Irelia Build Guide

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Irelia: A Detailed Discussion

written by walk12288

Irelia Build

Table of Contents

  • Abilities

    Ionian Fervor
    Reduces crowd control by a percentage for every enemy that is around you (up to 3 stacks).

    At first glance, this passive seems pretty crappy. What happens in games where the other team has no CC? Well, it also reduces slows (Lizard, Frozen Mallot, Rylais, etc.). Added in with Mercury Treads, you will be insanely difficult to disable.

    Irelia dashes towards a target and deals (20/55/90/125/160) magic damage. If the target is killed, the cooldown is refreshed and 1/2 the mana cost is refunded.

    This ability will probably be nerfed on Irelia. The damage scales directly with your AD. Moderate base damage becomes a rather nice burst when you combine it with your AD.

    Hiten Style
    Passive: Irelia's attacks give her (10/14/18/22/26) HP on hit.

    Active: Irelia's attacks give her attacks (15/30/45/60/75) true damage for 6 seconds.

    This is an excellent skill with a lot of different uses. It can be used defensively to heal or offensively for nice damage early on.

    Equilibrium Strike
    On use this skill deals (80/135/190/245/300) magic damage. If the target has a higher % of HP than you do, you stun the target for (1/1.25/1.5/1.75/2) seconds. If the target has a lower % of HP than you do, you will slow the target for (1/1.25/1.5/1.75/2) seconds.

    This will probably be another skill that is nerfed on Irelia. While we don't exactly exploit this skill in my guide (more on this later), it still deals a massive amount of burst damage. It scales 1 to 1 off AP and can grant some pretty surprising results if maxed early.

    Transcendent Blades
    Irelia summons 4 blades which can then be thrown at the target to deal (80/130/180) + the higher of either 0.4 x AP or 0.6 x AD. She is healed for 20% of the damage dealt by each blade.

    At first sight, this skill looks like it can deal some pretty insane burst damage as well. For starters, the it doesn't count your players base AD into the formula. This lowers the damage of it by about 60 a blade (if you follow this guide). In order for the enemy to feel the full effects of this skill, you must hit all 4 blades as well.

  • Introduction

    I've been running around on Leaguecraft for quite some time now, and I finally thought I would contribute a guide. Because this is my first guide, I really would appreciate any constructive comments that you have. Please keep in mind that this is a work in progress.

    This guide will primarily cover an AD melee/burst hybrid Irelia. I am not saying this is the only way to play her; I am saying this is how I choose to play her. We are going to capitalize on her damage at the sacrifice of survivability.

    I'm going to give a small warning. This guide will be a tad bit long. If all you are looking for is a quick skill/item build because you are at the champion loading screen right now, scroll down to that section and read away. If you are actually interested in learning Irelia, then this guide is for you.

  • Changelog

    11/22/10 - Added strategy for game phases.

    11/21/10 - Initial Creation

  • Summoner Screen Overview

    If you are stuck at the summoner screen, and this is your first time as Irelia, here is a quick overview of the basic build.



    Normal Skill Order:

    Solo Lane Order:

    Starting Items:

    Core Build Order:
    6.[item_icon=Madred's Bloodrazor]
    7. or
    8. or [item_icon=Malady]

    Core Item Overview:

  • Pros / Cons

    *Decent Sustained Melee Damage
    *High Single Target Burst
    *Can Somewhat Easily Escape
    *Ability to Chase

    *Relatively Low Survivability (More On This Later)
    *Unreliable Crowd Control
    *No AoE
    *Slightly Team Dependent

  • Rune Discussion

    I tend to run a hybrid rune page with Irelia. It gives you a tad bit more survivability, the ability to chase, and benefits the build as a whole.


    9x Greater Mark of Alacrity

    After some debating, I feel that running some attack speed marks help not only in the beginning of the game, but they also benefit you endgame too. They will allow you to land more hits with Hiten Style. This in turn increases your damage and restores more HP.


    9x Greater Seal of Evasion

    I tend to run these on just about any champion. An extra 6% dodge helps a lot when you add it in with ninja tabi. These actually help when you are clearing a minion wave too. Sure, they’d be nice to swap for magic resist or armor, but dodge blocks 100% of the damage. When you are running away with 20 HP with an attack projectile following you, and you dodge it, you will never hate dodge runes again.


