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Irelia, Will of the Carry

Last updated on January 20, 2011
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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: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 9

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 0

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Irelia is one of the strongest carries in the game if played correctly. It also helps if you build her just right. Having an incredible amount of damage coupled with great survivability makes achieving this goal a cakewalk!

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Pros / Cons

-Early game nuker
-Strong early game pusher
-Strong midgame team fighter
-Great survivability midgame and onwards
-Mid/Late game carry

-Squishy early game
-Carrying potential greatly depends on team
-Needs high farm/ early kills
-Very hard character to learn

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Although there are many successful variations of runes that Irelia could benefit from, I have found the best combination to be (icon=Greater Mark of Desolation) to account for the current tanky meta, (icon=Greater Seal of Vitality) for some great survivability past level 5, and (icon=Greater Glyph of Focus) for some impressive cooldown times, yielding even more spammability of your stun and ult. I have tried (icon=Greater Glyph of Warding), but that proves to be quite useless after the early game phase, and makes Irelia unable to be as much of a threat late game. Furthermore, pairing blue buff with (icon=Greater Glyph of Focus) makes your ulti have a roughly 30 second cooldown, which isn't even fair, especially when paired with (icon=Spirit Visage size=32)!!!


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I highly recommend using a standard 21-9-0 masteries set, with the regular AD carry tree in offense. I decided that going 9 down defense attributed to higher survivability than both going much further down or putting points into utility. I like the extra amount of armor and magic resist, as well as the nice health regen obtained from "Strength of Spirit". This mastery tree will give you a longer presence in the laning phase, as well as a larger threat throughout the whole game.

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I initially had problems coming up with the perfect sequence of items that would benefit Irelia the most. I have found that rushing (icon=Trinity Force size=32) is the only way to go with her. This is where it got interesting: most people believe that stacking CC reduction (ie: (icon=Mercury's Treads size=19)) is beneficial on Irelia. In most cases, this would be true! However, when you really think about it, high level players won't put themselves in a position where they could be snared/stunned and killed in the laning phase. The only time that (icon=Mercury's Treads size=19) would come in handy would be in a team fight, or when being ganked while in the lane. I find (icon=Mercury's Treads size=19) to be useless in these situations because of her passive, which stacks up to 3 times (and most teams don't gank with less than 3 people), giving her more of a CC reduction than (icon=Mercury's Treads size=19) would provide.

This is why I recommend using (icon=Berserker's Greaves size=32). With the innate CC reduction, it will ALWAYS be more beneficial to have increased AS to both deal more damage as well as healing more from her (icon=Hiten Style size=19) passive rather than being able to escape a stun/snare/slow/taunt .1 second faster.

Furthermore, a few of you may be asking: "Why Spirit Visage?!" Well, the answer is quite simple, really. (icon=Spirit Visage size=19) will increase the health gained from (icon=Hiten Style size=19) 's passive, as well as increase the amount of health gained from and further reduce the cooldown of your UNFAIR, DESTRUCTIVE, SPAMMABLE ULT. Also, the extra magic resist and health make Irelia all that much harder to kill.

After those, the rest of the items are self explanatory, as also serve as her core items: (icon=Frozen Mallet size=19) for its 100% chance to slow, (and yes, I know that (icon=Trinity Force size=19) can proc the same effect, but the extra health, damage, and guaranteed slow is too good to pass up!), (icon=The Bloodthirster size=19) for its lifesteal and great damage, and (icon=Last Whisper size=19) for being able to penetrate those tanks who realize how much of a threat you are and begin stacking armor.

A few variants include (icon=Madred's Bloodrazor size=19) in place of (icon=Last Whisper size=19) if their team has a very high health pool. Also, I recommend (icon=Banshee's Veil size=19) if CC becomes a larger problem than her (icon=Ionian Fervor size=19) can handle in place of (icon=Last Whisper size=19).

