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Talon Build Guide by Grizz

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Grizz

Talon, AD mage/Burst Assassin

Grizz Last updated on August 29, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 9

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

Utility: 0

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Talon is a burst AD assassin style character. He is best suited for quickly jumping to a weak target with cutthroat and unloading all his moves to get a quick kill or at least force them to retreat. He also has some minor (and often underestimated) CC capabilities with his Rake and Cutthroat. He is best described as an AD "mage" like Renekton or Pantheon. All of his abilities deal physical damage.

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Skill Overview

mercy is Talon's passive. It adds 10% increased damage to his basic attacks if your target is slowed, stunned, immobilized or suppressed. A pretty straightforward passive, you can receive the bonus from the snare on your own skill Rake or any slow gained from items such as Frozen Mallet, Phage, Trinity Force and Bilgewater Cutlass / Hextech Gunblade actives. It also works with lizard buff and Exhaust. One thing to note is if you have an on hit slow effect such as Lizard buff, the bonus will not take effect until your target has already been slowed (meaning your first attack against a target will only apply the slow and won't activate your passive)

Noxian Diplomacy
Noxian Diplomacy is Talon's Q ability. It deals additional physical damage on your next attack (30/60/90/120/150)(+0.3 per bonus attack damage)) and causes your target to bleed for (18/36/54/72/90)(+1.2 per bonus attack damage) physical damage over 6 seconds. While a target is bleeding they are revealed. This skill resets your basic attack timer so it's best used immediately after a basic attack to gain the most damage. The reveal portion of this move is very useful as it negates people from using brush to juke or escaping by flashing over an obstacle since you can cutthroat to them or follow them with your Flash easily.

Rake is Talon's W ability. Talon throws three daggers in a cone pattern that go out and then return to him dealing (30/55/80/105/130)(+0.6 per bonus attack damage) physical damage each time it passes through an enemy. You can hit targets with both the "going out" portion and the "return" part of this skill. It is possible for targets near the maximum range of this skill to avoid taking damage if they are in between the projectiles, or for targets to only get hit with one part, and avoid the other. The best way to think of this is like Twisted Fate's Wild Cards only with a much smaller range and the two hit component.

cutthroat is Talon's E ability. Talon instantly appears behind your target silencing them for 1 second and amplifying his damage against that target by (3/6/9/12/15)% for 3 seconds. This is your gap closing ability, silence and late game damage scaler all rolled into one. The silence from this move always stays at 1 second only the cooldown and damage amplification increase with skill level. You may only target enemies with this move so you cannot "jump" to allied units/wards to escape like Jax and Katarina. Overall this is pretty much a one point wonder skill for most of the game.

Shadow Assault
Shadow Assault is Talon's ultimate ability. Talon shoots out a ring of daggers and instantly enters stealth for up to 2.5 seconds while gaining +40% movement speed. When Talon emerges from stealth, the daggers converge on him. Each time a dagger passes through an enemy, they receive (120/195/270)(+0.9 per bonus attack damage) physical damage. You can activate the ability again to end the stealth early and force the blades to return. This move has a variety of uses from escaping, repositioning, waiting for your cooldowns to come back or bursting down a target. If you are using Shadow Assault offensively you should run behind the intended target (relative to where you started casting the skill) and then wait, or hit R again to force all of the daggers to fly "through" the enemy and back to you. If you are using this as an escape remember that when the effect ends all of the floating daggers fly back to you so the enemy team will know where you went and you should plan accordingly. This move does a ton of damage if used properly and and hit multiple targets.

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Pros / Cons

+Great burst damage
+High mobility
+Can silence enemies with cutthroat
+ Shadow Assault is a great move with high damage/utility and has low cooldown.

-Weak lane phase until he gains a few levels. (very similar to Akali)
-Weak at farming until mid/late game.
-No defensive moves besides Shadow Assault and no sustain at all.

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I chose Greater Mark of Desolation and Greater Quintessence of Desolation for obvious reasons, these runes help out with everything Talon does including his spells. For seals I take Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration to allow me to use all my spells often in lane. It allows me to spam Rake to harass and last hit minions when it's unsafe to autoattack. I use Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist to beef up a little bit for mid/late game to offset Talon's squishyness.

The only runes I strongly recommend are Greater Mark of Desolation and Greater Quintessence of Desolation. For seals and glyphs it is mostly up to player preference. Other good choices besides what I use are Greater Seal of Evasion, Greater Seal of Armor and Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction.

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For masteries I chose 21/9/0. I take most of the standard AD masteries in offense. Talon Does not deal any magic damage and has no AP coefficients on his moves so do not take Archmage's Savvy or Archaic Knowledge . I took some basic armor and magic resistance masteries and Strength of Spirit in defense to help with early laning. If you chose to use dodge runes, picking up Nimbleness is a very good choice instead. You can also use 21/0/9 and pick up Awareness for the extra XP gain if you prefer it.

