Poppy Build Guide by mishli
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
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.
This is my guide to AD burst Poppy, also known as "the ***** of solo top." Poppy follows the philosophy of "less is more" shockingly well. She has a very simple kit, but she can still hold her own very well when the need arises.
Ok as I'm sure many people have asked, why Poppy? Quite simply, I don't have a good answer for that. I've tried almost every champion in the game, some I liked, some I couldn't stand, but no matter what I do, I always come back to this little midget and her huge hammer. It's very satisfying to be able to hit q and see 1/3 of someone's health vanish, but no one is perfect.
Now please remember, I've got at least 400+ games with Poppy under my belt so I'm not talking out of my rear, but I also know I'm far from the best and I'm not claiming to be. This is how I like to play Poppy but that's all I can say. Any CONSTRUCTIVE advice/tips for the guide or for refining my technique are welcome. And also if someone would be kind enough to let me know how to do all the fancy organizing and tables, I'd greatly appreciate it.
6-24 added a bit more, and cleaned up a bit more, added abyssal scepter, dfg, gunblade and hourglass to optional items, and also changed recommended mr item to qss. also added this section.
10-5 had some severe comp issues and lost alot of the work I did, hopefully will be able to keep updating more, changed quints going back to old style. and added a new trial build, yes I know it's messed up, but for some reason, it seems to work. I may end up making a separate guide devoted to the new build, but it's still in progress atm.
10-7 Fixed an issue in the primary build's masteries, and removed the need to comment to vote, because for some reason no one seems to want to commet... ;_;
The many rolls of Poppy.
The faces of Poppy
While Poppy can be played in many ways, she has one very potent specialty, the anticarry. She may not be able to get pentakill's eaisly, but if one of your oppenents is fed, like an ezereal or vayne, or maybe a brand or gragas. Poppy can single them out with her ultimate and tear them apart. But there are many ways to go about this:
AD Burst: Packs a huge punch without much feeding and a little defense can take her a long way. My preferred build, and what this guide focuses on.
AP carry: While AD poppy is very powerful, AP poppy actually hits even harder, being able to almost guarantee 1 person dies the moment you look at them, but because of her literal uselessness when her abilities aren't up/oom, and because of the even more difficult early game, I usually don't build this. I am attempting to work on a build for it though.
Jungle: I've been told that, while not the best, jungle Poppy is viable in general play. I have yet to succeed and yet to see this successfully done, so until I'm proven wrong, or I find a way that works, I'm leaving it as "unadvised".
adpsburst: I really don't know what to call this, but it's the second build. Focuses on a bit more damage over time, taking advantage of Poppy's ad steriod, and a bit of lifesteal will take you quite a ways.
Pros / Cons
*hits like a truck
*deceptively tanky at low hp
*bursts well with suprisingly few items.
*can outrun almost everyone
*does not need to be overly fed to hold her ground.
*runs like the gingerbread man... but wields Thor's hammer.
*no ranged attack
*completly shut down by cc
*can screw up kills with E
*often very easy to bully early game
*very very mana hungry early game if you're aggressive
*weak under focus fire (but then who isn't?)
*her only CC is conditional
Before we can go over how to play, we gotta talk about what makes this little girl stand out, besides the hammer bigger than her head.
~~~~ Valiant Fighter~~~~
Poppy's passive is rather unusual, to break it down specifically. If poppy would take damage, any amount she takes that exceeds 10% of her current health is reduced by 50%. This is very useful early game, as many aggressive players gauge if they can kill you by how much of your health bar is left, but thanks to this, their attacks do an inconsistent amount of damage, which can mess up their calculations and leave you alive while they aren't, and still wondering why, though sadly it doesn't defend against true damage. This passive is stronger against burst damage than dps because for nukes, a lot is getting taken off a single hit, while dps takes off a little from each one. let's look at an example.
1 hit for 800 damage, at 800 hp. 10% of current hp = 80, so you take 80 as normal, then the other 720 is dropped to 360 and you are left with 360 hp.
