Welcome to my first and probably only guide here on mobafire. In this guide i will review how to properly skill, rune and play poppy on any skill-level. I will base my facts and opinions accordingly so you will get a clear overview on how to play AP Poppy.
Poppy is a champion who is highly underrated but can be devastating in the hands of the right person. She currently doesn't work well in the standard EU meta with top bruiser-ap mid-support/ad carry bot, as she will be completely dominated by any decent bruiser (Jarvan, Irelia, Warwick, Udyr, the list is long), however the US meta still works, as poppy is an extremely strong champion with an incredible burst and very good roaming abilities.
Pros / Cons
Extremely high burst
Can roam the map very easily because of her W
Can turn a 5v5 into a 5v4 in a matter of seconds
Snowballs very easily if fed
Extremely farm/kill dependant in the early phases of the game
Can be poked/ganked very easily pre-6
Requires a support in bot lane to be efficient
Updated the masteries to fit with the new talent trees. Pretty standard. Don't EVER take havoc. It sucks.
Some people will probably prefer Flash/ignite over Ghost/flash, but poppy is all about movement and positioning. I would only take ignite over ghost if i'm playing a ranked and my team needs it.
This is what made me make this guide. All the other guides i've seen maxes Q first, hoping that it improves their damage, however this is totally false and ******** information. If they've just taken 5 minutes to read what it actually says you'll be surprised how useless rank 3-4-5 in Q is.
Let's take a look:
(Active): Poppy enhances her next attack so it will also deal extra magic damage and 8% of the target's max health as magic damage. The magic damage based on 8% of the target's max health cannot exceed a threshold based on rank. Threshold: 75 / 150 / 225 / 300 / 375
Bascily it means that if the target has a certain amount of maximum hp which exceeds the threshold damage, you're wasting burst. I've taken a list from LoL wiki, in which you can see when the threshold breakseven.
Rank 1 will break it's maximum dmg at 938 hp.
Rank 2 will break at 1875 hp.
Rank 3 will break at 2813 hp
Rank 4 will break at 3750 hp
Rank 5 will break at 4688 hp
Remember, your main job is to burst a carry (ad or ap) and since they don't stack that much HP leveling past 2 is very useless.
I have made some calculations so you can see that i'm not talking ****. The calculations are made from a lvl 9 Poppy perspective.
Q Damage @ Lvl 5 on a 2k hp target
E Damage @ Lvl 1
If hitting a wall - 75 damage
If not hitting a wall - 50
So you're either doing 335 damage or 310 damage (depending on whether or not you were hitting that person into a wall)
Q Damage @ Lvl 2 on a 2k HP target
40+150=190 damage (remember that the thresold on rank 2 is 150 bonus damage)
E Damage @ Lvl 5
If hitting a wall - 275
If not hitting a wall - 150
Here you're doing 465 damage or 340 damage. Either ways you're doing more damage than the above combo. Also keep in mind, that you should NEVER engage with E without making sure you pull off the stun, so you're more likely to do the 465 initial burst.
Now, people keep saying they wanna level Q because of the CDR reduction on it.
You get your 335 burst off and you do an additional 260 damage with your Q. This totals in 595 damage.
Now here's the deal if you leveled E over Q (E gets CDR'ed aswell, down to 8 seconds CD, not factoring CDR from runes or masteries)
Your 465 initial burst + either 275 or 150 damage. It is very unlikely that you will get another E-stun so your damage will be 615 damage, meaning a 20 damage difference or if you're very skilled or the enemies are stupid you will actually do a stunning 740 total damage (which is 145 more damage than maxing Q first)
You will be maxing E first, because AP poppy is all about burst. You then max W because Q is pretty useless beyound rank 2. You take a point in Diplomatic Immunity every possible time, because it gives you extra damage.
There are 3 ways you can start.
Doran's Shield - Take this if you're going up against a strong bottom lane or you're laning with a support without much sustain (i.e janna)
Common strong bottom laners
Taric + AD carry
Taric + heavy AD ( Garen, Xin Zhao, Gangplank )
Janna + Caitlyn / Miss Fortune / Vayne
Regrowth Pendant + 1x Health Potion - This is a common opening if you want a fast Philosopher's Stone, to make the gold per 10 start floating in.
