Build Guide by HerpDerpMeh
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Welcome to my build for the new League of Legends champion Irelia, The Will of the Blades. This champion is about having a steady lane presence and knowing how to stay alive. She has low survivability in a lot of 1v1 situations early on so you have to play her conservative and focus more on last hitting minions for gold. Keeping yourself in a lane for as long as possible is key.
Understanding this builds' skill order is key in understanding Irelia's role as a late-game burst damage champion. Early on you need to focus on staying alive, HP Quints and her Hiten Style at level 1 help you stay around for a bit so you can level quickly and get more gold. Getting 1 point of each of her burst abilities early on makes it easier to last hit minions by alternating these two attacks in a lane. Let me break down how the game should flow in the classic, "Early, Mid and Late Game" model.
Get Hiten Style first, buying a Doran's blade and health potion for added DPS and health regen. With your ATK spd marks and Doran's blade it makes your regen for level 1 respectable. This enables you to lane for long periods of time without having to go back to base. Effectively making Irelia a good Mid-lane champion. She's not the best for harassing a lane early because of her vulnerability. However, with the Mastery points in Awareness and Greed you can easily race your opponent in both XP and gold to get to your end-game faster. End-game is where you really shine. Just focus on last hitting mobs here with your 2 burst damage spells and camp your tower if you opponent pushes you back, don't try to harass very much.
This is often the hardest to describe and hardest to determine when you're in this phase. It's easiest to think of this phase as when you reach level 6. Getting your ultimate makes it much easier for you to farm minions and even harass with little stress. The cooldown on this ability is small too so you can use it often. The lifesteal is great as well if you line up your shots to hit enemy minion waves.
During this phase you should be focusing on getting your Malady and Guinsoo's Rageblade complete. With these the added ATK spd and true damage from your activation of Hiten Style will net you a few kills. It's a surprising amount of true damage that can incredibly turn the fight in your favor. Since both the passive and activation of Hiten Style require you to hit your opponent to be most effective Atk spd is the BEST stat for Irelia. Period.
Once you have your first 2 ATK spd items the flow in your lane should shift in your favor very quickly. Once Hiten Style is mastered, go for your Q ability, Bladesurge. This ability has a decent range and provides a way for you to further harass or go in for a kill. It makes tower diving with ghost an effective way to finish off enemies low on health. Just remember to get out of turret range quickly. She is very squishy. Rely on your Exhaust as an escape ability if you're getting focused. It is also incredibly helpful for its innate ability to refresh its own cooldown. If you time it correctly you can use it to mop up groups of minions by last-hitting them with this skill, which makes for good gold farming. Once you're almost done with Hextech Gunblade you'll be ready for the end-game.
This is where Irelia will just dominate the playing field. She's amazing in team fights and serves as the teams assassin. Much like Master Yi, you shouldn't be seen until it's too late. Hang out in brush and wait for the moment to strike. Save your ultimate for any enemies that flee from you. Essentially run in, use Bladesurge, activate Hiten Style and watch your enemy melt. With the lifesteal you will be able to 1v1 a champion effectively. Even if they're able to bring your health low hitting them with Equilibrium Strike will stun them and give you a few extra hits to regen more health back. It takes skill to time a stun, but it will ALWAYS turn a fight in your favor. Much like how Jax can do the same with his counter stun.
Just remember to be smart and stay alive.
Your goal is to focus the enemies' carries and squishier members and make fast work of them so that your team can excel at end game team fights. If you're able to fully build a Madred's Bloodrazor and a trinity force (if you're getting fed) nothing will stop you. It's incredible.
RUNES EXPLANATION/ITEM BUILD
This build focuses on two very key things for Irelia. Attack Speed and Lifesteal.
With Attack Speed marks and Cooldown reduction glyphs it ensures that you have added DPS for your early game. Her early game cooldowns are rather long so having cooldown reduction glyphs really helps. Early game is the most important for Irelia and the only tools you will have are your first item and your runes. Thats why Doran's blade is perfect as a starter item. It adds some lifesteal to help you stay in your lane for longer periods of time. Don't forget that. If you find yourself blue-pilling often then you're doing it wrong. If you just can't seem to get it right then take the Teleport Summoner ability as it will greatly increase your effectiveness. On top of all of this we have Dodge seals to help you be more resilient to harassing and help you take less damage. The flat HP quints help your early game by providing more survivability to an otherwise squishy champion.
As for items the focus here is obviously attack speed. It also utilizes a mix of AD and AP which works very well with her 2 nuke abilities Bladesurge and Equilibrium Strike. Each benefit a full +100% from AD and AP respectively. This makes your burst damage output in late game incredible. Use her nukes whenever they are off cooldown to really unload damage onto your opponents. Other good items that work amazingly with this build are Stark's Fervor, the added lifesteal and attack speed make for an excellent combination for Irelia. You may also be interested in getting Phantom Dancer, it works well in this build in place of Madred's bloodrazor if you're not fighting very many tanks or you need the extra dodge for survivability. Just be sure to use your best judgment.
Exhaust and Ghost are two pretty standard and effective summoner abilities for melee champions.
Exhaust helps slow gankers making for an easier escape with Ghost. Exhaust also helps set up ganks when team-fighting. Generally if you Exhaust an enemy most players will start focusing that champion. It's a good side-effect to an otherwise great skill. Use it wisely.
Ghost is for late game tower diving. After charging in and finishing a player off with Bladesurge having Ghost to help you free yourself from a tower and get into the jungle is key. Ghost is also the only real escape mechanism Irelia has, make sure to pay attention to when its on cooldown before placing yourself into a situation where you might need it to make it out safely.
Some good alternatives are Flash and Teleport.
Flash is great for escaping. It can easily be used in place of Ghost. It just takes a bit more skill to understand when it is best to use. It serves the same purposes as Ghost. Great for tower diving and escaping. Use it wisely.
If you find that you're not able to lane as long as you'd like and you blue-pill frequently you may want to take Teleport over Ghost. It helps you return to your lane quickly or set-up for a gank if a team fight breaks out on the other side of the map.
If you swap out Ghost for another ability make sure to change your mastery points to either Good Hands if you choose Flash or Spatial Accuracy if you chose Teleport.
I hope this guide will help you play Irelia to her utmost potential. She's a champion that requires a bit of skill and good investment of patience to get just right, but if you're able to excel in the early game she is truly an awesome sight to behold. Good luck out there and have fun! If you like this please rate up! I'm also open to any and all suggestions on how to edit and make this guide better so please comment!