Diablo® III

Looking for good Crusader builds.

I am still fairly new to D3 and just started playing the crusader class. I am used to wizard since I've been playing it for awhile and need help with a build for crusader. I'm looking for gear, what I should put my paragon in, and skills I should use.
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100 Orc Death Knight
Posts: 799
Hello Dragoon,

One of the challenges that you will face initially as a new crusader is effective wrath management. Some of our main abilities (Fist of the Heavens for example) can be very costly. As a direct result of this, many crusaders, particularly while leveling, will start off with builds using Blessed Hammer [Burning Wrath or Thunderstruck] or Sweep Attack [Blazing Sweep], as they are much less expensive.

You will also want to use either Heavenly Strength or Fervor for one of your passive slots, depending on whether you are using a 2-hand or 1-hand weapon.

For a primary attack (wrath generator), if you like a more "in your face" melee style, I'd recommend Punish [Roar]. This gives you a nice defensive boost, and if you have decent block chance on your shield (without additional block chance, they range from 10% to 20% block chance) it can add quite a bit of damage without actually spending more time attacking. If you prefer to keep your distance, Justice [Crack] is a solid choice.

You'll also find that while leveling, Laws of Justice [Immovable Object] is a tremendous defensive boost since you cannot find all resistance as a stat on gear until a bit later.

Also, an important thing some newer players overlook...if you haven't already, turn on "elective mode" in the options menu. By default, the game limits your skill choices to 1 from every category...this need not be the case. Elective mode allows you to choose any skill combination you want.

To give a very very basic build idea, I would recommend something like this for leveling:


I've tried to tailor this to use runes unlocked around your level. Remember, Fervor passive and Heavenly Strength are interchangeable depending on whether you have a better 1-hand or 2-hand weapon. Also, it's probably wise to steer away from long cooldowns like Akarat's Champion as they are not as effective until you have significant amounts of cooldown reduction on gear.

Using Provoke with a large group of monsters in range will restore a huge amount of wrath, and will also keep the monsters in place for Condemn. So a general pack of monsters would go something like this:

1) Approach monsters and hit once with Punish [Roar] to activate the buff that damages monsters whenever you block.

2) Provoke to keep the monsters in range and restore missing wrath.

3) Condemn for good burst damage (better with a 2-hand weapon, preferably) while the monsters are all locked in place near you.

4) Spam Blessed Hammer [Burning Wrath] to clean up.

Hope this helps answer some of your initial questions, and gets you on the right track! Once you're used to the class more, you'll have a better idea of what kind of build to use at max level.

Feel free to ask if you have any more questions, etc.
Edited by JWP#1216 on 6/18/2014 12:19 PM PDT
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I just started one and having a blast (tried DH first, but all that dodging got on my nerves).

I'm sure i'm not that good but basically I'm a big fan of slash/shield bash. Slash can be subbed out for anything honestly but I'm more in your face (spamming smite or throwing hammers feels lame).

I like shield bash in particular because it can be a poor man's charge. So far (only coming up on 40) my one complaint is a gap closer. Yest there is steed charge but so far the runes for it haven't been all that exciting.

I stick in consecrate for fun as well as condemn with vacuum, but I'm still learning all the ins and outs of skills.
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Community Manager
Posts: 369
Thanks for helping out someone new to the game, Zandrin and Monsterella! It's nice to see people in the New Player sub forum who are willing to offer tips and suggestions.

Once you've gotten more experience with the class, Dragoon, be sure to check out our Crusader sub forum for more advice on building a better champion of Akarat. :)
Edited by Tyvalir on 9/2/2014 12:23 PM PDT
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Once you have more experience with the class and want to take it to the next level, my current build is letting me absolutely melt torment 6 with ease =)

As you get stronger in gear level, cooldown reduction becomes a huge part of many crusader builds. For example, getting 6 pieces of the Armor of Akkhan (crusader torment set) (or 5 pieces plus a ring of royal grandeur) will cut the cooldown on Akarat's champion by 50%- add another *roughly* 50% cooldown reduction on top of that from gear and you can very definitely sustain that form for a 100% uptime. That's 35% increased damage and increased wrath regeneration. With the prophet rune that is also 150% bonus armor, AND one free resurrection per cast!

