wit's End is just too good to pass up. It is a perfect item for Irelia that zeke's herald cannot oompare with. It gives twice as much attack speed and magic resistance as well as damage. The bonus damage from atmas will only give you 5 more ad, compared to 42 magic damage. Zeke's is usually left for supports to get, but replacing Wriggle's Lantern is also a good option with an ad heavy team, although Wriggle's Lantern is still stronger for personal use.

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>> Virtually uncounterable.
>> Deals true damage.
>> 2 second stun with low CD.
>> Insane amount of sustain.
>> Both tanky and damaging.
>> Easy to farm with Bladesurge.


>> Vulnerable to suppressions
>> Vulnerable to Ignites.
>> Doesn't have a quick short burst.
>> Stun isn't guarantee.
>> Needs to be built tanky.
>> Weak ult compared to others'.
Irelia can snowball extremely fast and zone enemies very well. She has virtually no counters 1v1, especially once she gets items, due to her versatility and true damage.

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Runes/Masteries/Summoner Spells

Irelia Runes/Masteries/Summoner Spells Video Guide-Explanations

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Greater Mark of Attack Speed

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

Greater Mark of Attack Speed

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

(15.3% Attack Speed) - Important marks to maximize your Hiten Style. Lets you heal more and deal more true damage. Another often overlooked benefit is that it helps you 'orb-walk', which basically means that you attack the enemy, then you move right after, and repeat. This allows you to maximize the attack timer during lower levels with movement instead of waiting. If your attack speed is too low, it is hard to do smoothly, so the 15% helps. Please comment if you need more clarification on this.

(12.7 Flat Armour) - Armour/Armour Pen is more effective the closer it is to 0. Against physical damage heroes, you want as much armor as possible to counter their armor penetration and reduce as much damage as possible while armor levels are still low. It is also useful to reduce damage against creeps, which can deal significant damage in early levels. That's why you get this against both physical and magical enemies.

(13.4 Magic Resist) - This is to magic damage as physical damage is to armour. Take this if you are up against a magical lane.

(5.9% Flat CDR) - If you are not up against a magical hero, this is the next best thing to push your advantage against a physical lane.

(2.25 Attack Damage + 3% Movement Speed) - Allows for easier last hitting (for lazy people like me - you know who you are!) The AS marks work well with this as well. Gives you some more damage against enemy champs as well, as it also works with Bladesurge. AD quints are just generally strong early game runes. I've started to mix in some movement speed quints as well for better orb walking.
Other runes to Consider if you don't have these.

Greater Mark of Lethality

Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Mark of Critical Chance

Greater Seal of Scaling Health

Greater Seal of Scaling Armor

Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration

Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Glyph of Attack Speed

Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed

Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed

Greater Quintessence of Lethality

Greater Quintessence of Health

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21-9-0 is the best mastery tree for Irelia. The offensive tree is simply too good to pass up. The other 9 points can be distributed however you choose, depending on your summoner spells and other preferences. In general, make sure you get that 21 in offense for Executioner as well as any summoner spell masteries.
Deadliness / Havoc / Lethality - Irelia doesn't use crit, so Lethality is rather useless. Havoc increased your true damage as well as all your other damage, so it's a really good spell that takes priority over Deadliness . 2 points in Havoc gives you more throughout the entire game. This has been calculated somewhere in the comments. The basic reason is because Deadliness cannot scale per level fast enough compared to the damage you get from Havoc . In general, the only time you max Deadliness over havoc is if you want Lethality and maybe in some cases if you scale off ad heavily (even then, Havoc is probably better).

Demolitionist / Deadliness - Although Demolitionist is a very good mastery, I usually try to keep the tower anyways for protection, so I don't get this. The extra point in Deadliness just gives me a bit more damage vs creeps and enemies, whom I attack much more often than towers. This is entirely your preference.
Resistance / Hardiness - Depending on if you are laning against a magical or physical hero, take the corresponding magic resists/armor mastery.
Durability / Veteran's Scars - While Durability is lackluster, Veteran's Scars is an amazing mastery. The only reason you get Durability is for Veteran's Scars .
Sorcery/ Arcane Knowledge - You may choose to distribute some points into these two as well. It helps with the magic damage you deal if you get Wit's End and madred's bloodrazors, as well as Equilibrium Strike. The CDR is very useful overall as well.

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Summoner Spells

Pick a combination of these that suit you or the enemy best. I recommend heal+ignite

Your primary Offensive and Defensive Spell.
  • Heal is OP right now. 'Heal heals for more than ignite deals', so if you heal before ignite, you are very far ahead.
  • Great synergy with Equilibrium Strike to ensure a safe stun with Heal as backup.
  • This makes Irelia even harder to kill. Punishes aggressive enemy players and promotes your aggression as well.
  • Irelia is the bait queen, and Heal is her crown. Lets say they just ignited you and you are about to die, but they have less than half hp as well. Run into a bush to let the Ignite wear off and for your Equilibrium Strike to come back up (or for your jungler to come gank). Once they facecheck the bush, attack and stun right after (or stun first if you have near even hp) before they can touch you. Heal and finish them off for an easy kill. You don't even have to go into a bush, just try not to use Heal during an ignite unless you are about to die without it.
  • Although you are giving up a movement escape mechanism with Heal instead of Flash or Ghost, sometimes you can get a kill or even a double kill when you get ganked from Heal, if the jungler thinks that half hp is enough to gank you.
  • Heal with Ignite are the two strongest 1v1 dueling spells early game. If you win your lane early, you will be able dominate from that point on.
  • Con: Vulnerable to Ignites if you don't time it right
  • Pro to the Con: How to avoid the Con stated above: usually people ignite when you are 1/4-1/3 hp, so plan accordingly. If they Ignite you above this, just run away and let them waste it.

