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Irelia Build Guide by Buffybot

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Buffybot

Irelia - The Balancer

Buffybot Last updated on July 30, 2011
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Top Lane
Ranked #22 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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 0

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 9

Expanded Mind
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 21

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Hi! Welcome to my guide to Irelia (My first guide ever!).

I looked over many guides from many sites, talked to friends and foes alike, tested out many item combinations, skill progressions, and playstyles to come up with this (hopefully) unique combination that I can truly call balanced. I *cue dramatic music for effect* sweat blood and tears to come up with this, all for the sake of myself and my fellow Irelia lovers!

But really, exaggeration aside, it took quite a bit of testing and kink ousting to get to where I was thoroughly pleased with my build. And, just for you (^_~), I'll go over everything you need to understand, build, and play a successful, personalized Irelia. She has a unique feel and playstyle that you will absolutely fall in love with once you get over the initial learning hump.

A Disclaimer: this guide is quite long. I tried to be as thorough and in-depth as needed without repeating myself (too much). Please don't trollvote/post if you haven't read at least a good amount of it, please ^_^ I hope you enjoy it in advance!

Oh! Don't forget to vote and comment! ^__^

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Build Concept/Direction

A versatile build for a versatile character.

Irelia is one of the few characters in the pool that has a dynamic party role: her role in the group can change as the game progresses. She has the potential to be a carry, assassin, offtank, AD DPS, and more! Most toons are, by default, suited for a certain role and can do little to diverge from said role even with item additions. This can lead to a fundamental weakness in the party structure and have disastrous consequences. Irelia, however, can not only fill these gaps but change her role entirely to suit the needs of the current game state! Now that's something.

With that versatility in mind, I designed this build to be a mid-game assassin / late game carry/offtank. It has a balanced item progression and rune/mastery set to allow for flexible in-game build decisions that reflect the needs of the team without sacrificing. While most would look at such a statement and say, "you just can't make up your mind as to what you want to do" or "you're not focused enough and that's hurting your overall build strength", I respectively disagree and say that unfocusedness is one of its greatest strengths. If you design a build to fill only one role and are unable to adapt, you end up being a hindrance if the game progresses to a point where that build is weakened.

Keep in mind that this is a balanced build with many variations built-in, so there is no real fault with any role you choose to fill.
This is how you should see yourself: Balanced, Flexible, and able to handle any kind of situation with relative ease.

A balanced, flexible build is the way to play Irelia effectively.

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Unique Skills

Irelia has a unique set of skills that range from allowing her to close the gap on her opponent, stun, heal with each hit (even on towers!), deal TRUE damage, or even clear entire creep waves! Let's take a look at each one.

Ionian Fervor

Each nearby enemy champion (to a maximum of three) reduces the effectiveness of Crowd Control on Irelia.

1 Champion: 10%
2 Champions: 25%
3 Champions: 40%
Range: 800

This passive is very solid and allows us to become all but immune to stuns/slows/etc. with Mercury's Treads. Or, if need be, still give us well-needed tenacity without Mercury's Treads (in the case where Ninja Tabi is more viable).


(Active): Irelia dashes forward to strike her target, dealing physical damage. This applies on-hit effects, but cannot critical hit. If it kills the target, Bladesurge's cooldown refreshes and refunds 35 Mana.

Cost: 60/65/60/75//80 Mana
Range: 650

Cooldown: 14 / 12 / 10 / 8 / 6 seconds
Physical Damage: 20 / 50 / 80 / 110 / 140 (+1.0 per attack damage)

This skill is what defines your early game. I pick this skill first (like most every other Irelia user) pretty much every game because it is you main farming tool making last hitting a lot more efficient (nothing worse than hitting a mob with a melee attack to find it at <10 HP and have a friendly creep kill it -__-). With the ability to refresh its cooldown if the target is killed by the surge, you can go from creep to creep early game or, if needed, travel quite large distances by targeting minions. Doing so makes you incredibly hard to target as well.

This skill is part of your standard Bladesurge >>> Equilibrium Strike harassment combo early on and, later on, your Bladesurge >>> Equilibrium Strike >>> Hiten Style + Autoattack/ Transcendent Blades combo that makes it possible to quickly (and easily) single out a threat and take care of it :p Also remember that it procs on-hit effects like your Trinity Force, Hiten Style, Wit's End, Red Buff , and Madred's Bloodrazor!

Hiten Style

(Passive): Irelia's physical attacks restore health.
(Active): Irelia's physical attacks deal additional true damage for 6 seconds.

