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Irelia Build Guide by rsxkilla

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

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League of Legends Build Guide Author rsxkilla

Irelia still a great top lane

rsxkilla Last updated on May 7, 2012
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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: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Hi! welcome to my guide for Irelia! i will be updating the match ups section as i get more time
i fell in love with this champion after playing her when she was free some time last year pre sustain nerf. she was loads of fun and its pretty hard to lose lane in most cases.

there are many people who seem to be scared to play her or think she is terrible because she doesn't have afk sustain but i would love to change everyone's opinion on this because i feel she is quite strong still.

this is my first guide so please give me some slack if i cant put everything as fancy as some guides

this skin makes you awesome and 4 times stronger ;) (not literally though)

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The Ionians have developed some of the most breathtaking and deadly martial arts on all of Runeterra - just one manifestation of their pursuit of enlightenment. The most remarkable blade style to emerge, however, was the unusual byproduct of foreign intervention. Master Lito was a swordsman whose teachings were sought by ruling classes from nearly every city-state. His art was a highly-guarded secret, but it was said that swords would breathe in his grasp. He withered unexpectedly from a mysterious disease which baffled the brightest of Runeterran physicians. When he died, he left behind Zelos and Irelia, his son and daughter, and a truly unique weapon. Zelos became a sergeant in the Ionian military and left to seek assistance from Demacia immediately prior to Noxus' invasion of Ionia. Irelia, charged with the protection of their home until Zelos returned, was alone when the Noxian forces struck.

The Ionians fought admirably, but soon Ionian blood stained the land beneath the prints of foreign boots. At the Great Stand of the Placidium, Ionians prepared for surrender, but were inspired to maintain their resistance when the young Irelia lifted her father's enormous blade and pledged to hold until her brother returned. In the chaos of the ensuing fight, Irelia was cursed with dark Noxian Necromancy. As her life ebbed, Soraka, the Starchild, made a final attempt to anchor her fading soul. Unwilling to relinquish her home, Irelia rose at the brink of death, and her father's sword lifted in the air alongside her. Irelia rushed back to the fore, unfazed by the blade's sudden animation. The weapon danced around her effortlessly, cutting down Noxians as they gaped in horror. The decimated invaders were forced to retreat from the Placidium. Irelia was appointed Ionia's Captain of the Guard, and when the defense of her homeland moved to the Fields of Justice, so did she.

'The sword flourishes, as though painting with blood.'
- Taken from a Noxian Field Report

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the runes are pretty standard but you can change them to how you feel.
i prefer to run
9 Greater Mark of Attack Damage
3 Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
9 Greater Seal of Armor
8 Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
1 Greater Glyph of Attack Damage

you may prefer to take attack speed Greater Mark of Attack Speed Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed instead but i find that the extra damage helps early game for farming

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i take 9-21-0 masteries for top lane in all cases


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Summoner Spells


Ignite is very important for committing to a kill since
most of your top lane opponents will have some kind of health regen.

Flash is the most useful overall summoner spell in the game


Ghost is a nice spell that can substitute using flash for initiating.
Teleport is a great item if you want to help another lane and get back to your lane or if you want to help secure a dragon.
Smite if for some reason you manage to become the teams jungler take this, also you will want Greater Mark of Attack Speed runes and Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed runes to maximize damage from Hiten Style
Exhaust could be exchanged for ignite if you think you just need to stop them from hurting you, or if your team has a few ignites already exhaust is very key in team fights.
Heal i personally don't use this spell but it could be used to bait someone into committing a fight.
Cleanse this is a great summoner spell to negate an enemy ignite or exhaust and other stuns.
(this does not remove suppression)


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Pros / Cons


fun to play
high mobility
strong late game
decent sustain
crushes squishies


somewhat weak early game
low sustain without active hiten style
if shut down its hard to come back
needs farm

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TIPS about TEAM FIGHT (your role)

Irelia is an assassin tanky dps. your main job is to eliminate the AD RANGED DPS or AP CASTER. she excels in gap closing with Bladesurge mid-late game you can 1 hit any caster minion . use this for gap closing. if you catch a squishy out of place (by them-self) you can destroy them. Always look to focus SQUISHIES. if your team doesn't have a full tank, be sure to make sure your squishy isn't getting focused, protect them if no one else can. in any other cases focus low health targets as a team after squishies are down, always note who is devastating your team the most.
once you have Sheen / Trinity Force always always always always auto attack between each skill cast! this makes your damage go through the roof because of her ultimate having 4 casts.

