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Talon is probably one of (if not the best) melee solo mid in the game. Other middle champs such as Gragas, Kassadin simply do not have the ability to bully their enemies pre-6 as easily as Talon. Post-6, they do really can't full to zero nuke enemy champions unless they are extremely fed. Talon's powerful and flexible skillset allows him to dish out a lot of pain extremely easily, he can farm passively and escape soundly as well. Many people bring up the problem that he has no sustain, poor mana costs, high cooldowns and is a squishy melee. I would just like to say that none of these problems are as big as they seem, small changes to Talon's masteries and rune page and starting with 3 health potions allow him to make up for the brunt of his problems. He's still a squishy melee champion, but that's not going to stop him from dominating mid. [title]So when do I pick this guy?[/title] You want to play Talon against ranged AP mids. Most AP mid champs are absolutely powerless against him for a few simple reasons. [.]He does physical damage. With armor pen marks, you are hitting most AP carries for full damage the majority of the laning phase while they have to chew through 30 base MR and any additional runes and masteries. In an even exchange, you'll easily dish out more damage than a normal AP mid and probably kill them if you have ignite + ultimate up. Not only that, his blink puts him in melee range of his target. That's good cause his auto attacks hurt a lot more than an AP champion's can. [.]His costs are extremely good for what they give. For only around 60 mana, he can blink 700 range and silence and enemy, for that same cost he can do 260 physical damage + 1.2 bonus AD with a similar range. His other skills have comparable costs and effectiveness. So not only does he exchange well in terms of damage, he'll win with mana efficiency too. [.]Beastly ganking. He has a 700 range blink + silence, an AOE slow with high damage, an on-hit nuke that also reveals target and more physical burst with invis and haste attached as well. Compared to typical AP mids, this guy has more than enough tools to secure a gank. [.]He scales well. He is strong burst from a level advantage and good farm, and his W is probably one of the best farming skills in the game simply because it can oneshot caster minions with minimal mana cost. Increasing his ability damage increases his auto-attack damage too, so he can burst and deal sustained damage without having to make any tradeoffs. Talon is very strong against champions like [imgsmall=champ/brand.png] and [imgsmall=champ/morgana.png]. They simply do not have the ability to stop a strong blinker. He can jump out of their skillshots and kill them easily. Talon does pose the problem of removing AP champions from the middle lane, something most people are accustomed to. Often I want to make sure that other people on my team are dealing adequate magical damage before playing Talon. This can often come in the form of [imgsmall=champ/akali.png][imgsmall=champ/fiddlesticks.png][imgsmall=champ/galio.png][imgsmall=champ/karthus.png][imgsmall=champ/morgana.png][imgsmall=champ/rumble.png][imgsmall=champ/singed.png][imgsmall=champ/swain.png][imgsmall=champ/vladimir.png] who are champs that play other lanes or jungle that make up for Talon's AD damage. They don't even need to do burst, Talon's got that covered. Armor is not a problem either, [imgsmall=items/the-brutalizer.png], [imgsmall=items/youmuus-ghostblade.png] and [imgsmall=items/last-whisper.png] are all items that fit into Talon's build effortlessly so he'll be doing tons of damage regardless of how much armor you stacked. Plus, if you aren't doing much damage than Talon can easily lifesteal tank with [imgsmall=items/the-bloodthirster.png].