Your primary offensive spell.
  • Used to secure kills and to prevent enemies from healing.
  • Works great with your ult, Transcendent Blades, to chase fleeing enemies when they are out of auto-attack range.
  • Works great with Heal to give you a large health advantage for easier kills.
Other Summoner Spell Options

Your primary spell for mobility and surprise attacks.
  • If you don't feel comfortable with Heal+ Ignite, this is a good option for you.
  • Flash to escape ganks or other dangerous situations
  • Flash and Bladesurge through creeps/champs, to cover a lot of distance very quickly to surprise a low hp enemy and get kills.
  • Flash over walls for maximum effectiveness to chase or escape.
  • Flash after you dive a tower for a quick escape.
  • Con: Rather short range, and you already have a reliable gap closer.

Your primary map presence spell.
  • Very good if you have map awareness. Lets you have presence at dragon/bot that you would otherwise not be able to have since you are most likely top lane.
  • Helps you stay in lane by giving you a quick fountain heal/buy option.
  • Very useful throughout the game, by letting you farm with team presence at the same time.
  • Con: Doesn't directly help in fights that you are already at.

Your secondary mobility spell.
  • Gives more sustained mobility than flash.
  • Useful if you want to chase them with sustained auto-attacks rather than a surprise burst.
  • If you can react fast enough, it can be better than flash to escape ganks.

A situational defense/offensive spell.
  • If you have lightning fast reflexes, this can be an amazing skill.
  • **not 100% verified - if you can prove/disprove, let me know** The extra 65% CC reduction for 3-4 seconds stacks with your Ionian Fervor and Mercury's Treads. This will give you 79.5/82.9/86.4% CC reduction, which makes you almost immune to CCs during that time as well.
  • Use it when you get in a sticky situation and run away.
  • Recommended for highly skilled players as it can be very difficult to use effectively.
  • In any case, I strongly recommend only getting this if the enemy team has a large amount of dangerous CC. (i.e. Stuns, snares, taunts, fears) Silences are not a big problem and unless they have a lot of slow (Ashe, Janna, Sejuani), it's usually not a big problem either due to your gap closer and stun.
  • Con: Think, do you really need that extra CC reduction? Your passive+treads already reduces a large amount of CC.
  • Con: Does not remove suppressions, which are your worst problem.
  • Con: Does not remove the healing reduction from Ignite, which is another problem.

Taken if you want an extra slow
  • If you like exhaust, take it. It provides a useful slow and the damage reduction is great through late-game.
  • Heal has a greater effect on HP loss/gain during early game laning, but doesn't have the slow that Exhaust has.


Pro: Best combination for dueling, great for fb.
Works well with Irelia's skills and playstyle.
Con: You don't have any movement spells other than [Q].


Recommended for beginners.
Flash is an easy to use get-out-of jail free card.
The other two spells are also easy to use.

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Items-Video Explanation

Irelia Items-Video Explanations

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Core Items

Item Sequence

Wriggle's Lantern

Wit's End

Frozen Mallet


Madred's Bloodrazor
This is my core item build for Irelia. This means that I almost always go for this build in one way or another. These items give Irelia an amazing balance of physical/magical damage and defense that apply to most teams. Keep in mind that build order changes a lot and that you should always build according to the situation.

Build Order - When to Build What?

Your item sequencing should vary game to game depending on your lane and the enemy team. These are some guidelines to help you choose what to build.

Laning Against a Physical Hero.



When laning against a physical hero, you will need to focus on building armour. Also, you will most likely be in top lane, which means you will also need mobility.
Starting Items

Take boots and three health pots if you are up against a champion that you don't need to worry about or one that you need to avoid getting hit with.
Take cloth armor and five pots if you are up against champion who you have to trade hits with, such as Gangplank or Pantheon.

You can take this instead of Cloth Armor against heroes with high poke. This was able to easily outlast a 2k elo Nidalee's auto-attacks for me, though I haven't tried it against anyone else yet. - Try it let me know!
Items to Rush (Early Game)

If you are having trouble, get these boots for cheap and overpowered physical defense.
Gives you everything you need to easily beat any physical hero. Very efficient item due to the free ward every 3 min (~4 gold/10 seconds). Get this before lvl 2 boots if possible.
Get this after your wriggle's lantern for even more sustain and damage.
Got Those^^^? Now Get These. (Mid Game)

Helps you push your advantage by keeping them in your grasp to give them the deeps. Bladesurge can proc this.
Gives you some magic damage to add to your true/physical damage. That armor they bought won't work against this item.
If you feel that you need to be more tanky or that enemies are still hard to catch, upgrading Phage into Frozen Mallet will fix it. This makes you very hard to ignore in team fights as well.
Now You Are Good to Go (Late Game)

If you got Ninja Tabi instead of this before, now is a good time to ugrade! This and Wit's End will be enough to deter any mage from focusing you.
Since ap carries aren't a problem, your biggest threat are those pesky ad carries. Thornmail is cheap and makes those ad carries think twice thrice before focusing you.
AP carry? CHECK. AD Carry? CHECK. Tanks? CHECK and CHECK. With this item, everyone will be scared of you! You are now tanky and deal heavy mixed damage. Now your only problem will be those nasty supports :P.

