IntroductionHey guys! I've mained Irelia for about 5-6 months now and I've played her through the ups and downs of the nerfs over the season. Although she isn't a faceroll champion anymore, the potential of that same snowbally assassin you know and love is still there. I'm currently in Gold IV.
A bit about me:
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.
- 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
- Has slow sustain which can by 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 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 initiation ()
- 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.
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.
- 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 don't 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 Youmouu's Ghostblade and Randuin's Omen actives in the item's 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 shouldn't 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 it's reduced viability due to mastery changes from season 2.
- Adjusted Mid Game section to reflect on new items.
May 5th, 2013
- Cleaned up Item's 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 Item's Section.
- Changed starting items info regarding mega potions start and fortitude elixir start.
May 23th, 2013
- Added those damn rune page images.
MasteriesI run 9-21-0 almost every game. Although I respect that there may be people who delve into the offense or utility tree, I don't find damage or mana management an issue on Irelia and believe the focus should still be revolved around durability.
- Summoner's Wrath - AD/AP bonus after ignite. Can improve ghost if you take it.
- Butcher - +4 AD vs. minions. Good for last hitting early game.
- Fury - spare point which boosts AS which scales your W.
- Deadliness - 12AD at level 18. It's just a constant boost of AD per level which unlocks Weapon Expertise.
- Weapon Expertise - 8% armor pen. A large amount of Irelia's damage early to mid game is still physical damage. Penetration boosts your damage!
- Durability - 108 HP at level 18, it's free HP!
- Hardiness and Resistance - 6 points giving you 6 armor and 6 MR. It's pretty much your early game boost. There's not much to get in the early defense tree.
- Veteran Scars - Free HP quint!
- Unyielding - scales down the damage of enemy champions. It works especially effective against AA/AS reliant champions.
- Block - Upgraded version of unyielding. It only applies to AA's so it's even further effective against AA/AS champions (i.e. Nidalee, Teemo, Jax)
- Juggernaut - It's the league of warmogs/HP atm. The extra health % will not be put to waste.
- Defender - It gives 1 MR + 1 ARMOR per champion. It's 5 MR + 5 ARMOR in a team fight. For an early team fight that's 10 resistances for 1 point of mastery. There's not many mastery points as strong as this.
- Good hands - As the initiator and front line of the team, you need to be alive as soon as possible for action to happen. I feel 10% off death time is critical in scenarios such as Baron rushes and counter barons.
- Reinforced armor - the reduced damage from crit strikes is your late game mitigation against ADCs. Another one point wonder.
- Honor guard - -3% damage taken. It's another decent mitigation ability that scales from the amount of damage you may take from ADC.
Points I didn't take that you might be questioning:
- Perseverance - It sounds like it could offer a fair bit of sustain but the catch is in "up to x amount of regen" which means it realistically doesn't offer as much as it states.
- Tough skin - It doesn't reduce minion damage anymore and only reduces jungle creep damage. Not worth.
- Tenacious - Irelia's tenacity is already at a high level and tenacious has diminishing values on her.
- Legendary armor - Provides good concepts on paper but the calculated values won't be high unless you stack resists. Stacking resists isn't as effective anymore and Irelia would rather stack health in the current meta. That's why juggernaut > legendary armor.
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.
RunesQuintessences 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.
- 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
- 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
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 . 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 . 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.
- 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.
- 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)
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.
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.
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're not getting kills with ignite, which does indeed make ignite worthless. If you're igniting people and they're 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's 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'll 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.
Other spells to consider:
I'm personally starting to believe ghost is superior to flash if you have enough experience as to allow you to survive lane and mid game without the utility of flash. Ghost actually far surpasses flash in terms of stick late game and will guarantee the death of their ADC every time no matter how heavy the peeling.
It can substitute for flash against high mobility champions such as:
Don't take against:
Pros and cons compared to flash
- 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.
- 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.
is 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
- 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).
- 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.
