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Talon Build Guide by XnMiller

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League of Legends Build Guide Author XnMiller

Talon - Assassin Extraordinaire

XnMiller Last updated on September 28, 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: 0

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

Utility: 9

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Who is this Champion of the League?

Quoting League of Legends:
'Talon's earliest memories are the darkness of Noxus' underground passages and the reassuring steel of a blade. He remembers no family, warmth, or kindness. Instead, the clink of stolen gold and the security of a wall at his back are all the kinship he has ever craved. Kept alive only by his quick wits and deft thievery, Talon scraped out a living in the seedy underbelly of Noxus. His mastery of the blade quickly marked him as a threat, and Noxian guilds sent assassins to him with a demand: join their ranks or be killed. He left the bodies of his pursuers dumped in Noxus' moat as his response.

The assassination attempts grew increasingly dangerous until one assailant met Talon blade-for-blade in a match of strength. To his surprise, Talon was disarmed and facing down his executioner's sword when the assassin revealed himself to be General Du Couteau. The General offered Talon the choice between death at his hand, or life as an agent of the Noxian High Command. Talon chose life, on the condition that his service was to Du Couteau alone, for the only type of orders he could respect were from one he could not defeat. Talon remained in the shadows, carrying out secret missions on Du Couteau's orders that took him from the frigid lands of Freljord to the inner sanctums of Bandle City. When the general vanished, Talon considered reclaiming his freedom, but he had gained immense respect for Du Couteau after years in his service. He became obsessed with tracking down the general's whereabouts. Talon's suspicions led him to the doors of the Institute of War, where he joined the League of Legends in order to find those responsible for Du Couteau's disappearance.

''The three deadliest blademasters in all of Valoran are bound to the house of Du Couteau: my father, myself, and Talon. Challenge us, if you dare.'' - Katarina Du Couteau'

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Alright guys, it's time to stalk prey and destroy them before realizing you're there. This is what Talon does, and I personally find that he does it best for a melee AD. I prefer him to ranged AD as well. However, you need to know how to enter and leave every fight as well as how to postion both escape and attack routes at the same time. This means you HAVE to have an advanced knowledge of zoning and juking.

I have been disappointed looking around on MOBAfire only to see mediocre builds for Talon at best. Not that they aren't viable, but they don't utilize what makes Talon an assassin. This guide is set out to do just that. If you have a Talon guide on MOBAfire don't worry, I haven't downvoted anyone's guide.

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Pros / Cons


  • Massive damage output
  • Movement speed is high, allows for faster positioning, better escapes, and mopping up after a teamfight
  • Insane amounts of Armor Penetration, even Rammus doesn't stand a chance (and Thornmail means nothing against you)
  • Has a very strong farm with upgraded Rake and one B. F. Sword
  • His dance is modeled from Michael Jackson!


  • Vulnerable early game
  • Focused in most teamfights
  • Can very easily lose damage output if you do not know his Noxian Diplomacy cooldown

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Summoner Spells

I Recommend:

Ghost: I generally take Ghost as a spell because combined with Shadow Assault, Youmuu's Ghostblade, as well as Boots of Mobility, you cannot be chased down and you can take out anyone trying to flee.

Ignite: I usually use ignite for early game kills or to keep someone from using their massive health regeneration. Another useful trick with ignite is being able to recognize a guaranteed kill with it, and begin to focus on another champion. If you do it right you will receive two kills. If you don't you will beat yourself up over it because someone will be back to defend shortly.


Flash: Flash is viable on anyone. I just do not prefer it because it has such a long cooldown, and is only good for moving about 500 range. At best you can use it with Talon to escape through a thin wall or get into range for Cutthroat.

Exhaust: Excellent for being able to stay on top of an enemy, but not ideal to escape from a crowd or focus all of Shadow Assault's blades to one far champion. By all means though, use it if you prefer it.

Cleanse: Good to get out of Crowd Control, but not something you must have to secure wins. Your best cleanse is good positioning. If an enemy doesn't know where you are, they can't use their CC on you.

Heal: I know, this is for noobs. But there are always times when that little extra bit of health goes a long way. If nothing else, this keeps your lane partner alive, doubling your lane strength for a short time.

Don't Even Think About These:

Clarity: I have actually seen a Talon using this before. WTF!? You DO NOT NEED clarity. You barely use mana as is. If you play smart, you will definitely never need mana. The only mana regen item you should ever consider is BLUE GOLOM. Even then, you should only be stealing the enemy buff, don't take it from your own team. I have seen a Talon with Clarity before. Let's just say I got fed off of him.

