It doesn't take much browsing through the normal League of Legends related internet channels before you find someone hating on Taric, one of the game's oldest support characters, and one who has very desperately gone unchanged for what seems like eons. His splash art still reeks of that 2010 era cartoony roundness. His kit lacks some crazy, game defining ability that teleports him or makes him attack something three times before some wild effect. He's one of the few support characters that can quite literally do very little else but sit in the bottom lane with someone. His aging menu of options might make him the obvious butt of a joke, but even next to other revamped champs like Ashe and Sion, Taric still has a couple of great tricks that make him still one of the most solid choices for support just the way he is.
Where does the Taric hate come from? Well, there are a few valid cases against him. His mana costs are quite high, making him a fast burning lane partner, especially in an era without mana potions. The need to run away and recharge makes Taric easy to put behind the experience curve. Without any skill shots or longer range abilities, he is very easily kited. With only one form of Crowd Control (or CC), he becomes very predictable. Once he stuns someone, it's pretty much all he can do to protect himself or his lane mate. His signature strength is also his signature weakness: Armor. He needs it to do damage, but there's so many great ways to shred it that the double edged sword is a bit dull on your end. Not to mention stacking armor means not stacking magic resist, which means enemy mages are starting to look like this:
But many great, meta-friendly champions suffer from similar issues. Garen and Darius are two of the most kitable champions in the game. Leona's cc is quite limited. The body of their kits are what make them more acceptable picks, sure. But to look at Taric and think his abilities are simply lacking is to fail to appreciate how the unique charms of old League as it clashes against new League.
Taric's most underrated ability is his passive, Gemcraft. Like Lucian, Taric's auto attacks get extra love after using an ability. Where Lucian gets two attacks for the price of one, Taric gets a bonus to his next attack based on his armor (20% of it, to be exact). This counts for every ability he uses. Learning to weave abilities into his auto attack pattern is the difference between just standing there and looking pretty, and dazzling them with sheer brute force. This in conjunction with his Shatter ability really makes Taric something to behold. Passively, Shatter gives him and nearby allies a bonus to armor. He can, well, shatter this bonus armor to do flat magic damage, with some bonus damage on top based on his armor value. It also reduces enemy armor by a flat about, plus 5% of your AP value. Not only is your ADC smitten with you because of the passive Armor buff simply by being near you, but when you engage, you've dropped the enemy's armor by a significant amount (up to 25+5% AP) making their job that much easier.
And that's all before you use Dazzle, Taric's signature point and click stun. Without much effort, Taric can stop a nearby enemy for up to 1.6 seconds dead in their tracks. Doesn't seem like a long time, but League players know that it doesn't take much time to lose a team fight, or get caught out of place in lane and killed. It's also your only damaging ability besides your ultimate, so this will be your bread and butter. People will eventually know that every 14 seconds, someone is ripe for stunning. Taric's stun isn't the longest in the game, and the damage it does isn't the most devastating (Hey, Morgana), but it's probably the easiest to use among supports who root and stun.
Speaking of his ult, Radiance, the initial damage it does is nice, but isn't the really important part. It's the additional attack and ability power it gives Taric and his friends. That auto attack/ability tapestry we talked about weaving early just got way more dangerous, and when used at the start of team fights can be the difference between a tenuous trade and a total slaughter. We like the latter, right? Radiance gives the whole team half of his buff, which can be near half of the Baron's AD/AP bonus at max level. That is significant and shouldn't be ignored, especially since sieging auto attackers are all the rage nowadays.
Taric's best ability gets over looked as well. Imbue is a heal, and people know to expect it every few seconds while laning with the big guy. But people don't really respect just how good the heal is. At first level, Taric can heal himself and an ally for 60 each, or 120 total. Sona, who is arguably the best healer in the game, does about half that, though her cooldowns are much shorter. Taric's heal scales off of his AP (30%) AND his Health (5% of bonus) while Sona's only scales off of AP (20%). Sona gets the go ahead over Taric because the heals come quicker, and come with buffs to armor and resistance, but you trade that extra killing power while doing so. And as we pointed out before, Taric can protect his allies with his presence just as well and anyone else.
The Gem Warrior has his weaknesses, of course, they've just been overstated to perpetuate the joke that Taric is useless. In practice, though, he can fit multiple roles at once, and can be one of the more effective - if simpler - supports available. As he is now, Taric deserves more credit than he gets. He will be getting his update eventually, and with it most likely a whole new set of tricks (like Poppy), but until then, take a moment to really appreciate Taric for what he is. An effective, fun relic from a League of yesteryear.
Jarrett shares his love of video games and geek culture through feature articles on Gamepedia. He prides himself on his deep attraction to Japanese beat-em ups and his god-like Bushido Blade talents.