Talon Build Guide by Lewylln
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.
First guide, dont kill me if you disagree.
Pretty much Talon was my first real champion I bought and played, I used the builds of a few guides but nothing has really satisfied that need to feel in power, that if I dive onto a champ I know he's going to die. That generally only happens when you get fed, but I found if you play Talon right, that happens A LOT.
#Note - This is obviously subject to change with patches and what not, however right now it's my general build and it's disgusting powerful in any game#
Pros / Cons
-Talon is a rediculously powerful assassin
-Huge AD burst damage and great ratios on bonus ad for skills
-Skills set is exceptional good for bursting down squishies and carries (even tanky ones)
-If you get fed people just run, and there really isnt any feeling better then watching three enemy champions running away from you.
-as sensitive as balls early and late game if you're not careful (aka, really squishy)
-if you get zoned you're going to feed. period
-if you can't land enough rakes to haras your lane you're not going to get the kills early game that lead to feeding (or come from feeding noobs, seriously if you cant haras a champ who is obviously out of place then dont play talon)
Let the debates begin, these are MY runes that I enjoy. If you want to try them out, go nuts, if not dont come crying to me if you get zoned by Karthus in mid cause you got no magic resist and can't land a rake for jack. In short, early game you need to harass, it gets you kills ( Rake is a very op harass especially if you're in mid against a squishy caster) so having the best MP5 runes is essential, that means Greater Seal of Replenishment is going to boost your game a lot. Armor pen is just Talon's game, armor shouldn't be a problem for you, especially if the champs you're after have low armor (low armor enemy + armor pen talon = max dmg) so armor pen marks and quints make sense, hence the Greater Quintessence of Desolation and the Greater Mark of Desolation. Lastly Greater Glyph of Magic Resist or Greater Glyph of Armor (depends if you like top or mid most) round it all off nicely. I play with mana/5 sec glyphs for awhile but it just didnt give me the lane sustain i needed and didnt give me any more harass potential then i did before.
Skill Sequence + Masteries
Pretty much this here gives you the best potential for picking up kills. I dont think I need to go into detail about the masteries, there is a leanecy depending on your play style since we all play differently but this is a good general template in my opinion. One change you COULD make is swapping out Lethality for Meditation for some extra harass potential but an extra 10% on any crits you make is rather sexy (however Talon is NOT a crit champ, unless you want to try building a crit build, then go nuts and get Lethality ). For skills the only thing you have to remember, is harass early game (anything below level 12-14 unless your team just loves to go on a ganking party, which btw is highly advisable for any Talon players. Ganks = kills, kills = money, money = more items, more items = more kills, and so on. See how the feeding circle works?). This means even at level 3 you should put an extra level into Rake instead of getting cutthroat. why? because 20 dmg + bonus ad just isnt a good harass for lvl 1 Rake. However if you can harass even twice with 50 dmg + bonus ad, you're gonna make them scared, real scared. It's also gonna help with anti-ganking since you dont have sight wards, any early ganks can be finished with a single well placed Rake. At level 4 you can put that point into cutthroat, simply because its a nice utlity skill and doesnt do a lot but get you where you need to be (the silence is negligible until the skill is maxed). However I have made a few exceptions to this cutthroat vs Rake situation. Multiple times I've found myself against an agro mid, such as Gragas and I need to get off some burst dmg so I dont get zoned. The best solution is a point in cutthroat at level two and then jump them twice AFTER you see their harass skill go off (hopefully without you getting hit by it). This is risky but if you are good enough to get him off ye until level 6 it is well worth it. The other solution is to request a gank from your jungle of course, however I've never found that a gank at level 2 is gonna get you a kill unless you have cutthroat anyway to finish them off. However this also means maxing Noxian Diplomacy second due to its awesome dmg and bleed effect.