Cost: 40 Mana
Cooldown: 15 seconds

Heal: 10 / 14 / 18 / 22 / 26
True Damage: 15 / 30 / 45 / 60 / 75

This skill is often forgotten in the world of Irelia guides, but it's VERY powerful. Even I, an avid user of the girl, failed to realize its full potential early on. Not only does it give you back health on -every- hit regardless of target, it also does INSANE damage. This is the skill that will allow us to do incredible damage without stacking attack damage items and make it very hard to counter us! Now 75 damage per hit for 6 seconds might not sound like much, but remember it's TRUE damage and you'll have plenty of attack speed to get quite a bit of damage off with it. It's not to be underestimated.

Note: I do not recommend using the active early on unless you're -sure- it'll net you a kill. This build calls for you to be relatively frugal with your mana early, so turning on Hiten Style for 40 mana at level 4 after a couple waves of last hitting with Bladesurge could potentially drain you and force you to recall prematurely only because you drained your mana pool superfluously.

Equilibrium Strike

(Active): Irelia pierces her target, dealing magic damage and slowing the target by 60% for 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 seconds

Now this skill... oh boy this skill. Master Equilibrium Strike and you master Irelia. It requires you to have a lot of nerve to use effectively, but it will also save your life/net you a kill in the most hopeless of situations. It'll make 1v1'ing you something your opponent will think twice about, and net you some nice early/mid-game kills when some greedy bastard decides to dive you and gets a stun to the face at your tower (lol).

Remember, Irelia is suited only for those who stay calm in a situation even while being low hp. Equilibrium Strike doesn't make you invincible... but it makes you darn close to being so after some practice.

Transcendent Blades

(Active): Irelia summons 4 spirit blades which she can fling 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: 1,200

Cooldown: 60 / 50 / 40 seconds
Physical Damage: 80 / 120 / 160 (+0.5 per ability power AND +0.6 per bonus attack damage)

This is what will make you jump for joy at level 6 and clear you lane at the same time. It is omnidirectional, has nice damage and range, heals you (!), and is separate from your attack animation. This means you can be attacking, say, Miss Fortune in the back of the crowd and use Transcendent Blades to slice and dice 4 others behind you! All while being healed xD Sweeeet~

Though it may require a bit of skill and judgment to use correctly at times. Sometimes you may find yourself in situations where you need to land some nice skill shots while running or DPS'ing different targets to get that kill. But due to its fairly low CD, you'll have plenty of chances to use it.

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Skill Sequence

Some of you may be asking, "Why such an odd leveling sequence?" Well, it comes with quite a few games under my belt and I found this to be the most balanced and effective progression in both solo and dual lanes.

Levels 1-6:
>>> >>> >>> >>> >>>

This sequence has last hitting and sustainability in mind. You grab 2 ranks of Hiten Style to give you some nice health regen (and burst if need be) and, likewise, 2 ranks of Bladesurge to make last hitting mobs easier and more fluid (nothing worse than missing a Q and having to wait 12 seconds to do it again...). This will make it so you do more damage with Bladesurge and have a lower CD if you miss that last hit. And, of course, you take Transcendent Blades right away because it's BADASS. But really, Transcendent Blades at 6 will let you either push back a pushed lane to go buy or push a lane to possibly take a tower. It's worth it.

Levels 7-11:
>>> >>> >>> >>>

This sequence has Mid-Game Assassin written all over it. Since you'll find yourself still laning at level 7, I take an extra level of Bladesurge to give you that extra edge to last hit and start harassing your opponent. Then I proceed to grab a quick 2 ranks of Equilibrium Strike to bring it up to 3 for a -big- boost in damage. Then finish off with a third rank of Hiten Style for more damage and a decent boost in HP regen while making sure to grab Transcendent Blades again at 11 because it's BADASS (Didn't I say that before? =D)

Levels 12-18:
>>> >>> >>> >>> >>> >>>

At this point in the game, you should be leveling up skills based on what you need. If you still find yourself laning quite a bit (i.e. Not many towers are down, both teams playing passively, etc...), you should level up Bladesurge first for quick wave clearing. If you find yourself getting into constant teamfights all the time, you should level up Equilibrium Strike first for the burst damage it brings to the table. The progression I posted is largely what I use all the time because it allows for both last hitting creep waves quickly and efficiently, and chasing/DPS'ing down opponents in teamfights. The only thing that is not debatable is taking Transcendent Blades at level 16. This is a must, as always, because it's (once again) BADASS.

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The set of Runes I use is fairly standard except with one small change to marks.

My Marks:

9 Greater Mark of Attack Speed: This is the only deviation from most other standard Irelia builds and this stems from my item choices. With Wit's End, Hiten Style, Trinity Force, and (later on) Madred's Bloodrazor, I focus most of my offensive DPS on on-hit effects. More attack speed = more on-hit effects = more DPS. Most builds call for Greater Mark of Desolation, but my setup has very little +attack damage so the 10 Armor Penetration from 3 Greater Quintessence of Desolation is more than enough to satisfy our needs.

