Poppy Build Guide by Asyde
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.
Lifesteal (Pick at least one)
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.
Threats to Poppy with this build
Let me start off by saying there is a special place in my heart for fellow Poppy players! Anyone who reads this who and is eager to learn how to play Poppy better has my utmost respect. She is hands down my favorite champion and easily one of the most underrated in the game.
Overall she is a relatively simple character to understand and play however she can be very difficult to be successful with. Poppy biggest advantage is also her biggest downfall; She is the ultimate Hyper-Carry. This means that when fully built or ahead she is literally unstoppable. However the trade off for being hyper strong late game, is that she is one of the weakest in the early game. Her early game will often determine her usefulness throughout the game, unless your team can carry you to the late game and let you catch up.
The point of my guide is to help you maximize her early game, and propel you into her "unstoppable" power as soon as possible so that you can make the biggest possible impact on the game.
Let's start by looking at her Pro's and Con's
Pros / Cons
+ Incredible Burst Damage (Q) Devastating Blow
+ Good Mobility (W) Paragon of Demacia
+ Tanky Passive Valiant Fighter
+ Has 1.5 second stun (E) Heroic Charge
+ Great at Tower Diving & Escape (R) Diplomatic Immunity
+ Destroys back-line fighters. (AD/AP Carry)
+ Versatile gear selection
+ Unstoppable mid/late game.
+ Poor early game
+ Struggles vs high harass in lane
+ Stun dependent on positioning (E)
+ Need frequent ganks
+ Struggles vs. heavy CC
+ Poor wave clear/, difficulty farming
+ Ability dependent
+ Small Mana Pool
As you can see she has some powerful strengths and some serious weaknesses.
All Runes, Masteries, and early game item choices will be chosen to fill those weakness gaps so you can become as strong as possible early on.
Let's look at Runes
Runes & Masteries
Like mentioned above, the goal with runes and masteries is to fill missing gaps in Poppy early game as much as possible. Here is what I recommend
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
+8.55 Attack Damage
+12 Magic Resist
I used to run a lot of Early CDR but 40% CDR cap is easily met with just boots/masteries and standard poppy items. Flat attack damage allows her to last hit better, and flat armor and magic resist lets her mitigate more damage to let her stay in lane longer. Another viable alternative to runspeed is Greater Quintessence of Health Regeneration. Health regeneration synergizes well with Poppy's passive and doesn't reduce the proc potential like Health, Armor and Magic Resist does.
When it comes to Masteries however, the book is wide open. This will largely depend on your playstyle, comfort level with poppy, and who your playing against (if you know)
Offensive masteries are best when you know you are strong against a particular opponent or you need to have strong trades. This will allow you to capitalize on that strength and hopefully snowball yourself to victory.
Defensive Masteries are best when you know you are weak against a particular opponent, or if the enemy champion has a lot of harass. This will allow you to stay in lane longer to get your last hits and reduce the potential success of ganks.
Utility masteries will rarely be used on Poppy, however there are some circumstances where it may be beneficial. If you know you are going to be completely shut out of a lane, or if you are playing poppy as support, the extra gold generation will help fill in the missing farm you so desperately need, and the extra Cooldown Reduction will let you make more plays.
Lifesteal Item Breakdown
There could be a case for every one of these items depending on the situation. Each has great damage potential and offer unique utility advantages. Let's dive into the math to find out which items are the best for Poppy.
Poppy's Q is calculated like this (at level 18):
100% AD + Flat 100 + (AP * .60) + (Enemy Max HP * .08) = XXXX Magic Damage
For the purposes of simple math, let's assume Poppy has absolutely no base stats and the enemy champion has 2000 max HP. That way all calculations will be the increase in damage that each item provides independent of other variables.
Let's fill in the above calculations with each items stats!
Blade of the Ruined King
Assuming Enemy at 100% HP (2000 MAX)
25 AD + Flat 100 + 0 + 160 + (Enemy Current HP * .08) = 445dmg
Assuming Enemy at 75% HP (2000 MAX)
25 AD + Flat 100 + 0 + 160 + (Enemy Current HP * .08) = 405dmg
Assuming Enemy at 50% HP (2000 MAX)
25 AD + Flat 100 + 0 + 160 + (Enemy Current HP * .08) = 365dmg
Assuming Enemy at 25% HP (2000 MAX)
25 AD + Flat 100 + 0 + 160 + (Enemy Current HP * .08) = 325dmg
Other Benefits: 10% Lifesteal, 40% Attack Speed, Active dmg/slow/heal
As you can see, when an enemy is at full health, even though it lacks in raw stats, BOTRK offers the maximum amount of burst. However that damage potential quickly reduces as enemy health drops. That being said, the added 40% attack speed easily makes this the highest dps and potential burst item for poppy with included utility from it's active.
