Talon Build Guide by FlameBushido
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.
Have you ever seen that Talon that had destroyed a whole team singlehandedly? Have you ever seen that talon that fed the whole enemy team singlehandedly? Well this guide is here to show you how to do one of the above. If your here to just check the item build, see if you like it, and just leave without reading any of the following then you might as well be that second talon. If you read this guide then you should be on your way to becoming the first talon stated.
Pros / Cons
Extremely high damage output.
Powerful ult with stealth.
Team fight capabilities.
Strong anti mage.
Strong solo top.
Can be an AD carry and greater with correct usage.
Not easy to take out tanks with nullified bursts.
Not farming well hurts half to almost all the game.
Will get focused if blinking into a team fight as an initiator.
Low mana regulation early game.
Runes, the minuscule but extremely large difference in the early on laning phase of the game. Though only giving such small effects, these can be the difference between getting that crucial kill or giving up first blood.
To start off, we'll begin with the most obvious of the runes starting with the mark.The way most ad champions go, the Greater Mark of Desolation is the way to go. It provides useful early and to a lesser extent late game armor penetration which will make your attacks deal closer to the actual amount they state.
As for seals, basically as obvious as the mark, the Greater Seal of Resilience is one of the best choices for early game in order to keep alive and keep enemy auto attacks at low damage early game.
Now for the Glyph, its usually good to go with the Greater Glyph of Warding to play the defensive measures against those casters like Morde or Lux. Its usually best to keep their spell damage down to a minimum if hit at all.
Last But not least we have Quints. These i would have to say all depend on your preference. Some people go with Greater Quintessence of Desolation for the extreme armor destruction and make up with the damage in their items. others go with straight ad by using Greater Quintessence of Strength which gives that early game boost that will utterly destroy your enemies. My personal choice are the Greater Quintessence of Vampirism. This for me works well with my early game sustainability by adding a total of 6 + masteries + dorans blade to have a total of 12 % life steal early game. Again its all about your preferences what you would like to do its up to you.
As any other AD champion that your going to play offensive with, your going to want to go 21 in offense and 9 in defense but in the case of Talon were going to go with 23 offense and 7 defense. This is justified by using the "Sorcery" mastery to give that very low but surmountable amount of CDR for his skills. This will be later explained in the item portion of the guide. As for defense, i personally like to go with 3 in "Resistance" for that extra magic resist early game and 1 in "Hardiness" as to slightly increase your defense overall. Added to that i chose 3 in vigor in order to have that low but useful lane sustainability early game.
Well i don't know where to start but ill just say, lets begin with the DORANS BLADE ########
who wouldn't get it? It provides the perfect stats for its cost early game, though it doesn't build into anything it gives you about 2ish items in 1. The 10 ad is the best your going to have out of it. This goes well with the 3 % life steal. Its no vampiric scepter with 10% since the nerf and its not a Ruby crystal with only 80 hp gain but all together it makes for a great item.
As to keep up with farming and damage, say you manage a kill or two off your lane, or if you just farmed well enough, try to start next with boots UN-upgraded and try to farm for a B.F. Sword then a scepter eventually making your Blood Thirster.
The BloodThirster is an Exceptional item in the early game to mid game areas. Why to start off with it? Well lets look at the benefits. The blood thirster first applies 60 AD as a start. It also has 12% initial life steal. With its passive, killing minions not only gives you gold and exp, now it gives you a bonus AD per kill capping at a 40 bonus with a max damage output of 100 AD for the whole item. Not to mention the life steal increases to a maximum of 20%.
If your able to get this during the laning phase without dying more than 2 times, it puts you at a significant advantage over your opponent which'll be later explained in the SKILL SEQUENCE portion of the guide.
The Sheen comes next. Why? well lets put it simple. For the cost and its effect its one of the most substantial items for a skill user (such as Talon) at any time in the game. THIS ITEM DOUBLES YOUR ATTACK DAMAGE! WHY WOULDN'T YOU GET IT! Talon is an assassin and assassins specialize in burst damage. Sheen is the direct embodiment of high damage output and you'll find that your bursts will almost be doubled because of this which you can later make into a trinity force for additional effects.
