Talon Build Guide by Nephos

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 Nephos

Talon, Altaïr's Mentor and Commander of The Blades

Nephos Last updated on October 15, 2011
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 9

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Why Altaïr instead of Ezio?

Following the games' storyline, Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad lived and practiced his "profession" a few centuries before Ezio Auditore da Firenze (Altaïr lived during the 12th and 13th century while Ezio during the 15th and 16th), so he could be his mentor in some sort of manner. Moreover, if you watch the Revelations trailer, you can figure out that Ezio travelled to Altaïr's birthplace in order to learn about the secrets of his ways, hypothetically. (He keeps seeing Altaïr's ghost all over the place, what else can you assume?) So I'm basically implying that Talon is an ancestor of both Altaïr and Ezio (although Riot wants to make his medieval fighting style viable during the modern times) and that he is the source of their expertise. Or that he came from the future through a time machine and, experienced as he was, decided to share his knowledge with the ones we know today as Master Assassins. Interprete it however you like.

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So I've heard you like long and shiny blades. So be it, follow me.

Now you either:

1. Realise the mistake you've done and slowly back off towards the exit while begging Talon not to assassinate you for disturbing him for no reason. (aka Alt + F4)


2. Follow Talon and the blood trail that led you here and agree to sacrifice your middle finger for the sake of the Brotherhood. (aka Red Pill)

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Loading guide... 99.9% completed (aka The Time-Wasting Section)

If you've had the courage to select Number 2, then pack your things up and wear clean underwear, because, oh unmeaningful Summoner, your journey is just about to set off. Be aware however that the path you've chosen is neither one of jolliness nor laziness, but one of dedication and commitment, loyalty and sacrifice, blood and gore. So grind up your freshly crafted blade, hover it in the air full of confidence, test it on a couple of unfortunate minions, and let's show 'em who's baws!

By the way, this is my first guide, so take it easy people, eh?

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Pros & Cons

"Why should I pick Talon" you ask? How's "ZOMG HEES THE COOLEST MOST AWESOME CHAMP I HAZ TO INSTASPEND 10EUROS/BUCKS FROM DADDIE'S CREDIT CARD TO BUY HIM AND HIZ 1337 SKINZ AND INSTALOCK HIM NEXT GAME CUZ HEES AWESOME" for an answer? If that answer didn't quite satisfy you, here's a more detailed version of it:


+ Insane burst damage along with decent built-in CC: Speaks for itself
+ Excellent last hitting and late game farming: Your Noxian Diplomacy resets the auto-attack timer, and Rake can also farm waves of ranged minions earlier and mellee minions later with a single use.
+ Escape techniques: I.E. If you get ganked while overextending, use your Cutthroat on your oppopent, getting closer to your turret and silencing them along the way. Your ulti can also be used to juke your chasers and safely get away from them.
+ Remarkable chaser: Your enemies practically can't get away from you because you'll always catch up with them via the combination of Cutthroat and Rake.
+ Extremely fun to play: If slicing and dicing your foe's up (he also does that better than Renekton) and laughing out loud while you hear them flame you purposelessly isn't fun, then what is?
+ And he also is a bit OP imo (Shhhh, don't let Riot hear you, enjoy him while you still can)

Predictably enough though, every single champion can have his/her flaws, no matter how unimportant. These are listed here:


- Somewhat squishy if not built to absorb damage: Like every single other mellee burst damage dealer, DOH!
- Escape techniques unreliable during teamfights: Unlike Katarina's Shunpo, you can't use Cutthroat on teammates and friendly minions to escape, making it difficult to escape if your enemies are all gathered up in one spot.
- Is often hated by the enemy team and gets focused down: Like every single other mellee burst damage dealer, DOH!

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My selection when it comes to runes is pretty standard:


Greater Mark of Armor Penetration

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Armor Penetration


Greater Mark of Desolation Greater Mark of Desolation: Quite obvious for an AD burst character, these are always the best choice. They get picked over Greater Mark of Attack Damage Greater Mark of Strength mainly because they retain their value throughout the whole game.


Greater Seal of Resilience: There aren't many options when it comes to Seals, so I'd just go for flat defense/defense per level, Greater Seal of Vitality for the bonus sustainability later in the game, or Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration (although not recommended) if you're feeling too mana hungry, which actually rarely happens on Talon.


This one can be debatable, most people go for Greater Glyphs of Warding although I also enjoy having Greater Glyphs of Focus on most of my champions, since you can never go wrong with them on any summonee. Pick the ones you find most appropriate and go for it!


