Crusader Holy Hammerdin Build with Blessed Hammer and Seeker of the Light (Patch 2.5 / Season 10)
Table of Contents
- 1. About the Author
- 2. Video Guide
- 3. Builds
- 4. Rotation
- 5. Skills, Runes and Passives
- 6. Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives
- 7. Paragon Points
- 8. Gems
- 9. Kanai's Cube
- 10. Follower
- 11. ChangeLog
The Seeker of the Light set marks the return of the Hammerdin build, decidedly focusing on bringing Blessed Hammer to competitive DPS in Greater Rifts — aided and protected by Falling Sword. This mobile, sustain damage playstyle is available in both solo progression and speedfarming variations, explained in that order.
The build requires the following set pieces:
- Helm: Crown of the Light;
- Chest: Heart of the Light;
- Shoulders: Mountain of the Light;
- Gloves: Will of the Light;
- Pants: Towers of the Light;
- Boots: Foundation of the Light.
1. About the Author
This build is presented to you by Deadset, one of the very few professional Diablo 3 players. Deadset regularly publishes video guides on Youtube, where you can see how this and other builds play out in practice.
2. Video Guide
The following video guide was created to accompany the present written guide and demonstrate how to play the build in-game.
|Blessed Hammer Limitless Falling Sword Rapid Descent 1 Laws of Valor Critical 2 Iron Skin Flash 3 Provoke Too Scared to Run 4 Akarat's Champion Prophet|
|Blessed Hammer Dominion Falling Sword Part the Clouds 1 Laws of Hope Wings of Angels 2 Iron Skin Flash 3 Provoke Too Scared to Run 4 Akarat's Champion Prophet|
The playstyle balances between aggressive mobility (drawing stragglers into a pack, finding good density and jumping in the thick of it) and static fighting (immobilizing enemies and spamming Blessed Hammer). Provoke will alternate Wrath management duties with Gabriel's Vambraces, in multi and single target situations respectively. The cheap price of Blessed Hammer and the solid resource management already present in the build allows you to take and liberally use a pure offense law in the face of Laws of Valor Critical. While the Crusader is naturally durable, protection will be necessary: Iron Skin for incoming damage spikes and Akarat's Champion as an overall damage and toughness buff. The final exotic ingredient in the build is Falling Sword — a mobility tool with moderate damage capabilities, it takes on a defensive role with the Seeker of the Light 4-piece bonus. As incoming damage will be significantly cut down after using Falling Sword, make good use of the cooldown resets inherent with the set and cast it when available.
5. Skills, Runes and Passives
Blessed Hammer is the primary spender of the build; empowered to a competitive DPS level through the Seeker of the Light set and its dedicated shield, Guard of Johanna, Blessed Hammer receives double the benefits through the holy rune Limitless. Blessed Hammer is also the cheapest spender in the Crusader arsenal, made even easier to manage with its companion bracers — Gabriel's Vambraces. With these factors in mind, you will be able to maintain your Wrath reserves despite the high attack speed of this one-hander build. If you transition this build into regular rifts, it is advisable to swap Limitless away for Dominion — the orbiting hammers are very convenient in clearing trash as you move between elite packs.
The other half of your resource management resides in your active skills; Provoke is the Swiss knife at your disposal, the solitary Crusader cooldown with inherent Wrath generation. It is also able to consistently keep enemies in range with its taunt function and the frequent resets coming from the Seeker of the Light set. To top things off, it offers a potent, percentage based debuff from the Too Scared to Run rune, reducing the rate of incoming attacks and offering an easy proc for Bane of the Trapped.
A minor source of Wrath restoration is added on top through the Crusader staple Akarat's Champion, offering the modest 5 Wrath per second. That, however, is not its primary function: it is taken as a sizable multiplicative damage buff and as a protective juggernaut through the Prophet rune. Supplying you with a massive additional layer of armor and an invaluable cheat death, Akarat's Champion will alternate with Indestructible to keep you safe and alive.
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 speedruns, the damage you need for an individual enemy pack will be significantly less, allowing you to focus on speed and utility with Laws of Hope Wings of Angels.
In Greater Rifts, sometimes even Prophet is not enough; Iron Skin will serve as your second line of defense, cutting incoming damage in half. With the freedom of movement granted by the Falling Sword resets from the 2-piece set bonus, you can consider the lengthier safety of the Steel Skin rune in Greater Rifts. In high end GR fishing however, and especially during normal rift runs, it is better to take the Flash rune to make quick and precise adjustments to your position (i.e. to make use of Oculus Ring procs from the follower).
