Wukong Build Guide by TheAlteredMind
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.
Hello all and welcome to my Solo Top build guide for Wukong, The Monkey King. Ever since his free week where I first tried him, Wukong has always been one of my favorite champions, so much so that I spent the better part of a month after his free week ended grinding through games for enough IP. Wukong has great potential to excel at all stages of the game and is one of the champions that avoids falling off later game as long as you've done arguably well. He also has the capacity to Snowball quickly if provided with early game kills which lead to lane dominance. So if you are looking for a champion with an amazing skill kit, great gaming potential and who can carry games all by himself then look no further than Wukong, The Monkey King!
ABBREVIATIONS AND TERMINOLOGY
[*] IP: Influence points. League of Legends online currency earned through gameplay.
[*] The Well: The starting champion spawning area and also were you have access to the item shop.
Champion Stat Related
[*] AD: Attack Damage. The damage that adds to your basic attacks as well as skills that scale off AD. Mostly applied to direct damage skills and some skill shots. Generally most Bruisers and AD Carries will be building AD. AD damage is countered by building AR.
[*] AP: Ability Power. The damage that adds to most magic based and hybrid skills that scale with AP. Most mages and AP carries will build AP. AP damage is countered by building MR.
[*] AR: Armor. Reflects how much physical damage a champion can withstand. Tanks will build it alongside MR.
[*] MR: Magic Resistance. Reflects how much magic damage a champion can take. Tanks will build this in conjunction with AR.
[*] Health: A measure of the maximum damage a champion can take before they die.
[*] Mana: A measure of the amount of power a champion has to use/cast abilities. It is important to note that not all champions use mana. Champions like Garen and Katarina are only limited by their ability cooldowns whereas champions like Mordekaiser and Vladimir use portions of their Health to use abilities.
[*] Cooldowns: The amount of time that a skill is unavailable for use after already being used. This can be lowered by building CDR.
[*] CDR: Stands for CoolDown Reduction and represents the percentage based decrease in the amount of time a champions Cooldowns are.
[*] Crit Chance: A percent amount that represents the likelihood of performing a Critical Hit on a basic attack. Critical Hits do 200% of your AD instead of the regular 100%. Most AD carries, ranged or otherwise, will most commonly build some form of Attack Speed Crit Chance combo. Crit Chance can't be countered by anything but the damage you take from a Critical Hit can be lessened by building a combination of Health and AR, the most popular AR item to counter ADCrit ChanceAttack Speed champions is as it gives significant AR and returns 30% of the damage from basic attacks back to the enemy champion in the form of magic damage.
[*] Attack Speed: A ratio measure of the amount of attacks per second. The maximum amount is 2.5, which represents a champion performing 2 and a half basic attacks every second.
[*] Movement Speed: A representation of the amount of in game units of distance you champion travels across the map. One Movement Speed point translates to one game distance unit traveled per second. Movement Speed is increased by any Boot related item as well as a few other items such as Trinity Force and Zeal. Movement Speed of enemy champions is reduced by the form of Crowd Control called Slows. There are several items in the game which apply Slows such as Frozen Mallet and Rylai's Crystal Scepter. As well a majority of champions in the game posses at least one ability that applies a Slow. Also by receiving the Lizard Elder Buff commonly refereed to as Red Buff a champions basic attacks can be made to slow the enemy.
Crowd Control Related
[*] Crowd Control or CC: This refers to the term used to describe an ability or spell that temporarily reduces a unit's ability to fight. The term Crowd Control comes from the ability to control the enemy team during fights, by either restricting their contribution or means to escape. In addition, the use of Crowd Control can aid in your own survivability: in the same way you can stopping them escaping, you can stop them following. Crowd Control except for Suppression]can be removed through the use of the Summoner Spell Cleanse and several champions abilities such as eating Oranges (which are known to make everything 'K). The duration of their effects can be reduced through building Tenacity which reduces the duration of all forms of Crowd control by a base percent (Note stacking Tenacity items doesn't work, you only get the base percent reduction). There are several types of Crowd Control which exist in League of Legends. They are as follows:
-KnockUp: Knocks your champion into the air. You cannot move, attack or use any skills for the duration of the KnockUp.
-KnockBack: Pushes your champion in the direction opposite that to the site of the cast.
-/Pulls/Flings: A Pull brings your champion towards the caster whereas a Fling tosses your champion behind the caster.
-Blind: A blinded champion will not hit with any of their basic attacks. This also effects skills that require a basic attack to activate them such as Wukong's Q: Crushing Blow.
