One of the advanced tactics in LoL that players need to learn is League of Legends Wave Management. This strategy helps players take advantage of minions in order to monopolize the rewards and deny the enemy team from getting gold and experience. There are multiple applications when managing the wave that players will want to have to extend their lead or come back from a significant deficit. Let’s take a look at some of these strategies that are applicable as of Season 11.
What is League of Legends Wave Management?
League of Legends Wave Management refers to the way players allow minions to act in a lane. Waves refer to the batch of minions that spawn at the base towards the lane at specific intervals. Players will attempt to manage those waves by removing specific numbers of enemy minions so that allied minions will attempt to move in a way that’s ideal for the player. There are different ways players can manage the wave and all of those have specific uses depending on the situation.
Unlike Dota 2, players can’t kill their own minions to deny the enemy gold and experience. However, players can place minions out of reach so that the enemy minions or turret will kill as many minions as possible as an alternative form of denial. League of Legends wave management can also help players set up for objective control by forcing players to give up a large amount of gold from the push and potentially lose structures or contest for control over something else.
Types of League of Legends Wave Management
There are 4 different types of how players can manage the wave when playing League of Legends. Each of these wave management techniques has different benefits when used, that affect the flow of the lane matchup or the game as a whole. Learning about how and when to use these wave management techniques will surely help players become more adept at the game’s macro state. Here are the 4 types of wave management techniques you need to learn.
Clearing the wave is the most basic form of wave management in League of Legends. Players simply try to kill all of the minions in wave as quickly as possible while trying to make sure that they get the gold from killing these units. The main purpose of trying to clear the wave is to deliver the allied minions to the enemy structure as quickly as possible either to let them die quickly or to help in sieging the enemy base to get an advantage in terms of push.
It’s extremely easy to clear the wave. Just use your AoE basic abilities to hit as many minions as possible or attack them continuously until every last minion is dead. Players must always clear the wave if they want their own waves to push up towards the enemy base. The disadvantage of clearing a wave towards an enemy structure is that it can open up your allied minions for the other three wave managements if done wrong or during a very bad time.
Freezing is the most popular type of League of Legends management that players want to learn because it is popularly used during the laning phase. Freezing means that players want to keep both waves from the two teams in a specific area of the lane to force the enemy to overextend. Most of the time, freezing is done by the player that has the advantage in lane in terms of matchup because the enemy has no way to break the freeze without dying.
This technique is probably the most complicated to execute among the 4 wave management types. We’ll be discussing freezing more into detail later on in this article because the different parts on how to properly execute it requires an in-depth explanation. Freezing is the hardest to pull off but once you master it, you’ll be able to extend an advantage you already have so that the enemy laner will have a very small chance of getting back into the game.
3. Slow Push
The Slow Push is a technique used in the later stages of the game to force a delayed reaction from the enemy team. This is done by allowing the allied wave to naturally push towards the enemy base without any help from champions so that the wave slowly builds up and eventually works its way towards the enemy base. The purpose of the slow push is to make the enemy choose between losing 10-20 minions (roughly 200-300 gold) and an enemy structure or lose the objective being contested.
Slow Pushing is achieved by killing just enough enemy minions that the allied wave is sure to come out on top naturally. On an equal number of waves, this is done by removing one or more caster minions (depending on how slow you want it to push) just so your wave has the damage advantage. A slow push is often done on the opposite side of the map where the objective is being contested so that the enemy team will have to give up one of their advantages.
4. Fast Push
Fast push, which is often synonymous with clearing, is the final wave management type that also has the same goals as Clearing. The only difference between a fast push and a full clear is that fast pushing leaves behind enemy minions either to deny a small number of gold and exp or to give the player just enough time before contesting an objective. It’s basically a mix between a Clear and Slow Push… if that makes sense.
Both a fast push and clear open up the possibility for the player to quickly recall and buy items. Crashing the tower immediately into the enemy turret as you recall might cause issues in timing especially if you’re playing in the top lane. This method isn’t necessarily used a lot intentionally but is still useful in rare situations. Just kill all of the melee minions to initiate a fast push while your wave attempts to do its job.
