In this champion master guide, we're covering the up and coming rock slinger support: Taliyah. This guide will cover the best build, matchups, and a few tips for destroying games with this support.
Taliyah has existed as a niche pick in the bot lane throughout Season 11, the main goal of Taliyah in any role is to function as a glass cannon burst mage. This applies even to Support Taliyah and it’s entirely possible to carry games with insane KDA. Taliyah is set to receive nerfs in Patch 11.20, but these should only affect her Jungle clear. Overall, now is a fantastic time to spend some time learning how to use the rock girl - let’s get into it.
A high elo grandmaster support player in Korea named PMD91 has been referenced as the pioneer of this build. Although it has been utilized by players from many different regions. Notably Busio3, a challenger support from North America who has made many appearances on Taliyah support whilst carrying or pummeling Tyler1 in solo queue.
Taliyah Support Build: Runes and Items
Taliyah Build: Runes
Electrocute and Dark Harvest are both viable for Taliyah support, but we’ll go with the more consistent one. Electrocute should be reserved as a rune page choice until you feel confident hitting your full combo.
Dark Harvest is a fantastic choice for our earth bending friend, especially in the bot lane. This is because you have many opportunities to gain souls whilst skirmishing in 2v2s. As for other rune choices, you always take Cheap Shot for the added burst. However, you can choose Eyeball Collector or Zombie Ward for your 3rd rune situationally. Relentless Hunter is the standard option for support Taliyah, but Ravenous and Ingenious Hunter are both viable too.
In regards to secondary runes, we have options. I’m a big fan of taking Presence of Mind as well as Coup de Grace in the precision tree. This choice aids Taliyah with her mana problems (which are tricky on support), and provides her additional burst damage for picking off squishy targets. The next option is to take Perfect Timing and Biscuit Delivery, Time Warp Tonic is also viable. The inspiration tree can be a great help in poke heavy lanes, and who can turn down a free stopwatch or movement speed? Finally, the Sorcery tree can work wonders with Manaflow Band, Absolute Focus, and Gathering Storm being great options to help our mage support hard carry a game with more mana or one shot-ability.
Taliyah Build: Items
Once again, we have several different avenues to choose from in our build. All of our choices build out of Lost Chapter, because obviously we need mana. The standard choice is to go for Luden’s Tempest, it is a massive power spike for Taliyah. When you buy Ludens in a game with few tanks, you one shot everything and rule the map. However, if there are some problematic front line champions - you can always go for Liandry’s Anguish to poke those health bars down. The last option is to go for Everfrost, this is a great buy when the enemy team is mobility heavy and you need help locking them down to hit your combo. This item tends to be my go-to for when I worry about getting hunted down by champions like Zed and Pantheon.
From here on, we tend to itemize towards a Zhonyas Hourglass, this item will help us to survive any unwanted attempts for our life. If you have a stopwatch, but haven’t needed to use it - it may be better to opt towards additional damage items such as Mejai's Soulstealer, Horizon Focus, Rabadon’s Deathcap, Morellonomicon, or Void Staff. It’s a really good idea to buy an early Dark Seal if you are dominating lane.
If you feel like you need additional survivability, you can go towards options such as Cosmic Drive, Banshee's Veil, or Rylai's Crystal Scepter. All of these items have their place in Support Taliyah’s build, she is extremely versatile in itemization - so feel free to experiment!
Support Taliyah Guide: Early Game
The way that you approach the laning phase as Taliyah support depends a lot on matchups. Taliyah’s Q, Threaded Volley, is one of the strongest level 1 abilities in the game. Even though she lost the AOE damage on that ability a long time ago, it still is an extremely effective tool for winning trades at early levels. This all means that Taliyah should approach the lane in an aggressive manner at level 1, attempting to dish out as much damage until the enemy lane is level 2.