Flash and Ignite, if you get anything else you're not reaching the max potential you could. Ghost is pointless if they have Exhaust up, Teleport is for supports and so on. Nothing suits Talon more than Flash and Ignite. Flash + Shadow Assault makes you (I kid you not) king of ganking, bursting any squishies that step outa place and of escaping from those pesky Warwick or Blitzcrank ganks. Being able to go stealth WITH a movement bonus is hugely useful for getting out of tricky situations or catching up to that squishy who thinks they can run away, cutthroat onto that sucker and its gg. Ignite is the next best spell for Talon simply because you dont have to worry about chasing that freaking Garen on half a freaking bar of hp under his turret to finish him off (the number of times he's silenced me so I can't finish him off drives me nuts), drop that Ignite and he'll think twice about trying to bushwack with you around.
I need to mention this one, despite how much I love getting fed like I'm at an all you can eat smorgus board, team work is still necessary for that to happen. Some simple rules you're gonna need to know as talon are:
-You're not invincible, in fact you're bloody fragile, ask for a gank if you're not laning well/getting zoned. Don't jump them. Also remember to wait for your tank to intiate a team fight, if you think you're all that and dive onto 4 enemy champs who have any form of CC you WILL die.
-When you get into a team fight, focusing the squishies like Teemo or Veigar is your main priority IF you can get to them without getting killed. Your next best bet is to wait for that cc to go down, then jumping the guy your team focuses on, get him out of the way then finish off the next closest squishy/low hp champ with Shadow Assault and some burst dmg that you should have from your Sheen/ Trinity Force(that item trumps infinity edge just an fyi, the maths gonna come later).
-If your team's carry (which you know, carries your team to victory and what not) is about to die, and you can stop that happening (even if you'll die in the process) save that sucker, it's worth it in the end. A win is better than an extra kill and a horrible defeat.
-If you can kill their carry at the cost of your life, it is well worth it, taking out that carry (especailly if its a Tryndamere or Master Yi who is railling any poor sod caught alone in lane) will give your team the ability to start a team fight with better chances of winning then pushing a lane a couple turrets in.
-Lastly I need to mention some good player tips. Remember even if you are the greatest thing since sliced bread in any particular game, your responsibility is to help your WHOLE team to win. If someone on your team is feeding, help their lane when you get the chance, feeding generally isnt optional remember that (asking for a report on an unskilled player is low, real low, imagine if you went into a lvl 30 ranked match when you just started playing and got banned for feeding, you wouldn't think to highly of LoL players now wouldy ya?). Also if a member on the other team is obviously not the best player in the world, no matter how much they feed dont rub it in their face that you are better than them. As gamers we should be better than to put down new players or those who are having an off day, encourage them or at least keep your mouth shut if you dont have anything good to say about them.
Alright, here is where you guys start crying if you're not into ranked matches. Pretty much your farms up till the 10 min mark should be 10 x no. of mins in game, as in, by the 5 min mark, you should have 50 minion kills, 6 min 60 and so on. After 10 min ganks should be happening and if they aint you should start some. This means your farm drops off a bit but you get kills out of it so it shouldn't matter in the long run.
Now I know this is an extremely hard target to meet since the first two minutes in game are pretty much free of any killing unless you're in the right place at the right time, HOWEVER it is easily possible with some practice. The first thing you should know is this, any basic attacks on minions should be last hits and thats it. You want to get as much farm as much as possible WITHOUT pushing right onto their turret. Why? two reasons, if you push to their turret you're gonna miss out on farm (unless you're a master with rake) because you'll need to get past their turret to get the last hit without Rake and if you're that close to their turret you're gonna get ganked, end of story. Only a noob jungle would not try ganking a Talon who is up against their turret. You're weak early and mid game, try to remember that.
To get the best farm and deny them farm you're gonna need to last hit minions and thats it with your basic, occasional Rakes for harass and multiple last hits. This will let them push down onto your turrent and you can farm pretty much as much as you want without worrying about getting ganked. This also gives you more chance for kills as they're gonna be on your turret making it easy for your jungle to come up and get a good gank early game if you're doin well in harass em.
Summary - last hit and thats it, save rake for harass and/or multiple last hits (dont dmg creeps with it). Let them push to your turret and your life is gonna be so much easier for the first 10 min.