10 hits for 80 damage, 800 hp,
1 hit: 80 damage 720 hp
2 hits: 76 damage 644 hp
3 hits: 72 damage 572 hp
4 hits: 68 damage 504 hp
5 hits: 65 damage 439 hp
6 hits: 61 damage 378 hp
7 hits: 58 damage 320 hp
8 hits: 56 damage 264 hp
9 hits: 53 damage 211 hp
10 hits: 50 damage 161 hp
The amount of time it took to land the hits aside, 800 damage in 1 hit, vs 10 hits that total 800 damage, you're left with less than half the hp of the nuke.
This build is actually intended to take advantage of this passive. This is why this build focuses on building defensive, instead of stacking hp. Because if you have more hp, they can do more damage before the passive starts helping.
~~~~ Devastating Blow:~~~~
This ability is amazing, in a nutshell, it takes your normal hit, + a small amount of bonus damage + 8% of the targets hp (up to a cap) rolls it into one, then smashes them in the face. If you have the sheen active, this will add the damage from the sheen into it as well, causing crazy numbers at early levels. The point most people seem to miss, is that it converts all this into magic damage. That's right, all the AD you're building? now does magic damage. Many many people make this mistake when building defensively, they see the sheen and a bf sword in your inventory? they get thornmail, while you laugh and smash them for 1/3 of their hp anyway.
Take this ability at level 2 if you're confident in your harass or you aren't laning against aggressive opponents, as this can secure you an early kill. Though this is Poppy's most amazing form of damage, I don't skill it first. the bonus ap damage is negligent, and though the % damage is capped, even if you skilled it slowly you will rarely see wasted damage. The primary reason for maxing this early is to reduce the cooldwn, but you must be careful in the early game, as Poppy is so mana hungry that having a higher cooldown can just make you run out faster. If you have problems being overly aggressive and running out of mana, I recommend skilling this completely after paragon, this way you will learn to be more sparing with your hits.
This was recently brought to my attention, and I feel the need to make it known. Devastating blow, while dealing magic damage, is still considered a 'next hit' attack, meaning it is a melee hit. This makes it proc on hit effects (such as the phage) but also it means that, as well as scaling with ap, it also 'scalse' 1 to 1 with ad, (because it's a melee hit with bonus damage, but all of it is converted to magic). Another interesting point is, because it procs on it, and is a melee hit, even though it's magic damage, it seems to still work with lifesteal.
~~~~ Paragon of Demacia:~~~~
This move is underrated in my opinion, especially in early game. Many people go for Devastating Blow early, then wonder why their mana pool is empty. With smart use of this skill, you can farm and trade blows effectively in lane. At max stacks/level this ability grants 35 attack and armor (which is equivelent of almost having a bf sword and a chain vest) the stacks wear out quick, but build whenever you deal or take a hit. Got minion agro? this will max in under 2 seconds. But it's the active that really sets it apart. This bonus movement speed will save you time and time again and the cooldown is modestly short for it's duration. With max cdr, the cooldown is 8 seconds, and the buff lasts for 5 seconds, giving you an almost permanent 25% bonus movement. At 90 mana this is Poppy's most expensive move, save her ulti. While in lane, try and let the stacks build on their own, and do your best to keep them up, but don't be afraid to use it to chase, run or initiate, just be careful when spamming it.
One useful trick with this ability, even if you can't get away, is to use it right before someone initiates to shave a little bit extra off the damage they think they're going to do, this also boosts your damage, so if you plan on standing to fight, you're already in a good spot.
~~~~ Heroic Charge:~~~~
The closest thing Poppy has to a ranged attack, though it involves her throwing herself into her opponents and then carries them an additional distance. If you can smash them into a wall, they take more than double damage and have a 1.5 second stun, which guarantees a free Devastating Blow. But you really need to be careful with this move, displacements are potent, but they can easily lose teamfights if you're not careful. This is your initiate, but be careful that you don't ruin your teammate's initate's as well, such as pushing someone out of Nunu's ultimate, or making Anivia miss her Flash Frost. Also be careful when using this to chase, as it will often carry your target further away from your allies. If you can, always try and aim for a wall (towers count too whether or not they've been destroyed). You can also use the movement boost from Paragon of Damacia to outmaneuver someone and get that extra inch. Don't be afraid to run away from someone for a moment to set this up, if you can land the stun it should be more than worth it.
