Talon Build Guide by PsychoGenetiX
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.
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.
Hi. My name is Tom a.k.a PsychoGenetiX, and I'm here to teach you guys how to play my favorite champion, Talon.
This guide is my first on MobaFire, and it's here because I just felt that it's necessary to post a Talon guide these days. I haven't faced a very successful Talon as of yet, and it seems his popularity is declining, along with the fact that I haven't seen any guides on here go into the truly TECHNICAL terms a guide should go into.
This guide is for people who want to pick this insanely fun champion up and play him EFFECTIVELY. It will not teach you the basics of League of Legends, there are other guides for that. It will not just teach you what items, runes and masteries to get. It will teach you my own choices, WHY, and what affect different choices and playstyles have on your game. It won't just teach you what skills to max first, it will intricately compare between them and teach you the strategy of using each and every one of them.
You're here for Talon as an entire champion, and Talon is one hell of a package.
Talon is VERY underrated for some reason. Alot of people love him, yet since his massive nerfs he's been dumped out of the pro gaming scene for months. Talon is by far more effective and viable than alot of idiots and inexperienced people think, and he's tenfold more fun if you learn to play him and utilize his potential.
Talon will NOT be able to impress you if you don't play him well. This is why this guide is here. The player makes the champion.
While the build, rune and mastery setup are entirely my own preference and playstyle (which in my humble opinion I regard as extremely efficient), Talon is a versatile champion that can encompass many different builds. My tips, though, as you will come to see, are ESSENTIAL for succeeding as Talon. Reading and understanding the Laning, Strategy and Versus sections is the most important part of this guide, while the items, runes, masteries and skills sections show you the general direction which you want to go with Talon as an assassin type champion.
Read the guide with an open mind, and do tell me your own playstyle and tips. I might even include them in the guide.
Disclaimer: This guide is for f**king adults *tough face*. It WILL be a wall of text, a VERY IMPORTANT wall of text that you WANT to read. There won't be any cool pictures and graphs showing you bull**** you probably already know because you don't need distractions to learn a champion (Though the guide isn't going to completely lack pictures, You'll see in the coming weeks). If you follow this guide, you WILL be a successful Talon, and you need determination to succeed in life anyway, so consider it a life lesson :)
This guide doesn't automatically teach you the reflexes and muscle memory required to learn this champion. I'm not God. You need to learn that yourself. It WILL teach you important facts and things that you must know to play this champion correctly and efficiently. If you get hyped off of reading 30% of this guide, run off and play Talon and fail horribly, don't come running to me. If you read just 30% of this guide, you haven't learned at all how to play from it, and therefore it is not the reason you have failed. That failure was YOU, playing Talon for the first few times without knowing the champion too well. So don't downvote me over that kind of bull****.
If this guide has been enlightening, entertaining, a positive experience for you in any way, that means you owe me an upvote :)
Disclaimer 2: This guide will explain damage in flat terms without taking armor into consideration. I can't know what target you're picking and so I'll need you to do that math yourself when you're in a game. At times when it DOES consider armor, I will notify you.
So, without further ado, welcome to my guide for
Who is Talon?
Talon is an Attack Damage Burst Assassin (more generally, he is a physical burst caster) iterating on mobility, elusiveness and the element of surprise. Talon is a serial AD carry rapist.
Talon is an extremely powerful mid laner. He literally counters 90% of the champions he would have to face in mid.
Talon is awesome.
While Talon is, just like any other champion, very easy to buy for 6300 IP or 975 RP and just select in the champ select screen, he is an EXTREMELY HARD CHAMPION TO MASTER AND PLAY IN AN EFFECTIVE WAY. His burst damage is the highest AD burst in the entire game, and perhaps even higher than most other AP bursts as well. Talon is all about BURST DAMAGE. He can one-shot AD carrys in under a second flat, he can take down Tanky DPS enemies with his full build without breaking a sweat. He really is a great champion if you're looking for damage, and while all this would seem very lucrative, unless you know how to play him well, you will not be able to utilize Talon's full potential.
Talon is a make or break champion. If you don't keep your map awareness, jungle awareness, lane presence, harrass, farming, warding and itemization as sharp as a blade, you will have a very hard game ahead of you.
Talon has a WEAK early game. Pre-6, he is a squishy champion that is struggling for farm and is fighting against his mana problems. Keep your senses sharp and do not get into skirmishes in the early game, unless you know 100% that you will come out with the upper hand.
Talon is a snowballing god. He is a SNOWBALLING. GOD. I can't iterate it enough. A snowballing pre-nerf akali was a ***** next to even his current, post mana-nerf self. His snowballing is exponential. You feed him once, he'll come back to your lane with a Brutalizer at 6 minutes and dear lord what he will do to your *** with his blades. Once he's done with your ***, he's off to roam and screw around with the other lanes. And that's when the sh*t hits the fan. If your mid-laner screws up and feeds a GOOD enemy Talon EVEN ONCE, and he is able to push this advantage, that's enough. Really. It's enough to cause your team ALOT of trouble.
Most of all, Talon is a douchebag. He's a real *******. If he's snowballing, he will just come to your lane, instagib you and make the game rage-quittingly annoying. A good talon is a pubstomper, and a team that doesn't work hard to counter an enemy talon on the loose is a team that will lose the game.
Disclaimer: Realise that Talon is a physical damage champion that mostly goes mid, and that requires a balanced team composition. Talon is a special pick since he has special terms. Read on in the upcoming picks and versus section.
Pros / Cons
Counters 90% of mid champions
Is a solid top-laner
His damage is ALMOST ENTIRELY AOE, which is an advantage all assassins lack entirely
Is a powerful soloqueue champion
His damage is entirely physical
Requires sharp reflexes and good map awareness
Requires good positioning and knowledge of when to engage and disengage
Is weak to crowd control
His jungling is subpar at best
Has no laning sustain (early lifesteal)
Talon's Toolset and Strategies
Talon's kit is built around massive damage, both single target and AOE, mobility and even a little bit of crowd control. Each of his skills synergises with the other perfectly and enables him to execute an out-of-position squishy without even breaking a sweat, or losing a hair for that matter, and because of his ranged abilities, I myself call Talon "semi-ranged".
This section is going to be LONG, and is worth the read. You NEED this. In here I will give detail about Talon's individual skills and how to utilize them in lane and in teamfights.
Just like Talon has no mercy whatsoever, this passive is just nearly not there. It is subpar, yet Talon doesn't need more than what it is right now, and once you start hitting Criticals 60% of the time you all of a sudden realize that it's actually fine.
This skill is one of the best in the game. It's an autoattack, meaning it applies on-hit effects such as lifesteal, but wait, it resets attack timer, so it's not EXACTLY an autoattack, but more of a total AD + 0.3 scaling single-target nuke. It's base damage is STUPID HIGH. YOU CAN USE IT ON TURRETS, which makes Talon one of the best turret-busters in the game. It's cooldown is amazingly short, so you can spam it like crazy. It scales with CRITICALS, meaning you have the ability to nuke someone for 1.8k damage every 2 seconds and I've seen it and done it easily, especially with his silly passive. It gives VISION of a bleeding target, It's mana cost is low, and huh? ...what?
...There's even a DoT element? Are you kidding me?
I can't grab you by the shirt and shout at you about how awesome this skill is. But I'll try to explain it in text. It's awesome. It even makes a cool sound. You can hear the PAIN when Talon activates it and MAN is it a painful skill. It makes Talon an effective Tanky DPS, removing his need for Attack Speed items and complimenting his AD scaling. It even assists with last hits, like for example the cannon minion, which you can remove quickly if it's not low enough to last hit and you think you won't be able to catch it without getting harrassed. The only reason why this skill isn't worshipped as a god and doesn't cause the beginnings of a new religion is the fact that it requires a squishy champion, like Talon, to get into melee range.
It's a 1v1 skill, and a skill which you use to initiate your burst along with your E, Cutthroat. One crit would likely erase 60% of a squishy's health and leave your target bleeding out of its *** wondering what the f**k just happened.
Noxian Diplomacy is Talon's late-game skill. The bulk of Talon's late-game damage is massive Q criticals. Noxian Diplomacy's damage doesn't really show until you get some AD items first, and in lane, it forces you to get into a tight spot in order to deliver a nuke.
