Why Play Irelia?
Ever since her release (I must admit, she was quite OP back in the day), I have played her quite intensively. My builds fluctuated through many games and I am now sure enough to present to you guys, my Irelia guide for Season 3! I have played her to 2.4k Elo and have done very well in all aspects. In low Elo she is a pubstomper, but in my Elo, she must be played very intricately. In this guide, you will learn how to play an overnerfed top solo. :)
I AM RECONSTRUCTING THE GUIDE NOW! GIVE IT TIME!
This is the link to the guide on LoL Forums:
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Why These Masteries?
Why do I run these masteries? After her unfortunate nerfs to sustain, she now struggles in keeping up with many other burstier champions. As of S3, the meta has changed so that bruisers, such as Irelia, need a ton of health to keep up. As such, I will be using a 14/16/0 Masteries to give her the best of both worlds.
Honor Guard and Executioner are not worth it for Irelia to go all the way down on the skill tree.
The 16 in Defense will allow you to soak more damage in exchanges. Tough Skin will reduce minion damage when trading or CS'ing in lane. The Health tree is a given as Irelia is a bruiser, and thus you must be tanky as well as offensive. The 3 Points can go either into Armor or MR depending on your lane opposition, but for this, most top laners are AD now-a-days. The Unyielding and Block are to further prevent unnecessary minion damage and wittle down the opponent's damage as well. Lastly, Tenacity is taken to complement your passive, as it stacks multiplicatively.
The 14 in Offense is for the increased Attack Speed, AD, and Armor Penetration.
RunesI've now switched to AS Reds and AD Quints because it sets up for a lot of laning possibilities.
First off, you can last hit at tower without the use of Q, so that ultimately saves a lot of mana. It's easier to last hit, even if it wasn't a problem before. And now, you're aggression in lane can be comparable to those like Riven. The more attack speed you have, the more damage your Hiten Style will deal.
Trading damage isn't as beneficial for them as you can heal and they cannot.
It fixes the large flaw in Irelia's weakness, which is her laning/trading.
These summoners are debatable.
Some prefer Ghost, some prefer Flash, but I find that as an assassin, I don't make much use of ghost as I don't rush Tank.
Teleport is a standard on Solo top because of the utility and map control it gives, but some prefer Ignite for maximum lane domination. In solo queue, it might be different if you are against a high sustenance champion (Nidalee, Soraka solo top), but otherwise, and is much better preferred, Teleport.
Benefits of .
- Map Control for Dragon and Split Pushing
- Competitive Games require Counterplay
- First Teleport is always used for own lane, Outlevel and sustain your opponent
Against high sustain targets: Nidalee, Soraka, Yorick
Sometimes acceptable in replacement to Teleport: Renekton, Garen
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 what makes her so versatile. CC Reduction, up to 40% and more with Merc Treads. Yes, it stacks multiplicatively. This is what makes her Borderline OP.
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
Used for many things: Farming, applying an extra hit (Further explained below), Juking and Manipulating the Minions (Also explained below), and Gap Closing as an assassin.
Notes to Consider:
Applying the Extra Hit:
- Bladesurge applies an on Hit Effect and will reset your attack timer. Attacking someone and then Bladesurging them immedeatly after, will hit them twice in what would've been once.
Juking and Manipulating Minions:
- Killing a minion will reset your Q's cooldown so this can be manipuated in two ways:
-- Escaping, running into the top bushes and then using Q to the minions
-- Double Gap Closer, hitting the caster minions then immediately dashing again to the champion
---**Notes to Remember** : Activating W + Q'ing a caster with Trinity will instantly kill it
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. Hiten Style's passive health gain is doubled for the duration.
This is your bread and butter skill. This is what gives Irelia her amazing lane sustenance. 26 health per hit is no joke. And the 75 true damage isn't either. This combined with her Q will provide with some pretty burst damage.
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
I like this skill a lot. It can surprise your foe with some 1v1 changing results. In lane against heavy harassers, once you hit 6, they will think twice about harassing you as a well played combo will drop them below 25%. This skill is not used for its damage but it's stun + slow so naturally, only one level is needed.
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 60 / 50 / 40 seconds
Cost 100 mana
Last but not least, her ultimate. This skill has been nerfed consecutively through patches and is now used for nothing else but clearing waves and proc'ing your Trinity. It used to heal for an insane amount, but now it is purely for damage. Use this wisely, because although the heal is really less, it will sometimes save your life. Learn to aim this and it will actually provide some hefty damage middle-late game.
The key to maximizing damage on Irelia is a technique in DotA known as Attack-Cancel Animation.
Basically put, the auto attack animation will apply damage before it is fully finished, so you can cancel it halfway through, move up a little, and reactivate the auto attack. It is difficult to master, but once you do learn it, you can attack 3 times in what would normally be 2.
For maximum 1v1 dominance, your skill combo should be depicted on the situation.
100% v 100%:
E (Stun) -> W -> Auto -> Q -> Attack Animation Deny -> R -> Q
75% v 100%
Same as Above
100% v 75%
E (Slow) -> W -> Q (Assuming he's running) -> R -> AAD -> E -> Q
My build is always R>W>Q>E
Ultimate is obviously first priority.
