Wukong Build Guide by YoshiTheAsian
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Hi! Welcome to my solo top guide on Wukong, The Monkey King! First off, I'd like you to note that this is my first guide, and I am nowhere near pro haha. I'm just a gamer that likes to game, and I want to share with you how I play Wukong. I would consider The Monkey King as my main, as my best games I've played are usually with him. Note that in order to be a good Wukong, you have to be ballsy while being smart. That means knowing his skills well and practicing with him, as well as being aware of your surroundings and what's going on at the other side of the map.
Again, this is not a ranked guide, nor is it a pro guide, it's just an opinion based guide on how to play the Monkey King. And without further ado, let's get to it!
Great mobility and flexibility within team fights
Good initiator with his decoy and ultimate
Quite bulky, especially with my preferred runes and mastery page
Excellent cohesiveness with his abilities
A great assassin, has a lot of movement with this build
Doesn't need a lot of items early game, just those boots, phage, and brutalizer works wonders!
Tons of damage to those squishies!
Has to be ballsy in order to be effective. Gotta learn his limits.
Can get focused in team fights if you're not careful.
His ult is a hit or miss.
Runes and Masteries
The Greater Mark of Desolation runes work excellent with your Crushing Blow, allowing you to bypass a ****ton of that early armor that enemy solo top's got going on. You get about 15 armor penetration, plus that 30% reduction from your Q.
The Greater Seal of Armor, Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist, and Greater Quintessence of Health help give you that extra bulk you need early game. With them, you don't need to buy that early Doran's Blade and can go straight for those Boots of Speed to get that mobility going on. Your Armor scales more than your Magic Resist, which is why you should take the flat armor seals and the scaling magic resist glyphs. The extra health from your quints just seal the deal (no pun intended). Other good Quint choices would be the Greater Quintessence of Desolation, Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage, or the Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed.
I like going for that 9/21/0 mastery page to get that extra bulk on Wukong. It allows you to out sustain your opponent so that you can stay in that lane for as long as possible. Later on, you get enough damage from your items, and the extra defense overall helps you survive in those clutch situations you should be getting into as a Wukong ;P
I won't go into any details as to each specific mastery I chose mainly because I believe it's all about preference. You get enough bulk from my recommended rune page anyway, so if you feel the 21/9/0 page is a smarter way to go, then go for it!
Flash is the most popular spell in the game, and with good reason. It can be used both defensively and offensively, allowing you to blink over walls and into safety, or get in range for that clutch Nimbus Strike. Overall, it's just a great spell that just gives Wukong even more flexibility.
Teleport is the reason you can out sustain your opponent. If you're playing smart and aggressively, you should be backing out less than your opponent, and whenever you do recall, you're right back up there thanks to your trusty Teleport. It also allows you to get into those pesky team fights that always seem to occur halfway across the map. It's common for players to not see their fellow solo top champion until mid game just because they're allll the way on the other side of the map, and have no way to get to bot lane team fights. But with Teleport, that doesn't become a problem anymore, and you can use your awesome damage to help your team win fights!
Another good pick in place of Flash or Teleport, Ghost gives that Wukong that added mobility. However, with your Youmuu's Ghostblade as a pseudo ghost, you really don't need this spell. If you want it though, it's definitely not a bad choice.
This is a great summoner spell, as it allows you to pick off that last bit of health your opponent seems to always have after a skirmish. Ignite falls off late game though, and is usually only used to cut off healing abilities in those later levels. If you think it'll help you rack in more kills early game though, this is a good choice.
Stone Skin (Passive)
This ability increases your armor and magic resist for every nearby enemy champion. It's a great ability that gives Wukong more bulk in those team fights. This ability also helps you to solo against two champs when your playing normals, as it does happen. In actuality, I find myself doing even better if I'm playing against two on top, as you level up faster than your opponents and you're never really overextended.
