Taric Champion Guide by LaqOfInterest
Version 1.01, Last Updated 2013-02-03
Table of Contents
Support Taric Guide by LaqOfInterest
Most Recent Patch: Thresh
My name is LaqOfInterest. As of the first version of this guide, I`m at 1360 elo on the NA server. That isn`t really something to brag about given that it`s not even Gold, but I feel it`s worth mentioning considering I carried myself up from 950 elo using almost exclusively Taric. You can`t support out of elo hell? Yeah, right.
I`m going to state something right off the bat: Taric is overpowered. Like, seriously. You always hear people complaining about certain AP mids being OP, or AD assassins being OP, but no one ever mentions strong supports. A good support can carry the carry in botlane, and Taric is definitely a good support. As in, I literally have no idea why he`s been nerfed yet. He`ll probably get nerfed three days after I submit this guide and I`ll have to rewrite the whole thing.
He has a multi-target heal, an AoE armor shred, a potent armor-giving aura, a free, 10-second cooldown, targeted stun, and an offensive steroid burst AoE ult. There were quite a lot of adjectives in that previous sentence. In the following guide, I`ll be going over my preferred rune, mastery and item build for Taric, as well as general tips on playstyle and lane matchups. I hope you find it helpful.
One quick note on the subject of Taric skins: I`m of the opinion that if you own Bloodstone instead of Armor of the Fifth Age Taric, you`re bad at him and you should feel bad. Emerald is neutral ground.
Let`s get started.
Magic Penetration marks, Flat Armor seals, Scaling Magic Resist glyphs and Gold Per 10 quintessences. If you feel like the enemy AD carry and support are going to be giving out a lot of harass (for example, a lane with a Caitlyn or Sona in it), you can substitute Flat Armor marks for the mpen ones. You can also replace the gold quints with movespeed ones if you`re so inclined.
What you see is what you get. With the season 3 mastery changes, you no longer need to spec completely into one tree to be useful. This is a good thing for melee supports like Taric: Pickpocket isn`t really useful on them because you won`t be giving out harass so much as full-on engages. Instead, you can stop speccing into the Utility tree just after getting Greed (bonus starting gold), and then get more points in Defense.
Some people are still unsure if taking Biscuiteer and Explorer is worth it. Truth be told, the Biscuit isn`t that great, but the Ghost Ward that Explorer gives you is. You can use it to see invades coming, to check the enemy bot lane bush for sneaky Blitzcranks without wasting a normal ward, etc.
A must have, no argument allowed. The season 3 nerfs to Flash weren`t nearly large enough. It still reigns supreme over every other spell. Often you`ll need it for when you get initiated on and Dazzle isn`t enough to get away, or when you`re chasing an enemy and need to pull off that clutch Flash-stun. Take it.
My preferred pairing to Flash, it takes the advantage you already have from stunning their carry and doubles it, making them useless for a full 4 seconds. Just make sure to hit the carry instead of the support. Again, it also helps if you`re getting chased down the lane and just Dazzle isn`t going to do the job.
I don`t like taking Heal on Taric because he already has enough healing in the form of Imbue. Ideally if your carry`s about to die you won`t need Heal, and Exhaust is much more useful for the botlane skirmishes Taric is likely to get himself into.
Ignite isn`t usually taken on supports: it`s mostly used by carries these days. I guess if you want to be a really cool guy who doesn`t care what other people think and doesn`t mind if the enemy carry does a ton of damage, you could take it instead of Exhaust. (Hint: don`t take Ignite.)
No other summoner spells are remotely viable on Taric.
Level 1: Take Dazzle
Level 2: Take Imbue if you`re losing the lane; otherwise, take Shatter
Level 3: Take whichever skill you didn`t take at Level 2
Always max Radiance first. If you`re losing the lane hard, max Imbue second; otherwise max Shatter second. Max Dazzle last.
Read the following section for elaborations on these choices.
The following is a list describing each of Taric`s skills, general information about how and when to use them, and in what order you should place skill points into each. If you don`t want the details and just want a quick summary of which skills to take in which order, scroll up a tad and just ignore this section.
"Taric loves to socket magical gems into all of his weapons, resulting in his melee attacks replenishing his mana for 7.5% of damage dealt."
Aside from the Diablo 2 reference in its flavour text, this passive is pretty lackluster as far as support champions go. Mana restoration would normally be useful on a character with a heal, but let`s be honest: Taric`s a support. Supports aren`t supposed to autoattack minions, so you`re probably not going to be seeing much use out of Gemcraft. Even if your lane partner Recalls and leaves you to defend, you should really just be last-hitting instead of attacking minions willy-nilly. It`s not terrible, but be glad that it`s a passive instead of a rankable skill.
"Taric brings forth earthen energy to heal a nearby ally and himself for 60 / 100 / 140 / 180 / 220 (+60% of ability power). If Taric heals only himself, the heal will be 40% more effective. Melee attacks on enemies decrease this spell`s cooldown by 1 second per hit (3 seconds for champions)."
Cooldown: 20 / 19 / 18 / 17 / 16 seconds
Cost: 80 / 95 / 110 / 125 / 140 mana
Now this is a skill more fitting to a support! It`s a single-target heal spell that also heals Taric. You can also target yourself to heal for an extra amount, but since that gives only 140% of the heal instead of the 200% you`d get from healing a teammate, you should really only self-cast this if you`re alone and/or about to be killed.