My Seals:

9 Greater Seal of Armor: I use these to boost my early/mid game survivability against harass in lane. With these and masteries you will have 55 armor at level 1 which is HUGE. It will also give you that edge to offtank late game and provide deceptive vigor throughout the game.

Other possible choices are:
9 Greater Seal of Evasion - Dodge is nice, but without Masteries or Ninja Tabi, they're lackluster at best. If you prefer to use Ninja Tabi, I'd take these.
9 Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration - For those of you who find yourself in dire need of mana early/mid game. I wouldn't suggest them, but they're a possible choice for new players/mana sponges.

My Glyphs:

9 Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: Once again, I use these to boost my early/mid-game survivability against harass in lane. With these, your 9 Greater Seal of Armor, and Masteries, you should be all but immune to damage early game. It will, again, also give you that edge to offtank late game and provide deceptive vigor throughout the game.

Other possible choices are:
9 Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist - Use these if you want a little more MR late game or if you're Jungling (explained in Jungling section). While a viable and acceptable alternative, I prefer early/mid-game survivability while building that Trinity Force over 10 more MR late game.
9 Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction - Some people really want to spam those skills and these are for those people. However, if you really want to do that, I suggest making a deal with your local jungler to take blue and/or stocking up on a mana regen item to support it. My item setup doesn't support frivolous skill usage. I'd only ever consider these if you take 9 Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration... but kiss your survivability goodbye in that case. Plus, her CDs are also already low. I wouldn't suggest them, but they're a possible choice for some.

My Quintessences:

3 Greater Quintessence of Desolation: Every melee needs Armor Penetration and this is the best place to get it for my build. These are, hands down, the best runes you can get for this setup (or any setup that deals physical damage). It also boosts your Bladesurge and Transcendent Blades. You also don't get any Armor Penetration from items or Masteries, so it's borderline necessary to have some in runes.

While I wouldn't suggest other runes unless you change your Marks, if you do... others could be:
9 Greater Mark of Desolation+3 Greater Quintessence of Health/ Greater Quintessence of Vitality: Much needed Armor Penetration and more HP? Very viable and what most every other build uses. Some other builds go Armor Penetration on both Marks and Quintessences, but I feel that this is a waste with my item setup. Irelia's base damage is far too low to warrant such an extreme focus on Armor Penetration with my build.

On another note: I wouldn't ever consider getting 3 Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed... since they're not worth the IP cost and you'd likely never see the difference or use them on another character! Stick with the Marks... they're cheaper :X

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I can already tell what you're thinking... "I've seen bloody 10 different Irelia Guides and, subsequently, 10 different freaking Mastery sets! What the balderdash makes yours any better!? Gah, do any of you actually know what you're doing!?"

Ok, maybe I exaggerated at bit at the end of that dialogue... but the feeling is still there: every Irelia guide seems to have radically different Masteries even if the item builds vary only slightly. This could come across as very odd to some or even give one the impression that Masteries add very little to the game so you can just take whatever and be fine. But don't be think that way! Masteries are very important to any Irelia build and I'll fully explain my choices and even present other viable setups that could fit your playstyle should it not line up well with mine! =)

First off, an explanation of my setup:
0 Offensive / 9 Defensive / 21 Utility

0 in Offense? Wat O__o - You saw it right: I put 0 points in Offensive Masteries. Why? There are only a few of them that would benefit this build (or any Irelia build for that matter) enough to warrant taking points from elsewhere in order to get them. The first tier offers you NOTHING as critical hit chance and AP are largely worthless. The second tier offers you a little CDR, but the utility tree already has that covered and Irelia's CDs are low to begin with... oh, and 4 points for 4% attack speed is ridiculous lol. In tier 3 we have 15% Magic Penetration which is decent, but you'd have to use 8 points to get there that could be used elsewhere. And grabbing the 6 Armor Penetration would deny you a /21 in another column, so that's out as well. After that, we have only Havoc left worth taking. That's 21 points for maybe 5 worth taking. You do the math: Investing heavily in Offensive Masteries isn't worth it.

