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Tier Advanced
Stats +100 armor
Passive Unique: On being hit by basic attacks, returns 30% of damage, before any reductions such as armor, as magic damage.
Menu Defense > Armor
Item cost 2200g (1180g)
Sell value 1540g
Item Code 3075

Thornmail is an advanced item in League of Legends.[1]


Thornmail item
2200 gold (1180 gold)
Cloth Armor item
300 gold
Chain Vest item
720 gold

Cost Analysis

Gold Value

  • 100 armor = 2000g
    • Total Gold Value = 2000g

Gold Efficiency

  • Thornmail is 90.9% gold efficient.
  • For the item to be gold efficient, its passive must have a value of at least 200 gold.


  • Tanks benefit most from Thornmail, particularly 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 is best used to counter champions that mainly rely on basic attacks such as  Tryndamere and  Ashe.
  • Thornmail is often overshadowed by the other two high armor items, Frozen Heart and Randuin's Omen, because it benefits only the wearer instead of the entire team and only provides armor.
    • Because of these reasons, it is generally acquired only as a counter against certain champions or against an AD heavy team.
  • Champions such as  Rammus,  Galio and  Shen can make great use of the passive effect due to their ability to taunt enemies, forcing enemies to attack them with basic attacks.


  • Thornmail deals magic damage, and so the target's magic resistance will reduce the damage returned. Life steal is another option to reduce its overall effect.
    • There is a misconception that lifesteal counters the reflected damage from Thornmail. As the reflected damage is calculated before reduction (from either armor or damage reduction) while lifesteal is calculated after reduction.
  • 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's  Infinite Duress deals only magic damage, but still procs Thornmail's unique passive.
  • Blind counts as a form of damage mitigation and is thus applied after Thornmail, i.e. damage is still reflected even though none is actually done.
  • Damage returned from Thornmail will break passives which are removed by champion damage such as  Move Quick or  Strut. It will also drag tower aggro.
  •  Fiora's ultimate does on-hit damage based on her maximum damage and calculated armor pen. If Thornmail is built quickly against a snowballing  Fiora, she can seriously hurt herself or even suicide against a champion utilizing it, assuming she doesn't have much lifesteal.
  • A  Poppy that has shielded herself using  Diplomatic Immunity will still reflect the full amount of Thornmail damage to the non-targeted enemies, despite taking no damage herself.
    • The Thornmail's damage will be amplified against her targeted enemy, as all of her damage is. The amount reflected will be 36 / 39 / 42% total.


Patch History

  • New icon.


  • Item cost increased to 2200g from 2000g.
  • Combine cost increased to 1180g from 1000g.


  • Removed from the purchasable item list on Twisted Treeline.


  • Damage return increased to 30% from 25%.


  • Recipe cost increased to 1000g from 600g.
  • 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.
  • Armor increased armor to 70 from 50.
  • Combine cost increased to 500g from 320g.
  • 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.


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