WARNING: The next paragraph is filled with useless rambling, skip it if you love sanity... and kittens (and possibly pie). And you should brace yourself for a wall of text...
I bought Talon with IP a couple days after he came out, and I've been playing him a lot ever since, he's been my go-to melee AD hero. I never looked up a build or guide, and only glanced at the champ spotlight (I know, I'm a bad kid). I came up with a build and leveling order that works very well for me, so I thought I'd share it with you guys. Another note, this is all from a 5v5 normal mode viewpoint, I'm not sure if this would work in ranked or not.
- - Skill Order - -
I've experimented with all sorts of Skill orders on Talon & one really stands out to me.
My favorite is R > W > Q > E, at level 1, start with W, at level 2, grab your Q, and level 3 get your E, then follow the order above. Like I said, this one is just my personal preference. Maxing W first gives Talon a lot of ranged poke (relative to maxing Q or E first), plus it helps with farming and clearing minion waves. Also, his W is a very high damage ranged ability with a slow, so all around fun for you. The reason I level Q before E is that, to me, it seems to do more burst damage, which since Talon is an assassin character is what he's all about, but if it works better as E > Q for you, do it that way.
- - Items - -
Building items is always very situational, depending on how farmed/fed you are, and on the enemy's team comp.
I prefer to start with a Doran's Blade and going bottom to the duo lane. Some guides suggest starting Boots/3 pots, which has worked for me in the past as well.
Then, as I start backing to get items I get level 1 Boots, and 2 more Doran's Blades. After I have boots and 3 Doran's, I upgrade to Boots of Swiftness (3 move), but if the enemy team has a lot of CC you may want to get merc treads. After my upgraded boots, I get BF Sword, then Bloodthirster, then Brutalizer. If you're getting extremely fed, I suggest picking up a Sword of the Occult, it's not a great item on most AD champs, but on Talon (like Pantheon) it's a relatively cheap item that can really pay out in dividends if you get it stacked.
So at this point my inventory looks like this... Boots of Swiftness, Bloodthirster, Brutalizer, 3x Doran's Blade.
This is where the build splits a bit, you can either upgrade your Brutalizer into a Youmuu's Ghostblade, or go for a Trinity Force, which is a very good item on Talon because you use abilities all the time on him, plus his Q uses it. Once you have both of those, I suggest getting a Chain Vest & a Negatron cloak to be a bit more tanky, then upgrading them to an Atma's Impaler and Banshee's Veil, respectively.
You can either build a very damage heavy Talon (Boots of Swiftness, 2x Bloodthirster, Youmuu's Ghostblade, Trinity Force, Sword of the Occult) which is fun for pubstomping, but not much use in a very close game as you tend to die first in a team fight. Or you can build tanky, (Boots of Swiftness/Merc Treads, Bloodthirster, Youmuu's Ghostblade, Trinity Force, Atma's Impaler, Banshee's Veil) which works in closer games and lets you survive through a full on teamfight.
On a sidenote, if you need even more magic resist, try a Quicksilver Sash, it's especially useful if the enemy has a CC-heavy team. Also, I've been experimenting with an Infinity Edge, since your Q can crit (insanely high crits, might I add), and you're already getting Crit% from your Atma's & Tri Force.
- - Summoner Spells - -
For summoner spells, i strongly suggest you always take Flash, it's such a useful escape tool, as well as helping you close insanely large gaps when used in combination with your E.
The second summoner spell is a bit of a tossup. For me it's between Ignite and Exhaust. Exhaust allows you to stand toe-to-toe with more champions, as well as possibly saving your life when flash is down or stopping the enemy from running away when your spells are on cooldown. But Ignite is a great damage boost early game, and carries well into late game not only because of true damage, but it also works well against supports healing your targets, and champions like Dr. Mundo, Fiddlesticks, etc.
As far as other summoner spells, I really don't like them much...
- Ghost: Sure, a speed boost is nice, but kind of unneeded when you can Exhaust the person chasing you, plus with Tri Force and Boots of Swiftness you're going to have 455 or so move speed.
