Taric Build Guide by CreecK
Not Updated For Current Season
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Example on final build
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
My name is CreecK and this is my first guide. I have been asked several times to make a guide, mainly for Taric, so here it goes. Before we really get started I must remind you, that there is no real way of playing any champs, as no games are the same. Every game can variate, depending on your own team, the team you are against, how the laning phase turns out etc. etc.
Taric is a great champion, because he can work with many AD carries and works aswell great against many combos, due to his sustain and high damage throughout most of the laning phase.
If you aren't interested in playing a support Taric and instead are looking for an AP build for Taric, I can recommend you looking at the Taric for men build; I tried that myself a couple of times, and it works out just well.
The tutorial will continue expand, as more aspects is brought into the light by you guys commenting the video. So don't forget to upvote the guide if you enjoyed it and leave me a comment if you think I missed something.
Well lads, let's get it started: And don't forget to bring some lube, 'cus their bot lane is about to go down!
Pros / Cons
[+] Reliable stun Dazzle, which is great for both initiation and for helping teammates escape.
[+] Provides allies armor with the passive Shatter ability.
[+] The Shatter also makes Taric naturally tankish and provides a lot of burst in early game.
[+] His heal ability Imbue is not something I like, but it can become very important if you are against a lane with lots of poke. It is very handy, as it can either heal both you and your AD carry or just heal you for 40% more than otherwise.
[+] The combo of Shatter and Radiance is enough to secure easy kills and other game objectives.
[+] His passive ability Gemcraft makes it possible for him to regenerate mana quickly, making it much easier for both Taric and his AD carry to stay in lane.
[-] Taric is strong early, but does not have any teamfight changing ultimates like Zyra or Sona does.
[-] His base movement speed is very low.
[-] Because of his low movement speed, he is very easily chased down or kited by ranged champions.
[-] His abilities got relatively long cooldowns.
[-] When Taric is forced to use a lot of abilities, without being able to get the use of his Gemcraft, he is out of mana in just a few seconds.
It is very important, that you get Dazzle at level 1:
[+] It allows you to help kickstarting your junglers routine.
[+] It makes it possible for your team to invade the enemy jungle.
[+] It is a good initiator, if you are trying to get an early kill bot lane.
After that, you would like a point in all three of your main abilities, maxing your Shatter first, as this allows you to be more aggresive in lane with higher burst, but taking less damage yourself.
If you find yourself losing your bot lane hard - and by hard, I mean very hard! - you could take some more early points in Imbue
[+] Exhaust is essiential for the most supports, even the ones with a targeted stun, as this reduces the movementspeed and overall damage of the opponent, making it very easy for you and your AD carry to catch your opponent and seal the deal. Later in the game, the combo of Dazzle and Exhaust can be completely gamechanging, as you can take out a high damage source for entirely 4 seconds.
[+] Flash is also a great summoner spell on Taric, aswell as on many other champions, as it gives you a free escape. It can also be used effectivily as an initiator, making it possible to either catch an opponent with Dazzle or hitting more people with your entire combo.
[~] Thanks to the recent buff, Heal is now more of a support spell than a spell for your AD carry to get. It can really be a gamechanger in teamfights or 2v2 engagements. If you grab the Heal, I highly recommend that you also grab the Eleisa's Miracle.
[~] Ghost is a decent alternative to the recommended Flash as it grants you a great movementspeed boost and you now ignore unit collision. But on the other hand, it does not allow you to blink over walls as Flash does, and you should be getting Shurelya's Reverie later in the game anyway, so the need of Ghost isn't really there.
[~] Ignite is a great summoner spell to handicap the opponent carry, if he is being healed of any kind, as this healing is majorly reduced. It is also a great summoner spell against champions like Swain or Dr. Mundo, as their ultis' health regeneration will be reduced critically, but it may also accidently steal the kill from your carry or another team member, which is something you should be avoiding as much as possible.
[~] Clairvoyance used to be alfa and omega for the support player, as it could prevent you from being ganked in times without wards (but you always got wards on you, right?) an also it would let you track down the enemy jungler and instantly check on important objectives. However with the new items Sightstone and Rubystone wards shouldn't really be a problem, so the need of this summoner spell isn't really there anymore.
