Talon Overview Infographic
We put together a Talon overview infographic that has the best builds, runes, strengths, weaknesses, combos, skill orders, counters, synergies and anything else that you need to quickly learn the basics of Talon. Make sure to share with your friends and check back here to get the latest updates. We will be updating this infographic as changes happen so check back often!
Who is Eoba
Eobal, 21 years of age. Currently playing with summoner name Eoba. He has over 3 million mastery points on Talon and he peaked at 633 LP with over 5000 games played in North American Challenger. He has a KDA ratio of 2.08:1 with a 55% Win Rate. It all started when his cousin showed him League Legends, a MOBA game. He then decided to play with him and transformed into the assassin he is now.
Table of Contents
Why Play Talon
Before we start on the Ultimate Guide to Talon, we first want to tell you why you should play him. His overall strengths and weaknesses are as follows:
- Level 2 power spike (50% of first bloods).
- Can hop over walls.
- People don’t know the matchup mid.
- Can use stealth to avoid crowd control.
- Very good waveclear.
- Weak against armor.
- No scaling mid-late game.
- Zhonya’s Hourglass counters him.
- Yuumi / Senna because of their ability to aid allies with ease.
These champions give Talon hard time in-game, due to having a kit that can stop Talon from doing what he wants to do. Here are some of the biggest counters and how you can try to overcome the challenges they bring.
Fiora is considered a counter because she can negate Talon’s ability to assassinate a target. Using her Q (Lunge) she can easily dodge your W (Rake) and create distance. She can also parry your damage to her with W (Riposte), making your one-shooting abilities useless. Her ability to heal consistently makes it difficult for your bleed to work on her. Face Fiora when her ultimate (Grand Challenge) and W are on cooldown, and avoid being hit in a vital point before trying to all-in her. This will give you a better chance of killing her.
Kled is considered a counter because he is one of those champions that can just play around you. Whenever you initiate a fight and use Q (Noxian Diplomacy) on Kled, it makes you vulnerable to his own Q (Bear Trap on a Rope), which slows and pulls you closer to him, receiving constant damage from his W (Violent Tendencies). Besides his Q, he can easily get closer to you with E (Jousting) and R (Chaaaaaaaarge!!!), that works even when you have already Flashed away from him. When you make him bleed, Skaarl is just going to run away and will not ultimately kill him. He has the ability to regain HP and keep hitting you with his empowered auto-attacks. Look for opportunities to 2v1 him. Avoid fighting him 1v1 if he has better items than you. Get a great lead before attempting to assassinate him yourself.
Neeko is considered a counter because she can play around Talon in the lane. She can easily dodge your W (Rake) as she increases her movement speed every 3rd attack with W (Shapesplitter). Whenever you get close to her and try to attack with Q (Noxian Diplomacy), she can root you with E (Tangle-Barbs) and instantly damage you with Q (Blooming Burst). Also, her ability to disguise herself as someone else can be a problem for you, as you want to assassinate her before she can deal a lot of damage to your team. In order to kill her, you have to wait for her to start a fight with her allies. This is the time where she surprises her enemies and locks them with her ultimate (Pop Blossom). When her CCs are on cooldown it will be easy for you to burst her so she can’t escape using a clone to fake you.
These champions work well with Talon and should be considered being picked alongside him if possible. Here are some of the biggest synergies and how you can abuse them.
Elise works well with Talon because they both can deal a lot of damage at level 3. She can easily gank and cast her E (Cocoon) on the enemy mid laner while you are freely casting all abilities against the target. If you won't be able to catch the enemy due to Flash, Elise can effortlessly turn into a spider and E (Rappel) in the air and catch them with Q (Venomous Bite).
Xin Zhao works well with Talon because he aids him in dealing damage early in the game. He can stick to targets with E (Audacious Charge) and knock them up with Q (Three Talon Strike). You no longer worry that the enemy can escape, as both of you can slow the target down. You can slowly kill them with bleed, while Xin Zhao pierces them with W (Wind Becomes Lightning). He is also great at teamfights and separates the squishy targets from their allies with his ultimate (Crescent Guard), which makes it easier for you to kill them.
Nunu and Willump
Nunu and Willump work well with Talon because they increase both movement and attack speed of any ally around them. Their passive (Call of the Freljord) makes it easy for the team to get closer to enemies. They can also setup roots and knock ups with W (Biggest Snowball Ever!) and E (Snowball Barrage). As soon as they slow enemies with R (Absolute Zero), you'll be able to spread your knives with R (Shadow Assault) and make your target bleed to death.
