Wu Kong needs a new haircut (NERF WK?)

"The Best and Worst of Destiny
From a design perspective, you can argue that a thing like this should not exist in a game. The Gjallarhorn is so good that players rarely use any of the other exotics in most high-end PvE situations. When Xur shows up with anything else, players are always disappointed, even if they don’t yet have the gun he’s selling."

Wu Kong is awesome. After I wrote up my Titan Guide, the E&P gods saw fit to gift me my first WK. I was shocked. Since then, I’ve focused on leveling him, of course, and my Titan damage has really taken off. One month ago my average damage on a 5* titan was 3000. Today I managed 19500 against an 8*… This is in no small part due to the addition of WK, and his ability to supercharge my heroes.

But, is this a good thing? I attempted a search this morning to find the exact term for this sort of lynch-pin asset in a game. The most direct comparison I could find was from the ORIGINAL Destiny – they had an exotic gun (comparable to a 4-5* hero) called Gjallarhorn. The next strongest gun did about 2/3 the amount of damage of Gjallarhorn. (maybe you can imagine why I consider this a good comparison? =))

An excerpt from twinfinite.net when NERFs of Gjallarhorn were announced ( full article here: https://twinfinite.net/2015/07/destiny-embrace-gjallarhorn-nerf/ )

“Most importantly, Gjallahorn’s power is bad for everyone from a design standpoint as well. I’m no developer, but logically it’s safe to assume that when creating activities and bosses, Bungie developers need to account for the power of Gjallarhorn. Make a boss a little too easy and Gjallarhorn users will make a mockery of it. Create a difficult boss and Gjallarhorn will become a requirement for many fireteams. Neither of these scenarios are fun.
It might seem scary at first, but a post Gjallarhorn nerf world could actually be a pretty happy place. Imagine being able to vary your playstyle by using different exotics without making things harder for yourself. Bungie can get more bold and creative with their new activities. Instead of measuring something’s difficulty by how many Gjallarhorn shots it takes, skill and weapon choice will factor more into the picture. “

If you replace Gjallarhorn with “Wu Kong” and replace “exotics” with “heroes,” then I think you’re essentially where we are in E&P with what WK does to damage.
A few notes:
1 I’m no pro, and I think it’s possible I’m wrong. Maybe other heroes actually do allow for this level of damage to Titans. However, when you make a “titan guide” post, and 9/10 of the comments say: “You didn’t mention WK. Don’t forget about WK!!” I believe from a Game Design perspective, this is a problem.
2 I haven’t ever seen an alliance say in their recruitment posts “must have WK.” This is different from Y1 Destiny. That should be noted. It’s an important component to note that people aren’t restricted from the activity.
3 Is WK awarded at a higher rate than other 4-5* heroes? I don’t know. There’s no guarantee that people will get him, at any rate. Which could in theory be very frustrating for players, I think… But maybe he just shows up at a higher rate?
4 There are a LOT of ways to address this…… And I would like to include my favorites from what I’ve thought of:
• Add more “Wu Kongs.” They don’t have to take his same ability (though they could), but they do need to bring some Titan Smashing juice of their own. In fact, I would be in favor of leaving him as slightly the best Titan Killer. That’d be cool. But what about adding heroes with Titan Specific abilities. Maybe a +50% attack against titans that DOES stack with other attack buffs? (OF COURSE, this ability would have to NOT stack with WK.)
• Change WK. Eliminate his Titan Killing ability and make it something else. Maybe a direct damage attack that only works against titans, dealing something like 500-1000% damage against titans. You could balance this to make it significantly better than other non-titan killer cards…
• Speaking of stacking buffs… Maybe against titans, attack buffs should stack. I think the more heroes or effects that potentially stack together, the harder it becomes for devs to keep track of. But, also allows players more creativity in designing and building Titan Killing teams. WK stands out as a problem. If you’re adding 48% + 25% + 185%, you’ve got a problem. That 185 really breaks it. WK needs changed if you’re gonna change anything else about the way abilities interact in titan attacks.
• Make a quest for players to earn WK. If he’s gonna be the lynchpin character to massive Titan damage, then having him be an earnable 4* character seems fair to me. You could maybe have a flat cost for him, like 2000 gems. Or a long term quest, that’s quite challenging (requiring a 3500 or so team?), and requiring maybe more like 300 gems total, as well as maybe some other resources… I think that would be fair. And for players who don’t have him, I think that’d be the way to go. (If you’re gonna spend time building that, might as well have another 1-2 4* heroes in there in case players already own WK, so they’ve got a reason to play the quest still =P )
• Do nothing. I haven’t heard others complaining. Maybe it’s fine.

