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Poppy Build Guide by BrandonTitan

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League of Legends Build Guide Author BrandonTitan

[6.6] Rework pOPpy still OP! (In-depth)

BrandonTitan Last updated on April 10, 2016
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pOPpy

Ability Sequence

1
4
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
3
14
15
17
18
Ability Key W
2
8
10
12
13
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R





Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Masteries

Fury
 
 
Sorcery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Vampirism
 
 
Natural Talent
 
 
 
 
 
Bounty Hunter
Oppressor
 
 
 
 
 
Battering Blows
 
 
Piercing Thoughts
 
 
 
 

Ferocity: 0

Wanderer
 
 
5/
Savagery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
5/
Merciless
 
 
Meditation
 
 
 
 
 
Bandit
1/
Dangerous Game
 
 
 
 
 
Precision
 
 
Intelligence
 
 
 
 

Cunning: 12

Recovery
 
 
5/
Unyielding
 
 
 
 
 
Explorer
1/
Tough Skin
 
 
 
 
 
5/
Runic Armor
 
 
Veteran's Scars
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Insight
Perseverance
 
 
 
 
 
5/
Swiftness
 
 
Legendary Guardian
 
 
 
 

Resolve: 18



Threats to Poppy with this build

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Table of Contents:








Hello MOBAFire and fellow summoners! My name is BrandonTitan, by the username King Taric, and I am a diamond (NA) League of Legends player! This is my first guide on Mobafire, and I wanted to make a guide for Poppy because she was one of my most successful champions to play as. I'd really appreciate an upvote or feedback if you enjoyed this guide, as I spent a lot of time making this! It means a lot to me. Thanks so much for checking my guide out and taking the time to read my guide :D

Also, almost 3 million views! So cool to be noticed by the community!

I'm starting a brand new stream at https://www.twitch.tv/brandontitan , and if you would like to support me by checking out the channel that would be awesome :)



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Pros of pOppy:
  • Her new look, personality, and jokes are freaking amazing! Do you see the size of that epic hammer!?!
  • Poppy can make teamfights a 5v4 with Keeper's Verdict
  • She's a fast tank that does a lot of burst damage- Poppy has it all!
  • Good at every stage of the game
  • Low-medium mana costs
  • While she may have no escapes, Steadfast Presence gives a lot of outplay potential and makes her a great counter to certain comps
  • Great tower baits that she can easily turn around from a well-placed Heroic Charge, and the extra low-health armor and magic resist she gets from Steadfast Presence
Cons of pOPpy (are there even any?):
  • Huge nerf to Lollipoppy's old intimidating splash art
  • No innate sustain (making Corrupting Potion good)
  • Cannot do significant damage without going all-in; easily kited
  • True damage still sort of counters her
  • Keeper's Verdict is a channeled ability, and it is hard to be able to charge the knockback
  • Her damage is all physical


Quick Summary on how to play Poppy: Music Video



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I think Greater Mark of Attack Damage is the only real viable choice on Poppy, because she scales so well with bonus attack damage, especially from both Hammer Shock and Heroic Charge. It makes her a much more effective trader, and can also help one last hit farm.

In a heavier damage build, especially one building The Black Cleaver, greater mark of armor penetration could also work to give that spicy bit of unexpected burst damage. But it is rather ineffective without being coupled with a significant amount of attack damage, and extensively stacking attack damage on Poppy dramatically reduces her fighting capabilities, especially in teamfights, since she can be bursted before dealing damage.


With the bonus scaling resistances from Steadfast Presence, Greater Seal of Armor is the way to go to add that extra bit of tankiness against your lane opponent. These runes compliment Poppy's bruiser playstyle and make her harder to burst down in lane in most matchups.

However, when facing an ability power based lane opponent, such as Rumble, Lissandra, or Vladimir, Greater Seal of Scaling Healths make a superior situational pickup, since the armor would be a waste against them. But even then, armor seals are tolerable because of their use in mid-game teamfights.


Poppy is extremely reliant on her abilities, especially late game, to do either her damage or erase enemy champions from the teamfight with Keeper's Verdict. However, I find that both Iceborn Gauntlet and The Black Cleaver are common items I get on Poppy when against a standard team comp, so 40% CDR is fast and easy to acquire. Therefore, I run a standard set of Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist.

However, when playing with a squishier team comp or you just don't like getting any damage on her, cutting The Black Cleaver from your build path, I would highly recommend a set of Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reductions, because obtaining maximum CDR is optimal when coupled with your tankiness.


For quintessences, there are generally many viable options. I consider the extra lane trading power and damage from Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage to be the simple, best option.

However, as an alternative, one could take Greater Quintessence of Movement Speeds instead, especially if you plan to roam quite a bit. When acquiring 15% of CDR from runes instead of 20% from The Black Cleaver, getting ONE Greater Quintessence of Scaling Cooldown Reduction



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Page #1: Standard




This is what I think should be the new Poppy's standard rune page. It fits her new bruiser playstyle extremely well, giving her a lot of survivability and considerable sustain from Grasp of the Undying . The new Cunning tree is also super strong, giving both damage, utility, and Dangerous Game . I feel like the straight up damage from the Ferocity tree doesn't suit her new tanky and teamfight-oriented kit as well, so I prefer more defensive masteries.



Tier I: The Cunning (Utility) tree is pretty basic. Wanderer gives pretty weak stats, so I just run Savagery just for the easier last hitting and waveclear in lane.

Tier II: Assassin is a no-brainer. The alternatives extend the buffs you don't get and the individual potions you probably won't purchase because of Corrupting Potion.

Tier III: Now here we get our only real "decision" between Merciless and Meditation . On paper, the mana regeneration from Meditation is quite impressive and really helps Poppy not ever run out of mana. However, I think the insane damage boost from Merciless for those clutch burst outplays is just flat-out superior, because even if Poppy ends up building some tank items, she is still reliant on having damage, like a juggernaut should be.

Tier IV: Dangerous Game is incredible and Bandit is a support mastery. No-brainer.



Tier I: In the first row of the Resolve tree (Defensive), we are faced with either minuscule sustain in lane with Recovery , or a minuscule percent increase in armor and magic resist with Unyielding . Overall, I think Unyielding provides the extra boost in survivability and synergy with Steadfast Presence that a flat health regeneration stat just doesn't provide. Especially late game, it can give quite a bit more in gold value.

Tier II: Tough Skin and Explorer are both are pretty bad overall. Because I'm not going to be running to other lanes a lot like a jungler or support to make use of the movement speed, I take Tough Skin .

Tier III: Veteran's Scars gives a low flat amount of health, ending at a mere 45 at rank 5. On the other hand, Runic Armor gives a solid 8% bonus to shields and healing, but whether Poppy can utilize this bonus determines if it is worth picking up.

The main reason that mastery can be picked up, Iron Ambassador, Poppy's only innate shield or healing ability, gives Poppy a shield based off of 15% of her maximum health. At level 1, Poppy has 540 base health, making the shield 81 and the bonus only 6.5. At level 18, she has 2070 base health, making the shield 310 and the bonus still only about 25 health. However, this fails to account for three major factors:
For these reasons, I believe Runic Armor to be much better than its alternative.

Tier IV: Insight is an amazing mastery that allows you to constantly make plays with Flash and even go aggressive more often with Ignite both having a much lower cooldown. Please don't take the insignificant Perseverance unless you are either Dr. Mundo or Garen.

Tier V: Swiftness has some crazy tenacity, granting an entire 15% lowered duration of hard crowd control as well as making you faster in the slows-for-days meta (looking at you, Rylai's Crystal Scepter and Frost Queen's Claim mid laners). Although the tankiness granted by Legendary Guardian is really good, I prefer the much greater mobility and indirect survivability that makes Poppy so scary.

Tier VI: Finally, the reason this mastery page is so OP, Grasp of the Undying . It isn't even a contest. This is a good mastery in itself, allowing bruisers to lifesteal 3% of maximum health every 4 seconds. This stacks up really quickly, and it helps give Poppy even more fighting power. But Grasp of the Undying isn't just good on its own- it's absolutely ridiculous on her. After auto attacking minions, you can slap your opponent from 525 range away with Iron Ambassador and heal substantially off of it, as well as doing bonus damage. You can proc this keystone all the time, and the combat power it gives is without comparison for a single mastery.



Page #2: Aggressive




This is an outdated alternative mastery page that I think could work decently, especially with Intelligence allowing one to reach a grand total of 45% CDR. I don't know whether Thunderlord's Decree will always be superior over Stormraider's Surge , but even after its nerf, Thunderlord's Decree gives a decent damage spike in lane that helps with kill potential.

With this more damage-oriented mastery page, one could also choose to opt into Precision for greater early game damage and presence. This would be most effective against squishier lane opponents or ones with weak laning phases, such as Nasus. Otherwise, I would get Intelligence for its late game relevance and the crazy spammability of Poppy's spells.

