I thought it would be wise to discuss the way I've built Talon here, so everyone has a better understanding of the how's and why's.
As an ad caster, Talon is reliant on cooldown reduction so he can dump out damage faster. These boots are a strong pick for him early on, but you may want to grab...
I'm finding that Mercury treads are becoming a more frequent buy when I play Talon. Most mages have some form of cc, so the tenacity helps alot. The magic resistance is quite nice for mid Talon as well.
This is your bread and butter item. You WANT one of these. Why? For one, it applies it's passive on ability and autoattack use, meaning you'll shred armor very quickly. Having one of these gives you a significant boost in health, (Which was a weakness for Talon in Season 2) as well much needed attack damage AND cooldown reduction. This is the perfect item for Talon!
You don't get more attack damage from any other item. 100 ad with a full Bloodthirster is huge for you, and the lifesteal will help sustain you during laning phase, as well as keep you alive in teamfights.
Maw of Malmortius has become a bit better since it's been reworked. The magic damage shield it gives you is a real life saver, and the bonus attack damage per missing health may be enough to save your life in sticky situations. Mercurial Scimitar is also wonderful, it gives a large chunk of attack damage and magic resistance, and has the on-use effect of removing crowd control effects WHILE granting 100% bonus speed. I suggest picking up Mercurial Scimitar for cc heavy teams.
Finally, Guardian Angel. This item isn't what it used to be, but it still provides a large amount of armor and magic resistance, and resurrects you upon death once every five minutes. Combine the resistances with the health from your Black Cleavers, and you're pretty beefy!
Flat out the only option for starting items as Talon mid. The mobility the boots provide, and the sustain from the health potions will make you a threat in lane until you recall for the first time. Never ever ever start with a
. The health and ad are nice early on, but the sustain is abysmal compared to
Your core items are your early-mid game buys. You'll build these into other items late game, but for now we're focusing on three things.
This provides three things for Talon: Armor penetration, attack damage, and cooldown reduction. As we discussed above, you want all three of these stats, so this item is obviously great early on. I typically make this the first core item I buy, as it increases your damage drastically.
Another must-have early on. You'll get attack damage and magic resist from this item, which is invaluable in mid lane against mostly ability power champions. It will also provide a small magic absorbing shield when you drop below 30% health. This item has saved my life many times.
I usually buy vampiric scepter last, out of the three core items, but that's really just a preference thing. It provides you with 10 attack damage and 10% lifesteal, making it much easier to stay in lane if you're being harassed. One thing to note is that Noxian Diplomacy will proc the lifesteal from vampiric scepter, giving you a sizable increase in health over a regular autoattack.
Bear in mind that like all finished builds in these guides, it's situational.
In a lot of games, this is what your ending build will look like. It gives you a decent amount of health (for an assassin), resistances, and to quote Phreak, tons of damage. I feel like most of these items are fairly self-explanatory given what we've discussed already, so I'd like to move on to:
Alternate Items, or Being Flexible
So as I mentioned above, the final build isn't static. Every game is different, and some of them will require different items for you to remain relevant throughout. Let's talk about some of the popular choices for Talon, as well as some items you simply shouldn't get.
Alternates to the normal build
This item should replace your Hexdrinker if you choose to get it. Not only is the freedom from crowd control wonderful, the speed boost it provides can help close the gap between you and a carry if you get caught. I'd say I alternate between this item and Hexdrinker fairly often; it all depends on the amount of control the enemy team has. Take this when fighting against teams with Amumu, Sona, or Morgana. (To name a few.)
Keeping with our theme of the first planet, you may choose to substitute your ionian boots for these. The tenacity these boots provide will shorten the duration of cc against you, and the small magic resistance will help keep you alive early on. A safer choice than ionian boots if you're not feeling that confident.
