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Minecraft Thorns

Posted: Aug 11, 2023 in Minecraft

mc head By Kevin Lott


In Minecraft, survival is no easy feat. The dangers lurking in every corner of the blocky realm demand not only courage but also a keen understanding of the tools at your disposal. As you don your protective armor, you seek ways to gain an edge over your foes and ensure your survival. This is where Thorns comes into play, ready to lend you a hand—or rather, a prickly embrace. Today, we’ll be learning all about the Thorns enchantment and how it works. Let’s begin.

Minecraft Thorns

The Thorns enchantment is an armor enchantment that causes attackers to be damaged when they deal damage to the wearer. This enchantment is themed on Guardians and Elder Guardians, which have a thorns-like effect that inflicts damage when their spikes protrude from their body. However, this only affects melee damage, whereas the enchantment applies to all direct attacks, including ranged.

Thorns Stats

While wearing any piece of armor with the Thorns enchantment, the wearer has a [Level of enchantment] x 15% chance of inflicting 1-4 damage on anyone or anything that attacks them, regardless of whether they were hit by a melee attack, arrow, or other projectile. The entity also gets knocked back when being attacked by the enchantment.

The enchantment on multiple worn armor items can stack, allowing each piece to have its own chance to damage the attacker as explained earlier. However, there is a limit to the total amount of damage that can be inflicted through this method, which is capped at 4.

The Thorns enchantment imposes a durability penalty on the armor, causing it to lose an additional 2 points of durability when dealing damage. When multiple armor pieces are enchanted with Thorns, the durability penalty is randomly applied to one piece, regardless of the Minecraft Thorns level on that specific piece. However, if the item is also enchanted with Unbreaking, there is a chance that the damage penalty will be disregarded. Convenient!

Shields can be used to protect against projectiles, conserving armor durability by not using the enchantment. What’s also interesting is that although it cannot be done in survival, horse armor can be enchanted with Thorns and it will function as it does with players.

Obtaining Thorns

enchanting table
mineshaft chest

There are four ways you can obtain Thorns I and Thorns II. Besides commands, you can enchant an armor piece, find an enchanted book, or a villager that is willing to trade it. You can even find Thorns I and II by fishing! The Enchanting Table will be your best bet, as you can keep rolling until you get it, instead of just looting chests and villages, as the chances of finding a book or villager willing to trade it are extremely low. If you do happen to find a book with the enchantment, just use an anvil to apply the book to whatever armor piece you’d like.

Thorns III cannot be obtained with the enchanting table, but it can be obtained by using an anvil to combine two Thorns II enchantments, trading with villagers, or looting chests.


Ideally, you should now better understand how to obtain and use the Minecraft Thorns enchantment. Thorns is quite a complex enchantment, applying set percentage chances of its activation based on how many items you have enchanted with it, and dealing a random amount of damage within a scale. Pretty confusing stuff, but definitely worth it for PvP! Dealing damage without having to attack is great, especially since it works on projectiles as well! I hope this blog helped you out, and with that said, have a wonderful day!

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