Irelia Build Guide

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Irelia Guide - Solo top like a boss

written by Zieg0re

Irelia Build

Starting items

  • OR
  • OR

Core Build

Late Game / Luxury Items

Situational Items

  • OR
  • OR
  • OR

Skill Order

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • Ionian Fervor
  • Bladesurge
  • Hiten Style
  • Equilibrium Strike
  • Transcendent Blades

Runes for Irelia

Masteries for Irelia

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    Hi everybody, I'm Zieg0re, a lvl 30 Summoner from the EU servers. Actually I'm German, so I hope my English isn't too bad for the native speakers.
    This is my fourth League of Legends Guide, featuring Irelia, The Will of the Blades. I'm going to show you my way playing Irelia here, which is an offtanky solo top approach.

    Ability explanation, Masteries, Runes, general Playstyle, playing with or against particular champions as well as Items will be featured here. Do not expect this guide to give you guaranteed success, but a good insight about the potential of this awesome champion.

    I'll do my best to keep this guide up to date and to eliminate further typos and/or grammar mistakes. Since English isn't my native language, I hope you can bear with me about that point.

    Anyway, let's get started!

    Whether if you vote this guide up or down, please feel free to comment on this guide in a civilized matter. Learning never stops!

    P.S: Feel free to check out my other guides as well!
    Anivia - Ice, ice baby, a standard AP carry guide.
    Stuns. Stuns everywhere - A selfless approach to Kennen, an offtanky AP stunbot guide.
    Urgot - Only Tools and Corpses, an offtanky carry rapist guide.

  • My view of Irelia

    I've neither been playing Irelia in a ranked game yet nor have I been playing her for over 9000 games because I simply lack the time due to work..., just in case the haters are going to stalk my profile and well... hate. But still, I've developed a very distinctive view of how Irelia should be played in the Fields of Justice which turned out to be pretty solid. In my opinion, she is somewhat of a "bruiser assassin" type, which means she quickly gets into battle, disables and/or kills the enemy carry and either gets out or stays in the fight soaking up cc and damage while healing herself through Hiten Style and Transcendent Blades and being nigh un-cc-able due to her passive. She can be an initiator, but should only do so with a competent (premade) team which will immediately follow her into battle.

    Otherwise, if you have a good tank, she can flank the enemy and tear their squishies apart or even destroy tanks due to Hiten Style's active effect. The best thing is Irelia's itemization is really really good. There are a lot of items viable for her either when jungling or laning, which separates her from other solo top bruisers, especially Renekton, who is basically a good champion, but suffers from terrible itemization.

    In the lane, she is highly resilient and becomes pretty much an immovable object from level 6 on, since she can basically kill an entire minion wave and heal herself to nearly full hp with her ult, which makes her a great choice even in a 1v2 lane.

    Also, while there are a lot of guides for Irelia already present, there does not seem to be one really focused around competitive itemization.

  • Quick Summary


    Coming soon...


    Marks: 9x Greater Mark of Alacrity
    Seals: 9x Greater Seal of Resilience
    Glyphs: 9x Greater Glyph of Warding

    Quintessences: 3x Greater Quintessence of Swiftness
    Coming soon...
    Summoner Spells:

    Teleport and Flash
    Coming soon...
    Skilling Order:


    Supportive build, use this if you're in a good and reliable premade:

    [item_icon=Force of Nature]

    "Selfish" Atmog's build, use this if you're in solo queue or need to carry games on your own:
    [item_icon=Force of Nature]
    Dominion Build:
    Coming soon...
    Optional choices:
    [item_icon=Madred's Bloodrazor]+[item_icon=Eleisa's Miracle]

    Build progression:
    + >> + + [item_icon=Heart of Gold] >> + >> + >> + >> + >> + >> [item_Icon=Force of Nature] + / >>

    How to Irelia:
    1.) Solo top loves you.
    2.) Harass with W > E > Q.
    3.) Farm like a boss. (R or Q or last hit).
    4.) Gank other lanes via Ward Teleporting.
    5.) Steal/acquire/help with jungle buffs.
    6.) Focus their squishies.
    7.) Use your item's active abilities.
    8.) In teamfights, always have Hiten Style active.

  • Abilities

    Ionian Fervor
    Ionian Fervor (Innate): Reduces the duration of stuns, slows, taunts, fears, snares, and immobilizes for each nearby enemy champion.

    * 1 Champion: 10%
    * 2 Champions: 25%
    * 3 Champions: 40%
    * Radius: 800 (estimate)

    One of the better passives, which actually becomes one of the best passive abilities when compared to other bruisers. This is what makes Irelia get into battle unafraid with Mercury's Treads since even the longest cc effects wont't be much harm to her.


