LoD Blessed Shield Crusader BiS Gear, Gems, and Paragon Points
Below, we detail the items and gems that you should use for your LoD Blessed Shield Crusader in Diablo 3 and why. We also list your paragon points and Kanai's Cube items. Updated for Patch 2.7.6 and Season 29.
Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives
Since the build is based on the Legacy of Dreams power, you have some flexibility in the items you choose to slot across your gear, provided they are ideally of Ancient quality, have the appropriate stats, and do not form any other set bonuses (meaning you can temporarily run individual set pieces, if necessary). Stat-wise, focus on pieces that have Blessed Shield skill damage increase, as well as Cooldown Reduction and Area Damage bonuses. You should also keep in mind the ring set's requirement for ancient items, as well as their restriction on other set bonuses. You can run individual set pieces with beneficial stats, as long as they do not form any set bonus.
The Legacy of Dreams power allows you to run any legendary item combination while not losing out on the damage amplification and reduction associated with the traditional 6-piece sets. You can obtain this power in two ways; the older way is equipping the two rings — The Wailing Host and Litany of the Undaunted — as your only active set bonus. The newer (and more powerful, since it also opens your ring slots for legendary jewelry) method is the Legacy of Dreams legendary gem.
In a setup with Legacy of Dreams, you will be wearing your two best rolled rings and cubing the third between Convention of Elements, Unity, and Justice Lantern. It is generally recommended to wear the Justice Lantern, since you would lose its Block Chance bonuses if you Cube that ring. Unity cuts incoming damage in half when paired with another on the follower, along with an immortality relic for them (i.e. Enchanting Favor). Convention of Elements simply provides a massive damage increase during the Fire cycle of its rotation.
The recommended amulet is Hellfire Amulet of Strength, since it allows you access to an additional synergistic passive like Fervor, Towering Shield, Finery, Hold Your Ground or Indestructible. The former favorite The Flavor of Time should now be slotted on your follower, and its power will be transferred to your character via the Emanate mechanics.
Two powerful options are present in your helm slot. You can opt to boost your damage directly (as well as scale your Attack Speed with the innate roll on the item, and reach a breakpoint more easily) with a Fire damage Andariel's Visage. Alternatively, you can lower your massive and vital cooldowns with a Leoric's Crown, gemmed with a Flawless Royal Diamond for CDR. Both options are seen as viable for the slot, but our general recommendation is Leoric's Crown, since its generic CDR bonus slightly reduces your reliance on Rift composition and Pylon RNG.
Most of your armor slots can be roughly split into two categories: DPS items and Utility items.
- Blackthorne's Jousting Mail provide an elemental damage increase, which is fairly unique for the slot — as long as it does not form its set bonus with another Blackthorne item, thus breaking the LoD bonus, this will be your best-in-slot item. The Witching Hour is a glass cannon favorite for the belt slot; what it lacks in flashy properties, it makes up in unique rolls: it is the only item in the slot that can roll Attack Speed and Critical Damage.
- The combo of Stone Gauntlets and Ice Climbers, as well as Aquila Cuirass and Pauldrons of the Skeleton King each bring their own angle of value to the build. Stone Gauntlets are one of the most effective protective pieces in the game, bumping your armor by 50% at a significant (and stacking) mobility penalty — one which you will completely negate with the unique property of Ice Climbers, which make you immune to immobilization effects. Aquila Cuirass is another defensive staple, which cuts incoming damage in half if you maintain above 90% of your resource — a permanent effect in a build whose spender is nullified by Gyrfalcon's Foote. Lastly, Pauldrons of the Skeleton King bring a chance for an extra cheat death proc to the build, which is adequate for a slot with no particularly synergistic legendaries.
The remaining item slots — bracers, weapon, and offhand — will be occupied by dedicated Blessed Shield legendary items that increase the skill's damage and modify its properties in a beneficial way. In your wrist slot, Akkhan's Manacles will augment your single target burst by adding significant damage to the first target struck. Gyrfalcon's Foote will not only provide a general boost to the skill, but will also completely remove its Wrath costs — making for a relaxed, trigger-happy playstyle that can focus entirely on survival and aiming without worry for resource management (see this build's skills page for more information). Finally, Jekangbord will triple the amount of enemies struck by the shield ricochets, adding the signature bouncing chaos in fights.
Desired Stats, Breakpoints and Other Notes
For Offense stats, try to obtain Blessed Shield % bonus on both the helm and boots (maximum of 30%), Fire elemental damage on both the amulet and wrists (maximum of 40%), Crit Chance and Crit Damage within a 1:10 ratio (ideally over 50% and 500%, respectively), and Area Damage of 100%+. You will also need to strike a balance between increasing attack speed and reducing cooldowns; an Attack Speed roll on the weapon and the belt should suffice as a baseline, especially in a Pain Enhancer-socketing setup, and three slots for CDR (i.e. neck, gloves and shoulders) will bump you over a 55% CDR threshold for 50% uptime of Akarat's Champion.
For Defense stats, aim for a life pool between 700-900k; dropping as much as you can for offense as you grow accustomed to the build. Life per Hit will be your main source of health sustain, so aim for at least one LpH roll on gear, i.e. the bracers; another on the weapon would introduce extra safety to the build, at the cost of an offense-oriented roll.
All augmentations on gear should be done with your main stat, Strength.
Note that the stat suggestions below portray an ideally rolled item with stats listed in relative order of importance. The first four of them are main stats, and the latter two — secondary stats. If your item lacks and is unable to be rerolled into the primary stats outlined below, especially for a stat higher on the list, strongly consider its replacement. Perfecting Secondary stats is mostly a case of hyper-optimization and is not a case for discarding an item, except where noted.