How to Freeze a Lane
Freezing a lane is a very advanced tactics that players need to learn as early as possible. Freezing a lane is a step-by-step process that players need to know about so that they can create the perfect freezing situation without it being broken easily by the enemy laner. Attempting to freeze a lane is difficult and can only often be done for a duration of about 30 seconds to 3 minutes (being the maximum). Here are the things you need to keep in mind before freezing the lane.
Looking at the Lane State
When it comes to any kind of League of Legends wave management, the first thing that players need to look at is the lane state. If a player uses a champion that uses forced AoE damage abilities (Urgot passive, Immolate Items, etc.), freezing is almost impossible. Additionally, if the enemy has a champion with long-range poke, they can easily break the freeze. Players can only freeze if they have the means to keep the enemy from walking up to the wave safely.
Freezing should also only be reserved during the laning phase up until the early stages of the mid game. Once you’ve reached 18-20 minutes into the game, freezing becomes completely useless and can often work against the player. There’s also no use freezing against enemies that have no intention of going back into the lane anytime soon, like if they were busy helping contest an objective or have teleported elsewhere to teamfight. In those situations, it’s better to push the lane towards the enemy.
Managing Minion Aggro
An important part about League of Legends Wave Management is knowing about minion aggro. Aggro refers to the focus that the unit is attacking. Minions usually attack the nearest unit they see and disengage when the target moves too far or moves out of sight. Minions will also immediately aggro the first unit to attack their allied champions, with priority against enemy champions. Take note of this because this can break a freeze since it’ll cause attacks to be focused to one unit instead of evenly distributed.
When freezing the lane, players want the minions to have distributed aggro on the minions with the champions only watching from the side. When the champion takes aggro, make sure to move towards a bush quickly or run away but never take them to the turret otherwise that will break the freeze too. Do not attempt to long-range harass an enemy champion near the enemy minions if you don’t have a reliable way of losing aggro quickly.
The best place to set up a freeze is just outside the turret range of your nearest turret. Anywhere further can easily be broken because the enemy champion can easily go into the wave and deal damage to break the freeze. The reason why you want to position the wave outside turret aggro is because it puts the enemy champion in an impossible position that will most likely get them killed. Since it’s near your turret range, they’ll have a long distance to walk back into their turret for safety.
Players should sit behind the enemy caster minions. This is to discourage the enemy champion from walking to deal damage to the wave as an attempt to break the freeze. When you see them attempt to break the freeze, you can also try to walk up to them and meet them halfway so that you don’t draw aggro from the enemy minions and break your own freeze.
Thinning the Wave
The most important part about League of Legends wave management in terms of freezing is maintaining a certain number of minions at all times. For example, you should leave at least 4 enemy minions before the next wave comes in. This is to balance the amount of damage being done to each side since you also contribute to the damage. This allows each successive wave to survive just enough that it doesn’t try to push into another side.
When an enemy wave is pushing towards your turret, lure them into proper positioning and tank the damage that the minions will deal to you until the allied wave crashes into those minions you’ve lured. Once both waves have crashed, all you have to do is make sure to last hit minions or kill off additional minions just in case they are dealing too much damage to your wave. If the wave gets messed up and your wave ends up dying, just tank them again and repeat the process.
Breaking a Freeze
Breaking a freeze isn’t as easy as it sounds. Walking right towards an enemy champion defending a freeze is a risky endeavor since it might cause you to die as you walk up. Unfortunately, letting a freeze go unanswered will cause you to bleed out on gold and experience and render you useless for a good portion of the game. If you must risk your life to break a freeze, you might as well do it properly. On the other hand, you can ask the mid lane or jungler to help you break the freeze.
To break the freeze, you need to deal significant damage to the wave or kill at least 2 enemy minions. The enemy champion can attempt to correct the break during this time so make sure to pester them until they give up or the break is complete. AoE abilities are super effective at breaking a freeze so just drop a bomb at the enemy wave. To prevent the enemy from freezing your lane, never fast push or clear the wave if the enemy hasn’t gone back to the base yet. Observe all the League of Legends wave management strategies at the proper timings. Avoid these League of Legends Beginner mistakes.
How to correct a broken freeze?
Freezing is all about balancing your minion wave against the enemy. If the enemy kills off two casters, you should kill off the same number on the enemy side. Just keep track of the damage being done on both waves to determine which minions to keep or kill.