Taric Build Guide by Trophycase
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Not Updated For Current Season
Another note: Generally you will want to leave your 6th item slot open for Sight Wards, so Randuin's Omen, Shurelya's Reverie, or Rod of Ages are just my suggested 6th items if for some reason you buy one. Most of the time, you will never reach that 6th item anyway, so just continue warding.
The goal of this guide is provide various suggestions of how to build and play Taric, as well as outline a general strategy for almost any support you may choose to play. In the guide I will outline suggestions, tips, and guidelines for playing Taric - The Gem Knight.
Hello and welcome to my Taric guide! This is my first guide and I really enjoyed making it and hope to do more in the future. I was browsing through the Taric guides and most of them were out of date or not very detailed, so I thought I would try my own. The goal of the guide is to get a proper understanding of how to build and play Taric, while learning to properly support your teammates. Important things to remember while playing Taric.
- Assists are better than kills. You would rather the gold bonus go to your carry.
- Sacrifice yourself for the sake of the team. If you have to die for Ashe to live, then by all means do it. But remember, don't throw away your life foolishly if there is a possibility of saving yourself along with your teammate.
- Always, always adapt. Never should the build I have laid out for you be set in stone. Always build according to your team needs and to counter the enemy team. If you need to get a Vision Ward for that Evelynn, please do.
Please note, one should never follow this guide exactly as is, consider the pros and cons of each item in the specific game you are playing before buying it!.
Pros / Cons
Taric is a great pick for any team that is lacking crowd control, support, or an offtank. Though there are other ways that you may choose to build Taric, I feel that this build and playstyle of Taric greatly excels in all 3 categories I mentioned earlier.
- Good heals with Imbue and Radiance
- Auras that will support your teammates through items and your Radiance+ Shatter
- Crowd control with Dazzle to protect your carries or initiate
- Extremely tanky when compared to other supports
- Great in assisting ganks/roaming
- Amazing lane babysitter with Imbue/ Shatter/ Dazzle
- Susceptible to crowd control
- Reduced healing effects such as Ignite are devastating
- Low damage output
Now I feel that every team should have a Clairvoyance. Clairvoyance is a great summoner spell, from setting up or protecting your teammates from ganks, to disrupting an enemy jungler and checking Baron/Dragon (Not that these should not be warded) Clairvoyance is a spell that benefits the entire team. With the masteries in support, it will be ~30 seconds between each use. Clairvoyance should be used at the beginning of the game to see your opponent's starting item choices as well as hopefully catch a glimpse of who is going to what lane. You should use this frequently to check on your opponent's jungler and their lizard buff, as junglers will generally begin to gank after killing lizard.
I love Ghost on Taric. He is a very slow champion and at times may need to rush places in order to get off a clutch Imbue or Dazzle, and Ghost is the best spell to do this. You may also use it to chase down an enemy (don't be reckless) or escape a gank that you may have missed through your Sight Wards and Clairvoyance. One of my favorite parts of Ghost is that it ignores unit collision, a detail often overlooked. It is extremely useful to run through a wall of creep when being chased as the assailant may have to run around the creep or be temporarily slowed down.
You may choose to take Clarity as another option. However, I do not recommend it because it simply is not good enough in the late game and only outweighs the others if your laning partner is extremely mana hungry. Other than that, you should be regenerating enough mana from your Gemcraft, Philosopher's Stone, and Tear of the Goddess to sustain yourself without Clarity.
Probably my favorite alternative is Exhaust. It is very useful for catching up to that squishy carry, shutting down somebody with an AoE ultimate, or rendering a heavy damage dealer crippled for some time. If your team does not have an Exhaust I highly recommend taking it. Remember to use it on your opponent carry when they are at a range and your team needs to reduce the damage or close the gap, or use it on an anti-carry who needs to be taken down a notch.
Perhaps in the same boat as Ghost, Flash is another option for getting a clutch Imbue, Shatter, or escaping a gank. However, with Clairvoyance and Ghost you should not be getting ganked that often and can close the distance on somebody much better with Ghost.
What Not To Take
Teleport - While running back to the lane may be tedious, it is not worth replacing one of the other summoner spells for it. You are also not the member of your team that should be stopping backdoors.
Cleanse - Although useful for CC reduction, the other options are just too valuable for you to take this.
Smite - For junglers, do not take.
Ignite - Don't take this, you will only be taking kills from your carries with this, there are better options.
Rally - Although the aura is helpful, the cooldown is too long and it gives gold to the opponents when killed.