I feel as if the deciding factor in my opinion that Ignite > Exhaust in lane should warrant a larger explanation point. When we look the two summoner spells in terms of when they reach their maximum efficiency and how they can be nullified: ignite reaches maximum potential the moment you ignite your target. They IMMEDIATELY begin taking damage and have reduced healing. Exhaust reaches maximum efficiency when your opponent takes offensive action. 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.
There are two combinations which barrier can be used with and I'll talk about both.
Barrier + Ignite
This is one of the most scumbag summoner spell combinations possible in a 1v1 lane. They are the two most directly powerful to a duel since they both DIRECTLY add or subtract effective true HP from a target. With this combination you have huge lane presence and should NEVER lose your lane. The downside is that your utility in team fights and just small skirmishes of more than one person starts dropping. With more people, your utility drops even further. You actually just get kited to death by most ADC if you take this combination. Ashe will make you cry.
Pros and Cons compared to Flash
- Is the strongest defensive summoner for a bruiser. Every effective point of HP added by barrier is scaled up with your defenses.
- Allows you to win all in trades by default assuming opponent has flash.
- Provides huge opportunities to turn ganks around and surprise people.
- Is not countered by ignite like Heal is.
- Provides no utility.
- Can generally be thought of as a defensive summoner whereas flash has many offensive uses (baiting does not count as an offensive use for barrier).
- Makes you vulnerable to kiting.
- Makes you a lot more vulnerable early on when barrier doesn't provide a significant amount of health.
- Makes you VERY vulnerable to red buff or any kind of solid stick.
Flash + Barrier
Barrier does not have any direct OFFENSIVE power. Although Irelia is defense focused at times, ignite is still crucial to securing a kill. I personally feel barrier as a defensive spell similar to exhaust. If a duel was close, barrier wouldn't secure you a kill but ignite would. Ignite actually deals damage through barrier due to it's duration (5 seconds on ignite and 2 seconds on barrier). Again, I bring out the same argument of Exhaust vs. Ignite. Ignite reaches maximum effectiveness as soon as you ignite someone. Barrier only reaches full effectiveness if someone is damaging you. An ill timed barrier could potentially add no health and be completely wasted whereas ignite will ALWAYS deal damage. Overall, I just don't think Irelia needs more than Flash as a summoner spell.
Pros and Cons compared to Ignite:
- Can be used defensively.
- Adds to your durability if used to initiate.
- Removes your combat summoner and replacing it with an almost exclusively defensive summoner.
- Lowers your damage output.
- Makes you vulnerable to high healing champions.
- Does not secure kills.
- Provides you the opportunity to miss-time or completely miss using it as a result of baiting.
Barrier became everything heal wanted to be in season 2. Barrier is in most ways better than heal. The only exception is that Heal provides more team health than barrier.
Pros and Cons compared to flash
- Adds significantly to your self-healing, making it easy to set up in lane baits or gank baits.
- Adds to your all in ability, almost being used as an offensive summoner.
- Can turn the tides of a team fight due to it's AoE nature (heals the whole team).
- Without flash, you have no reliable escape. If you pick up this summoner, you either ward and play smart and never get caught out or you use the summoner to potentially turn around ganks for double kills.
- The healing effect can be ignited, reducing it's effectiveness. Most top laners will carry ignite as one of their summoners so timing can be hard to master,
- Makes you even more kitable, reducing your stick.
shouldn't be taken unless you are on the receiving end of an unbanned shen on the enemy team.
Without ignite, you'll need to remember that your all in power is a lot weaker than your opponent. You will need a large advantage on your opponent before you can kill them. Teleport is more about counter ganking other lanes and team play rather than lane domination; hence I would recommend staying away from teleport unless you are in a (competitive) team. With all this said, teleport is an extremely powerful spell which can turn the tide of games if used correctly with good map awareness.
Pros and Cons compared to ignite
- 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.
- 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.
is the best summoner spell on Irelia ever. Seriously. On a serious note severely diminishes the value of this spell. And no, I wasn't actually serious.
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%
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 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.
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
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 and , 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.
