Short lead time and unlucky schedule caused a bit of delay in my typing!

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! Complete the seasonal journey and get Haedrigs Gifts asap!

In Season 23, the Crusader free set is: Roland’s Legacy.

Updated Apr 15 2021: Added mentions of Follower Guide where applicable.

Season 23 and YOU. How does it affect?

This season’s “theme” is the Follower buff + emanate items. I’m guessing it will be a permanent addition from after this season.

This mainly affects farming speed. While the follower buff skills make them more relevant in tryharding GR’s, it is by no means game-breaking.

Essentially, this season unlocks

I highly recommend checking out our Follower Guide (Builds, Item, Skills etc).

Without further ado, let’s get into it.

Fresh 70: The first step – setting up!

The very first step of your journey! Here, I discuss items, rerolls, and basic advice to keep in mind during your ascent.

Before you begin: Getting a Reaper’s Wraps ASAP is a godly evolution that isn’t RNG. The boost is huge early on! Recipe drops from any Torment Malthael.

Yellow items - stats - rerolls - gems

Nicely rerolled yellows will carry you for a LONG TIME.

WEAPONS: For Roland’s, most of the time we will be using a crafted 2H FLAIL and CRUSADER SHIELD with the Heavenly Strength passive. Your crafted weapon should have stats like STR / VIT / LpH / LpWS / Socket. Anything else is meh right now.

Self-Healing note: Life per hit is amazing early game. Life per Wrath Spent is GODLIKE for Roland’s – but it’s a bit harder to obtain. LpWS appears ONLY ON Crusader Shields and FLAILS. So get either or both LpH and LpWS. As mentioned, theyre always great in the early game – but just great stats in general for Roland.

Crusader is a STRENGTH / ARMOR class. 
You get so much Armor for free – stack ALLRES instead!

Each point of strength gives you 1 point of Armor as a crusader. Since you have too much of it, it becomes diluted. ALLRES then becomes your premium defensive stat. Ideally, you DO NOT WANT any Armor rolls on gear – take as much ALLRES instead!

Belt: Is a huge source of defense. Main stat > VIT > RES/ARMOR > Life%. You’ll be surprised how a single item can give you a whole load of toughness on.

Rings and Amulet: You NEED socket on these to prep for legendary gems. Get any stat on these that you feel you’re missing. Feeling soft? Get defenses. Need DPS? Crit and mainstat. Feel free to roll “random helpful stats” on these for now, instead of the usual endgame CHC/CHD/MAINSTAT.

GEMS: For body pieces you’ll want Diamonds for ALLRES. Helm may vary (Amethyst for Life%, Topaz for resource cost reduction, Diamond for Cooldown Reduction) depending on your needs. Topaz on helm is my choice until you feel like you can handle the Wrath situation.

Fire% can be found on Bracers and Amulets. This isn’t really relevant in the early game, and only when you get your 6pc +.

Skill% (Sweep Attack%) can be found on Helm and Boots. Typically it’s safer to roll on boots but if you’re removing trash stats for it you can take it on helm too. Having it on both is great, at a cost to defensive stats. Just letting you know since you don’t need to sweat it for now, as you don’t need it to complete the early game.

OTHER SLOTS will be taken over by your free set pieces. No matter how bad they are stat wise, the 4pc bonus will heavily outperform any temporary yellow you can make. (Chest / Legs / Shoulder / Helm / Gloves). Just try to roll out the trash stats.

Hire Templaror any follower. Also get your Pet out to pick up gold for you.

Getting the “correct” stats beats getting the “perfect” stats for now. REMOVE USELESS STATS and get any USEFUL STAT for massive gains in power.

TLDR: Remove trash-tier stats like…

  • Life Regen per second – absolute trash.
  • Attack Speed – Usually an end-game refinement stat.
  • Excessive Armor – Useless compared to Allres.
  • Excessive CDR – Meh… it’s good but not really for right now.
  • Unused Skill and Elemental % – literally useless.

