IntroductionThe Noxian Assassin is the last addition to the League in Season 1. He brings a skill set that makes him one of the best burst damage champions in the game, and my personal favorite of the Attack Damage variety. A comparison of the pros and cons of Talon compared to other assassins is listed in the appendix.
Talon, like many other assassins, is a situational pick in a ranked game. Do you foresee a particular support (a squishy one) that will prove a nuisance to your team? Is there an AP carry that will need to be regularly disabled in a teamfight? Does your own team composition permit you reasonable farm in your lane?
Talon is fairly dependent on a good early game, and a game gone pear-shaped can prove very frustrating. A great Talon is challenging to master and utilize properly, but this guide and a good deal of practice will put you on the path to victory â€“ though you must walk it.
There is one thing I will say to preface this guide regarding how I build him. He is a burst assassin, and to do maximum damage I find it best to chain his abilities, thus I prioritize Attack Damage, Armor Penetration, and Cooldown Reduction. If you want a right-click/attack speed champion, go back to the guides section and look for a Caitlyn, Vayne, or Ashe guide.
29 August 2011 - V 1.0 published. Images of rune pages to come.
31 August 2011 - V 1.1 published. Added explicit teamfight section, and added details to early game regarding laning including good partners, and difficult opponents. Runes page pictures added. Videos of combos and tactics to come.
1 September 2011 - V 1.2 published. Added videos of combos and tactics.
4 September 2011 - Guide has been approved by the SoloMid reviewers! Cheers everyone, I hope we can maintain engaging conversation and debate!
6 September 2011 - V 1.2.1 published. Couple new FAQs, including a GREAT discussion on maxing Q vs. W first by Audio7, thanks a lot!!! V 1.3 will contain a "situational items" section.
10 September 2011 - Had to switch image host because photobucket decided to be garbage. Images should be working. V 1.3 in the works, to include situational items and an AoE burst combination that I can't believe I missed.
16 September 2011 - V 1.2.2. Turns out, Talons passive only applies to auto attacks and Noxian Diplomacy. Still awesome, but slightly less awesome than originally thought.
20 October 2011 - V 1.4 in progress. Applying some fixes, making significant changes and improvements to the items and runes sections.
Masteries and RunesI lumped these two sections together because there are two good ways to achieve a proper setup on Talon. The main stats we want to get on Talon are Attack Damage, Cooldown Reduction, and Armor Penetration. I must emphasize that being a burst damage champion, YOU SHOULD AVOID ATTACK SPEED in favor of one of the aforementioned stats if possible.
A. Best Setup
Masteries are 21/0/9, runes are (R/Y/B/Q): ArPen, <choice>, flat CDR, ArPen. This setup takes advantage of maximum damage from the offensive tree while gaining CDR from runes. It is also certainly feasible to take flat AD reds or quints (but not both!!!) for a little more power early on. This is a more expensive route since CDR runes are 820 IP per. For yellow runes I tend to use Mana Regen/lvl to help my staying power in lane, but you can really put whatever you need most here (you could do health runes like most Akalis, or you could get dodge and run 21/9/0). I actually prefer to dump 2 out of my 3 points of Alacrity into Offensive Mastery (minion killing), since it helps me last hit. Others may find that they last hit more with points in Alacrity if they are very good at last hitting already.
B. Cheaper, less effective setup
Masteries are 11/0/19, Runes are (R/Y/B/Q): ArPen, <choice>, <choice>, ArPen. Here, we avoid the high cost of CDR blue runes and take champion CDR from the utility tree. We still get the necessary ArPen from runes and masteries this way, as well as proper CDR, but at the cost of some extra damage from deep within the Offensive Tree. For these I still use Mana Regen/lvl yellows and MR/lvl blues, but the reason to pick this build is so you can use what you already own and still play an effective Talon. You sacrifice a substantial amount of damage this way, but it's still possible to play well with this setup. Many people will have armor and MR/lvl runes from a jungle setup, which is what I used when I started playing Talon.
Summoner SpellsAND OR
Explanation:I go with Flash and Exhaust. The only substitution here would be Exhaust for Ignite. You need to decide which spell your team needs more (I find that Noxian Diplomacy's Damage over Time component is enough for me, especially since lots of other AP/AD players run Ignite).
