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Invoker Thorns Crusader BiS Gear, Gems, and Paragon Points

Last updated on Oct 31, 2017 at 14:59 by Deadset

Table of Contents

General Information

Below, we detail the items and gems that you should use for your Invoker Thorns Crusader in Diablo 3 and why. We also list your paragon points and Kanai's Cube items. Updated for patch 2.6.1 and Season 12.

The other pages of our Invoker Thorns Crusader guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

1. Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives

Strength and Vitality are recommended on all pieces of your gear, as they both feed into your Thorns damage (the former by default, and the latter through the unique affix of Heart of Iron Heart of Iron). Any base Damage, Critical Hit Chance and Critical Hit Damage stats can be safely replaced by survivability and utility stats, as Thorns damage is not dependent on basic attack damage and cannot crit.

The build incorporates the full Thorns of the Invoker set, taking all 6 pieces available and leaving the jewelry to balance defense (with Justice Lantern Justice Lantern) and offense (with the Endless Walk set). Rolls-wise, this cooldown and attack speed centric build benefits from CDR on both Burden of the Invoker Burden of the Invoker and Pride of the Invoker Pride of the Invoker, along with an attack speed roll on the latter. Physical damage is recommended on Shackles of the Invoker Shackles of the Invoker, as Thorns has been changed to benefit from the element. The remaining pieces — Crown of the Invoker Crown of the Invoker, Renewal of the Invoker Renewal of the Invoker and Zeal of the Invoker Zeal of the Invoker — can be entirely dedicated to Toughness.

Not skipping on any of the six available set pieces to obtain the full Thorns of the Invoker bonus allows you to balance between offense and defense in the jewelry slots. Reworked in Patch 2.4, the Endless Walk set — The Compass Rose The Compass Rose ring and The Traveler's Pledge 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 balance mirrors the Thorns playstyle, which fights rooted in one spot for extended periods of time, with periodic bursts of movement to the next big brawl.

The remaining ring slot will be taken by Justice Lantern Justice Lantern, whose unique stat Block Chance is now enhanced by a legendary property that reduces incoming damage by up to 55% of your Block Chance. The independence of the damage reduction mechanic from followers and the tie-in with the set bonuses and Akarat's Awakening Akarat's Awakening make it superior to Unity Unity.

You can choose between your better roll of two legendary chest pieces for the torso slot, and cube the other one: the reworked Heart of Iron Heart of Iron or Aquila Cuirass Aquila Cuirass. Heart of Iron Heart of Iron grants you 300% of your Vitality as Thorns, turning this basic Toughness stat into a source of Damage. Aquila Cuirass Aquila Cuirass cuts incoming damage in half if you maintain above 90% of your resource, which is a permanent effect in this no-spender build. When considering their stats, remember that Heart of Iron Heart of Iron has natural Thorns rolled in its secondaries, but has a wider range of the unique property stat; the range on Aquila Cuirass Aquila Cuirass is irrelevant to you and will always be on, but you might have to reroll into Thorns damage as it doesn't roll by default.

A former Season 2 misfit, Belt of the Trove Belt of the Trove, is a flavorful best-in-slot item for the waist slot. With its use, you gain the 50% damage reduction after casting Bombardment Bombardment from the 4-piece set for free, allowing you to slot other synergistic skills and not worry about another long cooldown on your hands.

In Patch 2.4.1 the weapon and shield choices have deservingly shifted into more Thorns-flavorful items. The preferred weapon for the build is Hack Hack: an axe whose unique property applies up to 100% of your Thorns damage to every attack, now properly benefitting from all sources of bonus damage. As Thorns does not take Weapon Damage into account, Hack is a pure stat stick that needs Strength, Cooldown Reduction, Attack Speed, and ideally the damage range gets rerolled into Life per Hit (or one of the missing aforementioned stats).

With the added emphasis on quick application of Thorns damage via your primary attack in Patch 2.6.1, Pig Sticker Pig Sticker returns as the preferred weapon of the build. While lacking any flashy bonuses, this noisy knife more than makes up for it. First, it has the superior attack speed of the dagger weapon class (1.5 base); second, it rolls up to five primary stats, meaning it can have high Strength, Vitality, Cooldown Reduction and Increased Attack Speed, AND its base weapon damage roll can (and should, in a perfect scenario) be rerolled into Life per Hit. And third, its unique bonuses vs. human and beast enemies are multiplicative in nature and can lead to massive damage spikes in certain rift compositions.

