Open input on Thorn

Now Before I give my input on the situation ever since the beta there has been a few characters flying under the radar that I always wanted to talk about but always had more pressing issues to speak on. Today I finally want to get to talking about the Battleborn character Thorn, and with that said her overall balance in the current BB. With the current nerfs of Battleborns more jarring issues and characters we can now get into tuning other characters either better adjusting with buffs or nerfs.

Thorn In my opinion kinda fails her role objectively and mechanically as a Sniper she is more of what i call “the black mage on the battlefield”. Constantly thorn rarely is sniping at all, but traversing the map with great speeds jumping around like a bunny with a huge health bar, while nuking you doing insane amounts of damage. I would say there is counterplay to thorn truly but as i played her in the beta and the more and more i see now there is very little of that. She can clear waves VERY well and sap exp, he is by no means squishy she has great agility and jumping to even greater heights make her a much harder target. From afar she is dangerous because she has almost unrivaled power in the sniping department- what makes it worse with this game and both snipers excluding toby. Is you are dramatically punished for closing in on a sniper and flanking them. Thorns ability to deal aoe bursts of damage with her spells just make her insanely potent at bursting at close ranges her damage is almost up to orendi while having more control of the grounds she blights. Speaking of blight it does a hefty bit of damage especially since it can be applied to her spells.

Whenever I use thorn im usually just blasting people away and having tons of fun doing it, which led me to slow down my use of her, now I constantly play against her and it is somewhat insane how she can outburst most of anyone in short bursts and simply retreats to do it all over again. Punishing thorn is nearly impossible without CC wagoning her which once again is not the remedy to anything in competitive gameplay as a reasonable excuse. If you don’t believe how insane she can become just get hit by her ult and then aoe bomb it can easily take 2k n less than 3 or so seconds and if your not instantly killed from that her next spell or blight passive will finish the job. Personally I feel no sniper should benefit from any controller like effects unless they tradeoff some significant power via the helix.

Idk I could go into more detail but i’d love to hear some feedback on Thorn. I doubt many share my ideal of her being a tab bit strong and in need of tuning but I’d rather hear anything and see what people actually think of her, as well as what counterplay options they’d take up against one or they face when using Thorn themselves.

I’ve been using Thorn as my main since I started playing.

She’s not easy to use well. To be consistently effective you HAVE to land her arrows, which is easier said than done especially because stopping is death for Thorn. You said she’s not exactly squishy, but that’s nowhere near true. Her defense is her mobility (and a good defense for sure)

That being said, I do feel it’s a bit hard to kill her for certain characters. Melee characters are my bane, and if I’m not careful they can really wreck me. Once they’re on me I have about one second to land my push away melee before it’s over. I’d say a small health nerf wouldn’t be bad, but that would make melee characters even stronger vs. Thorn.

A couple matches ago there was a Phoebe who killed me 6 times. She only had 6 kills for the match XD

It’s really a tough one, because if you nerf her the way she is that will make her totally unapproachable for new players because there’s already a steep learning curve.

Honestly, I don’t think a slight nerf to her ultimate would be too bad. Key word being slight :stuck_out_tongue:

EDIT: Honestly though, I think a lot of fine tune balancing can only be done with a ranked pvp system. It can be really hard to gauge these characters on a battlefield with, how to phrase this… Less skilled individuals. Most of my kills as Thorn are honestly me picking out the target who seems to think getting close to me and standing still is a good thing to do. I just slaughter those people and it really inflates my numbers. That really makes spotting balancing issues based on numbers on a big scale impossible.

I know they say the game automatically matches you with equal skill players, but that’s total BS. I still regularly see CR’s of under 10 in matches with me.