Laning Against a Magical Hero.



When laning against a magical hero, you will need to focus on building health, sustain, and magic resist. Damage comes naturally, you just need to survive andout-sustain their nukes.
Starting Items

Boots are your primary item versus ap. You need to be able to dodge their skills and catch them after they go on CD.

Usually take boots, but this can be useful in repelling harass as well.
Items to Rush (Early Game)

Gives you the sustain to outlast all their spells. Can upgrade to Executioner's Calling to shut down heroes like Vladimir and Swain or upgrade to Wriggle's Lantern later.
All ap carries have a CC and magic damage. This item counters both.

Gives you both sustain, damage, and magic resist. Perfect.
Got Those^^^? Now Get These (Mid Game)

You can get this item earlier if you are doing well and need to hold them in place.
Once they see you have this, they will be scared to come anywhere near you.
You should have no problem by now, and shouldn't be laning anymore either way. If you STILL haven't upgraded your vamp scepter, do so now.
Polish Off Your Build (Late Game)

They probably have some strong ad carry by now, and you haven't built any armor, so you will need this.
Your expensive late game item when you can afford it.
You are not a bad choice to carry this if your team still doesn't have one.

Item Explanations and Details

This will explain the core item build
Item Sequence

Wriggle's Lantern

Wit's End

Frozen Mallet


Madred's Bloodrazor
This core item build brings out the most out of Irelia for the most situations. Why did I chose these items instead of other viable items? See below.
  • Gives 700 Health vs only 250 health.
  • Has a 100% chance for 40% slow vs only a 25% chance for 35% slow.
  • 800 gold cheaper.
  • Gives Irelia defense and utility with no wasted stats.
  • In turn, the utility of keeping primary targets in place for you and your team also increased damage output indirectly. It also provides defense for your team in the form of a heavy slow.
  • Has a 150% sheen effect. (only deals BASE damage) Deals physical damage, and you usually don't build armor pen on Irelia.
  • Gives some minimal use crit/ap/mana. True damage doesn't crit.
  • Gives nice ms boost/attack speed.
  • Gives Irelia damage and mixed utility with many wasted stats Slow is unreliable.
Frozen Mallet is cheaper and more useful to Irelia's role. Irelia desperately needs the extra health that Frozen Mallet gives. The slow from Trinity Force is a toss-up. If you don't get the slow on the first hit, you might not be able to catch them. Frozen Mallet is a guaranteed and stronger slow. The extra little benefits from Trinity Force are nice, but in a team battle when you are in the middle of the fight, they will be of no use if you die. You should only get Trinity Force if you have the health to sustain it, like in the alternate builds below.
In general, I feel that Trinity Force is taken by a lot of new players. I'm not going to lie, I used to build Irelia with Trinity Force all the time, until I realized how much better Frozen Mallet is. A slow that's 400% better is a huge difference in getting that kill or not. I would rather hit a primary target once than hit a tank twice.
However, there is a time and place for everything, and here I am comparing Trinity Force to Frozen Mallet in my core build. I included Trinity Force in the alternate tanky builds, because Irelia doesn't need the tankiness in those.
  • Gives 100 armor, 25 more than Randuin's Omen.
  • Very cheap and easy to build - only 2000 gold.
  • Returns 30% of damage from on-hit effects.
  • The damage is calculated before your armor reduces it.
  • Returns as magic damage, which is reduced by magic resistance.
  • This will effectively shut down lifesteal and any auto attacker who tries to focus you.
  • With this build, ap carries and tanks are not a problem to you. Your main source of death will come from ad carries. Thornmail directly counters them.
  • Thornmail has one job, and it does it well.
  • Least amount of armor, but makes up for this with health.
  • Most expensive - 3075 gold. Offset very minimally by HoG - HoG cannot be rushed without effecting your early-mid game build.
  • With same gold, you can get Thornmail and Recurve Bow
  • Has a nice active - slows all nearby enemies for 3 seconds. Useful for team, although only 500 range (less than ranged hero's auto attack)
  • Passive can help deter attacks, although only 1/5 chance to proc.
  • Rather expensive item - 2775 gold. With same gold, you can get Thornmail + Chain Vest
  • You are paying for 500 mana, which you don't need.
  • Gives a not necessary, but useful 20% CDR for 1-3 seconds off your spells.
  • The passive is useful for your team as well.
I've been getting a lot of comments saying how Thornmail is bad, and was provided with evidence that it is. I feel that as a 1900+ player, I need to defend my choice and clarify this misinformation.
From reading this evidence, I've found that the main arguing points behind this are as summarized (clarify me if I'm wrong or if there are any other reasons)

The reason that Thornmail is such a bad item is because:

