Talon Build Guide by Yamikaze
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+12 Attack Damage or +20 Ability Power, Adaptive
Standard Full Build
Currently, Electrocute plus Sorcery is the best setup for Talon.
|Electrocute - Basically more damage in your combo. Remember that the two separate parts of Rake will only count for one hit for Electrocute, meaning you will need to sneak an aa in if you want to proc electrocute with just w and q.|
|Sudden Impact - Procs your ranged q, e, and r so you can keep it basically at 100% uptime in every fight. Free 10 lethality is too good to pass up.|
|Eyeball Collection - Used to run Zombie Ward but after two big nerfs I prefer the extra damage from eyeball collection.|
|Relentless Hunter - Talon likes to rotate and flank so free ooc ms is pretty good on him. No reason to run Ravenous Hunter over this as most of your burst will be done at the start of a fight when your health bar is near full.|
|Celerity - I run this mostly because Talon's base movespeed is so low (335 compared to the usual 350) and laning feels really bad without it. Also gives a bit of AD when out of combat later on in the game.|
|Gathering Storm - Talon falls off hard lategame and I run this to keep myself relevant post 35-40 min. An alternative that many Talon players run to GS is The Ultimate Hat, which is good for your midgame ult cooldown. I don't personally find that I need the ~8 sec cd reduction on my ult enough to make use of it.|
|This is a MUST HAVE for Talon (yes, this means your ignite/exhaust Talon doesn't work...). If you don't run this spell, you will die to ganks, miss out on kills, and you'll get flamed by your teammates. Also sets up your combos nicely and lets you secure kills on important targets in teamfights.|
|I run this into almost every matchup. Talon snowballs really hard from early kills and ignite helps you secure kills both early and throughout the game. Also strong into Heal and any champ that heals in fights.|
|I usually only run this into Veigar and Twisted Fate. They have stuns that make it very easy to set up ganks in lane and playing without Cleanse into these matchups just makes you an easy gank. Plus, cleanse lets you do more damage than ignite versus cc as you can actually use your abilities.|
|Talon's abilities wound champions and epic monsters for a short duration, stacking up to three times. When Talon basic attacks a fully wounded target, they bleed for 60 - 160 (+2.0 per bonus attack damage) physical damage over 2 seconds.|
This passive is a large percent of your damage in fights. It is very important to proc passive in a combo unless they are low enough that you are sure you don't need it. Whether you can proc your passive on a target in a fight will almost always make the difference between a kill or a 200 hp squishy that heals to full. The way this passive works is you need to hit an enemy champion or epic monster (baron/dragon) 3 times with abilities (your auto-attacks don't count) and then auto attack them (now, your abilities don't count). Check out the combo section for easy combos to proc your passive.
NOTE: Every time you hit an enemy champion, you refresh the duration of stacks on that enemy. If you extend a fight long enough at level 1, you can actually proc Blade's End with just Rake.
|Talon leaps to a target, dealing 60 / 85 / 110 / 135 / 160 +1.0 bonus attack damage. If cast within melee range, Talon does not leap but instead critically strikes his target for 150%. Whenever Noxian Diplomacy kills a unit, Talon restores 17 +3/lvl health and refunds 50% of its cooldown.|
|This ability has two parts. Its standard cast is from range, which is basically a leap. Keep in mind the range is pretty low (around the same range as a lot of adcs), meaning you will often have to flank to reach a target rather than run at them. Talon is supposed to automatically aa after ranged q but it's pretty buggy. Try to right click mid q to avoid missing the auto. If you cast q in melee range, it does more damage and is an aa reset. However, keep in mind it's also basically a self stun for 1 second when you cast this, so walk out of melee range if you want the damage faster or if you want to stay on a target who's running away.|
|Talon sends out a volley of daggers in a cone that return after a short delay. The initial hit deals 50 / 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 (+0.4 per bonus attack damage). The return hit deals 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 (+0.7 per bonus attack damage), and slows for 40 / 45 / 50 / 55 / 60%.|
This is your primary way to trade and farm in lane. Hitting both parts of Rake is hard to do versus any decent ranged laner, but quite easy against newer players. If you are able to hit an enemy champion with both parts of Rake, you can use ranged q-aa to win the trade. Also, a cool trick is if you use ranged q or even flash - q while the enemy laner is trying to dodge the second half of Rake by stepping to the side, you can direct the second w back to the enemy champion and guarantee a passive proc in lane.
