How To Play Against Poppy? The Best Counter Tips To Beat Poppy

Poppy is a tank top laner, but she can be played as a bruiser in the jungle. She has decent clear, damage output from abilities, and she can duel anyone near the walls.  Poppy has a kit that can provide so much utility and is good at ganking and counter ganking.  Heroic Charge (E) can stun an enemy for up to 2 seconds.  

Steadfast Presence (W) is for gap closing and blocking dashes. Poppy’s ability Keeper’s Verdict (R) allows her to kick out an enemy or even multiple enemies out of the fight, so if they have a carry, she can just use  Keeper’s Verdict (R) to kick him out and turn the team fight into four vs five.

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Poppy’s Abilities

Poppy’s kit is based mainly on gap-closing, damage, and tanky abilities. To better understand how to avoid mistakes when dealing with her, you have to study her abilities closely.

  • Passive – Iron Ambassador: Periodically, Poppy throws her buckler as her next basic attack, gaining 350 bonus range and dealing 20 − 180 (based on level) bonus magic damage. The buckler then falls near the target after hitting, landing on the ground after 1 second, where it remains for up to 4 seconds. When Poppy picks up the buckler, she shields herself for 15 / 17.5 / 20% (based on level) of her maximum health for 3 seconds. If the buckler kills its target, it bounces back to Poppy automatically. Enemy champions can step on the buckler to destroy it.
  • Q – Hammer Shock: Poppy smashes the ground in front of her in the target direction, dealing physical damage to all enemies struck within. Against monsters, the damage based on their maximum health is capped. The impacted ground then becomes unstable, slowing enemies within before erupting after 1 second, dealing the same physical damage to all enemies inside.
  • W – Steadfast Presence Passive: Poppy’s total armor and total magic resistance are both increased by 10%, doubled to 20% when she falls below 40% maximum health.
  • W – Steadfast Presence Active: Poppy gains 40% bonus movement speed for 2 seconds and generates an aura around herself for the duration, causing all enemies who attempt to dash into or within it to be dealt magic damage, knocked up for 0.5 seconds and, if they were successfully interrupted, grounded and slowed by 25% for 2 seconds. Steadfast Presence (W) can only block a single dash per enemy per cast.
  • E – Heroic Charge: Poppy dashes to the target enemy’s location and, if they are in range upon arrival, she deals them physical damage and carries them along with her for up to 400 units. If the target collides with terrain, she deals them the same physical damage again and stuns them for a duration. Heroic Charge can traverse terrain, provided that the target is within range.
  • R – Keeper’s Verdict: Poppy charges while being slowed by 15% for up to 4 seconds to increase Keeper’s Verdict’s range and knockback distance over 0.5 seconds after the first 0.5 seconds of the channel. Keeper’s Verdict can be recast at any time within its duration. Poppy releases the charge with a 0.25 seconds cast time, launching her hammer upwards to deal physical damage to all enemies in a radius around her and in an area in front of her and knocking them up for 0.75 seconds. If Poppy charged for at least 0.5 seconds, she smashes the ground, causing Keeper’s Verdict to deal increased damage and knockback its targets a massive distance towards the enemy team’s fountain. If no enemies are within the uncharged hitbox, the slam creates a shockwave instead that travels in the target direction until it collides with an enemy champion, causing a hammer to erupt. Enemies hit by the shockwave or the hammer’s eruption receive the empowered effect. If Poppy is interrupted during the charge, or the charge completes without reactivation, Keeper’s Verdict is canceled, and the ability is put on a 30-second cooldown. Enemies knocked airborne are revealed and are rendered untargetable while being displaced if Poppy charged Keeper’s Verdict for more than 0.5 seconds.

Countering Poppy’s Spells

The easiest way to counter her Passive is to wait for her to use it for the last hitting. Avoid diving a Poppy early due to her passive making her surprisingly tanky. Her Hammer Shock (Q) is easy to dodge if you are not already stunned. If you happen to have a dash ability, be ready that Poppy’s Steadfast Presence (W) can surprisingly lock you down. 

She will often use her Steadfast Presence (W) as a gap closer because of the increased movement speed she gets from it, so you might not have to worry about it. Don’t be next to a wall when fighting with a Poppy, as her Heroic Charge (E) will stun you. 