Alright, now here's my thinking on items and what to do. I'm not gonna go in depth but I'll give you all an over view on why this purchase order. To start with I've trailed both a Doran's Blade and Boots of Speed + Health Potions.
Doran's Blade vs Boots of Speed
Doran's Blade + Vampirism - This gives you 6% life steal which is not a whole bunch of life steal but it gives you enough lane sustain with the +80 hp from the Doran's Blade to stay in long enough IF you're comfortable with playing aggro WITHOUT taking to many pokes. So if you're inclined towards getting a Doran's Blade fist remember this, Talon has absolutely no lane sustain abilites, this means you need to get any hp recovery from runes, masteries and items. You dont get any from runes or masteries so items are your only option. A Doran's Blade gives you very little lane sustain unless your williing to spend your time missing last hits and focusing on hitting as many times as possible to get back 6% of your 60ish dmg early game, thats around 4 hp per hit at less than 1 hit per second. Your recovery rate at that with your passive health regain of 10HP5 is around 25HP5. Thats gonna take you a jolly while to gain back anything substantial dont you think? That means unless you've got your lane zoned, dont get a Doran's Blade, seriously. Even Karthus with his q can wipe away 20 seconds of health regain if your stupid.
Boots of Speed + Health Potions - This gives you nice movement speed early game (good for ganks/escaping ganks) and 450hp on call for when you need it, which is rather handy. Taking Boots of Speed is my best advice, it gives you enough lane sustain to not die in the first 5 min if you're not an idiot.
Now your first two backs WILL pretty much decide your kills for a game unless you open a can of whoop A$$ at 20 min. In one of your two first backs you need to buy a B. F. Sword, regardless of minion kills and champ kills. That B. F. Sword is literally your best friend early game (no pun intended). It scares any champion who gets hit by your Rake regardless of how tanky they are (at roughly 200 dmg per pass it's lethal, really lethal), and it gives you a greater margin for last hitting minions. If you can get a B. F. Sword in your first back, get two doran's blades and some sight ward/ Health Potions. This should give you enough AD to harass more effectively and last hit more often to get you the kills you need for that B. F. Sword. If you can get a bf sword first buy, even if your sittin on 1639 gold and gotta wait, get it. Trust me, it is worth it. And if you do get it on your first back, dont bother with any Doran's Blade, they're already past their use-by date once you get a B. F. Sword. After BF sword the buy order is purely optional however you need to finish Ionian Boots of Lucidity, The Bloodthirster and your Trinity Force before anything else.
I recommend finishing your Ionian Boots of Lucidity and buying a Vampiric Scepter one your back after getting a B. F. Sword (if that means selling a dorans, do it). Next buy a Sheen or complete your The Bloodthirster (either is just as good, but i lean more towards the Sheen since its passive gives you some awesome burst dmg early/mid game and the Trinity Force is awesome late game). After that complete the Trinity Force after the The Bloodthirster and buy your The Brutalizer. This is gonna mean you'll have the mana to harass frequently (or to harass in the awkward dance off, lets run around in circles stage, before a team fight in mid), the CDR to get off your skills multiple times in a team fight (which is a must not only to get kills but to survive) and the AD burst damage to deal out some crazy dmg to any champ who doesnt think twice about going after you solo.
Once you've completed those three items the rest should be bought on what you need to keep your presence on the battle field. Your options really are, Last Whisper if you have some tanky characters like Leona or Alistar that you really need to remove, completing the Youmuu's Ghostblade for some more armer pen + CDR (I recommend this as 4th since you should already have your The Brutalizer) and lastly your defensive item. Three items here are recommendable, I only put one in the purchase order however since I know some chublet out there would start crying because you "cant have 8 items in your build". Pretty much you're gonna have to pick between a Banshee's Veil, Guardian Angel or a Maw of Malmortius. Each of these items give some sort of armor or magic resist to keep you alive and some passive which can save your skin when the crunch comes.
A Banshee's Veil is amazing if you're up against a fed Veiger who you know just loves to focus you, if the passive on this item is up and he's alone. No matter how fed he is if you are as half as good as you should be with talon he's dead. Banshee's Veil is recommended if you're up agsint any caster burt champs like Veigar or Malzahar (it blocks Malzahar's ulti, can be very useful if thats the first skill he actually hits you with considering most of his abilities have a delay before they hit you apart from his Null Zone but that can be dodged if you're smart).
