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Irelia Build Guide by GMCustom

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League of Legends Build Guide Author GMCustom

Irelia - Top Lane Terror

GMCustom Last updated on November 22, 2012
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Offense: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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I'm a 1950 elo player on NA and I'm going to explain the "why" behind the build. This setup pushes Irelia to the limit as an Off-Tank Assassin. It's even scarier than it sounds.

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Editor's Note

This is the build I've been the most successful with ever since the Hiten Style nerfs. Every game as of late(nov. 22), I have come out with a positive score, win or lose. No other build has given me such consistent success. Although it looks rather simple, it is extremely effective and allows me to duel anyone in the game. There's a few things I'd like to point out.

- I cannot stress how strong Doran's Blades are on Irelia. Two Doran's Blades before anything else is the core of this build. With this early game, it will take a huge disaster for me to lose the lane.

- Sheen is the other factor of this build. Doran's Blades with Sheen in combination with this rune/mastery page allows Irelia to blow champions up early on with ease.

- Two Doran's Blades + Sheen along with a level 6(unlocked Transcendent Blades) to level 9 Irelia(rank 5 Hiten Style) gets you the strongest early-mid game Champion in the entire game. This is exactly the point at which Irelia's power comes into fruition. It is at this time you want to make your move and control the game.

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21 defense gives you the upfront tanky-ness that you will need to come out the winner for those top lane duels. 6/6 armor/MR and bonus max HP is lovely. +3 HP regen keeps you in lane easier. Extra move speed on melee champions is a godsend, where it allows you to chase fleeing opponents and catch them at the edge of your Bladesurge range. Enlightenment has the most value on the tree, giving you those split seconds of cooldown reduction to return to the fight that much faster.

9 in offense provides a damage boost to your main offensive tools which are auto attacks, Hiten Style active, Bladesurge, and Transcendent Blades.

Switching the 9 offense for 9 utility is fine for the extra move speed.

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Skill Sequence

There's not much else to say besides making sure you max Hiten Style first. Free 75 true damage and static health return per auto attack. Absolutely ridiculous. This is the skill that makes Irelia so powerful. Rule of thumb is to always be auto attacking when Hiten Style is active. Max out Equilibrium Strike second and Bladesurge last. Get your ultimate when you can. You should have three abilities unlocked by level 4.

The biggest question is what to get at level 2. This will depend on the match up. If you need to play defensive(ex: if you smell an early gank coming your way), get Equilibrium Strike. You will most likely have the lane pushing toward you in this case. If you are playing aggressive, get Bladesurge and force a trade with your opponent at level 3(via level 2 hiten style active, then auto-attack > bladesurge > auto-attack combo). It helps to push the lane in this case so you can fight at a level advantage.

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Rune Page

25 Armor Penetration is the business for many reasons.
1. Gives the most benefit to your burst with Sheen/ Trinity Force.
2. Everyone runs Armor yellow runes these days. This is the best counter for it.
3. Irelia's main threats have dodge( Jax) and reduce attack speed( Lee Sin), so maximum burst is the way to go.
4. Biggest benefit for Transcendent Blades' damage. That means you heal for more, too.

Armor yellows and MR/per level blues is standard tanky stuff. Provides you with the best survivability per rune. Nothing special here.

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Item Order

The two key items are both bolded and underlined.

1. Boots of speed + x 3 (wait at fountain for 4 pots)
2. Cloth Armor + x 5

Early buy backs:
1. Sight WardSight Ward
- If you don't buy this every buy back, then be prepared to get ganked all day.

2. Doran's Blade x 2
- The 6% life steal basically puts Hiten Style passive back to pre-nerf status. In essence, you nullify the nerfs!
- +160 HP and +20 AD seems to be the perfect amount of stats for Irelia to have a significant edge over any champion in lane.
- This item is so good for her to the point where I feel that it is mandatory to get two as soon as possible.

3. Ninja Tabi
- Really good idea vs AD. Extremely effective for its cost. Not uncommon to sell these late game for Merc Treads.

4. Heart of Gold
- Only get this if you are super confident about your lane match up.

5. Working toward Trinity Force
- Sometimes you come home with 1.2k+ gold and then it becomes a very good idea to start working on your Trinity Force.
- Sheen: Get this once you have Doran's Blades or Phage. Your burst damage and dueling power shoot up significantly. This item is crucial to this build.
- Phage: Get Ruby Crystal in advance if two Doran's Blades isn't enough HP.
- Zeal: no reason to get this before Phage or Sheen.

Around 10 minutes, your build might look something like this:
Boots level 1
Doran's Blade
Doran's Blade

Around the 20 minute mark, your build should look something like this:
/ Boots level 2
Doran's Blade
Doran's Blade
Trinity Force

After this, you will usually work toward a Guardian Angel. However, there are other choices, too. It all depends on who the biggest threats are on the enemy team and you building defenses accordingly.

Purely Tanky pick ups:
- These are for when you find yourself dying too quickly OR if you must play as the primary tank for the team.
Randuin's Omen: Your go-to armor item. Perfect for Irelia as she can jump into the fight with Bladesurge and use the active. Building Warden's Mail in advance is great.
Force of Nature: Full tank MR item of choice.
Warmog's Armor: Only when the enemy team has well balanced damage.
Mercury's Treads: If you got Ninja Tabi early and need the CC reduction for team fights, sell your other boots and pick this up.
Quicksilver Sash: Good VS suppressions, Vlad ult, etc.

Tanky + damage pick ups:
- These are the usual items after Trinity Force.
Atma's Impaler: Your only hybrid AD item.
Wit's End: Very strong hybrid item. Recommended.
Maw of Malmortius: Another great hybrid item when VS bursty AP champions.

Pure damage:
Last Whisper: Provides a huge boost to your main damage sources.
Youmuu's Ghostblade: Your go-to snowball item. Hiten then Bladesurge in and activate this baby.

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Reread Editor's Note and you'll get the idea. Happy fragging.