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Irelia Build Guide by Pølsemanden

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Pølsemanden

Irelia Corp.

Pølsemanden Last updated on May 10, 2012
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Irelia Corp.


Specific counter.

LeagueSpy Logo
Top Lane
Ranked #20 in
Top Lane
Win 49%
Get More Stats

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: 1

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 8

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lé introduction.

Hello all, this is Pølsemanden writing a guide.

This is MY take on irelia, not only how she can be built, but how i think she should be built. I am not a pro, i'm not 2100 elo, as a matter of fact i'm only 1500 this should however not affect the view of this guide.
I wrote some parts of the guide like if irelia was a corporation, and used business analysis models and stuff(which works just as good on irelia as on a wall street corporation). Hey, u might just end up learning something as well :p

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Update log

Added madreds section
Changed masteries on build 1 and 2
Added laning section

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Customer: Enemy
Profit: Damage to enemy champions
SWOT model: A business analytics model designed for analysing a corporations current "Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats".
The Boston Matrice: A model which shows wether ur products are in growth and how much u should focus on them.
Product developement analysis: What should we do to make our product better and fit the customers(enemies)
Duff-Page A page where 3-5 of the runes are filled with one stat.(Armour, MR specifically)

Comming soon
Porters Branch analysis: This is a model which analyses ur company opposed to other companies(who can do your job).

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Fast profit vs. Sustained Profit.(Mindset)

This is a mindset section, a section explaining the mindset of irelia, the "chaox" mindset and the one i use which i choose to call the "Wickd" mindset.
The Chaox mindset is looking for a fast(bursty) profit. This was how irelia was originally designed, burst profit to the degree of madness!
This style has Tri-force as core, and often rushes a Philly stone for mana sustain.
Chaox mode came to **** *****es(ad carries are often female) and that's pretty much it.
Morello got in better nerf Irelia mode and things changed!

The new Sustain and Sustained profit, metabot irelia! This doesn't give a **** about burst.
This mindset utilises her for sustained profit. Post-nerf irelia lost the mentally insane burst profit, Wickd accepted irelia was no longer a burst assasin and started maxing "w".
This style does NOT HAVE A CORE! only partly core attribute is Tankiness and AS, AS isn't even necessary in all cases though, all comes down to your customers.
Wickd mode came to **** *****es, and then take the rest of the team while she's at it!

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Swot Model (Pros/cons)

This is the SWOT-model, it's always good to know a corporations strengths and weaknesses(leading into opportunities and threats) It makes u able to do the further analysises later needed.

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A few words on the irelia nerfs

The irelia nerfs are pretty massive. Your passive W sustain is halfed and ulty got 20-30% more cd.

What this means is, the matchup's you do win the nerfs are barely noticeable.
But on the matchup's you loose it's terror. Try facing a renekton now.. The face of true terror will appear!

**** JUST GOT REAL. Irelia's been buffed. While the buff might not seem noteworthy, it favors Tri-force AD-irelia soo much, since her basedamage will help the sheenproc. Also, who doesn't like health? This almost put irelia back with the toppicks. Also the new skin was a really huge buff! now she just needs 1 or 2 more skins, then she'll be ultra-viable again!

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The Boston Matrix (Skill sequence)

The Boston Matrix is used for analysing ur market share on a current market with your product mix on it.

It's divided into 4 sections.
Stars: Product which should be invested in and defended.
Transcendent Blades Are DEFINATELY at the top of this category. It's sooo good for everything. And synergizes VERY well with a tri-force, dem sheen procs. It's also great for farming a minion wave quickly. DO NOT be affraid to use this skill.. Everytime off cd during laning, go up the enemy bastards face, activate "w" slow/stun him, AND SHOVE THEM BLADES UP HIS ARSE!

Cash Cows: Where u normally earn ur bucks. Should be defended against other potential newcommers.
Hiten Style Notice how this skill's image is "bigger" on my model? That's because, siize matters! the bigger, the more part of our total profit it is. And this is our main profit skill :3 Also offers GODLIKE SUSTAIN!

Question Marks: The market growth is high, but our market share is low on theese products, we actually don't know how theese will turn out but we will try to get a big market share on them.
Equilibrium Strike The market growth on this is fairly high, it's a stun and a semi-nuke also our only Magic damage skill. Thing is, that this quickly get's a very little increase in both stun-time and damage, so i sometimes end up stopping the leveling after level 3-4 and level "q" instead for the lower CD. Frozen mallet further eliminates the purpose of this skill.(sticking to your target and killing it)

Dogs: The market growth is fairly low on theese products, so we should try and save our skillpoints for better things.
Bladesurge This skill is a DASH, it's a core part of your build, BUT! it's just not very profitable to level it further than 1 since ur opponent probably will stack armour at the early leves, and u're only gonna need 1 dash to get to him.

