Irelia Build Guide

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Irelia used Swords Dance. She will now sweep your entire team.

written by Kuhni

Irelia Build

Table of Contents

  • Abilities

    Ionian Fervor
    Amazing passive. Doesn't make Mercury's Treads a must-have for you, especially in conjunction with Cleanse.

    Your bread-and-butter ability. Not much to say here, the description makes clear how it works.
    - Farming
    - Chasing enemies (Especially once it's maxed)
    - Dealing Burst Damage (Again, especially at Lvl 5)
    - Escaping (Surging to nearby minions or creeps)
    - Harassing in combination with W and E

    Hiten Style
    Amazing Passive, incredible Active.
    - Farming at your turret before getting Sheen (pop W and proceed to Q melee minions after 2 turret hits, caster minions after 1)
    - Harassing (W+Q+E)
    - Melt tanks (It's basically a free [item_text=Madred's Bloodrazor], since it's not affected by Magic Resistance.)
    - Jungling (main source of damage when jungling)

    Equilibrium Strike
    Although the Stun is a bit unreliable, the slow is amazing enough too.
    Important fact: Equilibrium Strike will stun your enemy if your HP percentage is the same, e.g. if you're both at full health.
    - Chasing
    - Escaping
    - Burst

    Transcendent Blades
    Ah yes, Transcendent Blades. One of the most useful and versatile Ultimates in the game.
    How it works: Once you press R, 4 blades appear. For every time you press R now, you shoot 1 of those blades into the direction of your mouse cursor, just like how Flash works.
    The blade stack doesn't last forever, it'll disappear after about 10 seconds or something. There's a buff icon informing you about the number of blades left.
    - Healing yourself in lane (Just Ult an entire creep wave, you'll heal in about half your HP during laning phase)
    - Adding to your Burst
    - Chasing
    - AoE damage in team fights
    - To some extent escaping (if the chaser is low on HP, it could scare them away)
    - Clearing large creep waves late game

    Don't hesitate to use it, as it will be on a 28 second cooldown at Lvl 3 and 39% CDR.

  • Combos

    Irelia's basic harassment combo is:
    Hiten Style --> Bladesurge --> Equilibrium Strike --> auto-attack --> back off

    When trying to kill someone:
    Hiten Style --> Bladesurge --> Equilibrium Strike --> auto-attack --> chase with Bladesurge & Transcendent Blades

    In team fights:
    Hiten Style --> Bladesurge --> activate and shoot your Transcendent Blades --> Equilibrium Strike --> auto-attack, all of that on their carry/squishiest target/main focus obviously.

    See a pattern here?
    You first activate Hiten Style and proceed to Bladesurge your target, as the latter applies on-hit effects, for example your Hiten Style. 99% of all people will now try to move away from you, hence you slow/stun them with your Equilibrium Strike. If you're seriously going for a kill, you can chase them down with Transcendent Blades and more Bladesurge.

  • Masteries, Runes & Summoner's Spells

    For masteries, you should go for a standard 9/0/21 setup. You'll need the CDR, the Magic Penetration (for E and R) as well as the mana regeneration and buff duration.

    So, what runes should you go for?
    One of Irelia's weak points is mana. Bladesurge-ing creeps will cost you 35 mana per last-hit. You will also need additional mana for farming with your Ultimate and harassing your laning opponent.

    3x Greater Quintessence of Fortitude
    9x Greater Mark of Desolation
    9x Greater Seal of Clarity
    9x Greater Glyph of Clarity

    This will give you ~650 base HP on Level 1 as well as enough mana regeneration throughout the entire game. This saves you from wasting money on items like Chalice of Harmony or Manamune

    Alternatively, as Irelia has good base HP, you could also go for Greater Quintessence of Desolation.

    For Summoner's, I advise getting Cleanse and Flash. Cleanse will allow you shrug off stuns and silences, enabling you to freely crush your target during team fights. It's also a great escaping tool. Flash for escaping, chasing, surprise attacks and mind games.
    Alternative setups I suggest:
    Ghost+ Cleanse
    Ghost/ Flash + Ignite/ Exhaust

    Buy a Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potions. Start at blue buff. Start auto-attacking it, pop Hiten Style and a Health Potion, Smite it at 445 HP.
    Proceed to kill Wolves, popping a Health Potion whenever your HP feels low.

  • Skilling Order

    My usual skilling order looks like this:

    I max Hiten Style first, because it helps with your lane staying power, and the 75 true damage at Lvl 9 can easily tear through most of your lane opponents.
    Next is Bladesurge, because it increases your burst damage as well as your ability to chase. It has a 3.8 second cooldown at Lvl 5 (39% CDR), people will avoid getting too close to you at that point.
    Unfortunately, that leaves Equilibrium Strike last, even though it's a great skill as well. I just feel that the disable duration becomes more important in bigger team fights, at which point you're probably around Lvl 15-18 already.

    Of course, other options would be alternating between leveling Bladesurge and Equilibrium Strike or maxing Equilibrium Strike over Bladesurge.