Autoattacking a minion will reduce the cooldown of Imbue by 1 second, and for attacking a champion, by 3 seconds. Again, you`re not going to be hitting a lot of minions, but the champion reduction can actually be instrumental in keeping your teammates alive in a fight. You should be autoattacking in a teamfight instead of standing in one place anyways, so this is a nice little bonus.
Whether you get Imbue at Level 2 or 3 depends on how badly your lane partner is getting the stuffing beaten out of them. If you`re losing the lane pretty badly and your carry`s taking a lot of damage, get Imbue at Level 2 and fix them up. If you`re winning the lane or both sides are playing pretty passively, you`re gonna want to take Shatter at Level 2 instead, getting Imbue at Level 3.
Like with your first three skill points, whether you max Imbue or Shatter first after Level 3 depends entirely on how badly you`re losing the lane. If you and/or your AD carry are taking a lot of harass from the enemy team, and if perhaps you`re behind a few kills, max Imbue first, then Shatter. If you`re doing well or it`s a fairly-even match, max Shatter. As a general rule of thumb: Max Shatter if you`re winning the lane. Max Imbue if you`re losing the lane. If you`re not sure if you`re winning or losing the lane, max Shatter.
"Passive: Taric`s gains 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 bonus armor and provides an aura that increases the armor of himself and nearby allies by 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30.
Active: Taric deals 60 / 105 / 150 / 195 / 240 (+60% of ability power) magic damage to nearby enemies and decreases their armor by 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 for 4 seconds. His own passive armor bonus is not in effect during the cooldown."
Cooldown: 10 seconds
Cost: 50 / 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 mana
A two-part skill. Putting skill points into Shatter will grant Taric bonus armor (represented by a ring of crystals that float around him), and creates an aura around Taric that increases the armor of nearby allies. The aura also applies to Taric himself, meaning that he effectively gets the armor bonus twice.
Then there`s the active part of the skill: Taric smashes the ring of crystals, dealing damage to enemy units standing next to him and lowering their armor. However, with the crystals smashed, Taric loses the passive armor bonus until the crystals grow back at the end of Shatter`s cooldown. (NOTE: It`s Taric`s own armor bonus that disappears, not the aura. Nearby allies will still receive the same amount of bonus armor. Again, this includes Taric himself, meaning that for the duration of Shatter`s cooldown, his total bonus armor is effectively halved.)
This is Taric`s full-on burst skill in lane: it can deal a surprising amount of damage when ranked up, and the armor shred it applies helps your AD carry do tons of damage in bot lane skirmishes, and your entire team in teamfights. However, you have to keep in mind that using Shatter will cut your bonus armor in half for 10 seconds. This doesn`t make a huge difference most of the time: at max rank, it`s only 30 armor, and you basically always want to Shatter in a teamfight because each enemy you hit loses the same amount of armor you do. If you`re fleeing from the enemy team with a tiny amount of health left, though, maybe Shattering isn`t the best thing to do.
Scroll up a bit and read the Point Placement section for Imbue to get my opinion on this. You can wait to get Shatter until Level 3 if your carry is taking tons of damage and desperately needs Imbue`s heal to continue csing. However, if your partner is competent and you`re not blatantly losing the lane, take Shatter at Level 2, then Imbue after. Having your damage skill ready at Level 2 puts pressure on your lane opponents (especially since they can easily see the crystals around you) and the armor shred helps secure kills if your jungler decides to gank early or you get forced into a skirmish.
Again, check Imbue`s Skill Maxing section for my explanation. In short, it`s an extension of the same choices you have to make when picking whether to get Shatter at Level 2 or 3: if you`re losing the lane horribly, max Imbue; otherwise, max Shatter.
"Taric fires a sphere of prismatic light at an enemy, dealing minimum 40 / 70 / 100 / 130 / 160 (+40% of ability power), maximum 80 / 140 / 200 / 260 / 320 (+80% of ability power) magic damage (lower damage the further the target is), and stunning them for 1.5 seconds."
Cooldown: 14 / 13 / 12 / 11 / 10 seconds
Cost: 95 mana
Ooh, yes. Imbue and Shatter are okay and everything, but Dazzle is really what makes Taric such a great pick. This skill is truly, truly, truly outrageous. Basically, Taric shoots a ball of light at an enemy, stunning them. It also deals more damage the closer Taric is standing to his target, but, again, let`s be honest: no one uses Dazzle for its damage. They use it because it`s a freaking ranged stun that requires no aiming outside of clicking on your victim.
Keep in mind that while Dazzle is undodgeable once launched, the projectile travels relatively slowly through the air toward the target. An aware opponent can see Dazzle coming and try to get as far away from danger as possible before it hits. This means that AD carries with dashes and blinks like Ezreal and Graves are particularly irritating to face as Taric: they can see the stun coming and dash away to the safety of their tower. On the other hand, those dashes also make them great PARTNERS for Taric, but more on that in the Laning Partners section of this guide.
You definitely want to grab Dazzle at Level 1 99% of the time. Having a ranged, unavoidable stun can make or break jungle invades and counter-invades (Taric can act as the pointman of his team during an invade, stunning anyone he comes across and letting his team tear them to shreds). It`s also important for maintaining lane control early on. If your lane opponents know you have a stun, they`ll be wary of you. This can open opportunities for you to control both bushes in bot lane, and even scare the enemy carry away from csing when your own carry does well. Do you enjoy intimidating people? The Gem Knight might just be right for you!
