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Poppy Build Guide by Xiaowiriamu

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.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author Xiaowiriamu

Season 5 Poppy support *UPDATE*

Xiaowiriamu Last updated on September 12, 2015
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Guide Top

Introduction




Hello and welcome to my Poppy guide. In this guide I am going to explain why Poppy support is viable and imo one of the best supports to carry with. This guide will mainly be ranked orientated.

So lets start off.

Who am I?
I'm Xiao, a theorycrafter to which I'd like to claim popularized the unpopular poppy support build. I am currently Diamond in Season 5. Season 4 I was Diamond 1, and D1 80lp in Season 3.

Who is Poppy?
Well Poppy has been around for a long time in the League of Legends community and hasn't been at all a popular pick even since her release. She is noted for having a very hard time early game, and thus becoming useless. Poppy is also hard to master and understand in terms of acknowledging limits and who to focus. Timings of her skills is also vital, and knowing how to use her heroic charge to an advantage against your enemies. Despite her downfalls, poppy was on the most scared champions late game, causing insane damage and also being noted for having one of the best ultimates and passives in game, which to some, like myself, i still believe are the best skills. Poppy is a very versatile champion, she can be tanky, pure AD, pure AP, hybrid etc. Or just all-round tanky and heavy damage.


So why should we play her (again) ?
There's a lot of hate around Poppy, mainly because not many people know how to utilize her skills and understand how to make her early game accessible and be able to farm. I see a lot of poppy players still not going health regeneration quints, which is KEY to poppy's success early game and grabbing that core item at 20minutes. Without health regen quints you're going to get hard harassed and easily outfarmed. My reason for playing poppy again is that she is fun, challenging to play and very versatile, and with this build, going support, not many people expect it to be good, when in fact, its actually op if you know how to play poppy beforehand.


Poppys' other roles
Poppy can undertake every role in-game. Her main roles currently are Top and Jungle.

Match history from 2 seperate accounts, one in platinum, one at diamond 1:



<<< Big Thanks: Graphics done by -NA- Veng Lmfao >>>


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Pros / Cons


PROS
- Great asset to a team
- Can tower-dive easily due to her passive and ultimate
- Very versatile in terms of the many roles she can play
- Fun to play
- Has a nice utility of skills
- Infamous 2 hit K.O
- Great for chasing down carries and forcing enemy team to focus you
- One of the best late game presences
- Easy to carry with
- Fast Nashor's and Drakes due to her Q passive based on Health
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CONS
- Counted by true damage
- Relies heavily on how her early game proceeds
- Her ultimate can be hard to judge (who to put it on)
- Learning curve is moderately hard
- Considered a troll pick


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Spells





Heal restores 100~355 Health depending on your level to you and nearly allies. It isn't widely used anymore in league of legends, which helps make this build what it is : so unconventional its scary. Having Heal with poppy makes you a bait master, and also makes the enemies think you're a troll, or just somewhat forget to have heal. It is useful when going support poppy as it can be the difference between getting firstblood, or 2 kills, and not getting them at all. I've had numerous games where this item has helped win teamfights late game, and early game, and also where I've towerdived and just escaped with minimal health after using Heal.


Barrier is one of the most chosen secondary spells botlane, and with poppy its even more dangerous, especially with Heal. Since poppy is so difficult to kill to begin with, knowing you got heal and barrier also just makes it that much more difficult. I mainly use this as a bait, I get really low either on purpose or not, and bait them to towerdive, or fight near a wall. After using barrier, I have enough sustain to either finish the kill or escape whilst my ad carry cleans up.



Notes: This guide is poppy support only, and the only two spells you NEED are these, others you may wish to get are Ignite, flash and ghost if you feel uncomfortable with these spells, but not recommended.


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Skills



Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18


Devastating Blow
This is poppy's main skill when initiating fights, the term devastating surely rides up to the name as this skill can do massive damage, sometimes nearly one hitting the opponent. Maxing this first is core to poppy's success.

How to use Devastating Blow effectively
Knowing that poppy is mana starved, you don't generally want to be last hitting any minions with this, and also make sure you can land a stun with your heroic charge where possible, to enable you to follow up with a secondary devastating blow much more efficiently.

Paragon of Demacia
A great escaping skill and also chasing skill. This is very useful in initiating or running away and can also help in Poppy's lack of survivability when not active. The passive grants 3.5 per stack of armor and damage at level 5, which is 35 armor and damage when fully stacked at 10. The active as articulated grants poppy movement speed with 25 % at level 5.

