Talon General Guide by Ardvarkling

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Ardvarkling

Ardvarkling's Talon Build

Ardvarkling Last updated on September 25, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 9

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Hello everybody, this is my first MOBAfire build, so I would appreciate it if you were a bit more lenient with it, or are at the least nice. I would appreciate any tips you have, and without further adu, let's move onto one of my favorite champions; Talon, The Blades Shadow. You will see many Talons who simply like to burst in and out of fights, or others who look for an opening, fly in, and burst down teams. The second option is the one I prefer, as I have tried both, and have had greater success with the auto-attack/burst playstyle. It's more focused around dropping enemies like flies, and less around large amounts of survivablity. Any Talon who plays correctly, will be seen with much larger kill-death ratios as opposed to one who blindly rushes into the frey. I'm going to try to explain Talon first in his base playstyle, then work my way to the more adept strategies. I easily have over 100 games with him under my belt, and have really enjoyed each one. With that said, this will be a in-depth, comprehensive guide. Be warned that it may be long, but I will split it into multiple sections so that you can read the ones you. Now then, lets begin.

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    Talon is excellent at harrassing early through late game
    His burst is off the charts
    He has quite a plethora of different abilities and uses all game long
    He can appear, and just as quickly dissappear from a fight, often carrying someone's head with hime
    (Insert Assassin's Creed reference/joke here)
    He has a bit of an escapability problem
    He is unfortunately kind of squishy
    You may be focused very quickly if they witness your damage output early on

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Summoner Spells

There are really only 4 or 5 useful Summoner Spells for Talon to be used:Flash is one of my first choices for a summoner spell on Talon. It can be used offensivley, defensivley, and adds to Talon a nice bit of escape.
Ignite is great for that extra bit of damage to finish off an enemy, or can be used to really stop health regen/lifesteal on an enemy champion like Warwick.
Exhaust is great for not only catching and outputting extra damge on your enemy due to mercy, or escaping. Its nicely used, and is one of my favorite choices
Cleanse is fairly self explanatory. You get caught in a fight by a trap or a slow, pop cleanse and escape.
Teleport can be used on wards behind enemy lines or to escape if you dont have time to recall. Its also great for supporting turrets.
Stay away from any other summoner spells imho.

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For runes, I take flat armor penetration marks, flat armor seals, flat magic resist marks, and flat health regeneration quintessences. The armor penetration marks are self explanatory, and any melee assassin would be foolish to go without them. With them, low armor squishies, early to late game, are going to get ripped apart with relative ease by your abilities, and your auto-attacks. The armor seals and magic resist glyphs give Talon some much needed survivability, and can really make a difference throughout the game. Finally, the health regeneration quintessences can be good for when you've dropped down low on health a bit, but want to stay nearby to help out, in case another skirmish occurs. Granted you shouldn't go into a fight on low health, but I digress.

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Very quickly, this is probably the best mastery set you can have on Talon. You're going to have a large increase in damage, some more armor penetration, and a buff to your summoner spells. Along with that, you're going to have an exp boost, a little mana regeneration, and a bit of gold every ten seconds. In my opinion, the point that goes into greed could be well used if you decide to take ghost instead of ignite, but there aren't any other places that are very useful for it. Again, it could be the best, I've tried a couple other combos before, but this always helped me the most. I urge you to experiment though, and find what fits your playstyle best.

