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Talon Build Guide by notenoughletters

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

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League of Legends Build Guide Author notenoughletters

Talon: In, Killing Spree, Out.

notenoughletters Last updated on August 30, 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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Hi guys and welcome to my Talon guide. I play talon as an AD burst assassin, as his skillset demands. I cringe every time I see him built as a standard DPS, leave that to Master Yi or Ashe :D

This is my first guide, be gentle with me, okay?

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8/29 - Guide uploaded :D
8/29 - made minor adjustments based off of feedback
8/29 - Blew all of my IP, but changed runes to ArPen, MR, Armor, and health. Noted improvement in early game surviablity

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Pros / Cons

Excellent burst damage
Good gap closing and escape mechanisms
Can tear apart enemy carries if played correctly
BA-looking skins
High risk-High reward champ

Very squishy early game
Tends to get focused... hard
If not farmed well early game can become VERY difficult to scale into late game
High risk-High reward champ

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I go 21/0/9, and while there are other viable configurations, I think that this works best on Talon. I will probably get hate for taking Sorcery over Alacrity , but the point of this guide is to not be a standard auto-attacker. The CDR is so nice, and to be honest, 4% attack speed is not of the greatest use. Let it be noted that while I use Greed , you may prefer to take Utility Mastery instead.

Feel free to change your masteries as you will: I believe that masteries and runes are 100% personal opinion.

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I love Armor Pen. Enough said. With your Youmuu's Ghostblade and Greater Mark of Desolation x9, you will have enough ARPen to shred even the tankiest of foes early on.

The Greater Seal of Armor have been the most helpful to me in sustaining the early game laning phase, but a mix of Greater Seal of Magic Resist has been nice as well.

I recently changed my glyphs to Greater Glyph of Magic Resist x9. The early magic resist is great to help keep you in a lane.

For Quints I roll 3 Greater Quintessence of Health. This will help keep you alive early on.

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Summoner Spells

These two spells are my favorite for the name of my guide: In, Kill, Out. With these two spells and cutthroat you should have no trouble getting in, nailing and the kill, and GTFO'ing.

Other Options

Exhaust is another extremely viable choice. It can help you slow the enemy for those last few hits you need, and it can also help you get away from that nasty enemy AD carry who's all up in your face. If you take exhaust, I recommend you change your masteries to include Cripple

Ignite is good if you feel that too many times you've watched an enemy get away with 10 hp left as you have to skirt around tower range. The DoT and healing reduction is great for getting first blood or to throw on a low-health enemy escaping a fight. Also, if you are playing ranked and see a champion like Swain, Vladimir or Dr. Mundo, take it to screw with their healing.

Getting shut down early? Tower dived often? Heal is the spell for you. I personally do not use it on Talon, but it is an underrated spell. I cannot tell you how many times I have died to a sneaky heal while I was diving, or watched a skill shot fly towards an escaping champ with 5 hp who then pops heal and survives.

The rest of the summoner spells are honestly not viable on Talon, unless you like to jump around the map.

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Skills and Skill Sequence

Talon's auto-attacks deal additional damage to a target that is under the influence of any crowd control effect.

I love this passive. Not only is it unique, it's also incredibly useful. If anyone on your team uses a CC move, you instantly deal 10% bonus damage, just for auto-attacking. This stacks well with the rest of your skills as well.

Noxian Diplomacy:
Talon viciously stabs his enemy, dealing heavy physical damage and causing them to leave a blood trail that Talon can use to track them.

This is an excellent damage boost, and is a major reason why I consider Talon as one of the best assassins in the league. Not only does it give a damage boost to your next attack, it shows the enemy for a few seconds after being hit, which can lead to easy finishes by yourself or teammates as the target tries to vanish into the fog of war. IMPORTANT: Noxian Diplomacy can be used on turrets! Just like Nasus' Q, Siphoning Strike you can use this to knock down a turret more quixkly.

Talon fans out three blades in front of him that quickly return to him, dealing damage and slowing any target hit in either direction.

Ahhhh, Rake. This is Talon's most versatile skill, and his most useful non-ultimate skill. Rake cam farm, harass, chase, and escape. Because it slows all targets hit, it procs mercy and is a great damage boost. The key to using Rake is to hit the enemy on BOTH PASSES, in and out. Doing so will be the difference between good harass and a waste of mana.

