Thorn is a tank bloodline who mostly offers a lot of control and support to his teammates, but has the potential for lots of damage if necessary. Due to his massive HP pool and self-restorative abilities and multiple outs, he has a lot of room for error, making him a good bloodline for beginners.
|[M1] Root Bash|
Thorn’s M1 is on the weaker side of melee M1s, though it does inflict a bit more damage as you land consecutive hits on the enemy. The secondary effect for Root Bash applies the Regrowth buff on self, which stacks up to two times and reduces damage taken. If you’re in the fray of combat, keeping Regrowth stacks is a great way to mitigate damage.
Regrowth are also consumed by Fungal Spores for healing, so do not underestimate its importance.
When to use Root Bash?
- When you don’t have Regrowth stacks.
- When you need to build energy.
|[M2] Fungal Spores|
Fungal Spores fires two projectiles one after the other towards your cursor. Each projectile inflicts damage when it hits an enemy and applies the Fungal Spores debuff, which stacks up to three times and reduces movespeed and damage done and healing done. If a Fungal Spores projectile hits an enemy with the Fungal Spores debuff, it deals bonus damage.
In addition, every time a Fungal Spores projectile hits an enemy and you have the Regrowth buff, you’ll be healed. The cooldown on this spell is relatively short, so this will be your main method of keeping your HP topped off. Don’t miss!
When to use Fungal Spores?
- When you want to weaken an enemy (e.g., healer).
- When you want burst damage (both projectiles hit one target).
- When you need self-healing (make sure you have Regrowth first).
|[Space] Mud Walk|
Thorn burrows underground and reappears at the target location, dealing damage and applying Entangling Roots to all enemies within an AoE. Entangling Roots incaps the target for a short while. Damage breaks this effect, but the damage will be reduced.
Mud Walk is an instant cast ability, which makes it phenomenally good at dodging projectiles and spells. Thorn is invulnerable while underground, so use it if a big-damage spell (e.g., Execute) is flying your way. Otherwise, use Mud Walk as an initiating tool. It can be used as an escape as a last resort.
When to use Mud Walk?
- When you want to initiate a fight.
- When you need to dodge spells and projectiles.
- When you want to interrupt an enemy’s cast time or channel.
- When you need to escape.
|[Q] Defiled Plant|
Defiled Plant creates a plant at the target location. After a delay, Thorn pulls the plant towards him, dragging all enemies in the path along the way and dealing damage and slowing their movespeeds. This is a fantastic tool for initiation, especially if you can isolate an enemy from their team.
Defiled Plant also has an EX version, which creates a healing plant at the target location. After a delay, it bursts open, instantly healing teammates standing near it. The heal on Defiled Plant EX is massive and can turn the fight around, especially if you catch your whole team in it.
When to use Defiled Plant?
- When you want to isolate an enemy at the start of a fight.
- When an enemy is trying to run but has no outs remaining.
When to use Defiled Plant EX?
- When your team needs healing support.
- When you or a teammate is about to die.
- When your team is clumped together.
|[E] Mushroom Spore|
Mushroom Spore throws a spore-like projectile that hits an enemy, dealing damage and applying the Entangling Roots debuff on them. Entangling Roots incapacitates the target, dealing damage over time and healing that damage to Thorn. Damage breaks the effect. Be aware that this debuff is different from the Entangling Roots of Mud Walk despite having the same name.
Mushroom Spore also has an EX version, which deals a whole lot more initial damage and applies the Weaken debuff instead of Entangling Roots. Weaken greatly reduces the target’s damage done and healing done for a while. Damage does NOT break this effect.
When to use Mushroom Spore?
- On the enemy healer or DPS that isn’t being focused by your team.
- When you need to run or buy yourself some time.
- When you need self-healing.
When to use Mushroom Spore EX?
- When you need a burst combo.
- When you want to severely weaken the enemy’s healer.
|[R] Treacherous Roots|
Treacherous Roots is a defensive ability that covers yourself or a targeted teammate in a barrier of thorny roots. When casted, the target has all movespeed-impairing debuffs removed in addition to healing whenever they are hit by a direct damage spell while in the shield. When attacked in the shield, the attacker and all nearby teammates of the attacker are inflicted with the Entangling Roots debuff (the Mud Walk version).
This is one of Thorn’s main support abilities. You must keep an eye on all of your teammates and cast Treacherous Roots on them when they’re in danger. Used at the right time, it can heal a lot of HP and completely disrupt the enemy team’s rhythm. However, due to the long cooldown, wasting it can spell disaster for your team.
When to use Treacherous Roots?
- When you or a teammate is being focused.
- When a projectile or spell is about to hit you or a teammate.
|[F] Dead Roots|
Thorn burrows underground and travels to the target location, sprouting up a trail of dead roots along the way. This wall of roots will destroy projectiles when they collide with it. Additionally, enemies caught in the dead roots are drastically slowed and take considerable damage over time.
For obvious reasons, Dead Roots inflicts maximum when the enemy can’t escape it. This means you should always wait until they have no outs remaining. However, you can also use Dead Roots to force the enemy team out of position; the dead roots can block heal projectiles, so use it to isolate an enemy that your team is focusing.
When to use Dead Roots?
- To isolate enemies from their healer.
- To force the enemy team into a bad position.
- When you can catch multiple enemies in it.
- When an enemy has no outs remaining.
Basic Tactics, Techniques, and Combos
Use Mud Walk on time-delayed bursts. For example, when you are afflicted with Ranid Assassin’s ultimate, use Mud Walk just as the debuff is about to explode. If you timed it correctly, Thorn will be underground and won’t take any damage.
Stopcast your Fungal Spores. One of the more advanced tricks is to use the STOPCAST key (default ‘T’) to cancel the second projectile. Most enemies will expect to see two Fungal Spores thrown out, so they’ll come rushing at you knowing that another projectile is waiting to be thrown. By stopcasting, you can cancel that second projectile and throw a CC at the unaware enemy.
Cast Defiled Plant at max range. If you try to pull an enemy by summoning the plant right below them, they’ll quickly sidestep it. But if you cast it far from them (but still in the same line), it’ll come rushing at them and they’ll have less time to dodge it.
Combo Dead Roots with teammates. If you want to play a support Thorn, forget about the damage on Dead Roots; instead, use the slow on Dead Roots as a way of maximizing your teammates’ damage. For example, catching an enemy in Dead Roots while your teammate Spear Master is using Whirlwind will often result in the enemy’s death.
Dead Roots in the corner. Dead Roots is most effective if you can cast it in a corner. If an enemy is trapped inside, they can only escape in one or two directions, which means you can more easily keep them trapped inside. Body block them if necessary.
Keeping enemies in Dead Roots. If you manage to trap an enemy inside Dead Roots and they have no outs remaining, use Defiled Plant to pull them back in just before they walk out of it. The two slows together will make the enemy take full Dead Roots damage. Absolutely painful.