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Zuka is a warrior/assassin who can jump past the enemy front lines and deal massive damage to everyone around him. He uses his martial arts prowess to bash enemies with his bamboo staff. His strong attack damage and excellent mobility make him one of the best junglers in the game.
Very High Mobility – Zuka is very mobile, all of his abilities able to be used to either engage or escape from enemies. When comboed together, he can leap up to four times. These also allow him to pass through walls, making Zuka a very hard hero to outmaneuver.
High Damage Output – Zuka’s damage is nearly unmatched by other junglers within the game. In addition, his passive gives him a ton of damage after attacking enemy heroes every 20 seconds. All of his abilities also empower his auto attacks every time they are cast, making him one of the best warrior/assassin junglers in the game.
Cooldown Based Hero – None of Zuka’s abilities require mana, he only having to worry about their cooldowns. This, in turn, lessens his burden when casting abilities, letting him spam them as much as he wants in team fights.
Difficult – Despite his high damage output and no-cost abilities, Zuka can be hard to play. A character who moves with each skill cast can be difficult to control for new characters and requires careful positioning. You need to know when to enter a team fight and when to exit, pacing your ability usage to fit these situations.
Squishy – Zuka can be easily burst down by mages and other carries. His kit also forces him to get into the middle of team fights to attack the team’s squishier heroes. As such, a single mistake can spell danger for him. Building tankily is also not recommended as your damage potential will fall off as a result.
Hero Basic Strategy
- Zuka is best suited for the jungle, since his abilities are perfect for ganking other lanes and surprising enemies with his movement abilities.
- Start with the red buff to increase your offensive capability. Zuka can start at ganking at level two, having the necessary abilities to easily jump on enemies.
- Use Zuka’s ganking potential to put pressure on the lanes as much as possible.
- Max Pain on a Stick first. This will serve as his main damaging ability as well as his best means of movement.
- Panda Chariot should only be focused first if the shield is assisting a lot in team fights. Take note that the shield’s scaling relies more on your attack damage than its level.
- Level Skyfall whenever it’s available.
Ganking – Focus on squishy targets. Open up with Skyfall, or use Panda Chariot to enter the fight with a defensive edge. Alternate your abilities with basic attacks to take full advantage of the enhancement that each ability provides. Your abilities will make it very difficult for your target to escape, as the movement will let you stick close to them.
Solo Battles – Zuka excels at one on one fights. Stick to your opponent with your abilities, auto attacking in between for empowered damage. Panda Chariot will help you mitigate damage your opponent throws back at you and Skyfall will help prevent them from escaping.
Team Fights – Don’t put yourself in positions where you will be taking a lot of damage. You want to be at the back of the fight, picking off the squishy damage dealers. Wait for your tanks and initiators to start the team fight and for the fight to pick up steam. Once their tanks and initiators are preoccupied, jump to the squishy targets with Skyfall before unleashing the rest of your abilities.
Escaping Fights – Zuka’s full set of movement abilities makes escapes very easy. Any one of them can be used to jump through walls, Pain on a Stick can even be used twice in succession.
|The Chi – Every 15 seconds, dealing damage to an enemy hero triggers Zuka’s Chi, increasing his attack damage by 30/35/40/45% of attack damage (increasing at level 5/9/13) for the next 5 seconds.|
- The Chi only activates when you have dealt damage to an enemy hero. Zuka will glow when the effect is active
- This effect stacks with his abilities’ empowerment of auto attacks. Use this in unison with his abilities to deal the maximum damage possible.
- The additional damage also affects towers when active.
|Pain on a Stick – Zuka raises his staff and charges forward, dealing 135/160/185/210/235/260 (+0.9 AD) physical damage to nearby enemies. This ability can be used again within 5 seconds of the first use and each use enhances Zuka’s next normal attack, increasing its range and dealing an additional (+0.5 AD) physical damage.|
- It’s important that you auto attack after each cast of this ability. Casting the ability a second time before attacking will waste some of its damage potential.
- The ability’s cooldown starts after the second use of the skill or five seconds after the first use.
|Panda Chariot – Zuka rolls forward, dealing 100/120/140/160/180/200 (+0.35 AD) physical damage to enemies in his path. On a successful hit, Zuka gains a shield that absorbs 150/180/210/240/270/300 (+1.5 AD) damage for 2.5 seconds and enhances his next normal attack to deal an additional (+0.5 AD) physical damage and knocking enemies into the air for 1 second.|
- Panda Chariot is best used near enemies, as the shield only activates when you hit one with the initial roll.
- The shield will activate no matter what kind of unit Zuka strikes.
- This is also a great ability to use against escaping enemies, the empowered auto attack gaining a knock up. When ganking enemies, you can use this after Skyfall to further suppress the target.
|Skyfall – Zuka leaps up and crushes his enemies from above, dealing 500/650/800 (+1.0 AD) physical damage to enemies in the target area and stunning them for 1 second. His next normal attack will deal an additional (+0.5 AD) physical damage to nearby enemies.|
- Cast Skyfall from the brush to surprise your opponents.
- As with all of Zuka’s abilities, do not forget to auto attack right afterwards.
- When ganking, wait for your passive before using this ability in order to maximize your gank and deal as much damage as possible.
How to Counter Zuka
- Zuka has a ton of mobility to catch unsuspecting enemies from far away. Be sure to teleport back to base immediately when you are in critical health.
- It’s best to kill Zuka immediately when he enters a team fight. He is a fairly squishy hero that can easily be killed with bursty abilities and crowd control.
Hero Item Build
|Jungle Zuka Build|
|Soulreaver||Gilded Greaves||Frost Cape|
|Rankbreaker||Fenrir’s Tooth||Ancestral Glory|
Zuka’s role as a jungler is to gank enemies who have overextended their lanes during the early to the middle stages of the game. This can be done easily since he has a good initiating ability in Panda Chariot as well as a nice chase down abilities in Pain on a Stick and Skyfall. During clashes, his role is to breach the opposing team’s front line and eliminate their carries as quickly as possible; conversely, he can also play the role of a finisher thanks to his aforementioned chase down abilities.
- Zuka will benefit most from Arcanas that enhance his damage output. Taking Onslaught, Assassinate and Skewer will make him more effective in skirmishes and teamfights.
- If you already have enough damage and are facing some foes that have a lot of AP damage, taking Bloodlust, Feast and Mythril will give you both the sustain and defense.
Zuka will have a difficult time against tanks, especially if they have a lead in items and levels. Avoid engaging them except for in team fights, and not until after all of their allies have been slain.
This will be a rather even match-up. Don’t forget to time your abilities correctly and never spam them without auto attacking in between casts.
Assassins deal a lot of damage, but Zuka does as well. Interrupt an enemy assassin’s combos by casting Panda Chariot to give yourself a shield and a stun. You can also use Skyfall to disrupt their combo. Assassins won’t do be able to do much after using their abilities.
You can trade with them, but don’t solo a mage until you are sure you can burst them down. Mages have their own powerful burst damage and control abilities that can make dealing with them rather rough. Try to avoid their skill shots with your abilities while moving in to attack.
Marksmen are easy targets for Zuka since he can easily get close to them and burst them down. His only problem will be when a marksman is with a support. Marksmen will be your highest priority in team fights, so always target them before anyone else.
Just like with marksmen, supports are easy to kill. They should not be your top priority in team fights, however. Only kill them when you catch them alone or their HP is critical.
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