Talon Build Guide by ArisenMadness

Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author ArisenMadness

Talon: Cutthroat and Rake you to Oblivion! (In-depth Guide)

ArisenMadness Last updated on August 29, 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

Guide Top


Greetings fellow assassins. I bet you'd love to take a crack at altair's LoL Reincarnation, but since it's only been a day after his release, you might be confused as to how to build him. I've been seeing all sorts of comments from things to "OP nerf" to the more common "slightly UP, lackluster compared to other assassins". Well, i'm here to hopefully convince you that Talon is NOT to be underestimated. Before you rate this guide, I hope that you try it for yourself and also know that to do well, you have to be good at the Fundamentals of League of Legends (farming, zoning, map awareness, when to push, when to chase, when to bait, etc). This guide is going to be constantly updated as I try out more and more builds with Talon, but I find that my core will work well for most people. This is a guide to Talon's solo TOP and duo lane which focuses on maximizing your BURST Damage, since an assassin shouldn't be able to constantly auto attack his prey, he must be swift and deadly. You'll find that if you use your skills right, you may deceive your opponents into chasing you, and net yourself the kill. Also know that its important to secure kills but not MANDATORY that you claim the kill, assisting in defeating and squashing your opponents quickly can force an early surrender, and as such an early win. Also keep in mind that even though i've only played normals so far with Talon, my build may still be of use to ranked players, i've designed it so that i can use it when I enter ranked play and still perform my role as an assassin beautifully. Considering the current meta, most people think talon won't do well, but hopefully my guide will convince you that Talon is the blade of your enemies demise :)~

I focus primarily on ensuring that Talon can survive with some sustainability, as well as be able to continuously output burst damage (as he often only has time for a combo, might as well make the most out of it). In this guide you will also find tips and tricks with his ult and other skills to help you survive. If you've already locked in and you're thinking " i build him like a Pantheon mantheon" then here's what you need to know in about 30 seconds.

- Does the enemy have 2 AP Carries and a jungler? Perfect, take solo top lane
- Does the enemy have a tanky dps solo top? Be careful if you fight him 1 on 1, ask for ganks often.
- For dashes one and two, remember to last hit and rake on minions ONLY when you're sure you'll clear the wave (generally when the minions push to your tower) because if you push your lane, you'll die. (from ganks)
- FARM, zone and DENY as best as you can
- E, W, autoattack, Q is your burst combo
- Don't be afraid of tower divers, silence can help you kill
- Don't towerdive at level 4, you're not Warwick, you cant sustain yourself to get out
- Duo laning bot, try to farm and deny the enemy (SUPPORT or AP ) using your combo.
- Your ult is a great escape tool and great when it hits more than 1 target, remember this.
- Your Q DoT isn't enough to kill the enemy, ask for an ignite as well to finish the job.

Hope you read that all before the match started, but for those of you who wish to be the blade's shadow, read on, and i will enlighten you. Hope you have a coffee or a snack, because this is going to be quite a long read, and will take time to digest


8/25/2011 - Fixed some minor typos, there still may be typos and grammar errors here and there
  • New Discovery Wriggle's Lantern + Infinity Edge + my Runes/Masteries Setup will be able to kill caster minions in a single Rake. Confirmed.
  • Considering Moving Infinity Edge to CORE Items because the damage is simply too useful to ignore, and more reliable than a bloodthirster if you're not an expert with Talon. I don't think anyone is yet so Infinity Edge benefits the masses more than The Bloodthirster. Farming with Rake is easier
  • Teamfight section write-up in process, will be added upon completion
  • Fixed a bug that was causing my mobafire to spam sections of my guide repeatedly
    Talons Ultimate ONLY hits twice according to some recent information, however I was able to hit someone with 3 blades, this may be a bug, more testing is needed

  • Been going through a losing streak due to poor internet connection, attempting to fix
  • problems to verify if my build will continuously work on my own, having trouble posting jpg
  • pics, will find a way to do so asap (from ms paint)
  • Frozen Mallet + Trinity Force = NO GO for Talon, it doesn't provide him with much, if you have the time to auto attack a champion that much, then the enemy team is doing something wrong, you should ONLY be able to burst someone and get out, that's your job as an assassin. If you're a pubstomper like a lane-yi or something, THEN go with auto-attack on-hit + high damage items early on for the win.
  • Wriggle's Lantern should always be taken, the lane sustain and passive for killing minions and jungle creeps + the ward is TOO good to pass up, especially during a laning phase duo bot + solo top where you're getting denied CS or you're being ganked often. In normal matches and ranked, dont expect your team to ward your lane, you gotta ward the lane yourself, and wriggles helps there!


