Talon Build Guide

So you think you can snowball? (S5: In Depth)

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Updated 1 year ago
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Skill Order
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**update Hi, I'm Lostcause511 - thought I would bump this guide that at one point got me to plat 1 since I saw there are no good talon guides these days...hes not quite as good as he was when he had silence and with the tank meta its tough for sure but hes still a great champion thats tons of fun and can win games. I apologize if you find some parts of my guide which have not been properly updated, I tried to update any parts which don't apply anymore since the loss of his silence. I main talon and I have a pretty uncommon item build which I think is superior and worth a look even if its the only part of the guide you check out. This guide is text heavy and I think its for people who really want an in depth explanation of how to play talon. I don't have all the time in the world to take screenshots and put in videos so unfortunately there isn't any of that but I think you can find that elsewhere pretty easily. Talon is an extremely underplayed and underrated AD mid assassin who can snowball unbelievably hard and easily carry a game. Thanks to the way ArPen is currently calculated, you can stack alot of it on talon and combined with his amazing kit, burst down even tanky champs. Talon is an Attack Damage Burst Assassin (more generally, he is a physical burst caster) focusing on mobility, elusiveness and the element of surprise. Talon is an extremely powerful mid laner. He counters many of the champions he would have to face in mid. While Talon is, just like any other champion, very easy to buy for 6300 IP or 975 RP and just select in the champ select screen, he is an EXTREMELY HARD CHAMPION TO MASTER AND PLAY IN AN EFFECTIVE WAY. His burst damage is the highest AD burst in the entire game, and perhaps even higher than most other AP bursts as well. Talon is all about BURST DAMAGE. Talon becomes infinitely stronger if you have a smart jungler who realizes that you are a champion who needs help pre 6 and that it makes sense to help you becuase with your blink you have alot of kill and snowball potential in lane. If your jungler ignores your lane, you will have a tougher time. It's important to ask your jungler to help you every game becuase they may have OK mechanics but still don't know these things. Pros - Huge single target burst damage - Counter's many common mid laners - Big AOE damage mid game - Gap closer also silences - Very low CD Ult - Very mobile offensively - Effective wave clear - No difficult to land skill shots Cons - squishy - no escapes except ultimate which is often also needed for damage - very vulnerable to ganks pre 6 - is an AD mid which may cause your team to have no AP dmg in soloq - no ability to siege - easy to forget to share all the kills ;)

E - Q - W - tiamat is your basic trading combo but be aware that you are very vulnerable to most champions after using this combo. I usually only do it outside of the early game if I have my ult up for escape if needed or if I am ganking and have backup. Sometimes they will escape before you can use tiamat, don't sweat it. Be careful to aim W correctly and sometimes use tiamat first because since E puts you behind them and then they typically move back towards their turret so you need to wait until they pass you and are in a position where you can hit them with both the out and in part of W. E-Q-W-tiamat-ignite-R is your big damage combo, and its pretty much what your going to want to use to open every trade/fight with a carry. Again sometimes u just dont have time to use tiamat and its the least important part of the combo. Use this combo nearly whenever the R is up unless you are waiting for a gank, or sometimes if you are doing well, you may just want to poke them with W once or twice so that you can kill them when you use this combo. See my explanation of R for when to use this combo. Silence only lasts one second and talons combos are extremely long confused by the fact of cutthroat putting you behind the target so at first juts make sure you E-Q and focus on hitting W before you worry about getting them with tiamat, sometimes its easier to R before you W and tiamat so you have extra movespeed to chase, but this means you cant escape after your combo.

