Slowing your opponent is an integral part of any League of Legends match. It allows you to make a multitude of decisions. You can slow them down to get on top if you are chasing them or, get out of their grasp if they are chasing you. Regardless of the situation, a slow always comes in handy for every role in the game. Some abilities even trigger additional effects if the target is already slowed.
Several items slow your opponent on contact. The first one is renowned for its slowing capabilities, and that is Everfrost. Following Everfrost, we have Rylai’s Crystal Scepter, Serylda’s Grudge, and Frostfire Gauntlet.
With the addition of Stridebreaker to the list, these are some common items people look toward the building when up against a mobile enemy composition. Others that are less known for their slowing effects are Stormrazor, Blade of the Ruined King (BoRK), Dead Man’s Plate, Duskblade of Draktharr, Randuin’s Omen, and Turbo Chemtank
Now, these are a lot of slowing items, but not all of them have the same effectiveness. Each item has a unique percentage slow that we will talk about. Some have prerequisites to fully activate their slows. Let us take a look at how each item works, individually.
Major Slowing Items
The king of item slows, Everfrost deserves to be at the top of the list. While it provides the user with some advantageous base stat increases such as increased base mana and health, the item’s active ability is why people buy it.
When activated, Everfrost uses Glaciate. This deals 100 (+30% AP) magic damage in a cone. Enemies hit by the cone not only receive damage but are also slowed by 65% for 1 second. If they are hit by the middle of the cone, they are rooted, instead of slowed, for 1 second.
This item synergizes incredibly with kits like Lissandra or Twisted Fate’s abilities. They can easily chain crowd control (CC) the enemy for a few seconds which we all know is more than enough to get a kill. Remember to place your Glaciate carefully as you’ll want the root instead of a normal slow.
Rylai’s Crystal Scepter
A fan favorite for many Swain players, Rylai’s Crystal Scepter is a must-have if you are playing a control made with sustained damage. With consistent slowing capabilities, it becomes difficult to move when facing a player experienced with Rylai’s. With its reduced gold cost in recent patches, Rylai’s has once again emerged as a viable second item pick.
The passive, Rimefrost, slows enemies by 30% for 1 second. This passive is only activated on enemies hit by damaging abilities, hence, debuff abilities do not trigger this effect. Although the slow might seem insignificant in comparison to Everfrost, with lower duration and percentage slow, Rylai’s Crystal Scepter is always active, unlike Everfrost. Pouring down a never-ending barrage of abilities on your enemy can make them feel like time has slowed down for them.
A must-have for Swain or Malzahar, Rylai’s Crystal Scepter goes great with the DoT abilities both of them have. The passive also helps support AP enchanter supports like Nami and Janna. Run Glacial Augment as primary runes and watch the insane slow all over the map.
Serylda’s Grudge is our first AD item on the list, a great choice for ability-style bruisers. Serylda’s Grudge is the common counterpart to Lord Dominik’s Regards as both have armor penetration. The only difference is that Lord Dominik’s Regards is made to cut down tanks while Serylda’s Grudge slows down enemies on contact.
Serylda’s is seen as a superior item due to the increased AD it provides as compared to LDR. But what is more important is its passive, Bitter Cold. Damaging abilities cause enemies to be slowed by 30% for 1 second. This passive activates anytime your abilities damage your opponent. It works on various champs like AP Ashe or even Urgot.
It should be noted that Serylda’s Grudge passive does not trigger auto attacks. If you are thinking of building on ADCs, make sure you have a damaging ability that does not already slow as it will cancel out the effect.
A personal favorite of mine, Frostfire Gauntlet, also makes it onto the list with its Snowbind passive. Frostfire Gauntlet is a great mythic option for tanks and bruisers alike. It helps slow down those slippery top laners you may be facing like Tryndmere or Irelia. Slowing them down long enough for you to stun them with your abilities is a key aspect of what makes Frostfire Gauntlet so good.
The slowing passive, Snowbind, creates a frosted field where you attacked the enemy. This field lingers for 1.5 seconds and deals bonus magic damage to all nearby enemy units. Enemies that move across the field are slowed. There is a 25% slow for melee champions while ranged champions are slowed by 12.5%.
This effect is affected by the user’s max health. That is why it is better to use your mythic slot on it only if you have significantly higher max health. Champions like Urgot, Cho’Gath, and Tahm Kench are some prime examples of Frostfire Gauntlet users.
Stridebreaker has not been in the spotlight ever since its nerf. By taking away the forward-dash in its active ability, it reduced its effectiveness by a lot. Nonetheless, if you are running ghost as a summoner spell, this nerf should not affect you too much. The bruiser-mythic item grants the champion increased attack speed, AD, health, and ability haste. But just like Everfrost, the active ability is what makes it worth buying.
