Hello everyone and welcome to my 226th analysis, this time featuring Talos the Automaton.
Overview: Talos is one of the few monsters in the game that have the coveted Artifact trait, protecting him from almost all harmful effects that may come his way. Being an attacker, this is great news for him as it means that he doesn't have to be afraid of most deniers. With some high powered moves and a couple of Trait Disables under his belt, Talos is one of the most notable attackers in the game. All Nemeses have an absolutely inferior base form, and Automaton is Talos' version of this. He still has great Base Strength, but his Speed is lacking and his Life is way below the standard of today's metagame. Despite these, the core attributes of Talos are present even in this form, meaning it will serve you well if you don't have access to his stronger forms.

Builds:
Monsters that have access to Group 4 skills will have a slightly different build path. I will list the most viable builds for each Rank since some moves in Group 4 are pivotal to some sets' success. The monster's role will likely remain the same, however, so this won't be exhaustingly long as I won't repeat the same things.

Rank0:
Moves:
-Golden Protector
-Defined Target
-Objective Marked
-Iron Buckshot
Runes: 2 Strength 1 Speed
Mutant Rune options: Strength&Stamina, Strength&Life, Speed&Stamina, Speed&Life
Relics: Traps and Masks

Build Explanation:
Golden Protector has the average Base Power for AOEs, and his best AOE option. Defined Target lets Talos push for the extra damage or trigger Relics which require you to hit enemies. Objective Marked is his strongest unresisted single target skill at this point, and it disables the target's Trait as well. For the last slot, Iron Buckshot is chosen since it's his most impactful remaining move. The Bleed effect lets it have power similar to Golden Protector, and its Accuracy at 100 is notable.

Rank1: Automaton learns "Victim Chosen" at this level, a single target Base 80 unresisted attack.
Moves:
-Iron Buckshot
-Defined Target
-Objective Marked
-Victim Chosen
Runes and Mutant Runes are the same as given above.

Build Explanation:
With Victim Chosen, Talos gains access to one of the most powerful nukes in the game, which will likely kill non-Life Runed targets in a single hit. It gives him the tool he needs to be the dangerous attacker he is. The move is used over Golden Protector since Iron Buckshot is an arguably stronger AOE.
Also of note past this point is a 3 Strength spread, which will allow Victim Chosen to almost always kill non-Life Runed monsters. It's made viable thanks to said move's gigantic Base Power.

Rank2: Automaton learns "Talos is the Sun" at this level, an AOE that applies Trait Disable on all enemies and gives him an extra turn, at an extremely high Stamina cost.
Moves:
-Iron Buckshot
-Defined Target/Talos is the Sun
-Objective Marked/Defined Target
-Victim Chosen
Runes: 2 Strength 1 Speed/2 Strength 1 Stamina
Mutant Rune options: Strength&Stamina, Strength&Life, Speed&Stamina, Speed&Life, Stamina&Strength (Life Mutations only if not using Talos is the Sun)

Build Explanation:
Talos is the Sun comes with heavy demands, but the payoff is extremely valuable. First of, to use the move, any one of these conditions must be met: You must drop your Speed Rune for a Stamina Rune, your Runes must be high-enough leveled that giving them Stamina Mutations allows you to have at least 202 Base Stamina, or you must have a monster on your team that increases the Base Stamina of its teammates. However, in return, you will remove pesky Traits from enemies like Hardened variants, Taunt or Control Immunities.
To get the proper value from this move, it's expected for Talos to be able to execute another move after using it, since you don't want to lose your momentum as an attacker. For this reason, 2 Strength 1 Stamina is listed as an option for Runes.

Rank3: Automaton learns "Metallic Shrapnel" at this level, a single target Base 60 Metal move that Blinds the target and gives all enemies Metal Weakness.
Moves:
-Iron Buckshot
-Defined Target/Talos is the Sun/Objective Marked
-Metallic Shrapnel
-Victim Chosen
Runes and Mutant Runes are the same as given above.

Build Explanation:
Blind isn't something most monsters are immune to and it acts as a soft deny effect, and since making Metal monsters weak to Metal is notably good, Metallic Shrapnel is a must have on Talos. Plus, it's his second strongest single target attack.

Teammate Options: If you want to use Talos is the Sun but not use a Stamina Rune, you can pair him up with Warmaster Thalassa to increase his Base Stamina to an appropriate level. This does not work, I left it here so you know that it doesn't, because he's an Artifact. Monsters with Stamina restoring effects are good partners for Talos since he uses a lot of Stamina with each move. For more Teammate options, check out this article.

Countering Talos the Automaton: Disabling his Trait will make him vulnerable to status effects. CD Activation and Stamina Drain ignore Artifact and deny him. For more Counter options, check out this article.