SEASON 13 MASTERS TOP IRELIA GUIDE - CHINA IONIA SERVER
Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.
Runes: BONE PLATING - CONQ
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Ability Order 90% of games
Threats & Synergies
time to show you the ugly side of irelia top guys :( sorry for this but many matchups at top are GENUINELY too champ-diff'd. i'll try my best to help and explain, here goes. this matchup is borderline unplayable unless he's dumb or you're ultra patient. in my experience i've only ever won lane VS volibear when i play so passive that they die under my tower trynna get something. idk how else to beat him as he shreds almost all melee matchups. my best tips would be to just farm and focus on the mid-game+ shove and roam. focus his carries and squishies, not him. you genuinely do not win this matchup in any way except maybe the 1st three waves by getting lane prio and minion advantage (my guide will teach you that if you continue reading). never let him get a 2nd W on you and always save a Q or prepare to sidestep his E. if his Q hitting you is inevitable, W it. ideally, you don't get hit by it in the first place though. if your jungler comes by when voli is pushing (which is likely cause of his electric passive) and it can lead to a kill? then take advantage of it. just know that if he has ignite, it don't matter if he's 0-3. this dude will still win the 1v1. truly, truly an impossible matchup if he has half a brain. my genuine permaban. sorry, wish i could tell you more on how to beat this mf.
if they pick sett, play around bone plating. you'll need it. without it he will 100 to 20 you with a couple autos. soak xp, don't let him 1v2 you and your jungler, use W for his Qs and Q him when he uses his W to avoid his W true damage. that's all you can do, 'till mid-late game (or early game TPs) when you blitz to his squishies and kill them. keep in mind that *this goes for every matchup for any champ versus any champ* if you see an opportunity to kill your opponent or if they make a mistake, seize that opportunity or limit test it. that will help you become a better player. so if sett uses W for no reason and you can bait out his E, then go for the all-in, he's 2 abilities down. come to the stream to ask me about the matchup if you want! > twitch.tv/at_tar_ras
a good fiora will make this game unplayable. if they DON'T brush cheese you at level 1, it's super winnable. you can actually beat fiora lvl 1 if you manage to snag priority but it all depends if she brush cheeses and vital RNG. you must kite out her vitals or you will insta-lose. you can also bait her W by putting one E down and not the other, OR just missing it on purpose, OR if you have the balls you could side step/Q away from it. if parry on CD go for all-ins/trades. if her vital is in a position where you can hug a wall to prevent her from hitting it, do it and auto her (hopefully you're at 5 stacks) you'll win. ask me the matchup if you want! > twitch.tv/at_tar_ras
jax is arguably the worst champ irelia can go against as a whole. the only way you beat him is if jax is stupid and i mean it. walk AWAY and kite jax's counterstrike if he uses it. Q minions if you have to. if you can't (or can't risk having Q on cooldown) that's okay -> USE W and hold it while he's auto'ing you so he does less DMG. hopefully you can use that W to hit him AND some minions, stack up your stacks and start trading/all-inning depending on how both your HPs look. if you play around minions and hit your stun, you can beat him. obviously if jax uses E and it's on CD you should look for trades/all-ins. the only reason why i say it's irelia's "worst matchup as a whole" is because he outscales THE SHIT out of you in the sidelanes. i'd venture to even say post-divine/trinity/bork, jax will start schooling you in 1v1s and that's even if you're ahead at all because if both players make no mistakes, jax will always win it the champ is just a better duelist. it's one of those shove-and-roams and kill their squishies type of game here. ask about the matchup if you want! twitch.tv/at_tar_ras
dodge XD i say this cause your jungler will gank you and warwick will 1v2 cause all junglers have zero respect for how overpowered warwick top is. trust, if youre against this terrorism just dodge tbh. if not, the only way to win lane is to not die. doesnt matter if u are down 100 CS. just do not die and soak XP. take the CS you can take and by the time you get BORK you prob outscale him, if not, at the very least you have prevented him from abusing the cheese pick and you're more valuable in teamfights anyways by blitzing to his squishies. ask me about the matchup if you want! > twitch.tv/at_tar_ras
if he is good with jayce it's gonna be HELL but with irelia it's not as bad as other champs. if you're both at the same skill level then you should win this one. focus on getting vamp scepter and not taking too much poke that you have to TP early. take 2ND wind. you'll have opportunities to kill him whenever he gets too close to ranged minions you can Q to. W his flip.
with ignite it's doable to destroy wukong. my advice is when you Q near him just prepare to HOLD W when he inevitably E + Qs you. doing that means he's wasted a chunk of his DMG on your shield. if you've managed to bait out his clone before hand and know it's on CD, he's always killable especially since you're taking ignite into him. *as long as you W his EQ. be wary that post-6 wukong (especially with ignite) kinda auto wins lane, just be wary of that. if you're going TP instead then your kill-potential VS him is gna be dependent on whether or not he misplays.
lvl 1 you win really hard if you're ontime to lane and manage to be at least 1 or 2 autos ahead of him in the wave. abuse your lvl 1 as it's stronger (need stacks tho) and from there you can get lvl 2 advantage. if he's smart though and trades properly, you will unfortunately get forced out of lane. it's kind of a gamble depending on how the lane looks at the start. you gotta make the call. W his stun if you can, wait for renekton to hit 50 fury and he'll prob stun you so that's your queue to pop out your W. if his abilities are on CD and/or he has relatively low rage, go for trades/all-in.
always Q or flash in his Q. never let him hit that shit for free. your all-ins are available by level 2 onwards with ignite or when he misses Q or E or misuses W. if they get cocky under your tower you can always all-in though. again, make sure to always Q him/or away from his outer Q ring to not let him stack or deal dmg+heal and this is a matchup where you NEEEEED to hit your E. you can also just take TP and play it really safe. play to scale and play to dive and one-shot their backline. look for TPs and not letting darius snowball your lane by not dying to him is a legitimate strat. something i like doing vs darius players is to step forward then backwards to bait out his E. once that's down, assuming you Q/flash IN his Q ring, you'll win the all in. (hit ur stun tho fr)
aatrox is really strong right now so im putting him in even. it depends how good aatrox is. most aatrox's already mental boom in this matchup. you have plenty of mobility to avoid all of his attacks so simply do so. it's advised to sidestep his Q1, Q around his Q2 and Q into him to avoid his Q3 (but careful he could Q3 behind himself and hit u) and if you can't then W it to negate as much damage as possible. get grevious wounds if you need but don't set back your BORK powerspike for it. bork just insta wins this matchup.
avoid his Qs, don't let him procc his empowered E. stun him, his cannister flies toward you, step on his cannister, 4 stack, kill him :p simple matchup. get grevious wounds. you can kill him before bork and definitely after bork too.
grasp tp ignite. camille with these runes almost have no counterplay if she's played correctly. don't let her get off her W in her sweet spot. either bait it, side step, backstep or step inwards when she uses it. use W when she Es onto you and if you hit stun and her E is on CD you pretty much always win. post-6 watch out for her using R to dodge one of your abilities. you might have to get crafty and learn how to hide your stuns/R appropriately to avoid this.
the good thing here is most gwen players are dumb LOL. she's crazy strong if you let her Q you for free and use her R. also she typically brings ignite so that'll increase her kill pressure but all-in-all the matchup isn't too hard. you can fake all-in to bait out her W, once that's used you can re-engage and fully all-in as her W will be on CD.
change this to extreme if he's carrying ignite cause that "level 6 press ignite" auto win canx that morde has is unbearable. backstep morde's Q if you can. new irelia's Q MS and MR got gutted so morde has surprisingly become a really bad matchup. get QSS if you're gonna be the main carry in your team otherwise he'll ruin your carry potential by pressing R on you. otherwise you have to play super safe and just play for mid-late game and dive their backline/look for TP plays on bot as in lane he will steam roll you. jungle help when morde is pre-6 is preferred as post-6 it'll be pretty dodgy to coordinate a dive when he'll take one of u to brazil.
in lane he's a minor threat. he's squishy and you have too much in your kit to actually get hit by his attacks. also BORK eats him alive. outside of lane? when he starts scaling? yea, he's a problem. hope your ADC has LDR otherwise it'll be a tough game :D you can obviously kill him before BORK too.
