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[Guide] How to play Balanced Gemknight: Chivalry's not dead.

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The Senate



Taric, The Gemknight.
This is my guide on how to play Balanced Gemknight, with a focus is on increasing the effectiveness of Taric's natural abilities. Other names for this and similar builds include 'Aura Knight' and 'Support Taric', all of with describe the build effectively.

So Senate, what the heck is Taric?

Taric is a tank. No matter what builds you support, by the end of the game, you will have minimum at least one item that contains at least a Ruby Crystal. You are one of your team's tanks, you will have higher HP and resistances. You will draw fire, you will take less damage then your allies, and everything is better when the enemy team decides to fire off their offense at you. End of story.

Taric is support. No just any support, Taric offers two different kinds support. The first kind is the most obvious: That Taric provides defensive support via his direct healing and armor/HP regen auras. The second is offensive support. Taric can pinpoint two second stuns, he can lower armor, and he can increase the physical damage of his allies.

Taric is a pusher. His abilities allow him to effectively push lanes and seige towers. He can clear creep waves, he can do slightly above par tower damages and he can tank light harassment. Between his passive and his heals, he can stay in lane for long periods of time without being forced to return for health and mana.

Combine these together and you'll find that Taric excells at laning, harassing, supporting and protecting. He can effectively take down neutral buff monsters and the dragon alone earlier then a good amount of chapions. In fact, Taric can jungle from level 1 with positive results. He can solo. He can lane with tanks, casters or DPS. He's the veritable jack-of-all-trades.

Well in the case, what isn't Taric?

Taric is not an AP stacker
. His ratios are okay at best, and he really doesn't end up getting the stats he needs for high AP builds to move into late game.

Taric is not a straight healer
. This is a common mistake, where people pump up imbue way too early and attempt to get by just on spamming heals. This is a mistake. LoL is not balanced for full time healers. You need to be supporting your team in more ways.

Taric is not for every team. Dispite all the amazing things Taric brings to the table, Taric is still rather team reliant. He's most effective when used to increase the power of allied physical carries. Be aware that he is certainly NOT for every composition.

With the exception of his passive, all of the abilities that Taric boasts have some sort of special condition or choice. Due to this, Taric has a sort of 'cost/benefit' theme. It is important to master all of the conditions of your abilities and not see them as good or bad choices. Instead, it's best to view these as options.

Gemcraft - Taric receives a flat rate percent of mana for his physical attacks. Works much like life steal. This passive scales to Taric's physical damage.

* Attacking with Radiance active does more damage, thus returns more mana.
* Lowering enemies armor further increases the mana you receive.
* Attacking not only gets you mana back, but also lowers the cooldown of Imbue
* The more physical damage you deal, the faster your attack speed is and the lower the enemies armor is all play a part in how much mana you get back.

Imbue - Taric heals himself. If he targets himself, he recives 1.4x of the heal, if he targets a partner, both receive 1x of the heal.

* Targeting a teammate will heal both of you, great for a partner.
* Targeting yourself nets a 140% heal increase, great for solo.
* Attacks lower the cooldown by 2 seconds. Just like Alistar, Taric can heal more rapidly when engauging in combat neat minions.
* Higher attack speed averages out to more healing then AP, provided you can keep attacking.
* Combined with Radiance, effectively can heal two players back to full in very quickly.

Shatter - Taric surrounds himself with protective crystals, increasing the armor of himself and nearby allies. Taric may detonate his shield, dealing magic damage and lowering the armor of enemies for a short period of time.

* Best standard ability in the game, much less for Taric. Always take Shatter first.
* Provides armor aura even if you have no mana.
* Primary farming/pushing ability.
* Primary harassment ability.
* Secondary defensive ability.
* Anti-armor debuff only lasts 4 seconds, make the hits count, preferably with Radiance active.
* Primary kill stealing ability.

Dazzle - Fires a fabulous single target nuke. The closer the target is, the more damage it deals. The farther the target is, the longer the stun lasts.

* Two second stun at long range at rank 1.
* Secondary kill stealing ability at higher ranks, due to point blank damage.
* Synergizes with Shatter and Radiance.
* Secondary harassment.
* Point blank damage also effective for securing a lizard or golem buff.

Radiance - Taric increases the damage and healing of himself and his allies.

