Invoker Thorns Crusader Skills and Runes
On this page, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing Invoker Thorns Crusader in Diablo 3. Updated for Patch 2.7.5 and Season 28.
|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 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, forming massive pulls with the Draw and Quarter rune power. Once you have formed a pull, you can plant yourself in place and mow them down with Slash, multiplied in all directions with the power of Omnislash. Keep up your Invoker 4-piece defensive bonus with manual casts of Bombardment at least once every 20 seconds. Activate Laws of Valor when you throw yourself in a bigger fight and anticipate a lot of burst coming your way; Akarat's Champion is to be used as soon as it comes off its hefty cooldown. Pay special attention when activating Iron Skin — while it adds a considerable amount of damage with the rune Reflective Skin, you might need to alternate its use with Laws of Valor when facing single-target fights like Rift Guardians (since Akarat's Awakening CD resets will come much slower and you cannot depend on their constant availability).
Skills and Runes
Slash Zeal 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 is a defensive staple of the class, and Thornsaders are no exception. Take the damage rune Reflective Skin for a temporary spike in your damage, especially if timed to match the Physical cycle of Convention of Elements.
Simply taken to proc the 4-piece bonus of the Invoker set, Bombardment needs to be used at least once every 20 seconds to maintain the 50% damage reduction buff. Take the rune Barrels of Spikes for some additional Thorns synergy.
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'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 in due to more advantageous passives and a neck slot locked away from a Hellfire Amulet of Strength by the necessary The Traveler's Pledge (see this build's gear page for more information).
You have some freedom in your "Laws slot"; for high end progression, squeezing every bit of attack speed (and damage, respectively) while not losing too much on survivability becomes a delicate balance, one you can straddle by taking the offensive Laws of Valor with the Unstoppable Force rune. While you do not have any spenders at your disposal, the worn Cpt. Crimson set scales your damage reduction based on your Resource Cost Reduction, and this rune directly affects that. Alternatively, you can lean on the old favorite Laws of Justice; the percentage-based scaling of Decaying Strength adds some of the highest defense the Crusader has to offer.
Mobility is one of the most important aspects when rifting, and Crusaders have no better movement ability than their trusty Steed Charge. You can either take the extended duration from the Endurance rune, or use Draw and Quarter to pull enemies and form advantageous fights (our recommendation).
In a spec detached from weapon damage constraints and largely dependent on fast attacks and cooldowns, it is no wonder Fervor is taken for the outstanding 15% Attack Speed and Cooldown Reduction. If you opt for Norvald's Fervor set at some point in your progression, you will have to alter to Heavenly Strength.
A no-brainer inclusion in the build, Iron Maiden increases your Thorns damage by 50%.
To saturate the procs from your Akarat's Awakening shield, you will be taking the massive 30% block chance increase from Hold Your Ground when pushing Greater Rifts.
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.
- 22 Feb. 2023: Skills and passives reviewed for Season 28.
- 26 Aug. 2022: Skills and passives reviewed for Season 27.
- 13 Apr. 2022: Guide revised for Season 26.
- 09 Dec. 2021: Guide revised and added Season 25 Soul Shard recommendations.
- 23 Jul. 2021: Minor clarification for a Season 24 adjustment.
- 31 Mar. 2021: No changes required for Season 23.
- 18 Nov. 2020: Updated advice to match usage of Norvald's Fervor in S22. Changed a passive.
- 30 Jun. 2020: No changes required for Season 21.
- 12 Mar. 2020: No changes necessary for Season 20.
- 19 Nov. 2019: Guide revised and updated for Season 19.
- 22 Aug. 2019: Reviewed for Season 18.
- 17 May 2019: Minor fixes to skill recommendations; guide approved for Season 17.
- 24 Feb. 2019: Item and skill recommendations revised further to reflect the meta.
- 17 Jan. 2019: Information was reviewed and approved for Season 16 with no changes required.
- 31 Oct. 2017: Replaced Provoke with Consecration.
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