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Irelia Build Guide by xXDEATHXx19

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League of Legends Build Guide Author xXDEATHXx19

Irelia: My blades shall crush your will

xXDEATHXx19 Last updated on January 6, 2013
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Favorite/Old Build/Against AP

Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Offense: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21


Utility: 0

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The Introduction

Hello Irelia players and welcome to my 2nd build on mobafire. I normally used this site to just see finalized stats on builds I test in matches but I figured "Hey, this build works so well for me, why wouldn't it work for others?". So I hope you like this build and will give it a few tries before you make any decisions or comments on how to change or alter this build. Since this is my second guide I'll try to add a little more detail then the previous one.

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The Pros and Cons

True damage with Hiten Style
Wit's End adds even more damage
Good attack speed
Doesn't need lifesteal
Very durable late game
Can rush Guardian Angel if you feel behind
Good movement speed

Kinda mana hungry
Needs farm and items (who doesn't)
Hard to come back when shut down for a long period of time
Can ks with Bladesurge (leaves team with less gold which leaves team as a whole weak)

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My Favorite Runes

Greater Mark of Desolation: is always what I use when I play solo top. These make it harder for the enemy to build against you to a certain degree. They tend to drop off later in the game. If your winning your lane though, then the enemy will be falling off late game too.

Greater Seal of Armor: This provide a great boost of defense early game. If the enemy team follows the META then someone that uses attack damage should be top.

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: Ability power isn't a big threat early game so the scaling magic resist runes are a favorite among most summoners.

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage: Strength is always a must early game, the enemy definitely has some sort of damage or armor runes so you need to stay with or ahead of them.

Alternative Runes

Alternative Marks

Greater Mark of Attack Damage: Irelia already deals deals true damage and may not need armor penatration so these are great runner-ups. They stack well with the Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

Greater Mark of Attack Speed: It could just be me, but attack speed is always a must. Irelia can easily build up her health if she starts with Hiten Style and these marks. If you want more surdiness, take these.

Alternative Seals

Greater Seal of Evasion: I've never tried them personally, but Irelia is a one on one champ, dodging an attack can save your life once or twice. My friend used to play Irelia and he wouldn't go into battle without them. If he says they're good, they must be. Leave a comment to tell me if they're worth it.

Greater Seal of Vitality: Still never used these either, but if you're built for sustain, these are a great choice.

Alternative Glyphs

Greater Seal of Magic Resist: If you somehow know your going against an ability power champ, pro, or if someone gets fed early, these will save your life. I found these runes to shut down Fizz hard. He starts with too much burst in my opinion.

Greater Glyph of Attack Speed: Though not nearly as good as the marks. These runes are more affordable and give a decent boost to attack speed.

Alternative Quintessences

Greater Quintessence of Desolation: If you perfer armor penatration and are already getting strength and don't feel like stacking, this is a fantastic alternative. I find these and the marks of desolation uneccessary cause Irelia already deals true damage, but if you want them, they aren't bad choices.

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: Movement speed is a personal favorite for me, I hate being slow, and not there for the team. These will allow you to either escape, give chase, or get to certain destinations faster. Doesn't add a ton of movement speed but it's noticeable.

Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed: Attack speed is another personal favorite of mine. Irelia benefits highly from attack speed due to Hiten Style. The more hits you get out, higher the chance the enemy has to recall, burn Flash, or use Health Potions.

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I went with a more tankier mastery set up, 9-21-0. I find that if I'm solo top I'm technically supposed to play the tank. The Jungler could do it too but I don't mind being somewhat tanky as Irelia cause as long as she hits targets with Hiten Style She's still hitting for at 75 true damage, 42 magaic damage with Wit's End and whatever her normal strength is adds up real nicely.