On the other hand, there`s a reason you always max Imbue and Shatter before Dazzle. The stun duration stays at 1.5 seconds no matter how much you rank it up; the damage is the only thing that increases, and if damage is what you`re looking for on Taric, Shatter is always the better choice (given that it has an armor shred on top of a more consistent damage value). Put a point in Dazzle at Level 1, and then don`t touch it again until the game forces you to.
"Taric slams the ground dealing 150 / 250 / 350 (+70% of ability power) magic damage to nearby enemies. For the next 10 seconds, Taric gains 30 / 50 / 70 attack damage and ability power and receives an aura that grants nearby allies half the bonuses."
Cooldown: 60 seconds
Cost: 100 mana
Taric`s ultimate. This skill is actually suspiciously similar to Shatter, now that I think about it. Like with Shatter, Taric damages all enemy units around him (in the same radius as Shatter, no less), gains bonus AD and AP for 10 seconds afterward, and grants half those bonuses to allies standing near him. Since his ultimate`s stat bonuses are actually applied right BEFORE Taric slams the ground, and because the skill scales off of AP, Radiance actually deals more damage than listed in the tooltip.
It`s best to use Radiance as early in a fight as possible so that Taric and your entire team can make the most out of the extra damage it grants. Since all of Taric`s skills (including the amount Imbue heals for) scale off of AP, it`s generally beneficial to save Imbue and Shatter`s cooldowns until after you`re used your ultimate and gained its bonus AP. The exception is Dazzle: it`s often used to initiate fights in the first place, and as I said earlier, you don`t use it for damage anyway.
For this reason, in a teamfight, you`ll usually stun a member of the enemy team, run in, use Radiance and Dazzle in quick succession (hitting as many enemy champions as possible), then autoattack and use Imbue to heal teammates when necessary.
POINT PLACEMENT & SKILL MAXING:
Like with all other ultimates, put points into Radiance as soon and as often as you can (at Levels 6, 11 and 16).
Faerie Charm, Rejuvenation Bead, two Sight Wards, Explorer`s Ward, Total Biscuit of Rejuvenation
You should have a one-minute ward and a Biscuit from your masteries right off the bat, and with two points in the Wealth mastery, you have enough gold to buy both components of Philosopher`s Stone (Faerie Charm and Rejuvenation Bead) as well as two wards. You won`t have gold left for a potion, so if you already feel like you`re going to lose the lane and you`ll need all the Imbues you can get, you can substitute two Mana Potions for one of the wards; just keep in mind that you`ll have three fewer minutes of vision.
Crystalline Flask used to be a solid starting item for Taric coupled with Faerie Charm, but the item`s recent price hike means you can no longer buy both of them AND a ward, even with the Wealth mastery. Since you want to complete Philo Stone as soon as possible, you NEED to at least take Faerie Charm as a starting item, and wards are a must. Since buying the Flask on your first Recall doesn`t help you out in the long run, Flask is just no longer viable on support.
Sightstone, Philosopher`s Stone, Kindlegem, Emblem of Valor, Boots of Speed
Even though you`ve already got both components of Philosopher`s Stone, combining them immediately isn`t usually your best option if you`ve got enough gold for Sightstone instead. There`s probably some complicated theorycrafting lying around about Sightstone, but the wards it gives you are just as good if not better than any gold per 10 item: if you spend your entire early game buying wards, it`ll obviously take longer to complete your build. A lot of supports wait too long before building Sightstone.
So if, on your first Recall to base, you find that you have enough gold to buy Sightstone, get it. This used to be easier back when it only costed 700 gold and didn`t build out of anything, but now that it costs more and builds out of Ruby Crystal, you need more gold on your first back. If you got a bunch of assists and have enough gold, get it on your first back; if you only have enough for the Ruby Crystal, forgo it in favour of Philo Stone first. Either way, complete both Stones as your first two main items.
After that, Kindlegem. It`s always been a great choice for supports, providing a bit of tankiness and cooldown reduction, and of course, it builds into Shurelya`s Reverie with Philosopher`s Stone. Don`t combine them, however, if your team hasn`t quite progressed to teamfighting yet, and/or you feel like you still need the extra gp10; you`ll lose it when you upgrade into Shurelya`s.
I often pick up Emblem of Valor before combining into Shurelya`s; you`ll need it for Aegis later. Pick up boots after that (they used to be essential early game, but with the base movespeed buffs you don`t need to pick them up until after you get your Emblem).
Mercury Treads, Ruby Sightstone, Shurelya`s Reverie, Aegis of the Legion
In general, you should almost always upgrade your boots into Mercury Treads; usually the enemy botlane alone has enough crowd control to warrant them, and Magic Resistance is harder to itemize in season three. If the enemy team consists entirely or almost entirely of bruisers and doesn`t have enough CC to make Merc Treads worthwhile, then get Ninja Tabi instead. Upgrade your Sightstone into Ruby Sightstone, combine Kindlegem and Philo Stone into Shurelya`s Reverie, and buy the remaining components of Aegis of the Legion.
Now that you`ve got your four basic endgame items, there are several different options you can choose from to fill your last two slots. I`ll be going over a few of them that work best for Taric.
Keep in mind that at some point you should also upgrade your Aegis into Runic Bulwark, again because Magic Resistance has gotten harder to find. You`ll also want to enchant your boots with either Homeguard or Captain it`s entirely up to personal preference.
If you had to buy Ninja Tabi instead of Merc Treads, then you`ll probably want to get Frozen Heart at some point as well. This is the go-to item if their enemy carry and/or bruiser are absolutely wrecking your team, and you desperately need armor and a way to slow them down. (Frozen Heart lowers the attack speed of nearby enemies.) This might be a less viable option if they have more magic damage than physical on their team, or if the enemy carry is already useless.