All the remaining summoner spells aren't really useful for a Taric, so I won't even comment on these.
These are pretty much the items I start with, as it grants me the necessary health and mana regeneration to sustain in lane and allows me to grab an early Philosopher's Stone. Some people prefers to get Crystalline Flask and more wards and then rush for the Sightstone and censequently Ruby Sightstone in order to get a bit tankier and to spare some gold on buying less wards. I prefer the first build, but the second is great too - It depends on your gameplay and is really up to you what you will go for.
A really important note is, that if the enemy team got a champion with stealth, like Shaco or Evelynn, then it is crucial to start with a Vision Ward instead of one of the Sight Wards so you are aware of when they gank - In the same time you can use it to destroy the enemies' ward, so that way of starting can also be very good.
A very important thing to keep in mind, is that until you get your Sightstone you should always keep at least 1 Sight Ward on you - It can also be useful to keep a few on you even though you have already gotten your Sightstone, in order to place more than the maximum 2 wards it can provide at once. It is very important to keep both your lane protected with wards, but also the Dragon warded, as killing this would provide a gold-advantage for the opposing team. So buy your Sightstone early in the game, and if you feel confident that you won't be killed easily anymore, you should also grab an Oracle's Elexir.
This is what you should aim to get early in the game. The Philosopher's Stone should be fairly quickly bought, as you only will need to earn 340 gold for the recipe. After that you will need a total of 1050 gold to afford both the Sightstone and Boots of Speed. Earlier I would recommend getting boots earlier, but it does not seem to be as necessary as in the earlier seasons (though Taric got a low movementspeed, it should not be as important as the Sightstone). Then grab yourself a Kage's Lucky Pick for more AP (more damage and greater heals) and getting more gold pr. 10, and it is also a part of the Shard of True Ice that I recommend you building later.
After that you should go straight for the Aiges of the Legion, starting with the Emblem of Valor for the health regeneration aura. Make sure that your top laner and jungler know that you are building the Aiges of the Legion to avoid getting two of those.
If you picked Heal or Clairvoyance I would go straight for the Eleisas Miracle. The earlier you can get it the better, as you will need space in your bag later.
Aiges of the Legion is alfa and omega for a support champ, as this grants a passive aura of 10 armor, 15 magic resist and 10 health regeneration per 5. The choice of boots can variate from game to game, depending on the enemy champs and also on how the lanes are doing. Mercurys Treads is my prefered boots, as they provide magic resist and Tenacity, when Ninja Tabi provides armor. The enemy team must deal very heavy attack damage before you should get the Ninja Tabi, as you got some passive armor from your Shatter. After boots, grab your Ruby Sightstone and keep those wards up at all times!
Shurelyas Reverie is one of the most important support items in the game, and especially when playing Taric (did I mention that he has a low base movementspeed?) It provides a nice amount of health and mana regeneration, but most importantly is the activation of the item, being a movementspeed buff for nearby allies. Though the Shurelyas Reverie is a great upgrade for you, you wanna late until relatively late before building it, to maximise the gold earned by the passive effect of Philosopher Stone.
The Runic Bulwark is just a simple upgrade from your Aiges of the Legion, granting more health and magic resist for you and more magic resist for your aura, and the upgrade itself is only 1050 gold after you build the Aiges of the Legion.
At this point you should have a good idea of how to start your build, but as I also pointed out earlier, so you won't build the same items every game. It will depend on how your team is doing and who you are playing against. The following items are good on Taric in the following sitations:
The Zeke's Herald is almost always a great item, as it provides your team with extra attack damage and lifesteal, but it also increases your own health and cooldown reduction. Gotta love it!
The Frozen Heart is also a great support item for the most games, but it can variate. It will be at its very best, if you are against a lot of AD and you find yourself tanking a lot, because it has a lot of armor and the passive effect lowers the enemies' attack speed. So dont grab this, unless you are the one pushing the enemy AD carry out of teamfights and not if you just stand back and defend your own AD carry.