Forgive me for not having the fancy mastery grid that everybody else has on their builds

Defensive Tree

Most of the time when going top, you tend to fight an attack damage champion, not always, but mostly. Grabbing all 3 points in Hardiness will give that little bit of sustain early game. Especially if they have more harass than you. Afterwards I pick up 1 point in Resistance , I don't take any more than that because of the scaling magic resist runes. These round out early to late game defenses through masteries/runes. I then max Durability and Veteran's Scars for the extra early and late game health. Instead of grabbing Initiator , I pick up Tough Skin and Bladed Armor . Why? you may ask. It's because Irelia tends to be solo, and when you go in for a kill. Most the time the minions, or creeps, turn to attack you. Tough Skin will block some of the damage cause it stacks up fast. All right, after Bladed Armor , Initiator is the way to go. A solid movement speed boost when at a good amount of health will do some good. If you keep your health high with Hiten Styles passive, you'll out run the enemy every time. Put 3 points into Honor Guard for the 1.5% damage reduction, and a final point into the Juggernaut . Which stacks well with Irelia's passive.

Offensive tree

The offensive masteries are your typical attack damage boosts, attack damage, attack speed, and armor penatration. If you use Ghost, Ignite, or Exhaust, take one point in Summoner's Wrath for the added effect. Then throw three more points into Brute Force for extra damage. Then grab Alacrity and Weapon Expertise . All these provide a better, overall damage per second ratio.

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The Items

Starting Items

Boots of Speed and Health Potions are a standard starting option if you don't know who you're facing off against.
Null-Magic Mantle and some Health Potions are good if you know you will be fighting an ability power champ. Builds into Mercury's Treads
Cloth Armor and five Health Potions are also a solid start, builds into a Ninja Tabi

Early Game Goals

Ninja Tabi or Mercury's Treads should be acquired on your first trip back to base. Ninja Tabi should be gotten if fighting someone that's either AD or relies heavily on normal attacks. They tend to be one in the same. Mercury Treads should be gotten if the oppenent has a stun or slow. The Tenacity stacks very well with Irelia's passive.
Phage or Wit's End is a great second choice. If you're struggling in your lane, the Phage should be bought first, if it's even or you have the advantage, the Recurve Bow or whole Wit's End will give you an even better edge. After you pick up one of these items, pick up the other afterwards.

Mid Game Goals

The Trinity Force will want to be your next BIG item. Irelia can make use of every stat it has to offer. I tend to buy the Phage (as described above), Zeal, then Sheen to build the Trinity Force. I like the Zeal cause of the movement and attack speeds it has to offer.
Once done with the Trinity Force I like to build a little more tanky starting with health. Giant's Belt into a Warmog's Armor helps with that immensely. You probably have about 3000 HP at this point and a little over 100 in all stats making you a champ that can pretty much take anything.

Late Game goals

With the Warmog's Armor an Atma's Impaler is just begging to be bought, so I buy it. The classic Atmog's combo gives tons of health and armor.
Sometimes when the enemy decides to try to counter or someone is fed, I pick up Guardian Angel before the Atma's Impaler. Guardian Angel is also necessary if you get ambushed often, targeted, etc. Provides very great resistances and has a passive that I call the "decoy". I'll explain it in a later tricks section.

Final Builds

Against AD heavy Team
Ninja Tabi, Trinity Force, Warmog's Armor, Atma's Impaler, Wit's End, Guardian Angel

Agains AP heavy Team
Mercury's Treads, Trinity Force, Warmog's Armor, Maw of Malmortius, Wit's End, Guardian Angel

Obviously I mostly explain the AD heavy build but it just seems to work better for me. Feel free to mix it up, I'm always looking for new builds to try.

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Skill Description and Sequence

It's my favorite and probably the most common setup for Irelia.

"Q" Bladesurge: This is Irelia's gap closer and probably intiator. When used Irelia dashes towards an enemy and deals damage. This skill does 20/50/80/110/140 plus 1 for each bonus attack damage. This skill also get a refershed cooldown and refunds some of the mana if it slays its target. I max this second for the damage and cooldown reduction.

