Mar 012012
Irelia, the Will of the Blades
Irelia, the Will of the Blades

Irelia, the Will of the Blades has few but interesting skins available. They draw inspiration from quite different sources and portray widely diverging styles. If you need help in deciding what look to choose for the only champion that surfs on the Fields of Justice, check this review.

Nightblade Irelia
Nightblade Irelia Splash Art Nightblade Irelia Model
Category: Regular
Price: 520 RP
Concept: Irelia dresses in a tight suit resembling a kunoichi.
Model: Major model changes for Irelia plus new textures for her blades and Mantle of Decorum.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: With a, practically, non-existent setting we are only left with a frame for Irelia. Some buildings are noticeable as well as a starry night, a magical fog and some rocks but they amount to nothing. It’s not much of a stretch to say that Irelia stands alone in nothingness. At least, Irelia stands as the complete opposite as her depiction is very detailed. However, lighting is overused and it looks as if she’s standing before multiple light sources instead of being bathed by moonlight. Additionally, the suit seems sexualized and her blades appear too ornamental, in comparison with her in-game look. The Assassin’s Creed pose is another way of grabbing attention as it means nothing and isn’t really faithful to Irelia’s style. This means that the splash art surely catches the eye but what it shows has to be taken with a grain of salt.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Nightblade Irelia is a skin with a modest amount of work but a good execution. While Irelia’s weapon only receives a re-texture, as well as her hair, the suit is well conceived with abundance of details. Still, a look closer to the one depicted in the splash art, where the suit is black and red, would’ve helped highlight the suit’s complexity and made it look more vibrant. All in all, the skin is quite good: it presents well an unoriginal but logical concept for Irelia. If you like Ionian ninjas, then Nightblade Irelia is an affordable and recommended skin.

Aviator Irelia
Aviator Irelia Splash Art Aviator Irelia Model
Category: Regular
Price: 520 RP
Concept: Irelia dresses as an aviator and her weapon resembles propeller’s blades.
Model: Major model changes for Irelia plus new model for her blades and Mantle of Decorum.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: Seeing Irelia frolicking in the mountains differs from the norm and is a welcome exception. The problem is that the background is unnecessarily foggy so that the tree, grass and mountains make an abstract setting. Fortunately, Irelia does look good with bright colours and reasonable detail. The depiction is a bit too vivid and cartoon-like with regards to what one sees in-game but the result is good. Therefore, while it isn’t an impressive splash art it’s certainly a fine spotlight for Irelia.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Aviator Irelia doesn’t disappoint but it doesn’t aim for much in the first place. That doesn’t mean that it’s a bad skin as it provides a completely new and refreshing take on Irelia. However, an aviator, without a hextech plane, seems unsuitable for a magical battleground. The aviator concept is adapted well into Irelia but it feels more like it was made to adapt than that it naturally flowed into fruition. If want to get a refreshing look for Irelia then Aviator Irelia delivers but some people may find it a bit out of place.

Infiltrator Irelia
Infiltrator Irelia Splash Art Infiltrator Irelia Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Irelia wears full cybernetic armour for a futuristic cyberpunk world.
Model: New model for Irelia, her blades and Mantle of Decorum.
Particles: New particles for Transcendent Blades.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: The splash art is very interesting showing Irelia dashing over a minimalistic background surrounded by her blades. The simplicity of the background effectively reinforces the elaborate work on Irelia’s armour. No part of it lacks etchings and all plates are fully engraved. The use of lighting, with Irelia’s hands as the source, provides reflections all over her armour. The fine work put into this piece make it a pleasure to behold.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Infiltrator Irelia is a disappointment, especially considering the impressive splash art that represents it. The intricate armour ends up looking plain and uninteresting. Even the design over the blades is simpler; not to mention that her hairstyle is the same as in Classic Irelia. If we ignore the high standards set by the splash art the model on its own isn’t particularly exciting: it neither realizes the cyberpunk angle nor is it visually striking. You could consider the splash art misleading or the model an underachievement; either way Infiltrator Irelia is a letdown.

