Build Guide by HardcoreOnly
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Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
If you dislike Irelia, love Irelia, hate my other builds or have never even read them... it doesn't matter. Because this is the build that will make you win. I don't mean to sound over-confident, but compared to Irelias using other builds... there's just no contest. Why, you ask? Well let's take this one step at a time.
First, we have the rune, which are very important for Irelia. To give her the needed survivability, as you will spend most time nearby enemies, take the health and the dodge. Because she is a melee dps, and she relies partially on her autoattack, take the armor penetration marks and quint. The glyphs are an interesting part of the build, because unlike other Irelias, you wont just be another right-click champion. No, you will be the Irelia that takes full advantage over her incredible abilities, which generally aren't used to their full potential.
As for masteries, they reflect what you will be doing most, damaging your enemies. The defense masteries are there to work with your runes to provide that needed survivability, while your offensive masteries will give you what you need to do well not only early game, but midgame and lategame as well.
The items are items unlike I have ever seen on Irelias before. However, that isnt to say that they aren't completely essential to your success. One key thing to note is that Irelia has excellent AP scaling on her EQUILIBRIUM STRIKE and TRANSCENDANT BLADES, which is why this build is so effective. The items are fairly self explanatory, basically giving you attack damage, ability power, and attack speed, with some bonus effects. For example, the Malady will make your other abilities more effective, as it shreds magic resistance as you hit them. The Frozen Mallet helps you chase your enemies, as well as provides some extra survivability. The Hextech Gunblade is a great item for Irelia, not only giving you AD and AP, but increasing survivability with lifesteal and spell vamp, and adding some extra damage and a slow with its active. The Guinsoo's Rageblade is great for Irelia because she has very short cooldowns, and you should always be attacking to regain health anyway. Finally, the Lich Bane allows you do deal even greater damage, as well as helping Irelia with all the attributes she needs, AP, Mana, and some magic resistance for good measure.
As for skills, its most important to get all three abilities early on, so you can pull of your entire combo. Activate Hiten Style, use Bladesurge to close the distance between you and your opponent, then hit them with Equilibrium Strike as much as possible, all while using your auto attack for damage. Her ultimate should be taken whenever possible, and it has three main uses: Regaining health(whether it be while laning or during a fight), Hitting enemies while they run, or farming large groups of minions. Due to a very short cooldown, and the fact that you should be taking the Golem Buff whenever possible, it is not bad to use it very often.
The summoner spells Ignite and Flash are great for Irelia for a few reasons. First, while ignite is on cooldown you gain 10 AP, which is incredibly helpful early on. Second, as Irelia isnt the greatest chaser early on, she relies on that ignite to secure kills that otherwise would've been impossible to secure. Third, just as a personal preference, with the change in exhaust, I no longer find it as helpful as it once was, as most champions that use AP against you will be squishy enough for it not to be a problem. Finally, Flash is great not only defensively but offensively as well, as it can be used to cover great distances when combined with Bladesurge, and when combined with the stun from Equilibrium Strike, can be used to get ther rest of your team caught up.
In the end, I had my doubts, and you may too. Irelia had gradually decreased in my eyes, until I used this build. Other builds are simply inferior to the massive damage output and survivability provided by this build. I see very few Irelias, and I understand that most people simply dislike her as a champion. But try this out, and if you are at least a decent player, you will be able to do things no other Irelia, much less any other champion, can do. Please provide some sort of feedback after trying this build online, and give it a few games. This build is what reinstilled that same feeling of awe and excitement I felt the first time i saw Irelia being played, which had gradually died out as she was overtaken by other, more powerful right-click champions. But, with this build in mind, you can step away from that auto-attack reliant Irelia, and become a champion capable of so much more.