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Poppy Build Guide by Poppu

Top [Patch 9.19] In-Depth Guide For Poppy Top!

Top [Patch 9.19] In-Depth Guide For Poppy Top!

Updated on September 25, 2019
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Poppu Build Guide By Poppu 346 22 568,451 Views 3 Comments
346 22 568,451 Views 3 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Poppu Poppy Build Guide By Poppu Updated on September 25, 2019
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Runes: Main Top Lane Poppu Tank

1 2 3
Grasp of the Undying
Bone Plating

Biscuit Delivery
Cosmic Insight

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


1 2
Grasp of the Undying
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport



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

Champion Build Guide

[Patch 9.19] In-Depth Guide For Poppy Top!

By Poppu
Yo what's up? I'm Poppy Poppu, a S8 Plat Player with over a million mastery points on the NA server! I have been playing Poppy ever since her rework so I'm quite familiar with all her changes and builds. This is my first guide, but I wanted to write it for newer players and average Poppy Mains as well. I always try new builds and new ideas to further a new meta none have ever seen before! This will be my Top Lane SoloQ guide to climb up the ranks, so sit back and relax!
Updates/Ability Changes for Current Patch:

>>> (9.15)Poppy's W now gives 5% more movement speed (grants 35% movement speed when cast but now grants 40%, woooow) and grounds champions when they are prevented from dashing-- Allowing you to catch enemies out and deal even more damage to dash champs and assassins!

>>> (9.16) Pantheon Rework updated in Threats!

>>> (9.17- Irrelevant, but I stream now! Catch me around the evening sometimes and join in if you're curious :))
Pros / Cons
- High Base Damage
- Strong Early - Mid Game
- Good Utility
- Can Peel Dashes and Disengage
- Good CC
- Strongest in the JG (walls everywhere)

- Late Game is harder to manage
- Can only all-in on a single target at a time
- Okay Mobility but can still be kited
- Stops scaling after mid-game.
- Constantly have to think about Positioning to bring out full potential.
- Laning Phase can be a hit or miss depending on match-up and skill.
Gameplay and Playstyle
-Laning Phase: Poppy isn't the best duelist or lane bully, but she is in the middle when it comes to it. I would suggest focusing on CS and trade offs with Grasp and Passive proc, and building items if you're a new or passive player.
Suggestions when playing Poppy is to be aggressive. Make sure to freeze the waves, deny CS with Q (tag them with max range Q to make sure they take hits if they go in for minions), and if you siege them at their turret, make sure to proc Grasp Passive range to further poke them.

> Note: I usually want to take the turret the most, that's why I siege. I usually try to go for first turret, make sure you ward to prevent dying from ganks.

Why first turret? - First turret means more control over the map. For example, if bot loses their turret first, that means their bot lane will be able to roam to mid, have more control over drag pit, and rotate/split to snowball the team.
> Why I want First Turret: When taking First Turret, I always try to prioritize the next outer turrets for the other two lanes. Taking First Turret allows for Bonus Gold, lane pressure, and more opportunities to roam and snowball the team. I tend to back immediately and run straight to gank bot or mid, then saving Teleport TP for top to keep my turret in check. This is also situational if objectives are being sieged or prioritized.

> Always try to manage turrets across the map to control objectives (This being due to being a Jungle Main), which makes it easier for the team.

-Mid to late game: At this point, either splitpush or peel the ADC/APCs or engage. You usually have 3 options during this point if you have TP:

>1. Splitpush or manage the waves only if your Teleport TP is up, never TP to lane around late-game, TP only to teamfights or before a teamfight occurs, TP to objectives like DRAG or BARON.

>2. If TP is down, push the main lane and group ASAP. Try to peel as much as you can or catch enemies out.

>3. Never start an engage unless you are 75-100% sure your team has the dmg to carry out and follow up, which means you can catch somebody out but take all the damage they dish. This maneuver is usually high risk and high reward, but sometimes it can lead to throwing. So save this option for last if you're desperate, unless you're fed.
Low Elo - High Elo Differences
In this section, we'll discuss adjustments to make if you're in each of these elos to help climb and make your Poppy playstyle a lot more versatile from Low Elo to High Elo!

