Irelia jungle guide in season 12.3
A peculiar, but efficient choice for a strong jungler with many options
Best Overall Runes
Best Overall Build
*This guide has a lot of words, because when I started writing about Irelia, I couldn't stop (Irelia players surely understand me ; ). However, feel free to skip the parts that you are not interested into, and as the important info is summarized at the end of each section (between two * or as a path table)
Irelia is a powerful, hard to master champion with so much outplay potential. After playing her once in an aram game, I immediately bought her and became an Irelia OTP. I played top and mid lanes evenly and learned a lot about this champion. Then, one game I got filled in jungle and decided to try Irelia jungle. To my surprise it turned out to be really good. The first clear is hard, but it is totally doable and I find it harder on other champions like Nidalee. So let me share with you my knowledge of Irelia jungle.
When to pick Irelia jungle
My first advice would be not listening to people saying it doesn't work. I can guarantee it does and I'm not the only one as you can see videos of people playing Irelia jungle. Now that this is said, let's talk about when you should pick Irelia as a jungler. Irelia is a strong split pusher. So if your team lacks one, it's a plus. Irelia is mostly a bruiser, so if your team needs one, it's another plus. Also, Irelia is capable of jumping on the backline of the enemy team and kill them quickly. If your teammates have low mobility and there is a high priority target in the enemy team, it's a plus. Irelia is countered by poppy, since her W (
*So in brief, Avoid picking Irelia if you team already has enough split pusher, bruisers, or high-mobility champions. Also avoid picking her against Poppy, Sett, Volibear, and Nocturne. If none of this applies, then pick her and have fun.*
How to clear camps
The first clear is hard but should not bring you to the brink of death if you do it properly, even if you get no leash or a small one. The key is to stack and keep your passive.
At level one start with your Q and immediately use it on the buff (red or blue) to get a stack. Then simply auto-attack it until it is low enough to finish it with smite (if you get a big leash you can use smite on the big raptor or the gromp) instead. Once leveling up, it will vary whether you started blue or red:
Red start: level up your w and go to your raptors. charge your w before hitting them. You charge it until half time to maximize the damage. Then auto attack the little raptors until they are low enough to Q and kill them. This way you will stack your passive. Once your passive is stacked attack the camp evenly so the burn damage is the maximal. When you've brought the big raptor low, kite it to the wolves while waiting for the last moment to last hit him with an auto-attack so you keep your passive up for the wolves. Then W the wolves as soon as they are in range to keep the passive and then kill them like the raptors. Afterwards, go to the blue, again kiting the wolves so you save time and keep your passive. Once the blue is low, kite it to the gromp so you can hit both with W. kill the blue and upgrade your E. Smite the gromp and use you E on it and then Q twice. kite it the to the river so you can go to scuttle when you are done.
Blue start: level up your e and go to the gromp. Use your E and Q twice on it. Then kite it to the wolves (you will be low just before killing the gromp if you had no leach). Kill the little wolves and kite the big one to the raptors to keep your passive. E the raptors (try to get all of them if you can) Q the big one to use the mark and finish them off while kiting to red. kill the red with all your abilities and smite while kiting it to the river to go to the scuttle afterwards.
-Auto-attacking the little raptors or the little wolves won't refresh your passive, so make sure to hit the big one when you need to refresh it so you do not lose your stacks.
-Do not waste your q if you can wait a bit to use it to finish a monster as it will reset the cooldown.
-make sure your W and E hit every monster for the raptors, krugs, and wolves.
-aim precisely at the raptor or wolf you want to Q because missing it might result in a death if you mess up your stacks.
-Jungler knowledge on how to maximize damage done (ex: burn damage) and minimize damage taken (ex: kiting to not get hit by all the wolves or raptors) obviously works here.
*You have to practice it many time in order to have a decent clear as Irelia*
There is not much to say here since this is more related to jungle wisdom than Irelia wisdom. Just keep in mind that starting red is ideal and doing a 6 camps clear is not a good option. Do a 5 camps clear (skip krugs) or less if you want to early gank.
Jungle routes is determined by the composition of each team and the state of each lane at a precise moment and so cannot be generalized only knowing the champion you will play
Here are the runes for playing Irelia jungle. It is really similar to top or mid Irelia runes although not exactly the same. Depending on the teams compositions, you should adapt your runes, and you can combine the different pages I present if the enemy team has multiple particularities.
- Standart Rune Page
- Against heavy CC
- Against lot of poke
- Against team with healthy(tanky) champions
Smite is obviously mandatory. After that you could take whatever you want however I don't really know why you would not want flash since it is so useful and can be used in many Irelia combos.
This is the skill order for Irelia depending if you start red or blue. However feel free to go W or E second based on your personal preference as there is only a slight change in clear speed. Your Q is always what you want to max first. Then it is your W. Some pros go E max second however they are fewer than W max and W max is more efficient in term of jungle clear, so I would strongly suggest going with that.
- Skill Path blue start
- Skill Path red start
Itemization is always tricky. Red smite (emberknife) will you be your starting item since it's better for 1v1. The damage reduction from the upgraded smite will be useful when you are going to side-lane and duel enemy champions. With the remaining gold get refillable potions as those are quite useful, especially with the not-the-best Irelia first clear.
Your first completed item should be
Now for the tier 2 boots. If the enemy team composition is generic (ad with a bit of ap) you'll want
After that you will want your mythic. Here it becomes a bit tricky. Immortal shieldbow is a really popular choice however it is not always the best. I usually get it when I feel like the shield will help me survive some burst damage that cannot be avoided (Such as
For the remaining items, it is really situational. Most of the games, build
Once full build, get
This is all for the items. Remember to constantly adapt during the game depending on the state of the game (for example if the only ap enemy suddenly starts to carry). Also if the game last long and you end up full build, check if you should switch an item. Itemization is really important but also really hard, so analyzes your game and pros' games to see what to build when.
- New Group
Combos, matchups, powerspikes...
There is so much to say about Irelia, however what I wanted to talk about was jungle Irelia. Things such has combos, matchups, powerspikes, outplays, can be learned from all the great people who play Irelia top and mid and made great montages. I am not at their level (yet) so I can only recommend you to go see videos and guides as there is always more to learn and a you could always have played a fight better ("Never stop learning, there is always a form you don't know" - my favorite quote from Irelia)
Nevertheless, here are a few tricks:
-Always try to get your passive to full stack before fighting as it gives tremendous power
-fly around the map on the minions with your q in order to heal and dodge abilities
-hide your E in your W, your R, your Q or a bush.
-R-flash or E-flash-E to surprise or catch enemies.
-your W reduce a lot of physical damage so time it well and use it against turret shots too
-Your mark stays on enemies for 5 seconds so you don't have to use it as soon as you get mark an enemy
-You have 3.5 seconds to recast your E so you can play with your opponent mid in order to stun him.
*Always strive to improve and go watch every Irelia montage on youtube*
There was so much more I wanted to say but I gotta go sleep cause school starts early tomorrow, so cya.