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Irelia Build Guide by Vapora Dark
Vapora Dark's Grandmaster Top Irelia Guide Season 11
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+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
|Hi, I'm Vapora Dark, a veteran player that's been playing since season 1. During that time I've hit Master tier as a mid lane main in season 5, as an ADC main in season 7, again as a jungle main in season 8, and once more in season 9 playing a mix of all those roles including mid and Fizz. I can play every role to a very high level and have a very good understanding of the general aspects of the game on top of that.|
I've been writing guides on MOBAFire since 2011, among which my achievements include winning the MOBAFire guide contest multiple times, achieving the highest score on the site multiple times with multiple guides, achieving the most comments on a single guide of all time by a very large amount which hasn't come even close to being surpassed in the 3 years that it's been archived, and having the most collective guide views on the site by a very hefty amount. I've also written some champion guides for Riot Games on the Lolesports site.
I hope you enjoy reading the guide as much as I enjoyed writing it, and that by the end you feel my guide was worth the privilege of your time.
|Conqueror: This keystone is the only keystone Irelia should be using. Gaining extra attack damage after being in combat for a few seconds is great, but more importantly it'll convert 20% of all damage you deal to champions into True Damage. As Irelia does mixed damage thanks to Ionian Fervor it'll be next to impossible to itemise effectively against you.|
|Triumph: The other options in this branch aren't very good for Irelia, but Triumph is amazing on any champion and she is no exception, making it a very obvious choice.|
|Legend: Alacrity: Since Irelia scales so well with attack speed this rune is by far the best choice in this branch.|
|Coup de Grace: All the runes in this branch are similar in that they're a % damage increase, but Coup de Grace is the most consistent, being effective against any champion and without requiring you to be at great danger of dying.|
Bone Plating: This rune can protect you from a lot of damage in all-ins, making this rune perfect given top lane's brawly nature.
Chrysalis: Extra health during laning phase and extra attack damage after some takedowns makes this a great jack of all trades rune for any bruiser.
Ionian Fervor: You can stack this very easily on minions by using Bladesurge for last hits, and in teamfights you should be able to fairly easily stack it by resetting Bladesurge on Marked targets and hitting the rest of your skills. The more stacks you have the more damage you'll do, and at full stacks you'll gain extra attack speed and Ionian Fervor will deal 300% damage to shields, which can help take down an ADC through the protection of their support.
Bladesurge: This ability makes Irelia an extremely mobile champion, especially around minions, and after the rework with the ability to Mark targets, even in team fights.
It's hard to explain exactly all the ways this spell can be used, all I can say is that you need to keep your eyes and mind open to all the potential uses for Bladesurge for mobility.
Defiant Dance: For a spell that needs to be charged up, this feels super underwhelming in terms of damage. That being said, there's two aspects of this spell that make it deceptively strong: The fact that you get 50% physical damage reduction while charging, and that it can't be interrupted by CC.
These two perks are pretty much the only reasons you could want to use the spell for anything other than CS'ing from a range or getting a ranged last-hit on a champion. You can use it either timing it to block a lot of damage, by using it right as you're about to get hit by something like Wind Slash, or to "avoid" CC by using it when you're about to get hit by something like Broken Wings 3rd cast.
You're not really avoiding the CC since when you finish casting Defiant Dance you have to wait for the CC to end anyway, but if you're spending most/all of the duration charging up a spell that requires charging then it pretty much has the same effect.
In some matchups Defiant Dance will have little to no impact, but in others proper usage of Defiant Dance will determine how the matchup will go, so make sure to focus on using it whenever optimal, and not using it when you don't need to use it.
Flawless Duet: As an AoE stun, this skill can be super good if you can utilize it to its full potential. In trades it's best used when your lane opponent has minion aggro, and in team-fights you should use it to try and lock down your target, while additionally trying to hit as many other champions as possible.
Vanguard's Edge: This ult is great for engaging onto a target you want to kill. Because of the massive slow and extra damage they receive when they step past the blades, they're forced to either stand their ground and fight you, or try and escape and be heavily punished for it. Either way because of Irelia's strong earlygame power the odds are not good for them.
It will also Mark any enemies that are hit by the initial cast, allowing you to double your Bladesurge target or be more mobile if you're using it in a team fight or against multiple champions.
This chapter is currently under reconstruction following the Season 11 items rework, apologies for the inconvenience.
