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Talon Build Guide by Kinggraypaws

Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Kinggraypaws

Talon - In Depth Assassination

Kinggraypaws Last updated on September 4, 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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Hello to everyone, thank you for checking out my guide, this is my first attempt. I will be working on this whenever I can. I will switch up the words "turrets and towers", it's the same thing. Sometimes my mind just wants to type one instead of the other I guess.

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Talon is an Assassin

One thing I cannot emphasize enough is the fact that Talon is an assassin, not a champion that is supposed to be in the front lines. In order to be used effectively you will need to learn when it is appropriate to engage and retreat. If you have played other assassins you should have this generalization down. If you have not, practice, practice, practice. That's all I can say.

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Talon's Abilities

mercy - Mercy (Passive)
Talon's auto-attacks deal an additional damage to a target that is under the influence of any croud control effect.
(It's passive, and it's awesome.)

- Noxian Diplomacy (Q)
Talon viciously stabs his enemy, dealing heavy physical damage and causing them to leave a blood trail that Talon can use to track them.
(I will utilize this for my attacks after I jump onto champions with cutthroat. I find myself using occasionally to finish off that minion. So long as I have the spare mana and wont be needing it for a champion fight soon. It can also be used when attacking buildings for extra damage.)

- Rake (W)
Talon fans out three blades in front of him that quickly return to him, dealing damage and slowing any target hit in either direction.
(This is your bread and butter, it deals out a decent amount of damage to champions and wrecks minions. The slow is just an added bonus, you pretty much want to be using this skill whenever it's off cooldown. If it's practical of course. This is your primary farming tool.)

cutthroat - Cutthroat (E)
Talon leaps behind his target and silences them for a short duration, amplifying the damage of any of his follow up attacks or abilities.(I utilize this to engage an enemy or to help me escape at times.)

- Shadow Assault (R)
Talon enters stealth for a short duration, gaining a movement speed boost and sending blades that deal damage to all enemies in their path flying in every direction. Once the blades reach a certain distance they pause and form a circle. When Talon reappears from stealth, the blades return to him, once again dealing damage to any opponent they pass through.(I use this right before I engage and will use it for farming occasionally.)

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How I play Talon

This is probably one of the more important things you need to know. The build just may work differently if not played similarly. I mean, I have had to adjust some games, but most of the time I am able to continue this strategy. Make sure you're treating your minimap as you would your radar in Halo. If you don't know what that means... Here you go, ALWAYS BE LOOKING AT IT.

When I'm playing, I am in a dual lane. I have a laning partner. I have soloed one time, it went well. I prefer to run partner lanes though.

Laning Phase -

I will hangout in the bushes usually, popping out to hit champions for harassment WHILE being able to hit minions with . You want to make sure you are utilizing your Rake ability to its max potential, if you are able to. You are in the game for DPS after all. Making sure you're hitting minions with champions is a great way to keep your lane in check. It's a standard cone ability, but it does have a SLIGHTLY larger area than what is shown on the strike zone. Keep that in mind. Both in width and length. If you cannot strike both minions and champions it is a better option to harass the champions of course. Lowering their hp as much as possible to get them low enough to finish off.

The only times I'll really throw Rake without champion harassment is to slow the minions from getting to my tower, allowing more time for my wave to show up. I will also utilize it right as our minion wave is wiped at their tower, again to slow their movement and keep the "push" on their side of the map.

I am not usually attempting to kill opponents until around level 4. This gives you some time to harass and wear down your enemies. Hopefully you haven't taken much damage because you're usually hidden from view. Avoiding possible attacks from enemies. You will also have your now, which helps with the burst damage. A lot of the times my first kills are turret dives. Completely worth it if you know you're going to survive. Don't go turret diving if you're going to die. It's just not worth it overall.

Outside Laning Phase -

Once our team gets a turret dropped, which is usually how it goes, this is your opportunity to shine as a true assassin. A lot of the times I will have my by this point and will be saving for my . With the level 2 boots and your Trinity Force you can get around the map with relative ease. You need to start ganking and CONTINUE to watch your lanes. There are times where I have to run from a team fight to go save a tower. Even though you are out of laning phase. Watching your lane is still an important factor of the game.

That doesn't necessarily mean that you have to be the one to clear that lane. You will want to ping it or inform your team that you are going to clear it. Before it reaches your tower, not once it gets there. Because they are minions does not mean they cannot hurt your tower. I have seen many fall under the pressure of consistent minion waves. Just make sure you have your eye on it and know where the minion wave is. You want to make sure the enemies do not reach your tower with a large minion wave. You are great at defending towers but can be dived easily due to your squishy nature. Luckily Talon's abilities allow him to kite very well. You want to keep the push on their side of the map, as best you can.

