Crusader Spinning Shield Build Guide for Challenge Rifts
Although this build for the Crusader makes use of many skills to help deal with the scaling difficulty of challenge rifts in Diablo Immortal, it is primarily focused around Spinning Shield and other ranged abilities to deal damage from a safe distance.
Carefully balancing between survivability, single target competence and massive AoE damage dealing, this build is meant to support the Crusader in the scaling difficulties of Challenge Rift attempts. It focuses on the ranged use of Spinning Shield, Consecration and Falling Sword to deal damage from relative safety, while relying on Draw and Quarter for mobility and additional DPS on the move.
If you are interested in approaching a different type of content, please see our other Crusader builds below.
The ubiquitous Draw and Quarter is also part of the Challenge Rift build, as it provides a balanced source of both damage (with enhancements from Bladed Jambeau and Besieger) and natural mobility, which translates into survival in the context of the progressively harder-hitting CR content. Mount your fiery steed and charge around, assessing the surrounding areas and forming dense groups of monsters on your tail (ticking for damage due to the aforementioned legendary powers). Once you have formed a sizable fight, throw Spinning Shields in their midst (hitting for massive damage and slowing them down through the powers of Sinkhole Cross), and then drop remote Consecration and Falling Sword AoEs right on top of the pull. Dodge incoming attacks as much as you can, and rinse and repeat the process outlined above until you spawn the Boss. Spinning Shield will be decisive for the takedown in this critical final fight, so use the charges carefully and sync them with periods when the Boss remains stationary.
Skills and Alterations
Primary Skill: Punish is a single target-oriented Primary Attack whose notable aspect is the increased Block Chance, as blocking attacks mitigates 20% of the damage dealt — a noticeable impact when facing hard-hitting bosses in Challenge Rifts and the Helliquary. This skill will be used to fill in the downtime when all of your other abilities are on cooldown.
Primary Damage Dealer: Spinning Shield is one of the hardest-hitting single target skills in the Crusader arsenal, with additional AoE utility provided by supporting legendary items. It is among the most modifiable abilities in your toolset, and you will alter its default state into a hovering, zone-controlling trajectory that is useful for single-target damage. Make sure its charges are used when facing a tougher encounter, and not frivolously spammed. The single-target prowess of Spinning Shield will ensure the takedown of the biggest hurdle in Challenge Rifts — the final Boss.
Secondary Damage Dealer / Primary Mobility: Draw and Quarter is the focal point of Crusader builds and an integral part of mastering the class. Timing your cooldown use, particularly of skills that buff you up passively or whose effect follows you around, is essential — you will otherwise interrupt your mounted duration and lose valuable time. It is equally — if not more! — important to pay heed to crowd control effects, dodging any potential hampering of the Draw and Quarter uptime. While it is active, your Primary Attack is replaced by a skill-specific "Strike" — for all statistical purposes, this counts as a Primary Attack and should be factored in when choosing gear. Spam this Strike for additional damage while charging around.
Tertiary Damage Dealer: Consecration is among the most threatening of the Crusader area-of-effect cooldowns. You will be avoiding the usual farming augmentation from the Many-eyed Aegis helm, as you do not want the effect to follow you around — you want to drop it from relative safety instead. Note that when you play in groups, this skill slot should be replaced by the group utility of Holy Banner, coupled with the helpful power of Arrowkeeper to make its effect follow you around.
Quaternary Damage Dealer: Falling Sword falls into the category of Dashing skills, but its delayed nature and multi-stage effect make the skill more nuanced and interesting — at the cost of pure mobility effectiveness. In this case, you will be locking out its movement capabilities completely in favor of pure damage dealing, and will simply use its AoE in conjunction with Consecration for another source of safe, ranged damage dealing. Note that when you play in groups, this skill slot should be replaced by the group utility of Conjuration of Light, coupled with the helpful powers of Justice Without Favor (turns CoL into an AoE damage dealer) and Wind-blessed Pauldrons (increases CoL's duration).