Frostblade Irelia
Frostblade Irelia Splash Art Frostblade Irelia Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Irelia wearing ice-based light armour and blades
Model: New model plus frozen air effects for Irelia, her blades and Mantle of Decorum.
Particles: New blue particles for her abilities.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: While the piece is mostly a showcase of Irelia’s look it does a very good job. The background is a simple complement to the overal ice concept; emphasised by Irelia’s hair as shards of ice. The lighting is very well done as Irelia visibly receives light from both front and back and is well reflected by her suit. Moreover, the drawing is quite nice making Irelia driving attention towards Irelia from any place in the piece. However, the ice shards used in the blades are not very clear and while the overall icy theme comes through the actual ice in the piece doesn’t look bright, solid, sharpened as it should. Regardless, it’s a very nice splash art with some minor problems in a quite significant part of the concept.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Frostblade Irelia is a skin that delivers a great look for Irelia coupled with very nice particle effects. The ice theme is clearly delivered, not only by the ice blades but also by decorative ice shards on Irelia’s suit and frosty effects for her abilities. The suit is particularly well thought as it’s practical yet visually attractive without exaggerating on the ice. No matter, some people may find the suit a little too tight and a little too exposing; though it doesn’t actually show any skin. The blades are well designed and the colours used unify the suit and blades making for a cohesive and fascinating look. All things considered, Frostblade Irelia is an excellent skin; in spite of being released with a glaring oversight.


Irelia’s skins are as eclectic in sources as they are in quality. Frostblade Irelia is the recommended purchase as it’s a great looking skin. It provides a very attractive look for Irelia with a clear and interesting concept. Without doubt it’s the best looks Irelia has to offer.

Nightblade Irelia is also worth considering as it delivers a good concept along a good execution. Aviator Irelia may not appeal to everyone’s tastes but if you want something original and nicely priced it does deliver.

Finally, Infiltrator Irelia may be a skin only for the most devoted Irelia fans or those that feel attracted to cybernetic-armours. However, the skin is plain and the cybernetic influence is lost so it ultimately doesn’t offer much.

  34 Responses to “League of Legends: Irelia Skins’ Review”

  1. I love irelia
    Too bad she got needed

  2. Nerfed*

  3. You could see it as her abilities being balanced to be in line with the current state of sustain; after all, both spell vamp and life steal were nerfed. Had they be left untouched it would’ve been a completely different story.

    • I would’ve agreed to this if they had nerf Sion’s, Nasus’, Olaf’s, Vlad’s, or WW’s lifesteal. Plus, it’s not lifesteal, it gives her health per hit. She had a fairly good earlygame – far from OP, but not terrible. She starts at level 1 with 0.665 attack speed. Before the nerf, when she still had 10 health per hit without activation, she was gaining about 6 health per second if she continuously attacked a minion without being attacked herself. Nasus, another possible Solo-top, steals 7-8 health per hit without his Siphoning Strike or any items – hell, he doesn’t even have to put a point into any skill to get this lifesteal.

      Now, Irelia gains about 3 health per second while continuously attacking, or you have to use 40 mana to gain an additional 18 health over 6 seconds.

      This nerf was uncalled for, and just turns Irelia into a low-tier character. It’s not even worth it to get this skill until late game. And if you try to jungle Irelia now, you better pop a few Health potions when you start Blue buff. Hiten Style’s cooldown is 15 seconds at all ranks, so 3/5 of your fight will be without that additional health. Might as well start with Equilibrium Strike instead, just to give yourself a chance to survive.

      • The balance changes may be considering the champions as a whole so that they all stay at a similar power level. No doubt that the nerf was hardly a welcome change but it’s probably more important whether Irelia is still useful to a team or not.

        Besides, there may be incoming changes to the mentioned champions. After all, the life steal nerf didn’t immediately follow the spell vamp nerf. Therefore, none of those champions are exempt of receiving a future nerf to their sustain either. The general sustain nerf may still be ongoing by specific champion changes, as far as we know.

