Aegis of Valor Fist of the Heavens Crusader Skills and Runes
On this page, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing Aegis of Valor Fist of the Heavens Crusader in Diablo 3. Updated for Patch 2.7.5 and Season 28.
|Fist of the Heavens Fissure Steed Charge Draw and Quarter 1 Laws of Valor Unstoppable Force 2 Judgment Mass Verdict 3 Iron Skin Steel Skin 4 Akarat's Champion Prophet|
This variation of an Aegis of Valor build ties both damage dealing and damage reducing mechanics together, relying on Fist of the Heavens — strategically placed around the battlefield to maximize the arcing procs of the Fissure rune — to both demolish your enemies and encase you in the 4-piece set bonus protection. You will be seeking out foes with Steed Charge, cancelling the skill as soon as the engagement begins to attain the damage buff of the equipped Norvald's Fervor set. Immediately lock and draw monsters in with a Judgment Mass Verdict, followed by an onslaught of Fist of the Heavens, while you keep your distance to maximize the bonuses of Zei's Stone of Vengeance and protect yourself with buffs like Akarat's Champion, Iron Skin and Laws of Valor on cooldown.
Skills and Runes
In an alternate take on the Aegis of Valor set, Fist of the Heavens is both the damage dealer and the protector (via the 4-piece set bonus). The best rune is still the arcing Fissure, whose constant ticks between the spread out fissures not only has the highest damage potential, but also provides the best Wrath returns from the 4-piece.
When it comes to Law selection for high end progression, squeezing every bit of attack speed (and damage, respectively) while not losing too much on survivability becomes a delicate balance, one you can straddle by taking the offensive Laws of Valor with the Unstoppable Force rune. This will both mitigate your Fist of the Heavens Wrath spending and trigger the Cpt. Crimson bonuses (see this build's gear page for more information); this auxiliary craftable set scales your damage reduction based on your Resource Cost Reduction, and Unstoppable Force does count as sheet RCR.
In order to control enemies within the Fist of the Heavens barrage, as well as to clump them up to the benefits of Area Damage and the damage bonuses from Strongarm Bracers, you will be using the hard crowd control of Judgment with the monster displacement effect of the Mass Verdict rune.
Mobility is one of the most important aspects when rifting, and Crusaders have no better movement ability than their trusty Steed Charge. You can choose between the extended duration from the Endurance rune, allowing you to reach — or skip — more efficiently, or Draw and Quarter, which allows you to lead surviving stragglers from one fight into the next.
The remainder of your skill selection is dedicated to protective cooldowns. First, we have Iron Skin — a staple damage reduction tool, cutting incoming damage in half for the extended duration of the Steel Skin rune. Second, you will be running Akarat's Champion, whose powerful bonuses you will strive to have permanently with the help of Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac resets. While Akarat's Champion increases your damage multiplicatively by 35% and supplies you with 5 Wrath per second as a base effect, the skill also takes on a defensive role through the tanky Prophet rune. Supplying you with 150% additional Armor and a free life, this skill will keep you safe and alive in high Greater Rifts.
As a baseline equipment passive, you are locked in Heavenly Strength due to Flail of the Charge being a two-handed flail.
Finery is another Crusader staple, adding 1.5% Strength for every socket across your gear, including weapon and jewelry. Assuming an average of 10 sockets across a well-equipped character, Finery amounts to a decent boost of both damage and toughness.
Long Arm of the Law doubles the duration of the active effects of Laws and ensures the permanent uptime of Unstoppable Force. Aided by this passive, you will have an easy time maintaining both the Fist of the Heavens spam and the damage mitigation of the Cpt. Crimson set.
You have some flexibility in your final passive slot; in general, we recommend taking either Holy Cause for the damage increase, or the Crusader cheat death — Indestructible.
- 22 Feb. 2023: Skills and passives reviewed for Season 28.
- 26 Aug. 2022: Skills and passives reviewed for Season 27.
- 13 Apr. 2022: Guide reviewed for Season 26.
- 09 Dec. 2021: Reviewed for Season 25.
- 23 Jul. 2021: No changes required for Season 24.
- 31 Mar. 2021: No changes required for Season 23.
- 18 Nov. 2020: Revised skill choices to go with new gear choices for Season 22.
- 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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