  • Massive update to guide format! Thanks jhoijhoi!
  • Pics now display tooltips!
  • Highlighted important information!
  • Still some errors, in the process of cleaning them up.

Guide Top



  • Decent burst assassin
  • Excellent passive when used well in team fights
  • Chaining CC in ganks = easy kill
  • Cutthroat bonus damage + passive + chain CC HURTS
  • Can get into fights and out of fights quickly
  • Can offensively use Cutthroat to escape and stop 2 man tower divers
  • Hard Counter to solo top AP Carries (which you do find on occasion in ranked and sometimes in normals)
  • Great mana costs throughout the game (kinda hard late game though)

  • Can be zoned and denied early
  • Very squishy (as most assassins are) and can be easily ganked
  • High skill ceiling champ (learning how to use cutthroat to escape ganks can be tricky)
  • Noxian Diplomacy DoT is sub-par and not very reliable
  • Not a Tanky DPS. Can't build tanky and expect to deal respectable damage, NEEDS to build almost completely glass cannon
  • Enemy teams that have at least 1-2 players with oracles can prevent your escape
  • Requires critical thinking and estimating enemy summoner spell cooldowns
  • Requires very unique positioning
  • Requires a HUGE amount of patience and a HUGE amount of humility (you're not the hulk, dont go in and go into the middle of their team to kill a squishy just because they're temporarily focusing someone else).

Well, seems like a long list of cons, but i think it balances out, he's really a high-risk high-reward champ, just as riot has advertised. On to the next Section

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For masteries, i recommend building like an AD carry, going with 21/0/9 Masteries, and taking Greed over the increased buff duration simply because you can get zoned early, and if you ARE zoned early, then Greed + Avarice Blade (which can be built into a ghostblade later) helps you build up your gold while attempting to farm as best as you can. Cripple since you take Exhaust usually and it helps greatly when you're solo top, but if you want Ghost (to be on the safe side to escape) putting 1 point into Haste in the utility mastery can be beneficial, as such I just place my masteries like this so that I can be flexible when choosing my summoner spells. If your team already has a RANGED AD carry, then taking Ghost might be the more plausible option.

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Greater Mark of Armor Penetration

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Armor Penetration

For Runes, I go with a very standard AD melee setup.

I usually grab: You can very easily substitute the armor seals for Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration mana regen per level, but his mana costs are very good, so I don't find myself desperately in need of additional mana regen. You can also grab Greater Mark of Attack Damage flat AD marks over armor pen marks to help with last hitting and farming, since Rake doesn't do enough damage early on to help you clear waves (although you shouldnt be using rake to clear minion waves at all, but if you're being zoned and denied, you might find that the enemy is pushing creeps to your tower and by doing that they make your job of farming hard). Runes are really dependent on the player's personal preferences. Another viable option would be to grab Greater Quintessence of Health flat health quints to help with early game survivability.

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Summoner Spells

Alright, well in brief, here are the summoner spells that I believe to be the big 5 for Talon, as well as why I've chosen them.

My Main Summoner Spells


I take Exhaust for 3 reasons
  • Procs his passive
  • Helps when fighting against any enemy 1v1, chaining CC effects can help secure early kills, especially on over-extended opponents, but it also helps when your jungler comes to gank to be able to chain CC
  • Can catch someone off-guard. Sometimes if you re bot lane, and the enemy Miss Fortune sees you at 100 health and is coming to finish you off while she has 300 health, exhaust her, cutthroat, auto attack Q auto attack rake (sometimes just spamming E W Q is enough to kill em) and down they go.


