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Taric, The Gem Knight
This guide is to help the league of legends player improve their skills as a party assisting gem knight. This build is made to best support the team while focusing less on kills and making it much more difficult to win team fights. It works best with a pre-made, as this build relies on teams working together and entering a fight as a whole group, killing a few of their champions and using the remaining momentum to push with a champion number advantage.
Two things to note about this build before you attempt to use it:
- Almost no killing power to other champions - While this build is fairly efficient at farming minions early and mid game, when it comes to champion stopping power, this build virtually has none. You will have plenty of utility and be a very difficult target to kill, but you won't be able to stop them. When not surrounded by a team, it's in your best interest to run at all costs.
- Ventrilo / Teamspeak or a team that works best with you are must(s) - While this sounds like it's the case in most games, it is multiplied with this build. Often times, PUGs will do their own thing and run away. Your team will need to know the strengths of this build and have confidence in you. If not, they will likely run from team battles, making this guide fairly moot.
Now, this might sound restricting, but once you get an understanding of these two points you will feel the pure power of Taric. First, let's go over the skills and how they will be effective in this build:
Taric's skills involve gems, either by using the light as it passes through them or in a more literal, brute sense.
Gemcraft - Taric's passive. Any melee damage he deals will restore 7.5% of his mana based on the damage dealt. This effect is very nice, but supplemental as you won't be doing melee a lot of the time in team fights (See below).
Imbue - Taric's basic heal. While the 0.9 AP multiplier sounds nice, stacking AP isn't what this guide will do. Keep that in mind. initially you will only want to choose one point in this skill and it will be the second skill to hit max level. The skill's effect changes as this:
Shatter - An effective AoE damage dealing/debuffing spell and armour buffing aura. This will be your first priority to max level, as it will assist in burst damage, harassing, laning and generating coin. While this is your first priority to max level, I generally don't get it first. I'll explain below. This skill scales 0.5 with AP and scales as follows with levels:
AP Stack: 0.5:1
Activated (Passive is lost while on CD):
AoE Damage: 100 / 150 / 200 / 250 / 300
Lowers enemy armour by: 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 for 4 seconds.
Cooldown: 16 seconds
Mana Cost: 50 / 60 / 70 / 80 / 90
Dazzle - Taric's stun. That's the only real practical way to look at it with this build. The damage is fair, but the stun will benefit the team far, far greater than the damage. It's most effective at range, as the stun lasts longer the further you are from the person and deals more damage the closer you are. This is when you trigger the ability. If you use it and then run away from them, it won't stun them for long, since you triggered the ability when you were close. It's stats are as such:
Radiance - Taric's sweet, sweet ultimate. This ability is a toggle that heals and buffs the damage of surrounding allies. It stacks poorly with AP, but heals every second that is on. It has a lowish cooldown, which is good as it's mana effect stacks by 10 per second it is on, meaning it costs 10 mana, then the second second costs 20, then the third second costs 30 and so on, making it most effective in short bursts. The main benefit of this ability isn't actually it's heal. It's benefit comes from the HUGE damage boost you and your allies get to their base physical damage. This ability scales as follows:
AP Stack: 0.2:1
Heal: 30 / 40 / 50
Additional damage for Taric: 40% / 60% / 80%
Additional damage for team members: 20% / 30% / 40%
Cooldown: 20 seconds
Mana Cost: s*10 (s = seconds active)
Those abilities make it fairly obvious how they will help the team out. Using them well WILL make the difference in a team fight and WILL determine the game's outcome. Let's move on to my suggested masteries for this build:
My choice of masteries lies down the utility tree, as Taric is a utility character.
- Spatical Accuracy: Reduces the cast time of teleport by 0.5 seconds and reduces it's cooldown by 5 seconds - I personally choose this as I always run with teleport. It gets you to the action faster and is great for escape when the proverbial poo hits the fan. The .5 reduction in second helps you escape if your party manages to get wiped. An ace is a wonderful moral boost you don't want to give your enemy. The CD reduction is icing on the cake.
- Good Hands: Reduces the time spent dead by 3.33% / 6.66% / 10% - Handy (Haha, see wut I did thar?), but can be swapped out for other skills if Preserverence is taken. I personally would skip this if you believe an EXP boost is needed. If you find you die a lot, then take this.
