Taric Build Guide by TheFieryTaco
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Top/Mid Lane vs. AD
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.
Due to this thirst, I've brought the Gem Knight to the top and mid lanes. I know... OUTRAGEOUS! Well actually, it's not that outrageous at all. The recent patch 3.14 changes have turned Taric from a stylish butler to a fabulous carrying tank! He is the Galio of AD. He is a hard counter to any bruiser/assassin, yes, ANY.
And now, without further ado, I am proud to present my very first League of Legends guide,
Taric, The Gem Knight - You shall be crushed (Top/Mid)
Pros / Cons
PROS / CONS
+ A magnificent 50% total armor scaling on his
damage via Gemcraft and Shatter.
+ A fabulous 5% of max HP scaling on his Imbue granting the Gem Knight immense healing power!
+ The outrageous ability to spam all of your spells and stun-lock a target thanks to the global cdr of Gemcraft.
+ Scales heavily into the late game and provides buffs (auras) not only to himself, but to his allies (Armor via Shatter and AD + AP via Radiance).
+ Effectively the best tank in the league thanks to his innate tankiness through Shatter and his passive auras.
+ Can 1v1 any bruiser/assassin while building straight defensive stats and out-damaging them.
Taric is the very best tank in the game as of patch 3.14. I'm not saying he's the best champion (even though he totally is), I'm saying that he's the best at what he does... tanking. He wins every 1v1 trade against bruisers/assassins (and many other champions). He scales greatly off of defensive stats (Armor and Max HP). He has outrageous innate tankiness, combined with very low cooldowns if Gemcraft is utilized correctly and unexpectedly high damage potential with the use of Gemcraft, Shatter and Radiance.
- Has some mana issues early on, continuous trading may lead to being OOM.
- Has no built-in escape. (Not that he needs one. Try ganking a Gem Knight, you'll see.)
- Fairly low mobility.
Taric doesn't have many weaknesses, but he does have slight mana issues early game. Using your Shatter, Dazzle and Imbue whilst trading early on can leave you OOM after two or three trades. The offset to this is that by the time of the second/third trade, your opponent should be dead if you successfully pulled off your combos and used ignite. He also lacks an escape mechanism such as a dash, but his sheer tankiness and crazy heal ( Imbue) allows him to withstand most unfavorable engages/ganks. Also, Ezreal.
|||||Gives you kill potential in lane, without ignite it can be very hard to get kills early on. This spell is an absolute must and you cannot lane without it. Greatly increases your dueling potential.|
|||||Makes up for what you lack in mobility, allowing you to catch up to targets and Dazzle them or to retreat from an unfavorable event. I take this over Flash due to the fact that your dazzle already allows you to close gaps, and a Flash + Dazzle usually won't do too much unless your opponent was overextending or something. Ghost allows you to cover a much greater distance total, and catch up to enemies that have flashed in a second or two. It's also a better summoner spell to catch fleeing targets with lots of mobility ( Riven and Lee Sin... most assassins/bruisers actually.|
|||||Allows you to completely cripple an opponent for 2.5 seconds and allows you to get in rage for a Dazzle followed by your full combo. Can also be used defensively.|
|||||Allows you to close small gaps and jump over walls, such as baron pit. This is a slightly inferior alternative to Ghost.|
|||||Helps you roam to other lanes and secure kills by revealing enemy locations. Also helps in checking objective status and checking the enemy jungler's position. Not very useful.|
|||||Is completely useless as you have a bigger heal on a much, much lower cooldown ( Imbue). And you're tanky enough that you won't be needing the extra 100-350 HP heal from this spell.|
|||||Is also utterly useless as you're the tank and are probably not going to be focused. And if you are... that's perfect, focusing a tank is how you lose games.|
|||||Sucks cheap gems. You're extremely tanky and have a low CD mega-heal ( Imbue), you don't need a 90-455 HP shield.|
|||||Is bad on Taric even if you go top. What are you going to do? Teleport to minions and backdoor an inhibitor with your 52-115 AD?|
Masteries / Runes
The 21 in defense is a must, if you want to play AD/AP Taric you've come to the wrong guide. Then you can either choose to go 9 in utility or in offense. I personally prefer 9 in utility to help with the Gem Knight's early game mana issues. For other possibilities in the Utility tree, check out the masteries notes on the cheatsheet. This setup is preffered for top lane.
