Tuesday 24 June 2014

Crusader Gearing Guide

Crusader Gearing Guide

So lately I've been seeing a lot of people asking for general help. In particular, people asking things like “Any suggestions?” and a link to their profile, or “What should I reroll?” More often than not, it's a very easy decision (for me anyway, but I've played this game a lot).

I rolled a crusader as soon as RoS was released, and as of the writing of this guide, I've put in over 173 hours on my holy warrior. I've geared him enough to solo run T4 comfortably. In general, my intention with this guide is to share my observations on how to ideally gear your crusader. I think I've played enough to get a gist of the general consensus. Specifically, I'll be going over what stats to look for on gear, occasionally offering suggestions for legendaries.

This guide is aimed more toward the new crusader as a set of general guidelines, but hopefully more experienced ones can learn something from it too or offer some suggestions and insights.

Stats to look for on gear:
Strength – No brainer. Our main stat. Boosts damage and armor. Necessary in every slot.

Crit and Crit Hit Damage (CHD) – Hit harder more frequently. Easy choice here. Necessary on jewelry and gloves.

+Elemental Damage – Even if you're only wearing yellows, you can get 20-40% additional damage to an elemental skill. Pick one and stack it. Crusaders are somewhat limited on choices for elemental skill runes, but holy is the most versatile, and fire can stack an ungodly +140%. Lightning is viable for Fist of the Heavens builds. Physical is pretty weak, but at least it buffs Phalanxand Bombardment. Seeing as we have only one cold skill (Blessed Hammer – Icebound Hammer), I see no good reason to have any. Hopefully Blizzard does something about this next patch (2.0.5). Rolls on amulets and bracers, and various legendaries.

Cooldown Reduction (CDR) – If you haven't noticed, crusaders are very cooldown heavy. Apart from Primary and Secondary skills, nearly every crusader ability and rune is on a cooldown. Take this over attack speed (AS). Most crusader skills do not scale with attack speed (most notable exception is for Endless Shield builds). Rolls on shoulders, gloves, jewelry, and shields. Can roll on weapons, but there are better affixes IMO.

Sockets – One on your weapon (130% CHD), three in your chest (840 str), two in your pants (560 str), one in your helm if you can fit it in (12.5% CDR). Benefits from your Finery passive. There are better affixes to be had for jewelry and shield, so I skip it on those.

+Skill Damage – Hard to fit into a slot in most cases. Helm and boots can roll Secondary (spender) skills and Phalanx, belt and pants can roll Primary (generator) skills, shoulders and chest can roll Conviction (big cooldown) skills.

+Damage to Elites – Outside of legendaries, can only roll on weapon and shield, where I don't think you'll really have room for it. Get it and stack it. Stone of Jordan and set bonuses from Blackthorne's and Aughild's

Vitality – Need it to live, duh.

All Resist – Survivability! Get it on your defensive pieces. Crusaders hit diminishing returns on armor way faster and get plenty of armor from strength and shields.

+Life % - Gets more useful the more vit you have. More often than not, if faced with the choice bwetween vitality and life%, vitality wins out. Worth getting on a slot or two. At 400k health, +10% life is 500 vitality.

“What about Life on Hit and Life Regeneration?” - If you're low in paragon levels, it's worth looking into getting some on your gear if you feel like you need some sustain. The way I see it, if I'm having too much trouble staying alive with the above stats alone, I probably don't belong in that difficulty.

A note on Area Damage. I just don't feel there's room for it. Crusaders really don't have an issue with AOE damage, so I feel the area damage gained from paragon points is enough.

That said, this is how I spend my paragon points:

Move Speed → Strength
CDR → whatever you need (try to maintain 10 CHD to 1 Crit on your sheet)
Life Regeneration → Resist All
Area Damage → Life on Hit/Resource Cost Reduction

The Hunt for the Perfect Affixes
Below is a listing of (my idea of) ideal affixes in each particular slot. Where appropriate, a legendary is suggested if cerain affixes don't normally roll in that slot.

  • Holy Damage/Non-elemental Damage
  • Strength
  • Socket
  • CDR/AS/%Damage
I think a holy damage roll here is ideal due to the Holy Cause passive, but %damage currently doesn't work with an elemental damage roll. If Blizzard ever gets around to fixing this, I'd always roll with it over CDR and AS. Notable weapons includeGyrfalcon's Foote, Blade of Prophecy, Darklight, Fate of the Fell, Jace's Hammer of Vigilance, Baleful Remnant, and The Mortal Drama.

