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Talon Build Guide by HeadlessHobo

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Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author HeadlessHobo

Talon - A Knife in the Dark

HeadlessHobo Last updated on September 7, 2011
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Team 1

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: 0

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

Utility: 9

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Before you downvote my guide after looking at the items above and saying: "Theres no MR or Armor this guide sux" Maybe you should READ the items section!!!

This is my guide for Talon, and my first MOBAFire Guide. I've found that a lot of people are not sure about how to build Talon, and have made this guide to clear any misconceptions. Talon is a very bursty champion, and is one of the few unique things Riot has cranked out recently. He has potential for some of the highest burst in the game, rivaling Akali and Brand. Being an assassin he is quite squishy, but a Trinity Force will make you bulky enough to net some kills. Late game your focus is the carries, making him an anti-carry. I have found Last Whisper is needed late game, as you can't even scratch anyone remotely tanky.


This guide is incomplete, but I decided to get it out there before MOBA was swamped by the Talon guides. Also, I cannot figure out how to get my stats to show properly as you may have noticed. Any input on the matter would be greatly appreciated.

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Guide was published

Minor fixes throughout the guide, added icons for items and champions, reached the 5000 character mark ^^. Added Last Whisper to the core build, as armor was causing problems with late game.

More testing, involving being called a noob by the other team because I built CDR boots (....yeah ok then). Not seeing much of a difference, so Ill just stick with Merc Treads.

More minor edits, still interested in the CDR boots and will continue testing despite others ignorance. Added Infinity Edge to the core build, as the damage increase is insane.

Havent been playing much Talon lately, as he just doesn't seem as effective as other ***a***ins, but I'll keep working at it. More minor changes to the guide, and being dumbfounded by the top rated guide, seeing as the creator is drunk in some fashion, and doesn't understand what half his items DO, but is still the top rated anyway. Enough with my problems though, back to the guide.

Added a second build for the Frozen Mallet instead of Trinity force. Took out Ghost and replaced it with Flash, as sticking to your target is much easier with FM. Also switched my Quints for MS as you lack the bonus from Trinity.

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Pros / Cons


  • Great ganker
  • High Burst
  • Hardcore harass
  • Decent Mobility


  • Poor sustain
  • Somewhat mana hungry
  • Squishy
  • CC makes a dead Talon

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Greater Mark of Desolation

Armor Penetration is very important for Talon, as all his abilities do Physical Damage. ArPen helps greatly early game and essentially makes you do true damage to non-tanks. I find Armor and Magic Resist always help with survivability, but the blue MR or yellow Armor could be replaced with flat mana regen (only do this if you have no restraint and cast Rake whenever its off cooldown) or CDR (have yet to test them :/).

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My masteries focus on big damage, and getting an early advantage. I don't worry about defense much, seeing as if you play smart you shouldn't be getting hurt, and if you're focused, you're dead. Remember, Perserverence is terribad, don't bother with it. I believe with 55 HP/5 Perserverence gives you about 1 HP/5. Oh ****.

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"your stacking dorans blades? lolnub". Stacking the blades gives a large advantage in laning, increasing survivability, sustainability, and damage output. Remember to sell the blades to make room for other items. Do NOT sell a blade to make room for a component, just for the item itself. Getting The Brutalizer early makes you a lane beast, giving you CDR, even more ArPen, and damage. For boots I like Mercury's Treads to reduce CC and increase survival rates. Sheen I find fits nicely with Talon, adding to his burst immensely. I debated on getting a Frozen Mallet for the slow, but a Trinity Force is sufficient. It adds much more to your burst and gives you all the stats you need. Grab a B.F. Sword for extra damage, Finish your Youmuu's Ghostblade, and grab a Last Whisper. Lastly, The Infinity Edge will make your damage explode and finish the your core items.

After you have the core, feel free to experiment. The Blood Thirster is a good upgrade for a Doran's Blade, giving you more lifesteal and damage. The Black Cleaver can replace a Last Whisper if their armor is VERY low. A Banshee's Veil can help with those pesky nukers, absorbing some of their attacks whilst you shred them to pieces. Frozen Mallet is also an option to increase survivability, as it guarentees a slow every hit, and provides a large amount of HP. Guardian Angel is a possible choice, although I find it rarely saves you, as their team just sit on top of your corpse waiting for you to revive. Atma's Impaler is another good choice against AD heavy teams, giving you extra armor and a bit of damage. Remember that the build isn't set in stone, feel free to switch out items as necessary based on the enemy team, I'm only providing a guideline.

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In-Depth Item Explainations

Gives you a much needed damage and survivability boost early game, where Talon shines. Stacking Doran's is a great strategy, for ~1600 gold you get 15 less AD than a B.F. Sword, 9% Lifesteal and 300 Life. I usually only stack 2, only getting 3 if I'm getting stomped early game.

