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Irelia General Guide by Meick

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Meick

Irelia - High Elo Irelia Guide by Ax Meick

Meick Last updated on May 30, 2014
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Top Lane
Ranked #20 in
Top Lane
Win 49%
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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

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

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Introduction - Who am I and why am I making this?

Hello there guys, my name is Meick Jerne and I decided to make an Irelia guide as of wishes by a small amount of people.
I currently just passed 600 Irelia games and I simply can't get enough of her, her kit is amazing and allows so much outplay potential, together with raw strenght.

My guide is mainly going to be based about the offensive build "Standard Set-up versus the Tank Meta.", but I will be pointing out some of the main features and advantages of "Early tank into offensive Irelia". Will be notified tho.

"Wtf dude, Irelia sliced through me like I was made of butter, holy sh*t." - Chaox 2014.

Picture of my stats to boost my E-Peen.
S4 08/04-2014:

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Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed
4 Greater Mark of Attack Damage and 5 Greater Mark of Attack Speed:
The reasoning for choosing Greater Mark of Attack Damage is because Irelia doesn't need either Greater mark of Armor Penetration nor Greater Mark of Attack Speed. But isn't Attack Speed excellent on Irelia? Yea, indeed it is, which is why we're running 5 Greater Mark of Attack Speed. But you won't have the base damage to kill creeps underneath the tower in the early game without Greater Mark of Attack Damage, so there's no other way to go in particular.

With the small changes in runes, I recommend that you go 9 Greater Mark of Attack Damage. This is purely that Irelia needs some Attack Damage to last hit underneath your tower, so that you don't have to either use Hiten Style or Bladesurge. I removed the Greater Mark of Attack Speed's as I moved it into Quintessences instead.

9 Greater Seal of Armor or 9 Greater Seal of Health:
With the changes of runes in Patch 4.5, other seals has gotten more viable. Greater Seal of Armor is still the best way to go, but against AP casters top-lane like Rumble, Ryze (Who's very popular at the current state of the game), Lissandra or Gragas, then I would go with Greater Seal of Health.

3-4 Greater Glyph of Attack Speed and 5-6 Greater Glyph of Magic Resist or Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist:
The Attack speed is something Irelia scales well with, and it allows you to get off an extra auto early game (together with the attack speed in marks], while your opponent is stunned by Equilibrium Strike.

9 Greater Glyph of Magic Resist or Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist:
I removed the Greater Glyph of Attack Speed's as I moved it into Quintessences instead. Flat MR or scaling MR will be a viable choice, but you can customize and try out stuff in this section. If so, I recommend that you have two seperate rune pages, where as one of them contains Greater Glyph of Magic Resist/ Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist in case you have to lane versus opponents like Vladimir, Ryze, Galio etc.

3 Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage rather than 1 Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage and 2 Greater Quintessence of Life Steal:
You don't need the 3% Life Steal as you'll be having Hiten Style and building into Blade of the Ruined King anyways, so there's no real reason to get them, as you would rather like to have the extra attack damage.

1 Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage and 2 Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed:
This allows you to have the attack speed to get in the 2 AA's when you stun your opponent, as well as the extra attack damage for last hitting. Not much to say about it, you get a 2% Attack speed less, though 15 more MR at level 18. Same amount of AD and Armor/Health. Overall a better choice.

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If anyone ever goes into Enchanted Armor , then I will cry myself to sleep.

I don't have much to say about the masteries, I like being offensive even tho, that Irelia isn't the best and most aggressive laner. 21/9 is the path for me, and personally you'll have to try out if thats what you prefer, or if you'd rather stick to the 9/21.

Tho, the defensive tree has been hit quite heavily, and therefore I would reccommend 21/9, even if you're going early tank.

You may find it strange, that I am going into Spell Weaving and Blade Weaving . This doesn't particuarly help Irelia in the early game, but when going in for the all-in in the later stages of the game, you'll find those really powerful.

So the Warlord mastery?
Warlord raises your Bonus Attack Damage by 2%/3.5%/5% dependent on the amount of mastery points you spent on it.
Total Attack Damage = Base Attack Damage + Bonus Attack Damage.
So what Bonus Attack Damage do we have assuming we're level 18?
Brute Force 10 AD
Martial Mastery 4 AD
Trinity Force 30 AD
Blade of the Ruined King 25 AD
4x Greater Mark of Attack Damage 3.8 AD
3x Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage 6.75 AD
exalted with Baron Nashor 40 AD
3.3 from every level is 59.4 AD.

This equals up to a total of 178.95 AD, which makes Warlord a value of 8.95 extra ad for 3 mastery points.
I tried my best, even putting exalted with Baron Nashor buff into the count, and the mastery is still not worth putting your points into.
If you feel that you're a tad bad at creep scoring, then put one of the points into Butcher , else you should chunk all three of them into Sorcery.
TL;DR Warlord is the offensive tree's version of Enchanted Armor .