Fortify - Leave it for the tanks. Once again, although useful, the others just outweigh this summoner spell.
Heal - You have enough of this as it is. Heal is pretty decent early game, but the debuff can be annoying and it the scaling into late game is just terrible.
Revive - A summoner spell that requires death to use does not promote good play. Many people using this will play more aggressively than they should thinking they can just resurrect. If you know you can use this properly and effectively then I suppose you could take it, but I feel even then, it is still outweighed by the other options.
The masteries are a pretty standard 9/0/21 build.
The 9 points in offense:
Archmage's Savvy - For the extra ability power.
Sorcery - For the cooldown reduction.
Archaic Knowledge - Extra oomph on that Shatter or Dazzle.
The 21 points in utility:
Haste - Additional length and speed on Ghost.
Perseverence - Additional health and mana regeneration. We only put one point in this because the first point gives a 2% increase, where the next points only give 1% each, so the first point is the best investment.
Good Hands - There probably will be times when you die, so this can help minimize the consequences of your death. It also has more of a point than 2 points in Perseverence will.
Awareness - The extra experience gain is extremely important. Especially if you are giving a few levels to your laning partner, this is important to not fall too far behind and become underleveled.
Greed - Though it provides only a small gold increase, it is very useful on Taric as you will not be farming much gold. Throughout the game it will generate enough gold for 3-5 Sight Wards.
Meditation - Extra mana regeneration.
Utility Mastery - For the increased length on Baron and Golem buffs (should you take golem).
Quickness - Taric is a very slow champion and this will help a bit.
Intelligence - More cooldown reduction.
Mystical Vision - Increased length and decreased cooldown of your Clairvoyance, important to better support your team.
Presence Of The Master - A large dent in the reduction of summoner spell cooldowns. Ghost and Clairvoyance will be up much more often.
While some may argue against the 9 in offense, and prefer putting 9 in defense for Strength of Spirit, I believe that the effects of Strength of Spirit, the Armor, and the Magic Resist are not as substantial as the Magic Penetration, Cooldown Reduction, and Ability Power. Although, the 6 points in defenses can be at your discretion.
This rune build will provide a nice mix of cooldown reduction, mana regeneration, and ability power.
Greater Mark of Attack Speed - These will provide better last hitting (your autoattack is more reactive with faster attack speed), while synergizing with your Gemcraft, Imbue, and Radiance. Doing a cost analysis finds these to be the more valuable (by a pure gold standpoint) of the choices in the slot.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration - For some increased damage on your Shatter and Dazzle. These provide a great damage boost to your harassing ability in lanes and can secure kills if needed. In most teamfights though, you will be using Shatter maybe once, if at all, and the damage from Dazzle is negligible from max range, therefore I just think that magic penetration doesn't provide enough.
Greater Mark of Scaling Ability Power - While these are viable, I feel that they are outshined by other options in this rune slot.
Greater Seal of Scaling Ability Power - These are also a viable option if you want to go more ability power oriented and you feel you have enough mana regeneration with Tear of the Goddess, Philosopher's Stone, and Mana Manipulator.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power - These are another great option in this slot, they provide good ability power and may be used if you buy a Frozen Heart or Spirit Visage and do not need the cooldown reduction.
Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration - This will also allow your Shatter and Dazzle to hit harder, however I believe they are just outshined in this slot by the Flat AP quints.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed - These are an option to help Taric's clunky movement speed. They are useful for reaching teamfights, closing the distance on an enemy or teammate, or positioning.
It is important to understand that your skill sequence is very flexible. But as a rule of thumb, max Shatter first with 2 or 3 points in Imbue and one point in Dazzle. You want to level your Imbue a few times along with Shatter in order to keep the heal up with the increasing health of your teammates. Of course you should level your Radiance at 6, 11, and 16.
Imbue - Taric brings forth earthen energy to heal a nearby ally and himself for 100 / 150 / 200 / 250 / 300 (+90% of ability power). If Taric heals only himself, the heal will be 40% more effective. Taric's melee attacks decrease this spell's cooldown by 2 seconds per hit.
Cooldown: 20 / 19 / 18 / 17 / 16
Cost: 70 / 85 / 100 / 115 / 130
Taric's main healing spell. This ability is amazing for lane sustain and helping in teamfights. I will basically level this a bit behind Shatter as Rank 1 of this spell is just not enough early game healing for the mana cost. The best part of Imbue is that it heals both you and a teammate. Unless you need to burst heal yourself in a pinch, it is always preferable to heal a teammate as it significantly increases the total amount healed. Another thing of note is that autoattacking lowers the cooldown of this spell, meaning it synergizes well with your passive, Gemcraft and can be spammed in fights.