One of the most useful support items in the game, in my opinion. Mikael`s Crucible allows you to cleanse an ally of any crowd control effects currently affecting them, as well as healing them for a percentage of their missing health. As you can imagine, this is incredibly useful, especially if the enemy team has a Nami, Alistar, Vayne or, god forbid, a Taric. The only reason I don`t recommend buying Crucible sooner is that it builds out of Chalice of Harmony and a Mana Crystal, two items whose stats Taric definitely doesn`t need. Nevertheless, if the game isn`t over by your fifth item and the enemy team has any measure of CC, pick this up.
Locket of the Iron Solari
Locket looks good on paper for Taric, but I don`t often find myself building it. It gives all the stats Taric likes - armor, cooldown reduction and health and has an active ability that grants a shield to all allies standing next to Taric. Given that you`re usually going to be in the thick of things with Shatter and Radiance anyways, Locket`s a good choice if you`ve been having a lot of clustered teamfights. The same logic applies to...
Randuin`s Omen, which applies an attack speed slow to anyone who attacks you and has an active ability that slows the movespeed of any enemies standing next to you. It also grants more health and armor than Locket of the Iron Solari, with the downside of being 150% more expensive. This is the item you want to build if you`re heading into lategame with one fed carry on the enemy team, and if anything it`s something you would probably pair with Frozen Heart.
Shard of True Ice
One of the more interesting items to come out of the Season 3 changes: Shard of True Ice upgrades from Kage`s Lucky Pick, a gold-generating item like Philosopher`s Stone. Unlike Philo, however, it doesn`t stop generating gold once you upgrade it. The Shard has an active ability that places an icy field around an ally of your choice (yourself included), slowing any enemies standing next to them.
While it`s certainly a cool item for other supports, Shard doesn`t do too much for Taric. As with any gold-generating item, you want to build Kage`s as early as possible, but I`ve found that prioritizing Emblem of Valor into Aegis is a better midgame option for Taric. Even though you can have the tankiness to make its active worth it, Shard isn`t a lategame item unless you build it early.
An aura item that grants Attack Damage and Lifesteal to nearby allies, Zeke`s is sometimes built by those who want to maximize Taric`s aura-ness (Shatter armor + Aegis/Bulwark + Zeke`s). Since it grants you barely any more health that Kindlegem, which it builds out of, Zeke`s is really only a viable choice if you have an AD jungler in addition to your carry and top, AND if you`re far enough ahead that you don`t really need to worry about being tanky.
Friends & Enemies
The game`s current metagame dictates that two players on each team go bot lane: an Attack Damage carry, or AD carry, who builds items that give damage, attack speed, lifesteal and critical strike chance, and a support, who builds whatever they need to assist their AD carry without taking precious minion kills from them. Taric, obviously, fits the support part. But what about your AD carry? And the enemy carry and support?
In this section, I`ll be going over the carries Taric works well with and the enemies you should strive to avoid. Please note that the first version of this guide will cover the TRADITIONAL champions that fill each role. I may add unconventional supports and carries in later versions depending on how popular they become in the current meta and how experienced I am facing them as Taric. For now, if you end up laning against an AD carry Katarina, there`s not much I can do to help you.
As a general rule, Taric`s best lane partners have:
- A dash, blink or jump, allowing them to capitalize on Taric`s stun
- Little reliance on the support for attack speed steroids
- Skillshots or AoE skills with high damage potential
Three words: Three. Second. Stun.
Ashe is one of those champions that`s a decent partner for Taric throughout the laning phase: she can follow up on your engages relatively well with Volley and her passive, and once you stun a target she can easily get a permaslow off on them. Once she hits level 6 and gets her ultimate, however, the fun really begins. Combined with your Dazzle, Enchanted Crystal Arrow can stun your unfortunate victim for up to 5 seconds (an utterly ridiculous amount of time), though it usually ends up being closer to 3 seconds. Regardless, a point-blank Ashe ultimate followed up by a Dazzle or vice-versa can easily result in a kill even if you`ve been losing the lane. Just remember to aim for the carry.
A decent enough partner raised up by her ultimate, Ashe is a good lane buddy for Taric.
Caitlyn`s problem has always been that she`s more of an early-game champion than anything else. She boasts one of the largest auto-attack ranges in the game, matched only by a Kog`Maw with Bio-Arcane Barrage activated. However, she lacks the attack speed or damage steroid that so many other carries have, meaning she works well with supports who can buff one or both of those things. Unfortunately for you, the only offensive steroid Taric has is his ult, Radiance, which, while useful in short, 10-seconds fights, isn`t so helpful when you`re just farming and harassing back-and-forth in lane and don`t want to waste it.
Caitlyn does have a dash, 90 Caliber Net, which in theory would allow her to jump on top of any enemy you stun and deal significant damage to them. However...
90 Caliber Net
Caitlyn fires a heavy net to slow down her target by 50% for 1 / 1.25 / 1.5 / 1.75 / 2 seconds and deal 80 / 130 / 180 / 230 / 280 (+80% of ability power) magic damage. The recoil knocks Caitlyn back.
...using the net to propel Caitlyn instead of firing it at the target wastes a significant slow and, as usual, some damage. This means that a Caitlyn will have to think about whether using the net to dash is worth it. Half the time, it isn`t, and a dash that`s only useful half the time isn`t the best option when other carries have penalty-free dashes.
