Vs ap lane
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.
Greetings fellow Geomancers, I'am ThatDudeInTheCotton
And this is my guide to Toplane Taric: The Gem Knight
Taric is all about Armor. He loves Armor more than Karthus loves death, Azir loves Shurima and nearly as much as Draven loves Draven. He loves it so much that he's one of the only champions in the game to actually scale off Armor offensively thanks to Bravado and Dazzle. Because of this Taric is very good with dealing with ad enemies and can go toe to toe with them in the top lane when built for it, and after that he can easily out scale them by becoming a massive fabulous wall of death in the late game. The main reason Taric has fallen out of favor as a support isn't his raw stats, which are actually higher than other tank supports, but because he (used to) lack the crazy utility fueld kits of other supports like Thresh or Morgana. However in the top lane, where much less utility is asked of champions, Taric's massive amounts of Armor, Stickiness and Aura's allow him to easily outshine the competition.
So without further ado, here is Taric, The Radiance Of Victory.
Pros / Cons
|+ Anti-Ad Monster
+ Large AOE stun
+ Bravado makes sustained trading fun :D
+ Bastion auras are ridiculous
+ Building defensively scales offensively
+ A Heal can save lives
+ People will randomly give you respect for the pick
|Taric is built to destroy ad opponents. Bravado and Dazzle allow him to build all the armor he wants while still being a damage threat (yes I called Taric a damage threat). His stun makes him a massive zoning threat and his aoe utility means he can be useful to one extent or another for essentially any ally on his team.|
|- Not an anti-ap monster
- Weak before Sheen/ Iceborn Gauntlet
- Heal takes a lot of mana
- His ult and stun have delays
- People will randomly give you **** for the pick
Because of his heavy specialization Taric isn't great against a heavy ap line up, he can still itemize against it but ap lineups make his armor aura and scaling useless. He also needs items to do any sort of fast damage in lane. Finally his ult and stun are delayed, meaning smart enemies can work around them if they're timed poorly.
When To Pick Taric
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Scaling Health
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
Greater Quintessence of Cooldown Reduction
Greater Quintessence of Armor
* Greater Mark of Attack Damage: With Bravado requiring two hits to get full efficiency out of it, taking ad marks is objectively better than armor for early auto attack trading, as the gap between them in terms of damage increases with every attack Taric puts out.
Greater Mark of Armor: Armor is a powerful stat on Taric thanks to the synergy with Dazzle and Bravado. But you also need health. So use these in conjunction with Greater Seal of Scaling Health. While these are technically efficient on Taric, they encourage passivity in lane, which can be OK for a support, but not so much for a top laner.
* Greater Seal of Scaling Health: You need health under all that armor, here's where you can get it. You can splice these with armor seals as well if you want a bit more early presence against an ad laner.
Greater Seal of Armor: Pretty standard, they simply provide very good armor. They'll give you some bulkiness early on.
* Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction: Cooldown reduction on Taric is a very powerful stat because of Dazzle and how Taric loves to drag fights out. If you're up against ap laners you can swap some of these glyphs for Magic resist glyphs, but manly men should fear no sneaky mages!
Recommended Quint setup has 2 armor, 1 CD reduction
Greater Quintessence of Armor: TONS OF ARMOR, TONS OF W DAMAGE AND MORE ARMOR, ARMARRRR!
Greater Quintessence of Cooldown Reduction: This rounds out the CDR of your rune page to a nice 10%, which is a pretty sweet deal at level one.
Makes last hitting a plausibility. Also you can sleep safe at night knowing you have a tiny bit of Rengar inside you.
Secret Stash :
Also buffs Refillable Potion and Corrupting Potion. Is not just a biscuit mastery.
Mana = health thanks to Q, so this is worth the pickup.
Bandit / Dangerous Game :
Both of these are really good on Taric. Bandit is great because Taric gets into the longest fights in the entire game, and as such gets a lot of gold value out of it. On the other hand Dangerous Game can save your life in certain situations. Both are good options, I just lean a bit towards Bandit personally.
Tough Skin :
Not Armor, but close enough.
Runic Armor :
You have a self heal thanks to Starlight's Touch, also it synergizes with Spirit Visage.
Taric relies a little more heavily on Flash than other champs, in the same way Annie does. So having it's CD reduced is super useful to him. That being said it also reduces other summoner spell cooldowns as well so this is a great deal all around.
Tenacity is a rare stat and this is an ample supply of it. Much more valuable than the additional armor of legendary guardian which is only really good in teamfight scenarios, whereas Swiftness is more useful in nearly all other scenarios (and sometimes it's even more useful in teamfights).
