Hello! Here we talk about Crusader: Thorns of the Invoker set. Let’s start it off by posting the “standard” build of the set.

Crusader set: Thorns of the Invoker Standard Build

Crusader Thorns of the Invoker STANDARD Build
Items Skill & Rune
Head Crown of the Invoker Punish Celerity
Shoulders Burden of the Invoker Bombardment (!) Barrels of Spikes
Chest Aquila Cuirass Iron Skin Reflective Skin
Hands Pride of the Invoker A. Champion Prophet
Legs Invoker Steed Charge Spiked Barding
Boots Zeal of the Invoker Laws of Justice (!) Immovable Obj
Belt Belt of the Trove Passives
Wrist Invoker Finery Iron Maiden
Neck T. Pledge Hold Your Ground Fervor
Ring Compass Rose Kanai’s Cube
Ring Justice Lantern The Furnace
Main Pig Sticker Heart of Iron (!)
Off Akarat’s Awakening Convention of Elements
Legendary Gems
Boyarsky’s Chip
Bane of the Trapped
Bane of the Powerful (Bane of the Stricken)


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Invoker: commonly asked build variants & options

Weapon and Shield??


Okay this is somewhat hotly debated. But I’m 99.9% certain this is the best setup

Main: Pig Sticker
Shield: Akarat’s Awakening
Cubed: The Furnace

Yes, Hack is worse than Pig Sticker for many many reasons. With the base attack speed on Pig Sticker alone, it improves our Invoker 2 stack, Stricken application rate, and DPS.

Furnace massively outperforms anything else in our goal: Eviscerating elites.

Akarat’s Awakening just improves life overall. Akarat’s Champion & Iron Skin cooldown are very powerful effects you want to have up as much as possible.

Mortal Drama is only okay for speed variants.


BombardmentBarrels of Spikes… is honestly optional… BUT WHY!? YOU SAY?

Okay, so this build is centered around Elite kills to progress fast. Bombardment barely does anything later on, when compared to Punish spamming.

It IS a mindless bonus for speeds, but I find it difficult to justify it the higher you go. We just use Belt of the Trove to proc the 4pc. You’ll eventually see what I mean.


Consecration-Bed of Nails suffers the same fate as Bombardment! Except it’s much much worse overall. There’s a healing component, which is honestly, more welcome than the thorns damage.

Same concept here… better for speeds since AoE’ing down weaklings isn’t our thing.

Other Skills?

This leaves us with one truly open slot. Since you can only fit either Bombardment or Consecration – but we don’t wanna use either…. What else is there?

Shield GlareDivine Verdict for more DPS. Uncertainty for some “control”.

JudgmentDebilitate gives a unique defensive stack. We don’t have a “Weaken” effect. You’ll be surprised at how high the uptime on this is.

The choices are slim admittedly.

Legendary Gems?

Stricken is very very good in this build and will likely take the place of Powerful much sooner or straight off the bat. Stricken works off your SHEET ATTACK SPEED so having a dagger main hand + ASPD rolls give us a very high Stricken application rate.

In the table above, I put them side by side to represent how they’re in the same “pile”.

Esoteric Alteration may be used in extreme GR’s to add a defensive buffer to prevent “Randomness”.

It’s also good for “speed GR”. Since we now must CLEAR RG’s to gain the fat stacks of EXP, reducing the “Insta-lose to RG” situation will benefit our farming speeds.

Esoteric should always be on your mind. It has many uses for a build that wants to stand around and spank things. There are times, though, when you simply cannot lean on it, and to press forward you have to fish for “survivable elites”.

Thorns of the Invoker Rerolls & Stat Priority

Invoker Rerolls & Stat Priority
Thorns of the Invoker Rerolls & Stat Priority
Shoulder STR VIT RES CDR Any
Chest STR VIT RES Elite% Any
Legs STR VIT RES Armor Any
Belt STR VIT RES Life% Any
Wrist Phys% STR VIT LpH RES Any
Main STR VIT LpH See Notes Pls
Shld (!!!) STR Block VIT See Notes Pls
Invoker Reroll Notes?