I grab Flash because of how useful it is in ANY scenario. This meta of the game has changed so much that this spell is almost mandatory on every type of character (though a few can do better without it i.e Singed). However, Talon does VERY well with flash because it can
  • Get you out of sticky situations
  • Help position yourself ( Flash + Cutthroat + team stuns = kill)
  • Help to get out in combination with cutthroat

In summary, it's a great offensive and defensive ability

Other Viable choices


If you find that your team's AD carry already has an Exhaust and you're more into getting out alive and being more safe, ghost is a great alternative, although experienced players will opt to use exhaust, but ghost is "better safe than sorry". Completely viable, especially with your masteries.


This is actually a fairly decent choice because your Q DoT usually isn't enough to secure early kills, but timing it with Ignite CAN grab you early kills. I don't take this spell because I find that my team's AP carry usually has it, and when I see them use it, I time my Q with the ignite for maximum benefit. Depends on your play style really, but perhaps you might find this useful. I find Exhaust better, but this is still viable.


This spell is great for backdooring and keeping up with the enemy solo top laner, once you grab Sheen you'll be knocking down turrets really quickly. A decent option, adjust your utility mastery accordingly to help with this.

I wouldn't really go with any other summoner spells, your other teammates find more benefit from them than you will, these are the BIG 5 for Talon.

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Skill Sequence and Skill Explanations



This is Talon's Passive. Every attack he deals to an enemy that is afflicted by a slow, stun or suppression will receive 10% additional damage from his auto attacks. This is basically a conditional Corki passive, but added physical damage except true damage, and it only works when the target is cc'd by one of the effects I listed there. It's a very good passive when you time it with your team's CC's + Cutthroat bonus damage :)

Noxian Diplomacy

This is Talon's Q, which resets his attack timer and causes his next hit to deal flat bonus damage + a % of his AD. After the hit, the enemy ALSO takes additional bonus damage + a % of his AD as Damage over Time (DoT) for 6 seconds. This attack ALSO leaves a blood trail, allowing you to see where they move on the map for up to 6 seconds. I prioritize it second. In my skill sequence above, I rank Q and W almost at the same pace, simply because I still have to confirm whether maxing W is a greater benefit or not. I personally find his W to be a better farming tool and i prioritize it first, but having them both at rank 2 gives you some nice burst pre-6. Use it on towers!


This is Talon's W, and a nifty farming tool, you'll find it sort of lackluster because you can't clear the back Caster minions unless you have well over 200+ AD. Very irritating but it's still a great farming tool, and dont forget the slow, it's damage is NOT to be underestimated against enemy champions. You use this following a successful cutthroat, cutthroat places you behind the enemy champion, so keep that in mind. Once you have your Sheen, then Cutthroat auto attack Q autoattack W auto attack works well. I prioritize this skill first.


This is Talon's E. I have friends who priotize this second after maxing their Q first. This is an alternative build-pathway, and I haven't tested it because the build I've been using has been working very well so far, and I want to continue to test my build, because that's the build that I'm sharing here on mobafire with everyone who wishes to see it. A few things to note about this skill: The silence lasts 1 second at ALL ranks, you deal 3/6/9/12/15% Additional damage for a set amount of time to that target, which REALLY helps a Sheen proc, or your other damage items if you choose to go a different route with your items. This can be used to escape, but it can only be used on enemies (this includes jungle creeps) so learning how to master the use of this skill can determine survival or defeat. In my current build, i max it last because that's when the bonus damage REALLY counts.

Shadow Assault

This is Talon's R, his ultimate, which is quite spammable, and has many many uses. I haven't even discovered all of the uses but it is a high skill ceiling ultimate. The trick to this ultimate is learning how to use it to maximize its damage potential while netting a kill or staying alive. One of the toughest things to do (but this would make be the line between pro talon and beginner talon) is to be able to use this ult during an ESCAPE and STILL damage the enemy chasers. If you can land 2-3 blades on an enemy chaser while they're tower diving you, Cutthroat and burst combo em, you can easily score a kill on them while barely staying alive, possibly forcing a rage quit :). You might also find it hard to catch up to the enemy to have 2-3 blades hit him, i've had 2-3 fail ultimates where my blades didn't hit the target, but one of the easiest ways to hit your ultimate on a player is to make sure that they're snared/slowed and stunned, to allow you to catch up and hit em with 2-3 blades, really hurting em. I have yet to see a talon (whether its myself or an enemy talon or a streamer) hit all of the blades on a target, if it's even possible. Many uses for this ultimate (escape, initiate, chase), which I will describe later. This is prioritized above W because it's your ultimate, grab it whenever you can.