I personally would never run this page because I love Grasp of the Undying and the tenacity, but if you want to run this in lower elos, it could work.



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Flash, Teleport, and Ignite are the only current viable summoner spells on Poppy. They have relevance because of their superior presence in either mobility, global pressure, or combat. Other summoner spells should virtually never be taken and are pretty much inferior to these.

Flash is by far the best summoner spell in the game, other than perhaps the efficiency of Smite for junglers, and is useful in practically every situation. It can help you engage, disengage, escape over walls, counter-flash, position Heroic Charge, and much more. Pick this summoner spell up every game, because if you're reading this guide, your positioning is (just like mine) not perfect enough to make zero mistakes.

Teleport used to be always necessary because of its low cooldown and crazy global pressure it gives, but ever since its cooldown nerfs at the beginning of season 6, choosing Teleport or Ignite has become mostly personal preference and playstyle. I still personally think that Teleport is better even after the cooldown nerfs, especially with the added significance of controlling the top side of the map with the new Rift Herald.

On the other hand, I think Ignite is the most effective when taken against aggressive melee champions that you could use the extra kill pressure on to snowball the lane, or weak laners that you want to bully out of the lane and game. Ignite can allow you to burst your opponent down in early levels before they get enough damage to respond, which can give you an early lead that you can hopefully use to zone your lane opponent from farm or extend your lead through more kills.

  • Great escape or engage tool
  • Helps you line up your stun with Heroic Charge
  • Ability to blink across terrain
  • Hard to react to

  • Gives a much safer laning phase if behind since you can Teleport back to your tower to not lose as much farm
  • Gives you global pressure if you're ahead by Teleport flanking bot lane
  • Can help you return to your lane after roaming

  • Can give you much greater kill pressure in lane and start a snowball
  • Helps protect you against early aggression from a Rengar or Riven or someone else with Ignite since you have more potential burst
  • Better at lower elos (Gold and below) where your burst is not respected



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Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Before we discuss Poppy's skill sequence, let's explore her different abilities.

Poppy's passive gives her a ranged autoattack with decent bonus damage every 18/14/10 seconds (changing cooldown at levels 1/7/13). It spawns a nearby buckler that can be picked up to grant a shield for 15% of your maximum health.
This new passive is pretty useful in lane. It helps you farm with ranged auto attacks, poke weaker laners, and additionally trade extremely efficiently with a considerably big shield. Iron Ambassador is a big part of Poppy's new itemization; a consistant 15% health shield greatly encourages stacking health in a tankier build.



Tips and Tricks:
  • Try to get the last hit as much as possible on minions you attack with the passive proc on- it instantly returns the shield to you!
  • Don't be greedy when running towards the shield, as it often appears within a fairly close range of the target you aim at. If your opponent is close to it, he/she can destroy it by walking over it.
  • Good way to harass your opponent in lane
  • Acts like Parrrley in that it acts like an auto attack and can proc on hit effects like Statikk Shiv or Nashor's Tooth, because it is an increased range attack.
  • Acts like an extended melee attack instead of a ranged attack- this means it can proc Titanic Hydra and the melee effect of Iceborn Gauntlet!
  • The shield lasts for a ridiculously long time. If you acquire it and are ahead, try to force a trade or at least zone the enemy laner from farm during the duration, because it should be an easy win in most matchups.
  • Using this attack gives an auto attack reset; in other words, your timer is over and you can immediately auto attack an enemy (in range) after you use this.



"Active: Poppy smashes the ground in front of her, dealing 40/65/90/115/140 (+0.8 per bonus attack damage) (+6% of target's maximum Health) physical damage to all enemies hit.
The impacted ground becomes unstable, slowing enemies that are standing on it by 20/25/30/35/40% before erupting after 1 second, dealing the same physical damage to all enemies hit.
Hammer Shock deals 80% damage against minions."

Poppy's Q, Hammer Shock, is her bread and butter in lane. With an extremely low cooldown of 5 seconds when maxed BEFORE accounting for her CDR, it makes an effective spammable harass tool to punish your opponents in lane. It also has a fairly low mana cost, but one must still be wary of wasting the spell because the the mana punishment can stack up! This spell has great damage when you hit both parts of the small area of effect (AOE) range, dealing 160% of bonus attack damage and 12% of the opponent's maximum health, as well as solid base damage. But it is much harder to hit both parts of Hammer Shock than it looks or even the first part, and even will be commonly missed hitting opponents that are sitting on top of you. Effective when used on opponents frozen by crowd control.



Tips and Tricks:
  • - Hammer Shock's AOE is deceivingly hard to hit, not because of its lack of length, but because it has a really narrow width. For opponents that are running on top of you, try to place this spell where you think they are going to walk to hit them; this will ensure they get damaged and slowed by the first hit, and will possibly stay over the zone long enough to take damage again, or else will be zoned away.
  • Best used combined with Heroic Charge to ensure both parts of Hammer Shock hit.
  • The damage is all-around amazing to disrupt teams- 12% scaling off of the opponent's maximum health to take down tanks, and 160% attack damage scaling to create a threat to the enemy squishies as you invade the backline. It makes her effective whether she is peeling for a carry or charging into the opposing ADC.
  • The slow helps you chase opponents, in which case it isn't really as important to hit both parts of the ability. But its long cast time means you have to be closer to them than the cast range seems to indicate.
  • While Hammer Shock does the job effectively, be cautious with using this spell to last hit or waveclear, because if you aren't planning to back soon afterwards, it can be a huge drain on mana that will not allow you to properly combo your opponents, especially if you don't have an Iceborn Gauntlet yet.
  • Unfortunately no longer does magic damage along with Heroic Charge, which means Poppy has to rely on the percent damage portion to do much of any damage against tanks. Even then, since all of her damage is physical and ineffective against hard armor stacking, I don't feel armor penetration is almost ever worth buying because Poppy is not a full damage carry.



"Passive: Poppy's total armor and magic resistance are increased by 12%. This effect is doubled to 24% while Poppy is below 40% of her maximum Health.
Active: Poppy gains 27/29/31/33/35% bonus movement speed for 2.5 seconds and generates a barrier around her for the duration, causing all enemies who dash within to be knocked down and take 70/110/150/190/230 (+70% of ability power) magic damage. This can only happen once per enemy champion."

Poppy's W ability got an enormous buff in the rework. It does most of what it used to do best- give you bonus tankiness and tons of movement speed when activated. But now, it steps beyond the role of simply bonus stats, and becomes a significant tool to help you easily land Heroic Charge and more.

Steadfast Presence passively gives Poppy a significant chunk of extra armor and magic resist. I really respect Riot for also transforming the core of old Poppy by keeping the same idea of low-health tankiness she used to have from her passive here- this bonus of 12% armor and magic resist is doubled to a solid 24% when below 2/5 of her maximum health. This further enforces the bruiser/offtank Poppy build including early attack damage, health, and also armor and magic resist to become a dominant teamfighter and backline threat late game.

The active movement speed is absolutely incredible, and much greater than what it used to be, leaving Poppy flying around like Sonic the hedgehog. But at least equally impressive than this is the other part of her flying around, where Steadfast Presence interrupts enemy champion dashes, jumps, and non-blink mobility of any kind, knocking them up and dealing a tiny bit of bonus damage. This literally destroys many high-mobility champions that rely on jumping on their opponent around around the map, such as Yasuo, while also being able to turn around teamfights by denying an engage from the enemy Zac. While she is good in most matchups, this makes Poppy especially strong as a counterpick to certain champions and team comps.



Tips and Tricks:
  • Does NOT interrupt moves that are immune to crowd control or cause the user to be untargetable, such as Fizz's Playful / Trickster, Vi's Assault and Battery, or Nocturne's Paranoia.
  • Poppy's W ability gives both armor and magic resist, helping to lower some of the damage output of your lane opponent and also encouraging early health,
  • If you are against someone who is really reliant on their mobility, make sure to save your Steadfast Presence for important trades, because it has a significant cooldown.
  • The movement speed combined with cancelling most mobility is an outstanding tool to help you easily line up Heroic Charge. Getting that stun means a full combo!
  • Enemy champions that try to use dashes during Steadfast Presence's duration will be briefly knocked up. You can use this to your advantage by getting free hits from Hammer Shock or Heroic Charge.
  • Don't be too afraid when fairly low health, as the clutch low health tankiness will come in handy to unexpectedly block a lot of physical or magic damage. However, true damage can still annihilate you through the bonus.



"Active: Poppy dashes to the target enemy, dealing 40/65/90/115/140 (+0.5 per bonus attack damage) physical damage to them and carrying them along with her.
If they collide with terrain, she deals the same amount of physical damage to them again and stuns them for 1.6/1.7/1.8/1.9/2 seconds."
Poppy's E, Heroic Charge, is a skill awkward to use and often hard to position effectively when behind in a 1v1 situation. But it feels so satisfying when you line your opponents up and smash them against the wall. They will be completely helpless to your full combo of damage, especially with the new significant buff to the stun duration (from 1.5 seconds at all ranks previously). This skill has a high mana cost, so it is rarely worth activating unless you will stun your opponent or are in a position where you can easily all-in if you do.



