86%
votes
97
Dislike

IRELIA BUILD GUIDE: The Carry Slayer by iamjstar

by iamjstar (last updated 8 months ago)

Featured2,449,706 Views 84 Comments
9
Greater Mark of Attack Damage(+8.55 attack damage)
9
Greater Seal of Armor(+12.69 armor)
9
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist(+1.35 magic resist per level (24.3 at champion level 18))
3
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed(+4.5% movement speed)
View Rune Details
Summoner Spells
View Summoner Details

Starting

5

Full Item Build

View Item Details
5
21
4
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 4/4
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
5 Offense
mastery 1 2/2
mastery 2 2/2
mastery 3 0/2
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 2/3
mastery 4 1/3
mastery 1 3/3
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 3/4
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
21 Defense
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
4 Utility
View Mastery Details
Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Ionian Fervor
QBladesurge
WHiten Style
EEquilibrium Strike
RTranscendent Blades
View Skill Order Details

Introduction

Hey guys, updating the introduction after ageees! I've played Irelia for about 14-15 months at this point. At one point I exclusively played Irelia for about 5-6 months in a row and that's when this guide came out. Irelia's undergone a history of almost exclusive nerfs with about 2-3 "buffs" thrown in there . I mean, the saying "better nerf Irelia" isn't there for no reason right? Irelia was once a very facerolley champion if I may say so myself, but over the years she's grown to be a more delicate champion where you don't just mash all the buttons. She still has that same potential to snowball into a faceroll carry slayer, but it's now a lot rougher for her in the laning phase. I'm currently in Gold I right now and I play on the Oceanic servers. Feel free to add me and say hi or ask any questions!


On that same note about me, I'm starting up a facebook page (still don't have an adequate computer to stream/record while playing) where I'll just be posting random tidbits about everything league related and some other issues. I'm open to posting about topics people have questions or issues with too. So find me at:

http://www.facebook.com/theycallmejstar

A bit about me:

[http://i45.tinypic.com/2edujag.png]
[http://i50.tinypic.com/2psqc6v.png]
[http://i49.tinypic.com/a0hqbl.png]


Irelia is a mobile bruiser that possesses deceptive tankiness and damage. She specialises in diving the squishy back line champions and shrugs off any CC that is thrown at her. Her early game is somewhat weak while transitioning into a powerhouse at mid game. Just like any bruiser, she begins to fall off come late game. All in all though, a lot of the things written in this guide are my opinion on things and may not hold true for everyone's play style. This guide was written to both help beginners grasp the concept of Irelia while hopefully showing some older players some tricks and new ideas.

When should I pick Irelia?

To answer this, let's first look at the pros and cons of Irelia herself.

Pros:
  • Has one of the best stick (ability to stay on a target, usually the adc/apc)
  • Does not require a large amount of damage items, rather will just need more durability items
  • Is very efficient at last hitting under turret
  • Strong but slow sustain (note that sustain is not reducible like lifesteal is against high armor targets)
  • Deals true damage thus stays relevant for most of the game
  • Can close large gaps very quickly
  • Has a LARGE mix of damage sources thus making it hard to itemise against (physical from bladesurge; auto-attacks; transcendent blades and Trinity Force proc. Magical from wits end and Equilibrium Strike. True damage from Hiten Style active)
  • Is deceptively tanky due to high self-healing abilities
  • Extremely strong mid game presence
  • Synergies well with aggressive junglers due to her high damage, mobility and low cooldown CC.
  • Resistant to CC excluding knock ups, knock backs and suppression
  • Low mana costs
  • Possesses both sustained and burst damage
  • Extremely mobile

Cons:
  • Has slow sustain which can be overcome be hard early game harass
  • Is weak early game
  • Requires solid farming as she is reliant on items
  • Relies heavily on attack-speed, the most reducible asset in the game (frozen heart, Randuin's omen, Gragas barrel, Malphite E, Lee sin E etcetera)
  • Melee range
  • Comparably weak ultimate later in the game


So when should I pick Irelia?
This is mainly my opinion now, so feel free to disagree. I believe Irelia is a fairly safe pick. She doesn't have a lot of HARD counters which will destroy her completely (with the exception of lane titans like Teemo, Darius (king of melee))Continuing on, there are favourable and unfavourable situations but the advantages and disadvantages are minor and skill can easily overcome them.

Irelia is a strong pick when the enemy team:
  • Has immobile squishies (like kogmaw, ashe, miss fortune, veigar etcetera)
  • Low durability teams (duh)
  • Teams with reducible single target hard CC (i.e. fiddles). The reason being that if you jump onto fiddles, he will generally have to use that fear on you putting over 60% of the duration to waste due to your resistance to CC.
  • The enemy doesn't have a top laner who can effectively stack health. Although health doesn't counter your laning phase, health reduces the effectiveness of your hiten style. Hiten Style does true damage, how is this possible you ask? Well you'll still be dealing X amount of true damage every time, but with a higher health pool, your opponents will be taking a smaller percentage of their entire health pool if they choose to increase the size of their health pool. Building health just reduces Irelia's burst damage on a target and allows them to survive her burst.
  • Lack escape/disengage abilities ()(top lane vlad, I'll explain vlad in detail in the match-ups section). Although make sure you can have a good amount of jungle and mid presence to keep Darius under control or he will beat you in lane.

Irelia is a strong pick when your team:
  • Already has a strong initiater ()
  • You have a bruiser/tanky jungler (standard stuff, just don't be left in a spot where you're the only beefy on your team)
  • There is a decent amount of AoE on your team already due to clean up potential.

Avoid Irelia if the enemy team:
  • Has this top lane champion
  • Have champions which can stack health effectively ((only applies to mid lane vlad, read the match-ups section!)).
  • Has a top lane champion with a super strong early game poke presence
  • Are prone to lane swapping into 1v2 scenarios. Irelia has a weak 1v2 lane and cannot deal with it as well as common 1v2 picks.

Runes

Quintessences for Irelia are very situational and I'm only showing what I use. Health regeneration per 5, lifesteal, armor, flat AD quints are all very viable in the right situations.


These are the standard runes I run against physical bruisers at top.

  • Marks - I use flat AD to help the last hitting process out. As Irelia is weaker in the early games, these marks help supplement her early weakness so she can enjoy an earlier and fuller mid game.
  • Seals - Flat Armor seals are fairly self-explanatory but I'll run through it anyway. Most of your match ups at top will be against another AD bruiser. Obviously they will have some sort of magic damage but most bruisers will be AD-casters (armor reduces physical spells!) or fighters who will utilise a lot of auto-attacks. Either way, armor is a win win against bruisers. Even against AP tops, auto-attacks will constitute a large portion of the harass dished out by even AP tops in the early game (especially kennen!).
  • Glyphs - The MR/lvl provides Irelia with a scaling MR boost. Obviously she will start out with lower MR and increase towards a higher value. But jstar... you told me that the AD marks are good because they supplement her early game weakness. Scaling MR sounds like it supplements her mid game! And you know what, that's completely right. I recommend this page against bruiser tops because they will be dealing PRIMARILY if not exclusively physical damage. When mid game comes, you'll be roaming and fighting potential AP mids and other sources of magic damage. MR/lvl glyphs overtake flat MR glyphes at about level 10-11 roughly. So having a greater MR by mid game is more valuable then. Obviously this won't be the page you use against heavy early magic damage.
  • Quintessences - Movespeed is one of the harder stats to itemise. Although optimally, you'll have Zephyr and Trinity Force to add move speed to your kit, they're both luxury items that you tend not to get unless the game prolongs for more than usual. I feel as if damage/resistance/sustain runes all become trivial as soon as Irelia gains a few levels/items. MS is the only real stat that remains relevant due to your inability to build it early on without going out of your way.


[http://i.imgur.com/jYVwutl.jpg?1?7208]

  • Marks - Same deal as before
  • Seals - Same deal
  • Glyphs - If you're up against a laner who is capable of dealing early magical damage, this flat MR will keep you alive in lane. Obviously it's not optimal to have flat MR glyphs since your mid game MR value is lower, but this again supplements her weak early game and makes Irelia more resistant.
  • Quintessences - Same deal


[http://i.imgur.com/aOcnAYZ.jpg?1?7450]

  • Marks - Same deal
  • Seals - Same deal
  • Glyphs - Armor glyphs??? They're definitely not the optimal glyphs to use. But if you're up against a powerful early physical laner, sometimes you can't ignore that. Again, supplementing her early weakness. This is primarily targeted at champions like Riven, Renekton, Garen, Pantheon who deal almost exclusively physical damage.
  • Quintessences - Same deal



Possible Alternatives

Marks:

There are a few options here:

  • Armor penetration marks. These will IMO scale your physical damage into mid game stronger. Although this is definitely a good thing, I think losing the comfort of last hitting early on for a minor improvement in strength mid game isn't worth it. If you're missing last hits in the early game that delays your mid game. Delaying your mid game means cutting short your strongest time in the game. It's all up to preference and arpen runes are viable.

  • Attack speed marks. A lot of people advocate for these runes as they scale with Irelia's hiten style. While this most likely does output a higher DPS in sustained trade, they do not in any way improve her damage during 'burst' trades. What I mean by this can be demonstrated best in an example. If you're trading with, say Jax, you don't want to be sitting in there fist fighting with him for minutes on end. His DPS ramps up dramatically and will inevitably outDPS you if you stay too long. You trade with Jax through burst usage of your skills and abusing his cooldowns. AD runes offer greater burst damage. AS runes offer better sustained damage and scaling with hiten style. Still pretty scary.


Seals:

  • I think armor is the only viable option here. If you're super poor and play caster a lot, you may have hp/lvl seals which are still viable on Irelia. You'll obviously miss out on armor, which can be detrimental to you since you lane against primarily AD bruisers. Armor seals are by FAR the best choice for Irelia.
  • Mana regen MAY be viable against heavy AP team comps. Unless the enemy jungler AND top laner is AP, I don't suggest these runes. Again, armor is the most standard (for good reason) seals on Irelia.
  • HP/level yellows can allow you to resist burst mages at top since MR seals aren't entirely effective. HP also scales into the rest of the game. However this makes you more vulnerable to the AD jungler.


Glyphs:

  • There aren't that many viable glyphs in the game. MR/lvl runes are shown as the primary choice on Irelia. Flat MR runes though are extremely viable and also mentioned in alternate rune pages section earlier.
  • Another option is CDR or CDR/lvl as my primary build doesn't offer a large amount of CDR. Between your runes, Enlightenment and blue elixirs, you should still be very close to 40% CDR without building it.
  • Armor can be subbed in if the enemy team severely lacks magic damage (standard one AP meta with low magic damage jungler and top). This should only be used if you're afraid of getting killed by early physical burst (Renekton, Garen)


Quintessences:

This is where it gets tricky. Quintessences are the most versatile and interchangeable on Irelia.

  • Armor Penetration. Look at the armor penetration section for marks, same deal here.
  • Hp regeneration/5 seconds. This is the safest quintessence option in the early game. It offers 97.2 hp renegeration per minute at all stages in the game. With these quints, you shouldn't be able to be forced out of lane without some serious external influence. That or you're just sitting around taking free damage.
  • Life steal. These quints aren't often considered. But at level 1, Irelia has 67 AD (AD marks + Brute force mastery). Calculating at a rate of 12 attacks per minute which only include last hitting the 12 spawned minions (not including harass or extra attacks to balance the wave), we get a result of 48 HP per minute. Not as good as hp regeneration quints I'll admit. Extending the scenario a bit. Assuming we auto-attack poke the enemy laner every time they last hit (explained more in the early game, tips and tricks and match ups sections), you'll get another 12 auto-attacks per minute. However, factoring in 40 armor (average value of 20 armor on bruisers + 6 hardiness + 13 armor seals) which is 28% reduction, we get an additional 40 hp/minute. In that scenario, you're already looking at 88 hp per minute. If we extrapolate these same results as we level up, the life steal HP return/minute increases dramatically, especially with AD purchases. Life steal quints should overtake hp regeneration/5 quintessences by level 4-5 in terms of HP return/minute.
  • Armor - Against those people who really give you trouble early game (Pantheon, Garen, Renekton), you might want to consider armor quints. They give you a lot of extra armor and it should be near impossible to take you out early with these quints.
  • Flat AD - There's not much to say about the benefits of AD quints because they've been mentioned in the description of marks. It just helps your last hitting and it doesn't hurt that you have 2 abilities which scale with AD.

Masteries

mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 4/4
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
5 Offense
mastery 1 2/2
mastery 2 2/2
mastery 3 0/2
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 2/3
mastery 4 1/3
mastery 1 3/3
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 3/4
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
21 Defense
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
4 Utility
5-21-4 gives you the best chance to come out ahead in laning phase unscathed. The offense masteries honestly offer Irelia very little in terms of a damage boost with 9 points. Most of the damage boost will come from the point in double edged sword and the CDR masteries. The scaling AD and flat AD don't really offer Irelia a noticeable boost in damage and is rather negligible by mid game. The 21 in defense is still mandatory as Irelia's prime focus is ultimately still durability. The utility tree offers you a further boost in laning strength giving you a little more mana and the reduced recall time which is the most you can get out of those last 4 points IMO. Overall, I find the offense tree lackluster unless you go deep into it and the utility tree isn't designed for top lane champions. The defense tree hasn't changed too much, it's simply been shuffled around a bit more. During season 3, 9 points into a tree gave the first tangible effect of the tree e.g. veteran scars (36hp), the appropriate penetration mastery in offense (mpen or arpen) and buff duration in utility. I feel like 5 AD in offense or buff duration (and the wasted points in the MS mastery) are very lackluster 9 point contributions. So I decided to run a set up where I get the best of both worlds taking out a damage boost, CDR and mana regen for laning.

Block - Refer to the link at the bottom of this section. In short terms, this simple mastery will increase your EHP far more than armor or health can early game and it's only 2 mastery points.
Recovery - Mainly used to just get the ball rolling down the defense tree. The extra health regen is nice to keep you in lane on top of your normal sustain.
Veteran Scar's - free early health, the best form of defense early on.
Unyielding - same as block
Juggernaut - You'll be building health in pretty much any Irelia build and it's a nice one point health boost
Hardiness and Resistance - early game resistances to boost up your health
Swiftness - increases your stick, most ADC's defensive spell is a slow
Perseverance - extremely cost efficient lane sustain (it's been worked out somewhere!). It's been changed from a flat amount to % health missing which works really well once you start running low in lane.
Tenacious - extremely efficiently points. 3 points for 15 armor (in team fights) and 7.5 MR vs. the 6 points you spent on hardiness/resistance for 5 armor + 5 MR.
Legendary Guardian - stacks multiplicatively with your passive + merc treads effectively making you immune to CC.


Double-edged sword - It's a dangerous game to play but you deal more damage in return for taking a bit more damage.
Sorcery - 5% CDR! I have a low CDR build for Irelia so every bit of CDR counts.

Meditation - extra uses of Hiten Style means more sustain in lane. Extra uses of every other ability means more potential damage.
Phasewalker - best use of the last point you have. 1 second on recall could mean life or death in many situations though.

Although the tough skin and indomitable masteries don't exist anymore I believe the concept behind unyielding and block can still be applied to this thread. I haven't explained their uses efficiently so this post should clarify.
http://www.reignofgaming.net/blogs/a-different-view/diff-the-ender/20780-indomitable-the-defensive-mastery-that-makes-you

Summoner Sets

Versatile

Flash should be taken almost 100% of games. The gap closing and escaping potential it gives is generally too great to give up. A reset + Flash + combo will often catch most people off guard as it covers a HUGE amount of distance. Irelia also lacks escapes early game (and mid to late game but it's not as important here because you'll be durable enough to just face tank in a lot of scenarios) so having the flash summoner allows you lane safely unless you play hyper aggressively. Flashing should be used over a wall optimally if you're trying to escape.

During mid game, your defenses haven't dramatically improved yet. You'll often be able to deal TONS OF DAMAGE but will have trouble when retaliation occurs. You'll need to keep flash handy when you make plays, as you still drop like a fly unless you have cash just leaking out of you (fed, super farmed etcetera).

With all that said, it sounds like flash is more of a defensive spell, which for all intensive purposes, you should actually use it for. The number one reason for deaths in lane is due to overcommitting. You can tell when someone commits when they flash offensively. I suggest newbies avoid flashing offensively unless they are 100%, I repeat, 100% sure that they will at least get the kill.

Late game though, flash can often be your main method of initiation (Irelia has an iffy initiate if I say so myself). + onto enemy carry is one of the best initiations possible for Irelia and it's not the greatest, but still a solid initiate. Flash is your get out of jail free card AND your play maker.

Pros and cons compared to ghost and barrier:

Pros:
  • Can go over walls and is thus often a more effective form of escape/chase.
  • Can instantly correct a positioning error.
  • Offers more of the element of surprise when engaging/bursting an opponent.
  • Is a more efficient tool to catch people out during mid game when you don't want to be chasing through towers.
  • Can dodge critical skill shots

Cons relative to ghost:
  • Cannot keep up with highly mobile targets like Poppy, Udyr, Nidalee etc.
  • Is less of a gap closer over long distances

Cons relative to barrier:
  • Does not have as much all in potential
  • Does not have potential to bait
  • Cannot avoid target based damage


Ignite provides about 20-30% of your "all in" potential in the laning phase. It's the mortal strike. It deals true damage and reduces any healing by half.

Ignite should be taken almost every match up. If your opponent doesn't have ignite, you should be able to kill him in nearly every all in engage. Ignite dramatically increases in effectiveness when we consider champions such as . These champions can all pull out an INSANE amount of healing in a short period of time. Ignite reduces this by HALF, which can mean a LOT more effective damage than is stated. For example a Mundo with 4k hp and rank 3 ultimate will be healing for 2400 health during the duration of his ultimate. Ignite will halve this to 1200 effectively DEALING 1200 damage + it's true damage component. Wicked.

A lot of people find that they are not getting kills with ignite, which does indeed make ignite worthless. If you are igniting people and they are surviving by the skin of their teeth every time, then stick to this rule. A rule of thumb is that: if you think you can kill them WITHOUT ignite, that is when you should be unloading your combo (preferably using ignite at the start so you get the extra +5 AD/+5 AP to scale with your abilities further). You might think this is wasteful use of ignite, but ignite has SECURED the kill. Things might not always go to plan, you might miss 3 out of your 4 transcendent blades and accidentally stun a minion. Ignite should still SECURE the kill for you, so it's done it's job. Obviously as you get used to using ignite, you will be able to utilise it to it's full potential and utilise the full damage component of it to kill someone, but until then, stick to this rule.

tl;dr - use ignite when you think you can kill them without it, it'll secure the kill.

Pros and Cons compared to exhaust and teleport:

Pros:
  • Offers more damage as a combat summoner.
  • Reduces the healing of top laners who have high sustain (Volibear, Warwick) thus offering more potential effective damage.
  • Deals damage regardless of what you do
  • Is not affected by damage reducers such as exhaust

Cons relative to exhaust:
  • Cannot offer peel if Irelia isn't strong enough to dive back line champions
  • Doesn't scale as well as exhaust

Cons relative to teleport:
  • Is more of a solo queue summoner and offers no way for a top laner to be a part of initial team fights at dragon or bot lane.
  • Does not offer a way for Irelia to get back to lane if she is losing heavily
  • Does not offer split push potential


Overall:
This set of summoner spells would be the most beginner friendly and versatile combination in solo queue. The flash provides you with an easy way out of sticky situations early on if you get into them and ignite provides you with the killing power necessary to brute force your lane to victory.
Manly


Ghost is arguably the BIGGEST gap closing spell in the game. The downside of ghost is that it does not happen instantly but over a duration of time. Depending on how well you played Irelia in lane and how tanky you chose to optimise, the efficiency of ghost can increase or decrease dramatically. Ghost can only work on an Irelia who will build towards a more tanky build. In order to utilise the maximum efficiency of ghost, Irelia needs to SURVIVE for the majority of the duration of it's active. Furthermore, it is not as powerful in aspects of surprise/instantaneous actions such as bursting someone or catching them out before they reach a safety point. Given that, ghost is in my honest opinion a better scaling summoner than flash due to it's extreme stick potential in team fights later on making it impossible for any carry to escape you no matter how slippery. The other downside of ghost is that it takes away the ability to instantly reposition or escape from a gank early on if Irelia makes a mistake. This in itself could snowball the lane and leave Irelia crippled for most of the duration of mid game.

It can substitute for flash against high mobility champions such as:
.

Don't take against:


Pros and cons compared to flash and barrier

Pros:
  • Ghost is a stronger gap closer/chasing tool compared to flash IF, and only IF it is utilised for the majority of it's duration. 1 second of ghost doesn't even come close to comparing to flash.
  • If Irelia is building a more durable build, she will be able to survive long enough in a team fight to make ghost more worthwhile than flash
  • You will be able to chase down highly mobile targets
  • Further increases your stick making escape not an option for most ADC.

Cons relative to flash:
  • Does not work well with the provided assassin style of Irelia. Irelia will only have the durability to make full use of the duration of ghost during the late game where most people will have enough firepower to make it inferior to flash.
  • Cannot provide an instant escape, often making you fall victim to constant slows such as red buff/ashe frost arrows.
  • Can't go over walls, makes sticking to you easier.
  • Cannot outplay/dodge projectiles such as Ashe Arrow as easily as flash.

Cons relative to barrier:
  • Is not a combat summoner and cannot offer the same durability/bait potential that barrier does
  • Cannot negate burst that is targeted



Pros and Cons compared to exhaust and teleport:

Pros:
  • Offers more damage as a combat summoner.
  • Reduces the healing of top laners who have high sustain (Volibear, Warwick) thus offering more potential effective damage.
  • Deals damage regardless of what you do
  • Is not affected by damage reducers such as exhaust

Cons relative to exhaust:
  • Cannot offer peel if Irelia isn't strong enough to dive back line champions
  • Doesn't scale as well as exhaust

Cons relative to teleport:
  • Is more of a solo queue summoner and offers no way for a top laner to be a part of initial team fights at dragon or bot lane.
  • Does not offer a way for Irelia to get back to lane if she is losing heavily
  • Does not offer split push potential


Overall:
This set of summoner spells is a more niche but potentially more powerful set of summoner spells for Irelia. The change of flash to ghost offers more stick, more "brute force" engage and provides better chase. Ignite has been described above. Overall, this set of summoners are the manliest combination possible but you need to be more experienced to deal with the lack of flash during Irelia's weak early game. Losing flash means Irelia has NO reliable escape.

