NERFPLZ.LOL Let's Talk Talon | NERFPLZ.LOL -->

Dec 10, 2013

Let's Talk Talon


9/5/14 Update: Check out the "Talon, then and now" Quote page!

In the latest rendition of the solo queue tier list, I've placed Talon as god tier. Naturally, I've gotten my share of questioning stares, as it seems Talon isn't particularly loved by the League community...

Exhibit 1: Haters

"Frankly He Blows"
What? LOL...if I was one of those professional YouTube stars this would be where I embed a video stringing together 5 Talon 1v5 pentakills together with some sick action music. But since I'm not, here are some more pictures and words.

Exhibit 2: Win Rates

If you look at anywhere between Bronze and Platinum, you'll notice that Talon sadly enough doesn't appear in the top champions...however, if you take a peek at diamond and...peekaboo! Check out who makes his way to the top.

Seems to me that there's a level of knowledge that needs to be high enough to use him correctly, but also highly rewards people that learn it.

Talon Pros and Cons

  • High AOE damage; 
  • Great synergy with popular champions that shred armor like Jarvan, Taric, and Wukong (especially if Talon builds black cleaver); 
  • Strong poke;
  • INSANE waveclear;
  • Great roaming potential
  • Squishy champion;
  • No true escapes;
  • Can be countered by Zhonyas.

Why Talon is Good

Talon is a champion touted as offering "no counterplay". This means that it's kill or be killed once he silences you. If he can burst you down, then naturally, you instantly die. As a result of this silence, he's an excellent anti-mage and counters a lot of common champions mid like Lux, Nidalee, and Kassadin. 

However, a lot of people mistakenly think that this means that they can go head-to-head with these champions at any point in the game, which simply isn't true. In order to beat them, it requires strong knowledge of when to poke and when to go all in with Talon.

He's better when his food is seen more often on the rift. Talon's a prime example of a "cycle" champion. Since most assassins have been nerfed, this means that poke heavy, skillshot oriented squishy mages are back on the field...Talon's ultimate prey. While he doesn't do as well against tanky champions, his ability to burst down an enemy's back line is still one of the best in the game.

As long as he has enough damage to one shot his primary targets with his combo, he's good. If he doesn't, he's bad. Long story short, with the new masteries and the current set of popular champions (aka targets), he does.

How to Play Talon

1. Talon is an assassin with no true escapes

Compare this with champions like Zed, Fizz, Kassadin, and even Katarina, who have the ability to jump in and out of a battle.
This means he's much more unforgiving in a failed all-in.
As a result, a lot of summoners confuse lack of knowledge with playing a bad champ (and also explains his win rate at higher rankings versus average rankings). For example, you almost never want to engage on a squishy against an Amumu or near a Leona before they use a few of their CCs (and especially their ultimates). Although Talon can instantly kill a lot of squishies, a lot of squishies can also instantly kill Talon, especially if their butch friend is holding him down.

Just remember you need to play like a sneaky assassin, not like some broken fish who apparently can dodge bullets and ancient magic using a metal stick.

2. Talon is a champion that scales VERY nicely with armor penetration, and doesn't lose anything by building it early. 

  • Your first two "damage" items should be Black Cleaver and Last Whisper; 
  • This prevents you from snowballing, then doing 0 damage when their entire team builds armor and instagimps you using their base damage.
  • He should still aiming for squishies, not tanks, despite building so much armor shred. He's not an AD carry, and excels at hitting the back line.

3. Talon is a roamer with a super lower cooldown on his ultimate and insanely good waveclear

Check out this win rate with boots of mobility. You'll almost always want to roam bot. Top is where the bruisers will wreck your day, sometimes even 2v1. On the other hand, if you go bot, you can easily chunk 2/3 of both of their health bars by yourself, and naturally 2 kills and dragon is better than being shown on reddit as part of of a video titled

How to Counter Talon

Don't die (heh). Basically, once he gets his armor penetration items, your squishies will be easy targets if your team is low on CC. However, if your team is high on CC, make sure someone's carrying a pink ward or sweeper (I prefer pink ward) so that you can blast him down when he engages, although good Talons will avoid any major AOE CCs, so you'll have to watch specifically for him.

