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A beginner guide to playing the Shield of Valoran 

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One of the rarest supports to be found on the Rift is surely one of the oldest supports out there, as well as one of the most beloved. Now, he might not be the best pick in the current meta, but other than being a rare pocket pick he can truly turn the game around and help carry your team to victory if played the right way, against an adequate team composition.

For the last two seasons I have only once found myself playing against a Taric in lane so if you worry about mirror match-ups in normal games, you can be sure that the chances are next to none when picking Taric. He was recently completely reworked and as of the latest patch (6.12) he is in a somewhat strange place. He is neither as easy as he once was (although he isn’t hard by any stretch of the imagination), nor is he overpowered/underpowered. He shouldn’t be played in every comp since he has a very particular set of skills.

I started playing Taric a couple of seasons ago when I first started being a support main. He had an extremely fun kit and was nearly unkillable. The enemy team never focuses you because by the time late game comes, you have around 400 armor and over 3k health, so you don’t have to worry about bad positioning in team fights, no matter how you position they will rarely attack you, meanwhile you would shred their armor, buff your teammates with your ultimate and, when needed, stun the enemy carry with a point and click stun.He went great with a couple of AD Carries, and while in lane, with the right rune and mastery setup, he was one of the tankiest supports out there.

Now it’s a bit of a different story. Let’s take a look at his new kit:

Abilities

PASSIVE: Bravado

His passive is a simple one. After casting an ability, his next two basic attacks deal increased damage and reduce his cooldowns.

Q: Starlight’s Touch

Taric’s Q ability is still a heal albeit a different one. Now it stores charges, up to three. It takes 15s to get one charge and you heal yourself as well as an ally that your W ability is tethered to. (more on that below) Now this ability is nice since it is a heal and those are always great to have while laning but it’s really weak compared to Nami’s heal. After a couple of these when out of combat you can really feel the difference but in the long run it’s not something that is going to benefit you too greatly.

W: Bastion

This ability has a passive and an active component. Passively, it increases Taric’s armor as well as the armor of the teammate it’s tethered to. When you activate it, it gives you and your ally a shield for 2.5 seconds for a percent of their maximum health. You will be using this ability only for tethering, changing the tether target and giving the active shield. It’s not a lot, but you should use it strategically. The shield also isn’t something to write home about but it can be a life-saver when needed.

E: Dazzle

This is your bread and butter. After a 1 second delay, Taric blasts his hammer in a straight direction and if an enemy is to be found at the end of it —they’re getting stunned for up to 1.75s. (the duration scales with level)Now, first of all this ability is a skillshot, so you can miss it easily. The visual indicator also looks a bit longer than the ability actually is, so you should also have that in mind. It takes some time to get used to, especially if you’re used to the old Taric, but nothing too special. Now for the catch. It can stun multiple targets! On top of that, not only does Taric get a beam that can stun but his tethered ally gets one as well. So in theory you have an even bigger chance to land that skillshot, and you can also use it in teamfights. Realistically, when the fight starts you usually can’t see much when all the ability effects start to stack up, (depending on the number of participants and the champions used) so having two stunning beams is something really beneficial.

R: Cosmic Radiance

After a 2.5s delay, a mysterious cosmic energy makes Taric and his tethered ally invulnerable for 2.5s. The amazing thing here is that any other ally that is inside the aura when the ability activates also gets affected, so in theory your whole team can be invulnerable for that duration.Depending on what you’re going for, this is a miraculous ability. It is more than enough to change the direction your fight is going, and you can use it for diving your enemies and any other purpose. It has a longer cooldown, but with your passive and the Frozen Heart (20% cooldown reduction) it goes down a significant amount.As for the order in which you level up your abilities, you can check the very in-depth statistics from the latest patch.Champion.gg Skill Order (Patch 6.12)

When to pick Taric? You should pick Taric when against full AD compositions, since he is one of a small group of champions that scale of armor. Against those comps Taric might be the best possible pick if you can play him right and if your team needs a tanky support.

In general, Taric counters most engage supports out there. When they initiate, he can counter with an easy to land stun. Of course, it mostly boils down to a skill matchup in the 2v2 lane. He is however insanely countered by poke mage supports like Sona and Soraka, and Morgana. He is tanky, and he does have a heal, but he has problems engaging against supports that keep a distance and constantly poke. If you succeed in outplaying them a couple of time it becomes easier, but it’s also a skill matchup. I’ve won countless times against a Morgana because me and my duo ADC have fantastic synergy because we’ve been playing for years now. Had that been a random solo queue ADC, I believe the outcome would have been completely different. Also, depending on your ELO, Taric can be viable only up to high Gold. Already in Platinum he is a stretch in terms of viability, so keep that in mind. He is one of the easiest champions to learn but also has a good skill ceiling, and pulling of a game winning ultimate or stunning the whole enemy team is a fantastic feeling. If you’re new to supporting or just want to have some fun — he is a great pick, but don’t underestimate the impact he can have on a game.