Hiten Style offers too much damage and sustain to give up.
Bladesurge offers lower cooldown with levelup and more damage
Equilibrium Strike is only used for the Stun/Slow, not the damage.
Why Q > E?
Irelia's role is Bruiser (DPS/OffTank), and that requires you to stick on their carry like a fat kid to cake. For those who have escapes, the low cooldown on Q will allow you to catch up to them in a matter of seconds.
Item BuildsThere are multiple ways for Irelia to start, depending on the champion matchup:
- Against Safe Lanes:
- Against aggressive laners, start:
Early Game Goals:
x2 + +
Middle Game Goals:
Late Game Goals:
- More Damage:
- Other Team is Bursty:
- Perma-Slow: or
- MR Attack Speed:
Situational Items: (Explained)
This item is great to buy to replace Trinity. However, the situation in which this will arise is the need for more health than burst damage. This occurs when your team comp requires you to have a bulky mid game which means your jungler is more damage based or when you lack any sustainable CC.
This item is a decent item to buy when you've bought an early HoG and you seem to be lacking CC. The aoe slow is very helpful when you dive at their carries, almost guaranteeing a kill and slow to a majority of the opponent's team. It gives armor and a debuff that shouldn't be taking lightly. If you plan to be more tanky then damage, this is the item to use.
I take this item when I have sufficient HP backing me up, meaning I have run either AtMogs or FrozenMas. And only applies towards a really, and I mean really, fed AD carry. Otherwise, the stats are not worth taking as you won't be able to make full use of the armor with the lack of HP.
Champions That Are A Problem
Akali, if not played properly, will snowball against you hard. Do not let her send you back early and farm delicately. You will not be able to compete until level 6, at which you will wreck havoc. I start + + . Farm easy, don't let her send you back early and you will win at the end.
Same as above.
He will do nothing but farm, you will not lose, but he will free farm as much as you. Do not let him go out of control.
Against GP, you can start + and instead of just last hitting, you will hit more consistently, counting your opponent's hits so that the lane balances. You can outsustain him, after you past his early game.
Aggressive Early Game, his combo incorporates E -> W -> Q -> E. Dodge his first E and he will recede, if he wastes his next E to catch up to you, this is when you turn and fight. You can beat him at 7 if you have your + by then.
I would recommend + + . Then follow with 2 x . You need the early health and lifesteal to sustain and outtrade him.
Against Yorick, it is preferred to start + and instead of just last hitting, you will hit more consistently, counting your opponent's hits so that the lane balances. With + + , you should be able to ignore him.
The thing with Garen is that he is a heavy early game damager and an ignorable threat middle-late game. To counter his laning phase, starting + is the best option. This will build into a Tabi, and at that point, he will be less of a threat. But until that point, the hard part is CSing to get to him. Normally Garen will not harass until 3 in which you must gather every single CS. Afterwards, try to kite him until his Q runs off so then you can E him when he spins on you. You will win afterwards.
If he is at the same level (Skill wise) as you, you will most likely not beat him 1v1 in lane. The only way is to have a jungler give you an early game so then you can snowball. You cannot beat him, however, given the right situation, you can outlane him. Such that an early level gank will set him to play passive and miss early CS/gold. This will in turn slow down his Philo, giving you a snowballed advantage. Play wisely and don't die, that's the worst you can do.
However, if you do find yourself 1v1ing him, here's the deal. Fight him normally until he Wither's you for the AS/MS Debuff, then Q to an almost dead minion so the CD resets, and then kite until then. His wither is the reason you cannot fight him 1 on 1. But since it is on a high CD and high mana cost, you can kite him with your massive utility.
The problem with Lanedyr is his Tiger harass. Because it deals Magic damage, I get a against him. It sounds silly, but it will significantly reduce the damage. Also, the mana regen counterpart will help because, to cs early against him, you will need to manipulate the minions with your Q. With his nerfs, he is much easier to be dealt with. Just don't trade damage early. I recommend getting a immediately after .
Lanewick is only a threat because of several things. His sustain comes from his Q and passive. If he spams his Q, he must start Doran's. If he is to use his passive, he must spam hits just like Irelia does. This balances the lane. If he does start Doran's, you will get harassed the first 3 levels, but then win afterwards as he can only Q so often. I recommend or (Not both) as you just need the early MR to play against him. You can regen more than his Q cooldown.
Talon is an issue in some cases. To be certain, the best course of action is to run Armor Seals + + . He can't burst you from 100 to 0, so dodge his W harass. If he does combo you to harass, turn around and fight him. No need to run then.
Nidalee will have heavy harass early game due to her range, but it shouldn't be anything you can't handle with + . You should get close if not have by the time he is level 6-7. After that, his damage will not be ignored, but when he combos you, just stun him and hit back, you will out sustain her. Just do not let her zone you hard early and play conservatively.
Riven's damage comes from her early AD and successive combos. She is a terror early game, but once you get Tabi and a Phage, you can trade damage with her successively. Just know your limits. Always start + to dodge her Q chains. Trade when you have minions. Be aggressive when he doesn't.
