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Poppy Build Guide by LePlay

Jungle [9.4] Popping the Jungle! (In-Depth)

Jungle [9.4] Popping the Jungle! (In-Depth)

Updated on February 27, 2019
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League of Legends Build Guide Author LePlay Build Guide By LePlay 195 4 384,023 Views 13 Comments
195 4 384,023 Views 13 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author LePlay Poppy Build Guide By LePlay Updated on February 27, 2019
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Poppy
    Bruiser Poppy
  • LoL Champion: Poppy
    Full Tank Poppy
  • LoL Champion: Poppy
    Assassin Poppy


Font of Life

Coup de Grace


LoL Summoner Spell: Smite


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None


Hey everyone, thanks for reading this guide! My name is LePlay, and I┬┤m a Mastery Level 7 Poppy main from the EUW server. I┬┤m actively maining her ever since I created this account in early Season 7, which should prove that she is a rather beginner-friendly champ. The fact that I play her in the Jungle instead of top lane is a result of me being a jungle main.

This is my first ever guide on Mobafire, so please leave a like and a comment if you enjoy reading it! Feel free to correct me if you find any mistakes, I really appreciate feedback!
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Why Poppy?

Despite looking like some kind of failed, experimental Smurf-Hamster hybrid, Poppy actually possesses the potential to be a phenomenal Jungler . She exceeds where current meta champions fail and rewards players who focus on a teamfight-oriented playstyle. At the moment, she is by far one of the best Jungler s in the game,
and one of few Tank s among the Top 20.

The current meta encourages ganks, making most assassins and damage-dealing champs a popular choice as Jungler . As you might already know, Tank s like Poppy usually counter damage dealers not only by soaking up their attacks, but also by immobilizing them, which renders them useless. Poppy masterfully combines these attributes with the ability to completely turn a game to your advantage, simply by being present in teamfights.

Judging by her Pick/Ban-Rate, she really is an underrated champ to play ranked with. Her play rate is well below 1%, and her ban rate peaks at 0.26%, which is ridiculously low for a champ that is able to demolish whole enemy teams.

So why should you choose Poppy?
Because she is an easy, beginner-friendly champ that encourages teamplay and allows for numerous tactical approaches while being heavily underestimated. She is simple and rewarding to play, offering a counter to most meta champs without having to be a highly-skilled player. Oh, and she┬┤s probably the creation of a Furry
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Pros / Cons


+ Easy to learn
+ Safe, healthy jungle camp clears
+ Amazing fighting power in the jungle
+ Strong ganks
+ Loads of CC
+ Game changing ultimate
+ W blocks countless enemy abilities

Poppy is a widely overlooked yet incredibly strong off-meta pick for both unranked games and solo queue. Although she is designed and mostly perceived as a classical top lane Tank , she bears the qualities of an excellent Jungler , as well as enough damage and CC for powerful ganks. She is able to remove a whole enemy team from objectives, such as Baron Nashor with her ultime Keeper's Verdict. Poppy is a great teamfighter and able to protect teammates not only by stunning, slowing and knocking up enemies, but also by preventing champions from dashing nearby her, rendering assassins like Kha'Zix, Rengar and Akali useless around her.

- Hard to master
- Medium jungle clear speed
- Rather high Cooldowns early on
- All-in abilities
- Heavily relies on team
- Badly placed ultimate saves enemies
- Slow solo drakes

As per all champions, Poppy has her strengths, and her weaknesses. While her jungle clear speed isn┬┤t exactly awful, it isn┬┤t the fastest one either. This is caused by the rather long cooldowns of her main damaging abilties, Hammer Shock and Heroic Charge. Once she used her abilities to attack an enemy, she heavily relies on her allies to either finish off the enemy or to help her get out of the enemy team. The same traits which make her ultimate Keeper's Verdict so useful may also save an enemy┬┤s life, this particular ability is notorious for knocking champs back towards their base, where they are out of range and secure from your team. Poppy also struggles with taking Drakes early in the game.
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Aftershock (Resolve): The only keystone that really makes sense on Poppy; Not only can it be easily triggered by all 4 of her abilities, the increase in armor and magic resist does also synergize well with her W, Steadfast Presence, which increases the bonus even more! The alternatives Grasp of the Undying and Guardian don┬┤t make sense on her, since she isn┬┤t an auto-attack focused champ and not able to proc Grasp of the Undying often enough to make use of it, especially because she is jungling. The only way to use Guardian effectively would be by playing as Support , where you have an ally around you all the time.

