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Well, I don't know about druids, but I do know that monster-returned damage is not as effective. It's a debate with necros whether to use iron maiden, iron golem (has a built in iron maiden) and/or a thorns merc.
To be honest, monsters don't hit very hard compared to how much life they have. And, the damage relies on the monster hitting YOU, which is something you kinda don't want.
In my opinion, the best defense is a good offence.
But, this is just me speaking in general having used various other forms of returned-monster-damage. Never used SoB before, so I can't say anything about that specifically.
Well, I'm not sure about SoB, but if it's comperable to a lvl 20 thorns, it really shouldn't be too effective in PVP, as most players have max dr (50%), and with the PVP damage penalty, it's effects are negligible.
Now if only I can convince Clan-Honor that so bramble is allowed
In pvm it has its uses every now and then, when you are up against fast, fanaticism or strong opponents. Especially if you summon spirit wolves and poison creeper to go with it. Still, Heart of the Wolverine is probably a better choice for the entire game.
In pvp it can be used to negate a percentage of your opponent's leech, but I don't have the calculations nearby.
a level 1 thorns aura is the same as a level 11 SoB. at level 20, SoB returns 430% damage. that's somewhere between level 5 and 6 thorns.
i don't like the fact that SoB is so crappy, but that's the truth of the matter. might as well just use a thorns mercenary and get something that can attack as well as giving a way better damage return effect. and then you can use Oak to boost everyone's life totals so they can last longer, thus returning more damage. and then there's always Bramble, too...
the possibilities are endless when it comes to finding something better than SoB!
As many others have said, SoB is entirely useless. It sucks compared to any damage returning method that any other class has. It's even worse than the natural thorns on an iron golem. %Damage returned only goes up by 20% each level. Compare this to iron maiden, which goes up 25% per level, and thorns, which goes up 40% per level. They also start at 200ish percent damage returned, whereas SoB starts at a measly 50%! Avoid this skill like the plague, it's not even a one-point wonder.
SoB CAN be OK when dueling WW chars(i say chars Because sins can use now ). But to do that you need ALOT of DR/LIFE/BLOCK/FBR/FHR so you don't take so much dmg and stuff. ALl in all, just leave because the shift+fury tactic is better.