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Irelia General Guide by Marc

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Marc

Irelia - The Ionian Anti-Carry S3 Build and Matchups

Marc Last updated on February 6, 2013
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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


Utility: 0

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Introduction: Who is Irelia?

Hello summoners! Season 3 has arrived and many new items and build paths have opened for Irelia. But first, let's talk about who Irelia is. Irelia is a solo top mix between an Assassin like Akali and an AD Bruiser like Jarvan IV . The only thing is that she can build very very bruiser like, with an Omen, and Heart, but still kill carries and get on top of them very easily. This makes her very scary to deal with, because while she is almost as hard to kill as say Garen, she has a much easier time getting onto people like Vayne and Orianna, kinda like a Xin Zhao , except she trades a bit of damage for being practically immune to most forms of CC. Despite being nerfed numerous times, hence the Better Nerf Irelia meme, she is still a very viable and strong pick, and even in solo queue, where she can tank, assassinate, initiate (well, sorta), and carry, when you can't always rely on your teammates to do so.

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Irelia's Story and Origin:

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 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 hoisted 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 Irelia’s 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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Pros and Cons:

- Can build very tanky and still assassinate carries.
- Very hard to peel from carries with her extended tenacity.
- Good sustain even with the heavy nerf.
- True Damage ^_^
- Farms Easily, including under tower.
- Great scaling, especially into Mid Game.
- Has no true hard counters (Not even Olaf or Jax)

- Squishy early game.
- No hard escape.
- First few levels are not very strong.
- Can go OOM (out of mana) early on.
- Generally doesn't hard counter anyone.
- Crippled by Attack Speed reduction.

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This will be brief as there is not much to explain.
With the recent nerfs to Arpen, especially the marks, I dislike getting the Arpen Marks now, and would rather get the Flat AD Marks in conjunction with the , for 15 bonus AD at level 1, which helps greatly with last hitting, and is absolutely necessary when doing so under tower.

The offers 13 AR at level 1, and combined with masteries gives 18. The flat Ar is generally a very good choice because most solo tops are in fact physical damage dealers, and because of this, getting more armour early on compared to armour per level means you are better in lane against them, as armour per level do not offer very good armour at low levels, making Irelia's already shaky early game even weaker.

The offers MR per level. The reason why I prefer MR per level as opposed to flat MR is because most solo tops are not magical damage dealers, yet Irelia must face both physical and magic damage mid to late game, making scaling MR more potent then than flat MR at those stages. This build does not have a lot of MR either, so late game, every bit of extra MR counts and helps, which explains my thought process behind scaling MR compared to flat MR.

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I like to go 9/21/0 on Irelia, because my build focuses a lot on defense. The 9 in offense gives Irelia the basic physical damage including the Arpen from Weapon Expertise , and the 21 in defense gives Irelia Ar and MR, the health masteries, the bonus tenacity which stacks with BOTH her passive Ionian Fervor and Mercury's Treads , a little bit of bonus percentile health, and most importantly, the 3% damage reduction from Honour Guard. This may not seem like a lot, but it is huge especially once late game comes, and carries that would normally do potentially 1000 damage per auto attack do 30 less. Combined with armour, it takes that many more attacks for them to kill you, making this mastery invaluable. I would rather not get the Health Regen from Perseverance because it is based on how low your health is, and your health shouldn't go that awfully low in lane with the sustain you have, and even then, the little bonus health regen won't save you from having to go back if you are low on health with no more Health Potions.

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So, Season 3 is here and we have many new items, and many of the old ones have been changed. So why these items?

- Mercury Treads
Mercury's Treads, although there is the Zephyr, a great item for Irelia because she scales off its stats so well, the only thing I would substitute it for would be The Black Cleaver which gives a ton of AD and that little bit of health. Because of this, I would rather stick with these boots for the tenacity and the nice bit of MR that this build does not really have much of.

- Wit's End
Wit's End is a core Item for Irelia in Season 2, still amazing in S3. Although the MR was nerfed by 10, Irelia still synergizes so well with this item. Provides 40 MR, 40% Attack Speed, 42 Magic Damage per auto attack. This works very well with her Hiten Style and gives her some nice survivability. Getting it early makes you almost impossible to duel midgame, and offers a massive increase to your midgame damage. This item can however be built a bit later if you are against a pure AD champion such as Riven or Fiora, but in an even game with an AP Carry alone is a reason to get this item.

