Now that you have a Fresh Level 70 Crusader, you may be asking yourself “What do I do now?”. Look no further. Here we discuss step by step and build by build on your sure ascent to godhood. Let’s get to it!
The Crusader free set for season 21 is Thorns of the Invoker.
Before starting, making a Reaper’s Wraps is an amazing boost in the early game! Plans drop from any Torment Malthael. While Invoker doesn’t use wrath, simply crafting a Reaper’s Wraps will make your journey GETTING to your free set much easier.
Click below to reveal the instructions you need for each step:
|Season 21 Thorns of the Invoker Free Set Build|
|Punish (Slash)||Celerity (Guard)|
|Consecration (open)||Bed of Nails|
|Steed Charge||Spiked Barding|
|Bombardment (open)||Barrels of Spikes|
|Laws of Justice (Valor)||Immovable Object (Invincible)|
|Iron Skin||Reflective Skin|
|Fervor (Heavenly Strength)||Iron Maiden|
|Finery||OPEN (Vigilant, Indestructible)|
Quick notes: Only Punish, Steed Charge, and to a lesser extent, Iron Skin are NECESSARY to thrive with Invoker! Bombardment *SHOULD* be dropped once we get Belt of the Trove. Consecration falls off hard later on and is not included in the very highest tiers of the build. Provoke goes in if you find Vo’Toyias Spiker. Got room for adjustments!
Quick playstyle note:
RUN AROUND KILLING ELITES
So, now what!?
FROM HERE OUR GOAL IS TO GAIN POWER FAST. The next logical steps are Legendary Gems and being mindful of the good items you need to find.
A quick review before proceeding…
The only thing left to do is get legendary gems and gear to maximize the Invoker set bonus – helping you progress to the end-game.
This is the easiest way to gain power simply because acquiring them has little to no RNG. Getting 3 of your best gems will increase your power dramatically in a short time span.
Click on the tabs to see Thorns of the Invoker “Big 3” gems and “others”.
Get these to L25 ASAP:
Boyarsky’s Chip: Lol. +Thorns. Nothing to explain here. Dump as many points in this as you can, but make sure to get the L25 bonuses of the next 2 gems.
Bane of the Powerful: Creams elites, helps survive against them, and doesn’t scale much past 25? What a great early investment! (You can replace this down the line).
Esoteric Alteration makes for a great third gem right now. Given Invoker’s facetanking playstyle, survival is of the utmost importance.
Gogok of Swiftness? Is an interesting gem for sure. ASPD and CDR are some of our best stats, while giving us a little dodge, too! This is a serious contender that helps out both offense and defense (especially with life per hit). Though I fear maximizing this gem requires a more mature build and refined rolls… keep an eye out for this.
Any other gems worth it?
Bane of the Stricken: Only used in the absolute toughest of Greater Rifts. Although for a single target build such as this… I really don’t know what heights of rifting you would need before equipping this.
Gogok of Swiftness has serious use here, and can be a late game option.
Esoteric Alteration: Is the late game defensive gem of choice.
Aside from these 7 gems listed in these tabs, any other gem is considerably worse.
Just get them asap while slowly climbing the GR’s you’re allowed to do. Do neph/GR/neph/GR etc until you get the big 3. Don’t overdo the level, just go for efficient farming and cheap empowering. GR 34 is enough to 25 a gem.
With 3 of your best gems at L25 – try much higher Torment levels. Now it’s time to find some key items!
Playing the Build & Adjustments
As you progress and get items, your build may have a weak point here and there that you can patch up given the simple skill, rune, and passive changes listed below.
Here we discuss Playstyle Notes and build Build Adjustments.
What’s there to say? Plant your feet in front of your target and slug it out.
Align your cooldowns to all come out during Iron Skin!
Hunt down elites like a madman!
That’s 90% of it!
Elites – they’re your best friend. Since our AoE damage is poor (yeah, Bombardment owns now, you’ll see how bad it is later on), it makes no sense focusing on whites. If you haven’t played a character wherein elite hunting is your priority, this may feel weird, but try it out!
Align the stars – Iron Skin is your best skill. It quadruples your damage. Make sure you can use the entire duration, and all your Thorny skills are on cooldown! Make it a habit that you HOLD OFF on using, example… Consecration and wait for Iron Skin to come up. It’s a very bad habit to WAIT for Consecration when Iron Skin is up.
Elites + Aligning – once you actually try it and see how powerful it is, you’ll know why even the hardiest elites in the highest of GR’s will be a juicy target.
So don’t complain about Invoker’s lack of AoE when clearing rifts. Yeah, it’s a problem and puts a cap on speed at the low end – but you can easily farm higher GRs as compensation for this. Not every set can do everything.
More offense or Wrath needed?.
Resource gain and Wrath related changes are 100% irrelevant for Thorns of the Invoker, which uses none of it.
Damage? Ahh.. let me count the ways! While there are many ways to improve Thorns damage (many of which are recommended in the base build) let’s run by them.
Thorns: is your bread and butter. Increased by the substat. Strength modifies it. Iron Maiden Passive boosts it by 50%. Attack Speed indirectly improves it. CDR is huge for our cooldowns! Blocking improves Thorns! There are many vectors to improve Thorns (and how it interacts with Invoker), directly or indirectly!