Organised


Pros and cons compared to ghost and barrier:

Pros:
  • Can go over walls and is thus often a more effective form of escape/chase.
  • Can instantly correct a positioning error.
  • Offers more of the element of surprise when engaging/bursting an opponent.
  • Is a more efficient tool to catch people out during mid game when you don't want to be chasing through towers.
  • Can dodge critical skill shots

Cons relative to ghost:
  • Cannot keep up with highly mobile targets like Poppy, Udyr, Nidalee etc.
  • Is less of a gap closer over long distances

Cons relative to barrier:
  • Does not have as much all in potential
  • Does not have potential to bait
  • Cannot avoid target based damage



Teleport needs to be discussed in terms of solo queueand more competitive/organised play. As a summoner itself, teleport provides potential to split push and turn big fights in bot lane on their heads. However, teleport requires coordination, communication and organisation to successfully be utilised.

In terms of solo queue, teleport should only be taken in a few niche scenarios. The first one would be is that if you believe you can beat your enemy laner handily without the need for a combat summoner. In blunt terms, if you believe you're well below your skill bracket and can stomp the game, teleport will offer you the ability to move around the map and spread your power a bit more easily. Teleport gives top laners a chance to actually influence the game and not be stuck in the island that top lane is. The second scenario would be to keep up with globally mobile champions such as Shen or to a degree pantheon.

In terms of competitive play, teleport is often a mandatory spell if lanes cannot be stomped. The difference between solo queue top lane and competitive top lane (or rather solo queue play and competitive play altogether) is that there is rarely a lane that will end turning into a complete and utter stomp. Ignite's primary purpose is to kill, which isn't a surprise to anyone. The argument that needs to be considered is that "is ignite's potential to capitalise on an enemy laners first mistake worth the value of teleport's mobility and map presence?" This question in itself is very subjective and cannot be fully evaluated without taking into account enemy team composition and the enemy laner themselves. Does the enemy laner hold the potential to take ignite and absolutely destroy you in lane? If yes, teleport may put you out of the game itself. Is the lane likely to be a farm lane? These are probably the main two scenarios/questions you need to consider. Every lane that lies in between these two extremes will call on your discretion on what is necessary. Furthermore, certain teams can be known to take certain things and you may need to call on certain counter play. For example, Fnatic often run teleport split push comps which may prompt other teams to take teleport to keep up or take ignite to try and outlane them. Ultimately, teleport in team play provides top laners the ability to play a more active part in the game while forcing certain summoners out of different top lane opponents.

Pros and Cons compared to ignite and exhaust:

Pros:
  • Can improve laning phase due to the ability to simply recall when low and teleport back and gain the upper hand.
  • Can quickly react to ganks across the map and even counter gank turning the tides of battle far away.
  • Can easily re-join a fight even after dying if the fight is pro-longed.
  • Can be used to teleport to wards and sneak a baron without ever going through river.
  • Gives you more map presence in mid-game.


Cons relative to ignite:
  • You sacrifice a combat summoner, making your weak early game even weaker.
  • Teleport is useless in an all in fight that you're already present at. This applies to laning phase fights or end game team fights.
  • You NEED good map awareness or else this spell will be useless.
  • Newbies tend to use teleport solely for laning and that depletes the purpose of it. Teleport is used PRIMARILY to set up and react to plays across the map, giving you more map presence.
  • Requires greater coordination with your team otherwise no follow up could allow enemies to escape before you can catch up or even worse simply turn around and pick you off before your team can react

Cons relative to exhaust:
  • Again, teleport is not a combat summoner thus offering you no ability to duel early on
  • Similarly useless without good map awareness
  • No peeling ability
  • No direct combat utility


Overall:
This set of summoners is the intermediate competitive play set of spells. You run flash which still allows you to make mistakes and be able to correct them. Flash is simply more beginner friendly and more forgiving than ghost. A good teleport play is the key to winning the first dragon fight which could lead to the game becoming completely snowballed in your favour.
Split push


Ghost is arguably the BIGGEST gap closing spell in the game. The downside of ghost is that it does not happen instantly but over a duration of time. Depending on how well you played Irelia in lane and how tanky you chose to optimise, the efficiency of ghost can increase or decrease dramatically. Ghost can only work on an Irelia who will build towards a more tanky build. In order to utilise the maximum efficiency of ghost, Irelia needs to SURVIVE for the majority of the duration of it's active. Furthermore, it is not as powerful in aspects of surprise/instantaneous actions such as bursting someone or catching them out before they reach a safety point. Given that, ghost is in my honest opinion a better scaling summoner than flash due to it's extreme stick potential in team fights later on making it impossible for any carry to escape you no matter how slippery. The other downside of ghost is that it takes away the ability to instantly reposition or escape from a gank early on if Irelia makes a mistake. This in itself could snowball the lane and leave Irelia crippled for most of the duration of mid game.

It can substitute for flash against high mobility champions such as:
.

Don't take against:


Pros and cons compared to flash and barrier

Pros:
  • Ghost is a stronger gap closer/chasing tool compared to flash IF, and only IF it is utilised for the majority of it's duration. 1 second of ghost doesn't even come close to comparing to flash.
  • If Irelia is building a more durable build, she will be able to survive long enough in a team fight to make ghost more worthwhile than flash
  • You will be able to chase down highly mobile targets
  • Further increases your stick making escape not an option for most ADC.

Cons relative to flash:
  • Does not work well with the provided assassin style of Irelia. Irelia will only have the durability to make full use of the duration of ghost during the late game where most people will have enough firepower to make it inferior to flash.
  • Cannot provide an instant escape, often making you fall victim to constant slows such as red buff/ashe frost arrows.
  • Can't go over walls, makes sticking to you easier.
  • Cannot outplay/dodge projectiles such as Ashe Arrow as easily as flash.

Cons relative to barrier:
  • Is not a combat summoner and cannot offer the same durability/bait potential that barrier does
  • Cannot negate burst that is targeted



Teleport needs to be discussed in terms of solo queueand more competitive/organised play. As a summoner itself, teleport provides potential to split push and turn big fights in bot lane on their heads. However, teleport requires coordination, communication and organisation to successfully be utilised.

In terms of solo queue, teleport should only be taken in a few niche scenarios. The first one would be is that if you believe you can beat your enemy laner handily without the need for a combat summoner. In blunt terms, if you believe you're well below your skill bracket and can stomp the game, teleport will offer you the ability to move around the map and spread your power a bit more easily. Teleport gives top laners a chance to actually influence the game and not be stuck in the island that top lane is. The second scenario would be to keep up with globally mobile champions such as Shen or to a degree pantheon.

In terms of competitive play, teleport is often a mandatory spell if lanes cannot be stomped. The difference between solo queue top lane and competitive top lane (or rather solo queue play and competitive play altogether) is that there is rarely a lane that will end turning into a complete and utter stomp. Ignite's primary purpose is to kill, which isn't a surprise to anyone. The argument that needs to be considered is that "is ignite's potential to capitalise on an enemy laners first mistake worth the value of teleport's mobility and map presence?" This question in itself is very subjective and cannot be fully evaluated without taking into account enemy team composition and the enemy laner themselves. Does the enemy laner hold the potential to take ignite and absolutely destroy you in lane? If yes, teleport may put you out of the game itself. Is the lane likely to be a farm lane? These are probably the main two scenarios/questions you need to consider. Every lane that lies in between these two extremes will call on your discretion on what is necessary. Furthermore, certain teams can be known to take certain things and you may need to call on certain counter play. For example, Fnatic often run teleport split push comps which may prompt other teams to take teleport to keep up or take ignite to try and outlane them. Ultimately, teleport in team play provides top laners the ability to play a more active part in the game while forcing certain summoners out of different top lane opponents.

Pros and Cons compared to ignite and exhaust:

Pros:
  • Can improve laning phase due to the ability to simply recall when low and teleport back and gain the upper hand.
  • Can quickly react to ganks across the map and even counter gank turning the tides of battle far away.
  • Can easily re-join a fight even after dying if the fight is pro-longed.
  • Can be used to teleport to wards and sneak a baron without ever going through river.
  • Gives you more map presence in mid-game.


Cons relative to ignite:
  • You sacrifice a combat summoner, making your weak early game even weaker.
  • Teleport is useless in an all in fight that you're already present at. This applies to laning phase fights or end game team fights.
  • You NEED good map awareness or else this spell will be useless.
  • Newbies tend to use teleport solely for laning and that depletes the purpose of it. Teleport is used PRIMARILY to set up and react to plays across the map, giving you more map presence.
  • Requires greater coordination with your team otherwise no follow up could allow enemies to escape before you can catch up or even worse simply turn around and pick you off before your team can react

Cons relative to exhaust:
  • Again, teleport is not a combat summoner thus offering you no ability to duel early on
  • Similarly useless without good map awareness
  • No peeling ability
  • No direct combat utility

Overall:
Most known for being part of the "proxy" fad which swept over top lane in the form of Singed and Tryndamere. From that we can gather that these spells are the most efficient at split pushing. The aspects of split pushing would include high mobility on a champion who has good dueling potential and is slippery and hard to kill. Irelia's kit does offer good split pushing potential. Her passive allows her to survive and escape from multi-champion ganks with the tenacity (best known on Singed) and her offensive kit itself allows her to outduel a single champion if sent to stop her. The main downfall of a split push strategy on Irelia is her lack of a low cooldown inherent waveclear. This could often be solved by buying a Ravenous Hydra or a Sunfires Cape.
Gimmick


Barrier is a mastery introduced through the ARAM (all random all mid) game mode. It offers a shield which can be seen as a defensive summoner. It has potential to be used to bait. It can be seen as quite efficient in terms of EHP since Irelia's resistances will be high enough to make the EHP of the shield even larger than stated. Overall though, it is quite a gimmicky summoner which takes away from Irelia's stick, which is ultimately her primary goal (to stick to the ADC).

Pros and Cons compared to flash and ghost

Pros:
  • Is a combat summoner and can help you improve your laning phase
  • Can negate burst which would normally kill you before you can use flash/ghost
  • Can counter targeted burst which cannot be dodged by ghost/flash

Cons relative to flash:
  • Cannot dodge skill shots but will only negate them if hit
  • Is not an escape, which is more important earlier on when Irelia simply can't fight a 1v2
  • Cannot escape/chase over walls
  • Provides no mobility to make plays

Cons relative to ghost:
  • Cannot stick to ADC's as well
  • Is not an escape to ANY degree at all
  • Cannot keep up with highly mobile top laners without a mobility summoner



Pros and Cons compared to exhaust and teleport:

Pros:
  • Offers more damage as a combat summoner.
  • Reduces the healing of top laners who have high sustain (Volibear, Warwick) thus offering more potential effective damage.
  • Deals damage regardless of what you do
  • Is not affected by damage reducers such as exhaust

Cons relative to exhaust:
  • Cannot offer peel if Irelia isn't strong enough to dive back line champions
  • Doesn't scale as well as exhaust

Cons relative to teleport:
  • Is more of a solo queue summoner and offers no way for a top laner to be a part of initial team fights at dragon or bot lane.
  • Does not offer a way for Irelia to get back to lane if she is losing heavily
  • Does not offer split push potential

Overall:
A very gimmicky set of summoners that can abuse a certain niche. In very rare cases you will find that you simply don't need mobility it could be possible to take these summoners. They provide you with a lot more lane presence assuming you never make a mistake requiring a mistake (big ask). Lanes such as Darius have no mobility in the first place and most of his damage is targeted. However, the rest of the team composition needs to be considered in order to pull this off. Arguably though, I feel a mobility spell is ALWAYS needed as a potential initiator for the team.

Defensive


Pros and cons compared to ghost and barrier:

Pros:
  • Can go over walls and is thus often a more effective form of escape/chase.
  • Can instantly correct a positioning error.
  • Offers more of the element of surprise when engaging/bursting an opponent.
  • Is a more efficient tool to catch people out during mid game when you don't want to be chasing through towers.
  • Can dodge critical skill shots

Cons relative to ghost:
  • Cannot keep up with highly mobile targets like Poppy, Udyr, Nidalee etc.
  • Is less of a gap closer over long distances

Cons relative to barrier:
  • Does not have as much all in potential
  • Does not have potential to bait
  • Cannot avoid target based damage


An okay if no one on your team already has it. Generally the jungler/support will carry it though. Definitely not as strong as exhaust in lane and is more of a defensive/peeling spell.

Pros and Cons compared to ignite and teleport

Pros:
  • Scales significantly better into the game. As your opponents damage grows larger, the damage mitigated by exhaust also grows larger.
  • Provides peeling which ignite does not.
  • Can help sticking to slippery ADC targets.
  • Can effectively negate APC's burst if timed correctly.
  • Can be used in a defensive manner to avoid deaths for you or team mates.
  • Will allow you to duel auto-attack reliant champions a lot more easily (mainly the bruisers since ADC will not generally stick around to 'duel' you).


Cons relative to ignite:
  • Does not provide the offensive power that ignite does in lane. As a snowballing, aggressive top laner, I feel that offensive fire-power (pun intended) is a crucial need.
  • Does not provide any ACTUAL damage.
  • Is infinitely weaker against targets with high self-healing.
  • Does not immobilise high "skill mobility" targets such as Ahri and Riven but can't burst them either
  • Takes away from your burst.
  • Takes away from your kill potential.
  • Cannot exhaust true damage such as Olaf/Irelia/Ahri.

Cons relative to teleport:
  • Lower map presence
  • Does not help a losing lane as much as the ability to recall and teleport back
  • Cannot react to mobile semiglobal or global champions
  • Cannot splitpush as well

I feel as if the deciding factor in my opinion that Ignite vs Exhaust in lane should warrant a larger explanation point. When we look the two summoner spells in terms of when they reach their optimal efficiency and how they can be nullified: ignite reaches optimal potential the moment you ignite your target. They IMMEDIATELY begin taking damage and have reduced healing. Arguably it reaches IDEAL/MAXIMUM efficiency right before a target uses a large healing spell, but the optimal efficiency is still very achievable. Exhaust reaches optimal efficiency when your opponent takes offensive action. Exhaust will reach IDEAL/MAXIMUM efficiency if used before a large amount of damage is unleashed (Kennen ult, Katarina ult and such). In a duel at top lane, your opponent could easily retreat from an exhaust and waste your summoner. If your opponent chooses to play defensively when you use exhaust, the efficiency dramatically drops. In the same case scenario, ignite will allow you to burst (and kill) your opponent regardless of their retreat or not.

Overall:
This combination of summoners is very rare. Again flash offers it's safety and versatility but exhaust offers a whole different aspect of utility. Exhaust is commonly taken on supports in order to peel for carries, meaning it would primarily be used on front line bruisers/tanks who can simply CC just as hard through exhaust but deal less damage. However, if a front line champion takes Exhaust, it can be applied directly onto the enemy ADC which is the target which would suffer the most from Exhaust. Exhaust scales with how much damage the opponent can do, thus making it an extremely powerful scaling summoner spell. Alternately, Tryndamere is also a good target for Exhaust to be taken against, as Ignite will simply not be much use when he's using his ultimate. Overall though, Exhaust does still weaken your laning phase against most bruisers.
cya trynd


Ghost is arguably the BIGGEST gap closing spell in the game. The downside of ghost is that it does not happen instantly but over a duration of time. Depending on how well you played Irelia in lane and how tanky you chose to optimise, the efficiency of ghost can increase or decrease dramatically. Ghost can only work on an Irelia who will build towards a more tanky build. In order to utilise the maximum efficiency of ghost, Irelia needs to SURVIVE for the majority of the duration of it's active. Furthermore, it is not as powerful in aspects of surprise/instantaneous actions such as bursting someone or catching them out before they reach a safety point. Given that, ghost is in my honest opinion a better scaling summoner than flash due to it's extreme stick potential in team fights later on making it impossible for any carry to escape you no matter how slippery. The other downside of ghost is that it takes away the ability to instantly reposition or escape from a gank early on if Irelia makes a mistake. This in itself could snowball the lane and leave Irelia crippled for most of the duration of mid game.

It can substitute for flash against high mobility champions such as:
.

Don't take against:


Pros and cons compared to flash and barrier

Pros:
  • Ghost is a stronger gap closer/chasing tool compared to flash IF, and only IF it is utilised for the majority of it's duration. 1 second of ghost doesn't even come close to comparing to flash.
  • If Irelia is building a more durable build, she will be able to survive long enough in a team fight to make ghost more worthwhile than flash
  • You will be able to chase down highly mobile targets
  • Further increases your stick making escape not an option for most ADC.

Cons relative to flash:
  • Does not work well with the provided assassin style of Irelia. Irelia will only have the durability to make full use of the duration of ghost during the late game where most people will have enough firepower to make it inferior to flash.
  • Cannot provide an instant escape, often making you fall victim to constant slows such as red buff/ashe frost arrows.
  • Can't go over walls, makes sticking to you easier.
  • Cannot outplay/dodge projectiles such as Ashe Arrow as easily as flash.

Cons relative to barrier:
  • Is not a combat summoner and cannot offer the same durability/bait potential that barrier does
  • Cannot negate burst that is targeted


An okay if no one on your team already has it. Generally the jungler/support will carry it though. Definitely not as strong as exhaust in lane and is more of a defensive/peeling spell.

Pros and Cons compared to ignite and teleport

Pros:
  • Scales significantly better into the game. As your opponents damage grows larger, the damage mitigated by exhaust also grows larger.
  • Provides peeling which ignite does not.
  • Can help sticking to slippery ADC targets.
  • Can effectively negate APC's burst if timed correctly.
  • Can be used in a defensive manner to avoid deaths for you or team mates.
  • Will allow you to duel auto-attack reliant champions a lot more easily (mainly the bruisers since ADC will not generally stick around to 'duel' you).


Cons relative to ignite:
  • Does not provide the offensive power that ignite does in lane. As a snowballing, aggressive top laner, I feel that offensive fire-power (pun intended) is a crucial need.
  • Does not provide any ACTUAL damage.
  • Is infinitely weaker against targets with high self-healing.
  • Does not immobilise high "skill mobility" targets such as Ahri and Riven.
  • Takes away from your burst.
  • Takes away from your kill potential.
  • Cannot exhaust true damage such as Olaf/Irelia/Ahri.

Cons relative to teleport:
  • Lower map presence
  • Does not help a losing lane as much as the ability to recall and teleport back
  • Cannot react to mobile semiglobal or global champions
  • Cannot splitpush as well

I feel as if the deciding factor in my opinion that Ignite vs Exhaust in lane should warrant a larger explanation point. When we look the two summoner spells in terms of when they reach their optimal efficiency and how they can be nullified: ignite reaches optimal potential the moment you ignite your target. They IMMEDIATELY begin taking damage and have reduced healing. Arguably it reaches IDEAL/MAXIMUM efficiency right before a target uses a large healing spell, but the optimal efficiency is still very achievable. Exhaust reaches optimal efficiency when your opponent takes offensive action. Exhaust will reach IDEAL/MAXIMUM efficiency if used before a large amount of damage is unleashed (Kennen ult, Katarina ult and such). In a duel at top lane, your opponent could easily retreat from an exhaust and waste your summoner. If your opponent chooses to play defensively when you use exhaust, the efficiency dramatically drops. In the same case scenario, ignite will allow you to burst (and kill) your opponent regardless of their retreat or not.

Overall:
This is actually the best summoner spell combination to take against Tryndamere in the long run. The ghost allows Irelia to keep up with Tryndamere's spins and the exhaust heavily cripples his pseudo-ADC play style. Ghost offers it's same old sticking power and is once again a less beginner friendly spell. Exhaust is commonly taken on supports in order to peel for carries, meaning it would primarily be used on front line bruisers/tanks who can simply CC just as hard through exhaust but deal less damage. However, if a front line champion takes Exhaust, it can be applied directly onto the enemy ADC which is the target which would suffer the most from Exhaust. Exhaust scales with how much damage the opponent can do, thus making it an extremely powerful scaling summoner spell. Alternately, Tryndamere is also a good target for Exhaust to be taken against, as Ignite will simply not be much use when he's using his ultimate. Overall though, Exhaust does still weaken your laning phase against most bruisers.
wat
It's like I didn't know what Irelia's passive does :(

Item Builds

Starting Build(s)
Default Starting Build
5
Build 2
5
Build 3
Build 4
Build 5
Build 6
Starting items:


You should start with this item in most cases. If your build lacks an early ward, you can strategically place this shortly before you think the jungler will begin ganking. I suggest placing this at roughly level 2ish when the jungler will come for the first level 3 gank on top lane. As you upgrade it, you will be able to contribute more to the vision war and hopefully give more coverage to your team. The catch to this item though is that you need to be constantly aware of the CD and cycle wards out otherwise you'll only ever get 1 ward out of it, making it a bit obsolete.


This item makes top laners lives a bit harder. If you are confident going without the warding totem for early vision, this trinket is stronger in terms of play making due to the ability to keep top cleared of wards if they don't have more than one ward. Furthermore, I suggest picking this item up even if you started with the warding totem IF you are playing against someone with an annoying invisibility ability such as Rengar or Akali OR your team doesn't have at LEAST one sweeping lens (jungle and support are the primary two roles that should pick it up).


Boots add very little to your trading potential. Since the changes to boots, MS quints now cover pretty much the same amount of movement speed as tier 1 boots do. It's optimal if you have MS quints and start another basic item. If you have MS quints, you shouldn't ever start boots because the excessive amount of MS you possess doesn't help you in a losing lane. This start should only be used if you know you're going to absolutely ROLL your lane.



MS quints + a defensive start allows you to just farm the lane out and capitalise on any mistakes. The sustain along with hiten style should be more than any top lane champion can put out assuming you don't just tank minions and towers all day. It's a strong start considering most people won't have their Arpen items early on. You can choose to sub out 3 health potions for a ward if you're expecting early jungle presence.



This pretty much sets up for an aggressive high trading lane. It offers you a great amount of HP sustain and some mana to effectively utilise your skills. You can choose to sub out 2 of the HP pots for a ward and that should set you up for any early jungle ganks. I like to use this start against most laners that don't give me a hard time early on (which call for a basic resistance start).

The Core Items:

IRELIA WILL NEED TO BUILD AT LEAST ONE OF THESE FOR OFFENSIVE PURPOSES EARLY ON UNLESS YOU'VE BEEN SEVERELY GOLD STARVED.



