Ballin’: League Of Legends Gets Snowballs

The sacred tectonics of League of Legends [official website] have shifted – ARAM mode, which for y’all four of you who don’t play is a single-lane battle featuring randomly assigned characters, now includes a new snowball feature that changes the entire rhythm of the thing.

With Patch 5.8, players will be able to use a snowball in ARAM that will mark an enemy when thrown and allow you to teleport to them. League fans might recognise this whole snowball thing from a temporary game mode released last year, but it seems like Riot Games is taking it on board for the long-haul.

Surprising perhaps no one, it’s already caused some worry online over balancing issues. “Mark/Dash is killing ARAM mode day by day,” writes Twitter user @loykAD with furrowed brow. “It should be removed or at least its cooldown should be changed. It’s too random.”

Similar fears spewed passionately from the account of @YordleBoi: “I agree the mark/dash is way too strong. However, I like that the ARAM only accounts with mages/adcarries only are suffering.”

It’s maybe an odd addition to the mode. ARAM’s have been considered a largely stripped-down version of the standard Summoner’s Rift map, and the new feature seems more typical of the studio’s temporary modes.

Anyone for LoL?


  1. Daniel Klein says:

    “No fair, I can no longer poke from safety with my pokey mage only ARAM account! I have to interact with people to win the game now! I don’t LIKE people!”

    • scannerbarkly says:

      Unless your opponents are incredibly dim it’s hard to win from sheer poke.

      • Daniel Klein says:

        I’m incredibly dim! I lose to sustained poke all the time when I play ARAM. Granted, my best games were tank games, but it’s so rare that works.

        It’s hard to get a handle on a meta where the first assumption is “champion selection is semi-random”.

        • scannerbarkly says:

          The thing about dealing with heavy poke I have found is you just gotta go in. Normally teams with a LOT of awkward poke are poorly equipped to deal with someone closing on them. The only issue then is if your team will go in and fight with you, which is sadly not often the case. lol

          • Daniel Klein says:

            If it’s just you going in though, you’re gonna have a bad time ;)

  2. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    When playing ARAM, I always dreaded drawing short ranged/melee champions, because so much of each game consists of standing off and poking with skillshots until someone makes a mistake that the other side can capitalise on and the brawl begins. I look forward to seeing how this shakes it up. If it means suddenly the ARAM is dominated by different champions to the ones who have always dominated it, well, at least it’ll be a change.

  3. scannerbarkly says:

    I’ve actually stopped playing ARAM since this change came in. I used to enjoy the randomness of it, you would get 5 random champs in a random comp against the same…trying to figure out how to win was part of the fun. I can happily say my ability to team fight, dodge enemy poke and CS all improved from playing ARAM.

    Now, I get WuKong I just take the snowball and then crush the other side before they can even scale up to stand a chance. Same with just about any of the bruisers. You don’t need to be good at spotting opportunities anymore you just gotta land a snowball, dash in and ult.

    It’s removed a lot of the fun that was ARAM for me. Don’t get me wrong, I had some hilarious moments with the snowball and Nami ults but the interesting aspect of working with the established limitations of the champion pool is now dead for me.

    • Xocrates says:

      I have not been able to play the new update (been on a very unreliable connection for the past few weeks), but I did play a lot of ARAM (almost exclusively, in fact), and I utterly loved Legend of the Poro King because it finally allowed some of the most oppressive champs on Howling Abyss to be reliably countered, while simultaneously making a bunch of other champs more viable.

      Yes the “ARAM” meta will suffer a massive shift, but I don’t believe that to be a bad thing.

    • Punning Pundit says:

      I find the snowball is a new way to exert pressure in a map that’s a single lane. If I’m playing, say, Mundo, and I want to engage the other team, I was incredibly hard presnowball. Now it’s easier.

      Not 100% easy, though. CC becomes much more important. As Ziggs or Viegar, for instance, if I’m hit with a snowball I know I should throw down a minefield or baby cage instantly. It becomes an interesting bit of counterplay.

      Then you’ve got the ADCs who suddenly _can_ towerdive, so they start doing it more. *sigh*

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      I like the idea of them putting the snowball in, plus a selection of other similar items with different effects that fundamentally change the way the game is played. Then, on the champ select screen, after everybody is locked in, the game rolls one of these items/effects at random (or it rolls nothing at all and you have an ARAM that plays the same as it has in the past).

      This would mean people have to adapt more to the situation they are presented with and it would mean that champions would be more or less powerful depending on the adaptation the game threw at you. It would also mean the ARAM “tier list” where people know what’s good and what’s bad (and potentially dodge when they get a champ they know is bad, which is frustrating as sometimes ARAM dodging gets silly, taking half a dozen or more attempts to get into a game) would be much less of a thing.

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        This would certainly scupper ARAM accounts too, which won’t happen with this current change as the tier list will simply be altered somewhat and people will make a new smurf account to reflect this.

  4. wraithgr says:

    Just wanted to check in as one of the four people who could care less about league and all the other lane fighters. Where are you other three guys? I’ll spring for a 4-pack of tabletop simulator and we can play some x-wing or something ;-)

    • Punning Pundit says:

      As someone who loves X-Wing to pieces, can I get in on this, even though I’m also a LoL fan? For real, X-Wing Epic is the most fun I can have with 3 other people since I got married.

    • GameCat says:

      Third guy here. But where are the girls?

    • Great Cthulhu says:

      I guess I’m one of the four too. X-Wing is on my wish list!

    • Premium User Badge

      Serrit says:

      I *thought* I was one of the 4, but since you’re all accounted for I’m now worried I’ve been playing LoL in my sleep. That does at least account for the weird dreams…

  5. aonepaper says:

    A particular stability informs or new element isn’t typically sufficient to rev up the complete League of Legends… people who write essays for you

  6. Thirdrail says:

    I can’t believe anyone can complain about ARAM balance with a straight face. ARAM has never been balanced. Now it’s just unbalanced differently. Riot will cut the snowball range in half, and everything will be fine.

    Also, I’ve noticed that only about 20% of ARAM players feed the poros. If you’re not giving the poros their snacks, you don’t get to have an opinion about ARAM. I’m not calling you soulless, poro neglecting monsters, but…