Always keep your river warded as well, since Talon's favorite hobby is roaming and insta-gimping. Don't rely on your mid-laner to call MIAs, since his wave clear is so insane that he can MIA every 3 seconds and be down in the river in 6 seconds.

On squishy AP mid laners be sure to get Zhonyas Hourglass, which will give you enough time to prevent his second part of his ultimate from hitting you, and also give some much needed armor. Seeker's armguard is also excellent for surviving early.

Unfortunately as most of you will probably find out, if he's already fed that's not going to help you since he can still easily burst down a squishy during the duration of his one second silence. He can also simply roam bottom and take down the champions without the extra armor.


While Talon might not be the insane faceroll champion he was during the League of Cleavers, he's definitely one of the stronger champions on the field of justice right now. Instead of asking for buffs, you should be asking yourself...why am I not spamming Talon games???

What are your thoughts on Talon? Comment below!

Data and Statistics from

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  1. You can't look at challenger tier for win rates. Because there are so few people it wildly fluctuates everyday. I've seen urgot and quinn with 100% win rates in challenger. Also I don't think his poke is that good against long range mages. Most of them can out range him and even if he does hit them he also pushes the lane with rake which can cause serious problems for a no escape assassin. Don't get me wrong I still think he has his good points, even great points. But if you didn't play him before, I don't think there is much reason to play him now.

  2. SSJSuntasticDecember 10, 2013

    Those aren't challenger win rates, those are diamond win rates.

  3. Oh diamond huh, interesting. How bout them shyvana win rates? I've seen her being played top a lot more recently.

  4. SSJSuntasticDecember 10, 2013

    I think she's very strong top, Mundo is as well at the moment with the way defense tree benefits manaless laners at the moment.

  5. Talon can be one devestating champion. As soon as he has snowballed it's 'watch out!' He can basically roam, and do as he likes at that point.

  6. Michael ThompsonDecember 11, 2013

    There are definitely some major counter picks for Talon: Xerath and Lux, just to name a couple. When I started playing league, I mained him and carried games. Talon will get bullied early on, but once he gets level 6, his opponent is dead once they drop to 2/3 health. He is no joke; people just can't play him right.

  7. With Oracle removal he certainly should be a bit stronger and have a more reliable confusion/escape ult just like Rengar.
    Too sad Lee counters him, and we all know Lee is a BIT overplayed.

  8. He got stealth buffs. :D I don't spam him cus his laning 1-4 is weak and he kind of depends on his ultimate to swiftly kill and get out safely

  9. He has been my main for awhile and nothing makes me happier to see where he's gotten now

  10. SSJSuntasticDecember 12, 2013

    Just a BIT haha

  11. I've been using Talon as my secondary main to wukong for like 5 months.

  12. did talon replace zed?

  13. Lelouch Vi BritanniaDecember 21, 2013

    Me too...

  14. Glenn ElliottDecember 22, 2013

    he is above average, but god tier is an absolute joke. God tier is a champion who beats other champions without really trying, because they are overpowered or have insane poke etc. Talon is not even close to that. He is an assassin and there are so many better assassins than him. Put it this way, I main mid and I feel relieved if I get a talon to match up against. I.e. if make a mistake against a zed or a fizz then im fucked in lane, but if i make a mistake to talon nothing really happens.

  15. I play talon and bit popular opinion is that talon eats lux for breakfast.... and then probably eats her again later for lunch or something.

  16. This is what happens in gold Talon vs Veigar mid

  17. Check out for some insane Talon gameplay. He's a diamond player. He's awesome to watch!

  18. Julio TopazJanuary 17, 2014

    Man ...he makes me proud :') best main champ ever.

