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Taliyah Build Guide by nMinus

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League of Legends Build Guide Author nMinus

How to Throw Rocks

nMinus Last updated on January 25, 2018
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Cheat Sheet

Preseason Taliyah Mid

Taliyah Build

Sorcery
LoL Path: Sorcery
LoL Rune: Summon Aery
Summon Aery
LoL Rune: Manaflow Band
Manaflow Band
LoL Rune: Celerity
Celerity
LoL Rune: Scorch
Scorch

Domination
LoL Path: Domination
LoL Rune: Taste of Blood
Taste of Blood
LoL Rune: Ravenous Hunter
Ravenous Hunter
Bonus:

+12 Attack Damage or +20 Ability Power, Adaptive

LeagueSpy Logo
Middle Lane
Ranked #24 in
Middle Lane
Win 52%
Get More Stats

Ability Sequence

1
4
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
3
14
15
17
18
Ability Key W
2
8
10
12
13
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R

-Table of Contents-

Hello, my handle is nMinus - I have been playing League of Legends since 2011, and have climbed to diamond multiple times on different accounts. I've peaked at high Diamond 3 several times and have had a decent amount of tournament experience (and success) against diamond and master teams as a mid laner over the years. In season seven, Taliyah was my primary mid laner on two accounts.
Taliyah is a skillshot-oriented mage that uses her great wave control and strong roaming to be relevant at every stage of the game. She rewards good positioning and foresight with stellar sustained damage and kiting.

The primary downsides of Taliyah are her lack of a combat ultimate and absence of in-combat mobility. While Weaver's Wall itself more than makes up for what she lacks, Taliyah becomes prey to more aggressive champions after early laning that can play around her telegraphed abilities. Mid to late-game success with Taliyah comes from using Weaver's Wall to secure important objectives and utilizing her basic abilities to kite out opponents in teamfights.
While the new rune system removed the powerhouse that was Stormraider's Surge , Taliyah has gained a lot of flat stats to work with to secure the early leads she craves, both through the recent small buff to her armor and HP growth, and the new runes themselves.
Keystone Choice
Currently, Summon Aery will nearly always be racking up more early game damage for mages compared to the other keystone options. Despite Arcane Comet having better scaling on paper, it is restricted by a long cooldown during early laning, and has extremely poor synergy with Taliyah's kit. The comet just flies behind them as they get knocked through the minefield after landing Seismic Shove towards Taliyah, not to mention how Taliyah's lack of early game CC makes the comet land extremely inconsistently anyway. The somewhat passable Electrocute has the same cooldown issue as Arcane Comet, and both Electrocute and the extremely underwhelming Phase Rush both have the problem of needing three unique spells or autoattacks to proc, which will only reliably happen when the W+E combo lands or you are chasing with multiple spell rotations (and in those cases, you are already at a significant advantage). Because of this, the three-hit runes just don't have enough uptime to keep up with their competition. At the moment, Summon Aery remains the only good keystone choice for Taliyah with a large amount of consistent value over the course of the game, if anything because it is almost completely devoid of gimmicks to play around and just adds more damage.
Sorcery
While taking a glorified Deathfire Touch to slap your opponent with early-game stats may not sound appealing, it's still just the best option right now for Taliyah and many other mages. The fact that autoattacks will make use of the keystone as well makes it even more useful, since landing a single auto for harassment gives a ton of value now (and even more so with Taste of Blood selected in the secondary tree). Generally in lane, it will take roughly three to five seconds for Aery to return to you, which can be expedited by walking towards it as it travels.
Manaflow Band fixes Taliyah's problem of large mana costs on her high-uptime basic abilities, most notably Threaded Volley. Note that because it is a mana refund, you still require sufficient mana to cast the free ability in the first place. The Ultimate Hat is largely unnecessary since Weaver's Wall isn't an ultimate that you can make immediate use of often. Taliyah is an extremely mana-hungry champion in the first place, making this a clear choice.
While other mid laners will commonly opt for Transcendence to round out their build's cooldown reduction, Taliyah is not very gated by cooldowns. The immense value of Movement Speed with her kit makes Celerity a solid choice, and the bonus damage from movement speed is a small, albeit nice benefit to the rune. In addition, Celerity is also active from level 1 onwards, whereas Transcendence provides no benefit whatsoever until level 10. Immediate value vs long term payoff is a recurring theme when it comes to runes to take on champions like Taliyah, where winning the early game and snowballing the rest of your team can be extremely rewarding.
Despite its non existent scaling, Scorch is still a strong general use rune. It plays more into the gameplan of early dominance with Summon Aery, and while twenty seconds sounds like a long cooldown, it will still be up for practically every trade in lane. The contenders in its slot, Waterwalking and Gathering Storm, are both weak by comparison and provide no benefit for the majority of the game, or require you to play outside of a standard playstyle to make use of them. Scorch, like Celerity, starts strong at level one and requires no time to pass or playstyle changes to be useful.
Domination
Domination as a secondary rune tree is the one of the only trees that provides mages meaningful in-combat sustain, something many early-game laners crave, and has several strong options available. Precision is lackluster on many standard mages due to a lack of strong runes to take, with Coup de Grace being somewhat overrated and fights often being decided before Triumph gains any value (unlike in bottom lane). Presence of Mind is decent on a few specific champions, but with Manaflow Band and Morellonomicon / Lost Chapter's mana sustain it is largely not needed. Inspiration, however, is a strong and viable option that will be covered in the next section.
Unlike Sorcery’s Scorch that it shares a cooldown with, Taste of Blood has an AP ratio to work with and will remain relevant as the game progresses. The combination of several early game, stat-focused runes (led by the ever present Summon Aery) create strong early trading power. And even if it's just poking with a single Threaded Volley pellet, all three runes will proc providing extra damage and lane sustain that Taliyah could not achieve otherwise. The difference of laning with and without this rune in scrappy lanes like Orianna is extremely notable as well, and you can slowly outsustain an opposing laner lacking the mastery if trades are otherwise going even. Few other rune options allows you to break the rules like this, especially on a mage with no natural sustain in her kit and a long range ability to poke for activations.
Despite Taliyah's AoE abilities only receiving a third of the benefit from Ravenous Hunter, it wins out as the second rune to take in the Domination tree. Like Taste of Blood, Ravenous Hunter gives Taliyah something that she didn't have before, which is another source of free additional healing. The out of combat movement speed from Relentless Hunter is another strong and a viable option, but I find it unnecessary in contrast with additional combat stats and lane sustain. Taliyah's roaming potential is already stellar, and usually by the time the bounty hunter rune is stacked, the time for roaming will be over and teamfights become the focal point of the game, where combat stats are king.
Inspiration
Against champions where the Stopwatch from Perfect Timing is necessary, Inspiration becomes the secondary tree of choice instead of Domination. Even in games where you're not against a burst heavy laner, the utility from Inspiration can be better suited than the additional healing against long range, farm heavy lane opponents. Biscuit Delivery as a replacement for Taste of Blood is more suited for champions that want another rune in the inspiration tree to greatly benefit their champion, which Taliyah is lacking.
The free Stopwatch is almost always why you're in this tree in the first place, and is an invaluable tool against champions with high damage, telegraphed burst post level 6. The Stopwatch comes online at six minutes, which is generally the time that mid laners are unlocking their ultimate. Examples of champions you would want Perfect Timing against are Talon, Zed, and Fizz, where you can use the active to somewhat invalidate their ultimate's power spike. It also makes your likely Zhonya's Hourglass purchase come a bit faster by contributing 300 gold toward the recipe. In addition to helping against bursty AD champions, it is a once-use get out of jail free card against Zoe's Sleepy Trouble Bubble or any other singular, high-impact abilities that you can dodge with the active.
Cosmic Insight is a good filler rune for the Inspiration tree, since nothing else available is high-impact enough for Taliyah. Future's Market is a somewhat acceptable alternative if you want to make sure you can hit one or two specific early-game back timings, but is largely unneeded due to Taliyah's solid base damage and champion stats. Magical Footwear is a trap rune for Taliyah despite its gold value, because you want to be building full boots before ten minutes most games anyway for the ever-invaluable movement speed.