Greater Quintessence of Desolation Greater Quintessences of Desolation are the most common picks, but I'd also go for Greater Quintessence of Health because of its huge early game health boost and it's enormous difference from Greater Seal of Health (It gives almost x5 times the stats, while most quintessences only double the effect of their respective Primary runes, e.g Greater Mark of Desolation provides 1.66 arm pen, while Greater Quintessence of Desolation gives 3.33, which is only its double).

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Pretty standard for every AD carry.
You might have noticed that I've upgraded Cripple in my masteries, although I've selected the summoner spell [Ignite]]. Well, this is because Talon doesn't scale with AP on any of his skills, making it pointless to select Archmage's Savvy . In case my team has too many Ignites or I'm just feeling like trying something different, I might often switch to Exhaust without having to alter my mastery page.

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Summoner Spells

My choices:


This spell is suitable for almost every champion in the League, and although Riot keeps saying it will eventually remove it from the game, this shouldn't discourage you from using it (actually it should be the opposite; it shows it can be a bit OP compared to the other spells). Being the best solution for champions with unreliable escape techniques or none at all, you can't really go wrong with it.


Whether you want to kill an away-runner with low HP while the rest of your ranged skills are on cooldown or you want to disable a massive healer by cutting their healing effectiveness to half, this is your choice. People say it loses its effectiveness during the late-game phase, but that's not entirely true, since it "scales" with your level and deals true damage (See ya on the other side tanks)

By the way, Riot probably fixed that bug, but when you used Ignite on Miss Fortune and killed her while it was on, sometimes she would be revived with the burning animation still working, making her even HOTTER than she was (if that's possible) *TOTALLY OFF-TOPIC DISCLAIMER* AT THE END JUST FOR THE TROLLZ.

Other viable choices (In order of importance)


A great alternative to Ignite, it makes earning first blood a lot easier. Not to mention you can catch up with your enemies or even fully disablew them if they attempt to tower dive you, turning the tables of the game around.


Awesome at chasing your foe's or running away from them - note that I said RUNNING, not FLASHING away from them - but I still wouldn't replace Flash for it, at least not on Talon. This spell works better on tanky characters.


Use this if you want to get back to your lane after dying/recalling or defend a turret that is being pushed. Although not recommended for Talon, it's not a bad choice.


This spell rarely gets picked, mainly because it isn't guaranteed to get your butt saved during a teamfight with opponents that know how to focus. If you find yourself in the real need for some cleansing from suppresses or long duration stuns and taunts, get a Quicksilver Sash instead of picking Cleanse before every game "just in case".


I put this here simply because I don't doubt it's usefullness while laning or getting towerdived, but I've stopped using it since Level 10, don't ask why.

Don't even consider taking:


6 seconds of tower immunity from attacks isn't going to change the result of an organized enemy team push, and definitely not with a cooldown that long. However, it's not a bad option for tanks. I always pick this when playing as Rammus because the 100% extra turret firing speed along with my 3 second taunt can devastate people. This spell is simply not made for Talon.


Talon rarely gets mana hungry and even if he does, you can simply press the magic button B and recall back to your base or stay on the lane and keep owning people with your auto attacks.


Let a support grab this instead.


Nothing says "I'm going to feed and benefit from it because I can" better than Revive. Take this if you're aiming to lose the game, because you've got darn too many wins and it'll look suspicious if you don't get a couple more defeats for your ranked stats on your profile and drop your ELO asap.


This spell is only recommended if you want to....... TROLL YOUR TEAM TO ITS DEFEAT! You can troll by going into the jungle, insta-failing and going like "Hey, I swear I've jungled with Talon before!". You can troll by smiting Baron at 15.00, insta-failing and saying "WTF noobs why no one help me noobs?" You can troll by picking this along with Rally at champion selection and telling your team "I'm gonna troll because you picked Talon before I could, unless someone leaves the Q". If that's the case, then it serves its purpose perfectly.


Same as Smite, self explanatory.

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Mercy (Passive)

This passive plainly completes the image of what you already are: a resentless assassin. Single target focus and chop them down before they even blink. It makes attack speed a viable choice, but not at a large extent.
This skill is the main reason you're getting Phage. 1 out of 4 of your attacks are going to apply a slow effect on the target, triggering your passive. The slow from Rake only lasts for 2 seconds and has an average cooldown, making Phage a neccessary item.
Don't forget though that Cutthroat won't trigger Mercy, because Silence isn't included in the list of CC that will activate it.