Thanks for reading. I’d love to hear others thoughts on this.


One more thing. About Titan attacks. Some Healers abilities don’t currently have a place. What if using a healers ability ALSO asded time to the clock? Like, 15 seconds?


I had Wu Kong early in my game play, and fully levelled him. He might have been my first 4*; at any rate he was one of my first. I appreciated the increase in expected damage that came from using him, but my main focus was raiding, not Titans, and I hated the way that I would sometimes lose battles I ought to win when I struck the down side of the increased variance. He annoyed me.

One dark night, I trained Chao. I was overjoyed, giddy and more than a little inebriated. With malice in my heart, I fed my fully ascended Wu Kong to Chao.

That was about nine months ago, maybe longer. I have trained lots of 4* heroes since then (I’ve stopped counting, but somewhere between 50 and 100). I have never seen another Wu Kong. (6 or 8 Little Johns, 4 or 5 Skittleskulls, 4 or 5 Sabinas.) I’m good at raiding but I am bad at Titan hitting. As Titan hitting has become more important to me, I have improved various aspects of my performance, but the absence of Wu on my team continues to limit my performance.


  • I don’t think Wu appears more frequently than other heroes.

  • I would be delighted, personally, if other heroes could do what Wu can. Stop my suffering.

  • But I also kinda like that this hero has such a unique talent. Guin is uniquely talented as a raiding defensive tank, I think. Alby is uniquely talented as a raiding offensive wizard. Boldtusk has a sort of unique position as a utility hero.

So I don’t know where I land. More heroes, with more diverse skills, are good. But having a specific niche is also good. It’s a worthwhile discussion to have and I too would like to hear others’ opinions.


I don’t think that’s a very good idea on its own: it creates incentive for quests for the other Heroes. I know I would love a quest for Guin, for instance.

I like the approach that Gems of War has, where there is a Forge where you can spend resources in order to craft troops. There’s two different cycles in the Forge: one for the highest rarity troops and one for troops one tier lower. Each cycle is divided in weeks and every week, you can craft a small subset of the troops (4, I believe). During a single cycle, every single troop will have been available in the Forge. If you miss your chance, you’ll have to wait until the cycle starts again, but at least you know you’ll be able to craft that troop at some point in the future.
This would also make it possible to re-introduce past Heroes of the Month: after a certain amount of time, they can be crafted in the Forge.

My experience with Wu Kong is that he’s hit or miss, literally. I dismissed his skill at first, not liking the accuracy penalty, but the increased attack power has caused my titan scores to exceed 60k and has made raids a lot easier. I can see how he is a lynchpin, but I don’t think that nerfing Wu Kong is the answer. That would just make him like every other Hero and I think that the massive attack increased coupled with an accuracy penalty is a very good idea that can be explored further.

Maybe a Hero that is a literal wall whose special sacrifices attack power in exchange for a defensive wall for your heroes that blocks and absorbs all attacks.
Or maybe a Hero whose special is super-effective on Titans (think x3 or x4 damage when used on a Titan), but only half-effective on anything else.

You don’t want too many niche Heroes, but a couple Titan-specific could be an interesting idea.

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Sure… but Guin isn’t going to ~double your Titan damage. I won’t argue that it makes incentive for that, but it doesn’t NEED to happen. Using that as a reason to not make that quest for a very specific purpose seems silly.

Yeah… more heroes who can sorta match WK Titan output I don’t think is a bad idea… but without nerfs or changes to WK you’ve gotta balance them within the context of WK. Which would be doubly challenging.

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I really do, too. It makes me very conflicted.

And I am so sorry for your story LOL. That is brutal.


Both one of the most hilarious and frightening mental images I’ve read of in a looong time.

I can imagine Wu on the night… “hi Brobb, are we going raiding? sorry about all those misses last time. Had a little too much sauce I see. Wait, Brobb, what are you doing? I thought we were team mates?! Brobb? BROBB?! nooooo…”

On topic, I like the diversity of Wu, lots of the characters are just slightly different versions of each other.
So I’d like to see other varied heroes added to the main roster.

Great topic @Duaneski and an interesting comparison.


