Irelia Build Guide by Zkenic
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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.
Irelia is one of the most powerful League characters out at the moment. She has amazing mobility, survivability, damage output, natural life steal, one of the best passives in the game, and a nifty stun. Unfortunately she also is one of the most difficult heroes to play right, so I am here to present my way of playing Irela.
Pros / Cons
-Fast Movement with Bladesurge means easy get aways.
-2second stun, always good to have.
-200+ Magic resistance and armor with 2600 health, you wont be going down easily.
-Good damage. Attack speed with true damage means this character can drop people without buying too many offensive items.
-AoE lifesteal Ultimate. This allows good kills on people that flash away late game, and early game it lets you soak up creep kills and stay in lane longer.
-Doesnt drop fools like a good AD carry can.
I do armor penetration marks, armor seals, and magic resistance glyphs. Early game defense is a must, because aiming for Trinity Force off the bat leaves you less defendable. Add in movement speed quintessences to get you up to almost 500 casual movement speed late game. That with a well timed flash and high tenacity lets you escape almost any situation.
You want the movement speed masteries, and if you are going that deep into utility, you should be aiming to get lowered summoner spell cooldown. I aim for defensive ruins for the last 9 because as stated earlier, Irelia needs to stay safe and strong in the early laning phase, and I do that with defense.
Starting with a regrowth pendant and mana potion lets Irelia stay in the solo lane til six. Once you have enough gold for a philosophers stone and at least plain boots head back and grab them. With a philosophers stone you should be set to farm lanes and play aggressive towards the opposing team without ever really running out of HP or mana.
Mercury Treads are a must for Irelia. With her passive stun reduction you can grab the Mercury Treads and enjoy over 50% stun reduction in late game team fights. Some extra magic resistance also does not hurt its cause.
Trinity Force - This has Sheen, an excellent damage item for Irelia. She uses mana all the time, and the ability power does not go to waste as it helps her stun and ultimate. Zeal is also an excellent pick for Irelia. Attack speed adds a lot to her damage later in the game, and the movement speed is always nice for the character. Phage is probably the weakest of the set for Irelia, but a slow on hit is never a bad thing and the extra boost to hit points is nothing to complain about.
Sunfire Cape - Here is the only part of my build that is still up in the air. Some games I grab the Sunfire Cape, it does wonders to your armor and hit points, and the passive is more useful than you might thing. Jump into a crowd of minions mid game and two ticks of the cape let you bladesurge through the whole wave. It allows 3 second creep destruction on Irelia without using her ultimate. That being said, I have seen and rarely buy a Randuin's Oman. It has armor and health just like the cape, but also gives an AoE slow for escape and hunting. I simply dont find the active for Randuin's needed very often on Irelia. Her high movement speed, Trinity Force slow on hit, and bladesurge let me stay in combat for as long as I want without troubles.
Wits End - This is a godsend for Irelia. Attack speed coupled with Hiten Style lets you drop mean damage on anyone late game. The 42 magic damage a hit and boost to magic resistance are also a boon for a character that wants to be able to initiate and not die instantly. If you really dont need the hitpoints and armor to start, grab this before Sunfire Cape. Its only 2k and very easy to buy.
Force of Nature - With this you will hit over 200 magic resistance, and finally you will be moving at almost 500 speed. Just as important is the life regeneration. Hop out of a fight with flash, drop your ultimate on some creeps or enemy players who cant catch you, and with Force of Nature to help you should have enough HP to jump right back in there. There is no way around how good this item is.
Guardian Angel - At the end of the game you really have two options. You can buy Guardian Angel and sell off the Philosophers Stone, or you can bump up the Philosophers Stone to a Shurelyas Reverie. I highly prefer the Guardian Angel. It gets your armor up to 200, and lets you enjoy the ability to die without truly dieing. The speed boost active is why you might buy Shurelya's, but again for me it comes down to the same fact that it seems almost redundant. With such speed and a great amount of slow reduction I hardly, if ever, get chased down unless I am playing too aggressively.
Aiming bladesurge at one - Really a must, even against ranged heroes you dont want to deal with from 1-5 this allows you to grab a few creep kills easy as pie, and if you are good at landing it it doesnt burn away your mana.
