Taric is the latest champion to be reworked by Riot, and boy has he never looked more radiant. Patch 6.8 has brought about exciting changes to the Rift, but let’s be honest—it’s Taric’s time to shine. The former ‘Gem Knight’ has had to patiently wait for his makeover, watching from the sidelines while Summoner’s Rift and its champions have changed around him. Over time, Taric became a rare sight.
The latest update has shed light onto this stunning aspect, ascending him to his rightful place among the stars, along with new lore, kit, audio and a fresh look. It’s comforting to see that old Dorito feet has received a makeover that is worthy of his character. As Taric himself says: "I am no longer the man I once was."
Taric’s rework has left many players with questions. How did he become so buff? What hair product does he use? When will he be cast as the next Disney prince? But more importantly: what role he will play within the current meta?
If looks could kill
This eye-catching champ doesn’t just dazzle his opponents in lane: he also packs a magnificent punch. Taric’s main source of damage comes from his passive, Bravado, which activates after he casts any ability. Once activated, Taric's next two basic attacks within 4 seconds each gain 100% total attack speed, bonus magic damage, and reduce the cooldowns of his abilities. Starlight’s Touch is affected significantly more than his other spells.
Bravado is an excellent source of harass and should be used to bully your opponent early on in the laning phase. Good use of this ability will deny gold and experience, hindering their build progression, as well as allowing your AD carry to sneak in some extra damage providing opportunities to snag first blood. This early harass can quickly force Taric’s opponents under their turret or leave them with no choice but to recall. His ADC can now farm without the fear of constant poke while he can safely provide ward coverage, making it easier for his team to spot enemy rotations.
Once Taric has finished hitting his opponent with a flurry of auto-attacks he can retreat safely away and heal himself and all nearby allied champions with Starlight’s Touch. Taric stores a charge of Starlight's Touch which periodically builds up over time, with a maximum of 3 being stored at once. Make sure to hold onto Starlight’s Touch to deliver a more potent heal, and help turn the tide of the battle by giving your team a new lease of life. Starlight's Touch cannot be cast without charges, so choose your opportunities wisely as you may end up leaving your team high and dry.
Those who played Taric will be glad to see that his trademark stun is back in all its glory, but this time it comes with an added twist. Originally a targeted spell, Taric’s stun could only shut down one opponent and offered little to no impact in teamfights. This has changed with his revamped stun Dazzle. Now Taric can cast his stun in any direction, while briefly moving around before projecting a beam of starlight towards the target location. The starlight erupts after a 1-second delay, dealing magic damage to all enemies hit stunning them for a brief period of time. This can be deadly when twinned with his passive Bravado, offering a brief window for himself and his allies to deal damage to those ensnared.
The most interesting addition to Taric’s kit is Bastion. All of Taric’s abilities can now be simultaneously cast from both Taric and his linked ally, the passive increases his armour while the active shields himself and his Bastion buddy for 2.5 seconds. Bastion remains on Taric’s ally until he recasts it onto another ally, or if the two move far enough apart to break their link.
Thanks to Bastion, Taric can now double down on all his abilities creating some truly, truly, truly outrageous plays. Gone are the days of him eagerly sticking to his laner like a glorified babysitter. He can now provide support from afar with his twin heal on Starlight’s Touch and clever positioning can make Dazzle all the more threatening, increasing the chance of stunning multiple opponents.
If Taric sees a friendly jungler approaching he can recast Bastion, giving them a shield that can sponge incoming damage that would otherwise deter unaided junglers. Taric can now utilise his stun and root his opponents in place while his ADC and jungler take down their targets. Once finished Taric can heal his teammates using Starlight’s touch negating the damage taken during the brief skirmish.
Objectives can be claimed and defended more aggressively now that his team can bask in the sapphire invulnerability of his ultimate, Cosmic Radiance. Taric will activate this after a 2.5-second delay and will shroud himself and nearby allied champions in cosmic energy, granting invulnerability for 2.5 seconds upon impact. If the co-operation and synergy between Taric and his team is good, his ultimate has the potential to be the single most powerful spell in the entire game.
Reach for the stars
In the competitive meta early dives are common practice, and this is without having the safety of 2.5 seconds of invulnerability. Pro teams who use Taric could abuse his ultimate and increase potential diving opportunities like never before. We could even see Taric being played in solo lanes. After all, it is not unheard of for a support to be played competitively in other lanes: just look at how devastating Tahm Kench is in top lane.
In League of Legends teamfights are won and lost within a matter of seconds, so having a 2.5 second window of invulnerability is huge—especially when given to the whole team. It is more than enough time to quickly dispatch squishy damage dealers, tower dive unsuspecting champions and make taking control over Baron Nashor and Dragon camps less daunting. Taric’s Cosmic Radiance puts an end to otherwise-suicidal missions and creates limitless opportunities for plays that would otherwise never work. Taric says yes to these ideas, and brings them into the realms of possibility. After all: "there's nowhere left to go but up."