Poppy Build Guide by atrophy
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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.
I am working on this build still, i recently reached level 30 and now have the exact runes i need. The cheat sheet is up to date but the rest is a bit behind but still suggests a final build much like mine. Philosophers stone being nerfed took the apparently overpowered part of this build out so i changed my build. My masteries are now well thought out and my runes are tuned to my playstyle. The quintessences are mostly the result of the rune combiner but i think they are quite good.
Pros / Cons
-Great early game staying power helps you level and farm
-High movement speed gives you control of the map
-Mana regen and cooldown reduction runes allow you to use Diplomatic Immunity and your other spells as often as you need to
-AD Poppy kills towers so very quickly
-Waiting for Sheen makes early kills difficult
-Low armor and magic pen make tanks difficult to kill late game
-Teemo: I hate those mushrooms. Poppy is easy prey for a quality Teemo.
These are what i recommend. Some form of mana regen is necessary.
-Cooldown reduction (at level 1 cooldowns don't really matter so per level is best)
-Mana Regen (split flat and per level to match your early and late game mana demands)
-Movement speed (You always want the edge in a chase)
I use Doran's shield first and my runes take care of me on mana. In a recent patch Nomad's Medallion was nerfed so i no longer use it. In the past I would choose the Regrowth Pendant as my starting item because it has great synergy with Poppy's passive. The armor and magic resist from masteries and Paragon of Demacia and her passive make Poppy very difficult to kill at low levels and health regen gives her great staying power for laning if you lack mana regen runes. I then upgrade it to a philosopher's stone because it is nice to have an item that pays for itself after about 25 minutes. Unfortunately in it's new weaker form I would rather get my Mercury's Treads sooner. Ninja Tabi or Boots of Swiftness are sometimes good substitutes but the lack of magic resist in my build always turns me back to my good old merc treads.
Sheen is the best way to start building your Trinity Force because you will almost never engage an enemy player without first casting a spell. I take Zeal because i plan to stun first and chase later. This build and Poppy in general work best when you play aggressively. High movement speed is almost always necessary to line up for your stun. If the enemy team is heavily magic based i can opt for a Lich Bane instead of trinity for the magic resist and greater speed boost but then i have to go into my AP build which doesn't work well now that i use all 9 armor penetration marks.
Wriggle's Lantern is a survivability item with an active that i use to keep an eye on Baron. Wriggle's is very helpful on a high movement speed character because the ward lets me catch enemy junglers and helps me steal enemy buffs safely. Against a tank heavy team Zeke's Harbinger is a poor substitute because i don't need any more attack speed, i want damage. I only recommend using it to replace you Doran's Ring when the time comes. If you are getting several kills without dying i do recommend The Bloodthirster. If you can maintain the stacks on bloodthirster it is an excellent substitute for Wriggle's Lantern and it will use up some of that extra money you have have from your numerous kills. and really make your damage crazy. I prefer the cheap route because infinite edge is what i want out of a B. F. Sword.
Phantom Dancer and Infinity Edge together bring my critical chance to 78% creating an excellent DPSing, tower-melting, map controlling assasin. I choose Phantom Dancer over The Black Cleaver because for about the same price i prefer the movement speed and critical chance over armor pen that has to "heat up" and has no effect on the bursts of magic damage Poppy uses to kill a low defense carry. Infinity Edge is like Rebadon's Deathcap (at 155 ap +30%) for attack damage characters. It is great and there is nothing that can replace it.
I recommend Aegis of the Legion, Sunfire Cape, Randuin's Omen, The Bloodthirster or Zeke's Harbinger to replace your Doran's Shield. Dont give up your survivability right at the end of the game. A The Black Cleaver would be nice but it won't really keep you alive. Aegis is usually the best choice in the end, though the situation dictates what is really best. For instance Rammus might prefer the attack speed and life steal aura over the damage and defense of Aegis.
Poppy's skill sequence is very dependent on who you are fighting. The sequence above is generic and would work best against one melee and one ranged champion in lane or in any 3's game.
Valiant Fighter Is an amazing passive. Karthus's ultimate is rarely a problem for Poppy. I spend all of my time on the front line and just beg the enemy to waste his mana trying to nuke me down. Then i just let my Regrowth Pendant heal back the stubborn bottom half of my health.
Against melee champions Devastating Blow should be your first choice. It can be used as a high damage poking spell or as a slap in the face of any melee champions who jump to you. Leveling it too quickly is a mistake though. Against a champion with 1000 health level 2 to 3 represents a difference in damage of only 20. The reduction of the cooldown is the main reason for leveling and against ranged enemies you will likely be waiting on your other cooldowns to help get to melee range. I usually reach level 5 around level 14.
