Hello everyone. I was inspired be a fellow poster/redditor to make a build for a character that I think looks pretty interesting. I have always been a fan of sniping in Gearbox games. I played through BL as Mordecai, BL2 as Zero, and BL:TPS as Lady Aurelia. There is just something so satisfying about scoring those crits and getting the drop on your opponents before they even know what hit them. While I do plan on playing as Marquis as well, I wanted to take this time to explore our Elvish archer, Thorn. People may say, “Why use a bow when i could use a gun?” This synopsis will show you how a gal with a bow can be just as deadly by focusing on keeping a safe distance, dealing massive damage, and using her Helix levels to maximize the damage she can do.
First, let us look at her stats. while she has low health, she has maximum range, damage, and speed. She carries no shield, but through her passive, Eldrid Vitality, she regenerates health at a faster rate than most. Like most marksman classes, she is squishy. However, her range and speed give her the ability to stay away from damage dealing opponents and earn kills from vantage points.
Kreshek: Thorn’s devastating Ekkuni longbow can be augmented to increase damage, range, and accuracy. Ready and hold an arrow to charge it. As you can see, Thorn is not about rapid low damage attacks. She gets her kills with precise aim and a charged shot. Patience is certainly rewarded here. She is not a run and gun type character. Her basic attacks with Kreshek demand the player get out of site, take aim, and unleash a devastating head-shot.
Eldrid Vitality: Thorn carries no shield, relying instead on rapid health regeneration to survive in combat. Thorn is fast and hard to hit (making up for her lack of a shield). This passive ability gives her a slight edge when fighting from a distance. They key is to not get up close and personal with opponents. Her kit is built around distance. Always keep this in mind when engaging a enemy.
Volley: Thorn fires a horizontal swath of 5 arrows, each dealing 42-56 damage. Volley arrows ricochet off of world terrain. Volley is a great way to literally spread the “love”. This ability is a great way to harass multiple targets or perform a sneaky hit from around a corner (using the ricochet). Like other abilities, Volley can be enhanced as Thorn levels up.
Blight: Thorn summons a field of corruption for 6 seconds. Enemies caught within this field take 32-42 damage every 0.5 seconds. Blight can be a great tool for discouraging enemies from entering Thorn’s area. Placing Blight on the path leading to Thorn can cause massive damage to enemies looking to get close. Blight can also be used to take enemies by surprise (dropping at their area while they are focused on something else).
Nature’ s Judgement: Enemies hit with a charged arrow are cursed for 8 seconds. Skills and charged arrows deal 35% additional damage to cursed targets. This fits right in to Thorn’s basic attack summary: wait, line up a shot, deal an extra 35% damage and curse the opponent.
Wrath of the Wild: After a brief charging period, Thorn hurls a massive energy bomb that explodes for up to 525-750 damage and knocks enemies backward. This ability, like Thorn’s basic attack, requires timing and patience. This ability does massive damage to enemies in an area and knocks them backward (thus helping her kit of keeping distance). If there are multiple enemies that have low health in an area, landing this ability can score Thorn and easy multi-kill.
Tier 1: Swampfoot/Piercing Volley: Both of Thorn’s tier 1 passives can aide her kit for this build. When focusing on safety, build Swampfoot (Swampfoot adds a slow to enemies damaged by blight). When focusing on damage, build Piercing Volley (Piercing Volley allows Thorn’s volley arrows to go through and hit damage multiple enemies). As this build is entitled Elvish Shish Kebab, Piercing Volley is the preferred choice.
Tier 2: Cursed Earth/Fell Wind: Cursed Earth causes all of Thorn’s arrows to inflict curse while she is touching the Blight area. Fell Wind gives Thorn a short, 30% movement speed increase while touching Blight area. Cursed Earth is a great tool for stacking curses and damage on enemies, but requires Thorn to be close to her Blight. Fell Wind also demands Thorn be close to her Blight, but gives her the ability to escape when she gets in trouble. Again, if going for pure damage, Cursed Earth is preferred, however, Fell Wind can be a good tool to escape enemies that get too close (especially when coupled with Swampfoot).
