How to Freeze a Wave in League of Legends

League of Legends games are won or lost depending on how many items each team is able to build at a certain time. To be able to afford new items and gain an advantage over your adversary you need gold. And to get gold you need to kill many minions. Minions in league could even be considered the most basic and important thing. They provide you with experience and gold, and can also be the difference between winning and losing. There are several ways of manipulating minion waves in order to gain advantage, so here is a guide on how to freeze a lane in league.

What are minions?

As we have already mentioned, minions are the best resource in the whole game. They provide players with unlimited amount of gold, and some experience as well depending on the minion type. If you are able to kill more minions than your opponent you will have natural advantage, considering that your other stats are the same.

The same can’t be said for your experience. For example, let’s put you and your opponent in a vacuum where there is only the two of you and minions. If you kill 200 minions and your opponent kills 0, you will have considerably more gold. But, when it comes to experience, it doesn’t matter if he kills those minions or no. So, if he was near 300 minions when they were dying, and you were around 200 minions, he will be much higher level than you.

LoL Minions

Manipulating minions to work in your favor and against your opponents is the best way to get advantage every game. It’s also the reason why some players are always doing good in lane, whether they have a winning or losing match up. You always have to keep in mind what is the next move on the map and what does your enemy want to do. After you discovered these two things your next step is to make sure your minions will be in position for the next move.

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Why should I freeze a lane?

Having a complete control over the way minions are acting will also lead to having a control over your lane. Understanding the way minions move, attack and work like is crucial no matter your role in the team. Even if you are a jungler and aren’t interacting with them often, it will help you make better decisions and get you higher rank.

Freezing comes with its advantages and disadvantages. Although the first ones definitely outweigh the latter. Freezing a minion wave is mostly used for setting up ganks and denying enemy CS and experience. In a scenario where the state of the lane is a freeze, enemy will have to step up and expose himself to ganks in order to get gold and experience from minions.

Make sure to let your jungler know what is happening by typing “Mid is freeze, you can gank” or something similar. More often than not, it is a free kill. It is also extremely beneficial when it comes to you avoiding enemy ganks. You will be spending most of your time under, or near an ally tower and you will be ungankable. If enemy comes to break the freeze, they will share the experience between them and you will automatically get a lead.

On the other hand, your enemy remains with limited options. One of them is roaming. Making sure that your allies know that your opponent is missing is also crucial since it is one of the few ways he has to make an impact against a frozen lane.

What is freezing in League?

When we are talking about lane states in League of Legends various terms such as freeze, slow push and bounce are often thrown around. Freezing a wave means having it located close to your tower and isn’t moving from there. Likewise, enemy could do the same thing to you. It’s not exclusive to any team, but both teams can benefit from using it. Only way that this cycle gets broken if someone intervenes with the wave and kills all of your minions.

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How to freeze a lane?

Every 30 seconds, minions spawn from each team’s nexus and make their way to the lanes. The time it takes them to reach a middle of the map is always the same. The general rule of lane freezing in League of Legends is to have 3 caster minions less than your opponent. What this means is that enemies’ minions will always have an advantage over yours and be pushing towards your tower, but yours will be arriving faster to the table than his.

This is why the number 3 is important. Having more than that could lead to wave crashing into your tower, or having less could lead to the bounce with both scenarios ending your freeze. If you think there will be more than 3 minions remaining after minions finish their battle kill the extra ones.

Depending on the role you are playing, or the lane you are currently located in there are different ways to freeze it and put the enemy team at a disadvantage and set yourself up for a success.

how to freeze lol

How many minions are needed to keep a freeze at certain location. Credits: Mobalytics

Top Lane

Out of all the roles in League of Legends, top lane benefits the most from freezing. Classes that are usually played on top are mostly bruisers and tanks who don’t have many pushing options. Unlike many mid laners, they don’t have many ways to break a freeze on their own. Instead, they can easily get punished by ganks, or lose on experience and gold.

Mid Lane

Unlike bot and top, mid lane is much shorter. It is also a home to many mages who have a lot of abilities that help them with wave clear in their kits. While freezing can still be useful, it is much harder to execute. On the other hand, it is especially helpful in melee matchups, as well as in situations where you are receiving a lot of jungle attention. Keep the wave close to your tower so that enemy won’t be able to gank you.

Bot Lane

Very similar to top lane, but unique in its own regard, bot lane follows the same system. When we say it is unique though, we mean it is executed differently. Having two players on each side means that there is two times more possible damage that can be inflicted onto minions. You need to keep track of it in order to stop the wave from reaching your tower.

The best time to freeze a wave if you are playing ad carry is when enemy has hard engage champions such as Leona or Rell. If they are unable to reach you, they basically become useless. Also, keep in mind bot lane is usually the party lane so try to make yourself as ungankable as possible.

When should I freeze?

League of Legends is extremely dynamic, and different situations require you to manipulate minions to work in different ways. If the enemy has just recalled you are presented with few options. You can fast push the wave into the enemy tower and recall, you can push and roam, or you can freeze the wave. Depending on your gold, as well as the state of the other lanes your best call would be to freeze it. Once your opponent returns to lane, he will have to expose himself to farm. You can further improve this by letting your jungler know that he can gank in ~30 seconds.

There are also games where enemy jungler and support just won’t leave you alone. Keeping the wave close to your tower will make you extremely hard to gank. But keep in mind stacking too big of a wave could lead to the enemy dive, in which case, you helped them.

In case you made a misplay and died early, you will be at a disadvantage. Being at such, it will be hard for you to battle for precious minions. In this situation try to keep a freeze for as long as you are behind. Doing so will force the enemy to make mistakes and have less chances to further his advantage onto you.

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How to break enemies’ freeze?

If you found yourself in an uncomfortable situation where enemy has got a freeze, you will need to do one of the following things:

  1. Throws Spells and kill minions as fast as possible

It might seem dull, but this is the easiest and riskiest way to break enemy freeze. It exposes you to various ganking opportunities since you will be stepping up in lane. Furthermore, you should be wary of taking too much damage from the enemy. He will surely try to fight you and stop you from achieving your goal.

  1. Ask your Jungler or Support for help

As we have mentioned earlier, breaking a freeze on your own is quite risky and could put you even further behind. Calling your teammates to help will minimize this risk. Although you are going to share experience with them, it’s going to help you much more in long term.

  1. Roam

When you are facing a player who likes freezing you will have all the time in the world to roam to other lanes. But, this is a high risk-high reward strategy. If your roams are successful you and your teammates will be ahead. On the other hand, every failed roam puts you further and further behind your lane opponent, both gold and experience wise.

Final Tips

This was a pretty lengthy guide with a lot of information, so here are some tips and a summary to help you. Freezing comes with many advantages, but also some disadvantages. Not every game is the same so, it is important for you to think ahead and determine if it will be useful for you. I personally use it at every chance I get and it minimizes my deaths, and leads to me being ahead of my opponent in the majority of games regardless of the match up.