Diablo 3 Crusader Guide - Bring the judgement to the Sanctuary
Diablo III crusader build and guide
Welcome to our guide for Crusader class in Diablo 3. We will be covering essential topics as well as more advanced ones. This article is meant to help new players and returning ones to reach Torment difficulty without acquiring build-specific legendaries and without an in-depth knowledge of the game. We will describe which skills and passives to take and what gear you should look for during your leveling. If that's what you came for or if you are curious enough what we have prepared for you, let's not stall it any longer and begin.
Table of content:
An unbending and unyielding force of the faith. The Crusaders of light that fight for the Law and the balance. Their first name is Justice, and the second is Prayer. If you have ever stumbled upon a giant made of steel with an enormous shield that covers every individual part of the metal armory, then you might have witnessed the greatness of a Crusader. There is no penetrating through that defense. Every foe that comes across Crusader has to bring endless waves of allies even to challenge the Warrior of Light himself. Their holy magic guides them in the darkest of times. Their faith feasts on the blood of enemies lying on their feet. Justice that they fight for is forced by powerful Flail weapons that they use to crush bones of everything that crosses their paths. As the true judgment incarnate, they smite evil to bring back light to Sanctuary.
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Crusaders are a combination of two characteristics. On one side, they are giant walls of impenetrable armor that can block any blow that tries to bring pain. On the other hand, they are warriors of light that prey to exorcise evil. One can describe them as the Paladins of Justice or even as an angry but fair Hand of God. If you want to smite monsters with the powers of holy magic while also protecting those who cannot stand up for themselves, then Crusader is the best class choice for you.
Crusaders are heavy tanks that put a high emphasis on survivability over damage properties for most of the time. The class itself might seem much slower paced than others available in the game since it does not possess too many movement abilities. They compensate that with safe, stable, and reliable defense mechanisms that keep them alive even in the direst situations. Crusaders rely on heavy maces and flails, which they pair with massive shields. They excel at mid-range attacks and supportive spells. They are also only class in the game able to carry two-handed weapons in one hand.
The goal of the chosen build is to speed farm through the early content up to initial Torment levels without a need for specific items and spending time on looking for certain equipment pieces. We want you to reach higher difficulty as fast as possible, where you will be able to respect into a more competitive version of Crusader, leading you towards endgame content. We won't be covering endgame builds as there are too many options to choose from and it depends on the player which path he will take.
The build itself is a combination of Blessed Hammer and Condemn. Their synergy provides a user with a circular field of destruction around the caster. It allows players to run through the zones quickly while also killing everything that comes too close. To make the most out of this strategy, Crusader will be built like a tank who can gather large groups of enemies around himself and kill them all by his auras.
Skills and Runes
Blessed Hammer with Limitless (Holy) - Cheap Wrath spender with great mid-range AOE.
Condemn with Vacuum (Holy)- Synergizes well with Blessed Hammer mechanics.
Laws of Valor with Unstoppable Force (Holy) - Reduction of skill costs with a small buff.
Provoke with Too Scared to Run (Physical) - Taunt with Wrath generator.
Akarath's Champion with Prophet (Holy) - A massive cooldown buff to your damage, survivability, and Wrath generation.
Steed Charge with Endurance (Physical) - Quick and efficient speed boost.
The primary mechanic that will be guiding you through the game is the use of Blessed Hammer along with Condemn. The first skill creates a whirling hammer that damages anything it goes through, and the second one detonates the ground beneath your feet after a short delay. With this combination, you will be able to create a "dead zone" around yourself, which slaughters anybody that goes into contact with your character. Make sure to pull as much trash as you can towards yourself and clear them in one large group before moving to another one. If you run out of Wrath, you can use the Laws of Valor to boost it again, but keep in mind that Crusader will struggle a lot with his resources early on. It is not an unusual thing, and it will be fixed later when you will be able to farm certain set pieces.
Your Provoke ability gives the user a clear message on what means "keep your friends close but your enemies closer" as you will use it to taunt all nearby monsters towards yourself. Dealing with them will be much easier if you take Too Scared to Run Rune as it reduces their Attack Speed by 50% and Movement Speed by 80% for 4 seconds. It is crucial to know when to use it as an opener and when to save it so you will be able to escape from the pack much easier.
Another ability that might save your life is Akarath's Champion. By activating this skill, you remove all Crowd Control effects and become immune to them for the next 5 seconds. On top of that, your Wrath regeneration drastically improves, and damage dealt gets increased by 35%. It is a powerful buff used mainly in critical situations as a one-button lifesaver, but learning when to use it for its damage boost and when to save it will play a crucial role in learning how to play Crusader class.
When the fight doesn't go your way in the slightest bit, there is always an option to leave it. It is where Steed Charge comes in handy. You can use it to jump onto a Celestial War Horse, which can pass through units. With Endurance rune, you can ride it for three seconds, which is, for most of the time, enough to get out of trouble. It is also useful for general movement purposes and transitions between packs.
Heavenly Strength - Allows wielding Two-handed weapons in a single hand while carrying a shield in the other. This passive ability grants you a better Two-hander range and damage without any penalty. Slower attack speed that comes from this type of weaponry is also welcome as you will spend less Wrath on your attacks.
Finery - Although it might seem not that notable early on in the game, it will add to excellent damage and endurance boost later on. Finerty adds 1,5% to your total Strength for every gem that you have equipped within your sockets. It means that on a well-equipped character that has over ten gems equipped, you can receive a nice bonus of over 15% of Strength. Since it is a much sought after Crusader statistic that you will be trying to stack as much as you can, Finery is a fantastic addition to your toolkit.