- Perseverance(game has it misspelled? Ha?): Increases mana and natural HP regen(Not ulti'd) by 2% / 3% / 4% - Handy for the mana regeneration Taric *WILL* need. I say this is a must.
- Haste: Increases run speed of your ghost spell by 8% and increases it's effect by 1.5 seconds - Extremely good if you're bait for your party. It's increased duration and speed help run in, attract and run out. It also helps you get distance for a stun, run in for a shatter and get out as well as escaping. If you use ghost, I would consider this a must.
- Awareness: Increases XP gained by 1.25% / 2.5% / 3.75% / 5% - Not bad if you want to be the first to hit level 18 and assist in killing. Even better with Zilean in the group, as the effects stack. However, at max level this effectively becomes inert.
- Expanded Mind: Increases max mana by 1.25% / 2.5% / 3.75% / 5% - This skill is amazing. Taric already has a large mana pool. This helps by increasing Tarics mana regeneration via Chalice of Harmony as well as increasing the duration of his ultimate and option of spells. A must, I believe.
- Greed: Increases gold flow by 1 every 10 seconds. 6 every minute. That's 180 gold for a 30 minute game - Meh when you look at it like that, but if you have nothing else to spend the one single point in...
- Meditation: Increases mana regen by 0.33 / 0.66 / 1 mana per second - A massive help in the beginning of the game and helps a bit to negate the ultimate cost end game. I think this is a must.
- Utility Mastery: Increases the duration of neutral monster buffs (Nashor / Golem / Lizard) by 15% / 30% - An excellent talent if you find yourself utilizing buffs often. I, however, often leave them to the team as they benefit more. Therefore, I skip this mastery.
- Insight: Gives other champions as much mana as it gives you - Bleedin' NICE if you take Clarity. Often times champions will be restricted by the amount of their mana pool. This helps me them keep bringing the pain.
- Quickness: Increases base movement speed by 1% / 2% / 3% - Good skill to have as, with tier 2 boots, this will make you barely outrun other champions with tier 2 shoes and often, this little percentage, will save your life. However, many will skip it for utility master or, if they die a lot, good hands.
- Blink of an Eye: Reduces the cooldown of blink by 15 seconds - IMO. Meh. There're better masteries and spells. Then against, I dislike blink after the nerf.
- Intelligence: Reduces the cooldown of your champion's abilities by 2% / 4% / 6% - Uh, yes, please? Gimme? Please? Master? May I? Please? Just get it.
- Mystical Vision: Increases the duration of your clairvoyance spell by 4 seconds and reduces it's cooldown by 5 seconds - Clairvoyance already has a low cooldown and this makes that even more crazy. If your team is well coordinated with it's spell choices and you pick up Clairvoyance, this will help you have eyes on the entire map for the party.
- Presence of the Master: Reduces the cooldown of your summoner abilities (Teleport, heal, fortify, e.t.c) by 15% - See Intelligence.
Offense: I'm only going to list the ones I believe are useful.
- Archmagi's Savvy: Increases your champion's AP by .2 / .4 / .6 per champion level - The best choice in offense when going for the prime tier 2 skill. Not very good otherwise.
- Cripple: Makes your exhaust spell also reduce the champion's armour and magic resist by 25 and increases the duration by .5 seconds - A good choice if you run exhaust to support your team. It immediately shuts down any melee dependant champion, slows their escape and a solid choice as your last to hit tier 2.
- Sorcery: Reduces your champion's cooldowns by 1% / 2% / 3%. A solid choice as you will always find most of your abilities on CD. A must and makes the 4 points in offense worth it.
Defense: Again, only listing the one I find useful for this build.
- Mender's Faith: Reduces your heal spell cooldown by a whopping 30 seconds - Helps make sure your heal is available to turn the fight's tide.
[/quote][/quote]Now that you've an idea how the masteries that help this guide, let's move onto the summoner spell selections any how they can support your team. I personally recommend you always run with teleport and a spell of your choice.
Heal: Heals you for 140 + 20 x champion level and half that for your team. A small heal, but can definitely change the battle. After they are healed, champions receive a debuff from this spell that reduces the next heal even further, so try to coordinate with your team to not chain heals.
