In League of Legends (LoL), understanding creep waves can be used as knowledge in order to achieve victory on the rift. It is a tool that is not really used in the vast majority of players. Personally, I consider it as a hidden mechanic in LoL that can either decide the lane or even the results of the game. Creep waves follow a set of rules that allow you to predict movement on the enemy team which gives you a slight advantage. This LoL creep wave management guide will cover the basics of creep wave management as well as some advanced tactics that you can use to further your gameplay.
Let’s start off with the basics. In LoL, a creep wave spawns every 30 seconds which consists of 3 melees and 3 ranged caster minions. In context, 3 ranged caster minions are more valuable than the melees because they are bound to get more damage than melees do. Every 3rd creep wave will have a cannon minion which is very significant when understanding creep waves. When one minion wave has a cannon minion and the other doesn’t, in most scenarios, the cannon minion end up pushing the lane. Another thing is that minion waves will always mirror each other, so by judging from where your minion wave is, it will be the same as on the enemy side.
In League of Legends, the Even Minion Rule states that whenever there is an even creep wave whichever side of the map it is on will push to the opposing side.
Judging from this scenario, as shown, this is the when minion waves will meet in the middle of the lane. This is otherwise known as even wave pushes. Neither side will be pushing, in most situations. I say most situations because in League of Legends, champions can lure minions into their minion wave so that it focuses down one minion.
This scenario showcases that the minion wave is currently 7vs7. Setting minion HP aside, purple wave will end up pushing further into blue team’s side because purple wave will receive reinforcements much sooner than blue will. In League of Legends minion waves often mirror each other, and in this situation, the minion waves are closer to purple side. Now that they are no longer meeting in the middle of the lane, it changes everything in terms of creep wave management.
In LoL, normally if you’re on blue side and you see your minion wave like this, it is exactly what you want because your opposing lane partner would have less minions to farm than you do. This gives the opportunity for the blue team top laner to manipulate the wave so that he could get a substantive lead. It gives the opportunity for blue team to set up ganks and to pressure the opposing laner. In around bronze to diamond 5 elo, given the situation, the purple team top laner will often overextend for experience and farm. This gives the perfect opportunity for junglers to gank due to greed and space provided.
If you’re the purple team top laner, you would never want to see your wave like this as it puts you in a terrible position. You can counteract this situation by pushing your lane all the way to the blue side turret or if you’re low on hp, ask the jungler for assistance. Aside from managing creep waves, it would be helpful to give a description to your jungler about summoner spells used and where wards are placed.
The following video provides insight on creep wave management in League of Legends. It features a professional top laner, KFO, from Echo Fox.
Overall, this is a League of Legends beginner to semi-advanced creep wave management guide and it can be applied to all given lanes. This guide is meant to guide players to never put themselves in a losing position in terms of lane phase. Creep wave management is also important in all aspects of the game. Say for example, blue side has a huge wave (10+ minions) on the bottom side of the map and is guaranteed to push into the turret. Blue team can use this to their advantage to force an enemy to clear the wave bottom side to either start a 4v5 or start baron. The following image is a perfect example of a blue side wave pushing in the bottom lane.
I hope this guide provides some guidance to understanding creep waves as I’m sure if you take the time to understand it, it will eventually further your overall gameplay.