We'll discuss these differences in each Elo: Skill Gap, Map Awareness, Team Comps, and more


Low Elo

> From Iron to Gold, low elo is where 70-80% of the player base around the world is located. From newbies to unranked and casual players, it is a challenge for those who rarely play ranked or are hardstuck in the mindset of "everyone sucks except me".

SKILL GAP: Mechanical Skills and Decision making are very poor in this elo, if you are mechanically very good with Poppy (70%+ Wall Pins, overwhelm in trades, and very comfortable with knowing her damage), you need to snowball as hard as you can. Building Damage is the key to winning, you can't trust your teammates to carry, you will have to hyper carry (split push efficiently, assassinate carries). Catching people out is easy as they rarely group or ward.

- Pros:

- Strong Early Game
- Very versatile in damage to tankiness
- Good Peel and Disengage
- Good Tank

- Cons:

- Doesn't scale at all
- Must end games before 35 mins
- High Difficulty if there is no map awareness

MAP AWARENESS: Map awareness is quite poor in Low Elo, personally I find it because there are two types of players, In The Moment (ITM) players and Tacticians. You can still be both, but there is a fine balance between two. In Low Elo, there tends to be more ITM players because they usually play on locked screen and focus more on trading/winning on kills. That boosts their mechanical skills but limits their map awareness capability. Build damage or go full tank, splitpush, CATCH enemies out, but never TEAMFIGHT unless your team has a leverage (5v3, 4v2, 4v3, etc.). Everyone builds damage, but if you tank just the right person, you can easily win trades and fights.

Team Comps: No one really understands counters, they just pick whoever they're most comfortable with and never expect to lose their lane. Which is why they easily get tilted. Team Comp is important because it allows you to have lane priority and more map control. If you train to think more of the bigger picture, Poppy at her base is still a tank. She peels, she absorbs damage, she's a juggernaut. If you utilize her kit, you will understand differences between using a kit correctly and just playing Poppy because "she's broken". However in Low Elo, team comp really doesn't matter. Go full damage and taking out carries/hyper will win games.


Mid Elo

> High Gold - Diamond, this is where the real fun and challenge begins. Player Base is a lot more skilled, games are shorter, and this elo is the perfect elo to correcting small mistakes that you overlook.

SKILL GAP: Once you get to Gold-Plat, average players are much better, less toxicity, but more logical players that capitalize on your mistakes (more passive aggressive flame). Plat+ are usually hit or miss players (they either do really good or really bad, sometimes average). But once you reach Diamond players, they are mechanically skilled and good with outplays.


- Good Against Mobile Champs
- Shutdown Kit
- Strong Utility
- Great Top Lane Tank


- Lots of strong Hyper Counters (Vlad, Darius, Gnar)
- People know how to abuse their kits
- Many One Tricks and Strong Counterplay Decision making
- Dependant on MID/JG/ADC to win most games.

MAP AWARENESS: Here, Map Awareness is refined but not as good as Diamond+ Players. Buff Timers, Drags, Barons, everything has a cycle to them and are very important in teamplay and grouping. Red Wards are more prevalent, you will see them all around the map. Teamfighting is much cleaner but with higher risks. Ganks occur more often and at lower levels.

TEAM COMPS: Team Comps are more important now, with a steady mix of AD/AP. Also, teamfight and utility options are more common than solo carry champs. Scaling ADCs are really good if they get a lead early. It's best to go full Tank/secondary Support, as the use of your utility will help the team in skirmishes!


High Elo

> The cream of the crop, the 1%, these are Masters - Challenger players that have mastered all types of techniques and are usually in the thought process of many decisions made ahead of time to cultivate strategies. And then you get those who sort of just half-*** things and still win because like, they're so good lol.

SKILL GAP: Everyone plays on a higher tier, they play like it's norms. Games are fairly short sometimes, and otherwise it's mostly farming until mid game or fiesta chaos all the way through.