If you get a kill and lose a tower it just is NOT worth it. You need to keep in mind that your goal is to,
    1. Keep your nexus AND turrets safe from harm.
    2. Destroy your enemy's nexus. Before you can do that, you have to destroy its protection. (Defending towers and inhibitors.)
I hope that you understand the goal of the game. It seems at times that a lot of people do not. Your goal is not to kill people, they just get in the way of your goal. The enemy champions are another obstacle to their nexus, such as their defending towers. The team with more towers at any point in time retains "map control". I think you understand. This will allow you to keep your minions pushing further onto their side of the map, providing more attention and necessity for the opposing team to defend.

While they are having to defend their turrets your teams objective is to remove theirs.

With Talon you have great tower pushing ability with your attack strength and speed. Also know that your can be used to deal increased damage to buildings. If you're not setting up for a gank, look to drop or at least weaken the enemy's tower. It will relieve some pressure from your teammates as well, chances are you're on a killing spree and your opponents will be making their way towards you. Allowing the rest of your team to keep that push forward. If you have kept wards on you this whole time, you should have a pretty good idea of whether or not you have enemies on their way. You should also have an actual team that will warn you in such cases.

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(For some reason I cannot get the icons to work for runes. Also, I believe Runes are definitely a section that should be adjusted to your play style. These are merely the way I build Talon.)

I run the standard 25 armor pen rune set with 9 Greater Marks of Desolation and 3 Greater Quintessences of Desolation. These will allow you to deal that extra damage that you'll need to keep up harassment and ultimately kill opponents.

I take 9 Greater Seals of Resilience because with your cutthroat you're going to be ending up next to people a lot, they will probably be attacking you. This bit of armor will help with you early game kills and minion protection but is virtually useless late game.

I have been seeing a lot of people taking 9 Greater Glyphs of Warding. These do not seem like they would really be of any use to me. If a mage has someone jumping onto them, silencing them. and dealing an exuberant amount of damage... They're going to be running, not worrying about what to cast. At least this has been my experience. Not to mention the magic resistance you gain is going to be moot end game.

Taking the 9 Greater Glyphs of Alacrity will give you an attack speed boost that will be beneficial to you throughout the entirety of the game.

Others told me that since Talon is a burst champion and not an auto-attacker, that his attack speed is impractical. To this I say "Pishaw!", how is attack speed impractical when you have a proc from and your being jammed down their throat. Your kills will come faster thus making the game more efficient. After you burst, are you supposed to just stand there? No, if the champion remains standing, you need to obliterate them. The attack speed is ALSO practical for the entire goal of the game. Enemy tower and ultimately enemy nexus destruction

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My Spell Choices -

- This is a definite for every champion I believe. I am pretty sure that since level twelve it has been on my "D" button. It provides you with a great ability to escape and is a great gap closer. It's just overall a good spell for any summoner to have in their arsenal.

- Exhaust to me seems like a no brainer to take with Talon. His passive abilitymercy is accented well. It can allow you to escape, assist with kills and help allies retreat as well. It overall is very utilitarian, and is a good thing to have in your bag of tricks.

Viable Options(imo)-

- Ghost is decent choice. This is the spell that I had before I slapped myself in the face and thought, "Why in the **** am I not using ." After you get You're already moving a decent speed. I found myself mostly using this for a rush to clear a lane... Just ended up being impractical for me. If you find great uses for it. By all means, have at it.

- Ignite seems more practical to me in early game than it does in late game. Talon is already great early game and doesn't really need the assistance. It is a viable option and can help you get a couple kills. It would just seem more practical to take something that could benefit you moreso, overall.

- This just seems like a viable option for anybody running on a 5v5. I would not recommend it on Twisted Treeline however. It's just too small and not useful really.

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Core Items

(The wards I purchase I put in the small bush at the end of the river and where Baron or Dragon are located. Depending on which side I'm on. I also return to base pretty often. It doesn't seem to affect my farming capabilities.)

Game Start - - I recommend starting with this in every match. The damage bonus is always something Talon will need and the health bonus is great to have early game. I don't really utilize the lifesteal because most of the time I am not auto-attacking early game. If you're having a rough start in the game, don't fear stacking an extra blade on top of it.

First Return - sight wardx2 - The speed boost is fantastic for harassment, chasing, and escaping. It's always a necessity for any champion. You should be getting level 1 boots pretty early with almost anyone.

Second Retrun - sight wardx2 - Upgrading your boots will scale your speed a bit and allow you to harass a little more with your cooldown reduction. It's nice overall to have.

Third Return - sight wardx2 - By now you could have ran low on mana or been oom even. This will help keep your going strong. It's a good item to pick up.

Fourth Return - sight wardx2 - If you have enough money to get and two wards, do it. If that's the case you probably have a kill or two by now. You want to keep yourself protected. One of the best ways to do so, is by making sure you have that river path being watched by your wards. If you cannot afford the wards without Sheen I just go with the Amplifying Tome.

