Hello! In this guide we discuss (seasonally updated) what’s the best or fastest speed farming build and for Crusader! The only truly viable builds are Thorns Based (Akkhan+Norvald Thorns, or LoN Thorns are roughly equal).

We suggest you read these resources on speedfarming:
D3 General Speedfarming | Crusader Speedfarming Primer

Fastest Crusader Speedfarming Builds

Akkhan's Thorns + Norvald'sLoN Thorns

THERE ARE MANY OPTIONS AND OPEN SLOTS. The only true core pieces are 6 pieces Akkhan + Norvald’s (Flail of the Charge, Shield of the Steed)

 Crusader Speedfarming Build : Akkhan-Thorns Standard Template
Equipment   Skill Rune
Head Helm of Akkhan Any Any
Shoulder Pauldrons of Akkhan Bombardment Barrels of Spikes
Chest Breastplate of Akkhan (HoI) Steed Charge Spiked Barding
Hands Gauntlets of Akkhan Consecration (Open) Bed of Nails
Legs Cuisses of Akkhan Iron Skin (Open) Reflective Skin
Feet Sabatons of Akkhan Akarat’s Champion Prophet or Rally
Belt Belt of the Trove
Bracer Nemesis (Any) Passives
Amulet Talisman of Akkhan (Any) Iron Maiden
Ring Avarice Band (Any) Finery
Ring (Any) Heavenly Strength
Weapon Flail of the Charge (Open) Holy Cause, Indestructible
Off-hand Shield of the Steed
Legendary Gems Kanai’s Cube
Boyarsky’s Chip Mortal Drama, Swiftmount (Bounties), Furnace
Bane of the Trapped Leoric’s Crown
Boon of the Hoarder (Open) RoRG, Avarice Band, Unity, CoE

 

LoN Thorns is brutally hard to roll for, and It’s not any “better” than Akkhan’s Norvald Thorns. You need 67% Sheet CDR for 100% uptime on Steed Charge! Ouch

Crusader Speedfarming Build : LoN Thorns Standard Template
Equipment   Skill Rune
Head Leoric’s Crown Any Any
Shoulder Any (Homing Pads) Bombardment Barrels of Spikes
Chest Heart of Iron (Aquila Cuirass) Steed Charge Spiked Barding
Hands Any (St. Archew’s Gage) Consecration (Open) Bed of Nails
Legs Any (Hexing Pants of Mr. Yan) Iron Skin (Open) Reflective Skin
Feet Any Akarat’s Champion Prophet or Rally
Belt Belt of the Trove
Bracer Nemesis Bracers Passives
Amulet Hellfire Amulet (Eye of Etlich) Iron Maiden
Ring The Wailing Host Finery
Ring Litany of the Undaunted Heavenly Strength
Weapon Swiftmount (Open) Holy Cause, Indestructible
Off-hand MANY VIABLE SHIELDS
Legendary Gems Kanai’s Cube
Boyarsky’s Chip Mortal Drama
Bane of the Trapped Leoric’s Crown, Heart of Iron
Boon of the Hoarder Avarice Band, CoE
Help! I can't use those skills because they're from the same category! (Turn On Elective Mode)

If you’re not allowed to put two skills on your bar because they’re from the same category – FEAR NOT! This isn’t a bug or a permanent in-game restriction. You simply have to CHECK ON ELECTIVE MODE, via Esc > Options > Gameplay > Elective Mode!

Binding Force Move to Mousewheel up & down is a value change that every player should make IMO. It prevents misclicks and skill misfires, and forces you to move to where otherwise an enemy might be.

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Crusader Akkhan’s Thorns Speedfarming: Rerolls & Stat Priority

Here’s a standard spread of stats you want on your gear.

