Taric Build Guide by Perditor
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.
Taric is a versatile support champion. While he's most suited to be played in an agressive lane aiming for kills during the early game, his kit is also very suited to play a passive sustain lane.
I aim for this guide to be very detailed, with many good pointers to make good use of the build provided. Next to the main build, I will suggest variations on the main build, accompanied by an explanation of when and why you could choose to use the varations.
This guide should prove to be a good read for those interested, while also providing an easy to use and easy to copy build for those wanting to get into the action more quickly.
Hope you'll enjoy it!
Pros / Cons
+ Can set up kills in lane
+ Is naturally tanky
+ Provides his team with a armor aura
+ Provides his team with a ad/ap steroid
+ Provides a reliable interrupt
+ Provides an armor reduction debuff
- Has bad poke in lane
- His heal isn't very potent
- Stun has traveltime
- His passive is tricky to use
- Flash is simply too good to be left unused. This Summoner Spell gives Taric a very powerful escape you can use to make up for positional mistakes aswell as to get into very good positions. A very powerful move you can do as Taric is to use Flash to instantly get into melee range of your enemy, then use Dazzle to stun him, allowing for a very easy follow-up with the rest of your spells. Using Flash this way will help you get around the traveltime that Dazzle has and will deny your opponent the opportunity to reposition himself before the stun lands.
- Exhaust is an extremely powerful tool in lane, because it can render the enemy ad carry almost useless by reducing his damage output by 70% (!) and decrease his Movement Speed by 40%. Be careful not to overlap Dazzle and Exhaust, because you will want to use their full effect.
- Ignite is a Summoner Spell that I wouldn't usualy take, but if you know your enemy botlane will run Heal, Ignite is a very powerful direct counter to that. It is more prefered to run Ignite on the ad carry though, because Ignite has a habit of getting the last hits for kills and in most situations, you are better off having those kills go to your ad carry.
- Clairvoyance used to be the bread and butter of the support role. Nowadays it's fallen out of favor, because giving up other Summoner Spells will mean losing a lot of power in the lane. It's still very useful for tracking the enemy jungler and will provide you with a means of checking bushes lategame, so you can safely ward.
- Heal is usually run by the ad carry in the current meta, because it heals the user of the spell more than those around him. If your ad carry isn't running Heal himself and you think you'll be having a rough time in lane, Exhaust will provide you with a more versatile and more powerful tool to protect your ad carry.
The only thing that's unique to Heal is the ability to bait. This can be very situationally useful.
- Promote has been used by CLG.na's Chauster on Sona in the NA Regionals at PAX to great effect, but I'd still not recommend it, because it's really only very usefull in the particular heavy pushing strategy they were using. In any other strategy I do not see it easily used to great effect. If you ever want to push, you can help you ad carry with auto attacks to push the lane.
Being a fairly standard 0-9-21 build, it has points in Defense to increase Armor and Health to compliment the role of an off-tank.
- Taking 3 points in Hardiness over Resistance , because most damage during hard engages in the laning phase will most likely come from your enemy ad carry.
- In the Utility Tree, I take a point in Summoner's Insight to decrease the cooldown of Flash, Taric's only escape spell.
- The points in Expanded Mind and Meditation help with the sustain, the points in Swiftness will help landing Dazzle on your enemies and reach melee range more quickly.
- Greed will aid you income and Wealth will allow you much more freedom for choosing your starting items.
- Intelligence helps you get up to 36% Cooldown Reduction with just the main build in this guide.
- Finally, Mastermind will decrease the cooldown on both your Flash and your Exhaust.
This is a nice deviation that you will be able to afford if you run fairly tanky runes. It'll provide your build with some Magic Penetration and 4% extra Cooldown Reduction, so that you actually hit the cap perfectly with the main build.
- In the Utility tree, there's really nothing changed.
- In the Offense tree, I suggest taking one point in Summoner's Wrath to improve your exhaust. This is actually an extremely well-spent point, because it'll improve your ad carry's damage output on the exhausted target, which should usually be the enemy ad carry, your primary target in lane exchanges.
