How to Play Against Irelia? The Best Counter Tips for Irelia

Irelia has an insane amount of damage, mobility, and carry potential. She is mostly played in the top lane, but you can also encounter her in the mid lane. She is a strong snowballing champion with insane solo kill potential. Irelia depends hard on her first 1 or 2 items while falling off significantly in the late game. That is why she has to play aggressively to get the lead before enemies stabilize.

Irelia’s Abilities

Irelia’s kit is based mainly on managing her passive and Bladesurge (Q) correctly. To better understand how to avoid mistakes when dealing with her, you have to study her abilities closely.

  • Passive – Ionian Fervor: Irelia gains a stack of Ionian Fervor for every enemy champion hit by her abilities, or if she hits at least one non-champion, stacking up to 4 times. Ionian Fervor lasts for 6 seconds, with basic attacks against enemy champions and large monsters and ability hits refreshing the duration. Irelia gains 7.5% − 20% (based on level) bonus attack speed per stack, up to 30% − 80% (based on level) at maximum stacks. At maximum stacks, Irelia’s basic attacks deal 10 − 61 (based on level) (+ 20% bonus AD) bonus magic damage on-hit. Enemy champions and large monsters hit by Flawless Duet and Vanguard’s Edge’s initial barrage are marked for 5 seconds. Bladesurge can consume the mark.
  • Q – Bladesurge: Irelia dashes 100 units through the target enemy’s location, and upon collision or dash completion, she deals physical damage, applies on-hit effects, and heals herself. Bladesurge deals 55 − 259 (based on level) bonus damage to minions. Bladesurge’s cooldown is reduced to 0.2 seconds upon consuming the mark from a completed dash and resets if the target dies to or during Bladesurge.
  • W – Defiant Dance: Irelia charges for up to 1.5 seconds, during which she increases Defiant Dance’s damage over the first 0.75 seconds of the channel and reduces incoming physical damage by 40% − 70% (based on level) (+ 7% per 100 AP) and incoming magic damage by 20% − 35% (based on level) (+ 3.5% per 100 AP). Defiant Dance’s charge cannot be interrupted by crowd control. Defiant Dance can be recast within its duration and does so automatically after the duration. Irelia swipes with her blades in the target direction, retaining Defiant Dance’s damage reduction for 0.5 seconds after the recast is initiated and dealing physical damage to enemies around her and within a line, increased by 0% − 200% (based on channel time). Defiant Dance’s recast can be used while affected by cast-inhibiting crowd control. If Ionian Fervor would expire during the charge, it will instead refresh every 0.25 seconds for the remaining charge and be retained for 0.5 seconds after the recast is initiated.
  • E – Flawless Duet: Irelia sends a blade to the target location for 3.5 seconds. Flawless Duet can be recast after 0.15 seconds while the blade is active, and does so automatically at the end of its duration, though not if she is channeling Teleport. Irelia sends a second blade to the target location or her current position if Flawless Duet was recast automatically. Once both blades have been placed, they fly toward each other regardless of distance and converge over 0.25 seconds, afterward dealing magic damage to all enemies within a line between them and stunning them for 0.75 seconds, during which they are revealed. Flawless Duet’s recast can be used during Bladesurge and the cast time of Vanguard’s Edge.
  • R – Vanguard’s Edge Passive: Bladesurge’s cooldown is reduced.
  • R – Vanguard’s Edge Active: Irelia launches a barrage of blades in the target direction, expanding outward upon hitting an enemy champion, dealing magic damage to all enemies hit, and briefly revealing them. After expanding, the blades drop on the ground, knocking all enemy units away from them, though not rendering them airborne, and forming a spade-shaped perimeter around the enemy champion hit for 2.5 seconds. Enemies that pass through the blades for the first time are dealt magic damage and are slowed by 90% for 1.5 seconds. The perimeter will point at the same angle Irelia cast it from, but based on the target’s center.

