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Poppy Build Guide by glizdka

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League of Legends Build Guide Author glizdka

Poppy - facts and myths (in-deph)

glizdka Last updated on April 26, 2012
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Hello everybody, I'm Glizdka and this is my first guide here - always was too lazy to write any, but lately i've seen a LOT of bad Poppys, she's one of my favorite JUNGLERS and bullies of all, so it was like a splinter in ***** to see all these glasscannon, solo top, support and whatever Poppys.

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I know that most of you came here to check itembuild and skill order + check chapter where i justify why... I know it's a big wall of text so colours come in handy.

Yellow are important notes
Green and key to this guide

Also i strongly recommend to read entirely chapters:

"Poppy Poppy Poppy, why jungle?"
"Poppy as an offtank"
"What's the best ratio between armor and health?"
"How to gank with Poppy?"
"How to initiate with Poppy?"

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I work on my English skills but it's not perfect so if you see any grammar mistakes give me your feedback, so i can correct it

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Who is Poppy?

She's bad girl, immortal on low health, dealing high damage even without items, has high burst, very good utility with Heroic Charge, nice fun with Diplomatic Immunity and again Heroic Charge (a.k.a. playing with their minds), the only damage thing she needs it Trinity Force and Wriggle's Lantern, the only defense she needs is Randuin's Omen and Force of Nature.

She's not squishy earlygame like many people keep saying, she lacks mana regen a LOT, she's weak on lane because she's very vunlerable to harras ( Valiant Fighter saves from damage only in real engages, but harras still hurts)

And she had a huge hammer that kills everything with ease

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Poppy Poppy Poppy, why Jungle?

I've tried every way of playing Poppy, AP, AD, Hybrid, Tank, everything... AP seem's like scary mofo, but it's so much alike with Fizz, and he does that job way better. Hybrid is weaker than any other so just NO. AD is kinda OK but a bit too squishy mid-late while Tank Poppy is just a bit too weak with damage output. That's why i play her as an offtank.

I've read many guides, especially famous Duff's guide to offtanks, as a new meta. He was so ******* right, because after all these game I've played here, in League of Legens (a year), and previously in Defense of the Ancients (4+ years) I can honestly say, that tankier team wins games, tankier with a little offensive edge. This is because there is nobody to focus, damage is split almost equally to all team's champions, they don't even have to care about any focus, towers, backup to chased target. Offtanks can smack up squishies literally in seconds, while still tanky enough to bare all the punishment from target's allies. And the last thing - offtanks are the best type of champions, that are played in jungle.

Poppy as an offtank in the jungle seems good, but there are also 4 more reasons why:

  • Poppy is very weak solo top/mid champion
  • Poppy is NOT a support, she needs farm, farmed Poppy kills, underfarmed does nothing. Period.
  • Poppy has huge mana problems = Blue Buff solves that one
  • Poppy ganks extremly well with Heroic Charge (push baddies to your allies, smack them on wall, chase using on minion) and Diplomatic Immunity (towerdive? no problem), also Paragon of Demacia is good (extra movement speed)

Try Poppy several times in the jungle, you will never come back to any other style.

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Poppy as an Offtank

Her passive ( Valiant Fighter) makes her incredibly tough even with few HP and armor/mres as her HP usually counts as 2 times more, Paragon of Demacia is your advantage over others because of extra damage and armor. Stronk burst, you can ult their carry and just go to kill him. Yes, you are perfect material for duelist and the best duelists are offtanks.

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  • Smite, cus you are jungler, that's obvious.
  • Flash to escape/chase, flash behind enemy and use Heroic Charge to pull him to allies, or on wall, flash is always viable, on any champion.
  • Exhaust, because you lack CC for early ganks, to shut down their carry, to shut down the only target that can do something to you during your ultimate
  • Ignite if you lack some damage output (+5 AD/AP thanks to mastery improvement as well as some damage from ignite itself)

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Nothing special here, red are for armor penetration, you may want to trade it for extra AD runes, but you got enough AD early levels thanks to Paragon of Demacia.

Armor runes are best of yellow, and mresist runes are best for blue.