    9x Greater Glyph of Celerity

    Many tend to think these runes are lategame. They break even at level 13 with non-scaling CDR runes. Because most games that I play I usually level above 13, I tend to choose these over those. CDR helps with escaping, damage, healing, etc. on Irelia. I find CDR helps a lot more in offense than AD runes do. I guess you can substitute armor and magic resist if you feel that you need the survivability over the CDR.


    3x Greater Quintessence of Swiftness

    Extra runspeed is extra runspeed. These are offensive and defensive. Ever needed that little edge to catch someone, these will give that edge to you. Almost made it out of someone’s channel, but you were a tad too slow? These will ensure that you do next time. Nothing sucks worse than playing against someone that builds speed. You will ALWAYS catch the person you are chasing and unless they stack runspeed too, you will almost always get away.

    Other Options:

    3x Greater Quintessence of Wisdom

    It’s pretty viable to use these if you hope to run a quick game with Irelia. Much of her damage comes from leveling up (300 on Equilibrium Strike at level 5 of the skill). Leveling faster in turn gives you damage more quickly. These really lose their benefit when the game lasts long enough for everyone else to reach level 18. I’d take these over HP runes because 1 level above your enemy should give you that 100 HP you needed to survive.

    3x Greater Quintessence of Alacrity

    If you feel that the attack speed you gain from Madred's Bloodrazor and the Recurve Bow aren't enough, then add 3 of these in.

    3x Greater Quintessence of Fortitude

    For people that run these on every rune page they own. I won’t deny that they help early game. My build will make up for the HP loss that we notice without these, but 100 HP is nice for that first battle. Endgame, I honestly don’t think that 100 HP is going to make a difference. If you are fed, you will never take damage. If your opponent is fed, 100 HP will not save you.

  • Mastery Discussion

    External Image

    I prefer to run a 9/0/21 mastery page for a lot of reasons on Irelia.

    Offense Tree:

    [mastery_icon=Deadliness] - The 3 points added to this will give you another 2% critical strike. You could drop these points into Archmage's Savvy for the extra 11 or so AP if you feel that it would be of more use to you.

    [mastery_icon=Sorcery] - Reducing cooldowns by 3% might not seem like much, but it adds up.

    [mastery_icon=Archaic Knowledge] - 15% spell penetration is the main skill we need in this tree. We won't have a lot of magic penetration in this build, so this will help with all your skills.

    You are probably surprised that I didn't put 21 points into the Offense tree. At first glance, Havoc seems nice on Irelia - a 5% damage increase. Overall, it definitely isn't worth giving up the Utility tree for. Why? Well, look at Equilibrium Strike. At level 5, the skill will do 300 magic damage (not including your AP). It would only increase the damage by about 15. I just don't feel this is worth sacrificing what we gain in the Utility tree.

    Utility Tree:

    [mastery_icon=Good Hands] - Reduces time spent dead by 10%, and the more you are alive, the more damage you can deal.

    [mastery_icon=Haste] - Increases the movement speed of Ghost by another 8% and lengthens the duration for another 1.5 seconds. Definitely needed for chasing or escaping if you use ghost.

    [mastery_icon=Awareness] - 5% experience might not seem like much, but every bit helps in staying ahead of your competition.

    [mastery_icon=Utility Mastery] - GET THIS! Seriously, it increases neutral monster buffs by another 30%. Even if you don't plan to jungle the entire game, your enemies will bring you these buffs. 30% increased duration will make a big difference.

    [mastery_icon=Quickness] - Another increase in movement speed to help us in escaping/chasing.

    [mastery_icon=Intelligence] - Another 6% cooldown reduction to help with our skill casting.

    [mastery_icon=Presence of the Master] - The reason we want 21 points in Utility over Offense. This mastery is game-changing. Summoner Spells allow you to twist the game in your favor (Disagree? Try a game without them). Reducing the cooldowns on these by 15% ensures that you will have the spells when you need them most.

  • Summoner Abilities

    There are actually quite a few choices for summoner abilities on Irelia. I will tell you what I use, and then explain the uses of the other skills. Hopefully, this will allow you to make a well-informed decision.

    - Increases your runspeed by 27%. With our Utility tree and runes, this skill becomes even more valuable. Not only does it help for running away, but if people think they can escape with 1-2 bars, prove them wrong. I take this over exhaust because exhaust hits 1 person, running faster affects the entire team.
    - Deals 50 + 25xlevel damage over 5 seconds. It also reduces healing by 50% when it is thrown on them. Great for sealing the deal on runners. It also helps by reducing lifesteal in a 1v1 or stopping players with regeneration (like Mundo). You can also toss it on an enemy before you die and take them down with you.