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
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 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 + and destroy him with true and magic damage anyway. With all this said, the true damage component is flat and not % (unlike 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.
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
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 .
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
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 can be used.
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 , you can choose to use each blade of 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.
Skill Order> > OR
- take your damn ultimate at levels 6, 11 and 16. It's pretty self explanatory.
- bread and butter skill. Max it by level 9.
- max Q if you're 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're 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'm winning my lane, how should I skill?
- 1st priority - it's pretty self explanatory. It's your ultimate and a major increase in burst damage. The self-healing and wave clearing is awesome too.
- 2nd priority - It's your main skill. This both increases your damage and sustain dramatically as your level it up. It's an offensive AND defensive spell. So whether you're dominating, even or losing a lane you should be levelling this skill primarily (excluding your ultimate).
- 3rd priority - If you're 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're using this spell for the utility of the stun/slow if you're winning.
Man this lane is tight, how should I skill?
- 1st priority - nothing's changed.
- 2nd priority - this hasn't changed either
- 3rd priority AND split evenly - By splitting these points evenly, you maintain a balance between utility and burst trading. It's good to lower the CD of Q, but if you're 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 hasn't changed.
- 2nd priority - true damage isn't 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 aren't reducing much of the magic damage this skill provides. You'll still be chunking them.
- 4th priority - They stacked armor! It's 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 levelling up Q can still be beneficial against squishy targets even though your top laner has armor.
I'm a mage in disguise, raaaaaah!
- 1st priority - STILL hasn't changed.
- 2nd priority - AM I HIGH? Nope. If your opponents are stacking armor HEAVILY, skill up like this and buy a sheen. You'll be bursting them for half their HP with just your E and sheen proc.
- 3rd priority - you can't 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!
Explanation of starting items:
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.
It's a very niche start against a few champions. Most AP champions choose to stick back and gain levels before they fight you thus making the early MR a little unnecessary. I feel sustain > MR even in an AP lane. People like Rumble and Elise may call for this though, it's your choice.
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).
This start gives you high snowball potential, moderate sustain and a ward. It's become my general start against any lane I'm unsure about. The elixir of fortitude simply offers really good baiting potential and clutch plays.
The Core Item:
+30 ability power
+30 attack damage
+30% attack speed
+15% critical strike chance
+12% movement speed
UNIQUE Passive: Your basic attacks have a 25% chance to slow your target's movement speed by 35% for 2.5 seconds.
After using an ability, your next basic attack deals bonus physical damage equal to 150% of your base Attack Damage. 2 second cooldown. Does not stack with Sheen or Lich Bane.
Unless you were absolutely wrecked in lane, no kills and very little CS, this is the item you should be aiming for. Even if you didn't snowball your lane, Trinity Force will be your mid game. I prefer to have this item when everybody's damage is still low, as the durability it provides isn't too high. Trinity Force provides a whole variety of stats. The thing is, every single stat provided is beneficial to Irelia. 30 AD speaks for itself; 30% attack speed should speak for itself too (if not, then Irelia is an attack-speed based damage dealer if you haven't noticed); 15% critical strike chance is boosting your potential DPS when you auto-attack, which you do a lot of; 250 health gives you a little bit of beef so you can survive mid game; 250 mana gives you that extra mana pool to just be able to cast your spells for longer; 12% movement speeds gives you the ability to gank mid laners and chase your top laners.
As soon as you get this item, top lane should be completely skewed in your favour. When you Q straight onto your laner (with W active), there's a 1 in 4 chance that the phage will proc and you'll get a kill. It's as simple as that. you should be aiming to get this item in between the 12 to 20 minute mark, any later than this and you've been slacking off! Ok maybe a few minutes later isn't too bad. But Trinity Force signals the start of your mid game. With this item, you should be forcing your laner back, taking his tower and beginning the roam fest to help your team (roaming mid for the laner and tower, roaming for their laners and towers, forcing dragons). It's hard to believe, but Trinity Force is probably the only damage item you NEED as Irelia.