Exhaust: Slows your opponent by 40% and gives them a 0% chance to hit for 3 seconds. This spell shuts down a melee character for 3 seconds and signs a death warrent for anyone fleeing from your slaughter. Great for your team
Ghost: increases your movement speed by 32% and ignore collisions with other units for 14 whopping seconds. Incredible for being bait, running in and shattering then running out, gaining distance for a dazzle or catching up to someone to stun them so the team can run them down.
Revive: Instantly revives you if you die to quickly get back into the fight. In later ELO games, teams will know to target you first and if you can't get away, this combined with teleport gets you back into action in under 5 seconds. Nifty! Long, long, long cooldown though. Likely won't be used more than two to three times in a game if you die a lot. I only recommend this if you do die a lot. In which case, you gotta work on that.
Teleport: Instantly teleports you to a minion or tower after 4 seconds of casting. A very nice spell. In the beginning it lets you hit town and teleport back to make sure you don't lose out in those critical level gaining moments. It also acts as an escape and has saved my ass so many times. Click on your tower when in their base or too far to run to safety. Can be cast while they are beating on you, but a stun will take the CD and do nothing. Also, be sure to teleport to the closest tower to you. If the enemy can't destroy it, you can't teleport to it. I personally recommend this as a must.
Cleanse: Removes all debuffs from you instantly and removes all debuff durations by 50% for 3 seconds after. Low CD. Excellent for CC teams that like to shut you down. Great for removing snares to run away.
Fortify: Grants invulnerability to all friendly towers and doubles their attack speed for 6 seconds. Great for those annoying back doors. People like Tren / Yi / Twitch who can pop their ultimate to devestate your tower, or for opportunistic champions. This shuts them down.
Promote: Oh, wait. Nevermind.
Clarity: Grants you 160 mana + 30 x champion level mana and half to close friendly champions - Free mana? Yes, please! Need that last second to destroy the inhibitor? Does your ally need that last bit of mana for his / her ultimate? Are you just barely short of a dazzle? This solves that!
Ignite: Deals 50 damage + 25 per champion level over 5 seconds and reduces effective healing by 50% on that target. Great for running allies or helping kill champions, but I would recommend getting something else to help your team more.
Rally: Creates a beacon that has 200 + 25 x level Health for 15 seconds which increases allied base Physical Damage by 30% and heals them for 15 + 1.5 x level per second - Amazing for team fights if they stay in a single location. However, in higher ELOs, don't expect it to survive long. It's great for placing at inhib towers, though. Drop it behind the tower, hit your ultimate and get your team to focus on the structures. You'll destroy both the tower and the inhibitor in under 10 seconds. Trust me, it's nuts.
Clairvoyance: Reveals any part of the map for 6 seconds. Low CD. Great for having eyes everywhere. A massive utility for the team if you've stealthers against you or backdoors.
Flash: A very small instant teleport that destroys projectiles towards you - Fun to watch Veigars cry after their ultimate is wasted or great for teleporting through trees to escape or teleporting closer to stun a target as they run. I don't really recommend this past that as there are much more useful skills out there.
And those are the skills. I like to run with Teleport and Ghost. It gets me into and away from fights quickly and helps me place myself and utilize my position to help the team the most. It's best to choose spells that are customized to yourself and your team, however.
Now, let's move onto the items I choose. I choose items based on the team I am fighting as such:
When fighting with a team that likes to slaughter minions before I can even get close to them, I run with these items:
[quote]First: Meki Pendant -> Philospher's Stone Second: Kage's Lucky Pick Third: Kage's Lucky Pick
Now, if I have my two picks before 12 minutes into the game, I get a third pick and then move on to below. If I am beyond 12 minutes or we're pushing really hard or losing hard, I move on:
Fourth: Meki Pendant -> Chalice of Harmony Mana regen will be your biggest friend at this point. Moving won't help you a whole lot in team fights, so boots come after this. Fifth: Mercury Treads - The stun reduction is the best benefit for a team assistant, as you don't need spell pen and you won't be moving as much for run 3 to be required. Sixth: Stark's Fervor - If your party knows you're getting it and doesn't have one yet. The attack speed, regen and leech will turn the tide of a fight. Seventh: Sell off the phil. stone for a soul shroud. The mana regen and CD reduction will help your team push hard. Eighth: Sell off a Kage pick when you can get an Aegis. The extra damage and health make the team push a little bit harder. You might consider this before the soul shroud if everyone is still at medium level. Ninth: Gah, long game? Sell off that last Kage for another item to help you. Guardian Angel is my recommendation, but choose whatever you want.
