[Guide] Taric, the Gem Knight

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Asvarduil

Senior Member

10-27-2009

There are other guides that are ornate in how they explain a powerful build for a character. This is not one. Simply, Taric is the best pusher/tank/support I've yet played in the game, and some recent games have confirmed my theories of how to build and play him.

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Taric, the Gem Knight
Role - Tank/Push/Support

Phase I - Abilities

This should be your second priority to improve when leveling.
Imbue - This is your heal. Unlike Paladins from WarCraft III, however, if you use Imbue to heal another target, Taric gets healed as well. If you focus it on Taric, you gain 140% the heal's effect. Imbue scales with rougly 50% of Taric's Ability Power. Every time you strike with your melee attack, the cooldown on this gets reduced by a small amount, which has led some players to value +Attack Rate when playing Taric.

This should be your main priority to improve when leveling.
Shatter - This is your AoE and defensive ability. Shatter gives a self-buff that, while up, improve's Taric's armor. If you use the Shatter ability, it deals damage in a small radius and reduces the armor of whatever it strikes. Shatter scales with rougly 25% of Taric's Ability Power.

This should be your last priority when leveling, but should be taken early.
Dazzle - This is your ranged spell and stun. Dazzle shoots a beam from Taric's shield which has two effects. The closer an enemy is, they take more damage but suffer a shorter stun. Conversely, the farther away an enemy is, they have a longer stun but take less damage. Dazzle scales with rougly 50% of Taric's Ability Power.

This should replace Shatter as your priority beginning at Lv.6.
Radiance - This is Taric's Ultimate ability. Taric gains a 60% damage bonus, and surrounding entities/heroes gain a 40% damage bonus. Also, Taric and surrounding entities gain health while the effect is up. This drains mana over time rather rapidly. The HP restoration benefit is not known to scale with Taric's Ability Power.

Subsection: Useful Summoner Skills

Mandatory: Heal
Taric does this well, and pushes. If you push, you should have heal as a matter of principle, decorum, and pride. Pushers love Heal.

Secondary: Teleport
This is a way to overcome Taric's terrible movement speed (addressed in the Itemization section.) Also, no one expects to be following a wave of minions to a 'undefended' tower, when Taric pops up literally out of nowhere and clears the entire minion wave out from under them.

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Phase II - Itemization

The basic build I suggest is:

Sorcerer's Shoes -> Chalice of Harmony -> Stinger (later, Nashor's Tooth)

Reasons:
Sorcerer's Shoes - LoL is a PvP game. You live or die, win or lose by maneuverability. Taric is notorious for his lack of speed. Also, some of his abilities do scale with AP to an extent. I suggest getting these by about Lv.3 to 4 for maximum effect. If you're going to be forced into a tanking role, you may consider switching these out for Ninja Tabi or Mercury Treads - other items, like Stinger/Nashor give enough AP that you can forgo the bonus from the Shoes.

Chalice of Harmony - Taric's skills consume a great deal of MP. Chalice of Harmony has a great passive benefit: you gain 1% of each 1% of your max MP you're missing (so, if you have 2000 max MP, and you're missing all of it, you'll regen 2 additional Mana that five seconds.) Chalice makes Radiance not only viable and helpful, but deadly. Chalice is a must-have for Taric. (Thanks to Crazy Demon for a clarification on this item!)

Stinger, upgrades to Nashor's Tooth - Stinger/Nashor addresses Taric's speed weakness yet again, but in two ways - attack speed (which is painfully slower, worse than his runspeed...), and Ability Cooldowns, which are also fairly slow. Stinger/Nashor also give some MP5/Ability Power, which for Taric is always a pleasant thought, if not your primary concern. Stinger/Nashor's is commonly agreed to be tailor-made for Taric.

Some helpful items I've found along the way:
Doran's Ring - Health, MP5, Ability Power.
Spirit Visage - HP5, still faster cooldowns.
Emblem of Valor (upgrades to Stark's Fervor) - An HP5 Aura (with Radiance, yields !!!), and lifestealing. Stark's Fervor gives an Aura that improves the DPS of nearby teammates, as well.
Aegis of the Legion - Magic Resistance, Armor, and Health. Futher, the Armor and Resistance are also given by an Aura. (Special Thanks to Bloodba7h for this suggestion)
Tiamat - Your melee attack becomes an AoE, you get some attack damage, and HP5 and MP5.

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Phase III - You Like to Push It Push It.
(AKA: 4 simple tips to playing Taric effectively.)

Tip #1 - Taric is a great minion tanker. Just wade in the middle, let off a shatter, then run off. Let hilarity, and XP/Gold, ensue. Exploit this every opportunity you get. It's not uncommon for Taric to outlevel teammates by one to two levels if you love ganking minion waves and outthinking enemy players.