It takes lots of practice, I'm still working on this, but one method I've started using is, if a teamfight is already in progress, don't use this move unless it's to chase or interrupt something big. Simply saving this to interrupt nunu's ulti, or fiddlestick's crowstorm can decide a fight. On the other hand, this also makes a great chasing tool. If someone gets to low health and breaks off, smash them into the wall and finish them off.
Because of her ultimate, Poppy can often get away with diving into a group to finish someone off, because of the invincibility, however, smart players will simply run away when they see you. This is another time your charge comes in handy. If someone tries to blink, and poppy hits them, they return to their starting position. Also, if they flash away, or ghost, let them get to max range and then charge after them, this will seperate them even more from their team, and let you catch up, not only giving you more time to hit them, but more time to escape after you've pounded them flat.
This can also be used as a small escape if you didn't initiate with it. Charge an enemy minion to get some extra distance from your opponent, or slam them into a wall, hit q for free damage, then keep running.
~~~~~~~~~~~~ Diplomatic Immunity:~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What can I say about this? Poppy may not be the best champion in the game, but this ultimate is one of the most broken things I've ever seen. You pick one target, then for 8 seconds NOTHING IN THE GAME can hurt you besides that target, well placed you can tank most of the ultimate's on the enemy team and not even notice. As well as the immunity, you deal 40% bonus damage to your target (this includes everything from abilities to items to summoner spells). There are 4 primary uses for this.
1: Focus: Is there someone on the enemy team who just won't die? Target them and go to town, 2-3 Devastating blows and 8 seconds of guaranteed 1v1 should do the trick. Just remember, the moment your target dies, so does your shield. One of my favorite tricks is to drop someone to almost no health, then pop ignite and run, the shield still holds while you get away, and you get to laugh as they burn to death.
2: Disruption: The success of this trick relies largely on your skill, enemy placements, along with a host of other things, though it makes for a great initiate. Tag someone with this and just wreak havoc on the enemy team, if you can finish someone off, great, but just slamming someone into a wall, smashing another target with your hammer then running away, still invincible, will often get the entire team following you, which can save someone, or lead them into a well laid trap.
3: Tanking: Target someone who can't CC you (often the enemy support, Sona is a prime example if her ulti's not up. (most often) she can't do enough damage to be worried about, so target her, and then proceed to burst that nasty carry down, while all of his super fed damage goes to waste. It's even better if you manage to target someone who is running away, because then you are free to turret dive all you want without fear.
4: Escape: About to get ganked? Tag this on one of your chasers (usually one without CC, or who can't catch up as eaisly, and run like hell, the movement speed you have should get you out out in time.
Properly used, this is one of the most distructive/disruptive moves in the game, it can save you and guarantee more kills than you'd think possible, an amazing skill.
Another tip, if you are focusing someone, use Diplomatic Immunity first to maximize the damage you do. If you are planning on tanking or being disruptive, wait a moment for the enemy team to realize you're there before you use it, the extra second or two can mean life or death.
Poppy is a close range fighter who can dish out one of the largest beatings in the game, however she suffers in many regards. One of her biggest downsides is her lack of a ranged attack, her only 'ranged' move is a body slam that puts her into harms way. If you are laning against very aggressive opponents with good range, this can make you suffer in the early game. The important thing is to remember: while she can get pushed around, Poppy is deceptively hard to kill, thanks to her passive she's harder to drop at low hp than most people would think.
Another note, while this build does focus on heavy AD, it is impossible to build a pure AD Poppy, every point of AD you get makes your Devastating Blow hit harder, but that is magic damage (this is the prime reason for the magic pen runes). We're not building attack speed, so don't think you need to stay in there and melee, as you don't hit very fast, even if you hit hard. You get so much damage out of your q, often times I find it more effective to stun and q someone, then back off before the stun wears, then hit them again when Devastating Blow is available. The cooldown is very short, and in this method you're maxing your burst damage, while not letting them get much melee damage on you. (remember, Poppy's passive is weaker vs dps, so why should you take damage you don't need to?)