* Practically free for short bursts, will drain your mana dry for long instances. As short or long as you want (Or can afford).
* Synergizies with everything. Gemcraft returns mana faster, Imbue heals quicker, deals more damage to Shattered enemies, Dazzle holds people still for Radiance attacks longer.
* Activate just before your attack hits to maximize mana productivity.
* Has no cast animation, you can activate while moving.
* Brings down towers, wins teamfights, makes a unicorns and rainbows spew from the open wounds of your enemies.

Ability Overview

* Taric's primary harassment combo is the Dazzle/Shatter 1-2 punch. Dazzle an enemy from a distance to maximize the stun length, rush them and detonate your Shatter. Depending on your movement speed, if they have Merc Treads, or how close you where when Dazzle hit, you should be able to land one or two good blows on them before they escape or before Shatter's debuff ends. When using Radiance with this

* Shatter should be used constantly for farming. If you can kill two minions and serious wound a couple others? Use Shatter. If you can hit an enemy champion at the same time as killing a minion? Use Shatter. The cooldown isn't too bad, and the armor buff is more for your allies then it is for you.

* While Imbue seems like a good option, remember that higher levels of Shatter can prevent more damage then you'd be able to heal with Imbue. Think of all the champions who have to go into lane with no health regen and no healing. It's nice to have a point in to make up for your lack of regen, but it's nothing to beef up pre-Radiance.

* Your first ability should always be Shatter unless you have a specific need for a stun. Your second ability should always be Dazzle, so you can begin your typical harassment as early as possible. Your third ability should be Imbue, just to keep you in lane for longer.

* By level 6, you should have one point in Imbue, three points in Shatter, one point in Dazzle and one point in Radiance.

* Your first maxed ability should be Shatter, due to it's broad range of uses. Your second ability maxed is up to circumstances. If you need heals, you level Imbue, if you need a shorter Dazzle cooldown, go for that. I typically switch back and forth between the two.


Early Items

Meki Pendant - 2 Heal Pots
Mana Manipulator
Giant's Belt

* This pretty much sets up Taric. Chalice is an amazing Taric item. The synergy between Chalice's passive and Radiance is extremely powerful. With Taric, you go for a mana regen strategy. Mana regen is delicious and you always want more of it. Now because Radiance sucks your mana pool dry, you can keep your mana at a very low percent, effectively applying a 50%-100% multiplier on your total regen due to Chalice's passive. Once you get your Chalice, you ALWAYS want your mana low.

* Mana Manipulator stacks and gets multiplied with Chalice, giving a smart Taric all the mana regen he'll need. Give the golem buff to somebody who needs it, at this point.

* Giant's Belt elevates you to a tank pretty fast, and you're going to be a priority target unless you have enough health to make it unattractive.

Late Items

Stark's Fevor

* Aegis makes everything you do as Taric better. It increases your armor aura, it fills the gap in your magic reduction, it increases the damage of your allies and it makes you that much more tanky. Great for seiging towers, great synergy for what you should be doing as Taric.

* Stark's Fevor is the same deal, but geared more towards offense. Although it does increase your ability to aura heal your teammates, the main benefits are the increased attack speed and life steal you'll give to your carries. Also remember that attack speed increases your mana regen as well as lowers the cooldown of Imbue. And if that's not enough to love, you stack armor debuffs to anybody you've recently shattered.

* Shroud is more of for you. You need the mana regen, you need the health, and the cooldown ain't so bad either. Even better? It's an aura. Your team will benefit too.

* Boots? Well, okay. Boots on Taric is interesting. Often times, your game will be centered around cluster f*ck team fights and pushing towers. Upgrading your boots is relative to your situation. Many many many times, you'll find yourself not needing to go past level 1 boots. Why? Because towers don't move. If you really NEED to upgrade your boots, say, for roaming gank squads, do so in the most intelligent way possible. One thing is for sure, don't buy attack speed boots. You'll get all the attack speed you need from Stark's.

* Make sure your team knows what items your buying. Three people with Stark's isn't always the best route.

Summoner Spells

* The flash change was actually a indirect Taric buff. Now that flash has been changed to a more 'offensive' sepll instead of a get-out-of-jail-free card for ganks, Taric benefits from the shorter cooldown. Flashing to an enemy after stunning them with Dazzle is an amazing way to get early kills.