Ok, ok... I understand no Offensive Masteries... and 9 points in Defense... but why no tier 3 point in Defense? or 21 in Defense for that matter? - Ok, you caught me. This was the hardest decision I had to make (even harder than item choices). I had to decide between 0/21/9 and 0/9/21 and finally, after much deliberation and practice, fell on the latter as the stronger choice. But why these 9 points? Well, tier 3 Defensive Masteries are weak. Flat armor and MR are incredibly strong for -any- build and 1% mana >>> HP regen is powerful all game... The only other alternatives would be 1-1.5% dodge and 1 blocked damage... which, while good on paper, rarely make any difference in practice. I'd rather have the regen any day. Oh, and 10% movement speed after dodging? We'll leave those shenanigans to Jax or Nidalee... unless you have some hardcore love for Ninja Tabi and Greater Seal of Evasion lol.

So 21 points in Utility... I've seen this in a lot of places. Is it really worth it? - To be frank: Utility Masteries are OP. Straight up overpowered, I say. What do we have? 10% less time spent not laning or rapeaping team fights? Sure! Faster and longer chase/escape spell? Cool! 5% more EXP? O___O Hell yeah! 3 free wards worth of gold, much needed mana regen, and a longer baron buff? Oh you ^_~. Even MORE movement speed (if Trinity Force wasn't enough for you hah) and more Flashing? I mean.. if you're offering <__< >__> CDR and -15% Flash/ Ghost timers? Hah, now you're just playing with me... oh wait, you're serious?
^ I think that pretty much sums up what you need to know. Utility tree: use it, it's so worth it.

Alternative Masteries:
0 Offensive / 21 Defensive / 9 Utility

This combination is viable and a little (granted, only a little) more tanky than mine. You'd take all points from tier 3 and above in your Utility Mastery tree and transfer to the Defensive Mastery tree leaving 1 point in your choice of Meditation (preferable), Utility Mastery (second choice), or Greed (least preferable). These points would go as such: 2 in Evasion for that 1% dodge (hey, could save your life), 1-2 points between Defensive Mastery and Harden Skin, 4 in Veteran's Scars, 3 in Ardor, and 1 in Tenacity. The extra HP, Dodge, and Damage Reduction all definitely add to your offtank ability and make you harder to kill. While losing your Utility Mastery tree bonuses will hurt your overall flexibility, this is definitely a strong counter option.

9 Offensive / 0 Defensive / 21 Utility

This is another common one. It gives you similar flexibility to mine, with a little more burst DPS from Archmage's Savvy and Archaic Knowledge. Add on a little more CDR and you can use your spells even more. You lose HP regen and a good bit of armor and MR, though... So not exactly my cup of tea. But definitely an option if you prefer to hit a little harder going into a fight, even if you'll have a harder time surviving it <__<.

9 Offensive / 21 Defensive / 0 Utility

I've seen this floating around on some guides. They tend to focus more on burst DPS, so your points would go into Archmage's Savvy, Cripple, Sorcery, and Archaic Knowledge. Your Defensive Masteries would remain the same as the first alternative. This way, you receive full benefit from Ardor which can add up to some pretty nice burst damage. You will need to get a mana regen/5 item, however, as my build does not have one and without Masteries you'd run dry relatively quickly unless you strike up a deal with your Jungler have blue buff whenever it spawns (lol like that would ever happen).

1 Offensive / 8 Defensive / 21 Utility

Used for Jungling. The 1 point in the Offensive mastery tree is in Plentiful Bounty. Take 1 point away from either Resistance or Strength of Spirit and having at least 2 points in Evasion (preferably all 4). Utility Tree remains the same. While some may prefer a 1/17/12 or some other combination, I feel this combination is best suited for Irelia. Refer to the Jungling Section for more information.

21 Offensive / X Defensive / X Utility

Don't do it. Just... don't. I said it before and I'll say it again: Investing heavily in Offensive Masteries isn't worth it.

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Summoner Spells

Viable Options:

Flash: An amazing skill for most any Champion (even those with built-in flashes already). It can be used to position, escape, gank, kill, and more. A must have for every Irelia.

Ghost: My second choice and, once again, an amazing skill for most any Champion to choose. Can be used to escape, chase, kite, or just get back on the field faster after dying/recalling. Can be used any number of ways and is a solid choice.

Ignite: Great for those early kills or shutting down those pesky champs like Dr. Mundo/ Sion/ Vladimir/Healers. However, usefulness dies the longer the game goes on... By midgame, it's largely useless as people can just regen out of it. Still, good for early results.

Exhaust: Great for 1v1'ing or shutting down those auto-attack junkies in a teamfight. Can be used to chase, but having a Trinity Force and Quickness mastery points give you more than enough speed to chase down most anyone (except maybe a Master Yi or Ghosted Janna lol). Solid choice if you like dueling, though.

Teleport: If you take this, switch over the point from Haste into Spatial Accuracy. This spell has surprising uses, actually. It'll get you across the map, back to your lane after a surprise gank, or even to the front lines of a push in a flash (not to be confused with... you know, Flash xD). Plus, it can prevent pesky auto-attacking backdooring champions from sadfacing your team.