Early game: start out with a Regrowth Pendant and health pot. This will sustain you in lane. If you're good at last hitting, you can put off getting the philosopher's stone until you can afford boots and maybe the sapphire crystal. One important thing to note for the minions. hang around right behind your melee minions so you can last hit as needed, but most skillshots will be absorbed by the little guys in front of you, this should give you some cover while you work, but remember don't melee the minions, only last hit, this will keep the minions in the middle of the lane so you can farm without overextending. If your enemies are aggressively farming minions, let them, get in a harrass or two, but play safe until they push you back to your turret, if you're quick you can actually step around them and shove them into it, or stun them against a wall and laugh as the turret picks them off. Thanks to your passive you're not quite as squishy as everyone thinks, especially early on. Many people will attempt to towerdive and finish you off, only for you to survive with a pinch of health left, whether because you ran or because you slammed them into the wall and the tower did the work for you. (a great trick for people who like to run past the turret, run away from them, then right as they get out of range shove them back to take a few more hits)
Once you've gotten your Sheen you have to make a choice on what next, start to push your lane or help the jungler gank? Usually around the time one or two turrets have fallen, the lanes are mostly abandoned besides a lone champ pushing or farming. This is where I find that Poppy has her most problems, once you've gotten the Sheen you have some nice damage, but ranged players can hit you first, or the tanks have build up just enough to outlast you. Poppy is an extremely fast champion, and we're going to take advantage of it, unless you are sure you can get a kill AND GET OUT. Never charge into a group from the front. With Paragon of Damacia you can outmaneuver them, usually getting around behind them and push someone forward, this does put you at risk if they have hard CC, but simply place your ulti on someone who can't CC you and push someone into your waiting team. Though this build is tanky, you need to be careful, as many people will start to focus you because of how much damage you can do, once team fights start, play disruptively, using Heroic Charge to push people out of place, force the tank behind the squishies, or slam a carry into the wall for a nice stun. You don't have an effective sustain, so play hit and run, if you know you can beat someone 1v1 great, but the chance of surviving under focus fire in a teamfight is very low, so hang around in the back, stepping in to smash someone's face in, then skipping out before they can shift focus to you. This method of play can lead to some people calling you a killstealer, as Poppy is very effective at dropping people who are under half hp. but killstealing is waiting til they have almost no hp left and then killing them, when you're dropping someone from half or less, it's not a stolen kill.
Late game, once you have your [Trinity Force], you're doing well, getting a B. F. Sword will really help you put the hurt on, but always be mindful of what the opponents are building, no matter how much damage you can do, it does nothing if you die before you get to use it. There isn't allot to say here. Once you know who you can kill eaisly, hunt them down and make them pay for being squishy. Anyone who gives you trouble, harass and run, you should be able to kite almost anyone and it is hilarious to watch the entire team chase you in circles and never catch you. If you find enemies comitting to chasing you, feel free to run them around the jungle, smashing them into the wall over and over, and laughing as you stay just out of their range, while still beating their face in.
Origionaly, I went the standard 21:0:9 for the bonus damage and being able to finish off targets at low hp, but, thanks to some advice from a few friends, I tried out the tank tree, and it seems to be working better for me. Poppy can do amazing damage on her own, but most of that comes late game, you need a good, solid start in lane (by being able to survive all the harass you WILL get, and still get cs) to help you get there.
Magic penetration marks: this build stacks ad, but this is for the purpose if increasing the damage from Poppy's Q, magic pen all the way.
---I've also had someone suggest flat ad here, the argument is valid. Because not only does it increase melee damage and help you last hit. It also adds to the damage from your q.
Flat armor seals: not much to say here, early game tankyness + the passive from paragon makes poppy really hard to deal with.
Magic resist/level glyphs: this is a personal toss up for me, magic resist per level is stronger late game than flat magic res, but, because she has no natural defense against it (being one of the few melee champions who doesn't get magic resist/level) she suffers alot from magic damage early game and flat magic res would help considerably with that. If anyone has suggestions i'm happy to hear them.
Quintessences: You can't go wrong with 3 quints of swiftness, defensive quints are always good, but I feel poppy needs more movespeed.
optional: regen seals are also a great option, combining with the defensive mastery and the regrowth pendant, helping you to simply regen any damage you take, this is something else i need to expirament with, once again, comments are welcome, regen quints too...
Flash IMO one of the single best summoner spells in the game, it saves you and it gets you kills, I always take it when playing Poppy. This can also function as an "oh ****" button, saving you from long range attacks or skill shots, or even saving allies if you have really good reflexes.