I have to stand by Flash pretty strongly. Your gap closer can only be used against enemy units, and it lacks the cooldown/numbers that an Akali would use to dive. Having Flash in your arsenal let's you take risks, and you need to take (calculated) risks to win games.
A moderately good passive. Taking advantage of the passive can be the difference between a kill or a death. This passive shines even more in arranged teams where you know ahead of time who will be locked down for a teamfight. Not that it only affects your Q and your autoattacks!
Q: Noxian Diplomacy
Your bread and butter skill, which you should max first in all scenarios. Youâ€™ll be hitting this very often when going for a kill. Some people would use the word spam here, but that would be really out of place. Using Noxian Diplomacy in a controlled fashion will stretch your capabilities much further and mashing it on cooldown.
The most use Iâ€™ve found for the reveal is to see if your target is worth chasing. In a ranked game, that answer is almost always â€œnoâ€, and if the answer is â€œyesâ€ you should know that without the reveal anyway. The bleed over time is nice, and another good reason that Exhaust > Ignite on Talon.
Rake is a good utility skill, and useful for last-hitting purposes in some cases. Collateral damage can make it either extremely favorable or unfavorable depending on the situation. The icing on the cake is that slow, which will apply your passive nicely. You should max this skill after Noxian Diplomacy.
This skill is what being an assassin is all about â€“ the gap closer. Not only is it a gap closer, but it puts you behind your enemy! This can be devastating against a support caster (silence), or against a skillshot champion (immediate evade and counterattack). The damage amplification starts at 3%, and increases up to 15% at level 5.
R: Shadow Assault
When you first see this Ult, youâ€™ll be amazed at its capacity for carnage. Let me tell you, it can do so much more. Shadow Assault is a fantastic Escape, Execution, Chase, and Creep maneuver. Many people will â€œLOL, Talon ulted creepsâ€. Let them laugh, and 30 seconds later shred them to pieces with it. The ridiculously short cooldown on this ability will sometimes allow you to use it twice in a team fight. For more uses of this ability, check the Combos and Tactics section.
Skill OrderR > Q > W > E, in general. W-Q-Q(E)-E(Q)-Q-R-Q-Q-W-W-R-W-W-E-E-R-E-E. This what I usually do with a solo lane, with the only ambiguity being if I want to take a point in E at level 3 for an early gank.
Audio7 recently posed that at rank 5 of Q & W, that W (Rake) is actually better if you land at least one hit going out and one going in. The "Which is better?" question is not straightforward, and a full answer (including math!) can be found in the FAQ of the appendix.
The short answer is,I generally max Q first when I 1v1 mid or top, and max W first when I have a ranged AD opponent or 2v2 bottom. I personally generally get better creep scores (90-100 in the first 15 minutes vs. 75-85) when I max Q, because a maxed out W tends to bring creeps down to 1-hit KO range. If I do that to 3-6 creeps at one time, I tend miss 1-2 per wave, where when I max Q first I tend to only miss 0-1 creeps per wave. Also, technically speaking, you're more likely to put out more damage maxing Q first IF you land two of them on your opponent within a given time period. Your personal play choice and style comes into play here as well, so take all of this with a grain of salt, and play the best Talon you can!
Starting:OR + OR +
Explanation:Doran's blade will sustain you for defensive play until level 6 in a solo lane, but one could also go boots + pots in the face of an opponent that requires a high degree of movement to avoid damage. Longsword is viable in a duo lane with support only - you should only be in a duo lane if you're getting heals or shields from your support while you farm creeps. In the end, you save 950 gold if you go longswords into brutalizer, but it's really only possible in a duo lane with support.
Explanation:On your first trip back, try and end up with these items, and hopefully some wards and pots as needed (825g minimum). Second trip back grab Boots 2 and wards/pots as needed (700-850g minimum). I almost always buy CDR boots, but there are some games where you live long enough in a teamfight for Merc's Treads to be useful.
Explanation:Once you have Boots 2, start saving for that BF sword. At this point you are pretty much rushing that Bloodthirster (if you come short, you could get Brutalizer first, especially if you're laning against a heavily armored opponent). Afterward, your item build is flexible. I usually get Brutalizer next because my enemies build armor (and I love the CDR), but if they don't you can go Sheen (if you're having a good game) or Defensive item (if things aren't going so well).