Grasp of the Undying :
It's a simple damage proc to help get the fight started in your favor. It scales with max health which Taric will be building some of, but it's most important at the beginning of the game where it'll be a determining factor in whether or not a fight will swing in your, or the enemies, favor. Use minions to keep the timer for the proc going and when you engage with this up the damage on your auto attacks combined with Bravado will be very impressive.
> Objectively the best summoner spell. One could make a case for Ghost being better for chasing, but that just doesn't change how powerful this spell is. Get it, every game.
> Stay in lane, go to bot lane, help with dragon, help with a push, this is good for all these things. That being said it got smacked with the nerf bat a while ago, so it isn't as omnipurpose as it used to be. Still, Taric isn't super aggressive early on and that early tp back to tower can make the difference between winning or losing a lane, so this is his default option.
> Some would say this spell is quite aggressive. Those people would be correct. This spell gives much more kill potential in lane. On the flip side though you have to use it when Taric has the least kill potential (when he has no items) to make up for the fact that you can't tp back to lane. Though it can be super effective versus certain matchups that rely on their health regen. If you fear no retribution, then go ahead with Ignite.
Skills and gameplay
> An incredibly simple, but incredibly powerful passive that often gets overlooked by new Taric players. When fighting an enemy you want to throttle each and every one of your spells with auto attacks afterwards. Doing so will not only get the most value out of the damage aspect of the passive, but it will also bring all of your spells on CD up faster. Stun-aa-aa-W-aa-aa takes 4 seconds off of your stun cd by itself. Later on throttling your attacks becomes even more important once you grab Iceborn Gauntlet and have it's Sheen procs and Cdr allowing for very fast rotations with big smatterings of on hit damage thrown in. Unfortunately buying CDR reduces the effectiveness of this passive (as it scales the cd reduction per hit negatively), but it's still powerful enough that it's worth buying.
> A handy self heal to help sustained trades or laning. You can also use it on allies to help get them through close calls late game. Don't forget that this triggers Bravado which can get your other abilities off CD faster. Don't spam it in lane though because the mana cost can be pretty hefty for the small heal if you don't have full charges. If you are having trouble in lane don't be too afraid to put a 2nd point into this, it essentially doubles the heal. When combo'd with Bastion it increases the aoe, but doesn't increase the heal received when they overlap, so focus on getting large coverage when trying to heal your team.
> This is Taric's new best friend. While one may look at it and feel as if it'd be useless in top since it's description makes it seem like it requires an ally, but that is not the case. Being able to self cast this spell gives Taric a great raw health shield, and the passive armor amp synergizes with his itemization + armor loving kit excellently. Of course that's only speaking about it's properties when self cast, when cast on an ally, say a friendly ganker or fellow teamfighter, this ability becomes ridiculous, double casting everything Taric uses from his allies position. What this means is that this ability allows you to sandwich a player between two Dazzle's at once, heal the entire ally team in one spell thanks to Starlight's Touch and even protect everyone from anything with Cosmic Radiance, all thanks to the huge aoe this ability provides.
In terms of laning the typical usage of this is after Dazzle as the shield will make trades go 100% in your favor with next to no loss in health. When a ganker comes in cast it on them as it will allow for easy chasing with double Dazzle's and Cosmic Radiance's, which make Taric a turret diving monster. In team fights you wanna use this on your backline and allies who are likely to get focused, mostly ADCs and mages. This is so that if they get separated they aren't entirely doomed. Don't forget that besides providing a link for your other abilities it also offers a shield which can safe lives, especially when combo'd with Starlight's Touch. Taric himself should be within the thick of his team to ensure the front liners get their share of the love too.
> You stun things then run at them or away from them. This is pretty much gonna be the first spell you cast in 90% of situations. Make sure to auto attack before you use another spell. When possible, try to sandwich the enemy player between you dazzle area of effect and a wall, it can force them into a lose-lose situation where they won't be able to avoid fighting you, since if they dodge the dazzle they have to walk towards you, and if they get hit by the Dazzle, well they get hit by the Dazzle. You should also use this sandwich technique with your Bastion buddy when your both chasing someone down, however in teamfights you'll have to go for either area or simply aim it straight at a priority target depending on the team composition. Prioritize squishy easily killed targets with this spell in teamfights when attacking, and when defending don't be afraid to cast it on tanks if they're getting into your backline.