Equipment is split into Primary (right side of character screen) and Secondary (left side).
Primary equipment includes the Main-hand, Off-hand, Head, Shoulders, Chest, and Legs slots of your character sheet. These slots can — and should — be filled by Legendary items, since their legendary powers and ability to be socketed with Legendary gems vastly overpowers lower tier gear. Of course, these slots will be temporarily filled with Common (Grey), then Magic (Blue), and then Rare (Yellow) gear, before graduating into Legendaries (Golden).
The suggested Legendaries for Spinning Shield CR Crusaders are:
- Main-hand: Tumult — This legendary sword alters the mechanics of Falling Sword, removing its deliberately paced default leap for a pure AoE, damage-over-time power that affects your chosen area.
- Off-hand: Sinkhole Cross — This legendary shield changes the pattern of Spinning Shield, replacing its default boomerang behavior for a hovering effect over a chosen area, resulting in massive damage and considerable crowd control in a concentrated space. This works best for important single-target fights, such as elites and bosses.
- Head: Any Good Roll — This progression-oriented Crusader build has no specific legendary helm to strive for, so simply use your best rolled item in this slot. Make sure it isn't Many-eyed Aegis, since you want to apply Consecration remotely. In groups, where you should be using Holy Banner, this slot should be taken up by Arrowkeeper.
- Shoulders: Sivket's Advantage — These legendary shoulders provide a very simple, straightforward, yet undeniably valuable effect — extending the duration of Draw and Quarter by 30%. They can be further awakened to cut the cooldown of the skill by 10%, single-handedly improving the uptime of one of your most valuable skills in the rotation. In groups, where you should be using Conjuration of Light, this slot should be taken up by Wind-blessed Pauldrons.
- Chest: Besieger — This legendary chest drops bombardment volleys on top of nearby enemies as you Draw and Quarter through them, adding an autonomous damage dealer to the build. In groups, where you should be using Conjuration of Light, this slot should be taken up by Justice Without Favor.
- Legs: Bladed Jambeau — These legendary pants remove the crowd control aspect of Draw and Quarter, but trades it for a powerful burning effect that all but guarantees the destruction left in your wake.
Secondary equipment includes the Amulet, Rings, Hands, Waist, and Feet slots of your character sheet. These slots can — and should — be filled with Set items, since the bonuses they form once completed vastly overpowers lower tier gear. Of course, these slots will be temporarily filled with Common (Grey), then Magic (Blue), and then Rare (Yellow) gear, before graduating into Sets (Green). Secondary equipment can only be socketed with Normal gems.
The recommended set for Draw and Quarter Crusaders is Windloft Perfection, which increases movement speed and scales damage accordingly, enhancing the sprinting prowess of the Draw and Quarter-empowered build. The set consists of:
- Whipcrack (Waist) — Farmed at Destruction's End in difficulty Hell I and above.
- Stump-Stir (Feet) — Farmed at Kikuras Rapids in difficulty Hell I and above.
- Hurtling Steel (Hands) — Farmed at Tomb of Fahir in difficulty Hell II and above.
- Wisdom's Edge (Neck) — Farmed at Forgotten Tower in difficulty Hell II and above.
- Fairfleet (Ring 1) — Farmed at Mad King's Breach in difficulty Hell IV and above.
- Foulfleet (Ring 2) — Farmed at Pit of Anguish in difficulty Hell IV and above.
The set bonuses of Windloft Perfection are as follows:
- 2-piece Set Bonus: Gain Thousand Winds, increasing your Movement Speed by 15%. Thousand Winds deactivates for 3 seconds if you take damage.
- 4-piece Set Bonus: Increases your damage done by 20% while Thousand Winds is active.
- 6-piece Set Bonus: Gain a shield that makes you immune to damage 5 times while Thousand Winds is active. Cannot gain this shield more often than once every 40 seconds.