Talon Summoner Spells
Talon recommended Summoner Spells are Ignite and Flash, because both spells can increase your mobility and damage in the lane. Your Flash can re-angle your W (Rake) and stack your passive (Blade’s End) on targets more. This improves your trades in the lane. Ignite is great at securing first bloods early in the game a snowball a lead before enemies can build defenses against your lethality build.
Talon Runes and Keystones
Talon recommended runes are Electrocute, Sudden Impact, Eyeball Collection, and Ultimate Hunter on Domination as primary, and Absolute Focus with Scorch on Sorcery as secondary. This rune page is great against squishy champions and not tanks. You have the ability to instantly burst the target down and proc Electrocute after 3 attacks or abilities combined. Absolute Focus and Scorch will increase your initial damage to the target, which makes it scarier for any non-tanks to be alone in the rift. Ultimate Hunter reduces the cooldown of your ultimate, which gives you more chances to assassinate a target.
If you want a more sustainable rune page, you can consider using Conqueror, Triumph, Alacrity, and Coup de grace on Precision as primary, and Taste of Blood with Ravenous Hunter as secondary. You will still be able to deal damage to your targets, but will also have a better chance to not get burst down yourself. With Conqueror at play, you’ll receive healing the more you attack in teamfights. Combining this keystone with Taste of Blood and Ravenous Hunter increases your HP instantly every ability. You’ll be able to play around tankier enemies and slowly watch them bleed with your Passive (Blade’s End).
Both styles will be using 2 adaptive force in flex and +6 Armor / +8 magic resist on defense.
Talon’s recommended items change depending on the situation. However, the following items will give you a good idea of what to build in different situations.
Talon starts with Long Sword and a Refillable Potion if you want slightly more AD than with Doran’s Blade, and you are confident without extra lifesteal and HP.
Youmuu’s Ghostblade is a core item for Talon, as it gives him more movement speed to reposition his Rake and most people just rush armor (which would make Duskblade useless). It gives him the ability to move quickly through units. Combine it with his E (Assassin’s Path) and surprise enemies when roaming.
Duskblade of Draktharr is core on Talon because it gives him more lethality, AD, and CDR. It also empowers the next basic attack you deal to your target, making it a very effective item when combined with your ultimate (Shadow Assault) to assassinate a target. Remember that Duskblade should only be built if people don’t have over 100 armor.
Lord Dominik’s Regards is core on Talon because it also adds more damage to his kit. It also shreds 35% of the enemy’s total armor, making it an effective tool to pierce through defensive items. It increases your damage against those champions that rush Ninja Tabi early in the game.
Use Ninja Tabi against enemy teams that have a lot of attack damage champions.
Use Mercury's Treads against heavy AP team compositions or if the enemies have a lot of crowd control.
Offensive Situational Items
If you are facing tanks in the game you can build Black Cleaver. It increases your HP, CDR, and AD. With this item you can shred tanks easily while also retaining a great amount of HP in teamfights. Use this when you are having trouble surviving in the game.
If you want to instantly remove CC from yourself you can build Mercurial Scimitar. Buying QSS early on can save your life a lot of times. Champions in the game can easily cast their CC and instantly kill you. This item increases your defenses against such CC and also against AP enemies. On top of that, it gives you lifesteal.
If you want to spread damage you can build Titanic Hydra. This item not only provides a Tiamat that you can use to clear waves faster as well as spread damage around enemies, but it also increases your AD, HP, and health regeneration. Whenever you all-in an enemy, you can cast the active of the item after you’ve spammed all your abilities in order to do more damage with your auto-attacks.
Defensive Situational Items
If you want to increase your defenses you can build Death’s Dance. With the new update for this item, it does not only provide damage, CDR, and lifesteal; it also provides the sub-item Aegis of Legion, that boost your MR and armor. It is now an offensive and defensive item that can mitigate damage and return a part of it to your targets.
If you want to increase HP with damage, you can build Sterak’s Gage. It gives additional HP and passively increases your attack damage. It also provides tenacity and increases your size when you receive large damages from the enemies, giving you an opportunity to counter them.
If you want early game defense against mages, you can build Maw of Malmortius. During the early game you can buy Hexdrinker and protect yourself from AP abilities. You can upgrade this into Maw of Malmortius to increase damage and get more CDR.
Full Build Example
An example full build for Talon can consist of:
- Ninja Tabi/Mercury’s Treads
- Tiamat (build into Titanic Hydra last)
- Youmuu’s Ghostblade
- Duskblade of Draktharr
- Black Cleaver
- Death’s Dance
This is the most recommended build path for Talon, as it provides the damage that he needs to instantly kill squishy targets. Items like Tiamat, Youmuu’s Ghostblade, Duskblade of Draktharr, and Black Cleaver can shred through ADCs and mages easily. Your boots and Death’s Dance will be used more as a defensive tool to protect you when roaming and ganking lanes. When you have fully built every single item, you can transform Tiamat into Titanic Hydra to increase your HP as well as your ability to deal damage using its active.
