Wukong Build Guide by Pineberry
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.
Welcome to my second guide for League of Legends and Mobafire. I made a Galio build before this one, which recommended a different build from many other Galio guides out there. My Galio guide can be found here. Unfortunately this guide isn't going to attempt to suggest anything radically different like my previous guide. However, as before, I am putting out this Wukong guide, because the top rated Wukong guides on Mobafire are not up to what I feel like is the optimal way to play him. I am hardly the best player in this game, but the things I put here are what I feel is best for Wukong and should be taken with a grain of salt.
He was just monkeyin' around.
Wukong, first and foremost is a monkey, therefore he is already godlike tier. Jokes aside, Wukong is a champion I really like a lot. He really enjoys jumping into the fray and hitting people with that long pole of his. Jokes aside once more, Wukong is a strong champion with an ultimate that is really strong if used correctly and can determine team fights. He is a tanky bruiser that can deal decent damage while not complaining too much about taking hits himself. In the lane, he has strong poking abilities, while having a great and fun escape ability too(Decoy). He is a great champ for any team, and he's not at all boring to play.
Oh and yes I jacked Searz guide format simply because it is rather arousing I dare say. You can find it here.
If you really need to know what an ability does, just scroll over the tooltips.
Who Was Wukong Based Off Of?
The adventure of a lifetime.
Unlike many other guides that do not mention this, Wukong is based off a character in a Chinese mythical novel called Journey to the West. I'm not going too in depth about the story(in fact, I highly recommend that people check out this novel. It's an awesome read. By the way, if you don't wanna hear about this you will want to skip the next two paragraphs.), but Wukong was born from a stone egg in the sky. He then ruled over an island and proclaimed himself Monkey King. One day he decided to learn how to be immortal. For some reason he meets a Taoist monk, and learns the ways of martial arts, magical transformations, and cloud dancing, which allowed him to travel a quadrillion miles at a time. He eventually got expelled for showing off, because he was a mischievous little monkey. Wukong also decided he was a boss and decided to meet up with the gods in Heaven. He was accepted, except he was ridiculed and called "stable boy". Angered at the gods, he decides to eat their immortality peaches, PLUS their immortality pills. He went back to his island and somehow fought back Heaven's army with a buncha monkey. In the end they got him, and he was stuck under a mountain for 500 years.
Eventually, a cool guy decided to let him go, in return that the Monkey King was required to protect a traveling monk called Tripitaka who was sent to retrieve scriptures from the Buddha. Unfortunately this monk was like ice cream to demons, so everybody wanted a piece of that. By this time though, Wukong was a full fledged bada*s. He knew 72 different transformations, could change his body into any size, could transform into anything he ever met and could spot monsters thousands of miles away. He also still knew cloud dancing, which could make him travel long distances in no times. Also he received a weapon called the Compliant Rod, which was pretty much just an extendy rod that weighed a ton. In the end, Wukong aided Tripitaka across his entire voyage and was granted the title "Buddha of Victory Through Strife".
Wukong was able to do all these amazing abilities, but sadly, Riot was not keen on including too many of these attributes to Wukong. Otherwise he would be pretty overpowered.
Pros / Cons
- Great tanky bruiser.
- Great initiator.
- Very mobile champion(has a gap closer + an ultimate that increases movement speed).
- Great at deceiving people with stealth(using decoy). Awesome at juking and escaping.
- Powerful CC through ultimate, and very game changing.
- Strong poking abilities with low mana costs.
- He's a monkey that hits people with a long pole.
- Low mana costs are accompanied with low mana pool in early levels.
- Oracles and vision wards make Decoy utterly useless.
- Has no sustain.
- Requires farm to reach full potential.
- Riot Americanized Wukong, so he has an English voice actor that does not fit at all.
- Monkeys smell.
What Did The New Patch Do For Wukong?
Wukong was given nothing new during the Sejuani Patch.
Monkey Myths Debunked
Why not play Wukong mid?