        • It’s been how long since Irelia’s most recent nerf? I’ve been following patchlists as well as checking things out on the PBE for some time now, and there’s no sign of a single nerf coming to those champions that have any lifesteal. I’ll say it again – this nerf was unwarranted. Pre-nerf Irelia had *alright* sustain, and that was if you put points into your Hiten Style early. Most guides I’d seen before the patch recommended it be maxed by level 9.

          You know why? Her other skills aren’t that great. Her Q, level one, gives you your attack damage plus a mere 20 damage – for 60 mana. Do you know how much mana she starts out with? 230. With 7 mana per 5. Her skills are so high-cost-low-reward, especially in the first 10-15 minutes, that her Hiten Style was the one thing that she could rely on for sustain.

          However, now that she has been nerfed, her E is the only reason she’s in this game at all. It does a decent amount of damage, and it only costs 50 mana per use. Sure, it’s only 10 mana less than your Bladesurge, but it’s not the damage that you really care about. If you’re being harassed by the enemy’s top-laner – which you definitely are – you finally have a chance to strike back. As Irelia, you have no ranged moves, so you have nothing to poke the other champion with. It may be fine if you’re soloing against an Udyr, but other champions? Not so much.

          The ONLY way to get a good poke, with minimum retaliation, is to Bladesurge to a minion right next to the enemy champ (if you’re sure you can kill it with that one skill), Equilibrium Strike to stun (only if they have lower health than you do), MAYBE get off an auto-attack or two if you’re feeling lucky, and then Bladesurge to a minion closer to your tower, preferably one you can kill just by using your Q.

          IF you manage to pull it off *perfectly*, and that’s a huge IF, at level 2, you can do about 212 damage (before armor and magic resist), for 100 mana. If the last minion you Q doesn’t die, it’s 135 mana. If the first minion you Q doesn’t die, then you might, especially if you didn’t stun them with your E.

          Guess how you poke with Gangplank, Sion, Olaf, Nasus, Mundo, Shen, and nearly every other solo top. Q. *Maybe* a W if you’re Nasus. You can *easily* force Irelia out of lane and force her away from her minions – even more so now than before. Before, she had a reason to stay up and attack minions, and was able to shrug off *some* of the poke and get some farm. Now? Not worth taking a Parrrlay to the face, especially when so many GP’s I’ve seen have Crit runes out the ass.

          Do I think Irelia is important to any team? No, not really. If you wanted to build tanky dps, there are better champions out there, like Sion. If you wanted to build Assassin, there are better champions out there, like Talon or Akali. The only reason I would recommend Irelia is if you want to keep the other team guessing as to which you’re going to be, but that mystery might be solved when they see your first item. Not really worth picking Irelia over another champion who does their job better.

        • Oh my gosh, they’re buffing Irelia. The world is ending, I’m sure of it.

          +3 Starting attack damage, +31 starting health (and an additional 5 per level), and an additional 1 health per 5.

          Of course, this IS unofficial… and half of the “patches” listed were things that the site had in the last patchnotes and that were never actually put into the game.

          • The base stats buff is real according to Classick’s post, though the values accuracy may not.

            In that post Classick also explained why she was nerfed, mainly due to her durability and raw damage with Hiten Style. Apparently, the idea was to lower her durability without affecting her damage. The problem that wasn’t anticipated was that her early game suffered quite a bit.

            You made quite valid points so it’s probably a matter of waiting and seeing how much of an effect the new base stats have. If things don’t improve then something else will have to be done about it.

          • I feel like I should confess – I have been hard on Irelia; complaining and exaggerating some of her flaws. I was just sick of the nerfs and sick of everyone saying that her Hiten Style nerf wasn’t a huge blow. It was. However, her other moves allow her to jump in, get farm, and (hopefully) get out alive. I’m not saying she’ll be able to take on strong solo-laners and expect to get a ton of farm – not even close – but she SHOULD be able to face them after she gets some farm, and gets a few levels. Bladesurge almost always guarantees a Creep kill, and allows you to get in close, or to move away, if used correctly. She has her perks, I was just upset at all these nerfs when she can easily be outlaned…

          • Perfectly understandable, sometimes nerfs seem to come out of the blue and without a reason. In the end, it’s probably more important whether the champion can still stand up against the usual adversaries in the new form.