Crusader Speed Farming Build: Akkhan’s Thorns Rerolls & Stat Priority
Head STR Thorns VIT Life% RES LpH
Shoulder STR CDR Thorns VIT RES Life%
Chest STR Thorns VIT RES Life% Any
Hands STR CDR Thorns VIT RES LpH
Legs STR Thorns VIT RES Armor Any
Boots STR Thorns VIT RES MS% Armor
Belt STR Thorns VIT RES Life% Any
Wrist Phys% STR Thorns VIT RES LPH
Neck Phys% STR CDR Thorns VIT Any
Rings STR CDR Thorns VIT Any
Main See Notes STR CDR VIT Any
Off See Notes STR CDR VIT Block

Bombardment% on Shoulders and Chest is a “luxury”

Crusader Speedfarming Build Options, Notes & Reroll FAQ

Because this is such an open build full of options, let’s dedicate the first three tabs to talk about what’s absolutely set in stone: CDR needed, core items and core skills.

Akarat's Champion 100% uptime: Cooldown Reduction 56%

You need a SHEET CDR of 55.6 to have 100% Akarat’s Champion uptime! That’s A LOT OF CDR!! The build feels off without this. It’s ideal that you attain this by natural gear rolls and such.

CDR and where to get it on:
Flawless Royal Diamond on Helm + Leoric’s Crown Cubed
Weapon
Off-hand
Amulet
Shoulder
Glove
2x Rings

You can temporarily cheat this via Gogok of Swiftness or Zodiac. Make this your first priority, even if you have to sacrifice thorns rolls.

What are the CORE ITEMS?

Norvald’s Set: Flail of the Charge, Shield of the Steed: provides unmatched mobility and 100% uptimes on Steed Charge-Spiked Barding which serves as both movement and damage. The buff that remains DOUBLES our thorns damage!

Akkhan 6pc Set bonus: No matter how you get this, you need the whole 6 pieces. Because there are SEVEN Akkhan’s pieces, and we can use RoRG – there are so many ways to fit this in plus 1-2 filler items. (Aquila CuirassHeart of Iron, Gloves of Worship come to mind).

What are the CORE SKILLS / PASSIVES?

Steed Charge-Spiked Barding: is the very heart of this build.
Akarat’s Champion-Prophet: To activate the Akkhan 6pc set bonus!
Bombardment-Barrels of Spikes: Thorns rune… obviously.

There are some dead ringer utility skills like Iron Skin-Reflective Skin (important for tryharding), and Consecration-Bed of Nails (low tier filler). You have a lot of options for skills we can discuss later.

Heavenly Strength (to equip Flail of the Charge), Finery for bonus STR (affects thorns), and of course Iron Maiden (Thorns increase). Which leaves one open passive slot.

Now we discuss the options, fillers and such.

Cubing Swiftmount for bounties is a great choice to reduce “dead zones” wherein Steed Charge won’t reset. You typically won’t miss Mortal Drama’s effect in these cases. This is a major notable evolution, so I put it up here.

Rings - the many choices

Very few accessories actually MATTER when it comes to improving SPEED for this build.

Avarice Band is great for speed farming in general (with Boon of the Hoarder). Most of the time, you’ll be using this – since gold is quite important for rift empowering.

RoRG (likely cubed) is always a great option since Akkhan Amulet’s are notoriously hard to get right for thorns! This also allows us to wear the 5 body slots and something like Aquila, Heart of Iron, Leoric’s etc…

Stone of Jordan is what I use, +Phys% +Elite%, Thorns and socket. It’s very hard to roll this so you’re likely gonna skip on this one…

Unity if you’re not lucky enough for a great SoJ.

— only the above rings truly matter for speedfarming —
— the below rings are usually considered only for semi high-end GR’s —

Traveler’s Pledge + Compass Rose is only useful for tryharding (“speedfarming” high GR’s?) It’s not recommended unless you have some very specific goals. Since you’re moving most of the time you won’t get the +DMG. If you want more toughness go for Unity.

Convention of Elements is one of the ultra tryhard rings for t his set. I dislike it for speedfarming but its amazing for GR’s.

Justice Lantern is a STRONG CHOICE for massive toughness.

Passive choices

As mentioned earlier Iron Maiden, Finery and Heavenly Strength are 100% non-negotiable.

Holy Cause is a brainless +10% DPS – for brainless speedfarming, this can help. It’s worth mentioning that this is the ONLY OTHER PASSIVE THAT WILL INCREASE YOUR DPS.