Flash
Mandatory every game on practically every champion because of its immense utility. Your Flash cooldown is extremely important as an immobile mage, so try not to waste it.
Heal
Buffer health for two people along with a burst of movement speed makes Heal a safe and standard default second summoner. Heal keeps you from dying before you can utilize Taliyah's sustained damage output, and the movement speed is always a welcome addition. Heal also outperforms Barrier in 2v2 scenarios because it affects two people.
Barrier
Better than Heal against assassins that want to take Ignite, due to not being reduced by the grievous wounds effect (and having slightly more health and a lower cooldown). The downside is that it only affects one person and provides no extra movement speed for the caster. I think this summoner has limited use compared to the utility of other options on Taliyah and because of its role overlap with Exhaust, but Flash/Barrier will be optimal in some games.
Exhaust
An extremely important summoner to take against AD mids like Yasuo, Zed, and Jayce, where their all-in is a significant threat to you the entire game. They do enough damage that an HP summoner isn't as useful as just crippling them for a few seconds, allowing you to circumvent most of their burst while repositioning. Late-game, Exhaust is a huge deterrent to anyone who would dive you or your ADC as well.
Cleanse
Needed against a select few mids such as Lux and Lissandra, along with Ahri and Syndra if they have a jungler with hard CC to threaten near-guaranteed ganks. Since you can't efficiently build Quicksilver Sash, sometimes it will be necessary to take Cleanse for other threats on the enemy team as well, such as Ashe, Rammus, and Sejuani that will farm you midgame if you can't escape their hard CC abilities.

Taliyah gains up to 20% - 40% (based on level) bonus movement speed by moving near terrain or structures, which builds up over 1 second and decays over 1 second upon moving out of range.

Entering combat disables Rock Surfing and places it on a 5 second cooldown. This cooldown is continuously refreshed while Taliyah remains in-combat.
Rock Surfing is a straightforward passive that helps Taliyah with her standard gameplan of shoving in mid lane and roaming the map in the early-mid game. It also helps in the early game by allowing her to return to lane from recalls relatively quickly. Remember to hug the wall out of combat to get use out of this passive, and eventually you'll get in the habit of doing it automatically while pathing around the map.
RANGE: 1000
COST: 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 MANA
COOLDOWN: 9 / 7.5 / 6 / 4.5 / 3

Taliyah unleashes 5 Stone Shards in quick succession in the target direction over 1.5 seconds, dealing 70 / 95 / 120 / 145 / 170 (+ 45% AP) magic damage in a small area around the first target hit. Targets hit by a Stone Shard take 40% damage from subsequent shards.

Casting Threaded Volley creates an area of Worked Ground 450 units radius wide around Taliyah that lasts 120 - 66 (based on cooldown reduction) seconds. While on Worked Ground, Taliyah gains 10% - 20% (based on level) bonus movement speed, and only hurls one Stone Shard upon casting Threaded Volley, refunding half its mana cost.
Threaded Volley is the crux of Taliyah's kiting playstyle. It's a linear skillshot ability that is locked into a direction when you first fire it, and each individual pellet's damage is an AOE when it impacts, meaning you can damage units next to each other or directly behind them. The first two pellets come out slowly, with the last three being relatively quick after each other. A mandatory skill to learn is getting used to moving during the cast, just like using The Culling. Consider your position, their position, and where you both want to move during the ability's duration in order to get more efficient placement with Threaded Volley. Don't always just aim it straight at them—sometimes it's better to move to the side and cast Threaded Volley at an angle to set yourself up for better future positioning.

Other mechanics to keep in mind are that Flash also retains the original cast angle while repositioning you, and that the pellets will continue to fire even while Taliyah is crowd controlled (though stasis effects from Zhonya's Hourglass and Tempered Fate do stop them from firing). You can cast all your spells (and autoattack!) while Threaded Volley is going, giving Taliyah amazing DPS in early-level fights if the opposing laner can't get out of the casted angle. Single pellets on worked ground are fine to catch CS and harass, but it still places the skill on full cooldown (up to 9 seconds early game, which is a long time to have the ability available again). Don't waste too much mana trying to hit people that aren't quite in range either due to its high mana cost later on. With the preseason changes, it takes two autoattacks along with all five pellets to kill caster minions at level one, making Taliyah's pushing power on the first two waves noticeably weaker than before.

You don't always want to just autopush lane with Threaded Volley. Be smart about the enemy jungler's route and what you gain or lose from the wave being pushed on either side during early laning. Mind the extremely common 3 minute jungle gank if you are continuing to push after the first two waves, and always remember that setting up a freeze is a potential option that can reward you more than shoving lane early game ever will.

Worked ground is something you get used to. Overlap your worked ground circles as much as possible so they don't take up too much room in the lane. You'll learn to stay on worked ground idly for the bonus movement speed, then move to the edge of it when you need to use an empowered Threaded Volley. This habit also generates worked ground in the most efficient way with maximum overlap.
Worked Ground
Try not to take long fights in the jungle because of this mechanic as well, since you need lots of space to use empowered Threaded Volley multiple times in a fight. After a lot of Taliyah games, managing where your worked ground will eventually become a second nature thing that you won't need to think about much, so don't worry. Note that casting a single pellet on top of worked ground refunds half the mana, so you need the full mana cost to initially cast it, then you are granted half the mana afterwards. As a reminder, this is the same way that Manaflow Band works.

Conveniently, worked ground will naturally draw you towards playing around the sides of mid lane, where Threaded Volley harassment is strongest. From the side of the lane, the angle allows you to farm the caster minions while threatening damage to the enemy laner. Threaded Volley has a hard time going through melee minions, especially at early levels, so odd angles are required for harassment against competent opponents.

I personally play on unlocked camera and would highly recommend getting used to it. However, constantly pressing the spacebar to center your camera on your champion is a good tool to keep track of your champion in fights, along with being able to easily make small adjustments to your positioning due to how important Threaded Volley's angles are before and after you commit to casting the ability.
RANGE: 900
COST: 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 MANA
COOLDOWN: 16 / 15 / 14 / 13 / 12

Taliyah marks the target location and selects a direction. After 1 second, the ground erupts, dealing 60 / 80 / 100 / 120 / 140 (+ 40% AP) magic damage to all enemies hit and knocking them in the chosen direction for 1 second.
Seismic Shove uses the same vector casting as Viktor's Death Ray and Rumble's Equalizer if you are familiar with those champions. The 1 second delay after casting is a long time, so you must predict movements with it to hit people. The most obvious application of the spell is to throw people towards you into your Unraveled Earth, which is the standard “combo” and will allow you to continue to chase with Threaded Volley after the initial burst. Remember that you can always throw Seismic Shove and have plenty of time to lay down Unraveled Earth during the delay if you see the knockback is going to hit. Don't just think of it as a spell with one purpose either—you can also use Seismic Shove to peel people off you or your teammates, and move additional people into the path of Threaded Volley.

