Apr 162013
 
Taric, the Shield of Valoran
Taric, the Shield of Valoran

Taric, the Shield of Valoran has always been a protector. It doesn’t matter what needs protection because his knowledge of love, beauty and life allows him to appreciate how unnecessary limits and definitions are. Also, how painful failure can be. This may sound idealistic but when his sparkling charm doesn’t let him past an obstacle a blunt weapon does the job. He has become a warrior with a will tempered against the elements; polished like a fine jewel. With the celestial blessing of the Protector Taric is ready to take on storms to fulfil his duty. Of course, dressed in the most stylish, fashionable and even outrageous garments he can. An avatar must look good as a representation of a higher being and he sure knows it.

Emerald Taric
Emerald Taric Splash Art Emerald Taric Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 520 RP
Concept: Taric as an elven grand lord from Middle-earth.
Model: Major model changes for Taric and new model for his mace. New colour for his floating gems and new glow for his mace, gems and bracelet.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: Diffuse but enchanting the forest is vivid with colour and life. The river in the distance, trees with splendorous growth and animals that peacefully roam. The massive rock is a bit unexpected but somehow fits in the bucolic environment. Alas, the pronounced and homogenous blur doesn’t really convey depth: it merely delineates where the background is and where the main character lays; in case we lose our way.
At least Taric’s depiction is vibrant with details and colour. The lines are precise, the shading is marvellous and light effects of all kinds enhance the portrayal. The pose doesn’t say much: it’s an elven lord channelling his power to a broken branch and reigniting its life. Regardless, it’s a sensible and appropriate activity that is made all the most interesting by the elaborate surfaces. Said surfaces react to the environment and also the magical energy and make the conventional action attractive. The added blur to Taric’s left hand is unnecessary as there isn’t such a difference in distance and the glowing magic already gives a good idea as to where we are supposed to look.
All in all, this is a entrancing splash art that evidently abuses the depth of field effect. It adds nothing to the depiction and only gets in the way. Taric’s portrayal is fantastic and the setting doesn’t stray too far behind but it would be more interesting if it were clearer. In the end, it could be one of League of Legends’ best splash arts if it had a little better focus.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: While the extent of the changes isn’t as broad as it could be Emerald Taric manages to transform the Shield of Valoran into an elven lord. The Middle-earth reference is evident yet also suitable for Taric’s personality. The mix of mysticism and charm is present despite the clearly noticeable classic base. The human body changes little but the clothing takes care of accomplishing the forest feel. The colours aren’t very varied and stick to emerald shades. The richly ornamented clothes joined by measured but practical armour are evidently regal. Cloth tends to be simple looking except for the front and cape which is finely matched by the decorated new mace with a fitting emerald at the core of its head. There’s nothing particularly special but all adds up to create the fantasy of a lord of the elves with a bit of a cartoony feel. For its price, appealing concept and effective execution Emerald Taric is a great skin with a lot of appeal.

Armor of the Fifth Age Taric
Armor of the Fifth Age Taric Splash Art Armor of the Fifth Age Taric Model
Category: Regular
Price: 750 RP
Concept: Taric as a stylish paladin.
Model: Major model changes for Taric and new model for his mace. New colour for his floating gems and new glow for his mace, gems and bracelet.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: The explosion of light in the background masks several cameos and even blurs the ones on the foreground. It’s actually just another case of patronizing depth of field but also a way of actually skipping a proper setting. Cameos aside, it’s only a guess where any of these champions, Taric included, are. It could be proposed that they are taking part in some sort of rave as a counterpart to contemporary ones; much like a magical trinket corresponds to a smartphone. The context actually seems interesting but the intense blur prevents the viewer from enjoying its potential.
In the middle of it all, as it seems couldn’t be otherwise, we find Taric. Oozing sex appeal and with a confidence and vanity that borders on the egocentric he poses for a photo; or its equivalent. Colours are soft and lines precise to make for a delicate portrayal. Everything looks new, even if the diffuse hammer is largely concealed. The metal shines with a recent polish, the hair falls in smooth locks and the skin glistens as the cocky, winking Taric is bathed by the light behind him. Unfortunately, the colours seem a bit too saturated so that skin, metal and cloth appear waxy. That’s more pronounced in the torso than head and arms, especially the generous opening of the shirt; perhaps a request of his fans. The legs also look a bit dim and mostly omit the recognisable and maybe iconic fur leg warmers.
The depiction can feel embarrassing. It probably intends to as well so it’s a success in that regard. Sadly, the background can’t make up for its issues and largely wastes the numerous guests invited. Thus, this makes for quite an iconic portrayal of Taric over a disappointing background that stands out but mostly because of Taric’s unique charm.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: The subtle vanity of the Shield of Valoran is fully put on display in Armor of the Fifth Age for all too see. The paladin aspect is present thanks to the armour but it doesn’t combine well with the skin-tight clothes. Not only do the spaulders seem to precariously balance over his shoulders but most of Taric’s body is unprotected. Of course, this allows for a daring display of musculature with a low-cut shirt giving way to a ripped torso and gold-trimmed armour around well-toned biceps. Such a preposterous display makes the pink leg warmers and colourful boots just another flashy fashion choice. The fact that the irregular gems that make up the head of the hammer make it a notoriously dangerous weapon almost stand in stark contrast to the suave wielder. Fortunately, the gems’ colour and handle decoration take care of making the hammer fit in with the glamorous outfit. Therefore, this is a skin that takes the flamboyance that appears so subdued in Taric and elevates it as his major feature. At that, it’s a remarkably effective skin even though it may offer something that might not be everyone’s cup of tea. For those that appreciate how outrageous Taric likes to look then this can be as good as it gets.

