Quickstart guide to the new Irelia: Items, ability order, and runes
The full ability set for the upcoming Irelia update was revealed yesterday, and she's already on the PBE for testing. After some trial runs, we've determined what we believe are the best strategies to get the most out of her new kit.
She's not quite as difficult as she looks, but she's still considerably harder than she used to be. She's flashy, much more satisfying to play, and most importantly, fun as hell.
This quick, top-level guide should help you get a grip on her playstyle before hopping into solo queue.
Irelia has two potential builds that seem to work best with her new kit. Her new passive, which adds magic damage, attack speed, and shield melting to her basic attacks, promotes building attack speed, but she also has a great bruiser-esque kit beefed up with some defensive capabilities.
She can either go full-blown attack speed, which still incorporates a Trinity Force, Sterak's Gage, and Mercury's Treads for tankiness, or she can build as a hybrid bruiser. All stats are measured at level 18 and full-build.
Trinity Force > Mercury's Treads > Blade of the Ruined King > Sterak's Gage > Deadman's Plate > Titanic Hydra
Initial burst of 1,100 DPS, sustained 900-950 DPS, and 3,400 health.
Trinity Force > Mercury's Treads > Blade of the Ruined King > Sterak's Gage > Guinsoo's Rageblade > Titanic Hydra or Death's Dance
Initial burst of 1,400 DPS, sustained 1,200-1,300 DPS, 2,850 health.
Irelia's runes are somewhat flexible, and they can be used to fit her different item builds. The Precision path works best with her attack speed build, but it can very viably be built with her tank build, too. No matter which build you run, if you're running Precision, you should run the brand new Conqueror rune, which converts some of your outgoing basic attack damage to true damage, and the buff is refreshed with each basic attack thereafter.
The second best rune build to run on Irelia is Resolve with Grasp of the Undying as the Keystone. She already has more defensive capabilities than other bruisers like Darius, Garen, or Mordekaiser, but running Resolve gives her an extra boost when she needs to be a bit tankier, and the Keystone boosts her DPS and sustain by a fair amount.
Similar to her item builds, the new Irelia has two great options for stacking abilities. Rather than changing depending on whether or not you're going DPS or tanky, you'll change the build to match your lane opponent.
Against ranged opponents:
Q > W > E> R
Each point in your Q raises its base damage and lowers its cooldown considerably, so it's necessary for getting in-range to lay the smackdown on ranged lane opponents.
Against melee opponents:
W > Q > E > R
When facing off against melee champions with very obvious engage windows, you'll want to max your W first. Each point increases the damage reduction provided by the ability, as well as the base damage and a lowered cooldown, making it perfect for popping when they go in on you.