The "Tough as Nails" passive ability says:

Increased armor by 25%

Thorns damage dealt increased by 50%.

I'm not aware of a specific ability called Thorns in Diablo 3, so I assume this relates to gear that causes damage to melee attackers, but am I right? Are there other sources of "thorns" damage?

  • There are also skills/runed skills that can cause thorns damage. I am unfamiliar with the Barbarian's skill tree, but I'm assuming if you have a passive that increases thorns damage that at least one of the skills benefits.
    – Kotsu
    May 27, 2012 at 20:42

1 Answer 1


Thorns is short for "damage done to attackers when hit by melee attacks", so you're correct. Any equipment or skill* that deals damage to melee attackers counts as Thorns.

The text you want to look for is "Melee attackers take XXX damage per hit."

This shield for example has 26 "Thorns":
Melee attackers take 26 damage per hit.

You can see your effective Thorns under the Details tab in your inventory.

Thorns: 48 damage done to attackers when hit by melee attacks.

*I'm unaware of a Barbarian skill that counts as thorns.

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