-Charm: Forces your champion to move towards the champion who cast the Charm. You can't control your champion or cast any spells while charmed.
-Fear: Causes your champion to move in random directions with reduced speed. You can't control your champion for the duration of the Fear or cast any skills.
-Flee: Causes your champion to move directly away from the champion who cast the Flee. You cannot control your champion for the duration of the Flee or cast any skills.
-Taunt: This causes your champion to begin attacking the champion who targeted you with the Taunt. You will follow that champion without having control of your champion and will continue to attack them with basic attack for the duration of the Taunt.
-Polymorph: The addition of the champion Lulu, The Fae Sorceress introduced this type of Crowd Control. Essentially a Polymorphed champion is rendered completely passive, unable to use basic attacks or skills but still move, and suffers reduced speed for the duration of the Polymorph.
-Silence: Becoming Silenced results in your champion being unable to use any form of skills/abilities as well as your summoner spells (except for Cleanse) for the duration of the Silence.
-Slow: A slow champion has reduced movement speed for the duration of the Slow.
-Snare/Root/Immobilize: A skill that instantly locks your champion down preventing any form of movement, including movement based on abilities, but not the use of Summoner Spells (except for Flash) or other skills/abilities.
-Stun: A Stunned champion is unable to move, use skills/abilities or cast summoner spells (except for Cleanse) for the duration of the Stun.
-Suppression: Perhaps the most devastating form of Crowd Control out their is Suppression. Not only does it lock your champion down preventing movement, but it also renders you unable to use abilities/skills or use Summoner Spells, even Cleanse! And as if that wasn't enough, Suppression isn't even affected by the Crowd Control reduction from Tenacity! However Suppression is still negated by some abilities like the all powerful Oranges (Aw yeah, Dat Citrus) and can be interrupted/cancelled by targeting the champion casting Suppression with a form of Crowd Control that blocks ability/skill use, such as Silence,Stun, KnockUp and KnockBack, Pull/Fling, Charm, Fear, Flee, Taunt, Polymorph or another Suppression.
Champion Role Related
[*] Meele: This designates a champion whose basic attacks aren't ranged but done up close
[*] Ranged: This designates a champion whose basic attacks are ranged
[*] Mage: This refers to a champion with high ability or support skills and who generally have low defenses and whose abilities scale with ability power.
[*] Fighter: Champions that have aspects of damage per second and tanking, combining the survivability of a tank and the damage of an assassin. Not as good as either of their counterparts are in each specific aspect fighters are useful as they can survive reasonable amounts of damage while dealing both burst and per second damage using a mix of basic attacks and abilities.
[*] Tank: Champions with extremely high defense, health, and crowd control abilities, but low attack damage or poor ability power or attack damage scaling. Tanks are usually champions that combine high amounts of health, armor, and magic resistance. If left alone, tanks are able to absorb high amounts of damage or create disables on their foes, which make them great harassers as well.
[*] Carry: Champions with high auto-attack damage but low defense. Most carries have skills, passive or active, that scale with their stats, such as an increase in Base Damage and Attack Speed, and rely mostly on their basic attack to dish out damage. Carry champions are extremely effective late-game at "carrying" the team to victory, either by killing off key players on the enemy team or deal large damage in team fights because they have tremendous damage output, but low defense.
[*] Assassin: Champions with mediocre auto-attack and defense, who specialize in killing their enemies quickly. These champions usually are physical attackers and are DPS-based(Damage per second) or are AP(ability power) burst oriented.
[*] Pusher: Champions that can quickly kill minion waves and/or destroy turrets/inhibitors in a short amount of time.
[*] Jungler: Champions that can easily farm monsters in the jungle at an early stage in the game and can typically take out minions waves quickly. They usually excel at taking down opponents when they can catch them off guard in lane.
[*] Snowball: A champion who is said to be able to Snowball refers to the champion's ability to quickly become very powerful to the point where it is almost impossible to deal with them after getting only a few kills, usually in a row. Champions that have the potential to Snowball usually have low or moderate base stats that scale well as the game progresses. They can be considered even more dangerous than Carries because it takes less time for them to get out of hand. It is important to shut them down very early either through getting several early kills on them, starving them of any kills by playing defensively and/or out farming them.