- Next I suggest taking point in Brute Force over Mental Force , not because you benefit greatly from Attack Damage, but because the amount of Ability Power Mental Force provides is really low. If you're doing your Dazzle+ Shatter combo plus one single auto attack on your target, you'll already break even on damage output with 3 points in Mental Force and you'll most likely be able to put out at least 2-3 auto attacks during an exchange. This is even more true when your target is not using nine Greater Seal of Armors, since the base Magic Resist on champions is higher than their base Armor value.
- Greater Mark of Armor: When you're setting up kills in the early laning phase, you might have to tank a little bit of damage from the enemy ad carry and his/her support. You will need a bit of armor to be able to properly live through this.
Since I prefer to get Gold/10 Seals for this build, I will not have the luxury of armor Seals. Thus these armor Marks will have to make up for that.
- Greater Seal of Gold: These runes will provide you with a little bit of extra gold/10 to be able to quickly get a hold of your first items. Together with the Philosopher Stone and the Heart of Gold, these runes should provide you with enough gold in mid-game to buy a good number of wards while still being able to progress through your item build.
This way you'll be tanky enough to off-tank during teamfights, so you can actually get in to use Radiance+ Shatter to set up your ad carry with an armor debuff on multiple enemies.
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: In the bottom lane where you'll be residing during the laning phase of the game, there'll be mainly physical damage, so you will not need Magic Resist early on. These glyphs will however net you about 15 magic resist at level 11, around which time teamfights might start happening and the enemy ap carry will be the biggest threat to your team.
- Greater Quintessence of Gold: Similarly to the Seals discussed above, these runes will aid you in progressing through your itembuild while still being able to ward properly.
The Quintessences are however much more efficient at providing Gold/10 than your Seals, so if you want to add some other stats to the build, I suggest replacing the Gold/10 Seals before replacing the Quintessences.
- Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: If you are running Greater Seal of Armor, you can choose to replace the Greater Mark of Armor with these give your Dazzle+ Shatter-combo or your Dazzle+ Radiance+ Shatter-combo that little bit more power.
- Greater Seal of Armor: If you think you'll be having a rough time in lane with a lot of poke coming from the enemy ad carry, these can give you a lot more tankiness early on and, especially in combination with Greater Mark of Armor, you'll be much better suited to sustain in a heavy poke lane.
- Greater Seal of Replenishment: Contrary to Greater Seal of Resillience, you'll want to pick these seals if you're going against a botlane with a support that is going to be able to poke you a lot (think: Sona), you can opt to go for these runes. They will give you a lot more mana to play with.
When taking these runes, you'll probably want to consider maxing Imbue before Shatter, taking only 1 point in Dazzle early. This way you'll be able to make better use of your mana. The downside is that the usefullness of the Mana Regen of these runes will fall off once you've got the Philosopher Stone while the Gold/10 will be usefull throughout the entire game.
These runes can be really powerful if you decide to start the game with boots and you're building the Heart of Gold before the Philosopher Stone.
- Greater Glyph of Replenishment: These are similar to Greater Seal of Replenishment, only less potent. In the early game you won't really miss the Magic Resist from Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist at all, but the usefullnes of the Mana Regen of these runes will fall off once you have the Philosopher's Stone.
- Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: If you really decide that you won't need any Gold/10 from runes at all, you might want to consider these Quintessences, as they will make it easier to land your Dazzle in a good place.
Taric's passive is a very tricky one. In theory, this passive should allow you to greatly increase your Imbue's healing output and improve your sustain giving you mana back. But in practise, this is very hard to do. Everytime you hit a minion, you'll push the wave towards your opponent's tower. Sometimes this is a great thing to do and you should definitely make use of your passive when this time arises, but you should be careful. More often than not, you don't want to push the wave to be able to more effectively zone the enemy botlane and deny them to safely farm underneath the safety of their tower or to avoid being overextended when the enemy jungler pays a visit.
Except for when you're pushing, there's one more time when you can make great use of your passive:
When farming under your own tower. When you're pushed back under your tower, you can help your ad carry's farm by hitting ranged minions once, so that the ad carry can easily finish them off after 1 tower hit. Be careful of your own minions hitting the enemy minions, as they can easily screw with your last hitting.
