Minion Management - A Wave Control Guide



Sun 7th Oct 2018 - 5:20pm

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could control where you want your opposing laner to be and where the team will go come late game. Well, with proper controlling of your team’s minion waves, you can! Minions are more powerful than you might think and learning how to properly manage your and your enemy’s minion waves will give you a large upper hand against the enemy summoners. To start learning how to control minion waves, it is important to look at how each minion functions.

A minion wave will spawn every 30 seconds and there are four different types of minions that can spawn: Melee, Caster, Siege, and Super. Melee minions are a bit tankier but do not do too much damage, Caster minions are ranged and squishy but deal more damage than melee minions, Siege minions are a combination of both being tankier and dealing more damage than the previous two, and Super minions are tankier than all of them and deal more damage than all previous minions as well. Melee and Caster minions spawn with every wave. Siege minions spawn every third wave before 20 minutes in the game, then spawn every other wave after 20 minutes until 35 minutes into the game. At 35 minutes, you will have a Siege minion spawning with every wave. Super minions will spawn for you in a lane where a respective enemy Inhibitor has been destroyed and they will spawn with every wave until that inhibitor has respawned. Now that we know how each minion functions, let’s look at how we can control the waves.

Think of every minion wave as train of minions and you are the conductor. You control how fast or slow you want your wave to push. There are three different ways you can control minion waves: Fast Pushing, Slow Pushing, or Freezing. Fast Pushing can be used to help force your enemy laner under tower to provide you with an opportunity to back while your enemy laner stays under tower to farm these minions so to not be denied experience or gold. To set up a fast push, look to eliminate the enemy Melee minions so that your Minion Wave will clear faster than your opponent’s as the front line of their wave is now gone. This is also effective if your opponent backed before pushing in your wave so that you can in turn deny them experience and gold.

Fast Pushing also allows a window of opportunity for you to roam to assist other lanes or gain vision to deny potential future roams from your opponent. The enemy will not be able to roam with you, as they are stuck under tower trying to regain control of the minion wave, and should they try to, they are denying themselves that experience and gold from the minion wave and setting themselves behind. A fast push is also effective if you are strong enough to dive the enemy Champion with your Jungler. Your minion wave will be taking the initial tower shots to give you room to dive and eliminate the enemy Champion setting them behind further. Now, let’s look at the benefits of Slow Pushing.

Slow Pushing can be achieved by taking out the enemy laner’s Caster minions so that their waves deal damage much slower to your wave. This allows your wave to slowly build up while your minions focus the tankier Melee minions. If the enemy wave has a Siege minion when you do not, then you will also want to remove that as well. However, if you too have a Siege minion then you will want to keep theirs up until yours goes down. Setting up a slow push can be very effective as you are essentially investing in future map pressure so that you can look to make plays on the other end of the map. This tends to be more effective in mid to late game as an enemy Champion will likely rotate to catch the wave. If they do not, then you are getting damage on the enemy team’s tower and denying them gold and experience at the same time.

Controlling where the enemy will go through slow pushing allows your team to focus on more objectives while they are dealing with the map pressure that you set up. This is also effective if you set up a large wave, tackle Baron Nashor, and then go to the wave that you built up. The Baron Buff will apply to all these minions when you get to them and will be extremely difficult for them enemy to handle depending on the size of the wave. Now we will look at the importance of Freezing a minion wave.

Freezing is an effective strategy that you can use to force your opponent to overextend to get your minions. Freezing is done by keeping your minion wave alive as long as possible, only last hitting the enemy minions and not attacking them until then. This makes it so that your minion wave will die faster than your opponent’s, meaning your wave cannot push up. Now the opposing laner will need to push up to break the Freeze. This leaves the enemy vulnerable for ganks from your Jungler. The enemy Jungler might also appear to help their laner break the Freeze, in which case your Jungler now has the opportunity to look to make plays elsewhere on the map or deny the opposing Jungler their Jungle camps. A proper Freeze can deny the enemy laner significant experience and gold.

When they try to overextend for the wave you can also try to zone them away to continue denying them their experience. Freezing is a good tactic both offensively and defensively. Offensively you can continue to zone the enemy while snowballing your lead or you can safely farm close to your tower on the defensive side of Freezing.

Managing Minion Waves properly throughout the game can really give you the edge you need for victory. Forcing the opponent into different positions throughout the map as a result of your wave control gives you much more power through the game and can help you come back into the game if you are behind, as well as pressuring the enemy and overwhelming them with the power of your minions. Think about managing your waves the next time you are out there on Summoner’s Rift and help lead them and your team to victory. Your minions want to win just as much as you do, they’re on your team after all!

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