Minions are expendable allied units that are generated automatically to charge into battle with the purpose of attacking enemy units in the lanes they are assigned.
The blue and purple team minions spawn every 30 seconds from the Nexus in order to support the champions. Minions begin spawning 1 minute 30 seconds after the game has begun. Every 3 minutes the minion waves will grow stronger, with every type of minion gaining different stats. Minions deal 50% increased damage to turrets and deal about 15% reduced damage to enemy champions.
Note: Minions should not be confused with monsters, which are neutral unless attacked and reside in the jungle.
Minions are constructs of the League, used specifically for battle arenas. They aren't sentient. In the earliest days of the League – during their extensive testing phase – there was a rumor that they were using sentient beings as minions. They even supposedly used necromancy to summon skeletal minions to fight as the minions of today do. Such rumors are generally thought to be unsubstantiated.
There are five types of minions that are currently in the game.
Melee minions charge directly towards the closest enemy.
Caster minions attack enemies from a range of 600 with bolts of energy that are the same color as their team's. They deal more damage per attack and have unnoticably more DPS than their melee counterparts but are otherwise inferior.
One Siege minion spawns in every third wave, in each lane. It attacks enemies from a range of 450 with cannon balls. They receive 30% less damage from turrets. Siege minions have more health and deal more damage than the regular wave minions.
A siege minion that is promoted by a Banner of Command turns in to a Anti-turret cannon (ATC) thus gaining increased attack speed, armor, magic resistance, health and its kills donate the gold to its promoter. ATC's are the best and strongest among the regular minions.
A Super minion is spawned in each wave to a lane in which the enemy inhibitor is destroyed. They will continue spawning until the inhibitor respawns, which takes four minutes. It replaces the wave's siege minion and, similarly to it, it takes 30% less damage from turrets. They deal more damage and have more health than any other minion, but have the lowest armor and magic resistance.
Minions and turrets will only deviate from their standard behavior to come to the aid of an ally under duress. Whenever any unit is under attack, it generates a ‘call for help’. Minions and turrets have slightly different reactions to a call for help.
Under normal circumstances, a minion’s behavior is simple. Minions follow their attack route until they reach an enemy to engage. Every few seconds, they will scan the area around them for the highest priority target. When a minion receives a call for help from an ally, it will evaluate its current target in relation to the target designated by the call. It will switch its attack to the new target if and only if the new target is of a higher priority than their current target. Minions prioritize targets in the following order:
- An enemy champion designated by a call for help from an allied champion. (Enemy champion attacking an Allied champion)
- An enemy minion designated by a call for help from an allied champion. (Enemy minion attacking an Allied champion)
- An enemy minion designated by a call for help from an allied minion. (Enemy minion attacking an Allied minion)
- An enemy turret designated by a call for help from an allied minion. (Enemy turret attacking an Allied minion)
- An enemy champion designated by a call for help from an allied minion. (Enemy champion attacking an Allied minion)
- The closest enemy minion.
- The closest enemy champion.
Because they are continuously reevaluating their target, minions will lose interest in an enemy champion if that champion breaks off an engagement with them, provided that there is any other target left for them to choose within range.
Minions will only reevaluate their target every few seconds. This means that if a champion initiates an attack against an enemy champion, the attacking champion will continue to be viewed as the most threatening target for a short time after they have broken off the attack. This is true even if one of their allied champions has joined the fight, since minions always prioritize their current target over a new target of equal priority. If a targeted champion leaves the minions' sight, the minions will automatically reevaluate their target and will carry on walking or attacking something else.
Lane Management and Last Hitting Tips
Although experience is given any time a champion is in a certain range of a minion that dies, a champion may only receive the gold if that champion delivered the killing blow. Landing the final autoattack on minions is referred to as last hitting in the League of Legends community. It is the best way to pick up the minion's bounty without pushing the lane much. Constantly autoattacking minions always pushes the lane, which leaves the champion more vulnerable to attacks from junglers. Champions can also use their abilities to last hit, however, having an ability on cooldown or even having to spend a resource (e.g. Mana) always puts you into a disadvantage. When choosing to use an ability to last hit, this should always be taken into account. As killing minions (creep score or CS) is generally the only way to gain gold in lane beyond gold over time (because kills and assists are not guaranteed), it is considered very important.
Freezing a lane is essentially stopping the enemy minions from pushing the lane any further than it already is. It is generally used in combination with zoning to keep enemy champions from experience and minions and allow a jungler to gank. Keep in mind that freezing a lane will leave a greater amount of enemy minions than allied minions and can mean a significant amount of extra damage in any all-ins or sustained trades. The first condition for this tactic to work, the enemy minions must already be pushing. Generally, one can leave a few extra enemy minions (about half a minion wave or three is good, preferably ranged minions). You may have to tank a few minion hits to keep the lane from pushing in between minion waves.
- If the champions do not interfere in the battle, one team of minions will eventually win the game. Which team will win is completely random, depending on which team focuses the enemy minions better.
- When minions scan for a target, it is possible for a champion to pick up aggro multiple times from a minion. Minions can constantly pick up aggro from you and can follow you through the jungle.