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.
Passive: Taric gains an aura that increases the armor of nearby allies by 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 and increases his own armor by twice this amount.
Active: Taric deals 100 / 150 / 200 / 250 / 300 (+50% of ability power) magic damage to nearby enemies and decreases their armor by 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 for 4 seconds. The aura portion of his passive is not in effect during the cooldown.
Cooldown: 16 / 16 / 16 / 16 / 16
Cost: 50 / 60 / 70 / 80 / 90
A great spell for team support and early game damage. Activating this spell will deal very significant damage in the laning phase. In combination with your Dazzle, you can get an enemy to half health with little or no consequence to your health pool. There is a fine balance to releasing this and leaving it on in teamfights. You have to be sure that your team will benefit more from their armor being reduced than from your armor being increased, and this would generally depend on which team has more phyical dps champions. It also would depend on if your carries are getting beaten on or not, if there is a Xin Zhao on your Ashe, for example, I would leave it on until your Ashe gains some distance, where it would be safe to shatter it and then Ashe can blow through him. This skill will be leveled first to increase your lane's durability as well as maximize harass.
Dazzle - Taric fires a sphere of prismatic light at an enemy, dealing 20 / 40 / 60 / 80 / 100 - 80 / 160 / 240 / 320 / 400 (+100% of ability power) magic damage (lower damage the further the target is), and stunning them for 1 - 2 seconds (higher stun the further the target is).
Cooldown: 14 / 13 / 12 / 11 / 10
Cost: 95 / 95 / 95 / 95 / 95
A very useful spell both for laning and teamfighting. This spell in unison with Shatter can deal some very safe and heavy harass. It can also easily set up ganks as well as protect your partner from opposing ganking assailants. Should be used in teamfights to crowd control a hard-hitting dps ( Master Yi) or keep that tanky dps off your ranged carry. One important thing to note about this spell is that it stuns longer the farther away you are. This can be used to your advantage. In a hypothetical gank situation we have our Xin Zhao who has just charged in, you are already sitting on the gank target and have released Shatter. At this point you have little to contribute dps wise, so it may be smart to run away from the enemy and get the longer duration Dazzle so that your Xin Zhao can get twice the time to beat on that gank target. We will only get one rank of this until last because the stun duration is the important thing and that does not increase with level. When using this in teamfights, it is important to prioritize properly, i.e. Nunu's Absolute Zero and Galio's Idol of Durand
Radiance - Taric emits a brilliant light, healing himself and increasing physical damage for surrounding allied units.
Toggle: Taric emits brilliant light, healing himself for 30 / 40 / 50 (+20% of ability power) a second and increasing his and nearby allies' attack damage by 30 / 60 / 90 (half effect for nearby allied champions). The cost to sustain Radiance increases by 4 / 7 / 10 each second.
Cooldown: 20 / 20 / 20
Cost: 20 / 20 / 20 Initial Mana Cost
Taric's ult and most difficult skill to use properly, used too long and it will drain your mana pool dry. You should be using this in teamfights for heals on yourself as well as increasing the attack damage of yourself and those around you, meaning you should stick near your physical carries.Generally I use Radiance when the teamfights begin and it is a large 5v5 fight, but when the fight spreads out and there is chasing/cleaning up, I will turn it off. The longer you use this, the more it costs per second, so be sure to leave it on until it looks like you have a significant advantage in the fight. If you get silenced or CC'ed with this on too long after you apply it, it can cripple your mana. Its best use is killing towers as it greatly increases you and your teammates' attack damage.
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.
A pretty useful passive. Can keep your mana up in a lane (please don't autoattack push the creep) as well as keep your mana up in teamfights.
It should be noted that my item build is by no means set in stone, build situationally EVERY GAME.
Possible Starting Items
This is another item I love, not only because of the mana and health regeneration, but because of the gold per 10. Since you should not be taking last hits from your carry, and you will be warding quite often, this will provide the gold per 10 you need to afford these things. Sometimes, I even choose to get this in unison with Tear of the Goddess. You may also choose to upgrade this into Eleisa's Miracle and choose alternative boots instead. You may also choose to buy Shurelya's Reverie if you need the CDR. Having the 2 Sight Wards can really help with counter-jungling etc. Since the gp10 nerf, we will want to take Heart of Gold in addition to Philosopher's Stone.
