Build Guide by Astia
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Not Updated For Current Season
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Poppy should always be played as a hybrid champion. Her Charge and Devastating Blow combo make her an amazing anti-carry nuke, but when it comes to killing carries, this combo is not always going to be enough. Utilizing Paragons active abilities allow poppy to not only initiate combat, but also allow her to finish off opponents who are trying to escape even while charge and devastating blow are on their respective CD's.
Poppy CAN be a moderately successful farmer early game, but this will require paragon early on. Getting gold to get Sheen is extremely important, so after first getting the one two combo I suggest immediately getting paragon at lvl 3. This will allow you to get bonus damage to kill minions but also gives you armor and movement speed for survivability.
Guinsoo's rage blade is the first item after boots and sheen because it scales with paragon in terms of stacking bonuses on attack. This will mean you will be attack faster, but that your charge and devastating blow will also hit harder.
Hextech revolver is next, because it gives some AP, heals you for the ridiculous damage Devastating blow will do, and also gets you on your way to getting the Gunblade, which is very important late game.
Trinity Force is so necessary for this build. I know that these items are expensive, but this is why I stress giving her attack damage marks and melee talents; Poppy needs to kill minions. After Gunblade, it is really up to what you want to do. I choose infinity edge because I love the bonus crit damage, but going for AP items is also a good idea.
In order for Poppy to work you have to be killing minions and putting yourself in vulnerable positions. Hiding in brush and moving between lanes to gank carries is great and all, but to do ONLY this severely undermines poppy's capabilities to also be a melee dps. Her ultimate might help you survive, but just heroic charge and devastating blow are not going to get the job done in situations where you would need to use it. Your basic attacks have to be just as valuable, and paragon, Poppy's passive and her ulti give you great opportunities and abilities at melee range.
This talent build focuses on giving her various offensive opportunities and strengths. She need AP to help with her nuking and two-hit KO, but the attack damage, critical strike, and armor penetrations also make her dangerous at melee range. Poppy's combo skills need to be regarded as if they were mage abilities, but once they are on CD, she needs to go into melee mode. Don't be afraid of spamming paragon, it will help you kill your opponents faster, but also give you the ability to survive if things go sour. As soon as the carries start to run, start chasing them with paragon and wait for your combo to get off its cool-down, and then take them down. If they get away, know when to quit and go help take out tanks and melee. Simply chasing carries all over the place doesn't really help your team, and if they are ahead of you and in brush, many of them will just kill you (*cough* Ryze *cough*)
You really need to put the rest of your talents in MR, because it means those mage carries you're trying to kill will hurt less. Poppies health helps with that, but some extra MR never hurts.
And last but not least, exhaust will help keep your Carries from getting away, and heal helps you stay alive in dire situations. Poppy is considered by many to be an off-tank, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that, so your best bet is to treat her as a very hard to kill melee champion. However, if you get to greedy and put to much confidence in Charge and Devastating blow, It can become very easy for you to die.