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Talon Build Guide by Yeager

Middle diamond

Yeager's Master Smite Talon guide [Midlane]

By Yeager | Updated on November 6, 2019
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Runes: Standard

Sudden Impact
Eyeball Collection
Relentless Hunter

Gathering Storm
Nimbus Cloak

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+10 Adaptive (6 AD or 10 AP)
+15-90 HP (lvls 1-18)


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Smite


LeagueSpy Logo
Middle Lane
Ranked #17 in
Middle Lane
Win 51%
Get More Stats

Champion Build Guide

Yeager's Master Smite Talon guide [Midlane]

By Yeager
Hi guys! Welcome to my smite Talon guide! My name is Mayu, but in the lol community i'm known as Yeager. I'm a affiliated streamer and high elo midlaner/adc in league. I started playing league at the end of season 3. I finished in Platinum 5 in my first season of ranked, Diamond 1 seasons 5-6. At the start of season 7 i decided to take a break so i could focus on studying. 8 months after i returned to league and climbed to Master tier in soloqueue and challenger in flex.

This guide is made for the purpose of sharing what i have learned from playing against diamond, master and challenger players in soloqueue. I understand that not everyone might agree with the builds/runes, as there are many different ways you can build Talon, but this build has given me the most success on the ranked ladder, so that's why i stick to it. Hopefully this guide will improve your Talon gameplay and let you climb the ranks faster!

Here are some clips of me dominating with smite talon in a diamond ranked game. As you can see, even though my team was losing hard i still managed to carry hard with the huge exp advantage i got from taking jungle camps. If you feel like supporting me so i can keep making guides, you can subscribe to me on youtube.
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Smite Talon was introduced by the rank 1 midlaner from the korean server, thgink9 also known as knight. It may seem pretty trolly, but it's actually very strong if you know how to abuse it. If you are familiar with "jungle tracking", you can completely shutdown the enemy jungler and midlaner by taking away the jungle camps and be 1-2+ levels ahead of everyone the entire game. If a jungle fight breaks out, you will always win it with your level advantage!
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+ Insane burst
+ Amazing roamer
+ High snowball potential
+ Very rewarding
+ Good waveclear
+ S-tier midlaner

Talon is one of the best midlaners for soloqueue due to the amount of pressure he can put on the map the moment he's out of vision. He has super high burst and insane waveclear once he gets Tiamat. He snowballs really well if given a lead and can solocarry the game without problems. It's also hard to gank a talon, or even escape from him since he can easily escape/chase by jumping over walls.


- Struggles against tanky teams
- Weak if behind
- Falls off in the lategame
- Doesn't do too well against point and click CC.

Talon has similar problems like other assassins - he is really weak if he falls behind. He MUST get a lead in the early-midgame or his damage output will fall off when the opponents start stacking tons of armor. Talon is also quite weak against point and click CC since he is a super squishy champion. If you get caught by any CC like Nether Grasp then you're pretty much dead.
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Flash Is the best summoner spell in the game, especially for a squishy class like assassins. It can be used as a offensive AND defensive summoner so always take this.

Smite This whole playstyle is about this summoner. It allows us to clear camps super fast and get a massive exp and gold advantage.

Ignite The go-to summoner for having kill pressure in lane. This is the most used secondary summoner for Talon. When you're not going Smite, you will 99% of the time use this.

Cleanse If you are playing against a heavy point-and-click CC team, then you want Cleanse for sure. The benefit of having cleanse is the fact that you don't need to use a item slot on Quicksilver Sash, and can instead focus on buying your core items. It's very rare that i buy this on Talon but you should definetely pick it up against heavy CC.
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  • Electrocute: Has good damage early game with decent AD scaling (40% AD). Talon's entire build consists of pure AD items so that makes this the perfect keystone for him. This rune is also part of the reason why Talon's lvl 2 all-in is so strong.

Tier 1

Tier 2
  • Eyeball Collection: This rune is made for assassins since they MUST snowball to be useful. It gives a solid amount of AD when fully stacked so this is our go-to rune from this tier.

Tier 3
  • Relentless Hunter: Provides bonus movement speed for each unique takedown(counts assists as well). This makes Talon that much better at roaming when fully stacked. It's also why i don't like going mobility boots because this is more than enough movement speed combined with the active from Youmuu's Ghostblade.

Tier 1
  • Nimbus Cloak: Get a temporary huge movement speed bonus after using ultimate. Great for all-ins where it allows you to catch-up even if they have Flash. The synergy with Celerity is also another reason this is a good choice.

