Thornmail Unique: On being hit, returns 30% of damage, before any reductions such as armor, as magic damage. At least 15 damage must be received.

As an AD Carry that relies in auto-attacks (eg.Ashe, Tryndamere, Master Yi, etc), What's the better way to counter Thornmail? (Providing some kind of source will be of great help, not only beliefs and guesses)

  • I don't play LoL, but I'd imagine the best way for an auto attacker to deal with someone like that is to take out his team mates instead and let your teammates handle him.
    – l I
    Commented Apr 6, 2012 at 19:00
  • @yx. This is one way to approach to the solution. but I hope there is more, because, if the 5 opponents got this item, and I follow this strategy, I'll do nothing in a team fight.
    – Michel
    Commented Apr 6, 2012 at 19:08
  • is there a cooldown associated with the item or is it always on? And also, if all 5 opponents get it because they fear you, then you have already won (unless everyone else on your team also relies on auto attacks) :P
    – l I
    Commented Apr 6, 2012 at 19:10
  • My team can be formed with 5 ad (Rare, but happens sometimes). So the item may not be only for me. And YES the items is always ON. Even if the team has 3 AD is worth get this item. (don't need to be all 5)
    – Michel
    Commented Apr 6, 2012 at 19:12

1 Answer 1


There are really only four things you can do as an AD carry against an enemy with Thornmail.

  1. Get Armor Pen: Thornmail offers the highest armor rating in the game of I believe 100. This armor alone is going to be offsetting your damage pretty badly. Armor pen will only help you kill him faster, while he kills you... Thus bringing me to numbers 2 and 3.

  2. Bump up your lifesteal: Items like bloodthirster boost your lifesteal, thus nullifying a bit of that damage you are getting back. The trick is to try to be taking away in lifesteal a good portion of what you are losing in thornmail damage.

  3. Build up a good health pool: Something that a lot of AD carries don't tend to do is focus on their health, because frankly who cares. You're supposed to be dealing a ton of damage so you always boost your AD and ArP. However, when Thornmail is present try to grab some items that give you a health boost. As Ashe if someone has thornmail I usually grab a Banshees Veil.

  4. Leave him be: You shouldn't be focusing someone who dropped a bunch of money on Thornmail anyway. (Usually it will be their tank and if its not thornmail won't save them from your damage output anyway). Try to just stay out of his way and focus down the other enemys. Let your casters deal with the tank, because Thornamil gransts 0 MR. I know with Rammus and Shen this can be hard becasue of their taunts, but leave them till last and let your team help you out.

Also important to note, Thornmail is returning Magic Damage, so any magic resitance you can build up will decrease the returned damage. So possibly a Hexdrinker might also help you out a bit. As does Banshees Veil.

  • 1
    The damage from the thornmail is based on the damage DEALED, before the armor calculation. So the first option, is not a option =X
    – Michel
    Commented Apr 6, 2012 at 19:14
  • Here the wiki' quote "Damage returned by Thornmail is calculated before the damage reduction from armor."
    – Michel
    Commented Apr 6, 2012 at 19:15
  • Well do you want to be able to take down his health pool or do you want to just be hitting him and getting damage returned and not doing anything to him? The damage is returned in a true sense thus your Armor Pen is only HELPING you kill him.
    – Emerica.
    Commented Apr 6, 2012 at 19:18
  • 2
    @MichelAyres Armor pen makes your lifesteal heal you for more anyway (since it is calculated after armor reduction), so it's not a bad idea. Commented Apr 6, 2012 at 19:20
  • @Emerica LOL /o\
    – Michel
    Commented Apr 6, 2012 at 19:20

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