Irelia Build Guide

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Dancing Blades: An Irelia Guide

written by SwiftStryka

Irelia Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    Hey my name is SwiftStryka (you can add me in game if your not a total douche) and I have become fascinated by the floating blade mistress, Irelia. Now I know that it hasn't been long since she was released, and I'm sure your wondering how any person could write a perfect guide so soon. The truth is, is you can't right a perfect guide for any one champion. Whats great about LoL is that every match is different, forcing you to have to change and adapt according to who your fighting, and Irelia is no different. So what I will be providing to you all is a basic Irelia foundation that any player can build off of. I will give examples of different Irelia builds I have used, and which items I feel are good for certain situation. Remember this is not a guide telling you how Irelia should be built, but rather one telling you how she can be built.

    Well enough about myself and what I'm going to be talking about, I'm sure your dying to know what Irelia is like. First of all Irelia is a DPS champion with some pretty nifty lifesteal tricks. She can provide a moderate amount of burst if built ap, but not as much as someone like Akali. She can be a great chaser, and her lifesteal from Hiten Style and Transcendent Blades gives her that extra bit of survivability that she sometimes needs to get back to the cover of a tower or her teammates. However, players should note that because she is lacking a bit on the aoe side, she doesn't always bring a lot to the table in team fights, but we'll get to that later.

  • Guide Updates/Patches

    Guide Updates:
    -streamlined the build example section and it's now called Laning Builds (jungle build section coming soon!).

    Nothing yet!

  • Pros / Cons

    -Can be built DPS, burst, or slightly tanky.
    -Nice slow/stun.
    -Ok survivability when built life-steal, combined with Hiten Style and Transcendent Blades.
    -Great at surprise attacks.
    -Awesome floating swords!!

    -Kind of squishy at the beginning.
    -Exhaust can shut you down if your building attack speed.
    -Not much aoe other than Ult.
    -fairly reliant on team.

  • Tips and Tricks for Irelia!

    -The healing passive from Hiten Style works on towers so you can pound away at a tower and heal yourself at the same time (synergizes well with attack speed).

    -Her Bladesurge is a great attack for last hitting creeps, because when it delivers a killing blow it returns 35 mana and recharges itself. So all you need for a while is 1 level in it and with good enough timing you can be farming creeps like a boss.(Will post video of an example soon!)

    - Equilibrium Strike will still trigger the stun if you and your enemy have the exact same life percentage. For example if you and your enemy both have 100% life Equilibrium Strike will trigger the stun rather than the slow

  • Abilities

    Ionian Fervor
    Each nearby enemy champion (to a maximum of three) reduces the effectiveness of Crowd Control on Irelia.

    * 1 Champion: 10%
    * 2 Champions: 25%
    * 3 Champions: 40%

    In my opinion its just kind of meh. Don't get me wrong 40% reduction on CC is no laughing matter but a lot of times you won't even notice it. Though it is a nice thing to have to escape a Galio's ult early. May need further testing but I'm pretty sure it stacks with cleanse and mercury treads.

    Irelia dashes forward to strike her target, dealing physical damage. If it kills the target, Bladesurge's cooldown refreshes and refunds 35 Mana. (Cost: 70 Mana)

    Cooldown: 14 / 12 / 10 / 8 / 6 seconds
    Physical Damage: 20 / 55 / 90 / 125 / 160 (+1 per Attack Damage)

    Pretty sweet attack that lets you dash forward a good distance and hurts the target. Its a great move for making sure you get the last hit on creeps, and if you get good and are able to time them just write you can wipe a whole creep wave pretty quickly. Combine this with Equilibrium Strike when chasing and you've got a possibly dead enemy. This skill is the reason why Irelia doesn't really need aoe to wipe creep waves. Also nice because it cost a flat 70 mana and half of that is returned to you when you kill a target.

    Hiten Style
    (Passive): Physical attacks restore health.
    (Active): Irelia's physical attacks deal true damage for 6 seconds. (Cost: 40 Mana)

    Cooldown: 15 sec
    Heal: 10 / 14 / 18 / 22 / 26
    True Damage: 15 / 30 / 45 / 60 / 75

    Ahhh Hiten Style, how I love you so. Hiten is great because it's like a lifesteal but not really. Allow me to explain; unlike lifesteal, Hiten does not return a percentage of Irelias damage back to her as life. Instead it heals Irelia for a fixed amount of life (26 at max level is pretty low in my opinion but meh). This means that it also works on structures, HURRAH! So with enough attack speed you can take down structures like a boss and heal yourself :D.

    But that's not all! When activated Hiten Style adds up to 75 true damage to her regular attacks, true damage meaning its not affected by armour and such. But that's not all! Even when activated the passive stays in affect meaning she can still heal herself. But that's not all! I can not officially confirm this rumor at this time, but I have heard through the grapevine that the true damage also triggers lifesteal items. But that's not all! the true damage also triggers on Bladesurge which is just a nice bonus. That is all.