While Wukong's a decent harasser, Wukong should not be going up mid against AP Carries, who can easily kill the monkey through their AP or burst. However you do fight the occasional AP solo top such as Kennen or Cho'Gath. If you end up laning against an AP champ, take Glyphs of Warding instead.
Why not play Wukong with AP?
Wukong has one spell that runs off of AP, which is Decoy. Every other spell runs off of AD. The reliability of Decoy doing damage is about as useful as you running AP Wukong.
Why not play Wukong as a carry/down in bot lane?
This is actually a question with merit. The majority of the guides on Mobafire recommend items that heavily suggest you take the role of a carry. Both AD ratios on Crushing Blow and Nimbus Strike are very high(Nimbus Strike has a 0.8 bonus AD ratio, while Crushing Blow has a whopping 1.1 total AD ratio). However, I really feel that going the tanky-DPS role is a better fit for Wukong. While he has good AD ratios, he will still not be doing massive amounts of damage through his spells(even if you had 200 AD, Crushing Blow and Nimbus Strike would only be doing moderate damage compared to other spells). Wukong also suffers the disadvantage of being a champion that really enjoys getting thick in the action, something that a ranged AD carry wouldn't be doing. If you want Wukong to not be instakilled, building him tanky is a sensible choice. You will still be doing a decent amount of damage, while not dying as much as you would be going carry. This is especially important, considering that you'll be in the middle of a teamfight using your ultimate, and you wouldn't want to die too easily from that. However, a Wukong with all damage items will still be a threat during team fights. Carry Wukong is not bad by any means, but I find him nowhere near as optimal as a tanky bruiser.
As for going bot lane, a Wukong with a support is a great way to constantly harass without too much fear of dying yourself. Even without a support, Wukong laning with a partner is not all that bad. The Monkey King is not even that bad against ranged AD carries, who are very squishy early on, and are easily intimidated by your harassing prowess. Wukong's Stone Skin passive is also slightly increased in a duo lane. I still recommend taking top lane though, as Wukong requires a good amount of farm to reach his full potential, and he's great against many other solo top champions.
Why not play Wukong in the jungle?
I have not played Wukong in the jungle, but what I understand is that he's not that great of a jungler. He has no sustain and no passive in the jungle. His ganks pre-level 6 are sub par unless you have red buff(gap closer is great and all, but nothing else much). There are much better champions to be making use of the jungle rather than Wukong. If you'd like to give it a shot though, I'm not stopping you.
I take 1/21/8 masteries. This is because I want to have survival in the laning phase, and because getting beefier is always good for somebody like Wukong who gets deep into team fights. Wukong already does a sizable amount of damage without offensive masteries, plus, none of them really benefit Wukong much.
First off, we put the point in Summoner's Wrath, if you are taking either Exhaust or Ignite. If you end up taking Teleport rather than those two spells, you will put that point into Runic Affinity instead.
In the Defensive Tree, grab both Resistance and Hardiness for the good resistances they provide. Take the 3 points in Vigor for the nice HP regen it provides. Taking 4 into Durability and Veteran's Scars will increase your HP which is always a good stat to have. Take 3 points in Initiator, because the MS always helps, and Wukong is an initiator at times. Also take 3 in Enlightenment for the nifty CDR it provides. Finally, taking the last point in Juggernaut is simply invaluable.
Where's the Honor Guard man?
Honor Guard sounds pretty good, except you realize that the resistances provided in the first row already block more damage than Honor Guard does, making it good troll bait. If you really want it, take out Enlightenment.
In the Utility Tree, take the point in Summoner's Insight to lower the cooldown on Flash by 15 seconds, and reduce the casting time for Teleport if you took that. Next you take points in Good Hands, because reduced death timers are always useful, especially in saving your Nexus. Finally take 4 points into Swiftness because Wukong enjoys extra speed.
Greater Mark of Desolation Greater Mark of Desolation
Armor penetration marks are really ideal for most AD champs, especially ones who like autoattacking like Wukong. Also go greatly with Crushing Blow.
