Monkey King is an elusive hero that you will chase around the map for minutes without end. He can utilize nearby trees jumping from one to another with Tree Dance. Wukong’s Command gives him a strong team presence, while Jingu Mastery allows him to exchange blows with some of the best right-clickers in the game.
In this Monkey King Dota Guide, we will take a closer look at the hero, his roles, and how to better use his spells.
Key Info Up Front
Monkey King is a melee agility hero that builds up damage the more he hits. You can play him as a carry or as a support. One of the things he excels at is scouting the map and providing information for his team.
- Health: 560 Damage: 51-55 Movement speed: 300 Strength: 18 + 2.8
- Mana: 315 Armor: 5 Attack speed: 0.72 attacks per second Agility: 22 + 3.7
- Intelligence: 20 + 1.8
- Spells and abilities: Boundless Strike, Tree Dance, Primal Spring, Jingu Mastery, Wukong’s Command
- Special abilities: Mischief
- Strengths: Highly mobile, amazing for scouting, solid teamfight presence for a carry, good laning phase
- Weaknesses: Drops off sharply compared to some other carries, doesn’t farm quickly, highly dependent on good Wukong’s Command to have teamfight impact.
Monkey King is especially annoying during the laning phase. Jingu Mastery is a charge-up ability that increases provides lifesteal and extra damage on every 4th attack. It is especially powerful when combined with Boundless Strike, which can utilize this base damage.
The hero can hop around using Tree Dance. Given how trees function in Dota two, the enemies won’t be able to see him (although there is an animation when he is jumping from a tree to a tree). This can be very annoying, as you can never tell when the opponents are going to ambush you.
Boundless StrikeBoundless Strike is the hero’s only disable and instant nuke. Monkey King will increase his staff and slam it into the ground, damaging and stunning enemies in the line. The ability works based on the hero’s current attack damage, and it adds a critical and true strike.
What’s more important is that this spell applies all Monkey King’s procs and damage. In other words, it scales together with the hero. If you couple it with Jingu Mastery, you can get an even stronger nuke while also adding lifesteal effect. Often, Monkey King players will use it in a pinch as a way of restoring health.
The stun duration is rather lackluster, though. It only lasts 1.6 seconds on the last level. The saving grace is that it works in a rather large radius (or should I say line). Unfortunately, it takes a lot of time to get off the cooldown, which doesn’t make it an ideal initiation tool, nor can you spam it in fights. This is probably for the best because otherwise, the hero would be too powerful.
Tree Dance is an ability that makes Monkey King a viable support. Of course, carry players also benefit from it.
The hero will jump on a tree providing him with unobstructed air vision. Furthermore, he can constantly move around, jumping from one spot to another. That way, he can follow the enemy team’s movement. While on a tree, he will be able to use Primal Spring, which allows him to crash into the ground, damaging and slowing opponents in the radius.
Whenever you’re hit, Tree Dance goes into a short cooldown. In other words, if you’re getting ganked, you cannot rely on it for escape. Also, if someone cuts a tree or destroys it with a spell while you’re on top of it, this will instantly stun you for 4 seconds. A good Monkey King player should be aware of opponents’ spells and items so they won’t catch him off-guard as he is scouting.
Although it is very hard to notice Monkey King as he is perched upon a tree, there are a few telltale signs that he’s up there. For example, you will notice him as he jumps from a tree to a tree (if there is a clear line of vision). Alternatively, you will notice that a tree is shaking as he jumps upon it.
This is a channeled ability that Monkey King can only use when standing on a tree. As mentioned, you will descend upon an area landing with your cane first. The spell does magic damage and slows down enemies caught within the radius for 4 seconds.
Primal Spring can be channeled for up to 1.6 seconds. The longer you channel it, the higher the damage and slow percentage. It is a great spell for initiation, and the slow helps you accumulate Jingu Mastery stacks.