For good early to midgame stats like:

  • STR+VIT on most gear is okay.
  • ALLRES in place of Armor for massive defensive gains.
  • Life per Wrath Spent is godlike self-healing.
  • Crit related stats for DPS.
  • Life per Hit is great for survivability.

You have to ALWAYS BE AWARE of how your FOLLOWER can greatly affect farming speed! S23 introduced the “full build” and emanate system – keeping items important for your Follower Farming Build is high priority!

0pc Roland free set – getting the 2pc

Getting 1st Haedrigs Gift

For clarity this box contains info and builds if you currently have 0 pcs of the Roland free set, going for 2 (you don’t have any Haedrigs gift bag, going for the first).

If you followed our leveling guide, you may be using the NO SHIELD 2-HANDER CRUSADER. I have TWO BUILDS for you to choose from: 2H No Shield and Shield.

Both of these builds are easily adjustable to accommodate any powerful legendaries you may have looted.

If you have a powerful legendary – edit the build to accommodate it if needed.

*Pressing Shift+J (PC) opens up your Seasonal Journey tracker!*

The entries in these early chapters are dead easy. The build above gives you a good balance of offense, defense and speed built in to help you breeze through this as mindlessly as possible.

Hard Mode on for Chapters 1 & 2. Clear through all the entries on Hard. Just up the difficulty to complete one Neph on Expert.

Don’t forget to level up all the NPCs in town. Completing your weekly Challenge Rift will help you get resources to do this easily, if you haven’t already.

When you’re done here, get your first free set from your mail, and proceed onward.

2pc Roland free set – getting the 4pc

Getting 2nd Haedrigs Gift

For clarity this box contains builds and info if you currently have 2 pcs of the Roland free set, going for 4 (you have the first Haedrigs gift bag, going for the second).

S23 Fresh 70 Crus Rolands 2pc Free Set Build
Skill Rune
Smite Reaping
Sweep Attack Holy Shock
Steed Charge
Draw and Quarter
Laws of Valor
Unstoppable Force
Provoke Hit Me
Shattered Ground
Heavenly Strength / Fervor
Hold Your Ground
Long Arm of the Law

A cute synergistic build centered on abusing the 2pc Rolands (4 skills get the cooldown bonus), and lots of passive self-healing, and big “Wrath on Block” gains. Provoke essentially reads “gain all my wrath back”!

If you have a powerful legendary – edit the build to accomodate it if needed.

*Pressing Shift+J (PC) opens up your Seasonal Journey tracker!*

Difficulty: Although there are entries here that need to be finished on Master, you can still complete the bounty cache, if you haven’t already, on Hard. For the bounty, try to do the whole five acts as you’ll need to do this down the line anyway.

These entries are still on the easy side, so we can be a little lax with our build making as little sacrifices as possible to retain good DPS, Speed and some thought to defense. When you’re done with this chapter, collect your 2nd set of free set and let’s finish the next chapter for the remaining free gear!

4pc Roland free set – getting the 6pc

For clarity the next boxes contains builds and info if you currently have 4pcs of the Roland free set, going for 6 (you have the first+second Haedrigs gift bag, going for the third). This segment is further divided into three parts – Torment II, Torment IV, and GR20.

Torment II seasonal journey entries

Torment I-II and general stuff

Check the GR20 tab for an optional build update which focuses on defense.
The build from the previous tab works fine unless you’re dying way too often.

BUILDNOTES: Here we make sure to utilize the 4pc set bonus.

This build will be the baseline for all entries in this tier (Torment II, IV, and GR20) While this build may seem overkill for the Torment II entries, you may as well prep up for the harder parts of this tier.

Upgrade a Rare to Legendary w/ Kanai’s Cube:

Complete a Torment I Rift: This will be the minimum level you should be farming at should you need to do it. Increase if you can easily obliterate a rift. There’s also a “Kill a Torment II Boss” entry here which should be easy.

Complete any other odds and ends that you can, before proceeding to Torment IV.

