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!

In Season 22, the Crusader free set is: Aegis of Valor.

Season 22 and YOU. How does it affect?

Well, let’s not beat around the bush. The fourth Kanai’s Cube slot is the ultimate buff here. Sure, the Pylons spawning a certain kind of “shadow clone” is cool and exciting in its own way… But when it comes to pure POWER, a fourth Kanai’s slot is probably the strongest ever buff we’ve had!

It doesn’t really help early on, but as you gather more and more legendary effects it will help you out quite a bit. In the end-game, this is, at the very least, a 20/30% power spike to your character.

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.

Yellow items - stats - rerolls - gems

Nicely rerolled yellows will carry you for a LONG TIME.

Craft a Reaper’s Wraps ASAP. For this build, more than most, resource generation will be an issue. Plans drop from any Torment Malthael, and you should get the bounty mats soon enough.

WEAPON: Craft of find a 2H Flail. The stats you want are STR VIT LpH or LpWS (Life per Wrath Spent). Socket is fine too (Purple gem for LpH, Red for DMG+, Green for CHD+). Avoid any other stat for now.

Crusader is an STR Class – meaning you get free ARMOR from all the STR on your gear. This results in a huge lack of ALL RESISTS. So, in your reroll strategy REMOVE ALL ARMOR ROLLS as they’re pretty much USELESS – and replace them with ALL RESISTS. ALLRES is your best defensive stat by a LARGE MARGIN. Socketing Diamonds also gives you ALLRES.

SELF HEALING: Life per Hit and Life per Wrath Spent are huge for your early game survival. You want at least some of it on your gear. LpH rolls on almost anything, but LpWS only shows up on Flails and CRUSADER SHIELDS. Ideally, you want at least one roll of each.

Elemental% can be found on Bracers and Amulets. You ideally want it on both. It’s a toss-up between Holy% and Lightning%. Holy lends itself to be the speedier and safer element, while Lightning is the more tryhard option. If I were to recommend one for the “early to mid” game, and speedfarming – it’s gotta be Holy%

Skill% (Fist of the Heavens%) can be found on Chest and Shoulder. Typically, it’s safer to roll on shoulder, but if you’re removing trash stats for it you can take it on chest, too. In the end you’ll want it on both – even if it has a negative impact on your defenses from chest.

Chest / Legs: STR VIT ALLRES Sockets (3/2). Life% isn’t bad, either. Since you typically get these pieces last, you’ll want decent fillers until you get your 6pc set.

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

Rings and Amulet: You NEED sockets 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. For early game Valor, Topaz on helm is a good idea.

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.

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

Remove useless stats

  • Life Regeneration – garbage.
  • Attack Speed – it usually an endgame tune-up stat.
  • Excessive Resource Cost Reduction – Is a crutch, and only niche builds need it.
  • Excessive Cooldown Reduction – Only useful for an endgame “need”.
  • Armor – Useless for us, take ALLRES instead.

Take better stats

  • STR VIT – can’t go wrong with these. Your core stats!
  • ALLRES Life% – Great defensive stats.
  • Life per Hit – Great early game sustainability.
  • CRIT Stats (CHC / CHD) – More for endgame, but I’d take this over garbage stats.

Bring out Templar with you. The resource generation you can get from him helps!

0pc Valort free set – getting the 2pc

Getting 1st Haedrig's Gift

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

Crusader Fresh 70 2H NO SHIELD Build
Skills Rune
Smite Shatter
Fist of the Heavens Fissure / Divine Well
Condemn Any
Steed Charge Nightmare / Endurance
Laws of Valor Unstoppable Force
Falling Sword Rise Brothers
Righteousness Wrathful
Holy Cause (Open) Long Arm, Fanaticism, Finery

This build just so happens to look like Valor already. This build is SHIELDLESS purely to amp up our DPS – using a 2H Flail without having to use the Heavenly Strength passive. It struggles with Wrath Generation so my tip about crafting a Reaper’s Wraps is a huge help. Also reminding you; TOPAZ ON HELM.

