Taric Jarvan IV Deck Guide

Hello everyone, Sorry here!

When players think of Demacia paired with Targon, the first thing that comes to mind is a Shyvana Aurelion Sol Dragons archetype. But today, we’ll be talking about a completely different deck that uses the same regions.

Meet Taric Jarvan – the new midrange archetype with a unique game plan, pairing Demacia and Targon!



Gameplan

To be fair this archetype isn’t ‘brand new’ – Demacia Targon with Taric as the core build-around champion did exist before, but in the past players usually paired him with Fiora or Garen. Garen felt a bit slow for the deck and didn’t really fit in my opinion. Fiora received a nerf lowering her base health down from 3 to 2, which obviously left her in a much weaker state.

After Jarvan IV’s recent buff, players starting including him in the deck, especially because now he’s relatively easy to level in a list where Taric does a great job supporting other units and keeping them alive. Additionally, both Taric and Mountain Sojourners received significant buffs to their stats as well to further strengthen the archetype.

Taric Jarvan IV is a midrange deck with some very interesting and unique gameplay patterns. It runs a lot of cheap units such as Fleetfeather Tracker, Mountain Goat, Brightsteel Protector, and Laurent Protege that all do very well against the rich variety of aggro decks in the current meta.

The main goal is to create a board presence and focus on favorable trades. Keeping Taric alive until he levels up is crucial as he is our main win condition. It’ll be extremely difficult for your opponent to remove Taric once he reaches level 2, as both he and his supported unit will become invulnerable for the rest of the round once you initiate your attack.

Jarvan acts like a Burst-speed unit that can challenge the strongest unit on the board, this way also making the combat for your Taric much easier. Keep in mind that if you would place Taric to the very far right when attacking, he will end up supporting Jarvan who will jump onto the battlefield directly from your hand.

Now let’s talk about what I consider to be the most entertaining part of the deck – Golden Aegis + Taric interaction. When Taric attacks, he will trigger a second Golden Aegis cast, granting the supported ally a Barrier and giving you another attack token to use that turn.

Golden Aegis activating Rally twice, and the potential level-up of Taric, which will grant invulnerability to himself and two different allies that you can support in a turn – all of that is a lot to deal with, and in most cases, you’ll be able to close out the game.

As a general rule, Taric should be always your priority keep in the opening hand. Ideally, we want to play him on turn 4 and start working towards leveling him up. Early units like Mountain Goat and Fleetfeather Tracker are a keep, especially against aggro decks


Techs and Options

I feel the version of the deck above is quite consistent and well-optimized for the ladder. Of course, some cards can be changed to make certain matchups better depending on what you’re playing against.

  • Hush: An important silence card, especially against decks like Zoe Lee sin and Nasus Thresh. The ladder meta right now does not require Hush that much but if you’re planning to counter one of those two decks, it definitely should be added in the deck.
  • Sparklefly: If you’re facing a lot of aggro decks, Sparklefly could be the card you’re looking for to make those matchups easier. The Elusive unit with Lifesteal can heal you back up – especially if its stats are buffed up.
  • Concerted Strike: If you’re looking to add it into the deck, you can run two copies – it helps remove opponent’s key units.
  • Guiding Touch: The card draw and healing does feel nice to have in the deck. You’re usually will be looking to add this card in the deck if you’re facing lists that run Ravenous Flock or Scorched Earth.

Matchups

Mulligan for: Taric, Mountain Goat, Laurent Protege, Pale Cascade.

  • Taric can dominate this matchup if he sticks on the board, your opponent does not run many removal tools outside of Thermogenic Beam that can deal with Taric in a 1-for-1 trade.
  • Keep spells like Sharpsight and Pale Cascade to protect Taric in case your opponent attempts to take him out with a Mystic Shot or a Shaped Stone on a unit blocking Taric.
  • Applying a Barrier off of Brightsteel Protector will increase Taric’s safety when you’re setting up an attack with him.
  • Mountain Sojourners buffing Taric along with the unit he is supporting will be a nightmare for Ekko Zilean.
  • Golden Aegis is your game finisher, but be wary most Ekko Zilean decks run Rite of Negation. If your opponent drops below 4 mana, it’s the green light you need to commit Golden Aegis.
  • Taking value trades is important, but if you’re able to close out the game with one of your buffed-up units, it’s wise to pave the way for your buffed unit to hit the Nexus with the help of your challenger units even if you take unfavorable trades.

