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[Guide] Comprehensive Guide for Taric, The Gem Knight

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A lot of people may wonder, what would Taric be like in real life, I believe the closest approximation can be found right here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owGykVbfgUE).

So what does it take to turn Taric into a CARRY machine that he is, apparently, not much, which is exactly what this guide will focus on. This champion, unlike others, has a core item build that costs 2090 gold. He literally needs nothing else to be effective. This is where a lot of the champions power comes from.

Two brief shout outs, one goes to Cake, for writing a guide located here (http://www.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=37916). Every Taric player should read the guide, as it perfectly outlines the attitude one should have when playing Taric, you are an OFFENSIVE supporter, not a defensive one. While I don't agree with Item Choices made in that guide, I whole heartedly support the ideas behind it.

Second shout out goes to Hyfe, for setting a STANDARD for all Guide enthusiasts. his guide should be read by everyone purely for it's educational value on metagame. Hyfe's Guide to the Competitive Nasus can be found here (http://leaguecraft.com/strategies/guide/2248-hyfe-s-guide-to-the-competitive-nasus.xhtml).

[A02]INTRODUCTION: Mission Statement

"To provide offensive support to the team through calculated aggressive play and an enormous meta-game support."

Let's explore the two main objectives within the statement. First one is offensive support and aggressive play. This means that your team should be able to rely on you during offensive maneuvers. Defense does not win games, offense does, it's just that simple. If your squishy carry overextends, you should be available to stun any incoming heroes and to heal the carry from any damage incurred, while also providing a wide variety of auras to force the enemies to retreat.

This however does not mean following a Warwick deep into enemy territory to hunt a single champion, use your own discretion on how much overextension you can feasible support before it becomes a double suicide run. Taric however DOES allow the other champions to have some fault in their game, and overextend more than they could without his support.

The second objective is the meta-game support that Taric provides. This is the overarching game to the usual laning, ganking and team fights. Taric is in a perfect position to completely control the meta game for his team. With little reliance on ITEMS AND LEVELS, Taric can be under-leveled, and under-farmed, and still be extremely effective. This allows the summoner to fully control the meta-game with little hindrance to the actual game. More on this in the Strategy section.

[A03]INTRODUCTION: Table of Contents

This guide is very search friendly, specifically for your convenience, just press CTRL+F and type in the tag inside the square brackets to go to the chapter of the guide that you are interested in. So for example to go to this Table of Contents, I'd press CTRL+F and type in “[A03]”.

[A01] INTRODUCTION: Prologue
[A02] INTRODUCTION: Mission Statement
[A03] INTRODUCTION: Table of Contents
[A04] INTRODUCTION: Version History

[B01] PREPARATION: Summoner Spells
[B02] PREPARATION: Rune Pages
[B03] PREPARATION: Masteries

[C01] ABILITIES: Overview
[C02] ABILITIES: Build Order

[D01] ITEMS: Overview
[D02] ITEMS: Build Order

[E01]STRATEGY: Early Game
[E02]STRATEGY: Middle Game
[E03]STRATEGY: Late Game
[E04]STRATEGY: Meta-Game
[E05]STRATEGY: Tips and Tricks

[A04]INTRODUCTION: Version History

V. 1.100: Significant overhauls to Masteries, Items and Strategy sections on September 1, 2010.
V. 1.000: Original Version released on Aug 24, 2010.

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[B01]PREPARATION: Summoner Spells

In my mind there are only two spells that work really well with this Taric. Exhaust and Ghost. I have tried every other combination, including Rally, Fortify, Cleanse and Clarity, and none of them provide the defensive and offensive capabilities that the above combination offers.

[F] Exhaust - Blinds the target (100% miss chance) and slows its Movement Speed by 40% for 3 seconds.