PROS AND CONS
[*] Powerful burst damage and solid defenses
[*] Harassment Combo that is extremely hard to retaliate against
[*] Skill kit designed for both strong harassment and quick escapes
[*] Shreds armor rendering tanks weaker and squishies extremely vulnerable
[*] Passive which makes him tougher the more enemies are around
[*] Ultimate which can serve as an initiator, clean up tool and escape method
[*] Snowballing potential
[*] Ability to win most lane match-ups with relative ease
[*] No form of long range harass renders him disadvantaged against some champions
[*] Hard countered by a select few champions
[*] Escape potential somewhat reduce by Oracle's Elixir and Vision Wards
[*] Somewhat mana dependent throughout the game
[*] Burst damage combo places you right up next to enemy champ which can allow for easier ganks from enemy jungler
[*] Rather long cooldown for most effective and reliable non-ultimate escape skill
[*] Requires his items in order to be successful
SKILLS AND SKILL SEQUENCING (EXPLANATION)
FORWARD: Wukong's skill kit is one of my favorites in the game mostly because it caters directly to my general play style, aggressive. His skills combine into a perfect harassment combination that allows for almost zero possible retaliation and devastate the enemy for large portions of their health. Learn to perfect these skills and you should have no problem winning your lane as well as the game.
Stone Skin: Passive
->Wukong's armor and magic resistance are increased by 4/6/8 for each nearby enemy champion.
->It strange to say but I often forget about Wukong's passive simply because its not one that is explicitly noticeable. It is, however, an extremely helpful passive, not only for soloing top where the slight increase you will get helps you out nicely but the bonus MR and AR you will receive in a 5v5 team fight at level 18 will be 8x5=40. An extra 40 armor and magic resistance just for standing there!
->Another interesting use I've found for this passive is for checking bushes for enemy champions. This requires you to be acutely aware of your armor and magic resistance values because if when you approach a bush and see them increase there is most certainly at least one enemy there.
Q: Crushing Blow
->Wukong's next attack, within 5 seconds, will deal 30 / 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 (+1.1 per attack damage) physical damage and will reduce the enemy's armor by 30% for 3 seconds.
->I LOVE this skill. Honest to God if it isn't one of the most devastating forms of harassment out their. Not only does it reset the attack timer (basically if you activate this skill after a basic attack you will automatically attack again) but it also does extra damage with a AD ratio exceeding 100% of your AD and shreds your enemies armor by a incredible 30%!. When used in conjunction with Wukong's E: Nimbus Strike you are not only dealing lots of damage but you are shredding their armor for 3 seconds while you get increased attack speed from Nimbus Strike.
->This skill is also useful in last hitting but I would advise against this as its better to use the mana for harassing champions. Conserve your mana and learn to last hit with your basic attacks.
->Wukong becomes stealthed for 1.5 seconds and leaves an uncontrollable decoy that doesn't attack or move on the place he activated it. The decoy will deal 70 / 115 / 160 / 205 / 250 (+60% of ability power) magic damage to nearby enemies after 1.5 seconds.
->Wukong's W: Decoy is a ridiculously versatile escape as well as an assassination tool. The most obvious use of this skill is avoiding enemies by simply activating this skill and calmly walking back to your turret while your enemies groan with frustration. However to say that this is all there is to the skill is blasphemy! Using the stealth from this skill Wukong can easily sneak up on unsuspecting foes or teams, appearing right behind them only to decimate an injured enemy with his Q: Crushing Blow or initiate a team fight with his R: Cyclone.
->Decoy size 36w: Decoy when used after E: Nimbus Strike and Q: Crushing Blow results in the aforementioned harassment combo with little to no chance for retaliation. It essentially boils down to using E: Nimbus Strike followed directly by Q: Crushing Blow to quickly close a gap and deal substantial burst damage then immediately activating W: Decoy to retreat while in stealth so the enemy can't target you. This combo however costs a large amount of mana and should be used as sparingly as possible early game to avoid running out of mana in dangerous situations.
->This skill also has the ability to be used in the advanced concept of Juking but I will expand on that in a separate chapter.
E: Nimbus Strike
->Wukong dashes on a cloud toward a target enemy and sends out images to attack up to 2 additional enemies near his target, dealing 60 / 105 / 150 / 195 / 240 (+0.8 per bonus attack damage) physical damage to each enemy struck. He also gains a 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 / 50% attack speed bonus for 4 seconds after using this skill.
->Firstly I'd like to say that without this skill Wukong wouldn't have nearly as much devastation as he has with this skill. This skill adds so much to Wukong's skill kit that I'd be tempted to say its more important then Q: Crushing Blow.
->E: Nimbus Strike is first and foremost a gap-closer. Targeting an enemy in range in send you streaking towards them dealing damage and increasing your attack speed for 4 seconds. This skill when paired with Q: Crushing Blow is Wukong's main harassment combo. It works so well because, as mentioned before, not only is the enemy's armor drastically reduced but you attack faster making sure you get the full benefit of their reduced armor. The attack speed increase and armor shred combo has frequently been the only reason I've managed to kill an enemy champion before they kill me. Don't underestimate this skill, it is vitally important.