Mulligan for: Mountain Goat, Taric, Screeching Dragon, Laurent Protege.

  • You’re pretty much trying to rush your opponent in this matchup before they can set up for their one-turn kill. It’s extremely hard for you to remove Lee Sin off the board.
  • Removing Eye of the Dragon from the board is important, as it’s a crucial unit that buys your opponent time. Screeching Dragon or a smaller buffed Challenger can deal with Eye of the Dragon.
  • You can consider adding Hush into the deck to shut down Lee Sin’s one-turn kill and buying yourself extra time to win the game.
  • Your opponent can though shut down your Golden Aegis plan with a Deny.
  • If Lee Sin is about to end the game by kicking one of your units, you could suicide that unit by playing Single Combat and as such dodging the damage from the kick.

Mulligan for: Taric, Mountain Goat, Brightsteel Protector, Laurent Protege.

  • The featured list does not run Hush, but if you’re trying to counter Nasus Thresh specifically I suggest adding at least 2 Hush into the deck since it can shut down your opponent’s Nasus.
  • Taric is extremely hard for Nasus Thresh to deal with, they’d have to damage it with one of their units and follow it up with a Black Spear. Cards like Pale Cascade or Sharpsight can put Taric’s health out of Black Spear’s range.
  • Nasus Thresh does run Rite of Negation in their deck, keep that in mind when going for your Golden Aegis play.
  • It’s important not to allow Thresh to level up as he will pull out a Nasus from the deck. Screeching Dragon buffed by Mountain Sojourners or Sharpsight can take out Thresh.
  • Watch out for Nasus into Atrocity play, if your Nexus is in range of the two card play keep Hush mana open just in case.

Mulligan for: Mountain Goat, Fleetfeather Tracker, Laurent Protege, Penitent Squire, and Taric.

  • You run a lot of early units that can keep up with the opponent’s aggression.
  • Most Pirate Aggro lists are now running Make it Rain. this means Zap Sprayfin will not draw them a Noxian Fervor every time but you should still expect it and play around it.
  • Try not to kill Legion Grenadier on your attack turn – otherwise you’re speeding up the progress of Gangplank‘s level up.
  • Mountain Sojourners along with Taric canl buff up your units enough to block Gangplank cleanly. It’s important to have a healthy unit that can block Gangplank’s Overwhelm damage.
  • When you’re blocking Miss Fortune with a 2-health unit, your opponent could potentially cast a Make it Rain stopping you from killing MF. Keep Pale Cascade up to counter this play.

Mulligan for: Taric, Mountain Goat, Pale Cascade, Screeching Dragon.

  • Watch out for Avalanche and Blighted Ravine when you’re trying to go for a wide board as a lot of your units only have 2 health.
  • Golden Aegis will be your main win condition in this matchup. Their late game is stronger – you won’t be able to keep up with all the Frostguard Thralls being summoned.
  • Make sure to buff your units with Mountain Sojourners, sometime it will make it possible for you to remove opponent’s Thralls and taking less damage Overwhelm.

Mulligan for: Mountain Goat, Taric, FleetFeather Tracker, Penitent Squire, and Brightsteel Protector.

  • Your opponent will be trying to activate Lurk whenever it’s possible, make sure to block and kill their attacking units.
  • Playing Brightsteel Protector defensively on one of your units will either deter your opponent from attacking entirely, in which they lose on the Lurk value, or if they’ll commit to attacking they’ll end up losing a unit.
  • Make sure to take the least possible amount of damage early on, Rek’Sai and Xerxa’reth, The Undertitan will be pushing a lot of damage once they’ve reached their required attack power to gain the Overwhelm keyword.
  • Taric is extremely important to keep alive, watch out for Redfin Hammersnout when dropping Taric on your defense turn as it can lead to him getting challenged and killed.
  • Golden Aegis can be played as a defensive tool, especially on Taric, if you think your opponent will attempt to kill him. This will often grant you a value trade and on top of it the Rally effect.