[imgext=] [imgext=] Talon has quite a bit of freedom with his masteries and runes, those these are good staple builds for most situations. I don't run Armor Penetration Quintessences because most middle champions I deal with cannot afford to run enough armor to warrant a full 25 pen page, 18 armor pen is plenty for most squishy casters. Instead, the 6 bonus AD will help me start dealing more damage with my skills and improve my early last-hitting. Since Talon doesn't have much to work with early-game, a little bit of ability to last-hit at tower is really nice. I don't think Talon's mana costs have been raised enough to warrant chalices and philo stones and the such, mana regeneration seals are plenty to round out his mana consumption. Flat magic resist is one of the bigger changes I've added to the rune page. Talon needs a little bit of help to deal with harassment in mid because he is a squishy melee and flat magic resist does much to boost his laning. Talon never really needed any of the benefits from Glyphs (I ran MR/lvl for late-game survivability) so he can fit these in much more easily than an AP champion fitting in flat armor to their page. In terms of Masteries, my page is a little bit substandard. I put Demolitionist because I needed just 1 more point to reach Sunder and Executioner, and 1% lifesteal or crit chance is much less rewarding than a guaranteed 10 bonus damage to buildings. The rest of the offense tree is a no-brainer, it maximizes Talon's damage very easily, even 5 bonus AD from Summoner's Wrath could give Talon that little bit of damage to finish the enemy off. I don't think that 30 bonus HP is going to help Talon as much as 3 health/5 does. With Resistance and Glyphs of Warding, Talon has a hefty 49 magic resist as soon as he starts the game, there's already little chance of Talon being full health combo-ed until the mid-late game. Because you only need 8 points to max out Vigor, I put one into the Summoner's Insight for the shorter cooldowns on Flash. [title]Summoners[/title] [img=summoners/flash.png] [img=summoners/ignite.png]- Talon lacks a way to finish people off so I run these spells so I can get people that flash away. Flash is also extremely versatile so it's a useful pick no matter what. [title]Alternatives[/title] [imgsmall=summoners/exhaust.png] Can replace Ignite if you are intending shut down a certain carry or ganking champion. [imgsmall=summoners/ghost.png] Talon is not a fan of prolonged chases as overextending usually leads in baiting and deaths. Only get this if the other team has absolutely no way to cc you or trap you when you overextend.

[title][img=skills/talon/p.png] Passive: Mercy[/title] [number]Talon deals 10% more damage with his basic attacks to any target that is slowed, stunned, immobilized, or suppressed. [/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] The damage is negligible. You could rush a Frozen Mallet so you can activate it permanently... at the cost of farming with Rake and Noxian Diplomacy critting people for 1000 with Infinity Edge. Frozen Mallet also leads to extended chases that are very easy bait. Your teammates will provide the CC so focus on damage ok? [title][img=skills/talon/q.png] Q: Noxian Diplomacy[/title] [number]Talon's next basic attack deals an additional 30/60/90/120/150 (+30% per attack damage) physical damage. If the target is a champion, the target will bleed for 18/36/54/72/90 (+120% of attack damage) physical damage over 6 seconds, revealing their location for the duration. Cooldown 8 seconds Cost 40 mana[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] The Bleed effect is actually quite nice, since it scales well you can finish people off with the DoT like Ignite. When stacked with Ignite... they'll flash away at 5 bars and die anyway lol. Also this skill can crit, which means that with just Infinity Edge you could probably crit someone for 800 and bleed them for another 200. Use it to reset your timer when attacking things or doing some chip damage to towers. This is maxed after Rake because it is more useful late-game. [title][img=skills/talon/w.png] W: Rake[/title] [number]Talon sends out a volley of daggers that then return back to him, dealing 30/55/80/105/130 (+60% of attack damage) physical damage every time it passes through an enemy. Additionally the enemy is slowed by 20/25/30/35/40% for 2 seconds. Cooldown 10 seconds Cost 45/50/55/60/65 mana Range 750[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] This is your bread and butter skill for most of your early and mid game. Your primary usage is for farming, it does great damage to creeps once you have 3 Doran's Blades and BF Sword so you want to spam on waves whenever possible in order to maximize CS. Later on you'll be killing targets with it in teamfights and slowing down stragglers for clean-up. Great for mid-game so it's maxed first. [title][img=skills/talon/e.png] E: Cutthroat[/title] [number]Talon instantly appears behind his target, silencing them for 1 second and amplifying Talon's damage against the target by 3/6/9/12/15% for 3 seconds. Cooldown 18/16/14/12/10 seconds Cost 35/40/45/50/55 mana Range 700[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] Many people complain that it has no damage component and can't be used on allies, but that is an intended weakness because this skill is so damn strong. It's one of the best blinks in the game because the cooldown is very low at max rank and the 15% damage increase basically makes you scale extremely hard with your autoattacks and spells. Even though it does no damage on it's own, it adds about 600 damage to your combo at least. However this skill is maxed the least since it requires already high damage on your spells first and is terrible at farming. [title][img=skills/talon/r.png] R: Shadow Assault[/title] [number]Talon disperses a ring of blades and gains stealth for up to 2.5 seconds, gaining 40% Movement Speed. When Talon emerges from stealth, the blades converge on his location. Every time a blade passes through an enemy, they receive 120/195/270 (+90% of attack damage) physical damage. The cooldown is fairly low so you can even use it to farm sometimes. Cooldown 60/50/40 seconds Cost 80/90/100 mana Range 1000[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] It looks weak at first but this is a physical damage skill with 540 base damage and 1.8 AD scaling. With a full build you'll be doing about 1000 physical damage in an AOE with about 45 + 40% armor penetration. 2.5 seconds of stealth also allows you to shrug off focus fire for a short time so you can position yourself for a good RWQ combo. Be careful that you don't get disabled due to an Oracle user or else you'll have your ultimate cancelled and you'll die.

