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Champion Update: Taric, the Shield of Valoran
Taric infuses his next two basic attacks whenever he casts an ability. He swings faster with these two attacks, which deal increased damage and reduce his cooldowns.
- Starlight's Touch
Taric heals himself and all nearby allies based on the number of Starlight's Touch charges he's stored. Taric generates up to three charges over time.
All of Taric's abilities are simultaneously cast from both Taric and his linked ally.
- Passive: Bastion increases Taric's armor.
- Active: Taric links with an ally, shielding them from damage. Bastion remains on Taric's ally until he recasts it onto another ally, or the two move far enough apart to break their link.
After a brief delay, Taric fires out a short wave of celestial energy in a target direction that stuns all enemies struck.
Taric's one hell of an eye-catching character in lane, and not just because of that magnificent mane. Clever aim with Dazzle will land his trademark stun and gift Taric the chance to walk up and weave in a couple of basic attacks. Bravado gives those attacks an extra kick, of course, but also significantly lower his cooldowns, offering him the chance to get back to stunning all the sooner. And after he's smacked his opponent a couple of times, he can head back to safety before healing up with Starlight's Touch.
But don't mistake Taric for a one-trick pony, because once he unlocks Bastion, the Shield of Valoran's utility, options and threat ramp up significantly. By linking up with his ally, Taric can essentially double down on his abilities in intensely creative and intelligent ways. The twin heal on Starlight's Touch means he no longer needs to hang out beside his lane pal all the time, while smart positioning and aim with Dazzle can utterly wreck even the most determined ganks or tower dives. What's more, Bastion isn't an ability solely reserved for Taric's marksman. He can recast the ability on a friendly jungler as they approach to give them a quick damage-soaking shield, then start doing Taric things as the gank begins. Smart Dazzle casts will again stun multiple enemies, while Starlight's Touch will help sustain Taric's jungling pal as they dive deep to finish off their kill. Speaking of the heal, it's often an ability that Taric will want to play around. Even though the Shield of Valoran can cast it pretty frequently, he's usually better off saving Starlight's Touch until he's stacked all three charges. The mana cost doesn't change, and by enacting a gank or other proactive call when Taric's fully loaded his Q, he's all the more likely to keep his team ticking.
Taric boasts a whole box of tools around neutral objectives thanks to his inherent tankiness and powerful teamfighting abilities. He can fend off enemy teams around Dragon, for example, absorbing enemy poke with well-timed Bastion shields and his burgeoning health pool. Enemy junglers looking to chance a steal have to deal with Dazzle, too, which - if landed - pretty much gifts Taric's team an easy kill alongside a guaranteed dragon stack. If, on the other hand, Taric's team is running late and looking to stop the enemy from securing Dragon, Taric can charge in with his jungler, using Starlight's Touch to keep them both alive while Bastion and Dazzle work together to spew out twin lines of AoE stuns.
Taric and his allies can claim and defend objectives even harder while basking in the azure invulnerability glow of his ultimate, Cosmic Radiance. In last-minute Dragon contests, he can cast Bastion on his jungler, providing them the perfect window to brazenly contest their winged bounty. Similarly, he can cast Bastion on an allied assassin before ulting to give them the perfect window for otherwise desperate tower dives. Either way, with smart timing, Cosmic Radiance can pull a whole bunch of would-be suicide missions into the realm of smart, realistic plays.
Taric gets to choose from a few different approaches once the two teams decide to rumble together. The first is the backline peeling role that other supports typically play. This sees Taric sticking by his marksman and protecting them with his self-targeted abilities, while using Bastion to project his efforts from an allied frontliner. Alternatively, he can take up a spot at the front of his team's formation before casting Bastion on a backline ally. Either way, Taric ends up with boatloads of utility options and presence on both ends of his team's formation, although he'll have to keep an eye on all the action all the time, and will often be forced into some hard decisions. He can save allies with Starlight's Touch or cast Cosmic Radiance, for example, but if he chooses to save his dying assassin, he'll lose his heal for his nearby marksman when they run into trouble. Similarly, he can Dazzle to stun the enemy assassin about to turn his backline bro into mincemeat, but doing so might rob him of the chance to help kill the wounded squishy fleeing from Taric's Bastion buddy. Ultimately, Taric has a huge impact in teamfights however he plays, but the choices he makes from moment to moment will often dictate who lives and who dies.