The early game will make or break you game most of the time. You are really vulnerable to jungle ganks and very vulnerable to lane bully champions so be aware of your restrictions and don't go for risky CS against champions who can put down alot of pain on you. Once you get lvl 5-6 you can start harassing them back and they will have to respect you more. If there is only one thing you take away from this entire guide, it should be that every time you go for an early CS as talon, you need to consider how bad you could be hurt in exchange for that gold. I have played hundreds of talon games in platinum, and I STILL die regularly going for a dumb CS or going for a CS near an unwarded side bush and getting ganked. You are rarely going to see your game be made or broken by 10-20CS, but if you let your lane opponent get fed, and you lose CS while dead on top of that, thats going to make you lose games. Talon is a great mid-lategame farmer, and scales well into the midgame with just levels and tiamat so you don't need boatloads of early gold to succeed. Levels 1-2: Just farm with autoattacks and W if you have to, you can afford to take a bit of harassment but try to minimize it. In almost all situations don't bother to try to duel because you will lose. There is one really small exception, if you are facing another melee whose weak in early game like zed and fizz you can get Q second and try to fight them with AA-Q-W-AA ignite combo. I almost never help my jungler with a W becuase I find it much more helpful to try to push your lane as fast as possible on the first TWO waves with AAs and W spam as much as you can. This will cause your opponent to lose CS and have to focus on farming instead of harassing you and if you do it right the wave should reset for the 3rd wave when the jungler wants to gank you. You should probably have flask start to do this because you are using alot of mana and you will probably take some harass if you want to get every CS. Levels 3-5: I know this may sound scrub, but constantly ask your jungler to gank for you if you are being pressured (basically every game). Learn the aoe of your W well and you can hit the minimum number of minions required to farm to avoid pushing the lane and the enemy mid should almost for sure have pushed your lane. At level 3 with ignite you have good utility (gap closer, silence, slow) and can put out good damage. This is PRIME conditions for ganking. Talon snowballs EXTREMELY hard off of an early gold/level advantage, if you are able to get this first blood, you can safely farm during your weak period before 6, deny their farm and have superior items and ult available to get a second kill before your enemy gets their ult. If your jungle won't come, then keep trying to farm, and if you see the enemy mid waste their spells farming, jump on them and trade with your combo. If they don't use any of their spells to farm, you can't trade effectively before 6 so don't try. Auto any minions that come close to you but use W to farm any far minions, you don't want to put yourself in a vulnerable position because like I am trying to drill into you, talon dies very easily at this stage of the game. [b] Standard kill setup [/b] At level 5 your W starts to hit pretty hard so you want to use it to start harassing your opponent to soften them up for a kill at level 6. Try to hit them at the same time as farming the far minions if possible. The best time to do this is when they are coming in for a last hit.

[b] Standard kill strategy - no armor [/b] When you get level 6 you should look for a good opportunity to jump on them and dump your full combo killing them or forcing them to back. If they don't get close enough, just freeze your lane, make sure your warded and zone them out. Even if the jungle gets the drop on you, after you R, just run to the opposite side of the river instead of back to your turret and they shouldn't be able to catch you. If they don't die and don't back precede to kill them with your short combo and ignite (if you still have it). Be careful if they have taken barrier instead of ignite (people experienced facing talon will often do this). [b] Standard kill strategy - yes armor [/b] If the built armor this strategy won't work. You need to look for opportunities to use EQW without taking too much damage in return to soften them up to below half. Typically you should try to bait out their main dmg spell (whatever they have been leveling) and then go for the combo. Alterntaively, if they are skillshot heavy what you can do is just do the combo and duck behind a minion. Sometimes if they are afraid of you beucase they are wimpy or you are ahead, you can just cast EQW on them, and then make a judgement call whether you need to blow R or not based on how much damage it looks like you are going to take. Once you get your tiamat the game really starts for talon. You get a power spike in terms of your standard combo and your full combo and your wave clear becomes instant allowing you to start roaming bot as often as you can. You can also roam top if the opposing top is pushing and your top has a bit of CC or good damage. If you can't get ahead or you lost lane (which will probably happen pretty damn often even as an experienced talon), then roaming constantly is the key to being good at talon. You can easily burst down the bot lane champions and get fed while also helping your bot lane win. Roaming is key because talon has enough burst that even if behind with just a bit of help from a teammate he can kill nearly anyone except the top laner especially with the current squishy jungle meta. This is the most important reason to take boots of mobility on talon, and taking anything else is a big mistake imo and playing talon wrong. (You can still roam without boots if behind) Once you start roaming you should be greedy, take all the kills. You need them to snowball. Talon absolutely excels at midgame fights and dragon fights if he has acouple kills because he has a huge amount of aoe damage at this point in the game, but the aoe damage will really fall off in the late game as it doesnt scale as well once the enemy team starts getting a ton of armor. Talon thrives in \"messy\" games. DO NOT STAY IN YOUR LANE. You want to create as much chaos as possible. You are great at fighting small skirmishes with your burst and your big aoe and also really good at quickly taking down towers. Equally important to ganking bot lane is the opportunity to take down the mid tower when the enemy is away or dead, you can push the lane quickly and take out a huge portion of the towers HP no problem with Q. Your AP opponent will not be able to do the same. If you see an opportunity to do this and your bot lane is hugging their tower then be sure to do so. Your constant roaming will also create opportunities to pick off the opposing mid as they will be trying to follow you and you can catch them. Get wards when you can to take advantage of this. Try not to lose too much farm, if you miss the gank at bot, you need to go right back to your lane if possible unless you can get an objective like the tower or dragon.

