How To Play Poppy In League Of Legends

Want to play as a tank who is also an anti-tank? Do you enjoy locking your opponents down through crowd control? If you answered yes, we might’ve found the perfect champion for you. In this guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know to get you started playing Poppy, Keeper of the Hammer.


Poppy is a versatile champion that can both deal and take damage. She can be used in almost every role except bot and mid. However, she is best utilized in the top lane. Her playstyle revolves around her locking down high priority targets and preventing them from escaping. Overall, she is best used against bruisers who like to build a bit more health than damage.

Champion Abilities

Poppy has a straightforward kit that rewards players for being aggressive. She has great damage and crowd control making her one of the best tanks in the game. She also has a shield and a movement speed buff to help her get around and position well during team fights. Her abilities aren’t really all that complicated so beginners won’t have a hard time using her.

Passive – Iron Ambassador

Poppy’s basic attack throws her buckler, gaining 350 range and deals bonus magic damage. The buckler lands at a nearby location and Poppy can pick it up to gain a shield for 3 seconds. Enemies can step on the buckler to destroy it. The buckler also automatically returns to Poppy if the attack kills the target.

Her passive is a pretty good form of ranged poke in the early game especially if you’re against a lane bully like Renekton or Riven. You can get aggressive during trades thanks to the shield from the buckler. Try to use this and pick up the buckler whenever you can.

Q – Hammer Shock

Poppy smashes the ground with her hammer, dealing physical damage plus 8% of the target’s max health, and leaves an unstable area. The unstable area slows enemies inside it up to 40% and erupts after 1 second, dealing the initial damage again.

Poppy’s main source of damage. This is also the reason why Poppy is labeled a tank killer. That bonus 8% target’s max health added to its damage is no joke. With this plus her crowd control, Poppy can easily whittle down her enemies’ health.

W – Steadfast Presence

Passive: Poppy gains (+10% total Armor) and (+10% total Magic Resist). This bonus is doubled if Poppy is below 40% Health.

Active: For the next 2 seconds, Poppy gains 40% Movement Speed. While Steadfast Presence is active, she stops enemy dashes in an area around her, dealing magic damage. If Poppy stops an enemy from dashing or casting a movement ability, she grounds and slows them by 25% for 2 seconds.

This makes Poppy an excellent diving frontline. The active wall also ensures that enemies won’t be able to escape her. If you combine this with her other abilities, she can lock down high priority targets with ease.

E – Heroic Charge

Poppy tackles an enemy, dealing physical damage and carrying them forward. If Poppy carries the target into terrain, the enemy takes initial damage again and is stunned for up to 2 seconds.

This ability can be a little hard to land if you’re not used to it. But if you angle it right, you can catch your opponents off guard with its long stun duration.

R – Keeper’s Verdict

First Cast: Poppy channels for up to 4 seconds, slowing herself by 15%.

Second Cast: Poppy smashes the ground, emanating a shockwave that deals physical damage to enemies around the first champion hit and knocking them a large distance toward their Summoning Platform. The shockwave length and knockback distance increase with channel duration. Enemies are untargetable if they are knocked away.

An uncharged swing will only deal damage and knock up enemies for 0.75 seconds.

Poppy’s ultimate can make or break a team fight. When fully charged, it can help single out high priority targets like the enemy team’s carries. On the other hand, if you mess it up, it could ruin your chances of killing the enemy’s by essentially letting them escape. It’s best to lead with this ability during team fights to ensure that the opposing team will always be outnumbered.

Runes and Item Builds

Poppy is built like your typical tank. It doesn’t deviate much from the usual tank setups but there are builds out there that have her buying full damage items. For this guide, we’ll only focus on her tank build for top lane as that is the current best build path for her.

Starting Items

For starting items, you’ll go with either a Doran’s Shield + Health Potions or a Corrupting Potion. If you’re going against a ranged opponent, it’s better to start with a Doran’s Shield. However, if you’re going against a melee opponent, it’s better to start with a Corrupting Potion for its bonus burn damage and sustain.

Mythic Items

Poppy’s Mythic Items are also the standard mythics you’ll be choosing for a typical tank champion. You can choose from Sunfire’s Aegis, Frostfire Gauntlet, or Divine Sunderer. Sunfire’s Aegis is the best overall choice since it gives you the best tank stats out of all the three choices. Frostfire Gauntlet is a great alternative when you need the slow from its passive to help you stick to mobile enemy champions. If you need more damage, you can always take Divine Sunderer for its spellblade passive that can shred your enemies the more health they have.

Full Build

After buying your Mythic Item, you should start building a Thornmail. This will help you trade better during fights and it gives great tank stats. For boots, take Plated Steelcaps since you’ll be laning against an AD champion most of the time. If you’re against an AP heavy comp, you can swap it for Mercury Treads. Next, go for a Randuin’s Omen for more armor plus it reduces incoming damage from basic attacks. This is pretty handy since you’ll be focusing on the enemy’s carries during team fights. Then you can go for a Force of Nature for the bonus move speed and magic resist. Lastly, finish your build off with an Abyssal Mask so you’ll deal damage to immobilized targets. Please note that this is not a definite order of the build path for Poppy. Apart from rushing your Mythic and boots, you can rearrange the order of the items based on what your situation currently needs. So your full build should look something like this:

Other Viable Items

Most tank items are viable on Poppy, so you are free to swap out the items on her full build for other items that you think will best suit what you need. If you’re against an AD heavy comp, you can opt to swap out Force of Nature and Abyssal Mask for Dead Man’s Plate and Frozen Heart. These two items add more armor and health plus they both synergize well with Poppy’s abilities. If you want more shields, you can choose to swap Abyssal Mask with Gargoyle’s Stoneplate.


For runes, take Grasp of the Undying as your keystone to further increase your sustain in lane. Next take Shield Bash since it synergizes with your passive shield. Take Bone Plating for the damage reduction from abilities and Revitalize to increase your shield. For secondaries, take Biscuit Delivery and Time Warp Tonic for the early game sustain. For rune shards, take Adaptive Force, Armor, and Magic Resist.

Useful Tips

  1. The buckler from your passive, Iron Ambassador, tends to land near walls. Try to take advantage of this when using Heroic Charge to catch enemies off guard.
  2. Keeper’s Verdict can be released immediately to knock up your opponents. You can use this to your advantage during certain situations, especially in team fights.
  3. Poppy is strong against champions who have blinks or dashes because she can prevent their escape. Try to pick her against champions like Yasuo or Riven. However, she can easily be countered by tanky bruisers who can outsustain her and deal more damage like Tahm Kench or Illaoi. 
  4. For summoner spells, take Flash and Teleport. Ghost is another viable alternative for Flash.

So there you have it! That’s all you need to know about getting started with Poppy in League of Legends. Be sure to check back with us again for more guides on your favorite games. Have fun and we’ll see you on the Rift!