- TriForce
Trinity Force. Like the Wit's End, was arguably a core item in S2, and it is still good in S3, despite the small nerfs. Irelia can use every stat it offers to her advantage. Health gives raw survivability, AD gives sustained damage and helps to last hit under tower early with a Phage, AP is not as useful, but has some mild scaling with her Equilibrium Strike and her Transcendent Blades. Raw mana helps Irelia, especially early game when she can go OOM from spamming Bladesurge, especially if she is under her tower. Attack Speed synergizes with Hiten Style, and the Critical Chance can offer a bit of extra burst if you are lucky. Movespeed is always great, as well as the effects of Trinity Force. The Sheen passive activates with Irelias Transcendent Blades, and she can fire each of her Transcendent Blades with the cooldown of the TriForce passive to deal monstrous damage. The slow from Phage Is a nice bonus to fact that Irelia with full CDR is already a very strong single target chaser. Rather expensive though, so the item does not need to be completed until later on if you would prefer some earlier survivability, such as from the Randuin's Omen

- Randuin's Omen
Randuin's Omen Another one of her core items in S2, and it actually has been changed a fair amount. While the active does not cripple attack speed anymore (sadface), the passive has a 100% chance to proc, slowing the TOTAL attack speed of the target attacking you by 20% and their movespeed by 10%. The 35% movespeed slow from the active isn't that bad either. The attack speed slow is calculated based on the targets TOTAL attack speed. In other words, if Caitlyn has 1.5 AS, she will be dropped to 1.2 AS, as 20% of 1.5 is 0.3, and 1.5 - 0.3 = 1.2. Anyways, this item makes it rather difficult to kite you, and take you down with physical damage, and when combined with Frozen Heart, can shut down (most) AD Carry's damage potential by a significant amount. Very powerful, and you can even get an early Warden's Mail in lane if you are against an auto attacker such as Fiora or Tryndamere. What's better than winning almost every trade! ^_^

- Frozen Heart
Frozen Heart, this item was in my honest opinion, stupidly overpowered in Season 2, and received some (much) deserved nerfs. It is still very strong, offering 90 AR, 20% CDR, 400 Mana, and a 20% Attack Speed slowing aura, that, like Randuin's Omen is calculated off of TOTAL attack speed. Attack speed reductions stack multiplicitavely, but the passive on Omen stacks ADDITIVELY, meaning instead of 20 + 20% of 80, it is just a straight up 40% Attack Speed reduction, and this hurts AD Carries A LOT. CDR is nice on Irelia, as having your Bladesurge and Equlibrium Strike up that much more often helps chase down single targets even easier, and having barely any downtime with your Hiten Style helps a lot too. The chunk of AR can never be ignored either. This item was just made to cripple AD Carries, and that`s what we`re using this for.

- The Black Cleaver
The Black Cleaver is a VERY strong item right now, even with the impending nerfs. Originally intended for AD Casters, (not really what Irelia is) but the stats it gives are phenomenal. Irelia builds decent Attack Speed, and her Transcendent Blades can stack the Ar shred very quickly. This combined with the Flat Arpen and the High AD makes Irelia even scarier for Carries.

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- Ignite
Ignite is a very common spell. It can be substituted for Exhaust, but the extra damage Ignite brings as well as the reduction in lifesteal is great at killing carries. Carries might end up getting Cleanse or Mercurial Scimitar, making exhaust weaker, as only Mercurial Scimitar removes the healing debuff of Ignite. The extra damage also helps Irelia get kills in lane and in midgame teamfights.

- Ignite
Flash is great on almost every champion, and Irelia is no different. She has no hard escape, which also makes flash a good spell on her, but one of the most useful things about Flash is how it works with her Equilbrium Strike. Being able to flash E is awesome, especially when done on carries or when setting up for a gank. Because the stun is based on your health percentile being equal or lower than your targets, if you are both equal health, if you Bladesurge to your target, you bring them lower than you, meaning you won't get that stun you want. Besides, the range on Bladesurge is larger than Flash, meaning if they flash after you stun them, you will easily be able to catch back up to them with a Bladesurge.

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Skill Sequence and Skill Usage


- Hiten Style (W)
In most situations. Despite the (rather) heavy nerf to her Hiten Style, she still gets pretty good sustain. 5/7/9/11/13 health restored per auto attack is quite good, and can be boosted even more by grabbing a Doran's Blade or 2, making it very hard to force you out of lane in combination with the sustain that Transcendent Blades give. The true damage 15/30/45/60/75 per auto attack when this ability is activated does VERY high damage midgame, and is what makes it so hard to trade with Irelia when she has this ability up, especially at level 9 - her midgame. Because this is her core strength, it is worth maxing out first in almost every situation. Try to trade only when you have this skill up, as it is where her strength comes from. Avoid using this to farm unless you are under tower. Always use Hiten Style over Bladesurge to farm under the tower. The bonus true damage makes it easier to last hit than 20 Bonus Physical Damage, and uses a LOT less Mana than the latter, making it better to use this when you can instead.

