BUILD GUIDE: Basic Last Hitting by etherealnod

by etherealnod (last updated over a year ago)

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Basic Last Hitting

Last hitting is fundamental to playing the game well. It is not as important as not dying.

The key is to stand your character outside of range of your opponent. As minions get low, move into range just long enough to attack once, then return to full range.

Your attacks don't do much damage at the onset of the game. Mentally prepare yourself to make only one attack per minion. Do not try multiple attacks per minion

Do not allow your character to auto-attack. Constantly spam randomized 'horizontal' movement as you watch minion health drop.

Ranged minions die more quickly. You can attack them slightly earlier than melee minions and still get the last hits.

If friendly ranged minions have built up, you will need to attack earlier than you normally would. Ranged minions do a lot of damage, and timing your attack amongst a host of friendly minion attacks can be tricky.

As you get better at last hitting, mentally prepare yourself for the order in which you will last hit the wave. Knowing where you will need to move the cursor next can save time.

Often there are minions you can not get, based on how the lane/minion movement broke down. Knowing a minion is out of your grasp is important. Concentrate on getting all the minions you can get.

Animation cancelling is also important. After you have attacked (or the projectile has left your character) start moving immediately. This will limit the time you are in the hot zone.

Do not get so focused on last hitting that you don't look at your mini-map and at chat. Death is much worse than missing a CS (creep score).

Very basic last hit goes like this: You are beyond maximum attack range, in a safe neutral, random walking pattern. A minion is getting low. At the time when you will need to attack, you have moved to maximum projectile range and attacked. As soon as projectile has left or attack animation has completed, you move back to safe, neutral, random walking pattern. Prepare for next last hit.

Tower Hitting

Initially, when the wave gets to your tower, it will take 3 full tower hits to kill a melee minion, and two tower hits to kill a ranged minion.

Depending on your attack damage, you should be able to last hit a melee minion after two tower hits, with no friendly minion attacks interfering.

Depending on your attack damage, you probably won't be able to last hit a ranged minion after one tower hit. You can 'prepare' minions by hitting them once before the tower hits them. Then, when the tower attacks them, you can last hit them. If you are laning with someone, one of you can prepare a minion for the other.

Generally prepare ranged minions while the tower attacks the melee minions; don't lose CS because you were preparing minions.

If the minions are being hit by towers and by friendly minions, do not prepare minions. Often the friendly minions will prepare them for you. This is some of the trickiest last hitting. It may be advantageous to use skills here, to ensure last hits.

Standing near to the minion, and attacking just before the tower hits often ensures the best chance to attack at optimal time.

You can always hope for critical hits, even if you do not think you can possibly do enough damage. That being said, generally go for the sure last hits before trying less certain ones.

Using Skills

Using skills to last hit is highly dependent on the champion and your opponent. Non-mana characters can utilize their skills much more often to improve their CS.

Do not use all your mana to CS, unless you are preparing to return to base. If a fight breaks out and you have no mana, because you've been CSing with it, your fight will not fare well.

Become familiar with the characters you use, the items you buy, and the timings of the game. Knowing how many skills you can use and maintain a reasonable mana pool for contingency plans is crucial.

Karthus should ideally 'last hit' with his Q only. You can nearly forget you have an auto-attack.

Wave Clearing/Pushing

This is not last hitting, but at some points in the game you will want to clear a wave or push a wave to their tower. Unless you plan on going back to base following the push, do not use all your mana.

Certain characters do not last hit, as their AoE damage is efficient enough to use readily. However, most of these champions are efficient enough or deal enough damage to AoE from level one. For the first six levels at least, or until enough AP has been built up, you will rely on last hitting. This last hitting is what will set you up for your first items.

When you wave clear, you allow your opponent to dictate the final location of the wave. This can leave you vulnerable to ganks.

Support/Jungle Last Hitting

As a support, your job is not to last hit, but to ensure your carry can last hit properly. In general, don't touch the minions; let your carry determine how best to lane. Around the tower, you can prepare minions for last hits, usually by hitting ranged creeps once.

Early game junglers often find themselves holding a lane. Supports can be left alone with a lane while the main-laner buys. If the main-laner is forced out of lane, there are a few things to do: reset the minion wave, maintain the minion wave, or heal/buy/ward.