To complete the setup, the rarest Crusader shield — Akarat's Awakening Akarat's Awakening — supplies this block-heavy build with a reliable source of the all too vital cooldown reduction.

Slot Pieces Stat Priority
Head
  1. Strength
  2. Thorns (Secondary Stat)
  3. Vitality
  4. Socket
  5. All Resist
Shoulders
  1. Strength
  2. Thorns (Secondary Stat)
  3. Vitality
  4. Cooldown Reduction
  5. Area Damage
  6. All Res
Torso
  1. Strength
  2. Thorns (Secondary Stat)
  3. 3 Sockets
  4. Vitality
  5. All Res
  6. Thorns
Wrists
  1. Strength
  2. Thorns (Secondary Stat)
  3. Vitality
  4. Physical damage
  5. Life on Hit
  6. All Resistance
Hands
  1. Strength
  2. Thorns (Secondary Stat)
  3. Vitality
  4. Cooldown Reduction
  5. Attack Speed
  6. All Resistance
Waist
  1. Strength
  2. Thorns (Secondary Stat)
  3. Vitality
  4. All Res
  5. Life %
  6. Thorns
Legs
  1. Strength
  2. Thorns (Secondary Stat)
  3. 2 Sockets
  4. Vitality
  5. All Res
Feet
  1. Strength
  2. Thorns (Secondary Stat)
  3. Vitality
  4. All Resistance
  5. Movement Speed
Amulet
  1. Strength
  2. Physical %
  3. Socket
  4. Thorns (Secondary Stat)
  5. Vitality
Ring #1
  1. Strength
  2. Cooldown Reduction
  3. Socket
  4. Thorns
  5. Life on Hit or Attack Speed
  6. Vitality
Ring #2
  1. Strength
  2. Cooldown Reduction
  3. Socket
  4. Life on Hit or Attack Speed
  5. Vitality
Weapon
  1. Strength
  2. Socket
  3. Cooldown Reduction
  4. Life on Hit
  5. Attack Speed
  6. Vitality
Off-hand
  1. Strength
  2. Thorns (Secondary Stat)
  3. Cooldown Reduction
  4. Block %
  5. Vitality

2. Paragon Points

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

3. Gems

Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped is a potent source of additional damage, as it is its own multiplier in your total damage calculation. The gem procs itself with its level 25 property and matches the set Thorns radius perfectly.

Added in Patch 2.4, Boyarsky's Chip Boyarsky's Chip fulfills a simple and straightforward purpose: increasing your Thorns damage. Its level 25 property is useful in sticking enemies to you, trading turns with Provoke Provoke for the same purpose.

Introduced in Season 4, Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken occupies the third and final jewelry socket. Building up your damage multiplicatively in prolonged fights and with a level 25 bonus specifically targeting Rift Guardians, this gem is designed to assist during the takedown of the biggest bottleneck in GRs, the scaling HP numbers.

Slot Gems
Jewelry
Helm
Torso and Pants
Weapon

4. Kanai's Cube

Blood Brother Blood Brother fits snugly into the weapon Cube slot, as it complements the block-based nature of the build with valuable extra Damage Reduction and a damage bonus (that notably affects your Thorns).

As previously mentioned, you can cube your weaker rolled item between the Aquila Cuirass Aquila Cuirass and Heart of Iron Heart of Iron in the armor slot.

The jewelry slot in the cube is best taken by Convention of Elements Convention of Elements, squeezing some extra damage in a spec that already excels at survival. Maximize its benefits by keeping in mind the heavy burst from a synced Physical proc and active Iron Skin Iron Skin, and wait out the Lightning proc that precedes it. Awareness of this boost should not lead you to overcommit, and Iron Skin Iron Skin availability should not be wasted in wait — an Akarat's Awakening Akarat's Awakening reset is bound to come soon anyway.

5. 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.

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 and streams on Twitch, where you can see how this and other builds play out in practice.

6. ChangeLog

+ show all entries - show only 10 entries
  • 31 Oct. 2017: Changed weapons to reflect Thorn's changes in Patch 2.6.1.
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