Next is the Guardian Angel, note this is a rather contriversial item but speaking from experience it can be very helpful and will let you pick up a lot of kills if used properly. I think the best way to explain this is through a story. This picture here is of a game i carried to victory on my Guardian Angel.(17-6 aint too bad I dont think. Also note the Frozen Mallet was purely for lols since everyone just ran when they saw me, I would've rather a Last Whisper but the mallet helped more for catching the ones runnin away in mid) Basically this game, as you can see our Varus fed like crazy and Hecarim only really started picking up late game kills when he sorted out his build. This game didnt look great apart from the fact I was getting fed myself, however we were still losing. The turn around for that game (and a few others) was of course a team fight, happened to be in the jungle with me ( Talon) and Hecarim vs Cho'Gath Shaco and Darius. Now can you image that going well for us? It shouldn't have. Yet it ended with myself getting a triple kill and then a push in bot lane to take the inhibitor. How? you ask. Well I had a Guardian Angel, simple fact. The armor and magic resist it gave me allowed me that little extra time I needed to get off a second Rake and Noxian Diplomacy plus a cutthroat onto Cho'Gath before I launched Shadow Assault. During the whole fight Hecarim tanked them all, somehow. I also laughed after Darius finished me with his Noxian Guillotine, only for my ressurect to end with his death (I tell ya that is REALLY satisfying, especailly considering how op Darius is). All in all, Guardian Angel is a good all round defensive item for Talon that you need if you know team fights are gonna take awhile, that leanacy you get from it knowing you have to die twice is helpful, if not invalueble in certain situations. (ALSO I do know I was only lvl 26 in this game, no need to point it out to me)
Lastly, the Maw of Malmortius. This item gives you a nice AD boost, magic resist and a great passive. The best part is the synergy this item has with this Talon build. All of its stats just add to what the rest builds so it fits right in there without question and it's passive is rediculously useful. Just like Banshee's Veil, its a once off sheild thats gonna save your sorry behind more than once if the game drags one (however, even having it save your *** once can be worth it if the team fight turns the game around. Heck it can even save you from some of Teemo's bloody mushrooms that do 1700 magic dmg). The main disadvantage to its passive is the catch, it only blocks magic damage. Now, this is in fact a HUGE hole in your build if you pick this as a defensive item against an AD heavy team. ONLY use this item if you're having trouble with a burst caster (dps caster, just dont even try using). It'll block one of their spells and give you and opening to finish them with your own skills. All in all, great item due to its synergy with the rest of the build and extra magic resist + passive, however dont be stupid and try using it against a fed Tryndamere or Ashe or any one of the other 70 AD dps character out there (seriously, there's just too many, and they've all been nerfed to the stage they're useless unless they're fed)
End game you should be able to take a small beating from other burst champs (if you built your defensive item right) and know that when you jump a squishy, it will end with their death (and sometimes im sure some will wet themselves after the 5th time you rip them apart under their turret, like a cocky fed Caitlyn, they're fun to rip a new one).
#Note I just wanna say there is of course the option of having a Frozen Mallet in your built, its HP bonus is huge, its passive rediculous, and its extra AD is really good for value with its other buffs. I would recommend this highly if you're having trouble with a fed Master Yi, if you can get to him when his ult is on cd its gg if you dont mess up. However it doesnt perfectly fit in any item slot as Talon mainly revolves around CDR, Armor pen, and AD burst dmg. Frozen Mallet is good for Talon, but its not amazing. Try it out if you want though, exploring new builds adds to the game and makes games more interesting at the end of the day.