it's 50/50 here. akali is a DISGUSTING champion and it depends on the player. engage on her when she has no shroud, otherwise play it cool and take autos/Qs/Es when you can to put her shroud on CD. once it's on CD look to immediately re-engage. do NOT die to akali. a fed akali is arguably the scariest champ in the game.
matchup became unplayable in s13. you need to W his Q and kite out his spin or hold W during his spin too. he's defeated rather quickly if you play lvl 1 right (cheater recall, tower-diving, etc as discussed in the guide further below) and once you get bork he kind of stands zero chance. i understand if you struggle with him though and think he should be higher but it should be said garen's kit is ULTRA basic and is nothing compared to something else that's scarier like darius. also; when he uses W either dis-engage and re-engage when it's on CD or simply power through if you're winning the trade already.
his Q poke is disgusting and ure prob gonna wanna go second wind dshield. auto his barrels on last hit if u can (but don't if u cant) or W it if it's about it hit. your gap closing and kit counter him but don't underestimate how much damage this guy does. it's ridiculous. if you hit E you can pretty much all in and bork makes it a free win i think. most GPs are bad that's why im struggling on where to put this matchup cause good ones make it seem like GP has no counterplay. dont let him barrel you for free and remember his MELEE auto attack can burn u for true damage, u might wanna wait till it's used before all inning.
gnar is a threat easily destroyed if played right. LVL 1 abuse is easy against him and BORK shreds him. don't let him outpoke you so hard, go for constant all-ins with your stacks and make sure to hit stun. he will stand zero chance. on the flip-side, if you miss your stun or Q and actually die to gnar even just once, expect to get destroyed for the rest of the game cause he will STAT CHECK the hell outta you
a good nasus will make him look like he has zero counterplay as he stat-checks the shit out of you. this is my ultimate mental block matchup so i can't say much here except watch a guide on youtube of someone else playing against him? HAHA joking i'll try. okay so the first 3 waves is what will set your tempo of the game. if you do cheater recall tactic you can drive a wedge in nasus gameplay completely. killing him at lvl 1, 2 or 3 is totally possible with the 4 stacks Q auto attacks at wave 1. then wave 2 when you hit level 2 first, a 4 stack Q and E combo. when you do your cheater recall and come back to the lane pushing TOWRAD YOU- freeze the lane outside your turret and keep it there as long as possible until you see an opportunity to trade and then to eventually kill him. after that whether it was a kill thanks to tower dive or not, shove the wave in, then when you come back, let the wave push back to you and repeat the process all over again.
doran shield if it's comet malphite. what can we say abt this? it's malphite. once this idiot goes bramble/tabi he'll actually beat u in a 1v1 lmao. look to farm up and just kill his squishies. unless the kills are free, your priority isn't to kill him, just to survive and NOT die to him so you can kill HIS carries instead. the matchup in itself isn't necessarily hard it's just annoying due to malphite's nature of being a tank and his strong impact with R. freeze, slowpush, proxy, do anything and everything you want just do NOT let him kill you cause 1 death against him will mean you lose all future duels against him too till late game.
u destroy him dont worry. take tenacity and unflinching and mercs and his stun will have little impact. QQQQQQ and hope for an E stun and gap close against him. he's defenseless at top lane's longer lane.
he's quite dangerous. in my experience i don't lose against him as much but when i do i really feel how painful it is. update: LT has made this matchup unplayable :) dodge. rush tabis if you can as that item alone can shut him down quite well early. watch out for his ignite and rage bar, when it's full simply stay away. engage when his rage bar is low and when he ults kite away by Q'ing away or using W to negate damage as your last option. try to win lane or at the very least NOT lose lane as hard cause if you do, you will get DESTROYED for the rest of the sidelaning of the game. i say sidelaning game because at the end of the day your job is to just ult+flash the enemy backline and kill that mf. but, read the guide completely to know what im talking abt.
Q his ghouls, they die in 1 hit.
QQQQQQQQQQ and stun and you'll beat vlad. get grevious and please don't get outpoked and harassed. you win this matchup if you don't take too much unnecessary poke damage.
sidestep her spirit-grab and you can all-in. whenever she Rs, just walk away. you will lose if you don't. she's one of those champs that can kill you despite being 0-6 and having 1 item whilst you have 2 and a half so beware.
dodge lol. disgusting pick. i haven't played enough to truly tell you what to do in this guide except to dodge so i'm sorry abt that. rule #1 against these cheese picks is to never die to them, no matter what. tahm isn't as impactful as you outside of lane as you can blitz to his squishies whilst he just gets popped by anyone in your team that has an LDR at hand. *reminder: tell your moron ADC to build LDR if there's a tahm.
well. urgot is a tough one cause most urgots picked against me have been rlly bad. i haven't truly seen a chinese urgot 1 trick that destroyed me. dodge his Q and try to stay on whichever shotgun knee shot at you, that way you don't get hit by multiple shotgun knees. also, Q away from his grab or bait it out. once his E is down he's quite a free kill to go for.
auto-Q all his turrets ASAP as they're being put down and he UNIRONICALLY has zero threat against you. this is an easy matchup and when you're fed his turrets simply mean more mobility for your dash reset.
BORK eats ornn alive. backstep his W and Q and step away from his E. he isn't too much of a problem but if you die against him once you will get stat checked so hard until BORK. you can obviously kill him before BORK too if you see the chance.
do not underestimate kayle's LVL 1. it's disgusting. she'll actually beat you so watch out. levels 2 but probably safer, 3 is when you can actually start looking to all-in her. when you're close to bork or just have it already you will see that once you gap close toward her she stands no chance against you.
side step his hook and you'll be okay. matchup is hard for me to explain to be honest as i've played thousands of games and can probably say i've played against less than 15 kleds as irelia lol
Q his slow abilities and once you get BORK he will be no problem. even before that you can kill him if you play the 4 stacks properly.
depends on the player. if riven is good and has ignite it almost has zero counterplay. if riven's bad then it's a free matchup. truly depends on the matchup. use W when you think she'll stun you or when she starts fast-q'ing on you in order to mitigate some damage, slap her with that W and hopefully some minions too for extra burst of DMG and start stacking up Q for an all-in, OR back out and re-engage later.
her DPS is disgusting. side step her Qs and she'll do no damage to you. at midlane she's prob a harder matchup but at top lane she's at the mercy of a longer lane meaning more space for YOU to run her down or a jungler to come gank her. make the call for ganks if you need. it only takes a few pings.
shen isn't too much of a problem when you W his autos or taunt and kite away his shield (not letting him use that invulnerability to AA you). you NEED TP this matchup (u should be taking it in 99% of matchups anyways) to follow his TPs if you can. cancel his TPs with your stun if you can too.
new irelia means you can't put a stun down when you're CC'd. cause of this i can't say much about the quinn matchup. take W when you think she'll flip onto you or USE W when you Q onto her as she'll definitely flip onto you after that. Q+E will do wonders here to catch her off-guard.
typical experience: poppy is busted and u should dodge. my experience: most poppy's that pick poppy into you are just counter-pick-wannabes meaning they don't actually know how to play poppy, meaning it should be an easy matchup. in ALL my irelia games versus poppy, i've never met one that actually beat me or made my life miserable. i actually end up stomping lane, hence why i put this matchup in MINOR. don't get me wrong, i bet a good poppy will make me cry but i've yet to see that so i can't say much about this matchup so i'm sorry about that. anyways, i'd recommend being ultra patient with your Q in this particular matchup. expect when poppy is expecting your Q so you can either bait it out and watch them use W for no reason or in some situations don't wait and use it immediately, you have to play mind games here. mid-late game poppy CAN get slightly annoying if your dash gets cancelled, but like i said most of them have no clue how to actually play the champion, so.
a good kennen will make this matchup so sad as you watch yourself get outpoked and sometimes out all-inned. if you can get an early lead (which is only really possible if kennen isn't prepared) by Q'ing to him early (but not at the expense of a potential cheater recall), then do so, otherwise you should lay it back and let him push into you if you can't. if you all-in and fail at lvl 1-2-3, you're gonna have a tough time to pick a plan and commit to it according to the situation. ranged matchups ARE easier on irelia than on most other top champs so you have that going for you. go second wind and potentially merc treads first? (depending on enemy JG and comp too) but get vamp sceptor asap as usual so you can sustain his poke. also look into legend:bloodline for lifesteal if you can swap that out for tenacity. post-6 this dude will F your team up so try your best to get a lead, YOU DEFINITELY WIN once you get BORK but as said, you can win before that too, just don't get outpoked.
