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All Guides Talon Guides [Season 7 Updated] Live and die by the blade
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Talon Statistics for Hexadecimal

Author's performance with Talon compared to the ranked average.

Value
Average
Games Played
8
Win %
43
Kills
8.3
Assists
6.2
Deaths
7.5
KA:D Ratio
1.9
Gold Earned
12.2K
Creep Score
157.0
Average
  • Author Champion Statistics
  • Guide Details

Summoner Spells Back to Top

4.png Flash

Standard on most mid laners. It helps you escape, gap close, jump walls, re-position - it's simply too good to pass up. There's simply no other spell that's as versatile as Flash. The fact that you can use it to escape, dodge spells, or go aggressive is what makes it such a strong spell.

14.png Ignite

Ignite is taken to increase your overall damage and acts as an additional spell. This extra damage will give you a lot more kill potential on the enemy throughout the laning phase. Talon is an assassin that looks to snowball and to do that he needs kills - Ignite helps us in this playstyle.

One tip is to remember that Ignite applies Grievous Wounds - reducing all healing by 40%. For this reason you always want to try to Ignite at the start of your all-in engages. This is due to the fact that it's common for players to consume a health pot at the start of a fight to increase their health regeneration throughout the engagement. 

Additionally, Ignite will give you sight on enemy champions it's applied to - this does not reveal stealth champions. However, this can be important when fighting around brushes as enemies can use brushes to hide, juke you, and overall increase their chances of getting away.

New Runes Back to Top

Masteries Back to Top

12/18/0

Damage is the name of the game when it comes to Talon - your Masteries will aim to maximize it.

Ferocity - 12 points

  • Sorcery is taken for increase in damage
  • Feast is taken since we're melee and will likely take a lot of harass. Fresh Blood is a viable alternative into easy matchups.
  • Natural Talent is taken to increase our damage. We put one point into Vampirism to get some lifesteal/spell vamp that we otherwise won't get from our standard build.
  • Battle Trance is the safe choice to increase your damage
  • Take Double Edged Sword into easier matchups where you aren't under threat of being killed
  • Bounty Hunter doesn't give us any bonuses early on when we need them the most - for that reason I don't recommend it


Cunning - 18 Points

  • Savagery is taken to make last hitting easier as well as increase the speed of doing jungle camps between minion waves.
  • Assassin is taken to increase damage. However, Secret Stash is a viable alternative against harass lanes. It's taken to give you additional sustain in lane as well as the instant restore of an additional 20 health and 10 mana can sometimes save you when you have a DoT on you.
  • Merciless is taken for the damage increase. We put one point in Meditation because it's better than 1 additional point in Merciless.
  • Dangerous game is taken as it will often save you in close fights.
  • Precision is taken to increase damage
  • Thunderlord's is taken to increase your burst

Abilities Back to Top

W
Q
E
W
W
R
W
Q
W
Q
R
Q
Q
E
E
R
E
E
Passive
Q
2
8
10
12
13
W
1
4
5
7
9
E
3
14
15
17
18
R
6
11
16

Skill Order


talonshadowassault.png > talonrake.png > talonnoxiandiplomacy.png > taloncutthroat.png



Notes:
  • You can put your first skill point in Q instead of W if you're against a melee champion as it will let you harass them without pushing the wave. Just make sure use your Q to reset your auto-attack when harassing. Meaning, the combo at level 1 would be Auto-Attack then Q as soon as the damage of your auto-attack is applied. Also try to be within melee range to activate the bonus damage effect.
  • At level 3 you can put a second point into W if you're going to all-in the opponent and feel you'll need the extra damage. Otherwise a point in E will be safer as it can help you escape ganks.
  • The rest of the skill point allocation is somewhat self-explanatory. Maxing W gives you great poke, damage, and wave clear. Maxing Q next is for the increased damage and E last as it only reduces the cooldown on the walls you've used.

talonpassive.png Blade's End

  • A huge part of your damage, especially early game. Your combos revolve around activating this passive.