- Equilibrium Strike (E)
Maxing Equilibrium Strike second is generally a good idea. The base damage on this ability is pretty high, (280 at rank 5!!!) not to mention the slow/stun duration increases with rank. A 2 second stun is nothing to laugh at, even if it is single target. Because of the increased utility and high base damage it offers, maxing it 2nd is a great idea. This can be maxed first if you are in a lane where your opponent constantly tries to initiate trades that you do not want to trade with, but generally you don't need to max it first, because your Hiten Style offers so much trade potential and damage AND sustain anyways. The stun is critical when ganking and when trading, so always try to make sure you are of equal or lower health before using this skill. Very good skill for quickly disengaging from an unfavorable trade due to the stun. A late game 2 second stun on a carry is deadly and if their carry doesn't have Cleanse or Quicksilver Sash, they're dead. Not necessarily from you, but a decent team that can focus will take advantage of a carry stunned for 2 seconds and tear them apart. easily. every. single. time.

- Bladesurge (Q)
Your Bladesurge is really a 1 point wonder. It is useful for farming, especially under tower early game, and as a quick gap closer when trading or for midgame. The cooldown is very long at early ranks, but you won't be using this onto champions early on anyways, and the cooldown resets whenever you kill something with it. Because of this, the high cooldown is negligible and the Mana cost only gets higher with rank, which isn't a good thing because the base damage of this ability isn't very high anyways and you will be primarily using this to farm with. Later on however, it scales very well with CDR (3.6 sec CD with 40% CDR) allowing you to chase very well, but that is only a necessity once mid-late game comes. Remember that Bladesurge applies on hit effects, including the true damage from Hiten Style and bonus damage from Wit's End and most importantly, the proc from Trinity Force, allowing you to essentially one shot caster minions, which helps greatly with offensive mobility, allowing you to dash to a minion, then onto the enemy without having it go on CD so fast.

- Transcendent Blades (R)
Get Transcendent Blades whenever you can. It has a variety of uses, and contrary to popular belief, is not useless for damage. At rank 1, it has a base damage of 80. Multiply that by 4 and you get 320, which isn't bad (assuming you hit all 4 of them). Because of the signifigant damage and the heal, popping this in the middle of a trade when you're surrounded by many of THEIR minions will heal a very large amount of your health because it hits both the minions and the champion. This can be used to finish off people just out of your range as well, and can be used to quickly push the lane or heal off of the minions if you are to take significant damage, despite the reduced healing against minions. Has a decent scaling with AP and Bonus AD, and is very good at activating the bonus damage from Trinity Force , as you can shoot each blade 2 seconds apart and get the bonus damage each time. The health restored in large teamfights cannot be ignored either. Not the best ultimate but a solid one nonetheless.

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Item Sequence:

Start with Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions, and try to farm up around 1500-1600 by the first time you go back.

First Trip:
Buy a Phage if you can on your first trip back. It offers some nice flat health and AD for sustained damage and to last hit under tower once minions get more armour. Get a Sight Ward and a couple more health pots too.

If you do not have enough, get double Doran's Blades, or just get this if you are against someone where you need lots of sustain, such as a Yorick or a Teemo.

Core Items:
Complete Mercury's Treads by midgame (Or Ninja Tabi if you are against a physical damage dealer top). The tenacity and MR are great especially vs AP Carries, as teamfights occur, and AP Carries are generally quite strong mid game, most of them with hard cc.

Try to complete your Wit's End around midgame (if you're not against a pure physical damage dealer like Riven, as it gives a massive boost to your midgame dps.

If you do not wish to get Wit's End first, go for Trinity Force. You will end up completing both of them anyways, and they both do massive mid game damage, although the Trinity first route is more expensive.

By the end of midgame, you should be building your Randuin's Omen. An early Warden's Mail can be acquired if needed, and at this stage, the enemy AD Carry will start to scale into late game, so this item is very good at this stage.

Late Game:
AD carries never stop scaling and in a way can be considered a counter to everything. As long as Ezreal or Graves or Tristana can do damage, they serve their purpose, as they only need so many hits to finally kill you and your team. Because of this Frozen Heart is very detrimental to an ADC, especially because the AS reduction only gets stronger the more AS they have. The huge chunk of armour and aura not only protect you, but your entire team. When late game comes and Irelia has to stick to her target and kill them, the huge CDR bonus of this item plays a big part in keeping up with them with Bladesurge and Equilibrium Strike.

The Black Cleaver is very strong item, even if Irelia is not an AD Caster. Flat Arpen hurts squishies, and if they get something like a Guardian Angel, the percentile AR reduction will start to show as well. The CDR and health are obviously beneficial to Irelia, but the AD and Arpen/AR reduction allows Irelia to deal very high damage to carries even if they get armour.