Tier 2
  • Gathering Storm: One of the best runes you can get if the game drags out, as it keeps providing you with AD over the course of the game.
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Blade's End (Passive): Talon's spells Wound champions and epic monsters, stacking up to 3 times. When Talon attacks a champion with 3 stacks of Wound, they bleed for heavy damage over time.

Noxian Diplomacy (Q): Talon stabs the target unit. If they are within melee range, this attack deals critical damage. If they are outside melee range, Talon will leap at his target before stabbing them. Talon refunds some health and cooldown if this ability kills the target.

Rake (W): Talon sends out a volley of daggers that then return back to him, dealing physical damage every time it passes through an enemy. The returning blades deal bonus damage and slow units hit.

Assassin's Path (E): Talon vaults over any terrain or structure, up to a max distance. This ability has a low cooldown, but puts the used terrain on a long cooldown

Shadow Assault (R): Talon disperses a ring of blades and becomes Invisible while gaining additional Movement Speed. When Talon emerges from Invisibility, the blades converge on his location. Each time the blades move, Shadow Assault deals physical damage to enemies hit by at least one blade.

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Rake is maxed first as this is our main source of damage, poke and waveclear.

Noxian Diplomacy is maxed second. It's our second damage ability with built-in sustain. The reason we don't max this first, is because we will lose waveclear.

Shadow Assault We put a point in this whenever possible for more damage and lower cooldown.

Assassin's Path is maxed last.
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Hunter's talisman
  • Hunter's Talisman: You MUST buy this as starting item when playing Talon with Smite. It provides you with sustain, bonus damage and exp to monsters. Without this we wouldn't be getting huge experience advantages by clearing jungle camps. I never upgrade this to the final jungle item, but just end up selling it when i don't have any items slots available, to buy another high damage item. The reason i don't upgrade it is because it will slow down your lethality build and damage spike by a lot.

refillable potion
  • Refillable Potion: Super cost efficient item. If you start with this you don't have to spend gold on pots for the entire game. Instead you can save the gold and spend it on your core items. If you prefer having more early game sustain, you can buy 3x Health Potion's instead.

Control Ward
  • Control Ward: Buy this on your first back. It will save you and your team from unexpected ganks, and it will also help clearing enemy wards so it makes it harder for them to react to you roams. Denying vision is super important when playing assassins.

Core items
Youmuu's Ghostblade: This is the first core item since it offers a lot of damage but also a very useful active that helps us getting within range of the enemy.
Duskblade Of Draktharr: Basically a HUGE spike to your damage output. The passive warns you when you're spotted by a ward and lets you kill it with 1 basic attack.
The Black Cleaver: This is very often built as the 3rd item. It offers a bit of everything we need, including AD, HP, CDR and armorpen.

  • Mercurial Scimitar: This item is bought mainly for it's active that lets you cancel any CC, but the offensive/defensive stats it gives shouldn't be ignored. I always buy this when facing a Malzahar, Skarner and sometimes vs Warwick. When you feel like Mercury's Treads aren't enough, and you need another item that cancels CC like Suppression, this is the item you want.

  • Maw of Malmortius: You get a big magic shield and some temporary stats when you take magic damage that would put you below 30% HP. This is a must-buy into burst AP champions like Katarina, Fizz, LeBlanc, Akali, Syndra and so on. You should also consider buying this if the enemy team has multiple AP champions(even if they are not burst-type champions).

  • Edge of Night: If you are playing against a very squishy team. This can also be good against champions that are forced to use their main abilities just to get rid of the shield, for example Twisted Fate.

  • Guardian Angel: Makes you a lot harder to kill with the passive and bonus armor but also gives a solid 40 AD.

  • Stormrazor: Gives a decent boost to your first AA when going for all-in. It's a decent item but i don't buy it that often because you end up spending gold on attack speed which is not optimal.

  • Ravenous Hydra: If you need more burst this is a solid buy with its flat stats and active.

  • Mercury's Treads: Offers magic resist and 30% tenacity. If you are playing against hard CC, these boots are a must-buy. Here are some examples of when you should buy Mercury's Treads. When you face Twisted Fate + Sejuani or Syndra + Elise or LeBlanc + Skarner. Basically you want mercs, when you are up against any combination of mid+jgl, that has some form of hard CC.

  • Ninja Tabi: Always buy this against heavy AD teams. It can also be bought if you are having a difficult time against an AD opponent.
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I recommend watching this video to learn Talon's important combos. All credits for this video goes to Staxl.

