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Blainie

Thorns Crusader (Patch 2.6.4)

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I think heart of iron is not as good as it seems, all top crusaders go aquilla cuirass and cube nems, which seems like a good idea, because when in rift my biggest problem is lack of elite enemies xD

In general I've seen few variants of thorns build. I like it because there is some freedom and you can always tweak it up a little bit to your own liking in contrary to other builds. Also gearing is much easier and much more fun in my opinion.

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Sounds like thorns is upgraded by strength to the same tune as the rest of a crusaders or barbarians damages. So the heart of iron is great, still better than the nemesis bracers I'm sure.  But it is likely best left as an added bonus, not a change in build style. 
Let the added bonus of thorns come naturally from the vitality you add for survive-ability as you progress. And strength for dmg/armour otherwise. 
But maybe that depends, maybe me on hardcore being around 10K Vitality, the 30,000 thorns ( from Hoi)makes a great difference. Maybe on softcore people build glass cannons with all of 3 or 4K Vitality and then 9 or 12 thousand thorns is less of a big deal than the strength bonus from going full strength, almost certainly is, and nemesis extra elites is just gravy... But I'm not sure, I wonder how often they'd die and whether that time wasted re spawning is worth it.  Armour from strength is huge, so maybe they die less than I'd think. 
If they have 3 times less vitality, and 5 times less life, but have 2 or 3 times the armour, due to not bothering with life% rolls since they become less important the less vitality you have, so I could turn those into armour, and they have almost twice the strength.... So instead of balancing Strength, Vitality, Armour and Life%, they just have a bit of Vitality, and tonnes of strength and armour, paragon all into strength not any Vitality.... Hmmm.... I shouldn't roll the dice with that on hardcore. But it sounds about right, dmg and grift speed wise... only if they don't die so often that the re spawning takes up too much time. Before you laugh at my Life% plan that no one ever uses, keep in mind it's the most powerful toughness buff once your Vitality is really high. So on hardcore it's great. 
So yeah sounds right for maxing your solo Grift lvls. Using the nemesis and aquilla C. But of course Heart of Iron is still a bonus, no matter how little, so if in a group that someone else can wear the nemesis bracers instead, it's still the better option. And if in a great GR with tonnes of elites to the point you don't need Nem B's it's still better too, which is random and rare, I know. 

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Heart of iron is good at start but becomes obsolete pretty fast leaving up space for better item combinations. Sanguinary vambraces are super extra horrible choice for this build and you should always go with lacuni prowlers (which have guaranteed ias and thorns btw). This build is elite hunting build, you don't need sang vambraces with their random proc to aoe with thorns, faster attack is much better.

Heart of thorns will give you around 17k-18k thorns end game if you are well geared. It seems to be much, but it really isn't. Wearing AC, cubing nems and getting rid heart of iron is much better option. Heart of iron is good to start with this build, but I am almost sure anyone will want to make the switch at some point.

I switched over from the icy veins variant of this build to the top push and cannot complain, much better play now.

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Yeah that sounds fair. I'm at 10K Vitality though, so it's actually Like 30K thorns. I assumed that for top GR leaderboard pushing you can't be on hardcore at all, you need to go for more offence at the expense of defence. So I'd imagine you are right, maybe they'll make a note of that as an option, but I just meant for me it's a no go. I need lots of vitality so the bonus becomes better for HoIron. 
Also keep in mind for groups, only one person needs the Nemesis bracers just make sure they grab the pylons, and only a small bonus is still a bonus, so if someone else has the bracers you might as well take your HoIron bonus. 

But yeah, wasn't so much disagreeing with you, sounds right for solo Grift maxing. I only chimed in to answer the strength question and strength/ vitality question... Started thinking out loud about it's application to me after that sorry. Could always wear the Nemesis bracers too though. Especially in the new season. 