Yeeouch. This skill is the reason why Talon got nerfed so many times. Idiots and people who can't counterpick were constantly letting him snowball into his OP form and made excuses to nerf him, but the most reasonable excuse was that his harrassing and farming potential far exceeds his stated early game weakness, just because of this skill. Rake is Talon's lane harrass, and if you let him snowball on you, Rake will make you either go recall every 3 minutes or die. You can't push against Talon as an AP carry, because Rake eliminates minion waves very effectively, and costs much less mana than any of your pathetic AP carry skills.
Rake has a good AOE, bigger than that stupid blue frame shows when you press W, which makes it hard to avoid and hard to miss. If you're having trouble harrassing your opponent because he's staying back beyond your range, you can Cutthroat to a hostile minion and annoyingly rake him in the face and run back.* You can then proceed to /laugh because that Xerath won't avoid your blades by abusing his range.
Watch out not to push your lane with Rake, because it's easy. If you see an opportunity to last hit more than one minion with Rake and you won't be needing it later, do it. it's worth the mana with the regen you get from your runes and masteries.
It's OKAY to use rake whenever off cooldown, but you'll need to get the hang of talon's mana costs in order to realise how to hold back on it. Use it when the enemy laner is pushing the lane, in order to push back. Try to catch the enemy champion in Rake's range as you do this, it's most effective that way.
Rake has a great slow, further enhanced by the fact that it is AOE. You can use this to help your team catch up to stragglers in a teamfight via Cutthroat.
Rake is Talon's early game damage skill. That's the reason why you max it first by my build. Rake's damage falls off late-game, sadly, but by then it's replaced by Talon's Q and Ult.
* This skill has COMMITMENT written all over it in bold, red letters with little frilly ribbons on top. I'll explain about this later.
This skill makes Talon blink directly to the BACKSIDE of the enemy champion, silencing him for 1 SECOND and enhancing your damage by 15% for 3 seconds at max level, which doesn't SEEM like much, but actually amounts to ALOT of damage. It enhances EVERY damaging spell or autoattack that Talon uses on the enemy champion including Ignite, Trinity Force procs and even the Lizard Buff. Together with your passive, a single Q will have it's damage enhanced by 25%. Wow. And those Q's include Trinity Force procs. Take a 1.6k Noxian Diplomacy critical and enhance that sh*t by 25%, and you get TWO THOUSAND DAMAGE not including the DoT.
Besides the damage boost, Some if not most silences take time to reach the enemy. The silence on Cutthroat is a great silence being that it is instant. Once you press E, you're behind your enemy instantly. If, for example, Katarina uses her ult, a Talon with quick reflexes will immediately get up, slap her in the face and tell her to shut up. The range on it is great, and it can be used as a potent juking tool. Just the fact that you appear at your enemy's back is exremely powerful. It makes you be able to react to skillshots simply and effectively, for example Morgana's snare. Once she tries to snare you, you can cutthroat to her and harrass her back, because she has no other way to effectively damage you. Cutthroat is a simple, yet very powerful ability, that has many uses, just like Talon's ultimate, Shadow Assault. Cutthroat is just like Shunpo, but on a slightly longer cooldown, better damage output because of the buff, and less utility because of the fact that he can't use it to blink to friendlies.
This skill is fantastic. It's an amazing skill. It's what makes Talon a GREAT champion. While the rest of his kit is almost inexclusively devoted to damage, Shadow Assault has a thousand uses to it BEYOND just it's amazing scaling and base damage values.
Talon disperses a ring of blades around him and enters stealth for 2.5 seconds. The blades deal damage on the way out. After the stealth duration the blades converge on Talon and he exits stealth, dealing damage on the way in. During the stealth duration Talon is granted a 40% movement speed increase.
Simple, right? But can you imagine what you could do with that speed increase and stealth? The stealth is instant, Talon just blinks out of existance without that little stealth timer Evelynn and Twitch have. You can obviously break the stealth and make the blades converge and deal the second damage tick sooner by pressing R again, which makes this skill even better for burst damage. The skill's damage in and of itself is immense, almost as much as Katarina's ultimate, only it can't be countered without oracle, can be casted instantly and doesn't require time in order to apply it's full damage to even 5 enemy champions rather than 3. It's advantages are immense and Shadow Assault is what makes Talon a very powerful champion overall.
My MID LANE build:
In this section I will explain a bit on WHY you see THIS specific skill sequence at the top of the page. Talon DOESN'T have a specific skill that is worth maxing FIRST beyond anything else, like for example Graves' Buckshot. Some players would prefer maxing Rake first, some would prefer maxing Noxian Diplomacy first. Obviously you want to raise to Shadow Assault whenever possible, but as it is an ultimate, that can only happen in levels 6, 11 and 16.
> > > cutthroat
As a mid-laner, you'll want Rake first. You'll want Rake first. You'll want Rake first. Let that get into your head.
WHY!? NOXIAN DIPLOMACY MORE DAMAGE NO PUSH OMFG NOOB
Rake is a superior early game skill to Noxian Diplomacy in every way. Keep reading. It has better base damage, better scaling, allows more laning prowess and is a ranged harrass which will come at almost no health cost.
Better damage: 260 base damage on Rake against 150 base damage on Noxian Diplomacy.
The only reason why some would say Noxian Diplomacy has better early damage than Rake is the fact that it's on a lower cooldown, and costs less mana. Rake even has better scaling early-game. The DoT element on Noxian Diplomacy is hardly noticeable until you actually get around 150 bonus Attack Damage. The base damage on the DoT is really bad. The damage advantage Rake has obviously changes later in the game when Rake falls, but you'll already have Noxian Diplomacy maxed by then anyway, and we're talking about early-game. The argument that Noxian Diplomacy will do more overall damage than Rake would rely on the fact that it has to be cast more than once when you engage your enemy in lane, which would result in more mana cost, and besides, in the early game your Q is on a 3 second cooldown. A 3 second cooldown is long. You won't wait for it to come up again when you're on your enemy's ***. And since Noxian Diplomacy already scales very well from just your regular autoattack, you're actually gaining much more burst damage from maxing Rake first. And also, Cutthroat's silence doesn't last long enough to just QE to your enemy and run back, and think that they're silenced too hard to get to you. If you risk this when Annie's stun is up, you'll do this, guzzle up 25% of her health, and then eat a QW and two autoattacks. You just wasted three health potions and risked getting ganked and dying because of annie's stun.
Laning is all about burst damage. You want to hit your enemy like a truck and then get back to safety. You're not going to stay infront of their face and take their burst against yours. This is why you're aiming for more burst damage instead of more sustained damage.
Rake's advantages in lane are much more prominent than Noxian Diplomacy's. It grants you almost complete control over the minions in lane. It grants you the ability to push the lane up to the enemy turret on a whim, forcing the other laner to lose farm, although that is dangerous.
Cutthroat is extremely effective on level 1. It already serves it's purpose, and maxing it early will only contribute to a small damage increase that doesn't add up to much until later in the game ANYWAY, and a slight reduction in cooldown which really doesn't affect anything at all considering Cutthroat doesn't do damage at all on it's own. Therefore, you max Noxian Diplomacy after Rake.
TIPS ON USING TALON'S KIT EFFECTIVELY IN LANE
These are only called tips because they sound like them. In fact, they aren't tips, they're necessities. You NEED these to succeed in lane. As I said, Talon is not an easy champion to master, at all. In fact, he's one of the hardest. These tips are crucial to success in lane as Talon, both in Top and in Mid.
There are several important factors you need to take into consideration every time you use one of your skills, because that means it won't be available for the next 6 to 30 seconds.
The factors are as follows and are listed from the most significant to the least:
In general the most important one is: Make sure you know who you're going up against. I will give you some details about enemy picks and your dynamic playstyle in response to them further into the guide in the Versus section.
If you want to harrass with Rake:
1. Will it get you into trouble with the other laner?
Don't throw yourself into Swain's snare in order to land a rake. Talon's harrass relies on free damage. Use those times, for example, when one of the enemy's skills is on cooldown.
Xerath just used his E? Oh lord, QEW.* There's one third of his health gone. What will he have to react with? His Q? You did more damage. Use a potion.
