Back in the old days of League, only a small percentage of the available champions could take on the Jungler role with consistent success, whose kits were specially designed to be effective against the Jungle monsters and in ganks. Today however, Riot has made it pretty clear that the Jungle role should no longer be limited to a small champion pool, and with considerable adjustments, nearly all champions are now playable in the Jungle.
However, playable doesn’t actually translate to being viable, as a good chunk of the currently existing champions lack the means necessary to effectively clear the Jungle and gank, yet this doesn’t actually apply to this article’s starring champion.
Despite being seen nearly exclusively on the Top Lane, Wukong is built with an incredible Jungle potential, having been gifted with diverse Jungle clearing mechanisms, and a laid back combo to gank with.
But before players can Cyclone their way to victory, it is our duty to walk you through the best Jungle routes and clearing strategies to stick to when playing Wukong, along-side the ideal Summoner Spells, Runes and items. These being said, towards the end of this guide we’ll also provide some additional tips and tricks mains and professional players abuse in order to dominate their games with, so let us begin!
Flash + Smite
Flash serves the purpose of enabling Wukong to surprise-flank his opponents through a W + Flash + R combo, besides its many other uses, making it unwise to substitute it with another Summoner Spell.
The Best Wukong Runes
The Monkey King carries games by dealing a surprising amount of damage, whilst still being annoyingly resistant in combat, without building solely defensive items. This feature is mostly achieved through the right itemization choices and Runes, where there is little room for discussion in terms of the ideal choices.
The go-to Keystone is undoubtedly Conqueror, which is quite easy to stack with the Monkey King, providing plenty of use for his all-in type of play style. Subsequently, players will ideally pick Triumph, for added sustain in combat, Legend: Alacrity or Tenacity, depending on personal preference, and lastly Coup de Grace or Last Stand, once again being up to personal preference.
As for the secondary Runes, Sudden Impact is the go-to option, as it is easily triggered by two of Wukong’s basic abilities, paired with Ravenous Hunter, which further enhances the healing you’re going to be relying on.
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The Best Wukong Items
Starting Items: Emberknife + Refillable Potion
Mythic Item: Goredrinker / Divine Sunderer
Core Items: Defensive Boots, Ravenous Hydra or Titanic Hydra, Black Cleaver
Finishing Options: Death’s Dance, Guardian Angel, Spirit Visage
Optional picks: Thornmail, Maw of Malmortius
The first question we need to answer surrounds Wukong’s Mythic item, as choosing between Goredrinker and Divine Sunderer can be rather tricky. At first glance, Divine Sunderer would seem like the obvious pick, as the on-hit Passive synergizes especially well with Wukong’s Q, but that may not always be the case.
Usually, when players have to decide between Goredrinker and another fitting Mythic, the choice should come down to the enemy team’s composition, because, if your opponents have three or more ranged champions, getting the most out of Goredrinker may become challenging, especially if Sunderer would otherwise be of great use against that composition.
The next choice players are faced with is between Ravenous and Titanic Hydra, as one is oriented more towards a tanky gameplay, while the other towards a more aggressive approach. Both work equally well on Wukong, as the stats and effects are interchangeable from game to game, while the rest of the build remains somewhat unchanged, regardless of the previous two choices.
While Black Cleaver remains a near-mandatory item, the last two picks are meant to be adapted to the particular needs of the game, as sometimes players will go straight for a Death’s Dance and Guardian Angel, while other times it will be required of them to build solely defensive items, such as Thornmail or Spirit Visage.
The Best Skill Order for Wukong Jungle
E > Q > W > R
Unlike popular belief, The Monkey King should not max Q first, as Nimbus Strike (E) also provides some bonus attack speed, as well as multi-target damage. It also deals 50% increased damage against monsters, which further emphasizes the fact that Wukong is a more than viable Jungler.
The Best Jungle Paths for Wukong
The Monkey King’s camp clearing power is above decent, considering the amount of multi-target damage he can put out through his Nimbus Strike (E) and Warrior Trickster (W) ability, combined with his Stone Skin Passive. However, Wukong’s ideal build is on the more expensive side, and he demands a rapid gold lead in order to run away with the game, which is why ganking is going to be the primary objective.
We are going to cover the most advantageous starts from each side, but players should keep a few factors in mind when deciding upon where their Jungle pathing should start. These are:
- Which laners are going to provide more help in clearing the first camp?
- Counter-jungle opportunities, based on where the enemy Jungler is likely to start.
- Which lane would you like to gank first, depending on both the allied and enemy champions.
Wukong can start ganking as soon as he hits LVL 2, but the quality of his ganks increases dramatically with LVL 3, and once again after LVL 6, when players unlock his Ultimate ability.
Red Side, Red Clear
Starting our clearing routes from the Red Side’s Red Buff, your route will start off rather slowly, as Wukong relies on all three of his basic abilities almost equally when looking at his clear speed.
Begin by hitting away at the Red Buff’s Health bar with basic attacks and using E whenever possible, getting the most out of its attack speed bonus. Although this might take a while, the Monkey King will soon win back the lost tempo.
For the second camp, head towards the raptors and repeat the process, only this time you will also be using Q whenever it comes off cooldown. In order to save some Health and tempo, use your first Smite on the large Raptor, keeping the second charge for later.
Heading into the other side of your Jungle, it is time to clear the second multi-mob camp, the Wolves, which should go rather smoothly, as the Q and E combo is quite efficient against the weaker mobs.