    1.) It stacks with Mercury's Treads, although this is subject to diminishing returns, meaning it is not stacking additively but multiplicatively.

    A quick calculation to this:
    Normally, CC duration is 100%.
    With 3 champions around, you lower those 100% by 40%, meaning CC lasts for 60% of it's duration.
    Now with Mercury's Treads, you lower this 60% by an additional 35%, ending at 39% of the total duration.

    Therefore, you get a total of 61% CC reduction instead of the 75%.

    2.) Like Vayne's passive, this only works against visible enemies in range, so it canNOT scout stealthed enemies.

    Bladesurge (Active): Irelia dashes forward to strike her target, dealing physical damage. This applies on-hit effects. If it kills the target, Bladesurge's cooldown refreshes and refunds 35 mana.

    * Range: 650
    * Cost: 60 / 65 / 70 / 75 / 80 mana
    * Cooldown: 14 / 12 / 10 / 8 / 6 seconds
    * Physical Damage: 20 / 50 / 80 / 110 / 140 (+1.0 per attack damage)

    Irelia's gap closer and early last hitting guarantee. You'll want to practice last hitting with it, since it should never be on cooldown, except for initiation purposes.


    1.) You can only pass walls with it if there's enough space behind the wall for you to reappear. Otherwise, damage will be dealt but you remain at your position.

    2.) Sheen and Trinity Force's Sheen effect will be automatically proced by this, meaning the damage is further amplified. Think of the way Mystic Shot works.

    3.) It also applies the bonus true damage from Hiten Style.

    4.) It you get a feeling for when it can kill a minion without checking it's health before, your efficiency is greatly enhanced.

    5.) You can cover great distances with it through targeting low life minions.

    6.) Use this to last hit under your tower if you get constantly pushed in 1v2 lanes before level 6.

    Hiten Style

    Hiten Style (Passive): Irelia's autoattacks restore health to her.
    Hiten Style (Active): Irelia's autoattacks deal additional true damage for 6 seconds. Hiten Style's passive health gain is doubled for the duration.

    * Cost: 40 mana
    * Cooldown: 15 seconds

    * Health Restored: 5 / 7 / 9 / 11 / 13
    * Health Restored while active: 10 / 14 / 18 / 22 / 26
    * True Damage: 15 / 30 / 45 / 60 / 75

    This is what makes Irelia deal considerable damage without building heavy offense. This is also what makes her nearly un-harrassable in lane since she'll just regenerate her health faster the enemy can damage her(especially with a Philosopher's Stone). And finally, this is what I prioritize when it comes to skilling.


    1.) True damage cannot be mitigated by any means. The only way to avoid it is to get invulnerable, e.g. through Undying Rage, Intervention or the active of Zhonya's Hourglass. This means you always deal at least 75 damage per hit, even if e.g. Alistar uses Unbreakable Will and has 300 armor.

    2.) Attack speed items synergize very well with this ability, since even the active is not permitted by a number of hits like [spell_text=Spray and Pray] but just by the duration of the effect.

    3.) Bladesurge also procs the additional true damage. Take this into account when surging onto a very low life-enemy.

    4.) Use this in every fight available, the damage is indispensable.

    Equilibrium Strike
    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: 8 seconds
    * Range: 425
    * Cost: 50 / 55 / 60 / 65 / 70 mana
    * Magic Damage: 80 / 130 / 180 / 230 / 280 (+0.5 per ability power)
    * Duration: 1 / 1.25 / 1.5 / 1.75 / 2 second(s)

    Well, the ability's name pretty much defines it's use. Like Shen would say "Enforce Equilibrium". Use this to stun gankers, catch runners, stick to people or whatever comes to your mind.


    1.) In the laning phase, if you're not totally sure you'll make your enemy blow Flash or you can kill him, you will want to wait until you are lower on life than he is for Equilibrium Strike's use. The stun is just far more valuable, since the duration is the same as the slow's.

    2.) If you're confident you can survive it, get yourself poked a bit and then rush to the enemy carry with Bladesurge into Equilibrium Strike. The damage and stun might be enough to scare them off or get them killed by your team while you can still heal yourself with your ultimate.

    3.) It has a short cast timer and a relatively short range. But since it is higher than your melee range, you can still use it while chasing.

    4.) If you have Trinity Force, Randuin's Omen and / or Shurelya's Reverie, you become a squishy magnet(how do they work?) and even a Nidalee will have a hard time to get away from you.

    5.) If both you and your desired target are at the same health percentage, it will stun instead of slowing.

    Transcendent Blades
    Transcendent Blades (Active): Irelia summons 4 spirit blades which she can fling individually to deal physical damage to enemies they pass through, and she heals for 25% of that damage vs champions and 10% vs minions.

