Watch Dota 2 Monkey King Teaser Trailer

With the upcoming release of Underlord (The Artist Formerly Known As Pit Lord) there was more than a smattering of “What next for Dota 2 [official site]? Is that it for the hero roster?” Answering those questions at The International 2016 was Valve’s teaser trailer for new hero Monkey King! The simian sovereign will be coming in an update this autumn/fall called The New Journey. OBSERVE:

Just to run through some background info, Monkey King wasn’t an entirely unexpected addition to the hero lineup. A concept for a hero based on Sun Wukong from the Chinese novel, Journey To The West dates back to DotA. There are also a smattering of references which have appeared over the years – one is the item which grants True Strike which is actually called the Monkey King Bar (and is visually referenced by the staff carried by Monkey King in the trailer), another is the banana item which sparked a recent round of speculation over Sun Wukong’s return/introduction where update 6.87 introduced a situation where destroying trees in a private lobby game with cheats enabled sometimes drops a banana item. No word on whether the professional player Wang ‘Banana’ Jiao was part of an ongoing ARG related to this announcement.

There’s also the fondness of videogames for Sun Wukong variants. There is one in League of Legends and one in Smite if you’re looking at MOBAs specifically but Enslaved: Odyssey To The West also riffed on the legend, transferring it to a post-apocalyptic setting and having a really hench protagonist called Monkey leaping about and biffing people with a staff.

There’s nothing official about Monkey King’s abilities yet, although the trailer and the basic idea for the character will let you make some educated guesses. For example, I’m expecting a highly mobile melee hero who fights with a staff as the basic hero format. Beyond that the trailer indicates maybe a stun or a knockback using your staff which extends out in front of you. You’ll likely also get some sort of illusion ability – the trailer has Monkey King disguised as a tree, waiting for a chance to attack. There’s also a kind of hint at an ultimate ability which seems to be based around summoning a troop of monkeys to fight alongside you. No idea if they would be illusions or minions or… something else.

But yeah, that’s my guess for his skillset:

  • An ability that lets you move faster through trees or pass through trees instead of treating them as objects.
  • An ability that throws out a stun or knockback in a line in front of you.
  • A trickster ability that lets you disguise yourself as a tree.
  • An ultimate that summons a horde of monkey warriors.
  • I’ll be interested to hear his voicelines though – particularly if he purchases a Monkey King Bar. Dota 2’s a delight when it comes to acknowledging those little things in interesting ways. Oh. And anyone who donks Beastmaster in the face is okay by me.


    1. Lars Westergren says:

      Nice cinematic trailer, nice that not only LoL get them.

      Looks like another illusion hero when tactics around them have been pretty strong this TI though. Perhaps it’s time to rework Rod of Atos again – “Does 30% damage of max health to illusions in AoE”.

      • Lars Westergren says:

        Though as Pip says the ult not being illusions is a possibility too of course…

    2. kwyjibo says:

      The character was announced with a live martial arts performance at The International –

      link to

    3. BooleanBob says:

      There’s a Monkey King in Heroes of Newerth too. Clearly it’s only a matter of time before all four games get a version of each others’ heroes in a grand act of unification.

      Nice to see the genre tradition of cinematic trailers of characters just being chased through a random section of forest continues unabated.

      • GHudston says:

        It’s a pretty accurate representation of gameplay. You’ve pretty much got “being chased through a random section of forest” “glaring at each other over a river” and “having a punch up near some buildings” as your thematic choices in a MOBA trailer. :P

      • PancakeWizard says:

        The Monkey King is the Monkey King, from Journey to the West, a Chinese fable.

      • Boozebeard says:

        There is actually a monkey king is almost every MOBA. LoL, Smite, DotA, HoN and Strife all have sun wukong style characters.

        • Captain Joyless says:

          DotA’s Monkey King was first, although he never really made it into the full game. Icefrog would sometimes hide unfinished heroes in WC3 DotA. Elder Titan (formerly Tauren Chieftan) is the last example I can think of before Monkey King, but I’m sure the old playdota forums have a list.

    4. Shadow says:

      Isn’t that McCree?

      • Jackablade says:

        I’m kinda disappointed he doesn’t sound more like Monkey from the 70s TV series.

      • mrskwid says:

        there’s only one way to find out ask him what time it is.

    5. Ghostwise says:

      Hopefully there’ll be people who are loudly outraged that this Sun Wukong bloke is totally a rip off of Goku in DBZ.