To sum it up:

R - more damage, more trading power, more sustain from it.
W - More damage, more trading power, more sustain from it.
E - More stun time, which improves your trading power(level this until you get a frozen mallet), also improves ability to stick to your target.
Q - Well it's a dash, i use it as a dash, shorter dash time is ofc nice, but sticking to your target with longer stun/slow seems superior imo.

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Product developement part 1! (runes)

Like every company we have to develope our product to make our customers buy stuff from us and give us profit.
The first thing u're gonna think about is right from the start: Am i going to play aggressive, can i play aggressive against this opponent and what runes/masteries do i counter this top-lane with?

Greater Mark of Attack Speed greater Mark of desolation

Greater Mark of Attack Speed
My standard pick for irelia. It ups ur damage a lot, and armour penetration marks are not gonna do much against a 65 armour champion standing up there waiting to eat you. Also makes her lasthitting animation much more smooth.
On a side note this also enables u to sustain better than desolation(less ad more hits on minions, more health)

greater Mark of desolation
Theese marks are for killing a squishy opponent up top. U kill him early, u kill him hard!(like u see that they're gonna send a ad-carry or squishy mage top)

Greater Seal of Armor Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration Greater Seal of Magic Resist

Greater Seal of Armor
Usual pick, U're gonna be wishing u had theese when their renekton takes half ur health with 1 combo at level 3.
theese are primary runes so they also gives full bonus.

Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration
1 or 2 clarity runes are nice, they will keep ur mana up against an aggressive opponent lane they are primary as well so it's all good(against ap)

Greater Seal of Magic Resist
Ap top? might wanna take theese seals, it's gonna hurt ur ap opponent for sure. (Against heavy harrass ap-opponent)

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist Greater Glyph of Magic Resist Greater Glyph of Armor Greater Glyph of Scaling Mana Regeneration

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
AD opponent who's not constantly AA'ing u, nor heavy harrassing u early game, scaling mr glyphs fo sure!

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Ap opponent, dis too good!

Greater Glyph of Armor
strong early ad opponent.

Greater Glyph of Scaling Mana Regeneration
2-3 of theese for mana. (against ad) secondary so u need 2-3 of them instead of 1-2.

Greater Quintessence of Armor Greater guintessence of warding
Both are quite obvious.
If u have neither; Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed will do.

Why don't u always take primary runes, i thought thoose were better?
In theory yes. But runes matter early game and falls of later. If u can completely counter ur opponent, ur mid-lategame is gonna be muuuch stronger regardless of loosing 5-10 mr/armour through the laning phase.

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Product developement part 2! (masteries and summoners)

I completely redid my masteries.


This is my primary mastery tree, it gives me everything i need, and the added bonusses down in the defence tree.

Offense tree

Improved ghost/exhaust - nuff said.

Defence tree

You get sooo much out of the defence tree, and even with the diminishing returns on tenacity it's still very much worth it.

Utility tree

I just loooove this tree.
Mana is sooo good, and so is the reduced "Blue-pill" time.
MS is also a very nice and important stat in the lanephase, both for ganks, zoning and getting zoned.

I actually didn't think this tree-setup was very good on Irelia, and i don't think it is really that strong on anything but AD irelia.

Offense tree

This is the primary tree of this spec, the reason we go for it in build 2 is; IF WE DON'T KILL THE ENEMY CARRY, WE HAVE FAILED. We have to kill the carry, and we have to do it fast. Thus offense is the weapon of choice. Also with the sustain nerfs, lifesteal too good.

Defence tree

The health mastery is just too op to not get on any tanky char...

Utility tree

I'm really sad about missing out on the MS in this tree, mana is not too much of a problem because since we're building a meki pendant at some point(get it if u only have 180 gold) mana isn't too much of a problem.

For summoners there are sooo many viable options.
On AS irelia, Ghost is a must since we're not getting a shurelya's reverie. On ad Irelia i like to run Flash because i'm gonna have a "ghost" in my reverie.

So for the second spell we have a lot of choices.
Exhaust is such an underrated summonerspell and after the ALL ignite meta, i tend to go for it a lot. The main reason i take this spell>ignite is, by late game IF i encounter the enemy carry, i have to be able to kill him 1v1, exhaust helps me more with that than ignite does. Also is overall better for dueling throughout the game.
Heal used to be my weapon of choice, simply because u can heal 1k damage right after stunning the enemy. After all ignite meta heal is not as good anymore though.
Ignite is often used and with good reason. It counters healing, and is great for anti-carrying. I do not like it on AS irelia though since exhaust just does the job better imo. Also if enemy carry gets fed then without a exhaust on ur team, ***** going down. And everyone knows, the bot-lane always feeds....
Teleport Not a fan of it. It doesn't give u a strong lane-pressence like Exhaust/ignite/heal would. And i wouldn't recommend it unless playing premade and going for dragons n shiz.

