Taric Build Guide by Palinfreeborn
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Not Updated For Current Season
This is Taric, built as a support champion. As a rolling buff station, Taric is unlike any other support character. Aside from his incredible usefulness as a healer, Taric possesses the unique capacity as a support to initiate and (somewhat) tank in combat. When built with numerous auras and a few personal items, Taric becomes an incredibly nasty costumer when he's accompanied by any other champion(s). I have, with this build and good team communication, turned around entire games games. On a few occasions, this build and that communication has led to last-ditch ace-and-bum-rush wins, as a properly built aura Taric can effectively steamroll entire lanes and their turrets with only creeps to back him up.
So, roll up your sleeves, and let's get truly, truly outrageous.
Pros / Cons
Can easily push and take down turrets single-handedly (with creeps), in under 20 seconds.
Good for helping a teammate out by ganking.
Amazing support capacity that will keep your teammates thriving with little effort.
Proper supporting will lead to early First Bloods for your team and easy jungle mobs.
Hard to be effective before level 6/Aegis of the Legion.
You'll be the PRIME target of every opposing player.
Requires a lot of coordination with teammates, which isn't always possible.
The first part of preparing your Taric to support a group is to work out your masteries. Unless you're going for an AP build (and, if you're reading this guide, you aren't), you don't want to waste any points on the Offense tree, since you won't be focusing on damage as much as survivability and support for your team/creeps.
What you're looking for is 9 points in Defense, to take advantage of the magic resist/extra armor afforded by Hardiness and Resistance, with Strength of Spirit to add a little extra oomph to your health bar as your mana pool grows in-game.
As for Utility, we'll be putting the brunt of our points here. Perseverance and Haste are must-haves for this build, since the extra health/mana regen will keep you alive and kicking, while Haste will help you get your companions in a hurry. Taric almost requires Awareness, as early game he is squishy and not capable of much soloing. If you get gimped early game, your strategy is shot and enemies will feed on you unless you're protected by teammates, and that's not the purpose of this build. You need to be leveled and useful by the time group-fight phase kicks in, because otherwise you will cause your team to lose.
Meditation and Clarity will help keep your mana pool (and those of your teammates') full and Utility Mastery proves useful if for nothing else than the blue (golem) buffs and Baron, keeping you topped off and constantly healing mid-game. Quickness, again, lends itself well to getting around quickly, as well as initiating fights with Dazzle or helping gank a character before they can run. Lastly, top off Intelligence and Presence of the Master for MASSIVE cooldown reduction, allowing you to heal/stun/rally every few seconds, as well as helping keep up the passive armor bonus of Shatter once you've used it to crack the magic resistance of the opposing group.
Nothing severely complicated here.
For Marks, you want Mark of Alacrity x9, for the attack speed bonus. Taric's passive ability, Gemcraft, gives him back 7.5% of his attacks as mana, which means the more you attack, the more mana you get back. This also means, when you're attacking, you can keep Radiance up longer, since Radiance costs more and more mana over time. You could also go with Mark of Force for the ability power boost, but I'd recommend those for AP builds instead.
For Seals, we're going to use Seal of Clarity x9, because mana is important for a fully-functioning Taric and, until you get Frozen Heart/Abyssal Scepter/Soul Shroud, you're going to feel woefully short on mana. Plus, the regen will be lovely, late game.
For Glyphs, I prefer Glyph of Focus x9, if for nothing else than cooldown reduction is paramount with Taric. This will save your team numerous times with steady, constant heals, and timely Radiances. You could go with Glyph of Force, alternatively, but again I would recommend that only for AP builds, since you won't need the extra ability power.
For Quintessences, you want Quints of Fortitude x3. No contest. The extra health will save your *** and provide you with flexibility in combat roles.
I highly recommend Clarity and Ghost. Ghost will help you get around quickly and allow you to reach your teammates or chase down stray enemies for a last-second stun. Clarity is good for keeping yourself laning long enough for the gold and exp (and you're gonna need them!), but also keeping your teammates' mana pool topped off too! If you don't feel like your playstyle requires Clarity (or you're on a team with NO magic users), I recommend Clairvoyance. It'll help the team, and that's the business you're in here. Just make sure you check with your team first. No team needs more than one Clairvoyance.
Start out with Dazzle for your first skill, so you can harass-and-bonk your lane opponents and keep them from running away or chasing for a kill. Immediately pick up Imbue at 2nd level, so you can start healing yourself and your teammate in laning phase. 3rd level should be Shatter, so you can start reaping the armor bonus rewards immediately. After that, prioritize Radiance, Shatter, Imbue, and Dazzle, in that order.
