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Talon Build Guide by venn177

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League of Legends Build Guide Author venn177

And Talon Was All, "Hurr Hurr, Raked The Minions"

venn177 Last updated on August 26, 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: 9

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

Utility: 0

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This is my first guide, and I'm still only level 21, so I'm just doing guesstimation on how the runes and full skill tree would work out. Without any runes and just the 21 offense, I've had a few good matches. Hopefully I'll refine this build as I play more of Talon.

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I know very little of runes, and being level 21 can't really afford to buy runes, but based on how squishy Talon is, the stacks upon stacks of health runes seem like the best possibility, and have cost effectivity because of the fact that it's the one thing every champion can benefit from.

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A standard 21/9/0. As I said earlier, I have only gotten as far as the first 21 mastery points, which I put into offense as shown.

I might tinker around with a defense-based build, considering how hard Talon gets hit.

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Oh, the big one. Justifying all of the items. This is the fun one. The whole reason I'm making the guide is to justify Manamune. I played a few games of Talon and realized his biggest two problems are never having enough mana and too much cooldown. The cooldown is pretty simple to solve, but the mana problem was harder for me, so after some experimenting, I tried Manamune. I haven't run out of mana in any game since.

I've tried starting with the beginning of a recipe to something, and nothing comes close to the survivability of Doran's Blade. Maybe while you're learning you can go with Doran's Shield, but I personally go Doran's Blade 100% of the time.

Self-explanatory. Gotta start on them boots.

This builds you into a lane-controlling machine, and is the key to any and every build. No matter what else you change, this is the perfect item for Talon. His mana will slowly raise across the game, level-ups notwithstanding, so you will always have another Rake to destroy a wave of minions with.

I love cooldown, but this is just me personally. As with every other guide in history, I'm going to tell you that the boots are very dependent on the player and the enemy team. If they've got CC, go for Mercury's Treads, and if you're ganking, might want to go with Boots of Swiftness. I personally don't mind the hit to my movement speed, as Cutthroat makes up for any movement speed Talon lacks.

Okay, I lied. THIS is what makes the build. It's more of the same with the Tear of the Goddess. Now your basic attacks raise your maximum mana, you get a handy 25 damage bonus, and 2% of your mana goes into your attack, which is just icing on the cake. By the time you're level 15, this will single-handedly have you running down waves of minions with no effort. Rake the leaves.

More damage, and now some cooldown reduction to go with it. By now Shadow Assault is going to be on about a 40 second cooldown, give or take, and you can use it to finish off huge minion waves, a la Crowstorm (without the painful cooldown), as a getaway tactic, or as a last-hit finisher when someone is trying to get away.

The occasional crit is something I can't say no to, and on top of that here comes more AD. I go for Cloak of Agility first unless I have enough for the B. F. Sword. How you want to build this is purely preference, but with all of Talon's skills scaling on AD, try to bump towards the AD items. Should sell Doran's Blade around now.

Should be winding down, unless this is one of those games that's going to drag out for an hour or more. I only say get this over Giant's Belt because your skills scale off of AD, so I prefer hitting harder.

10% free damage on top of my 100% slow chance? Sure, I'll have it.

Depending on how the game is going, and whether or not you've been dying, I would almost say switch Infinity Edge and this around, as if you can stay alive this is going to be much more useful for Talon. Really, between Infinity Edge, Frozen Mallet, and this, it's your choice on how you want it built.

Might as well finish building The Brutalizer, right?

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Mercy If there's a Gangplank, Ashe, or another Champion that has an on-hit slow effect, lane with them for the easy 10% boost early game. By mid-game, you shouldn't be worrying about mana (thanks again, Manamune, and can use Rake to get at least 2 hits with the 10% boost in with your rotation.

Honestly, this is not that amazing of a skill. It lets you get quick hits in by activating it right after hitting them to get a 1-2-3 rotation off with it. The real beauty is in the bleeding it hits them with. Not as noticeable mid or late game, but early game it can be hell.

This is the skill that makes Talon what he is. If someone took Mordekaiser's Mace of Spades and made it hit twice, this is what you'd get. Scales with AD much better than Noxian Diplomacy, and the slow is just icing on the cake. Minions will cry themselves to sleep being destroyed by this.

Cutthroat Did someone ask Shunpo to silence? Yeah? Alright, here you go. A harder cooldown, but that's what The Brutalizer and Ionian Boots of Lucidity are for, after all.

This skill is amazing. It's probably the shortest cooldown of any "real" ultimate in the game. I don't consider things like Riftwalk or Shadow Dance real ultimates, as they're more of just a fourth skill. This is definitely an ultimate, hits like one, scales AD like one, and has many uses. Running away? Check. Last-hitting? Check. Clearing minion waves? Check. Short cooldown? You got it. Best. Ultimate. Ever.

Skill Rotation

Cutthroat -> Auto attack -> Noxian Diplomacy -> Rake -> Exhaust -> Auto attack a bit more -> Shadow Assault
This is going to be your main rotation for dealing with the squishier champions. There are a few exceptions, but generally any ranged DPS or mage is going to be dead by the time you're done, if you're at least as far in the tree as a B. F. Sword. **DO NOT USE ON TANKS**

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Summoner Spells

4/5 This is my personal favorite for Talon, as it lets them stay in range just long enough to Cutthroat them again and start the whole thing over again.