To help you with farming the gear you need for your builds, we have two very useful guides that you can access by clicking the links below: a Salvage Guide to help you quickly check whether or not you can safely salvage a piece of gear and a Legendary Farming Guide to help you efficiently farm legendaries and set items.
In the Core section, max out Movement Speed to the 25% cap. Normally this is done by dumping the first 50 Core Paragon points into Movement Speed, but if your boots have an imperfect roll with Movement Speed as a stat that you cannot replace, adjust the necessary point investment accordingly by simply subtracting your roll from the 25% max. After that dump as much as you comfortably can into Strength, but feel free to invest into Vitality if you feel yourself lacking in toughness. Maximum Wrath is a wasted stat in a Gyrfalcon's Foote-wielding build, so do not spend points there.
In the Offense section, max out Cooldown Reduction to get as close to ~50% CDR asap, then max out the Crit stats — Crit Chance and Crit Damage. While Attack Speed is an important stat in your overall performance, you will not need to worry about reaching Blessed Shield breakpoints until well after the Paragon 800 point. In Defense, prioritize All Resistance, then Life %, then Armor, and finish off with Life Regeneration. In Utility, build up Area Damage and Life on Hit first, then maximize your Globe Radius, and finish off with Resource Cost Reduction (redundant stat in this build).
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: Cooldown Reduction and Critical Hit Damage: Allocate points so you get over the breakpoint for 32s Akarat's Champion cooldown (65% sheet CDR), and then distribute points to get as close as possible to the desirable 1:10 ratio between the Critical Hit Chance and Critical Hit Damage stats, as displayed in your Character Details sheet.
- 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: Area Damage: 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.
As this build scales excellently with Attack Speed and can afford to fight at a near-melee range, Pain Enhancer makes an excellent fit for high tier GR progression. The level 25 property of the gem amplifies your Attack Speed for every struck ("bleeding") enemy nearby, allowing you to drop some IAS from gear and use it for CDR and Area Damage instead.
Introduced in Season 4, Bane of the Stricken takes a firm slot in one of your jewelry sockets when Greater Rifting. Building up your damage multiplicatively in prolonged fights and with a level 25 bonus specifically targeting Rift Guardians, this gem is designed to assist AoE heavy builds in their struggle against single target, high HP enemies. Blessed Shield is a classic case in this scenario, making this gem mandatory.
Your final slot is best occupied by the Legacy of Dreams legendary gem, which provides a scaling bonus for each legendary item equipped, as long as you have no set bonuses equipped. This bonus is multiplied for Ancient or Primal quality items, and when the gem is maxed out, it matches the Legacy of Nightmares ( The Wailing Host and Litany of the Undaunted rings) set bonus. This potent bonus allows you to play around with all your gear slots for synergistic legendary powers at the cost of a gem slot; in the older LoN setup, this socket would be occupied by Bane of the Trapped.
When it comes to gear gems, you will start out progression by slotting the highest available level of Rubies in the chest and pants sockets. Ideally, these will all be Flawless Royal Ruby as soon as possible. As you grow in Paragon (bulking up Strength in the Core section) and aim for higher tier and more dangerous GRs, you will transition those gems into the defensive Flawless Royal Diamond. There is no specific breakpoint where you do that; the rule of thumb is to make the change as soon as you feel the lack of toughness impede your progress. Blessed Shield Crusaders are highly Cooldown Reduction dependent, so a Flawless Royal Diamond should be socketed in your helm. In your weapon, use a Flawless Royal Emerald for the Crit Damage boost.
|Torso and Pants|
For more information about gems, please refer to our guide on gems.
While hidden away in the weapon Cube slot, Akkhan's Leniency is another cornerstone item in the build that puts a heavy emphasis on the build's AoE strengths. The weapon scales your damage for each enemy struck, so try to keep to the nine bounces maximum imposed by Jekangbord as best you can.
Illusory Boots are an Act 2 bounty cache legendary item that removes collision with the enemy, allowing for life-saving maneuverability — especially for a build lacking mobility cooldowns, such as this one. Note that this slot is interchangeable with the recommended Ice Climbers depending on your better roll, but cubing the Ice Climbers means you lose out on the unique Cold damage reduction roll.
The Kanai's Cube can be used for much more than simply extracting Legendary powers from items. Please refer to our Kanai's Cube guide for more information.
The recommended follower for this build during solo GR progression is the Scoundrel due to his powerful crit buff, allowing you brief windows of extra damage that are well suited to the strengths of this build. Alternatively, if you feel yourself too squishy, you can alter to the Templar for his powerful heals and sustain boons.
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.
The preferred potion for this build is Bottomless Potion of the Leech due to its Life per Hit bonuses, which synergize perfectly for the high attack speed and sustain-through-attacks playstyle of the build.
- 13 Sep. 2023: Added Season 29 Paragon Cap and Gearing recommendations.
- 22 Feb. 2023: Added Season 28 Altar of Rites recommendations.
- 26 Aug. 2022: Added Season 27 Angelic Crucible recommendations.
- 13 Apr. 2022: Guide reviewed for Season 26.
- 09 Dec. 2021: Added Season 25 Soul Shard recommendations.
- 23 Jul. 2021: Added S24 Ethereal recommendation.
- 31 Mar. 2021: Added a follower recommendation.
- 18 Nov. 2020: Added S22 Cube recommendation.
- 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: Item recommendations have been revised for Season 18.
- 14 May 2019: Guide added.
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