|Works well with:||Struggles against:|
|Graves - the Outlaw
Graves and Taric pair up pretty comfortably, and thrive when they get aggro. Graves' short range means he pretty much has to get real close to the things he wants to shoots holes out of, at which point Taric has a much easier time landing Dazzle on his Bastion buddy. What's more, while other marksmen might die before Dazzle and Cosmic Radiance kick in (remember they both have delays in their cast time), Graves is usually tanky enough to survive a few seconds of punishment.
|Zyra - Rise of the Thorns
Zyra's a real headache for Taric, particularly during laning. Not only does she have plenty of slows and snares to punish the Shield of Valoran's lack of mobility, but she can effectively counter his hard Dazzle engages with Grasping Roots and Stranglethorns, too. What's more, Taric's generally pretty vulnerable to poke, which Zyra has in spades. And yes - that is a gardening reference.
|Vi - the Piltover Enforcer
There's no two champ wrecking crew quite like Vi and Taric. The pink-haired punching machine always looks to go in hard on her engages, but she can go so much harder while she is Taric's Bastioned ally. Dazzle complements Assault and Battery perfectly, stunning Vi's target as she lets loose with her very own fists of fury, while Cosmic Radiance and Starlight's Touch protect her from whatever enemy attention comes her way. Taric's safety net might just encourage Vi to build more damage than usual, too, letting her knock out her targets in record time.
|LeBlanc - the Deceiver
Area of effect heals and invulnerability is cool 'n all, but it's all a bit pointless when an enemy assassin's able to dart in and blow up Taric's ally before Cosmic Radiance actually kicks in. The ult takes a couple of seconds to arm - more than enough time for a nimble-fingered and opportunistic LeBlanc player to unleash her combo and blow up whoever Taric's trying to save.
|Diana - the Scorn of the Moon
Similar to Vi, Diana loves diving squishy enemy targets, but lacks the hard crowd control she needs to secure her kills. Not with Taric on her side, who can cast Bastion on League's grumpiest mid laner before Dazzling her target as she lands Crescent Strike and Lunar Rushes in. And while Diana lacks the traditional escape tools other assassins have, she'll be able to lean on Cosmic Radiance alongside her natural tankiness to keep her ticking as she makes her way to safety.
|Corki - the Daring Bombardier
Taric's generally a pretty tanky chap, but if there's one chink in his glorious armor, it's magic damage. The permanent armor boost on Bastion, for example, won't do a thing to slow down the magic damage pain train. Enter Corki, the most magical of marksmen who also happens to come equipped with plenty of abilities that handily expose Taric's other weakness: poke.
Champion Insights: Taric, the Shield of Valoran
By Ryan 'Cactopus' Rigney 
As we've tuned the visuals on Taric's co-stars, the crystal-coated, pizza-footed Demacian has begun to feel like an eyesore by comparison. Couple his outrageous visuals with an outdated kit, and we had a prime candidate for a rework - but our goal wasn't to completely replace him. Instead, we sent the Gem Knight on an epic journey to transform him into the Shield of Valoran.
- Finding grace atop the mountain
When we originally created Taric, we came up with this pretty vague backstory about him being a space alien obsessed with gems. As a result, most players had the impression that he was just a weird dude who's always moaning about gems. The challenge was to write a story that could turn Taric into a believable character with a purpose and a justifiable explanation of his obsession with geology.
We began by looking for a place for Taric to live that fit him thematically. He's supposedly a Demacian, but nothing about his gameplay or pointy wardrobe particularly fit that region's theme. Our first impulse was to do away with that aspect of his story and reinvent him from scratch, but we had a better idea: what if we made the old Taric better by giving him a second act? We began writing a draft for 'chapter two' in the tale of the Gem Knight: one which would send Taric on a perilous journey up the epic Mt. Targon.
Upon reaching the summit, Taric fought and defeated a celestial entity known as 'The Protector'. The epic creature was impressed by Taric's determination, and it bestowed new protective powers upon the fallen Demacian. Thus the Gem Knight became Valoran's Shield.