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Skill Sequence

Pretty self explanatory, except for the first 3 levels. Rather than getting (icon=Hiten Style size=19) at level 2 to help with any early level harass you may be receiving, I like to go (icon=Bladesurge size=19) to help with early last hitting. This is especially useful if someone in your lane gets a bit cocky while having you pushed back by the turret. Little will they expect that while they are sitting there, poking you under the turret, you can (icon=Bladesurge size=19) in and follow up with an immediate (icon=Equilibrium Strike size=19), dealing a large amount of spike damage as well as forcing them to take 2 or 3 hits from the turret if they were damaging you.

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Summoner Spells

(icon=Ghost size=32) and (icon=Exhaust size=32) on a champ who actually needs a speed boost and extra snare in their gameplay...Duh?

By the way, a few people have told me that (icon=Cleanse size=19) would be better than (icon=Exhaust size=19), but do I really need to say how overkill this summoner spell would be on Irelia with her passive?

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Basic Gameplay

Early Game

Irelia is very vulnerable at this point in the game. Be sure to stay out of range of harass while making sure to last hit minions, either with your auto attack or (icon=Bladesurge size=19). Keep in mind that your (icon=Equilibrium Strike size=19) does MASSIVE amounts of damage early game, and will STUN the target if your health is lower than your target.

Basic harass: (icon=Bladesurge size=19) in, followed up by (icon=Equilibrium Strike size=19). If you feel like you and your lane partner can finish them, throw an (icon=Exhaust size=19) either on the target or their lane partner, whichever will allow you to get the kill and escape safely. I wouldn't recommend using (icon=Hiten Style size=19) unless you need the extra damage, which is minuscule early game anyway. I prefer to save this skill for ganks or sure kills rather than wasting the mana to harass.

On your first back, you should be able to buy (icon=Sheen size=19), (icon=Berserker's Greaves size=19), and if you are especially good at last hitting, or you got an early kill, (icon=Ruby Crystal size=19) to begin building the (icon=Phage size=19) for the (icon=Trinity Force size=19).

Mid Game

You are a very effective assassin at this point in the game. Make sure to continue harassing by rushing in with (icon=Bladesurge size=19) followed up with (icon=Equilibrium Strike size=19) at the right moment. When the opponent is about 1/3 health, rush in with the same combo. Using (icon=Transcendent Blades size=19) will guarantee a kill.

You will also be very useful in team fights. Knowing how to use your ult will make or break how well you do with Irelia. Saving (icon=Transcendent Blades size=19) for chasing down someone escaping isn't always the best idea. Sometimes it is best to help turn the tide of battle by positioning yourself to hit as many enemy champs as you can with your ulti, greatly damaging their team as a whole and healing yourself to near full health (totally full if (icon=Spirit Visage size=19) was purchased).

At this point, you should have your (icon=Trinity Force size=19), (icon=Spirit Visage size=19), and your second (icon=Phage size=19).

Late Game

Depending on how well you farmed/ got fed early game, you should be either carrying or hindering your team. Assuming that you are at the carrying state, you should still not initiate team fights. Although you are survivable, you should still not be the one the opposing team focuses, because you need to be the one who (icon=Bladesurge size=19) 's in to take out their AD/AP carries. Upon taking damage, or seeing an opportunity to turn the tide of battle, use (icon=Transcendent Blades size=19) to really stir things up. At this point, you should be happy, healthy, and incredibly intimidating to the opposing team, who is running away due to the fact that their carry is dead and support/offtanks are greatly damaged.

Depending on how long the game goes, you should be able to get most of the items I recommended. Just focus on rushing (icon=Frozen Mallet size=19) and (icon=The Bloodthirster size=19), with the last item largely depending on what is required based on your judgment in game, whether that is more armor, damage, or even movement speed ((icon=Youmuu's Ghostblade size=19), anyone?).

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((Irelia)) is one of my favorite champs in the League. I hope you all learn something from this guide, as well as help me make it even better.


Thanks for reading!