Crushing Blow (Q Ability)
This ability causes your next attack to lower your opponent's armor by 30% and do tons of damage! This is the heart of your burst, and allows both you and your team to take out your opponents faster. It has a fairly short cooldown in later levels, allowing you to keep your opponent's armor down consistently in a prolonged fight. It also deals on hit affects, making it work great with Sheen. You have 5 seconds after casting it to land the shot. Pairing this up with Nimbus Strike lets you out damage and poke your opponent, forcing them out. This ability works on structures, allowing you to take out towers/inhibitors super fast.
Decoy (W Ability)
This ability allows you to become stealthed, leaving a decoy behind that deals magic damage around it after 1.5 seconds. Decoy is what makes Wukong the slippery champion that he is. After landing a Nimbus Strike into a Crushing Blow, you can decoy out to keep yourself from taking damage. This can also be used from a bush to get in closer to an opponent in order to keep them from running away too quickly. There are more things you can do with this ability, and I'll go into more detail in my Gameplay section.
Nimbus Strike (E Ability)
This ability allows you to dash to a targeted champion, hitting the target and 2 additional enemies near the target. It also increases Wukong's attack speed. This is your initiator, and rounds out Wukong's arsenal of abilities. You can use this to last hit multiple minions, or last hit minions as well as poke your opponent. It can also be used to run away by targeting a minion or a less threatening enemy champion. You can also use this on enemy minions as you are taking down a tower/inhibitor, allowing you to increase your attack speed.
Cyclone (Ultimate, R Ability)
This ability knocks up enemies around Wukong and deals damage to them every second. He also gains movement speed over the duration of the ability. Cyclone allows Wukong to be a great initiator in team fights. Using this after a Nimbus Strike to get in the middle of the enemy team can give your team a split second to set up and/or deal un-interrupted damage. You can also use this to keep an fleeing opponent at bay while your teamates catch up. Note that although this deals a lot of damage to multiple targets, you'll be doing less damage to a single target than if you were to just use your Q and E combo. You can end your ultimate early by casting the ability again with R.
I like taking a one point early in Nimbus Strike, then going for Crushing Blow, maxing it out early. Then I take one point in Decoy at level 3, then leave it 'till the later levels. Also note that I like taking an extra point in Nimbus Strike at level 7, directly after getting Cyclone. I do this because Nimbus Strike is not just a utility spell, but also part of your burst damage, so getting that extra point in there helps.
I take the Boots of Speed first, as the speed on Wukong definitely helps. I believe that mobility is the key to a good Wukong. The free gold for health pots is also helpful in gaining that health back from those early game pokes.
The first time you recall should be fairly early. This is because you have that Teleport and you need to use it. You should be playing aggressively, zoning your opponent out, or trading with them fairly. Once you've used up your health pots, and think it's time to recall, get that Ruby Crystal which you'll use to build into a Phage. I go for the Ruby Crystal instead of the Long Sword so that I can out sustain my opponent. You already do enough damage, so the added health is more beneficial. With the Ruby Crystal, you'll also want to get more pots and a ward. This is the main reason you'll be getting just the Ruby Crystal instead of the Phage, as you need that vision in the bush early on, as well as the extra health regen for better sustain.
End of Early Game
By the time early game ends, you should have these items, usually in the order in which they're listed above. The The Brutalizer gives you that added "umph" when you're laning. If you don't need the tenacity or extra magic resist, you can take the Vampiric Scepter before the Mercury's Treads, or even before the The Brutalizer if you need the extra sustain. I personally don't do this, but if you want, you can also fit a Sheen in place of the The Brutalizer or the Vampiric Scepter. The early Phage is a must though, as the extra health, damage, and slow is too much to pass IMO.
It's tough to say when Mid Game actually starts. Some say it's when the first team fight starts. Others say it's when the first tower goes down. IMO, as a Wukong it usually starts when you start roaming, whether it's because you destroyed your enemy's tower, or they destroyed yours. Trinity Force should be the first big item you go for. It gives you everything, speed, damage, slow, mana; it's overall a great item that works wonders on Wukong. Youmuu's Ghostblade should be next. It gives you more crit chance, cdr, and armor pen, as well as an excellent active that works as a pseudo ghost to get in or out of team fights. The The Bloodthirster should be the next item, although you could get an Atma's Impaler or Force of Nature if defense is an issue.