Boots of Speed + 3x Health Potion - This is my favorite start which i'm using almost everytime except when i'm facing any of the above combos. With the MS quints and the 3% MS from Quickness you will be able to reposition yourself very easily and you can run in, last hit, run out without taking too much harassment.
Next up is either Philosopher's Stone or Boots of Speed, depending on which item you started with. If you started Doran's Shield, I would recommend Boots of Speed first over Philosopher's Stone, since it provides you with much needed utility. Remember, laning phase is all about farming up and getting your first few core items.
After you've gotten philo and boots, you should start working towards a Sheen. Sheen is a very common item on poppy since it makes her E and Q deal a ton of damage. After you've finished your Sheen, get either Mercury's Treads or Sorcerer's Shoes. I hardly ever get sorc shoes on Poppy anymore with all the stuns/slows/snares in the game that can mess it up for you.
You should now start working on your Deathfire Grasp. You might be thinking "why isn't he buying the Kage's Lucky Pick earlier, so I can get some extra gold per 10?". The answer is simple; You will be delaying some much more needed items if you spend that 765 gold on it before getting your philo or sheen. I would never recommend getting it before either of those items.
Get a Lich Bane, then upgrade your Philosopher's Stone into a Shurelya's Reverie. It gives you the CDR you want+a nice MS enhancer. Get a Quicksilver Sash along the way, if you feel the need for it earlier than shurelya (like i how i listed it, in the item summary), then take it. Having a disable-remover is OP.
Something that is very important in any MOBA game, is last hitting. Last hitting a creep provides you with gold. There should never be an excuse for not last hitting. I've seen many Poppy's throughout my history in League of Legends, and if there's something they're bad at with her, it's last hitting. Many people believe that Poppy is a rather hard champion to last hit with, it's a lie. You're just bad at last hitting. The best way to improve on last hitting, it being a mechanical matter and not a matter of skill, is to do customs alone. Practice your last hits, then do it again, over and over, untill you get almost every creep in a wave. Then you try it in a game. Avoid harassment and just focus on last hitting as much as possible, while still being a threat against your opponents.
A good thing to remember about last hitting is, that a person without any sort of killing spree (not counting first blood) is worth roughly 16 creep kills. So next time you see that guy who claims to be more fed than you because he's 7-1 and you're only 5-2, laugh at him because you have 100 more creep kills than him and thus having a greater advantage.
Dragon/Baron and warding
An important part of this game, is control of dragon in early/mid-game and the control of baron in late game. Dragon gives a global 190 gold to your team, which can give you an even greater advantage than you had before, or get you closer to being equal if you're behind.
Warding is an extremely good part of the game, because it makes you see stuff when you aren't there. Even if you're bottom lane with a support, always have 1-2 wards on you, in case you can farm-fest it and your wards run out. In early game, have dragon warded 24/7 when it's up and always have baron warded later on in the game.
Poppy's main role in team fights, is to wait. You wait untill you got an opening to either come from the back or the side, pop your ult on a carry and burst them down thus making your team have a great advantage. In early/mid game you want to go for the AP carry, since he/she is most likely the one with the most damage at that point of the game, and with the standard triple dorans into deathcap build, you should have no problem bursting them down. In late game, you want to focus the AD carry, in order to stop the enemy team from pushing.
Typically skill order in team fights is:
W -> Run into range so you can pop R -> R -> E -> Use Deathfire Grasp -> Q. If the carry used CC on you pop your quicksilver sash and do your thing.
Boom, 1 person is dead. Now if you're good you can get away just by running, else you wanna use either ghost or flash to catch up with your team, if you haven't initiated fully yet.
Poppy isn't a very good initiator as AP because you will normally only be able to burst down 1 person before your ult runs out (you pop your ult on the support and kill a carry, ult will most likely run out before you got your burst CD's ready again), so just kill 1 person and get the hell out of there.
This is how i play Poppy. Just to clear things up, i'm not a high-ELO player, i'm just a regular guy who enjoys playing the best burster in the game.
Feel free to post suggestions and/or tips. If you have any questions feel free to comment.