While Caitlyn isn`t terrible, there are certainly better lane partners for Taric.
Not much to say about Corki: he`s usually more of a poke champion, whittling away at the enemy duo`s health with his autoattacks and missiles, but he also has a dash to follow up on your stuns.
Fitting all the criteria, Corki`s a good carry for Taric.
The only mentionable thing about a Draven/Taric lane is that your stun makes it easier for the mustachioed axe-thrower to hit his E, Stand Aside. Draven doesn`t have a dash, but with a Stand Aside to delay your target followed by his movespeed-boosting Blood Rush, it amounts to the same thing.
With no huge amount of synergy with Taric, I have no complaints about Draven.
Ezreal and Taric are best friends in lane. All of Ezreal`s skills are manually-aimed, meaning that it can be difficult to deal maximum damage on a moving target. Luckily for you, Taric just so happens to come equipped with a certain spell that can hold an enemy in place long enough for Ezreal to get a decent shot.
Arcane Shift, Ezreal`s E, allows him to teleport to a nearby location, launching a bolt of energy at a nearby enemy. (If the bolt connects, Ezreal`s passive grants him 10% bonus attack speed; the same bonus is applied every time one of his skills hits an enemy.) This blink is slightly longer than Caitlyn`s dash and at the same time doesn`t sacrifice potential damage or waste CC like Caitlyn`s does, meaning Ezreal can leap on top of anyone you stun with less hesitation. He can also further increase his and your attack speeds with his Essence Flux, while at the same time lowering the attack speed of any enemies he hits.
With his dual nature as both a poke and all-in champion, Ezreal synergizes incredibly well with Taric.
Graves is tied with Ezreal for perhaps the best partner Taric can have. Graves`s passive, True Grit, causes him to gain bonus armor for every second he remains in combat, making him decently sturdy without having to buy defensive items. This, combined with Shatter`s bonus armor, means that Graves is a monster to deal with early game, and as everyone knows, a good early game turns into a great late game where AD carries are concerned.
Like many of the other carries, Graves has a dash, Quickdraw, which lets him jump in as soon as you launch Dazzle to wreak havoc on your unfortunate target. Like Ezreal, Graves`s dash grants him bonus attack speed, but a much larger amount right off the bat: 30% / 40% / 50% / 60% / 70% depending on Quickdraw`s level.
With his armored passive and attack speed steroid that doubles as a dash, Graves is an excellent lane partner for Taric.
Kog is perhaps the opposite of Caitlyn: he can become godlike lategame, provided he makes it through his challenging early game without going 0/10. Part of the reason his early game is so bad is he`s one of the only AD carries not to have some form of dash or means of protecting himself. For that reason, his best support partners are those that can keep him going for the first few minutes without getting him killed, preferably with an easy way to stop ganks. Oh, look. Taric just so happens to have a stun and a heal.
Kog can carry your team, but it`s a case of you, the support, carrying him to carry you. Don`t engage the enemy carry and support unless you`re completely sure that a) you can win the ensuing fight, AND b) the enemy jungler is on the other side of the map. If the enemy jungler comes in unexpectedly at any point during the laning phase, Kog`s dead, so keep your stun off cooldown for when ganks happen and ward up. It`s preferable not to fight at all unless you get a gank from your own jungler.
With his needy laning style, supports like Taric are a great partner for Kog`Maw.
Miss Fortune lacks the dashes/jumps/blinks/whatevers that a lot of other ADs have, but her passive, Strut, does allow her to run in and capitalize on your stuns as long as she hasn`t been damaged in the last 5 seconds. A lot of Miss Fortune`s damage is Area of Effect DPS, so a big problem with maximizing her damage output is making the enemy stand still long enough to receive the full amount.
Noticing a pattern here yet? Taric has Dazzle, that wondrously-useful stun. Dazzle`s stun duration? 1.5 seconds. The duration of Bullet Time, Miss Fortune`s ultimate? 2 seconds, with a huge damage potential if enemies are caught in it for the full duration. It`s almost a perfect match. You stuns `em, she guns `em.
With truly outrageous Dazzle synergy, Miss Fortune is a good lanemate for Taric.
Sivir`s the same as Draven: a decent enough AD carry in her own right, but with no dazzling combo potential with Taric to make her a top-tier pick for his partner. The closest thing to a dash she has is her ultimate, On The Hunt, which you may not want to blow on every little engage, and she has no attack steroids other than her ult, either.
Not horrible, but not the most outstanding choice for Taric either, Sivir`s okay.
Tristana`s a bit better. She has a jump, an attack speed steroid of her own, and a truly ridiculous attack range once lategame rolls around. Her ultimate is also a single-target knockback, meaning that with the right timing and the proper capitalization on your stuns, she can send an enemy far enough back into your lane that it`s impossible for them to escape.
A better choice than most, Tristana`s also a good choice for a Taric lane.
I loving laning with Varuses as Taric. All three of Varus`s offensive abilities are manually-aimed, meaning, as usual, that your stun can make the most of them. Most important of these three skills is Varus`s ultimate, Chain of Corruption, a line skillshot that immobilizes the first enemy champion it hits for 2 seconds. It sucks when Varuses (Vari?) miss their ult, but what doesn`t suck is that you as Taric happen to have a stun that makes landing Chain of Corruption a walk in the park. A walk in the park that incidentally locks down your hapless victim for 3.5 seconds.
Requiring a try display of skill, Varus`s life is made easier by Taric.