Explanation:Late game your build will look something like this. Most games you probably won't get quite all of these items. Notice that you don't finish Ghostblade or Trinity Force - they're too expensive for the tiny upgrade you would get out of it (besides, if you get blue buff you max CDR here). You get much more, much cheaper if you build this way first, then upgrade at the end of the game.
Final Build:++++Defensive Item+Situational Item
Defensive Item Options:
For AP/CC heavy teams
For mixed AP/AD teams
/ for AD heavy teams along with Atma's for situational
Situational Items Options:
To be paired with Frozen Mallet or Warmog's for AD teams
For teams with lots of armor
I rarely actually finish this build. It's really expensive in the end, but really, you only NEED the items in the "Late Game" section to succeed.
You would do best in a solo lane; mid is best, top is fine if there's no one better to fill the spot.If you HAVE to duo lane, you should do so with a support that will feed you kills. Janna is the best support to lane with because of her shield (synergy with your burst) and her knock up, Taric is in a close second for CC (synergy with passive) and healing (new patch makes his ult synergize with you a little better). The rest of the supports are just OK since they can heal you and maybe give you some CC to aid in kills.
There are a couple of opponents that will really hurt you in a lane.Most ranged AD champions (Caitlyn, Ashe) will be a hassle since they have a greater range than your Rake (another reason not to duo bot). Other champions that may give you problems are ones that have a slowing or stunning skill shot that will hit you while stealthed (Brand, Cassiopeia, Cho'gath...). These are generally less of a threat, you just have to juke a little during your escape. WW and Nocturne are troublesome junglers that may successfully gank you - WW for his slightly long range suppression and Noc because he can ult from anywhere and fear you if he casts it before your stealth. Champions that you do surprisingly well against include Mordekaiser, Udyr, most mages, and most supports.
Like most champions, you want to focus on last hitting. Talon can harass a moderate amount with Rake, and your E-Q if youâ€™re feeling bold and uncontested (see Combos and Tactics). Play conservatively until youâ€™re sure of a gank, or level 6. After level 6 with boots and 2 damage items, you should be able to burst down a champion from half health if you have all your abilities and summoner's spells available. Try to get your targets to burn their Flashes before using Exhaust on them â€“ itâ€™s easier than it sounds while playing Talon.
Donâ€™t forget to grab a ward each time back if youâ€™re in a solo lane. A ward while playing as Talon almost surely allows for an escape with your Ult, even if youâ€™ve pushed up a little further than you should.
Mid GameNow is when things get interesting. Kills are going to be more common and frequent, and youâ€™ll want to start jumping at those opportunities to gank more often. Continue to farm your lane if your tower is still up and assist teammates if theyâ€™re struggling. Once you grab a BF sword, youâ€™re ability to kill enemy champions almost doubles, and even more when Bloodthrister is finished. Itâ€™s important to note that you can do a lot of extra damage to towers with Noxian Diplomacy, despite the lack of bleed. Also, look to grab Red and Blue if your Jungler (or anyone else) doesnâ€™t need it. You are becoming much more dependent on kills and assists at this point in the game, but if youâ€™re following my suggestion to max Rake second, then your ability to farm a lane will be very high during this phase.
Late GameYouâ€™ll be in traveling as a team very often now, and you should focus on disabling one player on their team every fight. If you coordinate with your teammates in terms of CC, it will be that much easier. If not, try and enter shortly after the battle has started and jump on their carry or support â€“ Make good use of that silence as a disruption, and melt their health bars to force a retreat. If youâ€™re hitting a tank, youâ€™re doing it wrong. Keep in mind, as before, that your Q will prove an amazing asset when assaulting turrets, Dragon, or Baron.
Teamfighting, Combos, and TacticsYouâ€™ve prepared as much as you can by reading the first nine sections of this guide. Now letâ€™s look at how you can be more effective in-game as Talon.
Your job in a teamfightis to CC/burn down an important member of their team, most likely and AP carry or support, but sometimes an AD carry. If your team catches a tank out of position, just use your Q and save your other abilities in case the rest of the team shows up. Try to jump in shortly after the fight begins, and fully disable the member of their team that gives you the most trouble. There are a few exceptions to the rule that should be obvious (like a fed poppy with immunity, for example), but in general you're looking to knock out one member of the team (see burst combos below), stay alive, and clean up afterwards as your abilities come up. Your best friends in teamfights are anyone that can provide CC to activate your passive.
