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In DotA, you weren't able to stack orbs. So for example, stacking a life steal orb and a freezing attack orb would render one of them useless.

Does League of Legends have a similar concept, or can I choose any items and have their effects stack?

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The inability to stack orbs was an intrinsic part of the warcraft III engine, not something chosen for game balance (which is not to say that game balance didn't benefit from being able to restrict heroes to one orb). –  Raven Dreamer Nov 28 '10 at 17:21
    
Related question about stacking items: gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/10244/… –  Raven Dreamer Nov 28 '10 at 17:25
    
Thanks Raven, that's kind of what I was getting at. I understood that the limitations of orbs were from the WC3 engine, but I wasn't sure if they had built a similar limitation into the LoL engine. I agree that it did help with balance in DotA –  Benny Nov 29 '10 at 8:33
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up vote 7 down vote accepted

You can stack items, however any unique properties will only apply once. Some stats stack differently than others (math) but they ultimately do stack.

For example, Madred's Bloodrazor provides the following:

+30 Attack Damage
+40% Attack Speed
+25 Armor

UNIQUE - On hit, deals Magic Damage equal to 4% of the target's maximum Health.

Buying more than one of these will give you the additional attack damage, attack speed and armor, but not an additional unique effect (4% of target's health per hit).

You can have more than one unique effect, but you may only have one of each unique effect. There are no items that cancel each other out.

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A clarification about "UNIQUE" -- the UNIQUE tag only exists to discourage folks from stacking the same item -- UNIQUE passive abilities that give stats (such as Randuin's Omen's 15% Cooldown reduction) stack with stats given by other items. –  Raven Dreamer Nov 28 '10 at 17:20
    
Aren't there exceptions like Sheen, Trinity Force? I'm pretty sure they don't stack. –  Jonn Nov 29 '10 at 12:51
    
@Jonn That's actually a good question, because Tiamat's DOES stack (even though nobody builds it, it's still amusing if you stack 6 of them). –  TheQ Nov 29 '10 at 13:30
    
Yeah. Most of them do stack, Tiamat's effect isn't unique btw. I've tried the Trinity force and its AP counterpart in one build (trying a hybrid build) and I don't think it worked. –  Jonn Nov 29 '10 at 14:17
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