Here's an example of W-Q and W-F-Q in lane to help clarify what I'm talking about (I'll embed this video again in the combo section):
|Talon vaults over the nearest structure or terrain in a target direction. The vault's speed is affected by Talon's movement speed. Talon cannot vault over the same section of terrain for 160 / 135 / 110 / 85 / 60 seconds..|
|Imo, this is the one skill that separates decent Talon players (~diam 4 to diam 2 players) and good Talon players (~Master+). This is one of the highest potential skills in the game, allowing pretty broken amounts of mobility. However, it also limits your 1v1 potential in lane as you only have 3 abilities (including ult) while most mid laners will have 4. In order to play Talon optimally, you need to abuse the roaming strengths of your e. Use it to walk around common ward spots, use it to catch out the enemy jungler as he's clearing camps, use it to sneak up on your laner when he returns from a roam or from lane, etc. Read the "Roaming with E" section to for gank paths.|
|Talon disperses a ring of blades outwards and gains stealth for up to 2.5 seconds while gaining 40% movement speed. When Talon emerges from stealth, the blades converge on his location. Each time a blade passes through an enemy, they take 80 / 120 / 160 (+0.8 per bonus attack damage) physical damage. Each enemy can only be damaged once at the start of the ability and once at the end.|
|Talon's ultimate ability. Talon throws out a ring of blades that deals damage once going out, and once going in. You gain 40% movespeed when using this ability, scaling up to 70% every time you put a point in Shadow Assault. With this ability, it is much easier to quickly proc your combo against an enemy squishy. In fact, the fastest Talon 1-shot combo is under 1 second! Read the combo section to make the most out of this ability.|
Talon maxes Shadow Assault first because, well, it's his ultimate. Second, max Rake as it's your primary trading and wave-clear in lane. You NEVER max Noxian Diplomacy second as you lose too much wave-clear in the process. Third, you max Noxian Diplomacy as it lowers the cooldown while providing more damage to your combo. Last, max Assassin's Path.
|I almost always start this item just for the extra damage in lane. Whether you choose to run Refillable Potion or Health Potionx3 is up to you. I recommend Refillable Potion in matchups where you won't take too much poke or easier matchups such as Zilean or Viktor. On the other hand, I run Health Potionx3 into more difficult matchups where I need the extra sustain in lane ( Health Potionx3 gives 450 hp while Refillable Potion only gives 250 hp). Keep in mind Refillable Potion is extremely cost-effective and some Talon mains choose to run it in virtually every matchup.|
|Once again, another lane sustain item. This item is extremely strong into matchups such as Orianna where you will get poked down in lane. I only run this when I know that I have absolutely zero chance of killing the enemy laner. This is when they run lots of armor in runes and have barrier. If Orianna takes exhaust, heal, or ignite, then there is almost certainly a chance you can kill her early and you're better off starting Long Sword.|
|After the Doran's Shield buffs, there's really no reason to ever run this item over dshield.|
|Unless you plan on buying Hexdrinker (see below), always buy Serrated Dirk on your first back if possbile. If you do not have enough gold for Serrated Dirk, buy as many long swords as you can. Further, if you have extra gold after Serrated Dirk, buy a Long Sword if you have over 350 gold, Boots of Speed if you have ~300 gold, or just a Control Ward if you have less than ~300 gold.|
|Usually you want to buy this either between Serrated Dirk and Caulfield's Warhammer or after Caulfield's Warhammer.|
|Buy this around your second back if you have enough gold. However, if you don’t, buy Boots of Speed and a couple of Long Swords instead.|
|Although Duskblade use to be Talon's first item, the Season 8 rune changes have made Ghostblade a better buy. Since Electrocute makes up for the lost Duskblade damage and Stormraider's Surge isn't a keystone anymore (Phase Rush sucks atm), the extra out of combat movespeed and active allow for greater mobility throughout the game. Further, buying Ghostblade allows Talon to buy either Mercs or Tabis and skip mobility boots (which aren't optimal anymore with the introduction of Relentless Hunter).|
|This item is usually bought third (after Ghostblade and Tabi/Mercs). The passive gives your first auto an extra ~200 damage and the lethality will also allow you to negate enemy armor and enables lots of burst. Use the vision denial passive on Duskblade of Draktharr to clear wards and hide in the enemy jungle for easy picks.|
|Although this used to be a situational item, this is almost always my third item after the Black Cleaver changes (to make it give more tankiness and less damage) and a small buff to Edge of Night's active cooldown. Once again, since Talon's main objective is to kill a squishy in a teamfight, the lethality and spell shield will be vital to finishing off slippery targets like Tristana or Vayne.|
|Strong 4th item. This item has a nice build path that, once again, allows you to be a bit more tanky. However, the most important part of this item is the revive passive. The revive passive isn't JUST a revive. It also gives you time for your cooldowns to come up and, most importantly, acts as a deterrent for enemies. Why would they waste their burst on you if you're just going to revive?|
|Usually you want to buy either this or a LW item as your last item. The health allows you to live a bit longer to either finish your burst or to get out alive and the 20% CDR will enable all your abilities to be used more often. The armor shred isn't too useful on this item as it's mostly applied AFTER your burst.|
|A situational item that you buy early on (around the time you finish Duskblade of Draktharr to the time you finish Youmuu's Ghostblade) and leave in your inventory. You buy this against champs that have healing as a major part of their kit, such as Dr. Mundo Soraka and etc.|
|A situational item that you rush before Serrated Dirk and leave in your inventory. You buy this against heavy burst mid laners such as Syndra Fizz LeBlanc and etc. The reason you rush this item is so you don't instantly die to 1 combo once they hit level 6. Further, you don't upgrade the item as Maw of Malmortius doesn't give Talon the stats he wants, making it an inefficient use of gold.|
|A situational item that you should only buy when the enemy SQUISHIES are stacking armor (e.g. an Ezreal with Iceborn Gauntlet or a Lucian with Ninja Tabi).|
|ONLY buy this item if all of the requirements for Mortal Reminder are met, the enemy has no healing, and you are constantly fighting tanky enemies in a fight. If there are any squishies on their team, this item will be useless for killing them.|
Before going into anything else, I'm going to list and explain all of Talon's possible combos.