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Farming in Lane

sometimes this can be the hardest part of your match up. many champions will try to punish you every time you go for a minion and zone you out of farming. Do the same to your opponent if you can! Irelia is a very farm dependent champion. Always ward your lane when youre pushed out! Many strong top laners will push the lane in to your tower and force you to struggle farming this way, 2 tower hits per melee minion. 1 tower hit per caster minion use that to your advantage, because you should be able to get almost every single farm, dont be shy to Equilibrium Strike that bastard if he tries to get frisky around your tower :). As you get more farmed you should notice you can trade quite well with just about any champion thanks to your true damage from Hiten Style.

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the way that you build Irelia really makes the difference. since most of the time you will be laning against someone who is stronger early game you want to build up so that you can win trades.

i found in my replays i actually tend to build Trinity Force before Recurve Bow its all about personal preference and if you need more auto attacks for sustain

if you're laning versus someone who has a strong early game with AD, Cloth Armor + 5 Health Potion, otherwise you can start with Boots of Speed + 3 Health Potion, or Regrowth Pendant + Health Potion.

if youre facing an ap top take Boots of Speed + 3 Health Potion, or regrowth pentant + Health Potion.

these are the best boots in the game, though you may want

if you're laning against strong ad for early game survivability

this item is your bread and butter.
it gives you movement speed, crit, attack speed, attack damage, mana, sheen pro for extra damage.

you may choose between starting off with
though i prefer phage early for the HP + Damage and SLOW

generally after i build trinity i get
the re-curve bow is the higher priority if you can afford it first
the attack speed bonus makes your passive much more brutal and
with the phage procs you can really stick it to your opponent.
finish your


an item i rarely build unless i just cannot sustain the lane at all

an item that gives nice attack speed, health and life steal
zeke's herald

one item i absolutely love
philosopher's stone
its a great item to get after wits end if you don't need to rush more defensive items
it gives nice regen stats + cdr and gp/10, late game you can finish into
shurelya's reverie

another item i build almost every game, though i don't really consider it as being core

this item has a lot of awesome stats built-in
it has Health, Armor, and an awesome active that slows enemies movement and attack speeds
great for being in the middle of a team fight while going after those pesky AD carries.

for some reason if you're taking an excess amount of magic damage
you have a couple strong choices of items.

i tend to build this item mostly when i want to negate magic damage.
it has a nice spell sheild every 45 seconds.

you may also pick up

this item gives you slightly more magic resist than a banshee's veil,
but does not give you any extra health.
instead it gives you a nice movement speed bonus and health regeneration
like a free garen passive.

if you find yourself still managing to die you can take

with this monster item you will gain armor and magic resist
and a 5 minute cooldown on a free revive, this forces the enemy team
to decide whether its worth killing you first or not.

if you feel you need more health you can build

this gives an insane amount of health
and you may decide you want to purchase

i feel this item is less useful than before the nerf
and with wits end + trinity force, you shouldn't need any more damage.

one item i find that you should avoid is

this item is not quite as cost effective as randuins
because it will generally make the team not attack you or
the enemy already has enough life steal to make the passive useless

another item that seems like it would be pretty nice

the problem with this is that you dont get any tanky stats from it

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Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
this is the way i level up in lane.
the reason doing so

at level one Bladesurge is very helpful for juking an early gank.
abuse the refreshed cooldown when hitting low minions to run the enemy around the lane

at level two you want hiten strike this is your main priority to level up
other than your ult.

at level three take Equilibrium Strike and now you should be able to safely avoid early ganks and be able to setup a kill when your jungler ganks.

after this just prioritize leveling
Transcendent Blades> Hiten Style> Bladesurge > Equilibrium Strike

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Ability Explination

(Innate): Reduces the duration of stuns, slows, taunts, fears, snares, immobilizes, blinds and silences for each nearby enemy champion.