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I play on Xbox One, my experience could be far different from a PC players perspective but here goes nothing:

Thorn is not a sniper. This bit of knowledge has been getting passed around a lot, she is a hit-and-run skirmisher; Shes most effective at mid-range due to her long-range being very inconsistent because she isnt hitscan. I never have any trouble with a Thorn who tries to use her long-range capabilities as they can never land consecutive shots, giving me more than enough time to bring my shields back up. If she plays mid-range hit-and-run, she honestly is kinda squishy; I havent had troubles diving her with any hero I play, so long as its 1v1 as I find out-DPSing her isnt hard to do (It has everything to do with the consistency of landing consecutive shots) but, again, Im on Xbox One which means our capacity for accuracy is quite limited due to not having a mouse.

All in all, Thorn isnt all that strong in my personal experience, which is subjective and very possibly biased due to variables outside of my control. But this is my 2 cents on her, not the bible of Thorn. Please take my words with just a grain or two of salt

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A smart Thorn doesn’t stand around and 1v1. She should be doing wear and tear damage to the entire team, catching choice players out of position. Her Bloght & Bleed combo is insane with the fact that she can do a bit of damage, switch targets or reposition, and still pick up that first kill.


I think Thorn is a balanced character with a high skill cap. The only problem I see with her is that her classification of Sniper is inaccurate; she plays much more like a Skirmisher.

I think if Toby didn’t have the Adorable class he would be the one labeled as Sniper. Compared to Toby and Marquis, Thorn doesn’t do enough dps with her bow to call her a Sniper as she has to charge it up to get the most use out of it from range. Her arrows also have a drop off point and can lack accuracy if she fires uncharged arrows.

Skirmishers in this game seem to be classified as quick and agile damage dealers. They are characters who can weave in and out of battle as they see fit. The only reason I don’t see Benedict as a Skirmisher is that his rockets are too slow and while he has a lot of mobility in flight he is a large target that can be sniped right out of the air. Melka is another one that comes awfully close to being a Skirmisher. However, her skills are not as useful for escape; they are more used to confuse the opponent so you can lay on more damage. Unlike those two though, I feel Thorn fits this description perfectly as she can bound around the battlefield at will and has a very useful “don’t touch me” option with her quick melee. Add on to that a small frame and a slowing blight field and you have a great Skirmisher.

Edit: I forgot to mention that another quality of Skirmishers is their squishyness. Any amount of burst or cc and they’re goners.

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I see what you guys are saying… But not many of you are touching on her strong burst potential. Most skirmishers like caldarius don’t have burst like thorn. And save for caldarius she excels we great mobility and jumping even over most ulties such as rath or orendi’s completely.

Perhaps I just look at her potential too strongly, but with the new incursion thorn is now even more incredibly strong she has strong nuking and aoe on all of her skills, her autos are not really required for kills. She also has a strange controller like effect and getting close to her just gets 5 arrows insta in your face. I rarely am killed as using thorn save when I overstay my welcome or over commit trying to help allies for objectives such as mid jungle camp. If those aren’t up I’m virtually unkillable while dishing out tons of damage. Maybe I just play a good thorn but im seeing more and more people playing her this way, and it’s painful I had to drop using her about 2 weeks back because I felt it would be eventually addressed.

However im just one person and thus far the I’s have it she isn’t not in favor of OPness… Hmmmmmm

I think that it is worth noting that Thorn has the 3rd lowest dps in the game, right behind Ambra and Benedict. That couple with the fact that her standard attack is the hardest in the game to use means her base damage output is pretty low. To balance this, she has some very powerful skills, but nothing that I find to be out of control.

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Gonna have to disagree with you, melee characters are a joke to Thron. Melee chasing you? I’ll just drop a blight down and slow them, or jump back and melee, or get a movement speed boost and run. She has a lot of options.

Yeah, if you see them coming it’s no problem. All it takes is for you to get hit by a slow, a stun, a knockup, etc. Being taken unaware is always a possibility too when things go really chaotic. If the melee player takes advantage of that they can be on top of you. Even using any of her mobility options, I’m usually so close to dead by the time I’ve distanced myself that a ranged character can finish me if they have decent aim.

