Nice perspective. Thanks for your help, man.
1st, your regular attacks only get the bonus curse damage if you use a fully charged cursed arrow.
2nd. Never pick hextension on 5 it is the worst choice in any and all situations, especially after the latest update. Right on 5 will do 144 guaranteed bonus damage on a single cursed target. To match the exact same amount of bonus damage with hextension, one must do exactly 1944 damage after the initial curse to the target, using only skills and cursed arrows. Don’t believe me? Here is the math.
1440 damage is what needs to be dealt before curse multiplier is added. Curse’s original multiplier is 25%. After hextension it is 35%.
14401.25=1800 damage total.
14401.35=1944 damage total.
The chances of doing this much damage to a single target with only skills and charged arrows is few and far between, and usually only achievable in very late game play. When one takes into consideration the very obvious conclusion that one can easily curse more than one target at once, especially with level four left helix combined with bleeding curse, making volley bleed all targets hit. Then you also take into consideration level one right, which is a much better option now that the blight slow has been moved to six left, then one can easily curse a whole minion wave with a single volley.
Let’s say you hit five minions. With the bleed alone, you get 720 total bonus damage. Just like that. You can get this every time volley cools down, which is 14 seconds if my memory is correct.
To match, (not do better than, to simply match the damage output) the bonus damage of cursing five minions with hexanguination, one must deal 9720 total damage to those same cursed targets using only skills and cursed arrows. You can’t. One can’t possible do it.
After the winter update the best choices for 4,5,6 is left, right, left.
The left on 4 is mostly because I assume one chose right on one, which is a much better option compared to the small damage increase to blight. If you chose left on 1, then middle on 4 might be better. I can’t say one way or another on this one, because I haven’t been able to properly test the new level four mutation, but I guarantee that I will eventually.
My most prefered gear choices is a blue health regen with regen after 3 minutes alive, attack+ health after 3 minutes, skill+ health after 3 minutes. Most preferably all eldrid gear with negatives to shield stats. There are other viable builds, but most are more spendy, and this is a very good cheep gear build for thorn. It will cost you roughly 1500 shards to get all gear activated.
As for your question about combat range, there is no definitive answer on this. It depends greatly on the characters chosen by the enemy team, the enemy teams skill, your own skill, and your choice at level 3. If you choose draw strength, then you are quite constricted to a mid-long range approach, but burst propulsion is absolutely a godsend for mobility, dancing around your opponents, and being as bouncy and hard to hit as possible.
I believe that thorn does absolutely best moving around the battlefield as much as possible, going in for some close-mid range combat to dance around the enemy, drop a blight, get a full volley shot off on your target, then book it out of there. Afterwards one can take up a more ranged position to get some shots off as your health recharges, (assuming your health regen gear is up), unless you are really low, in which case one should either teleport back, sit at healing station,or if one has their health regen gear up, then grab some shards or grab your teams thrall while your health recharges.
As for the fully charging question, one should never only use non charged shots. It only takes .75 seconds to fully charge an arrow. I’m not saying you must fully charge all shots, but one should strive to fully charge at least 1/4 of their shots, especially after getting level five bleed. Most importantly though, do what feels best for you. If you can hit lots of uncharged shots, but are bad at hitting charged shots, then I would open with charged shots on an enemy battleborn, after you hit it switch to regular shots. Use charged shots on easy targets like buildables, minions, thralls, etc.
Edit: I realize I’m about a month late on this, but I just saw this thread, and decided to put in my two cents anyway, even though you may have figured some of this out by now.