Exhaust is mostly used to allow your lane mates and later on your entire team to finish off a fleeing enemy. In a lot of cases, throwing this spell on someone will get your entire team to focus fire them. Moreover Exhaust has a defensive capability, it can be used to slow down anyone chasing you or your team mates, and let's not forget completely disabling any physical carry for 4 seconds. Casting this on a Tryndamere who just used his ultimate makes him utterly and utterly useless for his prime fighting time.

[G] Ghost - Your Champion ignores unit collision and moves 32% faster for 14 seconds.

This can be used to initiate a gank, usually used to get in range for a Dazzle, or to chase down a fleeing enemy. It can also be used defensively to flee from a gank, and finally, you can't always be where you need to be, so sometimes ghosting to a location is necessary to get there on time. (One of the uses early on is if I am in a solo lane, I can blue pill back shop and Ghost back to lane for minimal loss of experience, it may not be as fast as Teleport, but you still gain other benefits from Ghost) This spell has infinitely more uses than Flash (closest runner up in movement enhancement summoner spells), and due to the nature of Taric is definitely a better choice for him.

[B02]PREPARATION: Rune Pages

This is a new rune setup. It is designed with one sole idea in mind, make Taric excel with levels, and be prepared for team Fights and late game regardless of items.

Greater Mark of Alacrity x9 (+1.7% Attack Speed)
Greater Seal of Clarity x9 (+0.1 Mana Regeneration / 5 sec. per Level (+1.8 at Champion Level 18))
Greater Glyph of Clarity x9 (+0.08 Mana Regeneration / 5 sec. per Level (+1.44 at Champion Level 18))
Greater Quintessence of Clarity x3 (+0.24 Mana Regeneration / 5 sec. per Level (+4.32 at Champion Level 18))

The idea behind the rune page is to simply eliminate the need for Chalice of Harmony or any other MP5 items. Thise rune page does two things, it offers 42 MP5 at champion level 18, but it also provides around 15% attack speed increase, which has a very nice synergy with Taric's Passive and his Ultimate. basically you will not need to worry about mana at any point in the game. This opens you up to buy other items sooner and be more effective sooner.

[B03]PREPARATION: Masteries

Masteries Build: 8/21/1 (http://leaguecraft.com/masteries/3100040000000003030420140301000100000000000)

3/3 Deadliness
1/1 Cripple
4/4 Alacrity

3/3 Resistance
3/3 Hardiness
4/4 Evasion
2/2 Defensive Mastery
1/3 Harden Skin
4/4 Veteran's Scars
3/3 Ardor
1/1 Tenacity

1/1 Haste

With the change to the runes comes a change to the masteries. Basically what has happened is I have shifted more into Defensive Tree in order to further solidify my Taric as a support/tank hybrid. Moreover without the support of an offensive rune page, going deeper into Offensive Tree seemed less noteworthy.

The one synergy that is neat is Ardor and Alacrity, which when combined with the Rune Page provides a whooping 23% Attack Speed increase at champion level 18. Nothing to sneer at.

The two Masteries for the Summoner spells have also been acquired.

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[C01]ABILITIES: Overview

[Passive] Gemcraft - 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.

This ability works in a very subtle manner, you won't notice it's effects a lot, but it does help Taric stay in the lane longer early on. So basically if you need mana, find something to bash on.

[Q] Imbue - Taric brings forth earthen energy to heal his target. As the magic flows through him he is healed for the same amount. If Taric heals only himself, the total effect will be 1.4X the base heal amount.

This skill allows both Taric and his lane mate to have insane lane presence starting from level 2. All the usual harassment tactics do not work. The brilliant part of this heal and what makes Taric stand out amongst other Healers in LoL is that it heals both your ally and yourself. Meaning you are only sacrificing that additional 40% of the heal when casting it on an ally.

This is the bread and butter staying skill during almost every stage of the game. Use it to save an ally, use it to make your tank tankier, use it to keep your allys from going back, use it on a creep that's tanking a tower, use it to get that sweet sweet green glow.

Of note is that this skill has been progressively been hit with a nerf stick over the past 4 patches or so. It used to be a lot more powerful, however it is still effective at what it was designed to do.