DO NOT DIE to yone no matter what. this dude WILL win level 1, which means he gets level 2 first, which means 3 first too. just give him the prio bro. unless he messes up, he will kill u if u try to contest it. 1 death to any yone makes life so difficult. respect his Q3s and his E damage accordingly. when the wave is pushing TOWARD him is when you are allowed to make your plays. when it's pushing AGAINST you, DO NOT CONTEST IT. let it push back. this is what "turns" are at top.
yasuo's level 1 is stronger than yours. do not level 1 fight this dude. he will windwall your stun/ult so either bait it out or trick him into missing it or catch him off-guard with a QE+E2 stun. it's a tough matchup due to good yasuo's guarnteeing at least one of your abilities getting deleted by his W. not to mention he spikes at zerkers already which is faster than your bork spike. really tough matchup, i need to play more versus it tbh
ANY JUNGLER WITH CC IS A GOOD SYNERGY. i'm just putting elise here since chinese elise's are so terrifying. CC junglers are every diver top laner's fav type of jungler to have. tower dives with these CC-junglers are too free when coordinated well since you're a diver and have your own CC too (in this case it's irelia's E). if you have a CC jungler, set up that slow push for that free money tower dive baby. continue reading the guide below for more information about tower diving and slow pushing, etcetera, etcetera.
ANY JUNGLER WITH CC IS A GOOD SYNERGY. i'm just putting elise here since chinese elise's are so terrifying. CC junglers are every diver top laner's fav type of jungler to have. tower dives with these CC-junglers are too free when coordinated well since you're a diver and have your own CC too (in this case it's irelia's E). if you have a CC jungler, set up that slow push for that free money tower dive baby. continue reading the guide below for more information about tower diving and slow pushing, etcetera, etcetera.
Champion Build Guide
my name's ATARAS and I'm a MASTERS PEAK in CHINA'S IONIA server.
I started playing league recently at the end of s9 and have peaked MASTERS ELO mainly playing Irelia and Renekton in CN IONIA. (I had 5K hours in DOTA before playing league). I took a break back for about a year but am back currently playing to get high elo in different servers :) currently, in s13, i've already made it to EUW masters
I hope this guide can help you out as I feel my knowledge of Irelia and top lane in general is more unique due to playing in a server not many people can say they've played in (the difference is very apparent between servers). it's gonna be a VERY detailed and hefty guide so take your time with it! i put a lot of effort into it.
I also stream everyday for about 6+ hours and will answer any questions anyone has to ask. you can find me here or here for all my socials
on another note, these are my more PERSONAL socials that i'm really active on and that you're more than welcomed to follow on too! PERSONAL TIKTOK, PERSONAL TWITTER, PERSONAL INSTAGRAM
this is how you're gonna always play the first 3 waves of top in every game.
you start by asking yourself 1 question;
can I cheater recall this game?
if the answer is yes, then please watch this quick 2 minute video
that shows LS coaching sanchovies on how to cheater recall.
> match autos on the creep wave as your opponent, but stay about 1-3 autos ahead.
> do this for the first 1 and 2 waves. once the 3rd wave comes by, begin HARD-SHOVING it as fast as possible in order to fully shove it in under the enemy tower as seen in the video above.
> once this is done, recall and purchase that Long Sword+ Refillable Potion buy that was mentioned earlier in this guide.
if you can't purchase that then look for a Long Sword & Health Potion buy? maybe even a Cull? anything you see fit, but ideally a longsword+refillable buy is best.
if you think you will get ganked during your cheater recall
if you think you will get ganked during your cheater recall on the first 3 waves of the game, then put a Stealth Ward down on river brush (your pick on which brush) at about minute 1:35 and continue with the game-plan.
> if the jungler comes top you shouldn't be too annoyed because this means they're not invading YOUR jungler and/or at mid/bot. just back it off, play it cool and don't die to the gank.
> finish up the cheater recall if you can once it's safe. if the opportunity is missed and you can't finish it then just play the game out how it goes, that's just part of league! you have to adapt.
> finally, when you do back and your ward is still on cooldown? get a Oracle Lens if you want. you can get your Stealth Ward back on the next back, or not, it's up to you!
when you walk back to lane you have many options.
freeze the lane outside your turret, go for a kill with your item advantage, force them their Teleport, or create a slowpush for lane priority and/or for an upcoming TOWER-DIVE, ETC.
that is how you cheater recall.
> deciding whether or not you can cheater recall depends on many things like; the matchup, who get's in lane first, if either player is brush-cheesing, if there was a level 1 invade, and much more. you'll come to learn the requirements do's and don't's soon enough with practice.
perfect 2 examples from my games with commentary.
here's an example from one of my games. in this game (diamond china) i managed to kill morde whilst doing the slow push (rule of thumb; when doing anything in league, if you can make a play to kill your opponent and that leads to a net positive, then go for the play, otherwise, don't). i commentate on everything i do most of the times so feel free to drop by the stream!
knowing i can perform a cheater recall in this game and matchup i went ahead and set one up. playing off on how the game is going i end up killing Mordekaiser whilst doing it as the opportunity presented itself. if there was no opportunity to do so, then i wouldn't have. think of killing them whilst doing this cheater-recall strat as a bonus. it's not the goal, but it's sure as hell welcomed if you can seize it. the true goal however, is pulling off that cheater recall.
check out how it went. note how after i killed him, i realized i could still finish up and complete my cheater recall. this is due to my lane priority & level advantage which came from the minion advantage which comes from the slow pushing. you'll see how it all adds up.
if you want to watch the video on twitch: click here
> note how i take free trades when i can, but not over-doing it so hard that i mess up the wave so badly and can't perform the cheater recall. with practice and limit testing, you'll be able to do the same. nothing is worse than messing up your wave management and being stuck in a bad spot in lane with no good back-timings available cause you butchered your cheater recall by playing too aggressive with 0 yield.
> even once Mordekaiser is slain i still keep up with the cheater recall. how? it's because of minion advantage. i have so many minions after killing Mordekaiser that he can't contest me at all as my minions deal too much damage early game.
second example: a really simple and basic cheater recall
if you want to watch the video on twitch: click here
> in this game, Renekton came to lane late, but to be honest even if he was on-time we win level 1 anyways. do not be afraid to make your mark on the lane by auto'ing the wave immediately. as discussed, stay about one, two or three autos ahead. this will decide who gets lane priority which decides who gets level 2 first.
> with every opportunity possible, i take a favourable trade whilst slow pushing however, i never ever compromise the lane's slow push with a trade.
keeping the slow push and doing the cheater recall > large trades that mess up the wave and sacrifice the cheater recall
unless that large trade will legit net you a kill which then allows you to shove the wave in and back (which is a big win btw), it will always be; decent trades but strong slowpush > big trades but messed up slowpush. even if you eye-ball it and say the HP trades didn't look too "favourable" for me, the lane priority and minion advantage in itself ultimately makes it favourable.
look, Renekton cannot do anything against me. i have way too many minions for him to handle with my slowpush and since it's the 1st 3 waves of the game, i also have level-threat-advantage where at any moment i can hit go for a kill on the minions to hit the next level and gain a new ability, automatically winning trades even harder.
> this is the true power of learning and setting up a cheater recall, the power of lane priority, wave management, slow pushing, trading. i back with a comfortable Long Sword and Refillable Potion buy and walk to lane allowing me many options to freeze, slowpush back, trade and ultimately make a slowpush dive. stand your ground and have confidence in your minion advantage/lane priority. stand by your minions and fully control the wave as you should. they will have no choice but to back off, allowing you to manipulate the wave how you want to.
this strategy about keeping a slow-pushed wave for a cheater recall is going to be FUNDAMENTAL for the next section of the guide; TOWER DIVING. just quickly; it's always good to default the laning phase to slow pushing. taking favourable trades during your slow push in the laning phase AFTER you've done your cheater recall will allow you to set up insane lane priority and also TOWER-DIVES. we never sacrifice the wave unneccesarily unless it, 90% of the time, will lead to a net positive outcome. i get into it just after this section!
sometimes you'll be in a position where you can't shove the 3rd wave in for the cheater, but the wave is still in the middle and you still have lane priority (minion advantage). in this case, take a breather and slow push the 3rd to hard-shove the 4th wave instead. it's just as good and arguably better.
if you need to help your jungler secure scuttle instead of cheater recalling, whether that's after 3rd or 4th wave shove. do that instead. FIGHTING for scuttle with your jungler if needed instead of recalling is better. a happy jungler unironically means a better chance at winning the game (yes that role is way too strong). if there is no fight to be seen or you have time to go scuttle AFTER the recall and walk back to lane, you can opt to do that instead!
if the answer was NO, I CAN'T CHEATER RECALL. then simply allow yourself to get pushed in and play accordingly.