At level 1 you have the option of taking any of your 3 spells depending on the matchup. Bladesurge is best in good matchups where you can play aggressively early on as by waiting for the first few melee minions to drop low and then last-hitting them all with Bladesurge then using Bladesurge on your lane opponent you'll have a fully stacked Ionian Fervor. Flawless Duet is good if you're in a matchup where the opponent might go aggressive early on, since you can then stun them in your minion wave and trade back quickly before backing off as they take minion aggro. Defiant Dance can be optimal against opponents with level 1 CC, such as Jax or Riven, so you can just charge Defiant Dance with damage reduction during the CC duration, but if you're confident I would rather recommend taking Bladesurge and going on the aggression.
At level 2 no matter what you started you'll want to take Bladesurge, or if you started it at level 1 you'll want to again take either Defiant Dance or Flawless Duet depending on the matchup. Unless you're losing lane pretty handily you'll usually want to take Flawless Duet though, since it gives you the ability to Mark your lane opponent and cast Bladesurge twice on them, as well as being stronger in all-ins as it gives you the ability to stun your opponent.
At level 3 you'll take whichever spell you haven't yet taken, since even if your lane opponent doesn't have CC you can still benefit from the damage reduction even if just during one auto-attack, and it gives you more damage than just putting another point in Bladesurge. Your play pattern remains the same from levels 3-5.
After you obtain your ultimate, you'll have a lot more kill potential and can potentially cast Bladesurge onto your enemy 3 times in one fight, making you very sticky and increasing your damage beyond just Vanguard's Edge's damage. A great way to engage is to either cast Vanguard's Edge onto your target and directly Bladesurge onto them, or if you're out of range and a minion is low enough, Bladesurge onto a nearby minion towards your opponent and then use Vanguard's Edge. It's recommended to have at least built up a decent amount of Ionian Fervor stacks before engaging so you can very quickly get full stacks when you go in for the engage, rather than having to build them up from 0.
When your target is inside Vanguard's Edge, you'll want to save Flawless Duet temporarily rather than using it right away. If your opponent stays inside the blades to avoid getting slowed and taking more damage, you won't need to stun them to DPS them since they'll be waiting for the blades to run out anyway, and then you can stun them afterwards. And if they do walk into the blades, the massive slow will make it much harder for them to potentially dodge the stun. Additionally, should they Flash out of your Vanguard's Edge, you may still be able to reach them with Flawless Duet if you save it, also allowing you to re-close the gap with Bladesurge.
Outside of laning phase, you'll still usually want to actually stay in a side lane and just split push since you take towers so quickly. If you're in a tank matchup then you'll be stronger 1v1 and want to pressure them on a side lane without letting them just group up and be a meat shield for their team, and if you're in a carry matchup where they're stronger than you then you're still going to have to match their split push if they decide to split just to defend your towers.
Circumstances where you don't want to split push are if you're so fed that you know you can steamroll teamfights and the enemy top laner isn't split pushing you and forcing you to come respond to them, or if you know you lose 1v1 to the enemy top laner and they're not taking it upon themselves to split push.
As for which side lane to split in...
You'll want to split push top if:
a) Baron is up but your Teleport is down
b) Your Teleport is up, but baron is down and dragon is up/will soon be up
You'll want to split push bot if:
a) Baron is up and your Teleport is up
b) Your Teleport is down but baron is down as well and dragon is up/will be up soon
Basically if your Teleport is up you want to be split pushing as far away from the most important neutral objective as possible, that way the enemy team can't collapse on you without giving up a free dragon/baron (make sure your team is aware of this and spam ping them to do the neutral objective as soon as you see the enemy team collapsing on you); and the enemy team can't just take it themselves or freely engage 4v4/5v4 because you have Teleport to quickly reach fights despite being so far away. Whereas if your Teleport is down you'll want to split as close to the objective as possible, if you can, since you otherwise have no way of immediately joining a fight there.
When you notice a fight breaking out, you'll want to Teleport onto the nearest ward/minion to join in. In team-fights, you'll want to either peel for your carries, or go for the enemy carries, waiting for one to be vulnerable and then engaging with Vanguard's Edge. If your carries are fed it can be smart to peel for them since you'll want to ensure their survival so they can freely deal damage, whereas if the enemy's carries are more problematic than yours you'll want to go for them to try and stop them carrying fights.
Sometimes you can also use Teleport to flank the enemy team if there's a really good ward set up behind them where you can surprise them, giving their carries no place to run; they either walk into you or your team. These flanks can be game-winning, especially if the enemy top laner is on a side lane defending your split push and aren't able to match your Teleport in time to make it an even fight.
That's it for my Irelia guide. I hope you found this helpful and learn to play Irelia as well as you want to.
Special thanks to Hopper for banners and coding.