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 2.6.9 and Season 21.
|Fist of the Heavens Fissure Steed Charge Endurance 1 Laws of Valor Unstoppable Force 2 Provoke Hit Me 3 Iron Skin Flash 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 and drawing their attention with Provoke, both to restore Wrath and to keep them in Bane of the Trapped range, as well as to attract melee hits to block and reset cooldowns with via the worn Akarat's Awakening. The remainder of your skills you will simply apply as soon as they come off cooldown, as their bonuses are universally helpful: the survivability and damage bonuses of Akarat's Champion, Iron Skin and Laws of Valor.
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 assist the block-based cooldown resets of the build, you will be using the taunt and Wrath generation of Provoke mostly for the block buff of Hit Me. During its uptime, your Akarat's Awakening procs will chunk significant portions of your major cooldowns, or outright reset the shorter ones.
Mobility is one of the most important aspects when rifting, and Crusaders have no better movement ability than their trusty Steed Charge. You will be picking up the extended duration from the Endurance rune, allowing you to reach — or skip — more efficiently. Another viable rune for the slot is 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 and removing enemy collision through the Flash 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.
This concludes the overview of the Active Skills, now let us look through the Passives.
In a spec that is largely dependent on fast attacks and cooldowns, it is no wonder Fervor is taken for the outstanding 15% Attack Speed and Cooldown Reduction while wielding one-handed weapons.
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 Fires of Heaven spam and the damage mitigation of the Cpt. Crimson set.
You have some flexibility in your final passive slot; in general, we recommend taking Hold Your Ground for the increased Block chance, which assists your Akarat's Awakening CD resets. Other viable options include Holy Cause for the damage increase, or the Crusader cheat death — Indestructible.
- 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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