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Product developement part 3! (items)

The first question.
Boots of Speed:
We take theese if we're gonna win the lane from early on(lvl 4-6) and we can zone our opponent to death(maybe even kill him) also against low-damage opponents. A third mention are characters who are just beastmode with no gap-closer that u just wanna avoid. Last but not least against AP opponents.
example where boots are always superior: Malphite, Nasus, Rumble

Cloth Armor: We take this if enemy is a tough guy ad-early game laner that wants to fight us and can't outdo us in sustained damage.
Example where armour is always superior: Garen and Renekton if u don't have a "Duff-page" Riven and Wukong are also candidates for this starter item.. With armour seals, glyphs and quints this should give u an easy time in lane by level 4 if u keep up.

Heart of Gold is a nice item, but it's also niche. It's relatively cheap, and is the "to go" item if u only have 475/350 and can't buy anything else. Don't rush it for the ZOMG g/5, get it when the chance appears, and i'd advice only to get it if u're planning on getting:
Randuin's Omen THE ULTIMATE COUNTER to all auto-attackers. Tryndamere getting beastmode in lane, get an early Warden's Mail

We're going to be building a "phage" item All-day erryday. The question is just which one?

Generally we have two versions of irelia: Anti-carrying, And the one which just kills everything.
If we want to anti-carry. We're gonna need a tri-force, it offers soooooooo terribly much burst and utility that it's not even funny.
If we want to kill everything, we're going to need attackspeed and a way of sticking to the target so we can really utilise the attackspeed therefore Frozen Mallet is the way to go in this occasion

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Team 2 builds(the counterbuilds)

The first build. Is a counterbuild against a heavy AP team, with max 1 ad damage threat.

With this build it's VERY important that you HAVE TO DESTROY THE ENEMY AD-CARRY! If you do destroy the AD carry, you're gonna have very much pressence in the teamfight because of your massive amounts of MR and the hexdrinker.
Remember to abuse your sheen proc's from your ulty to full potential, this(with the maw) drastically improves your damage output. But i can't stress enough how important it is WHAT team-comp you use this against. Double-ap with either support or AP jungler.

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The big list of items

The big list of items:

this is like theee best item on irelia, it brings sooo much and should 2/3's of ur games be rushed.

this item is good, i've begun using it on irelia after her sustain nerf, 3% lifesteal means more than you might just think, it also gives u the ability for an even stronger midgame. I get 1 in my first build because i prefer to utilize AS with a frozen mallet, and i get 2 in second build because there i'm more AD oriented.

some ppl rush this on Irelia. Thing is this scales with base AD. This means, that for every level you wait on getting this, it gets:3,3/55,3*100=5,5%points more cost effective for every single ****ing level u wait for getting this bad-boy! This is a part of why rushing Trinity Force is kinda meeh as well.

This item is nice, get us AS/MS, both are very nice stats on irelia, therefore i actually prefer it before sheen if i'm <lvl 15.

I used to be of the opinion that this is a bad item on Irelia i've become smarter though, Wriggle's Lantern is one fiiine item on her. Only paired with a tri-force for ad-irelia->Burst assasin. I'm back to my original standpoint on this item, i don't like it anymore - Double Doran's Blade offers a better mid game imo.

is just as good as Wriggle's Lantern Imo, it's ofcourse the counter to a heavy ap enemy team, laugh at Karthus ulty :p Another factor of this item is: It says Kaching when the **********ing shield goes on!

+ better known as Atmogs, this item combo is powerful on irelia, i consider it a late-game item on AD-irelia. Where ur build is looking somewhat like this: Trinity Force, Shurelya's Reverie, Warmog's Armor, Atma's Impaler, Infinity Edge. this is giving u A LOT OF DAMAGE!

Shurelya's Reverie This item is awesomely cost-effective and soooooooo good on AD-irelia, why u might ask? Because it gives u every single darn thing u need! u're gonna be taking flash-ignite, therefore u don't have a ghost, u're getting health which atmas scales well with, u're going to be gettting cdr which you need as AD-irelia, u're going to get the opportunity of an early Faerie Charm for mana sustain.

such a strong item on irelia it's not even funny, sometimes it's sooo cost effective, it's even worth getting it on ad-irelia.

this item is also sooo good on Irelia it recently got a buff up to 40 ad instead of 30, so now this item is just :3 stronk!

