Hello and welcome to my guide on Poppy in the Dominion game mode! I created it shortly after the Crystal Scar map was originally released.
I don't think Poppy is way OP on Dominion like some champs (Rammus), but she's certainly strong. But the question is, what kind of Poppy should you play?
Initially, I went AP, despite the fact that I never go AP in Summoner's Rift. Partly this was just due to the recommended items being for AP Poppy, but also it was the fact that you don't have to farm at all, and don't have to attack towers, so not having AD and AS isn't the crippling blow it was in Rift.
Then, realizing how critical movespeed is on this map, I tried my Runner Poppy hybrid, and lo and behold it did great! I also was getting a little frustrated at AP Poppy's utter inability to push minion waves effectively. Sometimes you can't just walk up to a point and cap it. Sometimes you want a little minion backup. And AP Poppy can't really deliver there.
Although I support hybrid over AP in Rift, I'm calling it about equal on Dominion. Heavier burst versus better follow-through and minion pushing -- your call. If you make the other choice, head on over to Runner Poppy and take a look.
+ AP burst: Obviously. AP Poppy has some of the most ridiculous burst to be found in the entire game, and this is a glass cannon item build. Ult for invincibility and go kill your target.
+ It's Poppy: Poppy is great. On Dominion, she's great because she's very fast. There is a lot more mana regen in Dominion so I usually have Paragon up almost all the time while running from place to place. If you max CDR it'll be like you have (unenhanced) Ghost up for 5 out of every 7.5 seconds. THAT IS RIDICULOUS!
- Sustained damage: AP Poppy doesn't have the continous damage output of hybrid/AD autoattacks, although you'll still be hitting Q for massive damage up to every 2.5 seconds (max level and max cooldown).
- Minions: AP Poppy can't clear waves effectively at all. Fortunately you don't need to to capture towers, but minion pushing is a good tactic that just isn't very available to you.
Marks: MAGIC PENETRATION
Defense is just good. Mana regen per level seals are also a possibility -- Poppy can be pretty mana hungry when spamming. (RIP dodge)
Cooldown reduction is a must for me. Again, can be swapped for MP5/L at your discretion.
Because MOVESPEED. (Although movespeed is OP on Dominion, you can choose to get MPEN instead.)
24/0/6. AP offense, of course, but also take the AD bonuses since they add to your Q with better scaling and also give you better autoattacks. Utility points give you a bit of movespeed and item CDR as well as faster recall.
Movement is absolutely vital to Dominion so it pains me deeply to not get boots first, but Sheen is just too powerful on Poppy to pass up. After that, get Mercury's Treads ASAP for the Tenacity (MRes is just a bonus). If you really don't fear enemy CC, feel free to get Sorc Shoes. Lich Bane gives great burst and bonus movespeed, so rush it. Then get either DFG or Hextech Gunblade. I like spell vamp, personally. (WOTA is cheaper, but not as powerful, and the Gunblade slow is very nice.)
(I should point out here that for a long time I resisted getting DFG on the basis that the 60 second cooldown didn't mesh as well with a playstyle focused around Poppy's otherwise low cooldowns [aside from her ult]. But I've given in. Nevertheless, I still think a no-DFG build is completely viable.)
After that, if people are getting Magic Resist, Void Staff will help you cut through it. Then, get either Wooglet, or Abyssal Scepter.
IF you have enemy stealth to worry about, you have a choice: either get Oracle Extracts and pop them whenever engaging the stealth champs, or get the Hextech Sweeper.
To start, take one point in each of your 3 main skills. Obviously.
At level 4, take another point in Dev Blow.
You have somewhat of a choice on your skills. Your mana regen will be great so you can usually spam Paragon -- so of course you want it to give as big a boost as possible! On the other hand, you can max your Heroic Charge for maximum burst damage. Or you could even max Dev. Blow to spam it as often as possible. Movespeed is crucial on Dominion, which suggests maxing W. But once you're in the fight, spamming a maxed Q can give you ridiculous damage output ... unless you get focused and disabled, which you will in a teamfight unless you're ulting. On the other hand, maxing E allows you to inflict terrible damage in hit-and-run attacks, and get those wall stuns more often.
You DON'T need to take your Q past level 3 for damage scaling. Levels 4 and 5 aren't going to do much more damage unless someone is stacking health like a maniac. You'll only be maxing it for better cooldown or because you're level 17 or 18.
Once you've got Lich Bane, HxGB/WOTA, some cooldown reduction, and maxed Q, you will be inflicting truly terrible damage on people. If you opened the battle with a wall stun many champs will be near death before they can even react. And between spamming Q every two and a half seconds and wall stunning them as fast as E comes off cooldown, combined with the fact that you'll have very significant spell vamp ... well, that's why some people ban Poppy in Dominion.
Ghost Ghost is absolutely indispensable IMO. With Paragon, it lets you put on rocket boots and leave 95% of champions in your dust (including their own Ghosts). It's also great for that windmill rush at the start.
Ignite Ignite's true damage is overvalued by many players IMO, but it's still quite strong. Not only does it counter certain champs' special abilities like Volibear's passive and the ultimates of Singed, Mundo, Sion, etc., but it ALSO benefits from your own ultimate. 40% more true damage on your late game ulted target? Yes please.
Exhaust Exhaust is a great spell on Poppy because it can stop them from running away, or keep them out of position while you maneuver to wall-stun them; alternatively, it can stop them from killing you before you get away or finish your cooldowns to kill them.
Flash Flash is fine. I'm personally not as skilled with it as I am at utilizing ghost, but even aside from that I think I'd still prefer Ghost, especially in Dominion where I find myself needing that distance running to defend a point in time. Still, Flash definitely has its uses.
Garrison Garrison is a good spell too. Mostly I try to simply avoid turret diving unless the enemy is alone and can be one-shotted or I have my ult ready -- but taking this spell will let you be even less afraid of turrets, and it's a great surprise to pull out on the 2 or 3 guys who thought they could turret dive you (or the one guy who thought he could finish you off because you were at 20% health -- that just makes you more dangerous!).
All the other spells, while nice, don't measure up to these IMO in utility to Poppy, whether AD or hybrid or AP.
I've been playing Dominion ever since those first tantalizing test runs. Now that we can play it whenever we want, I've gone back to a more balanced diet of Dom and Rift, instead of OMGOMG DOMINION IS UP!!1!11, but I still love it and play it often. I usually build my Runner Poppy variant, but (at the time of this edit) I'm going to go back and try my AP build! I hope you learned from my build, and comments are welcome!
--Big****vanhouse of the NA LoL forums pointed out to me the fact that the Hextech Sweeper's vision was almost as good as the Oracle Extract (now it's probably better) and eliminates the need to buy it whenever you die.