NOTE: In this section, AA stands for auto-attack and Q W E R are abilities. mQ is Melee Noxian Diplomacy and rQ is ranged Noxian Diplomacy.
ANOTHER NOTE: You can sneak an extra auto-attack after Q for more damage in many of these combos if necessary.
FURTHER NOTE: If this long list of combos confuses you, just focus on the first 4 until you get the hang of Talon.
Trading in Lane WITHOUT Shadow Assault
Trading in Lane WITHOUT Shadow Assault
NOTE: Back off after the Rake versus ranged matchups. Versus melee, walk with them to make sure your second w hits.
Full Combo with Dodge
NOTE: Dodge after your R. Use this combo vs abilities you must dodge such as Lux's snare, Syndra's Stun, and Ahri's Charm.
Full Combo with Maximum Damage
NOTE: After you Rake and Shadow Assault, walk up to them and AA - Noxian Diplomacy- AA for the Blade's End proc.
Full Combo with Maximum Speed
NOTE: This combo is Talon's fastest combo. However, it does take a lot of practice to master! Basically, you want to throw Rake, use ranged Noxian Diplomacy, and then Shadow Assault MID-AIR, allowing your next auto-attack to proc Blade's End. I recommend practicing this combo a few times in practice tool before you try it in a real game. Further, the player in the video below actually uses Shadow Assault a bit too early, so make sure you try to use it when Talon is around 2/3 of the way to his target. If cast too early, the first part of Shadow Assault won't always hit the enemy target.
NOTE: So the way this combo works is you sacrifice the damage from the first part of your Shadow Assault for the 40% movespeed to catch a running target. Keep in mind that your damage will be weaker than the other combos. Make sure to cancel the autoattack that goes off automatically after your ranged Noxian Diplomacy ends for a quick Rake to proc Blade's End.
Proc'ing Blade's End WITHOUT Rake
NOTE: Use this combo ONLY when you don't have Rake available. The trick to this combo is that if you cast your ranged Noxian Diplomacy at max range, your Noxian Diplomacy and the second half of your Shadow Assault will close at the same time, enabling the auto after your Noxian Diplomacy to proc Blade's End.
Wall jump into Full Combo
NOTE: Since you can cast your Shadow Assault in the middle of your Assassin's Path, use Shadow Assault before you land and then walk up to aa-mQ-aa and throw a Rake on the way out.
Wall jump into Dodge/Chase Combo
NOTE: Dodge after you ult. Again, this is useful into targets that will attempt to hit you with a skillshot after you land. Further, if they aren't close to the wall or if they Flash away, you can use ranged Noxian Diplomacy to chase them down.
Here's an excellent Talon combo video to showcase some of these combos:
- Always start with a point in Rake. Noxian Diplomacy first used to be viable but the nerfs earlier this season hit it too hard.
- In melee matchups, walk up and aa-mQ-aa. This will trigger Electrocute and guarantee a won trade. If you aren't sure you will win the trade, simply bait out an enemy ability then go in when it's on cooldown.
- In Ranged matchups, be careful of their early poke and stay far back. Farm the first 3 melee minions all at once with the first part of Rake and try to hit the enemy laner with both parts of your Rake.
- The Level 2 Cheese: Hit an enemy champion with both parts of Rake and then Flash to melee Noxian Diplomacy followed by an autoattack. This will kill almost every mid laner if you have been poking them with Rake level 1. Another way to use this cheese is to simply ranged Q, aa, W, and walk up to auto once they've been slowed by the second half of W.
- Play slightly more aggressive and don't be afraid to leap forward with ranged Noxian Diplomacy to trade.
- Against melee matchups, autoattack - melee Noxian Diplomacy - autoattack will do insane damage and can often lead to a kill.
- Take a point in Rake if the lane is pushed towards you or is pushing towards you.
- Take a point in Assassin's Path if the lane is pushed towards the enemy laner or is pushing towards them.
- Start to play a bit less aggressive. Many mid laners such as Taliyah have a massive damage spike at level 3 as they are able to level all 3 of their abilities. However, Talon only has 2 abilities to trade with so he will begin to lose trades.
- The Level 2 Cheese will still work but be a bit more wary.
- Take a second point in Rake if you haven't already.
- Take a point in Assassin's Path if you haven't already.
