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Taric Build Guide by barfcat

Support Taric - Your true best friend. (Stellar support +Tough Tank)

By barfcat | Updated on January 12, 2013
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LoL Summoner Spell: Clairvoyance


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


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Support Role
Ranked #3 in
Support Role
Win 52%
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Welcome friends, to my very first guide. Taric was the first champ that I ever played or bought and I used him for probably 75% of my games from 1 to 30. Since then I have broadened my horizons but have continued to play Taric as my main support. He is truly outrageous!

This build is focused around building an early game gold advantage for you and your carry, translating into a mid game where you can dominate the map with more gear and more wards becoming an unbustable map control god. If the game goes late then you can transform once again into an immovable fortress capable of buffing, debuffing, healing, and controlling that ever so vicious crowd.

Because I see this disclaimer on a lot of other builds, I'll just say here please, PLEASE try this out before voting. Let me know what you think, good or bad, because I'm always wanting to improve my game. I have done hundreds of games as Taric and this is the best I could come up with. I really think you'll find that it's a very effective way to play him.
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Pros / Cons

  • Heal always heals himself so he's a good target for getting poked in lane
  • Non-skillshot stun (Read: Reliable}
  • Shatter synergises with the current AD bot + support EXTREMELY well.
  • Low cd ult is a decent steroid and also good burst with shatter.
  • Can save towers from minion waves efficiently with ult + shatter.
  • Soothing voice.
  • Truly Outrageous!
  • Squishy early game with this build.
  • SLOW movement speed as boots don't come until 3rd item.
  • No natural escape mechanism makes him vulnerable to CC.

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These runes are non-negotiable for this style of playWhat is important to understand here is that the faster you get your initial Philosopher's Stone and Heart of Gold the more effective they become because you have them for longer. You need the extra gold to get your gear and it makes buying wards less painful. In fact, most of the time I try to keep 5 Sight Ward 's at all times.
For Marks, I strongly suggest that you take Greater Mark of Magic Resist This mostly counters the Greater Mark of Magic Penetration that nearly ever AP user takes, including many supports! You will see that the Magic resist marks, although 'secondary' are actually .nearly as effective as the 'primary' penetration marks. I personally use the Greater Mark of Scaling Magic Resist due to the fact that you won't be taking much magic damage in the beginning of the game if the meta holds up. Basically I'd go with the flat resist until you are sure you're comfortable with the scaling resists. I don't really think that Taric makes great use of Greater Mark of Magic Penetration but I know some people just have to have that extra burst so I'm including them. I really think that the resists are much better for late game though because you end up with a lot of health :)
This is the most versatile rune slot in my opinion. I tend to go with the Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction because I don't get a lot of CDR in my main build. It's very unlikely that you are going to end up with blue buff either. Other honorable mentions go to Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist, Greater Glyph of Magic Resist, Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power, and Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction. The only thing I would really try to stay away from is the Greater Glyph of Replenishment. They may look like a nice way to make up for some of what we are lacking in other areas, but the play style dictates that you get that super early philosopher's stone which should keep you going just fine.
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Something I find annoying in other guides is when they go through EVERY mastery and basically type out what it does.

Example: I take Expanded Mind for the extra mana. It really helps to have more mana.

So I am going to make this section very short, but also very useful at the same time. The only three masteries that *actually matter* for this build are the following:
The 10% CDR here, combined with the 5.85% CDR from your runes is very necessary for my needs.

All of the rest of the points are honestly completely up to you. I'm a big fan of mobility for the romaing phase, which is why I take Swiftness and Awareness .

Mastermind and Arcane Knowledge are taken because they are the best use for a single mastery point that you can get, given that you have been forced to put points into the prerequisites to get Intelligence and Sorcery.

For the few points that are left, you can move stuff around in the utility tree. Taking three points in Good Hands is perfectly viable if you can survive without the mp5 from Meditation .
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Summoner Spells

The summoner spells I choose in over 90% of my games are Clairvoyance and Flash. Flash is a must have for early game as our runes/masteries do not provide us with much of any survivability. Flash can also help you hit a Dazzle at the right time when your Udyr comes into gank at level 2.
spacehere The option that I choose second most is Exhaust. I normally only take this if my AD carry insists. You need to remember that this is a team game and people on the internet are fickle. If you don't do what your carry says, they will blame you for everything that goes wrong "because you didn't take Exhaust omg." That being said, it can work very well but in my opinion it's better on supports that don't have amazing CC like Dazzle.


