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Crusader Sweep Attack Lightning Build with The Roland's Set (Patch 2.4.2 / Season 7)

Last updated on Jul 27, 2016 at 13:54 by Deadset 55 comments

Table of Contents

The Roland's Legacy set unlocks the potential of two signature Crusader abilities — Sweep Attack Sweep Attack and Shield Bash Shield Bash — both by boosting their damage and adding cooldown reduction utility to their use. The guide below will focus on the Sweep Attack Sweep Attack build option; this control-heavy, sustain damage build is available in both solo progression and speedfarming variations, explained in that order.

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. Builds

Solo Progression Speedruns
Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Sweep Attack Icon Sweep Attack Trip Attack Trip Attack Right Mouse Button Condemn Icon Condemn Vacuum Vacuum 1 Steed Charge Icon Steed Charge Endurance Endurance 2 Iron Skin Icon Iron Skin Flash Flash 3 Laws of Valor Icon Laws of Valor Unstoppable Force Unstoppable Force 4 Akarat's Champion Icon Akarat's Champion Prophet Prophet
Passive Skills
(battle.net link)
Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Sweep Attack Icon Sweep Attack Gathering Sweep Gathering Sweep Right Mouse Button Condemn Icon Condemn Vacuum Vacuum 1 Steed Charge Icon Steed Charge Endurance Endurance 2 Iron Skin Icon Iron Skin Flash Flash 3 Laws of Hope Icon Laws of Hope Wings of Angels Wings of Angels 4 Akarat's Champion Icon Akarat's Champion Prophet Prophet
Passive Skills
(battle.net link)

3. Rotation

The build approaches fights with the unrelenting assault of Sweep Attack Sweep Attack, doubling as a tool of destruction and crowd control with the Trip Attack Trip Attack rune. While the Golden Flense Golden Flense flail will help you balance resources, another indispensable tool for Wrath management will be Laws of Valor Laws of Valor Unstoppable Force Unstoppable Force, used on cooldown. Standing face to face with the enemy has its costs, and it is paid in strong defensive abilities like Iron Skin Iron Skin and Akarat's Champion Akarat's Champion; the former is to be used on cooldown, while the latter should be activated as a strategic boost against elites and Rift Guardians. The AoE focus of Sweep Attack Sweep Attack mandates the use of repositioning tools: Condemn Condemn Vacuum Vacuum for short range pulls, and Steed Charge Steed Charge for long range repositioning. Use both liberally during fights, with a single purpose in mind: creating the biggest brawl possible, where the Sweep Attack Sweep Attack Crusader thrives.

4. Skills, Runes and Passives

The primary damage dealer of the build is Sweep Attack Sweep Attack, empowered by both the Roland's set bonuses and the dedicated shield for the skill — Denial Denial. As previously mentioned, the bigger of a fight you engage in, the more this skill shines — and to counterbalance the danger from numerous enemies in GRs, we will be taking the Trip Attack Trip Attack rune. One of the most consistent stuns in the game, this rune is taken to new heights by its interaction with the Ancient Parthan Defenders Ancient Parthan Defenders, which further reduce incoming damage. As a final note, if you find yourself overkilling in survivability in speedruns and you do not mind some gear rearrangements, you can take advantage of the rune Gathering Sweep Gathering Sweep. Not only will it pair nicely with Condemn Condemn Vacuum Vacuum to glue enemies in your range of attacks, but you can also slightly increase your burst by swapping into Strongarm Bracers Strongarm Bracers. Note that such a swap warrants a change of Lightning elemental damage on gear to Holy, so adjust accordingly.

You will be taking Condemn Condemn in the build, but not as a damage-dealign skill — your priority is the crowd-control of Vacuum Vacuum. This rune choice not only procs Strongarm Bracers Strongarm Bracers in speedruns, but also the Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped gem, while grouping enemies near you to maximize the benefits of the Sweep Attack Sweep Attack AoE. It goes without saying, but in high progression environments this skill can expose you to a lot of danger as well by grouping enemies on top of you, which you counteract with the hard crowd control of the Trip Attack Trip Attack stun.