2. Will it push your lane?
What will be Rake's interaction with minions? Make sure it hits the enemy champion without pushing the lane too hard. If the lane is pushed against you, use that to your harrassing advantage and push it back using Rakes.
3. Do you have the mana for it?
Always take into account the amount of mana you need to BURST someone down, that means your Q, E, W, and R's mana costs put together. Do some math before you go in a lane. A Talon that doesn't manage his mana costs is a Talon that succumbs to Riot's dumb nerfs. When you see that you have hit this cap, which is somewhere around 280 - 400 Mana, stop using skills and let your mana regenerate a little. You'd never know when you'll need a full skill rotation. Maybe the other champion would overcommit and dive you? Your ult keeps you safe under your turret in the laning phase. a burst would turn things around wonderfully. What if their jungler is coming to gank you and he's low on health? I'll tell you a few stories about that later.
If you combo with QEW* in lane:
* Remember that little red asterisk you've been seeing throughout this guide? It shows up whenever I explain about the QEW combo in lane. This combo is DANGEROUS, and if you're lacking map awareness or awareness of your enemy's cooldowns, you won't be able to do it and come out with the upper hand. On the other hand, landing a successful QEW without taking damage will put an end to around 40% of your enemy's health.
1. Make sure using your E won't get you into a pile of ****.
Watch what the enemy jungler is doing. As I said, Cutthroat has COMMITMENT written all over it. Use it at the wrong time and it will cause you to lose out in the damage exchange or even throw you into a gank. It's so easy to overextend and die pre-6, and sometimes even a flash won't save you because you're so squishy. Is the enemy Lee Sin currently ganking top? Good. Get on with harrassing the enemy, because you're good at it. If you do make the mistake of Cutthroating into a gank, you won't even have Cutthroat to save you. Getting ganked pre-6 is always bad, and especially so for squishy Talon with half of his escapability not being up until lv.6 and his Cutthroat, which is the other half, on cooldown. This is why you use wards, which are important for any laner, and especially for Melee laners like Talon. Also, make sure you don't stray too far from your minions as you will have to run BACK after attacking the enemy, and you will be vulnerable on the way back.
2. Take advantage of your enemy's cooldowns. Mid lane is a big mindgame.
Bait Q's, avoid snares and stuns, take advantage of Kennen wasting his E, of Vladimir wasting his high cooldown early game Q, of Lux wasting her snare, basically any skill that would be able to harm you back in your attempt to unleash a burst upon the enemy laner. Talon is a squishy champion with no laning sustainability, and so he takes advantage of his enemy's weaknesses in order to stay out of harm's way while interrupting their farm.
3. Make sure to utilize everything that your harrass allows you.
For example Rake's slow entitles you to an extra 10% damage which stacks with your E. A 130 damage Q instantly turns into 146. That's a very nice boost. Land as many autoattacks in this damage boost period as possible (look at Cutthroat's spinning blade debuff on your enemy), perhaps 1 or 2 after your Q, and try to maintain a notion of "I have to get out of here" while you're at it. If you take your time with autoattacks, Xerath's E will come back and he'll stun you. A stunned Talon is a sad Talon. Don't get yourself into trouble like that.
4. Learn to juke well and avoid skillshots on the way back behind your minions.
Your movespeed is too slow to execute this one and get back behind to that safe spot behind your minions unharmed. You are vulnerable on your way back. After you've made SURE you're not getting ganked and have executed this combo, know that on the way back, after the silence duration is over and the enemy laner's cooldowns are back, he will attempt to harrass you back. Juke it. Be mobile. Be a f**king ninja. Bait swain's snare and run back for a split second. Bait Malzahar's silence to the left and juke to the right.
5. Stay out of turret range unless you're past level 6 and have your ultimate up, or you're 100% certain diving pre-6 will result in a safe kill. You're too squishy and lack escapability to dive anything pre-6.
Eventually, after harrassing effectively throughout the laning phase, you will score some kills or ensure the enemy laner is lacking in levels and farm. Talon DOES counter most of the mid-lane champions, and you will come to understand that when you reach mid-game.
TIPS ON USING TALON'S KIT EFFECTIVELY IN TEAMFIGHTS
Again, necessities. The laning phase inevitably ends and you reach the stage where you are roaming around the map with your team pushing lanes, taking and defending buffs and fighting over baron and dragon. Teamfights are hard for a Talon who is just starting out, because Talon is a glass-cannon and is also weak against crowd control. You WILL get focused if you are out of position. If the other team has learned to focus you, or has bought Oracle's to counter you (or both at the same time, and I will explain about Oracle's), teamfights will be even harder.
1. Remember you must NEVER initiate teamfights. EVER. Talon DOES NOT INITIATE. Seriously. Don't ever do this ****. It will get you killed. Unless you're snowballing and they lack Oracle's, don't jump in first. You can even jump in last. Talon's burst is AOE, and if you've kept your gold intake up and running throughout the game by farming and laning well, your burst will be a BIG scare to the other team.
2. Know your valid targets and invalid targets. Your full burst is up once in 33 seconds on full CD reduction. DON'T waste it on the wrong guy because it's a disrespect to what Talon can do. And it's also ineffective but that's less important. Hurting Talon's feelings is more important. Your targets are: AD Carry, AP Carry, and the Support. SOMETIMES even the Tanky DPS because they are valid targets if the AD, AP and support are not there. Valid targets are targets that you are able to outright KILL with only your burst, including your ultimate, under 3 seconds. Remember that any targets below 140 armor are valid. Invalid targets are not worth using your ultimate because it will not aid you in taking them down as much as spamming Q's.
3. Take into account the enemy team's positioning and change your own in accordance. Talon's positioning is special. You don't walk along with your team all the time. You can't just go and backflip through the tanks to get to the carries in the back. It's not possible without getting focused and dying, and you cannot afford to take chances. Talon backdoors teamfights and sneaks around the battleground through the jungle. Taloning well in the late game requires good warding. Cutthroat's ability to jump through walls is just too sweet. If it's really so hard to get to the carries in the back without dying, and you can see that they do not have Oracle's, use Shadow Assault to hide yourself and jump onto the enemy carry using your E. Remember that this causes you to lose a tick of Shadow Assault's damage, the one when the blade ring moves outwards. That's around 500 damage with your full build. That's really just too bad, but yes. You need the cloak. If the enemy team DOES have Oracle's, look further into the guide into the Oracle's section.
I will display the order of abilities you will use in your burst by their icons. Shadow Assault has 2 uses, one for opening and one for closing the blade ring. For the closing keystroke, I will use this icon:
I call this burst Bye.
It's your every day burst.
For when you catch some squishy off guard in the late game, or when you just know a kill is ensured by this. This burst is the maximum amount of damage you can unleash in the least amount of time. By the time the AD carry realises you're on his ***, they have already taken around 1.2k damage from your Q, taking armor into consideration. A Rake is just an added bit of damage in late game, but in early it amounts to quite alot. Your ult is just like a stronger Rake, but it doesn't slow and you can control when it converges on you. You use it to finish off your target. If your blade ring is open and you're walking around, you know your target is dead, and the other team is closing on you, use this little cloak/speed advantage to get out of harm's way until the guy you were after nears the edge of the blade ring, then activate Shadow Assault again to finish him off. Strategize. Talon has alot of ways to be effective without taking damage.
Your target is dead. Talon lets out an arrogant chuckle as his blades converge. Even if your target flukes out and escapes with 50 HP, that's good enough. You did your job. Make your escape using your ultimate's movement and cloak buff. After you're outside of the teamfight and you've killed someone, the rest of your team is still fighting and you're out. Re-enter the fight with small iterations of-
For maximum Q's, letting go of your target once you read that they're about to focus you. By the time you did it once or twice, the teamfight will be over with a great result. Rake's slows will ensure your targets cannot escape, and Cutthroat enables you to really get stuck on your enemy's ***. You really are a game-changer if you use Talon well.
Oh. Hi again.
