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Talon Build Guide by FlavoRTowN
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Worded in orange are small sections before each chapter that gives a very brief summary of what the chapter sets out to dictate. For people who want more in depth analysis than just reading the cheatsheet, but too lazy to read the whole thing. Face it, there are time when we just whip up a guide because you have to play a champion you have no idea about...loading screen ftw XD
Solo top/generic build
The generic build. Generic items and skill sequence is suitable for most occasions; famring, decent harrass.
Solo mid/gank machine (babysit lane)
Generic items however its ingle target burst capability will devastate squishy AP heroes. Utilise the staple Q-E-W combo for either amazing zoning or kills.
reduced hp and mana regen.
HP regen is no problem, Mana regen is. Be more conservative with rake and instead last hit with auto attacks. If you do have porblems replace CD reduction with MP5 runes
Quality Time with Talon: A guide by FlavoRTowN
Talon is a extraordinary burst champion excelling at counter acting squishy AP heroes during the early game phase. Subsequently his ability to eat hp is second to none. But to utilise his skills, a deep knowledge is required in both item synergies as well as playstyle.
Recently, Talon took some hard nerfs in the mana department since he was an incredibly spammy hero. Talon could no longer sustain himself within lane without either not having high creep kills or just being outlaned in general. This guide hopefully rectifies that problem not. So sit back and spend some quality time with talon
+Good early-mid game
+Good chaser; can "stick" to enemies
+CD efficient abilities
-Susceptible to focus fire
-Mana inefficient hero whom requires spamming of abilities.
-Scaling into lategame depends wholly on itemization
Targeted Hard CC =/= owns everything else
Champions like Renekton, Irelia, Ryze and to an extent Annie have hard CC that's not reliant on a skillshot. Hard CC is a gaping weakness in Talon. Since its impossible to avoid a targeted ability Talon is susceptible to champions with these abilities.
Champions with skillshot CC like Morgana for example will hardly hit a quickwitted Talon with boots and hp potions.
As such, Talon's prowess in lane depends on who he is up against. Top solo, mid or bot are all viable options for Talon granted favorable enemy champions. Talon is a great anti AP champion early game. Granted that you avoid skillshots, its free reign for harassing and potential first blood.
Armour =/= Armour penetration runes
Despite his prowess at dealing ridiculous amounts of damage, early armour stacking will negate alot of Talon's early harass. Although a Talon will opt to use a [Last whisperer]] this is quite far usually into the mid game. You're not farming anyways so stacking some armour early will be a massive help.
For Talon players, armour penetration is amazing. MOAR damage = fun times.
Wards =/= Counter ward
I apologise if this sounds straight forward but Talon is a great ganker and relies on positioning during team fights. With just a couple of well placed wards along the river, the danger of getting ganked especially by talon will drastically reduce.
Counter ward the river fool, and you're at an advantage.
+10% damage if target is under CC, decent passive
A decent passive, nothing too great but better than alot. A mistake that people do, is to build specifically to utilise this passive. Its not worth it, 10% is chump. Think of it as a nice bonus, nothing more.
Nuke and applies bleed. Good nuke, use after initiate.
An incredibly nice nuke since it resets the attack timer which is core in this crit based build. The bleed is a nice bonus, but the revealing of the enemy champion can enable another ally to cut the retreat path of fleeing enemy to finish him off. Very nice.
* Bread and butter skill late game, main source of burst.
* Use this before cutthroating to an enemy for maximum burst.
* High cooldown so its usage is fairly limited. Use this to initiate along with a charged Noxian diplomacy for maximum burst.
AOE slow and damage. Bread and butter skill early, use to prevent fleeing
Similar to Sivir’s throw, though does significantly less damage and range. Generally the bread and butter skill, since it provides a nuke but also most importantly, a slow enabling you to get close to unleash more crits and abilities (most notably Noxian Diplomacy)
* A staple ability to efficiently farm, especially against a tough lane enemy
* Post nerf talon is unable to spam this without running out of mana. Use sparingly and only to ensure creep kills or harass.
Blink towards enemy causing silence and amping subsequent attacks/ability. Initiate with this
Good skill to initiate with because of its silence which prevents immediate reactions; meaning a very short time to land some pot shots. You can also use this defensively. For example blinking to an enemy creep behind you, or using neutrals to juke and jive around shrubs.
