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Countering Talon - It can be done.

Last updated on April 25, 2014
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Hi everyone,

I'm here today to create a guide on how to counter Talon. I've searched all over the internet and I can't find a decent guide that truly tells how to counter him in lane, so I decided to make one myself.

I don't really know why I'm doing this, because I main Talon, and writing a guide on how to counter him is not going to make my life easier. However, I want to let people know how to counter him, and then maybe I'll finally find a match up I can't easily win. :)

Lastly, I want to say that these counters are based off of my experience alone, and may not work against all Talon players. In the end, if you're skilled enough at LOL and know what to do, you should be able to not only counter pick Talon, but counter play him as well.

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Play Style

The way to play against Talon is to go very aggressive. Early on Talon is a very squishy target, and will often be unable to trade with you. This works especially well if the champion you choose has a long range ability or auto attack. Every time Talon goes in to last hit a minion, attack him, and poke him down. If he tries to trade it will most likely be with his W, which will mess up his CS as it is a pass through ability and will auto push the lane, which is not what Talon players want early game.

Denying him CS will give you a big advantage over him when you hit level 6. Talon can easily snowball a lane, and most good Talon players will attempt an all in at level 6, trying to get that first kill that gets him rolling. Denying Talon CS will make it harder for him to get the early items he needs to be able to burst players down almost instantly. If you can deny him that early game advantage, Talon loses the ability to instantly burst down targets, which is his biggest strength.

A very fine line must be drawn here, however, as by playing aggressively you will automatically push the lane, leaving yourself susceptible to an early gank. Talon's level 3 combo will silence you, slow you, and chunk you down to half health, and thats before the jungler has even done anything to help. You must always be wary of overextending, so always try to keep at least one side brush warded. You also must be careful that you don't play too aggressively. One mistake and a couple of turret shots later, you'll be first blood and will have already lost your lane.

After the early game, it gets much harder to keep Talon in check. Eventually he will get the core items he needs, and unless he is really far behind he will still be able to burst down the squishier targets on your team such as your ADC or non-tanky supports. Stacking armor against him will certainly help but a lot of Talon players will build armor penetration on him anyway, so while it helps, it's not a solution. The only way to really lock down Talon is to kill him before he kills you. This is very hard to do, as his ultimate is a great way to escape and he can do a lot of damage in a very short amount of time. The easiest way to do this is to CC him to death. Talon will remain squishy throughout the whole game, building mostly if not entirely damage items. If you can keep him locked down long enough he will lose enough health where you can kill him before he kills you.

So that's about it for play style. Talon is squishy. Take advantage of his squishyness and don't let him snowball, and if he does snowball, focus him with hard CC and he'll die.

The worst thing you can do is underestimate the damage he can put out. Your jungler successfully ganks for you? Great. You've still got to poke him down and be wary of an all in, because he will be able to kill you, especially if you think he won't be able to.

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Counter Picks

Below I'm going to list some champions that I have found very hard to play against as Talon, as well as why that is. The list will go generally from hardest to play against to least hardest, but it isn't super exact.

In my opinion, Pantheon is the hardest champion to play against as Talon. He has everything in his kit he needs to be able to counter you - long range poke with his Q, a stun with his W, and enough tankiness to be able to survive his early all ins. Pantheon is an unconventional mid-lane pick but if your team is willing to let you play as him mid, he is a great counter to Talon.

The biggest problem playing against Katarina as Talon is her ult. While Talon's ult can get him out of a lot of trouble as it increases his movement speed and turns him invisible, Katarina's daggers will still hit him even when he is invisible. The only way for Talon to stop Kat's ult is with his E, or his silence. This puts Talon at an even more disadvantageous situation as he can't engage without fear of losing the trade with Katarina. If he E's before she ults, he can't interrupt it, and if he waits till she ults before E'ing her he isn't able to play as aggressively and get the kills he needs. This coupled with Kat's easy Q harass and ability to build slightly tankier than most mid-laners makes her an ideal counter to Talon.

Renekton falls solely into this category because of his tankiness. By the time Talon hits the power spike he needs to burst people, Renekton will have bought enough items to survive the Talon combo. Renekton may not necessarily beat Talon in lane, but he won't let him get the advantage he usually gets against other mid=laners.

Lee Sin
I haven't actually played against many Lee Sin's mid, but from what I hear he is a strong counter to Talon. A big part of this is his early game strength against Talon's squishiness, as well as his generally more tanky builds. His W also allows him to see Talon when he is invisible in his ult.

I don't really know if I would call Akali a counter as much as a safe pick against Talon. She has an easy escape with her invisibility, can build tanky, and has high mobility that allows her to burst Talon almost as fast as Talon can burst her. Out of all the match ups, I think Akali vs. Talon is the closest you can get to a pure skill match up.

Zed is very similar to Akali in terms of a matchup. He has safe poke, a great escape, and can deal a lot of damage as well. A great thing about Zed is that even if Talon tries to burst him he is still guaranteed to get damage down on him with his Death Mark ulti. This is another very skill based match up.

Kayle earns this spot simply because it is very hard to kill her in lane. The constant poke and harass with her Q and E make it very hard for Talon to CS, and her ultimate is another clear advantage. The most important thing about the Kayle vs. Talon match up is a properly timed Kayle ulti. There are two things you want to avoid while in lane. The first is using your ultimate while Talon is in his ultimate. You won't be able to get any damage down on him if you're trying to 1v1 him because he will be invisible, and his ultimate will still affect you even after yours ends. The second is using it after his burst. A lot of Talon's abilities have a high cooldown, and if you ult when he uses them a lot of his burst will be negated. A well timed Kayle ulti can be the difference between you winning lane and him winning lane.

Diana is here because she is tanky and has a shield. That's it.

I am sure that there are other champions out there that counter Talon, but these are the ones that I have found the most difficult to play against. The last piece of advice I have for playing against Talon is that sometimes picking the champion you are most comfortable with and best at is the best option you have. If you're simply more skilled than the player you're playing against, counter picks become irrelevant. I've done well against and beaten every single one of the champions on this list, despite their kits that make it hard for me to do so. In the end, skill is what it comes down to.

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Wrapping Up

Talon is a hard champion to play against, especially because he isn't played that often. He does a lot of damage, and if you're not wary he can easily send you from 100-0 in less than a couple seconds. But there are ways to beat him, and hopefully this guide will help you do so.

Hard CC, aggressive poke, and constant respect of what he can do to you are the easiest ways to counter Talon. Don't give him any free kills, and you'll be fine.

So this concludes my guide to counter Talon. This was my first guide, so if you liked it, post a comment or leave a like! Let me know if you want me to do more guides for champions, how to counter champions, roles, or anything, and I'll make an account and get to work. Thanks and I hope you enjoyed! Good luck in your next game against Talon!


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