I shouldn't have a need to clarify (punny!) anything else. If it isn't here, it's terrible. I only explained Clarity due to actually having seen someone use it.

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The rune choices I have listed are not the end all of Talon's choices. If you prefer other runes, use them.


Greater Quintessence of Health: The stats for early game are far too good. My build starts with boots, as most assassins should seeing as they're squishy early on. The Quints of Fortitude help counteract this slightly by allowing you a large deal of health. I prefer these because I have tried Greater Quintessence of Desolation and Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage, but neither gives stats to make up for the loss of health. I also deplore starting with Doran's Blade because you don't have any Health Potions to heal, while also being dependent on attacking for lifesteal. Something that is not advantageous at early levels, when you cannot be close to death and farming.

Greater Mark of Desolation: A good item for all phases of the game. It adds a little more punch to your attacks. Need I say more?

Greater Seal of Armor: This is mostly for early game so you are able to take a few more minion hits and a little harrass from the champs. You stay in lane longer, you get gold longer, you get more experience, you become stronger.

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: Most AP Casters don't have very much AP early on, and if they do they tend to blow their mana fast. As such, I compensate with MR per level glyphs. These are beefier later game, when they matter more. Most AD champs won't want to get near you, but AP champs will focus you and harrass quite a bit.

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I follow the standard 21/0/9 masteries. Talon is all about damage, these maximize it.

However, when in draft mode and I see enemies that are fast being chosen, I may instead opt for the 15/0/15 masteries. This allows for greater movement speed to escape or catch champions. It is extremely helpful, but not necessary. You will already be exceptionally fast.

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Skills and Sequence

Mercy: This is Talon's passive skill. When an enemy is affected by a slow, he deals 10% extra damage. This means that you will want to build an item with a slow in it, or have your team initiate and use their slows. This is also the reason Exhaust works particularly well with Talon in some cases.

Noxian Diplomacy: The Q spell. This spell is great for huge bursts of damage. It is best to upgrade this spell after Rake. This is also a spell which resets your cooldown timer for auto attacking. As such, try to use it immediately after an auto attack. It not only does damage to minions and champions, you can use it to backdoor turrets and inhibitors as well. The damage does apply.

Rake: This is the bread and butter for Talon during a majority of the game. It deals a slow and so it does synergize with Mercy. It also has a relatively high AD ratio conversion. This skill also allows you to last hit multiple minions at a time as well as harass squishies, even some tanks. To round it off, the blades hit twice, once out and once coming back in, dealing 2x the damage said in its summary.

Cutthroat: This is your main tool to escape by advanced juking techniques and is the main way to close the gap between yourself and an enemy. It enables a silence which is helpful against enemy casters. It also gives damage amplification by X% for the level the skill is at.

Shadow Assault: Talon's Ultimate. This is capable of huge damage to an entire group of people. During this, Talon gains movement speed and stealth for a couple seconds. The mechanism is a group of blades spreads out and each deals damage upon a hit. They then return after the stealthed period and each blade again does damage to who or whatever it hits. The range on it is also large enough that if a squishy is attempting to escape at low health you may kill them outright. If not, activating it with Youmuu's Ghostblade will likely allow you to close the gap enough to use Cutthroat and finish the target off.

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Core Items:

Boots of Mobility: These are my preferred boots on Talon. They provide great move speed, and are relatively cheap. Some people may prefer Boots of Swiftness, and that is perfectly O.K. I enjoy roaming with Talon and ganking as often as possible. There is not a huge need to be at Movement speed 3 in a teamfight because you should not be in the fight directly. These boots just allow for better positioning, evasion and roaming.

Infinity Edge: This item is practically a must have for all AD champions. It gives +80 AD and increases critical strike damage to 250%as well as giving 25% critical strike chance. The damage from this is massive and works very well with Noxian Diplomacy as it does give a critical strike chance to it just as a normal attack.

Youmuu's Ghostblade: Very useful for Talon. It gives 30 AD, 15% Critical strike chance, and 20 Armor Penetration with 15% cooldown reduction. On top of this, you have to build an Avarice Blade at some point to create it, so it gives 5 G/p5. The best part may be the active on it granting the user +20% movement speed and +50% AS for 2 seconds, increasing to a maximum of 8 if you are attacking someone. No Talon should pass this up. I don't care that most people think AS is wasted on Talon, he is an Assassin, the faster he hits with his already hard hitting skills, the better.

