Poppy Build Guide

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AP is serious business.

written by Zarutha

Poppy Build



Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    Hey, there!

    This guide is for those who perhaps want to try something different, as Poppy's playstyle is unique compared to other champions. She is a melee nuke, meaning she can't sit back spaces away and unload all of her abilities from a safe distance, but she gets up close and personal and shows what hammer diplomacy is all about. This guide will teach you how to play AP Poppy, a playstyle I've fallen in love with. There's nothing more satisfying than being able to 2 hit people, and the best part is that they usually can do nothing about it, as it happens so quick.

    Sound like fun? Read on.


    IMPORTANT - Please note - this is my first ever guide. Once you read it, please take a minute of your time to rate it up if you enjoyed it, and if you rated it down, please tell me why so I can improve on it. Any comments letting me know if I missed anything or possible suggestions would be really appreciated aswell. I will be updating this guide from time to time and other opinions would be really nice. Thanks! :)

    P.S - I went pretty in-depth for some of the stuff, so if you don't like big blocks of text, this may not be the guide for you, haha. :P

    ~Eve

  • About Poppy

    Firstly, a few things to know about our little yordle.

    -Being a melee character, you will need to get used to being harassed in lane a good bit, it will happen. She is also a terrible farmer due to this, so you need to be involved with every possible fight you can. Poppy relies on gold from kills/assists, at least with my playstyle.

    -Next to know, you are likely to die a good bit. She's naturally tanky, but it will happen since you have to get all up in their face to do it, which can screw you over if there is another enemy character(s) there. You can minimise this risk by learning how to use your W and R spells well though - I'll explain those in-depth later.

    -You will likely be the main initiator in teamfights, unless you have a tank who does so, in which case you follow right behind, but anyways. Your main role as Poppy is to seek and destroy the most threatening player on the other team (aka their carry, usually), as quick as possible. In other words, you are the anti-carry. Most carries are mages or DPS characters, which are perfect for you - the easiest kind to kill in a second before they realise what just happened.

    You will dish out pretty heavy damage in mid-late game (hell, if you're good, early game too), do not be afraid to use it! ;)

  • Abilities

    Valiant Fighter
    "Any damage dealt to Poppy that exceeds 10% of her current health is reduced by 50%. This does not reduce damage from structures."

    This is actually a pretty decent passive, and will save your arse quite a bit. It's pretty straightforward - the lower your health, the less damage you take. It's pretty useful as you will take a lot of hits being a melee champion. You will love this passive after you have a few fights where you scarcely escape, because that's what saved you.


    Devastating Blow
    "Poppy crushes her opponent, dealing attack damage plus 20/40/60/80/100 and 8% of her target's max health as bonus damage. The bonus damage cannot exceed 75/150/225/300/375."

    This is your damage dealer, it will make your enemies hate their lives guaranteed, or your money back. It can be used to put a scare into someone or finish them off. Low CD + High damage = rape. You will max this first.

    The AP ratio for this skill is 0.6.


    Paragon of Demacia
    Passive - "Upon being hit or attacking an enemy, Poppy's armor and damage are increased by 1.5/2/2.5/3/3.5 for 5 seconds. This effect can stack 10 times."
    Active - "Poppy gains max stacks of Paragon of Demacia and her movement speed is increased by 17/19/21/23/25% for 5 seconds."


    You will mainly be using this for its speed boost, but the extra instant armour/damage (damage won't matter much - you're fully AP nuke) is pretty nice in fights too. It's also pretty useful for positioning your charge if this makes your movement speed quicker than whoever you're attacking. Just get to the side of them and introduce them to the wall.
    It's overall a pretty nice ability to have, you'll be using this pretty much anytime you're fighting. It also stacks whenever you're using normal attacks but you won't notice that much unless you're farming creeps.


    Heroic Charge
    "Poppy charges at an enemy and carries them for a short distance. The initial impact deals 50/75/100/125/150 magic damage. If they collide with terrain, her target takes 75/125/175/225/275 magic damage and will be stunned for 1.5/1.5/1.5/1.5/1.5 seconds."

