Taric Build Guide by drummerjmm
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
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.
Introduction - About Taric
Taric is a generally under appreciated champion whos ability to take punishment is near unparalleled.
The rework of his passive is a blessing in disguise. In the past, Taric gained bonus AD = 2% of his maximum mana, and that boost was doubled against champions. Build Manamune, and it effectively stacked his passive to double/triple its effect against minions/champions. His wave clear and subsequent dueling capabilities seemed higher as a result
However, while his reworked Gemcraft nerfs his consistent AA output, it gives him a built in Sheen esque spellblade effect that also applies increased CDR. This allows his stun and armor bonus/burst to be used in quicker succession. While Taric will still always build Manamune, he now has the ability to stack spellblade on top of his passive for an even heavier AA post ability cast, and insane spell sequence in combat.
Pros / Cons
+ Can take hits
+ Closes gaps and engages with Dazzle
+ Harass with Dazzle (engage, Shatter, fall back if you don't have the kill)
+ AoE with Shatter (wave clear)
+ Low CD on Radiance and built in CDR with Gemcraft
+ Still acts as a support in team fights ( Shatter passive, Radiance buff, easily incorporates Locket of the Iron Solari)
- Low AD early. Decent late game.
- Easily runs out of mana early game, forcing recalls
- Can(will) loose the CS war against almost any ranged champion
- Weak to AP, as his kit revolves around Armor.
- Building too much MR, or building MR too early weakens his kit ( Shatter and Gemcraft)
Tarics basic rune set up is very straight forward.
All of his abilities deal magic damage, so Mark of Magic Penetration helps push through as much damage as possible.
Being a melee champion, and with both his passive Gemcraft and his w Shatter scaling off his armor, Seal of Armor is used.
Tarics kit overall lacks MR, so I try to make up some this by utilizing Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist.
Key to effective CS and harass versus the opposing top laner are Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed. Greater Quintessence of Armor may be extremely effective early on, but the mobility (coupled with Fleet of Foot) will be more effective overall.
**NOTE: The linking for Perseverance defaults to Garen's passive instead of to the correct mastery. Refer to the mastery chart above**
Taric is a tank, plain and simple. However, the season 4 mastery updates give us some fun ways to toy around with where our extra 9 points go. For this guide, I've opted for a 1/22/7 spread.
Starting off with Block and Unyielding , we have reduced incoming damage by 4/3 for melee/ranged attacks. This is very relevant in the early laning phase, as well as after factoring in the amount of physical damage reduction this kit provides (on average, 75%+). Once Warden's Mail, Frozen Heart and/or Iceborn Gauntlet is built, the slowing effects will trigger Oppression to reduce damage by another 3%.
Health and Regen
Veteran Scars starts us off with a bonus 36hp, and Juggernaut will scale the total hp by an additional 3% throughout the game. Perseverance+ Tarics default hp5 adds up to a 90hp5 that slowly deteriorates the healthier you are, as Perseverance scales off your missing HP. Keep a few Health Potions in inventory, and it's very easy to hide in a bush instead of recalling, allowing for more effective farming and lane presence. Second Wind plus Imbue when you're in a tight spot can make a lot of difference too. It makes your mana expenditure more cost efficient when you're lower on health. If they have a heavy AP line up, Spirit Visage makes these even more effective.
Hardiness and Resistance give a free 5 points to Armor/MR respectively, and Enchanted Armor increases all bonus armors in your kit by 5% (this includes Shatter!).
Crowd Control Reduction
Legendary Guardian gives 15% tenacity, and Swiftness reduces opposing slows by an additional 10%.
Fleet of Foot is a 4th Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed. What more is there to say? I believe that these 3 points will be very common in season 4, regardless of role.
Meditation is huge with Taric during the lane phase. He is probably one of the most mana hungry champions there is early game. Meditation helps delay unnecessary recalls due to lack of mana. This allows for more lane time, higher cs, and an overall stronger game against your opposing top laner.
Alchemist is another huge bonus for early game. Seeing as we always start with 4-5 pots (95% of the time, 5) Alchemist extends our lane time even further, allowing Taric to maintain maximum pressure.