This little addition is in case you haven't killed your enemy, and they flashed back to somewhere you can run to. For example, you just destroyed the mid turret while tanking Cassiopeia's damage. Immediately you proceed to burst her down and noticed, while Shadow Assault's blade ring is open, that she's at about half health left because she tried to counter you with an early chain vest. She flashes back, but you're better than that. Sprint infront of her using Shadow Assault's buffs, and do this:
The ability do do this means that it is extremely hard to run away from Talon once he catches you as a squishy. Talon is able to outrun even someone who has flashed when Shadow Assault's ring is open. The movement speed boost really is massive. Late game, if you end up being able to do this, this little addition allows you an extra Noxian Diplomacy, which adds around 1,500 extra damage to your entire skill rotation.
I call this burst Hi.
Effectively catapults you undetectably into Cutthroat range of the carry, if they lack Oracle's, but the gigantic Shadow Assault blade ring alerts the entire enemy team of the fact that you are about to focus someone squishy, and when the ring closes it shows everyone exactly where you are. And it loses you a tick of Ult damage. That amounts to over 700 damage with your E late game.
I'm guessing newbie Talons aren't aware of the weaknesses of this burst because they just went and learned how to play Talon from the spotlight. This burst just hardly works as well as positioning yourself well and executing Bye. You're giving up alot of damage, taking much more time to kill someone, and also giving up the VERY MUCH NEEDED ESCAPABILITY that Shadow Assault grants you.
If you are currently in a lane, with your team, and not backdooring the other team, and that tense poking & running around moment before a teamfight starts, and you can't figure out how to reach the carrys when it does, this burst is probably going to be your only option.
Remember that you can put yourself into this situation only if there is a convergence of bad situations such as:
-Tight, straight area, such as a lane, that you can't backdoor.
-The enemy tanks are just holding onto the enemy carries really hard, like, ***-tight, and they have the ability to lock you down before you reach the squishy targets.
-The enemy carries are real chickens, and they know you are on the other team just waiting to sink your teeth into their face.
Although I would advise this burst to any noob, once you pick up the pace with understanding Talon as a whole, you will see that this burst is extremely inefficient and puts you into a major headache after you're done with your target. You can't allow yourself to get caught, a kill for a death is not worth anything, and I want you, as a Talon, to think that even TWO kills for a death are not worth it, just so you can understand how bad it is to get yourself killed in a teamfight. I'm not saying not GETTING two kills is bad, I'm saying getting YOURSELF killed is bad. A well-farmed Talon is much too useful for your team in case they lose a teamfight. He pushes lanes extremely well, disposes of targets very quickly and efficiently, and destroys turrets way too fast.
Okay, so, I've pretty much typed out almost all of the important stuff here, but I'll probably update this section further on as more important stuff pops into my head. Talon is unique in the fact that he has many ways to react to many situations.
In this section I will briefly explain what spells you will generally want to get. I will not laugh about Fortify not existing, I will not laugh about Revive's uselessness. Seriously guys, what are we, 5?
Spells that will not be shown here are spells that don't work well for Talon in general, and that you will not really need.
I love flash. It's TOO effective in TOO many situations. Both agressively and defensively. Can't reach that pesky carry running away with 500 HP left? cutthroat.
Ignite just works awful well with your Q. Ignite's total true damage is immense late game, almost 500. Landing a Q and igniting someone will result in somewhere around 850 damage over time late game, which is great to finish someone off after a burst with, for example, the Oh, Hi Again addition. It also makes it easier to net kills earlier in the game, which is something other spells just can't do.
Exhaust is a great spell lategame. It allows you to shut an AD carry down in teamfights, and while ignite is powerful, exhaust is far more useful. Ignite is basically just for situations where you are winning, and for countering champions with massive lifesteal like Warwick.
Ghost is an amazing spell for melee champions. As Tryndamere, jump into teamfights and activate this spell to outrun anyone who tries to escape your wild criticals. As Talon, it works the same, and also stacks with your ultimate for amazing movespeed. While I really like Ghost, I'd say on Talon you would prefer flash, as it works better defensively.
I LOVE TELEPORT. It allows you teleganking, map control, it corrects for laning errors you made, it does lots of things. It may even net you a few kills here and there. I'd replace Ignite with this, if Ignite wasn't such an amazing spell on Talon.
Cleanse can work on Talon. Talon is very weak against CC, and Cleanse would allow you to get out of sticky situations.
Heal works on any champion after its gigantic buff. Healbaiting the enemy laner works on Talon because you're extremely squishy, and may even result in a few kills. Heal can also save you from getting killed sometimes.
These are the viable spells on Talon. The rest just don't make use for him, really.
Talon's Runes and Masteries
These are the runes I have on my current Talon Flat AD Mid runepage:
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration
Marks and Quints:
Flat attack damage marks and quints enhance Talon's skills and autoattacks. They make it easier to last hit, your W and Q hit harder, and each and every one of your harrassment autoattacks will be much stronger. This enhances Talon's weak early game. I picked these to go on my runepage after reaching the inevitable conclusion: Laning harrass and engagements are all about burst damage. Using this tiny little advantage you have to it's fullest in the shortest amount of time is Talon's expertise, and enhancing his strong points is extremely efficient. A Rake with 20 extra damage every 10 seconds is well worth the runes.
Ever since his mana cost, regen and cooldown nerfs, Talon is having a harder time sustaining his mana pool in lane. If you hit level 6, the enemy laner is at two thirds health, and you only have 200 mana left, know that you've wasted too much mana to obtain a kill. If you had these seals on you, you would've had around 500 mana, enough for a burst and an ignite, securing first blood. That first blood would lead to victory.
Mana regeneration seals allow talon leniency in using his skills. Rake and Noxian Diplomacy use up alot of mana individually, and together as well. Harrassing efficiently involves the using of all of your skills, and not just one of them, like for example Xerath's Q. He just Q's all the time. Sometimes he will E you. If you stand around and get shot with one of his Q's while his E is on you, you will QQ.
All jokes aside, these runes are very efficient, since you don't need armor as a mid laner, and this current build is specifically for mid. The extra mana helps more than you think.
Obvious reasons. Countering the enemy AP carry with magic resist glyphs will help your overall experience and makes talon a bit beefier. While Talon really doesn't need any tankiness at all, in a 1v1 situation early game, these runes come in very handy.
greater mark of desolation
Basically Talon can take any Physical Damage marks and make them work. Flat Attack Damage and Arpen marks work the best. Choosing between these two depends on situation. Think of going into a lane against Morgana.
Morgana is a champion that talon counters. He really just destroys her in lane. Usually after seeing that the enemy team has picked a Morgana to go to mid lane, you'd pick Talon and have a mad grin on your face.
Morgana wants a Zhonya's Hourglass fast. She needs it for her ultimate. 25 extra armor penetration stacked with Brutalizer will help you, because a morgana that will be up against you will probably try to counter you with Chain Vest, and you know for a fact that you wouldn't really need the extra Attack Damage, because laning against Morgana is easy. Since you'll probably completely annihilate her, and get fed, those 15 Attack Damage you gave up won't really matter when you hit your late-game faster and have those 25 extra arpen.
Think in reaction to your enemy. Obviously, counterbuilding is something extremely important in League of Legends. A hard lane would mean that a 15 AD runepage would be a necessity. A balanced rune page between AD and Arpen is also viable, for a jack-of-all-trades kind of setup. all in all, you need to have a good asessment of who you're going up against and exactly what they will do. More on that in the Versus section.
greater seal of replenishment greater seal of vigor
Talon is a mana hungry champion. I myself would advise greater seal of replenishment Flat Mana Regen seals, because they just solve all of his problems together with the Meditation mastery. As I said, managing your mana pool in lane as Talon is extremely important to your eventual success.
If you plan on Top lane though, it's an entirely different matter. If, for example, you are going to face a Renekton in top, you would plan on Armor seals, or changing your Boot3x to Cloth5x. Top lane requires much more sustainability than mid lane, which is a faster, shorter, more easily ganked lane. Mid lane sees far more action than Top, which is why as a top laner you have no excuse to recall early because of mana or sustain issues. You can't afford to lose that top turret and free up their top laner to f**k up your game. Take the loss of mana regen into consideration. Again, It's important.
greater seal of vigor Health regen seals are also fine, because of the fact that you can sustain much more harrass with them on. Going up against a Kennen, which is a high harrass champion, would maybe convince you into picking health regen seals, but again, as I said, the loss of mana regen against Kennen being an energy-based champion is a major disadvantage. As you can see, the greater seal of replenishment Mana Regen Seals really are good for almost any situation, but making the decision between different seals can make it easier to survive against different champions in top and mid, although you will have to learn to compensate the loss of mana regen by using less skills, and maybe even itemizing by purchasing Philosopher's Stone.
greater glyph of replenishment
Glyphs are more of an optimization towards mid-lane. As a mid-laner Talon, you'd want Magic Resist glyphs, flat or per-level, matters only in which game stage you want to be more tanky. Again, remember that you picked Talon in order to counter that mid-laning AP carry, so you would need to enhance your laning prowess.
