Build Guide by AdmittedNoob
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.
I've been using this site for a while and it seems time to give something back. I keep noticing a tendency towards people playing poppy badly or using terrible builds for her. During the time she is free, I consistently see people fail to use her effectively. That said, this isn't a perfect build. Any comments would be much appreciated.
I'm not going to go through all the spells here, only the ones I think are relevant.
Clarity - I see this used with poppy all too often and it seems ridiculous to me. With a Sapphire Crystal to start and a Sheen to soon follow I've never had a time where I ran out of mana.
Ghost - Poppy's main use is chasing and killing enemies. Ghost is a useful move for that along with a nice escape ability. Add on the Boots of Swiftness and Paragon of Demacia and you have one fast little midget. I used Ghost for a while starting out, but I find it isn't as necessary to speed Poppy up when you already have a move that does just that.
Flash - This is a necessity. You can use it while tower hugging to get behind a target and push them towards your tower. You can also use it in the same way to push a fleeing enemy back towards his pursuers. Since so much of Heroic Charge is about positioning, flash is a must have.
Ignite - This can be useful for killing those who escape poppy, but that shouldn't happen to often. Diplomatic Immunity gets you past any tower that's in your way. If you're close enough to Ignite, you're close enough to charge.
Exhaust - Poppy is a chaser and slowing down the enemy can be the difference between a kill and an escape. It allows you to continue tagging them while waiting for Devastating Blow to refresh, or move into a position to charge them into a wall.
Devastating Blow - This is by far your most important move and leveling it first should always be a priority. The only times you do Heroic Charge without Devastating Blow immediately proceeding is when you are using it to bail or if it killed the enemy you were targeting. Every other time you will use Devastating Blow to create some major damage. With the effects of Sheen and Infinity Edge added to each use, this attack does major damage.
Note: Most people like to start with Heroic Charge because of the ability to stun. I have found Devastating Blow to be more effective for two reasons. 1) The cooldown of Heroic Charge ensures that you will only be able to use it once before the hero escapes. 2) The stun factor of Heroic Charge will cause most enemies to flee before you can deal any major damage while they might stick around long enough after Devastating Blow for you to be able to hit them a second time with it followed by an exhaust to keep them from escaping. Heroic Charge is useful to start only if you are laning with someone else who has stun. That way they can stun the target, allowing you to move into position to crush them into a wall for a second stun.
Paragon of Demacia - The passive of this ability is useful enough to have to justify putting a point into it in the beginning as it might help if you can get close enough to the minions to lane effectively. The major use of this ability is the movement speed increase you gain on activation. That said, this should be the last skill you fully level.
Heroic Charge - This is probably the most fun skill to use and yet the hardest to use effectively. The main problem with poppy is that she cannot attack successfully with fully committing. Rush in at a target while laning and you will get hit several times in the back on the way out. That said, nothing is more fun than slamming an enemy into the wall and stunning them followed by a powerful hit to take away most of their life. Always activate Devastating Blow after initiating Heroic Charge. If you activate it before hand, the effects of Sheen will work for your charge and not for the blow afterwards. A major portion of your damage comes from the effect of Sheen on Devastating Blow.
Diplomatic Immunity - I could talk about the usefulness of this skill for days. Invulnerability from everyone except one target for 6 seconds plus the damage increase makes this useful for a variety of different moves:
The assassination: See a target low on health in a team fight or being protected from a tower? Use your Heroic Charge to stun them followed by Diplomatic Immunity on the weakest target champion close by, kill them, and escape mostly unharmed.
The tower dive: I use this once every 3-4 games, but it's always hilarious. See a tower at low health guarded by all enemy champions? Use Diplomatic Immunity on the weakest championwithout a stun move, destroy the tower, and run away.
The escape: Want to lane on your own or backdoor an enemy? When the five champions come to gank you, use Diplomatic Immunity on the slowest champ without a stun, followed by Flash and Paragon of Demacia and run your tiny self away.
I like to start with the Sapphire Crystal and two Health Potions. The extra mana makes it so you rarely run out in the middle of battle and it is the quickest route to Sheen. Sheen is my favorite item for Poppy and it's the first thing I make without fail. The passive increases your base damage by 80% after using an ability. So after using Heroic Charge, you activate Devastating Blow and gain 80% extra attack plus the extras from Devastating Blow.
Many people go attack speed with the boots. I find that I spend so much time chasing that the extra speed boost of Boots of Swiftness makes up for the lack of attack speed. Of course the boots will apply to the situation, but without any intervening factors like all melee champs or all stuns, the Boots of Swiftness are the way to go.
Now that you have your boots, finish the [Trinity Force]] which is an overall useful item for Poppy. If your find yourself chasing down enemies a lot by now, start with Phage. If you've needed to run away a lot, go with Zeal.
Here is where my build diverges. If you are fighting tanks with heavy armor a lot, get Last Whisper. If you're getting a lot of assassination kills, get Sword of the Occult and take The Blood Thirster off of the list.
You might notice I place Infinity Edge early on the list. The reason for this is that the added critical strike chance and damage is priceless in battle with Poppy. The process of building this item will continually build your attack damage as well so it's not like you're missing out on much by building it early.
Poppy is terrible at laning in the beginning of the game. She has no distance abilities that don't commit her to an all out brawl so laning in the beginning is usually extremely difficult. That said, Poppy is also terrible at jungling since she has no built in life steal like Warwick or Udyr. The major strategy for the beginning of the game is to stay back and only come forward to kill a champion, defend your partner, or steal a quick minion kill. Otherwise, try to stay back.
After you've reached level 6, it's time to start assassinating. I tend to spend mid game running around the map and helping out my team. The ability to focus on only one target with Diplomatic Immunity allows for assassination kills that many champions can't get. The benefit of Poppy is that fleeing champions tend to think they're safe if next to a tower. Diplomatic Immunity solves that problem and Heroic Charge turns their protector into a wall suitable for stunning them.
By late game you should have a large number of kills. Even when all 5 champions are chasing you, you can usually kill their squishiest with the right usage of Diplomatic Immunity At late game you can now start killing minions as your attack damage and speed are now high enough to do it effectively and backdoor some towers as Diplomatic Immunity gives you a nice, but not foolproof, escape.
In team fights, pop your ult on the weakest enemy (attack wise) without stun and kill priority targets. Only use Diplomatic Immunity on the target you plan to kill if: a) you believe the extra damage is necessary to kill them, or b) you don't think you can finish them off in 6 seconds. Otherwise, always try to ult someone else that way you can escape more easily after killing your choice.
That's it for my guide to Poppy. I wish you all luck and the same enjoyment playing her that I have. Any questions, concerns, advice, or insults are perfectly welcome.