Try always to be away from any wall if you know that it is not on CD. Save a disable for when she starts channeling her Keeper’s Verdict (R); otherwise, she will send you and your teammates far away.

Most Common Poppy Combos

Her usual combo ganking the lane looks like this W > E > Q > AA. This one is a basic combo that stuns you if you happen to be near the wall. After level 6, Poppy will use the same combo but add R to prolong the duration of CC like this W > E > Q > R > AA.

Poppy’s Weaknesses

1. CC

If she overextends with her Heroic Charge (E), she can be killed easily. You can stun her when she puts herself in an inconvenient position. 

2. Range

Poppy is a melee range champion, and with this weakness, you can safely poke or kite her easily.

3. Clearing

Poppy does not have great jungle clear or lane pushing potential. She will try to gank overextended lanes or roam and help other lanes.

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The Best Poppy Lane Counters In Season 12

1. Rek’Sai

Rek’Sai is hard to learn and has more complex mechanics that need to be mastered to gank efficiently. With the gold difference of +610 gold at the 15th-minute mark, Rek’Sai is the champion that is a strong pick against Poppy. 

Rek’Sai has creative ganking routes that can allow her to dodge commonly placed warding spots. Her Ultimate Void Rush (R) will allow her to deal a lot of damage, and this will let her assassinate and blow up enemy squishies.

2. Hecarim

Hecarim is easy to learn, doesn’t have skill shots, and has simple mechanics. With the gold difference of +580 gold at the 15th-minute mark, Hecarim is the champion that is an ideal pick against Poppy. He is a solid early game duelist, and his R allows him to engage efficiently. Hecarim is still tangible in the current meta and overall very easy to learn.

Honorable Mention: Nocturne

Nocturne has the highest win rate against Poppy in season 12, even though he is not as popular as the other two champions, as mentioned above. With the gold difference of +570 gold at the 15th-minute mark, he is straightforward to play well, and his abilities help him duel Poppy very well. 

His Shroud of Darkness (W) counters Poppy to engage with her Heroic Charge (E) very well. Nocturne can use his Paranoia (R) to pick enemy squishies off.

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The Best Champions To Counter Poppy In Season 12

1. Garen

As a top laner, his Passive allows him to stay in the lane even after taking a lot of poke damage. His Judgment (E) will enable him to do tons of damage in a 1v1 situation because the damage increases if the enemy is alone. 

He is also quite tanky thanks to his Courage (W) ability. He can silence Poppy with his Decisive Strike (Q) while channeling her Keeper’s Verdict (R).

2. Anivia

In the mid-lane, we have Anivia, who has one of the strongest Passives in the game. It can prevent her from dying, which offers her tons of extra protection throughout the game. 

Thanks to your Wall Crystallize (W), Anivia has a lot of utility that can protect her and her allies. It can also increase her chances of surviving in fights as she can block Poppy from engaging. Her Flash Frost (Q) allows her to stun while channeling her Keeper’s Verdict (R).

3. Sivir

Sivir’s E allows her to avoid any form of CC, which includes Poppy’s Heroic Charge (E). This makes her ideal pick against Poppy as it is pretty safe when she is left alone. Her R allows her to speed up the entire team, providing an opportunity for her team to engage.

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Best Items To Counter Poppy In Season 12

1. Penetration

Poppy is a tank, and tanks love armor and magic resistance. Her Steadfast Presence Passive (W) gives her even more of these stats, so be ready to have a slot for either magic or armor penetration item, depending on your type of damage output.

2. Items With Dash Active

Last but not least are items such as Galeforce, Hextech Rocketbelt, or Prowler’s Claw that allow you to dodge her engage or Keeper’s Verdict (R).


Poppy is the strong early game champion that is moderately hard to play. That does not mean she is easy to play against, but after reading our guide, we firmly believe that you found a few tips that you can use next time to counter her. 

Pick a champion within our recommended counters that you are most familiar with and feel most comfortable playing with. If you did not find any of your favorite champions from our list, try to pick something that has reliable CC. Try to save it for her when she channels her  Keeper’s Verdict (R). 

Also read: Garen counters

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