Thorns Bombardment Crusader Speed Farming Variation
The Akkhan Bombardment Crusader deals with regular Rift farming decently all the way through the highest Torments, making it a viable build for the task. 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.
|Phalanx Bowmen Bombardment Barrels of Spikes 1 Laws of Hope Wings of Angels 2 Steed Charge Endurance 3 Iron Skin Flash 4 Akarat's Champion Prophet|
While necessary for Bane of the Stricken stacking for Greater Rift progression, Punish will not be necessary in regular Rift farming. In its stead, use the massive, party-wide movement speed buff of Laws of Hope Wings of Angels. The same movement-driven logic is applied to Iron Skin, where you should adjust from progression runes like Steel Skin or Reflective Skin to Flash.
Moving stragglers around will be unnecessary in an environment where you mostly oneshot monsters, so change the Draw and Quarter rune of Steed Charge to Endurance.
Due to Akkhan being a 7-piece set, you can adapt the Condemn build to include the Death's Breath farming Sage set. In order to do this, you will replace the Cpt. Crimson slots from the progression build with Sage's pieces, meaning a mandatory Sage's Ribbon plus one more craftable piece of your choosing. The extra damage from the Aughild 2-piece will not be necessary, so you can exclude it in favor of utility legendaries like Leoric's Crown and Nemesis Bracers. You can even carry 2 pieces of the craftable Cain set (like Cain's Insight and Cain's Habit, for example) in your inventory and make a quick swap right as the Rift Guardian is about to die, proccing the Cain 3-piece bonus for additional Greater Rift Keystone drops.
The progression-oriented Unity should be dropped from your jewelry during farming, since the lower difficulty of standard Rift farming devalues its toughnes bonus. In its stead, use a Physical damage Stone of Jordan for the consistent boost to your Bombardments, and — when grouped up and follower-less — an Avarice Band for its synergy with Boon of the Hoarder.
During speedfarming, where you can drop the overkill protection of the GR progression setup and its rigid distribution of set pieces, the preferred bracers become Warzechian Armguards, for the environment destruction speed buffs that are easily provided by the AoE of this build. The former favorites, the elite spawning Nemesis Bracers, are still very valuable, but they can now be equipped on the follower while still getting their bonus via the Emanate mechanics. You should still equip them in groups, where you cannot have a follower with you. The Nemesis Bracers value comes from the additional loot — not to mention progression — coming from the extra elite spawns. They let you finish standard rifts that much faster, and acquire the coveted GR keys in greater amounts.
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 29: Paragon Cap
Season 29 introduces a season-specific cap to stat benefits from Paragon levels, all while updating how Paragon point distribution is handled. For the duration of this Season, you can only assign 800 Paragon stat points to your character, removing the long-standing practice of main-stat stacking (with some gearing implications — see below) after you reach Paragon 800.
On top of that, you could only allocate 50 Paragon stat points to each of the four stats in a given Paragon category (Core, Offense, Defense, and Utility). In Season 29, you can allocate up to the full 200 points per category into any attribute, allowing you to more easily reach necessary build breakpoints (as outlined in the Gear page of the guide) for Cooldown Reduction, Resource Cost Reduction, etc.
With the changes to Paragon in mind, we recommend using the following Paragon distribution for this build:
- Core: Movement Speed: 200 points.
- Offense: Cooldown Reduction: 200 points.
- Defense: Life and All Resistance: Allocate points to maximize survivability; for Crusaders, this is usually achieved by evenly splitting 100 points into Life (directly increasing your Health pool) and All Resistance (to complement the naturally high Armor stat of Strength-based characters).
- Utility: Area Damage: 200 points.
Season 29: Gearing Considerations
In terms of gear, keeping the Paragon cap in mind is paramount, as it stymies the traditional endless supply of main stat after Paragon 800. This means re-rolling mainstat off your gear is no longer desirable, and full equipment augmentation with your main stat is even more critical. Additionally, you should take a careful look at your build and consider if you can fit the following changes to strengthen your damage and survivability:
- Guardian's Jeopardy: This is a craftable armor set, and the recipe for its creation drops from Bounty farming. Guardian's 2-piece provides a decent damage reduction bonus, but the true powerhouse of the set is the 3-piece bonus, which nets you an additional 100% of your main stats from equipped items. This is a tremendous benefit in an 800 Paragon capped Season. If the Guardian set can fit into the build with minimal sacrifices (other craftable sets, tertiary damage multipliers, etc.), consider its implementation. The available pieces are Guardian's Aversion (Wrists), Guardian's Case (Waist), and Guardian's Gaze (Head). Of course, you can wear 2 pieces of the set and complete the full 3-piece bonus with a Ring of Royal Grandeur (found from Act I bounty caches).
- Endless Walk:This is a jewelry set consisting of The Traveler's Pledge (Amulet) and The Compass Rose (Ring), and is randomly found through farming, gambling Blood Shards, and/or Kanai's Cube recipes. The Endless Walk set is a nice compromise between damage bonuses (building up while stationary) and defensive bonuses (building up while moving). It can replace glass cannon choices like the Bastions of Will set ( Focus and Restraint) and Squirt's Necklace with acceptable losses to DPS.
- Unity: A character wearing this ring, along with another Unity on their follower plus an immortality relic for them (i.e., Enchanting Favor), will reduce their damage taken by 50%. Unity can roll excellent offense-oriented stats and has an innate Extra Damage to Elites roll, which somewhat offsets losing all-out offense jewelry.
Since monster health is much more tame in the standard difficulties, you should also replace Bane of the Stricken with 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 an Avarice Band for a massive Pickup Radius increase.
|Torso and Pants|
For more information about gems, please refer to our guide on gems.
Adapting Kanai's Cube
You will keep the base selection of Cube items from the progression build — The Mortal Drama for the additional Bombardment impacts, Belt of the Trove for the automated Bombardment blasts, and Ring of Royal Grandeur to maintain the Akkhan and Sage set bonuses.
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 Tower for its additional mitigation bonuses upon consumption.
- 13 Sep. 2023: Added Season 29 Paragon Cap and Gearing recommendations.
- 22 Feb. 2023: Added Season 28 Altar of Rites recommendations.
- 26 Aug. 2022: Guide revised for Akkhan set changes and S27 theme.
- 13 Apr. 2022: Guide revised for Season 26.
- 09 Dec. 2021: Guide revised and added Season 25 Soul Shard recommendations.
- 23 Jul. 2021: No changes required for Season 24.
- 31 Mar. 2021: Minor revision to gearing and added follower recommendations.
- 18 Nov. 2020: Revised the guide to reflect its GR pushing capabilities, and added cube recommendations for S22.
- 30 Jun. 2020: No changes required for Season 21.
- 12 Mar. 2020: No changes necessary for Season 20.
- 19 Nov. 2019: Reviewed for Season 19.
- 22 Aug. 2019: Revamped variant around Captain Crimson set.
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