Font of Life (Resolve): Despite not being the only Rune fitting her playstyle, Font of Life offers a great deal of benefits for a teamfighter like Poppy. She is able to mark enemies with every single of her abilities and once allies attack the marked enemy, they heal for a precentage of Poppy┬┤s health - convient, considering that she is a tank. Another viable option would be Bone Plating, which reduces damage taken from the same enemy for a short period of time. You should take this Rune if you expect counter jungling or invades from the enemy team, or if you simply want to have a safer early game.

Conditioning (Resolve): This is a great choice for a tank like Poppy, because she relies on both armor and magic resist. What┬┤s also nice about this rune is that it not only increases your current armor and magic resist by 5%, it also stacks with her W Steadfast Presence, which increases her defensive stats even more! The only downside is that the bonus is only available after 10 minutes, which is why you should consider Chrysalis as an alternative for more early game health and increased damage later on.

Overgrowth (Resolve): You can┬┤t do anything wrong with passively stacking HP throughout the game, especially because the seemingly low amount of 0.2% maximum health can end up contributing 20% or more to your health, once you have all your items. Unflinching is a nice option for teamfights, since you can easily proc it by using your Smite on an enemy champ or an objective, such as Baron Nashor or a Drake . The gain in Tenacity is notable and could easily save your life in a teamfight.


+15-135 Health,+9% Attack Speed

Triumph (Precision): Triumph is a nice addition to your Runes , not only because it heals 12% of your HP if you participate in a kill, but also due to the increased attack speed from the Precision tree, which lets you clear Jungle camps more easily. Legend: Tenacity is another option that complements Poppy┬┤s playstyle nicely, since she really profits from increased Tenacity .

Coup de Grace (Precision): Both Coup de Grace and Last Stand increase your damage output significantly, yet in different ways. Coup de Grace┬┤s bonus damage is based on the enemy┬┤s missing health, Last Stand offers damage based on your own missing health.


+15-135 Health,+5 Attack Damage

Cheap Shot (Domination): Personally, I prefer this Rune over Sudden Impact, mainly because Poppy can make better use of true damage compared to lethality. If you rather focus on a damage-oriented build, you should take Sudden Impact, particularly because you are able to trigger it with your E Heroic Charge.

Relentless Hunter (Domination): Out of all options, Relentless Hunter is definetely the best suited one for Poppy. The bonus Movement Speed is ideal to quickly maneuver through the Jungle and gank frequently. The 2 warding Runes , Zombie Ward and Ghost Poro arent to bad either and contribute a decent amount towards map control.


+15-135 Health,+6 Attack Damage

Celerity (Sorcery): Celerity and Waterwalking are both fantastic attributes for players, who want to stay mobile and dont want to miss out on some extra damage. The only downside of Waterwalking is, well, the water, or rather that you need to be in the river to gain the effect.

Nullifying Orb (Sorcery): Depending on the Situation, you want to either go with Nullifying Orb against teams with lots of ability power, Gathering Storm for a massive increase in damage late game, or Transcendence if you are planning on buying Items with cooldown reduction. The latter one works amazingly well on Poppy, since her item builds already grant her between 40% and 60% cooldown reduction. In combination with the bonus 10% CDR from Transcendence, this culminates in 36 bonus attack damage!
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Hunter┬┤s Machete (Starting Item): Out of your two possible choices for a Jungle starting item, Hunter's Machete is probably the worst. Not only does a champion like Poppy - who heavily relies on abilities - not profit from the incresed basic attack damage and Life Steal , you also lack crucial amounts of Mana Regeneration . I can┬┤t imagine a single scenerio where you would take this item over Hunter's Talisman.