+30 ability power
+30 attack damage
+30% attack speed
+10% critical strike chance
+250 health
+200 mana
+8% movement speed
UNIQUE Passive - Rage: Basic attacks grant 20 movement speed for 2 seconds on hit. Minion, monster, and champion kills grant 60 movement speed for 2 seconds.
Unique Passive - Spellblade: After using an ability, your next basic attack deals bonus damage equal to 200% of your base attack damage as physical damage. (2 second cooldown).


Once upon a time this was the uncontested core item on Irelia for all offensive purposes. Although it stats it offers hasn't changed much, the value of these stats in top lane has changed due to the nature of top lane changing. The old non-sustain top lanes have trouble against the top lanes of season 3 who lane extremely dominantly usually with high sustain or ranged/dominant trading. With the buff to spellblade and the cost reduction, Trinity Force is once again a viable option on Irelia. It offers superior teamfighting to BotRK and can sustain damage and surpass BotRK if it's active is down.

All of the stats on this item benefit Irelia greatly. The Spellblade allows Irelia to more easily manipulate bladesurge to her advantage (since Bladesurge applies on hit effects). Unless you're snowballing hard, Trinity Force still cannot deal with sustain lanes too well. It offers the same powerspike it did in Season 2 which could still result in you killing sustain lanes but that is a lot riskier now. Overall, it gives slightly more EHP than BotRK in an all in fight but it offers a lot more sustained damage and a good chunk of mana which BotRK doesn't give.

Bottom line is that you should buy Trinity Force in easy lanes and non-sustain lanes that you should win.





+25 attack damage
+15% life steal
+40% attack speed
UNIQUE Passive: Your attacks deal 5% of the target's current health in physical damage (60 max vs minions and monsters).
UNIQUE Active: Drains target champion, dealing 15% of the champion's maximum Health in physical damage (min. 100) and healing you for the damage dealt. Additionally you steal 30% of their movement speed for 3 seconds - 90 second cooldown. (450 range)

BotRK is the second core offensive option. It's no longer the insta-win item of top lane but it's still extremely useful on Irelia for it's on hit effect, active and offensive stats. The AS synergises really well with Irelia's kit and maximises her Hiten Style, further synergising with the sustain it offers. BotRK is an item you should be picking up in harder lanes where you can't roll over enemies in 1-2 combos. Buying BotRK means farming out your lane because it offers huge sustain and less potential burst + dueling compared to Trinity Force. It's a very selfish item but still among the best offensive item options for Irelia. It offers next to no durability (the active can be considered EHP) and unless you are far ahead, you can't rush it and still participate in teamfights without getting blown up. In most cases, you'll need to just settle with Bilgewater Cutlass and get a defensive item.


THE CIRCLE OF TRINKETS

beats beats beats

It's pretty straight forward. If someone buys a warding trinket, the sweeping lens will make their trinket obsolete as long as you keep track of where they ward and destroy it. If someone buys the scrying orb due to fear of being swept by the sweeping lens, they have less reliable vision than your team which has the warding totem. After they use the active of the scrying orb, you can tell your jungler to gank since they don't have any vision now. Similarly the scrying orb will make a sweeping lens obsolete due to having nothing to sweep (speaking from a strictly trinket vs. trinket point of view with no other wards taken into account).

The warding totem is ultimately the easiest one to use. All you need to do is constantly watch the CD and make sure you keep cycling the wards out. The sweeping lens is a little harder to use as you are required to keep track of opponents warding spots. However, being lazy could just mean sweeping a certain bush before the jungler ganks. The scrying orb is the hardest to use IMO, you need to be able to predict jungle movement to successfully use this trinket. Furthermore, reading lane aggression can help you spot ganks by using this trinket to scout nearby gank spots. However, mastery of these skills will mean this trinket is the best of all three trinkets.

EARLY GAME ROUTES

OR +
This is my go-to route for irelia personally. This is for when you aren't losing a lane. Unless you've taken some super heavy beat down in lane, this should be your first buy. It's different to the S2 item route where you had some durability + damage. Bilgewater provides you with some pretty heavy sustain, some decent damage and the utility of a slow. Although you're not as durable upfront as you were in season 2, you can now easily heal off any damage you taken during a trade and thus could be potentially even more durable when looking at effective HP over a duration.


+ OR OR

Get mercury treads and ONE of the above magic resist items.

Spirit visage is now undeniably the biggest MR item in the game. It provides a solid HP boost, MR and a great HP/5 addition. Spirit Visage is probably the optimal choice in lane against an opponent with magic damage.. It hasn't changed in a sense that it's a very pure defensive item that doesn't help you bring down a tough laner.

Wits End held a good place for Irelia before the changes to Spirit Visage because it was the best mid-tier item that provided MR (and since Force of Nature was removed, MR items were only mid tier items altogether). But now that Spirit Visage is a sizable item that also has synergy with Irelia's healing, Wits End isn't as viable in my opinion anymore. Unless you somehow don't need the durability but prefer an offensive MR item, I don't see why you'd buy Wits End over Spirit Visage.

Hexdrinker is only useful in a kill/all in lane where there are close fights. If you're getting poked down by someone like Teemo, Vlad or Shen it probably won't help you at all. But if top lane is a nail bitingly close fight every time between you and someone like Rumble or Elise, the 250hp shield is HUGE early on especially. You should only be getting Hexdrinker in the first 15 minutes of the game, after that the 250hp shield is negligible and no longer worth the investment. The upgrade into Maw has never been a favourite of mine since I still feel AD is of minor priority on Irelia (and AD is what you're paying for in the upgrade to Maw). Overall, it falls under the same argument for Wits End: why buy a mid tier MR item that upgrades into an AD item when Spirit Visage is a late game MR item?


+ +

If you get this against any physical laner, they shouldn't be able to kill you until they have a MAJOR buy. With a trinity force or blood thirster, they should still be able to kill you. This route gives you over 100 armor easily no matter as long as you grab the armor seals (maybe even without). You now have anti-autoattacker defenses and above average sustain with vamp scepter + hiten style.


OR +

This combination of items allows for the highest burst possible on Irelia. This is similar to getting an early brutalizer in lane while at the same time working towards trinity force. Unless you are fairly confident that you can net a kill with the extra damage, this route isn't useful for survival. It slightly improves the ability to stay in lane due to the bonus mana to allow for more trades from a larger mana pool. A combination that can be utilised with these items is to prioritise levelling when the enemy stacks armor against you. Between the AP on sheen, the flat magic damage of E and your true damage, armor will be the least of your worries. Sheen also applies its passive when you use which provides you with a considerable amount of physical damage still.


MID GAME ROUTES

Your build at this point should be looking something like this:

OR + (if you're snowballing super hard and have the money)

OR

OR + +

OR

OR + +

OR

OR + +


Optional:


+25 attack damage
UNIQUE Passive:
+10% cooldown reduction
+15 armor penetration


This gives you the damage necessary to keep snowballing your lane and kill your opponent easily. This item should only be gotten against an easy lane which you've already won and want to continue farming the champion. It doesn't offer any survivability and shouldn't be upgraded straight away even if you plan on doing so. This item should generally be bought if you plan on maxing Bladesurge second and making the most use out of the AD, arpen and CDR it provides.


+35 attack damage
+14 health regen
+7 mana regen
+10% cooldown reduction
Unique Passive - Butcher: Damage dealt to monsters increased by 30%.
Unique Passive - Incinerate: Basic attacks and spells that do not inflict damage-over time deal 4 + (2 × level) bonus true damage over 3 seconds on hit.


Even after it's nerf, it's probably one of the most cost-effective and early peaking items in the game. Although it could potentially supplement Irelia's "weaker" early game, it's just too out of the way. It doesn't warrant the one slot in your inventory although it boosts your offensive power. Irelia should have at most 2-3 offensive items but in most cases Blade of the Ruined King will be your only offensive item. Like Zephyr, it's a bit out of the way for Irelia to build while sapping away her primary goal in itemisation: durability. The CDR is great and the sustain makes it an acceptable rush; however you'd probably be trading out BotRK for it since you'll need to build tanky afterwards. In my opinion, it's not worth losing BotRK even though it's a Godly item even post-nerf.

LATE GAME

As you transition into late game, you should be building durability and durability only. You've had your fun with the damage items in the early to mid game and you're now the off-tank if not the main-tank for your team. A cookie-cutter build was already shown in the first items section.

Elixirs are now extremely affordable AND extremely valuable as you approach full build.



On use, grants 140-235 health, based on champion level and 10 attack damage for 4 minutes.

This gives you a MASSIVE boost to stats for very little gold. OK, maybe it's not massive compared to your top-tier items, but for 250 gold, this is very gold effective. You should ALWAYS buy red elixirs before important fights. This is a very cheap method of boosting your HP pool since you don't build HP in your early items (trinity force, guardian angel, wits end). With the red elixir and trinity force, you health pool should be floating around 3k at level 18, which isn't too shabby.



On use, grants 20-40 ability power, based on champion level, and 10% cooldown reduction for 4 minutes.

While the AP component of this elixir isn't the best for Irelia (still useful though), the main part about this elixir is the CDR. 10% at all levels is huge. I don't build Frozen Heart and only build Spirit Visage generally and no other large source of CDR on Irelia as I focus on a more Assassin + High durability build for Irelia. Between the Enlightenment mastery,Randuin's Omen (only 5%!) and this blue elixir, you should still achieve 23.1% CDR, which is ridiculous considering you built 5%. Due to my low focus on CDR, I like to pick up this elixir before the green elixir.


A few more cookie-cuter builds to follow are:

I really want that ADC to deal no damage...



Why does the APC hurt more than the ADC?


I'm not heartless, I love peeling!


Balanced builds:



OR



OR



Boots Enchanments




Passive UNIQUE - Furor: Whenever you deal damage with a single target attack or spell, you gain 12% movement speed that decays over 2 seconds.

These boots should be bought by you at least 70% of the time. It allows you to counteract ADC's kiting abilities. Most of your damage is single target excluding your ultimate. If your main job in a team fight is to dive the carry, this is probably the enchantment you want. And if you're Irelia, your job is generally to dive the carry.




Passive UNIQUE - Homeguard: Whenever you are at fountain, you instantly gain full health and mana, and gain a 200% movement speed boost that decays over 8 seconds. The bonus movement speed is lost upon entering combat. The effect cannot activate while in combat.

This covers the other 15% of the time when you're losing. If you're losing and getting pushed into your base, these are the boots you need to get. If you haven't gotten these by the time they're pushing on your inhibitors, you need to get it together. These boots make it so much harder for anyone to penetrate your base.




UNIQUE - Captain: Allied champions running toward you gain 8% bonus movement speed. Nearby minions gain 20% bonus movement speed.

In some cases where your team is struggling to keep up with you diving into their team or you have a dive comp, these could be potentially more beneficial than the Furor enchantment. Since I speak from a more solo queue oriented point of view, I would favour furor boots over Captain. Keep in mind that with superior co-ordination of Ranked 5s, you may not need Captain enchantment either but I can't draw too much experience from that. These boots allow you team to have a good boost of speed just from being behind you. It also speeds up pushes after the ace.




UNIQUE - Distortion: Decreases cooldown of Ghost, Teleport and Flash by 25%.

If you chose to take Teleport instead of ignite, these boots are EXTREMELY powerful and are almost essential to your kit. The reduced CD on teleport and flash make you a split pushing monster while still being able to actively participate in team fights. You're now just as annoying as Shen, most likely even more since you can still dive carries even without ignite.
Final Build(s)
Standard Final Items
A very cookie cutter styled build. Trinity Force and Blade of the Ruined King are the two most potent offense items for Irelia. Her other items should be exclusively defensive and suited to the type of damage you are taking. There are often certain APC which you can simply build health against and ignore completely. Spirit Visage can be substituted with Warmogs or a Sunfires early on. The Randuin's Omen makes you hard to fight against as an ADC.

Situational Items

Frozen Heart
+95 armor
+400 mana
UNIQUE Passive:
+20% cooldown reduction
Nearby enemies suffer a 20% attack speed. (1000 range)


This is arguably one of the best items in the game. What I mean by this is it's a very convenient and effective item.
Breaking that down further, Frozen Heart:
  • is an extremely cost effective item. Quoting the lolwiki:

"Gold Value

95 armor = 1900g
400 mana = 800g
20% cooldown reduction = 644g
Total Gold Value = 3344g
Gold Efficiency

Frozen Heart is gold efficient even without its aura."
With that knowledge, I would say that Frozen Heart is an EXTREMELY team oriented item which will help your team extremely well if the aura can be put to effective use.
  • all of it's components are cheap making it easy to build even when you're having trouble in lane and coming back with very little gold. The HUGE benefit of this is that when you're behind and getting sent back to base very frequently with little gold, you can purchase components of Frozen Heart anyway. That means that you'll still get progressively stronger. Compare this to a Deathcap. If someone was sent back to base with 2300 gold, they'd only be able to get a Blasting Wand or a needlessly large rod. Assuming they get the rod, the only improved their strength by 1600 gold worth. Moral of the story: cheap components means you can consistently get stronger without big buys.
  • provides the only known method to reduce vayne's damage (attack speed debuff)
  • usually makes you unkillable against physical laners if gotten as a first item. I feel as though a lot of the time, this item is your "recovery" buy in a physical damage lane. It improves your mana pool vastly and the most common reason for loss of lane presence for Irelia is running out of mana in lane.

Usefulness on Irelia: 8/10 on average. Possibly the MOST effective item you can buy into a losing physical damage lane in order to regain relevance in the game. In terms of laning, it improves sustain, durability, lane presence, has cheap components and is ridiculously gold efficient. Other than that, it doesn't contribute too heavily to Irelia's game outside of improving laning strength.
Ravenous Hydra
+75 attack damage
+15 health regeneration
+12% life steal
Melee only
PASSIVE: Damage dealt by this item benefits from life steal.
UNIQUE PASSIVE - CLEAVE: Your attacks deal up to 60% of your Attack Damage to units around your target as physical damage (185 range), decaying down to 20% near the edge (385 range).
UNIQUE ACTIVE - CRESCENT: Deals up to 100% of your Attack Damage to units around you as physical damage, decaying down to 60% near the edge. - 10 second cooldown (400 range)


I feel like this item is the offensive version of Frozen Heart. It's ridiculously efficient and has low costs for all of it's components. Here's cost efficiency analysis from lolwiki:

"Gold Value

75 attack damage = 2700g
15 health regeneration = 540g
12% life steal = 528g
Total Gold Value = 3768g"

  • It has ridiculously good gold efficiency even without it's passive/active which play a big part of the item.
  • It improves Irelia's sustain, which has fallen behind in relation to the big 4 top lane champions right now.
  • It gives a low cooldown method of clearing waves (the other AoE damage Irelia has is her ult)
  • Applies to bladesurge so you can lifesteal further while trading!
  • Can utilise large minion waves in conjunction with ultimate to heal even larger amounts while trading.
  • Has low costs for components so can be bought despite being sent back continuously.

Usefulness on Irelia: 5/10. It's great in terms of usefulness, but very bad in terms of practicality. It suffers from the same issues as Maw of Malmortius, which is just not offering enough in terms of durability to be a defense item; but also not offering enough in terms of offensive strength to out-do Trinity Force or BotRK. Can replace BotRK if you want less stick but more waveclear for better split push.
Maw of Malmortius
+60 attack damage
+40 magic resistance
Unique passive: Grants +1 attack damage for every 2% of missing health, capped at 35 Attack Damage.
Unique passive - Lifeline: Upon taking magic damage that would reduce health below 30%, grants a shield that absorbs 400 magic damage for 5 seconds (90 second cooldown).


If you decide to get this item (refers to hexdrinker especially) you need to get it early on when the shield isn't negligible. The 250 magic damage shield is extremely potent against AP top lane champions with high burst and a bit less effectively against those with more sustained damage. So it's an extremely good buy against someone like Kennen rather than Yorick.

It's a more offensive choice of MR defense. If you prefer a higher damage style of Irelia for stomping solo queue, Maw is more potent than Spirit Visage and Wits End which offer you less kill potential/burst potential.

Usefulness on Irelia: 5/10, I don't feel like Irelia needs the offensive stats on Maw as much as the defensive stats of Spirit Visage. It's possible to buy it into a Kennen lane, but I can't see it working too well against any other lane. Furthermore it adds very little durability to your champion and Irelia doesn't really have strong AD scalings to utilise the bonus AD.
Zephyr
+25 attack damage
+50% attack speed
+10% movement speed
+10% cooldown reduction
Unique Passive - Tenacity: The duration of stuns, slows, taunts, fears, silences, blinds and immobilizes are reduced by 35%.


There are a few ways to view this item. If gotten as a part of your build and is compensating for the Ninja Tabi buy, I feel this item falls under that same category of items that doesn't offer enough in terms of defensive stats (the multiplicative stack of tenacity makes it even less efficient). The CDR and MS are very useful but will make Irelia a bit squishy. I feel this item should be gotten as a replacement for your boots, since it gives the same tenacity, roughly the same movement speed and an additional 10% CDR. It's like the fine mix between getting boots of lucidity and mercury treads while losing a bit of MS which I feel could potentially decrease your stick.

Usefulness on Irelia: 6/10 if used as a replacement for boots.
Thornmail
+100 Armor
UNIQUE Passive: On being hit, returns 30% of damage, before any reductions such as armor, as magic damage. At least 15 damage must be received.


I usually don't recommend this item on Irelia unless there's a niche pick on the enemy team to warrant it. The only people this will be effective against, are people who rely HEAVILY on lifesteal to win trades/games against Irelia. So I mainly buy this against someone like Tryndamere (in conjunction with Randuins) and Yasuo. This item ONLY serves to counter lifesteal reliant champions, so in most cases it's not worth it's value in gold.

Usefulness on Irelia: 2/10 in most cases, but a game changing 9/10 in niche cases described.
Banshee's Veil


+450 health
+55 magic resistance
Passive
Unique: Grants a spell shield that blocks the next enemy ability. This shield refreshes after no damage is taken from enemy champions for 25 seconds.
Unique: Grants 45 health regen for up to 10 seconds after taking damage from an enemy champion or when the spell shield breaks.


It's a lot better in terms of efficiency and usefulness on Irelia now that it's not giving all the excess mana from catalyst anymore. Furthermore, the build path for it now similar to Spirit Visage (the Spectre's Cowl) so you won't need to decide between the two items immediately. While it's now a lot more viable on Irelia than before, I feel as though 20% CDR from Spirit Visage is a lot more valuable than a single spell shield. I can see the item coming into great use if there's a few particular spells which by-pass Irelia's passive. So these would just be the knock back spells such as condemn/headbutt etc. Overall though, I honestly feel you should pick Spirit Visage on Irelia if you had to stick with one MR item; but if you were up against a heavy AP team with one single irrelevant AD source of damage, Banshee's Veil has become a lot more useful on Irelia that it was before (where it was a more carry focused item).

Usefulness on Irelia: 6/10 and only against super heavy magic damage OR knock back heavy team/vayne.
Frozen Mallet
+700 health
+30 attack damage
Passive Unique: Icy: Your basic attacks slow your target's Movement Speed by 40% for 1.5 seconds (30% slow for ranged attacks).


It offers really good stick if you can't afford to buy both Trinity Force/BotRK for effective stick. Frozen Mallet and Frozen Heart go hand in hand. They're your utility/losing your lane build paths in my opinion. The health and armor + utility just make you relevant to the game without needing a huge amount of gold.

Usefulness on Irelia: 6/10 in cases where paired with Frozen Heart for the sake of utility.
Guardian Angel
+68 armor
+38 magic resistance
UNIQUE Passive: Revives your champion upon death, restoring 750 health and 375 mana. 5 minute cooldown.


The Guardian Angel nerfs have really hurt it. The only time I would ever get this now is if I'm extremely far ahead (super fed + farmed) and people are really focusing me down to the ground. The stats are no longer enough to keep you alive through reckless dives and the resists are really weak in the current meta. Not really a recommended item anymore unless it's your 6th item before a big fight.

Usefulness on Irelia: 4/10 unless gotten as a last item before a big fight.
Randuin's Omen

+500 health
+70 armor
Unique Passive: Cold Steel: If you are hit by a basic attack, you slow the attacker's attack speed by 15% and their movement speed by 10% for 1.5 seconds.
Unique Active: Slows the movement speed of nearby enemy units by 35% for 2 (+ 0.5% total armor) (+ 0.5% total magic resistance) seconds. 60 second cooldown (500 Range)


This item is the death of most ADC's. The main option most ADC's have when Irelia begins diving them is to kill her. Peeling her or kiting her is usually futile so most try to just outright kill her. This item gives a very solid chunk of health and a fairly high amount of armor. The icing on top of the cake is the passive and active which slow the attack speed and movespeed of any champion that auto-attacks you. This just makes kiting Irelia impossible unless you don't ever attack her and just run, WHICH ISN'T KITING.

The active from Randuin's Omen has a distinctive particle in game. It looks like this (note the expanding circle):

[http://i45.tinypic.com/2iu3m2r.png]

Protip: I'm currently using a mouse with a number pad on the side which makes actives a part of my mouse movement instead of the keyboard. Prior to this though, I keybinded a number key (1-6) to the T key. That way, actives can be quickly used as a part of your keyboard combo.

Usefulness on Irelia: 10/10. I pretty much get this every game. This item is just core on Irelia unless they have no AD and no auto-attackers at all.
Sunfire Cape
+45 armor
+450 health
UNIQUE Passive: Deals 40 magic damage per second to nearby enemies (400 range).


It's more an item you buy when you want to be able to wave clear really well while still buying durability and not just buying a hydra.
Provides some valuable stats. Without magic penetration runes/masteries, it'll only be dealing 20-30 damage.I suggest this item on Shen primarily as he needs a pushed lane to ultimate without losing a tower. Since Wits End isn't a favourable item on Irelia anymore, this item has lost it's synergy with her completely and should rarely be bought.

Usefulness on Irelia: 2/10 unless you buy Wits End and maybe use teleport in conjunction and just splitpush.
Wit's End
+42% attack speed
+25 magic resistance
Unique: Basic attacks deal 42 bonus magic damage on hit.
Unique: Basic attacks increase your magic resistance by 5 for 5 seconds and reduce the target's magic resistance by 5 on hit (stacks up to 5 times).


Increases the damage of Sunfires and all magical damage on you (equilibrium strike) and your team. It's a free magic penetration debuff like Abyssals by for an auto-attack reliant champion. Attack Speed synergises really well with Irelia and the bonus magic damage makes Wits End scale it's own damage up. All in all, its a waste of time unless you really need further MR on top of Spirit Visage.

