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Poppy Build Guide by Khazem

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Khazem

Poppy - The underrated Anti-Carry

Khazem Last updated on March 29, 2012
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Team 1

LeagueSpy Logo
Top Lane
Ranked #81 in
Top Lane
Win 49%
Get More Stats

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: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Welcome to my Poppy guide.

Poppy is one of the most underrated champions in the entire league. She has incredible potential and a lot of people don't realize it. She's also the only champion that can truly be called an 'anti-carry'.

A lot of people will tell you it's hard to get the needed farm on her and it's generally not worth mastering her, but this is not true at all. Her core consists of 2 items and once you get those, you're unstoppable. If you master Poppy, you will have mastered an extraordinary and unique champion that can single handedly turn the tide of any game.

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Pros / Cons


+ Very high burst damage
+ High mobility
+ Great towerdiver
+ Often underestimated

- Weak early game
- Hard to master
- Very low mana pool considering ability mana costs
- Bad farmer

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  • Greater Seal of Armor: These give you some extra survivability in your early game. Perfect to help Poppy get the farm she needs.
  • Greater Seal of Vitality: Good choise to make her lategame stronger, where she already shines. Get these if you don't need the armor for your early game.



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I use two different mastery setups for Poppy, depending on wether I'm going full AP or hybrid. When going full AP you want to focus on making your initial burst as scary as possible to take someone out of a fight instantly, while as hybrid you want to aim for more sustained damage and a bit of survivabilty to stay in fights longer.

AP Poppy Masteries

Offense Tree

Tier 1 - I grab Brute Force over Mental Force even as AP just cause 4 AP is pretty useless for Poppy and Brute Force can help you last hit a bit better. A point in Summoner's Wrath as a filler mainly.

Tier 2 - Sorcery because cooldown reduction is amazing on Poppy

Tier 3 - Arcane Knowledge because Poppy's abilities deal magic damage, 3 points in Havoc to slightly increase her burst.

Tier 4 - 4 points in Blast for a slight AP boost late game.

Tier 5 - 4 points in Archmage because if we go AP, more AP is good. (right?)

Tier 6 - Executioner to help you finish off targets. Scales with your ultimate and ignores the damage cap on devestating blow.

Utility Tree

Tier 1 - 3 points in Expanded Mind as Poppy's low mana pool can be kind of problematic sometimes. Summoner's Insight for the reduced cooldown on Flash.

Tier 2 - 4 points in Swiftness to make her even more mobile.

Tier 3 - Runic Affinity to increase the duration of any buffs you might get. Blue buff is pretty awesome on Poppy

Hybrid Poppy Masteries

Defense Tree

Tier 1 - 3 points in Hardiness with a filler point in Resistance makes you a bit more durable early game. If you're facing an AP champion you can switch these around.

Tier 2 - Durability to give you a slightly tankier late game. Vigor goes well with your Regrowth Pendant/ philosopher's stone start and makes you hard to harass out of lane.

Tier 3 - Veteran's Scars to improve Poppy's early game, Indomitable to make you take slightly less damage overall.

Tier 4 - Initiator works great with your ultimate as you should stay high on health for its entire duration, making you very fast. englightenment cause cooldown reduction is awesome.

Tier 5 - I take nothing in this tier, both masteries here are just bad.

Tier 6 - Juggernaut scales well with your health masteries and runes to give you a more tanky late game, the CC reduction is amazing.

Offense Tree

Tier 1 - I grab Brute Force over Mental Force even as AP just cause 4 AP is pretty useless for Poppy and Brute Force can help you last hit a bit better. A point in Summoner's Wrath as a filler mainly.

Tier 2 - Sorcery because cooldown reduction is amazing on Poppy

Tier 3 - Arcane Knowledge because Poppy's abilities deal magic damage.

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Summoner Spells

Best summoner spell in the game. Must have for both offensive and defensive purposes.

Best offensive summoner spell. Scales with your ultimate and adds to your already high burst.

I think this deserves a mention as it can be pretty good on Poppy to further shut down carries if you can't kill them in a single burst. Also useful to help you survive, lower the damage of a high threat ultimate such as Kennen or Fiddlesticks.

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Passive: Valiant Fighter

Any damage dealt to Poppy that exceeds 10% of her current health is reduced by 50%. This does not reduce damage from structures.

Very good passive that makes her a better top laner than many might think. An example of how this works: If you go to lane with 600 health, and someone deals 100 damage to you, you'll take 60 damage (10% of your current health) and the remaining 40 damage will be cut in half by this passive, meaning you'll take 80 total damage instead of 100. This scales better as you go lower on health.

Devastating Blow

Poppy crushes her opponent, dealing attack damage (+60% of ability power) plus 20 / 40 / 60 / 80 / 100 and 8% of her target's maximum health in bonus damage. The bonus damage dealt cannot exceed 75 / 150 / 225 / 300 / 375.

