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Crusader Farming Bombardment Build with the Akkhan set (Patch 2.5 / Season 10)

Last updated on Mar 19, 2017 at 18:10 by Deadset 1 comment

Table of Contents

After the introduction of a 7th set piece, the already versatile Akkhan set expands its utility further with the ability to add another set in the mix. The strength of this change shines the most in this dedicated Death's Breath farming build, along with an option to progress into Greater Rifts with a few gear swaps. This mobile, burst damage playstyle is available in both speedfarming and solo progression variations, explained in that order.

The build requires the following set pieces:

To understand the mixing and matching of the variable pieces, check out the gearing section below.

1. About the Author

This build is presented to you by Deadset, one of the very few professional Diablo 3 players. Deadset regularly publishes video guides on Youtube, where you can see how this and other builds play out in practice.

2. Video Guide

The following video guide was created to accompany the present written guide and demonstrate how to play the build in-game.

3. Builds

Death's Breath Farm Solo GR Progression
Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Bombardment Icon Bombardment Barrels of Spikes Barrels of Spikes Right Mouse Button Steed Charge Icon Steed Charge Spiked Barding Spiked Barding 1 Laws of Hope Icon Laws of Hope Wings of Angels Wings of Angels 2 Condemn Icon Condemn Vacuum Vacuum 3 Iron Skin Icon Iron Skin Reflective Skin Reflective Skin 4 Akarat's Champion Icon Akarat's Champion Prophet Prophet
Passive Skills
(battle.net link)
Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Bombardment Icon Bombardment Barrels of Spikes Barrels of Spikes Right Mouse Button Steed Charge Icon Steed Charge Spiked Barding Spiked Barding 1 Consecration Icon Consecration Bed of Nails Bed of Nails 2 Condemn Icon Condemn Vacuum Vacuum 3 Iron Skin Icon Iron Skin Reflective Skin Reflective Skin 4 Akarat's Champion Icon Akarat's Champion Prophet Prophet
Passive Skills
(battle.net link)

4. Rotation

The build's excellence for bounties and especially Torment rifts comes from the ability to cross long distances quicker than most Crusader builds, thanks to a combination of Laws of Hope Laws of Hope Wings of Angels Wings of Angels and Steed Charge Steed Charge with the Norvald's Fervor set. You will ideally hunt elite pack after elite pack, and kill trash as collateral damage. Upon reaching your target, you should have a triple buff punch prepared — ongoing Akarat's Champion Akarat's Champion, damage bonus from recent dismounting via the Norvald's set, and a quick activation of Iron Skin Iron Skin Reflective Skin Reflective Skin. A single drop of Bombardment Bombardment Barrels of Spikes Barrels of Spikes should be enough to outright kill an elite pack in Torments, or inflict significant damage in higher tier Greater Rifts. To maximize destruction, make sure to draw enemies in beforehand with a Condemn Condemn Vacuum Vacuum.

5. Skills, Runes and Passives

Similarly to its higher end LoN sister spec, this Akkhan build focuses on Bombardment Bombardment as the primary damage dealer of the build, along with the Barrels of Spikes Barrels of Spikes rune that scales off Thorns damage on gear. By wearing Belt of the Trove Belt of the Trove, you will have a source of automated damage that inherits your selected rune and damage bonuses; however, you are still in control of your own cooldown, allowing you precision and buff-syncing for the bulk of your damage. This is less important in Torment farming, but if you choose to push this build in Greater Rifts, you will need to follow the rotation of Convention of Elements Convention of Elements closely to sync your Bombardment Bombardments with the physical cycle.

In order to output the maximum damage possible, you will be using a trio of buffs — Akarat's Champion Akarat's Champion, Iron Skin Iron Skin Reflective Skin Reflective Skin and Steed Charge Steed Charge empowered by Norvald's Fervor set.

You will aim to transition from elite pack to elite pack in the shortest amount of time possible, especially in the In-geom In-geom-reliant Torment variation, where chaining elites is vital. Even in Greater Rifts mobility is needed to give yourself breathing room away from dangerous affixes and wait for important cooldowns. Crusader's best tool for the purpose is Steed Charge Steed Charge, and you can tie it to the Thorns strengths of the build with the rune Spiked Barding Spiked Barding — useful in finishing off low health stragglers. Steed Charge Steed Charge is especially important in this build, since it uses the Norvald's Fervor set (Flail of the Charge Flail of the Charge and Shield of the Steed Shield of the Steed), whose bonus doubles your damage while mounted and for 5 seconds after the skill wears off. You need to internalize the duration of this buff and reapply it accordingly, since you DPS hinges on its maintenance.

As an Akkhan-based build, it is only natural to include Akarat's Champion Akarat's Champion in the setup. While the set bonus cuts the skill's cooldown in half, you will still aim for the 56% CDR breakpoint in order to reach permanent uptime of this powerful steroid. The rune of choice is, of course, Prophet Prophet — for the additional toughness and cheat death proc.