Tips and Tricks:
  • A great tool to "insec" enemy champions back into your team! Of course, walls are generally preferred to freeze them in place.
  • In late game teamfights, if you are trying to jump onto the enemy carry, the stun is extremely important to land. If he/she is outmaneuvering you and you cannot find a position to land a stun, go back to peeling for your team and going on their frontline. Especially before she gets her late game tankiness, kiting can destroy Poppy before she can get into a position to do her damage.
  • Great escape tool on minions the opposite direction, if positioned correctly.
  • Poppy can use Heroic Charge on certain jungle camps (or enemy champions) over some walls as an escape or engage, as long as she has vision of them.
  • Heroic Charge can do a significant and suprising amount of burst damage to opponents without much armor because of its solid bonus attack damage scaling, but is largely ineffective against tanks if it is used without a stun.



"Active: First cast: Poppy channels for up to 4 seconds, retaining the ability to move but slowing herself by 15% for the duration. Keeper's Verdict's cooldown is reduced by 75% if its channel is canceled.
Second cast: Poppy smashes the ground, sending out a shockwave. When it hits an enemy champion, a massive hammer erupts from the ground, dealing 200/300/400 (+0.9 per bonus attack damage) physical damage to all enemies around it and knocking them a large distance toward their Summoning Platform.
Poppy has sight of airborne enemies and they are rendered untargetable for the duration, with the distance increasing based on how long Keeper's Verdict was channeled. Releasing the ability instantly cancels the channel and knocks up all enemies around Poppy instead."

Poppy was once known for her legendary ultimate that defined her assassin, anti-carry playstyle, but limited her options and severely unbalanced her kit. Now, Poppy will be feared for her new OP ultimate that sends her opponents back to their base! This channeled monster of a skillshot literally sends all units hit by it, up to the first enemy champion hit and a small AOE circle around him/her, back towards their summoner platform. This spell single-handedly wins teamfights, and probably is so strong by itself that tank Poppy support could become viable. It can even be used as a pick tool if you instantly cast it in melee range, but anyone hit by it will remain untargetable during the extended knock-up duration. This makes it useful to wait out your combo and position for a Heroic Charge during that knock-up duration. The only real drawback to this ability is that it is a channeled spell. If an enemy champion interrupts the channel, you will have to endure the entire duration of the cooldown, much like Karthus's Requiem. Waiting past the channeled time to launch it, however, will cost 30 seconds of waiting.



Tips and Tricks:
  • Can be used to finish very low health enemies off, especially with its considerable bonus attack damage scaling, but be warned: This ability can and will often save them from otherwise certain death from you or your team.
  • Try channeling this spell in a bush, or out of vision from the opposing team. This will give you an easy and hard to react to shot at them since they cannot see its charge.
  • After activated, Keeper's Verdict takes an extremely long cast time before it travels its entire length. Be wary of enemy champions easily sidestepping the ability, and try to predict where they are going to walk to instead.
  • Ugh, this amazing ability can be blocked by Banshee's Veil, Wind Wall, and Unbreakable. Be careful!
  • Keeper's Verdict is the only knock-up in the game to NOT trigger Yasuo's Last Breath, because it renders the enemy units hit untargetable.
  • This can be used right at the opponent instantly, without charging, in a 1v1 scenario to position for Heroic Charge. The range is drastically smaller than the charged range, and along with the cast time, you will have to be standing quite close to an opponent to use it, However, you cannot deal damage while enemies are being knocked up, so use this as an opportunity to reset your cooldowns to prepare for another damage combo OR as an escape tool if you do not have time to channel it fully.



Maxing Order



I take Hammer Shock first for the solid trading potential, which is unmatched expect perhaps by a Heroic Charge with a stun, but that often proves to be not just unreliable but next to impossible to land at level 1 since the first minion wave is in the center of the top lane, far from any walls. Therefore, I take Heroic Charge second for the potential damage and crowd control, followed by Steadfast Presence, because of its weak early stats and usefulness. However, in certain matchups where your lane opponent is extremely reliant on mobility in early levels, such as Yasuo, Steadfast Presence is a pretty good choice second instead, but that would be a matter of preference and playstyle. It would only be effective if he is playing really aggressive in the early levels or has done a lot of damage to you.

I max abilities in basically the same priority, with Keeper's Verdict whenever possible, Hammer Shock for damage and trading, Heroic Charge for the increased stun duration and a minimal damage increase, followed by Steadfast Presence's unreliable damage increase. Luckily, each skill in Poppy's kit goes down in cooldown when it is maxed, so she can become a constant threat with cooldown reduction.



Ability Combos with Poppy


The mouse cursor represents an auto attack.

Basic Harass Combo:




This uses the basic tools in Poppy's kit to harass and chunk your opponent down in the laning phase. This is most effective when the opponent walks up to get farm. This short burst combo has a short range, so it is largely ineffective against ranged lane opponents. Of course, Iron Ambassador can be used at any point to poke during the laning phase, and is an awesome way to proc Grasp of the Undying when far from your lane opponent.



Heroic Charge Engage Combo:




This combo is the most effective way to trade with your opponent while taking very little damage in return, but it relies upon landing a stun from Heroic Charge against terrain. While a counter-engage from lane bullies like Darius might make engages not worth it, initiating this ability rotation against a poke champion like mini Gnar can turn around the lane and chunk his health down. Against the average laner, this is a great way to bully mispositioning opponents as long as you aren't diving a minion wave.



Full Heroic Charge Combo with Keeper's Verdict


1-3 times


OR: If this is not late enough into the game that Heroic Charge is not nearly up again yet:



This all-in combo can do a suprising amount of damage to a squishy opponent that mispositions after you get level 6. This combo relies on hitting the stun from Heroic Charge and doing an entire ability rotation. Then, a couple seconds later, you use Keeper's Verdict to freeze your opponent in the air while you position for yet another stun into ability rotation. This is a great way to utilize the individual fighting power Poppy has in her kit, and it leaves very little counterplay to opponents that aren't tanky enough to take the damage or have blink mobility that bypasses Steadfast Presence.

A variant of this, when the enemy champion is close and fairly low health, is to use Keeper's Verdict first in order to position for Heroic Charge, then proceeding to do an ability rotation.


Note: The reason Iron Ambassador is before every first auto attack is that it works as an auto attack reset. If your passive is not up during a combo, skip that step. Steadfast Presence can be used anytime during these combos, and is best used when it can interrupt a dash.



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Starting Items



This is a pretty standard start, for good reason. Even after some changes, Doran's Shield still has great stats for such a cheap item, giving both health, sustain, and a bit of flat resistance to single-target damage, making it a strong starting item. I would take this in most matchups.

Getting a Warding Totem is pretty self-explanatory. It is by far the best trinket in lane, giving you vision to see ganks from the enemy jungler in advance to help you avoid pointless deaths. At level 9, I would upgrade this into either a Farsight Alteration or an Oracle Alteration, depending on what my teammates are getting and how each team is utilizing vision.




This is a strong start when considering the large amount of extra trading power you can get from having so much sustain and a bit of extra damage. You can pick this item up if you are against a low damage tank, an AP champion that is largely unaffected by the Doran's Shield reduced damage passive such as Lissandra, or if you have trouble managing your mana. Corrupting Potion is also optional as an item to get on second back, especially when against someone with a lot of sustain.





Although I very rarely start with a Cloth Armor this season, this is an optional alternative start to AD lane opponents with very high early lane pressure and physical damage, most notably Riven, Renekton, and Tryndamere. This start gives a strong mix of sustain and survivability in certain scenarios, especially with Health Potions or a later upgraded Corrupting Potion. However, I would recommend Doran's Shield and rush armor next against an early all-in opponent, such as Darius, because his ability to all-in at maximum health makes it safer to not take this sustain start. The Refillable Potion is interchangeable with Health Potions.


Core Items



After a consecutive streak of several different buffs in a row, Sunfire Cape has become an extremely strong and solid laning item. While her base damage may have gone down in place of an increase to the bonus AD scaling on her Hammer Shock, Sunfire Cape can still provide a bit of extra trading potential in its passive, as well as making her extremely tanky and faster at shoving the minion wave.