    * Cost: 100 mana
    * Range: 1200
    * Cooldown: 60 / 50 / 40 seconds
    * Physical Damage Per Blade: 80 / 120 / 160 (+0.5 per ability power) (+0.6 per bonus attack damage)

    While it is not one of the "WTF BOOM!" damage ultimates, it's utility is just great. Being able to hold a 1v2 lane pushing at your tower while still getting all(yes, ALL OF THEM) the last hits is just awesome, since it also makes ganking for your jungler a lot easier when they're no creeps around to block skillshots or escape paths. Also, this can be used in teamfights to remain healthy.


    1.) You can (and should) use this to kill low-life runners out of Bladesurge's range and when Flash is on cooldown.

    2.) Even at rank 1, this kills all caster minions and leaves the melee minions wounded enough to finish them off with Bladesurge.

    3.) In teamfights, try to hit as many targets as possible to regain health. Irelia can be deceptively strong with the right timing of her ultimate.

    4.) Since it's cooldown is pretty low (this get's even better with Shurelya's and a golem buff, 24 seconds with 40% CDR) it can be frequently used to farm like a boss.

  • Skilling Order



    Skilling on Irelia is something not that written in stone like on other champions. While I generally choose to level Hiten Style first since it grants me lane sustainability to farm my Trinity Force you can actually skill whatever you like according to the situation. This is just a personal preference.
    But, I strongly advise to prioritize Hiten Style since you will not be buying damage items before a Philosopher's Stone and a [item_text=heart of gold] when you follow this guide. The damage granted through it's active part really makes up for this. Think of 1,67 free, unmitigatable B. F. Swords at rank 5. Not even speaking of the lane sustainance granted through it's passive effect.

    Then take either Bladesurge or Equilibrium Strike depending on the situation, while I choose a balanced approach to leveling those. Of course take your ultimate whenever you can.


    1.) Do not skill anything until you're at your lane. Hiten Style is inferior to Equilibrium Strike at level 1 teamfights and if you're in a 1v2 lane or against high pressure champions, skilling Bladesurge at level 1 may be better since getting into auto attack range to last hit may prove difficult.
    2.) Bladesurge grants more damage and better chasing through decreased CD, while Equilibrium Strike offers more utility in teamfights through longer and more hurtful stuns/slows. Evaluate the game's situation before skilling.

  • Masteries + Runes


    Although I used to go 21/9/0, recent hints and tests brought me to the opinion that utility masteries are offering her a greater benefit, since the majority of her damage output comes from Hiten Style and the other boni granted from the utility tree are better in overall performance then the ones granted from the offensive tree. This is especially true when it comes to [mastery_text=Awareness] and improved Teleport, 50 seconds less cooldown is just awesome.

    My choices:

    Marks: 9x Greater Mark of Alacrity
    Seals: 9x Greater Seal of Resilience
    Glyphs: 9x Greater Glyph of Warding

    Quintessences: 3x Greater Quintessence of Swiftness


    This makes you start with 582HP, which is quite well. Also, you have lots of armor and magic resist drastically raising your effective health while also having a spare Health Potion worth 200 HP. Also, the Regrowth Pendant does not only grant HP/5 itself but builds into something, which a Doran's Shield does not. Anyway, if you feel you're too squishy, take flat HP quints or start with a Doran's Shield if you can bear delaying your build. Personally, I think her sustain through the Pendant and her W are more than enough to keep her alive even throgh harassment.Due to some testing I've done so far, I've come to the conclusion that attack speed marks fit my playstyle better than armor penetration marks. The majority of Irelia's damage output comes from Hiten Style, and every bit of attack speed increases this. For armor penetration, my The Black Cleaver usually is enough to take out squishies. The majority of damage dealt against heavier armored targets is delivered via Hiten Style. If you completely want to dump armor penetration, swap out The Black Cleaver for a Wit's End.

    Alternative choices:

    Marks: Greater Mark of Desolation / Greater Mark of Strength
    Seals: Greater Seal of Vitality / Greater Seal of Defense / Greater Seal of Evasion
    Glyphs: Greater Glyph of Shielding / Greater Glyph of Alacrity

    Quintessences: Greater Quintessence of Desolation / Greater Quintessence of Fortitude / Greater Quintessence of Vigor

  • Summoner Abilities

    My choice:
    Teleport / Flash

    This is my favourite choice for Irelia. Teleport allows me to shop and return to my lane without missing exp or gold while also being an amazing ganking tool in conjunction with a properly warded map. A well played Irelia with Teleport is very difficult, if not impossible, to push out of her lane on your own.
    Note that the Teleport particles can be seen through the fog of war, so use a destination out of the enemy's sight or when he's distracted.

    Flash is either great to escape or to catch a running enemy. Irelia can actually cover a great distance with Flash > Bladesurge.