There is a new meta trying to emerge in the way of double Heal bot lane. This has become especially prevalent with Soraka for obvious reasons. If my carry takes Heal I ask them if they want me to take Heal even though it will cost us the Clairvoyance. The best partner with this is Ashe because her hawk eye kind of negates the need for Clairvoyance.

down spacehere

I only recommend Clarity for beginners that are summoner level 20 or less. I realize that there are some non 30's that will be looking to improve their game and it can be REALLY hard to keep your mana up without runes/masteries to help you out.
Promote I've taken once, and it was because the Sivir took promote. We did this because she had dodged a previous queue where there was no jungler, then noticed that we were going up against the same non-jungling team. As it turned out there really was no jungler and we were free to push. We took down their tower at something like 7 minutes though I'm not all that convinced that the Promote'd minions helped that much.


Ghost can be switched out for Flash if that's how you roll. Most people don't roll that way and I am certainly no exception. That being said, if you really want Ghost instead of Flash then go for it!
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Skills / Skill Sequence

The Skill order for Taric is very straight forward. The first point should always be in Dazzle as it is your only good skill for a level 1 fight in the jungle. Your second point will be in Imbue to provide sustain. From that point there are two trees of thought.

VS. AD carry
Level up Shatter first.
The basic skill order would be
R > W > Q > E
VS. AP carry
Level up Imbue first.
The basic skill order would be
R > Q > W > E

Note: If you are facing an AP lane bot, it's possible that the other team just has a ton of AP to begin with. If this is the case you probably should have chose a different support ;)

Taric's passive is not incredibly useful in a support/tank build as you end up getting no attack speed and very little damage. (The new Zeke's Herald makes this a bit better, but is only viable if you have 3 ad champs.) The time at which this passive comes in the most handy is when your up against an auto-push champ such as Ashe with her Volley or Graves with his Buckshot

If creeps get to your side of the river, and there are more RED creeps than GREEN creeps you should help your carry to keep them out of turret range. Auto-attacking creeps without getting last hits is an effective way to provide zone control and cs for your carry.

The exception is when there are two creeps that need to be last-hit and your Vayne or Caitlyn doesn't have an ability that hits them both at the same time. This is about the only good use of your passive but it also synergizes with your:


Not a whole lot to say here. Imbue is a pretty basic heal. It heals you and it heals your ally for the same amount. The tooltip can be a bit misleading I guess so I'll clarify it for you. It says that if you heal yourself you get 140% of the heal effect. Keep in mind that this is opposed to the 200% value that you get if you heal an allied unit. The 200% is because you get 100% on yourself and 100% on them. Basically, you should only be using Imbue on yourself if a) you are below 60% life and your carry is at full, or b) you are at 100% mana. (If you are at 100% mana then your mana regen is 0 which is NOT maximizing value) If you end up in a situation where you Recall and you have more mana than life % wise, you can imbue yourself to save half a second. Sometimes these small savings can be the difference between helping your team in a fight or catching up to die alone.

Shatter is what makes Taric an excellent pick for the current metagame. Maxing this out as fast as possible gives your lane an incredible amount of effective health. This, in turn, makes your Imbue more effective as well :)

In addition, the burst that Shatter provides at character level 6-11 combined with Radiance can catch people off guard and get you a kill quite often.

Dazzle is an awesome stun, especially since the projectile speed was increased to 1400 from 1050 in patch The stun has the maximum length of 1.5 seconds at level one making it quite reliable from the get-go. As long as you have good communications with your lane partner, you should be able to get 2 shots off on the enemy for every Dazzle. Level this up last as the AP ratio doesn't matter for this build and the cooldown reduction it gives does not make up for the lost levels in Shatter.

Radiance is, to my knowledge, the only ultimate in the game that has been completely removed and remade. Radiance is burst damage + steroid and is an absolute game-changer if you are positioned correctly. The best part about Radiance, in my opinion, is it makes the enemy team WANT TO KILL YOU. They have to choose between focusing down a tank or fighting the carries with greatly increased stats. Radiance also buffs it's own damage, meaning that you will get the 30/50/70 AP applied before the damage is inflicted. It's not much but it's a nice little bonus.
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Starting items
sight ward
Just to be clear that is:
Exactly ONE Faerie Charm
Exactly ONE sight ward
Exactly ONE Health Potion
The reason we are not buying multiple potions and wards is because we don't intend on staying in lane for more than about 3 minutes until we b for the first time. Ideally I wouldn't even take the one Health Potion but sometimes you just need to have it before you get your Imbue at level 2. More on why we wait for imbue in the skills section.

