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How to Counter Wukong with Garen

Quick Tips

  • Never fight Wukong when he has activated his clone
  • Avoid extended fights
  • If doing badly put early points into Q to empower short trades
  • If doing well max E for wave clear to allow you to gain prio and move around the map

Welcome to How to Counter Wukong with Garen.

League of Legends’s Monkey King is quite the trickster. For a bruiser who can take a bit of a beating with a few tanky items, he dishes out an enormous amount of damage in short range. He also has a significant teamfight presence which allows him to scale into the late game. This is despite the fact that if you let him, he will bully you in lane.

Garen fits the same role, just minus the teamfight CC. A lack of CC means Wukong outscales Garen. That means that your aim in this game is to win lane. We’re going to give you a few tricks you can use to beat Wukong as Garen in lane, then tell you how you can build and teamfight against a Wukong in the late game.

If you don’t know how the modern Wukong’s kit works, its worth having a look through his abilities.

Garen vs Wukong: Laning

The power of two

Wukong has a strong early game if you let him land his maximum damage combos. Winning lane against Wukong, which is what you should be trying to do, is based around reducing his trade damage. To reduce the damage he can output you need to plan your trades. The secret to Wukong’s early damage is the combination of his own abilities with that of his clone. If you fight two Wukongs instead of one, he will:

  1. Get passive stacks twice as quickly
  2. Get Conqueror stacks twice as quickly
  3. Deal 50/55/60/65/70% more damage
  4. Reduce your armor with his Q by twofold
  5. Reduce the cooldown on his Q twice as fast
The long clone cooldown

You can guess that you would rather not fight Wukong when he’s backed up by a clone. Rather, you need to take advantage of the long cooldown it has in the early game and bait it out. You will easily win trades if Wukong’s W is on CD. As soon as you know that Wukong has activated his W exit the trade. After his clone disappears you have 16 seconds to trade or farm safely.

If you have to fight two Wukong’s, use your E so you don’t waste time attacking a fake.

Quick clean trades

You need quick clean trades against Wukong in which he can’t stack his passive or use his clones to damage you. Q in and E out. Longer trades will favour Wukong. The longer Wukong fights champions for, the more armor and health regeneration he gains over time.

Level 6 kill time

Wukong’s ultimate is weak in the early levels. At level 6 your kill potential on Wukong is much higher than his on you. Once level 6, get Wukong down to low health through a few quick trades with your Q and he will have to back due the kill potential of your R against targets on low health. When fighting two Wukongs, make sure you know which one is the real one before you ult! You don’t want to waste an ult on his clone.

No ganks needed

You shouldn’t need ganks in this lane, and due to Wukong’s mobility it will be hard to have a successful gank anyway. The only time you should call for ganks against Wukong is if he is abusing his W for damage. The long cooldown means that if he uses it to trade he won’t be able to use it to escape. Before level 6 his W is his only escape, but his ult can also be used as an escape once he gets it. Even when he ults he can still be CCd, but it won’t cancel the spinning. He does have extra movement speed when he activates it though.

Your mission

Get an early lead and deny Wukong’s CS with it. When you find the opportunity, roam to other lanes to spread your lead. Even though Wukong scales well into the late game, he won’t be useful if his team isn’t useful, which you can prevent by making your team useful.

Items and runes

Conqueror or Grasp

You have two options when it comes to runes. Conqueror is what people normally take on Garen, because of how easy it is to get stacks with your E. It won’t do anything for you in lane because it only works in fights long enough to get 10 stacks, which are the exact kind of fights you should be avoiding in the early game against Wukong. If the rest of your team gets outscaled, take Conqueror to help you out in the late game.

Your other option is Grasp of the Undying. Grasp will help you in winning the quick trades you’re looking for in lane. Every time you go in for a Q it could be empowered by Grasp and make the trade even more painful for Wukong if it’s quick. If your team is strong late game and you want to help them out early by picking up a big lead in your lane run Grasp.

If your team doesn’t need a tank, take Conqueror. If your team is slacking in the beef department take Grasp.

Items

If you’re running Conqueror, buy Divine Sunderer and follow it up with a typical Garen build.

If you’re choosing Grasp, run a tank build with Sunfire Aegis instead. This Mythic item’s damaging aura will help you fight against double Wukong and bring some power into extended fights should you need it.

If ahead, run Boots of Swiftness for extra movement around the map as well as in your lane. If behind or even, run Plated Steelcaps. Most of Wukong’s damage comes from basic attacks which counters.

Garen vs Wukong: Late game

In the late game your goal will be to keep Wukong silenced and off your carries. The longer you can do so the longer you will prevent his ult which will hurt in late game teamfights. Wukong hard outscales you so it’s better to avoid games which drag on too late against him. If you can’t avoid the late game, maybe save your ult for Wukong to kill him and cancel his ult. Once he has knocked you up once, he can’t do it again for a period of time. He’s killable, even when he ults.

Final thoughts

“The aim of war is victory, not persistence”.

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Always try to end a game as soon as possible, no matter what match-up you’re playing. That said, do not take silly risks if it means that the enemy team could get back into the game.

Get an early lead, spread it to your team and end the game ASAP. Build armor if you’re behind, but Tri Force into Phantom if you’re not. Ult Wukong in teamfights. Follow these tips and tricks and you will counter Wukong with Garen.

We have written about other match-ups for all you Garen mains out there. Check them out if you’re looking to improve your game:

  1. How to Counter Aatrox with Garen
  2. How to Counter Darius with Garen
  3. How to Counter Nasus with Garen
  4. How to Counter Mordekaiser with Garen

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