    This is your opener ability, this and your Devastating Blow is a pretty deadly combo when used right. It has a nice range so you can catch most runners with this and your Paragon, or even better, smash them against terrain for extra damage and a stun, which you want to do whenever possible.
    Now, you'll find multiple uss for this skill, you'll find. These are sort of obvious but I'll list them anyways.

    Firstly, charging to someone you're chasing so you can catch them and land a Devastating Blow, hopefully to kill.

    Second, its stun. If you're able, always position yourself so you're charging them against terrain. The extra damage really helps and you'll notice REALLY adds up late game, a lot of squishy champions you use this on while being AP Poppy will have their health dropped to under half with just the charge, and an instant KO with the Blow straight after. They can't do anything about it.

    Thirdly, you can use it to save a teammate if they're close to death's doors and being chased, by charging them in the opposite direction, or, running behind and charging them into your teammates for an easy kill. Or, you could always charge them towards your running teammate if he's been a real prick to you (I admit, I'm guilty of this... :P I don't recommend it though.)

    And these are the main uses. Know them, and use them well. ;)

    The AP ratio for this skill is 0.4, for both the normal damage and the added damage from terrain collision.


    Diplomatic Immunity
    For 6/6/6 seconds, Poppy is immune to any damage and abilities from enemies other than her target.
    In addition, Poppy's attacks deal 20/30/40% increased damage to the marked target."

    This ultimate is short (like Poppy, haha), but oh so sweet. It can be used to save your arse in a gank, protect you in a teamfight, or give you that extra damage you need for a kill. Some things to keep in mind for these scenarios (WARNING - Big wall of text ahead) -

    * Biggest thing you need to know about this ult - it will disappear if the person you've casted it on dies. This is why I don't like using it on my target in teamfights (I'll explain later), you nuke them out and suddenly your protective ball is gone and you're in the middle of all of them. It's not fun. xD
    * If you're ganked, pop it as quickly as possible if you can tell you won't make it otherwise. I know there's the panic with being hit and all in a gank, but try to use it on the champion with the least CC if possible. Your protection only lasts 6 seconds, if you get stunned/slowed/etc you'll be wasting valuable time.
    * If you're close to being able to get a kill but don't have enough damage, use it. Remember, Poppy relies on gold from kills/assists, it's worth it. Just keep in mind - when you cast it while moving, Poppy will stop. You'll need to reclick to run to them, else they'll realise what's about to happen and run.
    * In teamfights, you have two options - either A. you can cast it on their carry and take them out in a heartbeat with the extra damage, or B. cast it on the least threatening one so you can wreck lives without being hit much. I prefer the second option, reason being, I find I have so much nuke damage that I don't need the extra, I'd prefer the protection in the fight. Also, this tricks them, if you cast it on say, a tank, the others will naturally think something along the lines of "Oh, she's going for the tank, what an idiot" but will get a rude awakening when you go and smash someone else into a wall.
    * Oh, and you can towerdive people early game with it. :D

    Yeah, that was a lot, I'm sorry, but mastery of this skill is what separates you from other Poppys. Use it well.


  • Skilling Order



    Devastating Blow - Priority.
    Heroic Charge - Next after.
    Paragon of Demacia - Is the least needed, level last.
    Diplomatic Immunity - Level when you can, also important.

  • Masteries + Runes + Spells

    MASTERIES

    Okay, so.. personally, I don't really bother with Masteries all that much, I just leave them the same since I can't be arsed changing them all the time when I switch characters. But the best I've found for Poppy is 21/0/9, being sure to grab Cripple, Burning Embers, and Archaic Knowledge in the offense tree, and grabbing one point in Utility Mastery in the Utility tree. (Sorry, I don't know the BBcode to make those 4 mastery images, haha.)
    Total masteries listed here - click!



    RUNES

    Now, this is mostly your choice on what to do. Pretty much what you want though, is Magic Penetration and Cooldown. This is what I would recommend the most for AP Poppy -

    This is my current runebook -

    Mark - Greater Mark of Insight x9
    Seal - Greater Seal of Focus x9
    Glyph - Greater Glyph of Insight x9

    Now, for the Quints, you have two options (well, the two best options), flat health quints or more magic pen. Honestly, I usually do fine with the magic pen I have and I prefer the extra survivability I could use early game more, so I go for health quints. But it's personal preference there.

