Riot recently announced the remake of Irelia and her sweet new kit. No longer will she be the top laner without a clear identity.
Once upon a time, Irelia was the bane of any top lane matchup. Her immense duelling power and tenacity passive made her a terror to both lane against and pin down in team fights.
Since then, there have been several instances of “better nerf Irelia” and her core items have been readjusted and nerfed. This makes it difficult for her to find a place in the current meta. Especially with the additions of Camille, who brings more to team fights. Fiora, who outclasses her as a duelist and lastly Jax who out scales her.
But now, with the remake, Riot has tried to give Irelia a new clear identity and niche, and the question is:
Will it dance into pro play and how will it affect the current top lane?
The New Identity
The Will of the Blades, as she was once called, has now been renamed to the blade dancer. As you might have guessed dancing around the battlefield does seem to be one of her new strengths.
The only real ability that has been kept by Riot was Bladesurge. It not only refreshes on minion or champion kill, but also if it simply consumes a mark. This means you will be able to dash around opponents and the lane, much more than before. Her passive healing that she formerly had on W has also been moved here, giving her a bit of sustain in lane.
Irelia’s goal in any given team fight will be to dash in, kill the AD or AP carry and hopefully dash out. She is meant to be a hit and run champion, rather than be in an extended brawl (like Jax). While this is sure to be a terror to many a player in Solo Queue, it’s hard to see whether or not it will fit into pro play.
Already, there are several assassins in the game, but the current meta has been difficult for them, with only Kha’Zix and Kassadin finding some success.
Her new stun will be harder to hit, as it is no longer a click-and-hit skill. Itndoes have the added benefit of being ranged and being able to hit multiple opponents. Her ultimate also allows her to isolate targets, and she has the chance of disarming champions, meaning they cannot auto-attack, which could be quite devastating.
Irelia seems like she has been slotted into the ad bruiser carry role. Alongside Master Yi and Yasuo, champions who haven’t seen much success, it seems unlikely that she will either.
However, she does have a nice shield penetration passive, which could become fought over in shield metas.
Should supports like Karma and Janna start to find more success, then teams may very well adapt into picking Irelia. As it is, the most likely scenarios of her being picked will be when Huni wishes to style on the opposition by dominating his lane in the NA LCS.
That said, I think Irelia will become a Solo Queue nightmare and probably on the perma-ban list until people figure out how to play and build against her. Her dashing kit promises to create frustration for both the carries and the poor support trying to defend them.
What do you think of the Irelia remake? Will she dance into your games? Be sure to leave a comment below!