    Noteworthy alternatives:

    Ghost: Use this if you want to maximize your mobility in teamfights or to get away or catch enemies even better. (especially when running Ghost AND Flash)
    Ignite: One should always be in the team. If noone else has it, pick it, even if you have to give up Teleport.
    Exhaust: See Ignite, except this is very versatile in it's use. Either to slow down chasers or to shut down AD carries in a teamfight. Btw being Exhaustex does neither lower your attack speed nor the damage from Hiten Style's active part. Awesome, isn't it?

  • Items

    Starting Items:

    Regrowth Pendant + Health Potion

    My build:
    Mercury's Treads
    Trinity Force
    [item=Force of Nature]
    Randuin's Omen
    Shurelya's Reverie
    The Black Cleaver

    This build offers a good amount of damage even without Hiten Style's active and also grants a LOT of survivability and sustainability through resistances, hitpoints and a crapload of HP/5. Compared to the second guide it is more supportive and generally consistent as well as having 2 gp/10 items in it's core build making the loss of gold when roaming or ganking not that painful. Also, if you manage to get your The Black Cleaver carries of all sort melt like butter under your focus fire and the armor reduction counts for all attacks make against that target compared to armor penetration. Generally a more supportive way of playing Irelia and not focused about pure personal strength that much.

    Alternative build:
    Mercury's Treads
    Trinity Force
    [item=Force of Nature]
    Warmog's Armor
    Atma's Impaler
    Phantom Dancer

    This build offers about 1k more effective health and a bit more damage. The advantage is that you have a huge critical strike chance coupled with a higher movement speed in this build while the downside is it has no gp/10 items, no CDR and not the supportive nature of Randuin's passive/active and Shurelya's active. If you tend to forget about using active items and you can bear the loss of 2 gp/10 items, this build may be actually better. Also, if you can see that you will probably dominate your lane and won't need the gp/10 items you may opt for this.

    Since I use my items every time they're available infight, I go for build #1.

    Situational/alternative choices:

    The damage items can be bought late game if you feel you need more damage and are durable enough. Sell your Shurelya's Reverie or replace your Black Cleaver with those then. Generally, Shurelya's is the most flexible item in this build. Against more physical teams I often end up selling my Philo and going for an Atma's in addition to my Black Cleaver.

    [item=Madred's Bloodrazor] if you're facing a lot of high hp enemies
    Wit's End if you want to boost your mid game damage while still gaining durability(buy it before finishing the 2 gp/10 items and after Trinity Force
    Hexdrinker if they have a Karthus you want to troll or you face people like Lux or Ezreal being a slightly fed
    Aegis of the Legion against mixed teams and if noone else is going for it. This is an incredibly useful and vastly underestimated item. It provides one of the best stat/gold ratios in the entire game.
    Guardian Angel if you tend to get focused a lot
    Ninja Tabi if you face A LOT of physical DPS (by a lot I'm talking about like Tryndamere solo top, Jungle Yi and an AD carry bot).
    [item=Eleisa's Miracle] if you have to get Ninja Tabi. Skip Shurelya's Reverie in that case and try to get a blue buff for CDR, if noone else wants it.
    Quicksilver Sash if they have a Warwick / Malzahar or both who constantly use their ults on you.
    The Bloodthirster. Well, Irelia scales pretty well with AD and she farms like a boss, so this is a viable option.
    Hextech Gunblade if you have lots(!) of money and you dislike The Black Cleaver. Probably the enemy team will surrender anyway at that point in the game. I prefer the Cleaver, but this is an item seen on several Irelias. I'd personally prefer a Bloodthirster, though.
    Elixir of Fortitude whenever you can spare the money
    [item=Oracle's Elixir] see Fort pot + if you wanna destroy enemy wards or if they have champions with annoying invisibility skills
    [item=Elixir of Agility] see Fort pot
    Elixir of Brilliance see Fort pot

  • Build Example

    My favourite build:

    Atmog's + Phantom Dancer build:

    Somehow the numbers of the implemented Atmog's build don't seem to be correct. Just check out the "even more detail"-part for the correct values.

    As you see the obvious statistics of the second build (thou shalt henceforth be known as "Atmog's build" ) are somewhat superior to the first build (which shalt be known as "My build" from now on). More effective HP, movespeed, a bit more damage and way more crit chance. Why go for "My build" then?

    Being an offtank you're supposed to support your team through soaking up damage, disabling carries and dealing damage. Shutting down a single carry is actually what most bruisers excel at. Take e.g. Malphite, Xin Zhao, Urgot and of course Irelia. With the Atmog's build you can deal a considerable amount of damage while still being very durable. So far, so good.