Lord Commander is not bad for added CDR on your best 2 skills. It has some speedy implications more notable in bounties.

Indestructible for a free death – not bad if you’re getting one shot by some mechanics. Saving death time is increased speed.

Past the two above, there’s only a few thin options left…

Hold Your Ground for Justice Lantern setups… Long Arm of the Law for some niche group modifications… Hmm.. there really isn’t much around here. Divine Fortress, maybe?

Legendary Gems

Boyarsky’s Chip and Trapped are good for ANY TYPE OF CONTENT you choose, and these two gems are locked in for all of time.

Boon of the Hoarder + Avarice Band are the usual speed suspects. If you don’t need Hoarder, a few other gems come to mind…

Bane of the Powerful for a brainless power up.

Gogok of Swiftness is a great temporary gem to reach the strict CDR requirement.

Bane of the Stricken is best for tryhard variants.

Amulets - not so varied...

Well… I personally stuck with my best rolled one for a long time… STR PHYS% CDR THORNS is great… Keep in mind that ancient amulets roll a massive amount of thorns.

Rondal’s Locket for added radius and Kymbo’s Gold for self-healing. A little overkill for me, but Rondal’s is actually kinda legit given how fast we move…

Talisman of Akkhan – save your best one so you can stick extra filler items.

Hellfire Amulet with any of the above mentioned passives. It’s not bad, and you can make them easily.

Traveler’s Pledge – keep your best one in case you ever tryhard.

Filler Items! Many possibilities!

Armor of Akkhan has SEVEN PIECES. We only need 6, or 5 with RoRG. That means we have a lot of potential room for skullduggery here.

SAGE 2-PIECE is a viable option. You can easily fit it in with RoRG.

Heart of Iron is the best thing you can fit for increased speed. The thorns you gain isn’t actually that huge, but every little bit counts ey?

Gloves of Worship will always be a great speed farming item.

Hexing Pants of Mr. Yan is good but you cant just “stand inside elites” any more. I personally don’t use it for the extra brain cells and hand movements it requires. But if you don’t mind using this, damage increase is pretty noticeable.

Aquila Cuirass for added toughness.

Invoker 2pc Set can fit! Bracer + any other Invoker piece adds a whole new vector to increase your thorns damage! I used to recommend this in the base build. I’ll talk a bit more about this down there…

You can potentially fit 2 of these 4! I don’t think there are many other useful ones, but feel free to chime in.

Invoker 2pc – worth it?

Maximizing Invoker 2pc will put a hamper on your Crusaders “speed” of mobility but this is the prime evolution for harder content.

You only need to sacrifice a skill slot (for Punish or Slash, usually Punish-Celerity) and two filler items (Nemesis and another body piece), and it can boost your thorns by a HUGE AMOUNT. Even just 3 stacks DOUBLES your thorns.

Invoker pieces ALWAYS ROLL THORNS so this is a big relief for us. We’re forced to use Bracers (since it’s an “off-piece”), and the next best thing is probably Shoulders… but it doesn’t really matter.

Other Crusader Resources

We suggest you read these resources on speedfarming:
D3 General Speedfarming | Crusader Speedfarming Primer

Learn more about the Crusader sets!

If you need anything else check out our D3 Guide Directory.

Enjoy speed farming with your Crusader by LITERAL drive by. Listen to Norvald, even he didn’t care about defense!

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Interesting guide. Two questions came shortly to my mind. If we can use “any” weapon in the cube, why not double bombardment impact (-> Trove Belt + Skillbar)? Second if the amulet slot is free, why not use Akkhan amulet and free a slot for the chest that converts vit into thorns for dmg boost?

  2. With Rorg, I can have 3 sets bonus: akkhan (5 pieces) + inovker (3 pieces) + norvald (2 pieces). Wouldn’t that be a good build?

    • It’s a huge source of CDR which is quite important for our build. You can ditch it if you find other means to get 100% uptime on champion. It may seem strange to see it on a build like this at all, but that’s cause we cant use Fervor with Flail of the Charge. Socket in a Diamond on it.

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