With all the buzz around, the Monkey King, we decided it might be a good time to take a moment to examine his gameplay and abilities. Here to bring you an inside look at this most noble monarch of monkeys is Associate Producer Paul 'Pabro' Bellezza of our Champion Design Team.
- Playing As
- and work well together to quickly strike your enemy and get out before they can retaliate.
- Try using near brush to make an enemy overreact to your movement.
- Playing Against
- will often use and . Try delaying your abilities by a short amount of time to ensure that you're hitting the real .
- becomes to kill when surrounded by his enemies. Try to isolate him to gain an advantage.
- abilities with . can be a very effective AoE assassin, with , and deals very high damage with a knock-up with , as well as being able to covertly dive in and slay any vital carries on the enemy team. can also be used as the usual bruiser/fighter style, engaging and disengaging with solid damage and solid survivability.
can be a decent tank due to his passive as well as being able to dodge
- Top lane is commonplace for as he can benefit from the eventual use of semi-defensive-offensive build path that is already recommended for him. Top lane is usually where semi-tanks and tanks are placed and where damage is not so focused on. Most of his matchups top tend to usually be even or at a disadvantage, due to Wukong's lack of natural sustain and reliable harass. This can often be exacerbated further with matchups against champions such as , , , or , who can out-damage or out-sustain early and often force him to play passively. Champions like can also easily shut-down some of 's approaches by delaying him and poking him from a distance before he gets dangerous, so he often needs to rely on an assassin-like mindset to stand out in-lane (such as using to either escape or use as a form of offensive assassin-style stealth), though 's offense is easily baited if he's not careful.
- Middle Lane is a popular alternative for an assassin playstyle fit with assassin items, though for it's the least common field for him. This is due to the common weak armored mid laners who are often AP Mages (i.e. , , etc.) Although, the recent meta has seen not so immobile, statistically weak champions. It's possible to build the same way as top lane, especially since has plenty of firepower and mindgames with his . Being melee-ranged and as a caster type champion, usually requires similar skill needed to stay strong and alive for the early portions like with top lane, since many high utility mages can easily make a stand against him if he plays aggressively at a bad time.
- The jungle is the second least common field for and often tied with top lane, but it is where he is safest. Away from bully top laners, and away from high burst middle laners. He is an effective ganker due to the armor reduction from and later on the CC from that is particularly useful against AA reliant ADC at bottom lane. also provides the needed gap closing to gank. This role is often used by players who want to carry with because of the little amount of harass and weak early game that has in lane. Ideal choice of jungling runes and masteries should be considered, especially since if not careful he can be counterjungled and also executed by monsters if his damage/defense is too low against the monsters without a proper leash. However, if played well and managed well by his team composition, in the jungle can scale to late game all too well and is able to carry games if possible.
- Ability Usage
- champion, with a combination of burst damage, durability and difficulty to gank. He is also an AD caster, so he focuses more on his abilities for burst damage and relies on cooldown reduction, as opposed to DPS from attack speed via his auto attacks.
is an excellent solo lane
- His basic harass method is closing the gap with , auto attacking with an immediate afterwards, and then using to avoid retaliation. However, it's possible to space both and apart from each other to land extra attacks before wasting them, since spamming his abilities too often and using them too soon may waste some needed damage at opportune moments.
- However, be aware that relying on in this way will drain your mana quickly, leave you without your main escape mechanism should you be ganked, and make relying on the same combo repeatedly with makes you predictable.
- Leading with armor, increasing your damage output. will reduce the opponent's
- resets the attack timer; using it immediately after an autoattack will give you a 'free' attack.
- Both and allow to close the gap between him and his target.
- if timed right, can be used to follow opponents through walls since it counts as a dash.
is an effective way of escaping and chasing down enemy champions.