Tier 3: Draw Strength/Burst Propulsion: Draw Strength causes Thorn’s arrows to pierce multiple enemies. Burst Propulsion causes Thorn to propel backward after melee attacking (recharges every 2 seconds). While the utility of Burst Propulsion is appealing (granting Thorn another escape tool), Draw Strength is the easy choice for marksmen. Scoring a head-shot on one target is great, but having that arrow deal damage to enemies behind them is even better.
Tier 4: Kreshek’s Judgement/Nockout: Kreshek’s Judgement adds curse to Volley arrows while Nockout adds 2 more arrows to Volley. This tier is definitely all up to preference. Both affect Volley, so it is up to the user to make the choice of more arrows or cursed arrows. Both skills benefit having built into Piercing Volley.
Tier 5: Hextension/Hexsanguination: Hextension increases curse duration by 4 seconds. Hexsanguination causes cursed enemies to bleed and take additional damage from curse (+12/second). If the overall goal is to cripple, Hextension is the way to go (the additional damage over time for 4 seconds can be a real deterrent to enemies and may cause them to retreat). However, Hexsanguination has its merits as well. While it does not increase the duration of the curse, the additional damage per second can mean the difference from crippling a target and them retreating, to the target dying from the curse damage.
Tier 6: Brutal Blight/Swift Volley: Brutal Blight increases Blight’s area effect of damage by 15%. Swift Volley gives Volley -20% cool down. While Brutal Blight’s extra damage is a nice buff, the cool down reduction granted by Swift Volley, when stacked with Piercing Volley and Kreshek’s Judgement/Nockout, can be incredibly useful for damaging multiple enemies.
Tier 7: Eagle-Eye/Vaulting Hunter: Eagle-Eye grants Thorn +50% accuracy on all basic attacks. Vaulting Hunter increases Thorn’s jump height. On the surface, this tier is an easy pick. The extra accuracy provided by Eagle-Eye is essential to a sniper class. However, if aim is not an issue, the additional jump height from Vaulting Hunter can help Thorn reach better vantage points for sniping.
Tier 8: Enduring Blight/Distant Blight: Enduring Blight increases Blight’s effective duration by 6 seconds. Distant Blight increases Blight’s cast range by 100%. While the duration increase from Enduring Blight is nice, the range from Distant Blight allows Thorn to cast the ability on enemies while maintaining safe sniping distance. If Swampfoot was chosen in tier 1, the slow coupled with the distance can set up some excellent head-shots.
Tier 9: Archer’s Boon/Kreshek’s Rage: Archer’s Boon grants Thorn’s Volley life-steal for dealing health damage to an opponent (+30% lifesteal added to Volley for dealing health damage with the ability). Kreshek’s Rage increases the damage done by Volley’s arrows by 15%. The damage output of Kresehk’s Rage synergizes nicely with Volley’s other upgrades. However, if survivability is an issue, the life-stel from Archer’s Boon can save Thorn from death during heavy combat.
Tier 10: Wild Judgement/Earthrender: Wild Judgement causes Wrath of the Wild’s energy ball to bounce around the map 5 times (detonating with each bounce). Earthrender causes Wrath of the Wild to leave a Blight field after detonating. For massive damage (especially when the enemies are fleeing or spread out), Wild Judgement can help secure kills on multiple targets. Earthrender, however, pairs nicely with Blight’s other upgrades (slows, damage, and duration).
Thorn is geared toward long distance damage and precise aiming. Eagle-Eye in tier 7 can make hitting the mark from a distance easier (especially for new players or players new to sniping). The key with Thorn is to stay hidden, deal damage, and keep on the move. Keep the enemies guessing where the damage/deaths are coming from. Take advantage of Blight’s distance and potential slow/damage. Use Volley as often as possible to maximize damage on multiple enemies. Finally, save Wrath of the Wild to secure kills and help out with team fights. I hope all of you enjoyed this run down/synopsis of Thorn.