    So either -

    Greater Quintessence of Insight x3

    OR

    Greater Quintessence of Fortitude x3

    And that's pretty much it for runes.



    SPELLS

    Well, the two I always go for are Exhaust and Ignite . These will be a tremendous help to you get kills throughout the game.

    Exhaust will help you if you're ganking with a teammate and you can't stun, or for biding time for CD to wear off. Another good use is if you're ganked and you ulti, you exhaust the guy you ulted on and you'll have pretty much full protection.

    Ignite is really nice for the extra damage mostly early game, and the extra 10 AP you get while it's on CD (if you have the mastery set, which you should) is really sweet aswell. And another cool thing about it, if you use it on someone you ulted on, that damage is increased by 20/30/40% aswell. Something to keep in mind. :)


    Those two are near musts for her, but I suppose another possible choice would be Flash . I can see how it would be useful, with the ult/exhaust trick I said above it would work nearly the same way, it's a nice quick getaway if you need it, and it could give you that extra distance for a charge if you're out of reach. And one thing I've always wanted to try.. flashing behind a champion attacking your turret and smashing them into it when the last creep dies, haha. It's viable.

    Any other spells I just wouldn't bother with. Except for maybe Revive ... ;P

  • Items

    Alrighty, now to the most anticipated, my item build.

    This is actually going to be pretty simple. Here is my core build -

    [builder=Poppy/8d4e2b73e1957c67a772e00cdb0cc831]

    This is all you really need. Everything after are just luxuries. This only costs 5805 gold, and you'll finish it quite quickly, you'll find. Lich Bane is an amazing item for AP Poppy as Trinity Force is for an AD Poppy. You deal so much extra damage with your combo it's sort of crazy. I always get Sorcerer's Boots, +20 magic pen is really nice for your hammer. And the Mejai's - I know, not many would consider this, but I find that if you play smart and don't die often, your stacks shoot up pretty quickly. It'll be your main AP fuel. It might take a few plays to get used to knowing when to fight and when to run etc, but once you've got it down the Soulstealer is a great item for you.

    To fill up the other 3 slots, these are what I usually get (luxury items) -

    Void Staff - More AP, more magic pen. Great item for Poppy.

    [item=Zhonya's Ring] - 25% more AP, plus the nice active which can save you in a teamfight. Overall pretty sweet once you get it. Gets your AP up to 400-500s by this time usually (depending on your Mejai stacks), which is a pretty big jump.

    Guardian Angel - This slot can be anything, really. I just usually get a GA because I'm able to just charge in and start beating the crap out of all of them in a teamfight without any fear of dying (which is really fun), and it also protects your stacks should they somehow get you. You can replace this with anything you'd like, assuming you play a game that lasts so long.

    These can be in any order really, or experiment with other items and see what you like. One I'd mention in particular is the Deathfire Grasp , I've heard of a good few people using this effectively. I've never personally tried because I am really bad at remembering to use active item abilities in fights haha, but it's worth looking in to.



    Okay, so ingame build order.

    I usually start with a Sapphire Crystal and 2 Health Potion . Another alternative is an Amplifying Tome and 1 Health Potion . Personal preference to which you do here - I would like to get the Tome over the Crystal as you can build it into either a Sheen or a Mejai's depending on how you do, but I find I run out of mana quickly. If you can find a way to conserve mana, get the Tome. That plus the 10 AP from Ignite CD is a nice 30 AP at the start of the game.
    When you recall, depending on whether A. You rolled their faces and got a few kills/assists, get a Mejai's Soulstealer or B. Need that extra damage to fight them, get a Sheen . If you have extra gold after buying either, get your Boots of Speed . Any extra gold, get a few Health Potion so you have some HP in reserve if you get low. You'll need it early game.
    Next time you go back to the shop, you'll be finishing off your Sheen/Mejai's, whichever you didn't get the first time. Then you proceed to build Sorcerer's Shoes . Now you're ready to roll and grab some stacks, wreck some lives.
    Afterwards, finish off your Lich Bane when you can. When you get the gold it's worth blue pilling back and getting the Blasting Wand part of it, and just finish it off later when you've got the gold you need.