A very good item for Talon, it provides attack damage and more armor penetration. That being said, I usually don't buy this for a few reasons: Most carries won't have much armor and your The Black Cleaver will take care of what little armor they DO have, and the attack damage it provides is somewhat low. (Comparatively. See Bloodthirster.) This item does have a few benefits however, so it's still a good choice. I'll explain: Since Riot nerfed The Black Cleaver, it's harder to shred armor as quickly. Against heavy armor stacking teams, this item will make it much easier for YOUR TEAM
to do damage to the enemy team. Obviously you will as well, but the major draw (at least for me) is the increased damage your ad carry will be doing, specifically to their tanks and bruisers. The reduced armor this item can cause is not to be overlooked, and it remains a very solid item choice.
This item used to be a staple of my end game Talon build. Now that The Brutalizer builds into The Black Cleaver however, I haven't really built it much. It is of course, still a viable choice for Talon as it provides some of the stats he wants. The greatest benefit from this item is it's active ability, the increased attack speed will help burst down your target, and the movement speed will help you either chase them down, or run away. The drawback for me is it has crit chance as one of the stats, which I've completely avoided in this build. I wouldn't really recommend this item except situationally, as the crit is somewhat of a wasted stat.
Ah, Tri Force. This is still a really popular item for Talon, but I personally haven't built it in almost 6 months. It provides a lot of stats that Talon can use, which seems like a great idea, but the damage output from this item is lacking. You won't be hitting as hard with this as you would if you had a Bloodthirster.
Arguments for it, and rebuffs
Argument for: "The spellblade effect makes Talon hit like a truck!"
Rebuff: Not really. A common misconception with items like Trinity Force, Sheen, and now Iceborn Gauntlet, is that it applies a bonus of your attack damage on hit after ability use. That statement is missing something. It applies a bonus of your BASE attack damage on hit after ability use. Talon's BASE attack damage is 50(+3.1), giving him 105.8 BASE attack damage at level 18. That means the spellblade effect will give him 158.7 extra damage on his next hit. That's a decent amount for sure, but the item cost (4200g) outweighs it's benefit to me. I'd rather have a second Bloodthirster for 3000g and have all my abilities do more damage.
Now I'm not saying this item is a bad choice, just that I think it's not a good idea to rush it, and that other items are more useful and cost-effective. The only time I would personally build this now, is if I'm attempting to backdoor a tower very quickly. (But then again, I would probably buy a Ghostblade instead and spend my leftover gold on something else.) Moving on!
I have yet to try this item on Talon, but for a week or so it was discussed a lot on the League forums for a variety of champions. At 2200g, this looks to me like huge on-demand burst early and mid games. You get 3 guaranteed critical strikes, and it increases your attack speed by 100% when you use it. (45% normally.) It's worth pointing out that you get no bonus from this item while the on-use ability is on cooldown. I'm not terribly attracted to this item, but coupled with an Infinity Edge it could be pretty nasty.
A must have if you're focusing on a crit build. 80 attack damage is a large amount, plus your crits doing 50% more damage makes this a solid choice. (250% crit damage total by the way.) I don't build crit on Talon, so I don't buy this item. I prefer just flat out attack damage, but experimentation is possible. (And once you get comfortable with Talon, I recommend it.)
What not to buy
Any attack speed based item, really. You don't autoattack with Talon, these items will do him no good. I cringe every time I see a Talon in game with any of these items, so don't be one of those guys. Just stick with ad, armor pen, and cdr.
Final Remarks on this Build
Why two Bloodthirsters?
To be blunt, the raw attack damage. The lifesteal is not as important by the time you get a second, so it's just the ad. Arguments have been made for other items over a second BT, and it's really up to you. Talon is very elusive, and as such it should be fairly easy to maintain your stacks. If you find you're getting focused hard, it might be wise to forgo the second BT and pick up another item.
You have a lot of options with Talon in Season 3. Remember to remain flexible with your build, and buy according to what your team needs as well as what the enemy team has. Shop smart. (Shop S-mart.)