Hunter┬┤s Talisman (Starting Item): Your go-to starting item for jungling. Hunter's Talisman provides a handful of benefits. First off (and most importantly) it offers a significant amount of mana regeneration. While a maximum of 40 Mana per 5 seconds doesn┬┤t seem like much at first, it really contributes a lot to her early Jungle clears ( Poppy usually starts with around 280 Mana and your first clear takes you a few minutes). Moreover, this item offers you bonus damage on all abilities and also heals you.

Health Potion (Starting Item): While most people would instinctively grab a Refillable Potion, I prefer the classic Health Potion for numerous reasons. To begin with, 2 Health Potions are more cost efficient than a Refillable Potion while also offering slightly more healing (25 HP more for 50 Gold less). Whoever is reading this now certainly thinks I┬┤m greedy, but 50 Gold really makes a difference, considering that a regular Jungle camp grants about 100 Gold upon completion. You might want to take the Refillable Potion instead if you are new to the Jungle or expect heavy counter-jungling by the enemy - typically by using champs like Lee Sin, Shaco or Trundle.

Refillable Potion (Starting Item): Admittedly, while not being the optimal starting item, Refillable Potion still is somehow viable - depending on your situation. Whenever you find yourself in difficult matchups against either champions that are notorious for invading your Jungle ( Lee Sin, Shaco, Trundle, Xin Zhao, etc) or champs that usually gank early on and force you to defend the corresponding lane ( Lee Sin, Xin Zhao, Vi, Jarvan IV) - generally speaking whenever you have to fight early and retreat before you are able to clear your whole Jungle . Your Refillable Potion is going to be, well, refilled at your shop and offers some more sustain when you need it.


Stalker┬┤s Blade - Cinderhulk (Core Item): To begin with, you should definetely take Stalker's Blade aka. Blue Smite! A teamfight oriented build like this one doesn┬┤t really profit from a higher dueling power that comes with a Skirmisher's Sabre. What┬┤s more important is the fact that you would lack lots of utility from Chilling Smite. You can use this spell both offensively to catch up to an enemy who┬┤s kiting you and defensively to quickly get away from them.
Cinderhulk is obviously the best choice for a tanky champ like Poppy. Since the passive grants 225% Mana Regeneration while in the Jungle , it┬┤s really a challenge to run out of Mana , even without the Blue Buff . This allows for extended teamfights after clearing camps and better ganks. The unique passive Immolate makes killing monsters easier, because Raptors and smaller Krug s basically die without the need to attack them.

Trinity Force (Core Item):Long story short: Despite being the most expensive item in the shop, it offers everything you need for a teamfighting, splitpushing, jungling Tank .

The Black Cleaver (Core Item): This item is phenomenal to shred an enemy Tank ┬┤s armor and make them vulnerable for your ADC. Black Cleaver also offers decent amounts of attack damage, health and CDR.

Dead Man┬┤s Plate (Core Item): While offering only slightly more health than Black Cleaver, the combination of armor and bonus movement speed makes this item stand out among others. It┬┤s passive really helps with ganking, mainly because of the additional slow it delivers once you basic attack the target (which becomes even easier with Iron Ambassador).


Righteous Glory (Situational Offensive Item): You are low on cash? You are tired of enemies running away from you like the murderous stalker that you actually are? RIOT┬ę Item Solutions has your back! Introducing the brand new Turbo Chemtank, which lets you accelerate from 0 to 100 in... erm... pretty fast!

Frozen Mallet (Situational Offensive Item): Apart from the massive amount of health (and the slightly less impressive amount of attack damage) that this item adds, you should also consider buying this item whenever you want to nullify an enemy┬┤s ability to run away from you and/or make them rage quit.