            We may not be able to revert changes but we can adapt to them.

          • Very true. Also, there’s a new Irelia skin out – Frostblade Irelia. The splash-art and model are done and correct, but a Rioter posted that her face in-game was a generic face that wasn’t supposed to be there. (S)he said that it would be fixed in one of the up-coming patches. But who knows, it might’ve been fixed in the patch my client just did.

          • Indeed, Frostblade Irelia is quite a nice skin; sadly the prototype head is quite a misstep. Fortunately it’s going to be fixed, especially considering that Irelia’s release head is probably laying around somewhere; hopefully.

            Let’s hope for a fix sooner rather than latter but at the very least it should be on Tuesday with the Varus release.

  4. I just discovered that Irelia has a second Frostblade splash art. Dunno which one is official tho.

    This is the one used on the loading screen and In the Lol Launcher.
    Imo this is better as it shows her hip compared to the other one.

  5. Update Irelia’s pic >.<

  6. In the model sections of her skins shouldn’t it be mentioned the changes to her Mantle of Decorum (the thing floating behind her head) be mentioned as well? Karma has the same mantle and her reviews mention all the changes to it in each skin.

    • Indeed it should, that’s a relevant change that should be noted. It also allowed us to check again model changes and adjust the notes. Thanks for the correction.

      • I find it somewhat strange that Nightblade and Aviator are both classified as only model changes while Infiltrator is classified as an entirely new model even though Infiltrator looks the most similar to the Classic Irelia. That is also the main reason I am most interested in Infiltrator and find your review of it quite harsh. Her other skins have nice concepts but I find flaws with them which I am pretty sure few others find. Nightblade is missing the long parts of her clothing around her waist and I do not like the style they did on the hair. Aviator still has something on her waist at least but I do not really like the hat. Frostblade has nothing on her waist and has short hair, which I do not like, though I love the ice theme. Infiltrator is the only one who keeps those things on her waist, and it also has those two things on her head removed, which I never really liked. Since Infiltrator is coming on sale tomorrow and also becoming legacy, I am really thinking of buying it. Could its new legacy label earn it at least one extra star?

        • Maybe the problem isn’t that Infiltrator Irelia looks bad but that, for what it offers, the price isn’t suitable. Infilitrator doesn’t, strictly speaking, look bad, nor is it a skin with serious inconsistencies. However, it’s a re-model that only hints, at best, at the cybernetic angle intended. Even if we ignore the premise, Infiltrator is just another armoured version of Irelia that looks different but doesn’t add much that stands out.

          If the price were lower the skin would certainly receive a better rating. However, at 975 RP the standard is much higher than what Infiltrator offers. Making it a legacy skin isn’t doing it any favours as all it means is that its availability is restricted. Therefore the skin needs to be even more special to justify such a condition.

          In the end, personal preference is the most important part of the equation. There’s no point in getting a technically good skin that you just don’t enjoy. If you like Infiltrator Irelia then catch her, it’s not a bad skin and it has its charm. The armour is nothing remarkable but the skin has its own style. Just be conscious of the fact that you might be paying a little more for a little less on the technical side.

  7. i love irelia i main her

  8. I noticed something with Infiltrator Irelia when her W is active, the color of the blades changes into red.

  9. Hi,

    I believe that Infiltrator Irelia is a Legacy skin, because it has a Unavailable message.

    • Yes it is. We have updated the skin list with the new legacy status for the retired skins. However, we haven’t yet gone through all the champion reviews. We’ll do so as soon as possible.