With my set-up and a doran's blade, you'll be looking at a whopping 70 or so AD at level 1. Your Rake will probably be the best nuke of any AD champion on either team, having the range, AOE and CC to keep squishies on their toes. But don't get overconfident, you're still a pretty squishy champion with no natural escape mechanism. Your main purpose is to farm and get that BF sword before mid-game fights and ganks start to happen. Use that damage to farm minions with your auto-attack and that Rake to harass champs that get too close. Only follow-up when your support/jungler gets a good stun off, and I mean a really good stun. You're a carry before assassin/ganker at this point, you need your items. Against an AP mid, the biggest thing is to get free damage off. You want to Rake when when they go in for the last hits and hit them when they can't retaliate due to their attack animation. Eventually they'll be low enough for you to start bullying them until they are forced to back or get killed. Talon is incredibly effective against champions such as Orianna, Brand, Cassiopeia, Anivia, Morgana and quite a few others because he can close the distance instantly while dodging important skillshots too.

Talon is surprisingly strong mid, because he has an advantage at close quarters while many mid champions need to put distance between each other. Magic damage is common here so use MR/lvl runes too. [title]Good Mid Lanes[/title] [img=champ/anivia.png][img=champ/brand.png][img=champ/gragas.png][img=champ/lux.png][img=champ/morgana.png][img=champ/orianna.png][img=champ/malzahar.png][img=champ/veigar.png][img=champ/vladimir.png] "But wait, Noperative, don't these champions usually rape mid and have higher range than Talon?" This is true, but these are not problems for Talon. The big factor here is the relative early-game strength of the champion as well as their dependence on skillshots. Take Anivia or Brand, for example. They will often try to harass you by shooting off a Pillar of Flame or Flash Frost, hoping to land one on you for lots of free damage. Against most people they would be caught by the skillshot when they go in for a last-hit (best time to lay one down is when they are in animation) and eventually be crushed by the superior harassment. Talon is basically the ultimate counter to this (Katarina can do this too, but has more glaring weaknesses) because he can simply blink to the caster and punish it while avoiding most of the damage. It is important to learn the casting animations of enemy laners, such as Brand or Malzahar. They will often have very long animations when laying down a skill and you can use this short time window to blink to them and deal some damage with W and Q. After a while, enemies will be playing passive because they don't want to get blinked on without their stun or skillshot handy, essentially giving a melee assassin/carry free-farm. [title]Bad Mid Lanes[/title] [img=champ/annie.png][img=champ/karthus.png][img=champ/swain.png][img=champ/urgot.png][img=champ/leblanc.png] These champions are just unpleasant laners in general against melee. Getting close to them often results in some punishing damage as you try to walk back and they can usually kill you if you're not careful. You just want to farm and get some levels and bonus AD, eventually you'll outscale them enough to kill them, but this won't happen for a while. These aren't the most picked champions but Talon cannot exploit any of their flaws so ask for lane swaps or ganks often. [title]Decent Mid Lanes[/title] [img=champ/akali.png][img=champ/cassiopeia.png][img=champ/heimerdinger.png][img=champ/kassadin.png][img=champ/katarina.png][img=champ/kennen.png][img=champ/ryze.png][img=champ/twistedfate.png][img=champ/zilean.png] Again, this comes down to a measure of how skilled you are versus the other laner. Many champions will have spammable skillshots or skills that make Talon's early game a living hell but they will not be able to take Talon's burst themselves. They are often difficult to approach without heavy damage like Ryze or Cassiopeia but if you actually manage to get close they won't have the tools to survive your burst. You will often lose early-game to these casters but in the long run you will be able to kill them consistently if you managed to farm.