    - Teleports you a small distance in the direction your cursor is aiming. Nice for dashing through walls to escape, close the gap in a chase, or lengthen the gap while you are being chased. Both a defensive and offensive skill. I take ghost over this because ghost lasts longer, and Flash has a beast of a cooldown.
    - Single target slow and blind. Helps with chasing and 1v1 fights. I’d rather use ghost for chasing, and the blind can be cleansed. Nice to have, but isn’t exactly reliable. You can also use exhaust to make hitting with Transcendent Blades easier.
    - Lights up the map, showing any enemies in the area. Every team should have at least 1 person with this. Because you do very well in the jungle and excel in 1v1 fights, clairvoyance will allow you to setup and execute assassinations and escapes effectively.
    - Great for escaping from a gank that you walked into on accident. If you carry this because you facecheck every bush, buy sight wards and take Clairvoyance. This skill isn’t exactly useful with Irelia’s passive reducing CC. If you continue to have problems with CC, buy Mercury Treads on her. This is more useful for clearing Exhaust than trying to escape CC on Irelia.

    Not So Useful:
    - Helps if you are taking the jungling route. I am not writing a jungling guide right now (that might change with updates), so I am not going to be offering you any strategy in there. Nice to have, just remember it gives the enemy a red flag that you are going to be in the jungle, be aware of ganks at golem and plan accordingly.
    - Heals you for an amount based on your level and every teammate around you for 1/2 of that amount. It’s nice to have, but I find that ghost and ignite far outweigh it. It does help in a 1v1 when you need that little edge to survive. Lategame it can definitely change a teamfight, but I’d rather see it on a tank.
    - If you are forced to go mid, this helps. You can also take it in place of ghost for mobility. I’d rather have ghost because teleporting out doesn’t make for a nice escape. Helps with backdooring too (if you are into that).

    Poor Choices:
    [spell_icon=Rally] - Might help some in a teamfight. Also helps in a solo lane when it’s thrown down at your turret. Just really useful (unless you feel like jungling with it).
    - You shouldn’t be having mana problems on Irelia if you read this guide. If you are, stop harrassing constantly with Bladesurge or get golem buff.
    [spell_icon=Fortify] - Not really good on Irelia. This doesn’t exactly go along with the whole chase and kill strategy that we are going to use in this guide.
    - Hahahahahahaha NO!

  • Skilling Order

    Skilling order is a tad difficult on Irelia. In a normal game I try to place focus on Bladesurge. If I'm meleeing a lot or need to heal more, I'll focus more on Hiten Style. Equilibrium Strike does some surprising damage at lower levels if it's maxed early. If you aren't happy with Bladesurge and feel that you can do without it until a higher level, take 1 point in it, then max Equilibrium Strike and Hiten Style.

    Normal Skill Order:

    Starting with Equilibrium Strike allows you to either slow or stun an enemy in the beginning of the game. This allows for some pretty easy firstbloods. If your laning partner has a stun or snare that they get first, you might want to get Bladesurge or Hiten Style instead. We are placing a focus on Bladesurge for the ability to farm and chase with it.

    Solo Lane Order:

    By starting with Hiten Style we are able to stay in the lane longer and heal off minions. You won’t be harassing much, which is fine. I prefer to play slightly defensive in a solo lane. We are going to put a tad bit more focus on Equilibrium Strike, not for the damage, but for the CC time. This will ensure that you have a nice stun if someone decides to turret dive on you.

  • Advanced Skill Discussion


    This is one skill that you will probably find yourself using more than any other. It has a fairly low mana cost (70 mana), scales well with AD (1 to 1), and when it's maxed it has a short cooldown (6 seconds). It also has a longer range than your other two skills (not including Transcendent Blades). It also has a variety of uses which I will cover in detail below.

    Harrassing: Early game, this is about your only harrass. Equilibrium Strike has a lower mana cost at lower levels, but the range on it is lower. That makes this a tad bit more ideal. You can also use it to jump to a creep with low HP, kill it, then jump to an enemy player (if they stand far behind their creep wave to avoid you). Once you get a few levels in Equilibrium Strike, you can use this move to initiate and hit them with Equilibrium Strike for more damage and some CC before running back.

