Aegis of Valor Fist of the Heavens Crusader BiS Gear, Gems, and Paragon Points
Below, we detail the items and gems that you should use for your Aegis of Valor Fist of the Heavens Crusader in Diablo 3 and why. We also list your paragon points and Kanai's Cube items. Updated for Patch 2.7.5 and Season 28.
Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives
The build takes advantage of the full 6-piece Aegis of Valor set bonus, incorporating five of the six available items and completing the requirements via a Ring of Royal Grandeur in the Cube. Since this is a Fist of the Heavens-oriented build, you will not be putting the 2-piece set bonus to use, but the remaining ones instead. The 4-piece bonus is protection-oriented, offering a stacking damage reduction buff — and whose "hit" requirement works with the Fissure ticks, making it easily stackable and persistent. The 6-piece bonus is a straightforward damage buff to the main spender of the build, although this spec will skip Heaven's Fury as a source of damage and will use Fist of the Heavens as both a damage dealer and a protective/sustain skill (see this build's skills page for more information).
Armor set-wise, you will also be crafting and equipping two of the three pieces of the Captain Crimson set (the Captain Crimson's Thrust, Captain Crimson's Silk Girdle and Captain Crimson's Waders). You will complete their full bonus via Ring of Royal Grandeur in the Cube. This set provides CDR as well as RCR bonuses, and then scales your damage dealt and damage reduced according to both stats, respectively — bringing a massive boon to the build.
As far as jewelry is concerned, the popular sets — Endless Walk and Bastions of Will — are denied to the build, due to the constant movement of the build, the lack of a generator skill and its general CDR woes. In their stead, you will be using a trio of legendary rings: Ring of Royal Grandeur, which reduces the number of required worn set items for set bonus completion by one; Convention of Elements, for the tremendous boost to your damage during its Lightning cycle; and finally, Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac for its Cooldown resetting mechanics, which feed into the valuable CDs of the build. You will be wearing your best two of these rings, and cubing the third — ideally wearing the Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac and Convention of Elements, and cubing the RoRG.
The recommended amulet is Hellfire Amulet of Strength, since it allows you access to an additional synergistic passive like Indestructible or Wrathful. The former favorite The Flavor of Time should now be slotted on your follower, and its power will be transferred to your character via the Emanate mechanics.
With no particular legendary to occupy the bracer slot, Strongarm Bracers make a compelling argument for their inclusion, with the option to attain their additive damage bonus with an enemy displacement skill like Judgment Mass Verdict.
With the changes in Patch 2.6.10, the Norvald's Fervor set — Flail of the Charge and Shield of the Steed — becomes extremely attractive to any progression and speed farming build that can fit Steed Charge into its rotation and is content with a single weapon power in the Cube. The solitary class-specific weapon and offhand set brings a dualistic power — adding more mobility to the otherwise plodding Crusaders with an extension of the Steed Charge duration and a cooldown reset mechanic, and — perhaps more importantly — adds a damage multiplication mechanic for several seconds after ending Steed Charge (either naturally or manually, with the use of any other skill).
Desired Stats, Breakpoints and Other Notes
For Offense stats, try to obtain Fist of the Heavens % bonus on both the helm and boots (maximum of 30%), Holy elemental damage on both the amulet and wrists (maximum of 40%), Crit Chance and Crit Damage within a 1:10 ratio (ideally over 50% and 500%, respectively), and Area Damage of 100%+. Fist of the Heavens Crusaders are heavily Cooldown-dependent, so try to your best to reach a 60%+ CDR point in your sheet to ease the strain on your Akarat's Awakening resets.
For Defense stats, aim for a life pool between 700-900k; dropping as much as you can for offense as you grow accustomed to the build. You will mostly sustain through Life per Hit on gear, with at least one high roll in your setup (i.e. bracer).
All augmentations on gear should be done with your main stat, Strength.
Note that the stat suggestions below portray an ideally rolled item with stats listed in relative order of importance. The first four of them are main stats, and the latter two — secondary stats. If your item lacks and is unable to be rerolled into the primary stats outlined below, especially for a stat higher on the list, strongly consider its replacement. Perfecting Secondary stats is mostly a case of hyper-optimization and is not a case for discarding an item, except where noted.
To help you with farming the gear you need for your builds, we have two very useful guides that you can access by clicking the links below: a Salvage Guide to help you quickly check whether or not you can safely salvage a piece of gear and a Legendary Farming Guide to help you efficiently farm legendaries and set items.
Season 28: Altar of Rites
Season 28 comes with the theme of the Altar of Rites — a powerful new account-wide and Season-specific progression system that brings tremendous offensive and defensive buffs to every seasonal character. For virtually all builds and players of all skill levels — from casual to advanced — we recommend progressing through the Altar tree using the path outlined below. The suggested path is geared towards maximum quality of life first, then amplifying damage, and then mopping up the tree with defensive and edge case utility nodes.
