Invoker Thorns Crusader Skills and Runes

Last updated on Jun 14, 2018 at 14:58 by Deadset 242 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

Below, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing Invoker Thorns Crusader in Diablo 3. Updated for patch 2.6.1 and Season 15.

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

Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Punish Icon Punish Celerity Celerity Right Mouse Button Steed Charge Icon Steed Charge Endurance Endurance 1 Laws of Justice Icon Laws of Justice Decaying Strength Decaying Strength 2 Iron Skin Icon Iron Skin Reflective Skin Reflective Skin 3 Consecration Icon Consecration Bed of Nails Bed of Nails 4 Akarat's Champion Icon Akarat's Champion Prophet Prophet
Passive Skills

1. Rotation

The build promotes a fearless brawling playstyle that does not just endure hits to the face, but relishes in them. You will be running from fight to fight as quickly as possible using Steed Charge Steed Charge. As soon as you find your new target — preferably a large pack of enemies with an elite in their midst — you will draw their attention with a Steed Charge Steed Charge sweep, then plant yourself in place and start cutting through them with Punish Punish. Activate Laws of Justice Laws of Justice when you throw yourself in a bigger fight and anticipate a lot of burst coming your way; Akarat's Champion Akarat's Champion is to be used as soon as it comes off its hefty cooldown. Pay special attention when activating Iron Skin Iron Skin Reflective Skin Reflective Skin — it will provide with a short term burst of damage, so ensure enemies are within reach to take full advantage of its duration. If you time the Iron Skin Iron Skin activation to match a Physical damage proc of Convention of Elements Convention of Elements, the burst will be downright devastating.

2. Skills, Runes and Passives

Punish Punish is the solitary non-cooldown skill in the build, but do not be fooled by its unassuming generator damage — it will serve to amplify your Thorns damage through the Invoker 2-piece bonus, and conveniently dishes it out through the 6-piece bonus.

Iron Skin Iron Skin is a defensive staple of the class, and Thornsaders are no exception; instead of traditional choices like the lengthy Steel Skin Steel Skin or the mobile Flash Flash, you will be taking the niche Reflective Skin Reflective Skin. This powerful rune is the unique take on a nuke in the build, and resetting its cooldown as quickly as possible is a major reason for the implementation of high CDR and Akarat's Awakening Akarat's Awakening.

In order to add some helpful health sustain to the build, especially early on when perfect Life on Hit weaponry is highly unlikely, you should add Consecration Consecration to the build. The skill fits nicely with the static fighting nature of the build, and doubles up as an extra damage dealer through the Thorns rune Bed of Nails Bed of Nails.

Akarat's Champion Akarat's Champion is the favorite alternate form of the Crusader — seemingly irrespective of build, as the Thorns build implements it as well. While the advantage of the 35% multiplicative damage increase is obvious, the protection from Prophet Prophet's 150% additional armor and second life build the skill up to an undeniable status. Cheating death is especially important, since the build has a hard time fitting Indestructible Indestructible in due to more advantageous passives and a neck slot locked away from a Hellfire Amulet of Strength Hellfire Amulet of Strength by the necessary The Traveler's Pledge The Traveler's Pledge.

Laws of Justice Laws of Justice is yet another tool in the tanking arsenal of the Invoker set; due to the critless nature of Thorns, Laws of Valor Laws of Valor can only be a consideration in parties. When soloing high Greater Rifts however, the percentage based scaling of Decaying Strength Decaying Strength adds some of the best defense the Crusader has to offer — activating the law in the thick of the fight will cut down incoming damage considerably.

Mobility is one of the most important aspects when rifting, and Crusaders have no better movement ability than their trusty Steed Charge Steed Charge. You will be picking up the extended duration from the Endurance Endurance rune, allowing you to reach — or skip — more efficiently.

This concludes the overview of the active skills, now let us look through the passives.

In a spec detached from weapon damage constraints and largely dependent on fast attacks and cooldowns, it is no wonder Fervor Fervor is taken for the outstanding 15% Attack Speed and Cooldown Reduction.

A no-brainer inclusion in the build, Iron Maiden Iron Maiden increases your Thorns damage by 50%.

To maximize the benefits of your Justice Lantern Justice Lantern ring and saturate the procs from your Akarat's Awakening Akarat's Awakening shield, you will be taking the massive 30% block chance increase from Hold Your Ground Hold Your Ground when pushing Greater Rifts.

Finery Finery rounds out your passives with a balanced source of both Damage and Toughness. Increasing Strength by 1.5% for every socket across your gear (weapons and jewelry included), it amounts to a sizable boost with an assumed average of 10 sockets on a well-equipped character.

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.

3. Changelog

  • 31 Oct. 2017: Replaced Provoke with Consecration.
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