  • Items

    Core: +/

    Trinity Force is a must-have on Irelia. It synergizes excellently with her Q, as well as her other spells as she has generally rather low cooldowns. She also benefits greatly from it's crit, movement speed, attack speed and slow effect.
    The Brutalizer for Armor Penetration as well as maxed out cooldown reduction in conjunction with Ionian Boots of Lucidity. If you don't want to rely on your passive regarding crowd-control reduction or chose not to run Cleanse, you could also go with Mercury's Treads

    Additional items
    Highly recommended
    Youmuu's Ghostblade: It builds from your The Brutalizer, and gives you an amazing active. Should be gotten after finishing your core.
    Sword of the Divine: Usually the third DPS item I get. It's active synergizes well with the active of Youmuu's Ghostblade, and gives you a total of 60 Armor Penetration, enough to tear through squishies. It also prevents lucky dodges and counters champions like Jax, Sivir or Udyr, which all have a naturally high dodge rate.
    The Bloodthirster or [item=Stark's Fervor]: Depending on your team composition. I usually get [item_text=Stark's Fervor] when there's at least 1 or 2 more characters in my team that would benefit greatly from it. Otherwise, The Bloodthirster is superior because of the extra punch it packs.
    Executioner's Calling: If the enemy team has some nasty healers, a Swain or a Dr.Mundo, you should definitely be the one to get this. The active is great, especially if you have no/few Ignites among your team. The Crit Chance and Lifesteal synergize well with the rest of your items too.
    Guardian Angel: If you're getting focused a lot, or just want to have some overall defenses, this is the right item to get.
    Banshee's Veil: I usually get that if the enemy team is very AP heavy or to counter stuff like Rocket Grab or Requiem.

    Other options
    The Black Cleaver: You already have a lot of Armor Penetration, but it's still a good item. Gives you good damage and additional attack speed, as well as a nice Armor Reduction on your target.
    Infinity Edge: Also a very good item, gives you a lot of additional damage. The problem with this is that it's very expensive.
    [item=Madred's Bloodrazor]: As you already have a good way of shredding through tanks thanks to Hiten Style, I don't think it's worth the money. It's still a great item to have if their team is very bulky.
    Phantom Dancer: Movement Speed, Crit Chance, Attack Speed. 3 attributes you benefit greatly from. The problem with this is that I just don't feel it's worth the money. You'll already have very high Attack Speed and Movement Speed thanks to your core and maybe a Youmuu's Ghostblade and Sword of the Divine, so going for additional Attack Damage or survivability would be better.

    Items that may seem tempting, but should be avoided
    Manamune: You won't need the Mana, you should save the item slot for something better.
    [item=Malady]: May be tempting because of the attack speed and the magic resistance reduction, but again, the spot could be filled with a much better item.
    Wit's End: Yeah... no. If you want magic resistance, get a Banshee's Veil. Otherwise this item is just not worth it's money.
    Sword of the Occult: Even though snowballing can be effective with Irelia, I find that it's too unreliable with her. People will focus you more, and you can't really withstand focus fire from their entire team. Of course, if you're obviously dominating throughout the entire game, feel free to get it. But I'd never get it in more serious and balanced games.

  • Laning

    I generally advise you to take a solo lane, preferably mid or top. Irelia really shines in a solo lane, as she can easily outlane most popular ranged carries (Ashe/Sivir) while also being able to do well against casters.
    The main reason why you want to go for a solo is your amazing farming capability. Once you got the hang out of it, you'll easily outfarm Sivirs and Anivias, while still being able to force them into passive play or even out of the lane.
    Most people won't recognize how good of a solo laner Irelia is though, and will most likely tell you to kindly GTFO. Be persistent, but if they insist on sending you to a duo lane, you should just give in.

    Duo laning with Irelia can be quite a hassle. Depending on your laning partner, you will either deprive them of all their last hits, or they'll constantly mess up you last hitting with Bladesurge, disabling your farming capabilities.
    There's good things to it too though. Duo to your gap-closer Bladesurge and your heavy slow/stun Equilibrium Strike you can easily burst down one of your opponents as long as you got back-up from your laning partner. You'd ideally want to lane with a tank, like Alistar or Singed. But be sure to give them a fair share of farm too, you're most likely not the center of your team, so you shouldn't claim all the gold for yourself.

  • Jungling

    Even though I wouldn't advise it, jungling is indeed a possibility for Irelia.
    I'll just give you a quick overview what my jungling set-up is, since I'm not an expert on that topic. It usually works out fine for me, just make sure your lanes will set up for a gank after getting red buff.


    Smite+ Ghost

    3x Greater Quintessence of Alacrity
    9x Greater Mark of Alacrity
    9x Greater Glyph of Focus
    9x Greater Seal of Evasion


    Start with a Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potions. Start at Blue Golem. Auto-attack it, pop Hiten Style and smite it once it's at 445 HP. Kill Wolves, Wraiths and Lesser Golems. Pop a Health Potion whenever your HP is low.
    Port back, buy Boots of Speed. Now go and kill the Red Lizard. Now you should check if one of your lanes are gankable. If they're not, just kill Wolves, Wraiths and Lesser Golems again.
    Build your Cloth Armor into a Wriggle's Lantern. From then on, just proceed with your usual item build. Be sure to pay attention to your mini map for ganks. Always make sure to buy a Ward or two whenever you can.

  • Afterword

    Thanks for reading my guide on Irelia, I hope I could help you out. Be sure to check my Youtube Channel for full-length LoL matches, including a lot of Irelia games.

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Submitted by Kuhni

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