Ohmwrecker (Situational Offensive Item): I really can┬┤t blame you for not knowing that this item even exists, it seems to only be there to collect dust. While you could use this item solely to distract the enemy from the game and make them wonder where you got that brand new item (that exists since 2012) from, it really features some underappreciated gems among item abilities. The Ohmwrecker is able to deactivate hostile towers and prevents them from attacking anyone in their reach, making this item ideal for tower divers like Poppy. It can be also used to set up dives in teamfights, where squishy ally assassins would normally fail.

Sterak┬┤s Gage (Situational Offensive Item): Both bonus health and extra base attack damage are nice additions to Poppy┬┤s kit, but the passive - Sterak┬┤s Fury - is what makes this item stand out. In combination with a few health items, Sterak's Gage makes it downright impossible for enemies to burst you down, even if you oppose a team full of assassins and mages. The shield that scales with a whopping 75% of your bonus health hinders most champs from dealing significant amounts of damage, and the 30% tenacity that you receive let you stick to your target with ease.

Iceborn Gauntlet (Situational Offensive Item):This item is particularly effective when used against squishy team compositions that rely heavily on attack damage - if you find yourself facing a team with 2 or more assassins and ADCs, you should consider taking Frostfire Gauntlet. It┬┤s passive, Spellblade, makes it hard for single targets to get away from your attacks, and the bonus armor makes this item suitable for all kinds of duels with enemy ADCs.


Frozen Heart (Situational Defensive Item): For just 2700 Gold, you get one of the most effective counters for AD-heavy champions like Master Yi and Tristana. This item should be your first choice against a team with lots of AD.

Gargoyle Stoneplate (Situational Defensive Item): While Gargoyle Stoneplate┬┤s stats don┬┤t look impressive at first, the passive Stone Skin sure does. Whenever you face enemies that force teamfights, pick up a Gargoyle Stoneplate and double your life with its active, Metallicize.

Randuin┬┤s Omen (Situational Defensive Item): This item works wonders against ADCs. While being similiar to Frozen Heart in terms of the passive Cold Steel, which reduces the attacker┬┤s attack speed, the additional lowered damage from critical strikes makes it a favourable alternative against crit item users like Yasuo or Jhin.

Thornmail (Situational Defensive Item): When correctly combined with other armor items and Steadfast Presence, Thornmail is able to transform Poppy into Rammus 2.0! The only downside is that its passive, Thorns, is only triggered by basic attacks.

Warmog┬┤s Armor (Situational Defensive Item): This is still one of my favourite items. Why? Because of the ridiculous amounts of health and health regeneration it offers. Not only that, but it┬┤s passive Warmog┬┤s Heart is able to restore your full health in a matter of seconds, as long as you are out of combat. This enables you to retreat from combat, wait for a short peroid of time and re-enter the battle with full life! Keep in mind that you need at least 3000 HP to make use of this passive, which is why I wouldn┬┤t rush this item first.

Spirit Visage (Situational Defensive Item): Spirit Visage is among the most effective items you can buy to fight against ability power users. While using Adaptive Helm is a better way to battle ability spammers like Karthus, Teemo and Brand, Spirit Visage should cover all remaining scenarios.


Boots of Swiftness (Boots): Whenever you want to quickly move through the Jungle without losing your speed bonus in combat (looking at you, Mobility Boots), take the Boots of Swiftness. The bonus Slow Resist comes handy if you fight against Mage s or Support s like Tahm Kench and Leona. However, you should be aware that this does not apply to stuns, taunts and fears!

Mercury┬┤s Treads (Boots): Other than the Boots of Swiftness, Mercury's Treads reduces the effects of immobilizes. The extra magic resist is convenient, too.