This item is fairly strong on its own, but it has incredible synergy with Poppy's kit. The stats are pretty good, since the high armor goes well with the health from Sunfire Cape. Mana can help you spam your abilities quite a bit with the high CDR this item provides. But without this item, after a combo is on cooldown, even with the 40% CDR this item will cap, Poppy has no way to stick to her target. But Iceborn Gauntlet's spellblade proc applies what is almost a permanent slow upon the target you attack, especially with her low cooldowns procing the passive constantly. However, the best and most fun part of this item is its interaction with Poppy's passive, Iron Ambassador. Since this ability counts as an extended range melee auto attack, Poppy can apply the full AOE slow of Iceborn Gauntlet every 10 seconds from a comfortable 525 units away, more than the auto attack range of Sivir or Kindred.


Boots

These boots provide some solid movement speed relative to their costs, and are pretty helpful if you are snowballing out of control. These can help give you that extra bit of maneuverability to position a Heroic Charge, and can help you chase or escape. You should almost always get these when faced with a heavy slow team comp, such as a team with Trundle, Nunu, Rylai's Crystal Scepter, Ashe, Olaf, etc. Even after the extra 100G it costs now in 6.3, I'd still go for these boots as long as the enemy team doesn't make me get tenacity or a Ninja Tabi.
These are pretty standard boots to get, giving you magic resist where you will normally otherwise getting only armor early from Iceborn Gauntlet, as well as some all-around amazing tenacity. It isn't as item efficient as before, however, so I would only get this when the MR or tenacity is significantly useful.
These boots are a good pick when you are against a fed or high-damage AD top laner, especially an auto-attacker, such as Tryndamere, or their ADC is getting really fed. This can help reduce a lot of physical damage you take in all stages of the game.


Viable Offensive Items

This item gives Poppy everything she needs, from early tankiness in any matchup in the form of health, a lot of attack damage to trade, push, and be a threat, and incredible armor penetration to do significant damage (and help your team do damage) to your lane opponent as well as the enemy tank(s). This also helps her quickly build up her CDR constantly threaten Hammer Shock when the enemy laner attempts to farm.
A mediocre item against a lot of enemy burst. It gives a fair amount of health and AD for the low cost, and can be really strong mid game. However, be careful getting this item before you have a magic resist item or a component of it, because unless the entire enemy team is AD, you'll end up getting squished by the enemy mid laner before you can soak up damage from everyone else with your health. Attack damage given from the item's bonus base attack damage: 14-31 (from levels 1-18).
Great damage item when against annoying poke from a Vladimir or other AP champ top lane, and amazing against double-AP team. Hexdrinker, whether it is built into Maw right away or not, is best rushed for the great passive it gives early on in lane.
This is a decent item that gives you a fair amount of attack damage while making you quite tanky at the same time. This makes a great item after your core if you are starting to snowball but you need to splitpush for a lot of the game, because the enemy team is strong and you have to stall by dividing their attention. However, after the 6.6 nerf to Titanic Hydra's attack damage, I wouldn't get this item unless I wanted to splitpush for most of the rest of the game.


Viable Defensive Items

Wards are a necessity to every game of League of Legends, giving you potential to control the entire map by not only seeing where your opponents are, but also understanding where your opponent does and does not have vision and knowledge of you and your location. Buy a Vision Ward whenever you have one not placed and inventory space, and place it accordingly to your team's strength and aggressiveness.
Your basic magic resist item whose passive helps you in every scenario. Poppy should pick this item up most games, except when there is not a present AP threat. Especially make sure to build this against pick teams relying on one engage ability, like Rocket Grab, Death Sentence, or Dark Binding.
This is a good counter to AD critical strike-based teams, especially comps revolving around a Yasuo, or a fed crit ADC such as Ashe. It has solid stats and a mediocre active that can help chase or escape long fights.
If your team already has plenty of damage or is doing well, and you don't already have a support or even jungler building an Aegis of the Legion, this item is a great buy to help out your team with a friendly aura and shield. However, this item is inefficient if you aren't with your team, so it makes splitpushing slightly more dangerous and grouping more effective.
This is a good counter to AD auto-attack teams or a fed auto-attack ADC like Kalista or Jinx. Make sure to get other health items with this! Goes pretty well with Randuin's Omen to absorb a lot of damage from the enemy marksman, and absolutely destroys full AD comps by turning you into a Rammus.
Solid health that couples well with resistance-based items like Iceborn Gauntlet or Thornmail. This is best used with those two items or against a comp with a lot of poke or disengage power, so you can regenerate between trades.
This is a solid item overall, with good stats and a consistently strong passive. Personally, I rarely find a spot in my item slots for this item anymore, because it doesn't fit Poppy's needs in the early game or make her the tankiest in the late game. I don't find this item core on Poppy because I find that with Iron Ambassador, Iceborn Gauntlet is much more of a consistent item when it comes to slowing your opponents down and doing damage. Sunfire Cape provides a much better passive for the early stages of the game as well, so after all the nerfs that this item has received, Even in the later game, I don't find myself picking this item up much anymore, because usually if I'm in need of more armor, Randuin's Omen or Thornmail provide a more useful defensive passive.
An alternative to Banshee's Veil as a third or fourth item. This item, even after its nerf, is still really strong in certain scenarios. Because it gives no health, I only like to get this item if my team has an entire poke and siege comp, or I have a friendly Lulu, Janna, or Soraka to make up for my smaller health pool.
Only get this item if you have a friendly Soraka to make good use of its unique passive, or you are in desperate need of more magic resist because of an enemy Corki or more than two fed enemy AP champions. It is basically inferior to Banshee's Veil without a major healer on the team, so otherwise pick this item up after Banshee's if you are in desperate need of magic resist.
Get this to give you an extra boost of tankiness and tenacity late game starting about after you finish your fourth item. It's really gold efficient, but don't get it too early or else it will drain your gold by demanding many purchases.

What Not to Build on Poppy


Core Item Trinity Force*


  • 55 Attack Damage
  • 300 Health
  • 20% CDR
  • Unique Passive: Rage
  • Unique Passive (Armor Shred)
  • 3500 gold
  • 65 Armor
  • 20% CDR
  • 500 Mana
  • Unique Passive: Spellblade
  • 2700 Gold
  • +450 Health
  • +15% Attack Speed
  • +20% Crit Strike
  • +5% Movement Speed
  • + Dead Man's Plate's Unique Passives
  • -30 Attack Damage
  • -30% CDR (900 gold value)
  • -15 Armor
  • -250 Mana
  • - The Black Cleaver's Unique Passive (Armor Shred)
  • -Worse Unique Passive: Spellblade
  • -Costs 400 more Gold


*DISCLAIMER: This diagram and explanation is outdated since I build Sunfire Cape on Poppy most games now, but the same still applies: Trinity Force isn't ideal on her because it simply focuses too much and damage and leaves Poppy kind of squishy.

A common item combination I see on fellow Poppys is Trinity Force coupled with either Dead Man's Plate, Youmuu's Ghostblade, or Frozen Heart. This is largely inferior on her when compared to The Black Cleaver and Iceborn Gauntlet.

Trinity Force is the most expensive item in the game, along with IE. This is due to its wide variety of stats it provides, and champions that can make use of them, or most of them, can dominate the mid-game with a huge power spike. Irelia, Hecarim, and Corki all revolve around this item for the great stats it gives. However, Poppy does not benefit from many of its stats. Attack speed, critical strike, AP, are all completely wasted on Poppy's kit. Instead, when compared to The Black Cleaver in particular, it trades off AD and health, some of the most important stats on her.


The most common variant I see of this is a build with Trinity Force followed by Dead Man's Plate, as pictured above. The stat difference is quite surprising, and the large boost in health is virtually the only significant plus. The spellblade from Iceborn Gauntlet, combines the Trinity Force and Dead Man's Plate unique passives in the best way possible, and a great amount of AD and CDR are lost, as well as the up to 30% armor penetration.

The combination of Trinity Force and Frozen Heart fix this issue slightly, and this is in my opinion the best way to use Trinity Force. This combination has way better stats, which are comparable to The Black Cleaver and Iceborn Gauntlet, with only slightly varying health, CDR, armor, mana, etc. However, as all-around efficient the unique passive of Frozen Heart is, I feel that this combination loses the stickiness and the infinite slows that makes Poppy so obnoxious with in the late game. Especially when the damage from the Trinity Force spellblade falls off, she lacks the crowd control to keep herself relevant and a threat to the enemy carries in teamfights. I guess this could be mediocre with a Dead Man's Plate third item, but that would make it hard to make room for magic resist in the build aside from Mercury's Treads, and there still is the issue of wasted stats on Trinity Force that cause this build path to be needlessly expensive.

Trinity Force and Youmuu's Ghostblade are addressed in the section below.