Mulligan for: Taric, Mountain Goat, Brightsteel Protector.

  • LeBlanc Sivir is a resurging deck in the current meta, watch out for their early aggressive playstyle, try to keep up with their board, and take value trades.
  • It’s wise not to block Thrashing Snapper as it’ll gain +3/0, which will help them advance Reputation. You run a lot of Challenger units that can deal with it on your attack turn.
  • When blocking a unit with Quick Attack, keep in mind your opponent plays Shaped Stone. Keep track if they have dropped a landmark that enhanced Shaped Stone’s effect.
  • Your opponent can push extra damage with an Overwhelm unit if they playing Whirling Death on your blocking unit, you can save Single Combat for when that happens.
  • Some lists run Rite of Negation, a card to watch out for if you’re considering Golden Aegis.
  • Incisive Tactician will grant your opponent Rally, and if they’ve activated Reputation, the card will cost 2 less threatening as early as turn 6.

Mulligan for: Taric, Mountain Goat, Laurent Protege, Pale Cascade.

  • When playing Taric keep in mind that your opponent can remove him with a Culling Strike. Cards like Pale Cascade and Sharpsight will come in handy in such a situation.
  • If you’re going for the Golden Aegis play on Taric, make sure you watch out for Ravenous Flock or Scorched Earth if Taric is damaged. Your deck does not run any cards that can deal with Scorched Earth unless you tech in healing cards like Guiding Touch.
  • Managing to level up Taric is critical, TF Swain does not run any silence spells that can shut down a leveled-up Taric once he attacks.
  • Expect your opponent to play The Leviathan on turn 8, if they already have a leveled Swain on board they’ll stun-lock 3 of your units each turn.
  • If leveled Swain is on board and you’re going for a Golden Aegis on Taric, your opponent can stun Taric from attacking if they’ve damage the Nexus with cards like Make it Rain and Death’s Hand. Make sure Taric isn’t the highest attack power unit on your board when committing to your combo.
  • You can redirect Swain’s stun effect on one of your other units by playing Pale Cascade or Sharpsight on one of your allies, increasing their attack power above that of Taric’s.

Mulligan for: Taric, Mountain Goat, Brightsteel Protector.

  • Try to keep up with your opponent’s board in the early game, taking the least amount of damage is important before they start burning you down with Decimate generated by Captain Farron.
  • Adding Sngle Combat’s into the deck will assist in removing Ezreal off the board.
  • Save Sharpsight to block Ezreal if your opponent decides to attack with him.
  • Although most Ezreal Draven decks have opted to cut out Culling Strike from the deck, there is still the possibility they might be running it. Keep Pale Cascade or Sharpsight mana open as a tool to protect Taric once Culling Strike is played.
  • When you’re committing the Golden Aegis play on Taric, keep in mind your opponent can take him out with a Scorched Earth if Taric is damaged.
  • Always keep track of the number of 3-drops your opponent played, it gives you an idea of the number of stacks their Tri-beam Improbulator is at, in case they had it in their opening hand.
  • Jarvan IV’s Barrier can be popped easily by a lot of spells Ezreal Draven runs, keep that in mind if you’re planning on protecting Jarvan.
  • A leveled-up Jarvan IV can be problematic for your opponent due to the Cataclysm spell he generates every turn, making it hard for them to play Ezreal safely.

Closing Words

The buffs Taric Jarvan IV received for several of its core cards have brought the archetype back stronger than ever, both Taric and Mountain Sojourners are now so much harder for your opponent to deal with.

I do think the deck has potential in the future, I’m sure the list can be refined to perform even better depending on what the meta settles down at. For the time being, there’s a lot of different decks being played on the ladder, which makes it hard to settle on the “right” build at the time being.

I’ve been playing the deck a lot on ladder and I’ve managed to climb and maintain a positive win rate. But most importantly, the deck feels fun to play especially, when you get to cast Golden Aegis on Taric allowing you to Rally twice in one turn.

Thanks for reading, if you wish to keep up with my content or just read about the random stuff I complain about, please consider following me on my Twitter!

Sorry

My name is Alaa, better known as Sorry or TricksterSorry. Legends of Runeterra competitive player, I enjoy playing tournaments and competing against top players.

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