Smite: Useful if you decide to jungle. Refer to Jungling Section for more info.

Non-Viable Options:

Heal: Great for new players, but after player level 10 don't bother. There are some that still take it... and I guess it can save you from a gank or tower dive early game. However, it's utility drops post character level 5 or so to near uselessness.

Clarity: If you really need mana regen and don't choose to get Seals/Masteries/blue buff/potions/not spam your skills uselessly... then yeah, I guess this is an ok waste use of a spell slot.

Cleanse: Between your passive and Mercury's Treads, you have enough tenacity to make even the likes of Ashe cry. Cleanse won't help you.

Fortify: Save it for a tank or support or... something. Personally, it's not even useful enough most of the time to warrant a slot on ANYONE.

Clairvoyance: Great spell... for a support character. You're not support, so not so great. Save it for Sona/ Janna/etc...

Rally: Oh boy, why would anyone pick this? It's such a god awful spell... please, PLEASE don't pick it! I beg you ;__;

Revive: ...If you think you're Karthus, go for it. Otherwise, I suggest forgetting this spell ever existed... Like I had before writing this guide (sadface).

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Item Selection

So it's finally time for the section most of you probably skipped the rest of my guide to see: ze items! But I also know that the people who skipped everything else I *cue dramatic music for effect* sweat blood and tears to come up with, all for the sake of myself and my fellow Irelia lovers! (if you didn't get the reference, you're guilty! hah) have one nagging question on their mind, "so Buffy... Is that really your starting selection?" And my answer is, very clearly, "Yes. Yes it is." But there is a method to my (apparent) madness as you will see shortly!

My Starting Selection:

+ + 5

Why these items you ask? Well, it's simple: trial and error. You may have noticed that, in many guides, posters call for a Philosopher's Stone, while many others call for a Force of Nature. Both of these items contain a Regrowth Pendant and, indeed, most every Irelia build guide calls for a starting selection of Regrowth Pendant + Health Potion. Now, I can't use a Regrowth Pendant in any of my build items, so it would be a waste to get it! However, my Rejuvenation Bead builds into my Randuin's Omen later on... See where I'm going with this?

Simple, right? Well, not quite... Let's do some quick math.

An Aside - The Comparison:

+ vs. + + 5

Option 1 (The Standard):
Effective Health-
From Regen: 180/minute or 3/second
From Potions: 200
Total: 3/second + 200

Option 2 (Mine):
Effective Health-
From Regen: 96/minute or 1.6/second
From Potions: 1000
Total: 1.6 second + 1000

Difference? Let's see. My option (option 2) has 800 more effective health from Health Potions while the standard (option 1) has 1.4 more HP regen per second. How does that difference stack up over time? 800 HP * 1/1.4 HP/second = ~571 seconds or, roughly, 9 1/2 minutes. That means, you'd have to stay in lane 9 1/2 minutes or more with Option 1 to have more sustainability than Option 2 (mine). BUT! That is ONLY if you have <100% HP (i.e. regen is constantly active). Otherwise, Option 2 is leagues ahead of Option 1 in terms of overall effectiveness and sustainability. And let's not forget: I included a Mana Potion in my formula. If you turn that into another Health Potion, the bonus jumps up even higher! But, a Mana Potion is necessary for reasons to be explained soon.

*Note: Granted, this conclusion holds true only when you have >200 HP lost and use a Health Potion. However, I feel there are rarely any situations that call for you use a Health Potion unless you have >200 HP missing in the first place. Otherwise, you'd just sit and regen off of Hiten Style and your innate + item regen with relative comfort. Also of note, if you get bursted or harassed too hard early on... you may be forced to early recall with Option 1. Option 2 (mine) offers you much more flexibility with regard to "hiccups" that you may have early on.

End Comparison!

Ok, onto the bread and butter: my reasoning behind the items. As you can see, I put my items in buying order (as per usual) with the final 6 items of my list being a final listing of the "ideal" setup that you're aiming for. This final listing is also to avoid the glitch that makes Mobafire mess up your stats in the Cheat Sheet. So, rest assured, the statistics listed above are real and (mostly) complete with the only missing stats coming from Masteries (wonder if they'll ever fix that...).

My Starting Selection Continued:
I mentioned a lot of the reasons I chose this setup above, but I will reiterate for those that didn't want to hurt their heads on the math (lol).