Yet another example of a perfect item for Talon. This item not only gives 25 AD but 10% CDR for more skill spamming and an additional 15 armor penetration! Though its not a youmuu's ghost blade YET its early armor pen after the AD and burst you get from the thirster and sheen will give you more than enough to kill an opponent.
This is the last item of the core because with the other 3 (besides boots) you have a significant amount of damage to hit hard with each burst. This is to now utterly destroy your enemies. IE isn't all that great as a starting item for Talon because usually after he kills an enemy hes either left at half health or much lower so the life steal from the thirster is more efficient as well as the ad. Also as the only source of crit for the time being, its passive wouldn't really be utilized to its fullest. However because we don' simply want to stack thirsters or defense items, IE is good for the extra crit rate with itself and the Youmuu which should be made directly afterward. It has a high amount of damage which gives you the boost you need for a new item to stay at the higher end of the charts with your damage in your game.
Why use greaves over Ionian? Well that was the whole purpose in putting the extra 4 points in CDR masteries and personally i like them better because of these following reasons:
1. It provides attack speed if your full combo didn't 1 hit the enemy for example when trying to burst a tank. You wind up having a little more attack speed in order to keep slapping that Alistar or that Shen while waiting for your Q and W to come up again.
2. Ionian boots are good with their cool down reduction but i believe that with 3 skills you will be spamming with the sheen, the interval between each skill is usually enough to wait out the 2 second cool down on sheen, which is your base source of burst rather than needing that 1 second between rakes.
3. Your ult already has a pretty low cool down unlike champions like Fiddle or Twisted Fate whose are over 1 minute.
[NOTE:] Do not get me wrong, Ionain Boots of Lucidity is a great item and if you prefer it, well be my guest and use it.
Why build this after the Infinity Edge.
This may or may not be a given, but because of its low ad, its not priority before IE. You want the highest damage output possible as early as you can and then after, you can build the Youmuu's for extra armor pen and its active.
Why get Trinity Force/ Phage Second to last.
To be truthful, the whole cost of the item for its benefits is decent at best. Its a great item for all around usage but the cost is too high and lets face it, if your playing Talon, is because you want to build straight damage and annihilate enemy champions, not to sit there and be the team tank or support. Because you already build the sheen its an amazing item to build it into. The zeal effect gives you more move speed which is great for catching or escaping from opponents. Its phage is also great for slow and Talons innate. Although these are all great, your better off finishing the IE, Bloodthirster and Youmuu's first. If you are finding your having a bit of difficulty in staying alive then you might want to buy the phage early but dont bother wasting the money in order to finish the recipe it will set you back in damage that will be crucial for kills, trust me.
As stated before the ionian boots are a great item for CDR. If you prefer it over the build i use with greaves, be my guest and use it. The CDR is good for your ult if you really like to use it to escape or just like to try to obliterate people with it, as well as skill spamming during a crucial fight or so.
A second Thrister. well its a hella lot of damage so have fun with it! recommended if your either one of the main sources of power on your team, or if you are the main source of power. Also recommended if you are fed enough to leisurely get it and run in with no worries of dying what so ever.
Just like your thirster, it gets stronger with the minions you kill. if you feel like your not tanky enough with the hp you get from your trinity force, or the enemy team decided to build a thorn mail, you might want to get a warmog's armor. It is probably the greatest hp item in the game as well as giving some hp regen if really needed.
If the enemy team is big on disables or you got that one friggen Shen or Rammus that likes to taunt you and not let you pick off their squishies or ad carry.
Well your that champion that jumps in the crowd of 5 to take out the ad carry, this is for when your not fast enough to pull off the combo and go invis with your ult, or when their Alistar keeps smacking you up in a team fight the second you jump in. Your bound to die eventually so why not try to cheat death? Now if your team successfully manages to take at least 3 champs down by the time you revive and they are unable to battle, when you revive just spam your 3 skills and watch your life steal keep you alive some more! Not to mention this item has almost a perfect balance of magic resist as well as armor.
Gotta hate those stuns and slows...
This isn't a bad item to get but it also isn't the greatest item to get because most of the time, tanks like to build one MAYBE 2 armor items and the rest HP items. The HP build is the most used tank build nowadays and well, unless your fighting a rammus whose building straight armor its usually not worth building because even still the Youmuu's effects give you enough penetration to deal some damage. HOWEVER DO NOT REPLACE YOUMUUS WITH THIS ITEM, YOU WILL REGRET NOT HAVING THE CDR.