Now that Spirit Visage has been buffed and Banshee's Veil has been changed, I just feel like there isn't place for a middle tier MR item when Irelia is a mid to late game champion. The amount of durability it offers just isn't enough to make it a worthwhile purchase. The fact that Irelia now purchases 2 offensive items (BotRK + triforce) means there's less room for semi-durability items like Wits End.

Usefulness on Irelia: 4/10 unless paired with Sunfires for the same reason as Sunfires.
Warmog's Armor
+1000 health
Unique Passive: You gain health regeneration equal to 1% of your maximum health.


The biggest HP item in the game. A lot of the times, I buy this item because health can allow you to simply ignore AP damage dealers (unless they deal health % damage like Malzahar) while also providing you extra bulk against AD champions who also don't deal health % damage (vayne). Health and resists are both needed to become an optimal level of tanky. Due to a lot of Irelia's defense items now packing larger health values (I'm looking at Spirit Visage), it's now not so necessary to buy a Warmogs to reach the balance of EHP efficiency. It builds from a giants belt which means you don't need to pick between Sunfires/Randuins/Warmogs immediately when you choose to start gaining some bulk.

Usefulness on Irelia: 7/10 due to it's ability to nullify most APC's who are the lone magic damage dealer on a team.
Youmuu's Ghostblade
+30 attack damage
+15% critical strike chance
UNIQUE: +15% cooldown reduction
+20 armor penetration
UNIQUE Active: Gain +50% attack speed and +20% movement speed for 4 seconds. Attacking enemies with melee basic attacks increases the duration by 2 seconds to a maximum of 8 seconds. 60 second cooldown.


The active is the only part of this item which might make it worthwhile. With this item you should never be kited again. The active also synergises with your W well. This item will delay your durability too much and should only be gotten later in the game. Once you do get this item though, the active is what makes or breaks this item. If you aren't good with using actives, just like with randuins I suggest you stay away from this item. The active will provide a huge boost to your DPS as it synergizes extremely well with your Hiten Style and make you a very scary assassin. This item is your snowball item and can be gotten after trinity force if the enemy team lack the damage to shut you down effectively. 90% of the game you shouldn't be able to get this item since you will need durability after trinity force.

The active from Youmuu's Ghostblade has a distinctive visual particle in game. It looks like this:

[http://i49.tinypic.com/okpw0w.png]

Usefulness on Irelia: 2/10 and is overall a snowball aid that gives you more kill potential and all in potential which people don't expect. I find it a very gimmicky item that doesn't offer any defensive stats either.
Spirit Visage

+400 health
+55 magic resistance
+20% cooldown reduction
+20 health regen
Passive Unique: Increases your self-healing, health regen, life steal and spell vamp by 20%


Cost efficiency quote from lolwiki:

"Gold Value

400 health = 1056g
55 magic resist = 1100g
20% cooldown reduction = 644g
20 health regen + 4 (from passive) = 864g
Total Gold Value = 3664g"

This is the best choice for Irelia in terms of an MR item buy. It offers ridiculous sustain in lane against an AP champ, a solid amount of durability to be added to her pool and is on top of that ridiculously cost efficient without even considering it's unique passive which synergises really well with Hiten Style and Transcendent Blades.

It possesses health over Maw and Wits End and CDR over Banshee's Veil. All of these states I find more valuable on Irelia than the coutnerparts' stats.

Usefulness on Irelia: 10/10, core unless they deal little to no magic damage.
The Black Cleaver


+200 health
+50 attack damage
+10% cooldown reduction
Unique: +10 armor penetration
Passive - Dealing physical damage to an enemy champion reduces their armor by 5% for 4 seconds. This effect stacks up to 5 times.


If your aim isn't to dive the enemy ADC, this item can handily soften up your opponents for your ADC to rip through. You can apply 80% of the stacks of this item via your ultimate. Landing your ultimate onto their whole team isn't a hard thing to do, especially when they're grouping up.
Locket of the Iron Solari


+300 health
+20 armor
+10% cooldown reduction
Unique: Legion: Nearby allies gain +20 magic resist and +10 health regen per 5 seconds. (1100 range)
Unique ACTIVE: Shield yourself and nearby allied champions for 5 seconds, absorbing up to 50 (+10 per level) damage. 60 second cooldown. (600 range)


More on the supporty/peely side of an Irelia build. Unless you're falling really far behind in lane and your jungler is carrying harder than you, you shouldn't be building this. It has very little influence over your diving capacity and is just an efficient team shield (about 1k-ish late game).

Skill Order

Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Ionian Fervor
QBladesurge
WHiten Style
EEquilibrium Strike
RTranscendent Blades
Hiten Style is your bread and butter ability however it takes a while to ramp up. It is important to keep your other abilities evenly leveled in order to prevent either of them from falling off completely. Equilibrium Strike holds more utility which can help you win a hard lane, but Bladesurge gives you more snowball potential and stick in a winning lane.

> > OR

- take your damn ultimate at levels 6, 11 and 16. Its pretty self explanatory.
- bread and butter skill. Max it by level 9.
- max Q if you are winning a lane. It provides greater utility and greater damage in short trade durations.
- take extra points in if not max E before Q if you are fighting it out with someone like jax who will trade for a long duration. The extra CC duration is also good for ganks and ganking.

Types of skill builds:

I am winning my lane, how should I skill?

  • 1st priority - it is pretty self explanatory. It is your ultimate and a major increase in burst damage. The self-healing and wave clearing is awesome too.
  • 2nd priority - It is your main skill. This both increases your damage and sustain dramatically as your level it up. It is an offensive AND defensive spell. So whether you are dominating, even or losing a lane you should be leveling this skill primarily (excluding your ultimate).
  • 3rd priority - If you are winning your lane, the CDR upon level up of this skill is what you need. Engagements should be short and this skill provides more damage in a short duration exchange. The shorter CD also allows you to chase down fleeing enemies.
  • 4th priority - You are using this spell for the utility of the stun/slow if you are winning.


Man this lane is tight, how should I skill?

  • 1st priority - nothing has changed.
  • 2nd priority - this has not changed either
  • 3rd priority AND split evenly - By splitting these points evenly, you maintain a balance between utility and burst trading. It is good to lower the CD of Q, but if you are not chasing, the stun duration increase on E can quickly turn the lane into a winning situation.


Help! My opponent is stacking armor heavily...what do I skill?

  • 1st priority - still has not changed.
  • 2nd priority - true damage is not affected by armor. This is skill is still solid as a rock.
  • 3rd priority - Whaaaat? Stun duration has nothing to do with armor, is this some sort of trick? Nope. This skill is a high base magic damage nuke. If your opponents are stacking armor, then they are not reducing much of the magic damage this skill provides. You will still be chunking them.
  • 4th priority - They stacked armor! It is out of the question to level this against them now. With that said though, you should still consider switching between this skill up order and the even skill up order as leveling up Q can still be beneficial against squishy targets even though your top laner has armor.


I am a mage in disguise, raaaaaah!

  • 1st priority - STILL has not changed.
  • 2nd priority - AM I HIGH? Nope. If your opponents are stacking armor HEAVILY, skill up like this and buy a sheen. You will be bursting them for half their HP with just your E and sheen proc.
  • 3rd priority - you cannot go long without your sustain skill. Level this up to sustain in lane and get another type of damage that goes through armor
  • 4th priority - again, armor makes you weak Q! Sorry for leaving you last!

Skills

Ionian Fervor
Passive: Ionian Fervor
Each nearby enemy champion (to a maximum of three) reduces the effectiveness of Crowd Control on Irelia. 1 Champion: 10%, 2 Champions: 25%, 3 Champions: 40%

Explanation:
This is the skill which makes Irelia the carry slaying Ionian she is. This doesn't apply to knock ups or knock backs so Janna is one of the main people who can peel Irelia. This passive doesn't show up too much in laning phase, but come team fight time and you'll just shrug off all the CC the enemy team has. This stacks multiplicatively with mercury treads which can make it not as required as it usually is. With that said though, with mercury treads and a 3 person passive, Irelia will be experiencing only about 39% of CC duration and 35% with the juggernaut mastery.

Why is Irelia the 'Carry Slayer'? Once she gets on your carry, she's not coming off. This is one of the reasons why she doesn't. Any stuns, slows, fears, snares and pretty much anything but knock up/back and suppression will be reduced to a fraction of their whole value. That means, if the enemy are focusing YOUR carries, you'll be free to just stay on theirs. But if they focus you with CC, you'll still be free to stay on their carry anyway because CC doesn't stop you.
Bladesurge
Q: Bladesurge
Irelia dashes forward to strike her target for 20/50/80/110/140 (+1 per Attack Damage). If it kills the target, Bladesurge's cooldown refreshes and refunds 35 Mana.

Cooldown 14 / 12 / 10 / 8 / 6 seconds

Cost 60/65/70/75/80 mana

Range 650


Explanation:
This is another part of your carry slayer kit. At level 5 and max CDR, this spell will be on a 3.6 second cool down. A gap close every 3.6 seconds makes it very hard for any carry to kite you, even Ashe. Combined with Ionian Fervor and Mercury Treads, once you set your eyes on a carry, there's not much they can do at this point. A gap close every 3.6-6 seconds and resistance to CC... sounds like a carry slayer to me. Although it doesn't say it, this skill applies on hit effects (for those that don't know these are lifesteal, hiten style, red buff, frozen mallet, trinity etc). With a red buff, you should be able to roam mid game and net kills and assists all across the map. Utilising the reset part of this skill will allow you to close massive gaps (Q to a low hp minion and Q onto target). Also resets the auto-attack animation. Bladesurge should be levelled in a snowballing/winning the lane situation. In a winning situation, your enemy will be on lower HP then you and will be reluctant to trade with you; levelling Q allows you to chase them when they are caught out opposed to the E which will only slow them due to their lower HP.

[http://i48.tinypic.com/2wcno6x.png]
Hiten Style
W: Hiten Style
Irelia is skilled in the art of Hiten, passively giving her physical attacks 5/7/9/11/13 health restoration. Activating Hiten Style adds 15 / 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 true damage to her physical attacks for 6 seconds and gives her physical attacks 10/14/18/22/26 health restoration.

Cooldown 15 seconds
Cost 40 mana


Explanation:
This is your bread and butter skill. It's your damage AND sustain in one skill (whoa!). You should be using this when under tower to last hit comfortably. Now 75 true damage doesn't sound like much (actually it does...) but it's non-reducible damage. No matter what happens, you'll still be doing 75 damage per hit at LEAST. At level 9, that could easily constitute HALF of your damage to most targets. On armored targets, it could be the majority of your damage possibly making up 60-70% of your damage. While this is up, most laners will be reluctant to trade with you. Keep in mind that most people will be backing off when you use this skill so only activate after a successful Equilibrium Strike stun to utilise the most of it's duration.

Defenses do not help against this skill, so if a target starts building armor, you just laugh and level Hiten Style + Equilibrium Strike and destroy him with true and magic damage anyway. With all this said, the true damage component is flat and not % (unlike Vayne who can only be countered by attack speed reduction). This means that building more HP will in fact make you deal 'less' damage. You're still dealing 75 true damage per hit, but with a greater HP pool, 75 true damage is now a smaller percentage of their pool thus making it harder for you to burst them. Keep in mind that building HP instead of sustain in the long run reduces their effective HP so if you just outsustain them in lane at this point, killing them should still be viable.

It might not be clear, but Irelia's blade is glowing yellow. This is Hiten Style's particle in game.
[http://i48.tinypic.com/2w3q2o0.png]
Equilibrium Strike
E: Equilibrium Strike
Irelia's attack balances the scales, dealing 80 / 130 / 180 / 230 / 280 (+50% of ability power) damage and slowing the target by 60% for 1 / 1.25 / 1.5 / 1.75 / 2 seconds. However, if the target has a higher Health % than Irelia, then the blow stuns the target instead.

Cooldown 8 seconds

Cost 50 / 55 / 60 / 65 / 70 mana

Range 425


Explanation:
This spell is what makes it so hard to win a trade with Irelia. The moment you take some harass from your laner you can stun them and unload your abilities on them, generally winning the trade. Only 1 level in the skill is NEEDED although if you are having prolonged trades with opponents (jax, rumble) then the increased stun duration can be worth levelling.

This spell can be levelled when your opponents stack a LARGE amount of armor. The magic damage that this spell deals is nothing to laugh at, 280 potential magic damage at level 9 or 13 is still a large chunk. Obviously the increased stun/slow duration is nothing to laugh at either. A rule of thumb is to ONLY utilise the stun component of this spell unless you're winning the lane by a large margin. You should only be using the slow component when your opponent has been clearly zoned and you're simply trying to widdle them down while they run away. Even lane trades should ALWAYS utilise the stun component as you will generally pull ahead after using this in conjunction with Hiten Style.

[http://i49.tinypic.com/33396hu.png]
Transcendent Blades
R: Transcendent Blades
Irelia summons 4 spirit blades that she can fling to deal 80/120/160 (+60 of attack damage) (+50% of ability power) physical damage to enemies they pass through. She heals for 25% of that damage against champions and 10% against minions.

Cooldown 70/60/50 seconds

Cost 100 mana



Explanation:
The four blades are smart casted in a line from Irelia. This ability is what makes Irelia deceptively tanky and bursty. If all 4 blades land on the opponent, that's another 320 physical damage with rank 1 ultimate. That doesn't sound like a lot but in most engagements, you'll still be hitting auto-attacking the opponent with hiten style active. Transcendent blades is independent of auto-attacks so you can freely attack and use this at the same time. Another 2-3 auto-attacks in this duration will add 3x[90 (base AD with ad runes) + 45 true damage] resulting in about 405 damage in a few seconds. Furthermore, she heals for 25% of the champion damage. So that's 80 health from all 4 blades. Again, not sounding like much. But if we factor in the minions behind/next to the enemy champion the numbers again increase. Assuming you hit 5 minions with this skill in a fight, you'll heal an additional 160 hp if 4 blades land. Again using the 3 auto attacks in this duration scenario, you'll gain another 72 hp on top of this. 312 hp regained in a level 6 fight isn't too shabby. With this said though, most top laners will carry ignite; so don't rely too heavily on incredible healing to save you when you're on 100 health.

This skill should generally be used during all-in engagements with your opponent or to shove waves and deny exp/gold to your opponent. In regards to all-in engagements, there are a few ways Transcendent Blades can be used.

Bursting:

Transcendent Blades can be spammed (all 4 blades as fast as possible) to maximise burst and maybe catch your opponent off guard. Most early to mid game kills on lane opponents will be gotten like this.

Highest Damage Output:

Once you get your Trinity Force/Sheen, you can choose to use each blade of Transcendent Blades in 2 second intervals. Keeping track of the CD on Trinity Force can immensely increase your total damage output. When going for a a prolonged all-in engagement with your opponent, this method adds 4 Trinity Force procs to your damage and can be a huge increase in DPS overall.

[http://i45.tinypic.com/fnxz7r.png]

Champion Matchups

Aatrox
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
Aside from his level 2 cheese, he has very little kill potential on you. When playing against Aatrox, you need to be very decisive. You either all in and kill him for sure or you don't trade with him at all. Aatrox has near God-tier sustain. Most players make the mistake of trading consistently with Aatrox and then allowing him to sustain it all back up and take lane presence. Either trade consistently and zone him from CS or let him farm and kill him when you have more solid items. Overall, his ultimate is quite lackluster so you should be able to kill him once you've gotten a few items. Again, the fact that he holds that manaless trait the top 4 have, he outlanes you during the first 1-2 recalls.

Start Cloth Armor + 5 health potions or Doran's Shield
Akali
Difficulty
Favors You
She has deceptively high burst with her Q + AA combo. She has very little kill potential on you from levels 1-5. Don't get cocky though, once she gets a kill on you, you'll be having the time of your life with one of the most uncontrollable snowball champs in the game. Once she hits level 6, she'll have a dramatic increase in kill potential on you, not to mention better mobility when chasing than you. If you don't let her snowball, you'll be able to trade very safely and potentially kill her at level 9 and onwards. Keep a handy in case you want to kill her. Farm and avoid trading with her at level 1. Level 4 should be your prime time to trade and potentially kill her. Level 5 should be played cautiously as she may abruptly hit level 6 during a trade and completely turn the tables on you. Avoid her during the few levels after 6 and begin trading at level 9 when you have some MR items.

I advise starting flat MR glyphs and Flask + pots/wards OR rejuvenation bead + wards/pots against her.
Chogath
Difficulty
Favors You
A lot of Cho'Gath players seem to have what I like to call "Nasus syndrome". They enter lane with a Doran's ring and proceed to COMPLETELY ignore me while attempting to sustain any damage with last hitting. Remember when I told you to AA poke laners whenever they go for a last hit? While Cho'Gath's sustain will cover this to a degree, if they COMPLETELY ignore you and keep farming, gradually increase how much you AA them and see how they respond. A lot of players will just simply try to outsustain the damage by farming MORE and ignoring you MORE. Push this mindset until it's limit and punish them if they keep doing it.

With all that said above, Cho'Gath players who know what they are doing will not die to you. You have high mobility and medium damage. Cho'Gath has high sustain, heavily skill-shot based and heavy defense and HP. You shouldn't be able to kill him but he shouldn't be able to kill him either (assuming equal skill levels). Your main window of opportunity is during the level 4-7 region before the first back. Once he gets his Catalyst, you won't be doing any killing this lane. The saving grace here is that your mid game team fight presence is greater than his and your ability to roam is better. He'll be just as good as you in full-blown team fights and will be unkillable most of the time. Make sure you push your mid-game strength and kill the rest of his team. He can be as much as titan as he wants in lane but he still can't survive a 1v5 after all his squishies die.

A large part of fighting Cho'Gath in lane is dodging his skill shots. You can simply attack move (attack and then moving during the 'cool down duration' of the attack). If you continuously circle around cho'gath, it will be difficult for him to land his silence. Once he misses the silence, his rupture will be easy to dodge if not you can bladesurge to minions.

Avoid getting hit by his skill shots in lane, use your Q to dodge skill shots and most importantly try to outcs him. His sustain will get weaker as levels come by so call for ganks to keep him under control. Watch out for his true damage burst at level 6 and try to push at level 5 to acquire 6 before him and kill him with that advantage.

Start Boots + 4 wards if you're confident in dodging skill shots OR Flask + pots/ward OR Rejuvenation bead pots/ward
Darius
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
Although he isn't as popular anymore, this guy has just simply been designed to outlane you (he's the king of melee top laners for a reason). He can harass very safely with his low mana cost Q. Avoid fighting him for too long as the stacks of passive really add up. Keep a health potion running when dueling him. Unless you gain some sort of early advantage (from a gank or kill), you won't be able to beat him in a duel. His main downfall is that he has no escapes. So try to ask for a level 2 or 4 gank from your jungler ASAP. You could potentially snowball off of him if you outplay him. Your main window of opportunity is pushing the lane at level 5 and hitting 6 before he does. Once you're both 6, he'll kill you unless he's stupid. Unless you can severely deny Darius and kill him multiple times, he'll still remain relevant in the game. After playing this match up against a whole variety of players, I'd like to say Darius isn't a match up you want to be playing. Unless the enemy Darius is dumb as a rock, you won't be able to snowball off of him. Darius' kit allows him to stay relevant in the game despite any minor deny you put on him. His 1v1 potential is absurd and he should be able to out-execute any current top lane champion. Your main advantage comes from your ability to roam and gank a lot more successfully than he is. Furthermore, your carry diving abilities exceed his. Don't lose this lane, in fact, don't play this lane, it's stupid.

With the nerfs to his ultimate, Darius has become less of a titan in lane. Although in an all in fight, nothing has really changed, you need to make use of the huge down time his ultimate now has. If he uses his ultimate to execute someone else unsuccessfully, you will destroy him with zero trouble.

If you received a successful gank in the early game, you should have killed him once already with the help of a jungler. If he didn't TRY to kill you, he'll have ignite up. The big thing about this is that if you're only 1 kill up on him, he
All in all, his team fight presence isn't as great as you unless he has been snowballing; he outlanes you fairly easily so you should focus on farming; push the level 5-6 advantage that you should be able to get and call for ganks because he has no escapes.

Start cloth armor + 5 potions, picking up an early doran's shield really helps your trading against him. An early ninja-tabi will help against his heavy physical damage. Sunfires will add to your mix of damage and add DPS to your extended trades with him, not to mention the extra health will add to your durability vs. his ultimate. will still be able to kill you if he still has ignite and you don't. I've 'rubber-banded' my lane multiple times after getting ganked early due to the enemy laner using ignite on the gank and still dueling me without their ignite up.
Drmundo
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
TOP 4 SEASON 4

He runs all over you in lane and in any 1v1 encounter ever. His cleavers are based on % health so he remains relevant all game. He deals a good mix of physical and magical damage (more magical) and he has practically no scalings. That means his bases are simply amazing and he just gets tankier and tankier as the game goes on. Anything past the 2nd items simply means you should stop trying to kill him. Early game (pre 6 in particular) is Mundo's biggest weak spot. Try to exploit him then, but after that you should simply be aiming to farm the lane out and become as strong as possible. Overall, you NEED to dodge cleavers otherwise you will be heavily outlaned.

Start: Dorans shield/rejuvenation beat + health potions
Elise
Difficulty
Favors You
She has very strong poke which can in a lot of cases go unanswered. Like any AP top laner, you should go aggressive on her very early on (level 2 rush). Unlike other AP top laners though, she has access to a melee form similar in a sense to both Lee Sin and more so Jayce. Your main options in lane are to either outsustain her poke completely (more easily done) or to straight up kill her. Like Jayce though, you can apply the exact same concept of form switching and abusing her weakness during that moment. However, most Elises will choose to stay in human form for laning phase if you let her.

Elise thrives on an un-engagability similar to Teemo's due to her ranged kit. The best tips to lane against her would be to dodge her cocoon (with bladesurge if necessary) and abuse minions and bushes to avoid her volatile spiderlings. It's favourable to engage her early on (pre-3) and once you've got some points in Hiten Style. Trading with her immediately after the missed cocoon/volatine spiderling allows you a lot of time to trade positively with her. Don't let Elise stay on top of you during laning of you will lose extremely hard. If you can keep her at a dangerous HP, it will discourage her from harassing you due to risk of dying. It should turn into a farm lane if you can keep her low enough. Furthermore, if you jump on her after her human spell casts, she will in most cases shy away from trading with you in spiderform because of Hiten Style's damage. Make sure to create room for disengage so you don't end up taking a rotation of her spiderform spells as well. If you can trade even with her, you'll beat her out of lane due to her sustain requiring her to be in Spiderform. If she chooses to try to sustain and change into spiderform, again abuse the fact she loses her human form for 4 seconds.

