Taric Build Guide by cronovey
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.
This guide will explain how to jungle with Taric, The Gem Knight. While normally not used for anything outside bottom lane support, Taric has a self healing, a large passive armor buff, and a short cooldown high damage AoE ability that lowers enemy armor, making him a very good jungler. In addition to this, he also has a hard CC from range giving him powerful ganks, especially in lanes with partners that have any form of CC as well.
Pros / Cons
Why would you jungle on Taric over supporting with him?
Excellent ganks with a hard CC
Fast, safe jungle
Very effective at pushing towers with his ultimate
Still brings healing and buffs to his team
No gap closer/reliable slow
Doesn't clear quite as fast as other junglers
Magic resist is somewhat lacking
For runes, almost any basic runes work. These are runes that almost all players will likely have, making it very easy to run him in the jungle. Other runes may work well if you want to change it up, and I know armor penetration reds work well on him as well, but for the jungle itself Taric's Shatter will get the job done for armor pen.
Armor yellows (naturally) and Magic Resist per level blues (to make up for his weaker side) along with health quintessences make up the rest of the runes. Again, these are also easily changeable; Taric has an incredibly safe run in the jungle with his armor and self healing so you can really build him almost any way you want.
For masteries we pick up 21 down offense to get him a mix of masteries; The first tier will help his jungle speed early before your Wriggle's Lantern is completed; second tier nets you cooldown reduction and attack speed, while the next gets you armor penetration and magic penetration, both of which are important for Taric, as well as an overall buff to your damage. The next tier gets you a little lifesteal which will help your jungle sustain while your heal is on cooldown and also help save you mana in the long run when you don't have blue buff. Pick up the 21 pointer to get the bonus damage on low health targets; this is very important. Taric can effectively counter-jungle with his bursty AoE on Shatter, and if you happen to run into the other team's jungler or go for a gank in lane, you will find you have quite a bit more success with this.
For the other nine points, the utility tree fills it out. Flash cooldown reduction, reduced death time, run speed, and buff duration increases will all help with fights and jungling.
Taric can really go almost anywhere with items. He can mesh excellently with heavy AD items and get massive mana return, he can work well as an AP with his relatively high ratios on his abilities, or he can become very very beefy and tank well.
Personally, I prefer him in a more AP based role for burst DPS, but starting out with an early Wriggle's Lantern will really speed up your jungle and keep your health up without having to spend mana.
After your basic Madred's Razor Razor is completed boots are key. You won't be able to gank lanes without landing stuns, and you need to get in range for them. Ionian Boots will get you the speed you need and the cooldown reduction needed for Taric to burst properly.
Nashor's Tooth is an absolute must for Taric in my opinion, no matter what role you're playing. It literally has every stat a Taric needs: Ability Power, mana regen, cooldown reduction, and attack speed to make good use of his passive. This is an amazing item and has actually seen a couple recent buffs making it even more cost effective.
After these core items you can really split off into whatever you need for the current game, but if you're going to continue being a sustained DPS for your team, I prefer the above items.
Guinsoo's Rageblade is another item like Nashor's; it has all the stats a Taric could want. It gives bonus AP and AD, both of which are good, as well as a stacking attack speed buff which is one of the areas Taric is really lacking. Hextech Gunblade, while it has been nerfed a few times, is still a good buy and an excellent replacement for your Wriggle's Lantern late game. This will keep your lifesteal up to conserve mana while giving you spell vamp as well for your AoEs and stuns. The biggest part of this item however is the active; without a red buff, Taric has no slow and this active can provide a hefty burst as well as an on demand slow. Rylai's is another excellent item but I still prefer the Gunblade overall. Finishing out the build with a Deathcap and Lichbane Lichbane gets you even more DPS.
The skill order is fairly easy to understand: speedy jungling and high sustain.
You want to max out your Shatter first. This will give you very large amounts of passive armor and a heavy armor penetration debuff for jungling and ganks. It also does quite a bit of damage and has a decent AP scaling for an AoE ability.
Your next ability you'll want to max out will be Dazzle. While you may want to occasionally level your heal instead, Dazzle will get you the most damage for ganks and fights overall.
Last but certainly not least, you'll want one rank of Imbue at level 2 and then max it out last. The first rank will give you the jungle sustain you need for early game and also allow you to potentially save allies who put themselves in a bad position trying to force a gank. This can and will happen, and you can be a lifesaver at a moment's notice if you're quick to pay attention.
Radiance will, of course, be taken at 6, 11, and 16.
Your goal overall, especially after you finish your Lichbane, is to burst your opponents properly.
Dazzle > Autoattack > Radiance > Autoattack > Shatter > Autoattack will hit an excellent amount of burst damage on a single target and still do a relative amount of damage as AoE as well, making this a fairly safe combo to use even when surrounded by opposing minions.
Summoner spells are very simple and easily broken down.
Flash will get you in range or over a wall as necessary and is widely regarded as, even after the nerf, the best summoner spell in the game.
Smite is a must as a jungler. It can be done without Smite, but that does't mean it should be done. Running a jungle without Smite puts you at a huge disadvantage at all points of the game. It leaves you open to being counterjungled and having your buffs stolen, as well as potentially losing dragons and Baron buffs/gold to the opposing team because you wanted a different spell.
Ghost is also an excellent ability as a replacement for Flash, but Flash is still the preferred way to go.
Creeping / Jungling
The jungle route is very basic for Taric and follows 90% of the other junglers in the game. Start at blue, with a leash if possible, although it can be done without it. Wolves to wraiths and then hit red and golems. After, go hit wolves and wraiths again and grab your stun. Your blue buff will be dwindling but you'll have a fairly fresh red buff and you should be near full health.
You should be able to solo dragon around the time you're hitting level 10, especially if you choose to use your ultimate on it.
Overall, Taric can be an incredible jungler with a very safe route and excellent ganks. His burst DPS is incredible and he can still support his team very well with his healing and ultimate buffs.
He may not be a traditional jungler, but he can be quite effective.