Assassin Roster Update -- Talon Direction

Hey all! As Statikk explained earlier in the year, Assassins will [finally] take center stage in our next roster update, and I’m here to shed some light on the first project we’d like to share with you: Talon, the Blade’s Shadow. Talon has always been a major missed opportunity -- he promises to be a stealthy-yet-flashy agile rogue, but manifests in game as more of a reckless AoE damage bomb. All of us who’ve died to that mobi-boots, ghost-blading Talon that blinked on our face and one-shot us from stealth can probably agree that his kill pattern is not particularly fun to engage with, but I think even Talon could recognize that there’s room for more creativity in his kit. We believe that trading in some of that brute force for a more skillful and acrobatic realization of his could-be-cool theme will land the champion in a much better place. Secondarily, Talon suffers some big overlap problems with other Assassins, namely the melee bunch like Kha’Zix, Akali, and Zed. They have their differences, to be sure, but we think there’s a lot more room there to set them apart. [Quick aside on why this is important: If all Assassins do the same thing, we get two major problems: 1) Staleness: Games with an Assassin, no matter which one, tend to feel very similar, and 2) Dominance: The ‘best’ Assassin will crowd out the others from being picked *cough*Zed*cough*]. So, we’ll be playing up and adding in some more Talon-esque things to his kit to make him a bit more like the special snowflake that he ought to be and less of a generic Assassin guy. So, in gameplay terms, what does this mean for the update? 1. Leaning into what’s already unique -- roaming. Talon is among the most dedicated roamers when it comes to the Assassins, with boots of mobility being one of his core items. We think that this is cool and something to push on. Talon’s ability to both traverse the map and approach on his target will be way more awesome, appreciable, and thematic for everyone involved. Instant blink from stealth has its merits, but we could take it much, much farther on pretty much all sides (coolness / uniqueness / fairness / fun). 2. Extending his burst window. It’s important for Assassins to have some reliable threat on the enemy backline, but when all their damage comes out before the would-be victims can react, that’s a big problem. Try not to worry though, we’re not talking about much time here, even half a second could mean a LOT for these guys. 3. Focusing him on his target. Assassins should be empowered to hunt down and kill a particular enemy champion, and while there’s nothing wrong with having some AoE damage, when you accidentally get a quadrakill by just doing your job and aiming for the fed enemy Twitch, something’s not right. Blades-everywhere is an iconic and exciting part of what Talon does, but we’d like to siphon some of that ambient damage into more focused assassination power. He’ll still be able to get big multikills, he’ll just have to be a bit more deliberate. And those are our primary focuses for our boy Talon! Please share any questions / comments / concerns here, and I’ll do my best to respond to them when I can. -Stashu
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