For top lane, in cases where you would go up against physical damage champions, armor glyphs are sadly inefficient, but Flat Cooldown glyphs will help you very much in ability usage throughout the game, especially after getting rid of the beloved Brutalizer when you don't need it anymore.
greater glyph of replenishmentFlat mana regen glyphs are also viable on Talon. With this much Mana Regen, you'd want to go top and rush Wriggles. This way, you're saving that Golem Buff you want so much for that hungry mid-laner you have on your team. Remember, Talon is a squishy laner, and giving up these extra resists may be a bad decision, but again, it's all up to you. I'm just telling you the goods and bads, what makes sense and what doesn't.
greater quintessence of desolation
Quints generally go in the same direction as your marks. Quints are more slot-efficient than any other rune, but they are still less efficient than 9 runes of the same type. You can also offset your Marks using Quints, as in Flat Attack Damage marks with greater quintessence of desolationArpen quints, or greater mark of desolationArpen Marks with Flat Attack Damage quints. It depends really on what you want more. Again, personal preference.
You could even get Movement quints. They're amazing quints for going to Top lane as they allow you to escape ganks or get to safety after harrassing the enemy. They come into good use later in the game as well.
That's about it on Runes. I'll probably update the runes section later, and I will discuss Talon's masteries, what setup is viable and what's not, soon.
In general, while offensive masteries are not really that noticeable overall, Talon is a burst champion, and Executioner is a good spell because of that. You need to maximize EVERY BIT of damage you can put out in the short time which you will be inside of teamfights.
You CAN go 21/9/0, with emphasis on max health ( Veteran's Scars), which is nice for overall tankiness and early game strength, although in my honest opinion, the Meditation and Runic Affinity masteries of 21/0/9 are EXTREMELY useful, even overpowered.
Havoc really is a useless mastery. Even if you get to hit 4,000 damage, Havoc will add a bonus 60. Sixty damage. Not worth the 3 mastery points you could put into Vampirism.
Here are my masteries for Talon:
I say they are mine because these are what I choose. My idea was to maximize the duration of Blue Buff as it is a really helpful buff on Talon, optimizing Flash and his overall mana regeneration. 216 extra mana at level 18 is also helpful, as it amounts to almost half a burst. Every 100 mana is important, as Talon's skill costs aren't that high.
In general, the extra mana regen fromgreater seal of replenishment Runes and Masteries mitigates Talon's mana problems completely. You will have a much stronger early laning with these on. Trust me.
Talon's Lane and Game Phases
As stated before, Talon is a powerful mid laner. He is a counterpick to alot of champions you would find yourself facing in mid. You need to know what to be afraid of, and how to generally behave in lane. This section of the guide will not be long, as it is pretty straightforward.
Talon's early game is weak, but he begins to pick up the pace as an assassin in mid game. Until level 6, and until you recall for a Brutalizer, wards and potions, you will need to be extremely careful in how you position yourself in lane. Mostly right now it would be pretty hard to last hit with confidence. Hang back a bit to avoid harrass like Xerath's, and if the enemy laner harrasses via a skillshot like Kennen's Q, just hug your minions to avoid being hit.
Last hit with Rake if you know you can't reach that low health minion, or you know you'll get harrassed if you try. Get to know Rake's damage at it's different levels because it will allow you to get a proper understanding of when to use it.
At levels 1-4, you are very weak. Therefore you will remain passive and try to harrass and keep your opponent away from you via Rake. Do not engage the enemy directly. Just be their ***** for a little while. At levels 4 and onwards, you are competent. You only start truly owning the mid lane on around level 6, but you can start abusing the enemy's cooldowns around now. Keep an eye on the map at all times. Early game is Talon's weakest stage, and getting ganked to death and handing over 1st blood is never good for anybody.
Get your jungler to hand you over the 2nd blue buff, maybe even the first if you have a cooldown or energy-based jungler like Lee Sin or Riven on your team. Blue buff is extremely efficient on Talon with it's massive mana regen and cooldown reduction.
Try to recall only when you have around 1500 gold for a Brutalizer, a few potions and a ward. Get some potions every time you go back. A Brutalizer at around 8-13 minutes is standard issue. Once you have it, you'll start to notice it became much easier to push the enemy laner around. Harrass all the time with Rakes, taking good note of your mana, and once they're around 60% health, jump and burst them down using Ignite.
Keep your map awareness sharp and look especially for what the enemy jungler is doing. Pushing too far will result in getting ganked. You need to know when to restrain yourself and when you are able to go all out.
If your jungler is ganking your lane, wait for a good angle, get in Cutthroat range and let your jungler engage. Immediately jump and burst with all your might. As Talon, you are able to put out alot of damage over an extremely short amount of time, which will make getting kills from ganks very easy for you. Most of the time though, against smart laners, you will see that they hang back once their lane is pushed. That's okay, you don't really need kills early game, but if you keep your farm down you will become underfarmed and eventually useless.
Remember that you don't have to get kills in lane to be successful. Always keep your farm up and try to never miss minions. You can secure a brutalizer and an Infinity Edge at the 18 minute mark easily if you farm well without kills. And that's big. So don't worry about getting kills all the time, it's most important to just concentrate on farming and making gold if you see that you can't get lane kills.
Ward all the f**king time. I'm serious. These are SO IMPORTANT. Buy a ward and a few potions every time you recall, and place them in the brush on either side of the lane. IN the brush. You can even pick a couple of these up later in the game when you have an open slot and place them around the map when you're backdooring people. I can't explain to you how many times a good ward has saved my ***, or how many times it actually scored me a quick kill on the low health jungler trying to get away with a gank on me. Don't show the enemy laner that you've warded the bush. Heck, even throw a ward through the wall on either side of the lane just so they can't see that you've put it there. Itt'l be funny, I assure you.
Mid game is where Talon really starts to shine. Remember that at all times you need to keep your map awareness sharp. Ward your lane, push it around up to the turret, secure some free time and start roaming. Talon really has awesome ganking power mid game. Look for a lane that the enemy is pushing and explain to your teammates that you're coming. Tell them to initiate on the enemy, and immediately jump in and burst the enemy down. You might pick up a kill, even a turret if things are working well. Return to your lane and keep pushing it. You can leave the mid laner to their ****, but they'll probably try to follow you around to stop the destruction.
Buy wards and place them around the map. If you see the enemy mid-laner follow you, hang back a bit and let them run towards you. Call the laner(s) you were walking towards or the jungler if he's close by to come to you, and burst the mid-laner down with their help. Continue abusing your advantages to their fullest.
Keep the mid-game objectives in mind. At around this time your team would aim for Dragon. Keep your wits about you and make sure your support has warded the area. By now, if you've faced a strong laner and kept your farm up, you'd have a brutalizer and a BF sword and maybe a pickaxe. Maybe even an Infinity Edge if you've faced a weak one. This is at around the 18-25 minute mark. If you see the other team running towards the area to attempt Dragon, prepare to jump in on them with your team. Dragon's little pond is a tight area, and if they're all fighting at once you will catch most of the other team with your rake and ultimate, which will deal alot of damage along with enabling your team to completely throw them down in a fight.
If you are contesting for Dragon and a teamfight is about to begin, look for a squishy member like the carry to burst down with Ignite and remember the positions his teammates took before you jumped in. Try to figure out how they will react to your jump, and remember the skills every team member on the other team to make sure you will be safe while you're at it. Maybe they'll have a Lee Sin that will Tempest once you're near him and see you while you're running away? Lee Sin is really good against assassins. You don't want that. After you're done, run back to the safety of your team using Shadow Assault's speed boost.