- Clarity: His mana costs are so low, you shouldn't need this, by the time you need mana, you should have enough money to blue pill & get some items.
- Heal: It's nice for a buffer zone, but just flash out, plus Ignite can shut Heal down hard.
- Teleport: Useful if you're solo top, but not as useful as Flash/Ignite or Flash/Exhuast in my opinion.
- Smite: I don't jungle Talon, your argument is invalid.
- Rally: Useful in teamfights, but again, not as useful as Flash/Ignite or Flash/Exhaust
- Revive: Trollolol? Revive is useful in certain situations, but let's be honest, you're playing Talon, not Karthus/Pantheon/TF.
- Cleanse: Good for getting out of CC's, but you can just buy a Quicksilver sash & still have F/I or F/E.
- Fortify: Another Trollolol summoner spell, you're not the tank/support.
- Clairvoyance: Useful for checking bushes or chasing through them, but you should have a support on your team with it, or wards.
- - Runes & Masteries - -
My rune setup for Talon is a very basic AD champion rune page:
Quints: 3 +3.33 Armor Pen
Reds: 9 +1.66 Armor Pen
Blues: 9 +0.64% Attack Speed
Yellows: 9 +0.76% Attack Speed
It all adds up to +25 Armor Pen & +13% Attack Speed. But, in my honest opinion, CDR and crit %/damage would probably be better in your blue/yellow slots, I just don't have enough IP to test it myself. Keep the armor pen though, since all of his abilities deal physical damage, armor pen is your best friend.
My mastery setup is a 21/9/0 build, for a bit of tankiness in my Talon.
In the Offense Tree I get: 3/3 Deadliness, 1/1 Cripple (because AP is useless on Talon), 4/4 Sorcery (CDR > Attack Speed for Talon), 3/4 Alacrity, 3/3 Sunder, 3/3 Brute Force, 3/3 Lethality, 1/1 Havoc
(I skip Archaic Knowledge in the Offense tree because none of his abilities deal magic damage, simple as that.)
I put points in the defense tree to be a bit more tanky, which allows me to last longer in lane & farm more, but points in utility will cause you to level faster & regen more (also allowing for better lane sustain). I just feed that 9 in defense works better later in the game than 9 in utility. But anyways, what you put your other 9 points in is ultimately up to you, but here's what I do with them: 1/3 Resistance, 3/3 Hardiness (this can be switched if the enemy is more AP heavy, it's an almost insignificant amount of MR, but every little bit helps), 4/4 Evasion (dodging is nice against other AD champions, even though it's a very small chance), 1/1 Nimbleness (which is nice when it procs, either if you're being kited so you can chase down, or when you're running away so you can get away faster).
- - Mentality of an Assassin - -
The biggest thing to remember is that you're an assassin character. That means you're very bursty and you should be going after the squishies. It also means tanky dps (Xin Zhao, Nasus, Garen, etc) are the bane of your existence, avoid them like the plague...
In lane you want to focus mainly on farming (as you do on any other AD character) & mainly use your W to harass, but if you get the opportunity to E to someone & Q them, take it. Also, if opportunities for ganking the other lanes present themselves, take them. You're an assassin, it's your job to kill people. What you do is E to them, W, hit them with your Q, then ult if you need to (for damage or escape). This is so the increased damage from your E is on from the start, then your W will slow them, allowing your Q and any auto attacks to do an extra 10% damage for a couple of seconds (because of his passive). Also, Talon's passive makes Red Buff very useful on him.
In team fights, be smart, don't initiate them, that's what the tank is for... and if you're playing Tank Talon, why are you reading this "guide"? Aim for a squishy, like Annie, Veigar, an ulting Katarina or any other channeling hero to silence, these are all good targets. If it goes bad in a hurry, pop your ult and run away, live to fight another day.
So yeah, there's my long-winded Talon build/guide/smorgasboardthingymabob... If you made it all the way to the end, kudos to you, and if you have any questions, leave em and I'll do my best to answer them. This is my first forum post, so be gentle... Also, please remember this is all my opinion, just cause you don't agree with it doesn't make it wrong.
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therealphoenix ?? Junior Member