talonnoxiandiplomacy.png Noxian Diplomacy

  • You can reset your auto attack animation by using this ability. To do this you simply auto attack first then once the damage registers you immediately hit Q to optimize your damage
  • Can be a good tool to help you last hit under tower since 50% of its cooldown is refunded when it kills a unit
  • The melee damage bonus is quite large and should be used when possible

talonrake.png Rake

  • Your bread and butter skill that allows you to wave clear and sets up your all-in
  • You want to look to land both portions of your W as that will activate your passive with a follow up Q and auto-attack
  • The return portion of it does more damage and applies a slow

taloncutthroat.png Assassin's Path

  • Gives you great roaming potential since you can get to places faster
  • Also lets you come from unexpected locations since you can dodge wards by jumping over walls
  • Can also help you escape ganks in lane by jumping over walls

talonshadowassault.png Shadow Assault

  • A great ultimate that helps not only your overall burst, but also for you to engage, disengage and escape
  • A lot of the time you will be using this to engage on the enemy since it will give you a movement speed bonus and make you invisible.

Items Back to Top

Starting Items

    Standard
    Sustain

Core Items

    Early Game
    Struggling vs AP
    Mid Game
    End Game Build Example

Situational Items

Start With

Standard

1036.png2003.png2003_32.png2003_32.png

This starting build will give you damage and help you stay in lane with the health regeneration. You also start with a long sword, which is a core piece in your early to mid game items.


Sustain

2033.png

You want to start this when you're facing heavy harass. This not only provides you with more sustain in your initial starting items, but it's also extremely cost efficient in the long term as it refills every time you go back.


Core

Early Game

1001_32.png3142.png

  • Gives you a massive amount of flat armor penetration, which gives you a big damage boost early on
  • The active is also great at chasing people down and escaping fights
  • The cooldown reduction is also great on an AD caster like Talon


Struggling vs AP

1001_32.png3155.png3142.png
  • This is your best item choice when you're facing a tough magic damage lane opponent
  • Hexdrinker is a very strong item that can shut down tough AP mids and turn the matchup into your favor
  • You want to get a 3142.png after, which will give you a total of 30 armor penetration from your items.

Middle Game

1001.png3142.png3147.png
  • Duskblade's passives synergize with Ghostblade since it scales with Lethality. It also provides you with additional out of combat movement speed, which will help you roam around the map
  • Ghostblade gives you a movement speed active which is very important as it will allow you to get away and chase people down
  • The overall burst, damage, and utility makes this a great core build to aim for every game
  • After this you want to either purchase a 3071.png as the additional health will help deal with how squishy you are

End Game Build Example

1001.png3142.png3147.png3071.png3026.png3814.png

  • This is an end game build example and can be adjusted.
  • This is mainly an armor penetration build
  • The 3071.png gives you additional damage and armor penetration, but also provides you with some health so you aren't super squishy.
  • 3026.png is a very cost effective item that can cover your defensive needs while still providing you with more damage
  • 3814.png is a nice item that we can activate before we engage on the enemy, which can block the first spell. At the same time, it gives us additional Lethality, which synergizes with the rest of our build. This item is the one you want to replace with one of the situational items.

Situational

3139.png - A good purchase when facing champion's with crowd control to lock you down. It's mainly purchased for the active ability. An example would be 90.png ultimate.

3031.png - Synergizes with your Q since it critically strikes when used within melee range. Should only be purchased if very far ahead and snowballing.

3742.png - A great bruiser item that should be purchased when facing an all attack damage team composition.

3074.png - Your go-to damage item when you need lifesteal. The passive/active will help you wave clear faster as well as take jungle camps faster. The activate will also increase your burst damage when you engage.


Pick one of these boots

3117.png -  Get these if you're having no trouble in lane and are planning to roam around the map. Consider selling them late game since they won't be as effective in late game team fights.


3009.png - Get these if you like the movement speed boots of mobility provide, but don't like their inconsistency. I prefer these.


3111.png - Get these if the enemy team has a lot of crowd control.


