Talon Build Guide by Grizz
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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.
Talon is a burst AD assassin style character. He is best suited for quickly jumping to a weak target with cutthroat and unloading all his moves to get a quick kill or at least force them to retreat. He also has some minor (and often underestimated) CC capabilities with his Rake and Cutthroat. He is best described as an AD "mage" like Renekton or Pantheon. All of his abilities deal physical damage.
Pros / Cons
+Great burst damage
+Can silence enemies with cutthroat
+ Shadow Assault is a great move with high damage/utility and has low cooldown.
-Weak lane phase until he gains a few levels. (very similar to Akali)
-Weak at farming until mid/late game.
-No defensive moves besides Shadow Assault and no sustain at all.
I chose Greater Mark of Desolation and Greater Quintessence of Desolation for obvious reasons, these runes help out with everything Talon does including his spells. For seals I take Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration to allow me to use all my spells often in lane. It allows me to spam Rake to harass and last hit minions when it's unsafe to autoattack. I use Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist to beef up a little bit for mid/late game to offset Talon's squishyness.
The only runes I strongly recommend are Greater Mark of Desolation and Greater Quintessence of Desolation. For seals and glyphs it is mostly up to player preference. Other good choices besides what I use are Greater Seal of Evasion, Greater Seal of Armor and Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction.
For masteries I chose 21/9/0. I take most of the standard AD masteries in offense. Talon Does not deal any magic damage and has no AP coefficients on his moves so do not take Archmage's Savvy or Archaic Knowledge . I took some basic armor and magic resistance masteries and Strength of Spirit in defense to help with early laning. If you chose to use dodge runes, picking up Nimbleness is a very good choice instead. You can also use 21/0/9 and pick up Awareness for the extra XP gain if you prefer it.
The only summoner spells I suggest for Talon are:
Always take flash and your choice between exhaust or Ignite. I don't feel that anything else compliments Talon as well as these spells. Exhaust activates your passive so it has some added synergy with Talon. Talon is not a very good traditional fighter with his poor defenses and lack of hard cc which makes Exhaust especially useful since it can give you the edge needed to beat a tanky dps or enemy fighter as you will normally have a lot of trouble with them. Ignite is very useful against healers and and lifesteal based champions such as Swain and Fiddlesticks. Ignite also gives you the extra burst to bring down soft targets extremely fast.
I start with Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potion. This gives you good mobility to run in and out of encounters and last hitting with enough health recovery to stay in lane vs most opponents. It's especially important if you chose to cutthroat on an enemy champion because it allows you to deal your damage then retreat quickly back to safety. On my first trip back to base I like to buy 1-2 Doran's Blade for much needed early game health and damage. I get my The Brutalizer as soon as possible next. The Brutalizer is extremely good for Talon it provides everything you need to dominate: AD, ArP and much needed CDR. Next I like to finish my boots. I usually take mercury treads but it is mostly a game to game decision on what boots to purchase. Next I work on my first big ticket item The Bloodthirster. I like The Bloodthirster for the damage and sustain it provides Talon for the price. After that I usually get Frozen Mallet for survivability reasons and the slow effect works well with Talon's Passive Mercy. To finish off my build I purchase Last Whisper this allows you to deal considerable damage late game.
Chosing a lane:
I play Talon as a solo or duo lane champion. If you are going to duo lane I suggest you go bottom with a support champion who will let you farm. If you want to solo, be wary of who you will lane against as Talon will have trouble against most ranged champions. Solo top is not a bad spot for him but you may find you get bullied pretty badly early. the truth is Talon is very weak early and you must play safe and smart to succeed. Use Rake to harass or last hit if you can't get close enough.
For burst I usually use Rake > cutthroat > wait for autoattack > Noxian Diplomacy > Shadow Assault. After the initial part of Shadow Assault you can now reposition yourself to deal maximum damage with the return daggers and finish your target or escape safely.
In chasing/small skirmishes start with Cutthroat then followup with Rake > Noxian Diplomacy. This maximizes your time to autoattack the target while hes snared.
Remember Noxian Diplomacy resets your autoattack timer, and should always be used immediately after an autoattack to maximize damage.
The main thing you must understand with Talon is how to estimate your survivability and damage before you engage in a fight. A poor decision can easily lead to your death as Talon. A common mistake is to use shadow ***ualt too offensively. You may end up with a kill on your intended target only to find yourself way out of position with no escape left leading to your death. Remember that cutthroat is a silence, and you might be better suited to saving it to interrupt an important move such as Crowstorm instead of using it as a gap closer. During mid game (usually after you get B.F Sword) your Rake is strong enough to kill caster minions so you that to your advantage to farm quickly.
I hope you enjoyed my Talon guide. I really enjoy playing this character and I feel he is one of the most fun champions in League of Legends. If you see any mistakes I made please let me know in the comments (this is my first guide :D). I may add more to this guide in the future as Talon is still very new. I hope you found my guide helpful.
8/26/11 - Revised some grammar and formatting. Also added Trinity Force to the items section.
8/29/11 - Changed formatting and adding "Skill overview" section.