If you're already fighting dragon and the other team is about to come in and stop you, look for when they are tightly grouped and prepare to jump and spam your skills away when the teamfight starts. Again, as Dragon's apartment is a tight area, your immense midgame AOE damage will perhaps cause the enemy team to even back off and give up Dragon, or lose a teamfight against you.
Never be too brave and initiate teamfights. At this stage of the game, if the other team is aware of Talon's abilities, they will have a pink ward somewhere tricky that will stop you from attempting any rambo ****. Just don't risk yourself like that.
Late game is talon's strongest area, though it is also the area where you have the most difficulty maximizing your potential, as Oracle's and armor stacking are abound. At this stage of the game you will likely be struggling with the other team for every ounce of gold you can secure, and optimizing your team's battle prowess, which means you will be after:
Here are some helpful tips on playing Talon late game:
Know that Talon has immense pushing power. He is able to destroy structures extremely fast, and besides, if you escape from a lost teamfight with low health, you can dispatch of any enemies who remain with low health after the teamfight and decide to push lanes, most of the time without any trade-off on your end. Talon can handle a 1v2 perfectly as long as it is against champions with very little hard CC, as he is weak against all kinds of crowd control.
Talon's existance is devoted to destroying carries. Remember that, as it is Talon's purpose and his strongest attribute. Take down their carry, win a team fight. Do it with stealth and finesse, and even if you lose, you can sort of cushion the blow as long as the other team doesn't have like 3 tanky members left that will dive you.
Spam your Q on EVERYTHING. Noxian is a great form of diplomacy. Especially against carrys and structures.
Try to obtain blue buff as soon as it is available. The massive cooldown reduction and mana regeneration will assist you in lifestealing before teamfights by spamming Q on minions and jungle creeps. Your participation in teamfights is by far more effective as well, because you will have a much shorter cooldown time on your ultimate. The faster it comes off cooldown, the more often you are able to perform dangerous tasks like going in and obliterating a champion.
Stay on edge at all times and never face check brushes. You'll never know when the other team will attempt to pull a dirty little trick on you and rape you when you step into a brush. This is why warding is extremely important, as a team that's camping in the brush can be instantly destroyed by the enemy team if they know they're there.
You are SQUISHY! Avoid getting poked at by AP carries with long range such as Lux, Xerath and the likes. A fed lux will likely destroy you before you have the chance to escape one of her snares if she has good warding and sees you coming. If you get caught by too many pokes and your health drops low, you may not be able to participate in the upcoming teamfight, which is a failure on your part. Driving home a member of the enemy team by poking will allow you a serious advantage as long as they are regrouping, and you can pick up Dragon or even Baron when they are. The same principle applies to your team as well.
If you're looking for tips on skills, you can find those up in the skills section.
Talon Versus Other Champions
While Talon is a powerful mid-laner, it doesn't mean that he's an EASY one. He's not a Malzahar that just E's minions, walks back and sometimes gets a kill with a QEWR combo. He's alot harder than that, and not knowing how to lane well with him will lose you the game, and cause you to think that he's a bad champion, which is why this guide is here.
There are many different ways to deal with enemy champions in lane. Every champion you face demands a different playstyle on your end and relies on a certain technique in order to harrass you or try to kill you. Knowing your enemy is vital to winning your lane, and eventually your game. Some mid-laners you completely counter, others will give you trouble, and some may even completely annihilate you.
The way you play against different champions is varied. There is no static one beats all method to playing Talon like there is on, let's say, Xerath or Malzahar. Xerath EQ's you from long range and you lose a chunk of health. Malzahar pushes his lane to regenerate mana, and then E's you with his voidling to get you zoned.
Itemization is also important, you need to make the choice between the two or three different early game items:
Brutalizer, which is the strongest in offense, for if you're doing well or aren't getting interrupted.
Hexdrinker, which is a safe item to begin with, when laning against AP carries
Wriggle's Lantern, which comes in handy sustain-wise, and grants you a constant Ward and some armor to boot. But really, this item pales in comparison to the other two considering the fact that it doesn't build into anything too important. Pick this item up if you're laning against an AD champion like a mid lane Pantheon, which happens sometimes these days.
Here are examples of three different playstyles against three different mid laning champion types: The counterpicks, the equal matches and the outmatching Zone controlling champions.
Talon counters Morgana, so this should be easy. Her only dependable form of damage is her Q, which you can easily dodge with the more mana-efficient Cutthroat. Cutthroat is the main reason why Talon counters Morgana (and alot of other champions) just because of the fact that it causes you to blink BEHIND your enemy. You can screw up ANY skillshot using it. Morgana also falls out against burst damage, and wins against sustained damage which she can shut down using her stun. If you take your time with her while her ult is on you, or her snare is coming off cooldown, you will lose out in the damage exchange and that wouldn't be worth it.
Basically the most important thing against a harrassing morgana is DON'T GET HIT BY HER SNARE. If you do, it means she's harrassing you freely without you being able to respond. Snare-pool and you're stuck while she's walking back. Walk around your minions and zig-zag around if she's pushing to your turret until you get to the cover of your minions. If she shot a snare at you and you're going to get hit, cutthroat to an enemy minion and rake her in the face, you can even walk up and Q her like this. It's really that easy. Remember to stay around your minions, or if morgana is not in a safe position, counter-harrass her when she tries to snare you via Cutthroat. Also remember that her snare has a much longer range than Cutthroat (being a skillshot), so try to remain somewhat in Cutthroat range of her when in lane.
A good Morgana will likely play extremely defensive, trying to farm using her W and hiding around her turret. Overextend and the enemy jungler will be RIGHT ON YOUR ***. Don't do it unless you know where he's at. And you should. Concentrate on free-farming using your pick advantage and you will get strong early and start roaming and screwing up the game for other lanes. Morgana is not as good a ganker as Talon and has much less damage output in all stages of the game. Talon is also a much better farmer.
Morgana never looses her utility, unfortunately, but eventually if you outplay her, as Talon should, she'll remain squishy and without damage, which means you can burst her down in teamfights until she starts stacking armor, which still doesn't help much unless she builds full-tank. Verdict: Very simple opponent to take down.
Kassadin is a GREAT roamer. He is also an assassin just like you. His burst becomes extremely powerful if he snowballs, and if you LET him, you've disappointed me. Don't do that.
There is a big difference between a pre-6 Kassadin and a Kassadin that has his ultimate:
Up until level 6, he will try to harrass you with his Q. Every time you see him try to come into range to Q you, just send a Rake in his direction and walk backwards. Stay beside the minion wave, not behind it. Try to learn the range on his Q, it has a BIG range. Watch for when his E is up, this is a BIG red light to harrassing him. Don't engage kassadin when he has his E ready. Push the lane and he will be forced to use it to push back.
After level 6, if neither of you has recalled and itemed up, your skills have a BIGGER damage output than Kassadin's. He will likely ult+Q+E to try and scare the **** out of you, harrass him back. EQW does MORE damage if his ult was just used to get into range. If it hasn't and he hit you with it's damage, do math. Learn how much damage Talon's burst does at level 6, and try to get him below a certain threshold where you can burst him down instantly. But also don't get yourself baited into a gank when you're waiting for cooldowns to finish him off. This is generally what you will want to do against ALL enemy laners. From this point on, I will call this method "thresholding".
Kassadin will likely roam alot (and do so effectively using his ultimate). Remember that if your Kassadin is not in the lane, he is likely about to KILL someone in another lane. ALWAYS call SS whenever you don't see Kassadin and RE when he's back. Make the choice between following him around or farming and pushing and going to roam. If you see him going to bot lane, follow him down through your jungle. F**k up his roaming with your superior burst damage. If you gimp him in lane, and his roaming is gimped by good team cooperation, then voila. You have one useless Kassadin when the laning phase is over.
Verdict: An equal match to you if you don't have your guard up CONSTANTLY.
Cassiopeia is a very powerful mid-laner. When laning against her, it is MANDATORY to start out with Boot3x and get an early Hexdrinker in place of Brutalizer. Don't feel too brave against her or you'll make a mistake and get yourself killed, and you DON'T want a snowballing cassiopeia against you.