Often if the minion wave is pushed up, the best thing to do is just leave the lane alone; go buy, ward, and don't die needlessly. If the wave is pushing toward your tower, you can tank it momentarily, so the main-laner can return to lane and gain the experience. Don't over tank, because you don't want to prematurely be forced from the lane. You can reset the minion wave by killing all the minions quickly, and allowing their tower to kill all of your minions. Finally, you can maintain the wave in its place, simply last hitting in place of the main-laner.

If you're in communication with the main-laner, it's best to ask them what they'd like done with their lane. Often lanes are lost early due to junglers and supports pushing lanes when the main-laner is gone. When in doubt, simply last hit, and don't push the lane.

Final Thoughts

For easier last hitting, choose a ranged DPS. For even easier last hitting, use flat attack damage (marks/quints) runes. Adding some attack speed will allow you to transition between minions more quickly.

As the game progresses, the amount of damage you'll be doing will change, based on your items, level, and the time in game. Also, the amount of skills you will be able to use will increase, as your base mana/mana regen increases as you level up, as well as the items you buy.

For good practice, use Annie for AP last hitting (Q doesn't use mana if you properly last hit- this allows a perfect mechanism to reward you for good last hitting.)
Caitlyn for is good for ranged AD last hitting (increasing her initial AD works fine for her skills.)
Try Jarvan IV for melee AD hitting (hit attack animation is very clean.)

For additional help, watch the pros. See how they a) move seamlessly from minion to minion, b) leave certain minions because last hitting them will put them in danger, and c) have tricks for certain champions.

Do not be afraid to do some practice matches alone to get the timing of your attack down and get the amount of damage you deal around towers. Practice makes perfect.

Remember, very few of us can become as good as ReginaId or TRM at last hitting, but with some practice we can all improve our game.

Caution: This guide does not cover harass or receiving harass. It only covers last hitting basics. Proper laning is much more involved than simply last hitting.

Thank you for reading my guide.


Edit 1:
Added an edit section.
Added a melee attacker.
Added AS and rune types.
Added very basic last hitting instructions.

Edit 2:
Added more on wave clearing.
Added more final thoughts.

Edit 3:
Updated a few words to assist language flow.

Edit 4:
Added a Jungler/Support section.


June 25, 2012 - 06:44 PM #1

Is this guide approved? If it isn't then it should be. I have been level 30 for quite some time, and when I join solo regular draft, I get people who still do not know what last hitting is. They find it ludicrous that those little things will carry the game. I often get called out for having 2 kills in my bot lane as carry. "I have never seen a carry with only two kills" but did these guys bother to look at my farm? It was worth more than 6 kills, almost a full build at 35 minutes farming. People are stupid and need to learn how to play.

January 11, 2012 - 04:27 AM #2

I used to hate last-hitting, I found it gay... Now I take it as a "mini-game in the game" ; you need CREEPS to be efficient, think about items and kills you would do with these !

December 13, 2011 - 10:59 PM #3

Basic - but essential - information that every player should know. Fantastic guide, thank you.

November 8, 2011 - 10:02 PM #4

Its not only the guide.. you gonna have to practice last hitting.

September 25, 2011 - 05:07 AM #5

I'm not very good with videos. Watch the pros; while they might not talk about last hitting, because it has become second nature to them, you can still watch their positioning, timing, and movement to enhance last hitting and still remain alive.

August 29, 2011 - 04:06 AM #6

good guide. i realy think everyone should read this because i always play with people who don't know how to last hit, making us die and lose the turrent from jungle ganks.

August 19, 2011 - 11:03 PM #7

Nice guide

August 19, 2011 - 11:31 AM #8

Everyone should have to read this before going to rankd games... so many times I went soraka and just watched my lane partner auto attack the minions randomly.

August 19, 2011 - 10:28 AM #9

soon to become the #1 guide on TSM

August 19, 2011 - 07:29 AM #10

Good job! It's hard to come by actual 'gameplay' guides and I think Solomid is a pioneer of the Generic Guide section.

Anyway, like the others said- a video would be a nice addition, and maybe even a charts on cs/gold difference between players who auto attack, last hit, use skills to clear waves, and the like.


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