3047.png - Get these if the enemy has a lot of AD or you're struggling against an AD mid laner.


3158.png - Can be purchased to achieve maximum cooldown reduction of 40% since you'll only get 30% from your build.

Matchups Back to Top

Click on a champion below to see the author's notes on that particular matchup.

  • Ahri
    Medium
  • Akali
    Hard
  • Anivia
    Easy
  • Annie
    Medium
  • Azir
    Medium
  • Cassiopeia
    Medium
  • Cho'Gath
    Medium
  • Diana
    Medium
  • Ekko
    Medium
  • Evelynn
    Medium
  • Fizz
    Medium
  • Gragas
    Medium
  • Karthus
    Easy
  • Kassadin
    Easy
  • Katarina
    Easy
  • LeBlanc
    Medium
  • Malzahar
    Medium
  • Mordekaiser
    Hard
  • Morgana
    Easy
  • Orianna
    Medium
  • Pantheon
    Medium
  • Ryze
    Medium
  • Swain
    Hard
  • Syndra
    Medium
  • Twisted Fate
    Easy
  • Viktor
    Medium
  • Vladimir
    Medium
  • Yasuo
    Medium
  • Zed
    Medium
  • Ziggs
    Easy

VS

Ahri

Medium
  • She has long range which allows her to harass you and makes it difficult to harass back or go aggressive
  • She can charm you after you silence her and then kite you to win the trade
  • Her ultimate makes it difficult for you to kill her as she will often use it to escape the killing blow
  • The mobility on her ultimate makes her great at counter ganking you
  • That being said, you can snowball the lane hard if you get an advantage.

VS

Akali

Hard
  • Your 1 second silence isn't enough for you to win trades
  • Her dash means you can't escape once you've engaged
  • She has insane damage
  • Can snowball really hard into Akali's favor

VS

Anivia

Easy
  • Her long auto attack range allows her to harass you early on
  • She can Q+E you after E her unless you dodge it
  • Her ultimate makes it difficult to gap close and allows her to kite you
  • It can snowball hard into your favor, but can be difficult to do so against a good Anivia

VS

Annie

Medium

Annie can give you trouble early on before you have enough damage to insta kill her as she will end up just instantly killing you instead.


Always play around her stun stacks by left clicking on her and checking at the top left of the screen.

As long as you play around her stun stacks you can engage on her, combo, and go invisible without her being able to kill you in return.

VS

Azir

Medium

Azir will look to harass you down. Early on he will be quite annoying, but try to dodge harass and focus on farming.


You can try to dodge Azir's Q with your E to win trades.

Be careful of engaging on Azir when he's close to his tower as he can ult you into it to win the fight.

VS

Cassiopeia

Medium
  • Somewhat of a skill based matchup that's tilted into Talon's favor.
  • Don't go aggressive on her before level 6 as she will out damage you
  • Once you engage on Cass you have no way of retreating without taking MASSIVE amounts of damage. You need to kill her when you engage, not harass.
  • Use your W to harass rather than your E+W+AA+Q combo.
  • Cass is squishy, but this lane can snowball into either person's favor.

VS

Cho'Gath

Medium
  • His sustain makes it impossible to harass him out of lane
  • He can 100-0 you if he lands a rupture once he's level 6
  • Cho'Gath has weak roaming/ganking. Take advantage of this by ganking side lanes once you get your boots of mobility.

VS

Diana

Medium
  • Her shield negates a lot of your damage
  • You need to get in close to burst her, which is exactly what Diana wants
  • She has amazing burst
  • This lane will snowball into one person's favor
  • Remember that Diana has no escapes and can be baited into a gank by the jungler

VS

Ekko

Medium

Ekko is at his weakest before he's level 6 and gains access to his ultimate. Try to time your aggression around when he uses his Q on minions. Also, always play around his W as the shield and stun will win him the trade.


Once he's level 6 try to poke and wave clear with W and then either roam or try to kill him if you get him low enough. Never straight up fight both at full hp or he will win.