Secret technique: flash step. (yes this is a Bleach reference) This is difficult to do, as it requires very picky timing and quick reflexes, but it can guarantee kills or save teammates if you master it. When someone is in range of a wall, but you can't get the right angle for a stun, quickly flash and charge before they can respond. You can push someone into your team, into a wall, or away from an ally, if you're quick you can do this in under half a second, but it takes allot of practice. (Both Vayne and Poppy can do this)
Ignite : Some people refer to this as a noob spell, I disagree. I always hate seeing someone get away with <100 hp left, and this will ensure they don't. It may have a long recast, but technically it functions as Poppy's only ranged attack, though the biggest reason I use it is to shut down all those people who stack crazy lifesteal, or use summoner heal. It's also a great combo with your ultimate, seeing as you get more damage out of it, and you can use your ultimate, drop someone to low hp, then ignite and waltz away, still invincible, while they burn.
Exhaust: In no way a bad spell. If it wasn't for the healing debuff of ignite I would use this instead. Definitally an excellent spell In all reguards. Assuming the enemy team doesn't have heavy sustain, this is actually better than ignite, especially in late game and teamfights. But ignite is more reliable in solo qeue.
Clense: Personally I don't use this often, but, if used correctly, this could even remove the need for merc treads, which would open your boots options up quite a bit.
Teleport: An excellent spell to set up ganks, join in teamfights, or even escape from a nasty situation. I usually don't use this spell because my timing is horrendous, and besides, Poppy is so fast that she can switch lanes pretty quickly anyway. If this spell works for you, great, but it doesn't for me.
Ghost IT seems there's always a huge debate of ghost vs flash. personally, I often get the chance to flash over walls to escape, this alone will save you time after time, but the other thing, ghost gives a movement speed buff, which is useful for chasing or fleeing, however, when stacked with Poppy's w (which is essentially a mini ghost) you eaisly break the hard(er) cap of 500 movespeed, meaning quite a bit of it goes to waste. Again this is up to preference, but I prefer Flash.
DO NOT USE!!!
Clarity: With all of her mana problems, one would usually think clarity is good to get on Poppy, but between the comparatively high cost of her abilities, and her very small mana pool, you're much better off learning to manage your mana on your own, without this handicap, instead of thinking it will actually give you a useful amount. This spell is good on other champs, but when you can burn though your mana pool in 2-3 bursts, I recommend using it sparingly.
Now that you know what you can do, let's go over the item choices.
--- Regrowth Pendant: Taking advantage of your early tankyness at low hp, this should keep you alive long enough to last hit and harass a bit. Sadly you'll quickly outgrow it, but it's useful early on.
--- Philosopher's stone: Great item, helps catch up with the health regen so you can sustain a bit longer, and builds passive gold, something not to be underestimated. If you sell it it pays itself off in 18~ min, but usually I keep it until I need an empty spot.
--- Sheen: this is your bread and butter, almost doubling the damage of Devastating Blow early on, every time you stack ad, this puts even more into your Q. It's uncommon, but I have seen games won with nothing but boots and a sheen. IMO hands down one of the most important items for Poppy. If you're having a very good start, you can actually get this before boots, but make sure to get them immediatly after. One very important thing to pay attention to, the sheen will proc on the next hit you do, whether it's your q or a basic attack. If you are good at paying attention to your opponents, try to keep track of their defenses, if they have more defense, use your q to proc the sheens effect, if they are building mr, then get in 1 auto attack for the bonus damage to be physical, then smash their face in.
---From here you have a few choices
continue onto the Phage if you're doing well, for a little bit of extra hp, + the slow goes off fairly often, this is one of the only situations I will actually sit still to melee, this slow provides an easy chase, and while they are slowed, it's easy to set up for a free stun. There is one important thing to note though, this is important on all champions, but especially because of this build's low attack speed, if you are chasing someone, move alongside them in between melee hits, you'll be shocked to see how much more damage you do, and this will not only make it easy to keep up with them, but then it's even eaiser to set up for a stun, or running past them then shoving them back into your team. Also, if you're laning against someone who does true damage, then get at least the health crystal early, because your passive can't protect you from true damage.
If you're not doing too well, or if your opponents are simply doing better than you, get some form of defense, Chain Vest for armor, Negatron Cloak for magic resist.
