Roland's Shield Bash Crusader BiS Gear, Gems, and Paragon Points
Below, we detail the items and gems that you should use for your Roland's Shield Bash Crusader in Diablo 3 and why. We also list your paragon points and Kanai's Cube items. Updated for Patch 2.7.5 and Season 28.
Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives
As a gearing baseline, you will be including 5 pieces of the Roland's Legacy set plus a cubed Ring of Royal Grandeur, leaving the jewelry to balance offense and utility. In terms of rolls, your set pieces will make good use of skill damage bonuses, which are possible on both Roland's Visage and Roland's Stride. You will be trying to improve the uptime of your longest cooldown, Akarat's Champion, with an investment in Cooldown Reduction on both Roland's Grasp (alongside Crit stats) and Roland's Mantle (alongside Area Damage). The remaining piece, Roland's Bearing, is best left with tanky stats, focusing on high Strength, Vitality and damage reduction properties.
Armor set-wise, you will also be crafting and equipping two of the three pieces of the Captain Crimson set — Captain Crimson's Silk Girdle by default, and then either Captain Crimson's Thrust (as per our example in the table below) or Captain Crimson's Waders. You will complete their full bonus via Ring of Royal Grandeur in the Cube. This set provides CDR as well as RCR bonuses, and then scales your damage dealt and damage reduced according to both stats, respectively — bringing a massive boon to the build.
The armor set piece distribution allows you to split between offense and utility jewelry with Convention of Elements and Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac. Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac is valuable for its cooldown reducing mechanics, which tirelessly chip away at your Akarat's Champion downtime with every Shield Bash (see this build's skills page for more information). Convention of Elements simply provides a massive damage increase during the Physical cycle of its rotation.
The recommended amulet is Hellfire Amulet of Strength, since it allows you access to an additional synergistic passive like Indestructible or Wrathful. 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.
The remainder of your item selection is purely focused on improving the performance of Shield Bash itself. Firstly, the dedicated bracers Drakon's Lesson are a necessary inclusion, as they offer massive damage multiplication bonuses to your main damage dealer, as well as a valuable resource cost refund aspect. Either wearing The Final Witness and cubing the craftable Piro Marella or vice versa is a viable route. The Final Witness turns Shield Glare from a cone-shaped shot into fully circular AoE, massively improving the damage potential coming from the equipped Flail of the Ascended. Piro Marella simply reduces the Wrath cost of your main spender, with the potential to halve it with its best rolls.
Desired Stats, Breakpoints and Other Notes
For Offense stats, try to obtain Shield Bash % bonus on both the helm and boots (maximum of 30%), Physical 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%+. Shield Bash Crusaders are highly CDR dependent due to the scaling mechanics of the Cpt. Crimson set, so try to exceed a bare minimum of 50% CDR on gear.
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. You will mostly sustain through Life per Hit on gear, with at least one high roll in your setup, but ideally two (optimal slots are the two weapons and/or bracer). Life per Fury Spent can also be a nice source of extra sustain (can be rolled on the mighty belt).
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.
Season 28: Altar of Rites
Season 28 comes with the theme of the Altar of Rites — a powerful new account-wide and Season-specific progression system that brings tremendous offensive and defensive buffs to every seasonal character. For virtually all builds and players of all skill levels — from casual to advanced — we recommend progressing through the Altar tree using the path outlined below. The suggested path is geared towards maximum quality of life first, then amplifying damage, and then mopping up the tree with defensive and edge case utility nodes.
Note that while they require reaching them with a Seal, Legendary Potion Powers are not part of the Seal cost system; Potions unlock with a separate resource called Primordial Ashes, obtained from salvaging Legendary or Set items of Primal (red bordered) quality. Upgrade them as soon as possible, and in the order shown below (courtesy of Caleko's Altar of Rites planner).
You can read more on the Altar of Rites, Seals and Legendary Potion Powers in our dedicated Altar of Rites Mechanics guide.
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, or Maximum Wrath if you want to play around with a bigger resource pool.
In the Offense section, max out Cooldown Reduction, Crit Chance, Crit Damage and Attack Speed in that order. In Defense, prioritize All Resistance, then Life %, then Armor, and finish off with Life Regeneration. In Utility, build up Area Damage and Resource Cost Reduction first, then finish off with Life on Hit and Globe Radius.
Gogok of Swiftness offers a fixed Attack Speed and scaling Dodge chance bonuses, working nicely with the Attack Speed focus and survivability needs of the build. On top of that, the gem offers a Cooldown Reduction bonus through its level 25 property, reducing both important downtimes and feeding into the Cpt. Crimson damage bonuses.
Bane of the Trapped is a potent source of additional damage, as it is its own multiplier in your total damage calculation. As for its crowd control requirement, the gem procs itself with its level 25 property when in melee range, where this build naturally operates.
Bane of the Stricken occupies the third and final jewelry socket during GR progression. 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; while Shield Bash-based builds do better than most in this regard, Bane of the Stricken is still immensely helpful.
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. Shield Bash 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.
As previously mentioned, you can pick between your better rolls of either Piro Marella and The Final Witness to wear, and simply cube the worse item.
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 crowd control immunization skills like Akarat's Champion and Steel Skin.
In the Roland's / Captain Crimson mixture, you will need a Ring of Royal Grandeur, a cache legendary ring from Act I bounties, to tie the two sets together. The ability to run with one full 6-piece set bonus and an additional 3-piece bonus, dodging the undesirable guaranteed stats on the Grandeur by cubing its power, is a tremendous boost to the build.
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.
- 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 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 revised for Season 18.
- 15 May 2019: Guide was reviewed and approved for Season 17.
- 17 Jan. 2019: Added suggestions for the baseline Ring of Royal Grandeur for Seasonal characters.
- 22 Mar. 2018: Added the guide.
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