Roland's Shield Bash Crusader Speed Farming Variation
The Shield Bash can deal reasonably well with Normal Rift farming all the way through the highest Torment difficulties. The build variation suffers from minor inconveniences compared to top tier speed farming builds (conditional AoE, slightly clunkier mechanics), but otherwise handles the task with ease. We have solo speed GR rankings and solo speed T16 rankings if you want to know more about which builds are best for speed farming.
Within the limited scope of regular difficulties, the necessary damage and toughness to triumph over the enemy is significantly smaller. Thus, your best course of action is to improve utility and speed.
|Justice Sword of Justice Shield Bash Pound 1 Laws of Hope Wings of Angels 2 Steed Charge Endurance 3 Shield Glare Zealous Glare 4 Akarat's Champion Prophet
When you are speed farming regular rifts, parts of your playstyle will adapt to the lowered challenge and focus more on speed and utility.
Your general playstyle will not alter greatly during farming; you will still rush from one elite pack to another (with the added incentive of In-geom cooldown resets), Shield Bashing the bigger targets and unleashing a Shield Glare to clear out the trash. Steed Charge will take you over any greater distance, and you will be doing the shorter runs with the speed boost of Laws of Hope Wings of Angels. If any monsters try to outrange you, draw them in with the pulling powers of Condemn Vacuum.
Parts of the skill and passive selection will overlap with the base Greater Rift progression build, but others will have to change according to the task at hand. Ability to cross over great distances faster and more efficiently take precedence.
- Shield Bash Pound (your main single target damage dealer), Shield Glare Zealous Glare (your main AoE nuke), Steed Charge Endurance (your primary movement tool) and Akarat's Champion Prophet (your strongest self-buff) will remain in your active skill lineup from the progression build.
- To facilitate farming, you should drop the GR progression-oriented Laws of Valor for the speedfarming staple Laws of Hope Wings of Angels, and the overly defensive Iron Skin for the monster pull of Condemn Vacuum.
- Your passive lineup from progression brings excellent value during speed farming as well, so you can stay with Heavenly Strength, Towering Shield, Finery and Long Arm of the Law. If you are doing bounties, you can consider dropping Finery for the improvement of Steed Charge uptime via Lord Commander.
You will still be taking advantage of the full 6-piece set bonuses of Rolands, incorporating 5 of the 6 available pieces according to your best rolls. The cubed Ring of Royal Grandeur allows you to tinker with additional bonuses, most notably the inclusion of the Sage's Journey set for Death's Breath farming. Take Sage's Ribbon and Sage's Passage for example, and then complete both bonuses with the RoRG.
Most of the gearing choices can be kept intact, but a speedfarming version of this build would benefit a lot from synergy with the plentiful gold drops in regular Rifts. This means the inclusion of Avarice Band over Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac, as well as a socketed Boon of the Hoarder. Convention of Elements' cycling damage bonuses will be too slow for standard rifts as well, so you can either use a Justice Lantern in this slot (to make up for the loss of Cpt. Crimson damage reduction), or — once you are comfortable that you outscale the content — use a Physical damage Stone of Jordan.
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.
Altar of Rites
The former Season 28 theme, the Altar of Rites, has been revised and re-added to Diablo 3 as a permanent character progression mechanic. — 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.
Bane of the Trapped remains a universally desired damage amplification gem.
During speed farming, Gogok of Swiftness will be a protective overkill and should be replaced by Boon of the Hoarder. The latter is a high utility gem that feeds you practically infinite gold, gives you a massive short-term speed boost while picking it up, and synergizes excellently with the worn Avarice Band for a sizable speed boost.
Since monster health is much more tame in the standard difficulties, you should also replace Bane of the Stricken with Bane of the Powerful for the consistent, easily sustained damage increase. If you overpower content so much that even Bane of the Powerful is unnecessary, you can consider using Wreath of Lightning for the extra speed.
Season 30 Soul Shards
In Season 30, your helm and weapon sockets will be taken over by the supremely powerful Soul Shards. For this build, we recommend the following:
- Helm: Shard of Hatred with "Your movement speed is increased by 50%" as its Rank 3 power. For optimization benefits, aim for Strength or Melee/Ranged Damage Reduction on its Rank 2 roll.
- Weapon: Stain of Sin with "You gain an additional Rift Progress Orb when you kill an elite pack" as its Rank 3 power. For optimization benefits, aim for Physical Skills % Increase or Weapon Damage Increase on its Rank 2 roll.
|Torso and Pants
For more information about gems, please refer to our guide on gems.
Adapting Kanai's Cube
Your Cube choices during normal rift farming will differ from those for Greater Rift progress, focusing heavily on utility and speed. In-geom should occupy the weapon slot, as its cooldown resets will come very handy and will happen with great frequency due to the fast elite kills in low difficulties. To keep the synergy going, you should either have Nemesis Bracers on your follower (in solo play) or in your armor Cube slot in group play, for the extra elite spawns. The general recommendation for the armor Cube slot in solo play however is Warzechian Armguards, whose environment destruction-based speed procs bring considerable value during runs, and will be triggered consistently with Wreath of Lightning.
Lastly, in order to maintain the valuable 6-piece bonus of Rolands and 3-piece bonus of the Sage set, you will need to cube a Ring of Royal Grandeur in the jewelry slot.
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 standard rift farming for keys is the Enchantress due to her numerous utility bonuses, allowing you to smooth out your speed runs even further.
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.
- 08 Jan. 2024: Revised guide for the permanent addition of the Altar of Rites, and added Season-specific Soul Shard recommendations.
- 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 follower recommendation and minor gear changes.
- 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.
- 22 Mar. 2018: Added the guide.
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