There's a few different options for this build, depending on your team make-up, and it's up to you to know how to adapt. I'll break it down a few different ways for you and explain it at the end
The Core Build:
Chalice of Harmony
Aegis of the Legion
ON Caster-heavy teams:
Will of the Ancients
ON Physical-heavy teams:
VS. Caster-heavy teams:
VS. Physical-heavy teams:
This build is very flexible, but very dependent on your opposition, as any build should be. You want the core of your build to include Chalice of Harmony and Mercury Treads, for the mana regen and the magic resistance, as both are a must to making this build work. Moreover, with all the extra armor afforded by Shatter and the health Taric will have end-game, you'll need more magic resist than armor to stay alive. Aegis of the Legion is almost REQUIRED and should be the first thing you pick up after Chalice and Mercury Treads, because the aura stats are so damn good and it also helps boost your creeps in laning phase. I highly recommend Soul Shroud as your fourth item, for the health bonus and the mana regen/CDR.
The last two items of your build are VERY flexible and should be situational for the team you're on/facing. Personally, I often find Abyssal Scepter and Frozen Heart to be the most often helpful items, but you should reference the list above if you're having trouble figuring out how to build out for your team.
Alright! It's time! You're finally in-game as Taric and your preparation is about to pay off!
Pick up the Dazzle skill, a Mehki Pendant, and two mana potions from the store. Take a lane with a fast-footed melee DPS, a heavy-duty tank, or a long-range DPS. Stay at the back of mobs until level 2, then make your living healing your teammate and occasionally whacking creeps for the gold/mana. Don't spam Dazzle unless your opponents are going to end up taking a beating while stunned. Remember! Dazzle does more damage and stuns less the closer your opponent is to you, but does less damage and stuns longer at range, which is primarily what you want. You're not here to do damage... you're here to supplement your teammates. Let them bash the hell out of the opposition. You just need to focus on leveling and getting as much gold as possible, while keeping your teammate alive.
After you have around 1240 gold, it's time to port back to base and grab your Boots of Speed and a Chalice of Harmony, then pop ghost back to your lane to support your teammate. Keep pushing until you get to 2000g or you start having trouble keeping up with the enemy team, whichever comes first, and hop back to base for Aegis of the Legion, which should help with laning and getting a few kills. Grab the blue buff on the way back if you can (and, if you're feeling really rich, maybe start warding), and continue pushing until level 10, then it's time to start grouping up for team fights.
By now, you should have some idea of what the opposing team's build is, and you need to start planning your build accordingly. Grab Soul Shroud when you can to finish off your core build, and start setting goals for your next two items. You need to have Shatter maxed out by now, which will allow you take a decent amount of hits and pretty much clear entire waves of creeps with a simple activate of Shatter. Use Shatter to clear out enemy creeps and, if you're pushing a tower or engaging in a team fight, use Radiance in short bursts for the brunt of the battles. Radiance wastes mana if used too long, so 4-6 second bursts can change the tide of entire battles, and even topple a tower in less than a half a minute.
I cannot emphasize this enough: STICK WITH YOUR TEAM. You are a rolling buff station now! The enemy team is going to gank you any chance they get and your teammates can use the bonuses from being around you to absolutely destroy the opposition. Get the blue buff whenever you can to keep your mana up and take out creeps/jungle mobs with shatter/auto-attacks to build your gold reserves, so you can finish your build as quickly as possible.
Toward end game, you should be pushing as hard as possible against towers with your teammates. You'll be able to steamroll towers by now with just creeps at your back (hell, you should be able to tower-dive at this point), and it'll go even faster with a friend. Reduce the opposition's defenses as much as possible and make sure you are helping initiate team fights, since your stun is a potent method of taking out their strongest player for a few seconds, which is more than enough time to rip the rest of their team to shreds. Make sure you pop Shatter when the opposing team is within range to drop their magic defenses and prepare them for the rest of your team.
Remember: Dazzle, Shatter as many as you can, pop Radiance for a few seconds, and spam Imbue like crazy to keep everyone healed. If you can stun-lock their strongest player, do it as often as you can manage. The longer he's out of the game, the better. And USE THOSE AUTO-ATTACKS! They not only give you mana, but they shorten the cooldown on your Imbue skill, which means faster heals.