Diana Build Guide by Yamikaze
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Bring Down The Sun
+11 Attack Damage or +18 Ability Power, Adaptive
Protobelt Vs. Heavy Poke
Hi, I'm Yamikaze. I started climbing in 800 elo in Season 2 (around bronze 5 0 lp) and am currently Challenger on the NA server. My peak is rank 96 on 4-25-18 with 484 lp. I have over 600 games on Diana across multiple accounts since season 5. This build will show you how to play Talon 2.0, or rather, Diana.
Here are links to my stream and discord (yes, these are links!). I'm available for questions on Discord. However, since the current meta strongly favors Talon over other assassins at the highest elos, he's the only champion you will usually find me playing on stream.
Generally, Diana wants to farm in lane vs most ranged champions. Although Crescent Strike is a strong lane trading tool, you will lose most fights if you walk up to a ranged champion, as they will simply kite back while hitting you. Thus, we can simply use Pale Cascade to last-hit melee minions and and Crescent Strike to last-hit ranged minions. Play safe until level 6 or if you get a jungle gank. If you need to initiate a jungle gank, consider using Moonfall - Flash. This will almost always guarantee a kill if your jungler is in position.
However, against melee matchups, Diana wants to play more aggressive due to the trading strength of Pale Cascade. It is strongly recommended to take a second point in Pale Cascade level 3 versus melee matchups as the point in Pale Cascade is more effective than Crescent Strike against melees. However, we must be wary of the enemy power spikes. For example, never try to trade with Talon at level 2 and respect a Pantheon's Spear Shot and Aegis of Zeonia range. By stepping back, farming with Crescent Strike, and avoiding trades when the enemy laner is strong and taking trades when you are stronger (usually level one and three, when you put points in Pale Cascade), nearly every melee matchup should be a breeze.
You will want to start every teamfight flanking both teams. A flank behind the enemy team is preferable but you just have to make sure the enemy front line isn't between you and the enemy squishies. Once the fight begins, watch and wait for the enemy frontline to use their CC (like Maokai's Twisted Advance or Malphite's Unstoppable Force). Once this has been used, watch for backline CC being used by anyone who can peel for the enemy squishy (usually a support, such as Janna's Monsoon. Although you can go in before the backline CC is used, it will be harder to kill your target. However, never go in before the frontline CC is used, as they will just use that CC on you and you will instantly die.
Target Selection as Burst Diana
Here's a hypothetical situation: You've made it past all the enemy CC. Now you can use your full combo to delete one squishy from the teamfight. Do you kill the 10-3-5 Ryze, the 2-3-8 Lucian, or the 0-1-10 Janna? Well, even I couldn't tell you which one to go for. Your mistake was not picking a target before the start of the fight.
Before a fight starts, you want to first consider which enemies you can even 1-shot. This list will usually include the enemy mid, bot, and support. From this list, you want to find the biggest threat to your team. This is usually the enemy that does the most damage but could also include the Soraka that keeps the whole team alive and makes it impossible for you to 1-shot the enemy carries.
Now, you've narrowed down your list of targets to 1 or 2 (in our hypothetical situation, this would be Ryze and Lucian). First, check for items like Guardian Angel, Stopwatch, or Zhonya's Hourglass. This is incredibly important as a well-timed stopwatch or hourglass often decides a fight. If your target has one of these items, reconsider whether it's worth burning all your cooldowns to pop either the GA passive or force the hourglass. So, let's assume Ryze has a completed hourglass. If you judge that forcing the 10-3-5 Ryze to stasis for 2.5 seconds is worth more than a kill on the 2-3-8 Lucian, then go for Ryze. However, if you judge that killing Lucian then going for Ryze as a team is the better option, go for Lucian.
Another factor high elo players consider are summoner spell cooldowns. This can be a bit overwhelming if you're newer to the game, but timing summoner spells are incredibly important once you get to around Diamond 1 or above. It's actually pretty simple. To do this, make sure to have your chat timestamps enabled. For example, if the enemy Syndra flashes, click on the flash on the scoreboard (lets say, hypothetically, she flashes at 13:30). Then, when you're walking to lane or backing, simply add 5 minutes to the flash timestamp. Afterwards, type something like "mid f 1830," with 1830 meaning 18:30. You can do the same with heal (4 minute cd), barrer (3 minute cd), teleport (5 minute cd), ignite (3.5 minute cd), and etc. Remember that Unsealed Spellbook and CDR boots reduce summoner spell cooldowns.
Standard Trading Combo
Note: This combo is your standard trading combo in lane with ult. Use this when you want to trade with the enemy laner but you don't have the damage to kill them with an all-in combo. Further, if you don't have any minions nearby for the Moonsilver Blade proc, keep in mind that your combo will do reduced damage. Make sure your Crescent Strike is at least halfway to the enemy target before you use Lunar Rush. Then, use Pale Cascade as you approach your target. Once you reach the target, auto-attack to proc Moonsilver Blade and then back off. You want to use Moonfall at max range as you disengage to disrupt the enemy target's retaliation damage. However, if you feel like you can kill the enemy target or will continue to win the fight, continue with the next combo.
Continuation of Standard Trading Combo
Note: Literally the same combo as above except instead of backing off after the Moonsilver Blade proc, we want to continue chasing with Moonfall, sneak as many auto-attacks in as possible, and use the second Lunar Rush to finish them off.
Maximum Damage All-In Combo for Lane
Note: This combo plays out very similarly to the combos previous. However, we hit a Crescent Strike on the enemy target before the engage, wait as long as possible for the cooldown (the mark lasts 3 seconds, so we want use Lunar Rush in at 2.5 seconds), then go in, auto-attack a few times, then Crescent Strike into Lunar Rush, auto attack a few more times, and finish them off with the final Lunar Rush. This combo will often give you just enough damage to kill a higher health enemy. Further, the last Lunar Rush can be used to follow the enemy Flash.
Fast Burst For Finishing Off Lower HP Targets
Note: This combo is used to finish off low health targets in a teamfight or skirmish. Simply use Lunar Rush onto the enemy target, Pale Cascade mid-dash, then use Moonfall and Crescent Strike at the same time to maximize chances of hitting Crescent Strike. A few auto-attacks after this combo may be necessary to finish off targets.
Fast Moonfall Cast
Note: The way this “combo” works is if you cast Flash right after Moonfall, then Moonfall cast will center around where you are AFTER the Flash, not before. Use this combo to initiate a gank for your jungler or to catch out enemies throughout the game.
Fast Lunar Rush Reset
Note: This trick is incredibly hard to pull off. In fact, even very experienced Diana players cannot pull it off consistantly. However, I just want to leave this here in case anyone wants to try it. Basically, the way this trick works is if you use Lunar Rush at MAXIMUM range and press Crescent Strike immediately after, there is a good chance your Lunar Rush will reset. However, due to the inconsistency of this combo, I do not recommend using it.
Full Fast Lunar Rush Reset Combo in Lane
Note: This combo uses the trick mentioned above and applies it in a scenario where it would be useful in lane. This combo is basically the same as a standard trade combo except there's a much smaller risk of missing Crescent Strike (but a much greater chance of failing the Lunar Rush cooldown reset!)
Thank you for reading. Please let me know if you notice any outdated sections or errors and I will do my best to fix them asap.
Special thanks to missMaw for banners and coding.
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