12 July 2018 - 19:06

KINGZONE broke out the Smite Talon against MVP today, and it worked way too well

Oh boy, this should have a great effect on solo queue.
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Image and photo via Riot Games | Remix by Aaron Mickunas

Talon mid with Smite has (unfortunately) been taking solo queue by storm. What started out as another niche Korean strategy has turned into a poorly-played global one, and now, it's finally seeing the light of day on the pro stage, too.

In today's match against MVP, KINGZONE's Gwak "Bdd" Bo-seong locked it into the mid lane, and, uh, it was disgusting. There isn't really another way to say it. Take a look at the post-game damage graph.

Screengrab via OGN

Holy moly, that's a lot of damage. It didn't help that KINGZONE were able to roll three Infernal Dragons in a row, which boosted Talon's already-high AD by 24 percent. Yikes. In solo queue, Talon is one of the few AD assassins left in the game, and this new Smite variation has some very relevant uses in the current meta.

For starters, it's great into a gold funnel strategy, Flash Wolves jungler Kim "Moojin" Moo-jin said in an interview with Korizon last week. Gold funneling isn't as prevalent in solo queue as it is on the pro stage, but it's still semi-popular, making Smite Talon a somewhat worthwhile investment to learn.

It plays rather uniquely from regular Talon, though, so please (we beg you), don't lock it into solo queue until you know more about it. The reason it's useful is that it takes advantage of the Smite to roam much more often than your typical Talon, and that's saying something considering how often normal Talon roams.

Rather than roam straight to the bot or top lanes to pick up kills with a gank, however, you'll shove your wave and roam to Scuttle Crabs and into the enemy jungle to fill yourself with sweet, sweet gold. With his high mobility and parkour, he can get in and out very quickly, turning him into a one-man gold funnel and a giant pain in the side of the enemy jungler.

He'll be able to rack up enough quick gold to buy some Boots of Mobility and an early Duskblade, which he can then use to add lane ganks to his map rotations. This strategy is all about balancing your aggressive lane pushing with jungle field trips and ganking other lanes, and it's a difficult dance to master.

Unfortunately, after Riot pushes its changes to how Smite and jungle items interact with lane minions, this strategy might go out the window, but it'll be fun for a while at least.

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