Situational Items:

- Guardian Angel
Guardian Angel was nerfed quite hard imo, and I cannot really fit it into my build, as I build very very tanky, all of them which outshine the Guardian Angel in defensive stats. People are not going to voluntarily focus the Irelia whether or not she has GA or not, as long as she is tanky, assuming you are against decent people. Irelia will get semi focused anyways because that is what it takes to peel her off of carries, so you might as well get utility from the slows of Randuin's Omen and Frozen Heart anyways. This item is still acceptable on Irelia, although I would rather get this on a more offense oriented bruiser or assassin, such as Riven, Jax, or Akali. If you are getting heavily focused and really need to survive, then you can get this.

- Zephyr
Alright. The new S3 item Zephyr is very attractive, and lets you not get Mercury's Treads due to the tenacity. It gives a lot of Attack Speed and some AD, as well as movespeed and cdr. Every single stat this item gives is something Irelia scales very well off of, especially the massive 50% Attack Speed. This item is not bad at all, but I can't seem to fit this item on my build. It is a tad bit expensive, and the AS offered by it is just 10% more than say Wit's End gives, and doesn't give the MR it gives, so I would rather not get it. There is no real situation where this item must be purchased, it's more of an optional item, just choose which item to replace wisely.

- Runic Bulwark
Runic Bulwark gives a lot of defensive stats, especially MR. While it may be commonly a support/jungle/tank item, the multitude of stats, especially the MR are impossible to ignore. If purchased, it can remedy the slight lack of MR that this build admittedly has, so it is definitely a good item. If their AP Carry is very strong/fed, or if they are running double AP, this item is most likely what you want to buy. Great stats all around, offers a bit of Ar and a nice chunk of health too.

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Some Numbers - Damage and Anti Carrying

* Damage is calculated with the ratios and consumable elixers that the guide does not show in the stats

While it is true that Irelia's damage is not the greatest late game, it is definitely enough to anti carry and 1v1 carries.
First, let's show the raw damage she can do prior to armour/mr calculations in 5 seconds:

Irelia's Attack Speed ends up around 1.5/second.
Base AS: 0.665. She gains 3.2% per level, not counting level 1. So her base AS at level 18 is (0.665 x 0.032)17 + 0.665 = 1.027/second.
Wit's End = 40% and Trinity Force = 30%, and you get 4% from your Alacrity mastery, making it 74%. 0.665 x 0.74 + 1.027 = 1.5191, around 1.52

This means she will get 1.5 x 5 = 7.5 AAs in 5 seconds, lets just say 7.
Full CDR and level 5, damage:
Bladesurge = 140 Damage, 3.6 second CD, 1.0 AD ratio
Equilibrium Strike= 280 damage, 4.8 second CD, 0.5 AP ratio
Transcendent Blades = 140 damage per blade, 30 sec CD, 0.6 B. AD ratio, 0.5 AP ratio
Hiten Style = 75 bonus damage per auto attack for 6 seconds, 9 second CD.

So she starts with her Equilibrium Strike, with Hiten Style up, Bladesurge's and activates Transcendent Blades, 3 of them activating Trinity Force proc, while auto attacking. This means she does:

2(315) + 7(230 + 75 + 42) + 2(230 + 140 + 75 + 42) + 3(173) + 4(264) = 5608
Now, obviously people have armour, no matter how slight it is, and you will not get all 7 auto attacks if a carry kites. Let's use Vayne as an example, with a standard build and a Guardian Angel as her defensive item and Ignite as her other Spell, with consumables. Of course in a real situation as well, it is hard to pull it off by starting with Equilibrium Strike. You would have to flash to the Carry, and it might not always be possible, so I'll have Irelia start with her Bladesurge.

Her stats?
1853 + 138(From masteries) + 230 = 2221 HP
109 + 15 + 9 + 4 + 100 + 40 + 70 + 10 + 55(From Final Hour = 412 AD
1.004 + 0.487 + 0.066 = 1.557 AS
71 + 18 + 50 = 139 AR
30 + 26 + 30 = 86 MR

Remember that you have a Randuin's Omen and a Frozen Heart, meaning you reduce her AS by 40%. 1.557 x 0.6 = 0.946/second.

