Build Guide by Alahric
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This is my personal guide to Taric, prepare to be enlightened!
The whole idea was to support your team with auras, while making sure you can stay alive. With the auras you'll strengthen your team, which then again makes Taric stronger. However due to the current buff to AP Taric, I figured it would be better to focus on Taric himself to help with more powerful heals. The thing about Taric is that it's very important to auto-attack as much as possible to increase your own mana regeneration and decrease the cooldown on Imbue. In the end it's all about buffing and healing your teammates, taking down turrets, and winning teamfights. Taric's ability to Dazzle and Shatter enemies also makes him a very good ganker, while his ability to Imbue and boost attack damage with Radiance makes him a viable pusher. But the most important feature is that he can take a few hits without dying instantly compared to most other supports, and thus taking a few hits for your team. However, Taric is not an initiator! You have to support your team and try to stay alive as long as possible, which means that he is not a very dedicated tanker at all. You have to know that a good tank dies first, but for Taric that is just the opposite as he's a lot better of supporting your team.
1. Versatile - Supporter, assister and tank.
2. Turret Tanker - Able to tank and destroy turrets easily.
3. Walking Fountain - You can replenish everyone's health and mana.
1. Poor DPS - If you get Trinity you can disprove it.
2. Semi Tank - Taric does not Initiate, you heal.
3. Very metro-sexual - Not to mention Jewish.
Clarity : This spell will allow you to keep up with your own mana pool early-game and replenish your teammate's mana as well. There is a good chance that this spell might save everyone with a quick Imbue or giving your teammate a kill by replenishing his own mana. Be careful when using this with Radiance, it has a nasty habit of draining almost 10% per tick of your mana if you don't turn Radiance off after using it to take down a turret.
Ghost : This spell is used in three situations, when you find yourself in trouble of a gank or you got grabbed into one then you should use Ghost to get away to cut your losses. You should sometimes use it to chase, Ghost will allow you to reach your target and with a quick Dazzle you can easily assist your target. The final use of this summoner spell is assistance, when your teammates are in trouble you should Ghost down there and help them out with your abilities.
Fortify : If you are doing a pre-made you might be forced to take on this summoner spell, you may not like it and I don't even have good reasons to use it myself. But stopping a push can be quite beneficial to get those nasty backdoorers off your back. This can also be used to kill someone if they tower-dive, because it also increases the attack-speed of all the turrets. You may want to ask your team whenever they need Fortify but trust me, it's never that easy. With this spell you need constant map awareness, even when in teamspeak people seem to forget that you have Fortify.
Exhaust : You can use this spell to gank more efficiently, if you spec into the offense mastery you can get Cripple to improve this spell. This will make it last a little longer and you get some penetration bonuses on the target. The Blind in this spell will disable any physical damage dealer, which means that you should put it to good use and use it on champions like Ashe instead of Annie for example. Finally I want to say that you shouldn't waste it in a 5-man gank on a single champion, only use it when you need it!
In most normal games you'll get to the Elixir of Brilliance, and if you get a +40min match you may get to buy Lich Bane. Doran's Ring will boost your AP, give you some much needed health and fix your mana regeneration early-game. This will allow you to take advantage of the laning phase as much as possible, but you can always purchase Mana Manipulator if you're asked too. Then it's the much discussed area, especially by girls, shoes! I've always recommended Berserker's Greaves but what team doesn't have some CC? and you always seem to need a little extra magic resist so therefore I recommend getting Mercury's Treads at all times. Next on the List is Spirit Visage for immortality or Aegis of the Legion for pre-made, Guinsoo's Rageblade for healing and winning the game, and Lich Bane for pwnage.
Doran's Ring : The best starting item for Taric by far! Just like any other support unit it's extremely beneficial that you get a good start together with your lanepartner. This will make you more durable, allow you to heal more damage, and keep up with your mana pool until you can sustain it yourself.
Mana Manipulator : This is a great starting item for your teammate, this will allow him to use more mana frequently and paired with Clarity you can support even the heaviest mana usage in your lane. If your lanepartner can manage his mana just fine then it's actually better to start of with Doran's Ring, remember that you still got Clarity!
Chalice of Harmony : If you got a summoner level of 1-20 you might want to consider this item to get you out of any sticky situation. Especially if you do not have Clarity or any other mana regeneration. If you are still having problems then I recommend getting more golem buffs, that goes for level 30 too.
Mercury's Treads : These boots are necessary to keep crowd control away from you, Taric seems to be quite vulnerable against this because he is a healer and if you are CC'ed then you can't really do anything. The only thing you can't do anything with is silence, these boots also gives you some much needed magic resist as well.
Aegis of the Legion : This Item is very useful if your team is full of squishes or otherwise. I see a lot of champions on my team that could use some more armor and resistance and the damage is just a plus when you are pushing with minions. You might consider this item instead of Spirit Visage, or vice versa. It all depends on your current situation and what build you use.
