Diminuitive hammer-wielder Poppy is the latest League of Legends champion to get a big rework in the pre-2016 season-ending patches and changes. One of the game’s earliest champions, she’s always been a tanky, neigh-unkillable character and her new version is no different, though with some interesting new tools that are par for the course in what is shaping up to be the biggest difference between seasons in LoL history. It also means a much-needed art update to stop her being quite so able to infiltrate our nightmares.
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Her rework maintains her solo- or jungle-based high-health and mitigation theme, but increases how much she can control the positioning of opponents and generally raises her complexity to match the game’s current level. Perhaps most interesting of her new abilities is an AoE force-field around her that blocks enemy champions using dash abilities – an extremely powerful tool in the mobility-focused world that is every MOBA.
Her ultimate is unique, a charged, ranged hammer shot that does good damage to any enemies in a small AoE around where it hits. More importantly however, it fires them into the air a great distance back towards their base, no matter their relative position on the map. Obviously that’s not so great if you have them cornered and ready for an easy kill (and boy, you can expect to see some great gifs of free gold flying away to safety) but in a massive team fight, the enemy’s strongest player suddenly finding themselves 30 seconds from the action is not in their best interest. It’s quite a genius design, being more powerful on certain parts of the map and in different situations – I’m looking forward to seeing how it’s used.
Her ability set is rounded off with a short-range small-AoE hammer smash that does extra damage a couple of seconds afterwards, along with a dashing charge that carries enemies with it, stunning them if they impact a wall for just long enough for the hammer smash to hit both components. This gives her some of the most control over simply where enemies are that I’ve ever seen and will be frustrating to play against at the best of times, impossible to deal with at others.