* The ability does no damage itself however does briefly silence the target.
* Also resets attack timer.
* Use this ability creatively. When an enemy chamption comes to gank, cutthroat to them which silences them and puts you in a favorable position to escape.
Ultimate, on low CD, sick damage and speed boost. Use this as the killing blow.
Self explanatory, though the stealth does offer some utility in escaping messy situations. However this does do AOE damage, so if you place yourself correctly you can get some sick damage.
The cooldown is rather low, so don’t be afraid to use it to clear creep waves to save a tower for example. Remember, towers win games, not potential kills.
* Be careful of popping ultimate since the blades do fan out resulting in the potential loss of surprise
* Generally, use this ability as the killing blow so that you have the choice of either diving or fleeing; its a good escape tool
* If you get CC'ed while stealthed, the blades will not come back to you. Essentially it will only do half damage so be weary of oracles or wards during team fights.
Noxian Diplomacy Versus Rake
Its situational! Solo top = Rake, Solo mid = Noxian Diplomacy
That's very briefly summarised but its the general idea. Rake on paper does more damage but it has a higher cooldown. As such you can only use every once in a while for harass and whatnot.
Cutthroat does less damage however it has a shorter cooldown. As such it does MORE damage overall to the single target. So in mid lane you can kill the enemy laner with relative ease or completely zone them out. Eee Zee Pee Zee
W to slow and keep in melee range whereby Q should be close for another use. Otherwise make the choice whether to use R to secure a kill or to keep it for the potential need to escape.
Greater Mark of Desolation
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Desolation
Defensive options like MR and armour are just needed on Talon. However the ArPen can be replaced with straight AD to stack on the spells but my personal preference is ArPen.
Unlike straight AD, ArPen and CD reduction scales well throughout the WHOLE game.
Gets you in good position or gets you out of tough situations. Definitely a good summoner spell, especially when you flash over a wall and deny enemies a kill muhahaha. Highly recommended.
Highly recommended; situational
If you don't like getting mercury's treads or find that the enemy team is stacking CC, this is the spell to get. It literally is a free quicksilver sash, so its great.
good for getting kills you might otherwise won't. General usage in a standard game is pretty often so this is immensely useful. If playing draft pick try to predict who you will be laning with. Generally its quite easy to tell.
The ultimate chasing spell but sacrificing survivability. Also makes use of your passive. Not bad
Decent - aimed at survivability
The opposite of exhaust. Good for escaping, but offensively its not as great as exhaust. Recommended.
If you have a Teemo/ward *****
This is great if you have a good Teemo or a ward *****. Nonetheless, using this defensively is not great, but if in the event that you can use this offensively, its great
But in a nutshell, boots provide mobility…Duh obviously.
Boots on Talon are very subjective to personal preference. Although all boots vary in their properties, they are actually all very useful for Talon. Here is a brief low down.
The boots offers 15% CD reduction which is my personal choice, since I personally play using Talon’s spells extensively. These are boots to buy where you find you are in a upper hand, or find yourself with a decent start. Buy these boots if you need more cooldown reduction (where you lack shurelia's reverie or Ghostblade tandem)
Boots of speed offers an additional point of speed sacrificing other stats. These boots are great if you’re a early to mid game roamer. Great for roaming since the speed is amazing and you can switch lanes for ganks fast before enemies’ notice you are missing. These boots are the way to go IF you have the Ghostblade and Shurelia's reverie combo for the source of Cooldown reduction.
Good for positioning one's self for battle or just plain roaming. Psycho synergy with Shurelya's+Ghostblade combo
THE boots if you play Talon as a roamer. Its passive gives you some amazing gank/roaming power hence potentially giving your team map control and to an extent awareness. Downside is that the passive turns off after combat, so not great at running away nor chasing, however you can initiate a lot of potential ganks in the early to mid game in hopes that you can indeed snowball to victory. Great map presence on these boots.
Ghostblade gives the attack speed. Redundant boots
Before hand i had somewhat promoted these boots in very special circumstances, but now i realise that the attack speed bonus is provided with the active of Ghostblade. As such these boots are redundant. You could justify it by going for an infinity's edge based built but i don't recommend that.