Also, this is mostly early game talk. Late game I find her super bunny hop is all I need to avoid the melee people. Unless I’m slowed.

Benedict has the PERFECT counter to Thorn. -wispering- Psst; i mean ROCKETS.

I think some characters classification takes a general traditional PvE point of view into account.

This assumes that Thorn has all her skills ready when Rath descends on her.

You’re somehow forgetting Orendi and her massive aoe capabilities. Even El Dragon has three aoe skills though they are not as splashy Orendi’s (except for dragon splash). As for Caldarius, he’s just slightly underpowered. There’s a reason the most played Skirmisher is Orendi. She can do a lot of damage in a short amount of time with little effort.

All of Thorn’s skills require her to be relatively close to use them. But with how squishy she is, this puts her into a dangerous position. She’s going to be moving around a lot—but so should you. If you’re constantly moving around it makes it harder for her to land all of the arrows from volley and makes it easier for you to dodge her blight as well as her basic attack. If you land in the middle of blight run away. Do not continue fighting unless she is already close to death or has already wasted her other skills. Blight is Thorn’s most powerful and versatile skill in her arsenal. If you see that she used her blight on another player or some minions, now is the time to strike.

Unless you have good aim do not try to follow her with your crosshairs; wait till she comes back down or she jumps up then shoot her. She is basically waving a big sign to everyone on the enemy team when she hops around, so while this gives her evasiness against the person she’s fighting it opens her up to being sniped out of the air.

As I’ve said before, burst and cc ruin her day. If she gets stuck in slow, her jumping ability becomes useles. Take advantage of that. Any sort of stun guarantees her death or her retreat.

These are just some general tips you can employ against her. This is all assuming that you’re playing a melee or midrange shooter. If you’re some kind of tanky character it is not your job to chase after her. And remember—everything works better with teamwork.

The problem isn’t melee characters, the problem is a slow. This is true for pretty much any fast, squishy character. I prefer to play the faster characters, so getting hit by a slow or a stun is often a death sentence.

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She is pretty damn impossible for Melee to kill if she knows what she is doing and has good awareness, but you can’t strip her burst potential away given how bad her real dps is, especially against other highly mobile and small characters. Her skill ceiling is way up there to the point where I like having her on the other team despite her being one of my 3 mains and usually pulling ridiculous matches (same as Melka and Caldy you rarely see them fully utilized and the difference is huge, all of the mobility characters are like this). Put it this way I can troll most Thorn’s with my Attikus and that shouldn’t happen. The Thorn has to leave the opportunity open unless I stalk them like a Cheetah and never show on radar.

Without her burst even the good ones would have no reason to play her other than “oh yay I has a bow and arrow”.

Sorry gotta slightly (just slightly :joy: ) disagree with you. For eg in Overgrowth, everytime I catch someone doing Thrall camp or hitting shards, immediately I jump on them, slow them with blight, curse them with volley plus hexsanguination bleed dmg, few arrows then boom Wrath. Either they escape with 1% hp left or they die.
Thorn is so much more difficult to catch once you get helix vaulting hunter.

Idk about you, I main Thorn, play her 99% in PVP and PVE, and has the highest dps among everyone in like 8 out of 10 games.

I play her quite a bit, too, and while she can do a lot of damage with her abilities, her bow’s dps is pretty low.

I think I get what you mean now. Yeah her bow dps is definitely low, unless you can hit a charged arrow and spam a barrage of arrows on to the enemy with easy targets like Montana and Kleese. But I think relying on her normal attacks isn’t really the right way to bring out her dps. Just my 2cents :grin:

Idk what you’re disagreeing with, you just added to my point.

A good Thorn shouldn’t initiate a straight up 1v1.
But in that situation, you are attacking an unsuspecting enemy, so yeah blow them up.

And to whoever is arguing for Thorn’s dps:
Thorn does have very low DPS, but her burst damage and overall output is very high.

(DPS is Damage-Per-Second, and Thorn isn’t constantly attacking).