Often times, you will stumble into one of the following scenarios: a monster pack that is too small to be worth your time; or you have leftover enemies from a bigger fight; or an isolated elite pack that will be disadvantageous to fight alone. In these cases, you have two options: efficiently seeking the next big fight with the Endurance Endurance rune of Steed Charge Steed Charge, or employing the pull of Draw and Quarter Draw and Quarter in the hopes of dragging the enemy into better density. Keep in mind that crowd control gets less effective over time, and previously Vacuum Vacuumed enemies will be far less susceptible to dragging, in certain situations negating the benefits of the Draw and Quarter Draw and Quarter rune.

One of the stronger aspects of the Roland's set is the Laws and Defensive skills cooldown reduction, triggered as you fight with Sweep Attack Sweep Attack or Shield Bash Shield Bash. This utility cannot be ignored, and dictates the use of two skills in the respective categories: Iron Skin Iron Skin and Laws of Valor Laws of Valor.

Iron Skin Iron Skin is a staple damage reduction tool, cutting incoming damage in half and removing enemy collision through the Flash Flash rune. With the Roland's 2-piece bonus, the standard 30-second cooldown will be promptly cut down through fighting alone, and the ability to chain cast it will not be uncommon. As such, do not hesitate to re-apply Iron Skin Iron Skin as soon as it becomes available.

Another mainstay of the generally resource intensive Crusader class is Laws of Valor Laws of Valor Unstoppable Force Unstoppable Force. Cutting down the Wrath cost of all skills in half, the Active part of the law will stabilize your resource spending in the unfavorable (but inevitable) single target situations. Even the passive Attack Speed bonus, which is rarely valued in two-handed Crusader builds, is surprisingly synergistic as it translates into CDR for Roland's. In speedruns the resources you spend on an individual enemy pack will be significantly less, allowing you to focus on speed and utility in your Law selection in the face of Laws of Hope Laws of Hope Wings of Angels Wings of Angels.

The signature Crusader steroid Akarat's Champion Akarat's Champion is incorporated once again — but unlike Akkhan set based builds, you cannot rely on its permanent uptime. In the Roland's setups, it becomes a strategic cooldown, so plan your riskiest engages around its availability. Increasing your damage multiplicatively by 35% and supplying you with 5 Wrath per second as a base effect, the skill also takes on a defensive role through the tanky Prophet Prophet rune, allowing you near-invincibility for a 20-second window. Layering you with 150% additional Armor and a free life, this rune will rotate with the Indestructible Indestructible passive to keep you alive.

This concludes the overview of the Active Skills, now let us look through the Passives.

Heavenly Strength Heavenly Strength allows you to wield two-handed weapons in one hand, and have a shield in the other. It is a natural inclusion in a Sweep Attack Sweep Attack build, where the Golden Flense Golden Flense reigns as the best-in-slot weapon.

You have some freedom in choosing your utility passive; you can solidify your Wrath management by including Long Arm of the Law Long Arm of the Law, doubling the duration of the active effects of Laws and ensuring near-permanent uptime of Laws of Valor Laws of Valor. Should you struggle for healing, you can incorporate Wrathful Wrathful — if you lean on Unstoppable Force Unstoppable Force only in emergency single target situations (as you should), you will receive the full recovery benefits of this passive, and gain a solid source of regeneration.

Indestructible Indestructible is the cheat death passive available to Crusaders, and arguably the strongest such passive of any class. With a standard 60-second cooldown, it will prevent the lethal outcome of a sudden damage spike — a common sight in Greater Rift progression. On top of that, it provides you with a 5-second window of invulnerability, 35% damage increase and an immense Life per Kill boost. To top things off, it will trigger second after Prophet Prophet in the chain of proc mechanics, essentially adding a third life while Akarat's Champion Akarat's Champion is active.

Last but not least, Finery Finery is added as a well rounded boost to both damage and Toughness. Providing with a 1.5% Strength increase for your every socket, including weapon and jewelry, it amounts to a hefty boost with an assumed average of 10 sockets across a well equipped character.

5. Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives

The build incorporates the complete Roland's Legacy set, taking all 6 pieces available and leaving the jewelry to balance offense and defense with the Endless Walk set. Rolls-wise, this Sweep Attack Sweep Attack-centric playstyle makes good use of skill damage affixes on the Roland's Visage Roland's Visage and Roland's Stride Roland's Stride. The Roland's Bearing Roland's Bearing and Roland's Determination Roland's Determination are responsible for the majority of the tankiness, and even on the Roland's Grasp Roland's Grasp a Vitality roll is incorporated alongside the usual Crit Chance and Crit Damage. While not the sole focus of the playstyle, Cooldown Reduction is still helpful and is taken on the Roland's Mantle Roland's Mantle as the fourth primary, alongside Strength, Vitality and All Resistance.