- When fleeing, consider how best to utilize the brief stealth provided by (default key: S) you can pretend that you have used to make your opponents think that you are the decoy. However, this move may not work on skilled opponents. . Use it to juke your pursuers by changing directions after using . Sometimes it's best to simply stop after casting and watch as your opponents continue to chase in the direction they think you've gone, this is known as 'stop juking.' By pressing 'stop'
- This is less effective against more skilled opponents, because the decoy doesn't show any visual effects ( / buff, Poison, , etc.) This means it is usually easy to tell if has really used a decoy or not. Though if the foes do not have any stealth revealing items, then the real challenge is knowing where to retreat as your enemies search for you.
- When ganking an enemy from the brush, use while inside and approach your target during the stealth time.
- The decoy can also be used for farming on minions, or dealing extra damage if they remain in its radius for the duration.
- is also useful to set up ambush during laning phase, with a good timing, you can auto attack, then activate w right when the auto attack animation ends so that enemy gets tricked and won't escape away.
- can also be used to escape from .
- However, due to his base movement speed, one must always be aware that the decoy won't always be a reliable form of escape, especially against area-of-effect damage and anything that hinders mobility.
can be used as a shield against skillshots such as and . always appears behind you. Thus, it can be used as a utility shield for all sorts of situations if needed, such as stopping ultimates to save either yourself or help allies retreat.
- It can also be used to stop .
- If is used exactly when hits, the damage will be nullified or taken by the decoy.
- can also be used to gang up on opponents; with careful timing, it's possible to add up the decoy's attack to his burst damage in a one-on-one fight.
- It can also be used with the summoner spell during stealth to cause a bigger guessing game for your opponents and to close the gap more safely towards your target, but only if timed right or it may as well be a waste, especially since you blew both escape mechanics for an engage.
- turrets and inhibitors. bonus damage works on
effects grant additional 125 bonus range, which is good for finishing off an opponent who is just slightly out of your range.
- Because of the bonus range, can be used to punish melee opponents who try to last hit safely as well. A can be used right after it for some extra damage and to ensure a or follow-up for more mind games or heavy damage.
- crowd control effects, like stun, silence or airborne will not cancel or interrupt his ultimate. However stuns or roots will prevent him from moving, and airborne can still move him away. Reckless use of it can be suicide, as can't do any other actions other than move or use certain summoner spells as well as certain item actives while spinning, so use with caution in certain teamfights and know when to cancel it or not. is not a channeled ability so
- General team fighting with crowd control and burst may be headed your way. While stealthed, you can back off and reposition yourself. Then re-enter the fray with another and another before activating to disrupt their team as they come after you knowing you don't have available. After finishes, you should be close to having ready again to chase down an enemy or smartly target to aid your escape. should aim to persist in the fight as long as possible utilizing his skills multiple times while also disrupting the enemy team and not getting focused down. Such an approach is to use to close on a dangerous enemy, autoattack, use for another attack, and then immediately use since enemy
- Try to hang onto your crowd control to break up enemy champions and to chase. during teamfights instead of using it to initiate fights, your visibility with your ultimate and high damage output will put focus onto you from the enemy team. Instead use it as a strong
- It should be noted it's very easy for to fall behind if he gets denied early, as he is very item-dependent. He has a bit of a difficult laning phase against champions who are able to out-damage and out-sustain him early game. His tankiness from his does not kick in until later levels, so he is also rather squishy early game. Take the time to farm if needed in order to work your way up to late game if early game gets rough while avoiding most dangerous confrontations.
- works better in mass-teamfights, and thus against a single target especially in the early game (such as during laning phase), can have a bit of trouble. Learn to play passively and assassinate certain targets if you don't think you'll last in a fight.
- Be careful not to spam too many abilities; though doesn't high overall mana costs, his mana pool is naturally limited as a fighter. Because of this, it's wise to land a few basic attacks first before using his abilities for well-needed burst; the attack speed boost from provides some solid DPS for these situations.
- Runes Usage
- Item Usage
packs decent damage with armor reduction and gapclosing; it's possible to build him as a pure fighter as an AD carry, a pure tank, or a semi-tank with major AD burst damage. With tanky builds and strong attack damage items, he can start teamfights quite well, making him rather versatile. Note that this disregards any AP builds as only his scales with AP, and it's generally unneeded for any damage.