How to use Paragon of Demacia effectively
Simply use it when you either need to escape, or chase opponents. You can, and may use it when needing to last hit more efficiently if you don't have the stacks to achieve the extra damage.


Heroic Charge
A great partnership skill used mainly with correlation with Devastating blow.

How to use Heroic Charge effectively
This is the hardest skill in my opinion when mastering poppy - understand how and when to use it is key to poppy's overall success in the game. If you're being dived, its best to try manoeuvre around your turret to a position where you can stun your opponent against either the wall or turret, this will give you a few extra seconds to live, and could help you either escape or gain a kill. Another method is warding one of the two bushes at bot lane, and knocking their support or carry into the wall if they go into the bush, or are camping in it. Following up with Q can make a chain of events occur, and you may actually gain a kill. Heroic charge can also be used to escape by using it on minions if you're pushing, or the enemy jungler if he comes around the long way (turret side). However when using it effectively in conjunction to going support, it's best to use it more of a shield than a sword, by this i mean using it to help your ad carry survive (so pushing the enemy jungler/carry away, or stunning them into given nearby walls)

Diplomatic immunity
A great skill that maximizes survivability and also grants you a hefty 40% more damage output towards to opponent you placed your diplomatic immunity on.

How to use Diplomatic immunity effectively
Knowing who to put your ultimate on is again vital to poppy's success, placing it on somebody whos heavy in crowd control, such as Cho-gath, or nami, isn't generally the best idea, as you want to try chase / kill their carries without many distractions. Usually people tend to put it on supports, since they deal the least amount of damage, but people also seem to forget that they have some of the best crowd control in-game to help their carries survive, such as Leona, Thresh and Janna. The way I use my ultimate is to analyse the game, understand whos fed and whos not, its usually best to put it on someone who hasn't got much crowd control at all, but also doesn't deal great amount of damage, AD carries like Jinx, Graves, Ezreal are fairly easy in my opinion to chase down and put your ultimate on, and also their tanks, as generally a lot don't have much crowd control, tanks / off-tanks like Shen, Morde, and Mundo.


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Runes




Support runes
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Pretty self explanatory. Attack damage helps in dealing that extra damage, and also last hitting. If you choose to play top/mid, its key to get this in order to efficiently farm under turret. I know a few poppy players who would disagree as they tend to play a more aggressive poppy, but to be fair, playing aggressive with poppy vs 95% of champions, is not going to work.

Greater Seal of Armor
Most ideal runes when determining what Seals to use, whether you're going support or top/mid, these runes will help secure extra survivability and make it harder for your enemy to harass you.
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Greater Glyph of Shielding
Standard Glyph's that most players use, when going mid or sometimes solo top you're going to mainly be facing an AP champion, therefore these glyphs help in the harassment stage when laning. When also going bot-lane, majority of the supports are going to be AP as well.

Greater Quintessence of Health regeneration
Vital for Poppy, without these runes you're going to get harassed to the point where you're useful, which helps in favouring the given speculation that poppy isn't viable. However with these runes, it'll be difficult for champions to harass you, as you've got pretty hard sustain, mana champions will be very angry as their mana will deplete, to the extent you can fight them 1v1 since they lack the mana to kill you now. These quints help sustain poppy early game to enable her to farm efficiently.


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Counters to Poppy support



When going Support Poppy:

Champions, that counter: Sivir Nami

-> Reasoning: Sivir can block a spell, and if its Q or E, you're going to lack the damage to fight them. Not only this but Sivir has great escape, when in conjuction with Nami, you're going to struggle pretty hard bot-lane, since Nami has great crowd control and sustain, and when using her skills allign with Sivir, your AD carry can get harass hard; making you fairly useless since you can't really help.

Champions that you'll have a hard-time facing: Braum

-> Reasoning: Braum is a powerhouse of a support, he can block insane amounts of damage, provides great CC, and above all he can save the adc easily from death.

Combinations bot-lane that Poppy struggles against:
Taric + Sivir : Sivir and Taric is the ultimate botlane combination, with Sivirs build in banshee, it makes it very difficult to land a devastating charge on her into the wall, and also Taric is well known for zoning out your adc. Furthermore, they're extremely tanky in the lane, it seems like your ADC does 0 damage, and you don't do much either. Tips for facing this lane is to try your best to secure a kill early game (pre level 3) where they're the weakest. If you can't secure a kill, play safe and try get your adc to freefarm where possible.
Leona + Graves : This is a pretty tough lane, its almost impossible to save your ADC if he/she gets a full leona ultimate with her E+Q combo. Since Leona, like Taric can zone pretty well, the best you can do is try push graves out before he lands his combo to finish off your ADC after being CC'd by Leona.
Annie + Jinx : Well pretty much anyone with Annie is going to be a hard level, as at level 6, Annie can potentially nearly one hit burst your ADC, and with jinx its just one big combo wombo and CC-train. The best way to counter this difficult lane is to try get firstblood on Annie, so you can secure the early game, and then take advantage from it by diving early (as you get level 6 before annie). Usually in my games, I can get the kill on Annie before level 3, or at least burn her summoners, so for couple minutes she prone to death.