Your first trip back
Philosopher's stonesight ward
It's important to keep an eye on your gold and go back precisely when you can get that philosopher's stone. Normally, I will have placed my first sight ward already and will wait until I have 695 gold when I go back. HOWEVER if you were pushed in lane and still have a sight ward in your inventory then by all means go back to base to get your philosopher's stone when you have 620 gold.

Your second trip back:
sight ward
The thinking here is quite similar to that of your first trip back to base. Make sure that you teleport back to base precisely when you can afford your Heart of Gold and exactly one sight ward. The magic number here is 900. Just as a point of interest you will now be making 30.25 gp/10! And YES the fractions do count!

Your third trip back:
sight ward
Boots of Mobility: I know you are probably saying to yourself "LoL nub y u get Nike's if u tank?"
Mercury's Treads are not, in my humble opinion, incredibly useful on a pure tank/support. The mobility is much more useful. This is because the enemy team shouldn't be nuking or CC'ing you. If they are wasting their cooldowns on YOU then you're almost guaranteed a win in that team fight or 3v3 because your Carry has been left to damage un-interrupted. The boots of Mobility allow you to Move from one lane to the other quickly. If you have been playing Taric according to this guide and hiding in bushes for much of the time, Bot lane will not even have time to call MIA when you go to stun/burst mid lane. Besides the obvious gold/exp advantage this gives, it also causes the other team to start flaming each other about not calling MIA, though personally I think MIA is a privilege, and not a right :)

Mid game:

Aegis of the Legion: I Can't say enough about this item and how much it helps the whole team. Sometimes when I'm browsing the forums and see a "Best item" type thread I will check it just to make sure that Aegis gets mentioned. One thing to note about building Aegis is that you should build the Ruby Crystal before building the Null-Magic Mantle or the Cloth Armor. This is because, starting at level 7, the MR and AC give less effective health per gold than the straight health does (Remember, you already have 42 armor and 39 MR). I'm going to take a minute (hour) to explain the math behind this but if you'd like to just take my word for it you can skip the next section :)

This will probably seem like more thought than is necessary to put into the buy order of a relatively cheap item. That being said, hopefully some people will come away with a bit of knowledge regarding how MR and AC actually work and
(Please note: The following equations assume an AC/MR value of greater than or equal to zero.)
health x (100+AC|MR) / 100 = Effective health
Lets suppose you have 1000 health and 0 armor. The equation would turn out like this:
1000 X (100/100) = 1000.
We end up with 1000 effective health which is what we would expect as all the physical damage is doing face value or 'true' damage.

Now, lets suppose that we have that same 1000 hp and 50 armor. Now the equation would turn out like this:
1000 X (150/100) = 1500.
We now have 1500 effective health because we are taking 33% less damage than we were taking at 0 armor. What we're going to see on the next equation is the proof why people think AC/MR are diminishing but why in fact, they are not!

Lets suppose now that we have that same 1000 hp and 100 armor. Now the equation would turn out like this:
1000 X (200/100) = 2000.
We now have 2000 effective health! The first 50 armor gave us 33% reduction which resulted in 500 effective health. The second 50 armor only gave us a 17% reduction but also resulted in 500 effective health!

What does all of this mean?
The long and the short of it is this: One point of armor is +1% effective health vs physical damage and one point of magic resist is +1% effective health vs magic damage. Easy!

Now that we all understand how AC/MR work lets go back to the above example and see what items have the best effect on our effective health per gold when building Aegis of the Legion.
Level 8 stats for Taric:
Health: 1438
Armor: 42
Magic Resist: 39

Since AC/MR scale based off of health, we need to calculate our current effective health. The easiest way to calculate actual effective health is to use the value of the average of your AC and MR values.
42+39/2= 40.5
1438 X (140.5/100) =2020

effective health with
Ruby Crystal
1618 X (140.5/100) =2273
Some simple subtraction and division will show us that the Ruby Crystal afforded us 0.53effective health per gold.

effective health with Cloth Armor
1438 X (149.5/100) =2149
The Cloth Armor afforded us 0.43 effective health per gold.

