Taric Build Guide by MuinainenKoski
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.
I see that the Talon patch does some changes to the normal Taric playstyle, I need to test things out, but from what I see, passive lane sitting Taric with full imbue ranks begins to be even less tempting.
Added ultimate usage tips and some calculations on self heal
Did this guide
We all know Taric as the relatively gay looking dude with the annoying stun that never seems to die. Some of us meet him for the first time in bot games, as Taric seems to be one of the most popular choises for bots. Mostly 'cos playing Taric is relatively simple.
But as with bot games, being a good Taric is not that easy. With no inbuild taunt, Taric has a hard time to be a tank, as no one really wants to hit him and you usually gotta sacrifice survivability to be able to be an effective support which to most of our annoyance, leads you into being the #1 target after all.
So how can one be good with Taric? I can give you some pointers along your road into becoming the best Gem Knight. But trust me it won't happen just because you read this guide. If you're new to LoL, take some time to learn the system. Make your own alterations on this guide according to your preference. After all, most of these are just pointers.
Pros / Cons
- Strong heal (which doesn't leave you 100% open)
- Great pusher
- Tanky skills
- Scales really well with AP
- Impossible to kill unless focused
- Really weak when silenced (you go out of mana or won't be able to throw those heals of yours)
- Doesn't get focused much as tank
- Gets focused as support
I've included 3 sample builds them being from left to right:
- Non-squishy AP
- Squishy AP
- Full out Tank
Choosing Your Role
Taric can play many parts. Most common for him would be the support role and the tank role. But when to play support? When to play tank? For most this is a simple choice, you go with whichever pleases you more no matter what your team consists of.
But the choice of role is more important than most people think. When thinking of picking Taric, go through the following questions before locking in:
- Is your team AP heavy? (at least 3/4 of team members are AP based, not including you)
- Does your team already have a support role person? (Soraka, Lux, Janna etc.)
- Does your team already have a tank role person?
If you answer yes to more than 2 of these questions, Taric might not be the way to go. Picking Taric when he is not needed usually ends up with a bad game.
There are exceptions to this however. For example two supports, especially with heal can sometimes turn the tide of a combat(and game) that looks hopeless.
Choosing your friends
Once you've picked up a role, you should pick who you play with. Taric in the team is useless if he isn't paired with someone who benefits from his presence and who's presence benefits you.
You should try to get a lane with a friend, since Taric isn't exactly the best solo hero (though it is a viable role for him, especially as tank, but only if no one else is up for the job). Your friend should also be playing a character that is AD based.
For tank Taric, the friends damage type is not as important however, as you'll be just focusing on staying alive and keeping him alive until happier times come.
Good friends for an AP based Taric could be:
- Miss Fortune
- Twisted Fate
- Lee Sin
Good friends for a tank Taric could be:
- Soraka (lane that never dies)
- Any close and personal AD carry
- Strong harass AP character
In my opinion, tank taric is not good enough support to benefit from having a ranged carry with him. As ranged carries are usually a tad bit weaker physically than melee ones and keeping them alive is not tank Tarics strongest points at the beginning.
As you can see from the builds I put up, I basically have two sets of runes.
Mark: MPen x 9
Seal: ManaR/Lvl x 9
Glyph: MRes/Lvl x 9
Quint: Mpen x 3
And for Tank:
Mark: MRes/Lvl x 9
Seal: ManaR/lvl x 9
Glyph: Mres/lvl x 9
Quint: Flat health x 3
Feel free to customize your own based on your preference. I go with endgame damage and mana regen as well as some magic resistance, to help with the MR trailing behind armor (thanks to shatter).
Masteries & Summoners
The AP mastery trees are identical. Taric is slow walker, so the movement speed boosts help a lot, especially when being chased.
Always remember to pick up Clairvoyance unless someone else in your team takes it too. Then you can freely substitute it with flash or whichever you prefer. Clairvoyance is going to save your life and your teammates lives more than you can believe flash would. Its cooldown is also shorter.
I also chose mana% over the increased experience. You can always substitute that based on your personal preference. Sometimes its nicer to level faster, but at lvl 18 (where things usually happen), the talent is useless. The mana scales somewhat with the archangel's staff so it can be an investment for both ulti sustainability and some AP.
Tank masteries are more straightforward. Just go tanky with hp and damage reduction. Pick up some regen and dodge along the way and you're all set. I dabble from utility to get some team usage for clarity. But that is entirely optional.
