Taric General Guide by RandomSil
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.
So welcome to my Taric guide. Now this is a purely Support guide to playing Taric. I also deem it to always be under construction. Because I am far from perfect and this guide will be far from complete. I also apologies if I stepped on any ones toes and stole information from their guides. Hey, you helped me and I plan to use it to help others. Now a few things about this guide or reasons why this isn't a guide about AP/Tank Taric (Note: There will be a FAQ at the end of the guide.)
Why Not AP Taric?
Taric is a perfectly viable AP Carry. Viable doesn't mean he succeeds as well as other champions. He does have great burst and I have seen and played him as a Ap Carry. However AP Carry isn't my area so I am not making a guide on that. Plus, the only time I go AP Carry if my team is full of AD and the opponents are stacking armour.
Why not Tank Taric?
Quite simple, my guide may have references to making Taric a Tank and not only Support. So this guide can help with Tank Taric. However Taric already has high survivability off the bat. He falls more under an Off-Tank style even without Tank items. Not to say I don't play him Tank because I do. With so may Jungle/Solo-Top champions that are Tanks (i.e: Rammus, Jarvan) there is no real need to build him as such. Unless you don't have one already.
Also please make sure you read the guide before you criticize. I don't want a question like;
Why is Aegis of the Legion/Philosophers Stone/Heart of Gold your only items?
They are the first items I get regardless of who I am facing most of the time. The only varying thing is the Boots. All is explained in the item section.
Pros / Cons
+Reasonably Good Burst Damage
+Blood Diamond Skin
-Heal has a rather average Cooldown
-No Good Poke
When starting out to play Taric or any champion. The first place you work at is your Masteries. They are quick, easy and cost nothing. So lets get into it. For Support Taric you shall naturally become kind of tanky, this isn't to say you are taking the tank role completely. It just happens, now with the Masteries chosen it becomes more apparent. But why 25 into Utility? Well you shall learn.
More Mana and more Regen. Simple Right?
More range on your wards. Why not?
More gold over time. As well as more starting gold which you will use to start the game with. (You give up your cs. Need all the gold you can get.
I feel as a Support I tend to lose exp. I can't jungle alone, can't take a wave with enemies nearby sometimes. It helps you in lane. If you get a head in levels. Then you have an advantage.
Strength of Spirit:
Your mana turns into Health Regen. Better than Vigor from the Defence Treeline.
Lowers Summoner Spell/Tarics Spells CD's. Also lets Clairvoyance last longer.
More Survivability. Why Hardiness over Resistance? You are most likely Bottom Lane with AD Carries.
Runes are always after your masteries, you may not own all the ones you need. You may not have the money to buy the ones you don't. Hey, you still need to check and make sure though right?
(Note: For now I am only adding Runes I use and may add optional Runes later.)
Nearly every AP Champion plays with these marks. At least most usually do. Why should it change just because you are playing Support? You need
Greater Seal of Replenishment
So you need Mana, like I said you have in-built Survivability. Also you do use a lot of Mana Early/Mid Game so this does help.
Magic Resistance. Taric has more armour from his Masteries and his Shatter so this little bit of Magic Resistance goes a long way.
Cooldown Quint's always helpful, and always effective.
Lets review the skills Taric possess. I will try and keep this short and sweet.
Gem Craft (Passive)
Not my favourite Passive in the game. I mean in Solo Lane it has it's uses. When it comes down to it though. Early game, you may get a few minion hits to Regen some Mana. However with Mana Pots and Faerie Charm. It really isn't any help to you.
Have to love a two for one heal right? This is really great. Heal an ally, while healing yourself. This is maxed second simply because healing is essential to your team and survivability in lane. Only real problem is it has a rather long Cooldown which most other Heals do not. Again though his Auto-attack comes in handy reducing the Cooldown by a second each time he hits someone.
