Introduction - Why poppy?Poppy is one of those champions that is gaining popularity because she has a huge amount of hidden potential. Once mastered, she can change the course of a game drastically. I'm here to help you out, brother. In my opinion shes the only champion who truly has the right to be called an Anti-carry. This is what makes her unique, this is why I've played her for over 1000 games.
There are three things you need to play poppy. Persistence, patience and confidence. Early game you'll be prone to harass and pushed under your tower until you get your philosophers stone and boots. If you're solo top, this won't be a problem for you. Eventually.
So lets get going, shall we?
Guide Changelog:21/12/2012: Added the much needed jungling section
19/12/2012: A multitude of updates to include season 3 tactics. More testing being done.
17/2/2012: Changed Skill order for solo top
28/1/2012: Updated guide with a new playstyle and build. Bruiser poppy. Tweaked the masteries and other small parts of the guide.
22/3/2012: Added my new item, to my build. An early hexdrinker after sheen helps with survivability and damage, it also builds into a great item late game after trinity.
15/04/2012: Changed runes, bunch of changes to guide.
Masteries9/14/7 Though not much has changed, these new masteries still fit well with poppy and are better than ever. The defensive tree is especially useful.
Tenacious and relentless in defence are crucial to poppys success. Once you use your ultimate you will be targeted by that person with CC. This could be a disruptive support such as Nami, janna or Lulu so its important to have as much CC reduction as possible. With boots you'll be rocking almost 50%
I jump into the mana masteries because of Poppys early game mana problems. At level 9 you'll have 90 extra mana which is enough for 2 Qs, most of the time thats the difference between life or death. For you or your opponant.
RunesPoppy is a champion that has a very poor early game, but makes up for it mid-late. This is why i focus my runes on early game to make it as easy as possible to farm. If you can farm enough for your sheen, you'll be an incredible threat.
I've started leaning more towards flat AD runes in order to last hit effectively. In a sense poppys early game is the most important because its her weakest part of the game. 8.5 physical damage is especially useful while being pushed under the tower. With level 1 W you'll have a hefty 23.5 extra attack damage. Also great for duels.
Flat armor and/or magic resist are again to provide defence in lane. Not much to say here.
If you conserve your mana you won't need glyphs or seals of clairty, in my opinion they are useless for poppy. is all you need.
Flat armor and/or magic resist are key here. All but your red runes you'll be stacking defence so you win early game. If you're going against and AD(rengar, darius, etc), choose armor. AP(Vlad is a common opponent) choose magic resist.
Movement speed can also be used though they come into play much later, and since you'll already have so much speed with trinity force and boost you won't need that 5%.
Ill explain these seperately.
is perfect for poppy because it scales with her ultimate. For example, it would deal 240 damage instead of 200 with poppys level 1 . Ignite together with your ult will allow you to pick up a kill or two which she so desperately needs to gain an advantage.
Ah, barrier. The new summoner skill no one uses. Why does it work on poppy and no one else? Two reasons. Poppys need for early game success and ignite. In alot of early game duels you'll be tieing 90% of them because of ignite ticking through your passive. Barrier complete negates this and catches people off guard. Since poppys passive effectively increases your defence by 50% your shield is twice as strong. Just keep in mind that it only lasts 2 seconds, so use it wisely.
All in all its great for duels, baiting, negating true damage and tower diving.
Allows you to position your with ease. Since poppy can put out so much burst damage, its well worth using flash if you can guarantee a kill or gank by positioning yourself for a stun, and in most situations champions as squishy as brand or caitlyn will be dead in a combo. I don't use flash much for escaping, but if its off cooldown, why not.
Was a favourite of mine before i started using flash. Combined with your you'll be able to speed past a tower while you have your ultimate on to grab a kill or two, and get out before they even know what's happened. The movement speed also counters flash. In most situations i find flash provides better mobility to ambush your opponent, though.
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.
An incredible passive, although the wording can be a bit misleading. Ill explain. If you have 200 current health, and you're dealt 100 damage, you will take 20 damage (10% of your current 200 health) and the rest (80 damage) will be reduced by 50%. In total you will take 60 damage instead of 100 damage. A Karthus or Caitlyn ult will never kill you. You're the master of escape because of this.
Q: 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
This is poppys main damage dealing ability. Although costly early game, it deals a great amount of damage, especially champions that stack health. Do not use this to last hit minions (early game) at least until you get your philo stone. Only use it in retaliation to harass.
TIP:s effect is activated on your Q which is why we rush sheen after our philo.
W: 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.
Cost 70 / 75 / 80 / 85 / 90mana
A single point in this will prove useful for escaping, chasing and if you continue to attack or be attacked - extra armour. We max this last simply because its already such a good 1pointer. Keep in mind this procs sheen aswell, so if your Q is on cooldown you can use it to power up an auto attack. Or if you want to last hit a minion but keep your Q off cooldown.
E: 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 / 1.5 / 1.5 / 1.5 / 1.5 seconds.
Cooldown 12 / 11 / 10 / 9 / 8seconds
Cost 60 / 65 / 70 / 75 / 80mana
Ahh, my favourite ability of Poppy. If you manage to familiarize yourself with its distance and duration, you'll be unstoppable. Not only does it deal a great chunk of damage, with proper positioning you can nullify ganks.
TIP: Use this on an enemy minion to cover more ground. Think of it as a free situational . If you can't reach a champion then use a closer minion to charge towards them and land a Q.