  19. Celavi DjomlaJanuary 23, 2014

    Picture is enough :) (i died few times cuz it is all or nothing,and alistar got his cc on me few times) ^^

  20. Atanas BuchvarovJanuary 25, 2014

    Haha yes, i had doubts about this hero aswel - but some of the coaches here:

    showed me he was really sleeping god tier.

  21. Will NarinsJanuary 31, 2014

    he is awesome i got my first penta ever with him today

  22. Well yes...those happen to be the champs I love playing the most and unless veigar lands the stun perfectly every time he will get facerolled forever!

  23. He is very strong mid lane because he can just faceroll mages. Pre 6 talon isn't the best, but at 3 it's not hard to go for a kill either. As stated above his wave clear with rake and tiamat is just disgustingly fast. He can push, then run bot with a mobi boot and demolish the ad carry with a combo. The only drawback about talon is that it's either kill them or you die. You need to be able to kill them with your combo or they CAN kill you, he's too squish but he packs a punch. His job is to just get the squishies and thus it's pretty much a win of a teamfight then.

  24. Jérôme PaupeMarch 08, 2014

    The only TRUE assassin... *.*

  25. I personally love talon, he is my favorite champ, and my best at that.. I do understand he has really low escape but if you play out of the ordinary he can be one of the best escape artist of league. And also lets be honest here you don't need to ult to burst the crap out of the squishy mages and adc's.

  26. SharkeishaApril 16, 2014

    Is it possible you used Vapora's build? ;)

  27. Darian VilaisackApril 27, 2014

    Diamond Talon:

  28. Darian VilaisackApril 27, 2014


  29. Dominic TaylorApril 30, 2014

    in what universe is lux a counter to talon

  30. Michael ThompsonApril 30, 2014

    In pretty much any universe. A good Talon can get around issues with Lux, but in a true skill match up, a good Lux player will not allow Talon to get close enough to land a combo. Her root will just flat out prevent his jump and her burst is significant enough to deter him from trying anything that could get him caught. Yes, I originally thought Talon just ate Lux all day, but that was before people knew how to play her right. I mained Talon in season 2 and carried games with him. But in the current state of the game, even if Talon was good against Lux before, he sure isn't now. Not in a skill match at least.

  31. I main talon for a long time I'm a low enough player slowly climbing and my talon carry me every game his team fight potential with hydra and black cleaver just those too will shred most teams I find his late gamestronger than early if you want to win don't critical talon its okay but aoe talon will guaranteed win team fights combine him with loss and u win game (passive)

  32. Angel PaezJune 29, 2014

    4 different builds? show me

  33. SecretSquirrel24July 01, 2014

    buddy check my match history right now if u want to see my build to just do so much damage and 2 shot mid laners and adc's. i was litterally 10% health against a ziggs and he was chasing me, so i finally said "fuck it" turned around and dodged his ult that he tried to throw in front of me and just melted him without taking nothing but probably a basic attack and he was basically shocked in all chat.

  34. > Just remember you need to play like a sneaky assassin, not like some broken fish who apparently can dodge bullets and ancient magic using a metal stick.


  35. KryptoniteJuly 18, 2014

    I main Talon since the start of the season I startet at Bronze 5 now i am silver 4 i have like 100 games with him and 65 % win rate I love this champ so much :D

  36. Do you think that Essence Reaver may make any sense at talon, at any point in the game? Since he always had quite a bit of mana issues.

  37. FIS Happens look me up and feel free to add me if you ahve questions about talon

  38. No, no essence reaver, no, no, no, never ever. On talon or any else champ.

  39. taleofsonataAugust 16, 2014


  40. Oh god I hate playing against him as Ryze. It is hell. Even if I outplay the other player, late game he just screws me in teamfights so bad.

  41. Then why would people play him, he is the only assassin without a basic ability escape. You could say yasuo doesn't have an escape but he is still a lot more defensive and mobile than Talon. Talon is and will be(maybe) the only assassin with a silence.

