Taric, that very annoying stun from the jungle
Allow me to re-introduce Taric, the ALWAYS underestimated Champion of the League. Ever since I was fooling around with builds for him about a week ago, I've been playing him since, and winning about 70% of the games i use him as a jungle Champion(It depends on how good your team actually is). Loving to experiment with Champions, Runes and Masteries, i tend to find the most amazing, and if not weird, Champion builds. One of these builds led to AD jungle Taric, and AD Taric in general. Anyways, over to the build.
Jungle Taric, Blue Team:
1. Seeing as Taric in general soaks up mana like a dry sponge in a bathtub, starting with Blue Buff is always a very good idea. Or, if you want a decent jungle round, ALWAYS start with Blue Buff.
1.1 My personal suggestion would be to start with Imbue(Heal) at the beginning, so you can actually use the mana you have, and will get.
2. When Blue Buff spawns at 1:55, have someone pull for you. Once they've hit blue, immediately start hitting the bloody thing. Once you've hit a few times, use Smite. Or, you can use Smite to last-hit it, it's up to you. However, make sure to use Imbue(Heal) when you don't have it on Cooldown.
3. Now that you've killed Blue and its minions, you should be level 2 by now. And perfect to go gank too, if you want to. In which case, pick Dazzle(Stun). Or, if you want to continue jungling, pick Shatter(Armor Aura) and continue with Wolves.
4. Start going after the Wraiths next, and then the Golems or Red Buff, depending on your play style. After this, you should be level 3 now, and have opened a few more options to yourself and your team mates. The two main types of play-styles that i personally play are in two later Chapters.
Summoner Spells, and why
Exhaust: Why pick this instead of, lets say, Flash? Exhaust got the positive status of slowing down your opponent a lot for 2.5 seconds. The more your enemy is slowed, the better the chances of a successful gank is. However, picking Exhaust is not mandatory, nor will I force anyone to use it, it is only my personal favorite Summoner Spell. But, if you want a successful gank with Jungle Taric, Exhaust is recommended.
Smite: Well, Smite won't give Taric a good jungle speed if he doesn't have it, I'm afraid, unless he's getting a lot of help from his team mates to take down Blue Buff for you. Smite in general gives a good gold bonus if you have specialized in Summoner's Resolve, and using it as often as possible will help you get those items you want a tiny bit faster.
Mastery setup, how and why
I've chosen this Mastery build because you need to maximize your damage and attack speed output. I have also specialized in Summoner's Resolve so that you get 10 extra Gold per Smite use.
Executioner is very good once you get a bit of damage going,as the 6% more damage really helps out when dealing with other Champions. Even when hitting minions and creeps, the additional damage is always a welcome sight when wanting a higher damage output.
Runes. How, why and what for
I have picked instant Armor, Armor Penetration, Magic Resist and instant Damage as you might see in the picture above.
The Armor Penetration gives more damage output during ganks, especially when facing enemies with higher amounts of Armor. The Armor Penetration is also useful because you will need it later on, during team fights and when you will fight the Baron, hopefully. The Armor Penetration also works against the Dragon, so having Armor Penetration is always useful, especially when you are Attack Damage-based.
The instant Armor i have picked is because it gives you a good set amount of Armor early on when jungling. Instant Armor, instead of Armor per level, makes it easier to resist early ganks, and to be able to hold out, at least until help can arrive.
The instant Magic Resist I have picked is just to annoy the hell out of the enemy mages. A jungler sometimes does not even HAVE Magic Resist, which makes it easy to nuke him down with Magical-based spells. And, because Taric is a melee Champion, it will make it hard to close in on any mage without a stun or slow.
Instant Damage is always nice early in the game if you want to surprise your enemy with a good amount of damage. Instant Damage is also good early on when you are jungling, because of Taric's passive.
Ganking play style:
4.1.1 Your bottom lane is being pushed, and the enemy is practically SCREAMING to get ganked by you. And so you pick Dazzle(Stun), and head on bottom. If the health of your team mates are a bit low, you can always Imbue(Heal) them whenever possible during the short duration of the gank.
4.1.2 You are ready for the gank. The moment your team mates see you, you should move towards the enemy and stun someone, preferably someone who got low on health, or got low maximum health. Toss on Exhaust the moment your Dazzle(Stun) clears, and he/she should barely be able to move. With any luck, you've picked up a kill.