    Farming: Irelia has no AoE (Aside from her Ultimate). This can make clearing waves of creeps time consuming lategame (and can hurt your gold as well). If you have at least *some* damage and are stuck with tower cleaning duty while your team pushes a lane without you, then you can use bladesurge (at the cost of some valuable mana) to wipe out these very quickly. All you need to do is find one starting minion with about 1/2 HP. Dash to it and kill it, this resets the cooldown and refunds 1/2 your mana cost. You should melee another one nearby it. Target and dash onto it now to kill it instantly and reset the cooldown and refund 1/2 your mana cost. Just repeat this until you run out of mana or clear the giant red blob.

    Chasing: We have all been in the situation where someone is running away with 1-2 bars of HP. This actually has enough range to be viable when chasing. Dash to them and throw Equilibrium Strike and put them out of their misery. If you are lucky enough to kill them, you can dash back to your team (if you passed a creep wave while chasing).

    Escaping: Sometimes we are the poor soul being chased back up a lane with 1-2 bars of HP. If you are brave enough to run through the jungle (with proper sight wards in it of course), you can run past a creep, let the enemy chasing you run past it, then dash back onto the creep and run in the opposite direction. Call this useless, but when it saves your life, you'll be glad you did it.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: This move is glitchy, VERY glitchy. Sometimes, if there is a solid wall between you and the enemy that you are dashing to, you won't pass through the wall. The damage is dealt to the opponent, and you are left standing there looking like an idiot. Don't try to escape by dashing through a wall, sometimes you will die. Because of this nifty feature, though, you can actually use this as a ranged attack to hit enemies through a wall (and you won't be teleported to them). I wouldn't recommend using it for this, because you might be unlucky and actually teleport to them. This will most likely be changed in later patches.

    -Hiten Style-

    I tend to treat this skill with just as much importance as Equilibrium Strike. This move is both offensive and defensive; I will cover these two qualities below:

    Offense: Much like Sion's enrage, the active on this gives you free *unresisted* damage! That means early game, you really don't need a ton of AD to send someone running from you. The active lasts for 6 seconds, so the faster you attack in those 6 seconds, the more damage you will deal. Because the damage dealt is true damage, no amount of armor can save them (they stack add HP - and we have an item to stop that). This can shut down tanks and keep you relatively powerful in a 1v1. Early game, this can also help tremendously with jungling.

    Defensive: This move's passive heals you on hit. It doesn't lifesteal; it heals. This means that you can walk up to a turret, inhibitor, etc. and heal yourself by hitting it. The heal is capped at 26 per hit at level 5 of the skill. We can do two things to affect the amount we are healed per second by it. If we add attack speed we hit more per second which ends up giving us more HP per second. The other thing we can do is drop in a Spirit Visage. This item gives 20% more HP from healing effects, and it works on Hiten Style's passive as well. It will allow you to be healed for 31 HP a hit instead of 26.

    -Equilibrium Strike-

    As I stated earlier, we are *not* going to be concentrating on boosting the damage of this skill in my guide. With that said, we definitely won't ignore this skill. It has both a slow and a stun built in as well as nice burst damage (even without a lot of AP). This allows it to be used in a variety of situations, which I will cover below:

    Combo: You can use this in conjunction with Bladesurge for a pretty powerful combo. Don't underestimate the damage dealt by this. Also, recall that Nasher buff gives you both AD and AP. This scales 1 to 1 into both skills. Because of this, the boost from the buff is even greater than if both skills used only AP or AD.

    Saving: First let me state that we are *NOT* playing Irelia as a support. Your team honestly shouldn't rely on you to save them when they overextend. Your CC from this skill is SINGLE TARGET. With that out of the way, you can definitely use this to save someone on your team. If your teammate is running away from someone chasing them, you can dash to the enemy and use this skill to slow them if your HP % is higher (if it's a lone chaser, put them out of their misery). If your HP % is lower, this stuns them, preventing them from attacking the person running away. Chances are you will be focused if the chaser isn't alone, so make sure that you have an escape plan before doing anything crazy.

    Chasing: This skill is great for chasing an enemy down. If you have someone running away toss this on them for a 2 second slow (if your HP % is higher). This should give you enough time to finish them off.