Fifth Return - sight wardx2 - With Sheen in your possession you can now deal an even greater amount of damage with it's passive. This is a great item to have for Talon early game. I'm sure it will help get you a kill or two. Also helps with tower destruction. Which is the most important part of the game.

This kind of process of purchasing one item towards and two sight ward continues throughout early game. I work on after this, starting with to , then I work towards starting with to . I find that most of the time when I head back, I can afford both Zeal and Trinity Force outright. If I can, I will actually sacrifice purchasing wards for Trinity Force. Which makes sense to me. The benefits you get from Trinity Force overrides the wards. You will have to make sure to be more careful if this is the case though. Most of the time laning is close to being over or is by now, over. You will know the whereabouts of your enemies for the most part. Especially if your team is ahead with map control.

You may be thinking, "Why spend all of that money on wards when you could be getting your build up faster and be more effective in combat?" Wards are an essential part of the game and should be utilized more often than people do in games. It is really helpful if you can get your team to help with warding. It takes some of the financial pressure off of you AND provides more area for your teammates vision. Not to mention Talon is definitely a mid-late champ. He is most useful later anyway. You will be able to farm like a baws near this point in the game. Clearing out lanes and definitely getting yourself some gold from kills.

After Trinity Force has been completed I work towards . A lot of the times when I head back I can afford it completely. If not, that's fine, just get your Long Sword(s), a couple wards, and head back out. This item will help with your cooldowns overall. Allowing you to be more involved with team fights, run lanes more efficiently, and drop towers at a faster rate.

Now is when you need some damage to back up those abilities of yours. Pick yourself up a to work towards your . After the B.F. Sword I pick up the to the . The crit boost you get from the Cloak of Agility is great and will help with your auto-attacks. Once that item is finished you will see a huge boost to your damage output, and it is nice.

Upon completion of Infinity Edge I finish off . It's pretty cheap to upgrade from The Brutalizer and it's active is fantastic for chasing, escaping, or taking down enemy champions or towers. It's just overall a good item to have for Talon.

It is probably late game now and your purchases may have to vary. I usually am going with , starting with the B.F. Sword of course. For the immediate attack damage bonus. You may need to pick up a survivability item, if you find yourself having issues with CC(Stuns, Snares, slows ect.) or a particular champ type(AD or AP).

Survivability Options

- This is a good item if you are dealing with a heavy CC team. The crit chance bonus and the attack speed compliment Talon anyway. It's a decent item overall for him. If you got Mercury's Treads, do not get this item. Tenacity does not stack. It takes the item with the highest value and uses that.

- This can be a good option for a heavy CC team, especially ones specializing in the AP arena.

- This is good for a team that has multiple auto-attackers. Hopefully you're not getting hit by them. Even so, the armor bonus that it provides is beneficial as well as the damage return. Especially considering the damage returned is magic damage. You're putting out physical damage. It can help in certain situations.

- If you're not dealing with hardcore auto-attackers, this will give you some armor and extra crit chance which is always nice. Not to mention it will take that HP you have and put it to use(aside from being alive), giving you that bonus to your standard attacks.

- This is is another option, I wouldn't recommend it though. You don't really need to have the mana boost and the cooldown reduction would be way over cap. If you did want to get this item, I would go for a different set of boots. Probably .

and - These are both good options if you're having issues with AP champions. The Force of Nature is awesome to have for the increased movement speed and the superior magic resist. Hexdrinker is great because it gives you the AP survivability whilst providing you with some attack damage. Which we all know by now is what Talon is all about.

Once I purchase my B.F. Sword for my Black Cleaver, or my survivability item, I sell my Doran's Blade for a ward slot. If I filled my fifth slot with a survivability item, I will get The Black Cleaver for my sixth. The sixth item slot is really your choice.(technically all of them are.) I have gone with . I'm trying things out, when I find something I really like to finish the build I will update the guide.

Boot Recommendations

- These are the set of boots that I get. I actually have not tried another pair yet. This couple with Youmuu's Ghostblade's cooldown reduction helps to utilize your abilities more often.

- These are a great option if they are a CC heavy team, and are just a fantastic pair of boots for any champion really. Mercury's Treads are always a viable option.(imo)

- These will give you more mobility to traverse the map at all times. A definite possibility for Talon. I have not tried to use this pair, but I could understand the positive qualities it provides.

- A lot of Talon's I see played do run these. I personally do not like them as a boot option. You receive an attack speed bonus from both Trinity Force and The Black Cleaver. You also can activate Youmuu's Ghostblade for it's attack speed increasing properties. It just doesn't seem practical.