Banner of Command is a decent item, but you should only grab this, if you find yourself winning early, but not being able to finish of the game. It grants you a health regeneration aura which also increases the near creeps' damage, making you push hard. Also, it has an activation called Promote, which transforms a siege minion into a more powerful unit. So if you wish to push hard in order to end the game, this is your item.
Previously would the Mana Manipulator be upgraded to Soul Shroud, giving nearby champions a mana regeneration buff and reducing your cooldowntime. But it has been removed, so now it is upgraded into Shard of True Ice, which is a much better item. It gives you 45 AP, 4 gold every 10 seconds and the activation of it, surrounding an ally with a blizzard that slows nearby enemy movementspeed by 30%. It is a great item if you are winning as this makes your initiation easier, and it is even better if you got champions like Skarner or Dr. Mundo who got great initiation with their high movementspeed, then the activation will make it easier for your team to catch up on you and secure the kills.
Twin Shadows is also a great item for you as support, but mainly if you are winning, as this item got the activation called "Hunt", summoning two invulnerable ghosts seeking the two nearest enemy champions. If they hit an enemy, he will be slowed and revealed for 2.5 seconds. Besides the activation, does the Twin Shadows also provide 50 AP, 30 magic resist and 5 movementspeed multiplier. So it is a pretty nice item for Taric, but you should only go for it, if either you are in front or if you are against a couple of champions who always seems to slip away.
Randuins Omen is overall a great item, both for solo top tanks/junglers or supporters, as it provides you with more tankiness (70 armor and 100 health). It also has an activation slowing nearby enemies by 35% for 2 seconds + 1 second per 100 armor and magic resist. But after season 2 ended they removed Heart of Gold, which made it harder for a support champ to get his hands on a Randuins Omen, so it will probably be picked up by a teammate instead of you.
Locket of the Iron Solari is not an item that I use, but yet very popular among support players. It provides 35 armor and a bit health and health regeneration, which always is good for you - And on top of it all, it got 10 cooldown reduction, which is just lovely. Also, the activation on the item is a shield for you and your nearby allies, absorbing the next 50 (+10 per level) damage, which really can change a teamfight. This is an overall great item, but I would prefer buying it, if I am a little behind and need an easy boost in teamfights, as the item only has a total price of 2000 gold.
Now for one of the most important things; your AD carry. With the stun and flat burst Taric deals, he is best suited with champions who can follow up and as well poke and deal high damage on spells in early game. Here I recommend:
These champs works really well together with Taric, as they got great amounts of burst early in the game. Starting a fight with Dazzle and Shatter will allow your AD carry to do his/her combo, dealing a huge amount of damage. At level 6 the combo will become even more dangerous, with the two ultis being thrown in the mix aswell.
Playing against them
Playing against Graves, you will more than ever have to max your Shatter early, to prevent a lot of his burst damage. Also, make sure to save your Dazzle until he used his Quickdraw, negating a lot of his damage.
Playing against Ezreal you can completely counter him, if you play Taric right. First of all, your Shatter will prevent a bit of all the damage Ezreals abilities can deal in the beginning. Ezreal is great in lane, because he can deal significant damage with his abilities, both as burst and as longer lasting pokes. Try to stun and burst Ezreal as much as possible, every time his Arcane Shift is on cooldown. And make sure to ping or write it, whenever he is trying to snipe someone with his ulti.
Playing against Corki is a bit hard, as his Gatling Gun is hard to escape as Taric, due to your low movement speed - So try NOT to fight him, when this is activated. Just like Ezreal does Corki have a free escape with his Valkyrie, so make sure that this is on cooldown whenever you wish to engage a 2v2 fight on him with your AD carry. And dont camp in bush, as his Phosphorus Bomb will reveal you.
Draven can both be easy and hard to play against, depending on how you play your first 5 minutes. Draven can deal a lot of damage on his autoattacks when he is allowed to attack without you and your AD carry trading damage with him, but on the other had is he very vulnerable to CC as he lacks of escape opportunities, except for Stand Aside and Blood Rush. Remember that his Blood Rush's cooldown refreshes every time he catches a Spinning Axe, which makes him very deadly and a great chaser and executioner. If possible, make the go on him whenever his escape mechanic is on cooldown and maybe even land a stun on him, when he tries to catch a Spinning Axe. And always remember to warn your team, when he is trying to snipe someone with his ulti, Whirling Death.