Because the gold-to-resist ratio is actually the same for Cloth Armor and Null-Magic Mantle the 0.43 effective health per gold will be the same for both so we'll skip that equation.

I hope this has helped you understand better how health and resists work in LoL. If you are still confused feel free to make a comment and I will attempt to explain it better. And, of course, if I am doing something wrong then please let me know!

As for any tank, the next items you build are very team dependent. Personally, I like stacking health since your base AC is relatively high.

Mid Game Items: Continued
If you are winning early gameSPACES
The above is what I normally build if we are up at least 3 kills. Stacking massive amounts of health is extra efficient against underfarmed opponents. These aren't the 4 highest health items there are but they give a good mix of AC, MR, utility, and of course tons of health. Simply making your health bars teenie tiny while their Caitlyn is still working on a B.F. Sword is mentally devastating.

Health is also one of the more effective ways to counter turret damage and allow dives to take place and have nobody die. Normally you should build Randuin's Omen last as you want to hold onto that passive gold gain from Heart of Gold for as long as possible.
Late Game:
When I say late game, I mean full build late. The point in the game where an ace is GG because they are going to be able to take down your nexus if they have at least two champs up. This is the point of the game where you are least effective: Your buffs are less of a boost to your team percentage wise and you haven't been taking AP items so your heal is somewhat lackluster. It doesn't mean you aren't awesome! Just not as amazing as you were in the lane/roaming phases.

Obviously these are just guidelines and you should pick what makes sense for the situation your in. Normally there will be one champion sticking out with the most kills and you simply need to identify what kind of damage they are doing and counter accordingly.
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IMPORTANT!: Early Game (Laning phase)

The main reason that I even decided that this guide was needed is because I feel that I play the early game different than most Taric players.

The over-arching theme for the support role, in general, is that you should be able to stay in lane as long as possible without using recall . I, however, don't think that this maximizes the value for either player. I believe this actually hurts the carry in a small way.

You probably noticed that in my initial items I only bought 1x Health Potion and 1x sight ward. This is because I buy Philosopher's Stone AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. I then scoot back to lane and buy Heart of Gold AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. These first two buys are non-negotiable and time is of the essence.
    Here is the reasoning behind this strategy that I have come up with:

  • I start generating gp/10 items faster, thus putting more gold on our team than theirs. In theory I will be a more effective support than theirs due to the extra items and wards I will get throughout the game.

  • The carry, assuming he can survive on his own for about a minute, will get the solo lane exp while I am gone. This will get them to level 6 about half a level faster than our opposing lane members. Taric stun + level 3 shatter + ult from Graves, Miss Fortune, Ashe, Vayne is very often a kill.

  • You'll notice that I have, perhaps, the weakest level 1 Taric ever due to the gp/10 quints/seals/masteries. Going back to get that [item="Philosopher's Stone"] Goes a long way towards making up for the missing mana-regen that you would get from your Greater seal of replenishment. Same goes for the HoG which, in part, makes up for your lack of health from Greater Quintessence of Health.

After getting my two gp/10 items, I will usually buy my Boots of Mobility next. The only exception is if we're VERY far ahead in which case sometimes I will buy Kage's lucky pick or even Aegis of the Legion if I have enough money to buy it in one shot somehow.

Again (this was mention in the abilities section) if your lane is getting pushed, try to hit minions without killing them. You don't want your creeps being killed by your tower if you can avoid it. This takes gold away from your carry.
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Mid Game (Ganking and Roaming)

    Mid Game starts when the following two things become true:
  • You have your Boots of Mobility
  • There is a tower down (hopefully theirs).

    At this point you should have at least started making your Aegis of the Legion. This, along with the fact that your Shatter is now higher up in rank makes you fairly tanky. Your 446 Move speed will make it so you can go from lane to lane pretty quickly and not lose out on much experience.

    Fly into lane, dazzle/shatter somebody and hope for a kill. If you don't get it then stick around for a few seconds until the minion wave is cleared up and then go do it again in any lane that looks to make sense.

    Things to REMEMBER when roaming.

    1. The biggest mistake that I consistently see with roamers is that they end up 2-4 levels behind even the bottom lane carry because they are simply missing out on too much experience when they are betwixt lanes. To avoid this, try to keep an eye on when the minion waves are going to meet. Wait for your carry to push your minion wave and THEN go.