Noxian Diplomacy

The fact that this skill resets the auto-attack timer makes it ridiculously easy to last hit minions during the laning phase (you can literally land a second attack at a 2.5 attack speed if you time its activation precicely when the first attack ends), annoying your teammates along the way because you take all the minion kills. (Unless your lanemate is someone like Irelia, Akali, Cho'Gath, or even Gragas, - yes, Gragas can deal more damage than you early in the game because of his Drunken Rage - champions that can be frustratingly and nutbreakingly successful at last hitting YOUR minions!)
Noxian Diplomacy deals a ton of a damage in a single hit and another ton over time. It is also important to remember its wound/reveal effect, since it can come in handy in more advanced situations that I will explain at the Cutthroat section.


This ability is your bread and butter (or marmelade, depends how you like it). It hits like a tank. Twice. Max this out first at all costs. It's your main harassment move at a fairly safe distance during the laning phase and, being a cone-shot, it isn't that hard to aim. Although you should bear in mind that this skill can sometimes miss, because it doesn't work like Mordekaiser's Siphon of Destruction or Annie's Incinerate that strikes the target area no matter what. Think of it more like Ashe's Volley, which starts off at your champion's location and starts spreading, with the difference that the projectiles don't stop at the first target hit and return back to you. Regardless of how many blades hit the target, he/she/it can't take damage more than 2 times (1 when you throw them and another 1 when they return to you). This fact is also valid for your ultimate, Shadow Assault. You can also use Rake straight into unexplored brush, and if you hear a meat-slicing sound and someone screaming "Yaaouch!", then I guess you hit someone/something.


Cutthroat is a blink-type skill, meaning that it instantly will teleport to your target's location. Upon arriving, it will silence the target WITHOUT dealing any damage or resetting the auto attack timer, but it will increase the damage your attack attacks deal on the target by 3% to 15% depending on the skill rank for the next 3 seconds. (Note that the bonus damage comes exclusively from the skill's passive and not from its silence effect, because as I've mentioned before, silence doesn't trigger Mercy.
This skill can be useful in critical and advanced situations such as this one:
I haven't managed to perform this yet, but I'm sure it's possible: Use Noxian Diplomacy to wound and reveal an enemy champion that is about to flash through a thin wall (or just keep using it until it happens coincidentally), and then cast Cutthroat on them if they're within range.
Example of the "thin wall" situation:

Enemy flashes once wounded by Noxian Diplomacy

You catch up with him using Cutthroat without having to waste your Flash.

Special thanks to QFW BlaCkEagLe and his Brolike skin for helping me out with the creation of these two pics, I couldn't have done it without him!

Sorry for the sloppy appearence of the images, but I'm not familiar with editing as you can see :)

Shadow Assault (Ultimate)

Suppose you find yourself in a real life situation where your physical integrity is being threatened by a street thug if you don't give him your iPhone/Android (shame that Steve Jobs resigned btw). Are you going to:
A. Try to fight for your precious mobile phone, risking your health,
B. Give him your phone and safely run away, or
C. Use your hidden power to counter his uppercuts and roundhouse kicks, returning the blow twice as hard and then victoriously march away as he lies down begging for mercy while shaking your fist in the air LIKE A BAWS?
Keep the answer to yourself. Now connect this question with League of Legends and select the answer C. CONGRATULATIONS, YOU JUST WON A FREE KILL! Regardless of whether you're willing to juke your enemies to their death or finish them off fearing they might run away, Shadow Assault is your choice. Bear in mind however that once the 2.5 sec stealth is over, the blades will return back to you towards the location you're at, giving a hint to your dearest opponents of where you might be heading. If they of course have time to catch up with you. You can prematurely end the stealth phase and bring the blades back to you by pressing R for a second time, in case your target is about to run out of their Area of Effect. And as I've already said, regardless of how many blades pass through a target, they may only him/her/it once when they spread and one more time when they return.

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On this section I'm going to list most of the items appropriate for Talon and expand on their use. The items I selected at the top of the page include alternatives between them, so it looks pretty messed up.

Note: It is often useful to take a brief look at what kind of champions the enemy team consists of at the loading screen and pre-think which items you should purchase.

Core Items

- - - - OR - AND/OR AND/OR

Doran's Blade:

Obvious starting item for every Attack Damage dealer. If you'd like a more hit-and-run approach, you can start off with Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions. This encourages the use of Cutthroat and Noxian Diplomacy afterwards on AP Casters, running away from them before the silence ends and making them unable to harass you. I might add a different build on that as soon as I test it myself.