Also the cool down on the Imbue is reduced through auto attacks, for which we have acquired a lot of attack speed in our build.

[W] Shatter - Taric is protected by a hardening aura, increasing the armor of himself and nearby allied champions. He may choose to splinter the enchanted rocks surrounding him to deal damage and decrease the armor of nearby enemies at the cost of the aura for a short time.

This is your main ganking tool early and mid game, it's a surprise nuke, and it is also a way of farming creep waves and pushing.

Early game you can use it in order to score easy kills with an ally champ in your lane as it boosts both yours and his damage. It also provides a rather impressive nuke to start the gank and get the opponent running.

Throughout the entire game you can use it to push and farm creeps. Usually 2 hits on each of the casters, followed by Shatter will guarantee you their gold. Eventually you'll get the hang of how much HP Shatter takes from minions and you can start to farm entire waves by looking at how much damage your creeps do, and crippling other enemy minions enough to score last hits on them.

On a side note, the passive armor this spell provides may sometimes be more beneficial than the armor penetration. What separates a good Taric from a bad one is knowledge of WHEN to use the Shatter Active.

[E] Dazzle - Taric emits a brilliant ball of prismatic light from his gemmed shield, stunning and damaging his enemies.

Basically there are two ways to use is, from a long range to get the 2 second stun, or from a short range as a short disable and a nuke.

I usually use it to close the distance between my self and enemy champion for a shatter during ganks. It is also amazing from stopping people from chasing you, or for saving your allies. It does everything any other stun would do for you, but does it at a rather large range.

One fault that I've run into recently is it is easy to see the stun coming, so you will see it dodged through Spell Shields and Flash's, just be ready for them, and try to get your opponents to use the shields early.

[R] Radiance - Taric emits a brilliant light, healing himself and increasing physical damage for surrounding allied units.

This is probably the most amazing and underrated skill in the game. Because at times when it matters, this **** will make you a hard ass tank that makes every champion around him into a DPS monster, while making Taric himself **** bricks and throw them at every unsuspecting opponent for crazy damage. Also you ****ing RADIATE colors for some psychological seizure inducing warfare on your opponents.

So when do you use this bad boy, and how do you use it? Short bursts is how, 5-12 seconds max, which is still a **** ton.

Use it to run away, to push towers, in the middle of a team fight to sway it in your direction, to gank, to jungle, to last hit, to heal yourself when imbue is down. It has something like 20 second cooldown, even if you use it for 3-5 seconds, you'll have it back up next time you need it. Just don't leave it running, because the longer it goes the worse the mana requirement gets.

[C02]ABILITIES: Build Order

Level 01: Dazzle (1)
Level 02: Imbue (1)
(After that your priority is Radiance > Shatter > Imbue > Dazzle)
Level 03: Shatter (1)
Level 04: Shatter (2)
Level 05: Shatter (3)
Level 06: Radiance (1)
Level 07: Shatter (4)
Level 08: Imbue (2)
Level 09: Shatter (5)
Level 10: Imbue (3)
Level 11: Radiance (2)
Level 12: Imbue (4)
Level 13: Imbue (5)
Level 14: Dazzle (2)
Level 15: Dazzle (3)
Level 16: Radiance (3)
Level 17: Dazzle (4)
Level 18: Dazzle (5)

Dazzle is taken at level one for a First Blood opportunity. If one does not present itself or if you are unsure of your lane partner, use it to dissuade opponents from trying to First Blood either one of you. Nothing stops a First blood rush like a stun to the face.

Imbue is taken at Level 2 to heal up after a First Blood attempt, whether it was successful or not, and to begin countering the usual poking harassment tactic. One rank of Imbue will keep you and your partner in your lane forever.

Shatter is maxed out first because it is most effective early on as a significant nuke and for minion farming. The armor debuff is also very effective early on when there is not a whole lot of Armor on champions.