Talon is not that great bottom, he basically farms bottom all day and then does loads of physical damage in fights through his skills in place of a ranged carry. He can often be used when you have the better support but the weaker ranged carry choice, he will be able to do a lot of damage to the opposing squishy with a good support. [title]Good Bottom Lane Partners[/title] [img=champ/alistar.png][img=champ/blitzcrank.png][img=champ/janna.png][img=champ/taric.png][img=champ/soraka.png][img=champ/sion.png] Most supports work well with Talon, he usually wants a nice hard stun and burst to go with his own in order to kill people as fast as possible. Don't underestimate a Sion bot, he's basically a Taric with less support but more burst and his burst + Talon's burst is really strong when it's used on a squishy. [title]Good Bottom Lane Enemies[/title] [img=champ/blitzcrank.png][img=champ/corki.png][img=champ/missfortune.png][img=champ/sivir.png][img=champ/vayne.png][img=champ/sona.png][img=champ/kogmaw.png] These guys simply don't have the range or damage to harass Talon early-game before he gets his own damage off. In general they will lose more health against Talon and will even give up kills to him if he gets good support. [title]Bad Bottom Lane Enemies[/title] [img=champ/alistar.png][img=champ/ashe.png][img=champ/caitlyn.png][img=champ/pantheon.png][img=champ/taric.png][img=champ/tristana.png][img=champ/teemo.png] Talon cannot approach these guys at all. He will get harassed all the time and will often lose all his exchanges against these characters. It would not be uncommon to die at level 1 or 2 against these lanes. Bid your time for when you'll actually be able to kill these guys when you get to late-game.

updates will come tomorrow! The only time you shouldn't be farming is when you are anticipating a big gank or teamfight. Your aim at this time is to find a nice bush and not get caught. Getting caught is the ultimate blunder for Talon, if you have to use your ultimate and flash to get away you'll be absolutely useless for the teamfight that is going to be forced and if you die, well... yeah. You want to hang back next to a tower or in an unwarded bush and wait for everyone to appear on the map. You want to make sure that everyone with a CC is preoccupied and you want to sneak up on the squishy and kill them as quickly as possible. You want to go BEFORE the squishy unloads damage on your team, not after. Also keep in mind that even though your team initiated the fight, you have to calmly read the situation. Even though everyone got stunned by Alistar, you're going to have to wait a little bit longer in case the other team unloads their own damage and cc, which you don't want to get caught in. Only when they aren't ready for you will you be able to penetrate Ashe's with your Ghostblade.

With an end-game build, you'll be doing crazy deeps. Hopefully you're not the only threat on your team because that'd be terrible for your health. The Red and Green Elixirs are great follow-ups to your core build and with your farm you can keep them up indefinitely. Teamfights become incredibly tense towards late-game, so it's important that you assess the situation properly and keep yourself out of harm's way until it's time to gib squishies. Even though your team is fighting you have to see whether you can enter it or not. It might sound incredibly selfish but jumping in at the wrong time and giving the other team baron or an inhibitor is worse than not going in at all and being alive to defend or stall baron. If your team did not have a good position or make an opening for you to jump in then you won't make a difference in the fight unless you're incredibly fed. However when you do find a chance to go in, go balls deep. After your standard ERWQ combo you want to pop that ghostblade and poke people to death. Cleanse any stuns or Morde Ults with your QSS and pray to [religious deity] that your damage will kill everyone before they kill you. You want to aim the squishies: you'll probably kill one with your combo and leave the other one vulnerable to clean-up or follow-up from your team. Afterwards you want to kill tanks because they are annoying mofos that mess-up your barons and tower pushes. Supports are the last in line because they can't really defend towers as good as the others and contribute minimal DPS. If you have a Bloodthirster at this time this shouldn't be too hard, your first target may flash out and cause a load of trouble but afterwards it's incredibly easy to just right click people that do less damage than you and kill them.

I am not a high elo player at all, I hover between the 1500 - 1600 range (though if I played more often I could potentially reach 1800), but I think that Talon is a very strong pick. I see many people building him as a tanky dps kind of character and I think that they are building him totally wrong. I believe that he could be viable at high elo and competitive play as a counterpick bottom lane carry and win solo mid with his plethora of favorable match-ups (Anivia, Kennen, Brand). Talon does incredible damage with his spells as well as his auto-attacks. He can farm well to ensure consistent power at all points in the game and has a versatile and solid skill set that supports offense and defense. His ability to stand against Baron/Dragon are lacking as well as keeping initiators off him, but at the same time it's hard to keep buffs off of him or him off of squishies.

Comments coming soon!
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