A Trinity Force early enough can turn this matchup on it's head. You destroy her completely after completing Trinity Force. Starting items would be rejuvenation bead + 5 health pots + mana pots/ward OR flask + health pots/ward
Gangplank
Difficulty
Favors You
His passive puts out some heavy damage early on which catches a lot of people off guard. Start trading with him at level 3 and be conservative, because this isn't a classic out-sustain lane. You straight up outduel him with 2-3 levels in Hiten Style but you won't ever be able to kill him unless he makes a critical error.

The only times you should be able to kill him (disregard if below plat because laners get baited by blood lust very easily in lower levels of play):

You receive a gank.
He uses his Remove Scurvy ability to heal and you capitalise no this duration where he cannot cleanse your slow/stun.
He runs out of mana and cannot use Remove Scurvy.
You've finished BotRK and simply kill him with the super speed.

This lane is really another version of the out-sustain lane, but you you will generally be draining his mana instead of his health. Again the level 5-6 push is very important here and could still net you kills if you catch him off guard. Once he hits 6, watch for ANY time he uses his ultimate to help out mid or bot lane. As soon as this happens, you can safely engage on him and come out very far ahead.

Start cloth armor + 5 pots in this lane.
Garen
Difficulty
Favors You
This guy is one of the scariest early game champions ever. I do NOT suggest you try to AA harass this guy at levels 1-6, if not even further. You do NOT want him getting a kill on you. If he does, you might as well pull out your armor closet and stack that stuff up, because you'll probably still need more after. Garen is one of those people you want to start against. You should almost EXCLUSIVELY be farming when laning against him. His main goal is to catch you out and Q + E combo you for half your HP. Starting from level 5, possibly 7, you can start trading with him. When he activates his Q, activate your before you get silenced and just AA him while he spins. You should start coming out ahead of these trades as the game goes on. Garen is an AD-caster to a large degree. He is the MOST dangerous in the level 3-4 region where his combo will be dealing 40% of your hp easily, if not more if you started boots. His ultimate makes your ultimate very hard to use and a bit awkward. You need to make sure you never drop low enough to get executed. You need to use your ultimate a bit earlier than usual to stay alive in this match up.

Start cloth armor + 5 pots and play conservatively. Lose CS if you must, he will push towards you gradually (or rapidly). Freeze if he allows, if not just farm at tower. Look for opportunities to roam as you have a lot more roam potential than he does. You outscale him heavily but you may not ever be able to kill him because he will simply build like a titan and crush your team. Pray that you slay his carries faster than this walking bulk can kill yours.
Gragas
Difficulty
Favors You
Dodging barrels if what will win you this match up. Barrels are basically normal skill shots except that people don't perceive them that way. The problem with barrels is, you can't tell where the final destination is. Or more accurately, you can't tell where it's aimed until it's landed. You will need to watch the pattern of how your Gragas throws his barrels in order to predict his aiming pattern. He doesn't have strong HP sustain in lane, so if you constantly aggress him he will run out of HP and most likely still have mana. Watch the map carefully post 6, because Gragas can respond to ganks and even set them up quite well. Spirit Visage and Triforce should be all you need to take down this lane though. He's simply not mobile enough to avoid dying to you.

Jarvaniv
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
While he's similar to Garen in the sense that will put some heavy damage on you in the early game. This is another one of those champs which I don't suggest AA harassing early on. He will be attempting to do the EXACT same thing as you will, but the thing is, his passive makes his poke so much stronger than yours. If you let him poke you heavily at level 1-2, you'll be out of pots by level 4 no problem. His combo is pretty predictable and will be the same every time. E + Q and a couple of AA. He will generally try to back off after this. DO NOT LET HIM DO THIS. If he gets to do this, you've lost the lane. At level 6, he will unload all of his abilities on you, dealing roughly 60-70% of your HP, be wary of this. Jarvan has higher burst than you do. His weakness lies in his non-existent sustain (besides health potions). After he drops the E + Q combo on you, you should immediately back onto him --> to proc the stun since you will 90% of the time be lower --> AA --> AA. He will still most likely come out slightly ahead in these trades. You still win though. If you do this, you will burn out his health pots at a faster rate than you burn out your own. As long as you keep farming consistently, your will kick in, pulling you ahead by 1-2 health pots by level 4-5. You should obviously push for the level 5-6 advantage whenever you can. You should under almost no circumstance use your flash offensively in a fight against jarvan at level 6. His ultimate does a LARGE amount of damage and you will most likely be caught off guard by damage and will need flash.

Start cloth armor + 5 pots. I recommend farming safely while avoiding his level 1-2 poke; taking advantage of his lack of sustain and whittling him down gradually through trades in his favour; again pushing the level 5-6 advantage and most of all survive his level 6 burst. You outscale him during the mid-game by a small bit but your late game presence is double his. Jarvan falls off as the game progresses into the later stages of the game but don't rely on this.
Jax
Difficulty
Favors You
A lot of people consider Jax as one of the main counters to Irelia. I disagree with this. I've played extensively against Jax players and have come to the conclusion that the Irelia vs. Jax match up is extremely even. The main factor here is the skill of both players and their knowledge of the match up. I'll agree that Jax will have the SLIGHT upper hand in this match up, but it's nothing spectacular and certainly not a hard counter to Irelia.

Irelia > Jax for the early game. The main thing you need to remember in this match up is that he can only trade every time his 17 second(or thereabouts!) stun is off cooldown. In the 17 seconds that follow, all of your skill will be up once again halfway through this duration. Forcing a trade in this duration will most likely turn HEAVILY in your favour. When fighting Jax, try to avoid prolonged trades. I'll admit that pulls you ahead in sustained trades at rank 3 and up, but a rank 2 will still be turning the trade in favour of Jax. The main advantage you have over Jax is that he has no innate sustain for the first stage of laning. AA harass when he last hits is the most CRUCIAL factor here.

When he trades you without E, make sure to stun him and AA heavily. Once he uses the E, you need to back off. Once you facetank or avoid this E, you'll need to wait for your E to come off cooldown. Once this happens, you have a 10 second window of opportunity where you can FULLY COMBO JAX without him having the ability to trade back.

When he uses his E to initiate a trade, stun him and Q reset onto minions (if possible) and duck into the nearest bush. He will 100% attempt to leap strike onto you after he starts using E. Once his combo is finished, he will have nothing up to defend against your full combo. You will usually deal about the same or even more damage than he does. The level 5-6 push advantage is almost CRUCIAL to this match up. If you can successfully pull the level 6 push in your favour, you'll be able to kill him at level 6 very easily.

I recommend that you AA harass heavily in this lane while using the 2 templates for trading mentioned above; remember that post 6 trading will skew heavily in his favour if you trade extendedly. The lane should become extremely even post 6 unless someone has got a significant advantage already. His mid and late game is just as strong as yours so you'll need to try abuse his level 1-5 the most. Jax will serve almost the same purpose as you will: he will be slaying your back line champions. The most you can hope for at this stage is that you team can peel him successfully and their team doesn't peel you successfully. At worse, you'll most likely be left in a 1v1 at the end of every team fight against him in which you'll just have to use judgement on if you can beat him or not.

Start cloth armor + 5 pots and play aggressively early on. Ninja tabi is a must in this lane.
Jayce
Difficulty
Favors You
This champion will give you hell with his ranged form. The key to trading with Jayce is to dodge his Shock Blast (Q in cannon form). He has high poke and powerful trading, but no sustain. You see where this is going already. Against, try to whittle him down and kill him with a level 6 advantage. He STARTS with his ultimate, so forcing a level 5-6 push advantage isn't as crucial in this lane. You definitely even up the lane once you get your ultimate though. Jayce needs to utilise all of his abilities in BOTH forms to effectively trade with you. You'll have a hard time early game trading with him as he'll just unload his ranged abilities, switch to hammer form, unload those abilities, AA then E you away at the end of the trade, disengaging you too easily.

Protip: If you see a Jayce change forms very recently, this will be the time to kill him. If Jayce doesn't have both of his skill sets readily available, he is sub-par in damage, utility AND escape. You will have a much easier time fighting Jayce once you get your phage. You should be using your Q reset to gain distance and E him asap. If he's a smart Jayce, he'll simply use ONE of his disengage abilities (acceleration gate or the Hammer knock back skill). If he uses both, you've got this in the bag. Once He disengages you, follow him and use Q. If you get a phage proc in any of the following 1-2 hits, you activate W and stick to him. Without his disengage abilities, Jayce will be a sitting duck to your superior damage. Similarly, if he has recently changed forms, you can do the exact same thing. The key here is to bait out ALL of his disengage abilities in order to kill him. You can do this by hard engaging on him with E, or waiting for him to change forms effectively cutting off ONE of his skill sets.

I recommend playing passively until you get your phage at least, your kill potential on him early is very low and he outclasses you in damage at this stage too. He will be building very similarly to you so watch out for his burst and mobility. Farm hard and push for your mid game before he can push for his. If you can roam and snowball off his team mates, it's just as good as snowballing off him.

Start cloth armor + 5 pots and play conservatively until your more powerful levels.
Kennen
Difficulty
Favors You
He's almost like the useful version of Teemo. The key to beating Kennen lies within tracking resources. Namely, energy and cooldowns. Being a manaless champion means your laning phase almost has a timebomb on it. Kennen will outsustain you purely because you will run out of mana. However, being an energy champion does not mean he is resourceless like Renekton/Riven/Garen.

Kennen's Lightning Rush is the main escape he has (if not only). It has a cooldown of 10 seconds. The only real play you can make off this is if the Kennen is inexperienced and will use Lightning Rush to farm. As soon as Kennen uses Lightning Rush you can initiate a trade and get almost the full duration of Hiten Style off on Kennen. But in most cases, a Kennen will never do this. However, simply by using the standard combo for Irelia (using a low HP minion as a free bladesurge) you can engage on Kennen and STILL have your bladesurge up. Once Kennen uses Lightning Rush, you can Bladesurge onto him again and keep trading. This is the reason Irelia is considered a Kennen counter. An important thing to remember is that Kennen will actually go out of Bladesurge's range if you wait too long, but outrun you if you don't wait long enough after lightning rush.

Looking at this in terms of energy now: Lightning Rush costs 100 energy. Unless Kennen zones himself and does not farm or use abilities in the next 10 seconds, he cannot regenerate that energy. By engaging on Kennen relentlessly by level 3-4 you can drain his energy pool fast enough to get free damage off on him. Let's be real, even if Kennen does manage to regenerate JUST enough energy to use lightning rush again, he will have 0 energy to use any other abilities to do anything to you.

Ultimately, Kennen is a very safe pick and will place high pressure onto you. Kennen's team fight presence is far better than yours or almost ANY other top laner. You need to destroy him in laning phase or else you would have lost "effectively".

Start cloth armor + 5 potions or Doran's Shield + 1 potion (most of Kennen's early poke will be from auto-attacks)
Khazix
Difficulty
Favors You
His level 2 cheese with Q + E is the most dangerous part of his lane. His ultimate isn't much of a combat ulti and he's seen more primarily at mid or jungle. Once you build some armor, his burst won't be as brutal. His sustain isn't too great either, so just play super aggressively and drain his mana and/or health.

Start cloth armor + 5 potions
Leesin
Difficulty
Favors You
If Lee Sin knows what he is doing, you'll be in for hell for the first 9 levels. Lee Sin can easily snowball against you HEAVILY if you give him ANY kills. You should consider starting in this matchup. Try to build armor and check your death recap (if you died) if not try to take notice of what skill he is maxing first.

If he is maxing:
Q - This skill is his highest physical damage skill (non-ultimate). If he's beating you in lane, this is probably his main choice as to max. Keep in mind that if he does go this route, you will most likely out-sustain him and eventually beat him. This route will be more of the bursty Lee Sin who will attempt to snowball off of you. You should be able to beat this guy pretty easily with a bit of armor (ninja tabi!).
W - This is the most ridiculous skill in the game. If he chooses to max this, be prepared to go GP5/10 and just stay alive in the lane. His sustain will be beyond-godly and any attempt you make to trade with him will have the same effect as when Jarvan tries to trade with you: you just lose hp for no reason. You will be gradually pulled behind through the sheer fact that Lee Sin can easily recover his entire health pool with level 5 W from a single wave of minions. If Lee is maxing this, play as defensively as possible as he is whittling you down for a kill.
E - So you stacked armor huh? If his Tempest's are chunking you hard even after you built armor, this is probably what he's maxing. Tempest deals magic damage but scales with AD, trippy... Again, similar to Q, you can probably still out-sustain him and beat him in this battle. Watch out though, your armor isn't going to save you from his heavy magic damage. Play careful, build aggressively and you might catch him out.

In general though, I recommend playing safely and just farming your lane hard. Try to achieve your mid game (botrk!) as early as possible and get out of that lane. Even with Botrk, you probably won't be able to kill this slippery demon and he'll just waste your time. He falls off DRAMATICALLY in the late game and will be near useless except for his ultimate for peeling. Stay alive in the laning stage, he'll try to snowball off you. Ninja tabi is almost REQUIRED in this match up.

Start cloth armor + 5 pots and play conservatively.
Lissandra
Difficulty
Favors You
As with any other ranged AP top, Irelia beats her out due to her double gap close. Always stand away from your minions (similar to mordekaiser) because her Q is very short ranged unless it goes through your minions. Engage on her normally (making sure to reset your bladesurge on a minion) and simply boot her out of lane. Her sustain is non existent and she relies on her unengagbility against most melee laners.

Start rejuvenation beat + potions
Malphite
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
It's a farm lane, there's really about that much to say about this lane. His E makes it incredibly difficult for you to engage on him and come out ahead. Unless he wastes his E farming minions, you can't engage on him and get meaningful damage down. His Q poke means you need to get an early source of sustained (Spectre's Cowl and lifesteal) and overall his team fight presence if better than yours. He'll simply build into a full tank in most cases, so you'll never really have the opportunity to duel him as he won't be dueling.

Start rejuvenation beat + potions
Mordekaiser
Difficulty
Favors You
You should have no trouble with this match up at all. Cheese the life out of him at level 2 and level 3. Unless you let him free farm into a monster, he won't have sustain until he has heavy items backing him up. His free resistances mean nothing against your true damage. He is extremely immobile (no escapes), has no CC (can't stop you from killing him) and is a natural pusher. Even if you somehow CAN'T kill him(wot r u doin???) you should be able to keep him far away from minions as soon as he's far away enough from tower to be killed. Morde is no longer a champion meant to be seen as top and this match up reflects that.

Start Rejuv beat + 5 pots + ward
Nasus
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
Level 2-3 cheesing will be the only time you have a chance to kill Nasus. His in lane sustain isn't TOO much to deal with but Wither will prevent you from getting any MEANINGFUL damage onto Nasus later on. Tenacity will help you deal with wither in the late game but there really isn't much you can do to stop Nasus from becoming a monster unless you snowball early. His ultimate is extremely scary and should never be fought head on unless you know 200% that you will win.

Start Cloth armor + 5 potions
Nidalee
Difficulty
Favors You
He's always been a known "counter" for Irelia. He has super high stick (with the ability to ignore CC) and true damage that is so similar to Irelia. The biggest problem with Olaf early on is that he will outdamage Irelia both in burst trades and sustained trading. I'll admit this lane will probably become a farm lane or simply a stale "never see each other but just come back to push waves" lane after 6. Early on, the trick is to stun Olaf after receiving his true damage and activate Hiten Style to trade normally. In most cases, Olaf's will instinctively walk away from Hiten Style like every player has been taught to do. Olaf out of all the top laners will have the potential to beat Irelia's sustained damage early on with his vicious strikes, but most don't use it. If they do happen to trade you through the Hiten Style remember that he will only outDPS you at lower HP percentages so kite him back and burst him as he retreats with Bladesurge --> disengage. Ignite will be your best friend in the last moments of a duel. As soon as Olaf commits to a 1v1 duel to the death you will need to watch out for his vicious strikes. Ignite him as SOON as he uses vicious strikes.

Start Cloth armor + 5 health potions.





Difficulty: Medium-Hard

Like any ranged top champion, Irelia will beat out Nidalee starting from level 3. It's fairly standard trading from here on in. As soon as she hits 6, this will probably become a farm lane as you will never be able to kill her. If she's AP, she'll still maintain kill potential on you if you can't dodge spears. It's a fairly standard ranged vs. melee match up at top. Avoid too much AA-harass early on by dipping in and out of bushes (ironically the same thing Nidalee will be doing to gain MS) to avoid too many auto-attacks and engage on her hard and frequently to drain her mana.

Start Cloth armor + 5 potions or Doran's Shield + 1 potion
Olaf
Difficulty
Favors You
He's always been a known "counter" for Irelia. He has super high stick (with the ability to ignore CC) and true damage that is so similar to Irelia. The biggest problem with Olaf early on is that he will outdamage Irelia both in burst trades and sustained trading. I'll admit this lane will probably become a farm lane or simply a stale "never see each other but just come back to push waves" lane after 6. Early on, the trick is to stun Olaf after receiving his true damage and activate Hiten Style to trade normally. In most cases, Olaf's will instinctively walk away from Hiten Style like every player has been taught to do. Olaf out of all the top laners will have the potential to beat Irelia's sustained damage early on with his vicious strikes, but most don't use it. If they do happen to trade you through the Hiten Style remember that he will only outDPS you at lower HP percentages so kite him back and burst him as he retreats with Bladesurge --> disengage. Ignite will be your best friend in the last moments of a duel. As soon as Olaf commits to a 1v1 duel to the death you will need to watch out for his vicious strikes. Ignite him as SOON as he uses vicious strikes.

Start Cloth armor + 5 health potions.
Pantheon
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
A lot less popular now due to the shifts in meta making top lane a lot harder to win. He's a higher damage version of GP with less team utility. His poke is a bit higher damage than GP and he has very strong kill potential on almost everyone in the game at level 1-3. Survive the early game by playing conservatively and you've already won. Pretty much everyone outscales pantheon.

Start cloth armor + 5 pots and don't get baited.
Poppy
Difficulty
Favors You
Poppy passive is one of the most powerful passive's in the game. It effectively halves any damage that could potentially burst her. Luckily enough, your true damage bypasses her passive. You are considered one of poppy's main counters and for good reason. AA harassing her probably isn't the best idea due to her low mana cost hammering blow doing devastating amounts of damage. You should be hyper aggressive in this lane and force trades constantly and farming in between trades when she's backed off. If she chooses to trade AA harass you with her Q, you can counter trade leading with your equilibrium strike which should now stun due to her Q hurting you.

Start Rejuvenation bead + 5 health pots + ward. You can sub out some health pots for mana pots because you'll be needing the mana in this lane.
Quinn
Difficulty
Favors You
She has super heavy poke early. Starting from level 3 though, you have your double gap close to land heavy damage onto her. She has no sustain, so it's not too difficult to wither her down (especially if she started with a Doran's Blade). Her makes it very difficult to ever kill her post 6 (unless she commits to a fight). Survive her harsh poke in the early lane and you will outscale her heavily.

Start cloth armor/Doran's shield + health potions
Renekton
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
TOP 4 SEASON 4

This champion is just a huge pain to lane against. He outclasses you in almost every way early on. His sustain is greater than yours, his CC is greater than yours, his mobility is greater than yours and his burst is hugely greater than yours. He begins to quickly fall off as the game progresses on. Starting is recommended as you won't be able to outplay him even if he does mess up early on. His combo will just be E in -->Optional auto + W --> Q --> E out. He'll most likely try to use this combo on you when he has built up 50 fury, using the empowered ability on W. With that said, you NEED to be alert in this lane. As soon as he dashes up and ACTIVATES his W, stun him before he can land the stun on you. He will generally waste his fury on a minion, opening up some time for you to counter trade. Trading with this guy isn't really recommended on your first trip to lane. Maybe AA harass is still viable but you need to test the waters. Hyper-aggressive Renekton's will make you pay for trying to harass them while less experienced Renekton's will let you get away with some harass. As mid game rolls around, you need to be the judge of how strong you are at that stage. Once you get your triforce, you should have the upper hand in a fight. Do not get baited into overcommitting because Renekton is still a monster at mid game. Do not ever dive him unless you're 200% sure that you'll burst him and kill him. His ultimate provides a large chunk of HP while his empowered Q heals for absurd amounts (especially in team fights). Once you get some armor, you should be able to steam roll him in mid game. Remember that Renekton is an AD-caster and not a fighter. This means that you should typically engage him for a long period, sticking to him because without his abilities his trading is far inferior to yours.

I recommend playing extremely passively in the early game, pushing any advantage HE ALLOWS you to get away with, get an early ninja tabi and start building towards your mid game. You have just as good roaming ability as he does mid game and will further outscale him later into the game.

Start cloth armor + 5 pots and don't even think about killing him early on. You won't be killing this crocodile even mid game, he just wasn't meant to die. Feed off his team mates instead.
Rengar
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
TOP 4 SEASON 4

The fact that he's manaless means he outclasses you heavily in the laning phase. His sustain has been hit heavily over the patches, but he's still on par with you in terms of sustain. He has very annoying bush presence and good burst on his Q. If you can get an advantage on him early on, zone him from the minions. This slows down his ferocity charging and ultimately slows his on par sustain down further. If won't be able to kill Rengar early on before the 2nd back unless he heavily misplays or you outplay him somehow. Overall though, out of the top 4 top lane champions of season 4, he's the only one you have a good chance of outlaning. I believe you outscale him, especially in a 1v1 duel. The problem with Rengar though is that his roam potential is the best out of the top 4 and he has the potential to absolutely destroy your mid lane every time his ultimate is up. If he decides to go for this route, you need to punish him heavily in lane. Once he loses his ultimate, he becomes extremely vulnerable to being killed.

Watching his ferocity bar is the key to beating Rengar. That and bush control too. He'll be CSing through the bush and he can still be AA harassed like normal but most people seem to just shy away because he jumps out at them. His sustain isn't the best now without putting levels into it. He'll be trying to poke you down with bola and burst you with a double Q combo if you drop low enough. His ultimate isn't exactly a combat ultimate IMO so post 6 you start to really outduel him. But in the same token, post 6 is when you won't be able to kill him due to the invisibility aspect.