So, based on this information, my skill sequence is summarized here.
Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

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Early Game - Laning Phase

Alright, so now that all the trivial stuff is out of the way, let's get right into the match.
First thing you need to do is decide where you belong in the match. Does your team have a jungler? If so, you might need to go solo top (in ranked play mid-high elo, this becomes more necessary) but if the enemy match up is too hard, you might want to go duo bot, but if no one else can take solo top...well then you're the go-to guy, just ask for lots of ganks!

Early game, whether you're solo top or duo lane bot, i grab Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potion to escape early ganks (from enemies like Shaco/ Nocturne/ Amumu/etc) and to sustain myself for a while as I last hit. Once you're level 2, you can auto attack + Q to help you last hit more minions quickly, since Talon has decent mana costs, you shouldn't go mana starved unless you're pushing your lane too hard, then that means you're spamming Rake too much and you should stop, because an assassin like talon cant escape from gank's very well pre-6, especially if he overextends because an assassin is squishy, and Talon is no exception.

First trip back, you want to try and grab a Doran's Blade or two + a sight ward (to usually ward your tri-brush or mid way between the two river brushes at top, and tri-brush bottom). I usually ward these places because talon doesn't really win his lane against his enemy opponents, and they usually end up denying him a fair bit of farm, so while playing talon, you will find yourself tower hugging a bit / pushing creeps back to the midpoint between the top towers/bot towers. Here's a tip though, if you've overextended a bit and the enemy ganker is going to try and gank you from the tri-brush (bot lane this works VERY WELL), use Cutthroat as they're leaving the tri brush and coming at you, to stop them from using their stun and to get the heck out. As long as your lane opponents aren't too close to you when you're backing out with Cutthroat, then you should save yourself, your ally may very well die in the process though, 3 man ganks are NOT pretty bottom lane, so avoid over-extending at all costs, no matter HOW tempting it may be to kill the enemy. If you're playing a normal match can get away with overextending, diving and killing them, but if you wish to enter the ranked field with talon, it's best to develop good habits early on :). Players who are already in mid-high elo in the ranked ladders though can use their best judgement.

From here, i'm going to describe the solo top early game of talon a bit more

Solo top

Try to force the enemy to blow summoner spells when you reach level 4 and have Cutthroat, timing ganks on an enemy can really make it that much easier for you to kill them. Call your jungler for a gank (timing a gank means to gank them after they blow a summoner spell like Flash)

Second trip back, you want to build either Mercury's Treads ( if you re dealing with AP burst and it's really hurting you + slows and other CC) or parts of a wriggles + a ward. ALWAYS get at least 1 or 2 sight ward wards, because you never know when that jungler is going to gank you. If you managed to get a kill or two with a coordinated gank then buy a Wriggle's Lantern. I LOVE this item. It gives you GREAT control of your map because you don't have to buy more than 1 extra sight ward because of the wriggles ward :). This is also good duo bot (helps your jungler clear dragon ALOT faster!)so you can ward tri-bush while your jungler wards dragon, you have great vision and you're able to get that extra gold but this is the solo top portion of my guide.

1v1 Situation Retold: So I was 1v1 solo top against a Gragas, and I had one kill on him (thanks to help from a Tryndamere gank). However, Gragas still had 20-30 more CS than I did, and he was also 1 level higher than me. He built a Rod of Ages to try and outlast me, and he constantly warded the brush like i did. Eventually, i run into him with my Cutthroat combo. Get 1/3 of his health bar off, then he takes off about 1/2 of mine with his Body Slam, Barrel Roll and auto attacks. I felt like i was going to lose this battle, so what did I do you might be wondering? I used my ultimate and ran right after him, since he couldnt see me, he was running upwards in the direction of my turret. Once the stealth ended i hit him with 2 blades, and Then i proceeded to Cutthroat combo him again. His spells were off cooldown, and he ignited me, but after using my ult, i had 1/3 of my health bar left, and he was auto attacking me, so since i knew his spells were on cooldown, i used exhuast to weaken his auto attacks further, and just autoattacked him. With the extra damage from Mercy passive and the extra damage that my ult + combo did, he died, and I survived with 90 Health. I had Mercury's Treads, Wriggle's Lantern and a Sheen at the time of this 1v1 fight. So even though he was 1 level higher than me, i was able to come through with the win. Learn to use that ultimate in different ways, it will net you that kill!

