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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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Guest Oops

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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Guest Hhexfighter

Have you considered using the weapon hack adding 100% thorns damage to every attack?

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Hi there!

So tomorrow will start the new season and I want to play the thorns crusader. Will there be an update of the guide?

Kartamus

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15 hours ago, Kartamus said:

Hi there!

So tomorrow will start the new season and I want to play the thorns crusader. Will there be an update of the guide?

Kartamus

Yes, it's been updated a few hours ago 🙂

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Guest benji 25

hi im having issues with getting my set dungeon to appear any reason why that would be? i have the 6 pc i got the secret and ive got all 4 chapters done. 

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Guest Calathan

I must be missing something major because I can barely do a 75 rift.  I have everything the guide recommends except for Unitys, and yet my Crusader is squisher at this point than my WD is.  As far as I can see i might as well just scrap this guy because dying multiple times in any rift is no where close to fun.

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8 hours ago, Guest Calathan said:

I must be missing something major because I can barely do a 75 rift.  I have everything the guide recommends except for Unitys, and yet my Crusader is squisher at this point than my WD is.  As far as I can see i might as well just scrap this guy because dying multiple times in any rift is no where close to fun.

Unity is important and above all, CDR is key to the build so you can keep everything up and running.

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So no Bloodbrother? In the cube, weapon slot, no 20% extra block chance, and 30% extra dmg after blocking? You block everything, so that's 30% pretty often. I guess the many block chance options add up to so much blocking % that you don't need the 20%. The rift guardian doesn't attack enough most of the time, so I like it, 50% dmg against the most important ones, especially at the end when nothing is attacking you. Keep up the good work. That and the stricken means I might want to avoid lesser enemies. Not my style. We still have a nasty habit of trying to kill everything even though we know we should be elite hunting with most builds. Just feels wrong to purposely leave more than a couple scragglers. 

But totally makes sense for limit pushing. Love the updated builds pages, breakdowns and rankings of them. That update changed a lot.

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36 minutes ago, Knutsanity said:

So no Bloodbrother? In the cube, weapon slot, no 20% extra block chance, and 30% extra dmg after blocking? You block everything, so that's 30% pretty often. I guess the many block chance options add up to so much blocking % that you don't need the 20%. The rift guardian doesn't attack enough most of the time, so I like it, 50% dmg against the most important ones, especially at the end when nothing is attacking you. Keep up the good work. That and the stricken means I might want to avoid lesser enemies. Not my style. We still have a nasty habit of trying to kill everything even though we know we should be elite hunting with most builds. Just feels wrong to purposely leave more than a couple scragglers. 

But totally makes sense for limit pushing. Love the updated builds pages, breakdowns and rankings of them. That update changed a lot.

Your main damage comes from the interaction between 2 and 6 pieces of Invoker, which means wielding BB is not an option. The furnace is a tremendous boost to elite (And RG) damage, blood brother simply cannot keep up. Don't forget that BB only works on abilities, and not on the effects they apply - thus not working on invoker 6 set.

However, at lower gear levels with less than desired CDR/Toughness/Block chance, i found myself sporting Hold Your Ground Passive instead of Fanaticism. Reasoning is, the 6set hits like a freight train (already above 1000B while IS/AC up) and already killing Elites in less than 3 seconds, but my Iron Skin uptime was horrible and Having 100% Block while Provoke is up helpes that a lot. That helped me to get my 70 GR clear without endless walk. (Got a Blade of Prophecy with 10% damage, Strength and Cooldown reduction. F.) 

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On 5/11/2019 at 12:05 AM, Guest Hhexfighter said:

Have you considered using the weapon hack adding 100% thorns damage to every attack?

It's not your thorns damage that is high, your damage mainly comes from the Invoker's 6 piece set, which does exactly the same what Hack does, but deals 15000% Thorns Damage instead of 100%. If you add Hack in, you would get 15100% Thorns Damage on every punish, which is a ~0.6% increase in damage. Having faster attacks and 5 primaries and +50% damage on elites trumps it by far. 