At last we got Miss Fortune. She is very, very annoying in the laning phase, as her Double Up can hit both you and your teammate, even though the one furthest behind was out of range of the ability. Be very aware of her ultimate Bullet Time as this hurts badly, especially if you and your teammates are bunched up. Try to stun her when she is channeling this, as it will be interupted. Also this will take away one of her main advantages, Strut, that provides her a lot of movementspeed. When lacking of mobility, you should easily be able to burst her down. And try not to heal you or your teammate when she got the effect of Impure Shots on you, as this will reduce the healing received, save it for when the debuff is over.
What counters Taric?
Every single champ in the game got some items or champions, that counters him; and so does Taric.
You will see a few champions, who can make your Taric life feel like hell. Those champions are:
What does these champions got in common? They can all absorb your Dazzle, which can make it difficult for you to catch them and get in range of your AoE combo.
When laning against Sivir it can be really hard to land a good stun on her, as the animation of your Dazzle is very slow and therefore makes it really easy for Sivir to get her Spell Shield up in time. And not only does it prevent her from getting stunned, she even gets some mana from it! So you gotta time your stun well, in order to make it work against Sivir.
For Morgana's sake, she got her Black Shield which simply absorbs the next 95-355 (+70% of AP) magic damage the unit would take, but what to notice is, that even though your stun will deal more damage than the shield will absorb, only the damage will get through and not the stun effect. Therefore, make sure that Morgana got her Black Shield on cooldown if you wanna go on her or simply stun someone else with a high threat to your team, if you are engaging a teamfight.
Next goes Vladimir and Fizz. They got respectively Sanguine Pool and Playful/Trickster. Both abilities makes the champion immune to all sorts of damage and CC, and you will miss your stun, if it is on its way, when either of these abilities is being cast. If you engage a fight on either of these two champions, you will have to try to force them into using their respective ability, in order to make it possible for you to land the stun and secure your team the kill.
Last, but not least, is Nocturne. This is in my opinion the best jungler you can pick, if you wanna counter the enemies' Taric support. You see, Nocturne got his Shroud of Darkness which blocks the next incoming enemy spell, which thereby makes it impossible for you to stun him. And to make it even worse, his Duskbringer and Unspeakable Horror slows and fears you, which is devastating when playing Taric, due to his low base movementspeed. In order to counter Nocturne, you will need good warding, in order to leave your lane before he even enters it. And if he somehow makes it into your lane while you and your AD carry are still in it, you should try to use an ability to shut his Shroud of Darkness before you stun him, in order to avoid being cought in his combo.
These are just a few of the items, that can counter your Taric pick. Why you ask? Let me explain:
Banshees Veil is a great way to counter a Taric, as this has the same effect that makes the champions above good against Taric: It absorbs the next incoming enemy ability. The way to counter this item, is the same way that you counter the Shroud of Darkness from Nocturne: by using another ability to shut down the absorb and then stun him afterwards. Especially later in the game, it will be much more useful to waste the 240 dmg (+60% of ability power) that Shatter will deal and then land a 1.5 seconds stun instead, as your team should be able to deal more damage than that.
For the other items shown, being Rylai's Crystal Scepter, Frozen Mallet and Shurelyas Reverie, these are just a few of the items that will ruin a Taric, as they either increase the opponents movementspeed or decreases yours. The reason why they are so mean against him, is (I know I said it before, but this is very important to keep in mind) that Taric got a low base movementspeed and if you burned your Flash or Ghost, depending on what you picked, you got no escape mechanics left and are therefore completely doomed. That is why Shurelyas Reverie is such a great item on him. It is good for every support to give your team a boost, either to hunt down your enemies or to escape a critical episode, but it is so important on Taric.
In early game, meaning laning phase (level 1-7/14 depending on game) you got 3 main priorities:
[+] Place the necessary wards, protecting you from incoming ganks.
[+] Protect your AD carry, making it possible for him both to stay in lane to gain levels and to get as much farm as possible.