    And then, luxury items listed above, build them in any order you'd like, or swap them for others, whichever works best for you, play around. It's up to you who decides what you want to spend your hard earned gold on. ;)

    Also - if you have extra gold here and there, you might want to invest in an Elixir of Brilliance or Elixir of Fortitude , for the Health or AP, it can help in fights a good bit.

  • Gameplay

    This section is going to be general how you should play Poppy, a few things to keep in mind, etc. I'll start with laning.

    Poppy lanes best with those who have good CC - stuns/knockups/slows etc. It's preferable if you can get one ranged character with you, because as two melees you're liable to get harassed a lot and get pushed to your tower a good bit. These characters I find are the best lane partners -

    Alistar - Nice and tanky, can take hits while you nuke. Knockback plus a stun, PLUS a heal so you can go crazy.
    Blitzcrank - Grab, knockup, heroic charged, stunned, knockup, charged again, knockup, /life
    Kennen - Ranged character, can chase plus stun, handy to have around.
    Morgana - Ranged, her snares will give you a good amount of time to position yourself to charge them into terrain to keep them there even longer.
    Rammus - Taunt is sweet, can chase and slow, also tanky to take hits for you.
    Ryze - Desperate power,rune prison, spell flux, overload, charge, devastating blow, RIP.
    Singed - Slow and fling and charge, nobody will be able to escape you two.
    Sion - Tank, stun at disposal, is a good towerdiving partner because of his shield.
    Taric - Heal, stun, does a bit of damage too. Need I say more?
    Xin Zhao - Passive heals him so you won't get harassed much farming with him, has a slow, knockup and chase. Probably the best melee partner you could get.

    Also, while I'm at it, these are the champions you want to avoid -


    Janna - Her shield will soak up some of your damage, plus she has her blowback ult which will make it tough for you to kill her.
    Morgana - Her spell shield will make you rage. It will soak up all of the damage from your combo. I can't describe how annoying it gets when I'm about to nuke someone out and Morgana puts a shield on them. Probably the worst of them all.
    Sivir - Has her spell shield too, if she has a Banshees she could negate both of your attacks. Not a huge problem though, if you go for her be sure her shield isn't on/was used by someone else first.


    In fights in lane, you'll want to let them go in first (unless you've got a squishy with you, then you don't have much choice) and stun/hammer them when you're in position, in which then they'll attack too. Don't be afraid to use your summoner spells if it looks like you'll get a kill - you need kills. Try to get as many as you can during laning phase, you can even gank mid if it looks like you can pull off a kill.
    Also, like I said earlier.. Poppy is a terrible farmer. It's worth it to time lasthitting minions if you can, it adds up. Be sure to have a few Health Potions in reserve in laning phase as I said earlier.


    When you're a decent level and you have Sheen and all, grab Golem buff whenever possible. This helps you tremendously with a few things - you can spam Devastating Blow on minions so you can farm easier. You can keep using Paragon for extra speed for as long as the buff lasts. Lower CD = quicker/more nuking when fighting. If you have a jungler constantly taking it, steal the other team's, or be sure to get the kill of whoever has it on their team if it's gone, even if you KS it. Golem buff is near essential for you, it helps in so many ways.


    In teamfights, try not to get in on the action too much. Try to target those who are standing a bit away, because you never - ever - want to be caught in the middle of all of them. If you're playing right, you're a huge threat to their team, so they'll try to take you out first. Take them out one by one silently, but if your team needs help besides you nuking their team out, be sure to give it, whether it's charging someone chasing a low teammate away from them, or if someone's about to get away, finish them off, etc.


    I can't really think of anything else to put, if I think of anything, or if you suggest me something, I will update this. :)

  • Summary

    Well, I hope you enjoyed reading my first guide and hopefully will have success if you decide to try Poppy/my build/gameplay. She is definitely my favourite character to date and I hope you will learn to love the AP playstyle aswell. I'm by no means any kind of pro or anything at the game, but I do have a lot of experience playing her, and she is definitely loads of fun and laughs once you've got it down.

    Remember to please take a minute rate up if you enjoyed it, and add any constructive criticism or suggestions etc in the comments aswell, I'd greatly appreciate it. :) I will be updating this guide if needed.

    If enough people liked this, I may be writing other guides in the future, so we'll see, haha.

    ~Eve



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