After that continue to build towards Trinity Force, if you have even more problems surviving, consider grabbing the other of the two defensive items I mentioned, or upgrading one of them.
On the other side of the coin, if you have found yourself doing very well, and don't need to bluepill often, feel free to get a vampyric scepter. This can let you last much longer while roaming. I usually leave this til after trinity force, as the extra damage is amazing, but if you're having problems with people getting away from you, you can get an early cutlass for even more chasing power + the shot does more damage when your ultimate is active.
---Once Trinity Force is complete, gauge how you're doing, either upgrade your armor/magic resist, or go for a B.F. sword. Remember, if you're not sure if you can survive, grab defense before offense, you're no good to your team if you're dead, and if you're dead, the opposing team is getting even more fed.
-- Bilgewater Cutlass Thanks to a suggestion I was given, I've been building this just after trinity force, and it's been serving rather well, though it works better if you're fed, don't feel like you have to get this, but it's a great option.
--- B.F. Sword: By the time you have this, the game is often close to over, if you've been decently fed, the Infinity Edge will be the icing on the cake, by then you should have about a 50% chance to critical, and people will cry when they see Devastating blow crit for over 1.5k (Highest I've seen is 2000~)
Unless you're extremely fed, finish off your defenses after infinity edge, if the game is still going, at this point I usually sell off my Philosopher's Stone for the extra inventory, but if you need to you can sell it earlier. On some occations, it can be well worth upgrading this to a Shyrellia's reverie earlier. This can be done for many reasons, you're not very fed, you're having trouble escaping/chasing, or your team is having the same problem.
If you noticed on the build order, I left the chain vest and negatron cloak unfinished, this is because you need to treat these as situational items, along with when to buy them.
My most common choice is to upgrade the Chain Vest to the Glacial Shroud around the time I finish trinity force, and upgrade the Negatron Cloak to Quicksilver Sash.
As for boots: If the enemy team has 2 or more people with CC, almost always go with Mercury Treads. If there's only one person with hard CC, and you've made it this far into the game without issues, instead of mercury treads, pick up Boots of Swiftness. The extra movement speed will help you get around the map faster, escape, chase and set up for that wonderful stun. Another item I've been building, is Ninja Tabi, but this is usually based on lane. If you do take this rout and start having CC problems later, you can always upgrade your Philosopher's Stone to an Elsia's Miracle.
Quicksilver Sash: If you're having allot of trouble from cc, turn the nega into a Quicksilver Sash, it's one of the most amazing items, especially for quick characters like Poppy who are shut down by hard CC *cough* WW ulti *cough* as long as you're quick, you can completely ignore many spells that would have guaranteed your demise otherwise. I've actually been building this over FoN recently, as most teams have at least one form of hard cc, the simple ability to completly ignore it can save you time and time again and land you kill after kill. This item is very cheap, and incredibly useful. If you're having lots of problems with someone's cc, make this item your top priority, you'll be glad you did.
Force of Nature: I know, "why get this when you can get the veil" personally, I've found the Banshee's Veil to be a little overrated. The FoN gives you some crazy health regen, a massive 76 magic resist, and movement speed, and, seeing as Poppy is built as a hit and run, this will help you get away even faster.
Banshee's Veil: Personally i'm not very fond of this item. I'm not saying it's bad in any reguard, but I feel the force of nature is usually more useful overall. The spell shield is nice, but varying on who you are fighting, it can eaisly be dropped by a weaker spell, and then they go to town on you. If the enemy Blitzcrank is messing up your day, go with this, but personally I prefer the QSS or Force of nature.
Abyssal Scepter While this build isn't focused on AP, there's nothing wrong with getting some ap and mr at the same time. This also serves to increase your damage by lowering your opponent's mr, and this helps your team too.
Frozen Heart: Amazing amount of defense + loads of mana + cdr + all those nasty people who stack attack speed just got hit with a nerf. This is great for 1v1 and also in team matches. A little expensive compared to Thornmail but amazing overall. And it has enough mana that you rarely have to worry about running out.
Thornmail: This is a great item for its defense, and it's very cheap, but I've found myself moving to the frozen heart instead. Usually if someone is so fed you need thornmail, they've probably started stacking lifesteal too, which makes thornmail's passive almost useless except to slow down their feed off of you. If you get the frozen heart instead, that will help your team, even if you aren't the one getting hit.