Trinity Force vs Infinity Edge
Alright time to settle the Trinity Froce vs Infinity Edge debate. Im gonna crunch some numbers here, all this is based on talons BASE AD without runes or any other items. Talon has 125 base AD at level 18, just so you know where the number came from
Infinity Edge gives a 80 AD bonus with 250% crit dmg (thats only an extra 50% dmg on crits just so you know, not an extra 250% on the 200% they do without IE) and +25% crit chance. Without Crits and auto attacks your main source of burst comes from skills, this means for Noxian Diplomacy you'll be doing 105+80 for the basic attack then 80x0.3+150 for Noxian Diplomacy, so in total you're doing 105+80+(80x0.3)+150 = 359. So with a single Noxian Diplomacy you'll do 359 dmg with IE IF you dont crit. For Rake You'll be doing (130 + 0.6x80) x 2 dmg. thats a total of 356 dmg. Then add in your dmg for Shadow Assault which is (260 + 0.9 x 80) x 2, which totals in at 664 IF you hit them with every single blade (which ya wont). This is a total of 359 + 356 + (2/3 your blades since you're totally mlg pro) .66 x 664. That is a grand total of 1153 dmg with the Infinity Edge. (if you want you can multiply that by and extra 15% for the bonus dmg from cutthroat which comes in at 1326 dmg) However to max Trinity Force's dmg output a single basic attack is needed for each skill, so adding in 185 x 3 x 1.15 (cutthroat buff included) you'll still only be doing 1964 dmg with the Infinity Edge
Trinity Force gives you (and these are its only relavent stats) +30 AD, 15% crit chance, 25% chance to 35% slow for 2.5 seconds AND 150% of your base AD (105) on your next basic attack. This means for Noxian Diplomacy you'll be doing 135 + (30x0.3 + 150). Which in total is only 294 dmg UNTIL you add the 1.5x 105 which then brings it up to 421.5 dmg. That is higher than the dmg out put of Infinity Edge by a mile early game. Next for Rake you'll be doing (130 + 0.6 x 30) x 2 + 157.5 (if you land an auto after the rake to maximise the passive on Trinity Force) which totals at 453.5 dmg. And lastly for Shadow Assault you'll be doing ((260 + 0.9 x 30) x 2) x 66% which totals in at only 379 ( HOWEVER add the bonus 150% of your 105 base ad to a single auto attack after that and your hitting an extra 157.5 dmg on that. which totals in at 536.5 dmg. This grand total comes in at 1441.5 dmg WITHOUT adding the dmg for cutthroat or any crits. To be consistant if you're adding dmg for base dmg (135 AD) for all the basic attacks you'll be doing an extra 405 dmg. 697.5 if you use cutthroat for a basic + the 157.5 for Trinity Force's passive. Pretty much with this math if you add up the skills, a single basic attack on each to maximize burst dmg you're looking at 2460(ish) dmg with a single burst of all four skills.
"But what about Infinity Edge's extra crit chance and damage?!" They all say, well let me tell you. Talon is a burst AD damage champion. This means jumping a single person and ripping them in twane as fast as possible, if you take over 10 seconds to kill a champ your life is gonna be on the line, especailly if they have life steal. This means you need to max out burst dmg. Some basic math for the extra dmg over the 4 hits your combo gives is as such, you have 25% chance to crit, your crits with an Infinity Edge (alone) will do (105 + 80) x 2.5 dmg, so a total of 462.5 dmg (plus the bonus and what not for noxian diplomacy IF your that lucky to get a crit on that exact hit) However with only a one in four chance of hitting a crit in your combo of 4 skills you can only rely on getting a single crit. This means an ADDITIONAL 277.5 dmg in the combo in total (since we've already counted 4 basic attacks worth of dmg we're just adding the dmg from the crit). Thats a total of about 2242 dmg in the combo. Still doesn't add up to being as good as Trinity Force which might I add has a +15% crit chance, and then with the Youmuu's Ghostblade you're going to have 30% crit chance anyway? The only reason to get an Infinity Edge in my opinion is if you are so fed that you have enough money to screw around and you can afford to drop the Banshee's Veil] or what ever defensive item you have. Skipping the maths I'm just gonna put this number out there, with this full build you're probably going to do around 33000 dmg WITHOUT using Maw of Malmortius (that'd b around 3500dmg) with the trinity force. That dmg is also not including runes and masteries since I'm lazy.