It is of note that the entire order may change depending on your lane positions. While a standard Taric 2v2 lane I would build the same as above in some 1v1 or 1v2 lanes you might have to prioritize Imbue early on, in order to keep last hitting even under heavy harassment. This is the case against heros like Vladimir in a 1v1 middle lane, or two casters in a 1v2 lane. The exceptional thing about Taric is that he can actually last hit in these situations, while his opponents are burning through mana trying to bring him down.

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[D01]ITEMS: Overview

[1] Aegis of the Legion - +270 Health +18 Armor / +24 Magic Resistance UNIQUE Aura: +12 Armor / +15 Magic Resistance / +8 Damage to nearby allied champions.

This provides both you and your allies with a boost in defensive statistics. Combined with Shatter Passive this makes you central to boosting your teams defenses.

[2] Shurelya's Reverie - +330 Health +25 Health Regen per 5 sec +12 Mana Regen per 5 sec UNIQUE Passive: Reduces ability cooldowns by 15% UNIQUE Active: Nearby champions gain 40% movement speed for 2 seconds (60 second cooldown).

I've recently fell in love with this item on Taric. It works very well with him,a s it adds all the necessary things such as health, mana regeneration and cooldown reduction. But the On Use Effect pushes this item over the top. It helps you be both offensive and defensive when you need to be. You can use it to aid your team mates in chasing or running away. I am still playing around with it, but so far it's usefulness is immense, and dropping 2200 gold for it is nothing compared to the utility it provides.

[3] Stark's Fervor – +20% Attack Speed UNIQUE Aura: Gives nearby allied Champions 20% Lifesteal, 20% Attack Speed, and 30 Health per 5 seconds regenerated. Reduces the Armor of nearby enemy champions by 20.

Similar to Aegis, this has amazing synergy with your ultimate, and makes you very beneficial to have during team fights. You will be responsible for a significant chunk of your teams firepower.

[4] Chalice of Harmony - +30 Magic Resistance +7.5 Mana Regen per 5 sec Unique Passive: Increases your Mana Regen by 1% per 1% Mana you are missing.

This item is instrumental to the build and allows you to spam all of your abilities without any hesitation, because your mana will regenerate faster than the spells comes off cool down.

[5] Mercury's Treads - +25 Magic Resist UNIQUE Passive: Enhanced Movement 2 Reduces the duration of stuns, slows, taunts, fears, snares, sleeps, and immobilizes by 35%.

There is no other option. This combined with Magic Resistance from Chalice allows you to ignore Magic Resistance items until very late game. It also provides a unique ability that reduces the length of disables, that you can not get anywhere else. Basically against any competent balanced team, this is the best option.

[6] Sight Ward - Click to Consume: Places an invisible ward with 1100 range sight. Lasts 4.5 minutes, Max: 3 Stacks.

This is a core item in your build. You should always have at least 1. Use them to check bushes, and to completely control meta-game. You will drop well over 2,000 gold on these almost every game. (View Attachment)

[D02]ITEMS: Build Order

(TIME: 00:00) Stage 01: 2 Sight Wards, 2 Mana Potion, 2 Health Potion
(TIME: 08:00) Stage 02: Chalice of Harmony, Boots of Speed
(TIME: 13:00) Stage 03: Mercury's Treads
(TIME: 25:00) Stage 04: Shurelya's Reverie
(TIME: 45:00) Stage 05: Aegis of the Legion
(TIME: ??:??) Stage 06: Stark's Fervor

The times may still vary, as I am still trying to figure out on average when I get the items.

The core of the build is Chalice of Harmony, Mercury's Treads and Sight Ward, the rest are boosts to your supportive power.

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[E01]STRATEGY: Early Game

Pray that the other team has a jungler! Before the minions spawn, you have a lot of things to do. Place a ward at your Elder Golem brush, so that you can see the Elder Golem. Place the second ward around the enemy Lizard Elder camp. Get as many team mates as you possibly can to go to the opponents Golem Elder camp, and kill their jungler, if the opponents do not show up, kill the Golem Elder instead. With a few champions wailing on the poor monster, it won't take long, and everyone should be in their lanes pretty quickly. use Health Potions to heal up if needed.