ITEMS TO NOT GET!
Lets look into this. Now i know your probably thinking, "Talons innate makes him deal 10% more damage with auto attacks when his enemies are slowed or disabled." Well thats basically a total waste of an item slot for these reasons:
1. sure the health is good enough but you only wind up with 20 ad as a result and uuh aren't you supposed to be a BURST champion not an auto attacker?
2. whats the purpose of having a 100% slow with 10% damage increase on ONLY your auto attacks, when you can have a 25% slow, 10 more damage, 30 attack speed, 15 crit chance, 12% move speed bonus, +250 mana pool, and sheens double damage upon skill usage effect.
3. If your even thinking about stacking the trinity force and the mallet... just stop reading this guide.
4. Sheens mana pool boost gives you significant spamming power when you first get it early game.
I saw this on a Talon once while he had a YouMuu's, WHICH ALREADY HAS A MOVE SPEED BOOSTING ACTIVE. Not to mention TALON IS NOT A SUPPORT CHAMPION! FOCUS ON BUFFING YOURSELF NOT YOUR ALLIES. Its an extremely stupid item to get. You might as well just get your ionian and a warmogs for the hp compensation, if your thinking about getting this item. The money boost with the philosophers stone core isn't significant unless you had it for longer than 8 mins. And the hp and mp regen can be compensated by sheens mana pool boost and your life steal. Why would you need hp regen per 5 seconds EMPHASIS ON THE PER 5 SECONDS when you have somewhere around 20-40% life steal. Thats just absurd. If you do however want to utilize the money boost passive just get the avarice blade thats associated with building your Youmuu's.
PAY ATTENTION TO THIS SECTION AS IT IS THE MOST CRUCIAL PART OF LEARNING TO PLAY TALON CORRECTLY.
I can say that almost 99% of Talon players lose just about 30% of their damage by making 1 single mistake in their skill sequence. Lets review this.
THE INCORRECT WAY
THE CORRECT WAY
Why is this the correct way? Whats the difference? Well lets look into it. Starting with the CORRECT version, The reason why we start with Cutthroat first is because many people don't realize that the second you activate Cutthroat (unless you click away as to running or so) YOU USE AN AUTO ATTACK.
Guess what that means? Well, Since Noxian Diplomacy is an attack amplifying skill, it takes priority over attack speed. Ever use it right after an attack? it ignores the delay between strikes and automatically attacks. NOW, THIS INFO IS VERY IMPORTANT BECAUSE, since you auto attack right after you use Cutthroat, you use the sheen ability following Cutthroats blinking in. When you follow up with Noxian Diplomacy, you basically get in 2 hits for the price of 1.
Lets break this down further, Lets say that you have base damage 100 with your sheen already and maxed Noxian Diplomacy (which deals 150 (+30) IMMEDIATE damage.) ALSO Assuming that the enemy has 0 armor (which is virtually impossible) As you blink in with your Cutthroat, (not including the bonus damage from his innate or Cutthroat) because of sheen you do a solid 200 damage, next within the split second activate Noxian Diplomacy and hit for another solid 180 damage. Now if you used Noxian Diplomacy before Cutthroat, well compared to a total of 380 damage, your Noxian diplomacy is only amplified by sheen for 100% of your AD so you in turn only get 1 hit in, which only does 280 damage, and wind up losing a whole 100 damage total.
Guess what? you just became a smarter and stronger Talon.
Also why use Rake after your Ult? This is because you gain a move speed bonus when you use your ult. So naturally fleeing victims wont get away so easily. Secondly most of the time your opponent wont just be finished off by merely your full cycle of skills. The rake after allows you to slow your enemy when you become able to attack again rather than just running around a slow guy cloaked with your ult. Slowing after makes the big difference with your Innate boosting your auto attacks by 10% and lessens the chance of your opponent escaping if you were fast enough to cast your E,Q,R combo without them running then.