VS

Evelynn

Medium
  • You can win trades early on
  • Once she gets level 6+ her burst can be lethal
  • You want to counter gank her and pay attention to the map when she goes MIA
  • Can snowball into one person's favor, but you should win trades when her ultimate is down

VS

Fizz

Medium

Fizz can be a tough matchup since your ultimate can't dodge his abilities if he lands his ultimate on you. His E also allows him to dodge your W if timed appropriately.


Harass with your W and use your E to dodge his E. Also try to dodge his ultimate with your E as well. 

VS

Gragas

Medium
  • It's an even lane that comes down to skill
  • Gragas has great sustain because of his passive, it will be difficult to harass him out of lane
  • Gragas is tanky because of his W, it will be difficult to burst him down from 100 hp
  • Both of you have kill potential on each other and it comes down to jungle ganks and outplaying

VS

Karthus

Easy
  • Karthus has long range which can make it difficult to harass and gap close
  • Karthus has no form of crowd control other than his Wall of Pain or escapes. This means it's easy to stick to him once you close the gap.
  • Still, you have to be aware that you can lose to an engage on Karthus. He should have exhaust, which will reduce your damage output when you go to kill him. If he gains an early advantage then it can be difficult to kill him without dying yourself.

VS

Kassadin

Easy
  • You completely dominate him early game
  • He can have annoying harass with his Q, but you should be able to win trades once you're level 3+
  • His ultimate makes it difficult for you to kill him once he's level 6+, but you can win trades unless he's fed

VS

Katarina

Easy
  • She's melee which means it's very easy to harass her and engage on her
  • Your silence counters her ultimate
  • You want to use your W to slow her so you can close the distance
  • Save your E for when she ults rather than using it to engage on her

VS

LeBlanc

Medium
  • You by no means counter he
  • A skill based matchup
  • Can snowball heavily into LeBlanc's favor if played poorly
  • LeBlanc's biggest weakness is her farming. Try to push the lane and gank side lanes

VS

Malzahar

Medium
  • Annoying harass early on
  • Can 100-0 you once he's level 6
  • You can snowball the lane into your advantage, but it's difficult
  • Malz has weak team fighting. You want to roam side lanes and win other people's lanes rather than outplay your own.

VS

Mordekaiser

Hard
  • You have to get in close to fight him, which is exactly what he wants
  • You need to avoid fighting near minions at all costs
  • Once he's level 6 it's very difficult to win a straight up trade with him
  • You want to set up jungle ganks since Mord has no escapes or crowd control

VS

Morgana

Easy
  • The mobility from your E counters her Q
  • If she spell shields your silence she'll land an easy Q
  • You need to make sure to dodge her Q or she can 100-0 you once she's level 6
  • She has very safe farming with her W. This can make it difficult to go aggressive. Often it's better to try and gank side lanes rather than waste time mid trying to kill her.

VS

Orianna

Medium
  • She has really annoying harass
  • Her shield negates some of your damage
  • The mobility from your E counters her skill shot heavy skill set
  • It's a skill based matchup

VS

Pantheon

Medium
  • It's a skill based matchup
  • Both are capable of snowballing
  • Pantheon has the slight advantage since a stun is stronger than a silence in this matchup

VS

Ryze

Medium
  • He has annoying harass
  • Early on you can win trades, but as the game goes on longer he will completely out scale you
  • The worst thing you can do is feed him an early kill and let him snowball the lane
  • Remember that Ryze has weak wave clearing. Try to force him to last under tower while you go gank side lanes

VS

Swain

Hard
  • His harass makes him a pain to lane against early game
  • He will naturally build tanky. Combine this with the sustain from his ultimate and it's very difficult to burst him down.
  • You want to gank side lanes rather than trying to outplay him mid.

VS

Syndra

Medium
  • She has very annoying harass and high range
  • She can 100-0 you if you misplay your engage
  • This lane will snowball hard into one person's favor
  • Dodge her harass early and look to time your engage when her Q is on cooldown
  • It's very important to avoid getting caught in her stun

VS

Twisted Fate

Easy
  • He has annoying harass
  • He's just simply too squishy. You're able to burst him down once you're level 6
  • Always be aware of how strong TF's counter ganks are. If his ultimate is up be very cautious when ganking.