Trinity Force: Perhaps one of the best items in the game. Talon has multiple uses from it, even though not all of its stats will help him. To list useful stats from it:
  • 30 AS
  • 30 AD
  • 15% Critical Strike
  • 250 Health
  • 250 Mana
  • 12% Movement Speed
  • Chance to slow, utilizing Mercy
  • 150% of AD to auto attack on cast of a spell
No matter what you think, this item is all around beneficial for Talon.

Cloak and Dagger: Mostly for early and mid-game, if you complete all other items and need to open space for one of those items listed in the build, sell this. If you're honestly fed enough this item is hindering you. It's stats are good though when needed. 20% AS, 20% critical strike chance and the best part, 35 tenacity. AS is good, and critical is nice but not a huge deal. The Tenacity is the only reason Cloak and Dagger is viable - it will you a chance to stay alive. Even so, I say sell it late game for the better, harder hitting items.

The Bloodthirster: Bloodthirster is what I consider a snowballing item. The base stats alone justify its use. It gives 60 AD and 15% lifesteal, with the potential to reach up to 100 AD and 25% lifesteal after getting 10 kills without a death yourself. I keep saying that positioning is key for Talon and this item proves it. You lose ALL stacks if you die with it. Hence, you need to position perfectly.

Last Whisper: A very good item for a burst champion. 40 AD is a little weak late game, but 40 Armor Penetration make it completely worth it. This item alone nullifies Thornmail, while The Bloodthirster keeps your health up.

Alternate Items:

The Black Cleaver: This item shreds armor fast. I see it as more supportive than anything, but will still work for assassinations. +30 AS and 55 AD is powerful even without the passive. The passive makes it punch harder. Each hit on a target will lower his or her armor by 15, and it can stack 3 times. That is 45 armor! This is better utilized on other champs, but Talon does put it to good use as well.

Hexdrinker: It is nice to have some survivability, however, it's not ideal to lose some of YOUR potential damage in the process. The idea is to use this when against heavy AP casters if possible seeing as it gives 30 Magic Resist and the passive can save your life. It does somewhat make up for lost damage with its 35 AD, but not very much of it.

Tiamat: This is a good push item and gives some sustain to you with 15 Hp5 and 5 Mp5. The attack is decent, giving you 50 AD. The passive is nice for teamfights. Half of the damage you do is also damaging enemies in a nearby radius. It isn't a huge radius, but with how strong a burst Talon has, it can go a long way in the overall fight.

Sword of the Divine: This is an AS speed item, giving you +60% AS, which is huge. It is not the best for Talon, but does help. Every 4th attack deals 100 magic damage with it. The part that is worth the money is that the active means your target cannot dodge your attacks for an entire 8 seconds and you gain 30 armor penetration. Ever played against Teemo abusing his Blinding Dart? You know why this is necessary.

Quicksilver Sash: 56 Magic Resist. If against a CC heavy team, the active cleanse allows you to escape or fight. Master Yi enjoys it, so does Talon.

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  • Harass with Rake
  • Keep the enemy zoned
  • Farm as often as possible (ask lane partner to ease up if need be)
  • Keep your map awareness up
  • Position for both escape and fighting
  • Keep moving, you're a harder target to hit
  • Call MIA's
  • Watch your mana pool


  • Initiate fights
  • Let the enemy zone you
  • Waste mana
  • Leave your bushes if possible
  • Overextend in lane
  • Let the enemy CS
  • Become over confident
  • Have no plan for evasion
  • Face check your bushes
  • Be a hero, live to fight longer, and hold turrets longer

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The majority of farming should be done with Rake and Noxian Diplomacy. As mentioned twice in the Laning section, watch your mana! You should not be spamming these spells.

Your method for farming is going to be last-hitting. This will get you 80% of your gold. Only use Noxian Diplomacy against a minion if you miscalculate the hit and do not get the gold, or if there is one right next to the minion you have just last hit and won't be able to last hit the next in time.

With Rake you need to watch for groups of minions that are low health. You should be able to get 2-3 with each Rake if you are timing it properly. After you have Infinity Edge you should be clearing the caster minions with a rake and getting one hit last hits on the others.

After you get to level 6 you should be roaming to and fro. If you have a jungler, do not steal his or her jungle. However, if you don't have one, start going lane to lane ganking and taking minion camps on the way.

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This is what I use to secure wins, and for me it works. No one can match the early damage and carry once you have a B. F. Sword.

Leave comments, ask questions. I am eager to take valid criticism as well. I hope you enjoy playing Talon as much as I do.

P.S. If you don't play with the Crimson Elite Talon skin, you better get it or he'll use cutthroat on you!

Special thanks to jhoijhoi and her Guide to Making a Guide! I would not have been able to do half the things I did without her guide.