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Diablo 3: The Best Crusader Builds, Ranked

Usually, a class type gives other players an idea of what the gameplay will look like. One massive reception to this rule is Diablo 3’s Crusader. The role is capable of support, tanking, soloing, grouping, single target damage, and area damage. And “capable” is being modest; the Crusader is a force to be reckoned with in any one of these aspects.

You might get sick of seeing the phrase “best in the game” by the end of this article. It’s not an exaggeration. As of this writing, a Crusader is one of only two classes this year to clear Greater Rift 150 and all of the best times in three and four-person groups have a Crusader on the team. The hardest part of making this article was ranking which of these “best in the game” builds was the best because they’re all worth a go.

Roland Sweep

  • Active skills: Sweep Attack (Blazing Sweep), Steed Charge (Draw and Quarter), Akarat’s Champion (Prophet), Laws of Valor (Unstoppable Force), Condemn (Vacuum), Iron Skin (Flash)
  • Passive skills: Heavenly Strength, Holy Cause, Indestructible, Finery
  • Armor: Roland’s Visage (Flawless Royal Diamond), Roland’s Mantle, Roland’s Bearing (Flawless Royal Diamonds), Roland’s Grasp, Strongarm Bracers, Captain Crimson’s Silk Girdle, Roland’s Determination (Flawless Royal Diamonds), Captain Crimson’s Waders
  • Jewelry: The Traveler’s Pledge, The Compass Rose, The Convention of Elements
  • Weapons: The Furnace (Flawless Royal Emerald), Denial
  • Caldessann’s Despair Augment: Strength
  • Legendary Gems: Zei’s Stone of Vengeance, Bane of the Trapped, Bane of the Stricken
  • Item Stat Priorities: Cooldown Reduction (until 55%), Fire Damage, Sweep Attack Damage, Critical Hit Damage, Critical Hit Chance, Area Damage, Life Per Hit
  • Kanai’s Cube: Golden Flense, Aquila Cuirass, Ring of Royal Grandeur

Even without putting a single statistic into Attack Speed, the Roland’s Legacy set will give the Crusader the fastest melee attack speed in the game. This goes hand-in-hand with Bane of the Stricken, which will do more damage to a target the more it has been attacked.

Sweep Attack is an area of effect that will clear groups, so that means neither single targets nor mobs will pose much of a threat to the Roland Sweep build. This is perhaps one of the reasons that the Crusader using this build can clear up to Greater Rift 131 without needing any assistance. As a bonus, see how many stats you can stack that give life on attack; this will assure that anything short of a killing blow can be healed up literally faster than the eye can blink.

SotL Blessed Hammer

  • Active skills: Blessed Hammer (Limitless), Falling Sword (Rapid Decent), Iron Skin (Steel Skin), Laws of Valor (Unstoppable Force), Provoke (Too Scared to Run), Akarat’s Champion (Prophet)
  • Passive skills: Fervor, Holy Cause, Blunt, Finery
  • Armor: Crown of the Light (Flawless Royal Diamond), Mountain of the Light, Heart of the Light (Flawless Royal Diamonds), Will of the Light, Gabriel’s Vambraces, Captain Crimson’s Silk Girdle, Captain Crimson’s Thrust (Flawless Royal Diamonds), Foundation of the Light
  • Jewelry: The Traveler’s Pledge, The Compass Rose, Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac
  • Weapons: Johanna’s Argument (Flawless Royal Emerald), Guard of Johanna
  • Caldessann’s Despair Augment: Strength
  • Legendary Gems: Gogok of Swiftness, Bane of the Trapped, Bane of the Stricken
  • Item Stat Priorities: Cooldown Reduction (until 55%), Holy Damage, Blessed Hammer Damage, Critical Hit Damage, Critical Hit Chance, Attack Speed
  • Kanai’s Cube: Faithful Memory, Hammer Jammers, Ring of Royal Grandeur

Diablo 2 fans who miss the Paladin of that era will find a home and then some right here with the Seeker of the Light Blessed Hammer Crusader. This build actually puts the old-school Hammerdin to shame in terms of Blessed Hammer quantities, which will completely cover the screen. That’s one of the reasons that this build can carry all the way through a solo Greater Rift at 133.

For those struggling with some complicated class mechanics, this is possibly the easiest build of any class in the game to execute. Simply keep all three buffs up, land in the middle of the opponents with Falling Sword, then spew forth a barrage of hammers. Like the Roland Sweep build, the SotL Blessed Hammer Crusader only needs a few life on attack stats to stay at maximum health.

