Taric, The Shield of Valoran
Alright everybody, I honestly have to say this is one of the most exciting moments I’ve ever experienced as a LoL player. Taric is FINALLY getting the rework we all knew he deserved.
A lot of times, I hate champion reworks: I was a Shen main until they destroyed his kit and made him no fun to play. So I’m super apprehensive when it comes to reworks, but after Riot revealed the details of the update, I honestly believe Taric is going to dazzle his way back into the meta. For anyone who hasn’t checked out the update I’m gonna run through the major points, and give y’all some insight into League’s most fabulous champion.
So first is Taric’s new passive: Bravado. Whenever Taric casts an ability, his next two basic attacks will have increased damage, attack speed, and will reduce his cooldowns. Having seen a bit of PBE play, this looks super OP. I believe this passive gives him viability outside of bot lane, and is the secret to playing him in a solo lane (or even jungle).
His Q is called Starlight’s Touch, and its his new healing ability. Instead of being his old point/click heal, its now an AOE that heals Taric and any champions near him. The strength of the heal is determined by the number of charges he has stored, which are developed over time.
His W is what I’m most excited about. It’s called Bastion, and it allows Taric to link himself to an ally. On cast, the link shields Taric and the ally, and as long as Taric doesn’t recast or move to far away from the linked ally, all his abilities will also be casted from the ally (similar to how Pix mirrors Lulu’s actions). This looks like a completely OP ability. Taric will be able to AOE heal and stun for his allies even when he’s not close enough to do it himself. (Bastion also passively increases his armor)
His E is Dazzle. Like the original Dazzle, this is a stun. But unlike the old ability, this is a slightly delayed aoe skillshot. The downside is that it will be harder to hit the enemy, but it is now capable of stunning as many champions as it can hit (and when paired with Bastion has a high stun potential in big team fights).
Finally, is Cosmic Radiance, his ultimate. Personally this is the only new ability that I’m not a particularly big fan of. After a slight delay, Cosmic Radiance will make Taric and his nearby allies invulnerable for a few seconds. Honestly, this is kind of a disappointment to me. First off, I feel like this is just a repackaged Kindred ult, and beyond that, the number one reason I rage while playing League is abilities that deny death (Trynd, Kayle, Aatrox, Zac, etc.). I think that having a champion or two with the ability to postpone or deny death is fine, but it feels like there are now far too many options.
One of my biggest worries with this rework is that Taric is no longer going to be viable outside of Support. I for one have always enjoyed playing Top Taric, and I think Riot has done an excellent job of preserving his ability to work alone. He is certainly designed for a duo lane, but frankly I feel he still has great potential to smack things with Iceborn Gauntlet for killtacular fun.
My expectation is that Taric will have fantastic synergy with champs that have poor escape mechanics. With Bastion and Dazzle, Taric can help provide stuns for his ADC even when he (or they) are poorly positioned. So good luck to all you Kog’Maw’s out there. I think Taric will have a lot of struggles against high damage assassins though. Unless the players reflexes are incredibly fast, the heal/stun combo are going to do very little against a Zed or LeBlanc all-in. You could argue his ultimate could save teammates, but I don’t think preventing death is all that valuable in a 100-0 in 2 seconds situation.
Overall, I think Taric will find a place in competitive play in the Summer Split, and I look forward to some truly OUTRAGEOUS plays.
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