Duo bot

More testing needed but here's what i got for you.

Try to stay alive, last hit/farm, and combine CC's to net possible kills, again the same item pathway applies here, but if you're laning with a support then you can grab a Doran's Blade. However, i wouldn't recommend this because lane sustain has been nerfed already, and will continue getting the nerf bat until every champion is dying after 3 mins in lane :P So boots 3hp is still a great start, stacking 2-3 doran's blades and grabbing somesight ward whenever possible. This section will be expanded as I collect more data.

Note: I find that early game ends around when I have completed my wriggles/when i'm building my Sheen. If you're winning your lane duo not or solo top (which hopefully you ARE) then you can put that Wriggle's Lantern to good use by helping your team get a few dragon kills. Mid Game is about to start (if it hasn't by the time you got wriggles, then you've been getting quite a bit of easy CS and your opponent hasn't been harassing you properly, or you're just the newest talon pro on the block - this implies that you've got wriggles before mid game started, but typically i get wriggles and Sheen before mid game).

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Mid Game - I'll Slit your throat!

Here is where Talon shines very well. If your team has good map control (which you wont expect in normals but nevertheless) go and roam to other lanes that might need help, look for opportunities, you're an assassin! Your job begins RIGHT NOW (it's began since your early game kills gotta start killing anything and everything that makes a mistake!). By now, you should have mercs, wriggles, maybe one Doran's Blade (or two if you didnt sell one of em) a sheen and a sight ward.

Use that wriggles ward to ward dragon if your ward is up. If you have a jungler on your team (for you normal players, and for ranked players, this is standard) hopefully they have a wriggles + smite up, because if they do, you can two man kill dragon before they even know it's gone. Remember to only snag dragon when you've killed 1-2 of the enemies. If you see two people bot lane and 1 mid and 2 mia, then you know that they'll probably come and gank you while you dragon, and you DON'T want to lose dragon + feed one-two kills to the enemy. If you DO get caught while midway through the dragon, the first thing you gotta do is position yourself, try not to get locked down too early or it could end up very bad for your team. If you see the enemy coming in and the dragon is nearly half dead, quickly try to position yourself to silence their most DANGEROUS burst dealer. This could be the enemy brand, their akali, or their orianna, but whoever you choose to silence, they need to die.

Another viable strategy in this scenario is to go into the bushes, watch how the fight is going and how your team is taking em down, then go in from behind with your Shadow Assault, while you're stealthed, ping the enemy you want to kill and then rush in and combo em to death. Hopefully this works out. Sometimes you might not want to stealth and rush in, it might make more sense to just go in after your team-mates use their CC's, and just silence the most vulnerable target, and pick em off. If your team was focusing the target you were focusing, then they should be dead, but any target you focus = dead. That's the idea behind an assassin anyway, kill their squishies and get out. Use the stealth as an escape if you're losing the battle, and try to make the blades hit people who are chasing you. If you have a Singed, make sure you stealth right behind him so that when the enemy follows his poison trail, they'll take damage from the trail AND your blades.

Try your best to clear waves that are approaching your towers if the enemy has forced creep waves to your towers. Rake + wriggles will help you clear those waves fast, you can also take off about half the health of a tower through spamming Sheen proc's before heading back to base. So use that sheen to your advantage (you should have this by now, or your game isn't going too well). Your goal is to try and either finish Trinity Force or grab your Infinity Edge first (sell your doran's blades when you need to)

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Late Game - Kill or BE Killed

Talon's late game...oh lord, i've never gotten this far because the enemy has been surrendering, so this is pure speculation on my end. By the end of mid-game, you should have obtained one of the items listed below already, or at least a B.F sword + pickaxe, to finish up that infinity edge. Talon scales with damage, you need to build damage items to build respectable damage, and depending on how your game is going you should aim to buy either

a) The Bloodthirster (if you bought infinity edge first)
b) An Infinity Edge ( if you bought The Bloodthirster first)
c) A Youmuu's Ghostblade (This item comes down to your personal preference, i dont find it mandatory, but early game, you might buy an Avarice Blade if things aren't looking too hot for you)

By the end of mid-game, you should have obtained one of these items already, or at least a B.F. sword + Pickaxe, to finish up that infinity edge.