Your job is to annihilate the enemy AD laner and prevent them from snowballing completely utilizing high defensive stats that your abilities scale off of.
- Juggernaut is a great point to include along with anything granting bonus HP. The more HP you have, the more damage you can withstand and the more you heal with Imbue.
- Perseverance and Recovery are used to cancel out some early game damage/creep damage. For example if you're against a ranged laner, the HP5 helps cancel out autoattack harass.
- Second Wind is great as it allows you to pull off some great escapes when low on life with your Imbue and allows you to quickly regenerate health if you're very low.
- Legendary Guardian is a must, you need to rush in to battle and Dazzle your enemies, being stunned or slowed by Wither can get in the way... this helps with that.
- Meditation helps with your early game mana issues.
- Strength of Spirit scales quite well with Taric as his core item provides 300 mana.
- Runic Affinity grab this if you're heading mid, as this'll extend the blue buff duration significantly. This means more spamming and more killing.
This setup is better for mid lane as you will most likely be getting blue buffs and mana won't be an issue. The ability power helps you do more early game damage and the extra CDR never hurts.
|||||Greater Quintessence of Health This helps you out early game by providing you with extra tankiness to withstand more punishment. It doesn't seem like much HP but coupled with all of your armor, these 3 runes allow you to withstand ~10% more damage (I may be wrong, math is hard), and that's quite a lot.|
|greater mark of hybrid penetration||||||greater mark of hybrid penetration Some penetration ! This allows you to dish out more spell damage and more autoattack damage. Very, very helpful for early game trades.|
|||||Greater Seal of Armor What Taric is based on, armor. The more you have, the more effective you are.|
|||||Greater Glyph of Magic Resist This is to help you out with any magic damage coming your way. You could also replace these flat MR glyphs with MR/lvl glyphs.|
|||||Greater Quintessence of Armor provides even more more armor right off the bat. It also provides you with 2 bonus armor from Shatter's 12% of total armor armor buff (total of 14 armor from the 3 quintessences and Shatter). Get these if the enemy team has a heavy AD composition for even more dominance, or if you want to crush your AD lane opponent even harder. Example: I would use these if my enemy laner was Zed with an enemy Shaco jungle.|
|||||Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage really helps with early last hitting and trading. Get these if you find yourself missing a lot of creeps or want more early game trade dominance.|
|||||Greater Mark of Armor for more armor if enemy team is AD heavy.|
|||||Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist provides you with more magic resistance in the late game than flat MR runes. Get these if enemy laner and jungler deal physical damage.|
Skills / Combos
You'll want start with a point in Shatter for the substantial bonus armor and burst damage. You could also go with a level 1 Dazzle if you get invaded, need to pull a buff or you just prefer having a stun. Always get Imbue as your second or third spell and make sure to have one point in each ability by level 3.
Maxing Shatter first will grant you large amounts of armor and higher burst damage, followed by maxing out Imbue for the greater heal to win trades and finally maxing out Dazzle.
|||||Gemcraft (Passive): This is what makes Taric the fabulous trader that he is. After every spell you cast, your next autoattack deals 30% of your armor as magic damage and reduces the cooldown of all your spells by 2 seconds. This allows you to deal crazy damage and spam your abilities in a very quick rotation.|
Level 1 trades: Shatter + AUTOATTACK or Dazzle + AUTOATTACK depending on what skill you started with. Do not take damage without dealing some back if possible. Do not try to engage your opponent, your level 1 1v1 is quite bad.
Level 2 trades: Shatter + AUTOATTACK / Dazzle + AUTOATTACK followed by Imbue + AUTOATTACK depending on what ability you started with level 1. You most likely still cannot engage an enemy, do not attempt to unless you know what you're doing.
Level 3-5 trades: Shatter + AUTOATTACK Dazzle + AUTOATTACK Imbue + AUTOATTACK if your opponent is within melee range of you. If not, you can close the distance with Dazzle + AUTOATTACK Shatter + AUTOATTACK Imbue + AUTOATTACK. You can now trade very effectively and you MAY be able to engage on your own, however it's still a slight risk. Squishy opponents should be at half HP or less if you executed this combo correctly.