    Last Stand: Every now and then we end up in a 1v1 situation that we honestly can't escape from (caught in a jungle with 1/2 HP and Master Yi chasing you down with his ulti on). Some people tend to just keep running until the chaser finally kills them. If the opponent is squishy, you might actually be able to kill them. Wait until your HP % falls below theirs. Turn around, pop Equilibrium Strike. They will be immediately stunned for 2 seconds. Finish them quick and make them wish they hadn't chased.

    -Transcendent Blades-

    This skill can be a tad difficult to get used to. You hit R, and it summons 4 blades behind you. A small timer counts down with 4 stacks on it. You aim your blades like Flash. Put your cursor in the direction you want the blades to fly and press R again to fire 1. It will fly through *everything* in its path (yes even walls). If you don't fire all 4 blades before the timer counts down, they disappear and the cooldown starts. Everything the blades pass through is damaged, and you are healed 20% of the damage dealt. At early levels, the damage dealt by this isn’t very amazing, but with a short cooldown and the ability to heal you it has several uses as well:

    Healing: While I don’t exactly recommend it, it’s a lot better than dying or bluepilling. If you have golem buff (or full mana) cast this, fire your blades down a minion wave and restore most of your HP.

    Clearing: As I stated above, I really don’t recommend this. If you don’t have enough damage to use Bladesurge to destroy an entire red blob of minions, you can use Transcendent Blades to lower the HP of these. Even if you don’t kill all of them, damaging them enough to dash between them helps.

    Escaping: As you run away, click on the map in the direction you want to Autorun. Pop Transcendent Blades and fire all 4 backwards at your opponent. You might even heal yourself and do enough damage to turn the chase around.

    Chasing: This is self explanatory. Turn on Transcendent Blades and fire them after an enemy running away. I will take a second to note that if you have Rylais (which you shouldn’t, but who knows) it will slow them. This makes them easier to hit and gives you a moment to get close enough to dash into them.

    Harassing: With level 3 of this skill and 40% CDR you will have a 24 second cooldown on this skill. I wouldn’t exactly recommend firing this thing every single chance you get, but I wouldn’t hold onto it until the last minute either. You can stand at banshees and fire your ultimate through the wall across the lane into your opponents. If your opponents ignore the damage and stand there, they will be shocked to find that they are stuck at ½ HP when your team decides to run in. You can also use this to run people off your turret in a solo lane.

    Kill Stealing: I know I am going to be stoned for promoting this, but yes, Transcendent Blades can be used for kill stealing. I’m not telling you to run around and deprive your team of kills. I’m telling you to fire this into Nasher when it’s about to be killed by the other team. It goes through the wall and deals damage. Use this to secure other buffs in the jungle as well.

    1v1 Fight: You will want to initiate with bladesurge first followed up by equilibrium strike. Make sure you activate Hiten Style while you are at it. If you ever start losing a large amount of HP (or if your opponent has lifesteal) turn on Transcendent Blades and hit them with all 4. Lategame this will do some insane burst damage (if you follow my guide), and you will reap the benefits of that awesome 20% spell vamp.

    Team Fight: Normally you will let someone else initiate the fight. I am going to make a really quick clarification of your job in a team fight. You are built for single target elimination. Pop Transcendent Blades and choose 1 person to hit. Sure, you could use them to steal kills if you are deprived on gold, but it would be more beneficial to the team to eliminate someone in the fight. With my build, you won’t want to choose a tank, choose a caster or dps with low to moderate HP, and fire all 4 blades at them. Just put your cursor on them and press R. Don’t split your blades between two people are try to line up 3-4 at a time. Just fire all 4 into 1 person. If he’s stupid enough to hide behind all of his other team members, then they will suffer your wrath as well. Hopefully, when the fight ends you’ll have enough HP to finish off everyone that runs away.

  • Items

    Core Item Overview:

    Starting Items:

    Core Build Order:
    6.[item_icon=Madred's Bloodrazor]
    7. or
    8. or [item_icon=Malady]


    [item_icon=Force of Nature]

  • Core Build Discussion

    Let me start off with stating that this guide will not include any AP items. This is primarily an AD build. It focuses on lifesteal, attack speed, and burst damage (From Bladesurge and Transcendent Blades). This part will be a bit long, but I will justify every item I add to the build.

    Start with a Doran shield and 1xHP Pot.
    The Doran Shield will give you 180 starting HP, some armor, and a nice bit of regen. Things don’t always go as we plan. With these two items you shouldn't need to leave your lane (unless you decide to jungle for a few minutes).

