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 2.6.9 and Season 21.
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.
Convention of Elements is a rather straightforward addition, massively multiplying your damage during the lightning cycle of its elemental rotation. The Endless Walk set makes up the remainder of your jewelry; The Compass Rose ring and The Traveler's Pledge amulet — add 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 balance mirrors the Fist of the Heavens playstyle, which fights rooted in one spot for extended periods of time, with periodic bursts of movement to the next big brawl.
With no particular legendary to occupy the bracer slot, Nemesis Bracers — usually associated with speed farming — make a compelling argument for their inclusion, as the extra elites at every pylon (usually a moment of power spike for any build) lead to faster GR progression overall.
Your weapon of fhoice 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. To complete the setup, the rarest Crusader shield — Akarat's Awakening — supplies this block-heavy build with a reliable source of the all too vital cooldown reduction.
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 isn't 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.
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 Gold Find.
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 when in melee range, where you will be engaging most of the time anyway as you try to lure monster attacks for Akarat's Awakening resets.
Esoteric Alteration brings up the defensive bulwark of this facetanking build, granting a massive 60% elemental damage reduction at max level, as well as an additional 75% increase to elemental affixes once you drop below half life. Note that if you are confident in your survivability, you can viably alternate this slot to Pain Enhancer for the additional damage from gem's scaling Attack Speed bonuses.
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. HotA Barbs are better suited to single target fights than many other AoE specs, but they still take decent advantage of this gem — a fine testament to its quality. Note that if you are doing lower tier Greater Rifts for farming or gem leveling purposes, you should exchange this gem for the universal, well-rounded bonuses of Bane of the Powerful.
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.
Cubing The Furnace provides you with an incomparable source of bonus elite damage, significantly shortening fights with champion packs and Rift Guardians — arguably the most dangerous fights in Greater Rift progression attempts.
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 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.
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.
- 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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