Bard Poppy Deck Guide

Bard Poppy Deck Guide

Hey there, Raphterra here! This is my guide for Poppy Bard, the deck I used to climb from Diamond to Top 30 Masters at 63% win rate (42 Wins - 25 Losses).

Introduction and Deck Stats

Hey there, Raphterra here! Today, I’m bringing to you a guide on Bard Poppy Demacia Midrange.

The deck list featured in this article was one I personally used to climb from Diamond to Top 30 Masters at 63% win rate (42 Wins – 25 Losses).

This is a solid, consistent deck that I would recommend for beginners who want to dip their toes into ranked ladder. The deck is relatively easy to play and the play pattern is almost the same against any match-up. If you want to see the Bard Poppy in action after reading this article, check out my detailed video guide!


Deck Build

Bard Poppy is an aggressive midrange deck that looks to dominate the board with Bard’s Chimes. The deck uses Byrd, the Bellringer and Esmus, Breath of the World to buff up early challenger units from Demacia like Fleetfeather Tracker, Petricite Broadwing, and Laurent Protege.

Once buffed up, each of these challengers can trade with multiple enemy units on their own. In addition to this, Esmus, Breath of the World’s support effect and Brightsteel Protector’s Barrier allows for even more favorable trades.

After dominating the early game, Bard Poppy aims to win games with mid-game finishers like Poppy, Genevieve Elmheart, and Rally Effects.

Bard doesn’t have a big impact as a unit, but there will be games where you level him up and he could provide significant buffs to your board in the late game.

Silverwing Vanguard is a great unit to buff up with chimes in the mid game, as it duplicates itself while retaining the buffs from chimes.

In order to maintain board presence, this deck runs Demacia’s protection spells like Ranger’s Resolve, Sharpsight, and Shield of Durand.

My personal list runs a copy of Back to Back, a card that can help push damage at burst speed while attacking and can also be used to take favorable trades while defending.


General Mulligan Guide

For the general mulligan, try to imagine how the first 3 turns will go and try to look for units to play on curve.

You’re always going to keep Byrd, the Bellringer, Esmus, Breath of the World, and Petricite Broadwing.

If you have Byrd or Esmus, or if you are up against aggro decks, you can also keep Fleetfeather Tracker and Laurent Protege.

Brightsteel Protector is a card that you keep if you already have other challenger units.

If you already have good early units, you can keep a single protection spell like Sharpsight.

Against control/combo decks where you need to finish games quickly, keeping 1 copy of either Golden Aegis or Relentless Pursuit is recommended.


Game Pattern

Games with Bard Poppy are very straightforward:

  • Phase 1: Control the board with chimes and challengers,
    In the early turns, you’re looking to setup a powerful board of challenger units by playing Chime generators early. With challengers, buffs, and barriers, you can start taking favorable trades and go into the mid game with the board advantage.
  • Phase 2: Go wide and use your finishers
    In the mid-game, you’re looking to win with a wide board of challengers combined with PoppyGenevieve Elmheart, and Rally effects.

General Tips

  • Prioritize maintaining board presence.
    This deck is all about maintaining a wide board and taking favorable trades. Use barriers, buffs, and protection spells to ensure you keep your board as wide as possible.
    You want to play around your opponent’s removals and try to have mana backup for protection spells.
    Do not be afraid to use your Nexus health as a resource if engaging in combat will result in bad trades.
  • Know when to open attack or to develop.
    Most of the time, you usually want to go wide and develop with this deck especially if your opponent doesn’t have development punishers like Arachnoid Sentry or Brightsteel Protector.
    You want to go for the open attack if you are certain that you have lethal or if developing units will not make your board significantly stronger.
  • Threaten big attacks with your Rally cards..
    Golden Aegis and Relentless Pursuit are your main finishers with this deck. Your opponent will always try to play around them, so keeping up 4 mana may force them to play awkwardly because of the threat of the Rally.
  • Plan your finishing turn.
    Once you already have a strong board presence, you need to start planning for the turn where you will end the game.
    Make sure you’re saving mana to cast your Rally effects at the right moment.
    You always need to keep this in mind when playing against stronger late game decks since there is only a small window in the mid-game where you need to win before it’s too late.

Matchups and Mulligans

RuneterraNoxus Annie Jhin – Favored

Mulligan for: Byrd, the Bellringer, Esmus, Breath of the World, Fleetfeather Tracker, Petricite Broadwing, Laurent Protege. If you have challengers, Brightsteel Protector

  • Annie Jhin is very reliant on casting unit’s skills multiple times to burn down the Nexus. They will run out of gas quickly if you keep removing their units with your challengers.
  • Annie and Boomcrew Rookie are your primary targets for challenges, since they can usually be killed for free due to their poor stats.
  • Their deck is very reliant on developing into attacks. You can use Brightsteel Protector as a development punisher to make their attacks awkward.