Before returning to your lane, follow two of your allies into theirs, or call a gank on middle. Usually 3v2 or 2v1 will be successful this early on thanks to a combination of Exhaust and Dazzle, as well as your allies and yours early game damage output. At worst, you will have severely weakened opponents that can be finished off later or that has to go back. Having done this in one lane, go to the other, and either scare or full on gank again.

This early game shenanigans will give your team an easy lead, while not hampering you in any way. After ganking twice, go back to your lane, where your partner should be around level 3 or 5. Play a bit more defensive here, as you need to get to level 3 or 5 yourself. If your partner feels they can score a kill at level six, assist them in doing so, but other than that play "passively".

There is some interesting stuff you can do even at this stage, once you've hit level 2, and can sustain harassment from the opponents. Usually it's beneficial to try a gank even as you enter your lane, if your health and mana allow it, to force the opponents to be more cautious. From here, your job will be to sit in the brush and zone the opponents as much as you can, while your partner free farms. To zone an opponents simply run out of the brush, cast dazzle, and Shatter > Hit them. Then run back into the brush and Imbue your partner and yourself. End effect should be both of you seemingly unaffected and with opponents missing 200-400 health with each "poke".

The key here is to let your lane mate free farm. You don't need the money, as you'll be able to afford everything you need when you need it through assists and simple gold flow. Remember to respond to any gank requests, as well as call lane switches if you see one lane significantly dominated. BE PREDICTIVE rather than responsive in your behavior. If you are on bottom and you see your top is tower hugging, investigate by looking at their situation, if you see they are very low on hit points, and are about to die, instantly call a lane switch. Remember to harass middle as you run through it. Keep your opponents on their feet.

[E02]STRATEGY: Middle Game

You should have acquired Chalice of Harmony and in the very least Boots of Speed. Stock up on Sight Wards and place them in opponents jungle areas. You are moving the ganks away from lanes, and making every area of the map dangerous for your opponents. If you find an opponent overextend in the jungle, instantly go in for the kill. This will force your opponents to just tower hug, or travel in big packs. Both are beneficial, because when they travel in big packs, you can easily avoid them (you should have the entire map warded), and if one does break off, you can once again kill them. If they tower hug, you will slow push in their towers.

The key is to ALWAYS have a 3 stack of Sight Wards ready to go anywhere they need to be. You should have most of the map revealed.

You'll also have to make a decision between Stark's Fervor and Aegis of the Legion, basically treat Stark's as a roll harder item, while Aegis should be purchased if your squishes are getting heavily focus fired in fights.

You are also an amazing tank at this point, so feel free to initiate under towers, and so on, between your improving Imbue and radiance, you should have no problem walking out of most skirmishes alive, with hopefully a bunch of opponents dead.

[E03]STRATEGY: Late Game

Your tanking capabilities are significantly diminished at this point, you should fully embrace your tanky semi-dps support role. Keep providing your team with wards, and make sure to be there for every team fight to throw a few clutch heals on your squishies, as well as to provide a significant physical damage boost to your entire team. Save your stun for the likes of Galio and Katarina, as well as any carries that might dish out large amounts of damage quickly.

[E04]STRATEGY: Meta-Game

This is your most important role, since you are effective with few items, and don't require any levels once your Imbue is maxed at level 13, you are open to fully control the meta game. There are several ways of doing it.

Awareness if first, and your heavy investment into Sight Wards will provide you with just that. But this goes much further than just giving vision of your enemy champions movement. Make sure to always ping opponents when they are closing in ona gank on one of your lanes. This will ensure a failed gank 100% of the time, as your allies will hear the loud ding and look at where is it coming from.

