Blessed Hammer Crusader BiS Gear, Gems, and Paragon Points
Below, we detail the items and gems that you should use for your Blessed Hammer Crusader in Diablo 3 and why. We also list your paragon points and Kanai's Cube items. Updated for Patch 2.7.5 and Season 28.
Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives
The build incorporates 5 pieces of the Seeker of the Light set, plus a cubed Ring of Royal Grandeur — and leaves the jewelry to balance offense and defense with the Endless Walk set. Rolls-wise, this Blessed Hammer-centric playstyle makes good use of skill damage affixes on the Crown of the Light and Foundation of the Light. Heart of the Light and Towers of the Light are dedicated to toughness rolls, while Will of the Light incorporates a CDR roll alongside the staple Crit Chance and Crit Damage. A Cooldown Reduction roll is also taken as the fourth primary alongside Strength, All Resistance and Area Damage on the Mountain of the Light, adding to the solid foundation of CDR present in the build.
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.
The cubed Ring of Royal Grandeur allows you to split between offense and defense in the jewelry slots. One of the 2.4 reworks, 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 Hammerdin playstyle, which alternates long-distance jumps with periods of stationary Blessed Hammer 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 Holy proc.
Created with this very build in mind, Gabriel's Vambraces is the natural beginner's choice of bracers for this build. One of your strongest resource management tools available, these bracers will allow you to pump out hammers without worrying about the lack of targets to Provoke. Once you grow comfortable with handling the build, you should drop these bracers in favor of the damage increase coming from Strongarm Bracers, procced by your Falling Sword crashing descents.
Similarly to the bracers and belt, a mandatory weapon and shield combo has been added to the game to specifically enhance the Blessed Hammer playstyle. Johanna's Argument is the recommended one-handed flail to take up your weapon slot, and what it lacks in elite and elemental bonuses, it makes up in a powerful unique property: increasing the Damage and Attack Speed of your Blessed Hammers by a whopping 100%. Rolls-wise, seek Life per Hit for some much-needed sustain, alongside the usual recommendations for high damage range, damage % and Strength properties.
The shield counterpart is the aptly named Guard of Johanna: tailored for a Blessed Hammer playstyle, it adds a massive damage boost of up to 250% against the first three targets you hit with a hammer. This adds a repositioning nuance to the build that often gets lost in the thick of a fight, but you would do well to remember it, as it allows you to prioritize targets. It also shines during Rift Guardian fights, where the AoE superiority of the build takes a natural step backwards. For its rolls, try to obtain high Crit Chance, Strength, Cooldown Reduction and Skill Damage.
Desired Stats, Breakpoints and Other Notes
For Offense stats, try to obtain Blessed Hammer % 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%+. Blessed Hammer Crusaders are somewhat CDR dependent, so try to reach a comfortable minimum 50%+ CDR.
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, but ideally two (optimal slots are the weapon and/or 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 is not 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.
Season 28: Altar of Rites
Season 28 comes with the theme of the Altar of Rites — a powerful new account-wide and Season-specific progression system that brings tremendous offensive and defensive buffs to every seasonal character. For virtually all builds and players of all skill levels — from casual to advanced — we recommend progressing through the Altar tree using the path outlined below. The suggested path is geared towards maximum quality of life first, then amplifying damage, and then mopping up the tree with defensive and edge case utility nodes.
Note that while they require reaching them with a Seal, Legendary Potion Powers are not part of the Seal cost system; Potions unlock with a separate resource called Primordial Ashes, obtained from salvaging Legendary or Set items of Primal (red bordered) quality. Upgrade them as soon as possible, and in the order shown below (courtesy of Caleko's Altar of Rites planner).
You can read more on the Altar of Rites, Seals and Legendary Potion Powers in our dedicated Altar of Rites Mechanics guide.
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 Globe Radius.
Bane of the Trapped is a massive source of additional damage, which is a separate multiplier in your total damage calculation. The gem procs itself with its level 25 property, and is otherwise kept up with Too Scared to Run and other crowd control procs across you and your follower's gear.
Gogok of Swiftness synergises well with the build in Greater Rift pushes, indirectly providing you with more 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 occupies the third and final 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. When facing less threatening content (lower GRs or regular difficulties), this slot is better served by the overall damage boost 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. Blessed Hammer Crusaders are moderately Cooldown Reduction dependent, so a Flawless Royal Diamond should be socketed in your helm. In your weapon, use a Flawless Royal Emerald for the Crit Damage boost.
|Torso and Pants||
For more information about gems, please refer to our guide on gems.
Faithful Memory is a Patch 2.4.3 rework that greatly increases Blessed Hammer damage according to the number of enemies struck by Falling Sword. Note that this slot is theoretically interchangeable with Johanna's Argument depending on your better rolled item, but Blessed Hammer scales much better in an attack speed, one hander-oriented build, making equipping Faithful Memory a temporary solution.
Hammer Jammers are a targeted rework for the Hammerdin builds, and they take a guaranteed spot in the armor slot of the cube. The massive, temporary damage bonus against crowd controlled targets shifts the former kiting playstyle of the build into a more comfortable, deliberate pace that encourages you to jump into a big brawl and stay there, melting enemies caught within the Falling Sword knockback radius. Note that while it is not stated in the item's tooltip, Hammer Jammers get procced by Knockback effects (alongside the listed Blind, Immobilize, and Stun procs).
In this Seeker of the Light / 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 recommended follower for this build during solo GR progression is the Enchantress, due to her cooldown reduction- and increased attack speed bonuses, both of which are helpful to the needs of an attack speed- and CDR-heavy build such as this one.
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.
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.
- 22 Feb. 2023: Added Season 28 Altar of Rites recommendations.
- 26 Aug. 2022: Added Season 27 Angelic Crucible recommendations.
- 13 Apr. 2022: Guide reviewed for Season 26.
- 09 Dec. 2021: Added Season 25 Soul Shard recommendations.
- 23 Jul. 2021: Added S24 Ethereal recommendation.
- 31 Mar. 2021: Added build alteration suggestions and a follower recommendation.
- 18 Nov. 2020: Added S22 Cube recommendation.
- 12 Mar. 2020: No changes necessary for Season 20.
- 19 Nov. 2019: Guide revised and updated for Season 19.
- 22 Aug. 2019: Reviewed for Season 18.
- 15 May 2019: Guide was reviewed and approved for Season 17.
- 27 Jan. 2019: Revised the Season 16 extra slot recommendation.
- 17 Jan. 2019: Added suggestions for the baseline Ring of Royal Grandeur for Seasonal characters.
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