Spirit Visage : I have been experimenting with this item before, but because it had Hp/5 Regeneration and was rather selfish I didn't think much of it. However, with the current update it has turned into a beacon for all healers and for Taric it's the new Guardian Angel. If you're new to Taric, getting focused, or if you don't want to die you should get this item instead of Aegis of the Legion.
Soul Shroud : This item will help with flat health, Cooldown Reduction and the mana regeneration aura is just a plus early-game. This item should mostly be purchased if you bought Mana Manipulator at the start, the exception is if your team doesn't really have any focus on AP or AS/ArP and no imba carry.
Guinsoo's Rageblade : This will amplify your ability power so that you can heal for more, and it also gives you an edge over turrets with the attackspeed and damage. If your team is owning it up consider this item instead of Aegis of the Legion, it's perfect for Taric!
Trinity Force : Surprisingly this will help your overall with Taric, movement speed, slow, and even burst damage! If you combine it with Guinsoo's Rageblade you're going to be surprised how efficient it can be at destroying turrets and ganking. The problem is that you're not really ensured getting this item, after all it costs 4070g!
Manamune : This is a fairly new item that has caught my attention. It basically gives you mana per auto-attack and 2% of your mana as damage in return. Compared to Archangel's Staff it's difficult to say which item to get, but both of them will allow you to spam all you want as well as boost your preference in either healing or damage.
Zeke's Harbinger : I usually get this if my team requests it, auto-attack DPS'ers that is. Not only does it give Health Regeneration, Lifesteal, and Attackspeed, it also reduces the armor by 25 to all nearby enemies. The thing is that none of this stats really benefit Taric so I don't recommend it.
Will of the Ancients : I recommend getting this item right before you get Aegis of the Legion if you got an AP carry like Morgana, Veigar, and especially Kassadin. Personally if it's not such a big deal I would get Aegis of the Legion after this little thing here. But take my word for it, if you got a fed AP carry you'll want this book asap.
Banshee's Veil : This item will give you more health, magic resist and a little mana. The Spell reflect can be quite useful to make it harder for your enemies to focus you down. Sometimes you might even get lucky and block a stun, but remember that it can easily be put down by a single spell such as Volley, Lay Waste, or Mystic Shot.
Frozen Heart : If you want to reach the 40% Cooldown Reduction cap and your opponents DPS depends fully on auto-attacks then this will help you win the fight. I recommend getting it if your squishes are getting focused, but if you are having problems yourself then you can choose between Guardian Angel and this little gem right here.
Guardian Angel : If you fear that getting yourself killed will lose you the game then you should try purchasing Guardian Angel. But if you are not focused at all I would try to purchase Frozen Heart or more AP, from items like Will of the Ancients, Guinsoo's Rageblade, and Trinity Force.
Zhonya's Ring : This item is meant to help out in terms of AP, and never really seen as achievable in any games what-so-ever. The activate is somewhat unnecessary but can still be used in sticky situations, otherwise a survival item wouldn't be too bad of a choice. Still, nothing beats being able to heal yourself for 600-800 Hp a heal.
You have two ways to go, Top or bottom lane. This depends on who you want to go with, I find Mana Manipulator to be quite efficient to keep up my lane-partners mana pool, but make sure he has mana though. You could also go for Meki Pendant if you want Chalice of Harmony, but honestly I'd have to say that keeping up your mana pool takes skill. You need to know how to reserve it, and with masteries and runes this because unnecessary unless you constantly find yourself scrub oom in teamfights. If that's the case then grab for a golem buff. Finally you my favorite item Doran's Ring; This will boost your Health, Mana Regeneration, and AP.
Now before I start explaining the laning-phase I want to know if you have communication with your lane-partner, I'm not talking about the chat but a few words might help him out if you don't. Having him on teamspeak (or Ventrilo, w/e) will improve your game-play significantly, you can tell him when you Dazzle, Imbue, got Clarity ready etc. Most of the time you should be focusing on last-hitting, healing and stunning. Gaining lane-control is crucial as Taric but when if there is just too much damage on the harassment you guys get then you should play defensive. You should also watch out for the ganking potential enemy champions might have, such as Morgana, Blitzcrank and Alistar. But don't let them get the best of you, I mean just because one of them are good you don't need to back down.
All you need is to find their weakness and abuse it. In other words you should try to stun the squishiest champion in your lane, then have your teammate help you gank him and possibly get first blood. Just be sure to keep yourself alive with Imbue and manage your mana, you don't want to go oom! When you do you have manage Clarity, just try to use it for both you and your lane-partner and personally I would rather abuse the cooldown instead of waiting for the perfect moment (but don't waste it!). Killing them is a huge plus, but getting the turret is the primary goal during the lane-phase. With a decent lane-partner this can all be achieved all before 5-minutes!
