Crusader Leveling and Fresh 70 Guide

Last updated on Nov 22, 2019 at 22:11 by Deadset 24 comments

The purpose of the beginner Crusader guide is to provide you with a build and item recommendations that will reliably carry you from leveling, through the pre-Torment difficulties and get you into low Torment farming, without requiring specific legendary or set bonuses. The guide also includes a section for Seasonal Crusaders, explaining how best to take advantage of the free set from Haedrig's Gifts.

1.

Why choose the Crusader?

Choose the Crusader 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.

2.

Progression (Seasonal or Not Seasonal)

2.1.

Leveling Build

Your progression on a given character always start with leveling to 70. To help you with that, we have a beginner leveling build that you can access using the link below.

2.2.

Haedrig Gifts' Season 19 Starter Build

After reaching Level 70, the easiest way to start gearing up and progressing towards the end-game is by using the set given by the Haedrig's Gifts. Haedrig's Gifts are cache-like rewards that drop 2 pieces of a fixed class-specific set after completing chapters II, III, and IV of the Seasonal Journey. Having a full 6-piece set bonus available to you will skyrocket your character's power well in the mid-to-high Torments. This makes the early portion of the Seasonal Journey your first priority upon reaching Level 70.

In Season 19, Crusaders will find the Roland's Legacy set in their Haedrig's Gifts. We have an early progression build for this set, which you can find by clicking the link below.

2.3.

Other Starter Builds

While you get a fixed free set at the start of every Season, it is not unreasonable to assume you will attain other sets in quick succession. If you are interested in switching around your playstyle, take a look at the beginner points for other sets below, and note to which endgame builds they point you after.

3.

Gear To Look For

To learn how to gear up quickly and approach a character's progression in general, check out our Beginner Seasonal Guide. It includes advice and tactics related to gambling Blood Shards, doing Bounties, Regular, Greater and Challenge Rifts, and using Kanai's Cube for easy upgrades.

Certain items can be targeted through the completion of bounties or boss kills. The following is a list of such items, in order of importance for the class.

  • Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur is a legendary from Act I caches that reduces the number of set items required for set bonuses by one. While it might not be immediately useful, obtaining powerful bonuses (such as the 4- and 6-piece set bonuses of the Roland's set) as early as possible for a huge spike in character power is an opportunity you should not pass up. Doing bounties will be inevitable for crafting materials anyway, so optimize your farming time and get this ring as soon as possible.
  • Avarice Band Avarice Band is an Act III cache legendary ring that extends your pickup radius by up to 30 yards as you pick up gold. This unassuming bonus has the potential to turn in the strongest source of defense during normal rifts due to its synergy with Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder and Goldwrap Goldwrap. Their powers combined, they can render your character practically invulnerable even in the highest of Torment difficulties.
  • Illusory Boots Illusory Boots are an Act II cache legendary item that removes enemy collision — a staple of support builds in iGreater Rifts, but also of Legacy of Nightmares set builds that build their DPS and defense around the use of high utility legendary items. The Legacy of Nightmares Bombardment Bombardment Crusader, a supremely powerful build, makes great use of Illusory Boots Illusory Boots — making them very attractive to the class.
  • Reaper's Wraps Reaper's Wraps are meant to assist classes and builds with resource management problems — which Crusaders unfortunately are, at least early on. These bracers restore up to 30% of your Wrath reserves when you get healed by a health globe — an easy trigger if you keep an eye on the battlefield. Note that these bracers are craftable, and the plan for their creation drops when you kill the Act V boss Malthael on any difficulty.
  • Gloves of Worship Gloves of Worship are an Act II cache legendary that extends the duration of Shrines to 10 minutes, a very decent farming effect that is usually stored in Kanai's Cube. The combined power of Empowered Shrines (doubled resource gain, halved cooldowns), Frenzied Shrines (25% Attack Speed) and Fleeting Shrines (25% increase to Movement Speed and 20 yard pickup radius), often refreshing before their 10-minute duration, is a huge buff during normal rifts. Crusaders are among the classes that can benefit from Gloves of Worship Gloves of Worship, as the armor setup of the commonly preferred LoN Bombardment Bombardment build is flexible enough to fit the item in.
  • Envious Blade Envious Blade is an Act II cache dagger with one of the most powerful speedfarming bonuses in the game — a guaranteed Critical Hit against enemies at full health. A well equipped character using this dagger can oneshot entire screens of enemies in a suitable farming difficulty. Since Crusaders can not dual wield and their weapon slots are frequently taken by more important legendaries, Envious Blade Envious Blade is not considered a cache priority.
  • Pride's Fall Pride's Fall is a helm obtained through Act III cache bounties, whose legendary effect reduces resource costs by 30% after not taking damage for 5 seconds. Almost never fighting at a range that can abuse this power, Crusaders do not consider farming Pride's Fall Pride's Fall a priority.