Interestingly enough, Primal Spring gets better with points invested in Tree Dance. Tree Dance itself will get only a minor buff from scaling. Instead, putting the points in the skill is much more important for improving the damage, slow, and cooldown of a Primal Spring. So, this is an interesting interaction.
In most cases, you will invest just one point in Tree Dance. Maxing out the ability could only be good for support Monkey King, but even then, it is better to go with Boundless Strike.
Jingu Mastery is your passive ability. It can help Monkey King both offensively and defensively. When you hit the same target four times, you will get a buff that adds 40/70/100/130 attack bonus and 25%/40%/55%/70% lifesteal.
When you hit an enemy, a debuff will appear above their head. Once the counter reaches 4, the debuff will disappear, and you will get a buff on top of your head that lasts 35 seconds. For the duration of the buff or for the next four attacks (whichever comes first), you will have all these benefits. If you use Boundless Strike, you will use up all these charges instantly.
Monkey King should try and get this buff as soon as possible. This is why Monkey King players usually buy Echo Saber, as it allows them to get two instant hits. The slow from the item helps you get the other two hits rather quickly. Once you get the buff, you should try to hit as many enemies as possible with Boundless Strike to maximize its damage. If all of this happens within Wukong’s Command, it will be even better.
Wukong’s Command (Ultimate)
Wukong’s Command is an AEO spell that creates an inner and outer circle on the ground within which there are 14 invulnerable Monkey Kings (5 on the inner circle, nine on the outer circle). These newly spawned units are a type of clones that cannot move and attack every 1.2 seconds.
The monkeys benefit from the hero’s item. However, they cannot bash, nor can they activate other procs. Given that they attack every 1.2 seconds, most Monkey King players will avoid buying attack speed items.
Wukong’s Command can be really devastating if you catch several opponents within it. Sometimes, Monkey Kings will follow this spell with Boundless Strike, even if they don’t have Jingu Mastery buff, so they can stun enemies keeping them within the ultimate for as long as possible.
The spell lasts 13 seconds. If the hero moves from the rings, the soldiers and the rings will vanish. While inside Wukong’s Command, Monkey King gets a massive bonus to his armor. So, if the enemies want to kill him, they need to rely on their magic damage.
Mischief (Special Ability)
Mischief is an ability that Monkey King has from the get-go. There is only one level of Mischief, and you cannot improve it.
Monkey King can use it to transform into a tree, courier, item, or rune. A lot of players will instantly transform into a courier, as this would provide them with bonus movement speed at the start of the game. Furthermore, while in courier shape, you won’t be targeted by enemy towers.
This allows you to make some sneaky moves on the map. For example, you can go all the way to the enemy fountain and start killing enemy couriers as they leave the base. Or, you can transform into a tree, meld with the environment, and ambush unsuspecting opponents.
As soon as you’re hit, you will transform back into Monkey King. The transformation takes 0.2 seconds, during which the hero is invulnerable. This can be used for dodging projectiles.
Monkey King has a lot of tricks up his sleeve. While the hero is on the map, you can never be too careful. He is the ultimate scouting and ganking weapon. Also, if you play support Monkey King, you can plant wards while on the trees, and no one will see you do it.
Both support and core Monkey King are heavily reliant on items. Support, in particular, can fall off sharply during the mid-game as his spells are predicated on physical damage. As for the core Monkey King, he has a small timing window during which he can be effective. Otherwise, most other carries will simply out farm him and win during the late game.
Monkey King can do the most during the laning phase. You can play him in any role except for offlaner. He is especially annoying as a support because of his long-range auto-attack and great passive ability. Both supports and cores benefit greatly from Orb of Corrosion, allowing them to get additional stacks of Jingu Mastery.
Due to his strong early game spells, he should win the lane as a carry. If you don’t, you should consider building some farming items so you don’t drop off. Alternatively, you can try to recuperate during the mid-game by joining allies and winning teamfights.
The last thing you want to do with Monkey King is play passively. Unless you build Battle Fury or Maelstrom, it will be really hard for the hero to match the opponent’s carry’s farm. Even then, Monkey King can be a tricky hero in the late game because most carries have escape mechanisms that would allow them to avoid Wukong’s Command.