- Take a third point in Rake
- Watch your experience bar and try to hit level 6 before the enemy mid. If you are able to catch them out when you are level 6 and they aren't, you will almost always be able to kill them.
- Always take a point in Shadow Assault.
- Start looking for solo-kills in lane with full combos.
- Look for roams with your Shadow Assault or try to kill the enemy jungler by walking into the enemy jungle and warding it (be careful! only do this if you are sure you will win the 1v1 and then survive the mid lane follow-up).
- Take a fourth point in Rake
- Assuming you have Serrated Dirk in your inventory, you can now 1-shot back line casters if you have the Serrated Dirk passive up.
- Take a second point in Noxian Diplomacy
- Be wary of throwing Rake, as you will not be able to 1-shot the enemy caster minions and they may die to your minions before you can autoattack them.
- Take a fifth point in Rake
- You can now consistantly 1-shot the enemy caster minions. This makes your roams much stronger as you can shove the wave faster.
Generally, the start of midgame is marked by a bot tower falling. When this happens, be sure to trade lanes with your ADC and support. It is much easier for Talon to farm a bot wave without towers than an ADC and support duo. As you do this, always look for opportunities to catch off a solo squishy and then force an objective. Further, if you see a fight about to begin, start walking towards your team. Remember to enter fights late if possible. Talon is great at cleaning up fights. Try push your lead if possible during this time, as Talon falls off lategame. Don’t be afraid to play for picks instead of splitting. Sometimes, it’s better to walk into the enemy jungle with Duskblade of Draktharr’s passive up and to look for a pick than to splitpush.
When you play Talon, usually you want to end games before lategame. However, if a game does last this long, you’re going to want to commit to either pressuring a side wave with a splitpush or grouping with your team. If the enemy squishies are difficult to kill, hard to catch out, or if you can 1v1 the enemy splitpusher, then you should splitpush. However, if the enemy squishies are easy to quickly burst down, can be caught alone, or you cannot 1v1 the enemy splitpusher, then you should group with the team and pressure/defend objectives (depending on whether you’re winning or losing at this point). Remember that your goal in a fight is to enter after the enemy team has used their peel or cc and quickly burst down an enemy target.
This section will demonstrate proper roam paths on Talon with Assassin's Path. Green dots are common trinket spots for the ENEMY. Pink dots are common Control Ward spots for the ENEMY. White arrows indicate Talon's path.
In this section, I will go over proper Talon MACRO play including "split pushing", slow pushing, playing from behind
Talon is a really strong splitpusher. This is because:
- Great waveclear with Rake
- REALLY hard to catch out due to Assassin's Path and Shadow Assault
- Great at 1v1'ing squishies
- Great at matching waveclear against stronger splitpushers such as Jax or Fiora
- MOST importantly: Great at joining fights late!
The reason why I put "splitpushing" in quotations is that Talon cannot actually splitpush like you'd expect a Tryndamere or Nasus to splitpush. Rather, you want to be periodicly shoving bot lane then roaming, forcing the enemy team to constantly play on guard and in fear of your roams. This style of "splitpushing" is actually more efficient than the afk-farming most people will associate with the word.
You want to start splitpushing on Talon when either bot tower falls. If your ADC is competant, they will lane swap with you as it is easier for ADC + support to farm mid than a bot lane without turret. Further, Talon can abuse the lack of a tower in bot lane and roam for longer periods of time, going bot only every few minutes to clear out a wave. If your ADC doesn't want to trade lanes, you can stay mid. In my opinion, it simply takes too long to explain the benefits of ADC and Support duos farming mid rather than bot after a tower falls.
Generally speaking, this style of "splitpushing" is most efficient when you are even or ahead of the enemy team. However, if you are behind, scroll down and read the "playing from behind" section.
Slow pushing is a tactic used by many very high elo players to set up waves in their benefit. Have you ever been dancing at Baron and wished that the gigantic enemy bot wave crashing at your tower could be crashing at the enemy tower instead? Well, with a bit of smart minion wave manipulation, you can! Allow me to explain.
If your team has more minions, then your team's minions will slowly kill off the enemy minions at a faster rate than that your minions are being killed off. As a result, your wave will slowly grow in size as more minion waves continue to join. The longer you can hold a large wave in one place, the more minion waves will build up. As a result, you can easily set up a side wave to push into the enemy tower by simply clearing the ranged caster minions with one Rake and leaving the melee minions to be killed off by your larger wave. As the enemy melee minions hold your wave in place, more minions will join your wave and it will end up destroying the much weaker enemy wave, leading to a large minion wave crashing into the enemy tower.
Now, you might be asking, "why do I want to give the enemy a large wave?" Well, the answer is simple. SOMEONE on the enemy team has to clear this wave. If you are able to time a minion wave so that it will slowly build up and crash into the enemy bot tower while both teams are dancing at baron, the enemy team will be forced to either send someone to defend (and make the proceeding fight a 5v4) or to give up the turret as it falls to your minion wave. The reason why Talon is the best champion to do this is due to the ease he is able to clear ranged caster minions with one Rake and his high out of combat mobility, allowing him to quickly regroup with his team after he sets up the slow push.