Long Arm of the Law - Gaps in the cooldown reduction are unavoidable for the Crusader class, but to soothe their effects, players can choose this passive. It solidifies a significant part of cooldown on Unstoppable Force as it increases the Active effect of all Laws by 5 seconds. An alternative to this skill is a Cheat Death, which might be taken if you struggle to survive, but with this build and with Crusader class, in general, you should not feel a need to take a lifesaver instead of any passive.
Blunt - is passive, which is pretty much must-have for any build that relies on Blessed Hammer or Justice as it grants an additional 20% damage to said skills. It is a huge bonus which is worth much more than any other passive ability or gear piece that you can equip.
Helmet - Strength > Crit Chance > Socket > Skill Damage
Bracers - Strength > Crit Chance > Elemental Damage > Vitality
Pants - Strength > Sockets > Vitality > All Resistance
Rings - Strength > Crit Chance > Crit Damage
Shoulders - Strength > Vitality > All Resistance > Cooldown Reduction
Gloves - Strength > Crit Chance > Crit Damage
Boots - Strength > Skill Damage > Vitality > Movement Speed
Weapons - Weapon Damage > Strength > Sockets > %Damage
Chest - Strength > Sockets > Vitality > All Resistance
Belt - Strength > Vitality > All Resistance > %Life
Amulet - Strength > Crit Chance > Crit Damage > Elemental Damage
Shield - Strength > Crit Chance > Vitality > Skill Damage
Your armor piece should always be equipped with the best Ruby gems that you can find. On Helmet, you should aim for the highest tier of Diamond for cooldown reduction, and when it comes to Weapon, Emeralds are your go-to choice. If you stumble upon Jewelry pieces with good Critical Chance and Critical Damage stats as well as sockets, then you might start thinking about putting Legendary Gems into them. Before Torment and on low Torment levels, you will aim for gems that provide increased damage bonuses like Gem of Efficacious Toxin, Pain Enhancer, and Wreath of Lightning. Later on, when you are transitioning into an endgame build, you might look after Bane of the Trapped, Taeguk, and Bane of the Stricken.
Most of the gear that you will come across during your leveling won't be used on your main build since not every Legendary piece that you find is valuable. Some of the Legendary items that might look good on the stats are, in fact, really bad and can be easily replaced by better rares. Below you can find some of the examples of equipment pieces that you can use, which go well along with the provided build. Make sure to look out for them as they will be a great addition to your arsenal.
Seeker of the Light set - A combination of Helm, Chest, Boots, Pants, Gloves, and Shoulders, which provide bonuses to two abilities: Blessed Hammer and Falling Sword. An excellent set for almost every build, relying on these abilities. With two set-pieces reduces the cooldown of Falling Sword and Provoke every Blessed Hammer cast. On four Falling Sword reduces damage taken by 50% for 8 seconds. On six, the damage of both abilities is multiplied many times. Obviously, you should aim to get every piece as soon as possible, but keep in mind that they won't drop below Torment difficulty.
Hexing Pants of Mr. Yan - Improve resource generation and damage by 25% while moving and decrease both by 24% while standing. A great addition to this build since it relies mostly on constant traveling.
Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac - A ring with the mighty bonus that can drastically reduce the cooldown on used skills. Each time you use a resource spender, a cooldown of one ability is decreased by 1 second. It synergizes extremely well with Crusader's Akarath's Champion and other long cooldowns.
Johanna's Argument - A powerful weapon not only for its stats but also for the bonus. It increases both attack speed and damage of Blessed Hammer by 100%.
Golden Flense - Good weapon choice with high damage values and a bonus to Sweep Attack as it restores 6 Wrath for each enemy hit and has its damage increased by 225~300%. If you are going to put this skill into the build, this might be the weapon for you.
The Furnace - Yet another weapon has made it to the list. It increases damage done to Elites by 40~50%. Since Crusader with our build might struggle on single target damage, this is your go-to choice before fixing this problem later in the game when you change your build.
Guard of Johanna - a shield that increases the damage of Blessed Hammer by 200~250% for the first three enemies hit. Similarly to Johanna's Argument, this is a perfect choice as Blessed Hammer is your primary damaging ability, which you will be using a lot.
Denial - another shield that focuses on the Sweep Attack mechanic. It synergizes well with Golden Flense as each enemy hit by said ability increases the damage of the next Sweep Attack by 109% stacking up to 5 times.
Piro Marella - A craftable legendary which reduces the Wrath cost of Shield Bash by 40~50%. Since Crusader tends to struggle in terms of Wrath generation, this is a fantastic early game option.
Your core goal should be to get 25% Movement Speed as soon as possible and maximize strength afterward. If you feel like struggling with Wrath, you might put a few points into a Maximum Wrath amount. When it comes to offense, Crit Damage, Crit Chance, and Cooldown Reduction are your priorities. On Defence, you will get the highest value by putting points into All Resistance, Life %, and Armor. Last but not least, your main Utility goals consist of Area Damage, Resource Cost Reduction, and Life on Hit.
It is the end of our article about the Crusader class in Diablo 3. If you have found our guide useful, then you might be interested in our other guides for different classes, as well as different Crusader builds, like Crusader of Akkhan. We also happen to have countless other texts about online games and gaming in general from each and every category. You can check them out for free and see if anything catches your eye.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is Diablo 3 good for beginners?
With our guide, you shouldn't have a problem adapting to the game. It is not easy but not hard, either.
How do Thorns work in Diablo 3?
Thorns redirect a portion of the damage dealt back to the attacker.
Where do I get Invoker set in Diablo 3?
As a drop at Torment difficulty.
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