Note that if you are using this build to farm group Challenge Rifts, you should be using the combination of 2-piece Grace of the Flagellant and 4-piece Vithu's Urges. The combination of these sets provides a nice increase to continual damage (your main DPS contribution to the group), as well as a beneficial effect duration increase for group members, and an attack speed increase for yourself. You can use any combination of set pieces from these sets to attain the necessary bonuses.
Improving your attributes in Diablo Immortal generally revolves around increasing the total amount of Combat Rating, or CR. Every primary attribute point (Strength, Fortitude, Vitality, Willpower, and Intelligence) grants you 1 point of CR.
The priority attribute for Crusaders is Strength, which gives +0.3 Damage per point; given otherwise identical options, use the one with higher Strength to increase your DPS. Second in the priority order is Fortitude, which adds to your Armor Penetration — indirectly increasing damage dealt by also improving your crit chance. This attribute suffers from diminishing returns due to crit caps, but is still quite valuable. Third in the priority order is Vitality, which simply increases your Life total; the longer you can stave off death, the better.
Stat priority order and stat benefits for Crusaders are as follows:
- 1. Strength — Grants +0.3 Damage to Crusaders, and +1 to your total CR.
- 2. Fortitude — Grants +0.1 Armor Penetration, which affects your crit chance. It also grants +0.1 Armor; Armor increases your Block chance, and blocking attacks mitigates 20% of the damage dealt. More mitigation is never amiss, and even more so when dealing with riskier content like the Helliquary. It also adds +1 to your total CR.
- 3. Vitality — Grants +3 Life; the more you can add to your total health pool, the better. This is especially true for melee classes like the Crusader, as they are frequently in the thick of the fight and endure hits head on. This attribute also adds +1 to your total CR.
- 4. Willpower — Grants +0.1 Potency and 0.1 Resistance. Potency increases the duration of harmful effects that you inflict on your foes. Resistance lowers the duration of harmful effects inflicted by your enemies on you. This attribute also adds +1 to your total CR.
- 5. Intelligence — Grants +1 CR. This attribute does nothing else for Crusaders, and should be avoided as much as possible.
Secondary (Special) Attributes
You should not put an emphasis on Special Attributes when considering between gear pieces. This is due to the overpowering importance of Primary Attributes and your CR total. That being said, the better Special Attributes are the two Crit Stats (Critical Hit Chance and Critical Hit Damage), Cooldown Reduction, Beneficiary Effect Duration, and Movement Speed. You can also consider Increased Damage to Players for PvP gear.
Pieces of Primary Gear that you upgrade at the Blacksmith attain up to three additional Bonus Attributes for Reforging at Ranks 6, 11, and 16. These Bonus Attributes belong to "families" (outlined and ranked below); a Family Bonus can be unlocked if all three Bonus Attributes are from the same family. Multiple Primary Gear pieces can have the same Family Bonus to improve your proc chance. The process of Reforging is done with the Reforge Stone consumable. Note that only Primary Gear pieces can be reforged; Secondary Gear pieces cannot.
- 1. Tremor Stone is the most valuable bonus for general content, as its Family Bonus adds a crowd control proc and extra damage to your Primary Attacks.
- 2. Vengeance Stone brings a single target-oriented Family Bonus that becomes increasingly important as you push the difficulty of the content you are doing, i.e. Challenge Rifts. Enhance your progression-oriented Primary Skill, Punish, to have a chance at finishing off Challenge Rift Boss fights within the timer.
- 3. Wildfire Stone is mostly valuable due to its innate attributes, as it brings valuable Critical Hit Chance to the table. The Hydra summon from the Family Bonus is mostly an extra minion to soak up damage.
- 4. Barrier Stone has a Family Bonus that brings some much needed mitigation to Crusaders, a class that face-tanks all of its damage. The absorption shield is paired with some excellent innate attributes like Damage Taken Decreased and Block Chance, which further reduce incoming hurt.
- 5. Jolt Stone offers situationally valuable bonuses; it has Beneficial Effect Duration Increased as an innate attribute, which is decent for groups, and a Cheat Death proc which is never amiss when soloing content. Its Family Bonus brings soft CC to attackers, which is decent mostly for PvP.
