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Irelia Build Guide by Syntaxs

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Syntaxs

Myrelia - True will cannot be defeated

Syntaxs Last updated on October 23, 2011
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Top Lane
Ranked #55 in
Top Lane
Win 51%
Get More Stats

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: 0

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 9

Expanded Mind
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 21

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Hello and welcome!
In this guide I'll show you my way of playing Irelia.
This may differ from the various guides you already read, it's an aggressive
playstyle I offer with this build.
But remember I am not a pro player or even gold. I play for fun and with
this build I do have fun and can carry games.
Test it, then comment and rate it!

Forgive me if my English isn't that great, but it is not my native language.

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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 the 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 lifted 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 her 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 / Cons

Great Utility
Great Farming
Dealing huge amounts of damage while being tanky
Fun to play
True damage

Weak laning
Often nerf target
state of "OP" 100% of the time

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When to play Irelia

There are certain situations where picking Irelia isnt the best idea. For example if you need to go into the Jungle. Yes it is possible to jungle with Irelia, but there are many better Champions.
Certain Champions counter you toplane aswell, granting them an easy farm festival while being able to deny you(Jax, maybe Udyr, Rennekton and Garen, the last 2's are hard to play against but not impossible)
If you already have 4 AD Champions, you may want to pick AP or support type of Champions instead of an AD based Champion.

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I take this rune, because I like having more Attack Damage to last hit easier, in addition I think this helps more then Armor Penetration on lower levels.

This rune allows you to have an easier time laneing, many people claim Irelia to be a weak Champion for solo top, but getting pretty Ugly late game, thats the reason for me boosting my early levels.

This helps also helps you getting tanky and beefy, same like the Armor rune.
Greater Quintessence of Vigor
This also boosts your sustain in the Lane, making you in addition with the Items pretty
resilient to harrasment.

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You may ask yourself now, why the heck is that dude getting into the Utility tree, instead of the offensive one?! Irelia isn't a caster!
No she is not, at least not with my build, just read this chapter and you'll understand why.

But let's start with the Defense tree:

I take this just for the early game again, to make my laneing as strong as possible, as far as you get your Ultimate your laneing will be godlike anyway, but until you reach it, those masteries definately help you out much!
Thats why I also get


Now to the Utility tree:
This lets you get your Items faster, also helping you out if you have a difficult lane.
This helps out your Mana, due to the fact that we don't have Runes for Mana regeneration this will help you out much!
The reason I take this over is simply that I feel like the Mana and Health regeneration helps much more in the lane than having less time spent dead.

Cooldown reduce, movement speed or more experience should be pretty self explanatory.

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Skill Sequence

I am getting first just to make last hitting from the start as easy as possible, it also may help escaping from a level 2 gank of one of these junglers, if you are in a good position.
But remember, should you go for a level 1 fight may have more use.

After that I am maxing out first, because it adds sustainability and great amounts of damage.
I feel like Stun duration is more important then more damage on the Bladesurge, that's why I max as second spell.
After that get the remaining points into .
Get your Ultimate when ever you can.

Against certain Champions its better to use the, as I call it "Burst Build". But more about that in the section "Countering of specific Champions".

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Summoner Spells

This is in my opinion completely personal preference, how ever I will tell you what I pick and why. In addition I'll tell you what is good aswell, and well what is useless or just stupid.

My Summoner Spells are:

I take flash, obviously cause it offers so much defensive and offensive power, you can for example flash over walls to either escape or get into range for a to finish the enemy of.
Ignite is basically the same, but it only offers offensive power, I am often in the situation that I have a tad bit of too less damage, therefor I die, while the Enemy escapes with roughly 50 Hitpoints.

Good Alternatives:
Exhaust offers defensive and offensive power, damage reduce and slow for killing them off, or protecting your team mates exhausting their AD Carry.
This helps you laneing because you can fast get back into your lane, losing less experience and gold. It also offers your team more dragon control, because you can change a 4vs4 into a 5vs4.
This summoner spell can help you chaseing or fleeing. Great choice, but I still prefer Flash.
This may be helpful but at the current Meta, the support Champion will have this spell hopefully.
The others aren't worth mentioning in my opinion.

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Philosopher's Stone
This item in combination with greed, helps you getting your Items much faster, especially if you can farm toplane easily.

This item is a must buy for Irelia, the slow helps hitting your more often, Sheen allows your like a truck! Last the movement speed and attack speed helps you out chaseing and attacking faster for your Hiten style.

Your core should be this:
Both add some defensive stats while offering you ton's of damage™.

After that we will add
This Item just has this: "Oh he got Guardian Angel, we won't kill him anyway" effect on your opponents not even thinking about attacking you, due to the fact that this Item will allow you to die once and come back again!

Last we buy a
I think this Item is highly underrated. I think the stuff it offers is huge, it offers you damage, Mana and a movement speed buff, which can help you pick of a target or get away safely.

