Minions are the basic ground troops that serve as each team's cannon fodder, soaking up damage and slowly wearing down the enemy team. These small and fairly weak computer-controlled characters spawn in each lane approximately every 30 seconds and proceed across the Battleground in their appointed lane to aid your team in battle. Without support, Minion waves will clash about evenly, but by assisting them, players can turn their Minions into a useful shield and/or battering ram with which to overwhelm the opponent's defenses.
Minions are also the primary source of Experience (XP) in the game. They may not be the strongest fighters, but watching their struggle up close is the best way to make you and your team stronger, so it is important to keep them company on each lane (soak Minion waves), especially in the earlier stages of the game.
Minions are released on the Battleground in waves, spawning every 30.125 seconds on 3 lane Battlegrounds and every 30.1875 seconds on 2 lane Battlegrounds from the Core. Each wave spawns three Melee Minions, three Ranged Minions and a Leader Minion. Melee Minions deal low damage, but are tanky while the opposite is true for the Ranged Minions. The Leader Minion has the lowest Health and deals moderate damage and drops a Regeneration Globe upon death. Additionally, by destroying enemy Structure complexes it is also possible to spawn Catapult/Reaver Minions - once every three waves, if a Fort is destroyed in the lane, or every wave upon destroying a Keep in the same lane. Some Battlegrounds have different Minion models to match the Battleground’s theme, but their functionality remains the same.
Minions will attack enemies whenever encountered, preferring enemy Minions, Mercenaries, Monsters and Summons over Heroes or Structures whenever possible. Structures also prefer to attack Minions over Heroes, so it is therefore generally advised when facing enemy Minions or Structures to keep friendly Minions within range, allowing them to serve as tanks, soaking up attacks and leaving the player free to deal out damage or otherwise support their team. This is especially important when facing enemy Structures such as Towers, which may otherwise decimate Heroes in seconds. Mercenaries can also bolster Minions' effectiveness, allowing them to make good progress without direct assistance. Additionally, non-Catapult/Reaver Minions do 300% damage to Structures, while catapults do 200% damage to Structures.
Enemy Minions - with the exception of Leader Minions - give Experience by either dropping collectable Experience Globes or when a Hero's attack kills the Minion. Every Minion wave is collectively worth 480 total XP, increasing every minute until 60 minutes. The first few Minion waves give more XP than a Takedown and more than Towers, so their experience should be soaked strategically. Experience is shared amongst the entire team and everyone levels up together, which is why in the early game it is important to soak all lanes to gather as much Experience as possible. If you have the upper hand, you can also deny Experience by zoning your enemy away from the Minion battle to gain further advantage.
Minions also provide vision in 8 radius, which is essential for controlling the map. While your lanes are pushed up, the enemy team cannot rotate without your knowledge. This enables you and your team to move more freely and make more aggressive rotations.
|Attacks per second||0.67|
|Base Kill XP||80|
Each Minion wave consists of three Melee Minions. Melee Minions deal the least damage but have the most HP out of the Minion wave.
|Attacks per second||0.67|
|Base Kill XP||0|
A Minion wave contains one Leader Minion (also known as Wizard Minion). It has moderate damage but the lowest HP out of the Minions in the wave. When this Minion is killed, it will drop a Regeneration Globe that restores Health and Mana.
|Attacks per second||0.67|
|Base Kill XP||80|
Each Minion wave consists of three Ranged Minions. Ranged Minions have higher damage than the Wizard. They also have less HP than the warriors, but not as little as the Wizard.
|Attacks per second||0.33|
|Base Kill XP||1|
Catapults are heavy-hitting ranged Minions with an Area of Effect Siege Attack. When a team destroys a Fort (or a Keep), they’ll gain a Catapult in the next wave and every 3rd Minion wave for the rest of the game in that lane. This allows consistent (but not constant) pressure in a lane that enemies will have a hard time ignoring. This is also a form of snowball prevention that is not as obvious — a team that’s ahead will have more pressure in lanes, pushing Minions (and Experience) toward their opponents, allowing them easier and safer ways to regain a foothold in the match. If both the Fort and the Keep in the same lane are destroyed, Catapults will be spawned with every wave.
In order to keep early-game Catapults from being too devastating to defending teams, Catapults gradually increase their Attack Range (from 11 to 13), damage, and Health as the game progresses. Notably, Catapults always outrange Structures, and their splash attack, provided there is an allied Minion wave ahead of them to absorb focus, can quickly destroy Minion waves. Late-game Catapults do high amounts of damage and can easily destroy the Core by themselves if left unchecked.
|Attacks per second||1.00|
|Base Kill XP||10|
Reavers are melee Minions, replacing Catapults on Alterac Pass. Similar to Catapults, they spawn in a lane once the enemy Fort and Keep in said lane has been destroyed, but lead the wave from the front. Reavers do significantly less damage than Catapults, lacking both the area damage and the bonus versus Structures. However, Reavers make up for their lower damage and melee range with massive Health pools and significant Armor against Structures (75) and Minions (50), further extending their life totals.
Sapper Minions once spawned only on Hanamura in a lane together with Minion waves when the enemy Fort and Keep in said lane have been destroyed. This Sapper Minion put intense pressure on the enemy; if it reached the end of the lane, it dealt 1 Core damage. Sapper Minions were removed on July 11, 2017.
Minions grow stronger after every minute, increasing their Health and their Basic Attack damage as well as the Experience they reward to the enemy. Minion scaling is important, because Structures do not scale, making large, uncleared Minion waves more of a threat to Structures as the game time increases.
The XP given by the Minion is determined when the Minion is killed by a Hero or when the Experience Globe dropped by it is picked up. Kill reward XP scaling of Melee and Ranged Minions is purely linear, increasing by a constant 2XP per minute and continues to scale until 60 minutes into the game. The XP granted by Catapult and Reaver Minions does not scale and remains at 1XP throughout the game.
The Health and Basic Attack damage of every Minion is determined when it spawns at the Core and does not change during the life time of the Minion. Since a new wave of Minions spawns approximately every 30 seconds, every second wave, starting with the one spawning at the one minute mark, receives better stats.
The scaling of Minions' stats is done in a "ramping linear" fashion: Every minute the values are increased by a constant amount, multiplied by a scaling factor that increases every 5 minutes. This ramping style of scaling keeps gametimes more consistent relative to purely linear scaling. It reduces the power of early game pushes while allowing Minions to be a threat in later stages of the game, so that matches are less likely to end too quickly or drag on forever. The scaling base values and multipliers for each Minion unit can be found in the table below.
|Time based scaling of Minion units|
|Name||Base increase||Scaling factor (minutes)|
|1 ... 5||6 ... 10||11 ... 15||16 ... 20||21 ... 25||26 ... 30|
|Melee Minion (damage)||0.1||1x||1.5x||2x||2.5x||3.5x||3.5x|
|Melee Minion (Health)||8.0|
|Leader Minion (damage)||0.4||1x||1.5x||2x||2.5x||3.5x||3.5x|
|Leader Minion (Health)||4.0|
|Ranged Minion (damage)||0.25||1x||1.5x||2x||2.5x||3.5x||3.5x|
|Ranged Minion (Health)||6.0|