I name these items in order of how the game is going from amazing to poor. If you're hardly dying (which is your goal as an assassin) grab a bloodthirster and start Farming it up! That extra 100 AD is really going to help you pack a punch.

If you're doing decent but you're still dying every now and then, an Infinity edge would be more worth it because you get a constant 80 damage increase + additional crit chance and crit damage.

If you're not doing so hot but your team is even on turrets and kills, you might want to finish up sheen into a Trinity Force and grab a Youmuu's Ghostblade, or grab a ghost blade immediately after sheen. Depending on how safe you think you are, you can use the ghost blade active to kill towers quickly (with your sheen proc). Usually with one wave you should be able to kill one tower with a single ghostblade active. It's not too safe to be pushing turrets alone at this point, but if your team is doing poorly and getting into team fights without you, then you might as well go push other lanes (especially if you're clearly being outplayed and out leveled by the enemy team)

Baron is crucial here, if you still have your Wriggle's Lantern, ward that baron as often as you can. If the enemy team has any sort of stealth, buy a Vision Ward and ward the front entrance baron with it, and use your wriggles ward to ward the back cave of baron. Before final team fights, always buy an Elixir of Fortitude or an Elixir of Agility. These items can give you the additional stats you need in those last 10 minutes to help you come from behind or completely decimate any hopes the enemy team has of winning the match.

If the enemy team is really constantly catching you with stuns/burst and just outright killing you by waiting until you jump in. Then it would be best to buy a Banshees Veil to aid your survivability. If you want more info on Items, feel free to jump to the next section right now. Sell your Wriggle's Lantern to finish The Bloodthirster if things are looking really good!

If i can offer anymore advice about late game, it would be this: USE THAT SHEEN PROC! You can kill Turrets with it, Your Q does damage to turrets too! If you bought a ghost blade, DESTROY turrets. Whether a game is going good or bad, killing towers will win the match, and pushing with your baron buff ALSO wins the match. So try to grab baron if possible. (remember that wriggles lantern passive helps with baron too). Also, beware the Oracle's Elixir, enemies should have it right now (in ranked anyway, in normals hardly), and your ult wont save you anymore, so keep that in mind, just use the movespeed to escape if possible, or to catch a runner in the back of a teamfight.

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Well, now that you understand how the game will flow while you play talon, it's time to look at what items you need!

Core Items

Mercury's Treads

These Provide you with some magic resist, and CC time reduction, honestly, i prefer these over berserkers greaves to get me out of some sticky situations (2v1 ganks, 3v1 ganks where one person lands a slow, etc)

Wriggle's Lantern

I LOVE this item. Wriggles helps you in SO many ways. It helps you in the laning phase with sustainability and a ward. It helps you last hit and clear waves that might be pushed to your tower with it's passive. It helps you clear enemy minion waves at their Turret so that you put pressure on that lane to make someone on the enemy team either defend it or lose a turret while you can roam in peace for a bit. The passive let's you secure early game dragons and clear the enemy jungle quickly. Honestly, what's not to love? :)

Trinity Force

This Item, over time has come to be a hated item by many people because most tanky dps characters ( Irelia, Jarvan IV, Yorick) can build this item and just faceroll any squishy. This item however, ALSO works well on Talon because of how much additional burst it gives you, + the movespeed and crit chance. The only thing that might be "wasted" here is the AP, but I put wasted in quotations because with all the benefits you get from Trinity Force, the item itself is HARDLY a waste. You might want to build only a Sheen though depending on how the match is going and maybe build a phage for added survivability, then finish up a high damage item like Infinity Edge before returning to finishing up tri-force.