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 Valor free set – getting the 4pc

Getting 2nd Haedrig's Gift

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

S22 Fresh 70 Crusader 2pc Valor
Skills Rune
Smite Reaping
Fist of the Heavens
Fissure / Divine Well
Heaven’s Fury
Fires / Split / Ascendancy
Steed Charge Endurance
Laws of Valor
Unstoppable Force
Shield Glare Zealous Glare
Righteousness Wrathful (Open)
Holy Cause Fanaticism

Maximizing the 2pc bonus is WORTH. Basically clear piles with your Fist, and clean up fatties with Heaven’s Fury. Useful for killing elites and bosses quicker! The rune choice is really up to you (I personally liked Fires). Something something Reaper’s Topaz…

Minor adjustments, removing chaff skills and trying to gain as much Wrath as we can.

If you have a powerful legendary – edit the build to accommodate 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 Haedrig’s gift and let’s finish the next chapter for the remaining free gear!

4pc Valor free set – getting the 6pc

For clarity, the next boxes contains builds and info if you currently have 4pcs of the Valor free set, going for 6 (you have the first+second Haedrig’s 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
S22 Fresh 70 Crusader 4pc Valor
Skills Rune
Smite Reaping
Fist of the Heavens Divine Well
Heaven’s Fury Fires of Heaven
Steed Charge Endurance
Laws of Justice
Immovable Object
Iron Skin (Open) Steel Skin
Heavenly or Fervor Vigilant
Holy Cause Wrathful

4pc Valor gives us much needed resource generation and some defensive capability. The build just instantly feels “better”. DEFENSE will be your only issue as you can pump out a respectable amount of DPS right now.

From here on, you should be transitioning into a Shield (and essentially losing a passive). I mean, don’t force it until you have a good one, but keep it in mind that you’ll need the extra stats from here on.

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: 1H Flail for Darklight.

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

Build template in the Torment II tab.

Thankfully, we do have the DPS. You just have to make sure your self-healing and defenses are up to par. Valor is one of the better sets when it comes to 2/4pc bonuses and this shouldn’t be too bad.

In Torment IV things get real. For many of the free sets, this place is the breakpoint whether your build needs help or not. And for S22 and Valor – “GGEZ”.

  • 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 if you’ve neglected your temporary yellow gear and rerolls. Hopefully you have powerful legendary/ies 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 Valor free set GR20

GR20 Stuff

No changes to build.

Repeated deaths will be your only issue. You NEED to have a good amount of defense and self-healing to get past this safely. Thankfully, your DPS should be ok even if you do this straight up RAW without any other legendary effects.

Overall, I didn’t feel like this was very challenging. If you neglected survivability and play loosely you MIGHT fail. Not too worried though, this was one of the easier ones.

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 – let me tell you, they’re not all created equal.

Fresh 70 Crusader 6pc Valor

S22 Fresh 70 Crusader 6pc Valor
Skills Rune
Smite Reaping
Fist of the Heavens Divine Well
Heaven’s Fury Fires of Heaven
Steed Charge Endurance
Laws of Justice
Immovable Object
Iron Skin (Open) Steel Skin
Heavenly or Fervor Vigilant
Holy Cause Wrathful

Early on, you can still use Heaven’s Fury to help you against elites and bosses. But as your build matures, you have to choose one or the other as your main DPS skill. For the purposes of speedfarming, IMO, Fist of the Heavens is better so we lean onto that. But do keep your Heaven’s Fury legendaries if you want to try that out.

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.

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!
Item Slot Item Name Priority?
1H Flail Darklight Core
Belt Khassett’s Cord of Righteousness Core
– nothing else is truly core –
2H Flail Flail of the Charge High
Crus Shield Shield of the Steed High
Ring Ring of Royal Grandeur High
Belt (Crafted) Cpt. Crimson Belt Need RoRG
Legs (Crafted) Cpt. Crimson Legs Need RoRG
2H Mace The Furnace Low

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.

Valor Main useful gemsOther useful gems

Bane of the Powerful – is a great filler gem that only ever needs 25 points. Great for general DPS and helps with elites for such a low investment. For Valor, though, getting this to 50 isn’t bad as you’ll likely be using it a while.

Moratorium – you need a defensive gem early on and this is great as long as you have the proper LpWS or LpH rolls (which you should). No need to take this past 25.