    With My build however you have the chance to passively lower an enemy's attack speed (and therefore physical dps) when being attacked, you can boost your entire teams movement speed to get into or out from a fight(or catch a runner) with Shurelya's and you can use your Randuin's active to further slow enemies' attack and movement speed for about 3 seconds (which is a LOT in endgame 5v5 clashes). Also, your Black Cleaver lowers the armor of your desired target against ALL attacks made. Additionally, "My build" offers 20% more CDR compared to "Atmog's build" which result in more stuns/slows via Equilibrium Strike, more damage because you can activate Hiten Style more often and at last, more durability since your ult will be up faster again. Oh wait, Bladesurge is also available more often, which makes chasing a breeze. Finally 2 of it's core items are built from GP/10 items which make your early to mid game a lot more relaxed, especially when roaming the jungle or ganking mid.

    So in terms of a balanced approach of your own stats and supporting your team "My build" is superior to "Atmog's build" although you sacrifice a bit of personal strength. As League of Legends is still a team-based game, contributing to your team's success if of course desirable. Still nothing is written in stone and everything is a personal choice. I just like the utility build more.

    If you're in solo queue and happening to get across a total douchebag team however, "Atmog's build" may prove superior since you cannot rely on your team's mental health that much as you can with premade people.

  • How to: Lane

    Irelia's domain is solo top. She can do mid but in real games you'll rarely (like... never) see her there. While jungling is also possible with her (she is actually pretty dangerous even in the early levels) I think Irelia is just too strong in lane to be forced to jungle (like Mordekaiser). If you plan to jungle, check the jungling section down below or some other more dedicated guides here.

    Your main focus (as with nearly all solo top champs) is to farm as much gold as possible while not getting yourself ganked, since once you get your Trinity Force you literally destroy people. Actually Irelia's synergy with this item is so good I'm afraid Riot will nerf this some day. It offers just everything you need.

    0.) Period. You want to get your 2 GP/10 items and your Trinity Force as soon as possible. And Irelia can farm really really well.

    1.) Last hit a lot. Her animation is decent, so this should not be a problem. Do not unneccessarily push the lane through auto-attacking, unless you miss health.

    2.) If you're under pressure or at your tower, use Hiten Style or Bladesurge to quickly dispatch the creeps, whatever seems more appropriate when counting the minions. ([Bladesurge cost -35 * number of minions] vs. Hiten Style cost)

    3.) From level 6 on, use Transcendent Blades to stop your lane from being pushed instantly or in gank situations to stay healthy. Of course, also use it to push the lane like a madman if your opponent is dead or mia. (call out mias before!)

    4.) For harassing, wait until you're at lower hp % than your enemy, then pop Hiten Style, stun via Equilibrium Strike and hit him a few times with basic attacks. The health restoration should bring you close to full hp after this maneuver.

    5.) Also, if a friendly gank is about to happen, you will want to use your E to stun the enemy instead of just slowing. In most cases, Equilibrium Strike will even be up twice in a gank situation. Once when the ganker shows up and again when your target tries to flee or flashes. Save Bladesurge for when he flashes. A used summoner spell hurts even more when you get killed in the aftermath.

    6.) Auto-attack minions to regain most of the hp you've lost against ranged harassment. (Example: Stand next to your caster minions, Nidalee tosses basic attacks at you, get's attacked by the caster minions herself, has to use mana to heal herself back up while you can just attack creeps and benefit from your Regrowth Pendant as well.)

    7.) Ward your side of the river(see picture below). Getting ganked because you didn't have vision is just unneccessary and those 75 or 150 gold are definitely "extremely worth it". If you have no jungler, consider warding the tri brushes and the golem exit brush as well. When playing blue, a gank through your jungle is a towerdive gank, while on purple side the tower can be avoided due to the shorter path from Nashor's tri brush.

    8.) Frequently check the nearby enemy jungle. As blue, you can steal the enemy Wraiths/Twins/Red, while as purple you can go for the Wolves/Golem. A double buffed Irelia is extremely dangerous and simply a blue buff will allow you to push your lane very hard through constant Bladesurge last hitting and having Hiten Style up with no mana concerns. Only do this if you have vision to the river inlets however.

    9.) Gank mid if you can. When your lane is pushing to the tower and you know the enemy champion is back at his tower before you could possibly destroy it, try to get a gank off in mid before you return to your lane. In most cases, this is a better choice than to get 2-3 auto attacks off at the tower as it fortifies your mid lane either through a kill or blown summoner spells of the enemy which allow your mid to play more aggressive.

    Standard ward placement:
    External Image
    That's where I normally place my wards. If you've got suggestions or improvements to that, feel free to let me know through the comment section. Nobody's perfect ;-). I don't like putting the river ward in the lane brush as blue team, often it's already too late if someone passes it. E.g. a Lee Sin with Ghost active will still make you blow Flash or even kill you while the 1-2 seconds gained if you see him before may be enough to retreat to safety.