What is better than healing damage? Preventing it. Not only do you prevent it from yourself but your team mates as well. Giving himself 60 Armour when it is maxed out. This skills really is helpful. The damage output from this as well is quite large. In fact, using the burst from Shatter and Radiance together can net me a couple kills without help. It really does do everything. Hence why we max it out first.
Pick this up first. While not as useful as Shatter. The stun is quite long and can help net kills for your Carries. He really is effective when using this. The burst damage from it helps also. Really though, this is levelled last because as a Support this is less useful than your other skills and your stun duration never increases.
This is an incredible Ultimate. You truly become the Master of Aura. It deals considerable amount of damage. It increases your damage output by a lot as well as that of your allies. 3-4 Carries in your team each getting 70 into their AP and AD. This really can turn the favour of a fight into your own. You also have a great Cooldown time. Use it to push towers and kill dragon.
A good Taric knows how to use his skills. Taric is ideally suited to getting into those front areas of combat stunning the enemy carries and then unleashing on him. Now there are two paths to go down when in a team fight.
Once the fight begins and everyone is attacking you will want to use your Ultimate. The sooner the damage output the better. Now the only problem is. Do I use my Shatter or not? Yes you do. No point having saved up damage that could net a kill or weaken enemies just so you can delay your death a while.
Ideally Radiance should be used early at the start of the team fight, to pull the favour to your team from the outset. Shatter should be used about mid way through depending on your life. After the first round of damage is dealt everyone will be on Cooldown. use it to weaken your opponents Armour so your AD Carries can finish them up.
Now you just started your first game up. Lets go through your Summoner Spell choices. I will list the ones I prefer and ones that are viable. Anything else listed isn't something you should be looking into. (Note: Not seeing something that you should be seeing? Check the FAQ.)
This is usually a must have for a Support. I use it, most supports use it. Not 100% necessary. But with the lowered CD. You will have map awareness always, helps prepare for a gank and avoids them as well. Enemy champion running away through jungle? Clairvoyance one route, and run down another.
Now many people criticize taking Teleport. However a good support is always with their team. This helps ensure you wont miss a team fight because you have gone B. This helps pushing/defending lanes. During lane phase I usually only go B when this is up so I don't miss much, if any experience early on.
This spell is good and loved by all. Why? Gank, Escape and Chase with this. Everyone knows why this is good and on Taric it just gets better. Closing gaps to land your stun so your team can pile on anyone escaping a Team Fight.
Taric being having quite a lot of Survivability and having a Stun/AoE Ulti and Melee Auto-Attack means he isn't the Support who sits at the back of the team healing. He often does get targeted. Unlike Flash this is less loved ability. Overall though this will keep you from getting CC'ed. Which if you do build more into the Tank Role you will find this very useful.
Early Game - Items/Strategy
Okay so I am putting my items and strategy sections together? Why? Because you don't want to be searching all through the guide wondering what you should have by this point. While also wondering what should be happening around this point.
Level 1/Start of Game
So to start off with you want to use your Clairvoyance just behind the enemy Nexus. Why? You get to know where everyone is planning to go and what items they have. If your team plans to invade, you could use it where the enemy Jungler starts.
Now we buy your first items of the game.
x2 x2Sight Wardx2
These items give you a much longer early game stability. Now your potions can mix up some. Feel like early game you don't have enough Mana Regen? Get more Mana Potion. Feel like the opponents have a good Early Harrass? Get more Health Potion. Sight Wards are a must have. They help so often, map awareness is key and I will go into that more later.
Once you have your items start heading towards your lane/invade area. While doing so you pick up the early skill in Dazzle. This is your stun. You only need to level it once until late game, and why wait? You can be catching enemies from the start and perhaps help get First Blood. Also remember, once you get into your lane. Let your Carry always kill minions. The better your Carries Creep Score. The more likely you will win your lane and ultimately the game.
During this point in the game your team may pull of a successful gank or two. You may go for an early Dragon. But not too much happens here. As for your items right now? Just stay in lane get gold. Unless you have died you shouldn't need to go back to base just yet.
