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AD Taric Top - Immortality at its Funniest!

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First off, no I'm not trolling. Well, kinda. It's a troll build. However, it works. To give a little insight into my idea, here's the story:

While working my way through LoL videos on Youtube, I came accross an AD Janna pentakill. I also remembered another video I saw of an AD Sona pentakill in Dominion. Inspired by the hilarity, I tried out AD Sona in a custom game. Me + 4 bots on blue team, 5 bots on the purple team. It's a Sona free week, so why not? I always do this when trying out troll builds. I first experimented with jungle Annie, Caitlyn and even starting out with a Doran's Shield for jungling like that too. AD Sona was absolutely amazing. 37/0/4 was my final score, after being KS'd by Lux bot all of those time. I lost 2 double kills thanks to her... This success got me thinking; "What other supports can do well with an AD build?" I went through the list, looking at supports listed as such in their general info. Alistar and Blitzcrank etc were not counted in this search. 'AD Karma? Nope. AD Janna works, I've seen it, so I won't try that yet. AD Lulu is epic on so many levels. Soraka is just... no. Zilean might work with E and W combo.' But I forgot about Taric. I eventually noticed this and that's how I discovered this gem.


I won't go into my runes and masteries. My mastery setup for AD carries is just more my personal preference. As for my runes, that's my least used role, so the page is still one of my two initial pages given to me by the game. It's my physical page, which spans AD, jungle, bruiser and tank. I will split all of those up. Eventually. My build was as follows:

Zerk's Greaves.

Infinity Edge

Phantom Dancer x2

Bloodthirster

Black Cleaver

I didn't make them in that order. It went more like ZG ---> IE ---> PD ---> BT ---> BC ---> PD. With all the elixirs also buffing me, I had almost ~400 AD, 40 AP, 2.3k Health, infinite mana, ~25% lifesteal and 2.0 attack speed. Oh, and 93% crit. You may not have realised, in fact, I expect you haven't, but this build actually works wonders with Taric as it synergises with his kit exeptionally well.

His passive scales indirectly with AD and crit. What it does it returns 7.5% of autoattack damage dealt as mana. Once you get to around half way done with the build, you will have infinite mana. Trust me. It's amazing. If you build Manamune on this guy you're an idiot.

Taric's Q is a single or double target heal. It heals for however much to Taric and his target, or heals for double that amount if Taric targets only himself with the Q. I find that the heal is substantial, even with little to no AP for this reason. But wait, there's more! Each time you autoattack an enemy champion, the active cooldown on this is reduced by 3 seconds. Autoattacking anything else (including structures!) has the same effect, but only 1 second instead of 3. This is still fine. With 10% CDR from blue elixir, this has a 14.4 sec cooldown. Attacking enemy champions with my complete build means the cooldown is -6 secs every second. Anything else is -3 secs every second. That's around a heal every 5 secs on creeps/structures and a heal at ~3 secs against champions. Wow. Did I also mention this costs 0 mana late-game?

Taric's W is useful in two different ways. Early game, your damage is pitiful and as you'll be building fairly squishy, you'll need the armor bonus, it really helps. Rather quickly, you will be taking 0 damage from creeps in-lane. Once you at least have a BF sword, you can start to use this offensively. By shredding armor by up to 30 straight away, you can start to do a crap ton of damage right off the bat with only spiky boots and an oversized sword in your pocket. It also helps clear those huge waves of minions if you need it. In teamfights, this works wonders. Being AD Taric, you'll be in the front lines. This allows you to shred the armor of anyone else nearby and let rip with the damage, supporting your ranged AD carry in the process. Tag someone with your Black Cleaver and this will really hurt like hell in combination with any other AD based champions in your team. The armor aura can also be extremely useful at any stage when with your allies in a fight. By the way, this costs 0 mana mid-late game.

Taric's E is the only skill really unchanged in this build. It stuns. Wow. How you use your stun in each engagement is totally up to you. All I can really say about this is that if you catch up or are already close-up, late game, this is certain death. Unless you have a Banshee's Veil, are Sivir/Nocturne/Gangplank, have a QSS or Cleanse, or anything of the sort. Then Taric just wasted his stun. Oh well, it costs 0 mana anyway.

R is sort of unchanged. This is obviously, most useful when more than just you are present. It deals damage in an aoe around Taric, then increases Taric's AD and AP for a while, giving nearby allies half that bonus. Best used in teamfights, this can also be really useful in 1v1 exchanges or ganks. I also occasionally use it to clear those HUGE minion wave buildups you get from time to time. If I know I won't be in a teamfight for the next 60 seconds, it's fine to do so. Once you have boots, IE, PD x1 and BT, you won't need this in 1v1 or ganks any more. Save it soley for teamfights once you get to that point. If you know for a fact no teamfights will be happening before this comes back off cooldown, why not? It might just save your structure from certain explosion. As a final note, I'm not sure as I'm not remarkably knowlegeable on game mechanics, but I think this also resets your autoattack timer. I haven't been paying massive attention and it might just be the animation that's tricking me. I'll look into it some more. Also, 0 mana!

That just about does it for the skills. Next up is the general basis on how to play Taric top.


Laning

You won't be doing much at all for the first while. You will probably want to start with boots and 3 health pots. Your damage won't be enough to win any kind of fight at this level. Avoid long fights at all cost. You absolutely CANNOT spam your heal. It costs a crapload of mana early on. Hence, the three potions. If you really want to harass, there's a combo you can do. Open up with E at close range, then use W, then auto attack once. IMMEDATELY back off. Hide behind your minion wave. You can get all of that off if you're quick while the enemy laner is still stunned. Anything past that point WILL be bad for you, so avoid it. Note: If you ever find yourself running low on mana (~30%) then spam your auto attack on minions. It's okay to push the wave. Once pushed, immediately go kill wolves/double golems depending on your team. Level 6 is the landmark point for your early game. Hold out until then.