    The next item you are going to get is a Recurve Bow.
    Why one of these? It gives attack speed, which increases your healing and damage output with Hiten Style. We don’t exactly *need* to start with an AD item since Hiten Style will be giving us that (in a sense).

    After a Recurve Bow you are going to want to buy Boots of Speed. These will allow you to move a little faster (a lot faster with your runes and masteries). This helps for closing the gap early (especially if your enemies don’t buy boots).

    The next item you buy depends on how the game is being played. If you are doing well, but running around a lot, go ahead and turn your Boots of Speed into Boots of Swiftness. The added runspeed will ensure that no enemy escape and allow you to keep up with your team. Remember, you can substitute Mercury Treads for Boots of Swiftness if people keep CCing you to death.

    If you are ready to hit the jungle, grab Madreds Razors. The extra 500 damage will let you jungle without Smite. Make sure that you grab golem and lizard buff after you get this item.

    If you are suffering from a lack of damage, get your Pickaxe. Your Bladesurge will hit harder as well as Transcendent Blades.

    If you chose not to finish your boots, you probably want to finish them next (depending on how fast the other team is running now). After you get Boots of Swiftness finish your Madred's Bloodrazor.

    Why do we get Madred's Bloodrazor? It gives you 30 AD, which boosts Transcendent Blades and Bladesurge. It gives 40% attack speed, which boosts your damage output by a lot with Hiten Style. It lets you heal faster and deals 4% of the target’s maximum HP in damage. With your active on Hiten Style and Madreds, you shouldn’t have a problem with killing tanks. Now that you don’t need to worry about them let’s move on to our next item.

    This next item is situational. It depends on how the game is going. If you aren't meleeing a lot, then you will want to grab a B.F. Sword for the added burst damage to your Transcendent Blades and Bladesurge. If you are meleeing a lot, you will want to grab another Recurve Bow. This will add another 40% Attack Speed and can be turned into several useful items later in the game. It also increases the amount you heal per second (if you are hitting) and your dps.

    If you take the Recurve Bow route, the next item you are going to get is a B.F. Sword. The AD greatly boosts your melee damage, Bladesurge, and Transcendent Blades. After a few more kills, you’ll turn that into a Bloodthirster. This gives you much needed AD (100 if you max it) as well as lifesteal. With the high attack speed that you have (and already decent damage), you should be cutting through players if you are forced to melee them.

    If you didn't take a Recurve Bow, turn your B.F. Sword into a Bloodthirster. You can get a Recurve Bow after this, but if you aren't meleeing, you might want to just skip on to the optional items section.

    This concludes the *core* item build for Irelia. Normally, the last two things I do is sell my doran shield and fill the 2 final slots with 2 more Bloodthirsters. This gives you another 50% lifesteal and 200 AD when they are maxed. Your Transcendent Blades will make people cry, and your melee damage will drop tanks just as fast.

    While I prefer to end with more damage, the last items are quite situational. Drop down to the next section for a discussion of other items to build your playing style around.

  • Optional Item Discussion

    First let’s figure out what to do about that 2nd Recurve Bow:

    - A great item to turn that recurve bow into. If you are fighting against people with a lot of dodge (Jax) or a team full of exhausts, then this item is extremely valuable.

    - Not exactly an item that I’d jump up and down for. If a caster is surviving your burst you probably aren’t doing it correctly. If they are just stacking HP, your Madred's Bloodrazor should finish them pretty easily when you melee. It never hurts to drop their MP while you are at it, though.

    [item_icon=Stark's Fervor] - A lot of guides are putting this item on Irelia. I think it’s an excellent item to turn your Recurve Bow into. The reason I don’t rush it after Madreds is you need damage and attack speed. While Starks Fervor adds damage by lowering their armor, I’ve found that building a Bloodthirster first helps more in the long run.

    - Great attack speed, and pierces 40% of their armor. Shouldn’t really be a need for this, but if you are playing against a tank that is stacking Sunfire Capes and just won’t die, get this item and see to it that they do.