Ok, you got ganked early or messed up the lane. Now you're staring at your 0-4 score wondering what you can do next. Well, due to Talon's feast-or-famine playstyle, it is often very hard to even do anything when you are behind. The most important factor when playing from behind is team composition and the state of the game.
- If you are behind with an ap heavy team (e.g. you have a fed ap top/jungle), the enemy team will stack magic resist. As a result, you will be able to do a ton of damage and should continue to look for fights by calling for your team to group and getting a good flank in a teamfight.
On the other hand, if you have a full ad team composition, the enemy team will be stacking armor, making fights nearly impossible. Here, you will be forced into a Fiora or Jax style splitpush. Push for as long as you can to catch up and get out if anyone you can't fight comes to your lane.
- If the enemy has a squishy that is just as far behind as you are, you should call for a group and flank to kill the squishy. Since the enemy squishy is also behind, they will not be able to survive your burst and you can remain relevant in teamfights.
On the other hand, if the enemy squishy is doing well or is really fed, you should once again pretend to be Nasus and farm a side wave. Alternatively, if your team wants to group, you can join a fight late and clean up the squishy when the enemy peel and crowd control have been used.
You will want to start every teamfight flanking both teams. A flank behind the enemy team is preferable but you just have to make sure the enemy front line isn't between you and the enemy squishies. Once the fight begins, watch and wait for the enemy frontline to use their CC (like Maokai's Twisted Advance or Malphite's Unstoppable Force). Once this has been used, watch for backline CC being used by anyone who can peel for the enemy squishy (usually a support, such as Janna's Monsoon. Although you can go in before the backline CC is used, it will be harder to kill your target. However, never go in before the frontline CC is used, as they will just use that CC on you and you will instantly die.
Here's a hypothetical situation: You've made it past all the enemy CC. Now you can use your full combo to delete one squishy from the teamfight. Do you kill the 10-3-5 Ryze, the 2-3-8 Lucian, or the 0-1-10 Janna? Well, even I couldn't tell you which one to go for. Your mistake was not picking a target before the start of the fight.
Before a fight starts, you want to first consider which enemies you can even 1-shot. This list will usually include the enemy mid, bot, and support. From this list, you want to find the biggest threat to your team. This is usually the enemy that does the most damage but could also include the Soraka that keeps the whole team alive and makes it impossible for you to 1-shot the enemy carries.
Now, you've narrowed down your list of targets to 1 or 2 (in our hypothetical situation, this would be Ryze and Lucian). First, check for items like Guardian Angel, Stopwatch, or Zhonya's Hourglass. This is incredibly important as a well-timed stopwatch or hourglass often decides a fight. If your target has one of these items, reconsider whether it's worth burning all your cooldowns to pop either the GA passive or force the hourglass. So, let's assume Ryze has a completed hourglass. If you judge that forcing the 10-3-5 Ryze to stasis for 2.5 seconds is worth more than a kill on the 2-3-8 Lucian, then go for Ryze. However, if you judge that killing Lucian then going for Ryze as a team is the better option, go for Lucian.
Another factor high elo players consider are summoner spell cooldowns. This can be a bit overwhelming if you're newer to the game, but timing summoner spells are incredibly important once you get to around Diamond 1 or above. It's actually pretty simple. To do this, make sure to have your chat timestamps enabled. For example, if the enemy Syndra flashes, click on the flash on the scoreboard (lets say, hypothetically, she flashes at 13:30). Then, when you're walking to lane or backing, simply add 5 minutes to the flash timestamp. Afterwards, type something like "mid f 1830," with 1830 meaning 18:30. You can do the same with heal (4 minute cd), barrer (3 minute cd), teleport (5 minute cd), ignite (3.5 minute cd), and etc. Remember that Unsealed Spellbook and CDR boots reduce summoner spell cooldowns.
Although most people think of Talon as a mid laner, he's also very strong top lane (whether he's stronger top or mid, well, that'll depend on who you ask!). Learning how to play top is really good if you plan on playing Talon as your main (or even one-tricking him), as you will need to queue for two roles in ranked. Be warned, top talon has a very different playstyle from mid and won't be an easy transition if you're only familiar with mid. There are many high elo Talons that play almost only top simply because of how different the two roles are (and it's much easier to queue for top than mid in the highest elos).
Another (arguably more important) argument to playing Talon Top over Mid is that the enemy top laner will stack armor regardless of whether you're mid or top. However, if you're top instead of mid, the enemy mid laner won't rush Zhonya's Hourglass. Thus, you will have an extra 5 or 10 minutes where you can 1-shot the enemy mid laner in fights. This delays Talon's inevitable fall-off period. Although I agree with this argument (Talon top was indeed stronger than mid in season 7), Season 8 runes changed some things. Top lane tanks are now tankier early, making them harder to abuse. On the other hand, AP Mid laners didn't get extra armor, making them much easier to abuse. Further, Perfect Timing was introduced, making your ganks mid (from top) much harder to pull off.
