LoD Bombardment Crusader Skills and Runes
|Punish Celerity Bombardment Barrels of Spikes 1 Condemn Vacuum 2 Iron Skin Reflective Skin 3 Shield Glare Divine Verdict 4 Akarat's Champion Prophet|
The playstyle of the build places heavy emphasis on movement, encouraging you to constantly weave around enemies to keep up Hexing Pants of Mr. Yan and prepare density for a Belt of the Trove proc. While the belt's effect is autonomous and aims for itself, a significant portion of your burst will come from your own Bombardment cooldown, which you should do your best to synchronize with an Iron Skin Reflective Skin activation and a physical damage cycle from Convention of Elements. Condemn Vacuum will be used to group up enemies and maximizing the profits of individual Bombardments. The rest of the build is dedicated to keeping you safe: trigger Akarat's Champion on cooldown, use Laws of Justice to reduce incoming damage, and slash away with Punish to regain life via Life per Hit.
It must be noted that to optimize your damage output your Convention of Elements cycles and Belt of the Trove procs need to line up. It requires some in-game minutae in order to do that; firstly, you can harmonize them by drinking a potion (snapshotting mechanic) when a CoE cycle is exactly one second away from running out. Secondly, keep in mind that zone transitions resets the internal cooldown of the belt, and you will need to repeat the snapshotting mechanic outlined above. Thirdly, when there are no enemies around, the belt will not trigger due to lack of targets, so you might have to repeat said mechanic.
Skills and Runes
Bombardment is the namesake and primary damage dealer of the build; you will be taking the rune Barrels of Spikes, uniquely scaling with your Thorns damage. Belt of the Trove will inherit the rune you have chosen, aim and trigger it by itself, but you are in charge of your own cooldown — keep an eye on the rotation of Convention of Elements and sync your Bombardments with the physical cycle, adding Reflective Skin for massive burst (see this build's gear page for more information).
You will be taking Condemn in the build, but not as a damage-dealing skill — your priority is the crowd-control of Vacuum. This rune choice procs Strongarm Bracers and stacks enemies near you to maximize the benefits of the Bombardment AoE. It goes without saying, but in high progression environments this skill can expose you to a lot of danger as well by grouping enemies on top of you.
While it is usually perceived as a defensive cooldown, resist the urge to trigger Iron Skin when endangered; the rune Reflective Skin will be fuel for your burst damage, and you will benefit much more if you pop it right before a Bombardment — even more so if you synchronize it with a Physical cycle of Convention of Elements.
With the amount of cooldown reduction stacking in the build plus the CD-resetting powers of Akarat's Awakening, the Crusader mainstay Akarat's Champion will make an appearance in yet another build — note its multiplicative damage increase, as well as the Prophet rune added value of additional defense, and a cheat death in this vulnerable spec. At a high Paragon level (5k+), you can swap out the Prophet rune for Rally. With a full investment of Cooldown Reduction on gear, this rune swap will allow you to cast Bombardment twice on every Physical CoE cycle, greatly increasing your damage a moderate toughness cost.
During Greater Rift progression, one of your main concerns is the takedown of the GR Guardian — a massive wall of health that necessitates the inclusion of Bane of the Stricken as one of your legendary gems. In order to stack it up faster, as well as to proc Life per Hit quickly and reliably, you should use the Attack Speed and Block Chance stacking Punish Celerity.
Bombardment Crusaders round out their skill slots with a Law depending on the requirements of the content; during solo Greater Rift progression, your best option is a defensive staple like Laws of Justice Decaying Strength. It offers stacking percentage-based damage mitigation, which scales well with the ever-increasing damage intake of Greater Rifts. In Season 25, in order to activate the CC-dependent effect of the Remnant of Pain Soul Shard, you will have to use Shield Glare Divine Verdict in this slot. Time it just prior to your burst.
Alternate Zodiac Setup
There is a notable alteration to this build that uses the powers of Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac. This version trades upfront damage potential for easier stacking of Bane of the Stricken at the Rift Guardian, as well as more tankiness and health sustain via Life per Hit procs. Item swaps necessary for this version are also discussed in the Gear page, but skill-wise note the following changes:
- Punish Celerity is replaced by Blessed Hammer, empowered by Johanna's Argument and Gabriel's Vambraces, for a steady and reliable proc of Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac. Take the Brute Force rune for the additional crowd control effect.
- Laws of Justice Decaying Strength is replaced by Laws of Valor Unstoppable Force in order to manage Wrath and maintain the bonuses of Aquila Cuirass.
The playstyle of the build also changes a bit, since you take on a more active role in between the Convention of Elements cycles. You need to be spamming Blessed Hammer constantly (which will proc the Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac power and, in turn, reset your cooldowns). You also need to reapply your cooldown buffs more carefully and only as they expire, as you will be trying not to waste Zodiac procs.
Even though its attack speed properties will be for naught, Fervor is nevertheless taken for the considerable 15% cooldown reduction. Notice that if you reach the 61+ CDR breakpoint purely through gear, you can freely swap Fervor out for another synergistic passive like Hold Your Ground, Long Arm of the Law or Indestructible. In an ideal case scenario, you will be able to run a synergistic fifth passive with a worn Hellfire Amulet of Strength.
Considering the dependency of your burst potential on the Bombardment cooldown, it is no surprise you will be taking Lord Commander, shaving the considerable 35% off the downtime. You will also receive the added benefit of more frequent Steed Charges.
The Akarat's Champion of Crusader passives, Finery takes a firm fourth spot in the build. Boosting Strength by 1.5% for every socketed piece you have equipped, it adds a solid chunk of damage and toughness on a properly geared character.
- 09 Dec. 2021: Revised for Season 25.
- 18 Sep. 2021: Skill and passive recommendations thoroughly revised for Season 24.
- 18 Nov. 2020: Reviewed for Season 22. No changes required.
- 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.
- 15 May 2019: Guide was revised with additional recommendations for Season 17.
- 17 Jan. 2019: Information was reviewed and approved for Season 16 with no changes required.
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