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For items, there are two ways of starting, with very interesting outcomes by the end of the game. For both, I start game in lane, and either go off ganking at level six, or stay in lane depending on my team. If i'm solo queueing, I'm usually forced to stay in lane, unless my team co-operates. Often however, I play with friends, and gank around. For the first build, (my prefered one) I start with a Doran's Blade. The small increase in health, plus the extra 10 damage can really make difference in the early levels if you commit to an attack on your enemy. In the same way, the boots of speed and three health pots can be good for staying in lane and harrassing your enemies into the ground. But, after gaining around 1100 gold, I like to recall. There, I buy my boots of speed and vampiric sceptre, then head back to lane. Around the next time you've recalled, you will probably be around level six. Buy either boots of swiftness next, or The Bloodthirster depending on how you are doing in lane. A quick note with The Bloosthirster, it's better to have two of these compared to two Infinity Edges. Why? Because, after you've quickly farmed up with Talon, (which he is very efficient at I might add) you will have a powerful 100 damage and 25% lifesteal as opposed to 80 damage and 25% crit chance, with critical hits doing 250% more. However, always always ALWAYS get an Inifity Edge. It is an indispensable tool, and really packs a punch to every crit that you need to be doing with Talon. That aside, after you have both your boots and your Bloodthirster, you should farm up bloodthirster to its passive max, then quickly work towards your Phantom Dancer. You want this before you go out ganking, though very squishy enemies will usually die to your burst and atacks without it. After this however, you should begin making your rounds through the brush and ganking lanes. After you've accumulated some gold, recall back to base, and grab yourself and Infinity Edge when you can. Now, you're going to really pound your enemies faces into ze dust. Around the time you do purchase this, team fights may be well underway or just begginning. After this, though on both my build orders I dont have it listed, a Frozen Mallet can be an acceptable buy to both boost your survivability if you find yourself getting focused, and to take advantage of your passive; doing extra damage to slowed, stunned, feared, etc. enemy champions. Laslty, another Phantom Dancer or Bloodthirster will do you very well. The extra crit chances will ensure you the most damage, while the even more damaging and lifestealing hits can grant you even more survivablity.

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On Talon, you have his four abilities and his passive:
Mercy, Talon's passive, allows him a nice 10% increase in damage dealt via his basic attacks to slowed, stunned, immobilized, or suppressed enemies.[/color]

This is something that you have to keep in mind. None of the items in this build really take advantage of this unless you grab a frozen mallet, but that's because you really won't need to. I'll explain why that is in just a moment. But when in a team fight or when working cohesivley with a lane partner, make sure to focus the enemy that may be getting malzahar suppressed, Caitlyn trapped, or Teemo shroom slowed in order to do that little bit of extra damage that could make a difference in their escape, or death.
Noxian Diplomacy - Talon's next basic attack deals extra physical damage to a single enemy. If the target is a champion, they will bleed, taking damage over time and revealing their location for a short period of time.

This is a very important ability throughout the entire game. It has to be used in conjunction with all his other abilities for it maximum effectiveness. The extra damge is a very nice way to tear down your intended targets health, especially since it restarts the attack timer. This is very important to remember, and to put into practice. A good Talon knows to use this immediately after one auto-attack to maximize the damage output on your prey. I'll discuss the ability order after i've finished explaining each ability.
Rake - Talon sends out a volley of daggers that then returns back to him, dealing physical damage each time it contacts an enemy. Additionally, the enemy is slowed for a short duration.

This is Talon's main source of damage output early game and can be his stupidly effective minion farming ability late game. Additionally, remember when we talked about his passive? It SLOWS the enemy! See why we don't really need an item that slows our enemy? After using this, you should jump on your enemy and start laying into them to really press the damage. However, once again,is a very viable item for Talon if you can't get off your Rake first. Each attack will slow, which wll allow you constant extra damage from Mercy.
Cutthroat - Talon instantly appears behind his target, silencing them and amplifying his damage dealt to them.

This is your initiating move. It's basicly a shunpo, the upside being the silnce and amplifyed damage; the downside being that you can't use it on friendly units like Katarina can. However, that does not mean you can't use it to escape. If you're clever, you can fly to a neutral monster or enemy minion and make your hasty escape. Likewise, you can use it to get closer to the fight faster, whether it be at a toer or a teamfight in one of the lanes. Obviously it can be used to surprise an enemy from the brush and completely gank them upside down before they've had a chance to left-click away.
Shadow Assault - Talon disperses a ring of blades and eneters stealth gaining additional movement speed. When Talon emerges from stealth, the blades converge on his location. Every time a blades goes through an enemy, they recieve physical damage.

This is Talon's cream of the crop, scale tipping move. Not only can it be used in multiple ways to handle a large multitude of situations, but it also has a very low cooldown time come its final skillpoint. About 23 seconds is its cooldown, and you'll see just how powerful it can be. You want to use this ability when beating an enemy if they turn on you to not only damage them as the blades fly out, but also as a shotgun effect when the blades come back in around you. They can decimate an enemy(s) health in less thn a second, and is a very powerful weight to be used so as to tip the scale in your favor.

