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Shield Bash Crusader BiS Gear, Gems, and Paragon Points

Last updated on Jun 14, 2018 at 13:59 by Deadset 1 comment

Table of Contents

General Information

Below, we detail the items and gems that you should use for your Shield Bash Crusader in Diablo 3 and why. We also list your paragon points and Kanai's Cube items. Updated for patch 2.6.1 and Season 15.

The other pages of our Shield Bash Crusader guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

1. Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives

As a gearing baseline, you will be including all 6 pieces of the Roland's Legacy set, leaving the jewelry to balance between pure offense (with the Bastions of Will set) and defensive utility (via a Hellfire Amulet with a protection passive). In terms of rolls, your set pieces will make good use of skill damage bonuses, which are possible on both Roland's Visage Roland's Visage and Roland's Stride Roland's Stride. You will be trying to improve the uptime of your longest cooldown, Akarat's Champion Akarat's Champion, with an investment in Cooldown Reduction on both Roland's Grasp Roland's Grasp (alongside Crit stats) and Roland's Mantle Roland's Mantle (alongside Area Damage). The remaining pieces — Roland's Bearing Roland's Bearing and Roland's Determination Roland's Determination — are best left with tanky stats, focusing on high Strength, Vitality and All Resistance rolls.

The armor set piece distribution enables you to include the Bastions of Will set, Focus Focus and Restraint Restraint, into the setup. This setup offers the highest damage multiplication possible (2.25x) from your ring slots, as long as you make a point to alternate between a resource generating and a resource spending attack (which you do with Punish Punish and Shield Bash Shield Bash). Your remaining jewelry slot is best filled by a Hellfire Amulet of Strength Hellfire Amulet of Strength, ideally adding a complementary passive to the build (i.e. the Indestructible Indestructible cheat death, or the healing of Wrathful Wrathful).

You have a bit of freedom in your choice of belts, as there isn't a specific piece necessary for a Shield Bash setup. By default, it is advisable that you take the pure damage option — The Witching Hour The Witching Hour — to squeeze the maximum amount of damage from the build possible. While the belt lacks any flashy legendary affixes, it more than makes up for it with its offense stats, Attack Speed and Crit Damage, not found on any other item in the slot. On the other side of the spectrum, you can invest in the heavy melee damage reduction capabilities of String of Ears String of Ears, easing the survivability strain on this facetanking build. Finally, there is a middle ground option found in Vigilante Belt Vigilante Belt, whose unique Cooldown Reduction affix will improve the general uptime of your multiple CDs.

The remainder of your item selection is purely focused on improving the performance of Shield Bash Shield Bash itself. Firstly, the dedicated bracers Drakon's Lesson 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 The Final Witness and cubing the craftable Piro Marella Piro Marella or vice versa is a viable route. The Final Witness The Final Witness turns Shield Glare Shield Glare from a cone-shaped shot into fully circular AoE, massively improving the damage potential coming from the equipped Flail of the Ascended Flail of the Ascended. Piro Marella Piro Marella simply reduces the Wrath cost of your main spender, with the potential to halve it with its best rolls.

Slot Pieces Stat Priority
Head
  1. Strength
  2. Socket
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Shield Bash Shield Bash %
  5. Vitality
Shoulders
  1. Strength
  2. Vitality
  3. Cooldown Reduction
  4. Area Damage
  5. All Resistance
Torso
  1. Strength
  2. 3 Sockets
  3. Vitality
  4. Reduced Damage from Elites
  5. All Resistance
Wrists
  1. Strength
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Physical Damage %
  4. Vitality
Hands
  1. Strength
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Cooldown Reduction
Waist
  1. Strength
  2. Crit Damage (if The Witching Hour The Witching Hour)
  3. Vitality
  4. All Resistance
  5. Life %
Legs
  1. Strength
  2. 2 Sockets
  3. Vitality
  4. All Resistance
  5. Armor
Feet
  1. Strength
  2. Vitality
  3. All Resistance
  4. Shield Bash Shield Bash %
  5. Movement Speed
Amulet
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Physical Damage %
  5. Strength
Ring #1
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Cooldown Reduction
  5. Strength
Ring #2
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Cooldown Reduction
  5. Strength
Weapon
  1. Socket (preferably from Ramaladni's Gift Ramaladni's Gift)
  2. Weapon Damage
  3. Strength
  4. Cooldown Reduction
  5. Area Damage
Off-hand
  1. Strength
  2. Crit Chance
  3. Cooldown Reduction
  4. Shield Bash Shield Bash %
  5. Vitality

2. Paragon Points

Slot Paragon Points
Core
  1. Movement Speed up to 25% cap
  2. Strength
  3. Maximum Wrath (up to personal preference)
  4. Vitality
Offense
  1. Cooldown Reduction
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Attack Speed
Defense
  1. All Resistance
  2. Life %
  3. Armor
  4. Life Regeneration
Utility
  1. Area Damage
  2. Resource Cost Reduction
  3. Life on Hit
  4. Gold Find

3. Gems

Esoteric Alteration Esoteric Alteration makes for a valuable addition to a facetanking build like a Shield Bash Crusader. This gem improves your elemental resistances with every level, and provides you with a last line of defense against one shots through its level 25 property.

Bane of the Trapped 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 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 Shield Bash-based builds do generally better in this regard, Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken is still immensely helpful.

Slot Gems
Jewelry
Helm
Torso and Pants
Weapon

4. Kanai's Cube

As previously mentioned, you can pick between your better rolls of either Piro Marella Piro Marella and The Final Witness The Final Witness to wear, and simply cube the worse item.

There is some flexibility in your armor Cube slot. We generally recommend Leoric's Crown Leoric's Crown, as it offers a generic improvement to your cooldown reduction when paired with the Flawless Royal Diamond Flawless Royal Diamond in your helm. Other options include String of Ears String of Ears for the melee damage reduction, or even Nemesis Bracers Nemesis Bracers for the extra elites in this assassination-oriented playstyle.

Choices can be made in the jewelry Cube slot as well. By default, for solo Greater Rift progression we recommend using a Unity Unity, which — when paired with another on your follower, plus an immortality relic for him (like Enchanting Favor Enchanting Favor) — will provide you with 50% damage reduction. If you are grouped up, this slot can be changed into Justice Lantern Justice Lantern for a slightly lesser, but follower-independent damage reduction bonus. Last but not least, if you are fishing to push this build to its limits, there will be no better item to assist you than Convention of Elements Convention of Elements — at the cost of significantly glassing out.

About the Author

This build is presented to you by Deadset, one of the very few professional Diablo 3 players. Deadset regularly publishes video guides on Youtube and streams on Twitch, where you can see how this and other builds play out in practice.

5. ChangeLog

  • 22 Mar. 2018: Added the guide.
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