This is Taric's healing ability. When you're in a teamfight, you'll often want to walk into the enemy team to soak up some damage, blow off your Radiance (and perhaps Shatter and disrupt their casts with your Dazzle. When you're in the middle of their team, try to use Imbue early in the fight, so that you can benefit from your auto attacks reducing it's cooldown. This way you'll maximize the amount of healing you can do in a teamfight.
- When you're trying to establish an agressive and dominant lane, wait until level 4 to take the first rank in Imbue, then max it second, after Shatter.
- When you're trying to establish a sustain lane, try to get away with 2 early ranks (for example at level 2 and 3, taking Dazzle at level 1) in Imbue, then max Shatter and max Imbue second. This way you'll have decent sustain in laning phase and still provide a good armor bonus when you get in teamfights in mid-game.
This is Taric's Armor buff. He'll passively give this buff to people around him. You can also activate this ability to give a quick AoE burst and reduce the Armor of the opponents you hit. Do note that the Area of Effect that Shatter has is very limited, which means you'll have to nearly be in melee range for this to work.
Max this first, before Imbue, for maximum armor aura and burst.
This is Taric's stun ability. Usually, you'll want to take 1 rank in this ability early, preferably at level 1, and max it last. The only things that scale with ranking up this ability is it's cooldown and it's damage. Since you're not building into heavy Ability Power, however, the damage in negligible. The lower cooldown with higher ranks is nice, but generally it's short enough and you'll get more out of leveling your other skills first.
This is Taric's Ultimate. It's a really potent steroid for his entire team, giving off both Attack Damage and Ability Power.
When trying to set up a burst, try to land a good Dazzle, then walk into melee range and use Radiance before Shatter, so that Shatter can benefit from the Ability Power your Ultimate will provide.
Feel free to use this ability a lot - for bursting down towers, putting out serious harrass and when doing the Dragon and Baron Nashor, because it's cooldown is fairly low.
Also don't be deceived by the damage component of this ability. While it's very nice to get the extra damage in during a teamfight when you can, don't obsess about using it to damage multiple enemies. The real power of this Ultimate is in the buff that it gives to your entire team.
Take a rank in this ability whenever you can: at level 6, 11 and 16.
Sight WardSight WardSight WardSight Ward
This is the main build because it's a fairly safe option to begin with against a variety of botlane combinations. The Faerie Charm will assist you with a good amount of Mana Regen, so you can go into a sustain role when it seems hard to get ahead in lane early on. Next to that, the Faerie Charm will also allow you to build into the Philosopher's Stone much quicker.
NOTE: If you decide to go into a sustain role, take 2 levels in Imbue before leveling Shatter. Do make sure to take 1 level in Dazzle early on because it allows you to stop your enemy lane if they decide to commit to a fight. Usually 2 levels in Imbue early on will allow you to properly sustain the lane, from there you can go back to leveling Shatter before Imbue again, so you'll be able to provide a proper armor aura after laning phase is over, bein only 1 level behind in Shatter from your standard build.
This starting build also allows you to play an aggressive early game. If you manage to get this going well from the start, you will be able to dominate the lane. If you manage to get you first blood/early kills for your ad carry, you will from thereon be able to freeze the lane halfway while zoning out the enemy botlane. This will deny them the experience and the enemy ad carry creepkills, while yours is farming safely.
This strategy is more easily executed from the blue side.
- If you're starting on the blue side, try to kill the double golems before going into lane. If you kite the golems properly, you should hardly lose any health, but you and your ad carry will gain an important experience advantage going into lane. Once you get into lane, don't allow the enemy botlane to push the lane to your tower. This should allow you and your ad carry to hit level 2 before the enemy botlane does.
- If you're starting on the purple side, try to do wolves or stop the enemy botlane from doing the double golems and start pushing the lane from the start. This should allow you and your ad carrry to hit level 2 before the enemy botlane does.
With 4 wards in the pocket, you will be able to put out an early ward to help your jungler, ward your own lane bushes and the river long enough for you to get your first Gold/10 item.
The 1 health potion should help you stay healthy until you can go agressive. You shouldn't let yourself get poked too low or you'll be too weak to engage at level 2.
Sight WardSight WardSight Ward
These starting items are a little more forgiving than the main build, giving you more potions to sustain yourself without the need of leveling Imbue before level 4. You'll still have the advantage of the Mana Regen from the Faerie Charm and plenty wards to start with.
