Wukong’s long-awaited rework has finally landed on the live League of Legends servers, and less than 48 hours later Riot has been forced to send a series of small nerfs for the Monkey King in a Patch 10.6 hotfix to keep him in check.
After months in the oven, Wukong’s rework finally landed on the PBE in the last patch cycle. League’s iconic monkey warrior has been left afloat for years, and Riot wanted to bring him back with a “true trickster playstyle” to boot.
These changes included moves to hook the Monkey King out of the mid, and return him to his original top/jungle placement. While it seems that has worked, Riot may have poured in a little too much power as well.
Why is Wukong in line for rushed hotfix nerfs?
Nearly immediately, the Wukong rework took over solo queue. Ahead of the 10.6 hotfix, top lane Wukong boasted a huge 54.90% win rate with an 8.3% pick rate, according to analytics site U.GG. Jungle players clocked up a 50.29% win rate.
This new reign of terror had a few key elements, including his poke potential against melee opponents with Nimbus Strike (E), but his core power came from one place — his overtuned Warrior Trickster (W) ability.
This “tricky” upgrade to his decoy skill not only allows Wukong to pile on the hurt for his lane opponents, but he can easily proc Conqueror stacks. This, combined with his lethal Cyclone (R) at level six meant he was ruling the laning phase.
Wukong’s Warrior Trickster cops double nerfs
Now it looks like the Monkey King’s reign is over before it’s even begun, after Mark “Scruffy” Yetter unveiled a number of small nerfs for the Wukong rework. These include two changes to his W, as well as some base tweaks.
In the 10.6 hotfix, which Yetter confirmed would be loaded into the game “this afternoon,” Warrior Trickster would have its cost change from 60 to 80-40. Its Clone damage has also been swapped to 40-60%, from 50-70%.
Here is the full list of hotfix nerfs:
- Passive — 8 >> 10 stacks; 62.5% >> 50% per stack.
- W Cost — 60 >> 80-40
- W Clone damage — 50-70% >> 40-60%
- Base HP/5 — 5 >> 4
We have a Wukong Hotfix coming to you this afternoon. He's really fun now, but needs a slight nerf:
Passive :: 8 >>> 10 stacks. 62.5% >>> 50% per stack
W Cost :: 60 >>> 80-40
W Clone Damage :: 50 – 70% >>> 40 – 60%
Base HP/5 :: 5 >>> 4
— Mark Yetter (@MarkYetter) March 19, 2020
Riot still likes how Wukong’s rework has landed
These rushed changes don’t mean Wukong’s new 10.6 look has been a failure by any means, however. Riot’s main objective with the changes was to switch the Monkey King from his mid lane kingdom to top/jungle, and that’s worked.
Yetter touched on this just ahead of the hotfix. He revealed Riot had already dubbed the lane swap “great.” All that’s left is making sure he doesn’t rule the Rift.
“A good first sign for the Wukong update in the early data is that his top and jungle power is up and mid-Wukong is actually slightly weaker than before,” Riot’s lead gameplay designer said. “It’ll be great to see him back in those roles.”
While a lot of the recent focus has been on Wukong, the Monkey King isn’t the only League champ under the microscope for an overhaul — Riot revealed a first look at Fiddlesticks’ horrifying new rework too.
Fiddlesticks is sticking close to his original 2011 kit, with a few “horrifying” changes. These tweaks are geared at making the Harbinger of Doom the “iconic ambush champion,” and so far it looks like Riot has succeeded.