Laning with Taric

While playing Taric in lane your objectives are very clear. Protect your ADC at all costs, while also trying to survive his weak early game. You can’t rely on your heal any longer since even with 3 stacks it heals for an extremely small amount, and your W is fairly straightforward, you use it either to get a shield for you and/or your linked ally or to link to someone else, so that really simplifies the way you play the game with Taric. Act as a human shield, try to stun as many people as possible and use your ultimate to protect as many allies as you can. While in lane, try to survive and wait for a gank from your jungler. When that happens, you have huge kill potential with the way your stun works. With some good coordination it can easily result in a kill or two. Do have in mind that you can also activate Dazzle (E) and flash while it’s channeling to catch the enemy AD or support unprepared. It can be tricky to land that way but it’s nothing impossible and you should have this in mind if it’s needed to secure the kill.

Roaming with Taric is another good thing to do when you get the chance. Taric’s ganks on mid almost always result in a burned flash from the enemy midlaner and since no one wants to get stunned, people will often flash preemptively so you usually won’t have to pull any flashy plays in order to get an advantage for your midlaner. As for summoner spells — always take Flash, that is a general rule for Taric, and depending on the enemy team, you can take either Exhaust or Ignite. Exhaust is the best choice if the enemy team has assassins like Zed or Rengar or any similar champion, where a well timed exhaust can change the direction of a teamfight, and ignite gives you higher kill potential while in lane, and should be picked if playing against a champion that has a lot of healing built in their kit like Volibear, Soraka or Dr. Mundo.

Now, regarding his item build order, here is what Platinum+ players are building on the current patch. (6.12) It’s a general rule that you don’t build mechanically, you need to adapt not only to the enemy team comp but to the situation you’re in at every moment in the game, from the beginning of the laning phase to late game. You wouldn’t always need Thornmail, but if the enemy team comp is full of AD (and preferably auto-attack heavy) champions it is a good and cheap item to get, especially since Taric scales so well off of armor. If you’re playing against a couple of AP champions, top and mid or perhaps Elise jungle, you should always get Locket of the Iron Solari not just for it’s active but passive magic resist aura for your team. You should always go a bit more in-depth if you can when thinking of item build order. If you’re losing in lane 2v2 and the enemy jungler isn’t present on the lower half of the map, it is OK if you delay your Sightstone, and go for some defensive items like a Cloth Armor and so on since it might be more beneficial in the short term when another 2v2 fight breaks out.Champion.gg build order. (Patch 6.12)

Another fantastic thing about Taric’s new kit is the fact that you can rebind your W to another ally at any moment in the game. This is a fantastic strategic advantage not because of the active on the ability (the shield) but because of your ult. If you have a fed Katarina on your team, you should bind her seconds before she jumps into the enemy team to wreak havoc. Since she will be invulnerable for 2.5 seconds, this gives more than enough time for your team to follow up, while at the same time defending her for any kind of damage she might receive while being in the heart of battle. This goes for any kind of carry or assassin champion. Two and a half seconds is incredibly long in-game and can turn the game around in your favour. Of course, if your team is all grouped up then it doesn’t matter that much if your W is on your ADC or some other ally since the ultimate has a large area of effect and every teammate will be affected. Taric should be played aggressively but with some planning. You shouldn’t just go in like crazy, but he is extremely durable and tanky so you shouldn’t be scared of going in and being the frontline.

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GradesFixer. (2019, January, 28) A beginner guide to playing the Shield of Valoran . Retrived September 15, 2019, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-beginner-guide-to-playing-the-shield-of-valoran%e2%80%8a/
"A beginner guide to playing the Shield of Valoran ." GradesFixer, 28 Jan. 2019, https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-beginner-guide-to-playing-the-shield-of-valoran%e2%80%8a/. Accessed 15 September 2019.
GradesFixer. 2019. A beginner guide to playing the Shield of Valoran ., viewed 15 September 2019, <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-beginner-guide-to-playing-the-shield-of-valoran%e2%80%8a/>
GradesFixer. A beginner guide to playing the Shield of Valoran . [Internet]. January 2019. [Accessed September 15, 2019]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-beginner-guide-to-playing-the-shield-of-valoran%e2%80%8a/
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