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Summoner Spells

The only summoner spells I suggest for Talon are:

Always take flash and your choice between exhaust or Ignite. I don't feel that anything else compliments Talon as well as these spells. Exhaust activates your passive so it has some added synergy with Talon. Talon is not a very good traditional fighter with his poor defenses and lack of hard cc which makes Exhaust especially useful since it can give you the edge needed to beat a tanky dps or enemy fighter as you will normally have a lot of trouble with them. Ignite is very useful against healers and and lifesteal based champions such as Swain and Fiddlesticks. Ignite also gives you the extra burst to bring down soft targets extremely fast.

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I start with Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potion. This gives you good mobility to run in and out of encounters and last hitting with enough health recovery to stay in lane vs most opponents. It's especially important if you chose to cutthroat on an enemy champion because it allows you to deal your damage then retreat quickly back to safety. On my first trip back to base I like to buy 1-2 Doran's Blade for much needed early game health and damage. I get my The Brutalizer as soon as possible next. The Brutalizer is extremely good for Talon it provides everything you need to dominate: AD, ArP and much needed CDR. Next I like to finish my boots. I usually take mercury treads but it is mostly a game to game decision on what boots to purchase. Next I work on my first big ticket item The Bloodthirster. I like The Bloodthirster for the damage and sustain it provides Talon for the price. After that I usually get Frozen Mallet for survivability reasons and the slow effect works well with Talon's Passive Mercy. To finish off my build I purchase Last Whisper this allows you to deal considerable damage late game.

Alternate Items:

Infinity Edge
Infinity Edge is a better dps item than The Bloodthirster in terms of auto attacking. However it won't really make your spells hit any harder over The Bloodthirster. This replaces The Bloodthirster in this build and you should consider it if you find yourself auto attacking a lot in team fights. Remember it also costs slightly more than The Bloodthirster. You should pair this with Youmuu's Ghostblade to get the most out of it.

Youmuu's Ghostblade
Youmuu's Ghostblade is a strong item and should be paired with Infinity Edge if you go this route, but for my standard build I feel you don't get a lot for how much you pay over The Brutalizer. I do however get this item frequently after Frozen Mallet since by then I can withstand some punishment and utilize the Youmuu's Ghostblade active to full effect.

Quicksilver Sash
Quicksilver Sash is a great item against teams with a lot of crowd control and very cheap to boot. Often people don't know it can remove suppression effects and all debuffs (even Mordekaiser's ultimate Children of the Grave). It's especially useful for Talon because if you get focused in a team fight you can pop this and then quickly use Shadow Assault to vanish from sight and reposition or escape.

Banshee's Veil
Banshee's Veil is a solid defensive item if you need magic resistance and health this is a good choice. The mana bonus is nice but not really needed on Talon

Trinity Force
Trinity Force is a decent item for Talon. I don't feel the benefits outweigh the price however. It still adds a nice amount of burst to your combo and the movement speed is very nice. I've tested it a little bit more recently and had some success with it. It's an item to consider at times but don't go into every game planning to buy this.

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Gameplay Overview

Chosing a lane:
I play Talon as a solo or duo lane champion. If you are going to duo lane I suggest you go bottom with a support champion who will let you farm. If you want to solo, be wary of who you will lane against as Talon will have trouble against most ranged champions. Solo top is not a bad spot for him but you may find you get bullied pretty badly early. the truth is Talon is very weak early and you must play safe and smart to succeed. Use Rake to harass or last hit if you can't get close enough.

Skill order/usage
For burst I usually use Rake > cutthroat > wait for autoattack > Noxian Diplomacy > Shadow Assault. After the initial part of Shadow Assault you can now reposition yourself to deal maximum damage with the return daggers and finish your target or escape safely.

In chasing/small skirmishes start with Cutthroat then followup with Rake > Noxian Diplomacy. This maximizes your time to autoattack the target while hes snared.

Remember Noxian Diplomacy resets your autoattack timer, and should always be used immediately after an autoattack to maximize damage.

The main thing you must understand with Talon is how to estimate your survivability and damage before you engage in a fight. A poor decision can easily lead to your death as Talon. A common mistake is to use shadow ***ualt too offensively. You may end up with a kill on your intended target only to find yourself way out of position with no escape left leading to your death. Remember that cutthroat is a silence, and you might be better suited to saving it to interrupt an important move such as Crowstorm instead of using it as a gap closer. During mid game (usually after you get B.F Sword) your Rake is strong enough to kill caster minions so you that to your advantage to farm quickly.

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I hope you enjoyed my Talon guide. I really enjoy playing this character and I feel he is one of the most fun champions in League of Legends. If you see any mistakes I made please let me know in the comments (this is my first guide :D). I may add more to this guide in the future as Talon is still very new. I hope you found my guide helpful.

8/26/11 - Revised some grammar and formatting. Also added Trinity Force to the items section.
8/29/11 - Changed formatting and adding "Skill overview" section.