Jul 052012
 
Talon, the Blade's Shadow
Talon, the Blade’s Shadow

Talon, the Blade’s Shadow is a Noxian assassin but his aspect and reliance on daggers, which look like shurikens, bring him closer to a ninja than a classic killer. Regardless, his reputation precedes him as someone able to jump in and out of a fight in a flurry of shurikens leaving a finished target behind. That goes to show that no shadow is really safe when there’s a blade to be found inside. Given this, Talon will take care of any target, he only needs to choose the best outfit to blend in and assassinate his targets with appropriate impunity.

Renegade Talon
Renegade Talon Splash Art Renegade Talon Model
Category: Regular
Price: 520 RP
Concept: Talon dressed in casual clothes with made at home equipment.
Model: New model for Talon.
Particles: New blades for Rake and Shadow Assault.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: This piece makes use of a mute palette to display Talon in a less threatening and more casual way. However, the overall quality of the piece is quite disappointing. The background is quite blurry and lacking any sort of detail it barely sets a frame. Talon is posing adequately casual but the proportions of his body are strange. Moreover, the depiction isn’t appealing and doesn’t show depth; he looks quite plain. Actually, that could be said about the whole piece: the drab colours, non-existent lighting and simple designs make it look like a sketch. Consequently, this is a splash art with sub-standard quality and a complete letdown.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Renegade Talon is quite clear about its intention: it’s a casual based attire for Talon, to the point of having his cape made out of kitchen knives. On the one hand it’s a quite different take on Talon. On the other hand, his clothes appear pedestrian and unsuitable for a fantasy realm. It’s true that the clothes are well defined and detailed. However, it’s not simply casual Talon it’s Talon’s uniform adapted into a casual style. As such there’s the need to fit his basic outline which forces the shoulder pad and cape into a whimsical design. Besides, while the serrated blades are appealing they don’t fit the rough style exhibited elsewhere. If you are looking for a casual style for Talon the skin delivers; but it comes with a forced execution. After all the skin’s concept is, ultimately, not very exciting.

Crimson Elite Talon
Crimson Elite Talon Splash Art Crimson Elite Talon Model
Category: Regular
Price: 750 RP
Concept: Talon wearing the Noxian Crimson Elite uniform.
Model: New model for Talon.
Particles: New blades for Rake and Shadow Assault.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: A minimalistic background doesn’t have to be irrelevant as Crimson Elite’s splash art shows. Even though the piece would benefit from a more elaborate background, the logo is an apt frame for Talon’s pose; which is dramatic though a bit overacted. Talon is well depicted with a complex uniform that ends up being drawn in a simple style that doesn’t capitalize on it intricacy. Furthermore, lighting is appropriate but plain; especially considering that the dramatic pose asks for a flashy portrayal. Strangely enough, Talon’s helmet is well designed and shaded; as if it came from another piece. Therefore, this is an adequate and uneven splash art that also demonstrates the shortcomings of its technique.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Having Talon as a Crimson Elite member is quite an interesting concept. Unfortunately, the execution leaves a few things to be desired. As a Crimson Elite uniform the outfit is well designed; particularly the helmet: the colour and aggressive lines make it stand out. The cape follows Classic Talon’s capricious scheme which is a letdown. Actually, a traditional cape would’ve been more fitting and elegant as the current one feels forced to accommodate this scheme. The blade is lean and simple, echoing the practical style of the ones he throws, which may represent Talon’s effectiveness as an assassin; but they still can’t fix the convoluted style. The rest of the uniform has a few decorations but it generally looks plain; though it hints at something more elaborate that didn’t come to fruition. Crimson Elite Talon is a disappointing skin, as a concept it’s quite nice but the execution falls short of making it as relevant as what it tries to represent.