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Build




Core build

When going support, i've outlined the 4 key items that enable poppy to succeed and sustain.


RELIC SHIELD
Since the nerf Doran shield is not as effective as the Relic shield, but is still a relatively good substitute. For now, as of the update for season 5, i would advise relic shield for the purposes stated in the commentary.


Pickaxe
Usually after finishing sheen, i'll get a pickaxe if I have 900 gold, the pickaxe may then be used to either go Tiamat to help push lanes and enable a good source of splitpushing income, or to help finish infinity edge. It can also be noted you may want to finish Trinity force before grabbing pickaxe, but usually this is the item i'll get after sheen.
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BOOTS OF SPEED
Self explanatory, you need boots in 99.9% of games to enable you to escape, chase down carries and keep up with the team, i usually get this item in conjunction with dorans shield, after my first back.


SHEEN
Poppys' ideal item, i grab this first if possible (if i go back with 1200 gold), if not i try rush it asap after grabbing dorans and boots of speed. Sheen enables me to sustain in my mana reserves and also deal great damage. It's a must have first item when making Trinity Force.


Main Core Build + situational 2nd items

These are items that follow on from the core items, they're optional as it depends on how well you're doing in your lane, your team and how well they're doing, and also, most importantly, who you're facing and analyzing which opponent is most fed and also look at their builds to see if you can counter.


CORE BUILD: TRINITY FORCE
King of all items for poppy, the trinity force gives every stat that poppy needs, and the proc on the sheen makes a nice chunk of damage of almost any opponent. The given movement helps grant poppy to chase opponents easily, and further attack damage, health, mana... just makes Poppy a happy bunny. This item should always be #1 priority and a good tip is to try achieve this item by 20minutes if you're top/mid, or by 27minutes if you're support.

Situational item after Trinity: INFINITY EDGE
If you're lacking damage, I usually rush this after trinity force to help grant me that deadly crit blow and devastating blow. This is one of poppy's main damage items in terms of going AD.




Situational item after Trinity: HEXTECH GUNBLADE
Great damage and sustain item, which i also usually rush if i think i need to sustain a little more in fights, if i get this before infinity edge its also because the enemy has great escape, especially their carries.
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Situational item after Trinity: FROZEN HEART
If i feel like we have the damage in the team, but we lack sustain in fights, especially vs an AD team, or hybrid team, ill get Frozen heart, not just for the Armor, but also for the mana reserve and cooldown reduction.

Situational item after Trinity: SPIRIT VISAGE
If the enemy team is heavy ap, and i feel like i need to sustain, i'll get spirit visage second in the majority of my games like this. This item is great for self healing, and gives nice MR and Health. A perfect item to get after this is either Warmogs Armor or Hextech for insane sustain.



Discussion on Ravenous Hydra:
Ravenous hydra was a weird item for me, it took me a lot of realize it's potential, and usually whenever I played top I believed it to be the spawn of the devil in terms of items to get, in other words, a bad item. After recently starting to test the tiamats, and later Hydra's potential in-games, I've managed to get an average of 75 more cs in the game, in compared to rushing trinity and then hextech for example. After getting 518cs in 44mins with poppy, i've noticed the true power of Hydra. It's a great item for poppy, it enables her to splitpush, sustain, and deal decent damage in trades without the need for a early sheen. After various testing i've noticed rushing Tiamat is a MUST for top or mid, and then going Sheen straight away after, and then splitpushing / pushing hard for most of the game. For games where you're struggling still, and under turret, just farm where possible, and if they do take your tower, just push it out and go base, and repeat. Eventually it'll come a time around 30mins, where you have 200cs, and you're a pain for the enemy, since you're so hard to kill 1v1, and 2v1.

5SEASON 5 UPDATE!


- Sightstone can be deemed a decent item for poppy support, although it is usually better to just upgrade trinket and provide your 3 wards that way, than waste 1200 gold on what could be used to get something more efficiently useful.
- Poppy still works in season 5 despite the new tank meta and changes in items.