In the late game your job is to assassinate the ad carry or sometimes the ap carry. You scale quite well at doing this but you do fall off in ability to destroy their entire team with aoe damage. Even if you are super fed it is hard for you to kill a ton of people late game because you are so squishy and have no ability to escape without your ult. I would recommend once you have 5+ kills to start letting your other carrys get kills if possible, in the late game, you can assassinate one hero but without your ult talon is not a hero who can carry the entire team on his back like nasus. In order to assassinate someone hang around the sides of where you think a fight is going to occur so you can engage on the enemy back line. Alternatively if you have flash you can flash blink once the fight engages. Sometimes in the late game you have to consider that based on the composition of the teams, you actually cannot assassinate your target even if you are fed. This often occurs when the other teams frontline is stronger then your frontline. Say your team is behind and the other team is pushing on your inhib turret so you can't really get to the side of the fight and the support/tanks are pushing in while protecting the ad. If you try to flash blink on him you will just get blown up. In that case if your ad is doing well, you might want to just try to dump all your damage on the enemy front line when they try to attack your AD. Typically the right time to do this is if your AD is stronger or similar to their AD, but their front line is stronger then yours and they are defending their AD very effectively. In reality, if you have to do this, your team probably is just too far behind or your composition probably just isn't good for talon and you are probably pretty screwed. Talon's other job in the late game is to pick people off. With boots of mob and ghost blade you are well equipped to do this. If you see someone straying too far from their team who is not tanky as all hell, don't think, kill them. At this stage of the game your cd on your ult should be pretty short and even if the only person you killed is the support its usually pretty worth it to trade your ult for the support, you will have to be careful on when you join the rest of the fight however. Do not bait your team into an immediate team fight in exchange for the support, you need at least time to get your regular cds back up before the fight starts, otherwise you may lose the fight.

Talon is an abolute teamfight beast, but you can still die really easily if you play like an idiot. It is key that you quickly assassinate one of the other teams carries, and then preferably you want to escape and just stay out of the fight until your cutthroat is back up. You are a very squishy cyclic hero, do your combo, leave and come back. If you are sure nobody is going to get on you, then you can stay in the fight and try to do auto, qs and ws when possible. However even when I'm really fed, I rarely ever stay in the fight beyond killing my target, you are just too squishy and valuable to the team to risk it. Sometimes your team will yell at you for being so wimpy esp if fed but you die so easily, its just not worth the risk most of the time. You almost never want to stay in the fight because you are a high priority target, very squishy and not very mobile without your cutthroat (and boots of mob disabled) so you can't do much anyway. Whenever you play any assassin not just talon, keep in mind that the absolute number one way to throw is to just instantly try to jump on their AD carry every fight and get CC'd and killed by the rest of their team. Like any assassin, you need to make sure that nobody (like sona or amumu) is just sitting there waiting to ult you as soon as you come in. The number two way to throw is to blow all your CDs on their support, sure you killed them but then their carries have free reign for the very long time while you wait for your cutthroat to come back, and your burst will be reduced by lack of ult. You can obviously assasinate a support if your team is able to disengage, but in soloque they often may not realize they should do that. Instead of doing these things, you preferably want to hang to the side of the fight...if you are blue, near wraiths if they are pushing mid or near wolves if you are pushing mid and once the fight engages you run in and do your combo, and then run away in stealth. Be wary of the enemy movements, your position may be warded, wolves is less likely to be warded. Don't hesitate to use your ult and ghostblade to run for your life if they are coming for you too quickly to escape. Alternatively you can hang behind your team and use flash cutthroat to get on a carry once you think the main CCs are down. Although in the late game I typically find this to be a secondary consideration to assassinating a carry, you also want to keep in mind that you have quite a bit of AOE. Your ult, tiamat and also to a lesser degree W cover a really large area and you can do alot of aoe damage in a fight. Sometimes, if they have alot of CC and your team has alot of AOE, you may see an opportunity where their team is a little bit bunched up and you might want to just jump in and do EWR and run. The reason you don't do your whole combo is that it is very dangerous to be talon in the middle of their entire team and doing your entire combo often takes long enough that you cna be stunned and killed. Just hitting your aoe spells and running can be better if your afraid.