At level 1 you want to take the raptor camp right when it's spawning. Make sure your Rake hits all the raptors. Auto attack all the small raptors once and then finish off the big one with Smite. If your opponent is aware of this strategy he might come and try to stop you at raptors. In that case you should just do the same thing with wolves instead. Now you're level 2, and can go back to lane catching pretty much all the CS. Your opponent will still be level 1, so you will win every single trade since talon gets a powerspike level 2. You should go for trades when possible, but if your opponent is smart he will play it safe since he is at a EXP disadvantage. Poke your opponent as much as you can with Rake and if he gets hit by the returning blades, you can follow up with Noxian Diplomacy and a autoattack to proc your passive Blade's End. This should be enough to force him to base, or put him within kill range. You can always help out your jungler if he's fighting since you can get too him much faster. Your goal is to rush Tiamat so you can waveclear super fast and perma-roam while your opponent is forced to either stay in lane and farm, or follow your roams and lose EXP + gold.
If you can't roam to your sidelanes, you can invade the enemy jungler to get vision of him and steal his camps, or even kill him.

Outside of the laning phase you have a few options. You can either group with your team OR splitpush in a sidelane. In teamfights your goal is to assassinate their carry/carries and quickly dissappear by jumping over walls and waiting until your basic abilities are ready again. You almost never want to be the one engaging, because you want your team to do that and bait out important crowd control abilities from your opponents. You should always try to flank from a side to catch people off guard. It's really important that you have Oracle Lens along with Duskblade of Draktharr so you can clear out wards and keep your position hidden. The element of surprise is your best way of wiping enemy threats off the map, so use it to your advantage. Keep looking for opportunities to flank and get to the carry. Assassins are super vulnerable to point and click CC like Nether Grasp because they will die almost instant if caught. The key to being succefull with assassins like Talon, is being patient and knowing when to go in for the kill. Learning and playing assassins requires a different mindset compared to other champions, which is also why they are so hard to master.

Splitpushing is a very important tool for all Talon players. The core idea behind splitpushing is the fact that it allows you to put a lot of pressure on the map as your team is playing around objectives. Splitpushing is a strategy you can make us of when your team is underperforming in teamfights, or when you're strong enough to 1v1 anyone on the enemy team, or even 1v2. Your goal here is to force one or multiple opponents to defend vs you while your team is taking important objectives like baron, dragons, towers and so on. If the enemy team only sends 1 to defend vs you, you can easily kill him/dive him under the tower and keep pushing. If they send 2 or more people to defend against you, you should ping spam your team to take objectives since they will have a number advantage. If there is noone to defend against you, you can instantly push the waves with your AOE spells and destroy towers super fast with high attack damage.

It's super important to have proper vision when splitpushing so you will know when multiple opponents are coming to defend against you. Therefore you should always have a pink ward on the map. Splitpushing is one of the hardest strategies to use in a solo queue game because it requires the entire team to cooperate, but if you do manage to pull it off, you will win so many games because the opponents don't know how to deal with it.
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What does it mean to freeze and how do i do it?

Freezing is a advanced technique that lets you deny your opponent exp and cs if done correctly. Freezing a lane means that you kite/tank the minions without letting your tower hit the creeps. You need to make sure the enemy minions always beat yours. After the enemy killed your entire wave, you let 2-3 of the enemy creeps live, and kite them until the next wave is here. When the next wave arrives, the wave will freeze right outside of your turret range.

By doing this, you are safe from jungle ganks, while your opponent takes a big risk everytime he overextends for a cs.

When to freeze the wave

You can Freeze the wave when you and the enemy are even or ahead, and it can be used to help you win back the lane after you screwed up and died. You can attempt to freeze the wave already from level 1, leaving your opponent vulnerable to jungle ganks or be within your kill range, if you are able to kill them. When you get a lead, and you can solokill an overextended enemy laner, that is exactly when you want to freeze the wave. You force the enemy midlaner to either be in your kill range, or miss a ton of cs and exp, putting them further behind.

Freezing a wave is a great way to snowball a lead, if you have no objectives to fight for, such as dragon, herald or towers.

Here is a youtube video that explains wave management very well. I recommend watching the entire video. All credits for this video goes to Blitz Esports LoL

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Thank you for reading my guide, I hope you learned something. If you still have any questions, feel free to leave a comment and i will get back to you ASAP. Good luck with Talon !
League of Legends Build Guide Author Yeager
Yeager Talon Guide
Yeager's Master Smite Talon guide [Midlane]
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