The Monkey King has been one of the most iconic characters in a lot of eastern-inspired video games. In League of Legends, Wukong stays true to his identity while establishing its place in the fictional universe of Runeterra. As one of the most powerful teamfight-centric assassins in the game, this champion is popular for top laners that like to carry games. This Wukong guide aims to help players get a basic understanding of how to use this champion efficiently in the top lane.
The Goal of the Monkey King
Kong was the name of a Vastayan from the Shimon, a peace-loving tribe that sought nothing but to preserve their way of life. However, Kong did not live by these ideals and loved to have fun and excitement. After one of his pranks went too far, the Shimon banished him. He roamed the first lands, pranking people until a group of Noxians chased him out. He wanted to get strong so he sought out the Wuju tribe where he met Master Yi who trained him to become a disciplined warrior and gave him the name – Wukong.
Wukong has historically been one of the few assassins in League of Legends that had great teamfight presence. Thanks to his rework, he became an even more powerful engage champion that could initiate fights on his own. He has established himself in the top lane where he dominates immobile champions with low survivability. As we go through this Wukong guide, players will understand how to utilize his explosive playstyle in both the laning phase and teamfights.
Wukong General Gameplay
Wukong is a burst-type assassin that likes to deal a heavy amount of damage in a short amount of time. True to his monkey roots, this champion likes to play tricks with his opponents by misleading them and striking when they least expect it. In teamfight situations, Wukong can also be a reliable flank engage champion that can disrupt the enemy team with a powerful CC tool in his ultimate while reserving his abilities either to burst down a specific champion or escape the fight quickly which you’ll learn more about in this Wukong guide.
Wukong Guide – Skills and Abilities
First up on our Wukong guide, we’ll be learning about this champion’s abilities and how they are best utilized. As an assassin, his kit revolves around hitting the enemy hard and closing the gap between him and the enemy as quickly as possible. He has a lot of burst damage and will mostly be using it in both the early and later stages of the game to remove the biggest threat on the map.
Passive: Stone Skin
Innate – Wukong gains bonus armor and 0.5% passive health regeneration.
Stone Skin‘s effects are increased by 50% for 5 seconds whenever he or his clone damages an enemy champion or monster, stacking up to 10 times up to a maximum amount.
Stone Skin is a really strong passive ability that helps Wukong win most of his fights. During the laning phase, you can use this advantage to take a lot of trades since you’ll always have the advantage with the armor and regeneration. This passive also helps Wukong become sturdier in teamfights since it allows him to become extremely tanky when in the middle of multiple enemies after using his ultimate ability so they shouldn’t be afraid to get in the middle of things as long as your allies are nearby.
Q: Crushing Blow
Active – Wukong and his clone empower their staff, causing their next basic attack to become uncancelable, gain bonus range, deal bonus physical damage, and reduce the target’s armor for 3 seconds.
Crushing Blow is a powerful ability and is Wukong’s main source of damage. Make sure to use this ability as often as possible but remember that this ability resets basic attack timers so try to weave it between autos so that you gain the maximum amount of damage possible. Once you use this ability, make sure to continue auto-attacking the enemy since it reduces armor so you’ll be at the advantage when trading. In addition, auto-attacks help reset the cooldown so that you maximize your damage even more.
W: Warrior Trickster
Active – Wukong dashes in a direction, entering invisibility for 1 second and leaving behind a decoy in place for 3.25 seconds.
The clone is untargetable by allies and can basic attack autonomously, prioritizing the last enemy that Wukong damaged. Whenever Wukong casts Crushing Blow, Nimbus Strike, and Cyclone, the clone will also use those abilities (except Nimbus Strike) and/or benefit from those abilities’ secondary effects.
Warrior Trickster is really useful and has multiple uses. When you’re confident about your raw damage, you can use this to close the gap between you and your opponent. However, the most practical use of this ability is to leave a clone beside your target so that they’ll get damaged by the auto-attacks and other abilities. When using Cyclone, keep the clone a short distance away from you but in an area where it will still hit enemies so that you can knock up as many units as possible.
E: Nimbus Strike
Active – Wukong rides a nimbus cloud and dashes towards a target enemy and sends out untargetable clones to hit 2 additional nearby enemies, dealing magic damage to each enemy struck upon arrival, increased by 50% against monsters.
Upon hitting an enemy target, Wukong and his clone gain bonus attack speed for 5 seconds.
Nimbus Strike is the main initiating tool that Wukong usually uses against enemies. Its secondary effect, which grants bonus attack speed, is also really powerful since it allows Wukong to reset his Crushing Blow a lot faster and allows his clone to become a nuisance in fight since the enemies don’t usually pay attention to it. This is also a great ability to clear the wave especially if you have Tiamat since you’ll be able to get rid of the wave almost instantly.
