Talon Build Guide by aviseras

Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author aviseras

Talon, the Noxian Blade (Dominion)

aviseras Last updated on January 26, 2012
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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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Talon is one of the best champions in Dominion. There are very few heroes that can stand toe to toe with him 1v1, and even some that would have trouble 2v1.

In Dominion, player skill and item choices make a huge impact on your level of success. This guide can not teach you everything you need to know about Talon for every situation, but I hope to at least get you on the right track to dominating Dominion.

Oh, and lots of kills. Lots.

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Pros / Cons

Extremely high physical burst damage
Invisbility (ult)
AoE Slow
Blink (enemies only)
1-shot creep waves by mid game
1v1 almost anyone, 2v1 defense opportunities

Primary escape mechanism is ultimate
Can not 1v1 EVERYONE (really important)
Vulnerable to chain CC
Tricky to use in teamfights
Naturally Squishy

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Summoner Spells

My personal favorites for almost any Dominion champion are Ghost and Exhaust. Both of these spells provide Offensive AND Defensive capabilities. There are some alternatives which I will cover shortly, so use whatever you are most comfortable with.

Chase an enemy (offensive)
Run away (defensive)
Reinforce a point (utility)

Chase/Weaken an enemy (offensive)
Run away (defensive)
Fight/Defend a 2v1 (utility)


I recommend that you always take either Ghost or Flash. Flash can help chase/escape in certain situations that Ghost can't, so use what you find more useful.

In place of Exhaust, there are three useful alternatives. Cleanse is powerful against CC heavy teams. Ignite adds to your burst and shuts down lifesteal/regen heavy champs. Garrison allows for stronger dives/defends.

Not Very Good
Heal, Revive, Smite, Teleport, Clarity, Promote, Surge, and Clairvoyance are not very good for Talon on Dominion. Use at your own risk.

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Talon is all about burst, burst, physical burst. Talon has no magical damage, so I have skipped any AP oriented choices. Since a lot of your damage is frontloaded while you are at full health, Vampirism doesn't have an opportunity to be effective. Deadliness into Lethality will increase your overall damage by a lot more than Havoc as the game goes later and later.

Going for Veteran's Scars and a Prospector's Blade will start you off with 943 HP. Combined with your runes, this will help you significantly during the early game.

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Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Two early points into Noxian Diplomacy will give you a solid boost in your early single target damage. We want to pick up one early point into Cutthroat purely for the blink and silence.

Maxing Rake first gives us some AoE damage, a powerful slow, and the ability to one-shot creep waves by mid game. It's also a great way to stop captures and whittle down enemies before going in for the kill.

Maxing Noxian Diplomacy provides the best single target damage increase as well as consistent Trinity Force procs.

By the time that you finally start to max Cutthroat, you will have lots of items to boost your damage and get the most out of the damage amplification.

Always level Shadow Assault when possible because it lowers the cooldown and increases the blade damage.

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greater quintessence of desolationgreater mark of desolationgreater seal of defense

Greater Quintessence of Desolation
Greater Mark of Desolation

These armor penetration runes will help reduce most champions to 0 armor through the early-mid game. You could also go with pure AD here, but I prefer armor reduction since it scales through all my early damage purchases.

Greater Seal of Defense
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Considering that very few natural defense items fit with our build, some bare bones resists will help our survival a lot.

Note: Scaling defense runes are equal to flat ones by level 10. Considering the game really starts at level 4 and Talon isn't much of a threat until level 6, these scaling runes will kick in just as you start to go on the heavy offensive.

If you want to go with an early offensive set-up then I recommend:
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Attack Damage
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
This can allow you to take and hold an early lead, but you will definitely need to play a lot more cautiously mid-late game.

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Top or Bottom

Before going into items and play tips, we need to take a moment and really think about where we plan to lane. I prefer to lane Talon bottom, but we should first consider 3 things:

1. Does anyone on MY team need/demand bottom lane?
2. Does anyone on their team counter Talon bottom lane?
3. Who will they probably send bottom lane?

1. If you have someone like Heimer or one of those guys that cusses you out when you even suggest anyone else take bottom, then you're going Top with some ganks here and there.
2. There are a number of champions that can cause real problems for you 1v1. In general, they are tanky heroes with a combination of AoE and sustain. They are not neccessarily unbeatable, but it is typically advised to focus on the other 4 targets to help your team more.
3. Even if their team has some counters to you, they may not end up sending them bottom over some more obvious choices. Most casters will cause issues for you until you can pick up a hexdrinker and at least level 6, but after that point they don't usually stand a chance.

Regardless of where you end up, always remember to request/offer a bottom lane swap if needed.