Good for ELO matches or coordinated enemy team
The most expensive boots, but offers the sought after stat, tenacity. I find that these boots are very situational but if you’re in a situation where every enemy champion pimps a heavy CC then these boots is the way to go. The thing with Talon is that he is an assassin hero which inadvertently means that he is squishy. When the enemy team sees you, they will nuke you. It’s important that you’re a phantom; get in and get out. These boots will help you get out alive. These boots will prove to be the best boots in ELO games, or games against coordinated players, since they will decide to stun your *** first. Focus fire is Talon’s weakness, hence these boots will go a long way.
wtf, i don't even know
You know when I said that every pair of boots are potentially useful for Talon? Well I kind of lied. In fact, I have no idea how these boots will go. They will definitely be pretty redundant if used in conjunction with this crit build, however these boots could be good if someone utilises a dodge based build. I’ve yet to make a successful dodge based build, so I will not bother to promote these boots. If in the future I do find that these boots are worthwhile then I’ll add it, but for now these boots are a no go.
Items are generally subjective to your personal play style and you position within the game. Although this guide does provide a cheat sheet, you should always build according to the enemy. Getting your *** under CC? Get some tenacity and so on. Remember, the cheat sheet provides the best scenario, contoured to my personal play style. Look to it as a guideline of which items to get in which in rough order, then buy according to the enemy.
I'm getting my *** handed on a platter - Situational
Stack these bad boys
This is the fallback item to go if you are struggling. Why? It offers health, life steal and extra damage. Usually, when you are struggling you should buy two of these then continue with your regular build. This item gives you a buffer and scales nicely all the way into mid to early late game phase. Great item for what its worth.
Tenacity is good
If you’re getting owned you need to limit your loses; in other words stop dying. These boots will give you much needed tenacity for extra survivability. Good for high ELO or late game, where enemies will nuke the largest threat; either you or the hard carry.
Very situational, but has potential
This item offers much needed crit but also its passive will hopefully help you get back into the game. It’s a hard cookie since its doesn’t pay of itself after about 25 minutes. So by buying this item, you are committing yourself to a Ghostblade after building core items. A tough cookie, but worthwhile because of the crit and its passive.
Banshee’s Veil/Quicksilver Sash
F**K you malzahar, ammumu and everything that stuns
Find yourself getting focused with CC? These items will help you get out of stick situations. Personally, I prefer quicksilver sash purely because you determine when to pop the active and counter’s DoTs and channelled spells (malz anyone).
Good all round survivability item. Personal thumbs up
Affordable, great active, and great stats. This is actually a great item on Talon and given Talon's low CD's he can either escape with cutthroat or unleash a can of whoop *** after the active procs. Nice.
Survivability item, doesn't justify stacking health however
Good item to transition from IE or even beforehand. Offers crit and armour if you find your self getting owned heavily by AD champions. Despite it's passive it doesn't really justify stacking HP items for "more" survivability. However it could finally justify the frozen mallet because you want to replace the phantom dancer if you choose to keep it. Provides ample crit but good defensive stats if need be.
Got AP nuker's?
Pretty self explanatory, it gives a shield upon taking an AP spell that brings you under 30% of maximum health. This is really good especially with heavy AP nukers like Annie and LeBlanc. On top of that it gives attack damage and is relatively cheap. A must if versing AP heavy teams.
Cloak and Dagger
Yes thats right. Tenacity item that has relevant stats for talon. Really cheap, gives attack damage and crit. A really nice item during the early and mid game phase however is mediocre during the late game. Sell it then but its worth every penny if you find yourself getting CC'ed hard.
+150% crit damage. Requires a special build implementing Phantom Dancer and Ghostblade.
By the lategame, spamming abilities will do much less damage than pure crit AD burst build. This item lets you transition into that role. Teamed up with Ghostblade's active this item can devastate enemies. DO NOT BUY IF YOU DON'T PLAN ON BUILDING ITEMS PURELY AROUND THIS ITEM
Crit and good lategame scaling
A really decent item. The stat of note here is not the attack speed but the crit rating. It will bring your crit through the roof if you do decide to opt for a build implementing an infinity edge. Also the movement speed is a nice bonus too. Very situational depending on what build you want to do. Although ghostblade active does make up for its stats this is a completely viable item provided it synergises well with chosen build "cough"infinity's edge"cough".