Invoker: Reroll notes – commonly asked questions on rerolls.

How to Reroll Weapons!?!?! Is a commonly asked question and is too chunky for this tab. I’ll put it in the next tab since it’s quite a common problem for many. (Shields, too)

If it’s not obvious already – Thorns must be in every secondary stat! This is the very source of our damage and there’s only very few items we can’t(?) roll it on (Weapon, most shields, Justice Lantern…)

Defenses on all the things! Since we DO NOT USE CRIT RELATED STATS, that opens up a whole ton of rolls for “other things”.

Attack Speed is king in terms of offensive stats, as well as Physical%. While the latter can (mostly) only be found on Bracer and Amulet, ASPD can be rolled on Gloves, Rings, Weapon. While it’s on Amulet too, I don’t think it’s worth it due to better stats available.

You need healing – badly. All that toughness means nothing if you have no way to replenish life. Luckily we have a fast attacking build – so we use LIFE PER HIT as our means of healing!

Balanced Defensive Stats: Don’t just blindly put VIT on every slot, there’s a balance wherein RES becomes much more potent than Vit (and especially so since we increase our EHP via Life per Hit). There’s no one way to recommend what goes where – calculate and feel it.

Weapon Rerolling for THORNS BUILDS? Pig Sticker!?

REMOVE THE DAMAGE RANGE: Sounds weird but the damage range doesn’t do anything for you. You can get “another stat” in its place.. LpH, VIT, CDR etc… “What do you mean damage range?”… as in the base damage “1000-1700”.

Why is Pig Sticker used for Thorns builds? Because there’s no other really relevant weapon. It has many things going for it:

  • High ATK Speed – dagger. ASPD scaled very well with Invokers plan.
  • It has the most possible stat rolls!
  • +Human and +Beast can be relevant!

So you can have something that looks like this:
STR > VIT > AS > Life Per Hit > CDR … that’s FIVE rolls.

I’m not sure yet what the final format will be for the Set guides in S7 and onwards. But the above is definitely a good start.
Please chime in if you have any ideas.

That’s it (for now!) – Hopefully our Invoker Build Guide helped you out. We plan to expand on the new set guides once we decide on a good format, with information relevant to many different types of players. Of course, these guides will always be focused on the “end-game”.

Need anything else? Check our D3 Guide Directory!

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  1. I personally am not a fan of akkarat champion and prefer to use shield glare. this matched with ‘The Final Witness’ makes a very effective “get me out of there” move since it blinds all enemies allowing you to move out of there. also, although I prefer the gizzard, it would help the bane of the trapped and the bonus it gives against impaired enemies. Also for in the cube i would have thought ‘The Mortal Drama” would have been good since bombard is a vital part of this set (i know the setup is anti-elite but the smaller mobs need cleared out too). These are just my opinions but hopefully you see why i use these items

  2. How does cubed Hack vs cubed Furnace play out? Wouldn’t 100% additive thorns be better than +50% on only elites? Or does it use base thorns in the cube rather than the scaling number?

    • Furnace is almost always better. 100% thorns “per skill” is pretty bad compared to modifying EVERYTHING by 50%. Example, your thorns per hit is 300% (sample), increasing it by 100% is only a 25% increase. Furnace just adds an entire 50% to EVERYTHING. (against elites)

  3. hey lads,

    what do you think about “chance to deal % area damage on hit”? some say it works, some say it doesn’t. The game might have a bug of sorts and it doesn’t proc. What do you think about it?


    • Sanguinary for Invoker is an option, although I personally don’t like it, I suppose I should list it. It’s not consistent, and helps poorly in the anti-elite plan, but yes it can have some pretty good effects in a mega pile up.

      • Hack + Omnislash doesn’t work (sadly). Pig Sticker does more single target damage than hack due to it being a lot faster – hack only increases our thorns damage (single target) by a total of 1/9th. Hacks only upside is that Area Damage procs of its proc. I believe it also works off VoyToyias Spiker. Hack is viable but it requires you to abuse ALL of its unique properties.


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