Late Game should come around well after you're level 18. That is, unless you've been destoying ;P I find that even if I have just a few kills, not necessarily fed, I reach my full build faster than all the other champions do. This is because almost all the items on this build are relatively cheap, since the bulk of these items are bought early on (eg. The Brutalizer to Youmuu's Ghostblade). The Atma's Impaler gives you that much needed armor, as well as some extra attack. It also rounds out that crit chance you've been growing with your Trinity Force and your Youmuu's Ghostblade (Critical Strike + Crushing Blow = Tons of Damage!!). The Force of Nature gives you added magic resist, as well as extra movement speed. With it, you'll be going at around 460 movement speed! (note: this is a rough estimate, I don't remember the exact number off the top of my head). This is key to getting in and out of team fights, as well as catching up to those squishies in the back and assassinating the **** out of them.
If the enemy team seems to have a bit too much ad, you can take this over Mercury's Treads. However, you won't be getting that tenacity you might need when you get cc'd. So pay attention to how much cc they have as well before making this switch.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity
If you want even more cdr, take these. Although personally, the cdr you get from your Youmuu's Ghostblade is enough. Again, taking these means you're not gonna have that extra tenacity. This choice comes down to simple personal preference.
Boots of Swiftness
If you end up picking something else over the Force of Nature or Trinity Force, this is a good pick, as you're gonna need that extra movement speed. Again all personal preference.
I see a lot of people play Wukong with these. They're ok, however I believe that Wukong does his damage based on physical burst from his abilities and ducking in and out of fights. Therefore, extra attack speed is a bit wasted. You get enough from your Trinity Force and active on Youmuu's Ghostblade anyway.
This item gives you more armor penetration, allowing you to bypass a lot of armor, even taking down some tanks fairly quickly. However, the armor pen you get from your Youmuu's Ghostblade as well as your greater mark of desolation runes is enough IMO. Plus, taking this over the Youmuu's Ghostblade means no pseudo ghost, nor extra crit chance or attack speed active. Take this if the enemy team has a bit too much armor, or you took Ghost instead of Flash/ Teleport.
The Black Cleaver
Another good item that gives you armor pen. Since it gives you attack speed, it can be a smarter replacement to Youmuu's Ghostblade over Last Whisper. However, you don't get the added crit chance, cdr, or pseudo ghost.
Yes, stacking bloodthirsters is viable lol. If you want less bulk and more damage, you can take this over Force of Nature or Youmuu's Ghostblade, although the latter isn't as smart for reasons I've already stated multiple times and refuse to repeat. The extra lifesteal also balances the lack of bulk if you do take this over Force of Nature.
If you don't want the extra bulk, or just want to try and dish out as much damage as possible, you can get this. Replacing Force of Nature with this allows you to have nearly 80% crit chance WITH the added 250% bonus damage. If the enemy team doesn't have much AP, or you think you need the extra damage, this is definitely a good pick. Let me note that the reason I personally don't take this too often is because I usually don't need any more damage past the The Bloodthirster, Youmuu's Ghostblade and Atma's Impaler, and I find myself needing more bulk than AD to survive prolonged skirmishes and pushes.
I used to take this over the Trinity Force just because I liked the slow and the added bulk. However, I find that not only does Trinity Force give you more movement speed, attack speed, and crit chance, you also get that sheen damage. Plus, if you want a more sustained slow, then you can always just get red buff. Taking this WITH Trinity Force also isn't the best idea either, as it's overkill with the 2 different slows. If you think the constant slow is too much to pass, however, then take this over the Trinity Force
I don't usually take this item over Atma's Impaler, and after thinking about it, I'm not sure why haha. It's a great item, and the early Heart of Gold can help you get items faster. The active slow can work wonders with Cyclone and overall just makes The Monkey King even more bulky.
Solo mid fed the Brand? No problem! Take this item, and that pesky mage's stun and burst gets negated! Also works wonders against a Xerath, LeBlanc, and other ap casters. Take this in place of Force of Nature if the above scenario occurs.
This is purely situational. If there happens to be a fed Malzahar or Warwick on the enemy team, this is a wise item to take over the Force of Nature in order to get out of those channeled ults.