Stridebreaker’s active ability, Halting Slash, deals 175% AD physical damage to enemies in its radius. This also slows enemy units in the radius by 40% for 3 seconds. This ability goes great with the second passive, Heroic Gait, which grants users 20 movement speed for 3 seconds. Both in conjunction can cut off escape opportunities for many champions, especially those without dashes.
Ideal picks for Stridebreaker are probably AD bruiser champs like Darius and Garen. They can hack down the enemy low enough to execute them with their Rs.
Stormrazor is the only item that fits the ADC meta perfectly. If you are an immobile ADC like Jhin and have trouble landing your Curtain Call shots, this item is for you. Stormrazor gives you the additional attack speed and the critical chance you need to supplement your Infinity Edge passive while slowing down your opponents on hit.
Stormrazor’s passive, Paralyze, allows you to slow your enemies by 75% for 0.5 seconds. This effect is activated only on Energized attacks which means you should always be moving around. But even the slightest movement energizes the attack, meaning almost every auto attack can slow the enemy ADC.
I’d say this item is matchup dependent as you won’t require it if you are already behind. Getting in auto attack range can be pretty bad in those situations. But if you want to try it, Jhin and Zeri are good ADCs to use this item on.
Minor Slowing Items
Now that we are through with the major slowing items, let’s talk about some not-so-talked-about slowing items. These items also provide slows but aren’t what they are best known for.
Blade of the Ruined King (BoRK)
First off, we have Blade of the Ruined King, also known as BoRK. BoRK is an amazing 1v1 dueling item that can mostly be the difference between coming out on top or a grey screen. Providing users with additional attack speed and much-needed lifesteal, it helps you sustain while dishing out insane damage.
BoRK’s passive, Siphon, allows you to steal your target’s movement speed meaning they can’t run away. If you hit the same target 3 times, they lose 25% movement speed while you gain the same amount.
This item is a non-mythic first item for many champions like Jax and Irelia. Once you have got it, you should win out on most trades if there is no other disadvantage.
Dead Man’s Plate
Dead Man’s Plate has become a very niche item over the years. At its prime, it was revered as it would be paired with Turbo Chemtank to run over the enemy team. Although not as popular, in the right hands, it could mean a pentakill for your team.
Shipwrecker is the solo passive and what makes Dead Man’s Plate unique. While moving, your champion builds up 40 move speed. Your next attack discharges this built-up energy to deal 40 (100% base AD) physical damage. If used by a melee champion, the attack also slows the target by 50% for 1 second if the champion is at top speed.
In case you didn’t know, this is the only item that gives you a base movement speed increase of 5%. Good champions for it are Rammus, Hecarim, and Dr. Mundo.
Duskblade of Draktharr
The only assassin-mythic on our list, Duskblade of Draktharr. No other item except Duskblade provides slowing effects which make this very useful for champions like Zed, to run down the enemy team.
Besides providing champions with additional lethality and AD, its Nightstalker passive helps keeps enemies within striking range. Attacks deal additional AD physical damage. If this damage is dealt with by a melee champion, the attack slows the opponent by 99% for 0.25 seconds. This effect has a 15-second cooldown.
The best champions for this are Kayn (Red) and Zed. Other assassins like Talon can also opt for it, depending on the game state.
Randiun’s Omen is one of the last items on our list of slowing items in League of Legends. The item is rounded out and has a lot of versatility as compared to other items. With a lot of armor and additional health, it is a favorable item for both tanks and bruisers.
The active ability, Humility, releases a shockwave around your champion that slows nearby enemies by 99% for 0.25 seconds. It also reduces their attack damage by 10% and critical damage by 20% for 4 seconds, nullifying the burst potential of many champions.
This is an ideal option for any champion that acts as their teams engage. Tanks and bruisers, sometimes even assassins can pick up this item.
The last item I placed is Turbo Chemtank. Turbo Chemtank is a niche mythic item considering the kit is based around charging toward the enemy without any additional stats or significant damage. Nonetheless, the active ability does have a slowing component to it.
Turbo Chemtank’s active ability, Supercharged, grants you a 40% movement speed bonus for 4 seconds when moving towards a turret or visible enemy champion. When the duration ends or an enemy champion is hit, whichever comes first, you emit a shockwave, slowing nearby enemy champions by 50% for 1.5 seconds.
This item has great synergy with champions like Volibear, Rammus, and Hecarim. Pair it with Dead Man’s Plate and you will cross the rift in under a minute.
Also read: Best Tank Malphite Build For Season 13
The Bottom Line
Slowing is a key part of ganking or chasing down enemies. A slight slow can mean you coming into basic attack range and dying. That is why you should always make sure you are on the side that inflicts the slow rather than the one affiliated with it. Test out these items in-game to see how they make you feel.