Alternative Items if you need to play a bit more Defensively

When you want to buy these Items listed below?
You want to buy these Items if the enemy is fed and you cant build offensively because they would rip you apart so fast. Or if your team needs a tank and initiator.

Great Items are:
This Item just offers you a movement speed and attack speed slow, great addition if you already have Shurelias, it also provides huge amounts of armor and Cooldown reduce. Great Item vs those AD Carrys like Ashe, Caitlyn and many more.
If you dont like Randuin's Omen, or you always forget to use its active then
is the right choice for you!It adds a high amount of Armor. Furthermore it adds Cooldown reduction and Mana. Dont forget about the awesome passive it provides!

The more offensive way of building Armor would be
But it just provides Armor, a few more Healthpoints and a damage dealing passive.
****load of Healthpoint regeneration, movement speed and Magic resist, great item against a fed AP carry.
Great Item, if you have trouble dealing with Magic damage, helping you out with the Magic Resist, Cooldown reduce, Healthpoints and the health gain from healing spells, like your Ultimate.

Alternative Items if you can play a bit more offensively

If you are able to buy Atmas and Wit's End and still surviving the teamfights easily, you may want to go for even more offense. There are quit a few options you can go with.
Yes I am suggesting Infinity Edge, due the the Crit you already became with Atmas and Trinity Force you will have about 60% Crit anyway. This will add a bunch of damage to your auto attacks and skills and it just synergises well with Atmas and Trinity Force
Hextrinker Hextrinker adds some defensive stats as well as offensive stats, it is a very underrated item in my opinion, but it just saves your *** so often and adds some nice ammounts of damage.
This Item adds damage on all of your skills, in addition you are receiving some nice Lifesteal and Spellvamp.
This item provides you with Movement speed and Attack speed, both stats are pretty nice, movement speed for chasing and fleeing, Attack speed for your Hiten Syle.
Every Attack speed item is good for Irelia.

You want to get this item, if you are playing against some guys who are stacking Health Points like a mad man. In addition of dealing 4% to the total Healthpoints it also adds some Attack speed which helps out your Hiten Style even more.

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General Rules

There are a few rules you need to follow, when playing Irelia

1. Your Bladesurge is never on Cooldown.
2. Your Bladesurge is never on Cooldown.
3. Your Bladesurge is never on Cooldown.
4. For the love of whoever, BUY WARDS! with ANY Champion

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In this chapter I am going to explain how to farm efficiently.
The first rule is not to auto attack, you want to hit the minions just once
to kill them. Otherwise you will push your lane so hard, which makes it easy for the enemy jungler to come and gank you, letting you no chance to escape.

Also important to note is, that sometimes you are forced to lane vs 2 Champions, which actually means that they will play offensively denying your farm, but at some point you are forced to farm minions below the turret. I'll explain you how to get every single minion below the turret.

Caster Minion: Let the turret hit it twice then use your Auto attack or Bladesurge.
Meele Minion: Let the turret hit it twice then use your Auto attack and Bladesurge.

In addition to that, I want to explain you how to effectively take an objective like Baron or Dragon without Smite, without being worried losing it to the enemy's Smite.
If Baron or Dragon has low life, just get all your spells ready and dont have them on Cooldown. Then if he is low enough, just burst Dragon/Baron down with it. Sure this only works if at least three out of your team doing this, it also still be possible that the enemy steals it with smite, but the chance is drastically lower. I am hopeing that all the people who are reading this guide will remember it, and at some point it spreaded to enough people to see it happening in every game. Who doesnt hate to see Baron stealed in front of your nose, after playing an even match for 40 Minutes, where 1 misstep can cost you the game?

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Early Game:

In the early game you should focus on farming, Irelias laneing phase is said to be weak, but her Late Game gets monstrous! So you want to drag the game out as long as its possible. If you are getting harrased, don't be afraid to hit your laneing opponent with a stun and land a few hits with your . As soon as you hit level 6 you can start playing more aggresive, because your gives you Health Points back everytime you hit an enemy with one of those blades. If you are back in base, don't forget to buy a Ward to cover you from ganks!

Mid Game

You should complete your core items in this phase. You also should watch out if one team is attending to go for dragon, if this happens you have 2 Options:
1) Push like a mad man, makeing it a 4vs4 at the Dragon or them losing a tower.
2) Go bottom line immediately and if you and your team are fast enough you can get the Dragon, because their Top Lane reacted to slow.
If you have the Summmoner Spell
then you are doing both, you are pushing like a mad man and the second your team starts doing Dragon you are Teleporting there, helping them.

Late Game

This is the time when Irelia really shines. At this state of the game you should have your items completed. At least till Guardian Angel. Teamfights start to happen, the steady fight for objectives, Irelia is pretty good in pushing in my opinion, especially with this build, so try to split push lureing one enemy to your lane and then doing a fast lane swap to engage 5vs4 at the other lane.