NOTE: Trinity force is no longer as core as the description says. BoTRK is currently the God-item on Irelia. I've chosen not to remove Trinity Force/change the Core yet because I'm still expecting further changes/nerfs to BoTRK so it won't be worth me time changing my guide for a FoTM item. BoTRK still outclasses Trinity force in terms of dueling potential as it is right now post nerfs.
Blade of the ruined king is arguably a core item on Irelia now. I still haven't full accepted the change of core item yet because I have attachment issues and still cling onto triforce. Realistically I only build triforce 1/5 games on Irelia now while BoTRK on pretty much 100% of games. The main issue I experience is that it doesn't offer any durability at all and thus can delay your diving/team fight potential. It's gone through some huge power spikes and ups and down but has finally reached a fairly balanced state. It's no longer the God-Item on any bruiser, but on an AS based champion like Irelia it still provides great stats. The sustain brings you to post nerf Irelia sustain levels. The active helps you stick onto one champion really effectively and thus allows you to duel top lane super effectively. I'll admit I had trouble finishing people initially when rushing this item, but it makes you a titan in lane and still has almost equal kill potential.
EARLY GAME ROUTES
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 + --> OR
Get mercury treads and ONE of the above magic resist items. Chalice provides you with a more stable source of mana and allows you to lane sustain and farm forever because you can constantly use your hiten style to gain life while mana is being restored by chalice.
Season 3 has been kind to Spirit Visage. SV now provides a huge chunk of CDR and is one of the biggest MR items in the game now that Force of Nature was removed. Along with that it gives you health and improves the healing from your ultimate, hiten style and natural regeneration. It's a pretty good item now and is definitely worth the buy against a double AP comp or even just as a rounder item late game to combat the fed APC.
Wits end still offers you some trading ability and kill potential (not to say you can't kill dummies who throw themselves at you with the other items). It doesn't offer as much sustain as most options but it provides strong all in esp. in extended fights where you can AA a lot and maintain the 4 stacks.
Hexdrinker is something I would get against someone I need damage to kill. Singed and Cho'Gath are viable candidates for this if they haven't farmed or pulled ahead of me considerably. Singed in particular cries out for an early hexdrinker buy. This route provides you with a hefty chunk of MR against magic damage laners (singed, rumble, kennen, vladimir) not to mention the anti-burst shield. Similar to wits end, it doesn't provide much sustain. So it's probably not the best option against vlad unless you plan on all inning him after about 1-2 trades.
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.
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 + +
OR + +
+ 18 Armor
+ 24 Magic Resist
+15 Magic Resist
+8 Damage to nearby allied units
This item gives a whole bunch of auras that help out your team. Keep in mind that in TOTAL it gives 270 health, 30 armor, 39 MR and 8 AD to YOU.
+25 attack damage
+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 second and making the most use out of the AD, arpen and CDR it provides.
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 or any 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.
ITEMS TO CONSIDER:
+50 magic resistance
Blocks one negative spell every 45 seconds.
While it's a great item for MR, it's ridiculous to even think about getting this on Irelia. She will be one of the people engaging fights for the team. Most of the enemy team's CC can easily be dropped onto Irelia and 1 spell block won't mean much. Her passive further decreases the value of this item.
Looking at this analytically:
Banshee's veil costs 2715 gold. It offers 50MR, 375 health and 375 mana. For the purpose of Irelia, we'll leave it out the 375 mana as it doesn't contribute to her overall durability. If I purchase 2 negatron cloaks and 2 ruby crystals, I would achieve 96 MR, and 360 HP for a total cost of 2430 gold. So I get the same health but double the MR gain for a bit less. If you think about it, a lot of the cost in Banshee's Veil is associated with the fact that it has a spell shield. While a spell shield can win games on carries, it won't do much on Irelia. The way I see it, every CC/spell that is cast on Irelia is a win on your behalf. Because every CC spell put on Irelia has been de-valued by over 60%. A 3 second fear on your carry is instead used on you for 1 second. How is that not super-freaking awesome?