In order to contribute to our lane, and our team, we need to examine how to best utilize our skill set.
Noxian Diplomacy (Q)is our bread and butter, and weâ€™ll be using it often, BUT RARELY WITHOUT ANOTHER SKILL ACTIVE. That is to say, youâ€™ll rarely be throwing out a Q without having first popped another skill.
You'll want to pop your Q either right before, or during your E. The hope is that your first attack following E will be a Q. Activating Q before your E is, as has been pointed out, becoming a giveaway as to your intentions (this is a change from the original guide post). Once they realize whatâ€™s happening, theyâ€™re already silenced and the damage is done. At this point, youâ€™re either moving away from them (while they canâ€™t hit you with any skills) or following up with a Rake. If you anticipate a kill, DONâ€™T THROW RAKE RIGHT AWAY!! If you do, the slow duration will run out before you can slip a second Q in for extra damage. You want close the gap, do a short chase, then Rake and Q-strike for a load of damage.
Activate Q and Cast E @ target
Run if not killing, chase for a second then Rake if killing
Activate second Q during Rakeâ€™s Slow
Thereâ€™s one other way to do this that could yield more damage, but itâ€™s rarely useful against good players. If you can land a Q without any other abilities, follow up with Rake-Q, then Q-E. This is really risky, and youâ€™ll wind up taking a gut punch instead in almost all cases, even from the brush.
Using Q with your Ult is similar to Q-E in that you should activate it ahead of time. YOUR Q WILL BREAK STEALTH!!! But, if you activate it just before, then you can take advantage of a Noxian Diplomacy AND your Ult effectively. Best case scenario, you do the following:
(Activate Exhaust if available/needed) Activate Q
Immediately Activate Ult, hitting champion(s) nearby
Activate E on your main target (Q lands, blades return)
Activate W and a second Q if they're still alive
This combination results in an insane amount of burst, because your main target is taking damage at LEAST twice from your Ult (probably more, if you get behind him with E theyâ€™ll get hit by most of your blades instead of just 1!), getting silenced, and taking a full force Noxian Diplomacy. On top of all that, if you nailed Exhaust and E properly, Noxian Diplomacy does 25% EXTRA DAMAGE from your passive and amplification from E!!!
Here's a video showing you some of the insane burst combinations you can pull off with Talon:
Noxian Diplomacy is also useful for last hitting, although veterans at high elo probably won't see as much use in them. If a minion has a little more health than you can do in one swing (or one Q), and you really want to hit it before retreating (or it's the last minion of a wave that you're pushing, etc.) what you can do is let your autoattack hit, then IMMEDIATELY press Q. Using Noxian Diplomacy resets your swing timer, so it can result in a manual double hit if used properly. You could in theory use this against a champion following E, but I find that it's too unreliable (and sometimes people get away without you landing a Q at all!), and that you're better off activating Q before you E. You can also use this trick to net you two minions in quick succession. If they're close together and at low health, hit one with an autoattack, then hit your Q to immediately attack the next one for two quick minion kills. At the end of this section is a video on a proper double hit.
Now letâ€™s look at Rakeexclusively â€“ itâ€™s a great farming skill, especially once you start dropping points in it. Even better, you can usually harass with it pretty well. At level 1-3 youâ€™ll do moderate damage with it, but your enemies will soon start to ignore it since youâ€™re putting points into Q first. Take advantage of this moment of weakness by immediately following a Rake with a Q-E combo. If you catch them below 50% health with all three skills, you may be able to score a kill by blowing Exhaust and chasing, although Rake is on a substantial cooldown early on. Late game it clears minion waves and the jungle in efficient fashion - with an Infinity edge you should be able to throw out a Rake that will leave the minions with one autoattack left, or outright kill the minion mages.
Your Eâ€¦well, itâ€™s a gap closer and a silence. The amplification is negligible until around rank 4. This is why I use it mostly for utility and save it for last. You can only target enemies with this ability, so it doesnâ€™t make for a good escape mechanism unless youâ€™re way overextendedâ€¦which you shouldnâ€™t be <wrist slap>. Your Ult will serve you better for escapes.