- Poppy is pretty fun to play
- Her kit is strong with tons of different builds
- Balanced champ, really doesn't scale into a monster


- Clunky-ish
- Hit or miss match ups
- Tank is best if you want to try, but it's very boring sometimes.

MAP AWARENESS: Refined and always on the lookout every 3-4 seconds. Ward placement is important and can ensure win/loss games. Objectives are important, but also trading objectives can make a good comeback game. JG invasions are calculated, low lvl tower dives are strong.

TEAM COMPS: Good even mix of AD/AP, strong team synergies, good counter picks and occasional even lanes. Lane priority is important. More mobile champs are prevalent to ensure strong teamfight and skirmishes and kiting skills.
Playing from Behind (Detailed vs AD/AP Match Ups)
- Let's say you've picked Poppy and someone decides to counter you, how should you develop a gameplay strategy that will allow you to succeed? Remember, we play to win the war, not the battle! Even if we lose lane, always be the key to adapt to situational settings! Check the Match Ups in Threats and Synergies for Updates and Gameplay vs them!

Starting Items and Runes vs Hard Match Ups:
- Doran's Shield for Sustainability
- (First Tree Resolve) [2.] Demolish rune for Split Push and Macro Plays
- (Secondary Tree Inspiration) [1.] Biscuits for Sustain
- (Secondary Tree Inspiration) [2.] Cosmic Insight for 5% Summoner Spell and normal CDR
- (Third Tree OFFENSE) [1.] 10% ATK SPD
- (Third Tree FLEX + DEFENSE) [1./2.] (Armor/Armor) vs AD match ups or (Magic Resist/Magic Resist) vs AP match ups

Common Starting Items vs Hard AD Counters:
(Typically Darius, Pantheon, Renekton)
(Honorable mentions: Wukong, Riven)


- Get Cloth Armor and 4 Health Potion against these main hard AD duelist and burst champs. Build into Sunfire Aegis (or if well farmed, get a Bramble Vest, Ruby Crystal, and Sapphire Crystal for AR + HP + MANA, then build those into Thornmail, Iceborn Gauntlet, and etc.).

- The concept of playing from behind is to RESPECT the enemy laner as someone who is sure to outplay, outmaneuver, or hard abuse the counter kit.

- If your team starts from blue side (Bottom Left side of the map), keep an eye on where their enemy jg starts. Enemy Twitch, Kayn, Udyr, Yi, Vi, etc. will most likely come gank straight after red at lvl 1-2.

- Let the first wave push to you, that will allow them to hit 2 first, but will allow you to hit lvl 3 first. (Make sure to freeze as much as possible, especially on turret, never go for risky trades!)(Let them auto the minions, just last hit with Q and shield so it pushes towards you safely)

- You won't need to try to proc Grasp of the Undying as much as it will only get minion aggro, especially on freezes. If you do try to aim for procs, try during when your wave is pushing back towards enemy turret and utilize bushes to minimize minion aggro. If enemy champ tries to duel or engage you in your wave while under leveled, you can sustain and outdamage them with the wave.

- By letting waves freeze and hit your turrets and minimizing damage taken, you will easily set up ganks for your jungler.

- Slowly snowball by denying them exp and kills on you, farm well!

- Go full tank, whatever sets you to be the damage absorber and peel.

- The main goal is to team play, not carry (you will carry by peeling), win by utilizing the full kit of Poppy to your team's advantage!

Starting Items vs Hard AP match ups:
(Typically Singed, Teemo, Rumble, Kennen)
(Honorable Mentions: Neeko, Viktor, Ryze, Vladimir)


- Doran's Shield and Potions will allow you to sustain a little bit more than usual.

- If up against Singed/Rumble, Switch Bone Plating for Second Wind

- Get a Null-Magic Mantle ASAP

- Get a second one for Boots, build into Spectre's Cowl and finish Boots

- If you farm well, get a Sapphire Crystal for mana purposes to farm longer in lane

- Adaptive Helm is especially useful against champs that deal constant damage over time

- Keep an eye out on what Teemo players build, sometimes they build attack speed, some build AP first, and some build AD/Hybrid.

