Wave management is very important all game long, and it’s extremely efficient in ranked games where enemy communication isn’t stellar. Wave management is also complicated, so we’re breaking it down into four moves.
The basic move is freezing. It’s good to keep the wave by your turret, as it makes laning extremely risky for the opposition. If your ADC is Tristana or Sivir, you sometimes have to resort to the freezing technique just to avoid pushing the lane too far.
The concept is simple. You last hit enemy minions at the last moment possible to avoid dealing significantly more damage than ally minions. The real challenge comes when your opponent is present in the lane—which happens most of the time early on. From here, you have to match the damage output to actually freeze lane. It’s also beneficial to be killing minions of the same type, although you shouldn’t be losing your head (and gold) over it.
Lucian’s AA animation makes it easy to freeze
Another simple move is shoveling. You use it to destroy turrets as quickly as possible or make recalled/dead enemies lose farm. The execution is very simple: you kill them all. Not just melee minions, but womelee and childmelee cannon and caster minions too.
Shoveling comes after freezing on this list despite it being easier, because it’s extremely dangerous. If you mess up the timing and the wave doesn’t start dying to the enemy turret, they may set up a freeze under it and make you lose a lot of farm.
Caitlyn shovels really well thanks to the linear damage from her Q
The slow push is an underappreciated technique. It steadily builds up a minion advantage to make at least one opponent go to the other lane. This is extremely useful at lower ranks, when mid-game often turns into ARAM.
A slow push requires a minor advantage in the number of minions. The best way to set it up is to kill caster minions while keeping the rest intact. Once you’re several minions up, feel free to go elsewhere.
The fast push is similar to shoveling. It’s mostly used for dives, as a large number of minions under the turret makes the ordeal easier.
Naturally, a fast push requires a bigger advantage compared to a slow push. This is why we’re clearing melee and cannon minions (don’t kill the casters!). Once your wave is big enough, feel free to jump at the opposition.