Thinking of using Crusader to get this season’s free Haedrig’s gift? Let our Fresh 70 Crusader Guide help you! We will discuss suitable builds to help you conquer each chapter and acquire the full free set.
In S18, the Crusader free set is Armor of Akkhan.
Important Note: Crafting Reaper’s Wraps greatly helps the early game struggle. The recipe drops from any torment Malthael.
YOU MUST GATHER A THORNS-BASED YELLOW “SET” OF ITEMS.
Read more in the box below.
(Although this is a lot less critical due to S18’s Triune buff)
Click below to reveal the instructions you need for each step:
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Akkhan’s is a very open set, but I will be directing you towards two types of builds –
Shield Throw (BS) and/or Condemn. Both builds have their own usefulness in various stages of the game. Blessed Shield is great for speed farming the midgame, and has great toughness, while Condemn will scale OFFENSIVELY clearing higher GRs.
|Crusader Fresh 70 Akkhan 6 – Blessed Shield|
|Blessed Shield||Shattering Throw|
|(Open) FLEX SLOT|
|Steed Charge||Endurance / Rejuvenation|
|Laws of Valor||Unstoppable Force|
|Fervor / Heavenly||Holy Cause (Wrathful)|
Use your armory to manage both builds separately! There’s a flex slot or two in both builds so you can easily cover for your weakspots as you progress.
CRAFT A REAPER’S WRAPS ASAP: It greatly helps Wrath, while being a NON-RNG DROP. Recipe is from any Torment Malthael.
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.
Item review before proceeding… Remember these things as you progress!
100% Champion Uptime
REMEMBER THIS AT ALL TIMES. This note is so important it gets its own header. You must strive to somehow get 100%, or very close to, uptime on Akarat’s Champion CDR. This means you need a compiled 55.7% CDR, or Zodiac with Condemn.
Of course, there are a million setups which can achieve this, the above is simply a guideline that reduces risk of “ruining gear” and “difficult rerolls”. Imagine getting trapped using a subpar weapon because you’re relying on the CDR from it.
Now we have to gain as much power, as quickly as possible. Legendary Gems is the first place we look – and make sure to keep an eye out for key items.
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 Akkhan’s “Big 3” gems, and “others”.
Get these three to L25 ASAP:
Bane of the Powerful: Synergizes well with our “Eradicate all Elites” mission. It MAXES OUT ON ITS POWER at L25, with only duration increasing so it’s super value as an early-mid game gem.
You’re gonna need an early game defensive gem…
If you feel like your healing really sucks, or are a relatively newer player – Molten Wildebeest’s Gizzard vastly improves our dumpster tier recovery. It’s strictly an early game “patch job” and will not scale well into the high heavens. However, it’s not a wasted investment – as you can use it for augments!
Any other gems worth it?
Bane of the Trapped becomes a more generic DPS choice later on.
Esoteric Alteration: Basic endgame defensive gem. Nice to have.
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
Now that you have the base “power level” of your 6 set and gems, let’s take a break to review How to play & adjust your build. These tips are basic, nothing comprehensive, but helpful nonetheless!
Adjusting your build is a key knowledge point – certain weak spots in your build may appear due to RNG drops, so it’s in your best interest to address these.
Both builds will want to abuse and maximize Akarat’s Champion.
Blessed Shield is, thankfully, very similar to a version of our leveling builds. “The more the merrier” as Shattering Throw (and your future legendary item abilities) scale off pure NUMBER of enemies. Also, it’s a good idea to get the hang of “killing by clumps”. Laws of Valor will help you
Condemn is a little trickier, and drastically changes as your build matures (spammable Condemn, No CD? Vacuum?). The sample principles with Champion apply here, of course. I loathe to discuss it here but they’re ultimately very similar – the more guys you catch in Condemn – the better, and it’s always a bad idea to get used to Condemning solo enemies/elites/bosses.
More offense or Wrath needed?
Offense is usually categorized in Damage or, indirectly, Resource Gain.
Finery – is the first thing you want to activate and maximize. That’s going to be the most relevant change you can do in the build to bolster damage. Early on you might not have enough sockets to use it, but once you have full sockets, convert to this passive ASAP.
Wrath issues? Well, there’s a bunch of ways to manage Wrath listed in the default builds, HOWEVER, once you get Gyrfalcon’s on BS just forget about Wrath altogether. The problem lies with Condemn. The “spammable Condemn” legendary can wipe your Wrath in moments. This is more of an “end endgame problem” and there are probably build specific guides out there that tackle this. A high shield block with Insurmountable, perhaps?
More defense needed?
Defense is usually self-healing and/or damage reduction.
Keep in mind that Iron Skin isn’t just for Thorns – it has 50% damage reduction!
Wrathful heals you in chunks with the awesome Life per Wrath Spent stat. On the same note, LpWS shows up in Crusader main-hands and crusader shields.
Vigilant is a “cute” defensive filler.
Crusader has a whole smattering of defensive options, but with these builds in particular only the above seems “viable right now, without hassles”.
More mobility needed?
Mobility and Speed are a luxury as a fresh 70 character, but here it is anyway:
Steed Charge – Endurance is your Mobility skill. Sadly, there’s not much else this build can change to improve your movement.
Mobility isn’t the strong point of a Crusader, and any changes to facilitate that right now is a bit greedy. Crusader mobility is locked behind items, so not much we can do. Ultra-speedy setups shouldn’t be your focus as a fresh 70 Crusader.
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).
REAPER’S WRAPS – if you haven’t already! MASSIVE NON-RNG BOOST, man. Recipe from any Torment Malthael.
Using Blood Shards:
Spending shards with Akkhan in mind is kinda awkward… there is no really good “Universal Crusader” Items that stand out, and both of these builds are kind of light in armor reqs.
Helm: Leoric’s Crown is usually a low tier filler, but in the case of Akkhan’s the doubled CDR from a Flawless Royal Diamond on your helm can be a great boost. You can get a sure drop if you kill Leoric in Campaign at L20(15+?). I’d only spend shards for this if you’re lazy as this is quite a common drop to put into your cube.
Using Death’s Breath – Rare to legendary:
Shields are a good choice, but they’re also cheap from Blood Shards, so it’s up to you if you want to try them with Death’s Breaths too. Both builds can get a key item here, Jekangbord and Frydehr’s Wrath.
Especially with flails, there are a few “universal” fillers here and there which is why I recommend going for them first. 2H Swords are mostly garbage, and BotP is your only jackpot in that category…
2H Maces for Furnace?
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! from Act I
Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac: an invaluable piece for when you want to increase CD reduc of one of your skills.
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.
- Crusader Speedfarming Builds & Primer
- D3 Speedfarming with any Class!
- Crusader Best Speedfarming Build
- Crusader Support 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.
Well, Armor of Akkhan is an amazing boon for any Fresh Level 70 Crusader! Condemn and Shield Throw are two amazing builds any Crusader would be happy to have.
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