Assassin / Full Attack Damage Poppy



With all the significant bonus AD scalings in Poppy's kit on paper, especially when factoring in their spammability with cooldown reduction, it's easy to jump to a conclusion that she is best played by setting up picks on enemy champions to burst them down. But most other melee champions that can get away with building full AD or damage have something else in their kit that makes them strong; some assassins like Rengar, Talon or Zed have a strong and consistent engage and/or mobility, while others splitpush to no end because of their strong innate pushing ability and not being able to get burst down from a distance, like Tryndamere. Poppy falls into neither of these categories with her unreliable and short-ranged Heroic Charge. She has subpar splitpushing potential, with Hammer Shock doing reduced damage to minions, attack speed being poor on her, and even a slow auto attack animation. At the same time, she is unable to function in teamfights if she cannot survive long enough to position for a proper engage or get in close range to do damage. Poppy is a disruptive fighter/offtank, and should always be played that way.



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"Top lane is an island."

Not anymore. Welcome to Season 6, where Ignite prevails over Teleport and carry/snowball top laners are exceptionally strong.

As a solo laner, it is absolutely essential that you win your lane, or at the very least, against a tough counterpick or lane bully, don't lose it, and hope for that 50/50 chance that your team can carry you. Single lanes can spiral out of control and affect the rest of the team and the game, and you need to do the best you can to win your lane and snowball the game for your team since Poppy can no longer exist as a hyper-late game carry that relies on just barely making it through the lane. Poppy has a fairly strong laning phase, and you can use this to your advantage against many mediocre laners and maybe outplay in skill matchups.


Playing from Levels Pre-6


Level 1: Poppy is pretty well off with quite a bit of trading potential from both Iron Ambassador and Hammer Shock. Try to auto attack and Q the enemy laner when they walk up to get farm, especially when they can't hit both you and the minion at the same time (Example: Renekton's Cull the Meek). You can't commit to a long trade, because the minion wave will most certainly let turn around the trade completely, but short trades and poking can start to whittle your lane opponent down to establish dominance at level 2 with Heroic Charge.


Level 2: Once she gets Heroic Charge, Poppy has a potentially huge power spike. If you traded heavily at level 1 and you hit level 2 first, you have kill potential with Ignite. Your E-Q burst combo with a stun against the wall is incredible and cannot be easily outtraded, but the main issue here is getting the stun against terrain. In my experience, it's easiest to get a stun on the wall on the right side of the blue side turret, and bait your opponent to go for farm while you are pushed against on blue side, or are pushing on red side. Unfortunately, pushing in most matchups (on red side) isn't usually favorable, especially since you probably cannot push fast enough to stop it from freezing in front of your opponent's turret, and I would only recommend it if there is kill potential in rushing level 2. If you can't position for Heroic Charge correctly to land a stun, avoid most extended trades, because at this point most other top laners become a lot stronger as well.


Getting Steadfast Presence when hitting level 3 isn't that significant of a power spike, in most cases. Unless you are against a Yasuo, Rengar, or another champion that relies on mobility to function correctly, getting the next ability is going to be an advantage for Poppy's lane opponent. It's still easy to poke with Iron Ambassador, Hammer Shock, and great do an ability rotation with Heroic Charge and its stun, but trading in close quarters and longer trades in general won't usually be beneficial. Pay close attention to the matchup; champions like Darius, Renekton, or Riven will become extremely strong, and losing a lot of farm or even the lane is easy if you don't properly respect their damage outputs.

Against most full tanks, such as Shen, your main opportunity to get a kill and snowball the lane is early in in the first few levels, before they get tanky enough to be impossible to kill no matter how well you trade. If you aren't trading hard against them, it's almost too late already, and focus on getting as much farm as possible to at least go even. If it's a Nasus, trade heavily anyway in the hopes your jungler will come and assist you in shutting him down.


Laning after getting Keeper's Verdict


After you and your lane opponent get level 6, the dynamics of the lane can change completely. Some champions get a huge power spike with their ultimates, like Riven. Others gain global pressure and significance, such as Shen. Several become even tankier and almost unkillable in a 1v1, including Nasus and Renekton. Poppy gets a bizarre mix of all of those. Keeper's Verdict has a little bit of everything: crowd control, hard disengage, dueling potential, and a tool to stem the harm one fed enemy champion can cause in a teamfight. It is an amazing all-around spell, but fails to have a dedicated purpose or even synergize well with the rest of Poppy's kit.

This unfortunately allows enemy champions with a dueling ultimate like Blade of the Exile, Grandmaster's Might, or Undying Rage to have a huge combat advantage over you. In those cases, it may be wiser to group and force your enemy laner out of their comfort zone involving one-on-one dueling.

On the other hand, against obnoxious splitpushers with ultimates to help their teammates, such as Cannon Barrage or Stand United, you may have your attention split. Should you roam constantly to try to counteract or outdo their global pressure, while simultaneously trashing your lane and turrets? Or is it best to stay strong and dominate top lane, but let your team get outnumbered? It really depends how the game is going and on how your team is doing, in my opinion. If your team is doing well, you wouldn't want your lane opponent to turn around the lead they have. In that case, I would often try to find an opportunity to roam bot/mid lane and maybe get dragon to help my team carry. But in the case they're losing or feeding, I know I have to win lane hard and carry if we are to have a chance of winning, so I would recommend staying top and forcing their team to constantly deal with your presence if you are fed. Going to bot lane to try to help them is of no use if they can't even properly engage for you without getting bursted down, or all three of you end of dying to a countergank or a serious outplay. Making your presence known top lane, unless the enemy team is at an inhibitor tower (which means you need to help defend it), will help draw out the game by splitting their focus. Staying top most of the game and splitpushing is especially strong in lower rankings, where no one will respect your damage and shut you down correctly.

When staying in lane, both laners generally have more kill potential after acquiring their ultimates. Poppy excels at short trades that she initiates, especially those begun with a Heroic Charge stun. You should try to look for openings to perform these to slowly whittle down at your opponent's health if you aren't in danger of a deadly response, like from an Apprehend combo. If you get your lane opponent's health down low enough, it's an easy setup to either zone them from farm, force a recall, or get a kill if he/she gets greedy. Remain standing on the side of the minions away from the wall, so your opponent is unable to get close to the minions without immediately getting stunned and killed.

If you are getting a friendly gank from a teammate, make sure to freeze them while they walk up however possible. When they are not standing on top of a wall, begging to get stunned, either ulting them in place to freeze them and position for a stun or a Flash Heroic Charge combo are the best ways to receive the gank and nearly guarantee a kill.

When to Push or Freeze the Lane


There's a certain satisfaction to holding the enemy minions just barely in front of your turret's range while holding a lead, and watching your lane opponent stand back and miss every CS. But at the same time, shoving the lane into your opponent's face and running free around the map to get kills can help cement an advantage into a victory. Knowing when to shove or freeze the lane is extremely important in order to either outfarm your opponent or have a greater presence around the map and help to get objectives.

When You're Ahead


With a lead, you want to do anything in your power to strengthen your lead and keep your opponent behind and irrelevant. Here, I usually prefer to try to freeze the wave in front of my tower, so I can deny my lane opponent farm by threatening a ton of damage if he/she walks up. This is especially strong against farm/item reliant champions, such as Nasus or Jax (though not as effective against Gangplank since he is practically ranged with Parrrley). However, against a ranged opponent like Quinn, this strategy is useless without a jungler to follow up and flank. She'll harass you mercilessly when she pushes the frozen wave into your turret, and engaging onto her is hard because of how easily Poppy can get kited.

On the other hand, against champions with poor to mediocre scaling and champions that don't need to be fed or have a lot of items to be useful, such as Garen, denying them farm won't help much to push your advantage for the team. Instead, I'd recommend pushing out the lane while going mid to get a kill, turret, or at least get some deep wards into the enemy jungle.

If your jungler is nearby and looking for a gank, letting the lane come to you is almost always the best option. The only exception to this is if you are so ahead against a squishy opponent that they can be easily dived if you shove it to your turret, so they have to back away and give you the objective.

If they back or roam into another lane, just shove all the minions into their tower to make them lose as much farm as possible, unless they can Teleport back soon.

When You're Behind


The opposing laner has a huge CS lead or maybe even a kill or two on you. He/she is going to try to bully you out of lane as much as possible, so just barely last hitting and not pushing the lane any farther is the best way to try to remain relevant. A freeze is ideal to salvage the most farm as well as make your lane opponent step dangerously far to farm, even with their lead. Farming under turret is fine in most matchups as well, but against a damaging tank that can tower dive you really easily, like Renekton, you need to place some Warding Totems and make sure the enemy jungler doesn't come and kill you as well as take the turret.

If you are the only one in your lane, shoving it is still a good idea. In the meantime, you can take the Gromp on blue side, Golems on red side, or roam and get a lead or objective for your team. Don't stay in the lane (close to the minions, of course), or you'll be doing absolutely nothing except salvaging experience or being a free kill for the other team. Since you obviously can't do as much as the other top laner, you need to do everything you can to get your team to carry you.

Understanding Positioning: Reading Potential Ganks


Okay, so the half-health enemy Nasus who has been playing completely passive the entire game walks up into your minion wave, Wither's you and proceeds to attack you. Oh, what an idiot! Free kill, right?

