Crusader Invoker Thorns Build
The Thorns of the Invoker set unlocks a powerful, retaliation-based playstyle with what used to be the laughing stock of stats, Thorns. This tanky, utility and cooldown-oriented playstyle is designed towards Greater Rift solo progression, but we also have a speed farming variation.
The basic skill setup of the Invoker Thorns Crusader is displayed below. Read the dedicated Skills page for detailed information on choices, alternatives and build customization.
|Slash Zeal Steed Charge Draw and Quarter 1 Laws of Valor Unstoppable Force 2 Iron Skin Reflective Skin 3 Bombardment Barrels of Spikes 4 Akarat's Champion Prophet|
The required gear setup for the Invoker Thorns Crusader is listed below. Check the Gear page for detailed information on choices, alternatives, gemming, Kanai's Cube and Paragon distribution.
- Helm: Crown of the Invoker
- Shoulders: Burden of the Invoker
- Gloves: Pride of the Invoker
- Chest: Aquila Cuirass
- Belt: Captain Crimson's Silk Girdle
- Pants: Captain Crimson's Thrust
- Boots: Zeal of the Invoker
- Bracers: Shackles of the Invoker
- Amulet: The Traveler's Pledge
- Ring 1: The Compass Rose
- Ring 2: Ring of Royal Grandeur
- Weapon: Pig Sticker
- Offhand: Akarat's Awakening
Season 29: Paragon Cap
Season 29 introduces a season-specific cap to stat benefits from Paragon levels, all while updating how Paragon point distribution is handled. For the duration of this Season, you can only assign 800 Paragon stat points to your character, removing the long-standing practice of main-stat stacking (with some gearing implications — see below) after you reach Paragon 800.
On top of that, you could only allocate 50 Paragon stat points to each of the four stats in a given Paragon category (Core, Offense, Defense, and Utility). In Season 29, you can allocate up to the full 200 points per category into any attribute, allowing you to more easily reach necessary build breakpoints (as outlined in the Gear page of the guide) for Cooldown Reduction, Resource Cost Reduction, etc.
With the changes to Paragon in mind, we recommend using the following Paragon distribution for this build:
- Core: Movement Speed: 200 points.
- Offense: Attack Speed and Cooldown Reduction: Get as much Attack Speed as you need to hit the 7 frame attack speed breakpoint in your sheet, and spend the remaining points on Cooldown Reduction. By a rough estimate, this can be achieved with a 1:2 distribution of Paragon points between Attack Speed and CDR.
- Defense: Life and All Resistance: Allocate points to maximize survivability; for Crusaders, this is usually achieved by evenly splitting 100 points into Life (directly increasing your Health pool) and All Resistance (to complement the naturally high Armor stat of Strength-based characters).
- Utility: Resource Cost Reduction: 200 points.
Season 29: Gearing Considerations
In terms of gear, keeping the Paragon cap in mind is paramount, as it stymies the traditional endless supply of main stat after Paragon 800. This means re-rolling mainstat off your gear is no longer desirable, and full equipment augmentation with your main stat is even more critical. Additionally, you should take a careful look at your build and consider if you can fit the following changes to strengthen your damage and survivability:
- Guardian's Jeopardy: This is a craftable armor set, and the recipe for its creation drops from Bounty farming. Guardian's 2-piece provides a decent damage reduction bonus, but the true powerhouse of the set is the 3-piece bonus, which nets you an additional 100% of your main stats from equipped items. This is a tremendous benefit in an 800 Paragon capped Season. If the Guardian set can fit into the build with minimal sacrifices (other craftable sets, tertiary damage multipliers, etc.), consider its implementation. The available pieces are Guardian's Aversion (Wrists), Guardian's Case (Waist), and Guardian's Gaze (Head). Of course, you can wear 2 pieces of the set and complete the full 3-piece bonus with a Ring of Royal Grandeur (found from Act I bounty caches).
- Endless Walk:This is a jewelry set consisting of The Traveler's Pledge (Amulet) and The Compass Rose (Ring), and is randomly found through farming, gambling Blood Shards, and/or Kanai's Cube recipes. The Endless Walk set is a nice compromise between damage bonuses (building up while stationary) and defensive bonuses (building up while moving). It can replace glass cannon choices like the Bastions of Will set ( Focus and Restraint) and Squirt's Necklace with acceptable losses to DPS.
- Unity: A character wearing this ring, along with another Unity on their follower plus an immortality relic for them (i.e., Enchanting Favor), will reduce their damage taken by 50%. Unity can roll excellent offense-oriented stats and has an innate Extra Damage to Elites roll, which somewhat offsets losing all-out offense jewelry.