Control your team and opponents team, call for lane switches, let your carries free farm in a lane with you, harass your opponents and constantly zone them out. If one of your team mates seems to be doing poorly, don't shout at them, go into their lane and help them, Protect them and let them farm. Most of the time this result in a very strong champion after just 5-10 minutes.

Steal opponents Elder buffs every chance you get, with full awareness of everyone's location this shouldn't be a problem. Steal the dragon and Baron at every opportunity as well. After all you'll see if they are coming to kill you as you initiate.

Dominate the game you are in through sheer meta game presence. I have been called a map hacker by a lot of opponents in ranked matches. I've had oracles purchased to counter me (people give up after they get focus fired every single time they get it, also don't stop warding even if they do get an oracle, counter ward with Vision Wards if the opponent tries to get Sight Wards on you, trust me, your willingness to drop stupendous amounts of money and time on meta-game will deter most players from trying to outplay you in that sphere). Do this, and you will win majority of your matches. Even the most hopeless ones. All you need is one ace or near ace to win a game.

[E05]STRATEGY: Tips and Tricks

Taric has a fantastic harass strategy, that few Taric's actually use. Early on a combination of Dazzle > Run up to Shatter > Melee Hit will do a lot of damage that opponents don't expect. This can easily net you 400-500 damage per combo. The key is to run away right after the combo is done. Keep the fact that you have no significant persistent damage a secret. You want the opponents to remember you as a champion that dropped their health to half in a second, not one that took forever to kill them after.

You can backdoor a tower from 100% to 0% in about three tries (Using Stark's Fervor and Radiance). This seems like very slow and insignificant, but make a habbit of ocasionally back dooring a tower for some of it's health, even if you do not manage to take it down, distracting your oppoennts to come defend, is sometimes a very important tactic. Also you can easily take down towers at 1/3rd of their health. This may prove useful later on in the game.

Sometimes it is more beneficial to keep Shatter on yourself in order to provide the armor bonus for your allies, rather than using it as an AoE damage and debuff spell. Judge for yourself if this is the case in your particular situation.

Imbue can be used on your minions as well. This has several uses, early on if you are not getting harassed too much, you can mess around with your opponents last hitting by healing minions for which they go. You can also heal a minion while it is tanking a tower, to give yourself and your allies more time to do some damage to the tower. With a minion wave large enough you can do it several times. Remember that every hit on the tower decreases the cool down of your Imbue!

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Seems viable, and I'm eager to test this out before I judge, considering you have prolly played more Taric than I. Shame I lack crit chance runes tho.

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[Passive] Gemcraft - 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.

What a ****? This is the most useless passive I've ever seen on a hero.

I'ma let you finish,

but Taric had the best passive of all time.

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You posted this 6 days ago yet don't even follow your own suggested build? Just curious if you've changed your mind on your item order or not.

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Yeah, I've switched it up a LOT recently when I started doing Ranked. I gotta update.

Part of it is my understanding of the character has shifted significantly more to Support side of him, as focusing on his DPS while fun in Normal, and rather effective, proved to be less effective in ranked. A lot of it has to do with the amount of farming required to achieve said damage, which Taric struggles with as compared to other champions. Plus you need to be effective A LOT sooner in ranked as opposed to Normal play.

The champion however is definitely top tier, my 5-0 record with him in Ranked is a clear indication of that and just goes to show that his bans in most ranked games are well deserved.

I should be updating the guide today and tomorrow to reflect my changes in understanding of his game.

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Will try ur build tonight...

I usually go
mana manipulator> giant belt> mercs > Soul Shroud > Aegis > Nashors (if im off tanking), Randuin (If I am the only tank)

been working nice for me

also on spells I go clarity (wich imho is the best spell for taric) and ignite. Try the dazzle>shatter>autoattack>ignite combo its very nice to kill squishys

I also dont think crit chance runes are the best option for taric, i mean i usually spend more time helping my team than hitting other champs. I prefer to use AS marks because of the imbue cd reduction.

Nice guide thou =D +1