"W" Hiten Style: When Irelia first came out, this skill was way overpowered, healed for 10/14/18/22/26 HP when not activated. Now it heals for only 5/7/9/11/13 when not activated. It's still a good skill but just imagine how strong she was back then. When activated, Hiten Style doubles the healing effect and allows Irelia's basic attacks to deal a bonus 15/30/45/60/75 true damage. This melt any teams tank and any other opponents that are building heavy armor and/or magic resist. The effect lasts for 6 seconds so use it wisely. Stacked with attack speed, she'll destroy champs of any strength. I max this first to increase true damage and sustain.

"E" Equilibrium Strike: This is Irelia's only means of slows and stuns, it's cooldown stays at 8 seconds at all ranks and does a decent amount of damage. Deals 80/130/180/230/280 plus 50% of ability power. When used while you have a greater ratio of HP than the enemy, it will slow them for 1/1.25/1.5/1.75/2 seconds, if you have a lower ratio of HP then it will stun them for 1/1.25/1.5/1.75/2 seconds. I max this last cause the damage this puts out isn't as good as Bladesurge and isn't nearly as strong throughout the game. Also the cooldown is 8 secends regardless of rank.

"R" Transcendent Blades: This is Irelia's ultimate. This allows Irelia to throw, four blades at the enemy, healing her for 25% of the damage done against champions, and 10% of the damage dealt against minions. The attack deals 80/120/160 plus 50% ability power, plus .6 for each bonus attack damage. This attack isn't very strong but it's a good way to give chase to fleeing champs and pick up kills when they're low on health. Most people tend to find this ability weak, and tend to underestimate it. The damage it deals plus the healing from both this ultimate and Hiten Style is way too much for any champ to handle one on one.

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Summoner Spells

Favorite Summoner Spells

Flash: This is a classic either intiating or escaping spell. Though, with Irelia, you already have a few initating tactics like minion hopping, which I'll explain more later. Flash has saved more lives in this game then anybody can count, always a must when going one on one or one on two.

Ignite: When you need that little extra damage to finish off an opponent, Ignite is the way to go. I can't count how many times enemies were able to get away with a minimal amount of HP remaining while this was on cooldown. I find this very useful, especially if laning against Dr. Mundo.

Other Spells

Ghost: If you don't have Flash or just perfer Ghost, then this will work just as well. Lets you get in close for more hits with Hiten Style, allows for a more easier Bladesurge into Equilibrium Strike, what ever you use for a combo, Ghost will only help.

Teleport: If you're playing Irelia, chances are you're going solo top. If you die or get pushed out of lane and need to recall, Teleport will get you back to your lane so the opponent doesn't get too far ahead in farm.

Exhaust: If you feel that Equilibrium Strike just isn't enough for a slow, Exhaust will be your best friend. Lowers enemy damage, speed, and if you have the right mastery, lowers their defenses. Good runner up to Ignite.

Not many other Summoner spells come to mind while playing Irelia, maybe Clarity if you have mana issues, or Surge for the attack speed. But I personally don't need or use them.

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Unique Skills and Farming

Minion Hopping:

I mentioned this once or twice in this build and now I'll finally describe what it is, and how to use it effectively. At times its impossible to close gaps between enemies and yourself due to harass, range, whatever. But, this trick will close the gap between you and them before they even know what happened. First weaken multiple enemy minions so that they die to Bladesurge in one hit. Second, activate Bladesurge to jump to a weakened minion. Third with Bladesurge refreshed, and hopefully with the enemy close enough to that killed minion, you should be able to jump onto the enemy champ. Equilibrium Strike with a Hiten Style while using Transcendent Blades you can kiss the enemy goodbye. This counters the enemy if they decide to send a ranged carry, Yorick, or any other great harasser.

Minion Hop Escape:

When you chase your opponent, it's not uncommon to see the jungler behind you. If you can kill one of them, thats good, but sometimes you're not that lucky. Use the same strategey as described above, except jump to the minions that you should've ran past to give chase. If done correctly, you should be able to create distance between yourself and the enemy champs while gaining gold. Don't expect to always find a perfectly weakened minion, cause this isn't always planned for.