: I don't get a Philosopher's Stone or Force of Nature, so getting a Regrowth Pendant is out of the question. However, I strongly believe health regen to be necessary for long-term lane sustainability. As my item build is quite expensive (I mean, Trinity Force as a first item? lawl), it is VERY important to stay in your lane as long as possible and farm up that Creep Score. Since I have a Randuin's Omen in my planned items, the Rejuvenation Bead is the next likely candidate. And, as we found out above, this choice allows us to have quite a bit more sustainability early game than "The Standard".

+ 5 : I choose to buy 1 Mana Potion in the start merely out of personal preference. Sometimes you just miss that last hit with Bladesurge and sadface as you lose 35 more mana than you thought... Heaven forbid you do it again. Or, you find yourself harassing far more than usual or just don't want to leave your lane just because you're down on mana... either way, you've got 5 Health Potion already so buying more would be a -tad- overkill. However this is, once again, just personal preference. If you find yourself needing more mana all the time, go for 2 Mana Potion + 4 Health Potion or, if you never find yourself needing mana... 6 Health Potion. If you find this to be a bit overkill, lessen the number of Health Potion to 3 or 4. Test things out and choose the combination that best fits your playstyle.

Your First Recall and Core Items:

Ideally, after you recall you should be able to buy your Boots of Speed, Heart of Gold, Null-Magic Mantle, and a few more Health Potions (if need be). If you were -really- successful, you could even finish your Mercury's Treads right away!

After you get your boots (either Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi), start to work on your Zeal and Sheen. After completing your Trinity Force, you've achieved your first real big item. Your inventory should look something like this:

+ Free Slot for Sight Ward | | etc...

Now, a quick explanation of my choices so far:

: The standard item for any Irelia build. This item gives us much needed early MR and Tenacity that will make us all but immune to CC! An amazing choice that synergizes perfectly with Irelia!

: Hands down, this is THE most amazing item for Irelia. It boosts every single stat you need and gives you the on-hit bonuses you will learn to love. Once you complete this baby you will be a force to be reckoned with!

My Mid/Early-Late Game Balanced Selection:

: Incredibly underrated item, but I find it to be -so- good. On-hit Magic Damage coupled with insane AS bonus, innate MR, and on-hit MR boost! What's not to love? A great balance between DPS and survivability that synergizes well with Trinity Force and Hiten Style. Oh, and it's cheap! =D

: Gives you that little extra survivability after your damage reaches a level to give you any decent health back from your auto-attacks. I get this after the Wit's End for this very reason, that and it fills up your Health Potion slot =) Oh, and it's cheap! lol

: Health, a bunch of armor, HP regen, a passive and an active? What's not to love! It makes dueling a cinch and pop this in a teamfight and watch the AD DPSers sadface! =)

: If you weren't immune to CC, you will be after you grab this gem. A bunch of Health, Mana, and MR, plus a 45 second "screw you" to CC. A definite staple item for any Irelia ^__^

My Late-Late Game Selection (i.e. I have more money than I know what to do with... oh and why haven't they surrendered yet? -__-)

: If they really don't want to give up and /surrender, make them cry a little... Scratch that, make them cry a lot! Sell your Wit's End and grab this baby. It'll shred through their team like paper.

: Last, but not least, sell your Vampiric Scepter for good 'ol Guardian Angel. If they really don't want to end the game, it's high time someone went nutso bongo and just suicided 1-2 of their carries or maybe even their Nexus. That girl, is your job. Go in, shred a couple of them, beat on their Nexus/take down those last remaining towers, die for your team, and get the game over with!

: Ok, if the Guardian Angel suicide thing didn't work and they're STILL not surrendering... Step it up a notch, get your shiny on, and do it again. If this doesn't work maybe your team is the one not surrendering... (lol)

Alternative Item Selections:

: A strong alternative to Wit's End. It offers a little more in terms of damage, but lacks that little survivability that Wit's End offers. The CDR, Armor Penetration, and active are all very strong, however. A solid choice.

: Another alternative to Wit's End. Sometimes, I actually find myself taking this over Wit's End... and it works out very well if their team is largely unarmored. Once again, though, it doesn't offer anything in the means of survivability and is considerably more expensive. A very strong choice for those that prefer a bit more bite, though.

: With bunch of HP regen, MR, and even a bit of movement speed, Force of Nature is often seen on many offtanks as a staple item. While I see it as mostly an item to use when stacking HP, it can definitely be used on any Irelia effectively. I would consider this for AP heavy teams in place of my Randuin's Omen, but if their team is so HP heavy as to warrant it, you should autowin regardless.

: If their team has a -ton- of AD, but very little AP, go for this anti-autoattack staple. It'll shut down Master Yi, Tryndamere, Miss Fortune, and other AD carries... hard. However, if their team is largely only AD... yeah, you should autowin anyway. Still, always nice to have an option.