4/5 The fact that Talon isn't built around attack speed means the chances of having the extra movement speed items is less, thus making this the alternative for Exhaust, at least for me. Oh, and when Shadow Assault is on cooldown, getting away is pretty tough.

3/5 Eeeh, I can see this as being pretty useful early game. The lack of easy healing to come by means that if you're laning with someone recommended, you probably won't be getting much in the way of support heals, so if you're not partial to hit and run tactics, you'll be porting back quite a bit. This can remedy that a bit, at least in the early game.

1/5 You don't want to die, thus you don't want this. Worst spell in the game. Don't get it.

2/5 Great for jungling. But this isn't a jungling guide.

3/5 This is great for getting around the battlefield, but removes the element of surprise that Talon relies on to nuke his target. Not the worst, not the best.

4/5 CC is your biggest enemy, and if Annie drops Pyromania on you, there's a good chance you'll be dead. By mid-game, you'll be one of the main targets in a big fight, so being able to get the hell out is very good.

1/5 You're not any kind of support, don't get it.

1/5 Manamune renders this 100% useless.

3/5 Good for last-hitting early and mid-game, but by mid-game when your cooldowns are lowering, you'll have more success with a tower-diving combo of Cutthroat, Rake, Flash away.

1/5 I can see this as having uses, I just haven't found them yet.

2/5 Same as rally, except I've used this on a couple of different champs and it's great for giving you a bit of a warning before jumping on someone. Could definitely pick worse.

5/5 You need it. From running away to last-hitting to running from tower-diving, Flash is the best Spell in the game. Get it.

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Level Variation

Level 1: Rake This is no contest, you NEED this skill first.
Level 2: Noxian Diplomacy It doesn't hit extremely hard this early, but the bleeding will put more pressure on the enemy champion. If you're mid, and you're against someone real squishy, and know 100% that you can kill them, go Cutthroat
Level 3: A big divergence. If you're not mid, and you're at their tower, go for Rake. If it's about even, you need to learn Cutthroat now. If you're mid, you should get whichever of the 3 you don't currently have.
Level 4: Cutthroat Assuming the majority will learn Rake at level 3, you should be learning Cutthroat now, and no matter the situation you should have your skill levels 1, 2, and 1.
Level 5: Rake to level 3.
Level 6: Shadow Assault No-brainer.
Level 7: Rake ASAP
Level 8: Noxian Diplomacy*
Level 9: Rake Should be level 5 now.
Level 10: Noxian Diplomacy*
Level 11: Shadow Assault The amount of variation is much smaller now.
Level 12: Noxian Diplomacy
Level 13: Noxian Diplomacy Should be maxed out now.
Level 14: Cutthroat*
Level 15: Cutthroat*
Level 16: Shadow Assault If you're squishy and you know it run real fast. Clap-clap.
Level 17: Cutthroat*
Level 18: Cutthroat*

*You can change these into any order, but I personally see the leveling on Noxian Diplomacy as much better than those on Cutthroat. Let's compare:

Cost: 40 / 45 / 50 / 55 / 60 mana
Cooldown: 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 / 5 seconds
Additional Damage: 30 / 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 (+0.3 per AD)
Bleeding DPS: 3 / 6 / 9 / 12 / 15 (+0.2 per AD)


Cost: 35 / 40 / 45 / 50 / 55 mana
Cooldown: 18 / 16 / 14 / 12 10 seconds
Damage Amp: 3 / 6 / 9 / 12 / 15 %

If Noxian Diplomacy didn't work on turrets, I would see this as a preference thing, but I justify Noxian Diplomacy because it can help you take down a turret on your own with just one minion wave by mid-game. The extra 12% damage is negligible compared to the damage of Noxian Diplomacy, which also gets an AD bonus.

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Specific Encounters

There are some champions which I believe will require special notes, as this guide can be thrown out the window against a select few, as I've learned all too well. I'll list off every champion, and then make notes when I've played against them enough to know if any special precautions should be taken.

Not to sound obvious, but if you let her get a full rotation off on you, start running. No way of turning this one around.

If you don't have a tower you can return to, or an insurance plan of some sort, don't go near her. Her slow keeps you from going anywhere that isn't close, and if she has the attack speed needed to keep it solid, you don't stand a chance. That being said, if you get in close and hit her with everything you've got, she doesn't stand a chance.

As long as you're good at avoiding Rupture, he's barely a minor annoyance, and that's only when he gets the odd hit in with Feral Scream.

Get help from a ranged champ to harass him down, and once you know you can get him with a single rotation, go crazy on him. If he gets you in his Judgment, it'll most likely be all over. The only way to end Garen's reign of hell on you is to kill him, so if you can't, you'll die yourself.

Do not lane against this man. It's like facing yourself while sacrificing damage output for never dying. If you drop Rake at the same time he drops Ace of Spades, he'll just push you back because he took no damage thanks to Iron Man. Truly this is every Talon's hell.

Just another case of shoot first. If you can close the gap before he can get his Rune Prison off, you should be okay, assuming he's not fed or stacking good equipment early.

His Toxic Shot will kill you long after you've already killed him. As long as you can jump on him with Cutthroat, his world is over.


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So, this is my first guide. I bought Talon on release and this is the guide I've managed to come up with. Please leave me feedback to tweak this.

I expect a buff to Talon within two weeks due to the amount of complaining about how "UP" he is, so get ready to fly through minions at an inhuman rate.