Rake is also Talon's greatest farm - at level 2 (champion level 3) i can easily farm the caster minions with one rake and one or two auto-attacks each. At level 5, if I'm fed, a whole wave might well die to Rake. Mastering Rake and all of its uses is key to being a good Talon player.

Talon leaps behind his target and silences them for a short duration, amplifying the damage of any of his follow up attacks and abilities.

When envisioning Cutthroat, imagine Shunpo combined with Reckoning, minus damage plus a silence. The bonus damage, combined with the instant blink is an incredible move. This is Talon's "initiate", and I will explain how to best use it in sequence during the Skill Combinations section

Shadow Assault
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.

Talon's ultimate, and his most overpowered move. Upon use, Talon turns invisible, gains additional movespeed, and a ring of blades with radius about 3/4 the size of a lane, dealing damage to everyone they hit. After 2.5 seconds or upon attacking an enemy, Talon will become targetable again and the blades will fly directly to him, dealing damage to all whom they pass through. This has an incredibly low cooldown and good scaling, so don't be afraid to use it needed

Shadow Assault can be used to initiate, escape, assassinate, and carry. A more detailed explanation will be given in the section "Shadow Assault"

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I prefer these boots over everything else. They are my favorite boots on Talon: they offer good chase, good escape, and good map movement. I will take these 95% of the time. There are several other viable options:

Take these if the enemy team is CC heavy - they will help you survive

Take these if you plan on roaming. Not as good of a choice, but to each his own.

We are going for a burst champ, not AS,but if you really want to...


Including boots, these are the items that you will want no matter what. These will make up the core of your build.

It may sound like a contradiction to get a Youmuu's on a non-AS champ, but the critical strike %, CDR, and ARpen and the active are what we want. Bonus move speed and attack speed? Yespleaseandthankyou! This active can help you position your ulti, get around the map, or get your butt out of trouble. Just don't forget to use it! (*note - I grab the avarice blade first, then get frozen mallet, and then finish the ghostblade.)

This item is amazing - not only does it give damage and survivabilty, (which Talon has none of otherwise) it also gives a guaranteed proc on mercy with the 100% slow chance.


From here on, it is up to you what you finish with - all of the items recommended by this guide are good, but expensive choices.

This is my usual choice to get right after Frozen Mallet I start with Sheen and then Zeal, then Phage to finish. While the slow may conflict with frozen mallet, it is made up for 100% by the sheen part - 150% bonus damage on your next autoattack after using an ability? This meshes so perfectly with Noxian Diplomacy its like they were made for each other. Many people don't like the cost on trinity force and say that it is too well rounded and not specific enough of an item. If you feel this way, try this: Get Sheen, just Sheen until endgame. You will notice an immediate boost to your damage, and you can always finish the Trinity Force last.

This is another good item on talon. The bonus 100 damage and lifesteal will help you to both get a kill and get out alive. Considering how easy it is to get 40 minion kills, this item is preferential to any other stacking item (aka Sword of the Occult - you always get focused hard with that sucker)

Situational Items

These last two items are a big endgame decision. Circumstances will dictate what you pick (or if you pick an entirely separate item)

If your team needs just a little more damage output to win those teamfights, this is the way to go. The bonus 80 damage and critical strike damage modifier will give you enough to plow through the enemy lines.

Author's Note:
Last game I played as Talon and got this item, I did a 1450 damage crit! ( mercy,
cutthroat, Noxian Diplomacy, and Trinity Force all engaged) Now that's what I call some burst!

Fed Annie trolling your team? Getting oneshot by a Karthus ult? This is the item for you. The health and MR are great, but the spell-blocking passive is what you really want. This can save your life, and therefore your teamfights.

If the enemy team is scared of you or your AD carry and stacking armor, this is a spectacular item. 40 additional damage, as well as an insane 40% ArPen. With this and your greater mark of desolation, you should have no trouble against any armor. As always, be careful of Thornmail, You don't wanna kill yourself >.<

Finally, should you make it to full build, don't forget Elixir of Fortitude, Elixir of Brilliance, and Elixir of Agility, as well as Oracle's Elixir. It astounds me how many people forget these, considering what a difference they can make.