Now let's see how much damage you both take after penetration/reductions:
Calculated in the order of:
1. % Reduction (i.e. Wukong's Crushing Blow )
2. Flat Reduction (i.e. Kog'Maw's Caustic Spittle )
3. % Penetration (i.e. Darius's Apprehend )
4. Flat Penetration (i.e. Olaf's Ragnarok )

So Vayne takes:
*Damage taken if their AR/MR is higher than 0 is [100 divided by (100 + AR or MR)]
139 x 0.92 - 10 = 113 = 47%
139 x 0.9375 x 0.92 - 10 = 110 = 48%
139 x 0.875 x 0.92 - 10 = 102 = 50%
139 x 0.8125 x 0.92 - 10 = 94 = 52%
139 x 0.75 x 0.92 - 10 = 86 = 54%
And Magic Damage:
100 divided by 186 = 54%

Irelia takes:
274 x 0.57 - 5 = 151 = 40% (But she takes 3% less damage due to spending 21 in the defensive tree, so it becomes = 37% )
* Remember Vayne's AS is reduced to 0.9
* This is only possible if you have Oracles. As a Vayne player, I am confident that I can 1v1 almost any champion at 6 items if they do not have Oracles. Depending on the person I expect to be forced to 1v1, i may substitute Guardian Angel for something like Quicksilver Sash, for example, if I were to 1v1 Nasus, to remove his ridiculous Wither and then kite.

So first 2 seconds:
I: (108 + 66 + 81 + 75 + 23)Bladesurge + (110 + 75 + 23)AA + (115 + 75 + 23)AA after Vayne Tumble's, no third AA because Vayne kites with Condemn, triggering Silver Bolts, and stunning you, + 164(Ignite) = 2221 - 938 = 1283. Vayne has 18% lifesteal, reduced to 9% due to Ignite, so she heals (look below) 55 HP, so she ends up with 1338 HP in the first 2 seconds.

V: (152)AA + (457)Tumble and Crit + (249)Condemn Stun + (60 + 280)Siver Bolts proc + 164(Ignite). = 3495 - 1362 = 2097. Irelia gains 26 HP per auto/bladesurge, reduced to 13 from Ignite, so she ends up with 2136 HP.

Next 2 Seconds:
With Irelia's extended tenacity that stacks multiplicitavely. This means that the 1.5 second stun from Condemn lasts 1.5 x 0.9 x 0.65 x 0.85 = 0.75 seconds. Let's just say 1 second because Vayne will be trying to kite you.
I: With Vayne's Tumble back up, she will use it when you are no longer stunned. To keep up with her after she will naturally get one free AA on you while you are stunned, Flash and immediately use Randuin's Omens active to slow her for a very long time. Because Bladesurge has a 3.6 second CD, you can use it to get back onto her if she flashes after you do. This results in:
Flash + (137)(Transcendent Blades) + (124 + 93 + 75 + 23) + (124 + 76 + 75 + 23) + 170(Equlibrium Strike) + (184) = 1283 - 1104 = 179 + 68(Lifesteal halved) = Vayne ends up with 247.

V: (152) + (457)Tumble and crit + (152) + (60 + 280)Silver Bolts proc + 164 = 2136 - 1265 = 871 + 43(Heal from abilities halved) = Irelia ends up with 914.

At this point its obvious Irelia will activate Vaynes Guardian Angel, with a simple AA and one more tick of Ignite. While Irelia is brought quite low by Vayne, Vayne cannot kill her after she revives, as if she uses Condemn Irelia will just Bladesurge back and finish Vayne off in 1 or 2 more AAs. If Vayne decides to fight and brings Irelia low, a simple Equilibrium Strike will stun Vayne for 2 seconds then finish her off, which in this simulation was NOT achieved during the fight.

Of course in a real situation, It isn't likely that a competent Vayne would allow herself to get caught in a situation where she is forced to purely 1v1 Irelia, and that kiting an Irelia with Frozen Heart, Randuin's Omen, Trinity Force becomes a LOT easier when Vayne has people on her team that can protect her and CC Irelia. Despite the fact that she is almost immune to CC, they still last for SOME time, no matter how short, and that can mean the difference between successfully assassinating Vayne, or die trying to. Admittedly, in a realistic situation, Vayne would probably end up killing Irelia but surviving with very low HP, rendering her unable to continue fighting, or spend too much time trying to kill Irelia, letting your teams ADC rip apart her team. Vayne is one of the best ADCs for killing bruisers anyways, due to her Silver Bolts and kiting power with Condemn and a spammable Tumble, so this is one of the hardest adcs to kill for Irelia. Even if you don't succeed, if there is another assassin or anti carry on your team, they can take advantage of the fact that the enemy adc is vulnerable/slowed greatly, and can finish the job for you.

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Lane Matchups (A-I) :


Difficulty: Medium

Standard Build:


Akali is a melee AP assassin, who's job is to kill carries, just like you. The only difference is that Irelia does this by being almost immune to CC and through sheer tankiness, whereas Akali is quite squishy, relies on strong burst and stealth to do so.