When he gains 4/5 bars of ferocity he will attempt to leap on you and do a double Q combo. Once you see him near full ferocity, get ready to stun him as he ACTIVATES an empowered Q. He'll (like Renekton) will be forced to waste it on a minion.

Start cloth armor + 5 health potions
Riven
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
Riven is a mobile AD heavy champion that is a good mix between an AD-caster and a fighter. Her heavy physical damage relies on her passive stacks being applied on auto-attacks. Build an early . Her level 1 is undoubtedly stronger than yours and if you let her beat you up here, you might even lose the lane. Her combo can vary heavily as there isn't really a set way you can use her skills.

A quick trade in lane would look like:

E --> AA --> W --> AA --> Walk away or QQQ if getting counter traded.


An all out fight would be more:

Q --> AA --> Q --> AA --> Q --> AA --> E --> AA --> W --> AA


Don't be afraid to go in an all out fight with her once you have some solid items. Important to remember is that you shouldn't be committing to fight her when she has her shield up. Obviously you can out DPS her shield easily but this will be all-in engagements. If you try to burst trade with her through her shield, you'll most likely come out slightly behind trades. Her level 6 is something to be scared of so you should attempt to push for a level 5-->6 push advantage and kill her before her ultimate. The execution from her ultimate + ignite will make your deceptive-tankiness through self-healing null if you wait too long to use it.

Farm your lane hard and avoid trading with her super-early. Once you get a few levels in you should opt for extended trades with her since you come out on top + she doesn't have innate sustain. Her shield can mess up your all in judgement as it's a powerful shield but if she maxes it you can just wait out the duration before trading. Due to her half-AD caster nature, you outclass her mid game in any duel that you have.

Start cloth armor + 5 pots and play it carefully because of her dangerous level 1-3.
Rumble
Difficulty
Favors You
Rumble is a lane bully. If you're getting bullied by him, you did something wrong. Irelia's main weakness is her early game, we should know that by now right? Despite that, bruisers need to be hyper aggressive on mages at top very early on. Rumble is weakest at levels one through to four. As soon as you hit level 3 (or even 2 if you're sure their jungler isn't around) you should be diving onto rumble. The main thing to remember is that his flamespitter can't deal damage when he's running away. If you force some heavy early damage onto him (which you can), you'll negate a lot of his damage. This lane will start becoming his unless you've done some big damage onto him early (which isn't too hard). Once he gets some sustain, it'll become harder to kill him. His kit allows him to kite you easily 1v1 and his ultimate will still do a huge amount of damage. His late game is that of an AP carry and he'll be just as dangerous as you but in a different manner. Your main chance to kill rumble is again at a level 6 advantage push.

Start Rejuvenation bead + 5 pots + ward and trade heavily and aggressively early on.
Ryze
Difficulty
Favors You
Literally the best case of AP ranged top laner for Irelia. He also has a very weak early game and very little ability to stop you from walking all over him. His mana costs are harsh, his spells don't do much damage and he has no escape spells. Ryze is literally a sitting duck for Irelia if he decides to show up top. Once he starts getting items though, you need to be careful. Abuse him early and he shouldn't be able to ever get back into the lane safely. If you don't though, be prepared for a monster to be unleashed onto the late game.

Start Doran's Shield + health potion or Rejuvenation bead + health potions
Shen
Difficulty
Favors You
This guy is a huge pain as well, but in a different sense to . While in lane, you could pull off kills on him just be laning aggressively in the early stages. As he begins to stack that HP, your burst is considerably reduced and you will have trouble killing him without external influence. While the trading and in laning mechanics against Shen are no different to any other top lane, you should be aiming to push heavily once you have good ward coverage and he has reached level 6. Shen has trouble clearing waves and pushing a lane during the early stages of the game. He will struggle to CS under tower due to his inferior AD. Furthermore, when he ultimates another lane, you should try to stun him and stop him from teleporting there too and cleaning up your team mates. If he does teleport and you can't stop him, you must continue pushing. Punish him for leaving the lane. If you keep your lane pushed most of the time, you should be able to easily deny him a lot of CS and take his tower early.

When mid and late game rolls around, this is when he starts beginning to become a huge pain. He's a HP stacker so you can't kill him as quickly as you'd like. He has a global ultimate which will teleport him into a fight. This means he'll have an extremely good map presence. Furthermore, this means he can just stick at top (or any other lane you're not in) and just free farm and push all day. He'll have a in the very least by then and will just split push all day. At this point, you make a choice based on what's happening. If your team has grouped up to fight at an objective, you'll just have to let him push and maybe take a tower. If your team is just passively farming, you hold your lane and push him back.

Come late game and he'll just be split pushing ALL DAY LONG and will never be there before a team fight starts. As soon as the team fight does start though, he'll be able to teleport himself straight into it. You don't have the luxury of a global teleport so you'll need to stick with your team when it comes to late game. The main method of countering his split push is to just force a fight ASAP so he cannot get much done. You can sometimes burst a target that he shields stopping him from coming into a fight at all. This stops him from showing up to a team fight, making you a lot more likely to win the team fight. The downside is that he'll probably just keep split pushing if you choose to press your advantage.

Overall, try to be aggressive on him during the level 4-6 region; keep in mind that he has no ultimate compared to you; farm hard and force objectives and team fights so that he can't split push too much and get if you find yourself out of position a lot of the time when shen teleports or you just want to be able to react quickly to shen's plays.

Start Rejuvenation bead + 5 pots + ward
Shyvana
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
TOP 4 SEASON 4

Shyvana has absurd DPS early on (and pretty much all of laning phase). She shreds in magic damage, but her primary buys (BotRK or Hydra) will give her strong physical damage too. It's very hard to itemise against Shyvana and you just lack the sustain to handle her super heavy damage. Once she's got some items, she just tears you apart. You need to simply stay in this lane and go even (again, not taking into account heavy misplays by her or good outplaying by you) and that'll be the best you can do. She'll become an unstoppable monster and you'll need to become one too. Destroy her team before she destroys yours. Neither of you really have good peel, so you'll both be diving.

Start Dorans Shield or Rejuvenation Bead + potions
Singed
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
He becomes the biggest pest known to League (maybe second to Teemo). He performs the exact same role as Teemo but is actually somewhat useful in teamfights. He is super vulnerable early on so you can abuse him starting level 3. If you failed to kill him before the first back, buy sustain and farm the lane out. He'll simply be pushing endlessly and roaming where he can. Try to counterpush as hard as possible.

start rejuvenation bead + 5 pots + ward and play aggressive early into conservative mid game.
Sion
Difficulty
Favors You
I can't see what can go wrong in this lane. Sion has very, very little kill potential as an AD bruiser. He has a stun which isn't enough to lock you down and kill you. Unless you've been doing something extremely stupid, there's no way you can lose to a Sion. At level 6, he'll probably try to bait you when he gets low with his ultimate. Ignite and end the fight because you can. Sion has become an extremely outdated top lane champion and doesn't bring much to the table. He can't dive carries and he can't peel for carries. He can try to lifesteal and help his team but can be kited so easily. Just do the normal and he'll fall soon enough; he doesn't have the sustain to survive you.

Start cloth armor + 5 pots OR rejuvenation bead + 5 pots + ward.
Swain
Difficulty
Favors You
You can apply what I said in the rumble section here. Aggressive play against mages early on will win you the lane. A common mistake for Swain at top lane is using Nevermove to engage. As soon as they do this, activate and onto swain. You'll be able to win trades with him as long as you aren't caught by nevermove. Early MR items will give you the edge in this lane. You will be able to outduel swain in almost every situation but his ganking and roaming potential is somewhat potent. Escaping a Swain gank is hard so make sure you follow your lane. He roams slowly so it shouldn't be too hard. Once he has ultimate, you need to ignite early on in the combo not only to get the extra 5 AD/AP but to reduce his healing on ultimate. It's a mini-Mundo ultimate in it's own right and will be hard to suppress.

Start Rejuvenation bead + 5 pots + ward and play hyper aggressively.
Teemo
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
This little yordle is the devil in lane. Teemo is probably the one universal counter to all melee top lane champions. I start but is extremely viable. At this point, the lane will be almost completely dependent on teemo's skill and both jungler's skill. The first thing you need to be able to accept here is that you cannot engage Teemo without losing out. Teemo thrives on being unengagable. Your best bet here is to just improve your sustain heavily while just trying to farm. You need to also accept that you'll most likely be sent back to base several times earlier than you would in a normal match up. I for one don't generally go back until I kill my laner or attempt to kill them. In a Teemo matchup, I strongly suggest just recalling when you get low. There's no point in giving Teemo the opportunity to dive you and get any extra kills. Accept the fact that he will push you out of lane and accept that fact that you'll be behind on farm and levels. Denial isn't just a river in Egypt, so accept that you won't be having fun against this god forsaken champion.

Now with all that said, I can share some things that I notice amongst common Teemo players.

Something that is glaringly obvious in a lot of Teemo players is their complacency. I find that you can often engage Teemo players and actually come out on top. Most Teemo players will engage under the impression that the blind will make them invincible for it's duration. In this match up: + + will be your best friend. Most Teemo players don't see the burst coming (good players in general will still be able to react to it).
They often don't ward extensively due to mushrooms. Keeping track of these mushrooms might open up easy ganks.
Teemo players are willing to dive you and they will most likely come out on top with their heavy DoT. Recalling and falling behind is better than dying.
Teemo's will generally split push heavily, so hard engaging their team during mid game will generally pull you ahead.

I recommend playing extremely safely, losing farm and experience when necessary. Try to freeze your lane without taking free harass from Teemo. If he doesn't let you freeze your lane, you'll just have to let it come to tower. Do not stand in range of Teemo unless it's completely necessary. Your mid game and team fight presence outclasses him tenfold and you're in general a more useful bruiser. Teemo is basically a lane specialist and will give you hell for the laning phase. Stay alive and stay relevant.

Recommended items:

+

The majority of Teemo's damage early on will be magic related (Q and E) and his only source of physical damage is from his auto-attacks. Thus armor shouldn't be too much of a priority itemisation unless he's building a lot of AD. The sustain from cutlass will keep you in lane while building into BotRK which will hopefully be enough to kill Teemo. The Spirit Visage has good health and MR to survive any potential dives Teemo will do. The Hp5 and increased healing will keep you in lane for longer.


Start Rejuvenation bead + 5 pots + ward and play super conservatively, making sure not to take too many hits for CS. Build that into an early warmogs if you rack up the gold.
Trundle
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
Literally a nightmare for any AD bruiser. His Q makes trading against him almost always unfavourable. If he decides to run lifesteal quints, his sustain is extremely high if he just stays around dying minions. He doesn't have too much kill potential on you, but he'll bully you out of lane very, very easily. Try to stay away from obvious cases where he'll chunk you. You should be able to fight him with 2-3 items onwards, but it really isn't ever favourable for you to do so. Ignite will provide valuable healing reduction post 6 when he starts pulling out the healing from his ulti. Furthermore, try to drag trundle away from minion balls as he will heal from dying minions while you're fighting.

Start cloth armor + 5 potions
Tryndamere
Difficulty
Favors You
Tryndamere's sustain is actually pretty weak. You need to start being aggressive on him starting at level 3. His escape is on a medium cool down and his sustain relies on him auto-attacking. You should avoid trading with him when he uses his AD debuff since it will skew all trades in his favour. Avoid trading with him if he has full fury. You should be killing him before 6. Post-6 is basically a farmfest unless he wants to go hyper-aggressive on you. An early warden's mail will do wonders against tryndamere. He has the same roaming potential you do with less ganking potential. All in all, don't let him get out of control because he can ignore peel just as well as you while soaking damage (his ultimate). He becomes somewhat of a second ADC.

He will in a LOT of cases attempt to level 2 cheese you by pushing the wave early on with auto-attacks and gaining a large amount of fury followed by spinning through a minion and hitting level 2 then just all inning you. Play it safe early and try to kill him when he loses his fury.

Start cloth armor + 5 potions and build an early ninja tabi. This is one of the few people you don't really outscale completely.
Udyr
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
Udyr is true terror at level 1. If he starts Elixir of Fortitude and runs Ghost + Ignite, you do not want to be pushed out at ANY point until you buy some good armor items. He'll most likely utilise the push and attempt to do a double tiger combo with the elixir + ignite which will be more than enough to consume your entire health bar even with armor runes + items. With some sustain and armor, this lane will eventually turn into a farm lane. You both become equally as terrifying for ADC's but your tenacity allows you to break through and avoid kiting a lot more than he can.

Start Cloth armor + 5 potions and play super carefully until at LEAST level 5
Urgot
Difficulty
Favors You
Survive the first back and you should be able to win this lane. Urgot has a crazy powerful poke laning phase early on. He's basically a ranged version of Garen, meaning you can't really kite him and play it safe. Build some early armor and straight into triforce and you will boot him out of lane by brute force.

Start cloth armor + 5 potions.
Vi
Difficulty
Favors You
There's not too much to fighting Vi. She out-trades you early on so try to play passive until you have some core items down. Once you start winning fights, safe your bladesurge for when she tries to escape. When she starts up her Q, bladesurge in front of her (by using a minion) to block her. You'll still take the damage, but she just won't make any distance. Overall, she dives carries very well, but she doesn't have too sustained damage in the long run and no strong utility after her ultimate.

Start cloth armor + 5 potions
Vladimir
Difficulty
Favors You
OK, so I know a lot of people are confused as to why Vladimir is listed as BOTH a counter and countered champion for Irelia. Just to clear it up straight away, Vladimir top is an easy lane for Irelia. Vladimir mid is a counter for Irelia.

I'll go over Vladimir mid first because I want it to be brief. Vladimir mid is a counter to Irelia because of his ability to stack on a large amount of HP. This DOES NOT mean that he outlanes you in any way. Vladimir mid is part of what I call a tanky team composition. When their AP mid has more HP than their jungler, it's pretty obvious that they're a tanky composition. In a straight 1v1, you'll still outclass Vladimir easily, but you can't burst him any more. In terms of durability versus Irelia, he's almost bruiser tier now. Again, while this doesn't stop you from beating him 1v1, when a team fight breaks out, you no longer have the ability to burst him. I already provided the order of focus above. On average, it takes about 7-8 seconds for you to kill an ADC and maybe 10 seconds to kill an APC. Vladimir is going to take longer than this and with his late game ability to disengage for a long period of time (Sanguine pool, Zhonya's) you'll have trouble finishing him off. This can turn out to be a severe case of tunnel vision since he is an APC that can distract you for a long period of time.

Summing it up, Vladimir mid in no way outclasses you in a 1v1. He simply takes too much time to kill late game as he is almost bruiser tier (note the almost) in durability versus you and can encourage tunnel vision. A tanky/slippery mid is hell for assassins, remember that.

Now, back to top lane Vladimir. This lane should be relatively easy for you. Let's put some facts down first before we go anywhere. Irelia is somewhat weak early game, not much to say here. Vladimir is MOST vulnerable early game. What do I mean? Let's break down his kit. He has sustain from his Q ability. In order to harass most effectively, he needs to Q you since his auto-attacks don't do much damage. If you continually force trades on him early, you're cutting his sustain down dramatically (spellvamp heal) (your MR > minions MR thus he heals less) while also making it more difficult for him to last hit effectively (low AD). His Sanguine pool is his primary ability to disengage you and it works fairly well too. The catch to this is that it costs a large portion of current HP. When you force a trade with Vladimir, you will face two scenarios:

Vladimir will attempt to disengage by walking away. If this happens, your combined with will allow you to deal HUGE amounts of damage onto Vladimir due to the CC and gap closing/stick. If this happens, you just pull ahead by trading.
Vladimir will choose to pool your trade. While this feels annoying and may feel like he out-traded you, he didn't. You will most likely only get your on him before he pools (unless you got the stun component) and he will walk away because of the slow from Sanguine Pool. You should not chase him if this happens. By pooling, he's just consumed a HUGE portion of his current HP and you've automatically out-traded him. Furthermore, the CD on this is ridiculous at early levels and you can just jump on him again and this time beat him down.

Start Rejuvenation bead + 5 pots + ward. I recommend avoiding early harass and start trading immediately at level 3 (trading was outlined earlier). Build some early MR and you should be immune to his damage. Don't get baited into diving him when his pool is up and remember to account for the pool in all-in engagements. This should be an easy lane for you unless you screw it up.
Volibear
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
The first and foremost thing is that you probably won't kill. His passive just adds a world of beef for him once he gets some items. He's surprisingly really weak early on, but you aren't that much stronger. Try to push for level 5 and level 6 advantages. His abilities are fairly straight forward and generally telegraph a gank. His ulti is deceptively powerful and should be avoided as soon as he activates it (similarly to how most people avoid Irelia's Hiten Style). He has no in built sustain so you could potentially pop his passive without ignite before the first back, then return and kill him with items + ignite but Irelia isn't that threatening early on. He'll build a sunfires and you probably won't be killing him anymore. He stacks health which really dulls down your bread and butter Hiten Style. His roam is probably as potent if not more potent than yours so keep tabs on him and warn your team mates.

Start cloth armor + 5 potions, his bite does physical damage.
Warwick
Difficulty
Favors You
The warwick lane is easy to trade with but a general boring lane. Warwick's sustain is just as heavy as yours if not better. His single target CC jumps at level 6 and ganks against you will become deadly. Up until then, just don't overextend and get caught by the jungler. Warwick's will general just hungering strike to trade. As soon as this happens, and counter trade. You'll easily destroy the HP he just regained and more. Ignite will be your best friend in an all out duel against warwick. The amount of healing he can burst out is absurd and you should be reducing it. All in all, it's a pretty boring lane. You should be aiming to push on warwick and roam. Warwick can't push a lane quickly and will either lose out on exp to follow you or let you free roam. His mid game roaming presence isn't half of yours while his team fight is all out the initiate and catching someone out with his ultimate.

Start Rejuvenation bead + 5 pots + ward or cloth armor + 5 pots (depends on the jungler and if you need the ward or armor).
Wukong
Difficulty
Favors You
Wukong is very, very similar to Jarvan. Their combos involve the same thing: gap close --> AA --> disengage by walking off. If you let Wukong do this, you'll be losing your lane. The thing you need to keep in mind here that doesn't apply to jarvan is that he'll be decoying a lot to avoid your damage. There are two options here then:
He initiates trade and you jump back onto him. You get the stun proc and destroy his health bar. He may or may not decoy to disengage. It doesn't matter at this stage, you did the damage.
He initiates trade and you jump back onto him. He decoys the moment you bladesurge. Let him go. He'll be draining his mana heavily if he does this. Although you shouldn't be letting him get free damage on you, you can counter trade when his decoy is down. You'll come out on top while he's a lot more vulnerable without decoy. He doesn't have sustain so just play the sustain game. His damage is even higher than Jarvan at level 6 but it's sustained rather than burst. If he gets the full duration of his ulti off, it's a lot of physical damage. This lane should be played aggressively to drain Wukong's resources. Level 6 push advantage is always recommended. You outscale him into mid and late game and your ganking is more potent than his unless he uses his ultimate when ganking.

Start cloth armor + 5 potions and be careful of his level 2.
Xinzhao
Difficulty
Favors You
Xin Zhao can pull out some nasty damage if you allow him to use his full combo. You should be aiming to interrupt his Q (3 auto attacks) with your . Once you disengage, he'll most likely use the Q onto creeps. As soon as your stun comes back up you should engage on him while his combo is down. He will definitely push harder than you so calling for ganks is no issue since he doesn't have a reliable escape. You begin to outclass him heavily when it gets to mid game. With your trinity, he'll have a lot of trouble escaping you and even more trouble dueling you. Pushing for a level 6 advantage is again always recommended. His ganking and roaming potential is probably just as good as yours but counterganking him will turn the tides heavily since he can't outduel you.

Start cloth armor + 5 pots.
Yorick
Difficulty
Favors You
Levels one to nine are the sustain game. You can't engage on him and win during these levels. Most of your damage at this stage is either physical or magical, mainly physical. With Yorick's passive, he'll come ahead of every trade early on and will sustain a lot harder than you. Once you have 4-5 levels into hiten style, the true damage will cut through his passive and pull you ahead in trades. You shouldn't be aiming to whittle him down as his sustain is godly. At level 9, you should be trying to kill him outright in 1-2 trades. He doesn't have the carry diving ability you have and will become more or less a tanky support for their carry. Yorick is only as good as their ADC late game, to a higher degree than normal. Keep in mind that yorick deals primarily magic damage early on so building armor is useless. is a solid choice in this lane.

Another thing is that most yorick's tend to build tear of the goddess early on in the game. If they do tihs, go hyper aggressive on them once you have a phage. The tear offers him mana and sustain but no actual damage. You should be zerging him down and killing him if he builds this.

Start Rejuvenation bead + 5 pots + ward and play aggressively to drain his mana before he gets a tear.
Zac
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
This is a very stale lane that is similar to Malphite and Cho'Gath lanes. It's the typical tank farm lane. He bullies you out early on because he's manaless. The best you can do is to step on all his blobs to heavily decrease his sustain. Avoid trading with him early, because your mana pool will definitely run dry if you decide to. Once you have a few core items and a few levels down, start trading with him. You'll need to buy a BotRK in this match up because Zac will almost definitely build heavy HP items. Keep your HP low if you're trying to kill Zac. The only way to lock him down is to stun him mid slingshot. You can obviously choose to save your healing abilities till after the stun to avoid dying.

Start Doran's Shield or Rejuvenation bead + potions

Perspective on Guides

Guides are something that League of Legends players have used for a while now. There are sites dedicated to it and thousands if not millions of people rely on guides for insight and direction. It's really important that this is what they are primarily used for; insight and direction rather than law that is to be obeyed. A lot of players use guides as a crutch to avoid learning to play the game properly on their own. Every guide in itself is an opinion formulated by a player who has had "sufficient" experience playing a certain champion. Opinions simply aren't fact and no matter how reputable the opinion, it should never replace your own critical thinking and evaluation. I'll agree that most of the reputable guides offer true insight and very reliable information but they're sometimes from the perspective of a higher skilled player which is often inapplicable to the average player. Furthermore, even the applicable information often requires context.