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Skill Combinations

Before entering the realm of gameplay, it is important to know your skill combos. Always focus your skills on one target - that's an assassins job, to take out the carries/supports. Also, talon is not good when his moves are spread out.

The basic combo against a single target or in a lane is Shadow Assault -> cutthroat -> Rake -> autoattack -> Noxian Diplomacy -> Whatever necessary to finish them.

Activating your ulti will send out your daggers - aim to have them hit the enemy on the way out. Cutthroating behind them will NOT decloak you - it doesn't count as an attack! Rake the enemy to proc your passive, autoattack and then IMMEDIATELY use your Q. Noxian Diplomacy will reset the attack timer, so it is akin to getting a free hit in. This entire combo will have taken place in less the 2 seconds, so the enemy should not have had much time to react, and the silence makes it even harder. After finishing the enemy, either run or turn and attack their lanemate.

Against a large group of enemies(3, 4, or 5) the base combo remains the same, but save Shadow Assault until after Noxian Diplomacy. You will likely be focused, so be ready to pop it when necessary.

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Early Game

At the beginning of the game, grab a Doran's Shield and head to lane. The shield is preferred over Doran's Blade because it allows you to stay in lane longer, particularly against a better pushing or harassing lane. Until level four, focus on last hitting and harassing with rake, unless a good chance arises to go for a kill. When you hit level four and have all of your skills, including level 2 rake, be constantly on the lookout for an opportunity to jump on an enemy and secure a kill. Do not tower dive unless you have a tanky teammate to hold tower aggro for you, because you will likely be 2- or 3-shot.

Should you manage to score a double kill you have two options:
1) Push your tower - This is self explanatory. Get that sucker down, and don't forget to use your Q!
2) If you are level 6 and have your ultimate, you can go gank a lane. Tell you teammates so they can harass the enemy while being pushed back. Ulti in the bush, cutthroat to the enemy, combo, and win.

When you first back, get boots (whatever level you can afford) and an Avarice Blade. After this, get Red Buff. This buff is the greatest neutral creep on the map for Talon, with the exception of Baron Nashor. The DoT is great, and the slow will proc your passive if you don't have Frozen Mallet or Phage yet. The game will probably still be in lane phase, so go ahead and try to earn a few more kills.

Mid Game

Teamfights will be starting now, and you should have your Frozen Mallet and at least be almost done with Youmuu's Ghostblade When a teamfight is about to happen, DO NOT INITIATE!!!!! Talon will be destroyed instantly, even with his ulti, should he go in first. Wait for your tank, pick a priority target and unleash your combo.

Priority Targets

Usually, you will want to go after the successful carry on their team. A few examples of good squishy carries are:
Master Yi
Kog'Maw - Beware of Icathian Surprise, he'll blow up on you after death, dealing massive damage
Annie - Check to see if her Pyromaniastun is up first
Malzahar - His Nether Grasp suppress will get you focused and killed. Be careful when going after him.

There are also situations where taking care of a support will be more beneficial to a team.
Look for champions like:
Zilean - Careful of him Chronoshifting himself and reviving, this will leave you open while you try to finish the kill
The list goes on. Just pick a squishy carry or support and melt them Don't stick around too long, or the enemies will stomp your face in.

Late Game

Teamfights will follow the same pattern as mid-game, so play carefully. Always be on the lookout for a good opportunity to get dragon or Baron, but make sure someone has Oracle's Elixir to check for wards. Many a game has been lost by an ace a baron because one team had wards. Talon's priority as an assassin is to stick with the tanks and fighters, but if an enemy overextends, feel free to go pick up an easy kill. Be careful not to overextend yourself however: losing a teamfight lategame can mean losing the game, and it is hard to win 4v5 when the assassin is dead because of overextending.

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Shadow Assault

I will play a few more rounds and try to get screencaps of the different uses of Shadow Assault

Videos too, hopefully.

This is a good photo for getting a feel of the size of Shadow Assault. It takes up a good portion of the lane, and can hit a number of enemies if released in the center of them.

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Talon is an assassin - Play as such!

Any feedback would be great, and I would love to answer questions.

Good Luck, and may your enemies feel the wrath of your blades!

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I'll post any screencaps of great scores people send me using this build as a base here, as well as any troll votes :D