Double-Edged Sword increases all damage output by 2% in exchange for taking an additional 1% damage. This trade-off is essentially negligible with Tarics kit. Free damage is great!
Flash gets you in and out of range to engage or disengage.
Barrier saves Taric from ults like Luxs Final Spark or Ziggs Mega Inferno Bomb. Also, after activating Radiance in combat, Barrier provides additional sustain to make the most of the AD/AP boosts. Barrier also shuts down Ignite.
Ignite is the much more mainstream pick over Barrier. Take it if you feel more comfortable with it. After engaging with Dazzle, Ignite will help your dot in combat.
Teleport can be taken over Flash or Barrier to get Taric back to lane after an unplanned recall , or to cover lanes as needed.
For top lane Taric, maxing his w Shatter is of priority. The bonus armor allows prolonged lane time for farming and stronger AoE while you earn gold to buy the rest of his items. Take your first point here to reduce incoming damage and buff your minions for a stronger push. Max this first.
The difference from the first to the fifth point does add up to an extra half second, but the stun duration only increases by 0.1seconds per point, which seems to feel extremely under-scaled from point to point. It has range and targets which can be extremely beneficial. Max this second.
While I generally focus Shatter, if you have a duo partner, switch to focus Dazzle. You can make better team plays this way. While you should still start Shatter, alternate points in Shatter and Dazzle for best effect, prioritizing Dazzle, and maxing Dazzle once you have 3 points in Shatter. Example : w-e-q-e-w-r-e-w-e-e
The only time you should start Dazzle is if you plan on invading as a team. This will secure first blood.
Take 1 point early as a buff to your Health Potions. If anyone comes to help your lane, give them a complementary heal. Even a little helps. In combat, use this to continue procing Gemcraft for bonus damage and CDR. I take a second point mid game once the single point seems like it heals nothing. Max last.
Take points as available. Refer to Combat Skill Order for uses.
Boots are the base of any kit, and Ninja Tabi fill multiple roles for Taric. Aside from the obvious mobility boost, the +25 armor bonus will help scale your Gemcraft and Shatter, while the 10% AA reduction will stack on top of the completed kits 78% physical damage reduction making you nearly AA immune.
After making an early Tear of the Goddess, the choice becomes making either Manamune or Archangel's Staff. While the AP boost from Archangel's Staff helps scale both Dazzle and Radiance, the lack of AD is extremely noticeable. While 20+2% of Max mana may seem small, at the time you first build Manamune, your AD will jump from ~80 to ~110, and will continue to grow as the game progresses. This is huge for dueling in lane, and ensuring you're connecting your last hits for CS. The AA proc will help ensure it reaches 750 to transform, much faster than Archangel's Staff.
AP. Armor. CDR. Mana. Spellblade. An item without a single wasted stat. The AP, as minor as it is, still helps scale Dazzle and Radiance. The armor brings you closer to melee invulnerability, and scales both Gemcraft and Shatter. As the first CDR item in the kit, you're finally able to cycle your combat skill order more quickly for better results, and the mana makes double sure you never have to make unnecessary recall s. Finally, the spellblade passive stacks with Gemcraft! Bonus damage and AoE slow to help you stick to your target is crucial to successful kills.
Frozen Heart is probably my favorite item in this kit. It is the turning point for Taric. If you were somewhat behind, now you've got the edge. If you were even, now you're winning. If you were ahead before, now you'll soar. Everything about Frozen Heart screams Taric. At the point in game when this is made, it will jump you to ~65% physical damage reduction, your Gemcraft and Shatter will be upscaled by another 28.5 points, you have more mana to sustain with, and everything around you, that already does minimal damage, attacks you slower.
At this point in your kit, Taric is already sitting over 75% physical damage reduction. There's not much more you can do with this, and scaling on Gemcraft and Shatter is no longer relevant compared to how easily a solid AP champion can melt you. It is safe to begin building MR, and what better than Spirit Visage. Coupled with Iceborn Gauntlet, you have a full 40% CDR + 2sec/AA on Gemcraft, as well as increased healing capabilities, and more Health.