    1 champion: 10%
    2 champions: 25%
    3 champions: 40%
    Radius: 1200 (sight range)

this passive is amazing, it makes her very resilient to any cc also considering it stacks with Mercury's Treads, if you pay attention to your screen it can give away a hidden enemy in a brush nearby waiting to give you the business.

(Active): Irelia dashes forward to strike her target, dealing physical damage. This applies on-hit effects. If it kills the target, Bladesurge's cooldown refreshes and refunds 35 mana.

Range: 650
Cost: 60 / 65 / 70 / 75 / 80 mana

Cooldown: 14 / 12 / 10 / 8 / 6 seconds

Physical Damage: 20 / 50 / 80 / 110 / 140 (+1.0 per attack damage)

this skill does proc Hiten Style!!!!!!
this skill makes irelia very fun to play and you can get pretty creative with gap closing and juking. once you have Trinity Force you can 1 hit a caster minion, keepin that in mind if youre getting ganked you can run behind the wave make the enemy chase you and then jump back to it and be past them and safely return to tower. this skill is often used to aid last hitting under tower, but note over use of this skill really drains your mana pool.

(Passive): Irelia's autoattacks restore health to her
Health Restored: 5 / 7 / 9 / 11 / 13

(Active): Irelia's autoattacks deal additional true damage for 6 seconds. Hiten Style's passive health gain is doubled for the duration.

Cost: 40 mana
Cooldown: 15 seconds

True Damage: 15 / 30 / 45 / 60 / 75

Health Restored while active: 10 / 14 / 18 / 22 / 26

this skill is what makes irelia "OP" at max level the true damage is amazing. use this skill to help last hitting in the tower. keep in mind, a melee minion can take 2 tower shots before hitting it, and caster minions can take 1.
this skill really is amplified by Wit's End the attack speed makes her
true damage really hurt

(Active): Irelia pierces her target, dealing magic damage and slowing the target by 60% for a few seconds. If the target has a higher health % than Irelia, she stuns the target for the duration instead.

Cooldown: 8 seconds
Range: 425
Cost: 50 / 55 / 60 / 65 / 70 mana

Magic Damage: 80 / 130 / 180 / 230 / 280 (+0.5 per ability power)

Duration: 1 / 1.25 / 1.5 / 1.75 / 2 second(s)

this skill is very useful, it has a slow and when you have lower hp then your opponent you can stun them and activate Hiten Style for a good amount of damage. i find that if you do this and stick to damaging them, most people will start to run back giving you a few free extra hits ;)

(Active): Irelia summons 4 spirit blades which she can fire individually in a straight line to deal physical damage to enemies they pass through, and she heals for 25% of that damage vs champions and 10% vs minions.

Cost: 100 mana
Range: 1200
Cooldown: 70 / 60 / 50 seconds

Physical Damage Per Blade: 80 / 120 / 160 (+0.5 per ability power) (+0.6 per bonus attack damage)

Maximum Physical Damage to one target: 320 / 480 / 640 (+2.0 per ability power) (+2.4 per bonus attack damage)

this skill has been nerfed many times, many people think its useless or too weak, ect.
i think this skill is still quite amazing. for starters it gives you more sustain than you may think... it could possibly save you from an ignite at some point... another thing to consider is, your core item Trinity Force since you have 4 blades, thats 4 Sheen procs, which is super amazing!

