zDPS Crusader Support Build with Cain and Born Sets (Patch 2.4)
Table of Contents
- 1. About the Author
- 2. Build
- 3. Strategy, Skills, and Runes
- 4. Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives
- 5. Stat Priorities per Gear Slot
- 6. Paragon Points
- 7. Gems
- 8. Kanai's Cube
- 9. Changelog
With potential so vast to shape an entire 4-man metagame around it, the Static Charge Monk necessitated proc coefficient improvements across his entire team. The Proc Support Crusader is the latest iteration of the process, and this strictly multiplayer, proc-oriented build relies on the following core set pieces:
Following the nerf to the Static Charge Monk in Patch 2.4 (proc mechanic can no longer be abused by the entire party), the Proc Support Crusader build no longer makes any sense. We removed it from our menus, but left it on the site for documentation purposes.
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.
|Smite Surge Condemn Reciprocate 1 Judgment Resolved 2 Iron Skin Steel Skin 3 Laws of Valor Critical 4 Akarat's Champion Prophet|
Strategy, Skills, and Runes
The build rushes headlong into battle, joining the ranks of frontline supports like the Healing Monk and into the pile of monsters created by the Support Barbarian. Compared to a bursty composition with a Sunwuko EP Monk, a Proc Support Crusader comp relies heavily on kiting enemies forward and consistent damage over time from the Static Charge procs. While spamming Condemn, you will attack regularly with Smite — both to replenish Wrath and to create an efficient, relentless duo of high proc coefficient skills. To keep yourself alive, you will be using the survival staples Iron Skin and Akarat's Champion, which are to be used on cooldown. Finally, use your Laws of Valor and Judgment buffs whenever available to benefit your entire party.
Contrary to Crusader tradition, Condemn will not be used with the signature Vacuum — instead, you will make use of the proc coefficient superiority of Reciprocate. Towering at 166% proc rate, this rune will take advantage of several beneficial factors: the circular AoE of the Condemn skill, the tripling effect of the Blade of Prophecy weapon, the cooldown-to-spender transformation from Frydehr's Wrath, and the fire skill resource cost reduction of the Cindercoat. When put together, they turn Reciprocate into a spammable field of death for a Static Charge Monk to reap.
Fulfilling the role of a Wrath generator and a second Static Charge trigger, Smite takes a slot for a simple reason — the high proc coefficient for the sheer number of targets it affects. Its coverage is extended even further by the Surge rune and the Golden Scourge flail, and with resource regeneration improved by the Righteousness passive successfully countering the high costs of Condemn spam.
The Crusader is known to offer the strongest damage buffs for a reason, with two solid crit boosters under his belt:
The first is the Critical rune of Laws of Valor. The law itself will provide a passive increase to the Attack Speed of nearby allies, but the true powerhouse is in the active component of the skill. Increasing Crit Damage by a 100% for the entire group, this potent buff is the reason to strive for permanent uptime through Long Arm of the Law.
The second is Judgment. Similarly to the old favorite Shield Glare, it offers AoE crowd control; Judgment however takes the form of a circular, 20 yard snare on a chosen location, instead of centred on you. The Resolved rune will provide 20% increased Crit Chance against affected enemies, synergising with the Laws of Valor buff for a constant streak of high crit numbers. On top of that, you will be taking advantage of the free Debilitate rune coming from the Sacred Harness belt — adding some needed damage reduction in the mitigation stacking 2.3 group meta.
To survive the front line in high difficulty content, you will be stacking a lot of toughness on gear — but it is necessary to supplement those defences with the tank rune of Akarat's Champion, Prophet. Strengthening you with 150% additional armor and another life to fall back to, as well as 5 Wrath per second for continued Condemn spam, this skill becomes irreplaceable. While permanent uptime is hard to achieve in a setup without the Akkhan set, you will get close through cooldown reduction stacking.
Iron Skin is a staple mitigation tool, cutting incoming damage in half. While DPS builds often fall back to Flash for maneuverability, you will be incorporating Illusory Boots for that same purpose — so take advantage of the hefty 7-second duration of the Steel Skin rune. Do not hesitate to re-apply Iron Skin whenever available, as the build tackles elemental damage affixes in the typical support fashion: head on.
This concludes the overview of the active skills, now let us look through the passives.
Fervor is the one-hander counterpart to Heavenly Strength, shaping the traditionally slow and hard-hitting Crusader into an attack speed and cooldown reduction specialist. This passive makes a tight fit into the support setup, where any source of additional CDR is welcome.
Damage bonuses are the ace up the sleeve of Support Crusaders, and Long Arm of the Law ensures your Laws of Valor Critical stays active throughout the rift. With proper itemisation, you will be able to reapply Critical long before the 10 second active effect (extended by the passive) wears off.
Spending Wrath at the whopping 40 per cast, Condemn demands a lot from a non- Unstoppable Force build. Part of it will be cut down by Cindercoat, but the rest will have to be regained the old-fashioned way: through generator spam. The underused Righteousness passive brings more Wrath value from your Smites, finding a niche in a build that struggles for resource management.
Finally, the Indestructible passive ensures that you live through the highly damaging environments of Greater Rifts. While Prophet gives you a second life and is up for the majority of the rift, perfect overlap of Akarat's Champion is unrealistic, especially in XP farming setups. Thus, another cheat death on a 60 second cooldown is a useful safety net.
Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives
Similarly to other supports, the Proc Crusader mixes craftable sets into a high Toughness, bonus experience gain, cooldown reducing and attack speed increasing concoction. The core sets are Born's Command and Cain's Destiny, introduced with Born's Frozen Soul plus Born's Privilege, and Cain's Habit plus Cain's Scrivener respectively. Their 3 piece bonuses are obtained through the use of a Ring of Royal Grandeur in Kanai's Cube. Born's set provides additional Toughness in the form of Life %, 10% cooldown reduction and 20% bonus experience; Cain's set completes the picture with another 50% experience on top, and even its attack speed bonuses are not wasted — faster Smites mean more Static Charge procs. Rolls-wise, aim strictly for Toughness and prioritise high Vitality, All Resistance and Cooldown Reduction where applicable. Resource Cost Reduction can also be added on the shoulders and gloves (alongside CDR) to assist with Wrath management.
Bonus experience is top priority in speed rifting, while maximum CDR is imperative in GR progression; and no other helm will empower your socket bonuses quite like a Leoric's Crown. Essentially doubling the effect of the gem slotted in your helm, your cubed Leoric's Crown will bump your experience up by 82% with a Flawless Royal Ruby and CDR by 25% with a Flawless Royal Diamond.
The feet slot will be taken by the Illusory Boots; obtained through the completion of Act II bounties, this legendary item allows you unparalleled freedom of movement. The ability to maneuver through enemies unhindered and ignore Waller affixes is crucial for Support Crusaders, where positioning to maximise procs is key.
Avoiding the synergy with Falling Sword altogether, Support Crusaders incorporate the Season 4 exclusive Sacred Harness for a sole purpose: it allows you two runes for the price of a single skill slot. Providing the damage mitigation of Debilitate for free, this belt allows you to improve damage through Resolved as well. For non-seasonal characters, the CDR staple Vigilante Belt or the Toughness powerhouse String of Ears make for decent replacements.
With no crowd control to trigger Strongarm Bracers and little reason to improve your rock solid Toughness with Ancient Parthan Defenders, the Proc Support Crusader finds an unlikely fit in glass cannon favorites. The rare Lacuni Prowlers improve your Attack Speed and are superior to the more common Steady Strikers by rolling an additional primary affix; nevertheless, both bracers will make you more efficient at proccing.
A crafted Hellfire Amulet of Strength with good rolls and a solid fifth passive ( Vigilant, Fanaticism) is among your best options, and only rivaled by The Star of Azkaranth to protect you from Molten explosion spikes. A perfect roll would include high Toughness, Cooldown Reduction and an open Socket.
With no necessary rings for the remaining jewelry slots — and an unquenchable thirst for additional experience throughout a Season's length — you can adopt both a Hellfire Ring of Strength and a Leoric's Signet, reaching a theoretical maximum of 75% bonus experience for optimal XP gain. You can substitute the latter with an Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac to assist you with cooldowns, but it will hardly be necessary as you only have meaningful downtime on Toughness skills, and survivability is rarely an issue.
As forgotten as the primary it affects, the Golden Scourge flail resurfaces in a setup that tries to affect as many enemies as it possibly can per attack. Complementing the Surge rune by jumping to three additional targets (for a total of 8 affected enemies), this weapon ensures the best possible spread of a major proc source in the build. Thankfully the flail is craftable, so obtaining a good roll should be relatively easy. A natural roll of Strength, Vitality and CDR can be perfected by rolling the damage range away (useless for support characters) into Resource Cost Reduction.
Frydehr's Wrath is the former Season 1 exclusive shield that turns the cooldown-based Condemn into a spender — an extremely potent effect for the build, as the sky-high proc coefficients of Reciprocate can be abused on demand. Similarly to Golden Scourge, you will be aiming for high Toughness and Cooldown Reduction.
Stat Priorities per Gear Slot
- Esoteric Alteration is one of the strongest sources of elemental mitigation, bringing a welcome Toughness improvement to this frontline build. Improving your elemental resistances with every gem level, as well as providing you with a near-impenetrable last line of defense through the level 25 property, Esoteric Alteration pulls you through the vast majority of elite affix damage spikes.
- Gogok of Swiftness offers perfect synergy to the build, indirectly providing the entire party with more survivability and damage by increasing your two essentials: Cooldown Reduction and Attack Speed.
- Your final gem slot is less clear-cut than your other choices; any of the mitigation favorites like Moratorium and Mutilation Guard will do fine, while an offense choice like Pain Enhancer will skyrocket your Attack Speed in big fights (at the expense of survivability).
|Torso and Pants||
- The trademark weapon of Condemn builds, Blade of Prophecy triggers up to two additional Condemns with at least two targets present in the initial Condemn radius. The AoE coverage from this weapon, coupled with the Reciprocate coefficients produces a deadly chain reaction.
- Unable to rely on Unstoppable Force or set-related RCR, the Proc Support finds a savior in the face of Cindercoat; its unique bonus maximised to 30% in the Cube, this powerful resource management piece allows you to be trigger-happy with the fire rune Reciprocate.
- The final item that binds the incomplete sets together is the Ring of Royal Grandeur. The ability to run with full set bonuses and synergistic rings for your purposes, dodging the undesirable guaranteed stats on the Grandeur altogether by cubing its power, is a tremendous boost to the build.
- 12 Jan. 2016: Build no longer viable with Patch 2.4.
- 20 Oct. 2015: Made numerous revisions to reflect current state of the metagame.
- 24 Aug. 2015: Added Kanai's Cube recommendations for Patch 2.3.
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