- 6. Ravager Stone offers summoner-oriented innate attributes that are quite useless to Crusaders, as their only minion comes from the legendary proc of Cradle of Pebbles. Its Family Bonus requires enemies to be slain to proc, significantly diminishing its usefulness when doing progression content like Challenge Rift bosses and Helliquary.
Normal and Legendary Gems
As per tradition for Diablo games, socketed gear allows you to insert beneficial gems according to your needs. In Diablo Immortal, gems are divided between Normal Gems (socketable in Secondary Gear) and Legendary Gems (socketable in Primary Gear).
Normal Gems can only be socketed in Secondary Gear. Normal gems are divided into Red, Blue and Yellow sockets, and their priority is listed below. Priority-wise, gems are decent power increases to your character, but should never come at the cost of Primary Attributes and your CR score. Go for Red and Blue gems over Yellow if possible, as they provide a stronger bonus overall.
- Red Sockets: Prioritize Tourmaline as it provides a straight Damage increase. Ruby is also decent for the Life increase, but only if you lack Tourmalines.
- Blue Sockets: Prioritize Sapphire, which increases your Armor Penetration, and your Critical Hit Chance stat as a result. Note that Crit Chance provided from Sapphires has diminishing returns, capping out at 33%; when benefits from ArPen get too insignificant, swap to Aquamarine. Aquamarine provides Armor, which is a decent source of damage mitigation.
- Yellow Sockets: Prioritize Citrine for the Potency gains, increasing the duration of harmful effects you inflict on enemies; however small its benefits, they trump the Resistance effects provided from Topaz.
Legendary Gems can only be socketed in Primary Gear. They provide unique and very powerful bonuses on top of a robust stack of stat increases. Legendary Gems are found in Elder Rifts enhanced by the Crest consumables, as well as through crafting at the Jeweler in Westmarch.
Early on in Crusader character progression, you should use common, 1- and 2-Star Legendary Gems like:
- Fervent Fang — Can be obtained from the Battle Pass, saving you some Crests. Provides a stacking damage increase against a target with successive attacks; great for single target damage.
- Seled's Weakening — With an increase to all damage dealt as well as extra damage dealt to Elites once it reaches Rank 3, this legendary gem provides a solid starter bonus for the paltry requirement of killing an Elite monster once every 60 seconds — trivial during farming PvE content.
- Everlasting Torment — For the mere cost of a critical hit, this gem inflicts a considerable DoT and an Attack Speed increase to boot. Even at a low quality, this gem starts off with incredible stats and fits nicely from the get-go.
- Chained Death — This is a great early game gem, especially during farming where you usually pull hordes of enemies to maximize your AoE skills. It amplifies your damage the more enemies you fight, encouraging chaining fights together.
- Lightning Core — Despite its low proc chance, this damage-dealing gem can wipe out entire packs when activated, or focus down a larger foe, making it a decent addition to you legendary gem lineup.
- Berserker's Eye — This gem increases damage dealt at the cost of an increase in damage taken. For most of the farming PvE content, this is a reasonable trade-off that you can feasibly mitigate with the Crusaders's strong sources of shielding.
When perfecting your character for endgame content, the 5-Star Best-in-Slot Legendary Gems for Crusaders include:
- Blood-Soaked Jade — With its Damage and Movement Speed increases, it is largely considered to be the best legendary gem in the game for pretty much all forms of content.
- Seeping Bile — The value of this gem scales with the number of attacks you inflict, fitting well into Crusader setups that spam Spinning Shield and Consecration. With a considerable damage proc and a spreading effect, it is one of the best additions to your legendary gem lineup.
- Frozen Hearth — With percentage-based mitigation against ranged damage, this is one of the strongest defensive legendary gems you can support your character with.
- Blessing of the Worthy — Crusaders thrive at melee ranges and sustain a lot of attacks, making the retaliation proc of this gem quite valuable. Note its scaling off maximum Life, which turns the Sader's considerable health pool into a makeshift nuke.