The traditionally defense-oriented Iron Skin Iron Skin skill sees its role reversed in Thorns builds with the rune Reflective Skin Reflective Skin. Instead of using it when endangered by burst, trigger it directly before a Bombardment Bombardment barrage to skyrocket its damage. Timing this skill becomes even more important if you push this build into Greater Rifts, since you will have to synchronize it with a physical cycle of the Convention of Elements Convention of Elements rotation.

Your active skill selection will be rounded out with utility picks. You will completely disregard the damage component of Condemn Condemn, taking it strictly for the AoE pull of the Vacuum Vacuum rune — very convenient for subsequent Bombardment Bombardments. Finally, either take Laws of Hope Laws of Hope Wings of Angels Wings of Angels during regular rift farming (for its immense, party-wide speed bonuses), or Consecration Consecration Bed of Nails Bed of Nails for Greater Rift progression (for a minor source of AoE healing and damage).

This concludes the overview of the active skills, now let us look through the passives.

Unlike its LoN counterpart, this Thorns Bombardment variant uses Heavenly Strength Heavenly Strength as a baseline weapon passive, due to the mandatory two-handed Flail of the Charge Flail of the Charge in your hands. Note that in an early season setup, if you are still farming the Norvalds set, you can freely swap this passive out for Fervor Fervor according to your best rolled Thorns weapon.

You have a degree of freedom in your second passive slot, which you can adjust according to your preferences and attempted content. If you feel your defenses lacking (during early season gearing or late GR pushes, for example) or prefer the safety in Hardcore, include the Indestructible Indestructible cheat death. For a pure damage increase, look no further than Finery Finery, since Strength scales Thorns damage. If you aim to boost utility, you can increase the length of Wings of Angels Wings of Angels with Long Arm of the Law Long Arm of the Law.

Your passive choices will be rounded out by a Thorns and a Bombardment staple respectively — 50% increase of Thorns from Iron Maiden Iron Maiden, and a 35% Cooldown Reduction of Bombardment Bombardment from Lord Commander Lord Commander.

6. Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives

The backbone of the build lies in the 6-piece set bonuses of the Akkhan set — either mixed in with the Sage's set for efficient Death's Breath farming in regular rifts, or with synergistic legendaries during Greater Rift pushing.

In the regular rift farming setup, two of your armor slots have to be taken up by pieces of the crafted Sage's Journey set, complete with a Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur for the 3-piece bonus (an additional Death's Breath drop). The remaining slots will be taken up by five pieces of the Akkhan set, which also benefit from the Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur and complete the full 6-piece bonus. An example setup would be wearing Sage's Apogee Sage's Apogee and Sage's Passage Sage's Passage to complete the Sage set, and Pauldrons of Akkhan Pauldrons of Akkhan, Gauntlets of Akkhan Gauntlets of Akkhan, Breastplate of Akkhan Breastplate of Akkhan, Cuisses of Akkhan Cuisses of Akkhan and Talisman of Akkhan Talisman of Akkhan to complete the Akkhan set.

In the Greater Rift progression setup, you will remove the Sage set pieces and the Talisman of Akkhan Talisman of Akkhan in favor of Aquila Cuirass Aquila Cuirass and Hellfire Amulet Hellfire Amulet respectively. The former will provide much needed and consistent damage reduction to this no-spender setup. The amulet will allow you to add another strong GR progression passive to your setup, i.e. whichever is missing between Finery Finery and Indestructible Indestructible.

Your weapon, offhand and belt will be fixtures in both setups. Norvald's Fervor set — Flail of the Charge Flail of the Charge and Shield of the Steed Shield of the Steed — doubles your damage output while Steed Charge Steed Charge is active, and for 5 seconds after you dismount. This creates a unique stop-and-go feel to the build, where you scout the battlefield (either for the full duration of Steed Charge Steed Charge, or you can cancel it by activating any other skill), then stop, pre-buff and release your burst. Make special note of the weapon stats: the weapon's damage range will not affect Thorns damage and can be safely rolled away for a better stat (i.e. CDR). Belt of the Trove Belt of the Trove is a well known item in Bombardment Bombardment builds, which produces volleys of its own that inherit the rune on your skillbar, as well as benefit from any other equipment and cube bonuses.

Your wrist slot will vary according to content; Nemesis Bracers Nemesis Bracers are the go-to item for regular rifts, where chaining elites for In-geom In-geom procs ensures smooth and efficient clear times. During Greater Rift progression, you should swap this slot out for the additive damage buff of Strongarm Bracers Strongarm Bracers, applied on any enemy pulled by Condemn Condemn Vacuum Vacuum.

As for the rings, you will be using a physical damage Stone of Jordan Stone of Jordan in regular rifts, where timing and keeping track of Convention of Elements Convention of Elements is overkill; you should use the latter in Greater Rift progression only. Protection in both build variations will come from a worn Unity Unity, coupled with the same ring on the follower plus an immortality relic for him (i.e. Enchanting Favor Enchanting Favor). In groups, where followers are not available, simply swap to Avarice Band Avarice Band and use the gold-induced damage reduction combo with a socketed Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder and cubed Goldwrap Goldwrap.

