|Minor Irelia buffs in time for her new skin? Yippee.|
Hello all, sorry for the delayed response but here I am! Irelia is a touchy subject on the forums so I thought I'd provide some insight on what we think about Irelia currently. Irelia is a very interesting character in the fact that while she seems like a pretty standard fighter, she has a completely different play style compared to most other fighters and because of that she has an interesting power curve. I feel like most players don't utilize this power to its full potential and thus when she's extremely powerful players don't understand why we change her.official forums.
In high tier play Irelia is very powerful because: 1) She is an extremely durable champion who can use her mobility and sustainability to avoid ganks and has a pretty decent time laning against most top lanes in the game. 2) Utilizing the power of Hiten Style, because primarily all of Irelia's damage comes from Hiten Style she can do things like build an entire rune page of mitigation stats to counter her opponent, as an example if she's vs a Gankplank she can fill her entire rune page up with armor to completely shut down Gangplank's damage while not sacrificing much because she's primarily doing true damage. This makes her incredibly hard to counter in draft mode and making her an extremely good counter to a lot of champions.
This is why in high tier you see Irelia build something like Wit's End and then follow up with full tank items, her passive enables her to constantly keep auto attacking with Hiten Style and the tanky items enable her to stay in a fight without dying. While Wit's End gives her all the attack speed she needs to put out enough damage with Hiten Style. This makes her EXTREMELY potent versus high CC with low damage compositions.
Executing this entire strategy is somewhat rare in most games because A) you're not always in draft mode to see who your opponent is, and B) most players miss certain key steps that really make Irelia powerful.
Doing things such as making sure your W is active before you use Q is extremely important, in addition to attack moving while your Hiten Style is up to get as much true damage out of it as possible.
Now to get the point:
Pre-Nerf Irelia was very hard to deal with because of the explanation above, we wanted to reduce her sustain but keep her damage the same so she can still be aggressive but not win her lane because she's sustaining through auto attacking creeps.
While I think the sustain change was successful, i'll be the first to admit that we did not consider how weak her 1-4 is without being able to fall back on her sustain and as a result she gets bullied very hard at that point in the game right now making it hard for her to get off the ground. I've talked to Wickd a lot about what Irelia's problems are after the nerfs and after talking to him we're going to be increasing Irelia's base stats to get her through the early levels more safely. While not a large change, I feel pretty confident that this will help her greatly and make her a better choice in a lot more situations.