- Once you get certain items, you will outsustain and can eventually duel them or pressure them off waves. You become pretty much unkillable unless you get ganked.

- Ward a lot in case they cheese with extra ganks!
Items for Laning Phase: During laning, I tend to get a Bami's Cinder then build a tiamat for wave management and trading purposes (also to hard push). After Tiamat, I get first-tier boots then finish Sunfire. If mid has an opposing AP or the enemy team tend to have strong AP CC and dmg, finish Merc Treads and build a sheen afterwards. If you're behind, skip the sheen and go for Armor (such as Thornmail), or instead to try to build ahead of enemy ADC for peeling.

Late Game:
It's best to utilize to minimize enemy damage as much as possible to keep efficiency at being a tank. By this time, ADCs should have Infinity Edge Crit, Bloodthirster Lifesteal, and Lord Dominik's Regards AR Pen, which is important for you to get ahead of before they fully scale. Randuin's Omen Randuins, Thornmail Thornmail, and etc. are important for keeping ADCs in check, but definitely look at their items to come up with a counter play.
MAIN RUNE - GRASP: Allows sustain and poke, procs after 4 seconds in combat (Sunfire procs Grasp without you needing to touch minions, so you can stay still near enemy minions and throw your shield whenever they get close).
> DEMOLISH OR SHIELD BASH: I take Demolish vs Tanks because if I siege a turret or they backed and I push my wave, I can take down their turret faster. If I have SHIELDBASH, I intend to poke and harass much harder than usual, and I tend to try to get kills. If I kill them, I push the wave hard and back immediately, letting minions do the work so I can get items.
> ARMOR PLATING: This allows me to take hits when dueling and trading, also so I don't get hard poked and allows for sustainability and engages.
> OVERGROWTH: Farm up really hard and you scale into later game, Scaling HP is always good!

- 1st Set Secondary Runes:
> ALACRITY: Attack speed = DPS and Better Wave Management, you never know when you could have gotten a CS but were too slow, also better for Trading
> COUP DE GRACE: Allows for execution and extra dmg to low health targets.

- 2nd Set Secondary Runes:
> BISCUIT: Allows for sustain and longer lane presence.
> HEALTH TONIC: Noticeably nerfed/adjusted from giving extra time for potions to giving instant health replenishment allows for survivability, but I take it for the extra bonus movement speed when using a potion.
> MAGICAL FOOTWEAR: I choose this over HEALTH TONIC now because I would rather the movement speed over the course of the game rather than the early laning phase where you just farm.
How To Play with Conqueror's
Conqueror Poppy has been meta in Korea since patch 9.08-9.09, with the idea of doing lots of damage while still being a tank. There are still pros and cons while taking these runes and many more match ups to test up against.

>>> Pros:

-- Gives AD each time abilities/autos are hit, stacking up to 5 times (with 5 stacks, converts 10% dmg to true damage and healing)
-- Strong to abuse if counter picking
-- Versatile in damage if used correctly
-- Can outplay with surprise damage
-- Good for going damage/bruiser/assassin

>>> Cons:

-- Can Sustain only after 5 stacks of Conqueror is met, and only 10% of dmg is healing (compared to Grasp, it's not a good way to sustain in lane and tank)
-- Makes you fairly squishier than usual
-- Counterpicks will definitely have an upper hand, even if you're going full tank/dmg (Nasus especially, never take this against any Nasus's, his scaling is strong with Grasp or Conqueror, you won't outdamage him with Conqueror)
-- Falls off pretty hard if behind


When going Conqueror Poppy, it's advisable to go as aggressive as possible. Look, if you have Conqueror's and you never use it to trade but to tank, what's the point of having it? Here are some tips on laning:

> Instead of taking Teleport, taking Ignite is a much better option for ideal kill potential and trades, we're here to win the lane with extreme pressure vs weak match ups!