Against practically every melee laner, you'll be hitting your combo during their all-in by knocking them away from you in melee range through Unraveled Earth. Against ranged champions, or anyone running away, you will be fishing to shove them towards you instead.
Example 1
Example 2
There are a few ways to try and hit Seismic Shove in lane. Casting the ability raw, then using Unraveled Earth when you visually confirm it will land works if you can out-predict the enemy laner. It's a threat for the opposing mid the entire game if they don't have the reactions to dodge the marker on the ground. When people walk up for CS is when landing Seismic Shove is easiest, due to how they have to commit to the action of moving up and standing still for their autoattack. Throwing Unraveled Earth out before W for the slow clearly telegraphs what you are trying to do, making it much easier for people to react to the W indicator on the ground and dodge accordingly. I wouldn't really recommend it in most circumstances, since if you miss then you've wasted Unraveled Earth's long cooldown and mana cost. In late game scenarios however, Unraveled Earth's slow will be much stronger from its AP scaling and allows more room for this method if the opposing champion isn't much of an immediate damage threat or doesn't have any immediate mobility available.

Late game, even if you get a catch with W, be careful who exactly you are throwing into your team if you are unable to immediately kill them. Also keep in mind that Seismic Shove is able to move enemies over thin walls.
RADIUS: ~800 ANGLE: 80°
COST: 90 / 95 / 100 / 105 / 110 MANA
COOLDOWN: 16 / 14 / 12 / 10 / 8

Taliyah scatters 18 boulders over the ground in a cone before her, dealing 70 / 90 / 110 / 130 / 150 (+ 40% AP) magic damage to all enemies hit.
The boulders then remain for 4 seconds, slowing all enemies within the area by 20% (+ 4% per 100 AP). At the end of their duration, all remaining boulders explode, dealing Unraveled Earth's initial damage once more.

Enemies who dash over or are knocked through Unraveled Earth's boulders cause them to detonate instantly, each dealing them 50% of Unraveled Earth's initial damage and dealing 15% less damage per boulder hit down to a minimum of 55% damage, up to a maximum of 4 boulders per enemy.
Outside of the combo with Seismic Shove, Unraveled Earth is good for waveclear and denying space. Ideally, use this at the start of committed fights to get the most damage out of it, as well as the slow in order to facilitate the rest of Taliyah's kit. Against mid laners like Lucian and Talon, it's an amazing ability to throw at them preemptively since dashing forwards is a core part to their trading pattern, but mind the long cooldown. Keep in mind that ANY displacement will trigger the E mines, including taking Thresh's Dark Passage, knockbacks from your own team (and of course Seismic Shove), and finally any dashes from enemy champions. Again, knocking a champion away from you with Seismic Shove across the minefield is a strong way to deter any would-be chasers and create space for yourself.

Your standard waveclear pattern on a full wave is to Seismic Shove the melees (and cannon, if present) back into the ranged creeps while casting Unraveled Earth, and using your Threaded Volley on all the stacked creeps to clean it all up. Late game, you can omit the Seismic Shove since your other abilities will be enough to kill the frontline with damage to spare to kill the caster minions.
RANGE: 3000 / 4500 / 6000
COST: 100 MANA
COOLDOWN: 180 / 150 / 120
DURATION: 6 / 7 / 8

Taliyah channels for 1 second before summoning a massive wall of spiraling rock that tears through the battlefield in the target direction, creating impassable terrain for a few seconds and knocking aside allied and enemy champions it passes through as it emerges.

Taliyah can reactivate Weaver's Wall while channeling to ride atop the wall at 1500 speed as it emerges. Taking damage or inputting a movement command in any direction will force her off the wall, which will continue along its path normally.
Reactivating Weaver's Wall destroys the wall instantly.
Weaver's Wall is an extremely unique ultimate that serves as an enormous gapcloser and a way to near-guarantee map objectives for your team. It's immense utility is Taliyah's tradeoff for not having a combat ultimate. Getting consistent use out of it takes some premeditated effort to make plays across the map instead of just being content with farming mid lane all game.

Press R again after casting the initial channel to ride Weaver's Wall as it forms (mashing R also works perfectly fine). Once you're riding the ultimate, use right click to immediately jump off the wall on either side closer to your cursor. Taking any damage will make you unable to ride the wall while initially channeling the ability, or will knock you off if you are already on it. Because of this, you generally can't use Weaver's Wall to escape combat and again must use it preemptively to make plays. As one would guess, Weaver's Wall is great for roaming in the early to mid-game. As far as its use, don't always feel like you have to completely wall off a lane. The majority of the time, you can just use it to get close to (and slightly behind) your gank target, instead of trying to wall a lane off and just getting an opposing Flash while your teammates wait for you to collapse the wall. If you are deciding to completely wall off a lane in an early game gank, make sure to overshoot the wall placement until you get used to the long delay. Blocking escape routes while chasing people down, or just using it to gap close near people in order to chase is another strong use for Weaver's Wall early-midgame.
Inner Turet
Outer Turret
Inhibitor Turret
Weaver's Wall's range is quite short until rank 2, but afterwards it becomes very formidable. Mid-late game, a simple and effective use for Weaver's Wall is to wall off turrets, inhibitors and neutral objectives from the side and have your team take them while the enemy team is blocked from contesting. When walling off turrets, make sure to time the wall with your minion wave approaching so that your team can ensure the turret being destroyed. Aim the ultimate just behind the turret so that your team can always autoattack the turret, but the opposing team will be too far away to contest. Also be aware that you are going to practically always have to be in the jungle to the side of the lane to cast Weaver's Wall at a good angle—Savvy playmakers will look to make a pick on you if you walk into warded territory and make yourself vulnerable by channeling the ultimate.

In terms of Baron and Dragon, blocking the two entrances from the opposing side while your team takes the objective is extremely powerful and should be something you consider anytime you have an advantage in those areas of the map. This becomes even more true as soon as your team has the damage to kill the baron during the duration of the wall. While the provided images can give you something of a base to start with, experiment with placing the wall in slightly different positions to accomplish different goals against the enemy team’s composition.
Blue Side Baron
Red Side Baron
The wall is considered a projectile while it is traveling, and will be stopped by Yasuo's Wind Wall and Braum's Unbreakable (the rest of the wall is not destroyed, but it stops progressing). If you manually destroy the wall it will all collapse at once, but if you let the duration time out it will collapse with the same progression as it was formed.

I also highly recommend that if you use smartcast for your abilities, to have another key binding for normal cast (I use Shift + QWER). This lets you quickly and easily view the range and area on high-impact abilities like Weaver's Wall before you commit to them.

> > >
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Threaded Volley is maxed first for the damage and waveclear it offers, along with greatly reducing the cooldown. Unraveled Earth second is the logical next step, as Seismic Shove serves well as a one-point wonder for most of the game (it gains very little strength with additional ranks). Take the point in Seismic Shove at level 3 instead of a second rank in Threaded Volley due to unlocking burst potential and allowing you to use to use it on either end of a three-minute gank— Taliyah's level 3 powerspike is one of the best parts of the champion's laning. If you're queued with a jungler and know you are getting a level 2 gank, taking Seismic Shove at level 2 purely to chain with CC is an option. Even in a level 1 invade or teamfight where CC is king, I would suggest taking Threaded Volley for the higher sustained damage output to secure kills over Seismic Shove.

