An Overview of Minions, The Most Undervalued Resource in League of Legends
Sun 21st Feb 2021 - 7:50pm
After introducing friends and others to League of Legends, these new players neglect the value that minions have. They always ask, "Why do you hit the minions instead of the actual player? Don't you want to kill them?". Although enemy champions are the biggest threat, I cannot take them down without the minions. They provide gold and experience you will use to get an advantage on your opponent and win the game.
To start off, I want to explain that the minion wave that continuously spawns is comprised of three different minions. Three Melee minions make up the front line of the wave. The middle of the wave is filled by one Siege/Cannon minion. Finally, the end of the minion wave is made up of three Caster minions. The orientation and make up of a minon wave changes once an inhibitor is destroyed. Super minions will replace the Siege/Cannon minions and will lead the wave to the enemy base. Each minion type provides different gold and experience to the player.
Melee minions provide 21 gold and 60 solo experience. However, they provide 75 shared experience with lanes with more than one person in them. For example, bottom lane has the ADC and Support. They will each receive roughly 38 experience for each melee minion. If the jungler ganks and takes some melee minions, they will all share the experience at 25 per melee minion. These stats make the melee minions the most valuable minion in the lane. Not including the cannon minion yet, because they spawn periodically until late in the game.
Caster minions provide 14 gold and 30 solo experience. However, they provide 37 shared experience. These minions can be considered the least valuable in the wave, but that does not mean you should not last hit them.
Siege/Cannon minions are not present in every wave. For the first 15 minutes of the game, they spawn every three waves. After the 15 minute mark, they spawn every two waves. Finally, after the 25th minute mark, they will spawn every wave. These minions provide 60 - 90 gold depending on the minute of the game. They also provide 93 solo experience and 116 shared experience. These minions are the most important one to last hit as they provide the most stats to you.
Super minions are the minions that spawn after an inhibitor has been destroyed. They will replace the Siege/Cannon minion and will the lead the wave to the enemy base. They are worth the exact same stats as the Siege/Cannon minions. Once the inhibitor respawns, the Super Minions will stop respawning and revert back to a normal Siege/Cannon minon.
Courtesy of League of Legends Wiki
So why are we talking about minions? Why does their gold value and experience matter? I can get those from killing the enemy champion. The first kill on an enemy champion gives you a flat 300 gold and an extra 100 if it is First Blood. From then on, if you keep killing the same champion over and over again, the gold value they give you actually decreases. It goes down from 300 to 100 gold at the lowest. I am not saying do not kill your opponent over and over again. That allows you to have a numbers advantage and do what you like on the map. I am saying do not rely on killing champions as your source of income as their gold value drops.
It is true that you also get experience from killing enemy champions, but it is not as much as you think. For solo killing an enemy champion, you get 42 - 990 experience based on the enemy champion's level. 42 being the amount you get for killing a level 1 and 990 being the amount you get for killing a level 18. If teammates assist in these kills, you will all split the experience evenly. To top it off, if you are a much higher level than the opponent you kill, you will get reduced experience ranging from 0% - 60% based on level difference. Basically, killing the same enemy champion over and over again gives you less gold and less experience over time.
League of Legends is a volatile game. One game you might be carrying the team with the most kills and one game you might be getting killed the most. Minions are the constant in the game, and they allow you and others to get back into the game or maintain your lead because their values NEVER change depending on your level or how much you kill them.
Now apply this knowledge. An enemy has just killed you and they got a 300 gold lead. If you were to farm 2 minion waves and 1 Siege/Cannon minion wave, you would have earned 375 gold. You basically "killed" your opponent and gotten a small lead and you also will stay on par or get ahead in experience. Farming minions throughout the game will help you comeback, stay even, or help maintain your lead. That is why they are truly undervalued and needed to be talked about.