->This skill can also double as a limited escape method. Simply target an enemy minion and you will zip towards it hopefully placing you far enough out of harms way that you can make a quick escape.
->Finally this skill is very useful for farming. Even though the mana cost will always be higher then Q: Crushing Blow the attack speed boost paired with the fact that this skill strikes an additional 2 nearby enemies makes the mana cost more worthwhile if you can quickly pick up 3 minion kills instead of one.
->Wukong's staff grows outward and he spins it around for up to 4 seconds, dealing 20 / 110 / 200 (+1.2 per attack damage) damage every second and knocking up enemies once per cast. Wukong gains an additional 5% movement speed bonus every half second for the duration of the spell, with the bonus disappearing once he stops spinning. Wukong cannot attack or use other abilities while Cyclone is on, but he can deactivate it at any time.
->Finally it is time for the piece de resistance (to be excessively French about it)! Wukong's ultimate certainly deserves its place as it is one of the best, most disruptive and well rounded skills I have ever seen.
->Wukong's ultimate possesses the incredible ability to have a variety of viable uses depending on the situation you find yourself in. It can be used to initiate on an enemy and damage them down to the point where you can deactivate it and kill them with your E: Nimbus Strike and Q: Crushing Blow combo. Similarly it can be used to initiate a team fight by either first using E: Nimbus Strike then leading into R: Cyclone or, for a more sneaky approach, first using W: Decoy to stealth into position and then either using R: Cyclone or E: Nimbus Strike if you need to close any remaining gaps then followed by R: Cyclone. R: Cyclone can also be used to chase down fleeing enemies using the speed boost it applies to close the gap and put you in position for your E: Nimbus Strike and Q: Crushing Blow combination or it can be used to flee from ganks due to the speed boost and the fact that any enemy that touches you while you are ulting will be knocked up.
RUNE SELECTION (EXPLANATION)
The runes that I chose for Wukong reflect my personal choice and nothing else. If you have a favorite rune set up by all means use it.
->For marks for Wukong I like to use Greater Mark of DesolationGreater Marks of Desolation. With nine of these you will have an extra 15 armor penetration. This will not only help your early game as it syncs with your Q: Crushing Blow resulting in you basic attacks as well as your skills dealing significantly increased damage but will continue to be useful throughout the game.
->Other potential substitutes for marks on Wukong would be Greater Marks of Strength to give an early game attack damage boost.
->I only recommend one type of seals I recommend on Wukong. These are Greater Seals of Resilience. The early game armor is almost necessary for Wukong's. It makes him quite tough, syncs with his passive, and helps him deal with other attack damage champions you may encounter in the top lane, especially those with ranged harass. These seals will let you win most of your early level fights with your opposition and take enough reduced damage that you should be able to continue laning.
->The other type of seal I might suggest would be Greater Seal of DefenseGreater Seals of Defense which give armor per level instead of a flat armor increase.
->As with seals I only recommend on type of Glyphs on Wukong. I like to use Greater Glyphs of Shielding as the magic per level boosts scale well into late game and help Wukong trade effectively with ability power champions. Like the Greater Seals of Resilience theses Glyphs sync with his passive resulting in an even larger magic resistance increase.
->The other viable form of Glyphs I would suggest would be Greater Glyphs of Warding if you prefer having a flat magic resistance increase instead of the per level increase.
->Like the choice of marks I detailed above I prefer, and suggest, using Greater Quintessence of DesolationGreater Quintessences of Desolation for increased armor penetration. These quintessences when paired with matching marks and the Weapon Expertise and Sunder offensive masteries results in 31 flat armor penetration plus an additional 10% armor penetration at level. Since all of Wukong's offensive abilities scale with attack damage, taking Runes in armor penetration sync beautifully providing an increase in damage that not only makes spamming your skills less costly (i.e. the increased damage outweighs the quicker mana drain due to the fact that you can usually lower an enemy down to a point where they have to play defensively or teleport back to Well letting you essentially free farm) but can help you trade with other champions and, usually, come out ahead.
ITEM SELECTION (SEQUENCING AND EXPLANATION)
[*] Doran's Blade
->This is my usual starting item. The health, damage and lifesteal increases help me play aggressive early game while having the capability to remain in lane with lifesteal. This is a starting item for player who like an aggressive win-or-lose playstyle early game because unless you drastically damage the opposing champion each time you engage each other they will be able to outlast you if they have 2 or more potions.
