An Ode to Poppy

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sonofzeal

Senior Member

09-22-2012

The following is a true story, taken from a game of mine earlier today.

LOCATION: Dominion

SCENE: Poppy has just captured the enemy mid. Jax, Tristana, and Teemo are moving to retake.

Tristana: "I wanna shoot her!"
Jax: "Let's do this!"
Teemo: "Swiftly!"
Poppy: ".........bring it on."

Jax leaps bravely right into the middle, with Tristana opening fire from the boundary, as Teemo works to suppress the turret... but Poppy is ready and Jax, the master of the counter strike, takes an exhaust to the face and Poppy invokes Diplomatic Immunity. Dismayed at the sudden turn of events, with his cooldowns blown, Jax turns and flees.

Poppy stands for a moment, just a moment, her invulnerability still with over seven seconds left. Her eyes meet Tristana's, then Teemo's. A smirk crosses her lips. She raises her hammer. And the turret behind her hums back to life.

Seven seconds later Tristana is dead, Teemo has fled at 10% health, and the turret is still on the side of angels.




Poppy is, hands-down, my favorite champion in the League. She's fast, she's tough, and she hits like a truck. With 320 base speed, a six second speed boost on a 12 second cooldown, and a tendency to build Trinity Force or Lich Bane, she can outrun most of the rest of the league in a footrace. With high armor against ADs, and high resistance to burst damage from her passive against APs, she can be a tough nut to crack even without any defensive itemization. And with a Q that can top 2000 damage, she can beat down even the toughest foes.

And then her ultimate technique. Her ult is a thing of beauty. Tower dive with impunity, turn a 1v5 into a 1v1 with a 40% damage boost thrown in for free, or best yet ult the support and then charge the helpless carry. Oh, and it boosts DFG and Ignite damage against the chosen target. Just because Poppy.

All of which makes Poppy a pretty brutal brawler, and her art and voice back that up. Poppy don't take no guff from nobody. She's mission-focused, battle-hardened, and jokes? She don't know any jokes. Where she falls short is in the bigger, flashier stuff - not even a single multi-target ability, nor a single ability that works beyond melee range. She doesn't Spin To Win, or fire lasers out of her hammer, or regenerate her health through the sheer power of awesome. Even her charge is relatively short range.

Basically - in a League of magic-powered superheroes, she's a Badass Normal. She's the mortal hanging out with superheroes and keeping pace with them every step of the way. In a world of wire-fu martial arts, and mighty mages, she's a backstreet slugger. More than that, Poppy is the Combat Pragmatist of the league. Her techniques? "Hit hard", "fight harder", "bodyslam", and "don't give a flying patooti", And chew bubblegum. But she's all out of gum.

Poppy has a poor laning phase. She has poor harass (no poke), poor sustain (mana problems), and poor farm (no way to pick up lasthits from ranged, no area clearing). But if her cooldowns are up, she's a terror when fighting champions. Her style isn't elegant - in fact it's downright brutal streetfighting compared to the elegant martial arts of Lee Sin or Xin Zhao - but it gets the job done and that's all she cares about.

Poppy is, and always will be, my favorite hero in the League.


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IS1cf9d4c218a71e43afee7

Senior Member

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Tsabo

Senior Member

09-22-2012

Poppy was one of the first champions i learned to play, u're right, her style is not very elegant, but she does the work, that's all that matters.

Anyway, i stopped using her because of her poor early game, no farm, mana starving (a lot), etc, she got a LOT of problems, that's why i stopped using her.


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HElSENBERG

Senior Member

09-22-2012

Very nicely written OP. My favorite part was when you basically gave her Batman status. No real powers but she uses what she's got. No? Well that who I thought of anyway


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Nea De Penserhir

Senior Member

09-22-2012

If anyone were worthy of being the Bat, it'd certainly be the midget hammer wielding pigtailed Death.


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Togekiss24

Senior Member

09-22-2012

I mained Poppy at one point, though whenever I get the chance I still like to play her, especially in dominion. It just feels like the majority of the roster can walk over her early game, and if you don't get that farm in, you are screwed. Her mid/late game is so rewarding though, so whenever an AD melee range carry is going top, and their names are not Olaf, Renekton, Darius or Yorick, she's the first pick I have in mind.


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Invictrix

Senior Member

09-22-2012

I love her as a dominion champion and I have been working on ways to bring her out into summoners rift, but I have been having mixed success. I actually ended up carrying a game as support poppy where both teams were so bad that it dragged out long enough for me to farm a tri force and phantom dancer. I used to play her ad, but now I play her ap instead.


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sonofzeal

Senior Member

09-22-2012

Agreed with all of you, her SR game is flawed enough to not be fun. But her Dominion game is excellent! Poppy with her cooldowns up can hold a capture point against overwhelming odds, and bleed the enemy team heavily for every inch of ground they take from her. And by the same merit, she's the ideal candidate to initiate under an enemy capture point - if she goes in first and takes aggro from the turret with her ult, allies can now march in unmolested and suddenly a standoff is a curbstomp. And Dominion favors Assassins in general, especially those who otherwise have mana problems.

If you like Poppy but find her frustrated in SR, try her in Dominion!


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sonofzeal

Senior Member

09-24-2012

Further musings on possible updates...

- I hear a lot of complaints about her appearance, but honestly the whole appeal for me is the rugged badassness, and making her cuter would remove what makes her distinct. If I want a cute Poppy I play Tristana. But if I want a female who actually looks like she could legitimately crush someone in a straight-up-brawl, there really aren't that many other options.

- That said, Poppy needs new skins desperately. She's one of the 450's and only has two skins? WTF?

- She's suffered more than most from "mobility creep". Since she's so reliant on getting face-to-face, and her gap-closer is such short range, enemies with good mobility skills can mess with her pretty badly. I'd love to see "can't be slowed" on her W active, and an enhanced range on her charge, even at the cost of a bit of damage.

- Struggling through a weak early-game to reach late-game power is all well and good, but I think she has the same issue Katarina did right after that rework, where the dichotomy is just too big. However, the problem's more that her abilities simply aren't suited for it, rather than the numbers being off. Giving one of her abilities bonus damage vs creeps, or adding bonus attack speed upon making a kill to her W, might help. Lowering her early-game mana costs would also not be inappropriate. These preserve her Poppy-ish flavour, give her that extra little boost through the rough spot, and wouldn't significantly magnify her ability to take on champions later on since mana is less of a concern then and Poppy rarely relies on AAs for her damage there. They also wouldn't significantly alter her already-sufficient Dominion strength. In return, the damage boost from the Ult could be lowered from 20%/30%/40% to 20%/25%/30%. All the utility's still there, but the full R-E-Q burst is merely "excellent" instead of "staggering".


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CamaHa

Senior Member

09-24-2012

Poppy very strong, BUT only when she gets few items. That's why she's so popular in dominion and barely seen in fields of justice.

Awesome story btw.