Talon Build Guide by LaGorra
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.
12/18/11 - Guide originally made.
3/18/12 - Update to item build and responded to some comments. Thanks for the feedback, but sorry I have not been checking this guide. I just got back into Talon so I will be more attentive now!
It's NoxianNighthawk (A.K.A. LaGorra)!
Talon is my favorite champion (behind Katarina - check out my guide called Katarina: The Shunpo Shutdown). I have played him in many ranked games and learned many nuances of the strategy behind him. I hope that after using this guide, you too will enjoy Talon as much as I do. I am making this guide to help make Talon popular, but mostly because I cringe every time I see a bad Talon player, amirite?
I would also like to mention that I play Talon as a roamer. This means that I will begin at either bottom or top lane (depending on if my team has a better solo top), but once I hit level 6, I gank around. I usually get a kill in my lane at level 6, go back, and immediately gank middle. I will then continue to gank whichever lanes appear to need it most, picking up jungle buffs as I go (so long as my jungler says its okay). This lets the jungler farm up exp and money (ganking less often) and generally feeds me. I have great success applying this strategy because Talon fights best with the element of surprise.
Pros and Cons
* Scales very well. Rake starts off barely scratching your opponents, but by level 5 it will be an excellent harass technique and an amazing way to push/farm creeps.
* Noxian Diplomacy is very useful in that it provides a trail of blood to track opponents in the jungle. It seems minor at first glance, but this utility has gotten me many kills. The dot is also very nice - I can't tell you how many time I got a kill three or four seconds after I left a fight and wondered, "How did I get that kill?"
* The burst on Talon is just ridiculous. I remember one game in which I could kill the enemy Lux at full health on a tower dive into Double-Nexus turrets with only my Rake and Noxian Diplomacy.
It's just not fair.
* Talon is excellent at getting in to an entire team, getting a kill, and getting out unscathed.
* Talon is very squishy. If he is hit with crowd control and focused, it is very hard for him to survive or deal any damage. The frozen mallet helps with this, as does the Trinity Force. You must be strategic and not overextend, while not being too cautious. Assassins are all about risk-reward.
* From levels 1-4, Talon has almost no potential for damage. He scales very well, but starts very low. Be careful in skirmishes at level 1 (before minions spawn) or you will often end up as First Blood.
* If you are not used to playing Talon, it can be very easy to cast his abilities too often. This results in problems with mana. I do not have this issue because I can manage my spellcasting, but this may be a problem for new Talon players.
Greater Mark of Desolation - Very good armor penetration. If you don't know why armor penetration is important, don't use a ranked guide.
Greater Seal of Resilience - This extra armor (flat) will help Talon out in the laning phase. It helps his first four levels not be so terrible to have a cushion of around 12 armor at the early levels of the game.
Greater Glyph of Warding - Some magic resistance for the same reason I get the Seals of Resilience. The first few levels won't be so bad if you have a little bit of protection.
Greater Quintessence of Swiftness - The speed is a preference thing. I really like the mobility on Talon (starting with boots of speed and these Quints, I have around 400 move speed at level 1). It helps as a roamer to be able to traverse the jungle in less time.
Some Other Options
Greater Seal of Replenishment - This is good if you have mana issues on Talon. I used to have them (again, from levels 1-4), but now I can manage my spells well enough to take the armor runes instead. Still, if you are new to Talon, these runes are nice to have.
Greater Glyph of Replenishment - I would take this over the Seals of Replenishment. These would replace Magic Resistance glyphs instead of Armor Seals, and the armor seals are better than the Magic Resist.
Greater Quintessence of Desolation - I know that many people prefer more damage over speed, so I included these quints. I highly recommend the Quints of Swiftness, but if you are just not going to be persuaded by me, then I suppose these quints will do as well.
I like to go 21-0-9.
On the Offense tree, I go down the left side for the armor penetration and damage. However, I venture off onto the left side to pick up some levels in Sorcery and Havoc, because the CDR and damage bonus are really nice to have.
On the Utility tree, I get Expanded Mind and Summoner's Insight because of the nice mana bonus and the reduced cooldown on Flash. Then I get all the points in Swiftness for the same reason I get the Quintessences of Swiftness, and I take a point in Runic Affinity because I will be roaming and stealing jungle buffs when I can.
I usually go with the following:
I demand that you take flash. It is the best summoner spell out there. It has saved me countless times and secured me a kill almost as often. Speaking of securing kills....... Ignite, much? You should especially take ignite if the other team has chosen or (apparently Riot is obsessed with healing champs right now), or even - any champs with healing effects.
is another good choice. The slow and "miss" effect is really nice against auto attackers and useful for chasing people down or escaping. However, I take ignite instead because Talon's speed should make exhaust obsolete.
Skills and Skill Sequence
I quite like this passive. It works great with and most of Talon's abilities apply crowd control.