Zhonya's Hourglass Usually I get the frozen heart, but if you find yourself needing more armor, or if you're just getting focused too hard, this will (like the abyssal scepter) boost your damage, and also give you an additional 2 seconds of pure invincibility after your ultimate wears off, or in case someone tries to gank you while your ultimate is down.
Guardian Angel: Great item, armor and magic resist in one package plus a reving field that can save your life. If I'm not having that much trouble with physical damage, I'll convert my Chain Vest into this for bonus magic resist. The revive effect is great, though I often run into the problem of getting swarmed while getting back up, but if your ulti is up, you have a good chance to get away if you're quick. A bonus with playing a burst character, if one of the nearby enemies is low on hp, you can charge +q them to take them with you after reviving, or even have a chance of escaping.
Hextech Gunblade Recently I've been slipping this into my build, and it's been working rather well, your Q heals for crazy amounts of hp, and the active can secure you many kills. Not too much else to say, Great item, but a little costly, which is why I usually buy the pieces at different times through the build. It also gives ad and ap, which helps all of your skills. But the B.F. sword will still do more damage, make sure to keep that in mind.
Deathfire Grasp Even when not building ap poppy this item is disgusting, with trinity force and this you should have about 110 ap, meaning this starts off doing 28% of anyone's hp. If you use this with your ultimate up, it'll do almost 40% of the target's hp, that's almost half, before you've even touched them. I know this is a great item for poppy, but I haven't yet figured out where it fits in a build, though the extra gp5 item is nice. Any suggestions are welcome.
Zeke's Herald Honestly... I"m not sure what caused me to buy this item. While it has cdr and lifesteal, two things that are useful to Poppy, it also has health and attack speed, two things which are a lower priority, but somehow, it seems to be quite effective, especially if you're not being the hypercarry. It gives some much needed sustain, along with a method to farm. It's also a great help to teammates.
Shurelya's Reverie: I haven't used this item too much, but it's great for that extra boost of speed, for chase or escape. It also has nice CDR for faster abilities though you'll probably be breaking the cap if you get it, or if you're just not doing well and want to help out your team, it's an all around great item.
Team work can be very important for Poppy when not going solo top, oftentimes who you are laning with can make or break your early game. Poppy goes well with many different champions, but it's more how they are played, than who it is.
Just a few examples
Singed, Alistar, Volibear, Darius
Anyone with a 'toss' or forced displacement does wonders with Poppy. This makes it very easy to set up for a wall stun and leave your opponent helpless while you both beat them down. You can also use this as a turret jump, by tossing someone and then pushing them towards your turret. It's difficult to set up, but can be devastating as you force them into the turret, and get plenty of hits as they run away.
Quite simply, anyone with any form of CC helps Poppy, stuns are best, but slows work as well if you're quick. The more you can smash them into the wall, the more damage you do, and the more Devastating Blows you will land.
Though Poppy will often solo top, she seems to work well with almost any champion, but, as I said before, it's more about who (person) you're playing alongside, not what champion. High burst champions like Fizz can work great, especially once both have a good burst item, often they can drop a single target before there's even time to react. Poppy can also work well with a dps champion like Riven or Darius both don't have heavy crowd control, but they can harass well, and with some teamwork and a little focus fire, someone should go down quickly.
So that's my first guide, any recommendations are welcome and I do apologize for I know I tend to ramble... alot. I'll do my best to keep up and make changes as necessary, but in the end I thought I'd mention a few glitches I've had.
Teemo's poison still deals damage through ultimate.
Nidalee's rend does goes through ultimate.
Thornmail does not work on graves. (this has happened 3 or 4 games now, part of the reason I stopped building it)
Diplomatic immunity is canceled if you target someone and they step into a bush before the channel finishes.
If you heroic charge someone into a bush, even though you followed them in, they still turn invisible for a brief moment, and during that time, Poppy will cease to focus on them. If there is another champ or minion in the bush, she will turn to melee that one instead.
This isn't really a glitch, but something to note: the fountain turret ignores Diplomatic Immunity, not really surprising is it?
Once again, thanks for reading, and any feedback is appreciated.