If you're going for that more tanky build, this is a good item, and synergises well with Atma's Impaler. You can take this instead of the Youmuu's Ghostblade or Force of Nature. I personally don't like taking this item, as you really don't need all that extra health, and you only get an extra 20 damage from the Atma's Impaler because of it, which isn't bad, but can be overshadowed by other better options. If you do decide you want this item, you can take a Regrowth Pendant as your starting item.
Maw of Malmortius
This is a great item that gives you extra damage as well as magic resist. The extra damage the lower your health is can make you a deadly Wukong in those clutch moments when you're getting really low. Plus, the magic shield can really save you in a pinch. Take this over Force of Nature if you want less bulk and more damage.
A good magic resist item that gives you more attack speed. However, one thing you'll notice as a Wukong is that your damage isn't from dps, and is more from burst from your Crushing Blow and Nimbus Strike. So the added attack speed might go to waste. Take this over Force of Nature if you want the added attack speed.
I find myself taking this over Force of Nature a lot when I'm doing really well, but I die too much. This item gives more armor than magic resist, and has an epic passive that revives you if you die every 5 minutes. Take this over Force of Nature.
I personally think this is a waste of gold, as the mobility from Boots of Speed is way more appealing IMO. The extra bulk you get from this item is also kind of wasted, as you have enough from your runes and masteries. I also don't like taking this after the boots, as getting that Phage earlier is, again, way more appealing. The lifesteal is kinda meh too, as you can always just get health pots. If you don't think the mobility is needed that bad early on, or you have greater quintessence of speed runes, you can take this instead.
Some people like this early on, as it allows you better sustain. However, I think that once you figure out the limits of Wukong and constantly push him there every game, you won't need this item, as you can easily win the lane just through sheer skill. If you like the added bulk and extra ward, you can start with Cloth Armor and 5 health potions instead of the Boots of Speed in order to build into this.
After getting your Boots of Speed and health pots, run up to that top lane bush and sit there. If your opponent decides to show their face before the minions show up, try to start a little fight. Be aggressive. You will almost always out damage your opponent, as your Nimbus Strike does a lot of damage and gives you attack speed.
Poking an enemy is quite easy with Wukong. Just Nimbus Strike to Crushing Blow to Decoy. Also, note that Crushing Blow restarts your auto-attack counter, so you can cast it directly after using a regular auto-attack to deal max damage. You can also hide in the bush and initiate from there, using your Decoy from the bush to get closer due to your stealth. Doing this also becomes kind of like a psychological game with your opponent, as you can fake decoy after doing your Nimbus Strike to Crushing Blow combo. Note that pressing S makes Wukong stop in his tracks, and looks exactly like if you had decoyed. You can use this while running up to an opponent to scare them away without wasting your precious mana.
Another thing to note is that after trying to poke an opponent, if they feel they have the upper hand, they'll walk to the nearest bush directly after you have used Decoy in order to initiate on you after you come out of stealth. You can easily counter this simply by pressing S instead of W to save your Decoy until after they turn back around to gain more distance, or simply by running away from the nearest bush while still going the opposite direction of your opponent (eg. walking down to the river bush while stealthed as your opponent walks to the lane bush).
Note that even if you play aggressively and out play the enemy top, you can still make it so that your opponent's minions push farther than yours. You can do this simply buy letting your opponent push. Most people try to stay in the bush in order to get their opponent to push. HOWEVER, this is not how it should be done. You have to stay outside the bush and somewhat farther back in order to make it so that your opponent feels somewhat safe to farm. Also, don't just sit back and let Wukong sit there, as the opponent might think that you're trying to decoy closer (which is a lot more obvious than you think).
This is Wukong's time to shine! Here I'll go into your goals during team fights as a Wukong and certain situations to use your abilities well.
The way this build works allows you a lot of variety. You're tanky DPS, but do tons of burst damage as well, allowing you to assassinate squishies as well as carry team fights. Whenever you have the chance and while being smart, you should be roaming the jungle trying to pick a fight or gank other lanes. If you've done well in the laning phase, you should be able to outdamage/outburst a lot of champions, and if you don't do well, you can always Decoy and Flash/ Youmuu's Ghostblade out.
