Minions are one the most important aspects of League of Legends. Most of the gold and experience gained by laners rely on minions. Minions also affect how you interact with the enemy champion and enemy structures.
Minions target whichever enemy enters their range. For multiple targets, minions use a priority system and reevaluate their aggro every few seconds. They attack any enemy champion that attacks an ally champion within a certain range and instantly lose aggro when they lose vision of the target.
In order to manipulate minion waves to favor you and utilize their behavior for your own benefit, you must first understand the basics of how minion aggro works and how it can be changed based on your actions.
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Minions tend to spawn in “waves”, these waves continue to march down their respective lane until an enemy enters their target range. At this point, the minion will start attacking any target present in its range, and the priority system used is discussed below.
Minions aggro a target individually and therefore, a wave can partially aggro a target and the rest of it proceeding down the lane. Of course, this only happens if the target is in the aggro range for some minions instead of all of them.
The first minion wave spawns at 1:05 at each Nexus and is ghosted for the initial part of their movement. The ghosting time is different for mid lane and side lane minions. The top and bot lane minions are ghosted for 28 seconds. The mid lane minions are ghosted for 18 seconds.
Gaining Aggro (Champion)
Minions in the First Wave have different behavior from the rest of the waves that spawn after it. They do not aggro the enemy champion automatically as easily unless they are provoked.
In order to gain aggro, the enemy champion must walk really close to them or let the wave crash into the opposing wave first.
Gaining Aggro (Enemy Minions)
If the first wave is not interrupted before it crashes, waves from both sides will meet each other exactly in the middle of the lane. At this point, the minions will spread their aggro equally so as to target all three opposing melee minions at the same time.
This ensures that the melee minions on both sides die at the same time and the wave does not automatically push in one direction or the other.
There is a very specific target priority system in place to ensure the minions always aggro the correct target in a consistent manner. Please remember that minions will always aggro whichever target enters their aggro range first. In case multiple targets are present in their aggro range, this priority has to be applied whenever the minions reevaluate their target.
- Enemy champions attacking an allied champion.
- Enemy minions attacking an allied champion.
- Enemy minions attacking an allied minion.
- Enemy turrets attacking an allied minion.
- Enemy champions attacking an allied minion.
- The closest enemy minion.
- The closest enemy champion.
Factors Affecting Minion Aggro
Minion Aggro depends on vision, any target that the minions lack vision on will not take aggro.
This means that any target that gains minion aggro while being in their vision, will automatically drop the aggro once they step out of vision or drop vision using certain abilities. This can be used for trading effectively in the lane as we will discuss later.
You might have noticed that you do not gain minion aggro if you are far enough away from the minions. This is because minions have a maximum aggro range:
- Minions will not aggro any target that is present more than 500 units away from the minions.
- Any enemy champion that is more than 1000 units away from the enemy minion will not lead to minion aggro when attacked. This means that you must be within 1000 units of your minions if you want the enemy champion to gain minion aggro when they attack you.
Minions do not aggro any target for very long. Once minions aggro a target, it lasts for a few seconds. The estimated time for minion aggro to drop off is about 3 seconds. Once this time is up, the minions reevaluate their target using the priority system discussed above.
This means that if you gain minion aggro by attacking the enemy champion, you will drop this aggro after a few seconds as long as you don’t hit the enemy champion again.
Targets With The Same Priority
As we discussed earlier, minions reevaluate their target priority every few seconds. So if there are two or more targets with the same priority available in their range, they will continue their aggro on the target that they were previously attacking.
But if targets of different priority are present, the minions will automatically switch to the target with the higher priority after their aggro duration runs out and the priority is rechecked.
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Attacking Enemy Champion
We discussed how attacking the enemy champion present within 1000 units of the enemy minions will make the minions shift their aggro onto you. However, not every kind of damage triggers minion aggro.
Minions will only aggro a champion when they attack the enemy champion using an auto attack or a targeted spell. There are very few exceptions to this.
Some abilities are not targeted spells but can draw minion aggro. Some examples of these include Ezreal Q, Yasuo Q, and Yone Q. These abilities count as auto attacks and draw minion aggro for the same reason, despite not being targeted.
Taking Advantage Of Minion Aggro
Minion Aggro is a fairly simple system but it can be used to your advantage if you keep in mind the basics of it. This can allow you to win trades by avoiding minion damage. As you already know, minion damage is very significant early game.
Whenever you try to trade with your opponent or all-in early game, you will notice that you took a lot of damage from minions.
The few concepts we’ve learned today can be put to use by manipulating minion aggro to minimize damage. The most commonly used concept is vision. Since minions drop aggro when they lose vision of their target, it would be beneficial to disappear from vision after attacking the enemy champion.
In the top and bot lane, this can easily be done by standing at the edge of a brush before attacking and walking into the brush immediately after attacking.
As soon as the minions aggro you, they will lose vision of you and instantly drop the aggro. You will get a free attack without having to pay any cost for it.
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The second factor is range. As we discussed, any trade taking place outside the 500 unit range of a minion will not draw aggro from it. This means that if you stand farther away from the minions, you can continue to hit the enemy without drawing minion aggro.
This can be beneficial when playing Ezreal and using his Q to trade. As long as you maintain your distance from the minions, you can freely hit the enemy champions using maximum range Qs.
Another aspect of this range was the 1000 unit protection range. Any enemy champion that you attack outside of this range will not draw minion aggro. This means that if the enemy champion is farther away from their minions, you can freely hit them while standing close to their minions.
Taking Ezreal once again, you can stand behind the enemy caster minions and cast Q at maximum range. If the enemy champions walk too far away from their minions, the enemy caster minions will not target the Ezreal and therefore Ezreal will get free trades without taking damage from minions.
The last tip relating to minion aggro is a bit advanced but very powerful. When minions are performing an attack, they will always finish that attack before reevaluating their new target.
This means that any attack that occurs during this animation will not draw minion aggro. However, melee minions finish their attacks much faster than caster minions.
If you stand 500 units away from melee minions and then attack the enemy champion only when the caster minions are in the middle of casting an attack, you will avoid getting minion aggro.
As long as you keep timing your attacks with those of the minions, you can continue to harass the enemy without taking any damage from their minions.
You can also use this information to turn minion aggro against the enemy. One way to make sure the enemy champion can not use brushes to drop minion aggro is by warding that brush. So when the enemy champion attacks you and walks into the brush to drop aggro, they will stay in vision and continue to take damage from the minions.
Minion Aggro is extremely important in early game trades and laning. A good understanding of minion aggro and behavior can allow you to win trades and punish your opponents without taking too much damage from minions. Experiment with these techniques to hone your skills and climb faster.