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Irelia Build Guide by Luciferia

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Luciferia

Solo Lane Irelia

Luciferia Last updated on October 26, 2011
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Team 1

LeagueSpy Logo
Top Lane
Ranked #55 in
Top Lane
Win 51%
Get More Stats

Ability Sequence

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

Not Updated For Current Season

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


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 0

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

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

Utility: 9

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Welcome to my second Irelia guide; this one details solo laning (which is generally top), which is also the more typical role for Irelia, unlike jungling. :)

Irelia is a great solo laner, especially considering she needs those creep kills! Since she is an off-tank, she can do very well solo, and the chance to farm really helps her finish her build early, if you're good enough with those last hits!

Feel free to leave suggestions/comments.

Also do note, the second "build" shows the six final items (as with my other Irelia guide), and the stats she will have with them, since in the first build I am simply showing the order I like to buy items in.

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Pros / Cons


  • Irelia is very tanky.
  • Her damage is great, even if you only have Trinity Force as your DPS item.
  • She has a ton of mobility!
  • Her passive makes it next to impossible to keep her CC'd, when coupled with Mercury Treads.
  • Her passive on her W heals her every time she hits, and when activated does True Damage as well!
  • Once you have your first two tank items, you become pretty much indestructible.
  • Despite the fact that she isn't really considered an AD Carry, she can carry quite well when built tanky.
  • She is a great initiator.
  • Late-game she can tank turrets if necessary.
  • Once LV6 she can farm creep waves with .

  • Some champions are very difficult to lane against, forcing you to turret hug, and thus impacting your farm if you are not a good last-hitter.
  • If the other team does not have a jungler, you have to 1v2, which can be very bad for you early game.
  • Some junglers seem to think they don't need to gank your lane.
  • If the other team has a jungler, you have to invest some money in wards, or else die.
  • She can be very squishy until you get your first defensive item.
  • You need god map awareness in order to put her mobility to use.
  • She's best mid/late game, after she has gotten good farm. Ideally you want at least 100 minion kills by the 20 minute mark if not more, as well as champion kills/assists.

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I really feel like I shouldn't have to spell this out, but since some of you who are looking at this guide may be new players, I'll do it anyway.

Irelia is what we like to call a farm-dependent champion. This means that without enough creep kills, she doesn't get very good items. Any good build for her is expensive, so it is extremely important to last-hit minions.

If you are not familiar with last-hitting minions, and why we do it, here's a short explanation.

When you get the killing blow on a minion, you get extra gold. When you get extra gold, obviously you can buy things much more quickly. However, if you do not score the killing blow, you do not get any bonus gold.

It is also worth mentioning that you generally do not want to stand there and auto-attack minions to death, or spam skills on them. Unless minions are at the turret, you should only or auto-attack their last hit of HP, or else you are likely to push your lane too much and get ganked, or just get owned by the champion you are laning against.

When solo lane as Irelia, its very important to keep a balance of being offensive and defensive. You don't really want to push your lane too hard, but you don't want to let them push your lane hard either. Unfortunately, a lot of junglers will push your lane all the way back to the enemy turret when you B, if they're holding your lane, or if they want more creep kills. If your lane gets pushed too far, this is where you need wards, map awareness, and most likely to stay in a bush or by your turret until the creeps are somewhere about half-way between you turret and the enemy turret.

You want to save and for ganks, or in the case of getting away if need be. Irelia is already very fast, and just makes you even faster, which is useful if you have to run all the way back to your base in order to get away with very low HP while being chased.

Irelia is an extremely good farmer, since the cooldown on resets if it is the killing blow to a foe. And of course there's at LV6 which has a low cooldown, as well as heals you some for each hit. Not to mention the fact its ranged. It is very nice for clearing creep waves quickly, as well as for sniping champions who may be trying to escape with their lives. ;)

Now, it is important that you do not rely on for last-hits. I know its an extremely fun skill, but you need to be able to last-hit with auto-attacks as well. Not only to conserve mana, but because it is a very important skill to have regardless of what champion you play as. Last-hits are always important.

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As with my jungling Irelia guide, the masteries are the same.

There are only two mastery builds I like to use on Irelia, whether I am jungling or whether I am solo/duo lane. Why? It's pretty simple, I really don't like throwing points into Offense when it comes to Irelia, I personally think she benefits much more from the Defensive and Utility trees.

My primary build on Irelia is 0/21/9, and my secondary build is 0/9/21. I prefer 21 points in Defense, but putting those points into Utility can be quite good on her as well. I think this is one of those things that is going to chalk up more to what you prefer, versus what may or may not be best.

After all, what is best for one person may not be best for another, due to everyone having different playstyles.

That being said, if you want to build tanky for Irelia, I do not suggest putting points into Offense.

Now, in the two builds up top I did not include my Mastery variations, because I almost never use 0/9/21. However, if it is something you wish to try, then I am posting screenshots of both here for you.

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Ahhh, runes. There seem to be almost endless variations. However, with Irelia I have very few rune builds that I actually like on her.

Now, let's talk about runes for a moment.

  • Marks, sometimes also called "Reds" cater to Physical Attack. You are limited to nine of these.
  • Seals, sometimes also called "Yellows", cater to to Defense. You are limited to nine of these.
  • Glyphs, sometimes also called "Blues", cater to Magic. You are limited to nine of these.
  • Quintessences, usually referred to as "Quints", give extra bonuses and specialize in Utiliy. You are limited to three of these.

Depending on the champion, sometimes you will buy for example a Seal that does not specialize in Defense, or a Glyph that does not specialize in Magic. With Irelia however, both my rune build's adhere to the individual rune specialties.