This will provide you with early health, ability power, and mana regeneration. A very powerful item. It can be dangerous to start out with 4 health bars and no extra mitigation, therefore Doran's Ring provides you with everything you need early game for heavy handed heals and harass.
Tear of the Goddess
I like Tear of the Goddess because of its solid mana regeneration and its continuous increase of your mana pool, which allows longer use of your ult and continuous casting without blue buff.
Chalice of Harmony
A good item if you want the mana regeneration and need the magic resistance. It is also a very cheap item for what you get. All in all a good choice to start with if you need some early magic resistance.
Your Core Items
These are your best option in terms of boots. The magic resistance is great and will make you tankier. But the most important thing about these is the CC reduction. Taric's biggest weakness may be getting locked down, and this will help reduce the duration of those pesky CC abilities. You may choose to go Ionian Boots of Lucidity, however we are getting enough cooldown reduction from other essential items that these may be a bit unnecessary. Another choice is Boots of Mobility which will help you roam, gank, and reach teamfights faster, however I believe Mercury's Treads to be the superior option.
Aegis of the Legion
Probably the most cost effective item in the game. http://www.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=388009&highlight=aegis It gives your team an amazing aura that will help their survivability in unison with your Shatter/ Radiance. Not to mention it will make you a formidable target to kill. At only 1925 gold, this is a must have for any team and you are perfect for owning it.
Another must have for any support. This will increase your effective health by a large amount in combination with your Aegis of the Legion, while providing you and your team mana regeneration and cooldown reduction. Most games, I will get Mana Manipulator before Aegis of the Legion or Mejai's Soulstealer just to give my team the cheap aura before finishing Soul Shroud later.
Finishing Off That Build
A great support item that will help your AP carries as well as increase your ability power and make you all that much more tanky. This item's value increases with the number of magic users on your team, so consider alternatives before jumping straight to this item.
Another amazing and cost effective item is Frozen Heart. It can provide you with the remaining cooldown reduction in order to reach the cap if you haven't already as well as make you insanely tanky against physical dps (you will be pushing 250 armor). It will greatly increase your mana pool for those long teamfights and help shut down an autoattacking physical carry like Ashe on the opposing team by reducing attack speed. An all around great choice.
You should buy this if you choose to buy Heart of Gold because you need the gold per 10 or the health. This is a great item if you want to double dip on shutting down an AD carry. Combined with Frozen Heart they will have issues getting anything accomplished.
Rod of Ages
This will also make you much tankier, while providing healing and killing power as well as mana for sustained fighting. This is a better choice if you choose not to go Archangel's Staff, as it will provide a very nice increase to your mana pool. The built in Catalyst the Protector is great for those level-ups. Slightly expensive though.
Provides ability power, mana regeneration, attack speed to synergize with Imbue and your passive, Gemcraft, and a massive amount of cooldown reduction. When compared to Morello's Evil Tome, it gives a similar amount of ability power and mana regeneration, more CDR, and a large amount of attack speed for a small price increase. With your Radiance and Greater Mark of Attack Speed, you can dish out a surprising amount of damage as a support offtank and take down towers quite quickly. Good if you want a little offense at the end of a game.
While some may dispute this as a good item for anybody I find it a great choice on Taric. At this point you should be pretty tanky with your Aegis of the Legion, so killing you will be difficult. Therefore, Mejai's Soulstealer will add an extra benefit to all those healing assists you are getting. You may be focus fired with this item, but hey, if they are killing the relatively tanky Taric over the Ashe firing arrows from the back, then more power to them. You should have few issues getting a good amount of stacks on this item. So this item provides a cheap source of ability power which basically becomes worth the gold at 5 stacks and gives excess AP at 6+ stacks. You can choose to go Mejai's Soulstealer after your Aegis of the Legion if you feel like the game is going very well.
Will of the Ancients
A good ability power item and relatively cheap for what it gives you. It is a great item for AP carries who usually won't get this until later in their builds or don't get it at all, ( Annie, Brand, LeBlanc, etc.)
This will be used if you choose to begin with a Tear of the Goddess. It will provide a large mana pool as well as put that mana to use in increasing your ability power. One may also choose to convert his Tear of the Goddess into a Manamune which will provide quite a bit of attack damage which will restore more mana from your passive as well as continue to stack as the passive is different from that of Tear of the Goddess. Manamune in addition to your Radiance and you will actually pack quite a punch with your autoattack.
A great item for its cooldown reduction, health, and regenerations. The speed boost is also amazing for helping your carry kite somebody or chasing somebody who got away. You should use this if you decided not to go Soul Shroud.