>>>...because Thornmail counters itself since it deals damage taken, but you take less if you have more armor!
  • This is just not true. Thornmail's returned damage is calculated before the damage reduction from armor.
>>>...because damage carries don't have enough health/sustain for it to provide any damage output, and a Guardian Angel will protect them more. >>>...because Thormail only returns damage from on-hit effects, so it will only be effective against heroes that auto attack or have some other on-hit effect skill.*
  • This is also true, it will only be effective against auto-attackers. I would say roughly 100% of ad carries are auto-attackers, those are the ones who are the biggest threat to you. *On another note, Frozen Heart and Randuin's Omen is even more limited to auto-attackers, as Thornmail reflects on-hit effects as well.
>>>...because Thornmail is only effective on tanks, and noone focuses tanks anyways!
  • This is also true, however, you are not the tank. You are tanky dps. As you can see in the alternate builds, I did not get thornmail for the more tanky builds. The purpose of getting Thornmail for Irelia is to stop them from attacking you. If they are not attacking you, Thornmail just did its job!.
>>>...How selfish! Get something that will help the team out, since they won't be attacking you. Who cares if they attack you, as long as they aren't attacking the ad/ap carry!
  • True, Thornmail does not have a direct method of helping your teammates. However, your dps combined with Frozen Mallet does. If their ad carry tries to focus your's, Irelia can jump on them, stun or slow them indefinitely, and kill them. This gives the ad carry three choices. Choice 1: Keep trying to focuse your ad/ap carry while taking heavy damage and while under a powerful slow/stun. Choice 2: Try to run away and fight another day. However, you have a Frozen Mallet and a powerful gap closer combined with a powerful stun/slow. What are the chances of them escaping? Lastly, Choice 3: Turn on you and try to focus you down. With help from her team, an ad carry can deal some serious damage to you - much more than anyone else can. Clearly Choice 3 is the worst for you and your team, meaning you want to avoid this as much as possible. Thornmail makes this a lose-lose-lose situation for them. They can't focus your team without getting killed by you. They can't run from you without significant trouble. And, they can't focus you without a high chance of dying themselves.
>>>...because the damage returned is reduced by magic resist.
  • True, the returned damage is reduced by the attacker's magic resistance. Most carries will only have enough magic resist to negate 40-50% of the damage. This means they will take 15% of their damage dealt, which means they need X% lifesteal or more to not lose hp. Lifesteal is calculate after armor reduction. Irelia will be built with 250+ armor, which means that you take 70% reduced damage. If they have a last whisper, you will take at least 55% reduced damage. This means that they will have to have anywhere from 33% to 50% lifesteal just to mitigate Thornmail damage. If they were willing to trade damage for this much lifesteal, that's perfectly fine. Even if they break even, they won't be able to heal past your damage and will die regardless.
>>>Conclusion - Thornmail isn't anywhere near a bad item for Irelia at all. She meets all the requirements for it to be a very effective item on her, especially since it covers Irelia's biggest weakness, and covers it well, especially for the price. The arguments against Thornmail actually supported the fact that it is very effective against squishy ad carries, and this is exactly what this is for.

- Synergizes with Ionian Fervor to give 41.5/51.25/61% CC reduction compared to 10/25/40% or 35% reduction by theirselves. Makes you a nightmare for ap carries.
- Incredibly cheap item for what it gives.
  • Shuts down your physical enemy laner. They won't be able to outdamage your sustain.
  • Only get this if you feel that you need it. Sometimes, you can just get Mercury's Treads.
  • Late-game, this is usually replaced with Mercury's Treads.
-Very cost efficient item that's great for Irelia vs physical heroes.
  • Gives you armor, damage, even more sustain, and FREE WARDS!! sight ward
  • The free wards amount to about 4.1 gold/10 sec. Compare this to 5 gold per 10 items that aren't as useful.
- Very cost efficient item that gives Irelia what she needs.
  • Gives her much needed attack speed, which gives her sustain and more true damage with her Hiten Style
  • Gives her magic resist against those ap carries. The bonus magic resist is stacked very quickly due to her high attack speed combined with Bladesurge. You should be able to reach max stacks very easily, and make the most out of this item.
  • Gives her a nice damage boost in the form of magic damage. The damage is also proc'd by Bladesurge. Mixed damage makes it even more difficult to counter Irelia. This means they can't just stack armor like they can vs Tryndamere and most other ad's.
- Also a very efficient item that is taken for the slow passive.
  • Most importantly used for the on-hit slow that can be proc'd by Bladesurge. Allows you to chase more easily.
  • Gives an added bonus of more tankiness and some damage for an easy to build and inexpensive price.
- Awesome item for any tank. This makes you both tanky and un-ignorable.
  • Gives you a huge boost to your tankiness.
  • Gives you an amazing 100% chance on-hit 40% slow. This is INSANE on Irelia. If they try getting a little out of range, just Bladesurge and slow them. If you have less hp, then stun them. Auto-attack them and still slow them! This makes you very scary.
- Cheap and effective item vs ad carries.
  • Very inexpensive compared to other tank items. Only 2000 gold!
  • Not only does it give a lot of defense, it gives you damage too- counters any lifesteal that they might have gotten to sustain!
  • AD carries are your worst enemy if they can freely attack you. This will force them to either switch targets or die faster.
  • You have both the hp and the sustain to make the most out of thornmail.
  • If you rush this against a Tryndamere, they are effectively shut down against you. All you need is a 2000 item, while they will have to buy a Last Whisper (2300) as well as sufficient lifesteal and attack speed to counter it. They might also need to buy extra magic resist which delays their build even more.
- This is your late game item. You can get this before Thornmail if they are tanky.
  • There will always be 2-3 heroes with ~3000 hp late game, which means you can almost always get this.
  • Gives attack speed, which you need, and does magic damage, which fits right into your uncounterable mixed damage.
  • Very expensive if you get this as the last slot, so you might want to get this before thornmail. However, since it's late game, you won't have other items to get other than potions anyways.
  • Gives some extra armor as well, which is always nice.