Passive - Blade's End
Talon is a champion that seeks to cast as many blades to the enemy as possible. You want to hit your target with three blades and let them start bleeding. Your goal is to land as many stacks of Blade’s End passive on the enemy team so that Talon can proc the passive on multiple enemies. Teamfights will not start on your favor. but the more bleed procs they receive the better chances you’ll win the game.
Q - Noxian Diplomacy
This is Talon’s only engage tool. It can make or break you in a teamfight and you have to use it properly. It can be used as an auto-attack reset on the enemy champion/turrets, to get closer to your targets, and to reposition your W (Rake) to activate the bleed in your passive. Talon can reset his auto-attack doing AA > Q > AA.
W - Rake
Your second ability is your mini CC. The slow it gives can help you get closer to the enemy and hit some auto-attacks. You also want to hit Rake both times so that you can proc your passive. You can use your W and then E, so that as you’re wall hopping, you are also slowing the enemy down.
E - Assassin's Path
This ability makes Talon a unique assassin champion on its own. Most champions roam into their sidelane by going through the river, but with Talon you can go over walls and avoid any ganks from face check. Hop all over the map and re-position better in teamfights. This can be used to work in your favor and turn fights around. You can also use Talon’s E to reposition W (Rake). Do not jump every wall as you’ll lose an escape path. Always leave behind some for you to come back and utilize.
R - Shadow Assault
Similar to Kha’Zix’s ultimate, Talon’s R initially starts with you turning invisible, which can help to put yourself in a favorable position. The primary goals of Talon’s ultimate are to land as many stacks of Blade’s End, to go into stealth (avoiding CC and getting movement speed to gap-close or escape), and to reset Duskblade’s passive to proc it twice. Doing this, you’ll increase your damage against your target as well as escape possible lockdowns from enemies.
Ability Skill Order
The skill order for Talon is R – Q – W – E. Take two points in W (Rake) early in the game, and the rest in Q (Noxian Diplomacy). One point in E (Assassin’s Path) is enough, as you are only using this for roaming and escaping teamfights. Prioritize maxing R (Shadow Assault) whenever possible at level 6, 11, and 16. Two points in W is already enough to clear the waves as Talon. Maxing Q allows Talon to out-trade people very hard in the early laning phase.
A power spike is when a champion reaches a level or builds an item that makes them a lot stronger than other champions in the game. Talon’s power spikes are when he reaches level levels 2 and 6. Talon has one of the strongest level 2 all-ins the game with W and Q. At level 6 he gets his ultimate (Shadow Assault), that allows him to do a great combo. Getting your Youmuu’s Ghostblade and Duskblade drastically increases your overall damage output that shreds squishy targets making them bleed with your passive (Blade’s End), and making your all-in a force to be reckoned with.
W + Q + AA Combo
This combo is used to instantly proc your passive (Blade’s End) and deal tons of damage to your target in the early game.
W + Q + R + AA Combo
This is the flower combo. You want to initially start slowing your target and lunge right into them. Quickly cast your ultimate (Shadow Assault) and then throw every single blade through them. You’ll watch the enemy bleed or die instantly.
Q + AA + W + AA + Crit Q + AA + R + AA + Crit Q + AA Combo
This combo is maximizing the crits you deal with melee Qs. Get as many Conqueror stacks and then end with ultimate at 10 stacks, so that Talon heals insanely in the fight.
How to Play Talon
During the early game phase you want to play aggressively in your lane. As soon as you reach the minions, you want to push the wave. If the enemy jungler is an aggressive one like Lee Sin or Xin Zhao, try to play safe until you can determine where they are going around the map. Set up first blood by last-hitting the 7th minion while leveling up your Q (Noxian Diplomacy), use Rake on your target and then follow up with a critical Q and an auto-attack. This will burst the enemy midlaner and slowly bleed away his HP. If that isn’t enough to kill him yet, you have Ignite as extra damage. Utilize the strength of Talon’s early game crits and slowly snowball a lead.
