When to Thornmail

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cathartic

Senior Member

14-08-2012

Hi,

Thornmail seems quite popular when I play. E.g. at the start a game I played a few days ago, the conversation went roughly:

Me: They all do physical damage. Get armour
Other player: Yes - all buy Thornmail = auto-win

However when I look at online guilds at places such as Solomid, Thornmail almost never appears in the recommended items. The guides suggest that if you need more amour you should instead buy items such as Frozen Heart, Aegis of the Legion, Randuin's Omen or Guardian Angels. Even Sunfire Capes are more popular. I also can't remember seeing this item in high elo streams.

So what's going on? Is Thornmail good or isn't it? Why don't the guides recommend it, and when should I consider buying Thornmail instead of these other items?


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Aonel

Senior Member

14-08-2012

Thornmail is lackluster. Its mainly the passive that makes it bad as an item.
It only really helps against the carries (1/5 enemy team usually) and even then the dmg return isnt that great and gets largely midgitated by lifesteal.
Also, the enemy carry needs to attack YOU, if he doesnt, its completely worthless. The passive dmg return doesnt work on abilities either, only on autoattacks, which makes it useless against ad casters.
Other items, such as Forzenheart, have near the same amount of armor + other stats and better passives in almost all cases.

Point is:
You dont want it as a tank (unless your playing specific champs likle rammus) as the enemy ad should NOT focus you (obviously this is true only for non braindead enemies).
You do not want it as a squishy as it will hardly save you from death when focused, hence, its better to get some other deffensive item instead (banshees, frozen, randuins) as they give you more survivability and chance to escape.

Hope i could help.


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rekt

Junior Member

15-08-2012

The reason why it's bad on tanks is that it doesn't help your allies. Enemy ad carries will still be doing tons of damage to other targets, while if you get frozen heart e.g. it would lower the dmg output of enemy carries onto your allies.


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Aptest

Senior Member

15-08-2012

The purpose of a tank is to provide a buffer for damage for your carries, by forcing the opposing players to attack you rather than attack your team's carry. Given a choice, they will not - so you have to force them.

Because of that, the extra time that randuin's and FH will buy you through the AS debuff they bring to the table, the CDR that FH brings you (allows you to disrupt moves on the carries and return focus to yourself) and the extra survivability that Randuin brings through it's health component are more valuable to you as a tank, who will only be focused by the enemy as a last resort, than the thornmail passive.


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icantseemywilly

Senior Member

15-08-2012

it is good if uve got taunt on your tank, and it is good if u are ahead as a tank so u can abuse your advantage. Rammus Shen and Malphite scales good with that item. And it is highly recomended if enemy carry is really ahead and u are an ad offtank. Otherwise FH and GA are better choices. FH is very good on ap carry if u got some dmg already and GA is always a good choice on an ad carry and scales very good with morgana since in stance before she goes to the "next life" her ultimate still works. And well. TM thou is always a situational item and never scales well with aura/support tanks like alistar, taric and stuff.


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PingOnMe

Junior Member

17-08-2012

actuly everyone here is wrong cathartic they dont understand your question. Ill explain and answer. The reason solomid dont recommend thornmail is because 99/100 times or at least a decent level of play opponents will never be 5 ad. And if they are then you MUST GET A THORNMAIL. For example i played a ranked game at 1400 elo and opponents were all ad. So with xin xhao i built:

ninja tabi, randuins, sunfire cape, thornmail, blood thirster, atmas impaler

thats about almost 300 bonus armor and you do insane damage because:

randuins slows, sunfire passive, thornamil returns dmg, xin xhao passive plus bt = good dmg, and atmas coupled with randuins sunfire even more dmg and dont forget crit chance


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Kitty Kamarina

Master Recruiter

19-08-2012

I had a game once where the enemy Renekton used it very effectively. He was very fed, and so was I as Vayne (everyone else on both teams not very fed at all except on ours we also had a Zyra who kept waiting to do the last hit with her ulti on each opportunity and not doing any damage. she had over 10 kills wiith this ; _ ; fed hard at the start and then frustrated the whole team with this). He was basically carrying his whole team, and built tanky with lots of damage, always going straight for me while his team just used all their CC. Because I was the only threat to him as AD Carry building thornmail was really smart. When I tried to kill him (he was our focus due to dealing the most damage) I ended up dying with 30% of damage against me coming from thornmail a couple of times Only later did I realise I shouldve bought more than 1 bloodthirster to counter it and instead I built some hp with frozen mallet and madreds because he was so tanky... Ah well, I panicked because it was a very close game I guess so couldn't think what to get against him and we lost.

tl;dr - buy thornmail if enemy ad carry is very fed and you are the focus of the enemy team (ie deal most damage/are most fed also). So yeah, it's very situational, and most likely would be your last item when you are really close to victory.