  42. I have tried it before, it doesn't help all that much since you don't autoattack often. I would rather get Ravenous Hydra since your Q bonus damage applies on the aoe of hydra(I think).

  43. wukong onlyAugust 19, 2014

    When they removed lbs silence they were saying how they don't like silences on assassins and may have to remove talon's if it becomes a problem. Looking at his quickly rising ban rate it seems like he is what riot considers a problem.

  44. Oh dam that sucks with hydra, but since he has no escapes, I think he should be able to keep his silence. If they don't his medium-high risk will turn from high to low reward.

  45. taleofsonataAugust 19, 2014

    Talon is played as a clean up champion and his clean up potential is too damn high, all he need is a team who can cc 1 champion and he goes in with a E on the ap carry Q,Hydra,W,R and always keep flash incase it turns bad but even then his damage output is insane!!!! just Q,R and the AP carry is delete or the ad carry and his R is used as a clean up or escape.

  46. taleofsonataAugust 19, 2014

    Talon Snowball potential is so strong, that if the team builds revolve around him but even then he bring so much aoe damage to then team almost true damage with all the armor pen he gets.

  47. taleofsonataAugust 19, 2014

    Talon too strong, boots of mobility roam roam roam, comes back mid W clear all the wave with 1 ability and roam roam roam.

  48. Obviously when ur low on health Talon can instantly kill u but since he has no other dashes than his e, if they remove his silence, the enemy can just snare him than instaburst him. Talon needs his silence in order to survive. Talon currently does have other counterplay as well, laning phase, easy to catch, and Oracle's Lens.

  49. I sense that Talon is gonna be meganerfed by a removal of silence or damage nerfs just because the meta is gonna pick him up. What is stupid from this is that he has no other mobility than his e and no one knows how to extort his shitty laning phase by poking him down pre-6.

  50. Shachar HochbergSeptember 02, 2014

    he carried me from bronze 5 to silver 2 till now and i know i can get way higher with him

  51. SecretSquirrel24September 04, 2014

    i have a 70% win rate and have played like 100+ games.
    lol jkjk

  52. SecretSquirrel24September 04, 2014

    that build is wrong at some places. the armor pen that he has on his runes is 5 armor pen that he says that he uses right? then how in the hell does his build add up to 40 when it is 10+20+5? that equals 35 not 40, and i've used devastating strikes mastery with the last whisper and it doesnt add up to 40, just 39% for some reason and not even 41% like it should for whatever other reason. that build is wrong at a few places and even the armor subtraction at somewhere towards the end might be wrong because thats assuming that you got enough hits on the enemy to get the stacks up to 25% percent in order for those numbers to be like that. you dont just walk up to an enemy and their armor is decreased by 25% because talon said so, and they way he puts it, the 25% takes place THEN the 35% takes effect after the 25%. so that means your taking 35% of the 25% subtraction which i think gives a lower number than it is supposed to give. i'm not sure if that is correct because i could be wrong. nonetheless, it is still a huge number of armor reduced. and one would have to also put into consideration that their flat armor is reduced by a percentage for the ENTIRE TEAM to apply physical damage but the 35% only applies to you since you have the last whisper on you only, but the 25% armor reduction applies for everyone to be doing ad and that much more damage because of the reduction that u made on that enemy for everyone to attack, including you.
    Correct me if i'm wrong there. Check my talon build and masteries and runes if u want to check my personal build out. its under ASSASSIN AD for runes and ATTACK DAMAGE (TALON) for masteries. i think mine are great and have carried me from bronze 4 to silver 1 at the moment and i'm still grinding ranks solo que. talon is my best and as i made fun of Kryptonite further down, my current win percentage with talon is 70% and my average KDA per game with talon is 18/7/8 for every ranked game that i play with him.
    I main mid and play other mid laners such as akali, katarina, zed, fizz, brand, anivia, syndra, xerath, and ahri but talon is always my main. i made my build that i stick with somewhere before the summer of 2014 started and then i found this build that Vapora made that is someone the same as mine that i dont take to much into consideration but just putting that out there. i have multiple builds with talon that differ in whatever situation i'm in each game but that one that Vapora has is the gist of what i use ever game with a little mix of my runes and masteries. he basically points out why my build works that is similar to his but different in some places and he explains why mine/his build with those particular items is so great on talon and i agree mostly with him.