Tip #2 - If you are partnered with a buddy, make sure you heal him - you're healing yourself too. If you're in Summoner's Rift in a full-fledged 5v5, there is no reason not to be healing, while causing havoc because of the simple fact that you wipe minions off the table as a threat. Besides, healing your buddy heals you too.

Tip #3 - Be smart with Dazzle! Sure it's great for a bit of extra damage, but it's most useful because of the stun. If your ganker buddy is hiding in the bush, get low on health, lure them to the bushes...let off Dazzle...let buddy go to work. You just got an assist.

Tip #4 - Do not make an active push until Lv.6+. Radiance is one of the very best pushing tools in the entire game. Besides, below Lv.6 towers will make short work of you anyways. AND you have better things to do, like break up minion waves and get that Chalice.

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This guide is no substitute for real practice with a character. However, think about these ideas, try them out, and define your own play style. Sure, in my admittedly short experience these principles work well, however any skilled LoL player will tell you every time: how you build your character depends on the overall game. I hope this proves a informative guide, and wish all Taric users well.

Boo Soraka.


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Kahryl

Senior Member

10-27-2009

I don't understand the logic in getting HP5 or Lifesteal for Taric. These items are going to be balanced for the many MANY characters who can't heal themselves. Since Taric has a very nice heal, wouldn't it be better to go for MP5 or attack speed in lieu of those, always?


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Necrax

Senior Member

10-28-2009

this is the hero i played most with during beta and i love his capabilities as a support/healer/tank mixture hero. he can be real fun.

i focus on mana reg, mana and ability power. even though his innate passive is improved by attack speed and damage, i usually don't play taric that way.

i don't get why HP5 or damage/AS/lifesteal is really that awesome on him. attack speed can make sense since imbue and gemcraft will benefit.

as for summoner spells i think heal and teleport synergize best with him for obvious reasons as stated by the OP.


i usually start off with a doran's ring if the list of enemy heroes is likely to make early laning a pain. otherwise i take meki pendant as a preperation for my main item.

nashor's tooth is definitely the main item for him to get. also stinger and fiendish codex are perfekt in-between-items on the way to nashor's if farming becomes troublesome. nashor's tooth got all he need's and if it weren't for the unique -cd passive i'd simply stack 5 of em. it complements imbue and gemcraft, gives AP for heal and damage and mana reg for spamming your spells, especially radiance.

innervating locket's usually my second major item, getting the mana manipulator as a cheap supporting in-between-item. from now on, you permanently aoe-heal and have increased survivability.

from this point on, equipped with nashor's tooth and innervating locket you're already a good tank and a good supporter.

get boots of your liking as you see fit - at least boots of speed early on won't hurt. as for a support hero who likes to help out wherevery trouble occurs, boots of mobility are my favorite choice for mid game - somtimes i don't even bother upgrading my boots of speed.

if money allows archangel's staff (or just tear of goddess) or even soul shroud complement this build just fine as all the mana and mana reg will empower your radiance.

so whereever the game might go adding mana, mana reg and ability power is a good choice.

alternatively, aegis of the legion and frozen heart are adequate support choices but do not complement taric as well.


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Asvarduil

Senior Member

10-28-2009

@Kahryl: MP5 is a key stat for Taric, of course. HP5 and Lifesteal merely give an additional practical option on how to heal Taric when Imbue is on its CD. The Lifesteal has actually saved me a few times when I've been sneak-attacked. I simply started whaling on minions and self-Imbuing when I could, and I outlasted enemies until my buddies got there. The reason I put down some HP5 items is not also strictly because of the HP5. Spirit Visage cuts down Cooldowns. Tiamat makes your normal attacks AoE, great for minion-owning. These items have effects that do mesh with Taric's abilities, depending on the circumstances in very positive ways.

@Necrax: I've not yet tried Innervating Locket, though. When my home internet gets back up again, I'm going to give that a shot.


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westley

Junior Member

10-28-2009

I'm new and still learning Taric.

But, on the one hand, Taric's Gemcraft and Imbue seems to reward attack speed and damage; on the other hand, ability power seems to give only so-so returns. This leads me to think you should be stacking more +%AtkSpd (and potentially +Damage). If these were sufficient you may not need very much MP5 to stay topped off in mana.

He's also a tank; so you can't go wrong with health.

Just looking at the Item Database, some items that could provide synergy to Taric in no particular order:

Berzerker Greaves (unless you need Mercury Treads against some opponents)
Stinger -> Nashor's Tooth
Meki Pendant -> Chalice of Harmony
Innervating Locket (seems to offer a lot of synergy with Imbue and Radiance)
Soul Shroud

These are just some thoughts; I'm still experimenting.