    Top 2 wards as purple team.
    Lower 2 wards as blue team.
    River ward actually for both teams.

  • Working in the team

    The funny part. Although she is a very deadly duelist and can take even 1v2 situations with relative safety, teamfights are where the "My build" Irelia really shines. With the gear and the appropriate positioning you can dictate the teamfight's rhythm by your will. Some basic rules here.

    1.) Go for their carries/squishies. The additional 75 true damage per hit hurt them even more.
    1.)* If they happen to have a low life tank with very disruptive abilities (e.g. Alistar, Unbreakable Will does not stop your true damage), don't be afraid to switch your target if your team can manage the carries. Irelia excels at taking down tanks, not in Kog'Maw-ish dimensions, but she is imho the bruiser with the best tank-cracking abilities.

    2.) Charge in with or shortly after your tank and pop your Randuin's. Flanking with Shurelya's or Flash is also very effective.

    3.) Use your ult to either keep you alive through hitting as many enemies as possible or to get runners, whatever may be more appropriate.

    4.) Always use Hiten Style! It's true damage component makes you deadly even against high armored target or people with a percentage damage reduction(problem, Alistar?). However, try to get their squishies down first.

    5.) Irelia chases like a boss. Get into range with (if neccessary Flash before) Bladesurge, then use Equilibrium Strike and auto-hit with Hiten Style up and enjoy the Phage procs and / or the red buff. Once she gets close to her enemies, it's hard to escape even with Flash since you can close the gap again with Bladesurge.

    6.) Interrupt dangerous ults with your stun if it's possible.

    7.) Don't forget to use Randuin's Omen and Shurelya's Reverie. The items are great even without their active components, but those can turn the tide in many battles e.g. through getting the last enemy for scoring an ace and destroying their base without someone farming your minions.

    8.) Know when to back off. Irelia can heal herself up really fast due to Hiten Style and her ultimate, as well as the items chosen (Randuins + FoN = BOSS!). It can be more valuable to retreat, regenerate some health on a nearby creep wave or jungle camp and get back into the fight to clean up.

    Irelia's durability coupled with her resistance to crowd control makes her very difficult to shut down in teamfights. Actually the only way to shut her down is to throw everything you've got to nuke her ASAP (which definitely WILL happen very often), which still enables your AP and AD carries to unload their damage. You're able to constantly slow/stun enemies while dealing heavy damage. That's why a lot of people will try to focus you and that's why Randuin's Omen is so awesome. Just by being attacked, you potentially lower your attackers dps by a substantial amount. Since you should rush into battle to get to their squishiest carry first (which normally is the ranged dps part), the instinctive reaction would be to attack you. Remember, every stun or attack made against you instead of your carries means they have more time to kill the enemies. And since you're everything but squishy chances you'll survive the battle (Transcendent Blades say "hello") are really good.

    If you die and your team scores and Ace, it was "worth it". If you could have avoided dying then, well just try to be smarter next time ;).

  • Tough enemies to encounter top

    Well, actually I can't name a specific champion which will totally dominate you without any chance.
    However, difficult champions to lane against would be External ImageWarwick and External ImageJax. Warwick because he outheals any possible harassment even better than you and Jax because he is specifically designed to counter melee dps. However, with your ultimate you can still defend yourself against minion-led towerdives and pushes pretty well. Those two will be opponents where you'll frequently call a jungle gank though.

    You can stand your ground against any other champion, be it Mordekaiser, Rumble, Yorick, Nidalee or other popular solo top choices. The point is that even if you're unable to kill them on your own, they won't be able to deny your farm. Mordekaiser and Rumble autopush their lanes if they don't restrain themselves to last-hitting. Nidalee has to use her mana to heal herself up which you won't. By the point she has cougar form to farm, you also have your ult and can defend yourself against even the heaviest pushes.

    I've had games where I accidentally gave out first blood (totally not worth it-.-) and got killed again in the laning phase but due to superior farming and proper warding after that I pulled myself back into the game and scored a positive ratio (needlessly to say, we won that game). The point where you get your Trinity Force is where you gain a huge power up compared to before. There are few other champions coming to my mind which benefit that much from a single item like Irelia does from TF.