Bladesurge Farming:

Using Bladesurge is not a bad idea if you can constantly keep the cash flowing in and the cooldown refreshed. I follow rules at different parts of the game.
Early game: Don't use Bladesurge to farm when less than 75% mana. It gets drained way too quickly and may need it for potential fights. Don't use while champ has more health or is in a dangerous position.
Mid game: Don't use Bladesurge to farm when lower than 50% to 60% mana. By then your mana pool is large enough to use some skill multiple times even with a low ratio.
Late game: Should be good to farm with Bladesurge at all times, damage will be so high that minions could die without being weakened.

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How to solo top


I'll breifly explain the basics of going solo top. This is a somewhat easy role to play. You only have one objective, keep your turret alive. It isn't your job to kill the enemy turret, it's your job to protect yours and stay alive. Dying once or twice isn't too bad, But after that, DON'T TRY FIGHTING THEM. If you lost twice in a row against an enemy, chances are you won't kill the the third time without help.


Alright, this is extremely important. There is three zones in a lane, if someone wants to get extremely technical there's five, but I'm only going to cover three cause they're the basic.
Safe Zone: This zone is where you're by your turret, probably being pushed, and are practically ungankable. (Enemy can still come in from behind) You're behind the river and nothing can really touch you.
Caution Zone: This zone lines up with the river perfectly, it's where most the harass and fight happen. In this zone you can be ganked but have an average chance of escape.
Danger Zone: This zone is where your past the river and are probably pushing pretty well. In this postition, you are very vulnerable to be ganked. Chances of escape are small but still possible, especially if you have wards or they don't have any way of slowing you down.


Everybody's been ganked, and knows how it happened. Warding helps a lot. Knowing who the jungler is (Usually has Smite), if you have a jungler, and what they're route is, can give you a massive advantage. If you don't have a jungler, the enemy can easily come in behind you and you'll have to spend money buying wards for yours and the enemy jungle. Very inefficient. Always ward bushes and very popular travel areas.


Probably one of the most important things to do when solo. Last hitting with Irelia isn't very hard at all due to Bladesurge. Just don't spam it. If your laning against certain champs such as Akali or Shen where they can harass very well, it may be hard for you to farm safely. It's alright, you only need to get the last hit on the minion. Play as safe as possible. If they hit you, chances are they're in range for Bladesurge, then all other abilities. Then they'll think twice about trying it again.

Area of Control (Also Called Zoning)

Turrets, Bushes, and Champions all have area of control. Depending on the champ, changes how much area they control, Irelia's area of control is limitless as long as she has minions to hop on. When you know the enemy is in the bush or by the turret, their area of control is increased vastly. Bushes obviously hide the enemy making it hard to detect their postition. The entire bush should be avoided. Irelia has no way to determine the exact location of an enemy. When the enemy is in the radius, or area of control of the turret, they can harass you without you being able to do anything to retaliate. It's best to just back off so you don't take any uneccessary damage from the turret or champ.

Thats just some of the most basic "rules" or guidelines to play solo top.

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Team Fights

Irelia has two major roles in team fights. Killing the squishy AD carry or AP mage, and killing the tank. Obviously the AD carry and AP mage are the priority cause they deal the most damage. Irelia's abilitly to catch and kill specific targets is very good. The combination of Flash into a Bladesurge will close the distance quickly. The 75 guaranteed true damage from Hiten Style along with her base damage, will slaughter them, assuming they aren't trying to build against her. The tank is the next target, the true damage melt their HP cause, obviously nothing blocks true damage.
NOTE: Irelia can burst down one enemy at a time with most of her skills. Transcendent Blades is the only skill that can hit multiple targets.

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Well, that's it for this build. I truly help that it improves your time playing Irelia, I appreciate if you thumbs up. If you have questions as to why I build things the way I do, comment. And please try this build multiple times so that you get a clear analysis on if it's good or not. There is such things as good and bad matches. Thank you for viewing and voting.

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Published: 9/10/2012
Added my old build: 9/10/2012
Followed madalin120988's advice, added another build. Against AP:9/10/2012