Roland's Shield Bash Crusader Skills and Runes
On this page, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing Roland's Shield Bash Crusader in Diablo 3. Updated for Patch 2.7.5 and Season 28.
|Shield Bash Pound Steed Charge Endurance 1 Laws of Valor Unstoppable Force 2 Iron Skin Flash 3 Shield Glare Zealous Glare 4 Akarat's Champion Prophet|
In this build, you will be striving to track down and eliminate high value targets with priority, transitioning from one elite pack to another as quickly as possible and mowing them down with Shield Bash. Keep an eye on your Flail of the Ascended stacks and make a point to cast Shield Glare every 5 attacks, both to restore Wrath and to inflict its massive AoE blow. Buff yourself at regular intervals with Laws of Valor and Iron Skin, whose high uptime comes from the Roland's set resets; you will also use Iron Skin for mobility purposes via the Flash rune. Last but not least, activate Akarat's Champion as often as you can, ideally but not necessarily coinciding with elite fights.
Skills and Runes
Your primary damage dealer and focus of this build is, naturally, Shield Bash. Multiple item and skill choices will bolster the damage of this hard-hitting spender, as well as the Roland set itself. To get the most out of the combination of multipliers, you will be using the hardest hitting rune — Pound — and will counterbalance its minuscule area of effect with the Shield Glare- Flail of the Ascended combo, (see this build's gear page for more information).
As mentioned above, you will be using Shield Glare to make up for Pound's lack of AoE. By default, this is a hard crowd control skill (Blinding enemies stops their movement and attacks), and with the Zealous Glare rune you will add a considerable Wrath restoration aspect to it. On top of that, Flail of the Ascended will transform the skill into a powerful 30-yard AoE damage tool granted 360-degree flexibility via worn or cubed The Final Witness.
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. This will not only cut down your Shield Bash spending in half, but also synergize with the worn Cpt. Crimson set, as it scales your damage reduction based on your Resource Cost Reduction, and this rune directly affects that. Iron Skin provides a short term halving of incoming damage, and coupled with the Flash rune it adds a surprisingly potent mobility angle too — allowing you collision-free passage through monsters. Both skills will be available at a near-constant rate due to the set-induced resets.
Mobility is one of the most important aspects when rifting, and Crusaders have no better movement ability than their trusty Steed Charge. You will be picking up the extended duration from the Endurance rune, allowing you to reach — or skip — more efficiently.
Last but not least, the signature Crusader steroid Akarat's Champion makes an unsurprising appearance in any build hoping to progress nicely into Greater Rifts. While its uptime is much harder to maintain in a Roland's set build (and parts of your itemization and stat rolls aim to mitigate that), it still offers an undeniable utility package. While it is up, you get a baseline 35% multiplicative damage increase and 5 Wrath/second, as well as 150% Armor increase and a cheat death mechanic via the rune Prophet.
Shield Bash Crusaders are naturally tied to the Heavenly Strength passive due to their reliance on the two-handed Flail of the Ascended. This passive allows you to run a valuable shield in your offhand.
Finery is another Crusader staple, boosting your Strength — a multiplicative source of both damage and toughness — by 1.5% for every socket on your gear. With an average of 10 sockets spread across any well-equipped character, this amounts to a considerable buff.
Strengthening your single target damage dealing skill and your chosen generator attack by 20% as well as lowering your utility and AoE skill's cooldown by 30%, Towering Shield is a no-brainer inclusion for a Shield Bash build.
Long Arm of the Law doubles the duration of the active effects of Laws and ensures constant availability of Unstoppable Force. Aided by this passive, you will have an easy time maintaining spam of Shield Bash, as well as keeping up your Cpt. Crimson's RCR-based defensive bonus.
- 22 Feb. 2023: Skills and passives reviewed for Season 28.
- 26 Aug. 2022: Skills and passives reviewed for Season 27.
- 13 Apr. 2022: Guide reviewed for Season 26.
- 09 Dec. 2021: Reviewed for Season 25.
- 23 Jul. 2021: No changes required for Season 24.
- 31 Mar. 2021: No changes required for Season 23.
- 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 reviewed and approved for Season 17.
- 17 Jan. 2019: Information was reviewed and approved for Season 16 with no changes required.
- 22 Mar. 2018: Added the guide.
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