Wait a second you’re trying to tell me that there’s strategy involved in last hitting?
The most mechanical aspect of the game?
– You, Probably
You bet I am. Every last hit counts, and especially when you’re not under pressure from your opponent, you can’t afford to be missing them. CSing requires timing, but even more than that it requires an awareness of what can go wrong, and how to fix it. And so, lets get right into it.
Particles, Not Health Bars
Have you ever been sitting back, last hitting in lane, when suddenly a minion goes from like half health to dead instantly? Likely, what happened was several caster minion autos landed at once. This is why it’s important to try to pay attention to the particle of your allied minions attacks, rather than the health bar of the enemy minions. Only then will you be able to properly gauge when to basic attack. This is especially important the instant minions die. By paying attention to the direction that they turn in, you can identify their next target before they even start attacking.
Two Stones, One Bird
Sometimes, you want to just last hit in order to move the minion wave as slowly as possible. If you’re just last hitting, you’ll occasionally encounter situations where two minions are going to die at the same time. When this happens, it’s important to catch it far enough in advance that you can fix it. Simply throw one auto attack at either of the two to de-sync their deaths, so that you can get them both without using an ability. Keep in mind that every auto attack has a travel time, so if you move closer to a minion in between attacks, the delay between your right click and the damage occurring will be smaller.
Two Birds, One Stone
That said, sometimes you want to push very quickly! In that situation, you might be tempted to use AoE Abilities to help you last hit and push at the same time. But be careful – sometimes your abilities will kill some of the minions, and leave others with a small amount of health such that they die before you can get to them. In this situation, it’s best to throw out some auto attacks beforehand to make sure all the minions you plan to hit are low enough to get executed by your ability. That way, you get a bunch of gold popups all at once, and you don’t miss anything. Tasty!
Last Hitting Under Tower – Breakpoint Math
This one’s the big one. A lot of people are very very bad at this, but if you understand the strategy behind it, it’s a lot easier to manage. I’m going to approach this from the point of view of the early game. This is when champions have the least damage to work with, when CSing is the hardest. As you scale up, you’ll be able to tank the wave before it hits turret, or clear using abilities.
Before your first back, Ranged minions take one tower shot and either two or sometimes even three auto attacks depending on your AD to kill. The concept is quite similar to prepping two minions that are going to die at the same time. You simply throw an auto attack out to get the minion ready for last hitting after the tower shot comes through.
Melee and Siege Minions
The concept is just the same as with ranged minions, but the amount of health is different. Melee minions (from full health) take two tower shots and one basic attack to kill, and siege minions take seven tower shots and one basic attack.
Simulating Tower Shots
However, minions don’t always enter tower at full health. If a minion has taken some amount of damage before it comes into tower range, you’ll need to auto it until it’s taken enough damage to replicate one tower shot, and then proceed to last hit from there. Otherwise, either the minion will die from the tower shot or it will be left with too many autos worth of health after the first shot.
For this reason, try not to prep minions preemptively. Sometimes your reinforcements will arrive before you finish the enemy wave off, and they’ll mess up your break-points. Instead, throw the auto(s) out as closely to when the tower will hit it as possible.
CSing is where the vast majority of your income comes from in a game of league. Supports in bottom lane – you can help prep the wave so that your ADC’s life is easier! Take the time to practice, and you’ll get there eventually. For now, I hope you learned something new – good luck on the rift.