Got amour stackers?
This item counteracts their armour. Also it adds 40 damage so it’s a rather worthwhile item. Only use this item when at least 3 enemies are super armour heavy. Remember that this item offers a percentage buff, not straight armour penetration. Implement this during the mid-lategame phase.
Best damage item in game, that is all
A great item on Talon since it offers straight damage and lifesteal. Also, Talon is quite good at farming creeps, so bloodthirster should be easily stacked. Bloodthirster also offers the most straight damage of any item meaning that your abilities and crits will benefit greatly from this item.
Great active and CD reduction
CD reduction, MP5 and HP5. WHOA. Talon got hit with the nerf stick in the mana department so grabbing a philospher's stone was necessary for lane sustainability. Unfortunately, that hunger for mana is still there late game so this good item builds from a philo stone. It also adds health and a great team active. What this item does is that it does insane synergy with Ghostblade and boots of mobility since you are a chasing machine and the ultimate roamer.
Great active and CD reduction
Sick item on talon once you get the core items done. Offers +dmg, crit, CD reduction and amour penetration. In fact, this item was under my thought as to whether I should include this in the core items. Builds from brutalizer and does its active does sick damage in conjunction with the BF sword.
There’s always items that people use because they think its good on Talon, but in hindsight its actually a waste of gold. Although they are okay, they are just not worth the gold in the early to mid game. By the lategame however they are completely viable, but this section here encourages that there are much better items for the gold.
VERY situational, slightly overrated. however provides movement speed, extra burst and some survivability despite its exorbitant cost..
A very expensive item but can offer a lot of utility to Talon. This was a very tough item to justify a serious thought about buying since it’s ridiculously expensive while offering very average stats for Talon. That being said, it offers everything that would be very beneficial for Talon. Generally, the best part of this item is its 150% buff on auto attack after using an ability. With a Infinity’s Edge and Phantom Dancer, you can do some serious hurt, but for its price is it really worth it? Well to be honest, this should be the last item you should get, but then again, you could get another stacked bloodthirster. This is entirely your choice, but at your discretion. An okay item, but seriously overrated.
+10% damage is chump, trust me. Still viable but buy it in one go
Many will jump to the conclusion that by buying a Phage or Frozen Mallet, you utilise your passive which would result in a great item. Let me reiterate this for you. +10% damage is chump, go use the money to by a bloodthirster. To utilise the passive, you need the opponent to be under CC effects, whether that may be slowed etc. Phage only procs 35% but since Talon at the early game mark is a spell spammer, his attack speed is non existent. So there’s no guarantee that the slow will proc.
The frozen mallet however is a 100% chance to slow the enemy. Yes, that’s great but you have to buy a phage beforehand to get a frozen mallet. Yeah, not so wise.
Yeah but it offers health to give Talon survivability
If you need health to stay alive, you’re not playing Talon as an assassin. Talon relies on his abilities and summoner spells to get out of sticky situations. Not health. Health would be justified under circumstances where you find yourself to be under heavy CC.
If you believe you must get this, then attain it as a luxury item and grab it in one go. Having a phage taking up an inventory slot is somewhat wasteful
Sword of the Occult
Not worth it, play safely imo.
As a general rule I dislike to get snowball items unless your LeBlanc or Annie since they steamroll **** like butter. Its does offer awesome damage once stacked, but its stacked passive is pretty mediocre. +15% movespeed? Really?
It’s better to work on getting a bloodthirster or building other items quicker because if you screw up, this item is useless. Also, this item puts a very negative mindset teamwork wise;
Are you serious?
Why o’ why. You’re Talon, you are the master of kill stealing and GTFO outta’ there. Believe or not, but I’ve seen this predicament more times than you think. No, just no.
Hell, Atma’s a no go in general. Seriously, I don’t understand why anyone would get this on an assassin or carry for that matter. *sigh*
Game Phase itemization (Item sequence and why)
Farm Phase, rush the core items
These starting items emphasises on Talons mobility and enables lane endurance provided you use the mobility to dodge the majority of attacks. Utilise the staple Q-E-W combo for harrasment. If you find yourself struggling use rake to last hit and harass without taking damage.