This game is by nature dynamic and by that definition no static guide can truly encompass all the different possible scenarios that can happen in game. No matter how much detail an author puts into a guide you'll come across situations where you'll need to think on your feet and adapt. Cookie Cutter builds and Cookie Cutter skill order/usage is something for rookies and people who simply can't formulate an opinion on their own. Guides should offer you a variety of factors you need to consider when buying items, leveling skills and using them. When you should do certain things or when you shouldn't. I hope to have encompassed these things which will help newer players formulate their own opinion on the subject and develop their own form of critical thinking.

Ultimately, guides should give you DIRECTION. When you've never played a champion, it's natural that you can't immediately see connections or synergies present and how to handle certain situations that are most common. Guides will provide you with this band aid solution to your issue of inexperience but it simply cannot always cover your every need. Read guides and absorb that info, don't come back every game to try and memorise the builds offered and the skills leveled but do what needs to be done IN THE PRESENT MOMENT in your game. Adapt to the lane you see, not the lane I've said. If someone plays something different, think about the connections and similarities to other lanes and try to fight it on your own.

Change Log

October 8th, 2012
  • Guide created.

October 10th, 2012
  • Added Akali, Cho'Gath, Darius, Gangplank, Garen, Jarvan IV, Lee Sin, Jax and Jayce to the match up section.
  • Approved
  • Clarification on why champions who stack HP are in the avoid and should pick list.

October 11th, 2012
  • Added Renekton, Shen, Teemo and Riven to the match up section.
  • Removed less CC reliant as one of the counters to Irelia. Sourced from CupcakeMolester - The less CC the more efffective Assasins (Irelia) are, so I do not think its a con that the team has low CC rather a plus.
  • Added order of focus to team fight section.
  • Moved When to pick Irelia chapter into Introduction.

October 12th, 2012
  • Added Vladimir to the match up section.
  • Added images of skills to skills chapter.
  • Added warding chapter.
  • Added images to Youmouus Ghostblade and Randuins Omen actives in the items chapter.
  • Added images of freezing to early game chapter.

October 17th, 2012
  • Changed Fiora to hard difficulty in match up section.

November 12th, 2012
  • Added Rumble, Wukong, Warwick, Yorick, Xin Zhao, Udyr, Tryndamere, Swain and Sion to the match up section.

November 21st, 2012
  • Fixed spelling, grammatical errors
  • Edited match ups sections on existing match ups.

March 3rd, 2013
  • Added new routes to starting items.
  • Revised and changed mid game summary items
  • Changed cookie cutter build

March 19th, 2013
  • Changed Starting Items and explanation.
  • Updated introduction.
  • Updated masteries.
  • Updated preferred quintessences to Movement Speed.
  • Added reasoning for Movement Speed quints.

April 20th, 2013
  • Changed when Irelia should not be picked section
  • Tweaked masteries explanation chapter
  • Quality of life edits that make the guide easier to understand and fixing of minor grammatical and spelling errors.
  • Added Elixir of Fortitude as an option for starting items and the explanation behind it.
  • Added potential change in Core item.
  • Added The Black Cleaver, Zephyr, Runic Bulwark and Blade of the Ruined King and their appropriate explanations to the ITEMS TO CONSIDER section of late game.
  • Cleaned up removed item and changed reasoning for common items that used to be core on Irelia. Strongly suggest people re-read the items section to look for changes as the new items in S3 are very versatile and viable on Irelia in certain circumstances.
  • Added comments on freezing and its reduced viability due to mastery changes from season 2.
  • Adjusted Mid Game section to reflect on new items.

May 5th, 2013
  • Cleaned up Items Section taking out removed items and updating to reflect the current item routes. Also updated strengths and weaknesses of each route.
  • Added Boots Enchantments and reasons into Items Section.
  • Changed starting items info regarding mega potions start and fortitude elixir start.

May 23th, 2013
  • Added those damn rune page images.

June 18th, 2013
  • Renamed the Chasing section in Tips and Tricks to Bladesurge and added basic and more advanced uses of the basic bladesurge combo.
  • Added Spirit of the Elder Lizard discussion to Items section (Mid Game).
  • Added Wits End discussion to the items section (no idea why the discussion wasn't there before).
  • Changed Sunfires description to reflect potential after Wits End changes.
  • Added a balanced build including Sunfires & Wits End.
  • Fixed silly mistakes for quality of life improvement.

July 4th, 2013
  • Added Trading chapter after early game.
  • Small fixes for quality of life.

July 26th, 2013
  • Happy birthday to me!
  • A million views, thanks everybody!

August 4th, 2013
  • Largest update to date, result of recent patches.
  • Updated item builds to reflect newest optimal path.
  • Finally removed trinity force from the core items section.
  • Changed Spirit Visage description.
  • Limited build path slightly and made Bilgewater Cutlass a bigger core of early/mid game builds.

September 3rd, 2013
  • Updated match ups section with reflection to the changes on phage and trinity force.
  • Added the Rengar, Singed, Poppy and Pantheon match ups.

September 13th, 2013
  • Friday the 13th!
  • Added Elise match up
  • Updated Item Builds

October 8th, 2013
  • Happy 1st birthday to the guide!
  • Quality of life and typo fixes. Summoner spell elaboration update.

November 13th, 2013
  • Edited out grammar and spelling errors
  • Edited some mistakes on item descriptions out
  • Made general quality of reading improvements
  • Added Olaf, Nidalee, Nasus, Mordekaiser, Kennen match ups

November 14th, 2013
  • Shamelessly advertising my facebook page! http://www.facebook.com/theycallmejstar

November 19th, 2013
  • Moved guide around to fix into the new solomid.net set up
  • Elaborated further on summoner spells and put a pros and cons list into every "set" of summoner spells

November 20th, 2013
  • Added Perspective on Guides chapter

December 3rd, 2013
  • Changed masteries to adapt to the preseason changes.
  • Added trinkets discussion to item section.

Mindset when Itemising

Why shouldn't I build damage/DPS on Irelia?

As a melee champion, Irelia is exposed to heavy CC and the bulk of the enemy team's damage. As fun as it might seem to build damage on Irelia, it really isn't worth it. The mindset you should have when playing Irelia is that you rush your core damage items in the first 20-25 minutes of the game. I tend to keep trinity force and wits end as my main damage items. You rush these items and keep building more damage as long as you can get away with it. This typically stops here as team fights start happening and enemies start having the firepower to burst through the little durability you've built so far.

Hiten Style is a large part of Irelia's early, mid AND late game damage. This skill is the reason why damage can often be unnecessary on Irelia. Seeing as your PRIMARY role as Irelia is to 'slay carries', you'll only need trinity force. We can all agree that rank 5 Hiten Style does an absurd amount of damage at level 9. As targets begin building durability and health, the effectiveness of Hiten Style begins diminishing (health in particular counters it). But guess what? Your main targets will not have gained much health. In most cases, the ADC will have as much health as he did the moment he hit level 18. The APC may have built a Rod of Ages or at worst, a Rylai's too, but they haven't gained much defenses. With this said, you can burst almost any squishy target from 100-0 with your combo at late game using a trinity force + wits end. Your main goal now is to survive the bruiser line and peeling thrown at you to get to these carries. As Irelia, Ionian Fervor and Mercy Treads will allow you to shrug off almost all peel with ease. Now you just need to survive the collateral (or focused) damage which is aimed at you. Thus Irelia should be built rushing damage in the early stages of the game and only building solid durability items in the later stages of the game.

I think the priority of stats change as the game progresses on.

Early Game:

Damage/Health > Attack Speed > Resistances

I like to have this mind set during the early stages of itemizing as Damage and Health are the most important stats in laning and trading. Attack speed further adds to the lane power of Irelia while resistances add to defensive aspect of trading but not the offensive.

Mid-game:

Health/Resistances > Attack Speed > Damage

During the mid-game, I should have acquired almost ALL of the damage I need for most of the game already. This lies mostly in Trinity Force and Wits End (could be built during mid game hence attack speed is still a high priority). Mid-game is when riskier plays will be made and fights around objectives cannot be avoided. You can no longer afford to be a glass cannon and will need to tank up fairly quickly in order to stay alive during team fights.

Late-game:

Resistances >Health > Damage/Attack Speed

The main focus of your build should now be situational upon the order of threat in the enemy team. You will be building against the highest threat and aiming to assassinate them during team fights, whether it be the APC or the ADC or BOTH. Resistances are needed for you to survive any front line collateral damage and the damage from the APC/ADC themselves. Health should be the next priority to make use of your growing resistances. Attack Speed and Damage should be the last thing on your mind. You shouldn't even be building any of it unless there's some really good reason to do so.

I think this article by hashinshin outlines a general durability vs. damage on bruisers. Although I don't agree completely on those same items on every bruiser, I think it's worth noting the concept of durability outscaling damage on bruisers.

Hashinshin's article:
http://www.reignofgaming.net/blogs/hashinshin/21897-damage-is-outdated-on-bruisers-tank-bruisers-are


You guys should check out Cormags guide about optimising your stats. Although you can't follow the builds provided on there religiously, reading the graphs and such will help you optimise your durability in game. Keep in mind it's better to have too much resistance rather than too much health due to penetration runes and masteries on the enemy team.

Cormag's guide:
http://www.solomid.net/guides.php?g=11623-cormag-generic-build-guide

Early Game

Irelia has one of the weaker early games amongst the bruisers. You should avoid full-blown trades with your opponent until level 4-5 at least with the exception of mages which you can begin trading at level 3 (due to their lack of innate sustain and weaker early game, especially vladimir and even rumble). Avoid levelling up a skill immediately when you get to lane. Since you will nott be trading with your opponent at level 1, you need to save your skill point for situational scenarios. A level 1 gank from behind you will require you to skill up Q in order to quickly escape. If the enemy is ranged or putting out heavy harass, you should be using Bladesurge to last hit while ducking in and out of bushes.
Depending on how well you're doing against your opponent and who they are, you can choose to roam mid and help out. As top laner, you come down at a good angle to the enemy mid and should usually force a flash if not net a kill/assist for your mid lane if played right. You can generally do this if you're killing your enemy laner with a lot of health remaining, in a passive farm lane or up against someone like pre-6 Nidalee, Shen, Warwick who take years to push out their lane once you've pushed it. You can also choose to roam down to force a 4v5 dragon fight or free dragon for your team. Alternately you opponent could just be freezing the lane at their tower.

Trading


Level 1-2

You can afford to auto-attack harass (AA harass) most of your match-ups in lane during the early levels. Again, I can't stress how important it is that you don't go into a full-blown engagement with your laners early on. If you lose enough HP here, you will probably lose the lane. AA harass involves sneaking in AA on opponents when they are most vulnerable: when they're moving in for a last hit. You should back away immediately before they can retaliate. Since most top lane champions are bruisers, they will rely on AA for trading early on. If they're using their AA on a minion, they will not be able to retaliate unless you stick around. You should generally move into a bush immediately after to de-aggro the enemy creeps and take less damage.
You should aim to freeze waves on your side of the map, closer to your tower. Unless your opponent chooses to engage you heavily when you freeze, you should be able to do this. If they do choose to stop you from freezing, you should generally just let the wave push to your tower and last hit there. If they do this, they should be pushed heavily most of the time and you should call your jungler to set up an easy gank.


Freezing

Freezing is the act of keeping the enemy minions near your side of the map, just outside of tower range. When the enemy wave is pushing towards your tower, tank the wave (avoid doing this too often as minions now deal a moderate amount of damage again) and keep it from ever reaching tower range. Let your minions take the aggro again once they arrive and the wave should continue pushing towards your side. Obviously if you choose to last hit, the wave will GRADUALLY push back towards the enemy side.

Here is a picture of freezing from the purple side:
[http://i49.tinypic.com/jtrps7.png]

It is important to note that the tower range is circular. On the purple side, the tower is closer to the upper side of the map, so when freezing, I make sure to pull creeps downwards in order to stay near my tower and not attract tower aggro at the same time.

Here is a picture of freezing from the blue side:
[http://i48.tinypic.com/34eb3pw.png]

Again, note that I draw the creeps onto the side of the lane furthest away from the tower itself. Another note is that this may no longer be as possible or advised as minions now deal more damage due to the removal of the tough skin and indomitable masteries. You should only be freezing extensively if you don't plan on trading or have high sustain. If you don't plan on trading, that either means: you're winning by a lot and your laner cannot risk moving that far up the lane OR you are far behind and plan on disengaging your laners every attempt at trading at your tower. You should be willing to stop freezing if your laner becomes too aggessive since you can't afford to take too much damage.


Level 3-4

You should continue to AA harass if you can get away unpunished. If you don't get punished, you'll soon find that your opponents will burn out the majority of their health pots and be killable. Most laners which however choose to retaliate with their combos at these levels.
You should have AT LEAST one skill point in each skill at this point. When they choose to retaliate, you wait for them to drop 1-2 parts of their combo on you before retaliating. This is important to proc the stun component of your Equilibrium Strike since you will be on a lower % of health than your opponent. You should only start retaliating once any debuffs (attack speed/attack damage reductions) wear off of you. Open off with Equilibrium Strike immediately activating Hiten Style afterwards. You should be able to get 1-2 auto-attacks off before they start backing away. Keep auto-attacking until they are of range. Follow up with Bladesurge and another auto-attack. This will be your trading tool against MOST match ups. You'll find that you come out even or even ahead in some trades with this simple combo. The best part is, you have one of the better sustain skills in the game and will pull ahead through sheer sustain. Avoid using your Equilibrium Strike if it procs the slow; this is the reason why Irelia should be focusing on counter-trading rather than initiating trades.


Level 5-6

If you've followed the outlined trading at level 3-4, you should start pulling ahead of your opponents. Most of their health pots should've been burned by now, if not, the last one should be ticking away as we speak. You can probably just continue trading like that until your EXP bar is at about 75-80% through level 5. At this point (or even earlier if you're pushed to your tower) you should try to push heavily and gain an EXP advantage on your opponent. This is your prime chance to kill your opponent (if you haven't killed him yet). The moment you hit level 6 you should initiate a trade like this:
Bladesurge reset onto a low hp minion --> Equilibrium Strike (stun or slow it doesn't matter) --> Hiten Style --> AA --> AA --> Transcendent Blades (using all 4 blades) --> AA --> chase/flash/Bladesurge to finish off
You should be able to kill your laner from about 60-65% hp most of the time with that simple combo. Being able to judge when you can kill opponent will come with experience. Make sure you try to push for the level 6 advantage on an opponent, especially the ones who are an even lane with you.

Trading

So what is trading? Trading is the act of dealing damage to your opponent while receiving damage from them as well. A trade is won if you did more damage to their EHP (effective health points) than they did to yours. Just to clarify the concept of EHP, if Warwick has 500 health and you were playing Jarvan also with 500 health, you did not win the trade if you dealth 200 damage to him while he did 100 damage to you. Although you outdamaged him in terms of true HP, your champion does not have sustain and his does. Obviously this is where it gets a bit cloudy because if you all in and kill a sustain champion, their EHP was put to waste and thus you have won the trade. Your optimal aim during any trade is to turn it into harass where you receive no damage but simply get "free" damage of onto your opponent. Obviously this is not always possible, so realistically you should aim to win trades by taking the same % of EHP from them as they did from you. So if you had 1000 health and took 300 damage, you would be aiming to deal 1200 damage to your opponent if they had 4000 health.

Effective trading requires you to evaluate what kind of advantages you have over your opponent and what they have over you.

Advantages:
What sort of advantages can be possessed? There's a few main ones I'll run through here. I will in all cases below assume that the lane is even and not imbalanced in any way already (kills/cs advantage)

Health:
This one's pretty obvious right. If you have more health than your opponent, you have a health advantage. If you have more health than them and trade, they'll most likely run out of health first. You need to consider a champion's EHP rather than their true HP. EHP is affected by armor and in cases of prolonged trades, sustain. I think we've all seen a few cases where someone is trying to finish off a low Olaf but his lifesteal combined with his passive makes him extremely difficult to finish off. This would be an example of extended EHP and an extreme case of sustain/lifesteal EHP. Although some people like to bring sustain vs. non sustain into a different category, I believe it all falls under EHP since sustain is simply health that isn't guaranteed.


Kit:
The reality of league is that some champions possess things in their kit which simply beat the things some other champions have in their kits. For example, Teemo hard counter's auto-attack reliant melee champions because he has range and a blind. If you trade with teemo as an auto-attack reliant melee, you generally lose the trade. Consider how each element of your kit and your opponents kit interacts with each other and if you have an even lane, advantageous lane or disadvantageous lane.


Levels:
This one might sound like a no brainer, but the amount of people who don't pay attention to this and die is amazing. It's a little more complex than just looking at the number above your opponents health, but a lot of the time it actually is that simple. To make it clear, don't fight someone who's higher level than you because their abilities do more damage than you. The levels advantage is the fundamental drive between cheese strats that Lee Sin or Riven can perform.

Now obviously you can just read a number and tell if someone is higher, equal or lower level than you right. But in between those levels, how can you tell? If you haven't left lane yet and haven't missed or taken any other exp yet: you'll be ahead in exp if your lane is pushed towards their tower, and behind if they're pushing towards your tower. This is simply because if you're being pushed, less of their minions have died and more of yours have died. An easy way to gain an advantage is to push your lane early to gain a level 2 or 3 advantage on your opponent and surprise them with a burst of strength. Although levels start to become less important as the game drags on, there are a few key levels which still give you a large increase in strength. The first being the levels 1 through to 3. Champions probably double or triple in strength from level 1 to 3. All of the following levels are just the level before you gain the next point in your ultimate. So they are: levels 5 to 6, 10 to 11 and 15 to 16. So at the end of the day, read the situation of your lane and determine if your opponent is about to hit a key level or not before trading with them; because I've seen so many lanes thrown away from someone engaging on a level 6 when they're level 5.


Lane momentum:
This actually intertwines with the last point a little bit. The state of your lane actually contributes a large deal to your strength. I've already told you that if you're pushing you will have more exp and if you're pushed you will have less. But another significant factor that people forget is minions. If you're pushing, you will have a large amount of minions whereas your opponent will have a smaller amount. First off, every time you auto-attack a champion, you draw aggro from all enemy units in range of you (towers and minions). So if both you and your lane opponent choose to auto-attack each other, you will gain a lot of damage simply from having more minions on your side to deal more damage. So at the end of the day, fighting in a pushed lane is almost always advantageous (with the exception of people who have AoE healing abilities i.e. Renekton).


Cooldowns:
This is the key to winning ANY lane. Even in counter match up's it's possible to beat people simply by tracking their cooldowns. When your opponent uses a key damage ability to last hit or misses it on you, you now have an advantage over them because they're one skill down. For example, if Warwick uses his Hungering Strike on a cannon minion to heal, you would win any trade with him if you chose to initiate now. Keep a rough track of when the abilities come back up again because obviously you don't want to stay around long enough for Warwick to have his Hungering Strike come back up. In the same sense, keep track of bigger cooldowns such as Champion Ultimates and Summoner Spells. Having flash/ignite down is a huge detriment to any all in fight. Similarly, fighting while a champion's ultimate is down is a sure way to beating them.

Out of all the advantages, this is probably the golden and most important one. Remember to bait out people's abilities before you trade with them. Whether you wait for them to use it on minions or for them to miss it, try to waste as much of their skills as possible before trading. Another notable cooldown to remember is that Jax's Counterstrike has a massive 17 second cooldown. Once he has used this ability he will be vulnerable for the next 17 seconds.

Warding

Where to Ward

Blue side:

[http://i49.tinypic.com/24giu7p.png]

This is your all-purpose ward on blue side. It allows you to see middle lane champions coming up to gank and the jungler as well if your lane is balanced in the middle. You are protected from all river ganks. You need to be wary of ninja ganks (the jungler slips into the lane bushes when you're pushed up). If you're playing defensively on blue side you may be able to skip warding altogether unless you're scared of ninja ganks, in which you ward the lane bushes. Note: duo queues and general tanky early junglers such as Rammus OR Maokai can still dive you easily from behind.



[http://i45.tinypic.com/ohvmuc.png]

This is an aggressive ward. You can usually get away with just warding here if your mid lane wards the entrance to wraiths on the purple side or wards the Baron bush. You will see most of the jungler's ganks since they will be coming from their side of the map. If you don't have a mid lane who wards extensively, you need to make sure that the opponent does not see you warding here. If they do, they'll most likely tell the jungler to gank from river.




Purple side:

[http://i45.tinypic.com/16lbwnb.png]

This is the purple side all-purpose ward. It's deep within the river so you can actually protect your mid lane from both jungle and top ganks if they choose to roam. Although this protects you from almost all blue jungler ganks (since they will come from river), they can enter your jungle via wraiths and come through tribush. Your jungler may choose to ward this wraiths entrance, in which this ward will be the only ward you need to stay safe.



[http://i50.tinypic.com/24m52mg.png]

The same tribush ward. If you're playing defensively on purple, this will be the only ward you need. Unless the jungler for some reason (like if he knows this ward is here) chooses to walk into your jungle via wraiths through to red and around to double golems, you will see most ganks coming. This will not protect you from river ganks.

Mid Game

What should be happening?
In most cases, you should have your core offense item completed at about 20 minutes at the latest. If you have not completed your core offense item at this point then consider yourself somewhat behind. You will need to pick up some durability before you can finish your offense items. Pick up a giants belt (optimally) and a few pieces of resist. From here, depending on how the game is going you may need to finish defensive items before resuming. A good way to measure is to see how trigger happy both teams are to team fighting. A single giant's belt simply isn't enough to keep you alive if you're the primary initiator in 5v5 fights. However, if you've already got a primary initiator and both teams are still in laning phase, finish your offense item because it'll be more useful in a 1v1 or 2v2 skirmish at top. With a completed offense item, you should be able to outduel any top laner as long as you haven't fallen too behind.


Killing your Opponent
Your full combo should be doing at LEAST 60% of your laner's HP assuming you have BotRK. If they've bought sustain then you can continue trading them until you outsustain them. Constantly look for opportunities to kill your opponent. With BotRK it's very easy to catch your laner out. If they've built heavy defense (i.e. warmogs + warden's mail) then you can look to ask for ganks from mid or jungle to kill your laner. If you get a gank, you need to make sure you take at least 1 tower in the push since the enemy team may seek to take dragon while your jungler is at top.

