This is the third part of an educational series about how to lane properly, how to improve your decision making, and movement around the map. This week we talk about how to manage minion waves properly and how to split push as well as how to deal with it.
Wave management is not only how to create big waves or apply pressure in lanes with a slow pushing lane. In early game you can also manage the waves in your favor to get the lead or set up ganks. There are different ways to do that and today I’m going to talk about the most important and essential ones, as well as some tips to create little advantages through wave management:
Get Level Two Without Pushing the Lane: This is a really nice tip that can be applied mainly in the bot lane; however, it can also work in other lanes. I’m going to explain it from the bot lane point of view since two players can take part of it. Let’s say you want to take advantage of your level two power spike and try to kill them or blow some summoner’s spells; however, if you kill the enemy minions you are going to push the lane and your enemies will be close to their tower, which is really bad because they will be safe and you can’t attack them. What you need to do here is attack the range minions, not the melee minions. Your own minions will focus their melee minions so they will eventually die. This will result in your minions not advancing towards their tower. The main problem people have is that they focus the melee minions, so they die fast and ally melee minions walk towards enemy range minions, which pushes the lane. Focusing the range minions stops this movement because they will get stuck in the melee minions until the next wave arrives. This can be also applied to other levels such as level three or level six.
Freeze the Lane: I’ve explained extensively about how, why and when to freeze a lane in this article. Check it out to learn how to do it! It’s a really easy technique with huge benefits for you.
I’m A Jungler, I Don’t Really Care About Wave Management In the Early Game: WRONG! You always need to know about wave management to help your teammates and identify different situations. Also, when you gank, you can have an impact in these waves too. For example, you successfully gank top lane and kill the enemy top laner. You can do two things: help push the lane or don’t impact at all in the minion wave. In case there are more ally minions, you should help push the lane so the enemy top laner misses those minions and the lane resets. If there are more enemy minions then you shouldn’t attack them and let your top lane freeze the lane or get all those cs.
Pressure the Map Through Wave Management
Minion waves are more important than you think! They can do a lot of jobs for you in terms of objectives; never underestimate them. As I said before you can create big waves to pressure the map and open windows to act in other places of the map. Let’s see how to do it with a technique called Slow Pushing.
If we want to create a wave that is going to slow push towards the enemy base what we need to do is to leave three caster minions alive. Pay attention to the cannon minions because the wave will push towards the cannon who dies first so that’s important. Your wave will slowly grow and push towards the enemy base, but… why do you want to do this?
If you create a massive wave and you let that wave push slowly towards the enemy tower, the enemy will need to take care of this wave if they don’t want to lose the tower. What they are going to do is send someone to clear that wave. HERE is where your team needs to take advantage. The ideal situation would be if you create this slow push with advance. For example, let’s say the 5th drake is going to respawn, what you can do is create two big waves in the side lanes some minutes before. The enemy team needs to take a decision: fight 5v5 and maybe lose tower? Try to stop drake 4v5 meanwhile someone clears the wave you created? The lack of coordination and decision making of that solo queue enemy team will probably play in your favor.
Always try to slowly push lanes when objectives are going to be contested. In case you lose the fight they won’t be able to take towers because they don’t have minions to tank the tower. You can also force a fight 4v5 meanwhile one of the enemy team is clearing the wave you created, or deep ward, or move to the other side of the map. There are plenty of decisions you can take when the map is pressured by waves, just try to take the most suitable one.
Split pushing is a strategy where one team applies pressure in more than one objective at the same time. Generally 4 players contest one objective and the other teammate pressures another objective, usually towers. Basically what you want to do when splitpushing is draw as much attention as you can by pushing the lane. You force the enemy team to make a decision which can result in a good trade for your team due to the lack of communication and decision making of the enemy team. It’s really important that meanwhile someone is split pushing the rest of the team applies pressure somewhere else in the map.
When split pushing you should ward the jungle first or at least know where the enemy players are, so you can escape easily if they try to collapse on you. The most important part about split pushing is not the split pusher but the team. One mistake that many teams make in low elos is not applying enough pressure when someone is split pushing. The enemy team is free to move around the map and usually kill the split pusher without anything in exchange. That’s a bad move and you should always try to trade objectives.
I said this a lot in my other guides but trading objectives and kills is a key fact in League of Legends. Maybe your split pusher dies but you get Tier 2 Mid tower, which is completely worth, or maybe two enemy members try to stop your split pusher, then the rest of the team can engage a 4v3 fight and maybe take some objectives.
Good Split Pushers
Not every champion can split push properly. For example Veigar is not good at split pushing. You need a champion who can escape easily or is strong enough to 1v1 whoever on the enemy team. That champion also needs good wave clear. Many top laners are good at split pushing (Irelia, Vladimir, Kennen, Tryndamere, Hecarim…) and also some mid laners (Zed, Twisted Fate, Diana…)
Team comps that have synergy with a split pusher are those with some kind of disengage because the enemy team may engage a 4v5 fight so champions like Janna, Sivir, Lulu or Veigar are good at disengaging.
How to Deal With Split Pushing
Usually in solo queue teams don’t know how to stop that annoying Tryndamere who’s really fed and doesn’t stop split pushing top lane. When the enemy team is split pushing you have two options, a defensive one and an offensive one.
Defend Your Objectives: Send someone who can handle the split pusher and try to defend the objective. The one who goes to stop that guy needs to be someone with good wave clear and be able to survive against him.
Engage a 5v4 Fight: Just kill them. It doesn’t matter if he’s destroying your tier 2 top tower, you can try to initiate a team fight where you outnumber them. Be careful and try to engage that fight when the split pusher doesn’t have teleport.
Written by Losties
Edited by Williaf