Other Items

These are other items that you may consider in special situations. This does not list all possible items, just those I feel worth mentioning. The core build works well in the majority of games, but sometimes you may want to mix it up.
philosopher's stoneheart of golde - Only recommended for newer Irelia players or if you are having a horrible early game anyways.
  • If you are not that good at managing health potions or last-hitting, you can start the game with a Regrowth Pendant and rush a philosopher's stone for the gold income.
  • Be aware that this will make you a much weaker duelist, so only get these if you need to.
  • Remember that wriggler's lantern is a much more useful item that also provides free gold in the form of wards.
- Taken against a magical lane when you might not get Wriggle's Lantern. - Alternative to Thornmail.
  • Over 1000 gold more expensive, but has a good active and gives you some more hp.
  • Take if you got Heart of Gold.
- Another alternative to Thornmail.
  • Taken if you need a mix of armor and magic resist.
  • Passive is very useful against a higher burst/lower sustain team, but I don't like it because of the long-a** 5 minute cooldown.
- Take this instead of Thornmail if they have more ap damage danger than ad.
  • Gives most mr in game.
  • Gives strong regen.
  • Strong against magical heavy, lower burst/higher sustain teams.
- A good item for Irelia, but Frozen Mallet just outshines it.
  • I used to get this on Irelia, until I realize how much more effective Frozen Mallet is.
  • This can still be effective in many cases. Small items to build and the sheen proc makes it a good killing item.
  • I'll discuss why Frozen Mallet is better below.
/ - Get this if you want to go the atmog's build
  • This is just incredibly expensive to build, especially because neither item is very effective until you got both items.
- If you build atmog's, you will need this late game.
  • Going atmog's means you will be building physical damage based, and will need the armour penetration late-game to deal noticeable damage.
- After you finish all your other items.
  • You can upgrade Wriggle's Lantern into this if you can lots of cash to spare late-game
  • Problem is that you need to farm up and keep the stacks to be effective with this.
Zeke's Herald - Another alternative lifesteal item.
  • Take this if your team is physical heavy and benefits from it. You are not a bad choice to carry this for your team.
  • Gives you a little attack speed an tankiness as well.
- Works well with Hiten Style and Transcendent Blades
  • Doesn't have much use other than to help you heal and make you a bit more tanky.
  • You already have enough sustain, and this won't help that much in lane compared to other items you could get for the price.

- Your passive and Mercury's Treads does not reduce suppressions. This removes them for you.
  • The reason you get this is for the active. It removes all debuffs, including suppressions, stuns, silences, etc.
  • Notable heroes that you might want to get Quicksilver Sash against are Malzahar, Warwick, Skarner, Mordekaiser(usually he prefers ulting ad carries though), etc.

Alternate Builds

Item Sequence

Zeke's Harbinger

Warmog's Armor

Atma's Impaler

Wit's End

Last Whisper
Atmog's dps Build- Gives you a lot of health and physical damage. However you have to make the choice of getting lifesteal, armour pen, or a slow with this build.
zeke's herald or or or
Item Sequence

Trinity Force

Wriggle's Lantern

Warmog's Armor

Atma's Impaler

Banshee's Veil
Semi-tank Atmog's build- This build has a mix of damage and defense.
Item Sequence

Frozen Mallet

Force of Nature

Randuin's Omen

Warmog's Armor

Atma's Impaler
Item Sequence

Trinity Force

Force of Nature

Randuin's Omen

Warmog's Armor

Guardian Angel
Full tank build- This build does very little damage, but lets you survive much longer in favor of disruption. You can use this build if your team has enough damage, but needs a tank that can fearlessly run in and soak damage.

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Irelia Skills/Skill Sequence Video Guide-Explanations

Ionian Fervor
One of the best passives in the game. This is why you get Mercury's Treads.
  • Stacks with Mercury's Treads to give you 41.5/51.25/61% instead of 10/25/40% reduction.
  • This effect will not work on enemies you can't see, so it can't be used to check bushes or stealth heroes.

This is a very versatile spell that can be abused if used correctly. This is because the cooldown is reduced to 0 whenever you kill something with it.
  • I don't max this too soon due to the increasing mana cost. I want to be able to use it to farm and combo the enemy without worrying about running out of mana. You can start maxing this whenever you feel like mana isn't a problem.
  • One use is to secure last hits you would otherwise miss.
  • You can also use it to travel to low health creeps and cover large distances in the blink of an eye, because the cooldown instantly refreshes everytime you kill one.
  • You can use it to catch up to an enemy or to escape from one.
  • This does not work on allied units, including wards.
  • Use it right after you auto-attack for maximum dps or wait until they get out of range to use it.
  • Try to get an extra attack in right after you reach them. This is where your Greater Mark of Attack Speed comes in handy.