You may want two types of Quintesences: extra movement speed or lifesteal, both are good for Poppy, in the next chapter i'll tell you which ones and when should be taken.

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Masteries + runes

Simple, on the left you got 3 builds that consist of variable masteries, some runes choices, and starting "core" items route you will go. Those are only my proposals, all 3 work but you can change anything you want here, altho skill order is something that works best that way, I'll tell why, later.

  • First is my favorite 21-9-0.
    I want Weapon Expertise and Arcane Knowledge , magic pierce for my Devastating Blow, and armor pierce for self-explainatory reason. Because I went that deep into offensive tree I decided to reach Vampirism too, also supported with Lifesteal runes.
    Last 3 points can be put everywhere, I take Havoc because it's better Deadliness for Poppy, as it improves your AD along lvl as well, and also your Q and Triforce proc damage. Extra AP? Just no. The only thing you might want instead is Sunder , but it improves only Autoattacks, and works best early game, you are Poppy, you play mid-late, so... You say 1,5% isn't much? Well. When Devastating Blow deals with Trinity Force around 600 damage, it's 9 more damage, with each autoattack when you deal like 180 damage, it's 3 extra damage. I guess it's not much, true, but nothing's better here, and that +1,5% is, all in all, just another brick in a wall.
    In defensive tree you want some extra health ( Durability + Veteran's Scars ) and magic resist ( Resistance ) becasue this build containts a lot of armor (also Paragon of Demacia gives nice bunch of armor) so you will not even feel extra 6 armor while Resistance , supported with mresist runes fills that hole in your shield a bit.
    I recommend Exhaust because you lack movement speed from other builds, and ex will help with chasing down.
  • Second is what i call TrinityMastery 9-9-9 (+3)
    In offensive tree you tak most important thing, weapons expertise. In defensive tree you want some extra health and magic resist (as i said paragraph before). Utility tree is for Swiftness supported by 4,5% extra movement speed runes. With Trinity Force, Force of Nature and Paragon of Demacia you reach crazy movements speed. Ofcourse Runic Affinity because you are a jungler.
    Last 3 point can be put everywhere, I find extra Hardiness most beneficial for Jungle, because you lack lifesteal from first build, and armor helps. Ofcourse you can take Havoc , Evasion , or anything you like, you need 9-9-9 the rest is not important.
    I recommend Flash because here you got everything you want, so just play with their brain.
  • Third build is defensive 9-21-0
    Again we want Weapon Expertise , Resistance and extra health ( Durability + Veteran's Scars , you don't need enlightenemenr, Siege Commander is bad, so feel free to take anything, i just find Evasion , supported by Honor Guard , and if you add Valiant Fighter and Ninja Tabi, you can feel like a bit like a badass mofo.
    Initiator is good thing, because with Diplomatic Immunity you usually run almost full on health, I increased effect with movement speed runes, but it can be traded for Mercenary if you want, no problem.
    Here i recommend Ignite because you are too defensive with masteries, so you lack some damage.

Don't forget to trade summoner's spells increasers in masteries for something else if you don't use that summoner's

* Summoner spells are NOT connected with builds i just gave here options where do they work best, bu feel free.

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Starting items

There are 3 main ways people start with in the jungle:

  • Vampiric Scepter - good gold economic (you don't "waste" money on HP pots), allows moderate sustain, works best with champions that already have some lifesteal/liferegen form like Xin Zhao. You are not such, unless you took 1st masteries/runes build i recommended, then you MIGHT consider Vampiric Scepter
  • Regrowth Pendant + Health Potion - you get HP regen instead of lifesteal, good for champions without stronk autoattacks, but relying on something else, like Skarner. You are not such champion.

    * Cloth Armor + 5 Health Potion - least gold economic option, best for the ones that need to be full health early because they want to gank early, you are such champion here. I recommend this starting gear, but feel free ofcourse

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Skills order

I've tried many options, and for starting with blue golem, taking Devastating Blow just works best. Some people recommend Paragon of Demacia and it's also good, the thing is that for early gank Devastating Blow is better.

