How to Play Wukong (New Rework Guide)

How to Play Wukong (New Rework Guide)

New Reworked Wukong Guide

After spending a ton of time being iterated on the PBE, Wukong is finally the newest rework to hit Summoner’s Rift!

In this guide, here’s what we’ll cover to teach you how to play Wukong:

  • Key differences between the old Wukong and new Wukong
  • Items
  • Runes
  • Skill Order
  • Combos
  • How to lane
  • How to teamfight

We also have a video version by our resident Challenger Coach Moriarty so be sure to check that out as well!

Key differences between the old Wukong and new Wukong

Most of his moves remain pretty similar in flavor and function but they do have slight changes.

Overall though, his passive still makes him tankier, his Q is still an empowered auto, his W creates a clone of himself, his E is a dash attack onto a target, and his ultimate is a spin that knocks up.

In terms of playstyle, before his rework, he was more of an assassin who would use his mobility and trickery to one-shot enemy carries with his E -> Q -> R and escape.

Now, Wukong has become more of a bruiser due to changes in his scaling ratios (which we’ll get to in a second).

In general, this means that he prefers and excels in longer, sustained fights rather than short, burst fights.

He also has a higher ceiling since he has more combo potential and his clone needs to be used more for offensive value rather than defensive.

As far as roles go, still be playable from top, mid, and jungle, but will now be worse into AP matchups and better into AD matchups.

Passive – Stone Skin

wukong passive stone skin

Wukong’s passive, Stone Skin, no longer grants magic resist and instead, now grants increased health regen and armor.

The bonuses are increased by five seconds every time Wukong or his decoy hit a champ or monster up to a 500% bonus at 8 stacks

This is the change that makes him weaker against mages but more suited for AD matchups (especially melee) in extended fights.

Q – Crushing Blow

wukong q crushing blow

Wukong’s Q, Crushing Blow, is pretty much the same as before but now get’s a lower CD every time Wukong or his clone deals damage with an auto-attack or ability (0.5 sec reduction).

The cast time also now scales with attack speed, so it’s crucial to make the most of using your clone to land hits to maximize his kit.

W – Warrior Trickster

wukong w warrior trickster

Warrior Trickster, Wukong’s W, now has a small dash but not that it cannot over walls.

Its stealth duration has been slightly decreased so it’s losing defensive utility but it is receiving more offensive punch in exchange.

This is because his decoy now mimics Wukong’s attacks and ultimate (dealing reduced damage compared to the original of course).

A big thing here is that his clone can knock someone up if Wukong hasn’t knocked up an enemy with his ult yet, giving Wukong even more teamfighting ability than his previous version.

E – Nimbus Strike

wukong e nimbus strike

Wukong’s E, Nimbus strike, is basically the same but the major thing is that it now scales with AP instead of physical.

This basically stifles any possibility of assassin Wukong viability because he can’t really build lethality anymore.

Outside of this scaling change, he also got a few tunings like more bonus attack speed and a longer buff duration.

R – Cyclone

wukong R cyclone

Wukong’s Cyclone now offers a higher ceiling since he has a ton of new combo potential.

Since it has two activations, you’ll need to plan around knowing whether to use your second activation to go deeper into a fight or use it to get out.

Do note that he now only spins for two seconds (per each activation) instead of four to make up for this.

Best Wukong Build

Now that we understand how Wukong’s ability kit has changed, let’s take a look at his items, runes, and skill order.

wukong overall build summary

Since these recommended builds are bound to change as the game changes in future patches, we strongly recommend going to Wukong’s champion page for the most up-to-date builds.

bruiser wukong banner

For the purposes of this article, we’ll be focusing on top lane because it will be his most popular build.

Wukong Items

To start off, you have a wide variety of options based on your matchup.

starting items

Take Longsword + Refill potion or Doran’s Blade if you want to play offensively, Doran’s Shield if you want to play defensively, and Corrupting Potion for a balanced approach.

For your first back, Tiamat is a good choice because it will help Wukong waveclear more consistently and builds into one of the Hydra items (which are great on bruisers).

first back item

After Tiamat, you can consider Trinity Force or Black Cleaver, but we lean toward Tri-force because the additional attack speed is very useful due to how the new Q works with reduced cooldown and added attack speed scaling.

core build

Next, you’ll want to go with the recently upgraded Death’s Dance.

Death’s Dance is an ideal item when combined with Wukong’s passive and Conqueror because it’s an amazing item in prolonged fights.

Your third item is a bit trickier but we recommend finishing your Tiamat ino either Titanic Hydra or Ravenous Hydra based on your game state.

If the game is looking like it can end quickly, go with Ravenous but if you’re looking to scale, Titanic is the way to go.

If you’re a new player or have trouble evaluating game state, go with Titanic because it will be the most consistent option.

full build

The rest of your build can take advantage of usual bruiser options like Guardian Angel, Sterak’s Gauge, Spirit Visage, and Mortal Reminder.

Keep in mind that you don’t really need any dedicated armor-based tank items due to your passive.

If you want to try other options, here are some other items that can work for him depending on your matchup and game state

wukong situational items

Wukong Runes

Since Wukong is a bruiser now, Precision’s Conqueror keystone will be your most obvious choice in most situations.

You’ll want to pair that with Triumph, Legend: Alacrity, and Coup de Grace or Last Stand.

Legend: Tenacity is also worth taking in certain matchups as well.

wukong runes

His secondary runes are a bit trickier as you have three viable options: Domination, Inspiration, and Resolve.