Don't get me wrong, Banshees Veil is a great item for squishies as it makes comboing spells from AP carries harder; but Irelia isn't the person to build BV.
+20% cooldown reduction
Nearby enemies suffer −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. It gives the second most armor in the game, debuff similar to randuins omen, 20% CDR and 500 mana. Arguably about 3.5k to 4k worth of stats for 2.8k.
- 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.
- boosts Irelia's mana making it even less of an issue
+20 attack damage
UNIQUE Passive: Your basic attacks slow your target's Movement Speed by 40% for 2.5 seconds. (30% for ranged attacks)
It offers more reliable stick than triforce but a lot less damage. It's viable to consider building this instead of triforce now that you have BoTRK as core damage item. It's also a lot more health which is the most effective defense in the current meta.
+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.
+55 attack damage
+36 magic resistance
Gain +1 attack damage for every 2.5% health missing.
If you would take magic damage which would leave you at less than 30% of your maximum health, you first gain a shield which absorbs up to 400 magic damage for 5 seconds. 60 second cooldown.
This item is fairly gold inefficient in terms of durability. It's advised to keep this item as a hexdrinker until late game when you have the spare gold to upgrade it to maw. The main upgrade from hexdrinker to Maw is the boost in AD and the passive.
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):
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.
UNIQUE Passive: Deals 40 magic damage per second to nearby enemies (400 range).
Provides some valuable stats. Without magic penetration runes/masteries, it'll only be dealing 20-30 damage. It's mainly used as a pushing tool. I suggest this item on Shen primarily as he needs a pushed lane to ultimate without losing a tower. Not a common item on Irelia for a reason. However, if you're losing your lane and just simply want to tank up, this item is a good start. It deal good sustained damage in mid game team fights and beefs you up. It's not a good item later on in the game and should be replaced.
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.
Unless there's an extremely good reason for it, this item isn't worth it's value in gold. The only person this will effect largely is the enemy ADC. With Randuin's you should have plenty of durability to survive the ADC's counter attack. I would only ever think of getting this item if the enemy team had a Jax top, tryndamere jungle along with a standard ADC, even then it would be second to Randuin's.
Unique Passive: You gain health regeneration equal to 1% of your maximum health.
This is the biggest HP item in the game. With health being the most effective way to become tanky now, this is one of the most popular and effective defensive items. I will usually rush this item second or even first if I'm losing lane. The sustain it offers just makes you unkillable in lane.
+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 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:
+30 magic resistance
Unique - Legion: Nearby allies gain +10 armor, +25 magic resist and +10 health regen. Nearby minions gain an additional 50% armor, magic resist and health regen.
This item is an extremely strong pick against AP opponents. It gives a total of 125 team MR and also boosts the buyer's resistances and health further. While this is commonly a support or jungler pick up, it's extremely powerful if you run into a double AP comp or an out of control AP mid. Pick this up if your support and jungler cannot afford to do so, it's stats will still make you tanky.
+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.
+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%.
If you ever need to stick with ninja tabi, this item will be your newest source of tenacity. It gives you a great amount of attack speed, a minor AD buff and most importantly the 10% CDR and 10% MS. This boosts your low CDR greatly and makes your Q even a lower CD. The MS stacks with your quints and you pretty much have ghost on permanently if you choose to also buy trinity force. It doesn't offer as much durability so unless you're far ahead, this item may set you too far behind in terms of tankiness.
+50 magic resistance
+20% cooldown reduction
Unique: Increases your healing, regeneration and drain effects on yourself by 20%
Now that it's made with a negatron cloak, it's one of the biggest MR items you can get. Although it doesn't provide a lot of health or MR, it's god a large CDR chunk on it too now. If you're up against an AP top, this item would perfectly slot into your build and allow you to increase your sustain, CDR and durability. Definitely a lot better than the spirit visage of season 2.
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!
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.
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.
