Just about any Barbarian with their hands on a pair of Lut Socks and a few pieces of the Might of the Earth set will use the drop opportunity (droppertunity?) to experiment with the popular "Leapquake" build, which capitalizes on the synergy between those items.
Video creator and regular livestreamer Deadset#2627 found his Crusader growing jealous of this fun and unique build, and when a Cam's Rebuttal came his way, he knew he had to give it a try. Let's take a look at his Zakarum-inspired take on Leapquake in this week's Play Your Way Thursday!
About the Build:
Like many experimental builds, this started with a stroke of inspiration from a pair of important drops. After stumbling on a Cam's Rebuttal and Akarat's Awakening, Deadset took a look at one of the most popular Barbarian builds and set out to emulate it on his devout follower of Akkhan.
"I was jealous of the Barbarian Leapquake playstyle the moment I laid my eyes on it," he writes in, explaining that while this is admittedly an end-game spec with a lot of gear requirements, it's a lot of fun and provides a very different flavor of gameplay than other, more popular Torment VI Crusader builds.
While you'll find some familiar Crusader skills and items in this build, the combination and emphasis lie outside the norm. The conventions of this build might not be what you expect from a Falling Sword-oriented build, but the result remains devastatingly effective.
The focus and primary damage dealers of this build are AoE-centric and require some items to truly make them shine. Bear in mind this is an item-heavy build and that those items play a big part in supporting the skill set below.
- Punish (Roar)
- Matches the elemental theme (Fire) of the rest of the build
- Increase Block chance in order to get the most out of Akarat's Awakening in between skill rotations
- Falling Sword (Superheated)
- Laws of Valor (Frozen in Terror)
- Consecration (Shattered Ground)
- Secondary damage component of the build
- Bonus life regeneration is helpful when you’re getting into the thick of large packs
- While the damage on its own isn’t too substantial, it plays well with the Akarat's Champion (Fire Starter) rune
- Provoke (Hit Me)
- Wrath generation is a perk, but not the focus of this choice
- Increasing Block Chance and forcing enemies to attack you further takes significant advantage of the Akarat’s Awakening affix, allowing more frequent skill rotations
- Akarat's Champion (Fire Starter)
- Heavenly Strength
- Holy Cause
- Bonus damage increase
- Note: While this doesn't take advantage of the Holy/Healing component, you can swap this skill out for Renewal for an additional synergistic source of healing
- Hold Your Ground
- Ideal gear will include seven sockets, which provides a substantial amount of additional Strength
Like many builds that operate in high Torment levels, this one requires a hefty amount of gear to support.
- Armor of Akkhan (6 Piece Bonus)
- Cam's Rebuttal
- Akarat's Awakening
- Stone of Jordan
- Standard complementary item for most single-element builds
- Important for breaching Torment VI
- This build takes a lot of damage by entering the thick of large packs of creatures and coaxing them to attack you
- Used with second Unity on your Follower and the appropriate Follower token offers unparalleled survivability
- Haunt of Vaxo
- Legendary affix procs off of Laws of Valor (Frozen in Terror) and offers a great source of supplemental damage
- Strongarm Bracers
- Falling Sword’s impact causes a knockup, providing an excellent overall DPS boost with these bracers
- The Helm of Rule
Critical Hit Chance, Critical Hit Damage, and Fire Damage will be your main sources of boosting your damage output. If possible, Deadset recommends keeping a 1:10 ratio between Critical Hit Chance and Critical Hit Damage. This might be tough, but when in doubt keep up with Critical Hit Damage over Critical Hit Chance, as it’s a little tougher to come by.
Of course, you also want to stack as much Cooldown Reduction as you can get your hands on. This is a cooldown-dependent build, so don’t get too wrapped up in how this affects your sheet Damage. This value won’t account for the frequency of dropping those big hits from Falling Sword or the higher uptime on Akarat's Champion (Fire Starter).
Lastly, if you can scrounge up some Falling Sword Damage on your Chest or Shoulder slots, it’ll make for the icing on an already deliciously destructive cake.
Recommended Difficulty and Game Mode:
Deadset runs this build comfortably in Torment VI in Normal mode. Bear in mind that's with the full load out of recommended gear; if you find you’re lacking in item support, you'll want to start low and feel out where you're most comfortable as you acquire more integral pieces.
Deadset was kind enough to put his build to video!
It is also worth noting this build plays it dangerously. You'll constantly be putting yourself in harm's way by leaping into big packs of enemies and relying on their attacks to reduce your cooldowns. This makes it somewhat unintuitive for use in Hardcore. Keep this in mind if you decide to brave Hardcore mode with your Crusader!
Why We Like This Build:
There are a few reasons why we wanted to feature this build this round. Despite sharing certain strong skills, it's an interesting diversion from standard Torment VI builds and offers a substantially different gameplay experience for the Crusader class. I really enjoy the notion of looking at a class-specific build and seeing if you can make it work for a different class. It's a great novelty that plays out effectively.
Lastly, as many of you know, the focus of this series is experimentation and trying new things. Often this comes hand in hand with starting out or living in lower Torment levels for a while, because of a gear wall or a build needing more polish. Deadset's dedication allows us to see the end result of looking at the box, learning from it, and then thinking outside of it. It's a great example of marrying the concepts of both playing your way and theorycrafting.
Tell Us What You Think!
Do you have a Crusader equipped to "Leapquake"? What pieces do you need to pursue this build? Do you have suggestions on how to improve this build? We're waiting in the comments to hear your thoughts, so join the discussion and let us know!
That's a wrap on this week’s Play Your Way Thursday! Do you have a build you want to share with the rest of the community? Send it in to us at PlayYourWay@Blizzard.com and don’t forget to include all the information covered in our submission guidelines. Until next week, game on and don’t forget to keep playing your way!