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Skill combos

a few tips to using your skills to maximum potential

lead into low creeps with Bladesurge and Equilibrium Strike your opponent and beat away at him with Hiten Style active also Bladesurge procs Hiten Style's active TRUE DMG, if he fights dont be scared to stick on him with hiten style on, most cases the player will try to back off, this is where you can give some extra damage with Bladesurge because you refreshed your skill by last hitting a minion.

if you think you have a chance to get a kill, don't be scared to use Ignite earlier in the fight, any time you can get an advantage in lane, whether a kill or making them back while you can still farm, makes you continuously snowball.

the key is to use Equilibrium Strike when you're at even or less health than your opponent

your ult Transcendent Blades can be used for many purposes, to kill your opponent, or you can push your wave to your opponents tower before going back, use it to life steal back,or help get creeps out of your tower, don't be afraid to use it every time it comes up.

if you have Sheen or Trinity Force don't forget about its passive procs :)

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Common Laning Matchups

i think this section is what many players who are new to Irelia are looking to seeCHAMPIONS YOU SHOULD BEAT

this guy has decent sustain, but you can beat him down quite easily because his escaping power is quite low. dodge Rupture and he will quite weak, the Feral Scream can be annoying because of the silence. but this should give you low enough health to stun him, and show him whats up. after level 6 be aware Feast does 300 TRUE DAMAGE. avoid getting really low and you will win because he cannot trade with you.

this champion is can be strong if fed, but irelia should crush her due to her squishy type build. she has Lunge which can dash up to 2 times before going on cooldown, if you need to, Bladesurge to a minion behind her if shes trying to gap close you. notice when she activates Riposte or Burst of Speed once those skills are down you can give her some nice damage. i found an interesting piece of information about Blade Waltz, im not sure if it counts toward a single target or if she must hit another champion, but if you just walk into a brush she is unable continue targeting you

this guy is usually know for being a safe strong pick in top lane. lucky for you, irelia can just dominate this lane. build early Ninja Tabi and when he uses Parrrley dash to him and stun him and whack away at him, his Remove Scurvy cannot be up every time. once you complete Trinity Force he doesnt stand a chance.

iv played and watched this match up played quite a bit.
use the minions as your beat shield to block Thundering Shuriken, his Electrical Surge skill is his best way of harassing you. if he is rushing at you with Lightning Rush wait for it to end then charge him! thats his only escape! just be careful of his Slicing Maelstrom and this lane should be won easily.

he is weak early. dont be afraid to let him use Transfusion on you, thats the best time to use Equilibrium Strike. if you can dodge his Tides of Blood he reduces the damage he can do to you. Sanguine Pool + Ghost can make him hard to finish off, but if he initiates with pool he has no way to escape if he loses the trade. rush Mercury's Treads and Wit's End and you should be doing wonders in lane. if you see Vladimir use Hemoplague get the hell back, someone is ganking you! because usually he will lose all trades otherwise.

this guy just isn't strong any more. Ninja Tabi really help considering he does pretty much all auto attacking. he can be a little scary early with Audacious Charge + Three Talon Strike. try to watch for when he activates Three Talon Strike it will make his spear glow and make a ringing noise, once that skill is over you can put some pain on him. Phage will help you stick to him and give him nice damage and by the time you get Sheen you can pretty much chase him around the lane, just be cautious of [Three Talon Strike]]CHAMPIONS TO BE AWARE OF

this guy is the spin to win champ that i swear, a monkey could play it and win lanes. avoid being silenced by Decisive Strike and judgement, this will reduce the damage you take without being able to counter act him. be aware of his Courage which makes him take a lot less damage, try not to have an engaged exchange while he has this skill on (hiten style active still hits full damage but everything else is lower), and careful of his stupid Demacian Justice it takes a lot of skill to last hit a low champ ;)