Cooldown 8 / 7 / 6 / 5 / 4seconds
Cost 55mana

Poppy's main damage ability. Deals alot of damage to any kind of target. Procs Sheen on every use making it a great item for Poppy. Also useful to last hit under a tower but can become quite costly early game.

Paragon of Demacia

Passive: Upon being hit or attacking an enemy, Poppy's armor and damage are increased by 1.5 / 2 / 2.5 / 3 / 3.5 for 5 seconds. This effect can stack 10 times.

Active: Poppy gains max stacks of Paragon of Demacia and her movement speed is increased by 17 / 19 / 21 / 23 / 25% for 5 seconds.

Cooldown 12seconds
Cost 70 / 75 / 80 / 85 / 90mana

This ability is what makes Poppy so mobile. Has a very strong passive effect upon getting hit that makes her more tanky than many people think and is also very useful for laning against physical type champions.

Heroic Charge

Poppy charges at an enemy and carries them for a short distance. The initial impact deals 50 / 75 / 100 / 125 / 150 (+40% of ability power) magic damage. If they collide with terrain, her target takes 75 / 125 / 175 / 225 / 275 (+40% of ability power) magic damage and will be stunned for 1.5 seconds.

Cooldown 12 / 11 / 10 / 9 / 8seconds
Cost 60 / 65 / 70 / 75 / 80mana
Range 525

Amazing ability that can also be used for offensive and defensive purposes. Use it to smash people into a wall to deal a great amount of damage combined with a Devastating Blow, or with proper positioning, use it to escape ganks. There are so many uses to this ability, I feel this is what seperates the good Poppy players from the great.

Diplomatic Immunity

For 6 seconds, Poppy is immune to any damage and abilities from enemies other than her target.

In addition, Poppy's attacks deal 20 / 30 / 40% increased damage to the marked target.

Cooldown 140 / 120 / 100seconds
Cost 100mana
Range 900

The ability that makes Poppy the unique champion she is. Use it offensively on the champion you want dead to deal an immense amount of damage to them, or use it on a champion that doesn't have any CC or means to stop you to charge a carry and take them out without them being able to do anything about it. You can also use it defensively to escape from ganks.

Skill Sequence

My skill sequence for Poppy varies from game to game. Diplomatic Immunity should always be leveled whenever possible. Devastating Blow should be maxed first, however putting more points in it will only reduce the cooldown and increase the damage cap, which you won't need in the early game as people's health will simply be too low. If you find yourself not using Devastating Blow that much, you can choose to leave it untill people start getting more health.

As AP I will always max Heroic Charge before Paragon of Demacia for the increased damage. As AD, I will sometimes do it the other way around to help me stay in lane longer.
Generally, the skill sequence should be Diplomatic Immunity > Devastating Blow > Heroic Charge > Paragon of Demacia.

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Early Game Items

Regrowth Pendant: This is the item you'll usually want to start with. Combined with her passive, this makes her hard to harass out of lane and if you're not too reckless you'll regen your health faster than it's harassed down.

Philosopher's stonePhilosopher's Stone: Gives you all the lane sustain you'll ever need. Build this as soon as possible to get the most out of it.

Sheen: Procs on every ability Poppy has, making it a terrific item. Getting this will increase your damage output by a lot.

Will of the Ancients: Gives Poppy a lot of sustainability with her Devastating Blow, as well as giving you a nice AP boost and helping out your other AP carry.

Mid Game Items

Trinity Force: Great item for Poppy overall. Every part of it is useful for her, but it's mainly good for the movement speed, Sheen proc and the on-hit slow and health from Phage.

Rabadon's Deathcap: Gives you a great AP boost. Good for both increasing the damage on Heroic Charge, but also increases the damage on Lich Bane and Deathfire Grasp.

Deathfire Grasp: Great item to add to her burst. Scales with the damage increase from Diplomatic Immunity and gives you some cooldown reduction and mana regen as well.

Void Staff: As soon as people start getting magic resist, even if you're going for more of an AD build, this item will be needed to counter that.

Late Game Items

Madred's Bloodrazor: Good to further shred high health targets and gives you some good sustained damage as well.

Lich Bane: The AP variant of Trinity Force. Makes your burst that much scarier and also gives you some much needed extra movement speed.

Shurelya's ReverieShurelya's Reverie: Another great source of cooldown reduction. The movement speed boost scales well with all her other movement speed buffs.

Guardian Angel: Helps you stay in fights longer with some great all around tank stats and a second chance at life. Great item if you're looking for a defensive alternative for Poppy.

Infinity Edge: Gives you some very good sustained damage besides your burst.

Last Whisper: Good item to increase your sustained damage. Works best when more than one opponent has more than 100 armor.


Mercury's Treads: Gives you some much needed magic resistance and tenacity to make you even harder to control.