If you feel like ganking at level 3, just take Heroic Charge instead of Devastating Blow and if you want to gank right after blue buff, take Heroic Charge instead of Paragon of Demacia - then try to get back to the normal skillorder after the gank.

In skill order we take Diplomatic Immunity we can, not because of increased damage to the target but because of increased duration and better cooldown.
Devastating Blow as soon to the level 3 as possible, and then for maxing Paragon of Demacia. Why so? Because leveling Devastating Blow only increases cap and gives small flat damage bonus. You want 3rd level to deal best damage to Blue/Red, and enemies usually don't have higher HP than requires your cap. Altho you level it up later for better cooldown.

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Earlygame Items

  • Well, you want Vampiric Scepter as soon as possible - to get sustain in jungle.
  • You want Ninja Tabi because it works very well with your passive, and masteries (if you took 3rd option). Even without masteries, you reach 55% damage reduction if incoming damage would go beyond 10% of CURRENT health. Also it's very good option for increased sustain in the jungle.
  • Wriggle's Lantern is self explainatory, you are jungler, you want armor, you want AD, you want lifesteal, wards never hurt.

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Midgame Items

  • You are on your way to get your bread and butter item - Trinity Force. What to start building it with? Sheen gives extra ~100 damage to your Devastating Blow, but it's only 1-2 attacks during gank/duel. Zeal is basically extra movement speed (this is very nice), and some nice to have attackspeed and crit (you don't need those much). Phage doesn't only give you well needed slow (as you don't have a serious CC) and it will proc almost every attempt, because you got a lot of movement speed and doublestrike with your Devastating Blow (right after normal hit press Q for immediate another attack), Phage is also very cost efficent item, 45HP and 8AD for 425 gold is much, and also slow. And extra HP? Look at your passive again and see how much does it give. That's the best choice.
  • Heart of Gold is for Randuin's Omen, but at this point you want extra HP (look at your passive again). Also gold generator is needed, as you are on your way for expensive items.
  • Sheen is well needed item for burst, that can totally rape squishies. Extra mana is also nice.
  • Finish your Trinity Force and see how much extra damage and utility does it give.

In the meantime you may want to counter 3 things:
  • Heavy physical damage, that little Chain Vest solves problem
  • Heavy magic damage, that little negatron cloack solves problem
  • Crowd Control, not Mercury's Treads because you usually are in danger of CC from only 1 target you used ulti on, so Quicksilver Sash is way better.

    just look at other options in builds

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Lategame Items

Finish your Randuin's Omen and Force of Nature (unless you decided to take Quicksilver Sash, if so: don't make Force of Nature - you don't need that much mres).

Why Randuin's Omen? It's best antiphysical item for offtanks as it provides not only huge armor, but heavily synergising with armor health, and works even against on-hit effects mofos like Vayne, because of huge attackspeed reduction when you are hit. Also if someone attacks you even if he's not aimed by your ult, the slow still works upon hits on you.

Why Force of Nature? Stronk mresist, a lot of, and also very nice movement speed. Almost forgot about health regeneration (look at your passive again).

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Cherry on the top

5th "build" contains all last items you may want to buy.

  • Need more damage and lifesteal/spellvamp + nice slowing nuke? Take Hextech Gunblade
  • Need more survivability? Take Angel Guardian
  • They built armor penetration and/or you still got problems with physical damage? Frozen Heart is for you as it slows their attackspeed even more (still got Randuin's Omen, remember?), almost forgot that it also solves ANY mana problems.
  • Don't worry if tanks got high mresist, your Devastating Blow is just additional burst against squishies, if your targets got high armor, your Devastating Blow still rapes them. But what if they got both, mresist and armor? Then Last Whisper is for you.
  • If you still need pure damage there is no better option than Infinity Edge
  • If they got squishies foolish enough to not buy armor, you may want to steamroll them with The Black Cleaver, it's not only armor penetration, but also extremly cost efficent item (10AD and 15attack speed for 795 gold upgrade, and consists of already very cost efficent B.F. sword)

    Also you may want to trade Wriggle's Lantern for another "cherry on the top" item

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What's the best ratio between armor and health?