General
Current AP itemization for most mages is quite straightforward, and this goes for Taliyah as well. The main priority after first back is Lost Chapter, then upgraded boots and/or the finished Morellonomicon (though I would lean towards finishing boots first more often). Refillable Potion is great to get as early as you can, along with consistent Control Wards. If you have an awkward early back, Boots of Speed, Amplifying Tome, The Dark Seal, Null-Magic Mantle / Cloth Armor and Control Wards are all good purchases with less than 900 gold. After Morellonomicon and finished boots, I generally aim to build Liandry's Torment for the insanely efficient damage spike with 33 flat magic penetration. For the third item onwards, it's pretty much all situational purchases to suit the game at hand. Occasionally, you'll need to get a defensive item immediately after Morellonomicon, so don't undervalue Banshee's Veil and Zhonya's Hourglass in the games that you need them. Purchasing the Haunting Guise and then building towards a finished defensive item is a greedy, viable option as well. An end game build with Void Staff and Rabadon's Deathcap is your goal for damage. Make sure you are continuously buying Control Wards and placing them throughout the game as well, and don't be afraid to reposition a ward in a passive position!


Trinkets
Sit on the Warding Totem until level 9, where you can swap to either Oracle Lens or Farsight Alteration. Oracle Alteration is great if you are threatening roams, just activate it as you walk through river/jungle after shoving a wave in. Later on in the game, vision control and denial around objectives becomes something of a win condition as well. Farsight Alteration is useful to make sure you are never facechecking brushes, and can immediately provide vision of objectives such as Baron and Dragon later in the game after the enemy team clears your team's wards around them. This gives you some immediate agency over your team's vision control, and is what I would recommend late game in soloqueue even if you picked up Oracle Lens earlier.
Doran’s Ring
The standard start on most mid lane mages, and what I recommend you start with every game on Taliyah. The Dark Seal first doesn't work nearly as well as just getting all the base stats and mana regeneration of Doran's Ring to work with from the start, as is the case with most standard mages.
Lost Chapter
Arguably the best AP component in the game, and the main laning priority for any mage that eventually builds Morellonomicon. The earlier you can get it, the more value it will accrue through its mana restoring passive. Even in harder matchups when you need to build a defensive component such as Seeker's Armguard early, if you can get Lost Chapter I would highly recommend considering it in order to use all the extra mana to farm safely and get the defensive stats on your next recall.
Sorcerer's Shoes

Newly buffed in the preseason update and already extremely strong on Taliyah before, Sorcerer's Shoes are an amazing early purchase since you get damage and movement speed in the same item. Finishing boots helps dodge opposing skillshots along with setting up and improving your own damage output, while also enabling faster roaming. Completing boots early on high-uptime, low mobility mages is a common trend for good reason. There isn't too much to say other than they're really good, especially on a champion like Taliyah with good base damages, and who doesn't care too much about having cooldown reduction capped early on.

Mercury's Treads & Ninja Tabi

These should be bought as needed. You'll notice the decent drop in damage without your stacked magic penetration, even more so if you forgo building a Haunting Guise. However, there will be games where survivability is more important than having more damage, such as against snowballing champions like LeBlanc, Syndra, and Zoe. If you're having trouble in any AP matchups in general, then an early Mercury's Treads will help you a lot while you build towards your Morellonomicon. The magic resistance and movement speed will help you stay out of important abilities, and tenacity is an amazing stat to have against practically any team composition. Ninja Tabi shares the defensive niche, but its benefits apply against AD champions instead of mages. If you are playing with your team and all you need to do is deny a snowball from your opposing laner or jungler, a defensive boot purchase goes a long way.
Morellonomicon
Morellonomicon is the only item with Lost Chapter as a component, which is a huge deal for many mid laners right now. The finished item satisfies the need for mana and cooldown reduction that most mages have, and all these factors make it a no-brainer to build. Finishing your boots can often be more useful than sitting on the components to finish this item because of how much Taliyah gets out of movespeed, but if you can finish it on a high gold recall the completed Morellonomicon's stats and mana refresh on kill are quite competent. The 20% cooldown reduction also lets you use Threaded Volley more or less continuously, so long as you have the mana and space on the ground for it.
Liandry's Torment
Liandry's Torment is the damage ideal purchase nearly every game after Morellonomicon. It's ridiculously efficient stat-wise and Taliyah benefits greatly from everything it gives. Haunting Guise is also a strong, albeit pricey component item that you can use as a power spike of its own. Keep in mind that unlike Lethality, Magic Penetration always goes through how much MR it says, making early stacking extremely efficient. Rylai's Crystal Scepter becomes a more attractive option after Liandry's is complete as well, since it will allow the stronger burn effect to apply on all of Taliyah's abilities.
Banshee's Veil
Banshee's is your go-to MR item as an AP carry, and helps a lot against teams with strong engage abilities or poke (hooks, initiation ultimates, and artillery mages). It's also amazing insurance against midgame AP assassins, since they generally prey on Taliyah at that point and the spell shield can absorb important abilities like Charm and Sleepy Trouble Bubble. Don't be afraid to pick this up as early as your second item in games that you need it, even though it's not as exciting as some of the other more damage-oriented options.
Zhonya's Hourglass
Hourglass is the ubiquitous AP carry armor item. If you don't need the active badly you can get Seeker's Armguard and sit on it for a while, but it's an extremely important item to have completed against champions like Zed and Talon with telegraphed, high damage AD burst that you cannot escape otherwise. The active is also strong against any other champion with telegraphed abilities that have to connect, as you can dodge them with Hourglass if your reactions are good enough. Remember to try and actively avoid damage with it instead of just using it at low HP. If you just save Zhonya's Hourglass until you are about to die every time, you will often immediately die when the stasis ends instead of potentially getting another spell rotation or allowing your team time to reach your position. As another reminder, the pellets from Threaded Volley will NOT continue to fire during stasis, so don't plan around that giving you any free teamfight damage.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
This item used to be much, much stronger, and with the removal of Stormraider's Surge it still fills an important utility niche for you and your teammates. Rylai's doesn't cost a ton of gold, but the upfront damage it offers is noticeably lower than other options. Typically if I build an early Rylai's, it is in lieu of a defensive item, and takes that item's place in a six-item build if I want an optimal damage setup. In many games, avoiding a defensive item isn't advisable, so you'll be forced to miss out on either Void Staff or Rabadon's Deathcap to keep Rylai's and a defensive item in your endgame build. If you can rely on the rest of the team's damage to win you the game, Rylai's a still a stellar buy for enabling the rest of your team as the game progresses to larger-scale fights. It's also a good item for an immediate power spike if you know something is about to be forced, again due to the lower cost compared to some of the alternatives.
Void Staff
Void Staff is mathematically a better purchase before Rabadon's Deathcap most games, and nearly always an important goal for your final build. You often have to kill the frontline first on Taliyah unless the enemy team makes a big mistake, so this is never a bad buy and you'll need to get it eventually over the course of every match that goes past the midgame.
Rabadon's Deathcap
Deathcap is the standard “Big AP” item that most mid laners want to get at some point if they are a primary damage threat. I'd advise getting it when you know that it's fine for you to amass all the gold for it, since other items give you an earlier power spike. Make sure not to be too greedy and be aware of the enemy team's itemization so you don't start building Rabadon's Deathcap when there's multiple people beginning MR items, or if there is a threat that demands an immediate defensive purchase.
Most ranged mages have a similar play pattern for you to strategize around. Harassment is often done while your opponent commits to going for CS. If you have low health minions in your minion wave and they do not, you can posture a bit more aggressively as you know they will want to approach the wave for CS. This forces your opponent to make decisions that cause them purely negative outcomes, as they can take the harass and lasthit the minion, or take a trade and miss the lasthit. There are many champions and abilities that can change the dynamic of this, particularly in mid lane, but the core concept remains the same and is universally applicable.