Sight WardSight Ward
These are similar to the main build, only more focussed towards controlling the lane bush in order to get a proper engage at level 2. A smart enemy will see the Vision Ward in your inventory and not throw any wards into your bush, but this will allow you to take control of the bush and get a great angle for a level 2 engage. Alternatively, if the enemy does decide to ward your bush, just pop out your Vision Ward and clear their ward. You will end up with the same advantage plus 25 gold from killing that Sight Ward.
If you're up against a heavy poke support, you will want your ad carry to help you clear the ward with an auto attack. You might also want to consider swapping out 1 of your Sight Wards for 2 more Health Potions, so that you'll be healthy at level 2.
For these starting items, you might want to alter your Mastery Page a little bit. These starting items cost less gold than the other suggestions, allowing you to swap one point out of Wealth into Awareness .
Sight WardSight Ward
These starting items a lot less forgiving than the main build, but will give you a much stronger level 2 fight. The extra movement speed from the boots will allow you to run in for a Dazzle on a better position and get into melee range for the Shatter and the auto attacks quicker.
You'll have to make sure to have a good kite on the double golems and not get poked too heavily however, or you won't be able to go in at level 2 at all.
This is where you'll want to start building your Gold/10 items that will be your main source of income for the remainder of the game. Since you'll have very little last hits as a support, you will want to be going for these items first. Luckily, these items provide very useful stats for you in the early game.
If you started with a Faerie Charm, you'll be able to quickly build into a Philosopher's Stone, which will give you Health and Mana Regen, which will both help your sustain a great deal.
Next to that, you'll want to get the Heart of Gold, the second Gold/10 item. This item will provide you with a lot of health and make you quite tanky quite early on.
Also important to get early are the Boots of Speed. Ideally, you'll get the Philosopher's Stone and the Heart of Gold first, then these boots, so that you'll profit from the Gold/10 as soon as possible. But if you're against opponents in lane that depend on skillshots for their poke (think: Nidalee) or kill setup (think: Blitzcrank), you might want to consider getting Boots of Speed earlier on, so that you can properly dodge their skills.
You can also switch around the Heart of Gold and the Philosopher's Stone if you want a little more tankiness early at the cost of sustain. Do keep in mind that if you started out with Faerie Charm, you'll be able to build into Philosopher's Stone much quicker than a Heart of Gold.
During this phase, don't forget to keep buying wards. You will want to adjust the number of wards you buy depending on the enemy lane.
- Keep warding the river/tribush at all times if your enemy team has a jungler (in the current meta that'll be every single game), because whenever you cannot see him on the map, he could be coming to your botlane to ruin the lead you've built in the lane.
Try to estimate where you're laning at the moment and how likely you or the enemy botlane are to push the lane in the next few minutes, so that you can decide wether to ward the tribush or the river.
- If you're fighting a pokelane or a killlane that you cannot properly zone out at that point, you might want to also ward a lanebush, to keep track of them and to ease dodging their skillshots for both you and your ad carry.
Kage's Lucky Pick
Once you've got your Boots of Speed, Philosopher's Stone and your Heart of Gold, you'll want to consider these items next.
- The Kindlegem is a generally good item for Taric, as it provides you with more tankiness and a bit of Cooldown Reduction, increasing the rate at which you can dish out your Dazzle+ Shatter and Dazzle+ Radiance+ Shatter combo's and your Imbue heals.
Other than that the main reason we build this item is because it builds into SHURELYA's Reverie. I like to build the Kindlegem early on and then wait before building it into Shurelya's Reverie so that I can profit from Philosopher's Stone's Gold/10 for as long as I can. I will generally finish Shurelya's Reverie when laning phase is over and we start grouping up so that I can use it to help my team to engage in or disengage from teamfights.
- The other item I listed here is Kage's Lucky Pick. This is an optional item that I usually won't build, but when your lane is going extremely well/you ended up with some kills, you will be able to afford this item. The extra Ability Power from Kage's Lucky Pick will aid your Imbue heals and the damage from your Shatter, Dazzle and Radiance, giving them just that little bit of extra power. With the extra Gold/10 from this item, you will be able to build some bigger items like Randuin's Omen in the lategame.