Greater Seal of Resilience
Wukong is not a very mana hungry champion, therefore I will refrain from using mana regen runes. Flat armor runes also help when you harass champions, and all the creeps just like to hit you. If you go top, you'll generally go up against an AD champion too. It also stacks nicely with Stone Skin.
Greater Glyph of Shielding
MR/level runes really help against late game AP carries, where any little bit of mres helps against burst damage. However if you end up laning against one in the early game, I suggest replace these with Glyps of Warding.
Greater Quintessence of Desolation
Armor penetration quints will really ramp up your damage late game, and works especially well with Crushing Blow. I don't take AD quints, because I don't focus on more damage in the laning phase for harassing, but instead focus more on farming for late game, which is where the armor pen quints count. Also the armor reduction all together is massive early game, amounting to true damage.
Just way too useful to give up. It helps make plays that you can't usually do and helps initiate with your ultimate(as a useful note, Flash can be used with Cyclone, so if someone does flash away from you after you Nimbus Strike and ultimate, flash to them afterwards. The increased range and speed buff will let you catch up to them for the knockup. Never flash in first, because they might flash away from you. Always Nimbus Strike first.) As always, Flash is also incredibly useful as an escape, since it can go past walls.
Ignite is always a nice spell, ensuring kills if you really want them. I don't find this as useful as Exhaust, in terms of utility, but if I'm up against high regeneration/healing champs like Dr. Mundo or Soraka, I may consider taking this, if nobody else on the team has an Ignite.
I feel like Exhaust is one of those "universally useful" spells that fits with every champion. This spell really helps Wukong gank efficiently, while helping him survive himself. It is especially useful at shutting down late game AD carries. If your team already has enough Exhausts, take Ignite instead.
Great for map control, especially useful when you need to get to places fast with your team to use your ultimate. Not a bad choice at all.
Q > E > E > W > E > R > E > Q > E > Q > R > Q > Q > W > W > R > W > W
I take one point in Crushing Blow first for easier last hitting, plus it already does a great amount of damage with one level(it's got a 1.1 total AD ratio). This is also because I want to refrain myself from using Nimbus Strike at level 1, which has a higher mana cost, doesn't do much damage so its not very great for harassing or farming, and will get me too close to my opponent which puts me in a bad spot. If you're expecting a level 1 teamfight, take Nimbus Strike instead to hit as many opponents as possible, while closing gaps, and take Crushing Blow at level 2 then continue on from there. You take Nimbus Strike second to get your harass combo going. You'll prioritize Nimbus Strike first, because it does about the same/more damage than leveling up Crushing Blow, is better for farming and damage overall because it hits 3 opponents, and provides an awesome attack speed buff(50% AS increase at level 5 is purely great). You'll take Decoy at level 4 to complete your harass combo while giving you the awesome escape mechanism. Level up Cyclone whenever you can for obvious reasons. Prioritize Crushing Blow second for more damage. Decoy is left last, because it is there for the clone and nothing else.
Wai Nimbus Strike over Crushing Blow?
I felt that one of my biggest questions scrolling across the Wukong guides on Mobafire was why most of them recommended to level up Crushing Blow over Nimbus Strike. I was guessing that most people were choosing to level up Crushing Blow because they saw the 1.1 total AD ratio and had a wet mess in their pants over it. In a numbers crunch, Crushing Blow has a 1.1 total AD ratio while Nimbus Strike has a 0.8 bonus AD ratio.
With 160 total AD, with 60 being bonus AD, do the math. Assume both skills are level 5:
Crushing Blow: 150 + (160 * 1.1) = 150 + 176 = 326
Nimbus Strike: 240 + (60 * 0.8) = 240 + 48 = 288
So yes, Crushing Blow will do more damage to a single target than Nimbus Strike will. However this is not even accounting the practical usage of each. Nimbus Strike also provides an extremely powerful 50% attack speed buff, which is better than just pure damage from Crushing Blow. Not to mention that Crushing Blow will always have a constant 30% armor reduction. You even have to account that the bonus attack speed will synergize better with the 30% armor reduction from Nimbus Strike, rather than just having damage from Crushing Blow.