Here's an example game if you're not convinced:
|Before I get into the specifics of Top Talon, I want to discuss my choice of Ignite over Teleport. I strongly recommend running ignite top into every matchup. This seems a bit cheesy because, well, it kind of is. The reason for this is that Talon usually only has kill pressure between level 2 and the enemy laner's first back. Once the enemy laner backs and buys armor, there's almost no way you will win the 1v1, even if you're up a kill or two and have ult. Further, if you run TP and get a good trade early, the enemy laner can just back and TP back to lane, negating your early advantage. Thus, ignite is necessary to capitalize on the small early mistakes made by the enemy laner. By securing an early kill with ignite, you can snowball your advantage to the rest of the map and win the game even if you cannot 1v1 the enemy top laner.|
The two major differences in laning top compared to mid are the bruiser matchups and a greater emphasis on lane control. Most top matchups are versus melee bruisers, so it will be much easier to trade early in lane as they will have trouble dodging the second part of your w. Thus, you will want to be looking for early cheesy kills with ignite (similar to Mid Talon).
Versus ranged top laners such as Swain or Gnar, you will want to lane like you would lane versus a ranged mid mage. Play a bit safer and don't take too much harass when you go for cs or w poke.
However, your strong early trades can put you in a false sense of security. By using W to harass and secure a passive proc versus melee bruisers (or even ranged), you will also push the wave towards the enemy laner. This is a huge problem as you're running ignite. One good gank by the enemy jungler and your lane, and likely the game, is over. With no way to quickly TP back to lane, you're going to be down 1.5 to 2 levels, 20+ cs, and a kill if you die. Since it's nearly impossible to come back from such a disadvantage (especially as an ad assassin vs. tanky, armor stacking bruisers), you must make sure never to die early on Talon top. This actually isn't that hard. Simply sit at your tower and wait for the enemy laner to start autoing the first wave before showing up, causing the lane to start pushing towards you. Then, avoid using W the first wave or two to get the wave set up on your side of the lane. Once the lane is set up, you can abuse your early game advantage with no chance of a gank by simply using w as they walk up to a minion, wait until the blades are about to be pulled back, and ranged q + aa. Plus, the enemy laner will struggle going for cs and trading back due to the threat of your jungler's gank.
After your power spike (once the enemy laner has backed), you will either be up a kill, even, or (hopefully not) down a kill. If you're up a kill, shove the lane and back yourself. If you're even, shove the lane if you can get your minion wave to the enemy turret before the next enemy minion wave shows up and stops your wave. If you're down a kill, well... you're in trouble.
Now that you're in base, take a look at the state of the minion wave. If it's pushing towards you (the enemy wave is bigger), simply walk to lane. If it's even or pushing towards the enemy (the enemy wave is smaller), you can gank mid or bot. Look for a gank mid if the enemy laner hasn't arrived to lane as you're leaving base. This will usually be done with these two paths:
NOTE: Yellow dot is a common trinket spot, Red dot is a common control ward spot. Red, Blue, and Green boxes correspond to where the enemy laner is, and arrows indicate path to gank.
Now, if the lane is pushed into the enemy side or neutral AND the enemy laner backed around the exact same time as you, then you have time to roam bot. Remember that roaming bot is a huge risk and will put you very far behind if it fails. Thus, make sure NEVER to die when you gank bot. If your bot gank succeeds and either forces the enemy laners to back or you kill them, consider going for bot turret. The three of you (you, bot, and support) will certainly get first tower before your top turret falls. Use these gank paths:
After first turret falls, lane swap as you would if you were mid (ask to swap with your bot lane, except they go top for turret instead of mid) and play the rest of the match like mid lane Talon.
In this section, I will go over Talon matchups in both mid and top. Further, I will rate the difficulty of the matchup from 1 to 10. Some matchups will have varying difficulty, depending on your ability to dodge or the skill level of the enemy player. I've been uploading matchup vods to youtube and will embed them in this section.
This lane ranges from easy to quite difficult depending on how well you can dodge. Make sure to stand behind minions to avoid her charm.
Generally, there are two types of Ahri players. You can quickly tell the difference between the two depending on how often they use their abilities early in the lane.
1. The first type of Ahri player will spam their abilities and quickly run out of mana. You can easily bait her Orb of Deception by pretending to auto a minion, then canceling the autoattack and stepping to the side.
2. The second kind saves their abilities and just farms. Farm with her while looking for early kills by walking up and using w when she starts to auto a minion. When Ahri walks up beyond the minion wave to charm you, you can be almost certain that the jungler is nearby or she is about to hit 6.
In lane, harass her with Rake while staying away from the range of her Mark of the Assassin. Only let her hit a Mark of the Assassin on you if you can return the damage with Rake. Never let her auto you while her Mark of the Assassin is on you. Be wary of trading when she is near her shroud as it's hard to return damage and she is much stronger than you are. However, it has a very long cooldown so be sure to abuse this (18 seconds at level 1, cd starts when she uses it and lasts for 8 seconds. Thus, she will no have shroud for 10 seconds after it disappears).