: A very nice item that adds a nice balance of survivability and damage. It synergizes well with Trinity Force, Randuin's Omen, and Banshee's Veil. As such, I'd only suggest it as a 6th item to replace your Vampiric Scepter. However, as we don't have many +hp items as most other character builds, we won't be able to use this item to it's full potential. Still, it can be quite powerful on this Irelia build.

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As with pretty much every character, I prefer to take a solo lane (either mid or top) as Irelia. Her item builds are, regardless of who's guide you look at, -very- expensive and you'll need the extra gold that a solo lane offers.

Most people are unaware of Irelia's laning potential (much less seen the girl in a game more than a few times!) and have a very difficult time counteracting her. Others (most likely Irelia players themselves), though, are fully aware of your potential to last hit like a baws, harass, and stay up in lane and will act accordingly by either tower hugging like a scared 5-year old or attempting to zone the hell out of you. Indeed, there are very few players who know how to lane against an Irelia properly, so use this to your advantage as both the aforementioned reactions are a grossly incorrect! It'll allow you to farm up that Creep Score more easily than you'd ever thought possible!

When you get Transcendent Blades, don't just burn it right away. Evaluate the situation first to see if you should use it! 100 mana is quite a bit to burn for no reason. If you're at a stalemate with your opponent, keep it for when/if they push, or for a gank. You must remember that you pushing a lane is a DETRIMENTAL SITUATION. Since Irelia is a melee, she must keep the mob line close-mid in her lane or risk catastrophic failure when their Jungler/laner gets you out of position and you have nowhere to run to. If, however, you need to buy... Throw that ultimate out there and push the lane temporarily. That'll give you enough time to heal up, buy, and get back before it becomes a sadface situation.

Tbh, that's really all there is to laning. I'm not going to spell out what you need to do past level 6.

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Since this build is largely a hybrid, you will have a specific role in every teamfight. Recall the build design and characteristics: you are a burst DPS assassin with a hint of AD carry and a tankish edge that will let you weather whatever CC they throw at you after you demolish their Teemo or Ashe. But, as I said in my Build Concept/Direction section, Irelia has a dynamic party role--her role changes as the game progresses. This holds true as teamfights progress as well.

Your first duty is to wait. You heard me right. WAIT. The main mistake most every player will make at the beginning of their journey to master Irelia is initiate a fight. Don't ever initiate with Irelia. Unless you are, for some reason or another, the only person who can possibly initiate on your entire team, wait for the tank or AOE initiator to do their work. While waiting for this to happen, position yourself correctly to be able to get at their most important carries... the ranged and AP carries that sit in the back sadfacing the cluster**** that will be the 3v3 brawl of melees and tanks after the initiation phase. Learn to prioritize which ones you think will do the most damage and prepare to zero-in on them after the starting shot is fired.

After the initial bursts of CC are thrown and the fight has been initiated by your local area initiation provider, your job shifts to full-on beast mode burst DPS. You are to take that target you had zeroed-in on and ruin his day. Your burst DPS is high enough to take out a fair chunk of any DPS-oriented carry in an instant and what's left will either get shredded away with autoattacks from your insane attack speed (thanks to your Trinity Force and Wit's End) or you'll see them use their Flash/ Ghost/Skills to run away as fast as they possibly can to escape death and not be seen until the next engagement. With that, your job is to continue on to the next target!

Oh, and that brings me to my next -very- important point: NEVER CHASE A WEAK OPPONENT. This is the biggest flaw of low ELO teamfight assassins... they will get to the zero-in part and jump in for the kill, but they just can't let them go! They MUST get that kill no matter what! But while they're chasing that 100 HP Vayne off in the middle of the jungle halfway across the map, their entire team just wiped to the Brand they SHOULD have been killing. See my reasoning here? Bottom line: Don't chase, it'll lose you games.

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Regardless of what people might tell you, Irelia CAN jungle. Her Jungling is a tad slower than most, but her sustainability while doing so is very solid. Also, her ganks are INCREDIBLY powerful.

Items, Masteries, Runes, Spells, and Skill Sequence:

You'll want to start with the standard load of + 5 . This will give you the early armor needed to take hits while offering a -ton- of effective health to get you through those first levels.

For Masteries, I suggested a 1/8/21 layout in my Masteries section, but any sort of standard Jungling Masteries layout can work. Other possible options could be 1/15/14 or 1/17/12. Either of these options provides you the needed survivability to get through Jungling while having the benefits from the Utility tree that all Junglers require.

For Runes, I -highly- recommend you use my suggested layout. You could mix and match your own, but this could lead to sub-par Jungling and weaken your entire game. Refer to my Runes Section for more information.