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22 hours ago, Yolo said:

It's not your thorns damage that is high, your damage mainly comes from the Invoker's 6 piece set, which does exactly the same what Hack does, but deals 15000% Thorns Damage instead of 100%. If you add Hack in, you would get 15100% Thorns Damage on every punish, which is a ~0.6% increase in damage. Having faster attacks and 5 primaries and +50% damage on elites trumps it by far. 

Thank you for that clarification. I had read that it used to be that way but was also curious. Certainly since the last update with the huge 6 pc set buff, it is no longer even a decent potential alternative. 
As far as the Bloodbrother goes, I'm not sure if it used to be on the build on here as the right option, or if I just had always used it myself when I made the build. I think for defence/ justice lantern reasons I had always wanted it. To the point I never bothered to consider the furnace. But seeing it on the build page now, and thinking about it, I couldn't agree more the furnace would work better, and will make that change the next time I bring out the Crusader. Made me feel better about my base lowest possible defence to have the BB I guess, when at camp and no buffs, I just like seeing the lowest possible defence being a decent number. But I have cooldown galore now, and adding up all the block chance I don't need that 20%, and obviously will never be at minimum defence anyway while fighting. Just a silly thing that makes me feel better but obviously won't matter. So don't get me wrong I couldn't agree more with making that change. However are you trying to tell me the 30% dmg on the next attack after blocking only applies to the punish skill itself and not the 15000% of thorns addition from the 6 pc bonus? 50% against the more important and tougher enemies is better than 30% against all enemies after a block either way. But if that is what you are trying to tell me then it's not even close. 

That's totally ok, about the lvl 70 grift primal 😛, I never got one. I thought I'd get one on my next one, but never did I don't think. I had just completed my first 70, with this thorns crusader actually, not long before that patch. So I unlocked the primals, but never got one. I thought I read on my next 70 I should get one, even if I had already unlocked them before, but it never happened. I've gotten probably 15-20, my buddy I play with as well. He's gotten a few that have suited me fine and helped my builds out, and I've gotten a few that he's made use of. But None have been perfect for any of our builds, even the ones we are using may get replaced by regular ancients. Zero perfectly suitable to a top build, none we've made use of on our own guys except my first(Primal immortal kings gloves for my kings/ earth seismic slam barb), and most of them for gear we will never use, even doubles of ones we will never use. Probably 3 of his I've made good use of including 1 almost perfect mage fist that was best in slot for my build( Just had res all instead of crit dmg, for a wizard). Only like 2 of mine he's made use of, only because they are primal, not best in slot. A necklace with dex,crit ch, crit dmg, socket so that's phenomenal, but if he gets lucky with a more suitable ancient with the same stats that are close to max, it's gone. The drop rate of .2% sounds right, and without a doubt that means way to much grinding before a best in slot primal with the right stats drops for one of my 7 classes and probably 12 builds or so, unless I get lucky.  Incredibly frustrating going for end game gear. You progress so quickly, then you progress in waves, then you basically just grind and grind and grind and grind, maybe you get an improvement or 2, maybe you don't. Maybe you do some caldessan's on your best and hardest to replace gear, and then maybe you get a couple slightly better ones right away while your lesser gear you spend 200000 bloodshards on doesn't get a better option.... grrr. 
 

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Guest GemVariations for HC

Hi All - I am running this build on a hardcore character  (I have never played HC before) and am clearing GR40 pretty comfortably at the moment.  What do you think of swapping in Esoteric or Moratorium instead of Bane of Stricken or Bane of Trapped?  I've never really used Moratorium but it seems really solid for HC.

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Moratorium smoothes out damage intake, which synergizes the life on hit self sustain of the build, but quickly gets outclassed by esoteric because moratoriums damage stagger % does not get increased, but esoteric's does with increased gem levels. After all, the most dangerous affixes are Elemental. (Looking at you, Arcane enchanted and Molten). So most like, you'll want esoteric in place of Stricken at Low grs where you do not hit by the RG health wall, and Trapped at High GRs, when you do. 

Now i have a Question/conversation starter: What about Gogok of Swiftness? 15% CDR sounds pretty nice to achive permanent Iron Skin,  not to mentions the IAS. 

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