- Chip of Stone Flesh — This is a PvP powerhouse of a gem, inflicting hard CC and increasing damage dealt on affected targets. It also provides decent value for progression content.
- Howler's Call — Triggered off Primary Attacks (including the Strike from Draw and Quarter), this legendary gem supplements the lacking reach of most Crusader builds with a hard-hitting ranged proc.
Paragon Points are character-specific progression system that allows you to advance in power after you reach maximum level. Each level gives you a Paragon point to spend into currently available nodes on the five Paragon Trees. While Paragon Trees are specialized for certain tasks, you should always keep in mind the tenets of character building — increasing damage and mitigation as much as you can. With that in mind, focus down the Vanquisher tree first, pick up the experience bonus from the Treasure Hunter tree, pick up whatever is useful from the Gladiator tree, and finish off with the group powerhouse of the Soldier tree. Always keep in mind that the (circular) Persistent Attributes are always active once leveled, but the (square) Specialization Skills are only applied when their respective Paragon Tree is active.
- Vanquisher Tree: The offense focus of this tree makes it the best starting point for all characters. It is recommended that you start with the middle row, maxing out Damage and picking up Zeal. Go down the bottom row, maxing out Damage and picking up Wrath. Finally, go along the top row, maxing out Potency, putting the point in Exorcism, and finishing off with Deeper Pockets and Heart of Wrath. This puts you at Paragon level 49.
- Treasure Hunter Tree: This tree unlocks at Paragon 50 and focuses on rewarding you more for your grinding efforts, making it an attractive mid-progression pickup. Go through the middle row, maxing Armor to attain Swift Learner. Then go on straight by maxing out the Damage node. This puts you at Paragon 70.
- Go back to the Vanquisher Tree. Max out the Life nodes in the mid row that follow Zeal, and put one point in Judgment to finish off that row. Then, go to the bottom row and put 3 points into Armor Penetration, which puts you exactly at Paragon 99.
- Right around this point, you have a decision to make. If you focus on PvE content, you should divert your attention back to the Survivor Tree — the other tree unlocked by default. Start out by maxing Life, picking up a point in Unyielding and progressing downwards. Max out Armor, then through the middle row — taking Escape Artist, additional Life, and Precognition along the way. Finish off with the coveted Damage increase. If you focus on PvP content, you should focus on the Gladiator Tree instead; this tree unlocks at Paragon 100, and offers brawling-oriented bonuses. Start off with maxing Armor Penetration, picking Uncontrollable right after it and continuing upwards. Max out Life, attain Quick Witted, and go into maxing Resistance and the second Life node. Get the Cheat Death right above the Life node. Finish with the consistently desirable Damage.
- At this point, you are hovering around the Paragon 180-185 point. One thing to consider is going back to the Vanquisher Tree to finish off the bottom right Armor Penetration node. You can also divert to the Treasure Hunter Tree to grab Gold Find and its subsequent Armor Penetration node. Alternatively, if you group up a lot, you can tab over to the Soldier Tree. This tree unlocks at Paragon 150 and is focused on grouping bonuses and provides tremendous utility for most modes of play. Take Hold Formation and head down to Resistance, then even further down into Damage. Attain the full bottom row — Battle Morale into Armor Penetration into Sacrifice. Then, finish off the middle row with Combat Veteran and Potency. Finally, go through the top row of Life and First Aid.
It is important to reiterate that your utmost priority is picking up all the damage nodes you can, deviating into one tree or another only to further that goal. Secondary valuable pickups are found in Armor Penetration and Life nodes. Once you are done with leveling all the Damage nodes, you are free to fill out Paragon trees as you see fit, as well as to activate specific Trees for the needs of the content you are doing.
When you turn in Bestiary pages, you will receive a class-specific consumable. For Crusaders, this item is the Battle Hymnal, which increases all damage done by yourself and your nearby allies by 10% for 20 minutes. Be generous with its use, especially in party content; buffs like these are what make the Crusader an invaluable member of the group.
- 30 May 2022: Guide created.
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