Always be aware of champions that can throw an AoE ability at you to try and lasthit the minion while getting some free damage, and position accordingly. Again, looking for Seismic Shove when your opponent goes to commit for CS is the easiest way to land it in lane. Simply getting in chip damage with Threaded Volley also adds up if you can hit the opposing laner with the AOE through minions while farming, or use it to punish them for walking up without the cover of their minion wave. Using single pellet Qs to rack up chip damage is never bad as well, so long as you don't need the cooldown back immediately. The new rune additions also support getting hits in at least every 20 seconds to proc Scorch and Taste of Blood.
Favorable Positions

Regarding lane positioning: You can stand in the minion wave to almost never get hit by skillshot CCs like Ahri's Charm and Xerath's Shocking Orb. However, doing so allows your opponent to waveclear and potentially harass with their AOE waveclear skills ( Orb of Deception and Arcanopulse / Eye of Destruction for example) without making compromises. Forcing the opposing mid laner to choose between pushing the wave and fishing for damage on you is a favorable position—you will either not be harassed, or you will cause them to lose wave control while looking for inconsistent damage. Abilities like Viktor's Death Ray and Lux's Lucent Singularity warp this concept due to their large effective area allowing them to harass the side of the lane while still efficiently farming, and require you to have the foresight to dodge out of the way early, or never be in position to be hit along with the minions they want to CS.

I would recommend generally staying outside of the minion wave and managing your worked ground placement on the sides of the lane. This also allows you to get better angles to harass while farming with Threaded Volley, since unlike may common waveclear abilities it does not completely pass through the minion wave. Always try to keep in mind what side of the map the enemy jungler should be on, and where your friendly one is so that you can play towards the safer side (it's much easier to countergank if you are playing on the same side as your jungler).

If you really want to, it's a perfectly legitimate strategy to push every wave you can and stay safe while waiting to make a play elsewhere. Jockeying for lane dominance and 1v1 kills works up until you play against better players than you.
When playing against melee mid laners, your playstyle changes from trying to take small outplays in trades and consistently shoving the minion wave (like against ranged) to playing around windows of power and opponent mistakes. Due to the nature of her kit, Taliyah is particularly favored in most early-level melee matchups (with a couple notable exceptions) and loses lane priority as the opposing laner gains levels. You want to prioritize constantly getting good autoattack and spell harass as they go to farm or when other opportunities present themselves. Taliyah's great level 3 powerspike is a good time to try and gain a health lead and deter future all-in attempts.

Wave management is also highly important, more so than against ranged champions since you can zone a melee from reaching the minion wave with their autoattack. Freezing the wave outside your turret makes it difficult for melees to commit to killing you (they have to turret dive), while having the usual benefits of enabling favorable gank opportunities and protecting you from the enemy jungler. Many melee champion's gameplans (such as Kassadin) are to last hit with autos while trading/harassing with abilities, and if you freeze the wave in a favorable position, you can put them in a place where they are forced to use those harassment abilities to farm safely instead of chipping for a health lead.

Individual characters start becoming scary at different times. For example, Yasuo is a threat from level 1 onwards, while Kassadin can only really commit to a fight after Riftwalk is skilled. If you try and commit to risky harass during an opposing power spike, you may very well find yourself dead with the enemy snowball quickly rolling. Several melee mid laners have long individual cooldowns for you to respect and play around once they are available, such as Zed's Living Shadow and Fizz's Playful / Trickster. When these abilities are down, the champion loses a lot of their threat in lane and once again gives you openings to play more proactively. Generally, the melee champion is much better at getting lane kills than you, so play around their gameplan of killing you early. Farm while waiting for them to misposition, overcommit, or waste an important cooldown. This is especially true after level 6, where opposing champions start gaining high-impact combat ultimates. These same ideas apply to ranged matchups as well, but against melee champions they are even more pronounced.

In both this section and the previous one about ranged champions, think of it as a general outline of how laning should play out “on paper” instead of a definite guide. Different champions can change basic laning concepts and behaviours in unique ways, which is one of the beauties of playing such a complex game.
Ramp Ward 1
Ramp Ward 2
Generally, the first jungle ganks (both buffs and 1-2 other camps) will be at about the 3 minute mark and change slightly depending on the clear speed of the champion in question. You can consistently push in the first two waves using Threaded Volley and get your trinket ward on the side opposite of where the enemy jungler started to give you a lot of safety against standard jungle routes. Looking at your own jungler's progress can give you an idea of how much the opposing jungler has cleared in the early game.

Later on in the game due to camps respawning slowly, junglers will often be on the side of the map that they can farm on in order to not fall behind. Warding in the enemy jungle and knowledge of pathing from where they have recently ganked or cleared camps can help give you insight on where they want to go next. For example, a jungler that recently cleared his entire top side of the map will be reluctant to take a gank on the top laner that isn't guaranteed (if the gank fails he would be behind his jungling counterpart, assuming they were efficient with their time). Information wins games that flashy mechanical plays sometimes cannot, so always be attentive to your minimap and try to keep a mental tally of where the opposing team members are.

A safe and basic ward for safety to practice would be a vision ward hugging the end of the lip of the ramp to blue side razorbacks. The placement is relatively finicky, since if it is too far up the ramp the ward won't provide any vision in the river. Lane bush wards are usable, but don't help much against jungle champions with mobility that prioritize flanking you in ganks. They are decent to Control Ward though if you are able to protect them, since it chokes out vision control to threaten roaming. Against champions that you know will attempt roams or fog of war cheese against you, you can place a vision ward in the middle of the lane, just outside their turret's range. This gives you constant vision of where they are when new minion waves arrive, and spots the back side exits to the lane to watch for roaming. Roams can still happen with this vision, but it means they have to path through the back side of their friendly jungle to accomplish it. As long as you have at least some smattering of vision to work around in the river, you can try and play towards a side and protect yourself from the opposing jungler while accumulating information.

Extremely standard Control Ward placements would include the bush outside the the blue side razorbacks to secure roaming paths, along with the dot bush in river and potentially the lane bushes depending on the jungle matchup. Later on in the game with your steady flow of Control Wards, place them in places of contention in the jungle and around neutral objectives. Oracle Lens also plays into the vision denial gameplan in the midgame onward by securing you space in the jungle and river. Late game if you want to sweep out the enemy jungle or a neutral objective, try to do with with your team instead of running into a facecheck alone. Lastly and almost most importantly, don't be afraid to move up a Control Ward that's lasted a long time in a passive spot for a more aggressive placement that gives your team more valuable vision in comparison. Visuals for this entire section to make it easier to understand are coming soon™.
River Pinks
Brush Ward
Turret Ward
There are other, more complex warding concepts you can learn as well, but they are better suited for a guide that is focused on them. This basic info should be enough on its own to get you to understand how a basic warding plan works. Watch warding in high level games on your own and think critically about the decision making that takes place if you want to work to improve further. Learning how to jungle proficiently yourself also improves your knowledge of the vision game immensely, and is something I would recommend to anyone that wants to improve their mid lane gamesense.
As a refresher, the most basic plan of mid lane roaming is to shove a wave into the turret (with vision advantage around the roam path), then leave for another lane while your lane opponent gets his farm under the turret. If they immediately follow you, they lose out on some of their gold and experience income and risk facechecking a bad fight in the river. On the opposite end of that spectrum, the easiest way to punish roaming is to shove the wave into turret so that the opposing laner loses farm and the wave bounces back into a favorable position for you. Good wave management is important on any roaming champion so that you don't get punished for running around the map as much the enemy would like. Attempting to put the opposing champion in lose-lose situations is a common theme in roaming as well as trading. Roaming is the reward you get from ward denial, and turns vision control directly into map impact. Low-risk tactical advantages are always worth playing for, while risky mechanical plays will have a chance at failing simply due to player error, especially when playing against people of equal or higher skill.