Avoid these Champions 1v1

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This is the standard open for just about every AD hero in Dominion. Prospector's Blade offers everything an AD hero needs to get going and Boots of Speed make sure we can get to the fight in a reasonable time.

The Brutalizer is our first purchase for a little of everything we need. Ionian Boots of Lucidity combined with Brutalizer and masteries give us 29% reduction for more consistent procs and ultimates. Phage adds a nice bit of surviability, damage, and Mercy opportunities. If you're not having any trouble surviving, you can pick up the B. F. Sword first.

With 29% CDR and your Q maxed, Trinity Force can really shine on a 2.8 second CD. I prefer Sanguine Blade next over an IE because it's a much cheaper BFS upgrade and lets you get to a defensive item that you really need at this point. Many games will end just 1 or 2 items after this, so really think about what you're getting next.

You may not always need a defensive item so I've put it last in the cheat sheet. But, realistically, this is the last item slot you'll fill before many games end. Pick the one that will counter their heroes that are causing you late game problems. Don't be afraid to pick one of these up right after you finish Trinity if their team is all AP or all AD.

Finish Youmuu's Ghostblade any time you like after the Sanguine, but I recommend getting a defensive item first. Infinity Edge works nicely as another big damage item when games go really long. If you never ended up getting a defensive item, you probably want a Last Whisper since most players have gotten at least a Thornmail by this point.

Bottom Lane Alternative

Against most bottom champions, this route allows you to kill them repeatedly and capture their point right after. Around this time is also when more aware players will ask for a swap, so be ready to move into the standard trinity build if someone like Sion comes down bottom permanently. As long as you can abuse your 1v1 domination, go for the 2 BFS before moving into Trinity Force.

Situational items:

After each one I'll note when I usually find it useful to grab it within the relevant item progression.

In case you didn't take Ignite, this can really help against champs with lots of lifesteal/healing.
Top Lane: After Trinity
Bottom Lane: After 1st BFS

Against formidable AP champs, I almost always get this to replace my 1st BFS. It gives a tad less damage for 150 more, but the shield and extra MR can put that Fizz or Brand permanently into the ground.
(Recommended Bottom Lane Only)

I get this almost every time the other team has a Shaco or Akali since almost no one picks this up and it really helps. Otherwise, get it against 2+ Invis champs.
Top Lane: After 1st BFS
Bottom Lane: Only if you end up leaving to go Top

This can help out against CC heavy teams if you didn't grab Cleanse in Blind Draft.
Top Lane: After The Brutalizer
Bottom Lane: Never, not used enough

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Tips and Tricks

Don't get greedy! Playing like a sneaky, conservative assassin instead of Rambo will get you more wins in the long run. Especially when your death means +400 free gold for the slayer.

Don't be afraid to help! Sometimes, you need to create the opening for your teammate.

Typical burst order is Noxian Diplomacy > Cutthroat > Rake > Auto Attack > Noxian Diplomacy > Shadow Assault. Activating Noxian Diplomacy before you blink with Cutthroat will typically allow it to come back off of CD for a 2nd use before you need to use Shadow Assault.

By mid game, your Rake can one-shot minion waves! This can really help get a push going to take towers and put pressure on your enemy.

Remember to use Cutthroat defensively! In 1v1 situations you can blink to a far enemy or buy time when slowed/exhausted before using Shadow Assault and escaping at full speed.

Use hit and run tactics if you can't kill an enemy in just one burst. You don't stand a chance in long battles against super tanks or melee AD champs.

Don't worry about being #1 on the point chart. Sometimes moving ahead to help other teammates or recalling early to heal up is better than sitting around with your teammates on a guaranteed capture.

Stay in the shadows! There are routes you can take from your spawn that keep you in the fog of war until you encounter an enemy or move near a turret. A missing Talon is a scary Talon!

Press the Tab key to check your enemies' items, respawn timers, and missing status by pressing Tab. Knowing who has a lightbringer or when no one can stop you from capturing is very useful.

Above all, have fun! You're playing LoL in your free time and there are some games that you simply can't win due to trolls or bad team compositions. I've had games where I went 15-1 and held both bottom towers against 2 enemy heroes... but my team still kept losing the 4v3 on the other towers.

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Videos (with commentary)

Gameplay and Commentary Part 1 (Don't worry about the grey screen, it goes away @ :10 and be sure to click HD!)

Gameplay and Commentary Part 2

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Thank you for taking the time to read my guide! I hope you've gained some knowledge and confidence in Talon as well as your general Dominion play. Be sure to vote and comments are always appreciated (good and bad)!

Good luck and let me know how you do! :D

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1/22/12: Changed masteries to include Veteran's Scars path.
1/21/12: Formatting changes.
12/9/11: Added videos!
12/6/11: Lots of reformatting and added content.
12/4/11: Condensed builds and tweaked info here and there.