> Go for Q trades and autos more than usual (don't all in without any Conqueror stacks, the idea is to stack Conqueror's first)

> Push the first two waves hard and freeze afterwards, this should allow you to hit lvl 3 without taking too much damage (try to hit Q's and stack)

> The goal is to snowball HARD, kills/assists/denial of cs, abuse Q! (Watch mana too if you're using E Q Auto comboes, but definitely throw that in there)

> Roam a lot if the wave is pushed!

Recap: Play very aggro, don't worry about CS too much early because we're trying to get a lead with kills, roam if wave is pushed and you're ahead


Core Items: Black Cleaver, Last Whisper, Sheen

- Why Black Cleaver and Last Whisper if you're a bruiser tank?

> With Conqueror, to do tremendous damage you must look at the drawbacks of using it as Poppy. Using this core build will allow you to burst like an assassin and sustain while doing lots of damage.

> The more damage you deal within a certain amount of time, the more strong you become, which is like a mini snowball mechanic when fighting.

> Unlike proccing Grasp of the Undying to poke every 3-4 seconds until you can kill them, you have to proc Conqueror in short trades every time to see merit. Which is why Hyper Aggressiveness is needed to truly see good results!

> Black Cleaver stacks with Conqueror really well! Autos and Spell dmg puts a stack on enemies ( Black Cleaver 4% armor shred each stack, up to 24% (6 stacks)) ( Conqueror Each stack of Conqueror gives AD, and when you have 5 stacks, allows you to convert 10% dmg to true dmg and healing)

> With Last Whisper, it allows extra shred that stacks with Black Cleaver, especially with whatever option you choose in team comps ( Lord Dominik's Regards vs Heavy Armor Tanks/Teams, Mortal Reminder vs Sustain Comps)

> Conqueror shows Poppy's Bruiser Potential, unlike her Assassin Counter Part or Tank Meta (However, while Grasp of the Undying is still an ideal and versatile rune to choose between Tank or Bruiser, the Conqueror rune gives a greater edge in Bruiser Damage, hence the abuse of it to over counter easy match ups)


> Q = 1-2 Stacks (2 if second Q procs them), E = 1-2 Stacks (2 if you pin an enemy), R = 1 Stack, Auto = 1 Stack (Passive counts!)

> Example 1 (Small trades with/without Passive): E Q Auto = 3 Stacks
> Example 2: E (pin) Q Auto = 5 Stacks
> Example 3 (Medium trade finisher w/ULT with/without passive): E Q ULT AUTO = 3-4 Stacks Depending if Enemy is still in Q
> Example 4 (Med Trade finisher w/ULT 2 and Passive): E ULT Q Auto = 3-4 Stacks (This can usually ensure a flash from them)
> Example 5 (Wall Chase Bait/Outplay) with Ult: Q + Ult + Auto (Q Procs) = 4 Stacks
> Example 6 (Wall Chase/Bush Bait Outplay, Must Pin): Q Ult E Auto = 6 Stacks
> Example 7 (Wall Chase/Bush Bait Outplay, Must Pin 2): Ult Q (Flash to Position if necessary, you tend to take one hit from them though from CD timing after Ult knock up ends) E Auto = 5-6 Stacks

Recap: How to stack/keep track of Conqueror's with full comboes
Iron Ambassador Passive
Range: 475
Cooldown: 16 / 12 / 8
Poppy periodically throws her buckler with her next basic attack, which then falls near her target, where it remains for up to 4 seconds. If the buckler kills its target, it bounces back to Poppy automatically. Enemies can step on the buckler to destroy it.

The buckler grants 425 range and 20-180 (based on level) bonus magic damage. When Poppy picks up the buckler, she shields herself for 15 / 17.5 / 20% maximum health for 3 seconds.

The cooldown of Iron Ambassador lowers at levels 7 and 13.

Tips: When throwing the shield, if it bounces off an enemy without killing them, it will land near walls. You can use this as bait if enemies tend to step on them, or you can use this to utilize your next steps.