This will provide health, mana, magic resist and your spell bubble. It will help in teamfights by making you much tankier, preventing CC that may be used upon you, and allowing more spamming of your abilities.
Pretty self explanatory on this one, a nice amount of health and needed magic resist, it also increases your healing that you do on yourself from Imbue and Radiance, which will be very often. It can also bring you closer to the cooldown reduction cap if you have not reached it already. A very cheap item as well and provides a good chunk of tanky stats along with its passive and CDR.
Pretty much should get this if you decided not to get Mercury's Treads. You will only get this if you are roaming and decide to get Boots of Mobility.
Morello's Evil Tome
A good choice if you are lacking in the mana regeneration department, as well as help you reach that CDR cap if you are short. The ability power will give you some extra power on your Shatter, Dazzle, and Imbue/ Radiance. It is cheaper than Nashor's Tooth but not quite as good in my opinion.
Concerning the use of elixirs during the late-game:
I would suggest that if you choose to buy an elixir before finishing off your build, make it an Elixir of Brilliance. Maybe you want that extra CDR and AP and feel that diverting from finishing your Abyssal Scepter or Frozen Heart is worth the gold investment. It usually only will be if the game is quite even and you need a decisive teamfight in your favor.
This is one area of the game where Taric really shines if parternered up properly. Your job in this phase is to assist your carry in getting kills and allow them to farm easily and help initiate ganks.
Deciding Your Lane
There will very few, if any, situations that require you to take any lane besides bottom. That being said, do not limit yourself to bottom lane only, if your team needs you somewhere else, that is where you should be.
When choosing a laning partner, your preferred choice should be your ranged carry. By ranged carry I mean Ashe, Miss Fortune, Caitlyn, Tristana, Corki, Sivir, Vayne, etc. Their range makes them difficult to zone especially with a support who can pump out a good deal of harass. Your harass will be in addition to the harass they are already creating from their ranged abilities/autoattacks. Other good choices are burst champs with hard or soft CC ( Annie, LeBlanc, Sion, Xin Zhao, Garen, etc.) with your Dazzle--> Shatter combo in unison with their burst, kills should be easy to come across, or at least forcing them back. Laning with tanky dps can cause zoning issues because of lack of range, however, it can work if the opposing lane does not have good harass/sustain.
Be wary of these champions when in lane, as they have reduced healing effects:
When laning you should be taking very few last hits away from your carry. Only take the ones you are sure your carry cannot get. That being said, do not pass up an opportunity to take last hits when your teammates are gone. If you want to hard push reset a lane, then you can get easy last hits with Shatter. But most of your time in the lane should be spent supporting your laning partner.
YOUR MOST IMPORTANT JOB WHEN LANING IS TO NURTURE YOUR CARRY (your baby) UNTIL THEY ARE ABLE TO CARRY IN A FIGHT (adulthood) AND SUPPORT THEMSELVES! This means you should throw your life away for theirs, allow them to get as much gold as they please, and perhaps give them a level or two. Whether or not you choose to let them have more experience depends on the laning partner and how useful them having a level advantage actually is. Champions such as Ashe or Annie who have very powerful ults may benefit from the slight experience advantage, whereas champions such as Tristana and Caitlyn may not need the level advantage as their ults are not all that great. It is important that you do not become too underleveled if choosing to allow your carry a slight level advantage in the lane. You should be only one level down at the most, no more.
For more information about this level advantage, the supporting of your carry, roaming, warding, and the support role in general, Check out Canoas's: Shield 'n' Heal - An Introduction to the Support Role
When harassing you should follow the simple combo of Dazzle--> Shatter-->Autoattack. Early game this provides a large dent in your opponent's health, even without the assistance of your laning partner. It is very unlikely that your opponent will be able to deal as much damage to your health, especially with your heal.
One of your most important jobs as support is to babysit your carries. When laning, it is important to allow them to get all the minion kills they want, as they scale with items much better than you do. This is why I suggest you get at least one Philosopher's Stone and perhaps a Heart of Gold because these will be an important source of gold for you, as you will not be getting much outside of assists/buildings/baron/dragon. But the fruits of your labor will pay off when your Ashe just wrecks the opposing team.
As a support, one of your main jobs is to buy Sight Ward. You should always have one ward up to protect your lane from jungler ganks. Common ward placements include both jungle buffs, dragon, baron, and top/mid/bottom bushes. You may also need to buy Vision Ward to destroy enemy wards or counter their stealth champions.