Be careful of dying, as she will pop off HARD if you give her an advantage in lane. Ask for ganks when her shroud is down. Shove her to tower and roam after you finish Boots of Mobility. When she is missing from lane, spam missing pings and back pings to your side laners. Be sure to ward the middle of your lane if the lane is pushing towards you so you can spot which way she is trying to roam.
Overall, I don't think this matchup is too hard for Talon unless you let her snowball off of poor early trades. Thus, I rate this matchup a 4 in difficulty.
Hexdrinker is optional.
Anivia players generally have a lot of games on their champ so they tend to play the lane a bit better than other mid laners. Further, her kit counters Talon's kit pretty hard. Play safe early game and farm with Rake. You can use Assassin's Path on her Crystallize. Since Anivia spawns a "new" wall every time she uses Crystallize, you will be able to use Assassin's Path over the wall every time she uses it. Make sure you don't let Anivia push you into her Flash Frost with Crystallize.
Remember the cooldown on her Rebirth is always 4 minutes. Don't stand near her ult as it charges to max fast and her Frostbite damage is pretty insane if you stand in a fully charged Glacial Storm. Ask for early ganks as Anivia is very susceptible to ganks early on.
With all of this being said, this lane will also be incredibly easy if the Anivia player is bad. Thus, I rate this either a 6 (if the player is bad) or a 10 (if they're good).
Hexdrinker is optional.
Annie is a pretty difficult matchup for Talon. This matchup ranges from easy to hard depending on the skill of the annie player. However, similar to Anivia, most Annie players have a considerable amount of games on their champ and, as a result, are pretty hard to lane against.
Generally Annie players will walk up and try to q-aa you as often as possible in lane. When she does this, throw a w and back off. She has to sidestep the second half of your w and then won't be in a position to harrass you. Early kills are usually quite easy due to how aggressive Annie players usually play. Watch out for her post-6 burst, she will easily kill you in one combo.
Overall, I think Annie's low skilll cap and easy counterplay to Talon with an aoe stun makes her a pretty difficult matchup. I rate this a 8 in difficulty.
Hexdrinker is recommended.
This matchup usually isn't too bad for Talon. Almost every Aurelion Sol player will shove you to tower early. Try your best to set up the minions for easy last-hitting under turret but don't be worried if you miss cs in the early waves. Remember that once Aurelion Sol hits level 3, he will take a back and use Comet of Legend back to lane. If you are low on health or mana, take a back after you clear this wave so you don't fall behind when Aurelion Sol returns. Keep in mind he can also roam during this time, so ward the middle of your lane before you back so you can ping which way he's going.
Avoid trading with Aurelion Sol in the early levels. It's trivial for him to hit Starsurge when you use Noxian Diplomacy on him, so you will never get a good trade off unless he messes up. I strongly recommend Boots of Mobility as soon as possible (even after just Serrated Dirk) and keeping up with or even out-roaming him.
Overall, I don't think this matchup is too hard if you know what you're doing. Thus, I give it a 4.
Hexdrinker is not recommended.
Corki pokes hard but he's not too difficult to deal with. If you struggle against his poke, consider starting Doran's Shield. Make sure to dodge his Q early on and give up some cs if he's going to auto you for a minion (and you don't have w to trade back). Once he gets package, ping your teammates to back off as he'll roam with it.
Hexdrinker is not recommended.
The Karthus lane is literally a dodge simulator. If you are good at dodging, you'll win. If not, you'll be at 10% hp in 3 Q's. Make sure to dodge his Q's or at least get hit with your minions. If you get hit by yourself, you take a load of damage. Plus, if he hits your minions, he pushes the wave and has to play safe due to his lack of escapes. Once he's 6, make sure your team knows so they can be aware of a potential Karthus ult.
Hexdrinker is not recommended.
Match-up vod vs Froggen:
Malzahar isn't too hard for Talon. He shoves hard but doesn't have any escapes, meaning he has to play relatively safe early. Make sure to hit him with w every 10 or 15 seconds so his Void Shift stays on cooldown. Go in when he uses Malefic Visions on minions pre-6. Once he hits 6, you can kill him as long as you get your passive (and possibly ignite) ticking before he ults. However, watch for ganks as junglers love to gank for post-6 Malzahars.
Hexdrinker is not recommended.
Orianna is a pretty difficult lane due to her insane poke from Clockwork Windup, Command: Attack, and Command: Dissonance. Orianna players will almost always play very aggressive. However, your playstyle will depend entirely on her setup. If she runs Ignite or Exhaust, start Long Sword and look for early kills. If she has Barrier, consider starting Doran's Shield for sustain, as it's unlikely you're going to kill her in lane.
In this matchup, you want to play passive early on and not give her too many opportunities to harass you. When she walks forward to Command: Attack or auto-attack you, simply throw a Rake and back off and give up some early cs. You will outscale her by mid-game so it's not a big problem if you fall behind in farm. Once she hits level 6, watch her ball and be wary of her Command: Shockwave both in lane and in teamfights.