One piece that for me personally has become incredible for many of my builds is a crafted bracer named Reaper's Wraps. The bonus on it makes health globes restore 25-30% of your wrath per pickup. This is a HUGE help when it comes to quickly jumping between packs of mobs and worrying about wrath generation =)

Good luck and happy hunting! It's a great class and a lot of fun.
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It seems like all my new builds are crusaders... I'm also playing 99% Hard Core. I tend to lose a lot of Crusaders between levels 14 and 25 ish... there is a point there that I'm not getting real upgrades as I power up (which of course means the bad guys are leveling up as well). Once over the hump you will again see a difficult period in the 60's where the gear isn't that much of an upgrade and the monsters are more powerful.

Love the Crusader. I've got one that I'm doing Torment 1 with now and I think he's quite a tank with some funny gear. I've got a set of pants that put off the same stuff Ghom does, but boy is it effective. I'm just glad I don't have smell-a-vision on the monitor... The rest of my Crusaders I usually stay in the Expert mode up until I have to fight the end boss in V, I will lower the difficulty to Normal to take him on. I mostly play single player as well while leveling up.

Something I find funny in the final maze in V is when you are going up to "your old Master" and he states something like, "when I died you took up my armor and carried on." Well if that's the case why do you start the very beginning of the game with crap equipment ;-)
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cheat sheet:

go on leaderboards, check the build/items of the top 10.
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This is my personal build. With Holy Cause passive all of your holy damage restores 1% of your maximum health. Since all of your attacks are holy you are always healing. You also regain health on blocking with this set-up. and from Law of Hope always active. If for some reason all that isn't enough to keep you alive Consecration can be used for even more healing. With Hardened senses from Punish and my shield and passive Hold Your Ground I can maintain a 67% block rate. Combine this with the Renewal Passive where you regain health on blocking you are pretty much good to go. I use Fist of the Heavens for a range ability and Condemn with Vacuum rune for damaging foes. I use Punish to regain Wraith or to keep Hardened Senses active. Akarats Champion with the Prophet rune gives me a great damage boost and massive armor boost for a short while.

My set-up isn't flashy or fancy but it is what has worked for me, and I have played around with all of the Crusader Skills in all combinations.
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This is my main Crusader build. I can do very well in torment 4 solo, have not tried higher yet, but in groups torment 6 is very easy. The only down side of this build is it relies on The Fate of The Fell(which is really hard to find) to help increase damage by causing three Heavens Fury's. But I have other crusaders, by looking at my profile you'll see that the crusader class is my favorite. the other builds I have are works in progress but they as of right now can do torment 3 nicely in groups(torment 1 solo). I would say aim for the Akkhans armor set, a lot of crusader builds use this armor set. I found the shield bash build that I started
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/profile/Killerfate-1517/hero/50996441 is pretty good and it requires no really hard to find legendary (that I know of). Im using fire damage but holy damage could be used instead,so for a starting build you might want to look at this.
But in the end its up to you what you want to play, find what suits you and that you find fun. Maybe Mix up all these ideas into your own. Have fun.
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09/02/2014 01:38 PMPosted by PurpleWayne
Once over the hump you will again see a difficult period in the 60's where the gear isn't that much of an upgrade and the monsters are more powerful

OP mentioned a previous wizard. Depending on how far he got his crafter, there really shouldn't be much of a gear hump post 40-ish. You can craft up level 70 gear and reroll for reduced level req.
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09/03/2014 12:34 PMPosted by Snapshot
09/02/2014 01:38 PMPosted by PurpleWayne
Once over the hump you will again see a difficult period in the 60's where the gear isn't that much of an upgrade and the monsters are more powerful

OP mentioned a previous wizard. Depending on how far he got his crafter, there really shouldn't be much of a gear hump post 40-ish. You can craft up level 70 gear and reroll for reduced level req.

What a great idea. I've never thought about a reroll for reduced levels... I've never (maybe once or twice) used the crafter...
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