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 does an absurd amount of damage at level 9. As targets begin building durability and health, the effectiveness of 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, and 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Early GameIrelia 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, even vlad). Avoid levelling up a skill immediately when you get to lane. Since you won’t 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 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 , , 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.
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 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:
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:
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.
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 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 immediately activating 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 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 if it procs the slow; this is the reason why Irelia should be focusing on counter-trading rather than initiating trades.
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:
reset onto a low hp minion --> (stun or slow it doesn’t matter) --> --> AA --> AA --> (using all 4 blades) --> AA --> chase/flash/Q 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.
Where to Ward
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 OR can still dive you easily from behind.
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.
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.
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.
What should be happening?
In most cases, you should have your completed at roughly 13-18 minutes if not earlier. You should be working towards your too. With this item and a giants belt, you should have skewed the lane heavily in your favour. You should be looking to end laning phase soon.
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 trinity force. 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 . 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 won’t 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 don’t 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 GameYou should now have + + /// or be working towards a third durability item. With active, you should be able to set up dives and play recklessly without much consequence (not too reckless).
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. 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 as well. Avoid overcommitting to killing a target with as that will ultimately set you behind. 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 + initiation and follow up onto an ADC could generally mean the end of a game, one way or another.
Team FightsI mentioned this earlier, but your primary role in a team fight should be to kill the highest damage target (the ADC/APC). + 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Ezreal also has an ability which debuffs your attack speed. ATTACK SPEED DEBUFF? GOOD GOD THAT HURTS. This makes diving him actually pretty hard as the debuff allows him to survive your true damage for longer periods. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Match UpsI'll be adding to this section continuously as I haven't played against all possible match ups yet, and where I have I might not have played it sufficiently to write in detail. Feel free to request match up that I have not mentioned.
- Easy - This lane should be a complete steam-roll for you. You have fairly high kill potential on the laner whilst they have less kill potential on you. Warning: Do not underestimate these lanes, they should be steam-rolls, but if you choose to play recklessly, they could still snowball out of control.
- Medium - This is the even match up. You both have matching levels of kill potential on each other. This lane is mostly based on skill. You are at no disadvantage in this lane (besides the obvious inherent early game weakness of Irelia).
- Hard - This lane will often have an advantage on you. Most of the champions here will be specialised laners (people who were made to dominate lane) and often do not have the same team fight presence as you do. This doesn't mean you go into lane and feed them though. The lane will often be extremely volatile and you will be on the disadvantageous side.
- Anything that sounds harder than hard - These lanes will usually be one sided lanes. You're probably looking at this because you can't figure out what difficulty Teemo is. Well he's probably the hardest lane you'll ever get. Laning phase only though.
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. I advise starting flat MR glyphs and either or against 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.
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. Start
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.
This guy has just simply been designed to outlane you. 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. In terms of dueling and damage, Darius is possibly the number one top lane champion as it stands. 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.
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 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.
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.
An early ninja-tabi will help against his heavy physical damage. Phage and heart of gold are viable options once he has his ultimate. I recommend farming hard and rushing a triforce if possible and roaming to gank.
Dr. Mundo has some fairly strong poke that costs him health. As long as you aren't wakling into all of these, they start draining his health pool unless he starts regrowth. If he does start regrowth, you should be able to stick to him and bully him starting at level 3/4. While you outlane him 1v1, his stick is ridiculous even without boots. He's a popular jungler for a reason. If the enemy team has a high damage jungler or mid lane comes, you won't be escaping unless you see them coming miles away. Pushing for the level 6 advantage is huge here as he becomes near unkillable at level 6. Ignite will help against his ultimate but without some extra damage from gankers, you won't be able to kill him.
I recommend just farming hard, going for the standard triforce build and roaming since your presence mid game is stronger than his.
