Talon Build Guide by endgame3810
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.
I'm writing this for a friend. Everyone else, thumbs up if you like, thumbs down if you don't, but try it out before you knock it (or love it). Also this is my first guide and I couldn't find the way to embed the little skill pictures so... they will be referred to by name or Q,W,E,R for skills 1,2,3,4. Also if I have typos, outright mistakes, or if you have your own recommendation, feel free to comment.
So, Talon, long story short, AD assassin. Slightly different from an AD carry in that you want to specialize in AD/CDR/Crit (in that order) rather than the traditional AD carry specializing in AD/Crit/AS. This build is user friendly, newbies will do just fine at low elos as high following the skills/items/runes. The GUIDE (Written part) is not user friendly, it assumes you know the game and what the acronyms and the other **** stand for and mean and that I don't need to explain to you how best to last hit, etc.
End of Build important highlights:
345 Dmg. 40% CDR. 55% crit chance. 45/10% Armor Pen. No Mana Problems. Doesn't require blue -or- red because he works basically as well without them - Yes by definition this build is centered around teamwork and support too.
Reasons for Masteries and Runes
There are essentially two major issues with Talon. 1: His laning phase is bad. 2: He's extremely dependent on Items. Both of these are especially true post ner***e (For talon players this is known as the "Where did my mana go patch". (The upsides here are that with mana he does ridiculous damage and with gold he snowballs into a team-slaying monster).
These downsides can be reasonably helped by taking a rarely used route for AD characters... through the defensive tree. Additional hitpoints, HP/5 Regen, Armor/MR all equal a much easier early game, or at least a better early game against the widest variety of opponents, as I play blind pick most often since that is the preference of my particular gaming crowd that is of critical importance.
The upside as well here is that by going down the defensive tree we can also get to Enlightenment (8% CDR reduction by 18) and Mercenary (+24 gold for kills/assists). Mercenary is frankly one of the most underrated masteries in the game. It makes MUCH more money than the entire utility tree in the same game-time and it gives you added survivability while not having to waste points in that ridiculous new utility tree.
Also, the reason we put two points in the Sorcery (+2% CDR) skill instead of finishing the Defense tree is simple. 3 Enlightenment + 2 Sorcery + Shurelyia's + Youmuu = 40% CDR - The Maximum amount - Which means 2.4s Q, 6 second W, 6 second E, 33s Ultimate. Which is win (If your opponents haven't surrendered by 20, which frankly doesn't happen much to me).
Frankly I find these items to be self-evident but since I know on at least a couple points people will disagree, here goes:
Merc Treads : You are not a ranged carry. You cannot kite. You do not rely on attack speed (You have a free reset attack timer anyway). You need to get in and get out. Berserkers greaves will not do. Not now, not ever. You cannot afford to get caught or kited. Get the Merc treads.
Shurelyias - A lot of people like to replace this with yet more damage or something. Let me make this clear. You are not the traditional AD Carry. You are a MELEE assassin. Which means you are going to get hit a lot more than the ranged guys in the back. This HP is non-negotiable, whether you do it with this item or another. I prefer this item because I already have Philosophers stone and build it into this - keeping all my extra money I would lose selling it. The fact that it gives you CDR, Health/Mana regen and a nifty escape or chase on top of that? Absolute cake. Watch them cry when they think they're gonna escape but you shurelyias + teleport (Cutthroat) to them. Not laughing now are you punk?
Youmuus - A lot of people like to sell Brutalizer and replace it with something else instead of building it into Youmuu's - which frankly with most characters is the best option. On talon however you lose money (slowing your snowball) and frankly Youmuu's gives Talon everything that he loves. More armor pen, crit chance and CDR. IT also gives him a brutal initiate if you use its active well but frankly even if you don't use the active this item is bread and butter for talon. That said, those players are right in that Youmuu's doesn't give much for the amount of money it takes to upgrade Brutalizer to Youmuus. So save the upgrade for near the end of the build.
Infinity Edge - Now, I doubt anyone is going to disagree with me on this item being good but I imagine I will hear a LOT about how you should get Last Whisper over IE. Do not listen. At the end of the game what you as the AD Assassin need is more burst on their squishies. You are not trying to kill tanks (And frankly IE is better for that too since it will end up giving you more crits for lifesteal and helping you outlast the tanks rather than the straight up dmg of LW will).