The newer, more glorious Taric is the same absurdly handsome Demacian you know and love. But his new story tells how he fell from grace, then found it again atop Mt. Targon. Taric's journey redefines him as someone who fights for beauty, who defends the delicate. He'd fight two armies at once to defend a flower (or two juggernauts at once to defend an Ezreal ADC, which is sort of the same thing)
Taric's trip to the mountaintop gave him new purpose, but he needed more than that before he was ready for the Rift. He needed some fresh duds.
Sometimes, as with Sion, we actually do have to melt a character down and start fresh when we rework them, but we prefer to avoid complete retcons when we can. "My personal mandate is do no harm and make it better", says senior narrative writer George 'Glorft' Krstic. "Don't wreck a champ by destroying the things that players really like. You can't make suddenly not have claws."
- Shine bright like a diamond
Old Taric's model is the most conspicuously heinous aspect of the champ; it's about 75 percent gems and crystals exploding out of every part of him. Frankly, it doesn't look like it belongs in a video game from this decade.
But his crystals don't have to look bad, nor should his epic, flowing, cover-of-a-romance-novel hair. We wanted to keep both of these things but execute them in a way that felt in tune with our current standards. Once we got Taric near Mt. Targon, we just needed to ask ourselves what his crystals actually are: Are they like regular gemstones that you could mine and find in the ground, or might they be something more interesting? We landed on the idea that the crystals represent a power that Taric received during his journey up Mt. Targon.
The crystals aren't stones; they're made of starlight. Throw away your physics textbook, unfollow Twitter, and believe us when we tell you that if you slow down starlight and concentrate it, it will condense into a solid object imbued with strange, kinetic powers. These crystals (or gems, if you will) are the source of Taric's newfound powers.on
To preserve Taric's unique vibe, we tuned up the over-the-top visual aspects of his visual design. When the Shield of Valoran struts around the Rift, his luscious mane flows wildly behind him, as if he's constantly standing near a fan. It's longer, wavier, more eye-catching. This is a man who could star in a shampoo commercial. And you'd buy that shampoo.
Emphasizing the best parts of Taric meant embracing and surgically enhancing his masculine, handsome beauty. We gave Taric's base model a stronger jaw and gave his jacket a plunging V-neck. In early playtests, we had his V-neck going to the bottom of his pecs, but during internal testing a few Rioters gave the feedback that the V-neck needed to reveal more, to go deeper. They wanted all the Taric they could get. So deeper we went.
- Functional and stylish
Old Taric's kit wasn't obviously terrible, but it did suffer from one big problem: almost nothing he did felt or looked impactful. The Taric player pressed a button, and that caused something to happen, but the result was rarely clear to everyone in the fight. Playing as old Taric rarely offered you the chance to feel the sparkling glee of landing a Lux Q or the earth-shattering boom of a Malphite ult - the fun was all in quietly prolonging fights while shrugging off truly outrageous amounts of damage. His abilities were functional, but we needed to make them stylish.
This was in part a visual clarity issue, but it was also a result of how widely dispersed and invisible Taric's abilities were - it mattered to the team as a whole when Taric gave 12 percent of his armor to his teammates, but those players were unlikely to notice the impact on their individual play and react accordingly. To make abilities feel more impactful, we make them more concentrated; so we killed some of his messy stat-boosting abilities and replaced them with noticeably flashier moves like his new ult, Cosmic Radiance, which grants his allies temporary invulnerability. You'll feel like a star when it hits.
Point-and-click abilities have their place, but Taric's old stun was taking up far too much of his power budget. By turning his E ( Dazzle) into a skillshot, we were able to ramp up its potential power (it now stuns all struck enemies instead of just one targeted baddie) in lieu of the lower guaranteed power of his old on-click ability. Talented Taric players will have more, clearer opportunities to make lock-down plays for their team, and bad Taric players will have more opportunities to disappoint you.
Taric is still a tank, and he still heals his friends with his Q ( Starlight's Touch), but the crystal-sharing mechanic of his new W ( Bastion) further cements Taric's role as a protector of those in need. That the Shield of Valoran can only link up with one ally at a time would suggest that he's best when he focuses on helping only that champion, but this isn't the case; he can use his Bastion - buddy as a way to be two places at once, both stunning enemy backline carries and peeling for his own squishies as needed. He's here healing his Wukong, there peeling for his Lucian. Taric is everywhere, always protecting those in need.
Inside Taric Dev with the Designers