Vayne has an ability called Condemn, which shoots a crossbow bolt at a target, knocking them back. If they`re knocked into a wall, they`re stunned for a second and a half. Landing the stun on Condemn can be tricky at times, but it becomes measurably less difficult to set up when her target`s already stunned. By you. Taric. You... you stun someone, and Vayne Condemns them into a wall. That`s how this lane works. It`s not exactly rocket magic.
Vayne works, CC`s fun, gg.
Ashe, Draven, Tristana, Varus, Vayne
I`ve lumped these five AD carries together because if I were to describe them individually, they`d likely come out identical. These five are what I like to call the Disengagers. Each of them has an ability (Enchanted Crystal Arrow, Stand Aside, Buster Shot, Chain of Corruption and Condemn respectively) that screws up your basic strategy. As you should have figures out by now, your job as Taric in a lane is to stun a ***** and then converge on said ***** along with your partner, hopefully killing them. These five carries have abilities that can stop you and/or your partner in your tracks and/or push you away and/or in the worst cases, completely turn the fight around on you and your buddy.
The solution, then, is to stun them instead of their support and take them out before they can use their disengagement ability, but that`s not really a huge help when half the available supports are Disengagers too. These are some of the ADs you`re definitely going to want to call your jungler for help with killing.
Caitlyn has one of the largest autoattack ranges in the game, and this usually results in her poking (read: shooting) the everloving hell out of you and your partner the second you enter the lane. You have two choices when going up against a Caitlyn: you can max Imbue and try to outlast her harassment, or, if you`re feeling confident in your early-game advantage and your choice of lane partner, you can jump on her and try to shut her down before she gets too irritating. The latter option probably isn`t something you want to attempt if her support is Alistar, Blitzcrank or someone else with heavy crowd control.
See Ezreal, below
I hate Ezreal. I hate Ezreal. I hate Ezreal.
Don`t get me wrong, Ezreal`s an awesome partner for Taric, largely because of his skillshotty nature and his free blink, but that blink also makes him incredibly aggravating to fight as Taric. Since Dazzle moves through the air reeeeally slowly, a decent Ezreal can see you telegraphing it and use his E, Arcane Shift, to flash away to a position where you can`t freaking get at him. Even if you can land the stun without him flying off, he`ll just Shift away once it wears off. So, two options: kill his support or call in your jungler. Your choice.
As tough as Graves can be to lane against as any champion, Taric`s actually more well-off than other supports due to the armor-shred on Shatter. A lot of Graves`s early- and mid-game strength comes from his passive, which grants him bonus armor the longer he stays in combat. Shatter can bring him back down to the level of a normal early-game carry and even the playing field a bit. I`m not saying go crazy-aggressive on him: he`s still a really strong pick. As usual, call in your jungler if you have any trouble.
It`s your lucky day, reader: the enemy team just picked Kog`Maw against Taric. Kog has no natural escapes, and as a result his early-game is pretty bad. If at any point you feel you have an advantage in the lane, capitalize on it heavily. If you start a bot lane skirmish with the upper hand, Kog has no way of getting away outside of wasting Flash.
As Taric, you`ve got the delicious bonus that is Dazzle. If Kog doesn`t have Flash up, ganks are essentially guaranteed kills as long as you can land your stun. Even with Flash up, if your jungler and/or AD carry have CC, it can be hard for him to escape. Shut him down before he can snowball.
Once you hit level 6, a Miss Fortune lane is easy mode. You and your lane partner will have your ultimates, but thanks to the fact that MF`s ultimate is channelled and you just so happen to have a free stun, she essentially doesn`t have one. The downside of this is that if you use Dazzle to initiate, you won`t have it once she pulls out Bullet Time. Try to engage in other ways and bait it out.
Oh man, Sivir. This girl is the bane of my existence. Let`s take a look at her E ability:
Creates a magical barrier which blocks a single enemy ability used on Sivir. Lasts up to 3 seconds. If an ability is blocked by the shield, Sivir regains 150 mana.
So if this awful, stupidly-overpowered champion gets hit by any ability while she has her dumb Spell Shield up, it negates the ability and refunds her mana. What was the projectile speed on Dazzle, again? Really-Freaking-Slow units per second? That sounds about right. Sivir can see the projectile flying at her and put up her shield to make your stun useless. If you`re forced to lane against this *****, wait until she uses her shield up to launch Dazzle, or call in your jungler for extra CC. Aside from the shield, there`s not much remarkable about Sivir.
Alistar is the king of disengagers. His Q, Pulverize, knocks up any enemy units standing next to him for 1 second, and then stuns them for an additional half-second. If you`ve been paying attention, that`s exactly the length of your Dazzle stun, meaning if you stun his carry and then run up to Shatter them, he can just Pulverize you until the stun wears off, resetting the fight. As everyone knows, the last thing you want as Taric is a fair fight. If he manages to catch your carry in the Pulverize as well, he opens up an opportunity to completely turn the engage around on you. Not good.
If he doesn`t particularly feel like fighting, he also has a knockback Headbutt that he can use to simply push you off his carry. More often than not, he`ll use it AND Pulverize, meaning initiating on his carry is a nightmare. Either bait out the Pulverize and then go in, wait until you take down their bot tower, or, as always, call in your jungler for a gank.
Did I say Sivir is the bane of my existence? I`m sorry, I misspoke. I meant Blitzcrank. Do you even need to ask why?