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5dSebGXTqVW0SygW

Member

10-28-2009

Items in this guide are pretty awful. Sorceres shoes on taric are the worst choice possible. Instead of chalice it is better to grab manipulator and make it later to soul shroud. Nashor tooth is kinda good item on taric another option is to get aegis of legion. Frozen heart is another good item. Tiamat on taric? - sorry I don't follow.


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NoirReverie

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Recruiter

10-28-2009

I tend to play for the team, and so I ask:

What are your thoughts on Aegis of the Legion and Stark's Fervor?

Aegis has an armor/magic resist aura that stacks rather nicely with his Shatter Passive, while Stark's armor reduction also stacks with his Shatter Active to knock down enemy armor even more. In addition, Stark's increases team (and self) DPS which has a nice synergy with Radiance.


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Drac0nis

Junior Member

10-28-2009

I wouldn't count on building Taric with attack speed and damage items. Assuming you can output 100 DPS which is a lot of Taric, this roughly equates to a mana regen of 37.5 mana/5s and will require about a minute to recover 2000 mana. Meaning you will need to constantly find minions to hit and not waste any time healing or dazing. If you bought the archangel staff and a mana manipulator you would have the same regen rates without having to waste time to hit people all the time. With a Chalice you can increase your regen rate by roughly 50% and well above a melee regen method. So on paper, Taric would benefit a lot more from a passive regen method rather than an active regen method.


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westley

Junior Member

10-28-2009

Thanks for calculating that, Draconis. Do you mind possibly sharing the math to incorporate that into the Taric strategy thread?

EDIT:

Is it possible that Taric could be doing much more damage through armor penetration --- Shatter + Last Whisper (possibly very late also Stark's Fervor)?


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Asvarduil

Senior Member

10-28-2009

First things first - glad to create just a little controversy every once in a while. But seriously, I'm so glad to see that people have strong emotions about Taric builds - it just makes me wonder why my guide is the first that I've seen. From the feedback you're all giving, Taric is probably the most flexible hero in terms of itemization.

Second - because of all of the great feedback, I am going to make some edits to this guide. I did leave out Stark's Fervor, which is a great teamplay piece, if costly and time-consuming to get. There are also some other concepts with my build that I need to experiment with. If they work better than what I typically use...well, everyone wants a more unstoppable Taric. Except of course your opponent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by westley
Taric's Gemcraft and Imbue seems to reward attack speed and damage
Gemcraft is particularly fun. For a long time I used Berserker Greaves when learning Taric, and the resulting mana is great. The only reason I don't use Berserker Greaves in my guide is the simple fact that I use Chalice of Harmony. Pretty much, between Chalice and any other MP5 items, OOM ceases to be a problem by about Level 7 or 8. Even though my 'attack' Taric experience is limited, and for me in practice games has yielded so-so results, if you pursue your attack speed/damage build, first put up your guide - I'd be interested for sure. Second, you'd want a radically different item build, almost certainly including Starks/Emblem or Tiamat - or so I would believe.

I'll quit waffling on things I don't know about - you'll be the man on the physical Taric guide, methinks.



Quote:
Originally Posted by ersl
Items in this guide are pretty awful
I can't wait to play against you and see your play style.

It should be pointed out: none of this is an absolute for all players. If you don't want to rock Tiamat on Taric, or don't see the point, just pass it up. I suggest it for the utility that it turns your normal attack into an AoE attack, which meshes with Shatter and makes minion cleansing even easier. I highly encourage you to experiment in some games though, or even tell me of what you've found to work!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoirReverie View Post
What are your thoughts on Aegis of the Legion and Stark's Fervor?
I play for the team's win as well. The reason I state the build in the guide as I have is because I've found I can switch rapidly between anti-minion, support, and pushing functionalities. Heck, sometimes I get ambitious and work in a gank team, with suprisingly powerful results.

I've not used Aegis of the Legion on Taric very much, I could stand to experiment with it. Stark's Fervor didn't make my list for the simple reason that this is a quick build - my strategy with Taric is not 'get the most powerful items possible after 45 minutes of farming THEN lay waste', but rather 'quickly counter Taric's key weaknesses within six to seven levels then start turning the game around.' Don't get me wrong - Stark's Fervor's Aura is simply amazing. The Aura plus Radiance is like...well, something really awesome that the English language simply does not have the ability to express. Just, Stark's Fervor takes too much gold and time that I personally am more willing to spend on customizing in other directions, usually to a positive benefit.

How about experimenting with Stark's some and posting your feedback here?


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