AoV Heaven’s Fury

  • Active skills: Fist of the Heavens (Fissure), Iron Skin (Flash), Heaven’s Fury (Fires of Heaven), Steed Charge (Draw and Quarter), Laws of Valor (Unstoppable Force), Akarat’s Champion (Hasteful)
  • Passive skills: Long Arm of the Law, Heavenly Strength, Finery, Holy Cause
  • Armor: Crown of Valor (Flawless Royal Diamond), Spaulders of Valor, Brigadine of Valor (Flawless Royal Diamonds), Gauntlets of Valor, Bracer of Fury, Captain Crimson’s Silk Girdle, Captain Crimson’s Thrust (Flawless Royal Diamonds), Greaves of Valor
  • Jewelry: The Traveler’s Pledge, The Compass Rose, Convention of Elements
  • Weapons: Fate of the Fell (Flawless Royal Emerald), Shield of Fury
  • Caldessann’s Despair Augment: Strength
  • Legendary Gems: Bane of the Powerful, Bane of the Stricken, Bane of the Trapped
  • Item Stat Priorities: Cooldown Reduction (until 55%), Holy Damage, Heaven’s Fury Damage, Critical Hit Damage, Critical Hit Chance
  • Kanai’s Cube: The Furnace, Leoric’s Crown, Ring of Royal Grandeur

It’s typical for a complete armor set to boost the damage of a single move by about 10,000% to 12,000%. Who knows why they made an exception, but the Aegis of Valor set increases the damage by two moves (Heaven’s Fury and FIst of the Heavens) by a whopping 20,000%. And these are wildly easy to spam moves with plenty of other equipment that also boost the damage.

As a result, this build has solo cleared up to Greater Rift 143, which is already impressive, but that’s not even the best part. Because it is recognized as having the highest single target damage in the game among any class, all groups of three or four that are serious about clearing Greater Rift 150 have brought along an AoV Heaven’s Fury Crusader; a quick glance through the leaderboards indicates that no group has accomplished this feat without one.

Akkhan Bombardment

  • Active skills: Punish (Celerity), Steed Charge (Draw and Quarter), Akarat’s Champion (Prophet), Laws of Valor (Unstoppable Force), Iron Skin (Reflective Skin), Bombardment (Barrel of Spikes)
  • Passive skills: Iron Maiden, Heavenly Strength, Hold Your Ground, Lord Commander
  • Armor: Helm of Akkhan (Flawless Royal Diamond), Burden of the Invoker, Breastplate of Akkhan (Flawless Royal Diamonds), Gauntlets of Akkhan, Shackles of the Invoker, Captain Crimson’s Silk Girdle, Cuissas of Akkhan (Flawless Royal Diamonds), Captain Crimson’s Waders
  • Jewelry: Talisman of Akkhan, Convention of Elements, Justice Lantern
  • Weapons: Flail of the Charge (Flawless Royal Emerald), Steel of the Steed
  • Caldessann’s Despair Augment: Strength
  • Legendary Gems: Boyarsky’s Chip, Bane of the Trapped, Bane of the Stricken
  • Item Stat Priorities: Cooldown Reduction (until 60%), Physical Damage, Bombardment Damage, Area Damage, Thorns
  • Kanai’s Cube: The Mortal Drama, Belt of the Trove, Ring of Royal Grandeur

As of this writing, only one character build has beaten Greater Rift 150 solo that isn’t the Necromancer, and it’s the Akkhan Bombardment Crusader. Bombardment is supposed to be a move that is on a one-minute cooldown, but Belt of the Trove actually casts the move passively every four seconds and the effect is as devastating as it sounds.

This skill is unable to hit critically, but it’s not like that matters for clusters of enemies as they are quickly blasted off of the map. In fact, this lack of dependency frees up the Crusader to stack Thorns as a secondary stat which will greatly enhance the damage of Bombardment. With respect to other character builds, the area damage of this build is too over-the-top and dominant on the leaderboards to select anything else.

NEXT: Diablo 3: The Best Necromancer Builds, Ranked

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Hodey Johns is a writer for Game Rant based out of the Rocky Mountains in North Ogden, Utah. He’s had a passion for video games and literature since he was a child growing up along the beach in San Diego, California. As a graduate of Theology from Liberty University, he puts his experience with religion, philosophy, and debate into his work. His other interests include sports, bike riding, and good old-fashioned barbecue.

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