VS

Viktor

Medium

Viktor will bully you early on. Look to try to survive levels 1-5 until you have your ultimate.


Once you have your ultimate try to engage when he uses a key spell such as his Q or E on minions.

Even if you don't kill him, quickly getting your combo off and then ulting can help you ease pressure and push him out of lane.

VS

Vladimir

Medium
  • Annoying harass throughout the game
  • He can pool a lot of your damage and use it to disengage and create distance
  • You have WAY better ganks though. Use this to your advantage and gank side lanes.

VS

Yasuo

Medium

Yasuo is stronger than you early on, but if you snowball you will be able to kill him over and over again.


Avoid fighting him early and instead let him push into you and safely farm. Make sure to proc his shield with your W before you fight. Also, be aware of how many Q stacks he has. Try to engage a fight when he has 0 Q stacks so he can't ult.

Be aware that his windwall can block a good portion of your damage. 

VS

Zed

Medium

Zed is a very close matchup that can go either way, but snowballs really hard. You want to save your ultimate for when he ults to go invisible and try to dodge his spells.


Early on look to try to harass with W or engage if he uses key spells or is low on energy.

The key to this matchup is fighting when his energy is low or his spells are on cooldown and using your ultimate to go invisible and dodge his damage.

VS

Ziggs

Easy

Stay away from your minions so Ziggs can't both push the wave and harass you at the same time. If Ziggs is playing extremely safe then just push the wave and roam.

Early Game Back to Top

Talon is typically weak level 1 against ranged matchups and is looking just to farm safely. Against melee enemies you can play more aggressively since you should put your first skill point into Q, which is very strong against melees due to the bonus damage. You want to avoid pushing the lane at all, especially against ranged champions, as you will be looking to play aggressive levels 2-5 and if the enemy is able to set up a freeze then you will have a hard time breaking it early on.


Once you're level 2 you hit a massive power spike due to now being able to activate your passive. You want to use your W on the opponent and if both portions of it land then the enemy will have 2 marks on them. At this point you want to use your Q to gap close and activate the third and last part of the mark. After this simply auto-attack once and ignite and you should kill most mid laners. If not, simply flashing to match their flash and land an additional auto-attack will likely be enough.

This is what you'll be doing in the early game, throwing out your W and looking to land both portions of it, when you do you then look for the engage with your Q and all-in the opponent.

Middle Game Back to Top

You either want to freeze the lane and zone the enemy mid laner in an attempt to shut them down. If they then overextend to last hit you can try to kill them. The alternative to this strategy is to shove the lane with your W and look to roam side lanes.

If you're choosing to roam then consider purchasing  3117_32.png . I would then ward both sides of my lane, start to shove to the enemy's tower with W, and roam top/bot lane for a kill. Don't become so focused on roaming that you begin to lag behind in farm. This is why we first kill the minions and push before we roam, that way we time our roams in between minion waves to minimize the amount of gold and experience lost.

Late Game and Team fighting Back to Top

Talon has a decent late game. Your main focus should be assassinating their AD carry. You can use your Ghostblade and Ultimate to give you movement speed to engage stealthed, look to instantly burst the enemy carry, and then flash or get out jumping over a wall. You can also engage just using Ghostblade+Q and then save your ultimate as your escape tool, but that typically requires someone from your teammate to first set up the engage. 


You can also focus down other members of the enemy team if they're doing more damage than the AD carry. You should have a lot of burst, but you will be somewhat squishy. It's important to position correctly. You have to be cautious when initiating. If you go in too early you'll get focused down. If you go in too late the enemy carries will have done too much damage to your team. This decision making aspect is important to understand as Talon. Try to pay attention to enemy cooldowns that can help them survive your burst or CC you and time your engage when they're on cooldown.