Not skipping on any of the 6 available set pieces to obtain the full Roland's Legacy bonus allows you to split between protection and damage in the jewelry slots. One of the 2.4 reworks, the Endless Walk set — The Compass Rose The Compass Rose ring and The Traveler's Pledge The Traveler's Pledge amulet — adds a unique mechanic that slowly increases your damage by up to a 100% if you remain stationary, and drains it away and increases your damage reduction while moving. This is the exact tactic employed by the build, which shifts from long-distance Steed Charge Steed Charges into massive Condemn Condemn pulls and stationary Sweep Attack Sweep Attack destruction.

Seen as a necessary sacrifice for a build that charges into the thick of battle, a socketed Unity Unity is strongly recommended as your second ring. It provides you with unparalleled damage reduction when paired with another on the follower, plus an immortality item for him (i.e. Enchanting Favor Enchanting Favor). As you lose the follower in multiplayer and are less threatened during speedruns, you should replace this ring with Convention of Elements Convention of Elements for a significant increase of your damage during the Lightning cycle.

Procced by the potent stun of Trip Attack Trip Attack, the Ancient Parthan Defenders Ancient Parthan Defenders will supply you with much needed damage reduction in Greater Rift progression. The sheer amount of crowd control available to the build will shape your approach to fights to maximize the effect of these bracers. In time, it will teach you to lead fights into one another — as newly engaged enemies will not suffer from diminishing returns on the crowd control, and the fresh stuns will protect you better. In speedrunning, these safety considerations fall off in favor of improving damage, incentivizing you to swap into Strongarm Bracers Strongarm Bracers. These bracers play well into the control-heavy rotation of the build and supply you with another 30% additive damage increase of affected enemies.

An exotic recommendation for the belt slot is the underused Thundergod's Vigor Thundergod's Vigor. Guaranteed to roll with synergistic elemental damage bonuses and sacrificing a minimal amount of Toughness, this belt is the meeting point between the glass cannon The Witching Hour The Witching Hour and the tanky String of Ears String of Ears. With a melee oriented legendary affix and the unique ability to roll All Resistance on top of a guaranteed Lightning Resistance Secondary roll, Thundergod's Vigor Thundergod's Vigor makes a tight fit for the Sweep Attack Sweep Attack Crusader.

The first part of the mandatory mainhand and offhand combo, the Golden Flense Golden Flense legendary flail makes up for the lack of any elemental or elite bonuses with a massive skill bonus and an indispensable unique property: up to 6 Wrath refund per enemy hit. Coupled with Unstoppable Force Unstoppable Force, this weapon will be the foundation of your Wrath management and a solid reason for you to seek bigger and bigger fights. Rolls-wise, seek Life per Hit or a high Vitality roll, alongside the usual recommendations for high damage range, damage % and Strength properties.

Finally, Denial Denial is the necessary shield for a Sweep Attack Sweep Attack-centric build. Its unique affix cements the AoE orientation of the build, increasing the damage of your main attack per enemy hit. While the bonus capping at 5 enemies engaged might seem a paltry requirement for most decent rifts, do not disregard the high chance of a single target Rift Guardian fight, where your damage will drop sharply. It bears repeating — take the most out of the AoE nature of Denial Denial and focus on clearing up to the Guardian in the shortest amount of time possible. For its rolls, aim for high Crit Chance, Strength, and a Socket to synergize with the Finery Finery passive.