There is honestly only one choice for Marks.

Greater Mark of Desolation are in my opinion the best Marks for any AD Champion to use, they are great early, mid, and late game, whereas some Runes seem to only be good early-on before you get most of your build.

I like to choose Runes that will be useful the entire game, not just for 5-10 minutes.


Honestly, you have two (good) choices here.

You can go with either or . Dodge can be very handy, but it's not as consistently useful as armor is.

The chance to dodge can be great, but it's just that - a chance. And honestly, if your Seals are your only Dodge chance increase, then you probably won't be dodging much of anything except the occasional minion attack.

Armor increase, however, reduces the overall physical damage you take. Which when coupled with and , means you should be losing a lot less HP at the start of your jungle, as well as help you all throughout the game by increasing your armor by a very nice amount.

I have seen some people who like to go mana regen, but honestly whether I am laning or Jungling, I have never had mana issues on Irelia. I also think that mana regen Seals are a waste of space when it comes to Irelia, she benefits far more from Armor or Dodge.


GLYPHS. This is another one of those things where there is only one good choice.

is the only Glyph I would ever consider using on Irelia. So many people like to play AP-based champions, and honestly, many AP champions hurt like hell. This flat increase to Magic Resist will help a lot early game, as well as later on.


Personally... I have been using for Irelia, because the increased movement speed is very nice, and helps lend to her mobility early game, while helping her achieve nearly 500 movement speed with a late game full build.

There are however, of course, other options.
  • could be rather sexy, but are situational at best. In the rare event there are not many if any AP characters on the enemy team, these Quints become pretty much useless for that game.
  • Greater Quintessence of Desolation what can I say, Armor Penetration is sexy.
  • reduced cooldowns is very nice on Irelia, considering her burst combo has a fairly long cooldown (making fast movement speed useful for catching up...)
  • would only do well when coupled with , otherwise, I definitely would not suggest going with these. There are better choices.

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As I mentioned in the Introduction, the first build is buy order, the second is to show you the final stats.

Starting items

+ x1

This should hold you over for a while, depending on who you are versus on your lane. With and , Irelia has very good sustain for her lane. If you play it right, you will be able to save up a very nice amount of gold before you have to go back and buy.

Early Game Items

Turn that into a Philosopher's Stone the very first chance you get!

Philosopher's Stone > > > > +

I would first like to point out, that although the gold/5 is a "Unique Passive", the fact that the two items are different means you still get the passive from both items. If you were to get two Philosopher's Stone however, you would only receive the gold/5 from one of them.

on Irelia are too good to pass by. With her passive, this helps her survive through CC's much better than any other pair of boots, and it also means that you do not need to find another Tenacity item.

and are two items that you should buy after your boots, you will be building these into an the first chance you get, but for now, having one or both of these items on you helps greatly. Which one you want to grab first is up to you, though I personally grab first.

Situational; + + +

You may want to consider getting two or three of the above "situational" items after / . Depending on how your game is going, you may need the extra defenses - for example if the laning phase ends early, you will need these items to help keep you alive in team fights.

Since all four of the items I listed build into other items of your build, it won't be wasted money; it will just put a slight delay on obtaining your , but if you already have your and/or , you can afford to put a hold on .

After all, its better to survive and do a little less damage, than it is to have nice damage and get blown up in three seconds.

Mid&Late Game, Core items

If you have been doing well, you should be able to finish your if you haven't already.

+ + + +

After you have completed your , its time to start building up your defenses majorly. Irelia is a champion who can get away with having only one DPS item, but I'll touch on that later.

I highly recommend building a after finishing . Why? Because it gives you both Magic Resist and Armor. In most normal situations your enemy team will have both AD and AP players on their team, so having increased defense to both is very nice. The resurrect is also very nice on Irelia since if she does die, she can typically take out some if not all remaining champions when she resurrects (depending on how the team fight went, obviously).

After GA, I suggest getting your . The increase to her HP is extremely worthwhile, especially if the enemy team has a lot of AoE or focuses you. A lot of people seem to focus Irelia, so having higher HP will help greatly; if you have five people trying to kill you, you need all the help you can get, because if your HP pool is low, they will eventually kill you, regardless of your Armor and Magic Resist. Not to mention Armor/Magic Penetration.

Next are two very specific items. One is Armor, one is Magic Resist. Which one you get first is entirely situational. If the enemy is heavily AD, then get first. If they are heavy AP, get [icon-Force of Nature] first.

The active on has saved my tail on Irelia many times, as well as led our team to victory in team fights. Its extremely useful, and not just for the defense it provides.

The movement speed bonus on makes you ridiculously fast. It should put you at 492 movement speed (if you're following this guide to a T). Anything past 490 begins to have a 50% diminishing return (meaning less effective after 490). However, Ghost still does stack up on it of course. ;) This makes it very easy to chase people down and to them if they're trying to get away. You can cross the map at ridiculous speed.

Other notes

As I mentioned earlier, Irelia doesn't really need a DPS item after . However, if you find that you do not need and/or due to enemy team comp, this leaves a spot for more damage.

Option One - defensive DPS items:

  • Atma's and Madred's both give you armor and damage.
  • Wit's End gives you attack speed and Magic Resist.
  • Atma's gives you critical hit chance increase.
  • Madred's gives you attack speed and added magic damage equal to 4% of your target's maximum health to your attacks.

Option Two - Flat out DPS items
  • is a huge boost to your AD as well as your critical hit chance.
  • gives you a great boost to AD as well as life steal.
  • gives you a good boost to your AD, as well as more attack speed.