    Equilibrium Strike
    (Active): Irelia pierces her target, dealing magic damage and slowing the target by 60% for few seconds.
    If the target has a higher health % than Irelia, she stuns the target for the duration instead.

    Cooldown: 9 sec
    Cost: 50 / 55 / 60 / 65 / 70 Mana
    Magic Damage: 80 / 135 / 190 / 245 / 300 (+1 per Ability Power)
    Duration: 1 / 1.25 / 1.5 / 1.75 / 2 seconds

    Nice harassing skill for the laning phase. You leap forward with Bladesurge then hit'em with Equilibrium Strike, usually scares them enough to back off a bit. 60% for a slow is great, and if your playing TT you'll want to take this almost always if your going for that early gank. Not to mention it stuns your target if they have higher health than, which is nice your want to gain the upper hand in a 1v1 or a team fight or if your just trying to run for your life.

    It can proved a pretty good amount of burst damage too with that ap ratio. The problem is, is that Bladesurge, your other kind of burst skill, scales with your attack. So the two tend to not synergize well with each other when trying to build burst.

    Transcendent Blades
    (Active): Irelia summons 4 spirit blades which she can fling to deal magic damage to enemies they pass through, and she heals for 20% of that damage. (Cost: 100 Mana)

    Cooldown: 60 / 50 / 40 seconds
    Magic Damage: 80 / 130 / 180 (+0.4 per Ability Power OR +0.6 per bonus Attack Damage)

    This move is great, yet a still a bit lackluster. It has saved my life, and well... not. What happens when Irelia uses this skill is four small floating blades appear around her. You then have to press R again for each blade that you want to shoot out (thats 4x people). The blade will travel in what ever direction your cursor is facing, kind of like directing flash.

    Whats nice is that the blades will hurt anything they pass through and return 20% of that damage as health. So if your low on life and there's a creep wave coming, pop transcendent blades and wipe em out and gain a little health while your at it. Irelia's ult has a pretty low cooldown so you can usually use it to wipe creeps without worrying too much about not having it for a team fight. Still that doesn't mean you should be using it for something as trivial as wiping creeps if you have a feeling a gank or a team fight is coming.

    Again this skill has saved my ass many times over when trying to escape from being ganked. The problem I have with this is that it isn't all that strong. 180 x 4 = 720 is a quite a bit of damage, but that's if you can hit your intended target(s) with every blade, one miss is 1/4 of your ults damage down the drain. Also the ratios are a little low but we'll see what happens with her in future patches.

  • Masteries + Runes

    No person is exactly the same but this is what runes I use and it works pretty well for me:

    Greater Mark of Desolation great for any DD no doubt.
    Greater Seal of Defense
    Greater Glyph of Shielding
    Greater Quintessence of Desolation or Greater Quintessence of Fortitude

    The reason I go for the defensive Seals and Glyphs is because I personally like to have a little bit more defense when playing a melee dps.


    I like to go for a 21/9/0 build for the dps and some defense. Again because of how new Irelia is, her preferred masteries is up for debate, so if you have any constructive criticisms let me know in the comments.

  • Summoner Abilities

    I personally like to use Exhaust and Ghost. Sometimes I'll take Ignite instead of Ghost but I like to have the extra speed boost for those hairy times.

    Other Good Spells:
    Flash: Good for jumping over walls to escape or catching up to enemies for a kill.
    Cleanse: Haven't tried this one with Irelia but on paper it seems like it would synergize well with her passive.
    Teleport: Always nice to have on Summoners Rift to get into the fray just a little faster.

    Meh Spells:
    [spell=Fortify]: Nice for saving a tower when you or someone else can't get to it in time but other than that not much use.
    Heal: You shouldn't need this spell if you know how to control your lane and your not putting yourself into bad situations.
    Clarity: Irelia doesn't really have a big issue with mana so this spell isn't really needed unless you like to spam a lot, but Irelia is more of an auto attacker anyways.
    Smite: Ok if you like to jungle, which Irelia is pretty good at, or for stealing a buff from enemies, not a whole lot else.

    Spells That You Should Never Ever Ever Get Because You Don't Need Them:
    Revive: 1. It has a long ass cool down of 9 minutes. 2. You shouldn't be dying that much if your playing smart. 3. Just no, don't get it.
    [spell=Rally]: Just a bad spell all around, not worth the space.
    Clairvoyance: Now this isn't a bad spell by any means, its just Irelia has no use for it, unless your some kind of nosey Nancy.

  • Skilling Order

    I tend to change my skill order according to what map I'm playing

    Summoners Rift:
    I will usually go Q,E,W,W,E,R then from there I skill up according to how the game is going making sure to pick up R whenever I can. If you want to try and go for the early gank then I would pick up Equilibrium Strike first for the slow/stun.