Speaking of your Ult,there are so many great ways to use it. First off, itâ€™s on a 50ish second CD at level 1, and 24 seconds at max level with 40% CDR. You can potentially Ult twice in teamfights if they drag out. You can also use if very effectively to clear minion waves, similar to what Miss Fortune players do (except better, faster, and on shorter CD). Early game you may have to throw out a Rake afterwards to finish the wave, but late game you should kill small minions outright. This is a great stall tactic if your turret is getting pushed while you wait for assistance, since you will clear the wave, gain stealth, and push away enemy champions from the turret (Beware the dive though!!!). There's a video below of this tactic. If people â€œLOL Talon ulted minions!â€, let them laugh, and while theyâ€™re guffawing 30 seconds later, give them a mouth full of blades with a fresh Ult. If the enemy team is pushing your tower while youâ€™re outnumbered, donâ€™t hesitate to pop your Ult to clear the minion wave and back off during stealthâ€¦ Youâ€™ll probably punish their team a good bit as well!
Escaping with your Ult is fairly easy. Its CD is short enough to be frequently useful, but long enough that no one short of an enemy support is going to buy stealth detection for you (in general). The best thing to do is to blow your Ult right before an enemy attack. Against a ganking Udyr, itâ€™s fantastic â€“ you just Ult in his face when heâ€™s 2 cm away, and runâ€¦ heâ€™ll probably take a ton of damage just for trying to gank you. Against others you have to be more careful â€“ donâ€™t get slowed or snared trying to time your Ult, or it will be useless.
Here's a video of a proper double hit, and Ulting at your tower to prevent a dive:
AppendixThis section is purely supplementary, and will not DIRECTLY affect how well you play Talon. It may give you some insights into his strengths and weaknesses, as well as that of other champions. Being a truly competitive player means not only knowing your own skill set, but also those of your allies and enemies. If youâ€™ve read the entire guide so far, you may want to put this down for a bit before you come back to the appendix.
Comparison of Assassins: Here Iâ€™m going to compare some of the games primary assassins and weigh some of the pros and cons of Talon. First letâ€™s list all the assassins according to Riot: Akali, Eve, Irelia, Kassadin, Katarina, LeBlanc, Lee Sin, Nocturne, Pantheon, Poppy, Shaco, Talon, Twisted Fate, Vayne, Xin Zhao.
Now, letâ€™s narrow down the criteria to the best BURST assassins. TL;DR â€“ weâ€™re left with Akali, Kassadin, Katarina, LeBlanc, Pantheon, and Talon. We can take out Eve because theyâ€™ve completely neutered her play to the point where an Oracleâ€™s makes the game a 4v5. Irelia is almost always built off tank, reducing her killing power. Lee Sin is almost always in the jungle because he needs a great deal of tank and lifesteal components to stay in a teamfight. Nocturne is almost always in the jungle, and played like an AD carry (burst insufficient). Poppy is extremely item dependent, and generally played on the tanky side. Shaco takes too long to ramp up good burst. Twisted Fate is only listed as an assassin because of his ult. Vayne is played more like a carry, similar to Nocturne. Xin Zhao is almost always in the jungle and built tankier because his burst is heavily item dependent.
With our remaining champions, letâ€™s look at their skill set to see what each brings to the table (in the absence of items and summoner spells).