    2. Ward! You bought 5x sight ward's so you should use them! It's better to ward on your way to doing something else instead of taking trips into the jungle for the sole purpose of warding.

    3. Don't stay in any one place for too long, except bottom lane. The other lanes will need that solo exp in order to keep up with their opposing lanes. The exception in this case would be if there is no enemy jungler.
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End Game (Tanking)

Since you have no real taunt, you have to think of other ways of getting the enemy to attack you. Here are my favorite ways:

  • Boots of Mobility your butt right into the thick of things. Lesser opponents will just start hammering on you. When the rest of your team comes in a second later they will continue hammering on you for no raisin! :D

  • Pop your Radiance and your Randuin's Omen activations. The Radiance makes you a threat and the activation makes the team slow enough to where they can't reach anybody but the melee characters anyway.

  • Stick on their carry! Many times this won't make everybody fight you (They should be focused on YOUR carries). What it can do though, distract their Caitlyn into targeting you instead of your Brand.
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But Barfy! Taric can't TANK.

I disagree with you completely! I decided to go look at a featured Caitlyn guide and it included a very good section on teamfighting. With permission from the author Luther 3000 I am going to use that section. Here it is:


Your role in teamfights is fairly simple in theory - deal as much damage as possible to the enemy team.

Firstly, you should stay right at the very back of your team. The worst thing you can do is get caught out by the enemy team, because your team is relying heavily upon you and it will generally lose the fight or even the game. Harass the enemy team with Piltover Peacemaker from long range until your tanks or offtanks engage with the enemy (or someone gets caught out).

During a fight the most important skill on an AD carry is positioning. Stay AS FAR from the enemies as possible while still dealing damage. Don't let them get to you, kite by running away slightly and continuing to shoot, and if this isn't enough use your 90 Caliber Net to escape if enemies begin to close in and focus you. Use Flash as an emergency escape from a situation where you would otherwise die, and use Exhaust either on the biggest AD threat on the enemy team, or anyone who's trying to get to you to kill you.

In general, you want to kill enemies in something like this order:

-AD Carry
-AP Carry
-Tanky DPS
-Support (mostly because they are easier to kill than tanks)
-Main Tanks

This is not always possible however, because the enemy carries will be trying to stay behind their team in the same way you are. It's not worth running into the middle of the fight in order to be able to target them - if you have to attack a tank because you can't get close enough to attack a carry, then so be it. That's actually one of the main reasons for buying Last Whisper in your build.

Basically, remember that positioning and staying alive is the most important thing. Your team needs your damage, and you can't do any if you're dead. It's not worth taking a risk and dying, especially later on in the game. When in doubt, just attack whatever is the biggest threat to you.

What this means is that by getting in the face of their carry, you can become an effective tank. At the very least you should be able to get them to focus on the bruisers who are coming with you.

You can find the complete caitlyn guide here: Caitlyn: Death from afar
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A huge thanks to Jai for making the guide to making a guide! Without it, I would have never had the fortitude to make one of my own. <3 The title of the guide is also an alliteration which is a tribute to Jai and all she has done for the community.

Thanks to Luther 3000 for letting me quote his guide:Caitlyn: Death from afar

Thanks to Taneren for taking a vested interest in my guide and helping to make it better!

Thanks to everybody who looks at this guide, and don't forget to +REP me if I have helped you out :D
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  • Build published!
  • Added Changelog section to end of build.

  • Updated item list putting Banshee's Veil as the 2nd item after Aegis of the Legion. This better depicts when the item is bought.
  • Updated quick item build to only show 5 items as this is more usual for a support role.

  • Added section: "But Barfy! Taric can't tank! To try and quell some opposing views.
  • Updated Thank you section adding Luther 3000 and Taneren.

  • 1000 views! I think 250 are so are from me though haha. Thanks for looking. Hopefully some people have tried this out and were successful :)

  • This guide never really got off the ground, I'm back from Diablo III and going to see if I can make this guide more useful for people somehow.

  • Changed verbage for the MR marks as the value has changed.
  • Been downvoted by a few people that have other taric guides or that made accounts specifically to just grief people. Added an appeal in the introduction to please upvote to counteract this.
  • Added Exhaust to the list of summoners per comment.

  • Broke up the quick view buy order for easier buying while alt+tabbing during a game.
  • Changed boot upgrade to Enchantment: Homeguard as I think that is the only reasonable one to get now.