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Irelia Build Guide by Irelius

Top S13 Irelia for beginners (ALL MATCHUPS EXPLAINED)

Top S13 Irelia for beginners (ALL MATCHUPS EXPLAINED)

Updated on May 19, 2023
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Irelius Build Guide By Irelius 116 8 246,787 Views 11 Comments
116 8 246,787 Views 11 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Irelius Irelia Build Guide By Irelius Updated on May 19, 2023
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Runes: Standard option

1 2 3
Legend: Alacrity
Last Stand

Bone Plating

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+15-140 HP (lvls 1-18)


1 2 3 4
Standard option
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Champion Build Guide

S13 Irelia for beginners (ALL MATCHUPS EXPLAINED)

By Irelius

Irelius is my name. I'm no challenger, just an ordinary person playing the same game as you do. Yet still, I think I do have a little cart of knowledge on my back and I'd like to share it.

I am primarily a toplaner, thus this guide will be mostly about toplane.

Different people like different parts of her identity. Some are charmed with her design, others enjoy her playstyle. Both are right.

Gameplay wise, Irelia is a character of pure creativity with limitless outplay potential. She is made to limit-test and turn the most dire tides. Irelia is no immobile juggernaut relying on ally carries. If you are tired of 10/0 enemy botlanes you cant normally touch as typical toplaner, if you want to punish those annoying ranged toplaners. The Blade Dancer is your ideal choice.

If you are tired of being kited, lock in the Queen, git gud and stomp every game. This is the thing Irelia does better than any other juggernaut or God forbid tank.

Irelia does pay the price for having none of average toplaner's problems tho — she loses to most duelists head on unless you play it really well..

— Easy csing, awesome clear
— Lots of sustain
— Strong burst, good dps
— Insane amount of gap closers
— Huge outplay potential
— Tremendous skill expression
— Strong teamfighting
— Punishes ranged champions hard
— Versatile itemization

— Loses to most juggernauts
— Some matchups are stupidly onesided
— Lowest hp at lvl 1 amongst melee toplaners
— No escapes outside of waves
— Insanely hard to master
— Difficult to itemize correctly
— Falls off lategame
— Absolutely useless when behind


Main choice lies between Lethal Tempo and Conqueror.

Conqueror — is go-to for every bruiser. Keystone synergizes great with your Irelia's Q and W, and items like Death's Dance and Maw of Malmortius since rune gives a lot of AD. Best option overall, considering at lvl 6 Irelia stacks Conqueror in a matter of seconds. Pick Conqueror 90% of the times and you won't be wrong

Lethal Tempo — less powerful overall, but it provides insane 1v1 potential. Insanely synergizes with on-hit items overall and especially Wit's End. Still, if you ask me, you dont need that much DPS. Pick it when you want to cheese laning phase or/and better duel at sidelane 1v1. Against Fiora, for example.

Nota bene about keystones and other rune trees.
Precision and Resolve combination is optimal with precision being the single main option and resolve being the default. Inspiration if for advanced players, I won't recommend starting to learn Irelia with it.

Triumphshines in towerdives, 1v2s and teamfights. It will safe you multiple times.

Overheal — doesn't worth it at all especially after recent nerfs.

Presence of Mind — use it if you have mana issues, yet I'll advice to not spam your abilities unnecessarily and learn how to manage your mana. Irelia's mana regeneration is high enough.

Verdict — Triumph. ALWAYS.

Legend: Tenacity — riot nerfed it too hard. At this point play Legend: Alacrity and Unflinching.

Legend: Alacrity — if enemy team lacks CC. If you face AP character, pick alacrity but dont forget Mercury's Treads if you need that tenasity stat.

Legend: Bloodline — is an option too but I haven't tried it much.

Coup de Grace — if enemy has executes like Garen or Urgot.

Cut Down — not worth it. You beat tanks without it.

Last Stand — gives you more value compared to Coup de Grace since Irelia is a melee figher and yow will usually kill people when you are low on hp.

Verdict — Last Stand 90% of the times

Attack speed first, adaptive force second. Still, if you are used to play with double adaptive force, do it. It's a matter of personal preference.

or or — Last choice depends on the matchup and your confidence in it. Against AD character pick armor, against AP–magic resistance.