> This is Taric's most potent ability, both as a support and as a toplaner. It does what it says on the tin, it makes you and nearby allies invulnerable for a couple seconds. The big kicker however is that there's a delay, which you enemy can work around. What this means in top is that during duels the enemy will seek to CC/kill you before it kicks in, so be wary not to cast this too late into the fight.
For the negative that is it's delay however, it has a signifigcant plus side being that it's one of the strongest towerdive abilities in the game. Even if it only affected Taric it would be decently strong, but combining it with a Bastion'd jungler makes tower dives easy peasy. It's also predictably crazy in team fights once fighting breaks out, however the timing of the ult is imperative. It can be used to save a single adc from an assassin or it can save everyone from....everyone. Knowing when an ult will and won't be worth it will require game knowledge, but the rule of thumb is: The more damage it prevents, the better.
Taric's main problem early on is maintaining his mana supply. He is highly reliant on his mana to be useful. Now in previous season's that would simply mean that he has to swap out a Health Potion for a Mana Potion but since the former no longer exists he must now rely on Corrupting Potion to give him the lane sustain he needs. It isn't all bad though, since Corrupting Potion gives combat stats Taric is capable of fighting off a lot of his adversaries while under its effect. Under the circumstance where you're fighting a heavily skillshot reliant champion, Boots of Speed may be more useful for their ability to avoid harass, but in 90% of games Corrupting Potion is the start to go for.
> Your go-to starting item. Iceborn Gauntlet has everything Taric wants. Armor? Check. CDR? Double Check. Mana? Of course. It even gives him increased damage and stickiness thanks to it's Sheen proc/slow effect. Once you have this Taric becomes much stronger, to the point where he can outlast almost every other top laner in the game, particularly the ad-centeric ones. Every part of it synergizes well with him, making it easily his best item. The individual parts are also excellent, with Sheen being great for aggressively beating an enemy to death quickly and Glacial Shroud giving much welcome sustain that also translate to offensive stats thanks to it's CDR and Armor. Both of which are Taric's main damage sources.
> I take a moment to mention this item not because it's a Gem (which is still a nice bonus) but because despite not being a complete item, it is a very strong standalone purchase. The health and CDR are good value for gold and can cap out (or nearly cap out depending on your runes) you're CDR at a very early stage of the game. As Taric's DPS is directly tied to his CDR this makes it a very good purchase, even if you aren't necessarily going to finish it right away. If the enemy team doesn't have any real prevalent damage type carrying them and your lane is even / in your favor, then Kindlegem is a good pickup.
Dead man's plate
> It makes you run fast at things while being really tanky. That's Taric's entire thing. You get Armor, Health, movespeed and a damage proc. It's also the only tank item in the game that will help you land Dazzle on fleeing enemies. This isn't all that fancy an item, it's just statistically very good. Get first versus AD problems.
> You'll probably get this every game unless the enemies completely AD focused. The real question is weather or not you get this before or after Dead Man's Plate. The CDR, healing passive and MR on this make it great against ap enemies, and a lot of it's stats aren't wasted versus AD opponents either. The health and healing passive in particular synergize greatly with Starlight's Touch. Really as far as MR items go, Spirit Visage is the best for Taric. It's as good an MR item as Dead Man's Plate is an Armor item. So build whichever stat you need more first.
> This gives a lot of armor and a damage return based on that armor and enemy damage. Get this if the majority of the enemy is AD. Even if not every enemy is ad, Taric's Shatter aura allows him to get out a good amount of damage with this even if he has to build some MR.
> A big chunk of armor and health, with a passive that lowers attack speed and an active that lowers movespeed. It even lowers critical strike damage. Once you have this adc's without true damage just stop being a problem (>:I Vayne). Not as good as dead man's plate because this requires you to already be near them to enable the slow, whereas Dead man's has it's permanent movespeed buff to help get you near your opponents to begin with.
> Gotta go fast. If your teams needs engage, or you're just having serious issues sticking to your enemy, then this'll help. This item lacks the defensive stats of other items in this guide in exchange for the raw power of its active. It's pretty good for simply smashing your team into your enemies or chasing down low health targets. That being said it's got a 90 second CD, so try to time it wisely.
> Is some snarky mage still giving you woes? Well then fear not for I have an absolution. Banshee's Veil provides a means of negating any crowd control effects that may be pestering you, as well as giving a chunk of health and magic resist. A good option if the enemies outputting crazy amounts of ap and you can't deal with CC effects any other way.
