- For the summoner spell, see .
Snowballs are situations that gain momentum over the course of time, analogously derived from a snowball rolling down a hill, picking up more snow and momentum as it rolls. "Snowballing" generally describes the act of using so called 'Snowball items'. A more contemporary use of the word is an individual or team that has taken advantage of a certain factor (such as the global gold from slaying the , or a kill to establish dominance in lane) to widen the gap between them and their opponents.
Snowball items are items that make a champion stronger over the course of time, unless that champion is killed on a regular basis. While granting only low stats by themselves, the items allow the champion to gain stacks of a certain effect which further increase stats (e.g. bonus ability power or attack damage).
The snowball items give a buff upon receiving one stack. When you die, you lose this buff.
The snowball items and their buffs are:
Stacking items that do not lose stack:
- and its items
Exceptional Snowball Items
With patch V126.96.36.199, the snowball item has been added, which is available exclusively to the champion who has been added in the same patch. The item (V8.4) differs from the above-mentioned snowball items in the following manners:
- Upon obtaining charges, the icon of the item changes.
- As of patch 4.5, trinket item. Therefore, this may not be a snowball item anymore. now does not lose stacks of his upon death and is now a
- Rengar gains stacks when he gains a takedown on a new unique champion. Therefore, in a normal game, the maximum stack is 5.
Misc. Snowball-like Abilities
is an ability with somewhat Snowball-like effects.
- If Feast kills the target, Cho'Gath grows larger and gains extra health and basic attack range, stacking up to six times on minions and non-epic monsters, although it stacks infinitely on champions and epic monsters, the size stacking at 10 stacks.
is an ability that accelerate his snowball play style.
- He gains a stack of Adoration when he catches an axe, kill jungle monster, destroy turrets, ... When he kills an enemy champion, he consumes his adoration stacks to gain gold.
- loses 75% of his Adoration stacks upon death.
- Unlike other snowball effects, he creates a snowball potential and achieve the reward when he achieve a kill.
- Like other snowball effects, it can be slowed down by kill him.
is an ability that gain stacks upon killing targeted champions.
There are some runes that encourages snowball effects.
- takedowns. - This rune damages increases as the owner gain stacks. To gain the stacks efficiently requires gaining
- , , , .
- takedowns. , , : These runes gains bonus stat stacks faster if the owner gains
- takedowns. : The time to gain the item is reduced by gaining
While snowball items grant comparably low base stats (especially compared to their gold prices), a fully stacked snowball item grants stats that exceed most other items in the game, let alone within their gold price range. , for example, grants only 60 ability power at the cost of 1400 gold if the champion has not collected any stacks yet. At 20 stacks, however, it grants a total of 180 ability power as well as 15% cooldown reduction, surpassing which costs 3300 gold, with any amount of stacks higher than 17.
From a cost efficiency perspective,breaks even at 6 stacks (18.16 gold per point of AP) and breaks even at 5 stacks (34.28 gold per point of AD).
As soon as you realize that an enemy champion is getting a snowball item, it is essential to keep them from gaining stacks and kill them as quickly and as often as possible; they should be your highest priority in fights. Keep in mind that each assist grants one stack as well, making team fights very attractive for snowballing champions. Also keep in mind that, after a snowballing champion is killed, assists will still grant them stacks even after death. This makes it considerable to sometimes kill them last in order to drain the most stacks from them.