* I'm serious, the flash changed buffed Taric. Surprise the enemy, deal the damage, steal the kill, get the money, finish the item, buff the carry, push the lane, kill the tower, knock over the inhibitor, win the game.

* Teleport is a must. It'll get you to team fights on time, it'll get you an easy tower sometimes, it'll get you a free kill or assist on your first trip home. Trust me. Teleport and Taric work great togeather.

Tips and Hints
* Be a bully. Stun people, run up and Shatter in their face. Every time you get a chance. The most common mistake I see with Taric players is passiveness. You have two heals. You have heavy armor. You have lots of health. Constantly be aggressing the other team. Find people to pick on.

* Abuse your early game. This is a lot like being a bully. Taric is an amazing 'naked' champion. He deals amazing damage with only Chalice. You can get first blood with him. You'll be dealing more damage then physical DPS all up to the point in which they get a BF Sword and some attack speed.

* Have a carry. Taric will be relying on a physical carry to get assists off of for late game.

* Steal kills. Shatter and point blank Dazzle are amazing ways to get the kill. The carry that you're babysitting will be getting lots of kills because of you, it's your right and duty to steal a couple of them. Especially early game, when putting togeather your expensive aura items is top priority.

I'll see what I need to add after some feedback!

Current Version: 1
Last Updated: 12/16/09
Next Guide? Possibly AP Sion, even though there's not much to tell.

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Senior Member


This guide is very good, well explained, really clear, plentiful of good advice... I love it. And the item build is exactly the same I use (Chalice, Shroud, Boots, Aegis...) but I usually pick up Nashoors Tooth instead Starks (if the game is long enough, usually is not), however I will give it a try.

Dont you think Cleanse is maybe more useful for a tank than flash? I agree on teleport, but sometimes I use Rally for extra juice, combined with the ulti is tower-melting :-)

Anyway great guide, thanks!

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Junior Member


Good explanation of skills and organization. Looks great.

Early game my Taric is a bit different. I often swap between points in imbue and shatter. Versus a melee oriented team, I typically pour points into shatter since most engagements will be up close especially if my lane partner is also a melee. With a range partner, I typically put more points into imbue. The idea here is to keep your carry alive (especially if its squeshy like Teemo or Ashe) and prevent the enemy from gaining gold. With a better heal, you are much more mana efficient and you can protect your lane partner from ganks and assist in turret diving. Imbue does suck late game on unless you go AP (which I don't recommend either) but it suprisingly effective if you put a lot of points in it early on since your carries will typically have less hp. Mid-game pushes you are also a lot more effective capable of significantly saving teammates.

The dazzle/shatter combo is pretty great but very rarely will you be able to finish a good champion off - Taric's burst damage potential just isn't there. Often times I just bring a hero down to low hp and have them pop potions or port back when they are low health. Then you are just down a bunch of mana. It's a good harrasing tactic if they are low on heals, but if they are laning with another support you will run out of mana quickly.

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Junior Member


Aegis is far too weak of an item right now, the aura range is already small, the benefits have been severely cut, and it is fairly expensive for the meager bonuses it provides. One thing missing from your item build is a mana pool, by having a larger mana pool you can safely stay at a lower mana percentage to take full advantage of chalice and still have enough to cast essential spells in prolonged team fights. Thats why instead of taking Aegis as a late game item I'd recommend either Frozen Heart or Banshee's Veil. Both give you a significant buff to your mana pool as well as greatly increasing your survivabilty.

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The Council


Good guide. IMO add Frozen Heart to the list of late game items. Best armor item there is, amazing support aura against physicals.

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The Senate has been showing a lot of love for Taric, btw awesome guide will be trying it out soon enough.

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Junior Member


Thanks for the guide! I just started trying Taric out today, will use some of your tips.

Any suggestions for runes or masteries?

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The Senate



Yay, and Aegis gets yet another nerf. God****it, now I need to make changes.

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Senior Member


Excellent guide on how Taric should be built and played. Almost exactly how I play mine except for swapping out the Aegis for either a Banshees or a Nashors.

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The Senate



Aegis is still very good on Taric, just switch up the order.

When it comes down to it, having Stark's AND Aegis makes your team particularly nasty. Just make sure to memorize the distance of the buffs and always have them near your smartest physical carry.

Infact, I'd go with an order something like this:

Mana Manip
Giant's Belt
Soul Shroud