Contrary to popular belief, Akali is not exceptionally weak in lane vs bruisers, unlike say Talon, partially because she runs on Energy and has sustain from her Twin Disciplines, no matter how mild. She also has stealth from her Twilight Shroud to prevent retaliation, and that she can spam her Mark of the Assassin to farm. You are not the strongest early laner, and what will most likely happen is that she will deny you of a few cs with her Mark of the Assassin, as proccing it really hurts. It is also an issue how she can simply pop her stealth when you use your Hiten Style, effectively negating it, (until you get a pink ward!). Once she hits 6, she can deny even harder, as she has her dash from her Shadow Dance. Beware her combo of where she marks you, waits for the CD, dashes to you to proc it, and reapplies it to proc it again, because this will chunk your health, and you should return this with an Equilibrium Strike and turn on Hiten Style, especially if she dashed out of her shroud, because letting her get free damage off will allow her to repeat this combo and cause you to get zoned. On your first trip back, try getting either a Phage for the flat health and damage to trade with her, or build towards an early Wit's End as the MR mitigates a large amount of her damage. Once you have a few early items and you hit say, level 9, you can start trading with her effectively and win, even with her stealth. As well, always keep a Vision Ward on demand for when you commit to killing her or when your jungler comes to gank, as her stealth can allow her to juke through the most impossible things. Play it safe early, and don't feed her, because a fed Akali can wreck teams, even if they itemize a bit of MR against her. One more thing, do not try to fight her in her shroud, especially pre-9. The bonus Armour may seem negligible, but every bit counts.


Difficulty: Easy/Medium

Standard Build:


Cho'Gath is an AP Bruiser, one with heavy emphasis on defense rather than offense in build, comparable to Singed, and less offensive oriented than Diana. He has a strong AoE Knockup and really long silence, as well as a true damage nuke on his ultimate, which also allows him to get tankier everytime he feasts on something and kills it that way.

Cho'Gath vs Irelia is a farm lane in favour of you, because you can trade with him fairly well at most stages. You have a decent chance of getting a kill either by yourself, and most likely with your jungler, but the reason why i put this as easy/medium is because of Cho's late game. Frozen Heart is a core in his build, and AS reduction is extremely detrimental to Irelia, so this is one of the few lanes for you where it pays to be fairly agressive early, because their late game actually cripples yours. Beware of his Rupture, especially during ganks. The long knockup and followup slow make it rather difficult to run from ganks, and lategame is great for catching people out of position. Luckily, although his Silence from Feral Scream is normally ridiculously long, your extended tenacity should be able to shrug it off late game. Cho'Gath has amazing sustain from his passive Carnivore, so try to either go all in, or do sustained trades that bring his health low enough that he cannot regenerate it quickly. Beware of his Feast though. The ridiculous nuke from it can easily turn around trades and kill you, especially if you died earlier in a gank, as he will be ahead, but generally, this lane shouldn't be too hard for you.


Difficulty: Medium/Hard

Standard Build:


Darius is a bruiser infamous for being supposedly overpowered, but he is fairly manageable and has some weaknesses that can be exploited. However, on the flipside, Darius is very good at trading with most melee champions, and deals very high early game damage. His ultimate Noxian Guillotine does a very high amount of true damage that not only scales with his Bonus AD, but also with how many stacks of his passive Hemorrhage on you, and the fact that his abilities have fairly high base damage means he can build tanky (just like you) and still do damage. Like I said, he has weaknesses, so lets discuss the matchup.

Darius vs Irelia is obviously a disadvantage for you early on, because of his high early game damage and because your sustain is not strong early on. Early game, remember that his Decimate does more damage if he hits you with the blade of the axe, so further out. You will always end up taking some damage sometimes when you farm, but try to minimize this by forcing him to hit you with the handle of the axe, doing less damage. To do this, you may have to burn mana by using your Bladesurge to farm, and therefore go into his area. If Darius wanted to, if he hit you with his Decimate, it means you were in range for his Apprehend anyways, so it won't help to get hit by the blade of his axe anyways. If the Darius is bad, he will push the lane by most likely walking up to you to hit you with Decimate, which almost always hits your minions too, pushing the lane. Irelia is very good at last hitting under her tower, and since Darius has literally no escape, he's only losing out by pushing you so far, and overextending. Darius also has no sustain, so as you rank up Hiten Style and buy some armour, you'll find that you can ignore his damage more and more, and once you hit level 7-9, you will straight up out damage him if he doesn't use his ultimate. Be wary of his ultimate, because it can instantly turn around the trade. Try not to trade after you have more than 4 stacks of his passive on you, but you shouldn't die quickly either, because Irelia has fairly high base health, and you should have purchased armour on your first trip back. Early on, instantly use Equilibrium Strike your stun when he tries to engage by pulling you in and hitting you. At levels 7-9, if you haven't fallen behind too badly, turn on Hiten Style and beat the **** out of him after you stun him. Remember your ultimate is also usable in trades, and try to stay at a good amount of health to survive his combo, nothing your epic sustain can't do. You may be outfamred a bit early, but Irelia scales much harder than Darius does into mid and late game, because Darius has no defensive steroid, making him a squishy bruiser, and does not have the assassination capabilities that you have.