As soon as you reach level 6, your damage potential will be drastically higher. You can now start looking for roams on the side lane. Take time to look at your map and watch enemies that are overextended or you see a jungler coming to them. Most mid laners have terrible waveclear and can’t match Talon’s waveclear with Tiamat and W (Rake). Use this to your advantage and quickly push the minions to his turret, then roam around and look for some kills. Keep the enemy jungle warded to pick the jungler off while he is doing raptors. Use your ability to jump over walls with E (Assassin’s Path), and surprise them. Junglers at this time may or may not have completed their jungle item so you can take advantage of that.
- Split-pushing – Talon is amazing at split-pushing. If your allies have pressure around the other side of the map, let’s say bottom lane, and you think they can hold off the enemy team there, then push the top lane and gain gold from turrets. Your critical Q can aid you deal more damage to turrets than most mid laners. Use this in your favor.
- Objective control – When you take objectives like Dragons and Rift Heralds you want to emphasize securing vision first. You can use Oracle Lens before trying to take the objective. By securing vision, you’ll be able to position yourself & pick someone off if enemies facecheck bushes near you.
Talon is great at annihilating squishy targets in the late game, but he is also easy to kill by tanks and bruisers. That is why split pushing is better to win your game at this phase. 4 – 1 split-push is an effective way to deal with the enemy team. Send your team to Baron while you split push on the bot lane to match the enemy split-pusher. If and when you kill the opposing laner, you can re-group with teammates for a favorable 4v5 or if the people at Baron lose a fight, you can keep split-pushing and take an inhibitor down. You can also do 3 – 2 Split Push in your games. Have the toplaner (preferably with TP) shadow you in the bot lane if you are against matchups like Jax/Fiora because it’s impossible for you to solo kill them. Once you two kill the opposing split-pusher, the toplaner can TP to Baron, while you can either walk to Baron jumping over walls with E (Assassin’s Path), or go for an inhibitor. Either way, you’ll have gained more pressure that will possibly give you the victory you want.
Talon Tips and Tricks
- Use critical Q to your advantage (can bait people at low HP).
- Move mouse away from champions before proc’ing your passive to avoid using critical Q, that prevents Talon from passive proc.
- Conqueror Talon: Add auto-attacks/Tiamat in-between combos to maximize Conqueror.
- W + E fast combo near the wall, so that the Rake returns to Talon faster (can follow up with a long Q + AA or critical Q + AA).
- E animation cancel to look cooler with hard to land abilities.
These below videos are great game play examples for how to play Talon.
Frequent Mistakes/Noob Traps
These are things most Talon players do that shouldn’t be done at a high level ELO.
Mistake #1– Flashing while using critical Q. It stops Talon from procing passive, which will not maximize your ability to burst a target.
Mistake #2 – Using a combo on one person and not deleting them. Unless it is to delete a priority target, you do not use all your abilities on one enemy because Talon can proc his passive twice. Be wise about activating the bleed in teamfights.
Mistake #3 – Running into the fight. Use the walls to angle better for combos because people have a hard time reacting if you E over a wall. You have one ability that no one has, and you should utilize this to avoid important skill shots from enemies or engage for your combos.
Mistake #4 – Not using Q on minions to get health. Your Q can help you sustain in the laning phase. It is not just for attacking enemies in the lane, but also to gain HP to live longer when clearing minion waves.
Mistake #5 – Not using Q to reangle Rake. Do not throw your W in front of an enemy that has an ability to dash or Flash away or slow. Use your Q to position yourself to avoid missing W, as it can proc your passive.
Similar Champions to Talon
Listed below are some champions you can use to replace Talon in the mid lane. They also can assassinate champions in one go. When he isn’t available because he is either banned or picked by the enemy team, knowing how to play these champions will give you a variety to choose from, safeguarding your LP from going down and keeping your games awesome.
Has insane crowd control, a disgusting heal, and is the fastest turret destroyer. Diana utilizes her ability to get close to targets and clinch skirmishes with her Lunar Rush and Moonfall, that pulls enemies into one spot which allies can follow up on. Use the power of the moon and drive constant Crescent Strikes to your targets and slash your foes with your Moonsilver Blade. She is a beast in and out of teamfights.
One of the strongest assassins in the game with high mobility. She can snowball hard. Katarina trains in the same house as Talon, under General Du Couteau’s guidance. Her blades can bounce back and forth as she moves around enemies. She inflicts damage preparing blades around the area and quickly blinks to them. Anyone who tries to fight her will face the wrath of her Death Lotus.
Has a strong late game, has a fast clear, and is a big teamfight threat. Ekko is amazing at diving in teamfights and dealing magic damage to enemies. His ability to dash around foes is impeccable. Parallel Convergence can easily slow or stun your targets as you throw Timewinder at them. If you are having trouble inside the fight, you can quickly press R and return back to where you were 4 seconds ago.
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