I finally got to mess around with Taric, and to be honest I'm actually ok with the attack weaving on Gemcraft. Taric's AS probably needs a buff so you can weave without getting rooted for a whole second afterwards, but otherwise I like the concept.
Except when it comes to Shatter. Here are the issues:
- Virtually every Taric combo starts with Dazzle. In order to not waste Gemcraft, you go Dazzle > Attack. Except normally you'd prefer to go Dazzle > Shatter > Attack in order to reduce the armor of the target for your AA damage.
- This only gets worse when you try Dazzle > Attack > Radiance > Attack > Shatter because now you're "wasting" 2 AAs worth of amped damage AND your Radiance AD boost. Although admittedly, Radiance before Shatter isn't nearly as important due to Shatter no longer having an AP ratio.
- By doing Shatter > Attack, even though you're increasing your Physical damage, you're also reducing the Gemcraft output by removing your own bonus Armor.
I won't make any comment about the damage output of the combo, but I think that the gameplay pattern isn't very clear. You end up creating a bunch of contradictory situations (increase damage by decreasing damage...?) that can also dramatically change his skill combo with a few number tweaks. I sincerely hope that Riot improves either Gemcraft or Shatter so that the gameplay pattern is better streamlined.
I know there's an argument which says that having a less streamlined pattern is better for variety, but in this case I'm convinced that it's better for balance via the predictability factor. Also, min/maxing is always going to math out the best Taric combo anyways, and it's still going to be "mash buttons in sequence" no matter what.