As for the skills, you should focus on Jingu Mastery and Boundless Strike. You should get a point in Tree Dance later on as you prepare for mid-game ganks. However, these two abilities are crucial for pushing back enemies in the lane and potentially getting early kills.
During the mid-game, Monkey King’s role is to serve as a vanguard during ganks, to ward enemy woods, and to track enemy cores’ movement on the map. At least, if you’re playing him as a support. Even if you’re a carry, you shouldn’t sit in the jungle. Instead, you should try to get some solo kills with the farm advantage that you accumulated in the lane.
Monkey King has a major advantage if the enemy is too focused on the farm. With this hero, it is really easy picking off stragglers. If you coordinate the attack with your team, you might catch several opponents off guard, which would allow you to transition into a tower push.
There are only a few heroes that can negate Monkey King’s scouting abilities. Good examples are Night Stalker and Bat Rider. Otherwise, you should have an advantage over anyone else.
During this stage of the game, Monkey King should have a few damage items and should probably get a Black King Bar. However, if you’re playing as a carry, you shouldn’t take any unnecessary risks. Dying can completely ruin the hero, stifling your item progression and preventing you from coming back.
Monkey King still has an advantage over many carries, as long as you manage to maintain a high level of farm. At level 25, you can choose a talent that will grant you another Wukong’s Command ring. Even if enemies could previously escape your ultimate, this will no longer be the case. This specific talent doubles ultimate’s efficiency and, with that, Monkey King’s overall efficiency in teamfights.
At this point, the success of Monkey King will depend on itemization and how well you counter opponents’ carry. Given how important every kill is in the late game, the hero will have a major advantage due to his scouting. It is something that can literally win you the game. Among others, Tree Dance can break opponents’ smoke ganks, thus preventing ambushes.
Unlike some other melee heroes that tend to struggle sieging, Monkey King can actually be great when attacking the high ground. You can use Wukong’s Command while close to the enemy’s tier 3 tower and barracks, pushing back enemies. Due to its large radius, this upgraded version of the ultimate can even prevent Blink Dagger initiation.
The ultimate works similarly when facing a siege. Just make sure that the enemies are deep enough so you can activate it. Unlike sieging, where you can use Wukong’s Command as soon as you’re close to a tier 3 tower, it is very important to find the right timing when you’re defending. Otherwise, the enemy team can simply move back and wait for the next wave of creeps.
Itemization (Core items)
Although Echo Sabre has fallen out of favor as of late, it still works pretty well on the hero. As mentioned, it is the best thing for quickly stacking Jingu Mastery. The addition of strength and mana regeneration are also nice. Later on, you can disassemble the item and use its Ogre Axe component to build Black King Bar.
Orb of Corrosion
Whether you’re playing a carry or a support, you want to buy this item. Orb of Corrosion provides several benefits to the hero. First off, it is great for chasing heroes due to its slow. Amor reduction works well with Boundless Strike and Wukong’s Command, and you also have some extra health on top of that.
Desolator stacks nicely with Orb of Corrosion, and it is good for the same reasons. Given that Monkey King peaks during the mid-game, you want to get items that would help you get fast pickoffs. Desolator definitely falls into that category.
Black King Bar
Like many other melee cores, Monkey King is highly dependent on Black King Bar. In fact, given that you’ll have extra armor within Wukong’s Command rings, the only thing you should worry about are magic spells. While Black King Bar doesn’t help you against all the abilities in the game, and there are still a few things that go through it, the item will make you almost invulnerable.
Eye of Skadi
In most public games, you will notice Eye of Skadi as the 4th item, usually bought after Black King Bar. It gives you lots of stats, and it debuffs your primary target. The movement slow reduction will keep the targeted enemy hero within the Wukong’s Command for a longer period of time while also helping you stack Jingu Mastery.