Looking at the table, letâ€™s see how Talon stacks up (TL;DR pros and cons below). His passive definitely aids his burst, but at the cost of a defensive one (although Pantheonâ€™s is the only really good one, and Akaliâ€™s lifesteal is dependent on items you donâ€™t build on an Akali). His short stealth is controllable, compared to LeBlanc (who canâ€™t move, itâ€™s not really a stealth at all) or Akali (who has a small bubble of stealth that provides defensive bonuses, but limited area). That short stealth makes opponents unlikely to buy stealth detection specifically for you, where Akali may face opponents that do so. Early game this is a con (because getting your team to waste money on stealth wards/oracles would be good), but late game itâ€™s a pro since money wonâ€™t matter as much anymore and it will improve your odds of survival. Talon has no innate flash, although he has a gap closer in his E â€“ this makes him more dependent on taking flash as a summoner spell than other champions (although almost everyone runs flash anyway, this isnâ€™t a major con). Talon has reasonably good crowd control compared to most other burst assassins. He has a less effective, but still potent silence compared to Kassadin, while his slow is a bit better since it has no dependency other than CD and Mana. This makes him a good anti-AP or anti-support assassin much like Kassadin, but without a high dependency on mana. Talon has no Damage reduction or mitigation like some other assassins by means of abilities. Talon can effectively use all of those active abilities in a teamfight, however, where most other assassins will tend to ignore one of their skills to burst (E on Akali, W on Kassadin, etc.). Talonâ€™s Ult is on a relatively short cooldown, making it useful in a variety of situations. Talon clears creeps better than most other assassins IF you max Rake second, as in this guide (otherwise, it falls off dramatically in the absence of items) â€“ this carries particular weight in ranked games where Creep Score is extremely important. Talon can do extra damage to towers with his Q ability, where all other assassins have no effective abilities against towers. Almost all assassins have trouble killing tanks, and Talon just OK at it â€“ then again, killing a tank isnâ€™t exactly high on your priority list anyway. TL;DR pros and cons:
Q: Why max Rake before Cutthroat?
A: Cutthroat does no direct damage, and amplifies the target's damage taken by a 3/6/9/12/15% for a few seconds. Rake, on the other hand, (1) does damage, (2) makes you a better creep farmer, and (3) activates your passive for 10% amplified damage. So you can see, you'd have to spend 4-5 points in Cutthroat before it even came close to being superior to Rake - and even then when you factor in cooldowns and damage from the abilities themselves, it's still close. Yes, if you did it right, it would land you at 25% increased damage for a short period, but mid-game you need to be a good farmer and need a little bit of harass that doesn't expose you like your Q-E combo does.
Q (Audio7): Rake does better burst than Noxian Diplomacy without items, so why max Q first?
A: I actually had to go check this one out. The answer is convoluted, and basically comes down to a choice depending on your playstyle and your laning opponent(s). TL;DR is that Q is better with 67+ AD, and even less than that if you land two of them in one time period (compared to just one W that hits twice). Q is also better if you're good at last hitting in a solo lane, but Rake is probably better in a duo lane (because you can hit multiple champions with W, and you'll get eaten alive in melee) or versus an aggressive ranged player. If you want to see how it pans out, read on...
Let's first look at the SIMPLEST mathematical model for these skills, assuming Rank 5 of each with exactly one execution of the skill on an armor-less target:
Noxian Diplomacy (Rank 5) does 150 + 30% of bonus AD instantly, and 90 + 120% of bonus AD over 6 seconds
So, damage = (150 + 0.3x) + (90 + 1.2x) where x is bonus AD.
Rake (Rank 5) does 130 + 60% of bonus AD per hit (assuming 2, one on the way out, one on the way back)
So damage = 2(130 + 0.6x) where x is bonus AD.
Knowing this much, we can see that if we assume 0 bonus AD (x=0), that Rake does 260 damage, and Noxian Diplomacy does 240. However, you'll notice that as bonus AD (x) increases, that Noxian Diplomacy does more damage, which is to say that it scales better with bonus AD. But just how much before Q > W? Easy, just set them equal to each other and solve for x:
(150 + 0.3x) + (90 + 1.2x) = 2(130 + 0.6x)
240 + 1.5x = 260 + 1.2x
0.3x = 20
240 + 1.5x = 260 + 1.2x
0.3x = 20
x = 66.7 bonus AD
So, at 66.7 or greater bonus AD, Noxian Diplomacy is better than Rake. How does this fit into my build? Turns out, just about perfectly. Two Doran's Blades (10 ea) + BF sword (45) + Masteries (3) = 68 Bonus AD. This means as soon as you get that BF sword, your Q hits harder than your Rake IN ONE SHOT. That's not the entire story, and the case for Noxian Diplomacy only gets stronger.
If you consider the fact that the CD on Q is short enough cooldown that you can use it twice for every one W, then Q blows W out of the water. From a pure burst perspective, this would be disqualified, but in the laning phase this will be a very common occurrence. Not only that, but if you use the combinations I've outlined, where you Q-E-W-Q, that second Q benefits an extra 10% from your passive!!! (The first Q and W both benefit from the bonus damage of Cutthroat, but that's a measley 3% at Rank 1, where we're talking about!) Also note that while Rake activates your passive, you don't ever get 10% bonus damage from W. Further beyond that, sometimes you only hit once with rake (and the argument that it could hit more than twice is rare or nonexistent, unlike your ult).
