Wave control in LoL: What it is and how to improve it

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Many players and fans like you have heard professionals and League of Legends (LoL) analysts discuss wave management. It is one of the most beneficial subjects to learn in the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game due to it being required in every single lane. 

Whether you mean it or not, it is a well-known fact that everybody is aware of wave management, but not everybody knows how to use it effectively and correctly. This is a pity because it is a crucial skill that can help you control your opponents. So, read further and don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn what it is and several ways on how to improve it. 

Lane interaction explained

Lanes in League of Legends are the major routes that minions take to reach the Nexus. Turrets, for example, are strategically placed along the way to deter the advancements of opposing minions. Each structure in a lane must be destroyed before damage can be done to the next structure, and finally the Nexus. As such, controlling a lane is an important aspect of the game, particularly early on when champions rely on assaulting minions and turrets for gold.

LoL wave management guide

LoL individual minions have little to no impact on the gameplay. Minion waves, on the other hand, can provide or deny chances based on gold, experience, and pressure. Understanding how every move impacts a minion wave and what adjustments you can make for every circumstance is key to mastering wave control. You must be able to pivot and make judgments swiftly, or else you will feel powerless as your opponent takes control of the situation.

What are minion waves?

A minion wave is typically made up of three melee minions and three caster minions. As a plus, a siege minion occurs in every third wave before twenty minutes and every other wave beyond twenty minutes. Here’s how they are different in terms of associated damages. 

Caster minions deal the greatest damage, melee minions have higher health, and siege minions combine damage and tankiness. Knowing their differences will make it easier for you to farm them, especially under the tower. In the event that you do, always keep in mind that there is a sequence of attacks that may ensure you efficiently farm them called ‘wave manipulation/control’. Wildly pounding on them will likely do you more harm than good. 

Wave manipulation or control

No matter what level of the game you are in, there are three major techniques to manage minion waves: freeze, slow push, and fast push. What determines these strategies, you may ask? Simple. Wave control revolves around space. These events happen as a result of managing the space you have or are providing your opponent, thereby further helping your champion and, at the same time, being unfavourable to the opponent. 

  1. Freeze

Freezing is quite a challenging wave control type to master because it is where you have to influence the opponent and, at the same time, keep a continuous watch on what they are doing. 

That is why in Solo Queue, it is ideal to use freeze while you are ahead of or even with your opponent. On the contrary, expect that it will be more complicated, but not impossible when you are behind. So, if you want to gain any farm, you need to zone the opponent off the farm and make them overextend.

How to execute freeze

Only use the last hit minions to freeze the lane. As mentioned above, attacking them casually and blindly farming is not a good idea. Only assault a minion if your auto attack would kill them. This will stop your wave from moving ahead, letting the enemy’s wave advance deeper into the lane because your wave will perish more quickly.

When to freeze

Since freezing is already a challenging task, see to it that it will be worthwhile. Here are some cases that indicate the wave control type is a viable option:

  1. The opponent jungler is putting pressure on you.
  1. By bringing your lane closer to your tower, the opponent jungle will have a tougher time ganking you without diving you, allowing for a potential under-tower outplay.
  1. When you have a lane advantage and can zone your opponent’s minions, you can deny them gold.
  2. Slow push

Slow pushing is used to generate large waves and apply pressure while you are engaged by another activity. Unlike freezing, this form of wave control is done in the later stages of the game. However, it is more typically employed in the mid lane during the laning phase so that you can roam. 

How to execute slow push

To slow push, simply destroy the caster minions. The opponent wave will take less damage from your wave since caster minions do the greatest damage.

When to slow push

Like freezing, there are specific scenarios that make slow pushing a helpful tactic. They are as follows:

  1. Plays are being set up all across the map.
  2. Create a gradual push in order to allow you to rotate and join your team to seize an objective. This will make your lane opponent choose between rotating with you or staying to farm.
  3. Making time for warding, base, or roaming.
  4. Inhibitors and siege towers.
  5. Fast push

As the strategy term explicitly states, fast pushing in League of Legends (A.K.A. shoving) is to quickly drive the enemy back into the lane. Without this, attackers may take advantage of their freedom and disappear for an extended period of time without causing any damage. Furthermore, it works in two different ways: clearing the minion wave and recalling or leaving the lane. 

How to execute fast push

Simply eliminate the enemy minions as quickly as possible while forcing your minion wave beneath the opponent tower. This forces the opponent to farm beneath their tower, making farming much more difficult and maybe depriving your lane opponent of gold. As a matter of fact, you can resort to this as an excellent solution when you need to base and reset.

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