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Skill Sequence - Why?

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Maxing out Hiten Style (W) is a necessity, as it's Irelia's main damage output and it's the reason that Irelia power-spikes as she does. Not to mention how it will help Irelia to sustain versus lane-bullies like Renekton or Darius. It's also a great way to last-hit creeps underneath the tower.

But why max Equilibrium Strike (E) instead of Bladesurge (Q) second? Because, grinding the numbers, then Bladesurge has a higher overall damage considering your offensive build? And it will help you to last hit easier, by the usage of Bladesurge.

Maybe yeah, but getting off a 2 second long stun will allow you to hit 2 AA's, while proccing Hiten Style (W) on them, without any respond or sort of trade damage in return. But let's grind some numbers here.

Hiten Style Rank 5 Base Damage = 75 True Damage.
Bladesurge Rank 5 Base Damage = 140 (+100% AD)
Equilibrium Strike Rank 5 Base Damage = 280 (+ 50% AP)
Irelia at Lvl 18 Full Items = AD - 234, AP - 55. (without Elixirs.)
Spellblade: After using an ability, your next basic attack deals bonus damage equal to 200% of your base attack damage as physical damage. (2 second cooldown). (468)

Our calculations will ignore resistances and masteries that doesn't provide any base damages ( Spell Weaving and Blade Weaving ETC.).

Bladesurge would deal 917 (+5% of the targets current health) damage before resistances. ( Bladesurge procs on-hit effects like Sheen, Hiten Style and Blade of the Ruined King).

Equilibrium Strike will deal 302.5 damage before resistances, and activate Spellblade from Sheen. In the stun duration of 2 seconds, you can get off 2 AA's with Hiten Style activated, dealing 777 damage on the first hit and 309 on the second hit.
That adds up to a total burst of 1388.5 (2x +5% of the targets current health) damage before any resistances. Pretty neat, huh?

So if we sum it up, then Equilibrium Strike will give you a larger amount of damage, a 2 second stun/slow and it has the possibility of disabling your opponent for 2 seconds.

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Ignite or Teleport?

So, we all know that Flash on Irelia is a wise choice. But Irelia excels at roaming and ganking, so wouldn't Teleport be somewhat a wise choice?

The choice of your summoner spell should be situational, it's based around how you play Irelia. I use both, but for me it comes down to "Is Ignite necessary?" for the likes of a Dr. Mundo, Nasus or if I wish to brawl a Renekton. If I feel like sitting back and farming up, while getting off a few roams to the mid- and botlane, then I take Teleport.

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Pros / Cons

- Excels at Roaming, especially at level 7. Your true damage will blow up a squishy mid-laner.
- Huge Power-Spike in the mid-game, after 2 items, you'll be able to brawl anyone. (Taking in consideration that you didn't fall particuarly far behind.)
- High Mobility with the right usage of Bladesurge.
- High sustain via. Hiten Style and Transcendent Blades.
- High Burst and a good consistent DPS.
- Extremely good snowball potential.
- Easy to farm with. (Damage Amplifier and Bladesurge).
- Hard to lock down with CC due to her passive Ionian Fervor.
- Extremely versatile with item builds and counter-builds.
At level 7, shoving in your lane and roaming towards the midlane is a great choice, as Irelia's Hiten Style removes squishy midlaners as Syndra, LeBlanc, Anivia and/or most other squishy ap mages. When Irelia gets one item, she achieves the ability to brawk most opponents, whetever you rush Blade of the Ruined King or Trinity Force, and after 2-3 items she has the possibility to participate in teamfights and feel useful. Her Bladesurge provides her the mobility she needs, as well as it should be your main engaging tool. With Trinity Force rush, you can Hiten Style (W) -> Bladesurge (Q) the caster creeps to one hit them due to the Sheen proc and the True Damage steroid from Hiten Style. If however you do like I tend to do and rush Blade of the Ruined King, you'll have to use 1 charge of Transcendent Blades on the caster creeps, and then Hiten Style -> Bladesurge to engage. After both Trinity Force and Blade of the Ruined King, you can one hit caster creeps without the use of Hiten Style. Your sustain in lane is huge due to Hiten Style's passive life steal and the low cooldown on Transcendent Blades allowing you to clear every 3rd wave with it pre 11. Her burst is huge with Trinity Force and she has good consisten dps due to Blade of the Ruined King and Hiten Style. If Irelia gets ahead, she'll have a fairly easy time snowballing your opponent. This is mainly because of her kit, having high burst. There's a lot of ways to build Irelia, one item is a MUST HAVE though, and that is of course Trinity Force.

