For the summoner spell, see Mark Mark.

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 DragonSquare Dragon, or a kill to establish dominance in lane) to widen the gap between them and their opponents.

Snowball items

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:

Exceptional Snowball Items

With patch V1.0.0.145, the snowball item Bonetooth Necklace Bonetooth Necklace has been added, which is available exclusively to the champion RengarSquare Rengar, the Pridestalker 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, RengarSquare Rengar now does not lose stacks of his Bonetooth Necklace Bonetooth Necklace upon death and is now a trinket item. Therefore, this may not be a snowball item anymore.
  • 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

Cho'GathSquare Cho'Gath's Feast Feast 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.

DravenSquare Draven's League of Draven League of Draven 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.
  • DravenSquare Draven 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.

KindredSquare Kindred's Mark of the Kindred Mark of the Kindred is an ability that gain stacks upon killing targeted champions.

Snowball Runes

There are some runes that encourages snowball effects.

Misc. snowball runes grants benefits that are easily achieved without takedowns, but its effect is better with takedowns.


Cost efficiency

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. Mejai's Soulstealer item Mejai's Soulstealer, 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 Rabadon's Deathcap item Rabadon's Deathcap which costs 3300 gold, with any amount of stacks higher than 17.

From a cost efficiency perspective, Mejai's Soulstealer item Mejai's Soulstealer breaks even at 6 stacks (18.16 gold per point of AP) and Sword of the Occult item Sword of the Occult breaks even at 5 stacks (34.28 gold per point of AD).

Countering

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.

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