Kage's Lucky Pick can be sold in the lategame to build other items or it can be built into a Morello's Evil Tome lategame. When building this, it is advisable to build Mercury's Threads, Ninja Tabi or Boots of Mobility instead of Ionian Boots of Lucidity, because of the Cooldown Reduction Cap.
- Aegis of the Legion is one of the most cost efficient aura items in the game, providing a ton of stats to you and your allies. This item will further help you become more of an offtank in teamfights and allow you to stay in teamfights to have a greater impact.
Do pay attention to what your jungler and top are building. If they are building the Aegis of the Legion, consider building a Warden's Mail first, so that you can build into a Randuin's Omen later on. This is because the second Aegis of the Legion is much less effective than the first one.
- Shurelya's Reverie is another great item for teamfights, allowing you to speed up engaging/disengaging with the enemy team. This will allowing everyone on your team to get into position much quicker, improving the chance of success.
With your Heart of Gold, Aegis of the Legion and your Shurelya's Reverie, you'll be well equipped to (off-)tank some damage. You still shouldn't run in head first, this should be the job of a tank who's had proper farm and is better itemized, but you can definitely run in second and start disrupting the enemy team early on. Tanking damage however, does not mean you should die, try to assess when is the proper time to disengage! The longer you live, the more your team will be able to profit from your aura's, and the more Imbue heals and Dazzle stuns you will be able to put out. In the end this will outweigh you tanking damage to the very last healthpoint you've got.
- An item you should not build too late is Ionian Boots of Lucidity. These will not only provide a welcome amount of Cooldown Reduction, but they will more importantly allow you to roam better during mid-game, allowing you to go around clearing wards with Oracle's Elixir and place strategic Sight Wardss yourself. And ofcourse, they will allow you to escape in chases from enemies with tier 2 boots.
If you're ever tempted to build into other boots like Mercury's Threads or Ninja Tabi to counter the enemy teams Magic/Physical damage or their Crowd Control, feel free to switch out the Ionian Boots of Lucidity to take one of these items instead. You can take a hit in the Cooldown Reduction Department, especially when you're also building a Zeke's Herald.
- Usually the main build will be the only items you'll have gold and time for to build, but there's always those extremely long games, where you'll run out of things to build. In these situations, consider Randuin's Omen to become even more tanky and shut down the enemy ad carry with your active.
- Or consider Zeke's Herald to buff all of the allies that rely on Physical dammage and auto attacks. They'll get a very nice boost to their Attack Speed and their Lifesteal. You will gain a nice bit of Health out of the item yourself, plus a good amount of Cooldown Reduction. If you've followed the rest of the main build however, you'll only partly benefit from this Cooldown Reduction (+4% instead of +15%), as you'll get to the 40% cap.
If your team has several very good methods of engaging in teamfights, you can also consider building into Zeke's Herald instead of the Shurelya's Reverie early on. This way you'll also benefit from the Gold/10 of the Philosopher's Stone for a much longer time.
- Lastly, the Frozen Heart will serve about the same role as the Randuin's Omen, with the difference that it provides mana instead of health. This is ideal for when your team gets stuck in a standoff with the enemy team, having a lot of poke going both ways. With the Frozen Heart, you'll be able to negate a good part of the enemy poke so that your team will be in better shape when the engage finally happens.
Do always make sure to keep one spot open for wards, as they are important throughout the entire game. Sometimes it is even preferable to keep 2 spots open for wards.
Thanks to JhoiJhoi for her awesome guide on making a guide!
The separator bars in this guide were also generously providid by her!
Feel free to criticize on where you disagree with my decisions and do feel free to point out mistakes on my my end. I'd love to get some good feedback and I can appreciate a good discussion.
An analysis of laning against most popular botlane ad carries and supports as Taric.
An excruciatingly detailed warding guide.
9-29-2012 - First created
9-30-2012 - Finished Sections Introduction, Pros/Cons, Summoner Spells, Masteries, Runes, Skills, Items and Credits.
10-3-2012 - Added Changelog, changed both masteries to exclude 3 points in Awareness , put them into Swiftness because the extra xp isn't enough to converge into any real advantage early on and it's advantage is weak lategame, while Swiftness will help you throughout the entire game.