Countering Irelia’s Spells

Be wary of being near low-health minions as she can dash on them with her Bladesurge (Q) to get closer to you. You can take advantage of low health minions to prevent Irelia from stacking her passive by Bladesurging (Q) minions. You can stand on top of low health minions so that when she tries to Q, she will Q you instead of the minion and lose her Q. Be aware of her stacks, Irelia with five stacks and an Irelia with 1-4 stacks is a completely different champion. Try not to trade with her if she has five stacks.

Irelia’s Weaknesses

1. CC

CC is a must-have against Irelia. She is prone to CC once she goes in. This is lethal for her if your team has multiple ways to CC her or if she dives too deep into your team and has no form of follow-up from her team.

2. Q misuse

Her Bladesurge (Q) usage needs to be perfect, or this ability will go on cooldown, and she won’t be able to do much if she isn’t close to her target. This will also make her prone to CC.

3. R dependant

Landing her Ultimate Vanguard’s Edge (R) on carries can be a hard task, especially if the carry has some form of the dash. Once her Ultimate Vanguard’s Edge (R) is down, her all-in potential goes down by a bit, as you can kite her out.

The Best Irelia Lane Counters in Season 12

1. Tryndamere

Tryndamere is very easy to learn, doesn’t have skill shots, and has simple mechanics. With the gold difference of +580 gold at the 15th-minute mark, Tryndamere is the champion that is an ideal pick against Irelia. He has similar mobility to Irelia, great split pushing, and dueling potential because of his Undying Rage (R).

Also read: Best Anivia Skins

2. Renekton

Renekton is an averagely hard-to-play champion, with no skillshots and simple mechanics. With the gold difference of +430 gold at the 15th-minute mark, Renekton is the champion that is another solid pick against Irelia. He has one of the strongest early games, and you can use this advantage to gain a lead over Irelia. He has fair sustain in the lane thanks to his Cull the Meek (Q).

Honorable mention: Sett

Sett is an averagely hard-to-play champion, with few skillshots and quite simple mechanics. With the gold difference of +360 gold at the 15th-minute mark, Sett is not as good as the two champions above, but he is still a solid pick against Irelia.

The Best Champions to Counter Irelia in Season 12

1. Rammus

In the jungle, we have Rammus, which has good ganks once he has unlocked his Frenzying Taunt (E). His Defensive Ball Curl (W) allows Rammus to be incredibly tanky. This means he can always be the frontline that your team needs. Irelia being taunted is a death sentence for her.

Also read: Is League of Legends a Pay-To-Win Game?

2. Annie

Annie has reliable CC that she can use to lock Irelia down or even burst her with her combos. Thanks to the large AOE on her Summon: Tibbers (R), Annie is great in team fights.

3. Vayne

Vayne is great in the late game and can even duel enemy champions due to her Tumble (Q) mobility. This allows her to dodge skillshots, mainly Irelia’s Vanguard’s Edge (R).

Best Items to Counter Irelia in Season 12

1. Zhonya’s Hourglass

Zhonya’s Hourglass is an excellent way to counter Irelia. It provides Armor and an active that can ruin her whole combo.

2. Health and Armor Items

All that gives some amount of health or armor and allows you to survive her combo is quite useful. If she can not one-shot you, you will be able to turn the fight around.

Also read: Best ADCs To Pair With Yuumi

3. Items With Dash Active

Last but not least are items such as Galeforce, Hextech Rocketbelt, or Prowler’s Claw that allow you to dodge her Vanguard’s Edge (R).


Irelia is a strong early game champion that is extremely hard to master. That does not mean she is easy to play against, but after reading our guide, we firmly believe that you found a few tips that you can use next time to counter her. 

Pick a champion within our recommended counters that you are most familiar with and feel most comfortable playing with. If you did not find any of your favorite champions from our list, try to pick something that has reliable CC. Try to save it for her when she dives into your team or focuses on one of your carries. 

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 4.20 out of 5)