Torment IV seasonal journey entries

Torment IV stuff

Check the GR20 tab for an optional build update which focuses on defense.
The build from the previous tab works fine unless you’re dying way too often.

In Torment IV things get real. For many of the free sets, this place is the breakpoint wether your build needs help or not. And for S23 and Roland – DPS ain’t an issue.

  • Kill Odeg – Keywarden in ACT I, Fields of Misery.
  • Kill Sokahr – Keywarden in ACT II, Dahlgur Oasis.
  • Kill Xah’Rith – Keywarden in ACT III, Stonefort.
  • Kill Nekarat – Keywarden in ACT IV, Gardens of Hope 2nd Tier.
  • Kill Specific Boss Check your journal to see who it is this season.
  • Keywardens maps have a key icon next to the waypoint. Purple arrows point you to their location after a short while once you’re in their respective map.

For the boss and all Keywardens – STRAIGHT UP RUSH TO THEM!
Ignore ALL TRASH and just beeline! Get it done ASAP!

You’ll really notice the if you’ve neglected your temporary yellow gear and rerolls. Hopefully you have powerful legendary to carry you (and even if you do), you will notice if you’ve neglected your gear. Refer to the very top setting up tab if you need help.

Either way, this is a good time to take a closer look at your items and get as many powerups and rerolls stated in the setting up tab above.

4pc Rolands free set GR20

Spoiler title
S23 Fresh 70 Crus Rolands 4pc GR20 Build
Skill Rune
Smite Reaping
Sweep Attack Holy Shock
Steed Charge
Draw and Quarter
Laws of Justice
Immovable Object
Provoke Hit Me
Iron Skin Steel Skin
Heavenly Strength / Fervor
Hold Your Ground (Indestructible)
Long Arm of the Law

You have more… MORE… let me repeat MORE THAN ENOUGH DPS to clear this. The only way you’re going to fail is via repeated deaths. The build above STACKS defense to a reasonable degree. It maintains a rather crutchy Wrath-regen package via the passives, but you can drop them in favor of even more defense if you need to.

You should have an idea of how strong you are given the drops (or lack thereof) you’ve gotten. Be practical and don’t be afraid to shore up your build a little. If you feel a little weak – Do 4 quick Nephs, then do 4 GR10+.

The “ultimate” challenge gating you to getting your full six piece free set! The difficulty varies wildly on your class and seasonal set. As someone who has cleared with EVERY SINGLE SET AND CLASS WITHOUT ANY OTHER LEGENDARY without taking Pylons – let me tell you, they’re not all created equal.

Fresh 70 Crusader 6pc Roland

S23 Fresh 70 Crusader Rolands 6pc Build
Skill Rune
Slash (See notes) Guard
Sweep Attack
Flame Sweep (See notes)
Steed Charge
Draw and Quarter
Laws of Valor (Justice)
Unstoppable Force (Immovable)
Iron Skin
Steel Skin (Flash)
Provoke (Open)
Too Scared to Run
Heavenly Strength / Fervor Finery
Wrathful (Open)
Long arm of the Law

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.

Build Notes:

  • Generator? Slash is your “best” one. You can use Smite – Reaping for life regen if you like. Some build setups can eliminate the use of generator alltogether, but IMOI Slash – Guard should be your “default”.
  • Sweep Attack rune? Flame Sweep is the best lategame rune overall. While some other runes may be better for now (defensively and utility), nothing will ultimately take Flame Sweeps place.
  • Law? It’s either Valor – Unstoppable or Justice – Immovable for the most part. One for Wrath, one for toughness!
  • Passives? Only Heavenly Strength (or Fervor earlier on) and Finery are seen as “needed”. Long arm of the Law is amazing with this build. That leaves one open passive slot to play around.
  • Akarat’s Champion should be in the build as soon as you can reach good uptime on it. Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac helps greatly here, as well as Flawless Royal Diamond on helm, and Captain Crimson 2 piece set (w/ RoRG).
  • Provoke is your open skill, and is traded in for Akarat’s Champion when you can.
  • Follower build and items are IMPORTANT!