Hiten Style
This move is your primary source of damage and sustain.
  • I get this at lvl 1 to get a head start on healing back the little bits of damage I might take, without wasting potions. It's also useful to have if they try to be too aggressive, because your active + heal passive + minions will be too much for anyone.
  • I start maxing at lvl 4 because you need all three abilities to be most effective. I'm not quite sure why some Irelia builds skip Equilibrium Strike at lvl 3 in favor of another skill in this. You will regret not taking that stun at lvl 3 in many cases, especially if their jungler comes.
  • This deals true damage, which means that it can't be reduced by anything, including Exhaust
  • The heal is applied every time you hit something, which means that it also works on towers and inhibitors.
  • Bladesurge will proc both the heal and the true damage if activated.

Equilibrium Strike
If you use this right, it can be a very OP stun.
  • I max this before Bladesurge because of mana issues stated above and because I want to make the most of it when I do use it.
  • If you have the same hp or lower % hp than the enemy, this move will stun them.
  • Otherwise, it will only slow them.
  • This has a very long stun duration and a low cooldown. If you stun the enemy, it is an incredibly strong CC spell.
  • This spell along with Ionian Fervor makes Irelia very hard to kill.
  • You need to be tanky to survive with low enough hp to stun and not die.

Transcendent Blades
This is not the best ultimate, but it has its uses. The first time you use it, you activate it. For the next 10-15 seconds, you can use it 4 more times to shoot it in any direction. Use your mouse to aim.
  • Most commonly used to farm large creep waves and heal. Use it before you recall, and it will be up soon by the time you swagger back into the lane.
  • Also used to kill enemies that are running away or give you more dps when fighting one head on.
  • Remember that you can attack and cast spells while using your ult at the same time.
  • Also, this can be shot in any direction, regardless of where Irelia is facing. This means you can run away from enemies while shooting them behind your back.

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Skill Combos

Irelia's combos are very simple and easy to learn. These will give you an basic understanding of how to play her. Whenever possible, use Equilibrium Strike when you have less hp to stun instead of slow.
Basic Combo List
Might add a video later showing these.

- This icon will Symbolize a Basic Attack.
- This icon will Symbolize moving in between an attack/skill.

REPEAT- Basic 'orb-walking'. Activate your Hiten Style and move between attacks. - Use Bladesurge right after a basic attack to deal some burst damage. - LAST HITTING COMBO - If you see a creep that you are unsure you will get (if you have a large creep wave or tower). Attack and right as your basic attack hits, bladesurge to finish. This way if your autoattack hits, you don't waste Bladesurge. Also get an extra hiten style heal. - Take advantage of your time inbetween attacks to cast an Equilibrium Strike before your next attack. - Combines Equilibrium Strike and Bladesurge combos. - Use Bladesurge on minions to get close to your enemy and start attacking him by 'orb-walking'. Use Bladesurge again when he starts getting out of range. - Use Bladesurge on minions to get close to your enemy and start attacking him by 'orb-walking'. In this case, if you have a little bit less health, use Equilibrium Strike first to stun instead of slow. Continue attacking and use Bladesurge again when he starts getting out of range.

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Laning Information

Basic Laning Information
Your preferred lane is top for room to chase your enemy. If you need to, you can also go mid to counter someone like Kassadin. Try not to go with a dual lane, because you are much better 1v1 and need the farm as well.