Dragonblade Talon
Dragonblade Talon Splash Art Dragonblade Talon Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Talon in light armour with a dragon-inspired blade.
Model: New model for Talon.
Particles: New blades for Rake and Shadow Assault.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: Dragonblade Talon has a dynamic splash art that meshes two different techniques with surprising effectiveness. The background is uniform and cartoon-like. Still, it shows quite a bit of scenery: a good part of a city is shown in fitting eastern style. Additionally, the foggy and dark night alleviates the contrast with the impressive depiction of Talon. Talon’s impeccable portrayal is highlighted by ample attention to metallic surfaces and lighting. Besides, the running stance and flying daggers, or shurikens, help the piece arrest the eye. However, the composition may give too much weight to its right side; the left side seems a bit empty. In spite of its few shortcomings, this is an excellent splash art and one of League of Legends’ best.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Dragonblade Talon is an interesting skin with an unfortunate compulsion to follow Classic Talon’s style. In particular, the cape which is, arguably, the most forced aspect of this skin. Dragonblade Talon is a clear homage to Strider Hiryu; in his Marvel vs. Capcom incarnation. The futuristic ninja facet is nicely adapted into a more suitable fantasy take. However, the body armour looks plain and the plates cumbersome. The scarf, gauntlets, trousers and boots are alright: they’re reasonable but not especially attractive; at least the blade has a distinct style, though it seems difficult to wield. Sadly, the cape is simply unfitting: it forcibly carries Classic Talon’s style and prevents the skin from having its own flavour. Perhaps a set of scarves flowing behind Talon would’ve been better. The new particles for his abilities alleviate some of the model’s shortcomings; yet only the blades are actually different. The assassin update changed their look from a lean circular design to a decorative echo of his hand-blade. They remain distinct but also strike as less practical and attractive. Overall, it’s a nice skin, especially for Strider fans, it has its flaws but it’s still a good purchase.

Samsung White Talon
Samsung White Talon Splash Art Samsung White Talon Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 750 RP
Concept: Talon wearing modern, casual clothing.
Model: New model for Talon.
Particles: New blades for Rake and Shadow Assault.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: This is a straightforward splash art that sets out to portray the champions in a simple but dynamic way. It’s effective but that’s all that can be said about it. The background is, apparently, a patch of sky mixed with Samsung White’s logo. The logo is understandable but it receives too much emphasis, mainly because there’s no setting.
The champions all appear in daring action but they are only posing. Their stances hardly tell anything related to their personalities and merely appear for show. They seem to share the piece with unequal levels of importance though they all have their place. That means that for some it’s easier to get an idea of their new look than it is for others.
All things considered, this is the corollary of what previous shared splash arts have announced. This minimalist or even simplistic approach manages to present the champions in their new look with uneven success. It may be a serviceable splash art but it’s also plain.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Perhaps without intention, Samsung White Talon makes a better job at offering a urban assassin than Renegade. It’s a fancier, more elegant kind also: if Renegade is the struggling one then Samsung White is the established professional. Regardless, Samsung White Talon manages to convey an attractive aesthetic that, without ignoring the requisite SSW tribute, accomplishes more than that.
The trousers might a bit too tight but the coat presents a different style. The new blade on his hand also incorporates a refined design that follows the general feel. Summing it all up, the clothes feel both modern and still useful for an assassin like Talon while respecting his personality and the intended tribute. Regardless, one gets the idea that form has been prioritized over function.
The new blades used for a couple of Talon’s abilities certainly help establish a distinct identity for the skin. The design is aggressive yet still reasonable even if a pinch showy. Nothing more is added so at this price it makes the re-model stutter to justify its price.
In the end, Samsung White Talon is an effective skin that succeeds at presenting a tribute to SSW as well as offering a different style for the Blade’s Shadow. For those uninterested in tournaments the skin presents a polished, contemporary assassin with a unique aesthetic. The classic base is still noticeable but at its price Samsung White Talon does enough to be a good skin.

