Control the Creep Wave


Control of creep wave

Minions are the under-appreciated sixth man, seen by many as just little sacks of money and tower-fodder. In reality they are the mindless warriors that hold the key for victory. I’m BiIliam and I’m going to teach you how to work the wave to set-up advantages. Let’s start with some introductory knowledge. Why will this help you as a player and what advantage can come from this? Adequate knowledge of controlling the creep wave can give your team a sixth man. What do I mean by this? I mean that if you were to set up waves in a fashion that would give you guys more cs, more damage on a turret, be a split push in its self while you push for other objectives. Now that the advantages have been covered, the only thing left is how to do it. Under wave control falls a few specific techniques.

As you can see the enemy minion wave is bigger, so we just sit tight and last hit and the wave will stay put.

Freezing
This is the act of keeping a minion wave in one spot, freezing, to deny your opponent experience and gold. This is done by only last-hitting minions so the enemy lane will push by default. The key is to not let the wave get to your turret. In doing this, the creep wave will stay where you froze it, you will not lose creeps to tower, and your opponent will be zoned. If your opponent last hits while your lane is frozen, he opens himself up to being ganked, but freezing too much may start building your wave.

This is the standard way to build a decent wave faster.

Building
A process of allowing a creep wave to gain in size. Uses of this can include; more damage on a turret,  act as a natural split push and give more damage in lane trades. Creep wave building may also occur if a lane is frozen improperly and too many caster minions accumulate when a new wave arrives. By killing the ranged creeps and leaving the melee minions, you’re wave will grow to a sizable push. In theory you can kill as little as one minion to build a wave, but the less you kill the longer it will take for your wave to build but it will be drastically larger. Be aware that an enemy clearing your wave will destroy the push.

While very subtle, it is an actively used strategy by higher tier players.

Blocking
This is a method used to delay your creep wave slightly so the enemy creeps are by default pushing. After blocking, you usually set up a freeze. To block you simply get in front of your creeps pathing delaying them getting to your lane slightly. This is especially useful for maintaining a lane freeze if you block your caster or cannon minions from reaching the enemy creep wave for a few seconds. While creeps cannot be completely stopped from moving (such as in games like DotA), you can delay larger creeps for a few seconds if blocked correctly.

 

The circle shows enemy attack focus, and the red arrow is where you want to pull the minions.

Pulling
Pulling is taking creep aggro, and bringing minions to the side. This is used in building or freezing your creep wave. It is also effective for bringing creeps to one side of the lane to gain vision or deny last hitting power to an enemy champion. Its use is extremely versatile, but extremely hard to achieve even for masters of lane manipulation. You can do this by autoattacking the enemy champion to pull aggro, or by standing in front of the enemy creep wave. Take care, however, because this may lead your champion to take a little bit of extra damage.

 

Summary
These enhancements will add a level to your play that most players don’t even know. Knowledge of when exactly to freeze your lane or let it push makes a large amount of difference in skill levels. A strong laner will be able to easily manupulate their creep waves in order to push advantages when they are stronger than their enemy, or keep the lane close to their tower when they cannot stray outside of tower range.


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Tags Billiam

BiIliam

Prominent in the frontier of game theory, currently just finished interning as the analyst for ggLA and only looking to get more involved in eSports.

  • XestoChoerus

    Wow, I never knew about that building the wave trick or the pull trick.

  • Flint

    This article. So much. I play support mainly and these techniques are so close to my heart. These have helped me keep my ADC from overextending by pushing too aggressively so many times. Also great to set up indirect control over objectives like baron (enemy team can’t group effectively because I rigged the bot lane to push for dayz)

  • chronoshifter

    Pulling: “It is also effective for bringing creeps to one side of the lane to gain vision or deny last hitting power to an enemy champion. ”

    Can you elaborate on this aspect of pulling a little more? or a LOT more?
    I don’t understand the point you are making. How does bringing the enemy creeps over to one side of your lane help you to gain vision?
    Only your ally minions give you vision…?

    How does bringing the enemy melee creeps over to one side of the lane deny last hitting power to the enemy lanes? I don’t get it!

    • David

      Let’s say you’re playing mid and only want to buy one ward. You put your ward in top side brush, and then pull the minions that way, so you’re positioned as far away from the bottom side brush as you can be, thus making yourself safer, having full vision of your general vicinity, and then you’re able to keep the wave there – each time a new wave comes, your minions are fighting their minions, and each wave replenishes in the same spot. It’s just an example, but as you can see, pulling the wave one way or the other makes the lane safer. Hope this helps!

  • David

    I love it! Thank you very much for explaining the sixth man!

  • brumboz

    That was actually really helpful as a relatively new player. Thank you.

  • Sudunem

    Solid article, loved it.

  • OneManArmy77

    Very nice write up, and a great intro to creep mechanics and movement.

  • Judo

    Great article Billiam!

  • Invalid

    Thanks for introducing the 6th man! :D I only know of freezing before but thanks to you I have gain more knowledge.

  • Way of Darkness (Basinator)

    @building: I guess this is because casters are doing more damage than melees? Also, it is easier to farm caster minions than melee if you got creeps as well because you are less likely to fail a CS because of your minion fire.

  • Khichira

    that was very informative! thanks for sharing :))

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