The majority of the gear will be found by random chance as you farm normally, by killing monsters, opening chests, gambling at Kadala and upgrading rare items at the Cube. While the list below is not exhaustive, these are some of the pieces to seek, spend blood shards on, or upgrade yellows for — in order of priority:

4.

Stat Priorities

Slot Stat Priority
Head
  1. Strength
  2. Socket
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Vitality
Shoulders
  1. Strength
  2. Vitality
  3. All Resistance
  4. Life %
Torso
  1. Strength
  2. 3 Sockets
  3. Vitality
  4. All Resistance
Wrists
  1. Strength
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Elemental Damage
  4. Vitality
Hands
  1. Strength
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Vitality
Waist
  1. Strength
  2. Vitality
  3. All Resistance
  4. Life %
Legs
  1. Strength
  2. 2 Sockets
  3. Vitality
  4. All Resistance
Feet
  1. Strength
  2. Vitality
  3. Movement Speed
  4. Skill Damage
Amulet
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Elemental Damage
  5. Strength
Rings
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Strength
Weapon
  1. High Damage Range
  2. Strength
  3. Socket
  4. % Damage
Off-hand
  1. Strength
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Vitality
  4. Cooldown Reduction
5.

Paragon Points

Slot Paragon Points
Core
  1. Movement Speed up to 25% cap
  2. Strength
  3. Maximum Wrath (personal preference)
  4. Vitality
Offense
  1. Critical Hit Chance
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Cooldown Reduction
  4. Attack Speed
Defense
  1. All Resistance
  2. Life %
  3. Armor
  4. Life Regeneration
Utility
  1. Area Damage
  2. Resource Cost Reduction
  3. Life on Hit
  4. Gold Find
6.

Gems

Your armor sockets should be taken up by the highest tier Ruby gems you can afford at the time, the weapon — with your highest Emerald, while the helm should be filled by a Diamond to reduce Cooldowns. When you stumble upon jewelry with good primary stats and a socket, you should start dabbling into Legendary Gems. The Legendary Gems to consider for Crusaders are, in order of importance:

  • Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped — staple multiplicative damage increase. Note that the gem is self sufficient, proccing itself when fighting in melee range, where the Crusader fights almost by default.
  • Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken — almost mandatory gem for Greater Rift progression, as it is designed to whittle down the scaling health numbers of monsters with a percentage-based increase on successive attacks.
  • Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder — synergizing with other farming mainstays like Avarice Band Avarice Band and Goldwrap Goldwrap, this gem will not only keep you rich, but also sped up and safe during normal rift farming.
  • Bane of the Powerful Bane of the Powerful — the speedfarm counterpart to Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken, Bane of the Powerful Bane of the Powerful offers a solid overall damage and survivability increase as long as your killing speed does not fall behind the timer of the gem.
  • Situational gems — Boyarsky's Chip Boyarsky's Chip is a vital part of any Thorns setup, of which Crusaders have two — the Legacy of Nightmares Thorns Bombardment Bombardment, and Thorns of the Invoker set builds. Esoteric Alteration Esoteric Alteration is a defensive cornerstone in facetanking builds, protecting you against bursty elemental affixes.
Slot Gems
Helm
Torso and Pants
Weapon
7.

Kanai's Cube

Kanai's Cube choices are highly build- and content-specific, making them hard to summarize. Generally speaking, Crusaders should store the powers of the following items in the Cube as soon as they have the materials available: The Furnace The Furnace, In-geom In-geom, The Mortal Drama The Mortal Drama, Akarat's Awakening Akarat's Awakening, Aquila Cuirass Aquila Cuirass, Heart of Iron Heart of Iron, Hammer Jammers Hammer Jammers, Nemesis Bracers Nemesis Bracers, Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac, Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur (outside of Season 16), Unity Unity, Convention of Elements Convention of Elements and Avarice Band Avarice Band.

8.

Follower

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.

9.

Changelog

  • 22 Nov. 2019: Overhauled the guide and updated it for Season 19.
  • 23 Aug. 2019: Updated for Season 18.
  • 16 May 2019: Updated for Season 17.
  • 18 Jan. 2019: Updated for Season 16.
  • 20 Sep. 2018: Updated for Season 15.
  • 14 Jun. 2018: Updated for Season 14.
  • 23 Feb. 2018: Updated for Season 13.
  • 08 Nov. 2017: Updated for Season 12.
  • 02 Jul. 2017: Updated for Season 11.
  • 31 Mar. 2017: Updated the guide with a starter build for the Season 10 free set, Armor of Akkhan.
  • 20 Jan. 2017: Added stat priority for shields.
  • 05 Jan. 2017: Updated the guide with a starter build for the Season 9 free set, Thorns of the Invoker.
  • 19 Oct. 2016: Updated the guide with a starter build for the Season 8 free set, Seeker of the Light.
  • 02 Aug. 2016: Updated the guide to include leveling, a better fresh 70 setup and Haedrig's Gift use tips.
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