You bundle all this evidence together, and you'll why I stand by my original analysis that Noxian Diplomacy is the best skill to max first, IF you can farm properly. If you're going to get starved, Audio7 makes a great case that there is much to be gained for a small sacrifice in damage if you max Rake first.
Q: Why no Wriggleâ€™s Lantern?
A: Some people take Wriggleâ€™s to sustain them in lane with lifesteal and to help creep farm. Iâ€™ve managed to construct a build less dependent on this money-sink.
Q: Why donâ€™t you finish Ghostblade immediately?
A: If you took CDR boots, youâ€™re looking at a healthy amount of CDR, and you can even cap if you take blue buff! This is the reason why you donâ€™t finish Ghostblade until later. You can wait on Brutalizer even longer if your enemies arenâ€™t building armor yet.
Q: Why CDR Boots?
A: Talon can put out damage a lot faster with full CDR. Without it, he turns into a Brand style play where you pop each ability once, and then youâ€™re waiting for cooldowns while auto-attacking. Well, at least Brand isnâ€™t getting fisted in melee range trying to do so. The ONLY reason to get Mercâ€™s Treads is if youâ€™re forced to build defensively from the start, and are getting chain CCâ€™d. Chances are, though, theyâ€™d rather just focus you down than chain CC you anyway. Every time someone plays Talon with Berserkerâ€™s Greaves, a kitten is slain.
Q: Why no Phage/Frozen Mallet/Rushed Trinity Force?
A: Youâ€™re in this for damage proc, no questions about it. A lot of you are going to ask why I didnâ€™t put a Phage in a build, or build a Frozen Mallet. The reason is because Phage is only a 25% chance to slow, and you cannot count on that to activate your passive â€“ it is better to get a Frozen Mallet or Red buff. Red buff is freeâ€¦ Frozen Mallet is quite expensive, and only worth taking youâ€™re REALLY taking a beating and need the extra survivability (besides, the slow will only net you 10% extra damage from your passive, and you can reliably activate it with Rake or Red buff, or other CC). The only other reason to take Frozen Mallet is for a Fratma's build, which now has it's own place in this guide.
Q: When should I take Red/Blue buffs?
A: First of all, you should ask your jungler's permission. You shouldn't ever rob your AP carry of blue unless they have a sustainable mana pool without. If you can take an enemy blue, that's much better, but don't go out of your way and get ganked for it. This build supplies you with a healthy amount of CDR, and you shouldn't be running oom unless you're spamming abilities. You shouldn't generally take red over an AD carry either - but if you're carrying the team hard, and they're just farming, you'll put it to WAY better use. That being said, Talon makes great use of both buffs with Red edging out Blue being slightly better and more available.
Q: Can you/Could you/Why donâ€™t you Jungle Talon?
A: Itâ€™s too slow early on, when you need to be the most efficient. You do a lot of auto-attacking in the jungle, and if youâ€™ve learned anything from this guide itâ€™s that Talon is not an attack speed champion. I watched Stonewall008 do it in 7:30, and if he doesn't make it look impressive, then it never will be.
Q(Blane): Does Mercy/Cutthroat affect crits?
A: Yes, and it's very impressive when they do!
Q(Blane): Does Mercy/Cutthroat affect Ignite?
A: UPDATE, according to other guides and sources Ignite is affected. I'm still a larger fan of Exhaust, but in the end it will be up to you.
Final CommentsTalon is a really fun champion to play, and an excellent addition to the League of Legends. Even if you don't play him in a whole lot of ranked games, there is a great deal fun to be had in normal games.
Thank you for taking the time to read my guide. It is for use on Solomid's website only. I will do my best to answer comments and questions, and consider changes to the guide if I find them in-line with the philosophy outlined here.
I personally am in the Bronze range for Solo Que 5v5, working to improve my game for Season 2. Special thanks to Solo Mid for hosting this guide, and providing me (and the rest of the community) with great resources to improve.