Boots of Speed:

Of course I didn't place this item here to say that it should be kept in this state the entire game, lol. It's just here to provide you with the key that unlocks the next 3 options:

Mercury's Treads:

Often considered to be "teh best boobs uh boots in teh game" but, in my book, every situation has its own best item. Pick these if the opposite team is Crowd Control or generally AP heavy. Or, you may skip them for...

...Berserker's Greaves

if you're feeling gutsy and that the scale that balances the game is about to lean towards your team's side. Or you can alternatively pick...

...Boots of Swiftness

if you want to hit 'em (hard) and run away before anyone else notices. If you however go for a Trinity Force, the 15% movement speed bonus is going to be sufficient in my opinion and Boots of Swiftness will be uneccessary.

The Brutalizer:

It's name sounds so... brutal. I only pick this item because if you add the price of it's 2 Long Swords (415 x2) with the final price (507), the outcome is so damn 1337 to be printed in numbers and words. But no, seriously, the damage and armor penetration it provides are too awesome to be ignored. Turn this into Yoummou's Ghostblade later. Avarice Blade is not important UNLESS you're planning to go for a CRITICAL build involing at least an Infinity Edge, which build I will add as soon as I try. Noxian Diplomacy can land critical hits, therefore making this build viable.


Get this no matter what. And I mean NO MATTER WHAT. Its passive procs with your passive. Period.

Trinity Force:

Turn Phage into this if you've gotten some kills easily up to this point and you believe that you can keep on playing well. The 15% bonus movement speed is also always welcome.

Frozen Mallet:

Select this in place of Trinity Force if it turns out that you have to play more defensively, or simply if you want some additional tankability and Mercy to work 100%.

The Bloodthirster:

Talon needs Lifesteal in order to survive from anti-carries on 1v1 battles and emerge victorious by far. And let's just say if you can reach the 40 AD bonus without dying it wouldn't be TOO BAD.

The Black Cleaver:

Suitable when 2 or more enemies are stacking Armor. Since most champions have a fairly high base armor this item can be proven useful at all times. Especially if you didn't get The Brutalizer.

Infinity Edge:

Although it co-operates well with the critical stat from Yoummou's Ghostblade, I wouldn't get this unless you decide to follow a build with a couple more critical hit chance items, such as Cloak and Dagger (if of course you didn't get Mercury's Treads) or Phantom Dancer.

Get one or a combination of 2 of the 3 items mentioned above and then pick whatever fills up the space when it comes to:


It's always a great option to have at least one defensive item on your character no matter how offensive he/she is meant to be. You will need to be able to absorb some damage during teamfights if you're planning on dealing some more in return. Remember that you deal at average 0 damage when you're dead and you're as useful to your team as a rat is to mankind (no offense towards Twitch).

I'm not going to expand much on this section, I'll just mention the 2 basic items and then you can fill the gaps depending on the formation of the enemy team.

Banshee's Veil:

the most standard defensive item against AP casters. The shield created every 45 seconds can render initiation skills like Curse of the Sad Mummy and Crowstorm from the enemy team useless.

Sunfire Cape:

Some extra health and armor along with a damage-over-time passive is always acceptable. Because of the health boost, if the enemy team has got a lot of AD carries/bruisers, this item can later lead you to Atma's Impaler.

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More Sections To Come!

If this guide get a fair amount of attention and positive feedback, more sections are going to be added :D
These sections will include:

- Additional Builds
- Dominion Gameplay (!)
- Early/Mid/Late Game Description
- Teamfights and Ganking
- Warding and Map Awareness

and several more!

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Proof of this build's effectiveness (aka I'm Not Just Full o' Sheet)

Here's how I played the day that Talon came out using the beforementioned items, masteries, etc.
Ctrl + Zoom in with mousewheel to view the scores clearly.

And another one:

Note that Talon did come out one day earlier in NA, but I'm actually playing on Nordic & East, where the patcher always gets updated on Thursday instead of Wednesday.

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Update Log

I will post any changes made involving the guide or Talon and how patches have affected him here:

[27/8/11] Published guide!
[11/10/11] Build will be undergoing maintence tommorow.

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Last Note

This is just my way of playing Talon and not TEH ONE AND ONLY. So you should experiment around and find the build that suits you best.

I hope you enjoyed reading my first guide and make sure you provide me with feedback of your results below if you decide to try it!