- Regardless, he is quite item-dependent, so it's often best to ensure he's farmed up enough to sit on certain items to last up to mid game where he can really shine (as well as playing safe enough to prevent himself from falling behind) Also, his is also the core component of his mid/late game power, since it's at early levels he should focus more on farming up to get enough for his items and for his passive to take effect.
- Much of his damage can easily scale up to late game with enough items, so he is more of an assassin-bruiser than a bruiser-tank, due to the conditions of his passive needed to be effective.
- Given that the bonus damage from cooldown reduction can push a lane surprisingly quickly.
affects both towers and inhibitors, , together with a (or ) and
- and later on synergizes with , leading to a surprising amount of burst damage.
- If spread out enough with good timing, you can get two hits when you dash in with a -> combo.
- and its ingredients in general sync very well with . 's new rage passive like with most bruisers who make strong use of in general, gives the monkey some strong sticking power for chasing and some HP. The attack speed and critical chance give him some decent auto-attack power, and the movement speed also give him much-needed mobility as well, since along with a few other items for the job, 's mobility doesn't offer too much in comparison to other fast-running bruisers, even if they lack gapclosers like does (especially in order to make quick escapes with his decoy to avoid any AoE attacks) The extra mana is also good for 's abilities as well.
- Another alternative tends to be , making it so that has a form of cc-burst damage, and some tankiness via some armor, as well as giving cooldown reduction as well.
- In general, building defensive items with armor and magic resistance naturally and effective use of his can help him avoid being targeted so high amounts of defense might not be necessary as opposed to more HP. The speed boosts can also help with certain mobility purposes.
works well on . Keep in mind that 's gives him
- is a good pick against a balanced enemy team. It grants some health regeneration and magic resistance, scaling well with . The aura is also useful in aiding allies, as well as making the team generally tankier. It can also be built into for more tankiness along with its shield being useful for ally protection. However, this should mainly be considered only if it's needed and if no one on his team builds it.
- gives him excellent defense and some additional damage while he is persisting in a fight. On the other hand, enemies damaged by the aura will know that he's right next to them, so they can guess his position during stealth and well-coordinated teams can tag him with skillshots easily. Its particle animation also resets upon using .
- magic damage dealers. In the case of the latter, if built with tanky HP items, then the missing health can greatly benefit for extra damage. or also gives him excellent defense against bursty
- An alternative for MR is movement speed from for even better chasing. to combine with the
- Sometimes due to 's passive, he may as well need a mere HP item like in order to get tanky enough and let his passive tank for him in teamfights, but that's mainly if he's fed enough. It can also help him stick to enemies with its passive.
- is also a good choice for in the case of armor builders, especially against DPS heavy champions as lane opponents early game.
- Due to likeliness to , the aforementioned can also give extra damage to both their spinning abilities, and , a la extra AOE damage. This also applies to .
- Cooldown reduction is a good stat for attack speed steroid of his on himself, which is mainly due to the fact that he is played as a caster-type champion, relying a lot on his abilities to deal damage.
, allowing him to maintain the armor reduction debuff from his on an opponent and the
- armor penetration and cooldown reduction. is a great item for as it will help keep him next to the opponent and gives all the stats he needs by adding extra
- armor and some mana in addition to cooldown reduction, though one should be mindful that they would need a strong HP alternative item should they buy the Heart. offers a lot of
- item pick as scales well with attack damage. Because offers purely offensive stats, it should be saved until can survive an enemy encounter. is a strong
- Because physical damage that can be countered by armor and his grants armor reduction by a percentage, armor penetration and armor reduction items can increase his damage output, especially when combined with his .
- The active from can help increase 's DPS usage without buying too many attack speed items. It can be used with the bonus effect from for more attack speed rushdown.
