Talon Build Guide by Goffterdom

Not Updated For Current Season

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

League of Legends Build Guide Author Goffterdom

[S3] Ranked Talon, Cleave the Mid

Goffterdom Last updated on January 1, 2013
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Ability Sequence

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

Not Updated For Current Season

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



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

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To Begin

"The three deadliest blademasters in all of Valoran are bound to the house of Du Couteau: my father, myself, and Talon. Challenge us, if you dare."
- Katarina Du Couteau


Hi everyone.

After my Kassadin and Master Yi guides, here's my Talon guide. I'd like to think that this guide will share the same quality than the previous. I'd like to write an in-depth analysis of my favourite champions.

I bought Talon right after his release as I was expecting a real physical assassin that would come, shut a target down and vanish to the darkness. I played Talon as a Solotop at start, then it became clear that he was a dominant champion on the middle lane. I started to shred a lot of players that werent used to face an AD Caster. Then Season 3 arrived, finally giving The Brutalizer a useful improve. The Black Cleaver arrived and it just drived Talon crazy. After all the games I'v made, I'd like to think that my Talon's experience worths to be written and can give you something.

I'm not like all those guys who posted a guide about Talon only one or two days after his release. I dont think you can do something of quality in one day. I trained a lot, either on Public or Ranked queues. I tried several builds and different skill orders ! I trully believe this build is efficient and can allow you to carry your games as Talon.

Have a nice read ladies and gentlemen, I hope this guide is going to take you to higher Talon's skills.


Note on the Shyvana's patch: Talon has been nerfed. But it's not a reason to cry, on the contrary. All the freaking dumbs who were playing him because they think he was some kind of "OP" will now play another champ. It makes us the new generation of deathbringers.

Rake mana cost increased to 60/65/70/75/80 from 45/50/55/60/65
Shadow Assault cooldown increased to 75/65/55 seconds from 60/50/40

This nerf is kinda deserved. The increased mana cost of Rake is not an issue at all with this set of runes and masteries. As long as you dont spam your abilities you won't run out of mana. The increased CoolDown duration on Shadow Assault is really fair, that was OP. It has still a really low cooldown afterall.


Note on the Season 3's patch: Brace yourselves squishies, The Black Cleaver is coming.

This gives The Brutalizer a legit improve. This also gives Talon a better scaling lategame (meaning his power will vanish slower than before).

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Pros & Cons

Why would you like to play Talon ? I'm going to tell you why you have to play him.


• Finally a real physical assassin
• High burst through early and mid game
• Easy farmer ( Rake)
• A complete counterpick
• A silencing gap-closer ( Cutthroat)
• A skilled way of escape ( Cutthroat)
• Nice AoE damages in Teamfights
• Nice escape mechanism ( Shadow Assault)
• High chances of getting double or tripple kill
• Synergizing Ignite with Noxian Diplomacy


• No sustainibility on lane (less important on the Mid Lane)
• Squishy and Melee
• No escape mechanism when Shadow Assault and Flash are on cooldown
• Less efficient in the late game
• Bruisers take you down ( Lee Sin, Renekton, Irelia...)
Oracle's Elixir and Vision Ward shut down a part of your escaping capabilities

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Runes, Masteries & Summoner Spells

The pre-game elements. Often what the reader is searching for.

I'll make it brief because my choices are simple.



There's nothing fancy here so I'll explain it quickly.
Sorcery gives you CD Reduction. I prefer this mastery to Deadliness because this mastery only gives 12 AD at level 18. 4% CDR gives you 29% flat CDR with the core build. I dont feel like we can benefit from the extra attack speed.
I like the Butchery mastery for an easier farming.
I also dont choose the Lethality / Frenzy combo mastery because I don't choose any Critical Chance items.
I like to get that 9 defensive points because Talon has to comit (place himself in a dangerous position) in order to kill.
You can also get that 9 utilitary points that gives you increased duration for the blue, I would personnaly choose this setup vs an easy match up.




Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Armor Penetration

Greater Mark of Armor Penetration

Greater Quintessence of Armor Penetration and Greater Mark of Armor Penetration

Give you 20 Flat ArPen.

Flat AD gives you more damage at levels 1-6 then ArPen Runes become more efficient. Choose either of these two Runes Types according to your playstyle.

I also choose to remove two Greater Quintessence of Armor Penetration for two Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed in order to chase, juke and escape more easily (since you have very few escape when Shadow Assault in on Cooldown).