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Countering specific Champions

Against Akali you dont want to play the "Sustain Build". You have an easier time dealing with her when using the "Burst Build".
The "Burst Build" means you are leveling
] first and second is

Akali has a weakness, at least I think its a weakness when playing against my Irelia. She bursts.
After that burst you definately have less life than her, meaning you will stun her with
then you have time to hit her with your Bladesurge and your Hiten Style, as soon as she drops down her Shroud, get out there IMMEDIATELY! Itemwise you may want to start with a instead of a Regrowth Pendant, but I cant promise it to work, I need further testing before saying it works. (As Nasus I start of with it and it works great against her.)

Same here you should use the "Burst Build" against him too, because he is just as Akali a "Meele Caster" he will jump in silence you, use his comb and then get out of there. You are able to hit your stun for 100% same as against Akali.
Itemwise you want to start with a and 5Health Potions, then just going the normal itembuild or buying and instead of Shurelias you are going to buy . But Don't
start with a Regrowth Pendant, because this basically is a free lane dominance ticket for Talon

Here you want to play the "Sustain Build" but you want to swap Items big time.
Instead of getting you want to go for first. This will allow you to make the lane even. Best is to focus on farming and being aggresive if your Jungler appears top to gank.

Garen& Renekton
Against those two Champions you just want to focus on farming, don't even think about getting aggresive except your Jungler comes for a gank and you are sure you will be able to send them back to Base or 6 Feet Under. Both of these Champions have a great Early Game but fall of Late Game, they are vice versa to you.

Normally this toplane is a farm festival, neither Cho'Gath nor you should be able to kill the other. Both of you are going to "out sustain" the harrasment the other can deal. So just farm farm farm farm herp a derp farm.

I think he is the only Champion who counters Irelia directly. Farming against is the best thing you can do. You also should play "Burst Build" because otherwise dodge will give you troubles dealing with him. Basically the same as for Cho'Gath Farm, Farm, Farm and even more Farm!

More counters if I mind more, or you need help with countering specific Champions.

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I created this section to explain what your job in teamfights is and what isn't.
Your job is to kill down their carry and then trying to defend you own carry from getting picked of by the enemy bruisers. It is not your job to initiate the fight, except you build tank. But if not its the Tanks job to initiate, or some heroes who can initiate pretty good. Akali for example dashing into the fight with her Ultimate, then dropping down her Shroud. After that chaos will rise and it is the perfect time to pick of their carry.

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Tips and Tricks

In this section I'll give you a few tips I found out after playing Irelia and this game for so long. This tricks always helped me, but it could be that I am just imagineing things here, especially the mechanics parts.

Trick 1: Chaining skills

The way the mechanics of LoL work is simple, if you are using spell X and the enemy isn't in range, the game will know it, and when you are in range then by using spell Y the game will launch spell X after it immediately.
This means that if you are using

and you are not in range
and then press

you will blink to your enemy immediately stunning/slowing the enemy after.
This is one of those tricks I feel like is true, but it also can be that I am just pressing
Equilibrium Strike after I blinked again. Kinda hard to tell, can't remember it when playing:)

Trick 2: Kiting

With your you can kite your enemy pretty good allowing you to wait for that 2 seconds until your Ultimate is ready and then winning the fight while surviving with almost no Health Points. You can also save your teammates with it and then using Bladesurge to get out of the danger zone.

Tip 1: Stunning instead of Slowing!

This is important to know, in some situations your brain will say: "USE Equilibrium Strike NOW to have more damage output". But if its only a slow instead of a two second stun, the enemy will still kill you while surviving with 200 Health Points. You definately want to learn when to use your Equilibrium Strike and when to wait until you can stun. Unfortunatey this will come with experience, nothing you can learn over night or can be explained, just because there are so many circumstances where either the slow or the stun is right.

Tip 2: Mana usage

It is important to keep track of your Mana. With my rune setup you will run out of Mana easily if you spam those skills! So better follow the rule:"Less is sometimes more".

Tip 3: Calculateing damage

I am often in the situation when my ignite is on the enemy and I need to think fast if i need to get one more hit of or if he will die by the Ignite tick. Most of the time you will, if you chase, eat a tower hit or taking the risk of the enemy jungler appearience, it is best to calculate your damage before wasting your Mana and Cooldowns.

I'll add more Tips and Tricks as fast as I know a few more!

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Thanks for reading through this wall of text.
It took me quite some time to crate this guide, but I hope it was worth it and helped you guys out. Hopefully this guide increases the fun you are having with playing Irelia.
Thanks to for having such a great Page, great Build Creater and Database for all about League of Legends!
All the images are taken from Mobafire, or their build creater.

Check them out by yourselves!

Also I want to say thank you to Bebep and his awesome Forum
(, all members of it
and last Riot for making such a fun game without charging anything!

Fun Fact: The guide has 3700 Words and 17 pages (without pictures) in Word!