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Irelia Build Guide by jadeite

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League of Legends Build Guide Author jadeite

Irelia the Tanky Assassin

jadeite Last updated on May 6, 2014
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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: 21

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

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About me.

My name is Jadeite, i've been playing league of legends since late season 1.
I've been playing ranked since early season 3 and irelia has always been my main champion.
Iam Currently in Gold Elo but im still rising in the ranks.

I play Irelia 80% of the times im able to go top lane (unless its someone i know i really cant beat).

Iam often Streaming while playing ranked or playing with friends:

I will keep this guide up to date and will soon improve the visuals of the guide.

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Pros / Cons


Tanky and mobile bruiser with sustain.
Hard to lock down or CC due to passive.
Can deal true damage, physical damage, and magical damage.
Easy to farm with if not countered.
Extremely versatile with item builds and counter-builds.


Relatively weak early game.
Weak to early ganks or jungle pressure.
Relatively weak ultimate
Decent but not amazing late-game
Situational CC slow/stun
Requires farm

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Irelia's Early/Mid/Late

Irelia's early isnt too bad, your lvl 1 is actually quite potent, 2-3 are ok you just have to return damage for anyone disrespecting your early game. She quickly ramps up after lvl 4-9, her lvl 5/7/9 are arguably one of the best in the game.

Her ult is really good for all ins as long as you position yourself to hit both your opponent+ creeps.

Her damage is Insane at lvl 7/9 if the lane has went even

After level 9, you can look to roam as irelia reigns the 15-30 minute mark in terms of power, this is when you're invincible, i've been able to duel fed ap mids, adcs no problem whilst being 1/0 or 2/0, its just insane how much damage you deal at this point

You can abuse this to the fullest by roaming, its why i dont like staying top after the first turret falls.

I also initiate for my team if I find an adc or apc out of position with a flash stun as Irelia's equilibrium strike last 2 seconds and its really potent for catching someone out of position.

Go full dps if you cannot trust your team so you can make picks, irelia is a wonderful assassin when built like one.

In the late game, you start to fall off a bit and you have to let your team do the initiation/damage while you remain a strong back line disruptor, time a lot better as you cant 1v2 an adc and support at this point.

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The Laning Phase

Ever since her damage output was nerfed, she now plays a passive sustain style and trying to farm until you can actually out-trade your opponents with high levels of Hiten Style (W) and Blade Surge (Q). She has an easy time farming in just about any matchup that she doesn't die in due to her Blade Surge (Q). Irelia is actually weaker in laning phase than many other bruiser picks like Renekton, Jax, and Wukong, but she makes up for this by having two healing sources. Once she gets her levels going, her healing is easily greater than many other bruiser style champions. Combined with the fact that she deals true damage, there's a point where you'll never be able to out-trade her damage.


Irelia is one of the best farmers in the game. Blade Surge (Q) is like a bonus auto attack at a low cost to her mana pool. Blade Surge has its cooldown refreshed and has half the mana cost if you actually land a last hit with it. Irelia only has problems early in the laning phase when she doesn't have sufficient levels of Hiten Style (W) to sustain her health pool, so you can play cautiously until then. Once she has her ultimate, her sustain goes through the roof and she can instantly clear full waves with the combination of Transcendent Blades (R) and using Blade Surge (Q) on the remaining melee minions You can easily base (return to shop / heal) off of this combination as your wave will push to the tower and you will miss very little experience.


Of all the champions in the game, Irelia probably requires the least position awareness of any champion in the game. Irelia's passive gives her a massive amount of tenacity. Combined with Mercury's Treads you can have up to 61% tenacity. Fiddlesticks max rank fear will only last 1.17 seconds on you. Irelia has a style of play much like an assassin, but she's very different from an assassin due to the fact that she generally doesn't have to wait until someone else absorbs crowd controls. Irelia should focus the following targets in order:

Focus their carries by dashing in and doing damage. If you find you are taking more damage than you are doing, flash out – heal and then go back into the fight.

If you cannot reach the carries or know that you will take too much damage or be kited, then tell your team to focus the tank. Your true damage should be able to wipe the tank out immediately with the help of your team. However, due to her true damage Hiten Style, if they choose to flash away, immediately switch to hitting their tank as you'll still do massive damage to them.

If you chase someone out of the fight, do not pursue them in most cases, get back to the fight to help your allies. Remember their tanks will be chasing your carries – you want to keep your carries alive. Irelia always wants to be either on a carry bursting them. However, due to her true damage Hiten Style, if they choose to flash away, immediately switch to hitting their tank as you'll still do massive damage to them.

Team Fights

Irelia is generally the spearhead of any engagement, it's generally the reason you build tank after acquiring key items. If you can't go in first, your team probably won't go in at all until they initiate on you. Always keep in mind though that if you're fighting near creeps they can be used as an escape with your Blade Surge (Q), much like Akali. If you're ever ignited or exhausted, it's almost always best to get out so you may as well just use your flash at that point. The amount you're healed by your skills while ignited or exhausted is drastically decreased, so fighting generally becomes pointless for Irelia. If you're sure you're going to die, however, the healing from Hiten Style (W) and Transcendent Blades (R) should be used regardless, just so you survive long enough so your team can do more damage behind you. One of the interesting things about Irelia is that if she gets out of a team fight alive, she can go attack neutral minions or lane minions and heal up to full quite easily. Always try to utilize that fact so that you can return to the team fight if it keeps going.

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Tips and Tricks

Probably the most important thing to understand about Irelia is that at all times you essentially has a second auto attack with Blade Surge (Q). Blade Surge is Irelia's most interesting mechanic as you can use it as an escape if there are creeps near or as a rushdown skill. A rushdown skill is something that allows you to close the gap between you and an enemy without using flash. Some champions have built in abilities like this, Irelia is one of them.

Blade Surge (Q) can also be used to effectively have a 1300 initiation range if a champion is standing near the range minions. You can Blade Surge (Q) with Hiten Style (W) and Sheen proc active and one-shot the ranged minion and then Blade Surge (Q) onto the champion standing near them. As a general rule, when Blade Surging (Q) onto enemy champions, always Hiten Style (W) active, you can't ever be sure when that extra 75 true damage will result in a kill.

Equilibrium Strike (E) can also be used to bait anyone tower diving you. Always save it until you're lower hit points than your target so that they are stunned on the tower.

After completing a Sheen, maximize your damage out when dueling with Transcendent Blades. Instead of spamming all of your Blades at one time, space them out every 2 seconds so you can Sheen proc after every cast.

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Synergy's and Counters


Irelia doesn't actually have many synergies. She doesn't have particularly strong crowd control or area of effect damage. Irelia has always just been picked because she is a good standalone champion. Irelia best synergizes with support champions like Soraka and Janna. More healing or effective health synergizes really well with the fact that Irelia just tries to rush into a fight and kill the enemy carries. These champions extending Irelia's life indirectly extends her life because she also has heals of her own. Inherent healing over time champions like Vladimir have a cyclical effect of survival with other heals.


Irelia can be countered by anyone that can beat her in engagements that last beyond her Hiten Style, by poke, and dueling against champions with attack speed reduction.

has greater sustain and ranged poke.

has an attack speed slow which greatly reduces Irelia's damage output.

can poke and do true damage safely, making him a hard match-up for Irelia.
(although you will outscale him)

has ranged autos and a percent health damage ability, making laning hard for Irelia.

is hard to fight in a straight 1v1 situation due to his Counter Strike ability absorbing Irelia's Hiten Style auto-attacks.

(although in lower elo Counters dont really matter anyone can beat anything with the right mind/skillset)