Gear up your follower ASAP. Craft them a Sage’s Bounty!

Keep in mind the important rerolls I mentioned at the start of this guide. Also, before you proceed, here’s a preview / reminder/ of items you need to look for.

Core items preview - look out for these!
Slot Name Notes
2h Flail Golden Flense
Wrath refund and DPS boost to Sweep Attack
Shield Denial
DPS boost to SA, better vs groups.
Ring Ring of Royal Grandeur
From ACT I Bounties. Enables Cpt. Crimson.
Belt Cpt Crimson
Amazing all-around stats.
Legs Cpt Crimson
Amazing all-around stats.
Ring Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac
mega “CDR” to enable Akarat’s Champion.
2H Mace The Furnace
best “other weapon” for this build.
— non core items follow —
Ring Unity
Good defense if you need it.
Ring Convention of Elements more DPS!

As implied, these are the items that are core, or important, to your build. I talk more about how to obtain these later on – remember to keep these in mind always.

At the very bottom of this guide, you can preview what a good base template build is for items / skills / passives to get an idea what you’re going for.

Powering Up: Legendary Gems

Your next step after getting your 6pc is Legendary Gems. Why? LGems are a huge power spike relying on very little RNG. Simply spam Neph -> GR until you get the three gems you need and power them up to 25.

Roland Main useful gemsOther useful gems

Bane of the Powerful: For 25 points you can’t go wrong. Its power caps out @25 and you really can’t ask for more. A basic DPS gem with a little defense rolled in.

Moratorium / Esoteric Alteration: You’re gonna need at least one (maybe 2) defensive gems early on and these are my bet. You can drop these for other gems once your survivability goes up.

Not into defense? Bane of the Trapped is the best generic DPS gem for this build. It’s your “best gem” along with Stricken. However, since Stricken purely for late-game GR, it’s best to tryhard investing gem levels into Trapped.

Bane of the Stricken – is the go to LATE GAME DPS Gem of choice. Its main use is shortening your Rift Guardian time (and helping out vs yellow elites).

Esoteric Alteration – is probably the best defensive gem in the game, and is worth having a strong one around.

Boon of the Hoarder – is used in many speedfarming builds alongside Avarice Band.

Again, Legendary Gems are a massive priority given their NON-RNG powerspike. Just having three useful gems at 25 will allow you farm a few torment levels higher.

Powering Up: Important Items & how to get them

Of course, any build will need a couple (or more than a couple) items to round out. Here, I list down what items you’re looking for, and how best to get them using various currencies and means.

Blood ShardsDeaths BreathRings and AmuletsThe Classics

Here’s advice on how to spend your blood shards with Kadala, roughly in order of importance.

Weirdly, this build has zero “core body items”.

Bracer for Nemesis and Strongarm. Eh, personally the Nemesis is more important IMO as it increases your farming speed.

Shield for Denial. While seemingly more important than the bracers, the chances for this to drop are abyssmal here. You don’t need much damage right now anyway.

Chest for Aquila Cuirass is a good defensive option but you NEED to have a more matured build to reap the benefits of this. Without Cpt Crimson, Golden Flense, and a “fuller build”, you’ll almost never activate this – hence why I list it last.

Rings? Are a longshot but if you’re desperate you can fish for your Zodiac and Compass Rose after all of the above. Don’t even think of Amulets.

Here’s advice on how to get your weapons from Deaths Breath rare item upgrades, roughly in order of importance.

2H Flail for Golden Flense. This is a huge priority since it gives a massive “wrath chargeback” for each enemy hit with Sweep Attack. It’s not infinite versus single targets, though, unless you have a very specific setup. It’s why we have a generator in the build just in case.

2H Mace for The Furnace. Since we have no other build specific legendary, we have to dip into the “general purpose” field. This, believe it or not, is your best bet after flense.

Shield (NOT Crusader Shield, weirdly) for Denial. Just a great DPS boost against large clusters. If you didn’t get this from Blood Shards, DB’s are your next best bet.