> "playing accordingly"
> meaning you look to seize opportunities you can seize eg; they use a crucial ability and thus you'll win the all-in, or they make a misplay/mistake like taking too many tower shots, or are playing over confident and you kill them out of the blue or simply waiting for your jungler to gank. as long as you don't die and lose out on XP, you'll be okay.
recall timer tips AFTER the cheater recall:
after lots of games i've realized the most optimal and best timing to back without losing as many minions would be to back when the NEXT upcoming wave is a cannon-wave.
the cheater recall strat calls for a back AFTER shoving the cannon-wave, but the best timings to back after that is when NEXT-UPCOMING-WAVE is the cannon-wave. this is because if your opponent shoves the wave back in toward you just as fast as you did, that cannon minion will end up tanking about 7 shots of tower damage- meaning it'll essentially "hold" the wave for you to come back to, at most you only lose a single minion.
of course, sometimes you can't wait for that next cannon-wave to back, and have to just shove out a normal wave or maybe the cannon wave itself, and that's okay too. if you shove any wave fast enough you'll probably make it back with minimal losses but just know that the wave BEFORE the UPCOMING-CANNON-WAVE is the most optimal wave to shove in as it guarantees 99% of the minions for you to come back to. PS: killing CASTER MINIONS first pushes a wave much faster than if you were to hit the melee creeps.
ps: when to back is dependant on you. finishing up your vamp sceptor? your recurve bow? maybe you need to rush plated steelcaps this game? bork? you gotta make the call. my tip would be; don't get addicted to backing and backing every 2 mins. make it count, worthwhile and efficient. i know i've made the mistake of backing for no reason when i definitely could've made a play like helping my jungler @ scuttle with my prio or even backing at a bad time and losing a couple minions while im at it.
> IF THEY AUTO ATTACK YOU, YOU AUTO ATTACK THEM BACK. BUFFER YOUR AUTOS TO THEM.
this mainly applies to the very early laning phase of the game.
many times i've killed and straight up won lanes against opponents just by auto'ing them when i'm being auto'd. in top lane, ONE auto attack can genuinely decide who wins the lane or who takes lane priority.
understand that auto attacks have a "cooldown". abuse this concept and you will destroy your lane in most of your games. click here for a perfect example of what i'm talking about. it's only 40 seconds long. it's short and yet a piece of information that will help skyrocket your rank.
TP'ing back to make a large lead into a GIANT lead
here is a perfect example! click here to watch on stream instead:
as you can see; sometimes using your TP to quickly return to lane AFTER newly shoving in a wave that's bouncing back toward you can allow you to extend your lead into a larger one. you have to be able to decide when to do this strategy as it costs your TP which basically means it will cost you your opportunity to gank TP help mid/bot after the 10 minute mark as that's when Teleport becomes UNLEASHED TELEPORT
things to help you decide if you should do it:
> knowing that doing this means you can't help BOT/MID with your TP
> knowing that if you do this, you are sure in your ability to solo carry the game
> knowing you won't mess up after this TP as once it'll be on cooldown. so if you mess up in lane after this strat- you can't TP back.
> your bot is currently ahead and or your jungle is taking care of bot lane so it's fine to use it selfishly.
> it's still very early into the game, you know you won't mess up and you know bot is okay so you might as well make use of TP in an high-risk-high-reward way.
another extra tip:
> don't be afraid to miss a minion or two that's walking toward the tower, allowing you to control what you want to do with it after. to freeze or to slowpush.
video example here, much easier to show than explain (second 50 is exactly when it happens).
(ps: ik the example is of me playing Renekton but just ignore it and pretend it's Irelia. this is important fundamentals you need to understand.)
> the start of the vid shows a slow pushed wave getting fully shoved in for an easy recall. Garen has to stay and CS all of it to get gold and xp.
> coming back to lane (second :50 in the video), if i had chosen to auto the minion that's already been targetted by my turret, the rest of that wave crashes in too, so instead:
> i skip out a minion and even use my Renekton E upwards to hold the rest of that wave that WOULD have crashed
> after holding it, i try to freeze it but it messes up, so instead i slow push it
>> if i could have frozen it, the strat would be to aggressively trade with Garen if he walks up in order to eventually slow-push with a stacked wave and tower-dive him with it. if he doesn't walk up? then perma-freeze it until he does lol and if he still doesnt then congrats you've created a disgusting top gap and can push the wave in or slow push it for lane prio whenever you want (more explained about these concepts right after this section)
> thanks to my slow push, when Garen tries to walk up i do a hard-trade into him. i know with my lane prio with stacked wave, he cannot do much in return
> with the slow push completed, trade before the wave crash completed and a slow pushed wave we stacked up that's now under his turret, i am able to all-in Garen and kill him making him lose all those minions to his turret.
all of this literally started from sacrificing a minion to force a freeze/slowpush right outside my turret. league is decisive like that, so keep this valuable tip in mind.
and finally; fake backing
click here to watch on twitch.
pretty self explanatory. sometimes, when you're disgustingly far ahead, you can shove out the wave as usual but instead of recalling you hide in brush/alcove to then wait for your opponent to walk up, and (decide if you wanna wait for them to use their abilities on the wave to make the fight easier) kill them THEN shove (again) and recall.
recalling is to buy items and regen HP/MANA so you're at a better advantage VS your opponent. so doing this strat means you don't actually need full hp/mana and/or more items to kill your opponents. meaning instead of "backing" like they think you are, you just stay hide for a sec and stay an extra upcoming wave to kill your opponent, THEN shove and recall after.
definitely a strat you can't use every game and a very situational one but nonetheless, i'm giving an example and explanation here!
another piece of knowledge that helped me shoot to masters was making TOWER-DIVE plays. PS: riot has made it so tower-diving is more punishable by increasing tower damage. just keep in mind that it hurts a little more but that's about it. absolutely nothing changes about the fundamentals of it. we still make these plays. keep going for those beautiful dives, just keep in mind the turret hurts more!
now, if you manage to perform tower diving in your top lane games you will be rewarded with dopamine and LP. let me show you what it is.
you can sometimes pull this off during the first 3 waves of the game in combination with your cheater recall too, and definitely throughout the rest of the whole laning phase too.
an effective tower-dive at top lane requires a couple things.
1. slow pushing
2. HP lead
4. understanding the risks
[video examples of me performing this down below]
same regards as cheater recalling, we're abusing slow pushing. with a slow pushed wave stacked up and heading toward the enemy tower, you can crash this wave and TOWER-DIVE your opponent.
slow pushing is your best friend in the laning phase just like how shoving and roaming is your best friend in the mid-late game. get to know your best friends well.
tower-diving your opponent after slow pushing
doing this means your opponent will lose every single minion you had slow pushed toward them to their tower.
even if you die and go 1-for-1 it is completely worth it + you get to WALK BACK TO LANE not using Teleport while they HAVE to use TP. if they don't, they will miss out on an immense level of CS & XP whilst you're receiving it instead occurring in a large top diff.
before even committing to a tower-dive, obtaining a HP lead
in some games, you'll be able to literally tower-dive a full HP opponent because you're that disgustingly ahead. in most games though, you will need a HP lead. this is surprisingly easier to do than you'd think, and it'll only really be possible to do if you have lane priority, which is having a minion advantage, which is obtainable by; slow pushing.
> super important tip: aside from the first 3 waves of the game where you'll perform your cheater recall; after that always default the way you play your lane to slow pushing.