  • Short excursion to jungling

    External Image



    Marks: 2x Greater Mark of Alacrity
    Marks: 7x Greater Mark of Desolation
    Seals: 9x Greater Seal of Resilience
    Glyphs: 9x Greater Glyph of Alacrity

    Quintessences: 3x Greater Quintessence of Desolation

    Summoner Spells:

    Smite and Ghost

    Skilling Order:


    [item_icon=Madred's Bloodrazor][item_icon=Stark's Fervor][item_icon=Force of Nature]

    Optional choices:

    How to Jungle-Irelia:
    Golem(Smite) > Wolves > Wraiths > Twins > Red(Smite) > Gank / Counterjungle / Recall > Dragon


    1.) The rune setup provides 21 ArmorPen to deal true damage to dragon and Attack Speed to strengthen Hiten Style for obvious reasons. ArmorPen also outshines full Alacrity Marks against other players and Baron.
    2.) It is possible to solo dragon at level 4 with full hp and a + + some .
    3.) It is also possible to solo Baron at level 14 with the golem buff and /[Item_icon=Madred's Bloodrazor] + + [item_icon=Stark's Fervor] and some Elixirs. The more items, the better, but these are the minimal requirements to do this.
    4.) If you get attacked in the jungle while having both buffs, don't be afraid. You're able to kill pretty much everyone in 1on1 situations.
    5.) [item_icon=Elixir of Agility] / greatly boost your jungling speed. Don't hesitate to buy them if you can spare the money.
    6.) Wards. Wards everywhere.

    I'm actually not that into jungling to be honest. I don't totally suck at it, but somehow my map awareness and general performance are far better when laning, especially when solo-laning. Anyway it should be said that Irelia is a very potent and safe jungler who can deliver deadly ganks as well as ridiculously early dragon / baron solo kills.
    Though I prefer to play her in lane, jungle Irelia is definitely viable, although her setup varies a bit from the laning version. Also, her runes in the laning version are much more frequently used on other champs as well in opposition to Attack Speed, which is very specialized.

    If you have any suggestions on how to improve that section, let me know through the comments please!

  • Special tricks to pull off

    Actually there's nothing too special about Irelia's skills. It's all about chaining them at the right moments to achieve the best results.

    1.) The Bladestrike aka "where did that come from?" ( >) >

    Use your various gap closer from across walls or from a brush and then stun / slow with your E. Works wonders against squishy carries.

    2.) The Hiten Strike aka "wait, it was I who wanted to harass..." > (> )
    Willingly let yourself drop below the enemy's hp %, then pop Hiten Style, stun them and chop away their health with your auto-attacks. Get back to your half of the lane through surging a low-life minion.

    When attacking a tower, line up your ultimate with the approaching minion wave to hit (and probably kill) them all at once. -> "Your team has destroyed a turret."

    4.) The Orbital Strike aka "Beam me up scotty" > > >
    If enemies on other lanes are pushing and you feel you should help your team, execute this combo. Ask your mates or your jungler to drop a ward in a nearby brush, teleport to it, and suddenly it's 3v2. This also works exceptionally well at coordinated dragon or baron ganks.

    Only works with Teleport

  • Pros / Cons


    - Farms like a boss.
    - Can deal true damage. (Tankbuster 2000 available for purchase NOW!)
    - Gap closer / stun.
    - Nearly un-cc-able.
    - Can easily turn the tides of a battle due to her resistance to CC, Equilibrium Strike, true damage and her self-healing.
    - Can sustain herself in lane against nearly every enemy due to her various self-healing abilities.
    - Possesses the single best champion item synergy available. Irelia + Trinity Force is just pure awesomeness.
    - Can kill junglecreeps very safely, even at the first levels.


    - Suceptible to losing minions to your tower below level 6 or being forced to use Bladesurge to last-hit. (Especially against e.g. Mordekaiser or Rumble)
    - Since you're dangerous to enemy carries, you WILL get focused a lot.
    - You can't carry an entire team on your own, you can dictate the focus but you rely on your team to totally get the job done.
    - Bit squishy the early levels.
    - Bladesurge needs an enemy target and is not a simple blink ability.
    - No abilities to check brushes.

  • Summary

    To summarize it, Irelia is in my opinion one of the prime champions for taking solo top. She hasn't got mass cc abilities like Jarvan / Alistar / Shen and so on but can very effectively disable the enemy carries while staying alive throughout the battle. Her laning power is staple before and insane beyond level 6, being able to shrug off even the heaviest pushes and therefore avoid even 3-man towerdives. She is also a very strong jungler with deadly level 4 ganks and a pretty safe jungling due to her various self-healing abilities.

    If you want to play a highly mobile bruiser champion, which can also deal very good damage (even to tanks), pick Irelia!