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**NOT TESTED** Possible Early Game Build

First off, forget buying your wards. This is meant to have your build faster than how I run Talon. The money spent on wards needs to be spent on your build items instead. You will have be more careful and make sure you're keeping up your map awareness, and enemy location.

Start off with when you go back, get your boots and get the upgraded to as soon as possible. After this go for followed by , starting with of course. After you get your Infinity Edge, grab The Brutalizer then another B.F. Sword. Then work on your some more by purchasing . After you have finished Trinity Force grab another B.F. Sword weapon, probably should be .

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Why I like Some Attack Speed

Clearly, this is completely your option. I just want to let you guys know why I like the attack speed for Talon. You are a burst champion, I can understand why people would argue against it. I like attack speed because -

    1. You're not going to be the only person on your team with CC. Your overall damage can be amped by working with your allies.
    2. Talon is really ability dependent. Once your burst is over, and their carry is lying on the ground. You'll most likely be assisting with kills, it helps get you guys back to where your team is faster.
    3.With some attack speed increase, you drop enemy champions AND enemy buildings at a faster rate.

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Ability Sequences and Utilization

(AA is referring to auto-attack(s).)

Simple Laning Harass sequence -


cutthroat(E) ---> (Q) ---> (W)

Keep in mind that you should be harassing with your ability foremost. If you're having issues sustaining mana, just utilize your mana pool for Rake. Don't worry about being able to use this sequence consistently. It can just put some extra scare into your opponents. Also, keep in mind that this minor sequence is your combo to finish off any opponents early game, generally.

Minor Assassination Sequence -


(R) ---> cutthroat(E) ---> (Q) ---> AA ---> (W)

A lot of people say to use Talon's Shadow Assault as an escape mechanism. In all honesty, if you do not use it before you engage with Cutthroat, you're not getting Talon's full bursting ability. When you jump onto them with Cutthroat, while you have your Shadow Assault activated. This triggers the retraction of the blades, dealing maximum damage from your ultimate.

With some testing, I have noticed trying to setup a location ahead of the target with your ultimate will just not dole out as much damage.

Another way you need to make sure you're using your ultimate is activating it from within a bush or a little ways back, as you're approaching your enemy. Activating it this way allows you to actually be somewhat stealthy. The blades that fly into the air are kind of a dead giveaway as to what you're doing.

Advanced Assassination Sequence -


(R) ---> cutthroat(E) ---> AA ---> (Q) ---> (W) ---> AA ---> AA ---> (W) ---> (Q)

Hopefully they're dead before this, just in case you're chasing down a tough opponent.

- Pretty straight to the point. It will add attack damage to your next melee attack. This can be used against both enemy units and enemy buildings. Do not forget.

- Remember that you can use this to escape by slowing enemies chasing you, or help allies retreat by slowing their pursuers.

cutthroat - Aside from engaging champions you can use this to escape at times. If it is on cooldown and there is an enemy unit in your escape route, you can use it to jump ahead.

- This is a great escape tool, just keep in mind, wherever you are when the stealth ends, your blades fly to. Essentially revealing your location. If you do utilize this to retreat, make sure you continue moving until you absolutely know that you are safe. When you are using it to escape, try to run in a different direction than straight ahead, after you activate the ability. I will sometimes utilize this for farming and defense.

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Farming comes pretty easily for Talon. Especially after you get your first , before that it's pretty simple anyway. Your ability allows you to farm pretty well in general. Time it for when there are quite a few weak minions and in early game you'll get a couple to a few usually. As your damage scales it's pretty effin' simple. Eventually you'll be taking them down in one Rake pretty much.

You should be able to get quite a few kills to top it all off. These will obviously be a great way to get yourself some gold. Make sure you play safely and don't get yourself ganked. Keeping your killstreaks is an important aspect. If you have been carrying wards around on you, this should not be an issue.

At times I will also use my Shadow Assault to farm. If it is a lane clear and there are a ton of minions. Your cooldown on the ultimate is like 40 seconds late game and is easily off cloodown by the time you're needing to use it again. It's just a great way to get to a lane, clear it out and be off towards a more crucial part of the map. I will usually only really do this if I'm near a tower or know where my opponents are. Usually if I'm pretty far out I will have wards to throw up anyway to keep check on incoming enemies.

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Match History

Here is a list of some of my games. Even with defeats I usually am ending up with a positive score. Dang bad teammates. As you can see for yourself, the build is effective on both 3s and 5s.

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Well, thank you for those of you who looked at the build and an extra thanks to those who actually read it. If you have any criticism, comments, questions, of course leave it at the bottom. If you're trolling, kindly jee-tee-eff-oh. ^_^ If any of you give it a shot, let me know how it goes please. One last reminder, learn when to engage and when to retreat. You should be golden.

Please inform me of anything out of place or typos. That would be appreciated.