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Strategy: Basic

Now that we know how Talon works, lets check out how he should be played. When laning, you need to be very concieous of last hitting ever little minion you can sink your blade into. I emphasize last hitting in the sense that you don't want to be harrassed so much early game. You want to happily farm away, and start striking out randomly. You should get your first skillpoint (SP) in rake, and harrass with that ever time an enemy gets to close for comfort. After that, throw one SP in Noxian Diplomacy. You dont want to get Cutthroat first, because you can really lay into them without Noxian Diplomacy, Rake being a primarily ranged ability (though with a short bit of practice you can easily use it without a problem). Be forewarned though, you don't want to spam Rake and Noxian Diplomacy to much early game, as Talon's mana pool starts off a bit low, scaling nicely as the game progresses. Next, toss one SP into Cutthroat, and you're ready to begin your true in-lane harrass/ killing. First, when an enemy over-extends, you want to damge adn slow them with Rake. Next, immediately Cutthroat onto them, silencing and auto-attacking them once. Remember to get in the auto-attack, before then striking again with Noxian Diplomacy. You can very easily take down your enemies with this combo, killing or badly lowering their health. Just throw two more SP into Rake after level three, as Rake really does damge to enemies after it has its third SP. at level six, pick up your ultimate, and begin reaking havoc. Become more comfortable with Talon before moving on to more complicated strategies like roaming/ganking, or stealing the enemy jungle.

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Strategy: Advanced

Assuming you've now become more profficient with Talon, we're going to discuss two strategies that you can use Talon for in order to cripple the enmy team. First, you can be a standard assassin, roaming and ganking lanes after level 6-7. For this, you want to effectivley dissappear off the mini-map. Leave your lane and sneak through the brush, arranging and ganking lanes with your teamates. In order to really shine when doing this, stay a bit out of the brush so the enemy can't see your ring of blades when you pop your ultimate, then run in towards them. As you either attack or end the stealth phase, kite the enemy so that blades hit them as much as possible. Then, commence with your basic ability combo, either initiating with Rake to slow them or Rake after Cutthroat and Noxian Diplomacy to finish them. However, if you are more of a fan of espionage, and sabotage, prepare for crippling the enemy jungle. This should be done when the enemy has a jungler, so that you cut off their exp supply line. It is recommended that you grab wards to you can ensure you know where the enemy jungler is and isn't when you go to clear out his/her wolves, wraiths, blue buff, etc. This should be done when roaming, again at level 6-7. Dissapear off the radar, then carefully make your way through the enemy jungle, stealing their monsters left and right.

Use of Ultimate:
Now, i'm making this subsection so that no one gets caught using Shadow Assault ineffectivley, or inpropperly. First of all, something I commonly see is Talon's using Shadow Assault to quickly farm a large wave. "But Ardvarkling, I thought you said It had a short CD!" True, but you always want this in your pocket for escaping or killing your enemies. What if you get ganked immediately after you've just used it to clear a wave? Your lack of escapability will most likely spell your D-O-O-M, and a slew of insults from your teamates about you being akward and inept. Next, escaping with with Shadow Assault can be a very complicated thing. "But Ardvarkling, I can stealth. Surely this means that I will escape!" Only if you are up against one or two enemies who aren't in front of and behind you. If you get ganked by the entire team, they will expect you to run towards safety. Your best bet is to run TOWARDS THEIR BASE or where they least expect you to run. I gaurentee you the enmy will think you are running home, not into their jungle. Obviously when your ult ends however, they will know which way you've run. Use the time you are unseen to make a hasty escape.

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On An Ending Note...

I thank you for reading this long and hopefully very helpful guide to Talon, and I remind you to leave a rating and comment. Give me advice if you want, as I will try to listen to and incorporate what you've suggested into this build. Also, If at anytime you use this build and get a nice, large score in 3v3, 5v5, or ranked 5v5, i'll be making a little leader board somewhere on this guide. Just post a screen capture of the score down below and I'll add it onto the scoreboard. Thanks again, and happy hunting! :D


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