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Combinations with poppy botlane



Poppy + Varus : When playing with Varus, you have pretty nice poke with his skillset, and also damage is fairly good, alongside the slow he gives. When you lock the enemy into the wall, Varus can slow, and at level 6, ultimate them, for atleast a summoner burn...or kill. This is a nice combination.


Poppy + Jinx : This is one of the best combinations with poppy, jinx just has everything Poppy wants, good poke, nice damage and her ultimate for a finish. After slamming an enemy to the wall, jinx can land her traps and this can almost guarantee a kill, especially early game [level 3]. When playing with this matchup, you want to play aggressive and utilize your advantage as much as possible.


Poppy + Caitlyn : Another great combination, with caitlyn, caitlyn can free poke, since she has incredible range, caitlyn also has nice escape just incase things get heavy, or a jungler comes. Furthermore, she has traps which can become very useful in ensuring your devastating charge lands. Or caitlyn can trap just as you've slammed the enemy into a wall. A good tip I like doing with my caitlyn, is telling them to trap the brushes, and I'll'll always be near that particular trap, just incase them walk into it.


Poppy + Draven : This is a good laning partner, draven can give nice damage and CC where necessary. With this particular line-up you want to try play aggressive, and ask your adc to harass as much as possible.


Poppy + Tristana : This lane is OK. Tristana isn't the strongest of ADC, but her burst is pretty nice, if you can land a devastating charge. However since Tristana somewhat pushes the lane naturally with her E, it can be difficult to land a charge.


Poppy + Ezreal : This in my opinion, isn't the best of matchups. Ezreal is pretty tough to play with, when you're a poppy support. Even though Ezreal is widely used, he doesn't give much for poppy in terms of CC and damage. He can poke well, but he also gets poked easily. If you haev an ezreal, try tell her to poke where necessary, and try play aggressive and utilize your strongpoint early game, when their support/adc are the weakest.


Poppy + Graves : Not many games I've've played with a graves, its okay, but again not the strongest.


Poppy + Twitch : It's not everyday you see a Twitch, but with poppy this can be pretty OP. Twitch has some nice damage, and also his stealth can give a nice bait, if the enemy thinks you're alone.


Poppy + Corki : Not the strongest matchup, its best to play save in this, as corki struggles vs most ad carries and supports. Especially if its Leona/Annie.


Poppy + Kalista : The strongest combination in the game. This is all out slaughter in my opinion and i've never came close to losing a lane with this matchup. Kalista provides great kiting, damage and overall poke to make the lane a little easier for poppy. Kalista also has one of the best ults in game: throwing poppy in for engages / disengages. A scenario can include poppy towerdiving and kalista then throwing poppy out of the tower range, or poppy being thrown into the turret for a surprise dive.


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Laning phase for support



Level 1: You will want to be playing slightly defensive, warding their brush at the bottom if you're pushing slightly, or if they're pushing, ward the brush closest to your turret. This will enable you to hopefully land a devastating charge on their adc, or support, and stun them against the wall if successful. At level one, this can do some insane damage, alongside your adc hitting them. 50% of the time I get a kill for myself or adc when I land my devastating charge.

Tip: Try tell your adc to push so you get level two before them.


Level 2: At level two you can E+Q combo, and this is where the magic usually happens.... 9/10 games I manage to land this combo on their support (mainly) against the wall, and either getting a kill, or wasting summoners for the enemy. It may sound easier said and done, but in majority of games the enemy will hand around a wall at one point, the hardest is positioning to enable you to get that charge against the wall

Tip: Make sure before you're about to land your combo, to ping the enemy, so your ADC knows you're about to fight and engage. This will enable your ADC to not be thrown out and be late in the engage.

Level 3: At level 3, you can either grab your W for the extra movement, or if you're winning the lane (you got a kill), I usually get another point in Q. If you're getting the extra movement on Poppy's W - try not to overuse it, and use it for engages, since it can burn mana reserves. However if you see an opportunity for a kill / chance to burn their summoners, then use W, and out movement the enemy and slam them vs a wall where necessary.

Level 4 ~ 5: Repeat what you're doing at Level 1~3, just remember you should only be E+Q combo'ing if you CAN land a stun, otherwise you'll run out of mana fast.

Level 6 onwards: At level 6, you are pretty much impossible to die if you're playing defensive in your lane. Also if a jungler comes you can bait them to target you by pushing their adc back, and telling your adc to run. Sometimes you can fight if the jungler comes 3v2, if you're ahead.