this guy can be a problem, but you should be able to survive and out trade him if he doesn't get a huge lead. try to stay behind minions to not get hit by Sonic Wave, many lee sins will try to afk attack minions with Iron Will. Cripple is what makes him win trades, avoid getting hit with Tempest. he will usually save Dragon's Rage for a KO ability, be cautious though most of the time this ability saves your life.
many people consider

he is quite weak early, but can be annoying with his Siphon of Destruction avoid standing near your minions at all times, i generally try to be on the side of the lane instead of around my minions, once his shield is down he is extremely vulernable. try to have your jungler gank early and often because he will push the lane hard. be careful engaging after level 6 Children of the Grave does a perfect of your health and heals immediately and the over a time while you have a DOT (damage overtime) on you. Cleanse and Quicksilver Sash remove this.

this is going to be a farm lane, prepare to be super bored. if the player is super afk farm mode, try to abuse them as much as possible, if they do trade back with you just try not to get carried away. try to disrupt him when he wants to Siphoning Strike a minion, both of you are strong farmed champions, have your jungler gank this guy as much as possible he has poor escapability.

another person who is considered a counter

to be a hard counter to Irelia.
Through playing this matchup often, i think for one... many olaf players lack a brain, and can be beaten.
Olaf's general play style is to crush you early with Reckless Swing. while at level 1 this might hurt you a bit, in this case i recommend getting Equilibrium Strike at level 2 before Hiten Style to immediately stun and whack away at him. the longer the game last, the better you out trade this guy.

this champion is rarely seen due to the current meta. she is like you late game pub stomper. there isnt too much to worry about while laning other than Heroic Charge that can stun you into walls, and if you manage to get low, she has ******ed tower diving ability with Diplomatic Immunity.

this guy is very much flavor of the month. he is early game strong. Cull the Meek allows him to farm and sustain very well, though it will cause him to push lanes. Slice and Dice gives him mobility to rush you and hit you with a Ruthless Predator+ Cull the Meek. if he wastes his dashes on minions that gives you a chance to Equilibrium Strike + Hiten Style him for some nice damage. try to have the jungler help you in early stages say level 1-6. Also, be cautious of his, Dominus it makes him instantly gain 300 health at leevl 6 and could turn the tides in your battle.

this match up is similar to the Olaf match up, she will be much stronger at level one.
be very careful untill you have all of your skills. try to stay away from close ranges with her until you see her use her full Broken Wings or after she uses Ki Burst this will limit her cc against you when trading. try to have slightly lower health to get your stun off. once you have Phage and Sheen you should be able to run her out of lane with correct timing.

one pesky guy you probably dont want to lane against

this guy will force you to build wriggles to sustain lane if he plays aggressively.
he doesn't have any mana and can constantly spam his Vorpal Blade on you from a range. you should be able to still farm it just wont be quite fun.

this guy is extremely weak before level 6. try to get ganks top to shut him down early. be cautious of pushing his lane early and getting a Fling into his tower. once be builds Catalyst the Protector he pretty much starts to get crazy and can just run up and down lane poisoning everything and Fling you as he runs by. it gets very annoying now, you most likely will be in your tower from now on, try to Equilibrium Strike him when he flings you and tries to run past your tower to farm minions. be sure to try to trade but dont chase too much. i recommend getting early merc treads and wits end against Singed if he uses Insanity Potion do not engage he will have increased stats all around and you will probably die trying to exchange or if youre over extended trying to get back to your tower.

this champion can be very strong late game but remember,without Undying Ragehe is SQUISHY!. deny him from auto attacking for his fury and he wont be able to bully you, have the jungler pressure him aswell... many Tryndamere players use Undying Rage to early or even try to save it too long and die before using it :D. STUNS and LOCKDOWNS cripple Tryndamere

another champ to be careful with

this champion has a very strong presence at level 2 with his Crushing Blow and Nimbus Strike. build early ninja tabi and rush phage. try to make him waste his Crushing Blow and stun him and use Hiten Style to deal decent damage. also be very careful of wasting Equilibrium Strike when wukong has learned Decoy you will have wasted your stun and wont be able to show him the business. lastly be careful at level 6 you can probably have him low enough to kill, just dont forget Cyclone has a knockup and does a good bit of damage while giving him movement speed. which could make you wish you had more health before committing to the fight.