Note that while they require reaching them with a Seal, Legendary Potion Powers are not part of the Seal cost system; Potions unlock with a separate resource called Primordial Ashes, obtained from salvaging Legendary or Set items of Primal (red bordered) quality. Upgrade them as soon as possible, and in the order shown below (courtesy of Caleko's Altar of Rites planner).
You can read more on the Altar of Rites, Seals and Legendary Potion Powers in our dedicated Altar of Rites Mechanics guide.
In the Core section, max out Movement Speed to the 25% cap. Normally this is done by dumping the first 50 Core Paragon points into Movement Speed, but if your boots have an imperfect roll with Movement Speed as a stat that you cannot replace, adjust the necessary point investment accordingly by simply subtracting your roll from the 25% max. After that dump as much as you comfortably can into Strength, but feel free to invest into Vitality if you feel yourself lacking in toughness, or Maximum Wrath if you want to play around with a bigger resource pool.
In the Offense section, max out Crit Chance, Crit Damage, Cooldown Reduction, and Attack Speed in that order. In Defense, prioritize All Resistance, then Life %, then Armor, and finish off with Life Regeneration. In Utility, build up Area Damage and Resource Cost Reduction first, then finish off with Life on Hit and Globe Radius.
Zei's Stone of Vengeance is another independent multiplier, whose range-dependent amplification can be easily maxed out by the long reach of Fist of the Heavens. The level 25 property will add some minor control and safety to the build, as well as another proc for Bane of the Trapped. An alternative for this slot, if you choose a more defensive and close range playstyle (at the cost of some of your damage potential) is to slot Esoteric Alteration here.
Gogok of Swiftness synergizes well with the build in Greater Rift pushes, indirectly providing you with more cooldown resets and improved healing through your faster attacks. The 2.4.1 addition of scaling Dodge chance to the gem is just survivability icing on the cake.
Bane of the Stricken occupies a firm jewelry socket during GR progression. 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. Note that if you are doing lower tier Greater Rifts for farming or gem leveling purposes, you should exchange this gem either for the universal, well-rounded bonuses of Bane of the Powerful, or the convenient protective and restorative effect of Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard.
When it comes to gear gems, you will start out progression by slotting the highest available level of Rubies in the chest and pants sockets. Ideally, these will all be Flawless Royal Ruby as soon as possible. As you grow in Paragon (bulking up Strength in the Core section) and aim for higher tier and more dangerous GRs, you will transition those gems into the defensive Flawless Royal Diamond. There is no specific breakpoint where you do that; the rule of thumb is to make the change as soon as you feel the lack of toughness impede your progress. As this is a fairly CDR-demanding build, slot a Flawless Royal Diamond in your helm. In your weapon, use Flawless Royal Emeralds for the Crit Damage boost.
|Torso and Pants||
For more information about gems, please refer to our guide on gems.
Your cubed weapon of choice is none other than the Fist of the Heavens-dedicated legendary weapon Darklight. Combining its years-long power of doubling the Fist of the Heavens casts with a newfound damage multiplier, this one-handed flail is an inseparable part of the build.
Khassett's Cord of Righteousness is a Fist of the Heavens-dedicated legendary belt that both amplifies your damage and reduces your Wrath spending, making it a mandatory inclusion in the build.
In this Aegis of Valor / Captain Crimson mixture, you will need a Ring of Royal Grandeur: a cache legendary ring from Act I bounties, to tie the two sets together. The ability to run with one full 6-piece set bonus and an additional 3-piece bonus, dodging the undesirable guaranteed stats on the Grandeur by cubing its power, is a tremendous boost to the build.
The Kanai's Cube can be used for much more than simply extracting Legendary powers from items. Please refer to our Kanai's Cube guide for more information.
The recommended follower for this build during solo GR progression is the Enchantress, due to her cooldown reduction- and increased attack speed bonuses, both of which are helpful to the needs of an attack speed- and CDR-heavy build such as this one.
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.
The preferred potion for this build is Bottomless Potion of the Leech due to its Life per Hit bonuses, which synergize perfectly for the high attack speed and sustain-through-attacks playstyle of the build.
- 22 Feb. 2023: Added Season 28 Altar of Rites recommendations.
- 26 Aug. 2022: Added Season 27 Angelic Crucible recommendations.
- 13 Apr. 2022: Guide reviewed for Season 26.
- 09 Dec. 2021: Added Season 25 Soul Shard recommendations.
- 23 Jul. 2021: No changes required for Season 24.
- 31 Mar. 2021: Added a follower recommendation to the build.
- 18 Nov. 2020: Revised equipment and weaponry choices into a ranged version of the build. Added S22 Cube recommendation.
- 30 Jun. 2020: No changes required for Season 21.
- 12 Mar. 2020: No changes necessary for Season 20.
- 19 Nov. 2019: Page added.
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