The final piece of the puzzle is Guardian Angel. Further increases MR, another armor boost (scaling Gemcraft and Shatter by another 15), and revive. Nothing will stop Taric at this point.
Locket of the Iron Solari is a go to item if you've fell behind. After making Frozen Heart, if you dont have the upper hand already, Iceborn Gauntlet probably isn't going to do you much good. Locket of the Iron Solari will help you transition into more of a tanky-support role to help the team as much as possible.
Sunfire Cape is almost never made. If the opposing team composition is extremely melee based, and possibly includes Renekton or Nasus, it may be worth considering. The AoE DoT will be great for team fights (that you will be in the middle of) and it helps offset the Aoe DoT provided by the afore mentioned champions ultimates, Dominus and Fury of the Sands
Trinity Force can be taken in place of Iceborn Gauntlet. If you're ahead in gold, and feel the want or need for numerous buffs that Trinity Force applies, go for it. However, at full kit, the MS bonus will be 89, where as Iceborn Gauntlets slow (based on 400MS) will be 120. The enemy may be able to dash or flash out of the slow, and you may not catch up without another long range Dazzle. This can be a deciding choice for which to build based on the opposing team composition. Trinity Forces spellblade will hit for 398 instead of 249. The loss of armor will descale Gemcraft and Shatter by 21 points in comparison to Iceborn Gauntlet. The loss of 300mana will descale Manamune or Muramanas passive by 6 points, and the active by 18. However, you will attack faster to make up for this.
If you've reverted to somewhat of a support role, chances are good you've already built Frozen Heart and then Locket of the Iron Solari. Your next stop should be zeke's herald. Bonus CDR for you, and damage + lifesteal buffs for the team is nothing to laugh at.
In a duo lane situation, depending on your partner and need for heal Seraph's Embrace may be the right call to boost your AP just a little bit more for Imbue, Dazzle, and Radiance. The shielding capabilities can further save Taric from AP Ultimates.
In an situation where the enemy team composition is extremely AD based, Thornmail is your new best friend. It alone scales Gemcraft and Shatter by another 30 points, and makes the opposing champions kill themselves faster than you would have likely already killed them.
120AP+50Armor is a dream combination for Taric. The downside is 2fold though. First: Taric can't make much use out of the Zhonya's Hourglass active. Becoming entirely invulnerable is no laughing matter, but we don't have ultimates like Tremors or Slicing Maelstrom. Second, is where to put it.
I see 2 places. Either inbetween Iceborn Gauntlet and Frozen Heart, or last in place of Guardian Angel. If it's built mid kit, it will force you to either skip Frozen Heart to get Spirit Visage 5th, or it will force you into Spirit Visage last. Waiting so long for MR can be detrimental once the opposing AP is built. If it's built last, chances are good you won't see it many games anyways, and it won't make much of a difference. The revive on Guardian Angel feels like the better last pick still to me.
Facing enemy compositions with massive amounts of CC, or if you don't want to melt in early trades against more AP than should be necessary, Mercury's Treads will help make the difference.
Facing a heavy AP enemy team, if you've managed to not fall behind(unlikely), chances are good Maw of Malmortius will allow you to safely engage them even more, and help you carry your team through to victory. This is by far the least likely item on this list you will ever make.
Combat Skill Order - Dueling
When able: close the gap and engage, putting large amounts of damage onto the target. Thanks to Gemcraft and
, Taric is able to
Dazzle-> Radiance-> Shatter-> Dazzle-> Shatter in near perfect succession to chase and kill. Don't forget to auto attack in between each skill to proc Gemcraft and Iceborn Gauntlet for most effect.
If your target has already closed the gap for you, and you're engaged in melee combat, Radiance first. There is a bit of delay in between alternating Dazzle and Shatter this way, but it will subsequently buff the damage on your Dazzle.
How Much Damage Can You Do?
Late game, you will be sitting very comfortably at a solid 199AD. Under Radiance You get to smash things at 269. Toggle on Muramana for an additional 184 that diminishes over the length of combat.
But wait! There's more!
Remember Gemcraft? At full build sitting on ~350 Armor, that's an additional 105 Magic damage every other AA as you toggle through your abilities. And how about Iceborn Gauntlet landing another 125% of base damage? A whopping 249 + AoE 30% slow!