In order of importance, whenever applicable, your priorities should be to 'Not Die/Kill the Enemy', 'Help Your Team Not Die/Kill the Enemy', 'Last-Hit Minions', 'Harass the Enemy'.
  • LVL 1: Don't be aggressive and just last hit. Hit your enemy if they come too far into your creeps. Don't chase them into their creep zone, as you have a weak lvl 1 compared to many others. Also, be very careful of any lvl 2 ganks.
    • Important Note: If their jungler starts on the blue/red buff that is closest to your lane, they may try to lvl 2 gank you. This means that you will probably still be at lvl 1. If you think the jungler has the slightest chance of coming and deal serious damage or kill you, then do not level a skill yet.
    • Sometimes, Bladesurge will give you an easy escape if they come from behind. Other times Equilibrium Strike will save you if they run from the side or from ahead. You might not need either sometimes, and they might not even come, which means Hiten Style will be sufficient.
  • LVL 2: Now you have Bladesurge. You can use it to get any missed last hits or do a quick burst combo if they get close. You are still relatively weak so don't do anything too crazy.
  • LVL 3-6: Once you get your Equilibrium Strike, you are much stronger. You can now be a little more aggressive if you want to.
  • LVL 6+: You can choose either to try to kill him with your ult, or to push/farm with your ult in order to recall. Once you get items, the lane only gets easier. Your ult has a short cooldown, so always use it before you recall for that last little farm push.
  • If their jungler comes, you usually have two situations:Situations 1: The jungler comes from their side of the jungler, with you closer to your tower. In this case, just run back, through the bushes if you need, and stun if they get close. If there's anything you can Bladesurge onto to escape, use it. Situation 2: The jungler flanks you, and tries to cut off your escape between you and your tower. Just Bladesurge to the enemy between you and your tower for a free flash and stun him as you reach him.
  • Ward your lane when you push: Wards don't win games, but lack of wards loses games. Getting ganked is your biggest threat, so whenever you go back to base, buy a ward if you have the gold, and place it according to the warding map below. For top, the blue ward zone usually suffices. Still be careful of ganks throughout the game, and make sure you look at the minimap.
  • Advanced - Extreme Lane Freezing: This is an advanced skill which involves shutting down your lane enemy by keeping the creep waves 1/4 of the way from your tower to theirs.
    • The Theory:
      • Extreme Lane Freezing is a technique to completely deny your solo top enemy of farm. It can also be done at bot, but it's much harder with a lane partner. Mid is extremely difficult if even possible due to the length of the lane.
      • If you pull this off, your opponent will not be able to get near your creeps to farm, and you can even push them out of experience range if you are good.
      • The idea behind it is that a wave of enemy creeps with 3+ more minions will kill your creeps with enemy creeps still surviving. 3 is a soft minimum, because your last-hitting and occasional tanking will balance the power towards your own creeps (which is bad in this case).
      • If 3+ survive, this process can be repeated over and over again, with the right conditions. This means you can forever deny your opponent in this case.
      • Irelia is a very strong for this using this technique: She has a ranged gap closer, she can kill creeps from a distance, she has enough sustain to tank the creeps, and she has a skill to quickly kill the creeps when needed.
    • When to use this:
      1. Use only when you are winning the lane by a lot. If you try this when they can kill you, you will die.
      2. If you see a large enemy creep wave (at least 3 more than the average creep wave) coming, you can do this. The larger the creep wave, the easier and longer you can do this.
      3. Only use this if you have the river warded. You don't want to get ganked and then get denied all those creeps.
    • How to do this:
      1. First of all, this is an advanced skill, so don't be frustrated if you can't do this. Don't attempt if you cannot easily last-hit yet.
      2. Make sure that you covered the 'When to do this' requirements before attempting.
      3. Stop the creeps just a little bit further out than your tower's range. (I'll add a picture when I have time, but it's easy to visualize.) You should be able to keep the creeps within just out of your tower's range and 2-3 times your tower's range.
      4. When your creeps are fighting, only last-hit so that the enemy creeps kill all of your creeps with 3+ more enemy creeps to spare.
      5. When your creeps are fighting, also stand as far behind the enemy ranged creeps as you can, without losing any cs. Bladesurge will help you pick up cs while still zoning the enemy champion. Make sure not to lose cs while doing this technique.
      6. When all your allied creeps are dead, herd the enemy creeps to your desired spot (about twice your tower range). Unless there is a zombie horde of creeps, don't kill any of them. If there is a zombie horde, feel free to chop some of their heads off and heal in the process.
      7. This is where it is vital that you are very far ahead of the enemy champion. You must be able to tank the creep wave and still beat them.
      8. Do this until your allied creeps arrive and repeat the above, use last-hitting to heal back to full health with Hiten Style and Wriggle's Lantern.
    • When to stop: There are several cases when you should stop freezing the lane and push the creeps back.
      1. When you are not able to sustain the creep damage while zoning the enemy.
      2. When the enemy jungler comes for a dangerous gank. Sometimes you don't need to stop right away since you are near enough to your tower, but it's safer just to stop.
      3. When your team needs help at an objective or a team fight. If you predict that your team will need you soon, go ahead and use your ult to quickly kill the creeps and head down to help.
      4. When the enemy champions has given up trying to come top and resorted to roaming or jungling, then your team probably needs your help soon.
      5. When you need to push, for any of the reasons above included.
      6. When the enemy team surrenders!

Lane Matchups
Irelia is nearly impossible to counter, however she is stronger or weaker vs certain heroes.I will update per request on comments.

Strong Against

Cloth + 5
  • You will outsustain his harass from pots and Hiten Style.
  • You should have no problem once you get Wriggle's Lantern.
  • Get Ninja Tabi if you get behind.
  • Use your combos and harass them down if they try to melee you.

cloth+5 or boots+3
  • You outsustain him.
  • You can heal off his decoy if he goes invisible.

Boots+3 or Null+2
  • Just heal back his spell harass. If he comes in to attack behind creeps, attack him back.
  • His armor doesn't effect your true damage.

  • If he dives behind your creeps, just stun/attack him.
  • He can't reduce your true damage. Just don't get low enough for him to ult you.

Dr. Mundo
Cloth+5 or Boots+3
  • Stay behind creeps or move sideways to dodge his infected cleavers.
  • If you are dominating and he is using infected cleavers to desperately farm, you can tank the damage and heal it back.
  • Wriggle's Lantern instead of Executioner's Calling should be fine, as his ult won't be a big problem early-mid game, especially with Ignite. You can just outsustain him or run away to outsustain later.
  • When fighting him, try to stay near your creeps to make it difficult for him to use Infected Cleaver on you. This will lessen his damage significantly.