Against Cassiopeia you must ALWAYS remain mobile. Try as hard as you can to never get hit with her Q, Noxious Blast. If you get hit with her Q, you are effectively zoned for 3 seconds as she will attempt to start smacking you around with her E, Twin Fang. A few Q's in a row and you find yourself wasting potions like an idiot and recalling or dying. Cassiopeia feels MANLY mid lane. PRE 6 Ask for attention from the jungler OR POST 6 try to exchange damage with her until you reach the threshold where you are able to execute her 50-0 with Ignite. Snowball off this method enough and you will effectively shut her down.
In short, avoid getting harrassed and maintain your mobility. Abuse your massive level-6 burst by thresholding her and using Ignite. Constantly keep your eye on her and watch where she's going. If she's about to gank another lane, follow her on through.
Avoid stepping on her W, it's a BAD spot to get yourself stuck in. When you're about to go and wrestle her face to face level 6, NEVER LOOK STRAIGHT AT HER until you secure a position within cutthroat range or she will stun the **** out of you and you WILL die. Once you're in Cutthroat range, you're relatively safe to engage if you know you're going to kill her when you engage her. Do your business fast if you don't want her to start nuking you.
Verdict: Hard to defeat
These three examples work for many champions, three winning strategies in a very wide sense: Avoid the easily-avoidable thing that combos into killing you (Morgana + Xerath + Lux, Etc)
Abuse your heavy mid-game physical damage and screw up roaming attempts (Kassadin + Leblanc + Kennen)
Remain very mobile in order to avoid the heavy zone control a specific champion has (Cassiopeia, Kennen, Zyra)
Talon's Bling and Item Misconceptions
ITEMS. Items, items, items.
Talon is a very item-dependant champion. To be effective, you would need to make sure you farm very effectively throughout the entire game, which is both easy thanks to his W, Rake, and hard, because he's a melee champion.
Stacking up Attack Damage is the way to go. Every one of his skills scales positively off AD. That is more than a 1-1 ratio. The stats you want are as such, and by importance:
- Attack Damage
- Critical Damage and Chance
- Armor Penetration
- Cooldown Reduction
- Movement Speed
These statistics are most important to your success. Besides the obviously important ones, Cooldown Reduction is very, VERY important for talon because of the fact that he is entirely reliant on skills for existance in teamfights, and efficient combat. Talon is not Tryndamere.
An early Rake or Cutthroat will make the difference between a kill and a death, reducing your Q's cooldown will work wonders for your 1v1, and besides those facts, the earlier you have your ultimate up, the better.
In my opinion my build is the optimal one for a late-game Talon with all the offensive stats he requires. Of course there is no ONE solid build that fits EVERY match-up, but I find that this one works very well.
Of course it's lacking a sixth item (You sell that Brutalizer later on) because that sixth item is situational. I will explain what to buy in case this or that happens.
When you've completed your build, ironing your stats out with extra elixirs is awesome. You don't need to save gold up for anything else anyway.
Now on for WHY you see this specific build at the top of the page:
This is, in my opinion, the best way to start out as Talon, because it allows you the mobility you need SO BAD when laning against Skillshot based champions, and as Talon over all, and it also gives you the sustain Talon lacks painfully.
Why rush Brutalizer?
- Attack Damage
- Cooldown Reduction
- Armor Penetration
It makes so much sense. Brutalizer is cheap and includes alot of the stats a Talon would want for his early-mid game. If you keep up your farm and get an early kill, you are able to secure this item at around 7 minutes, and that's just OP. I don't know how a blunt object would help Talon's blades, but I'm pretty certain Talon would marry this item if he could.
"Wow. WHY rush this item after brutalizer? Are you serious?"
The math is all there. This item is SUPERIOR to Bloodthirster in terms of gold worth for Talon. You can rush either this or Bloodthirster, it's a matter of playstyle, but really I think this item is far superior, although it means your laning will be less safe. This item enhances your Q better than Sheen. If you get to hit a Q critical in lane with this item, that's a critical the enemy laner will REMEMBER.
There has been a long-running argument on whether to rush Infinity Edge or Bloodthirster first. Instead of looking at individual stats, you need to look at the item as a whole and what it does for you.
Comparing this item to The Bloodthirster, while infinity edge lacks the 20 bonus Attack Damage that Bloodthirster has, and of course the lifesteal, it doesn't require stacking, and enables you to do alot more damage, and in my opinion it's worth the 800 Gold, especially considering the facts that it builds out of TWO Attack Damage items. AND you don't lose 40 Attack Damage and 10% Life Steal if you die. An early bloodthirster will enhance your SKILL damage better than IE as a sole item eventually, but by the time you secure those extra 40 Attack Damage, you will have earned that 800 gold you were missing for IE from farming the required minions. Really, the only important stat that this item grants you beyond an early Infinity Edge is life-steal. Trust me, I did the math. Even the fact that Infinity Edge's advantage in Talon's damage over Bloodthirster, its Critical Chance, only exists 25% of the time, his total average damage over 10 seconds remains HIGHER with IE.
Obvious reasons. Tons of Attack Damage, and the all-important Life-Steal element.
This item is both good for Talon's burst because of it's massive Attack Damage, and great after teamfights when you lifesteal off minions instead of recalling so you can push turrets.
Really an item I would recommend for any Attack Damage based champion
IONIAN BOOTS OF LUCIDITY
As an ability based champion, Talon requires as much Cooldown Reduction as possible. While would seem like a much more viable choice, you're not supposed to get yourself in the way of Crowd Control anyway, and if you DO get caught by a stun, snare or silence, even a really short one, most of the time that would mean you've done something horribly wrong and are about to die. What you CAN do is sell Lucidity up in the late game when they are sure to have Oracle's, but really you just need to measure how much CC the other team has, for example if they have a Morgana, Leona and a Kennen, then whoa, by lord, get these. If they just have a Morgana (and you haven't snowballed out of control and destroyed the game by 25 minutes) you can buy just a QSS as your last item to counter her ultimate. Really, merc treads are far better on a Tank or Tanky DPS champion. The current "MERC TREADS ON MY CARRY, MERC TREADS ON MY AP, MERC TREADS ON MY ENTIRE BODY!!!" meta is complete ****.
First off, rushing trinity force on talon is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard, sorry guys. Doing the math to explain why trinity force is better than an early Infinity Edge or Bloodthirster is ALSO stupid, because you'd have to take into account the fact that Talon's base attack damage is only at around 106 at level 18. So really, shut up to whoever says to rush trinity force before anything else. It's a dumb idea that I do not support and it harms your entire game.
You get Trinity Force later because of obvious reasons. It rounds out your build and enhances several things that are very important for Talon. It gives you EVERYTHING Talon needs except cooldown reduction, including attack damage, movement speed, critical chance, a massive boost to each and every one of your Q's (the base AD proc) and even a bonus: A slow proc on your autoattacks. Only drawback: insanely expensive. And so you divide it to the most important item first: Sheen or Zeal. I put Sheen up there because of personal preference, but really Zeal is the more efficient item, enhancing both your damage and movement speed.
OBVIOUS, OBVIOUS reasons. Talon is a physical damage champion and this item allows him to enhance his damage by countering armor stacking. It even grants you an attack damage boost, is cheap, and builds out of Pickaxe, which is cool.
As a last item:
Yes. Gives overall resistances and the infamous resurrection bonus. You buy this to counter Oracle's. Yes you do. I'll explain more on that in the upcoming Oracle's section.
Very nice item. Against an AP heavy team with Supresses, this item is well worth the last item slot. A very good item.
Great item. The spellshield is invaluable, but the extra tankiness, mana and magic resist are also great, great additions. Buy this against an AP heavy team, or really because it's well worth the item slot.
Yes. It works. It grants you a nice armor boost that you would want. It grants you 40-50 extra Attack Damage which is also great. It even grants you Critical Chance, which is a really good boost to an already good item. If there was any doubt whether to get this item on Talon, you can relax. Get this as a last item against an AD heavy team, because while the other items grant you a bit more defensive stats, Talon doesn't GET in the way of Crowd Control and Damage. Talon's defensive stat is the F**king Ninja stat.
The Bloodthirster as a last item:
I love overkill. This item is also well worth the item slot if you know how to play Talon well and not get caught by the other team's ****. 50% lifesteal is amazing with 2k criticals. The extra Attack Damage really does pack a punch on everything you do. Good last item.