Rings and Amulets are tough to get from either BS or DB’s (due to the large amount of possible outcomes), but if you’re done getting your core items from them – and you haven’t got your core accessories, it’s a viable way to spend them.

Ring of Royal Grandeur is your priority as you’ll need it to wear (crafted pieces) Captain Crimsons. It’s a great mini-set that gives you RCR, CDR, toughness and damage! Overall a solid upgrade for “one piece”.

Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac allows us to cheat Akarat’s Champion into our build without hassles. While CoE might be better for progression, Zodiac is better in almost any other type of content.

Traveler’s Pledge + Compass Rose rounds out the accessories, and gives us amazing support for our playstyle. Tougher when looking around for clumps and elites, and stronger when you’ve decided to sit down and smash ’em.

Typically you’ll just find these as you grind, as they can be difficult to obtain with currency…

This is just a list of your “all-around” items that may or may not be mentioned previously. While I do not take set-specifics in this tab, it serves as a seasonal reminder (and helpful general list for newbies) on what’s “generally good”.

Reapers Wraps: A Crafted legendary whose plans drop from any Torment Malthael (and is oft mentioned in our Fresh 70 guides), any NON-RNG boost to power (in this case, resource generation) is welcome. MOST builds can benefit from an early reapers.

Nemesis Bracers: An absolute monster for increasing rift clear speed (and a little extra deaths breaths!), newer players might not value this as highly – try it out and you’ll be surprised.

Unity: Used alongside another Unity on your follower (Plus their unique “Cannot Die” relic) essentially halving all damage you take for one ring slot, that’s usable for any character. Not bad.

Obisidian Ring of the Zodiac: Core on many builds, but usable for any build that spends resource. It’s a unique source of “in-combat” CDR that would give you 100% uptime on skills you couldn’t otherwise achieve. It’s pretty crazy.

Focus+Restraint: If you can trigger both halves of the set bonus, and don’t mind losing defenses from rings – this is will “more than double” your DPS.

Travellers Pledge + Compass Rose: Another accessory set, this one is more suited for “elite killer” builds that like to travel in between packs, and face-tanking builds that tend to stay still while DPSing. It’s not very universal, but it can reasonably benefit any character.

Convention of Elements: Literally any character can use this ring. It’s a titanic boost in DPS (especially for builds that have tons of short-duration buffs… LINE THEM UP!).

Ring of Royal Grandeur: -1 set item requirements to help you fit random core or filler legendaries to help your build out. While absolutely necessary on some builds, most builds can benefit from this using “generic” legendaries for a temporary power boost (IE Aquilla Cuirass).

Avarice Band + Boon of the Hoarder (+Goldwrap) the gold farming speedy holy trinity. While you don’t really need all three all the time, this combo allows you to speed through and survive ANY difficulty (careful, this doesn’t improve DPS!).

You also need specific items for your follower build, which again, has a huge impact on your farming speed.

There’s a speedy alternative setup using Flail of the Charge and Shield of the Steed (Dropping Furnace and Denial) for faster travel times (Bounties?). You can experiment with this if you like, but overall it’s a DPS loss so you need to be “stronger than recommended” if you want the speed gain from this weapon set.

Rolands 6 Full Build Template Preview

S23 Fresh L70 Crusader Rolands 6pc Build Template
Head Rolands Legacy Skill Rune
Shoulder Rolands Legacy Slash Guard
Chest Rolands Legacy Sweep Attack Flame Sweep
Arms Rolands Legacy Steed Charge
Draw and Quarter
Legs Cpt Crimson Laws of Valor (Justice)
Unstoppable Force (Immovable)
Boots Rolands Legacy Iron Skin Flash
Belt Cpt Crimson Akarat’s Champion Prophet
Bracer Strongarm Bracer (Open) Passives
Amulet Traveler’s Pledge Heavenly Strength
Ring Compass Rose Finery
Ring Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac Long arm of the Law
Weapon The Furnace Indestructible (Open)
Offhand Denial
Kanai’s Cube Legendary Gems
Golden Flense Bane of the Powerful (Open)
Aquila Cuirass (Open) Bane of the Trapped
Ring of Royal Grandeur (Open) Esoteric, Stricken, Hoarder etc

Furnace is worm instead of Flense due to superior base damage. However, if you want Life per Wrath Spent then you’ll have to reverse the setup (Not bad).