With all three of your basic abilities now unlocked, it is time to secure the second Buff. Although Warrior Trickster (W) may not feel like the strongest ability in terms of clearing the Jungle camps, don’t forget that the clone can soak up a few hits from Blue, while also applying the armor reduction from Q, if cast while the clone is still up. The second Smite charge is also going to prove quite useful, as players are expected to cast it on the Blue Buff to keep up with the tempo.
Before entering the River, take the time to slay the Gromp using your basic abilities and auto-attacks, a trade which will ultimately leave you with almost full HP, besides the extra experience and gold.
Finally, head into the River and start hitting the Scuttler. It will take a while to slay without Smite or hard CC, but in the unlikely case that the enemy Jungler tries to contest, Wukong can always use W to make a safe and quick escape.
From this position, you are set up to gank Mid or Bot, to either help your allies keep up the push or to simply aim for a takedown, depending on the state of the Lanes at that given time.
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Red Side, Blue Clear
Having your start from the Blue Buff will feel slightly easier, since you will now have two allies assisting you with the first camp, which is usually the slowest to clear.
After securing the Blue Buff, head towards the Gromp and start chipping away at its HP bar with repeated Qs and auto-attacks, making sure to also use E when available. Once the Gromp’s Health drop below 450, use the first charge of Smite on it to finish the camp, leaving you with a safe amount of HP.
Next on the list are the two multi-mob camps on your way to the Red Buff, both of which you’ll be slaying without Smite, using the Refillable Potion whenever you’re feeling perhaps too vulnerable.
As your fifth camp, having now slain everything in your path to the Red Buff, secure that one using Smite and your basic abilities, before making your way into the River.
Regardless of which Buff you’ll start at, Wukong prefers skipping over the Krugs in order to use that extra window of time to pressure the lanes, so avoid the possible temptation of going for a full clear, and start securing the extra vision, gold and experience from the Scuttler.
In order to properly invest the extra time earned from having the assistance of two allies instead of one with your first camp, make sure to force a gank on either Top or Mid, where it is more likely for you to find small or big advantages for your team.
Blue Side, Blue Clear
Transitioning to the opposite side, the Blue Buff start’s pathing is going to be very similar to the previous one. The only considerable difference is that you will no longer have two allies helping you with the first camp, but that is ultimately the natural consequence of mirroring the start from the weak side.
After securing Blue, head for the Gromp second, once again investing your Smite to in order to make your clear a bit easier. From that position, players should repeat the same process of clearing the Wolves and Raptors on their way towards the Red Buff, using the Refillable Potion to stay above a certain threshold of Health.
Use the second Smite charge on Red after you take its Health down to 450 with the use of your basic abilities and attacks, before making your way into the River to finish your first clear.
Having now entered the River to claim the Scuttler, you can start looking for opportunities to gank, Mid or Bot, after you finish securing the Crab. Ganking Bot is usually going to be more likely to convert into a takedown, as two allies can set you up more easily, but it largely depends on the particularities of each game.
Blue Side, Red Clear
Finally, the last starting position we’re going to be talking about is the Blue Side’s Red Buff start, which is once again going to provide better tempo, considering the extra assistance from the Bot Laners.
After slaying Red, head for the Raptors where you will again use Smite on the larger mob, finishing the rest of the clear organically.
For your third camp, clear the Wolves using your basic abilities, before heading for the Blue Buff, where the second charge of Smite should be cast.
As for the fifth and final camp belonging to your Jungle, slay take your time slaying the Gromp and immediately rush towards the Top side Scuttler, securing it before the enemy Jungler can arrive to contest.
Lastly, force a gank on either Mid or Top before your first reset, even if you’re only able to win some extra pressure, or hopefully burn the enemy’s Flash.
The Best Tips and Tricks for Wukong
- Remember that Wukong’s Q shreds through the enemy’s armor for 3 seconds, which can become especially useful against sturdier targets. Combined with Black Cleaver, Wukong can simply drain the enemy frontline’s armor, leaving it up to his AD carries to finish the job.
- Warrior Trickster (W) can be very deceiving, and the simplest way to make a fool out of your enemies is to use the CTRL + S command, which stops your champion’s command and leaves them idle, similarly to how Wukong’s W clone behaves when not interacted with.
- Nimbus Strike (E) gives Wukong 60% bonus attack speed once maxed, for a duration of 5 seconds and a natural cooldown of 8. With the Ability Haste provided by your items, you can keep this 60% attack speed boost active for the entire duration of the fight.
- Cyclone (R) is Wukong’s most iconic ability, which has an incredibly high damage potential if uninterrupted. It also provides 20% bonus movement speed, allowing players to stick onto their targets for the entirety of its duration, which they should. E’s attack speed bonus is also continuously refreshed during Cyclone, allowing players to get the most of it and refresh it immediately after a cast of E.
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Wukong’s popularity surged on the European servers once Armut, former champion player in the Turkish league, joined the team of the MAD Lions, scoring season winning victories in the European Championship. However, players were quickly reminded just how fun Wukong’s trickster mechanics and overall kit are, as he currently sits in a comfortable position on the champion hierarchy.
Like we’ve repeatedly mentioned, Wukong’s early game is all about Map presence, which he forces through repeated ganks and invades, using W as both a comfortable escape mechanism and a nearly unavoidable engage tool, depending on the specific circumstances.
In the late game, The Monkey King’s main duty is to effectively flank the enemy team, finding proper angle for an unexpected W + E / Flash + R combo, only to then soak up as much damage he can, while his team cleans up the fight. Otherwise, if another ally has already engaged, make sure to be prompt with the follow-up, taking over the pressure in order to allow your ally to reset.
With this we conclude our Jungle route and clearing guide for Wukong, The Monkey King. We hope you found this article useful, urging you to come back for more League-related content, which we regularly upload more of!