  • Her only dangerous damage is physical, so build Wriggle's Lantern and if you need, get Ninja Tabi.
  • A little bit about Fiora:
    • Fiora's main source of damage is from Burst of Speed. You will see her glow a little bit and she will move faster when she activates it. From the moment she activates it, she has a huge bonus to attack speed for 3 seconds. If you can avoid this initial 3 second burst, she won't be able to deal much damage until the next CD. This being said, when you see her use this spell, just stun her and/or run away until the 3 seconds pass.
    • Her sustain Duelist is a weaker verson of your sustian Hiten Style. Use this to your advantage.
    • Her gap closer is Lunge. She can cast it twice within 4 seconds, so be aware that if you are trying to run, she will probably catch up. However, if she uses this move while her Burst of Speed bonus is up, she won't be utilizing the attack speed as much.
    • Her ultimate Blade Waltz is the scariest part of her. (If you've ever played DOTA, it's like juggernaut's ultimate except weaker)
      • She in untargetable during her ult, which means that the only thing you can damage her with while in her ult is an existing Ignite.
      • She also will also be able to lifesteal from her ult, so make sure to Ignite her before she goes into her ult.
      • She less damage if you have allied champions around, as her ult will bounce at random, although it will start and finish on the first target.
  • Make sure not to extend into her creeps until you get some items and levels, or creeps will kill you.
  • If she tries to engage on you, you can either stay near your creeps for an advantage or run in the bushes to keep her from targeting you with Lunge and make her waste Burst of Speed. You should be able to kill her if she tries to kill you in your creeps.
  • Avoid as much of the first 3 seconds of Burst of Speed as possible and engage on her after that. Try not to waste Equilibrium Strike on a slow if she wants to duel you. It's better to let her bring you down a little under her and then you counter with a stun rather than slow and run away. Without her attack speed buff, she is vulnerable, so punish her with your own combos and take a huge chunk out of her health.
  • If you've gained advantage, prevent her from healing off of creeps and punish her if she tries to engage you.
  • Once you get Wriggle's Lantern and Ninja Tabi, it should be rather easy to beat her. If not, get a Recurve Bow and you will definitely outsustain her. Your stun will win the duels for you.
  • The most common mistake people make against Fiora is thinking they are safe with both equally low hp. Remember that Blade Waltz will heal her as well as deal damage to you, and you can't do anything to stop it. So plan ahead and think of your hp like they have a Karthus on their team waiting to requiem your a$$.
  • That's about all I can think of againt Fiora. I've never had any trouble at all vs her so I won't be able to go into much more detail without suggestions.

Weak Against

Cloth+5 or Boots+3
  • They have the advantage at early levels and harass you if you get close.
  • Irelia is very weak at lvl 1 compared to them.
  • Just play passive until you gain levels and get items, you will beat them later.
  • Tell your jungler to gank if they get too aggresive.

  • Yorick is one of those super laners like you are, so be careful.
  • In earlier levels, your Hiten Style won't outheal his ghouls, so just run in a bush if they chase you.
  • Just play passive and farm your items, you will be able to heal off his minions once you get Wriggle's Lantern

In any lane, junglers will be your worst enemy. Try your best not to get ganked.
  • If you are dominating a lane, you will most likely be pushing. This means that you are in more danger of junglers.
  • Make sure you buy a sight ward and place it in the river according to the warding map.
  • Whenever possible, don't go past your half, and never go too close to their tower for an extended amount of time unless you are certain the jungler isn't nearby.
  • If their jungler comes, you usually have two situations: Situations 1: The jungler comes from their side of the jungler, with you closer to your tower. In this case, just run back, through the bushes if you need, and stun if they get close. If there's anything you can Bladesurge onto to escape, use it. Situation 2: The jungler flanks you, and tries to cut off your escape between you and your tower. Just Bladesurge to the enemy between you and your tower for a free flash and stun him as you reach him. (copied from above)
  • Fortunately, you have a jungler as well, and Irelia is a great baiter for ganking. Unfortunately, you can't always depend on your jungler.

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sight ward
Here is a basic warding map. Make sure to buy wards whenever you go back to base if you are pushing past your side of the lane.


{Red} - Protects Mid from enemy
jungler and protects Bot from
when enemy Mid roams.
{Blue} - Protects Side Lanes from enemy
jungler and from enemy Mid. Doesn't
always provide full coverage.
{Green} - Wards enemy Buffs for
{Yellow}{Orange} - Wards Dragon/Baron.
Use orange if enemy has a pink ward.

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Team Fights


What to do in team fights?

Your job in team fights is to either protect your carries or to kill their carries. Your CC reduction will help you reach and kill their carries, but try not to die, because you can deal significant dps as well. Whenever you see a low target, Bladesurge over and pick them off. Make sure you deal as much damage as possible before you die!
  • Positioning: Estimate how far you can go in without taking serious damage and position accordingly. Sometimes you can go straight in the middle of them, other times, just find lone targets and duel them.
  • Who to Target: Either target their most dangerous hero or whoever is targeting your most dangerous hero.
  • When to use your ult: Use your ult either to kill, dps their team, or heal to survive. Or all of the above.

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Braggin' Wall

This could be you in here! Leave a comment of your prowess, and you may find yourself on this wall!-Shunatan-
"great guide, very solid. the thorn-mail was great aswell i never tryed it on her before went 11/1/10 my 1st match with this build."
"I play Irelia all the time so I like to check out new builds every now and then. Loved your guide, went 14/6/6 my first game using it with one person on my team afk the entire time and another being 1/12/1 lol."
"Thanks for the guide, tried irelia in a 3v3 and went 9-4-1 with me only being ganked to kill. Def +1 to this guide."
"WoW this is awsome build just scored´╗┐ quadra ;) Ty alot"

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Thanks for reading my Irelia Guide and I hoped it helped!
I will update this guide if it gets popular and add more information.
Please leave a comment if you have questions, suggestions, or mistakes to point out!Please thumbs up//comment//+rep if you liked it, because it took a lot of work to make and format :)
Also check out my Ryze Guide and Tryndamere Jungle Guide if you liked this!If you want more video guides, support my Youtube channel here by subscribing or liking my vidoes.