Nimbus Strike also has more practical usage such as better farming, and more overall damage. A maxed out Nimbus Strike will easily get caster minions low for you to last hit, and gets more last hits overall on minions in general. You also have to consider that Nimbus Strike damages 3 opponents in a teamfight rather than just one.
Keeping Crushing Blow at just level 1 is fine too, because of its great 1.1 total AD ratio. You'll be doing more damage overall with your harass combo if you max out Nimbus Strike, rather than Crushing Blow. Want more numbers? Still assume you have 160 total AD, with 60 as bonus AD:
Level 5 Nimbus Strike with level 1 Crushing Blow
Crushing Blow: 30 + (160 * 1.1) = 30 + 172 = 202
Nimbus Strike: 240 + (60 * 0.8) = 240 + 48 = 288
490 damage in total.
Level 1 Nimbus Strike with level 5 Crushing Blow
Crushing Blow: 150 + (160 * 1.1) = 150 + 176 = 326
Nimbus Strike: 60 + (160 * 0.8) = 40 + 48 = 88
414 damage in total.
Overall, Nimbus Strike is superior over Crushing Blow. Hopefully that was enough convincing for you.
Recommended build for Heavy AP.
All these builds are similar in that you purchase Trinity Force. Explanations for items are listed below.
Great against many solo tops that like to hurt you with AD such as Gangplank, Pantheon, Tryndamere, etc. Generally get this plus 5 health pots, unless I'm against certain lane ups in which case, I'm taking boots.
Boots of Speed
I prefer boots over cloth armor, because I enjoy the speed it gives me, however cloth is simply more optimal in most cases. If I'm up against a skill shot hero, an AP hero, or somebody who doesn't like to harass(i.e. Nasus), then I'll take the boots and 3 health pots.
You can take Doran's Blade if you're in a duo lane, because the added HP, damage, and lifesteal are all nice. However if you are not, don't take it.
Compared to other solo tops, Wukong lacks something important: sustain. With Wriggle's Lantern, not only will you have sustain, but you'll have a fair amount of AD and armor to compete with other solo tops, alongside a useful ward. Even better is the fact that you can farm better with its passive, also having dragon control.
You are almost always going to get this rather than Ninja Tabi. The mres is nice, and the CC reduction is just too good to pass up. You'll almost always be in a game where there is some form of CC.
Are you destroying your lane hardcore, or up against an AP champ? Just want the Youmuu's Ghostblade? You can get Brutalizer if you're doing very well, because it is a great item, but only if you're doing well. Replace Wriggle's Lantern with this.
One of the best DPS items to get for Wukong and tanky DPS champs in general. It gives you everything you'd ever want. Most importantly are three aspects of it: the movement speed, the bonus damage after a spell cast, and the slow. The movement speed is great in general, and for moving around looking for opportunities to initiate. The bonus damage after a spell cast adds some good burst damage, especially after using Crushing Blow. The slow is very helpful, because Wukong has no CC besides Cyclone. I would recommend building them in the order: Phage - Sheen - Zeal.
Frozen Heart is a really great item. It really counters AD champions who really hit you hard with the AS debuff, plus giving you some mana and CDR to boot! However, if you're up against champions with low AS, I would reccomend Sunfire Cape over Frozen Heart
Quite the underrated item in this game. It's really a great counter to casters, and the attack speed it provides is invaluable. It is also surprisingly cheap. If there are two casters, pick this item up, otherwise it may/may not be worth it.
This gives you a decent amount of mres while giving a nice boost in health and mana. The spell block is especially awesome, because getting CCed while using Cyclone really sucks.