> You do mostly magic damage, and this increases that while giving MR and boosting your allies ap damage. Good when you somehow find yourself between two teams that just love magic. This isn't an ideal situation obviously since Taric is all about crushing the souls of AD enemies, but when in rome, resort to black magic.
> If you don't have CDR runes then this is an option. It's a good item, don't get me wrong, but if you're overloading your CDR because of it it just isn't very cost efficient compared to other Armor options, especially given it only works versus AD since it gives no health. If you don't have any CDR runes then it's fine as a third armor item after Iceborn and Dead man's.
How to play
The goals of laning are pretty simple:
Get more cs than your opponent
Get more kills than your opponent
Get more towers than your opponent
Taric at this stage, is kinda weak. Not nearly as weak as one would expect though. Dazzle keeps enemies from really all inning him, and trading with it + Bravado can get trades in Taric's favor. Always throw out an auto after a defensive Dazzle, especially if the enemies already hit you. Bravado's not a huge damage boost at this stage, but it does matter and will make bad trades less of a problem.
At level 2+ you have Starlight's Touch and Bastion to work with, which means you can start using your basic rotation: E-AA-AA-W-AA-AA-Q-AA etc. Some enemies that have weaker early games, or are just more focused on damage than defenses will be fightable now. But get a feel for how much damage your individual moves do before committing to anything. Dazzle is in an aoe, so you can use it to help clear backed up minion waves. If you happen to hit the enemy with it, note the damage done. You should get an idea of weather or not you can take them down based on that damage. More often than not you'll probably be burning through mana pretty quickly and without it you lack kill potential. So going back before any kills happen on either side and picking up either Sheen or Glacial Shroud to give yourself a powerboost and get some additional sustain is often a smart move.
In terms of engaging and disengaging fights it's best to think of Taric as a walking fortress. Really well armored, Strong sentry guns, great in defensive battles. One thing a fortress doesn't do though is go out looking for fights in enemy territory. Fight your enemy when they're in your minion wave, fight them when they're near you. If you throw out Dazzle at max range every time you're not only getting the minimum amount of stun from your spell, you're also going to burn though your mana and quickly become useless. Fight when you know you can make it longer than the enemy wants and preferably do it with your minions to add some ambient damage.
After Iceborn Gauntlet Taric's fighting power increases yet again and this is the point in time where he extends trades to the point where they end with death instead of damage. His burst will be higher and his rotation will come around that much faster that he becomes a serious damage threat while still be sufficiently tanky to seem like a wall. If you've been winning your lane before this, then this will cement that victory. Against Ap damage dealers it obviously isn't as cut and dry as that, but with all the stats and effects on this item giving Taric so much strength, it really is a core item even in those situations, barring a full ap team as well. (Seriously this item is just really good).
With that we move on to post laning and teamfights. In teamfights you are the Paladin. You stand at the front, and will most likely be the core of the wall between your team and the enemies. Your job is simple. Dazzle the right person, don't let your team die. If an enemy jumps on your backline, Dazzle them. If an enemy carry gets out of position, Dazzle them. If any enemy anywhere causes some major problem for your team you have to be capable of deciding which enemy takes priority over every other enemy and stun them, because while you will no doubt be burly to the point of absurdity at this point, your teammates won't. Remember that max range Dazzle's, even at max level and duration, can be risky since you're getting the least stun for your spell. If the enemy team can collapse on you easily to save their stunned friend, it may not be the best idea to follow up on said stun. Bide your time and engage when it will be most effective and when you have quick backup.
In terms of protecting your team from enemy engages, here's a simple mental exercise. Imagine yourself as part of a web, one which stretches from yourself to your ally frontliners. Any direct line between the enemy and your carries is a potential weak spot. It's a simple principle which will help you be positioned to either engage or keep enemies off your team. Use Bastion relatively early on when setting up for a teamfight so that should anything break out you'll have ample ability to help allies that are too far from you to immediately reach.
Other than that, use your basic rotation on any given enemy you find yourself focusing. If you can land Dazzle on multiple enemies that's a great boon, and when you throw out Starlight's Touch/ Cosmic Radiance make sure to do it while surrounded by teammates and when the enemies are / about to throw down their big damage moves. Try to stay with your allies as much as you can in fights so that they receive the benefits of all your aoe spells.
Roll the Credits
Credits to JhoiJhoi, Who I yet again leaned on for formatting purposes. I would feel bad about it but since everyone does it I like to feel my laziness is justified.
Also thank you, the reader, for getting this far (unless you skipped to this part like a dirty cheater), I really appreciate that you took the time to read this and hope it brings you good fortune :)
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