  • Terms, references and changelog

    AD: Attack damage, representing the strength of your basic and psysical attacks and being a multiplier for several champion abilities, e.g. Irelia's Bladesurge
    AP: Ability power, representing the strength of your magical attacks and spells, e.g. Irelia's Equilibrium Strike
    AoE: Area of effect
    ArmorPen/ArP: Armor penetration, a value representing how much of the enemy's armor is bypassed by your attacks, not to be confused with armor reduction
    Armor reduction: Reduces the target's armor by X points or X%, so it counts for all attacks made against that target, for example by The Black Cleaver's on-hit effect or Urgot's Noxian Corrosive Charge
    ASAP: As soon as possible
    Burst (damage): To deal lots of damage in a short amount of time, e.g. through Diplomatic Immunity + Deathfire Grasp
    Carry: A champion who is pretty weak early game but scales very well with better items
    Combo: Weaving together several abilities for an increased overall effect. E.g. Cassiopeia's Noxious Blast or Miasma hits allow her to spam Twin Fang with nearly no cooldown, thus enabling a combo
    CC: Crowd Control, a term describing the action to hinder a champions actions or movement, e.g. through stunning, slowing or silencing them. Examples are Rune Prison for a snare, Arcane Smash for a slow, Feral Scream for a silence and Ruthless Predator for a stun.
    CDR: Cooldown reduction
    CV: Clairvoyance, a summoner spell used to reveal an area of the map. Great for scouting ganks and neutral buffs.
    Cooldown: A value describing how fast your abilities are usable again after being activated
    Dragon: The dragon on Summoner's Rift, granting 190 gold for the entire team as well as 25 gold for the killer
    Deny: Back in the DotA days, this was describing the action of killing your own minions so the enemy can't gain EP or gold. I just mean doing so by outranging and zoning them properly.
    E: Equilibrium Strike
    Energy: The ressource mechanic used by the Kinkou Ninjas as well as Lee Sin.
    ELO: Originating from classic chess, this term describes your personal player skill. It is raised if you join games in premade teams. Your opponents are then matched to have roughly the same ELO which you have. The formula itself is like Riot Games' BigMac-sauce, a well hidden secret.
    EP: Experience, a value representing your character advance towards the next levels
    First blood: The first kill of a match, granting 100 bonus gold
    Golem: The Ancient Golem on Summoner's Rift, granting the slayer a boost in MP/5 and CDR
    Gold: The currency to buy items from the shop at your fountain.
    Harass: A term used to describe the action of annoying enemies and constantly reducing their health while staying out of harms way yourself.
    Health/HP: The ingame value representing your remaining vital energy.
    Imo: In my opinion
    IP: Influence points, an ingame currency for buying champions and runes.
    Initiate: A term used to describe the action of engaging a teamfight or combat in general, e.g. through Malphite's Unstoppable Force
    Last hit: To score the killing blow on a minion or champion, resulting in earning (more than with an assisst for champions) gold
    MagicPen/MPen: Magic penetration, a value representing how much of the enemy's magic resistance is bypassed by your attacks, not to be confused with magic resistance reduction.
    Magic resistance reduction: Reduces the target's magic resistance by X points or X%, so it counts for all attacks made against that target, for example by Abyssal Scepter's aura or Fiddlesticks' Dread
    Mana: The resource used by most of the champions to cast their abilities.
    MIA/SS/Miss: Missing in action, a term used by LoL players to announce an absent enemy champion on their lane
    MP/5: Mana regeneration per 5 seconds
    Nuke: See "Burst"
    Q: Bladesurge
    Ult/R: The ultimate ability of a champion, bound to the "R" key by default. Irelia's ultimate is Transcendent Blades
    W/: Hiten Style
    Zone: Describes the action of pushing your opponent out of the area where he would gain experience if your minions die. Also disables him from last hitting and harassing back. Vital for higher ELO gaming. See Shurelia's awesome zoning tutorial below for more information.

    League of Legends Wiki including it's champion subsites
    Props to Eagleshadow for his awesome Summoner's Rift tactical map

    Version history:
    22.08.2011: Released
    31.08.2011: Masteries revamped from 21/9/0 to 0/9/21. Updated the builds according to mastery changes and added another note to Equilibrium Strike. Added a jungling section. Added The Bloodthirster to alternative choices.
    02.09.2011: Updated quick summary item alternatives. Added a Tenacity calculation to Ionian Fervor. Updated "Working in the team" and the items section. Added a "To do"-section. Added "The Orbital Strike" to special tricks section.
    07.09.2011: Added Atmog's build(and some explanation) to the quick summary section.09.01.2012: Masteries updated to season Swapped out ArmorPen for AtkSpeed marks.

  • To do

    Sorted by priority:

    1.) Create GIFs for the abilities (the wiki didn't have them).
    2.) Record some full games for you guys.
    3.) Maybe make a video version of this guide with some voice-over and stuff for YouTube.
    4.) Record some short clips for Irelia's special tricks.
    5.) Get a new pc so I can capture clips with fraps without dropping to 25 fps.6.) Evaluate the whole Dominion stuff for Irelia.

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