Other Viable Items
Other Carry Items
Pretty good item that gives you armor penetration, cooldown reduction, damage, critical strike, and an awesome active. If you built the Brutalizer, upgrading to this is a good choice. Just remember to activate the item.
Gives a good amount of health plus a constant slow. You will have to choose between this or Trinity Force. Frozen Mallet is cheaper, but can't quite replace the awesome stats that Trinity Force gives you. However this item synergizes fairly well with Atma's Impaler, giving you a good increase in AD. Take Frozen Mallet only if you feel like targets keep getting away from you, or your team has very little CC to none at all.
This item gives a pretty good amount of damage if you decide to build either Frozen Mallet or Warmog's Armor. The armor and critical strike it provides is an added bonus. Only get this item if you get a ton of HP.
Just doing exceptionally well, or decided to run as carry Wukong? Buy the Bloodthirster. It provides a very good amount of damage, which will make Wukong even more of a threat than before. You can replace Guardian Angel with this if your team is tanky enough for you to be able to deal more damage.
Are they just stacking tons of armor, or you're against a Malphite(especially if you're against a Malphite)? Buy this. Goes great with Crushing Blow too.
In the early game, Wukong should be focusing mainly on farming, because without items he will not reach his full potential. Use an autoattack plus Crushing Blow to last hit. If the opportunity arises, harass if possible. Wukong's harass combo usually goes like:
Nimbus Strike > Auto Attack > Crushing Blow > Decoy if necessary.
Note:Crushing Blow resets the autoattack timer.
Wukong is an exceptionally good harasser, however you do need to recognize situations when it is a good time to harass. For example Wukong is great at harassing Gangplank, except his Parrrley is ranged, meaning trades will usually end up going in his favor, or he'll just hurt you and you can't do much. Instead wait for him to use Parrrley on a minion, then harass him. If you notice he is going super aggressive on your monkey butt, then tower hug. On the other hand if I'm up against Nasus I will whack him forever, because he really wants farm and denying him creeps is what you want to do. Recognize situations and the champions you're up against.
Keep farming up until you can buy your Wriggle's Lantern or Brutalizer. Buy health pots to keep up your sustain, and always buy wards. You don't want to be ganked by a jungler do you? If you do get ganked, use Decoy. Decoy is purely awesome at escaping sticky situations and tricking people.
If your jungler wants a gank, coordinate it with him. Wukong is pretty good at finishing off opponents with jungler ganks. If you get to level 6, use Cyclone to prevent your opponent from escaping, or to set up the gank. Heck, Wukong is even a great tower diver if you know what you're doing.
If Wukong goes bottom lane with a support, then you can definitely be more aggressive than usual. If you're bottom lane with another champion who's not a support, then you can harass harder or less depending on who you're laning with. If I go bottom lane with a Garen for example, then we'll just take the bushes and laugh.
Mid - Late Game/Teamfights
By now you should've gotten Trinity Force your boots, and be building up your tank items. Wukong really does well in this stage of the game as he is incredibly tanky in team fights due to Stone Skin and Cyclone is exceptionally strong during team fights. With Wriggle's Lantern force dragons if you can. If Wukong is not present in a teamfight, then it is very possible that your team may lose that fight without you. That is how important his ultimate is. If you get low, simply Decoy/juke out of there.
When there's nothing much else to do, keep farming. Wukong is best during teamfights, so he's really got nothing much else to do. With a level 5 Nimbus Strike you can easily get caster minions low or one shotted for gold.
When it gets to late game, protect your carry at all costs. By this time you should be tanky enough to survive a bunch of hits before you go down. You should always be at teamfights, because you will usually be the initiator(unless you've got a better one). Letting carries live is priority one, but getting rid of their carries is the next most important thing. If you went the carry role, this is even more important. As always, use Decoy to get the heck out of there. Ultimate when necessary. Sometimes if you are not the initiator you should use your ultimate to disrupt other ultimates(Malzahar's suppression, Galio's taunt, etc.) Repeat this process until victory.