Ninja Tabi (Boots): You will find yourself buying this item rarely as Poppy, yet when you do, you probably won┬┤t solely because of the bonus armor it grants. Instead, the ability to block 12% of all incoming damage caused by basic attacks makes this pair of boots quite effective against Master Yi, Yasuo and of course most ADCs.
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Champion Abilities

Iron Ambassador (Passive): This seemingly unimportant passive ability is one of the main aspects that make Poppy such a phenomenal jungler. Once thrown, the bonus damage is a nice addition to clear Jungle camps faster. The buckler eventually lands near the enemy it hits and offers a shield that scales with your health, making it ideal for jungling.
Tips & Tricks
Ability Info

Hammer Shock (Q): What┬┤s better than an AOE ability that deals percent health damage? An AOE abilty that deals percent health damage twice! Hammer Shock is fantastic to clear even annoying Jungle camps like Wolves and Raptors due to its AOE damage, but it also works wonders against monsters with lots of health, such as the Red Brambleback or the Blue Sentinel .
Tips & Tricks
Ability Info

Steadfast Presence (W): Oh boy, this ability is absolutely hilarious. There┬┤s nothing more humorous than watching an unprepared Kha'Zix jump onto you with his Leap, only to be blocked by your magnificent Steadfast Presence, tumbling towards the ground and lying there, confused, helpless and wondering what he did wrong in his life. This ability is by far one of the most versatile abilities in the whole game, because so many champions nowadays rely on dashes in any form. You can use Steadfast Presence in an offensive manner as a speed boost for ganks and in order to prevent enemies from dashing away, but also defensive, to protect both yourself and teammates from attacks and to get quickly out of an unpleasant situation.
Ability Info

Heroic Charge (E): Being both a powerful ganking tool and incredible for Jungle clears, Heroic Charge complements Poppy┬┤s role as a jungler nicely. However, you shouldn┬┤t underestimate it┬┤s value as a gap closer. Due to the fact that Heroic Charge is a point-and-click ability, you won┬┤t be able to use it anywhere at any time, but in certain situations it┬┤s the difference between life and death. Moreover, this ability is able to push the target around, making it ideal to either peel enemies off your carry or to push vulnerable enemies towards your team (Imagine it as some kind of Insec). You should always try to aim to use Heroic Charge on enemies near terrain, not only because it immobilizes them but also because it doubles the damage dealt to them.
Tips & Tricks
Ability Info

Keeper's Verdict (R): This ultimate really fits the definition of a double-edged sword. There are few abilities in the game that bear the potential to win a game single handedly by removing the whole enemy team from an objective, such as Baron Nashor or a Turret . At the same time, a poorly placed Keeper's Verdict will knock an easily killable enemy champ across the whole map towards their base, where they are save. The correct usage of this ability is what seperates a good Poppy player from a great one. Additionally, don┬┤t underestimate the value of a non-charged Keeper's Verdict! Whenever you need to quickly disable groups of enemies, initiate a Yasuo┬┤s Last Breath or simply stunlock an enemy in a combo, dont refrain from using this ability!
Tips & Tricks
Ability Info
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Smite (Primary Spell): You definetely need Smite if you want to jungle - there is no way around this. This spell enables you to clear the Jungle faster and healthier, contest objectives like Baron Nashor or the Elder Dragon and applies different effects to enemy champions ( Chilling Smite and Challenging Smite). Please don┬┤t try to jungle without it. Please.

Flash (Secondary Spell): This is usually the standard secondary spell you use, simply because of how versatile Flash is. You can easily use it to traverse the Jungle to get away from an enemy by flashing over impassable terrain, but also to flash towards an enemy who┬┤s trying to get away from you followed by your E - a guaranteed kill. Long story short: You can┬┤t do something wrong by taking Flash.