I chose Clarity over Clairvoyance for the tanky Taric, as I don't build that much mana regen on him and there might be that one moment when you really need it. Clairvoyance is more of a support skill in my eyes. Though feel free to pick it up even when you don't have masteries for it if you find your manage sufficiently high enough in most games.
Gameplay and Items (AP Perspective)
This is where the actual game starts. I pick up some mana regen with faerie charm and pick up 2 health potions and mana potion as well as a ward and head to lane.
I usually skill dazzle, but heal is also viable first choice, assuming you're laning with a late bloomer (such as AP champs). Personally I've found dazzle to save my life and the life of my friends more than once.
Progress on auto-attacking creeps only if you need mana and only to soften them up before they reach your turret so your lane partner can pick them up for some extra golds.
- Auto attack at full mana
- Take last hits from your team mate
- Auto attack when imbue is on cooldown, just try not to a) last hit b) prevent team mate from last hitting, unless you follow the last step
- Auto attack when low on mana, especially if you can't even use skills
- Lurk in the bushes for a possible moment to stun the enemy hero for defense/offense
- Take last hits on creeps your lane partner has no way of getting or has failed to get (mob being at the inch of its life after a failed last hit and a ranged creep bullet travelling towards it etc.)
Attacking rules are all off near your own tower, where its better to get them down asap, so you wont lose the tower or its protection than to care about money picking order too much. Enemy team is gonna get a lot more money from the tower than your friend would have gotten from the missed last hit. Also note that you DO get a lot of gold by just standing around and ensuring someone else gets a good farm due to all your Gp/5 items. Think of the team, not yourself.
After you've gained at least 620 gold on the lane, B back to base and pick up philo stone and maybe a potion or a ward and head back to lane with teleport. If you've been blessed with sudden rush or extra money from kills, assists or a really bad lane partner who fails all last hits, feel free to pick up a second Gp/5 item or boots, depending on how much you have to run away.
I usually strive to finish all the 3 Gp/5 items asap and use teleport to come back whenever possible. If teleport is on cooldown, always make sure you also get those boots when you go B.
Once you're done with the Gp/5 items, rush for a full Tear of the Goddes and after that boots of ludicricy for the CDR. Taric is useless if he cant get a spell off due to cooldowns. You can also get needlessly large rod instead of tear if you're blessed with loads of money somehow (team doing dragon, getting some last hits etc.) but make sure to get tear asap. You need to be able to get some stacks on it asap.
After the rod, just finish off rabadon's after which the itemization gets harder. You have a few options here. If you're getting hammered you need to start making defensive items. I suggest you swap out philo stone first, as its the least beneficial item for you after the start. Its sometimes good to go with the Archangel's staff, which would be optimal as you don't have to sell anything yet and you'll benefit from the GP/5 for a longer duration.
If you're against a heavy AP team, you can go with Deathfire's Grasp and then build Banshee's. (or the other way around, selling philo first). Against physical heavy teams you should build Thronmail nd after that Banshee's. After getting your physical/magical defence to the speed, you should build abyssal scepter as it further increases your MRes for AP heavy teams and increases your low MRes when you went with physical defence. Against AP heavy team the last item I build is Zhonyas, as it brings your physical defence up to par with your magical as well as gives you that o-shi! button to click when you're on CD and getting focused.
By this point you should be a powerhouse that people can be afraid of.
You should note that I didn't include any wards in my itemization, but the fact is you should buy wards whenever possible (extra 75 gold when going to the store and room in inventory). Also at late game you should skip wards as you've got Clairvoyance and aim straight for the thing I like to call "Auto-taunt". Also known as Oracle's Elixir.
This way your Taric can fill up both support AND tank roles. For some unknown reason, Oracle's draws a lot of attention and you will get targetted by this point :P A luxury tank Taric rarely experiences. Tank Taric should also aim to walk around with Oracle's as its one of the only ways to get people to attack him before everyone else is dead.
Some people might find it strange that I prioritize Dazzle over the other skills (save for tank Taric who needs to get his armor up asap to stay alive).
My reasoning behind the Dazzle choice is the following:
Think of 0 AP Taric with 5 ranks in Dazzle (though note I only put 4 and finish the last later)
and then an 0 AP Taric with 5 ranks in Heal.
Heal does the following:
220 healing done to you and 220 healing to your target or 308 healing to you
Dazzle does the following:
100-400 damage and 1-2 second stun.
Now assume you both got friends with 1200 hp and 150 base damage that attack 1.5 times/second in your lane.