In answer to @Duaneski , I don’t think Wu is overpowered in general. He’s pretty lame on your defense team. Using him on difficult quests/map levels and raiding is precisely hit-or-miss, even if on average he does a lot.

That said, he IS a critical part of a titan damage maximizing team. I’ve recently figured that best titan damage consists of having ALL of the following:

  1. Defense debuff (Tibs, Gor, Grimm, Isarnia, etc.)
  2. Attack buff (Kiril, BT, Bear Banner, Dragon Banner, etc.)
  3. Wu Kong
  4. Color specific defense debuff that stacks with #1 (Arthur, Jackal, Falcon, Panther, etc.)
  5. Stacking 2-3 heroes of the strong color against the titan.

Of those things, Wu is noteworthy that there is no other way to get his benefit in the game…

That’s both sad and hilarious!

My story involved a lot less drinking, and is about the opposite.

I was looking at my titan damage standing in my alliance, and saying to myself: “Self, you just aren’t going to keep up with the top members without Wu Kong. He almost doubles titan damage.”

At the time I had about 8 4* heroes, and Delilah was my only yellow better than Bane.

I saved my gems and did TWO yellow elemental 10-pulls. Got lots of good stuff, (Justice, 3x Li, 2x Chao, Hu) but no Wu Kong. :sob:

Two days later, when Li Xiu #1 was at 1/5, I got an epic hero token in a loot chest, and I pulled Wu. :joy: (Given his gambling nature, this somehow seems fitting)

I’ve got a bunch more heroes … but still have more yellow 4s and 5s than any other color…and am still leveling Wu Kong up.


Anyone that has known me for the whole 10 months I have been playing knows that I am a late to game life Wu Kong lover. I was very anti monkey for a long time and I was doing what I thought at the time was good titan damage, so I would argue with anyone why risk misses when you can do adequate damage without him.
Then an epic token brought me my first Wu, and I let people in Peer Support know I got him and they laughed at me and I promised I would give him a fair shot to see if they were right and I was wrong…and I am so glad I did. I am now a Wu Kong lover not only on titans but in AW as well. He has won me many AW battles when I am taking in underpowered teams to just bust a tank and a cascade with Wu active wipes out the whole board.
Best thing about Wu…anyone can get him, he is a basic hero that you don’t have to mortgage your house to get. I now have 2 maxed out Wu Kong’s and if my tc20 gives me a third, I will probably max him out as well. Long story short…lots of monkey love here but took awhile to get there…:grin::grin::grin:


@chuck and @BarryWuzHere I love the stories and insights lol. He’s definitely polarizing and I think can provide some really awesome stories that maybe players will attach significance too. Making him with his awesome powers a 4* hero was a great design decision…

But the question remains: should he stand out so much? Should he be that much stronger, at least against titans, compared to other heroes?

Is the restriction in Titan team building, that there is NO QUESTION whether you take WK along really a good thing for the game?

And, if the answer is, no this isn’t good. What do you think should be changed?

I don’t think that Wu Kong by himself is broken. The only reason he’s absolutely essential for titans is because Gambler’s Stance stacks with every other attack buff. Maybe what’s needed is to put GS in the same buff group as the other normal attack buffs. That’s how Brienne works now, and I’m not sure why Wu Kong doesn’t work that way too.

(puts up flame shield :smile:)

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Why are we looking to screw with titan hitting. Even with wu there are still plenty of times where you get less then stellar titan hits for various reasons. Wu by himself does not guarantee great hits. There are many components to great titan hitting and Wu Kong is just one part to it. Don’t make it sound like you just slap Wu Kong into your line up and automatically you are an awesome titan hotter cause that is not that case at all. I don’t mind sharing Wu Kong stories good and bad but when we start talking about messing with his effect and is he good for the game then that is just nonsensical chat imo.

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Why do you think it’s non sensical chatter? Reads like: Because you like WK as is and because players can still deal damage without him?

Let me ask you this. If we took the Titan teams from the top 10,000 players… how many you think use WK? Do you think there are any other heroes that show up at that same percentage? Or even close?

Do you want to argue that WK doesn’t actually increase Titan damage meaningfully? And that he is irreplaceable?

Because unless that is your argument, this is VERY much a discussion that should occur. Your opinion within this discussion can certainly be that you want him left alone. But to say:

“Oh this hero that only some people might have increases Titan damage by 50%… that’s not a problem at all. Sure the devs need to design the game with that in mind, but I’m fine with it. Oh and by the way, let’s not talk about it either.”