    I 99% of the time will start with Equilibrium Strike for the early gank then from there I will go Q,W,E,W,R and after that try and max out Hiten Style first then Equilibrium Strike maybe throwing point into Bladesurge if I'm having trouble last hitting mobs with it.

  • Items

    So here's the meat and potatoes that you all have just skipped through the rest of my guide to see. Well guess what? It ain't that easy. Because of how versatile Irelia can be there is no ONE build that is "god-like", so I will just briefly explain some ways that Irelia can be built.

    There are many ways that Irelia can be built, probably the most common is building attack speed. This kind of build takes advantage of Hiten Style's active effect and when building this way it is common to build lifesteal items such as [item=Stark's Fervor] and The Bloodthirster. Another great attack speed item is Phantom Dancer, Irelia benefits from all the stats on this item. If it seems the enemy is stacking HP then go for [item=Madred's Bloodrazor] to watch their health disappear.

    It has recently come to my attention that Spirit Visage works great on Irelia and is good for any build!

    TT(comming soon!)

  • Laning Builds

    When laning as Irelia there are multiple builds you can take. If the team you are facing is made up of mostly squishy characters you might feel like using the AP burst build. If The other team has a lot of tanks then maybe you might want to go with a more DPS attack speed build and pick up Madreds Bloodrazors. On the off chance that your team has no tank then you might want to think about picking up more defensive items and health while taking advantage of your lifesteal. Here are just a few examples of what I have used as Irelia while laning

    Attack Speed DPS:
    Berserker's Greaves
    [item=Stark's Fervor]
    [item=Madred's Bloodrazor]
    The Bloodthirster

    This is a standard build that you will see any Irelia using to counter a balanced enemy team. If the other team does not have a Champ with high health then [item=Madred's Bloodrazor] may not be necessary, but most of the time I find it very handy to pick up. I like to pick up Malady for the atk speed and the small boost to AP. The Bloodthirster is a very very nice thing to have on Irelia but the match may already be over by the time that you get it.

    AP Burst:
    Boots of Swiftness
    Mejai's Soulstealer
    Rod of Ages
    Hextech Revolver
    Hextech Revolver
    [item=Zhonya's Ring]

    Alright now this build is fun, especially when facing a team consisting of mostly squishies. I will usually start out with Amplifying Tome and throw a point into Equilibrium Strike first, making sure to max this skill before all else. Skill wise you want to make sure that you throw at least 1 point into Bladesurge by level 4 so that you are able to close the gap then Equilibrium Strike their ass.
    On the first trip back I will finish my Mejai's Soulstealer and if I have enough start or maybe even finish Boots of Swiftness. The reason for going Boots of Swiftness is so that I can have just an extra bit more speed to be able to get them in range of Bladesurge. After those two items I will start working on Rod of Ages for the extra life and mana as well as AP of course.
    Now that I have my Rod of Ages I will begin making my two Hextech Revolver's. Now I'm sure your all wondering "But SwiftStryka why get two of them?!?". Well my good friends the reason I like to get two is because together they equate to 30% spell vamp. Now when you use your Ult that means that each blade will have 50% spell vamp . That means by this time in your build your blades will be dealing about 316 damage each and spell vamping 158 life. That's a total of 1264 damage and 632 life!! Not to mention that your Equilibrium Strike will be dealing 580 damage (174 spell vamp).
    Now last but not least is Zhonya's. Now by this time the game is usually over or close to over so a lot of the time you won't have the time to pick up this wonderful item. [item_text=Zhonya's Ring] will push your total AP to 529 meaning Transcendent Blades will deal 1568 damage giving you around 784 life back. Also Equilibrium Strike will now deal 829 damage (248.7 life back).
    Now on to strategy! Early laning usually consist of using Bladesurge then Equilibrium Strike to harass then backing off before they can react. Sometimes you will be able to get some early kills with this combo if you have a competent teammate that kind of knows what you are doing. Now once you hit level 6 is when the real fun begins. First what you want to do is pop Hiten Style for the true damage then close the distance with Bladesurge followed by Equilibrium Strike for slow (or stun if they have higher health) then pop Transcendent Blades and just wail on them with those. If by that time they are not completely shredded into a million piece then you might need to finish them off with another Equilibrium Strike.

    Lifesteal Tankish:

    DISCLAIMER: Remember these are just suggestions and examples of builds that I have found dominate certain teams. Every game is different and as such you as a player must adapt. If there team is made up of a lot of champs that deal magic damage think of getting more magic resistance like Wit's End or the new Hexdrinker. Just remember to be ever vigilant!

  • The End

    Thank you all for reading my guide and remember to rate up if you like it and if you don't say why in the comments so I can make any necessary changes! Also I'm sure I will be constantly updating this guide for some time to come, so keep checking in.

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Submitted by SwiftStryka

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