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Even on hardcore you might benefit more from ditching the HoI and wearing AC. If you don't want nems you could cube the belt and use witching hour for extra ias or cube the stacking life/second boots for survivability. From what I've noticed the biggest survivability and damage buff in this build are given by upgrading boyarsky's chip (direct damage upgrade) and attack speed (damage from more iron maiden stacks and surv from LoH). So even if you have a lot of vit it is still better to make some changes in order to hit as fast as possible instead of relying on that little little +thorns buff HoI gives you for stacking vit as extra stacks from iron maiden will give you more damage than that. I don't know what variant you play on hc now, but with laws switched to laws of valor - invincible and swapping consecration for provoke - hit me I feel pretty much indestructible, and this is with gemming all res instead of vit, I think I don't even reach 800k hp, that's how not optimal my items are.

In the end, I only play WD on hc, so no idea how those changes would work out for your crusader, but still, using both builds I am quite confident I do more damage and have better survivability after making the changes.

And don't worry about providing input as long as you do it in a polite manner, I think it is a good thing to have a discussion about different variants and playstyles, so anyone who reads those messages can be aware of different possibilities that are viable to play it.

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Yeah was just browsing the hardcore leaderboards, I didn't know existed, and most of all classes use only 5k or so Vitality. I should look for a thorns somewhere on there. I'd be a ways away, not enough time on any characters to start perfecting, maxing out caldessan recipe's and climbing GR lvls anywhere near that high. Switch between 7 classes, died a few times, don't play everyday, but plan on getting there with all of them in the next year or so. Been playing about a year probably more.  Paragon 950 ish. 
It does look I'll have to eventually transition the build to lower vitality in favour of max offence and cooldown, and just play smarter. It relies on the defensive buffs I'll have to pay more attention to and get more often.  Really should to be able to almost constantly iron skin for offence as well. Akarats obviously. 
Yeah strength, attack speed and thorns are everything for the offence on this build, so other toughness stats and cool down are easy to sprinkle in on the gear even if I max those 3 offensive stats. 
Looks like I'll have to transition all my builds from vitality, once trying to really push higher. 

I also use provoke, blocking everything helps the defence a lot. I was only at like GR 86 playing co op. The toughness is still great, but I guess I'm assuming it gets much worse quickly, and has already started being noticeable that with more levels soon I'll be vulnerable if stupid. Being a tank has made me lazy. Don't want to worry about my minimum toughness, and rely on buffs, fully buffed I'm definitely still a tank. But getting the Akarat cooldown shield and more cooldown will mean I can dip in and out while buffed like a smart person.  

Vitality and life percentage go so well together but technically that just means I can take more hits, not as awesome as being buffed more often, since buffed is unreasonably great dmg reduction. I'll wait til my co op buddy has one ready to go further, and I have the shield though. Using the provoke shield for now which is not entirely useless. Need to perfect my gear, I'll avoid vitality caldessans and work towards less vitality slowly for now. Until I do have great cooldown, I'd rather be able to just stand there hitting for the most part to keep helping. My down time would be to much right now, so I need the vitality to stand in there all day even when not buffed. I still have dmg range on my weapon even. Lots of improving to go. 
 

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So I found a Thorns crusader on the hardcore leader boards. was at gr lvl 114 I think maybe 111. Had around 8000 or 7000 vitality. So more than most classes and builds for more obvious tanking close range dmg reasons I guess. I also found me an Akarats Awakening shield finally, ancient yet. No thorns, had to switch another stat which isn't ideal. But the 9k thorns I lost from my provoke shield, and slightly less dmg and toughness ranks don't matter at all compared to the cooldown aspect. I'm really starting to see what blanie mentioned about all builds, the cooldown toughness and dmg skills are the best modifiers for a lot of builds, and cooldown reductions a top choice for good reason. It sucks for Rift Guardians, because they don't hit you fast enough. But throughout the rift the more you get hit the better, it works great for getting to the guardian much faster. In this case, Akarats Champion and Iron Skin are huge for both your dmg and dmg reduction, and make cooldowns of utmost importance. 

Made it to lvl 90 co op with my buddies demon hunter who is an absolute tank, more so than me lol, man those DH dmg reduction modifiers.... You guys ever seen a max toughness of 4.5 billion at paragon 975? But he lacks in dmg, for even high 80's for now. We can do probably lvl 91 or in a good GR 92, but he didn't want to, seems to be frustrated that he doesn't kill anything with his multishot. I keep telling him that he's helping plenty, the less I have to hit them the quicker I can hit the next enemy. I rebalanced my paragon added more STR and took away more Vit, added a better necklace with 600 more thorns, similar other numbers and 7% Attack Speed instead of 700 Vit. Currently my travelers pledge is my only non ancient, and still has a wasted crit dmg roll like my last one, my last wasted roll left. So a perfectly suited ancient TP would make a huge difference. I'm down to 8200 Vit from 9900. 

