Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Full Mug of Mead, Tip #4: Zen and the Art of Last-Hitting

Would you rather have a crisp $100 in your wallet, or forty bucks in crumpled bills? If you were given two weeks to save up for a new car, would you rather be making $8 an hour and get a junky Plymouth van or $100 an hour and ride off in a tricked out new Humvee?

Or a Volt, if that's more your thing, you sneaky hipster you.
The answer should be obvious, and improving your skill with Last-Hitting in LoL is the gaming equivalent to having extra cash put in your wallet by cash-granting faeries that live in the solar panels you're too cheap to put on your roof (or maybe you're just scared of blinding someone or causing airplanes to fall from the sky like in the new J.J. Abrams disasterpiece, Revolution.)

Either way, last-hitting is a skill you absolutely must master if you want to continue to improve your game in League.

At this point, I should probably explain what last-hitting is. (As with any new term, as soon as we define it in an article, you'll be able to find it in the updated list from Tip #1)

Last-Hitting -- The last attack against an enemy minion, Neutral Monster, or opposing Champion is credited with the kill, and assigned bonus gold and experience. When your attack is the one that kills the enemy, you are the one who benefits. Therefore, it is in your best interest to strike the killing blow against every minion in a wave, an action that results in extra money going in your pocket, and a fatter wallet means more gold to spend when you head back to the Fountain.

Of course, it isn't quite as simple as I make it sound, there are nuances to last-hitting that separate the higher levels from those just starting out, and the pros take it to another plane entirely.

Because the gold tallies increase as the game progresses, it is equally as important to deny your opponents the ability to last hit as well, or they will have a chance to catch back up to you incrementally. For that reason, holding off the final hit until the last, tiny shred of life clings to the creep insures that they have dealt as much damage as possible to your own minions, making it much more likely that your allied creep will die before the enemy Champion has a chance to claim the gold.

The difference may not seem like much, but finishing off even a single creep more than your opponent from each wave can mean the difference between buying a Ruby Crystal and a Long Sword, and actually picking up a Phage when you get back to base.

With League of Legends, those incremental gains pay off in huge bonuses when fighting enemy Champions, and can definitely turn the tide in a situation where you are otherwise evenly matched.

For a more detailed look at last-hitting, check out Curse Gaming's LOLPRO website guide that includes more statistics than could possibly be relevant, and a handy spreadsheet so that you can see exactly how much gold you are giving up if you don't practice your last-hitting.

Until next time, may all your ultimates end in kills, and all your games with "Victory."

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