  10. We all know why people buy Frostblade.
    They love that big,juicy….
    Ice shards.

    • Of course, what else could it be? Those frosted blades look like they could saw through flesh and bone with ease. Fear the Will of the Blades!

  11. Hello! I know this is an unusual question, but do you know if its possible to undo a refund? I refunded Nightblade Irelia but the update changed my mind. I really don’t want to purchase it again after already wasting one of my precious refund credits.
    Thank you!

    • Firstly, you should be very careful about using refund credits as that’s all there is for the lifetime of your account. That’s why we insist on carefully considering before buying a skin. Still, there are three of them so losing one isn’t the end of the world. You just need to be more careful.

      Secondly, the situation is somewhat unusual. Technically, purchases are final as well as refunds. Your best option is to contact support and perhaps indicate that you are somewhat new to the game and not used to the system; as you previously mentioned you recently discovered League.

      Hopefully, they’ll be able to help in some way. In theory, refunds are no longer handled by support but that’s not the specific issue at hand so you should have a chance of getting help. We don’t know what the outcome would be but we hope you are able to get the best possible result.

      Ideally, refunds would be unnecessary because people would only buy a skin that they actually like. That’s not reality so you have the tokens but treat them with care because they are limited and too few. Riot should probably find a way to allow more refund tokens for people; especially those that regularly buy skins. Best of luck.

      • Edit and update:

        Hi again, thank you for the reply. I know this May sound strange, but I have O.C.D, and I had this idea that I would only have one skin for each champion. I bought Nightblade, because I liked it, but then discovering your sight, I discovered Frostblade had particle effects. I thought people just bought it because of the sex appeal, while true, there is more to it. Because of my one skin rule, I refunded Nightblade and got Frostblade. But now I’ve decided to let that rule go. I want Nightblade and my token back, but I highly doubt support will give it to me. I know I sound completely weird, but it’s a perfectionist thing.

        Support has replied and declined my request, in your opinion, is there anything else I can do?

        Thank you very much.

        (Please delete my previous comment.)

        • Besides the fact of insisting and maybe trying to appeal to their generosity, based on the fact that you are new to the game, we are afraid the there’s nothing else we can think of. It’s not the end of the world and it’s a valuable lesson and reminder about thinking before acting. Let’s look at it with perspective: it’s a game and you actually only lost a refund token; of which you should ideally need none. In the real world there are much worse things and, if one is to learn a lesson the hard way, better if it’s through a game where the stakes are, often, just virtual.

          Now, all we can do is see where we are and where we are going. In our opinion, don’t worry about it at all. You made a mistake, it happens to everyone, and you learned from it; the best possible outcome as mistakes are unavoidable. In the future you will be very careful about purchases and you won’t even need to refund anything.

          With regards to Irelia, you have Frostblade which is her best skin but now lack Nightblade. So, a possibility is to wait until Nightblade goes on sale. It was last discounted on November so it’ll take a good while. In the meantime you can see how much you like Irelia and if it’s really worth having two skins for her. If that’s the case then you can buy it when it’s on sale. Whether you buy it or not you saved money; it’s not much but it’s an advantage.

          A more general rule to consider before buying a skin is to purchase what you really like. Don’t enforce unrealistic or arbitrary rules because humans aren’t structured as such. Buy what you like and what you will use. If you find that you love a champion and want to get all the skins then do so but be sure that’s the case. If you don’t like a skin or champion there’s no need to collect skins that won’t see use. The point of a skin is to provide fun so it has to be something that you will enjoy and would like to play with.

          This is just advise so take it as such. You may find another way of doing things that works better for you. What we are sure of is that there’s no point in worrying about losing a refund token. You’ll just need to be careful in the future. Take your time before making a purchase and see if you really like what’s offered. Don’t try to fulfill rules that actually serve no purpose. Be patient, look at the big picture and think long term: with time everything finds their place. Try to enjoy what you do and, by extension, purchase what you like. Life’s is too valuable to worry about the trees and forget about the forest.

          Sorry we can’t be of more help and that it all sounds preachy.

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