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Dec 15, 2016

Weird Picks #70: Taric Top

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A champion that's classically only played as a support, Taric does surprisingly well when the enemy team happens to pick all attack damage based champions with low health pools. By scaling both offensively and defensively through armor, he works surprisingly well against champions that like to all-in like Yasuo.

Introduction

A champion that's classically only played as a support, Taric does surprisingly well when the enemy team picks all attack damage based champions with low health pools. By scaling both offensively and defensively through armor, he excels against melee champions that like to trade often.

How to Play
RunesFlat Armor QuintsHybrid Penetration RedsFlat Health Yellows, Magic Resist Blues
Masteries: 0-12-18, Grasp of the Undying Masteries
Abilities: E, Q, E, W then prioritize R > E > Q > W
Summoner Spells: Flash + Teleport
Starting Items: Cloth Armor + 4 Health Pots
Core Items: Trinity Force, Ninja Tabi, Sunfire Cape, Deadman's Plate, Zz'Rot Portal, Thornmail


Why It Works

High Level Sustain and Damage Mitigation
By utilizing his heals and shields, Taric ends up with the ability to out-trade most melee top laners early on if they pick a fight with him, especially if he manages to weave in his two passive autos in between each spell.

Offensive Scaling Via Defensive Items
Taric's abilities all scale with either armor or health, meaning that he can simply build one offensive item, and spam defensive items the rest of the game. Unlike other champions, he actually increases his offensive output simultaneously, resulting in a very strong late game.

Strong Peel Power
Outside of his powerful AOE invulnerability granted by his ultimate, Taric also provides 20% of his bonus armor to an ally of his choice. If he's allowed to farm up top lane rather than support, this scaling is increased tremendously and allows for much better peel potential. If you want, you can also swap an item for Knight's Vow if your marksman is still having trouble staying alive.

Potential Pitfalls

Weak Waveclear
Although Taric can last hit at turret fairly easily via his passive bonus damage, his waveclear is not particularly good. This makes him vulnerable to losing large chunks of minions when teleporting into other lanes to assist. Additionally, this means his split-push ability is relatively weak, and thus cannot really make full use of the top lane teleport.

Not Good vs AP Heavy Teams
Taric's skills all scale off armor. If he is forced to build magic resist against double AP teams, his strength is greatly diminished, especially because his linked armor bonus is much less useful. In a world of Zyra and Brand supports, his usefulness can be greatly hindered in team fights.

Low "Stickiness"
Although Taric trades well and can get in some quick burst with his stun, he is definitely more of a backline peeler than the classical engagement front line that teams expect from their top laner. If you get very fed, it's possible for Taric to dive the back line with another champion, but difficult to execute if they still have their flash up.

Teammate Tilter
Classically, Taric is played as a support and doesn't even make it onto any statistic sites for ranking purposes. As a result, most players will be quite upset seeing a teammate lock in Taric top, potentially resulting in some raging.

Conclusions

Taric top is definitely viable against an AD heavy team, and does well in lane. However, he suffers from a lack of engagement potential, and thus is reliant on the rest of his team to pack some sort of poke or engage tool when it comes to team-fighting.

His best role is still as a peeler, which may work well in a hyper-carry composition. However, its certainly fun to shock enemy top laners with his outrageously high damage output once he picks up a few items.

Suggested Rating: Tier 3

What do you think about Taric Top? Comment below!


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