> this will help you slow the game down (which is good, league should never be rushed) and allow you to look for TP bot plays if needed, jungle fights, opportunities for trades which can lead to tower-dives as we're discussing or your jungler ganking you and many more things all thanks to minion advantage and lane priority (which occurs naturally when you're slow pushing). just trust me and slowly push your wave every time unless you have to shove it out to go help/tp somewhere.
on the other hand, if you fail to kill them you've doomed your own lane so becareful. if you're new to tower-diving i suggest to simply always go for it and test your limits!
>extra tip about tower damage/diving/tanking: ideally, the first and second tower shots are the ones you're able to easily tank during a tower-dive. anything past that and you should expect to either have to Flash out BEFORE the turret shot shoots it's killing blow at you or you have to use Defiant Dance to tank the shot AFTER you've left turret range.
irelia's W is extremely effective at blocking out those pesky "would have killed you" turret shots and so is Triumph. this is one of the biggest reasons we take Triumph over Presence of Mind so be sure to know your limits with everything i just mentioned.
remember: turret shots increase in damage per shot, so as mentioned 1 and 2 are relatively harmless. 3 onwards starts getting scary. this mechanic resets when a champion isn't struck by a tower for 3 seconds.
in some games, sometimes, when you commit a tower-dive, you will have to let your jungler be the one to secure the kill. in instances like this, it's a good idea to be the one tanking the turret to let your jungler get the kill with relative ease
here is an example. click here to watch it on twitch
> although riot buffed turret damage since this clip, the idea and fundamental of it is still extremely relevant, hence why i'm going to leave it here. even if it's minute 28, you might need to do this for your teammate down the line.
> note how i accepted that my jungler will be the one to get the kill? so i tanked the turret for him? limit-test and learn this throughout your games. it's very important the higher you climb.
now, back on-track on how to perform a tower-dive
here is example 1 of me slow pushing my wave against Gwen and then creating a stacked minion wave to tower-dive her and make her lose all cs/xp.
click here to watch it on twitch
> note here how, with my lane priority (minion advantage), i took a favourable one-sided trade into Gwen, giving me a great HP lead and also making her use her Hallowed Mist, gwen's defensive ability. having a HP lead and forcing the enemy champions defensive ability(s) whilst having a good slow-push going on is a sign that the tower-dive play is a definite GO.
> also note how patient i am. you can see in this almost-perfect example of how seriously i take my slow-pushing. i don't rush anything. the lane is genuinely in my control. allowing me to have lane priority, get a HP lead, stack up minion waves and force favourable trades and many more things.
> i made sure to time the minion wave crash with my Ionian Fervor stacks. so that by the time i begin the tower-dive i'm at max stacks. this is to ensure as much DPS as possible to get the kill. little things like this is important so that other variables like gwen's jungler possibly coming by to help is not as likely since i used my time effectively and didn't waste any.
[if you're taking too much time to make the tower-dive play, just recall. few things in league are as tempo-breaking as hovering infront of their tower doing nothing and thinking "i'm gonna kill them" when you're not going to at all. next time limit-test/commit to the tower-dive play, otherwise it's okay, shove in your wave as you did and just recall. don't die over a tower-dive you hadn't committed to yet.]
> note here how i also turned on "toggle champions only". this is to guarantee i hit Gwen and not the tower by mistake. also note how i turn off the toggle when i have to Q to minions to get out of the tower.
get to this level of toggling and i promise you'll never (at least not in most situations) hit a tower again by mistake.
> i survived here thanks to my Defiant Dance, but just know that had i died, it would have been worth anyways as Gwen misses out on tons of cs/xp with this play.
here is example 2 of me having a slow pushed wave with stacked up minions and then leading all that into a tower dive in order to make my opponent lose out on farm. [click here or watch below]
click here to see the video on twitch or, for more examples click here (1) and here (2)
> notice how i get my Ionian Fervor ready for the dive, hit the Flawless Duet and ALWAYS AUTO-ATTACK before committing abilities/in between abilities (most of the time you will need to AA before/during abilities for max efficient DPS).
> i always try to pop their Bone Plating beforehand or force their defensive abilities eg; Riposte/ Counter Strike to name a few to be on cooldown during my tower-dive. HP leads before the dive is important and a large wave from your slow push is what will give you lane priority, map pressure and kill-pressure, giving you plenty of options to either roam, dive or recall.
laning phase:ideally cheater recall and then default to always slow pushing your lane to then execute tower-dives. help your jungler if you need to with your lane priority and lane control and make Teleport plays when you see fit. tip for those Teleport plays is to make sure you shove out your lane first before TP'ing otherwise you will lose a lot of minions/tower health over even a quick TP play. and goes without saying but if any opportunity shows to kill your opponent, then take that too, even if it's at the 1st wave of the game during your cheater recall play.
mid-late game:shove and keep pushing and if you can't (99% of the time you won't be able to remember) then simply shove and roam instead.
what to do in teamfights:dive their backline and blitz their squishies. utilize Flash if needed and if not, then doing so with your diver's kit.
what is lane priority?
lane priority means being able to roam first out of you and your opponent at top lane (any lane for that matter) meaning you get to help any fights/objective contests that's occurring elsewhere FIRST. this even includes using Teleport first.
a classic example: you have ZERO lane priority if you're CS'ing under tower as you can't roam from there since you need to collect CS. your opponent on the other hand, has full lane priority as he's the one that pushed it in under your tower & thus has nothing else to do in lane, meaning he can help out anywhere first
having lane priority can differ between many factors. from having a better wave-clearing kit to having a HP lead, kill-pressure, having minion advantage or finally, simply having jungle pressure.
never forget: even during a freeze, lane priority can be yours in an instant by just quickly shoving out the wave, forcing the enemy top laner to catch the wave. that's the beautiy of playing Irelia. our Q and Auto Attacks helps us clear out waves really fast. lane priority is ESPECIALLY yours during a slow-push because at any point you can just shove it out and help your jungler/TP anywhere, or just finish the slow-push fully and force the enemy top laner to stay under turret to catch the wave.
more in depth about lane priority: let's say your opponent has lane priority in this example. this means he will get to roam first. whether that's going for scuttle crab, joining a fight elsewhere or ganking a lane/using Teleport to a lane, his lane priority has essentially bought himself time. your opponent has all those potential plays to make; while you're stuck CS'ing under tower. this is essentially what lane priority is.
also, if you try contest a roam whilst having ZERO lane priority, you will end up lose many minions. this is because your lane is pushing toward the enemy tower meaning your minions will kill their minions faster (since it's pushing remember!) equaling to you losing out a ton of CS/XP whilst your lane opponent loses minimal minions by the time they returns to lane.
there are many things about lane priority so if you want to, click here for a video the LEC youtube channel made about lane priority (6 mins only and timestamped) or find another youtube video that suits you! i gave you a simple rundown of it with an example. you'll understand and learn more and all about it the more you play top lane and experiment.
LEARNING HOW TO APPROPRIATELY PROXY:
what is proxying?
> proxying is the act of standing in between two enemy towers and preventing the enemy from walking up to their wave whilst YOUR wave denies themselves to the enemy tower meaning your laner lose CS/XP. while you're standing in between the towers and preventing them from walking up, you are also wave clearing the upcoming waves that come up to you.
- proxying is an excellent tool for us top laners to abuse. it's definitely not a thing you can do every single game, but it's definitely a thing you take advantage of if you see an appropriate opportunity to do so.
here is a video example of proxying on Irelia. you can click here to watch on twitch
> as you can see, i've analyzed and determined that in this very game in particular, me proxying was the play and as you can see it pays off very well when done correctly. understand i phrased "this very game in particular" for a reason. sometimes proxying simply isn't the answer and it might be better to do other things like; back for items, or shove out your lane, back for items then look for a Teleport play elsewhere, or shove the lane in and roam to help your jungler, or go for a gank at mid, or straight up simply deciding that proxying is too dangerous as the enemy mid/jg is missing and you can't win that 1v2 or 1v3, ETC, you get it.
> proxying enables you to further your lead, and just as importantly, stunt the enemy laner from furthering theirs thus creating that beautiful top gap.
when proxying you must keep an eye on your minimap. a good rule of thumb in league is;
if you can't see X champion on the map, always assume they are coming for you.
> this tip is S-tier and is one of the many staple "rule of thumb" rule-fundamentals you must keep in your head at all times. credit to XFSN SABER for saying it in one of his videos.