Ionian Boots of Lucidity: Great for maxing out your cooldown reduction, which is a great stat for Poppy.

Sorcerer's Shoes: Increases your damage output overall as Poppy's abilities are magic.

Item Builds

AP Core

Item Sequence


Will of the Ancients

Hybrid Core

Item Sequence

Trinity Force

Deathfire Grasp

Agressive AP build

Item Sequence

Will of the Ancients

Rabadon's Deathcap

Deathfire Grasp

Void Staff

Lich Bane

Hybrid build

Item Sequence

Trinity Force

Deathfire Grasp

Void Staff

Madred's Bloodrazor

Talisman of Ascension

Note: If you need a more damage instead of some defense, get Madred's Bloodrazor instead of Guardian Angel.

Alternative Items

Hextech Gunblade: Before the nerf I considered this core for Hybrid Poppy, but it dropped in value quite hard since the nerf. It's still good and worth getting though.

The Bloodthirster: Gives you some good sustained damage outside of your main burst combo.

Force of Nature: Good if you need magic resistance. The movement speed increase is very good.

Quicksilver Sash: I personally love this item. Makes you even harder to control than you already are.

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So where can Poppy lane succesfully? Poppy is a weak early game champion and has a rough time against a lot of solo top opponents, so the top lane might not always be the best choice.
Remember, the only goal you have is to farm up your core, which consists of 2 main items ( Trinity Force or Lich Bane + Deathfire Grasp), once you get that farming isn't as important anymore.

Though people underestimate her all the time and she's actually a much stronger solo top laner as many people might believe. Her passive makes her hard to harass and when you rush a philosopher's stone for sustain, she's hard to harass out of lane. A few champions however, will give her a very hard time laning ( Olaf, Cho'Gath, Warwick, Yorick, Udyr are the main ones I can think of) and the solution in this case is bottom lane.

When you go bottom lane, you want a support that can sustain you, allowing you to farm as best as possible. Again, her passive makes her pretty resistant against harass so assuming she has a good support, she won't have any trouble farming here. You either want a Soraka to babysit you and turn the lane into a passive farmfest (which is perfect for you), an Alistar to synergize with your Heroic Charge and attempt to crush the enemy carry, or a Sona for pretty much the same reason as Soraka except Sona is a little inferior in that regard as a laning partner for Poppy.

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Laning - Early Game

When you get in lane, you want to focus on farming no matter what lane you're in. You don't have the mana pool to be able to afford trying to harass your opponent so untill you get a Sheen, don't bother with it. Once you get enough gold for a philosopher's stone, go and buy it, but make sure you don't miss too much experience while doing it.

Once you get your Sheen you can start harassing your opponent by positioning yourself so that the enemy is between you and a wall, smack them into the wall with Heroic Charge and follow up with a Devastating Blow. This will take a huge chunk off their health and they might think twice before trying to harass you.

Your goal in the early game is to try and farm up either a Trinity Force if you're going for the hybrid build, or a Deathfire Grasp and a sheen if you're going AP.

Mid/Late Game

You want to continue trying to farm as much as possible untill you've at least built up your core. Once you get one of your main items, you can start going agressive and attempting to kill your opponent. Don't be afraid to tower dive them when you think you can kill them as Diplomatic Immunity is the best tool to do so.

When you've completed your core build, you can start making the difference in teamfights. Your goal should be to burst down the enemy carry as fast as possible, using Diplomatic Immunity on a champion that has little to no CC or any high damage. You can also choose to use it on whoever you want to kill if you're confident you can kill them quickly without taking too much damage. If the enemy carry is not there, look for the AP carry.

Your kill priority should be:
  • AD Carry
  • AP Carry
  • Assassin trying to kill your carry
  • Support
  • Tank/initiator of the fight

Once the game hits late game, you should be one of the most scary and deadly champions out there. Your burst will be extremely high and you'll be able to take any squishy target out of a fight instantly if you choose to do so. Make sure to prioritze your kill target according to how the game is going, don't always blindly go for the enemy carry.

Note: Never initiate a teamfight, instead use the confusion of the fight to catch people off guard and blow them up.

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Tips and Tricks

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Game Stats and Closing Comments

Below some of my stats of using Poppy (with both builds) recently. Feel free to post your stats of succesful games using this guide and I will list them in this section.

Well that's all for this guide, I hope this will help you understand the ways of Poppy and maybe even stop thinking she's a bad champion, because she's really not. Please leave any feedback/critisism in the comments so that I can work on improving this guide, anything is appreciated. Thanks for reading and good luck playing Poppy properly!

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Changelog and Still To Come



  • Guide Published

Still to come
  • A jungle section. I'm still experimenting it but I definitely think it's viable, so look forward to that.
  • Detailed lane match-up information
  • Some videos explaining things more clearly, and showing how to act in teamfights