Wednesday 23 September 2020

Make Phalanx great again!


Phalanx is a lost love for a lot of Crusader players (including me) and was one of the first skills you see as a big difference between D2 Paladin and D3 Crusader.

Unfortunately, after the Akkhan/Stampede meta (I don't even remember how long ago this was) it is a skill that doesn't do much, although it has 3 dedicated items to it.

Facts and specifics about the skill:

  • Phalanx has 4 extremely distinct mechanics, which makes it difficult to balance between runes: (1)Bowmen, 2)Stampede/Shield Charge, 3) Shield bearer, 4) Bodyguard);
  • Phalanx has 4 unique items that boost it and by Kanai's cube they are 2 weapons (Unrelenting Phalanx, Baleful Remnant), 1 armor (Warhelm of Kassar), 1 jewellry (Eternal Union);
  • All runes are (at that time) physical.
  • No 6-piece set mentions it exclusively (Like Blessed Hammer(SotL) , Fist of the Heavens/Heaven's Fury(AoV) , Shield Charge/Sweep Attack (Roland), Punish/Slash (Invoker), which would make it susceptible for a LoD build.

If we are to make it great again, my first note would be that it's bad to link it to a skill with a 60-120 seconds cooldown, without the opportunity to negate this cooldown. (We all hate long cooldowns)

Second, simply putting a +XXX% damage on 1-2 items would be boring, lazy and will ruin the diversity of the skill. (It definitely needs a damage boost, but simple numbers would be boring).

My suggestions:

  • Include the Bodyguard rune in one of the items, so even if you use Bowmen or Stampede, you get the 2 melee avatars beside you.
  • Make melee avatars do something more interesting (cast a skill, provide utility/toughness, etc.)
  • For me, it would be bad to just introduce a new item/new legendary power, solely to boost the skill, when it already has a good amount of legendaries, but including it in an already existing one would make more sense.
  • Warhelm of Kassar: Reduces the cooldown and cost of Phalanx by 45-60% and increases the damage with the same amount. Phalanx receives the Bodyguard runeword.
  • Unrelenting Phalanx: increases damage by 150-200% and moved into legendary power (up from 45-60%). Phalanx casts twice per use.
  • Baleful Remnant - Enemies killed while any Law (before Akarat's Champion) is active, turn into Phalanx Avatars for 10 seconds.
  • Armor of the King Reagent - You gain the effect of all Laws when activated. The equipped Law receives the effect of every rune. (I thought "king reagent" made more sense to have a power about "Laws" than Smite.
  • Swiftmount - Doubles the duration of Steed Charge. Phalanx - Stampede deals double damage for 10 seconds after casting Steed Charge.


  • Eternal Union - Duration of Phalanx is increased by 200% and while Phalanx is active Falling sword has no cooldown. Melee Avatars perform Falling sword with you. (Costs wrath for each Falling sword cast by the Phalanx also). I think it would be super awesome to be able to cast Falling sword as the Imperius drop in the campaign of act 5.
  • Faithful Memory/Cam's Rebuttal - combined into 1 legendary: Falling sword can be cast a second time for free within 4 seconds. Each enemy hit increases the damage of Blessed Hammer and Phalanx by 60-80%. Stacks 10 times and lasts 10 seconds.


  • Flail of the Ascended - Shield Glare deals damage equal to up to 5 last Shield Bash casts to each affected enemy. The two closest avatars to you cast Shield Bash and Shield Glare when you do.
  • Angel Hair Braid - Punish gets the effect of every rune and every second attack releases a Shield Cross. (If combined with Flail of the Ascended, Avatars should shield bash too)
  • Drakon's Lesson - When Shield Bash hits 3 or less enemies, its damage is increased by 300–400%. Shield Bash receives the effect of Pound rune (Shield cross should count only the front, in my opinion)


  • Hammer Jammers - enemies hit by Blind, Immobilize, Freeze or Stun take 300-400% more damage from Blessed Hammers and Phalanx for 10 seconds.
  • Blessed of Haull - Each successful hit of Justice also summons a free Blessed Hammer at the same location. Blessed hammer receives the Brute Force rune and chance to explode becomes 100%. (A way to proc Hammer Jammers from a distance, if you decide to do a Bowmen-Justice crusader)

Any feedback would be appreciated :)