Ghost (Secondary Spell): Ghost is compared to the alternatives a rather experimental summoner spell, but that doesn┬┤t make it any less viable. Whenever you want to focus on an aggressive playstyle with lots of ganks, you should consider taking Ghost. The only downside is your lack of escape mechanics.
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Blue Sentinel (Respawns in 5:00): Grants Crest of Insight

Red Brambleback (Respawns in 5:00): Grants Crest of Cinders

Greater Murk Wolf (Respawns in 2:30)

Crimson Raptor (formerly Razorbeaks) (Respawns in 2:30)

Gromp (Respawns in 2:30)

Ancient Krug (Respawns in 2:30)

Rift Scuttler (Respawns in 2:30): Grants Speed Shrine


Elemental Drakes (Respawn in 6:00): Grant Dragon Slayer

Elder Dragon (Respawns in 10:00): Grants Aspect of the Dragon

Rift Herald (Despawns at 19:45): Grants Eye of the Herald

Baron Nashor (Respawns in 7:00): Grants Hand of Baron


Jungle Routes: While there are certainly champions out there which should definetely go for early ganks, Poppy isn┬┤t among them. First off, she is a champ that remains rather vulnerable early on - since she lacks items - but scales well into the late-game. Secondly, it is nearly impossible for Poppy to perform a gank that leads to a kill at such an early stage, the enemy will either walk towards their tower or use Flash. None of that is really worth the time you need to carry it out which is why you should focus on farming early on.
You should start at your Blue Sentinel whenever possible because you heavily rely on the Mana Regeneration for your first clear. The alternative - Red Brambleback - doesn┬┤t enhance your Jungle clear speed noticeably, ultimately because Poppy can┬┤t quite make use of Crest of Cinders in the Jungle .

Route 1 (Easy): Ends at ~3:45 with player level 4 and enough health for a gank

Blue Sentinel (Finished at ~1:42): Grants Crest of Insight and player level 2

Gromp (Finished at ~2:00)

Rift Scuttler (Finished at ~2:30): Grants instant health and mana

Greater Murk Wolf (Finished at ~2:55): Grants player level 3

Red Brambleback (Finished at ~3:27): Grants Crest of Cinders

Crimson Raptor (Finished at ~3:45): Grants player Level 4


First of all, don┬┤t force fights early on. Poppy is a champion that scales fantastically into the late game and unfolds her full potential, but ends up rather weak at the beginning of a game. This is why you should avoid confrontations with the enemy jungler early on, at least if your team is unable to leave lanes and support you.
The first time that you are able to effectively gank is somewhere around level 4, when you already cleared your entire Jungle (except Krug ), most laners used up significant amounts of their Mana and the enemy jungler goes back to base (which should definetely happen at this moment because they either ganked and lost Mana and health or cleared their entire Jungle ).
You should definetely try to capitalize on your enemies mistakes whenever you gank, overstaying with little health to get the last minion wave before recalling is one of the most common ones. Always make use of your Heroic Charge and it┬┤s immense 1.6 seconds stun. This becomes substantially less difficult near terrain, which is why you should try to gank near choke points or walls, for example on top and bot lane or near the river. The mid lane turns out to be harder to gank than other lanes, simply because it lacks full-length walls.
You┬┤ll reach your power spike after acquiring Trinity Force, which happens somewhere around the mid game. This is where you should fully unleash your ganking power and push the corresponing lane whenever you are able to get a kill. Don┬┤t hesitate to help your allies push a Turret , especially if it┬┤s going to be the first tower which grants your team bonus gold. Trinity Force generally makes taking objectives noticeably easier, which is why you should focus on this particular task in the mid game.
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Terms explained

Champion: The character a player is using in League of Legends (e.g. Poppy)

Jungle: The Jungle is the area between the lanes, where monsters spawn

Objectives: An objective is an object that provides an advantage to the team that controls it (e.g. Baron Nashor , Drake , Turret )

CC: Crowd Control (short CC) refers to effects that impair a players ability to control a champ (e.g. slows, stuns, fears)

Cooldowns: Each active ability (and some passive ones) need some time to recharge before they can be activated again, called cooldown

Kiting: If you are running away from an enemy while you simultaneously damage them, you are kiting them
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Update Log

15. July
Guide created

31. July
Version 1.0 released

30. August
Version 1.1 released: Added Full Tank Poppy and Assassin Poppy Builds
League of Legends Build Guide Author LePlay
LePlay Poppy Guide
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[9.4] Popping the Jungle! (In-Depth)

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Teamfight Tactics Guide