Unless you somehow could kill him even with his ultimate that your thirst for blood temporarily forgot he had, you just got baited and died to a gank from their enemy jungler. And no, don't start raiding allchat by crying about how "GGWP, need your jungler to camp you" or "noob 2v1 lane top," etc. Any sort of hint at tilting to ganks will only lead to you getting ganked more, since you seem like an easy target.

If for some reason you were too lazy or poor to buy a Vision Ward, or maybe it got removed and your Warding Totem timed out, then you need to be ready in case ganks can ever come from the enemy jungler to completely turn around your lead if you were ahead, or absolutely remove you from the game if you were behind. Here are some general signs of enemy laners baiting you or recieving a gank:
  • They start walking up and attacking you. If they have a crowd control and can hold you in place for a while, such as by Wither, it's almost already too late and you shouldn't be that far up in the lane.
  • They change their aggression or walking patterns completely.
  • They initiate a really poor trade for them, then retreat into an unwarded bush. This is especially effective for lane ganks, but it is pretty obvious if they decide to run straight down instead of to their turret.
  • They Recall where it can get easily interrupted. Please don't fall for this.
  • They push the minions to your turret, but instead of staying back as caution from ganks from your jungler, they walk up with the wave and begin staying dangerously close to you. This often leads to a tower dive.

When you don't know where the enemy jungler is from vision or a gank in another lane, it's important to maintain smart positioning independent of respecting damage from the enemy laner. Avoid walking up and straying by or past the wall closer to the enemy turret to poke or get farm, or you might as well place a target on your head as a ridiculously easy kill. The best way to prevent dying to a gank, obviously, is to ward, so the enemy jungler can never sneak up on you!

Warding as a Top Laner:

Blue Team:




Red Team:




Whether during the laning phase or in the midst of the beginnings of a teamfight, warding is absolutely essential to avoiding unnecessary deaths, picking off isolated opponents, and counterganks if your jungler or another player is in the right position, as well as having general knowledge of where the enemy team is to control objectives and towers. You are going to want to use your starting Warding Totem and later Farsight Alteration to be able to reach a strong advantage in vision control, but if your team is already is doing a good job in the mid/late game an Oracle Alteration is a great option to deny enemy vision to be able to get picks onto their team or bait.

While you are still in the laning phase, before your likely level 9 upgrade into Farsight Alteration, the main wards that apply here are the top three: the Warding Totems in the two top river bushes, and a possible Vision Ward on the side of the river closer to your turret. A Warding Totem in the bush closer to the enemy jungle is preferred, especially if you are extending far into the lane.

You should generally plan to place your first ward at around 3:10 to 3:30, depending on the enemy jungler's clear speed. (i.e. Lee Sin versus Rammus) Alternatively, if you see the enemy jungler gank mid or bot and head off into the lower jungle, you can save a ward for about 20-30 seconds and potentially play more aggressive for that time period.

Near the end of the laning phase and from then on, with your Farsight Alteration, you can place wards where you think the enemy team will likely walk near in the suggested locations above. If you do not have one currently somewhere on the map, picking up a Vision Ward and placing it defensively (or at Dragon or Rift Herald/Baron Nashor as objective control if you are going to do it) is highly recommended.



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Roaming


Poppy has pretty nice ganks after level 6, and can freeze targets she gets on top of for quite a while. The hard part is either getting close enough to combo them, as both Heroic Charge and Keeper's Verdict's in-place knock-up have short ranges. She also excels at roaming bot lane because of the abundance of walls, but the problem is getting there. If you take Teleport, I would highly recommend looking for opportunities to flank bot if there's a ward in the back bush. If I shoved and I'm winning my lane, sometimes I'll go bot with my jungler and get a kill or two, or maybe secure dragon.

Teamfighting


Poppy doesn't have the most reliable engages or enough damage and crowd control to single-handedly carry a fight, but Keeper's Verdict can totally turn around fights. There are two ways you can use it to win teamfights:

The first way of using Keeper's Verdict is to knock away the enemy frontliners that are disrupting your team and diving your carries. Clearing them out makes for an easy time for your carries by letting them focus on killing their squishies. This is especially effective on those annoying tanks that still do ridiculous damage like Shyvana.

The other way of using Keeper's Verdict is to eliminate the enemy carries from the fight to be able to focus down the frontliners. I like this more because it eliminates most of a team's damage, but it is usually harder to do since the enemy ADCs are so far away, and they can easily dodge your ultimate.

Generally, it's best to choose the one that has the fed carry on it, whether that be a crazy fed Vayne or Dr. Mundo. Eliminating the biggest threat is the key to winning teamfights!

Additional Notes

  • In a cleared (not warded by the enemy team) bush with a teammate that does damage, you can easily get a nice pick from Heroic Charge into a crowd control chain that can help your team to force/bait a Baron or siege a turret!
  • Try to stop all engages from the enemy team (like from Zac) that you possibly can with Steadfast Presence late game. It can save you entire teamfights.
  • While doing Baron Nashor or even Dragon, you can use Keeper's Verdict on the enemy jungler to help secure a smite!



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Difficulty: 1/10
Simply put, Aatrox is a bad champion. He has an extremely hard snowball, but there is no way you should be losing trades to him if you position correctly. Your base damage and resistances should severely outtrade his, and you can even interrupt his Dark Flight, which is his only escape/engage ability. As long as you don't get baited under tower by his Blood Well troll passive, getting camped by the enemy jungler is the only way that you can possibly lose this lane. Also, don't initiate extended trades with Aatrox after he gets his ultimate, because that combined with the point(s) in his Blood Thirst / Blood Price can turn around duels quickly.

Difficulty: 4/10
This champion seems to be extremely weak and overpowered at the same time. Cho'Gath will do absolutely nothing to you in the majority of the laning phase, putting in some Feral Scream poke in here and there, and suddenly all in after landing a Rupture and erase you after he gets his Feast. It's unfortunate that Steadfast Presence does absolutely nothing to protect you from his true damage, but he shouldn't be able to kill you after you start acquiring health, or in the case he starts getting ahead early on, magic resist. The best you can do is avoid his Rupture all-in combo and ask for ganks from your jungler before he gets his level 6 steady power spike.

Difficulty: 6/10
This champion is RIDICULOUS. His damage from a The Black Cleaver and full tank build is unrivaled. If you let him build up five stacks of his passive, Hemorrhage, you will get squished unless he is set way behind. If you find yourself in this matchup, you will probably have much trouble farming, because if he lands his Apprehend, his Hemorrhage ticks and true damage Noxian Guillotine will utterly destroy you. The best you can do is try to farm with your passive and Q and wait out the lane unless you can get some good ganks off. If you give up even one kill, he will destroy you. Tip: if ever trading with Darius, try to step inside the handle range of his Decimate to drastically reduce his damage output and save yourself a Hemorrhage stack.

Difficulty: 3/10
Dr. Mundo is a fairly easy lane, provided you know how to dodge cleavers every five seconds. His damage isn't overwhelming after the recent nerfs, so it should be pretty easy to farm normally or farm under turret if he shoves lane. Unfortunately, it is extremely hard to kill him without a lead after first back, because he will start to get really tanky. Playing aggressive early can pay off if you can burst him through his healing with Ignite, but you will not be able to stop him jumping on your carries mid to late game. The only hard part of this matchup is having a greater impact in teamfights late game.

Difficulty: 6/10 As of patch 6.6, tank Ekko is once again viable and obnoxious as ever, so I'm changing this matchup to be a lot harder. Poppy has literally no kill potential against tank Ekko after he gets Chronobreak, and he can kite her around constantly, keeping up in damage but being uncatchable thanks to Z-Drive Resonance and Iceborn Gauntlet, a core item for him as well. Even a main part of counterplay in this matchup against him, thanks to the fact that it can be used as an escape, engage, or tool to weave around his opponents, it's pretty hard to predict the timing to interrupt Phase Dive with Steadfast Presence. As long as you stay aware of possible Parallel Convergence engages or baits, against a good Ekko, this will hopefully turn out to be a aggressive farm lane.

Difficulty: 6/10
Fiora has high dps, burst damage, AND true damage from her Grand Challenge and passive. Luckily, Steadfast Presence can be used to outplay Fiora's Lunge mercilessly, additionally doubling its cooldown because it is interrupted before hitting an enemy unit. You should be able to trade well in lane if you play around your Steadfast Presence's cooldown, but be careful of her strong snowball and outplay potential on your Heroic Charge with Riposte. Make sure not to throw out a careless ultimate onto Fiora while her W is still up, or she can turn the entire fight around. Without your stun, Fiora can easily duel you mid-game after she gets a couple offensive items.