    There are a few other choices for the 2nd Recurve Bow if you don’t like any of the above choices:

    [item_icon=Malady] - You said you weren’t adding AP items! Well, I’ll make an exception for this one. It gives 50% attack speed and 25 AP. Nothing stellar, but it shines from the passive. If you have a caster on your team that is forcing the other team to stack Magic Resist, this could cause a problem for you. Your skills *AND MADRED'S BLOODRAZOR* deal magic damage. With each hit from your melee, your Madred's Bloodrazor damage will be significantly higher. This is a great way to increase your melee damage (and Equilibrium Strike).

    - Runspeed, Dodge, Attack Speed, Crit Rate all in one weapon? It is a nice alternative, but still quite expensive. You shouldn’t have any trouble with runspeed if you follow my guide. If you still have a player escaping from you after everything you do (including lizard buff), then throw on one of these. They are also great for melee heavy teams, and I won’t complain about the crit rate.

    Now that we’ve taken care of the Recurve Bow problem, let’s move on to items that can fill in those last 2 slots for us:

    - The 700 HP on this item really helps survivability. The AD is about useless when it comes to boosting Transcendent Blades, but the passive allows us to catch runners even without Lizard Buff. This item is slightly expensive, and isn’t exactly my favorite. Take it if you need it.

    - We’ll boost our survivability with a 200 HP and 30 MR. The 12% CDR helps with Transcendent Blades, and the passive helps with Hiten Style and Transcendent Blades. I’ll take this sometimes if I am constantly bluepilling because I can’t heal fast enough.

    - I won’t deny that the AD and Armor Reduction help your melee. I usually don’t run this because I need the AD from a Bloodthirster for Transcendent Blades. If you choose not to go the Last Whisper route with the 2nd Recurve Bow, then you might want to build one of these. Remember, if you focus a tank with this, it will help your entire team. It lowers the resistance of the target, and boosts everyone's damage.

    - Yep, I tossed in a snowball item! The reason this isn’t in my core build is quite simple - you are squishy. You have very low armor and magic resist, and your HP isn’t anything to brag about. Maxed, the runspeed helps and it gives 10 more AD than a maxed bloodthirster. If you die, though, you instantly lose ⅓ of your stacks. Sure, you lose stacks on a Bloodthirster if you die, but at least you still have lifesteal (and it build stacks of minion kills as well). If you take this, get it before your first Bloodthirster.

    - Gives us a 300 Damage burst for initiating (or chasing). It adds spellvamp to all our skills (20% more to Transcendent Blades as well). It adds 60 AD and 75 AP. Together, this is a total of 135 damage for our Bladesurge->Equilibrium Strike combo. This makes it an extremely viable item if you are concentrating on those two skills moreso than Transcendent Blades (it only takes the higher of AP or AD).

    - This item gives decent armor and allows you to reflect back 30% of the damage dealt to you. If you want to shut down someone’s lifesteal (that doesn’t stack Bloodthirsters), then use a Thornmail. If they aren’t lifestealing, then they’ll just kill themselves. Either way, it’s a win/win situation.

    [item_icon=Force of Nature] - This is a great magic resist item. The HP regeneration helps (even though you shouldn’t need it), and it allows you to move faster as well.

    - Nice HP, magic resist, and the passive saves lives.

    - You finally die...and come back to kill everyone again. This is a great item for the armor and magic resist. The nerf on the passive makes it a tad overlooked, but it’s still nice if you are being focused. If you use a Hextech Gunblade you might even be able to dash into a squishy and heal back enough HP to continue fighting.

    - Tons of HP and regen. I wouldn’t recommend this item, but it’s not bad if you throw it on with an Atmas Impaler as well.

    - Use it whenever you are stacking high HP items. Gives AD, armor, and a slight crit rate boost. Unless you are tanking away, I honestly wouldn’t recommend running this.

    - Awesome armor and HP boost. The active on it is very nice as well if you remember to use it.

  • Early Gameplay

    This is probably when Irelia is most vulnerable for several reasons:

    1). Your skills don't do high damage right now - They scale well with AP/AD, but they don't have a lot of base damage until about level 3 of the skill. If you add AD/AP into your rune page you might notice a difference is damage in this phase.

    2). You don't have an escape - We don't immediately take Bladesurge at level 1. We can use Equilibrium Strike to stun an enemy, but that still leaves you to escape from the other one. If you don't bring ghost with you, then you'll need to be a tad careful, as you can't dash onto a creep and run just yet.

    3). Low mana regen - Lategame, Irelia doesn't really have trouble with mana, especially if you snag golem buff. If you decide to spam your skills in the early laning phase, you will probably be bluepilling to refill your mana pool. Sometimes it's best to just stand back and defend a little and strike when the enemy over extends.