When fighting a team I get tons of money from, thanks to shatter, I go with the following:
First: Mana Manipulator. It will be used in a soul shroud and helps you and your lane buddy get mana back quicker early game. Second: Meki Pendant -> Chalice of Harmony. The Chalice is a staple. A must, period. Third: Mercury Treads - Best choice of the boots. Fourth: Stark's Fervor. Attack speed, life leech and health regen for the party is a must for every game. It'll turn the tides of the fight so quickly. Fifth: In melee heavy teams, get an Aegis to increase damage. In caster heavy teams upgrade your Mana Manipulator into a Soul Shroud. Sixth: Get what you didn't get in the last pick. Aegis is for melee damage, but helps casters with armour. The soul shroud helps your melee team with CD reduction and likely much needed mana regen. Seventh: Guardian Angel, if the game lasts that long. Your buffs aren't on the party when you're dead. Eighth: God forbid the game goes this long, but at this point get a Banshee's Veil.
Be sure to mix it up based on the team you're fighting. Keep in mind that Veils are a must against fights with lots of casters and if the team knows to target you first, be sure to get a guardian angel sooner.[/quote]Now let's look at what runes will suit Taric well for this type of play:
[quote]Marks: The red thingies that support melee best.
This part of your rune book supports melee abilities best and magic abilities are weak here. I personally recommend getting attack speed runes to facilitate faster mana regeneration and lower Imbue cooldown. This is mostly due to lack of other good choices.
Attack Speed: Probably the best choice in red to increase Imbue casts and mana regen, but you won't be meleeing a lot end game. Still, one of the better choices for Marks. Provides a 15.3% attack speed increase at all levels.
Mana: Mana is a solid choice, at Tier 3 it provides 189.54 mana at level 18 with all 9 slots filled.
Other choices tend to be less equipped to support your party than these two. Armour and Magic resistance help, but minorly.
Glyphs: Strong on magic, weak on physical. Your best runes.
Cooldown reduction: My choice of poison. I prefer level 18 CD reduction runes as at Tier 3 I can stack 9 of them and max 40% CD reduction with a soul shroud and masteries. A solid choice to keep those short Radiance bursts and flow of Imbues to turn the battle.
Mana: Oddly, not a strong choice for glyphs. They add 25.56 at level 18 at Tier 3. 230 mana total. With Taric, you'll be OOM most of the game and relying on a high mana pool and Chalice to regen faster to support the boosts of your ultimate. Still, 230 isn't much of a boost.
AP: As stated before, AP stacking doesn't help your team out as much as it would seem since your biggest boost to your team comes from Radiance, which stacks poorly with AP.
Mana / 5 sec: Not a solid choice as your mana regeneration will already be out of control and, while it seems to be extremely handy, you'll rely on being low on mana and low CDs for efficiency.
Seals: Those yellow runes you club.
Dodge: Expensive, but a solid choice. 6.75% chance to dodge seems like a minor help, but against melee characters it's a 6.75% mitigation. Not too bad for a single section of tunes.
Health: Another decent choice. An increase of 175 health at level 18 with 9 runes. I personally believe dodge to be better as it's a solid 6.75% even at level 1.
Mana: The best choice if you want the most efficient aid to the team without survivability. An additional 190 mana at level 18 with Tier 3. Good for mana regen with a chalice, as well.
Again, AP is sub-optimal for this build.
Quint- Quintess... Those really expensive runes:
These runes are completely useful to any aspect and very powerful. Depending on your play style, these can change drastically. I recommend using them to further your other runes. If you stacked mana, get more mana. If you got 9 CD glyphs, get three more CD Quins to maximize your CD at 40% with a soul shroud and masteries. if you feel you want psycho utility, then I suggest going with gold, dodge, time dead or whatever suits your style. This part is something you should choose.
[/quote]Now that you know how to set up your Taric for team support, let's move on to how to PLAY your Taric for team support. Here're some general tips for you to consider while playing him:
Tips and advanced play:
Dazzle - Almost never do it at point blank unless they're almost dead or you're not with a group and need the damage to ensure you can beat them. Otherwise, a 2 second stun will support your team much more than 400 damage.