Blood Moon Talon
Blood Moon Talon Splash Art Blood Moon Talon Model
Category: Regular
Price: 1350 RP
Concept: Talon playing the role of a dark spirit in the Ionian Festival of Fire play; which resembles a Japanese Noh theatre play.
Model: New model for Talon.
Particles: New particles for his abilities and recall.
Animations: New recall animation.
Sounds: New sounds for Noxian Diplomacy, Rake, Shadow Assault and recall.
Splash Art: A dim sky and a diffuse house with weak lights but interesting architecture is the only thing that can distract us from the dark figure leaping towards us. There is a setting but it gives little context to the action. At best, it provides a roof for Talon to jump from. The fact that the background is so muddy doesn’t help matters. While it could be understandable to have some difficulty distinguishing certain elements at night and under rain the effect is so pronounced that it leaves the feel of a sketch.
Talon’s depiction is nothing like that. The leaping posing while throwing extremely blurry daggers is a classic throwback to the ninja style; which naturally arises from his look and style. For how elaborately drawn the clothes are it’s actually difficult to identify specific details. Every fabric seems too folded and wrinkled while metal plates appear too ornamented with surfaces filled with little details and a perspective too abrupt. It leaves a clear impact of sudden action but also complicates what would otherwise be a rather straightforward look at Talon’s appearance. In fact, aside from the oni mask with its interesting design and part of the arm-blade there’s little that is fully displayed. Everything seems partially suggested, even the braids that dissolve in the background or the diffuse demonic hand, and the colours mesh into each other with similar hues despite the complex shading. For the attention to lighting, reflections and raindrops that each surface has elements appear too poorly conveyed.
In summary, this is a splash art that gets the feeling right. It’s an evocative display of skill on Talon’s part but a lacking spotlight of his appearance. Few things are really clear thanks to an exaggerated hyper-realism. So, the result is eye-catching but, ultimately, ineffective at fulfilling the piece’s basic needs.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: It’s frankly surprising to see such a straightforward execution of a concept that is known for its florid implementations. Blood Moon Talon offers an acceptable model with an interesting asymmetric mask but a conventional suit. It has some gold for the aristocratic touch and dark colours on a simple robe and trousers. Perhaps there’s some extra detail if one looks with a magnifying glass but that’s not very practical. The braid cape looks whimsical and certainly not very plausible. It might add some glamour to the otherwise simple design but it doesn’t show the desire to be different that the mask does. The arm blade has an elaborate design that resembles a sai. The arm guard seems rather ornamented with its curled blade but even if in function is may not be particularly efficient it compensates by being visually attractive; provided it’s looked from the top; the bottom is a dull flat surface.
The particles alleviate some of the simplicity with blood red brushstrokes for Blade’s End and a blue-red-lined trail for Noxian Diplomacy. Rake uses daggers that echo his arm-blade design as well as the rotating blades. The mix of red and steel grey followed or surrounded by blue trails, respectively, adds some much needed style. Shadow Assault is, essentially, identical to Rake with some extra ink blots and dark trails that are barely noticeable. Actually all of the abilities make use of the subtle ink blots but they are often too easy to ignore. Interestingly, Assassin’s Path exclusively reuses the subtle ink blots so that the ability, in practice, looks untouched; being animation based little is done to make it different.
Sounds are remarkably similar to classic but with an extra dose of metallic scrapping and a faint haunting touch behind it all; too faint actually. For the most part, it’s easy to discard the sound department due to the little differences. The recall is a display of ninja skill with Talon ruining a lamppost just to show his ability. The animation suits his style but would also fit Classic as well. It adds nothing to the specific Blood Moon version.
All added together, Blood Moon Talon is a disappointing skin that doesn’t fulfil the requirements of the price tier it belongs to or realise the fantasy that the Blood Moon line proposes. The model has few features that stand out and the particles are uneven with only a few attractive design choices; often subtle ones. The sounds hardly support the theme and the same applies to the recall. As a whole, Blood Moon Talon mostly capitalises on his ninja style without developing the Blood Moon aspect. For that reason, it becomes a skin with little personality and evident rough edges.

Conclusion

Talon’s skins show possible aesthetics of an assassin: urban, elite or ninja. Some are a better concept for Talon than others, yet all have less than perfect execution. They tend to rely entirely on new models and daggers for a couple of the abilities. While they manage to communicate their messages they do so with little effort.

Dragonblade Talon is the recommended purchase due to an interesting concept coupled with an adequate execution. Still, one expects more than a re-model and a few new blades at it price. For fans of Strider and fantastic assassins the skin does deliver though don’t expect anything elaborate.

Crimson Elite isn’t a bad idea still its execution falters. The general lines are good but the details are messy and so the skin doesn’t result in a convincing style. With a cleaner more focused design the concept would appeal but as it is one has to work to get the best of the idea from the execution.

Renegade Talon is a curious idea with a passable but forced execution. It offers a re-model at a low price but the concept is forcefully implemented in a less than believable way. The rough result isn’t convincing and more than a cartoony approach to the concept the skin doesn’t manage.

Samsung White Talon is a reasonable way of showing the Blade’s Shadow as a modern and refined assassin without forgetting the SSW homage. The style is attractive and manages to offer quite a bit for a reasonable price. The skin limits itself to few changes but the contemporary feel comes through anyway.

Blood Moon Talon is a skin that takes on his ninja style but forgets about the supernatural aspect. Model, particles, sounds and recall struggle to define a unique identity for the skin and often merely retread the known classic characteristics. Given the price tier of the skin a much more elaborate result would be expected. Sadly, the skin ends up being superficial and uneven with few redeeming aspects.

