Akkhan Blessed Shield Crusader BiS Gear, Gems, and Paragon Points
Below, we detail the items and gems that you should use for your Akkhan Blessed Shield Crusader in Diablo 3 and why. We also list your paragon points and Kanai's Cube items. Updated for Patch 2.6.10 and Season 22.
Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives
Like any Akkhan-based build, you will be striving to reach a 56% CDR breakpoint in order to achieve permanence of the Akarat's Champion buff. Note that in this build, you will be using Gogok of Swiftness as one of your Legendary Gems, allowing you to lose CDR rolls from three armor slots of your choosing in favor of other offense stats. You will be equipping five Akkhan armor pieces, losing one of the core armor slots to the craftable Captain Crimson set, and obtaining both sets' full powers by cubing the Ring of Royal Grandeur. Cooldown Reduction takes priority on the slots where you can get it — certainly on the Gauntlets of Akkhan, where it accompanies the Crit stats, as well as on the Pauldrons of Akkhan. The Breastplate of Akkhan and Cuisses of Akkhan (though you likely drop the latter) are best left to pure toughness stats. You can roll Blessed Shield % damage on both the Helm of Akkhan and Sabatons of Akkhan, so seek it out on both.
As mentioned above, you will 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 (albeit lost on this particular build), 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 Endless Walk set — The Compass Rose ring and 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 dynamic fits the playstyle, which alternates Steed Charge scouting with stationary Blessed Shield spam (see this build's skills page for more information). Your second ring slot should be taken by Convention of Elements; the ring rotates through all elements available to Crusaders, providing a massive bonus to your main damage skill during the Fire proc.
The remaining item slots — bracers, weapon and offhand — will be occupied by dedicated Blessed Shield legendary items that increase the skill's damage and modify its properties in a beneficial way. In your wrist slot, Akkhan's Manacles will augment your single target burst by adding significant damage to the first target struck. Gyrfalcon's Foote will not only provide a general boost to the skill, but will also completely remove its Wrath costs — making for a relaxed, trigger-happy playstyle that can focus entirely on survival and aiming without worry for resource management. Finally, Jekangbord will triple the amount of enemies struck by the shield ricochets, adding the signature bouncing chaos in fights.
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. Investing points into Maximum Wrath is not necessary in this build, since it does not spend resources due to the Gyrfalcon's Foote.
In the Offense section, max out CDR, Crit Chance, Crit Damage 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 Life on Hit and Area Damage first, then finish off with Globe Radius and Resource Cost Reduction.
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 range, making it an inseparable part of this mid range setup.
Gogok of Swiftness synergises well with the build in Greater Rift pushes, indirectly providing you with faster 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.
Introduced in Season 4, Bane of the Stricken takes a firm slot in the third jewelry socket when Greater Rifting. 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. Blessed Shield is a classic case in this scenario, making this gem mandatory.
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For more information about gems, please refer to our guide on gems.
While hidden away in the weapon Cube slot, Akkhan's Leniency is another cornerstone item in the build that puts a heavy emphasis on the build's AoE strengths. The weapon scales your damage for each enemy struck, so try to keep to the nine bounces maximum imposed by Jekangbord as best you can.
Aquila Cuirass cuts incoming damage in half if you maintain above 90% of your resource, which is a permanent effect in a build whose spender is nullified by Gyrfalcon's Foote.
In the Akkhan / 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.
In your 4th Kanai's Cube slot in Season 22, place The Furnace. The unique effect of this two-handed mace provides you with an incomparable source of bonus elite damage, significantly shortening fights with champion packs and Rift Guardians — traditionally one-on-one affairs, where Blessed Shield builds suffer the most.
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.
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.
- 18 Nov. 2020: 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: Reviewed for Season 19.
- 22 Aug. 2019: Gear recommendations have been revised for Season 18.
- 15 May 2019: Guide was reviewed and approved for Season 17.
- 17 Jan. 2019: Added suggestions for the baseline Ring of Royal Grandeur for Seasonal characters.
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