With Vladimir's new buffs. He is a pain in the ASS to deal with. Your choices are to go early and then rush . This is simply because his early harass is quite annoying, however, he cannot kill you mano e mano. Also, he'll most likely shove his lane, so one gank could set you way ahead. Overall, it's quite a balance lane assuming equal skill level. An early is nice as well, for the health, and hp5.
Kennen is one of the few champs that cannot lose his lane. Whomever you put him up against, he will not lose. But this doesn't mean he'll win. This is one of those situations. It becomes a farmfest, however, his appearance in team fights is DEVASTATING. Lane-wise you will not lose, but the Kennen runs teleport, his mid game appearance will be tenfold better than yours. Your best plan is to shove top, while warding, and prevent him from roaming.
This is simply a losing lane. Malphite hard counters all melee-induced attackers. It's just recommended not to pick Irelia when Malphite is picked as a top solo. However, if it's been forced, play passively. He can't kill you, but you can't kill him. And he may even deny you early game. Conservation is essential here.
If the other Lee Sin is smart, his first priority will be E. If this is the case, you will not be able to kill each other in lane. If he does play aggressive, if he hits his E, then stun and kite until the debuff is over. After that, you can face him, but like Malphite, you cannot fight him with his E debuff on you. The damage trade will fall in his favor if you do. + should be sufficient.
Tryndamere used to be a hard counter to Irelia due to massive crit bursts vs slow sustain. However, with his recent nerfs, he is much more easier to deal with. Of course, run + , and it should be quite an even lane. You may even kill him if he plays overly aggressive.
Jax is a very one-wayed lane. Against him, I rush , because you can outlast him in terms of mana. Afterwards, I rush . Before you get to that point though, to trade, make sure to simply auto attack him without your W up, then when he finally engages, let him E, then WQ onto you. Once the stun wears off, stun him back, activate W, auto him, Q, Auto, and chase him. At that point, he cannot fight you 1 on 1. And in between these trades, be aware that Jax can only trade once his 20s E is off cooldown. So in that time, regenerate and prepare for another. Jax has no natural regeneration, so this lane is simply a matter of outlasting him.
Early GameAs explained in Chapter 8, certain lane champions will lead to different early game.
- Akali/Rumble = Passive early game
- Cho'gath/Galio = Beat them in farm
- Jarvan/Renekton = Judge their skill level, manipulate what you can
Items are also explained in Chapter 8. Read thoroughly :)
*NOTE* - YOU MUST LEARN TO LAST HIT PROPERLY
I cannot explain how to last hit, but you will get used to her animation
Front minions = 2 Tower hits + 1 Basic Attack
Back minions = 1 Tower Hit + 1 Basic Attack
I normally will not go back until I get 1700+ Gold. Enough to get Boots, Phage, Wards. And even then, I can just teleport back at any time.
Mid GameMid game is very important for Irelia.
You should at the same farm if not outfarming your opponent. No champion can stop you from farming extensively. This is where your teleport will shine far over your opponent's Ignite or Exhaust. Utilize it wisely. If you see a jungler ganking your bottom lane, why not counter gank by teleporting into the bush? And with that advantage, you could easily dragon right afterwards.
Secondly, your job is still to eat up the carries. You will be tanky enough to resist major damage, but also to slow the carry down, especially with a Phage and E.
Follow the guide above to determine your item build.
Late GameLate Game will revolve around you eating up the squishies in the back and taking advantage of your Teleport. Remember, your teleport changes games. By near 30-40 you will have 75% of your final build and will become a meat truck. Ask for red buff, it may be better on you then your AD carry in some situations. See what is appropriate for your team.
Final CommentsI hope you've learned from this in depth guide to Irelia.
Also, if anyone can teach me how to upload videos, I'd be glad to add it onto this guide. Just make sure to leave a comment saying so and to add me in game.
Unfortunately, I have a near-full friend's list, so I had to deny many requests. However, message me or comment if you need a question answered.
Thanks for reading my guide.
Good luck, Summoners.
April 3, 2012:
- Changed Masteries from 21/9/0 to 0/21/9
- Changed "Masteries" Section
- Changed Title name to "They Nerfed Irelia :( [REVAMPED]"
May 20, 2012:
- They buffed Irelia!
Base health increased to 546 from 515
Health per level increased to 90 from 85
Base health regen per 5 increased to 7.5 from 6.5
Base damage increased to 59.3 from 56.3
June 10, 2012:
- Changed Masteries from 0/21/9 to 9/21/0
- Updated "Masteries" Section
- Changed Title name to "Better Nerf Irelia 2.0"
June 11, 2012:
- Changed Masteries in Defensive section
- Added "Jax" to list of "Champions That Are A Problem"
February 14, 2013:
- Changed Title Name to "[S3] REVAMP: Better Nerf Irelia"
- Appropriately changed guide to fit Season 3
April 14, 2013:
- Changed some champion matchups *Akali, Singed*
- Changed Masteries in Defensive section
- Updated some Item Goals