Radiance - Because of it's damage boost, low cooldown and cumulative upkeep, this is best used in short bursts when your team is all gathered to slaughter something. Be it a player or structure. Use at full mana and leave it on for Baron and in team fights, then trigger it as much as you can when it's off CD to keep your mana low. This is important and explained next.
Keep your mana low in fights - This sounds like a stupid strategy, but it helps in a variety of ways. The biggest comes from your Chalice of Harmony. This item increases your mana by 1% of the missing mana per second. Combined with Radiance's low cost initially and high mana pool, you will find you essentially always have imbue mana and can trigger Radiances for several seconds at a time to give your team plenty of additional damage and health. Try to at least leave 95 mana for a well-timed Dazzle.
Champions to watch out for - Look out for the following champs:
Fiddlesticks: This scarecrow mother f- will shut you down with his crow attack and silence. And when I say shut you down, I mean he will turn you into a useless character. Seriously. It's stupid. It needs nerfed. Badly. It's stupid. Grr. I hate this, can you tell?
Nunu: His ultimate is brutal and can very easily slaughter a team. When fighting against a Nunu, keep your dazzle off CD so you can pop a stun on him the second he casts it.
Tryndamere: His ultimate is brutal and can slaughter your team, but it has a weakness: Stuns! BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA! *ahem* ... He can still take damage while in his rage and it only lasts a few seconds. When you hear him scream, stun him so that scream can be heard in real life, too.
Karthas: A rare champion any more with his difficulty to play and high IP cost, but his ultimate does a large amount of damage to all champions on the map. When you are fighting him, don't let anyone on your team stay below 550 HP if you can help it.
Katarina: Sort of line another Nunu. Brutal ultimate that can be shut down with Dazzle. Save it for her. However, when fighting a Nunu and Katarina at the same time, Stun the Nunu first. His attack hits everyone. Katarina's damage is divided.
About to get stunned? Radiance!: Radiance doesn't get cancelled when you become CC'd. You just can't begin or end it. However, if you know you're about to get CC'd, trigger it. The additional health regen will likely save you and your team. It's also good on the go since you don't need to stop to cast it.
Know your place: This build is a team build. Despite your passive, you're best suited in the back and not meleeing. You can often run in and shatter to lower the HP and armour of those around you, which can massively help the fight, but in the front you're just asking to get killed.
Well, there it is. I will likely edit it as I grow with Taric. However, that's my suggestions and you're free to give me more tips. What would this game be without community?
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Making a second post in case I decide I can utilize it beyond the first.
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Some decent points in there. I like the length, but you're suffering from a little too much TL;DR. There's really no need to go in depth about what each of the masteries and summoner spells do, just focus on which ones apply to the build, why and how to use them in conjunction with your playstyle and champion skills.
With your runes, I'd be careful about wandering too much. During the regular guide you talk about ignoring attack speed and AP, yet both come up in the runes section. At that point adding runes as your only means of AP or attack speed is going to be pretty minimal and both are really wasted runes. I know you do bring that up a little bit, but it's better to stay focused on what exactly will best help this build than wild tangents.
I also have a feeling that there may be some issues with your item build. You're not going to find a lot of support on these boards for a 4-gold-income-item setup. And it seems a bit odd to go for Kages over Heart of Gold anyway since you don't advocate AP. It seems that between Taric's tanking ability and Shatter, and the fact that Taric shouldn't be in a solo lane you really should never be shut out of farming last hits. As for the other build, it seems a little bit like it jumps. Certainly the aura idea is cool for Taric, but for example, something like Starks is really better suited for a melee class or a Taric with an Attack Speed / Attack Damage build for his passive.
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I'll look into shortening the guide a bit more when I have some more time on my hands.
The main point behind Taric getting the Starks and Kage's is in the idea that it opens up a slot for the melee to buy something else instead of a Starks, amplifying their personal attack power even further. The reason behind the Kage's is that AP is not the best thing to stack, but it does help minimally, while Kage's is much cheaper than a Heart of Gold. With this build your idea is to stay in the best well enough to give your team the aura, but be out of reach of the enemy's reach.
In general, if you get close enough that an enemy can get off a stun and the team becomes aware to focus fire you, it doesn't matter if you have the extra HP from a heart of gold; You're going down. So the 500+ gold you save from a Kage and the small amount of extra HP for Imbue seems to trump the HP gain.