Akkhan Blessed Shield Crusader Skills and Runes
On this page, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing Akkhan Blessed Shield Crusader in Diablo 3. Updated for patch 2.6.4 and Season 16.
|Blessed Shield Combust Iron Skin Steel Skin 1 Laws of Valor Critical 2 Steed Charge Draw and Quarter 3 Consecration Bathed in Light 4 Akarat's Champion Prophet|
As usual with Akkhan set builds, you will activate Akarat's Champion as soon as you enter a run and reapply it on cooldown, ideally overlapping with the previous one to maintain the valuable toughness and damage buffs. Seek out good fights (areas dense with enemies and ample room to maneuver) with your long distance movement tool, Steed Charge. Once you decide on an engagement, try to root yourself in place as best you can — this will allow you to stack up the Endless Walk damage bonus, and make the most of dropping a Consecration under your feet to sustain health. Pop Laws of Valor Critical to boost your damage and begin the Blessed Shield assault; once enemies are cleared, move to the next fight and drag any priority stragglers (i.e. a leftover elite) to the next fight with Draw and Quarter.
2. Skills, Runes and Passives
Your primary damage dealer is found in Blessed Shield — a far range, ricocheting projectile that only needs aiming for its initial target. For high endgame progression, you will be taking the strongest rune, Combust, for its one-in-three chance to inflict a significant amount of extra AoE on hit. In lower GR content, where you can afford to lose some of the damage, you can fall back to the Shattering Throw rune to tie into the healing of the Holy Cause passive and have an easier time.
Your stalwart source of protection is found in the signature Crusader steroid Akarat's Champion. Once you reach the comfortable 56% CDR threshold, you can maintain Akarat's Champion form indefinitely. While it 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 can juggle nicely with the Indestructible passive to keep you safe and alive in high Greater Rifts.
In Greater Rifts, sometimes even Prophet is not enough; you will frequently position yourself in mid-to-close range danger in order to get in range for the Bane of the Trapped buff to kick in, and will generally focus on monster density that is just as threatening to you as you are to it. To counterbalance that, you should use Iron Skin to cut incoming damage in half, an effect further lengthened by the Steel Skin rune.
The use of laws, party-wide constant buffs with a powerful activation effect, is a signature of the Crusader class. When pushing Greater Rifts, your law of choice should be the damage staple Laws of Valor Critical; not only does its attack speed passive bonus fit right at home in this cast speed-oriented build, but its Critical Damage bonuses are a welcome addition to a shield-wearing build that naturally hungers for the stat.
In order to add some helpful health sustain to the build, especially early on when perfect Life on Hit weaponry is highly unlikely, you should add Consecration to the build. The skill fits nicely with the static fighting nature of the build, and you should strengthen its healing properties even further with the Bathed in Light rune.
Often times, you will stumble into one of the following scenarios: a monster pack that is too small to be worth your time; or you have leftover enemies from a bigger fight; or an isolated elite pack that will be disadvantageous to fight alone. In these cases, you have two options: efficiently seeking the next big fight with the Endurance rune of Steed Charge, or employing the pull of Draw and Quarter in the hopes of dragging the enemy into better density. Keep in mind that crowd control gets less effective over time, and previously pulled enemies will be far less susceptible to dragging, in certain situations negating the benefits of the Draw and Quarter rune.
This concludes the overview of the Active Skills, now let us look through the Passives.
Going against the two-hander traditions of the class, the Blessed Shield Crusader demands the use of Gyrfalcon's Foote — and consequently, adopts Fervor as a foundation passive. Reforging the classic two-handed Crusader image into one of an attack speed and cooldown reduction specialist, this passive will ensure you get the most of your long timers and the Life per Hit on gear.
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.
Holy Cause is the suggested final passive; while seemingly small, its basic 10% damage buff is valuable to a build that cherishes any DPS not reliant on multi-target combat. If you want the safer route, you cannot go wrong with Indestructible, Crusader's cheat death passive. Since Indestructible procs second in the chain of on-death skills, with Prophet taking priority, this results in a nice juggle of your survival skills, and the almost constant availability of a buffer between you and death.
- 17 Jan. 2019: Information was reviewed and approved for Season 16 with no changes required.
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