Almost necessary for most champions, as it is the best Tenacity in the game. Because your role is Assassin, you need to be able to get in and out of fights quickly. If you get CC'd and don't have Merc's, you're likely dead. If you failed to kill your target you suicided and made the fight a 4v5. With Merc's you can take some CC (if the whole team focuses you you're dead no matter what) and still have a relatively good chance of escaping. Also extra MR never hurts.

This item will cause violent and sudden lane dominance, causing enemies to burst into flame when you pass your turret. Every stat here is good for Talon, and builds into Youmuu's later on.

Another good damage boost, adds a bit more punch to your burst and helps out with mana. The AP is wasted on Talon, but is still a great item for most assassins.

A perfect item for Talon, giving him more of the stats he needs, and an amazing active. Use this active for ganking, teamfights, 1v1 whatever. The extra mobility helps you hit and run, while the bonus AS lets you still pack a punch while you wait for CDs.

Ah, the Trinity Force. This item couldn't get better. Gives every stat short of MR, Armor and Crit damage, and 2 passive bonuses. The 150% helps with your burst even more, but do take note that it only applies to your BASE AD, and nothing else. At level 18 it adds about 150 damage. The slow also works with your passive, which is why I don't take Frozen Mallet usually.

The LW gives even more AD, and is the Void staff of AD champions. Buy a LW if you feel armor is preventing you from doing damage, otherwise go for Infinity Edge or whatever else you prefer. Also good if you want to hurt someone other than carries once in a while.

Holy bonus AD Batman! 80 AD will make people melt, and a crit here and there is always welcome. The bonus crit damage is more useful outside of teamfights or when cleaning up, as you wont have many chances to autoattack in a teamfight for fear of being focused down.

A decent item on Talon, gives lots of AD, although it has to be built up first. I don't understand why people stack them, as they don't apply to your spells and you arent a carry. Good upgrade for a Doran's Blade.

An item I've always been interested in since I heard about his abilities. Makes you more tanky, synergizes with Atma's Impaler if you buy it and gives you a perma-slow. I added a second build with it to meet the preferences of readers.

Almost a must-have on assassins like Talon, as CC is quite deadly. Also synergizes with Atma's, gives a bit more tankiness and mana. MR is also good for AP heavy teams.

Good for AD heavy teams, thanks to the armor, but still gives decent damage. Also crit chance is always a plus because of your Infinity Edge. Works better with the Frozen Mallet Talon because of the health.

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Skill Sequence

Rake gives such an obnoxious amount of damage throughout the game that it should be maxed first. Cutthroat comes second for mobility, but Noxian Diplomacy can wait as Rake gives more damage and utility. I have found that leveling Noxian Diplomacy as opposed to Cutthroat gives more damage output. Level your Shadow Assault whenever you can, and use it to secure kills often. It can also be used to juke, and with its short CD you may as well. Remeber to use your Q in between auto attacks to maximize damage. The general combo is E -> W -> Auto -> Q -> Auto. Use R at the end and repeat when going for the kill.

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Summoner Spells

I used to use Flash and Exhaust for Talon, but have found Ghost is much better. It allows you to escape with your Shadow Assault and stick to your target better. It also has a shorter CD, making it better in every way (except for wallhax). Exhaust synergizes perfectly with his passive, making it a must to shut down carries and secure kills. Credit to ArmaTandouji for the Ghost idea.

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Talon can't jungle, so laning is the only option. Make sure to harass with Rake as much as you can, its damage will knock your opponents off their feet. Try to avoid hitting too many minions, as the lane will be push quickly. Your Cutthroat can dodge skill shots if timed correctly, such as Amumu's Bandage Toss (He threw it, I blinked behind him and walked off. fail gank is fail XD). When they are down to 50% or 30% you can blink, combo them, ulti and finish them off. Remeber to exhaust after Rake's slow ends for maximum slow.

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Ganking with Talon is always fun times, as he has a very high burst combo that comes free with a huge slow. Simply wait for the enemy to over extend a bit then ping him. Run out of the bush as your teammate rushes him and throw out Rake. Cutthroat to him, auto attack, Noxian Diplomacy, and if necessary Shadow Assault for the kill. Use Exhaust when [[Rake's slow wears off if necesary, but try to save it for when it is most needed ( Master Yi ring any bells?). If a gank is unsuccessful, but there are no other mia champs, help push the lane. You may be able to take out the turret before the enemy returns. Remember that Noxian Diplomacy affects turrets as well.

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Team Fights

Your role in team fights is to slow as many enemies as possible and burst down the squishies. Throw a Rake on their team and blink to your target. Auto, Q, Auto, Ulti and run out. This will likely kill your target, the ulti ensures you wont be focused and die. If they focus you earlier pop you ulti and retreat. Let them fight a bit before re-entering the fray. Spam as much as you can and try not to die. Also, remember that you can save fleeing teammates using your slow to ensure their escape (and maybe net a kill).

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Talon is a very bursty and fun champion. He is heavily based on positioning and help from allies. Using this guide, you can greatly increase chances of success. As with most champions, positioning is key, but it is not something you can simply read about. Play smart, don't push and last hit. Remember, this is a team game, play accordingly.