7. Stat Priorities per Gear Slot

Slot Pieces Stat Priority
Head
  1. Strength
  2. Socket
  3. Thorns (Secondary Stat)
  4. Vitality
  5. All Resistance
Shoulders
  1. Strength
  2. Cooldown Reduction
  3. Bombardment %
  4. Thorns (Secondary Stat)
  5. Area Damage
Torso
  1. Strength
  2. 3 Sockets
  3. Bombardment %
  4. Thorns (Secondary Stat)
  5. Vitality
Wrists
  1. Strength
  2. Physical %
  3. Thorns (Secondary Stat)
  4. Vitality
Hands
  1. Strength
  2. Cooldown Reduction
  3. Thorns (Secondary Stat)
  4. Vitality
  5. Area Damage
Waist
  1. Strength
  2. Thorns (Secondary Stat)
  3. Vitality
  4. All Res
  5. Life %
Legs
  1. Strength
  2. 2 Sockets
  3. Thorns (Secondary Stat)
  4. Vitality
  5. All Res
Feet
  1. Strength
  2. Thorns (Secondary Stat)
  3. Vitality
  4. All Res
  5. Movement Speed
Amulet
  1. Socket
  2. Physical %
  3. Thorns (Secondary Stat)
  4. Strength
  5. Area Damage
Ring #1
  1. Socket
  2. Physical Damage (if Stone of Jordan Stone of Jordan)
  3. Thorns (Secondary Stat)
  4. Area Damage
  5. Cooldown Reduction
  6. Strength
Ring #2
  1. Socket
  2. Physical Damage (if Stone of Jordan Stone of Jordan)
  3. Thorns (Secondary Stat)
  4. Area Damage
  5. Cooldown Reduction
  6. Strength
Weapon
  1. Strength
  2. Socket (preferably from Ramaladni's Gift Ramaladni's Gift)
  3. Cooldown Reduction
  4. Area Damage
  5. Vitality
Off-hand
  1. Strength
  2. Thorns (Secondary Stat)
  3. Cooldown Reduction
  4. Area Damage
  5. Bombardment %

8. Paragon Points

Slot Paragon Points
Core
  1. Movement Speed up to 25% cap
  2. Strength
  3. Vitality
  4. Maximum Wrath
Offense
  1. Cooldown Reduction
  2. Attack Speed
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Critical Hit Damage
Defense
  1. All Resistance
  2. Life %
  3. Armor
  4. Life Regeneration
Utility
  1. Area Damage
  2. Life on Hit
  3. Gold Find
  4. Resource Cost Reduction

9. Gems

Your first legendary gem will be Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped — a potent source of additional damage, as it is its own multiplier in your total damage calculation. The gem procs itself with its level 25 property in melee range, a condition that is conveniently fulfilled with the Condemn Condemn Vacuum Vacuum pull.

Completely disregarding its level 25 property, you will take Boyarsky's Chip Boyarsky's Chip as your second legendary gem for one purpose only: boosting your Thorns damage.

There is some flexibility in your third gem socket; due to its (relatively) lower Greater Rift ceiling, the build makes better use of the overall damage boost and elite hunting synergy of Bane of the Powerful Bane of the Powerful rather than Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken (the latter can still be considered when pushing the build to its theoretical limits). When farming regular rifts in groups (or if you simply prefer the gold benefits), you can swap this slot out for Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder, complemented by a worn Avarice Band Avarice Band and cubed Goldwrap Goldwrap.

Slot Gems
Jewelry
Helm
Torso and Pants
Weapon

10. Kanai's Cube

In regular rifts, no cubed weapon provides a stronger effect than In-geom In-geom — in a purely cooldown reliant build, cutting all your downtimes by 10 seconds with every elite kill is an incomparable benefit. In GR progression, where health pools grow exponentially and chaining elites is no longer possible, simply fall back to the double Bombardment Bombardments of The Mortal Drama The Mortal Drama.

The armor cube slot varies a lot by preference and purpose. In bounties, it is best to take the shrine duration increase of Gloves of Worship Gloves of Worship. In normal rifts, depending on your balancing of damage and toughness, you can either take Harrington Waistguard Harrington Waistguard (doubles your damage for a short duration after opening a container), or Goldwrap Goldwrap (reinforces your defenses as you pick up gold). In Greater Rifts, this slot is interchangeable between Leoric's Crown Leoric's Crown and Aquila Cuirass Aquila Cuirass depending on your better rolled item. Leoric's Crown Leoric's Crown is the default recommendation to cube, because finding a usable Aquila Cuirass Aquila Cuirass to wear is trivial for a build that does not spend Wrath.

The jewelry cube slot is necessarily taken by Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur — a legendary item from Act I bounty caches that reduces the number of items needed for set bonuses by 1. This allows the Death's Breath farming spec to incorporate the Sage set and the GR pushing spec to equip Aquila Cuirass Aquila Cuirass, without either setup losing the 6-piece Akkhan bonuses.

11. Follower

For more information regarding followers, we advise you to read our Follower Guide, which contains detailed advice for choosing the skills and the gear of your follower.

12. ChangeLog

  • 19 Mar. 2017: Guide added.
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