  33 Responses to “League of Legends: Talon Skins’ Review”

  1. Thanks!

  2. And a Teemo one please…

    • We haven’t forgotten Teemo. Actually, we’re working on his review but we’ll need some time due to the amount of skins he has. Thanks for you interest.

  3. Could you further explain why Dragonblade beats Crimson Elite? Dragonblade seems to be a reincarnation into a rather rigid archetype; kind of a “Look, I’m a ninja now” idea whereas the Crimson Elite skin offers a theme which isn’t so cliche. The new daggers look barely different, if anything they look a tad too flashy for an assassin. Dragonblade seems to me to present a theme which is so boring. Crimson Elite presents an idea with a striking colour scheme that doesn’t feel out of place, and his helmet (the only skin to fully hide his face) reinforces the idea of that “This is a payed assassin, his personal identity is irrelevant.” If anything, full body armor seems more functional than having an unprotected head. I agree Crimson Elite’s blade looks rather boring, but isn’t that the point of the Crimson Elite theme of functionality? On top of that Crimson Elite has a cheaper price bracket. Opinions?

    • Actually, we didn’t compare the skins against each other to make the reviews. Instead we compare the skins against the classic one. In that respect, we found Crimson Elite a bit too conservative and Dragonblade more refreshing; visually speaking.

      In fact, we agree with you that the Crimson Elite concept is more interesting than Strider-Talon; which is straightforward. The problem is that the execution tips the scales in favour of Dragonblade; so to speak.

  4. Talon has a new blade in Crimson Elite and in Renegade. Just thought I would include that as those skins aren’t very popular and have a little more to them that people may not see.

    • We consider the blade as a part of Talon when we note that each skin has a new model. Maybe it would be a good idea to be more precise but as all skins modify the entirety of his aspect we were brief with the description.

      Regardless, it’s something to take into consideration when evaluating each skin.

  5. Hey Zero, which do you think would be better to purchase, Crimson Elite or Renegade?
    The Crimson Elite armor and helmet look amazing but the whole “Self-made Assassin” theme that Renegade gives is awesome, also.

    Just wanted another opinion :p

    • Between Renegade and Crimson Elite depends on what you are looking for: a commando or a urban assassin. The price also matters so it also depends on how much you’d like to spend. Crimson Elite has a concept that is tied to Talon’s past so it’s more interesting than Renegade; which is just a modern adaptation. Nevertheless, both skins offer something unique.

      Technically, both skins stand on equal ground as each offers a new model. They are adequately done but neither goes above and beyond in their implementation. In this regard, it’s better to decide based on which theme you prefer while keeping the price in mind.

      Don’t forget that Samsung White Talon is coming after next patch so that’s another 750 RP skin that you may like to consider. If in doubt you could wait for a sale on the skins to save some RP. We think that Dragonblade, despite the higher price, is the best choice but that may be another matter.

  6. Despite have extreme dislike of the upcoming SSW skins for Thresh and Twitch, while being indifferent about the Singed and Rengar ones, I have to say one thing about the Talon one: it proves to be extremely cost-efficient. For only 750 RP you get the same features as you get from Dragonblade, a 975 skin. (new daggers for his W and ultimate)
    I do not play Talon or own any of his skins, but I find this ridiculous, as I like the concept and features of Dragonblade, but now a team skin appears which offers exactly the same stuff as it for a lower price.

    • Completely agreed and it isn’t the only time it happens. Truth is that there’s little point in trying to find sense in the making of skins. If things followed a certain logic then a higher price would mean a better skin. However, we find that there’s a lot of variability in the amount features and the executions regardless of the price.

      Consider Chosen Yi: 520 RP for model changes, particles and sounds. There are much expensive skins that do less and worse. We don’t think that Chosen Yi should be more expensive as there can and maybe should be exceptions. However, when setting the price for a new skin they should check what other skins offer.

      If things look like the skins can offer more at a certain price then prices should be lowered if necessary for older skins. At 975 RP a skin should have particles, sounds and animations, perhaps not in equal full doses but some at least. Still, we find skins that charge more for practically nothing.