Bloodstone Taric
Bloodstone Taric Splash Art Bloodstone Taric Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Taric as a fiery, vampire knight.
Model: Major model changes for Taric and new model for his mace. New colour for his floating gems and new glow for his mace, gems and bracelet.
Particles: New red particles for Dazzle and Cosmic Radiance.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: The setting has an eerie feel that seems attractive. It could be a terrible dungeon or the basement of a hellish castle but the truth is that it’s so abstractly displayed that nothing concrete can be deduced. The feel is certainly right yet the lack of focus lets down by wasting an attractive proposition.
Taric doesn’t suffer from such a problem. With sharp lines and colours his depiction exposes his vampiric nature without effort. His right arm and mace do look dim and a bit sketchy; especially in comparison with the otherwise bright depiction of his self elsewhere. The sickly pale reddish tone of his skin is a good match for his inhuman eyes, which echo the ruby grafted to his chest. The claw nails look fake but the rune on the back of his hand is attractive. The dark armour reveals interesting cracks and dents under the sparks and gems that glow around his left hand. In fact, the display of mystic powers is a suitable choice for a mysterious warrior that helps the depiction be more than a pose. The portrayal looks reversed though: his hands exchange his hammer and magic as well as the protection. It’s unexpected, unexplainable and unnecessary; in-game their position is reversed so it can be confusing. On top of that the hair is too sharp for the soft body and seems to display a new, white forelock. Metallic reflections also don’t fit the smooth shading used around them. Regardless, it all makes for an appealing spotlight of Taric even if it’s evidently uneven. The background is an abstract chaos but the main objective is achieved.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: The vampiric nature proposed by Blood Stone Taric is interesting but the actual implementation ends up feeling mundane. That’s because the usual culprits are all present: pale skin; fiery, red eyes; dark, claw-like nails; dark, spiked armour and torn black cape. It’s such a pedestrian display that the flatness of the ruby grafted to his chest becomes another annoying cut corner. It’s as if the skin insists on playing safe in every regard, not trying much in any area. Sure, the vampiric style isn’t bad but there’s nothing that takes advantage of Taric’s specific persona. The armour is dim with only a few greys and blacks. The design is nice but expected with only the gem-engraved spaulders and belt standing out. The mace looks vicious and the ruby at the core of its head, with appreciable veins, is a great touch. However, chest exposing cuirass and unassuming armour design struggle to make the look interesting. Even as a tribute to Castlevania’s Alucard it just doesn’t do enough to define a unique identity. The addition of a few red-coloured particles is of little relevance to offset such a failing. For that reason, it’s a skin that can be appealing for fans of vampires and other creatures of the dark. Sadly, the take on Taric ignores his unique characteristics and so it feels like just another vampire knight.

