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Thornmail is an advanced item in League of Legends.[1] Tanks benefit most from it, when the opposing team has high basic attack damage output. League of Legends calculates Thornmail's reflected damage before armor reduces the damage. This means you can reflect more damage than you ultimately take[2] if you have at least 234 effective armor (i.e. after reductions and penetration).[3] Thornmail deals magic damage, and so the target's magic resistance will reduce it.



  • Thornmail item Thornmail is best used to counter champions that mainly rely on basic attacks such as Tryndamere OriginalSquare Tryndamere and Ashe OriginalSquare Ashe.
  • Thornmail item Thornmail is not valued as highly as the other two high armor items, Frozen Heart item Frozen Heart and Randuin's Omen item Randuin's Omen, because it protects only the wearer instead of the entire team.
    • It is still a cheap item to counter many champions and should be considered not only by tanks.


  • Thornmail item Thornmail reflects both physical and magic damage; the only determining factor in its trigger is whether the attack is defined as proccing on-hit effects. For example, Warwick OriginalSquare Warwick's Infinite Duress Infinite Duress deals only magic damage, but still procs Thornmail item Thornmail's unique passive.
    • The damage reflection works with basic attacks and skills which apply on-hit effects, but not with any damage resulting from on-hit effects (e.g. damage from Madred's Bloodrazor item Madred's Bloodrazor).
  • Blind counts as a form of damage mitigation and is thus applied after Thornmail item Thornmail, i.e. damage is still reflected even though none is actually done. It is important to note that life steal, however, is not applied while blinded.
  • Damage returned from Thornmail item Thornmail will break passives which are removed by champion damage such as Move Quick Move Quick, Strut Strut, and Boots of Mobility item Boots of Mobility. It will also drag tower aggro.


  • It is one of the few items mentioned in The Proving Grounds tutorial.
  • Currently, this item offers the largest amount of armor, being slightly above Frozen Heart item Frozen Heart's 99 armor.

Patch History


  • Removed from the purchasable item list on Twisted Treeline.


  • Damage return increased to 30% from 25%.


  • Recipe cost increased to 1000 from 600.
  • Armor increased to 100 from 70.
  • Damage return increased to 25% from 20%.


  • Now reflects damage calculated before armor.

June 26, 2009 Patch:

  • Added back into the game.

May 15, 2009 Patch:

  • Removed from the game temporarily.

May 9, 2009 Patch: Reworked

  • Recipe changed: Now requires Cloth Armor item Cloth Armor.
  • Armor increased armor to 70 from 50.
  • Combine cost increased to 500 gold from 320.
  • Unique ability: On being hit, returns 20% of damage taken (20 damage minimum).

Alpha Week 6:

  • Increased damage returned to 20 damage from 18.

Alpha Week 2:

  • Increased return damage.


List of Items

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