Moral of the story is I'm learning why total life is not as important as dmg reduction, and when dependant on cooldown skills for dmg reduction, cool downs can give you the option to change your extra life (vit, life%) rolls into more dmg. I'm in less trouble than I was at GR 86 defensively. Untouchable with AkCh, IrSk on, even more so when LoV is on, and now it's often enough that I have those for almost every elite battle. Next step is a Cooldown reduction gem in the helmet for my life% gem. But I may wait a bit for that, some more strength Caldessans for armour and dmg. I got to 13K str, I'll wait for 14 or 15K str, or for his DH dmg or Wizard toughness to get up there enough to help it go quicker. 

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Multishot is absolutely garbage build for progression, for speedfarming it is excelent, but for doing grs? Not so much, so no wonder your friend gets frustrated. He would be much better with impale build and saving the multishot set for speedfarming. If you usually play with your buddies think about switching to other build. Thorns is really horrible to play with a team because of how monsters' hp stacks when in party, especially in higher GRs. Condemn or blessed hammer would serve you better. Condemn is a little bit like thorns, but you need great cdr to keep perma akarat's champion, if you lack needed cdr condemn is garbage and you will die fast.

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Yes, thanks for the tips, sounds about right. Always play with the same buddy in co op on the same xbox 1. Twice as much HP for thorns does kind of suck, and especially while my thorns crusader is above our other characters in dmg capabilities and toughness as well. But what can I do? If I switch I still have the same issue, just with a different build. I'll have to be patient with our other characters. Out of boredom however I may switch. Kind of want to try the others, just unfortunately start well behind the little bit I've tried. Gotta get used to and tweak the play style differences and stat differences. 

As far as the Heart of Iron goes I guess I won't be making the switch to try any time soon, but once I'm up there maybe, it was my second last non ancient, somehow never got a good one of the 2 options with so many tries with bloodshards and drops. Then my buddy gave me the primal ancient Heart of Iron he got, thorns the whole deal, only needed one thing changed. Guy spent 2 hours with his crusader and got what I spent like 80 hours hoping for lol. But that's luck, and he immediately decided it was mine. So he can hold me back all he wants. I'll mention your opinion on progression with DH sets to him, you are likely right, we had both started our 1st DH's with the shadow set and died, and enjoyed the Multi shot options after levelling back up. But we have a lot of the best options for all the builds now, so maybe we'll have to make the switch. It's getting obvious the huge AoE builds are awesome, but not for end game, because not so great for RG's or single enemies, inevitably very important. Sounds like pin point damage combined with Area Damage can give the best of both worlds. 

How important do you find Area damage for this thorns build? 

 

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Area damage is not a stat worth pursuing in thorns build, but if you already have it on some gear along with other useless stat like chc or chd it is better to reroll the usless stat and leave ad on.

Ad is triggered by invoker 2 pcs effect, consecrate, bombardment, steed charge and punish/slash.

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Thanks 🙂 So just not the thorns application onto punish then, the most important dmg. Yeah I just have 20% I think, gear is getting close to optimal. Good to know It's not near as important as with other builds that hit one thing at a time. 

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Changing item recommendations to include andy is simply wrong, lacuni prowlers+invokers helm are much better. You just copied the top tier guys, one has primal andy and the other one has primal invokers bracers, that's why they went with andy instead of lacuni prowlers. You did the same with multishot, it is now marked as top tier, but no one plays it in top tier. It's just a speed farming build many dhs have equipped and it seems you copied it as if it was the build that allowed some guy to finish GR 120.

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In the skills detail description, it talks about using provoke in an active skill slot, but it isn't in the list of skills reccommend  for this season (16)

 

Is it left over from the before?

 

I can't figure which skill to give up for provoke or if I should just stay with the reccommend 16 build 

Thanks

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