Greater Seal of Armor

Give you 13 Flat Armor. It can looks strange considering you are facing an AP Carry (dealing Magic Damages).

Most of the mid-laners are Ranged Champions that will harass you with their auto-attack as soon as you get close to the minions for last hitting. Having Greater Seal of Armor allow you to decrease the efficiency of such an harass. It also decreases the damages of a potential AD Jungler.

If you don't like these Sceals you can switch for Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration or mayve even Greater Seal of Magic Resistance.

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Give you 14 Flat Magic Resist.

For obvious reasons these runes fit our lane perfectly since they decrease the damage output of your lane opponent.


Summoner Spells

Highly Recommended Ignite / Flash

The Metagame dictates, we follow. As sad as it may sounds, in Ranked Games you play for the win. If pro players play this way it means it's the more efficient.

I can give few explainations anyway.

Flash is a must-have in the current meta because Jungler's ganks are way too pressuring. Without a flash the enemy jungler can camp you like madness because he knows as soon as you are CC'ed, you are dead.

Flash also helps you getting kills with your Flash / Cutthroat gap-closer.

Ignite fits the meta because it makes you capable of killing your opponent. All the players try not to die, Ignite makes the difference between letting your opponent fly away or killing him.

Ignite also synergizes with Noxian Diplomacy really well.

Maybe in few months, when pro players got used to the new elements of season 3 we will see more Summoner Spells, and I hope so. I just don't have enough time to try everything out. I already tried Barrier and Teleport on the middle lane but I just feel like I miss Ignite too much.

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Skill Order

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

The borring part considering the small summery at the start of the guide. I'll explain my choices of abilities.

#1 Shadow Assault

Your ultimate.

#2 Rake

As most people say "your bread and butter skill". This is an "all-purpose-tool", farming, chasing, damaging. This does everything.

#3 Noxian Diplomacy

Your secondary burst ability. This deals damages opposed to Cutthroat.

#4 Cutthroat

Your only ability that doesn't deal damages. You can level it for the Cooldown decreasing but I really think Noxian Diplomacy is a more reliable choice.

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Build Analysis

The interesting part of my job. My item build and the explanation of my choices.


Item Sequence

Crystalline Flask

Long Sword

Null-Magic Mantle

Boots of Speed

BLANKThe different starting possibilities.

Crystalline Flask

BLANKBuy two Health Potions and a Sight Ward with this item. This is the new "OP" starter. This gives you an amazing lane sustain and an early map control to avoid giving firstblood on a jungler's gank. Having a better sustain than your opponent makes you able to push him out of the lane to recall before you. This gives you a chance to hit 6 before he does in order to kill him, it should also makes you ahead in Creep Score. Finally if your opponent is forced to recall before you, you can gank a side lane without being pushed or loosing some creeps.

Long Sword

BLANKBuy two Health Potions with this item. I start with this when I feel like I'm going to dominate my lane (vs an easy matchup or in low elo zones) It gives you an impressive amount of burst at really early stage of the game. It also makes you capable of building The Brutalizer, Phage, Hexdrinker or even Vampiric Scepter, depending on what you need.

Null-Magic Mantle

BLANKBuy two Health Potions with this item. Starting with this vs a high damage output in order to rush Hexdrinker. If it appears you don't even need it, you can still improve it into Mercury's Treads or Guardian Angel.

Boots of Speed

BLANKBuy three Health Potions with this item. Starting with this vs a skillshot based AP Carry ( Orianna for instance). I would not recomend to start out with boots now they have been nerfed, but it still helps a lot to dodge skillshots.


Core Items

Item Sequence

The Bloodthirster

Trinity Force

BLANKThe heart of your build. What makes you able to use Talon at his full potential.

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Ability Mechanisms

How to properly and efficently use Talon's abilities in order to get the maximum potential out of him.

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The Counterpick

Talon is a counterpick. You can't pick him first on a lane. Talon is a champion to pick against several determined champions. Here is the list.

Talon counters a lot of AP Carries on the middle lane. I'll try to list them all and I'll also name the specific counterpicks.

AP Carries

BLANK Ahri, Anivia, Brand, Fizz, Galio, Gragas, Karthus, Katarina, Kennen, Twisted Fate, Veigar, Vladimir, Ziggs.







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Frequently Asked Questions

What most people may wonder about Talon.

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The End

The sadest part, the end of the guide.

"Time with Talon" by FlavoRTowN