  7. Thanks for the review, I just got a skin shard of the crimson skin in my loot. Still hesitate about redeeming it or not XD

    • It’s not his best skin but the Crimson Elite is meaningful for Talon; supposing it doesn’t transpire later in some lore update that he actually never had anything to do with it. Assuming that Talon was or is a member it has relevance and the style isn’t bad. It relies too much on his classic design but it has its appeal. It depends how much you like Crimson Elite and how willing you are to chance trying for another skin that you could like more or less; depends on what you get. It’s a gamble and we’d advise to be careful because in this kind of games the house always wins.

  8. ssw is his worst skin and you rated renegade and crimson elite too low, gg

    • That can perfectly be something subjective. In our view, Renegade is too stylised and Crimson Elite too messy in its design. SSW has a clear design and a surprisingly reasonable adaptation of Talon into a modern, stylish but not exaggerated, assassin. You can perfectly disagree and like the other skins more. The reviews are only a guide to help in making a purchase. The more information available the better the purchases will, hopefully, be.

  9. Can you review these again because of the new rework, because some of his blades are different for each skin now.

    • You’re right, we should update the reviews. While the changes aren’t significant and they apply to all skins, which means that the status quo is preserved, the differences should be noted. Thanks for the headsup, we’ll make the necessary changes.

  10. among all the talon skins which do u think is the best?

    • *more cost efficient i mean

    • The assassing game-play update added a few new particles to his skins so that Dragonblade Talon is no longer the only one with unique blades. Nevertheless, we still find it one of his best skins; not just because of the Strider reference but because of its distinct design. You could try to spend less, though we recommend a sale in all cases, but the result isn’t as well realised.

      An alternative could be to get the Samsung White skin when it returns to the store; though it wouldn’t be discounted unlike the other skins. It’s also quite well done and captures the modern ninja feeling rather well. It’s still based on the classic style but manages enough to be interesting.

      Crimson Elite we find convoluted in design and Renegade too forced. They aren’t terrible by any means but we find that they don’t capture the best aspects of their concept effectively. They are cheaper but, sometimes, paying less means getting less.

  11. Are you gonna update Renegade’s Splash?

    • Eventually we will. We have to update the reviews for over a hundred splash arts and we are going slowly with it due to lack of time and resources. We’ll do all we can to update everything but we’ll have to do so progressively so patience would be required. Sorry for the inconvenience.

  12. Are you going to do reviews for the new bloodmoon skins soon? I kinda want to know if they are any good so that if they go on some kind of bundle sale I can get that. Thanks 😀

    • We’ll have reviews once the skins are released. If Blood Moon bundles are made available we doubt that the new content will see any discount; it never does, so far. The old Blood Moon skins may see some reductions in prices if bundled, though.

  13. Im the only one who thinks that Blood Moon Talon sword is kinda short? I dont know, it seems shorter than in the other skins, what do you think?

    • Now that you mention, it does seem short. We read that the length had been increased in the PBE but we don’t know if the release video used the final model; it should’ve though. At any rate, it does seem a bit too brief for a deadly assassin.

      • Yes! You see all other skins with a giant blade and then Blood Moon comes with a short one, i kinda like the skin anyway so i may buy it i dont know, i really love the Blood Moon skins in general, but i hope riot increases the blade length in the near future

        • Lately, it seems too obvious the focus on quantity over quality. Perhaps less skins with more dedication and worth would prevent this types of gaffes. Truth be told, Blood Moon Talon would only be acceptable at 975 RP so be sure you know what you are getting into.

  14. listen blood moon is gonna be on early sale soon
    its gonna be 975 RP and i have 1k
    i was wondering if for the same price blood moon is actuall better than dragonblade
    especially that i kinda like the blood moon theme anyway

    • If you really like Blood Moon Talon you should get it; though we’d recommend a regular sale. If you don’t want to wait too much the early sale is a good chance to get the skin. We find it simply doesn’t embrace the Blood Moon theme as it should. If you like the Blood Moon line then Talon isn’t one of the best exponents, actually. There’s no doubt that Dragonblade is a more modest skin but it’s delivers what it intends to; even if in a straightforward way. For all the features that Blood Moon Talon has we find that they hardly add up to something noteworthy.

      It’s not a terrible skin so there’s stuff to like in Blood Moon. However, be mindful of its failings because they are plain to see. If you can excuse the skin’s shortcomings then the a sale is the best time to get the skin. A good idea would be to see the skin in action in a video to get a feel of how it performs in actual gameplay. Perhaps the problems aren’t so relevant or maybe they end up adding up.

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