Build Guide by Pyrox
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Guide to AP Taric
Howdy! You guys are the lucky readers of my first guide.
For a long time I told myself I'd never play Taric, because as I worked my way up to level 30 I kept fighting with and against terrible Tarics over and over. I figured he must just be a gimp champion, end of story. Nothing could be farther from the truth! You just have to know what he's good at.
First things first: Forget about being a tank. If you want to make Taric your tank, this guide isn't for you. This build is all about huge heals and making the most of dazzle/shatter combos.
Gemcraft - Taric loves to socket magical gems into all of his weapons, resulting in his melee attacks replenishing his mana for 7.5% of damage dealt.
As you can see I take Clarity and the Mana manipulator to start, so I don't get a ton of mileage out of this ability. Nonetheless I threw attack speed runes into the mark category, that's a judgment call.
Imbue - Taric brings forth earthen energy to heal his target. As the magic flows through him he is healed for the same amount. If Taric heals only himself, the total effect will be 1.4X the base heal amount.
This is your money maker, especially in the beginning when you'll be relying on your laning partner to do most of the damage. The first level of Imbue isn't too impressive, but the second and third levels heal quite a bit of health at low levels.
Shatter - Taric is protected by a hardening aura, increasing the armor of himself and nearby allied champions. He may choose to splinter the enchanted rocks surrounding him to deal damage and decrease the armor of nearby enemies at the cost of the aura for a short time.
This is your highest damage ability. It will never stack up to nukers like Ryze or Veigar, but that's not really what Taric is about. You can, however, get to the point where your dazzle/shatter will add up to a thousand damage on other players, which in my book ain't bad. Also a good ability for farming creeps.
Dazzle - Taric stuns the enemy for 1-2 seconds, doing more damage when closer but stunning for longer when they're farther away
This is Taric's signature move, the super annoying stun on a short cooldown. You should be using this every time it's up, pretty much, because you can get in for a Shatter and back out again before they do much. Also try to overlap your stun with Exhaust or a teammate's snare. Finally always watch for enemies to tower dive (or overextend into your team's area) so you can stun them. I get many kills from overeager enemies this way.
Radiance - Taric emits a brilliant light, healing himself and increasing physical damage for surrounding allied units.
Alright, here is where I'm going to start diverging in a big way from other Taric guides. I hate Radiance. I don't build Taric attack damage, I usually partner up with an ability power champ for laning, and in general I just find Radiance to be a waste. If I find myself on a team with AS/AD champs then I'll throw this up for my teammates, otherwise I don't use it. Sometimes I don't bother learning it until later levels.
I usually go with Clarity and Exhaust. Exhaust can be substituted with Ghost or Teleport if you want, but I find it very helpful to be able to stack Exhaust on the enemy after my stun wears off - especially if you're 1v1 or 2v2 and it's taking a bit to get out enough damage for the kill.
Again, this will be a bit different from most Tarics. I grab Boots of Speed first, on general principles, and then nab Mejai's straight away. I have a couple reasons for this. One: I find that using a stacking item makes me play better naturally. Two: This build stacks AP, so by end game you're healing yourself for 900 and ally champs for 650. You shouldn't be dying often.
After Mejai's, it's the stand AP/survivability gear. Rod of Ages, Rylai's, and then your choice of Zonya's or Archangel's staff. You'll have to sell the mana manipulator at that point.
Now on to the good stuff.
You and your laning partner should be ultra aggressive. Get rank 2 of Imbue early on and between Clarity and your mana manipulator you should be able to get away with murder. Be conscious of distance when using Dazzle - it'll do more damage closer up, but stun for longer farther away. For example: if your buddy just exhausted an enemy champ and is unloading on them, close in and use dazzle. On the other hand, if they were foolish enough to chase you into tower range, try to tag them from where you're standing close to the tower, so that they get hammered by it for longer.
You have two choices about when to go back the first time - you can either go back and get your second rank boots when you get up to about 1000 gold, or you can hold out for mejai's and the rank one boots at around 1600. If you're doing well and feel pretty confidant about your survivability, it's a good idea to pick up Mejai's early.
Mid game: This part of the game is the toughest. The health and damage of players at this power outpaces your Imbue and AP. Just make good use of your stun and keep healing your buddies as best you can. Close in for the Shatter on weakened opponents for the kill - you want to get those Mejai's stacks asap, obviously.
End game: This is where Taric can shine. At this point your dazzle/shatter combo should be hitting around 900. Your heals should hit your teammates for around 600 and yourself for 850. You should rarely, if ever, die.
That's about it guys! I tried to keep it simple. AP Taric is all about huge heals, clever use of stuns, and popping people in the face with a quick dazzle/shatter combo. The mana manipulator and Clarity will help set the tone of the game as you and your laning partner dominate the enemy and keep them on the run early on, and from there it's all just keeping your teammates alive and getting some kills from dazzle/shatter.