Difficulty: Easy/Medium

Standard Build:


Diana is a mix between an AP Bruiser like Cho'Gath and an AP Assassin like Akali. Kinda like an AP version of you. Both you and Diana can dish out plenty of damage onto priority targets such as carries like Vayne, while being quite difficult to kill. Diana can go Top, Mid, or Jungle, although admittedly, top is most likely her weakest role, so she's not a common matchup for top laners. Because she is both mana hungry and relies on burst, and has fairly long CDs, and has no health sustain (aside from her shield from Pale Cascade), it is like playing Talon top.

Diana vs Irelia is a lane that is in your favour from the very start. Diana is even weaker early game than you are, because the mana cost on her abilities are quite high, and her shield costs a lot of mana. While her scaling on her abilities is pretty strong, the base damages are not the greatest at early level ( Crescent Strike 60 damage at rank 1). Think of Diana as an Akali with a weaker early game but stronger scaling into late game, due to her superior AP Ratios and her survivability that Akali doesn't really have. Remember that you are not a squishy, MR-less Lux, but a tanky high sustain Irelia. Because of this, her Crescent Strike and Lunar Rush hurt a lot less. Getting an early Wit's End nullifies her damage very hard because she is basically entirely AP and has lower early game damage than Akali. Every third auto attack from Diana will deal bonus damage in an area around her. Because of this, avoid engaging onto her when she is glowing white, as it means her passive Moonsilver Blade is up, and it deals some heavy damage. Like Jax, watch out for the combo at level 6 of hitting a minion twice, and if she lands a Crescent Strike, she will Lunar Rush and then hit you with her passive, which hurts a lot. If you can dodge her bolt, she cannot double dash with Lunar Rush, and you can almost always outrade her when you have Hiten Style up. The shield from her Pale Cascade is not very strong, but it refreshes, which can actually cause you to lose the trade. Diana is very mana hungry, so if she wastes mana trying to engage/harass you, you can easily initiate a trade with her and win. In the end, it comes down to who can kill the carries faster and get away with it, which should be you because you were stronger in lane. Call for jungler ganks, because Diana has no escape, but at the same time, she is very good with a gank because of her double dash and pull from her Moonfall. Like Akali, try not to exchange kills with her, because she snowballs extremely hard with her scalings and tankiness.


Difficulty: Medium

Standard Build:


Fiora is a melee carry like Master Yi and Tryndamere. Unlike them, her early game is very very strong due to having access to both AS and AD steroids, as well as having a double gap closer/high damage ultimate and free sustain from her passive. However, she has absolutely no escape, which is one of the reasons why she either dominates her lane, or gets demolished because she cannot disengage from/fight someone who is stronger than her. She is also very vulnerable to CC, because, being a carry, has to build fairly squishy to be effective. This logic is proven simply by the fact that if you are to build Fiora offtank, you might as well have played a natural offtank like Riven or Jax. She still snowballs really hard because of how strong her AS steroid is. If she can deal a lot of damage in the short time she has it, she will be more effective than other melee carries.

Fiora vs Irelia is actually a very tough lane early game. Fiora has very strong steroids early game from Burst of Speed and Riposte. She also gets movement speed with every stack of Burst of Speed she has, so always Equilibrium Strike instantly if she tries to engage early game, to prevent the buildup of stacks. Because Fiora can Lunge twice, you will still take some damage from her, but it is better than tanking the full duration of her Burst of Speed steroid. Fiora is one of those champions where you really have to disengage instantly early game, because winning an early game trade vs her is basically impossible. At level 6, she has access to her Blade Waltz, which does insane damage to a single target, and just like Darius' Noxian Guillotine, can instantly turn around a trade, also because it makes her untargetable. The reason why this matchup is labeled as Medium and not Medium/Hard is because of your Equilibrium Strike, as you rank up this ability, the stun duration gets longer and longer, and since Fiora's Burst of Speed only lasts 3 seconds, you can nullify a large amount of its duration later on, then outdamage her in the follow up trade. Riposte only gives 35 AD at rank 5, while Hiten Style gives 75 bonus TRUE damage at rank 5, so if she does not have Burst of Speed up, she has no chance of outrading you. Rushing a Ninja Tabi is vital because of how much Fiora relies on autoattacks, as well as general armour items. Riposte parries a single auto attack, so avoid hitting her if she activates it, and try to never 1 autoattack harass her, as she will negate it and damage you back. This should be obvious, but do not engage early game not only because of her damage, but because her passive Duelist stacks if she hits a champion, and allows her to regain a large amount of health from skirmishes. Call for jungler ganks if she overextends, because she has literally no escape and is very vulnerable to CC.