    and no never essence reaver on anyone unless it is lowered down to 3000 gold and even then it might not be worth it. so no do not ever. have any further questions? feel free to look me up on league or shoot another comment to me or whatever. going to be gold soon within a matter of a few months and talon carry through ranks from bronze 4 to gold 5 thanks to talon. far before he even reached god tier on the list, which makes me so happy that he shredded his way to the top of the mid lane tier list.

  53. SecretSquirrel24September 04, 2014

    if they take away his silence, he will be basically thrown to the bottom of the tier list and left to rot in agony for all eternity. so plz PLZ no takey away talon's silence

  54. I main mid Morgana, Malzahar and top Fiora and I got to Gold 5 in 23 games.
    Do I win?
    my Fiora win rate is 100%
    my Malzahar win rate is 100^

    just because you got a 65% win rate with Talon doesn't make him any good.... meh, the entire list is biased as hell

  55. SSJSuntasticSeptember 05, 2014

    I have all three of those champions extremely high up on the list, with plenty of complaints about why Fiora shouldn't be god tier.

    The list is actually the least biased one out there; I think it's your opinion that's biased as hell.

  56. That replay was to someone that is playing Talon and because he got from bronze to silver after 100 games or so, makes Talon a great pick... not really.

    I could say: Morri mid = best pick because I got 100% win rate with her on mid (which i do, lolz)
    Or that malz mid is best pick because I got 100% win rate (which I do).
    But your win rate and how good a champion are is not directly relevant.

    Next, your list is biased because:
    Swain and Vel'coz are on the top of your list. Not because Talon, Talon is a great pick... but Vel, Swain?
    Yeh right....
    What is this? Tier of "Who I wish were top tier list" ?

    My opinion is the most biased because I do not agree with the comment
    "Talon got me from Bronze to Silver, he is God tier, I also got a great win rate with him :3, you Rock SSJSun"
    Yes, I disagree with that all the way.
    He could have just picked and learned Fizz or Oriana or Akali and get himself to silver just as well. Its not the champion that "Carries" its the player and how good the hero matches the player's play style.

    Again, Talon can go on God tier, no problem. But Vel'coz and Swain are a Joke.
    Fiora as God tier, I won't comment on that since I main her and here my opinion WILL be biased. But on the mid lane?
    Yeh right, Vel'Coz and Swain people, that's the future (tell that to that crazy Tristana with heal reduction and insane hyper carry potential; heck tell that to all hyper carry meta out there)

    Have you noticed, even for a second that good midlaners have the ability to deal with this hyper carry meta?
    Just for a second, did it cross your head?
    Swain and Vel CAN'T do it >.< it should be obvious to god and everyone else

  57. SSJSuntasticSeptember 05, 2014

    I think your other post was a repeat that also got caught in the filter.

    I do admit that tristana counters swain very well in all regards, but with her current ban rate it's not difficult to avoid that.

  58. "Outplay" as Ryze. Listen to that. You can't outplay anyone as Ryze. You just smash your face into your keyboard until you get a penta. Find a new champion to play, unskilled fuck.

  59. Enjoy him cause his silence will be removed soon

  60. This is what happens when you play talon for the first time in ranked WITH a troll

  61. SORRY forgot the pic

  62. This is what happens in bronze 5. With troll.

  63. Yeaaahhh.
    You got it.

  64. 99% slow for 0.25 seconds.. Yeah. GG

  65. but did tsm wonned?


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