Difficulty: 5/10
Another strong reworked champion, Gangplank is someone who can do massive burst through armor his Powder Kegs and ignore your innate resistances with Trial By Fire's true damage. In addition, you can't even outplay him with a well-placed Heroic Charge, because his oranges will remove the crowd control. With his easy ranges farming to top that all off, you should have no kill pressure whatsoever on a Gangplank that positions correctly. The best you can do here is take advantage of his lack of mobility by calling for ganks from your jungler to build a substantial lead, since the pirate does poor damage when set behind. Otherwise, get sustain in lane and try to stay even in farm. If fed, consider a bit of health before finishing Iceborn Gauntlet to counteract his armor-ignoring abilities, or purchasing a Randuin's Omen. Don't even try to go AD then, or he will melt you.

Difficulty: 6/10
This champion is dumb and unfun to play against. Judgment and Decisive Strike have no counterplay whatsoever and his ultimate's true damage will destroy you, especially if you are the villain. Just respect his damage and he shouldn't have any lead beyond cs from constantly zoning you. Remember to let the minion wave come to you so you can easily farm under turret. Avoid pointless trades whenever possible.

Difficulty: 3/10
Gnar is quite irritating to try to farm against, but Steadfast Presence gives Poppy a lot of all-in potential onto Gnar if he ever mispositions. Farm while biding your time to land a Heroic Charge stun, and you can easily chunk half his health. When you can't find an opening, just try to farm the best you can under his mediocre harass. In teamfights, if you see his rage bar about to become full as he gets near your carries, predict his movements either by activating Steadfast Presence to interrupt his Crunch or preparing your ultimate channel. You can cause much more havoc than mini Gnar, but a crowd control combo from mega Gnar can completely wreck your team, so try to peel as much as you can before the fight starts.

Difficulty: 8/10
Haven't ever played this specific matchup, but Graves top is really annoying and does a ton of damage and punishes you for every farm you try to take. I figure he's a bit easier than Quinn though, since he still has the mobility you can interrupt, Quickdraw, and he doesn't have that obnoxious blind.
Difficulty: 5/10
Hecarim has a ton of damage from Trinity Force combined with Rampage, while also being surprisingly tanky. You can't really all-out duel him unless you have a solid lead, or at least when he falls off late game. His Devastating Charge makes him a bit too slippery to gank for the average jungler, so just respect his damage and wait for him to fall off. However, with a solid lead he will become a monster to your own backline, so make sure he doesn't get fed. When trading with Hecarim, for some bizarre reason, Steadfast Presence interrupts the auto attack part of Devastating Charge, so use this small edge to help turn around fights or escape whenever possible. When teamfights come around, if you have items, you do his job of disrupting the backline way better, and it should be an easy win if the game is even otherwise.

Difficulty: 7/10
I hate this champion. A good Illaoi has the potential to outdamage you, outsustain you, and still be tankier than you. Do everything in your power to avoid the AOE attacks of her tentacles and getting your spirit yanked out, because it will bring a surprising amount of pain, especially if you become a vessel. Most importantly: Do not fight Illaoi when she is surrounded by many tentacles, even if she is deceptively low, because she will heal off of her tentacles and burst you down in seconds.

Difficulty: 5/10
Hiten Style's insane true damage can melt through Steadfast Presence, and if she gets a stun from her Equilibrium Strike, you can lose quite a bit of health within the two seconds it stuns you for (at maximum rank). The most vital part of playing this matchup is to time Steadfast Presence to interrupt her only engage or escape, Bladesurge. She will often use this to low health minions to reposition or get its gold, so try to predict that whenever possible. When used correctly, she should not be able to properly engage on top of you, and you can kite her with a little bit of damage from Iron Ambassador and Hammer Shock. If Irelia is fed, don't even bother trying to trade, because the lower health she is, the more dangerous she becomes. Feed her, and you won't even be able to farm under turret.

Difficulty: 5/10
Jax was practically nonexistent as a top laner until the substantial buffs to Guinsoo's Rageblade made this hard-to-balance champion OP. Jax will be really weak in early levels, especially pre-6, and you should bully him as much as possible before then. But after he finishes his Rageblade, there is no possible way to outtrade him in an extended duel. After that point, it becomes crucial to nullify his engages with Leap Strike by utilizing Steadfast Presence. Try to get a lead early game, respect his damage mid game, and as long as he doesn't have a devastating splitpush in a side lane, you can help your team a lot more in late game teamfights.

Difficulty: 3/10
Jayce has a lot of poke, and for some reason is really hard to engage on even though he has no mobility ( Acceleration Gate and Thundering Blow, looking at you). But in the case that you do get an engage onto him, interrupting his To The Skies! with Steadfast Presence makes trading with Hammer form Jayce ridiculously easy. If he is smart, he will generally stay in ranged form to poke you from a safe distance. Cannon form Jayce is a lot like Gnar in the laning phase; buy potions and avoid his Shock Blast/ Acceleration Gate combos, and you shouldn't have much trouble farming. He has more burst than Gnar, but if you position correctly it should be pretty easy to outplay.

Difficulty: 10/10
Obnoxious champion that repeatedly slaps you using Righteous Fury and has no counterplay as a melee champion if she kites you correctly. With the slow from Reckoning, it should be difficult to get into a good Heroic Charge position to do damage to her (which she can heal some of anyway), so most of this lane you will be sitting under tower, hoping that Kayle shoves it to you so you an salvage some of the farm. If you don't play greedily, she should have next to no kill pressure on you. In this lane, you will either want to take advantage of her lack of mobility by calling for early ganks from your jungler, or take Teleport to get as much farm as possible or make a play to hopefully snowball your bot lane.

Difficulty: 4/10
Lissandra will get either Rod of Ages or Morellonomicon for her mana issues, then spam her Ice Shards at you whenever you try to farm. You can do a lot of damage from a Heroic Charge combo if she mispositions, but it is almost impossible to all-in her with her incredible crowd control chain from her W and ultimate. Luckily, Ring of Frost and Frozen Tomb are both so short ranged that she cannot land them onto you, provided you are playing passively, unless she is overextending, in which case call for an easy gank. When her Glacial Path escape is traveling, try to either Heroic Charge her into a wall or ult her in place to keep her from blinking away. But by yourself, those abilities make it extremely hard to engage onto her, so just farm unless you already have a lead. Also, be wary of her amazing gank reception from the enemy jungler, since she can hold you in place for so long.

Difficulty: 3/10
Though mostly a mid laner or even support, Lulu is similar to Lissandra in that she has constant poke and amazing gank reception. She has less damage, but is even harder to engage onto, especially with movement speed, a shield, and Wild Growth. This is a fairly easy lane to farm in, but unfortunately there is next to no kill potential.

Difficulty: 2/10
Malphite doesn't really do anything except wombo combo in teamfights. This is a simple lane to play. His attack speed slow from Ground Slam makes him hard to duel, but at the same time his Granite Shield makes him hard to burst down. Try to weave in auto attacks or Q's to keep his passive shield from regenerating ( Iron Ambassador plus Grasp of the Undying comes in handy here), but don't stay in his face for too long because of his Brutal Strikes steady dps.

Difficulty: 1/10
After the steady stream of nerfs he recieved, Maokai is pretty weak now overall. This is an easy lane where you can outtrade him and zone him from farm. Keep dodging his predictable Arcane Smash and be wary of Twisted Advance baits, and this champion will not pose a direct threat to you in lane or teamfights at all.

Difficulty: 3/10
In essence, this is a simple lane. Your job here is to bully Nasus as much as possible before he starts building up enough Siphoning Strike stacks to destroy your team late game with all tank items and a Trinity Force. Unfortunately, Wither and Fury of the Sands make this dog extremely hard to finish off. Poppy's best chance at bullying Nasus out of the game is getting an early kill in the first few levels before he really starts getting tanky. His movements to get Q stacks are predictable, so force him to endure a combo from Heroic Charge every time he walks up to farm. If you go even in this lane, you basically lose, so try to do whatever you can early before it is too late.

Difficulty: 2/10
Basically the same champion as Maokai; Nautilus has an annoying snare, spammable slows, and (slightly less) damage. Titan's Wrath makes it extremely difficult to win trades, so unless you kill him in the first few levels before he starts stacking health, this is going to be a farm lane. In teamfights this guy will just click your carry with Depth Charge to render him or her useless for a few seconds, so try to freeze the enemy damage dealers with Keeper's Verdict to stall.

Difficulty: 6/10
Olaf can be an easy lane or a miserable one. Even as a full tank, his Undertow and true damage from Reckless Swing combo will make it hard to do anything against trading potential. Just farm under turret the best you can (his Undertow may push the minion wave), and avoid dying in lane. In the first few levels, however, you have potential to outtrade him and perhaps establish a lead. Unfortunately, after that, when he gets Ragnarok, you literally cannot escape from his permanent Undertow slow and stop this guy from running into your face and doing significant damage. Unless you get a solid lead early on, this lane is going to be really obnoxious and dangerous to stay in.