Tips N' Tricks: Decoy and Juking
Wukong becomes stealthed for 1.5 seconds. An uncontrollable decoy is left behind that will deal magic damage to enemies near it after 1.5 seconds.
A unique and creative spell on Riot's part. Decoy is your best escape mechanism. The ability to juke with this skill is simply great. The best way to learn tricks about juking with Decoy is to search up youtube videos or just watch Wukong gameplay videos. However I will tell you a few ways of using Decoy.
The best way to use Decoy is to be unpredictable. Generally run into a bush, press W, and run a direction completely different from where the opponent expects you to go. This will give you a lead in distance and save your butt.
Also one of the best ways to get good with Decoy is to have amazing reaction time and timing itself. A quick trigger finger can get you out of many sticky situations. If you see a Taric coming out from nowhere, you know that he is definitely going to throw Dazzle at you. Time his arrival by pressing W a second before he'll stun. Players sometimes think too hard about killing you, and he will instead press E on a useless clone. This also helps with Pantheon. Press W just a little bit before you expect him to jump on you and he'll take a clone. This is also exceptionally useful by making people waste summoner spells such as Ignite and ultimates(I've had a Malzahar suppress my clone instead of me). When you dash into a team fight, sometimes pressing Decoy immediately afterwards is useful, because everyone is too confused and scared to see if you are the real Wukong or not and will blow all their spells on you. This is demonstrated pretty well in the Champion Spotlight made by Phreak. Once again, great reaction time and timing when things are coming towards you will increase your chances of survivability.
Also if you hold S(which is the Stop button), then you will stop doing anything, making you look like you used Decoy. This is incredibly useful to trick your opponents into thinking you used it, and then just popping it to get out of there. Use this in combination with your juking. It's got a long CD, so holding S may be a wise decision.
And on another note, if you haven't realized, Wukong's clone actually counts as a champion which is why spells like Malzahar's ultimate works on him. This also means that Wukong's clone can block skill shots!
Caitlyn's got a lock-on on you? Press W, and he'll take the bullet for you.
Ashe's arrow incoming? Press W, and he'll take the arrow for you.
Nidalee spear at your heart? Press W, and he'll take the spear for you.
So as you can see, Decoy is just an incredibly unique and fun spell to use. It will save your life more than once.
I hate Decoy! How do you counter this *******?
Oracle's Elixir. Huehuehue.
Tips N' Tricks
Some of these might just be restatements from before:
- Nimbus Strike is actually also a useful escaping tool as it will bring you towards minions.
- Crushing Blow resets your auto attack timer, so use it right after you hit somebody.
- You can flash while using Cyclone so you should always jump in first with Nimbus Strike, not Flash in case they Flash when you press your ultimate.
- Cyclone can be ended at any time with R. You need to recognize a situation where you want to keep it up for its movement speed buff and damage, or just prematurely end it to get to opponents with Nimbus Strike. At level 6, the damage it does is pitiful(20 per second wut), but at level 11+, its damage will have improved significantly(110 per second sounds more like it, especially since it has a 1.2 total AD ratio).
- Cyclone is not a channeled ability, so you'll still be spinning even if you get CCed. However stuns and snares will prevent you from moving.
- Laugh at people who think Banshee's Veil will save them from Cyclone. This is due to it being a constant damage source.
- Cyclone should not be always used to initiate but can also interrupt important ultimates that you don't want going off.
- Soraka's bananas are an extremely hard counter to Wukong.
Thanks for reading my second guide for mobafire on Wukong! I hope it has helped out not only veteran players learn something, but newbies too. Hopefully this guide has asked you to consider some new points that other Wukong guides on mobafire don't address(building him as tanky bruiser, leveling Nimbus Strike > Crushing Blow). Wukong is really quite a fun champ, especially if you take solo top with him. He's also a monkey, and he was just monkeyin' around.
“Do not fail to do a good deed because it is small; do not commit a bad deed because it is small.” - Wukong, the Monkey King, in Journey to the West