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A debuff is any status effect given to a champion, minion or monster that negatively impacts their combat performance in some way. The inverse is called a buff. Among other things, debuffs can directly lower a unit's statistics, cause damage over time or be triggered with subsequent attacks for additional effects. All forms of crowd control fall under the debuff classification as they inhibit a unit's ability to fight directly, but debuffs that consisting solely of crowd control are not listed here due to their prevalence and relative importance in gameplay. See the crowd control page for details.
Unless otherwise stated, debuffs cannot stack with themselves, with repeated applications upon the same target simply causing the debuff duration to reset and not incurring increased effectiveness. All debuffs are either temporary or conditional and do not persist after the affected target's death.
Resource expenditure linked to ability usage (such as with most mana- and energy-using champions) is not considered to be a debuff. Abilities with certain tradeoff mechanics (such as the increasing mana cost and damage of or the decreased attack range in form) are also not considered to be debuffs.