Slot Pieces Stat Priority
Head
  1. Strength
  2. Socket
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Sweep Attack Sweep Attack %
  5. Vitality
Shoulders
  1. Strength
  2. Vitality
  3. Cooldown Reduction
  4. Area Damage
  5. All Resistance
Torso
  1. Strength
  2. 3 Sockets
  3. Vitality
  4. Reduced Damage from Elites
  5. All Resistance
Wrists
  1. Strength
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Lightning Damage
  4. Vitality
  5. Life per Hit
Hands
  1. Strength
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Vitality
Waist
  1. Strength
  2. Lightning Damage (if Thundergod's Vigor Thundergod's Vigor)
  3. Vitality
  4. All Resistance
  5. Life %
Legs
  1. Strength
  2. 2 Sockets
  3. Vitality
  4. All Resistance
  5. Armor
Feet
  1. Strength
  2. Vitality
  3. All Resistance
  4. Sweep Attack Sweep Attack %
  5. Movement Speed
Amulet
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Lightning Damage
  5. Strength
Ring #1
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Cooldown Reduction
  5. Strength
Ring #2
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Cooldown Reduction
  5. Strength
Weapon
  1. Socket (preferably from Ramaladni's Gift Ramaladni's Gift)
  2. Weapon Damage
  3. % Weapon Damage
  4. Strength
  5. Life per Hit
  6. Vitality
Off-hand
  1. Crit Chance
  2. Strength
  3. Socket
  4. Damage Against Elites
  5. Vitality

6. Paragon Points

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

7. Gems

Your three jewelry sockets will be taken up by the legendary gems Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped, Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken and either Esoteric Alteration Esoteric Alteration or Bane of the Powerful Bane of the Powerful.

  • Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped is 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, and is otherwise kept up with the Trip Attack Trip Attack stun, making it an inseparable part of this crowd control-heavy setup.
  • Introduced in Season 4, Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken takes a firm slot in the second jewelry socket. Building up your damage multiplicatively in prolonged fights and with a level 25 bonus specifically targeting Rift Guardians, this gem is designed to assist AoE heavy builds in their struggle against single target, high HP enemies. Sweep Attack Sweep Attack is a textbook example for such a build, making the gem mandatory.
  • Your final gem slot can be taken by either Bane of the Powerful Bane of the Powerful or Esoteric Alteration Esoteric Alteration, with the former providing better damage output, and the latter — better survival.
    • While it is generally associated with speedrunning, the duration of Bane of the Powerful Bane of the Powerful scales very well with levels, and having a low uptime on a decently leveled gem is a telling sign that the rift is unfavorable anyway (winding layout, lacking density, insufficient elites). The gem's default 20% damage increase has been reworked into multiplicative, and the level 25 bonus now increases AND reduces elite damage by 15%, making it a well-rounded choice for many builds.
    • The alternative is Esoteric Alteration Esoteric Alteration — the strongest mitigation gem available, with a noticeable impact in facetanking builds such as this one. Improving your elemental resistances with every gem level, as well as providing you with a near-impenetrable last line of defense through the level 25 property, Esoteric Alteration Esoteric Alteration edges over other defensive options like Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard and Mutilation Guard Mutilation Guard.
Slot Gems
Jewelry
Helm
Torso and Pants
Weapon

8. Kanai's Cube

The Kanai's Cube recommendations are as follows: The Furnace The Furnace (Progression) or In-geom In-geom (Speedruns) for the weapon slot, Aquila Cuirass Aquila Cuirass for the armor slot, and Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac for the jewelry slot.

  • Cubing The Furnace The Furnace provides you with an incomparable source of bonus elite damage, significantly shortening time spent in the most dangerous moments of Greater Rifting — fights with champion packs and Rift Guardians. When clearing easier content, you can swap this slot out for In-geom In-geom — its power will trivialize your cooldown management as long as you feed it elite kills, which should be a breeze in speedruns.
  • Aquila Cuirass Aquila Cuirass will halve incoming damage as long as Wrath doesn't dip below 90% of its reserve, which is not a hard bonus to keep throughout the rift as long as you maintain density in fights, where the Golden Flense Golden Flense will refund you back to the Wrath cap. This bonus will almost invariably drop against single-target Guardians, lending somewhat to the "fishing" nature of this build.
  • Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac is one of the most attractive jewelry cube choices for Crusaders, helping with the CDR management of this cooldown-centric class. Synergizing well with the Rolands-induced attack speed bonuses, the ring will quickly reset important skills like Condemn Condemn and Akarat's Champion Akarat's Champion.

9. 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.

10. ChangeLog

  • 27 Jul. 2016: Updated the guide to include speedrunning recommendations.
  • 11 Jan. 2016: Updated the guide to reflect its Patch 2.4 buffs and Kanai's Cube swaps.
  • 24 Aug. 2015: Added Kanai's Cube recommendations for Patch 2.3.
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