  • Strength
  • Crit
  • Vitality/Resists/Elite reduction/Block chance
  • CDR/Elite damage/Skill
Super flexible slot. Strength and crit are mandatory here. Go for a high block rate also, which buffs your Divine Fortress passive. Last two affixes are tricky. More like than not, you'll just have to build around whatever rolls you get on whatever legendary you're rolling with. Since they can roll with so many different affixes, they can be a bitch to reroll. You've been warned. A few notables include Jekangbord, Hellskull, Eberli Charo, and Defender of Westmarch


  • Strength
  • Crit
  • CHD
  • CDR on rings
  • +Elemental on amulet
These are your offensive slots. Trifecta of Crit/CHD/CDR is best here. If you find a really good yellow item for this slot, you may be hard-pressed to find a legendary to replace it. For rings, Stone of Jordan rolls +elemental (up to 20%) and +elite damage (up to 30%). Most people also roll with the Ring of Royal Grandeur (from Act 1 bounties) to hoard up set bonuses. An argument can be made for AS using the Endless Shield combo, but I think CDR is more future-proof (Jekangbord/Gyrfalcon nerf or buffs elsewhere). If you're fire, Magefist gloves roll with fire damage, and Phalanx – Bowmen benefit from Tasker and Theo

  • +Elemental
  • Strength
  • Crit
  • Vitality/Resists
Bracers are a mostly offensive slot. Several legendary bracers come with neat and fun unique affixes. Reapers Wraps are a must for many Wrath-starved crusaders to the point where they're pretty much mandatory, but Warzechian Armguards help alleviate the gimped movement that comes with Heavenly Strength. Other notables include Nemesis Bracers, which spawn an elite pack when activating shrines and pylons (keep one in your inventory for those occasions), and Trag'Oul Coils, which reduces your cooldowns by 45-60 seconds when you activate a healing well.

  • Strength
  • Crit Chance
  • Vitality
  • Socket/Resists/Skill
Hybrid slot. Second to shields, this slot is probably the most flexible slot you have. Strength and Crit are absolutely necessary, while the last two slots can be used to bolster either offense (skill/diamond), defense (vit/resist/amethyst), or a mix. Andariel's Visage rolls +elemental and AS here, and Helm of Rule rolls block%.

  • Strength
  • Vitality
  • Resists
  • Sockets on chest and pants
  • CDR/Skill/Life% on shoulders
Mostly defensive. Sockets a must on chest and pants. Shoulders can be flexible on the fourth affix based on your needs at the time. Cindercoat rolls fire damage and is a must if playing as fire.

  • Strength
  • Vitality
  • Resists
  • Life%/Skill

Mostly defensive, but belts have some fun options. The Witching Hour can roll AS and CHD, Hellcat Waistguard can roll AS and +elite damage, and Harrington Waistguard has a neat unique affix that buffs your damage when you open a “chest,” which is pretty much anything you can open up. Corpses, weapon racks, loose stones, etc. Otherwise, get life%, as the skills (generators) that benefit from belts don't really add too much to our damage.

  • Strength
  • Vitality
  • Resists
  • Skill/Move Speed
Mostly defensive here. If you can't cap it out with paragon points, you'll probably want move speed here. Otherwise, boost a skill. I always roll off move speed on boots (and all slots for that matter) because paragon points can cap it out while giving up very little. Notable options include Illusory Boots (from Act 2 bounties) for the ability to “ghost” and Ice Climbers for immunity to freeze.Firewalkers are awesome with the aforementioned Warzechian Armguards for a low-maintenance speed boost (or what I like to call Kenyan Mode).

Set Bonuses and Endless Shields

Our set, Armor of Akkahn is super solid. With ~55% CDR, you can have 100% uptime on Akarat's Champion. Looks super fun. Before that though, we have crafting sets, which is arguably stronger than Akkahn's, especially if you have the Ring of Royal Grandeur. Aughild's and Crimson's are solid for almost everyone. I'd recommend crafting these sets as soon as possible.Blackthorne's is not crafted, but fairly common. The chest can roll a good combo, and the pants are the closest to having good stats. Cain's, Born's and Guardian's can fill out whatever slots remain. The Invoker set is out there for those who are building around thorns.

Regarding the Endless Shield (Gyrfalcon/Jekangbord) combo, this is where AS shines the most for crusaders. Dropping CDR, you'd have trifecta Crit/CHD/AS gloves and rings, the AS on the belts mentioned above, and you can keep the AS roll onAndariel's. Personally, I like keeping CDR on my gear so I can push buttons more often, but maybe I don't know what I'm missing :)

The Crusade marches on!

So there it is. Just a quick guide on what the new crusader should be looking for in his gear. Again, this is just a quick and dirty that can hopefully answer a lot of questions for people here. Feedback is welcome!

Finally, my profile. Yes I named him Uther. No, I have no regrets. My friends and I all rolled Crusaders and names them after WoW Paladins to piss one of our friends off. Totes worth.

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