Vainglory Wave Management

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Vainglory Wave Management Beginner’s Guide #1 Wave estimation By MillionMaster#0001


Vainglory is a game that focuses a lot on resource management and efficiency. For laners, it is crucial to last hit as many minions as possible early on to get enough gold for the powerful items you need for later.

All minions follow the same logic, so player interference would be the only factor that can influence the outcome when two waves crash into each other. Learning when and how to deal with a wave is of utmost importance. This guide will give you a very simple yet important walkthrough on how to manage your waves.


  1. Trade: Fight with enemy laner, result in loss of health/energy/ability cooldown on both side most of the time.
  2. Roam: Leaving your designated lane and make plays elsewhere on the map.
  3. Farm: Last hit minions to get gold, which is the currency for any items in the shop, and exp, which you need to level up.
  4. Wave: a group of minion wave pushing forward together, number can go from a couple up to over 10 minions. More info here.
  5. Push: The deliberate action of advancing your wave forward, ideally into the enemy turret so you can have a window of opportunity to do things you would normally lose considerable farm for. To do so, you kill the enemy wave so that your minions can walk toward the next turret.
  6. Fast push/shove: Pushing with the highest speed possible, getting your wave into enemy turret ASAP.
  7. Slow push: Build up a large wave gradually. This is primarily done by leaving a few enemy big minions alive. Big minions have more HP but less damage than siege minions, so your wave will slowly kill the enemy minions while taking little damage back. Because of this, your wave slowly gains an advantage, which gets bigger and bigger as new waves join. After a while, you will have a massive minion wave pushing by itself!
  8. Freeze: Manipulating the wave so that the minions do not push to either side. This is usually done by maintaining a certain number of enemy minions alive so that they can deal enough damage to prevent your minion from advancing.


To understand minion wave, you need to first familiarize yourself with a math formula used to calculate relative strength of 2 forces. This law is called Lanchester’s Square Law. In a nutshell, Lanchester’s Square Law determines that the power difference between 2 forces not by the raw number of combatants, but rather the square of that number. The strength difference between 2 combatants and 3 is not 3 – 2 = 1 but rather 32 – 22 = 9 – 4 = 5. Based on this law, we can get the conclusion that even when the raw number difference in a 3 v 2 and 4 v 3 scenario are both 1, the actual strength difference is 5 to 7. The greater the strength difference, the greater the number of combatants on the stronger force survives after the fight. Here is a link to its Wikipedia page should you have any further questions regarding the formula.

Recall the 2 scenarios presented above, in the case of 4 v 3, the wave with 4 minions will have more surviving member, therefore creating a larger difference in minion number when the next wave arrives (note the upcoming wave is always even in number, so the surviving minions in lane is the new factor here for whether a wave position is freezing or pushing)

Now, think of your hero as an additional minion, except you can make the choice to not continuously hit enemy minions. The enemy hero is another minion. In this set up, for you to manage a wave, the factor here is no longer simply how much damage you can deal to enemy minions but rather how much more/less damage to minions are you dealing compared to enemy laner. If you are doing less damage than enemy hero, even if the lane minion’s number shows favor on your side, the wave can still move toward you. If you want to manipulate the wave with an enemy hero present, see table on the next page for directions. Note that a huge factor in lane manipulation WITH enemy hero present is that the strength and match up will be a new factor that influences the player’s decision making.



Slow push

Fast push

You are stronger than enemy

Match enemy damage to wave. Since you are stronger you can also give up some farm and let enemy push toward you. Then you can try to maintain a freeze while starving out the enemy since they cannot fight you.

YES, try to zone enemy out and only take last hits

You would be feeding some minions to the enemy this way, so make sure what you are doing after shoving is worth it

You are weaker than enemy

Not recommended since enemy can zone you out unless the wave is already near your turret

This is usually not doable if the enemy understand the match up well. Try to trim down enemy minion numbers but don’t take risky positions in lane.

NO! NO! NO! While you are busy pushing the enemy can force a trade and prevent you from shoving. Press F

You are even with enemy

Match enemy damage to the wave. If the enemy is shoving or trying to slow push, they either don’t understand what they are doing, or planning something.

Make sure you have a way to break the freeze if the enemy react with this tactic. In even match up, whoever successfully gets a freeze will be able to have consistent income and be safe from ganks

Only if you are rotating elsewhere for really important reasons

Naturally, the 2 minion waves from both sides meet at the center. Without player influence they would be stationary relatively long until one side eventually pushes to the other. As a laner there are three main actions you can take, and they are farm, trade, and roam (See definition in I). The position of the current wave changes how well each of the three action’s outcome is going to be.

When the minion wave is in the middle, it is recommended to farm and take trade if your hero is not countered by the enemy hero. Do not take unfavorable trade since it will reduce the options you have later in the game should change occurs.

When the minion waves meet at a location closer to your turret, it is recommended to focus on farming. Trading is not a good option since there will be more enemy minions than your friendly until the wave start bouncing back toward the middle or to the enemy side. Trading with enemy hero when there are more enemy minions around means you would be drawing more attacks from the minion as well. As long as the enemy hero does not take turret shots, they will almost always win the trade.

Based the previous position, we can conclude that when the wave position is closer to the enemy side, the optimal move is trade (but not taking turret damage) or roam. When you have many minions pushing toward the enemy, they will be limited to taking those last hits or they will lose a lot of gold as well as let their turret take tons of damage. When their option is limited, you can use the time to trade blows or roam. There are also several options here:

  1. You can roam down the river or into the enemy jungle and place Scout Cams so you can notice enemy roamer ahead of their gank.
  2. You can help your jungler if the enemy decide to invade ally side jungle.
  3. You can join force with your jungler and either invade enemy jungle or roam to another lane for ganks.

To make things easier, here is a table for the optimal actions

 Wave Position




Wave at middle




Wave closer to friendly side




Wave closer to enemy side




But what if the enemy uses the above strategy to deal with me?

This is the fun part of wave manipulation. Both players are trading direct blows like basic attacks and indirect ones like managing the wave. In the end, it all comes down to how the current game is going. If your jungler is on the other side of the map, fast pushing sometimes is not really an optimal idea despite your hero being way stronger than the enemy because you will be alone and if the enemy jungler decide to gank you, remember Lanchester’s Square Law? A 2v1 is 4 – 1 = 3. When heroes are still utilizing their raw stats in early levels, winning a 1 v 2 is extremely unlikely if everyone start in healthy condition. On the other hand, you can start fast shoving as a weak laner to bait the enemy into fighting you when you notice your jungler and maybe even your captain is already on their way for a gank.

This guide is meant to be a simple and purely theoretical guide on wave management, to be more proficient with this skill, it is always recommended to get experience from really matches.

See you in the next guide and good luck on Sovereign’s Rise!