In most cases, our experts recommend Domination for additional punch and it’s currently the best performing option right now.

However, the other options are pretty close in terms of stats.

If you want utility go with Inspiration (Biscuits + Timewarp Tonic) and Resolve (Bone Plating + Demolish or Overgrowth) when you need more survivability.

Wukong Skill Order

Some players have been advocating for Q, E, into W but the numbers currently favor going E, Q, into W.

wukong skill order

Power Spikes

Wukong’s power pikes haven’t changed much but do note that his early trades are slightly weaker in terms of burst damage.

His level 2 and 3 are solid all-in levels and his level 6 is absolutely incredible.

wukong level spikes

After that, it’s level 9 because its when his E reaches its peak, followed by the standard levels 11 and 16.

wukong item spikes

In terms of item spikes, he’ll be spiking hard when completing Trinity Force followed by Death’s Dance (like most other bruiser champions).


Unlike the older version of Wukong, the reworked version is much more fluid in how he can combo and engage.

This means that he has a ton of possibilities based on your situation – as such, we won’t be listing every single possibility and will instead, focus on his bread and butter that will be your most reliable options.

His standard all-in combo that you want to make second-nature is E -> auto -> W -> auto -> Q -> R -> auto -> R -> auto -> Q.

wukong combo

Keep in mind that your clone is more built for damage output than survivability so make sure to get value out of it or your damage may be lacking.

His ultimate ticks reduce his Q’s CDs, so make sure to use your Q before your ult.

If you play your cards right, your Q should be coming off cooldown pretty much when you finish ulting.

This means you can do things like auto -> Q -> R -> auto -> Q -> R.

How to Lane (levels 1-6)

In this section, we’ll cover how to play Wukong during the early game laning phase (usually levels 1 to 6).

We’ll break them up into separate sections based on level thresholds.

Step 1 (Level 1):

Reworked Wukong still has decent trading with E so don’t be afraid to chip the enemy down with E into auto exchanges.

wukong level 1

This is especially true against AD melee matchups as you’ll want to make the most of your passive stacking in extended fights.

Step 2 (Levels 2 and 3)

Remember that your clone is more of an offensive trading tool now so avoid using W into E.

levels 2 and 3 wukong

Instead, look for E -> auto -> W -> auto -> Q trades.

It’s a similar laning pattern to Jax – whenever your W is up, look for a sustained fight, rinse and repeat.

Step 3 (Levels 3-5)

Between 3 and 5, you have to options. You can either set yourself up for a level 6 all-in by chipping your opponent down and controlling the wave to it’s on your side.

wukong levels 3-5

Or, if a kill isn’t possible in your particular matchup, look to perfect CS to rush your Trinity Force.

wukong no kill

Step 4 (Level 6)

This is matchup dependent of course, but in most cases, Wukong’s level 6 all-in will be stronger than his opponent’s due to being able to use your clone to ult.

wukong level 6

Even at full HP, you should be able to use your standard combo to kill, or at the very least, force your opponent to use their Summoner Spells and Recall.

Laning Phase TLDR

Here’s a quick review of Wukong’s laning phase.

wukong laning phase summary

How to Teamfight

Once the early game and laning ends, it’s time to look for teamfights!

In this section, we’ll give you recommendations for your general play pattern as Wukong when teamfighting.

Note that this is always contextual and depends on the different champions on both teams and the state of the game, but in most situations, these steps should hold true.

Option 1: Look to flank

Although Wukong isn’t an assassin anymore, he still benefits for looking for good angles to get into a fight.

wukong flank

Look to engage with your standard all-in ultimate combo and try to get the most value as possible out of your clone.

Decide what to do with your ult

After your first ultimate cast, you’ll need to quickly decide whether you’ll be fully committing to the fight with your second ult charge to finish off their backline or using your ultimate to instead, spin away and peel for your own team.

wukong first ult

If you choose the peel option, you can look to enter the fray again with E and or W.

Just remember to always keep your stacks up to make the most of your passive.

Option 2: Fight the frontline and then look for an opening

If you weren’t able to find a flank, you’ll need to hit the enemy frontline a bit to stack up your passive and Conqueror and then look to dive the enemy backline.

if you cant flank wukong

If you aren’t able to get within E range, that’s okay, don’t over commit too hard because this likely means that they are too far back to impact the fight anyhow, so just keep fighting the front liners with your team.

Once you make it to the backline, refer to the section above, “Decide what to do with your ult” and follow that pattern.

wukong backline

Basically the nuances of teamfighting come down to how to get in, whether it’s be flanking or entering through the frontline.

Once you get to the backline, your options will be pretty similar.

Wukong Rework TLDR

  • Wukong is now a bruiser instead of an assassin.
  • He excels in extended fights rather than short bursty ones.
  • He’s worse against AP matchups but better against AD matchups.
  • He can still be played top, mid, and jungle.
  • His ultimate now has two activations allowing you to knock up enemies twice.
  • Items: Trinity Force -> Death’s Dance -> Hydra item -> bruiser items.
  • Runes: take Conqueror with Domination/Resolve/Inspiration.
  • Skill order: E -> Q -> W
  • Laning: Look for extended trades and all-in opportunities at level 6.
  • Teamfighting: Look to flank or fight on the front lines until you find an opportunity to engage onto the backline. Once you’re there, use Wukong’s standard ultimate combo.

Thanks for reading everyone! We hope you found this article helpful. For the most up-to-date builds and matchup recommendations, be sure to visit Wukong’s champion page on Mobalytics.