    The best advice I can give in this section is to choose your lane wisely (I'll cover how to do this in the 'Wards' section of this guide). Try to find the lane with squishy players in it. If there is going to be a tank in both top and bottom lanes, then try to find one without ranged harasses. If you make a bad choice with your lane, don't be afraid to ask your teammates to swap with you.

    Because you aren't ranged, try to last hit the minions in your lane. Bladesurge refills 1/2 the mana cost if you kill with it. This is useful for last-hitting, but remember that you will pull yourself closer to the other team if you decide to do this. Play wisely, especially if they are ranged or have disables.

    Once you get a few levels on Bladesurge or Equilibrium Strike (depending on what you choose to max first), you should be able to harass a little. Dash in with Bladesurge, pop Equilibrium Strike (to slow them) and back away. Make sure if you decide to do this that you are (1) targetting the squishier if the two players and (2) that they don't have a teammate with a strong disable beside them. Don't try to kill them, just hit them and back away.

    If they are stupid enough to stand in the lane with 1/4 HP when you turn level 6, make sure you have enough mana to cast your combo and Transcendent Blades and finish them off quickly.

    Remember that your early game can really break your team. Remember, you have a Doran's Shield in the beginning (if you are following this guide). Should you lose a lot of HP, you don't need to rely on Hiten Style to heal you back up. Step back to your turret (make sure you can still get EXP) and regen some HP back before moving in to last hit.

  • Mid-Game

    This is really where Irelia begins to shine. Your skills' base damage will start scaling now, and you should at least have some AD (from levels or your pickaxe by now). Usually by now turrets have fallen and teams are resorting to ganking or pushing the other lanes that are still standing.

    Remember, you are still squishy. This means for no reason should you be leading a teamfight. Let your tank initiate and choose 1 person to banish. In this period of the game you should be focusing on single target elimination. Choose your target wisely, they need to be squishy enough to die in a few hits. Also, try to choose someone that either has a nice AoE, nice disable, or nice damage. If you can quickly take out your target (and you still have HP and mana), try to move back towards the teamfight and focus eliminating the remaining guys with low HP.

    This is also a great time to grab some buffs (lizard and golem) and shut down anyone on their team that is still jungling solo. If you are fighting 1v1 with someone that has lifesteal, make sure that you ignite them. Reducing their healing by 50% can change a fight. If you get exhausted, don't forget to use skills. Throw Equilibrium Strike on them, and if you have lower HP than them you'll stun them for a decent portion of the duration. You can also use Transcendent Blades to restore some HP while you are blinded.

    Make sure you move with your team, pick off the troublesome opponents, and end the game.

  • Late-Game

    By now, everyone is probably 18. You are unable to rely on your level advantage for damage. Their tanks will probably have Thornmail as well, so you might have trouble if you decide to melee them. You should have at least one Bloodthirster (or Stark's Fervor if you decide to convert your 2nd Recurve Bow early). With 25% lifesteal, the Thornmail will still reflect 5% if the damage dealt back to you, so be careful.

    Teamfights will make or break this part of the game. Because of this, I usually begin to stack AD for Transcendent Blades. If you hit all 4 blades you can do a tremendous amount of damage once you have some AD. With some decent CDR, you shouldn't have much of a problem using this. Once the fight is over, persue with Bladesurge and Equilibrium Strike and finish them up. Remember, you can heal off turrets/inhibitors. If you have enough attack speed, you should be able to restore some decent HP off of them (or the minions around them). Just play wisely and watch the respawn times.

    It's also extremely important to have wards setup in this phase as well as the other phases. If you aren't exactly sure what to do with them check the 'Wards' section of this guide. Map awareness will let you have an advantage in teamfights and could even let you steal buffs or Baron.

  • AP vs. AD

    First off, I am not writing this section to tell you to go AD or AP. I don't feel that one build style is 'far superior' than the other. I'll eventually be posting an alternative AP build. This section will provide information about an AP Irelia until I add an AP build to this guide.

    AD Irelia Build Stats (

  • Conclusion

    First, I wanted to thank you for making it all the way down here. This guide will be upgraded pretty regularly until I get all the information I want inside of it. Sorry it took so long, but since you made it here, would you mind rating and commenting?

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Submitted by walk12288

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