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Talon Build Guide by Shoado

Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Shoado

Talon, the Speedy Assassin

Shoado Last updated on May 29, 2012
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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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Talon is a strong assassin champion, excelling at dealing high amounts of burst damage with his spells, and CC'ing the enemy team with silences, slows, and bleed effects. Overall, he's a very fast paced champion, with a high amount of both risk and reward for aggressive gameplay.

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Talon's earliest memories are the darkness of Noxus' underground passages and the reassuring steel of a blade. He has no memory of 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 incredible skills with the blade earned him great notoriety. Various guilds sent assassins against him with a demand: join their ranks or be killed. His response was to leave the bodies of his pursuers stuffed in a dark corner or dumped in Noxus' moat. Having lived on the streets, Talon knew better than to waste - he claimed a blade from every failed attempt on his life, gathering a seemingly endless collection of weaponry.

The assassination attempts grew increasingly dangerous until one assailant met Talon blade-for-blade in a match of strength. To his astonishment, Talon was disarmed. He was facing down his executioner's sword when the assassin revealed himself to be General Du Couteau. The General offered Talon the standard of life that befitted an agent of the Noxian High Command in exchange for his allegiance. Talon accepted 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 assassinations on Du Couteau's orders until the day that the general disappeared. Talon's suspicions led him to the doors of the Institute of War, where he joined the League of Legends in order to find the parties 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." - Katarina Du Couteau

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Pros / Cons

  • High amount of burst damage output
  • Several forms of CC (Silence, slows)
  • Great at escaping with a stealth, move speed boost, and slows.
  • Fun to harass with using Rake and Cutthroat.
  • Gap closer.
  • Squishy early game.
  • Farm early game is difficult.
  • Ends being focused a lot.

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Since Talon's job is to burst enemies down quickly, the best way to set up his masteries is21/0/9.

This allows him to:
  • Improve his Exhaust summoner spell
  • Do more damage with more ArP.
  • Use abilities more often with lower cooldowns.
  • 'Execute' champions who are low health (last point in the offense tree).
  • Have slightly higher health each level.

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Greater Mark of Desolation
Armor Penetration is the mark of choice on most melee champions, and this rule applies to Talon as well. It allows you to almost ignore the enemy base armor and some runes.
If you don't have them, or just want to run something else, I recommend using flat Attack Damage marks. This will buff Talon's auto attacks, but more importantly boost his abilities damage output.


Mana Regeneration per level counters almost any mana problems Talon runs into. It also allows you to stay in your lane/teamfights/pushes longer without going OOM.
If you're more concerned with survivability, flat Armor seals are your best bet.


Magic Resistance buffs your early game survivability, and carries through somewhat to mid and late game.
Another strong choice for Glyphs is flat Cooldown Reduction, which will allow Talon to use his abilities much more often.

Greater Quintessence of Desolation
Movement speed on Talon is huge, and has several uses such as traveling between lanes for ganks, getting in and out of team fights quicker, chasing down fleeing opponents, and escaping near-death situations (when coupled with your Ultimate).
If the mobility doesn't feel like your first choice, or you don't have the Movespeed Quints, I recommend using either Armor Penetration or flat Attack Damage. Try and match it to the type of runes you used for Marks.

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Recommended Summoner Spells

Exhaust Reduces enemy damage and movespeed. Using Exhaust on an enemy while you are fighting them one-on-one pushes the fight in your favor tremendously. It works two ways, in that their damage is reduced and yours is increased because of your passive and the slow on them. Can be useful in escaping by exhausting the enemy and ulting. Also great for chasing.

Flash Moves you instantly a short distance. There are so many uses for Flash that not taking almost feels like a disadvantage sometimes. Flashing over walls in the jungle makes you impossible to catch, flashing towards champions to hit them with Rake ensures you stick to your target. The only thing to watch for with Flash is using it when you activate your Ult, because it will break the stealth.

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Other Viable Summoner Spell Choices

Ghost You run faster and through minions. Since the role that Talon fills on teams is "Assassin", your ability to nuke and gank is crucial. Ghost allows you to switch lanes sneakily and quickly, and chase more easily. Using Ghost before your Ult lets you achieve maximum speed while escaping fast enemies, and lets you position yourself better for your nuke combo when you come out of stealth.

Cleanse Removes all your CC, gives you 3 seconds of reduced CC. Facing a CC (Crowd Control) heavy team may seem nightmarish, but having a spell like Cleanse and knowing when to use it eases your burden. After being stunned/slowed/silenced/feared/taunted/snared/blinded/immobilized in a team fight, pop Cleanse, and enjoy the three seconds that follow where the duration of newly applied CC effects is reduced tremendously.

Teleport Transports you to a tower/minion/ward. Map control wins games. Plain and simple. Not only does having wards increase your vision of the map, but it also allows you to be anywhere anytime. Teleporting to a warded bush near a team fight and nuking down their squishies is a satisfying feeling, and will leave the enemy team wondering how you ran across the map so fast. Teleport can also be used to save a tower that is falling.

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Mercy Cutthroat

Mercy Mercy: Mercy grants you bonus damage to enemies under Crowd Control effects. This has great synergy with abilities in his toolkit like Rake and Cutthroat. All in all a pretty sexy assassin-like passive.

Noxian Diplomacy: Your next auto attack does bonus damage and applies a DoT bleed effect to the champion. It also reveals their location while they are bleeding. Make note that this resets your attack timer, so try and hit Noxian Diplomacy RIGHT after an auto attack.

You're going to want to max out Noxian Diplomacy after Rake and before Cutthroat, putting one point in it at level 3.