Level 6+ trades: It's time for the Gem Knight to bruise that bruiser. Radiance AUTOATTACK Shatter AUTOATTACK Dazzle AUTOATTACK Imbue AUTOATTACK followed by ignite to assure a kill should demolish any fool who attempts to engage you. To close a gap and engage you would go Dazzle + AUTOATTACK Radiance + AUTOATTACK Shatter + AUTOATTACK Imbue + AUTOATTACK and if you have 40% cdr and are level 18 you can continue doing your full combo and use your stun every 3 seconds. Yes, a 1.5 second stun every 3 seconds.
Your standard start vs. AD laners. Offers armor to reduce enemy damage and scaling for Gemcraft and Shatter. Taric should only really be picked to counter high AD bruisers/assassins such as Zed, Kha'Zix, Talon and Lee Sin. Treat Taric like the Galio of AD. You don't usually pick Galio unless you're using him to counter a high burst mage, same goes for Taric (except, you know, for against AD). You want to be stacking as much armor as possible to really shut down the enemy laner. Your job is to render the enemy assassin useless and make his/her life hell. Getting an early cloth armor will help you out-trade the enemy laner and provides you with extra damage and even MORE armor from Shatter's 12% of max armor as bonus armor buff. Taric stacking defensive items (mainly armor) passively makes him more offensive. You don't want to be starting with a Doran's Shield as the whole point of this build is, again, armor stacking and getting as much armor as humanly possible in a short amount of time. You should be sitting at 130-150 armor 5 minutes into the game if everything goes correctly.
Your standard start vs. AP laners (Taric doesn't excel vs. ap laners, but up to you if you want to try). Crystalline Flask offers sustain to soak up extra magic damage and stay in lane longer. Null-Magic Mantle reduces enemy magic damage but doesn't scale with anything and is not recommended as a starting item.
This is your core item. This is what makes you the high-damage tank duelist that you are. Offers cooldown reduction, lots of armor for scaling, ability power for extra damage, mana and a unique passive that synergizes greatly with Gemcraft. Glacial Shroud should be rushed vs. AD opponents and Iceborn Gauntlet should be finished off later on. No stat here is wasted and the CDR in combination with Gemcraft's 2 second global CDR allows you to chain full combo rotations fairly quickly and stunlock targets.
Get this item if you won your lane, it offers high amounts of armor that scales with your abilities, HP (scales with your Imbue and generally renders armor more efficient) and constant aoe damage to help you win prolonged teamfights and duels. (Remember, magic penetration from your runes does in fact affect the damage from Sunfire Cape). This also grants you the ability to split push fairly well, making it easy to clear a wave with one or two Sunfire Cape procs and your [shatter]].
Offers cooldown reduction, HP (scales with your Imbue and generally renders armor more efficient), HP regeneration for extra sustain, magic resistance to soak up more magic damage and a unique passive that increases all self-healing effects by a whopping 20%! That means that healing yourself with Imbue heals for 20% more. At the point in the game where you complete this item, you'll be sitting at high amounts of armor and should start considering magic resistance to survive burst from AP champions. This item, alongside Iceborn Gauntlet grants you 40% CDR and the 2 second global CDR from Gemcraft, effectively allowing you to stun an enemy every 3 seconds with your EWQ/WEQ combo.
Grants armor that scales with your abilities and HP (scales with your Imbue and generally renders armor more efficient) whilst also providing an attack speed debuff to your assailants and an AOE slow upon activation, useful for catching up to targets and locking them down with Dazzle. Buy this if you're losing your lane or if the enemy team has a high attackspeed champion that poses a threat to your team.
Gives you pure armor that scales with your abilities and magic resistance to soak up more magic damage, plus a passive that allows you to "revive" upon death with 30% of your maximum HP and mana. If you aren't already invincible by the time you consider this item, you sure will be after purchasing it.
Still not invincible? Having slight issues with a fed ADC? This will give you an edge by providing you with a whopping 100 armor that scales with your abilities and a passive that returns 30% of incoming autoattack damage to the assailant as magic damage. Anybody who attacks you over a medium-long period will effectively kill themselves. You don't even need to move a muscle, just sit back, relax and wait for the pentakills.