Against ranged AD or AS champions Paragon of Demacia is my first choice because its passive protects me from auto attacks and it's active helps me close the gap to stun. I normally choose it first against any ranged champion. It is also Poppy's best escape spell and has great synergy with Philosopher's Stone because taking damage stacks its passive.
Heroic Charge is very important but because the mana cost gets high with levels, the damage is dependent on collisions with walls, and the stun is always the same duration it is not a clear priority against any enemies. I recommend getting all 3 skills by level 3 then focusing on the first spell you unlocked. The drop in cooldown is the main reason to level Heroic Charge and it usually should be your lowest level spell.
I see some builds where Poppy's ultimate is not prioritized. I disagree, Diplomatic Immunity's cooldown is reduced each level and the duration increases as well. It is well worth leveling in this build because I have the mana regen to use it in conjunction with my other abilities often.
It is important to understand how Diplomatic Immunity works to have success with Poppy. As soon as you kill your target champion you lose your invulnerability so in many cases I don't target the enemy I intend to kill. It also leaves you vulnerable to damage from the champion you target, so it is useless for running away from a single enemy. It isn't, however, useless in duels. It increases the damage you deal to the marked enemy and is very effective when unexpected guests interrupt your duel.
Diplomatic Immunity is most notable for how it works for tower diving. I like to use it to push a tower that is being defended by one or two champions. My allies focus down the tower while i go in, take tower agro, and usually take the attention of both champions. I make sure to stun the champion i marked with Diplomatic Immunity then i can help knock the tower down quickly while I am still unstoppable.
During team fights Poppy can identify low health enemies and do the impossible, face up to 5 champions alone. I must chose a good target for Diplomatic Immunity, ideally low movement speed without any crowd control effects. Because I use Exhaust I can mark even high DPS champions with my ult and just exhaust them if they become a problem. If my teammates are at my back this engagement can result in a quick ace because 5v5 so quickly became 5v4 and i am still in the middle with 2 seconds of invulnerability left. If i am in fact alone i have Ghost and Paragon of Damacia to quickly sprint away after i grab my kill.
In one threes game i was facing a low health Vayne and a Master Yi when the enemy Nunu flashed out of the woods and used his ultimate on me. I casted Diplomatic immunity on Vayne as she ran away then ran right through Nunu's ultimate and safely escaped Master Yi by stunning him with Heroic charge when the cooldown was ready again. I didn't get a kill but my team was able to come in and clean up Nunu and Master Yi and establish a strong lead in the game.
Poppy's ultimate is my favorite spell in the game, and it has so much potential beyond tower diving. I suggest leveling it early and using it creatively to shock the enemy team and make Poppy look like God.
I consolidated several parts of this build here because I don't think they require much explanation. In the future i may elaborate.
For my masteries i focus on physical damage and a little survivability.
Everyone has preferences for summoner spells. I think Flash or Ignite work pretty well with this build in place of Exhaust or Ghost and i use different pairings often. I don't use Cleanse only because i believe flash and ghost are far more useful escapes when i have Mercury's Treads.
Once i have life steal i usually can jungle pretty effectively, but until then health regen items don't really cut it.
In team fights i am right behind the tank. I stay right on the line of where it is safe to be and try to waste enemy mana on missed skill shots. It is very very important to know your enemy when doing this. Lux and Morgana's binds have very long range and Teemo's mushrooms could be anywhere. My aim is to hold the tower behind me and make them think my team is filling the forest around them. When they get to my tower i pop my ultimate and force them to wait for a fresh wave of minions. After level 10 the enemy team becomes quite proficient at taking down towers and by myself i can only really stop about 3 champions. Fortunately 5 man tower pushes are hard to hide and my team usually will be back in time to help.
As a highly mobile attack damage champion it is my duty to win the turret game for my team by being everywhere but always just out of reach. Backdooring turrets is always risky but as AD Poppy the enemy has very little time to react to save the tower. Always watch the mini map instead of the main screen while solo pushing a turret. An empty mini map warns of the coming reaction. Paragon of Demacia will stack on its own for increased damage and its active should be saved for your escape. Additionally you need your Diplomatic Immunity ready in case 3 or 4 enemies pop out. Remember that Valiant Fighter has no effect on damage from turrets.
This is my first build guide so i would appreciate criticisms and suggestions. Disclaimer: I am not a professional gamer and i have no idea what i am talking about.
Already this build has been refined by you readers and as a new member of this community i value and am encouraged by the high quality of your replies.