Transition period. Focus on attaining straight AD items.
The longer the game goes, the less damage you are going to do when spamming spells (sustained dps that is). Try to maximise burst output with straight AD items.
The goal here is to get enough farm (through creep kills or ganking) to complete the core items. After the all important boots what do you build after? Aim to at least finish one items below (if all goes well; if you’re in deep **** then you’re going to have to build situational) and attempting to start working for another one by the end of the mid game.
the safe option, Talon’s ability scaling is sexy and with a fully ranked rake, you can stack this bad boy in no time. Reasonably priced sonsidering the BF sword is a core component
More risky, because by this time you do not have the cirt chance to fully maximise the passive. However if runed correctly (ie. Fully runed for crit) and built correctly (although i personally don't recommend this build; its hard to pull of) this item will just end the game.
Maximises CD reduction hence really emphasises ability spam. Good active which makes up for Talon’s lack of attack speed and damage in between cooldown’s. Sacrifices pure damage for more spell spammage.
Survival items and more straight AD items.
LoL is a game that rewards not dying, especially in the lategame. Get some survivability items and continue to pump some more damage.
Good for AP heavy teams or just alot of hard CC in general.
If you don't opt for [cleanse] than this will do. Pesky suppresses, stuns and slows are essentially negated.
MR and Armour; good all round defense item and the active is really quite nice. Very affordable as well.
Another great item for AP heavy teams. Goodbye ryze, leblanc, annie and xerath.
Again maximises CD reduction and provides the extra MP5 for ability spam as well as HP5 and health. A good item that builds off the philosopher's stone.
Straight damage output. Abilities will nuke quite hard. However forgoes extra crit chance which is important at this stage.
Completely destroy armour stackers with this. Tanks beware.
Offers a little bit of everything but the passive is of note. +150% extra damage on next auto attack after using an ability. Doesn't offer a lot of straight AD but if you know your job is just to completely annihilate a single target than the passive could prove useful especially with noxian diplomacy..
Ultra Late Game
An extremely rare situation, stack straight AD and for 1v1 sustainability.
By this rare stage of the game (game is going longer than 1 hour) you want to be stacking bloodthirsters and having them farmed. The goal is to completely kill an enemy using abilities then auto attack 1v1 against another using bloodthirster to sustain yourself until cooldowns are down. Rinse and repeat.
Sounds expensive but by this time, you can afford anything you want.
|"oh yeah I'm so boss"||
Way of the Assassin - Playstyle
You're a phantom, you're in and you're out. You're the guy that makes the enemy twitch rage.
This may be common ground for some, but I feel for the majority of players, many fail to define the difference between a carry and an assassin. Firstly, the play style is vastly different; hard carries sit in their lane getting farmed whilst occasionally helping in ganks. Their job is to get ready for the lategame teamfights. Assassins are folks who start running around in the early-mid game ganking straddlers and nuking the **** out of squishes in team fights. They are always in the early-mid game ganks and always running around the map for a potential kill.
Many also seem to mistake Talon as a brusier; a champion who has a lot of health but also deals significant damage (pretty much an offtank). Talon is not a brusier. Talon relies on his mobility and ability to burst to kill enemies, not endurance. Likewise, Talon doesn't charge in with the team. Hes the emo kid in the cafeteria loitering near the unlit hallway. He's that guy that pounces on you when you least suspect it. When he's done, he gets out like a phantom.
That is the way of the assassin. Not a bruiser, not a hard carry but a ninja; he's in and he's out.
You're a boss early-mid game. Abuse this, roam like Freddy Kreuger.
As an assassin, you are most prominent during the early and mid game. By the late game you're going to have to make room for the hard carries (Ashe, Miss Fortune, LeBlanc). However, assassins are not completely redundant in the late game; quite the contrary. By itemizing an assassin efficiently, an assassin can potentially serve the same role as a hard carry.
However with abilities like cutthroat and Shadow Assault, Talon has at his disposal a plethora of hard nuke abilities, all of which scale incredibly with AD. Although your goal is still to pounce the squishy, you must be ready for sustained 1v1 fights. The goal here is not only to catch enemies out of position, but to burst them down quick enough for you to get out unscathed.