How about ways outside the base build?
Well, now it goes into the territory of “Practical” increases which are worth the trade off. While I can’t advise you what’s worth it or not given that everyone’s setup is slightly different – here are some ideas…
Akarat’s Champion is sick once you’re able to use it consistently. It requires massive CDR. Use Prophet – it’s a significant survival tool later on. Akarat’s Awakening is great to help you on this front.
Laws of Valor-Invincible is a great hybrid choice. Always keep it in mind. It gives decent attack speed bonuses and its active not only further boosts ASPD but gives a significant Life per Hit bonus.
Lord Commander may be in and out of your build. Again, it’s main upside is SPEED which you can drop sometimes for tryharding GR’s. But, in the “elite killing” game, speed means a lot.
More defense needed?
Defense is usually self-healing and/or damage reduction.
Well, we can’t really talk about ALL the ways Crusaders can increase survivability, can we!? Hell, Iron Skin is our best offensive cooldown and gives a hefty defensive bonus!
Life per Hit goes a long way to help you survive. The 6pc attack speed bonus synergizes well with it. While only Laws of Valor-Invincible is the only built-in Crusader source for it, rolling it on weapon (or amulet) is a good choice. Any “sane” Invoker build should have at least 1 roll of LpH.
Laws of Justice-Immovable Object is the king of hardening.
Indestructible is a great passive. It nearly ensures you can kill ANY ELITE every minute. It gives you a second layer of insurance that your mega alignment of cooldowns doesn’t go to waste.
Invoker and Thorns doesn’t use Crit as a stat – so your main advantage is that you have so many EXTRA ROLLS for defense! No joke! Without relying on crit stats, you can roll for titanic amount of ALLRES. Hell, even stats like ASPD and CDR indirectly increase our defense!
More mobility needed?
Mobility and Speed are a luxury as a fresh 70 character, but here it is anyway:
Crusader’s Steed Charge is a very mobile skill, but it’s part of our main offensive skills too… it’s a bit of a problem I admit. Most of Crus mobility is locked behind items (IE Swiftmount or Flail of the Charge), but you can make a few changes for bounties if you’re desperate for speed.
Items to look for
Okay, now that the easy part of powering up is done, it’s time for the farmy bit. Here, I will be listing all the high-impact items you can pick up and how to get them (aside from drops).
Using Blood Shards:
Belt: Is the first place I’d dump shards on. Belt of the Trove helps us with our AoE clear PASSIVELY (which is relevant in the early game) but more importantly, triggers our Bombardment for free and gives our 4pc bonus 100% uptime. Once you get Trove, you can even remove Bombardment from your skill bar. Goldwrap and other semi-useful fillers are found here, too.
Chest: is next. Aquila Cuirass is a free, brainless 50% damage reduction. While Heart of Iron is also in this pile, it’s only considered a filler – the actual Thorns damage you get from it is small. I would rather have an Aquila than more thorns damage.
Bracer: We love elites! So we love Nemesis Bracers. It has no effect on our combat stats but it helps farm faster. (Don’t even think of Sanguinary Vambraces if you find it – the proc is slightly stronger than 1 Punish)
Shield: isn’t a bad place to invest. While the possible pool is huge, Shield of the Steed is what you’re after with some fillers like Vo’Toyias Spiker and Akarat’s Awakening are no joke. The best place to spend when you’re done getting the above items.
Using Death’s Breath – Rare to legendary:
There isn’t a “right choice” here. If I’m to recommend one at gunpoint… it would be upgrading 2H Mace for The Furnace. Why? There are only a few weapons and shields that are even remotely usable by Invoker. Furnace isn’t “that” hard to get, given the small pool of possible results.
Upgrading 2H Flail and Shields to attempt completing Norvald’s Set (Flail of the Charge, Shield of the Steed). This vastly improves our speed. Shields will also yield Vo’Toyias Spiker which is amazing. It works on our Punish-Thorns.
Honestly, there is no set cut and dry weapon options for Invoker. Many people use Pig Sticker end-game for the raw amount of stats it gives and attack speed. People can also use Swiftmount for speed, or any defensive shield in the meantime.
All weapon and shield combos have ups and downs, but for “right now” Norvald’s Set + Furnace will do some serious work. Get creative!
The Classics: Good for any type of newer character and even the most battle-hardened of builds.
Ring of Royal Grandeur: “Break” your 6-piece to make space for a good filler item!
Accessory Sets: Traveler’s Pledge is about as good as it sounds for a build that wants to walk around hunting for elites and bashing their face toe to toe.
Unity: Straight 50% damage reduction in the cube. Too bad you need two of ’em.
So you skipped a whole chunk of the powering up phase with the free set. Now what? Like I always say, “Speedfarming first before pushing GR’s”. So, convert what you have NOW to be as speedfarmy as possible, first.
It’s highly likely you’ll transition into a PURE speedfarming build. If so, check out:
Crusader Best Speedfarming Builds
Other Crusader Guides:
- Thorns of the Invoker | Invoker Set Dungeon
- Armor of Akkhan | Akkhan Set Dungeon
- Roland’s Legacy | Roland’s Set Dungeon
- Seeker of the Light | Light Set Dungeon
- Crusader Support Builds
Check out our D3 Guide Directory for other resources.
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