Who You Should Be Playing in League of Legends: Wukong

by James Bates

MonkeyKing 4
(Photo: Riot Games)

Every player has a champion that they have a pathological hatred of. A champion that they despise so greatly that just seeing them on the enemy team is enough to set the blood boiling. For me, that champion is Wukong. He's skillless, brainless, and somehow my entire team will still manage to die to a huge Cyclone regardless of either of those facts. For a player like me, whose success usually relies on brains over mechanics, Wukong is the epidemy is of everything wrong with the game.

And yet, despite that, I'm still here to tell you that if you're a closet lover of the Monkey King -- and yes, I do judge you negatively for that, as a matter of fact -- that nows the time to start busting him out. Over the course of the last few days Wukong has quickly risen to the top of the pack in the top lane, and it's easy to understand why. Wukong has always been excellent against carry champions and awful in lane against tanks, so the constant nerfs to the tank champions on top of the fact that some of the most powerful armor items in the game have been taken down a notch make it so Wukong is finally getting a chance to shine in a way that he hasn't been able to over the course of the last few years.

One must be careful when playing Wukong, however, as his laning is always on the edge of a knife. Take care that you neither die in a 1v1 nor overextend yourself, as Wukong is just about one of the worst laners in the game when he's behind. He has absolutely no ranged abilities that don't require a total commitment, has no sustain, and isn't particularly tanky. The only deterrent that Wukong has that keeps enemy champions from just zoning him off the wave is his immense damage output, so it's important that you not fall behind, because if the enemy laner can all=in you successfully you're going to struggle to survive a laning phase.

Champions to be on the look out for are the last remnants of the tank top lane meta that seems to be quickly fading. The most obvious of these is Sejuani, who's an absolute monster at the moment and is also uniquely good against Wukong due to most of her damage not being reliant on being able to see him. Wukong players will usually harass with a combination of all their primary abilities in a combo that normally allows Wukong to walk away while invisible, immune to counterattack. Well, Winter's Wrath doesn't care if you're invisible at all, and the slowing power that Sejuani brings to the table also ensures that she'll be able to follow up with a devastating Permafrost combo once Wukong gets out of stealth. Secondly, be on the lookout for Renekton, as he is one of the few champions in the game who you cannot ever all-in. The lane is pretty much Wukong's worst nightmare, but while Sejuani will shut down Wukong for an entire game, Renekton will do no such thing. In that matchup you want to play safe, farm under your turret, and make up the difference in teamfights, where you have the potential to make a far larger impact than the crocodile.

As long as you keep an eye out for those terrible matchups, however, Wukong is likely the champions for you! Players in lower elo brackets will find him especially effective, so if you're in plat or below give him a shot and let us know how it goes!

By James Bates

A wanna-be novelist turned coach turned journalist, James is living proof that you never know where you'll end up. He's in love with narrative-heavy games, which he proves by spending his days writing about a game with less lore than Doom. His greatest regret in life is not having his name in the credits of Life is Strange, and it's galvanized him to truly pursue developing games that don't begin in packed taverns and use D20s.