> this means, if you're proxying but see their jungler and/or mid-laner missing, assume this to be them coming to gank you, and thus you must decide; can i win this potential 1v3? or should i take this farm and back? or should i just back right now now? can my jungler help me win this maybe? do i have flash up? do i have my R up?
> you can see in the video example above i went for this proxy play versus Jayce after killing him knowing that if i proxy him and he tries to get back to his tier 1 tower, i'll kill him again. his jungler Kayn is also bot-side, furthering my ability to perform this proxy. knowing this i deduce that the only person that can really help Jayce out is the enemy mid, which is Nasus. the thing is, if Nasus comes and commits to helping out Jayce at top, i win that 1v2, hard.
> these decisions and deductions you make will always be different in every single game you play. so, learn, overcome, adapt and always ask yourself these questions first before committing to a proxy play otherwise you might risk throwing your lead and straight up losing the game.
limit-testing is important and understanding what you can and can't do is important too. good luck with proxying, when it goes well the dopamine your brain produces and the heavy lead you get is so worth.
BONUS TIP HERE:
looking out for TP plays bottom.
this should honestly have a section of it's own, but due to how short the information is, i'll simply make a section here in the guide as it kind of falls under the whole "slow pushing" and "lane priority" category we have discussed in this section of the guide.
using Teleport for bot lane and making plays appropriately is an easy way to impact the game so hard that it could possibly lead to a direct win from there. some TP plays as early as before the 10 minute mark can already insta-win you the game so always watch out for that.
TP'ing bot isn't so simple as simply TP'ing.
you need to have proper wave management as discussed. cheater recalling, slow-pushing, etc. slow pushing can lead to easier looks for bot TP plays as you have full lane control, lane priority and minion advantage. this means you can shove out the wave completely at your convenience, using your lane priority to your advantage & buying yourself time in order to commit to that TP.
this will lead to your opponent being stuck either staying and CS'ing the wave you shoved in or, if they decide to follow your TP, means they miss out on the slow-pushed wave you ended up hard shoving when you decided to commit to the TP play. either of these scenarios will end up resulting in a top gap. you end up helping bot/mid/jg whatever it is and when you return to top, you won't miss many minions if at all and as said, they're stuck CS'ing your shoved in wave. as long as you shoved in your wave before roaming. that's only possible if you have proper lane control, hence the importance and emphasis on me saying; SLOW PUSH please.
> again; minion advantage = lane priority = lane control = shoving it out to roam when you want which leads to: your opponent being at a lose-lose. they have to decide between not helping their team while you're helping yours or missing out on CS/XP.
> note that these bot TP plays won't happen every game and that you shouldn't force it either. this is simply me telling you to keep a lookout for it. forcing bot TP plays is an easy way to ruin the game for everyone, you included if it doesn't go well, so again, just be on the lookout for it.
[more about "shove and roam" down below]
extra extra tips;
1) use your toggle champions only button appropriately when you're tower-diving.
nothing will make you angrier than seeing an amazing tower-dive play and failing to execute it right at the end cause you hit the tower. make sure you get used to toggling that on or off or holding it if that's your preference. check the settings and start implementing it like your QWERFD buttons! better now/late than never, trust me!
and also; walking right next to your opponent under their tower to bait them into using an ability, and then all-inning.
no video example here but i'll put one if needed, but if you want to tower-dive someone who definitely dies to your combo under their turret, BUT they have a pesky defensive ability still up like Garen's Courage or Fiora's Riposte, sometimes simply walking up right next to them without even touching them, JUST walking up to them, is enough to force them to use their defensive ability early- allowing you to all-in and kill them under their turret, forcing them to lose cs/xp.
the threat of a slowpush and loads of minions stacked under your opponents tower will always raise the stakes of the lane and scare them into using it early to try and save their own lives. if they don't fall for it, it's up to you whether or not to RISK your combo under their turret with their defensive ability up, or to just walk away and accept that you couldn't get the kill right then.
a lot of reading but a valuable extra extra extra tip;
look boys. it's gonna suck and it'll probably take you a while to truly grasp it but again the sooner you learn this the better.
you need to understand that armour is REALLY overpowered in the early and mid game. until your ADC gets Lord Dominik's Regards or you comfortably won your lane to a point where their early armour items like Bramble Vest does nothing, or it's just really late game when armour starts to have it's diminishing returns, understand that;
the enemy "tank" will always somehow out-duel you and you'll sit there tilted asf asking why a tank can out-duel you.
if your laner is building tank and you haven't established a solid lead yet? he WILL outduel you yes. that Malphite with 0 AD items will win a 1v1. unless he fights wrongly or takes a too extended fight, he will always win. and this applies to other champions too like an Aatrox with Bramble Vest. even a matchup that's Irelia favoured may suddenly seem aatrox favoured just because you couldn't establish a solid lead before the Bramble Vest purchase.
the sooner you accept that tanks/tank items are just really overpowered in early-mid game the easier your climb will be. you need to switch up and play toward when their items aren't as effective since building more and more armour has diminishing returns. accept that they're strong mid-game and play pass their powerspike because in the late game tanks typically pop like a pimple from your ADC whilst YOU aim their backline (you don't aim tanks first in the teamfights anyways. your job is to dive their squishies in their backline).
my tip versus tanks would be to; keep with the slow push. tower-dive if it's free but it probably won't be since you don't really tower-dive tanks (they're too tanky wow) & play with your shove and roams appropriately. this means looking for scuttle fights with your jungler and things like that. ensure you have lane priority so you can be on the lookout for potential Teleport plays at bot. plus, with your cheater recall that you should've done against said tank, maybe consider a Cull purchase? tank lanes are usually passive since no one can really kill each other. again everything i've said is true but if there's a play you can make that will work 90% of the time that can give you a lead? then go for it!
(i just mentioned a very special 5 fundamentals here and you'll learn more about it at the very bottom of the guide when i give you final notes. they're super important along with some extra tips so be sure to go through this whole guide)
whatever you do, don't die to the tank. okay? it will just play into their whole "tank is good early-mid game" plan and boost their chances of winning. this also segways into another good point of; understanding your surroundings, opponent movements and your gut-feeling of knowing when you're about to be lured and/or baited into a gank.
too many times i've selfishly tried to kill my opponent just to end up being in a very unfavourable 1v2 cause i ended up getting baited. chances are; if the kill looks way too good to be true in a way that your opponent is also moving in a unorthodox and weird way, then it probably is. if every fibre in your body says "just back now and get a good reset cause the enemy jungler is right there", then just listen to it unless you see the enemy jungler present on the map elsewhere (and midlaner too if you want to be extra safe) confirming that it's gonna be an isolated favourable 1v1 between you and your opponent and no interruptions will occur.
okay, now move we can move onto mid-to-late-game macro; shoving and roaming.
STEP 1:GO TO THE APPROPRIATE SIDELANE
STEP 2:START SHOVING OUT THE SIDELANE
STEP 3:IF YOU CAN PUSH (MEANING NO ONE IS CONTESTING YOU), KEEP PUSHING. TOWERS > KILLS. IF YOU CAN NOT PUSH (SOMEONE IS DEFENDING (THIS WILL BE THE LIKELY SCENARIO IN 99% OF YOUR GAMES)) THEN SHOVE OUT THE LANE AS SAID AND ROAM
JUNGLE FARM, OBJECTIVE FARM LIKE SCUTTLE , RIFT HERALD , DRAGON , BARON OR OTHER LANE FARM? GANKING MID? Teleport TO BOT FOR A PLAY, SEARCHING FOR A PICK, GOING TO A JUNGLE FIGHT, RECALLING FOR AN ITEM, ETC. ROAMING IS EVERYTHING.
quick side note: taking down your top opponent's tier 1 tower allows you to shove the lane in much deeper resulting in more time for your roams.
think of their tier 1 tower as your timer to roam effectively. if it's still standing, roaming will be much tougher to accomplish compared to if it wasn't. this is why pinging for rift herald (or in some situations doing it yourself) or getting in tower damage to bring down tier 1 tower before mid-game comes is important.
i'd say the earlier you bring down tier 1, the better but strats to purposefully keep tier 1 up for longer than you could do exist. mainly, keeping their turret alive to DENY enemy top laner experience (their tower kills your minions = they lose gold/xp).
ultimately, depending on the game, it's a call you must make, but the facts are; taking down their tier 1 turret = much more effective roams to do whatever you need to do (as discussed earlier it could range from taking enemy jungle farm, taking second herald, tp plays bot, ganking mid, jungle fight, etc.)
now, let's move onto the mid-late-game macro, shoving and roaming.
shove and keep pushing (if you're lucky, you can do this) OR
shove and roam (which is what you're gonna end up doing 99% of the time)
here's an example of shoving and roaming from one of my games. i had appropriately chosen to shove out bot lane, then roamed to create a teamfight that ended up winning us the entire game. note that yes i'm sidelane pressuring by being on that lane, but as a DIVER- i prioritize being a part of these teamfights via shove and roam rather than prioritizing ending the game through split pushing as shoving and roaming has more value for my champion, in this case; Irelia. it doesn't show in the video, but i shoved out botlane first and then roamed mid. also, i was at botlane in the first place since i was pressuring that lane as baron objective was spawning first, not drake, so keep all that in mind too.
click here if you want to watch it on twitch instead.