Getting Equilibrium Strike at two - Its a good grab to buy. If a jungle swoops in for an early gank from 3-5 wait for him to get you below his hit points, hit him with the stun, and flash. You can easily escape two or even three versus one.
Only one into Hitin Style - The stun puts out pretty mean damage, especially if you are using surge - stun. I grab one into Hitin style so that I can get some passive life steal for early game laning. Past that wait until other abilities are already up and your attack speed is higher before relying on your true damage to kill opponents.
I put Equilibrium Strike to five first for the full duration of slow or stun. It also does good damage at 5 ranks, so a jump + that + auto attacks can really hurt or kill squishy heroes.
Aiming bladesurge next - I prefer the lowered cool down on bladesurge for team fights mid game. Unlike in the laning phase, bladesurge will not always be ready because jumping to heroes usually doesnt kill them, and then the CD gets started. With it down to under 10 seconds I have kited around people with 300-500 more hit points than me until it and Equilibrium Strike is up, and then hope back and kill them with under 100 health left. Its too hard to do such with a high cooldown bladesurge, and you can get close enough to most enemies without them killing you unless you have the jump.
Getting Hitin last - The best part of Hitin is late game clean up. You pop the 75 true damage a strike in a team fight after you have crushed the squishy carry, hopping over to the presumibly injured tank and show him the meaning of suffering. Its a low cooldown low duration ability, so really dont be afraid to use it if you think you need it. It will be up again when you are going after the next foe.
Teleport - I always aim for teleport because I play Irelia solo in ranked games. Teleport lets you dominate the early laning phase. You are able to play mean and aggressive, then instantly come back with a philosophers stone and boots. Irelia is already a powerful solo character, and with this you can rock your opponent early game. Late game it is a nice way to hop around the map to deal with creep and to stop or start pushes.
Flash - A lot of people get ghost on Irelia, but I find that flash is better. Wait for the slow on you to be almost over, then stun hop over a ledge with Flash. Trust me, they will not catch you.
Alternate summoner abilities-
Ghost - Replace Teleport with Ghost and you can be a speed demon the whole game, letting none escape and giving you much better chances of survival when you have four enemies on your tail.
Ignite - Again, I would get rid of Teleport if you are going Ignite. The ability will help you land early game kills, and shut down things like Mundo's ultimate.
How to play Irelia-
Early Game - Philosophers Stone and good defenses with runes and masteries lets you hold the solo lane easily enough. Aim for creep kills and only go surge - stun if you are 1v1ing or think you can easily land the kill. Once you get your philosophers stone and boots you should be more free to use your abilities to haras. Normally I aim to kill the top tower and the other solo more than I aim to roam. Until you have trinity force and another defensive item you wont fair too well in team fights. Use your ultimate often. If top has moved to try and gank mid, or if you have just killed them, your ultimate can clear a creep wave letting you get a swift push to their tower. It rakes in the gold and heals you up, and a lot of the time you dont even need it to land a kill.
Mid Game - Rely on your defensive items and heavy farm to give yourself a good safety net. Use surge + equilibrium to stun or slow opponents that chase your team mates, and in team fights target the most squishy opponents. Your ultimate is best used before the fight to soften up your enemies, or save it til the end of the fight and pick off the pesky individuals that try to use flash to escape. Try and save your own flash for defensive measures, because if you are doing well the enemy team will not be kind to you. Remember that running does not mean losing. I have had many times where a 1kill to 3 deaths has turned into a 3kills for 3 deaths because people underestimate how quickly Irelia can hop a fool who thinks he can catch her.
Late Game - By now you are going to be swift and tanky. Let the tank initiate, then immediately hop in and pick out a target. Hitin Style and swing away, using Equilibrium strike as an aggressive slow rather than a stun. Your Ultimate is still best used to haras before the fight or slay people as they try to flee, but life steal is undeniably useful and if the enemies are focusing you flash back and drop all four blades on them. If an enemy is low, Bladesurge to Bladesurge lets you enjoy the finishing move and lets you immediately jump to another foe.