There is a lot to talk about with this ability. It deals a ton of damage on just one auto-attack. Sure. But it also does two other things. First, it applies an AD-based dot. It actually does a lot. Second, it makes a blood trail for you to follow through the jungle. Again, this is great with . I max it third.
This skill scales incredibly well. It starts off pretty weak, but by skill level 5, it tears through health bars. The slow it applies is quite significant as well. I get this skill first and max it second.
I. Love. Jumps. On. Squishies. The silence it applies just makes it more awesome! This is my favorite skill on Talon, but I max it last because all I really care about is the jump, which is the same no matter what level it is.
This ult rocks. The invisibility is really nice and the daggers deal so much damage! Also it gives a speed boost. The invis lasts long enough to let your proc, too. I max it first.
Here are some good choices on Talon to start the game.
I like this choice because it starts me off with around 400 speed and builds into something. Also, having health pots really makes up for Talon's early game deficiencies.
I don't love doing this, but it is certainly viable. The extra health makes Talon less squishy and it gives a solid amount of AD, but I still like the speed better (not to mention the boots build into something while you must sell the Doran's Blade).
This is another option if you want the damage over the speed. It builds into (an AMAZING item) so I actually quite like this choice. I still prefer the boots, but I would take this over .
This item is the first thing you should buy. Everything about it rules. Early game, it can really sway a lane in your favor - armor pen, cdr AND attack damage? For 1337 gold? Yes, please. Also, it builds into , so I really can't think of a reason you would NOT build this.
These boots, again, maximize speed on Talon. I prefer these over because they give much more speed (albeit only out of combat), but you mainly need the speed for running around the jungle, where you won't be doing much fighting anyways. I completely understand if you want to get Boots of Swiftness.
Again, I really like speed on Talon. However, if you feel that is not for you, the Merc Treads are the way to go. Like I mentioned earlier, cc really screws Talon over, so if you want this Tenacity, go for it.
*Just to be clear, get before you get boots!*
This item rocks. It rocks your friggin' socks off. There's AD, attack speed, armor penetration, CDR, and yes, there is even movement speed. USE THIS ITEM'S ACTIVE! DO NOT USE IT SPARINGLY! The cooldown is very short and you should get into a habit of popping this whenever you are in what you deem a significant fight. Get right after your boots.
Wanna know what this item does? AD. Raw, powerful AD. Nothing fancy about it. Sure, it lifesteals, but Talon is not an auto-attacker, so its not that significant. This item rules because it can give you 100 attack damage. I get it after , but depending on how the game is going, I might only get B.F. Sword, then get , and then return to finish off .
The Frozen Mallet was made for Talon. It gives a small amount of AD, sure, but what it really has to offer is a little bit of survivability and a friggin' insane passive. The health is just what Talon needs to not die so quick. I really like it. The passive is really where it's at, though. All of your auto-attacks now slow. Say what? Yes. They now slow. Not only does this further make useful Talon's speed and take advantage of the utility on Noxian Diplomacy, but it makes each of your auto-attacks trigger Talon's passive. As long as the target is under a cc effect, you deal 10% more damage. Get this after .
Okay, you have some choices now.
This item helps Talon with his supreme squishiness. I don't usually get this because I am usually kicking butt, but if you are at a negative KDA at this point I would probably get this item. The passive is really nice so that you can get in, get a kill, proc the GA and then RUUUUUUN! Also, it gives armor and magic resist in ONE ITEM, so you don't have to buy two.
I really like this one. Guess what? MOVE SPEED! Also, sheen is great on Talon and the TriForce only makes it better. It grants health, attack speed, move speed, a nice passive, and is pretty much the most expensive item. Get it if you are doing well.
I usually go this route after I have my TriForce. Any tanks that they have are done being tanky at this point - with runes, masteries, and this sucker, I have armor penetration out the whazoo. Squishies will die soooo fast (granted that you don't die faster!). I close out my build with this item most games.
If the enemy team has a fed...
... or any other AD carry, I would grab this item. It really is a great counter to these guys, and with the and you will have lots of health too. You wouldn't be too squishy anymore.
I like this item on squishies like Talon. The passive rocks, it gives more health (you might as well pick up at this point!), mana, magic resist and a nice little shield. If their blitz keeps pulling you or their vayne continuously stuns you in the jungle, then get this and watch your troubles disappear.
I recommend only getting ONE survivability item.
Unless you really need the second one, I feel like one is enough and more damage or armor penetration is the way to go.
Talon is a great champ. I love so many things about him! His ridiculous damage along with his jump and stealth (on his ult) allow him to do exactly what an assassin should do: get in, get a kill, and get out. Once he hits level 6, he can gank to any lane he wants and grab kills if you know what you are doing. Talon is one of the best champions in the game and by far the best assassin. Hopefully, now you know the ins and outs of playing Talon so that you can make n00bs qq op just like me!
I will be adding a Special Thanks section to anybody who leaves a useful comment. If I incorporate your ideas in this guide, I will add your account name to this section along with whatever suggestion you made and I took. Please help me out!