[*] Boots of Speed and Health Potions
->The boots and 3 pots combo is a common choice for many solo top lane champions, especially on those that have a form of ranged harassment such as Pantheon or Gangplank. This allows champions such as that to dart in an out of range for their harassment quickly tagging the opposition and then backing off while keeping the Health Potions in reverse to have a form of health sustain if they take damage. I rarely take these items on Wukong to start with simply because he lacks any ranged harass. This combination does allow you to flee quicker after your basic ability harassment combo or from incoming ganks so it is a completely viable and effective choice.
[*] Cloth Armor and Health Potions
->Another very common choice for solo top champions, especially for champions with low base armor values or those who are inherently tanky. This item set-up not only provides an increase in defensive capabilities but also the longest form of health sustain. Against Wukong this item combination works incredibly for three reasons. One, the armor decreases the damage your basic attacks and abilities will do. Two, early game you likely won't be doing enough damage to force the enemy to back off let alone use more than 2 of their potions. Three, if and when you do engage the enemy you will always come out disadvantaged if you both have full health as it is much easier for them to bounce back then it will be for you unless you have also taken theses items. Even though these are the most defensive starting item choices they too are completely viable and effective and should be your second choice if you don't take Doran's Blade to start.
Early Game Items
->Your early game items when playing Wukong should be centered around increasing your damage output and durability. The items below are simply the ones that I have found to work the best.
[*] Boots of Speed
->Level 1 boots should always be the first item you, hopefully, buy on, hopefully, your first time back at the Well. The quicker you can get the movement speed increase the sooner you gameplay can progress. They help you maneuver in and out of combat as well as have a better chance at avoiding ganks. I usually get these as well as several (no more than 3) health potions when I return to Well for the first time.
[*] The Brutalizer
->The Brutalizer is a very good item choice for any attack damage champion who uses their abilities more than their basic attacks for damage. On Wukong this item exemplifies that statement wholeheartedly. Not only does this item give you an increase in attack damage but it also grants an additional 15 armor penetration and 10% cooldown reduction. Taking this into account alongside your rune and mastery choices you should now have 46 armor penetration with and extra 10% armor penetration and 14% cooldown reduction. This item makes your basic harassment combo even deadly increasing the damage you will do and then frequency you can preform it.
->I usually get this item before I get second level boots because its rather cheap therefore easy to rush and with it I can usually get my first kill if I don't have one already
[*] / Mercury's Treads/Ninja Tabi
->These are the only two boot choices you should ever consider and should be bought right after [icon=The Brutalizer size=36}The Brutalizer. Wukong doesn't get his damage from his basic attacks so Berserker's Greaves are a poor choice. As well Wukong doesn't really benefit from movement speed oriented boots as we build other items for that so Boots of Swiftness and Boots of Mobility shouldn't be considered either. And do I even need to mention Sorcerer's Shoes? Wukong's abilities deal practically all attack damage so why on earth would you give him magic penetration. What Wukong does benefit from his the armor and magic resistance benefits that Ninja Tabi and Mercury's Treads respectively provide. I usually take Mercury's Treads for the Tenacity bonus as my passive gives me acceptable armor and magic resistance values already and besides his W: Decoy Wukong lacks any other method of escaping from Crowd Control until he reaches level 6. The other choice is Ninja Tabi which I usually take if I find myself pitted against an even scarier attack damage champion up top or when I am put in lane against two enemy champions if the opposing team lacks a jungler as the armor increase and passively reduced damage help me take significantly less damage.
->The only other boots I would say could be a viable choice would be Ionian Boots of Lucidity for the increase in cooldown reduction that will let you spam your harassment combo and have access to your escape tools quicker.
->As far as items go Phage is a very solid item. 18 attack damage and 225 health with a 25% chance for you basic attacks and on-hit effects to apply a 30% movement speed slow for 2.5 seconds makes this one of my favorite items to get when I play an attack damage Bruiser solo top. The health increase is my main reason for buying this as my first component of the item I will eventually turn it into, [Trinity Force but the extra attack damage does hurt and neither does the chance to slow enemies which has helped me earn several kills on fleeing enemies.
->If you prefer a more balanced and less aggressive early game I would recommend that you buy Phage before The Brutalizer as it gives you more health for you to depend on.
[*] -> -> / -> is my general item progression for early game.
Mid to Early-Late Game Items
->The items you get during the Middle and Early-Late parts of the game should be centered on increasing Wukong's health as well as his damage output.