- Legendary Gem 1: Bane of the Trapped
- Legendary Gem 2: Boyarsky's Chip
- Legendary Gem 3: Bane of the Stricken
How to Get This Build Going?
In this section, we will briefly go over how to kickstart this build into reality; which items you should aim for with priority when farming and gambling, and what is their relative priority for the functioning of this spec. Note that these suggestions are exclusively aimed at getting you up and running into endgame farming, and might not reflect the gear you need to wear for high-end Greater Rift solo or group pushing. This section also assumes a fresh Season's start, which usually is the point where most players work on assembling their first build with a particular set.
If the Invoker set is part of the Haedrig's Gift for the Season, your simplest and most straightforward path to assembling the build is to complete the Seasonal Journey chapters up to Chapter IV. The Seasonal Journey chapters will gradually give you a complete class-specific set, giving 2-3 pieces for Chapters II, III and IV.
From the pre-game menu, choose and do this week's Challenge Rift. When successfully completed, this weekly event will grant you 5,1 million Gold, 475 Blood Shards, 370 Reusable Parts, 350 Arcane Dust, 125 Veiled Crystals, 35 Death's Breaths, and 15 of each Bounty cache material: Khanduran Rune, Caldeum Nightshade, Arreat War Tapestry, Corrupted Angel Flesh, and Westmarch Holy Water. This will allow you some early Seasonal leeway to extract and reforge items in Kanai's Cube, speeding up the assembly of this build with the items recommended below.
Having some materials at your disposal, either from farming or the Challenge Rift, is particularly important when you get duplicate pieces of your desired set. When you do, you can use Kanai's Cube Skill of Nilfur recipe (10x Forgotten Souls, 10x Death's Breaths, 1x Set item) to convert into another item from the same set. You should never salvage duplicate pieces of a desired set before you have it assembled.
In order to assemble an Invoker Thorns Crusader, you should do the following.
- Gather the full 6-piece Shadow set using the advice above, or by spending Blood Shards at Kadala. In order of gamble chance, you should spend for: Shoulders, Boots, Gloves, Pants, Gloves, Helm, and Bracers. A trick you can also use is to gamble for duplicate pieces with an easier gamble chance (i.e., Shoulders) and convert them into another piece from the same set using the Skill of Nilfur recipe in Kanai's Cube.
- Gamble Belts for Omnislash and/or Belt of the Trove. Omnislash will provide the Thorns build with a much needed AoE attack. Belt of the Trove will automatically proc the 4-piece damage reduction bonus, freeing up a skill slot on your bar from the otherwise necessary Bombardment. Gambling on Belts will also net you Goldwrap, which is a nice survivability alternative for T16 runs.
- Upgrade rare (Hope of Cain recipe in Kanai's Cube) One-handed Swords to get In-geom; doing this on a level 1 Demon Hunter alt will improve your chances due to their lowest loot pool of legendary swords. Invoker builds are pretty good at hunting and bursting down elites, which makes In-geom a great piece for them.
- Gamble Shields or upgrade Rare Crusader Shields for Akarat's Awakening; this is the block-based equivalent of Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac for Invoker builds, as it chips away at your cooldowns as you facetank attacks. This shield is one of your shortcuts to resetting the indispensable Akarat's Champion cooldown, and can ease you into GR pushing with this build.
- Gamble Bracers for Nemesis Bracers to get yourself additional Elite spawns, feeding into your In-geom cooldown reduction machine and greatly speeding up farming runs overall. Gambling Bracers will net you other valuable pieces, such as the farming staple Warzechian Armguards, or the numerous build-specific legendary bracers for Crusaders.
- Do Act I bounties to attain the act-specific Ring of Royal Grandeur from Bounty caches. This will be helpful either in completing the basic set bonus, or mixing other helpful sets in (Cpt. Crimson) as described in the dedicated endgame Invoker Thorns guide. Bounties will net you the craftable set recipes to begin with, so you will be killing two birds with one stone. Bounties will also net you Avarice Band (Act III), another farming-oriented staple for most builds and classes, this one included.
- While largely undesirable due to high costs, gambling or upgrading rare Jewelry is also possible; Justice Lantern, Convention of Elements, and the Endless Walk set ( The Traveler's Pledge and The Compass Rose) will all drastically improve the build, with other standout pieces that can also substitute or be temporarily helpful in the form of Unity, or Oculus Ring and The Flavor of Time for your Follower.