> note how i immediately aimed for their most important squishies first? in this case it was Xayah, plans changed and i adapted and changed to aim the next most important squishy; Nami. once nami died (and xayah too) i aimed the 3rd most important squishy, Ahri.
> your "kill the squishies first" targets will always depend on which squishy is fed and should be taken out first, and which aren't as high of a priority.
note about divers
as you know, champions like Irelia, Renekton, Camille all can sidelane and exert pressure whilst being able to duel most champs that defend against them. but at the end of the day they can't do it as well as Fiora, Jax, Tryndamere, right?
this is because divers are very different from skirmishers. although we divers can sidelane,
we are so much more effective at shoving and roaming in order to be a part of these teamfights so we can blitz and nuke the backline squishies.
again, we can obviously sidelane and splitpush to contest the opposite side objective, but at the end of the day our champions have more value by attending these teamfights after shoving out whatever sidelane they're in, even if it's midlane.
skirmishers like Fiora on the other hand, don't do as well in teamfights as their kits are more suited for sidelane 1v1s, hence why those champs are so awful to lose to. but worry not! if played correctly, us divers have just as good of a 1v1 game and definitely a better teamfight kit. the difference between divers and skirmishers is important to make in order to further your understanding of league so keep all this in mind.
this is why i say "shoving and roaming" is your best friend as a diver player in the mid-to-late-game. but, let me explain to you on how to know which sidelane to put pressure on.
how to know which sidelane to put pressure on?
typically, the easiest way to tell which lane is the "appropriate side lane to go to" is the lane that is opposite to the current/upcoming objective.
> this means that if baron is spawning in 2 minutes and the current drake is spawning in 4 minutes, then the correct lane to sidelane onto is bot lane. this works the other way around. so if drake is spawning in 2 minutes and baron is spawning in 5 minutes, go ahead and pressure top side. ideally, your Teleport will be up for these sidelane adventures and if they're not, you will just have to utilize and time your shove and roams accordingly so you're not late to any important baron/drake fights.
choosing which sidelanes to go to as a top laner allows you to exert a lot of pressure. this is because if the enemy team tries to commit a stop to your sidelaning, your teammates can then contest whatever objective is up with much less pressure because;
1. if the enemy team goes for you, that means your team ideally takes baron/dragon "for free".
2. if the enemy team doesn't go for you, you can take towers/inhibs and/or shove lanes in "for free" (which means they miss out on cs/xp (which is important)
3. you have options. at the end of the day you have Teleport. this means that regardless if they pursue you or not, you have the ability to Teleport to the baron/dragon fight anyways. if you're smart, you'll shove your lane in first as mentioned in this guide and then help your team. doing that will allow you to Teleport to the fight in a more favourable position potentially make it a 5v4 to your side. more about teleports later on in the guide.
extra note: Stealth Ward and Teleport synergy:
when shoving and roaming, look for good Stealth Ward spots. yellow trinket is great as a top laner with Teleport as you can ward down the sidelanes you're at and create extra space and or pressure when necessary. if the opportunity arises, you can use Teleport on those wards for either split pushing or for pressure, even if it's a ward by their inhibitor, allows us to play-make. these potential plays have won me countless games thanks to the pressure. some games i quite literally ended it by back dooring and inhib for all 3 inhibs destroyed, or just flat out destroyed nexus.
champs like Irelia, Renekton and Camille (divers) may not split as well as Fiora, Tryndamere or Jax (skirmishers), but we are DEFINITELY threats on the sidelane if left unattended and can ravage structures if left alone long enough. if you make a good call on split pushing, teleport or not, they will have to answer to that and send 1 or 2 people at you, creating tons of space, especially effective if you're split pushing on the other side of the map when baron or a dragon is spawning as discussed earlier. it's up to you to either 1v1, 1v2, keep pushing, TP to help your team or float around for pressure so they can't commit to objectives. if you don't do this properly you risk your team getting 4v5'd and you will have costed your team the objective and potentially the entire game.
shoving and roaming may be our best friend in the mid-to-late-game, however we divers have our options open for other plays too and this is one of them, we're just flexible like that. 99% of games, the standard AND BEST play you will end up doing is shoving and roaming with some split pushing here and there as usual, but in that 1% of games, you'll be map-pressuring way more than shoving and roaming and that's just the beauty of league. no two games will be the same. keep all this in mind and use the Stealth Ward and Teleport (or just teleport on it's own) trinket synergy well as TP cooldown can be quite punishing if misused.
with practice, limit testing, more games and experience, you'll learn what not to do and what to definitely do.
your job is to nuke squishies.
that's what champions like Irelia (classified as divers) are supposed to do.
with Flash, you're almost always guaranteed to BLITZ to the enemy backline and nuke them, but without it, you'll have to be extra mindful and skillful about it.
here is a perfect example of me using Vanguard's Edge + Flash in order to gap close and notice how i IMMEDIATELY AIM KAI'SA (their most important champion (and we all know she's a squishy)). click here if the video below is too small.
> small rule of thumb in league: if you don't need to use X ability. then don't.
example. if you Bladesurge twice on a target that was only marked once in quick succession and THEN they Flash, how are you going to gap-close that distance since your Bladesurge is on cooldown?
a note to always remember is if you don't need to use it, then don't. hold on to your abilities unless you actually need to use them. so if someone flashes to escape you- your Q should be ready (IF you held onto it instead of misusing it) meaning you can then use your Q to catch up to them and finish them off properly, securing a kill.
this goes for everything else in league including using Flash, Teleport, even something like using Defiant Dance on a wave. how many times have you died knowing you'd live if you just had your W or E cooldown up? ik i've died way too many times cause of things like that LOL
LOTS of players end up WASTING Flash for a single kill when it's already late-mid to late-game.
FLASHING for a kill when an objective like DRAKE or BARON is not up,
means that WHEN THAT OBJECTIVE DOES COME UP, YOU ARE FLASHLESS
Flash is the most broken ability in the game. to have it down when an objective is up (objectives wins games) is to handicap yourself from winning.
flashing for a kill in the early game, relatively mid-game, is totally fine. kills means a lead which means you're stronger which means you can do more things like taking camps, securing objectives and going for kills and having lane priority (complete lane control).
but when it's reaching late game... to waste a flash for a kill that DOESN'T at least lead to; TOWERS, DRAKE, BARON, INHIBITORS AND/OR NEXUS...
...is to int the game away. Flash genuinely wins/loses games. ESPECIALLY when playing Irelia.
same idea goes for Teleport
unless it leads to a strong-play to help you win the game, you shouldn't ever use Teleport post 20-minutes unless it's to teleport to the drake or baron fight to help your team, or in other cases, TELEPORTING to a sidelane/midlane to take towers. with more practice and games you'll be able to make that shot-call to push when appropriate! (you should be on the opposite side of the map, remember we're top laners)
having it up when DRAKE or BARON is up is VITAL for opening up the map to avoid the typical annoying ARAMs that occur in soloqueue. do not waste Teleport on anything else. again, UNLESS it's a play that'll actually help you win the game whether that's to push and take tower/inhibs or a spontaneous team fight you have to win. otherwise, KEEP it to open up the map and split push so you can TP to the appropriate objective fights when needed.
just a few tips about our important summoner spells.
extra tip: how to dive to their backline without Flash?