She can feel awkward without having access to her whole WEQ combo, so it’s usually best to play back until you hit level 3. Most bot lanes will have a much stronger all in compared to yours at this point in time. This all reverses once you hit level 3, you hit a mini power spike and if enemies don’t respect the amount of burst damage that you can output - it’s free kills all day.
Getting used to the unique targeting on her W, Seismic Shove, can be a challenging task. It’s a great idea to weave in and out of the pixel brushes in lane. This is because Seismic Shove will give no indicator of where it’s placed if used out of vision.
Once you hit level 4-5, you want to look for roaming opportunities on the map. This is a difficult concept, but universal to almost all supports. If your ADC is in a safe position, go leave and try to find pickoffs or secure objectives with your jungler. This is where Taliyah passive, Rock Surfing, can really come in handy. It enables you to roam the map faster than most supports, barring obvious outlying champs such as Bard.
Support Taliyah Guide: Mid Game
Once you begin to exit the laning stage, the amount of time you can spend to roam the map and find pickoffs is greater. You want to put an emphasis on vision control, especially if you’re snowballing with a ton of kills and items. Holding angles on the map and looking for one shots is something that Taliyah excels at, regardless of what position she’s in. Whenever the enemy support comes to de-ward your vision, you usually have an opportunity to set up a kill for your team.
If you aren’t super far ahead in kills or items, it’s best to take a supportive role and try to use your abilities to set up kills, secure objectives, and peel for your teammates. Seismic Shove can be a huge thorn in the side of assassins looking to take down your ADC, making yourself a target and staying alive as long as possible is a fantastic way to take pressure off of your team. We can achieve this easily by itemizing into defensive options like Zhonya's Hourglass, and Banshee’s Veil. Taliyah’s ult, Weavers Wall, is such a difficult tool to utilize in solo queue with limited communication. However, one of it’s best purposes is walling off enemies to save your allies - or fencing them in an area to be destroyed.
Support Taliyah Guide: Late Game
As you scale into the late game, it’s important to understand how your champion's role can change. A great player will gauge their survivability and consider playing more or less defensively to secure the win. It’s easy for many champs to lock Taliyah down and burst her, especially in the late game. This is why playing around your teammates can be so essential for any support. Weaver’s Wall can be used in these situations to help a teammate getting ganked, or to surprise and trap a split pushing enemy. It goes without saying that there is a ton of nuance and versatility in Taliyah’s kit, make sure you learn how to use her abilities to their fullest extent with practice.
Taliyah Guide Tip: Practice, practice, and more practice! Take a tip from Taliyah and always don’t be discouraged if things don’t go your way. She’s a champion that takes a lot of time to perfect, up there with the likes of Aurelion Sol and Azir in pick rate for a reason.
Support Taliyah Guide: Good and Bad Matchups
In theory, Taliyah is designed to punish high-mobility champs with her E, Unraveled Earth. However, she really hates champions that get up close and personal with her. She loves bullying immobile champs in the bot lane, because they don’t have many ways to dodge her full burst combos. It’s also very important that she outranges the opposing bot lane, she hates being poked out by champions like Varus or Caitlyn. As a result, she’s fantastic against lower range champions like Swain, Kog’Maw, and Miss Fortune when talking about ADCs specifically.
As for supports, she does really well against engage supports like Nautilus, Leona, and Bard. Her counter-engage abilities are through the roof, making her a strong choice for the 2v2s. She hates laning against hard lockdown champs with strong level 2 power spikes, such as Mao’Kai and Pantheon. She also can struggle against enchanters with long range poke and save, Janna and Morgana are two excellent examples.
Taliyah is a super rewarding champion to learn. Her kit is useful in so many different scenarios, so she'll almost always be viable unless her numbers take a massive hit. She's a great champion to add to the pool of a support player, especially if you want to learn how to carry games in any elo as a support. Players that are new to Taliyah should keep in mind that she takes time to master, and not stress out when they mess up. Hopefully this guide was helpful, I'm looking forward to seeing more Taliyah fans on the rift. Now get out there and start practicing!