For Summoner Spells, take Smite and your choice of either Ghost or Flash. Either of these 2 spells will work and it's hard to tell which is better. It's a matter of preference to most, but Smite is REQUIRED.

For Skill Sequence, your progression will follow this path:
>>> >>> >>> >>> >>>

You will start off with Hiten Style for the innate HP per hit you get and the 15 bonus True Damage it provides. At level 2 you will grab Equilibrium Strike for its low CD and ability to stun the Golem/Lizard Elder. Then you'll grab yet another level of Hiten Style for, once again, the innate HP per hit and 15 additional True Damage it provides. This will boost your survivability and speed up your jungling considerably. After this, you will grab a rank of Bladesurge at levels 4 and 5 to prepare for ganks and Transcendent Blades at 6 because... well, you know by now :)

Your progression from level 7 onwards is exactly the same as if you were laning. Refer to my Skill Sequence Section for more information.

Jungling Route

1. 2 Mini-Golems: Choose 1 golem to focus and initiate with Smite. Activate Hiten Style and focus down the smote golem. Chug a potion as you take damage finish the other off without using Hiten Style again. You should level up after this. Put your level into Equilibrium Strike and proceed to the next camp.

2. Wraiths: Initiate on the blue wraith with Equilibrium Strike to stun and activate Hiten Style to finish it off. Chug a potion to keep topped off and focus down each of the smaller wraiths one at a time. Proceed to the next camp.

3. Wolves: Activate Hiten Style once and beat them down. Order doesn't matter much here, so just remember to focus them down. Chug a potion to keep yourself topped off for the next camp. You should also level to 3, so put your point into Hiten Style and move on to the next camp.

4. Ancient Golem: Initiate on the Ancient Golem with Equilibrium Strike to stun and activate Hiten Style. While the Ancient Golem is temporarily stunned, take the opportunity to focus down the smaller fire lizards first. Chug a potion as you take damage and spam your Hiten Style and Equilibrium Strike as they come off timer. Smite when the Ancient Golem's HP<475 to make sure it is not stolen. This should level you up to 4, so put this point into Bladesurge and recall to buy.

*Note: If you find yourself with potions left and >1/2 HP, you might choose to go to golems again before recalling. You must gauge how long you think you can last safely.

5. Recall and Buy: Buy a Longsword and a Health Potion if need be/can afford it. Proceed to Mini-Golem camp again.

6. Mini-Golems (Take 2): Clean them up. Should be no problem for you tbh. You have Blue Buff, so you don't have to worry about running out of mana. Proceed to the next camp.

7. Lizard Elder: Initiate on the Lizard Elder with Equilibrium Strike and activate Hiten Style. While the Lizard Elder is temporarily stunned, hack away at one of the lesser lizards until they are at around 1/3 HP and use Bladesurge once to kill it, then again at the Lizard Elder. Spam your skills and chug a Health Potion if needed.

At this point, you should be able to clear most any camp with relative ease. I usually either go for a gank on bot (or top if switched) or proceed to clear the jungle some more until I can finish my Wriggle's Lantern. After that, just go around clearing and ganking whenever possible! You can also safely solo the Dragon if you have both buffs and Wriggle's Lantern at level 5+. However, you must be wary of your surroundings if there is another Jungler around. Always have Smite ready to finish and Flash or Ghost at the ready to escape up the cliff if necessary. If there isn't an enemy Jungler, go clear their jungle a few times as well! But do so at your own risk post level 7.

Item Selection for Jungling:

: This should be your first item. Not only does it give much needed Armor, Damage, and Lifesteal to make your Jungling faster, easier, and more efficient, it gives you a powerful built-in Sight Ward to protect you or keep tabs on the map without the need to buy them! It pays for itself just from the active.

: Standard for any Irelia build for reasons I've explained above in my Item Selection Section. Refer to this section for more information.

: Same as Mercury's Treads.

In fact, all the items will be exactly the same save for Wriggle's Lantern taking the place of our Vampiric Scepter early on. This will delay our Trinity Force somewhat, but the added benefit of a Jungler should offset this by strengthening the team as a whole.

All-in-all, she is a nice choice for jungling even if I prefer her in lane. If you do not have someone willing to jungle and wish to take it upon yourself, you're more than capable of doing so.

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Last Thoughts/Summary

Well, I hope you enjoyed the read! I know it was a bit long, but I wanted to be thorough :) If anyone has any questions, comments, concerns, or advice feel free to post it! I want this guide to be as good as it can be, so all forms of feedback are greatly appreciated!

*Will Add Credits Section Shortly! Lots of people to thank plus a shoutout! =)*

♥ Don't forget to vote! ^__^ ♥