BySimon Rune Knudsen, writer at
A tryhard person enthusiastic about dad rock and weird beers.
Simon Rune Knudsen

The time has finally come for Dota 2 to step out of the shadow of its predecessor and get its first hero that isn't ported from the old Dota mod. Monkey King, a MOBA stable also featured in both Heroes of Newerth, Smite and League of Legends, is arriving next week to join the eternal and somewhat monotonous war between the Radiant and the Dire.

The New Journey update featuring Monkey King should land next week, sometime between December 12 and December 16, when The Boston Major has come to close. With the incoming release, a ton of rumors about the new hero are doing rounds on the internet. But what's true? We don't really know, but we'll tell you all there is to learn about Monkey King prior to release, and give you our guess at what he's gonna play like.

Let The Monkey Business Begin!

As a concept, Monkey is very much not original, since he's featured in pretty much every successful MOBA game except and Heroes of The Storm (if you count that as successful). But, gameplay wise, we expect the hero to have a brand new, original set of abilities that are hopefully able to shake up the metagame and cause havoc.

With that said, Monkey King was actually in an earlier beta version (6.80) of Dota, and we presume the hero's abilities to be loosely based upon what was leaked from that patch. The hero was never officially released though, and hope that Valve and IceFrog has decided to change most of the abilities of the almost 6-year-old beta hero, just so we have something new to toy around with.

Luckily, that seems to be the case if you examine the teaser video a bit. Let's take a closer look at the old skills and compare them to what we see.

Breaking Down Monkey King's Skillset

Monkey King versus Ursa.
Monkey King versus Ursa.

#1 Skill: Echo Sweep was originally a damaging attack performed by illusions of the hero, but looking closer at the video, it's safe to assume it will be performed by the hero itself this time around. It's probably gonna be some kind of damaging sweep in front of the hero, caused by a slam of the staff. We predict this to be the bread and butter skill for farming creeps and clearing out jungle stacks.

#2 Skill: Flicker used to be a forward dash that would leave illusions on the hero's trail. The creation of illusions is reminiscent to the move used in the last part of the teaser, when the Beastmaster is overwhelmed, but here it seems more like a frontal, charging kind of attack and a lot more powerful. It's the most prominent move featured in the video, and we think it has been converted into the Monkey King's ultimate ability.

We hope to see Monkey King be as agile and badass as Rafiki. [Credit: Disney]
We hope to see Monkey King be as agile and badass as Rafiki. [Credit: Disney]

#3 Skill: Nimble Nimbus was the move that used to ensure monkey business. It was a passive ability that gave Monkey King and his illusion a chance on attack to vault over their target, switching places with them and facing them away from their attacker. We don't see a move like this in the teaser, but we sure hope that Monkey King will get some kind of movement disruption.

Ultimate: Cloud Dance used to be the hero's ultimate ability. It was a long disable that would root one target and summon three illusions around it. As mentioned above, we expect it to have been replaced with the charging-illusion-army attack, which also seems a lot more interesting than Cloud Dance.

Besides these, the teaser shows Monkey King nimbly leaping from tree to tree. This might very well translate into a skill for the hero, that would perhaps allow him to climb unseen on top of the in-game trees.

Dataminer Predicts New Arcana

A bigger troll than Troll Warlord. [Credit: Valve]
A bigger troll than Troll Warlord. [Credit: Valve]

A couple of weeks ago, a dataminer on Reddit stumbled upon some code he thinks might be an upcoming Arcana for Monkey King. The leaked code shows that Monkey King's Arcana will (of course!) have a particle effect, which will be attached to both eyes and hands of the hero and probably leave some kind of trail upon movement.

Another aspect of the Arcana is that it will have two styles—Fire and Water. What that means visually, we don't really know yet. On top of that it seems the Arcana is going to be upgradeable, like we saw with Phantom Assassins Arcana. In Phantom Assassin's case, we even had an event to mark the arrival of the insane Arcane, which we of course hope to see here as well.

Lastly, the data shows a custom particle effect for the death animation of the Arcana Monkey King. The datamining redditor's best guess is an explosion of a thousand bananas, and we have to give it to him. That would be freaking incredible.

Are you excited about Monkey King's Arrival? Let us know in the comments below!


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