Flash makes life a lot easier for us divers but sometimes it'll be on cooldown. and when it's on cooldown you might find yourself to be in a position where you have to make a play and do your job as a diver regardless if it's up, coming up, not up at all or just fresh on it's 5 minute cooldown. let me give you some an extra tip here.
with practice, limit-testing, trial and error, playing a lot of games, watching others and maybe even VOD-reviewing some of your games/plays/attempts, you will start to see opportunities that will present themselves when it comes to diving their backline without flash.
take this as an example skip to 0:34 (click here to watch on twitch)
> note here i had no Flash. i had to figure out another way to dive and kill their most important squishy, in this case; Ezreal
a good tactic for Irelia is making smart use of her Bladesurge. think of it like Renekton. he uses his Slice and Dice from target to target, eventually gap closing and diving to his intended target. it's the same here with our blade dancer.
in that clip, i was "aiming" their frontline Hecarim. this can sometimes happen often when your flash is on cooldown, cause there's no reliable way to reach their backline without them reacting and just kiting you unless you have a good Vanguard's Edge or a minion wave coming up, right?
> my true intentions were to kill Ezreal the whole time, don't let me messing around with that Hecarim make you think otherwise. again, our goals as divers is to always, always, always prioritize nuking their squishies and killing them. DIVING them.
so, that whole "aiming frontline" is essentially me just bullsh#tting. i mark Hecarim with Flawless Duet and with that i use it's passive-mark to Bladesurge to him once, and instead of keeping up the fight and killing Hecarim, i instantly went ahead and used Bladesurge again to blitz'd toward Ezreal and knock his @ss out killing him fast.
tl;dr: i marked heca so i could Q him to gap-close and Q to the real target that i want to kill; ezreal.
again, with more games and genuine limit testing, you will see opportunities like this arise in your own games too. this includes in those games where you DON'T aim their backline- you'll begin to see how pointless it is to aim their frontliners as Irelia, and how quickly and often you die in teamfights when you get nuked by the backline you should've killed. one way or another you'll come to realize how divers need to dive their backline and that wasting any more time than needed hitting their frontline is what will lose you games and cut your potential as a player.
quick tip about irelia's W, Defiant Dance
> in my opinion, try getting into the habit of never using it for a stack, unless absolute neccesary. basically, always try to use it in a way that ISN'T for "just" getting a stack. this will help you learn how to get 4 stacks without quickly tapping W which will make you a better player. this also helps us follow one of the golden rules of league, which is; if you don't need to use it, don't.
> saving your W for actual needed things like; damage, setting up minions for Q, tanking something or whatever else it may be is much more important and yields way more value than just tapping it quickly for a 4th stack. so please keep that in mind. WAYY to many irelia players just TAP W for a stack and it's such an inefficient way to use what's otherwise such a powerful ability that has multiple uses.
what has kept me into competitively playing in MASTERS ELO china ionia *AND CLIMBING are these 5 fundamentals, small micro tip and a few mental tips all put together:
1. cheater recalling
2. perma default to slow pushing
3. looking at bot for good TP plays
5. shoving and roaming
all together these 5 macro tips have allowed me to consistently play in MASTERS+ china ionia and MASTERS+ EUW server.
another thing i should note is the consistent plays. i always love going for guaranteed plays rather than coinflip plays. basically; risk-aversion. if you were to ping me to join a 3v5 drake fight when our jungler is dead, i'm going to push the other lane in instead and maybe take the enemy's jungle farm while i'm at it. see, that's GUARANTEED money and xp and a shoved in wave that makes the enemy lose money and xp.
consistent, safe, risk-aversion plays like that all add up to a win. always go for the guaranteed plays when you know the other play is just a coin-flip/loss. that's how you'll CONSISTENTLY climb. take coin-flip fights as you will as some may work out, but just know to be consistent and to climb consistently, the guaranteed plays are what will make you a better player.
nobody likes being ahead just to take a coinflip fight out of desperation and losing your shutdown gold that snowballs the enemy team into a loss.
the one special one micro tip;
1. to always dive backline and aim their most important squishies first.
as a diver, you can never go wrong with this play. it will help you with knowing what to do and keeping your mind straight in those messy teamfights thus becoming a better player.
and honestly, league is just as much if MUCH MORE of a mental game than a mechanical game so let me include some mental tips too;
1. always say it's winnable. it really does help.
2. keep playing to win. don't simply tilt queue and don't play "for LP". play to WIN and try your hardest.
3. (works for me) stay cold, don't talk unless it's helpful like "im slow pushing to dive" (that will help you tbh) and focus.
ensure you're doing these 5 fundamentals, doing the important micro play and keeping the mental game strong in your games & soon you'll create your own unique way of playing top lane and be able to enjoy league instead of letting it negatively affect you since this game can really do some serious damage if you're not careful.
bonus bonus tip if you made it this far :)
> don't underestimate the ability of having an alt account to play on!
i genuinely believe that if you play to win and you DON'T mess around on your alt account (even if you are playing in games that is up to 400 LP lower than your main account), you can overall improve DRASTICALLY in league. ensure you're;
1. playing to win
2. playing the game as if your opponent is at your peak/better than you
3. not making mistakes and if you do, KNOWING what mistakes you made and LEARNING from them
these things can help you brush up on mechanics and help you get in-form for your main account games. i've recently been noticing that the games i play my BEST on main account just so happen to be the days where a day prior, i finished the day off playing on my alt account (that's 800 LP lower than my main). i believe that that's no coincidence! it really matters that you take the games on your alt as serious as you do on your main.
DO NOT play as if "you're better" and start making plays you'd never do on your main account. this just cements bad habits and makes you worse. play with heart and with purpose to win and learn and i promise you it'll help your main account games go smoother, more consistent and better.
just my two cents on what works for me! also helps that eventually the alt account will climb to the same elo as your main which means two accounts at your peak instead of 1 which is great for lessening the tilt on those tilting days.
that's all for my guide!
i worked really hard on this and i hope it helped! it wasn't JUST an irelia guide as i hopefully sufficiently taught enough about the usage of slow pushes, cheater recalls, tower dives, lane priority and mid-late game macro and what to do in teamfights with top lane fighters (specifically divers)for you to get started on your journey to playing Irelia and top lane in general!
if you want to play other champs that are like Irelia for your 2nd/3rd picks or just back-up picks if she's banned or anything like that, i highly recommend playing either; Renekton, Camille or Fiora.
as i mentioned, i'm a two-trick Irelia & Renekton main, so i hope these examples in this guide and this guide in general helped you! irelia and renekton have REALLY similar playstyles both in lane and out of lane and in general and here is the Renekton guide i made too! check it out if you'd like!
if you'd like to support me!
again, if you'd like to support my stream or just come by and ask questions then please do @ twitch.tv/at_tar_ras
i also have youtube, tiktok and twitter! i'm very active on all of them (except youtube SORRY) so there are the links :)
IRELIA GUIDE - no dumb filler. a genuine authentic guide. this is "old" Irelia but the tips are still extremely valid
MY STREAM - come by my stream :D i stream and play Irelia and Renekton everyday and can answer any questions you might have whether it's about irelia (since this is an irelia guide) or top lane in general!
an irelia combo guide - i didn't bother making an entire section for "irelia combos" as there are tons and tons and tons of youtube videos out there already showing you guys the combos. plus, i never really watched any myself either, only LolDobby and maybe a video like the one i'm linking here now. not more is needed as experimenting and clocking in hours of Irelia yourself is the best way to improve and find your own unique style to playing this limitless champion! PS: vid is timestamped already, watch it until about 1:47 as the rest of that is in spanish LOL
- video showing how to/what is cheater recall is already on the top-ish page of the guide (the VOD from sanchovies and LS stream)
- bwipo trading the whole concept of trading harshly with the opponent before a dive or (in some cases) a recall
- a redditor in the irelia subreddit showcases that you can use E1 and E2 during a single Q dash. i didn't even realize this until seeing it :) here! https://www.reddit.com/r/IreliaMains/comments/16bvmqx/ever_wondered_why_irelking_es_looks_so_smooth/
- PS: don't rush to use E :) sometimes having it up and not using it (assuming you can statcheck them without 5 stacks or assuming you got your passive stacked up without E) can exert tons of pressure as if you use it but WHIFF it- you end up losing tons of kill-pressure. make sure you hit irelia Es! or just hold it/mind-game it!