Choose the Crusader class if you imagine yourself clad in the heaviest of armors, destroying your enemies with equal parts holy power and raw martial prowess. Descending into battle on a ghostly steed, consecrating the fighting grounds and enfeebling the enemy with resolute judgments, the Crusader proceeds to annihilate the demonic hordes with celestial energy and bombardment volleys. Strengthening your entire party with mighty buffing laws, you are the ultimate tactician in Diablo 3.
To go in-depth with the possible playstyles of the Crusader class, refer to our specific build guides below. If you are looking for some quick tips and tricks on learning the Crusader, consider reading this entire page.
The Big Spenders
In general, Diablo 3 builds revolve around a certain highly damaging skill or alternate form to slaughter hordes of monsters with. In the case of the Crusader, this is the entire Secondary skill category ( Blessed Shield, Blessed Hammer, Sweep Attack, Shield Bash and Fist of the Heavens), plus some outliers ( Condemn, Heaven's Fury, Bombardment and Punish-based Thorns builds). Get a feel for these skills — do you like the way they play out? Do you sense the pattern in their resource management? Can you predict the positioning required to deliver the most damage possible from your selected skill?
Pick one of the listed skills above that you like the most, then take a peek at our endgame build for said skill; try to play out in your head how the full rotation works. Early on, you might have to take an endgame build and adapt it a little — lacking the necessary legendary and set bonuses, you might suffer from lacking Wrath and long cooldowns. Taking out a utility skill and adding a generator like Slash might be a better route.
All endgame Crusader builds include Akarat's Champion; this massive cooldown empowers the class in all important aspects, from dealing damage, through resource regeneration, to survival — and even an extra cheat death from the favored rune, Prophet. A speedrun-oriented item like Akkhan's Addendum might allow you some room for experimentation with the runes, but in the endgame Crusaders simply stick to Prophet and focus on more powerful weaponry.
For the most part, Crusader builds try to nullify (or at worst, minimize) the 90-second cooldown of this skill — either by equipping the Akkhan set, or various cooldown reducing items like Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac, Akarat's Awakening and In-geom, or via the passive Fervor. Look through your build, and see how you might implement those tools in your own setup!
Condem and Provoke
With the appropriate rune equipped ( Vacuum for Condemn), both skills accomplish relatively similar tasks: drawing enemies in and keeping them close to you. Most Crusader builds end up including one or the other, depending on which fits their needs better. Do you need a cluster of enemies drawn faster, and in bigger numbers on top of you, to be demolished with a massive burst? Take Condemn! Do you need enemies in controlled groups, disabled and serving to your utility needs? Take Provoke (either with Too Scared to Run or Hit Me)!
Laws are a signature aspect of Crusader builds; they provide group-wide passive benefits simply by virtue of including them into your build, and they also sport short bursts of powerful active effects, whenever the need for them arises. Make a point to adjust Laws according to your needs and current content.
Are you trying to progress with a pure damage-based build? Look into Laws of Valor, either with Critical or Unstoppable Force. Are you focused on drawing enemy attention and sustaining hits in a Thorns-based build? Consider Laws of Justice with Decaying Strength. Are you speedfarming content and want to be the group's favorite Crusader? Take Laws of Hope with Wings of Angels.
Learn the Arsenal of Items
Builds and skill choices are obviously important, but at the end of the day Diablo is a game about farming and equipping the right items. Learning which items will benefit your class the most, and then target farming them through gambling, upgrading rares into legendaries at the Cube and even reforging them into better rolls is crucial.
All 6-piece class sets (Akkhan, Invoker, Roland's Legacy, Seeker of the Light, Aegis of Valor), as well as the 2-piece weapon set Norvald's Fervor, bring a valuable and powerful playstyle to the class. Crusaders also have the class-specific shields and flails, which are suitably valuable for the class — legendaries like Gyrfalcon's Foote, Golden Flense, Fate of the Fell, the sword Blade of Prophecy, as well as Akarat's Awakening, Frydehr's Wrath, Guard of Johanna and Denial.
There are a few other important legendaries scattered across the various slots, like the Hammerdin belt Sacred Harness, the bracer trio of Akkhan's Manacles, Bracer of Fury and Drakon's Lesson (best-in-slots for their respective spenders), and jewelry highlights like Justice Lantern and Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac.
A Final Tip
Note that this class has not one, but two cheat deaths at its disposal — the passive Indestructible, as well as the Prophet rune on Akarat's Champion. This makes you exceptionally tough to kill, if you carefully manage them (i.e. in Hardcore). Make a point to socket any gear piece you can, since your Strength scales off sockets due to the (practically mandatory) Finery passive, increasing both your damage and toughness in turn.
- 29 Oct. 2019: Page added.
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