- The active can also be used during his or even during his for extra mobility; the former is often used for pursuit or for a bit of escape if needed added with the extra movement speed, while the latter can be used for quick-and-safe gap closing or for excellent jukes as well.
syncs very well with as it can reach full stacks in just almost 1 second into his ultimate while the enemy is still knocked up, provided you do the and combo beforehand. Because of this, is often considered a core item on .
- Ever since its rework, also works in making him much more tanky and giving him the ability to kite/chase with the Rage passive. However, damage-wise it is not as decent to outright rush anymore due to the need for more raw damage and/or armor penetration beforehand.
can be a powerful early game item to build for him, as the life steal and unique passive/active with its AoE crowd-clearing can help him farm mid/late-game, as well as tack on some extra damage. The aforementioned life steal can also support , though at a cost: it's not as damaging as the aforementioned and other items that provide both life steal and attack damage, so keep this in mind. Used in conjunction with such items however can be effective.
- The active from can be a great compliment to as they both reset autoattacks, though the Hydra's active recovers quicker. Using these in conjunction can prove hard to stop if timing is mastered and the foe is being assaulted upon with need of quick attacks. This tends to work well for many AD-casters who often need an extra budge in split-pushing, or in terms of adding an extra spell to their combos.
- The health regeneration off the ingredient can also prove very handy for some self-sustain and damage early game.
- Life steal or health regeneration items should mainly be first considered when jungling with , since his juke potential is very strong for ganking (while taking into the consideration of the monsters' armor stats in comparison to the minions).
- The active for both and can be used to gain vision on certain monsters in the jungle past thin walls, so that way can to the target for a wall-dash escape, which can be useful since only hits targeted enemies.
- is also a solid item to build as with most AD bruisers if one is looking to be a bit more tanky.
is rarely considered in general due to low base damage, but can be good for most DPS/pure AD builds without needing to rely on cooldown reduction very often. Since is a bit more focused on basic attacks compared to other AD casters (and like a few others), This can especially be very powerful in not only giving more attack speed amplification from his passive, but also can power up his , through both increasing its animation speed to make it easily connect very often, and giving it HP based-damage in line with his basic/auto attacks. Mixed with both armor penetration and the ability's armor reduction, this allows to have solid 1 v 1, extra damage on high HP tanks, sustain, and dealing more damage to carries with DPS outside of using his ultimate and/or his abilities in a big combo; into an auto-attack (or a few more) into a is a very smooth combo to help apply the damage.
- The item's active can also be used not only help with his mobility issues, but it can also be activated during his ultimate, which allows to chase or escape during the duration.
- However, the item's stats are normally not as strong unless you have a lead; otherwise, as a priority rush a complete tank-item and/or better yet, a raw AD item to sit on just so can have more base stats to use in tandem with . Damage from items such as and/or are some of the few solid starting choices to rush damage-wise before building .
- When built with , 's passive plus the attack speed allows to shred defenses with DPS HP-based damage in duels, especially without needing to rely on his ultimate to apply the passive stacks. If built in tandem with , this can be even more effective when it also comes to spacing his ability combos for proper burst mixed-in with damaging auto attacks.
- For those having to deal with mana issues,
is a solid choice on to provide critical strikes for his in-between autos and his 's damage, raw AD for across-the-board damage via his ratios and most of all, cooldown reduction.
- in general however, is a decent component to sit on when built early and/or rushed, as later on the game it's up to one's choice to sell it for another damaging component such as a if more defensive bypassing is needed.
can be a good choice for , as it reduces the effectiveness of slows and speeds up your escape when using , meaning the enemy will already be too far from you to see you after ends.
- On the other hand, if the team isn't packing much damage, then can often opt for the in order to roam around often to be a presence for his team and to make use of jukes with his , but only if he escapes battle in that case. Since his can only have so much of a range, he often would need extra movement speed from items like the aforementioned (for some reduction against slows), (for better map presence), and 's active (for damage purposes and extra DPS, as well as being one of the item actives usable for ).
