League of Legends: Wukong Remains S Tier Despite Patch 10.14 Nerf

League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

Wukong has shockingly kept his place in the top lane S tier on Patch 10.14

Gameplay updates have become increasingly frequent and successful over recent years in League of Legends. Since Skarner’s inSPIRE-ing 2014 revamp all the way through to Volibear’s recent overhaul, there have been no fewer than 69 champion updates as the balance team continue to reshape and modernize the Summoner’s Rift experience. Wukong’s Patch 10.6 gameplay update is yet another example of the massive impact champion updates have on League of Legends.

In terms of scale, the Monkey King’s Season 10 update is one of the smallest champion overhauls in recent memory. No visual effects were added, the model remained the same, and even the abilities kept their place.

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However, improved numbers, revamped skills, and a brand new ultimate transformed Wukong from an extremely niche pick without a fixed role into one of the most influential champions of the Season 10 meta so far.

Prior to his gameplay update, Wukong suffered from a sub-50% win rate and a tiny 2% pick rate. Now, the champion boasts 50%+ win rates in both the top lane and jungle roles and has also skyrocketed to a huge 21.2% presence in solo queue.

As a result of these numbers, the balance team took action on Patch 10.14 in an attempt to limit the Wukong’s huge map impact. The top laner’s ultimate ability, Cyclone, saw its knockup duration reduced from 0.75 seconds to 0.6 seconds, decreasing the amount of time his opponents are CC-locked and unable to escape incoming damage.

However, this nerf has not yet had the impact the balance team hoped for as Wukong retained his place in the top lane S tier on Patch 10.14 with a 50.52% win rate and 7.1% pick rate. While there is certainly a lag between nerfs hitting live servers and solo queue adapting to changes, early signs show that Wukong remains a strong top lane pick for the current meta.

There’s no doubt that reducing the duration of Cyclone’s knockup adds to both the ‘clunkiness’ of Wukong’s kit and the room for enemy champions to escape but there are several other reasons why the Monkey King dominates the current meta.

Wukong’s abilities have excellent base damage numbers and AD ratios, as well as the fact that he offers a constant flanking threat to the enemy team with Warrior Trickster, diversifying a team fight, especially in the late game.

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All in all, Wukong’s Patch 10.14 will have a significant impact on his win rate as his total knockup duration has fallen by 20% and no longer poses as large of a threat. However, due to the overall strength of his kit, the top laner will probably continue to linger around the S and A tiers for some time until alternative champions receive buffs or Wukong receives further nerfs.