Picking fights you can win
Destroy enemies prone to burst AD, do not pick 1v1 ganks you cannot win. Talon is exceptionally squishy.
It is important to pick fights that you know you will have a good chance of winning (i.e getting a kill/or at the very least securing a kill without dying). For example it is unwise to 1v1 brusiers whom can deal considerable damage whilst the ability to tank huge amounts of damage.
Generally, its also unwise to actively (meaning don't prioritize them) target tanks. One, because they take ten years to kill. Second, its nigh impossible to secure a tank kill unless they sacrifice themselves to keep a carry alive. Three, they can completely turn a battle around. Champions like Ammumu, Malphite and Rammus do ape**** damage and can set up a scenario where you could die.
I'm not saying don't kill them, all I am saying is don't prioritize them.
Then you have the support heroes and squishies. Squishies usually include AP/AD carries like;
Carries become harder and harder to kill as the game drags on (lifesteal is an ***). Therefore in the lategame period it is important to prioritize targeting squishes such as AP casters and supports.
The Element of Surprise (positioning)
Be the bogeyman, don't run through the front door, but creep in through the closet.
Its important to abuse this factor. You're the bogeyman, you run around the jungle like a boss and hide in bushes to scare the **** out of the enemy. Try to keep a consistent play style throughout the whole game. If you're laning, then make your ganks quick. If you're roaming, make your appearances in lanes as brief as possible. Don't make them all an MIA on you. Act natural
Survivability Versus Damage
Talon’s survivability lies within
Shadow Assault (which should be on low CD anyways)
Rather than having the ability to take hits, Talon excels at avoiding damage altogether.
In general follow this simple rule;Damage>survivability
Why? Okay let’s briefly analyse some numbers.
With Ionian Boots of Lucidity Youmuu's Ghostblade and Sorcery the cool down reduction on spells is approximately 35%.
With that, shadow assault is on a cool down of approximately 36 seconds. Along with flash and cleanse, Talon’s ability to escape is next to none.
To a lesser extent, cutthroat is a viable option for escape especially in the jungle where you can cutthroat a minion and flash away to guarantee escape.
However its wise nonetheless to build according to each situation. Any decently coordinated team can chain CC Talon completely nullifying him. It’s here where you’ll have to make the tough decisions.
Generally in high ELO matches its wiser to build with survivability in tact, however in most situations Flash, cleanse and shadow assault are more than enough.
Knowing when or not to pull out takes time, but comes after much practice with Talon.
Alternative targets would be AP casters like
Prioritize damage over survivability; in most circumstances, Cleanse, Flash and Shadow Assault are ample escape mechanisms.
Master the playstyle of an assassin; you're neither a tanky dps or a hard carry.
Follow the core items and try to build according to situation.
Master the role of Talon in a teamfight.
JhoiJhoi's guide making
Also, searz's template found here
RunningWontHelp's great 3v3 shaco guide found here on MobaFire. A great guide that essentially plays the same as Talon
And the multiple great pantheon builds found here and abroad. Made my mind up about the core items.
And my friends who play LoL with me. 4 heads are better than one, and without them theroycrafting this guide would be delayed by 1 year XD
Creating a very in depth jungling/ganking tutorial just for Talon; may take a while since time is tight. Want to do a proper job first time so pics etc will be included.
Putting more effort in abilities section (i think this is first priority)
Generally just better aesthetics of guide.
Added 6th September 2011 (AEST)
Added item sequence section under "items" chapter 07/09/2011 (AEST)
Added first part of the "In the game" chapter 07/09/2011 (AEST)
Finished gameplay section finally, no images yet but in due course :D 19/09/2011 (AEST)
MOAR detail - Added and rearranged items in items section. Also reevaluated Trinity Force and is now under "overrated", however changed both the descriptions of trinity force and frozen mallet to be very expensive viable options. Aesthetic boost :D 04/10/2011 (AEST)
MAJOR UPDATE DONE 21/10/2011 AEST
POST nerf Talon update consisting of some drastic changes to core items and builds. 19/11/2011 (AEST)