Banshee's Veil

This Item is your saviour, it will always be there to save you when that taric comes in to stun you. That Annie flash tibbers your team while her team mates are 10 seconds behind her? Perfect, you can kill her before her team even gets there :) Banshees veil is always great to have, and even more so on Talon because he's a squishy assassin that is susceptible to enemy CC and burst. He is an anti-mage with his silence, even though it lasts only 1 second, you can usually get in enough damage to really destroy a mage before they can even take off 1/4 of your life. An anti-burster as well, since he can shut down bursters with his silence too :) Unless you're playing a normal or you're some godly 2K + Elo person playing on a smurf against 1000 elo players, I highly recommend to NOT build COMPLETELY Glass cannon without at least a banshees veil.

Recommended Items

Infinity Edge

If you can farm up enough gold for this, then I would add it into your core build, but the main problem is that it depends A LOT on how well your game is going. If your team is doing well, if you've got enough farm to be able to afford this after your core, please do! Everything about this Item helps you become a real threat. If you're killing alot but dying a fair bit, this item would be beneficial over bloodthirster because you'll consistently have that extra 80 AD. I prefer this over bloodthirster.

The Bloodthirster

If you're farming well and NOT dying + netting kills, then this item is GREAT after your core, as it provides you with 100 damage (with 40 additional CS after purchasing) and 25% lifesteal, which will sustain you and help you sustain yourself after skirmishes and teamfights. Definitely a great item to have if you can stay alive to constantly make use of its benefits (5:1 Kill death ratio, that means you kill 5 people for every time you die, any ratio like this or better would indicate that you can benefit from The Bloodthirster).

Situational Items

Berserker's Greaves

These, I see almost EVERY Talon build these. I hope the same stuff doesn't go on in ranked, because the only time I'd build this is if I was getting 5-6 kills 8 minutes into the match AND if the enemy team's AP carry was doing horrendously AND if the enemy team had only 1 hard CC. See all the ANDs I wrote? Yeah, there's good reason for it. He's an assassin, but if you get caught by smart enemies, you are dead, don't underestimate your enemy, to play an assassin you have to THINK like an assassin, and the first rule of assassination is to never underestimate your enemy, and always build a counter encase someone manages to catch you off-guard. To summarize, build these ONLY if you're sure you wont be dying much, and if you're the only main AD champ on your team (you might lack a ranged carry, in such a case these boots might be viable)

Youmuu's Ghostblade

If you find yourself lagging behind in CS, then you might want to grab an Avarice Blade BEFORE your Wriggle's Lantern, because the Avarice Blade + Greed may give you the extra GP5 You need to keep up in pace with the game. You can then build it into this lovely ghostblade, the active makes it very useful in helping you push towers and kill runners. The Cooldown reduction also helps in spamming your ultimate more and your rake. I don't really like getting this because even though you get an additional 20 armor penetration, I just don't feel that the attack damage from The Brutalizer early on is high enough. The crit chance is nice when you add it with Trinity Force, but i'd rather get Wriggle's Lanternas my first core item over this, as I've found that this works better in actual match ups and makes you more effective overall. I have seen plenty of talons build ghost blade as their first major core item (After boots, usually zerkers) and I have actually fought an enemy talon who built ghost-blade and then Tri-force. He ended up going 2/10/5 and lost to my team. This is primarily because he jumped into team fights to try and take me down with the combo, but he just lacked the damage because ghostblade damage isn't enough, and he got focused down very quickly, and slows stopped him because he had no Mercury's Treads.

Frozen Mallet procs the passive with a constant slow but the amount of damage it gives is just NOT worth it...even with the extra survivability from the 700hp, you're NOT a tank. You SHOULDN'T be putting yourself into situations where you must be a "tanky dps". Nocturne can somehow manage to do this reasonably well, but Talon Can't. I'm sorry, but even with the little experience i've had, being only 2 days into his release, he just CAN'T be a tanky dps. He doesn't do enough damage to make himself a threat if he builds tanky. This item is better suited for olaf. If you're NOT building a tri-force for some reason..(maybe you dont like the sheen proc and you just wanna do roflstomp damage cause the enemy team is completely terrible, or your team is just facerolling the enemy team so you're going to stack all the damage you can get a hold on) then go for it. I prefer the trinity proc's over this, trinity already gives a slow % chance anyway, and you have Rake. Also, your passive works well when you time it with your silence + chain CC from your team. Remember this. It depends on your preference, but I prefer the consistent burst that you get from the sheen procs of a tri-force over a constantly proc'd passive that only has 20 extra damage to back it up. This is all up to the user though, if you can auto attack someone 10+ times as an assassin, and you're adamant on building him as a tanky dps, then post in the comments below and let me know how it works, because I really don't see too many benefits to Frozen Mallet over Trinity Force. Again, I reiterate, its all personal preference.