If you are confident enough, pick Heart rune. It's significantly weaker in the early game, but starts to outvalue other choices beginning at lvl 7. At lvl 18 this rune give triple value compared to armor and magic resistance options.


Conditioning — if matchup is free and/or you are confident enough. Rune synergizes with Jak'Sho

Second Wind — if against ranged.

Bone Plating — GOAT rune into melee characters that cant proc it before engaging, like Renekton, Riven, Sett or Fiora (Bone platign blocks Fiora's mark damage)

You can pick Demolish instead of any of these runes depending on your platstyle.

Overgrowth — ALWAYS. Rune heavily amplifies the Sterak's.

Revitalize — overgrowrth + Sterak is the way

Unflinching — you don't need teancity as Sterak's gives it

Yep, resolve was nerfed, but things are still the same. Bone plating still helps insanely.


As mentioned previously, Inspiration is a choice when you feel comfortable without Resolve or/and you feel confident.

Magical Footwear — free boots. 300 extra money basically. We take those. However, this has one significant downside. When you play against, say, Tryndamere or Darius they will 90% of the time rush boots. If you misstep, they can easily run you down with more movement speed since you cant buy early boots because of the rune.

Biscuit Delivery — safe option for a beginner but other choices are more useful.

Cosmic Insight — that is the main reason why you pick this rune page. It significantly shortens your CDs – Ignite cd by 30 seconds, Flash by 45 and Teleport by 55. These are HUGE time windows for having a summoner advantage. Flash CD is GREAT at towerdives. If you trade summoners you'll get a 30-45 time window to exploit. Plus, people don't really pay attention what runes you are using and they will not respect you having summoner spells up earlier. In short, this rune is GOAT if you know how to exploit summoner cd advantage.

Best runes for midgame dominance but keep in mind, it gets outscaled by overgrowrth.

Other choices are not worth talking of.


Irelia Q puts her behind target.

Plus, she automatically AAs Q targets. This comes handy in dives. Especially when you are lazy as me and don't use tilde (aKa "target champions only"). Example here and a bit below

You can cast E mid Q

Basically the title. Useful thing, as it distracts your enemy from E.

Move and do something between autoattacks

Sounds silly, but it is what it is. Dont be the one standing at one place, this way you won't kill anybody. Treat your autoattack as a spell with low cooldown. Reposition yourself when this spell is on cd.


In order to maximise your dps you always want to cast spells when your autoattack is on a cooldown. In case of AA+Q perfection is reached when game considers AA and Q as one instance of damage. Mostly you click Q and W between AAs, but it can work for every spell.

When Q oneshotes caster minions

At lvl 5 full damage W+Q kill caster, at lvl 9 + Bork Q kills them oh its own. Still, these are not strict numbers and with pickaxe back for example you can W+Q caster on lvl 4. That's why just look on the tooltip, add on-hit effects and compare this sum to caster's HP. A bit of quick math, nothing difficult.


Sneaking autos

Irelia has 200 range, other melees have 175 or even 125. If you space properly and choose right timing (usually when enemy goes for a last-hit or autos a minion), you can harass melee characters with your autos. Example here.

I didnt really pay attention that I had Voli's W mark, but...anyway, he did not expect it, that's the main thing. I guess :D

Hiding E in between spells or in bushes

Discract your enemy and hit E. Here, I placed E1 at bush, Qd minion and thrown E2 on Poppy. Don't overuse it tho, this trick won't work after first time. (yes, I did get Q reset :D)

Dont throw all your gapclosers right away

Wait until enemy uses his mobility. Treat Q as a gapcloser, finisher, healing kit (if minions nearby), a way to dodge enemy spells and to aсquire passive stack. Dont use Q if it doesnt fall into these categories.

Remember, wave is a engage-disengage tool

Here, I beat Poppy, pretend to back off. Yet I know I have multiple re-engage options. She does not. Price paid for this ignorance if death.


Hit minion to make an engage path. Works with autos and W.

If enemy doesnt respect it, you engage. It doesnt secure a kill, especially when you miss 1 autos like I did below, but still.

W the wave to finish your enemy and make a path. Again, if enemy falls to it, punish him.

Dont faceroll mindlessly

Dont use W only because it is not on a cooldown. Treat it as a way to negate enemy burst Say,

Sett's E+Q or Zed's W+E+Q or Renekton's W.

