For a long time, Irelia has been one of those champions that has a hard time finding a good balance of strengths and weaknesses to make her a healthy champion for competitive play.
At most points in history, she's been a champion not ever considered for picks or bans until she's a must 'pick or ban' champ. If you recall back to when Trinity Force was changed from a crit item to an attack speed item, you'll remember when she reigned supreme in the top lane for a good month or so, but then Riot came in with a hard nerf.
With this, the announcement of a rework for the Ionian blade dancer is a welcome change. And today, the abilities of said rework, which will go live in patch 8.7, have been revealed to us.
Let's dig in.
Passive: Ionian Fervor
Irelia's spells (that hit enemies) give her stacks of Ionian Fervor, giving her bonus magic damage on hit. Basic attacks extend the duration that these stacks hang around, and when at max stacks, Irelia gains extra damage versus shields and attack speed.
Its basically the old mastery fervor, or Guinsoo's Rageblade, built right into the champion.
This Q will be the same Q you're used to. Irelia dashes to her target, dealing physical damage and healing for a small amount. Just as it was before the rework, the cooldown of Bladesurge will be reset if Irelia kills its target.
New to the ability is the extra damage that the ability deals to minions and monsters. This might not seem like that big of a deal, but it certainly eliminates the frustration that comes from trying to Q a minion as a means to get close to someone, but failing to get your reset due to the minion surviving, leaving you at kiting distance from your opponent with no mobility to catch him.
It's good to see the Q left intact as it always felt core to how Irelia played, and creates for very interesting moments for the blade dancer to get her namesake going. Moving on.
W: Defiant Dance
This is probably the biggest change to Irelia that you're going to get used to. The W is drastic, so strap yourself in.
On first cast, Irelia begins channeling the ability, gaining "significant" damage reduction and losing the ability to move or attack. This channeling cannot be interrupted, which brings to mind Fiora's W: Riposte.
On second cast, Irelia fires off her blades in a straight line dealing damage. This damage scales with how long the first channel is held for.
What can I say? I like the fact that Riot have given some form of CC evasion to Irelia considering her passive (which we'll talk about later) lost its tenacity. While it's a big change, it definitely adds some more excitement to her kit.
Now for her E.
E: Flawless Duet
Irelia sends out a blade to a target location on first cast, and on second cast, she sends out another blade. The two blades will fly towards each other and stun anything (other than teammates) caught in between them.
This is essentially Irelia's old E, but one that trades being a targeted ability for being able to stun multiple people. It rewards skill with a bigger impact, and that's a plus in my book.
The ability also marks enemy champions and monsters hit. Anything with a mark can be Bladesurged to with a 100% chance to reset the cooldown, regardless if it dies. This means landing your E as Irelia can be the difference between 2v1ing a gank with a flurry of Q's, or feeding the enemy Riven.
Now for the big one.
R: Vanguard's Edge
This ability, much like the rest of Irelia's new stuff, is a two-part deal. Let's start with the first.
Irelia sends out a large group of blades, dealing damage and forming a wall around her target's area (assuming the ability hit an enemy.)
The second phase of Vanguard's Edge is the wall itself. It stay for a short period of time, damaging and slowing enemy champions who pass through it and disarming them, making them unable to basic attack.
This will be a debut mechanic for League of Legends, and is one that players from other games, like World of Warcraft, know the pain of all too well.
Whatever you think of this rework, it's without a doubt going to bring some fireworks to Irelia's dance.
But we'll only be able to tell once we get our hands on the champion and test her out. Or once Wickd gets his hands on his old pocket pick and reveals to the world how to break this new and improved kit wide open.
What do you think of the new Irelia? Let us know in the comments below!