- For anything
can tank with, what he can build can depend on the types of boots he first purchases: (this can vary depending on one's playstyle)
- is built as the boots of choice, then (for extra protection) or a (for more regen and cooldown reduction) is the way to go.
was built instead, then (for more damage) or a (for teamfights and chasing) is the preferred choice. 's active can also be use to chase, disengage, and it can even be used during . Overall especially for the raw stats it can be very cost effective on him compared to other HP and armor items.
- However, is a more considered option for him to have to help with burst, crowd control and most of all, mobility (even if it happens to be a bit situational). It also allows him to increase his on-hit damage in tandem with some of the aforementioned items.
- can also mainly be considered more for the Tenacity, which can be helpful if in a tight pitch to escape during or .
- is often a bit squishy early game and if falling behind, so for early sustain, some s can easily help in laning early with him, at the cost of trading in his need for more defensive stat items.
- Though a rarely used item, for those who are more caster-type with , are a solid item for an AD caster playstyle, at the sacrifice of durability.
- If you are playing as a tank, consider purchasing both health and armor items so his is less effective.
- Do not be tricked by his
clone, If you see him suddenly stop, try continue moving forward instead of attacking him so you will see him when his stealth duration is over.
- If you are close enough activating will counter his stealth.
- Beware: he could use it the other way, like suddenly stopping without using .
- To avoid getting tricked between him stopping or deploying the , notice his idle animation. The clone starts its idle in a set position so if he suddenly 'jerks' in his idle animation, you know he used . Otherwise, feel free to continue battering Wukong.
- It's also wise to save up abilities like ultimates during this situation, as the decoy can be used as a shield against certain attacks and abilities, making them get wasted.
- Wukong also has rather low movement speed in comparison to other champions; without his decoy or ultimate, it's possible to escape from him or pin him down to kill him. Even if his decoy can confuse his opponents, he may still be too slow to run away from most AoE-based attacks.
- Buy stealth detection items to neutralize the stealth advantage of , or land slows on him before he uses the ability, making it difficult to use the stealth to escape a large distance - preferably with non-skillshots, as cannot stop them from hitting while they are already in flight.
- Be careful if you happen to be fighting in a one-on-one if he has his up; with proper timing, it's possible to take extra damage from both Wukong and the decoy, enabling extra burst damage with a sneaky-touch and it's possible to also get killed by a decoy as well.
- can easily peel at his target's defenses. Make sure doesn't land it so that he'll deal as less damage as possible.
- can also easily act as an assassin as well as an initiator. Be sure to kite him with your carries and/or high-utility teammates to prevent him from killing any vital teammates off by preventing him from closing in.
- Be sure to spread out to avoid
- its potential makes up the most of power and having the team avoid getting affected by it as much as possible can significantly reduce his effect in teamfights.
- Knockback effects and escapes can avoid a lot of 's damage - perhaps even all of it!
- In general, with a good amount of certain types of abilities available, it's possible to punish Wukong for activating his ultimate, though this requires good positioning and timing to hit/kill Wukong during it.
- Sustain can nullify the effects of 's harassing combo, and the combo costs a significant amount of his mana which can quickly leave him unable to use his abilities. This is also true since he lacks any natural sustain himself.
- Be careful if ganging up on a fed
during late game; his may make him tank a lot more damage than usual, so it's often best to assault him alone or with as few allies as possible.
- By proxy, can only work on enemies who could be seen, so champions with stealth can really be effective in assassinating him if he happens to be fairly squishy without his passive.
- True damage and defensive-bypasses are also very effect against his passive early-to-late game, so champions with that natural type of stat in their kits are able to give a rough time early game, but be careful if he happens to build a lot of health over defensive stats, as this way depending on how can affect/benefit him can still make him relatively tanky.
is one of the few bruisers who are actually meant to shine late game, unlike most who tend to do more damage early game as he not only requires more skill, but due to lack of sustain and high base ratios he is very item-dependent. Be sure to deny him early if possible.
- This can also be said about his early game in either laning or jungling; he has no self-sustain and his passive is very weak at early levels, making him very squishy early game. Dueling him early in the jungle can really hinder his progress.