Moreover, W cannot be interrupted by CC. It means you will not lose dps in duels while CC'ed. In teamfights W is your main surviving tool (except for just killing your enemies and resetting Death's Dance of course).

But dont forget, Defiant Dance does NOT negate true damage.

Sometimes you want to tap W tho — when you need that 1 stack and dont want to be locked in one place for too long. For example, when you are chasing someone.

You should know that W damage reaches its max after half of total cast time (0.75 seconds to be precise)

Fastkilling a tower

Stack your passive

Yet dont take enemy wave too fast. You will need minions to sustain that passive active as increased attack speed equals more tower damage.

Here, I stack my passive and throw speels at minions I left on purpose to refresh it.

Calculate minion damage and retreat accordingly

You probably noticed how I backed off before tower fell. This trick saves you quite a lot of time especially at laning phase. Here is another example.

Using sheen to maximize tower damage

Click W and E every 1.5 seconds to destroy towers with haste. Dont forget about vision, you dont want to get yourself in that awkward situation when enemy is approaching, but your spells are down.

Example below



Don't forget about AAs whenever possible. Yep, it's better for you to follow your ult with Q right away, there is no need to wait for it to land.


Mainly used to dive enemy backline. Flashing behind also works if you need to quickly repostion yourself to have a better ultimate (mostly happens in 1v2s)

W as a finisher

Sometimes, you will be out of range and your enemy will narrowly escape with low hp. Finish them with W. Moreover, it negates tower damage too, don't ever forget about that.

W + flash

This one is actually not easy to do. Irelia's W сonsists of 2 charge animations. First is preparing W (up to 1.5 seconds) and second is her releasing blades that takes 0.25 seconds. You need to flash after preparation is finished and before blades are released. So, you got only 0.25 seconds.




Target champions only

I couldn't finish Aatrox because I couldn't click at him as he was right under his turrent. W kill above would have been unneseccary and that dive would be much easier if I wasn't a lazybeard and used "Target champions only".

Here are its coordinates

What does "Target champions only" do?

It makes you unable to hit anything but champions. Use this button, dont be me screwing a shot ton of dives because of not using it.

Here is how it works in motion.
(I assume you play with Flash+Tp, keep that in mind. If you got ignite you are kinda forced to play more agressively)


All-inning without passive KILLS. Unless playing against even weaker lvl 1 champions like Gnar or Kennen I dunno.


Now it's where the psychological warfare starts. Your goal is to gain lvl 2 prio. You can achieve this when you damage enemy's wave more than he damages yours. If you succeed in this, you will take lvl 2 faster then him and if you'll find an opening to achieve a favorable trade or even a kill. Basically, you need to push wave faster then your enemy. Example below

Here Ornn took Ignite and played really agressively lvl 1 with W start. I used my Qs to kite him and dodge Ws. I thought about wave first and him second. I pushed wave more and got lvl 2 first. Ornn was 1 minion away from lvl 2, but attacking champions nearby provokes his minions. Consequently, yours won't die and enemy will remain lvl 1. He was finished by Q and autoattack Irelia did automatically after Q


Champions like Sett, Darius, Jax or Riven with strong lvl 1 can deny your weak lvl 1 easily. You won't be zoned off xp until you hit really high rank, so that won't be a problem. Still, you'll get yourself beaten. In this case you play as the secondary player and surrender the initiative to your enemy.

Does it mean you need to always surrender lvl 1?

No it does not.

You need to check this individually in every game whether your opponent understands how matchup needs to be played from his side. Autofills and low-elos will most likely play passive because "IrEliA iS fUlL bUiLd At lvl 1". Utilize their stupidness and take the lead if they are giving it to you. Still, dont forget about safest option – chill farming with E at lvl 1. Ideally, you want to lasthit all 3 melees and poke your enemy a bit.


If you gained lane prio and assured dominance over your opponent by a favorable trade, you can do following things (assuming you didnt kill your enemy)

1. Look at your 3 stacked waves crushing under enemy tower doing nothing.
2. Look for a roam to midlane
3. Look for a cheater recall.

Roaming — completely situative, only a couple of words about it. Gank mid, recall, use tp if needed.