Gems are largely determined by content type. Stricken for tryhard, Powerful + Hoarder for speed nephs, etc.

This is a solid “midgame setup” malleable for many content types.
Not meant for razors edge progression.

The above is the baseline template for a fully functional 6pc Roland. It’s not heavily optimized for pushing GR, but more of a speedy farming slant. It’s a great place to be in, as you adjust the build to your needs!

Bridging to the End-game

**Some of these aren’t updated for S23 yet, but
can still serve as a decent point of reference**

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:

Check out our D3 Guide Directory for other resources.

If you enjoyed using our guide, help support us! Check out our Patreon – BRGMedia!

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  1. Fantastic guide, I’m a total newbie so really helped me understand all the mechanics and figure things out.

    One question though, what is recommended for powers to equip from the legendaries? I’m using the sweep build atm and about to start farming G32 rifts for gem lvling. Finding no difficulty but can be killed if I’m lazy or not paying attention.

    • Sorry I found it, didn’t see it under the menu. For anyone looking it’s under Roland Woe’s. So I guess I’m farming for items (Golden Flense and Denial) but should I equip them or just use their powers and equip a different weapon/shield?

  2. Why no Iron Skin in the “Season Journey Chapter 4: Getting 6 piece” build? Sweep Attack instead? How does that help with Thorns?

  3. I think I might be missing something here. This is my first season and I’m still figuring out how certain things adjust the offense/defense/recovery numbers. I’m just about set to go for Chapter IV completion and I was comparing my stats to where your stats are going in to completing the Level 20 GR and I’m pretty much lined up in each stat except my damage is only at 16000 and you say your damage is at 19000. I’m geared pretty much exactly how you suggest, however I already have the Belt of the Trove. Everything non-invoker has strength and Thorns and I just don’t understand 3000 damage difference.

    I’ve got a pretty solid yellow dagger and have slotted everything with a Diamond. Should I be willing to upgrade to a different weapon or slide some Rubies into some slots instead? At what point do I jump out of the suggested setup suggestions and focus on more damage?

    • Damage numbers don’t matter for the most part – IGNORE SHEET DAMAGE for the purposes of D3 (in 99.99% of builds) – it’s near meaningless. Especially for a thorns build, the “damage” stat is extremely useless as it does not take into account thorns in any way shape or form. You have ZERO chance of failure with Belt of the Trove.

  4. I love these fresh 70 guides!
    One technical difficulty – Have tried several reload / clear cache options, and I am still seeing the Season 12 version of this guide.
    Is anyone else experiencing this problem too?

  5. Amazing build for fresh 70, I couldn’t believe how potent it is with full set of yellow only, I was doing T1 GR, and it felt like a walk in the park, guardian died right away. I was lucky to pick up the Boyarsky’s Chip in that GR, and it’s even more potent now I am sure.

    Thank you so much for writing this guide, it truly is amazing.

  6. From 2.4.2 Patch Notes:

    Thorns of the Invoker

    (6) Set Bonus
    The 800% Thorns damage dealt to the first enemy hit can now benefit from +% Physical Damage

    This should make Doombringer a viable alternative to Pig Sticker.

    • we’re fixing our site right now to correct the bugs we got after changing our site’s theme… but apparently some pages were reverted to older guides. will fix this in a couple of days. really sorry about this. for now, you can see our build in Dfans/TeamBRG.

  7. Used this guide and leveled to 70 in a matter of hours.
    Hit 70 and found a Gyrfalcons Foote to cube, that along with aquila curiass i never spend wrath. Pretty boss right now


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