R: 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
Oh sweet Jesus how i love this ultimate. This is why poppy is the only champion fit to be called an anti-carry. Its going to take some getting used to knowing which target to ultimate, because its always a balance between the most dangerous and the most squishy target. Keep in mind, the target you ultimate can still shut you down or kill you if they have CC. Always to try ult a weak target like sona or taric (if hes already used his stun) or if you're confident, just ult your target and kill them instantly.
This skill has two uses, defensive and offensive.
Defensively I use it as a safe way to overextend and farm in a lane, if you're ganked then use your ultimate on the champion that (idealy) has the least CC. with and boots they'll never catch you. If they do, you'll probably already be under your tower ready to lay the smackdown with Q and E anyway.
Offensively i use this to give safe passage to the enemys carry hiding in the back of the teamfight. Feel free to ultimate a support with no CC, but never target a support to kill if there's someone more deadly still alive, such as brand or kog'maw.
JunglingWith the season 3 changes jungling has become a decent alternative with Poppy. Considering i poppy only in ranked I needed to find a role to succeed in other than top and since alot of the time I'd have to argue for top lane I decided to learn how to jungle with her.
Let me tell you now, Poppy jungle isn't as great as other junglers but you'll have a solid anti carry in late game. Think of Poppy jungle of more as an investment.
After these the choice is yours.
If there is alot of CC that can shut you down
If you want good movement speed for ganking
Smiting blue: Wolves - Blue - Wraiths - Wolves - Red
Smiteless blue: Wolves - Blue - Wraiths - red - wolves/wraiths
These are the two jungle routes i use. Starting red doesn't give you enough mana to gank considering poppy has such a small mana pool.
The Poppy flash snap-back:
With the poppy flash feature you'll be a formidable ganker. This is not a glitch. Why? Because your goes off before their flash. Its just lag catching up to them which looks like they snap back to you. The only possible unfair consequence of this is their flash goes on cooldown. Still, without it she would be an ineffective ganker. She has no slows and a very situational stun, I think its fine. Use it to your advantage.
Another aspect that Poppy excels in. With the combination of her passive and the fact that walls are everywhere you'll be able to get your stun off all the time.
Getting a smiteless blue and then rushing to the enemy red buff is a good way to gain an early advantage, and take ganking pressure off of your lanes.
Early GameYou have 2 possible choices. Solo top or duo bot, ill cover both here.
Solo top you won't be harassing with Q until lvl 4ish or at least until you have your for the mana regen. If you must harass, then do it in retaliation or little Q jabs only(but keep enough mana for your E incase you're ganked) and auto attacks. Your main job here is to farm until you have your philo and sheen. You'll need help from your jungler to successfully gain an advantage, or if luck plays a small part and you pull off a kill on your own. Its hard, but not impossible to do.
Barrier has made it much easier to duel with others.
Duo laning is a bit easier, especially if you have a support sustaining you or if you are the support. is by far the best champion to duo with in my opinion, she has everything you need but any ranged champion is fine. For all of the early game you'll be farming to get your sheen as fast as possible. Also, poppy is a beast of a counter-jungler. Buy an early ward, time when blue is taken and place it at their blue bush. More often than not you'll be able to kill their jungler single-handedly or at least steal blue.
You'll want a partner who has a stun and/or can harass. This'll give you both a chance to burst an enemy down. A stun will allow you to line up your charge.
Excellent laning partners:
Good laning partners:
Mediocre laning partners:
How to last hit under the tower
Melee minions: Let the tower hit them twice, then attack and kill.
Caster minions: Attack once, then the tower attacks, then you attack and kill.
Master this and you will hardly notice a difference in your CS. You'll at least be equal to your opponant. Although you just have to accept the fact you'll have a tough time against or
Mid GameMid game is similar to early game, although at this point you should have your sheen and boots so you can move into more aggressive gameplay. Use walls and the brush to your advantage to slam your enemys and harass. To play poppy you need to be patient. don't worry, you WILL get an opportunity to kill.
A Q+E combo will bring a squishy to 50% of their health if you land the stun, at this point just ultimate, ignite and Q and they'll soon be down. Also, don't be afraid to tower dive, poppy is all about taking that leap of faith and going for it though still be cautious, you don't want to give away any unnecessary advantage.
Late GameAt this point you'll be a true . (see what i did there?)
Their carrys will fear you and the enemy will try to catch you out any chance they get.
Hide out of sight until a team fight begins (The enemy team will not initiate if they see you waddling around) activate your ultimate and go for the strongest/squishiest champion on their team. Common targets are Caitlyn, ashe, brand or Kog'maw. Any AD or squishy AP. In rare occasions you'll target unexceptionably fed targets first that are targeting your damage dealers. My most recent being Jax.
TIP: DO NOT initiate with your ultimate, leave that to your tank. Use the confusion of a teamfight to your advantage and flank their carries. After you've done that, go for whoever is harassing your carry.
With your ultimate there is not much they can do to you.
TIP: Be sure to note who has because it can severely cripple you. I've noticed alot of Kog'maws taking this when they see me. Take a if you have room
Final CommentsI hope you enjoyed reading my guide. Ill be adding more over the coming months. I'm always learning just as you are, brother. Feel free to comment.
Just remember. Playing as poppy means being patient, persistent and observant. Take that into consideration and you will be rewarded.
As gandalf said..Even the smallest person can change the course of the future