Tips and Tricks

Rake: Shoots a cone of three blades a set distance in front of you. These blades immediately return to you, and can hit champions/minions both on the way out and on the way back. Anyone hit by them will take damage and be slowed, making it an excellent chasing ability.

You're going to want to max out Rake before Noxian Diplomacy and Cutthroat, grabbing a point in it at level one.

Tips and Tricks
  • The slow from Rake triggers your passive, Mercy. Use this to your advantage when setting up kills and ganks for maximum damage.
  • Instead of face checking a brush, you can shoot Rake into it. With your sound effects turned on, it will make a noise if the blades connect with an enemy.
  • Use Rake often when chasing.
  • When fleeing from a fight, shooting Rake behind you can buy you time to get away.

Cutthroat Cutthroat: Cutthroat instantly transports you behind your target, silencing them amplifying your damage against them. Unlike Jax's Leap Strike and Katarina's Shunpo, you can't jump to allied players and minions.

You're going to want to max out Cutthroat after Rake and Noxian Diplomacy, grabbing a point at level 2 to harass a bit more safely early on.

Tips and Tricks

Shadow Assault: You stealth, gain 40% movespeed, and shoot a ring of blades out from your starting position. Stealth breaks after 2.5 seconds, or if you attack someone/cast a spell. Once you break stealth, the blades shoot back to you. This is fantastic for when you want to burst an enemy down quickly (Activate, Attack), are chasing enemies (Activate, run after them), and great for escaping hairy situations (Activate, run the other way). Juking opponents is incredibly satisfying with Shadow Assault as well.

You're going to want to put points into Shadow Assault at level 6, 11, and 16.

Tips and Tricks
  • When being chased, activate Shadow Assault, and run back a different path to juke them. They will think you continued running the same way, and you can go b while in a bush somewhere else on the map.
  • For some astounding ganks, activate Noxian Diplomacy and Shadow Assault in a bush, Cutthroat to them to come out of seemingly nowhere, Rake to slow them fleeing. /sunglasses.
  • To do a lot of damage almost instantly to a low-health target, double-tap Shadow Assault to shoot the blades in and pull them right back.

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Starting Items

  • Always start out with your first Doran's Blade. The AD buffs yours skill damage, the health makes you less of a squishy, and the lifesteal, while small, does help some to keep you in lane.
  • On your first trip back, try to have at least 825 gold so you purchase your Boots of Speed and second Doran's Blade.
  • I try not to stack more than two Doran's Blade's, because otherwise your build is being delayed too much. Having two really beefs you up, however, and allows you to be a much bigger early game threat.

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Boot Choices

ALWAYS upgrade your boots immediately after your second Doran's Blade.

Boots of Swiftness: My number one boots choice. Having the increased movement speed allows you to return to lane faster, cover lanes more efficiently, chase down ganks, and move in and out of team fights safely.

Ionian Boots of Lucidity: Reduced cooldowns is extremely powerful on assassin-type champions such as Talon who rely on their skills to deal damage. Personally, I prefer Boots of Swiftness, but if it's a balanced team, you don't feel the need to build defensive boots, and want a different pair of boots besides Boots of Swiftness, this is your best choice.

Mercury's Treads: The enemy team have a lot of AP, a few dangerously strong AP's, or a lot of CC? Mercury's Treads counter all of those quite well. The Tenacity on these is quite strong, and enables you to do more for your team by being shut down less.

Ninja Tabi: Very rarely should you deviate from the first 3 boot choices. However, if you come up against an all four or five AD champion team, these are your best counter.

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Standard Build

Normal Build

The above build order is the order you should you use for any game you are doing well during or when you face a balanced team comp.
The Brutalizer: An early game The Brutalizer will really pick up your damage and effectiveness with its AD, ArP and cooldown reduction. Will turn into a Youmuu's Ghostblade later.

Sheen: Dat burst. The proc effect on Sheen is absolutely fantastic on Talon. For some brutal combo's, activate Noxian Diplomacy, to set up both the Sheen proc and the Noxian Diplomacy proc, turn on Shadow Assault, Cutthroat behind your target, and watch as your enemy DROPS due to increased damage from Cutthroat, your auto attack hitting with two procs, and your blades from Shadow Assault hitting them.

The Bloodthirster: Start out by buying B.F. Sword. Once you have this fantastic item, farm a few minions to further increase your AD and lifesteal, and watch as your already high damage snowballs.

Trinity Force: Your baby Sheen, all grown up, with a plethora of stats to back it up. Along with the Sheen proc, Trinity Force comes with increased health, AD, crit, AS, movespeed, and a chance to slow enemies on hit. A core item if there ever was one.

Infinity Edge: Prepare to start hitting and critting like a freight train. An incredible damage booster.

Youmuu's Ghostblade: The upgrade for The Brutalizer. I recommend moving this to an item slow that you can easily hit the hotkey for. Remember to use the active before going into fights! Don't worry about wasting in, the cooldown is relatively low.

I recommend finishing up your build with a second The Bloodthirster if you're still doing well. You can also purchase a defensive item here, to ensure your long-lived assassin lifestyle.

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Scores and Screenshots

Please note: These screenshots are from my previous item build.

Game 1 (Myself)

Game 2 (Myself)

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Change Log

(9/29/11) Reformatted the item section, doing a lot of cleaning up.

(p/28/11) Formatting changes, started cleaning things up and making the look pretty.

(9/22/11) It's been awhile, but I've tested other builds and messed around with them, and re-adjusted my items. Added secondary rune choices.

(8/27/11) Updated build order. Phage, then finish Bloodthirster, then Frozen Mallet.

(8/27/11) Added section "Scores and Screenshots". Feel free to send in your good scores through comments and links so I can put them there!

(8/26/11) Changed my last item from 'The Black Cleaver' to a second Bloodthirster.