Past level 6, you should have your ult. You can fight long engages now, possibly getting a kill. Due to mana constraints, I don't advise you play too aggressive yet. Other than when your jungler comes in for a gank (when you should use this as soon as your jungler is within range to get the AD/AP bonus), there are two ways to use this skill:

1) Use it at the start of a fight, this will increase your damage per hit and heal amount. This way, you will get the full effect of the bonus stats. However, a smart opponent will kite you until this buff wears off. Or, they may just outright run away as if you just used Nasus ult.

2) Use it at the end of a fight. Yes, the end. It's about deception. The same logic applies to this as Heal baiting. In those really close 1v1 skirmishes where it looks like this could go either way, using this right at the end will not only trick them into staying in the fight, but it will also deal a sudden, large amount of damage, ideally making you 300 gold richer. I prefer to use it this way.

As mentioned earlier, once you have the damage to win fights without this, then save it for teamfights. You should win your 1v1 skirmishes. Your main combo will be (R) ---> W ---> E ---> AA ---> (R). R is in brackets because it depends on when you decide to use it for that particular fight. You use your ult before W because W only reduces armor and R deals magic damage, so using W first won't increase the damage of R. However, W scales on AP, so using R first will slightly increase the damage of W. Also not that due to reducing the armor of your target, your autoattacks will deal more damage, therefore, they will restore more mana than usual. Getting Black Cleaver will further increase your mana gain. You can spam heal like there's no tomorrow and you have armor shred, and armor increasing aura to sustain those fights without building tanky at all. Your stun would be best off for opening the fight as mentioned above. I can use all of those really quick. So can you. If the fight lasts long enough (such as one aginst Yorick) and it comes off of cooldown during the fight then save it to either run away if you have to or to lock them down to finish them off if thet decide to run. The latter should be more common and you will have infinite heals and mana once you restore enough mana per attack.

Teamfight are simple enough to not need a section. Once it starts, choose a target and let rip. Your armor shred should help bring them down super quickly. Especially if they have little to no armor.

Final Points

  • Jungle buffs are largely useless on Taric AD. Blue buff is useful early game, but once you get enough damage, it isn't worth it. The CDR is nice, but with being able to spam your Q, CDR is kinda redundant. Red buff helps in those early engagements but falls off late game. Chances are, your jungler will have the buff anyway.
  • Don't buy Youmuu's Ghostblade. You will get better results with the armor shred than the armor pen due to the way it is calculated.
  • If you need stronger heals, a Guinsoo's Rageblade can help as it will not only increase your damage output and the frequency of your Q, but also the amount it heals for.
  • Don't buy gold/5 items. The sustain on Philo Stone is useless. HoG means nothing as you are not building health at all. Avarice Blade is unneeded as you won't be building Youmuu's. It is actually more beneficial to take a similar build path to an AD carry than your typical top laner.
  • You can use nearby jungle camps to restore mana.
  • Building lifesteal, hence the Bloodthirster makes Taric deceptively tanky even without building any defense at all. AP will deal more damage than AD to you, so if you HAVE to get some defense, MR is the way to go. This is because you can easily reach 130 armor without getting any armor at all. For a squishy, this is enough.
  • You will eventually reach a point when you have full health an mana all the time. Resist the temptation to stay in lane constantly. Once you get a fairly large amount of money, go back and buy. If you stay in lane too long, expect a turret dive. By this, I mean most of the enemy team all diving you at once, desperate to touch your turret. This is more psychological than anything else. If the enemy gets 0 damage on your turret, this will make them frustrated. They will whine in chat and call for help, causing the whole team to collapse on you. They will vent by taking the tower down there and then. Going back from time to time, even if you don't have to gives them a chance to do some damage, they won't ask for help and your turret will live for longer than if you stayed in lane forever because you can.
  • Make sure your team don't treat you as a support. They need to see you as a damage tool, not someone who stays back and babysits. You may earn lots of kills, if they see you as a support because "TARIC IS SUPPORT CHAMP DERP!" then your team will just get mad, not seeing that you actually filled your role perfectly well, just like any other top laner.
  • I chose not to mention summoner spells for a reason. With AD Taric, anything goes. Heal can be used for extra trollage in those 1v1 fights. You won't need Clarity, CV is optional. Smite can be taken in lane, but I advise against it. Promote can work if you want to push and if you fail at last hitting. Exhaust adds more CC then just your stun and possibly red buff. Ghost is more useful for picking people off when cleaning up teamfights, or from running away from them if you have to. I don't take Ghost, personally. Flash is Flash, it remains unchanged. Surge is no, just NO. Ignite helps for picking people off, though I prefer to take it against other sustain laners such as Yorick, Xin, Nasus, Mundo etc. Cleanse is like Flash; a get-out-of-jail-free-card.
  • Remember that in normal games/solo Q, you will be mistaken for a troll pick Save this for premades. Trust me on that.
  • I once had a match where I was laning aginst Malphite top, they had Rammus jungle and Blitz support. It was a really tanky team. I changed my build to Zerks, Madred's Bloodrazor, Malady, Black Cleaver, IE and PD. It worked wonders. If you ever want to go anti-tank instead of AD, this is the way to go.

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