Pool Party Taric
Pool Party Taric Splash Art Pool Party Taric Model
Category: Regular
Price: 1350 RP
Concept: Taric as a stylish lifeguard.
Model: New model for Taric, his hammer and floating gems.
Particles: New water particles for his abilities, auto-attack, recall and death.
Animations: New recall animation.
Sounds: New splash sounds for his abilities, auto-attack, recall and death. New sounds for his joke.
Splash Art: A wooden high chair, a peculiar set of hand-wieldable sirens make the place from where our hero dashes from to save the day. The clean sky indicates that it’s a fine day for the beach but the onlooker’s faces reveal that there’s trouble in paradise. The setup of the piece is nothing revolutionary but certainly suitable. The background consists mostly of a blue sky. There’s Taric’s chair and several cameos which add substance to the insipid setting but everything is remarkably diffuse even though they aren’t that far away.
The star of the piece is evidently Taric with his daring display of heroism and style. Skin glistening under the sunlight, clothes with pristine colours and the depiction fits his character without issue: there’s the expected courage without leaving the fashion sense behind. The colours are soft as well as the shading and the portrayal shows Taric’s recognisable personality. However, he also looks a bit fuzzy as if everything was a bit diffuse. It’s a subtle effect that may intend to suggest his movement but isn’t effective in that endeavour; it does alter the sharpness of the image, though.
When all is added together, this is a splash art that effectively delivers its message. It displays Taric’s identity in a suitable context and incorporates a few guests in the background to liven up the mundane situation. It’s a good splash art even if it relies too much on the depth of field effect and may place the viewer too close to Taric’s manly chest.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Not far from a Baywatch homage Pool Party Taric directs his heroism into the role of a lifeguard. The new model is, frankly, simple. It dyes his hair blonde, adds shorts, flip-flops and a jacket and we are mostly done. His gauntlet turns into a wrist wrap with a big, white watch and a new yellow glow. The floating gems are changed into lifebuoys of the two most recognisable kinds. The hammer is where the skin gets preposterous as it’s changed in a portable double siren. It does see some use in his joke but it does feel like a stretch. It ends up disappearing into hammer space when the jacket goes off and Taric dives wearing his flip-flops when going to the rescue in his recall. The apparition and discarding of sunglasses seems forced and the fact that his watch only appears in the recall is most puzzling. Still, the lifeguard role is presented clearly enough which is to go hand in hand with Taric’s job as a healer.
When the time comes for Taric to save lives in the battlefield we find that it all consists of a lot of water splashes. Healing with Starlight’s Touch and shielding with Bastion does look good enough, even attacking with Bravado or Dazzle, but it’s all the usual water splashes in both visuals and sounds. The abilities do look good but there’s nothing that takes advantage of their specific design, they are just adapted to water. The passive Bastion mark is well realised, though, as it believably breaks with a splash when Taric and his ally are too far away from each other. The effect used for Cosmic Radiance intends to be a bit of a joke with the added sunglasses but seems to miss the punch-line. The water is nothing unexpected and the glowing bubbles are a bit strange though they catch the eye. However, as the sunglasses descend they disappear instead of moving towards the eyes of the champions which would’ve finished the joke. The auto-attacks are nothing remarkable and merely adapt the sound of the sirens on hit and add new sparks. The new death animation just gives him a pool of water to fall into; which is suitable but devoid of much spectacle.
All in all, this is a skin that starts with a good concept but that doesn’t round it well. The idea is good but the execution prefers to repeatedly rely on the same water splashes instead of doing something different from the usual. Even when it does, the ultimate, it mostly uses water and doesn’t even finish its joke. This all adds up to a skin that doesn’t fulfil its objective. Instead of turning Taric into the saviour of the waters it stays fixated on the water aspect and forgets about all the fanfare and flashy displays proper of the Shield of Valoran. There are only hints of that and they seldom manage to stand out from the monotonous even if appealing water effects. The classic Taric personality is mostly ignored in favour of more water splashes. Therefore, this is a skin that doesn’t feel as special as its price suggests and only dedicated Taric fans will find something to like in it.

Conclusion

Given his interest in beauty it comes as a surprise that Taric has such few and modest skins. That’s not to say that there’s nothing to like yet what is present might not be for you. That’s because from his two available skins the recommended one is Armor of the Fifth Age. It’s actually not much of a surprise as it’s a skin that takes his flamboyance to the next level with a clear emphasis on a flashy sense of fashion sprinkled over his sex appeal. It’s certainly a preposterous skin but it takes the ball and runs with it until the end to make him look as outrageous as he could possibly be. Fans of Taric will probably find it a fitting proposition.