Blitzcrank fires his right hand at a straight line to the target area. If his hand encounters an enemy unit it will stun them, deal 80 / 135 / 190 / 245 / 300 (+100% of ability power) magic damage, and pull the enemy unit to him.
If Blitz gets his mangy mitts on your carry (or you), he`ll pull them away, never to be seen again. Well, okay, that`s an exaggeration: he`ll pull them away, likely resulting in their death unless you work some support miracles. Luckily, you do have a stun, so if you`re lucky you`ll be able to disengage or even turn the fight around on Blitz and his partner.
If you yourself get caught, it`s generally better to stun the carry instead of Blitz: that allows your own carry to take advantage of them and put out some damage, and if you get knocked up by Blitz, it`s no big deal. If your carry`s the one to get grabbed, though, you have a decision to make: do you stun Blitz, stopping him from knocking up your carry, or do you stun the enemy carry, giving you an advantage in damage output and possibly a chance to turn the initiation around in your favour? It depends, largely, on how screwed you are in the lane. If you`re losing, stun Blitz and get out of there. If you have the advantage and Blitz is silly enough to grab you anyway, AND if your carry is okay with going all-in, then stun the carry and attempt a fight.
(Of course, the choice is easier if either jungler is on their way: enemy jungler running in? Stun them or Blitz. Allied jungler coming in for a gank? Stun the carry and fight.)
Remember, kids: the safest way to lane against Blitzcrank is to not lane against Blitzcrank.
Janna is just as irritating to deal with as Alistar once she hits level 6. Her ultimate, Monsoon, pushes all nearby enemies away from her, making engaging on her partner difficult. She also has a line skillshot, a tornado, that knocks up anyone in its path, as well as a targeted slow.
The two benefits (for you) in laning against Janna as opposed to Alistar are: 1) she doesn`t get her AoE knockback until level 6, and 2) she`s much squishier than the minotaur. Jump on her before level 6 and you should be able to dominate the lane. Even after she gets Monsoon, keep in mind that as an ultimate it does have a much longer cooldown than your stun; bait it out and then re-initiate later.
BAHAHAHAHA! Oh, I`m sorry. I just lost control of myself for a minute there. Karma`s just such a joke support, and this is coming from someone who used to play her exclusively.
Karma has no hard crowd control, so she has no real way of stopping you from stunning and decimating her carry. The best she can do is shield them (a bit) and speed them up (a bit), but you should have no problems here. She also lacks an ultimate. Really balanced champion you have here, Riot.
Oh geez. Along with Alistar, Leona`s probably the support that`ll make it hardest for you to jump on her carry. She has a stun, an armor/mres buff, a dash-to-champion with a ministun, and an AoE stun/slow. If you stun her carry, chances are she`ll jump on YOURS and stun him. Her Q stun lasts for 1.25 seconds, but combined with the ministun on her dash, she`ll likely still have your carry CCed by the time her carry gets unstunned, and that`s not even counting the stun on her ult. If you`re ahead in the lane, this shouldn`t be a problem, but if you`re losing or if it`s even, in the worst cases she can completely turn an engage around on you.
Play conservatively against Leona until you`re sure you can burst her carry down. Call in your jungler if it looks like that won`t be happening any time soon.
Lulu`s one of those supports that everyone raves about, but I don`t really see the merits of (read: I hate her guts). She`s a poke support that has about five different ways to disengage one of your stuns, so you`re probably not going to be able to touch her partner early game. If her partner isn`t a threat in themselves, however (e.g. Kog`Maw), you can stun her instead and rip her irritating purple head off; she`s just as squishy early game as Janna and Karma.
There was a lot of hype surrounding Nami`s initial release, but that`s fallen like the tide recently: I can count the number of Namis I`ve seen this month on one hand. As such, I haven`t had much chance to go up against her as Taric, and so any advice I can offer is from theory instead of experience.
Nami`s a weird support that can supposedly do a bit of everything, somewhat like Taric: she has a (slow-moving, hard to land) AoE stun, a heal/damage that bounces from ally to enemy, an autoattack steroid for her carry, and a HUGE (slow-moving, hard to land) tidal wave that knocks up and slows any enemy units it hits. Avoid the poke from her bouncing heal by backing off when she heals her partner, dodge her stun when she attempts to initiate, stun her carry and you should be fine.
Nunu`s shtick is speeding up his partner`s attack speed to ridiculous levels, but there`s not much he can do on his own. Stun his carry (who, nine times out of ten, will be Caitlyn) and burst them down, and he`ll be almost useless in the ensuing fight. Once he hits level 6 he gets an AoE channel that he has to charge up for full damage, which slows nearby enemies while channelling. Either step out of the circle to avoid the damage, or, if you didn`t use Dazzle to initiate, stun him while he`s channelling to interrupt it and cause him to deal laughable damage.
A poke AND heal champion, you`re not going to win against Sona in either of those categories. Any poke damage your partner can do will just be healed away, and she`ll likely harass you with her Power Chord and ranged autoattacks. Just keep in mind that at early levels she`s just as squishy as a Soraka or Janna, so you can probably stun her and burst her down early game. Once she hits 6 she gets an AoE stun, however, so a miracle happens and she misses it completely, you might want to bring in your jungler.
Even though you come equipped with a heal, you`re not going to win in a sustain war against a Soraka; her heal outstrips yours by far, and she`ll likely be maxing it first. If you have a poke partner like Caitlyn or Ezreal, this can be a problem: she`ll just heal any chip damage they can do. If you have a farm-oriented partner like Kog, though, it`s not so bad. Raka`s partners themselves are usually farm reliant, so as long as your carry`s winning in CS, you should be fine.