Tip: At level 6 and if you're ahead, you can do some nice dives, make sure you don't ulti straight away, slam the target first if you get the chance then ULT, as this saves 1~2 seconds of your ultimate.
Tip#2: Ask your jungler to come dive with you to enable a higher chance of kills


Other tips:
#1 - If you have 1150 + gold before your first back, then its better you rush Sheen first, rather than getting boots or doran.
#2 - Once you have Sheen, you can freely E+Q combo on their weakest enemy at botlane, enabling you to harass, and higher the opportunity to get a kill. Since sheen gives great mana, and the proc...your combo can deal some heavy damage.
#3 - If you're against a tough lane, try to play defensive, tower hug, and make sure you take as much harass as possible for your ADC. With the given health regeneration, and potential dorans shield, you can sustain the poke.
#4 - If you have chosen to start relic shield, provide the proc where necessary (i.e where your adc has lost health to not waste the additional hp bonus it encompasses)



Great tip: If you've managed to win botlane, or the enemy botlane has teleported back to base, communicate to your jungler to do a fast drake, at level 4, poppy is a great tank to drake, and can sustain some nice damage, since with red potion + your already health regen, you can tank it perfectly, also you deal soem nice damage with Q. Generally this is a free drake everytime it is up, if the enemy bot has backed / you are winning bot.


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How to Bait and when to dive



This is where poppy shines, she is one of the best Baiters in the game. In numerous games i've had people call me a "god" and "best baiter eu", when they see me bait the enemy into diving me when i'm 50hp, or when im standing stil, hoping they engage on me.

So how do you bait?
Well, this is what takes practice, after a certain amounts of game you can understand the limitations of poppy, and how much she can take in terms of damage. When baiting make sure you KNOW you can survive, or at least get a kill out of it. And also make sure you have at least Heal / Barrier up, which is key to baiting, since even at diamond 1, players seem to forget you're a poppy support with heal and barrier.

Tip#1: It's best to be near your tower, or a wall, so you can land you devastating charge much easier, make sure you pop Barrier first if they've igniting you, and try to time your heal afterwards so you can the full amount.
Tip#2: If you're low, you can engage the enemy, to make them think they can kill you, then pop barrier and heal where necessary and hope you can trade kills, or your adc can finish off the kills


When to dive:
Only dive when you know you can secure a kill or summoner burn. It's always best to ult the ADC in my opinion, since the supports are generally the ones who have the crowd control. Again, make sure you ultimate after you've landed a stun. I've seen numerous Poppy's ultimate first, which can waste 1~2 seconds, or even the whole ultimate if they run away.

Tip#1: Make sure you know where their jungler/mid are, just incase you can 3v2'd or 4v2'd out of nowhere, vision is usually key, but with the right awareness you can dive without vision.
Tip#2: Diving certain champions can be catastrophic, champions such as Taric, and Annie can be very tough, generally, i dive Annie before she hits 6, or if I know her stun isn't going to be up for another 3 spells.


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FAQ's

What happens to the Relic shield that you buy?
Usually after completing trinity force I sell the item, or keep it until i need the space/gold to complete an item. I don't upgrade it as its fairly useless item.


Do you occasionally buy wards as often as most supports?

-> Not as much as most supports, I probably buy about 10~15 in a 30minute game. I find that its a team's job to ward the map, not the supports. There's a common speculation that supports are supposed to ward everything, when in actually fact, their job is primarily to help their carries survive and get kills (SUPPORT THEM). I've also found that buying a mass amount of wards further slows the progress of getting your core build, and also you're so hard to gank after lv 6, having not enough vision isn't going to be much harm, as long as drake and a bottom bush is warded you're fine, which can be done mainly with trinkets.

Will this build work in ranked though?
-> Yes, im playing on 3 accounts atm, rotating around, each one is at different levels in the game, one is Diamond 1, another Platinum 4, and my newly account is Silver 1. Poppy support has worked on all three occassions thus suggests it works in ranked as a whole. I managed to get to Diamond 1 within a week on my considered 'main' account from diamond 5 playing poppy support.


Why no sightstone?
-> Sightstone, as updated is still a decent item but, not as efficiently effective as buying the other items stated in the build. You're better off just upgrading your trinket to provide the team 3 wards. Its advisable to still buy the odd 1-2 wards till reaching level 9, and buying vision wards where necessary...especially vs a Vayne.


What if i'm behind as poppy support? How do i get gold?
-> As with any support, not just poppy support, if you're behind its going to be difficult to achieve any source of decent income in relation to team gold (towers and assists), since theoretically if your behind your team is usually behind as well. However, to answer the question directly, you want to try push for a tiamat and farm unwanted minions / waves, or splitpush, or just take jungle creeps where necessary. If you don't have the time or gold for tiamat, try your best to play safe, and hope the enemy team makes a mistake.