- Being a champion using mana.
- Weak early game, if punished by the enemy jungler, then Irelia would most likely have a hard time coming back.
- True Damage falling off in the late-game.
- Itemization is super expensive.
- Attack Speed slows.
- Requires farm.

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Items - What items are good on Irelia and why are they effective?

What items are good on Irelia and why are they effective?

You won't really be super useful in teamfights, before you have 2 items. Which will mainly be Blade of the Ruined King and Trinity Force, taken in consideration that you didn't fall behind, and had to go into a defensive.

: Doran's Blade is a great item, before you get your Blade of the Ruined King or Trinity Force. As of the Doran's Shield nerfs in patch 4.3, i'd suggest you start Doran's Blade, and you pick up another one on your first back. Doran's Blade is just an overall strong tool on Irelia, the only problem is that they aren't transcendent. :c

: Trinity Force has always been "the item", that belongs to Irelia. She enjoys EVERYTHING that it provides. 250 health, 200 Mana, 30 AD, 30 AP, 30% ATK SPD, 10% Crit chance, Hitting an opponent and/or killing one (Minions too) provides you movement speed so you can stick with you target. Spellblade for a higher burst, and better trade potential. Just an overall perfect item for Irelia. Bear in mind, that you'll have to rush Trinity Force in order to do the Hiten Style -> Bladesurge to one-hit caster-creeps in the mid-game.

: This is personally my favourite item. It scales super well into the lategame, it's amazing in the current tank meta and it scales well with your other items as Trinity Force and Spirit Visage. It amplifies your damage massively, it's a straight up counter to the meta and it allows you to stick to your main target, way easier. It provides sustain and consistent DPS.

/ : I prefer Frozen Heart here, as Randuin's Omen is more of an item where you go on one target, and stays on that target till either one is dead. You already have a Trinity Force and Blade of the Ruined King, why would you need more items to stick to someone? Frozen Heart is surely the way to go! Irelia takes super well use of the mana, an AoE Attack Speed slowing aura that wrecks face, CDR for more mobility in teamfights, aswell as a higher DPS and a nice amount of armor. The only thing that differences this item from being a superior choice to Randuin's Omen, is the 500 bonus health, in which you basically trades for mana and CDR.

/ : Situational choice, overall I prefer Spirit Visage, but there's occasions where you have to go Banshee's Veil. Spirit Visage synergizes brilliantly with the sustain of Hiten Style, Transcendent Blades and Blade of the Ruined King. It provides some nice CDR, makes you fairly tanky and gives you overall Sustain.
Banshee's Veil isn't nearly as good as that, but when you're going against an opposing team with a lot of poke ( Nidalee, Ziggs), or incredible "Dive in -> Burst -> /laugh" ( Syndra, LeBlanc), then it's incredibly helpful.... Until it gets popped by a Shyvana's Flame Breath (E).

: This is more for the sake of being this annoying splitpusher, and if you're ahead the there's noone who can stop you. Your sustain is amazing, your pushing power is insane and your straight up burst damage is huge.

: Zephyr on Irelia is straight up fun and amazing. It gives the Tenacity that you miss out on, for not building Mercury's Treads. Movement speed is good on Irelia, attack damage is good aswell. Oh, and most important of it all, it looks fun when you Bladesurge due to your high amount of movement speed. Zephyr is certainly #Worth.

There's a lot of ways to go for a 6th item, my favourite is personally Guardian Angel. It's made for carries, and as we all know, then Irelia puts her team on her back and then she Surfs her Blades through the enemy team. If you're ahead tho, and you just want to be this mean person ruining others day, then consider going Youmuu's Ghostblade. It allows you to go in, and remove your opponents, just remember that you have a possibility of being removed aswell.

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How effectively can Irelia clear jungle camps?

After double Doran's Blade and a Vampiric Scepter, then you'll have no problems clearing double golems, wolves or the Wright. It's really recommended to do, as you have the potential to use Transcendent Blades to clear every second wave early on, and then go do double Golems or the Wright, depending on the side you're on. It will boost your income massively (Which you enjoy, because you will need your items), without hurting your lane presence at all.

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Top-Lane Match-ups and difficulty.