Hexdrinker is not recommended.
Similar to the Orianna matchup, Syndra is quite difficult to deal with in lane due to her heavy poke and her ease of peeling you off of her with Scatter the Weak (which cancels your ranged Noxian Diplomacy). Early in lane harass her with Rake while baiting out Dark Sphere's by walking up as if you're going to auto a minion, then canceling the auto and walking back. When she throws her Force of Will, immediately walk the other way that you were originally walking. This means that if you're stepping back, you can walk towards her and quickly cast ranged Noxian Diplomacy. Don't let her position her balls between you and her as she will stun you. Buy an early Hexdrinker EVEN IF YOU'RE AHEAD as she can easily get back into the game by bursting you at level 6. Make sure you buy an early mercs as it'll negate a lot of her play potential (from her stun) and her ult damage. Once you get Hexdrinker, she has pretty much no solo kill potential on you unless she is very far ahead (2+ levels/kills).
Hexdrinker is strongly recommended.
This matchup is so easy it's almost a joke. No matter how good the enemy Twisted Fate player is, they are no match for Talon. Make sure to run Cleanse into this matchup as Twisted Fate's only counterplay to you jumping on him is to quickly pull out a gold card and stun you. Keep in mind the enemy jungler will be camping you so make sure you have cleanse ready when he starts walking foward with Pick A Card. Once Twisted Fate hits level 6, make sure to let your team know that he has Destiny and ward the middle of your lane so you can see which way he walks (he must leave lane and begin walking towards a side lane in order to be in range for Destiny. Be sure to spam back ping whichever way he walks. Further, try to keep him shoved in so he doesn't have a chance to roam and time his Destiny in chat. It is a flat 3 minute cooldown at level 6 (does down with CDR), so just add 3 minutes to the current game timer and warn your team when his Destiny comes back up.
Hexdrinker is not recommended.
This matchup is very easy primarily due to Vel'Koz's lack of counterplay to Talon's abilities.
Early in lane he will probably try and spam Void Rift to shove the lane. Poke him down with Rake level 1 while he does this (and try to hit his minions with Rake and auto-attacks so the minions don't end up at your tower too fast). Once you hit 2, you can simply walk up and cast ranged Noxian Diplomacy, dodge his Void Rift by stepping back or to the side, and force him out of lane or even kill him.
However, if he doesn't spam Tectonic Disruption early, lane as you would against any other AP mage and, when you hit level 2, do the same as above. Post-6, you can kill him very easily but be wary of getting hit by his Void Rift as he can often kill you from full health in just one combo.
Overall, this matchup should be a free lane if played properly. Thus, I give it a 1.
Hexdrinker is not recommended.
In it's current state, this matchup heavily favors Talon. Avoid getting hit by his Razor Shuriken early on by either dodging or at least letting your minions get hit before you (the first target hit by Razor Shuriken takes more damage). This lane will snowball very hard from small leads, so ask your jungler for ganks and be very careful when choosing the trades you take. Further, good Zed players and junglers will also know this, so expect to be ganked quite often by the enemy jungler and even support.
In lane, throw your Rake every time he walks up to auto attack a minion or even when he walks up to throw Razor Shuriken. If he begins to cast Living Shadow to harass you, you can use ranged Noxian Diplomacy onto him, walk behind him, and throw your Rake at an angle at which you will hit both him and his shadow. Keep in mind most good Zed players will only use Living Shadow in lane if they feel safe or their jungler is looking for a gank, so watch for an enemy gank when you do this. Post-6 you can simply Shadow Assault when he uses Death Mark and he will never be able to kill you (since you have Boots of Mobility, you generally don't want to trade back unless you are far ahead). Further, consider Ninja Tabi if you want to play to win the lane rather than roam. Never Shadow Assault before Death Mark unless you are sure you can kill him (for example, a W-Q-R-AA can proc Blade's End as he is casting Death Mark)
Talon's abilities offer easy counterplay to Zed's abilities, meaning this matchup is relatively easy. Thus, I give it a 3.
Ninja Tabi is strongly recommended.
Although Ziggs seems like a matchup that will quickly poke Talon down, it's actually not that hard of a matchup. Most Ziggs players will often walk up to damage you with their passive. This lets you get lots of Rake poke off in return and put him in kill range. Further, he quickly runs out of mana when spamming so just try your best to dodge while maintaining pressure with your Rake (consider starting Doran's Shield if you have trouble dodging his poke. Surprisingly, he cannot shove you in as hard as you might think when you roam as he is gated by his cooldowns and high mana costs. As a result, you can look for roams quite easily when he is playing safe and denying kill opportunities. Keep in mind he will use his Satchel Charge if you use ranged Noxian Diplomacy on him, so you can fight him by casting ranged Noxian Diplomacy and then walking forward to be bounced in the same direction as him.
Hexdrinker is not recommended.
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