HOW TO HARASS
ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS be aware of your mana. A Talon with <100 mana is a Talon that cant harass or for the most part effectively stop a gank or evade heavy damage. But thats beside the point. You always want to keep a significant amount of mana by the time your lvl 6 to be able to pull off your full combo. The best harassing technique is to initiate the harass with your Cutthroat. This begins your assault immediately following by the Noxian Diplomacy combo talked about earlier with a final Rake as your opponent realizes that he is being assaulted and begins to flee. This is the best time to rake as it will hit all 3 blades twice successfully. pay attention to the damage you deal with 1 combo of the three skills and when you feel like your opponent is at that much hp + a little more for your ult and a hit or two, then its time to initiate the asasination combo.
USING YOUR ULT PROPERLY PART 1
Another thing that many Talons don't learn is how to use his ult correctly. Many people use the ult and then stay stealthed until the skill takes them out of it. Its only useful to do that in cases when your opponent is running away. When using your ult, other than the case of your opponent running away such as catching them off guard or the case that they decide to stay in fight, well spam clicking your ult is not a bad idea. Because the Hit box of each blade of Talon's ult is so big, even if your next to your opponent, all blades should naturally go through sed enemy twice with exceptions of him moving a little where usually only 2 or 3 miss. The main idea is, cast and retract your ult as fast as you possibly can so that your opponent has no time to run away.
USING YOUR ULT PROPERLY PART 2
Many times you will find yourself in a situation where your fighting a strong soloist such as Warwick or Fiora who will do massive damage to you if you decide to ult. Well in this case since you blinked in and used your other two skills along with it, you might want to consider actually waiting the time out. Some cases the outcome of a 1v1 duke out with talon is weather your not your skills cooled down. So what this means is, if your not 100% sure that you WILL kill the enemy, wait out your ult while it is active and BE SURE TO FOLLOW DIRECTLY ON TOP OF THEM before your blades retract in order to land all your blades.
USING YOUR ULT PROPERLY PART 3
Escaping is a very crucial mechanism to learn in order to keep from feeding the enemy team during a gank or just staying alive in general. When using your ult to escape, keep in mind very important details: When your slowed, even though you gain a move speed boost in your ult, your slowed based on what your move speed is after the boost so essentially you just wasted your ult to walk another 2 steps further from where you were before with your enemy still within auto attack distance. Next some times a good strategy when using your ult as an escape mechanism is to fool your opponent by running towards your tower for example, then using your ult only to change direction while your opponent cant see you in stealth and making a run for river with the extra move speed.
The purpose to running this is clear as day. Its a great initiating and escaping summoner skill. Used in a combo with your Cutthroat on a passive but squishy champion, it will give you the leverage you need in order to blink stab ult and rake your enemy and potentially get the kill. You can also use it in junction with an escape method with your ult. I essentially didn't want to include this in the ult section because it falls under the category of summoner spells. What we are focusing on however is, the RIGHT time to use your flash with your ult. if your enemy is A) chasing you or b) running from you. For the most part everyone wants to kill Talon to prevent him from becoming the late game monster that fed off their team. Escaping with flash works best with your ult but should only be used at the very VERY end of the ult timer as to optimize the move speed bonus from the ult. This can also be applied to chasing your enemy as well.
As for ignite it is an exceptional summoner skill which can be used in unison with your Noxian Diplomacy. When you stab an enemy champion with your Noxian Diplomacy, you wind up dealing damage over time which is very unexpected when receiving the damage. Adding ignite to the bleeding damage just increases the chances of finishing off your enemy even if their off screen. This summoner spell is also good for those extremely obnoxious champions such as Fiddlesticks Vlad and Mundo with INSANE amounts of Healing.
I added this portion to the guide as a LITERAL 'Guide line'(the irony...) When i'm playing as Talon, farming is a painstaking task early game. Last hitting isn't too difficult but when you get that one team that decides they don't want a jungler and just want to shat on the solo top guy, it gets difficult. One thing that i must stress is that when farming UNLESS YOU ARE SOMEWHAT BEHIND do NOT use your Q to farm. its wasting mana in which you need to harass your laning rival.
Another key point that i would like to add with farming: I think that its self explanatory that your Rake is to an extent supposed to be used for farming. and what i like to do is think that, if my Rake DOES NOT kill all the caster minions by itself, then i am under farmed OR have a lack of damage. This is what i mean by "Guide lines" a well farmed, good Talon either with or without any kills should be able to farm the whole back row of minions with his rake alone.