If your partner is a poker or a burster (Graves, Draven), however, you`re probably not going to win in a farm war. Luckily for you, Soraka`s squishy: go all-out with the initiations. Make the enemy pair afraid of you. Bad Sorakas will attempt to harass you with their silence. This is a decent enough tactic against other supports, but not Taric. If she`s made a habit of silencing you, drop a ward in her bush and stun her the next time she comes in for one (make sure your carry knows what you`re about to do, though).
Lo, the fabled Taric mirror lane. In this matchup, you have to hope that 1) the enemy Taric is worse than you, and 2) your partner is a better match for Taric then the enemy carry. If you have Ezreal or Graves, you`re set.
As you can imagine, this lane is going to be a stunfest. Do everything in your power to make sure that your carry does better than the enemy one. A good way to do this is to get some early harass on the enemy pair: obviously, if the enemy`s health is lower than yours, their Taric won`t want to initiate with a Dazzle (unless he`s bad). Ward the enemy support bush so you can always tell where their Taric is, and know when he`s about to stun. If you get stunned at all, try to get stunned in a situation where it`s impossible or disadvantageous for the enemy carry to follow-up (this is easiest if they lack a dash, like Ashe or Miss Fortune). Once their Taric stun is off cooldown, you can initiate with your own, on your terms.
The newest support addition to the League as of this writing, Thresh is an interesting champion to say the least. His Q is like a watered-down version of Blitzcrank`s Rocket Grab (it pulls you toward him only a set distance, not all the way), he has a lantern that can drag an ally to safety, and his E is a push/pull deal.
Unfortunately, I`ve yet to have much opportunity to lane against Thresh as Taric. I`ll likely update this guide with more information once he becomes more integrated into the game. For now, just keep in mind that in order for his passive to be useful, he has to run around collecting souls from dead minions. If you`re lucky, you can zone him out with fear of your stun, and launch Dazzle once he goes for a soul at an opportune moment.
Going into lane, you should have two regular wards and one 1-minute Explorer Ward. Help your jungler leash red (if on blue side) or blue buff (if on purple side), or just stand guard at the entrance to your jungle if your jungler starts at the opposite side. Head into lane alongside the first minion wave, and enter the first bush, waiting for the enemy pair to show up.
As soon as you see the enemy support enter their bush, drop your Explorer Ward into it: this will allow you to see when they telegraph an initiate, and lets your carry shoot them freely whenever he has a spare second. Once you hit level 2 or 3 (depending on how far into the lane you`re pushed), head up and drop a ward right by the dragon. If you`re on the blue side of the map, you might also want to place the second ward in your tribush.
If your carry gets some early harass off on the enemy pair and you feel like you have a clear advantage, go on the aggressive and try to zone the enemy carry out of CS. They know you have a stun, and if you`re ahead in lane, they should be afraid of you using it. Wait for an opportune moment to stun, either when either the enemy carry or support makes a mistake and gets out of position, when your jungler shows up for a gank, or when their jungler shows up for a gank and you need to get out of there fast. (Hint: DON`T DO THIS if the enemy support is a Blitzcrank, Leona or Thresh. They will call your bluff, grab your sorry gem-encrusted ass and you`ll get killed.)
On the other hand, if you`re losing the lane or you don`t want to risk losing it, stay in your bush, patching up your carry with Imbue and waiting for the moment to stun if you get initiated on.
How you play Taric as the laning phase draws to a close depends, again, on how you did during that laning phase. If you`ve already gotten a ton of kills against the enemy carry and support, continue to be aggressive and zone them out of CS (making sure to keep the bottom half of the map warded so you know when they`re calling in help). You can also roam a bit to help out other struggling lanes, or to secure advantages already in place.
If you lost lane, however, stay with your carry. Keep river and the tribush warded with Sightstone and just try to keep your partner from dying. If your carry`s doing awful and the enemy one is godlike, you`re probably not going to have a good time, so stick with them and help them to catch up.
Once your entire team starts grouping together, the fun begins. Your job as Taric is to watch out for an enemy champion out of position: even if they come too close to you for even a second, that`s enough for you to throw a Dazzle at them and, perhaps with the help of a Shurelya`s active, get your team to converge on them. (Hint: DON`T DO THIS on the enemy team`s tank unless you`re sure that every one of their teammates if standing on the other side of the map.)
Even if the enemy team isn`t stupid enough for you to land an easy, isolated stun, stick with your team until a teamfight inevitably happens. Once one breaks out, you`re going to want to stun whoever`s dealing the most sustained damage. Depending on how well you did in the laning phase and what type of champions the enemy team sent mid and top, that target will be different. Whoever it is, stun someone (NOT THE TANK!), run in, use Radiance and Dazzle in quick succession, hitting as many enemy champions as possible, and then do whatever necessary to keep yourself and your team alive. If you`re tanky enough, you can autoattack enemy champions to quickly refresh the cooldown on Imbue, keeping your team`s health topped up.
Taric`s a braindead champion to play in teamfights. E -> RW -> QQQ
I hope you found this guide at least somewhat helpful. Please keep in mind that I`m not a Diamond or Platinum player, and so to take my advice with a grain of salt. I encourage you to check out other Taric guides on different sites for supplementary (possibly better) information and advice. Thank you for reading.
GameFAQs.com for hosting this guide
mobafire.com (I know, I know) for ability tooltips
leagueoflegends.wikia.com for item icons