4.1.3 Having two happy geeks at bottom, heal someone before you go back to your jungle round. Again, your jungle pattern is yours to choose, however now going after Golems and Red Buff IS recommended, if you haven't taken Red Buff already.
4.1.4 Continue to jungle, and max out your Imbue(Heal) first. Second to max is your Dazzle(Stun).
Jungle play style:
4.2.1 You find that no lane is in need of a gank, and so you level up Imbue(Heal). Head back for Wolves, and continue the killing cycle, until someone needs a gank or help in general.
4.2.2 Once you reach level 5, your Blue Buff should be gone by now, and will need some other form of healing yourself, or killing creeps faster. By now, you should probably have about 600 gold, assuming you helped with First Blood.
4.2.3 Now would be a good time to pick up Madred's Razors. Also, if you have any extra gold, Boots of Speed would be nice, for fast mobility during ganks.
184.108.40.206 If the enemy does not have a jungle, go grab their Blue Buff if it is still there. And voilà, you can jungle for twice as long without having to worry about your mana reserves.
Item builds, and why
Now, onto Items, how and why.
Getting Wriggle's Lantern is very important if you want any form of jungle speed with Taric, as Taric in general got very low attack speed.
Next you should get Berserker's Greaves, if you haven't already. Seeing as Taric is going to need all the attack speed he can get, Berserker's are always a good option. However, Ninja Tabi or Mercury's Boots are also good choices, depending on what you meet on the opposing team.
Next, is Nashor's Tooth. Why Nashor's Tooth, you ask? Well, Taric's spells have a high cooldown in general, and so the 25% Cooldown Reduction really helps a lot in terms of getting in a good healing speed(It reduces the cooldown on Imbue(Heal) with 4 SECONDS if it is maxed out). The attack speed is also very useful for Taric, as he got his passive, which gives him 7.5% mana of the damage dealt whenever he physically hits something. The Ability Power is not that much needed, but healing more with Imbue(Heal) is always a welcome sight by your mates.
Next, is Aegis of the Legion. Why Aegis, and not, say, Bloodthirster now, Force of Nature or Trinity Force early? Well, being a tough Champion, but not being very strong on his own, Aegis is always a good item to get, because you will NEED those resistances when facing the enemy. Every little bit of Hit Points, Armor and Magic Resistance will help when you join team fights. Also, Aegis of the Legion is a personal favorite item of mine. Even on your own you can dish out and take a good amount of damage with this lovely little item.
Next, Trinity Force. I pick Trinity Force because it is a very good item to get overall, even if you're not the main DPS of your team. Trinity Force's Sheen ability REALLY give you a bit of burst damage, especially if in sync with your Ultimate, Radiance. Then you will REALLY deal some one-hit damages, when using your spells.
By this time, you should have 5 items in your inventory, with only one space left. Personally, I go a different item each time, but an item I would recommend, is Sunfire Cape, Frozen Mallet or Force of Nature, depending on who you meet, and what you personally prefer as an item.
After you are fully stacked on items, getting rid of your Lantern and getting a fully stacked-up Bloodthirster is always an option.
Pros and cons
Oh yes, the infamous "Pros and cons". Always a pleasure to look at this little form of mental exercise.
+ Can heal team mates during ganks and team fights
+ Can dish out a LOT of damage if left untouched or ignored by the enemy
+ His Ultimate, Radiance gives a good damage boost to himself and his allies
+ When facing AD Champions, his high Armor rating will make them do very little damage to the point of it being like a mosquito bite
+ Good burst damage with Trinity Force
+ Good healing spam with attack speed from Trinity Force, Berserker's Greaves and Nashor's Tooth
+ Team Auras (Aegis of the Legion and Armor from Shatter)
- Is dependent on Blue Buff at the start of a game to get his jungling going
- Not very strong on his own, but can still dish out a lot of damage
- Loses in terms of speed to other jungle Champions, like Olaf, Shyvana and Warwick
- Dependent on attack speed for his Imbue(Heal) spell to be spammable
- Slow jungle speed at the start of the game
- His Health Points can be a bit low for a melee Champion, but it depends on who is playing Taric
-Got no Tenacity, which makes it easier to stun-lock or silence him, unless you get Mercury's Treads
- Is easy to kill off if focused properly by the enemy team