40 AD + Flat 100 + 48 + 160 = 348dmg
Other Benefits: 10% Lifesteal, 20% Spell Vamp, Active dmg/slow.
Hextech offers the highest consistent burst at any hp level, offers the best overall sustain, and a fast cooldown active CC for utility. Additionally, because of the added Ability Power, this will make your (E) Heroic Charge hit much harder as well.
80 AD + Flat 100 + 0 + 160 = 340dmg
Other Benefits: 20% Lifesteal, Passive Health Shield
Allthough lower burst than gunblade or BOTRK, The Bloodthirster is the king of auto attack lifesteal and damage mitigation. This is a great item for stacking sustain, or going against bursty targets.
80 AD + Flat 100 + 0 + 160 = 340dmg
Other Benefits: 10% Lifesteal, 10% Cooldown Reduction, Passive 2-8% Mana Regeneration on hit
Essence Reaver is a relatively new item that is very well rounded for Poppy. Offers the same burst as the bloodthirster, 10% auto attack lifesteal, 10% cooldown reduction, and a passive that keeps your terrifyingly small mana pool alive!
What else do you need for poppy?! This, in my opinion, is the most well rounded item for poppy and a great addition to just about any build.
75 AD + Flat 100 + 0 + 160 = 335dmg
Other Benefits: 12% Lifesteal, 100% Base Health Regen, Passive Cleave, Active AOE
While Ravenous Hydra lacks slightly in the burst department, this item is a lifesaver when you need to boost your farm and still raise up your damage potential for the late game. Conveniently, it also has added health regen which works great with Poppy's passive.
These calculations are NOT ADDITIVE!!
These above calculations are merely to express in comparable numbers which items benefit Poppy's Q damage more. Because there are percentage based values, these cannot be added together to obtain a full build impact on Q damage. To calculate the total build impact on Poppy's Q, you need to add all item stats together first, then insert them into the original calculation.
Example Q impact from items:
Assuming Enemy at 100% HP (2000 MAX)
175 AD + Flat 100 + 114 + 160 + (Enemy Current HP * .08) = 709dmg
Can also be expressed like this:
(30+25+40+80 AD) + Flat 100 + (18+48+48) + 160 + 160 = 709dmg
Early Game Tips
The secret to being successful with Poppy in the early game is playing safe and strategic. Your job, simply put, is to NOT DIE. After that your priorities are: Farm as much as possible, trade if possible, capitalize on enemy mistakes. Anytime they get too aggressive or run between you and a wall, punish them hard for it.
Champs like Darius, Riven, Fiora and ranged champs like Heimerdinger will likely play a very offensive game against poppy. Constant Poke, constant escape, leaving you under turret struggling to farm. However any enemy that is overly aggressive will often be greedy and push when they shouldn't. Use this against them. Focus on openings for wall stuns with your E, Q, then get out.
Example: The enemy has pushed your lane and tries to put hits on tower. If you have lots of health then simply slam them into the tower or wall with E, Q them, and chase them out.
If you are low health and need to defend tower, a great combo is flashing behind them to secure the stun into tower then bursting them to death. The combo looks like this: Flash behind > Ult > E into tower/wall > Ignite > Auto attack > Q > Tower/Auto attack damage. This is almost guaranteed to kill them before they get a chance to react.
This is the best case scenario for poppy. Don't get greedy and be too aggressive. Just Farm Farm Farm. An enemy that lets poppy have free farm will regret it late game.
Mid/Late/Team Fights Tips
After the laning phase, your job is to keep farming as much as possible to get to your late game damage. Don't get caught trying to be tricky or chasing down enemies for kills. Farm farm Farm until your team needs you.
When you engage the enemy team you have two options with your Ult. Either ult the weakest/least cc player, or the AP/AD carry. Either way, your goal is to knock out their backline dps immediately then join the rest of your team. Ulting the support/weakest player is going to be your bread and butter, however, players that have great CC can be problematic. Try to choose the player with the least damage and least CC then focus your target. If you can't do this, Ult the squishy and nuke them down.
Work in Progress
This build is still a work in progress and my preferences on poppy change pretty frequently. If you have any recommendations or insight into better builds or ways to play poppy i would love for you to comment and bestow me with your knowledge! Thanks for reading!