Taliyah's kit naturally lends itself towards roaming in the early-mid game, primarily because Threaded Volley has far more uptime than most other mid lane waveclear tools at that point in the game. This allows you to easily get a shove advantage and leave the lane to try and make a play in the jungle or a side lane. Despite being a simple passive, Rock Surfing's extra movement speed greatly helps to facilitate successful roams along with letting you quickly come back from the middle of the river if circumstances change. Remember to be careful of an opposing jungler in the river if you are trying to cheese gank at extremely early levels (3-4), since they will often path there to clean up the scuttle crab after killing their standard jungle camps and ward for their team. Even if you aren't planning on leaving the lane, sitting in fog of war after shoving the wave in will create pressure on the map against bot laners that keep tabs on their minimap.

After level 6, make sure not to tunnel too hard on your R placement when there is a threat of being jumped on in the river. The longer you wait to commit to the ultimate when ganking, the more time the opposing laners have to react to you being MIA, and to move farther back in the lane to avoid being trapped. An important point from earlier that I want to restate is that when you are roaming with Weaver's Wall, you don't always need to block an entire lane off. Most of the time it is much more valuable to use the ultimate a second or two earlier to just get up close to your target, since you need to commit to the time to get in the middle of the river to actually wall off a lane with rank 1 of the ability. Time is an extremely valuable resource, and not one you should be wasting if you can afford it. Even later on in the game, you can use Weaver's Wall to punish overextending enemies because of the huge range, and even just use it without riding it to create a wall that forces a Flash or a kill in a separate part of the map.
Generally this is when outer turrets start falling, and teams are beginning to group for other objectives with an item or two completed. Something important to keep in mind for this stage of the game is that you should never be grouped in a lane with your ADC without a specific goal in mind. Otherwise, you're just splitting farm and losing efficiency on both of you. it is often the case if your team takes bottom turret fist (because you should be roaming there) the ADC and support will rotate to a different lane and try to take that turret as well. Against laners with immense waveclear like Anivia or Ziggs, playing ARAM with your team to never be able to chip at the turret isn't worth all the gold and experience you are losing by not picking up side lane farm. If you know you can get the turret or force a favorable fight, that is when being grouped with the ADC is worth your time. The abundant waveclear in mid lane is one of the many reasons that bot lane will typically rotate for top lane turret after dragon is secured (swapping with the top laner) before courting the mid lane turret. As difficult as it can be sometimes, getting down the first middle turret early on in the game gives Taliyah a lot more space to safely roam and set up picks with her team, so don't neglect it as an objective.

At this point in the game, start using your ultimate to secure free turrets around the map with your team if you aren't using it to make picks. Taliyah's great early roaming potential also aids with picking up the ever-important side waves and getting waves pushing in other lanes, then walking back up with your team and threatening an objective. Just remember to try and be proactive on the map when you can, as other mages and AD carries will outshine Taliyah in the late game. Taliyah's strengths that you should play for are early in the game when she can impact the map and gain advantages everywhere for her team, not so much at 6 items.

In any kind of skirmish, watch your positioning so that you don't get picked off by more mobile champions. This is especially true in the mid-game, where everyone has a couple items and can easily kill a Taliyah that makes even a few positional mistakes. Many lane matchups that start even or favorable become much less so once other champions start hitting their strides as well.
Once everyone is more or less set for items, grouping with your ADC and playing around them becomes the norm. While sometimes you can put most of your team's resources onto one objective at a time, most of the time you will have to be trying to enable some sort of splitpush or flank (typically from your top laner). This is the stage of the game where Taliyah becomes much more about utility than damage, mostly by using Weaver's Wall to gain some low-counterplay advantage for her team, such as securing time for an objective, or blocking off an escape so that an opposing team cannot run away from a friendly initiation.

Typically, your role in late-game teamfights is to just be a consistent damage dealer while staying alive. While one-shotting an enemy carry with Seismic Shove is the dream, most of the time against competent players you will have to go through the front line first. Liandry's Torment, Void Staff, and Rylai's Crystal Scepter are all great items for facilitating this gameplan while being common buys, making Taliyah even better for this role. Focus on kiting with Threaded Volley and using your W+E combo on anyone who overcommits or steps too close. Like any other immobile carry at this stage of the game, positioning is everything. Play around your ADC and facilitate his damage as much as you can, without standing too close to him and providing opportunities for enemy initiation.