In a scenario when the enemy attacks you and you heal. You've effectively denied the enemy out of 2 hits. Healed for 300 damage. If he attacks your friend you've healed for around 1.5 attacks and the heal on you is wasted. Unless they pack AoE damage. Then you've denied 440 damage on both of you in total.
In a scenario when the enemy attacks and you stun. You deny him from having 1.5 attacks, so thats around 225 damage and doing 400 damage on them OR you deny them from doing 300 damage and deal 100 damage on them. Dead enemy does no damage. So its better for you to get them down asap than to heal your friend who might not be able to kill them fast enough anyways.
A Taric who doesn't do anything else than heal is as good as 440 more hp every 10~ seconds. A stunning Taric prevents enemies from damaging your friends, and deals a big punch at them while doing it. Sure it all evens out at the end, but I find that heal is the less important at the beginning. And Taric with nasty damage surprises people that tend to overextend for the easy kill.
Sure you have to consider that you're using both heal and stun at the same time. But I find that the stun is more effective as high damage than it is as low damage. Also we're aiming for AP so your heal should be sufficient for lane sustainability with only a few points.
As for other skills. Don't use shatter while being focused, its best to be used offensively after you've stunned the enemy and your friend is attacking them or when ensuring a kill from an overextending enemy. Don't ensure kills that your friends would have gotten anyways. Stealing is not something that you should do as Taric. You'll get more than enough accidental kills with your stun to begin with. No need to add more.
Always remember to use your ulti. Keeping it up for a few seconds (like 10-15) is not that mana draining but it can change the tide of the battle, also you should rather heal yourself with your ulti than with your heal. Save heal for your friends AND you. That 140% is just not worth it unless everyone else is at full health.
Ultimate and its usage
Most of people know what Tarics ultimate does. But as a quick recap on the ones that don't it increases the physical damage of nearby allies and heals Taric each second, with increasing manacost the longer you keep it on.
As the increase of manacost is substantial, keeping it on for extended periods of time is not adviced. Usually the fights "important" parts do not last more than a couple of seconds, when one of the teams gains the upper hand of the situation. Its the time when you stretch out to make that one quick kill, preferably from their carries or the hardest nuker and then finish out the others.
This is where Taric really shines. Combined with his shatter (lowers physical resistance of enemies as well as protects allies), be it on or not, ultimate and stun and imbue Taric appears to be the perfect kind of support hero to have in a fight.
When using ultimate in team fights there are two rules.
First: ALWAYS use it, even if your team has no other physical damage dealers than your auto attacks. The 90 damage increase at rank 3 is way superior to not having it on, even if its only for a few seconds.
Second: Don't use it for too long. Taric is really a worthless hero, if he can not get spells off, preferably every time they are off cooldown. Don't save your abilities if it means winning now instead of later. Even if you can't win now there is no use not to use your abilities. Tarics abilities have really short cooldowns compared to some abilities.
Next we'll look at the ultimates usage on self healing. This is my most common application of the ultimate, save for teamfights. But we all know how rarely you actually do get to go to a team fight and when you factor in the low cooldown there is really no reason to "keep it ready" unless anticipating a teamfight or you're about to head for a tower in a few seconds.
Lets look at some numbers shall we:
From here we can conclude, that imbue as self healing tool is superior almost all 'xept rank 5 imbue, assuming 0 AP and finding a point where mana costs of the two skills are equal. And when it comes to scaling, if you count the ultimate at each 5 second points into having a 1:1 AP ratio in healing you can easily calculate that you'll start to lose the effectiveness of the ultimate, but still it follows quite nicely.
If you´re however aiming to be tanky and do not get any AP, ultimate is your best friend. Imbue is also best saved for saving allies, as your ultimate only heals yourself. Sure, allies benefit from the damage bonus at all situations, but they benefit from being alive more in most cases. Save imbue for your friends, not yourself as 140% heal is way worse than 200% heal assuming you've both taken damage.
This is my first attempt of a guide. I hope people get inspired by Taric after reading this guide or get some new pointers they didn't think of before while playing him.
Taric has loads of potential that most people don't see. Try going the dazzle route to fill that void that most damage dealer players feel in their hearts while choosing Taric etc.
Any suggestions and pointers are welcome. I'll also reply to any questions you might have. I might add some pictures etc. eventually once I get a chance.
I play on EU east with the same summoner name, feel free to drop me a whisper if you got questions related to this guide or Taric in general.