Items you want during this time.
Philosopher's Stone Sight Ward
Okay now this is where the fun begins. Your Jungle will gank more. Your team may roam a little. This point however is when you get Dragon at the latest. Ideally your entire team will come down and you will finish Dragon quickly. However with just the Jungler or your Carry from your lane you are able to Tank Dragon long enough to pick up the kill. (Note: If you don't have enough Teammates/Runes you may have trouble with this. With that said when I lane with an AD Carry or Good Jungler we usually get it down ourselves.)
Now you are Level 6, you hopefully got gold from Dragon. Time to go back for the first time. (Note: If you can help gank after Dragon do so. More gold is always good.)
First thing is first. Pick up your Philosopher's Stone. This gives you more Mana and Health Regen. While giving you that extra 5 gold every 10 seconds. Now your next item. If you can buy it out right. Pick up your Heart of Gold This gives you more Health and more 5 gold every 10 seconds. If you can't grab Boots of Speed and some Sight Ward's.
Okay this is where people's builds will diversify. This is where you decide. Are you picking up Randuins and Shu
Mid Game - Items/Strategy
So you made it this far. Hopefully you have been successful. Now terms of being successful is if your Carry has a higher Creep Score than their bottom lane. As well as you or your Carry not dying. Now don't worry if it has happened. You can make up for it later. Now is where your items diversify. Well almost there is one more item that is well a must have of sorts.
So you have your boots. You are getting gold in by the second because of your new items and your lane is under control. During this time, if you have a well coordinated team. You may be grouping up for team fights or another Dragon. If not there isn't anything wrong with staying in your lane. Just remember to pick up your wards and help your teams Map Awareness.
As for your items at this stage there is one more item I feel is a must have. That is the Aegis of the Legion. Now I love this item and I am highly bias. At this stage though you should have your Shatter fully levelled. Meaning any that any Team Mate standing near you has 42 Armour. That is just below the amount of a Chain Shirt. This also gives them a Health Regen boost and some very helpful Magic Resistance. This item is great to have by the time you get level 10.
Team fights are normal now. Something that is happening all over the place. Now you have a choice to make. There are several paths to take. Of course you roam with your team now, so what you get next can make or break the team. Here are some scenerios and what items you should go for next.
If your team is on top these are the items you will want to branch into depending on your team.
If your AD Carries really are being the leaders of the team. Pick up.
Firstly I know what you are thinking Zeke's Herald on Taric? Are you stupid? No, while he doesn't benefit greatly from it as much as his Allies do. This is a great item. The bonuses to allies are well worth it. It also does give you some good Cooldown Reduction and more Health.
Now if your AP Carries are in firm control. Give them more offence.
This is simple. Will of the Ancients gives you and all surrounding allies a nice AP boost as well as some very nice Spell Vamp.
Now if your team is winning but you are unsure which to pick up.
I suggest Will of the Ancients Simply because the bonuses it gives are also quite helpful on you. Although don't let this deter you from Zeke's Herald as it still is greatly effective.
So Team Fights not going your way? Feeling your team needs more defensive help against your opponents. Pick up one of these items instead.
Lets go with your team being decimated by the AD Carries on your opponents team.
Why Frozen Heart over Thornmail? While I use Thornmail a lot I feel this doesn't help the support nature of my team. Especially if I am not the tank. Slowing my opponents Attack Speed while helping my own Cooldown Reduction. Combine that with more Health Regen because of Strength of Spirit . This item becomes really great. Plus with the armour bonus. AD Carries wont be doing enough damage for you to worry about returning it back to them.
AP Burst Champions taking you down before you get in the fight?
Sadly for your team there is only so much you can give them. While Banshee's Veil may not help your team with an aura. It does mean at least one of their champions will waste a spell on you at the start of the team fight. This also gives a good Health and Magic Resistance bonus. Also the added Mana bonus works wonders with Strength of Spirit giving some nice Health Regen.