I removed this item from the second build. This is not because it is a bad item. It's because more junglers are beginning to get this, make sure somebody on the team has it! I also removed it because i went from Wriggle's Lantern to double Doran's Blade, this costs one more item slot and you have to build for late game sooner.

this item is kinda bad.. Well, just plain bad, it's stats aren't good, it does not fullfill our purpose of single target annihilation, meeh AS, meeh Passive, meeh item: We simply do not scale well enough with health to make this item worthwhile.

OMG you left out:

This section is oriented towards the items i'm not mentioning, i never/rarely get theese items and here is some reasoning for thoose.

This seems nice, the main problem with this item is: It's a item you buy to counter an ad-carry(which shines at lategame) but it's a midgame oriented item(randuin's counters ad-carries waaaaay more effective than thornmail.)

Well this item is a noobtrap, single highest MR item in the game but we don't have enough health, nor does irelia scale well enough with movespeed to make it worthwhile.

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Laning section

Ok so in short when laning there are 3 positions where u want your minions to be placed, they should not be in any other place for a longer period of time.

#1 At your own tower.

#2 At your side of the river, but not in tower range

#3Under enemy's tower.

When to be where?

#1 Towerhugging

You want to be here when you're loosing, also against strong laners like garen, renekton and riven it's nice to be here. Due to your "q" it's easy to last hit under tower, so this position suits you just fine in most situations.

#2 Lane frozen at your side of river.

You want to be here when you're winning/equal in lane, this gives excellent zoning opportunities, and nice ganks if jungler tries to gank.

#3 under enemies tower.

YOU do not ever want to be here, having your minions there is another case though.
Whenever your enemy is out of lane;
  • He just went towards mid.
  • You just killed him
  • You almost killed him and he's going back.
  • You need to b for a new item/mana/health
In one of theese situations you want your minions to be under his tower. This will;
  • make him loose creeps
  • make him loose exp
  • give you an opportunity to go back without being affraid of loosing exp/gold(minions are hitting his tower)
  • Make his minions push towards your tower, giving you the possibility of freezing the lane in #2 when you come back to lane.

How to(champion specific):

All graphs are a mild view, they are a wide span. Post 12 it's calculated by team-fiht pressence.
This guy is a ****ing meanie throughout the lanephase. Try to avoid him, if he catches you, do not run from his spin, turn on "w" and fight him through it, after it is over, stun him and run away before he can turn on "q" again.
I normally start with boots and try to avoid him, forcing his e to push me to position #1 and last hit under the turret.

Theese champs are widely considered a Irelia counter. And with good reason, any good Wukong/ Riven is a challenge to Irelia because they can peak where you don't, and push you out of the lane to compensate for the spots where you win the lane. Do not let them push you to #1, this will allow them to go back and come back and win the lane easily. Ideally you let them push you to #2 and don't let them go back this will let you win the lane quite easily, a good Wukong/ Riven player is such a terror though. Start with cloth armour

Let him push to position #1 he pushes when he harrasses you.
Buy cloth armour
This guy is one of the toughest lanes you can face. And you will need jungler support to cope with this guy. Let him push to #2 and hold him there, waiting for your jungler to gank. You're slightly stronger than him at level 5, if you get the stun off, but watch out, cuz he's a meanie! I don't see him very often for some reason.
Both boots, and cloth armour are viable. I prefer boots.
Matchup is even.
Try not to let him push you to position #1, #2 is much more ideal. Try only to engage him when his Flamethrower is on CD, in any other scenario he's very hard to trade with. Not a matchup i run alot though.
boots start

This guy wins pre-3 try not to let him hard engage before that and just mana-starve him. On 4 you can win a trade with him and at level 5 you can win a straight up 1v1, after level 6 it's almost a free win.
Cloth armour start.

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The useless madreds section.(let's have some numbers on this stuff)

I'm gonna take an assumption that AD=Magicdamage and Magicdamage=AD for the sake of easier equations.
Same amount of AS like wits end so that's the same.
Against a 2000 hp enemy champion madreds does 120 damage. that's 3 times the damage a wits end does. we're missing out on between 5-25 resist. I'm gonna make the equation of armour/value from a cloth armor the least cost effective armor item in the game. so each resist point is worth 16,5 gold
This means around 83,33333333-416,6666667 worth of resist stats.

So to outline it comparing madreds to one of the considered most cost effective items in the game.
It costs double the price.
It does 3 times as much damage(worst case scenario).
Wits end=2000, 2000*3=6000
It lacks 400 gold of resist.
It gives immensely fast barons.
U can't put a price on this
So this bad item, if we compare the stats to one of the considered best items in the game, it's much more cost effective. Keep in mind though that this is without taking True-damage onhits into consideration.