Switching Lucidity for Mercury's Treads
Yeah, you can do that. Mercury treads are a great item as a pair of shoes, and you can compensate for the loss of cooldown reduction by NEEDING blue buff and an elixir. The bonus magic resist makes you really tanky along with Guardian Angel, and tenacity is always an amazing stat.
Overall Viability and counterbuilding:
Yes. This item will work very well against an AP heavy team that has an AP champion that is currently doing very well. You could go ahead and get it after Brutalizer if you're having trouble. The extra attack damage is great on an already good mid-game item. Sell it later for a last-item banshee's veil.
Since Riot recently nerfed the item's values and lowered it's cost, Hexdrinker after brutalizer isn't as good as before, but it can effectively REPLACE brutalizer if you're up against a tough AP opponent such as Cassiopeia or LeBlanc that is giving you trouble and isn't countering you with armor. Early magic resist will make you a formidable opponent to the other laner and will shut down any return fire when you harrass, even better when stacked with your Magic Resist seals.
It's eventual transformation into Maw of Malmortius is an effective defense against AP burst heavy teams as well, without sacrificing too much damage for defensive stats, especially so when you get nuked for half your health, and gain a shield and 20 bonus Attack Damage as a result. Maw is a good midgame item, a little on the expensive side for it's worth though.
Yes. Okay, you got me. I used to think this item was bad. But that was just my stupidity. I admit, this item is a very efficient last item on Talon as well. With Crit Chance, cooldown reduction, armor penetration, attack damage and the awesome speed boost, I think I'll even pick it up and throw it into my build. If you DO use my build and pick this up as your last item, remember you're giving up a defensive item in turn. Last whisper plus this item is STILL worth more damage than either of them alone, I did the math.
F**k you, Berserker's Greaves heretics. Just don't get these boots on Talon. What good are they to him? Attack speed works for you if you STAY AND BEAT UP your target. Do you really want a champion that is capable of 2k crits, that has only like 1,900 base HP with almost no resistances at level 18, to stay and beat someone up in a teamfight? You'll get eaten up in a split second and then go ahead and think Talon is a ****py champion. I don't know who the idiot was, that came up with the idea for these boots, but seriously, just stop it guys.
Sorry about the rant. Continuing on...
Boots of Swiftness:
Really just okay boots. They're good for early roaming, and I used to get them all the time back in the day. The movement speed keeps you mobile in teamfights too. Really, if you can work with less Cooldown Reduction, which is all-important on Talon, you can go ahead and get these, but do take into account the fact that you'll do less overall damage due to lack of CD reduction.
No. You don't need this item. The slow procs don't amount to as much damage with Talon's passive compared to real Attack Damage items, and you don't need another slow beyond Trinity Force. The max HP bonus is really not as helpful to Talon as you think, and the Attack Damage bonus is pathetic. Just don't get it.
I will add more and more items to this section as time goes on, but these are the basics of the items you should and shouldn't get on Talon.
This item has a specific section because it is considered an item that counters Talon.
My answer to that is YES, but not completely. It does NOT counter Talon as a champion, but it DOES counter one of Talon's PLAYSTYLES. Your playstyle will be far different against a team that has Oracle's. Here are a few tips against a team that bought Oracle's (not ordered by importance as they are all important):
1. Remember that a good Talon needs a good support that keeps warding and destroying enemy wards. Reducing enemy map awareness enables Talon to move freely throughout the map, and allows you to backdoor teamfights more efficiently.
2. A careful Talon can even buy Oracle's himself, since he can also destroy wards pretty efficiently with Noxian Diplomacy.
3. If the enemy team has Oracle's, the ability to Hi burst is essentially cancelled. You are NOT cloaked when your ultimate is up. Your viable targets change immediately from the AD carry, which would be the most important, to whoever has Oracle's on him. If it's the tank, you're in bad luck, and positioning is the only thing that will work. If it's the support, oh boy.
4. Countering the other team's use of Oracle's is extremely important. Once you see the purple eye above an enemy champion in the later stages of the game, you should go ahead and buy Guardian Angel and switch Boots of Lucidity to Mercury Treads (if it makes sense in your build). This will give you a tankiness boost.
Change your playstyle to bluntly charging in from a good position and unloading your entire burst on the carries, using Noxian Diplomacy every time it is up, spamming every ability that comes off cooldown and using ignite. Close Shadow Assault's blade ring while you're still inside the teamfight. Hit as many people as possible with Rake. Basically just unload EVERYTHING you have in your arsenal like an animal. Die.
By the time you're back to life from Guardian Angel's buff, your team has almost defeated the other because of the damage you've dealt, and the focus and crowd control the other team has invested into taking you down, and you're also back with 750 health and cooldowns, which enables you to resume fighting.
5. Immediately, you can notice you have much less freedom around teamfights, and have to be much more careful. Rushing the AD carry in the face will likely not be so useful right now, as your approach and escape will be harmed or even halted. You need to let the teamfight drag on a bit. Watch what's going on from a safe position and assess when it is alright to enter. 2 to 4 seconds would likely be enough until the CC is almost completely gone. Don't take too long, as you are leaving your team in a 4v5 and that's horrible on your end.
6. Buying Oracle's against Oracle's is also good, because destroying wards disables the other team from knowing EXACTLY where you are, when your cloak is down. That gives you the ability to stay hidden until you are letting out all of your damage upon the carrys and because Talon is an AOE champion, your late-game damage against the carries will be high even if you focus just one.
7. You will likely resort to using summoner spells some more, which is okay. Any defensive item and a change of strategy works well against Oracle's, you just have to understand what vision the enemy team currently has, and if they will be able to see you when you actually do get to jump and kill someone. Once you're done, you can flash away through a wall and re-enter the teamfight via cutthroatCutthroat when it's back up.
There are many ways to play when Oracle's is up, but most essentially, you need to remember to be much more careful. You don't have your old escapability anymore.
Closing Words and Upcoming Sections
I admit I was a bit impatient, and I released this guide pretty early, but I really have alot to do right now because I'm still in school, and yes, There is MUCH more to come until v1.0, don't you worry.
In the meantime, do show me if I should keep going or not by upvoting or downvoting as you so painstakingly think out and decide. I feel that making this guide is a calling (because Talons these days are pathetic, sorry to all you good Talons out there), and I am currently motivated enough to release it early to let you guys have a good read. I hope you had a good, fun read and found what is currently half of my guide helpful, and most of all I hope you enjoy playing Talon! :D
Versus Other Champions
OH and don't be afraid to give me some tips about how to make guides on MOBAFire, because I'm completely clueless XD
Also, thanks to jhoijhoi for her cute little guide on making guides. I just needed some coding help, as I can handle all the graphics myself.
By the way, all the graphics here belong to me (besides the rendered images of Talon) and have been made/enhanced by me. Don't copy stuff from my guide, it just makes you look like a douche.
Special thanks to all the commenters for enlightening me on your playstyles and item choices. Even if I argue with you, know that I take into consideration everything you say. Comment, upvote, and you might even be in my guide if I find your advice effective, and appear under this section:
3.13.2012: HEY EVERYONE! The guide is up!
3.14.2012: Updated the guide with a runes and masteries section which currently has Marks, Seals and Glyphs almost completely ironed out. I'm done typing for the night. Off to bed...
3.14.2012: Good morning. Updated the runes section with more information about the specific rune page you see at the top. Updated the skills section with a skill sequence and an argument on the Q versus W debate. Added some pictures and ironed out the guide a bit. Added Oracle's section.
3.15.2012: Shazam. Updated the runes and masteries section with masteries. Updated the items section, I like Youmuu's it seems. Added a spells section. ADDED SOME AWESOME NEW GRAPHICS :D
3.16.2012: Updated the guide's graphics, and finally put a gigantic rendered image of Dragonblade Talon at the top like I was planning to. I never thought I could finish it in one day, but I just finished the laning and game phases section. NOW you can vote.
8.15.2012: Wow, it's been a hell of a while since I've last updated. Five whole months. Well I guess I felt like I owed it to you guys to complete the champ section. Here it is for you. Hope you enjoyed and made good use of my guide! :)