The match-up isn't all that hard after all, as soon as you master it, then you'll be fine. Of course, you can't do much against Renekton early on. What you want to do, is playing passive until lvl 7, let him push it to your tower and farm freely there, if he goes in to poke with Cull the Meek, then you simply lock him up with Equilibrium Strike(In tower range if possible), and trade back with the usage of Hiten Style. If he has +50 fury, then you won't be able to go in for creeps, as he will instantly outtrade you. So let him zone you out, and just get the experience. As soon as you get double Doran's Blade's and Bilgewater Cutlass, then you'll have no problems sustaining the lane, and you'll be able to either fight him, or just farm for free. Beware, if he builds full damage, then I would recommend you to ultimate every second/third wave, go farm golems/wright, back to lane, farm 2-3 waves and then go farm again. This way you'll get ahead of him, and when you get Blade of the Ruined King, then you'll be able to win trades.
When you're farming beneath you tower, and Renekton goes in to use his main trading path ( Slice and Dice in -> AA -> Cull the Meek -> AA -> Ruthless Predator -> Slice and Dice out). The way he trades, allows him to trade with almost anyone without receiving any trade-back damage, but with a good reaction time, Irelia's Equilibrium Strike can come in handy! Often you will hear people complain, about how it isn't an instant stun, but it's beneficial in this case. Renekton goes in, Irelia uses Equilibrium Strike at the same time, as Renekton uses Cull the Meek. Renekton's damage will be instant, and you'll get off a stun allowing you to trade back ( Equilibrium Strike -> Hiten Style AA -> Hiten Style AA -> Bladesurge (As he Slice and Dice's out) -> Hiten Style AA) *VIDEO*. You can also go for the all in, if you feel like the opportunity is there, but be aware. If that is the case, then your combo will be Equilibrium Strike -> Hiten Style AA -> Hiten Style AA -> Transcendent Blades into Bladesurge on a minion you lowered, allowing you to catch up with his Slice and Dice -> Hiten Style AA -> Hiten Style AA -> Bladesurge -> Hiten Style AA (While consistently using Transcendent Blades (Keep onto 1 or 2 stacks, in case you will need it for the next wave, to catch up with the use of bladesurge again). Another way to execute the match-up, is to use the build path against Renekton explained on top of the page, as long as you don't fall behind, you should be able to win it. *VIDEO OF THE MATCH-UP LATER*

The match-up is incredibly simple. Start Doran's Blade and Bladesurge -> Hiten Style -> Trade with Dr. Mundo -> Hiten Style and all in him. The damage of your level 3 combo, with 2 points in Hiten Style is super huge, and you'll either firstblood Dr. Mundo or force Dr. Mundo back/force him to get zoned. There's not much else to say about the match-up, as soon as you get Blade of the Ruined King then it's a complete faceroll.

So this match up is insanely tricky if the Jax is any good. It is all about outplaying his Counter Strike and sustaining the lane with the help of Hiten Style and the potential Vampiric Scepter/ Bilgewater Cutlass/ Blade of the Ruined King you may pick up as I usually do. If you don't have confidence in your potential and timing in outplaying Jax, then I would recommend you to farm safely and eventually wait for your jungler to pass by.
With the use of Transcendent Blades and Bladesurge, then you can juke out Jax's Counter Strike and be able to win the duel.
Here's how it's supposed to be done: *VIDEO LATER*

This is a fairly easy match-up, though, you might find it hard. The easy way to beat Fiora is rushing Frozen Heart. Yet, I rush double Doran's Blade and Trinity Force as it allows me to kill her. After level 6 it does become a tad trickier if you gone the offensive way, but after she pops her Burst of Speed (E), you Equilibrium Strike her and the duration of her ATK SPD boost wears off without it significantly affects you. You turn back with Hiten Style and if she Lunge's away, you chase with Bladesurge. If you're under 50% health, don't bother trading as she will just pop her Blade Waltz in your face, and you're pretty chanceless to survival.

In the current state of the game, Ryze is one of the strongest and most annoying people to go against in the top-lane. Luckily for us, Irelia is an amazingly strong pick against him. Let him free farm until level 3, don't take too much harass from his early game AA -> Overload -> AA as it will lose you the lane immediatly. Start Doran's Blade and when you hit level 3 you'll have skilled Bladesurge -> Hiten Style -> Hiten Style. You Bladesurge to a creep beside him and start AA'ing him, he will most likely Rune Prison you and create distance, as you got the reset on Bladesurge from the creep, then you follow up with it. This will either blow his Flash, or if he waits until very late with his Flash, you can follow-up with your Flash and ignite and secure the first blood in your lane and give you a lead to snowball. Rush double Doran's Blade and Trinity Force in this match-up.

(If there's any match-ups you want featured, post a comment and I will do it asap.)

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Credits and update log

Due to accidential copyright, I want to say thanks for the usage of the banners.
Check by and read his Irelia guide as well, there's some different perspectives, but they're worth the time reading.

11-04/2014 Patch 4.5 - Added this section and updated Pros and cons.
22-04/2014 Patch 4.5 - Updated Masteries, removed Warlord and took usage of Sorcery. Thanks to DecadeOfTheRion.
22-04/2014 Patch 4.5 - Added a match-up on Fiora after request from Ahri Hentai.
29-04/2014 Patch 4.5 - Updated runes into a better setup, as of the changes of runes in patch 4.5. Ryze match-up added.


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