Diablo 4 Thorns: How does it work?

By Fariha Bhatti


Apr 23, 2024

Reading time: 2 min

In Diablo 4, sweaty players have dozens of tricks up their sleeves to tenderize enemies — but this one underrated substat can be surprisingly useful. Thorns allow players to deal damage without breaking a sweat. 

In Diablo 4, substats are secondary attributes found on items such as weapons, armor, and accessories. These substats provide additional bonuses or enhancements to a character’s abilities, skills, or overall combat performance. One such substat is Thorns, a way to injure enemies without directly making a move.

Here’s what Diablo 4 Thorns is and how it works. 

What are Thorns in Diablo 4?

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In Diablo 4, thorns serve as a strategic mechanic intended to penalize enemies who engage in close combat with the player character. Whenever foes strike the player, they will receive damage in return, which is calculated as a percentage of the player’s armor or resistance.

Whenever an enemy hits you, they will take damage equal to the amount of Thorns on your equipment. So, it’s best if you collect multiple wearables with Thorns. The best part about this substat is that it’s passive, which means you don’t really need to do anything to activate it. Each time you get directly hit, the enemy will feel the impact as well.   

However, it’s worth noting that Thorns doesn’t make you invincible. You’ll still lose health, but the enemy will do so as well. For this purpose, it is recommended to use this feature on beefier classes — for example, Barbarians and Druids can withstand damage longer than other classes. These classes have a stronger defense pool, making them ideal for tenderizing enemies using Thorns.

If you want to take things to the next level, consider increasing the following primary stats to maximize the damage dealt:

  • Barbarian: Strength
  • Druid: Willpower
  • Rogue: Dexterity
  • Sorceress: Intelligence
  • Necromancer: Intelligence 

Thorns in Diablo 4 can be acquired by learning skills and finding special armor like Razorplate.