ShurimaBligewater Lurk – Favored

Mulligan for: Byrd, the Bellringer, Esmus, Breath of the World, Fleetfeather Tracker, Petricite Broadwing, Laurent Protege. If you have challengers, Brightsteel Protector

  • Similar to Annie Jhin, Lurk is very reliant on attacking. You can use Brightsteel Protector as a development punisher to make their attacks awkward.
  • Clear their early Lurkers with your buffed challengers. If you can keep their board narrow, you will snowball and they won’t be able to contest your Rally turns.
  • Always prepare for Snapjaw Swarm on their defense turns. You may want to setup a Barrier or a unit with high health to get a good trade into it.

DemaciaBligewater Illaoi Jarvan – Favored

Mulligan for: Byrd, the Bellringer, Esmus, Breath of the World, Fleetfeather Tracker, Petricite Broadwing, Laurent Protege. If you have challengers, Brightsteel Protector. If you have early units, Sharpsight

  • You win this matchup by challenging Watchful Idol and their Tentacle to make sure they can’t snowball. If you can stop their Tentacle from growing, most of their key cards will have very little impact on board.
  • Tentacle Smash and Concerted Strike are their main way of removing units. If you make sure that you’re always dealing with their Tentacle, these spells will net in a tempo loss for them even if they are successful in removing one of your units.
  • They may use Brightsteel Protector as a development punisher on your attack turns. Evaluate if you need to open attack to secure kills on key units.

RuneterraDemacia Bard Demacia – Even

Mulligan for: Byrd, the Bellringer, Esmus, Breath of the World, Fleetfeather Tracker, Petricite Broadwing, Laurent Protege, Brightsteel Protector. If you have early units, Sharpsight / Ranger’s Resolve

  • This matchup comes down to who can take better trades with their challengers. The player who comes out with board control in the mid-game will usually win.
  • Brightsteel Protector is an important card since it can be used to secure good trades. You want to take out their challengers with your units protected by Barrier. Esmus, Breath of the World is another priority card to challenge since you can usually remove it for free.
  • If your opponent is banking spell mana, make sure to play around their protection spells when engaging combat. A well placed Ranger’s Resolve from either side can decide the game on the spot.

ShurimaFreljord Lissandra Taliyah Thralls – Even

Mulligan for: Byrd, the Bellringer, Esmus, Breath of the World, Fleetfeather Tracker, Petricite Broadwing, Laurent Protege, Golden Aegis, Relentless Pursuit. If you have challengers, Brightsteel Protector. If you have early units, Sharpsight / Ranger’s Resolve

NoxusShadow Isles Viego Deserter – Unfavored

Mulligan for: Byrd, the Bellringer, Esmus, Breath of the World, Fleetfeather Tracker, Petricite Broadwing, Laurent Protege, Golden Aegis, Relentless Pursuit. If you have challengers, Brightsteel Protector

  • This matchup can be rough because they can remove units efficiently with Ravenous Flock, and they can stop your attacks with Arachnoid Sentry. They also have decent blockers all throughout the early-mid game. In the late game, it is almost impossible to contest the board against Invasive Hydravine and Legion Deserter.
  • You just need to play your normal gameplan and hope for the best. You can win with a big Rally attack and opponent doesn’t draw removals to keep your board narrow.

FreljordPiltover & Zaun Trundle Timelines – Unfavored

Mulligan for: Byrd, the Bellringer, Esmus, Breath of the World, Fleetfeather Tracker, Petricite Broadwing, Laurent Protege, Golden Aegis, Relentless Pursuit. If you have challengers, Brightsteel Protector

  • You can win the early board easily, but they can come back quickly if they pull off the Buried in Ice + It That Stares combo. You need to end the game with Rallies before they remove your board.
  • A way play around Buried in Ice is to apply as much pressure as possible before Turn 7 and force them to not have enough spell mana. Forcing them to cast Buried in Ice on Turn 6 is also good for you since they can’t use It That Stares to follow up on Turn 7.
  • Watch out for Thermogenic Beam and Mystic Shot in the early game. Save some spell mana for protection spells so that you can snowball early.

NoxusPiltover & Zaun Ezreal Caitlyn/Annie – Unfavored

Mulligan for: Byrd, the Bellringer, Esmus, Breath of the World, Fleetfeather Tracker, Petricite Broadwing, Laurent Protege. If you have challengers, Brightsteel Protector


Closing Words

At first, I thought playing this deck would feel repetitive and boring, but there is something really satisfying when you hit the right unit with chimes. If you are looking for a solid consistent deck for ranked ladder, Bard Poppy might just be what you are looking for!

Hope you enjoy playing this deck! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me on YouTube, Discord, or Twitter!

Default image
Raphterra
Articles: 9