Using Weaver's Wall to almost guarantee inhibitor turrets (and aftwards, inhibitors) late-game is an insane utility that Taliyah is afforded, so make use of it. Remember to throw the ultimate out as the minion wave is approaching so that your team can immediately start attacking the turret while the wall is up. putting up the wall at the correct time also gives the enemy team less time to react and rotate to the play. As before, Weaver's Wall is still great for blocking off routes to Baron and Dragon while your team takes the neutral objective, especially at 6 items when your ADC should able to shred through the baron during the 8-second duration of the wall.
Ahri
You can take any summoner in this matchup, but keep in mind the enemy jungle pick to decide if you need Cleanse or not. Taliyah's sustained damage in the early stages of the lane is much higher than Ahri, who relies on getting one or two good trades before being able to commit to an early all-in attempt. Before level six, Taliyah should win fights as long as you aren't getting hit by Charm for free. Threaded Volley's uptime along with autoattacking is generally enough damage to win low-level trades, and if Seismic Shove lands before Spirit Rush is skilled it's a huge swing for the lane. After Ahri gets her ultimate, any whiffed Seismic Shove can easily lead to a successful all-in, even more so with Ignite available. Be careful with your abilities and positioning at this point, and later on in the match as well. It's not hard for Ahri to kill you after the early laning phase is over due to the chasing power of her ultimate and Taliyah's easily dodged CC.
Cassiopeia
Her level 1 trading is still decent after the nerfs, but Threaded Volley has more range than both Noxious Blast and Twin Fang. Because of this range advantage along with the DPS-oriented nature of both champions, good spacing is particularly rewarded in this lane. Since Cassio often needs to run forward with Noxious Blast's movement speed bonus to start a fight in lane, landing Taliyah's abilities isn't particularly difficult. Even if she hits a max-range Noxious Blast on you in lane, you can deter her and even win the trade by using your abilities while kiting backwards, still out of Twin Fang's range. Just remember that casting most abilities and autoattacking will briefly lock you in a direction that a good Cassio can catch with Petrifying Gaze, and that you can still turn your back to her while Threaded Volley is firing its additional pellets.
Jayce
Level 1 Jayce is somewhat limited to his autoattacks and Shock Blast to last hit minions and work down the minion wave. After level 2, he has four abilities, and they all contribute damage towards his trading and allin potential. More so than almost any other champion, against Jayce you need to be mindful of the minion wave in order to play around when each champion will get level 2. Since his upfront burst is higher than yours, you need to be watching the ranges you are playing at and work for longer-term leads in health and mana. Even if one half of Jayce's kit is on cooldown, he can still threaten strong trades if you get too close due to him being an AD champion. This is a lane that can heavily snowball either way, since both champions are high damage, low mobility, and prioritize penetration in their builds. Jayce in lane plays like a hybrid of an ADC and a mage, and has no easy way to escape a well-placed Seismic Shove.
Similarly to Lucian, dashing towards you with To The Skies! is a core part of his full trading pattern and makes Threaded Volley along with good kiting have a lot of value in fights. If Jayce elects for a Tear of the Goddess on his first recall over more damage, his damage will notably suffer and gives you a window of opportunity. A common Jayce tactic is to sit in fog of war on the raised section to the sides of the lane after shoving the wave (think of the path to blue buff), and fish for empowered Shock Blast harassment as the fresh minion wave hits. Take mental note of if you see Jayce in lane or not, and try to position accordingly to either be out of range when minions hit, or to have the minion wave intercepting for you. This tactic also threatens a roam if you don't have vision coverage. As long as Jayce isn't getting a health lead that he can convert into a pressure advantage or a kill, Taliyah has stronger overall roaming potential to impact the rest of the map with.
Kassadin
Kassadin's weak early laning is great on paper for Taliyah. The standard Kassadin play pattern early is to just Q the opposing laner as much as they can, making the enemy mid laner take minion aggro and trade into a spellshield if they contest Kassadin's autoattacks to farm, which is even stronger in the preseason with Summon Aery and Scorch. Taliyah often threatens Kassadin in the early laning phase because of her high damage and ranged autoattack to punish Kassadin for playing predictably. As a melee, if you can force Kassadin off the minion wave he will be forced to use his abilities to get farm instead of using them on your face, removing all of his potential early-game dominance. After the preseason changes, he can no longer last hit perfectly under turret with no preparation, making shoving him in early a much more viable option. Freezing the lane is still a potential strategy against him, completely removes your threat of roaming the map. If Kassadin gains any large leads in the early lane, the matchup gets rough since he'll have Riftwalk early and will be able to out-stat you in trades.
After level 6, anytime Kassadin uses Riftwalk to get in your face, you can land your entire kit on him and threaten winning the all-in with Threaded Volley's ridiculous uptime. Later on in the game however, Kassadin will be a threat to Taliyah in fights where he can do a nice chunk to her health bar immediately and easily clean up fights.
Katarina
Like most melee matchups, Taliyah does have the upper hand in the first level or two, but once Katarina unlocks all her abilities, the dynamic drastically changes. Katarina is another champion that is heavily favored by the new runes system, and fully abuses Electrocute's rune tree along with having strong early itemization paths. I would honestly advise you just ban or dodge this matchup in higher elo. Like Zed, this matchup is extremely difficult, especially against people who know how to abuse the champion's strengths and play around yours. A couple Important details to note about how her kit works are that the dagger from Bouncing Blades will always land behind its target, and that Shunpo's cooldown is not fully reset at early levels with dagger pickups, and instead scales with her champion's level. Additionally, Voracity will only refund Shunpo's cooldown on dagger pickups—the rest of her abilities are only reset on a kill or assist. The standard way that Katarina will try to allin early levels is to directly Shunpo on top of your champion while immediately casting Preparation and Bouncing Blades after landing—the Preparation dagger will AoE and refresh Shunpo at right about the same time as the dagger from Bouncing Blades lands behind you.
By inserting autoattacks with her early AD itemization, Electrocute, and Ignite, it's a huge kill threat if you present the opportunity. This is further magnified by Taliyah's very telegraphed kit giving Katarina many potential mistakes to exploit and snowball on. Because of how the dagger from Bouncing Blades works, there is some merit in walking forward to get out of the AoE if there are no other potential threats you need to worry about. It's extremely difficult to land Seismic Shove on a Katarina that knows what they are doing after the first couple levels, and having abilities down gives Kat room to maneuver in the lane due to her shorter cooldowns relative to Taliyah. Since many Katarina players will use Preparation (if it's available) immediately before ulting, an attentive Katarina will be able to dodge an attempted interrupt as well. Extremely risky guesses on where she will go (such as casting Seismic Shove on a dagger's location) have a huge upside, but if you don't respect her ranges and cooldowns while doing so you can easily get killed for it. If Katarina does make mistakes in the early game and mismanages her cooldowns (like blinking to a dagger without an immediate way out), know to punish them accordingly, even if it's just working her health bar down with Threaded Volley and autoattack harassment. As long as you know how the champion works and are actively paying attention to where daggers are falling, you shouldn't be dying to any extremely forced 1v1 engages. Don't forget to ping your lane whenever she goes missing, and try to prioritize vision in the river to know when Katarina commits to roams. If your jungler is low health in a skirmish and you know Katarina will get there first, know how to pick your battles and not die rushing into an inevitable reset. Your goal is to stay alive and prevent snowballing before big teamfights begin, and you can hopefully rely on the rest of your team's crowd control to keep a non-fed Katarina at bay. Lastly, even if the Katarina is behind, highly consider itemizing magic resistance to avoid any potential teamfight resets after she completes Sorcerer's Shoes and Haunting Guise.
Lucian
A terror to most mid lane mages, Taliyah deals with Lucian just fine. Just like all the other AD laners, the loss of armor runes is noticable in the first few levels, making you have to respect his damage a bit more early on. Taliyah's kit has amazing tools to deal with Lucian's early aggression, provided you aren't missing with Threaded Volley's damage, or not respecting his insane level 2. Because dashing is an important part of his trading pattern, Unraveled Earth gets a ton of value over the course of the lane. Ideally you want to stay in the range where he needs to commit his dash to get close to you, then doesn't have it to get out of Threaded Volley's trajectory. Don't bother trying to hit Seismic Shove until he commits his dash in some way—wasting it is just giving him an opportunity to jump on you. Use it in combination with the remaining minefield from Unraveled Earth after he dashes to get the most out of the ability. You can take either Exhaust or Heal in this matchup, but against better players that won't be so easily baited Heal becomes a bit more appealing in my eyes.
Malzahar