Not sure what to take?
Pick up the Frozen Heart over Banshee's Veil. Simply because it has an aura, will effect more champions and the CDR is quite helpful.
Okay so you have chosen an item from above. Now let us finish off what we currently have. After all why let it take up space if it isn't worth it. You want to ideally finish off both of there at this point. However maybe you only have enough gold to grab one. Which one do you choose?
Your team is roaming and in control?
Shurelya's Reverie, well this helps you and whoever may be close to you move around the map a lot more. Meaning escaping or chasing ends on much better terms for you and your team. It gives a nice boost of Health as well.
Needing to gain that edge in team fights?
While Randuin's Omen If very helpful in keeping your team on top in team fights. By helping shut down the enemies AD Champions a fair bit when its ability is used.
Not sure what to grab first?
Randuin's Omen The bonuses are more sought after. It does cost a fair bit more, but in terms of a Team Fight, it is better to get the edge in that.
Late Game - Items/Strategy
Whew, while I say that was quite the last chapter. I promise this is shorter. This is the chapter we all want. The full item build chapter. At this time your builds are finishing up. Hopefully you have finished up your Shurelya's Revelry and Randuin's Omen as well as picking up one of the situational items. Meaning your build will look similar to the following, but it shall also include one of the previously listed items. (Possibly different boots as well.)
That is a total of five items. Now you have three choices here. Stop your build. Hey, you need room for wards right? You could look back through and pick up another situational item from the Mid Game section if you feel it suits your teams needs. Now if you feel that you have wards everywhere, it isn't necessary any more. That is your choice.
Late Game Builds
These are builds using already suggested items.
Balanced Build (Recommended)
This gives you everything you need to be an asset to your team. Your AP Carries will love you, your AD Carries can't survive without you. All these bonuses means your Tank will always feel a safety net.
What more can I say. Put the sword to your opponents. In your case, your Hammer. This really helps maintain your team a firm stay in control. Quite a balanced build and highly effective at keeping your team in a dominant position.
This gives you everything you will ever need to survive. While also helping with the Survivability of others. You will have a whopping 278 Armour Bonus as well as a 71.1 Health Regen/ 5 Seconds. As well as a nice 132 Magic Resistance.
Late Game Builds (Optional Items)
These items are items I consider highly viable and use myself with Taric. These items really have the ability to swap in with an item from another build with ease.
Introducing the Abyssal Scepter into a build greatly increases your own burst damage. With that said it also helps your AP Carries get as close as they can to dealing True Damage. Meaning there burst shall sting a lot more. Great to use with Will of the Ancients. With both of these items your AP Carries will follow you wherever you may go.
Another item I am highly bias to. I love this item, it is a good swap from Banshee's Veil. While no it doesn't give the Mana Bonus or Magic Resistance Banshee's Veil. Spirit Visage's passive of increasing all healing effects on you is amazing. Combined with the Defensive Build and earning a buff from Baron. You constantly are Regenerating 30+ Health. It really can become insane.
Okay this section I shall be posting anything else that I deem important or useful to know but wont have enough information to create a new section.(It also has links to other guides and such with useful information.)
Wards, something everyone will buy. Especially you as the teams Support. Now I had planned to create my own guide on ward placement and such. I may at a future point. For now however here is a guide that is helpful.
You are not meant to farm. That is for your Carries. With that in mind come Mid-Game when people have begun to roam and there is a free lane of minions for you. Shatter is really great aid in farming. Able to effectively hit 3-6 minions and deal significant damage. When left to your own devices farming is essential.
(Anyone who gives in put into the build shall be listed here.)
Why not use 1gp per 10 Second Quints?
In the long run it isn't worth it really. For a 30 Minute game you would only get 580 gp. Which really isn't much over the span of the game considering the advantages of a lower Cooldown at the start.