He puts out some fairly heavy harass at level 1 with his parley. You should focus on farming and wait until level 3-4 to trade. Remember that his passive allows him to out-trade you fairly heavily and potentially kill you at level 1-2. With this said though, with active, you should come out FAR ahead of any melee sustained trade. His Remove Scurvy ability removes a lot of your kill potential since you don't have heavy CC to get past this. If he does use this very frequently in trades, you'll generally drain his mana very easily. You can also set up ganks when you bait out the Remove Scurvy before your jungler comes in. Again the level 5-6 push is very important here. However, 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 if you're experienced in order to capitalise on mistakes or start to easily survive harass.
Once you get a phage, this lane will become dramatically easier. Engage on him without using your and just auto-attack harass him. If you get a phage proc, immediately activate and stick to him like glue. If he uses Remove Scurvy, you can + and usually secure a kill if not deal heavy damage to him. If he chooses to keep running away and saving Remove Scurvy, stick to him. If he runs out of range use + AA in order to attempt to get another phage proc. If you do, he will almost ALWAYS use Remove Scurvy at this point. You should follow up immediately with and follow up.
I recommend avoiding his early parley harass, farming and pushing the level 5-6 advantage or any cross-map ulti uses advantage. Try to get phage as soon as possible while picking up ninja tabi on the side if you're taking too much damage. Once you achieve triforce, he should be easy prey and you should be roaming after you take his tower.
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.
I recommend starting cloth armor + 5 pots in this match up, farm hard. He will push the lane gradually (or even rapidly) towards you as you'll be avoiding him early on. Try to freeze the wave near your tower and farm from there. He'll still be killing you but you can easily retreat to tower in most cases. You outscale him heavily as the game goes on and your mid-game presence is far greater than his. You should be able to kill him with a trinity force and ninja tabi.
While he's similar to Garen in the sense that will put some heavy damage on you in the early game, you should start against him. 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.
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 tenfold his. Jarvan falls off very heavily as the game progresses into the later stages of the game. Possibly not as hard as shaco, pantheon or caitlyn but he still falls off.
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 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 you vs. jarvan. 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 (trinity force!) as early as possible and get out of that lane. Even with trinity force, 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.
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. I would definitely start in this match up to AA harass more effectively, easily and stick to the target slightly more effectively.
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.
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. Start to dodge Shock Blasts (Q in cannon form) or to try facetank it.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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. Start against her and 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 retalited
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. + will allow you to out-trade her easily. 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. Your roaming potential is also greater than her once you build .
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 + .
Difficulty: Hard like viagra
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.
A lot of Teemo's damage will be from auto-attacks. Although his damage is mixed, armor will still improve your durability and more importantly, you have god-tier sustain from wriggles further increasing with Spirit Visage. The Spirit Visage offers MR which will make you resistance to his magic damage tick while increasing sustain again. The health adds to your durability and allows you to survive ganks.
I told you not to get these because you lose your kill potential. But against a Teemo, you don't have any kill potential anyway. Get these to sustain and build up gold passively.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Have not played extensively against
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 and get 1-2 early . Build these into + end if you're having trouble. If you're snowballing, go for the standard --> .
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.
Udyr lanes will most likely become a farm lane. Udyr has the best level 1 in the game with his tiger stance. He deals some extremely heavy magic damage from tiger stance. Don't get hit by the first AA of tiger stance. His sustain is just as good as yours and he's fairly difficult to gank. Just farm hard and slay carries because you're better at it than he is. Your roam and gank is better than he is so you should take advantage of it. Other than that, this lane is extremely boring unless someone can start the snowball.
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. You should be killing him before 6. Post-6 is basically a farmfest unless he wants to go hyper-aggressive on you. An early 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.
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.
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.
To be written soon!
To be written soon!
To be written soon!
To be written soon!
To be written soon!
To be written soon!
To be written soon!
To be written soon!
To be written soon!
To be written soon!
Have not played against extensively.
To be written soon!
To be written soon!
To be written soon!
Still to be written but I've actually totally changed my mind about this champion. Be very careful and don't underestimate her mid-game, it counters yours.
To be written soon!
To be written soon!
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.
What makes Irelia such a great carry slayer is her stick and gap closing ability, all rolled into her .
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.
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 CommentsThanks 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! Thanks again!