The Teamfights & Ganks
After destroying the Turret in your lane you should head back to your base, or support mid or a nearby gank if you need to and then recall. You should buy Mercury's Treads for the movement speed and the CC reduction is priceless! Then get a sight Ward, yes, Wards! At your first trip back you should buy one and place it in the brush, by the river~ in your lane. After that you should aim for Aegis of the Legion, but how do we build it? First of all I want you to look at your Armor and Resistance, you need to balance those two out. If they are fine you always got Ruby Crystal to improve your health, try to think ahead before you buy anything and keep the Shatter aura in mind. That reminds me, don't spend too much time in the shop, ok? At your second trip back you should try the recipe for Aegis of the Legion and purchase two more sight Ward and place them in the two brushes in mid! It helps more than you think, that's my little pro tip.
Now that mid-game has officially started you should look out for three things: defending turrets, grouping up to push -> destroy turrets, and ganks! You know the drill, keep Imbue on cooldown, keep Shatter up until you are in the lead and Dazzle squishy damage dealers or the focused target. If you fear that anyone will use a channeling ultimate then you should save Dazzle for when you really need it, like Katarina, Nunu, and Janna. In these so called "ganks" you need to be careful but always face the danger, you can't always stay in the back -> draw some attention to yourself. But don't do anything stupid that will get you killed, just do the old tank routine and be head-on with auto-attacks. But only if you are confident, I mean if the other team is fed or could easily focus down your tank (or you) then you should be careful hiding at the back and stay close to the initiator (unless that's you, but who knows?). It's also wise to grab a golem buff to keep up with Radiance a lot easier, if not then you should always save Clarity when you need it or just use it to replenish someone else's mana pool as well.
Now I know you might be wondering, what's with all this health, armor, and resistance? You see, if you are squishy you can easily be killed. It's advised that you got over 2k health and +100 Armor and Resistance so that you are not countered by focus! Feel free to get more of it but you got that 40% Cooldown Reduction cap that you need to reach, and the 1.0 Attack-speed is crucial to fully abuse Imbue. Then there is the AP, I've been experimenting with an Elixir of Brilliance during late-game and even tried Will of the Ancients to buff casters, but that's only if you are able to farm freely and get a couple of lucky kills. But even then I think Soul Shroud / Zeke's Harbinger is the last thing you'll get. When it comes to the killing you will most likely just be getting assists, but there are times when that little Dazzle turns out to be the real killer.
The End-Game Stage
By now you should have gotten the core item build: Doran's Ring, Mercury's Treads, Aegis of the Legion, and if you have farmed enough you may be able to get Guinsoo's Rageblade. The most important part is that you look at the teams and then decide what to buy, but I prefer just going all out AP. I mostly recommend getting both Trinity Force and Zhonya's Ring after that, but if the other team is all Auto-attack ftw! Then you should buy a Frozen Heart early on. If you are having trouble with ganks then you always got Banshee's Veil, or if you are targeted first and you fear this may alter the outcome of the match then you should get Guardian Angel. But if everything is going smoothly and you got a carry I would focus on Zeke's Harbinger and Guinsoo's Rageblade, in other words: go full AP + Support if you're not having any difficulties what so ever.
Now you need to beware of heavy CC and reduced healing effects; this will kill you unless you have a good team. If you do end up getting dragged into something like that, then there is always Mercury's Treads, Activate Ghost, [ Alt ] + [ Q ] and clicking yourself up to your base. This will save you most of the time, but it's also nice to have a teammate doing some CC on the other team to help which reminds me of all the key-binding I use. Now for starters it's the [ALT] + [Q, W, E, or R] This will automatically use the skill on yourself, but if your mouse is hovering above someone else, depending on the skill, it will be set off on them. Now since you can't heal enemies it's not a big deal and since you prefer to press the button of the skill and click yourself I don't really see that as a big problem anyway. Then it's the [ F1-2-3-4-5 ] + [ Q, W, E, or R ] I prefer to use this with Q, which is Imbue, to heal a my target in a mess. If you look at the bar at the left side of your screen you can see yourself at the top and then your teammates below. F1 is you, F2 is below you, F3 is below F2, F4 is below F3, and F5 is below F4.
Hope all that made sense because you might find good use of it when someone you don't see someone who wants that Imbue of yours. But with that being said you should never be alone anyway, a good Taric always got his hands busy supporting his team. When you guys are pushing you should go in first to tank the turret, activate Radiance and destroy it. Since you are being healed by Radiance and with your resistance you won't get damaged severely. Even if you do get damaged you can always use Imbue on yourself. Now it's all about finishing the game and destroy one turret by the other and get those inhibitors and get off as many heals and stuns as possible while keeping everyone alive and making sure that they succeed in w/e or whoever they wanted to kill or destroy. When you are going to finish the game or at your last trip back to your base you should purchase an Elixir of Brilliance, this will boost your AP and Cooldown reduction. When your teammates are dominating it's safe to type in a sincere GG, unless they had a leaver or just a dedicated feeder on their team.
- Makes you unable to cast any spells for 1-3 seconds!
- 50% Reduced Healing effect for 5 seconds!
- Executioners Mark = 50% Reduced Healing effect!
- Explosive Shot = 50% Reduced Healing effect!
- Grog Soaked Blade = 40% Reduced Healing effect!
- Killer Instincts + Bouncing Blade = 50% Reduced Healing effect!