- 13 Sep. 2023 (gear page): Added Season 29 Paragon Cap and Gearing recommendations.
- 13 Sep. 2023 (skills page): Skills and passives reviewed for Season 29.
- 13 Sep. 2023 (this page): Added Season 29 Paragon Cap and Gearing recommendations.
- 22 Feb. 2023 (gear page): Added Season 28 Altar of Rites recommendations.
- 22 Feb. 2023 (skills page): Skills and passives reviewed for Season 28.
- 22 Feb. 2023 (this page): Added Season 28 Altar of Rites recommendations.
- 26 Aug. 2022 (gear page): Added Season 27 Angelic Crucible recommendations.
- 26 Aug. 2022 (skills page): Skills and passives reviewed for Season 27.
- 26 Aug. 2022 (this page): Added Season 27 Angelic Crucible recommendations.
- 13 Apr. 2022 (gear page): Guide revised for Season 26.
- 13 Apr. 2022 (skills page): Guide revised for Season 26.
- 13 Apr. 2022 (this page): Guide revised for Season 26.
- 09 Dec. 2021 (gear page): Guide revised and added Season 25 Soul Shard recommendations.
- 09 Dec. 2021 (skills page): Guide revised and added Season 25 Soul Shard recommendations.
- 09 Dec. 2021 (this page): Guide revised and added Season 25 Soul Shard recommendations.
- 23 Jul. 2021 (gear page): Added S24 Ethereal recommendation.
- 23 Jul. 2021 (skills page): Minor clarification for a Season 24 adjustment.
- 23 Jul. 2021 (this page): Added S24 Ethereal recommendation.
- 31 Mar. 2021 (gear page): Added follower recommendations.
- 31 Mar. 2021 (skills page): No changes required for Season 23.
- 31 Mar. 2021 (this page): Added follower recommendations.
- 18 Nov. 2020 (gear page): Revised equipment and Cube recommendations for Season 22.
- 18 Nov. 2020 (skills page): Updated advice to match usage of Norvald's Fervor in S22. Changed a passive.
- 18 Nov. 2020 (this page): Revised equipment and Cube recommendations for Season 22.
- 30 Jun. 2020 (gear page): No changes required for Season 21.
- 30 Jun. 2020 (skills page): No changes required for Season 21.
- 30 Jun. 2020 (this page): No changes required for Season 21.
- 12 Mar. 2020 (gear page): No changes necessary for Season 20.
- 12 Mar. 2020 (skills page): No changes necessary for Season 20.
- 12 Mar. 2020 (this page): No changes necessary for Season 20.
- 19 Nov. 2019 (gear page): Guide revised and updated for Season 19.
- 19 Nov. 2019 (skills page): Guide revised and updated for Season 19.
- 19 Nov. 2019 (this page): Guide revised and updated for Season 19.
- 22 Aug. 2019 (gear page): Revised Cube recommendations for the build for Season 18.
- 22 Aug. 2019 (skills page): Reviewed for Season 18.
- 22 Aug. 2019 (this page): Revised Cube recommendations for the build for Season 18.
- 17 May 2019 (gear page): Minor fixes to skill recommendations; guide approved for Season 17.
- 17 May 2019 (skills page): Minor fixes to skill recommendations; guide approved for Season 17.
- 17 May 2019 (this page): Minor fixes to skill recommendations; guide approved for Season 17.
- 24 Feb. 2019 (gear page): Item and skill recommendations revised further to reflect the meta.
- 24 Feb. 2019 (skills page): Item and skill recommendations revised further to reflect the meta.
- 24 Feb. 2019 (this page): Item and skill recommendations revised further to reflect the meta.
- 17 Jan. 2019 (gear page): Added suggestions for the baseline Ring of Royal Grandeur for Seasonal characters.
- 17 Jan. 2019 (skills page): Information was reviewed and approved for Season 16 with no changes required.
- 17 Jan. 2019 (this page): Guide was revised with additional recommendations for Season 16.
- 20 Sep. 2018 (this page): Guide was reviewed and approved for Season 15.
- 14 Jun. 2018 (this page): Guide was reviewed and approved for Season 14.
- 31 Oct. 2017 (gear page): Changed weapons to reflect Thorn's changes in Patch 2.6.1.
- 31 Oct. 2017 (skills page): Replaced Provoke with Consecration.
- 31 Oct. 2017 (this page): Guide updated to reflect the Patch 2.6.1 buffs.
- 02 Jul. 2017 (this page): Updated for 2.6 and moved to new guide format.
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