Itemization (Optional Items)
Basher allows the hero to fight against enemy carries one-on-one. The stun proc is important for Wukong’s Command and Jingu Mastery, giving Monkey King some extra time to land additional hits. While Basher is important for Monkey King, it isn’t impressive like on some other heroes. This is because the character doesn’t build attack speed items. In other words, you can’t maximize its potential.
Shadow Blade and Silver Edge
Occasionally, you might see Shadow Blade or Silver Edge on the hero. The item provides another method of initiation, making it really hard to guess whether Monkey King is coming from the trees or invisible from the ground. Silver Edge can be good against various carries removing their passive abilities for a short duration.
Battle Fury and Maelstrom
Although two very different items, I decided to put Battle Fury and Maelstrom into the same category. Both of them are primarily utilized for farm and are considered rare purchases for Monkey King. However, in some games, they are seen as a necessity allowing the hero to keep up with the opposing carry.
You will also rarely see a Nullifier on Monkey King. However, its stifling Nullify effect can provide a few benefits. Slowing an enemy is always good for maximizing Wukong’s Command’s and Jingu Mastery’s potential. It can also purge the target from Ghost Scepter and Aoen Disc effects.
Satanic provides a lot of sustain to the hero. In the earlier portions of the match, Monkey King will be a hard target as long as he is positioned within Wukong’s Command and has Black King Bar turned on. But, as the game progresses, certain carries will have enough damage to nuke him. Additional health and Unholy Rage buff would help prevent this.
Level 10 (+0.3 seconds Boundless Strike stun duration OR +50% Tree Dance AOE vision)
The vision talent is much better for a support Monkey King, but carry also benefits from it. The talent is especially important if the enemy has characters will tree vision as it would allow you to see farther than them. On the other hand, anything that improves or increases your disables is a welcome addition.
Level 15 (+130 Jingu Mastery damage OR +450 Tree Dance cast range)
The second talent pick-up is a much clearer choice. The improved cast range on Tree Dance is simply incredible. Unfortunately, it isn’t something that will help you win a teamfight, nor will it exponentially improve your scouting ability. So, I would recommend that you go with Jingu Mastery damage.
The only exception would be if you were a support Monkey King and you’re regularly getting nuked in teamfights without being able to get the buff.
Level 20 (-7 seconds Boundless Strike cooldown OR +2 Jingu Mastery charges)
The problem with Jingu Mastery talent is that you usually cast Boundless Strike as soon as you get the buff. This would remove all the charges anyway. On the other hand, reducing Boundless Strike cooldown from 22 to 15 means that you will likely be able to cast it two times in a teamfight. The talent is especially great if you took increased Boundless Strike stun duration at level 10.
Level 25 (Additional ring for Wukong’s Command OR 0-second cooldown on Primal Spring)
A very small percentage of players will take Primal Spring talent. While it might have some potential for ganking and sounds great on paper, an additional ring to Wukong’s Command is simply incredible. Even if you’re a support Monkey King, this additional circle can be good for disabling Blink Dagger initiation and would make any other initiation/retreat a real nightmare.
Question: Does Dota 1 Have Monkey King?
Answer: This hero was first introduced in Dota 2. So, he wasn’t available during Dota 1.
Question: Who is the Best Dota 2 Player?
Answer: According to the hero score measured by Dotabuff.com, the best Monkey King player is “Dy,” who represents Vici Gaming.
Question: Which is the Best Lane for Monkey King?
Answer: Monkey King can be played as a safelane carry, mid-lane core, or support in either safe lane or offlane. The best lane for the hero is safe lane.
Monkey King Dota Guide: Last Considerations
Monkey King’s scouting prowess makes him a notable standout from all the Dota 2 heroes. Even when in a support role, this is something that can completely turn fights in favor of your team.
I love playing the hero because of those big Boundless Strike hits. Lining up several heroes perfectly and pulling a trigger can decimate the opponents. After that, all you need to do is press Wukong’s Command and watch as your monkey dismantle the remains.