[+] If possible, play aggressive on your opponents, in order to deny them from leveling as quickly as you and your AD carry and to prevent the enemies from farming. For this point, I recommend that you look further down at the section called "Zonecontrol". This gives a great look into how you can place yourself to gain you and your team an advantage, both in laning phase and in teamfights.
[~] If you are being ganked unawarily, you should always try to take the damage instead of your AD carry, as he is of more value alive than you are, both in the teamfight and afterwards for farming. This being said, I think that many people misunderstood this point, as protecting your AD carry doesn't mean that you headlessly should toss yourself into a 3v2 encounter, giving the enemies 2 kills instead of 1. This is a balance that you have to learn by playing a lot, there is no way to explain this properly. But the groundrule is, that you should take the hits, not your AD carry.
These priorities are not ranked, as they all are equally important.
Mid and lategame
Your main priorities in mid and lategame is:
[+] Your main goal is to keep wards up at all times, giving your team the required vision, preventing them from being ganked, making easier for your team to set up ganks against the opposing team and of course to deny the enemy team from getting a Baron Nashor or Dragon kill.
A thing to keep in mind, is that Taric is one of the tankish support champs, but that doesn't make him a tank (when you pick him for the support role). Therefore your positioning in teamfights will change the outcome of it:
[+] Place yourself a bit in front of your AD carry (who by now should be your team's main damage source), protecting him from incoming damage, while granting the rest of your team the buffs you got from Shatter and your items. Don't forget to use your activation items! I see many people forgetting to use their activation items, when they could have changed the outcome of the teamfight completely.
[+] You should have a jungler/solo laner who jumps into the other team's carries' face, trying to kill them ASAP. But at the same point, might the enemy team have bruisers with the same goal - That is where you come in. You will have to stand in front of your AD carry, preventing him from being hit by any skillshot abilities. Also, if the opponent is having a champion like Kassadin or Katarina, whose main goal is to jump in the middle of your team and burst as hard as possible, you will be the one stopping them. This is mainly done by saving your stun and exhaust until they jump in and in that way removing all their damage.
[-] A very important point, than not many people think about is, that when you use your Shatter will deal a bit damage, but it will remove the armor aura it grants, so at some points it will actually be more worth if you don't use it to grant your AD carry more armor, as maybe this resistance will save his life (and most likely, he will be able to deal more damage than you will).
This is pretty much how everyone wards, and also sort of what I recommend that you do:
As a support player, it is very important that you always carry around wards on you to ward crucial areas, but you should also encourage your top and mid player to keep a defensive ward for themselves in the laning phase. Keep in mind, that the map above doesn't show where to ward when, but it is just an idea of which spots you can wards. Situational wards like in bushes covering mid and wards in bushes in lane to prevent lanegank, can also be very affective, but these all depend on the game you are playing.
A great advantage for both you and your team, is if at least one of you keeps an eye out for your own and if possible the enemies' blue and red buffs, as these grants your team a huge advantage.
(Note: The buffs have a 5 minutes respawntime)
Aswell as the buffs, is it very important that you keep Baron Nashor and Dragon warded at all times; If you got it warded for 40 minutes, but not the 5 minutes that they actually go for the Baron Nashor kill, then the rest was most likely a waste.
(Note: Baron Nashor has a 7 minutes refresh timer and the Dragon got a 6 minutes refresh timer)
FYI This is not my video, as I did not make it, but it is certainly worth a watch, as it gives a really good insight in how you can controle your bot-lane, without even doing anything than positioning yourself in the right spots.
All credit goes to Shurelia for this video!
Taric is without doubt one of my favourite support champs, as he is very all-round and excels in both sustain/poke lanes and kill lanes.
I hope you enjoyed reading this guide as much as I enjoyed writing it. Again, there is no way you should play any champ for every game, this is just to give you an idea of how to play possibly the best support champ in the game at the minute, so please don't downvote simply because the build didn't work for you or for some niche that you didn't like.
Feel free to share any sort of constructive criticism, as I'd love to hear other people's oppinion on how to play him - Even the best players can learn new things about their champions.
Have a nice day !
(Shoutout to Morfologus from EUW for persuade me into making this guide!)