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Lane Matchups (J-R) :


Difficulty: Medium

Standard Build:


Jax is a true hybrid bruiser with a very strong kit and one of the games best duelists. Well, he has had a history of being "OP" although there are ways to deal with him, despite having a decent early game, good mid game, and godly late game (probably second to Poppy or Nasus in top lane). He has a great skillset for taking down carries, just like you, and has some crazy innate tankiness and high damage. However, this is really only late game.

Jax vs Irelia is commonly mistakenly thought to be a lane that Jax auto wins simply due to the fact his Counter Strike allows him to dodge the true damage from your Hiten Style. This is what i like to call pure bullsh1t. This is a pure skill matchup because if Jax uses his dodge before you use your true damage, all you have to do is kite it if possible, then stun him with Equilibrium Strike and then go back in with your true damage with Bladesurge once his dodge ends, and in doing so, you easily win the trade. (No one can outtrade Irelia at level 9 with her Hiten Style on unless they are far ahead of her). If Irelia uses her true damage before Jax uses dodge, then she will lose the trade because he will simply negate most of her damage, this is why it is a skill matchup. Obviously Jax will probably outdps Irelia if neither of them use the respective abilities I stated, but that's just a reason for you to NOT engage and just farm, or bait his dodge out. Jax doesn't have natural sustain anyways, whereas you can simply get double Doran's Blades and ignore a lot of his damage and simply disengage with Equilibrium Strike if he tries to fight. Ultimately if both players are smart, it'll end up being a farm lane and whoever is more farmed will be the person who can kill the carries faster and more efficiently. Jax obviously does more damage than Irelia, but you are practically immune to CC, and build more CDR to use your Bladesurge much more often and keep up onto carries. Besides, if you saw my calculations on how much damage Irelia does to Vayne, you'll know Irelia still does very high damage anyways. As for building in lane, since Jax does hybrid damage, itemize both Armour and MR vs him. Most of his damage, even magic damage is done through auto attack modifiers, so get a Ninja Tabi for the armour and reduced damage on AAs, and a Null Magic Mantle for the MR, and build it into Wit's End in lane if you want to, it is entirely up to you, but this will give you the resistances you need against Jax' hybrid damage.


Difficulty: Medium

Standard Build:


Riven is a manaless bruiser who does entirely physical damage, and relies on abilities to do a lot of her damage, making her an AD Caster. She is primarily an early game champion, but (in terms of damage), she is stronger late game than other AD Casters such as Vi and Pantheon, due to her superior AD Ratios. While she is relatively squishy with low base armour and health for a bruiser, she has a shield with an excellent Bonus AD scaling, in her Valor. She is notoriously mobile with 4 gap closers that can she can use in quick succession wherever she wants, except over walls, so ganking her may be difficult.

Riven vs Irelia is a pretty difficult lane pre 6, but once you level up your Hiten Style to ranks 4-5, you start to outtrade her, and it only gets better and better. Riven herself has no sustain, but she does a lot of damage early game, so avoid trading pre 6. You will always end up taking damage due to her ridiculous mobility, even if you instantly Equilibrium Strike, but you really should, because Riven is REALLY REALLY good at trading at early levels, not only because of a free shield, ability to spam high damage abilities and her passive, but her mobility to outplay many champions, so never overextend too far, not only for the jungler, but you can easily eat her full combo if she can catch up to you before you reach your tower. Her shield however, can only handle so much, so once you level up Hiten Style, you can break through her shield easily and chunk her low health pool. If you pick up some armour, say a Ninja Tabi and some sustain from 1 or 2 Doran's Blades, you can almost ignore her damage past 7 because of your sustain and high base health. Well this is not entirely true, as if she pops her ultimate Blade of the Exile, she becomes a LOT stronger and will still hurt. Remember her Wind Slash deals more damage the lower you are, and just like Noxian Guillotine, can instantly turn around a trade. When ganking, do not gank if either you or your jungler is at half health when Riven is past 6, as she can burst down the half health ganker and 1v1 the remaining ganker. While you can outtrade her when she does not use her ultimate, it's still risky to 1v1 her if she has it on, but for the most part, you can literally heal up her damage and hit her back hard past 6, so abuse it. You scale harder into late game than she does, so keep that in mind if you decide to trade kills with her. Just Remember that her passive Runic Blade works quite well with her Broken Wings, so remember to Equilibrium Strike quickly so she doesn't get her passive damage off. Ki Burst is generally what Riven maxes first, and while it does hurt, the stun is basically ignorable, but it is part of her combo and lets her get the rest of it off though, so just avoid it early on. Later on, wait for her to use her Ki Burst first before using Bladesurge when trading to catch up to her instantly.


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Lane Matchups (S-Z) :

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