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Champion Sneak Peek: Irelia, the Will of the Blades

By ByronicHero [1]

If you picked up a copy of the November issue of PC Gamer, then you've already had your first look at the League's latest champion. If you missed that issue, then it's my great honor to officially introduce IreliaSquare old Irelia, the Will of the Blades. In addition to being the latest in our long line of pretty ladies to join the League of Legends, Irelia serves as the captain of the Ionian Guard - which only goes to show that there's no glass ceiling when you have a telekinetic command over swords. So watch yourself! Irelia brings new meaning to the old proverb: "Walk softly, but carry a big sword." Hey, wait... did I get that right?

Full Relaunch

Teaser: A Dance With Blades[2]

By Ryan 'Reav3' Mireles

Irelia VGU teaser 01
After a lot of explorations we've settled on who our next big VGU will be after SwainSquare Swain: none other than the Will of the Blades herself, IreliaSquare Irelia. Irelia has long been very high on our list of champions with huge untapped potential, and players have been requesting it more now as well. Her thematic fantasy promises a highly agile warrior that uses multiple telekinetic blades to vanquish her foes. Yet, outside of her Transcendent Blades ultimate, she doesn't really have any abilities that are delivering on that fantasy, and even her current ult falls a bit flat compared to modern champion designs. Her kit is very reliable, which leads to uninteresting stat checks and makes her more snowball reliant than she should be.

Irelia also lacks a strong strategic identity and place in the league's current landscape, so we want to take this opportunity to give her some unique tools to master and use. One ability that we do feel has held up well overtime is Bladesurge Bladesurge, so don't expect big changes there, though the rest of her kit should be going through a pretty major overhaul. Even though we'll be doing major changes to her kit, we want Irelia to feel like the champion players have grown to love, just in a much more thematically cohesive way.

Peace isn't always the answer [3]

By Ryan 'Reav3' Mireles

Sometimes violence is necessary, which brings me to our next topic: Irelia. When we started Irelia’s rework, our main goal was to transform her into the master of levitating blades that her theme implies—she should be surging into the thick of battle, where she can pierce the shields of her enemies before cutting them down in a flurry of dancing blades.

Irelia Update teaser 02

Like I mentioned before, we’re keeping her current Q, Bladesurge, as we believe it’s a great ability that’s core to Irelia, and we’ll even be spicing it up by giving her more reset opportunities. The rest of her kit is going through pretty big changes to help fully realize her theme. We still want to maintain her strength against ranged champions and want her to be able to fight at a relatively long range (for a fighter), poking at her enemies with a thousand tiny cuts before surging in for the kill.

As a war heroine, Irelia also needs some tools to initiate a fight and signal to her teammates that negotiations have failed and it’s time to fight back. Get ready to surge into battle with Irelia later this year.

Champion Update: Irelia

Irelia OriginalSkin HD

Tranquil as the sea—and furious as the tempest. A fierce defender of Ionia, Irelia trained in the ancient dances of her people and adapted her art for war. Using her graceful movements to levitate an array of deadly blades, the Blade Dancer cuts down any foe foolish enough to play at conqueror.[4]

Ionian Fervor
Ionian Fervor

Hitting enemies with spells grant Irelia stacks of Ionian Fervor for a few seconds. Hitting multiple champions with an ability grants multiple stacks, and basic attacking extends their duration. Each stack adds Ability power bonus magic damage to her basic attacks. At max stacks, this bonus damage is increased against Locket of the Iron Solari item shields, and Irelia also gains Attack speed icon attack speed.

Bladesurge
Bladesurge

Irelia dashes to a target, dealing Attack damage physical damage (increased if it’s a minion or monster), applying on-hit effects, and Heal power healing for a small amount.

If the target was marked or dies to Bladesurge, its Cooldown reduction icon cooldown is refreshed.

Defiant Dance
Defiant Dance

First Cast: Irelia begins charging her blades, losing the ability to move or attack but gaining significant damage reduction for a brief period. This channel can’t be interrupted.

Second Cast: Irelia lashes out with her blades, dealing Attack damage physical damage in a line. The damage increases as Irelia charges.

Flawless Duet
Flawless Duet

Irelia sends a blade to a location, and can recast Flawless Duet to send a second blade to another location. The blades will then fly towards one another, dealing Ability power magic damage and Stun icon stunning enemies caught in the crossfire. Flawless Duet also marks champions and large monsters for a few seconds.

Vanguard's Edge
Vanguard's Edge

Irelia unleashes the full force of her blades in a line. If Vanguard's Edge hits an enemy champion, the blades will radiate outward, dealing damage and marking enemy champions and large monsters, and forming a barrier that lasts for a few seconds. This blade wall deals Ability power magic damage and significantly Slow icon slows enemy champions that pass through it. It also Disarm icon disarms them for a few seconds, making them unable to basic attack.

Playing As Irelia

Irelia Gameplay

Irelia Gameplay

As Irelia, you dance across the battlefield in a whirl of death, leaping from one enemy to another with devastating choreography. Use Flawless Duet Flawless Duet to initiate the performance, slashing at unexpected angles to leave opponents marked and stunned. Rush in as your Ionian Fervor Ionian Fervor rises, flowing effortlessly from one mark to the next with Bladesurge Bladesurge.

When enemies attempt to assemble against you, split them apart with Vanguard's Edge Vanguard's Edge. Confine one threat within a Vanguard's Edge wall of blades while you weave among the other foes marked by the scattering of your swords. If you find yourself requiring respite in the heat of battle, a well-timed Defiant Dance Defiant Dance will cast off the worst of your opponents’ counterattack. After a dramatic pause, return to your rhythm with another Bladesurge Bladesurge sequence, making swift work of those that remain.


Tips and Tricks

Irelia Update Screenshots
  • Flawless Duet Flawless Duet is as versatile as you are. In addition to serving as your most reliable method of applying marks, the Stun icon stun makes it a great technique for both engaging and retreating. Surprise your enemies by changing up the angle of attack, when you use it, and how far the second blade falls from the first.
  • You can quickly tap Defiant Dance Defiant Dance to trade the extended damage mitigation for an immediate attack. Use it to strike down fleeing enemies when you don’t have the option to Bladesurge Bladesurge for the last hit.
  • Vanguard's Edge Vanguard's Edge has two main functions: Wall off priority targets, and generate marks for Bladesurge Bladesurge. Masterful blade dancers will force enemy carries to choose between standing still and being disarmed, while simultaneously setting up their next sequence of dashes. Try to strike hard and fast instead of engaging in protracted duels; use your mobility to win with hit-and-run (and-hit-and-run-and-hit-and-run) tactics.

Remaking Irelia: Behind the Scenes

Follow the journey of Irelia’s update in this behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to update a League of Legends champion.
Remaking Irelia - Behind the Scenes League of Legends

Remaking Irelia - Behind the Scenes League of Legends

Media

Irelia, the Blade Dancer - Login Screen

Irelia, the Blade Dancer - Login Screen

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Irelia The Blade Dancer Champion Trailer - League of Legends

Irelia The Blade Dancer Champion Trailer - League of Legends

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References