Hammer Shock Q
Range: 430
Cooldown: 8 / 7 / 6 / 5 / 4 Cost: 35 / 40 / 45 / 50 / 55
Poppy smashes the ground in front of her, dealing 40 / 60 / 80 / 100 / 120 (+0.9 per bonus attack damage) (+8% of target's maximum Health) physical damage to all enemies hit.

The impacted ground becomes unstable, slowing enemies that are standing on it by 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40% before erupting after 1 second, dealing the same physical damage to all enemies hit.

Tips: Main source of damage besides passive and Grasp, Q is half the CD of E, and it slows. Try to "tag" enemies with this ability since it deals a hefty 8%HP base damage + AD, and doubles if enemies are hit by the second proc.

Steadfast Presence W
Range: 400
Cooldown: 24 / 22 / 20 / 18 / 16 Cost: 50
Passive: Poppy's total armor and magic resistance are increased by 10%. This effect is doubled to 20% while Poppy is below 40% of her maximum Health.

Active: Poppy gains 30% bonus movement speed for 2.5 seconds and generates a barrier around her for the duration, causing all enemies who dash within to be knocked down and take 70 / 110 / 150 / 190 / 230 (+70% of ability power) magic damage. This can only happen once per enemy champion. THIS ABILITY CAN NOW GROUND CHAMPIONS (If an enemy champion is stopped by this effect, they will be slowed and cannot use escape spells for 1.5s)

Tips: Only use this skill as an escape, peel, or engage. Don't use it too much, it has high CD and mana costs and will most likely be the reason your mana is too low sometimes. Very useful against Dash match ups, but can also be baited as well, be careful with use.

Heroic Charge E
Range: 475
Cooldown: 14 / 13 / 12 / 11 / 10 Cost: 70
Poppy dashes to the target enemy, dealing 60 / 80 / 100 / 120 / 140 (+0.5 per bonus attack damage) physical damage to them and carrying them along with her.

If they collide with terrain, she deals the same amount of physical damage to them again and stuns them for 1.6 / 1.7 / 1.8 / 1.9 / 2 seconds.

Tips: Just like with W, I prefer not to use this ability to poke as it consumes a lot of mana. I prioritize positioning first before I use E to make sure I always get a wall pin for max damage output in trades. You can use this to close gaps, escape, and go across walls. Definitely use it to surprise your enemies in the jungle!

Keeper's Verdict R
Range: 500
Cooldown: 140 / 120 / 100 Cost: 100
First cast: Poppy channels for up to 4 seconds, retaining the ability to move but slowing herself by 15% for the duration. Keeper's Verdict's cooldown is reduced by 75% if its channel is canceled.

Second cast: Poppy smashes the ground, sending out a shockwave. When it hits an enemy champion, a massive hammer erupts from the ground, dealing 200 / 300 / 400 (+0.9 per bonus attack damage) physical damage to all enemies around it and knocking them a large distance toward their Summoning Platform.

Poppy has sight of airborne enemies and they are rendered untargetable for the duration, with the distance increasing based on how long Keeper's Verdict was channeled. Releasing the ability instantly cancels the channel and knocks up all enemies around Poppy for 0.75 seconds instead, but only dealing 50% damage. The knockup does not make enemies untargetable.

Tip: Make sure this is not hotkeyed to Cast! Use this ability to disengage or turn the tides of a teamfight by sending enemies away! Really useful for extra CC in your combo and also synergizes with Yasuo ult.
Extra Tips:
All-In Combo with Wall Pin (with Tiamat): - E - Q - Tiamat - Auto - Ult - Auto
Combo without Tiamat: - E - Q - Auto - Ult - (W)(Optional)- Auto
Tricks with E: You can pin enemies to their JG Base Entrances (the ones they can walk through, but you can't)
However, you can't pin enemies to their man-made walls that they are able to walk through (Yorick, Azir).
You can still pin down enemies to enemy Ornn, Trundle, and Anivia walls (Taliyah too!)

League of Legends Champions:

Teamfight Tactics Guide