You also have the option of split pushing since you are very strong 1v1, can take towers fast, and can use your ultimate to run away if they send too many people for you. However, split pushing is a very volatile strategy in solo queue since it requires coordination, which there is a lack of in solo queue.

Pros and Cons Back to Top

Pros

  • Has decent poke in the laning phase
  • Has a lot of kill potential at levels 2-5
  • Has a decent escape with his E to help avoid ganks
  • Has amazing roaming/ganking
  • Can shut down the enemy carries by bursting them down 100-0 in team fights
  • Has great wave clearing with his W

Cons

  • His only form of ranged harass pushes the lane
  • Can be baited into ganks before he has his ultimate
  • Is vulnerable to harass since he's melee. Champions such as Swain will give him a hard time.

Warding Locations Back to Top

Warding Locations


Ward Locations.jpg
Note: This is from the perspective of Blue Side - meaning your Nexus is South. The exact same ward spots apply if you were Red Side - meaning your Nexus is North, except that the ward spots are simply rotated 180 degrees/mirrored. 

1 - This is where you want to place your 2055.png as gaining vision control of the lane brush is very important. This is because the lane brush offers the most quickest and convenient location to place 3340.png for the enemy. By placing a 2055.png it denies the enemy this convenience. At the same time, it clears the most common area we'll be moving through when we roam. Lastly, it keeps our 2055.png close to us, which makes it easier to defend and harder for the enemy to get rid of.

2 - This is the optimal location for a 3340.png as it covers all the choke points for that side of the river. Additionally, it is hidden from 2055.png that are placed in the lane brushes. Keep in mind, this is just the most optimal, that doesn't mean it's always practical. It's okay to place your 3340.png in location 1 or somewhere between location 1 and 2 if you're unable to move any further due to safety or potential missed minions.

3 - This is the aggressive version of the 2nd ward location and should only be used when you have lane control and the enemy laner is forced to playing passive. It allows you to see when the enemy mid laner rotates to take blue buffs, jungle camps, roam, or react to one of your roams. At the same time, it spots junglers that are coming from raptors/wolves.

4 - This is a very powerful ward that can easily be placed after you push the mid laner into his tower. This gives you vision on the enemy's raptor camp. This can give you a wide range of information. For example, if you place this ward early on it tells you whether the enemy jungler is invading/ganking the side he started on or if he's doing a standard clear. When you spot the enemy jungler doing his raptors it relieves pressure off of everyone else as you know exactly where the enemy jungler it is. At the same time, that opens your own jungler to adjust his play accordingly. On top of that, just knowing that the jungler ISN'T doing his raptors can give you information on where he might possibly be.

5 - This is simply a better version of the 4th warding location. However, it's more time consuming, riskier, and overall more difficult to get a ward here. The reason why it's better than the 4th warding location is that you can see if the enemy's jungler is skipping raptors and which direction he's moving towards. I like to ward here when I have a big lead and I do it after I push a wave to pin the enemy mid laner at his tower.

6 - This is known as the lane ward and you might have seen it before. This is best used against champions that are looking to roam and is typically used when you've lost lane and are behind. It's especially strong against Twisted Fate due to the manner in which he ganks. Essentially, this ward will let you see which direction the enemy mid laner moves to after he kills the minion wave. In a way this gives you the benefits of warding both sides of your lane with only one ward: you get to see if he's ganking either side lane. However, you also get to see if the enemy is recalling or just standing at his tower. Keep in mind the main downside of this ward is that it doesn't protect you against other enemies ganking your lane.

Ask Me Questions, Streaming, Coaching, and more! Back to Top

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My IGN is Hexadecimal and I play on the North American server. I've been challenger tier every season since its release. I can play all roles, but I main middle lane. 

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Want to ask me questions? I answer all questions I receive on my Twitter.

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Want to learn how to improve, climb the ladder, and watch me play? Follow me on Twitch and get notified when I go live.

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I also offer coaching for $25 an hour. I will teach you how to become a better player, how to climb the ladder, and much more. If you're interested you can contact me via e-mail: lolhexa@gmail.com

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