While your Nimbus Strike is an excellent initiator, doing so while following up with a Crushing Blow does not give you the most damage output. Hitting the opponent with a Crushing Blow first and then followed up with a Nimbus Strike afterwards allows you to utilize the armor reduction better, as well as give you more time for that attack speed boost you get with your Nimbus Strike. This tactic might require you to use your Decoy from far away to get in closer. You could also get in closer by popping your Youmuu's Ghostblade, or in some extreme cases, using Flash.
Remember that with this build, you have a lot of mobility! You have a whole arsenal of actives , abilities, and spells that allow you to become very sly at taking out squishies, and very slippery while fleeing. Popping that Youmuu's Ghostblade directly before using Decoy allows you to cover more distance while you're stealthed, giving your opponents less time to react if you're initiating. You can also Flash while stealthed, so that the animation doesn't give away where you're going if you're trying to juke your opponents. Nimbus Strike can also be used on a far away minion/enemy champion in order to juke away after entering a bush or using Decoy. Don't be afraid to run towards the enemy jungle while fleeing if it means having a better juke and a better chance to get away from your opponents! In extreme situations, you can use Teleport to get away fast if you're in a pinch.
Don't be afraid to utilize that S button to stop Wukong to make it look like you're using Decoy when you actually aren't. While fleeing, use it directly before entering a bush. This will usually cause 2 reactions from your opponent. They will a) think that you have stealthed right as you are trying to run into the bush and run in after you, allowing you to run the opposite way, or b) think that you have ran the opposite way directly after stealthing and run in another direction allowing you to run back into the bush, or in another direction and into safety. You'd be surprised at how easily your opponent can be fooled by this, as not a lot of Wukongs utilize this in clutch situations, as they feel it is too risky.
One thing you can do while both teams are on edge trying to initiate on each other, is to initiate with Nimbus Strike to Crushing Blow and use Decoy directly afterwards to get your opponents to waste abilities on you. Note that this might cause you're own team to follow the initiation, even if they don't have the upper hand. This is why you have to make sure your teammates know that you are only poking and are not going for the full on initiation before you do so.
Although poking to get your opponents to waste an ignite on your Decoy is fun, Wukong himself is an excellent initiator and can simply just run in and ult the whole team, allowing your team precious time to set up epic ult combos, or just deal heavy damage. Don't feel like you shouldn't Decoy away from the fight if you're getting focused. If this is the case, you can Decoy away and wait for your abilities to come off cooldown before running back in. However, if you are not being focused on, it's your duty to stay in that fight and carry the team in place of a focused AD carry. Use that Youmuu's Ghostblade and Nimbus Strike attack speed boost to deal tons of damage with your auto-attacks while you wait for your Crushing Blow to get off cooldown. Always go for the squishiest first, as your team can handle them faster with the armor reduction from your Crushing Blow.
Wukong truly is a beast. He can deal out damage like a Xin Zhao, and be as slippery as a Shaco. Although some of his abilities, namely his Decoy and Cyclone, need some time to get used to, he can be a real monster once you get him down.
Like I said before, this is just a personal opinion based guide. Try the guide out if you're not sure on its viability, as it really does wonders. Vote up if you like it, and don't forget to comment! This is my first guide, so any criticism will do, even hate, if it helps me figure out what I'm doing wrong ;P
Thank you Zylozs for the opening banner ^__^
Thank's for reading the guide, and I hope to see you on the rift.
- Made this guide (at 4 in the morning, hardcoreeee)
- Corrected some grammatical errors
- Changed the coding of the "Other Items" Chapter
- Added Infinity Edge and Frozen Mallet to the "Other Items" Chapter
- Got rid of Boots of Mobility and added Berserker's Greaves in the "Other Items" Chapter
- Corrected some spacing errors
- Fixed the crit chance if you add the Infinity Edge from 100% to 80% (my bad lol)
- Added banner in introduction, thanks to Zylozs
- Removed Frozen Heart from the Other Items section (too much defense, not enough offense IMO)
- Fixed some spelling errors