Cheater recall — most safe option. To start with, you slowpush first 2 waves, place a ward in the river, then push third wave AF(ast)AP. This will provide an opportunity to recall safely and buy either Long Sword and Refillable Potion or Cull.

Against champions with retalively weak waveclear (like Camille) this trick will be in best case devastating as they will most likely not be able to push wave in time and you'll setup a deadly freeze. Freeze converts into a cs lead and kill. If your enemy is smart, tho, he will recall and use tp return to lane. It is still a good outcome for you because if you **** up now, you'll be able to tp back to lane while your oppoent has already used it

Dont get cocky, having extra 10 ad thanks to Long Sword or especially Cull doesnt mean you can easily kill enemy right here right now in stacked enemy wave without properly dashing all over it especifically at low levels when minions and Irelia's abysmal health pool hurts as ****

If you have NOT gained lane prio

Play it safe and last hit maximum amount of minions with minimal amount of hp loses (especailly against ranged champions carrying an Ignite), look for enemy's mistakes and bait for them, for example

Riven throwing all her combo in your W and Bone Plating


Camille casually autoattacking you and thus setting her shield on a cooldown.

Final advice, think about a wincon, your opponents' behavior and adjust your laning plans according to these factors. Your decision to fight for lvl 1 prio against 25 lvl 24k points 7th Mastery Riven with Ignite can make you regret this for the rest of the game. Dont rush all things all the time.

After all

Patience is what separates good hunters from dead ones

Concept of freezing might look complicated at first but rather intuitive if you go deeper into it.

Freezing can be described in one sentence:

Your wave takes more damage than your enemy's AND you keep the wave from crashing in your turret.

When does enemy wave take more damage than yours? Right, when enemy mindlessly damages minions or/and doesn't crash the wave in time and waves collide just outside of your tower's range.


Nasus uses his E to farm, he damages (=pushes) the wave. You are stronger than Nasus and he cannot brutforce you to crash his wave into your tower, thus making a freeze. He last hits 1 minion and losses an entire wave.

When to freeze?

Always at the laning phase (after lvl 3), unless you can go for things like cheater recall. Freezing is your main kill pressure, you chunk people when they want to farm. If trade was succesfull, you then take the lead and prepare for a dive or a final blow.

Example below. Be aware that example is near ideal in terms of opponent. This is what happens when you face enemy with "oh, Irelia lvl 1 powerspike" mindset.

Oh, btw, if your team is losing hard enemy minions will become stronger and it will be even easier to freeze. To check this info, click on your and enemy minions, all of it will be shown.

Dont overuse it tho, dont let your teammates lose all objectives.

If you need more information about wave management – go HERE and click on "wave management" chapter. Yep, it's a Garen guide, but he expalined EVERYTHING about waves. Visit him and leave a like, dude derserves it
Accumulate as much gold as possible, be it a splitpush or perma teamfighting – choice if yours.

Splitpushing – your default option when objectives are down. If you play with Teleport (what you'd normally do), things are a lot easier – you always splitpush. If for any reason it is ADC or squishy midlane mage or assasin who matches your at sidelane, you kill them without any mercy. That's where Trinity Force comes in handy as you get really insane tower damage. Dont forget about those tower tips!

Ask your teammates to put flanking vision. Your flanks will be devastating.

Look for teamfights more when you can't duel your sidelane opponent. It can be any champion if you mess it up at lane but usually it will be something like Jax.

Same things apply to lategame. You split 24/7 and join fights whenever object arrives. DO NOT FORGET ABOUT THAT MAP-AWARENESS ADVICE.
Short and easy

Irelia is a diver. Backline is your prey. Simple as that. It means you DONT ENGAGE FIRST, unless you have found something like 4 man ultimate.

You are flanker, not a initiatior. Look for flanks, assasinate enemy carries, delete main menaces, clean up the rest.

Dont forget about Sweeping Lens. It would be a shame if you were flanking on enemy vision.
Here lies the end of this guide. I hope it did help you understand the basics (and the matchups) of Irelia. If you want to continue to improve AT_TAR_RAS' guide at your servise. Dude has done a great job. Be ready to face walls of text tho! :D

Thank you for reading!!
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S13 Irelia for beginners (ALL MATCHUPS EXPLAINED)

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