Guardian Angel

If you're not doing too well in game (basically if you're dying and kind of feeding), then this item will help you survive if you're caught out of position, but it'll be wasted if you get caught unaware in a 5 man gank. Have map awareness and don't face-check a bush, no matter how tempting it might be or how irritated you are with a situation, wasting the Guardian Angel revive is just not fun :(.

Quicksilver Sash

This item is VERY useful. Insta cleanse works wonders against enemies with suppression spells. Get this if you see a Malzahar/ Warwick/ Skarner. This also works in removing those DoT or after effect spells like a Mordekaiser ultimate (hopefully they fixed a bug that QSS had with this ult, in the fact that it couldn't remove it last patch) and a Vladimir ult (remove this EARLY). Oh, this also removes all debuffs from your character, so if the enemy isn't chaining CC in an organized manner and they all just blow all their snares/slows/stuns/taunts on you at once, use this, flash over a wall, ulti, and laugh :)

Guide Top

Closing Remarks

If you're interested in playing Talon in ranked or competitively, there are a few things you might want to make note of. I originally posted this on the LoL forums, but thought it would be important if I included this here

1) Just a head's up, but if you wanna clear caster minions with your W Rake then you'll need more than 200AD and a level 5 rake. With just a Youmuu's ghostblade + 3 Doran's Blade + 21 offense masteries + armor pen marks and 1 armor pen quint, he still doesnt do enough damage to clear the back caster minions, you'll need to hit them each with ONE auto attack, THEN Rake, and make sure it hits twice obviously. He's great at clearing the wraiths with rake though, so that's a great thing to note.

2) Cutthroat is a very tricky ability.

Two things make it tricky, one is the fact that the silence lasts 1 second at ALL ranks, and the second is that it amplifies all your attacks done AFTER it's cast, but cutthroat it self has no damage associated with it. A simple way to get by this is to buy Sheen ( yes i know, the beloved tri-force now seen on nearly every new release champ thus far ), but it's the only way to compensate for no burst on your cutthroat. A good benefit to buying sheen though is that after you use cutthroat, you can auto attack, Q auto attack, rake auto attack for a nice amount of damage (and you can usually land all those hits, minus the rake if the enemy flashes). It's tough to know when to use this to chase, especially when enemies are mia and you have little map control/map awareness.

3) His Ult is nifty.

You can't hit EVERYONE on the enemy team with ALL of the blades in the ult, however if you this ult correctly, following your team's initiation, you can hit 2-3 of the squishies for around 600+ burst, then focus one down before you get jumped on. It's tough to master it, but if you can hit all your blades (on diff enemies of course), then the ult is gonna HURT.

4) his Q's DoT is sort of sub-par.

Until you build damage items, don't expect this to finish the enemy off unless the enemy has ALSO been ignited as well. After only using this tech on an Ashe bot...i've seen him get away with 5 health, so having someone who ganks with Ignite (preferably a roamer obviously) will help you secure the kill. I wouldn't get ignite personally because Exhaust is much more useful in a 1v1 dual if you get caught unaware, or if the enemy ranged carry is fed+ dumb enough to 1v1 you while you're at low health.

Regardless of some of these small problems here, I still think talon is a viable assassin. If you can get in, and time your ultimate right, you can be a very effective killing machine. I plan to update this guide very soon, and hopefully I will be able to post your results with my build. I plan on posting my results in the coming days, let me know how you do, feel free to post your scores with this build. Try it before you rate it and read the whole guide before attempting talon if this is your first time, hopefully I've provided you with the info needed to become a Menacing threat to the Fields of Justice! Keep your eye out for updates, Teamfight section coming soon!

Credits to JhoiJhoi for a good guide on coding, you can reach it here~
How to make a Guide by jhoijhoi