Another skin that is worth recommending is Emerald Taric. The transformation into an elven lord is well accomplished despite the limited means. The classic base is evident and yet the new clothes and mace coupled with a few other touches capture the style effectively. He does look cartoony but that doesn’t detract from his Middle-earth feel. Fans of elves will find that Emeral Taric manages to fit the bill rather will.

Bloodstone Taric is an interesting skin for those that like vampire knights. Unfortunately, the adaptation is derivative without taking advantage of Taric’s unique style. It surely covers the expected bases but that also makes it unimaginative. It’s a correct skin for fans of vampires as it communicates its intended message yet struggles to stand apart from the myriad of vampire knights in existence.

The most expensive option is Pool Party Taric, a skin that aims to transform him into a daring saviour of the waters but that ends up fixated in them. The problem is that the skin relies almost entirely on water effects and forgets all the dramatic displays of heroism that Taric is known for. The result isn’t unappealing as the water looks and sounds good. Nonetheless, Taric’s personality isn’t embraced to make the lifeguard role stand out. Fans of Taric might still find it an adequate water-inspired skin though.

  22 Responses to “League of Legends: Taric Skins’ Review”

  1. I have Armor of the Fifth Age Taric and I enjoy every game with him. Though it may push the “homo” concept, it still is a fabulous skin 🙂

    Good review, but in my head AOTFA Taric is forever 5 stars ^^

  2. AotFA now cost 750 RP 🙂 thank you for all rewiews..:) gg wp says Czech Republic 😀

  3. I find it kind of a pity that they removed the cape element from all the other skins, making me like the classic skin the most. I feel that without the cape, Taric feels as if…..he is lacking of something….im not really sure how to explain, but I just felt that way. Hopefully they give him a rework and a visual update and maybe add the cape element to all the skins, because let’s be honest, his skills rn are really underwhelming and there are so many supports that can do way better than his point and click stun.

    • There’s no denying that Taric is in dire need of an update. His flamboyant personality should remain though. For that reason, the lack of a cape strikes as a bit strange. Taric is a knight but of the kind that wouldn’t go into the battlefield without a final look before the mirror; to make sure the cape is perfectly symmetrical. It’s a matter of elegance and Taric embraces that. Without a cape, part of that aristocratic grace is lost. Sure, he looks more practical and sensible without it but less Taric too.

  4. Are there any first impressions since you guys have seen the updated Taric skins that came with the rework? I’m curious as to what you think, in short, about each one :p Do you think the overall rating will increase significantly? Obviously only Bloodstone has some minor particle effect changes, but I think this is one of the first time that I see 3 skins with models and themes that are so different and well implemented that they are all jewels for the price they’re sold at. :p

    • We were nicely surprised by the change in Emeral Taric. Armor of the Fifth Age is a distilled version of all the flamboyancy proper of Taric so it’s a fitting take. Bloodstone disappoint in that it’s just another dark, vampire knight without incorporating elements from Taric’s identity. It may be the most complex of the skins but it’s doesn’t seem that worthwhile given its price.

      • I have to agree with you. I think Emerald has seen the most improvement, and Armor of the Fifth Age is essentially all of Taric’s flamboyancy (and crush on Ezreal) at once. It’s glorious. I personally own Bloodstone, but I wasn’t particularly…. happy about his general vibe. I would much prefer Emerald or Pink Taric after the rework. I will definitely be looking forward to seeing your updated reviews for them :p

        • Indeed, it’s also true that the improvement is felt the most in the skins that had the least work previously. Still, the visual upgrade is an opportunity to improve everything across the board. If Bloodstone is more complex it should receive more attention to make the whole skin interesting. We wouldn’t say that it lacks any appeal but there’s nothing that hasn’t been seen before.

          • Hey, I saw you did a wonderful review of the updated Taric skins – bravo! Just a few details – the V-neck of AotFA Taric was deepened on the model to match the splash art. The screenshot you used shows the old model. And generally, the screenshots of the reviews could be a bit larger/more comprehensive. Otherwise, good job!

          • Glad that you like the review. We are aware of the change to Armor of the Fifth Age but, for some reason, it wasn’t included in the spotlight video; which is where we took the screenshots from.

            Take into account that each image can be clicked to reach a high resolution version. We prefer to keep review images small to give a hint of what a skin offers. If you want to go into details then the full image should take care of that. The thumbnails are supposed to be a summary of the visuals.