If you do manage to get a tower down before mid game, you can use Clairvoyance to disrupt the enemy jungler or you can roam and gank mid or top lane. With ghost and a 2 second Dazzle stun, ganks should come pretty easily. As the game nears mid and late game, you should try getting blue buff unless another member of your team needs it more, it will give you essentially endless spam on your spells and will most likely max your cooldown reduction.
A very important aspect of laning that can help you dominate lanes and shut down enemies.
For an informative lesson on zoning, check out Shurelia's Zoning Tutorial
Some things to keep in mind while zoning:
- You don't need to keep them out of exp range 100% of the time, only when one of your friendly creep is about to die. There is no point in zoning them from nothing, you are just trying to deny the gold and exp given by the dying friendly creep. In order to do this, you should try to be threatening, appearing that you may Dazzle them at any time so they run away and are forced out of experience range.
- The bushes greatly increase your zone, therefore it is often a good idea to sit in the bushes, as you won't be needing to last hit all that often anyway.
- Sometimes when zoning the lane will move up farther than you prefer, to counteract this, you do something called hard push, where you can AoE the creep with Shatter or another ability and push them to the opposing tower, where the tower will then return the minions to the middle of the lane.
Why roam on Taric?
Now common roamers include:
Maokai - Twisted Advance and Arcane Smash make him one of the scariest roamers in the game.
Evelynn - Her stealth and stun punish even the smallest bit of overextending.
Janna - Decent CC from Howling Gale and Zephyr, a movespeed increase, as well as a free B. F. Sword with Eye Of The Storm, and you have a pretty item independent roamer who can set up ganks pretty well.
Alistar - With his Headbutt--> Pulverize combo, somebody can be locked down for 3-4 seconds in addition to whatever other CC the laner has, a great ganker, but a bit reliant on Flash to get in range for Pulverize or Headbutt.
So you may be asking yourself, What does Taric have that the others don't have? Why should I roam with Taric? Good questions. The first answer being that Taric is a very strong roamer and can help his team significantly with auras, heals, and stuns. Another reason is because of Taric's amazing consistency as a roamer. With the long range, non-skillshot, lengthy duration stun from Dazzle, ganks are extremely easy to set up. If they overextend for a bit you can severely punish them.
Another reason to roam on Taric and on any champion in general, is because it gives you essentially 4 solo lanes. As you can help support the other lanes, the jungler can blow through the jungler without worry, and you have 3 other solo lanes. But it is very important that the 1v2 lane that will be left (assuming they don't have a roamer as well and both teams have junglers) will not get pushed down in 12 minutes and get denied the entire game. This is why you cannot roam simply every game. Your team needs good communication as well as the proper makeup to support a roamer.
What is my job as a roamer?
Your job is to go from lane to lane, punishing overextenders, healing your allies, setting up ganks with your jungler, and instilling fear into the hearts of the enemies. Another important job is to ward! Ward! Ward! Have you ever played against a good jungler with no Sight Wards to see where that jungler is, and you live in constant fear of ganks until the laning phase ends? Well this is what we are trying to prevent. Not only will buying Sight Ward prevent ganks from the opposing team, it can also help to set up ganks when their jungler is trying dragon/lizard/golem. It may also be useful to pick up an Oracle's Elixir or Vision Ward to counter the enemies wards. This will not only improve your safety when running from lane to lane, but they will nearly pay for themselves, as Sight Ward and Vision Ward reward gold upon being destroyed.
Here is a map of common placement for wards (The Vision Wards in the middle of the 3 lanes are only necessary if you think they are needed because of an Evelynn, Teemo, Twitch, Akali, Vayne, Shaco, etc...)Other places for Sight Wards may be in the bushes by the wraith camps, and the areas where the river meets the jungle. Either way, you should be buying at least one or two Sight Ward when you go back, and this goes for roaming or laning.
Should I build differently as a roamer?
The simple answer is Yes. Philosopher's Stone and another Philosopher's Stone or Heart of Gold are almost must-haves. You will also be buying Boots of Mobility rather than Mercury's Treads. (You may decide to get a Eleisa's Miracle or Moonflair Spellblade later for the tenacity and great regeneration stats).
Thanks for reading my Taric guide, I hope you enjoyed it and learned a thing or two. Also, if you liked reading this, check out my guide to Swain - A Calculated Risk
5/30/2011 - Added Zoning Section under Laning
5/31/2011 - Added Change Log
6/21/2011 - Fixed to accommodate gold per 10 nerfs