First myth about armor: "don't get much armor because after some point you don't get much damage reduction" - that's total ********. Think about it.

For 100 armor you get 50% damage reduction (you gain 50% from 0% at 0 armor)
For 200 armor you get 67% damage reduction (you gain 17%)
for 300 armor you get 75% damage reduction (you gain 8%)

so hey, they were right, you gain less and less, right ? No !
Let's look at this other way.

you got 0% reduction and gain 5% - not huge difference
you got 50% and gain 5% to reach 55% - kinda OK
you got 90% and gain 5% to reach 95% - instead of 10% damage TAKEN you take 5% damage - that's TWO TIMES MORE DAMAGE REDUCTION.

So... higher you go - less %damage reduction you get, but higher you go, more each % of damage reduction counts. Math says it in simple way, each 1 armor point increases your effective health by 1%

if you got 1000hp and 100 armor they need to deal 2000 damage
if you got 2000hp and 50 armor they need to deal 3000 damage
if you got 4000hp and 200 armor they need to deal 12000 damage
if you got 10000hp and 10 armor they need to deal 11000 damage

Now, if you consider average cost of buying 1 armor point and 1HP you can count the economical optimum of ratio between armor and health - it's somewhat around 117 armor for each 1000hp. Also keep in mind they got armor penertation marks as they are kinda meta-runes for AD DPS (it's between 21 and 31 armor penetration with masteries) and also 10% armor piercing with masteries. So actually ratio is around 130armor (+26 for their average flar armor pierce) for each 1000 health you got.

So you should keep armor at like:

91armor at 500 HP
156 at 1000hp
286 at 2000hp

If you follow my build, you realise you almost always are at this economical optimum (remember about Paragon of Demacia)

How about Last Whisper? What if they got it? Look at your passive again!

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How to gank with Poppy?

Look at your passive (again) and don't be afraid during ganks, that's your 1st rule. But technically, how to gank? Go on their back and push them with your Heroic Charge to your ally/turret (preferably if he has CC) and pop your Exhaust (if you took it) to ensure kill, if there is a chance to escape for him. You should also try to smack them on wall for stun and extra damage.

Remember you can dive (your passive again) even withotu your Diplomatic Immunity, also remember that even if you got your ultimate, aggro from their turret stays on you.

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How to chase with Poppy?

Don't use Heroic Charge to close up to enemy if it makes him further away from your team unless it will cause kill/stun by smacking him on wall.

Use Flash (if you took it) to get yourself before fleeing enemy and push him to your allies. You can also do it by utilising your huge movement speed you got from this build.

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How to initiate with Poppy?

Dont jump in them and push them away from your team, that's bad idea. It's better to walk on their back from jungle or other fog of war producing things, so you got surprise effect and push squishy target to your team (works like blitzcrank) and ofcourse, try to smack them on wall for stun and extra damage.

Pop your Diplomatic Immunity on either:

  • target you want to kill faster with damage amplifier from ult.
  • target that has no cc (he will be the only one affecting you so you got no cc on your Poppy during ult time) - and kill others, not ulted target.
  • target someone that has no damage, because you want to faceroll everyone else without taking damage during ult time.

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Remember to save your allies

You are tough, you are an offtank, you don't fear anything, they fear you. Use it to save your allies. Use Heroice Charge to take baddies away from your wounded allies, use it to stun baddies that are danger, use it to force them to go away. Use it generally speaking.

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Jokes? I don't know any jokes...

...but she can kill... literally everything in 1v1 situation, even low on health, especially low on health - I've killed so many Shacos trying to kill me because i was 300HP and he was full, but I was always too tough (look at the passive again) and had too high burst. Don't be afraid - on low health your survivability is doubled but also don't overrate yourself.

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If you managed to read it all... then you are very determinated person, but i hope you learned something and I helped you not only with playing Poppy, but also many other Herlike champions.

She's very cool to play, gives a lot of fun, and on top of that - she's very stronk (to not say "op")

Have fun and good luck =)

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Changelog, Credits