How to end Laning Phase
Laning phase will end when you can comfortably leave lane. This will happen when there is a large gap between your tower and the enemy tower. When you push a lane out, it will snowball continually towards the enemy tower until it gets there. Once there the tower will push the minions back, generally resetting it. When there is 1 or 2 towers missing in a lane, the distance between them is significant enough that you can roam in the time a lane is pushed. You can roam due to the significantly increased time it takes for the wave to come back to your tower or your side of the map. So, simply put, laning phase is over once you take your opponents tower or they take yours, preferably the former. You can usually aggress and kill your opponent a few times before getting BotRK. If you're having trouble killing your opponent, ask for a red buff from your jungler (purple side) or try to steal the enemy red buff (blue side). You can most of the time end laning phase when you get your choice of offense item. Ending it anywhere before then forces you to roam without your core item, which can still be done in certain situations (super weak early game champions like nasus). You should be able to push and take the tower just from the few windows that you get to push directly onto the tower after killing an opponent.


What can I do now?
Firstly, your lane opponent should go into "freeze the lane and farm" mode at top. If this happens, you'll 100% be able to roam safely. He should be fairly intimidated by you and let you push since he wont want to fight you. Push the wave out. If he decides to push, you should farm the enemy champion because they'll be heavily overextended.
You should proceed to gank the middle or bottom lane. Your top laner will most likely either push their lane and follow you or continue split pushing top. Asking about ward locations will help you out a lot when ganking, so dont forget to communicate with your team (nicely!). Even if you don't succeed in killing the lane, just you being down there will increase the pressure towards the lane and make them play defensively, allowing your team to farm comfortably. You can gank both bottom and middle but they'll most likely be on the defence after your first gank.
If you killed the laners that you chose to gank, you can now choose to:
  • Force a dragon with your team if your lanes are losing. Since they're losing their lane, they don't want to end laning phase because they want to continue farming. You don't want to take away farm from them or end laning phase. No top lane player in their right mind (in solo queue) would let 10-15 minions push into their tower (denying themselves) when their laner disappears without ward coverage or a very good reason. If you do this quickly enough, your enemy top lane will not be able to react fast enough. They'll probably already have their team yelling at them for not calling MIA and next thing they know there are frantic pings at dragon. If you killed the bottom laners, there'll be no chances that they can contest you. If you killed the mid laner, there is a larger chance they will try to contest or at least poke.
  • Push down a tower with your team if they're winning their lane. Since they are winning their lane, they'll happily have you come down to secure the push on the enemy tower since they will probably be done with laning phase as well.
  • Go back to your lane if the top laner has chosen to push heavily while you roamed. You don't want to risk your tower if you've already secured a dragon/tower for your team by killing the laners. Your team often don't NEED you to kill the dragon/tower itself.


Initiating team fights
You'll be initiating quite a few team fights for you team unless there's already a more solid initiation on your team. Most team fights will involve you isolating and killing a target when they mess up, thus resulting in an all-out team fight when the enemy team tries to save the member you isolated. The main thing you need to consider here is the exact same thing you looked for when starting a fight in the laning phase: a clear advantage. For example, if you see there is a 4 person push at mid and their ADC just finished farming bot and will probably walk through the river to join up with them, you could probably attempt to catch out the ADC. You should be aiming to isolate and kill a target (the killing part should be easy) which should set your team considerably ahead in an all-out fight. A lot of this is using your own judgement. For example, I've had games where I know that I could obliterate the enemy ADC in about 2 seconds, so the moment he was anywhere in range of me, I would just make him disappear. This included times when the entire enemy team was right next to him. If I know I can isolate and kill an important target, then I should usually go for the kill (keeping escapes in my back pocket).
Team fights can also start at the primary objective at this stage: the dragon. Again you should be starting this fight be isolating and killing the high priority targets if they get too close. After initiating for your team, you should no longer be the primary tank. Assuming that you took a good 40-50% (or more) of your hp as damage during the first few seconds of the team fight, you should be making your way out. Enemy minions are your best friend. At this stage, your Q should be on a relatively low cooldown, so once you have used all of your abilities and (hopefully) killed the enemy ADC, you should be making your way to the nearest escape.

Your escapes at this stage include:
  • Walking up to a wall and flashing over it
  • Walking into a nearby enemy minion wave and + , hopefully killing it and continuing to do so if needed to gain ground. Note: you should be using this as much as possible since it's the lowest CD escape.
  • Approaching any jungle camp wall from the right angle should allow you to ward over the wall and onto a jungle creep and gain ground.
  • Last if not least, if the focus has switched or you just don't have any other way of escaping: just walk out. Face tank any damage that is still coming your way and just walk out.

Late Game

You should now have at least one of the core offense items and 2 or more defense items (warmogs, randuins, spirit visage, wits end, sunfires cape, frozen heart)


Your primary role at this stage should be to slay the ADC/APC who are hiding in the back line. Alternately you could peel for your ADC if you were destroyed in the laning stage and went for the build. If you kill their jungler somehow, forcing baron or just baiting it would be beneficial. Baron is the number one noob trap in lower ELO's. The biggest difference in lower ELO relative to the upper bracket is the sychronisation of team member's thoughts. You can bait baron very easily if your entire team is willing to commit to killing baron and still turning to fight the enemy if they force a team fight (peel off if necessary). The next major difference is that lower ELO teams will usually have lower amounts of gold and thus lack the ability to kill baron efficiently and are at a higher risk of dying more often. Always peel off baron to fight if it's necessary and never try to do baron if you don't have the sufficient items. Try to set up pushes and group. You should be initiating for your team at this stage unless you have a more solid initiation on your team (malphite, ashe, leona, nocturne).

At this stage in the game, a lot of people will be approaching near end game builds. That means that one wrong move could mean your death. should be your best friend when the passive is up. When the passive is down, I can't stress enough that it's probably not worth the slot when it's down. There should be quite a few friendly and enemy Guardian Angels up as well. Avoid overcommitting to killing a target with Guardian Angel as that will ultimately set you behind. In some cases, it's more beneficial to let a priority target with GA live on low life as that will zone them from the fight. At this stage, initiations will need to be based off the same concept as mid game. Although your escapes will generally be limited. Engagements at this stage should only be initiated on a forced fight or a clear advantage (really clear). By forced fights I mean those where you need to contest baron, defend the inhibitors or you get engaged upon (which really isn't a part of initiation). The most important target at this stage will generally be the ADC. So a Flash + Equilibrium Strike initiation and follow up onto an ADC could generally mean the end of a game, one way or another.

Team Fights

I mentioned this earlier, but your primary role in a team fight should be to kill the highest damage target (the ADC/APC). Flash + Equilibrium Strike with a full duration stun onto their ADC will probably win the game in late game (assuming you aren't really far behind). Keep in mind that you shouldn't tunnel vision a target excessively. If you can jump onto the enemy ADC and hurt them enough to zone them out of a fight, you don't need to chase if your spells are down. Peeling your ADC is probably the most important thing now that their ADC is out of the fight. You should never blow any of your cool downs on enemy bruisers or supports unless they're the only ones left after the team fight (can't count the amount of times I've had to ignite a warwick post-teamfight).

Also mentioned earlier, but you should be the one leading the charge into battle for your team unless someone else will. There generally isn't a situation where you HAVE to die, unless the team fight is really close. It's not worth charging into the enemy team, die and then wait for your team to do the rest. Tank for as long as you can and get out if you're getting low. Once you're low, don't leave immediately but stay around to clean up if the fight keeps going (unless you're so low that you can't do anything).

When team fighting, your focus will be very subjective and you will be the judge of who to focus, since there isn't a 100% correct order of focus every game. A few examples could be:

Standard late game all out fight (your jump on their carries and their bruisers jump on your carries):

ADC --> APC --> Off-tank --> Support --> Main-tank

  • ADC - for obvious reason. They'll be outputting the most damage and are the highest threat to your team.
  • APC - because they'll have blown their CD onto your team or you. They are vulnerable for a short period of time after this and should be killed during this time.
  • Off-tank - because they're most likely killing if not killed your ADC and APC. They are the next highest source of damage.
  • Support - The reason I killed the support before the main-tank is that by this point, if your team has been mostly wiped out then you should try to pick up the easy kill on the support rather than wasting resources on killing the main tank. If your team is still alive and have enough fire-power to kill the main tank, then it doesn't REALLY matter who you kill first because they'll both die to your ADC anyway and the team fight is already won.
  • Main-tank - They'll often be a solid initiate/hard CC initiate and will not carry a lot of damage. What they do have is a TONNE of durability. They'll probably waste your time if you don't have any strong damage (ADC) or they're already very low already. It's often more beneficial to even just ignore the main-tank and push towers while the enemy team is down.

OR

ADC --> APC --> Top lane off-tank --> Jungle off-tank --> Support

  • ADC - again for obvious reasons.
  • APC - same reasons as the first scenario
  • Top lane off-tank - this is a bit subjective and generalised, but if both bruisers on the enemy team are off-tanks, it's generally better to aim the top lane off-tank. This is due to them being a bigger threat since they will most likely have acquired more gold than the jungler. They will have superior damage due to their consistent ability to farm at top and be stronger than the jungler. Obviously if the jungler is 15-1 then they'll be a higher threat and should be focused first. The point here is that you focus the off-tank that is MORE of a threat.
  • Jungler off-tank - will often have less gold than the top lane off-tank and thus be less of a threat. Should still be killed so your carry can be safe.
  • Support - They'll probably already be half-way across the map if the team fight went sour. If they're sticking around, you can pick up a free kill for the ace, baron, push or win.

These focus routes are a good template to follow during a typical late game team fight. During the stages leading up to this, it is up to you to judge who is the HIGHEST threat and eliminate them. If you catch people out it is generally better to just blow your CD's to kill them unless they're the main-tank. If people are missing from team fights, just go the the highest threat and kill them. Make sure to not use ALL of your abilities if the ADC has not showed up yet. It's not uncommon for a strong ADC to wait in the back lines until you're softened up THEN coming in to clean you up and probably mop the rest of your team too. There may be times when the jungler or top lane are extremely fed and build glass cannon, in these times you might want to kill them before the ADC.

Your focus should be eliminating the highest threat to your team. High threat targets who has less durability will be more important that high threat targets who have more durability.


MISSION BRIEFING!!

I'll quickly run through some details and combos you might want to keep in your head while diving certain ADC.

The combo you should use on ADC unless stated otherwise is:

--> --> AA --> AA --> enemy ADC disengage skill --> Wait for CD and jump onto them again --> --> AA --> AA --> to finish her off not already dead.




Difficulty: Medium-Hard

Ashe is the queen of kite for good reason. She's actually one of the least mobile ADC in the game. Ashe does NOT possess a gap closer. You should be able to dive onto her and shred through her fairly quickly. Her Enchanted Crystal Arrow will not even stun you noticeably since it will be at point blank typically and your passive will make this short time even shorter. The problem is if Ashe survives your initial burst, she'll make it very difficult for you to catch up to her again without blowing or waiting for the next . Her damage is mediocre as she has no steroids but she's the queen of catching you out. If you get caught in their jungle, Ashe could keep you slowed until their whole team moves in from across the map. Overall though, you SHOULD be able to rip her up before she can do anything in most stages of the game.

You should use the standard combo on her. She will often survive the first round of standard combo. What you need to keep in mind is that cooldown is 2 seconds longer than . What you need to do is wait for both CD to come off and using both skills in conjunction. Once you use your Q, Ashe will kite you and create distance again very easily without your E.



Difficulty: Easy-Medium

Caitlyn has mediocre damage due to her weak steroid (passive). She has long ranged and you need to make sure she doesn't poke you too much before engaging. Like any ADC, she can whittle your health down fairly quickly with just auto-attacks here and there. Her ability to kite you is far inferior to Ashe. She has ONE slow which is also her disengage/escape ability. The slow will not last long enough to keep you off her, Caitlyn should be easy prey. If she has her you may have trouble catching up to her without CC.

She's got long range so don't get poked, her damage is mediocre and her disengage is too weak to effectively peel you.




Difficulty: Easy-Medium

He deals a lot of magical and physical burst during the mid game, don't get caught off guard by this. He has a fairly solid disengage which can create enough gap between you and him. He generally builds a too so he won't be any faster than you. In fact, the initiator mastery (even at 1 point) puts you slightly faster than him and allows you to Q again. Use the standard combo and you should be able to catch him fairly easily.




Difficulty: Easy

So this guy deals a TONNE of damage in a straight duel. He may at some point be able to just duel you straight up and win. Once you get your durability items though (randuin's in particular) you should be able to facetank what he has and kill him. He actually has no strong gap closer so just:

+ --> --> + AA + AA




Difficulty: Medium-Hard

Ezreal is one slippery little man. The problem here is that, your can be nullified by his Arcane Shift. How is this different to any other disengage ability you ask? Ereal's has the only BLINK disengage ability in all of the ADC. You heard it, the ONLY one. What this means is that, if Ezreal is fast enough, he can E immediately after you Q and gain distance before you can EVER apply your . You should still be able to catch him after he does this but sometimes you actually won't be able to. He also builds so your speeds will be the same as yours to Corki.

This blink makes diving him actually pretty hard as the distance means you need to wait for the next bladesurge (or minions in the area). He is definitely one of the more difficult to dive ADC especially with his trinity force procs being applied on his long range Q. Standard combo if he's slow and dumb. If he's fast enough, you can still use the standard combo when you've caught him out, but remember, if he has peel backing him up, you won't catch him. You need to try and abuse nearby minions as free gap closers and snag onto Ezreal. Once he has used his Arcane Shift, you'll be free to just demolish him.




Difficulty: Easy-Medium

Graves has one of the higher physical bursts in the game while also carrying high AoE. He's definitely a competitive pick a lot of the time, even after the nerfs to his attack speed. He has little utility and really has trouble stopping you. He will build most of the time and be faster than you. What he doesn't have is a large disengage ability. His disengage ability is also his steroid in team fights and furthermore it's a very small range.

Once he uses this disengage as his steroid in a team fight, he should be a sitting duck and you can use any sort of combination of skills to kill him. If he chooses to use his Quickdraw to disengage you, funny thing is that you can still him after he used his tiny dash. Standard combo after that and he should be dead.




Difficulty: Medium

This guy is basically a higher damage version of with even LESS escape. He's a sitting duck at all stages in the game. But as I said, he has higher damage than Draven. Even after you've gotten your Armor items, he can still easily rip you to shreds if you walk in his ooze for a long duration. His ooze furthermore isn't an applied slow and bypasses your . It's simply an area on the ground that slows you. Tough cookie. After you've killed him, there's still more to come. His passive deals a HUGE chunk of true damage. You need to juke this with your onto nearby minions or champions and just somehow avoid taking the full hit, because it's TRUE damage and a LOT of it.

Standard combo should be more than enough, don't get kited into a choke point where his ooze will destroy you.




Difficulty: Easy

If I put Draven and Graves together, what do I get? A strange little champion which has no escape, heavy physical damage and a lot of AoE. Standard combo will be more than enough to pick her off. The main issue with MF a lot of the time is that her passive allows her to kite you quite fiercely until you put it down. Her far superior move speed with passive up makes her a pain to catch. You should aim to pop her passive by using a blade to damage her from afar and reduce her MS.




Difficulty: Medium

I would treat her the same as Corki and Caitlyn put together. A very dangerous ADC during late game. You need to make SURE she doesn't get to poke you for long durations. She has the highest range in the game at level 18 not including temporary range extensions (Twitch, Kogmaw). She has a fairly big gap closer and will be extremely slippery if she manages to get kills/assists. Her disengage resets upon a kill/assist so you need to try and zone her from the fight completely. If she's getting a kill/assist on anyone, it's probably going to be you. Standard combo/Ezreal like combo will be the ideal way to take out Tristana.





Easy-Medium

This champion just has no escape at all. He's the longest range in the game if he uses his ultimate. Standard combo and he has absolutely no escape so you can simply go to town on this little rat. Not much to say here besides that he's a sitting duck.




Hard-Impossible!!!!

This little heroine might be easy prey for you during the early to mid game, but now that we're in late game, she is the queen among ADC. Her disengage is a knock back, one of the unique CC that bypasses your passive. Furthermore she has percentage of maximum health true damage. You need to be using your randuins on her ASAP while making sure that there's a frozen heart on your team. The only way to slow her down is to slow her attack speed down. After all this, her ultimate gives her the ability to stealth every 2 seconds with the use of her tumble. The stealth only lasts a second or so which might make you think that it's not that bad but trust me; the mini-stealths are the most disorienting thing in the game. If you have auto-targetting on (the thing where your character auto-attacks the nearest enemy in range), the stealth will break your focus on her. If you're trying to manually keep up with her, the stealth just allows her to pull an INFINITE amount of juking on you while positioning her disengage to even stun you. This girl is a NIGHTMARE. Try to pull the standard combo, your best hope is to randuins her and hope to god you survive her ultimate duration. After that she's a sitting duck, but if you think surviving her ultimate duration is easy, you're quite the optimist.

Tips and Tricks

Farming at tower:
  • Melee minions = 2 tower hits + 1 auto-attack
  • Caster minions = 1 tower hit + 1 auto-attack

There will be a point when you can't kill the caster minions after 1 tower shot, which you should start using to collect them. It has a low mana cost and also improves your sustain.


Killing your lane and what you should do after:
does a total of about 360-370 damage which equates to about 250-260 after armor. Ignite will also deal another 170 true damage. You should be able to bring your opponent down from about 60% hp at level 6. Ignite will also give you +5AD +5AP when you use it, so make sure to use it early if you're going for an all in kill as it will scale your other abilities just that little bit more. If you killed your opponent (or even just brought him low enough to send him back) you should shove the wave into their tower. If you do, the wave should reset at about half-way unless you had a HUGE wave. This denies your creeps to their tower and pulls you ahead in exp and gold.

Bladesurge
What makes Irelia such a great carry slayer is her stick and gap closing ability, all rolled into her .

The Basics:
Irelia's bladesurge ability resets upon a kill so learning to judge the amount of damage your bladesurge does is crucial. It's possible to reset of enemy champions and onto further enemy champions creating an almost Katarina-like reset effect. Bladesurge is used as a free gap-close in lane and fights if you can just use a low enemy minion as a free jump into battle. Alternately hiten style, sheen proc and transcendent blades can all be used to artificially lower the health of jump targets to get the reset. The basic combo is just to simply use a low minion in lane to jump to and initiate the trade with your opponent.

The In and Out Combo:
A more advanced version of the basic gap close combo. This is really effective against people who don't have the CC to re-engage on you, thus giving you free damage onto them in lane. On the downside, this combo costs more mana and is thus not as sustainable.

While the basic combo requires you to have one low hp target to jump to as a free gap close, this combo will require you to have two. In lane, you can choose to lower two minions' HP to a suitable level before initiating an "in and out" trade. Optimally you'd want to have a caster minion and melee minion who aren't taking aggro to have their health lowered. Using bladesurge you jump to the caster minion and initiate your standard trading routine depending on the scenarios listed below for trading. Once the enemy begins trying to counter-trade you you can utilise the lowered melee minion to jump back out and disengage their trading abilities and possibly re-engage with another bladesurge + auto onto them after their abilities have been wasted. This is particularly effectively against someone like Jax to waste his counter strike and open up a large window of opportunity for the next trade. It's not as effective and not recommended against laners who have a skill-shot gap close to re-engage with i.e. Jarvan. The difference between Leap Strike and Jarvan's EQ combo is that the AoE and skillshot nature of Jarvan's combo extends the range slightly whereas Leap Strike is a target with set range which you should be out of.

Chasing:

This is an example of the artificial lowering of minion health with other tools while chasing; it's another use of the basic gap close combo. Once you have your , + should kill caster minions instantly giving you a FREE gap close which can be used again and again. If you're chasing someone and they're running towards their base, you should be cheering. As soon as you bump into a minion wave you should get at LEAST 1 bladesurge to catch up to them. If it gets to a point where your W + Q to casters don't kill them in one hit any more (it really shouldn't) then using your to get the casters low enough to do so will have the same effect.

Trading:

Most trades should occur in one of the three scenarios. I'll explain what you should be doing in each case.

100% hp vs. 100% hp
This will usually be the case when you reach lane and maybe even up to level 3 if both laners are passive (shouldn't be the case! You better be poking that laner when he last hits!).

If you're both on 100% hp, the stun component of will still occur. From here:

--> --> Auto-attack (AA) --> AA --> AA until they begin retreating and you are out of AA range --> Q --> AA

note: when you go for this trade, you need to make SURE that the enemy laner hasn't taken any minion aggro and lost a MINIMAL amount of HP. This will still cause the slow to proc and ruin your combo. If you need to, sandbag your health a bit.

90% vs. 95%
So if you continually poke your laner when he last hits, he'll gradually drop lower than you in HP. In most cases, if you continually poke with auto-attacks, your enemy laner will retaliate. If you KEEP AUTO-ATTACKING (without active, the enemy laner will begin trading back with you. Most likely, he'll try to abuse your early game at this point and unleash a full combo on you when you continually AA harass. After he does this, he should have brought your health down more than his. This is when you:

straight away as he unleashes the combo on you (make sure your health is lower!) --> --> AA --> AA --> AA until they retreat and you are out of AA range --> Q --> AA

This is up to visual judgement as the stun/slow is based of % and not actual numbers. When his health looks like it's higher than yours visually (not numbers!) then you should go for the E.

85% vs. 60%
After a few trades like the above ones, you should be pulling ahead considerably on your opponent. At this stage, they'll be zoned from the minions and will be reluctant to trade with you. If this is the case, abuse the fact that resets on kill. Keep an eye on low health enemy minions that could potentially be FREE GAP CLOSERS. You should be backing up and baiting the enemy laner into last hitting again while watching enemy minions. If he comes close to a low hp minion:

onto the minion --> the laner prcing the slow --> --> AA (making sure to move at the same time to keep up with him since he'll still be moving, unlike the stun) --> AA --> Q when they're out of AA range --> AA

If the enemy laner is brave enough to just walk up to you and last hit:

procing the slow --> --> AA (again making sure to move between AA to keep up with the laner) --> AA --> Q when out of AA range --> AA

Final Comments

Thanks for reading my guide! I hope that I've taught you grasp one of my favourite champions or learn some new tricks on an old champion. If you have any questions or queries on the opinions I showed in the guide feel free to leave a comment. I will also be adding a match up section to the guide later on as I have more time. Give me a thumbs up if you learnt something, had success or just like me because I'm awesome. Give me a thumbs down if you think my ideas are bad or just don't like me, just make sure you tell me in the comments! And lastly check out my new facebook page to have more direct contact with me (http://www.facebook.com/theycallmejstar). Thanks again!
Username
Don't have an account? Create One!