His first several levels aren't particularly strong outside of his guaranteed damage with Malefic Visions along with with Summon Aery if they elect for that keystone. Remember to take note of whether or not the player has Manaflow Band, because a lack of it signifies Malz took The Ultimate Hat and will look for more plays with their ultimate rather than having more mana to work with early. Malzahar's high mana costs early make running him out of mana before an optimal first back timing a potential strategy to aim for, especially if they are lacking Manaflow Band and miss out on early CS to purchase Lost Chapter. Many Malzahar players will always just put their Q behind you while trying to hit it in lane, so keep an eye out for player patters like this that you can exploit. As long as Call of the Void isn't landing, Taliyah will have more damage output in all-in attempts than the Malzahar.
Like most immobile mage matchups, a kill is practically guaranteed if Seismic Shove lands without an enemy minion wave in the way, and it's a blessing and a curse that Threaded Volley will often be killing Malzahar's voidlings on the first couple shots. Save Unraveled Earth or Threaded Volley to one-shot his voidlings if he summons them early game—without their damage, his early pushing is severely hampered and he has to commit either a lot of mana to use Call of the Void more than he'd like or autoattack several times to make up for it. Pushing lane next to him and not actively trying to kill the voidlings will just lead to him outpushing and limiting your early roam potential. After he gets Lost Chapter, his mana sustain goes through the roof and running him out of mana becomes much less feasible. Post 6, respect his jungler's gank potential but keep in mind that you can still kill him through his ultimate in a 1v1— Threaded Volley's pellets will continue to fire during the suppression if you use the ability before he casts Nether Grasp. If you're dying to repeat ganks and Malz or the jungler isn't Flashing for it, then your vision around mid lane is likely to blame. Malzahar is one of the few champions that building an early Quicksilver Sash against is worth doing, especially if you are the primary damage threat for your team, or if he has a high-damage jungler to facilitate. Even if you end up locked in a passive gridlock of a lane, remember that if both sides just delete the opposing minion wave, then the next wave will take a while to show up in the first place. This allows some space for roaming without losing too much gold and experience. Malz shouldn't be able to punish a roam with taking your turret until he's gotten a lot of damage on it already as well. In practically every Malz lane, you should be going at least even and getting enough income from him afk pushing to impact the rest of the map.
Orianna
Orianna has early lane priority in practically all of her matchups, and Taliyah isn't much of an exception. Orianna is also one of the few mid laners that can contest Taliyah's early game sustained damage output due to the high uptime of her passive and Command: Attack, so be wary. Because of the positioning-based nature of Taliyah's Threaded Volley, it's pretty easy for Orianna to throw Q+W into a place where you want to walk to. If you aren't careful or paying attention, you can lose a lot of health this away against competent Orianna players. This issue is mostly remedied after you complete your boots and can more easily get out of the ball's trajectory. If you have Flash up, remember that you can use it to dodge Command: Shockwave fairly easily in a 1v1 and it will often win you the fight. Usually this matchup becomes something of an even farm lane, because of Orianna's slight priority in the early game and Taliyah's ability to farm safely and wait for opportunities in other lanes, or ones created by the jungler on both teams.
Syndra
Dodging level 1 Dark Sphere harass is important, and only gets more so as the lane progresses. Syndra players will often try to go for it when you look to last hit minions with your autoattack, or stand in an efficient position for Threaded Volley. Be aware of any Dark Spheres sitting on the ground in lane to avoid getting hit by a cheeky stun and killed, even more so against competent players. Raw stuns are relatively easy to anticipate and dodge, but getting hit by one you don't expect can lead to a bad trade or even a death. If you are able to get an early lead and snowball, it's not hard to get repeated kills against Syndra. The opposite is also true if you make any mistakes, as both champions are high damage with no mobility (which you can probably see is a recurring theme in a large amount of Taliyah's matchups). Even while ahead, an early Mercury's Treads purchase makes it much harder for Syndra to kill you and gives you movement speed to dodge her abilities and hit yours. Similarly to Ahri, Cleanse is also near-mandatory against any jungler that can CC chain you with Syndra's stun (don't be like Jensen vs Faker at the 2016 world championship).
Talon
Take Exhaust or Barrier Exhaust is stronger pre-6, while Barrier is better for personal survivability after Shadow Assault is skilled. Another matchup that is extremely favored for Taliyah early (especially at level 3), but becomes the opposite as the game goes on. As long as you aren't giving him an easy allin at level 2, the rest of the lane up until level 6 is extremely straightforward—Talon has no real ways to deal with Taliyah's early game harassment, and needs several levels to work with to be a real threat. Even though the first five or so levels are difficult for Talon, if he has Ignite up when he gets level six his kill potential goes through the roof. Look to get an early Seeker's Armguard so that he can't easily kill you in lane (if he has ult and ignite up when you both recall, the armor is more important than Lost Chapter), and put a lot of priority on finishing Zhonya's Hourglass for the active after you get your mana sorted. The Stopwatch from Perfect Timing is also a huge deterrent, since it will come online at about the same time as Shadow Assault. Due to Talon's amazing roaming potential, remember to ping when he leaves lane and get the lane shoved to turret instead of facechecking him if you don't have vision. Against Talon roams, wards along the jungle paths that he wants to jump through with E can be more useful than vision only in the river.
Twisted Fate
TF and Taliyah are similar champions, but only one of them has to hit a skillshot. I would advise always taking Cleanse in order to not die to jungle ganks along with gold card + Flash. Taliyah has a bit of a range advantage in lane and higher damage early-game, but Twisted Fate has the better ultimate for early-game roaming and making picks. Because of this, his counterganks to yours are deadly, so be choosy about how you roam. Make sure not to stand next to minions level 1 so you don't take free harass from his red card waveclear, and constantly try to stay at the range where you can harass with Threaded Volley but he can't autoattack you. Like every other immobile mage, if you're able to land Seismic Shove you will be able to snowball a lead, and hopefully bring that lead to other lanes. Just remember to always respect the enemy jungler and not play too aggressive, since easily setting up team members to get kills is where Twisted Fate shines.
Yasuo
Take Exhaust, and give him respect from level 1 onwards. With the removal of armor seals from the old system, this matchup gets a lot scarier early-game. Yasuo can easily get to Taliyah and kill her with his high mobility and damage, so it's very much a lane where you play to stay alive early and farm instead of trying to aggressively fight him. Once Taliyah gets to about level 7 with a Lost Chapter purchase, you can waveclear safely and wait for the Yasuo player to make mistakes for you to punish. Unraveled Earth is an amazing ability against Yasuo, since he will take a lot of damage if he dashes through it to get to you and it is not blocked at all by Wind Wall. If you want to Seismic Shove in front of you while he approaches, do it quickly, as Yasuo can dash through you with his E to dodge it. If he's already used E on your champion to gapclose though, it's a free W for Taliyah. If you are doing well and Yasuo is having a hard time getting on to you, you can forgo early armor purchases and rush to Morellonomicon and boots for the damage powerspike, since he shouldn't be able to get on you through all that waveclear.
Zed
This is easily one of Taliyah's worst matchups, and unfortunately has a high soloqueue pick rate as well. Be wary of the Zed counterpick if you are planning on picking Taliyah blind. If you do end up playing against him, remember that pre-6 he is extremely gated by his Living Shadow cooldown, which is 22 seconds base at rank 1. When the ability is down, you have a lot more freedom for harassment and ganking, and because of it's long CD and Zed's melee range the matchup is pretty even until ultimates are involved. Post 6 trying to land Seismic Shove on Zed because nearly impossible if they have the reactions to use either of his dashes to dodge it and immediately threaten an allin. Also keep in mind that Death Mark will always deposit Zed in the same location with the same delay after the animation every time, which is the far end of your champion relative to where he casted his ultimate.
Get good with the timing and it becomes easy to land a Seismic Shove combo immediately after he comes out of the ultimate's animation, but attentive Zeds may be mashing the Flash key during the animation to immediately escape the Seismic Shove and gain a ton more kill pressure. If he is roaming, shove the wave and don't facecheck without vision, since it's easy for him to bait you into counter-roaming and kill you in the river. Take Exhaust and build an early Seeker's Armguard and try to farm without dying in lane after level 6, while putting a high value on finishing Zhonya's Hourglass when you can. Unless you are much better than the Zed player this matchup is extremely frustrating, and I would advise trying to avoid it as much as possible. The same goes for Katarina, but unlike Zed, she gains all her kill potential at level 3 instead of level 6.


I’m planning on finishing the missing lane matchups once I have a more confident opinion on them in the new season, along with adding better visual aids. This guide wouldn't be possible without the help of:

Hopper for visuals, BBCode, and input

PsiGuard for proofreading and general guide advice

Grumpy Trees for proofreading and editing

lolwiki's page on Taliyah for detailed ability tooltips

If you appreciated this guide or have any additional questions, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll try my best to respond. If you want to see my sporadic and infrequent streams, I have a twitch channel embedded below. If the stream is on, it's usually soloqueue or mid lane coaching.