Your third gem is a toss-up. None of the options really stand out in the early game.

Honestly, you’re best off with another defensive gem like Esoteric Alteration (or maybe Molten Wildebeest’s Gizzard). If you want a good all-rounder, Gogok of Swiftness is probably best.

Personally, I would go Powerful – Moratorium – Wildebeest this early on. Trust me, your DPS will massively outrun your Defenses. Wildebeest turns into Esoteric as your build matures.

Note that any of these early game fillers can be leveled to 50 then turned into augments!

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 to 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.

Core items preview - look out for these!
Item Slot Item Name Priority?
1H Flail Darklight Core
Belt Khassett’s Cord of Righteousness Core
– nothing else is truly core –
2H Flail Flail of the Charge High
Crus Shield Shield of the Steed High
Ring Ring of Royal Grandeur High
Belt (Crafted) Cpt. Crimson Belt Need RoRG
Legs (Crafted) Cpt. Crimson Legs Need RoRG
2H Mace The Furnace Low

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.

Blood ShardsDeath's BreathRings and AmuletsThe Classics

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

Belt – Khassett’s Cord of Righteousness is the big one. All rolled into one item is Wrath cost reduction and a large spike of power. For a single item, you can’t do any better than this.

Bracers – Nemesis Bracer is what you’re after here. A large boost to rift clearing speed is always welcome.

Aside from the above, there’s nothing else that’s actually core!

Crusader Shield – Shield of the Steed is ALWAYS USEFUL. Completing this set is great for speedy clears and gives you quite a bit of power as well.

Oddly enough, it’s quite difficult to think of anything else that’s super impactful to wear or cube. Leoric’s Crown for more CDR, perhaps? Or any generic defensive item?

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

1H Flail for Darklight. Yeah, this one is crazy. It increases your DPS by around 20x. Yeah. 20x. While there other niche fillers here like Swiftmount to potentially cube, Darklight is the absolute king.

2H Flail for Flail of the Charge. The other half of Norvald’s set. If you get the set you can wear them and cube your Darklight.

2H Mace for The Furnace. Just a generic power up. I guess you don’t need to spend your DB’s for this but keep an eye out for it.

There’s really nothing else I’d want aside from the above!

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.

You NEED some defenses and this is where you’ll get ‘em.
I’ll just dump my thoughts about the various accessories here.

Unity is by far the best, but difficult since you need two of them, plus an immortal follower relic. This is your best bet for defenses, though, as it’s a brainless half damage taken.

Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac is great for when you think you can reliably have Akarat’s Champion up while you use it. This becomes the premier “defensive” option by having Akarat’s Champion – Prophet in your build. However, this is more suitable to tryhard type content.

Justice Lantern is an interesting choice, and one that I’ve looked upon in desperation in the past. If you’re really short on defenses (this set won’t lack DPS for a long time), then this is a great option but requires a little extra “setup” by stacking your block rate. It seems cute, but can be a contender if you need defense.

A nice Hellfire with a defensive passive (Indestructible or something) would be OK, too.

Convention of Elements is your best “single item” DPS ring.

I don’t like using Focus + Restraint, or Compass Rose + Traveler’s Pledge. But if you have ‘em lying around I’d rather use the latter.

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”.

Reaper’s 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 Reaper’s.

Nemesis Bracers: An absolute monster for increasing rift clear speed (and a little extra death’s 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.

Traveller’s 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 Aquila 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!).

Valor Full Build Template Preview

to follow…

The above is the baseline template for a fully functional 6pc Valor . 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!

Season 22: Valor Fourth cube slot?

Fourth cube slot can be any of the following…

The Furnace for easier boss kills. This is honestly probably best.

Leoric’s Crown for CDR to push down Akarat’s Champion as much as possible, if you’re into that build variant.

Any other defensive item you can fit! Justice Lantern, perhaps?

Bridging to the End-game

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.

Other Crusader Guides:

Check out our D3 Guide Directory for other resources.

Well, Aegis of Valor is an amazing boon for any Fresh Level 70 Crusader! While I do focus on Fist here, try out Heaven’s Fury, too!

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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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