            With regards to the quality of what is displayed we do what we can with what we have. Taking screenshots is particularly time intensive and we don’t own each and every skin. We try to show as much as possible of each skin but it’s not always necessary to make a full display of abilities when a skin is a re-model. With more complex skins we try our best to show them as comprehensively as possible.

            We’d certainly like to have much better screenshots for the skins. However, between the time they take and how much content there is we can’t always devote hours to make a complete display of each skin’s nuances. Ideally, we’d do it but in practice it’s not feasible. We apologise if it leads to less useful reviews.

          • Apologies, it wasn’t meant as a critique! I regularly visit your blog and consult with your reviews before making a purchase. What I meant was, the screenshots of Taric’s skins just display fewer images compared to those I’ve seen in other skins. It’s not a big deal, especially since there are no new particles here, just a friendly note. I appreciate the time and effort you put into these reviews 🙂

          • No need to apologise because you raise a valid point. We are glad that you find the reviews useful and it’s our very intention to make them as helpful as we can. Sadly, there are limited resources to reach the ideal we would all like. Regardless, we’ll keep in mind to try to have images that are more representative of what a skin offers. We can always improve.

  5. This is a pretty minor thing: when using Dazzle does the pink/green glow of the big gem near Taric’s hand count as a new particle for 5th age and Emerald?(you can also see it in the Emerald Taric thumbnail)
    Also, thanks for the reviews!

    • Not at all. You’re right, it’s a difference we probably should note. Thanks for the headsup, we’ll see how to add it to the review.

  6. Thank you for the awesome reviews on the new rework skins 🙂 Definitely going to be picking up Emerald as soon as possible, the new one looks way better than before. Love the new splashes as well.

    I was just asking if you find a new skin to come along with the rework a little later on a possibility, I’m just really curious as Taric’s is a pretty old champion but only has 3 skins, and I would love to see what Riot would do with a new skin.

    PS. Personally, in the AotFA splash, Taric looks like he’s only wearing a vest instead of a really deep v-neck (not that I’m complaining whatsoever) 😛

    • Not at all, we’re glad to help.

      After a visual upgrade champions are considered viable for new skins by Riot so a new one is highly probable. How good it could be is anyone’s guess. He surely needs more options but it wouldn’t be the first case where he receives a simple 750 RP re-model, perhaps even tied to a promotion, that counts as a new skin. There’s nothing certain about what the future of skins has in store.

      It’s possible that Armor of the Fifth Age wears a vest. The result is the same and, actually, it’s not really a problem considering how outrageous Taric likes to be.

  7. I cringe when i say this, but i guess 3/5 for bloodstone Taric is a fair judgement. It’d give it a 2/5 for lazy design and wasted potential.

    First off notice the skill you don’t see on it’s skill demonstration image – the heal. Why? Because it’s not changed one bit! A dark/red crystal warrior/vampire theme and he uses the default green heal like it’s hippie convention..

    Rest of his animation reworks also doesn’t appear to have taken long hours of their graphic artist’s work. Bastion only gets red crystals hovering around the same base animation, the stun also uses a lot of base animation just recolored to proper red for the shot.

    Ult is ok i guess, but then again that’s not exactly much of a change, just a recolor.
    What hurts the most is that there’s no voice over making this “vampire/dark knight” a classic hippie/pretty boy Taric wrapped in some dark armor and red crystals. Unless he uses a heal.

    Taric being the gay character (we all know Taric-Ez fandom), could be given one skin when he’s a totally different Taric. A heavy metal badass, that doesn’t look in the mirror all day, just goes down the lane to curbstomp his enemies. Yet Riot didn’t bother to put 1/2 of the effort needed to make this happen, even with something as basic as making his whole kit bloodstone themed proper. And they want 975 rp for it.

    Had they done this properly i wouldn’t mind it being legendary for 1820, but as it is it’s fail.

    • The problem with visual upgrades it that they often rely too much on the classic skin with the rest of the skins being variations with little change. There are exceptions but only that. For the most part a visual upgrade leaves everything homogeneous. That is particularly troublesome in skins that deviate quite a bit from the classic persona like Bloodstone Taric. Indeed, there’s ample potential to make Taric an interesting dark knight. After all, vampires and similarly style characters had always maintaned some attributes, like arrogance, which would suit Taric. Alas, we are left with some changed clothes and colours.

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