Active – Wukong and his clone spins their staff for up to 2 seconds, becoming ghosted, gaining 20 movement speed, and dealing physical damage every 0.25 seconds to nearby enemies. Enemies affected by an active Cyclone from Wukong and his clone for the first time will be knocked up for 0.6 seconds. While active, Wukong can recast this ability to end the effects early and allow the ability to be recast an additional time.
Recast – Wukong and his clone spins their staff a second time with the same effects. Both cyclones can only knock up enemies once per cast.
There are two ways Wukong players can use Cyclone with his clone. The first way to spread the clone a distance away to make sure that enemies will get damaged or knocked up. The second way is to keep the clone close so that the damage from both Cyclones overlap and maximize the damage you deal on enemies. The first way is most effective in spread out teamfights while the second method is most effective in duels or when the enemy team is standing close together.
Wukong Guide – Items and Builds
Next up on our Wukong guide, we’ll be discussing the best items and builds for this champion as a top laner. Since he likes to deal a lot of damage AND survive the initial burst, he’ll be sharing items that most bruisers build. Any time that provides both AD and HP with survivability options are prioritized.
Doran’s Blade – Doran’s blade provides a good amount of AD and lane sustain so that Wukong will become a terrible lane bully during the early stages of the game. With this item, he can keep charging at the enemy laner or use his clone to increase his omnivamp healing.
Divine Sunderer – The best item for most bruisers as it provides all of the relevant stats such as AD, HP, healing, and armor penetration. Once you’ve built this item, Wukong will start charging at every isolated enemy that he sees without fear because he will always win the fight. When building this item, it’s a good idea to build the Sheen first so that you can get the bonus damage with your Crushing Blow as soon as possible.
Black Cleaver – More armor penetration to make Wukong such a deadly champion capable of one-shotting any enemy he faces. Whether it’s a bulky tank or a soft ADC, Wukong’s raw burst potential is extremely potent in taking down any single enemy by themselves.
Sterak’s Gage – Lifeline is such a powerful ability that makes Wukong almost unkillable even if he faces against the entire time. The shield that he gains will buy him such a long time in fights that he can just sustain most of the health that he loses with the Divine Sunderer.
Death’s Dance – One of the most broken late-game items in the game that works super well when Wukong has built enough sustain items. Having the extra 35% temporary mitigation that can be refreshed with takedowns make him so tanky that he basically survives even the most fed enemy champion.
Titanic Hydra – An item that you should only consider if you are behind but still want to become relevant in the game. This item gives a lot of tankiness and makes this champion an excellent split pusher that enemies will constantly need to answer since he takes down turrets quickly.
Chempunk Chainsword – The main grievous wounds item for most bruisers. Build this item if the enemy has a lot of healing that make it hard for you to burst down champions. However, the full item is built last but Wukong takes Executioner’s Calling early since the value per gold for this item isn’t really good.
Guardian Angel – The final piece of the puzzle that makes Wukong the ultimate nuisance in battle. Since you’re not the main damage source most of the time, your job is done when you assassinate the most important member of the enemy team. If the enemy kills you after that time, you can simply wait to resurrect.
Wukong Guide – Runes
Keystone: Conqueror – Conqueror is the best rune for champions that like to take extended fights. While Wukong likes to take short skirmishes, he also thrives in extended fights. Conqueror allows him to become so deadly in extended fights with the additional lifesteal and bonus damage. His abilities also help him stack Conqueror quickly.
Triumph – This rune helps Wukong survive long since takedowns will help him restore enough HP for a few more attacks. If he hits multiple enemies with his ultimate ability, he’ll be able ensured to restore HP if he or his allies get a kill.
Legend: Tenacity – A great rune to help Wukong do his role as an engage assassin more efficiently. While others prefer the Legend: Alacrity rune, Wukong already has a lot of attack speed with his Nimbus Strike so he doesn’t need the attack speed more than the tenacity that can really disrupt him.
Last Stand – Wukong likes to initiate fights often so he’ll be pushed below 60% HP often which puts him in an ideal position because of this rune. Never be afraid to start fights and finish them.
Second Wind – As mentioned before, he likes to start a lot of fights which causes him to lose a lot of health. Instead of relying on potions, this rune helps him restore a relevant portion of his HP alongside his passive ability.
Unflinching – Another tenacity rune that helps Wukong resist CC abilities that prevent him from focusing down a specific champion. Try to stack a lot of tenacity so that you don’t get stunned, slowed, or rooted for the full duration.
Wukong General Overview
Wukong is a great champion that takes the strength of burst assassins and duelists in one overpowered champion. For players that have nerves of steel and a great sense of when to engage, this champion becomes a tool of death that dooms the enemy team when playing with an organized team. Even beginners will have an easy time mastering this champion once you read up on this Wukong guide.
How to counter Wukong?
Wukong is a champion that relies mostly on short skirmishes. Using a champion that is strong in extended fights or can outburst him in the lane will ensure that he’s at least pushed out of the lane. Additionally, don’t stand too close to him so that he can’t use his clone to deal additional damage to you.