Based on lane: Talon is strong against most mids with skill shots that are avoidable with his blink. It is a common misconception that as a \"counter to AP mid\" you should beat them anytime and all the time. This is not true, you will be bullied by most ap mids pre 6 so don't think your going to have an easy time against even semi agressive AP's. If they get way ahead of you in the early game, even though you counter them, your gonna have a hard time. Talon can be bullied alot in the early game but if you are patient and cautious your jungle will help you get ahead or you will be able to win lane once you are 6 and have got your tiamat. However sometimes inexperienced aps will be scared of your counter reputation allowing you to farm freely anyway, so take advantage of that. If you first pick talon, if they are smart they are going to put a bruiser AD against you like lee/riven or panth who really hurt. Do not despair, get flask 3pot and farm as best you can while bugging your jungle to gank for you even more then usual, and if you can get ahead 1 kill early, you can still snowball pretty hard before they get tanky. Even if you can't get a gank, build your tiamat and farm/roam bot and you will still do better in the team fight then a bruiser ever can. You will probably have to play passively early on and you might lose some farm but resist the desire to try to get that last cs which will let the bruiser unload on you because they will crush you. Bruisers will always be really aggressive against you, your jungle will come eventually, and you will win. As with any top/mid, its always better to try to get someone low down the pick order to pick talon for you, but many people won't have him unfortunately. If you can get him against an AP champion then your in better position. Team Comp: Talon fits well into teams that have alot of hard engagement. Talon cannot contribute as well to team comps that look to kite and do small bits of damage and then back off because you really only have one opportunity to do maximum damage and you don't usually want to waste it on a tank. If you engage without your ultimate you are 100% committed and you kill or die. Talon flourishes with champions like malphite who can CC a carry from a distance allowing talon to close and kill them. Talon also fits well into team comps with strong late game. Talon is very strong throughout the mid game and can help take all the objectives and get lots of global gold, but he definitely has trouble carrying late game team fights when his aoe dmg is alot less and all 5 people are grouped so there is alot more possible CC. Talon does not do well against team comps that are very tanky with lots of hard CC. If they have someone holding a hard CC and keeps that person near their squishies, you will have a hard time doing your job.

Talon is a really fun champion to play, hes very versatile, he can make huge plays, and its super fun to be a big burst champion and carry your team hard! Don't get too wrapped up in taking all the kills though, I have lost a number of games where I was super fed but I didn't share any kills and in the late game my team wasn't able to do anything so we still lost. Talon is amazing in skirmishes but in full blown teamfights he is less able to kill everyone, due to the very long cd on his e and vulnerability to hard CC. If your a beginner using Talon try to think about the following: 1. Will going for that CS get you into trouble with the other laner/jungler? Don't throw yourself into Swain's snare in order to land a rake. Talon's harrass relies on free damage. Use those times, for example, when one of the enemy's skills is on cooldown. Xerath just used his E? Time to use EQW. There's one third of his health gone. What will he have to react with? His Q? You did more damage. Use a potion. 2. Will it push your lane? Learn to aim your W so it hits less minions. 3. Do you have the mana for it? Always take into account the amount of mana you need to BURST someone down, that means your Q, E, W, and R's mana costs put together (its a bit less then 250). Do some math before you go in a lane. A Talon that doesn't manage his mana costs is a Talon that succumbs to Riot's dumb nerfs. When you see that you are low, stop using skills and let your mana regenerate a little. You'd never know when you'll need a full skill rotation. Maybe the other champion would overcommit and dive you? Your ult keeps you safe under your turret in the laning phase. a burst would turn things around wonderfully. What if their jungler is coming to gank you and he's low on health? 4. Is there someone waiting for you to job on that carry and hard CC you?

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