Add in the 365 from activating Radiance, an average of about 300 from Dazzle, 305 from Shatter that nerfs their armor by 65, and what do you have?
Do the math : 702 physical, 1075 magic, 30% AoE Slow, and a flat armor reduction of 65.
Burst damage of 1777, before factoring their resistances.
Game Play - Lane Phase
The key to playing (and carrying with) Taric top lane, is that you cannot lose the lane. However, don't fret too much if you loose. Don't feed, and eventually you can come back in to the game once you have Frozen Heart and Locket of the Iron Solari. Your role will be much more initiate/support oriented.
When played correctly, Taric should have no problems with opposing top lane champions such as Renekton, Nasus, Jax, or Darius. They all need to close on you, making Dazzle even better. After Frozen Heart, you should be in a position to duel them all day long with no fear.
Volibear can be handled in lane decently as well, just watch out for his Thunder Claws, because the magic damage will tear you apart. His shear amount of health however will make it next to impossible for Taric to duel him come mid to late game. Team up to take him down.
Singed can be dealt with so long as you don't let him Fling you into a tower. Play smart and don't run around in his Poison Trail.
Watch out for Pantheon. Late game Taric will eat him alive, but until you have enough armor built, he has the major advantage. You have to out play him. You cannot Dazzle and engage at will while Aegis Protection is up. He can counter stun (and gap close simultaneously) with Aegis of Zeonia while Aegis Protection is active and there's not much you can do about it unless Dazzle is up. Even then, your Gemcraft boosted AA will be blocked. In range, his Heartseeker Strike will whittle you down, and its certain death passive will allow him to crit with Spear Shot from range. Barrier is your best friend here.
In the end, Shen will beat you. His abilities shield him at levels equal to or greater than your armor, but your armor is worthless against him, as he will simply smash you with AP. Get help. You can lane against him early and CS decently, but it won't last long.
Provided Teemo isn't some insanely good player, there is a slight chance you can get away with this. You'll build using the Mercury's Treads -> Tear of the Goddess -> Frozen Heart progression. If you can make it this far without having fed, you should be ok. You'll be behind is CS (from my experiences, Teemo will have ~double what you do). He is still well ahead of you, but you should be able to relatively safely engage him. DO NOT engage without having Barrier or Ignite available. You will need the additional sustain or damage to make it happen. There are 2-3 major things that have to happen though.
1) Buy 2-3 Health Potions every time you go back. You have to counter his Toxic Shot.
2) Alter your skill sequence. You will be putting 2 points in Imbue early to further counteract Toxic Shot and overall ranged harass. Forgo most of your Shatter points until later. It will look like this : w-q-e-q-w-r-e-e-q-e-r-e-w-w-w-r-q-q
3) Communicate with your jungler. Master Yi, Vi, Elise and Lee Sin can be extremely helpful in pressuring the opposing Teemo with their initiates. Be sure to Dazzle as soon as they go to make their move and then follow the Combat Skill Order progression for the highest kill potential.
If it's obvious going in that Teemo is an extremely skilled player... Cry. Hopefully there's a teammate better suited to handle him, and you can go to a different lane, or (very sadly) support. In time, Taric can handle Teemo by sheer force, but he can outlane you, harass you from all CS, and put you so far behind early that there's nothing you'll be able to do.
Team Work - Late game
Taric can initiate and tank extremely well for the team, so long as they don't have a fed APC. Even so, you can Dazzle the primary target, and Radiance to buff your entire team. If you built Locket of the Iron Solari, now would be the time to activate it. Shatter in their midst, Dazzle and Imbue every chance you get. By the time you die (if you die), your team should be way enough ahead to finish them off and push all the way back through their inhibitors.
People will question you for picking Taric nearly every game, so it may not be the best idea to pick him from the start. Start off with someone more mainstream, and change at the very end. It will save you a lot of headaches. You can prove the disbelievers wrong in game. (I am referring to normals here. Draft and Ranked make this pick much more difficult.)
Avoid AP based champions as much as possible, and you should be just fine. If you have to engage them, Barrier.