Patch 2.4 reinforced the place of Falling Sword into the build over other mobility or utility options; besides the set-induced damage reduction, Falling Sword also becomes a reliable source of immobilization damage bonuses from the cubed Hammer Jammers through the Sacred Harness belt. On top of that, proper use of Falling Sword — right in the middle of big packs, of course — will skyrocket your Blessed Hammer damage through the cubed Faithful Memory bonus. Despite the difference in elemental damage, the recommended rune for Falling Sword during GR progression is Rapid Descent; when used against good density you will have a new charge ready almost immediately, freeing up space for other cooldowns to be reset via Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac. In regular rifts, where Sacred Harness can be replaced by Goldwrap, you will need to take Part the Clouds — the 2-second stun will proc Hammer Jammers instead of Sacred Harness.
This concludes the overview of the active skills, now let us look through the passives.
Breaking the traditional two-hander mold, the Blessed Hammer Crusader benefits greatly from Johanna's Argument — 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.
You can choose between Holy Cause and Blunt as one of your four passives; the former provides a smaller damage bonus but offers decent healing against big packs of enemies, while the latter adds more than an item's worth of skill % bonus to your Blessed Hammers. Both options are viable, but Holy Cause is the recommendation for high GRs.
Crusaders possess an excellent cheat death passive in the face of Indestructible, invariably taken when pushing the boundaries of Greater Rift progression. Operating on the standard 60-second cooldown, it sweetens the deal with a 5-second window of invulnerability after the proc, a 35% damage increase and a substantial Life per Kill boost. Indestructible triggers second in the chain of on-death mechanics, and is preceded by Prophet — essentially adding a third life while Akarat's Champion is active. Stacking of safety measures can be excessive in speedruns however, and if you do not feel threatened by the content you should replace this passive with Long Arm of the Law. This change will ensure you have permanent uptime of the Laws of Hope Wings of Angels movement buffs.
Rounding out the standard four choices, Finery is added as a balanced source of both damage and toughness. Providing with a 1.5% Strength increase for every socket of your gear, weapons and jewelry included, it amounts to a sizable boost with an assumed average of 10 sockets across a well-equipped character.
6. Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives
The build incorporates the full Seeker of the Light set, taking all six pieces available and leaving 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, Vitality and All Resistance on the Mountain of the Light, adding to the solid foundation of CDR present in the build.
Not skipping on any of the six available set pieces to obtain the full Seeker of the Light bonus 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. 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.
It is worth noting that in the limited challenges of regular rifts, both the Endless Walk set and Convention of Elements greatly diminish in usefulness. A better jewelry split is a Holy damage Stone of Jordan (for the permanent damage increase), and Avarice Band (for the synergy with Goldwrap and Boon of the Hoarder), as well as a Hellfire Amulet with a helpful fifth passive like Blunt.
Created with this very build in mind, Gabriel's Vambraces are the mandatory bracers for the build. One of your strongest resource management tools available, these bracers will allow you to pump out hammers at your normal AoE rate without worrying about the lack of targets to Provoke. Naturally, try to obtain as close to the 100% Wrath refund as you can while still aiming for the usual Strength, Vitality, Crit Chance and Holy Damage rolls.
The Sacred Harness belt is a dedicated legendary for Hammerdin builds, which adds a free Judgment Debilitate effect at the landing location of your Falling Sword — an indispensable effect for the GR variation of the build. This damage reduction will be redundant in regular rifts, where you can get all the protection you will ever need via Goldwrap.
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 Vitality.
7. Paragon Points
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 Judgment, making it an inseparable part of the Blessed Hammer Crusader.
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. As previously mentioned though, in regular rifts your protection will be easily taken care of by Boon of the Hoarder's interaction with Goldwrap, making it a superior choice.
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.
|Torso and Pants|
9. Kanai's Cube
- 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 a Judgment snare.
- Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac is a powerful option for Crusaders to cube in the jewelry slot, easing the CDR management of this cooldown-centric class. Benefiting greatly from the attack speed inherent to this one hander build, it allows for near permanent uptime of vital skills like Akarat's Champion.
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.
11. ChangeLog+ show all entries - show only 10 entries
- 19 Mar. 2017: Revised the stats and improved speedrun recommendations of the guide.
- 05 Jan. 2017: Updated the guide for the Faithful Memory rework, plus skill selection.
- 21 Oct. 2016: No changes needed for Season 8.
- 27 Jul. 2016: Updated the guide to include speedrunning recommendations.
- 19 Apr. 2016: Slight revision to reflect several item and skill changes.
- 11 Jan. 2016: Updated the guide to reflect its Patch 2.4 buffs and Kanai's Cube swaps.
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