Build Guide by HIACliff
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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.
So, you're looking for a new character to play and you happen to come across the blue midget with white hair. Why should you bother to give her a try? The simple reason is the ridiculous damage that she can put out in late game. Poppy can pull of some of the most extreme tower dives to get that one kill that can make the difference, or can take on 3 enemies at once and somehow come on top. With Poppy, the majority of your games will end in surrenders and you can take out full teams single handedly. This guide is going to show you how.
My number one choices for Poppy's spells are definitely ghost and exhaust. There is a bit of flexibility in spell choices, so if you really don't like one of these spells feel free to change it to one of the other options.
Exhaust is a key spell to this build for a few different reasons. One of the biggest uses is to keeping enemies from running as you dish out the big damage. Many of your kills will come from you chasing down enemies as they are running away. The speed you get from paragon, the speed from ghost, and the slow from exhaust are a combination that really can destroy an enemy's escape. Exhaust is also great for one on one fights with another powerful melee character. The high percentage of misses the other character has while you are duking it out will often change the battle in your favor. Finally, with the mastery points set like I've shown, you also lower the opponents armor to deal some extra damage.
The other important skill for Poppy is ghost. Probably over 90% of your kills in early and mid game will come from you chasing enemies. Late game, nobody can really run away from you before they are dead. However, ghost is useful throughout the game to stay alive as well. About the only thing that can this build down late game is a full team gank, which can often be avoided with ghost and paragon.
Flash is a good substitute for ghost. Feel free to make that change, although I personally feel ghost is much, much better for this build. Ignite can also be put in, but I find that ghost and exhaust are the best combos for dealing damage. Teleport can be extremely useful on 5v5 for getting around, so you may need to make that change for ghost. Poppy is a bit squishy, but if you are really trying to get away cleanse can make a big difference. I've seen no need for it in the majority of games I play, but make the change if you deem it necessary.
If you disagree with a spell being on this list, please drop a comment explaining why and I'll give you my reasoning. However, for most people, just avoid these spells when using this build.
The masteries here focus on offensive for good reason. Poppy is an attacking machine. After getting a few items, people will rarely try to attack you. They will be running from you.
Please note! I did put a point in the masteries for ghost and exhaust, so if you are using other options be sure to take those points out!
Welcome to the characteristic of Poppy that sets her apart from other melee characters... She's got some sick skills.
Start off with heroic charge. This skill is great for closing distance between you and an enemy and will be your best friend throughout the entire game. While ganking in the beginning of a 3v3 you can easily hide in a bush, charge the enemy into a wall to stun them, and take them out quickly. Remember, when you tackle an opponent into a wall or turret, they take more than DOUBLE damage what they normally do from this attack and are stunned for 1.5 seconds. This can make a big difference. Always try to set up the tackle into an object.
Next up, go for paragon of demacia. This ability gives you an increase in attack damage and armor for as long as you keep attacking or being attacked. The real benefit to this skill, however, is the speed boost it gives you. It's like a mini ghost that recharges very quickly. Use this skill to get in and out of battles. Early game it helps you farm a bit faster and get out of tough situations.
The third skill you want to go for is what makes this character so great. Devastating blow can dish out some serious damage, which is only compounded by the items you will be getting. Charging an enemy into the wall and then using dev on them will be the main way you bring the pain. I get this skill last because it doesn't take long to get to level 3 and you won't be able to do much ganking unless you all team up that early in the game anyways.
Poppy's ultimate is incredibly useful. You use it on one target, and you deal extra damage to the target without taking ANY damage from ANYTHING else in the entire game. This includes turrets and other champions! This is how you will pull off some ridiculous tower dives. Be careful though; once the target is killed your shield goes away, leaving you very vulnerable. It is sometimes a good idea to use immunity on a weak opponent and then kill your tougher opponents first while they can't harm you.
I went for Armor Penetration, Attack Speed, and Cooldown Reduction. These are really the runes you are going to want for Poppy, because the focus of this build is offense. I originally had used Dodge runes, but I realized that it was just a waste of seals because dodge makes little difference in this build.
The one change that you may want to make is switching the armor penetration quints with movement speed. I have been successful using these runes as well, although I rarely need the extra movement speed during the game.
I've read lots of Poppy builds, but I don't think anybody has quite gotten the items right. There is some flexibility in items, but I think this build presents items that help you to get ganks early, stay effective throughout the whole game, and dominate the late game.
The most important item for Poppy is Trinity Force. This item gives 130% bonus damage on your next attack after you cast something. That means when you use charge on an opponent, the 130% bonus damage applies to your next attack, a devastating blow! Using this tactic will let you deal out some MAJOR damage. The same idea works with sheen, but only with 70% damage. That's why you need to rush sheen first. WARNING: You WILL have enemies complaining about you dealing out over 1k in one attack. Especially when your normal attacks are dealing 300+ damage anyways. :D
In my playing experience with Poppy, I've found Berserker's Greaves to be the most helpful boots due to the increase in attack speed. I feel like Poppy still attacks too slow in some other builds in the early game. This early attack speed boost is very helpful. The only change I would possibly make is buying Boots of Mobility on a 5v5 game so that you can fly around the map for ganks.
After you get Trinity Force, go for Phantom Dancer. This item is a bit pricey, but hopefully with your trinity you'll be starting to get some good kills flowing. If you need to be able to stay out a bit longer, feel free to grab the Vampiric Scepter from the Bloodthirster before you make Phantom Dancer.
The Bloodthirster is up next. THIS ITEM MAY BE SUBSTITUTED. If your team has 3 or more melee characters on it, you may want to get a Stark's Fervor instead. It's just an all around good item that can really make your team. You not only get the attack speed and lifesteal bonuses, your whole team does. However, the attack damage and lifesteal boosts of Bloodthirster are far better for your character if your team isn't really going to benefit from Stark's aura.
The Black Cleaver and Infinity Edge are good items that boost your attack damage. If you get this far into the game, you'll probably win. I would definitely say I win over 95% of games that I get the Black Cleaver in. Once you have all your items, you can 1v1 any character in the game, and in most cases you can take on full teams by yourself.
Have fun abusing your enemies with this build! This is my first guide, so suggestions and comments are appreciated. Enjoy!