Flash (Always) - Having this + Shurelyia's + Shadow Assault should pretty much make you an ungankable beast if you have even the slightest map awareness.
Ignite: My personal favorite, yet more ability to burst and makes fights with those who can normally outsustain you hard (WW/Mundo/Irelia) much more approachable.
Exhaust: Almost as good as ignite for Talon, a little more flexible but no damage. Use it to lock down and enemy from running or from chasing you or cut their damage output just enough to win that close fight.
Cleanse: My trolling card. Flash + Cleanse + Shurelyia + Shadow Assault is absolutely ridiculous and its ability to get you into and then out of great opportunities or bad situations cannot be overstated. I recommend this for ranked games. You will be focused hard if you are even a little decent or fed.
Always take Rake first. This is for the slow. Escape ganks, help your gank, etc. That said, what you should max first depends entirely on your lane.
-Bot Lane (Talon works surprisingly well here) you should max Rake first as it will enable you to farm best in a duo-lane as well as giving you the potential to hurt both enemies at range with a minimum of reprisal.
-Mid Lane you should max your Q first - Last hitting, ganks and pushing tower so you can roam sooner. Q is the highest damage output for the mana cost and the lowest cooldown. Long story short, 1vs1 this should win your fights vs AP casters and most other squishies.
-Top Lane: Post nerf you should not be here unless their top lane is also squishy. Talon loses early game versus tanky sustainable champs, end of story. Otherwise, follow mid lane rules.
-Jungle: You are on crack. Or you are TSM's TheOddOne. Follow normal jungling routes for the less sustainable and otherwise refer to mid lane thoughts.
Things to know about your skills that can make or break you (maximize damage output).
Q (Noxian Diplomacy) -
1. This can be used against towers.
2. This resets your attack timer - What this means is that BEFORE you get Sheen or Trinity Force, you do the most damage by jumping onto an enemy hitting him once, THEN hitting Q for another immediate attack.
3. The bleed part of the skill does not occur versus minions/creeps/monsters/towers. Only champions.
E (Cutthroat) - Always jumps you BEHIND the enemy. So for the love of god, cast the Rake "backwards" not forwards after initiating. The # of Talons I see missing Rake after their E is ridiculous.
R (Shadow Assault) - Using this skill stops your champion in his tracks. If your not telling him to move or attack right after, he WILL stand there. This is good for misdirection or escapes. This is also good for screwing new or inexperienced Talon players out of getting their kills.
-Quick Harass - W, E, Q. This particularly screws over champions with skillshots (Karthus, Casseiopea, Anivia, Ezreal etc) as generally, they don't aim their nuke on top/behind themselves
-Maximum Damage (without Sheen/Trinity) - E, Auto Attack, Q, W, R, Auto Attack. The Auto attacks are important, you are an AD champ take advantage of being a caster that scales off AD.
-Maximum Damage (With Sheen/Trinity) - Q to prepare... Wait a second. Initiate (E). Q, W, R. Since Q is on such a short cooldown (2.4s at best and usually around 3.5s on this build average) you can get the most damage doing this since the Sheen procs based on when it was "cast" last, rather than when you last hit with it so while you can't stack sheen hits, you can make them occur right after one another in LESS than 2s.
Talon is basically an AD Caster. He has good base damage and good AD ratios so what the man needs - at all stages of the game - before all else - is Damage and Mana. Armor Penetration Quints/Marks and MP5 Seals/Glyphs are simply the best and most efficient routes to those goals.
DO NOT REPLACE THE ARMOR PEN WITH ATTACK DAMAGE RUNES. Want to cripple enemy talon players trying this idiotic move? Buy a piece of chainmail and invalidate their whole freaking existence.
You want more survivability? Suuuure. Replace the marks and glyphs with armor and MR runes... why stop there though? Play the 23%@#$^@#ing tank and get off Talon if this is your instinct. Seriously, Talon can't top lane anymore, the mana nerfs were too hard, he can't even begin to early-game sustain the damage output it takes to get through say Irelia, Garen, Singed, Volibear... particularly Lee Sin. Lee sin in lane against Talon is the hardest counter you can find for Talon. He will eat you alive. Without salt.