this guy has ******ed harrass and sustain, but he will run out of mana. focus on farming and giving him a little Equilibrium Strike after he has used all of his ghouls. should you need it, build Wriggle's Lantern. try to let him run out of mana and then he is very vulnerable, also consider having the jungler help you, he has low escapibility. be cautious of Omen of Death if you can kill him but you have low health, he can use this to respawn and finish you off. the longer the game lasts the more you will punish him if you can farm

this champion is a bastard to play against. she can use her Mark of the Assassin to constantly harrass you, and hide inside of her Twilight Shroud, upon getting level 6 she has a high burst that can kill you easily with Shadow Dance. when laning against her rush wriggles for sustain and try to trade and hope you survive, be sure to ask for the jungler's help

if you see this guy picked, pray he is jungling.
his early game damage will make punish you hard and make you unable to farm.
be weary of his Dragon Strike + Demacian Standard combo, this combo will reduce your armor and knock you in the air, and his Martial Cadence will hit a % of your current health, 2 full combos + ignite will probably be enough to kill you, if not once he has Cataclysm it could be painful, always have flash against jarvan

this guy is deceptively strong
he has high mobility with Leap Strike he can jump to you and hit you or flee to a minion. his Empower gives him a reset attack timer, which hurts early, not to mention his Counter Strike. Grandmaster's Might just amplifies his abilities.. avoid laning against him, and if you find yourself in a match up you will want wriggles to sustain, or if they're passive (which would be completely ******ed) farm away and know you can help your team later.

this guy is damn annoying! Seismic Shard steals your movement speed and is a non dodge able skill.. his passive Granite Shield makes it hard to win trades early. Unstoppable Force basically wrecks your day expect to be ganked at this time or completely devastated by his own power.

if you see this guy picked, you will be in for a nightmare on irelia. his early game damage hurts. he can Spear Shot you every 4 seconds and isnt afraid to trade with you because of Aegis Protection. he will bully you out of lane with ranged harrass leaving you no way to farm. Don't forget about Aegis of Zeonia he can stun you and punish you with Heartseeker Strike, its passive also makes pantheons Spear Shot deadly when you're in low health, try to take as little damage you can and have the jungler help you, your mid-late game presence is much better if you make it that far without getting crushed.

this guy can be quite pesky aswell, considering he has no mana pool. its hard to pursue melee range trades with him while Flamespitter is active (only a 6 second cool down). he can range poke you with Electro-Harpoon it has 2 casts and it slows you each time youre hit. Scrap Shield makes him harder to trade with... always be cautious of The Equalizer because it does initial damage and a DOT. also do not engage trades while he is overheating and has Flamespitter active, he will do a lot of damage.

i absolutely hate this champion. he has ranged harrass, a DOT, and BLIND. most likely teemo will kite you with Toxic Shot and he can Blinding Dart you if you start hitting him. if you're able to commit to a fight without being blinded you can really hurt this guy, but he will be able to range harrass all game.avoid bushes and choke points, most likely you will run into Noxious Trap for some lovely damage and slow. i absolutely hate this skill... and he will just run away with Move Quick. plead to you jungler to help you with this match up

this guy isOPin top lane. though he can't out trade you early. once he gets a few items he will out sustain you every time with Hungering Strike. you may be able to farm, but they will probably harass you and force you out of lane. beware of Infinite Duress this suppresses you and he will probably get a kill with assistance of a jungler, or alone if youre low enough. build Mercury's Treads asap

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this champion is a lot of fun to play, and deserves to be recognized as a strong champion. she has a few different ways of building and even with full tank she can still do deepz to the squishies, hope everyone was able to find useful information in my guide and Thanks to jhoijhoi for the line dividers/separators