THAT is Nonsensical chatter.


Best way to handle issues with considering Wu being unfairly unique is to have a non-stacking alternative in a different color or two, like the Ramming Pulverizer trio. We’re short basic 4* heroes in blue and purple (and yellow but we don’t need another Wu there) compared to red and green that new non-event heroes could slot into.

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I know that Wu Kong isn’t the only requirement for good titan scores. From what I understand, these things combined yield the best scores:

  • Attack-buffing hero
  • Generic-defense-debuffing hero
  • Elemental-defense-debuffing hero (preferably the color the titan is weak to)
  • Doubling/tripling on the color the titan is weak to
  • Wu Kong

All of those functions can be brought in by a number of different heroes EXCEPT for Wu Kong. That’s the problem I see: Wu Kong is a “must-have” hero because of how his special works, and I was under the impression that “must-haves” are considered a bad thing by SG.


Although I do think Wukong is 100% essential for great Titan scores the fact that he is a 4* and also one of the regular 4* that you can obtain makes him balanced. He is not a HOTM and it does not necessarily require gems to obtain him because he can pop out of the TC13/20 or any hero token you get. Some top players/old players still don’t have him while some newbie players luckily get him right away so I feel that is pretty fair.


An anecdote about Wu Kong and titan damage in our alliance.

We’re decidedly mid-level, killing 8* titans now. Our top ten members in titan damage are mostly level 29~33, and will be doing around 100k to the titan.

We have ONE member who is level 44; I think he’s been playing for 10 months now (completely free). He’s the only one of us who raids into diamond. I see one 54/80, one 54/66, and three 5*/70’s in his defense team, and plenty of other heroes to triple up the strong color. (He also doesn’t use any battle items on the titans, unlike most of us who use a few)

Unsurprisingly, he’s usually in the top three of titan damage. But not by a big margin. Two days ago, he got Wu Kong out of his training center. After all this time. I’ll be interested to see how big a difference that makes–he has everything else to do it right already well established.

If Wu Kong was a hero HoTM or event hero that you needed to spend to spend hundreds of dollars on to get and only a small percentage of the player base had a realistic shot at getting because of being HoTM of 5* event hero, then yes, the discussion is worth having. The fact that he is a basic 4* hero that is easily accessible to anybody in the game (granted, some are unlucky in pulls and take awhile to get him), makes him fair. A new player on day 1 can pull Wu Kong and benefit from him right away. A new player on day 1 cannot pull many of the heroes that everybody would love to have (alby, Zeline, guin, ares…etc.)
Is Wu essential to good titan scores, no he isn’t essential. Does he help a great deal, absolutely.
I guess I am just trying to figure out why you would want to nerf a cool, unique hero that is only a 4* and that everyone who plays the game has access to starting in day 1.

By a while, a potentially indefinite amount of time.

That alone isn’t the issue, anyway. It’s a part of it, absolutely, but it isn’t the be all end all issue here.

Players essentially HAVE to take WK with them to maximize Titan damage, albeit in what is for me a very enjoyable process, is the issue I have.

So, to recap, the reasons I’m suggesting a nerf to WK are:
It sorta divides player’s into the haves and have-nots for maximizing Titan damage.

the developers need to balance titans against potential damage with WK specifically in mind.

Players need to take a specific player on their Titan attack team, minimizing some of the choice they have in team construction.

And, I said nerf in the title to try to get discussion going, but I suggested a lot of ways to address those ‘issues.’

I will just briefly comment on each reason, since I have a ton of free time at work tonight…:grin::grin::grin:

  1. There are a lot more heroes then just Wu Kong which can separate titan hitters into “haves” and “have nots”. Are we suggesting that we nerf jackal, falcon, King Arthur, Grimm, tiburtus, gormek, Kiril, boldtusk, isarnia. All these heroes will also make players that have them more effective hitters for titans vs those that don’t have them
  2. So if they were to nerf Wu Kong, then that means they would have to make titans have less defense and HP then right?? I don’t think they are going to do that anytime soon.
  3. Maybe this is an issue for some people. I have a good many heroes of each color maxed out and really have never thought that Wu was taking up the space of another hero that I would like to use.

It is nice to have a different discussion on here besides “my AW is a mismatch”. I must go do something productive now though. Have a good one…:grinning::grinning:

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