Difficulty: 8/10
This champion is busted. Prepare to take tons of Spear Shots to the face, and rush Corrupting Potion as sustain and armor before you start giving up kills to him while going up greedily to farm. You can interrupt Aegis of Zeonia if he ever tries to use this to all-in or freeze you as he tries to escape, but it is hard to predict because he will generally not use it except in dire circumstances. Wait out his mana pool and do NOT give this champion a lead, or Heartseeker Strike will literally do a third of your health.

Difficulty: 9/10
This matchup represents most ADCs in the top lane, but Quinn is by far the most annoying to face. She is more than just constant harass- she has solid poke or disengage with Vault, and a broken Q to literally make you useless for two seconds. This lane will be painful to try to farm in without dying. Your only hope is to try to outplay her Vault with a well-timed Steadfast Presence to lead to a heavily damaging combo. Otherwise, she will make it hard to stay in lane.

Difficulty: 7/10
He doesn't have anything against Poppy, but Renekton is just an obnoxious lane bully that will make it hard to do much of anything because of his constant damage, tankyness, and even Cull the Meek sustain. Fortunately, you have a little bit of leverage room to find an engage off of Heroic Charge, because Steadfast Presence can be used to interrupt Renekton's Slice and Dice mobility. Unfortunately, the trading might not turn out well in the long run since he can outsustain you. So, by negating his mobility preemptively with a smart W, you can try to grab a lead early from ganks to be able to snowball against him. Don't dive him if he has his ultimate up.

Difficulty: 3/10
A good Rengar player can make top lane hell by jumpscaring you from bushes every two seconds from his passive. Luckily, he has a lot of trouble engaging onto you if you play efficiently, because Steadfast Presence can interrupt Unseen Predator's auto attack jump. In the first couple levels, just don't get near him when he has 5 ferocity and respect his damage, it'll be pretty easy to wait out the lane with your innate tankiness, at least until you pick up a Phage and Cloth Armor to negate his Q burst combo. Then, you can easily outtrade him by blocking his engages and taking little damage in return. Late game, make sure you have a Vision Ward readily available to make sure your ADC doesn't get one-shot by Rengar. If you catch him out of position then, he will get squished, and you can annihilate the enemy team during the teamfight. Do not let him snowball this lane.

Difficulty: 3/10
Riven is as broken as her blade. Luckly, Steadfast Presence gives Poppy a lot of room to try to outplay her third cast of Broken Wings and Valor during a trade. This lane can go really badly if you get cocky and overextend or try to trade without your Steadfast Presence at all. Only take trades you know you can win, and try not to commit to an all-in, especially not after she acquires her huge Blade of the Exile power spike. Especially if she takes Ignite, respect her damage in the first couple levels, and if you see she is going to get level 2 first, back off from the minions. Getting early armor is a necessity in this lane. Once you start getting tanky, outtrading her using Steadfast Presence shouldn't be too difficult.

Difficulty: 4/10
Though I don't find him much in solo queue at all, a good Rumble can carry a game pretty well. His strength comes a well-placed The Equalizer in teamfights, so laning against him and outtrading him constantly isn't hard. Your shield is at least as strong as his, and your single-target damage and crowd control naturally beat his. If you find yourself stuck in his ultimate, keep in mind its crazy damage and try to reposition yourself outside of its range either by walking or Heroic Charge on an enemy unit. Hexdrinker is a good early choice to bully him and zone him from farm, especially if they have another AP-based champion on their team.

Difficulty: 1/10
Shen's main purpose top lane is to have a big global impact once he has Stand United. His sustain is mediocre and damage is weak, so you can easily win trades that you are able to engage on. He can't escape or bait you under tower very well with his Shadow Dash because of Steadfast Presence, so try to trade with him as much as possible early on before he gets tanky and acquires his ultimate. Since it's rather unlikely you can solo kill him after he starts building his Sunfire Cape, keep an eye on any roaming opportunities to counteract Shen's global pressure.

Difficulty: 2/10
Troll champion. All Singed does is attempt to force your jungler, top laner, and sometimes even mid laner to all waste time chasing this guy worth no gold in your base, effectively creating a 2v4 or 3v4 for the enemy team to get objectives or win fights.Don't take the bait, and you can easily farm up under tower. Did I mention never to chase a Singed that is faster than you with Poison Trail on?

Difficulty: 2/10
His two bullying tools he can use are either maxing his Decimating Smash or his Roar of the Slayer. If he maxes Decimating Smash, wait out the charge in front of the minion wave, and otherwise he won't do much to win trades against you. If he maxes Roar of the Slayer, try to keep your movement patterns unpredictable to avoid your incoming minions. It doesn't do quite as much damage as maxing Decimating Smash, but it will give a heavy slow, setting up his other abilities, and it is much easier for Sion to poke you down with. When you need to or want to trade/engage, you can use Heroic Charge to interrupt his Decimating Smash charge. (It will have a cooldown of a couple seconds if you do.) If you are stuck in the AOE but don't want to trade with him at all, you can always just use Heroic Charge on a minion to escape the range.

Difficulty: 2/10
Tahm Kench won't do too much as a solo laner unless you let him build three stacks of An Acquired Taste on you, in which case, you're probably screwed. Respect his Devour damage and the power spike (bonus damage scaling off of % max hp on autos and abilities) of Abyssal Voyage's passive, and he isn't too hard to play against. Avoid committing to all-ins, especially if you don't know where the enemy jungler is ( Devour can hold you in place for some time), and slowly win the lane from several short advantageous trades.

Difficulty: 6/10
For being Satan, the supreme evil of the universe, Teemo is kind of weak. He doesn't do anything other then piss you off with his annoying poke, so as long as you get sustain, Vision Wards and Oracle Alteration, and don't overstay at low health, you'll outscale him. You can all-in him easily from a well-placed Heroic Charge combo, but short trades will often screw you because of Blinding Dart's kiting potential. If he builds Guinsoo's Rageblade, only trade when the passive is not enabled.
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Difficulty: 8/10
Trundle is absolutely disgusting. King's Tribute gives him infinite sustain, and he is literally impossible to duel because of Chomp and Subjugate. There is no counterplay to him running up to you and repeatedly slapping you, so just try to get as much farm as you can under turret while avoiding all trades. You can actually stun enemy units against the wall created from Pillar of Ice, but I think this is more cool (literally) than effective because of how hard it is to position to dash against the tiny terrain.

Difficulty: 6/10
Don't get near him with a full rage bar, because Tryndamere mains are basically all masters of RNG and will get 2-3 consecutive crits onto you and do most of your health. You can't duel him for most of the game, because you can't outperform Undying Rage, especially when he itemizes for a duelist build. Early on, you can initiate short trades to slowly whittle his health bar down, but if he has ultimate know that you are getting baited whenever you do damage to him. If he gets ahead, just try to farm out the lane and stop any of his initiations with Spinning Slash by using Steadfast Presence. Like Jax, try to make sure he doesn't splitpush too hard, and just outperform him in teamfights. Ninja Tabi is a good pick here.

Difficulty: 4/10
Much like Lulu and Lissandra, Vladimir Putin has a lot of annoying poke that your kit won't help you with. His Sanguine Pool will make it extremely hard to engage upon him even with a jungler, so for the most part, wait the lane out until you get enough items to even fight him at all. An early Spectre's Cowl can help absorb a lot of his Transfusions while you go to get farm.

Difficulty: 3/10
Poppy has all the tools in her kit to beat an enemy Wukong- she has about as much trading potential from her damage and innate tankiness, while also being able to interrupt his main damage and engage ability, Nimbus Strike. This monkey has a devastating snowball if he gets kills while stacking AD, but Poppy shouldn't really lose this lane. Understand how Decoy reacts with minion aggro and how it can be used as a stealth engage, and play around his kit to beat him.

Difficulty: 2/10
Though a fed Yasuo can do insane damage and destroy enemy teams with his high damage and mobility. Luckily, Steadfast Presence renders his entire kit useless, because he cannot cast Sweeping Blade, his only mobility with a practically nonexistent cooldown, while within its active range. Play around Steadfast Presence, and you can win every trade and zone him from getting farm.



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I miss my 20:5 Poppy win ratio, but I still perform pretty well on her.


Current stats:


Pre-rework stats:



And below is my only ranked Poppy pentakill (Though it was on a Silver II account, unlike the rest)!




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Thanks so much for reading my Poppy guide! I hope you enjoyed it and maybe have a better in-depth understanding of one of my favorite champions to play now.

If you enjoyed this guide, please give it a thumbs up, it took a ton of time to make and it helps a lot! Any constructive criticism is also appreciated in the comments section :)

You can check out my friend chinarp's (TheIndianDeft) awesome Draaaaaaaaaaaven Guide here! Also credit to this guy for making these great Poppy headings.

Also thanks for jhoijhoi for helping me learn how create a good guide, and Elusive Ferret for showing me what a near-perfect guide should look like.



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