Tactics (Laning and late game)
Welcome to the early game, where your focus is to stay in lane and shut down all chances of your enemy laner having an impact on the match. Here you'll want to farm minions until you hit level 3 (level 3 is when you can start doing some sexy combos, check out the Skills/Combos section for those). Your enemy will probably not be doing much damage to you considering your high amounts of armor, but still NEVER take free damage. Always trade some back. Do not spam your abilities as you will quickly run out of mana, if you're going to cast an ability you must make full use of it AND Gemcraft (AKA using the ability then autoattacking the enemy champion if possible to maximize value).
Once you reach level 3 (one point in each basic ability), you can start executing a few trade combos and eventually kill your enemy after two or three of them and Ignite. You will want to cast your abilities followed by an autoattack after each one whilst trading to utilize Gemcraft correctly. After a full combo you should have dealt significant damage to the enemy and not taken much yourself (plus regained health from Imbue, which is part of your trade combo to proc Gemcraft). Until level 3 do NOT engage an enemy, only defend yourself and trade back damage. I can't stress this enough, your level 1/2 engages are terrible in most situations. Try to Dazzle your enemy and execute your combo whilst he/she has minion aggro, as this will greatly amplify the damage dealt. If your enemy is inexperienced, you could attempt to not fight back on an engage and simply walk back into your minions, trying to lure your enemy into them and then once he/she has gotten minion aggro, do your combo. Try to avoid fighting whilst having minion aggro on yourself, as they do deal significant damage despite your armor.
Keep farming (do not use your abilities to farm, save all of your mana for trading and combos) until you reach level 6 when you can attempt to go all in for a kill if your opponent is not already dead (check the all-in combo in the Skills/Combos section). After one or two combos your enemy should be very low on HP, so try to zone him/her from his/her wave of minions by standing within his/her wave and keeping him/her from approaching your minions to farm. If he/she does get too close whilst low on HP, quickly land a Dazzle and hopefully get a kill.
Remember to keep the river warded using your trinket to prevent ganks, as Taric doesn't have much mobility and is quite easy to gank. However, I often get ganked and surprise the enemies with my high burst and survivability, often getting a kill or even two and surviving the gank. But don't attempt this if you haven't played Taric much with this build, you need to know his capabilities well before this will work. Also, don't be afraid to use your ultimate, it has a low cooldown and combined with Gemcraft's 2 second global CDR you'll have it again in no time.
Welcome to the mid game, where your lane opponent should hopefully be far down a hole he can't climb back out of and you should have a big advantage/be fed/be farmed. Taric is surprisingly good at roaming, and his ganks provide surprising damage and a spammable stun. Try to destroy the enemy tower in your lane early on and then roam around if nothing else is possible. You should never be inactive. You could potentially stay in lane and farm but you are better off ganking lanes and getting you/your team fed. Your Dazzle is great for ganking as it allows your ally to catch up to the target and Radiance buffs the damage of you and all allies, raising kill potential. Be careful not to let your lane opponent free farm however, so always try to push the minion wave to the enemy tower and ruthlessly murder your opponent whenever possible before leaving lane to roam/go to base.
Not much else to say here, you should have a few items by now Iceborn Gauntlet and Sunfire Cape so you should be able to tank heavily during fights. Try to force teamfights or group up with your team and ambush lone enemies. Basically try to get as many kills as possible followed by pushing and getting objectives. Forcing teamfights is great because Radiance provides a big edge to your team in teamfight scenarios (assuming your team isn't very behind) and it should win you most fights, along with your AOE armor debuff, armor buff for allies and spammable stun/heal.
Welcome to the late game, where you're invincible and deal tons of damage. This is more or less the same as mid game, minus the paying attention to your enemy laner. You should be contesting objectives, forcing teamfights and finding out of position targets to Dazzle for your team (or yourself). Again, Radiance is extremely useful and should be used for every single teamfight you attend, it's cooldown should be extremely low late game with 2-3 points in, 40% cdr from items and Gemcraft's passive. Position yourself in front of your team and engage. You are most likely going to be the one who goes up into the enemy team and eats all of the skillshots/ultimates attempting to Dazzle a carry. Lock up high priority targets, buff your allies with Radiance and use Imbue on teammates near death. Remember to juggle your abilities and Gemcraft autoattacks as they deal significant damage in combination with the aoe damage from Iceborn Gauntlet. You can also use Radiance whilst pushing/taking objectives (and you should) to destroy towers faster or kill baron nashor .
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Huge credit to MissMaw for the fantastic chapter banners and my signature.
Now get out there and kick some butt... with style.